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The Gnostics and Their Remains

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Demiurge
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δημιουργός (dēmiourgós, latinized demiurgus δήμιος


« Reply #90 on: March 12, 2009, 01:09:55 pm »

"Having, therefore, got this seed for his starting-point, Basilides goes on thus: 'Whatever I speak of as made after this, there is no need of inquiring out of what it was made, seeing that this seed comprehended within itself the principles of the All. Now let us examine what came out of this seed in the first, second, and third place. There was in the seed a Sonship, triple, of the same substance with the No-being God, and generated by him. In this triple Sonship one part was subtile, another gross, the third needing purification. * Upon the first projecting (emitting) of the seed, the subtile element disengaged itself, ascending aloft "like a feather or a thought,"


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and arrived at the No-being One. For Him all Nature desireth, by reason of the super-eminence of his beauty and perfection. The gross part endeavoured to imitate its example, but was weighed down by its coarser nature, and detained within the seed. To assist it, therefore, the Sonship equips it with a wing, such as Plato in his "Phaedrus" wings the soul withal. Now this wing is the Holy Ghosts which the grosser part putting on, is both advantaged itself, and advantages the other. For the wings of a bird are not able to fly if severed from the bird, neither can the soul fly if separated from her wings. Such, then, is the relationship borne by the Sonship to the Holy Ghost, and also by the Holy Ghost to the Sonship. Soaring aloft, therefore, upon its wings--that is, upon the Holy Ghost, this Soul Part carried its wings, the Holy Ghost, along with it up to the No-being God, and the Sensible Sonship, but was unable to comprehend the latter, because its own nature is not constituted of the same substance with Him. But in the same way as dry and pure air is repugnant to the nature of fishes, so the place, more ineffable than the Ineffable One, and more lofty than all names that can be named, the seat of the No-being God and of the Subtile Part, was contrary to the nature of the Holy Ghost. On this account, the Sonship left it near to that place which cannot be conceived by mind, nor described by words, though. not altogether abandoned by himself, but retaining something of his power (or essence), just as a vessel once filled with a precious perfume ever retains traces of that perfume, however carefully it may have been emptied. And this is manifestly like the ointment upon the head "which ran down to Aaron's beard"--that is, the perfume of the Sonship, brought down by the Holy Ghost even into the impurity and degradation of mortality, out of which itself at the beginning had soared aloft, raised by the Sonship, as it were, on eagle's wings, being itself fastened upon his back. For all things struggle upwards from that which is below towards that which is above, from the "worse towards the better," whereas nothing of those above in the better place seeks to descend below.'

"The third part of the Sonship--namely, that requiring

p. 76

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« Reply #91 on: March 12, 2009, 01:10:11 pm »

purification, remained included within the infinite head (or sum) of infinite seeds, both giving and receiving benefit, in the manner hereafter to be explained. After the first and second ascensions of the Sonship, the Holy Ghost, which had been left above, became the 'firmament' between the world and the upper world. For Basilides divides all things that are into two great classes, the 'world' and the 'upper world'; the Spirit, therefore, occupying the interval between the two (namely, the Holy Ghost, which retains the odour of the Son-ship) he terms the 'Boundary Spirit.' Now after this firmament above the world had been constituted, there broke forth out of the Seed of the World the 'Great Archon,' the Head of the World, or beauty, strength, magnitude indissoluble. More ineffable is he than the Ineffable, more powerful than the Powerful, wiser than the Wise, more beautiful than any beauty that can be named. As soon as he was born he soared upwards and reached the firmament, but that was the limit of his flight; for he knew not of the existence of anything beyond the firmament, and therefore he remained more beautiful, more powerful, more wise than any of the things subjacent, always excepting the Sonship--that is, the Third impurified Person--who still lay enclosed within the immense universal seed. Imagining himself, therefore, to be Lord and Ruler and Intelligent Architect, he set about the creation of the world. In the first place, not wishing to abide alone, he generated unto himself a son out of things subjacent (mundane elements), far wiser and more beautiful than himself, for this son was in truth the Third Person yet left enclosed within the seed. This thing had been predestinated by the No-being God from the beginning; as soon as he beheld this son he was enamoured of his perfect beauty, and bade him to sit down on his right hand. This they call the 'Ogdoad,' the abode of the Great Archon. The great and wise Demiurgus then made the entire ætherial creation, being inspired and empowered thereto by his own son, so far above himself in wisdom." (This idea is copied from Aristotle's "Entelechia" of the natural organic body; the active soul in the body being itself wiser, stronger, and better than the body. The theory, therefore, propounded originally by Aristotle concerning

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the body and the soul, Basilides thus applies to the Great Archon and the Son whom he had created; for as the Archon creates the Son, so does Aristotle make the soul to be the work and effect of the natural organic body.) "All things, therefore, are ruled by the providence of the Great Archon" (or rather, by the "Entelechia" of himself and son)--"all things, that is to say, which lie below the moon, and within the æther--for the moon is the division between the æther and the air.

"The creation being finished, there arose out of the seed a 'Second Archon,' but greatly inferior to the first, yet similarly ineffable. This (Archon) is designated the 'Hebdomad.' He proceeded to create all things below the æther of which he is the Demiurgus; and he, in his turn, generated a son infinitely superior to himself. The intermediate space between the regions Ogdoad and Hebdomad is occupied by the universal seed, the heap of species, the particles whereof are guided by the intelligence implanted in them by the First Creator as to the times, the natures, and the changes in which they have to come forth, and possess no other guide, guardian, or creator.

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"And he is impious in his arrogance which is in him. For he said, 'I am God and there is no other God beside me,' for he is ignorant of his strength, the place from which he had come."- Yaltabaoth
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« Reply #92 on: March 12, 2009, 01:10:28 pm »

"The whole creation was in this way completed, of the world and of the things above the world; but there was yet left within the seed the 'Third Sonship,' who, in his turn, had to be developed, revealed, and to ascend beyond the Boundary Spirit up to the Subtile Sonship and the No-being One. This is the interpretation (meaning) of the Scripture: 'The whole creation groaneth and is in labour, waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God.' These 'sons' are the Spiritual Men left here below to guide and to perfect the souls that from their nature belong to this place. 'From Adam unto Moses sin reigned'--that is to say, the Great Archon, who had dominion up to the firmament, and imagined that he alone was God, and that there was none other above him--for all above him was kept in the deepest silence. This is the 'mystery not revealed unto the Fathers'; the Great Archon, the Ogdoad, was, as he supposed, the Lord and Ruler of the universe. But of the 'interval,' or middle space, the Hebdomad was the ruler; now the Ogdoad is ineffable, but the Hebdomad may be uttered by speech. This ruler of the Hebdomad was He who spake unto Moses, saying,

p. 78

[paragraph continues] 'I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the Name of God I have not revealed unto them'--that is, He did not reveal to them the ineffable ruler of the Ogdoad. All the prophets who were before the Saviour's coming spoke through the inspiration of the Second Archon.

"When the time was come for the manifestation of the Sons of God, the Gospel came, penetrating through every power, dominion, and name that can be named, although the Sonship did not come down from his place upon the right hand of the Incomprehensible No-being One. But, like as Indian naphtha kindles at the mere sight of fire a long way off, so do powers fly up out of the seed to the Sonship that is beyond the firmament. The son of the Great Archon of the Ogdoad thus receives, like as naphtha catches the distant flame, the emanations of the Sonship who is beyond the firmament; and this last, the Boundary Spirit, serves for the communication of the thoughts from the one to the other.

"The Gospel thus came to the Great Archon through his own son, and he was converted, and troubled, and became wise, learning his own ignorance (or want of knowledge); and this is the interpretation of 'The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.' For the Christ, sitting by him, instructed him concerning the Ineffable No-being One, concerning the Son who is beyond the firmament, and concerning the creation of the universe. The Great Archon being thus instructed, was filled with fear, and confessed the sin he had committed in magnifying himself; and this is the meaning of 'I acknowledge my transgression and I confess my sin.' When, therefore, the Great Archon was enlightened, every creature of the Ogdoad was likewise enlightened, and then came the time for the enlightenment and evangelising of the ruler of the Hebdomad. For this end the son of the Great Archon communicated to the son of the Second Archon the light which he himself had received from above, and he communicated his instruction to his Father, who in like manner was convinced of, and confessed his sin. By this time every creature of the Hebdomad was enlightened, and had the Gospel preached unto them. For in this division (the region below the æther) also, there is an infinite creation

p. 79

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« Reply #93 on: March 12, 2009, 01:10:43 pm »

of powers, principalities, and dominions (concerning whom Basilides has a lengthy dissertation; who moreover in this region places the 365 heavens, and their ruler ABRASAX, so called because his name contains that sum, for which reason the year consists also of that number of days).

"After all this it was necessary that the Unformedness (ἀμορφία) existing in our region that is, the Sonship still lying enclosed in the mass like an abortion--should be enlightened in the same manner with those aforementioned. The Light therefore passed through the Hebdomad upon the son of the Hebdomad--that is, upon Jesus, the son of Mary. This is 'the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee,' namely, the power of unction, descending from the Supreme through the Demiurgus upon the Son.

"The present constitution of things will last until every particle of the Sonship enveloped in the unformed mass shall be attracted into Jesus, shall be disentangled and sublimated by him, and rendered capable of ascending by itself to the first source of Light, to which it bears a natural affinity.

"In this way the Three Persons of the Sonship being all united once more above the firmament, then mercy shall be shown unto the creation, 'which languishes and groans waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God'; for all men belonging to the Sonship shall ascend up unto Him. When this is accomplished, He will bring upon the world a deep ignorance, so that all things here below shall abide in their nature, and desire nothing contrary to their nature. By this means the souls appointed to abide here below will be destitute of even the slightest notion of anything existing above them, lest they should be tormented by the fruitless desire of ascending up into the same; like as though a fish should desire to pasture with the flocks upon the hills, a wish which, if gratified, would be its destruction. For all things are eternal so long as they continue in their natural place, but become mortal when they endeavour to escape beyond it. The same ignorance will envelop the ruler of the Hebdomad, in order that sorrow and grief and confusion may flee away from him; that he may no longer be troubled with the desire of things above him and contrary to

p. 80

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« Reply #94 on: March 12, 2009, 01:10:57 pm »

his nature. This ignorance shall also come over the Great Archon of the Ogdoad, and over all creatures subject unto him, and for the same reason. This is the 'restoration of all things; enclosed from the beginning within the seed, and disposed according to its season. This is the Saviour's meaning in 'My hour is not yet come'; it is also signified by the Magi beholding the star, inasmuch as His coming, proclaimed from the beginning, was subject to the disposition of the stars. *

"The Gospel is the Declaration of supramundane things, which the Great Archon knew not of. But when it was told him of the Sonship, of the Boundary Spirit, and of the No-being God, he rejoiced with an exceeding great joy. With respect to the birth of Jesus, all things came to pass as they are written in the Gospels. For He was the firstfruits of the division of the classes, previously all commingled here below. Now, as the world is distributed into the Ogdoad, the head of the universe, whose chief is the Great Archon, and into the Hebdomad, whose chief is the Demiurgus, chief also of our degree where Frailty (liability to error) subsists, it was necessary that this Confusion should be distributed and set in order by Jesus. That part of hint, therefore, which was of the 'Unformedness,' namely, his body suffered what it did suffer and returned again into unformedness; that part which belonged to the Hebdomad, namely, his soul, returned again into the Hebdomad after his resurrection; the part belonging to the Ogdoad remained with the Great Archon, and the part belonging to the Boundary Spirit was left there in his ascension. But the third Sonship, thus purified in his passage upwards, was reunited to the Blessed Sonship who is supreme above. (In short, the whole theory of the religion consists in the Confusion of the Seed-heap, its Redistribution into classes, and the Restoration of all things to their natural places. This division of the classes was made in the first instance by Jesus, and the sole object of his passion was the restoration of the classes, which were mixed up together, into their proper order. And for this reason Jesus himself was


p. 81

distributed as we have shown, amongst the several classes. These then are the things that Basilides fables, who taught in Egypt, and, having learned his wisdom from the Egyptians brought forth such fruits as these.)"

This concluding remark of Hippolytus deserves particular notice; it shows that he regarded the Basilidan theory as the mere adaptation to present requirements of an ancient esoteric doctrine belonging to the Egyptian priesthood. That it was nothing more than a plagiarism from the Aristotelian philosophy, as the learned Father labours to demonstrate with so much ingenuity, appears to me by no means made out. But the Basilidan theory has one striking feature that distinguishes it from every other form of the Gnosis, in its entirely ignoring the existence of an Evil Principle, or of malignity and rebellion against the Supreme God. His two rulers of the upper and lower worlds, the Great Archon of the Ogdoad, and the Demiurgus of the Hebdomad, so far from opposing the Gospel receive it with joy, and humbly acknowledge their inferiority to the sender. The Passion of Jesus is not due to the malice of either of them, but is voluntary, and undertaken as the sole means of restoring confused elements of the All to the harmony indispensable for their eternal duration. Even the final withdrawing of the Divine Light from the Ogdoad and Hebdomad is done for the same beneficent purpose, in order that both they and their greatness may rest for ever in blissful ignorance, each holding himself supreme in his own creation, and knowing of nothing above it, may no longer be tormented by vain aspirations after a state of perfection for which his nature is not adapted. The benevolent spirit that pervades the whole theory strongly supports the assertion of Hippolytus, and points out for its source the Egyptian mythology, to which the notion of two principles, equal in power but antagonistic in nature, would have been unutterably shocking.


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« Reply #95 on: March 12, 2009, 01:11:13 pm »

Footnotes
74:* Corresponding to "Immaterial, Material, and Mixed."

80:* This may allude to the Rabbinical explanation of the "sign of the coming" of the Messiah as being the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in Pisces.



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"And he is impious in his arrogance which is in him. For he said, 'I am God and there is no other God beside me,' for he is ignorant of his strength, the place from which he had come."- Yaltabaoth
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« Reply #96 on: March 12, 2009, 01:11:29 pm »

p. 82

THE OPHITES.
The Ophites should hold by right the first place amongst the schools we are considering, for that impartial and acute historian of the Gnosis, Hippolytus, styles them, "The Naaseni who specially call themselves 'Gnostics.' But inasmuch as this deception of theirs is multiform and has many heads (a play upon their name of serpent-followers), like the Hydra of fable, if I smite all the heads at once with the wand of Truth, I shall destroy the whole serpent, for all the other sects differ but little from this one in essentials." He therefore commences his history of the Gnostic heresies, properly so called, with a minute account of this one, illustrated with copious extracts from their text-books; on account of their antiquity and importance bestowing much more of his space upon them than upon any other of their offshoots or competitors.

Their strange-sounding title "Naaseni"--"Followers of the Naas" (the only way in which the Greek, from its want of aspirate letters, could write the Hebrew Nachash, "Serpent")was literally rendered by "Ophites," the name which has ever since served to designate them. They first assumed a definite existence about the same time as the Basilidans, in the middle of the second century, although the elements of the doctrine are derived from a source much more remote. That source was the secret doctrines taught in the various Pagan Mysteries; and likewise certain philosophic theories of the Greeks, although certainly not to the same extent as the learned Hippolytus labours so ingeniously to demonstrate.

In support of this statement I shall proceed to quote from the same Father some curious examples of the method in which the Naaseni pretended to recognise their own "knowledge" in the esoteric religions of antiquity. After quoting a long passage from Pindar about the conflicting theories as to the creation of the First Man * and the names given to him by different nations, the Ophite text-book continues:


p. 83

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« Reply #97 on: March 12, 2009, 01:11:43 pm »

"This was the Man brought forth by the Earth spontaneously; but he lay without breath, without motion, without stirring, like a statue; being made after the image of their Adamas above, the subject of their hymns, through the agency of several Powers, concerning each one of whom they narrate a long fable. But in order that the Man above might be obtained, 'from whom is every tribe upon the Earth, and likewise in the Heavens,' there was given unto him a soul, that through this soul the image of the Man above might suffer and be chastened in bondage. As to the nature and source of this soul sent down to animate this image, the Ophite theory is derived not from Scripture, but from the doctrine of the Mysteries. 'The Gospel according to the Egyptians' is their text-book on this point. They premise that the nature of the soul is extremely difficult to investigate by reason of its inherent changeableness, never abiding fixedly in the same place, habits, or passion: and they adopt in this particular the notions of the Assyrian mystics. It is a question with them whether the soul comes from the 'Pre-existing,' or from the 'Self-begotten One,' or from the 'Effusion of Chaos.' They adopt the Assyrian division of the soul as being both one and threefold! For all Nature longs for a soul; the soul is the efficient cause of all things that grow, are nourished and have action. For without a soul, growth and nutrition are impossible; even stones have a soul, for they possess the faculty of growth, and this faculty cannot exist without nutrition. All things therefore in Heaven or Earth, and in the Abyss, are eager after a soul. This soul the Assyrians call 'Adonis,' 'Endymion,' 'Attis'; and hence arose the fable of the love of Venus for Adonis; Venus signifying generation. The love of Proserpine for Adonis means that the soul is mortal if separated from Venus; that is, from generation. When the Moon is enamoured of Endymion, it is Nature herself desiring a more sublime soul. When the Mother of the gods emasculates her lover, Attis, it signifies the Power

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above recalling into itself the male energy of the soul. For the Man that is above is of both sexes." [On this account they most vehemently denounce all intercourse with women.] "Attis was deprived of his virility, that is, was divested of his lower, earthly, part, and then translated to the Upper World, 'where is neither male nor female, but a new creature,' the Man above, of two sexes. And to this truth not only Rhea, but all creation, beareth testimony. And to this cloth Paul refer in Romans (i. 20-27): (where they strangely pervert his expression ἀσχημοσύνη, as signifying that heavenly, sublime, felicity, that absence of all form which is the real source of every form). These same verses of Paul, according to them, contain the key to their whole system, and to their 'Mystery of Celestial Pleasure.' For the promise of 'Washing' applies to none save the man who is introduced into the eternal pleasure, 'being washed with the True Water, and anointed with the Unction that cannot be spoken.' The Phrygian Mysteries, equally with the Assyrian, teach the same great truth, when they teach the blessed nature of things past, present, and to come, hidden and yet manifested; the 'true kingdom that is within you.' To the same effect they bring forward the Gospel of Thomas, which has, 'He that seeketh shall find me amongst children from seven years downwards, for in the fourteenth generation, being hidden, I will manifest myself.' [Although in reality this is not a maxim of Christ's, but a maxim of Hippocrates. 'The boy at seven years of age is the half of his father,'--in stature.]

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« Reply #98 on: March 12, 2009, 01:11:58 pm »

"The Egyptians were, after the Phrygians, the most ancient of mankind, and the first establishers of mysteries. The Ophites explain as follows the esoteric doctrine concerning Isis, and the genital member of Osiris, lost, sought after, and enveloped by her seven times in a black (or dark blue) * vestment. Osiris is the element Water; Nature seven times enveloped in an etherial robe, that is, the seven planetary spheres, stands for Generation and Change, or Creation transformed by the ineffable, formless, imageless, incomprehensible Deity. The same is implied in the words of Scripture, 'The righteous man shall fall seven times, and shall rise again'--his


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all signifying the revolutions of the planets put in motion by the All-mover.

"They likewise discourse concerning the essence (or existence) of the 'Seed,' * the final cause of all things that exist, although itself none of them, and yet making and generating all things; or, as they themselves express it, 'I become what I will, and am what I am; therefore I say that moving all, I am myself immovable.' For it continues what it is, making all things, although itself is made nothing of all that exist. To this doctrine the Saviour's words refer, 'Why callest thou me good? One only is good, my Father which is in Heaven, who maketh the sun to shine upon the just and upon the unjust, and sendeth His rain upon the sinners and upon the righteous.' And this is the great and unknown Mystery, hidden amongst the Egyptians and yet manifested, for Osiris standeth in his temple before Isis, having his secret part exposed and pointed upwards, and crowned with all the fruits of the creation. And for this cause, the same member [the Phallus] holds the first position in the most sacred places, being shown forth unto the world, 'like a light set upon a candlestick': it is set up on the housetops, and in the streets, and for landmarks. It is a blessing acknowledged and proclaimed by all, for they call it the 'Bringer of Luck' (ἀγαθηφόρον),--not understanding what they say. This mystery the Greeks got from Egypt, and observe unto this day. For by this symbol they represent Hermes; and they entitle that god 'Logicos,' for he is the interpreter and Creator of things made, in making, and to be made; and he is represented by this his proper symbol. And that this is the Hermes, guide, companion, and author of souls, Homer hath perceived, for he saith (Od. xxiv. 1-2)--


'Cyllenian Hermes summoned forth the souls of the bold suitors,'

not meaning those of Penelope's suitors, but of us the awakened and admonished.


'From what vast happiness, what height of glory,'

we have fallen, namely, from the Primal Man, the Adamas


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that is above, into this vessel of clay, and become the servants of the Demiurgus, of Ildabaoth, the God of Fire, the Fourth in number (for by this name they call the creator of the 'World of Species,' κοσμὸς ἰδικός).

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"And he is impious in his arrogance which is in him. For he said, 'I am God and there is no other God beside me,' for he is ignorant of his strength, the place from which he had come."- Yaltabaoth
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« Reply #99 on: March 12, 2009, 01:12:13 pm »

"In his hand his wand Beauteous, all golden, by whose potency the eyes of mortals he at pleasure lulls to sleep, or rouses others from their slumber. For He is the sole author of life and death, therefore is it written, 'Thou shalt rule them with a rod of iron.' But Homer wishing to embellish the incomprehensible reality of the nature of the Logos, has given to him a rod of gold, not of iron. Some He casts into slumber, others he awakens, and makes them aware of their condition: 'Awake thou that sleepest, and rise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.' For this is the Christ that is figured within all the sons of men by the unfigured Logos. This is the great and profound mystery of the Eleusinian rites, the cry, ϒΕ ΚϒΕ, Rain! Conceive! All things are subject unto Him, for their sound is gone forth unto all lands.' And again, this is the hidden sense of Homer's


'He waved his wand, they followed with shrill cry.'

[paragraph continues] That is, the souls in a continuous line, as the poet goes on to express by the simile--


'As in the furthest depths of some vast cave,
Shrill cry the bats when one drops from their chain,
Down from the rock where fast they cling together.'

[paragraph continues] That is, the souls fallen down from the Rock above, namely from the Adamas. This is the Adamas, the chief corner-stone, 'which is made the head of the corner,' because in the head is placed the formative substance, the brain, out of which all generation proceeds. 'I will set the Adamant in the foundations of Zion' is allegorical for setting the figure of the Man (in the soul). And the text, 'This Adamas is firmly held by teeth in the wall,' is the Inner Man that is signified, the stone cut without hands,' which hath fallen down from the Adamas above into this earthly potter's vessel, this figure of forgetfulness. *


p. 87

"The souls follow Hermes, or the Logos.


'So moved they, crying, through the darksome paths;
Hermes their guide, that god devoid of ill.'

[paragraph continues] That is, he leads them to the everlasting places where no ill comes; for whither were they going?


'They passed o’er Ocean's wave and Leucas’ rock,
The Sun's bright portals, and the land of dreams.'

"This 'Ocean' signifies the generation of gods and the generation of men, ever tossing in a perpetual flow and ebb. When it runs downwards it is the generation of men; when it tosses itself upwards against its boundary, * the rock Leucas, it is the generation of gods. 'For this cause,' saith the Wise One, 'I have said ye are gods and the children of the Most Highest, when ye shall make haste to flee out of Egypt, and shall come beyond the Red Sea into the Wilderness'; that is, out of this earthly mixture (or confusion) up to the Jerusalem above, which is the mother of the living. 'But if ye return into Egypt (or, into this earthly nature) ye shall die.' 'Egypt' being the prison of the body. This is the mighty Jordan which, flowing downwards, hindered the flight of the Children of Israel; but which Jesus (i.e. Joshua) turned, and made to flow upwards."

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δημιουργός (dēmiourgós, latinized demiurgus δήμιος


« Reply #100 on: March 12, 2009, 01:12:28 pm »

"Following guides like those just cited, these very strange fellows the Gnostics (observes Hippolytus), the inventors of a new art of grammar (or, criticism), extol beyond all expression their prophet Homer, who hath foreshown these doctrines unto them: and, by seducing those ignorant of the Holy Scriptures into such-like fancies, they make fools of them in the manner described."

"Another of their maxims is that 'Whoso saith that the All cometh from One is grossly deceived; but he that saith that the All cometh from Three, hath the true key to the system of the universe. For there is one nature of the Man that is above, Adamas; one mortal here below; one without a king, the generation existing up above, where is Mariam the Sought-After, and Jothor the great and wise, and Sephora, she that


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seeth, and Moses, whose offspring is not in Egypt, for his sons were born unto him in the land of Midian. Neither hath this truth escaped Homer, for he sings--


"All things are parcelled into portions three,
And to each portion its due honour falls."

[paragraph continues] For it is necessary that the Great Ones (τὰ μεγέθη) should be expressed in words, but in such wise that "hearing men may not hear, and seeing they may not perceive." For if the Great Ones were not uttered, the world could not exist. These three most sublime names are, KAVLACAV, SAVLASAV, ZEESAR. Kavlacav is the name of the Adamas who is above; Savlasav of him who is below, mortal; Zeesar of the Jordan that floweth upwards. This is He that pervades all things, being at once male and female, named by the Greeks Geryon, as having three bodies and flowing out of the Earth: whom the Greeks also call "The Moon's celestial horn," because he has mixed and tempered all things [a play upon the similar sounding words κέρας and κρᾶσις]. "For all things were made through him, and without him nothing was made, and what was made in him is Life." This Life is the life unspeakable, the generation of the Perfect Man, unknown to former ages. The "Nothing" that was made without him is the World of Species, for that world was made without him by the Third and by the Fourth One. * This is the Cup (condy) of Joseph, "out of which the king doth drink and use divination." Of this also do the Greeks (Anacreon) sing in Bacchic frenzy,


"Bring me, boy, the draught divine;
Bring me water, bring me wine;
Make me drunk with quaffing deep,
Lull my charmed soul to sleep;
For my cup predicts to me
Of what country I shall be."
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"And he is impious in his arrogance which is in him. For he said, 'I am God and there is no other God beside me,' for he is ignorant of his strength, the place from which he had come."- Yaltabaoth
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δημιουργός (dēmiourgós, latinized demiurgus δήμιος


« Reply #101 on: March 12, 2009, 01:12:41 pm »

Here Anacreon's dumb cup utters the unspeakable mystery, for it tells him to what country he shall belong, that is, whether to the Spiritual or to the Carnal world. This also is the "Water changed into wine," at the famous wedding at Cana, when Jesus manifested the kingdom of Heaven--that kingdom which is


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hidden within every man, like the leaven sufficient for the three measures. Here likewise is the unspeakable secret of the Samothracian Mysteries, which none but we the "Perfect" are able to understand, for the Samothracians expressly mention the Adamas who is above--the Primal Man. For in the Temple of the Samothracians stand two naked men, having their hands and their genital members elevated towards heaven, * like the Hermes of Cyllene. These two statues represent the Primal Man, and the Spiritual Man after he is "born again, and made like unto Him every whit."'

"This is the true sense of the Saviour's words, 'Unless ye eat my flesh and drink my blood, ye cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven'; and 'Though ye shall drink of the cup that I drink of, whither I go ye shall not be able to enter.' For He knew the nature of His disciples, and that every one must abide in his own nature. For out of the Twelve Tribes he chose the Twelve Disciples; for which cause not all who heard their teaching received or understood the same; for that which is not according to Nature is contrary to Nature. Him (Adamas) do the Phrygians name 'Corybas,' for he descends from the Head (cory) who is above, the Supernal Brain; and permeates the All in a manner incomprehensible. And, as the Prophet hath it, 'Ye have heard his voice, but ye have not beheld his form'; that is, the Image coming down from the Formless One above no one knows, for it is hidden within an earthen vessel. This is as the Psalmist hath it: 'The God dwelling in the great


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flood, and crying aloud out of the waters of the sea'; that is, He cries aloud out of the multiform confusion (or, medley) of things mortal unto the Formless One who is above, 'Save my First-born from the lions.' [And in the same sense do they interpret all the similes concerning 'waterfloods,' and the promises of the Deity's never forgetting His chosen people.]

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"And he is impious in his arrogance which is in him. For he said, 'I am God and there is no other God beside me,' for he is ignorant of his strength, the place from which he had come."- Yaltabaoth
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« Reply #102 on: March 12, 2009, 01:12:53 pm »

"The Ascension or Regeneration, that is, the conversion of the Carnal Man into the Spiritual, is thus explained by means of a curious perversion of words taken from different Psalms: 'Lift up your heads, ye everlasting gates, that the King of Glory may come in. Who is this King of Glory? The very scorn of men, and the outcast of the people, He is the King of Glory, mighty in battle.' Battle signifies the war in your members ever being waged within this earthly creature made up of conflicting elements. This is the gate seen by Jacob as he was journeying into Mesopotamia; that is, the young man growing up out of the boy, and Mesopotamia signifies the stream of the Great Ocean which flows out of the middle of the Perfect Man. The same deity is called by the Phrygians PAPA, because He appeased the confusion and chaotic tumult which prevailed before His coming. For this name is the unanimous cry παῦε, παῦε, * of all things in Heaven, in Earth, and under the Earth, calling upon Him to appease the discord, and to 'send peace to men that were afar off'--that is, to the earthly and mortal--'and to them that were near' that is, to the spiritual and perfect. He is likewise called 'dead' by the Phrygians, inasmuch as he is buried within the tomb of the body; to which circumstance also apply the words, 'Ye are whited sepulchres, full of dead men's bones and all manner of uncleanness; because the Living Man doth not dwell within you.'

"'The dead shall rise from their graves' signifies that the Earthly Man shall be born again spiritual. Unless they pass


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through this 'Gate' all continue dead, but him that hath passed through the Phrygians call a god, for he becomes a god, having passed through the Gate into Heaven. Paul means the same by his 'being caught up into the third heaven, and hearing unutterable things.' Again, 'the publicans and harlots shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven before you,' where publicans means the Gentiles 'upon whom the ends of the world have come'; * where 'ends' are the seeds of the universe scattered about by the Formless One, as is set forth by the Saviour, 'He that hath ears to hear, let him hear,' declaring that none but the perfect Gnostics can comprehend this mystery.

"Those beloved by the Formless One are Pearls in this vessel of clay; and to them refers the precept, 'Cast not that which is holy to the dogs; neither throw your pearls before swine;' meaning sexual intercourse with women--an act fit only for dogs and swine. He is also called Αἰπόλος by the Phrygians, not because he really kept flocks, as the profane fancy, but because he is ὁ αἰεὶ πολῶν, 'he that ever turns' the universe in its due revolutions, whence the phrase, the 'poles' of heaven. And Homer (Od. iv. 384-85) says--


'Here turns about the truthful sea-god old,
Immortal Proteus by the Egyptians called.'
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"And he is impious in his arrogance which is in him. For he said, 'I am God and there is no other God beside me,' for he is ignorant of his strength, the place from which he had come."- Yaltabaoth
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δημιουργός (dēmiourgós, latinized demiurgus δήμιος


« Reply #103 on: March 12, 2009, 01:13:08 pm »

"He is likewise styled 'Fruitful,' because 'the children of the widow shall be more than those of her that hath a husband;' that is, the spiritual who are born again, being immortal, are in number more (though but few of them are born into this life) than the carnal, who, in spite of their present multitude, do all perish utterly at last.

"The knowledge of the Perfect Man is very deep, and hard to be attained to. 'The beginning of perfection is the knowledge of man, but absolute perfection is the knowledge of God.' He (Adamas) is designated by the Phrygians as, the 'Green Wheat-ear cut off'; on this account, at the Eleusinian rites, the initiated hold up in silence to the Directors the wondrous mystery, the green ear of wheat. This wheat-ear is the Perfect Son descended from the Adamas above, the Great Giver


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of light, like the Hierophant himself. This latter is not actually castrated like Attis, but emasculated by the use of hemlock, so that he despises all carnal pleasure; and whilst celebrating the mysteries amidst blazing torches, he cries aloud, 'The holy Brimo hath borne a sacred son, Brimos'--alluding to the Spiritual Birth. The rites are therefore named 'Eleusinian' and 'Anactorian,' from the Greek words signifying Coming and Ascending. This is what the initiated themselves declare concerning the mysteries of Proserpine; and of the road leading the defunct down to her the poet (Amphis) hath--


'But underneath her lies a rugged path,
Hollow and muddy, yet the best to lead
Down to the lovely groves of precious Venus.'

"These are the Lesser Mysteries, of earthly origin, 'in which men ought to rest themselves for a while, and then proceed to the Greater Mysteries,' that is, to heavenly regeneration.

"The Father of the All is furthermore called by the Phrygians 'Amygdalus,' the Almond Tree; not meaning the natural tree, but the Pre-existing One, who, having within himself the Perfect Fruit pulsating and moving about in his depths, tore open (διήμυξε) his bosom, and brought forth the Invisible, Ineffable Son, of whom we are treating. * He is moreover denominated the 'Piper,' because that which is born is the harmonious Spirit [or, breath, the Greek affording no distinction between the two senses of the word.] The Spirit is likewise called the Father, and the Son begotten by the Father; for the worship of the Perfect is not carnal, but spiritual: therefore, 'Neither in Jerusalem nor in this mountain shall ye worship any more.

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"And he is impious in his arrogance which is in him. For he said, 'I am God and there is no other God beside me,' for he is ignorant of his strength, the place from which he had come."- Yaltabaoth
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δημιουργός (dēmiourgós, latinized demiurgus δήμιος


« Reply #104 on: March 12, 2009, 01:13:20 pm »

"This is the mystery of the Incomprehensible One, furnished with innumerable eyes, whom all Nature longeth after in different ways. [Perhaps an allusion to the Brahminical figure of Indra, god of the heavens.] This is the 'Word of God,' that is, the


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word of the declaration of his great power: 'Wherefore it shall be sealed up, and veiled, and hidden, lying in the dwelling-place, where is established the Root of all the Æons, Powers, thoughts [Platonic Ideas], gods, angels, spirit-messengers that are, that are not, begotten, unbegotten, comprehensible, incomprehensible, of the years, months, days, hours, moments, whence Time begins to grow and increase by particles. For a moment (or geometrical point), itself being nothing, made of nothing, indivisible, grows by accretion into a magnitude incomprehensible.' This is the Kingdom of Heaven, the grain of mustard seed, the Indivisible Point existing within every one, but only known unto the Spiritual Man.

"'There is neither speech nor language, but their voices are heard amongst them,' signifies that whatever men say or do, has all a spiritual meaning to the Perfect; even the actors in the theatre utter nothing without the intervention of the Deity. For when the audience are seated, and the actor comes upon the stage, clad in a gorgeous robe and twanging his lyre, he sings thus a great mystery without knowing what he says--'Whether thou be the offspring of Saturn, or of blessed Jove, or of the mighty Rhea, hail! Thee Assyrians call the thrice-desired Adamas; whilst Egypt styles Thee Osiris; the Greeks in their wisdom (esoteric knowledge) the Moon's Holy Horn; the Samothracians, the venerable Adamnas; the Hæmonians, Corybas; the Phrygians, at one time, Papa, the Dead One; at another, the God, or the Barren One, or the Green Wheat-ear cut off; or him whom the fruitful Almond Tree poses the man playing on the pipe.' He is the multiform Attis, whom they thus describe in their hymns: 'I will sing of Attis, the favourite of Rhea, with the clashing of cymbals, the bellowing of the Idæan pipe of the Curetes, and will intermingle the sound of Phœbus’ lyre. Evoe! Evau! Thou that art like unto Pan, unto Bacchus, thou Shepherd of the white stars!'

"For these" (adds Hippolytus) "and other such like reasons, these Ophites frequent the Mysteries of the Great Mother, fancying that by means of what is done there they can see through the whole secret. But in reality they have not the least advantage over other people, except that they are not

p. 94

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"And he is impious in his arrogance which is in him. For he said, 'I am God and there is no other God beside me,' for he is ignorant of his strength, the place from which he had come."- Yaltabaoth
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