Agnosia: State of not having insight or Gnosis.
“WE MAKE OURSELVES real by telling the truth” –Thomas Merton
Demiurge (from the Greek δημιουργός dēmiourgós, Latinized demiurgus, meaning “artisan” or “craftsman”, literally “worker in the service of the people”, from δήμιος “of the people” + έργον “work”) is a term for a creator deity, responsible for the creation of the physical universe.
In the sense of a divine creative principle, the word was first introduced by Plato in Timaeus, 41a (ca. 360 BC). It subsequently appears in a number of different religious and philosophical systems of Late Antiquity, besides Platonic realism most notably in Neoplatonism the term also appears in Gnosticism:
- For Plato, the demiurge is a benevolent creator of the laws or the heaven or of the world in Timaeus. Above Plato’s demiurge is the good.
- Plotinus identified the demiurge as nous (divine mind), the first emanation of “the One” (see monad). Neoplatonists personified the demiurge as Zeus.
- In Gnosticism, the material universe is seen as evil, and the demiurge is the evil creator of the physical world. The demiurge is the God that created the human body or flesh, since the flesh is evil then so to, is the flesh’s creator.
Alternative Gnostic names for the Demiurge, include Yaldabaoth, Yao or Iao, Ialdabaoth and several other variants. The Gnostics identified the Demiurge with the Hebrew God Yahweh (see the Sethians and Ophites). He is known as Ptahil in Mandaeanism.
It should be noted the following is largely my opinion; it is not particularly “true” or “accurate.” As a result you may disagree with some or all portions of the following (you may already “know” all the following also).
Gnosticism…what is Gnosticism and what is Gnosis? I was asked a few weeks ago now, “What is the Demiurge?” To examine the Demiurge we have to examine what Gnosis and Gnosticism IS. So what is Gnosis?
Gnosis is knowing, to know. Gnosis is spiritual knowing, to KNOW the divine.
Gnomon (γνώμων) is an ancient Greek word meaning “knower” or “judge”, from the Proto-Indo-European language *gnō-, to know. It has several specific meanings:
Gnome (knower of the earth), Gnosis etc….
In Gnosticism we differentiate the two types of knowing. We have mundane knowledge and divine knowledge. Other “religions” such as Buddhism also refer to two types of knowing. Episteme or mundane knowledge is akin to knowing mundane information. Episteme is like knowing a bus time table and applying that knowledge. Of course nothing is wrong with this knowledge; it is very useful and helpful. However there is more: Gnosis.
“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.
It is not possible for anyone to see anything of the things that actually exist unless he becomes like them. This is not the way with man in the world: he sees the sun without being a sun; and he sees the heaven and the earth and all other things, but he is not these things. This is quite in keeping with the truth. But you saw something of that place, and you became those things. You saw the Spirit, you became spirit. You saw Christ, you became Christ. You saw the Father, you shall become Father. So in this place you see everything and do not see yourself, but in that place you do see yourself – and what you see you shall become. “–Gospel of Philip
“It is not possible for anyone to see anything of the things that actually exist unless he becomes like them.” Thus to truly gain Gnosis, to KNOW, we must BECOME that which we seek to know. To give of the self totally, to become…to give, to LOVE. For it is in love that we give totally, without want, without agenda…
” For your sake, I hurry over land and water:
For your sake, I cross the desert and split the mountain in two,
And turn my face from all things,
Until the time I reach the place
Where I am alone with You.”
–Al Hallaj (8th -9th cent. Iranian Sufi)
LOVE, the Beatles once sang, all you need is love….for the seeker, the mystic, the Gnostic, of the entire world’s great paths; this is the one universal truth, LOVE. Often called the only true religion.
“All life is just a progression toward, and then a recession from, one phrase — I love you.” –F Scott Fitzgerald
So what about the Demiurge?
“It was Christianity which painted the devil on the world’s wall; it was Christianity which first brought sin into the world. Belief in the cure which it offered has now been shaken to its deepest roots; but belief in the sickness it taught and propagated continues to exist.” –Nietzsche
Although Nietzsche’s sentiment is perhaps a bit abhorrent and naïve let us examine it. Satan, from the Hebrew, means adversary. Adversary..Opposer, opposition.
“Opposition is a natural part of life. Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming opposition – such as lifting weights – we develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity.”
– Albert Schweitzer
Satan, shtn, shit, excrement, excretum…something to be removed, lost..purified. The Bagavad Gita a key Hindu text is about the self, the battle of the self. For the mystic the greatest battle is the self, and overcoming it. To LOVE…to give of ourselves entirely..to achieve union, Gnosis…
So what IS the Demiurge? The demiurge is the ego, the self, the I that must be overcome. In various Gnostic cosmologies we see “God himself” falling to the trap of the ego…The Demiurge, Samael (blind god) imperfect child of Sophia declares himself to be the one true God. Just as one full of arrogance, ego..declares themselves right above all others.
That is the Demiurge, YOU are the demiurge…But the demiurge only exists..if you let it. It is all too easy to fall into the trap and state “Satan made me do it.” This is foolish talk, this is what Nietzsche is discussing. Many fall into this trap, which I think is wrong. It is all too easy to create a new Satan, a new adversary. But why? there is only LOVE…
Only LOVE…. to see the world as “evil” is a literalism I disagree with….
“What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. This is the law: all the rest is commentary.” Talmud, Shabbat 31a.
“One yin and one yang constitute what is known as Tao.” (I Ching) In “The Lau Tzu” (Tao Te Ching) the two forms of yin and yang refer to heaven and earth. This directly correlates with the concept of the Taoist trilogy, the San Ti, which postulates man is the same as heaven and earth.
1.. In Taoism, the basic, eternal principle of the universe that transcends reality and is the source of being, non-being, and change.
2.. In Confucianism, the right manner of human activity and virtuous conduct seen as stemming from universal criteria and ideals governing right, wrong, and other categories of existence. (American Heritage)
“Wu Chi creates Tai Chi, Tai Chi is the one Chi. One Chi generates Yin and Yang, and Yin and Yang can change in infinite ways.” This is also stated allegorically in the “Lau Tzu,” (”Tao Te Ching”). ” Tao produced oneness. Oneness produced duality, Duality evolved into the ten thousand things. The ten thousand things support the yin, and embrace the yang. It is the blending of the breaths (of yin and yang) that their harmony depends.”
Now compare this idea with the description of the monad from the Chaldean Oracles of Zoroaster….
This sequence of from the “Oracles,” reflects a parallel to the monad and Tai Chi that is unmistakable..
25. The Monad first existed, and the Paternal Monad still subsists.
26. When the Monad is extended, the Dyad is generated.
27. And beside Him is seated the Dyad which glitters with intellectual sections,
to govern all things and to order everything not ordered.
28. The Mind of the Father said that all things should be cut into Three, whose
Will assented, and immediately all things were so divided.
29. The Mind of the Eternal Father said into Three, governing all things by Mind.
30. The Father mingled every Spirit from this Triad.
31. All things are supplied from the bosom of this Triad.
32. All things are governed and subsist in this Triad
33. For thou must know that all things bow before the Three Supernals.
34. From thence floweth forth the Form of the Triad, being preexistent; not the
first Essence, but that whereby all things are measured.
35. And there appeared in it Virtue and Wisdom, and multiscient Truth.
36. For in each World shineth the Triad, over which the Monad ruleth.”
As you can figure the two concepts are the same, although they may be stated somewhat differently. We do not have to achieve Tao, we are already part of it. All we need to do is realize its potential.
Salutations in the Light of the Messiah!
The demiurge is cosmic ignorance, and the archons are spiritual forces manifest in the ignorance – this ignorance manifests as an illusion of separation or dualism in consciousness, it is self-cherishing, and the play of desire and fear in this state of egotism; the shadow of this is called the “Adversary,” Satan, and whatever evil might be named it is the byproduct of the demiurge, this cosmic ignorance or cosmic egotism.
This ignorance is cosmic in that it pervades all realms, worlds and universes throughout the Entirety, and affects all sentient beings in the Entirety – but it is also primordial, without beginning, for arising from primordial unconscious unity this ignorance is in effect from beginningless beginning as souls individuate; in individual sentient beings is becomes fundamental ignorance.
In a manner of speaking, this very principle we call the “demiurge,” this ignorance, is what facilitates the individuation of mind or soul-streams, and the play of creative evolution towards self-realization or enlightenment; yet, it is the principle of bondage, obstructing self-realization or enlightenment.
This ignorance rules the world – what is to be done with it? It has always ruled the world, and until the world passes away it will hold dominion; with every generation of life there is a constant influx of souls new to human incarnation, as well as those passing beyond what we call “human,” and this matrix of spiritual forces is like a womb through which all pass – it is what it is. What is to be done with it?
Lord Yeshua enacted the mystery of the Holy Gospel in the midst of very dark times – under the dominion of the Roman Empire, the primary expression of the dominion of the demiurge in that time and place. The grand debate among the Jewish people was whether the Messiah would be a socio-political revolutionary, a warrior-king after the fashion of King David, leading the people to overthrow the Roman Empire’s dominion through God’s power, or was to be a holy priest-king after the fashion of Melchizedek, leading a spiritual revolution having little or nothing to do with this world – in Lord Yeshua, in the midst of the darkness of the world, we have a holy priest-king of the Order of Melchizedek, one who proclaims, “My kingdom is not of this world.”
We may very well gain insight into his view of all of this from a teaching he gave, understanding “Caesar” as the demiurge. Presented with the question of whether taxes ought to be paid or not, he asks for a coin and inquires whose image is on it, and he is told it is the image of Caesar – his response was, “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.”
To understand how charged this question and answer was in the day – taxes were very high and were constantly being raised, and one had no say in the matter at all; if you could not pay taxes assessed – anything could be taken from you in payment, including your family and yourself being sold as slaves for payment.
If we look and see the darkness, the ignorance, that dominates the world – that dominates us, what is to be done? The answer is really very simple: we must put an end to the ignorance in us, put an end to the ignorance in ourselves – pointing at the ignorance in the world, while remaining in ignorance ourselves, accomplishes nothing, and is itself a manifestation of the ignorance.
In this regard we must learn not to be distracted from the true aim of the spiritual path – actual self-realization in Christ, the enlightenment and liberation of the soul.
The Sophian tradition focuses on an integral self-realization in Christ – the realization of the Supernal or Messianic Consciousness; we focus on going within and living within, and upon guidance from the indwelling Christ Presence and Holy Spirit – rather than a socio-political revolution, we focus upon a *spiritual revolution*, as did Lord Yeshua. Our aim is the cessation of ignorance in us, the cessation of the violent inclination in us – a radical transformation of consciousness. If there is any change to be brought about in the world, or in the larger collective of humanity, it is brought about through a change in the individuals – for we are the world and the world is us, only through a transformation of consciousness in us are we empowered to bring about a greater transformation in the world.
In terms of socio-politics, or any other mundane affair or activity, living within and receiving guidance from within, and generating spiritual love and compassion, we will know what is to be done in all matters – our noble ideal being the expression of the Light-presence (Christ) and Light-power (Holy Spirit) through our thoughts, emotions, words and actions in all activities of life.
Quite naturally, we are called to labor to improve the lives of others around us – all our relations, and to do what we can to relieve the sorrow and suffering of sentient beings; how each of us goes about enacting good works and the love of Christ, however, depends upon our call, and the spiritual gifts and talents we receive from the Holy Spirit – perhaps some might have the call, gifts and talents for social and political activism, among other similar activities. Whatever our call in the Holy Spirit, as spiritual Christians we will follow it – taking up our call we will follow Christ.
Generally speaking, though, our concern is not for the world and the goings on of the world – the world is an impermanent phenomenon and the matters of the world are secondary to us; the aim is to use this body and life in the world as a vehicle of self-realization in Christ, transforming this life and transcending this world. If we look into the gospels, canonical and gnostic, this is what Yeshua Messiah teaches us – of course, even after some two thousand or so years this message is very difficult for us to listen and hear, as we cling to name and form, and to the world and things of the world, rather that to the Pleroma of Light and God, the True Light.
Essentially, from a Sophian perspective, the greatest possible benefit to others that we can be is to facilitate the enlightenment and liberation of mind or soul-streams from their bondage to the demiurge (ignorance) and gilgulim (transmigration) – hence, the best help we can offer is to facilitate the realization of Supernal or Messianic Consciousness, tending the Continuum of Supernal Light Transmission. That’s not to say that we do not engage in practical works of assistance on a material level when we see the need and have the means to do so, as well as engage in good works on the psychic and spiritual levels, but rather that our central focus is on the psychic and spiritual, as with the Gnostic experience in place we are especially empowered to it. In fact, in that relatively few know and understand the way of Supernal or Supramental Realization as yet, it is very important that those who do know it focus upon this Gnostic and Light Transmission, and the works of psychic and spiritual assistance that can be taken up within it.
It is entirely possible, for example, that a Templar in our tradition might be called to a special material action, even socio-political action; but in whatever action to which they might be called, the Continuum of Light Transmission will remain their central aim and focus, and the Divine Light from above will guide and direct their action, and in perfect performance Divine Grace will take up their action.
As for political commentaries – are any of them from the perspective of Divine Illumination or Christ? If we look into the extreme right and extreme left, are either the whole truth, and nothing but the truth – will either enlightened and liberates souls, or lead them in the Path of the Great Ascension? Frankly speaking, both are founded upon the same fundamental ignorance, and the two opposite poles, like all other apparent opposites, reflect the same fundamental dualism in consciousness. In much the same way as we do not wish to be caught up in the distraction of the play of “saint” and “sinner,” neither do we wish to be caught up in political extremes and such – we seek the inner knowing of the Divine Light and see to act in accord with that faith and gnosis, in whatever way the Light-presence and Light-power leads us.
Having said all of this, perhaps we might close with a contemplation of a saying of Hayyah Yeshua from the Gnostic Gospel of St. Thomas:
Yeshua said, “Whoever has come to know the world has discovered a corpse, and whoever has discovered a corpse, of that person the world is not worthy” (56).
May we be blessed to recognize the Light Realm within and all around us, and be empowered to act from that Pure Vision – all in the Risen Messiah; amen.
Blessings & shalom!
Ecclesia Pistis Sophia
O. S. G.