Stephen bar Sudaili, the Syrian mystic, and the book of Hierotheos

Frothingham F. Stephen bar Sudaili, the Syrian mystic, and the book of Hierotheos. -1886

98 essences of demons, each of which has received its place
according to the measure of its departure from the Good.
The lower is darker than the upper, and wages a fiercer
war against minds during their ascendent motion. While the
mind possesses natural motion, it is combated by the first
of these essences; when post-natural, by the two lower: and
when it ascends (supernaturally), it is overwhelmed by all
of them, for they desire to make it like unto themselves. Ament of the niind. Now the end of the labor of minds is this glorious ascent,
for God does not desire that minds should fall, and wishes
to bring them back unto himself. Those who desire to rise
(unto the Father) must unite the Good-Nature which is in
them with its essence, and remove from themselves all tra¬
ces of the opposing principle. To do this, they must purify
their soul and body, that their garments may be clean;
otherwise they will fall in the ascent. When the mind as¬
cends, the body is as if dead, and the soul is absorbed in
the mind, which is carried up and becomes oblivious of every¬
thing on earth. All the essences of demons gather together
to oppose it; but it vanquishes them, and the Lord raises
it with the hand of his goodness up to the firmament, and
the angelic hosts cry out: Lift up your headt, 0 ye gate»,
and the king of glory shall enter1). When the mind is made worthy to ascend above the fir¬
mament, which is the middle wall of separation, it is like 1) Psalm XXIV, 7.