Perfect Intellect

I was sent forth from the power,

and I have come to those who reflect upon me,

and I have been found among those who seek after me.
Look upon me, you who reflect upon me,
and you hearers, hear me.
You who are waiting for me, take me to yourselves.
And do not banish me from your sight.
And do not make your voice hate me, nor your hearing.
Do not be ignorant of me anywhere or any time. Be on your guard!
Do not be ignorant of me.

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For I am the first and the last.
I am the honored one and the scorned one.
I am the whore and the holy one.

For I am knowledge and ignorance.

I am shame and boldness.
I am shameless; I am ashamed.
I am strength and I am fear.
I am war and peace.
Give heed to me.

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 I am lust in (outward) appearance,

and interior self-control exists within me.
I am the hearing which is attainable to everyone
and the speech which cannot be grasped.
I am a mute who does not speak,
and great is my multitude of words.
Hear me in gentleness, and learn of me in roughness.

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Hear me, you hearers
and learn of my words, you who know me.
I am the hearing that is attainable to everything;
I am the speech that cannot be grasped.
I am the name of the sound
and the sound of the name.
I am the sign of the letter
and the designation of the division.

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For many are the pleasant forms which exist in numerous sins,
and incontinencies,
and disgraceful passions,
and fleeting pleasures,
which (men) embrace until they become sober
and go up to their resting place.
And they will find me there,
and they will live,
and they will not die again.



“The Thunder, Perfect Mind” is a poem Translated by George W. MacRae, discovered among the Gnostic manuscripts at Nag Hammadi in 1945. Thunder Perfect Mind (the title may alternately be translated The Thunder – Perfect Intellect) takes the form of an extended, riddling monologue, in which an immanent saviour speaks a series ofparadoxical statements alternating between first-person statements of identity and direct address to her audience. These paradoxical utterances echo Greek identity riddles, a common poetic form in the Mediterranean. There are some translations to the right from the same section of the poem. Line numbering is different in different translations. As to dating, Anne McGuire writes: “Thunder, Perfect Mind exists only in the Coptic version found at Nag Hammadi (NHC VI,2:13,1-21,32). The author, date, and place of composition are unknown, but a cultural milieu like that of second- or third-century Alexandria is plausible. In any case, it is clear that the text was originally composed in Greek well before 350 C.E., the approximate date of the Coptic manuscript.”[3]

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