By Clement Salaman
"The Asclepius" is one among philosophical books ascribed to the mythical sage of historic Egypt, Hermes Trismegistus, who was once believed in classical and renaissance instances to have lived presently after Moses. The Greek unique, misplaced given that classical instances, is assumed so far from the 2d or third century advert. even though, a Latin model survived, of which this quantity is a translation. Like its significant other, the "Corpus Hermeticum" (also released via Duckworth as "The approach of Hermes"), the "Asclepius" describes the main profound philosophical questions within the kind of a talk approximately secrets and techniques: the character of the only, the function of the gods, and the stature of the man or woman. not just does this paintings provide religious information, however it can be a important perception into the minds and feelings of the Egyptians in old and classical occasions. a number of the perspectives expressed additionally replicate Gnostic ideals which handed into early Christianity.
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Extra resources for Asclepius : the perfect discourse of Hermes Trismegistus
37-8. 23. The Rosetta stone commemorates the benefactions conferred by Ptolemy V (205-180 BC) in three writing systems: hieroglyphics, demotic and Greek. The inscription is in two languages: Egyptian and Greek. 24. Jeremy Naydler, Shamanic Wisdom in the Pyramid Texts, passim. 25. Asclepius, 26. 26. Manetho, History of Egypt, 1,1. 27. Plato, Phaedrus, 274. 28. Brian P. Copenhaver, Hermetica, pp. xiv-xv. 29. Iamblichus, De mysteriis, 1,1, tr. Clarke, Dillon and Hershbelt. 30. Gnôsis, Greek for knowledge, wisdom.
And so, throughout this discourse, take care to be mindful of him who alone is all, or who is the creator of all. Everything comes from heaven into earth, into water, into air. Only fire, which is borne upwards, is life-giving. What moves downward serves it. Yet what moves down from on high is full of generative power; what moves upward gives nourishment. Only earth of all the elements remains within itself and is the receiver of every kind of form, and what it receives it returns. ‘This therefore is the all, as you remember; it is the essence of the all and it is the all.
Hermetists, like the Gnostics, considered only spirit to be real. The references to making the male and the female one in the Gospel of Thomas are particularly significant because there is distinctive emphasis in the Gnostic tradition on the importance of women. The sense that each sex contained the powers of the other goes back to Ancient Egypt (see Fig. 3). 40 29 Asclepius 30 Introduction The human being who has understood that both genders are within, has realised the common archetype to them both.