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Demiurge

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Demiurge
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δημιουργός (dēmiourgós, latinized demiurgus δήμιος


« on: January 30, 2015, 12:28:44 am »

Demiurge


In the Platonic, Neopythagorean, Middle Platonic, and Neoplatonic schools of philosophy, the demiurge (/ˈdɛmiˌɜrdʒ/) is an artisan-like figure responsible for the fashioning and maintenance of the physical universe. The term was subsequently adopted by the Gnostics. Although a fashioner, the demiurge is not necessarily the same as the creator figure in the familiar monotheistic sense, because both the demiurge itself plus the material from which the demiurge fashions the universe are considered either uncreated and eternal, or the product of some other being, depending on the system.

The word "demiurge" is an English word from a Latinized form of the Greek δημιουργός, dēmiourgos, literally "public worker", and which was originally a common noun meaning "craftsman" or "artisan", but gradually it came to mean "producer" and eventually "creator". The philosophical usage and the proper noun derive from Plato's Timaeus, written c. 360 BC, in which the demiurge is presented as the creator of the universe. This is accordingly the definition of the demiurge in the Platonic (c. 310–90 BC) and Middle Platonic (c. 90 BC – 300 AD) philosophical traditions. In the various branches of the Neoplatonic school (third century onwards), the demiurge is the fashioner of the real, perceptible world after the model of the Ideas, but (in most Neoplatonic systems) is still not itself "the One". In the arch-dualist ideology of the various Gnostic systems, the material universe is evil, while the non-material world is good. Accordingly, the demiurge is malevolent, as linked to the material world.
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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 #1 on: January 30, 2015, 12:29:06 am »

Platonism and Neoplatonism

Plato, as the speaker Timaeus, refers to the Demiurge frequently in the Socratic dialogue Timaeus, c. 360 BC. The main character refers to the Demiurge as the entity who "fashioned and shaped" the material world. Timaeus describes the Demiurge as unreservedly benevolent, and hence desirous of a world as good as possible. The world remains imperfect, however, because the Demiurge created the world out of a chaotic, indeterminate non-being. Plato's work Timaeus is a philosophical reconciliation of Hesiod's cosmology in his Theogony, syncretically reconciling Hesiod to Homer.[1][2][3]
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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 #2 on: January 30, 2015, 12:29:13 am »

Middle Platonism

In Numenius's Neo-Pythagorean and Middle Platonist cosmogony, the Demiurge is second God as the nous or thought of intelligibles and sensibles.[4]
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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 #3 on: January 30, 2015, 12:29:26 am »

Neoplatonism

Plotinus and the later Platonists worked to clarify the Demiurge. To Plotinus, the second emanation represents an uncreated second cause (see Pythagoras' Dyad). Plotinus sought to reconcile Aristotle's energeia with Plato's Demiurge,[5] which, as Demiurge and mind (nous), is a critical component in the ontological construct of human consciousness used to explain and clarify substance theory within Platonic realism (also called idealism). In order to reconcile Aristotelian with Platonian philosophy,[5] Plotinus metaphorically identified the demiurge (or nous) within the pantheon of the Greek Gods as Zeus (Dyeus).[6]
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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 #4 on: January 30, 2015, 12:29:44 am »

Henology

The first and highest aspect of God is described by Plato as the One, the source, or the Monad. This is the Good above the Demiurge, and manifests through the work of the Demiurge. The Monad emanated the demiurge or Nous (consciousness) from its "indeterminate" vitality due to the monad being so abundant that it overflowed back onto itself, causing self-reflection.[7] This self-reflection of the indeterminate vitality was referred to by Plotinus as the "Demiurge" or creator. The second principle is organization in its reflection of the nonsentient force or dynamis, also called the one or the Monad. The dyad is energeia emanated by the one that is then the work, process or activity called nous, Demiurge, mind, consciousness that organizes the indeterminate vitality into the experience called the material world, universe, cosmos. Plotinus also elucidates the equation of matter with nothing or non-being in his Enneads[8] which more correctly is to express the concept of idealism or that there is not anything or anywhere outside of the "mind" or nous (c.f. pantheism).

Plotinus' form of Platonic idealism is to treat the Demiurge, nous as the contemplative faculty (ergon) within man which orders the force (dynamis) into conscious reality.[9] In this he claimed to reveal Plato's true meaning, a doctrine he learned from Platonic tradition that did not appear outside the academy or in Plato's text. This tradition of creator God as nous (the manifestation of consciousness), can be validated in the works of pre-Plotinus philosophers such as Numenius, as well as a connection between Hebrew and Platonic cosmology (see also Philo).[10]

The Demiurge of Neoplatonism is the Nous (mind of God), and is one of the three ordering principles:

    Arche (Gr. "beginning") - the source of all things,
    Logos (Gr. "word") - the underlying order that is hidden beneath appearances,
    Harmonia (Gr. "harmony") - numerical ratios in mathematics.

Before Numenius of Apamea and Plotinus' Enneads, no Platonic works ontologically clarified the Demiurge from the allegory in Plato's Timaeus. The idea of Demiurge was, however, addressed before Plotinus in the works of Christian writer Justin Martyr who built his understanding of the Demiurge on the works of Numenius.
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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 #5 on: January 30, 2015, 12:30:09 am »

Iamblichus
See also: Panentheism

Later, the Neoplatonist Iamblichus changed the role of the "One", effectively altering the role of the Demiurge as second cause or dyad, which was one of the reasons that Iamblichus and his teacher Porphyry came into conflict.

The figure of the Demiurge emerges in the theoretic of Iamblichus, which conjoins the transcendent, incommunicable “One,” or Source. Here, at the summit of this system, the Source and Demiurge (material realm) coexist via the process of henosis.[11] Iamblichus describes the One as a monad whose first principle or emanation is intellect (nous), while among "the many" that follow it there's a second, super-existent "One" that is the producer of intellect or soul (psyche).

The "One" is further separated into spheres of intelligence; the first and superior sphere is objects of thought, while the latter sphere is the domain of thought. Thus, a triad is formed of the intelligible nous, the intellective nous, and the psyche in order to reconcile further the various Hellenistic philosophical schools of Aristotle's actus and potentia of the unmoved mover and Plato's Demiurge.

Then within this intellectual triad Iamblichus assigns the third rank to the Demiurge, identifying it with the perfect or Divine nous with the intellectual triad being promoted to a hebdomad (pure intellect).

In the theoretic of Plotinus, nous produces nature through intellectual mediation, thus the intellectualizing gods are followed with a triad of psychic gods.
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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 #6 on: January 30, 2015, 12:30:23 am »

Gnosticism

Gnosticism presents a distinction between the highest, unknowable God and the demiurgic “creator” of the material. Several systems of Gnostic thought present the Demiurge as antagonistic to the will of the Supreme Being: his act of creation occurs in unconscious semblance of the divine model, and thus is fundamentally flawed, or else is formed with the malevolent intention of entrapping aspects of the divine in materiality. Thus, in such systems, the Demiurge acts as a solution to (or, at least possibly, the problem or cause that gives rise to)[citation needed] the problem of evil.

In some forms of Christian Gnosticism, the Demiurge is the "jealous God" of the Old Testament
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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 #7 on: January 30, 2015, 12:30:49 am »

Mythos

One Gnostic mythos describes the declination of aspects of the divine into human form. Sophia (Greek: Σοφία, lit. “wisdom”), the Demiurge’s mother a partial aspect of the divine Pleroma or “Fullness,” desired to create something apart from the divine totality, without the receipt of divine assent. In this act of separate creation, she gave birth to the monstrous Demiurge and, being ashamed of her deed, wrapped him in a cloud and created a throne for him to be within it. The Demiurge, isolated, did not behold his mother, nor anyone else, concluded that only he himself existed, being ignorant of the superior levels of reality.

The Demiurge, having received a portion of power from his mother, sets about a work of creation in unconscious imitation of the superior Pleromatic realm: He frames the seven heavens, as well as all material and animal things, according to forms furnished by his mother; working however blindly, and ignorant even of the existence of the mother who is the source of all his energy. He is blind to all that is spiritual, but he is king over the other two provinces. The word dēmiourgos properly describes his relation to the material; he is the father of that which is animal like himself.[12]

Thus Sophia’s power becomes enclosed within the material forms of humanity, themselves entrapped within the material universe: the goal of Gnostic movements was typically the awakening of this spark, which permitted a return by the subject to the superior, non-material realities which were its primal source.
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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 #8 on: January 30, 2015, 12:31:01 am »

Angels

Psalms 82:1 describes a plurality of gods (ʼelōhim), which an older version in the Septuagint calls the “assembly of the gods”, although it does not indicate that these gods were co-actors in creation. Philo had inferred from the expression, "Let us make man," of Genesis that God had used other beings as assistants in the creation of man, and he explains in this way why man is capable of vice as well as virtue, ascribing the origin of the latter to God, of the former to His helpers in the work of creation.[13]

The earliest Gnostic sects ascribe the work of creation to angels, some of them using the same passage in Genesis.[14] So Irenaeus tells[15] of the system of Simon Magus,[16] of the system of Menander,[17] of the system of Saturninus, in which the number of these angels is reckoned as seven, and[18] of the system of Carpocrates. In the report of the system of Basilides,[19] we are told that our world was made by the angels who occupy the lowest heaven; but special mention is made of their chief, who is said to have been the God of the Jews, to have led that people out of the land of Egypt, and to have given them their law. The prophecies are ascribed not to the chief but to the other world-making angels.

The Latin translation, confirmed by Hippolytus,[20] makes Irenaeus state that according to Cerinthus (who shows Ebionite influence), creation was made by a power quite separate from the Supreme God and ignorant of Him. Theodoret,[21] who here copies Irenaeus, turns this into the plural number “powers,” and so Epiphanius[22] represents Cerinthus as agreeing with Carpocrates in the doctrine that the world was made by angels.
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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 #9 on: January 30, 2015, 12:31:19 am »

Yaldabaoth
A lion-faced deity found on a Gnostic gem in Bernard de Montfaucon’s L’antiquité expliquée et représentée en figures may be a depiction of the Demiurge.

In the Ophite and Sethian systems, which have many affinities with that last mentioned, the making of the world is ascribed to a company of seven archons, whose names are given, but their chief, “Yaldabaoth” (also known as "Yaltabaoth" or "Ialdabaoth") comes into still greater prominence.

In the Apocryphon of John c. 120-180 AD, the Demiurge arrogantly declares that he has made the world by himself:

    Now the archon (ruler) who is weak has three names. The first name is Yaltabaoth, the second is Saklas (“fool”), and the third is Samael. 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.[23]

He is Demiurge and maker of man, but as a ray of light from above enters the body of man and gives him a soul, Yaldabaoth is filled with envy; he tries to limit man's knowledge by forbidding him the fruit of knowledge in paradise. At the consummation of all things all light will return to the Pleroma. But Yaldabaoth, the Demiurge, with the material world, will be cast into the lower depths.

Yaldabaoth is frequently called "the Lion-faced", leontoeides, with the body of a serpent. We are told also[24] that the Demiurge is of a fiery nature, the words of Moses being applied to him, “the Lord our God is a burning and consuming fire,” a text which Hippolytus claims was also used by Simon.[25]

In Pistis Sophia Yaldabaoth has already sunk from his high estate and resides in Chaos, where, with his forty-nine demons, he tortures wicked souls in boiling rivers of pitch, and with other punishments (pp. 257, 382). He is an archon with the face of a lion, half flame and half darkness.

Under the name of Nebro (rebel), Yaldabaoth is called an angel in the apocryphal Gospel of Judas. He is first mentioned in “The Cosmos, Chaos, and the Underworld” as one of the twelve angels to come “into being [to] rule over chaos and the [underworld]”. He comes from heaven, his “face flashed with fire and whose appearance was defiled with blood”. Nebro creates six angels in addition to the angel Saklas to be his assistants. These six in turn create another twelve angels “with each one receiving a portion in the heavens.”
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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 #10 on: January 30, 2015, 12:31:44 am »

Names
Drawing of the leontocephaline found at the Mithraeum of C. Valerius Heracles and sons, dedicated 190 AD at Ostia Antica, Italy (CIMRM 312).

The most probable derivation of the name “Yaldabaoth” was that given by Johann Karl Ludwig Gieseler, “Son of Chaos,” from Hebrew yalda bahut, ילדא בהות. However, Gilles Quispel notes:

    Gershom Scholem, the third genius in this field, more specifically the genius of precision, has taught us that some of us were wrong when they believed that Jaldabaoth means “son of chaos”, because the Aramaic word bahutha in the sense of chaos only existed in the imagination of the author of a well-known dictionary. This is a pity because this name would suit the demiurge risen from chaos to a nicety. And perhaps the author of the Untitled Document did not know Aramaic and also supposed as we did once, that baoth had something to do with tohuwabohu, one of the few Hebrew words that everybody knows. . . . It would seem then that the Orphic view of the demiurge was integrated into Jewish Gnosticism even before the redaction of the myth contained in the original Apocryphon of John. . . . Phanes is represented with the mask of a lion’s head on his breast, while from his sides the heads of a ram and a buck are budding forth: his body is encircled by a snake. This type was accepted by the Mithras mysteries, to indicate Aion, the new year, and Mithras, whose numerical value is 365. Sometimes he is also identified with Jao Adonai, the creator of the Hebrews. His hieratic attitude indicates Egyptian origin. The same is true of the monstrous figure with the head of a lion, which symbolises Time, Chronos, in Mithraism; Alexandrian origin of this type is probable.[26]

“Samael” literally means “Blind God” or “God of the Blind” in Aramaic (Syriac sæmʻa-ʼel). This being is considered not only blind, or ignorant of its own origins, but may in addition be evil; its name is also found in Judaica as the Angel of Death and in Christian demonology. This leads to a further comparison with Satan. Another alternative title for the Demiurge, “Saklas,” is Aramaic for “fool” (Syriac sækla “the foolish one”).

The angelic name "Ariel" (meaning "the lion of God" in Hebrew)[27] has also been used to refer to the Demiurge, and is called his "perfect" name;[28] in some Gnostic lore, Ariel has been called an ancient or original name for Ialdabaoth.[29] The name has also been inscribed on amulets as "Ariel Ialdabaoth",[30][31] and the figure of the archon inscribed with "Aariel".[32]
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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 #11 on: January 30, 2015, 12:31:59 am »

Marcion

According to Marcion, the title God was given to the Demiurge, who was to be sharply distinguished from the higher Good God. The former was díkaios, severely just, the latter agathós, or loving-kind; the former was the "god of this world" (2 Corinthians 4:4), the God of the Old Testament, the latter the true God of the New Testament. Christ, though in reality the Son of the Good God, pretended to be the Messiah of the Demiurge, the better to spread the truth concerning His heavenly Father. The true believer in Christ entered into God's kingdom, the unbeliever remained forever the slave of the Demiurge.
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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 #12 on: January 30, 2015, 12:32:15 am »

Valentinus

It is in the system of Valentinus that the name Dēmiourgos is used, which occurs nowhere in Irenaeus except in connection with the Valentinian system; we may reasonably conclude that it was Valentinus who adopted from Platonism the use of this word. When it is employed by other Gnostics either it is not used in a technical sense, or its use has been borrowed from Valentinus. But it is only the name that can be said to be specially Valentinian; the personage intended by it corresponds more or less closely with the Yaldabaoth of the Ophites, the great Archon of Basilides, the Elohim of Justinus, etc.

The Valentinian theory elaborates that from Achamoth (he káta sophía or lower wisdom) three kinds of substance take their origin, the spiritual (pneumatikoí), the animal (psychikoí) and the material (hylikoí). The Demiurge belongs to the second kind, as he was the offspring of a union of Achamoth with matter.[33] And as Achamoth herself was only the daughter of Sophía the last of the thirty Aeons, the Demiurge was distant by many emanations from the Propatôr, or Supreme God.

In creating this world out of Chaos the Demiurge was unconsciously influenced for good; and the universe, to the surprise even of its Maker, became almost perfect. The Demiurge regretted even its slight imperfection, and as he thought himself the Supreme God, he attempted to remedy this by sending a Messiah. To this Messiah, however, was actually united Jesus the Saviour, Who redeemed men. These are either hylikoí, or pneumatikoí.

The first, or material men, will return to the grossness of matter and finally be consumed by fire; the second, or animal men, together with the Demiurge, will enter a middle state, neither Pleroma nor hyle; the purely spiritual men will be completely freed from the influence of the Demiurge and together with the Saviour and Achamoth, his spouse, will enter the Pleroma divested of body (hyle) and soul (psyché).[34] In this most common form of Gnosticism the Demiurge had an inferior though not intrinsically evil function in the universe as the head of the animal, or psychic world.
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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 #13 on: January 30, 2015, 12:32:42 am »

The devil

Opinions on the devil, and his relationship to the Demiurge, varied. The Ophites held that he and his demons constantly oppose and thwart the human race, as it was on their account the devil was cast down into this world.[35] According to one variant of the Valentinian system, the Demiurge is besides the maker, out of the appropriate substance, of an order of spiritual beings, the devil, the prince of this world, and his angels. But the devil, as being a spirit of wickedness, is able to recognise the higher spiritual world, of which his maker the Demiurge, who is only animal, has no knowledge. The devil resides in this lower world, of which he is the prince, the Demiurge in the heavens; his mother Sophia in the middle region, above the heavens and below the Pleroma.[36]

The Valentinian Heracleon[37] interpreted the devil as the principle of evil, that of hyle (matter). As he writes in his commentary on John 4:21,

    The mountain represents the Devil, or his world, since the Devil was one part of the whole of matter, but the world is the total mountain of evil, a deserted dwelling place of beasts, to which all who lived before the law and all Gentiles render worship. But Jerusalem represents the creation or the Creator whom the Jews worship. . . . You then who are spiritual should worship neither the creation nor the Craftsman, but the Father of Truth.

This vilification of the creator was held to be inimical to Christianity by the early fathers of the church. In refuting the beliefs of the gnostics, Irenaeus stated that "Plato is proved to be more religious than these men, for he allowed that the same God was both just and good, having power over all things, and himself executing judgment."[38]
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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 #14 on: January 30, 2015, 12:33:02 am »

Cathars

Catharism apparently inherited their idea of Satan as the creator of the evil world from Gnosticism. Quispel writes,

    There is a direct link between ancient Gnosticism and Catharism. The Cathars held that the creator of the world, Satanael, had usurped the name of God, but that he had subsequently been unmasked and told that he was not really God.[39]
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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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