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; ( * 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




The spiritual vacuuming that is my life, currently unborn children, helping young people on their late 20s… a place of worship is always difficult. Other people around me of course are aware of my spirituality, some approve, others don’t, others just find it weird.

As I become and am a Unitarian Universalist, I find hard to balance a head in the clouds versus the reality of UU ism. While my very thoughts and maps of belief and reality are fully colored by spiritual walking, this is difficult for others. At our church we have a discussion groups. I realize, I do find it difficult to not sound patronizing or to simply utter something that blows everyone’s minds (if I say anything at all…..which is more often the case, that I remain silent). This group has been going on decades before I joined, yet in that time, mysticism or more accurately, direct spiritual insight has not been discussed, or barely….

I remember my days as a depressed agnostic teen, overcome with the loss of my mother, I fell into the pit of Nihilism. This bleak self defeating world view and others similar to it…absurdism and other existentialist nightmarish world views. I remember years later, wanting, tasting, to cross the veil. To experience the inner planes. I did so, eventually in downtown Manhattan, NY.

Though as I have to remind myself

GNOSIS is for everyone, when they are ready, everyone is where they are meant to be…..

I guess this is one reason why I never really joined a church before, my interests were different to feeding the poor, protesting local government about bad public transport or any other social action activities; none of which are wrong…. just not my main focus… and I think that’s the problem…..when I perceive social action etc. being the main focus over actual mystical experience…….I guess, I imagined UUism would give me both. So far, it hasn’t.

I must get over myself… stop being a bung hole, realize that spirituality is, a lonely pursuit. Get a grip, work on myself, my failings…. help me to not see others as stupid, which is difficult as I do NOT view myself as advanced or anything approaching that term. I wonder how many struggle with this?

Though, I don’t see this as ever being resolved in our UU church, people are either atheists, humanists, damaged from fundamentalism or……. Having spoken to a church regulars husband at a dinner party, I am kind of coming to the sad conclusion he made in his refusal to attend reguarly because “not enough people were on a quest.”

Of course it doesn’t help that i’m an introvert and like to sound a person out before I share….. I mean, for inner walkers, how would conveying spiritual experiences go, to non walkers? Like discussing sex with a virgin?

Well that’s more rant, had to say it…. meaningless drivel. I wonder what if anyone else reading this attends a church which makes you smile……but leaves you wanting? Why is belief so scary? Why is praxis so scary? Who knows……probably it’s just me and no one could give a monkeys about discussing various cosmological variations…. why do UUs find beliefs so scary?


Thou hast sworn unto Thy servants, for Thou alone

art He who changest not, Thou alone art the Infinite

and Boundless One. Thou only art unengendered,

born of Thyself, Self-Father, Thou only art immaterial

and hast no stain, ineffable in Thy generation and

inconceivable in Thy manifestation. Hear us, then,

O Father Incorruptible, Father Immortal, God of

Hidden Beings, sole Light and Life, Alone beyond

Vision, only Unspeakable, only Unstainable, only

[Foundation] stone of Adamant, sole Primal Being,

for before Thee was nothing.

–Bruce Codex

The Gnosis Of The Light: A Translation Of The Untitled Apocalypse Contained In Codex Brucianus (Ibis Western Mystery Tradition)

gnostic crossDeep: (Bythos) The term ‘deep,’ refers to the concept of parent or parents. The term is used in the ”Untitled Text of the Bruce Codex.” This is from Irenaeus, ”Adversus Heraeses 1.8.5.” ” Ptolemy interpreted the prologue of John’s gospel (Jn 1:1-14) “Parent” is usually called “Father” or “the Deep.” “Loveliness” is usually called “Silence.” Tertullian, uses the term ‘depth.’ The term can refer to the levels of the abyss….”let the deep open and swallow these men: yea, Sabaoth.” (Acts of Philip.)

Garment: (Vesture) Meaning clothing, but in Gnostic terms can mean the flesh covering the body. Sometimes used in various references to wearing the soul or the idea of social position as a philosophical covering. From the Un-named text in the Bruce Codex: “This is Man, begotten of mind (nous) ‘, to whom thought gave form. It is thou who hast given all things to Man. And he has worn them like garment.”

”Chelkeach, who is my garment, who has come from the Astonishment, who was in the cloud of the Hymen which appeared, as a trimorphic cloud. Ane Chelkea is my garment which has two forms, he who was in the cloud of Silence. And Chelke is my garment which was given him from every region; it was given him in a single form from the greatness, he who was in the cloud of the middle region and the star of the Light which surpassed the thought and teh tetimony of those who bear witness.” (”The Paraphrase of Shem.”)

If this metaphysical space is to be known,

such knowledge can be attained only by faith and grace,

not by ‘entering’ but by ‘being entered’

-this is so because the greater must reveal itself to the lesser.

Put differently, that which is immanently ‘Spirit’ can only be known receptively,

through its own intellective vision, and not any derivative faculty such as reason,

feeling or sensation. Reason can only discern conceptually,

at best reducing reality to a dualism of subject and object

(as in the case of Descartes) or catagorical postulate

(as in the case of Kant) or dialectic process

(as in the case of Hegel) – its ‘telos’ will tend to be utopian(as in the case of Marx),

fundamentalist( as in the cases of religious, political or secular dogmatism)

or anthropocentrically consencual (as in the case of Rousseau’s social contract);

while sensation or feeling even where elevated to

the level of empirical ‘science,’ can only discern reality as matter or as psyche,

quantitatively, thereby cutting it off from its transcendent

and qualitative roots, leading to an emphasis on hypertrophic subjectivism

(as in the case of Nietzsche), Psychologism(as in the case of Freud),

or reductive positivism(as in the cases of philosophical positivism and of scientism).

That which transcends us cannot be known reductively

but only by that transcendent faculty which is immanent in us-which in

Tradition is termed the ‘Intellect’

or the Self-knowing Spirit. To know is to discern BEING.

We must empty ourselves or our ‘self’ in order to know who we ARE.

We must return to the sacred emptiness of the space that is our

ontological core in order to know that which truly IS.

–M Ali Lakhani (the Distance between us, found in Sacred Web issue 31)

Gender in Gnosticism

If the woman had not separated from the man, she should not die with the man. His separation became the beginning of death. Because of this, Christ came to repair the separation, which was from the beginning, and again unite the two, and to give life to those who died as a result of the separation, and unite them. But the woman is united to her husband in the bridal chamber. Indeed, those who have united in the bridal chamber will no longer be separated. Thus Eve separated from Adam because it was not in the bridal chamber that she united with him.

–Gospel of Philip

God, the one true God, the source of being is seen as a force that transcends gender and ultimately God is beyond categories of gender. But at the same time gender is very formative of our human experience. So just like God in an absolute sense cannot be contained in words but we still have to approach God through language, right? Through myths and stories and theology and…which is all kind of creating analogies about God. Similarly we have to approach God, or approach God through gender. And traditionally of course there’s been this hyper masculinisation of God, in which God has been primarily confined to male attributes, the father, the son or you know, God as the old bearded guy of the Cisteen Chapel ceiling or God as Superman, shooting down fire from the sky and destroying people. What Gnosticism works to change this image, not to destroy the male imagery of the father, the son or the imagery of the brother, but rather to compliment it with female imagery as well. SO that we understand in some sense that our relationship to God is like a father and a mother, like a lover and the beloved, a brother and a sister; so it’s like a complimentary to the relationship.

So what I want to talk about tonight is the metaphysical nature of gender itself. I’m going to leave the question of God alone for this evening and talk about our own experiences of gender and what the spiritual significances of those might be. I think we begin from a Gnostic perspective that gender arises out of the cosmos, out of the material reality or the physical reality and like other dualities, good /evil, light/dark, right/left…these are seen as the constituents parts of material reality, its these dualities and divisions and separations that make the material what it is and create the limitations that we associate with physical reality. And of these limitations it is probably gender that Gnosticism sees as the most traumatic one of all, well except maybe the good/evil dichotomy. But the division of male/female gender, the division is very traumatic in a lot of ways, it’s been a sort of division of the wholeness of the spirit into two separate pieces and as a result can often lead to very self destructive behavior as all too often when we adhere to the gender identity that we are taught to display and see in ourselves and we don’t find a way to pursue the complimentary aspects of the spirit then we quickly descend into patterns of abuse and dependence and domination that are really devoid of the true spiritual connection.

So one of the goals of Gnosis is to transcend and heal these dualities and divisions in human experience. And thus the question of gender and the question of how we heal the brokenness that is sort of implicit in it is stressed in the Gospel of Thomas especially saying 22:

Jesus saw some infants nursing. He said to his disciples, “These nursing infants are like those who enter the (Father’s) kingdom.”

They said to him, “Then shall we enter the (Father’s) kingdom as babies?”

Jesus said to them, “When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male will not be male nor the female be female, when you make eyes in place of an eye, a hand in place of a hand, a foot in place of a foot, a likeness in place of a likeness, then you will enter [the kingdom].”

So when we look at this issue of what needs healing and the reconciliation, the issue, the problem, is that we’ve been taught and conditioned not just in our own lifetimes but over in generations of humanity to ascribe huge importance over what are really minor biological differences and not really seek to expand our consciousness in this area. To assume that we are locked in this duality and that there is no way to transcend it.

So what Gnosticism does, is to argue that each of us has a spiritual identity and it is the spiritual identity that can lead us back on a path to wholeness this is because even though we live in a very divided and sometimes painful existence in the physical world the spirit has what the Gnostic teacher Carpocrates would call a “deep spiritual memory.” These are the words he uses “the spiritual memory.” The most famous place where he talks about what this memory is when he makes his Christological statement about Jesus and says “That Jesus is a man like any other man, the son of Joseph; except that he was different from other people in that his mind, pure and clear could remember, could exercise memory of what it had seen in the realm of the ungenerated God.”

So if Jesus is a great model for what we can attain, then through Gnosis we can gain access to these spiritual memories of what was in the realm of the ungenerated God, to use Carpocrates’ term. And these memories are of wholeness, of a unity, indeed not a cessation of our individual existences, but rather as it were a completion of them. And part of this spiritual memory of wholeness beyond the divisions of gender is part of what makes up this spiritual memory, and it is in this sense that the Gospel of Thomas puts this question as central to the idea of what is going to bring us into what the Gospel calls the Kingdom. It is very important to make clear here that, the Gospel of Philip makes it clear that not only is this unity, the Pleroma, the fullness, it’s not only our destiny, but it’s also as spiritual beings, but also as in the words of the Gospel of Philip, our earliest origin, the earliest origin of things. So there is some way that this wholeness of the Pleroma is imprinted and on our spirits, this pneuma or the breath that gives us life, or rather makes us human, and we can access those memories that are imprinted on us. But it is something that takes time as we are held back by other things.

So when we begin to pursue through Gnosis a kind of healing and wholeness through the question of gender a number of things begin to happen in our lives and in the way we experience the world. First of all we begin to revolutionize the way in which we relate to others especially those of the other gender or to use the more common term, the opposite sex…and really what begins to happen is instead of seeing them quote “as the opposite sex” as something to be possessed or owned or intimidated or feared or dominated or dominated by in an unhealthy way, we can begin to construct relationships with those of other genders in a way that really engage in a true human level; and seek on those others how we can begin to complete our own spiritual existence. In this sense relationships between men and women are very important because they have so much to teach us about this completeness, this wholeness and what it might look like. We are in many ways, forces of revelation to each other. Allowing us to open up the mysteries of the hidden things concealed in those things visible, to use the words of the Gospel of Philip. Or to return to the Gospel of Thomas as Jesus says “The person of light, lights up the whole world.” Or in other words, we are each other’s light. These places of spiritual wholeness are sometimes shrouded in a kind of darkness and ignorance. Through the light provided by other people we can begin to see the contours of their meaning.

So I think there is an importance for anyone seeking the Gnostic path to obtain a certain degree of intimacy with people of the opposite sex. Now what I want to make clear is what I am talking about is not tied in any way to what is called sexuality. I’m certainly not saying that heterosexual sexuality is somehow necessary for Gnosis, although it can indeed be an important manifestation of this kind of intimacy. Or it can be a barrier to this kind of intimacy, as we know. Of course we know there are lots of people who are simply not heterosexual. They don’t share this sexual orientation, as part of their constituent identities; they have some kind of other sexual orientation; that they are drawn to other ways of living as sexual beings. Gnosticism of course is generally open to lots of different forms of sexual identity.

But ultimately what I am saying is, it is not that important about sexual contact, it’s about intimacy. The kind of inter gender intimacy that can be pursued in lots of ways. Through friendship, through intellectual exchange, through the kind of connection where you learn to build mutual networks of care…and exchange of thoughts and ideas, and spiritual growth. Men and women learn from each other in a mutual way when they begin to experience this intimacy. Which indeed, indeed, even when it does involve sexuality, when it does involve heterosexual contact is in fact something that transcends it. It is an intimacy that takes place on the spiritual level and transcends merely the physical level.

So this should make clear, as is important to state, that gender like other forms of division in the material world are not EVIL; it’s not as if gender is something bad and evil and something we want to run away from. These sources of division are indeed sources of limitation. U ironically or paradoxically, the very things that create these limitations can be the sources of the transcendent liberation, that can lift us up out of the world as defined by limitations and limits or rather live in that world in a way that helps set our spirits free.

The question of suffering, similarly suffering is something we see as to be transcended through Gnosis but at the same time, it offers us things. It offers us understanding and compassion toward others. Again it can make us bitter and angry people or it can make us much more open to other people. And I think gender is much the same way. It can be a very troubling phenomenon or it can be something we harness the force of to propel us along the spiritual journey in a way that incorporates healing and reconciliation. So ultimately I think though, the pursuit of gender wholeness, if that is what we want to call it, is probably more importantly something that happens within ourselves. Our intra-gender identities rather than our inter-gender relationships.

When we begin to search for that spiritual memory that Carpocrates talks about; that memory of spiritual wholeness. In the Pleroma, that was later divided through the shaping of the Demiurge. We are really searching to recover in our own beings a wholeness of gender that has been divided and separated in our own experience of life. It is important to remember that of course that, Demiurgic forces and Archonic forces and Pleromic forces are not so much beings but are forces operating within us. So we are looking for something in our own identities and what we want to do is move closer to wholeness. And it is this wholeness that is already deep within us. As I said, as Carpocrates said it is imprinted on the spiritual memory, that we all possess through the pneuma, through the spirit that is within us.

So we want to move closer to that wholeness that is both our ultimate destiny and is our earliest origins. To use the words of the Gospel of Philip, we want to gradually transform our lives, and our beings and our existences into that image of that spiritual memory at the heart of the pneuma, the spirit. Which is indeed what really makes us human.

The journey of Gnosis is predicated on the idea that even in the midst of this limited material existence we can begin to transform things and transform ourselves. Our bodies, our minds, in a way that infuses them with a new wholeness of the spirit. And as you see in that same verse, saying 22 of the Gospel of Thomas that we not only recreate the unity of gender, that it goes on to say that we, it goes on to say that we, you know, make the hand in the place of a hand and the foot in the place of a foot and likeness in the place of a likeness… One way to think of that is it is talking about a recreation of the self and the image of the spirit. Or as some have said, through our spirit we are created in the image of God. What we need to do through Gnosis is to recreate ourselves into the likeness of God. That is to transform the entirety of our being into a full realization of this image of God that is in our deepest human natures.

In a very real sense we have already in our spirits a sort of latent inner partnership between things we have called male and female in our experience of the material and intellectual world. Thus, in a very real sense each of us has within us, a sort of inner man and inner woman, what some mystics have spoken of as the Animus and Anima. We must pursue the kind of inner metaphysical partnership that will allow their mutual complimentarity that will shine forth in our lives and transform our consciousness.

Just as we want to revolutionize our relationships externally with regards to gender, and the opposite sex; so in parallel, we want to revolutionize our gender relationships internally within our own identities.

Now, if we look at Christ and Sophia, I want to discuss how they personify a Gnostic theory of gender both in terms of what we should do unto others and how we should persue that wholeness of gender within ourselves. We see in the stories of Christ and Sophia a great exchange, a great partnership, a sort of dialogue that is going on in these stories of “cosmic missions” and developments in time. These forces that represent in some sense the feminine and the masculine within the whole unity of the Pleroma.

If we look at the creation myth of the Valentinians, these were the Gnostics that followed Valentinus, the great preacher of the 2nd century, it is a little more different and complicated from what you may be used to. Just to give you a taste of what I mean, what happens to Sophia in this story is that… of course it starts off the same, she’s an Aeon, she’s in fact sometimes portrayed as the yuoungest of the Aeons, and she goes off by herself. Wanting to obtain more about her origins, thinking she can learn more by being alone and thinking alone. This of course brings about division and separation. What she produces, now in the Valentinian story is not the Demiurge immediately, but rather a realm of imperfection, the cosmos or chaos which is the stuff that the Demiurge will later create the cosmic world. What happens in the Valentinian story (again you’ll see how this is different to the simpler Gnostic story) is that this is so traumatic that Sophia literally gets split into two pieces. There ends up being a higher Sophia, who remains kind of connected fully in the Pleroma, but there also emerges a lower Sophia, part of Sophia’s identity becomes trapped in the imperfect realm. It becomes trapped in the cosmic chaos, and it tries and tries to get out, but it can’t. What happens is the Demiurge emerges out of the imperfect realm and begins to create all this stuff and eventually creates human beings. In the Valentinian story the Demiurge thinks its creating everything on its own for its own power. But in fact the lower Sophia (Echamoth) with the help of the Aeons, is influencing the Demiurge. They are subtly, sort of influencing what he does. In particularly, subtly pressing him into the creation of human beings.

The lower Sophia realizes the only way she can free herself and the rest of the spirit that is trapped in the cosmic world is if there can emerge some kind of beings that will have some kind of amalgamated identities. That is, they will be, part of the cosmic world and part of the spirit world. Part cosmos and part Pleroma. This she sees in human beings. So there is a sort of subversion of what the Demiurge wants to do. He wants to create automatons to worship him, but Sophia wants to create autonamus beings that can achieve liberation. So it is the lower Sophia, in this Valentinian story that comes into the form of the serpent. The lower Sophia says, “Alright, I have to get in contact with the human beings.” And so she says “What I’ll do is that I will go into the most humblest and the most simple of physical things. This animal that simply slithers along the ground, the serpent.” The Demiurge is so overwhelmed with his own arrogance and his own power that he’s not going to notice something as humble as the serpent. It is going to be completely off his radar screen.

So the lower Sophia, enters the serpent and comes to the people and then has the dialogue in which she begins to tell them the truth about things which is as she says, the Demiurge is not the one true God. That in fact human beings have this divine core within them and that if they would have the courage to eat the fruit of moral truth, if they have the courage to face the realities of the universe or rather not the universe but of all existence. Then they too can be transformed into God.

So you can see that is a little more complicated than other stories. I wouldn’t say it contradicts “on the origin of the World” more that it compliments it. What we see is the relationship between Christ and Sophia becomes more explicit. When Christ comes down to earth and manifests in the human being Jesus, Valentinian Gnostics would say “Why?” you know, why? This is a problem, why does Christ come into the world? I mean what is the point? They would say it is to help liberate Sophia. It is because Sophia is so important, so fundamental to him in the Pleroma, that he sees the lower Sophia and the rest of the spirit in the cosmic realm. He wants to enter that world; he wants to be willing to empty himself into a human existence so that he can help bring about the liberation of the lower Sophia and the reunification of the two parts of Sophia. Because there is a great pain involved in the separation for every being in the Pleroma because their wholeness has been ripped apart. So there is very much a sense that Christ and all the other beings or Aeons and God, even God, is deeply moved by compassion. It is compassion that moves all of these forces to try to help us. It is compassion and it is suffering. As Origen, an early Christian theologian said something interesting, he said, he was talking about Jesus Christ and he said “Christ suffered before he died on the cross.” And that “Actually Christ suffered before he was even born.” He goes on to say that “If Christ did not suffer, he would have never have come down to Earth.” That is his explanation of why Christ enters the world. That you can see is tied into this very interesting relationship between Christ and Sophia.

Brother Matthew Ouroboro


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

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; “Stromata,” Bk 3.)

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

Pneumatic: One who identifies with the spirit (pneuma), beyond that of the
physical (hylic) world and the intellect alone (psychic). The pneuma, described
in the ”Gospel of Phillip,” as ‘breath,’ refers to bonding with the internal
spark (spinther) that came from and is drawn to reunite with the Father in some
Gnostic schema. One who awakens it (the spinther) within the self does it
through the process of gnosis. (See; Gregory of Nicea (Basil), who used the term
in his mystical teachings, and is a later term which connotes Gnostic. See;
Early Christian Mystics,” McGinn, Crossroads, 2003.)

the “Pneumatics”, correspond with “Pneuma”, the spiritual
“breath”, the spiritual order.  These are the Gnostic Initiates,
those who go beyond mentality/consciousness, and all modes related to
the individuality.  That which concerns Pneumatics, is as different
from the psychics, and the psychics from the hylics.

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).

Demiurge: Meaning ‘Creator’ in Greek. Thought to be the “Craftsman” or creator of the material world. (Heracleon) In Orthodox thought this is a supernatural entity or force, such as the appearance of God to Moses. In the Gnostic schema the Word refers to an order, and it may be a natural sort of intelligent design, related to wisdom, the earthly or kenomic state of the higher wisdom, or form from the Pleroma. The material state is considered less than the Pleromic, and highly flawed. Archons seem to be emanations from the Demiurge process, much like other emanations from the Pleroma. (See; Pleroma, Kenoma, Archon.)

Echmoth: (Echamoth) Meaning a form of wisdom; “Echamoth is one thing and Echmoth, another. Echamoth is Wisdom simply, but (e) Echmoth is the Wisdom of death, which is the one who knows death, which is called “the little Wisdom”. (”Gospel of Phillip, NHL.)

I’ve just finished a draft of an academic paper on the Christian Monadology. It is a paper I have studied many years to be able to write. I have contended for some time that if I could show not only the lineage of the Gnostics but their epistemology common to that lineage, then I could show lots more, precisely the basis for the Gnostic Christianity.

In order to show this lineage I needed a ”fingerprint” I could trace through the centuries that links first century Christians with 2nd, 3rd, and 4th centuries. The Aeonology and the use of the Monad has shown just that….

“Meade links Simon Magus with the study of the Monad, by linking the Aeonology, and the concept of the ‘monadic morphism’ known in the mathematical equation, (4) is expressed consistently with Nag Hammadi discoveries. Meade describes the Aeonology which is consistent with Valentinian descriptions Meade did not have.

“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 on Simon Magus)

Compare the Aeonology of the description above to that of Valentinus from ”A Valentinian Exposition.” A text discovered after Meade’s work. The passage confirms Meade’s basic assertion of the Aeonology.

“… 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. 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.” (“A Valentinian Exposition.”)

Clearly, the descriptions are of the same phenomena and epistemology. This shows the lineage of this philosophy from Simon (30’s C.E.) to Valentinus, (180 A.D.) a span of time from the first century Gnostics of Simon to the Valentinian Gnostics into the third century. (See also the passages about the Monad from “Eugnostos The Blessed,” see below.)”

I’ve been collecting the passages for years that could make this link from the first century to the fourth. There is far more than linking Simon Magus and Valentinus, I can link every known Alexandrian Gnostic to the Monadic system, and do in the paper I mention.

I’ll include the references from this paper below. The paper itself is very long, that is because it has to show parallels to a whole system. The meat and potatoes of the work is it shows a lineage of the Monadology straight from John the Baptist through Origen. Its non refutable, the claims are made on prima facie literary parallels, like the one’s above. All the references are very reliable. Here are my conclusions…


The study of the Monad is inherent in the understanding of Christian Gnosticism, to reveal the metaphysics, epistemology, and the nature of the Word, in the Gnostic Aeonology. The study of this phenomena can be traced through the entire lineage of Christian Apostles, their attributed written works, and the works known followers in the historical lineage of the Alexandrian Church.

Sethian Gnosticism can be qualified as that Gnosticism adopted by pre-Christian Jews and the known followers of John the Baptist. They exemplified Seth as pure, and viable as a Monadic icon, in the Aeonology.

Christian (Sethian) Gnosticism can be qualified as the philosophy (Secret Christianity) were Jesus occupies the Monadic form as a type, just like Meade’s account of Simon’s “Great Power.” In effect, Christianity in the Gnostic sense started when the followers of John the Baptist adopted Jesus as the Monad, and the primary emanation from the void, Silence.


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

2. “Simon Magus,” by G.R. S. Meade, (NHL online, see ‘archives.’)

3. “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.)

Note: Fung Yu-Lan and other sources describe the kenosis and mechanics of the Tai Chi almost exactly like the passage from ”Eugnostos The Blessed.” The literary parallels in Chinese philosophy includes the emanation of the triad. The following are from Fung Yu-Lan.

a.) “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.)

b.) ” 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) There are other Chinese descriptions which include the triad in the

4. The Monad

The Monad, and Transmutations

Mathematical Monad……(Extended study by The Catsters)

{Natural transformations, See also Klein Jars}

5. “The Nag Hammadi Library,” Robinson, Harper, 1990. (available online)
See also the ”Bruce Codex.”

6.”Early Greek Philosophy,” Barnes, Penguin Classics, 2001. (Contains chapters on
Pythagoreans) and Aristotle’s passage seen above.

7. “Great Thinkers of the Eastern World,” McGreal, Harper, 1995. (Defines heuristic devices, and describes related material to the Tai Chi philosophy.)

Further Reading:

Gnostic Secrets of the Nassenes,” by Gaffney, Inner Traditions, (2004). Text contains “The
Refutation of All Heresies,” Book 5.

The History of the Church,” by Eusebius, Penguin Classic, (1965)

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.) The text also identifies the five skhandas of the Soul,
“Form, Perception, Consciousness, Action, Knowledge.”

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.) This paradigm
shows the morphism of the Tai Chi, into Ba Gua sequences. This parallels the Pythagorean
model of the morphism in Oneness.

By Tom Saunders

The Math of the Word


Tom Saunders

What if the Word, as the ”Gospel of John” uses it, could be shown by Mathematics? Would this change your perception of your spiritual self? It might if you understand that the Word, as used by some very early Christians, was used in a way the Orthodox Church never taught. It can be shown. Actually it needs to be explained in two ways.

Ancient Pythagoreans were historically divided into two distinct groups, the ‘Acusmatici,’ or Aphorist, and the ‘Mathematici,’ the scientist. (Early Greek Philosophy, Penguin Classic, pg. 162.) This is a natural duality of the human intellect. The aphorist tends to describe things through literal description, and the scientist uses measurement or mathematics.

In the following explanations, do not confuse yourself by forgetting that you, as an intellect, are not one or the other, you are both. So was everyone in the group of Pythagoreans.

The natural separations or dualities of the human mind are very much part of the Word. However, because this is a natural duality, separating these traits from one another, destroys its natural value. This holds true for both the literal and mathematical explanation of the Monad, and Monadology. This is how good and evil are shown to be controlled. Later it will be shown how the Monad, is equal to, and part of the Word, and ‘Jesus Wisdom’ equals the status of the Word. The ancient Christian Gnostics used a method called Gematria to study the mechanics of the Word.


Gematria: The study or science and art of number and letter manipulation. This would include geometric forms such as the Tetraktys of the Decad. ”I {Jesus} have turned their (periods of) influence and their quadrangles and their triangles and their figures of eight , since their (periods of) influence remained turned to the left from the beginning, together with their quadrangles and their triangles and their figures of eight.” (”Pistis Sophia,” See also; Tetraktys of the Decad.” See also; ”Marsenes.” ) (Source: “Saunders Gnostic Glossary.”)

What the above statement is about, is the study of the Monad. The Monadology. Everything in the Nag Hammadi Library has an underlying philosophy of the Monad tied to it. Its really unavoidable, as I will show. Jesus in terms of the Sethian Monadology, and the first sentence of the ”Gospel of John,” becomes the Word, and the Monad in Gnostic Christianity. In Orthodox Christianity this knowledge was forbidden and being tied to it meant the penalty of death. This knowledge is still considered heresy.

The intellect of the Aphorist, and Scientist become important in the Christian Gematria, because duality is the basis for much of how both the mathematical and literary descriptions define how the Sethians used the Pythagorean Monadology. The Gnostics who adopted Christianity, or the other way around, left behind literary descriptions of the monad, and some are full Monadological sequences.

These are literary descriptions of the Monad, i.e. Monadology.

“As I said earlier, (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.)

(b.) 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.)

Students of Chinese Philosophy may recognize the description above, is very much like that given in the explanation of the Tai Chi. In fact they are both the same formula. For those not familiar with this philosophy I have prepared two short video presentations that explain the advanced workings of the Tai Chi, and another for how the Monad works as a parallel to the Tai Chi.

Here are two passages that will confirm to most that the above descriptions from the Nag Hammadi, are in fact describing the same concepts….

(a.) “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.)

(b.) ” 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

I have prepared two video presentations that will give the reader an advanced insight into the above passages. The first is how the Asians preserved Ba Gua Science as far as how it is applied. The next is an explanation of how Ba Gua Science, works like the Monadology, and some about how it is used.

The Mathematical explanation of the Monad, does not involve what is pre-Monadic. Its a mathematical formula that shows what is contained within the space of the Monad itself. However, the nature of the Mathematical monad, does tend to show a very important aspect of duality. The use of the term Tai Chi, and Monad, include the aspects and the meaning of the terms Yin and Yang, and dyad, or duad. By the mathematical gematra, these both mean virtually a double aspect of the same thing. Dyad does not mean two things separated from the Monad, but it does show the aspect of one becoming two things, if you don’t lose the perspective of being both an Aphorist and Scientist.

The algebraic equation that shows how a Word is formed in the equation, is based upon the aspect of the Monad being composed of unit forms (axioms), and modification axioms. In other words the algebraic formula shows the Monad as having the aspect of the ability to mutate. This is what the literal descriptions say. The following videos explain the mathematical Monadic theory much better than I can…Watch them as a balanced Aphorist and Scientist and you’ll see the gematra of the Catsters show you the Word, right before your eyes.

Mathematical Monad……(Presentation study by The Catsters)

{Natural transformations, See also Klein Jars}

See also, on Pythagorean Math…..

Right before your eyes if you gaze at the illustrations and the way the base forms grow, it confirms the literary, and mathematical concepts alined with the Aphorists, and Mathematicians.

A Note on Leibnitz

The term Monadology comes into the modern lexicons of our language through the work of Gottfried Leibnitz. However, the term Monad, and its connected concepts is far older. It is not known to me at this time when the mathematical study of the Monad existed. It would be my best guess that the Pythagoreans knew it and kept it an occult study, as they did the literalist study of the Monad.

Leibnitz’ work shows that a person is his own Monad. This is consistent with what I am showing, and I suspect Leibnitz, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjiman Franklin, knew a lot more than they revealed about Leibnitz’ work. The Preamble to the U. S. Constitution is a Monadic sequence. Follow the below formula, and you can see for yourself… Once you know how to recognize them, they stand out, like those in the Nag Hammadi Library. (This may well be part of how Pythagoreans kept the secrets hidden. If you know the formula, you know what to look for. If you don’t, you don’t see the formula. This means the list that is a Monadic sequence, jumps out. A list that is just a list, is just a list.

The Church was still so powerful at the time of Leibnitz, he stood on the brink of being killed by the Church. In my opinion all he or even Jefferson, and Franklin had to do was reveal they were investigating the Monad mentioned in the works of Ireaneus, and they would have been killed. I trust with this essay I divulge what they could not.

The Christian Monad

The Sethian use of the Monad, as with the Tai Chi, begins before the Monad, with a void, or emptiness. In the Sethian Christian texts, this emptiness is called Silence. From Silence comes the One, or the Monad, which is Jesus Wisdom, i.e. the Word. The obvious purpose of the ”Secret Sayings of the Living Jesus,” otherwise known as the ”Gospel of Thomas,” would be to provide the literal source of this virtual set of the Word. I say set because the Monadic equation shows ((abc) (ex)) <~> (abcex) {a word}. This virtually means the monad, and monoid equal the Monad, and dyad. One equals one, the monad equals the Word. Actually the formula shows, the Monad equals, (Word) <~> ( 114 ‘type’ (sayings) as a set which is the ”Gospel of Thomas.”)

Note: { I am using the tilda (<~>) to show what is a straight line in the formulas of the videos, this is due to the keyboard functions of my computer. The tilda between the arrows equals a straight line.}

The concept of emptiness or the ‘great void,’ is described by Aristotle, who reveals emptiness from the Pythagorean perspective. One of the rare clues about Pythagorean concepts starting with emptiness, is quoted by Aristotle, in “Physics.” (213b22-27) “Early Greek Philosophy,” pg. 171.

“The Pythagoreans too said that empty exists, and it enters the heavens from the limitless breath, as though the heavens actually inhale the empty which distinguishes natural things, and is sort of separation and distention of contiguous things. {Limit} They hold that this appears first among numbers for the empty separates their natures.”

Actually there is a lot more to take in after you grasp emptiness. The Gnostics took the study of emptiness to a level called Kenosis….

Kenosis: A Greek term meaning emptiness, or to make empty. As in Philippians 2:7, “Jesus made himself nothing…” In Christian theology, Kenosis is the concept of the ‘self-emptying’ of one’s own will and becoming entirely receptive to God and his perfect will. It is used both as an explanation of the incarnation, and an indication of the nature of God’s activity and condescension.

The use of kenosis is actually broader than the definition above might suggest. If you have viewed the videos so far you have an idea of what comes next with the ‘numbers,’ and what can be made of the nature of those numbers. From duality, comes the Ba Gua, or Monadic sequence.

Both the Chinese and Pythagoreans, learned to apply sciences extending outside the realm of the (One) Monad, and learned to form sets, which are governed by the natural laws of ‘limit,’ and form. This means that the limits of form, correspond with other aspects of the natural forces of perhaps the Word, Wisdom, or language itself. This is why things like evil as a form have seven ‘types,’ (See lies in the video). Sets form out of natural cycles and influences, i.e. patterns.

In the Gnostic schema, dualities, are referred to as Powers, Archons, Aeons, Autogenes, Monogenes, etc., all pretty much exactly show the same powers. All are the cause and effects of duality, in the schema, or ‘stages’ which mutate out of the Monadic form. At this point the most likely mathematical correspondence with the way the sequences mutate is by aligning the Monadic sequence with the binomial aspects of the Tai Chi. Ba Gua, are in fact, trigrams which represent a binomial system. The mathematical aspects of this fact are beyond the scope of this essay.

Form, Separation, and Limit

Pre-Christians used different ways including using Seth to show how the separation of good and evil forces worked. Dualities like good and evil, extending out of emptiness, are represented by actions. What the Monadic sequence does is teach the Gnostic how to encounter adversity with skills applied to the kenosis process, with the tools he develops from learning the sequences of good and evil. This is exactly how the martial artist learns to confront adversity, you develop skills.

This requires knowledge and study of how the Monadic or Ba Gua Sequence takes shape. The skills needed for the arena or form of the fight, requires you understand the physical forms and limits, as well as the all the literal ones. Through a natural process of human form, and natural duality the experienced fighter sees the opponents actions and corresponds to the natural grid, of wisdom which determines offense, defense, boxing moves, or grappling moves. Every arena has different dualities, and hence different limits of types in a set, this is the basis for separation.

The Gnostic learns the dualities of good actions and evil ones, based upon how he needs to keep his faith, with his own actions. These are learned skills. Part of this is learning are the forms, the number of types, in sets like good, and evil, and learning how to control the skills you need to apply in the ‘void.’ This is the point of learning to use the Monadology in your psyche.

There seems to be a natural separation in the ”Gospel of Thomas.” It is obvious, as to the first real duality you can make in the text, if you use the process of separation to examine the sayings. The type of saying that is obviously a special part of the text are the parables. Apply all the knowledge of the text to the problems, i.e. forms of the Parables, using what you glean from the entire text and, you have merged your own mind with Jesus. According to the way the Monadology is applied, this makes sense as how you apply it to the Thomas text.

Then you apply this knowledge to yourself, and the form of you as your own parable.

This makes the Mathematical formula for you bonding with the Word, ( (y) (o) (u) ) <~> (Word/Monad), which would equal the mathematical equivalent of achieving Christian Gnosis. This has lots of happy connotations if you know the Gnostic texts.

The Trinity

The trinity, is after the duality. The Aphorists both Chinese and early Christian, again share aspects of how this mutation happens. The trinity in the Tai Chi system can be characterized by what is known as the ‘Taoist Trinity,’ which states…”Man’s Mind, is the same as heaven and earth.” This means in most aspects that the Mind, as an empty space, is like the Great Void, ( Wu Chi ) of Chinese philosophy. Being like heaven means the dualities of the Mind, and the collective on earth, work the same way in the kenosis process. In other words what comes into the voids of heaven and the human mind are much the same things.

In the Christian Gnostic texts the concept of trinity is literalized in different places, and in a few different ways, in some of those places. This is because the Monad is an occult study, and this idea is lots older than when the early Christians made Jesus the Monad. As the Monad and part of a trinity, the Monad, becomes the primary influence in the dualities shown in the form of the trinity.

Gnostics to my knowledge called the primary evil influence, a demon(s), like the Seven Forms of Wrath, in the “Gospel of Mary,” but did not refer to them as Monads. There is an evil Trinity in the Gnostic texts, its darkness, desire, and ignorance. There is also the ‘Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,” but the Gnostic version follows a broader alignment according the the way trinity is used in the various Gnostic texts.

In the Trinity, Jesus is the Monad, as the control factor over all duality.

This extends the mathematical formula to (Word) <~> (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Darkness, Desire, and Ignorance.) There is no separation of good and evil, until the Gnostic becomes a controlling factor.

The Tetrad and Higher Forms

The Gnostic or Sacred Tetrad is preserved in the Works of both Basilides, and Valentinus. Its Word, Man, Life, and Church, (Truth). These terms have specific meanings in the ‘Gnostic lexicon.’ In the higher forms, referring to those with larger numbers of types in the Monadic sets, remain as associate axioms all influenced by the cause and effects of how the duality through the form is handled.

In the higher forms starting with the Word as the Monad in the sequence, the Gnostics added the term Knowledge, Gnosis, or free will, to the end of the sequence. This designates the Gnostic as the controller over the set. In other words duality like good and evil become controlled by the Gnostic, designated by the last member of the set of types in the associate side of the Monadic axiom.

This may be seen as adding another factor into the designated equation, one that can make a designated choice of producing one side of dualistic expression. This equation could be shown a couple of different ways to explain how the control of the set goes from its natural form, to one manipulated in part by the Gnostic.

One way would be to express the Word and Gnostic is one factor together. This would reflect the Gnostic and Word, as bonded as one…

( (Word) (The Gnostic)) <~> ( abcd {good} abcd {evil})

However, at this level, where the Gnostic takes control over the duality the mathematics would best serve to show plus or minus the factors of good and evil. After all this is the choice for the Christian Gnostic, and how the Monadic sequences start to become a viable heuristic device.

The Pentad

At the level of the pentad, another equation can be shown that demonstrates the power the Gnostic has to take control over what happens in the cause and effect within the types of a given set. Control would be shown something like this…

(Word) = (The Gnostic) <~> ( (abcde {good}) +/- abcde {evil} )) = (The Gnostic plus good or evil, contingent upon the chosen action. Sometimes Gnostics do evil deeds for very good reasons, although my best guess is this would be rare.

At this point the Aphoristic explanations of the Monadology show the Pentad as a circle. This of course represents the way the Monadology is used in the ‘arenas’ of human action, as shown in the video. This is where the Gnostic learns to gain control of these environments.

The sequence at the level of the Pentad, and higher in the Gnostic teachings include the designation of the Gnostic as a controlling factor. The sequence therefore looks like this….

(Word), (dyad or influence of duality), (c.), (d), (e), etc. depending upon the size of the set, and the last unit being the Gnostic, (Knowledge). So the Seven Forms of Wrath in the “Gospel of Mary,” as an evil form looks like a simple list. This is the passage from which the Seven Forms are introduced…

“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“)

Here the evil power (form) can be shown as, (darkness, desire, ignorance, excitement of death, kingdom of the flesh, foolish wisdom of the flesh, and wrathful wisdom.) The reader will note the last member of this set, uses the term wisdom, and this denotes the use of ‘evil knowledge.’ This would be congruent with the Christian Gnostic form.

When Mary in the Gospel says she is overcoming the demons, the formula in the Monadology looks like this…

(Word), (darkness, which is the duality factor in this set), (desire), (ignorance), (excitement of death), (kingdom of the flesh), (foolish wisdom of the flesh), and ( The ‘Knowledge’ to control the wrathful wisdom under the influence of darkness).


The Aphorist, and Mathematician in regard to the understanding and demonstration of the Word, (Monad) can be shown to coincide in showing the use of the term, and defining ‘Word’ in Christian theology.

The Pythagoreans adopted the Chinese method of study which includes Ba Gua Science. They converted it at some time in early history to include their rendering of form, separation, and limit. The Sethians both pre Christian and Christian adopted this theory, and made the teachings of Jesus the Monad. Monad = Word.


Many times I cross-post essays to religious groups that I belong to. So is the case with the essay “The Math of the Word.” There is one important difference about this essay that I would like to explain.

This particular concept of putting the Word, into mathematical terms, qualifies the Gnostic learning in a way never before realized in modern times.

I knew the Pythagoreans had a mathematical companion to the literal or aphorist side to the explanation of the Monadology. My problem regarding math is, I’m very weak and almost inept at doing any kind of math. I never thought I could make the mathematical argument but the “Catsters” did it for me. This is in spite of the fact they don’t know who I am yet. They don’t know I’ve connected their work to mine, and are certainly unaware of the Gnostic connection. I’m sure they will be surprised.

If this material is a little overwhelming, I understand. The algebra in the Catsters’ videos is complex at first but not impossible to get even if you don’t know anything about algebra. I’ve been told that the literalist descriptions are not easy either. The saving grace is, when you can show the math, the real arguments over speculation can be put to rest. One = One, is a hard argument to beat.

It is like proving there is a Bigfoot. You show up with a real Bigfoot, in front of reliable sources then you have the right evidence. My work just put Gnostic science on that same level. The ancient Monadology is a large heavy beast the Orthodox Church has never been able to explain. I have no doubt that modern Bible scholars will be slow to respond. They always are. Again, One = One, is a hard argument to beat.

It might actually be easier to show up with a Bigfoot, than a Monad.

Whatever happens in the Bible scholar community is no longer much concern to me. I intend to put the Monad to use, and I’m not waiting on anyone else to do it. What the Nag Hammadi texts say can be made clear, and without major speculation.

A camel is a horse built by a committee that didn’t know what a horse looked like. This has been what the Gnostic scholarship has been like, without an adequate explanation of the underlying philosophies. This has hampered qualifying real Gnostic Science. No more.

Tom Saunders

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, man transcends in becoming Hylic, Psychic, 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.
Corresponds to the Supernal triad of the Kabbalah, Kether, Chockmah, and Binah, in the study of the ”Tree of Life.”

Synonymous with the Chinese concept of ‘San Ti,’ known as the Taoist Trilogy, ”man (Man’s mind or heart) 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.) In Hinduism, the Trimurti (also called the Hindu trinity) are three aspects of God, or “Parabrahman,” in God’s personae as Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. This Trimurti concept is a tenet most strongly held in Smartism, a denomination of Hinduism as well as Ayyavazhi. VishnuBrahma – the Source/Creator (Tamil: Vethan in Ayyavazhi.) Vishnu – the Preserver/Indwelling-Life (Tamil: Thirumal in Ayyavazhi.) Shiva – the Transformer (Destroyer-Creator) (Tamil: Sivan, in Ayyavazhi). The Trimurti itself is conceived of as a deity and artistically
represented as a three-faced human figure.

Trimurti of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva

Trimurti of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva

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