Understanding the Secret Christianity


Tom Saunders

The secret teachings of early Sethian Christians can remain a mystery to most people who read the Sethian texts, because they don’t understand the underlying philosophies, and they don’t have the right vocabulary.  Sethian texts are filled with ‘new’ words and ideas most common Bible Dictionaries don’t list, and most Christians never heard.

One basis for Sethian Christianity is an underlying philosophy called a Monadology, which is based upon a Pythagorean principle most modern scholars have never figured out.  In fact both the Pythagorean and Sethian Monadologies are based upon the higher principles of the Chinese philosophy of the Tai Chi.  To be specific, a Monadic sequence of ‘types,’ works almost exactly like the sequences of trigrams or ‘ba gua,’ used from the Tai Chi icon.  This study of the trigrams in Chinese philosophy is known as Ba Gua Science. (See also ”The History of Chinese Philosophy,” Fung Yu-Lan, Princeton Press.)

No one Sethian text explains the Monadic system. I discovered it when I studied Ba Gua Science and how it is applied in the real world. It became obvious when I studied and compared the Sethian system, that they were almost identical systems.

Only parts of the Monadology are mentioned in bits and peices in the Sethian texts. It takes some time to study these systems, but I find them fascinating. Any mention of a part of the Monadology, like the Ogdoad, or Sacred Tetrad, is really a reference to an entire system.  The study of the Monad, is the basis for the metaphysical aspects of Sethian spirituality.

So, how does Seth fit into this picture?  Seth is the third son of Adam and Eve, the one the pre-Christian Sethians declared was divine.  This meant that Seth became what is called an Aeon, a Monogene, or Autogene, which is a power that fills the universe, from the power of the Pleroma, or the ‘All.’  The Monad in this theory is the first thing that fills the ‘great void’ or Wu Chi, which is represented in the Sethian model as ‘Silence.’

Jesus in Sethian Christianity became the primary force or power of all the Aeons, in effect from Silence, Jesus became the Monad, i.e. the Word. All Sethian monadic sequences, start with ‘Word’ and in most instances when the Sethian texts refer to ‘Word’ it means Jesus Wisdom, (Sophia or Holy Spirit).

The primary goal of the Sethian Gnostic is to become bonded with the Holy Spirit.  The primary tool of the Sethians to learn this bonding trick, are the ”Secret Sayings of the Living Jesus,” commonly known as the ”Gospel of Thomas.”  Most people read it and never realize the hidden dynamic.

Contained in the ‘Thomas’ text are thirteen parables. According to Clement of Alexandria, (“Stromata”) and several Sethian texts that mention them, they serve a special function.  These

sayings are mixed among the other sayings in the text.  Most people read the Thomas Gospel,

without realizing that the parables create a dynamic of using your own intellect, with the ‘Wisdom of Jesus’ you glean from the other sayings. The object is to learn to think in terms of using the Jesus Wisdom.

In other words you start wondering about what the parables mean, but you do it using a syzygetic bonding with the Jesus’ Word.  The obvious intended goal is to carry this knowledge and method of reasoning into your own life as if you are the primary character of your own living parable.  This method of bonding seems to be sort of a primer for the more advanced study of the Monadology, and the Gnostic sacraments.

There are some other major concepts about the secret Christianity that need to be understood.  Man’s existence in the earthly state is considered to be flawed, because man is outside the element of being a  total Pleromic entity.  It is because of this flaw that Gnostic transcendence, known as the living resurrection, is required for salvation and redemption.  This is the primary goal of the Gnostic Bridal Chamber sacrament, and again it starts with the bonding of your Mind, with the Word. Without this bonding the Soul is considered doomed.

The nature of ‘faith,’ ‘hope,’ ‘love,’ ‘evil,’ ‘gender’ and ‘truth’ are also very different notions in the Gnostic system. The power of the ‘Word’ is not that of a sentient being with dominion over the earth, the power comes from using the Word, in your own actions in the real world. This is the nature of ‘faith’ in the Sethian system.

The nature of evil, and demons in the Gnostic system, is purely psychological.  This is in spite of the way they are written about in the Sethian texts.  Demons like Saklas, are references to mental foolishness, and this may not be clear at first. There are no sentient evil beings, there are only states of darkness, desire, and ignorance, related to one’s lack of Gnosis. The Seven Forms of Wrath, mentioned in the ”Gospel of Mary,” are a good example of a monadic sequence, aimed at pure evil. This set can be used as a weapon, or for healing.  I’ve used it first hand.

The nature of the Soul is that of a special spirit.  Spirit refers to energy, like the energy in the syzygetic bonding of the Mind, and the Word.  Monadic sets expand into higher forms by adding ‘types’ or units to the set. When you read a ‘list’ in the Sethian texts, more than likely it is a Monadic set.  The sets below are related to the Sacred Tetrad, explained by Valentinus in ”A Valentinian Exposition. The Sacred Tetrad, is Word, Man, Life, and Truth (Church). Here are three complex sets from Sethian works that are representations of the qualities of the Gnostic Soul…

”The Apocryphon of John,” (Codex III NHL)

1. Word, 2. Form, 3. Thought, 4. Memory, 5. Life, 6. Grace, 7. Understanding, 8. Perception,  9. Conception,  10. Prudence, 11. Truth, 12. Will, (Knowledge.)

“The Gospel of the Egyptians” (Codex III, NHL)

1. Seth (Power of Autogenes)  2. Grace, 3. Perception, 4. Understanding, 5.Prudence, 6. Memory, 7. Love, 8. Peace, and 9. Life. (Note that if this were a Christian sequence of the Monad the first element would be Word meaning Jesus Wisdom as the Monad, or an equivalent. This sequence is pure pre-Christian Sethian.)

“Unnamed Text in the Bruce Codex,”

1. Light (Word), 2. Life, (resurrection) 3. Love, 4. Hope, 5. Faith, 6. Truth (Church), 7. Peace…. (8. in the Sethian system the last or controlling unit ‘type’ is Gnosis or Knowledge. This type represents the power of the individual Gonstic who receives knowledge through the Ennoia, or syzygetic bonding of the Mind with the Pleromic Word.)

In the Sethian tradition these ‘types’ are all connected in forming the non corporeal veil or ‘garment’ which is seen as being worn by the Gnostic, as part of his spiritual being. In the Orthodox records of Pauline letters these folks were observed by Paul, who called them gifted by the Holy Spirit.  They were called Pneumatiphoroi.

In the Sethian texts, when you read any of these words listed above, you should keep in mind the Sethian connotations to the Moandic system. It gives the scripture its intended semantic content.  Adding the Monadic elements to the scripture to me makes it ‘come alive.’  See for yourself….

The Nag Hammadi Library, contains the bulk of Sethian texts.  Most of what has been said about them is based on people’s understanding, which has not included a viable explanation of the Monadology.  This has bolstered the idea that Sethian Christianity started as a second century phenomena.  My personal response to this theory is, Bullshit!

One of the best kept secrets of Sethian Christianity, is that Christianity started, and starts, when you realize Jesus is the Monad. This did not start in the ‘Second Century’ it started with the Apostles in Galilee. It started with the followers of John the Baptist, and others like Dositheos, Philip, Mary (Mariamne), Simon Magus, and others. All the Apostles in Sethian texts are associated with the Monad, which is mentioned in the pre-Christian texts associated with Hermes Trimigistus, and Zoroastrians. Did somebody perhaps forget to tell Jesus about this idea?

The first text in the following index, is the ”Secret Book of John.”  Many of the concepts presented in the text are Zoroastrian. It says so. However, to John, and the other Apostles, Jesus, fullfills the role of filling the great void, (Silence) of the Mind, and the Heavens.  Jesus has bonded with the Pleromic emanation of Pisitis-Sophia, the Autogene of supreme Wisdom from the Pleroma. John uses the Zoroastrian ‘angels’ to glorify the newly created power of the ‘Word’ and Holy Spirit.

(Nobody waited until the Second century to think this up!  I hate most Bible scholars, they’re all ass/souls, and minions of Saklas for leaving an 888, lb. gorilla in the room called the Monad.

What possible sense does it make to believe that the Pythagorean theories were resurrected and adopted by Second Century Christians?  This makes no historical sense considering the entire Alexandrian church became the late first century home of Pantaenus, Barnabus, Mark, Basilides, Isidore, Carpocrates, and more.  The Sethian texts are in fact part of ‘their’ Christian Library. The ‘secret’ one.

If this was not the case probably Clement, Valentinus, Theodotus, Heracleon, and Ptolemy, would not have carried on the earliest Gnostic traditions, or preserved their texts. Not even the works of Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Tertullian, or Eusebius, can show Gnostics like Simon Magus, did not exist in the very beginnings of Christianity. Perhaps the only thing modern Bible scholars have right about the Sethian texts is that most of them studying the ”Gospel of Thomas,” see it lots earlier than the Bible gospels.)

The index below starts with Codex III of the ‘Nag Hammadi,’ and the reader can apply the information I have written above to what is written below, and see for himself if ‘above is as below.’  Some of these texts are damaged, but by the time you get through Codex III, filling in the blanks can be done with a little better insight into the Sethian epistemology.  I hope the explanations of these ideas above help make the following enjoyable reading….One text actually claims to be written by Jesus, who explains the Monad in short.

Codex 3, of the Nag Hammadi Library

The Apocryphon of John


Gospel of the Egyptians


Eugnostos the Blessed


The Sophia of Jesus Christ


The Dialogue of the Savior


Related Texts to Codex III, Sethian Epistemology, and Metaphysics

The Trimorphic Protennoia


The Treatise on the Resurrection


The Second Treatise of the Great Seth


A Valentinian Exposition


Mentioned in these texts above in Tractate III, is the work, and concepts of “The Pistis Sophia.”


Mentioned in ”The Pistis Sophia” are the “Books of Jue.”



Gnostic Gospels

Gospel of Thomas


Gospel of Philip


Gospel of Judas


Gospel of Mary


Gospel of the Egyptians


Gospel of Truth


Pre-Christian or Philosophically Gnostic, and Sethian Related Texts

Asclepius (Hermetic/Trimigistus)


Discourse to the Eighth and Ninth  (Hermetic/Trimigistus)


Zostrianos (Zoroastrian)


Plato’s Republic (Hellenistic/Platonic)


The Three Steles of Seth (Sethian, written by Dositheos)


Melchizedek (Sethian)


Marsanes (Sethian)