Father of the ALL

Thought of light,

Mind dwelling on high,

Above the regions below,

Light dwelling on high,

Voice of truth,

Upright mind,

Unattainable Word,

Ineffable voice,

Incomprehensible Father!

To these Norea calls out.

They heard and received her

Into her eternal place

They granted her the Father of Mind, Adamas,

And the two voices of the holy ones,

So that she might rest in ineffable Insight

And inherit the First Mind,

Which she has received,

And rest in the divine Self-Generated,

And generate herself,

As she also inherited the living Word,

And be joined to all the imperishable ones,

And dwell in the Mind of the Father,

So as to speak with words of life,

And remain in the presence of the exalted one

By taking possession of what she received

Before the world came into being.

She has the great Mind of the invisible ones,

And she glorifies their Father

And lives among those

Who…in the fullness,

And she beholds the fullness.

Days will comes

When she will attain fullness

And no longer be in deficiency

She has four holy helpers

Who intercede for her with the Father of the All

Adamas, who is within all Adams.

While he has the thought of Norea,

While she speaks of two names,

They mean a single name.

–The Thought of Norea (Marvin Meyer Translation)


The fifty two line Thought of Norea is more properly “an ode to Norea,” wife-sister of Seth, conceived as a manifestation of Sophia, the “fallen” divine Wisdom, who will be restored along with her spiritual progeny into the divine world by the very aeons from which she once departed. Named by modern editors after the phrase “the thought (noesis) of Norea” toward the end of the text, this short poetic text was originally untitled, nor can it be identified with other works entitled Norea mentioned by Epiphanius and in the Nag Hammadi treatise On the Origin of the World.

–John D. Turner


Aeon: These are characterized as emanations from the ‘first cause,’ the Father in some Gnostic schema. The word not only refers to the “worlds” of emanation, but to the personalities as well. Sophia, Logos, and the other high principles are aeons. ”A link or level of the great chain of being, the sum total which is
the ‘All’ or Pleroma…Can also mean a world age.” (See; Gaffney) ”According to other Gnostics, for example Valentinus, the first principle is also called Aeon or the unfathomable, the primeval depth, the absolute abyss, bythos, in which everything is sublimated…” translated by Scott J. Thompson from G.W.F.
Hegel’s ”Vorlesungen über die Geschichte der Philosophie ii ,” (Theorie Werkausgabe, Bd. 19), Frankfurt a.M., Suhrkamp Verlag, 1977, 426-430] ( See also; Pleroma.)

Epiphanius: (310-403) ”In 367 his reputation for asceticism and learning brought about his nomination as Bishop of Constantia (Salamis) the metropolis of the Island of Cyprus. He wrote against Origen and Gnostics. He identified the existence of the Gospel of Judas Iscariot,” and ”Birth of Mary,” {”Gospel of
‘} which he says describes horrible and deadly things. (He admits to not having seen the Gnostic texts, but claims to know about them. ) He wrote in regard to an unidentified Gnostic Gospel…. ”Another Gospel (?) of similar tendancy was that which was used by the nameless “Adversary of the Law, and the
Prophets’ {Gnostics} whom Augustine refutes, and from which the following is quoted. ” The Apostles having asked the Lord what they were to think about the Jewish prophets, who were thought in the past to have foretold his coming, he was troubled that they even yet had such thoughts, and answered: Ye have given up (let go) the living on who is before your eyes and talk idly of the dead.” Epiphanius, also identifies the ”Apocalypse of Paul,” as being a book written by Canites, or Cananites, (Canaanites) and used by Gnostics. Paul is quoted in the text to have been taken up to the level of the ”Third Heaven,” which corresponds to the Nag Hammadi text. It does not correspond to the other ”Apocalypse of Paul,” which fragments exist in Greek, Latin, and Coptic. The Canaanites were an ancient tribe that lived in the basic area that is Israel today. ( “The New Testament Apocrypha,” James, Apocryphile Press, pages 19- 20, 525, 575.) http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13393b.htm ,

Pleroma: The word means “fullness,” and the ‘All.’ It refers to ”all existence
beyond matter. Refers to the world of the Aeons, the heavens or spiritual
universe, which represents being out of the state of matter. According to the
“Gospel of Truth” “….all the emanations from the Father are Pleromas.” see
Tractates 3, 2, Codices, I, and XII, Nag Hammadi Lib. Pleroma can have other
connotations according to the Gnostic school of thought, some differences in
Sethian and Valentinian (other) schools can be noted. Pleroma, is different than
Logos. (See; Logos, See aslo; Gaffney, p. 246.)

Seth: ”From Adam three natures were begotten. The first was the irrational, which was Cain’s, the second the rational and just, which was Abel’s, the third the spiritual, which was Seth’s. Now that which is earthly is “according to the image,” that which is psychical according to the ” likeness ” of God, and that
which is spiritual is according to the real nature; and with refer­ence to these three, without the other children of Adam, it was said, “This is the book of the generation of men.” And because Seth was spiritual he neither tends flocks nor tills the soil but produces a child, as spiritual things do. And him, who “hoped
to call upon the name of the Lord” who looked upward and whose “citizenship is in heaven – him the world does not contain.” (Theodotus, Criddle Collection.)

Sethian: It is a name for a specific sect of Gnostics, but also a category created by scholars to refer to a number of sects that are related to Valentinians. The Sethians as a group were known to Hippolytus who dedicated Book Five in his work, ”The Refutation of All Hereseys,” to denouncing them. (See Gaffney) Seth was a character of Gnosticism who represented a savior figure and third son of Adam, founder of the Gnostic race. Generally Sethian works include, “Pistis Sophia,” “Allogenes,” ”The Gospel of Mary,*” “Sentences of Sextus,” “Marsanes,” “Gospel of The Egyptians,*” ”The Apocalypse of Adam,*”
“Origin of The World,” ”The Gospel of Thomas,*” ”The Gospel of Philip,” “The Three Steles of Seth,” “Melchizidek,” ”The Apocryphon of John,” ”The Gospel of Judas,” Trimorphic Protennoia,” the un-named text in the Bruce Codex, and ”Zostrianos.” (Others) Some Sethian works suggest strong ties with
Jewish Gnosticism, as well as Platonic thought, as well as Zoroasterism. (They maintained three principles; darkness below, light above, and spirit in-between, according to work attributed to Dr. Roy Blizzard, University of Texas. See also; ”Sethian Gnosticism, A Literary History,” Turner) see also;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sethian ( * Indicates works from the Nag Hammadi Lib., with other works by the same name.)

Sethian Monadology: The system of the monad, constructed through the tetraktys
of the decad, which serves as an underlying philosophy in Sethian Gnosticism. It
is developed from the creation myths. The system is like, and based upon that
of Pythagoreans, and resembles the principles of the ancient Chinese philosophy
of the Tai Chi., which is based upon the ogdoad. The system is based upon
working variations of numerical values. Turner states, ”….vigorous
arithmological speculation on the first ten numbers, but especially the first
four numbers, comprising the Pythagorean tetraktys (the {mode} of the first four
numbers). This was carried on by such Pythagoreanizing Platonists as Theon of
Smyrna and Nicomachus of Gerasa, who in turn depend in part on similar
arithmological and mathematical theories produced by such early first century
Platonist figures as Dercyllides, Adrastos of Aphrodisias (a Peripatetic
commentator on Plato’s Timaeus) and Thrasyllos, a court philosopher under the
Emperor Tiberius. The harmonic ratios produced by these first four numbers and
the geometric entities of point, line, surface, and solid had been applied to
the structure and the creation of the world soul long before by Plato and his
successors in the Old Academy, especially Speusippus and Xenocrates. (See;
Turner, See also; ”The History of Chinese Philosophy, Vol. 2.,” by Fung
Yu-Lan, Princeton, 1953, See also; ”A Valentinian Exposition.”)