Monday, January 31, 2022

Thunder, Perfect Mind

Do not be ignorant of me.
For I am the first and the last.
I am the honored one and the scorned one.
I am the whore and the holy one.
I am the wife and the virgin.
I am the mother and the daughter.
I am the barren one
and many are her sons.
I celebrated a great wedding,
and I am unwed.
I am the midwife and she who does not bear.
I am the solace of my labor pains.
I am the bride and the bridegroom,
and it is my husband who begot me.
I am the mother of my father
and the sister of my husband
and he is my offspring. . . .

I am the silence that is incomprehensible
and the idea often remembered.
I am the voice whose sound is manifold
and the word that appears again and again.
I am the utterance of my name.

Why, you who hate me, do you love me,
and hate those who love me?
You who deny me, confess me,
and you who confess me, deny me.
You who speak truth about me, lie about me,
and you who have lied about me, speak truth.
You who know me, be ignorant of me,
and those who have not known me, let them know me.
For I am knowledge and ignorance.
I am shame and boldness.
I am shameless; I am ashamed.
I am strength and I am fear.
I am war and peace.
Give heed to me. . . .

Give heed then, you hearers
and you also, the angels and the messengers,
and you spirits who have arisen from the dead.
For I am the one who alone exists,
and I have no one who will judge me.
For many are the joys in sins,
and disgraceful passions,
and fleeting pleasures,
which men embrace until they become sober
and go up to their resting place.
And they will find me there,
and they will live,
and they will not die again.

Thunder, Perfect Mind is a Coptic poem found among the gnostic texts of the Nag Hammadi Library. Experts say it was translated from Greek and may have been written in Alexandria in the second or third century AD. This is about half of it; more here.

No comments: