gnostic


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
The Instructor Gospel
By
Tom Saunders
The “Instructor Gospel” is a set of sayings from the “Gospel of Thomas” that combine to form what Jesus said in terms of what we should do. There is a divide in religion over the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. The Christian movement sought…“a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit; for the letter kills, but the spirit gives life.” (II Corinthians 3:6.)
Jesus said to Mariamne, “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”)
The specific criteria of the sayings below is that each contains at least one specific instruction from Jesus to do something…
Gospel of Instruction
1. (L-2.) Jesus said, “Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds. When he finds, he will become troubled. When he becomes troubled, he will be astonished, and he will rule over the All.”
2. (L-5) Jesus said, “Recognize what is in your sight, and that which is hidden from you will become plain to you . For there is nothing hidden which will not become manifest.”

3. (L-6) His disciples questioned him and said to him, “Do you want us to fast? How shall we pray? Shall we give alms? What diet shall we observe?”

Jesus said, “Do not tell lies, and do not do what you hate, for all things are plain in the sight of heaven. For nothing hidden will not become manifest, and nothing covered will remain without being uncovered.”

4. (L-12) The disciples said to Jesus, “We know that you will depart from us. Who is to be our leader?”

Jesus said to them, “Wherever you are, you are to go to James the righteous, for whose sake heaven and earth came into being.”

5. (L-14) Jesus said to them, “If you fast, you will give rise to sin for yourselves; and if you pray, you will be condemned; and if you give alms, you will do harm to your spirits. When you go into any land and walk about in the districts, if they receive you, eat what they will set before you, and heal the sick among them. For what goes into your mouth will not defile you, but that which issues from your mouth – it is that which will defile you.”

6. (L-15) Jesus said, “When you see one who was not born of woman, prostrate yourselves on your faces and worship him. That one is your father.”

7. (L-22) Jesus saw infants being suckled. He said to his disciples, “These infants being suckled are like those who enter the kingdom.”

They said to him, “Shall we then, as children, enter the kingdom?”

Jesus said to them, “When you make the two one, and when you make the inside like the outside and the outside like the inside, and the above like the below, and when you make the male and the female one and the same, so that the male not be male nor the female female; and when you fashion eyes in the place of an eye, and a hand in place of a hand, and a foot in place of a foot, and a likeness in place of a likeness; then will you enter the kingdom.”

8. (L-24) His disciples said to him, “Show us the place where you are, since it is necessary for us to seek it.” He said to them, “Whoever has ears, let him hear. There is light within a man of light, and he lights up the whole world. If he does not shine, he is darkness.”

9. (L-25) Jesus said, “Love your brother like your soul, guard him like the pupil of your eye.”

10. (L-27) <Jesus said,> “If you do not fast as regards the world, you will not find the kingdom. If you do not observe the Sabbath as a Sabbath, you will not see the father.”

11. (L-33) Jesus said, “Preach from your housetops that which you will hear in your ear. For no one lights a lamp and puts it under a bushel, nor does he put it in a hidden place, but rather he sets it on a lampstand so that everyone who enters and leaves will see its light.”

12. (L-36) Jesus said, “Do not be concerned from morning until evening and from evening until morning about what you will wear.”

13. (L-37) His disciples said, “When will you become revealed to us and when shall we see you?”

Jesus said, “When you disrobe without being ashamed and take up your garments and place them under your feet like little children and tread on them, then will you see the son of the living one, and you will not be afraid”

14. (L-42) Jesus said, “Become passers-by.”

15. (L-50) Jesus said, “If they say to you, ‘Where did you come from?’, say to them, ‘We came from the light, the place where the light came into being on its own accord and established itself and became manifest through their image.’ If they say to you, ‘Is it you?’, say, ‘We are its children, we are the elect of the living father.’ If they ask you, ‘What is the sign of your father in you?’, say to them, ‘It is movement and repose.'”

16. (L-59) Jesus said, “Take heed of the living one while you are alive, lest you die and seek to see him and be unable to do so.”

17. (L-60) <They saw> a Samaritan carrying a lamb on his way to Judea. He said to his disciples, “That man is round about the lamb.”

They said to him, “So that he may kill it and eat it.”

He said to them, “While it is alive, he will not eat it, but only when he has killed it and it has become a corpse.”

They said to him, “He cannot do so otherwise.”

He said to them, “You too, look for a place for yourself within repose, lest you become a corpse and be eaten.”

18. (L-62) Jesus said, “It is to those who are worthy of my mysteries that I tell my mysteries. Do not let your left (hand) know what your right (hand) is doing.”

19. (L-63) Jesus said, “There was a rich man who had much money. He said, ‘I shall put my money to use so that I may sow, reap, plant, and fill my storehouse with produce, with the result that I shall lack nothing.’ Such were his intentions, but that same night he died. Let him who has ears hear.”

20. (L-65) He said, “There was a good man who owned a vineyard. He leased it to tenant farmers so that they might work it and he might collect the produce from them. He sent his servant so that the tenants might give him the produce of the vineyard. They seized his servant and beat him, all but killing him. The servant went back and told his master. The master said, ‘Perhaps he did not recognize them.’ He sent another servant. The tenants beat this one as well. Then the owner sent his son and said, ‘Perhaps they will show respect to my son.’ Because the tenants knew that it was he who was the heir to the vineyard, they seized him and killed him. Let him who has ears hear.”

21. (L-66) Jesus said, “Show me the stone which the builders have rejected. That one is the cornerstone.”
22. (L-73) Jesus said, “The harvest is great but the laborers are few. Beseech the Lord, therefore, to send out laborers to the harvest.”
23. (L-77) Jesus said, “It is I who am the light which is above them all. It is I who am the all. From me did the all come forth, and unto me did the all extend. Split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there.”
24. (L-81) Jesus said, “Let him who has grown rich be king, and let him who possesses power renounce it.”

25. (L-88) Jesus said, “The angels and the prophets will come to you and give to you those things you (already) have. And you too, give them those things which you have, and say to yourselves, ‘When will they come and take what is theirs?'”

26. (L-90) Jesus said, “Come unto me, for my yoke is easy and my lordship is mild, and you will find repose for yourselves.”

27. (L-92) Jesus said, “Seek and you will find. Yet, what you asked me about in former times and which I did not tell you then, now I do desire to tell, but you do not inquire after it.”

28. (L-93) <Jesus said,> “Do not give what is holy to dogs, lest they throw them on the dung-heap. Do not throw the pearls to swine, lest they […] it […].”

29. (L-95) Jesus said, “If you have money, do not lend it at interest, but give it to one from whom you will not get it back.”

30.(L-100) They showed Jesus a gold coin and said to him, “Caesar’s men demand taxes from us.”

He said to them, “Give Caesar what belongs to Caesar, give God what belongs to God, and give me what is mine.”

31. (L-106) Jesus said, “When you make the two one, you will become the sons of man, and when you say, ‘Mountain, move away,’ it will move away.”

32. (L-110) Jesus said, “Whoever finds the world and becomes rich, let him renounce the world.”

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.

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

 

Reading 4 2 14, The Alchemical Tarot Renewed by Robert M Place

Reading 4 2 14, The Alchemical Tarot Renewed by Robert M Place

 

 

Position 1 Hanged Man, air, beginning…

Position 2 The Magus, reversed. Fire. changing. maturing

Position 3, the Queen of Vessels, Water of Water, Goddess as grail bearer of the Ocean

Position 4 9 swords, Air, destruction, cutting, moon, sex, completion not quite complete

Position 5 The High Priestess, Sophia, Lifter of the Veil, Bearer of Gnosis, Shekinah, Her of the heavens.

 

 

Tarot is an interesting thing. It works on many levels and in many ways. Some even view it as the perfect window into the soul. I don’t believe they are that good, personally…One large aspect of modern Tarot is the Hermetic traditions. The Hermetic traditions center around a form of Gnosticism (see the passages of the Corpus Hermeticum in comparison to Sethian for example cosmological beliefs etc.) centering around a divine priest in the Melchizadeck tradition honoring all priests, but from Thoth. Thoth the A Egyptian God, to Thoth the Atlantean. To a more familiar Hermes and Mercury. As an archetype for all priests the Hermetic tradition then is an interesting one. By archetype we mean more Platonic archetype and not Jungian.

One key principle or more accurately axiom of Hermeticism is “As above, So below.” The concept of macro and microcosm. The universe in miniature and in full expanse, the self and the Self. Hermeticism textually goes back around 2000 years, or approx. 1st Cent CE. Of course all text documents, of such nature are often far older than their written equivalents, oral tradition can date things… but that’s an argument for another time.

Tarot then can be seen through this lens of the Hermetic Axiom. We can see the court cards and number cards as the Microcosm, or the self. The trumps then can be seen as the Macrocosm. The Macrocosm of course can be seen as the Nous or divine mind, the mind of the divine.

 

The above reading is interesting in that it is composed of three potent Macrocosmic images and two Microcosmic images.

Nous: “Mind”, The soul, not the same as ‘pneuma’ or spirit. It is the part of
the anima that gives us consciousness. The anima as a whole gives life (or
literally movement.. “animates”) to our bodies. Tatian declares the soul as a
special kind of spirit. (See; Tatian’s “Letter to the Greeks’)

 

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. Pythagoris 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.” See also; ”A Valentinian
Exposition.”) ) The Sacred ogdoad according to some sources is: Barbelo (deep), Sige (silence), Nous (mind), Veritus (truth), Sermo (word), Vita (life), Homo (man), Ecclesia (church). The last member of the group acts to syncretize the group.

 

Rba , Rabai – elect priest, chief intator and the ordainer of new Mandaean priests. Holds the office known as rabuta. Compare to the Jewish “rabbi”.

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 Sufi mystic Ibn al-Arabi drew a diagram similar to the one used to develop a pattern around a khatam (see above). However, Al-Arabi’s diagram’s diagram is concerned with spirituality, not ornamentation. He drew it as part of his explanation that “all phenomena are nothing but manifestations of Being, which is one with God.” Conincidentally, Al-Arabi was born in Spain at around the same time the practice of zillij, mosaic design, was starting to flourish. As Sufism had particular appeal to North Africa, his spirtual use of the pattern may explain the prolific use of the eight-point star and and symetries of eight in Moroccan Islamic patterns.

 

The number eight was important among Sufi mystics. “The octagon, with a ninth point in the center, is also central to the mystical symbology of Sufism. It is the seal or design which Ernest Scott says ‘reaches for the innermost secrets of man’. Meaning wholeness, power and perfection, this primary geometrical symbol is one which Sufis associate with Shambhala …”

On his website of natural patterns, Ian Alexander refers to the eight-point star as both the Sufi star and the Moroccan star. He offers the following explanation, as quoted from Friday mosque in Iran “Form is symbolised by the square. Expansion is symbolised by the square with triangles pointing outwards (an 8-pointed star). Contraction is symbolised by the square with triangles pointing inwards (a 4-pointed star). The two star-shapes together symbolise the cycle of creation, ‘the breath of the compassionate.’”

Origins and Meanings of the Eight-Point Star

 

 

 

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