Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Ascent of the Ladder

Hermas 22 1 When then I ceased asking her concerning all these things, desirous of beholding, I was greatly rejoiced that I should see it. 2 She looked upon me, and smiled, and she saith to me, Seest thou seven women round the tower? 3 I see them, lady, say I. 4 This tower is supported by them by commandment of the Lord. 5 Hear now their employments. 6 The first of them, the woman with the strong hands, is called Faith; 7 through her are saved the elect of God.

8 And the second, that is girded about and looketh like a man, is called Continence; 9 she is the daughter of Faith. 10 Whosoever then shall follow her, becometh happy in his life, for he shall refrain from all evil deeds, believing that, if he refrain from every evil desire, he shall inherit eternal life.

11 And the others, lady, who be they? 12 They are daughters one of the other. 13 The name of the one is Simplicity, of the next, knowledge, of the next, Guilelessness, of the next, Reverence, of the next, Love. 14 When then thou shalt do all the works of their mother, thou canst live. 15 I would fain know, lady, I say, what power each of them possesseth.

16 Listen then, saith she, to the powers which they have. 17 Their powers are mastered each by the other, and they follow each other, in the order in which they were born. 18 From Faith is born Continence, from Continence Simplicity, from Simplicity Guilelessness, from Guilelessness Reverence, from Reverence knowledge, from knowledge Love. 19 Their works then are pure and reverent and divine.

20 Whosoever therefore shall serve these women, and shall have strength to master their works, shall have his dwelling in the tower with the saints of God.

These remain, but the greatest of these is Love.
Love is a pleroma, or metaphysical state.

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