Maurice Nicoll – Zosimus Panopolitanus & Teleiosis
‘Nosce te ipsum‘ Latin for ‘Know thyself’.
Original Greek is ‘γνῶθι σεαυτόν‘, transliterated: ‘gnōthi seauton‘.
This watercolor is the visual used by the seasonal magazine, ‘Le Miroir d’Isis’.
Today’s sharing from the Blue House of Via-HYGEIA is an excerpt from Maurice Nicoll’s ‘The Mark’, published by Vincent Stuart and Watkins in 1954. It is found in the appendix, where Dr. Nicoll writes about ‘Teleiosis’ in connection with Zosimos of Panopolis, whom he quotes from volume 4 of the ‘Hermetica’, page 143, edited by Walter Scott for Oxford-Clarendon Press in 1936. Volume IV provides Testimonia (many of which are only given in an untranslated form) as well as addenda to the notes on the earlier texts.
Zosimus Panopolitanus speaks of a τελειωσις (Teleiosis), a transformation which is the goal of human beings. Zosimus, speaking of the τελειωσις of the soul, mentions a certain mirror. When the soul looks at itself in this mirror it sees what it must get rid of. What, asks Zosimus, are the instructions given to man? Know thyself: and this refers to the mirror. ‘It (the instruction) indicates thereby the spiritual (pneumatic) and intellectual (noetic) mirror. What is this mirror, then, if not the divine spirit? When a man looks in it and sees himself in it, he turns away from all that is called gods and daemons.‘ He attaches himself to a process of purification, through the instrument of the mirror, which becomes the holy spirit, and becomes a perfect man. By means of the mirror he eventually sees God who is in him, by the intermediation of the holy spirit – in the light of the eye of the spirit.
This passage is, in full, as follows: ‘This mirror represents the divine spirit. When the soul looks at itself in the mirror, it sees the shameful things that are in it, and rejects them; it makes its stains disappear, and remains without blame. When it is purified, it imitates and takes for its model, the holy spirit; it becomes spirit itself; it possesses calm, and returns unceasingly to that superior state in which one knows God and is known (by God). Then, having come to be stainless, it gets rid of its bonds, and it (raises itself) towards the Omnipotent. What says the philosophic word? ‘Know thyself.’ It indicates thereby the spiritual and intellectual mirror. What is this mirror then, if not the divine and primordial spirit? Unless one says that it is the principle of principles, the Son of God, the Word, he whose thoughts and sentiments proceed also from the holy spirit. Such is the explanation of the mirror. When a man looks in it and sees himself in it, he turns his face away from all that is called gods and daemons, and, attaching himself to the holy spirit, he becomes a perfect man; he sees God who is in him, by the intermediation of this holy spirit. Behold your soul by means of this spiritual mirror of electrum, made with the two intelligences, that is, with the Son of God the Word, joined to the holy spirit, and filled with the spirituality of the Trinity.‘