If WE REALLY want prayer, we’ll have to give it time. We must slow down to a human tempo and we’ll begin to have time to listen. And as soon as we listen to what’s going on, things will begin to take shape by themselves.

–Thomas Merton


How shall I pray to you, Barbelo,
The nameless and unknowable,
The Infinite and Eternal,
Self-generating, Self-begetting,
Mother and Father,
Holy One –

Your name is no name,
It is only an indication,
Your being is No-Thingness,
Yet you are ground of all;

If anyone speaks of you, it is a lie,
And prayer to you is surely a deception,
For you are the Hidden God, the Alien God,
Whom no mortal has ever seen at any time –

Those who worship you, do not know you,
But those who know you, they understand perfect worship,
There is no offering you invoke, no rite that you demand,
There is no law that you give but the freedom of will,
Your Messenger has spoken clearly, saying,
“Worship the Most High in spirit and truth.”

You are Agatho Daimon, the Great Spirit,
You are the Virgin of Light, the Bornless One,
Emanating the Human One of Light and Sophia,
And all of the Immortals of the Pleroma –

Through these you reveal yourself and impart your Divine Gnosis,
Yet, as you are in yourself, you are the Great Unknown, the Unmanifest;
If there is a prayer to you it is your Holy Spirit in me that prays, the Divine I Am,
For only the Perfect can invoke your Holy Name and pray in your Divine Presence
All in the Speaking Silence of Primordial Meditation,
A prayer of Pure Being, the Great Seth: Amen.

A Gnostic Prayer to Barbelo

Tau Malachi, Sophia Fellowship, Ecclesia Pistis Sophia O. S. G.


You yourself must be purifiers and redeemers of your soul, which is established in every place, so that you may be reckoned in the company of the Fathers of Light…of the Kingdom in the New Aeon, in the place of Joy.



………………………………………………………………………Barbelo (BARBHLW): Generally the first aeon, body or voice in the Sethian creation myth; “the first virginal emanation,” it may have an androgynous connotation, but represents a Gnostic version of Yin, and Yang, and the sexual energy called ‘Jing’. (See Allogenes, Tractate 3, Codex XI, of the Nag Hammadi
Lib. See also: Pistis Sophia, Ch. 8, BK 1, Askew Codex. See also: ”Apocryphon of John,” ”Marsenes,” ”The Gospel of the Egyptians,” ”Melchizedek,” ”TheGospel of Judas,” Trimorphic Protennoia,” ”The Three Steles of Seth, and Zostrianos”) “I cast into her the first power which I had received from the
Barbelo, which is the body which I wore in the height.” (”Pistis Sophia”) ”And I saw holy powers by means of the Luminaries of the virginal male Barbelo telling me that I would be able to test what happens in the world:” (Allogenes) ”Great is the first aeon, male virginal Barbelo, the first glory of the invisible Father, she who is called perfect.” (”The Three Steles of Seth”) ”O Mother of the aeons, Barbelo! O first-born of the aeons, splendid Doxomedon Dom[…]! O glorious one, Jesus Christ!’ (”Melchizedek”)

“She requested from the invisible, virginal Spirit – that is Barbelo – to give her FOREKNOWLEDGE. And the Spirit consented. And when he had consented, the foreknowledge came forth, and it stood by the FORETHOUGHT; it originates from the thought of the invisible, virginal Spirit. It glorified him and his perfect power, Barbelo, for it was for her sake that it had come into being.

“And she requested again to grant her INDESTRUCTIBILITY, and he consented. When he had consented, indestructibility came forth, and it stood by the thought and the foreknowledge. It glorified the invisible One and Barbelo, the one for whose sake they had come into being. “

And Barbelo requested to grant her ETERNAL LIFE. And the invisible Spirit consented. And when he had consented, eternal life came forth, and they attended and glorified the invisible Spirit and Barbelo, the one for whose sake they had come into being.

“And she requested again to grant her TRUTH. And the invisible Spirit consented. And when he had consented, truth came forth, and they attended and glorified the invisible, excellent Spirit and his Barbelo, the one for whose sake they had come into being.

“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

The Barbelo

This Gnostic figure, appearing in a number of systems, the Nicolaites, the “Gnostics” of Epiphanius, the Sethians, the system of the “Evangelium Mariae” and that in Iren., I, xxix, 2 sq., remains to a certain extent an enigma. The name barbelo, barbeloth, barthenos has not been explained with certainty. In any case she represents the supreme female principle, is in fact the highest Godhead in its female aspect. Barbelo has most of the functions of the ano Sophia as described above. So prominent was her place amongst some Gnostics that some schools were designated as Barbeliotae, Barbelo worshippers of Barbelognostics. She is probably none other than the Light-Maiden of the Pistis Sophia, the thygater tou photos or simply the Maiden, parthenos. In Epiphanius (Haer., xxvi, 1) and Philastrius (Haer., xxxiii) Parthenos (Barbelos) seems identical with Noria, whoplays a great role as wife either of Noe or of Seth. The suggestion, that Noria is “Maiden”, parthenos, Istar, Athena, Wisdom, Sophia, or Archamoth, seems worthy of consideration.


further: THE GNOSTIC THREEFOLD PATH TO ENLIGHTENMENT The Ascent of Mind and the Descent of Wisdom Novum Testamentum XXII, 4 (1980) by JOHN D. TURNER


Sethian Gnosticism a Literary history by JOHN D. TURNER




Jesus said, “The souls of every human generation will die. When these people,

however, have completed the time of the kingdom and the spirit leaves them, their bodies will die but their souls will be alive, and they will be taken up.”


–Gospel of Judas


My Father has given me everything, and he is the only one who knows the Son. The only one who truly knows the Father is the Son. But the Son wants to tell others about the Father, so that they can know him too.

–Matthew 11:27


My Father has given me everything, and he is the only one who knows the Son. The only one who really knows the Father is the Son. But the Son wants to tell others about the Father, so that they can know him too.

–Luke 10:22


When Jesus and his disciples had finished eating, he asked, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than the others do?”  Simon Peter answered, “Yes, Lord, you know I do!”

   “Then feed my lambs,” Jesus said.

    Jesus asked a second time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

   Peter answered, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you!”

   “Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus told him.

    Jesus asked a third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

   Peter was hurt because Jesus had asked him three times if he loved him. So he told Jesus, “Lord, you know everything. You know I love you.”

   Jesus replied, “Feed my sheep. I tell you for certain that when you were a young man, you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will hold out your hands. Then others will wrap your belt around you and lead you where you don’t want to go.”

    Jesus said this to tell how Peter would die and bring honor to God. Then he said to Peter, “Follow me!”

—John 21:15-19


The Father of Greatness is Love – he who dwells in his glorious land. The entirety of the divine has been revealed (therein)!

These two are a single living body: the Father and his Love. For he has given himself for everything.

He exists in his aeons. Indeed, because of this they called the Father the Lord of Totality, ‘Love.’

For he gave victory to his aeons and his limbs.

Kephalaia (Manichaean)



… spirit of endurance come to us,

let endurance endure and let us bear up that we may

… endurance.

… the First Man, he was sent out to the fight,

and endurance came to him.

He left his land of light behind him, he went out to the land of darkness

and endurance came to him.

He left also his people behind him, he went out to the field .. . and endurance came to him.

. . . of the gods, he came to the border of the man-eaters.

… in the midst of the . . . ,

he came that he might raise it (?)


… the angels, he came to the rampart (?)6 of the robbers.


… , he gave them as food to the beasts. Endurance

… they going forth, knowing that they would fall into trouble. Endurance

. . . not a need which came upon them. Endurance

… to trouble until they saved the .. . Endurance

… also are the enduring ones at this time.

Let (… )

(The five) weight-carriers that support the weight of the enemy. Endurance

They are the five sons of the father, the Living Spirit. Endurance

. . . that bears up, that comes from the heights to the depths. Endurance


overseers that … the prison. Endurance

Yet they wearied not .. .

The Father himself also who is silent .. .

The second man, Adam, fell into .. .

Sethel also, his son: his endurance is great.

. . . seventy-three years .. .

Enosh also and Noah, Shem .. .

The righteous who were burnt in the fire, they endured. This multitude that were wiped out: four thousand .. . Enoch also, the sage, the transgressors being .. .

All the blessed that have been have endured these pains, down to the glorious one, the beloved, Jesus, our lord: they put a crown of thorns on him, they … ;

they smote him in his face, they spat upon him;

they hung him to a cross, they nailed to him four … ;

wine, vinegar, and myrrh they gave him and he took them. All these things which he suffered he endured for our sake.

All the apostles that endured their pains:

Peter the apostle, who was crucified upside down:

how many tortures did he suffer, . . . with this purity.

Andrew the apostle, they set fire to the house beneath him: he and his disciples, all hail to them, they were crucified.

The two sons of Zebedee were made to drink the cup of the … : John the virgin, he also was made to drink the cup,

fourteen days imprisoned that he might die of (hunger); And James also, he was stoned and killed,

they all threw their stone at him that he might die beneath the storm.

The same things also did Thomas endure in his cross:

four soldiers at once pierced him with the point of the lance, they surrounded him on four sides and made his blood flow .. . how many mysteries did he perform, many a sign did he fulfil.

Paul the apostle, they went against him that they might kill him: how great then is their wrath, he expired, he did not escape;


I therefore too have endured the things which he suffered before today.?

he was thrown into a basket and hung outside the wall;

all these things he suffered, he did not weary, he did not flinch; he left the open court of the lord, knowing that .. .

Thecla, the lover of God, who was made to go up on the fire: she received the sign of the cross, she walked into the fire rejoicing;

yet was she not ashamed, naked in the midst of the crowd; she was thrown to the bears, the lions were let loose to her; she-was bound to the bulls, the seals were let loose to her; all these things that she suffered, she did not flinch, she did

not . . them;

a crown it is that she desires, it is purity for which she fights.

The blessed Drusiane also, she also suffered the same: fourteen days imprisoned like her master, her apostle.

Maximilla and Aristobula, on them was great torture inflicted:

what need for them to suffer these things, it is purity for which they fight.

All the godly that there have been, male, female, all have suffered; down to the glorious one, the apostle Mani the living.

Our lord Manichaios himself also was made to drink the cup:

he received the likeness of them all, he fulfilled all their signs. How many of his disciples also received the likeness of their fathers?

We also, my brethren, have our part of suffering:

we shall join with them in the suffering and rest in their rest; the covenant of our father, the profit and the loss are divided between us;

we are true sons, the heirs of their fathers;

There is nothing that is free from suffering that will rest in the end: the very seed also that is sown, unless it dies, finds not the way
to live,

but by its death it lives and gives life also.

Let us make ourselves strong also, my brethren; for lo, the rest has reached us,

that we may receive the blessing of all whereof we have spoken, and dwell with one another in the glorious land of light,

with no foe and no enemy and no adversary from henceforth, but it is peace and joy and life eternal.

Lo, this is the end of the psalm of endurance.

Glory and honour to our lord, our light, Mani the living, who endured to the end, and his holy elect, and the soul (of Maria).

(manichaean psalm)



“A learned and charitable man had constant problems with pride. He was
told that if he could learn to be humble, he would become a perfect
person.  The man listened to the advice and dedicated himself to the
study of the questions of humility until he knew, almost by heart, all
the recommendations to avoid pride. One day, someone failed to show
him due deference. The man who thought himself humble, came to the
person and said, “You fool! Don’t you realize since I learned about
humility, I am a man of perfect character, deserving respect?”

–The Kabbalah of Envy

The greater your spiritual yearning, the more you will receive in prayer and meditation. Spiritual yearning in Judaism is not a sign of lack. In the physical world, we consider a lack as not having something we want. In the spiritual world, yearning is actually a measure of the degree of spiritual attainment.. The greater the attainment, the greater the spiritual yearning will be. Spiritual yearning is itself a spiritual gift; as it ‘fills the heart with sweetness. The greatest teachers embodied the most intense yearning. Think of the psalms, and all the yearning contained within them.

The famous Kotzker Rebbe of the nineteenth century said, God lives where we allow Him to enter.” We must actively choose to create the opening for God. In meditation, we create the space for God to enter us. We get out of the way. We let go of the concerns of the day, the demands of the ego to receive, and actively choose to welcome and experience God in our most inner being. The Midrash, the Jewish book of oral teachings, quotes God: “Open to Me the size of the eye of a needle and I will open to you the size of a grand ballroom. Though God is not visible to our physical eyes, God is very real and present. God is not a figment of the imagination. Kabbalah refers to this process as “the arousal from below that awakens the arousal from above.” Though God does not have needs and desires in the way that we do, Jewish sages and prophets have said repeatedly that whatever steps, whatever opening we make toward God, God responds to us. God wants us to open to Him, and assists us in opening. It is important to know and constantly recall that one of the most basic and important teachings of Judaism is that God created this world to bestow the highest goodness. Our spiritual quest for God is not one-sided. As Rabbi Isaac, a great kabbalist of the twelfth century, said, More than the calf wants to suck, the cow wants to give suck.” God wants to give and to bestow goodness. When we open to receive from God, we allow God to give His goodness. This is God’s desire. We actually contribute to God’s realizing His intention. In this way, we give to God by allowing God to be more present and expressed in our lives.

The word kabbalah literally comes from the Hebrew root word that means to receive. You will receive from meditation what you open up to within yourself. No one can do it for you. You can read about meditation, but unless you experience it directly for yourself, you will never know it. I can describe my experience of eating an orange, but my description will be inadequate. You will know what it is only when you eat an orange yourself.


–extract from “Everyday Kabbalah” by Melinda Ribner





How can the drops of water

Know themselves to be a river?



On the same spot I sit today

Others come, in ages past, to sit.

One thousand years, still others will come.

Who is the singer, and who is the listener?

–Nguyen Cong Tru





One day during a storm a heavy branch fell onto a little snowdrop plant. Later when the branch was removed the small tender stems, unharmed, were seen to have spread out and curled around as if to embrace the log. Less than an hour later, the little shoots had all but straightened out and, unimpeded, were growing upward toward their fulfillment.

Murshida Sitara Brutnell



“The moment the first man sprang into being, moved by the breath of God, the depths of the center of his perfect soul blazed with the silent, magnificent flame of Wisdom.  Poised over the bright abyss of an interior purity that was perfectly serene because perfectly unconcerned with itself, Adam knew, before all else, that he possessed the truth, shining in the clean mirror of his own spirit.  But more than that, knew that his very spirit existed in and by and for the Truth.  That Truth
was more than a transcendental property of being.  He saw himself in the Truth Who is a personal Absolute, the Lord of life and death, the Living God.  He knew that he was himself real because he was loved by Him Who Is.”

–Thomas Merton




Jesus said,

“If a blind man leads a blind man,

they will both fall into a pit.”


Matthew 15: 12-14

Then the disciples came to him and said,

“Do you know that the Pharisees have taken

great offence at what you have been saying?”

He answered:

“Leave them alone; they are blind guides,

and if one blind man guides another

they will both fall into the ditch.”


Religious teachers who try to lead “sight-seekers”

to experience God, while they themselves

have closed their own eyes to the truth,

will lead all to false conclusions.

These “teachers” will cling to false doctrines,

professing to believe in things

that they know don’t ring true,

all because they are ruled by fear of an angry god.


The world’s major religions remind me of the ancient Indian fable, The Blind Men & The Elephant where all the blind seekers discover different

partial truths, extrapolate false conclusions,

then argue about who is correct!

The moral of that story is:

“Knowing in part may make a fine tale,

but wisdom comes from seeing the whole.”


quote from Seven Blind Mice

by Ed Young, 1992, Philomel books


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