Hermes: We have now to speak , my son, of soul and body; I must explain in what way the soul is immortal, and by the working of what sort of force…of the composition and dissolution of a body.
…For death has nothing to do with any of them. The word “death” is a mere name, without any corresponding fact. For death means destruction; and nothing in the Kosmos is destroyed. For seeing that the Kosmos is the second God, and an immortal being, it is impossible that a part of that immortal being should die; and all things in the Kosmos are parts of the Kosmos.
First of all things, and in very truth eternal and without beginning, is God, who is the maker of the universe; and second is the Kosmos, which has been made by God in his image, and is kept in being and sustained by God. The Kosmos is ever-living; for it is made immortal by the Father, who is eternal. “Ever-living” is not the same as “eternal”. The Father has not been made by another; if he has been made at all, he has been made by himself; but it ought rather to be said that he has never been made, but ever is. But the Kosmos is ever being made. For the cause of the existence of the universe it the Father’ but the Father is the cause of his own existence. The Kosmos then has been made immortal by the Father, who is eternal.
The Father took all that part of matter which was subject to his will, and made it into a body, and gave it bulk, and fashioned it into a sphere. This quality the Father imposed on the matter; but matter is of itself immortal and its materiality is eternal. Moreover, the Father implanted within this sphere the qualities of all kinds of living creatures and shut them up in it, as in a cave; for he willed to embellish with all manner of qualities the matter which existed beside him, but was hitherto devoid of qualities. And he enveloped the whole body with a wrapping of immortality, that the matter might not seek to break away from the composite structure of the universe, and so dissolve into it primal disorder. For when matter was not yet formed into body, my son, it was in disorder; and even in our world, it retains something of disorder which besets the small living creatures; for the process of growth and decay is a remnant of disorder. But it is only the living creatures upon earth that are involved in this disorder. The bodies of the celestial gods keep without change that order which has been assigned to them by the Father in the beginning; and that order is preserved unbroken by the reinstatement of each of them in its former place. But the reinstatement of the terrestrial bodies is brought about by the dissolution of their composition; and through this dissolution, they are reinstated by absorption into the bodies which are indissoluble, that is, immortal, When this takes place, consciousness ceases, but life is not destroyed.
And the third being is man, who has been made in the image of the Kosmos, Man differs from all other living creatures upon earth, in that he possess mind, for so the Father has willed; and not only does man find himself to be in union with the second God, but he also apprehends by thought the first God. He perceives the second God as a body, he apprehends the first God as bodiless.
Tat: Do you say then that his living creature does not perish?
Hermes: Speak not of man as perishing, my son. Think what God is, and what the Kosmos is, and what is meant by a living creature that is immortal, and a living creature that is dissoluble. The Kosmos is made by God, and is contained in God; Man is made by the Kosmos, and is contained in the Kosmos, and it is god that is the author of all, and encompasses all, and knits all things together. ~LibelIus VIII; Hermetica; Page 178-179