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' Live Your Truth: Do Not Seek or Do Not Take Advantage of Each Other;
Always Seek Mutual Consent with One Another ...
 '

' In This World only Counts: The ' True Good Will ', The Good Karma;
and it Will carry the fruits of its works to the next life ... '

The union of a Soul with Spirit, in a Form ( flesh ); produces Consciousness ( The Son aspect ).

Esoteric Christianity as it appears before and after 5th century AD; NON Biblical writings!

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My Pleroma-Universe
   
 

A GLOSSARY OF GNOSTIC TERMS

Compiled by
LAURENCE CARUANA
Author of
THE HIDDEN PASSION

SECTION
A - F

 
  - The Gnostic Glossary is divided into FOUR sections.
- To access entries, click on a term (Garment) or section heading (G - L).
- For consistency and easy comparison, certain standard terms have been used in the explanations
  (and inserted in parentheses in the quotations). These standard terms are:

             - The One - for God, Father, Parent, Root etc.
             - The saviour - for the Son, Christ, Word, Autogenes, Seth etc.
             - Sophia - for Wisdom, Achamoth, Pistis etc.
             - The Elect - for the Gnostics, Pneumatics, Chosen ones, sons of Seth etc.

- All quotations are from the standard translations of the Nag Hammadi texts, unless otherwise noted.
- All square and pointed brackets (which indicate lacuna and corrected omissions in the standard translations) have been removed.
- Parentheses are used for the addition of standard terms.
- Only the title of the text is given as a reference. On some occasions, the standard page and line numbers are added.
- The source of the quotation may be found by copying it and doing an on-line search at the Nag Hammadi Library complements of Gnosis.org.

 
 
  A - F G - L M - R S - Z  
  -------- A --------

- ACHAMOTH
- ADAM AND EVE
- ADAMAS
- AEONS (UPPER, LOWER)
- ALIEN - See STRANGER
- THE ALL
- ANDROGYNE
- ANGELS
- ANGELIC ORDERS
- ANIMALS
- ANOINT - See CHRISM
- ANTHROPOS
- APOCALYPSE
- APOCRYPHON
- ARCHONS
- (TO GO) ASTRAY
- AUTOGENES - See BEGET
-------- B --------
- BAPTISM
- BARBELO
- BEAST - See ANIMALS
- BEGET
- BITTER
- BLIND
- BODY
- BONDS
- BOOK OF THE LIVING
- BRIDAL CHAMBER

-------- C --------

- THE CALL
- CAVE
- CHRISM
- CONSENT
- CONSORT
- CONSUMMATION OF THE AGE - See RESOLUTION
- COUNTERFEIT
- COUNTERFEIT SPIRIT
- CROWN

-------- D --------

- DEFICIENCY
- DESIRE
- DISCIPLES
- DOUBLE-MINDEDNESS
- DRUNK
- TO DYE

-------- E --------

- THE ELECT
- END OF TIME - See RESOLUTION
- ENNOIA (Thought)
- EPINOIA (After-thought)
- EUCHARIST
- EXISTENCE

-------- F --------

- FACE
- FATE (Heimarmene)
- FIRE
- FIVE SEALS
- FOG
- FOREIGNER - See STRANGER
- FORM - See IMAGE
- FOUR LIGHTS
- FRAGRANCE
- FRUIT
- FULLNESS - See AEONS, PLEROMA

 
-------- G --------

- GARMENT (OF LIGHT)
- GOD-WRITTEN BOOKS
- GOSPEL
- GRACE

-------- H --------

- HELL
- HOLY SPIRIT - See SPIRIT

-------- I --------

- IGNORANCE
- IMAGE
- INSIDE / OUTSIDE
- INVISIBLE SPIRIT - See SPIRIT

-------- J --------

- JARS

-------- K --------

- KINGDOM - See AEONS
- KISS

-------- L --------

- LANGUAGE
- LISTEN
- LOVE
- LOWER AEONS - See AEONS
-------- M --------

- MALE AND FEMALE
- MARRIAGE - See BRIDAL CHAMBER
- THE MIDDLE
- MOUNTAIN

-------- N --------

- NAKED - See GARMENT
- NAMES
- NARROW AND BROAD
- NOREA

-------- O --------

- OREA - See NOREA

-------- P --------

- PAROUSIAS
- PEARL
- PERFECT
- PLEROMA
- PNEUMA - See SPIRIT
- PRE-EXISTENCE
- PRISON
- PRONOIA (Fore-thought)
- PROSTITUTION
- PROTONOIA (First Thought)
- PUT ON - See GARMENT

-------- Q --------

- Q-LIST

-------- R --------

- RANSOM
- REDEMPTION
- REFLECT
- REPENTENCE
- RESOLUTION
- REST
- THREE TYPES OF HUMANS
- RESTITUTION - See RESOLUTION
- RESTORATION - See RESOLUTION

------------------------

- RESURRECTION
- RIGHT AND LEFT
- ROOT
- RUBBING
SECTION S - Z
IS PRESENTLY
UNDER CONSTRUCTION

-------- S --------

- SAVIOUR
- SEAL
- SECRET
- SEED
- SETH
- SEXUAL INTERCOURSE
- SILENCE
- SIMILARITY AND DIFFERENCE
- SOPHIA
- SLAVE
- SLEEP
- SMALL AND LARGE
- SOUL
- SPARK See SPIRIT
- SPIRIT
- TO STAND (AT REST)
- SRANGER
- SUBSTITUTION
- SWEET
- SYZYSGY - See CONSORT, ANDROGYNE

-------- T --------

- TEARS
- THREE TIMES - See THRICE
- THREE TYPES OF HUMANS
- THRICE
- TREASURE HOUSE - See AEONS
- TRINITY
- TRIPLE - See THRICE
- TWIN
- TYPE - See IMAGE

------ U V W ------

- UPPER AEONS - See AEONS
- VEIL
- VIRGIN
- WATER

------- XYZ -------

- YALTABAOTH
 
 
- ACHAMOTH
- In Valentinian Gnosticism, there is an Upper and Lower Sophia (Wisdom). See SOPHIA.
- The Lower Sophia is called Achamoth.
- According to The First Apocalypse of James, Achamoth’s mother is Sophia: “Sophia (...) is the mother of Achamoth.” (First Apocalypse of James)
- All beings in the Upper Aeons are androgynous angels (i.e. both male and female - see ANDROGYNE), except Achamoth, who is female from a female: “Achamoth (...) is female from a female.” (First Apocalypse of James)
- In the Valentinian system described by Ptolemy, Sophia suffered because she attempted to know the entirety of the Father. Thus, she stretched herself outward, until she finally met with ‘the Limit’ (horos) since the Father cannot be known in his entirety. Through this ‘passion’, Sophia accidentally produced ‘Desire’, which fell outside the limit. Although Sophia was restored to the upper Pleroma, ‘Desire’ became Achamoth, the Sophia fallen to the Lower Aeons.
- That Achamoth came forth from Sophia: “When the Desire of the Sophia above, also called Achamoth, had been banished from the Pleroma above, by necessity she was cast with her passion in places of Shadow and the Void.” (Ptolemy from Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses)
- That Achamoth is ‘female from female’: “Since Sophia had undertaken an impossible and unattainable task, she brought forth (...Achamoth...) a thing such as (only) a female by herself can bear.” (Ptolemy from Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses)
- According to The First Apocalypse of James, Achamoth (Sophia) produced Yaltabaoth and the Archons without intercourse from the father: “the Pre-existent One did not have intercourse with her (Achamoth), when she produced them (the Archons).” (First Apocalypse of James)
- Achamoth (Sophia) did not have the consent of her consort, Christ, when she created Yaltabaoth: “She (Achamoth) produced you without a male, since she was alone (and) in ignorance as to what lives through her mother because she thought that she alone existed.” (First Apocalypse of James)
- By creating alone, Achamoth (Sophia) produced a faulted being, Yaltabaoth, who was responsible for the material world, the Archons, and Adam and Eve. See SOPHIA.

 
 
  - ADAM AND EVE
- Although Gnostic texts provide different versions, the general outline of Adam and Eve, their creation and fall, is as follows:
1. ADAM AND EVE - AS THE ANTHROPOS. See ANTHROPOS.
- In the Upper Aeons, the One created the Anthropos in its own image, as an androgynous angel (i.e. male and female). This was the First Adam, which was spirit-endowed (pneumatic Anthropos).
- Seeing this image in the Upper Aeons, Yaltabaoth and his Archons created the Second Adam, which was soul-endowed (psychic Anthropos). Like the First Adam, the Second Adam was androgynous.
- After Yaltabaoth accidentally breathed his own spirit (pneuma) into Adam, he and his Archons tried to retrieve it. They created the Third Adam, which was flesh-endowed (hylic Anthropos).
- Although the Third Adam was also androgynous, Yaltabaoth divided it into male and female. This was the creation of Adam and Eve.
- For all of the above, see ANTHROPOS.
- For the division of the Anthropos into Adam and Eve, then their temptation and fall, see the following.
2. ADAM AND EVE - THEIR DIVISION
- In the Apocalypse of Adam, Adam explains to his son Seth that Adam and Eve ‘resembled the angels’ (i.e. that they were an androgynous angel) but then Yaltabaoth ‘divided them in wrath’, making them male and female: “Listen to my words, my son Seth. When God had created me out of the earth, along with Eve, your mother, (...) we resembled the great eternal angels, for we were higher than the god who had created us and the powers with him, whom we did not know. Then God, the ruler of the aeons and the powers (i.e. Yaltabaoth), divided us in wrath.” (Apocalypse of Adam)
- As androgynous, Adam and Eve were immortal. They became mortal when they separated: “When Eve was still with Adam, death did not exist. When she was separated from him, death came into being.” (Gospel of Philip 68:22)
- Yaltabaoth separated Eve from Adam to retrieve Sophia’s spirit (or power) which he had acquired for himself, but then lost when he accidentally breathed it into Adam. Yaltabaoth saw Sophia’s spirit (also named Epinoia) as a feminine image within Adam. Thus, the Archon created Eve to try to retrieve it. But he failed and Sophia’s spirit remained in Eve.
- In the Apocryphon of John, Sophia’s spirit is called Epinoia: “Then the Epinoia of the light hid herself in him (Adam). And the chief archon wanted to bring her out of his rib (...) And he (Yaltabaoth) made another creature, in the form of a woman, according to the likeness of the Epinoia which had appeared to him.” (Apocryphon of John). See EPINOIA.
- Yaltabaoth failed: “But the Epinoia of the light cannot be grasped. Although darkness pursued her, it did not catch her.” (Apocryphon of John)
- Through Sophia’s spirit (or Epinoia), Eve awakened Adam: “And he (Adam) saw the woman beside him. And in that moment the luminous Epinoia appeared, and she lifted the veil which lay over his mind. And he became sober from the drunkenness of darkness.” (Apocryphon of John)
- In Hypostasis of the Archons, Eve was also created out of Adam. But Adam then returned to his second state (as the Second Adam, which was soul-endowed) while Eve became the spirit-endowed being. Due to the spirit in her, Eve awakened Adam: “They (the Archons) opened his side like a living woman. And they built up his side with some flesh in place of her, and Adam came to be endowed only with soul. And the spirit-endowed woman came to him and spoke with him, saying, ‘Arise, Adam.’” (Hypostasis of the Archons)
- The spirit-endowed Eve reminded Adam of their original state: that they were once united as an androgynous angel: “She lifted the veil which lay over his mind. And he became sober from the drunkenness of darkness. And he recognized his counter-image.” i.e. he knew her to be his syzygy or consort. (Apocryphon of John)
- In Hypostasis of the Archons, Eve also does this by revealing herself to Adam as his female counterpart: “Then the authorities came up to their Adam. And when they saw his female counterpart speaking with him, they became agitated.” (Hypostasis of the Archons)
- For Christ and Sophia’s restoration of the divided Adam and Eve (and their descendents) into their androgynous angel, see CONSENT and CONSORT.
3. ADAM AND EVE - THE TEMPTATION
- Yaltabaoth then placed Adam and Eve before the two trees in paradise. He exhorted them to eat from the Tree of Life, since “The root of this (tree) is bitter and its branches are death, its shadow is hate and deception is in its leaves.” (Apocryphon of John)
- But, Yaltabaoth forbid them to eat from the Tree of Knowledge.
- In the Apocryphon of John, the Tree of Knowledge has Sophia’s spirit (Epinoia) in its fruit. And so, Christ descends in the form of an eagle and bids them to eat from it: “Sophia (is) she who came down in innocence in order to rectify her deficiency. (...) And through her they (Adam and Eve) have tasted the perfect knowledge. I (Christ) appeared in the form of an eagle on the tree of knowledge, which is the Epinoia from the foreknowledge of the pure light, that I might teach them and awaken them out of the depth of sleep. For they were both in a fallen state, and they recognized their nakedness.” (Apocryphon of John)
- Naked in this context means ‘naked of imperfection’: “And when they (the Archons) recognized that he (Adam) was luminous, and that he could think better than they, and that he was free from wickedness (or ‘naked of imperfection’ - Bentley translation), they took him and threw him into the lowest region of all matter.” (Apocryphon of John) See GARMENT.
- In Hypostasis of the Archons, Adam and Eve eat from the Tree of Knowledge, but they are taught to do so by the snake, who is positively identified as ‘the instructor’: “Then the female spiritual principle came in the snake, the instructor; and it taught them (to eat of the tree...). And the carnal woman took from the tree and ate; and she gave to her husband as well as herself; and these beings that possessed only a soul, ate. And their imperfection became apparent in their lack of knowledge; and they recognized that they were naked...” (Hypostastis of the Archons)
- Naked in this context means ‘naked of the spiritual element’: “they recognized that they were naked of the spiritual element.” See GARMENT.
4. ADAM AND EVE - THE FALL
- Because Adam and Eve recognized the cause of their imperfection, they withdrew from Yaltabaoth. In turn, he cursed them: “And when Yaltabaoth noticed that they withdrew from him, he cursed his earth. (...) And he cast them out of paradise and he clothed them in gloomy darkness.” (Apocryphon of John)
- Their fall was to forget their true origins: “He (Yaltabaoth) made them drink water of forgetfulness, from the chief archon, in order that they might not know from where they came.” (Apocryphon of John)
- In Hypostastis of the Archons, they fell into ‘distraction’: “They (the Archons) turned to their Adam and took him and expelled him from the garden along with his wife; for they have no blessing, since they too are beneath the curse. Moreover, they threw mankind into great distraction and into a life of toil, so that their mankind might be occupied by worldly affairs, and might not have the opportunity of being devoted to the holy spirit.” (Hypostastis of the Archons)
- Last of all, Adam and Eve were bound by Fate (the Heimarmene): “And bitter fate was begotten through them, which is the last of the changeable bonds. (...) For from that fate came forth every sin and injustice and blasphemy, and the chain of forgetfulness and ignorance (...). And thus the whole creation was made blind, in order that they may not know God, who is above all of them. And because of the chain of forgetfulness, their sins were hidden. For they are bound with measures and times and moments, since it (fate) is lord over everything.” (Apocryphon of John) See FATE.

 
 
  - ADAMAS
- See ANTHROPOS.
- Also called Geradamas and Pigera-Adamas.
- A word-play on the name Adam and the Greek word for steel, adamas.
- Hence, as ‘Adamas’, Adam becomes ‘the man of steel’.
- Hence also the adjective ‘adamantine’ (solid, incorruptible) given to those descended from the Adamas (i.e. the heavenly Anthropos).
- Adamas as Man of light, and adamantine: “...a crown upon their heads with twelve adamantine stones in it, which were from Adamas, the Man of Light” (Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex)
- In the Gospel of the Egyptians, the ‘incorruptible’ Adamas (i.e. the heavenly Anthropos) engenders an ‘incorruptible’ race through the Four Lights, Seth and the Son: “The incorruptible man Adamas asked for them a son out of himself, in order that he (the son) may become father of the immovable, incorruptible race, so that, ... the dead aeon may raise itself (and) dissolve. And thus there came forth from above the power of the great light, the Manifestation. She gave birth to the four great lights: Harmozel, Oroiael, Davithe, Eleleth, and the great incorruptible Seth, the son of the incorruptible man Adamas.” (Gospels of the Egyptians)

 
 
  - AEONS (UPPER AND LOWER)
1. AEONS IN GENERAL:
- The Aeons are a series of hypostases (extensions of being) that emanated outward from a common source. They may be imagined as concentric spheres with a common centre.
- The Upper Aeons emanated outward from the One which lies at the centre as their source (also ‘root’). The Lower Aeons imitate the Upper Aeons, and have the demiurge Yaltabaoth as their source (‘the Archigenetor’).
- The Upper Aeons are extensions of the One’s unity, but without spacial or temporal measure (i.e. boundless and eternal). The Lower Aeons are multiple, and have temporal and spacial measures.
- The Upper Aeons are spiritual, invisible, immobile and are filled with light. They are described as ‘the Silence’ or a ‘watery light’ and contain archetypal images or reflections of the One. The Lower Aeons are material, visible, mutable and filled with darkness. They are described as ‘fiery’ and contain shadows, copies or images.
- Between the Upper and Lower Aeons is the Limit, Middle, boundary, veil or curtain.
2. AEONS - THE UPPER AEONS
- See also PLEROMA, IMAGE, REST, WATER
- As aeons, also called ‘hypostases’, ‘emanations’, ‘extensions’, ‘spaces’.
- As the Upper Aeons, also called the Pleroma, Perfection, Fullness, All.
- The Upper Aeons were created when the One reflected upon itself.
- The Upper Aeons are invisible, eternal, imperishable, spiritual, light.
- They contain many angelic beings, such as the Father, Mother, Christ, Sophia, Four Lights, Twelve states of Mind, as well as the angels and the Elect.
- Called ‘Watery light and life’, ‘water-light’, ‘light-water’, ‘Luminous Waters’, ‘Living Waters’, ‘the Silence’, ‘the silent Silence’, ‘the living Silence’, ‘the Treasure-House’, ‘the Store-House’, ‘the Dwelling-Place’, ‘crown’, ‘the kingless realm’.
3. THE UPPER AEONS IN GENERAL
- The aeons are a stretching or expansion of the One: “This one, however, stretched himself out and it was that which he stretched out which gave a foundation and a space and a dwelling place for the universe, a name of his being” (Tripartite Tractate)
- Aeons are emanations of the Father: “All the spaces are his (the Father’s) emanations.” (Gospel of Truth)
- As emanations, the aeons have no spacial or temporal measure: “since the emanations are limitless and immeasurable” (Tripartite Tractate)
- Aeons are an extension of the Father, without separation: “The emanation of the Totalities, which exist from the one who exists, did not occur according to a separation from one another, as something cast off from the one who begets them. Rather, their begetting is like a process of extension, as the Father extends himself to those whom he loves, so that those who have come forth from him might become him as well.” (Tripartite Tractate)
- This expansion of the One (monad) to the many (the all) continued from tens of thousands to countless myriads: “Among the things that were created the monad is first, the dyad follows it, and the triad, up to the tenths. Now the tenths rule the hundredths; the hundredths rule the thousandths; the thousands rule the ten thousands. This is the pattern among the immortals.” (Eugnostos the Blessed) “They (the immortals) provided for themselves hosts of angels, myriads without number for retinue.” (Eugnostos the Blessed)
4. THE CREATION OF THE UPPER AEONS
- The creation of the Upper Aeons can be described through two different schema: one is visual (the aeons as a watery light) and one is auditive (the aeons as the silence).
- At the origin of both schema is Aristotle’s notion of Noesis Noeseos Noesis, which is usually translated as ‘Thought Thinking itself’, but means literally ‘Thinking (Noesis) a Thought (Noeseos) of itself Thinking’ (Noesis).
- In the beginning, the One thought upon itself. The result of that mental reflection was a two-fold extension of itself as the Father, who is the mind or thinking (Nous or Noesis) and as the Mother, who is the thought (Ennoia or Noeseos). These two then produced the Son (also Nous or Noesis), who completed the One’s reflection upon itself. Through the Son, the thinking (Noesis) had a thought (Noeseos) of itself thinking (Noesis). In this regard, the Gnostic texts say that the Son is the ‘image’ or ‘name’ of the Father, because the Father sees and names himself through the Son.
- This philosophical schema underlies the creation of the aeons in the Apocryphon of John. It is a visual schema, where the aeons are a watery light.
- By reflecting upon itself, the One created the first hypostases or extensions of itself. These appeared around the One as its ‘images’ or ‘reflections’ in the mirror of the watery light (the Greek word eikon means both image and reflection). Thus, the aeons were created as a watery light that ‘mirrors’ the One to itself: “For it is he (the One) who looks at himself in his light which surrounds him, namely the spring of the water of life. And it is he who gives to all the aeons and in every way, (and) who gazes upon his image which he sees in the spring of the Spirit. It is he who puts his desire in his water-light which is in the spring of the pure light-water which surrounds him. And his thought (i.e. thinking - Nous) performed a deed and she (i.e. thought - Ennoia) came forth, namely she who had appeared before him (as an image) in the shine of his light. (...She) came forth from his mind (Nous). (...) This is the first thought, his image.” (Apocryphon of John) In the same manner, the Father and Mother then bring forth the Son.
- The philosophical schema also underlies the creation of the aeons in the Gospel of the Egyptians and Trimorphic Protennoia. It is an auditive schema, where the aeons are the silence.
- By reflecting upon itself, the One created the first hypostases or extensions of itself. These appeared around the One as its ‘names’ in the silence: “All the spaces are his (the Father’s) emanations. They have known that they came forth from him, like children who are from a grown man. They knew that they had not yet received form, nor yet received a name, each one of which the Father begets. (...) But the Father is perfect, knowing every space within him. If he wishes, he manifests whomever he wishes, by giving him form and giving him a name, and he gives a name to him, and brings it about that those come into existence.” (Gospel of Truth)
- The One itself is called ‘the Father whose name cannot be uttered’ (Gospel of the Egyptians). Hence, he is ‘the unproclaimable Father’ or ‘the silent Silence’. (Gospel of the Egyptians) His aeons that surround him are also called ‘the silence’ (Gospel of the Egyptians).
- In his silent aeons, he utters the names through which he names himself, such as the Father, Mother and Son. The Son in particular, as ‘the Word’ bears the unspeakable name of the Father: - “Now the name of the Father is the Son. It is he who first gave a name to the one who came forth from him, who was himself, and he begot him as a son. He gave him his name, which belonged to him; (...) For indeed, the Father's name is not spoken, but (rather,) it is apparent through a Son.” (Gospel of Truth) “(This is) the Son who is perfect in every respect - that is, the Word who originated through that Voice; who proceeded from the height; who has within him the Name.” (Trimorphic Protennoia)
5. DESCRIPTIONS OF THE UPPER AEONS
- As water: “...the waters which are above.” (Melchizedek), “...the waters which are above matter.” (Apocryphon of John)
- As Living Water: “...the Aeons in the Living Water.” (Trimorphic Protennoia)
- As a watery light and life: “For it is he who looks at himself in his light which surrounds him, namely the spring of the water of life. And it is he who gives to all the aeons and in every way, (and) who gazes upon his image which he sees in the spring of the Spirit. It is he who puts his desire in his water-light which is in the spring of the pure light-water which surrounds him.” (Apocryphon of John)
- As the Silence: “I dwell within the Silence that surrounds every one of them.” (Trimorphic Protennoia) (Spoken by Protennoia. In this text, she descends three times, as the Voice (Father), the Sound (Mother) and the Word (Son). In this context, the Silence is the Aeons ‘that surrounds every one of them’).
- As the silent Silence and Pleroma: “...the Father of the silent, living silence, the Father and their whole pleroma.” (Gospel of the Egyptians)
- As the Treasure-House or Store-House: “While her enemies (the Archons) look at her (the soul) in shame, she runs upward into her treasure-house - the one in which her mind is - and into her storehouse which is secure, since nothing among the things that have come into being has seized her, nor has she received a stranger into her house.” (Authoritative Teaching)
- As the Dwelling-Place: “But these - the ones who are ignorant - do not seek after God. Nor do they inquire about their dwelling-place, which exists in rest, but they go about in bestiality.” (Authoritative Teaching)
- The Father’s crown is the aeons that surround him, filled with light: “This is the Father of the All. This is he upon whose head the aeons are a crown, casting forth rays.” (Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex) See CROWN.
- As the kingless realm: “those who - in contrast - have not become perfect (...) will never enter the kingless realm.” (Origin of the World)
- The Upper Aeons are the realm of spirits, while the Lower Aeons are the realm of souls (and bodies): “they (the Archons) could not lay hold of that image, which had appeared to them in the waters, because of their weakness - since beings that merely possess a soul cannot lay hold of those that possess a spirit” (Hypostasis of the Archons)
- The world will be restored to the Upper Aeons: “And he raised up all the purity of the matter, and made it a world and an aeon and a city which is called imperishability and Jerusalem. And it is also called ‘the new earth’. And it is also called ‘self-complete’. And it is also called ‘unruled’.” (Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex)
6. AEONS - BETWEEN THE UPPER AND LOWER AEONS
- See also MIDDLE
- The outermost extension of the Upper Aeons is called ‘the limit’ and ‘the exalted boundary’: “...so that the limit which the Father had set might be established.” “...as for the one who is set up in this way and who is within the exalted boundary.” (Tripartite Tractate)
- After Sophia begot Yaltabaoth, the Limit (Horos) of the Upper Aeons was established: “And by this Horos (Limit) they declare that Sophia was purified and established (...) She herself certainly remained within the Pleroma; but her inborn idea (Yaltabaoth), with its passion, was separated from her by Horos (the Limit), fenced off and expelled from that circle.” (Irenaeus 1.2.4)
- Between the Upper and Lower Aeons is a curtain or veil. See VEIL.
- The curtain between the Upper and Lower Aeons: “the Father of the Universe, that his unimaginable goodness might be revealed, he created that curtain between the immortals and those that came afterward” (Sophia of Jesus Christ)
- The veil between the Upper and Lower Aeons, which caused a shadow to be cast from the light. This shadow became a form in the Lower Aeons, particularly Yaltabaoth: “A veil exists between the world above and the realms that are below; and shadow came into being beneath the veil; and that shadow became matter; and that shadow was projected apart.” (Hypostasis of the Archons)
7. AEONS - THE LOWER AEONS
- see also CONSORT DEFICIENCY, ARCHONS, FATE, HELL
- Also called the Deficiency, Imperfection, Fate (Hiemarmene), Darkness, Abyss
- They contain many beings, such as Yaltaboath, the seven heavenly Archons, the five Archons of the abyss, the authorities, powers, demons as well as the psychic and material race (not to mention the pneumatic race trapped in darkness).
- They are visible, perishable, material, dark, shadowy, and of ‘luminous fire’.
- As opposed to ‘the Fullness’ of the Upper Aeons (or Pleroma), the Lower Aeons are ‘a Deficiency’: “So the pleroma, which has no deficiency, but (which) fills up the deficiency, is what he provided from himself for filling up what he lacks.” (Gospel of Truth)
- As Deficiency: “(After the resurrection,) the light flows down upon the darkness, swallowing it up; and the Pleroma fills up the deficiency.” (Treatise on Resurrection)
- The Lower Aeons have temporal measure: “For they (men) are bound with measures and times and moments, since it (fate) is lord over everything.” (Apocryphon of John 28:30)
8. THE CREATION OF THE LOWER AEONS
- Through the power which Yaltaboath took from his mother Sophia, he created the Lower Aeons. This power is called a luminous fire: “This is the first archon (Yaltabaoth) who took a great power from his mother. And he removed himself from her and moved away from the places in which he was born. He became strong and created for himself other aeons with a flame of luminous fire which (still) exists now.” (Apocryphon of John)
- Yaltabaoth modeled the Lower Aeons according to the image of the Upper Aeons: “And having created [...] everything, he (Yaltabaoth) organized (everything) according to the model of the first aeons (...through) the power in him, which he had taken from his mother, (and thus) produced in him the likeness of the cosmos.” (Apocryphon of John)
9. DESCRIPTIONS OF THE LOWER AEONS
- As darkness and a tail-eating dragon - “The outer darkness is a great dragon, whose tail is in his mouth, outside the whole world and surrounding the whole world.” (Pistis Sophia Ch. 126)
- As a corpse: "Whoever has come to know the world has found a corpse.” (Gospel of Thomas 56)
- As darkness and abyss: “And he revealed himself to those who dwell in darkness, and he showed himself to those who dwell in the abyss.” (Trimorphic Protennoia)
5. AEONS - SUMMARY OF OPPOSITES:
- In general, the Upper and Lower Aeons manifest these opposites:
- upper / lower,
- imperishable / perishable,
- immortal / mortal
- boundless, eternal / space and time
- light / dark
- fullness / deficiency
- exists / (non-exists)
- archetypes / shadows
- watery light / luminous fire
- spiritual / psychic and material
- spiritual race pre-exists within / psychic and hylic race exist within
- spirits exist within / souls and bodies exist within

 
 
  - ALIEN - See STRANGER.
 
 
  - THE ALL
- The totality of beings in the Upper Aeons.
- The All include, in particular, the Elect.
- Since beings in the Lower Aeons will eventually return to non-existence, the All is the totality of what, ultimately, may be said to exist.
- The One is ‘Father of the All’: “...the seed which flowed forth from the Father of the All.” (Melchizedek), “This is the crown which the Father of the All gave to the indivisible one (...) and they shine and fill the All with imperishable and inextinguishable light. ” (Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex)
- The All are contained within the Father -“He is an incomprehensible one, but it is he who comprehends All. He receives them to himself. And nothing exists outside of him. But All exist within him. And he is boundary to them all, as he encloses them all, and they are all within him. It is he who is Father of the aeons, existing before them all. There is no place outside of him.” (Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex)
- “It is through me alone (Protennoia) that the All stands firm. I am the Womb that gives shape to the All by giving birth to the Light that shines in splendor.” (Trimorphic Protennoia)

 
 
  - ANDROGYNE
- Also called androgynous angel, bi-sexual or ‘both male and female’.
- See also CONSORT, MALE AND FEMALE.
- A being that is singular, but possesses both male and female genders or names.
1. ANDROGYNY IN THE UPPER AEONS.
- Like the One, all beings in the Upper Aeons are androgynous angels (i.e. - both male and female).
- The One or ‘Parent’ is androgynous, as both Mother and Father. Protennoia: “I am androgynous. I am Mother (and) I am Father, since I copulate with myself. I copulated with myself and with those who love me, and it is through me alone that the All stands firm. I am the Womb that gives shape to the All by giving birth to the Light that shines in splendor.” (Trimorphic Protennoia)
- Hence, the One is also called ‘the Mother-Father’: “This was an only-begotten child of the Mother-Father which had come forth.” (Apocryphon of John 6:15)
- Or, the One is called ‘the Parent’: “And the parent consented...” (Gospel of the Egyptians 52:3 - Bentley translation)
- The One is syzygetic, while being male and female. Protennoia: “I am 'He who is syzygetic' (...) I am called 'She who is syzygetic'.” (Trimorphic Protennoia) Syzygy means ‘consort’. See CONSORT.

- The One is a monad (i.e. one) that also becomes a dyad (i.e. two) or a pair (i.e. consorts): “...the Ineffable One who dwells in the Monad. He dwells alone in silence, and silence is tranquility since, after all, he was a Monad and no one was before him. He dwells in the Dyad and in the Pair, and his Pair is Silence. And he possessed the All dwelling within him.” (Valentinian Exposition.) (‘his pair’ should be read here as ‘consort’).
- The androgynous One also manifests itself through Sophia and Jesus, as well as the seeds (i.e. the Elect) and their angelic consorts in the Upper Aeons: “But the syzygy is the complete one, and Sophia and Jesus and the angels and the seeds are images of the Pleroma.” (Valentinan Exposition)
- The angels in the Pleroma are created androgynous, after the androgynous Parent: “After Jesus brought forth further, he brought forth for the All those of the Pleroma and of the syzygy, that is, the angels.” (Valentinian Exposition)
- All the angels in the Upper Aeons are androgynous, consisting of male and female pairs or consorts. For example, each of the Four Lights has a consort: “And the Father nodded approval (i.e. consented); the whole pleroma of the lights was well pleased. Their consorts came forth for the completion of the ogdoad (i.e. eight-fold) of the divine Autogenes: the (consort) Grace of the first light Harmozel, the (consort) Perception of the second light Oroiael, the (consort) Understanding of the third light Davithe, the (consort) Prudence of the fourth light Eleleth.” (Gospel of the Egyptians)
- The Anthropos was made male and female: “And he made his necessities (genitals) in the type of those that go forth and those that come in” (Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex)
- Though androgynous, each syzygy has a male and female name: “In the beginning, he (the One) decided to have his likeness become a great power. Immediately, the principle (or beginning) of that Light appeared as Immortal Androgynous Man. His male name is ‘Begotten, Perfect Mind’. And his female name is ‘All-wise Begettress Sophia’. It is also said that she resembles her brother and her consort.” (Eugnostos the Blessed)
- The soul in the Upper Aeons was ‘virgin and androgynous’: “As long as she was alone with the father, she was virgin and in form androgynous.” (Exegesis on the Soul)
- Yaltabaoth, his Archons, powers and demons are all androgynous.
2. ANDROGYNY IN THE LOWER AEONS
- Like their creator Yaltabaoth, the Archons are androgynous: “This ruler (Yaltabaoth), by being androgynous (...) created for himself seven offspring, androgynous just like their parent.” (Hypostasis of the Archons)
- As androgynous, each Archon has a male and female name: “Seven (Archons) appeared in chaos, androgynous. They have their masculine names and their feminine names. (For) Sambathas, his feminine name is Pronoia. (...For) Yao, his feminine name is Lordship, (for) Sabaoth: his feminine name is Deity, (for) Adonaios, his feminine name is Kingship, (for) Elaios: his feminine name is Jealousy, (for) Oraios: his feminine name is Wealth, and (for) Astaphaios, his feminine name is Sophia (Wisdom). These are the seven forces of the seven heavens of chaos. And they were born androgynous, consistent with the immortal pattern that existed before them.” (Origin of the World)
- Demons are also androgynous, and have male and female names. While Death begets by ‘mingling with his own nature’, the demons beget by ‘intercourse with one another’ (i.e. their male and female sides), producing more androgynous demons: “Then Death, being androgynous, mingled with his (own) nature and begot seven androgynous offspring. These are the names of the male ones: Jealousy, Wrath, Tears, Sighing, Suffering, Lamentation, Bitter Weeping. And these are the names of the female ones: Wrath, Pain, Lust, Sighing, Curse, Bitterness, Quarrelsomeness. They had intercourse with one another, and each one begot seven, so that they amount to forty-nine androgynous demons.” (Origin of the World)
- Though first androgynous, a human being becomes male or female: “When Sophia let fall a droplet of light, it flowed onto the water, and immediately a human being appeared, being androgynous. That droplet she molded first as a female body.” (Origin of the World)
- Although human beings become male or female, they maintain a relationship with the consort, pair or counterpart with which they once formed an androgynous angel: “ When Eve saw her male counterpart prostrate, she had pity upon him.” (Origin of the World)
- For the manner in which androgynous angels in the Upper and Lower Aeons multiply, see CONSORT.
- For the manner in which human beings multiply, see MALE AND FEMALE.

 
 
  - ANGELS
- All angels are beings in the Upper Aeons.
- Each angelic being is a hypostasis, extension, image or reflection of the One. See AEONS.
- These are arranged into certain angelic orders or hierarchies, though all are ultimately one and unified. See ANGELIC ORDERS.
- Angels are androgynous. See ANDROGYNE.
- Angels, though they are androgynous, multiply through consent with their consorts. See CONSORT.
- Many important angels are named in the Gnostic texts.
- Foremost among these are the Four Lights: Armozel, Oriel, Daveithai and Eleleth: “For from the light, which is the Christ... the four lights (appeared) from the divine Autogenes... the light-aeon Armozel, which is the first angel.... And the second light (is) Oriel... And the third light is Daveithai,... And the fourth light Eleleth... These are the four lights which attend the divine Autogenes” (Apocryphon of John) See also FOUR LIGHTS.
- Also of great importance are the triads of angels who enrobe, baptize, enthrone, glorify and snatch away the initiate in the rite of the Five Seals: “And I delivered him to those who give robes - Yammon, Elasso, Amenai - and (...) to the baptizers - Micheus, Michar, Mnesinous - and (...) to those who enthrone - Bariel, Nouthan, Sabenai - and (...) to those who glorify - Ariom, Elien, Phariel - and (...) to those who snatch away - Kamaliel, [...]anen, Samblo (...) And he received the Five seals.” (Trimorphic Protennoia)
- In Valentinian Gnosticism, certain human beings (the seeds or Elect) have promised themselves to angels, and will re-unite with them in the Upper Aeons: “When the whole seed is perfected (...) the Savior and Sophia [will] form a pair (syzygy). These then are said to be bridegroom and bride, and the bridal chamber is the entire Pleroma. The spiritual beings will divest themselves of their souls and become intelligent spirits, and, without being hindered or seen, they will enter into the Pleroma, and will be bestowed as brides on the angels around the Savior.” (Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses 1.7.1. See also Valentinian Exposition 39:29)
- Angels are also called ‘receivers’: “they who are worthy of (the) invocation, the renunciations of the five seals in the spring-baptism, these will know their receivers as they are instructed about them, and they will know them (or: be known) by them. These will by no means taste death.” (Gospel of the Egyptians)
- Angels are also called ‘Assembly of the Holy One’ and ‘shadowless lights’: “The whole multitude of those angels are called Assembly of the Holy Ones, the Shadowless Lights.” (Eugnostos the Blessed)

 
 
  - ANGELIC ORDERS
- Angels are arranged into so many hypostases, aeons, orders or hierarchies around the One, although all are ultimately one with their source.
- In the Gospel of the Egyptians, there are at least five orders of angels: thrones, powers, glories, authorities and angels. E.g. - “...and the thrones which are in them, and the powers which surround them, glories, authorities, and the powers” (Gospel of the Egyptians) “She (Providence) passed through all the aeons which I mentioned before. And she established thrones of glory, and myriads of angels without number who surrounded them, powers and incorruptible glories, who sing and give glory, all giving praise with a single voice, with one accord, with one never-silent voice, (...) to the Father, and the Mother, and the Son.” (Gospel of the Egyptians)
- In the Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex, there are at least five types of angels, though the order is uncertain: powers, glories, angels, archangels, ministers. “These are the powers which were given to the forefather who was placed in the aeon of the mother. And there were given to him myriads upon myriads of glories, and angels and archangels and ministers, so that those that are of matter should serve him.” (Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex)
- Angels may also be arranged in a hierarchy from the One to ‘the countless myriads’: “Among the things that were created the monad is first, the dyad follows it, and the triad, up to the tenths. Now the tenths rule the hundredths; the hundredths rule the thousandths; the thousands rule the ten thousands. This is the pattern among the immortals.” (Eugnostos)
- In order to emphasize unity at every level, the numerical order of angels is composed of the monad (one-fold), dyad (two-fold), triad (three-fold) etc, as follows:
1. monad - onefold
2. dyad - twofold
3. triad - threefold
4. tetrad - fourfold
5. pentad - fivefold
6. hexad - sixfold
7. heptad or hebdomad - sevenfold
8. ogdoad - eightfold
9. ennead - ninefold
10. decad - tenfold
12. dodecad - twelvefold

 
 
  - ANIMALS
- Also called ‘beasts’.
- In general, all beings belonging to the Lower Aeons are animals.
- The Archons have the form of animals. See ARCHONS.
- The Hylic race of humans are also called animals. See THREE TYPES OF HUMANS.
- The Archons and their powers have the form of animals: “But their powers, which are the angels, are in the form of beasts and animals.” (Marsanes)
- Yaltabaoth has a lion’s face, and each of the Archons’ powers has an animal face, which is ‘the body belonging to the name’: “And the archons created seven powers for themselves, and the powers created for themselves six angels for each one until they became 365 angels. And these are the bodies belonging with the names: the first is Athoth, a he has a sheep's face (etc)”(Apocryphon of John)
- Because the Archons, as the makers of this world, are beasts, the world is also beastly: “For the world is from beasts and it is a beast” (Interpretation of Knowledge)
- Human beings belonging to the Hylic race are called animals or beasts: “There are many animals in the world which are in a human form.” (Gospel of Philip)
- Those descendents of Adam belonging to the Hylic race are animals: “Adam ate from the tree which bore animals. He became an animal and he brought forth animals.” (Gospel of Philip)
- The Hylic race worship the Archons, and hence, animals: “For this reason the children of Adam worship animals.” (Gospel of Philip)
- The Hylic race are beastial: “Having left knowledge behind, she (the soul) fell into bestiality. For a senseless person exists in bestiality, not knowing what is proper to say and what it is proper not to say.” (Authoritative Teaching)

 
 
  - ANOINT
- See CHRISM, FIVE SEALS.

 
 
  - ANTHROPOS
- Also called Man, First Man, Perfect Man, Adamas, Pigeradamas, Adam and Eve
- Although Gnostic texts provide different versions of the creation and fall of the Anthropos, the general outline is as follows:
1. CREATION OF THE ANTHROPOS
- In the Upper Aeons, the One created the Anthropos in its own image, as an androgynous angel (i.e. male and female). This was the First Adam, which was spirit-endowed (pneumatic Anthropos).
- Seeing this image in the Upper Aeons, Yaltabaoth and his Archons created the Second Adam, which was soul-endowed (psychic Anthropos). Like the First Adam, the Second Adam was androgynous.
- After Yaltabaoth accidentally breathed his own spirit (pneuma) into Adam, he and his Archons tried to retrieve it. They created the Third Adam, which was flesh-endowed (hylic Anthropos).
- The three Adams became the prototypes for the three different types of humans: the spirit-endowed (pneumatics), the soul-endowed (psychics), and the flesh-endowed (hylics). See THREE TYPES OF HUMANS.
- Although the Third Adam was also androgynous, Yaltabaoth divided it into male and female. This was the creation of Adam and Eve.
- For the division of the Anthropos into Adam and Eve, then their temptation and fall, see ADAM AND EVE.
2. THE SPIRITUAL, PSYCHIC AND HYLIC ANTHROPOS.
- In Origin of the World, three Adams appear, which correspond to the three types of humans - spiritual, psychic and hylic: “Now the first Adam, (Adam) of Light, is spirit-endowed and appeared on the first day. The second Adam is soul-endowed and appeared on the sixth day (...). The third Adam is a creature of the earth (choikos), that is, the man of the law, and he appeared on the eighth day.” (Origin of the World 117:28)
- In the Apocryphon of John, the One created Man (the Anthropos) by speaking and naming him: “And a voice came forth from the exalted aeon-heaven: ‘The Man exists and the son of Man.’” (Apocryphon of John) This is the creation of ‘the first Adam’, which is spirit-endowed (pneumatic Anthropos).
- Yaltabaoth and his Archons saw the glowing image of the Anthropos in the Upper Aeons and tried to copy it: “When all the authorities and the chief archon looked (...) they saw the form of the image in the water (of the Upper Aeons). And he (Yaltabaoth) said to the authorities which attend him, ‘Come, let us create a man according to the image of God and according to our likeness, that his image may become a light for us.’ (...) He created a being according to the likeness of the first, perfect Man.” (Apocryphon of John)
- In Hypostasis of the Archons, the Anthropos is named ‘Incorruptibility’ (a feminine word): “As incorruptibility looked down into the region of the waters, her image appeared in the waters.” (Hypostasis of the Archons)
- The Anthropos which Yaltabaoth and his Archons created was the Second Adam, which is soul-endowed (psychic Anthropos): “And the powers began: the first one (...) created a bone-soul; and the second one (...) created a sinew-soul; the third one (...) created a flesh-soul; and the fourth one (...) created a marrow-soul; the fifth one (...) created a blood-soul; the sixth one (...) created a skin-soul; the seventh one (...) created a hair-soul.” (Apocryphon of John)
- Although Yaltabaoth created the Second Adam, which is soul-endowed, it was still lacking in spirit. At the behest of Sophia, Christ and the Four Lights tricked Yaltabaoth into blowing his own spirit (which had come from his mother Sophia) into Adam: “And they (Christ and the Four Lights) said to Yaltabaoth, ‘Blow into his face something of your spirit and his body will arise.’ And he blew into his face the spirit which is the power of his mother (...) The body moved and gained strength, and it was luminous.” (Apocryphon of John 19:22)
- In Hypostasis of the Archons, Yaltabaoth blew a soul into Adam, and then the Spirit (i.e. the One) sent Adam his spirit (pneuma): “And he (Yaltabaoth) breathed into his face; and the man came to have a soul (and remained) upon the ground (...) Afterwards, the Spirit saw the soul-endowed man upon the ground. And the spirit (...) descended and came to dwell within him, and that man became a living soul. It called his name Adam,” (Hypostasis of the Archons)
- To retrieve his spirit, Yaltabaoth and his Archons created the Third Adam, which is material and hylic: “They (the demons) all worked on it until, limb for limb, the natural and the material body was completed by them.” (Apocryphon of John)
- The third Adam was made of the earth: “The rulers laid plans and said, ‘Come, let us create a man that will be soil from the earth.’ They modeled their creature as one wholly of the earth.” Hypostasis of the Archons 87:24
- Specifically, the third Adam is a compound of earth, air, water and fire, making him mortal: “And they took counsel with the whole array of archons and angels. They took fire and earth and water and mixed them together with the four fiery winds. And they wrought them together and caused a great disturbance. And they brought him (Adam) into the shadow of death (...) and he became a mortal man.” (Apocryphon of John 20:33)
- For the division of the Anthropos into Adam and Eve, then their temptation and fall, see ADAM AND EVE.

 
 
  - APOCALYPSE
- An ‘apocalypse’ is a ‘revealed teaching’, in contrast to an ‘apocryphon’ which is a ‘hidden teaching’.
- For ‘apocalypse’ in the sense of ‘the end of time’, see RESOLUTION.

 
 
  - APOCRYPHON
- An ‘apocryphon’ is a ‘hidden teaching’, in contrast to an ‘apocalypse’ which is a ‘revealed teaching’.
- Several of the Nag Hammadi texts are apocryphonic, such as the Apocryphon of John and the Apocryphon of James.

 
 
  - ARCHONS
- The rulers of the Lower Aeons
- Also called rulers, governors, authorities, guards, gate keepers, robbers, toll collectors, detainers, judges, pitiless ones, adulterers, man-eaters, corpse-eaters, fishermen
1. ARCHONS - IN GENERAL
- Yaltabaoth is the Chief Archon and created all the others. See YALTABAOTH.
- According to the Apocryphon of John, there are twelve Archons and their aeons, comprising the Lower Aeons
- Seven heavenly Archons are associated with the seven planetary heavens.
- Five Archons ‘of the Abyss’ are associated with the five sublunary realms created by earth, water, air and fire intermixed in the ether.
2. ARCHONS - THEIR CREATION BY YALTABAOTH
- Yaltabaoth has the power to create Archons and their aeons because of the spirit (pneuma) in him which he had acquired from his mother Sophia. He created the Archons from luminous fire: “This is the first archon who took a great power from his mother. And he removed himself from her and moved away from the places in which he was born. He became strong and created for himself other aeons with a flame of luminous fire which (still) exists now. And he joined with his arrogance which is in him and begot authorities for himself.” (Apocyphon of John)
- Being androgynous, Yaltabaoth generated androgynous Archons like himself: “This ruler (Yaltabaoth), by being androgynous, made himself a vast realm, an extent without limit. And he contemplated creating offspring for himself, and created for himself seven offspring, androgynous just like their parent.” (Hypostasis of the Archons)
- As androgynous (see ANDROGYNE), Yaltabaoth had both male and female genders. He generated his offspring through the consent of the male and female consorts within himself (see CONSORTS). Thus, the androgynous Yaltabaoth generated the Archons with the aid of a consort.
- This consort may have been ‘his arrogance which is in him’. He ‘joins’ with her to beget the authorities: “And he joined with his arrogance which is in him and begot authorities for himself.” (Apocyphon of John)
- This consort may have been his ‘blasphemous thought’, ‘the abyss’ or Pistis Sophia’, depending on the identification for the pronoun ‘she’: “He (Yaltabaoth) pursued it (his blasphemous thought) down to chaos and the abyss, his mother, at the instigation of Pistis Sophia. And she established each of his offspring in conformity with its power - after the pattern of the realms that are above, for by starting from the invisible world the visible world was invented.” (Hypostasis of the Archons)
- Yaltabaoth also created the androgynous Archons by the power of naming (see NAMES): “The ruler (Yaltabaoth) had a thought - consistent with his nature - and by means of verbal expression he created an androgyne. He opened his mouth and cooed to him. When his eyes had been opened, he looked at his father, and he said to him, "Eee!" Then his father called him Eee-a-o ('Yao').” And so on for 'Eloai' and 'Astaphaios'. (Origin of the World)
3. ARCHONS - THEIR HIERARCHY IN THE LOWER AEONS:
- Yaltabaoth placed seven Archons in the heavens and five over the Abyss: “And he (Yaltabaoth) placed seven kings - each corresponding to the firmaments of heaven - over the seven heavens, and five over the depth of the abyss, that they may reign. And he shared his fire with them.” (Apocyphon of John)
- The seven heavenly Archons were named Athoth, Harmas, Kalila-Oumbri, Yabel, Adonaiou (or Sabaoth) Cain and Abel: “The name of the first one is Athoth, whom the generations call the reaper. The second one is Harmas, who is the eye of envy. The third one is Kalila-Oumbri. The fourth one is Yabel. The fifth one is Adonaiou, who is called Sabaoth. The sixth one is Cain, whom the generations of men call the sun. The seventh is Abel.” (Apocyphon of John)
- The five Archons of the abyss were named Abrisene, Yobel, Armoupieel, Melceir-Adonein and Belias: “The eighth is Abrisene. The ninth is Yobel. The tenth is Armoupieel. The eleventh is Melceir-Adonein. The twelfth is Belias, it is he who is over the depth of Hades.” (Apocyphon of John)
- Each Archon may be associated with a planet (no Gnostic text makes this association explicit). And each Archon, according to the Apocryphon of John, has an adjunct or 'power' with the face of a beast. Thus, the seven planets, Archons, powers and beasts would be as follows:
- Saturn - Athoth - Athoth - sheep
- Jupiter -Harmas - Eloaiou - donkey
- Mars -Kalila-Oumbri - Astaphaios - hyena
- Sun -Yabel - Yao - seven-headed serpent
- Venus -Adonaiou - Sabaoth - dragon
- Mercury -Cain - Adonin - monkey
- Moon -Abel - Sabbede -fire-face
- Beneath the moon, five more Archons rule over five more spheres. These are the five 'sublunar' aeons composed of ether, fire, air, water and earth. From highest to lowest, the Archons and aeons are as follows:
- Abrisene - ether
- Yobel - fire
- Armnoupieel - air
- Melceir-Adonein - water
- Belias - earth
- A hierarchy of Archons, powers, and angels (i.e. demons) emerges, with 360 or 365 angels in all: “And the archons created seven powers for themselves, and the powers created for themselves six angels for each one until they became (360 or) 365 angels.” (Apocyphon of John)
- As 360 or 365, the Archons’ demons establish their rule over man in space (the 360 degrees on the horizon) and in time (365 days a year). Each of the 365 demons also rules over a part of man’s body and soul: “This is the number of the angels: together they are 365. They all worked on it (the body) until, limb for limb, the natural and the material body was completed by them.” (Apocyphon of John)
- As the planets in the heavens, the Archons rule over man by determining his astrological Fate (Heimarmene): “He (Yaltabaoth) made a plan with his authorities (i.e. Archons), which are his powers, and they committed together adultery with Sophia, and bitter fate was begotten through them, which is the last of the changeable bonds. (...) For they (humans) are bound with measures and times and moments, since it (Fate) is lord over everything.” (Apocyphon of John)
4. ARCHONS - AS ANDROGYNOUS. See ANDROGYNE
- Like their creator Yaltabaoth, the Archons are androgynous: “This ruler (Yaltabaoth), by being androgynous (...) created for himself seven offspring, androgynous just like their parent.” (Hypostasis of the Archons)
- As androgynous, each Archon has a male and female name: “Seven (Archons) appeared in chaos, androgynous. They have their masculine names and their feminine names. (For) Sambathas, his feminine name is Pronoia. (...For) Yao, his feminine name is Lordship, (for) Sabaoth: his feminine name is Deity, (for) Adonaios, his feminine name is Kingship, (for) Elaios: his feminine name is Jealousy, (for) Oraios: his feminine name is Wealth, and (for) Astaphaios, his feminine name is Sophia (Wisdom). These are the seven forces of the seven heavens of chaos. And they were born androgynous, consistent with the immortal pattern that existed before them.” (Origin of the World)
- In the Apocryphon of John, each power also unites with an authority: “And he (Yaltabaoth) united the seven powers in his thought with the authorities which were with him.” (Apocyphon of John)
5. ARCHONS - AS PLANETARY GATE-KEEPERS
- As the planetary gate-keepers, the Archons prevent souls from rising to the Upper Aeons after death (or in a visionary ascent). Certain souls (sinners, psychics, hylics) consorted with demons while they were in the body, and so they fell under the Archons’ power. They are turned around and cast down into another body or are punished. Other souls (virtuous, pneumatics, Elect) may pass freely if they have acquired certain sayings, signs, seals etc. or if they refused to consort with demons while they were in the body. See RESURRECTION.
6. ARCHONS - THEIR DESTRUCTION
- There are a limited number of ages - sometimes three (three descents of a saviour figure like Pronoia or Protennoia), sometimes four (one age for each of the the Four Lights. See FOUR LIGHTS).
- At the end will come the consummation: “(This...) has been apparent from creation down to the consummation of the age.” (Origin of the World)
- The time of the Archons is limited: “Jesus said, ‘Truly I say to you, for all of them the stars bring matters to completion. When Saklas (the blind god) completes the span of time assigned for him...’” (Gospel of Judas 54)
- The end of the Archons’ rule will be heralded by signs in the cosmos: “Then, when the great Authorities knew that the time of fulfillment had appeared - just as in the pangs of the parturient it (the time) has drawn near, so also had the destruction approached - all together the elements trembled, and the foundations of the underworld and the ceilings of Chaos shook, and a great fire shone within their midst, and the rocks and the earth were shaken like a reed shaken by the wind.” (Trimorphic Prontennoia 43:4)
- More cosmic signs: “Then the sun will become dark, and the moon will cause its light to cease. The stars of the sky will cancel their circuits.” (On the Origin of the World 126:10)
- The Lower Aeons will collapse, and the ‘luminous fire’ which created the Archons will also destroy them: “And their heavens will fall one upon the next and their forces will be consumed by fire. Their eternal realms, too, will be overturned.” (On the Origin of the World)
- Finally Sophia will cause their destruction. The Archons will destroy each other, or Yaltabaoth will destroy them and then himself: “And a great clap of thunder will come out of a great force that is above all the forces of chaos, where the firmament of the woman (Sophia) is situated. Having created the first product, she (Sophia) will put away the wise fire of intelligence and clothe herself with witless wrath. Then she will pursue the gods of chaos, whom she created along with the prime parent (Yaltabaoth). She will cast them down into the abyss. They will be obliterated because of their wickedness. For they will come to be like volcanoes and consume one another until they perish at the hand of the prime parent (Yaldabaoth). When he has destroyed them, he will turn against himself and destroy himself until he ceases to exist.” (On the Origin of the World 126:13)
7. ARCHONS - ALTERNATE NAMES
- The Archons as toll collectors: “...three of them will seize you - they who sit (there) as toll collectors...” (Jesus to James, First Apocalypse of James) “The toll-collector who dwells in the fourth heaven replied, saying...” (Apocalypse of Paul)
- As judges: James prays as he dies: “Do not give me into the hand of a judge who is severe with sin!” (First Apocalypse of James)
- As governors and administrators: “The governors and the administrators possess garments granted only for a time, which do not last.” (Dialogue of the Saviour)
- As robbers: “This is the tomb of the newly-formed body with which the robbers had clothed the man, the bond of forgetfulness; and he became a mortal man.” (Apocalypse of John)
- As pitiless ones: “I have broken the gates of the pitiless ones” (Sophia of Jesus Christ); “the secure gates of those pitiless ones I broke” (Trimorphic Protonoia)
- as adulterers: “she (the soul) had given herself to wanton, unfaithful adulterers” (Exegesis on the Soul)
- As man-eaters and fishermen: “For man-eaters will seize us and swallow us, rejoicing like a fisherman casting a hook into the water.” (Authoritative Teaching)
- In the sense of man-eaters, the Archons are also corpse-eaters. They eat the dead (the non-Elect) while the angels of the Upper Aeons, as truth, eat the living (the Elect) as they ascend: “This world is a corpse-eater. All the things eaten in it themselves die also. Truth is a life-eater. Therefore no one nourished by truth will die...” (Gospel of Philip)
- Archons have souls, but no spirit: “they (the Archons) could not lay hold of that image, which had appeared to them in the waters, because of their weakness - since beings that merely possess a soul cannot lay hold of those that possess a spirit” (Hypostasis of the Archons)
- Since they have no fullness, they are deficient. Though they exist at present, they will return to their state of non-existence: “their end will be like their beginning: from that which did not exist (they are) to return once again to that which will not be.” (Tripartite Tractate)
- They are likenesses, copies, imitations, shadows, phantasms and distorted reflections of the Upper Aeons: “(The Archons) are their (the Pleromas') likenesses, copies, shadows, and phantasms, lacking reason and the light (...). In the manner of a reflection are they beautiful. For the face of the copy normally takes its beauty from that of which it is a copy.” (Tripartite Tractate)

 
 
  - (TO GO) ASTRAY
- Those who ‘go astray’ are caught in the traps and distractions of the Archons, and have not yet recognized the ‘gnosis’.
- If they later recognize the gnosis, they may still be saved (as Penitants)
- “...many go astray on the way.” (Gospel of Philip)
- “those on whom the counterfeit spirit descends are drawn by him and they go astray.” (Apocryphon of John)
- As the penitants: “And I said, ‘Lord, where will the souls of these go when they have come out of their flesh? (...) Those who have not known to whom they belong, where will their souls be?’ And he said to me, ‘In those, the despicable spirit has gained strength when they went astray. (...) After it comes out of (the body), it is handed over to the authorities (...), and they bind it with chains and cast it into prison, and consort with it until it is liberated from the forgetfulness and acquires knowledge. And if thus it becomes perfect, it is saved (...) It is not again cast into another flesh." (Apocryphon of John)
- Those who go astray do not know the difference between perishable and imperishable: “Now a difference existed among the imperishable aeons. Let us, then, consider (it) this way: Everything that came from the perishable will perish, since it came from the perishable. Whatever came from imperishableness will not perish but will become imperishable, since it came from imperishableness. So, many men went astray because they had not known this difference; that is, they died.” (Eugnostos the Blessed)
- The flesh of ‘non-understanding’ leads us astray. Jesus: “I do not speak of the flesh in which you dwell, but the flesh of non-understanding which exists in ignorance, which leads astray many from the of my Father.” (First Book of Jeu)

 
 
  - AUTOGENES
- The ‘self-begotten’. See BEGET.
 
 
  - BAPTISM
- A ritual sprinkling, pouring or immersion in water, used to initiate a catechumen. See FIVE SEALS, BRIDAL CHAMBER, GARMENT, IMAGE, NAME, WATER.
1. BAPTISM - IN GENERAL
- In certain Gnostic texts, the baptism is performed once, three times, five times or more
- The baptism may be a symbolic as opposed to a ritual immersion, and constitute part of a vision.
- Baptism is one of the Five Seals.
- For a fuller comprehension of baptism, this rite should be viewed in the context of the Five Seals. See FIVE SEALS.
2. THE BAPTISM FIRST TOOK PLACE IN THE UPPER AEONS, DURING THE CREATION
- According to the Apocryphon of John, the Upper Aeons are a watery light which surround the One (invisible Spirit or Father) like a mirror, reflecting images of itself to itself. The first image of itself to appear in the watery mirror was the Mother, Barbelo (i.e. Wisdom). She brought forth the next image, the Son, Autogenes (i.e. Christ). The One then ‘anointed’ Christ (the rite of chrism) and ‘poured upon’ him (the rite of baptism). In response, Christ ‘glorified’ the Spirit and Barbelo i.e. he reflected their light back to them: “And the invisible, virginal Spirit (i.e. the One) rejoiced over the light which came forth, that which was brought forth first by the first power of his forethought, which is Barbelo. And he anointed it (chrism) with his kindness (chrestos) until it became perfect (...) And it attended him as he poured upon it (baptism). And immediately when it had received from the Spirit, it glorified the holy Spirit and the perfect forethought, for whose sake it had come forth.” (Apocryphon of John)
- This baptism of Christ in the Upper Aeons is the archetype or ‘pre-existent’ baptism which all rites of baptism will imitate.
- In this sense it is ‘the baptism higher than the heavens’: “And by forethought he established the holy and the baptism that is higher than the heavens.” (Gospel of the Egyptians 65:23 - Layton translation)
3. BAPTISM AS AN IMMERSION OR POURING OF THE WATERY LIGHT OF THE UPPER AEONS, TO ESTABLISH ONE’S IMAGE
- The Upper Aeons are described as a watery light (also, the living water, the waters above, etc. See AEONS).
- Following the archetype of Christ’s heavenly baptism, the Gnostic rite of baptism is understood as an immersion into the watery light of the Upper Aeons: “For the waters which are above [...] that receive baptism” (Melchizedek)
- Or, it is a ‘pouring forth’ of the baptismal waters from the Upper Aeons: “It (the Word) is a hidden Light, bearing a fruit of life, pouring forth a living water from the invisible, unpolluted, immeasurable spring” (Trimorphic Protennoia) “the holy Spirit poured over her from their whole pleroma.” (Apocryphon of John)
- Through baptism in the watery light of the Upper Aeons, one receives ‘an image’, which makes one ‘like the angels’: “Then I knew that the power in me was set over the darkness because it contained the whole light. I was baptized there, and I received the image of the glories there (the Upper Aeons). I became like one of them (the angels).” (Zostrianos)
- Baptism is also understood as a ‘seal’: (The author is contending against Christian baptism): “There are some, who upon entering the faith, receive a baptism on the ground that they have it as a hope of salvation, which they call the ‘seal’, not knowing that the fathers of the world are manifest (in) that place. But he himself knows that he is sealed.” (Testimony of Truth)
- Baptism is a seal (like a signet impressed in wax) in the sense that the catechumen’s image is impressed or ‘sealed’ in the watery light of the Upper Aeons. He then becomes one of the images in the watery mirror that reflect the One to itself.
- Hence, the catechumen is ‘sealed in the light of the water’ (i.e. the watery light of the Upper Aeons). Pronoia speaking of a soul: “And I raised him up, and sealed him in the light of the water with five seals, in order that death might not have power over him from this time on.” (Apocalypse of John 31:22)
- Through baptism, the catechumen’s image appears in the watery light, as a mirror-image or reflection of the One: “None can see himself either in water or in a mirror without light. Nor again can you see in light without mirror or water. For this reason, it is fitting to baptize in the two, in the light and the water.” (Gospel of Philip 69:8)
4. BAPTISM AS A CALLING OR NAMING, TO ESTABLISH ONE’S NAME
- Just as one’s baptismal image becomes a mirror-image in which the One may see itself, one’s baptismal name becomes a name by which the One calls itself. See NAMES.
- At baptism, the catechumen receives a baptismal name. This becomes a ‘living holy name’ that is inscribed ‘in the waters’ (i.e. the watery light of the Upper Aeons): “And according to the perfect laws, I shall pronounce my name as I receive baptism now and forever, as a name among the living and holy names, and now in the waters. Amen.” (Melchizedek 16:11)
- The name is also inscribed ‘in the light’ (i.e. watery light of the Upper Aeons): “...in order that he may inscribe your name in our great light.” (Concept of Our Great Power)
- Through baptism, one’s name is ‘written in glory’ (i.e. inscribed the light of the Upper Aeons) and ‘sealed’: “I (Zostrianos) was baptized in the [name of] the divine Autogenes by those powers which are upon living waters, Michar and Micheus. I was purified by the great Barpharanges. Then they revealed themselves to me and wrote me in glory. I was sealed by those who are on these powers, Michar, Micheus, Seldao, Elenos and Zogenethlos.” (Zostrianos)
- The One (i.e. the Father) utters the catechumen’s name. It is a name which the One uses to ‘know itself’ and name itself. It knew this name in the beginning, and will call it again at the end: “Those whose name he (the Father) knew in advance were called at the end, so that one who has knowledge is the one whose name the Father has uttered.” (Gospel of Truth 21:27)
- If one has an image and a name, one may rise up to the Upper Aeons: “When he came, he caused me to be raised up from ignorance, and from the fructification of death to life. For I have a name: I am Melchizedek, the Priest of God Most High; I know that it is I who am truly the image of the true High-Priest of God Most High.” (Melchizedek)
- Thus, the Elect are those whose names are inscribed in the Upper Aeons, and written in the Book of the Living: “...those who are to receive teaching are the living, who are inscribed in the book of the living.” (Gospel of Truth) See BOOK OF THE LIVING.
5. BAPTISM AS PUTTING ON A GARMENT OF LIGHT
- Many Gnostic texts refer to a garment of light. See GARMENT.
- The rite in which one ‘puts on’ the garment of light is performed in close association with the baptismal rite: “Moreover, as for this Light, when you enter it (...) you will accept robes from those who give robes, and the baptizers will baptize you, and you will become (...) the way you first were when you were Light.” (Trimorphic Protennoia 45:13)
- First there is the divestiture of one garment and then the investiture of another: “The living water is a body (i.e. garment). It is necessary that we put on the living man (i.e. garment of light). Therefore, when he is about to go down into the water, he unclothes himself, in order that he may put on the living man (garment of light).” (Gospel of Philip)
- One strips off the garments of the Lower Aeons (darkness, abyss, corporeal and psychic existence) and puts on the garments of the Upper Aeons (light, knowledge, thought, Fatherhood). Protennoia (as the Saviour): “I gave to him from the Water of Life, which strips him of the chaos that is in the uttermost darkness that exists inside the entire abyss, that is, the thought of the corporeal and the psychic. All these I put on. And I stripped him of it, and I put upon him a shining Light, that is, the knowledge of the Thought of the Fatherhood.” (Trimorphic Protennoia)
- According to the fragment On the Baptism B, baptism is “(a movement...) from the blindness of the world into the sight of God, from the carnal into the spiritual, from the physical into the angelic, from the created into the Pleroma, from the world into the Aeon, from the servitudes into sonship, from entanglements into one another” (On Baptism B)
- Once one ‘puts on’ the garment of light, one should act in such a way as to never remove it: “The baptism which we previously mentioned is called ‘garment of those who do not strip themselves of it’, for those who will put it on and those who have received redemption wear it...” (Tripartite Tractate)
- Among other things, baptism is a rite in which one ‘wears’ light, and thus becomes light: “(Baptism) is called ‘silence’ because of the quiet and the tranquility. It is also called ‘bridal chamber’ because of the agreement and the indivisible state of those who know they have known him. It is also called ‘the light which does not set and is without flame’ since it does not give light, but those who have worn it are made into light. They are the ones whom he wore. (Baptism) is also called ‘the eternal life’ which is immortality” (Tripartite Tractate 128:30)
6. BAPTISM - THE RENUNCIATION AND INVOCATION
- The rite of baptism was probably preceeded by a renunciation of the Archons and an invocation of the angels.
- In the spring-baptism, the catechumen will first be instructed about ‘those who will receive him’ (i.e. the Archons in the Lower Aeons; the angels in the Upper Aeons) through the renunciation and invocation: “They who are worthy of (the) invocation and the renunciations of the five seals in the spring-baptism, will know their receivers as they are instructed about them, and they will know them (or: be known) by them, and they will by no means taste death.” (Gospel of the Egyptians 66:2)
- Again, souls will be saved through baptism (involving secret symbols) and through a renunciation of ‘the god of the thirteen aeons’ (Archons) and a convocation of ‘the saints’ (angels): “...to save (their souls) through (...) the baptism, (...) through invisible, secret symbols, (...) through the renouncing of the world and the god of the thirteen aeons, and (through) the convocations of the saints” (Gospel of Egyptians)
- The ‘renunciation’ may have been a recitation of the Archons’ names, followed by their execration. But, it may also have been a long instruction concerning the secret names and symbols necessary for by-passing the archontic gate-keepers during the soul’s post-mortem ascent. See RESURRECTION.
- The ‘invocation’ is a confession of faith in the existence of the angels and beings in the Upper Aeons: “As for the baptism which exists in the fullest sense, into which the Totalities will descend and in which they will be, there is no other baptism apart from this one alone, which is the redemption into God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, when confession is made through faith in those names... namely that they exist. From this they have their salvation, those who have believed that they exist.... And when they have borne witness to them, it is also with a firm hope that they attained them, so that the return to them might become the perfection of those who have believed in them and (so that) the Father might be one with them, the Father... who gave (them) their union with him in knowledge.” (Tripartite Tractate 127:25)
- During ‘the baptism of fire’, Jesus invokes the imperishable names in the Treasury of Light (i.e. Upper Aeons): “Jesus turned to the four corners of the world with his disciples and invoked this prayer, speaking thus: ‘Hear me my Father, father of all Fatherhoods, infinite Light, make my disciples worthy to receive the baptism of fire, and release them from their sins and purify them of their transgressions (...) Yea, hear me my Father as I invoke your imperishable names that are in the Treasury of Light: Azarakaza A ... Amanthkratitath Yo Yo Yo Amen Amen (etc.)” (First Book of Jeu 110)
- Another form for the invocation is given in Melchizedek: “Holy are you, Holy are you, Holy are you, O Father of the All, who truly exist, for ever and ever, Amen. Holy are you, Holy are you, Holy are you, Mother of the aeons, Barbelo, for ever and ever, Amen. (etc.)” This formula is repeated with different names. (Melchizedek 16:16)
7. BAPTISM AS A VISIONARY ASCENT
- During his visionary ascent through the Upper Aeons, Zostrianos is baptized in the watery light of each of the aeons: “I left the airy-earth and passed by the copies of the aeons, after washing there seven times in living water, once for each of the aeons. I did not cease until I saw all the waters. I ascended to the Exile which really exists. I was baptized and [...] world. I ascended to the Repentance which really exists and was baptized there four times.” (Zostrianos) For Visionary Ascent, see RESURRECTION.
8. BAPTISM FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS
- One function of the baptismal rite is to wash and cleanse: “So when the womb of the soul, by the will of the father, turns itself inward, it is baptized and is immediately cleansed of the external pollution which was pressed upon it, just as garments, when dirty, are put into the water and turned about until their dirt is removed and they become clean. And so the cleansing of the soul is to regain the newness of her former nature and to turn herself back again. That is her baptism.” (Exegesis on the Soul)
- Such a purification may also be for the forgiveness of sins: “Hear me as I sing praises to thee, O Light of Lights. (...) Save me, O Light, in thy great mystery and forgive my transgression in thy forgiveness. And give me the baptism and forgive my sins and purify me from my transgression.” (Pistis Sophia Ch. 57)
- This may be one of several baptisms. In the fragmentary text ‘On Baptism A, “...the first baptism is the forgiveness of sins.” (On Baptism A 41:10)
9. BAPTISM - NUMBER AND TYPES
- In On the Origin of the World, there are three ages of the world (parousias), three types of humans and, corresponding to these, three baptisms of different types: “So, too, there are three baptisms - the first is the spiritual, the second is by fire, the third is by water.” (Origin of the World)
- In the Gospel of Philip, baptism is associated with water while the chrism is associated with fire. See CHRISM, FIRE
- Nevertheless, John the Baptist says: “I baptize with water, but he (Christ) will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” (Matthew 3:11) Hence, there is also a ‘baptism of fire’.
- In The Book of Jeu, there a Gnostic ‘baptism of fire’ is mentioned: “Jesus turned to the four corners of the world with his disciples and invoked this prayer, speaking thus: ‘Hear me my Father, father of all Fatherhoods, infinite Light, make my disciples worthy to receive the baptism of fire.’” (Book of Jeu 110)
- During his visionary ascent through the Upper Aeons, Zostrianos is baptized in the watery light seven times for each of the aeons: “I left the airy-earth and passed by the copies of the aeons, after washing there seven times in living water, once for each of the aeons. I did not cease until I saw all the waters.” (Zostrianos)
10. BAPTISM - MISCELLANEOUS
- Three angels preside over the baptism: “Then a voice came to them, saying "Micheu and Michar and Mnesinous, who are over the holy baptism and the living water” (Apocalypse of Adam 84:4)
- There is also an imperfect baptism (perhaps conducted by John the Baptist ‘upon the river’ Jordan): “For at that time the demon will also appear upon the river to baptize with an imperfect baptism, and to trouble the world with a bondage of water.” (Paraphrase of Shem)

 
 
  - BARBELO
- Also called Barbelon
1. BARBELO IN GENERAL
- An important figure from the Sethian Gnostic texts
- She is the second, feminine principle in the Gnostic Trinity of the Father, Mother and Son. See TRINITY.
- She appears under numerous names: the Mother, Thought (Ennoia), Forethought (Pronoia), First Thought (Protennoia), Aeon-giver etc.
2. BARBELO AS THE FIRST AEON
- In the beginning, when the One reflected upon itself, an image of itself appeared in the watery light of the aeons. The aeons surround the One like so many mirrors, reflecting images of itself back to itself. In this way, the aeons preserve the One’s unity while also extending it outward.
- Barbelo is the first image that appeared in the aeonic mirror.
- Barbelo as ‘first-appearer’: “And thou (Barbelo) dost become a great male noetic First-Appearer.” (Three Steles of Seth) For Barbelo as male, see below.
- Barbelo as the first aeon and the first to see the One: “Great is the first aeon, male virginal Barbelo, the first glory of the invisible Father, she who is called ‘perfect’. Thou (Barbelo) hast seen first the One who truly pre-exists (...). And from him and through him thou hast pre-existed eternally, (...) light from light.” (Three Steles of Seth) For Barbelo as male and virginal, see below.
3. BARBELO AS THOUGHT
- When the One (invisible Spirit) first thought upon itself, it became two. The second to appear, as its image or reflection, was called his Thought (Ennoia), Forethought (Pronoia) or First Thought (Protonoia). Barbelo is then identified with all three Thought figures (which are feminine): “And his Thought (i.e. Thinking - Nous) performed a deed and she (Thought - Ennoia) came forth, namely she who had appeared before him in the shine of his light. This is the first power which was before all of them (and) which came forth from his Mind (Nous). She is the Forethought (Pronoia) of the All - her light shines like his light - the perfect power which is the image of the invisible, virginal Spirit (i.e. the One) who is perfect. The first power, the glory of Barbelo, the perfect glory in the aeons, the glory of the revelation, she glorified the virginal Spirit (i.e. the One) and it was she who praised him, because thanks to him she had come forth. This is the First Thought (Protonoia), his image; she became the womb of everything.” (Apocryphon of John)
- In Trimorphic Protennoia, Barbelo is again identified with Thought (Ennoia) and First Thought (Protennoia), as the image or reflection of the One (invisible Spirit). Protennoia: “He perpetuated the Father of all Aeons, who am I, the Thought of the Father, Protennoia, that is, Barbelo, the perfect Glory, and the immeasurable Invisible One who is hidden. I am the Image of the Invisible Spirit, and it is through me that the All took shape.” (Trimorphic Protennoia) See ENNOIA
3. BARBELO AS MOTHER
- When the One became two, it became the Father and Mother (these are the masculine and feminine names of one androgynous being. See ANDROGYNE). As three, it became the trinity of Father, Mother and Son: “Three powers came forth from him (the One); they are the Father, the Mother, (and) the Son (...) The second ogdoad-power, the Mother, the virginal Barbelon.” (Gospel of the Egyptians) See TRINITY.
4. BARBELO AS MOTHER OF THE AEONS, OR AEON-GIVER
- Barbelo “became the womb of everything” (Apocryphon of John above) and “it is through (her) that the All took shape.” (Trimorphic Protennoia above) because she generated the Upper Aeons.
- As begetter of the Upper Aeons, Barbelo is called ‘Mother of the aeons’: “O Mother of the aeons, Barbelo” (Melchizedek)
- As begetter of the Upper Aeons, Barbelo is also called ‘the aeon-giver’ who makes the One numerous while preserving its unity: “We bless thee (Barbelo), producer of perfection, aeon-giver (...) thou hast become numerable (although) thou didst continue being one.” (Three Steles of Seth)
- Although she makes the One numerous, she preserves its unity. She is a unity that comes from a unity. Seth: “Thou (Barbelo) a great monad from a pure monad.” (Three Steles of Seth)
4. BARBELO AS POWER
- Barbelo is a power that comes from a power. Seth: “from one indivisible, triple power, thou (Barbelo) a triple power” (Three Steles of Seth) For triple, see below.
- Barbelo’s unique power is to beget and give form: “Thou (Barbelo) hast empowered in begetting, and (provided) forms in that which exists to others. [...] Thou hast empowered these.” (Three Steles of Seth)
- Barbelo’s power extends to all the aeons: “For their sake thou (Barbelo) hast empowered the eternal ones in being; thou hast empowered divinity in living; thou hast empowered knowledge in goodness; in blessedness thou hast empowered the shadows (i.e. images) which pour from the one. Thou hast empowered this (one) in knowledge; thou hast empowered another one in creation.” (Three Steles of Seth)
5. BARBELO AS CONSORT
- When the One became two, it became the Father and Mother. Father and Mother are the masculine and feminine names of one androgynous being (See ANDROGYNE). As androgynous, the One begets when its two consorts or names (the Father and Mother) consent to unite and create a third (the Son): “Three powers came forth from him (the One); they are the Father, the Mother, and the Son (...) The second ogdoad-power, the Mother, the virginal Barbelon (...) who presides over the heaven (...) she came forth; she agreed (consented) with the Father.” (Gospel of the Egyptians)
- Barbelo engenders the Upper Aeons by asking her consort for his consent. The One (called here the invisible Spirit) consents with his consort Barbelo and she begets a new aeon, which is a new extension of the One’s unity. See CONSORT.
- In this way, Barbelo multiplies the aeonic mirrors surrounding the One, beginning with Foreknowledge, Indestructibility, Eternal Life and Truth: “She (Barbelo) requested from the invisible, virginal Spirit (i.e. the One) to give her foreknowledge. And the Spirit consented. And when he had consented, the foreknowledge came forth, and it stood by the forethought; it originates from the thought of the invisible, virginal Spirit. It glorified him and his perfect power, Barbelo, for it was for her sake that it had come into being.” This schema is repeated for Indestructibility, Eternal Life and Truth. (Apocryphon of John)
6. BARBELO AS THE MOTHER OF CHRIST
- Most importantly, Barbelo begets the Christ, who is called the Son, the light, the only-begotten one etc.: “And the invisible, virginal Spirit (i.e. the One) rejoiced over the Light which came forth, that which was brought forth first by the first power of his Forethought, which is Barbelo. And he anointed (chrism) it (Christ) with his kindness (chrestos) until it became perfect.” (Apocryphon of John)
- This scheme is repeated in the Trimorphic Protennoia, except Barbelo anoints Christ: “It is he alone who came to be, that is, the Christ. And, as for me (Barbelo), I anointed (chrism) him as the glory of the Invisible Spirit (i.e. the One), with kindness (chrestos). Now the Three, I established alone in eternal glory over the Aeons in the Living Water.” (Trimorphic Protennoia)
7. BARBELO AS MALE AND VIRGIN
- ‘Male’ is an adjective that denotes a being from the Upper Aeons (while ‘female’ denotes a being from the Lower Aeons). See MALE AND FEMALE.
- Although Barbelo is the feminine principle in the Gnostic Trinity of Father, Mother and Son, she is called ‘male’ because she generated the Upper Aeons (while Sophia Achamoth, as ‘female’, generated the Lower Aeons).
- ‘Virgin’ is also an adjective that denotes a being from the Upper Aeons. See VIRGIN.
- ‘Virgin’ has the further connotation of ‘non-sexual generation’ (generating an offspring through the consent of two consorts). This is the manner in which Upper Aeonic beings multiply, in contrast to Lower Aeonic beings, which generate offspring through sexual intercourse. See CONSORT, MALE AND FEMALE.
- It is in this sense that Barbelo is a male virgin: “Then the great Seth gave praise to the great, uncallable, virginal Spirit, and the male virgin Barbelon” (Gospel of the Egyptians)
- Seth calls Barbelo ‘male’ and ‘virginal’. Seth: “Great is the first aeon, male virginal Barbelo, the first glory of the invisible Father, she who is called ‘perfect’” (Three Steles of the Great Seth)
- Sometimes, Barbelo is referred to simply as ‘the male virgin’: “And in this way, the three powers gave praise to the great, invisible, unnameable, virginal, uncallable Spirit (i.e. the One), and his male virgin.” (Gospel of the Egyptians)
- Since she is ‘male’, Barbelo is not only the ‘Mother of the Aeons’ (see above) but also the ‘Father of the Aeons’ - “And he stood in his own Light that surrounds him, that is, the Eye of the Light that gloriously shines on me. He (i.e. the One) perpetuated the Father of all Aeons, who am I, the Thought of the Father, Protennoia, that is, Barbelo...” (Trimorphic Protennoia)
8. BARBELO AS THREE AND THRICE
- ‘Thrice’ or ‘triple’ is an adjective commonly used in ancient Greek to emphasize the greatness or power of something, e.g. Hermes Trismegistos as the ‘thrice great Hermes’. See THRICE
- ‘Three times’ also manifests unity in multiplity, since the Gnostic Trinity of Father, Mother and Son are understood to be one.
- ‘Three-fold’ and ‘thrice’ in this passage emphasize Barbelo’s power to multiply while remaining unified: “Thou (Barbelo) didst continue being one (fem.); yet becoming numerable in division, thou art three-fold. Thou art truly thrice, thou one (fem.) of the one (masc.)” (Three Steles of Seth)

 
 
  - BEAST - see ANIMALS
 
 
  - BEGET
- Also called generate, give birth, engender, create.
- Hence: unbegotten, self-begotten, first-begotten, only-begotten.
1. TO BEGET IN GENERAL
- To beget is to produce an off-spring.
2. BEGETTING AMONG PNEUMATICS, PSYCHICS AND HYLICS
- Sexual intercourse differs among Pneumatics, Psychics and Hylics. When Hylics beget, they produce more bodies. When Psychics beget, they produce more souls. Meanwhile, when Pneumatics beget, they produce more spirits. See SEXUAL INTERCOURSE.
- Pneumatics beget spirits because they beget in a manner similar to beings in the Upper Aeons. That is to say, there is a consent between two consorts. They do this in the Bridal Chamber. See BRIDAL CHAMBER.
3. BEGETTING IN THE UPPER AND LOWER AEONS
- In the exact sense of the term, ‘begetting’ is the manner of reproduction in the Lower Aeons, while ‘conceiving and creating’ is the manner of reproduction in the Upper Aeons.
- In the Upper Aeons, angelic beings reproduce when two consorts consent to ‘create’ a third. See CONSORT.
- Meanwhile, in the Lower Aeons, a male and female sexually unite to ‘beget’ their off-spring. See SEXUAL INTERCOURSE.
- NOTE: In most Gnostic texts, this distinction is not upheld. So, in the Upper Aeons, there is ‘begetting’ as well as ‘creating’: “And thou (the One) hast created them (the Elect), for thou hast begotten Man in thy self-originate mind.” (Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex)
- In Eugnostos the Blessed, a hierarchal order appears: to create, to fashion, to form, to name, to beget: “And from what was created, what was fashioned appeared. And what was formed appeared from what was fashioned. What was named appeared from what was formed, while the difference among begotten things appeared from what was named, from beginning to end, by power of all the aeons.” (Eugnostos the Blessed)
- ‘Conception’ results from a kiss, while ‘begetting’ results (presumeably) from sexual intercourse: “All who are begotten in the world are begotten in a natural way... (But) it is by a kiss that the perfect conceive and give birth.” (Gospel of Philip) See KISS.
- It is possible to beget through the word, which is like a seed or sperm: “Like the word he begot them, subsisting spermatically (...) he sowed a thought like a spermatic seed.” (Tripartite Tractate)
- Conceived as opposed to begotten: “Were we also begotten from a virginal state or conceived by the word? Rather, we have been born again by the word. Let us therefore strengthen ourselves as virgins in the [...].” (Testimony of Truth)
4. UNBEGOTTEN, SELF-BEGOTTEN AND BEGOTTEN
- There are three types of beings in the Upper Aeons: ‘the unbegotten’, ‘the self-begotten’ and ‘the begotten’: “Jesus had not spoken to his disciples of the whole extent of the places of the great invisible one and [...] the emanations of the great invisible one - and their unbegotten ones and their self-begotten ones and their begotten ones...” (Pistis Sophia bk I)
5. THE ONE AS UNBEGOTTEN
- Usually, ‘Unbegotten’ refers to the One: “He is unbegotten, and there is no other who begot him, nor another who created him.” (Tripartite Tractate)
- “...the silence which belongs to the Unbegotten One among the aeons.” (Marsanes)
- “Then she praised the Universal One, saying (...) ‘Thou art He Who Is, the Aeon of Aeons, the Unbegotten, who art higher than the unbegotten (ones).’” (Allogenes)
- The unbegotten One is immortal, while the begotten perish: “For he (the One) is immortal and eternal, having no birth; for everyone who has birth will perish. He is unbegotten, having no beginning; for everyone who has a beginning has an end.” (Eugnostos the Blessed)
6. THE ONE AS SELF-BEGOTTEN
- The One can also be called ‘self-begotten’. Also called ‘self-originate’.
- The One as ‘unbegotten’ and ‘self-begotten’: “Great is the good Self-begotten who stood, the God who had already stood. (...) Thou art unbegotten. Thou hast appeared in order that thou mightest reveal the eternal ones. Thou art he who is. Therefore thou hast revealed those who really are.” (Three Steles of Seth)
- The One as self-begotten: “This great name of yours is upon me, O self-begotten Perfect one, who is not outside me.” (Gospel of the Egyptians)
- The expression ‘self-begotten’ (or ‘self-originate’) is often left in the ancient Greek form, as ‘Autogenes’.
- The One as self-begotten Autogenes: “...unproclaimable Father, the aeon of the aeons, Autogenes, self-begotten, self-producing...” (Gospel of the Egyptians)
7. THE SON AS AUTOGENES, SELF-BEGOTTEN, ONLY-BEGOTTEN, FIRST-BEGOTTEN
- Although the One is referred to above as ‘self-begotten’, usually the term Autogenes describes the Son (who is either the Word, the saviour Seth or the Christ). The Autogenes often appears in Sethian Gnostic texts.
- In the Apocryphon of John and the Gospel of the Egyptians, the Autogenes begets or is begotten together with the Four Lights.
- Christ the Son as Autogenes: “Because of the word, Christ the divine Autogenes created everything...” “...the twelve aeons which attend the son of the mighty one, the Autogenes, the Christ, through the will and the gift of the invisible Spirit.” (Apocryphon of John)
- The saviour Seth results from the combination of the Logos, Autogenes and Adamas: “Then the great Logos, the divine Autogenes, and the incorruptible man Adamas mingled with each other. (...) And thus there came forth (...) the great incorruptible Seth, the son of the incorruptible man Adamas.” (Gospel of the Egyptians)
- In the Three Steles of Seth, the saviour Seth blesses his father Adamas (Geradamas) for ‘begetting him without begetting him’: “I bless thee, Father Geradama(s), I, as thine own Son, Emmacha Seth, whom thou didst beget without begetting,” (Three Steles of Seth)
- “I (Christ) came from Self-begotten and First Infinite Light, that I might reveal everything to you.” (Sophia of Jesus Christ)
- Christ the Son is also called Only-begotten and First-begotten.
- The Son (Christ) is Only-begotten: “This (the Christ) was an only-begotten child of the Mother-Father which had come forth; it is the only offspring, the only-begotten one of the Father, the pure Light.” (Apocryphon of John)
- “And he (the Son) will fill all the aeons which belong to you with the grace of the only-begotten Son.” (Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex)
- The Son is First-begotten: “Place upon me your beloved, elect, and blessed greatness, the First-born, the First-begotten.” (Prayer of Paul)
- The Son (Christ) is ‘the God who was begotten’: “Now those Aeons (the Four Lights) were begotten by the God who was begotten - the Christ.” (Trimorphic Protennoia)
- The Son (Christ) is both begotten and unbegotten: “And even if he (Christ) has been begotten, he is (still) unbegotten.” (Silvanus)
- Melchizedek contends with those who say Christ was unbegotten: “Furthermore, they will say of him (Christ) that he is unbegotten, though he has been begotten, (...) that he is unfleshly, though he has come in the flesh, that he did not come to suffering, though he came to suffering, that he did not rise from the dead, though he arose from the dead.” (Melchizedek)
8. THE ELECT AS UNBEGOTTEN
- The author of Marsanes moves from a ‘begotten’ existence in the Lower Aeons to an ‘unbegotten existence’ in the Upper Aeons: “I was dwelling among the aeons which have been begotten. As I was permitted, I have come to be among those that were not begotten.” (Marsanes)
- The unbegotten are all who exist in the Upper Aeons, including the Elect: “They (Upper Aeonic beings) exist from the beginning in the entire place which is eternal, i.e. all those that have come into existence, (...) those who are unbegotten, and the divine aeons, together with the angels, and the souls which are without guile.” (Marsanes)

 
 
  - BITTER
- a negative adjective, relating to desire, bodily passion, Fate.
- opposite of SWEET and FRAGRANCE.
- “From desire (comes) anger, wrath, and bitterness, and bitter passion, and unsatedness.” (Apocryphon of John)
- “O bitterness of the fire that blazes in the bodies of men.” (Book of Thomas the Contender)
- “It (the Archon) has fettered them with its chains and bound all their limbs with the bitterness of the bondage of lust.” (Book of Thomas the Contender)
- Bitter Fate: “He (Yaltabaoth) made a plan with his authorities, which are his powers, and they committed together adultery with Sophia, and bitter fate was begotten through them, which is the last of the changeable bonds.” (Apocryphon of John)

 
 
  - BLIND
- A state of ignorance in the Lower Aeons, where one has no vision for the invisible things of the Upper Aeons.
- Jesus to Peter: “’If you want to know their blindness, put your hands upon (your) eyes - your robe - and say what you see.’ But when I had done it, I did not see anything. I said ‘No one sees (this way).’ Again he told me, ‘Do it again.’ And there came in me fear with joy, for I saw a new light greater than the light of day.” (Apocalypse of Peter)
- “And blessed is he who has opened the eyes of the blind.” (Gospel of Truth)
- Those who do not see or hear Christ are “deaf and blind”; they are “completely dead.” (Apocalypse of Peter)

 
 
  - BODY
- In Gnosticism, the body is regarded as a vessel, created by the Archons, to imprison spirits in the matter of the Lower Aeons. The body was acquired when the spirit entered this world at birth, and it will be removed when it departs after death. While in this corruptible vessel, the spirit risks contamininating itself through the bodily temptation, and becoming trapped by the Archons in the Lower Aeons.
- In descending, the spirit acquired a body: “You received flesh when you entered this world.” (Treatise on the Resurrection)
- When, re-ascending, the spirit (or soul) gives back the body, since the body belongs to the Archons. The soul, while ascending: “She gave back the body to those who had given it to her.” (Authoritative Teaching)
- The body is often likened to a garment. See GARMENT.
- The body is likened to a beast, vessel, tomb, enclosure of light, Archons’ abode, cavern, garment of ignorance, dark cage, portable tomb.
- A beast: The “body is bestial” (Book of Thomas the Contender)
- A vessel: “the vessel of their flesh will dissolve” (Book of Thomas the Contender)
- A tomb: “This is the tomb of the newly-formed body with which the robbers had clothed the man, the bond of forgetfulness; and he became a mortal man.” (Apocryphon of John)
- A carcass: “in the body and carcasses of flesh” (Valentinian Exposition)
- An enclosures of light: “so that the modelled forms of the authorities (Archons) might become enclosures of the light” (On the Origin of the World)
- The Archons’ abode: “the body is a temporary dwelling which the rulers and authorities have as an abode” (Interpretation of Knowledge)
- Garment of ignorance, etc.: “But first you must rip off the tunic that you wear, the garment of ignorance, the foundation of vice, the bonds of corruption, the dark cage, the living death, the portable tomb...” (Corpus Hermeticum VII:2)

 
 
  - BONDS
- All that restrain spirits from returning to the Upper Aeons.
- Also called ‘chains’, ‘bars’, ‘walls’, ‘secure gates’.
- The Bonds of the Lower Aeons: forgetfulness, oblivion, ignorance, fate, time.
- “Every bond I loosed from you, and the chains of the demons of the underworld I broke, these things which are bound on my members, restraining them. And the high walls of darkness I overthrew, and the secure gates of those pitiless ones I broke, and I smashed their bars” (Trimorphic Protennoia)
- “For from that fate came forth every sin and injustice and blasphemy, and the chain of forgetfulness and ignorance (...) For they are bound with measures and times and moments, since it (fate) is lord over everything.” (Apocryphon of John)

 
 
  - BOOK OF THE LIVING
- The book in which the names of the Elect are inscribed: “Those who are to receive teaching are the living, who are inscribed in the book of the living.” (Gospel of Truth) See NAMES.
- The book exists in the Father: “...the living book of the living - the one written in the thought and the mind of the Father, which from before the foundation of the totality was within his incomprehensibility.” (Gospel of Truth)
- By suffering on the cross, Jesus brought life to those inscribed in the book: “For this reason, the merciful one, the faithful one, Jesus, was patient in accepting sufferings until he took that book, since he knows that his death is life for many.” (Gospel of Truth)
- Through his crucifixion, that book was ‘published’: “For this reason Jesus appeared; he put on that book; he was nailed to a tree; he published the edict of the Father on the cross.” (Gospel of Truth)
- There is a Gnostic belief that the number of the Elect (Pneumatics) and the Saved (Psychics) is a limited number. And when that number is reached, the end will come. See ELECT

 
 
  - BRIDAL CHAMBER
1. THE BRIDAL CHAMBER IN GENERAL
- Since it is a mystery, the Bridal Chamber is compared to the Holy of Holies: “The Holy of the Holies is the bridal chamber.” (Gospel of Philip)
- The Bridal Chamber has not been revealed explicitly through the existing Gnostic texts, and remains a mystery. One can only make conjectures as to its nature.
- It is a rite mentioned in conjuction with other rites, particularly the baptism. See BAPTISM
- It is one of the rites that constitute the Five Seals. See FIVE SEALS
- It is a rite where the bride and bridegroom come together as a unity. However, the bride and bridegroom may be interpreted variously.
- Depending on the interpretation of bride and bridegroom, the rite may be a vow of chastity, the acquisition of a garment of light, or a wedding rite following the example of Christ and Sophia.
2. THE BRIDAL CHAMBER AS A VOW OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE
- In the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus says that it is the solitary ones (lit. ‘monastics’) who will enter the Bridal Chamber: “Many are standing at the door, but it is the solitary who will enter the bridal chamber.” (Gospel of Thomas 46:11)
- As a rite of sexual abstinence, the catechumen was married to a spiritual being in the Upper Aeons. His ‘wedding vow’ thus became a vow of fidelity (sexual abstinence) to this Upper Aeonic being.
- It is possible that this vow of chastity was not only taken by individuals, but by married couples.
- In either case, the rite was based on the union of male and female, bride and bridegroom, in the Bridal Chamber.
- But, the pairing of male and female, bridegroom and bride, could be interpreted variously. The examples we have are the union of the spirit and soul, or of the angel and image.
3. THE BRIDAL CHAMBER AS THE UNION OF SOUL AND SPIRIT
- Since the soul is feminine and the spirit is masculine, then each person may unite these two aspects of him/herself in the Bridal Chamber.
- Valentinian Gnosticism expands this myth to say that Christ is the masculine spirit from above which descends to Sophia, the feminine soul below, in order to redeem her and ascend together to the Upper Aeons, where they will unite in the Bridal Chamber. See below.
- The Exegesis of the Soul is a long allegory in which the same schema applies, except the soul is treated uniquely rather than compared to Sophia. The soul is said to be androgynous in the Upper Aeons, but becomes feminine when it descends into the Lower Aeons, acquiring a body. “As long as she (the soul) was alone with the father, she was virgin and in form androgynous. But when she fell down into a body and came to this life, then she fell into the hands of many robbers.” (Exegesis of the Soul)
- As feminine, the soul seeks to unite with a male. But, being in the body, the only form of union it can find is sexual union and the only male it can find are masculine demons. She consorts with these masculine demons, prostituting herself, until finally she repents. In response, the Father sends her the bridegroom, Christ. In preparation, she ‘cleanses’ herself through the rites of baptism and the Bridal Chamber.
- “From heaven the father sent her (the soul) her man, who is her brother, the firstborn. Then the bridegroom came down to the bride. She gave up her former prostitution and cleansed herself of the pollutions of the adulterers, and she was renewed so as to be a bride. She cleansed herself in the bridal chamber; she filled it with perfume; she sat in it waiting for the true bridegroom. No longer does she run about the market place, copulating with whomever she desires” (Exegesis of the Soul)
- The soul then unites with the bridegroom. The marriage of the bride and bridegroom (in the Bridal Chamber) is not carnal. Those who unite in the Bridal Chamber will ‘leave behind physical desire’ and ‘not have intercourse with one another’ (i.e. it is a vow of sexual chastity): “But then the bridegroom, according to the father's will, came down to her into the bridal chamber, which was prepared. And he decorated the bridal chamber. For since that marriage is not like the carnal marriage, those who are to have intercourse with one another will be satisfied with that intercourse. And as if it were a burden, they leave behind them the annoyance of physical desire and they turn their faces from each other. But this marriage [...].” (Exegesis of the Soul)
- The union of the bride and bridegroom (in the Bridal Chamber) restores the unity which Adam and Eve lost when they were divided: “But once they unite with one another, they become a single life. Wherefore the prophet said concerning the first man and the first woman, ‘They will become a single flesh.’ (Gn 2:24) For they (Adam and Eve) were originally joined one to another when they were with the father before the woman (Eve) led astray the man, who is her brother (Adam). This marriage has brought them back together again...” (Exegesis of the Soul)
- Through union (or intercourse) with Christ, the soul receives a seed or spirit: “Thus when the soul had adorned herself again in her beauty [...] enjoyed her beloved, and he also loved her. And when she had intercourse with him, she got from him the seed that is the life-giving spirit, so that by him she bears good children and rears them. For this is the great, perfect marvel of birth. And so this marriage is made perfect by the will of the father. Now it is fitting that the soul regenerates herself and become again as she formerly was.” (Exegesis of the Soul)
- To say that the soul “became again as she formerly was” recalls the first line that “she was virgin and in form androgynous.”
- Conclusion. In Exegesis of the Soul, the rite of the Bridal Chamber appears to be a vow of sexual abstinence. While in the body, the soul acts according to its feminine nature, seeking to unite with a male. But, since the only form of union is through desire (male demons) and in the body (sexual intercourse), she repents. Instead, she turns to her true male (Christ the Bridegroom) and unites with him spiritually (the Bridal Chamber).
- Through this rite, the catechumen is wed to Christ and, in the process, his soul receives the spirit. Since he/she promises to renounce physical desire and sexual intercourse, the marriage becomes a vow of sexual chastity. As a reward, the soul will be made complete, through the union of feminine soul and masculine spirit in the Upper Aeons.
- It is possible that the rite of the Bridal Chamber described in this text applies to married couples as well as individuals.
- Following the vow of sexual abstinence, each partner in the couple will “leave behind them the annoyance of physical desire.” (Exegesis of the Soul)
- It is further possible that the rite of the Bridal Chamber described here applies to married couples who do not abstain from sexual intercourse. Rather, it is a means for Pneumatics to multiply while still in the body. Through their souls’ union with the spirit of Christ (or the syzygy of Sophia-Christ), the woman will receive “the seed that is the life-giving spirit, so that by him she bears good children and rears them. For this is the great, perfect marvel of birth. And so this marriage is made perfect by the will of the father.” (Exegesis of the Soul)
- In the text Silvanus, the Bridal Chamber is a marriage of the soul with ‘the mind’ rather than ‘the spirit’. The soul scorns the body and its ‘drunkeness’ to embrace the mind’s light: “O soul, persistent one, be sober and shake off your drunkenness, which is the work of ignorance. If you persist and live in the body, you dwell in rusticity. When you entered into a bodily birth, you were begotten. Come into being inside the bridal chamber! Be illuminated in mind!” (Silvanus)
4. THE BRIDAL CHAMBER AS PUTTING ON A GARMENT OF LIGHT
- The rite of the Bridal Chamber is associated with light. In particular, the catechumen ‘puts on a garment of light’.
- The Gospel of Philip also mentions the soul and spirit in the context of the Bridal Chamber, adding that light is a necessary component in the Bridal Chamber ritual: “It is from water and fire that the soul and the spirit came into being. It is from water and fire and light that the son of the bridal chamber (came into being).” (Gospel of Philip) In this gospel, water is associated with Baptism and fire is associated with the Chrism. See BAPTISM and CHRISM. Hence, this passage suggests that the rites of baptism (water) and chrism (fire) were combined with the Bridal Chamber (light). See FIVE SEALS.
- The Bridal Chamber is identified with baptism. It brings about a state of unity. In it, one puts on a garment of light: “It (baptism) is also called ‘bridal chamber’ because of the agreement and the indivisible state of those who know they have known him. It is also called ‘the light which does not set and is without flame’ since it does not give light, but those who have worn it are made into light.” (Tripartite Tractate 128:33)
- The Bridal Chamber is a form of union that is without desire or the body. Rather, it belongs to the light (and is a union with the light): “No [one can] know when [the husband] and the wife have intercourse with one another, except the two of them. Indeed, marriage in the world is a mystery for those who have taken a wife. If there is a hidden quality to the marriage of defilement, how much more is the undefiled marriage a true mystery! It is not fleshly, but pure. It belongs not to desire, but to the will. It belongs not to the darkness or the night, but to the day and the light.” (Gospel of Philip 81:34)
- In the rite of the Bridal Chamber, one renounces the Archons and puts on a robe of light: “Judas said, "Behold! The governors (i.e. Archons) dwell above us, so it is they who will rule over us!" The Lord said, "It is you who will rule over them! But when you rid yourselves of jealousy, then you will clothe yourselves in light and enter the bridal chamber.” (Dialogue of the Saviour)
- The garment (of light) becomes a wedding garment in the Bridal Chamber. The mystery of the Bridal Chamber brings unity, but that mystery is not discussed: “...to the height. There I am, in the eternal realms that no one has seen or understood, where the wedding of the wedding robe is. It is the new wedding, not the old, and it does not perish, for the new bridal chamber is of the heavens, and it is perfect. As I have revealed, there are three ways, and this is an undefiled mystery in the spirit of the eternal realm that is not destroyed or divided or even discussed, for it is indivisible, universal, and permanent.” (Second Treatise of the Great Seth 57:10 - Meyer translation)
- If the Father is understood as ‘the light’ and the soul is understood as ‘the virgin who came down’, then the Bridal Chamber is the marriage (union) of the soul with the Father’s light. From that moment onward, the soul wears ‘the garment of light’, in remembrance of its marriage (union) with the light: “Indeed, one must utter a mystery. The Father of everything united with the virgin who came down, and a fire shone for him on that day. He appeared in the great bridal chamber. Therefore his body (i.e. light-body or garment of light) came into being on that very day. It left the bridal chamber as one who came into being from the bridegroom and the bride.” (Gospel of Philip)
- For ‘putting on a garment of light’, see BAPTISM,, FIVE SEALS, and GARMENT,
- In conclusion, the Bridal Chamber is closely associated with the rite of the baptism. During this rite (see the rite of the FIVE SEALS), the catechumen is baptised in the watery light of the Upper Aeons. He emerges from the baptismal water with his ‘garment of light’. This immersion in the watery light is interpreted, at the same time, as a union or marriage with the light. The catechumen is the feminine soul and the Father is the masculine light. These two are ‘united in the Bridal Chamber’, and from that time onward, the soul wears the ‘garment of light’ in remembrance of her union with the Father.
5. THE BRIDAL CHAMBER AS THE UNION OF ANGEL AND IMAGE
- The pairing of male and female, bridegroom and bride, may be interpreted as the marriage of the angel and image in the Upper Aeons.
- As such, the Bridal Chamber is, once again, a rite of sexual abstinence in which the catechumen is married to a spiritual being in the Upper Aeons. His ‘wedding vow’ becomes a vow of fidelity (sexual abstinence) to this Upper Aeonic being.
- In the Gospel of Philip, men are subject to temptation from female demons (succubi) while women are subject to temptation from male demons (incubi).
- To protect oneself against these demons, one receives ‘a male or female power’ in the Bridal Chamber: “...since they (the demons) detain him if he does not receive a male power or a female power, the bridegroom and the bride. One receives them from the mirrored bridal chamber.” (Gospel of Philip 65:8)
- As well, ‘a man and his wife’ may avoid the demons’ temptations if ‘the image and the angel are united with one another’: “When the wanton women see a male sitting alone, they leap down on him and play with him and defile him. So also the lecherous men, when they see a beautiful woman sitting alone, they persuade her and compel her, wishing to defile her. But if they see the man and his wife sitting beside one another, the female cannot come into the man, nor can the male come into the woman. So if the image and the angel are united with one another, neither can any venture to go into the man or the woman.” (Gospel of Philip 65:12)
- The angel here, like all angels in Gnosticism, would be androgynous. See ANDROGYNE.
- The man and his wife may each be a male and female ‘image’ of the one androgynous angel in the Upper Aeons.
- As such, the images of the man and his wife were united in their androgynous angel through the rite of the Bridal Chamber. Through the union of their images with the angel, they are protected against demons.
- Irenaeus mentions the union of spirits with angels in the Bridal Chamber at the time of the restitution: “When the whole seed is perfected, then (...) the spiritual beings will divest themselves of their souls and become intelligent spirits, and, without being hindered or seen, they will enter into the Pleroma, and will be bestowed as brides on the angels around the Savior.” (Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses 1.7.1)
- The Tomb inscription of Flavia Sophe records that she was baptized and anointed (past tense). As well, that she had entered the Bridal Chamber and deathlessly ascended to the Upper Aeons (past tense - hence, in a visionary ascent). As a result, she hopes after death to ‘gaze on the great angel’:
“You, who did yearn for the paternal light
Sister, spouse, my Sophe
Anointed in the baths of Christ with everlasting holy oil,
Hasten to gaze at the divine features of the aeons,
The great Angel of the great council
The true Son;
You entered the Bridal Chamber and deathless ascended
To the bosom of the Father.”
(trans. by Kurt Rudolf, Gnosis, p. 212)
6. THE UNION OF CHRIST AND SOPHIA AS A MODEL FOR THE BRIDAL CHAMBER
- All the beings in the Upper Aeons were created as androgynous angels, which is to say, they are one being with male and female genders or names. As male and female, the two genders are also called ‘consorts’ (syzygies) and resemble each other. These two may consent to re-unite in order to produce another androgynous angel. See ANDROGYNE, CONSORT.
- Christ and Sophia are the male and female ‘names’ of one androgynous being. Sophia’s fault was that she created without her consort’s consent, resulting in the bastard child Yaltabaoth, who engendered the Lower Aeons. Subsequently, Sophia fell from the Upper Aeons. See SOPHIA.
- During the restitution at the end of time, Sophia’s fault will be corrected. Christ will descend and return with her to the Upper Aeons. And there, they will unite once more as one androgynous being. The two consorts will consent to re-unite. See RESTORATION.
- The initial division of Christ and Sophia manifest itself, eventually, in the division of Adam and Eve, and ultimately, in the division of all humans into male and female.
- The restitution will not only re-unite Christ and Sophia, but the human descendents of Adam and Eve that were separated into male and female. More specifically, the Pneumatics (or ‘spirits’) will be re-united in their androgynous angels.
- This restitution is called ‘a wedding’ and it will take place in the Pleroma (Upper Aeons), which is called ‘the Bridal Chamber’.
- The rite of the Bridal Chamber may imitate and ritually make present that anticipated event at the end of time. It would allow a man and a woman to unite, here and now, in recognition and anticipation of their ultimate union in one androgynous being during the restitution.
- Hence, it may be a wedding rite in which a man and woman make a vow, recognizing one another as the bride and the bridegroom, as Christ and Sophia, as two consorts that consent to re-unite in one androgynous being. They recognize that they are two ‘images’ of one androgynous ‘angel’.
- Irenaeus describes the entire schema of the restitution: the union of Christ and Sophia, as well as the spirits (Pneumatics) and their angels, in the Bridal Chamber of the Pleroma (Upper Aeons): “When the whole seed is perfected, then, they say, will the mother, (Sophia) Achamoth leave the place of the Middle, enter into the Pleroma, and receive her bridegroom, the Savior, who came into being from all (the aeons), with result that the Savior and Sophia, who is Achamoth, form a pair (syzygy) These then are said to be bridegroom and bride, but the bridal chamber is the entire Pleroma. The spiritual beings will divest themselves of their souls and become intelligent spirits, and, without being hindered or seen, they will enter into the Pleroma, and will be bestowed as brides on the angels around the Savior.” (Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses 1.7.1 cf. Excerpta ex Theodoto 63-65)
- The Valentinian Exposition, though a fragmented text, describes this same schema: “That she (Sophia) should suffer, was not the will of the Father, for she dwells in herself alone without her consort (Christ) (...) But the syzygy is the [complete one], and Sophia and Jesus and [the angels] and the seeds are [images of] the Pleroma. (...) Moreover when Sophia [receives] her consort and Jesus receives the Christ and the seeds and the angels, then [the] Pleroma will receive Sophia joyfully, and the All will come to be in unity and reconciliation.” (Valentinian Exposition)
- The Gospel of Philip describes the fall of Adam and Eve as the division of humans into male and female. Hence, Christ descends to repair that separation by uniting the male and female in the Bridal Chamber: “If the woman had not separated from the man, she should not die with the man. His separation became the beginning of death. Because of this, Christ came to repair the separation, which was from the beginning, and again unite the two, and to give life to those who died as a result of the separation, and unite them. But the woman is united to her husband in the bridal chamber. Indeed, those who have united in the bridal chamber will no longer be separated. Thus Eve separated from Adam because it was not in the bridal chamber that she united with him.” (Gospel of Philip 70:9)
- Those who know their consorts will not die. The Lord: “These do not die, [...] they are not destroyed, for they have known their consorts and him who would receive them.” (Dialogue of the Saviour 125:13)
- Again, Christ descends to repair the mistake that Sophia made when she separated from him: “I (the saviour) came from the places above by the will of the great Light, (I) who escaped from that bond; I have cut off the work of the robbers; I have awakened that drop that was sent from Sophia, that it might bear much fruit through me, and be perfected and not again be defective, but be joined through me, the Great Savior, that his glory might be revealed, so that Sophia might also be justified in regard to that defect, that her sons might not again become defective but might attain honor and glory and go up to their Father...” (Sophia of Jesus Chrrist 107:11)
- The restitution as a wedding and union: “This is a wedding of truth, (...) this is union, a feast of love (or ‘love feast’), and all are fulfilled in the One.” (Second Treatise of the Great Seth 67:5 Meyer trans.)
- That Christ and Sophia are consorts: “And his consort is the Great Sophia, who from the first was destined in him for union...” (Sophia of Jesus Christ 101:16) ‘His’ refers to ‘the immortal androgynous man’, which is a name for Christ.
- Christ: “But I alone am the friend of Sophia.” (Second Treatise of the Great Seth 70:4)
7. THE BRIDAL CHAMBER AS A RITE OF MARRIAGE FOLLOWING THE UNION OF CHRIST AND SOPHIA
- The Gospel of Philip states that the mystery of the Bridal Chamber is hidden to those who exist in the Lower Aeons. Nevertheless, they may still enter its mystery through a rite that is an image or imitation of the true Bridal Chamber in the Upper Aeons: “The mysteries of truth are revealed, though in type and image. The bridal chamber remains hidden. (...Still,) those (who are) above opened to us the things below, in order that we may go in to the secret of the truth. (...) We shall go in there by means of lowly types (...). They are lowly indeed when compared with the perfect glory. (...Still) the perfect things have opened to us, together with the hidden things of truth. The holies of the holies were revealed, and the bridal chamber invited us in.” (Gospel of Philip 84:20)
- This schema is re-iterated, but in somewhat obscure terms: “Truth did not come into the world naked, but it came in types and images. (...) The bridal chamber and the image must enter through the image into the truth: this is the restoration.” (Gospel of Philip)
- Irenaeus describes a rite of the Bridal Chamber in which the initiates affirm that their spiritual marriage is an image or imitation of (their union in) the syzygies above: “For some of them prepare a nuptial couch, (i.e. bridal chamber) and perform a sort of mystic rite (pronouncing certain expressions) with those who are being initiated, and affirm that it is a spiritual marriage which is celebrated by them, after the likeness (i.e. image) of the conjunctions (i.e. syzygies) above. (... They say) ‘I do not divide the Spirit of Christ, neither the heart nor the supercelestial power which is merciful; may I enjoy Thy name, O Saviour of truth!’” (Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses 1.21.3)
- The mystery of unity in the Bridal Chamber is revealed only to those who have experienced its unity: “No one can know when the husband and the wife have intercourse with one another, except the two of them. Indeed, marriage in the world is a mystery for those who have taken a wife (...) Bridegrooms and brides belong to the bridal chamber. No one shall be able to see the bridegroom with the bride unless he become such a one.” (Gospel of Philip)

 
 
 
- THE CALL
- Also to ‘cry out’, ‘to name’,‘’to speak a name’, ‘to command’.
- The One ‘calls’ the Elect to him. It does this by ‘naming’ the Elect in the Baptismal rite, when one receives a hidden spiritual name. If one recognizes that he is ‘called by that name’, he will return to the One.
- The Father pronounces one’s hidden spiritual name (see NAME), thereby drawing him back to him: “Those whose name he (the Father) knew in advance were called at the end, so that one who has knowledge is the one whose name the Father has uttered. For he whose name has not been spoken is ignorant. Indeed, how is one to hear, if his name has not been called?” (Gospel of Truth)
- The Elect are called to ascend: “If he is called, he hears, he answers, and he turns to him who is calling him, and ascends to him.” (Gospel Truth)
- In Trimorphic Protennoia, the One appears as the Father or the Voice. As the Vocie, the One calls or ‘cries out’ to the Elect, who recognize they are being called: “I am the real Voice. I cry out in everyone, and they recognize it.” (Trimorphic Protennoia)
- The One ‘knows’ the Elect, and ‘commands’ them to know him, thus being saved: “We all bless thee, knower, in a glorifying blessing (...) And thou knowest one, for this one who belongs to thee is on every side (...) Present a command to us to see thee, so that we may be saved. Knowledge of thee, it is the salvation of us all. Present a command! When thou dost command, we have been saved!” (Three Steles of Seth)

 
 
  - CAVE
- This world, the Lower Aeons, ignorance, the body.
- In The Republic (Bk VII, 514a - 516a) Plato recounts the parable of the cave, which states that everyone in the world is like a chained prisoner who can only see shadows passing along the wall, which he takes to be images of the truth.
- “Woe to you, captives, for you are bound in caverns!” (Book of Thomas the Contender)

 
 
  - CHRISM
- Also called ‘anointing’ or ‘baptism in oil’.
- The oil is also called the ‘unction’, ‘ointment’, ‘perfume’, ‘fragrance’.
1. THE CHRISM IN GENERAL
- The chrism is a sacred rite of anointing with oil.
- The chrism is one of the Five Seals. See FIVE SEALS.
- It was probably performed in conjunction with the baptism and Bridal Chamber.
- It is sometimes called ‘the second baptism’, a baptism with oil rather than water.
2. THE CHRISM FIRST TOOK PLACE IN THE UPPER AEONS, DURING THE CREATION
- According to the Apocryphon of John, the invisible Spirit (i.e. the One) first created the aeons of watery light, which surround it like a mirror, reflecting images of itself to itself. The first image of itself to appear in the watery mirror was Barbelo (i.e. Wisdom). She brought forth the next image, the Son, Autogenes (i.e. Christ). The invisible Spirit then ‘anointed’ Christ (the rite of chrism) and ‘poured upon’ him (the rite of baptism). In response, Christ ‘glorified’ the Spirit and Barbelo i.e. he reflected their light back to them: “And the invisible, virginal Spirit (i.e. the One) rejoiced over the light which came forth, that which was brought forth first by the first power of his forethought, which is Barbelo. And he anointed it (chrism) with his kindness (chrestos) until it became perfect (...) And it attended him as he poured upon it (baptism). And immediately when it had received from the Spirit, it glorified the holy Spirit and the perfect forethought, for whose sake it had come forth.” (Apocryphon of John)
- The chrism of the Christ in the Upper Aeons is the archetype or ‘pre-existent’ chrism which all rites of anointing will imitate. Like Christ, the anointed one’s image will come to exist in the Upper Aeons. See below.
3. THE TRANSFER OF CHRIST’S ANOINTING TO THE APOSTLES AND THE ELECT
- Christ initiated the rite of anointing. Those who are anointed become perfect: “That is why Christ was spoken of in their midst, so that those who were disturbed might receive a bringing-back, and he might anoint them with the ointment. This ointment is the mercy of the Father, who will have mercy on them. But those whom he has anointed are the ones who have become perfect” (Gospel of Truth)
- The Father anointed Christ, who anointed the apostles, etc: “It is because of the chrism that ‘the Christ’ has his name. For the Father anointed the Son, and the Son anointed the apostles, and the apostles anointed us. He who has been anointed possesses everything. He possesses the resurrection, the light, the cross, the Holy Spirit. The Father gave him this in the bridal chamber (i.e. The Upper Aeons?); he merely accepted (the gift).” (Gospel of Philip)
- When Christ comes, he will ‘anoint them with the unction of eternal life’: “Then he will teach them about everything, and he will anoint them with the unction of life eternal, given him from the undominated generation. Then they will be freed of blind thought, and they will trample underfoot death, which is of the authorities, and they will ascend into the limitless light where this sown element belongs.” (Hypostasis of the Archons)
- Through Christ, the anointed can overcome evil: “[....] according to [....] the type of [...] see him. It is fitting for you at this time to send thy Son Jesus Christ and anoint us so we might be able to trample upon the snakes and the heads of the scorpions and all the power of the Devil.” (On the Anointing)
4. THE CHRISM AS AN ANOINTING WITH THE WATERY LIGHT OF THE UPPER AEONS, TO ESTABLISH ONE’S IMAGE
- The Upper Aeons are described as luminous waters or a watery light. See AEONS.
- While baptism is related to water, the chrism is related to fire. This fire is the light in the watery light of the Upper Aeons.
- Following the archetype of Christ’s heavenly anointing, the Gnostic rite of the chrism is understood as an immersion in the watery light, so as to ‘seal’ one’s image in the Upper Aeons. The two rites are performed together: the baptism is an immersion in the aeons’ water while the chrism is an immersion in their light.
- The oil of the chrism contains light or fire (see FIRE, LIGHT, ). In particular, the visible oil hides an invisible fire, which is the light or invisible ‘white’ fire of the Upper Aeons, rather than the visible ‘formless’ fire of the Lower Aeons: “It is through water and fire that the whole place is purified - the visible by the visible, the hidden by the hidden. There are some things hidden through those visible. There is water in water, there is fire in chrism.” (Gospel of Philip) “It is from water and fire that the soul and the spirit came into being. It is from water and fire and light that the son of the bridal chamber (came into being). The fire is the chrism, the light is the fire. I am not referring to that fire which has no form, but to the other fire whose form is white, which is bright and beautiful, and which gives beauty.” (Gospel of Philip)
- The baptism is the baptism in water while the chrism as a baptism in the light: “Through the Holy Spirit we are indeed begotten again, but we are begotten through Christ in the two. We are anointed through the Spirit. When we were begotten, we were united. None can see himself either in water or in a mirror without light. Nor again can you see in light without mirror or water. For this reason, it is fitting to baptize in the two, in the light and the water. Now the light is the chrism.” (Gospel of Philip)
- Incidentally, the baptism (in water) and the chrism (in fire) are related to the three Parousias, which are like three baptisms, one by water, one by fire (hence, chrism), and one of the spirit: “there are three baptisms - the first is the spiritual, the second is by fire, the third is by water.” (Origin of the world) (See PAROUSIA.)
5. THE RITE OF THE CHRISM
- The Tomb inscription of Flavia Sophe suggests that she underwent a rite which combined the chrism (‘anointing with everlasting holy oil’) with the baptism (‘the baths of Christ’) and the Bridal Chamber:
“You, who did yearn for the paternal light
Sister, spouse, my Sophe
Anointed in the baths of Christ with everlasting holy oil,
Hasten to gaze at the divine features of the aeons,
The great Angel of the great council
The true Son;
You entered the Bridal Chamber and deathless ascended
To the bosom of the Father.”
(trans. by Kurt Rudolf, Gnosis, p. 212)
- The apostle Thomas anoints a woman names Mygonia. He performs the chrism in conjunction with the rites of enrobing, baptism and eucharist to ‘seal’ her (see FIVE SEALS.< for the full quote). During the chrism, he speaks a certain formula: “And when Narcia had brought these things, Mygdonia (the catechumen) stood before the apostle (Thomas) with her head bare; and he took the oil and poured it on her head, saying: ‘Thou holy oil given unto us for sanctification, secret mystery whereby the cross was shown unto us, thou art the straightener of the crooked limbs, thou art the humbler (softener) of hard things (works), thou art it that showeth the hidden treasures, thou art the sprout of goodness; let thy power come, let it be established upon thy servant Mygdonia, and heal thou her by this freedom.’ And (...) the oil was poured upon her.” (Acts of Thomas 121)
- The chrism was performed with olive oil (and leads to resurrection): “...it is from the olive tree that we got the chrism, and from the chrism, the resurrection.” (Gospel of Philip)
- The oil may have been an aromatic oil, with a certain ‘fragrance’: “Spiritual love is wine and fragrance. All those who anoint themselves with it take pleasure in it. While those who are anointed are present, those nearby also profit (from the fragrance).” (Gospel of Philip 77:35)
6. THE BAPTISM AND CHRISM IN REGARD TO PSYCHICS AND PNEUMATICS, SOULS AND SPIRITS
- There are three types of humans: the Pneumatics (spirit-endowed), the Psychics (soul-endowed) and the Hylics (fleshly). See THREE TYPES OF HUMANS.
- The Gnostic Christians identified themselves with the Pneumatics, while orthodox Christians were said of be Psychics. As such, Gnostic Christians have spirits while orthodox Christians only have souls.
- Orthodox Christians, who perform the rite of baptism, acknowledge the soul. But Gnostic Christians, who also perform the rite of the chrism, acknowledge the spirit.
- “The chrism is superior to baptism, for it is from the word ‘Chrism’ that we have been called ‘Christians’, certainly not because of the word ‘baptism’.” (Gospel of Philip)
- Baptism in water is for the soul, but anointing with oil (fire) is for the spirit: “It is from water and fire that the soul and the spirit came into being (...) The fire is the chrism.” (Gospel of Philip)
- Hence, the following schema arrises:
- Baptism - water - water of watery light - soul - Psychics.
- Chrism - fire - light of watery light - spirit - Pneumatics.

 
 
  - CONSENT
- Also called ‘agree’, ‘reflect’, ‘approve’, ‘nod approval’.
- For the entire schema of how two consorts consent, see CONSORT.

 
 
  - CONSORT
- Also called syzygy, complement, partner, pair, counter-image, reflection
1. CONSORTS IN GENERAL
- Like the One, all beings in the Upper Aeons are androgynous, which is to say, singular beings that possess both male and female genders or names. See ANDROGYNE.
- These two genders or names are also called syzygies, which is translated as consorts, complements, partners, pairs, counter-images or reflections.
- Consorts are like male and female ‘reflections’ of one androgynous being.
- Hence, consorts resemble one another as ‘brother and sister’: “It is also said that she (Sophia) resembles her brother and her consort.” (Eugnostos the Blessed)
- Consorts are like ‘the bride and bridegroom’ that come together in the Bridal Chamber (i.e. the Upper Aeons): “the Savior and Sophia [will] form a pair (syzygy). These then are said to be bridegroom and bride, and the bridal chamber is the entire Pleroma.” (Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses 1.7.1.) “From heaven the father sent her (the soul) her man, who is her brother, the firstborn. Then the bridegroom came down to the bride.” (Exegesis on the Soul 132:7)
- To create another androgynous being, the two consorts ‘consent’ to create a third. Like its parents, the third is androgynous with male and female names. See below.
- The consorts may also consent by ‘reflecting’ or through ‘a kiss’.
- Since the offspring is an extension of the One’s unity, the two consorts must also have the consent of the One.
- Sophia’s fault was that she created an offspring without the consent of the One, or of her consort, the Christ. Thus she begot her bastard son Yaltabaoth, who engendered the Lower Aeons.
2. CONSORTS IN THE ONE
- The One or ‘Parent’ is androgynous, but manifests itself as the Mother and the Father, who are consorts. Protennoia: “I am androgynous. I am Mother (and) I am Father.” (Trimorphic Protennoia)
- Hence, the One is syzygetic, with male and female genders. Protennoia: “I am 'He who is syzygetic' (...) I am called 'She who is syzygetic'.” (Trimorphic Protennoia) As is clear in the previous quotation, the ‘name’ of the male gender is ‘Father’ while the name of the female gender is ‘Mother’.
- The One is a monad (i.e. one) that also becomes a dyad (i.e. two) or a pair (i.e. consorts). In Valentinian Gnosticism, the Silence (Sige) is the consort of the One: “...the Ineffable One who dwells in the Monad. He dwells alone in silence, and silence is tranquility since, after all, he was a Monad and no one was before him. He dwells in the Dyad and in the Pair, and his Pair is Silence (Sige). And he possessed the All dwelling within him.” (Valentinian Exposition.) (‘his pair’ should be read here as ‘consort’).
3. CONSORTS IN CHRIST AND SOPHIA
- In general, Sophia and Christ are consorts.
- As such, Christ is the male name and Sophia is the female name of one androgynous being.
- When the syzygies come together in the Pleroma (i.e. the Upper Aeons), all will be made one and complete. Sophia and Jesus, as two consorts of one androgynous angel, are images of the Pleroma made one and complete: “But the syzygy is the complete one, and Sophia and Jesus (...) are images of the Pleroma.” (Valentinian Exposition)
- Christ’s consort is Sophia, and they are destined to re-unite: “And his consort is the Great Sophia, who from the first was destined in him for union...” (Sophia of Jesus Christ 101:16) ‘His’ refers to ‘the immortal androgynous man’, which is a name for Christ.
- Christ: “But I alone am the friend of Sophia.” (Second Treatise of the Great Seth 70:4)
- The angels, Yaltabaoth and the Archons also have consorts. See ANDROGYNE
4. CONSORTS CONSENTING WITH EACH OTHER
- To create another androgynous being in the Upper Aeons, the two consorts ‘consent’ to create a third.
- The third, though androgynous, has a male and female name.
- The texts Eugnostos the Blessed and The Sophia of Jesus Christ assume this schema.
- Christ is the consort of Sophia, and consented with her to ‘reveal’ a third: “Then Son of Man consented with Sophia, his consort, and revealed a great androgynous Light.” (Eugnostos)
- The Savior is the consort of Pistis Sophia, and consented with her to ‘reveal’ six androgynous offspring: “Then Savior consented with his consort, Pistis Sophia, and revealed six androgynous spiritual beings...” (Eugnostos)
5. CONSORTS REFLECTING WITH EACH OTHER
- Since the consorts are like male and female ‘reflections’ of one androgynous being, their union is not only verbal (‘to consent with one another’) but visual (‘to reflect one another’).
- Hence, instead of ‘consenting’, Christ and Sophia may also ‘reflect’ one another to produce an off-spring with a male and female name: “He (the Son of Man) reflected with Great Sophia, his consort, and revealed his first-begotten, androgynous son. His male name is designated 'First Begetter, Son of God', his female name, 'First Begettress Sophia, Mother of the Universe'.” (Sophia of Jesus Christ)
- ‘To reflect’ means that the consorts ‘recognize’ one another as their true ‘reflections’ or ‘counter-images’. In the Apocryphon of John, the spirit-endowed Eve reminds Adam of their original state: that they were once united as an androgynous angel: “She lifted the veil which lay over his mind. And he became sober from the drunkenness of darkness. And he recognized his counter-image.” i.e. he knew her to be his consort in the syzygy. (Apocryphon of John)
6. CONSORTS REQUIRE THE CONSENT OF THE ONE
- Since their offspring is an extension of the One’s unity, consorts also require the consent of the One.
- In the Apocryphon of John, Barbelo asks the invisible Spirit (i.e. the One) for his consent in order to produce the aeons of Foreknowledge, Indestructibility, Eternal Life and Truth: “She (Barbelo) requested from the invisible, virginal Spirit to give her foreknowledge. And the Spirit consented. And when he had consented, the foreknowledge came forth.” This schema is repeated for Indestructibility, Eternal Life and Truth. (Apocryphon of John)
- In the Gospel of the Egyptians, consorts are created with the consent of the Parent: - “And the parent consented, and the full complement of the luminaries joined in the consent. Consorts were shown forth to bring about the completion of the octet...” (Gospel of the Egyptians 52:3 Bentley translation)
- The angels in the Upper Aeons do not beget in the same manner as beings in the Lower Aeons. These beget by ‘casting off’ a third, while the angels extend the One’s unity: “The emanation of the Totalities, which exist from the One who exists, did not occur according to a separation from one another, as something cast off from the one who begets them. Rather, their begetting is like a process of extension, as the Father extends himself to those whom he loves, so that those who have come forth from him might become him as well.” (Tripartite Tractate 73:19)
7. CONSORTS CONSENTING THROUGH A KISS
- To create a third, two consorts may manifest their consent through a kiss.
- In the Upper Aeons, the angelic beings are androgynous. When they ‘embrace’ (i.e. kiss), their embrace engenders an androgynous angel like themselves: “The whole multitude of those angels are called 'Assembly of the Holy Ones, the Shadowless Lights.' Now when these greet each other, their embraces become like angels like themselves.” (Eugnostos)
- The Father and the Son brought forth the Upper Aeonic beings through kisses, since a kiss manifests union: “Those which exist have come forth from the Son and the Father like kisses, because of the multitude of some who kiss one another with a good, insatiable thought, the kiss being a unity, although it involves many kisses.” (Tripartite Tractate)
- This mystery transpires in the Upper Aeons. Nevertheless, Jesus kissed his disciples to manifest this mystery here below, in the Lower Aeons.
- By kissing his disciples, he initated them into an awareness of the unity of the Upper Aeons, and that they were a part of that unity.
- Hence, Jesus kisses his disciple James before revealing the hidden gnosis: James: “And he kissed my mouth. He took hold of me, saying, "My beloved! Behold, I shall reveal to you those things that (neither) the heavens nor their archons have known.” (Second Apocalypse of James)
- But a kiss is also a form of spiritual union which replaces sexual intercourse. While others (the Psychics and Hylics) beget offspring ‘in a natural way’ (i.e. through sexual intercourse), the perfect (the Pneumatics) ‘conceive and give birth’ to their offspring ‘by a kiss’. The kiss becomes a kind of spiritual intercourse, conception and begetting: “All who are begotten in the world are begotten in a natural way (...But) it is by a kiss that the perfect conceive and give birth. For this reason we also kiss one another. We receive conception from the grace which is in one another.” (Gospel of Philip)
- Jesus and Mary Magdalene are the male and female offspring of the divided Adam and Eve. Christ and Sophia will come together as one at the end of time to repair that separation (see below). Hence, Jesus kisses Magdalene to secretly reveal that anticipated mystery here in the Lower Aeons: “And the companion of the (the savior is) Mary Magdalene. [...] (He) loved her more than all the disciples, and used to kiss her often on her mouth.” (Gospel of Philip)
- The Gospel of Thomas says that all those who ‘make the male and female into a single one’ will enter the kingdom. They do this, perhaps, by recognizing one another as the male and female aspects of one androgynous angel. “Jesus said to them: "When you make the two into one (...) that is, to make the male and the female into a single one, so that the male will not be male and the female will not be female – (...) then you will enter [the kingdom].” (Gospel of Thomas 22)
- Christ descended to repair the separation of Adam and Eve, and their descendents, into male and female. He will do this by uniting with Sophia in the Upper Aeons at the end of time (see below): “If the woman had not separated from the man, she should not die with the man. His separation became the beginning of death. Because of this, Christ came to repair the separation, which was from the beginning, and again unite the two, and to give life to those who died as a result of the separation, and unite them. But the woman is united to her husband in the bridal chamber. Indeed, those who have united in the bridal chamber will no longer be separated. Thus Eve separated from Adam because it was not in the bridal chamber that she united with him.” (Gospel of Philip)
- In Dialogue of the Saviour, those who ‘have known their consorts’ will not perish: “These do not die, [...] they are not destroyed, for they have known their consorts and him who would receive them.” (Dialogue of the Saviour)
- Thus, a man and woman may become consorts who recognize one another as the male and female reflections (or images) of one androgynous angel. They do this by ‘offering their consent’ in a marriage rite, which may be the rite of the Bridal Chamber. See BRIDAL CHAMBER
8. THE FALL OF SOPHIA BECAUSE SHE DID NOT HAVE HER CONSORTS’ CONSENT
- Sophia’s fault was that she created an offspring without the consent of the One, or of her consort, the Christ. Thus she begot her bastard son Yaltabaoth, who engendered the Lower Aeons.
- In one text it is said that Sophia had no father or consort:“(Sophia) Achamoth had no father nor male consort, but she is female from a female.” (First Apocalypse of James)
- However, most texts agree that she had a father and consort, but she did not seek their consent.
- Sophia did not have the consent of the father or of her consort:“And the Sophia of the Epinoia, being an aeon, conceived a thought from herself (...). She wanted to bring forth a likeness out of herself without the consent of the Spirit, - he had not approved - and without her consort, and without his consideration. And though the person of her maleness had not approved (i.e. consented) (...still) she brought forth.” (Apocryphon of John 9:25) “...Then she (Sophia) knew that her consort had not agreed (i.e. consented) with her. She repented with much weeping.” (Apocryphon of John 13:34)
- “Sophia, who is called Pistis, wanted to create something, alone without her consort” (Hypostasis of the Archons 94:5)
- “...she (Sophia) cut herself off from her consort.” (Valentinian Exposition 34:38)
9. THE RAISING OF SOPHIA IN THE RESTITUTION, WHEN SHE GAINS HER CONSORTS’ CONSENT
- At the end of time, in the Restitution, Sophia’s fault will be corrected. Christ will descend and raise her up. Then together they will re-unite in their androgynous angel: “The bridal chamber as union of Christ and Sophia: “When the whole seed is perfected, then, they say, will the mother, (Sophia-)Achamoth leave the place of the Middle, enter into the Pleroma, and receive her bridegroom, the Savior, who came into being from all (the aeons), with result that the Savior and Sophia, who is Achamoth, form a pair (syzygy) These then are said to be bridegroom and bride, but the bridal chamber is the entire Pleroma..” (Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses 1.7.1)
- These means that Christ will give the consent which Sophia did not have in the beginning. With that consent, the two consorts will re-unite.

 
 
  - CONSUMMATION OF THE AGE - See RESOLUTION.
 
 
  - COUNTERFEIT
- A deceptive or fake image of the true archetype.
- Those priests or deacons who falsely teach of Christ’s deeds are “the counterfeit ones, indeed, that there are multitudes that will mislead other multitudes” (Apocalypse of Peter)

 
 
  - COUNTERFEIT SPIRIT
- A type of evil spirit.
- The counterfeit spirit appears primarily in the Apocryphon of John: “And I (John) said, ‘Lord, from where did the counterfeit spirit come?’”
- The story of the origin of the counterfeit spirit is a Gnostic re-telling of Genesis 6:1 in which ‘the Lord’s angels went down to the daughters of men’.
- In general, Yaltabaoth’s demons created the counterfeit spirit as a means of reproducing bodies, and hence, the Hylic race. Through the counterfeit spirit, they also lead people astray through pollution and deception.
- After Yaltabaoth’s demons failed to beget offspring through ‘the daughters of men’, they changed themselves into the likeness of their partners (hence becoming a false image or ‘counterfeit’). Through this deception, they succeeded in begetting offspring through women: “He (Yaltabaoth) sent his angels (i.e demons) to the daughters of men, that they might take some of them for themselves and raise offspring for their enjoyment. And at first they did not succeed. When they had no success, they gathered together again and they made a plan together. (...) And the angels (i.e. demons) changed themselves in their likeness into the likeness of their mates, filling them with the spirit of darkness, which they had mixed for them, and with evil.(...) And they took women and begot children out of the darkness according to the likeness of their spirit.” (Apocrypon of John)
- The Gospel of Philip also mentions demons who take the form of men to deceive women and pollute them: “The forms of evil spirit include male ones and female ones. The males are they which unite with the souls which inhabit a female form (...) The lecherous men (i.e. demons), when they see a beautiful woman sitting alone, persuade her and compel her, wishing to defile her.” (Gospel of Philip)
- Since matter (hyle), which comes from the female, would not be able to reproduce without form (eidos) or spirit (pneuma), which comes from the male, the counterfeit spirit (antimimon pneuma) was created, as a false male power, to reproduce ‘copies of bodies’ through the female: “And he (Yaltabaoth) planted sexual desire in her who belongs to Adam. And he produced through intercourse the copies of the bodies, and he inspired them with his counterfeit spirit.” (Apocrypon of John)
- Unlike the Spirit from above, the counterfeit spirit ‘originates in matter’: “And they (the Archons) brought him (Adam) into the shadow of death, in order that they might form (him) again from earth and water and fire and the spirit which originates in matter, which is the ignorance of darkness and desire, and their counterfeit spirit.” (Apocrypon of John)
- In Pistis Sophia, Martha describes a ‘peculiar demon’ which, like the counterfeit spirit, ‘dwells in matter’: “I (Martha) have become like a peculiar demon, which dwells in matter, in whom is no light. And I have become like a spirit counterpart which is in a material body, in which there is no light-power.” (Pistis Sophia ch 39)
- The second purpose of the counterfeit spirit is to pollute, deceive and ‘lead astray’: “They (Yaltabaoth’s angels) created a counterfeit spirit, who resembles the Spirit who had descended, so as to pollute the souls through it. (...) They brought gold and silver and a gift and copper and iron and metal and all kinds of things. And they steered the people who had followed them into great troubles, by leading them astray with many deceptions.” (Apocrypon of John)
- “But those on whom the counterfeit spirit descends are drawn by him and they go astray.” (Apocrypon of John)
- The Gospel of Philip mentions a type of spirit, which is probably the counterfeit spirit: “Those who have gone astray, whom the spirit begets, usually go astray also because of the spirit. Thus, by one and the same breath (i.e. spirit), the fire blazes and is put out.” (Gospel of Philip) This passage confirms that the dual purpose of the (counterfeit) spirit is 1. to beget more bodies (‘the fire blazes’) and 2. to lead astray (the ‘fire goes out’).

 
 
  - CROWN
- Also called diadem, eternal crown, crown of stability.
1. THE CROWN IN GENERAL
- The Father has a crown, while all of its Upper Aeonic beings (the angels, the Elect) make up its crown.
- The Mother has a crown.
- The Son has a crown, and also bestows crowns.
- Crowns were bestowed upon the disciples (?)
- Primarily, crowns are bestowed upon the Elect.
- The crown shines with light.
- The ‘crowning’ occurs during the rite of baptism.
- As such, the crown is bestowed upon those who have come to exist within the Upper Aeons.
2. THE CROWN OF THE FATHER
- The Father’s crown is the aeons that surround him, filled with light: “This is the Father of the All. This is he upon whose head the aeons are a crown, casting forth rays.” (Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex)
- The Father has a crown, which it bestowed upon 365 types of Upper Aeonic beings. The crown gives light and is a sign of unity. Those below who are in the body pray to ‘receive the crown’: “And there is a crown upon the indivisible one in which is every species of life... This is the crown which the Father of the All gave to the indivisible one, in which there are 365 species, and they shine and fill the All with imperishable and inextinguishable light. This is the crown which gives power to every power. And this is the crown for which all the immortal ones pray (...) And after the invisible one, all the aeons will receive their crowns from it and hasten forth with the indivisible one. And the All will receive their completion through the imperishable one. And for this reason do those who have received bodies pray, wishing to leave their bodies behind, and to receive the crown which is laid up for them in the imperishable aeon.” (Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex)
- The crown bestowed by the Father upon the All contains the names of the All: “the Father of the All, the indescribable one, sent a crown in which is the name of the All, whether endless, or unutterable, or incomprehensible, or imperishable, or unknowable, or still, or all-powered, or indivisible. This is the crown of which it is written: ‘It was given to Solomon on the day of the joy of his heart.’” (Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex)
3. THE CROWN OF THE MOTHER
- In the Acts of Thomas, Judas-Thomas sings a hymn to a heavenly being called ‘the maiden’ who, in the last line of the hymn, is called ‘Mother of Wisdom’ (i.e. Sophia). She wears a crown: “The maiden is the daughter of light / Upon her stands and rests the majestic effulgence of kings / (...) In the crown of her head the king is established.” (Acts of Thomas)
4. THE CROWN OF THE SON
- The Son has a crown, which has stability (stands?) and shines with light: “And then the triple-powered one in whom the Son was hidden came forth, and on his head was the crown of stability, making myriads upon myriads of glories...” (Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex)
- Seth says the Thrice Male (a saviour figure) wears and bestows crowns: “O crown-bearer, crown-giver! We bless thee eternally.” (Three Steles of Seth)
5. THE CROWN IS BESTOWED UPON THE DISCIPLES
- The ‘twelve beneficent ones’ (disciples?) received ‘unfading crowns’: “And they (the ‘twelve beneficent ones’ ie disciples) bless the only-begotten one, saying : "Through thy image we have seen thee, we have fled to thee, we have stood with thee, we have received the unfading crown, which has been known through thee. Glory to thee for ever, O only begotten one" And they all said : "Amen" at once.” (Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex)
- The ‘twelve fathers’ (disciples?) surrounding the Setheus (a saviour figure) received a diadem (i.e. crown) which shines with light: “These are the twelve fathers which surround the Setheus (...) Again another twelve surround his head and they have a diadem upon their heads. And they cast rays to the worlds which surround them from the light of the only-begotten one hidden within him, this one whom they seek after.” (Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex)
- This ‘Setheus’ is described as a king: “This is Setheus who dwells in the sanctuary like a king” (Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex)
- The crown has twelve stones: “a crown upon their heads with twelve adamantine stones in it, which were from Adamas, the Man of Light” (Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex)
6. THE CROWN IS BESTOWED UPON ALL UPPER AEONIC BEINGS (INCLUDING THE ELECT)
- “And there are myriads upon myriads of powers receiving crowns upon their heads from the crown of the triple-powered one” (Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex)
- “And all these powers which are in this god-begetting land receive crowns upon their heads. By this means the Paralemptores are known, because of the crowns upon their heads, whether or not they are from the indivisible one.” (Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex)
- The crown comes from the word, and shines with light: “Then Setheus sent a creative word with which were many powers having crowns upon their heads. And their crowns sent forth rays, and the shining of their bodies enlivened ' the place to which they came.” (Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex)
- The eternal crown: “And he (unclear pronoun reference) received the grace of the only-begotten one, which is his Christhood, and he received the eternal crown.” (Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex)
- Fragment from Marsanes: “since you have the great crown which [...].” (Marsanes)
- Although the Elect are crowned, they are also said to belong to ‘the kingless fourth race’: “Consequently, four races exist. There are three that belong to the kings of the eighth heaven. But the fourth race is kingless and perfect, being the highest of all. For these shall enter the holy place of their father. And they will gain rest in repose and eternal, unspeakable glory and unending joy.”(On the Origin of the World)
7. THE CROWN IS BESTOWED IN THE RITE OF THE BAPTISM
- In the ‘Fire Baptism’ described in The First Book of Jeu, Jesus crowns his disciples as part of the baptismal rite: “He crowned them all with the plant of the pigeon grass” (First Book of Jeu p. 109)
- During the baptism, the catechumen is delivered to angels who enrobe, baptize, enthrone, glorify and snatch away. Perhaps ‘crowning’ was part of the rite of ‘enthroning’: “And I delivered him to those who give robes - Yammon, Elasso, Amenai - and they covered him with a robe from the robes of the Light; and I delivered him to the baptizers, and they baptized him - Micheus, Michar, Mnesinous - and they immersed him in the spring of the Water of Life. And I delivered him to those who enthrone - Bariel, Nouthan, Sabenai - and they enthroned him from the Throne of Glory. And I delivered him to those who glorify - Ariom, Elien, Phariel - and they glorified him with the glory of the Fatherhood. And those who snatch away snatched away - Kamaliel, [...]anen, Samblo, and the servants of the great holy luminaries - and they took him into the light-place of his Fatherhood. And he received the Five seals from the Light of the Mother, Protennoia, and it was granted him to partake of the mystery of knowledge, and he became a Light in Light.” (Trimorphic Protennoia)

 
 
 
- DEFICIENCY
- Also called the ‘lack’.
- The Upper Aeons are called the Fullness.
- By contrast, the Lower Aeons are called the Deficiency.
- The Deficiency as opposite of the Fullness: “The disciples said to him, ‘What is the Fullness, and what is the Deficiency?’ He said to them, ‘You are from the Fullness, and you dwell in the place where the Deficiency is (i.e. the Lower Aeons).’” (Dialogue of the Savior 139:13)
- After the resurrection: “the light flows down upon the darkness, swallowing it up; and the Pleroma fills up the Deficiency.” (Treatise on Resurrection)
- During the ‘consummation’ (end of the world): “And the Deficiency will be plucked out by the root (and thrown) down into the darkness. And the light will withdraw up to its root.” (On the Origin of the World)
- The Lower Aeons are called the Deficiency because they lack the Upper Aeons’ light and fullness. Being deficient, they are dark, empty and an abyss: “Therefore they (the Archons) fell down to the pit of ignorance which is called ‘the Outer Darkness’ and ‘Chaos’ (i.e. emptiness) and ‘Hades’ and ‘the Abyss.’” (Tripartite Tractate)
- Being deficient, the Lower Aeons are shadows lacking light: “Now the eternal realm (aeon) of truth has no shadow outside it, for the limitless light is everywhere within it. But its exterior is shadow, which has been called by the name 'darkness'” (Origin of the World)
- Finally, the Deficiency even lacks existence: “And then the existent separated itself from the non-existent. And the non-existent is the evil which has manifested in matter. And the enveloping power separated those that exist from those that do not exist. And it called the existent "eternal", and it called the non-existent "matter". And in the middle it separated those that exist from those that do not Exist, and it placed veils between them.” (Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex)
- See also AEONS (LOWER)

 
 
  - DESIRE
- Desire is likened to bitterness, drunkeness, fire (see BITTERNESS, DRUNKENESS, FIRE), a turning wheel, the source of wrath.
- Yaltabaoth planted desire in Eve so the first couple would produce more bodies: “Now up to the present day, sexual intercourse continued due to the chief archon. And he planted sexual desire in her who belongs to Adam. And he produced through intercourse the copies of the bodies, and he inspired them with his counterfeit spirit.” (Apocryphon of John)
- The chief demon Yoko rules over desire: “The four chief demons are: Ephememphi, who belongs to pleasure, Yoko, who belongs to desire, Nenentophni, who belongs to grief, Blaomen, who belongs to fear.” (Apocryphon of John)
- From desire comes wrath, etc: “from desire (comes) anger, wrath, and bitterness, and bitter passion, and unsatedness” (Apocryphon of John)
- Desire as fire: “the fire that burns in you”, “O bitterness of the fire that blazes in the bodies of men” (Book of Thomas the Contender)
- Desire as a turning wheel: “the wheel that turns in your minds!”(Book of Thomas the Contender)

 
 
  - DISCIPLES
- Are also called ‘apostles’, ‘apprentices’, ‘labourers’.
- Jesus calls his disciples ‘laborers’ and ‘apprentices’. Jesus speaking to Thomas: “If the deeds of the truth that are visible in the world are difficult for you to perform, how indeed, then, shall you perform those that pertain to the exalted height and to the pleroma which are not visible? And how shall you be called 'laborers'? In this respect you are apprentices, and have not yet received the height of perfection.” (Book of Thomas the Contender)
- Hence the saviour says to his disciples that they must ‘rest’ from their ‘labours’: “The Savior said to his disciples, ‘Already the time has come, brothers, for us to abandon our labor and stand at rest. For whoever stands at rest will rest forever.’” (Dialogue of the Saviour)
- Those who follow the saviour will ‘labour’ and ‘write down his words according to their desire’: “Then many will follow him (the saviour), and they will labor in their birthplaces. They will go about; they will write down his words according to (their) desire.” (Concept of Our Great Power 42:31)
1. THE TWELVE
- Because there are twelve Upper Aeons and twelve disciples, a symmetry arises which the Gnostic writers exploited.
- In the Acts of John, Christ dances with his twelve disciples, who form a ring around him. During the dance, he compares the twelve discliples to the twelve aeons above: “The number Twelve danceth on high. Amen. The Whole on high hath part in our dancing. Amen.” (Acts of John)
- Christ says that the disciples first existed in the Upper Aeons, and then entered bodies that were prepared for them: “Because of this indeed I have chosen you from the beginning through the First Mystery. Rejoice now and be glad, because when I entered the world I brought the twelve powers with me, as I told you from the beginning, which I took from the twelve saviours of the Treasury of Light, according to the command of the First Mystery. These now I cast into the wombs of your mothers when I came into the world, and it is these which are in your bodies today.” (Pistis Sophia Ch 7)
- The twelve disciples are like twelve ‘aspects’ of Christ i.e. they are like twelve aeons bearing his image. Each has his face: “There is a sonship in their midst, which is called Christ the Verifier (...) And this Christ bears twelve aspects...” (Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex)
- When the disciples dance around Christ, he says, “A mirror am I to thee that perceivest me. Amen.” Hence, each of the disciples sees their own face in Christ.
- A Gnostic diagram from the Book of Jew depicts a small circle with twelve spokes leading outward to twelves small circles surrounding it. This would be a visible representation of the above schema.
2. SPECIAL DISCIPLES
- Each of the disciples wrote his own gospel, recounting what the saviour said to him ‘in secret or in the open: James (after the crucifixion): “...the twelve disciples [were] all sitting together and recalling what the Savior had said to each one of them, whether in secret or openly, and [putting it] in books - [But I] was writing that which was in [my book] - lo, the Savior appeared...” (Apocryphon of James 2:8)
- They wrote down his words ‘according to their desire’: “Then many will follow him (the saviour), and they will labor in their birthplaces. They will go about; they will write down his words according to (their) desire.” (Concept of Our Great Power 42:31)
- This explains the appearance of many Gnostic gospels attributed to disciples such as John, James, Peter, Thomas, Mary Magdalene etc. See GOSPEL.
- Typically, the author of such a gospel has a special relationship to the saviour. In the case of James, he is the saviour’s ‘brother’; Thomas is the saviour’s ‘twin’ and Mary Magdalene is the saviour’s ‘companion’.
3. JAMES THE BROTHER
- In one gospel according to James, the Lord says to James that he is not Jesus’ brother ‘materially’: “I (Jesus) have given you a sign of these things, James, my brother. For not without reason have I called you my brother, although you are not my brother materially.” (First Apocalypse of James 24:15).
- In another gospel according to James, his mother tells him that Jesus is his ‘step-brother’: “Once when I was sitting deliberating, he opened the door. That one whom you hated and persecuted came in to me. He said to me, ‘Hail, my brother; my brother, hail.’ As I raised my face to stare at him, (my) mother said to me, ‘Do not be frightened, my son, because he said “My brother” to you (sg.). For you (pl.) were nourished with this same milk. Because of this he calls me “My mother”. For he is not a stranger to us. He is your step-brother [...].’” (Second Apocalypse of James 50:23)
4. JUDAS THOMAS THE TWIN
- Although two important gospels are attributed to Thomas, this name appears to be an epithet for Judas.
- The Gospel of Thomas begins: “These are the secret sayings which the living Jesus spoke and which Didymos Judas Thomas wrote down.” (Gs Thom 32:10). Of the three names given, only Judas is a proper name, while Didymos and Thomas (tauma) mean ‘the twin’ in Greek and Aramaic. Hence, the above could be translated ‘the twin’ Judas ‘the twin’.
- The Book of Thomas the Contender also introduces the apostle as “Judas Thomas” (Th. Cont. 138:2) and in their dialogue, the saviour calls him “my twin and true companion” (Book of Thomas the Contender 138:8).
5. MARY MAGDALENE THE COMPANION
- The Gospel of Philip describes Mary Madgalene’s special relationship to the saviour: - “And the companion of the (saviour was) Mary Magdalene. [...] (He) loved her more than all the disciples, and used to kiss her often on her (mouth). The rest of the disciples (became angry) [...]. They said to him "Why do you love her more than all of us?" The Savior answered and said to them,"Why do I not love you like her? When a blind man and one who sees are both together in darkness, they are no different from one another. When the light comes, then he who sees will see the light, and he who is blind will remain in darkness.” (Gospel of Philip 63:32)
- Again, Magdalene is called his ‘companion’: “There were three who always walked with the Lord: Mary, his mother, and her sister, and Magdalene, the one who was called his companion. His sister and his mother and his companion were each a Mary.” (Gospel of Philip)
- Magdalene shows more understanding than the other disciples: “She (Magdalene) uttered this as a woman who had understood completely.” (Dialogue of the Saviour 139:12)
- At the end of the Gospel of Mary (Magdalene), Andrew and Peter question the account Magdalene gives. Levi responds that the saviour ‘loved her more than us’: “When Mary had said this, she fell silent (...) Andrew answered and said to the brethren, ‘Say what you wish to say about what she has said. I at least do not believe that the Savior said this. For certainly these teachings are strange ideas.’ Peter answered (...) ‘Did He really speak privately with a woman and not openly to us? Are we to turn about and all listen to her? Did He prefer her to us?’ Then Mary wept and said to Peter, ‘My brother Peter, what do you think? Do you think that I have thought this up myself in my heart, or that I am lying about the Savior?’ Levi answered and said to Peter, ‘Peter you have always been hot tempered. Now I see you contending against the woman like the adversaries. But if the Savior made her worthy, who are you indeed to reject her? Surely the Savior knows her very well. That is why He loved her more than us.’” (Gospel of Mary)
6. FEMALE DISCIPLES
- Madgalene appears among the disciples in several texts, including The Dialogue of the Saviour, The Gospel of Philip and The Gospel of Mary (Magdalene)
- The First Apocalypse of James says that Jesus had seven women disciples. James: “Yet another thing I ask of you: who are the seven women who have been your disciples? And behold all women bless you.” (First Apocalypse of James 38:15) Unfortunately, Christ’s answer to this question breaks off at the end of the page.
- Two pages later, Christ says to James: “When you speak these words of this perception, encourage these four: Salome and Mariam and Martha and Arsinoe...” (First Apocalypse of James 40:22)
- In the Gospel of Thomas, Salome also appears as a disciple: “Jesus said: ‘Two will rest on a bed. The one will die, the other will live.’ Salome said: ‘(So) who are you, man? You have gotten a place on my couch as a stranger and you have eaten from my table.’ Jesus said to her: ‘I am he who comes from the one who is (always) the same. I was given some of that which is my Father’s.’ (Salome said:) ‘I am your disciple!’ (Jesus said:) ‘Therefore I say: If someone becomes like (God), he will become full of light. But if he becomes one, separated (from God), he will become full of darkness.’” (Gospel of Thomas saying 61)

 
 
  - DOUBLE-MINDEDNESS
- Those who contend against the Gnostics do not understand on account of their ‘double-mindedness’: “They do not know the power of God, nor do they understand the interpretation of the scriptures, on account of their double-mindedness.” (Testimony of Truth)

 
 
  - DRUNK
- The opposite of sober. ‘Sober’ describes a state equivalent to existence in the Upper Aeons. See SOBER.
- Hence, to be ‘drunk’ is to exist in the Lower Aeons.
- Lower aeonic existence is compared to drunkeness, desire, deception, forgetting, sleep and bitterness.
- Drunkeness as debauchery, forgetting, desire, greed and deception: “That one then will fall into drinking much wine in debauchery. For wine is the debaucher. Therefore she (the soul) does not remember her brothers and her father, for pleasure and sweet profits deceive her.” (Authoritative Teaching)
- Drunkeness as ignorance. It is the opposite of sober: “O soul, persistent one, be sober and shake off your drunkenness, which is the work of ignorance. If you persist and live in the body, you dwell in rusticity.” (Silvanus)

 
 
  - TO DYE
- As a plunging in water which brings about a change in state, it is an expression for baptism: “God is a dyer. As the good dyes, which are called "true", dissolve with the things dyed in them, so it is with those whom God has dyed. Since his dyes are immortal, they become immortal by means of his colors. Now God dips what he dips in water.” (Gospel of Philip)
- To dye is to purify: “The Lord went into the dye works of Levi. He took seventy-two different colors and threw them into the vat. He took them out all white. And he said, ‘Even so has the Son of Man come as a dyer.’” (Gospel of Philip)

 
 
 
- THE ELECT
- Literally, ‘the Elect’ comes from electi, meaning ‘the shining ones’ or ‘those who shine with light’.
1. THE ELECT IN GENERAL
- Those who have the gnosis, and so will return to the Upper Aeons to re-unite with the One.
- Also called ‘the Sons of Light’, ‘the Children of Seth’, ‘the unwavering race of the Perfect Man’, ‘the faultless ones’, ‘the immovable race’, ‘the offspring of the perfect race’, ‘the chosen race’, ‘the race of Adonaios’, ‘the sons of men’.
- In the beginning, when the One divided itself into the many, that manifold included the Father, Mother, Christ, Sophia, the angels and, more particularly, the Elect. The Elect were a part of the One’s all-encompassing unity. At present, their spirits (pneuma, divine spark, pearl, dew drop etc) have fallen into the Lower Aeons, and are trapped in bodies. But, after the consummation, the Elect will rise up and come to exist once more in the Upper Aeons.
- Different schema describe how the names and the images of the Elect came to exist in the Upper Aeons before Yaltabaoth engendered the Lower Aeons.
- In one schema, the Elect are ‘pre-existent’ because they existed before the foundation of the world.
- In another schema, the saviour-figure Seth placed the seeds of the Elect in the Upper Aeons.
- In another schema, the Elect are the Pneumatic Race
2. THE ELECT AS GNOSTICS - THOSE WHO KNOW THE FATHER
- The Elect ‘know’ the Father: “ the elect and solitary, who have known the Father” (Dialogue of the Saviour)
- The Elect are ‘elected to salvation’ because they have knowledge (the gnosis), and will not fall into ignorance (lack of knowledge): “We are elected to salvation and redemption since we are predestined from the beginning not to fall into the foolishness of those who are without knowledge” (Treatise on Resurrection)
3. THE ELECT AS PRE-EXISTENT AEONS OF THE FATHER
- The Upper Aeons, which include the Elect (the Totalities), are extensions of the Father, without separation. In the end, they will return to him: “The emanation of the Totalities, which exist from the one who exists, did not occur according to a separation from one another, as something cast off from the one who begets them. Rather, their begetting is like a process of extension, as the Father extends himself to those whom he loves, so that those who have come forth from him might become him as well.” (Tripartite Tractate)
- The Elect exist in the One, and so are eternal: “But that which comes to be in the Eternal One is in the One of the life and the immortality of the life...” (Apocalypse of Peter)
- Like all beings in the Upper Aeons, the Elect are images which reflect the One to itself. They are ‘pre-existent images’: “the Father (...) created the pre-existent images” (Tripart Tractate)
- As ‘pre-existent’, the Elect came into being in the Upper Aeons before they came into being in the Lower Aeons: “Jesus said, ‘Blessed is he who came into being before he came into being.’” (Gospel of Thomas 36:17)
- This prior-existence gives post-existence: “The Lord said, ‘Blessed is he who is before he came into being. For he who is, has been and shall be.’” (Gospel of Philip 64:10)
- Having experienced pre-existence, the Elect know they are immortal: “(Jesus said:) ‘Blessed is he who will stand at the beginning. And he will know the end, and he will not taste death.’” (Gospel of Thomas 36:14)
- Having ‘pre-existed’ in the Upper Aeons (the kingdom), the Elect will return to it: “Jesus said, ‘Blessed are the solitary and elect, for you will find the kingdom. For you are from it, and to it you will return.’” (Gospel of Thomas 41:27)
- Since images of the Elect ‘reflected’ the light of the One at the beginning, they will do so again at the end: “Then the souls will appear, who are holy through the light of the Power, (...) And they will be in the aeon of beauty of the aeon of judgment, since they are ready in wisdom, having given glory to him who is in the incomprehensible unity; and they see him because of his will, which is in them. And they all have become as reflections in his light. They all have shone, and they have found rest in his rest.” (Concept of our Great Power)
4. THE ELECT AS THE SONS OF SETH
- The Elect are also called Sethians or the sons of Seth
- According to this schema, Seth is a saviour-figure much like Christ. The heavenly Seth placed the seeds of the Elect in the Upper Aeons, while the earthly Seth placed the pneuma and gnosis in all his earthly descendents.
- More precisely, the heavenly Adam (Geradamas) had a son, the heavenly Seth (Emmacha Seth), who sowed the seeds of the Elect in the Upper Aeons (the aeon of the Fourth Light, Eleleth). This schema appears in Sethian texts such as The Gospel of the Egyptians, Three Steles of Seth and (with some variations) in The Apocryphon of John.
- Meanwhile, the earthly Adam and Eve begot the earthly Seth and his sister Norea. With the aid of Norea, Seth’s descendents will preserve the pneuma and gnosis in the Lower Aeons. This schema appears in The Hypostasis of the Archons and The Apocalypse of Adam.
- In the Upper Aeons, Emmacha Seth is the son of Geradamas. Emmacha Seth: “I bless thee, Father Geradama(s), I, as thine (own) Son, Emmacha Seth, whom thou didst beget without begetting” (Three Steles of Seth)
- The heavenly Adam (Adamas) asked for a heavenly son (Seth), who became the father of the Elect: “The incorruptible man Adamas asked for them a son out of himself, in order that he (the son) may become father of the immovable, incorruptible race. (This is...) the great incorruptible Seth, the son of the incorruptible man Adamas.” (Gospel of the Egyptians)
- Seth sowed the seeds of the Elect in the Upper Aeons: “Then the great Seth came and brought his seed. And it was sown in the aeons” (Gospel of the Egyptians)
- In the Apocryphon of John, the heavenly Adam (Pigera-Adamas) appears in the first aeon, his son Seth appears in the second aeon and the seed of Seth (the Elect) appear in the third aeon: “Through the revelation of the will of the invisible Spirit (...) the perfect Man (appeared...), he whom the virginal Spirit called Pigera-Adamas, and he placed him over the first aeon (...) And he (the Spirit) placed his son Seth over the second aeon in the presence of the second light Oriel. And in the third aeon the seed of Seth was placed over the third light Daveithai.” (Apocryphon of John)
- Adam and Eve once had the pneuma (spirit, divine spark) and the gnosis (knowledge of the Upper Aeons). This knowledge was then hidden in ‘the seed of Seth’, where it will come out after the three parousias. Adam speaking to Seth: “And the glory in our heart(s) left us, me and your mother Eve, along with the first knowledge that breathed within us. And it (glory) fled from us; ... But it (knowledge) entered into the seed of great aeons. For this reason I myself have called you by the name of that man who is the seed of the great generation or from whom (it comes).” (Apocalypse of Adam)
- The wife of Seth is Norea. She is the undefiled daughter of Eve who, together with Seth, gives birth to the Sons of Seth: “Again Eve became pregnant, and she bore Norea. And she said, ‘He has begotten on me a virgin as an assistance for many generations of mankind.’ She is the virgin whom the forces did not defile. Then mankind began to multiply and improve.” (Hypostasis of the Archons)
- In the Gospel of the Egyptians, Seth bore his race through Edokla: “This is the race which came forth through Edokla.” (Gospel of the Egyptians)
- In many ‘Sethian’ Gnostic texts, the Elect are called ‘the children of Seth: “the children of Seth, who are above thousands of thousands, and myriads of myriads, of the aeons” (Melchizedek)
4. THE ELECT AS THE PNEUMATIC RACE
- The Elect are the Pneumatic race, who are ‘saved in every way’, in contrast with the Psychic race, who are saved by their works, and the Hylic race, who will be ‘destroyed in every way’: “The spiritual race will receive complete salvation in every way. The material will receive destruction in every way, just as one who resists him. The psychic race, since it is in the middle when it is brought forth and also when it is created, is double according to its determination for both good and evil.” (Tripartite Tractate)
- “Mankind came to be in three essential types, the spiritual, the psychic, and the material... Each of the three essential types is known by its fruit. And they were not known at first but only at the coming of the Savior, who shone upon the saints and revealed what each was.” (Tripartite Tractate) See THREE TYPES OF HUMANS.
5. THE ELECT AS UNFALLEN
- According to this schema, Adam and Eve transmitted the pneuma and the gnosis to Seth, Norea and all their descendents (the Pneumatic race). Hence, they are unfallen. Meanwhile, Adam and Eve did not transmit these to Cain and Abel. Thus, all of their descendents are fallen (belonging to the Psychic and Hylic races).
- Eleleth reveals to Norea that the Archons cannot defile her or her descendents: “And these authorities (Archons) cannot defile you and that generation; for your abode is in incorruptibility, where the virgin spirit dwells, who is superior to the authorities of chaos and to their universe.” (Hypostasis of the Archons)
- Again: “You (Norea), together with your offspring, are from the primeval father; from above, out of the imperishable light, their souls are come. Thus the authorities (Archons) cannot approach them, because of the spirit of truth present within them; and all who have become acquainted with this way exist deathless in the midst of dying mankind.”(Hypostasis of the Archons).
- Hence, the Elect are without fault, and called the “faultless ones” (Tripartate Tractate)
6. OTHER NAMES FOR THE ELECT
- The Elect are those “whom all the generations of men will not know. For they will be on a high mountain, upon a rock of truth.” (Apocalypse of Adam)
- The Elect are “the unwavering race of the perfect Man”, “those who are from the immovable race”, “the offspring of the perfect race” (Apocryphon of John)
- “this incorruptible, holy race of the great savior, and those who dwell with them in love” (Gospel of the Egyptians)
- “the chosen race” (First Book of Jew)
- Since they come from the ‘Son of Man’, the Elect are ‘the sons of men’: “For [...] which do not move, I [...] you, all the sons of men. For you are from that place. In the hearts of those who speak out of joy and truth, you exist.” (Dialogue of the Saviour)
- Jesus: “ all the ones with me - those of the race of Adonaios.” (Second Treatise of Seth)
- The Elect are called “the sons of light” (Apocalypse of Peter)
- As ‘the Sons of Light’: “I will reveal myself to those who have heard my mysteries, that is, the Sons of the Light.” (Trimorphic Protennoia)
- The ‘sons of light’ are above all earthly authorities: “I have given you authority over all things as Sons of Light, that you might tread upon their power with your feet.” (Sophia of Jesus Christ)
- The Elect are “another race who are not of this age.” (Apocalypse of Peter)
- The Elect are from the eternal realm: “the great generation of Adam will be exalted, for prior to heaven, earth, and the angels, that generation, which is from the eternal realms, exists.” (Gospel of Judas)
- The Elect are free of Fate and the stars’ rulership: “No host of angels (i.e. demons) of the stars will rule over that generation.” (Gospel of Judas 37)
- The Elect are the kingless fourth race: “Consequently, four races exist. There are three that belong to the kings of the eighth heaven. But the fourth race is kingless and perfect, being the highest of all. For these shall enter the holy place of their father. And they will gain rest in repose and eternal, unspeakable glory and unending joy.”(On the Origin of the World)
- Though ‘kingless’, they each have ‘a crown’: “since you have the great crown which [...].” (Marsanes) See CROWN
7. RITES TO INITIATE THE ELECT
- Through the rite of the Five Seals, the Elect remember their true origin, as names and images in the Upper Aeons which reflect the One back to itself.
- The rite of the Five Seals includes the Baptism, Chrism, Eucharist and Bridal Chamber, through which the ‘image’ of an Elect is sealed in the luminous waters of the Upper Aeons, and his ‘name’ is spoken in its silence. See ANIMALSFIVE SEALS.
- The names of the Elect were inscribed in the Book of the Living at the beginning, and will be called at the end. See BOOK OF THE LIVING
8. THE NON-ELECT
- The Elect belong to the Pneumatic Race. However, those of the Psychic race may also be redeemed and ascend to the Upper Aeons. See REPENTENCE.
- A person may ‘become elect’ (verb form): “For you (sg.) will become elect with the elect ones in the last times, as the invisible Spirits runs up above. And you yourselves, run with him up above, since you have the great crown which [...].” (Marsanes)
- In the beginning, the Father created a group of beings through which he could reflect upon himself - even though they did not know it. This may be the Psychic race, who are redeemed even though they are without knowledge: “While they (the members of the church) were in the Father's thought, that is, in the hidden depth, the depth knew them, but they were unable to know the depth in which they were; nor was it possible for them to know themselves, nor for them to know anything else.” (Tripartate Tractate)
- The redeemed of the Psychic race may still ‘become manifest’ and be ‘made known’. A prayer addressed to the One: “Thou alone art he who has given character to all creation. Thou hast manifested them in thyself. Thou art the demiurge (in the positive sense) of those that have not yet manifested - these which thou alone knowest, and we do not know them. Thou alone art he who gives signs of them to us, so that we should ask of thee concerning them, that thou shouldst manifest them, and we should know them through thee alone.” (Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex).
- The remainder of the Non-Elect are the unredeemed Psychics, or those of the Hylic race, who are called ‘beasts’. See ANIMALS
9. THE ELECT AND THE NON-ELECT
- The Elect are ‘free men’ and ‘VIRGINS’ while the non-elect are ANIMALS, slaves and defiled: “A bridal chamber is not for the animals, nor is it for the slaves, nor for defiled women; but it is for free men and virgins.” (Gospel of Philip)
- the Elect are ‘glass decanters’ made through breath (the pneuma) while the non-elect are ‘earthenware jugs’ made without breath (no pneuma): “Glass decanters and earthenware jugs are both made by means of fire. But if glass decanters break, they are done over, for they came into being through a breath. If earthenware jugs break, however, they are destroyed, for they came into being without breath.” (Gospel of Philip) See JARS.
10. THE NUMBER OF THE ELECT
- Several Gnostic texts say the consummation will come when the number of the Elect is reached.
- This number is vague, and is called variously ‘the number of Sodom’, ‘the cypher of Melchizedek’ or ‘the number of perfect souls’.
- It may include the number of Pneumatics who, at present, are trapped in the Lower Aeons, but will come to know (gnosis) that they belong in the Upper Aeons.
- It may also include the number of Psychics who are saved.
- The Elect are the sons of the heavenly man, and are innumberable: “The heavenly man has many more sons than the earthly man. If the sons of Adam are many, although they die, how much more the sons of the perfect man, they who do not die but are always begotten.” (Gospel of Philip)
- The number of Sethians is the number of Sodom: “Then the great Seth came and brought his seed. And it was sown in the aeons which had been brought forth, their number being the amount of Sodom. Some say that Sodom is the place of pasture of the great Seth, which is Gomorrah. But others (say) that the great Seth took his plant out of Gomorrah and planted it in the second place, to which he gave the name 'Sodom'.” (Gospel of the Egyptians)
- The number of the Elect is ‘the cypher of Melchizedek’. When this number is reached, the Gnostic saviour will end the Archons rule: “It happened now when these things in their time were known, and when the number of the cipher of Melchizedek, the Paralemptor (of the Light), occurred, he (the saviour) came forth, and he went into the midst of the archons of all the aeons, and to the midst of all the archons of the Heimarmene and those of the sphere. And he agitated them, and he caused them quickly to abandon their circles, and immediately they were afflicted...” (Pistis Sophia - Ch. 26)
- Again, the consummation (the end of the Archons’ rule) will come when ‘the number of perfect souls’ is reached: “And he took their light to the Treasury of the Light. (...) so that they should not dissolve, but that they should be retarded, and should spend a great time until the completion of the number of perfect souls which would be in the Treasury of the Light.” (Pistis Sophia - Ch. 26)
- Again, ‘the number of perfect souls’: “And there would have been delay in the completion of the number of perfect souls, which will be accounted among the inheritance of the height, through the mysteries, and will be in the Treasury of Light.” (Pistis Sophia - Ch. 23.)

 
 
  - END OF TIME - See RESOLUTION.
 
 
  - ENNOIA (Thought)
- Ennoia is the Father’s Thought.
1. ENNOIA IN GENERAL
- Ennoia is one of the principle names given to the Mother in the Gnostic trinity of Father, Mother and Son. See TRINITY.
- Her name Ennoia (‘Thought’ in Greek) is derived from the Aristotlean notion of ‘thought thinking itself’, which lies at the heart of the Gnostic creation. See below.
- Ennoia may take several forms, such as Pronoia or Protonoia. See below.
- Ennoia may also take the form of Epinoia. See EPINOIA.
- In the Sethian Gnostic texts, she is called Barbelo. See BARBELO.
2. ENNOIA AS THE FIRST AEON
- The Gnostic creation is fundamentally unified. Thus, it must answer the question ‘how did the many come out of the One?’ At the heart of the Gnostic creation is Aristotle’s notion of Noesis Noeseos Noesis, which is usually translated as ‘Thought Thinking itself’, but means literally ‘Thinking a Thought of itself Thinking’.
- In the beginning, the One thought upon itself. The result of that mental reflection was a two-fold extension of itself as the Father, who is the mind or thinking (Nous or Noesis) and as the Mother, who is the thought (Ennoia or Noeseos). These two then produced the Son (also Nous or Noesis), who completed the One’s reflection upon itself. Through the Son, the thinking (Noesis or Nous) had a thought (Noeseos or Ennoia) of itself thinking (Noesis or Nous).
- The One continued to expand itself in this manner, with no loss of its unity. Each new being that ‘knows’ (gnosis) the One, becomes a part of the creation that reflects the One to itself - like a series of mirrors arranged row on row.
- These mirrors are called aeons, and provide a series of images in the watery light surrounding the One. Through each image, the One reflects upon itself, or sees its own image reflected in the watery light.
- Ennoia (‘Thought’) is one of the first images to appear in the aeonic mirror, along with Nous (‘Mind’) and the Son.
- In The Thought of Norea, she is praised with a series of epithets: “Ennoia of the Light, dwelling in the heights above the (regions) below, Light dwelling in the heights, Voice of Truth.” (Thought of Norea)
- Immediately afterward, Nous is praised with a series of epithets: “Apright Nous, untouchable Logos, and ineffable Voice, incomprehensible Father!” (Thought of Norea) NB. It is possible these epithets may be other Upper Aeonic beings.
3. ENNOIA AS PRONOIA AND PROTONOIA
- The Gnostic texts emphasize that all the beings which came to exist in the Upper Aeons were ‘first’ and so they ‘pre-exist’. In contrast to the beings in the Lower Aeons (which came later), they have ‘prior’ existence. This is stressed in the case of Ennoia where, during the creation, she is identified with Forethought (Pronoia) and First Thought (Protonoia): “And his Thought (i.e. Thinking - Nous) performed a deed and she (Thought - Ennoia) came forth, namely she who had appeared before him in the shine of his light. This is the first power which was before all of them (and) which came forth from his Mind (Nous). She is the Forethought (Pronoia) of the All - her light shines like his light - the perfect power which is the image of the invisible, virginal Spirit (i.e. the One) who is perfect. The first power, the glory of Barbelo, the perfect glory in the aeons, the glory of the revelation, she glorified the virginal Spirit and it was she who praised him, because thanks to him she had come forth. This is the First Thought (Protonoia), his image; she became the womb of everything.” (Apocryphon of John)
- In Trimorphic Protennoia, Thought (Ennoia) is identified with First Thought (Protennoia) and Barbelo, as the image or reflection of the One (invisible Spirit). Protennoia: “He perpetuated the Father of all Aeons, who am I, the Thought of the Father, Protennoia, that is, Barbelo, the perfect Glory, and the immeasurable Invisible One who is hidden. I am the Image of the Invisible Spirit, and it is through me that the All took shape.” (Trimorphic Protennoia) See ENNOIA.

 
 
  - EPINOIA (After-Thought)
- Epinoia is the Father’s ‘After-thought’.
1. EPINOIA IN GENERAL
- Epinoia is a form of Ennoia.
- Ennoia is ‘the thought’ of the Father. See ENNOIA.
- Ennoia also manifests herself as Pronoia or Protonoia, which is to say, as the ‘Fore-thought’ or ‘First Thought’ of the Father. As the consort of the Father, she created the Upper Aeons. See BARBELO.
- Another form of Ennoia is Epinoia, as the ‘After-thought’ of the Father.
- In this sense, she appears fairly late in the creation, as an ‘After-thought’ of the Father to rectify faults in the creation.
- Her main function is to awaken, or preserve hidden knowledge, as a means of rectifying ignorance and forgetfulness.
- However, she is also responsible for the generation of Yaltabaoth and the Lower Aeons, which bring about ignorance and forgetfulness.
- Thus, she re-appears after Yaltabaoth’s creation of Adam, to rectify her fault, and awaken Adam from his ignorance and forgetfulness.
2. EPINOIA THE AWAKENER
- Protennoia (First Thought) says Epinoia (After-thought) is one of her manifestations. Her role is to awaken others. Protennoia: “I am the life of my Epinoia that dwells within every Power and every eternal movement, and (in) invisible Lights and within the Archons and Angels and Demons, and every soul dwelling in Tartaros, and (in) every material soul. I dwell in those who came to be. I move in everyone and I delve into them all. I walk uprightly, and those who sleep, I awaken. And I am the sight of those who dwell in sleep.” (Trimorphic Protennoia)
3. EPINOIA AS SOPHIA, THE MOTHER OF YALTABAOTH
- In the Apocryphon of John, Sophia comes from Epinoia. And it is the Epinoia/Sophia that engenders Yaltabaoth: “And the Sophia of the Epinoia (...) wanted to bring forth a likeness out of herself without the consent of the Spirit (...) And she brought forth.” (Apocryphon of John)
- This same schema appears in the The Trimorphic Protennoia: “And at that instant, his Light appeared, radiant, endowed with the Epinoia (...) and likewise immediately there appeared the great Demon (...) Yaltabaoth, he who had taken power; who had snatched it away from the innocent one (Sophia); who had earlier overpowered her who is the Light’s Epinoia who had descended, her from whom he had come forth from originally.” (Trimorphic Protennoia)

4. EPINOIA THE AWAKENER TO RECTIFY HER FAULT OF THE GENERATION OF YALTABAOTH
- Epinoia appears in the story of Adam and Eve as an awakener to help Adam remember his true origins in the Upper Aeons.
- Epinoia (After-thought) was planted in Eve while she was still in Adam. Her role is to be an awakener: “And he (the Spirit) sent a helper to Adam, Luminous Epinoia which comes out of him, who is called Life. And she assists the whole creature, by toiling with him and by restoring him to his fullness and by teaching him about the descent of his seed (and) by teaching him about the way of ascent, (which is) the way he came down. And the luminous Epinoia was hidden in Adam, in order that the archons might not know her” (Apocryphon of John)
- Yaltabaoth then separated the androgynous Adam into Adam and Eve by modelling an Eve after the image of Epinoia hiding in him. “Then the Epinoia of the light hid herself in him (Adam). And the chief archon wanted to bring her out of (Adam...) He made another creature, in the form of a woman, according to the likeness of the Epinoia which had appeared to him. And he brought the part which he had taken from the power of the man (i.e. Epinoia) into the female creature.” (Apocryphon of John)
- When Adam saw Eve, the Epinoia in her woke him from his forgetfulness “And he (Adam) saw the woman beside him. And in that moment the luminous Epinoia appeared, and she lifted the veil which lay over his mind. And he became sober from the drunkenness of darkness.” (Apocryphon of John)

 
 
  - EUCHARIST
- A ritual meal in remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice.
1. EUCHARIST IN GENERAL
- it is based on the Passover meal which Christ celebrated with his disicples before he was crucified.
- Basically, the meal consists of bread and wine (though other ingredients are mentioned). See below.
- It is one of the Five Seals. See FIVE SEALS.
- Like the Gnostic rites of the Baptism and Chrism, it is a ritual evocation of pre-existent eucharist which first took place in the Upper Aeons.
- The Gnostic rite of the Eucharist emphasizes unity.
2. THE PRE-EXISTENT EUCHARIST
- Gnostics texts such as the Apocryphon of John and The Gospel of the Egyptians make it clear that Christ himself was baptized and anointed in the Upper Aeons before he initiated these rites in the Lower Aeons. See BAPTISM and CHRISM.
- No Gnostic text explicitly describes a eucharistic meal in the Upper Aeons which would serve as the archetype for the Last Supper.
- However, The Gospel of Philip emphasizes that the eucharistic rite performed here in the Lower Aeons is an image or reflection of a higher, archetypal eucharist.
- Hence, by eating the bread and drinking from the cup, the participant shares in a sacramental meal that has its archetype in the Upper Aeons: “So it is also with the bread and the cup and the oil, even though there is another one superior to these.” (Gospel of Philip)
- During the meal, the bread is recognized as ‘bread from heaven’: “When Christ came, the perfect man, he brought bread from heaven in order that man might be nourished with the food of man.” (Gospel of Philip)
- In this same sense, the water and wine in the cup is a type (image) for a higher and unseen archetype: the blood of Christ. Through it and through prayer, the participant receives a heavenly sustenance (the Holy Spirit), and is perfected: “The cup of prayer contains wine and water, since it is appointed as the type of the blood for which thanks is given. And it is full of the Holy Spirit, and it belongs to the wholly perfect man. When we drink this, we shall receive for ourselves the perfect man.” (Gospel of Philip)
3. THE EUCHARIST AS AN IMAGE OF ONENESS AND SACRIFICE
- Melchizedek is a mysterious figure in the Old Testament, a kind of archetype for the High Priest.
- In the fragmentary Gnostic text called Melchizedek, Melchizedek speaks in the first person, describing himself as an image of the High Priest. “For I have a name: I am Melchizedek, the Priest of God Most High; I know that it is I who am truly the image of the true High-Priest of God Most High.” (Melchizedek)
- However, he also speaks in the first person as the one who is sacrificed: “And you crucified me from the third hour of the Sabbath-eve until the ninth hour. And after these things, I arose from the dead.” (Melchizedek)
- Melchizedek appears as a saviour figure who is both the offerer and the offering. As the offerer (the ‘High Priest’), he celebrates the last supper. As the offering (the ‘crucified’), he is the one who will be sacrificed.
- Thus, the saviour’s offering is understood as a self-sacrifice. The eucharistic meal is a rite in which the participants recognize that their own death, like the saviour’s death, will be a self-sacrifice. Through it, they participate in the sacred sacrifice and, like the saviour, will be ressurected to return to the One.
- In this sense, the offerer offers himself i.e. sacrifices himself and all of the Elect: “I (Melchizedek) have come to reveal to you the truth, which is within the brethren. He (the saviour) included himself in the living offering, together with your offspring. He offered them up as an offering to the All.” (Melchizedek) “I (Melchiedek) have offered up myself to you as an offering, together with those that are mine, to you yourself, (O) Father of the All, and those whom you love, who have come forth from you who are holy (and) living.” (Melchizedek)
- Through the eucharistic meal, Jesus shares the bread and wine with his followers, thus ‘spreading’ his sacrifice to all of the Elect: “The eucharist is Jesus. For he is called in Syriac ‘Pharisatha’ which is ‘the one who is spread out’.”(Gospel of Philip)
- In conclusion, the Eucharistic meal was initiated to commemorate the self-sacrifice. By sharing in the eucharistic meal, the Elect share in Christ’s self-sacrifice, as both offerer and offering.
4. COMPONENTS OF THE EUCHARIST
- In the Pistis Sophia, the meal is laid out in a curious manner. Five vessels of water or wine form a triangle around the offering, which includes fire, vine branches and bread: “And Jesus said unto them: ‘Bring me fire and vine branches.’ They brought them unto him. He laid out the offering, and set down two wine-vessels, one on the right and the other on the left of the offering. He disposed the offering before them, and set a cup of water before the wine-vessel on the right and a cup of wine before the wine-vessel on the left and laid loaves according to the number of disciples in the middle between the two cups and set a cup of water behind the loaves.” (Pistis Sophia Ch 142 ) Before the meal, the saviour prays for the forgiveness of sins. The text breaks off before the meal begins. Probably, the vine branches were burned as incence, while the water and wine were mixed in various proportions.
- Although the traditional Passover meal included a roasted lamb, the Gnostic meal was vegetarian: “When they had said these things in the prayer, they embraced each other and they went to eat their holy food, which has no blood in it.” (Prayer of Thanksgiving 65:3)
- In the Old Testament (Leviticus 2:13), all offerings were to include a grain of salt. The Gospel of Philip offers a Gnostic variation on this. Like Christ, Sophia is also present in the eucharist, as the salt: “The apostles said to the disciples, ‘May our entire offering obtain salt.; They called Sophia ‘salt’. Without it, no offering is acceptable. But Sophia is barren, without child. For this reason, she is called ‘a trace of salt.’” (Gospel of Philip 59:27)
5. THE EUCHARIST IN CONJUNCTION WITH SEALS
- In late Gnostic texts, such as The Pistis Sophia and The Acts of Thomas, the eucharist is performed in conjunction with seals. These seals may be diagrams and names (see the Books of Jeu) which will aid the Gnostic in rising through the aeons. They may also be a form of baptism. In either case, the rite of sealing was performed just before the eucharist.
- After Jesus prepares the eucharistic meal (see Componants above), they stand with seals before the offering, and he invokes Upper Aeonic beings with their secret names: “Jesus stood before the offering, set the disciples behind him, all clad with linen garments, and in their hands the cipher (seal) of the name of the Treasury of the Light, and he made the invocation thus, saying: ‘Hear me, O Father, father of all fatherhood, boundless light: iao iouo iao aoi oia psinother theropsin opsither mepththomaoth nephiomaoth’ (etc)” (Pistis Sophia ch 142)
- In the Acts of Thomas, the apostle Thomas ‘seals’ a woman before beginning the eucharist: “And the woman besought him, saying: ‘O apostle of the Most High, give me the seal, that that enemy return not again unto me.’ Then he caused her to come near unto him, and laid his hands upon her and sealed her in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost; and many others also were sealed with her. And the apostle bade his minister (deacon) to set forth a table...” (Acts of Thomas ch. 49 - 50) For the continuation, see ‘Eucharistic Prayers’ below.
5. EUCHARISTIC PRAYERS
- “He (Thomas) laid his hands on them and blessed them, and brake the bread of the eucharist and gave it them, saying: ‘This Eucharist shall be unto you for compassion and mercy, and not unto judgement and retribution.’ And they said ‘Amen.’” (Acts of Thomas ch. 29)
- “And the apostle (Thomas) bade his minister to set forth a table; and he set forth a stool which they found there, and spread a linen cloth upon it and set on the bread of blessing; and the apostle stood by it and said: ‘Jesu, that hast accounted us worthy to partake of the eucharist of thine holy body and blood, lo, we are bold to draw near unto thine eucharist and to call upon thine holy name: come thou and communicate unto us.’ And he began to say: ‘Come, O perfect compassion, Come O communion of the male, Come, she that knoweth the mysteries of him that is chosen, Come, she that hath part in all the combats of the noble champion (athlete), Come, the silence that revealeth the great things of the whole greatness, Come, she that manifesteth the hidden things and maketh the unspeakable things plain, the holy dove that beareth the twin young, Come, the hidden mother, Come, she that is manifest in her deeds and giveth joy and rest unto them that are joined unto her: Come and communicate with us in this eucharist which we celebrate in thy name and in the love-feast wherein we are gathered together at thy calling.’ And having so said he marked out the cross upon the bread, and brake it, and began to distribute it. And first he gave unto the woman, saying: ‘This shall be unto thee for remission of sins and eternal transgressions (and for the everlasting resurrection). And after her he gave unto all the others also which had received the seal (and said to them: Let this eucharist be unto you for life and rest, and not for judgement and vengeance. And they said, Amen.)” (Acts of Thomas ch. 49 - 50)
- “We give thanks to you and we celebrate the eucharist, O Father, remembering for the sake of thy Son, Jesus Christ that they come forth (...) they are doing thy will through the name of Jesus Christ and will do thy will now and always. They are complete in every spiritual gift and every purity. Glory be to thee through thy Son and they offspring Jesus Christ from now and forever. Amen.” (On the Eucharist A)
- “(...) thou art the Lord. Whenever you die purely, you will be pure so as to have him [...] everyone who will guide him to food and drink. Glory be to thee forever. Amen.” (On the Eucharist B)
6. THE EUCHARIST: MISCELLANEOUS
- Through the eucharist, the Elect consecrate themselves, even in body: “The priest is completely holy, down to his very body. For if he has taken the bread, he will consecrate it. Or the cup or anything else that he gets, he will consecrate. Then how will he not consecrate the body also?” (Gospel of Philip)
- While celebrating the eucharist (‘thanksgiving’), the saviour mentions the union of angels and images: “He said on that day in the thanksgiving, "You who have joined the perfect light with the Holy Spirit, unite the angels with us also, as being the images." Do not despise the lamb, for without it, it is not possible to see the king. No one will be able to go in to the king if he is naked.” (Gospel of Philip) For the union of angels and images, see BRIDAL CHAMBER.

 
 
  - EXISTENCE
- The One exists, and is the source of all that exists.
- For this reason, the One is called, quite simply, “the One who exists” (Tripartite Tractate)
- Everything that exists (the Totalities) is an extension of the One’s existence: “The emanation of the Totalities, which exist from the one who exists, did not occur according to a separation from one another, as something cast off from the one who begets them. Rather, their begetting is like a process of extension, as the Father extends himself to those whom he loves, so that those who have come forth from him might become him as well.” (Tripartite Tractate)
- In Gnosticism, naming has an ontological power. Each time the One names a new Upper Aeonic being, it comes to exist: “But the Father is perfect, knowing every space within him. If he wishes, he manifests whomever he wishes, by giving him form and giving him a name, and he gives a name to him, and brings it about that those come into existence.” (Gospel of Truth)
- Yaltabaoth created the Lower Aeons, which are considered to be ‘shadows’ of the Upper Aeons. The Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex offers a radical ontological dualism, where the Upper Aeons ‘exist’ but the Lower Aeons ‘lack existence’: “And then the existent separated itself from the non-existent. And the non-existent is the evil which has manifested in matter. And the enveloping power separated those that exist from those that do not exist. And it called the existent "eternal", and it called the non-existent "matter". And in the middle it separated those that exist from those that do not Exist, and it placed veils between them.” (Bruce Untitled ms)
- A less extreme form of ontological dualism posits that the all Upper Aeonic beings have ‘true existence’ while the lower aeonic beings lead a false existence. Hence, the All ‘truly exist’: “Holy are you, O Father of the All who truly exist.” (Melchizedek 16:16)

 
 
 
- FACE
- In one Gnostic text, the face of the Father (here, called Logos and demiurge) becomes an extended metaphor for the Upper Aeons: “This is he upon whose head the aeons are a crown, casting forth rays. The circuit of his face is the unknown in the outer worlds, these who seek after his face at all times, wishing to know it, for his word has reached them, and they want to see him. And the light of his eyes penetrates to the places of the outer pleroma. And the word which comes from his mouth penetrates what is above and below. And the hair of his head is the number of the hidden worlds, and the boundary of his face is the image of the aeons.The hairs of his face are the number of the outer worlds.And the stretching out of his hands is the manifestation of the cross.” (Untitled Bruce)
- Since the Father finds his image in the Son, the Son is called “the face of the invisible” and “the countenance of the Father” (Tripartite Tractate)
- Yaltabaoth has many faces: “But Yaltabaoth had a multitude of faces, more than all of them (the Archons), so that he could put a face before all of them, according to his desire” (Apocalypse of John)

 
 
  - FATE (Heimarmene)
- The Archons created Fate to bind humanity in the Lower Aeons.
1. COSMIC FATE IN RELATION TO BODY AND SOUL
- Fate was created when Yaltabaoth’s authorities commited adultery with Sophia: “He (Yaltabaoth) made a plan with his authorities, which are his powers, and they committed together adultery with Sophia, and bitter fate was begotten through them, which is the last of the changeable bonds.” (Apocryphon of John)
- In the Gnostic model of the cosmos, the earth is at the centre of seven concentric spheres, which are the seven darkened heavens of the Lower Aeons. Each planet visible in the darkened heavens is like a doorway, and an Archon stands as gate-keeper at the doorway. See ARCHONS.
- Each of the seven heavenly Archons controls authorities, powers and demons - up to 360 (or 365) in all. These demons fabricated both the human body and the human soul (which ‘animates’ the body with life, passion, movement, heat etc). See PAROUSIA.
- Hence, all actions pertaining to the body and soul - movement, hunger, desire, fear, illness, aging, death - are subject to the demons’ influence. These, in turn, are subject to the influence of their superiors, the Archons.
- Through their planetary movements in the heavens, the Archons determine every movement, passion, illness etc. that the demons inflict upon humans, body and soul. These are ‘the bonds’ of Fate - the Heimarmene.
2. FATE AND THE STARS
- In the Gospel of Judas, Jesus often mentions ‘stars’ which, for the most part, offer negative influences.
- The stars influence the passions: “your wrath has been kindled, your star has shown brightly” (Gospel of Judas 56)
- The stars can lead a person astray: “[Jesus] answered and said, ‘Judas, your star has led you astray.’” (Gospel of Judas 45)
- There is a star for each person: “Each of you has his own star.” (Gospel of Judas 42)
- The stars bring about error. Jesus: “I have taught you about the error of the stars.” (Gospel of Judas 46)
- The stars have an eschatological function: “for all of them the stars bring matters to completion.” (Gospel of Judas 54)
- Despite the above, the Elect may free themselves from the stars’ rulership: “No host of angels (i.e. demons) of the stars will rule over that generation.” (Gospel of Judas 37)
- At the end of the gospel, Jesus uses ‘star’ in the positive sense, as one that will guide him. Jesus to Judas: “The star that leads the way is your star.” (Gospel of Judas 57)
3. THE SAVIOUR AND FATE
- In the Gnostic texts, the saviour first came into being in the Upper Aeons. He then descended into the Lower Aeons to initiate the rites of the Five Seals, awaken humanity and teach them the gnosis. Afterward, he rose up, through the Lower Aeons, and returned to the Upper Aeons.
- The question remains open whether the saviour was subject to Fate while in the Lower Aeons. Also: did he willingly sacrifice himself, or was his crucifixion ‘fated’ by the Archons?
- The saviour was subject to Fate: “...he was restrained with a multitude of fetters.” (Second Treatise of the Great Seth 58:23)
- The saviour freed himself from Fate: “It is this one (Christ) who broke the iron bars of the Underworld, and the bronze bolts. It is this one who attacked and cast down every haughty tyrant. It is he who loosened from himself the chains of which he had taken hold.” (Teachings of Silvanus 110:19)
- The saviour triumphed over Fate: “And he was victorious over the command of the archons, and they were not able by their work to rule over him.” (Concept of Our Great Power 42:8)
- The saviour only appeared to be subject to Fate: “For this is my appearance: for when I have completed the times which are assigned to me upon othe earth, then I will cast from me [my garment of fire?]” (Paraphrase of Shem 38:28)
- The saviour willingly surrendered himself to Fate: “For behold, I shall complete this destiny upon this earth as I have said from the heavens.” (First Apocalypse of James 29:9)
4. A HIGHER FATE
- There seems to be a higher destiny determined by the Father: “Therefore, all the emanations of the Father are pleromas, and the root of all his emanations is in the one who made them all grow up in himself. He assigned them their destinies.” (Gospel of Truth)

 
 
  - FIRE
1. FIRE IN GENERAL
- Normally, fire is negative. Yaltabaoth used fire to create the Lower Aeons. Fire is also a metaphor for desire.
- Fire is contrasted to light. Where the light of the Upper Aeons is still and immobile, the fire of the Lower Aeons flickers and moves.
- But, fire may also be positive. It is used as a symbol for the oil of the chrism, which reflects the light (or higher fire) of the Upper Aeons. It also cleanses during the second Parousia
2. FIRE AS NEGATIVE
- The Lower Aeons are composed of fire: “And he (Yaltabatoh) shared his fire with them (the authorities), but he did not send forth from the power of the light which he had taken from his mother, for he is ignorant darkness.” (Apocryphon of John)
- Fire as desire: “the fire that burns in you”, “O bitterness of the fire that blazes in the bodies of men” (Book of Thomas the Contender)
- Fire is the opposite of dew. Hence, if fire is desire, then dew is the pneuma which extinguishes it: “Who is it that will rain a refreshing dew on you to extinguish the mass of fire?” (Book of Thomas the Contender)
3. FIRE AS CONFLAGRATION
- The second Parousia will be a fiery conflagration: “the three parousias which I mentioned before: the flood, and the conflagration, and the judgment of the archons” (Gospel of the Egyptians) See PAROUSIA.
- The end of the world will be brought about by fire: “And it (the fire) will become incorporeal, without body, and it will burn matter, until it has cleansed everything, - and all wickedness. For when it does not find anything else to burn, it will turn against itself until it has destroyed itself.” (Concept of Our Great Power)
- This fire at the end of the world is ‘the invisible fire’ made ‘visible’: “When the whole seed is perfected, then, they say, (...) the fire that is hidden in the world will blaze forth and burn: when it has consumed all matter it will be consumed with it and pass into non-existence. According to them the Demiurge knew none of these things before the advent of the Savior.” (Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses I, 1.7.1; cf. Excerpta ex Theodoto 63-65).
4. FIRE AS POSTIVE
- Zostrianos mentions a ‘fire which does not burn’ from the Upper Aeons: “I saw corresponding to each one of the aeons a living earth, a living water, [air made] of light and a fire [that] cannot burn,” (Zostrianos)
- The ritual of baptism is a ‘baptism by water’, while the accompanying ritual of chrism (anointing with oil) is a ‘baptism by fire’. It uses fire, but in the positive sense, as light: “the light is the fire. I am not referring to that fire which has no form, but to the other fire whose form is white, which is bright and beautiful, and which gives beauty.” (Gospel of Philip)
- In the baptism and the chrism, there is invisible water in the visible water, and invisible fire in the visible oil: “It is through water and fire that the whole place is purified - the visible by the visible, the hidden by the hidden. There are some things hidden through those visible. There is water in water, there is fire in chrism.” “The fire is the chrism”(Gospel of Philip) See BAPTISM and CHRISM
- The three Parousias are also like baptisms, hence, there is a Baptism of fire: “there are three baptisms - the first is the spiritual, the second is by fire, the third is by water.” (On the Origin of the World) See PAROUSIA
5. FIRE - MISCELLANEOUS
- Traditionally, the Phoenix is consumed in the fire and is reborn from the ashes. There are three types of Phoenix that pass through the fire of the conflagration: “There are [...] three men, and also his posterities, unto the consummation of the world: the spirit-endowed of eternity, and the soul-endowed, and the earthly. Likewise, the three phoenixes in Paradise - the first is immortal; the second lives 1,000 years; as for the third, it is written in the Sacred Book that it is consumed. So, too, there are three baptisms - the first is the spiritual, the second is by fire, the third is by water.” (On the Origin of the World) See PAROUSIA, THREE TYPES OF HUMANS.
- Related to the Phoenix is the Salamader, which traditionally may live in fire: (fragment:) “like a salamander. It goes into the flaming fire which burns exceedingly; it slithers into the furnace ...” (Testimony of Truth)

 
 
  - FIVE SEALS
- See also SEALS.
- The Five Seals are mentioned in the Sethian Gnostic texts such as The Gospel of the Egyptians, The Trimorphic Protennoia and The Apocryphon of John.
- No Gnostic text gives an explicit description of the Five Seals. They remain a mystery.
- The Five Seals were granted in a ritual, which was composed of several important rites.
- By receiving the Five Seals, the Gnostic could ascend once more to the Upper Aeons.
1. THE FIVE SEALS IN GENERAL
- The Five Seals exist in the uppermost light (i.e. the Upper Aeons?): “These are the glories that are higher than every glory, that is, the Five Seals...” (Trimorphic Protennoia 49:26)
- The Five Seals come from the Father in the Upper Aeons: “the five seals which the Father brought forth from his bosom” (Gospel of the Egyptians)
- Christ gives the seals: “There is a sonship in their midst, which is called Christ the Verifier. It is he who verifies each one, and he seals him with the seal of the Father as he sends them in to the first Father, who exists in himself.” (Untitled Bruce)
- Through the Five Seals, the saviour (here, Protennoia) dwells in the Elect, just as they will come to dwell with the saviour in the Upper Aeons - Protennoia: “And I proclaimed to them the ineffable Five Seals in order that I might abide in them and they also might abide in me.” (Trimorphic Protennoia 50:9)
2. THE FIVE SEALS ARE GRANTED IN AN ASCENT TO THE UPPER AEONS
- The Elect receive the Five Seals in an ascent to the watery light of the Upper Aeons, where they are ‘sealed’. Through this rite, they will beome imperishable. The Saviour (Pronoia) speaking of a soul: “And I raised him up, and sealed him in the light of the water with five seals, in order that death might not have power over him from this time on.” (Apocryphon of John 31:22)
- The Five Seals are granted in the Upper Aeons. They give knowledge of the mysteries, and unify one with the Light: “And they took him into the light-place of his Fatherhood. And he received the Five Seals from the Light of the Mother, Protennoia, and it was granted him to partake of the mystery of knowledge, and he became a Light in Light.” (Trimorphic Protennoia 48:30)
3. THE RITE OF THE FIVE SEALS AS A FIVE-FOLD BAPTISM AND VISIONARY ASCENT
- In the Trimorphic Protennoia, the Five Seals are granted during a five-fold ritual that resembles a baptism and visionary ascent to the Upper Aeons. Five orders of angels (with three angels in each order) initiate the catechumen.
- First, the catechumen receives water (presumeably in a baptism) which ‘strips off’ from him the psychic and material garments before ‘putting on’ him a garment of light (which is knowledge of the Father): “I gave to him from the Water of Life, which strips him of the chaos that is in the uttermost darkness that exists inside the entire abyss, that is, the thought of the corporeal and the psychic. All these I put on. And I stripped him of it, and I put upon him a shining Light, that is, the knowledge of the Thought of the Fatherhood.” (Trimorphic Protennoia)
- During the visionary portion of the baptism, the catechumen is delivered to five orders of angels: ‘those who give robes of light’, ‘the baptizers’, ‘those who enthrone’, ‘those who glorify’, and ‘those who snatch away’: “And I delivered him to those who give robes - Yammon, Elasso, Amenai - and they covered him with a robe from the robes of the Light; and I delivered him to the baptizers, and they baptized him - Micheus, Michar, Mnesinous - and they immersed him in the spring of the Water of Life. And I delivered him to those who enthrone - Bariel, Nouthan, Sabenai - and they enthroned him from the Throne of Glory. And I delivered him to those who glorify - Ariom, Elien, Phariel - and they glorified him with the glory of the Fatherhood. And those who snatch away snatched away - Kamaliel, [...]anen, Samblo, and the servants of the great holy luminaries - and they took him into the light-place of his Fatherhood. And he received the Five seals from the Light of the Mother, Protennoia, and it was granted him to partake of the mystery of knowledge, and he became a Light in Light.” (Trimorphic Protennoia)
- Thus, the five-fold rite of baptism and visionary ascent consists of:
1. Receiving a robe of light
2. Baptism in the water of life
3. Enthronement on the throne of glory
4. Glorified in the glory of the Father
5. Snatched away
4. THE FIVE SEALS AS A FIVE-FOLD RITUAL
- In Gnosticism, the rite of Baptism often appears in conjunction with other rites. These include ‘putting on a garment of light’, ‘the chrism’, ‘the renunciation and invocation’ and ‘the Bridal Chamber’. See BAPTISM.
- The rite of baptism is sometimes called a seal and recognized as a seal. (The author is contending against Christian baptism): “There are some, who upon entering the faith, receive a baptism on the ground that they have it as a hope of salvation, which they call the "seal", not knowing that the fathers of the world are manifest (in) that place. But he himself knows that he is sealed.” (Testimony of Truth)
- The Gospel of Philip offers a crucial text for the Five Seals. In one passage, it groups together five important rites: the baptism, chrism, eucharist, redemption and Bridal Chamber: “The Lord did everything in a mystery, a baptism and a chrism and a eucharist and a redemption and a bridal chamber. [...] he said, "I came to make the things below like the things above, and the things outside like those inside. I came to unite them in the place." [...] here through types [...]and images.” (Gospel of Philip)
- It is possible that the five rites mentioned here are, in fact, the Five Seals. If so, the nature of ‘the redemption’ needs to be clarified.
- In another passage, the Gospel of Philip identifies the redemption with the resurrection. At the same time, it describes it as an intermediary rite between the baptism and Bridal Chamber: “There were three buildings specifically for sacrifice in Jerusalem. The one facing the west was called ‘The Holy’. Another, facing south, was called ‘The Holy of the Holy’. The third, facing east, was called ‘the Holy of the Holies’, the place where only the high priest enters. Baptism is ‘the Holy’ building. Redemption is the ‘Holy of the Holy’. ‘The Holy of the Holies’ is the bridal chamber. Baptism includes the resurrection and the redemption; the redemption (takes place) in the bridal chamber.” (The Gospel of Philip)
- The redemption was identified with the resurrection. According to the Gospel of Philip, the resurrection is a visionary ascent through the aeons. This vision of the resurrection is first seen in this life to prepare us for our after-life resurrection: “Those who say they will die first and then rise are in error. If they do not first receive the resurrection while they live, when they die they will receive nothing.” (Gospel of Philip) “While we are in this world, it is fitting for us to acquire the resurrection, so that when we strip off the flesh, we may be found in rest.” (Gospel of Philip)
- The Tripartite Tractate confirms that the redemption is ‘an ascent’: “...the redemption also is an ascent to the degrees which are in the Pleroma (i.e. an ascent through each aeon of the Upper Aeons) and to those who have named themselves and who conceive of themselves according to the power of each of the aeons (i.e. for the names of the angels).” (Tripartite Tractate)
- Like the resurrection, the redemption was most likely a visionary ascent of the catechumen through the aeons, so as to prepare him for his after-death ascent. During this initiatory rite, secret names and signs (also called seals) were revealed to him. First, in ‘the renunciation’, he was given secret names and signs to protect him against the Archons, in an ascent through the Lower Aeons. Then, in ‘the invocation’, more names and signs were given for the angels, in an ascent through the Upper Aeons.
- The Gospel of the Egyptians mentions the invocation and renunciation as part of the Five Seals rite, particularly during the baptism. The invocation and renunciation ‘instruct’ the catechumen about ‘those who will receive him’ in his ascent through the aeons: “But from now on, through the incorruptible man Poimael, and they who are worthy of (the) invocation (and) the renunciations of the five seals in the spring-baptism, these will know their receivers as they are instructed about them, and they will know them (or: be known) by them. These will by no means taste death.” (Gospel of the Egyptians)
- The invocation is described in The Tripartite Tractate as a ‘confession of faith’ in the names of the angels, and in their existence. Such a confession is called ‘the redemption’. It forms a part of ‘the baptism in the fullest sense’: “As for the baptism which exists in the fullest sense, into which the Totalities will descend and in which they will be, there is no other baptism apart from this one alone, which is the redemption into God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, when confession is made through faith in those names, which are a single name of the gospel, when they have come to believe what has been said to them, namely that they exist. From this they have their salvation, those who have believed that they exist. This is attaining in an invisible way to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in an undoubting faith. And when they have borne witness to them, it is also with a firm hope that they attained them, so that the return to them might become the perfection of those who have believed in them and (so that) the Father might be one with them, the Father, the God, whom they have confessed in faith and who gave (them) their union with him in knowledge.” (Tripartite Tractate 127:25)
- In this same sense, The Trimorphic Protennoia says the catechumen will come to possess ‘particular names’ through the rite of the Five Seals: “He who possesses the Five Seals of these particular names has stripped off the garments of ignorance and put on a shining Light.” (Trimorphic Protennoia)
- The above quotation makes clear that coming to possess the names is like stripping off one robe and putting on another. The rite of ‘putting on the robe of light’ was closely affiliated with baptism and the Bridal Chamber. See GARMENT OF LIGHT and BAPTISM and BRIDAL CHAMBER. But the enrobing rite during the baptism was also called ‘the redemption’: “The baptism which we previously mentioned is called ‘garment of those who do not strip themselves of it’, for those who will put it on and those who have received redemption wear it...” (Tripartite Tractate)
5. CONJECTURED RECONSTRUCTION OF THE FIVE-FOLD RITUAL
- Hence, the rite of the Five Seals, as suggested by The Gospel of Philip, was a five-fold rite. These five important rites may have been performed separately at different times. Otherwise, they may have been performed together in one complex rite.
- In this case, several preliminary rites would have prepared the catechumen for the baptism. In particular, there was the ‘renunciation’, ‘invocation’ and ‘enrobing’ (which are also related to ‘the redemption’). The baptism became the climax of a visionary ascent, when the catechumen entered the Upper Aeons so that ‘his image was sealed in the watery light’ and ‘his name was spoken in the silence’. See BAPTISM. At that moment, he also received his ‘garment of light’ in the ‘Bridal Chamber’. See GARMENT OF LIGHT and BRIDAL CHAMBER.
- The complete rite may be recomposed as follows:
- First, the catechumen was ritually ‘stripped’ of certain garments, which symbolized his material and psychic existence.
- In the preliminary rite of ‘the renunciation’, he received secret names and signs to protect him against the Archons. This may have been during a visionary ascent through the Lower Aeons, which was recited aloud with the aid of a sacramental text. Otherwise, the demons and Archons may have been cursed aloud and execrated (as still occurs in the Roman Catholic rite of baptism, where ‘enrobing’ also occurs).
- In the preliminary rite of ‘the invocation’, more names and signs were recited to gain the protection of the angels. This would also have been during a visionary ascent through the Upper Aeons. Otherwise, the catechumen would have confessed his belief in the existence of the angels.
- Since Gnostics practised multiple baptisms, the catechumen may have been baptized a first time at the end of the renunciation, and second time at the end of the invocation, to prepare him for a third and final baptism.
- The final baptism was experienced as an immersion into the watery light of the Upper Aeons. The catechumen may have received a special sign or signet, which symbolized that his unique image had been ‘sealed’ or impressed in the watery light that moment. Through this image, the Father would reflect upon himself. The catechumen may also have received a special name, which symbolized that the Father himself had uttered this name to name himself.
- Along with an image and a name, the catechumen also received his ‘garment of light’. This garment would protect him for the rest of his life in this world and also during his ascent through the aeons after his death.
- Since baptism was understood as an immersion in the watery light of the Upper Aeons, the catechumen emerged from the glowing baptismal waters with his ‘garment of light’. Such a baptism was interpreted, at the same time, as a union or marriage with the light in the Bridal Chamber. The catechumen was seen to be the feminine soul and the Father was the masculine light. These two were ‘united in the Bridal Chamber’, and from that time onward, the soul wore the ‘garment of light’ in remembrance of her union with the Father. Hence, the rite of the Bridal Chamber may have followed the baptism, in the form of a ritual kiss to welcome the catechumen into the community of Gnostics. See KISS.
- In conjunction with the baptism, the catechumen may have been anointed with holy oil in the rite of the chrism. See CHRISM.
- At the end, the rite of the eucharist may have been celebrated with all those present. See EUCHARIST.
- In this way five different rites were granted over the course of one complex rite, which granted the catechumen Five Seals: the redemption, baptism, bridal chamber, chrism and eucharist. The catechumen emerged from this rite with a name, an image, and a garment of light.
6. EXAMPLE OF A COMPLEX RITUAL
- In the Acts of Thomas, Judas Thomas performs four of the rites mentioned above: chrism, baptism and the eucharist, as well as the enrobing. Through this complex rite, the catechumen (a woman named Mygdonia) receives her ‘seal’: “And when Narcia had brought these things, Mygdonia stood before the apostle with her head bare; and he took the oil and poured it on her head, saying: Thou holy oil given unto us for sanctification, secret mystery whereby the cross was shown unto us, thou art the straightener of the crooked limbs, thou art the humbler (softener) of hard things (works), thou art it that showeth the hidden treasures, thou art the sprout of goodness; let thy power come, let it be established upon thy servant Mygdonia, and heal thou her by this freedom. And when the oil was poured upon her he bade her nurse unclothe her and gird a linen cloth about her; and there was there a fountain of water upon which the apostle went up, and baptized Mygdonia in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. And when she was baptized and clad, he brake bread and took a cup of water and made her a partaker in the body of Christ and the cup of the Son of God, and said: Thou hast received thy seal, get for thyself eternal life. And immediately there was heard from above a voice saying: Yea, amen. And when Narcia heard that voice, she was amazed, and besought the apostle that she also might receive the seal; and the apostle gave it her and said: Let the care of the Lord be about thee as about the rest.” (Acts of Thomas 121)

 
 
  - FOG
- Fog is an image for ignorance, forgetfulness and oblivion.
- It is similar to sleep, blindness and darkness.
- Ignorance produces anguish like a fog: “ignorance of the Father brought about anguish and terror; and the anguish grew solid like a fog, so that no one was able to see.” (Gospel of Truth)

 
 
  - FOREIGNER - see STRANGER
 
 
  - FORM - see IMAGE
 
 
  - FOUR LIGHTS (also called FIVE LIGHTS)
- The Four Lights are mentioned in the Sethian Gnostic texts.
- The Four Lights are Armozel, Oriel, Daveithai and Eleleth.
1. THE FOUR LIGHTS IN GENERAL
- The Four Lights are four angels which are four aeons (extensions or hypostases) around the saviour (Autogenes): “For from the light, which is the Christ (...) the four lights (appeared) from the divine Autogenes (...) the light-aeon Armozel, which is the first angel. (...)And the second light (is) Oriel. (...) And the third light is Daveithai. (...) And the fourth light Eleleth (...) These are the four lights which attend the divine Autogenes.” (Apocryphon of John)
- The four lights are aeons of the saviour (Autogenes). Though individual, they are parts of his wholeness or unity: “The Autogenes is the chief archon of his own aeons and angels as his parts, for those who are the four individuals belong to him; they belong to the fifth aeon together. The fifth exists in one; the four [are] the fifth, part by part. But these [four] are complete individually...” (Zostrianos)
- The Four Lights are also called ‘Light-Givers’: “Eleleth, the great angel, spoke to me."It is I," he said, "who am understanding. I am one of the four light-givers...” (Hypostasis of the Archons)
- In describing Eleleth, he has the appearance of an angel: “Now as for that angel (Eleleth), I cannot speak of his power: his appearance is like fine gold and his raiment is like snow. No, truly, my mouth cannot bear to speak of his power and the appearance of his face!” (Hypostasis of the Archons)
2. THERE ARE ALSO FIVE LIGHTS
- The saviour (as Yoel) is sometimes called the Fifth Light: “...the fifth, Yoel, who presides over the name of him to whom it will be granted to baptize with the holy baptism that surpasses the heaven, the incorruptible one.” (Gospel of the Egyptians)
- Hence, there are also ‘Five Lights’ - “He sent, by means of the holy decree, the five lights down” (Apocrypohon of John)
3. THE FOUR LIGHTS RULING OVER TYPES AND AEONS
- The Four Lights rule over four aeons, in which four types of humans dwell. In the first light, Armozel, is the Geradamas (and Christ); in the second light, Oriel, is Seth (and Jesus); in the third light, Daveithai, is the Seed of Seth (and the saints), and in the fourth light, Eleleth, are the penitants ‘those who have gone astray’.
- “and the (first) great light Harmozel, the place of the living Autogenes (...) and he who is with him, the incorruptible man Adamas, the second, Oroiael, the place of the great Seth, and Jesus (...) the third, Davithe, the place of the sons of the great Seth, the fourth, Eleleth, the place where the souls of the sons are resting, the fifth, Yoel, who presides over the name of him to whom it will be granted to baptize with the holy baptism that surpasses the heaven, the incorruptible one.” (Gospel of the Egyptians)
- “And Pigera-Adamas... he (the One) placed over the first aeon with (...) the Autogenes, the Christ, by the first light Armozel (...). And he placed his son Seth over the second aeon in the presence of the second light Oriel. And in the third aeon the seed of Seth was placed over the third light Daveithai (...). And in the fourth aeon the souls were placed of those who do not know the Pleroma and who did not repent at once, but who persisted for a while and repented afterwards; they are by the fourth light Eleleth.” (Apocrypohon of John)
- This creates a possible historical schema of ‘four ages’. In the context of The Hypostasis of the Archons, the first three ages apparently took place before Noah and the flood. Then, the fourth Light, Eleleth, appears and describes the fourth age, which is the present age, when the Christ appears. Eleleth: “‘Still, that sown element (the sons of Seth) will not become known now. Instead, after three generations it will come to be known, and it has freed them from the bondage of the authorities' error.’ Then I (Norea) said, ‘Sir, how much longer?’ He (Eleleth) said to me, ‘Until the moment when the true man, within a modeled form, reveals the existence of the spirit of truth, which the father has sent. Then he will teach them about everything, and he will anoint them with the unction of life eternal, given him from the undominated generation. Then they will be freed of blind thought, and they will trample underfoot death, which is of the authorities, and they will ascend into the limitless light where this sown element belongs.’” (Hypostasis of the Archons)
- In Zostrianos, there are three types of soul (like three types of humans), and the Four Lights rule over the ‘four species’ of the highest type, ‘the unbegotten souls’. Thus: “[Armozel] is placed upon the first aeon. (He is) a promise of god, [...] of truth and a joining of soul. Oroiael, a power (and) seer of truth, is set over the second. Daveithe, a vision of knowledge, is set over the third. Eleleth, an eager desire and preparation for truth, is set over the fourth.” (Zostrianos) See THREE TYPES OF HUMANS.

 
 
  - FRAGRANCE
- Fragrance is made from oil, and so it becomes an image for the chrism and, by extension, Christ.
- Fragrance is manifest on the breath, and so it becomes an image of the pneuma (spirit or breath).
1. FRAGRANCE AS OIL
- The notion of fragrance brings together ‘ointment’, the ‘oil of the chrism’, and ‘those who are anointed’: “Spiritual love is wine and fragrance. All those who anoint themselves with it take pleasure in it. While those who are anointed are present, those nearby also profit (from the fragrance).” (Gospel of Philip)
2. FRAGRANCE AS BREATH
- The Elect possess the pneuma, which may be likened to the divine breath. Hence, they are like the fragrant breath of the Father: they were exhaled (material existence in the Lower Aeons) but they will be inhaled (spiritual existence in the Upper Aeons). As exhaled, they became cold (divided in the Lower Aeons), but once they are inhaled, they will become warm (unity in the Upper Aeons): “because the children of the Father are his fragrance, for they are from the grace of his countenance. For this reason, the Father loves his fragrance, and manifests it in every place. And if it mixes with matter, he gives his fragrance to the light, and in his repose, he causes it to surpass every form (and) every sound. For it is not the ears that smell the fragrance, but (it is) the breath that has the sense of smell and attracts the fragrance to itself, and is submerged in the fragrance of the Father, so that he thus shelters it, and takes it to the place where it came from, from the first fragrance, which is grown cold. It is something in a psychic form, being like cold water which has frozen (?), which is on earth that is not solid, of which those who see it think it is earth; afterwards, it dissolves again. If a breath draws it, it gets hot. The fragrances, therefore, that are cold are from the division. For this reason, faith came; it dissolved the division, and it brought the warm pleroma of love, in order that the cold should not come again, but (that) there should be the unity of perfect thought.” (Gospel of Truth)
- Again, a word-play on ‘pneuma’ is made, as breath and as spirit. The Elect are the breath of the Father (the Pneuma), and have the sweetness of his fragrance: “It is by virtue of his will that the Father, the one who is exalted, is known, that is, (by virtue of) the spirit which breathes in the Totalities and it gives them an idea of seeking after the unknown one, just as one is drawn by a pleasant aroma to search for the thing from which the aroma arises, since the aroma of the Father surpasses these ordinary ones.” (Tripartite Tractate)
- As ‘the Word’, the Lord is ‘exhaled’ from the Father: “The Lord picked up a stone and held it in his hand, saying ‘What am I holding in my hand?’ He (Judas) said, ‘It is a stone.’ He (the Lord) said to them, ‘That which supports the earth is that which supports the heaven. When a Word comes forth from the Greatness, it will come on what supports the heaven and the earth. For the earth does not move. Were it to move, it would fall. But it neither moves nor falls, in order that the First Word might not fail. For it was that which established the cosmos and inhabited it, and inhaled fragrance from it.’” (Dialogue of the Saviour)
- The fragrance as ‘incense’: “Therefore, the incense of life is in me. I mixed it with water after the model of all archons, in order that I may live with you in the peace of the saints, you who exist really truly forever.” (Gospel of the Egyptians)

 
 
  - FRUIT
- In general, fruit is used to signify the result or effect of some cause.
- But, fruit may also have a positive or negative meaning
1. FRUIT AS POSITIVE
- ‘The fruit’ are the Elect, as generations descended from the seed of Seth.
- The beings in the Upper Aeons are called the ‘root’, ‘trunk’ or ‘branch’, while the Elect, as their descendents, are called the ‘fruit’ or ‘seed’.
- Of the Elect, as the ‘seed of Seth: “Their fruit does not wither.” i.e. they are imperishable (Apocalypse of Adam)
- Which of you will be “fruit-bearing trees” (Apocalypse of Adam)
- “Control yourselves, receive the imperishable seed, bear fruit, and do not become attached to your possessions.” (Marsanes)
- Fruit is also the fruit of knowledge (gnosis), which is remembrance and awakening to our origins. Protennoia: “And I bore fruit in them, that is, the Thought of the unchanging Aeon” (Trimoprhic Protennoia)
2. FRUIT AS NEGATIVE
- Yaltabaoth planted death and deception in the fruit of the Tree of Life: “And the archons took him (Adam) and placed him in paradise. And they said to him, ‘Eat, that is at leisure,’ for their luxury is bitter and their beauty is depraved. And their luxury is deception and their trees are godlessness and their fruit is deadly poison and their promise is death. And the tree of their life they had placed in the midst of paradise. (...) The root of this tree is bitter and its branches are death, its shadow is hate and deception is in its leaves, and its blossom is the ointment of evil, and its fruit is death, and desire is its seed, and it sprouts in darkness.” (Apocryphon of John)

 
 
  - FULLNESS - See AEONS and PLEROMA.
 
 

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... The Logos-Wisdom ...

" The Logos-Wisdom is the principle of all Divine and Esoteric Revelations. She has the characteristics of being the indwelling revealer of God. She IS the active principle and the transmitter of all Divine knowledge as well the cosmological cause of all creation. "
Warning!!!

Our Souls have a "Free-Will", just as we have it.
Forcefully sending massive numbers of Souls back home is very dangerous.
If the Souls start refusing to incarnate in our world. Therefore stop importing good, loving energy to this planet earth.
This earth would become animal like; beastie, dog eat dog, barren, bleak and lifeless.
A loving Soul consciousness would vanish from this earth.
The lobbyists of many governments are working towards the same goal; of one religion, one power hungry government,
having as a long term agenda, contrary to " true good will ", contrary to good Karma, wanting to; eliminate 93% of earth's population, see: Depopulation.

      

 Think for yourself and do not quickly accept ideas. Test all things; hold fast what is good. (1 Thes. 5:21) 

 If you have enemies, each has a Soul, as you do. 

 " Love your enemies " 

 " By their fruits you will recognize them" (Matt.7:15-16) " 

" Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own. " --Robert A. Heinlein

" I know that I know nothing, --bogdan "
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