See Premiseless Imperative: Introduction for background.
(Some of this material has been published in various forms on the internet, as well as in The Gnostic: A Journal of Gnosticism, Western Esotericism and Spirituality. Not yet reading The Gnostic? Why not? You would absolutely love it!)
OK, down to business. Want to know yourself, do you? Then you’ve got to start at the beginning, and knowledge of self begins with knowledge of one’s body. I’m not talking about what you look like, how many limbs you have, what your hair and eye color are, or anything like that. I’m talking about the hypomythical body, the accumulation of energies and physicalities through which you perceive the World of Forms. Basically, your body is like a pair of glasses, or a telescope, but the lenses are filthy. Thankfully, our understanding of the Gnostic worldview can help us wipe the greasy fingerprints off of our corporeal spectacles, via a specific process of observation and motion. We refer to this practice as Kimetikos, from the Coptic for “Movement.”
Before we start, a word of caution: humans like things to correlate, so there’s a real chance you might think of this practice as something like Tai Chi, or Falun Gong, or might think of the energies involved as kundalini and chakras or chi or whatever. But listen, it’s best to think of Kimetikos on its own terms. Maybe the energies and ideas involved are similar, maybe they’re not, but if you’re gonna do this, I highly recommend discarding any preconceptions you have about other traditions and “energy work,” especially of the silly New Age variety. That kind of thing will get in the way.
So, where did this practice come from? One of the most intriguing creation myths in ancient literature appears in the long version of the Gnostic “Secret Book of John,” a Sethian text found in the Nag Hammadi Library Codices II, 1 and IV, 1. This myth, found in Sections 4-17, details, in great specificity, the process of creation from the most abstract and divine– the Unnamable Monad– all the way through to the most concrete and immediate– the human body itself. The process is described as a series of emanations proceeding from the Monad which, as they become further and further removed from the source, become more and more involved with the World of Forms and subject to the forces of destiny which preside therein.
The process includes the names of ruling powers of each different level of creation: the Aeons who dwell in the Pleromic realms, the Archons who rule the World of Forms, and the angels or Powers who rule over each individual part of the body. Additional names are given for souls which comprise the body, elemental forces, various daemons of passions and phenomenological qualities of the human, etc. The names given, for the most part, come sans translation, and their derivations are far from obvious to the casual reader.
The fact is, we’ll likely never know the actual historical reason this list was included in The “Secret Book of John”. However, philosophically, we can absolutely make certain educated guesses based on some premises which may very well have been shared by the authors of the text, based on what we know about the philosophy of the time:
- Knowing something’s name gives one control over that thing;
- The Macrocosm and Microcosm are fundamentally self-similar (As Above, So Below).
As the process of creation described in the text provides the reader with a map of the creation of the Macrocosm, so the names also provide the reader with a map of the creation of the Microcosm. Knowing the names of the Ruling aspects of the different “parts” that make up the body allows one, in turn, to influence those parts for healing or religious purposes or, in our case, for a thorough and detailed self-knowledge of one’s own “seat” in the World of Forms. Through the names of the rulers of the body, the various animating forces and “souls,” and additional practices we’ve developed, you can establish a foundation for physical self-knowledge.
One other thing: the practice of Kimetikos wasn’t ‘divinely inspired’ or otherwise contrived. This isn’t part of any kind of “secret tradition” whose authenticity can’t be verified. It isn’t based on oblique scratchings found on Golden Plates, long since mysteriously vanished, or “ascended masters” who only appear to a few folks. It was developed as a contemporary practice via a modern interpretation of Gnostic myth. It’s based on the idea that trying something out until you find something that actually works is the best way to get things done.
Of course, attempting a one-to-one reconstruction of the spiritual processes in the “Secret Book of John” is an impossibility. The context and cultural milieu in which the original text was composed have gone totally out the window of history. At the moment, since there’s no unbroken Gnostic tradition, secret or otherwise, we can only rely on that text as our primary source and inspiration, but had better fill in some details if we’re gonna come up with something that works. So, what do we do?
We do what the original Gnostics did: we write some spiritual fan fiction.
In order to provide a better, less wacky foundation for Kimetikos, we need our own starting place so we can provide our own context and milieu. The following is a modern retelling of the “Secret Book of John,” composed in the form of a Hermetic dialogue between Hermes Trismegistus and Asclepius, his student. It was fun to write; I hope it’s edifying, or at least pretty neat.
Asclepius: Now that you’ve told me about the nature of the Monad, and its perfect unity, indivisibility and immutability, please explain the mystery of the composition of the human. What’s the difference between the Spirit, the Soul and the Body, and what are they made of?
Hermes: Sure thing, Asclepius. Sit down a spell, and let me fill you in. Just as a quick recap: the Monad is the only indivisible and perfect unity, which can’t come into being, right?
Asclepius: Of course, Hermes.
Hermes: And nothing which has come into being can be considered indivisible?
Hermes: So doesn’t it follow that the human, as one who has come into being, is divisible into parts?
Hermes: And these parts of the human are the spirit, the soul and the body?
Asclepius: Yessir, Hermes.
Hermes: Then let’s talk about these parts and how they’re made, so with this knowledge can start to get more subtle things. As we know, if you can divide something, it means that thing can be moved. Something that’s moving must have been set into motion by a more subtle power, and so it is with the human. The spirit sets the soul in motion, which gets the body moving. As the microcosm, or human, is a mirror of the macrocosm, so each divided part of the human has matching parts in heaven. The spirit corresponds to the Pleroma, or Ninth Sphere, and is subject to the Aeons, or animating powers which reside there. The soul corresponds to the Heaven of the Demiurge, or First through Eighth Spheres, and is subject to the Archons, or animating powers which live there. The body corresponds to the Kosmos, or created world, in which we reside, and is subject to the Rulers who reside here and constitute and animate the body. This fourfold structure: Monad, Aion, Coming-to-Be, Kosmos — is of the same proportion and measure of the structure of the human: Nous, Spirit, Soul, Body.
Asclepius: Does that mean that when we talk about the processes that occur in the Macrocosm, we can understand the processes that occur within the Microcosm?
Hermes: You’ve got it, Asclepius. You’re starting to catch on. So let’s talk about the gnosis of the extension of the Kosmos from the Monad after the manner of the gnostics, so maybe we can start to get the extension of the Body from the Nous. While we talk, I’ll number the Powers of the Heavens and Kosmos and the matching parts of the human they activate. As the Monad is to its emanations, so the Nous is to the body: indivisible, indescribable, in all things as Being without coming into being. The Monad, wanting to know itself, decreased its own subtlety by turning into itself, and generated itself as the Father and its own reflection, called by the knowers “Barbelo.” Barbelo, as a unity to herself, is perfect in goodness and indivisible to herself. In love with Barbelo, the Father’s desirous stirring within Barbelo resulted in the Christos. This trinity– the Father, Barbelo and the Christos– are the essence of the Piger-Adamas or Pleromic Human. Now you tell me, Asclepius, how this Macrocosmic process is mirrored in the Microcosm like we talked about before.
Asclepius: Seems to me, Hermes, that just like the Monad is the First Cause in the Macrocosm, so the Nous is the First Cause in the Microcosm, which stirs our desire for self-knowledge. As the Monad has to turn into itself and know its own reflection, producing Barbelo, so the Nous has to turn into itself and know its own reflection, or come to knowledge of its different parts, to engender its own ability to generate self-knowledge via Divine Wisdom, or Sophia. As the Father and Barbelo generate the Autogenes, so the Nous and Divine Wisdom generate knowledge of Spirit within the human. As the original Trinity emanates the Ten Aeons which allow the Piger-Adamas to engender the knowledge of itself, so does the trinity of the Nous, Sophia and the Christos, when known with perfect knowledge, redeem the human just like Piger-Adamas.
Hermes: Indeedy, Asclepius! You’re really starting to get the gnosis of the human.
Asclepius: Tell me, then, Hermes; how does the human engender the perfect knowledge of the trinity of Nous, Sophia and the Christos?
Hermes: Let’s continue our account of the extension of the Kosmos, Asclepius, so things’ll start getting a little clearer. Here’s the account of the emanation of the Aeons of the Pleroma, the Ten and the Twelve. Through knowledge of itself, or its own gnosis, the Autogenes generated inside itself five superior Aeons so it could to know itself. These five superior Aeons are Pronoia (Forethought), Prognosis (Foreknowledge), Proeido (Foresight), Zoe (Life) and Aphthartos (Incorruptibility). These five superior Aeons also live with their five consorts. The consort of Pronoia is Propsyche (Forespirit), the consort of Prognosis is Proskopos (Foredoubt), the consort of Proeido is Teleiosis (Prophecy), the consort of Zoe is Anastasis (Resurrection) and the consort of Aphthartos is Metra (Matrix). This is how the five Aeons and their consorts, who are the Ten, allow the Piger-Adamas to know itself through knowledge of God the Father and the Barbelo the Mother.
Through the knowledge of God the Father and Barbelo the Mother and the Autogenes and the Ten, the Monad expressed itself further through the four Luminaries and the Aeons who live with them. The First Luminary is called Armozel, and with Armozel dwell Charis (Grace), Aletheia (Truth) and Morphe (Form). The Second Luminary is called Oroiel, and with Oroiel dwell Katabole (Conception), Aisthesis (Perception) and Mneme (Memory). The Third Luminary is called Davethai, and with Davethai dwell Dianoia (Understanding), Philios (Love) and Idea (Idea). The Fourth Luminary is called Eleleth, and with Eleleth dwell Katartisis (Perfection), Eirene (Peace) and Sophia (Wisdom). These are the Twelve, who sing the knowledge of the Autogenes, and can be experienced by the Knowing Ones through the Mystery of the teachings of the Monad, manifesting within understanding each time they’re expressed and experienced.
Now you, Asclepius, relate this exposition on the Macrocosm to the Microcosm.
Asclepius: By my estimation, Hermes, that just as the Pleroma contains the Ten and Twelve of the Aeons, who are the Ideals engendered by the Monad, so the Spirit contains a Decad and a Dodecad of qualities requiring redemption from the World of Forms, and these qualities can be found by coming to knowledge of self in the same way as the extensions of the Pleroma.
Hermes: And yet, as the human lives in the Kosmos, which is imperfect, so these qualities of the Spirit are also imperfect within the human who hasn’t received the gnosis of the Monad.
Asclepius: How, then, did the Ten and the Twelve come to reside in the World of Forms as corruption? And hey, how did the World of Forms become corrupted in the first place?
Hermes: Well now I’ll tell you. As the Aeons extended themselves further away from the Monad, so the images of God the Father and Barbelo the Mother decreased in their perfection and increased in their qualities, for the greater the number of emanations, the greater the number of qualities found in the Aeons. Make sense? Understand that these emanations represent the Pleroma of the Realms of the Monad, which desired to know itself. Through the expression of these many qualities and their manifestations as Aeons, the Monad sought its own gnosis. However, in order for it to come to complete knowledge of itself, it needed knowledge of imperfection. Because of this, it comes to pass that Sophia, the Aeon farthest from the Father and Barbelo, desired to manifest the offspring of the Monad and looked deep into the emptiness beyond the Pleroma. Believing it was true emptiness instead of a portion of the Monad, she was expelled from the realms of the Fullness and took on the aspect of Pistis Sophia. Her expulsion produced an abyss between the emptiness and the Perfection like the waters of the ocean, and the perfection of the Pleroma looked like a reflection looks underwater. Pistis Sophia rose back out of the emptiness, knowing that she’d screwed up, but she didn’t realize that her actions were necessary for the gnosis of the Monad. Now can you see how this applies to the Microcosm?
Asclepius: Hmm. Well, I’d say that as Sophia wanted to produce offspring illicitly and, in gazing into the emptiness and mistaking the emptiness for something Other than the Monad, so the Wisdom present in the Spirit gazes into the imperfection of the emptiness of the World of Forms and mistakes it for something Other than the perception of the Nous. This is how Faith comes from Wisdom, and this is how the Wisdom of the Spirit gets corrupted after a fashion. This inability of Wisdom to perceive the realms of perfection is like the Abyss created when Pistis Sophia descended into the Emptiness. This must also be why so many who say they’re wise are really just showing off; they have a false sense of wisdom granted by the comprehension of images and reflections.
Hermes: Yep, that’s about the size of it. Now I’ll tell you about the creation of the Heavens and the spheres, and you’ll start to see how studying the Heavens allows the pious philosopher to comprehend the soul.
Sophia’s descent into the Emptiness produced an offspring who didn’t have the Gnosis of the Pleroma, which took the form of a serpent with the head of a fish. She took pity on her offspring, and she called to him, saying, ‘Yalda baoth,’ which means ‘Child, get yourself back here.’ Blinded by the darkness of the emptiness, this offspring gazed into the abyss between the emptiness and the Perfection of the Fullness and believed it was his own reflection, and for this reason he called himself ‘Ehyeh,’ saying, ‘I Am god, and no there are no other gods before me.’ This is because he was ignorant about the Aeons of the Fullness. But we call him Yaldabaoth or Saklas, meaning the Blind One, because he’s blind to the Fullness, and insane. Believing that he’s the Ruler of the Entirety, he took a portion of the Light from his Mother and then scrambled away from the abyss. Then, thinking about the imperfect image of the Fullness he’d seen reflected in the abyss, conceiving of this image as his own thought, he set about creating Authorities with whom he might rule the universe. These are the Archons, and their numbers are Seven and Twelve. He divided the Emptiness into Eight Spheres, setting up each one of the Seven Archons over the Seven Planetary Spheres and setting up each one of the Twelve over the Twelve Fixed Signs. Setting them in motion, he made them Rulers of the Heavens and the occurrences of the Heavens, assigning differing qualities to each and assigning sounds to each so that they could manifest these qualities and glorify him. So he created Necessity, or Destiny (Heimarmene) to which all who reside within the World of Forms are subject. The names and qualities of the Seven Archons are as follows:
Athoth, who rules the Sphere of the Moon, who has the face of a sheep, who engenders Alpha, and whose qualities are goodness, darkness, growth and waning.
Eloaiou, who rules the Sphere of Mercury, who has the face of a donkey, who engenders ‘Eta, and whose qualities are foreknowledge, evil devices, and ignorance.
Astaphaios, who rules the Sphere of Venus, who has the face of a hyena, who engenders Epsilon, and whose qualities are divinity and desire.
Yao, who rules the Sphere of the Sun, who has the face of a seven-headed snake, who engenders Iota, and whose qualities are lordship, arrogance and death.
Sabaoth, who rules the Sphere of Mars, who has the face of a dragon, who engenders Omicron, and whose qualities are kingdom, violence and flesh.
Adonin, who rules the Sphere of Jupiter, who has the face of an ape, who engenders Upsilon, and whose qualities are envy, greed and folly.
Sabbade, who rules the Sphere of Saturn, who has the face of fire, who engenders Omega, and whose qualities are understanding, wrath, and all falsehood.
The names and qualities of the Twelve Archons are as follows:
Iaoth, who rules Leo and engenders Mu, and whose quality by his number is circumfrence.
Harmas, who rules Virgo and engenders Nu, and whose quality by his number is virginity.
Kalila-oumbri, who rules Libra and engenders Xi, and whose quality by his number is congregation.
Iabel, who rules Scorpio and engenders Sigma, and whose quality by his number is grouping.
Adonaios, who rules Sagittarius and engenders Tau, and whose quality by his number is perfection.
Kain, who rules Capricorn and engenders Phi, and whose quality by his number is Iao.
Abel, who rules Aquarius and engenders Chi, and whose quality by his number is madness.
Abrisene, who rules Pisces and engenders Psi, and whose quality by his number is bodily waste.
Iobel, who rules Aries and engenders Beta, and whose quality by his number is beast.
Harmupiael, who rules Taurus and engenders Zeta, and whose quality by his number is the scarlet woman.
Melcheiradonein, who rules Gemini and engenders Kappa, and whose quality by his number is left.
Belias, who rules Cancer and engenders Lambda, and whose quality by his number is purity.
Saklas then brought into being the four elemental qualities, setting a sound over each which resides in each, so the Archons could take them and use them to glorify him even further. And the elemental qualities and their sounds are Earth (Ge), which has Gamma set over it; Water (Hydros), which has Delta set over it; Ether (Aither), which has Theta set over it; Fire (Pyr), which has Pi set over it; and Air (Aer), which has Rho set over it.
Asclepius: If I could, Hermes, let me see if I can figure out the Microcosmic parallel. It seems to me that this portion of your story talks about the mystery of the composition of the soul. As Saklas, the Demiurge, is insane due to its seperation from the Pleroma, so the Human Soul which acts in corruption is imperfect due to its inherent seperation from the perfection of the Spirit. And, as Saklas set the Archons over the fixed signs and the spheres, and set them in motion, creating Destiny, so the Self sets the qualities of the Soul over its interactions within the World of Forms, which, due to their own imperfection, also subject the human to the destiny read by those who read the stars.
Hermes: Very good, Asclepius! And so the various qualities of the Soul allow the human to employ the elements present in the Kosmos, as the Archons employ the elements created in the Heaven.
Asclepius: Great, this is all coming together. Now that we’ve talked about the proportionate measurements of the Spirit and the Pleroma, and the Heavens and the Soul, please explain the similar proportions between the Kosmos and the Body.
Hermes: All right, it’s like this. The Demiurge continued to divide and apportion the Kosmos, and set about the creation of the measure of the week. Under each of the Seven he placed 52 Servitors. And each of these Archons really exists as a duality, as each is apportioned a masculine and feminine aspect. Saklas apportioned among the Authorities a portion of the Light he’d stolen from his mother Sophia, and divided the emptiness, establishing an image of the Perfection based on the false reflection he’d seen. And the Archons wanted to be praised for their creation, in their arrogance believing themselves the only creators, and believing the Pleroma, reflected in the abyss, their own thoughts. ‘Let us create humanity in our image,’ they said, and the 365 servitors of the Seven Archons created man and woman from dead matter, and called them Adam and Eve, casting down the image of the Piger-Adamas into base flesh.
Asclepius: So really, the human is the wedding of the Macrocosm and Microcosm!
Hermes: Yes, indeed, Asclepius.
Asclepius: How, then, Hermes, did the creation of the body happen?
Hermes: The creation of the body proceeded as follows: the Seven Rulers of the Spheres were each given a portion of the animating spirit, or bai, a product of the divine light of Sophia as manifested within the Kosmos. Using this bai, each of the Seven created a Soul as follows:
Athoth created the Bone Soul
Eloaio created the Soul of Sinew
Astraphaio created the Soul of Flesh
Yaocreated the Soul of Marrow
Sabbaoth created the Soul of Blood
Adonein created the Soul of Skin
Sabbataeon created the Soul of Hair
These souls draw their qualities from the combination of the elements and the qualities of Heat, Coldness, Dryness, Wetness and their mother, Matter. The rulers of the elemental qualities are:
Phloxopha, who rules Heat, a quality of Fire
Oroorrothos, who rules Cold, a quality of Air.
Erimacho, who rules Dry, a quality of Earth.
Athuro, who rules Wet, a quality of Water.
Onorthochrasaei, who rules Matter, a quality of Aether.
The Seven then set seven Rulers over the members or portions of the body. The rulers of the portions of the body are Zathoth, Armas, Kalila, Jabel, Sabaoth, Qayin and Havel. These rulers then created the portions of the body for each of the souls and the elemental qualities. The names of the portions of the body are as follows:
Raphao, who rules the Crown
Abron, who rules the Head
Megiggesstroeth, who rules the Brain
Asterechmen, who rules the Right Eye
Thaspomocham, who rules the Left Eye
Yeronumos, who rules the Right Ear
Bissoum, who rules the Left Ear
Akiopeim, who rules the Nose
Banen Ephroum, who rules the Lips
Amen, who rules the Teeth
Ibikan, who rules the Molars
Adaban, who rules the Neck
Basiliasdeme, who rules the Tonsils
Achcha, who rules the Uvula
Chaaman, who rules the Vertebrae
Dearcho, who rules the Throat
Tebar, who rules the Right Shoulder
Mniarchon, who rules the Right Elbow
Abitrion, who rules the Right Underarm
Krys, who rules the Right Hand
Treneu, who rules the Right Fingers
Kriman, who rules the Fingernails
Pnoumis, who rules the Left Shoulder
Berberit, who rules the Left Elbow
Evanthen, who rules the Left Underarm
Beluia, who rules the Left Hand
Balbel, who rules the Left Fingers
Kriman, who rules the Fingernails
Astrops, who rules the Right Breast
Barroph, who rules the Left Breast
Arachethopi, who rules the Right Ribs
Zabedo, who rules the Left Ribs
Gesole, who rules the Stomach
Agromauma, who rules the Heart
Bano, who rules the Lungs
Sostrapal, who rules the Liver
Anesimalar, who rules the Spleen
Thopithro, who rules the Intestines
Biblo, who rules the Kidneys
Pserem, who rules the Right Kidney
Asaklas, who rules the Left Kidney
Aatoimenpsephei, who rules the Breath
Areche, who rules the Belly
Phthave, who rules the Navel
Entholleia, who rules the Flesh
Abenlenarchei, who rules the Marrow
Chnoumeninorin, who rules the Bones
Roeror, who rules the Sinews
Taphreo, who rules the Spines
Ipouspoboba, who rules the Veins
Bineborin, who rules the Arteries
Sorma, who rules the Genitals
Tarepspth, who rules the Penis
Eilo, who rules the Testicles
Bedouk, who rules the Right Buttock
Gorma Kaiochlabar, who rules the Right Thigh
Barias, who rules the Right Hip
Ormaoth, who rules the Right Knee
Knyx, who rules the Right Shin
Achiel, who rules the Right Ankle
Phiouthrom, who rules the Right Foot
Boabel, who rules the Right Toes
Miamai, who rules the Toenails
Arabeei, who rules the Left Buttock
Phnouth, who rules the Left Hip
Emenun, who rules the Left Knee
Tupelon, who rules the Left Shin
Phneme, who rules the Left Ankle
Trachoun, who rules the Left Foot
Phikna, who rules the Left Toes
Miamai, who rules the Toenails
Labernioum, who rules the Root
When the portions of the body had been assembled, the Seven set seven rulers over the activation of these portions, establishing gates through which these would direct the bai. The seven rulers of the activation of the body are Michael, Ouriel, Asmenedas, Saphasatoel, Aarmouriam, Richram and Amiorps.
The names of the rulers of the gates of the activation of the portions of the body are:
Diolimodraza, who rules the Head
Yammaeax, who rules the Neck
Yakoubib, who rules the Right Shoulder
Koade, who rules the Right Shoulder Joint
Oudidi, who rules the Right Hand
Lampno, who rules the Right Fingers
Verton, who rules the Left Shoulder
Odeaor, who rules the Left Shoulder Joint
Arbao, who rules the Left Hand
Leekaphar, who rules the Left Fingers
Pisandraptes, who rules the Chest
Barbar, who rules the Right Breast
Imae, who rules the Left Breast
Asphixix, who rules the Right Ribs
Synogchouta, who rules the Left Ribs
Senaphim, who rules the Abdomen
Arouph, who rules the Stomach
Sabalo, who rules the Womb
Bathinoth, who rules the Genitals
Charcharb, who rules the Right Thigh
Choux, who rules the Right Knee
Aroer, who rules the Right Shin
Aol, who rules the Right Ankle
Bastan, who rules the Right Foot
Archentechtha, who rules the Right Toes
Chthaon, who rules the Left Thigh
Charcha, who rules the Left Knee
Toechtha, who rules the Left Shin
Charaner, who rules the Left Ankle
Marephnounth, who rules the Left Foot
Abrana, who rules the Left Toes
And if you want to learn the names of these powers for each of the elemental qualities, you can calculate these names according to the following conditions: the Rulers remain the same. The Powers for Hot are as given, for Cold their reverse, for Dryness their inversion, for Wetness the Reverse. For Matter the names are Hot and Cold. Thus the names are calculated.
Asclepius: Is this all of of the rulers of the body?
Hermes: Not so fast, Asclepius. I haven’t told you about the powers that govern the body’s interaction with the Kosmos. There are five of them, and they sit enthroned with the four elemental qualities and matter. The one who governs the perception of things is named Archendekta, who is enthroned with Hotness. The one who governs the reception of things is named Deitharbathas, who is enthroned with Cold. The one who governs the imagination of things is Oummaa, who is enthroned with Dryness. The one who governs the integration of things is Aachiaram, who is enthroned with Wetness. The one who governs all of the impulses is Riaramnacho, who is enthroned with Matter. Interactions with the Kosmos require the presence of the Seven Senses, whose ruler is Esthesis-Zouch-Epi-Ptoe, and the Material Soul, whose ruler is Anayo. The presence of these powers invites the influences of the powers who rule over the passions, who are four in number. Their names are:
Ephememphi, associated with pleasure, who rules over lust, unmerited pride, and evil.
Yoko, associated with desire, who rules over anger, fury, bitterness, outrage and dissatisfaction.
Nenentophni, associated with distress, who rules over envy, jealousy, grief, vexation, discord, cruelty, worry and mourning.
Blaomen, associated with fear, who rules over horror, flattery, suffering and shame.
Asclepius: Knowing these mysteries, Hermes, one could heal the body and the soul and the spirit.
Hermes: That’s right, Asclepius, and by healing the Microcosm don’t we also heal the Macrocosm? And now I’ve revealed the emanation from the Monad of the Aeons, the Heavens and the Kosmos, and how they relate to the properties of the Spirit and the Soul and the Body. We’ve already discoursed on the Christos and Sophia, and their descent into the World of Forms where they activate the Nous via the Logos. Now that I’ve revealed to you the nature of the Macrocosm and you’ve explained how it proportionately measures out the nature of the Microcosm, I’ll explain to you the mystery of making “…a hand in place of a hand, and a foot place of a foot, and the inner like the outer.”
Asclepius: Preach on, then, Hermes!
Hermes: So, what have you learned about the composition of the human?
Asclepius: I have learned that the human consists of various parts, the Spirit, Soul and Body, which mirror the Macrocosm.
Hermes: And if the human consists of these various parts, is any single one of these parts the core or heart of the human, where the Intelligence or Nous sits?
Asclepius: Surely not. The core or heart, the Intelligence or Nous sits, can’t solely dwell in a singular portion of the body, otherwise the Seat of the Intelligence would be limited to the right elbow, or the foot, or some such thing.
Hermes: Very good, Asclepius. Where, then, might we expect the Nous to reside?
Asclepius: It seems to me, Hermes, that the Intelligence or Nous of the human has to sit with the Spirit, which corresponds to the Pleroma.
Hermes: Truly said, Asclepius. How, then, can the Nous see fit to perceive its true nature and redeem the human if it’s mired down by all of these powers and authority in which it doesn’t rest? Indeed, how can it see fit to escape the Destiny determined by the Archons and reflected in the Soul?
Asclepius: Tell me this mystery, Hermes.
Hermes: Okay. Know, then, that the various aspects of the human, as I’ve told you thus far, are truly the reflective parts of the image of the Piger-Adamas, as miscomprehended by the Demiurge. These parts, which aren’t known to the one who hasn’t yet received this gnosis, which is truly available for all who earnestly inquire, comprise a Counterfeit Spirit. The individual human who resides in the Kosmos who doesn’t have this gnosis can’t help but mistake the counterfeit spirit for the true Spirit. The Counterfeit Spirit, however, is perishable, and the true Spirit, though not perfect, nor indivisible, resides with the Aeons and descended into the World of Forms with the Christos and Sophia, and is activated by the Nous via the Logos. It’s this Counterfeit Spirit which is subject to Destiny, and the pious philosopher who redeems this Counterfeit Spirit and awakens the Nous to its true nature truly escapes from Destiny.
Asclepius: How then, can somebody redeem the Counterfeit Spirit?
Hermes: The Counterfeit Spirit is redeemed through Movement and Meditation (kimetikos), which first properly aligns the bai through knowledge of the powers of the body, thereby redeeming the Body. It then serves to redeem the Soul by allowing the Nous to ascend through the Spheres and the Zone of Fixed Stars, bypassing their Rulers. It then serves to redeem the Spirit by seating the Nous within the realm of the Pleroma.
Asclepius: This is a wonderous wonder, Hermes.
Hermes: And now, Asclepius, let’s leave off this discourse on the composition of the human, and contemplate thereon, and give thanks to the Mind which exists above all Minds, and to the Perfect Good through which we come to knowledge, and have a shot of something or a glass of wine to celebrate.