Thought cannot attain to this, for thought reaches only to the nous, and is itself a kind of motion.
From this contact came Ialdabaoth the Demiurgos, who in turn produced six powers and with them created the seven heavens and from the dregs of matter the Nous of serpent form, from whom are spirit and soul, evil and death.
Beginning with the contemplation of corporeal things in their multiplicity and harmony, it then retires upon itself and withdraws into the depths of its own being, rising thence to the nous, the world of ideas.
The nous is a sort of second god, the X6yoc which are wrapped up in it are gods, the stars are gods, and so on.
That is the office of the purifying virtues, by which the soul is freed from sensuality and led back to itself, and thence to the nous.