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http://gnosticpath.blogspot.com/2006/04/gnostic-prayers.html

 

Hidden Great Invisible Holy Spirit
Unimaginable Depths of the Divine Above
Overflowing with Grace
We ask that Your Loveliness would
Support our every footstep
Through Spiritual Fullness
Manifesting in Desired-for Wisdom
May we be receptive to Wisdom
May we be Empowered
with Gnosis
Amen!

***

O!
Eternity, as bestowing eternity…
Life, as bestowing life…
Blessed, as bestowing blessedness…
Acquaintance, as bestowing acquaintance…
Good, as bestowing goodness…
Mercy, as bestowing mercy and ransom…
Grace, as bestowing grace…
All these things
Not as possessing attribute
Rather, as bestowing them…
Your immeasurable, incorruptible light…
A wellspring of pure luminous living water…
Forethought,
Prior Acquaintance – Prior Knowledge,
Incorruptibility,
Eternal Life,
Truth…
Mother-Father; Father, Mother, Child…
Child of the Child…
May we be Illuminated!

***

May we Know
The essence of Wisdom
Shaped in the form that is Spiritually Desired
The essence of Blessedness
Shaped by the form of Spiritual Community
The essence of Understanding
Shaped by the form of Ever-Mindfulness
The essence of Agape Love
Shaped by the form that is Spiritually Motherly
The essence of Hope
Shaped by the form that is Spiritually Fatherly
The essence of Faith/Trustworthiness
Shaped by the form that is The Comforter

May we participate in
The Comforter’s Faithfulness
The Fatherly Hope
The Motherly Agape Love
The Ever-Mindful Understanding
The Spiritual Assembly’s Blessedness
The Desired-For Wisdom
Flowing through us
Around us
Permeating our being
Nurturing and healing
Shining light upon our souls
Revealing sparks of Divine Light
Sophia-Theletos
Theletos-Sophia

Amen!

“full participation in divinity which is humankind’s true beatitude and the destiny of human life”

–Thomas Aquinas

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At least one circumstance emerges from this statement that is widely overlooked in America. In Europe “Gnosis” and “Gnosticism” are almost always used interchangeably. The suggestion that term “gnosis” ought to be used to describe a state of consciousness, while “Gnosticism” should denote the Gnostic system, has never caught on. The use of such classical Gnosticism of Valentinus, Basilides, et al., persists in European literature, including the writings of such scholars as Gilles Quispel, Kurt Rudolph, and Giovanni Filoramo (to mention some of the most recent ones). It is true that the late Robert McLachlan put forth a proposal to use these terms otherwise, but current usage in Europe has not followed it.

It is evident that a word used in such contradictory ways has lost its meaning. No wonder GNOSIS writer Charles Coulombe despairs over the situation when writing recently in a Catholic publication:

In reality, “Gnosticism,” like “Protestantism,” is a word that has lost most of its meaning. Just as we would need to know whether a “Protestant” writer is Calvinist, Lutheran, Anabaptist, or whatever in order to evaluate him properly, so too the “Gnostic” must be identified.

        http://www.gnosis.org/whatisgnostic.htm

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Russian Orthodox icon of the Transfiguration (Theophanes the Greek, ca. 1408).

Russian Orthodox icon of the Transfiguration (Theophanes the Greek, ca. 1408).

Gnosis: While the literal translation for this word is “knowledge”, it’s meaning is closer to “insight” or, to use another concept, “enlightenment.” It may imply more in some cases than a purely intellectual understanding. It may imply complete comprehension that comes from both rational and intuited means. Gnosis is bonding the soul (nous) with wisdom, in both Sethian,Valentinian, and other Gnostic schema, which link this act through Jesus. The process of Gnosis may have different schema, or criteria as to secular practices. The process of Gnosis seems to be transitional or a transcendence in a learned process.

Gnostic: A person regarded as a student of Gnosis. Can refer to specific sects mentioned by historians, and heresiologists, The term can be used as a category for a number of sects and individuals that believed “Gnosis” had a salvational purpose. Gnostic sects are known to have existed in pre-Christian Jewish
communities and later in Christian movements, according to information in the “Nag Hammadi” text by Robinson. Gnostic views differ, as do secular characters of the Pleroma in the creation myths. The term or versions of it, are used very early in regard to Christian learning, this quote from Book 3 of Clement of
Alexandria’s “Stromata.” “Joannis autem vitae institutum gnosticum quis imitabitur?”

Gnosticism: The word was adapted by modern scholars to refer to the sects of the ‘Late Antiquities’ that shared a similar cosmology and soteriology. More recently the definition has been widened in some circles to mean any form of mysticism or esotericism. Gnostic scenarios both differ, and are alike in the
cosmic reasoning for the creation, making them ‘creation myths.’ Gnostic texts use different names for the characters of the creation stories for characters from the Palermo. Gnostics all believe that man, through learning the perspectives of his psyche, earthly, and pleromic self can attain life after death in a corporeal state by bonding with the higher entities. The ‘Light,’ ‘ Sophia,’ (Wisdom). (See also; ”The
Five Gospels,” by Funk, Hoover, Harpper-Collins, 1993, p. 544.)

Saunder’s Gnostic Glossary

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Jesus saw some babies nursing. He said to his disciples, “These nursing babies 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, an image in place of an image, then you will enter [the kingdom].”

–Gospel of Thomas (22)

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The slave seeks only to be free, but he does not hope to acquire the estate of his master. But the son is not only a son but lays claim to the inheritance of the father. Those who are heirs to the dead are themselves dead, and they inherit the dead. Those who are heirs to what is living are alive, and they are heirs to both what is living and the dead. The dead are heirs to nothing. For how can he who is dead inherit? If he who is dead inherits what is living he will not die, but he who is dead will live even more.

A Gentile does not die, for he has never lived in order that he may die. He who has believed in the truth has found life, and this one is in danger of dying, for he is alive. Since Christ came, the world has been created, the cities adorned, the dead carried out. When we were Hebrews, we were orphans and had only our mother, but when we became Christians, we had both father and mother.

God is a dyer. As the good dyes, which are called “true”, dissolve with the things dyed in them, so it is with those whom God has dyed. Since his dyes are immortal, they become immortal by means of his colors. Now God dips what he dips in water.

It is not possible for anyone to see anything of the things that actually exist unless he becomes like them. This is not the way with man in the world: he sees the sun without being a sun; and he sees the heaven and the earth and all other things, but he is not these things. This is quite in keeping with the truth. But you saw something of that place, and you became those things. You saw the Spirit, you became spirit. You saw Christ, you became Christ. You saw the Father, you shall become Father. So in this place you see everything and do not see yourself, but in that place you do see yourself – and what you see you shall become.

Faith receives, love gives. No one will be able to receive without faith. No one will be able to give without love. Because of this, in order that we may indeed receive, we believe, and in order that we may love, we give, since if one gives without love, he has no profit from what he has given. He who has received something other than the Lord is still a Hebrew.

–The Gospel of Philip

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Archimandrite George has been the Abbot of St. Gregorios Monastery since 1974. He is well known throughout the Orthodox world both as a theologian and spiritual father. He has written many books and articles on theology and the spiritual life. His works have been translated into many languages.

The idea of Theosis will be unfamiliar to the Western mind, although it is not a new concept to Christianity. When Christ said, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand,” [1] this is a call to a life of Theosis.

Theosis is personal communion with God “face to face.” [2] To the Western mind, this idea may seem incomprehensible, even sacrilegious, but it derives unquestionably from Christ’s teachings. Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of the messianic dream of the Jewish race; [3] His mission to connect us with the Kingdom of God [4] a Kingdom not of this world. [5] When Jesus said, “You are gods,” [6] “be perfect, just as your Father in Heaven is perfect,” [7] or “the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father,” [8] this is to be taken literally. For those who are interested, further Biblical evidence for this can be found in Leviticus 11:44-45; 20:7-8; Deuteronomy 18:13; Psalms 82:1,6; Romans 6:22; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:2-4.

 

The whole sacrificial tradition of Israel beginning with the sacrificial offering of Isaac reaches fulfillment in Jesus Christ. St. John the Baptist echoing Isaiah says, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes upon Himself the sins of the world.” [9] St. Paul has this in mind when he says, “If you are Christ’s, then you are descendants of Abraham, and heirs according to the promise,” [10] because “those who believe are children of Abraham.” [11] The name Israel, was given to Jacob by God as an expression of his fidelity. Later this name was inherited by his faithful descendants. This train of thought is expounded in the writings of St. Paul, where he blesses the Church as “the Israel of God;” [12] whilst elsewhere he wrestles with and is pained by his fellow Jews denial of their own Messiah, labeling them “Israel according to the flesh.” [13]

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/general/theosis.aspx

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Theoria (Greek θεωρία) is Greek for contemplation or ‘the perception of beauty regarded as a moral faculty’ (OED). From within Eastern Orthodox theology it is the ‘vision’ and or the ‘seeing’ of God, as the experience of God, achieved by the pure of heart who are no longer subject to the afflictions of the passions. This affliction of the passions is caused by the knowledge of good and the knowledge the evil. Theoria is validated because God is in the Universe or material world, which is evidenced by the material world containing beauty. Theoria is obtained as a gift from the Holy Spirit to those who through partaking of the sacraments along with the observance of the commandments of God and ascetic practices (see also kenosis, Poustinia and schema) have achieved dispassion.[1]Theoria is closely tied to the ascetic form of contemplative prayer called hesychasm that in the Eastern Church can also encompass the Jesus Prayer or the Prayer of the Heart. Theoria is a faculty that develops along with and is intimately related to the process of theosis, considered (especially by the Eastern Orthodox church) to be the quintessential purpose and goal of Christianity. Theosis has three stages the first is called catharis or purification, the second theoria or illumination and finally theosis or deification.[2] The love of beauty (philokalia), transcending the love of wisdom (philosophy) manifests into the love of God (theophilos). Love of God as faith in God manifests as humility. Humility is above all else, the characteristic hallmark of the saints. Theoria and Theosis culminates into the Kingdom of God. Here humility as a saintly attribute is called sophia or Holy Wisdom. Humility not knowledge is the most critical component to mankind’s salvation.[3]

The word has its origin in the Greek language and is derived from the same root as the English word theory. Theoria is used to express the experience of life as “one who watches a play or activity”, the state of “being” is defined as spectator. Hence it means to focus one’s attention exclusively on one thing, Beauty and or God being the object of focus. The act of experiencing and or observing is through the nous or “eye of the soul” Matthew 6:22-6:34. Noesis as faith in God (action through faith and love for God), leads to truth through our contemplative faculties. This theory, or speculation, as action in faith and love for God, is then expressed famously as “Beauty shall Save the World”. This expression of the idea comes from a mystic or gnosiology perspective (rather than say, a scientific or cultural one),[

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theoria

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This is the second stage of Theosis, called

“theoria,” in the course of which man, having

already been cleansed from the passions, is illumined

by the Holy Spirit, is made luminous

on the way to becoming deified. Theoria means

vision. Theoria of God means a vision of God.

To see God, he must be a deified man. Thus,

theoria of God also means Theosis.

Of course, when he has been thoroughly

cleansed and has offered himself entirely to

God, then he also receives the greatest experience

of divine Grace available to men, which,

according to the holy Fathers, is the vision of

the uncreated light of God. Those who are very

advanced in Theosis see this light, very few in

each generation. God’s Saints see it and appear

within it, and, incidentally, this is what the halos

in the holy icons show us.

For example, in the life of St. Basil the Great,

it is said that when St. Basil was praying in his

cell, those who were able to see him saw that he

himself, and even his cell, were shining within

this uncreated light of God, the light of divine

Grace. In the lives of many of the New-Martyrs

of our Faith we read that, after horrible tortures,

when the Turks hung their bodies in the squares

of the town to intimidate other Christians, on

many nights a light appeared around them. It

shone so clearly and brightly that, because in

this way the truth of our Faith was so brilliantly

revealed, the occupiers ordered them taken

down so that they would not be ashamed before

the Christians, who saw how God glorified His

holy Martyrs.

The Grace of Theosis preserves the bodies

of the Saints incorruptible, and these are the

holy relics which exude myrrh and work miracles.

As St. Gregory Palamas says, the Grace of

God, having first united with the psyches of the

Saints, afterwards shrouds their holy bodies and

fills these too with Grace: not only their bodies,

but also their graves, their icons, and their

Churches. Here is the reason why we venerate

and kiss the icons, the holy relics, the graves,

and the Churches of the Saints. Through Theosis,

all these have something of the Grace of

God which the Saint had in his psyche because

of his union with God.

Therefore, in the Church, we enjoy the Grace

of Theosis not only with our psyche, but also

with our body, because as the temple of the Holy

Spirit Who dwells in it, and shares its struggles

with the psyche, the body is surely glorified.

The Grace springing from the holy Lord

–the God-Man Christ– is poured out into our

Panagia, into the Saints, and it also comes to

those of us who are humble.

It is certainly worth noting that the experiences

of the Christian are not always experiences

of Theosis and so spiritual. Many people

have been deluded by demonic or psychological

experiences. In order that there is no danger of

delusion and no demonic influence, all of this

must be humbly mentioned to the Spiritual

Father, who, illumined by God, will discern

whether these experiences are genuine or not,

and he will give appropriate direction to the

psyche who is confessing. Generally, our obedience

to the Spiritual Father is one of the most

basic points of our spiritual path. Through it we

acquire an ecclesiastical spirit of discipleship in

Christ by which the legitimacy of our exertion

is confirmed in order to guide us towards union

with God.

Within the Church, a special domain of Theosis

is monasticism, where the monks, having

been sanctified, receive high experiences of

union with God.

Many of the monks who experience Theosis

and sanctification also help the whole Church,

for, as we Christians believe following the agelong

holy Tradition of the Church, the struggle

of the monks has a positive effect on the life of

every struggling faithful in the world. In our

Orthodoxy, the people of God have great reverence

for Monasticism because of this.

After all, in the Church we partake in the

communion of the Saints, and experience the

joy of union with Christ. By this we mean that

within the Church we are not isolated members

but a unity, a brotherhood, a fraternal community

– not only among ourselves, but also with

the Saints of God, those who are living on earth

today and those who have passed away. Not

even at death are Christians divided. Death is

unable to separate Christians because they are

all united in the resurrected body of Christ.

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/general/theosis-english.pdf

……..

Man, according to the scriptures, is created in the “likeness” and “image” of God (Gen 1:26-27).

To be like God, through the gift of God, is the essence of man’s being and life. In the scriptures it says that God breathed into man, the “breath (or spirit) of life” (Gen 2:7). This teaching has given rise to the understanding in the Orthodox Church that man cannot be truly human, truly himself, without the Spirit of God.

The image of God signifies man’s free will, his reason, his sense of moral responsibility, everything, which marks man out from the animal creation and makes him a person. But the image means more than that. It means that we are God’s ‘offspring’ (Acts 27:28), his kin; it means that between us and him there is a point of contact, an essential similarity. The gulf between creature and Creator is not impassable, for because we are in God’s image we can know God and have communion with him.

Fall of man

The story of creation, and specifically of Adam and Eve, tells of the goodness of all things that exist, and the superiority of man over other beings. It shows how the origin of evil does not lie in God but in his most perfect creature whose free act of sin brought wickedness and death to the world, how man lost the “likeness” of God, his response to God’s love.

The Church teaches that when we do not respond to God’s love, we are diminished as human beings. The act of faith that he asks of us is not so very different from the faith and trust we place in those people who surround us. When we do not respond to the love given us by the people who love us, we become shallow and hardened individuals.

Prophets

Since man still was of God’s image, the search for meaning was as critical for human existence as are air and water. Creation itself, as the handiwork of God pointed to him. Yet, before the coming of Christ, the meaning of the world and our place in it remained difficult to understand. People created stories to help themselves explain the great mystery of their own existence, the world around them, and the one who was responsible for bringing them into being. Yet, knowledge of the true God eluded them. The Holy Scriptures speak of this lack of knowledge as darkness. So God sent messengers to speak for him, holy men and women through whom he worked wonders, prophets to announce the coming salvation. Finally, God sent his own Son, Jesus Christ. When he came, the very one who had created the world was now clearly made known to the world, giving light to those who had been sitting in darkness.

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Soteriology

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Salvation is the goal of Christianity, and the purpose of the Church. The theology of salvation is called soteriology. Orthodox Christianity strongly believes that God became man, so that man may become like God. This concept of theosis, rejects that salvation is a positive result to a legalistic dilemma, but a healing process. Orthodoxy views our inclination to sin as a symptom of a malady that needs treatment, not just a transgression that requires retribution. One of the distinctive characteristics of Orthodox Christian thinking is that it sees the Gospel message not as law, but as relationship. It speaks of the mystery of the Holy Trinity in terms of the relationship of love that exists among them. To join in that love is the work that will lead to salvation.

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Soteriology

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Theosis (“deification,” “divinization”) is the process of a worshiper becoming free of hamártía (“missing the mark”), being united with God, beginning in this life and later consummated in bodily resurrection. For Orthodox Christians, Théōsis (see 2 Pet. 1:4) is salvation. Théōsis assumes that humans from the beginning are made to share in the Life or Nature of the all-holy Trinity. Therefore, an infant or an adult worshiper is saved from the state of unholiness (hamartía — which is not to be confused with hamártēma “sin”) for participation in the Life (zōé, not simply bíos) of the Trinity — which is everlasting.

This is not to be confused with the heretical (apothéōsis) – “Deification in God’s Essence“, which is imparticipable.

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Theosis

 

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All religions, all Yogas, may be paths to lead us closer to Him who is the only One through whom all was created, the Christ. Jesus was the manifestation in human form of the limitless Christ of God.

There is no separation in God. The forces which promote separation, selfishness and egotism should not be feared, for nothing can hinder the plan of God, nor prevent its fulfillment. Love alone shall be our protection. Where there is love there is unity, there is the Christ.

When Christ returns, He will be as the fulfillment of each individual soul potential, and the unified consciousness and loving brotherhood of all mankind. No differences of language, race or even religion can separate us then, as we are all One in? Him, and we will realize this in all fullness. Meanwhile we should realize that no man is our enemy! The only enemy is the sense of limitation which divides us from Him and each other.

All this shall pass away as the Consciousness of the whole race is lifted into a larger awareness of God. We grow toward this by letting go of our limited conceptions, and opening up to the universal Christ-Love, by allowing His Love to flow through us to all mankind.

This I believe.

I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

1 corinthians 15:50-54

……

Now after we had first washed ourselves out of the fountain, and every man had taken a draught out of an entirely golden cup, we were once again to follow the Virgin into the hall, and there put on new apparel, which was all of cloth of gold gloriously set out with flowers. There was also given to everyone another Golden Fleece, which was set about with precious stones, and various workmanship according to the utmost skill of each artificer. On it hung a weighty medal of gold, on which were figured the sun and moon in opposition; but on the other side stood this saying,

“The light of the moon

shall be as the light of the sun,

and the light of the sun

shall be seven times lighter

than at present.”

But our former jewels were laid in a little casket, and committed to one of the waiters.

–Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz (Day 4, http://www.levity.com/alchemy/chymwed4.html )

….

Some people are afraid that they may arise from the dead naked, and so they want to arise in flesh. They do not know that it is those who wear the [flesh] who are naked. Those who are [able] to take it off are not naked.

[Flesh and blood will] not inherit God’s kingdom.” What is this flesh that will not inherit? It is what we are wearing. And what is this flesh that will inherit? It is the flesh and blood of Jesus.

For this reason he said, “One who does not eat my flesh and drink my blood does not have life within.” What does this mean? His flesh is the word and his blood is the Holy Spirit. Whoever has received these has food, drink, and clothing.

And I also disagree with others who say that the flesh will not arise. Both views are wrong. You say that the flesh will not arise? Then tell me what will arise, so we may salute you. You say it is the spirit in the flesh, and also the light in the flesh? But what is in the flesh is the word, and what you are talking about is nothing other than flesh. It is necessary to arise in this sort of flesh, since everything exists in it.

In this world those who wear clothes are superior to the clothes. In heaven’s kingdom the clothes are superior to those who wear them.

Gospel of Philip

………….

Let us first consider the nature of the candidate who has entered the Fourth Day.

The soul-rose, the central heart of the microcosm, is entirely open. The Alchimia, the new, pure astral substance which cannot be explained from the nature of death, has spread throughout the respiration field. The seven weights have been stored in their places, which means that the primary aspects of the Seven-Spirit are illumining the seven cerebral cavities in a new way and have thus ignited the seven-branched candelabrum.

Now the candidate is equipped for the beginning of the wed­ding feast. This equipment is truly miraculous, and with it one will certainly be able to enter the highest aspect of the Living Body of the young gnostic Brotherhood, the Golden Head, the field of the resurrection. But even this equipment is not sufficient for one to be able to ascend the royal spiral staircase, or in other words, to perform practical work as a participant in the Golden Head.

That is why The Alchemical Wedding speaks of an entirely new garment and new adornments of the golden fleece. Perhaps you will have realised that these things draw attention to several new aspects and activities that must be brought to life in the candidate. To understand this you need to be aware that three beings must be brought together in the great process of transfiguration, beings which, at least in the beginning, are sharply to be distinguished from each other. These are: the spirit, the soul, and the body of the personality.

The body is nature-born, from nature-born parents. The soul has arisen from the awakened microcosm. And the spirit comes from outside; it originates neither from the nature of death nor from the microcosm. These three must be made into one.

The unification of spirit and soul would not be so difficult, but what is essential for both is to become united with the personality, the fourfold body, which is an alchemical necessity. The fourfold personality, however, is not fit to enter this threefold unification just as it is. The initial work has been brought to a good end. There is. indeed, a basic understanding. The three are bending towards each other. But the process must reach further, much further than that. That is why, as he progresses in this work, the candidate must put on new garments from time to time and participate in what, to us, seem rather strange changes of clothing. As you will under­stand, these garments have nothing to do with outer clothing. To understand what clothing is meant here, you will need to bear in mind that Alchimia, the new microcosmic astral field, exerts a powerful influence on the candidate of the Fourth Day.

We have said many times that this new astral field differs entirely in essence and vibration from the astral part of the nature-born personality. Its light-power is much stronger and of a much higher vibration, and it therefore has a powerful influence on the entire personality. We have also told you that the seven “weights” are stored in the seven cerebral cavities, or in other words: the fiery elixir that fills the seven cerebral cavities is totally transformed in nature and essence. The result is that, because of the activity of that very much higher light-power in the nature-born personality, a ‘”new thirst” comes into being. Because of it, the candidate has to drink from the font of the living water. Inwardly, he is no longer able to refrain from doing so.

The Alchemical Wedding of Christian Rosycross Part 2 (J. Van Rijckenborgh)

….

He [took] Judas, Matthew and Mary [to show them the final] consummation of heaven and Earth, and when he placed his [hand] on them, they hoped that they might [see] it. Judas gazed up and saw a region of great height, and he saw the region of the great abyss below.

Judas said to Matthew, “Brother, who can ascend to such a height or descend abyss below? For there is great fire there, and great terror.”

At that moment a word ” issued from the height. As Judas was standing there, ” how the word came [down].

He asked the word, “Why have you come down?”

The Son of Humanity greeted them and said to them, “A seed from a power efieient, and it descended to the earth’s abyss. The Majesty remembered [it] and sent the [word to] it. The word brought the seed up into [the presence] of the Majesty, so that the first word might not be lost.”

[H is] disciples marveled at everything he told them, and they accepted all of it in faith. And they understood that it was no longer necessary to keep an eye on evil.

Then he said to his disciples, “Didn’t I tell you that, like a visible flash of thunder and lightning, what is good will be taken up to the light?”

All his disciples praised him and said, “Master, before you appeared here, who was there to praise you, for all praises are because of you? Or who was there to bless [you], for all blessing comes from you?”

,As they were standing there, he saw two spirits bringing a single soul with them, and there was a great flash of lightning. A word came from the Son of Humanity saying, “Give them their garments,” and the small became like the great. They were [like] those who were received up; [there was no distinction] among them.

The [words] he [spoke convinced the] disciples.

The Dialogue of the Savior

On garments clothing the soul, and on putting on perfect humanity as a garment , cf. Gospel of Mary 15, 18. On garments of light and life given to those who enter the bridal chamber cf. Dialogue of the savior 138-39

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 the testimony of those who bear witness.” (”The Paraphrase of Shem.”)

Tai Chi: As an icon the Tai Chi is a symbol, composed of the Yin and Yang circle, surrounded by eight trigrams. It, in terms of function is the underlying philosophy of all Chinese, and ‘classical’ Oriental philosophy. According to the scholar Fung Yu-Lan, ”The History of Chinese Philosophy, Vol 2.” Princeton, 1953, the philosophies of Pythagoras, and the Tai Chi are almost identical. The concept of Chi, and Sophia (wisdom), Logos, and Tao, meaning ”Word,” are identical. The power of male and female polarities in the Tai Chi, resemble the ideas of Pronoia, and Protophanes, in the concept of ”Barbelo.” ( See Barbelo, and Sethian Monadology. See also; ”The Valentinian Exposition.”) The Tai Chi is associated with the ”Book of Changes,” (I Ching), in Chinese Philosophy. Pythagoras is thought to have studied Chinese Philosophy, and obviously did. (See; Bulfinch’s Mythology, Gramercy, Crown Pub.
1979.) The analogy to the Tai Chi, Sethian values are in ”Tetrakys of the
Decad, Monadic Vlaues.”

Tartaros (Tartarus): Keeper of Hades. Also referred to as Tartarucus, Tatrokis, Saklas
and Temeluchus in various Christian texts. (See; ”The Book of Thomas the Contender,” Nag Hammadi Lib. Name is also used by Clement in “Stromata“)

Tatian: (110-180) Pupil of Justin Martyr and author of the “Diatessaron,” and “Letter to the Greeks.” Formed Gnostic sects in Syria called Encratites, meaning literally, ‘Masters of Themselves.’ Qualified the soul, as a special kind of spirit. (”Letter to the Greeks.”)

Tatian the Assyrian.

Tatian the Assyrian.


Tertullian: (160-230) Native of
Carthage who joined literalist Christianity
around 196, after becoming a lawyer in
Rome. Before he became a Montanist in 207, he argued with Hippolytus against Gnosticism. However his work does not reflect a sound knowledge of any of the pre-Christian, Valentinian, or Sethian
epistemologies. (See; Tertullian’s, ”Treatise of the Soul.”)


Tetraktys (Tetractys) of the Decad, The Monadic Values: There is no doubt that Sethian Gnostics applied the principles of this paradigm. ”Pythagorus considered all things relative to numbers… How he conceived this process has never been satisfactorily explained.” (Bullfinch, pg. 289.) Perhaps this is
the secret….

tetraktys

tetraktys

Pythagorus considered the monad as the source of all things. In the case of the tetraktys of the decad, the concepts of form and structure are related in mathematical values. These values work in harmony. They are not just a list, they are a set. The first and most obvious is numerical value is the digital sequence of one through ten. ‘Monad,’ 2. Decad, 3. Triad, 4. Tetrad, 5. Pentad, 6. Hexad, 7. Heptad, 8. Ogdoad, 9. Ennead, and 10. Decad.

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

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

o Monad
o o Decad
o o o Triad
o o o o Tetrad

________________________________These triangles should be equalateral.

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

1.. The Tetractys represented the organization of space: {Wu Chi, Void, ”Jesus is Silence.” See; ”A Valentinian Exposition.”}
2.. the first row represented zero-dimensions (a point) {Tai Chi, yin and yang are the same.}
3.. the second row represented one-dimension (a line of two points) {Liang Yi, yin and yang are different}
4.. the third row represented two-dimensions (a plane defined by a triangle of
three points) {This is consistent with the San Ti. Man is the same as heaven and earth.}
5.. the fourth row represented three-dimensions (a triangular pyramid defined by four points) {This is consistent with the Si Xiang. This is Yin and Yang seenas two different things, or four types. This parallel to the Tai Chi does not include the Ba Gua (8 trigrams)} Wikapedia source…..
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetractys

This triangle represents five, or more different mathematical values, not generally recognized unless you apply the Tai Chi model with the parallel of the Tetraktys. The mathematical values are thought of more like aphorisms, or a mantra, rather than calculations in some respect. Pythagoras put everything in terms of math, and I think the statistical terms below can be adapted to both the Tai Chi and the Tetraktys of the Decad.

The digital sequence of one through ten, connotes the decad. What cannotes the the ‘tetra’ is the number four. In the case of the tetraktys of the decad, the value of four corresponds with the relative value of the mathematical concept of ‘mode.’ One through six, would make the triangle a triad, and if you add a fifth
line, 11. through, 15., to the base, the mode is a pentad. As shown above we have the tetrad. (See; ”The Table of Ten Numbers,” http://www.sacred-texts.com/eso/sta/sta16.htm )

The mode is the value, or set of like units that appear most frequently in a set. As can be seen in the model of the tetraktys of the decad, all three sides of the triangle contain four units. (This is looking at the triangle of dots as an icon like the Tai Chi.) In terms of the triangle there are four levels, or modes (called types in the ”Gospel of Mary,”), Level 1. is one, level two the decad, is 2. and 3., level three the triad, is 4. 5. and 6., level four the tetrad, is 7. 8. 9. and 10.

O monad
O O decad
O O O triad
O O O O tetrad

A set in most science involving polarity, is called a field or pool, which connotes a perimeter of the form, or the unified body of the set, as a whole. Mode connotes the ‘level,’ of the form and structure of the pool. Therefor tetrads, hexads, ogdoads, etc. are thought of as modes and levels, which can be
applied to fields.

As you build the triangle by adding lines of digits to the base, the mode changes in sequence, but the values of mean, and median, also become relative to the model. This is allegorical to how a seed turns into a tree or plant. This same sequence is thought to be extant in the working of the Logos, Pleroma,
Kenoma, and Psyche of man, and collective consciousness of mankind.

This means you are using mathematical terms as points of a contemplation, or meditation, more like aphorism than calculation. Each configuration of the triangle regardless of the mode, retains the value of the monad in the digital sequence. The mode sequence, the mean value in the sequence, and the median
values in the sequence, are not mutually exclusive. They work in harmony.

The mode sequence is determined by looking at the triangle like an icon, and determining the number of units each side of the triangle has. The mode sequence has a different numerical value than the digital sequence value. In the Tai Chi, Wu Chi, is the void or zero, and in the Sethian system Jesus is Silence. Tai Chi, is one, meaning Yin and Yang are the same. Liang Yi is the third in the Heaven Sequence, and means Yin and Yang as seperate or different. The student of the Tetraktys retains the triology, or ‘tripartite,’ as a mindset, in the contemplation of the sequence. “Man’s mind/heart, is the same as heaven and
earth.” (”Kenpo Gokui’.’)

The next stage in the Heaven Sequence, (Use of even numbers) is the Si Xiang, which represents the tetrad or four units. In the Chinese system Wu Chi = 0, Tai Chi equals 2., Liang Yi = 2, and Si Xiang= 4., puting the Tai Chi in a setof eight parts, symbolically aligned with the Ba Gua, or eight trigrams, making
the Tai Chi an organized Ogdoad. The Sacred Tetrad is regarded in the same way, as the Si Xiang, in form, structure, and mechanics. (See; Tai Chi. See; ”The History of Chinese Philosophy,” Vol. 2, Fung Yu-Lan, Princeton, 1953.)

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

The median, is the value where half of the units in a set are larger or smaller than the opposite set of units. The median is the point where the set is divided, and determines balance with the reflective or dual values of male/female, good/evil, light and darkness. The odd numbers where their are more units on one half of the set than the other, represents unbalance. Pythagoreans used the terms square for even numbers, and oblong for odd numbers.
(Ibid.)

In the application of the sequence the consideration of median, is that ‘duality,’ reamains a constant regardless of the level, or mode, as does the power of the Monad. Duality can be meant to be more than one feature, when drawing a monadic paradigm, as duality does not always mean opposite, it can
mean either, or. In some cases it can be implied as an opposite. It can be areflective value, like a mirror image, or reflection. (See; Bythos)

For instance, the pentad can be given five values, with good connotations, and their opposite with negative conotations. Five constructive values, are opposed to the destructive values of opposition. The Chinese use the idea of the Wu Xing, or five constructive, and destructive forces. The reflective value or
median value (duality) is always considered as part of form and structure,
regardless of the mode, or level in the sequence.

The fifth value is the parabolic, more of a geometric adaptation, which has dimensions or perspective, reflection and even vibration. (See; Parables.) The parabolic view is in reference to the higher modes of the Pentad and above, where the structure and form can be seen as multi-dimensional and having
perspective. (See; Parabole, which can be shown as viewing the inside of a
cone. See also; Gematria.)

As a contemplation device, all the values of the tetraktys of the decad, are imagined in unison as a harmony. This unified perception is imperical to the idea of how the natural order of wisdom works in the tripartite vision of man as being psyche, material, and spiritual. The sequence is operational in the realms of man, heaven and earth.

You can see that 1. 2. 3. and 5. form the equalateral cross, common in the first century. There may be more of these parallels, than I mention at this time. The Platonic tetrad, used in the ”Square of Opposition,” a tool of logic, can also be seen in the formation of 2. 3. 5. 8. and 9.

If you look at the triagle of dots you will see that 2. 3. 4. 6. 8. and 9. form a circle with 5. in the middle. 1. 7., and 9. are outside the circle. (See Tripartite) As one contemplates this image the fifth value of the parabolic becomes apparent. The image can look like it is multi-dimensional, where the center (5) as seen as closer and further away, adds perspective. The center dot 5. becomes parabolic point of center, and the middle of the sequence.

In regard to the human figure, you can draw arms going up from 2., and 3., and legs off 8. and 9., and you can imagine the human figure in the gematria within the triangle.

In martial arts, especially those aligned with the classic Tai Chi, the points of the shoulders and hips represent the primary centers of the body’s natural ”primary square of balance,” where 5. is the center of the body the diaphram. Some martial artists use this ‘cone’ image like sights on a gun, aiming at a
target, and using the same grid for defense. This shows the tool (sequence) is useful as both applied in the material world, and applied to the psyche. The entire system of Isshin Ryu Karate can be shown in the ”Heaven Sequence,” as well as the application against opponents.

images Kabbalistic Tetraktys illustrating the 72 names of God and the manifestation of creation

pythag1

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

http://neonostalgia.com/xtian/Extracts_from_Theodotus.htm , and Theodotus )

Theoria (Greek θεωρία) is Greek for contemplation or ‘the perception of beauty regarded as a moral faculty’ (OED). From within Eastern Orthodox theology it is the ‘vision’ and or the ’seeing’ of God, as the experience of God, achieved by the pure of heart who are no longer subject to the afflictions of the passions. This affliction of the passions is caused by the knowledge of good and the knowledge the evil. Theoria is validated because God is in the Universe or material world, which is evidenced by the material world containing beauty. Theoria is obtained as a gift from the Holy Spirit to those who through partaking of the sacraments along with the observance of the commandments of God and ascetic practices (see also kenosis, Poustinia and schema) have achieved dispassion.[1]Theoria is closely tied to the ascetic form

of contemplative prayer called hesychasm that in the Eastern Church can also encompass the Jesus Prayer or the Prayer of the Heart. Theoria is a faculty that develops along with and is intimately related to the process of theosis, considered (especially by the Eastern Orthodox church) to be the quintessential purpose and goal of Christianity. Theosis has three stages the first is called catharis or purification, the second theoria or illumination and finally theosis or deification.[2] The love of beauty (philokalia),

transcending the love of wisdom (philosophy) manifests into the love of God (theophilos). Love of God as faith in God manifests as humility. Humility is above all else, the characteristic hallmark of the saints. Theoria and Theosis culminates into the Kingdom of God. Here humility as a saintly attribute is called sophia or Holy Wisdom. Humility not knowledge is the most critical component to mankind’s salvation.

The word has its origin in the Greek language and is derived from the same root as the English word theory. Theoria is used to express the experience of life as “one who watches a play or activity”, the state of “being” is defined as spectator. Hence it means to focus one’s attention exclusively on one thing, Beauty and or God being the object of focus. The act of experiencing and or observing is through the nous or “eye of the soul” Matthew 6:22-6:34. Noesis as faith in God (action through faith and love for God), leads to truth through our contemplative faculties. This theory, or speculation, as action in faith and love for God, is then expressed famously as “Beauty shall Save the World”. This expression of the idea comes from a mystic or gnosiology perspective (rather than say, a scientific or cultural one),[

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theoria

Theosis: (Theiosis, Theopoiesis, Theōsis) In Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic theology, theosis, meaning divinization (or deification or, to become god), is the call to man to become holy and seek union with God, beginning in this life and later consummated in the resurrection. Theosis comprehends salvation from sin, is premised upon apostolic and early Christian understanding of the life of faith, and is conceptually foundational in both the East and the West. See also; Consecration, Deification, Divine Union, Sanctification. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theosis

The Ladder of Paradise icon described by John Climacus.

The Ladder of Paradise icon described by John Climacus.

“full participation in divinity which is humankind’s true beatitude and the destiny of human life”

–Thomas Aquinas

 

 

 

Archimandrite George has been the Abbot of St. Gregorios Monastery since 1974. He is well known throughout the Orthodox world both as a theologian and spiritual father. He has written many books and articles on theology and the spiritual life. His works have been translated into many languages.

The idea of Theosis will be unfamiliar to the Western mind, although it is not a new concept to Christianity. When Christ said, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand,” [1] this is a call to a life of Theosis.

Theosis is personal communion with God “face to face.” [2] To the Western mind, this idea may seem incomprehensible, even sacrilegious, but it derives unquestionably from Christ’s teachings. Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of the messianic dream of the Jewish race; [3] His mission to connect us with the Kingdom of God [4] a Kingdom not of this world. [5] When Jesus said, “You are gods,” [6] “be perfect, just as your Father in Heaven is perfect,” [7] or “the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father,” [8] this is to be taken literally. For those who are interested, further Biblical evidence for this can be found in Leviticus 11:44-45; 20:7-8; Deuteronomy 18:13; Psalms 82:1,6; Romans 6:22; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:2-4.

 

 

The whole sacrificial tradition of Israel beginning with the sacrificial offering of Isaac reaches fulfillment in Jesus Christ. St. John the Baptist echoing Isaiah says, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes upon Himself the sins of the world.” [9] St. Paul has this in mind when he says, “If you are Christ’s, then you are descendants of Abraham, and heirs according to the promise,” [10] because “those who believe are children of Abraham.” [11] The name Israel, was given to Jacob by God as an expression of his fidelity. Later this name was inherited by his faithful descendants. This train of thought is expounded in the writings of St. Paul, where he blesses the Church as “the Israel of God;” [12] whilst elsewhere he wrestles with and is pained by his fellow Jews denial of their own Messiah, labeling them “Israel according to the flesh.” [13]

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/general/theosis.aspx

………….

 

 

 

This is the second stage of Theosis, called

“theoria,” in the course of which man, having

already been cleansed from the passions, is illumined

by the Holy Spirit, is made luminous

on the way to becoming deified. Theoria means

vision. Theoria of God means a vision of God.

To see God, he must be a deified man. Thus,

theoria of God also means Theosis.

Of course, when he has been thoroughly

cleansed and has offered himself entirely to

God, then he also receives the greatest experience

of divine Grace available to men, which,

according to the holy Fathers, is the vision of

the uncreated light of God. Those who are very

advanced in Theosis see this light, very few in

each generation. God’s Saints see it and appear

within it, and, incidentally, this is what the halos

in the holy icons show us.

 

For example, in the life of St. Basil the Great,

it is said that when St. Basil was praying in his

cell, those who were able to see him saw that he

himself, and even his cell, were shining within

this uncreated light of God, the light of divine

Grace. In the lives of many of the New-Martyrs

of our Faith we read that, after horrible tortures,

when the Turks hung their bodies in the squares

of the town to intimidate other Christians, on

many nights a light appeared around them. It

shone so clearly and brightly that, because in

this way the truth of our Faith was so brilliantly

revealed, the occupiers ordered them taken

down so that they would not be ashamed before

the Christians, who saw how God glorified His

holy Martyrs.

 

The Grace of Theosis preserves the bodies

of the Saints incorruptible, and these are the

holy relics which exude myrrh and work miracles.

As St. Gregory Palamas says, the Grace of

God, having first united with the psyches of the

Saints, afterwards shrouds their holy bodies and

fills these too with Grace: not only their bodies,

but also their graves, their icons, and their

Churches. Here is the reason why we venerate

and kiss the icons, the holy relics, the graves,

and the Churches of the Saints. Through Theosis,

all these have something of the Grace of

God which the Saint had in his psyche because

of his union with God.

 

Therefore, in the Church, we enjoy the Grace

of Theosis not only with our psyche, but also

with our body, because as the temple of the Holy

Spirit Who dwells in it, and shares its struggles

with the psyche, the body is surely glorified.

The Grace springing from the holy Lord

–the God-Man Christ– is poured out into our

Panagia, into the Saints, and it also comes to

those of us who are humble.

 

It is certainly worth noting that the experiences

of the Christian are not always experiences

of Theosis and so spiritual. Many people

have been deluded by demonic or psychological

experiences. In order that there is no danger of

delusion and no demonic influence, all of this

must be humbly mentioned to the Spiritual

Father, who, illumined by God, will discern

whether these experiences are genuine or not,

and he will give appropriate direction to the

psyche who is confessing. Generally, our obedience

to the Spiritual Father is one of the most

basic points of our spiritual path. Through it we

acquire an ecclesiastical spirit of discipleship in

Christ by which the legitimacy of our exertion

is confirmed in order to guide us towards union

with God.

 

Within the Church, a special domain of Theosis

is monasticism, where the monks, having

been sanctified, receive high experiences of

union with God.

 

Many of the monks who experience Theosis

and sanctification also help the whole Church,

for, as we Christians believe following the agelong

holy Tradition of the Church, the struggle

of the monks has a positive effect on the life of

every struggling faithful in the world. In our

Orthodoxy, the people of God have great reverence

for Monasticism because of this.

 

After all, in the Church we partake in the

communion of the Saints, and experience the

joy of union with Christ. By this we mean that

within the Church we are not isolated members

but a unity, a brotherhood, a fraternal community

– not only among ourselves, but also with

the Saints of God, those who are living on earth

today and those who have passed away. Not

even at death are Christians divided. Death is

unable to separate Christians because they are

all united in the resurrected body of Christ.

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/general/theosis-english.pdf

……..

Man, according to the scriptures, is created in the “likeness” and “image” of God (Gen 1:26-27).

To be like God, through the gift of God, is the essence of man’s being and life. In the scriptures it says that God breathed into man, the “breath (or spirit) of life” (Gen 2:7). This teaching has given rise to the understanding in the Orthodox Church that man cannot be truly human, truly himself, without the Spirit of God.

The image of God signifies man’s free will, his reason, his sense of moral responsibility, everything, which marks man out from the animal creation and makes him a person. But the image means more than that. It means that we are God’s ‘offspring’ (Acts 27:28), his kin; it means that between us and him there is a point of contact, an essential similarity. The gulf between creature and Creator is not impassable, for because we are in God’s image we can know God and have communion with him.

Fall of man

The story of creation, and specifically of, tells of the goodness of all things that exist, and the superiority of man over other beings. It shows how the origin of evil does not lie in God but in his most perfect creature whose free act of sin brought wickedness and death to the world, how man lost the “likeness” of God, his response to God’s love.

 

 

Thereapeutae: (Therapuetrides) A Jewish sect in Alexandria described by Philo in his “On the Contemplative Life.” They were similar to Essenes, and were mistaken by Eusebius as being Christian. ( “The History of the Church,” Eusebius, Williamson, Penguin, 1989, pg. 422-23)

 

 

Philo, para. 28

Theudas: (42 CE approx.) Theudas, meaning ‘gift from God’ declared himself a prophet and was executed while attempting to ‘part the Jordan” for his followers. Years later Valentinus laid claim to some of his teaching. ( Ehrman, “Lost Christianities, pg 193, says Theudas was a disciple of Paul, this is not true.. Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 20.97-98 )

Theurgy: ‘Works of the Gods’ ( See; “Zostrianos”). This refers to human affairs and the effects in the earthly state. ”Theurgy (from Latin: theurgia, Greek: theourgeia) describes the practice of rituals, sometimes seen as magical in nature, performed with the intention of invoking the action of God (or other personified supernatural power), especially with the goal of uniting with the divine, achieving theosis, and perfecting oneself.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theurgy

Become a conduit, forgetting oneself and concentrating on Aumen above and Their Life force flowing out of you into all the world. Feel empty of yourself, like a hollow tube, and full of Them like a gushing spring. Flow Their compassion and wisdom freely toward all, without reservation or direction. After a time, when it feels right to quit, let the word Aumen-Hayya, and yourself, melt into oneness with Them.

http://essenes.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=619&Itemid=881

……

In its “original Egyptian” use, the term Theurgy however refers to “becoming a hollow reed. This concept is quite different to the “modern” use employed by modern “Hermeticists.” Although the two concepts may in turn cross over, the fundamental difference is one involves taking from the “Gods” and the other involves opening one’s self up in order to be filled. In theory this may be the same or similar, but the actual process is different. In such that one involves manipulation and the other involves self sacrifice.

https://magdelene.wordpress.com/2008/03/18/more-thoughts-on-ritual/

Torah: The first five books of the Bible, “Genesis,” “Exodus,” “Leviticus,”
Numbers,” and “Deuteronomy,” also referred to as “The Law.”

Transubstantiation: The act of applying or transference of Holy Spirit into wine and bread. The term is common to the Christian and Gnostic Eucharist, Communion, or sacramental ceremonies. ”A change of substance, {transmutation} usually refering to the doctrine of the Eucharist sacrement of the Lord’s Supper, where the bread and wine were declared symbols of the body and blood of Jesus.”( See; ”The Steinerbooks Dictionary of the Psychic, Mystic, and Occult,” Rudolf Steiner, 1973. pg. 219. See also; “Valentinian Exposition,”
Baptism A., B., Eucarist, Chrism, etc. Nag Hammadi Lib. See also; ”Gospel of Philip.”)


Treatise: A book or writing directed toward a specific purpose.

Triacontad: ”Triacontad of Aeons, which is made up in the Pleroma of an ogdoad, a decad, and a duodecad.” (duodecad, or dodecad, meaning 12) Mentioned in the text, ”A Valentian Exposition.” http://www.gnosis.org/library/ter_appendix.htm

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.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trimurti

Trimurti of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva

Trimurti of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva

 

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seraphim: A celestial being having three pairs of wings, or the first of the nine orders of angels in medieval angelology. http://education.yahoo.com/reference/dictionary/entry/seraph

Seraphim surround the divine throne in this illustration from the Petites Heures de Jean de Berry, a 14th-century illuminated manuscript.

Seraphim surround the divine throne in this illustration from the Petites Heures de Jean de Berry, a 14th-century illuminated manuscript.

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.”)


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


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

Similitude: Meaning a likeness or having similarity, like a simile, parable, allegory, or likeness. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/similitudes

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

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

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

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

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.)

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Friends, and Fellow-Travelers,

I am writing this in response to one of Eric’s recent questions,

about some of our mythology regarding Sophia, the feminine

personification of divine wisdom (I am holding off until next time

the other question about the pairing of the aeons).

I was very struck by Eric’s way of formulating the question: “Why is

Sophia the one who got into trouble?” which puts the question very

succinctly and very powerfully I think. For the benefit of those of

you who may not be as familiar with Gnostic creation myths, let me

briefly review the story that Eric is raising. Please note that I

am essentially harmonizing and conflating several different creation

accounts from the Nag Hammadi texts, in order to produce a “typical”

version of the Gnostic creation story � of course, strictly speaking

there can never be such a version, given the dynamic quality of

Gnostic myth-expression, but if you will grant me your patience, I

hope to make a few suggestions that may be helpful to you in your

own explorations of Gnostic mythology.

We pick up the story in the midst of the “pleroma” or the spiritual

realm which has been brought into existence by emanations emerging

outward (metaphorically, not spatially) from the source of spirit,

which we call God. Sophia is one of the aeons or spiritual beings

that inhabit this pleroma. For reasons that are never fully clear

in the stories, Sophia longs to produce something on her own, apart

from the rest of the pleroma, and in so doing she gives birth to a

child that is monstrously deformed in terms of its spiritual

identity � “On the Origin of the World” portrays the imperfect

aspects of the child as being formed like “an abortion without any

spirit in it.” It is this child of Sophia who becomes Yaldabaoth,

the Demuirgos, the demiurge and shaper of the physical realm or

cosmos.

Yaldabaoth is above all a mixed being, a being divided against

himself, constantly torn apart by the forces that war within him, by

the contest between the parts of his identity that are the “abortion

without any spirit in it” and the parts that are in fact the

spiritual principle he has inherited from Sophia. Again, the

gradual self-realization of the demiurge is portrayed most vividly

in On the Origin of the World, where Yaldabaoth emerges up out of

the waters and darkness of chaos, looks around and sees nothing but

himself and chaos, since he is separated by a veil of darkness from

a full vision of the pleroma � and proclaims himself as the only God

and ruler of the chaos. It is in this supreme act of suffering and

divided will, detached from spiritual awareness, that the physical

realm comes into existence. What was spiritual in Yaldabaoth

remains spirit trapped in the formalisms of physical space-time.

Sophia looks down into the chaos over which Yaldabaoth asserts his

reign, and out of pure compassion (like that of Christ) she

dedicates herself to the liberation of that spirit � the liberation

we call gnosis.

Last night, I spent some time talking to one of our dear sisters who

has a great devotion to Sophia, but a tempestuous one and she gets

angry with her. “Why,” she asks, “would Sophia do these things that

brought about, even if indirectly, pain and sorrow?” Many people

seem to have these feelings about the mythological structure.

I say, to the contrary, these myths give us profound ways to

conceptualize Sophia and radical hope for the future of our own

individual and collective spiritual liberation. Remember, dualities

are part of the physical cosmos � actually, they constitute the

cosmos. We are so enmeshed in these dualities that we want to apply

them to our myths. We want Sophia to be ashamed of her mistakes; we

find her present centrality to our liberation an intolerable pride

given the stories we tell about her. But the Thunder: Perfect Mind

gives Sophia’s voice to reply to just such sentiments: “For I am

knowledge and ignorance. / I am shame and boldness. / I am

shameless; I am ashamed.”

In other words, all this is to say that spirit purely transcends all

dualities, but to us � mired as we are in a world defined by

dualities � this transcendence manifests itself as something that

encompasses both sides of the dualities. So, again in the words of

the Thunder: Perfect Mind, ” I am the one who has been hated

everywhere / and who has been loved everywhere. / I am the one whom

they call Life, / and you have called Death. / I am the one whom

they call Law, / and you have called Lawlessness.”

Further, our myths about Sophia demonstrate the ultimate optimism of

Gnosticism. It is true that we are tragic optimists, and much of

what we say can be misinterpreted as pessimistic in terms of how we

view the limitations placed on spirit in the cosmos. In the long

run, however, we fall back on the understanding that what is

spiritual within us contains our true destiny. So what do the myths

of Yaldabaoth and Sophia say to us? They say we can move forward.

Before we have any experience of gnosis, we are strikingly like

Yaldabaoth; we suffer without knowing the cause of suffering, we

comfort ourselves with delusions too often, we mistake control over

others for love. But through the process of spiritual liberation,

we become like Sophia in transforming ourselves into agents of

compassion and indeed agents of the spiritual liberation of others.

Indeed in the mythic structure, there is no reason to suppose that

Yaldabaoth himself will not eventually heed the call of Sophia

fully, and emerge from the chaos into the unity of the pleroma.

Let me close by sharing one more thing from “On the Origin of the

World.” In describing the origin of Yaldabaoth’s name, the text

tells us that Sophia calls out to the demiurge, mired in chaos,

saying “Ialda Baoth which means ‘Child pass through here.’” We too

are mixed beings, we too suffer, we too find ourselves imprisoned in

the dualities that surround us and grip us in their vise. And

yet…and yet…we too hear that call, Sophia crying out to us in

her tragic compassion: “Pass through here.” As we begin to ascend,

we reach first the darkness of that veil that separates cosmos from

pleroma, and this is disorienting, frightening, like a great abyss.

But as we hold to the path, we begin to see emerging out of that

darkness the beauty of a pure existence, unlimited, undivided, no

longer separated. And that, I think, is the final message of

Sophia’s story, for she, like Christ, gives us not only the call to

take this journey, but a model for what we shall become when we

surrender ourselves to her embrace.

In Christ and Sophia,

Matthew

————————————————————————–

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Friends, and Fellow Travelers,

I am finally back home from my trip! I just wanted to let you all know that I am

back and if you have sent me emails or messages, I will get to them as soon as I

can. I am copying some text from an email I sent earlier today about Sophia, in

case some of you might find it interesting. It was in reply to a lengthy email

by a Romanian inquiring about a number of things including possible connections

between Orthodox and Gnostic theology. Love in Christ and Sophia,

First, about our geographical location — most of our members live across the

United States, although we also have members and supporters in Canada, the

Phillippines, and Italy. We have a strong emphasis on supporting the

individual’s spiritual search, especially in areas where there are few other

people pursuing the Gnostic path. We also encourage the formation of

semi-independent local groups and churches, and currently have formed or are

forming several in the United States, in Texas, Tennessee, Virginia, and Las

Vegas. We are always looking for new groups to form and hopefully will continue

to expand local communities outside North America as well. Our local groups all

have a great deal of autonomy and independence while linked together in a

democratic communion of fellowship.

I am indeed familiar with Sergei Bulgakov’s work. It may be interesting to you

that there are certain similarities that western Gnosticism shares more in

common with the Orthodox and eastern Christian churches than it does with

western Christianity. As the east and west began to diverge over the centuries,

eastern theologians and philosophers came to emphasize what we call in English

“theosis” or the transformation and transcendence of the human into the divine.

For example, Basil the Great reportedly put it by saying “the human being is an

animal that has the calling to become God.”

You can see that such an idea is similar — though not exactly the same — as

our concept of “gnosis” or the gaining of experiential knowledge of the divine

within us. For example, in the Gospel of Thomas we read Jesus saying that, “I

am the light that pervades all things. I am the totality. From me the totality

come forth, and unto me did the totality extend. Split a piece of wood, and I am

there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there” (saying 77). Yet at the

very same time, we also read Jesus say that we too can take up the same kind of

relationship to God and the “totality” or pleroma (spiritual realm): “They who

will drink from my mouth will become like me. I myself shall become them, and

the things that are hidden will be revealed to them” (saying 108). In other

words, gnosis is conceived as being a radical transformation of the self by

which we become “divinized” — or more precisely, we come to see the divine that

is already in the core of our being, all around

us, “pervading all things.” This is ultimately what we mean by gnosis, which is

both this state of enlightenment and the process by which we pursue it.

This kind of thinking never became a major part of Latin Christianity, and I

think this is part of why today many Gnostics feel such a split from western

Christianity but also why so many people are becoming interested in Gnosticism.

On the other hand, it is true that some western Christians, especially mystics

and visionaries, took up the theme of Sophia and developed it into what became

known in Latin as “Sapientia” or Wisdom. Sapiential theology, which was

promoted by people like Hildegard of Bingen, revolved around focusing on the

feminine relationship of the individual to divine wisdom, the mediation of that

space between the divine and the human, so that it can be crossed, or entered.

This, however, never has really become a part of the mainstream Christianity of

the west.

Sophia is a very complex force in contemporary Gnostic belief. Sometimes we

speak of her as a being, like a character, and sometimes like an abstracted

force like Wisdom, but in essence she stands as a symbol that transcends this

kind of category and is at the same time neither one and both, as we can read in

texts like the Thunder Perfect Mind. Let me try to summarize, however, three

fundamental roles that Sophia plays to the system of Gnosticism.

Sophia functions as a representation or symbol of the forces that can propel us

along the journey of gnosis, as well as the goals for which we strive. Gnosis

– “knowledge” — is in the end seen as leading to “Wisdom,” something even more

intimate, a deep and indissoluble connection between the human person and the

spirit/God. Sophia also represents the importance of the feminine nature of

this process, emphasizing such charcteristics as silence, the “dark night of the

soul,” mystical awareness.

This helps us see a second function of Sophia. In the Gnostic system, she

serves as a sort of counterbalance to Christ. She complements Christ, and makes

Christ complete, just as he makes her complete. The Gnostic Christ is above all

both the Logos or Word and the speaker of the Logos, sending it out into the

world, as he does in the Gospel of Thomas. Sophia complements this by

representing what the Thunder Perfect Mind calls “the silence that is

incomprehensible” — the moments when words and even the Logos/Word fail us and

we are simply overwhelmed by the mystery of what we experience as we move along

life’s journey. As human beings, we face the paradox that we must speak about

the spirit in order to move toward it, but in the end we must also find that we

can never speak in a way that contains the spirit within material language.

Similarly, Christ is experienced fundamentally as Light, illuminating our

journeys, Sophia is experienced as darkness — the darkness of the

night where we abandon our pretensions and surrender to the beauty of the divine

that pervades our very beings. We could carry these ideas out in many different

examples. If Christ is a solid, like a rock, strong and ever-present, Sophia is

like liquid — always present, but in the way she flows around us gently,

passively it would even appear.

The third function of Sophia is that she is also an important figure in Gnostic

mythology. The early Gnostics told many stories about the nature of the world,

about creation, and how things came to be, and so forth. Now it is important of

course to understand that these stories are simply that — stories that we use

to symbolize and reflect on mysteries of the universe around us. Sophia as a

“character” or entity in these stories is very deeply and centrally figured.

There are various Gnostic myths, but in a common myth, we see God emanating

spirit out from God’s self, producing the “pleroma” including Christ and Sophia

(and our own spiritual natures). Sophia, however, comes to desire to produce

something on her own, apart from the rest of God, and ultimately gives birth to

a being/force that is imperfect, separated from the divine — what the myths

call the “demiurge” who in turn becomes the “creator” of the material world,

which is imperfect just as the demiurge is

imperfect, systemically. But Sophia is not a “villain” in this story — it is a

great story of redemption, because she is shown as subsequently being the force

that works to bring about our liberation from imperfections and our

reunification with the rest of the pleroma or spiritual reality. In one version

of the myth, the very production of the demiurge in a sense splits Sophia into

half, a Heavenly Sophia and an earthly one, who long for reunification. It is

the earthly Sophia, moved by her Heavenly counterpart, that comes to the human

beings in the demiurge’s “garden” in the form of a humble, simple animal — the

snake — to lead people on their first steps toward reunification. In a

symbolic sense, then, she becomes our bridge, and we become hers.

I hope this gives you some things to think about and I hope to hear from you

soon. Please accept my warmest blessings and wishes for peace for you and your

family.

Brother Matthew Ouroboros

http://www.gnostic-church.org/

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax

booth; and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. And as

he sat at dinner in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and were

sitting with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to

his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But

when he heard this, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician,

but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not

sacrifice.’

Matthew 9:9-13a

Russian Icon, Sophia, the Holy Wisdom, 1812

Russian Icon, Sophia, the Holy Wisdom, 1812

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Syzygos: Literally means “consort”. Sometimes used to refer to the twin. Is generally meant to imply the thing to which one is driven to connect with. A person’s syzygos is their spirit. ”Sophia’s mistake was said to be her drive to create without her syzygos.” Syzgy, is considered a blending of spirit and
soul. (See; Theodotus, Criddle Collection.) Syzgy, is considered a blending of spirit and soul. In Gnosticism the male-female pair of Aeons is called a “Syzygy.” http://www.kheper.net/topics/Gnosticism/archetypal_man.html

Nag Hammadi: (Naj Hammadi) Name of the Egyptian town where the Gnostic texts and
scriptures were unearthed in 1947. Also refers to the Nag Hammadi Library. (NHL)

Norea: Fourth child of Adam and Eve. Again Eve became pregnant, and she bore Norea. And she said, “He has begotten on me a her, “Your mother Eve came to us.” But Norea turned to them and said to them, also your mother Eve; for I have been given […].” But Norea turned, with the might Norea said, “Who are you?” The rulers of unrighteousness had withdrawn from her.” ”The Hypostasis of the Archons,” See aslo; ”The Thought of Norea,” NHL.

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’)

Numerology
: The study of numbers, and their use in divination, revelation, or prediction. The I Ching is based upon the trigrams, or Ba Gua, as divinations based upon astrology and numerology. Trigrams that represent ”variations,”
instead of divinations can make the Tai Chi, and the Sethian Monadology a measurement instrument of enlightenment. (See; ”The History of Chinese
Philosophy
,” Vol. 2., by Fun Yu-Lan, Princeton, 1953.)

Odes: (Odes of Solomon) is a book of the Bible found in the Septuagint manuscript. http://www.gnosis.org/library/odes.htm



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.

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further:

http://essenes.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=113&Itemid=755

http://essenes.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=112&Itemid=754

http://magdelene.net/sethianogdoad.html

Ophites: Also called Naassenes. (Sethians) A 2nd century Greek Gnostic sect who
are associated with their reverence toward ‘ohis’ the serpent. They contended
that the serpent represented the introduction of good and evil in the Garden of
Edan. Known to have divided into other sects, like Borborites with diverse
beliefs. Used a symbol of an equilateral cross in the center of a circle, called
the Ophite Cross, and other symbolistic icons using circles, leviathans. (See;
Gaffney, Hippolytus, Ref. of All Her. Bk 5, See also; ”The Brother of Jesus,”
Butz, Inner Traditions, 2005.)

Oracle: A shrine consecrated to the worship and consultation of a prophetic
deity, as that of Apollo at Delphi. A person, such as a priestess, through whom
a deity is held to respond when consulted. The response given through such a
medium, often in the form of an enigmatic statement or allegory. A person
considered to be a source of wise counsel or prophetic opinions. An
authoritative or wise statement or prediction. A command or revelation from God.
In the Bible, the sanctuary of the Temple. (American Heritage Dictionary.) (See;
”Oracles of Zoroaster.”)

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

Orosius, Paulus: (385-420 c.) Latin writer that opposed Origenists, and
Gnostics, especially the Pricilliannists, who advocated that Jesus was ascetic
in his nature. He sided with Augastine in declaring heretical works, and
identified a book called ”Memoria of the Apostles,” in which he identifies the
parable of the ‘’sower.” “A sower went forth to sow his seed, the sower was not
good: asserting that had he been good he would not have been careless, nor cast
his seed by the wayside or on stony places or unfilled ground: willing it to be
understood that that this (the ruler of the world?) was the sower, who scattered
the souls he had caught into various bodies as he pleased. In the same book
much is said about moist things, and the principle of fire: he would have it
understood that all good things happen in this world, not by the power of God,
but by contrivance.” ( “The New Testament Apocrypha,” James, Apocryphile
Press, page, 21.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orosius

Ouroboros: This is an image of the serpent biting it’s own tail, and is meant to
imply infinity. Or, possibly, eternally being stuck in the material cycle.

ouroboros.png

Oxyrynchus: Place in Egypt, and adopted name for Greek fragmented copies (3, Oxy
654, 655, et sec), and of the Gospel of Thomas and other works. (See also; The
Five Gospels,” p. 546.)

Oxyrhynchos map

Oxyrhynchos map

A private letter on papyrus from Oxyrhynchus, written in a Greek hand of the second century A

A private letter on papyrus from Oxyrhynchus, written in a Greek hand of the second century A

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Pachomius: (290-346) Founded the Christian monastery around Nag Hammadi Egypt. Thought by some to have held Gnostic beliefs. He is known as the most probable person to have had the Nag Hammadi texts. He is known to have met Basil of Caesaria, who studied Origen’s work. He is known to have met Basil. He opposed Athanasius who took over as the Orthodox authority in Alexandria around 297, ending the reign of Origen there. Athanasius, is said to have organized the books of Bible before the Nicean influence of Eusebius. He opposed the Gnostics, and is known to have posted himself in front of the Nag Hammadi mountains, where the texts were eventually found. (Encyclopaedia Britannica)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pachomius

Saint Pachomius (ca. 292-348), also known as Abba Pachomius and Pakhom, is generally recognized as the founder of Christian cenobitic monasticism.

Saint Pachomius (ca. 292-348), also known as Abba Pachomius and Pakhom, is generally recognized as the founder of Christian cenobitic monasticism.

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Panentheism: is the theological position that God is immanent within the universe, but also trancends it. It is distinguished from pantheism, which holds that God is synonymous with the material universe. In panentheism, God is viewed as creator and/or animating force behind the universe, and the source of universal morality. The term is closely associated with the Logos of Greek philosophy in the works of Herakleitos, which pervades the cosmos and whereby all things were made. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panentheistic

This term seems to describe the basis for Sethian Gnosticism. Consider the Thomas saying, 77. ”I am all: from me all came forth, and to me all attained. Split a piece of wood; I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there.”

Consider the following passage from ”Eugonostos the Blessed.”

”The Lord of the Universe is not rightly called ‘Father’ but ‘Forefather’. For the Father is the beginning (or principle) of what is visible. For he (the Lord) is the beginningless Forefather. He sees himself within himself, like a mirror, having appeared in his likeness as Self-Father, that is, Self-Begetter, and as Confronter, since he confronted Unbegotten First Existent. He is indeed of equal age with the one who is before him, but he is not equal to him in power.” http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/eugn.html

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

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Papias: (70-155 A.D.) Papias had associations with Polycarp and with St. John himself, and known to have talked with Philip’s daughters, and of “others who had seen the Lord.” (Irenaeus, ”Against Heresies,” v.33.3) He is said to have been Bishop of Hierapolis, in Phrygia. Only fragments of his work have survived and they are called, “Exposition of the Oracles of the Lord.” Papias is said to have claimed that the ”Gospel of Matthew.” was written first, and Mark served as a scribe for Peter’s work. Three fragments from Clement of Alexandria’s work confirm this idea. (See; Clement’s Fragments- Online. See also; Works of Henry Barchlay Swete, 1835-1917. See also; ”New Testament Apochrapha” James, Apochrypile Press, 2004.)
http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/ext/papias.htm


”The Gospel of John was made public and given to the churches by John when he was still alive; as Papias by name, of Hierapolis, dear disciple of John, recalled in the “exoteric”, that is the outside, five books; he in fact wrote down the gospel correctly as John was dictating.” (Carlson)

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Parable: Stories with a point that Jesus is believed to have spoken to the
multitudes around Galilee. (See the ”Gospel of Thomas;” Sayings 8, 9, 20, 57,
63, 64, 65, 76, 96, 97, 98, 107,109. According the “Apochryphon of James” and
Pistis Sophia” the parables are passages which relate or are intentional
mysteries. In Greek (parabole), meaning comparison, or similitude, placing
beside or together. Can also refer to the interior dimensions of a cone.
Clement of Alexandria writes:

“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.)

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Paraclete; Parakleiton: (puraclete) “Comforter” or one who pleads a case for
another. This word is sometimes used for the Holy Spirit or for the Logos. (See
“1st Book of Jeu”) ”The followers of Valentinus say that Jesus is the
Paraclete, because he has come full of the Aeons, having come forth from the
whole. For Christ left behind Sophia, who had put him forth, and going into the
Pleroma, asked for help for Sophia, who was left outside; and Jesus was put
forth by the good will of the Aeons as a Paraclete for the Aeon which had
passed. In the type of the Paraclete, Paul became the Apostle of the
Resur­rection.” (Theodotus, source, Dr. Andrew Criddle.)

note:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paraclete

Some people including Montanus in the mid 2nd century and Mani (210-276) claimed to be the promised paraclete of John 14:16.The leading authority on classical Greek ( Liddell, which is of course slightly different than biblical Koine Greek ) portrays the word Paraclete as an antonym for Diabolos, characterizing the former as a defender and the latter as an accuser. The ‘clete’ syllable derives from the same etymological origin as ‘ecclesia’ – the infinitive of which means “to call”. By the ‘ecclesia’, the church is called to assemble. Similarly, the Paraclete is “called” to the side of the one on trial.

Let us worship the spirit of the Paraclete (comforter).
Let us bless our Lord Jesus who has sent us the Spirit of Truth.
He came and separated us from the Error of the World.
He brought us a mirror. We looked into it, and saw in it the Universe.

When the Holy Spirit came,
he revealed to us the way of truth and taught us that there are two Natures,
that of the Light and that of the Darkness,
separated from each other since the beginning.

The Kingdom of Light consisted of five Greatnesses,
these are the Father and his twelve Aeons,
the Aeon of Aeons, the Living Air, and the Land of Light,
the Great Spirit blows in them and feeds them with its Light.

The Kingdom of Darkness, however, consisted in five Chambers,
these are Smoke, Fire, Wind and Water and Darkness.
Their resolution crawls in them,
moves them and spurs them on to make war with one another.

Now as they were warring with each other,
they made bold to attack the Land of Light,
considering themselves capable of conquering it.
Yet they know not that what they thought will recoil upon their own heads.

But there was a host of angels in the Land of Light
which possessed the power to issue forth and overcome the enemy of the Father,
whom it pleased that through the Word that he would send,
he would subdue the rebels
who desired to raise themselves above what was more exalted than they.

Like a shepherd who sees a lion approaching to destroy his sheepfold,
he uses guile, takes a lamb and sets it as a snare that he may catch it with it,
for with a single lamb he saves his sheepfold.
Afterwards he heals the lamb that has been wounded by the lion.

In this way too the Father acted,
who sent his stout Son.
He produced out of himself his Maiden, furnished with the five Powers
that she might fight against the five Abysses of the Dark.

When the Watchman stood fast within the frontiers of Light
he showed the powers of the Darkness his Maiden, who is his Soul.
They became agitated in the Abyss and wanted to possess her,
they opened their mouths and tried to swallow her.

He seized the Maidens power and spread it over the Powers of the Darkness,
like nets over fish, he rained her down on them.
Like purified clouds of water, she penetrated into them like a piercing lightning stroke.
She crept inside their insides and bound them all without their ever knowing.

When the First Man had ended his struggle the Father sent forth his Second Son.
He came and helped his brother out of the Abyss.
He built this whole world up out of the mixture
that had come into existence out of Light and Darkness.

All the Powers of the Abyss he spread out to the ten Heavens and to eight Earths,
he shut them up into this World and made it a dungeon for all the Powers of Darkness.
This World is also, however, a place of purification of the soul
which had been swallowed up in the Powers of Darkness.

The Sun and the Moon where set up and fixed in the heights, to purify the Soul.
They take the refined part daily upward to the heights but they destroy the deposit.
They convey it up and down.

This whole World stands firm for a Season,
since there is a great Building being erected outside the World.
At the Hour when the Architect shall complete it, the entire World shall be dissolved.
It shall be set afire, that the fire may melt it away.

All Life, the Remnants of Light in every Place
he shall gather to himself and form of it a Statue (Eidolon — image, likeness).
Even the Resolution of Death also, the whole of Darkness,
he shall gather in and make an image of itself along with the Archon.

In a moment the Living Spirit shall come.
It will succor to the Light,
but the Resolution of Death and the Darkness
lock away in the chamber that was built for it that it may lie in chains forever.

There is no other means save this means to bind the Enemy,
for he shall not be received into the Light because he is a stranger to it,
but he shall also not be left in his Land of darkness,
lest he may wage a greater war than the first.

A New Aeon shall be built in the place of this World, which shall be dissolved,
so that in it the Powers of Light may reign
since they have preformed and fulfilled the whole of the Father’s will.
They have overthrown the hateful one, they have defeated him forever.

This is the knowledge of Mani,
let us worship him and bless him.
Blessed is every man that may trust in him
for he shall live with the Righteous.

Honor and Victory to our Lord Mani, the Spirit of Truth,
that cometh from the Father and has revealed to us
the Beginning, the Middle, and the End.
Victory to the Soul of the Blessed Mary. Theona, Pshai, Jemnoute.

(Let us Worship the Spirit of the Paraclete–Manichean Writing)

Mani’s mystical teachings have profoundly enriched the Nazorean Way. His name means the “Vessel of Life” and he came to be regarded by his Christian disciples as the Paraclete, by his Persian followers as the Zoroastrian redeemer Saoshyant, and by his Buddhist adherents as the Avatar Maitreya. He was a gifted writer, teacher, artist, physician, astrologer, musician and a miracle-worker. He personally illuminated and illustrated many of his original scriptures, and could draw a fine line on silk and then erase it by removing one thin thread.

The term Paraclete is another term Gnostics have a special meaning for because he (Jesus) has come full of the Aeons, having come forth from the whole. This makes Jesus the carrier of the Word from the Pleroma. Because this is what Gnostics mean by Paraclete it doesn’t matter what the Church thinks it is, as far as to Gnostic content.

Mani and other Gnostics could have adopted the term to mean a number of things distorted by the Heresiologists, and anti-Gnostics. Some have meant paraclete to mean comforter. What the term conotes and denotes is largely gleaned from the context the term is placed. Both Comforter, or Paraclete imply a form of companionship between entities, and imply helping the other in the union. This is not that far from the concept of union with the Word.

Tom Saunders

Parallel: The ”Five Gospels,” by Funk, Harper, 1993, pg. 544, states that a
gospel parallel, is one where, ”In a gospel parallel or synopsis the gospels
are arranged in parallel columns with matching materials opposite each other.”

In the case of literary dependence referencing a parallel, Karen King suggests
the following criteria in determining the characteristic of viable literary
dependence. (parallel) The reference to this work is… (”The Gospel of Mary
Magdala
,” King, Polebridge, 2003. pg. 110.)

1. Extensive word-for-word similarity, (citation).
2. Similar arrangement or ordering of materials.
3. Similar narrative context or meaning.
4. The use of a citation formula. (For instance each saying in the ”Gospel of
Thomas,” starts with ‘Jesus said,’ or someone talking to him, in an obvious
schema. {My insertion} King uses, ”as it is written,” and ….)
5. Use of language specific to the source work.

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Parousia: To be present, pertaining to the Second Coming of Christ in
Apocalyptic works. (See; “Apocalypse of Peter,” Nag Hammadi Lib.)

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Paul: ”In the type of the Paraclete, Paul became the Apostle of the
Resur­rection. Immediately after the Lord’s Passion he also was sent to
preach.” (Theodotus) Paul was originally Saul of Tarsus, who persecuted
Gnostics. He is thought to have been present during the execution of Stephan the
first Martyr.

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Pharisatha: Name given to Jesus in Syriac, according to the “Gospel of Phillip.”

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Pharisees: The name means ‘the separated ones.’ Pharisees were a lay movement
of the Jewish Temple noted for their adherence to Jewish law. (See; Saducee. See
also; ”The Five Gospels.”)

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Pharmakeia: Is roughly equivalent to witchcraft. Contrary to the accusations of the heresiologists, Gnostic writers seemed to be against any form of sympathetic magic or divination. The reason for this is not that it doesn’t necessarily work, but that it’s focus is still within the hylic and psychic spheres of
thought. ESP, astrology etc. are only applicable to the realm of Heimarene.
(See; Heimarene.)

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Philo Judaeus: (25 BCE- 50 CE) A Jewish philosopher of Alexandria who synthesized the Old Testament with Greek and Pythagorean philosophies. Was considered by most as a Jewish Gnostic. (See; ”Stromata.”)

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Pistis: “Faith.” Usually in regard to having faith in Jesus for salvation.

Plane: Means “error,” to denote the same concept and can be used for both the
cosmic mistake, and a personal, or earthly lack of understanding. (Hoeller p.
88) May also be a synonym for level, as cosmic level or plane of attainment.

Plato: (429-348 BCE) Athenian philosopher, student of Socrates, associated with
the mysticism of Pythagoras. Known for his philosophy on the concept of forms,
which may have influenced Gnostic thought in regard to the concept of forms, and
the nature of the soul. A partial copy of ”Plato’s Republic,” is contained in
the Nag Hammadi Library.

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 aslo; Gaffney, p. 246.)

http://www.kheper.net/topics/Gnosticism/Pleroma.html :

One idea that characterises most Gnostic texts are their complex accounts of the unfolding of the various Divine emanations, the Aeons, the “Eternities” or “Worlds”, which become the transcendental Pleroma or realm of Light. The Pleroma is distinguished from the lower or manifest creation, so the Gnostic Cosmology is based on the idea of a duality between the transcendent Spiritual Reality (which includes the manifest and unmanifest) Absolute) and the imperfect psychic and physical reality, the “Cosmos”. The psycho-physical cosmos in fact is considered a lower or imperfect reflection or copy of the higher perfect order of the Pleroma

The exact representations of the Pleroma differ according to different Gnostic sects, but if we take the Sethian and Valentinian schools there is the division into four grades of divine existence, as follows

the Supreme Principle;
Spirit, Abyss, Fore-Father etc
Barbelo
(and associated Aeons)
The Self-Begotten – Autogenes
(and associated Aeons)
the Archetypal Man
(and associated Aeons)
the Cosmos
psyche and matter
To continue the discussion started in the last few posts, 
I thought I would discuss briefly another word you will 
probably encounter in
the Gnostic scriptures: the "Pleroma." 
This can be a bit confusing since it seems sometimes 
to be used almost interchangeably with Aeon. 
My understanding of what the Pleroma represents is the
spiritual realm as a whole, in which the spiritual beings 
of Gnostic cosmogony move and have their being. 
In this sense, it is a bit more inclusive and can 
include the modes of existence of the archon
entities as well as the aeonic entities.
 
Pleroma may also be seen as a kind of 
communion of spirit, linking
all spirit together in a basic unity. 
The implication of this, of
course, is that insofar as we are 
spiritual beings, we are linked to
the Pleroma in that spirit; 
however, as we are simultaneously
limited by physicality, 
we are unable to fully and immediately
actualize that Pleromic existence in the 
way that we will be able to
once we acheive gnosis.
 
What is perhaps more interesting, 
however, is this theology of the
Pleroma with regard to how it affects 
the Gnostic perception of
Christ and Sophia. 
When we say Christ was the full incarnation of
the divine spirit into the world, 
what we are really saying is that
he was unique among all human beings 
in being able to really
actualize his Pleromic identity 
even while he was physically
contained within his human nature. 
We see this idea reflected in
Gnostic writings, for example the so-called 
"Second Apocalypse of
James," where Jesus remarks that he 
himself has received "revelation
from the Pleroma of Imperishability." 
In the Apocalypse of Peter,
Jesus actually declares that the Pleroma 
was like a being "coming to
me" who provided him with the divine 
revelation that makes him the
great mediator between God and human beings, 
and the power that even
conquered death, as, again in the words of 
the Apocalypse of Peter,
Christ is seen 
"on the tree, glad and laughing." Or, as the Apoc.
Pet. continues, the nature of Jesus 
"into whose hands and feet they
drive nails is his fleshly part," 
but it is Christ's spiritual
connection with the Pleroma that ensures 
that mere physical death
will not prevent his continued life and 
his continuing revelation of
the divine spirit. 
In this light, we can better understand the
event of the Ascension, which 
represented Christ more or less
shifting back from the physical 
existence begun by his incarnation,
drawing this physical phase to a close 
and reentering the realm of
the Pleroma fully. In this way, the ascent of 
the combined physical-
spiritual Christ to the Pleromic Christ 
means indeed that Christ is
the "firstfruits of those who believe" 
-- in other words, he has
laid out the same path that we will follow in 
the process of gnosis,
as beings who now are a kind of 
amalgamation of physicality,
intellect, and spirit, but will eventually 
find the true fulfillment
of our human identity in the end 
state of the Pleroma.
 
Similarly with Sophia, who, 
although she is not made incarnate in
the same sense as Christ, 
does in a different way "descend" as the
manifestation of the "holy spirit" 
that Christ promised to send to
his disciples after his Ascension 
back into the Pleroma -- the
descent of Sophia that we will soon 
be celebrating with the Feast of
Pentecost. Just as Christ manifested 
in the world a fully realized
Pleromic identity, so Sophia, who 
descends into the world (though
not physically) but retains her full 
Pleromic identity. We can see
this theological orientation in the 
Nag Hammadi "Authoritative
Teaching," where Sophia's nature is 
described: "Whether she is in
the descent or is in the Pleroma, 
she is not separated from them,
but they see her and she looks at 
them in the invisible world." In
other words, Sophia, who is simultaneously 
in descent and in the
Pleroma, remains the eternal bridge 
(along with Christ) between our
identity in the visible physical world 
and our identity in the
invisible spiritual world. 
Where we cannot immediately "see" the
Pleroma in its true spiritual manifestation, 
we can however directly
see as it were the bridges to the Pleroma, 
Christ and Sophia, who
both more or less bring the Pleroma 
down into the world in which we
inhabit in order to raise us up through 
the progress of gnosis in
our own lives.
 
One last thing I would like to emphasize, 
particularly because some
of these posts have emphasized the 
individual's process of gnosis,
is that the theology of the Pleroma 
and the Aeon is profoundly
communitarian and collective. 
Gnosis is indeed a deeply individual
process, but Gnosticism is not an 
egotistical and individualistic
movement in the sense of 
mainstream Christianity, where the whole
religion is directed toward MY salvation, 
MY relationship with
Christ, MY experience of conversion 
or being saved. As beings who
participate in part in the Pleroma now 
and who eventually will
participate fully in the Pleromic life, 
we are intimately and
inextricably linked to all other 
human beings, indeed to the rest of
the natural cosmos, due to the suffusion 
of Pleromic identity --
i.e. the spirit -- in the midst of the 
physical world, as it were.
Therefore, while the process of gnosis 
is extremely personal in one
sense, the direction in which it moves us is 
deeply communitarian
and brings us toward a connectedness 
with the spiritual brothers and
sisters that surround us. 
I will be discussing some major themes of
a modern Gnostic morality in the next few weeks, 
but for now, let us
suffice it to say that this profound 
connection must inform our
moral judgements, our actions, 
and our thoughts, because to hurt or
damage another spiritual being 
(either a person or the natural world
and the environment, for example) 
is to diminish our own spirit
because of its mutuality and 
interdependence with all other spirit
in the cosmos.
 
This is what forms the basis for one 
of the three major principles I
propose in articulating a modern Gnostic morality 
-- the doctrine of non-harm, which is reflected as 
well in many types of modern
paganism and in Eastern religions as well. 
As the poet John Donne
wrote, "No man is an island, entire of itself; 
all are a part of the
Contninent, a part of the Main." 
The process of gnosis is
inevitably a process that fulfills both our 
identities as
individuals and at one and the same time 
our identities as beings in
the community of the spirit. 
I think that this is part of why
Gnosticism is so attractive, 
because it at least attempts to answer
the whole breadth of the so-called 
"existential problem," the
communitarian question as well 
as the egoic one.
 
I hope this will help you consider 
the previous posts on "What is
an 'Aeon'" and "What is an 'Archon,'" 
and also provide you with some
of the theoretical theological basis 
for the more practical
discussions of how we construct a 
Gnostic morality or ethical
framework that is meaningful to modern life 
at the same time it
reflects the profundity of our 
Gnostic traditions that reach back
almost 2000 years.
 
Again, I would like to invite you all 
to begin posting your
questions, reactions, or thoughts about 
Gnosticism or the process of
gnosis, since this group is meant to be a 
forum for your discussions
and not simply a means of 
propagating my own opinions; I hope that
what I write will spark you to think 
about linkages, practical
meanings, and indeed even 
points on which you disagree 
with me and
think I have missed the boat, so to speak.
In Christ and Sophia,
+Matthew

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.

Pneumatophoroi: One who has united his soul with the ‘light’ (Sophia, Wisdom)
achieving Gnosis which is thought in Christian Gnosticism to be a union with the
Holy Spirit. A common name for those who have reached this state are ’spirit
bearers.’ Those having reached this state are mentioned in “Acts” and Pauline
works. Thought to wear the Holy spirit like a garment. (See; ”1,000 Things You
Always Wanted to Know About the Holy Spirit,
by Lang, Thomas Nelson Pub. 1999.)

Poimandres: “Shepherd of Men” This is a reference to the first androgynous
emanation which guides us back to the light in the process of Gnosis. A Hermetic
(rather than Gnostic) term that is basically an allegory of transcendence
through a Sophia and a Logos.



Polycarp: (69-155 A.D.) Thought to have been appointed Bishop of Smyrna by
Peter. He wrote the “Epistle of St. Polycarp,” or “Epistle to the Philippians,”
and was known to be in contact with Ignatius, and other noted early Christians.
Is thought to have rejected the teachings of Marcion, but stated that, “For
every one who does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is
antichrist; and whosoever does not confess the testimony of the cross, is a
devil, and whosoever perverteth the oracles of the Lord (to serve) his own
lusts, and saith there is neither resurrection nor judgment, this man is a
first-born of Satan.” (New Advent, Catholic Encyclopedia. See also; Irenaeus.
See also; ”Epistle of St. Polycarp,” “The Lost Books of the Bible,” Eden, LB
Press. 1926-01.)


Praxis: Practice. Can mean an act; by extension, a function: also can mean
deed, office, work.

Preterest: A person who believes that the prophecies of the Apocalypse have
already been fulfilled.

Procatarctic: Word to describe a type of thought process used by Clement of
Alexandria. “Procatarctic causes being removed, the effect remains. But a
Synectic cause is that, which being present, the effect remains, and being
removed, the effect is removed….The Synectic is also called by the synonymous
expression “perfect in itself.” Since it is of itself sufficient to produce the
effect.” ( See; Synectic.)+

Proselyte: A new convert to a belief system of religion. (American Heritage Dictionary) ”A Hebrew makes another Hebrew, and such a person is called “proselyte”. But a proselyte does not make another proselyte. […] just as they […] and make others like themselves, while others simply exist.” (”Gospel of Philip.”)

Protennoia: (pronoia), “Providence.” Defined as the female voice found in the
Gnostic light. (See the Trimorphic Protennoia, Nag Hammadi Library, also the
long version of the ”Apocryphon of John) ”Now, first among all those passions
[…] nor […] him, since, after all, Pronoia caused the correction to project
shadows and images of those who exist from the first and those who are and those
who shall be. This, then, is the dispensation of believing in Jesus for the sake
of him who inscribed the All with likenesses and images and shadows.” (” A
Valentinian Exposition.”)

Protophanes: The perfect male mind, as defined in the Nag Hammadi text,
”Zostrianos.” ”The great male invisible Mind, the perfect Protophanes has his
own water as you [will see] when you arrive at his place.”

Prunikus: “Whore” Sophia is sometimes referred to as “Pistis Sophia Prunikus”.
The fallen Sophia. In some Gnostic works Sophia is considered fallen because
outside her perfect self in the pleroma, she has ‘fallen’ to the earthly, hylic
state as an entity.

Ptolemaeus: {Ptolemy} (160 A.D.) A student of Valentinus. He admitted there was a psychic nature to the body. See his “Letter to Flora,” (”The Other Bible,” Barnstone, Harper, 1984, p. 621.) (Hoeller, p. 90.)He was the most important of Valentinus’ early disciples at Rome. He was the one who developed Valentinus’ ideas into a consistent theological system. Ptolemy may be identical with the martyr of the same name. After Ptolemy converted a wealthy Roman woman to Christianity, her husband denounced him to the authorities. He was imprisoned about 160 AD and eventually executed. A description of his systematic theology is preserved by Irenaeus.

Psalms: Part of the Hebrew Bible known in the first century. ”Pistis Sophia,”
using the numbering system of the Hebrew Bible, compares Psalms with the
teaching of Jesus. The ‘Pistis’ text, contains, ”Psalms,” 68, 70, 69, 101,
87, 129, 81, 24., 30., 34., 51., 108., 50, and 84, appear or are mentioned in
the text. There are corresponding, Repentence passages to the mentioned Psalms.
The ”Manaecheaen Psalms of Thomas,” correspond in literary style and context
to the accompanying passages that are presented with the Psalms, and
”Repentance” verses in ”Pistis Sophia.”

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

The “Psychic”, corresponds to the mental order, and constitutes in
man, individuals who see little or nothing beyond subtle
manifestation, and consider discurisve reasoning alone as the key
to spiritual knowledge.  Unlike the “Hylic”, they are at least aware
of something beyond form, but usually do not possess the
qualifications needed to actually experience it–which usually ends
up in a denial that anything experiencial (while in corporeal mode),
can be realized.  This use of “psychic” here, does not mean how
popular culture uses the term “a psychic”…although, psychism, IS a
prolongation of the mentality, which should serve as food for
thought.

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

 

We are also told that Pythagoras:

“distributed his pupils into two orders, and called the one esoteric, but the other exoteric. And to the former he confided more advanced doctrines…. Whenever anyone repaired to him with a view of becoming his follower, the candidate-disciple was compelled to sell his possessions, and lodge the money with Pythagoras, and he continued in silence to undergo instruction, sometimes for three, but sometimes for five years. And on being accepted, he was permitted to associate with the rest; and remained as a disciple, and took his meals along with them [this is identical with the corporate structure of the Essene community and brotherhood]. If otherwise, however, he received back his property, and was rejected. These persons, then, were styled Esoteric Pythagoristae (Hippolytus, Refutation, I, ii).

Origen tells us that “the Pythagoreans used to erect a cenotaph to those who had apostatized from their system of philosophy, treating them as dead” (Contra Celsum, III, ii). Diogenes Laertius declares that the Pythagoreans practiced baptismal purification constantly to renew and maintain their sanctity, a ceremonial which the Jewish Essenes adopted from them (Diogenes Laertius, Life of Pythagoras).

http://essenes.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=764&Itemid=1174

Leviathan: The world serpent. This is kind of like the Ouroboros in the negative worldly aspect. Just as the Ouroborus refers to infinity and the cycle, Leviathan is inside the cycle. Some systems has them of basically the same thing with one referring to the inside, and the other the outside. (See; Kyklos)

Leviathan, Behemoth and Ziz

Leviathan, Behemoth and Ziz

Levite: In the Jewish tradition, a Levite is a member of the Hebrew tribe of Levi. The Levites were the only one of the Israelite tribes who received cities but no tribal land when Joshua led the Israelites into the land of Canaan. The Tribe of Levi served particular religious duties for the Israelites and had political responsibilities as well. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levite

”The Jews sent priests and Levites to question John because it was fitting for these people to concern themselves with, and investigate these matters, for they were firmly devoted to God, and because he (John) was of the Levitical tribe.” (Heracleon Frg. 5.)

Acts 4: 36-37. ”And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, the son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, (37) Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.”

See also; http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09206a.htm


The tribe is named after Levi, one of the twelve sons of Jacob (also called Israel).

Levi had three sons: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari (Genesis 46:11).

Levi Melcha
Gershon Kohath Merari Jochebed
Amram Izhar Hebron Uzziel
Miriam Aaron Moses

Light: (Light Bringers, Sons of Light) The aeons of the Protennoia, or Mother of Light, or Word in the Voice. The first aeon, Armedon=Nousanios=Arzomel. 2nd aeon, Phrinonios=Ainios= Oroial. 3rd aeon Mellephanes=Loios= Daveithai (David/Daveithe). 4th aeon, Maousanios=Amethes=Eleleth. (See; ”Trimorphic Protennoia,” ”Gospel of the Egyptians,” ”Allogenes,” others.)


Lithargoel: Name used by the entity in ”The Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles,” who reveals himself as Jesus in the city of Habitation. http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/actp.html

Logos: Often translated as “Word,” it’s true meaning is much more multifunctional (a better translation would be “reason”). Logos was an ancient Greek term referring to “reasoned speech,” later adapted by the ”Gospel of John” to signify Christ. Logos, Word, and Tao, are synonymous. (See; Pleroma, Cosmology, and Cosmogony.)

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

Mandaeanism: Pre-Christian, or first century Persian Gnostic (dualism) religion of the middle east that has survived into modern times. ‘Manda’ is from the Aramaic language which translates to ‘gnosis’ in Greek. They professed a kinshipto the teachings of “John the Baptist,” and are said to exist today in Iraq.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandaeanism http://essenes.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=762&Itemid=1172

Mandaeans exchanging

Mandaeans exchanging a ritual handshake or kušṭa

Mani: (216- 276 CE) founder of the religion of Manicheanism. Believed to have written or had part in the “Manichean Psalms of Thomas.” See also; Manichaeaens http://essenes.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=280&Itemid=712

THE ENLIGHTENED MASTER MAR MANI, peace be upon him, entered the world on the 8th day of the 1st Babylonian month of Nissanu (April 14) 216 A.D.. He was born in Mardin, Iraq and raised in an Elkasite monastery on a floating reed island in the mashlands of near Basra, Iraq. Mani claimed to be the restorer and synthesizer of Gnostic Nazorean Christianity, Zurvan Zoroasterism, and Mahayana Buddhism. He created a worldwide vegan church which lasted over a thousand years. At one point Manichaeism was as big, or bigger, than the Catholic Church and its teachings have significantly influenced Bon, Buddhist, Sufi, Shia Islam, and Taoist traditions.

Mani’s mystical teachings have profoundly enriched the Nazorean Way. His name means the “Vessel of Life” and he came to be regarded by his Christian disciples as the Paraclete, by his Persian followers as the Zoroastrian redeemer Saoshyant, and by his Buddhist adherents as the Avatar Maitreya. He was also known as a reincarnation of both Lao Tzu and Buddha. He was a gifted writer, teacher, artist, physician, astrologer, musician and a miracle-worker. He personally illuminated and illustrated many of his original scriptures, and could draw a fine line on silk and then erase it by removing one thin thread.

Manichoi: Meaning one who has become a solitary one, or unified. (Hoeller p.
151)

Marcellina: (330-398 A.D.) The only sister of St. Ambrose of Milan. She was older than St. Ambrose, and was born most probably at Trier, where her father resided as “Praefectus Praetorio Galliarum.” Mentioned to have led a Gnostic sect founded by Heracleon.

Marcion: (85-160 CE) Marcion was son of the Bishop of Sinope in Pontus, Asia Minor. He organized a series of Gnostic congregations in the eastern Mediterranean which survived into the 3rd century CE. He wrote a book called “Antitheses” which earned him excommunication by the Christian leaders of Rome.
He wrote the “Gospel of Marcion,” and rejected Jewish influence in Christianity. He rejected the institution of marriage. He believed that the Demiurge arranged Jesus’ persecution and crucifixion. But the death of Christ on the cross was only a hallucination, since Jesus did not have a physical body.

Marcus: A student of Valentinus, and contemporary of Colorbasus, who devoted their attention to magical arts and the Pythagorean numbers. See ”Refutation of All Heresies,” Book VI. by Hippolytus. http://www.gnosis.org/library/hyp_refut6.htm


Marcionites: Followers of Marcion who formed a sect around 144 A.D. They rejected the idea of the Jewish God, and declared that Jesus was not the son of the Jewish creator. Considered by some to be Gnostic like in their understanding of dualism.

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


Marsenes: Name of Tractate 1, Codex X, Nag Hammadi Lib. A Sethian writing also found in the Bruce Codex, also name of main character of the work, a Gnostic Prophet.

Matthias: According to Clement of Alexandria, teachings of Matthias were used by Basilideans and perhaps other Gnostic groups. According to Hippolytus, Basilides and his son Isidore claimed to have learned from Matthias ’secret words,’ which he had received in private teaching from the Saviour. A disciple called Mathias replaced Judas Iscariot in apostolic succession after the crucifixion of Jesus.
(May be the author who wrote the text, “The Book of Thomas the Contender.”)

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10066a.htm

Meditation: The act of concentrating the mind for a specific purpose, or
response. The act is different than contemplation in some contexts, in others it
may mean the same. Sethian Gnostics rejected prayer as to an eminent power.
They did use ”contemplation,” or what we might call self-hypnosis today, which
was aided by the use knowledge of the monad. (See Sethian Monadology)

Melchizedek: Name of Nag Hammadi text, Tractate 1, Codex IX., also name of the
main character of the text, who names the “God most High,” encountered by
Abraham. Melchizedek, is called “the great Paralemptor of Light” (purifier) in
Pistis Sophia,” (Askew Codex). Genisis 14.-18. ”And Melchizedek king of Salem
brought forth bread and wine. And he was priest of God Most High.” Psalms
110-4; ” Jehovah hath sworn, and will not repent: Thou art a priest for ever
After the order of Melchizedek.”
http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/melchiz.html

Statue of Melchizedek in the Borghese Chapel of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore.

Statue of Melchizedek in the Borghese Chapel of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore.

……………………….

Menander: Follower of Simon Magus, associated with Saturnis, who taught in Syria
and Antioch. (Hoeller p. 78-79)

………………………

Merovingean (Merovingian): A pre 11th century Frankish Dynasty, the ”Priors of Zion,” claim
the Merovingean Dynasty is of the bloodline of Jesus Christ. This is the basis
for the ”Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown, and is largely fiction.

Frankish empire

Frankish empire

………………………….

Metenoia: This is the “change of mind” or perspective that happens to the
initiate in the process of Gnosis, or spiritual transcendence. ”It is turning
the mind to the perception of the divine.” (”Hara” {Balance} by Durkheim,
Inner Traditions, 2004, p. 131.)

…………………………….

Mirotheas: (Mirotheos, masc.) “the great light, the living power, the mother of the holy, incorruptible ones, the great power, Mirothoe.” (See; ”Zostrianos,” ”The Three Steles of Seth,” ”Trimorphic Protennoia,” and the ”Gospel of the Egyptians.” http://www.kheper.net/topics/Gnosticism/archetypal_man.html

Monad: From the Greek word, meaning “one”, “single” or “unique.” It has ample
descriptions according to different contexts: According to Pythagoras it was the
first thing in existence. ”The Valentinian Exposition” declares Jesus the
‘Monad.’ (See Sethian Monadology.) mo·nad; (mnd) n. 1. Philosophy; An
indivisible, impenetrable unit of substance viewed as the basic constituent
element of physical reality in the metaphysics of Leibnitz. 2. Biology; A
single-celled microorganism, especially a flagellate protozoan of the genus
”Monas.” 3. Chemistry ; An atom or a radical with valence 1. (Online
Webster’s Dic. See also; Wikipedia.) The Monadic sequence to the Triad is
expressed is by the ”Oracles of Zoroaster,” which illuminates the
sequence…..
25. The Monad first existed, and the Paternal Monad still subsists.
26. When the Monad is extended, the Dyad is generated.
27. And beside Him is seated the Dyad which glitters with intellectual sections,
to govern all things and to order everything not ordered.
28. The Mind of the Father said that all things should be cut into Three, whose
Will assented, and immediately all things were so divided.
29. The Mind of the Eternal Father said into Three, governing all things by
Mind.
30. The Father mingled every Spirit from this Triad.
31. All things are supplied from the bosom of this Triad.
32. All things are governed and subsist in this Triad
33. For thou must know that all things bow before the Three Supernals.
34. From thence floweth forth the Form of the Triad, being preexistent; not the
first Essence, but that whereby all things are measured.
35. And there appeared in it Virtue and Wisdom, and multiscient Truth.
36. For in each World shineth the Triad, over which the Monad ruleth.”
The “Three Supernals” is perhaps a reference to the Kabbalah, but probably
refers to the state of Tripartite.

Representation of the Pythagorean monad

Representation of the Pythagorean monad

Monogenes: The “Only begotten.” Probably means one thing, (one gene) that can
grow into more complex things in the context of the Monadology, like the term Word, in the Sacred Tetrad. (See; Autogenes and Logos. See also; “A Valetinian Expostition.”) May also resemble the idea of meme.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meme

Monoimus: (150-210) Student of Tatain. He is known for coining the usage of the word ‘Monad’ for use in the Christian Gnostic context. However the study of the Monad, certainly preceded him, as the Zoroastrians, Pythagoreans, and Hermetics used the technology of the monad prior to Christianity, and was used by Sethians prior to Monoimus.

Montanus: Second Century founder of the Montanists, who held that the Holy
Spirit was giving new revelations to the (his) Church. They made declarations
against certain social practices, and practiced fasting, declared the sanctity
of a single marriage. They were declared heretics by the ‘Church’ and rejected.
It is doubtful that this sect could be considered Gnostic in terms of heresy
that they were accused of by the Bishop of Rome. They were probably anti-Gnostic in spite of claims to the Holy Spirit. Tertullian is said to have joined this group in his later years. (See; Tertullian.)

Mythology: 1a. A body or collection of myths belonging to a people and addressing their origin, history, deities, ancestors, and heroes. b. A body of myths associated with an event, individual, or institution: “A new mythology, essential to the . . . American funeral rite, has grown up” (Jessica Mitford). mythologist, pl. mythologies http://education.yahoo.com/reference/dictionary/entry/mythology There are several mythological characters named in the various Sethian texts, not included in this work. They include Greek, Pagan, Roman, Egyptian, and other sources. Barpharanges, Seldao, Zogenethlos, Iolaos, from ”Zostrianos,” and several others in works like ”The Apocryphon of John,” are among the obscure references that at this time cannot be interpreted as to the concepts of the texts in which they appear.

Josephus: (38-107) A Jewish historian, and author of the “Jewish War” and “The Jewish Antiquities.” Josephus recorded the existence of Jesus and early Christianity, his work is significant as a non-biblical record.

A Roman portrait bust said to be of Josephus

A Roman portrait bust said to be of Josephus

Jerome: (340-420) Prolific author. In his letter to Pammachius and Oceanus, he becomes a critic of Gnostics and Origen, although he is known to have studied the works of Valentinus, Marcion, Menander, and others. “On the ground taken by these persons we have no right to condemn Valentine, Marcion, or the Cataphrygians, or Manichaeus, none of whom are named by the council of Nicea,
and yet there is no doubt that in time they were prior to it.” (New Advent)

Saint Jerome in his Study (1480 — Church of Ognissanti, Florence)

Domenico Ghirlandaio : Saint Jerome in his Study (1480 — Church of Ognissanti, Florence)

Jesus: (?-33 CE) The Son of Joseph and Mary, and brother of James the Just, regarded as the founder or person for whom Christianity was formed Also called Saviour.

Jeu: Character in “The Pistis Sophia” designated as the “Overseer of the Light” and angel of the ‘Lord.’ (See also Bruce Codex: “Books of Jeu.”) Jeu is the name used for God in “Jue, Book One.” The book is a description to a meditation schema, apparently for the process or training for Gnosis.

John the Baptist: (5 B.C. 33 A.D.) Jewish prophet who in the New Testament baptized and prepared the way for Jesus. He was executed by Herod Antipas at the behest of Herod’s daughter Salome. According to Heracleon John was a Levite. His father was Zacharius who officiated as a Priest in the Jewish Temple. His mother was Elizabeth, sister of Mary mother to Jesus. Among his followers were Dositheos, Matthias, Simon Magus, and many other disciples and witnesses to Jesus. See; ”The Cave of John the Baptist,” by Simon Gibson, Doubleday, 2004. Mandaeans believe John the Baptist, called Yahya in the

Sidra d-Yahia (Book of John), was the last and greatest of the prophets. While Mandaeans agree that he baptized Jesus (Yeshu), they reject the latter as either a saviour or prophet. And they viewed John as the only true Messiah. http://www.answers.com/topic/john-the-baptist

Justin Martyr: (100-165 C.E.) From Asia Minor. Teacher of Tatian, student of Platonic philosophy, and a Christian apologist. Wrote “Dialogue with the Jew Tryphon. “He was certainly not a genius nor an original thinker.” A true eclectic, he draws inspiration from different systems, especially from Stoicism
and Platonism. Weizsäcker (Jahrbücher f. Protest. Theol., XII, 1867, 75. New Advent.) Is known to have tried to study from a Pythagorean teacher who turned him down because he did not know music. (New Advent)

St. Justin Martyr

St. Justin Martyr

Fasting: ”Fasting according to the signification of the word, is abstinence from food. Now food makes us neither more righteous nor less. But mystically it shows that, as life is maintained in individuals by sustenance, and want of sustenance is the token of death; so also ought we to fast from worldly things,
that we may die to the world, and after that, by partaking of divine sustenance, live to God. Especially does fasting empty the soul of matter, and make it, along with the body, pure and light for the divine words. Worldly food is, then, the former life and sins; but the divine food is faith, hope, love, patience,
knowledge, peace, temperance. For “blessed are they that hunger and thirst after” God’s “righteousness; for they shall be filled.” The soul, but not the body, it is which is susceptible of this craving.” (Theodotus/Kirby Collection.)


Firmament: The vault or expanse of the heavens; the sky. (See; ”Eugnostos, the Blessed.”) http://education.yahoo.com/reference/dictionary/entry/firmament

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.”)


Gehenna: Meaning hell, hades, sheol, in Gnostic terms hell is, the darkness, desire, and ignorance of Agnosia. In the ”Gospel of Judas,” Satan is Saklas, meaning foolishness. (See Tartaros, See also the ”Gospel of Mary” for the ‘forms of wrath;’ See also; ”The Five Gospels,” p. 544.)

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.” )

Jewish Perspective:

Gematria is one of a number of methods which Kabbalists, and others I might add, employ to uncover “hidden meanings” in Hebrew words and expressions. Simply Gematria is the art of calculating the numerical value of a word by adding together the value of each letter. Once the numerical value of the word is known, words or combinations of words having the same value can be carefully scrutinized and compared. In this manner one number can become representative of several ideas, all of which are understood to be intrinsically related.

A famous example often quoted by commentators and authors addressing this specific topic is Genesis 49:10 which reads “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh, and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.” By Gematria the words “until Shiloh” – y’voh Shiloh (Yod [10] + Bet [2] + Alef [1] + Shin [300] + Yod [10] + Lamed [30] + Heh [5] = 358), align with the Hebrew word for Messiah – Mashiach (Mem [40] + Shin [300] + Yod [10] + Chet [8] = 358]). Hence, according to Kabbalah, there is a direct connection between the terms “until Shiloh” and “Messiah.” Associated here is the Gematria of Numbers 21:9 which reads “And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the Serpent of brass, he lived.” The serpent of brass is called Nachash (Nun [50] + Chet [8] + Shin [300] = 358). So there is a connection between “Messiah,” “until Shiloh,” and the “Serpent of brass.” Using this set of Gematria associations, Christian Kabbalists later assumed that the brazen serpent raised by Moses in the desert was a prefiguration of the Christian Saviour on the Cross. There are however other meanings such as the Nachash.

Using Gematria, Kabbalists arrive at many remarkable Holy Names or the names of Angels, revealing the mysteries of the world of the Merkavah (the fiery Chariot Throne and the Angels). An example is that the Gematria of the entire verse of Song of Songs 6:16: “I have gone down into the nut garden,” is equivalent to a verse in the Midrash (a Sacred Biblical Commentary) which reads “That is the depth of the chariot (Merkavah).”

There is really no limit to what can be yielded by employing this simple Gematria method explained above, but over the years the application of this system became more and more complex, and many more ways of practising this art were devised. I certainly cannot go into all of them in this short missive, but I should mention that there are two schools of thought in Kabbalah regarding the use of Gematria. One favours it, the other uses it very rarely, however both of them used it, hence Gematria is a key system in the “Letter-number Mysticism” of Kabbalah.

As said, Gematria became more and more complicated over the centuries. However, generally the most important types of Gematriot are:

1. The numerical value of one wore is equal to another word. This is the method explained above. Another example is the word Gevurah [Severity] (Gimel [3] + Bet [2] + Vav [6] + Resh [200] + Heh [5] = 216). The Gematria of this word is equal to the word Aryeh [Lion] (Alef [1] + Resh [200] + Yod [10] + Heh [5] = 216). A connection is therefore recognized between the ideas of “Severity” and “Lion” in Hebrew.

2. The reduction of numbers to single units. For example the value of Shin (300) is reduced to 3 or Kaf (20) to 2.

3. The squared number is calculated by squaring the numerical values of each letter in a word. for example the Tetragrammaton YHVH squared equals (Yod) 102 ( Heh) 52 (Vav) 62 (Heh ) 52 which equals 186. This is in turn equated with the word Makom [Place] (Mem [40] + Kof [100] + Vav [6] + Mem [40] = 186). Makom is also a Divine Name.

4. Adding up the value of all letters preceding a letter in an alphabetical numerical series. For example, the letter Dalet is the fourth letter of the Hebrew letter-numbers (alphabet), and the use of this type of Gematria in this case, requires one to add the values of the letters preceding Dalet, thus 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 10.

5. Then there is the method of Gematria termed Millui meaning “filling” or “spellings.” In this method the values of the letters comprising the names of the individual letters are calculated. In Hebrew each letter is a word, and is spelled as follows:

Alef AlefLamed Peh [Feh]
Bet
BetYod Tav
Gimel
GimelMem Lamed)
Dalet
DaletLamed Tav

Heh can be spelled:
HehAlef
Heh
Heh
Heh
Yod

Vav can be spelled:
Vav-Alef-Vav
Vav-Yod-Vav
Vav-Vav

ZayinZayin-Yod-Nun
Chet
Chet-Yod-Tav
Tet
Tet-Yod-Tav
Yod
Yod-Vav-Dalet
Kaf
Kaf-Feh
Lamed
Lamed-Mem-Dalet
Mem
Mem-Mem
Nun
Nun-Vav-Nun
Samech
Samech-Mem-Kaf [ Chaf]
AyinAyin-Yod-Nun
PehPeh-Heh
Tzadi
Tzadi-Dalet-Yod
Kof
Kof-Vav-Peh [ Feh]
ReshResh-Yod-Shin
ShinShin-Yod-Nun
TavTav-Vav

Using this type of Gematria the value of Alef (Alef [1] + Lamed [30] + Feh [80]) = 111; Bet (Bet [2] + Yod [10] + Tav [400]) = 412, etcetera. These Millui or fillings are very important in the construction and permutation of Divine Names. Take for example the earlier mentioned YHVH, in which the letter-numbers Heh and Vav have different fillings, that is different spellings. As indicated already, the letter Heh can be spelled Heh-Alef, Heh-Heh or Heh-Yod, and Vav can be spelled Vav-Alef-Vav, Vav-Yod-Vav or Vav-Vav. So with these letters one can use three different kinds of fillings, traditionally called:

Millui de-Alfin (Alef filling);
Millui de-He’in (Heh filling); and
Millui de-Yodin (Yod filling).

Applying these to the Ineffable Name, YHVH, the Sacred Tetragrammaton can be varied accordingly to give the so-called “Forty-Five Letter Name of God,” “Fifty-Two Letter Name of God,” “Sixty-Three Letter Name of God,” and “Seventy-Two Letter Name of God.” In fact each of these names correspond to one of the Four Worlds of Kabbalah, respectively the worlds of Assiah, Yetzirah, Briah and Atzilut. This is done in the following manner:

Yod-Vav-Dalet Heh-heh Vav-vav Heh-heh comprises the “Fifty-Two Letter Name of God,” and in Gematria the word Ben (Bet [2] + Nun [50] = 52). The word Ben (son) is thus representative of the “Fifty-Two Letter Name of God.”
Yod-Vav-Dalet Heh-Alef Vav-Alef-Vav Heh-Alef comprises the “Forty-Five Letter Name of God,” which corresponds in Gematria to the word Adam (Alef [1] + Dalet [4] + Mem [40] = 45). The word Adam (man) therefore symbolizes the “Forty-Five Letter Name of God.”
Yod-Vav-Dalet Heh-Yod Vav-Alef-Vav Heh-Yod comprises the “Sixty-Three Letter Name of God.”
Yod-Vav-Dalet Heh-Yod Vav-Yod-Vav Heh-Yod comprises the “Seventy-Two Letter Name of God,” which according to some is related to what is called the “Name of Seventy-Two Names.”

Of course I have barely touched on this topic, and there are still a few Gematria techniques which I have not listed at all. This is purely because I am address more extensive details in this short message, but I hope I have been able to shed some light on this intriguing topic.

Geradama: A masculine reference to an emanation in the ”Three Steles of Seth,” and a female emanation in ”Zostrianos.” ”I bless thee, Father Geradama(s), I, as thine (own) Son, Emmacha Seth, whom thou didst beget without begetting, as a blessing of our God; for I am thine (own) Son…. Thou art Mirotheas (glorias mother); thou art my Mirotheos.” (”Three Steles of Seth.,” ”Zostrianos.”)


Glaucius: Glaucius and Mark, if by only legend where employed in recording the records of Peter, in Alexandria, around 44 C. E. (See; Works of Henry Barchlay Swete, 1835-1917.)

Gnosis: While the literal translation for this word is “knowledge”, it’s meaning is closer to “insight” or, to use another concept, “enlightenment.” It may imply more in some cases than a purely intellectual understanding. It may imply complete comprehension that comes from both rational and intuited means. Gnosis is bonding the soul (nous) with wisdom, in both Sethian,Valentinian, and other Gnostic schema, which link this act through Jesus. The process of Gnosis may have different schema, or criteria as to secular practices. The process of Gnosis seems to be transitional or a transcendence in a learned process.

It is not possible for anyone to see anything of the things that actually exist unless he becomes like them. This is not the way with man in the world: he sees the sun without being a sun; and he sees the heaven and the earth and all other things, but he is not these things. This is quite in keeping with the truth. But you saw something of that place, and you became those things. You saw the Spirit, you became spirit. You saw Christ, you became Christ. You saw the Father, you shall become Father. So in this place you see everything and do not see yourself, but in that place you do see yourself – and what you see you shall become.

–Gospel of Philip

Philip here is saying, Gnosis is to become.

Gnostic: A person regarded as a student of Gnosis. Can refer to specific sects mentioned by historians, and heresiologists, The term can be used as a category for a number of sects and individuals that believed “Gnosis” had a salvational purpose. Gnostic sects are known to have existed in pre-Christian Jewish
communities and later in Christian movements, according to information in the “Nag Hammadi” text by Robinson. Gnostic views differ, as do secular characters of the Pleroma in the creation myths. The term or versions of it, are used very early in regard to Christian learning, this quote from Book 3 of Clement of
Alexandria’s “Stromata.” “Joannis autem vitae institutum gnosticum quis imitabitur?”

Gnosticism: The word was adapted by modern scholars to refer to the sects of the ‘Late Antiquities’ that shared a similar cosmology and soteriology. More recently the definition has been widened in some circles to mean any form of mysticism or esotericism. Gnostic scenarios both differ, and are alike in the
cosmic reasoning for the creation, making them ‘creation myths.’ Gnostic texts use different names for the characters of the creation stories for characters from the Palermo. Gnostics all believe that man, through learning the perspectives of his psyche, earthly, and pleromic self can attain life after death in a corporeal state by bonding with the higher entities. The ‘Light,’ ‘ Sophia,’ (Wisdom). (See also; ”The Five Gospels,” by Funk, Hoover, Harpper-Collins, 1993, p. 544.)

Gospel: Means ‘good news.’ Gospels were used to relate evangelistic teachings. Gnostic writings appear to have been based upon all existing Gospels attributed to Apostles. Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, as well as Pauline letters are mentioned in some Gnostic texts. The ”Gospel of Thomas” appears
to be a main source of Bible Gospel, and Jesus reference in the Nag Hammadi collection, as well as other Gnostic works. The ”Gospel of Mary,” and the ”Gospel of Phillip” are in the Nag Hammadi Lib. The ”Gospel of Phillip”contains some New Testament references. , Jn 6:53, 8-32, 8-34, Mt. 3-10, 3-15,
15-13, 16-17, Paul, 1 Co 8-1, 1 P 4-8. See also ”The Gospel of Judas,” and ”The Gospel of Truth, and Gospel of the Egyptians.”


Cassianus, Julius: A Christian teacher in Egypt, around 170. In ”Stromateis (III.13.91-92), is Clement’s citation it is also to be noted that Julius Cassianus quotes from the apocryphal gospel so-called “According to the Egyptians” to support his understanding that intercourse is not from God–a
position which he understood, though dubiously, was taught by the Saviour (apud Grant 1946: 52-53; cf. Aland 1978: 336): <Jesus said to Salome> “When you conceal the garment of shame, and when the two become one, and the male with the female is neither male nor female.” He is said to have been associated with encratites, and doceticism.
http://www.dacb.org/stories/egypt/julius_cassianus.html

Catechise: Refers to spiritual or religious instruction given to an initiate. (See; Pantaenus, Clement of Alexandria.)

Cathars: (Also known as Albigensians) A Christian sect destroyed by the Catholic Crusaders during the Albigensian Crusade. They derived their teaching from the Bogomils an Eastern European group arising about 900 AD. The Cathars were a dualistic and gnostic sect in northern Italy and southern France in the late Middle Ages of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. “Cathar” comes from the Greek word katharos meaning pure. There was two classes of believers – the elite Perfect (Parfaits); and the believers (croyants, or in Latin, credentes). Cathar Writings More Cathar

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

Cebes: (circa 350?-400? B.C.) Greek philosopher, thought to be a student of Socrates noted for his beliefs that the soul is worn like a garment. Also argued against Socrates immortality of the soul.

Celsus: A pagan writer who wrote against Christianity in, “True Discourse” (or, True Reason). This polemic against the Christians was composed in approximately 178 CE. Celsus criticized the Christians for believing in blind faith rather than reason.

Cerinthus: A first century leader of the Ebionites, who were a Jewish sect somewhat like early Christian Gnostics who argued various aspects of Christian theology. Cerinthus is noted in the early history of the Christian church as being a “heresiarch” or leader of a heretical sect. None of his writings
survives.

Chaldeans: The Chaldeans were a Semitic people of Arabian origin, who spoke Aramaic, who settled in southern Mesopotamia in the early part of the first millennium BC. The 11th dynasty of the Kings of Babylon (6th century B.C.) is conventionally known to historians as the Chaldean Dynasty. Chaldea, “the Chaldees” of the ”KJV Old Testament,” was a Hellenistic designation for a part of Babylonia. One early such reference is to the impending sack of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar II (Habakkuk 1:6). The Hebrew name for ancient Chaldeans was Kasdim. http://www.crystalinks.com/chaldea.html See; ”The Chaldean Oracles of Zoroaster,” See; Oracle, Monad, and ”The Chaldean Oracles,” by G.R.S. Mead, http://www.gnosis.org/library/grs-mead/grsm_chaldean.htm

Charaxio: The name of the Mountain where Seth (Sethius) placed his writings, a place where the sun does not rise. Place where Michar, Mnesinous, and Micheus, preside over the Spring of Life, for baptism.


Chastisements: Judgements or punishments for sinners. “Say unto them: Renounce the whole world and the whole matter therein and all its care and all its sins, in a word all its associations which are in it, that ye may be worthy of the mysteries of the Light and be saved from all the chastisements which are in the judgments.” Chastisements result from litigiousness, evil conversation, and doctrines of error.”Say unto those who teach the doctrines of error and to every one who is instructed by them: Woe unto you, for, if ye do not repent and abandon your error, ye will go into the chastisements of the great dragon and of the outer darkness, which is exceedingly evil, and never will ye be cast [up] into the world, but will be non-existent until the end.” (”The Pistis Sophia”)


Cherubim: A winged celestial being. b. cherubim Christianity The second of the nine orders of angels in medieval angelology. cherubic (ch-rbk) , cherubically, pl. cherubim (chr-bm, -y-bm) (See; Seraphim) http://education.yahoo.com/reference/dictionary/entry/cherub

Cherub guarding the entrance of the Garden of Eden by Giusto de Menabuoi ca. 1377.

Cherub guarding the entrance of the Garden of Eden by Giusto de' Menabuoi ca. 1377.

Choic: (choikus) “Earthly” similar to “hylic”.

Chrestois: Those considered good, (protected in the kingdom) according to Clement of Alexandria, (See; Bk. 2 “Stromata.”)

Chrism: The annointment with oil. (See; ”On the Anointing.” NHL) ”The chrism is superior to baptism, for it is from the word “Chrism” that we have been called “Christians,” certainly not because of the word “baptism”. And it is because of the chrism that “the Christ” has his name. For the Father anointed
the Son, and the Son anointed the apostles, and the apostles anointed us.” (”Gospel of Philip.”)

Christology: The study of Christ, and various aspects of Jesus’ existence.

Clement of Alexandria: (?-215 A.D.) Greek theologian, writer, and head of the Catechetical School of Alexandria. Clement succeeded his teacher Pantaenus about A.D. 190, and took over the direction of the school. Wrote “Stromata” in which he makes various assessments of others including Basilides, Plato,Valentinus, and Gnostic beliefs. Declared that the Gnostic seeks to become God. (See also;
Clement’s ”Instructor,” which is more of an Orthodox work, compared to ”Stromata.”) http://web.archive.org/web/20080110023852/www.earlychristianwritings.com/clement.html

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

Clement of Rome: (30-100 A.D.) According to Tertullian and Jerome, Clement of Rome was ordained by Peter and became the fourth Pope of Rome. He was the author of an “Epistle to the Corinthians,” the only known manuscript of which is appended to the Alexandrian Codex, now in the British Museum. (The work appears to be oriented to Orthodox epistemologies, like Clement of Alexandria’s
”Instructor.”)

Codex: Refers to a book like form of a writing collection, as opposed to a scroll. (Askew Codex, Bruce Codex, Berlin, etc.) The Nag Hammadi Library, is written in ‘codices.’

Colorbasus (Colarbasus): A second century Gnostic and student of Valentinus. Colarbasus, along with Marcus, another disciple of Valentinius, maintained the whole plenitude, and perfection of truth and religion, to be contained in the Greek alphabet; and that it was for this reason that Jesus was called the Alpha and Omega. ”Certain, adhering partly to these, as if having propounded great conclusions, and supposed things worthy of reason, have framed enormous and endless heresies; and one of these is Colarbasus, who attempts to explain religion by measures and numbers. And others there are (who act) in like manner, whose tenets we shall explain when we commence to speak of what concerns those who give heed to Pythagorean calculation as possible; and uttering vain prophecies, hastily assume as secure the philosophy by numbers and elements.” (Hippolytus) ”Those of them, however, who are deemed more skilful than the persons who have just been mentioned, say that the first Ogdoad was not produced gradually, so that one AEon was sent forth by another, but that all(7) the AEons were brought into existence at once by Propator and his Ennoea. He (Colorbasus) affirms this as confidently as if he had assisted at their birth. Accordingly, he and his followers maintain that Anthropos and Ecclesia were not produced,(8) as others hold, from Logos and Zoe; but, on the contrary, Logos and Zoe from Anthropos and Ecclesia.” (Irenaeus, ”Against Heresies,” Bk. 1.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colarbasians.


Corporeal: Composed of flesh or being of matter in the animate, earthly or material way. There are various different beliefs in Christianity and Gnosticism of the non-corporeal, or docetic state.


Cosmogony: Study of the cosmos and cosmic order, or in Gnostic terms the Pleroma, in contrast with the earthly state.


Cosmology: Study of the physical universe and its governing laws.


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

Countenance: Appearance, especially the expression of the face, or a look or expression indicative of encouragement or of moral support. ”Then from the harmony, in a joyous willingness which had come into being, they brought forth the fruit, which was a begetting from the harmony, a unity, a possession of the Totalities, revealing the countenance of the Father, of whom the aeons thought as they gave glory and prayed for help for their brother with a wish in which the Father counted himself with them.” (”Tripartite Tractate.”) http://education.yahoo.com/reference/dictionary/entry/countenance