Tag Archives: sophia

Kimetikos II: Theory (Premiseless Imperative)

Previously: Kimetikos I: Foundations

As illustrated by the preceding myth, Kimetikos is based on the understanding that the essential core of the human, our Nous or Intelligence, is the conscious experiencer within each of us. As an aspect of the Pleromic realms which exist in the Macrocosm, the Nous, activated by Sophia and the Logos, should reside within the human Spirit. Due, however, to the inherently imperfect nature of the World of Forms, the Nous has become bogged down within Destiny, and occluded by various aspects of the Soul and Body. Proper alignment– or redemption– of the different aspects of the Soul and Body allow one to overcome Destiny and bring the Nous back into the seat of Spirit. This process results from, and results in, gnosis.

Kimetikos works under the assumption that the Macrocosm and Microcosm are self-similar, after the fashion of the fractal in Chaos Mathematics[1]. Through coming to an understanding of the myth of creation, and by ritually interfacing with the information contained therein, the practitioner seeks the redemption not only of the Self, but of the entirety of creation. The imperfect nature of the Kosmos, in which the Nous finds itself trapped, is necessary for this redemption as a requisite aspect of the Monad. As the Monad extends to fill all possibilities, one of those possibilities must be the realm of imperfection.

In our system, the human construction is subject to Destiny within the World of Forms because the Soul and Body are modeled on the emanations of the Demiurge and influenced by the Zodiac and the Planets. This is in no way an original idea; the ancient Platonist-derived Mysteries were obsessed with the influences of the Planetary Spheres and the Fixed Signs of the Zodiac on the human. Each Sphere influences the human in particular ways depending upon that human’s Destiny (Heimarmene), and after death the soul of the human ascends through the Planetary Spheres, shedding the negative qualities associated with each. In Book Ten of his Republic, Plato breaks philosophical ground on this concept with the “Myth of Er,” which is also found in such diverse works as Cicero’s “Dream of Scipio” and the Hermetic Literature, particularly Book I of the Corpus Hermetica (the “Poimandres”). Within the Hellenistic world, astrological determinism was taken as a given, and the individual initiated into the mysteries could come to an understanding of their destiny by symbolically or ritually ascending through these Spheres.

Kimetikos, however, is a Gnostic practice, and as such relies upon a Gnostic view that Heimarmene is not something to be learned about or embraced; rather, Destiny is the result of the rule of the Archons and the Demiurge, and is something to be escaped or overcome. Ample evidence exists for this point of view in Gnostic literature. In the Books of the Saviour (Pistis Sophia), we find entire passages which discuss the Christos’ ascent through the Planetary Spheres, during which he “changes the direction” of the Spheres, thereby ruining the ability of astrologers to divine:

…[T]hou hast taken their power from them and from their horoscope-casters and their consulters and from those who declare to the men in the world all things which shall come to pass, in order that they should no more from this hour know how to declare unto them any thing at all which will come to pass.[2]

At a later point in the codice, in a different book in the same collection, the soul of the Gnostic, ascending through these Spheres, delivers a resounding denial to the Rulers of Fate who would subject it to Destiny:

Take your destiny! I come not to your regions from this moment onwards. I have become a stranger unto you for ever, being about to go unto the region of my inheritance.[3]

Another, similar account in which the Spheres are disturbed, thereby eliminating Fate can be found in the text “Trimorphic Protennoia”:

And the lots of Fate and those who apportion the domiciles were greatly disturbed over a great thunder. And the thrones of the Powers were disturbed, since they were overturned, and their King was afraid. And those who pursue Fate paid their allotment of visits to the path, and they said to the Powers, “What is this disturbance and this shaking that has come upon us through a Voice <belonging> to the exalted Speech? And our entire habitation has been shaken, and the entire circuit of the path of ascent has met with destruction, and the path upon which we go, which takes us up to the Archgenitor of our birth, has ceased to be established for us.”[4]

That Gnostic sacramental practice could unloose the bonds of Fate is attested to in the Excerpts of Theodotus, a collection of Valentinian sayings recorded by Clement of Alexandria:

78. Until baptism, they say, Fate is effective, but after it the astrologers no longer speak the truth. It is not the bath alone that makes us free, but also the knowledge: who were we? what have we become? where were we? into what place have we been cast? whither are we hastening? from what are we delivered? what is birth? what is rebirth?[5]

Again and again we find this concept in the Gnostic literature. The human is trapped within the World of Forms, under the subject of the Archons, who rule the Zodiac and the Planetary Spheres. This lack of control over one’s own set of circumstances leads to what we refer to in This Way as the aforementioned “Kenomic Worldview.” Let’s go over it in a little more detail.

The Kenoma, or “Emptiness,” is where we reside, that place apparently outside of the perception of the Monad into which Pistis Sophia projected the Demiurge. The Kenomic Worldview is marked by a deeply embedded sense of this emptiness— as existential ennui, manifested especially as a sense of purposelessness. The emptiness which contrasts with the fullness of the Pleromic Worldview resides under layers of what Philip Dick referred to as “kipple”– meaningless content– but is not always completely manifested (for the manifestation of utter emptiness would annihilate an individual). Rather, it appears like something submerged off the shore of a great lake of extraneous stuff, visible when the tide recedes and vanishing when the tide increases, but always there below the surface.

The problem with approaches to the Kenomic Worldview in many circles is its equation to emotions or thoughts, the false heart/brain dichotomy. One equates the Kenomic Worldview with sadness, or dissatisfaction, or depression, or with entrapment by material distractions. This approach confuses the kipple with the Worldview itself. One can be perfectly happy or in love or extremely wealthy and still dwell within the Kenoma. One can also be melancholy or sad or angry or poor and still dwell within the Pleroma.

If you live in the Kenomic World, you have no idea what you are doing here. You may have a relatively happy life by your culture’s standards. Nonetheless, the basic routines of life seem meaningless and trite. You likely get up each morning, eat breakfast, drink some coffee, take out the dog, take a shower and head to work. You do your job, perhaps happily– it may even be a job you enjoy very much! You go home to your family, with whom you are deeply in love, watch some television and hit the hay. Or, perhaps you wake up in the morning, do some Yoga, go for a quick jog and shower, eat a healthy breakfast. Then you go to your job at an eco-friendly Ad firm that caters to progressive political causes. You head home, read for a while and meditate, do some gardening and then hit the hay. Nonetheless, in any or all of these cases, a feeling of emptiness and purposelessness abides.

In the Kenoma, you are subject to heimarmene. You convince yourself that you have to do what you are doing because of the influence of external powers (the need for food, shelter, etc.). Horoscopes work for you, as do other divinatory systems like weathermen or work schedules, all of which predict possible futures only inasmuch as you provide them with import. You do what you do because you have to do it, whether that thing is going to your job at a corporation or chanting to the Buddha of Compassion or praying the Rosary. You are fated to do these things, and stuck in a situation from which you can’t escape.

You may try to suppress the emptiness with externalities, purchases, mind-altering substances or abstract busy-ness. Conversely, you may try to fill the emptiness with good works and “positive” thoughts, with Spiritual Practice or Love, with meditation or Prayer. You will find, however, again and again, that none of these approaches work to finally rid yourself of the empty feeling from which the Kenomic Worldview develops.

Why does the Kenomic Worldview develop in so many? It is because, macrocosmically, those of us who dwell in the Kenoma were born into the World of Forms, under the control of the Demiurge and the Archons. As Jesus says in the “Gospel of Thomas,” a little child seven days old is closer to the Kingdom of Heaven than an old man. As we grow older within a milieu in which we are taught that we have very little control of the external world, the Archons work to cover us in layers and layers of kipple. This goes beyond the usual platitudes about social “conformity” and politics and the value of public education; these are all externalities which, though they may be important, must take a back seat if one is working to move from the Kenomic World to the Pleromic.

The Kenomic individual all too frequently points the finger outside of him/herself when addressing the hollowness inside. This is the individual who risks falling into the Anarchonic Fallacy, the erroneous trope that salvation comes through rebellion. This condition maintains that the emptiness develops as a result of the “Church” or “Science” or “Politics.” Although the Kenoma is reflected and contained within each of these things to the extent that it is reflected and contained within individuals, railing against them is in and of itself an Archonic act, an error of collectivist irrationality, judging an entire body of persons based upon what may be a single aspect of a single individual one has encountered. Transcending the Kenoma does not entail becoming a “nonconformist” or fighting against perceived “injustices” or religio-political organizations or any other external thing. Working to fight against social injustices is always a good thing, but one can do so and still dwell within the Kenoma.

Thankfully, we each have a spark of the Pleromic World within us. Clement ofAlexandria quotes the “Prophetic Scriptures” as saying, “As to gnosis, some elements of it we already possess; others, by what we do possess, we firmly hope to attain.  For neither have we attained all, nor do we lack all.”  In essence, gnosis exists to allow an individual to create a teleology, to defend their own self-worth, to uncover a reason for being. The achievement of gnosis via the Logos and Sophia enables one to perceive the Pleromic purpose, or reason for being. Although this will not completely eliminate the Kenomic Condition, it will at least provide blueprints with which the Gnostic can begin constructing a ladder to the Pleromic realms.

Not everyone needs to know their reason for being, and this is fine. Only those who do, who are driven to seek the Pleroma by the Premiseless Imperative, are invited to leave the Kenomic World, to accept the outstretched hands of the Logos and Sophia and rise above the bottomless pit of the Kenoma. When, however, one “shakes the foundations” of the Spheres through Gnostic practice, be it sacrament or contemplative prayer or– in our case– Kimetikos,  one is free from the Archons and is instead part of the Family of Aeons who reside in the Pleroma.[6]

The idea that the Gnostic could ritually ascend through the Spheres in order to overcome fate was likely influenced by both Platonic and Jewish Mystical practices common to the Hellenistic world.[7]  In our method, it is this Prayer of Ascent which especially serves to redeem the Soul, which confronts the Archons as it ascends, shows each its name and seal– thus proving its power over them– and passes into the next sphere, shedding negative psychological qualities attributed on the way.[8]  The Spirit, then, is redeemed through a similar ascent sequence, but instead of confronting the Archons it glorifies and meditates on the Aeons in the Pleroma, incorporating their positive qualities.

In the Kimetikos Worldview, the Demiurge represents the lower reflection of the Piger-Adamas, or Ideal Human.  If, microcosmically, the Archons are psychological qualities to be shed, the Demiurge might be considered the Ego of the individual prior to its redemption, which operates not under self-knowledge but instead on a solipsistic dependence upon, and devotion to, the images it creates. Traditionally, this is the “I,” the Self, the individual interface with reality. It is this “portion” of the living thing that translates perception into individual experience and creates the sense of distinction between the Self and the Other. In mainstream Buddhism (and certain other more esoteric religious traditions), the complete elimination or sublimation of the Ego is desired, that one may experience the inexpressible Oneness. This is not, however, the case in the practice of Kimetikos, in which the Ego is something to be redeemed, not destroyed. This idea is important enough to discuss at some length.

The Gnostic presentation of the Ego or Self seems to provide a kind of happy medium between individuation and union with the Pleroma. The complete elimination of the Ego is not something found in Gnostic thought– at least, not something one attains while trapped in the World of Forms. As mentioned previously, the Gnostic Demiurge character represents the Ego and its trappings. “I am the only true God; there is no God other than me,” “I AM THAT I AM”– these statements made by the Demiurge are qualitative indicators that this is an individual personality which stands between the human and the true experience of divinity.

One might suggest that throwing off the shackles of the Archons and the Demiurge would result in the elimination of Self. In Gnostic myth, however, it is important to note that there are indications that the Archons will not be eliminated, but will instead be redeemed. In “The Reality of the Rulers,” for instance, we learn that it is possible for this redemptive process to occur, as one of the Archons, Sabaoth, repents of his actions:

Now when his offspring Sabaoth saw the force of that angel, he repented and condemned his father and his mother, matter. He loathed her, but he sang songs of praise up to Sophia and her daughter Zoe. And Sophia and Zoe caught him up and gave him charge of the seventh heaven, below the veil between above and below. And he is called ‘God of the forces, Sabaoth’, since he is up above the forces of chaos, for Sophia established him.[9]

Whether or not it applies to the Demiurge himself is a matter of speculation, but in Kimetikos we speculate that this redemptive process would extend from the qualities of the Ego (the Archons) to the Ego itself. In other words, the Ego is not eliminated when its qualities are redeemed, it becomes somehow perfected or redeemed. This is still within the realm of Modern Gnostic speculation, but the very nature of gnosis  bears this out.

Nowhere in Gnostic literature do we see the elimination of Self or Ego indicated. Indeed, it almost seems like the complete opposite. Without delving too far into Cartesian Metaphysics, in order for gnosis to be experienced– in order that something can be known– there must be something to do the experiencing. In Kimetikos, this “thing that experiences” is the Nous, the essential core which contains the Divine Spark. What gnosis is for, we find, is to raise the individual into a perpetual state of modified perception, a literal phenomenological phase change in which the perfection contained within, the spark and the Pleroma, become perceivable. This is the resurrection that happens while one is still alive. Without the Self, this would not be possible. Eliminating the Ego is counterproductive because one is still in the World of Forms. Far better to redeem it so that you can continue to make your way through the World of Forms. After all, the elimination of Ego discussed in Illuminist religions is impossible to maintain except, perhaps, in the most rigorously ascetic practice. Eventually one has to “come out of it,” to do things like eat or sleep or poop, at which point the Ego is there in full glory.

The elimination of the Ego would also be counterproductive because it would eliminate the Essence That Experiences. This extends to the individual personality; without the amalgam of stuff that we have built up around the self as the personality, the experience of gnosis would not be a unique experience, and since the entirety needs to experience every single unique portion of itself in order to become complete– for the universe to acheive its own gnosis– then the Archons and the Demiurge are a necessary part of the process. Eliminating them serves no real purpose within Kimetikos; redeeming them, on the other hand, would make far more sense in this context. So, although we could couch the idea of the redemption of the Ego in terms of death, it’s important to proceed through this ego-death to ego-resurrection. This is encoded in the message of the story of the phantom spirit found in the Pistis Sophia (the speaker is Mary, Jesus’s mother):

When you were little, before the spirit had come upon you, while you were in a vineyard with Joseph, the spirit came out of the height and came to me in my house, looking just like you; and I didn’t know it was him, but I thought that it was you. And the spirit said to me: Where is Jesus, my brother, so I can meet with him?’ And when he said this to me, I was at a loss and thought it was a spirit coming to test me. So I seized him and bound him to the foot of the bed, and I went to find you and Joseph in the field, and I found you on the vineyard, Joseph propping up the vineyard. When you heard me tell this to Joseph, that you understood, were joyful and said: ‘Where is he, that I can see him; or should I wait for him here?’ When Joseph heard you say these words, he was startled. So we went down together, entered the house and found the spirit bound to the bed. And we looked on you and him and found you just like him. And he who was bound to the bed was unloosed; he took you in his arms and kissed you, and you also kissed him. You became one.[10]

In Gnostic descriptions of the Aeons and the realms of perfection, we very often find the term “Autogenes,” which means “self-generated.” Many of the characters found within the Pleroma “generated” themselves. It follows that these beings were understood as having Selfness, whether literally or otherwise, which gives credence to the idea that the act of emanation from the Oneness resulted in its desire to know itself. The emanations are “Selfs” that interact with other segments of the Unknowable Wholeness; by knowing the sum of all of its parts, the Unknowable Wholeness can come to know itself.

The greatest amount of material in the practice of Kimetikos is devoted to preparation for the redemptions of the Soul and Spirit via the redemption of the Body itself. Until one has credible self-knowledge of the various parts of one’s body– the tool with which we interface with the Kosmos– it is exceptionally difficult to have credible self-knowledge of the Soul or Spirit. The Buddhist contemplative practices which developed into “mindfulness,” Taoist alchemical practice and Tai Chi, Yoga– all of these practices attest to an inherent knowledge within certain spiritual paths that body knowledge is essential to spiritual practice. The Archons in the “Secret Book of John”, restated above in our Hermetic dialogue, may well illustrate that at least one group of so-called Gnostics had similar ideas.

To make this a little clearer, let us discuss the Buddhist idea of the five Skandhas, or aggregates. According to Buddhist phenomenology, the “self” as a unique entity does not exist. Instead, what humans percieve as “selfness” is actually the five skandhas: form (rupa), sensation (vedana), perception (sanna), mental formations (sankhara) and consciousness (vinanna).  Coming to the realization that all of these skandhas are essentially ephemeral and changing is a key facet of Gautama’s original teaching. Confusing one’s “Self” with any one of the skandhas, or any combination thereof, is the root cause of desire and suffering in the world. At the same time, consciously and mindfully focusing upon and contemplating the impermanence of the skandhas can bring the practitioner to the experience of Nirvana through the elimination of self-ness:

Put another way, if we were to self-identify with an aggregate then we would cling (upadana)[23] to such; and, given that all aggregates are impermanent (anicca), it would then be likely that at some level we would experience agitation (paritassati) or loss or grief or stress or suffering (see dukkha). Therefore, if we want to be free of suffering, it is wise to experience the aggregates clearly, without clinging or craving (tanha), as apart from any notion of self (anatta).[11]

Remarkably, the source documents also list five “powers” that govern the interaction of the human with the Kosmos:

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.

The skandhas and the governors of perception have an almost one-to-one correspondence, though presented in a different order:

Form: Rupa:: All of the Impulses: Riaramnacho

Sensation: Vedana:: Reception: Deitharbathas

Perception: Sanna:: Perception: Archendekta

Mental Formations: Sankhara:: Imagination of Things: Oumma

Consciousness: Vinanna:: Integration of Things: Aachiaram

Since the source documents for Kimetikos are so patently works of phenomenology, and as the Buddhist skandhas are an aggregation of various experiences as perceived by humans through the senses but are not essentially real, so the Gnostic Archons also represent unreal experiences within the World of Forms which lead the human into pleasure, desire, grief and fear.

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.

As mentioned in our discussion on the Ego, there is no indication within Gnostic thought that the Self does not exist. Indeed, the Archons involved in the creation and perception of the ephemeral world serve to occlude the Self at their center. This does not mean that invisible aliens are crawling all over your soul; these are not “Body thetans.” They are, instead, the impermanent things that impede one’s ability to experience the psychospiritual state we call “dwelling in gnosis.” They are the roadblock on the path to self-knowledge, and through mindful contemplation on them, one doesn’t discover that there is no self, but instead discovers that essential spark of the Universal Self that exists under the surface of the World of Forms.

In short, Kimetikos is a procedure for what online philosopher and bon vivant Tim Boucher once described as “proprioception”: an intimate and intensive course of action and contemplation that the Gnostic might use to come to a deeper understanding of one’s Self:

So if you applied this understanding to Gnosticism, it begins right at the source. That is, you. Your body. You may or may not be the source of the universe, but the thing to understand is that your body is the source of all of your perceptions of the universe. I like to think of perceptions as the reflection not the illusion of the universe reflected into your nervous system. Which is exactly where proprioception lies: at the root where perception has its conception: the point of deception. The point where your brain stops saying to itself, “I am collecting sensory data reflected onto my nervous system from the exterior world” and starts saying the shortcut, “I perceive existance directly.” It’s almost like the difference in role playing games between saying, “My character does such and such,” and “I do such and such.”

It has to do with the being at the level of identifying with your shortcut habitual perceptions and reactions to the world. And this is what the ego is constructed out of: once useful logical habits upon which hinge emotional and physical reactions like colors on a painting. And this is the domain of the Demiurge. In more straightforward Christian myth, it is the Devil as the ruler of this world. In the Tarot we see the Lovers chained at the feet of the Devil, like Princess Leia on Jabba’s Pleasure Barge.[12]

This understanding is one facet of gnosis. In his original teachings, Gautama never intended Nirvana to mean a post-mortem state of bliss. It is, in fact, a way of living, a way of experiencing the world of imperfections without needlessly suffering. Gnosis is also a way of living in the imperfect world of forms, and Kimetikos presents one possible way to achieve that state.

Although in no way as strenuous as Yoga or as variegated as Tai Chi, the Body Sequences of Kimetikos utilize visualization, auditory toning and kinetic movements to allow the individual practitioner to become intimate with his or her body. The “barbarous names” of what we term the Nodes and Circuit Points and their Rulers, through which the bai or activating spirit flows thorough the body, act on an energetic level to draw the attention of the Nous to the part of the body on which one focuses. That these specific names are used is a matter of expediency; one could just as readily translate, say, the names of various condiments into a foreign language and intone them and one would achieve a similar result.

A note on all of the names used in the sequences:  Hermes Trismegistus provides the root sounds assigned to each Sphere, Fixed Sign and Element. The enterprising Kimetikon might be able to uncover many additional secrets about the barbarous names and voces magicae using this information.

Next Up: Kimetikos III: Practice!
(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 SpiritualityNot yet reading The Gnostic? Why not? You would absolutely love it!)

[1] For more similarities between fractal mathematics and gnostic cosmology, see A Gnostic Worldview: Part I.

[2] Mead, G.R.S. trans. Pistis Sophia, or Books of the Saviour, Book 1, Chap. 18.

[3] Ibid. Book 3, Chap. 112.

[4] Turner, John trans. “Trimorphic Protennoia.” The Nag Hammadi Library in English, Robinson, James ed.

[5] Casey, Robert trans. Excerpta Ex Theodoto. http://www.hypotyposeis.org/papers/theodotus.htm

[6] For a fascinating investigation of these ideas, see “Gnostic Liberation from Astrological Determinism: Hipparchan “Trepidation” and the Breaking of Fate,” by Horace Jeffrey Hodges, Vigiliae Christianae, Vol. 51, No. 4 (Nov., 1997), pp. 359-373.

[7] See Turner, John, “The Gnostic Threefold Path to Enlightenment: The Ascent of Mind and the Descent of Wisdom.” Novum Testamentum, Vol. 22, Fasc. 4 (Oct., 1980), pp. 324-351.

[8] One might consider the myth of Inanna’s descent to the Underworld a kind of proto-ascent sequence of this kind (in the other direction, of course). In this myth, the Sumerian goddess Inanna must decend into the Underworld to free her lover Tammuz from Death. On the way, she is stopped at seven gates, at each of which she is asked to shed one of her mystical garments.

[9] Layton, Bently trans. “The Hypostasis of the Archons.”  The Nag Hammadi Library in English, Robinson, James ed.

[10] Mead, G.R.S. trans. Pistis Sophia, or Books of the Saviour Book 1, Chap. 61.



Filed under Gnostic Philosophy, Kimetikos, Premiseless Imperative, This Way

A Gnostic Worldview – Part I

Delicious Collard Greens!

In the last post, we looked at the Gnostic Monomyth, a very basic overview of some of the common themes found primarily in Sethian thought. Keep in mind, if you read it, that it’s a stab at an overview, and your mileage may vary.

So, why the big deal? What’s the point behind this strange story, and why is it so interesting on so many levels, even though it’s full of really, really odd imagery and seems to turn the creation myth from Genesis on its head? The deal is, this story is an aspect of the Logos itself– it’s a manifestation of Divine Reason that is activated by its application in our lives. Done right, the application of the coded story causes the manifestation of Wisdom.  It’s a secret code with a hidden meaning that, once discerned, makes you go “oh, okay!”

I know, I know– I’m getting all flighty. Here’s the deal, though: for me, and for some people, this is a story that gives life meaning on an individual level.  From the Gnostic Monomyth, we can develop what we might call the Gnostic Worldview, an understanding based on the stories of what the hell is happening to us, and why it hurts when we stub our toe.  It allows us to develop an understanding of what it means to interact with that which we perceive, and gives us a Way to measure whether or not our philosophy is any good.

Question: Do I have to have a worldview, or a philosophy?

Answer: *I* don’t know, man! I’m not you! You probably already have one, even if you don’t think you do. But that’s totally up to you. *I* have one, and it helps me cope with stuff that’s annoying or ridiculous, so I’m a proponent of finding a way of interacting with the world.

Another Question: Why should I care about this Gnostic Worldview stuff anyhow? I’m perfectly happy with my own religion/philosophy.

Another Answer: Great! Then you probably don’t need to keep reading this, especially if you think it’s bunk, or if you’ve already made up your mind about “Gnosticism” or something.

Ooh, one more Question:  SCIENCE! Where is it? How do you “prove” this

Answer:  TOTALLY something different here. For the record, I LOVE Science. Big fan of hard scientific discovery. Love modern medicine and think 85% of the “alternative healing” scene is crazy talk. Think hardcore creationism is silliness and has no place in schools except in discussions of literature or social anomalies. However: this site is NOT doing Science. Before going any further, if you haven’t yet, you should REALLY read this amazing post on The Archdruid Report about Science v. Magic.  Although I wouldn’t describe what I’m doing over here as “Magic,” his post really hits on the difference between what we’re doing and Science.

Any more questions? Please do post them in the comments!

With this out of the way, let’s take a look at the implications of the Monomyth.  What does it teach us about the nature of reality and our place here?  Keep in mind, once again, that this is my own analysis based on my own gnosis.  You may agree or disagree, but my intent is that of those original Sethians who wrote the myths in the first place:  I’m giving you a map based on my explorations, and you’re encouraged to either discard the map and make your own way, or use the map to explore the features of your own existence.

Consider the discussion that follows a kind of Legend for the Map.

Let’s begin with the most basic assumption, starting at the top, and work our way down, and see what happens.

1. The Limitless Light is Infinite.  A big problem some individuals have with the idea of God is the question of whether God himself had a creator.  If so, did God’s creator have a creator?  This results in an infinite regression, a pile of turtles extending down into infinity.  As Gnostics, we solve this problem by stepping outside of the infinite regression and concluding that at a certain point, the regression has to stop.  The Monomyth starts at this beginning (a good place to start!), at the most irreducible level, that of the Limitless Light.

The Limitless Light can’t be described in toto, as to do so would limit it.  Instead, we have to try to imagine it based on the idea of infinity.  All points that ever existed, currently exist, and will exist in the future occur simultaneously within the Limitless Light.  Since the Limitless Light is infinite, nothing exists outside of it.  Think about it:  infinity is everything, so it doesn’t have any borders, because if you could step outside of a border, it would mean you weren’t really in infinity!

As infinite dimensions, the Limitless Light transcends space and time to such an extent that what we perceive as motion, change and time would by necessity appear as a single unit to the Limitless Light, as it would perceive every instant simultaneously.   Thus, we can define the Limitless Light as the absence of cause and effect.  As soon as cause and effect arise, the Limtless Light becomes limited.

“Light” is typically used to refer to the knowledge of the presence of the Limitless Light, both internally and externally. When we refer to the Limitless Light above all things, we sometimes refer to a presence that fills all things like light fills a darkened room. The “light within” is the presence of God within, manifested through the medium of the Logos, Word and Sophia, Wisdom. It isn’t solely the self or the soul, but a quality that self and soul can be said to possess when “enlightened,” and an essential line of “communication” between the Self and the Other, the Subjective and Objective, the Limited and the Divine. When we act in a Christ-like manner, we’re said to be expressing the Light Within just as the Christ refers to himself as “The Light.”

Nonetheless, we don’t place any kind of ‘elitist’ emphasis on the idea of the inner light. As Jesus says in the Secret Book of James, “Do not be proud because of the light that illumines, but be to yourselves as I myself am to you. For your sakes I have placed myself under the curse, that you may be saved.”

2. The Binary.  When discussing infinity, only two possibilities arise:  completeness or differentiation.  At this point, this is it:  either nothing happens (completeness), or something happens (differentiation).  Had the Limitless Light maintained its infinite nature,  I wouldn’t be writing this, nor would you be reading it.  According to the Monomyth, however, the Limitless Light underwent the second possibility and in so doing became conscious.  In other words, the Limitless Light wanted to know itself.  Since it was infinite, it had no way to do so from without (since nothing exists outside of infinity), and therefore had to do so from within.

This was the first binary, the division of the Limitless Light into two different aspects, one of which was an observer, which we call God the Father, and one of which was being observed, which we call Barbelo the Mother.  With the creation of this either/or binary, the Limitless Light began the process of self-knowledge.

Now, since the Limitless Light is infinite and can’t step outside of itself, the only way for it to know itself is by experiencing all of its possibilities, which means it began manifesting these possibilities through the medium of God the Father and Barbelo.  Since these two aspects of the Limitless Light are, in reality, its initial “sense organs,” we consider God the Father and Barbelo both aspects of the single, monotheistic Unknown God—the Limitless Light itself.

You can find out more about Barbelo here.

3. The Aeons and the Pleroma.  So, the Limitless Light undergoes the process of differentiation, introducing cause and effect into the mix.  It does so in the only possible way—by extending itself through the process of iteration.  “Iteration means the act of repeating a process usually with the aim of approaching a desired goal or target or result. Each repetition of the process is also called an “iteration,” and the results of one iteration are used as the starting point for the next iteration” (source). The Limitless Light extends as God the Father and Barbelo.  Barbelo returns to the source (iterates), the Limitless Light, because no other option yet exists.  Nothing is beyond the realm of God the Father and Barbelo, so there’s only one direction to go.  After returning to the source, God the Father and Barbelo give birth to the Christos.

The Christos is the perfect androgynous reflection of the Limitless Light, and contains its mind, which we call Nous.  If it helps, we might consider the Christos the model of the  concious vehicle through which the Limitless Light explores itself.   It does so by creating the Aeons, different qualities of the Limitless Light which expand to fill its infinite space.  This “filling” is called the Pleroma, and it is the place in which the Aeons dwell, and also the process through which the Aeons expand and explore the Limitless Light.

You can find out more about the Aeons here.

4. Pistis Sophia and the Creation of the Universe.  Of course, at some point, there has to be a differentiation between that part of infinity which has been explored by the Aeons, and that part which has not.  The part which has not is the Realm of Ignorance, also called the Outer Darkness; no knowledge yet exists of this realm.  Because the process unfolding within the Pleroma must include all possibilities, the possibility that one of the Aeons will try to explore the realm of ignorance without returning to the source also arises.  Sophia, or Wisdom, a manifestation of Barbelo the Mother and the emanation farthest from the source of the Limitless Light, while hanging out at the border between the Pleroma and the Realm of Ignorance, has the desire to explore the Outer Darkness without returning to the Source (iterating). She does so in Good Faith (Pistis), but it’s not necessarily the best idea.

Her desire to expand into the Outer Darkness without returning to the source results in the birth of the Demiurge, the Creator God of the World of Forms.  Sophia’s action thrusts him into the Outer Darkness.  Within this Realm of Ignorance, the Demiurge and his assistants, the Archons, begin to ape the process of emanation which they can detect, imperfectly, within the realms above. They can’t do it with material that’s known to the Aeons, that has been “activated” through iteration; they have to do it with the dark, unknown gunk already in the Outer Darkness. This gunk is matter.

This all makes sense if you think about it. 

5. Chaos Theory and Gnostic Myth.  This mythology actually has parallels in mathematics.  If you can stomach not-too-difficult math, fractal geometry works really well as a metaphor for the Gnostic creation myth.  In chaos math, fractals are generated by way of iteration. As an example, suppose you have a system governed by the formula x2+1=y, and begin the iterative process by giving x a value of 1. To iterate, you’d solve for y, and then replace x with your result for the next number. So, if x’=1, then our first y will be 2 — (1) 2+1=2. We’d then take x=2, and our new y is (2) 2+1=5. Our next would be (5)2+1=26, etc. etc. Taking x and y as coordinates on a graph, you can map your iterations. In this case, it’d be a line that shoots to infinity to the upper right, no matter how many times the function is iterated. This is the way iterated systems are graphed. In this example, you have an ordered system, which wouldn’t really represent what we all think of when we think of fractals.

Now, a fractal occurs when a seemingly random element is introduced into the system– essentially, when an integer is no longer whole. For example, let us take our x2+1=y, but instead of starting at 1, we’ll start at 1.081.

x y
01.081 2.168561
2.168561 5.702656810721
5.702656810721 33.520294700862607220539841

Repeat this iteration about a million times and then restart with about a million different initial values, and you’ve got a fractal.  This is why fractals weren’t really discovered/developed until the modern era– you need a computer to repeat all of the millions of iterations needed to graph the fractal.

This is an important issue that goes largely unrecognized because of our habit of estimation and rounding when it comes to mathematics (our Good Faith in mathematics). It illustrates that a teensy, tiny alteration of a function way back at the beginning of the iterative process can cause radical change in the function later down the road. Suppose you’re calculating air traffic control patterns based on records from the past ten years and you decide to round 1.00045 down to 1. Might make sense in the short term, but once that 1.00045 value kicks in down the road, you can be in serious trouble, as the results produced via the function deviate in the extreme from the predicted values.

So how does this fit in with Gnostic creation myth?  As I mentioned above, the process of creation is described in Gnostic texts is an iterative process. The Limitless Light emanates two aspects, which return to the Limitless Light and emanate four aspects, and so forth. There is an equation here, which is a mystical variation on y=x2, and every time a y variable is produced, it returns to the Limitless Light in order to continue the process.

Until, that is, we get to Sophia. Sophia emanates without returning to the Limitless Light– she runs the function without iterating– in essence, she estimates a value (in Good Faith) instead of getting the proper value from the source. It’s as though instead of iterating 15, she iterates 14.00036485. This produces a random element: the Demiurge, Yaldabaoth.

This random element added to the equation altered everything. Although the Demiurge and his initial creation were indeed slightly similar to the divine Aeons above, by the time it was iterated a gazillion times over, things got real freaky. When the Demiurge and the Archons created the Illusion that is the World of Forms, they were like the hapless air traffic controller who thought that rounding off numbers was a good idea. This produced an exceptionally “chaotic” universe, which may even be shaped and dictated by a chaotic function, which would explain everything from variations in red shift in astronomy to vibrational rates of movement in the Earth’s crust to patterns in bird migration.

The Big Bang makes us think of a giant explosion that starts in a “center” and throws energy outward in relatively spherical radii, but the inital “bang” resulted in something that would look more like a 4-dimensional Mandelbrot set:

6. As Above, So Below. All fractals are self-similar, which means that all parts of any given fractal resemble the whole thing;  because they’re all governed by those initial equations, certain patterns have to manifest. It’s like a coastline, which resembles itself on a map no matter the scale (a coastline from 1 mile up resembles a coastline from 100 feet) because it’s all governed by connected patterns. So the rotation of the universe resembles the rotations of galaxies which resemble the rotations of solar systems, all the way down to the quantum level. Now, they may seem to be different, but the underlying initial structures at the very beginning of the iterative process are pretty much the same. Thus, we really did come about in God’s image, as did the entire universe, though it doesn’t sometimes look that way.  It doesn’t sometimes look that way because the Demiurge and the Archons want to stay in control, so they created the World of Forms in order to fool us.



Filed under Gnostic Philosophy, This Way

An Illustrated Gnostic Monomyth

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.


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


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.

They continue to create Empire—as said Philip Dick, “The Empire Never Ended”— but Sophia and the Logos continue to teach us how to resist, how to attain gnosis and thus bring about the redemption of the corrupted realms of the Demiurge.


Filed under Gnostic Philosophy, This Way

The Hidden Gospel of the Gnosis of the Great Invisible Spirit (Hyperlinks Included for Reference)

As I sat looking inwardly, withdrawn into the Silence of my inner vitality, I felt the sensation of the body fall away from myself, as though my consciousness was ascending through the spheres upwards and beyond, even into the regions of Light past the Eighth and the Ninth, wherein a great presence radiated through me and spoke to me.

“Who are you?” I asked.

“I am the Angel Eleleth, called Sagacity, the Aeon of Sophia and the Voice of the Nous. You have known me by many names, for I am also called the Opener of Doors, the Lord of Words, the Thrice-Divine. I am the Messenger of the Understanding of the Great Invisible Spirit, the one who sent me. I am here to disclose to you the good news about the Logos-Sophia who descends into the World of Forms through the inbreaking of the Pleroma. This inbreaking is gnosis, enlightenment, the activation of the spark within the individual through the awakening of the Living Information contained within the Words and Actions of the homoplasmates.”

“O Eleleth, What is the nature of the Great Invisible Spirit?”

“The Great Invisible Spirit is called Invisible because it cannot be seen by the eye, nor heard by the ear, nor touched by the hand, nor grasped by the mind of man or God. It wears a mask that it may be perceived, and that Mask is One, the Illimitable, unmeasureable, unknowable who exists before-during-and-after the Father and Barbelo. The One is also called by the Hidden Names IAO, AEEIOUO. The Great Invisible Spirit stands behind and beyond nascent Time, manifesting in all possible locations at all possible moments, experiencing all of them simultaneously.

“As nothing exists without of the Great Invisible Spirit, its desire to know itself necessitated its achievement of its own knowledge within itself. To do so, it became necessary for the Great Invisible Spirit to divide itself into two separate but equal parts, God the Father, the perceiver, and Barbelo the Mother, the perceived.

“Together, God the Father and Barbelo the Mother manifested another mask of the Great Invisible Spirit through their emanation of the Piger-Adamas, the Perfect Autogenes, or self-created one. Through knowledge of itself, or its own gnosis, the Autogenes generated within itself five superior Aeons through which to know itself. These five superior Aeons are Pronoia (Forethought), Prognosis (Foreknowledge), Proeido (Foresight), Zoe (Life) and Aphthartos (Incorruptibility). These five superior Aeons also dwell 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). Thus do the five Aeons and their consorts 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 Pentad of the Aeons, the One Great Invisible Spirit expressed itself further through the four Luminaries and the Aeons who attended 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 Aeons who sing the knowledge of the Autogenes, and may be discerned by the Knowing Ones through the Mystery of the teachings of the Great Invisible Spirit, manifesting within understanding each time they are expressed and experienced. This is a great mystery for those who read and understand.”

“What is this great Mystery through which the discerning one might come to discern these Aeons and ascent to the Great Invisible Spirit?”

“The Mystery of discernment is the Mystery of Ascent through the Aeons.” (This Mystery was written about in the Book of the Mystery of the Gnostic Ascent.) “These Aeons are the Fullness of the Great Invisible Spirit, who is greater even than the Fullness of the Aeons, for nothing is greater than the Great Invisible Spirit.”

And Eleleth showed me a great unfolding book in which the whole of the Fullness stood, and showed me also how the Aeons and the Luminaries and their Aspects were mirrored within the information of World of Forms, where their qualities were found within the vehicles of information in various permutaions, yet corrupted as they were removed from the Fullness.

And I was amazed to see the difference between the qualities in the World of Forms and the Aeons upon which they are based. “How did the Aeons and the Luminaries and their Aspects come to reside in the World of Forms as corrupted information? Indeed, how did the World of Forms become corrupted?”

“As you ask, O Stranger, so shall I divulge the Mystery. As the Aeons extended themselves further away from the Great Invisible Spirit, so did the image of God the Father and Barbelo the Mother decrease in their perfection and increase in their qualities, for the greater the number of emanations, the greater the number of qualities found in the Aeons. The Piger-Adamas reflected through the qualities of the Aeons and the Light-bearing luminaries and their Aspects, giving birth to the One Hermaphroditic ChristosSophia, the two-in-one Male-Female whose double aspect is known as Christos and Sophia. The Christos shares in nature with the Piger-Adamas, the Nearest Aeon to the Father and Barbelo, and Sophia with the farthest emanation who dwells with the Luminary Eleleth. Thus brought together the ChristosSophia signify the completion of the Aeons and the Fullness.

“Understand that these emanations represent the Fullness of the Realms of the Great Invisible Spirit, which did desire to know itself. Through the expression of these many qualities and their manifestations as Aeons, the Great Invisible Spirit sought its own gnosis.

“However, in order for it to come to complete knowledge of itself, it needed knowledge of imperfection. For this reason, it comes to pass that Sophia, desiring to manifest the offspring of the Great Invisible Spirit, gazed into the emptiness beyond the Pleroma. Believing it true emptiness instead of a portion of the Great Invisible Spirit, she was expelled from the realms of the Fullness and took on the aspect of Pistis Sophia. Her birth produced an abyss between the emptiness and the Perfection like the waters of the ocean, and the perfection of the Pleroma became as a reflection underneath those waters, or as a lantern. And Pistis Sophia ascended forth from the emptiness, knowing that she had erred, yet unaware that her actions were necessary for the gnosis of the Great Invisible Spirit.

“And her offspring, produced without the Gnosis of the Pleroma, took the form of a serpent with the head of a fish. And she called to him, saying, ‘Yalda baoth,’ which means ‘Child, return here.’ Blinded by the darkness of the emptiness, this being gazed upon 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 of the nature of the Aeons of the Fullness. But, we call him Yaldabaoth, or Saklas, meaning the Blind One, as he is blind to the Fullness, and insane.

“Believing thus, and that he is the Ruler of the Entirety, he took a portion of the Light from his Mother and then moved away from the abyss. Then, after the imperfect image of the Fullness he had 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 in its many parts. These are the Archons, and their numbers are Twelve and Seventy-Two and Seven and Three-Hundred and Sixty-Five. The twelve Archons are named as follows:

Athoth, called The Reaper. Harmas, called The Eye of Envy. Kalila-Oumbri. Yabel. Adonaiou, called Sabaoth. Cain. Abel. Abrisene. Yobel. Armoupieel. Melceir-Adonein. Belias.

“He set each of these Archons over a portion of the Heavens:

Athoth: the Portion of the Ram
Harmas: the Portion of the Bull
Kalila-Oumbri: the Portion of the Twins
Yabel: the Portion of the Crab
Adonaiou Sabaoth: the Portion of the Lion
Cain: the Portion of the Virgin
Abel: the Portion of the Measure
Abrisene: the Portion of the Scorpion
Yobel: the Portion of the Archer
Armoupieel: the Portion of the Goat
Melceir-Adonein: the Portion of the Water Carrier
Belias: the Portion of the Fishes

He then placed five Servitors under each, filling the 72 houses of the Skies. Thus he set about the creation of the skies and the apportioning of the year. And these he placed over the spheres of the Planets.

“And the Seven Archons are named as follows:

Athoth, over the sphere of Saturn
Eloaiou, over the sphere of Jupiter
Astaphaios, over the sphere of Mars
Yao, over the sphere of the Sun
Sabaoth, over the sphere of Venus
Adonin, over the sphere of Mercury
Sabbede, over the sphere of the Moon

“(Understand that these Rulers are false images of the qualities of the Pleroma, neither good nor evil but imperfect.) Thus he set about the creation of the measure of the week and the qualities of matter. Under each of these Seven he placed 52 Servitors. And each of these Archons truly exists as a duality, as each is apportioned a masculine and feminine aspect.

“Saklas apportioned among the Authorities a portion of the Light he had stolen from his mother Sophia, and divided the emptiness, establishing an image of the Perfection according to the false impression he had observed. And the Authorities desired to receive praise 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 as Christos and Sophia into base flesh. For this reason, we say that humanity was created in the image of God.”

(The names and industries of the Archons of the Body are given in the Hidden Book of John.)

“What, then,” I asked, “of Sophia? Didn’t she repent of her error?”

“When Sophia realized her mistake, she repented to the Aeons of the Fullness, who forgave with complete forgiveness, as they knew that for the Great Invisible Spirit to attain gnosis of itself, the creation of the realms of emptiness was inevitable and necessary.

“Sophia, in her great compassion and mercy, desired to recitify her error and redeem her ignorant offspring. God the Father and Barbelo the Mother sent the Christos and Sophia into the realms of matter in order to rend the Waters of the Abyss and allow for the inbreaking of the Pleroma into the World of Forms.

“The humans, created by the Archons, lay still, devoid of action, for they lacked the Spirit granted by the Fullness. In great consternation, the Archons moved back and forth within the emptiness. Descending into the World of Forms through the motion created in the Abyss by the movement of the Archons, the ChristosSophia, in the form of a Whisper. Sophia and the Christos carried the Word of the Mind of the Father into the World of Forms. Through the Power of the Word, they spoke to Saklas, urging him as though they were his own thought to grant a portion of the Power he had taken to the form of humanity.

“Thinking thusly, Saklas breathed a portion of this power into the inert form of humanity who arose and began offering praise to the Archons. Yet though they held a portion of the Power of the Fullness within themselves, they did not yet have gnosis of the Pleroma. Adam and Eve were placed into a garden in Eden, a paradise created for them by the Archons that they might praise and worship and serve the Archons in their arrogance. Placing the remaining portion of the Power of the Pleroma into a Tree in the center of the Garden, Saklas spoke to the Humans, saying, ‘You may eat of any tree of the garden; but of the tree in the center of the Garden you shall not eat, for in if you eat of it you shall taste death.’ He said this because he knew that the portion of the Power of the Fullness resided therein, and that if the humans ate of it, they would come to the gnosis of their true natures and usurp the positions of the Archons.

“The Christos and Sophia, however, descended into the Tree, the Christos taking the form of a Serpent and Sophia the form of a Dove. Appearing thusly, the Christos said to Eve, ‘Take of this fruit, and eat, for upon eating this fruit you will come to know your true nature as a part of the Fullness, and will not taste Death.’ And Eve took the fruit, and ate of it, giving a portion to Adam.

“And the interpretation of the fruit of gnosis can be found in the Mystery of the Eucharist, for as the Christos and Sophia gave a portion of the Power of the Fullness to Eve and Adam, so Eve and Adam partook of the Body and Blood of the Christos in the fruit of the Tree of Gnosis.

“After eating of the fruit, Eve and Adam came to know their true natures of containers of the Spark, the Power of the Fullness, and came to understand that they were processors of information created after the form of Piger-Adamas, designed to correct the flaws in the creation of the Archons and know the Great Invisible Spirit so that the Great Invisible Spirit might know itself.”

“O Eleleth, if they came to this understanding upon eating the fruit of the Tree, why does imperfection still exist within the World of Forms?”

“Imperfection exists within this World, O Allogenes, because the Archons still hold sway over the World of Forms. After Adam and Eve ate of the fruit, the Archons were able to occlude the material aspects of humanity, hiding their memory of the Power of the Fullness deep within their souls. This is due to the deficiency of the emptiness in which the World of Forms exists. Coming down over the newly awakened Adam and Eve, the Archons cast them into a deep sleep, buring the Power within their souls and removing them to a Prison constructed of Black Iron, and casting a glamour over their eyes that they considered this Prison like unto the Eden from whence they came.

“Having reestablished control over Humanity, Saklas instructed them, ‘Go forth and multiply, that generations and generations shall worship and praise me, but worship no others, for I am a jealous God.’ And this belied his nature as a being of limitation, as if no other deity existed, of whom would he be jealous?

“And they were fruitful and multiplied, even unto the present time, residing in the Prison of Black Iron under the auspices of the Archons, under the illusion that they yet dwell in the Garden.”

“What, then, is the nature of this Prison?”

“This is the nature of this Prison. Firstly, remember then that the Archons are not evil, but blind and imperfect. Although they desire worship and praise from their creations, they do not necessarily wish them harm. To maintain the illusion, then, they established the Control Systems of the World: the governments of the world, the religions of the world, the structures of Power which maintain the illusion, all the while serving the needs of the Archons. These structures cover the World of Forms like a dark sheet, occluding the true nature of Humanity as soon as they are learned. This is why it is said that to truly Know, one must become as little children, for until they become inserted into these systems, little children know their true natures as free beings and are thus beloved by the Christos and Sophia.

“Yet as soon as a human falls into the power of a Control System, he or she comes under the Power of the Archon, and will continually return into the World of Forms, even after the death of the Body. For the Archons established a Heaven of sorts depending upon their own operations, that a person whose body perishes ascends to a false Heaven, or the weight of their attraction to matter pulls his soul into another body, or into a realm of torture. Yet all of these realms are actually part of the emptiness of the World of Forms.”

On hearing this, I became despondent, asking, “What hope is there then for those of us who dwell in the Prison of Iron? Are we doomed to forever be reborn into the Black Iron Prison? Will we never know the redemption and ascend into the realm of the Aeons of the Fullness?”

“O Allogenes, do you think that the Aeons of the Pleroma would abandon the denizens of the Prison? To the contrary: the Christos and Sophia are constantly sacrificing themselves in order to descend into the World of Forms and redeem it. When they so descend, they establish the gnosis of the Pleroma into the individual human, freeing that human and the divine spark within from the Control Systems of the Archons and also from the Cycle of Incarnation.”

“How then, do they descend into the World of Forms, and what is their nature when they enter the Prison?”

“The Christos and Sophia descend into the World of Forms in the form of living information: the Logos, the Word and the Whisper. So the Christos descended into Jesus through his Mother Mary before his birth, and Sophia descended into him in the form of a Dove when he was baptised at the River Jordan. And this is a Great Mystery: Only through the entrance of both the Christos and Sophia into the Bridal Chamber does the Pleroma break into the World of Forms.

“And the Acts of Jesus and his Apostles have been recorded many times. Each time they are recorded by an individual who has achieved the gnosis of the Pleroma, the Christos and Sophia, in the form of the Logos, are transmitted into the teachings and multiply within those who receive the gnosis of the Pleroma through the medium of the Logos. Remember, O Allogenes, that the revelation of gnosis depends not upon the words in books or those spoken by teachers, but by their activation and application by individuals.

“Indeed, the Logos may activate the gnosis of the Pleroma at any time, at any moment. The ways of the Christos and Sophia cannot be truly known by humans, lest the Archons learn of their plans and work against them. Their activities in the World of Forms, and those whom they touch, must remain transparent to the Authorities.”

“What, then, is the nature of humanity? If we are, indeed, containers of the Spark of the Divine, what is the purpose of our imprisonment?”

“I shall answer your questions, O Allogenes. As containers of the Divine Spark, which, when activated by the Christos and Sophia, reveals the inbreaking of the Pleroma into the World of Forms, all humans are intrinsically involved with the redemption of the imperfection. This redemption is necessary inasmuch as the completion of the redemption will allow the Great Invisible Spirit to truly Know itself in full knowledge of its emanations. For this reason, the imprisonment must also have occurred, for how can the Great Invisible Spirit come to know itself if it is not first ignorant of some part of itself?”

“But why, then, does this take time? Why has the redemption not already occurred, instantly?”

“The redemption has occurred instantly, O Allogenes. It is continually occurring. If, indeed, the Great Invisible Spirit is eternal and unchanging, then can one limit it in the constraints of Time?”

“Clearly not, O Eleleth.”

“So then, we must conclude that the concept of Time is a concept of limitations?”


“And as a concept of limitations, we know that Time is ruled over by the Twelve Archons and Seven Archons and their servitors. Thus, the passage of Time is an illusion maintained within the World of Forms. The process of redemption and of the gnosis of the Great Invisible Spirit has-occurred-is-occurring-will-occur. All that is, that appears of change, is but a single instance, a single firing of a single synapse in the Nous of the Great Invisible Spirit. Do you understand?”

“I do understand, O Eleleth. What, then, can we do to cultivate the gnosis of the Fullness within ourselves? Has all been ordained to occur, as all has already occurred?”

“Within the limitations of the Black Iron Prison, the person of Knowledge can cultivate the gnosis of the Fullness through the Mysteries established by the Christos and Sophia. Indeed, the cultivation of gnosis through these Mysteries began with the third son of Adam and Eve, the Divine Seth, who established the Mysteries which have been carried down through the history of humanity by those transparent to the Authorities.

“The Mysteries have been preserved in the Greater Gnostic Ecclesia, the body of individuals who have maintained the gnosis of the Christos and Sophia. The Gnostic Ecclesia mirrors the form of the Aeons of the Pleroma in an ideal sense, but not a material sense. It serves to cultivate the qualities of the Aeons of the Pleroma, and to maintain the Mysteries, but not to limit the Mysteries. As soon as they limit the Mysteries, they are become like the Archons, and are the Archons.

“The Greater Gnostic Ecclesia is transparent to the Authorities.”

“What, then,” I asked, “of the person who has the gnosis of the Christos and Sophia? In what way is this gnosis best expressed? What will happen to that person’s spirit after the death of the material body?”

“The person who has the gnosis of the Christos and Sophia need only listen to the words of the Holy Valentinus, who says, ‘Speak concerning the truth to those who seek it and of knowledge to those who, in their error, have committed sin. Make sure-footed those who stumble and stretch forth your hands to the sick. Nourish the hungry and set at ease those who are troubled. Foster men who love. Raise up and awaken those who sleep.’

“Humankind exists as three-in-one: the hylic, who has surrendered to the Archon, the pneumatic, who has surrendered to the Christos and Sophia, and the psychic, who sometimes surrenders to the Archon, and sometimes to the Christos and Sophia. Those who say that these are three different types of human are in error; for they are but three aspects of all humans, all of whom contain the divine spark. The Christos and Sophia can awaken gnosis in any one of these aspects; therefore, it is right and proper for the person of Knowledge to treat all aspects as those who have already had gnosis awakened. “Indeed, one can never know where the Christos and Sophia will do their work, for if one could discern this matter with such ease, then the Archons could seek the person out, and put that person to death. Therefore the person of Knowledge will act with compassion, humility, and in service to all of humanity.

“Remember, God often exists in the least of things; as said Jesus, ‘Look under a rock, and you will find me there,’ and as said Philip Dick, ‘God appears in the trash heap.’ So the last is first, and the first last, and the holiness of the Pleroma often dwells in the lowest corruption.

“So too can the Archon appear as that which is Holy, even unto taking the guise of Sophia or the Christos– but never both at one time in the Bridal Chamber, for that is a Mystery that the Archons cannot ape. So also can the Archon insinuate himself into the Words of the Logos as manifested in the World of Forms, for this World is their domain, and they are able to deliver messages of confusion into any system within it. Therefore exercise great caution when studying the Words of the Logos, for oftimes the Archon will seek to spread Control Systems as a parasite, hiding within the Teachings and corrupting them.

“One who dies in the state of a hylic aspect has been weighed down by the material, and ensnared by the Archon, and will descend back into a body in the World of Forms according to the control system of the Archons. This does not always mean woe; for remember, the Archons give great reward to those humans who follow their precepts. It does, however, mean rebirth into the realms of limitations and not into the Kingdom of Heaven.

“The Person of Knowledge, however, dies and is reborn into the Fullness of the Pleroma as soon as the gnosis is realized. The moment the Christos and Sophia invoke the gnosis in an individual, that individual is a homoplasmate, the living information bonded with the spirit of the individual within the Bridal Chamber. For this person, the Kingdom of Heaven is already spreading out over the Earth. For indeed, that person knows that the World of Forms is yet a part of the Fullness of the Great Invisible Spirit.

“After the death of the body, that person ascends into the realms of Perfection, the Fullness, escaping the bonds of the Black Iron Prison and the cycle of incarnation. That spirit, that wonderful and perfected spark of the divine Light, may also become a Messenger of the Light, taking on a body in the World of Forms out of compassion and mercy for those still trapped within the Prison, along with the Christos and Sophia assisting them with their own resurrections.

“For indeed, the entirety of the World of Forms shall be redeemed that the Great Invisible Spirit might have gnosis of itself, even unto the Archons and Saklas himself. As has been said, ‘Not only do humans need redemption, but also the angels, too, need redemption, along with the image and the rest of the Pleromas of the aeons and the wondrous powers of illumination.’ I, too, need redemption, and shall receive it when the consummation of consummations takes place.

“For this reason, the person of Knowledge knows that there is no Hell except the false Hell of the Archon, and that all of the containers of the Divine Spark shall eventually be saved.”

Thus said, Eleleth raised a hand, the fingers of which appeared tattooed with markings like the feathers of the peacock, and thereupon appeared a scene of great terror. I saw before me, spread to the horizon, a great wasteland of red dust, and I knew it to be the desert of the World of Forms. And thereupon erupted a mighty column of smoke and fire in the shape of a mushroom, and the desert disappeared, or rather was superimposed upon a city of paper, and a hot wind of death spewed forth, destroying all in its path, and I knew that this was the Weapon of the Archon, and that a Great and Secret Person of Knowledge– indeed, a Messenger of the Light– had perished in this conflagration, and that no person in the World of Forms would ever know the identity of that Messenger of the Light.

After seeing this vision, I was sore afraid, trembling in fear at the arsenal of the Archons, knowing that this most destructive weapon was but a child’s toy compared to their subtler machinations, like the Insinuated Verses or the Dark Sophia.

Seeing that I was trembling and sore afraid, Eleleth laughed, extending his other hand, the fingers of which appeared tattooed with markings like the feathers of the dove, and thereupon appeared a scene of great wonder. I saw before me, spread to the horizon, a great wasteland of red dust, and I knew it to be the desert of the World of Forms. Yet upon this desert moved small and innocent forms, and they carried with them a great measure of papyrus codices. And within these codices were seeds of Light, and the Light which shone forth from the Seeds covered the whole World.

After seeing this vision, I was filled with great joy, and sang praises to the Aeons,

I praise you, O Great Invisible Spirit,
That you have created such a wonderous wonder,
That the Limitless Light has extended even unto this corrupted World.
Those mighty who persecute us shall fall,
Even as the Towers of New York which fell by their handiwork.
The reign of the Archons is Eternally complete,
As the Holy Christos and Compassionate Sophia descend to redeem us,
And the Fullness of the Aeons floods into the World of Forms.
We praise thee, we worship thee, we give thanks to thee,
O Most Holy Christos and Sophia,
In the name of God the Father, Barbelo the Mother,
And the Divine Piger-Adamas,
We are resurrected in you, now and forever!

Then did Eleleth bear me up through the realms of perfection, and instructed me in the Mysteries of the Gnosis of the Aeons, and I saw a great many wonderous things that, were I to relate them all, would fill all of the Books of the World.

The Hidden Gospel of the Gnosis of the Great Invisible Spirit


Filed under Gnostic Philosophy