Many / One

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Compiled by JoAnn Kite

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Hermetica
Walter Scott, translator
The ancient Greek and Latin writings which contain religious or philosophic teachings ascribed to Hermes Trismegistus. From the Introduction: "If one were to try to sum up the Hermetic teaching in one sentence, I can think of none that would serve the purpose better than the sentence, 'Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.'"

1 "The sky is moist and dry, cold and hot, bright and obscured by turns; these are the rapidly alternating forms included under the one ideal or universal form of the sky. The earth is ever passing through many changes of form; it generates produce, it nourishes the produce it has generated, it yields all manner of crops, with manifold differences of quality and quantity; and above all, it puts forth many sorts of trees, differing in the scent of their flowers and the taste of their fruits. Water takes different forms, now standing, and now running. Fire undergoes many changes, and assumes godlike forms;…they are like our mirrors, and reproduce the ideal or universal form in visible copies with rival brilliance."

2 "The Justice that rules on high knows how to assign to each his due

3 "The movements are diverse and many, and the bodies differ one from another, but there is one ordered system which extends through all." Libellus XI:9

4 "All these souls which shift about from place to place throughout the Kosmos are, so to speak, parted off and portioned out from one soul, even the soul of the universe."

5 "There is not, and has never been, and never will be in the Kosmos anything that is dead. For it was the Father's will that the Kosmos, as long as it exists, should be a living being." Libellus XII:15b

6 "Man has been made by God in the image of God. God has fashioned with consummate skill each member of [the human] body; every one of the members is perfectly adapted both for use and for beauty."

7 "It is in God that nature has her being."

8 "There is nothing that comes to be or has come to be, in which God is not."

9 "There are two images of God; the Kosmos is one, and man is another, inasmuch as he, like the Kosmos, is a single whole built up of diverse parts."

10 "All things that come to pass by nature come to pass according to Providence, and there is no place destitute of Providence."

11 "It is manifest that the Maker is one; for soul is one, and life is one, and matter is one."

12 "The Good is the one thing which is the source of all things, and supplies all things at all times."

13 "The ordered system in which each and all by the supreme Artist's skill are wrought together into a single whole yields a divinely musical harmony, sweet and true."

14 "It is not difficult to contemplate God in thought, or even, if you will, to see him. Look at the order of the Kosmos; look at…the providence shown in things that have been, and in things that come to be; look at matter filled to the full with life, and see this great god in movement, with all things that are contained in him."

15 "God made a law by which he ordained that all the souls alike should be everlasting, inasmuch as they were all made of one substance."

16 "The world has been made by God's providence."

17 "God does not ignore man, but acknowledges him to the full, and wills to be acknowledged by him. And this alone, even the knowledge of God, is man's salvation; this is the ascent to Olympus; and by this alone can a soul become good." Libellus X:15a

18 "Languages differ, but mankind is one."

19 "From God and in God and through God are all things, - all the various and multiform qualities, the vast and measureless magnitudes, and the forms of every aspect."

20 "The Kosmos is made by God and contained in God….It is God that is the author of all, and encompasses all, and knits all things together."

21 "God, the Master and Maker and Encompasser of all, is both One and all things;…for the whole which is made up of all things is one."

22 "God is the All; and there is nothing that is not included in the All. Hence there is neither magnitude nor place nor quality nor shape nor time beside God; for God is all, and the All permeates all things."

23 "The Lord manifests himself ungrudgingly throughout the universe; and you can behold God's image with your eyes, and lay hold on it with your hands."

24 "Whether he of whom I speak be called God, or Father, or Master of all, whatever be the name which we name him to convey our meaning in our talk with one another, it is for men to hallow the name with a higher sanctity by contemplation of his supreme divinity."

25 "Be careful to remember him, the One who is all things, - him who is the creator of all things."

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite