Poèmandrès III

“Avoid all conversation with the multitude or common people; for I would not have you subject to envy, much less to be ridiculous unto the multitude.

For the like always takes to itself that which is like, but the unlike never agrees with the unlike. Such discourses as these have very few auditors, and peradventure very few will have, but they have something peculiar unto themselves.

They do rather sharpen and whet evil men to their maliciousness; therefore it behooves to avoid the multitude, and take heed of them as not understanding the virtue and power of the things that are said.”

– Hermès Trismegistus

What do you mean, Oh Father?


This, Oh son: the whole of nature and composition of those living things called men, is very prone to maliciousness, and is very familiar, and as it were nourished with it., and therefore is delighted with it; now this wight, if it shall come to learn or know that the world was once made, and all things are done according to Providence or necessity, destiny or fate, bearing rule over all, will he not be much worse than himself, despising the whole because it was made? And if he may lay the cause of evil upon fate or destiny, he will never abstain from any evil work.

Wherefore we must look warily to such kind of people, that being in ignorance, they may be less evil for fear of that which is hidden and kept secret.

– Hermès Trismegistus

My thoughts being once seriously busied about things that are, and my understanding lifted up, all my bodily senses being exceedingly held back, as it is with them that are very tired, by reason either of fullness of meat, or of exhaustion: I thought I saw one of an exceeding great stature, and of an infinite greatness, call me by my name, and say to me, What do you wish to see and Hear? Or what would you understand to learn and know?

Then said I, Who are you?

– The Hermetist

I am, he said, Poemander, the mind of the great Lord, the most mighty and absolute emperor: I know what you wish, and I am always present with you.

– Hermès Trismegistus

Then I said, “I would learn the things that are, and understand the nature of them, and know God.

How? said he.

I answered that I would gladly hear and be open to the voice of the dweller.

Then said he, Have me again in thy mind, and whatsoever you wish to learn, I will teach you.

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