Wise men of old gave the soul a feminine name. Indeed she is female in her nature as
well. She even has her womb.
As long as she was alone with the father, she was virgin and in form androgynous. But
when she fell down into a body and came to this life, then she fell into the hands of many
robbers. And the wanton creatures passed her from one to another and [...] her. Some
made use of her by force, while others did so by seducing her with a gift. In short, they
defiled her, and she [...] her virginity.
And in her body she prostituted herself and gave herself to one and all, considering
each one she was about to embrace to be her husband. When she had given herself to
wanton, unfaithful adulterers, so that they might make use of her, then she sighed deeply
and repented. But even when she turns her face from those adulterers, she runs to
others and they compel her to live with them and render service to them upon their bed,
as if they were her masters. Out of shame she no longer dares to leave them, whereas
they deceive her for a long time, pretending to be faithful, true husbands, as if they
greatly respected her. And after all this they abandon her and go.
She then becomes a poor desolate widow, without help; not even a measure of food was
left her from the time of her affliction. For from them she gained nothing except the
defilements they gave her while they had sexual intercourse with her. And her offspring
by the adulterers are dumb, blind and sickly. They are feebleminded.
But when the father who is above visits her and looks down upon her and sees her
sighing - with her sufferings and disgrace - and repenting of the prostitution in which she
engaged, and when she begins to call upon his name so that he might help her, [...] all
her heart, saying "Save me, my father, for behold I will render an account to thee, for
I abandoned my house and fled from my maiden`s quarters. Restore me to thyself
again." When he sees her in such a state, then he will count her worthy of his mercy
upon her, for many are the afflictions that have come upon her because she
abandoned her house.
Now concerning the prostitution on the soul, the Holy Spirit prophesies in many places.
For he said in the prophet Jeremiah (3:1-4),
If the husband divorces his wife and she goes and takes another man, can she return to
him after that? Has not that woman utterly defiled herself? "And you prostituted yourself
to many shepherds and you returned to me!" said the lord. "Take an honest look and see
where you prostituted yourself. Were you not sitting in the streets defiling the land with
your acts of prostitution and your vices? And you took many shepherds for a stumbling
block for yourself. You became shameless with everyone. You did not call on me as
kinsman or as father or author of your virginity".
Again it is written in the prophet Hosea (2:2-7),
Come, go to law with your mother, for she is not to be a wife to me nor I a husband to her.
I shall remove her prostitution from my presence, and I shall remove her adultery
from between her breasts. I shall make her naked as on the day she was born, and I
shall make her desolate like a land without water, and I shall make her longingly
childless. I shall show her children no pity, for they are children of prostitution, since
their mother prostituted herself and put her children to shame. For she said, "I shall
prostitute myself to my lovers. It was they who gave me my bread and my water and my
garments and my clothes and my wine and my oil and everything I needed." Therefore
behold I shall shut them up so that she shall not be able to run after her adulterers. And
when she seeks them and does not find them, she will say, 'I shall return to my former
husband, in those days I was better off than now."
Again he said in Ezekiel (16:23-26),
It came to pass after much depravity, said the lord, you built yourself a brothel and you
made yourself a beautiful place in the streets. And you built yourself brothels on every
lane, and you wasted your beauty, and you spread your legs in every alley, and you
multiplied your acts of prostitution. You prostituted yourself to the sons of Egypt, those
who are your neighbors, men great of flesh.
But what does "the sons of Egypt, men great of flesh" mean, if not the domain of the flesh
and the perceptible realm and the affairs of the earth, by which the soul has become
defiled here, receiving bread from them, as well as wine, oil, clothing, and the other
external nonsense surrounding the body - the things she thinks she needs.
But as to this prostitution, the apostles of the savior commanded (Acts 15:20, 29; 21:25;
1Th 4:3; 1 Co 6:18; 2 Co 7:1): "Guard yourselves against it, purify yourselves from it,"
speaking not just of the prostitution of the body but especially that of the soul. For this
reason the apostles write to the churches of God, that such prostitution might not occur
Yet the greatest struggle has to do with the prostitution of the soul. From it arises the
prostitution of the body as well. Therefore Paul, writing to the Corinthians (1Co 5:9-10),
said, "I wrote you in the letter, 'Do not associate with prostitutes,' not at all (meaning) the
prostitutes of this world or the greedy or the thieves or the idolaters, since then you
would have to go out from the world." - here it is speaking spiritually - "For our struggle is
not against flesh and blood - as he said (Ep 6:12) - but against the world rulers of this
darkness and the spirits of wickedness."
As long as the soul keeps running about everywhere copulating with whomever she
meets and defiling herself, she exists suffering her just deserts. But when she perceives
the straits she is in and weeps before the father and repents, then the father will have
mercy on her and he will make her womb turn from the external domain and will turn it
again inward, so that the soul will regain her proper character. For it is not so with a
woman. For the womb of the body is inside the body like the other internal organs, but the
womb of the soul is around the outside like the male genitalia which is external.
So when the womb of the soul, by the will of the father, turns itself inward, it is baptized
and is immediately cleansed of the external pollution which was pressed upon it, just as
garments, when dirty, are put into the water and turned about until their dirt is removed
and they become clean. And so the cleansing of the soul is to regain the newness of her
former nature and to turn herself back again. That is her baptism.
Then she will begin to rage at herself like a woman in labor, who writhes and rages in
the hour of delivery. But since she is female, by herself she is powerless to beget a
child. From heaven the father sent her her man, who is her brother, the firstborn. Then the
bridegroom came down to the bride. She gave up her former prostitution and cleansed
herself of the pollutions of the adulterers, and she was renewed so as to be a bride. She
cleansed herself in the bridal chamber; she filled it with perfume; she sat in it waiting for
the true bridegroom. No longer does she run about the market place, copulating with
whomever she desires, but she continued to wait for him - (saying) "When will he come?"
- and to fear him, for she did not know what he looked like: she no longer remembers
since the time she fell from her father's house. But by the will of the father <...> And
she dreamed of him like a woman in love with a man.
But then the bridegroom, according to the father's will, came down to her into the bridal
chamber, which was prepared. And he decorated the bridal chamber.
For since that marriage is not like the carnal marriage, those who are to have
intercourse with one another will be satisfied with that intercourse. And as if it were a
burden, they leave behind them the annoyance of physical desire and they turn their
faces from each other. But this marriage [...]. But once they unite with one another, they
become a single life. Wherefore the prophet said (Gn 2:24) concerning the first man and
the first woman, "They will become a single flesh." For they were originally joined one to
another when they were with the father before the woman led astray the man, who is her
brother. This marriage has brought them back together again and the soul has been
joined to her true love, her real master, as it is written (cf. Gn 3:16; 1 Co 11;1; Ep 5:23),
"For the master of the woman is her husband."
Then gradually she recognized him, and she rejoiced once more, weeping before him
as she remembered the disgrace of her former widowhood. And she adorned herself
still more so that he might be pleased to stay with her.
And the prophet said in the Psalms (Ps 45:10-11): "Hear, my daughter, and see and
incline your ear and forget your people and your father's house, for the king has desired
your beauty, for he is your lord."
For he requires her to turn her face from her people and the multitude of her adulterers,
in whose midst she once was, to devote herself only to her king, her real lord, and to
forget the house of the earthly father, with whom things went badly for her, but to
remember her father who is in heaven. Thus also it was said (Gn 12:1) to Abraham:
"Come out from your country and your kinsfolk and from your father`s house"
Thus when the soul had adorned herself again in her beauty [...] enjoyed her beloved,
and he also loved her. And when she had intercourse with him, she got from him the seed
that is the life-giving spirit, so that by him she bears good children and rears them. For
this is the great, perfect marvel of birth. And so this marriage is made perfect by the will
of the father.
Now it is fitting that the soul regenerates herself and become again as she formerly was.
The soul then moves of her own accord. And she received the divine nature from the
father for her rejuvenation, so that she might be restored to the place where originally
she had been. This is the resurrection that is from the dead. This is the ransom from
captivity. This is the upward journey of ascent to heaven. This is the way of ascent to the
father. Therefore the prophet said (Ps 103:1-5):
"Praise the lord, O my soul, and, all that is within me, (praise) his holy name. My soul,
praise God, who forgave all your sins, who healed all your sicknesses, who ransomed
your life from death, who crowned you with mercy, who satisfies your longing with good
things. Your youth will be renewed like an eagle's."
Then when she becomes young again, she will ascend, praising the father and her
brother, by whom she was rescued. Thus it is by being born again that the soul will be
saved. And this is due not to rote phrases or to professional skills or to book learning.
Rather it is the grace of the [...], it is the gift of the [...]. For such is this heavenly thing.
Therefore the savior cries out (Jn 6:44), "No one can come to me unless my Father
draws him and brings him to me; and I myself will raise him up on the last day."
It is therefore fitting to pray to the father and to call on him with all our soul - not
externally with the lips, but with the spirit, which is inward, which came forth from the
depth - sighing; repenting for the life we lived; confessing our sins; perceiving the empty
deception we were in, and the empty zeal; weeping over how we were in darkness and in
the wave; mourning for ourselves, that he might have pity on us; hating ourselves for
how we are now.
Again the savior said (cf Mt 5:4, Lk 6:12): "Blessed are those who mourn, for it is they
who will be pitied; blessed, those who are hungry, for it is they who will be filled."
Again he said (cf. Lk 14:26), "If one does not hate his soul he cannot follow me." For the
beginning of salvation is repentance. Therefore (cf. Acts 13:24), "Before Christ`s
appearance came John, preaching the baptism of repentance."
And repentance takes place in distress and grief. But the father is good and loves
humanity, and he hears the soul that calls upon him and sends it the light of salvation.
Therefore he said through the spirit to the prophet (cf. 1 Cl 8:3), "Say to the children of
my people, 'If your sins extend from earth to heaven, and if they become red like scarlet
and blacker than sackcloth, and if you return to me with all your soul and say to me
'my Father!', I will heed you as a holy people.'"
Again another place (Is 30:15), "Thus says the lord, the holy one of Israel: "If you return
and sigh, then you will be saved and will know where you were when you trusted in what
Again he said in another place (Is 30:19-20), "Jerusalem wept much, saying, 'Have pity on
me.' He will have pity on the sound of your weeping. And when he saw, he heeded you.
And the lord will give you bread of affliction and water of oppression. From now on, those
who deceive will not approach you again. Your eyes will see those who are deceiving
Therefore it is fitting to pray to God night and day, spreading out our hands towards him
as do people sailing in the middle of the sea: they pray to God with all their heart without
hypocrisy. For those who pray hypocritically deceive only themselves. Indeed, it is in
order that he might know who is worthy of salvation that God examines the inward parts
and searches the bottom of the heart. For no one is worthy of salvation who still loves
the place of deception.
Therefore it is written in the poet (Homer, Odyssey 1.48-1.59), "Odysseus sat
on the island weeping and grieving and turning his face from the words of Calypso and
from her tricks, longing to see his village and smoke coming forth from it. And had he not
received help from heaven, he would not have been able to return to his village."
Again Helen <...> saying (Odyssey 4.260-261), "My heart turned itself from me.
It is to my house that I want to return."
For she sighed, saying (Odyssey 4.261-4.264), "It is Aphrodite who deceived me
and brought me out of my village. My only daughter I left behind me, and my good,
understanding, handsome husband."
For when the soul leaves her perfect husband because of the treachery of Aphrodite,
who exists here in the act of begetting, then she will suffer harm. But if she sighs and
repents, she will be restored to her house.
Certainly Israel would not have been visited in the first place, to be brought out of the
land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, if it had not sighed to God and wept for the
oppression of its labors.
Again it is written in the Psalms (6:6-9), "I was greatly troubled in my groaning. I will
bathe my bed and my cover each night with my tears. I have become old in the midst of
all my enemies. Depart from me, all you who work at lawlessness, for behold the lord
has heard the cry of my weeping and the lord has heard my prayer."
If we repent, truly God will heed us, he who is long suffering and abundantly merciful, to
whom is the glory for ever and ever. Amen!