My all time favorite piece of literature
Thunder, Perfect Mind
I was sent from the power
and have come to those who contemplate me
and am found among those who seek me.
Look at me, you who contemplate me,
and you who hear, listen to me.
You awaiting me, take me to yourselves.
Do not banish me from before your eyes.
Do not let your voice be hateful toward me,
nor your hearing.
Do not be ignorant of me,
in any place, at any time.
Be alert; do not be ignorant of me.
For I am the first and the last.
I am the honored and the scorned.
I am the whore and the holy.
I am the wife and the virgin.
I am <the mother> and the daughter.
I am the limbs of my mother.
I am a barren woman
who has many children.
I have had many weddings
and have taken no husband.
I am a midwife
and a woman who does not give birth.
I am the solace of my own birth pains.
I am bride and groom,
and my husband produced me.
I am the mother of my father
and the sister of my husband
and he is my offspring.
I am the servant of him who fashioned me,
I am the ruler of my offspring.
He [produced me] with a premature birth,
and he is my offspring born on time,
and my strength is from him.
I am the staff of his power in his youth,
and he is the rod of my old age,
and whatever he wishes happens to me.
I am silence that is incomprehensible
and insight whose memory is great.
I am the voice whose sounds are many
and the word whose appearances are many.
I am the utterance of my own name.
You who hate me, why 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 tell the truth about me,
tell lies about me,
and you who have lied about me,
tell the truth about me.
You who know me, be ignorant of me,
and as for those who have not known me,
let them know me.
For I am knowledge and ignorance.
I am shy and bold.
I am shameless; I am ashamed.
I am tough and I am terror.
I am war and peace.
Be attentive to me.
I am disgraced and great.
Be attentive to my poverty and my wealth.
Do not be arrogant towards me
when I am thrown down on the ground,
and you will find me
in those [who] are to come.
If you see me on the dung heap,
don’t go and leave me thrown there.
You will find me in the kingdoms.
If you see me when I am thrown out
with the disgraced in the most sordid places,
don’t mock me.
Don’t throw me down violently
with those in need.
I, I am compassionate and I am cruel.
Take care not to hate my obedience,
but love my self-control.
In my weakness do not disregard me,
and do not fear my power.
For I am the wisdom [of the] Greeks
and the knowledge of the barbarians.
I am the judgement of Greeks and barbarians.
I am the one whose image is great in Egypt
and who has no image among the barbarians.
I have been hated everywhere and loved everywhere.
I am the one called life,
and you have called me death.
I am the one called law,
and you have called me lawless.
I am one you pursued,
and I am one you seized.
I am one you have scattered,
and you have gathered me together.
I am one before whom you have been ashamed,
and you have been shameless to me.
I am a woman who does not celebrate festivals,
and I am she whose festivals are many.
I, I am godless,
and I have many gods.
I am one you have professed,
and you have scorned me.
I am uneducated,
and people learn from me.
I am one you have despised,
and you profess me.
I am one from whom you have hidden,
and you appear to me.
Whenever you hide, I shall appear.
For [whenever] you [appear], I [shall hide] from you.
As for those who have . . . foolishly . . . ,
take me away [from] their [understanding], from grief,
and receive me, from understanding and grief.
Receive me, from low places in creation,
and take from the good, even if in a lowly way.
From shame, take me to yourselves shamelessly.
From shamelessness, and shame,
put my members to shame within you.
Draw near to me,
you who know me and you who know my members,
and establish the great among the insignificant first creatures.
Draw near to childhood,
and do not despise it because it is small and insignificant.
Do not make what is great turn away,
part by part, from what is small,
for what is small is known from what is great.
Why do you curse me and honor me?
You have smitten and you have shown mercy.
Do not separate me from the first ones,
whom you have [known].
Do not cast anyone [out]
[nor] turn anyone away . . . .
Turn yourselves . . .
. . . do not [know] . . . what is mine . . . .
I know the first ones,
and those after them know me.
I am [perfect] mind,
and rest . . . .
I am the knowledge of my search,
the discovery of those who seek me,
the command of those who ask of me,
the power of powers, through my knowledge,
of angelic ambassadors, through my word,
of gods among gods, through my counsel,
of spirits of all people dwelling with me,
of woman dwelling within me.
I am honored and praised,
and scornfully despised,
I am peace, and war has come because of me.
I am alien and citizen.
I am substance and a woman without substance.
Those from union with me are ignorant of me,
and those sharing in my being know me.
Those near me have been ignorant of me,
and those far from me have known me.
On the day I am near [you],
[you] are far [from me],
and on the day I [am far] from you,
[I am near] you.
I [am] . . . a lamp of the heart.
[I am] . . . of natures.
I am . . . of the creation of spirits,
[and the] request of souls.
I am restraint and lack of restraint.
I am unity and dissolution.
I abide and dissolve.
I am descent, and people ascend to me.
I am judgement and pardon.
I, I am sinless,
and the root of sin comes from me.
I am desire outwardly,
and within me is self-control.
I am gearing adequate for everyone
and speaking that cannot be repressed.
I cannot talk or speak,
and plentiful are my words.
Hear me in gentleness,
and learn from me in roughness.
I am the woman crying out,
and I am cast upon the face of the earth.
I prepare bread, and my mind within.
I am the knowledge of my name.
I cry out and I listen.
I appear . . . walk . . .
. . . seal . . . sign of refutation . . . .
I am [the judge, I] am the defense . . . .
I am the one called justice,
but violence [is my name].
You honor me,
[you who overcome],
and you whisper against [me],
you who are overcome.
Judge before you are judged,
because in you are judge and partiality.
If you are condemned by it,
who will pardon you?
Or if you are pardoned by it,
who can detain you?
For what is within you is outside you,
and the one who fashions you on the outside
has formed you within.
What you see outside you, you see within you.
It is visible, and it is your garment.
Hear me, you listeners,
and learn my words, you who know me.
I am hearing adequate for everything.
I am speaking that cannot be repressed.
I am the name of the voice and the voice of the name.
I am the sign of the letter and the indication of division.
I . . . light . . . and [shadow]
[Hear me], you listeners,
. . . [take me] to yourselves.
As [the Lord], the great power, lives,
the one who [stands] will not change the name.
It is [the one who] stands who created me.
I shall utter his name.
Look at the words of this one,
and all the texts that have been written.
Pay attention, you listeners,
and you also, you angels,
and you who have been sent,
and you spirits who have risen from the dead.
I alone exist,
and I have no one to judge me.
For there are many sorts of seductive sins
and deeds without restraint
and disgraceful desires
and fleeting pleasures that people embrace,
until they become sober
and rise up to their place of rest.
They will find me there,
and they will live and not die again.
-The Nag Hammadi Scriptures