“One of the paradoxes of the mystical life is this:  that a man cannot
enter into the deepest center of himself and pass through that center
into God, unless he is able to pass entirely out of himself and empty
himself and give himself to other people in the purity of a selfless
love.”

–Thomas Merton

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“‘Light of my salvation, I sing praise to you in the place of the height and again in the chaos.

I sing praise to you in my hymn with which I sang praise in the height and with which I sang praise unto thee when I was in the chaos. May it reach you! And heed, light, my repentance. 

For my power is filled up with darkness, and my light has come down into the chaos.

I am myself become like the archons of the chaos, who are gone into the darknesses below; I am become like a material body, which hath no one in the height who will save it.  I have become like material things whose power has been taken from them as they were cast down into the chaos, which you have not saved, and they are destroyed utterly by your commandment.

Now, therefore, have they put me into the darkness below, in darknesses and material things which are dead.  And there is no power in them.

You have brought your commandment upon me and all things which you have decreed.

And your spirit has withdrawn and abandoned me. And again – through your commandment the emanations of my aeon have not helped me.  And they have hated me and separated themselves from me, and yet I am not utterly destroyed.

And my light is diminished in me, and I have cried out to the light with all the light that is in me, and I have stretched forth my hands to you

(…)

Now, therefore, O Light, will you not accomplish your commandment in the chaos, and will not the deliverers, who come according to your commandment, arise in the darkness and come and be disciples for you ?

Will they not utter the mystery of your name in the chaos?

Or will they not utter your name in a matter of the chaos, in which you will not yourself purify?

And I have sung praises to you, O Light, and my repentance will reach you in the height.  May your light come down upon me.  For they have taken my light, and I am suffering because of the light, from the time when I was sent forth. And when I looked into the height at the light, then I looked down below at the light-power which is in the chaos.

I stood up; I came down.

Your commandment has come upon me, and the anguishes which you have ordained for me have shaken me.

And they have surrounded me, like roaring water, they seized me all at once for all time.

And through your commandments you have not allowed those who have been sent forth with me to help me; and you have not allowed my pair to deliver me from my sufferings.

Pistis Sophia (chapter 41)

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“Normally, when a person thinks of himself, the first thing he thinks of is his body. It is almost a reflex action. Ask a person to point to himself, and he will almost inevitably point to his chest. Perhaps, if he is more perceptive, he will point to his head, the seat of his brain, seeing the mind as being more representative of the self than the body.

        The Kabbalists point out that the body is not the self. Since I can speak of ‘my body,’ the body cannot be ‘me.’ The body is ‘mine’ – something associated with the me; but the ultimate me is something much more profound than the body. Using the same argument, I vcan also speak of ‘my mind.’ Indeed, I speak of ‘my mind’ just as I speak of ‘my body.’ This would imply that just as the body is not the real me, the mind is also not the real me. Carrying the argument a step further, I can even speak of ‘my soul.’ This would imply that even the soul is not the real me.

        This being the case, the question of selfhood becomes very difficult indeed. What is the real me? A hint to the answer can be found in the Hebrew word for ‘I,’ ani. It is significant to note that if the letters of ani are rearranged, they spell the word ayn or ayin, which denotes nothingness. This would seem to imply that the real ‘me’ is the nothingness within me.”

– Aryeh Kaplan

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“‘Hear me – I sing your praise, O first mystery, (you) who have shone in your mystery, (you) who have caused Jeu to establish the fifth aeon(1); and you have instituted archons, decans(2) and ministers in the fifth aeon, whose imperishable name is psamazaz.  Save all my members which  have been scattered since the foundation of the world in all the archons and the decans and the ministers of the fifth aeon; and gather them all together and take them into the light.

Hear me – I sing your praise, O first mystery, (you) who have shone in your mystery, (you) who have caused Jeu to establish the sixth aeon; and you have instituted archons, decans and ministers in the sixth aeon, whose imperishable name is zaouza. Save all my members which have been scattered since the foundation of the world in the archons and the decans and the ministers of the sixth aeon; gather them all together and take them into the light.

Hear me – I sing your praise, O first mystery, (you) who have shone in your mystery, (you) who have caused Jeu to establish the seventh aeon; and you have instituted archons, decans and ministers in the seventh aeon, whose imperishable name is chazabraoza. Save all my members which have been scattered since the foundation of the world in the archons and the decans and the ministers of the seventh aeon; gather them all together and take them into the light.

Hear me – I sing your praise, O first mystery, (you). who have shone in your mystery, (you) who have caused Jeu to establish the eighth aeon; and you have founded archons, decans and ministers in the eighth aeon, whose imperishable name is banaza … Save all my members which have been scattered since the foundation of the world in all the archons and the decans and the ministers of the eighth aeon; gather them all together and take them into the light.

Hear me – I sing your praise, O first mystery, (you) who have shone in your mystery, (you) who have caused Jeu to establish the ninth aeon; and you have instituted archons, decans and ministers in the ninth aeon, whose imperishable name is dazaoza. Save all my members which have been scattered since the foundation (of the world) in the archons and the decans and the ministers of the ninth aeon; gather them all together and take them into the light

Hear me – I sing your praise, O first mystery, (you) who have shone in your mystery, (you) who have caused Jeu to establish the tenth aeon; and you have instituted archons, decans and ministers in the tenth aeon, whose imperishable name is tanouaz. Save all my members which have been scattered since the foundation of the world in all the archons and the decans and the ministers of the tenth aeon; gather them all together and take them into the light.

Hear me – I sing your praise, O first mystery, (you) who have shone in your mystery, (you) who have caused Jeu to establish the eleventh aeon; and you have instituted archons, decans and ministers in the eleventh aeon, whose imperishable name is plouzaaa. Save all my members which have been scattered since the foundation of the world in all the archons and the decans and the ministers of the eleventh aeon; gather them all together and take them into the Light.

Hear me – I sing your praise, O first mystery, (you) who have shone in your mystery, (you) who have caused Jeu to establish the twelfth aeon; and you have instituted archons, decans and ministers in the twelfth aeon, whose imperishable name is parnaza. Save all my members which have been scattered since the foundation of the world in all the archons and the decans and the ministers of the twelfth aeon; gather them all together and take them into the light.

Hear me – I sing your praise, O first mystery, (you) who have shone in your mystery, (you) who have caused Jeu to establish the place of the twenty-four invisible emanations, with their archons and their gods and their lords and their archangels and their angels and their decans and their ministers, in an ordinance of the thirteenth aeon, whose imperishable name is oazanazao. Save all my members which have been scattered since the foundation of the world in the twenty-four invisible emanations and their archons and their gods and their lords and’ their archangels and their angels and their decans and their ministers; and gather them all together and take them into the light.

Hear me – I sing your praise, O first mystery, (you) who have shone in your mystery, (you) who have caused Jeu to establish thirteenth aeon; and you have instituted three gods and the visible one in the thirteenth aeon, whose imperishable name is Iazazaaa.  Save all my members which have been scattered in the three gods and the invisible one; and gather them all together and take them into the light.

Hear me – I sing your praise, O first mystery, (you) who have shone in your mystery and have established all the archons together with Jabraoth, who have believed in the kingdom of light, in a place of pure air, whose imperishable name is achazaoraza. Save all my members which have been scattered since the foundation of the world in all the archons and the decans and the ministers; and gather them all together and take them all into the light. Amen. Amen.

–from the book of Jeu

 

notes:

Archon: “Ruler.” Refers to the creators and governing forces in the material world. The Demiurge and his angels (aeons). From a form of governing known in Alexandria. Like the term ‘Allogenes,’ archons are used to explain pleromic entities in versions of the Gnostic explanations for creation, however they may be seen as evil forces. ”A Gnostic ruler, sometimes equivalent with the Demiurge. Archons are synonymous with ”princes of the world,” in the ”Gospel of John.” ”Basilides calls Archons, the heads of the spirit realms.”(”Gnostics,” CWF Hegal) (See also; Gaffney, p. 240.) Archons are the prototype for Jung’s allegory to ”archetypes.” (See; Hoeller. See also; ”Hidden Wisdom,” Smoley, Kinney, Penguin, 1999, Ch. 2.)

(1)The beginning of the hymn no longer exists. It is likely that the prior four aeons are mentioned in what came first.

 

(2)Decans: “heavenly Powers”

 

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