“For the present we are less intent to the Vision, and cannot yet open the eyes of our mind to behold the incorruptible and incomprehensible beauty of that Good; but then we shall see it, when we have nothing at all to say of it. For the knowledge of it is a Divine Silence, and the rest of all the senses; for neither can he that understands that, understand something else, nor he that sees that, see anything else, nor hear any other thing, nor in sum move the Body. For shining steadfastly upon and round the whole mind, it enlighteneth all the Soul; and loosing it from the bodily senses and motions, it draweth it from the body, and change it wholly into the Essence of God.
“For it is possible for the Soul, O Son, to be deified while yet it lodgeth in the body of man, if it contemplate the beauty of the Good.” ~Hermes
In other words, the human brain/mind is not capable of really understanding the worlds of spirit and the beings that dwell their, especially God. Because of this, men have tried to create God, angels, and other spiritual being in their image rather than learning what they truly are. We see ridiculous things like paintings of angels with bird wings growing out of their backs, and many people take that image literally rather than being symbolic. Since angels are spirits, and spirits have no weight and exist outside of the limitations of space and time, why would they need wings? An angel can float better that the best hot air balloon and can travel from one place to another faster than the fastest jet. Yet we keep seeing them depicted in paintings and movies as actually having the feathered wings of bird. Likewise, God is often shown as an old man sitting on a cloud and watching what we are doing on Earth. First, it is very egotistical of us to think that with the enormity of the universes, both physical and spiritual, that God would be spending most of His time watching Earth and the strange things happening hear. Second, God isn’t an old man since time doesn’t exist in the spiritual realms. In fact, He isn’t a man at all despite the fact that, by the conventions of English and many other languages, we refer to Him with masculine words.
It is a very important thing Hermes teaches when he says, “…we shall see it when we have nothing at all to say of it.” Very important, but not easily understood. What Hermes is trying to tell us is that if we want to know the true beauty of the Good, in other words, God, we have to rid ourselves of the false ideas of what he is. As the Zen folks would say, you have to empty the cup before you can refill it. So you have to empty the mind of all the false images of God, angels and the worlds of spirit. Only then can some glimpse of what they really are seep through.
He goes on to tell us the Good shining on the Soul enlightens it. While he doesn’t use the word, it should be obvious from the use of “shining” and “enlighteneth” that we are talking about some form of Light. Not physical light, but a spiritual Light that awakens and enlightens the soul. And by awakening and nourishing the soul, and filling it with divine wisdom and knowledge (Gnosis) the soul becomes Divine, a true child of God, and the person with such a soul is Born Again in the true sense in which that expression was originally used.
When we add to this that Hermes tells us the soul becomes divine by “contemplating the Good,” we can understand that what he is saying is that we must contemplate God while taking in that spiritual Light that awakens and nourishes the soul, the Light of The Sun of Righteousness that now shines down on us all.