The Being of Atum

Give me your whole awareness,
and concentrate your thoughts,
for Knowledge of Atum’s Being
requires deep insight,
which comes only as a gift of grace.
It is like a plunging torrent of water
whose swiftness outstrips any man
who strives to follow it,
leaving behind not only the hearer,
but even the teacher himself.

To conceive of Atum is difficult.
To define him is impossible.
The imperfect and impermanent
cannot easily apprehend
the eternally perfected.
Atum is whole and constant.
In himself he is motionless,
yet he is self-moving.
He is immaculate,
incorruptible and ever-lasting.
He is the Supreme Absolute Reality.
He is filled with ideas
which are imperceptible to the senses,
and with all-embracing Knowledge.
Atum is Primal Mind.
He is too great
to be called by the name ‘Atum’.
He is hidden,
yet obvious everywhere.
His Being is known through thought alone,
yet we see his form before our eyes.
He is bodiless,
yet embodied in everything.
There is nothing which he is not.
He has no name,
because all names are his name.
He is the unity in all things,
so we must know him by all names
and call everything ‘Atum’.

from The Hermetica, attributed to Thoth
translated by Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy

photo of College Creek from the Colonial Parkway, Jamestown, VA

May 2011 by Woodland Gnome