Many / One

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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 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."

2 "God makes all things for himself; and all things are parts of God. And inasmuch as all things are parts of him, God is all things. Therefore, in making all things, God makes himself."

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

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

5 "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."

6 "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."

7 "It is God's Will that constitutes the existence of all things that are." Libellus IX:2

8 "Hearken ye with attentive mind. There was and ever is one thing alone, even Mind, and beside the unity of this one thing, there was nothing else in being. This mind, ever existing in itself, ever encompasses all things with its own light and spirit….There is no god, nor angel, nor daemon, nor any other being, that is outside of Him; for He is Lord and Father of all, and all things are in Him and subject to Him."

9 "Then God will look on that which has come to pass and will stay the disorder by the counterworking of his will, which is the good. He will call back to the right path those who have gone astray; he will cleanse the world from evil, now washing it away with waterfloods, now burning it out with fiercest fire, or again expelling it by war and pestilence. And thus he will bring back his world to its former aspect, so that the Kosmos will once more be deemed worthy of worship and wondering reverence, and God, the maker and restorer of the mighty fabric, will be adored by the men of that day with unceasing hymns of praise and blessing. Such is the new birth of the Kosmos; it is a making again of all things good, a holy and awe-striking restoration of all nature; and it is wrought in the process of time by the eternal will of God." Asclepius III

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

11 "All things are linked together, and connected one with another in a chain extending from the lowest to the highest; so that we see that they are not many, or rather, that all are one. For inasmuch as all things hang on the One and flow from the One, we think indeed that they are many when we look at them apart, but when we regard them as united, we hold them to be one." Asclepius III:19c

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

13 "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."

14 "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."

15 "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."

16 "For all things that exist are in God, and are made by God, and are dependent on him, whether they be things that put forth activity by means of their bodies, or things that effect movement by means of soul-stuff, or things that generate life by means of vital breath, or things that receive into themselves the bodies that life has quitted. And there will never come a time when anything that exists will cease to be; for God contains all things, and there is nothing which is not in God, and nothing in which God is not. Nay, I would rather say, not that God contains all things, but that, to speak the full truth, God is all things." Libellus IX:9

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 "All individuals are united to the whole; so that we see that the whole is one, and of the one are all things."

19 "God is all things; from him are all things; and all things are dependent on his will, and on his inimitable wisdom."

20 "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."

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

22 "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."

23 "The Kosmos moves within the very life of eternity, and is contained in that very eternity whence all life issues."

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

25 "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."

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite