Search Results for 'sethian'


Pythagoras: (582 B.C.- 496 B.C.) Greek mathematician and philosopher, known
best for the Pythagorean Theorem. Known to have had a profound effect on Gnostic
students of philosophy. Specified the monad as the first thing in existence.
Pythagorean theories of the Monad, compared by Fung Yu-Lan author of ”The
History of Chinese Philosophy,” Vol. 2, Princeton, 1953, show the use of the
Pythagorean tetraktys of the decad, and the Tai Chi are similar. The sequence of
the Tai Chi, the Pythagorean tetraktys, and the Sethian Monadology seem to be
based upon the sequence of the creation myth in the Pleroma, and the application
of the sequence to human action in the Logos, or kenoma. (See; Craftsman. See
also; ”The Table of Ten Numbers.)
http://www.sacred-texts.com/eso/sta/sta16.htm

Redaction: The act of changing a text for a specific purpose. (See; “The Five
Gospels,” pg. 547.)

Resurrection: In Gnostic terms the resurrection takes place in the process of
Gnosis while one is still animate. According to the “Gospel of Phillip,” “It
is fitting that we acquire the resurrection so that when we strip off the
flesh…..”

Rhodon: ( circa 180 C.E.) Was supposed by St. Jerome to have been the author of the work against the Cataphrygians, usually ascribed to Asterius Urbanus. Rhodon was a student of Tatian who wrote against the philosophies of Marcion. (New Advent.)


Sabaoth: Earthly form of Yaldaboath, (begetter of the Heavens)… “truth which is the power of Sabaoth the Good which is in thy material body – that is the truth which sprouted from the earth.” ( See; “Pistis Sophia“) Also a form relating to Deity. ”SHBOH, meaning The Seven.” (See; ”The Chaldæan Oracles
of Zoroaster.” Edited and revised by Sapere Aude. [William Wynn Westcott] With an introduction by L. O. [Percy Bullock] [1895]. See also; “Origin of The World,” and ”The Testimony of Truth.”) Mary, the mother, again further interpreteth the same scripture from the meeting of herself with Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptizer, thy mother, and Elizabeth, mother of John, whom I have met. ‘Grace’ then is the power of Sabaōth in me, which went forth out of me, which thou art. Thou hast had mercy on the whole race of men. ‘Truth’ on the other hand is the power in Elizabeth, which is John, who did come and hath made proclamation concerning the way of Truth, which thou art,–who hath made proclamation before thee.”  (”Pistis Sophia,” Chapter 61.)

Sadducees: Jewish aristocracy who aligned themselves with the Roman Empire, and controlled the Jewish Council called the Sanhedrin. High priests of the Jewish Temple were Saducees. There were also Pharisees who were high in temple hierarchy. ( See; ”The Five Gospels,” Jesus Seminar, Harper-Collins, 1997.)

Sacrophilia: Alignment of sensibility (possibly the soul, nous) toward or with the body and spirit. (See; “Birth of Christianity,” Crossan, pg. 37-38.)

Sacrophobia: Opposition of spirit to body. Can include a compendium of human fears of hylic nature that effect the perspective of the body, spirit, and soul. In Gnostic terms the body is what makes the kenomic state impure, as it is seen to pollute the pleromic state which is thought to be pure. (See; ”The Birth of
Christianity
,” Crossan, Harper, 1998.)

Saklas: Literally means “fool.” It is another name for the Demiurge. In most Gnostic schema those entities that are not in the non-corporeal pleromic state are thought to be in the hylic state, and imperfect. Some are considered incapable of Gnostic transcention, and are doomed. In the ”Gospel of Judas,”
Saklas is considered Satan, or satanic. (See; ”Apocryphon of John,” ”The Apocalypse of Adam,” and ”The Gospel of Judas.”)

Sarkic: “Fleshly” (Greek sarkikos) Same as or similar to “hylic” but may connote the lowest form of Gnostic understanding, animalistic. “The Book of Thomas the Contender” quotes Jesus as saying some men are beasts.

Saturninus: (100-125 A.D.) An Antioch Gnostic philosopher noted for his strong dualism between God and Satan. Thought to have strong feelings toward ascetic views. A student of Simon Magus. (See; Simon Magus, Hoeller p. 78-79.)

Samael: The word “Samael” means “blind god” and is another name for the Demiurge, in some Gnostic schema.

Samaritans: One of the seven Jewish sects mentioned by Hegesippus. According to Jewish traditions, the descendants of those who were resettled in the northern kingdom of Israel by the Assyrians after they had conquered it in 721 B.C. (2 Kings XVII, 9-12) In fact they must have been the result of intermarriage between the Jews who were left behind and the Gentile settlers. At some stage they became a religious sect with a temple on Mt. Gerizim; they accepted the Scripture the Pentateuch (The Torah) alone. ( “The History of the Church,” Eusebius, Williamson, Penguin, 1989, pg. 414.) See; ”Fragments of Heracleon” for mention of Samaritans, and explanations from the ”Gospel of John”.

Septuagent: The Greek version of the Hebrew Bible, containing the Deuteroconon, which are books not used in the later Vulgate. ”Biblia Polyglotta Complutinus,” appeared around 1514. The ”Vulgate,” is the Latin version of the Bible. (See; ”Smith’s Bible Dictionary, Smith, Thomas nelson, 1986. See
also; Torah.)

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.”)

“The things we really need come to us only as gifts, and in order to
receive them as gifts we have to be open.  In order to be open we have
to renounce ourselves, in a sense we have to die to our image of
ourselves, our autonomy, our fixation upon our self-willed identity. We
have to be able to relax the psychic and spiritual cramp which knots us
in the painful, vulnerable, helpless ‘I’ that is all we know as
ourselves.”

–Thomas Merton

….

Using the Sethian Christian Monad as a Heuristic Device
by Tom Saunders

Those interested in the Gnostic Gospels and the related Sethian texts have read passages about the Monad, and other terms related to the Sethian Monadology. You may have also read a lot of words you did not recognize as part of the Monadic system. Reading bits and pieces about it, does not explain how it works. Codex III of the Nag Hammadi Library mentions several aspects of the idea behind the Monadic device, but does not divulge the system. The following explains the Monadic system…

The Sethian Monadology is based upon the Pythagorean adaptation of the Chinese philosophy of the Tai Chi. This discovery will be presented below to qualify the systems as alike. The way the Monad in Pythagorean philosophy, and Sethian Christianity are used, is the way the Chinese learned to map the energy they call ‘Chi.’ Once you understand how the Monad works the Sethian texts like in Codex III of the Nag Hammadi Library (NHL) make lots more sense.

Below, compare the examples and you will have little problem realizing they are virtually describing the same system. The ”Tai Chi,” as the One, is in effect the same thing as the Monad, both mean One.

1a.) “Wu Chi {The Great Void} creates Tai Chi, Tai Chi is the one Chi. One Chi generates Yin and Yang, and Yin and Yang can change in infinite ways.” (From “The History of Chinese Philosophy,” Fung Yu-Lan, Princeton Press, 1953.)

1b.) ” 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.” ( from “Lau Tzu,” or the “Tao Te Ching” sixth c. B.C. ).Ibid, Fung Yu-Lan)

Compare the word similarity, order, and corresponding meaning of…

2a.) “As I said earlie, (said Jesus), among the things that were created the Monad is first, the dyad follows it, and the triad, up to the tenths. Now the tenths rule the hundredths; the hundredths rule the thousandths; the thousands rule the ten thousands. This is the pattern <among the> immortals. First Man is like this: His monad […]. ( is His God, my insertion.) (From “Eugnostos the Blessed,” Nag Hammadi Library, Codex III, Robinson, 1990.)
2b.) Again it is this pattern that exists among the immortals: the Monad and the thought are those things that belong to Immortal Man. The thinkings are for <the> decads, and the hundreds are the teachings, and the thousands are the counsels, and the ten thousands are the powers. Now those who come from the […] exist with their […] in every aeon […].” (From “Eugnostos the Blessed,” Nag Hammadi Library, Codex III, Robinson, 1990.)

The Monad comes about from the Sethian version of Wu Chi or the ‘great void’ which in ‘Sethian’ is ”Silence.” However the Monadic systems and the Tai Chi extend out to larger sets, and these sets form heuristic devices. A “heuristic device” is an abstract concept or model useful for thinking about social and physical phenomena. The icon of the Tai Chi, is the Yin and Yang circle, surrounded by eight trigrams.

The study of the eight trigrams of the Tai Chi is called Ba Gua Science. Not only do the above axioms correspond as being the same system, but Monadic sets, and sets of ‘Ba Gua’ work almost exactly alike.

Chinese philosophy is based upon following the flow of energy (Chi) in the pattern of the Tai Chi. Sethians learned to use their device in much the same manner, but from Pythagoreans. The study and application of the Sethian Monadic system fullfills both an epistemology and a metaphysics which studies the nature, methods, limitations, and validity of knowledge and beliefs for this system. This heuristic Monadic device facilitates a metaphysics which aligns with the epistemology, including the relationship between mind and matter (body), substance and attribute, fact and value, spirit and soul.

One, ‘Tai Chi’ or the Monad, emerge as spirit or “Chi” from the ‘great void,’ or Silence. By doing so the energy creates the dyad, or Yin and Yang, and this represents all kinds duality, and not just opposites. This duality is an energy so strong it permeates all the rest of the forms in the set from the triad, tetrad, pentad, etc. Whole sets can be good or evil, male or female, offense or defense, etc.

This energy is not magic, its like the energy of a ‘special word’ that circulates through a particular group of speakers. The academic study of this flow of energy or word in a group is the focus of the linguistic science, Sociolinguistics. The flow of word or spirit, in a group is a similar matrix to the Monadic or Tai Chi schema. Its measurement, and its science.

The Chinese system traditionally uses the schema called the ‘heaven sequence’ which builds sets of eight units. First is the Wu Chi, the Tai Chi, the Linang-Yi, the Si Xian, and then the eight ba gua. The sets grow by sets of eight. These units in the Sethian system are called ‘types.’

Three types form a trilogy, or trinity, and a ‘triangle,’ which forms a center, which is in effect, a representation of an internal empty space, like Silence, or Wu Chi, or the ‘blank slate’ of a trained Mind. The “San Ti or Taoist Trinity” postulates that man, (Man’s Mind) is the same as heaven and earth. This means in Chinese philosophy that man’s mind in the state of Mu Shin, (emptiness), is like (works like) the great void, called Wu Chi or the Sethian ‘Silence.’ A passage from Aristotle confirms in two separate passages that Pythagoreans also used this concept.

“The Pythagoreans too said that the empty exists, and that it enters the heavens from the limitless breath, as though the heavens actually inhale the empty which distinguishes natural things and is sort of a separation and distinction of contiguous things. They hold that this occurs first among numbers ; for the empty separates their natures. (Aristotle, Physics, 213 b22-27.) (“Early Greek Philosophy” Penquin Classics, pg. 171.)

In the Sethian system the first thing to come into the Silence or the empty void, is Jesus Wisdom acting as the Monad This means that the Monad in the Sethian system is the Word. This is like the Word in the “Gospel of John…”the Word was God.” All the Sethian Christian Monadic sets start with ”Word.” Where does the Word come from?

Among the Sethian texts of the Nag Hammadi Library is one called the ”Secret Sayings of the Living Jesus,” otherwise known as the ”Gospel of Thomas.” The Word from this text comes about from the use of the parables. In the Thomas gospel, the parables serve as ‘almost’ empty voids. You learn to fill those voids by reading and analyzing the context of these passages, and all the other ”Secret Sayings.”

What you find yourself doing is analyzing these ‘parable-voids,’ using what you know and what you glean from all the other sayings in the Thomas text. This means you used your own, and Jesus’ Wisdom’ to think about these passages. That is where the Word comes from. That is how you use Jesus as the Monad, and create his vision in your Mind. When you step out of the parables to become your own living parable, you enable yourself with the same skill.

The Word or Monad, influences everything in the set as the primary source of spirit or energy. Duality forms the triad, and the triad becomes the tetrad. In Sethian philosophy according to Basilides and Valentinus, the Sacred Tetrad is Word, Man, Life, and Truth (Church). (See G.R.S. Mead, ”Fragments of a Faith Forgotten.”) (These words as types have specific meanings that can be found in the Sethian scripture. All the words present in a Monadic set represent a reference to the Moandology in the Sethian texts.)

In the Chinese system the tetrad is called the ‘Si Xiang,” yin and yang split into four. In both systems the last unit of the set is seen as a controlling unit, or gender unit. This is because the controller of the set can generate new forms while using it. In both systems the tetrad, becomes the pentad. The pentad forms a circle, and as your skills grow, it grows and its usefulness to you also grows.

The process of growth in the Sethian system is controlled by what is called ‘limit.’ This means there is a limit to how many types go into different sets. Limit is how you tell one thing from another. The Chinese found eight units to be ideal sets, represented in the Tai Chi’s ‘heaven sequence,’ of even numbered sets.

The Sethians added the last type or unit of the set with the concept of Gnosis, or Knowledge. Sethian Monadic sets always start with Word, and end with Knowledge or Gnosis, which signifies the Gnostic himself controls the heuristic device, as an entity bonded with the Word.

This device at the level of the Pentad, transforms from the triangle, to and from the tetrad, or square, and then transforms it into a circle. Higher forms of the hexad, hebdoad, ogdoad, ennead, and decad, etc. remain as a circle, which creates a visionary void for contemplation in the Mind. When the Gnostics used the term ‘treasure’ it refers to the Mind, and when Jesus is the Monad, you’ve bonded with the Word, Light, Logos, Holy Spirit, Sophia, Law, Wisdom, etc.

Sethians used the Monadic system to define the Soul. They understood that both the Monad and duality permeated every aspect of Man, and that is why there are good Monadic sets and evil ones. There are Monadic sets in known texts from Pythagorean influence, and they are obvious once you understand a list as a Monadic set and heuristic device.

The following passage is from the :Bruce Codex” and no doubt directly related to the “Book of Jue,” and ”The Pistis Sophia,” and other texts which mention the Monadic system in one way or another. The text reveals the following Monadic set, neatly hidden in the scripture below. It was a common practice of all Pythagoreans to treat the Monadic sets as occult, and Sethians were no exception.

A Monadic set from the 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.)

“Because of this work, the Father of the All (pl.), the indescribable one ‘, sent a crown in which is the name of the All (pl.) ‘, whether endless, or unutterable, or incomprehensible, or imperishable, or unknowable, or still, or all-powered, or indivisible. This is the crown of which it is written: “It was given to Solomon on the day of the joy of his heart.” The first monad furthermore sent him an ineffable garment ‘ which was all light and all life and all resurrection, and all love and all hope and all faith and all wisdom, and all gnosis, and all truth, and all peace, and all-visible ‘, and all-mother, and all-mystery, and all-source, and all-perfect, and all invisible, and all unknowable, and all endless, and all unutterable, and all deep, and all incomprehensible, and all pleroma, and all silence, and all unmoved, and all unbegotten, and all still, and ) all monad, and all ennead, and all dodecad, and all ogdoad, and all decad, and all hebdomad, and all hexad, and all pentad, and all tetrad, and all triad, and all dyad, and all monad.

And the All is in it, and also all found themselves ‘ in it, and knew themselves in it. And it (the monad) gave light to them all with its ineffable light. Myriads upon myriads of powers were given to it, so that at one (and the same) time it should establish the All. It gathered its garments and made them into the form of a veil which surrounded it on all sides. And it poured itself over them all, it raised them all. And it divided them all according to rank and according to ordinance and according to forethought.”

The above appears to be based on the idea of the Soul being in the Pentad sequence, ”Form, Perception, Conciousness, Action and Knowledge.” This Pentad is from three sources, ”The Heart Sutra, “The Sutra of Cause and Effect and Salvation,” (Chinese Gnostic Christian ‘scripture’ based upon the Tai Chi. It is from Martin Palmer’s ”The Jesus Sutras.” ), and the “Acts of Thomas.” ( This text contains ‘language specific’ links to the Sethian vocabulary.)

Here are examples of two more Monadic sets found in Sethian works…

”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.) This set seems to be based upon the tetrads mentioned in the ”Gospel of Philip,” but after Jesus became the Monad and replaced Seth and all the other Aeons. (Autogenes, Monogenes.)

The following evil Monadic set from Sethian works comes from the “Gospel of Mary.” An evil Monadic set in Sethian epistemology is without the Word, and aimed at evil. However, the set works the same because the last ‘type’ is the gender unit in the set. Pythagorean, Sethian, and Chinese philosophies all recognize these heuristic devices can be used for evil. The following describes what a Sethian sees as a demon. It is called the ”Seven Forms of Wrath.”

“When the soul had overcome the third power, it went upwards and saw the fourth power, which took seven forms.

The first form is darkness, the second desire, the third ignorance, the fourth is the excitement of death, the fifth is the kingdom of the flesh, the sixth is the foolish wisdom of flesh, the seventh is the wrathful wisdom. These are the seven powers of wrath.” (Chapter 8., “Gospel of Mary”) (In other works, darkness, desire, and ignorance of Gnosis, is called the ‘Evil Trinity.’ }

I stated above that the ”Gospel of Thomas,” was full of parables used as heuristic devices to employ Jesus Wisdom. One parable in particular stands out to martial artists, saying 98. { Jesus said, “The Father’s kingdom is like a person who wanted to kill someone powerful. While still at home he drew his sword and thrust it into the wall to find out whether his hand would be steady. Then he killed the powerful one.”}

In Pythagorean lore, the ‘sword’ can also represent the Monad. The sword is also mentioned in the Sethian text, “The Dialogue of the Saviour,” Codex III. of the NHL. {Judas said, “How is the spirit apparent?”
The Lord said, “How is the sword apparent?” Judas said, “How is the light apparent?” The Lord said, “[…] in it forever.”}

The Monad as a sword thrust in the wall, means the “Wall” represents the tetrad, which always leads me to believe the parables are the next step up from looking into the ‘triangle.’ (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.) But the circle grows and the things that can influence the ’empty space’ multiply. And when you command the use of these sets you can develop extrodinary skills. Like practicing martial, or verbal skills. A fight, is a form of communication, so the Monadic paradigm works in thought and deed.

All my adult life I’ve been a student of Isshinryu karate which is based upon the Tai Chi. I have formulated the Ba Gua sequence for Isshinryu karate and identified forty units. I also know a large number of other Isshinryu Karate-ka, have learned the karate system of Isshinryu is traditionally based upon the Tai Chi, and its used in many ways. This is why I value the Sethian and Pythagorean methods as very valuable tools.

All karate starts with understanding that ‘kara’ of karate, means empty, and ‘te’ means hand. This represents ‘Hand’ being the first skill of the set, to come from the Wu Chi. The ‘kara’ or the voids like the mental emptiness of “Mu Shin” are where the skills enter, virtually. The karate fighter’s ‘octagon’ comes from the voids of fighting, the dualities like offense and defense, soft and hard, grappling and boxing etc. Following the ”heaven sequence” the tetrad (Si Xiang) are boxing skills, grappling skills, joints/balance control ( called Qin Na), and counters. This leads to the Karate Fighter’s Octagon…(Tom Saunders is registered in “Who’s Who of American Martial Arts,” 1975.)

1. Punching (Te), 2. Kicking, 3. Grabbing, 4.Joint Control, 5 Throwing, 6. Squeezing/Chokes, 7. Groundwork, and 8. Counters. ( Any of the types on this list have counters, and this is why it is in the sequence as the ‘controlling unit.’ In some Monadic related theories it can referred to as the gender unit. To the karate fighter its the defensive path to filling the void. The logic is to strike what targets the opponent gives you. The human anatomy for this purpose is also mapped with the Tai Chi model, as is the human balance system.

I found an example of another martial artists who used Ba Gua Science for use in his system. Sun Xi Kun, wrote, “The Real Teaching of Ba Gua Quan,” in 1934.

Kun’s martial manual was on the use of the Chinese sword. Kun’s work shows the primary set of Ba Gua to represent: Thrusting, advancing/retreating, slashing, grabbing, throwing, starting/stopping, lifting, and counters. (It took me two years talking to Chinese folks who might be able to translate the Kanji aligned with the ba gua. I may not be exact with the above, but I’m close.)

All the above examples of Monadic sets can be put to use in the real world. The point of learning and using these heuristic systems is also very much the same…. Enlightenment.

Enlightenment: Refers to a state of being; described in Chinese/Oriental classics that reflects the same kinds of mental changes, awareness, or ‘Satroi’ as in Gnosis. ”The Enlightenment refers to a movement in philosophy that advocated the untrammeled use of reason to establish truth. The movement challenged traditional authority, doctrine, and values. Emphasis was placed on the empirical method employed by the sciences.” (”The Five Gospels,” by Funk, Hoover, Harrier-Collins, 1993, p. 544.) ”For scientific knowledge is necessary both for the training of the soul and for gravity of conduct; making the faithful more active and keen observers of things. For as there is no believing without elementary instruction, so neither is there comprehension without science.” (Quote from Theodotus of Alexandria, from the Saunders Gnostic Glossary)

I can’t resist presenting two Pythagorean-like Monadic sets found in American Government. The first is the Evil American Government’s Pentad.. Delay, Distract, Discredit, Spotlight, Scapegoat.

Anyone who has ever tried to stand up to the American government knows these devices well, and if you observe the Bush Administration, they manimpulate the media with this Pentad. This Pentad showed up in an article by Dahr Jamail and Jeff Pflueger, I applied it as a Monadic set. This pentad is almost universal for lying and cheating. http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/060906J.shtml

The Second Monadic set I found in an American document was written by Thomas Jefferson in the U.S. Constitution. “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common ‘Defence,’ promote general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty….”

Union of the people, stands out as the primary Monadic force in the Constitution. This is what is the first element to fill the empty space. The dyad is formed from ‘Union,’ and Justice. The primary motive would be the last member of the set, ‘for the Blessings of Liberty. This duality should be seen to influence any other members or types added to the set. Regardless of the size of the set, Blessings of Liberty will always be the last type. It is from here the set is used as a device to regulate between the dualities.

So, for the sake of Union and Justice, we add ‘to insure domestic tranquility, forming the triad, sins ‘Blessings’. Then add provide a common ‘defence,’ (tetrad) and promote ‘general welfare, which makes the set a (pentad). The last member of the set is the gender unit, or that polar unit which serves as determination device of the set. That means it can be used for the negative (Yin), or the positive (Yang), by the one using the device, but the control is in regard to ‘liberty.’

The energy running through the set from the Union of the People, means a direct polarity to all the members of the set. This connects the Monad, or Union, and all other types relevant in the set, and ”Blessings of Liberty,” the ‘switching device’ and last unit of the set. We get the hexad (6) of Union, justice, tranquility, common ‘defence,’ general welfare, all influenced for the sake of the ”Blessings of Liberty.”

This is the Gnostic-Pythagorean explanation of this passage from the Constitution. Jefferson, Franklin, and John Adams had all met and spoken with the famous scientist of the time, Gottfried Leibniz, in the French Court. He was famous for his study of Pythagorean ideas, and wrote an essay establishing the term Monadology, for use in modern science. Leibniz did not describe a system or Monadic set.

There is no appearance that the Founding Fathers knew anything about Sethian Christianity. Except for legends, and what the heresiologists of the Orthodox Church had written. Irenaeus, Tertullian and Hippolytus all wrote about (lied about) how heretical the Pythogoreans, Sethians and Gnostics were.

Suggested Reading: Notes

“The Nag Hammadi Library,” Robinson, Harper, 1990. (available online)

“The History of Chinese Philosophy,” Vol. 1.,2., by Fung Yu-Lan, Princeton, 1953. ( Compares and identifies some aspects of Pythagorean theory with the Tai Chi.)

“Great Thinkers of the Eastern World,” McGreal, Harper, 1995.

“The Jesus Sutras” by Martin Palmer, Ballentine, 2001. (Contains Christian scripture based upon the classical Buddhist/Taoist use of the Tai Chi, to represent Jesus as spirit.)

“Fragments of a Faith Forgotten,” by G.R.S. Mead, (available in the Nag Hammadi Library, online.)

“Early Greek Philosophy,” Barnes, Penguin Classics, 2001. (Contains chapters on Pythagoreans)

“Xing Yi Quan Xue,” by Tang, Unique Publications, 2000. (See page 80. for a breakdown explanation of the Tai Chi icon.)

“Chinese Martial Arts Training Manuals,” by Kennedy/Guo, North Atlantic Books, 2005. (See page 86. for the ‘Ba Gua’ sequence composed by Sun Xi Kun.)

Secrets of the Sethian Monad
by
Thomas Saunders

One of the problems with Occult studies is like the Sethian Christianity, things
are hidden right in front of your face, and don’t become apparent right away.
Things that Clement of Alexandria, says about the secret Christianity, in his
work ”Stromata,” is now coming to light. Explanations about Occult things have
to be specific, and carefully explained.

”Stromata,” and the fragments of Theodotus, and Heracleon, remain the best
explanations of Sethian Christianity to date. Clement, hides clues that align
themselves with the Sethian texts, but also have parallels to the four NT
gospels. He does mention some texts like the ”Gospel of the Egyptians.”
Theodotus, leaves no doubt that some of his comments like about Ogdoads, are
parallels to the Sethian Monadology.

Sethian Monadology: The system of the monad, worked 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, rather than the decad. 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.”)

Because the Sethian Monadology is based upon the Pythagorean concepts of the
Monad, parallels of the two, with the third parallel the Tai Chi, make it
possible to disclose the concepts related to the Pythagorean model, based upon
the Sethian uses of the Monad, by aligning all three systems. The Tai Chi, uses
the Ogdoad the same, (See; Fung Yu-Lan) and therefor the values of the
sequencing are similar. Both are tools of Enlightenment.

Enlightenment: Refers to a state of being; described in Chinese/Oriental
classics that reflects the same kinds of mental changes, ‘awareness,’ or
‘Satroi’ as in Gnosis. ”The Enlightenment refers to a movement in philosophy
that advocated the untrammeled use of reason to establish truth. The movement
challenged traditional authority, doctrine, and values. Emphasis was placed on
the empirical method employed by the sciences.” (”The Five Gospels,” by
Funk, Hoover, Harrier-Collins, 1993, p. 544.) ”For scientific knowledge is
necessary both for the training of the soul and for gravity of conduct; making
the faithful more active and keen observers of things. For as there is no
believing without elementary instruction, so neither is there comprehension
without science.” (Quote from Theodotus, See; Kirby, Criddle collections.)

The criteria for asigning values to the tetraktys of the decad, in how the
Sethians used it, is based upon the concepts of being Tripartite, in your
mindset.

Tripartite: Meaning to have three parts. “Triple headedness, or Triple Power,”
or a state of three something like as described in the texts “Trimorphic
Protennoia,” “Gospel of the Egyptians” or “Tripartite Tractate.” May refer to
the developing state in Gnosis where one learns to perceive oneself in the sense
of being in the psychic, living, as in the pleromic state, as a process in
becoming Psychic, Hylic, and Pneumatic (Gnostokoi or Enlightened). ”Mankind
came to be in three essential types, the spiritual, the psychic, and the
material, conforming to the triple disposition of the Logos, from which were
brought forth the material ones and the psychic ones and the spiritual ones.”
(”Trimorphic Protennoia”) May also have references to other sets of three such
as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, or soul, mind, spirit, or spirit, mind, and
body, etc., related to the concept of the triad in the Sethian Monadology.
Synonymous with the Chinese concept of ‘San Ti,’ known as the Taoist Trilogy,
”man is the same as heaven and earth.” (”Kenpo Gokui,” Tatsuo Shimabuku. See
also; ”Xing Yi Quan Xue,” Tang, Unique Publications, 2000., Pg.’s 69, 80.)

The Sethian Monadology is not magic, it is science. Starting with the Monad the
following describes the sequence to the level of the triad, or trilogy. The
following sequence is described in the ”Oracles of Zoroaster,” an ancient
Occult manuscript known since the 1500’s.

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.”

The descriptions of the sequence of the Monad, in the Sethian model are
numerous. I have posted most of them below. The concept of Tripartite, means
that the sequence of the Monad must conform to three natures of man as the
spriritual, psyche, and material. The descriptions of the Monad, in the realm of
the spiritual means that the sequence of the Monad runs through the Pleroma, the
human psyche, the mind, and in regard to the material or corporeal part of man.
The Pleroma is described….

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, Codeces, 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.)

The psyche is described by the term psychic….

Psychic: This level of thinking is the one right above “hylic,” and below
‘Pneumatophoroi’ It’s drive is the intellect, or normal understanding of the
mind. While alive in the earthly state, the psychic remains as a hylic. (See
also Hoeller, p. 110) ”Mankind came to be in three essential types, the
spiritual, the psychic, and the material, conforming to the triple disposition
of the Logos, from which were brought forth the material ones and the psychic
ones and the spiritual ones.” (“Tripartite Tractate”) ”…even Valentine
{Valentinus} teaches that Christ’s body was Psychic.” (”Stromata,” Book 3.)

Psychic, and Pleromic are related by the concepts of Wisdom….

Wisdom: In Hebrew, ‘Chockmah,’ see also; Sophia. Meaning Understanding,
discernment, enlightenment, erudition, insight, intelligence, judgment,
learning, sense. To be wise, ”having intelligence and knowledge.” (See Harper
Collins, ”Dictionary, and Thesaurus,” 2003.) ”…the personified Wisdom of
the ”Old Testiment wisdom literature developed into the gnostic redeemer myth,
especially as it identified Jesus with that redeemer, and thus understood Jesus
as bringer of the secret redemptive gnosis or logoi.” (pg. 31) ” Wisdom is not
only the mediatrix of creation but also of salvation, and cosmology and
soteriology are related to one another in the myth of Wisdom.” (pg. 105)
(James Robinson on ”The Gospel of Thomas, ”The Gospel of Thomas, and Christian
Wisdom, 2nd, Davies, Bardic Press, 2005.)

Dr. Stevan Davies’ (“Gospel of Thomas, and Christian Wisdom” ) relates Wisdom to
Solomon traditions and contained therein on the nature of Wisdom is its
‘ordering value.’ These descriptions are of great philosophical value to the
idea of natural organization in formal study. They pertain to the way all
lexicons are formed and this kind of organization is present in philosophy, as
well as science. As to Pseudo Solomon…. “This presents a series of ideas on
Wisdom. “Included are Wisdom’s creative and ordering power, her presence in the
world in all human beings, and in the world through all her permeation of all
things, and her arrival as spirit to those who call upon her.” (Ibid., pages
52-4) “By the time of the writing of the Wisdom of Solomon, Wisdom is not only
seen to be active at Creation, it is said to permeate all the world, organizing
and underlying all ordered phenomena.” (Ibid. p. 54)

Man, in the material sense is seen as Hylic….

Hylic: “Of matter.” Can be thought of as a level of thinking, dealing with the
lowest portion of human nature. It is considered living by instinctual drives
with no sublimation. Hylics, choikus, sarkics, etc. are said to be below
‘Psychics’ which are below ‘Gnostokoi,’ the highest order of transcendence
according to Valentinian and other Gnostic teaching. The world of the psychic,
is still in the realm of the hylics in most Gnostic scenarios because existence
in the earthly state separates one from the pleroma. (See; Psychic, Kenoma.
Pleroma.)

The Kenoma: The earthly or hylic state of the being. In the Gnostic schema(s)
the kenoma is the imperfect and the antithesis of pleroma (plhrwma), where all
are in a state of privation and unreality. The term is not used directly in
Sethian texts. (See Iren. Haer. I.4.I (M.7.480A); ib 1.4.2 (484A);
Clem.exc.Thdot.31 (p117.11; M.9.676A); Thdt.haer.I.7 (4.298).

The Sethian Gnostic, sought to be a Craftsman…Craftsman: A term used to
connote Gnostic attainment. The term is also used in regard to creation. “All
things were made through Him,” means that it was the Word who caused the
Craftsman (Demiurge) to make the world, that is it was not the Word “from whom”
or “by whom,” but the one “through whom (all things were made).”. . The term
also refers to men, ”The official was the Craftsman, for he himself ruled like
a king over those under him.” (Heracleon) ” Clement of Alexandria explains
”…..correct expounders of the truth, are Gnostics. Since also, in what
pertains to life, Craftsmen are superior to ordinary people, and model what is
beyond common notions; so, consequently, we also, giving a complete exhibition
of the Scriptures from the Scriptures themselves, from faith persuaded by
demonstration.” (Clement. “Stromata” Bk. 7.)

Besides the aspects of the Tripartite, the Pythagorean requirement for
descriptions relavent to both the Pythagorean standard of speaking in terms of
mathematics, must be satisfied. In other words the terms in the tetraktys of
the decad must be mathematical to conform. I offer the following explanation…

Tetraktys (Tetractys) of the Decad, The Monadic Values: ”Pythagorus considered
all things relative to numbers… How he conceived this process has never been
satisfactorily explained.” (Bullfinch, pg. 289.) Perhaps this is the
secret….

Pythagorus considered the monad as the source of all things. In the case of the
tetraktys of the decad, the concepts of form and structure are related in
mathematical values. These values work in harmony. The first and most obvious is
numerical value is the digital sequence of one through ten. ‘Monad,’ 2. Decad,
3. Triad, 4. Tetrad, 5. Pentad, 6. Hexad, 7. Heptad, 8. Ogdoad, 9. Ennead, and
10. Decad. In terms of the triangle there are four levels (called types in the
”Gospel of Mary,”), Level 1. is one, level two the decad, is 2. and 3., level
three the triad, is 4. 5. and 6., level four the tetrad, is 7. 8. 9. and 10.

Digital sequencing can be done in different base values, like using base six to
count on your hands. You count to five on the right hand, and the first digit
of the left hand represents six, the next set the left hand finger is given the
value of twelve, then eighteen, then the sequence goes up to 35, when you run
out of fingers, if you have ten. Another sequencing schema is the Heaven
Sequence of the Tai Chi, which is in base eight.

The Pythagorean model showing the tetraktys of the decad is in the form of a
triangle, usually shown as only dots, I have placed numbers beside the dots,
denoting the digital sequence. Below is a traditional explanation for this
sequence, where I have made aditions to show how the Tai Chi, and this sequence
are parallel….

1.
2. 3.
4. 5. 6.
7. 8. 9. 10.

1.. The Tetractys represented the organization of space: {Wu Chi, My
notation}
2.. the first row represented zero-dimensions (a point) {Tai Chi}
3.. the second row represented one-dimension (a line of two points) {Liang Yi}
4.. the third row represented two-dimensions (a plane defined by a triangle of
three points) {This is consistent with the San Ti.}
5.. the fourth row represented three-dimensions (a triangular pyramid defined
by four points) {This is consistent with the Si Xiang.} Wikapedia source…..
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetractys
This triangle represents five different mathematical values, not generally
recognized unless you apply the Tai Chi model with the parallel of the
Tetraktys. The mathematical values are thought of more like aphorisms or a
mantra rather than calculations in some respect. Pythagoras put everything in
terms of math, and I think the statistical terms below can be adapted to both
the Tai Chi and the Tetraktys of the Decad.

The digital sequence of one through ten, connotes the decad. What cannotes the
the ‘tetra’ is the number four. In the case of the tetraktys of the decad, the
value of four corresponds with the relative value of the mathematical concept of
‘mode.’ One through six, would make the triangle a triad, and if you add a fifth
line, 11. through, 15., to the base, the mode is a pentad. As shown above we
have the tetrad.

The mode is the value, or set of like units that appear most frequently in a
set. As can be seen in the model of the tetraktys of the decad, all three
corners of the triangle contain four units. The sequence of mode is mentioned
above. A set in most science involving polarity, is called a field or pool,
which connotes a perimeter of the form, or the unified body of the set, as a
whole. Mode connotes the ‘level,’ of the form and structure of the pool.
Therefor tetrads, hexads, ogdoads, etc. are thought of as modes and levels.

As you build the triangle by adding lines of digits to the base, the mode
changes in sequence, but the values of mean, and median, also become relative to
the model. This is allegorical to how a seed turns into a tree or plant. This
means you are using mathematical terms as points of contemplation, more like
aphorism than calculation. Each configuration of the triangle regardless of the
mode, retains the value of the monad in the digital sequence. The mode sequence,
the mean value in the sequence, and the median values in the sequence, are not
mutually exclusive. They work in harmony, like a mantra.

The mean is determined by adding the number of units, in the digital sequence,
then dividing that sum by the number of units, the result is an average number
of units. That would be the pentad or five, the mean of ten units. In building
form and structure in the Monadology, the constant value of the mean is the
value of one, (Monad) and denotes the value of the monad in each consecutive
mode in the sequence. The Monad reamains in the form and structure of all mode
values.

The median, is the value where half of the units in a set are larger or smaller
than the opposite set of units. The median is the point where the set is
divided, and determines balance with the reflective or dual values of
male/female, good/evil. The odd numbers where their are more units on one half
of the set than the other, represents unbalance. Pythagoreans used the term
oblong. In the application of the sequence the consideration of meadian, is that
‘duality,’ reamains a constant regardless of the level, or mode, as does the
power of the Monad. Duality can be meant to be more than one feature, when
drawing a monadic paradigm, as duality does not always mean opposite, it can
mean either, or. In this case it can be implied as an opposite. It can be a
reflective value.

For instance, the pentad can be given five values, with good connotations, and
their opposite with negative conotations. Five constructive values, are opposed
to the destructive values of opposition. The Chinese use the idea of the Wu
Xing, or five constructive, and destructive forces. The reflective value or
median value (duality) is always considered as part of form and structure, even
if not shown, it should be considered implied, like a harmony. If you look at
the triagle of dots you will see that 2. 3. 4. 6. 8. and 9. form a circle with
5. in the middle. 1. 7., and 9. are outside the circle. (See Tripartite) As one
contemplates this image the fifth value becomes apparent. The image can look
like it is multi-dimensional, where the center as seen from the top looking
down, or the bottom looking up adds perspective. The center dot 5. becomes
parabolic point of center, and the middle of the sequence.

The fifth value is the parabolic, more of a geometric adaptation, which has
dimensions or perspective, reflection and even vibration. (See; Parables. See
also; Fung Yu-Lan’s ”History of Chinese Philosophy, Vol. 2., pg.’s 100-121.)
The parabolic view is in reference to the higher modes of the Pentad and above,
where the structure and form can be seen as multi-dimensional and having
perspective. (See; Parabole, which can be shown as viewing the inside of a
cone.)

As a contemplation device, all the values of the tetraktys of the decad, are
imagined in unison as a harmony. This unified perception is imperical to the
idea of how the natural order of wisdom works in the tripartite vision of man as
psyche, material, and spiritual. Outside the circle inside the triagle are 1. 7.
and 10. which can be allegorical to how the tripartite concept of man works in
regard to the kyclos or cycle. This is in spite of the fact that these values,
are not prima facie, they are hidden in the form of the percieved natural order
of Wisdom. (See; Wisdom.)

If I am correct, then the following passages can be understood to the alignment
of the Tripartite sequence, and the above explanations are relavent to the
following…

Monad: From the Greek word, meaning “one”, “single” or “unique.” It has ample
descriptions according to different contexts: According to Pythagoras it was the
first thing in existence. ”The Valentinian Exposition” declares Jesus the
‘Monad.’ (See Sethian Monadology.) mo·nad; (mnd) n. 1. Philosophy; An
indivisible, impenetrable unit of substance viewed as the basic constituent
element of physical reality in the metaphysics of Leibnitz. 2. Biology; A
single-celled microorganism, especially a flagellate protozoan of the genus
”Monas.” 3. Chemistry ; An atom or a radical with valence 1. (Online
Webster’s Dic. See also; Wikipedia.)

1. Monad (Sethian sources)

“The Monad is a monarchy with nothing above it. It is he who exists as God and
Father of everything, the invisible One who is above everything, who exists as
incorruption, which is in the pure light into which no eye can look.”
(”Apocryphon of John.”)

For now God has brought Truth, the one who glorifies the Root of the All. Thus
it is he who revealed himself in Monogenes, and in him he revealed the Ineffable
One […] the Truth. They saw him dwelling in the Monad and in the Dyad and in
the Tetrad. He first brought forth Monogenes and Limit. And Limit is the
separator of the All and the confirmation of the All, since they are […] the
hundred […]. He is the Mind […] the Son. He is completely ineffable to the
All, and he is the confirmation and the hypostasis of the All, the silent veil,
the true High Priest, the one who has the authority to enter the Holies of
Holies, revealing the glory of the Aeons and bringing forth the abundance to
<fragrance>. The East […] that is in Him. He is the one who revealed himself
as the primal sanctuary and the treasury of the All. And he encompassed the All,
he who is higher than the All. These for their part sent Christ forth to
establish her just as they were established before her descent. And they say
concerning him: […] He is not manifest, but invisible to those remaining
within Limit. And he possesses four powers: a separator and a confirmor, a
form-provider and a substance-producer. Surely we alone would discern their
presences and the time and the places which the likenesses have confirmed
because they have […] from these places […] the Love […] is emanated […]
the entire Pleroma […]. The persistence endures always, and […] for also
[…] the time […] more […] that is, the proof of his great love.
(”Valentinian Exposition.”)

“It was given to Solomon on the day of the joy of his heart.” The first monad
furthermore sent him an ineffable garment ‘ which was all light and all life and
all resurrection, and all love and all hope and all faith and all wisdom, and
all gnosis, and all truth, and all peace, and all-visible ‘, and all-mother, and
all-mystery, and all-source, and all-perfect, and all invisible, and all
unknowable, and all endless, and all unutterable, and all deep, and all
incomprehensible, and all pleroma, and all silence, and all unmoved, and all
unbegotten, and all still, and ) all monad, and all ennead, and all dodecad, and
all ogdoad, and all decad, and all hebdomad, and all hexad, and all pentad, and
all tetrad, and all triad, and all dyad, and all monad…

… And the All is in it, and also all found themselves ‘ in it, and knew
themselves in it. And it (the monad) gave light to them all with its ineffable
light.” (Bruce Codex, untitled.)

”As I said earlier, among the things that were created the monad is first, the
dyad follows it, and the triad, up to the tenths. Now the tenths rule the
hundredths; the hundredths rule the thousandths; the thousands rule the ten
thousands. This is the pattern <among the> immortals. First Man is like this:
His monad […]. (”Eugnostos the Blessed.”)
Again it is this pattern that exists among the immortals: the monad and the
thought are those things that belong to Immortal Man. The thinkings are for
<the> decads, and the hundreds are the teachings, and the thousands are the
counsels, and the ten thousands are the powers. Now those who come from the
[…] exist with their […] in every aeon […].” (”Eugnostos the Blessed.”)

”Thou (fem.) hast seen first the one who truly pre-exists because he is
non-being. And from him and through him thou hast pre-existed eternally, the
non-being from one indivisible, triple power, thou a triple power, thou a great
monad from a pure monad, thou an elect monad, the first shadow of the holy
Father, light from light.” (”Three Steles of Seth.” Note, This text is
accredited to Dositheos, teacher of Simon Magus.)

”I will speak my mystery to those who are mine and to those who will be mine.
Moreover it is these who have known him who is, the Father, that is, the Root of
the All, the Ineffable One who dwells in the Monad. He dwells alone in silence,
and silence is tranquility since, after all, he was a Monad and no one was
before him……” (”Valentinian Exposition.”)

2. Duad, (dyad)
….He dwells in the Dyad and in the Pair, and his Pair is Silence. And he
possessed the All dwelling within him. And as for Intention and Persistence,
Love and Permanence, they are indeed unbegotten. (”Valentianian Exosition.”)

The Word according to Valentinus is part of the Word/Life dyad. Clement
says…’Bk 1.’ ” The law of this man who possesses knowledge is the saving
precept; or rather, the law is the precept of knowledge. For the Word is “the
power and the wisdom of God.”

3. The Triad,

Trilogies, and Trinities.. (Father, Son, Holy Ghost, Man, Earth Heaven, Word,
Man, Sophia, Father, Mother, Son, etc.)

”Thus also it appears to me that there are three effects of gnostic power: the
knowledge of things; second, the performance of whatever the Word suggests; and
the third, the capability of delivering, in a way suitable to God, the secrets
veiled in the truth.” (”Stromata” Bk 7.)

”But, as appears, we incline to ideas founded on opinion, though they be
contrary, rather than to the truth. For it is austere and grave. Now, since
there are three states of the soul — ignorance, opinion, knowledge.” (Ibid.)

4. The Tetrad

According to Valentinus Word, Life, Man, and Church (Truth) are the tetrad. (See
”Valentinian Exposition,” below) This also correlates with the tetrad,
”Intention and Persistence, Love and Permanence.”

”For that investigation, which accords with faith, which builds, on the
foundation of faith, the august knowledge of the truth, we know to be the best.
Now we know that neither things which are clear are made subjects of
investigation, such as if it is day, while it is day; nor things unknown, and
never destined to become clear, as whether the stars are even or odd in number;
nor things convertible; and those are so which can be said equally by those who
take the opposite side, as if what is in the womb is a living creature or not. A
fourth mode is, when, from either side of those, there is advanced an
unanswerable and irrefragable argument. If, then, the ground of inquiry,
according to all of these modes, is removed, faith is established.”
(”Stromata” Bk., 5.)

Clement says, ”Again, there is the veil of the entrance into the holy of
holies. Four pillars there are, the sign of the sacred tetrad of the ancient
covenants.” (Bk. 7.)

Heracleon Fragment 16, on John 2:20 (In John 2:20, “The Jews then said, ‘It has
taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three
days?'”) The fact that Solomon completed the temple in forty-six years is an
image of the Savior. The number six refers to matter, that is, the structure (of
his body), and the number forty, which is the uncombined Four (Tetrad) refers to
the inbreathing and the seed in the inbreathing.

5. Pentad

The five senses, or five emotions in both Eastern and Western Monadologies
pertain here. They are mentioned in the decalogue. The pentad is often expressed
in relation to human traits, and fire, water, air, earth, and another, like
gnosis, or even wood, or metal. The terms are meant to be allegorical. Chapter
Eight in the ”Gospel of Mary” is based upon the seven evil demons, or “Seven
Powers of Wrath.” The heptad, no doubt ‘descends’ from the Pentad, from the
Triad, etc. The duad, can be good or evil, Yin and Yang, and this goes for all
forms.

“This is the pentad of the aeons of the Father, which is the first man, the
image of the invisible Spirit; it is the forethought, which Barbelo, and the
thought, and the foreknowledge, and the indestructibility, and the eternal life,
and the truth. This is the androgynous pentad of the aeons, which is the decad
of the aeons, which is the Father.” (”Apocryphon of John.”)

6. Hexad

”Again the Barbarian philosophy knows the world of thought and the world of
sense — the former archetypal, and the latter the image of that which is called
the model; and assigns the former to the Monad, as being perceived by the mind,
and the world of sense to the number six. For six is called by the Pythagoreans
marriage, as being the genital number; and he places in the Monad the invisible
heaven and the holy earth, and intellectual light.” (Clement, ”Stromata,”
Book 5.)

7. Heptad, (Hebdomas)

Hebdomas: The kingdom of the “Seven”, referring to the spheres of the planets
and thus the Archons and heimarene. Considered below the Ogdoad. (See also the
“Book of Jue,” and Un-named text in the Bruce Codex)

“Now all those things are confirmed by the faith that is in Christ. ‘Come, ye
children,’ says the Lord, ‘ hearken to me, and I will teach you the fear of the
Lord. Who is the man that desireth life, that loveth to see good days?’ Then He
subjoins the gnostic mystery of the numbers seven and eight. ‘Stop thy tongue
from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good. Seek
peace, and pursue it.’ For in these words He alludes to knowledge (gnosis), with
abstinence from evil and the doing of what is good, teaching that it is to be
perfected by word and deed.” (Clement.)

Gospel of Mary Ch. 8, 18-19) ”When the soul had overcome the third power, it
went upwards and saw the fourth power, which took seven forms. The first form is
darkness, the second desire, the third ignorance, the fourth is the excitement
of death, the fifth is the kingdom of the flesh, the sixth is the foolish wisdom
of flesh, the seventh is the wrathful wisdom. These are the seven powers of
wrath.”

”For Adam was a laughingstock, since he was made a counterfeit type of man by
the Hebdomad, as if he had become stronger than I and my brothers. We are
innocent with respect to him, since we have not sinned. And Abraham and Isaac
and Jacob were a laughingstock, since they, the counterfeit fathers, were given
a name by the Hebdomad, as if he had become stronger than I and my brothers. We
are innocent with respect to him, since we have not sinned. David was a
laughingstock in that his son was named the Son of Man, having been influenced
by the Hebdomad, as if he had become stronger than I and the fellow members of
my race. But we are innocent with respect to him; we have not sinned. Solomon
was a laughingstock, since he thought that he was Christ, having become vain
through the Hebdomad, as if he had become stronger than I and my brothers. But
we are innocent with respect to him. I have not sinned. The 12 prophets were
laughingstocks, since they have come forth as imitations of the true prophets.
They came into being as counterfeits through the Hebdomad, as if he had become
stronger than I and my brothers. But we are innocent with respect to him, since
we have not sinned. Moses, a faithful servant, was a laughingstock, having been
named “the Friend,” since they perversely bore witness concerning him who never
knew me. Neither he nor those before him, from Adam to Moses and John the
Baptist, none of them knew me nor my brothers.” (”Second Treatise of the Great
Seth.”)

James said, “Rabbi, are there then twelve hebdomads and not seven as there are
in the scriptures?” The Lord said, “James, he who spoke concerning this
scripture had a limited understanding. I, however, shall reveal to you what has
come forth from him who has no number. I shall give a sign concerning their
number. As for what has come forth from him who has no measure, I shall give a
sign concerning their measure” (”First Apocalypse of James.”)

8. Ogdoad

Ogdoad: Regarded in some texts as the “eighth kingdom above the hebdomas.” It
is the realm of the Demiurgos (or sometimes that is the 7th, with the eighth
being that of Sabaoth), as well as usually being the realm of the zodiac
(dodecon). Sometimes it is also seen as the beginning of freedom from the
Archons, and the beginning of connection to the Aeons. Pythagoras says…

“The ogdoad–8–was sacred because it was the number of the first cube, which
form had eight corners, and was the only evenly-even number under 10
(1-2-4-8-4-2-1). Thus, the 8 is divided into two 4’s, each 4 is divided into two
2’s, and each 2 is divided into two 1’s, thereby reestablishing the monad. Among
the keywords of the ogdoad are love, counsel, prudence, law, and convenience.
Among the divinities partaking of its nature were Panarmonia, Rhea, Cibele,
Cadmæa, Dindymene, Orcia, Neptune, Themis, and Euterpe (a Muse).” (Thomas
Taylor’s Theoretic Arithmetic, Thought by one source to be the rarest and most
important compilation of Pythagorean mathematical fragments extant.)

… the Ogdoad, which is the eighth, and that we might receive that place of
salvation.” (”The Testimony of Truth.”)

”From that place, the three powers came forth, the three ogdoads that the
Father brings forth in silence with his providence, from his bosom, i.e., the
Father, the Mother, (and) the Son.

The <first> ogdoad, because of which the thrice-male child came forth, which is
the thought, and the word, and the incorruption, and the eternal life, the will,
the mind, and the foreknowledge, the androgynous Father.

The second ogdoad-power, the Mother, the virginal Barbelon, epititioch[…]ai,
memeneaimen[…], who presides over the heaven, karb[…], the uninterpretable
power, the ineffable Mother. She originated from herself […]; she came forth;
she agreed with the Father of the silent silence.

The third ogdoad-power, the Son of the silent silence, and the crown of the
silent silence, and the glory of the Father, and the virtue of the Mother, he
brings forth from the bosom the seven powers of the great light of the seven
voices. And the word is their completion.

These are the three powers, the three ogdoads that the Father, through his
providence, brought forth from his bosom. He brought them forth at that place.”
(”Gospel of the Egyptians.”)

”And then the <seventh> heaven opened and we went up to the Ogdoad. And I saw
the twelve apostles. They greeted me, and we went up to the ninth heaven. I
greeted all those who were in the ninth heaven, and we went up to the tenth
heaven. And I greeted my fellow spirits.” (”Apocalypse of Paul.”)

9. Ennead
”For out of the heart proceed thoughts.” This, as I think, is the true and just
measure according to God, by which things capable of measurement are measured,
the decad which is comprehensive of man; which summarily the three
above-mentioned measures pointed out. There are body and soul, the five senses,
speech, the power of reproduction — the intellectual or the spiritual faculty,
or whatever you choose to call it. And we must, in a word, ascending above all
the others, stop at the mind; as also certainly in the universe overleaping the
nine divisions, the first consisting of the four elements put in one place for
equal interchange: and then the seven wandering stars and the one that wanders
not, the ninth, to the perfect number, which is above the nine, and the tenth
division, we must reach to the knowledge of God, to speak briefly, desiring the
Maker after the creation. Wherefore the tithes both of the ephah and of the
sacrifices were presented to God; and the paschal feast began with the tenth
day, being the transition from all trouble, and from all objects of sense.”
(Clement, ”Stromata.”)

10. Decad/Decalogue (Two Pentads can make a decad…)

Decalogue: A term used by Clement of Alexandria…”And the Decalogue, viewed as
an image of heaven, embraces sun and moon, stars, clouds, light, wind, water,
air, darkness, fire. This is the physical Decalogue of the heaven. And the
representation of the earth contains men, cattle, reptiles, wild beasts; and of
the inhabitants of the water, fishes and whales; and again, of the winged
tribes, those that are carnivorous, and those that rise mild food; and of plants
likewise, both fruit-bearing and barren. This is the physical Decalogue of the
earth. And there is a ten in man himself: the five senses, and the power of
speech, and that of reproduction; and the eighth is the spiritual principle
communicated at his creation; and the ninth the ruling faculty of the soul; and
tenth, there is the distinctive characteristic of the Holy Spirit, which comes
to him through faith. ” (”Stromata.”)

Valentinus explains the mechanics of the entire system from the concept of the
tetrad.

”That Tetrad projected the Tetrad which is the one consisting of Word and Life
and Man and Church. Now the Uncreated One projected Word and Life. Word is for
the glory of the Ineffable One while Life is for the glory of Silence, and Man
is for his own glory, while Church is for the glory of Truth. This, then, is the
Tetrad begotten according to the likeness of the Uncreated (Tetrad). And the
Tetrad is begotten [… ] the Decad from Word and Life, and the Dodecad from
Man, and Church became a Triacontad. Moreover, it is the one from the Triacontad
of the Aeons who bear fruit from the Triacontrad. They enter jointly, but they
come forth singly, fleeing from the Aeons and the Uncontainable Ones. And the
Uncontainable Ones, once they had looked at him, glorified Mind since he is an
Uncontainable One that exists in the Pleroma.” (”Valentinian Exposition.”)

Suggested Reading/References:

”Gnostic Secrets of the Naassenes,” Gaffney, Inner Traditions, 2004.
”The Nag Hammadi Library,” Robinson, Harper, 1988.
”The Cave of John the Baptist,” Gibson, Doubleday, 2004.
”Early Christian Mystics,” McGinn/McGinn, Crossroads, 2003.
”Hidden Wisdom,” Smoley/Kinney, Penguin, 1999.
”The Gospel of Mary Magdala,” King, Polebridge, 2003.
”The Gospel of Philip,” Leloup, Inner Traditions, 2003.
”The Gospel of Thomas, and Christian Wisdom, Davies,” Bardic, 2005.
”Early Greek Philosophy,” Barnes, Penguin, 2000.
”The Gnostic Discoveries,” Meyer, Harper, 2005.
”The Jesus Sutras,”Palmer,Ballantine, 2001.
“The History of Chinese Philosophy,” Fung Yu-Lan, Princeton, 1953. (See; pages
90 -115.)
”Satatistics: An Intuitive Approach,” Eeinberg/Schumaker, 3rd., Brroks/Cole,
1974.
”The Five Gospels,” by Funk, Hoover, Harrier-Collins, 1993.
Pythagoras and Pythagorean Theory….
Sacred Texts: http://www.sacred-texts.com/eso/sta/sta19.htm

Trtractys: http://www.cs.utk.edu/~mclennan/BA/PT/D-moretet.html

Basic Sethian Christian History

by Bishop Thomas Saunders, www.njcdlp.org

Sethians are Gnostics. The term Gnostic is mysterious, and often debated, but if you want to qualify Christian Sethian Gnosticism, it is when the followers of John the Baptist, decided to follow Jesus.

John the Baptist: (5 B.C. 33{?} A.D.) Jewish prophet who in the New Testament baptized and prepared the way for Jesus. He was executed by Herod Antipas at the behest of Herod’s daughter Salome.
According to Heracleon John was a Levite. His father was Zacharius who officiated as a Priest in the Jewish Temple. His mother was Elizabeth, related to Mary, mother to Jesus. Among his followers were Dositheos, Matthias, Simon Magus, and many other disciples and witnesses to Jesus. See; ”The Cave of John the Baptist,” by Simon Gibson, Doubleday, 2004. Mandaeans believe John the Baptist, called Yahya in the Sidra d-Yahia (Book of John), was the last and greatest of the prophets. While Mandaeans agree that he baptized Jesus (Yeshu), they reject the latter as either a saviour or prophet. And they viewed John as the only true Messiah. http://www.answers.com/topic/john-the-baptist (Source: ”Saunders Gnostic Glossary,” SGG)

After the execution of John the Baptist, his supporters formed alliances, and among those were Simon Magus, Philip, Dositheos, Matthias and Jesus. It is important to Sethian history that this relationship is noted, in order to establish this bonding, and its importance to Sethian relationships with later students of this philosophy. Theodotus explains Seth….

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.) (SGG)

Theodotus, and Heracleon of Alexandria, were Valentinian students, and the fragments of their work which are extant, link the entire lineage of Alexandrian Gnosticism together. It is through the study of these fragments that the parallels from John the Baptist, to Origen, and other later Gnostics can be made. Clement of Alexandria’s, ”Stromata,” is also dedicated to explaining Gnostic traditions.

The Alexandrian church is historically credited to Mark, who went there on his way to Rome, with Peter. There is little doubt that what became Sethian Christianity is a secret level of study, applied mostly to scripture. This makes the ”Gospel of Thomas,” or ”The Secret Sayings of the Living Jesus,” the principle source of Jesus wisdom to the Sethian system. Chaldean, and Pythagorean traditions of occult, and secret traditions seem to have prevailed into Sethian ways. The term Sethian comes about through the following explanation of what is Sethian.

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.) (SGG)

Several things link the above texts together, but the main parallels are in regard to the study of the system of the Monad, and other theme specific language, found almost exclusively in Sethian documents. It is only recently that scholars have been able to sufficiently interpret enough of the exclusive vocabulary of Sethian works, to comprehend some of its deeper meanings. Orthodox sources, like Bible dictionaries lacked almost all of the lexicology needed to comprehend Sethian meanings. Without the working lexicology of this system, scholars lacked the knowledge to comprehend it, as a unified system. That is slowly changing.

Among the Sethian works is, ”The Book of Thomas the Contender,” written by Matthias and the Gospels of Thomas, Philip, Mary, and Judas. These works form a core epistemology to the Apostolic lineage of the other Sethian texts. This makes ”The Pistis Sophia,” extremely important to the acuumulated knowledge of Sethian ways.

One example of a follower of John the Baptist , who converted to Christianity is Dositheos. According to ‘Acts,'(8) the Apostle Philip, taught and stayed with this group of Samaritans. The text mentions Simon Magus, but not Dositheos.

Dositheos: Believed to be the founder of Samaritan Gnosticism in the first century, and associate of Simon Magus. Dositheans were a Gnostic sect which called “God” only ‘Elohim’ not ‘Yehouah or Lord.’ He is stated as the author of the “Three Steles of Seth.” See; (NHL p. 396.) http://essenes.net/Dosithean.html
(SGG)

The ‘Steles,’ may be one of the first written documents of Christianity. Biblical scholars who claim the Sethian texts are not from the birth of Christianity are plentiful, but those studying these texts are challenging that idea. It is hard to believe that the writers of the Sethian texts are not who they say they are. The entire Alexandrian Sethian lineage would have to be lying, including that which is known about Basilides.

Basilides: (?-138) An Alexandrian Gnostic who formed sects around 120 to 138. Known to be associated with Valentinus, and Mathias, and other early Christian leaders. May have also had knowledge of Dositheos and others associated with Simon Magus, or Gnosticism in Samaria. He is associated with Sethian works by Theodotus, and Clement. Thought to have had knowledge of both mystical and Hellenistic philosophy. (See also; ”The Other Bible,” by Barnstone, Harper, 1980; See also; ”Stromata.”) http://essenes.net/new/Basilides2.html http://essenes.net/new/budgnostics.html http://essenes.net/new/Basilides5.html

Another Alexandrian Gnostic was Carpocrates. He and his followers are not popular with other Alexandrian Gnostics.

Carpocrates: (100?-150 CE); Formed a sect in Alexandria known as Carpocrations. Possible successor to Samaritan Simon Magus. He taught reincarnation in his Gnostic philosophy. An individual had to live many lives and adsorb a full range of experiences before being able to return to God. They practiced free
sexuality. They believed that Jesus was the son of Joseph. They questioned the docetic aspects attributed to Jesus. (See; “Sromata,” Bk 3.) http://www.antinopolis.org/carpocrates.html

Basilides, and Pantaenus, were teachers of Clement, and Valentinus. When Peter and Mark visited Alexandria on the way to Rome, Pantaenus was appointed the head of the Catachise school. Later Mark returned to Alexandria with Peter’s notes and some of Paul’s work. Pantaenus is fondly mentioned by Theodotus…

Pantaenus: (b.?- 212) Appointed to head the Christian Catechise School of Alexandria by Peter. Originally, the Alexandrian church was thought to be founded by Mark, Peter, Barnabus, and Glaucius. Known to have been a Stoic, and teacher of Clement. Pantaenus is known to have done missionary work as far east as India. Claims to have discovered Eastern Christians in possession of the
”Gospel of Matthew,” written in Hebrew and presented by Bartholomew. (SGG)http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11446b.htm
www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=808

It is through the association with the first Christians of Alexandria, that an Apostolic lineage for the Gnostic Gospels, and the Sethian works can be established. Although the Orthodox and Catholic church still deny this lineage, and claim the Gnostic texts are from the second and third century, the historical and archeological evidence against that idea is mounting. The Koran is correct in stating there was a ”secret Christianity.”

A second generation of Alexandrian Christians can be seen in the sons of Basilides, and Carpocrates….

Isidore: Son of Basilides, who according to Hippolytus received special teaching from Mathias. He wrote trying to show that Greek philosophers borrowed from the Prophets. He also held that passions emanated from a part of the soul. http://www.dacb.org/stories/egypt/isidore.html (SGG)

Epiphanes: Son of Carpacrotes of Alexandria. Died at age 17. Clement stated that Epiphanes had been taught the way of the ”Monad.” “But the followers of Carpocrates, and Epiphanes think wives should be common property.” (See; Bk 3, of ”Stromata.”) His work ”Concerning Justice,” can be read at; http://www.vinesbranch.com/view/?pageID=181476
http://www.gnosis.org/library/ephip.htm (SGG)

Clement of Alexandria, succeeded Pantaenus, his teacher, as the head of the Christian school. Clement’s teachings are more plentiful than earlier works which serve to explain Sethian ways. The first generation of Alexandrians established what appears to be two separate types of Church, or a church, within a church. This according to most authors this was a Gnostic tradition of the time. If you compare, and contrast Clement’s ”Stromata,” with ”Instructor,” perhaps this is a look into the two types of teaching.

Clement of Alexandria: (?-215 A.D.) Greek theologian, writer, and head of the Catechetical School of Alexandria. Clement succeeded his teacher Pantaenus about A.D. 190, and took over the direction of the school. Wrote “Stromata” in which he makes various assessments of others including Basilides, Plato,Valentinus, and Gnostic beliefs. Declared that the Gnostic seeks to become God. (See also;
Clement’s ”Instructor,” which is more of an Orthodox work, compared to ”Stromata.”) (SGG)http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/clement.html

http://www.ntcanon.org/Clement.shtml

It is during this second period in Alexandria, that Heracleon, and Theodotus did their great studies, which contribute greatly to the knowledge we have about Sethian ways.

Heracleon: A Valentinean Gnostic Sage, possibly from Sicily, who flourished around 120? A.D. He declared that, ”the orthodox church was dogmatic and like nourishing stagnant water.” Origen and Clement preserved some of his commentary on the ”Gospel of John,” and others of which some fragments still exist. (See; ”Fragments of Heracleon.”) http://www.sacred-texts.com/gno/fff/fff56.htm (SGG)

Theodotus: A student of Valentinus, and Pantaenus in the Alexandrian lineage. Theodotus explains that passions are called spirits: ” The passions that are in the soul are called spirits, not spirits of power, since in that case the man under the influence of passion would be a legion of demons; but they are so
called in consequence of the impulse they communicate. For the soul itself, through modifications, taking on this and that other sort of qualities of wickedness, is said to receive spirits.” ( See; Fragments of Theodotus, Kirby, Criddle.http://neonostalgia.com/xtian/Extracts_from_Theodotus.htm , and
Theodotus, Early Christian Writings, Kirby. ) (SGG)

Clement, produced a valuable student named Origen. Valentinus produced several students who served to carry on the Sethian traditions. Origen’s work reflects he changed terms to suggest Gnostic ideas. This may be due to the violence against Gnostics starting in earlier times.

Origen: (185- 254 C.E.) Born in Alexandria. He studied Greek philosophy with Ammonius, and others. He became a Christian under Clement. Some of his surviving work is considered somewhat Gnostic in its nature according to later western Christian leaders. Origen was declared heretical on the basis of his beliefs in the pre-existence of souls and his beliefs about apokatastasis. In 553 A.D the Chalcedonians anathematized him. http://www.iep.utm.edu/o/origen.htm (SGG)

Some of the Gnostic works do not state the author, but some do. One important work to the understanding of Sethianism, was written by Valentinus.

Valentinus: (100-180 C.E.) Gnostic teacher some believe is the writer or had a part in the writing of the Gnostic “Gospel of the Truth,” ”A Valentianian Exposition,” and others. Also formed secular Gnostic groups who’s written works are referred to as Valentinian. The ” A Valentinian Exposition,” explains in part the use of the ”monad.” (See; Sethian Monadology. SGG.) http://www.hermetic.com/sabazius/valentinus.htm

Valentinian: A general reference to types of work which seem related, and to have other than Sethian roots. See; ”The Valentianian Exposition,” “Gospel of Truth,” “Tripartite Tractate,” others) References to Archons, Aeons, Demiurge, Logos and Autogenes are common to Valentinean works. However, Valentinian works are also related to Sethian ideas. (SGG)http://www.gnosis.org/library/valentinus/Organization.htm

One important Valentinian student was Bardesanes: (155-233 A.D.) Bardesanes, or Bar-daisan (so called from the river Daisan (the Leaper), on the banks of which he was born), was born at Edessa, on July 11th, 155 A.D., and died, most probably in the same city, in 233, at the age of 78. His parents, Nuhama and Nahashirama, were nobles. He became a follower of Valentinus, and is called by some the ”Last of the Gnostics. His most famous work was a collection of 150 Hymns or Psalms on the model of the Psalm-collection of the second temple, as still preserved in the Old Covenant documents. He is known for qualifying free will. ”And that everything is not in our own Free-will, that is that Free-will is not absolute, is plainly visible in everyday experience. Fortune also plays its part, but is not absolute, and Nature also. Thus “we men are found to be governed by Nature equally, and by Fortune differently, and by our Free-will each as he wishes.” http://www.sacred-texts.com/gno/fff/fff57.htm (SGG)

Other Gnostics were known after Bardesanes, and probably calling him the ”Last of the Gnostics,” is a bit misguided. A late woman Gnostic is known…Marcellina: (330-398 A.D.) The only sister of St. Ambrose of Milan. She was older than St. Ambrose, and was born most probably at Trier, where her father resided as “Praefectus Praetorio Galliarum.” Mentioned to have led a Gnostic sect founded by Heracleon. A list of Valentinians can be found at: http://essenes.net/valen10.html

Perhaps the title of the ”Last of the Gnostic,” belongs to Pachomius. It is with the Nag Hammadi association that scholars have connected the Sethian works to Egyptians. It appears he defied the Roman Church into modern times, with the recovery of the Sethian works.
Pachomius: (290-346) Founded the Christian monastery around Nag Hammadi Egypt. Thought by some to have held Gnostic beliefs. He is known as the most probable person to have had the Nag Hammadi texts. He is known to have opposed Athanasius who took over as the Orthodox authority in Alexandria around 297, ending the reign of Origen there. Athanasius, is said to have organized the books of Bible before the Nicean influence of Eusebius. He opposed the Gnostics, and is known to have posted himself in front of the Nag Hammadi mountains, where the texts were eventually found. (Encyclopaedia Britannica), (SGG) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pachomius

Bits and pieces of Gnosticism seem to have survived in history, but it is doubtful the Sethian ways could be put together without the Sethian texts. It was and is the aim of the Orthodox and Roman Church to destroy the Sethian works, and hide the epistemology of the Secret Christianity. They still deny the lineage of the Sethian texts to this day. Are they correct?

James the Just by Tom Saunders

Introduction:
Paul identified Naasseni or Sethians in his letters as early as 38 A.D., when he went to Jerusalem and met James the Just. Most Sethians lived on until the 60’s in places like in Alexandria. There are three eras I use to try and put people into the right time periods in regard to Alexandrian Christianity.

1. The Sethian Era (44-90) of Alexandrian Gnosticism, is when the Apostle Mark was the founder of Christianity in Alexandria. Also the Apostle Matthias, taught Carpocrates, and the Apostle Basilides. Basilides also received instruction from Glaucius, Peter’s scribe, circa 44 to 90 A.D. (see Mead)
2. The Basilidian Era (90-120) of Alexandrian Gnosticism is when Basilides taught Valentinus and other Alexandrian Gnostics, circa, 90-120 A.D. Valentinus also received instruction from Theudas, companion to Paul. Pope Justus of Alexandria was still Dean of the Catechetical School until 127. He had been appointed by Mark. Basilides died in 138.
3. The Valentinian Era (120-180) of Alexandrian Gnosticism is when Valentinus taught, Heracleon, Theodotus, Bardesanes, Ptolemy, and others, 120 -180 A.D. All of these known Gnostics have extant writings, all of which use Sethian Specific terms. Valentinus died in 180.
Below is a lexicon of Sethian specific words foound in NHL texts.

(Abrasax, Adonaios, Aeons, Aphredon, Archons, Armedon, Armozel, Astraphaios, Autogenes, Barbelo, Bridal Chamber, Davithai, (Domedon) Doxomedon, Demiurge, Echamoth, Eleleth, Ennoia, Iao/Jeu, Gamaliel, Garment, Hebdomad, Kaliptos, Logos, Marsanes, Mirotheos, Monad, Ogdoad, Oriel, Pistis, Pleroma, Protennoia, Protophanes, Sabaoth, Saklas, Sophia, Totalities, Yaldabaoth, Youel)

This is a lexicon of Sethian specific words used in known Valentinian works.

(Aeon, Archon, Bridal Chamber, Demiurge, Garment, Hebdomad, Logos, Monad, Ogdoad, Pleroma, Pistis, Sabaoth, Sophia, Totalities, Yaldabaoth)

Compare this to the following from James.

“The First Apocalypse of James” (the Just) uses the following six Sethian Specific terms, (Achamoth, Adonaios, Archon, Hebdomad, Echmoth, Garment) [6]
The words in James in my opinion are far more Sethian than Valentinian.
Einar Thomassen is the author of, “Valentinian Material in James. Thomassen makes several good observations about Valentinian material in the text, but on the other hand doubts it is in fact Valentinian. I suspect the text could be Basilidian due to the early Sethian vocabulary used in the text.
The original text could be from as early as 60-70 A.D.
Thomassen in his work describes the Valentinian Demiurge as the offspring of Achamoth or Sophia. He points out how Irenaeus confirms the text was used in Valentinian rituals, especially concerning redemption.
Thomassen makes some distinction between Sethian and Valentinians. He makes some assuptions they did not know the same vocabularies. My work shows they did. He notes that Valentinians used the term Demiurge more than others and the concept of the Demiurge for Valentinians are not that of Plato. Valentinians did not use the term Barbelo which means Mother. The term Barbelo appears to be critical to Sethian authors to explain the Ogdoad powers of the Mother. This is in the trinity of the Ogdoad powers of Father, Mother, and Son, and most NHL texts point out this tripartite union.
Achamoth and Echmoth are references to Sophia, perhaps as a higher and lower, or male and female Archon-Ogdoad powers. In the text Jesus and James discuss hebdomads and their heavenly constructions. This teaching was known by early Sethians and later Valentinians.
Adonaios means Father, and this is a reference to the Ogdoad powers of the Father, mentioned in the “Gospel of the Egyptians” and “The Apocryhon of John.” This is directly related to the Sethian tripartite explanation of Jesus’ power as divinity; by becoming the Son of the Ogdoad powers of the Father, and Mother. Adonaios is the Father, in all three texts, and is most definately Sethian.
Extant works attributed to Basilides, Simon Magus, Dositheos, and Valentinians use a shared vocabulary. One of the key words is hebdomad…
“James said, “Rabbi, are there then twelve hebdomads and not seven as there are in the scriptures?” The Lord said, “James, he who spoke concerning this scripture had a limited understanding. I, however, shall reveal to you what has come forth from him who has no number. I shall give a sign concerning their number. As for what has come forth from him who has no measure, I shall give a sign concerning their measure.”
A hebdomad is a seven unit mathematical progression of an Aeon emanation from the monad to triad, then adds a tetrad, which forms a trivium and quadrivium. A hebdomad is a two part seven unit Aeon emantion, that follows a formation or grammar of a tripartite algorithm. All Aeon emanations follow the same tripartite algorithm.
1st Premise/Monad A=C) (2nd Supporting Premise/Duad A=B = B=C) (Synthesis/Triad of A=B=C) = 1. (This triad forms a Monad)
1. Monad, {a.} =1
2. Duad, {a. ∩ b.} =1
3. Triad, {a.∩b.∩c.} =1
4. Tetrad, {a.∩b.∩c.∩d.} =1
5. Hebdomad, {a.b.c. ∩ d.e.f.g.} =1
6. Ogdoad, {a.b.c.d. ∩ e.f.g.h.} =1
The Hebdomad Model:
(Trivium {a.b.c.}) (Quadrivium {d.e.f.g.}) (Synthesis {a.d.c.d.e.f.g.} = 1 (Hebdomad forms a Monad)
The Evil Hebdomad is: 
(a. Darkness like Wrath, b. Desire, c. Ignorance) (d.Excitement, e. Form, f. Action, g. Knowledge) (Synthesis {a.d.c.d.e.f.g.} ) =1.
In both the Sethian and Valetninian teaching all human emotions can be put into this template. The seven evil emotions or hebdomads are Wrath, Envy, Hate, Lies, Lust, Grief, and Fear. All of these have polar opposites, which is likely related to the refernence in James about the seven hebdomads in scripture. That is where I learned them.
The knowledge about hebdomads helped the Sethians and Valentinians to manipulate good against evil, much like playing a chess match. Hebdomads are like chess pieces you can learn to manipulate. This application of hebdomads was for individuals, but could put to use as a virtual map of human emotions that was shared by those that knew the hebdomad model. An illustration of a hebdomad breakdown can be found in Mead’s “Simon Magus,” in the NHL Archives. Magus also describes Aeon emanation of male and female.
Summary
These are the Sethian Specific terms in James that are shared with other NHL texts: Achamoth (Wisdom), Adonaios (Father), Archon (Ogdoad-Ruler), Hebdomad(Aeon emanation), Echmoth (Wisdom), Garment (Aeon Soul) [6 matches to the Sethian-Valentinian Lexicon, SGG]
The author of this text in order to write about the Sethian Specific terms, would have known “The Gospel of the Egyptians,” “The Apocryphon of John,” “The Gospel of Thomas,” and others. They are all based upon the Sethian and Valentinian Aeonology and Pythagorean monadic sequences, like Hebdomads.
I support the idea that the James text was pre-Valentinian work. Because the text uses early Sethian terms refering to the powers of male and female Archons, and the author did not use Barbelo, to explain the Ogdoad powers of the Mother, it points to Valentinian or Basilidian redaction and possibly reconstruction. Basilides did not use Sethian specific language to explain at least his version of the Mother, or divine feminine. James in my opinion a late Sethian era text.
James the Just did not live longer than 69 A.D. and some say he was killed in 62 A.D.  In perspective Mark died in 68 A.D. Nobody knows when Basilides was born, but he knew the Apostle Matthias, and Peter’s scribe, Glaucius. Basilides died in 138 A.D. (Mead)
Two copies of the James text exist. The text can be read with others I mentioned as part of the Nag Hammadi Library collection. http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/1ja.html

In another post I mentioned tripartite unions. The following uses the very same kind of logic to create American law. The Law means Logos to the Gnostic…

Logos; The term for Sethians and Valentinians can be synonymous with the Word of God as an emanation of truth, or as a reflection of man’s divine or Aeon form in the Pleroma. In both Sethian and Platonic Christian Gnosticism logos refers to a system of order, reason, and knowledge. Aristotle characterized logos as an examination of a premise using both inductive and deductive logic, i.e. checks and balances. The concept of truth in the Logos in Sethian Christianity is shown with the following algorithm used in Trivium Method logic. This principle is based upon a tripartite union where three roads meet to form one road, and where four roads or the tetrad meets in the center it forms a single point: (1st Premise/Monad A=C) (2nd Supporting Premise/Duad A=B = B=C) (Synthesis/Triad of A=B=C) = 1 Logos. (SGG-2014)

Proving American Rights

By

Tom Saunders, Bill of Attainder Project

For a very long time Americans have been living under the illusion that they are protected by the U.S. Constitution and by those elected officials who have vowed to uphold its mandates as the Law of the Land. At the same time Americans have been reduced from citizens to subjects by suddenly not having the right of private property over the ability of the government to take it.

Citizens are supposed to retain rights like due process, and at least by some of the founding fathers, these rights were considered property. Asset forfeiture and expanded powers of eminent domain override the citizen’s right of private property. The act is called a bill of attainder. Bills of attainder are forbidden in the Constitution in Article One….”no bill of attainder shall be passed.” Article 10 forbids states to pass them.

The simplest explanation I can give for what a bill of attainder is; “a law that plunders life, liberty, or property.”

American law has no one-line definition of bills of attainder. That is one of the reasons I wrote one in 1994 with the help of the Commission on Civil Rights and the Justice Department. The Commission said they could not use my findings. Since, others who have read my work have reasoned differently, but we still do not have our rights, in spite of the fact my work can be used to state what they are.

A more complete definition of what a bill of attainder is:

“A bill of attainder is a law or legal device used to outlaw people, suspend their civil liberties, confiscate their property, and punishes them or puts them to death without a trial.”(Saunders; CC93-1-1037 – Commission on Civil Rights, 1994; adopted by Libertarian Party of Oklahoma 1995)

Protection from bills of attainder should be considered one of the most basic Constitutional rights and protected provisions of civil liberties. Yet not even most attorneys or citizens can tell you what they are. This speaks to the fact that Americans are not prepared to demand their rights, they don’t know them. This is probably the most reasonable explanation why currently Americans are not protected from these outrageous laws, because people don’t know enough about them to demand enforcement against them.

Protections from bills of attainder are a form of protective Legalism that is meant to preserve individual liberty. Legalism in the extreme creates a social fabric in which every aspect of your life can be under a mandate. Ethical Legalism establishes a Democracy or Republic as a liberal citizenship where individual freedom, life, liberty, and property are preserved. America is no longer that place, in spite of winning some equity battles like gay marriage. Currently, no American has their rights to be protected by Article One, Section Nine; paragraph three… “No bill of attainder or Ex Post Facto law shall be passed.” This part of the Constitution remains literally ignored in the current establishment.

While studying how American law is made I learned the Constitution is a Platonic and Pythagorean style document, and is based upon tripartite unions to form one thing. The structure of the government is tripartite being composed of the Executive, the Legislature-Senate, and the Judicial branches to form one thing, the government.  (See; “Plato’s Republic”)

Constitutional rights can be enumerated by following the tripartite way American law is made. It follows an algorithm consistent with using the Constitution, legislation from the Senate and Congress, and the judicial decisions of the Court establishing stare decisis:

(Monad/A=C) (Duad/A=B, B=C) (Triad/Synthesis A=B=C) = 1

In this case….

Monad = the Constitution

Duad = the legislation of Congress and the Senate

Triad = Legislation, Judicial stare decisis, and Constitutional synthesis

This algorithm shows exactly how to enumerate a Constitutional right. I call this formula the “American Rights Formula.” It follows the same algorithm but in the example below is applied as a tool of logic by stating a premise, supporting premise, and synthesis. In other works I have enumerated the entire Bill of Rights with this method. I had the help of several attorneys who reviewed my work. I encourage you to give the formula a try, and see if you can use it.

In the real world I have used this method to fight police departments and state agencies in Oklahoma over the use of illegal pretentious roadblocks. Alone, I have had some success since 1994, but it has not been enough to restore our rights.

The American Rights Formula:

1. Show the computer search for the constitutional (‘State and Federal’) provisions (Like from the 1st. Amend. or bills of attainder) that describe the specific ‘right’ you are trying to demonstrate. = (Monad or 1st Premise, A=C)

2. Show any legislative acts relative to your target right. = (Duad as supporting premise, by the acts of the Senate and Congress, A=B=B=C).

3. Show the judicial decisions (stare decisis) of standards and violations of the American right you are trying to enumerate in a synthesis of all three searches. (Triad as Synthesis, A=B=C) = 1

The United States Code defines or decides bills of attainder cases with five key court decisions that are meant to explain the aspects of all the things a bill of attainder is. This is what the Court uses to decide what is and what is not a bill of attainder. These final decisions (stare decisis) represent the synthesis product from using the above formula. The list virtually replaces steps two and three of the American Rights Formula. If you study the cases you will understand the related legislations and Constitutional violations that prompted the court’s decisions.

It is from this list below that I compiled the elements of the one line definition of bills of attainder I use above. Not all rights can be proven with a limited source of descriptions where the law is described with a legally set list of references. Most laws can be stated with one line descriptions or definitions. The United States Code serves to define bills of attainder with this set list below.

Art. 1, Sec 9-3, United States Code:

U.S. v. Brown, 381 U.S. 437, 448-49 (1956) “What are known at common law as bills of pains and penalties, are outlawed by the ”bill of attainder” clause.

Communist Party of U.S. vs. Subversive Activities Control Board (1961). “The singling out of an individual for legislatively prescribed punishment constitutes a bill of attainder whether the individual is called by name or described in terms of conduct which because of its past conduct operates only as a designation of particular persons.”

U.S. v. Lovett, (1946), “Legislative acts, no matter what their form, that apply to either named individuals or easily ascertainable members of a group in such a way as to inflict punishment without a judicial trial, are bills of attainder under this clause.”

Cummings v. Missouri (1867), states, “A bill of attainder, is a legislative act which inflicts punishment without judicial trial and includes any legislative act which takes away the life, liberty or property of a particular named or easily ascertainable person or group of persons because the legislature thinks them guilty of conduct which deserves punishment.”

Re: Yung See Hee, 36 F. 437, (1888) “Supports that the doctrine of pains and penalties as punishment without trial, is inclusive as a bill of attainder.” (Source: U. S. Justice Dept. and the Commission on Civil Rights-CC 93-1-1037; Saunders, 1994)

Clearly, the law recognizes bills of attainder as more than one thing. A bill of attainder “proper” is when a person is put to death by order of the state without a trial. Roman citizens in the time of the Apostle Paul had this right. Paul saved his life from Roman soldiers twice by claiming the right of Roman citizenship. Paul had more protections from bills of attainder than Americans have today.

Without the protection from bills of attainder no other provision in the Constitution is safe from the plunder of using these forbidden instruments to eliminate citizen rights, including environmental protections. Currently environmental protections against mass plunder and deadly pollution do not really exist. This is in spite of having an Environmental Protection Agency. This situation is directly related to an unethical system of private and government networks working for the sake of power and greed. (See the works of; Naomi Klein, Robert Reich, Thomas Piketty)

To prove your rights, you have to be able to state them. The methods presented above are meant to be used for that purpose. I urge you to learn these methods and teach others how to prove their rights and you need to start the revolution that gets our rights back.

Context Shifting in the “Gospel of Thomas”
By
Tom Saunders, B.A. /B.S. Certified Linguist

Long before I understood that the “Gospel of Thomas” was a Gnostic text, like many others, I read Thomas and drew the predicate context from my own experiences with religious teaching. Then I figured out that the Thomas gospel is aligned closely to the Gnostic philosophies, epistemology, and metaphysics presented in the other Nag Hammadi Library texts.

Both Irenaeus, and Hippolytus present evidence in their anti-Gnostic works that the Naassenes who started the Apostle’s Village in Jerusalem had some important texts. One was a no longer extant “Gospel of Matthew;” they had the “Gospel of Thomas,” “The Gospel of the Egyptians,” and “The Apocryphon (Secret Book) of John.” These texts form the basis for the Gnostic epistemology. These texts can be found in the Nag Hammadi Library.

The first passage in the “Gospel of Thomas” reads:

“These are the Secret Sayings which the living Jesus spoke and which Didymos Judas Thomas wrote down.” (GThom)

What makes the Secret Sayings secret is if you cannot “context shift” the meanings of the sayings so the predicate context of the passages is Gnostic, you may miss the meaning of the sayings.

Words in Gnostic passages like spirit, soul, life, and word have tripartite meanings composed of mathematical, gematric, and literal contexts. Words like spirit, soul, life, and word, have hidden or secret meanings relative to the study of the Gnostic Aeonology. All of these words can serve as Aeon-Monads and grow with others to form sequences and matrices.

The Gnostic Aeonology is very much like Chinese Ba Gua (trigram) science. Christian Gnostics learned the same binary system which was used to construct the “I Ching.” This construction is blueprinted by the Tai Chi icon which is the Yin and Yang icon surrounded by eight ba gua also known as trigrams. The “I Ching” puts sets of eight things together to 64 trigrams which form into one thing. If you can read a Ba Gua sequence you can read an Aeon sequence, I’ve checked.

Instead of the term “Chi,” Gnostics use the term “Aeon” and they both mean virtually the same thing. There is no evidence I have seen that the Gnostics used the Heaven Sequence to construct Ogdoads, but both cultures used Ogdoads for very similar things, like building “memory palaces” and developing other skills. Gnostics called the term for the study of how Aeons affect the mind and body, “Kinetikos.” Loa Tzu explains the attributes of the Tai Chi system in his work the “Hua Hu Ching.”

The “Sacred Tetrad” is a Gnostic work that forms a memory palace where four Aeon-Monads, (Word, Life, Man, Church) turns into two decads, and two dodecads forming a 44 unit Aeon matrix. This construction is made of all the good attributes of Jesus. Two works reflect knowledge of this construction, “A Valentinian Exposition” which is refuted by Tertullian in his “Against the Valentinians.” Valentinus wrote is work much earlier in the 2nd century and would have died before Tertullian wrote his work.

There is a bump in the road for most people who try to read and understand works like the “Gospel of the Egyptians” and “The Apocryphon of John.” Both the anti-Gnostic works by Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Tertullian, and the Nag Hammadi Library use the unique vocabulary below relative to the Aeonology.

In order to do the correct context shifting you need to learn what the following terms mean in the list below relative to the flow of Aeons. These terms are in the “Gospel of the Egyptians,” and John’s “Secret Book” which tells how Jesus gained divinity:

(Abrasax, Adonaios, Aeons, Aphredon, Archons, Armedon, Armozel, Astraphaios, Autogenes, Barbelo, Bridal Chamber, Davithai, (Domedon) Doxomedon, Demiurge, Echamoth (Achamoth), Eleleth, Ennoia, Iao/Jeu, Gamaliel, Garment, Hebdomad, Kaliptos, Logos, Marsanes, Mirotheos, Monad, Ogdoad, Oriel, Pistis, Pleroma, Protennoia, Protophanes, Sabaoth, Saklas, Sophia, Totalities, Yaldabaoth, Youel) Note: There are variations for some spellings in the above list. (“Saunders Sethian-Valentinian Glossary”)

All of the above terms are applied to a single tripartite algorithm, (Monad/A=C) (Duad/A=B = B=C) (Triad synthesis/ A= B = C) =1. This algorithm is the formula for the emanation of all Aeons from the formation of the Monad to Duad, to Triad, to Tetrad, to Hexad, to Hebdomad, to Ogdoad and on up. All human emotions can be blueprinted to the formation of the Hebdomad. The power of Jesus as a divine entity is the power to control the Archons (Ogdoads) to use good to fight evil. Jesus has the power over Aeon-Hebdomads, good or evil.

There is evidence that earlier versions of the “Gospel of Thomas” used the term Aeon in logion 4. Hippolytus recorded a version of this passage in “Against All Heresies.” The Thomas passage was changed by later Valentinian scribes in the second century. The mention of Aeons in any early Christian work is a definite sign the work is Gnostic.

“The one who seeks me will find me in children from seven years of age and onwards. For there, hiding in the Fourteenth Aeon, I am revealed.” (Hippolytus, Ref. 5.7.20, GThom L-4)

Gnostic Christianity is not monster-free. Chapter Eight of the “Gospel of Mary” reveals the “Seven Powers of Wrath.” If you know something about the Aeonology and studied G.R.S. Mead’s work, it is no problem to understand Wrath in Mary is a description of the construction of an Aeon-Hebdomad emanation.

G.R.S. Mead writes, “In his Aeonology, Simon, like other Gnostic teachers, begins with the Word, the Logos, which springs up from the Depths of the Unknown-Invisible, Incomprehensible Silence…

…The Word, then, issuing from Silence is first a Monad, then a Duad, a Triad (Pythagorean Trivium) and a Hebdomad (trivium-quadrivium). For no sooner has differentiation commenced in it, and it passes from the state of Oneness, than the Duadic and Triadic state immediately supervene, arising, so to say, simultaneously in the mind, for the mind cannot rest on Duality, but is forced by a law of its nature to rest only on the joint emanation of the Two. Thus the first natural resting point is the Trinity. The next is the Hebdomad.” (G.R.S. Mead, “Simon Magus.”)

The context of the Monad to Hebdomad construction for good or evil emotions works well with how modern Linguists see “context shifting and attitude contexts…”

“Kaplan (1989) speculated that natural language was ‘monster-free;’ that it lacks operators that manipulate contexts, understood in the Kaplanian way as tuples of indices relating to the agent of the utterance, the time of utterance, and so forth. Schlenker (2003) showed convincingly that there are monsters after all. However, both Schlenker and Kaplan mostly consider attitude contexts. This means that, while we can be sure that there are monsters lurking in the attitudes, it is not clear where else they may be found.” (“Context Shifting in Questions and Elsewhere” by McCready)

Gnostics put the ‘attitude monsters’ in the Evil Matrix of Seven Powers who have seven powers. Wrath, Lust, Hate, Envy, Grief, Lies, and Fear can all be put in the Aeon-Hebdomad blueprint matrix. Further, if you study the Aeonology and the formation of hebdomads, you can learn to manipulate the 7×7 matrix. It is beyond the scope of this work to try and teach the Aeonology but understanding part of it explains how Gnostics understood Word or Logos as emanations.

Logos; The term for Sethians and Valentinians can be synonymous with the Word of God as an emanation of truth, or as a reflection of man’s divine or Aeon form in the Pleroma. In both Sethian and Platonic Christian Gnosticism logos refers to a system of order, reason, and knowledge. Aristotle characterized logos as an examination of a premise using both inductive and deductive logic, i.e. checks and balances. The concept of truth in the Logos in Sethian-Naassene Christianity is shown with the following algorithm used in Trivium Method logic. This principle is based upon a tripartite union where three roads meet to form one road, and where four roads or the tetrad meets in the center it forms a single point: (1st Premise/Monad A=C) (2nd Supporting Premise/Duad A=B = B=C) (Synthesis/Triad of A=B=C) = 1 Logos. (Saunders Gnostic Glossaries, 2014)

The Coptic “Gospel of Thomas” uses no Sethian specific terms. This is probably because later Gnostics decided to hide the elements of the Aeonology and the mathematical construction of the monadic sequence. The study of the monad is from the teachings of Pythagoras and was traditionally kept secret for centuries.

Jesus gains his power of divinity by becoming the Monad for Gnostic Christianity. All monads are formed from three things that become one thing. Plato in his work “Republic” wrote:

“Now then, join them to each other and make them a single one – for they are three – so that they grow together, and all are in a single image outside of the image of the man just like him who is unable to see the things inside him. But what is outside only is what he sees. And it is apparent what creature his image is in and that he was formed in a human image.” (Plato)

The “Gospel of the Egyptians” explains that Jesus gained the power of divinity by combining the Ogdoad powers of the Father (Adonaios), Mother (Barbelon), and Son (Jesus). I see part of the purpose of this text as a way to understand the Gnostic context of what Jesus said. This is why I see the “Thomas, John’s Secret Book and Egyptians” as companion texts.

To understand the Thomas gospel you must context shift so that the term Father is the Monad and refers to the Ogdoad powers of Adonaios, or Adonai-Sabaoth. Mother refers to the Ogdoad powers of Barbelon and they combine forming the Duad, and then bind with the Ogdoad powers of the Son as the Triad to become one thing.

Mariamne: Mariamne is one of the women known to have traveled with Jesus and his followers. She is also known as Mary Magdalene. According to the “Acts of Philip” by Leucius Charinus, Mariamne was Philip’s sister. According to Church history Philip and Mariamne lived and taught the followers of Simon Magus, and Dositheos. They had all been followers of John the Baptist along with Jesus. The “Acts of Philip” reveal that Mariamne returned to Jerusalem. Her remains were found in Jerusalem in an ossuary inside the Jesus Family Tomb. One Nag Hammadi document is attributed to her teaching, the “Gospel of Mary.” (SGG)
Most scholars think the “Gospel of Mary” was written in the 2nd century. I think Basilidians who wanted to preserve what they knew about Mary’s teaching may have written it somewhere at the turn of the first century. They may have written the GPhil also.  Basilides was a student of both the Apostle Matthias and Glausius, Peter’s scribe, according to both Papias and Clement. We do not know when he was born but we do know he became teacher to Valentinus. This put Valentinus in a valid Apostolic lineage in regard to the secret teachings of Jesus and his followers.
Thanks to the work of G.R.S. Mead much of what we know about Gnostics is explained in his available works online at the NHL Archives. Mead has preserved some of the actual writings of Basilides, and Simon Magus. The central theme of both works are about aspects of the Sethian Aeonology. Mead even produces examples of Hebdomads related to Simon Magus. Mead never saw the Nag Hammadi collection as it is today.
The “Gospel of Mary” contains one Sethian specific term, Aeon. Any reference to the Aeonology pretty much makes the document Sethian-Valentinian Gnostic.
“In an Aeon I was released from a world, and in a Type from a type, and from the fetter of oblivion which is transient. From this time on will I attain to the rest of the time, of the season, of the Aeon, in silence.”
Jesus said, “Do not lay down any rules beyond what I appointed you, and do not give a Law like the lawgiver lest you be constrained by it.” (“Gospel of Mary, Ch.8)
There is only one possible source for knowing what Jesus laid down, and that is in the gospels and scriptures of the Naassenes and those later by Valentinians. To understand these documents requires a working knowledge of the Aeonology and how the Aeon-Monad becomes a working sequence that can turn into a good or evil Hebdomad, Ogdoad, etc.
The following is from the Naassene fragment and is one of the earliest Christian written works…
(Jesus says) “Through Æons universal will I make a Path; Through Mysteries all I’ll open up a Way!
And Forms of Gods will I display; The secrets of the Holy Path I will hand on…
And call them Gnosis.”
The secrets of the Holy Path are related directly to how Jesus is regarded divinity in the Aeonology, i.e. God or more correctly the Logos…
Logos; The term for Sethians and Valentinians can be synonymous with the Word of God as an emanation of truth, or as a reflection of man’s divine or Aeon form in the Pleroma. In both Sethian and Platonic Christian Gnosticism logos refers to a system of order, reason, and knowledge. Aristotle characterized logos as an examination of a premise using both inductive and deductive logic, i.e. checks and balances. The concept of truth in the Logos in Sethian Christianity is shown with the following algorithm used in Trivium Method logic. This principle is based upon a tripartite union where three roads meet to form one road, and where four roads or the tetrad meets in the center it forms a single point: (1st Premise/Monad A=C) (2nd Supporting Premise/Duad A=B = B=C) (Synthesis/Triad of A=B=C) = 1 Logos. (SGG-2014)
All Aeon emanations work by the principles of the above algorythm.

The central text in the Nag Hammadi Library collection can be seen as “The Gospel of Thomas,” also known as “The Secret Sayings of the Living Jesus.” It is central because its contents are passages made from what Jesus said. Without having “what Jesus said” there could be no epistemology for Christianity as a philosophy.

Of great concern to students of the NHL is how “Thomas” as scripture is used as an instrument. There are clues in 1st century history. There were Jewish rules for interpretation.

The Seven Rules of Hillel on interpreting scripture existed long before Rabbi Hillel (60 BCE – 20 CE?), but he was the first known person to write them down. The rules are so old we see them used in the Old Testament. Because Hillel was a known teacher at the time of Jesus, it is logical that these Sethian Jews, familiar with the teaching of Levites would know the Seven Rules. http://www.yashanet.com/studies/revstudy/hillel.htm

 

Hillel was a Sanhedrin Priest who shared his duties in regard to Law with another Priest names Shammai. The Sanhedrin was the lower system of lawmakers active in the Jewish Temple.

The Seven Rules of Hillel:

(1) Chol v’chomer – argument from lesser to greater (or greater to lesser) “If this …. then how much more so…”

(2) Gezeirah shavah – argument by analogy — comparing similar words in different passages.

(3) Binyan av – a foundational passage serves to interpretate other passages.

(4) Kelal ufrat – a general summary statement is followed by an explanatory, more specific statement.

(5) Sh’enei ketuvim – standard from two passages – a decision where two laws that seem to contradict are settled by another verse which resolves the conflict.

(6) Ke yotzei bo mimakom acher – “like it says elsewhere” – explanation of a word in one text is clarified by use of same word in an unrelated text.

(7) Davar halameid mi’inyano – definition from context of total passage. http://www.drybonesrestorationcompany.com/articles/Series/Hebraic%20Foundations/Rules_Hll.pdf

Hillel concentrated on interpreting the Spirit of the Law, while Shammai followed the letter of the Law, both according to scripture. Clearly, Jesus departed from the letter of the law in concern to matters like circumcision, redeption, salvation, and spirituality.
According to the anti-Gnostics, circa 180 A.D., the primary texts for earlier Sethians were a now extinct version of the “Gospel of Matthew,” an early version of “The Gospel of Thomas,” “The Gospel of the Egyptians,” and “The Apocryphon of John.” This small group of early Christian works constitute a core collection added with the other Sethian-Valentinian works of the HHL. (Hippolytus, Ref. 5, also see Gaffney, “Gnostic Secrets of the Naassenes”)
Some modern scholars contend that “The Gospel of Thomas,” is not Gnostic, and not related to the Nag Hammadi works. I contend that if you do not understand the basic principles of the Sethian epistemology, the Aeonology, you will not realize the Thomas gospel is a Sethian text and a related work. This is because the Thomas Gospel in the NHL was redacted so no Sethian Specific words were used in the Coptic text. This fact can be shown with a passage preserved by Hippolytus.

works he reveals Thomas saying 4, which can be compared to the Coptic version below. The comparison reveals that the Hippolytus’ version uses the Sethian Specific term “Aeon.”

“The one who seeks me will find me in children from seven years of age and onwards. For there, hiding in the Fourteenth Aeon, I am revealed.” (Hippolytus, Ref. 5.7.20, GThom L-4)

“The old man will not hesitate to ask a little child of seven days old about the place of life, and he will live. For many who are first will be last, and they will become a single people.” (Coptic Thomas, L-4)

The Nag Hammadi collection represent authors who understood Hillel’s rule No. 6, ” …the explanation of a word in one text is clarified by use of same word in an unrelated text.” And, similar words in related passages are the basis for drawing analogies.
The one Sethian Specific term that relates the Sethian-Valentinian works to the same epistemology is the word Aeon. If the Nag Hammadi authors followed Hillel in regard to what Aeon means, then Simon Magus, Dositheos, Jesus, Basilides, and Valentinians understood the same concept. I define the term Aeon as:
Aeon: The term refers to emanations (spirit or pneuma) from the Pleroma, or the energy of thought entering man’s mind, like from the demiurge as an Aeon-Monad. All human emotions enter our minds as Aeon emanations. Aeons are formed from tripartite unions of a Monad, Duad, and Triad. Aeons as emanations are one-half of a duality, and Aeon sequences like Hebdomads and Ogdoads are made of other Aeon-Monads which can form a matrix. This is like the Evil Trinity, or Sacred Tetrad. Aeon names are given mathematical, literal, and gematric tripartite values. Aeon names usually represent titles for whole fields of study. The emanation process in Sethianism is based upon the early Sethian Father, Mother, and Son, Ogdoad trinity, giving Jesus the power of divinity as the Monad. This method is based upon the concept of three roads meeting to form one road, and when four roads come together, it forms one point. Aeons are constructed from Monads aligned with the algorithm of the Trivium Method. All Aeon emanations like triads, tetrads, hebdomads, and ogdoads work based upon the same tripartite algorithm: (1st Premise/Monad A=C) (2nd Supporting Premise/Duad A=B = B=C) (Synthesis/Triad of A=B=C) = 1. (Logos) (SGG, 2015)
The use of the term Aeon is in almost every work of the NHL collection. If the term Aeon is not used, other elements of the Aeonology are. The underlying philosophy of the Sethians and Valentinians is their Aeonology. The study of the affect of Aeons on people was called “Kinetikos.” I’m sure any NHL author from 1st or 2nd century Gnostic Christianity would have understood the following terms…

The Sethian-Valentinian Lexicon:

(Abrasax, Adonaios, Aeons, Aphredon, Archons, Armedon, Armozel, Astraphaios, Autogenes, Barbelo, Bridal Chamber, Davithai, (Domedon) Doxomedon, Demiurge, Echamoth (Achamoth), Eleleth, Ennoia, Iao/Jeu, Gamaliel, Garment, Hebdomad, Kaliptos, Logos, Marsanes, Mirotheos, Monad, Ogdoad, Oriel, Pistis, Pleroma, Protennoia, Protophanes, Sabaoth, Saklas, Sophia, Totalities, Yaldabaoth, Youel)

List of Works and number of parallels to the S-V Lexicon:

“The Gospel of the Egyptians” * (23 parallels to the above lexicon)

“Books of Jeu (Iao)” (19)

“The Apocryphon of John” * (18)

“Trimorophic Protennoia” (17)

“Zostrianos” (17)

“The Second Treatise of the Great Seth” (12)

“Allogenes” (10)

“The Pistis Sophia” * (9)

“Melchizedek” (8)

“On the Origin of the World” (8)

“Hypostasis of the Archons” (8)

“The Three Steles of Seth” (7)

“Marsanes” (6)

“The First Apocalypse of James” (5)

“The Gospel of Philip”* (5)

“The Gospel of Thomas” * (3)

“The Gospel of Mary” * (1)

(*) Indicates works known by Hippolytus or Irenaeus around 180 A.D.

Outside of Hillel’s box of rules are the “Gospel of Thomas” parables. The interpretation of Christian parables is explained by Clement…
“Wherefore the holy mysteries of the prophecies are veiled in the parables preserved for chosen men, selected to knowledge in consequence of their faith; for the style of the Scriptures is parabolic. Wherefore also the Lord, who was not of the world, came as one who was of the world to men. For He was clothed with all virtue; and it was His aim to lead man, the foster-child of the world, up to the objects of intellect, and to the most essential truths by knowledge, from one world to another. Wherefore also He employed metaphorical description; for such is the parable, a narration based on some subject which is not the principal subject, but similar to the principal subject, and leading him who understands to what is the true and principal thing; or, as some say, a mode of speech presenting with vigor, by means of other circumstances, what is the principal subject.” (”Stromata,” Bk. VI, et sec.)
Several passages from different sources like Clement and Theodotus state that Jesus only spoke in parables to the masses. He taught his closest followers in private. This appears to be the case, and links the study of the Aeonology to the historical Jesus.
Tom Saunders

Aeons

By

Tom Saunders

 ValAeons

A mystery exists in the study of Nag Hammadi Library works as to what is actually meant by the term Aeon. What does the term really mean? There is a great deal to know about Aeons. Here are a few passages using the term…

“Of the universal Aeons there are two shoots, without beginning or end, springing from one Root, which is the Power invisible, inapprehensible Silence. Of these shoots one is manifested from above, which is the Great Power, the Universal Mind ordering all things, male, and the other, (is manifested) from below, the Great Thought, female, producing all things.” (Simon Magus,”Apophasis Megale”)

“In an Aeon I (Jesus) was released from a world, and in a Type from a type, and from the fetter of oblivion which is transient. From this time on will I attain to the rest of the time, of the season, of the Aeon, in silence.” (GMary)

“The one who seeks me will find me in children from seven years of age and onwards. For there, hiding in the Fourteenth Aeon, I am revealed.” (Hippolytus, Ref. 5.7.20, GThom L-4)

“Through Aeons universal will I make a Path; Through Mysteries All, I’ll open up a Way!” (Naassene Fragment)

The mention of Aeons in a Nag Hammadi text is a sure sign the text has Sethian-Valentinian roots to the same secret teachings of the Naassenes. This teaching was preserved by Basilidians and later Valentinians. This fact can be shown by the shared unique Sethian Specific terms used in Nag Hammadi texts by known Valentinians and earlier Naassenes. Aeons are complex structures. Ancients who studied Aeons called the science of how Aeons affected the body, Kinetikos. Here is how I define the term Aeon…

 

Aeon: The term refers to emanations (spirit or pneuma) from the Pleroma, or the energy of thought entering man’s mind. All human emotions enter our minds as Aeon emanations which start with a Monad and grow to a Hebdomad. Aeons are formed from tripartite unions of a Monad, Duad, and Triad. Aeons as types of emanations are one-half of a duality, and Aeon sequences like Hebdomads and Ogdoads are made of other Aeon-Monads which can form a matrix. Aeon names like Spirit or Soul are given mathematical, literal, and gematric tripartite values. Aeon names usually represent titles for whole fields of study that become one field of study. The emanation process in Sethian-Valentinian works is based upon the early Gnostic Father, Mother, and Son, Ogdoad trinity, giving Jesus the power of divinity as the Monad. This method is based upon the concept of three roads meeting to form one road; and when four roads come together, it forms one point. Aeons are constructed from Monads aligned with the algorithm of the Trivium Method. All Aeon emanations like triads, tetrads, hebdomads, and ogdoads, etc. work based upon the same algorithm: (1st Premise/Monad A=C) (2nd Supporting Premise/Duad A=B = B=C) (Synthesis/Triad of A=B=C) = 1. (Logos) (SGG, 2015)

 Aeons

Aeon-Monads can form triads, tetrads, hebdomads, ogdoads, decads, etc. No matter the size of the Aeon sequence the tripartite formula applies to its construction. This allows both even and odd numbered sequences to have equal power in the tripartite unity to form one thing.

The ancient Gnostics knew that every basic human emotion could be put into the form of a Hebdomad. Jesus had the power of Light, meaning the power of good Aeons over evil Aeons. This is to say that he taught the power of recognizing the emotions as subtle powers presented a model that could be manipulated.

“Thus, from the Hebdomad, the Light–which had already come down from above from the Ogdoad unto the Son of the Hebdomad–descended upon Jesus, son of Mary, and he was illumined, being caught on fire in harmony with the Light that streamed into him…” (The Apostle Basilides, see Mead)

 

Hebdomad; Refers to a seven unit, two part Aeon emanation as a power composed of a trivium (Monad, Duad, Triad) and quadrivium (Tetrad, Pentad, Hexad, Hebdoad) that follows the Trivium Method algorithm: (1st Premise/Trivium A=C) 2nd Supporting Premise/Quadrivium A=B = B=C) (Synthesis of A=B=C) = 1.

Another way to show the trivium and quadrivium as an Aeon-Hebdomad is: (h.e.b.) (d.o.a.d.) = 1. One way to describe how a Hebdomad works is by explaining the trivium works as a cause or sign to give information, and the quadrivium works like a signal or effect to represent directed action. These principles are based upon the ancient Trivium Methods “where three roads form one road, and where four roads meet, forms a single point.” (SGG-2014)

 

Ogdoad; Refers to a two part eight unit Aeon emanation as a body, composed of two tetrads that form a 1st and 2nd premise in the Trivium Method formula: (1st Tetrad/Premise A=C) (2nd Tetrad/Supporting Premise A=B =B=C) (Synthesis of A=B=C) = 1 Ogdoad. Another way to express the Monadic values of the Ogdoad is: (A. Monad, B. Duad, C. Triad, D. Tetrad) (E. Pentad, F. Hexad, G. Hebdoad H. Ogdoad) (Synthesis A=B=C=D=E=F=G=H) =1. A Tetrad works like a four point compass, and an Ogdoad works like an eight point compass. There are actually many different applications for the Ogdoad as a heuristic device. (SGG-2014)

The significance of the Ogdoad in Gnostic literature is that the power of divinity of Jesus is based upon the tripartite union of the three Ogdoad powers of the Father, Mother, and Son. This trinity is explained in the “Apocryphon of John,” “The Gospel of the Egyptians,” and other NHL related works. As an epistemology, this trinity is very different from the mainstream version of how Jesus gained the power of divinity.

This literal comparison of different Christian epistemology is for a discussion outside the scope of this work.

The Gnostic Aeon-Ogdoad, and the Chinese eight ba gua or trigrams of the icon of Tai Chi philosophy are used as heuristic devices the same way. According to Fung Yu-Lan, Pythagorean math and the Tai Chi’s use of trigrams are virtually the same tool. The Gnostic Sacred Tetrad, the Evil Trinity, and the Chinese “I Ching” are all constructed into a matrix the same way; all built into a literal, gematric and mathematical binomial system. All Chi or Aeon emanations are constructed based upon the tripartite algorithm, (A=C) (A=B B=C) (A=B=C) = 1.

In his work the “Hua Hu Ching” Lao Tzu names over twenty heuristic applications for Ba Gua science. As far as I know the Asian system did not use the Hebdomad. I have met other people that knew how a Ba Gua sequence worked. This is how I discovered that the Aeonology and the Tai Chi’s Ba Gua Science are the same tools. After I practiced putting together eight unit ba gua sequences, I figured out the Hebdomad, and how it works with the tripartite algorithm.

Gnostic Christians saw Jesus as the Monad, and Aeon of Aeons. In my opinion the study of Aeons is imperative to the understanding of Nag Hammadi texts.

….

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.)

The first ten aeons in the Valentinian schema are, Bythios (Profound) and Mixis (Mixture), Ageratos (Never old) and Henosis (Union), Autophyes (Essential nature) and Hedone (Pleasure), Acinetos (Immoveable) and Syncrasis (Commixture,) Monogenes (Only-begotten) and Macaria (Happiness). http://www.wbenjamin.org/hegel_kabbalah.html

Aeonology: The study of the emanations of the Aeons from the void, or Silence. G.R.S. Meade writes, “In his Aeonology, Simon, like other Gnostic teachers, begins with the Word, the Logos, which springs up from the Depths of the Unknown-Invisible, Incomprehensible Silence. It is true that he does not so name the Great Power, He who has stood, stands and will stand; but that which comes forth from Silence is Speech, and the idea is the same whatever the terminology employed may be.

The Word, then, issuing from Silence is first a Monad, then a Duad, a Triad and a Hebdomad. For no sooner has differentiation commenced in it, and it passes from the state of Oneness, than the Duadic and Triadic state immediately supervene, arising, so to say, simultaneously in the mind, for the mind cannot rest on Duality, but is forced by a law of its nature to rest only on the joint emanation of the Two. Thus the first natural resting point is the Trinity. The next is the Hebdomad” (G.R.S. Meade, “Simon Magus.”)

gnostic cosmology