Before anything else was the LIMITLESS LIGHT….
We cannot, in fact, even truly say that the Limitless Light
because doing so limits it to a particular state of being, and it has no limit. It has no color, no shape, no size, nothing. There is not even a good verb to use to describe it.
The only way to understand the LIMITLESS LIGHT is by BECOMING the Limitless Light, in its entirety, and since we are in the World of Forms, we cannot do that.
The World of Forms, where we live, is limited by things like time and space.
Even “Light” is not really an adequate term to use to describe the Limitless Light, because it is not like the light of, say, the Sun:
….or the light of a fire:
… or especially the light of a lightbulb:
It is simply an indescribable Light in which no darkness exists to contrast it.
It is a lightless Light that cannot be seen, a soundless Sound that cannot be heard, an expressionless Passion that cannot be felt.
It cannot be measured, because nothing can stand outside of it to measure it.
Because nothing limits this Light, it contains
All of them! Every last one!
Of course, in a Limitless Light with no
the only possibility is binary: either it is the Limitless Light as Unity, one single Everything, or…
…it is not. The only option of differentiation for something which has no limits is the experience of itself.
In other words, it cannot rightly step outside of itself in order to experience itself, so it has to do so from within.
This necessitates a split within the Limitless Light. In order to know itself, for itself, the Limitless Light had to divide into Two. It did this with its first “thought,” the Observed, the first differentiation within the Limitless Light.
We call THE OBSERVER “GOD, the FATHER,” and we call THE OBSERVED “BARBELO, the MOTHER.”
This has nothing to do with human gender—it is a linguistic tool we use to help us understand the roles of God the Father and Barbelo.
Since the two, the Double Source, still exist as parts of the Limitless Light, we consider them equals, both permeated by the Light. This permeation in which the Double Source emits is called the Pleroma, or Filling Up.
In order for God the Father to observe Barbelo, Barbelo must return to the source, the Limitless Light, thereby giving birth to a third principle within her.
Her decision to return to the source was the third principle (the motion of BARBELO), that of the desire to return to the source that the Limitless Light might know itself.
Thus, we say that Barbelo is the preexistent Virgin who gave birth to the all, the womb of the whole differentiated realm of BEING.
This principle is the Great Androgynous CHRISTOS, the perfected Son/Daughter of the Limitless Light as God the Father.
Note the “vesica pisces,” the familiar Christian fish symbol created by the intersection of God and Barbelo.
When God the Father saw how beautiful and wonderful was the Christos, he gave him a share of Immortality and Imperishability and Perfection, which filled him with the Limitless Light, and supplied him with Nous, the principle of Mind, through which the Christos could continue the process of differentiation that the Limitless Light might continue to know itself.
The Christos, with the Mind, desired to continue the process of differentiation by returning to the Source, the Limitless Light. In so doing, the process continued and the Limitless Light began bilocating further, splitting into all possible Doubles.
These Doubles are called the AEONS, as they exist in a time beyond Time, as projections of the Limitless Light in his manifestation as God the Father and Barbelo and the Christos.
The Doubles are not split into straightforward opposites, but instead are split into neutralizing Twins of differentiation. Imagine the process of Creation running backwards—the Twins come together in a flash of light and ascend into undifferentiated spirit-light.
This whole process of emanation still takes place within the Limitless Light, which uses the process to learn about itself.
In the realm of all possibilities, one possibility will always be limitation. Since all possibilities must occur for the Limitless Light to truly know itself, inevitably a limit arises, beyond which one’s wisdom becomes incomplete. Eventually, the process results in Pistis Sophia, Faith Wisdom.
This Aeon always lies farthest away from the source of the Limitless Light.
Desiring to know what lies beyond this point—in other words, to participate, through ignorance in an act of creation—Pistis Sophia gives birth to YALDABAOTH, the DEMIURGE, also called Saklas or Samael, a serpent-shaped being with the head of a lion.
Yaldabaoth is thrust into the realms beyond the perception of the Limitless Light, into the Void beyond the differentiation, the Materia—our realm of perception.
As with any newborn, Yaldabaoth’s attention is drawn towards the sound and the light. Looking beyond the border between he and his mother, Yaldabaoth sees the Pleroma, obscured by the border of ignorance, and assumes that he perceives his own reflection.
“I am all,” he says. “There is none apart from me. I am the
ONE TRUE GOD.”
Sophia, peering down in repentant realization of her error and wishing to save her child from the darkness of ignorance, replies, “Child, you are in error! My child, come through to me!” (Which translates, so says one text, to yalta baoth.)
This realization, that something greater than he exists, drove Yaldabaoth mad with envy and jealousy. Thus does he tell us, in a Demiurgic Verse within Scripture, “I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.”
The true God, the Father, has no others of which to be jealous.
Choosing to ignore his mother, the disobedient Demiurge cast her from his realm, but only after he had been tricked into stealing a portion of her Limitless Light:
This portion in hand, he set about creating his own material realm.
He seperated the energy from the matter, the land from the water, the Earth from the Heavens.
He did not truly separate them, but set up the illusion that these things are separate, indeed, that all things are separate from one another. This is because he was separated from the realms above by the abyss of ignorance, which kept the Limitless Light from knowing that part of itself.
After creating these distinctions, the Demiurge began mirroring the Aeons from above in the form of the ARCHONS.
These Archons, numberless, are ruled by Seven Kings and Twelve Princes—the days of the week and signs of the Zodiac—and mirror the divine Twin Aeons of the Pleroma.
Yaldabaoth and the Archons then set about creating the Garden of Eden, and placed Sophia’s portion of the Limitless Light into the Tree of Gnosis, just as Sophia knew he would.
Finally, hazily recollecting the image of the Divine Androgynous Christos, Yaldabaoth and the Archons set about creating humankind. Thus do the Demiurgic Verses tell us, in the plural and not the singular form, that Yaldabaoth and the Archons created mankind as male and female to mirror the Aeonic Twins of the Pleroma. “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
The Demiurge breathed life and a soul into the lifeless body he created, but the body would not stir, as it contained no portion of the Limitless Light.
Meanwhile, Sophia had returned to the Aeons of the Limitless Light and had repented of everything, and a plan had been set in motion. God the Father sent Aeons into the realms of the Demiurge, where they took the form of the Archons, saying to him, “Bring forth the Light you stole from your Mother and breathe a small portion of it into his face that he might move.”
Saklas did just this, and the man, Adam, arose with a portion of Spirit.
Such was the nature of the Spirit within him that the Demiurge and the Archons became jealous of their own creation and determined to remove the portion of Spirit from his body. Little did they realize that they were doing so according to the plan of God the Father.
The Archons set Adam over the Garden of Eden, instructing him that he might eat of any of the trees of the Garden, but not the Tree of Gnosis; otherwise, if he ate of it, he would die.
They said this, however, according to the will of God the Father, who knew that if they told him this in such a fashion he would be more likely to eat the fruit.
The Archons then cast Adam into the deep sleep of ignorance and attempt to remove the spirit from his body. In so doing, they create the female, Eve, the image of Sophia and of Barbelo above her.
When Adam awakens and sees Eve, who contains a portion of the Limitless Light, the Spirit, she lifts her veil and he experiences the gnosis of Holy Sophia, and remembers his true nature as part of the Limitless Light trapped in the realm of Illusions. This is because they now both contain the spark of the Limitless Light, and recognizing this spark in others grants true wisdom.
Meanwhile, Holy Sophia, Wisdom, appearing as a serpent,
and the Logos, Reason, appearing as an Eagle,
descend into the Tree of Knowledge. The Holy Sophia represents Barbelo, and the Logos represents the Christos, and thus do we honor both as our Saviours and comforters. They instruct Adam and Eve to eat of the fruit, knowing that Saklas hid the Portion of the Limitless Light therein. They did this knowing that by doing so the two would forever contain a portion of the Limitless Light and the Gnosis of who they are, where they came from, where they would go after they die, and that their descendents would recognize these things when awakened to the spark within.
This is why we say, according to This Way, that GNOSIS = AWAKENING (WORD + WISDOM).
Unfortunately, the Materia is too differentiated, too far from the realm of the Limitless Light’s perfection to allow for redemption by the Totality. When the Archons see what happened, that Adam and Eve knew them for the false gods they are, they become incensed. Saklas sets off immediately after Adam and Eve, but they hide from him, ashamed to have been servants to a false deity, especially after their gnosis of the Limitless Light within.
Finding them, Saklas and the Archons decide to take a different approach to maintaining control over humanity and keeping them in ignorance. They build a Prison of Black Iron, the World of Forms, and weave beautiful and appealing illusions within its walls. The illusions stupify Adam and Eve, who lose sight of their gnosis and perpetuate the race of humanity within the confines of the Black Iron Prison.
That they contain sparks of the Limitless Light, however, allows an entry point for the Christos and Sophia, and has allowed a Secret Underground of awakened individuals to return to the prison from the Realms of the Totality and activate the Divine Seed within each of us, allowing us to achieve gnosis and saving us from the imperfections of the World of Forms.
Throughout history, again and again, the Christos and Sophia have returned to the World of Forms, allowing the Pleroma to expand within its walls. No matter how many Empires the Archons manage to create, no matter how many times they strengthen the walls of the Black Iron Prison, they cannot keep the Christos and Sophia from returning to us. They tried to drown the entire world in a great deluge, but God the Father saved the family of Noah, who released Sophia’s gnosis back into the world in the form of a dove. They established the archetypal Empire of Impelled Control in Rome, but the Logos descended into our saviour Jesus Christ and awakened his disciples to the Limitless Light. They established the Empire of Total Destruction with the creation of the Atomic Bomb and its detonation in 1945, but the Logos and Sophia manifested months later in the collection of Words of Wisdom in codices discovered at Nag Hammadi.