Sextus: (4 BCE– 65-CE ?) A first century Greek Pythagorean philosopher. A collection of his sayings are contained in the Nag Hammadi Lib. Tractate 1 Codex XII.

Silvanus: Name of main character in the “Teachings of Silvanus,” Tractate 4, Codex VII. of the Nag Hammadi Lib., anti-Pagan work not thought to be Gnostic. A person called Silvanus was a disciple of Peter who carried messages from Peter to Asia Minor from Rome. (Also mentioned by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 1,1; 2 Thessalonians 1,1; 2 Corinthians 1,19.)

Simon Magus: (1st Century CE) From Samaria, he was thought to be one of the earliest Gnostics, and a follower of John the Baptist. He was skilled in the arts of the Occult. He interpreted the Garden of Eden, exodus from Egypt, and the crossing of the Red Sea as allegories. He was rejected by Peter for his views on the Holy Spirit. (see Simony) Simon Magus offered the disciples of Jesus payment for the power to perform miracles. He formed the ancient Gnostic sect of Simonianism, and is thought to have influenced later secular forms of Gnosticism. (See; ”Jung and the Lost Gospels,” by Hoeller, Theophysical Pub., 1989.) (See also; Dositheos.)

The death of Simon Magus, from the Nuremberg Chronicle or Liber Chronicarum, 1493

The death of Simon Magus, from the Nuremberg Chronicle or Liber Chronicarum, 1493

Simony: The ecclesiastical crime and sin of paying for offices or positions in the hierarchy of a church, named after Simon Magus, who appears in the ”Acts of the Apostles,” 8:18-24.

: Means “Wisdom.” Like the Logos this is considered a primal form. While the Logos is personified as male, Sophia is female. Logos has a direct and intellectual basis for guidance, Sophia is inspirational (sometimes even sensual). The basic idea is comparable to wisdom being Sophia (sofia) or “Holy
Spirit” in the form of pure wisdom. Pistis, means faith, hylic, or Prunikus Sophia refers to the imperfect or earthly state of the living, or earthly form from Pleromic origins. ”As appropriated by Sethianism and the Gnostics in general, Sophia is a hypostatized form of Hokmah, (i.e., the divine Wisdom of Proverbs 8, Job 28, Sirach 24).” ( See; Turner.)

Russian Icon, Sophia, the Holy Wisdom, 1812

Russian Icon, Sophia, the Holy Wisdom, 1812

Sophist: Teachers in 5th Century B.C. Greece who took payment for lecturing. Later Sophists were known for presenting convoluted lectures on political subjects to further their own means. Clement of Alexander denounced them for distorting truths. (See; W. K. C. Guthrie, Sophists (1971); H. Diels, ed., The
Older Sophists (1972). “Stromata” Bk 1 )

Soter: “Savior” also a name used for the Logos.

Soteriology: The study of principles of salvation within a religion.

Soul: That part of the human nous that can be activated and bonded with the Holy Spirit, Light, Sophia, etc. (See the Gospel of Phillip, “….the soul bonds with the Holy Spirit….. Nag Hammadi Lib.) According to the ”Acts of Thomas,” and ”The Heart Sutra,” and the ”Sutra of Cause and Effect” the soul is composed
of five ‘skandas,’ or elements, form, perception, consciousness, action, and knowledge. (See ”The Jesus Sutras,” Palmer, Ballantine, 2001) See also, ”Tatian’s Letter to the Greeks,” ”The soul is a special kind of spirit.” (See also; Sutra)

Spinther: The “spark” or “splinter” of internal divine light, that is awakened with Gnosis. The spinther is considered a divine spark which is cast into the souls of men, by the light cast off by the Perfect man, in some scenerios this is Seth, Adamas, (Adam), or Jesus. (See Pneumatic. See; Gaffney, p. 246.)

Meaning a range of things in literalist Christian works including different ideas in the Gospels of Luke, Mark, Matthew and John. The Gospel of Mary refers to the spirit as a part of the human condition, as is the soul. Isidore and Theodotus wrote that spirit emanated from the soul. Also used to denote the Holy Spirit. Can mean vital energy, and probably best thought of as a concentration or type of energy. “Further, Clement the Stromatist, in the various definitions which he framed,that they might guide the man desirous of studying theology in every dogma of religion, defining what spirit is, and how it is called spirit, says: “Spirit is a substance, subtle, immaterial, and which issues forth without form.” ( JOANNES
VOL. I. P. 24) (See also; Theodotus)

Stele: Upright stone or pillar with an inscription or design. (See; “The Three Steles of Seth,” Codex VII, Tractate 5, Nag Hammadi Lib.)

Stoic: A philosophy strongly associated with Plato, and commonly accepted by the first century. Stoics held that virtue is attained by adapting nature and reason, they held that there are four cardinal passions: pleasure, desire, distress, and fear. They held that passions arose from false belief and ignorance, and one should adopt an ‘apatheia’ or an active role of non-passion in human feeling. (See; “The Gospel of Mary Magdala, by Karen King, Polebridge Press, 2003).

Sutra: Refers to literature of Eastern origins, such as the ”Heart Sutra,” known in Persian and Chinese works. Also refers to Chinese works found in Xian China, which are from an early Christian monastery. The ”Sutra of Cause and Effect,” contains the five ”Skandas” {skandhas} of the soul, ”Form, Perception, Consciousness, Action, and Knowledge.” These descriptions match those in the ”Acts of Thomas,” and the ”Heart Sutra.” (See; “The Jesus Sutras,” Palmer, Ballantine, 2001.) ”What we in our ignorance call the Self is really an interplay of five mental elements and the physical body (known as skandhas ), in temporary conjunctions, constantly changing and interacting. “Skandha” is usually translated as “heap”: or “aggregate” or “group,” each skandha being itself a combination of faculties shading into each other. The Sanskrit for the five mental skandhas can be translated as consciousness, sensations, concepts, perceptions, and volition.”The Gnostic Apostle Thomas (c) 1997 Herbert Christian Merillat.

Syncretism: Refers to combining two or more ‘cultural’ or otherwise perspectives into one system. Gnosticism (and therefore Christianity), as well as Kabbalah and the Mysteries of Mithras etc. grew from syncretism. Influence of Jewish mysticism, Zoroastrian, and Hermetic contained in the ”Nag Hammadi
,” and other works suggest that Sethian Gnosticism is based upon a syncretism.

Syncretism is not eclecticism but is often mistaken for the same thing. The latter is a picking and choosing according to taste, without the internal framework of a genuine understanding of function. The former is when two systems come together with cultural perspectives, or mutual economy that needs to be
worked out. Thus the important deeper “hard parts” of a system will still be included after syncretism, but lost on eclecticism.

Synergy: When two or more things combine together to produce or become more than their parts. In the process of Gnosis one must bond with a higher ‘wisdom.’ This is the plemoric part of enlightenment in the trilogy of gnosis in the Plemoric, Psychic, and Hylic states of the Nous, in becoming a Pneumatic.

Synesis: Means “insight” in the aspect of meditation or contemplation in the physical inter-workings of the bonding with Sophia, as an aspect of Gnosis. It is one of the lower powers that was bound into man from the Aeons, by the Demiurge, as derived from ‘a’ Gnostic creation scenerio. This concept is like
other scenarios of the process in Gnosis of bonding with the ‘Light’ or Holy Spirit to become Pneumatophoroi, or enlightened.

Synectic: A term used by Clement of Alexandria to mean a type of thought or memory that reflects aspects of the thought process relative to being human. (See “Stromata” Bk VIII by Clement of Alexandria) “But, in truth, Procatarctic causes (thoughts) are more than one both generically and specifically; as, for example, cold, weakness, fatigue, dyspepsia, drunkenness, generically, of any
disease; and specifically, of fever. But Synectic causes are so, generically alone, and not also specifically….Further, of causes, some are apparent; others are grasped by a process of reasoning; others are occult; others are inferred analogically.” (See also; Procatarctic)

Syzygetic: Having to do with the conjunction or opposition of two heavenly bodies, or either of the points which these occur, most often in regard to the sun and moon.

Syzygos: Literally means “consort”. Sometimes used to refer to the twin. Is generally meant to imply the thing to which one is driven to connect with. A person’s syzygos is their spirit. ”Sophia’s mistake was said to be her drive to create without her syzygos.” Syzgy, is considered a blending of spirit and
soul. (See; Theodotus, Criddle Collection.)