The Fourth Repentance of Pistis Sophia

Here is the fourth repentance of Pistis Sophia side by side translations. As always, best viewed in desktop mode.

MacDermot Translation:

I. 0 Light whom I have trusted, hear my repentance; and Iet my voice come into thy dwelling-place.

2. Do not turn thy image of light away from me, but give heed to me. If they oppress me, save me quickly at the time when I cry to thee.

3. For my time has vanished like a breath, and I have become matter.

4. My light has been taken from me, and my power has dried up. I have forgotten my mystery which I performed at first.

5. Through the voice of fear and the power of the Authades, my power has diminished within me.

6. I have become like a peculiar demon, which dwells in matter, in whom is no light. And I have become like a spirit counterpart which is in a material body, in which there is no light-power.

7. And I have become like a decan, which is upon the air alone.

8. The emanations of the Authades have afflicted me greatly; and my partner has spoken of it thus: in place of the light within her, they have filled her with Chaos.

9. I have swallowed the sweat of my matter myself and the anguish of the tears of the matter of my eyes, lest those that oppress me take away these things also.

10. All these things have happened to me, 0 Light, through thy ordinance and with thy command. And it is thy ordinance that I should be among these things.

11. Thy ordinance has brought me down, and I have come down like a power of the Chaos; and my power has congealed within me.

12. But thou, 0 Lord, art eternal light; and at all times thou dost seek those who are oppressed.

13. Now at this time, 0 Light, arise and seek after my power and my soul within me. Thy ordinance is completed, which thou hast ordained for me in my affliction. My time has come, that thou shouldst seek after my power and my soul, and this is the time which thou hast ordained to seek me;

14. For thy saviours have sought after the power which is in my soul, because the number is completed, and that they should save its matter also.

15. And then in that time all the archons of the material aeons will fear before thy light; I and all the emanations of the thirteenth material aeon will fear before the mystery of thy light, that the others may put on themselves what is purified of their light.

16. For the Lord will seek after the power of your souls; he has revealed his mystery.

17. For he will Iook at the repentance of those who are in the places below; and he has not overlooked their repentance.

18. This is that mystery which has become a type for the race which will be born; and the race which will be born will sing praises to the height.

19. For the light has looked forth from the height of his light. He will Iook down upon all matter;

20. To hear the groaning of those that are bound; to release the power of the souls whose power is bound.

21. To place his name in the soul, and his mystery in the power’.

Mead Translation:

1. O Light, in whom I have trusted, give ear to my repentance, and let my voice reach unto thy dwelling-place.

2. Turn not away thy light-image from me, but have heed unto me, if they oppress me; and save me quickly at the time when I shall cry unto thee.

3. For my time is vanished like a breath and I am become matter.

4. They have taken my light from me, and my power is dried up. I have forgotten my mystery which heretofore I was wont to accomplish.

5. Because of the voice of the fear and the power of Self-willed my power is vanished.

6. I am become as a demon apart, who dwelleth in matter and light is not in him, and I am become as a counterfeiting spirit, which is in a material body and light-power is not in it.

7. And I am become as a decan who is alone in the air.

8. The emanations of Self-willed have sore oppressed me, and my pair hath said unto himself:

9. Instead of with light which was in her, they have filled her with chaos. I have devoured the sweat of my own matter and the anguish of the tears from the matter of my eyes, so that they who oppress me may not take the rest.

10. All this hath befallen me, O Light, by thy commandment and thy command, and it is thy commandment that I am here.

11. Thy commandment hath brought me down, and I am descended as a power of the chaos, and my power is numbed in me.

12. But thou, O Lord, art Light eternal, and dost visit them who are for ever oppressed.

13. Now, therefore, O Light, arise and seek my power and the soul in me. Thy commandment is accomplished, which thou didst decree for me in my afflictions. My time is come, that thou shouldst seek my power and my soul, and this is the time which thou didst decree to seek me.

14. For thy saviours have sought the power which is in my soul, because the number is completed, and in order that also its matter may be saved.

15. And then at that time shall all the rulers of the material æons be in fear of thy light, and all the emanations of the thirteenth material æon shall be in fear of the mystery of thy light, so that the others may put on the purification of their light.

16. For the Lord will seek the power of your soul. He hath revealed his mystery,

17. So that he may regard the repentance of them who are in the regions below; and he hath not disregarded their repentance.

18. This is then that mystery which is become the type in respect of the race which shall be born; and the race which shall be born will sing praises to the height.

19. For the Light hath looked down from the height of its light. It will look down on the total matter,

20. To hear the sighing of those in chains, to loose the power of the souls whose power is bound,

21. So that it may lay its name in the soul and its mystery in the power.

The Third Repentance of Pistis Sophia

Here is the third repentance of Pistis Sophia translation comparisons.

As always, desktop view is recommended to see them side by side.

MacDermot Translation:

I. 0 Light of the powers, give heed and save me.

2. May those that want to take away my light from me fail and be in darkness.  Let them return to the Chaos, and may those who want to take away my power be put to shame.

3. May those that persecute me and say: we have become Iords over her, return quickly to the darkness.

4. May all those who seek after the light rejoice and flourish; and may they who want thy mystery say at all times: Iet the mystery be raised up.

5. Do thou now at this time save me, 0 Light, for I am lacking in my light, which has been taken away.  And I need my power which has been taken from me.  Thou, 0 Light, thou art my Saviour, and thou art my rescuer, 0 Light.  Save me quickly out of this Chaos’.

Mead Translation:

1. O Lord God, give heed to my help.

2. Let them be put to shame and con-founded who seek after my soul.

3. May they turn straightway and be put to shame, who say unto me: Ha, ha.

4. May all who seek thee, be joyful and exult because of thee, and they who love thy salvation, say ever: May God be exalted.

5. But I am wretched, I am poor; O Lord, help me.  Thou art my helper and defence; O Lord, delay not.

The Second Repentance of Pistis Sophia

Part 2 (of 13) of the side by side translations of the Repentances of Pistis Sophia. This is the second repentance. Once again, this is best viewed on desktop mode as the translations will appear side by side. They do not do this in mobile mode.

MacDermot Translation:

I. 0 Light of Lights, I have believed in thee. Do not leave me in the darkness until the completion of my time.

2. Help me and save me in thy mysteries.  Incline thy ear to me and save me.

3. Let the power of thy light save me and carry me to the aeons on high, for it is thou who savest me and takest me to the height of thy aeons.

4. Save me, 0 Light, from the hand of this lion-faced power, and from the hands of the emanations of the deity, Authades.

5. For thou, 0 Light, art the one in whose light I have believed and in whose light I have trusted from the beginning.

6. And I have believed in it from the hour that it emanated me forth. And thou indeed art he who caused me to be emanated forth. And I have indeed believed in thy light from the beginning.

7. And when I believed in thee, the archons of the aeons mocked me, saying: she has ceased in her mystery.  It is thou who wilt save me.  And thou art my Saviour.  And thou art my mystery, 0 Light.

8. My mouth has been filled with glory, so that I might tell the mystery of thy greatness at all times.

9. Now, 0 Light, do not leave me in the Chaos during the completion of my whole time.  Do not abandon me, 0 Light.

10. For my whole light-power has been taken away from me.  And all the emanations of the Authades have surrounded me.  They wanted to take all my light from me completely, and they watched for my power.

11. They were saying at the same time to one another: the light has left her; Let us seize her and take away all the light within her.  The light has left her; the light has left me.

12. On account of this, 0 Light, do not cease towards me. Turn thyself, 0 Light, and save me from the hands of the merciless.

13. May those who want to take away my power fall and become powerless.  May those who want to take away my light-power from me be wrapped in darkness and exist in powerlessness.

Mead Translation:

1. Light of lights, in whom I have had faith, leave me not in the darkness until the end of my time.

2. Help me and save me through thy mysteries; incline thine ear unto me and save me.

3. May the power of thy light save me and carry me to the higher æons; for thou wilt save me and lead me into the height of thy æons.

4. Save me, O Light, from the hand of this lion-faced power and from the hands of the emanations of god Self-willed.

5. For it is thou, O Light, in whose light I have had faith and in whose light I have trusted from the beginning.

6. And I have had faith in it from the time when it emanated me, and thou thyself didst make me to emanate; and I have had faith in thy light from the beginning.

7. And when I had faith in thee, the rulers of the æons mocked at me, saying: She hath ceased in her mystery. Thou art my saviour and thou art my deliverer and thou art my mystery, O Light.

8. My mouth was filled with glorifying, that I may tell of the mystery of thy grandeur at all times.

9. Now, therefore, O Light, leave me not in the chaos for the completion of my whole time; forsake me not, O Light.

10. For all the emanations of Self-willed have taken from me my whole light-power and have surrounded me. They desired to take away my whole light from me utterly and have set a watch on my power,

11. Saying one to another together: The Light hath forsaken her, let us seize her and take away the whole light in her.

12. Therefore then, O Light, cease not from me; turn thee, O Light, and save me from the hands of the merciless.

13. May they who would take away my power, fall down and become powerless. May they who would take away my light-power from me, be enwrapped in darkness and sink into powerlessness.

The First Repentance of Pistis Sophia

About three years ago, I did my first reading of the PISTIS SOPHIA. The translation I read was by G. R. S. Mead. When I was finished, the book sort of left me in a confused state. I was able to grasp some of what was being said but other parts left me clueless. Now granted, this happens with a lot of older esoteric texts. I planned on re-reading the text at a later time after I made myself more familiar with Gnostic literature. Unlike other texts, the PISTIS SOPHIA is a rather large book, so it is not something I could easily re-read over and over. Recently I obtained a book titled The Fall of Sophia: A Gnostic Text on the Redemption of Universal Consciousness that features an alternate translation of the Pistis Sophia (at least parts 1 & 2) by Violet MacDermot. This time around, the story is clicking on all cylinders! My knowledge of Gnosticism has grown substantially since my first encounter with the PS but this translation also flows much better IMO. I appreciate Mead’s translation but MacDermot’s really sticks with me. I plan to do a comparison of all 13 Repentances that Sophia makes after her fall with each translation. I will not be including the student’s interpretation of each repentance (read the text for yourself 😉 ).

This page is recommended to view in the desktop format, as it will show the translations side by side. Mobile view does not do this.

Here is the first Repentance of Pistis Sophia:

MacDermot Translation:

l. 0 Light of Lights, in whom I have believed from the beginning, hear my repentance now at this time, 0 Light; save me, 0 Light, for wicked thoughts have entered into me.

2. I looked, 0 Light, to the parts below. I saw a light in that place, and I thought : I will go to that place to receive that light. And I went, and I came to be in the darkness which is in the Chaos below. And I was not able to proceed out to go to my place, because I was oppressed among all the emanations of the Authades. And the lion-faced power took away my inner light.

3. And I cried out for help, and my voice did not penetrate the darkness. And I looked to the height, so that the Light in which I had believed might help me.

4. And when I looked to the height, I saw all the archons of the aeons, that they were numerous and they looked down upon me, rejoicing over me, although I had done nothing evil to them, but they had hated me without cause. And when the emanations of the Authades saw the archons of the aeons rejoicing over me, they knew that the archons of the aeons would not help me. And those emanations which oppressed me without cause were encouraged. And they took from me the light which I did not take from them.  

5. Now at this time, 0 true Light, thou knowest that I have done these things in my simplicity, thinking that the lion-faced light belonged to thee, and the sin which I have committed is manifest in thy presence.

6. Do not now let me be lacking, 0 Lord, for I have believed in thy light from the beginning, 0 Lord, Light of the powers, do not let me now lack my light.

7. For on account of thee and thy light I have come to be in this oppression, and shame has covered me.

8. And because of the delusion of thy light, I have become a stranger to my brothers, the invisible ones, and also to the great emanations of the Barbelo.

9. These things happened to me, 0 Light, because I was eager for thy dwelling-place. And the anger of the Authades came down upon me – this one who did not obey thy command to emanate from the emanation of his power – because I was in his aeon and not performing his mystery.

10. · And all the archons of the aeons mocked me.

11. And I was in that place, sorrowing and seeking the light which I had seen in the height.

12. And the watchers of the gates of the aeons were seeking me, and all those who continued in their mystery mocked me.  

13. But I looked up to the height to thee, 0 Light. And I believed in thee. Now at this time, 0 Light of Lights, I am oppressed in the darkness of the Chaos. If now thou dost wish to come to save me – great is thy compassion – hear me truly and save me.

14. Save me out of the matter of this darkness, so that I shall not be immersed in it, and that I shall be saved from the emanations of the deity, Authades, which oppress me, and from their evils.

15. Do not allow this darkness to immerse me, and do not allow this lion-faced power to swallow up all my power completely. And do not allow this Chaos to cover over my power.

16. Hear me, 0 Light, for thy mercy is precious, and look down upon me, according to the great compassion of thy light.

17. Do not turn away thy face from me, for I am greatly afflicted.

18. Hear me quickly and save my power.

19. Save me, on account of the archons which hate me, for thou knowest my affliction and my torment, and the torment of my power which they have taken from me. Those who have put me into all these evils are in thy presence. Deal with them according to thy will.

20. My power looked forth from the midst of the Chaos, and from the midst of the darkness. I looked for my partner, that he should come and fight for me, and he did not come. And I looked that he should come and give power to me, and I did not find him.

21. And when I sought for light, I was given darkness. And when I sought for my power, I was given matter.

22. Now at this time, 0 Light of Lights, let the darkness and the matter which the emanations of the Authades have brought upon me become a snare for them, and let them be ensnared therein. And do thou repay them and bring disgrace upon them, so that they do not come to the place of their Authades.

23. Let them remain in darkness and not see the light. Let them look at the Chaos at all times, and do not let them look at the height.

24. Bring down upon them their vengeance, and let thy judgment seize them.

25. Do not let them go to their place from this time, to their deity, Authades. And do not let his emanations go to their places from this time. Because their god is impious and insolent, because he thought that he had clone these wicked things of himself, not knowing that, unless I was humbled according to thy ordinance, he would have had no power over me.

26. But when thou didst humble me, according to thy ordinance, I was persecuted the more. And their emanations inflicted torments upon my humiliation.

27. And they took a light-power from me. And furthermore they began to torment me greatly, in order to take away all the light that was in me. On account of these things into which I was put, do not let them go up to the thirteenth aeon, the place of righteousness.

28. And do not let them be numbered within the portion of those who purify themselves and their light. And do not let them be numbered among those who will repent quickly, so that they will quickly receive mysteries in the light.

29. For they have taken my light from me. And my power has begun to decrease within me. And I lack my light.

30. Now at this time, 0 Light which art in thee and with me, I sing praises to thy name, 0 Light, in glory.

31. And may my song of praise, 0 Light, please thee, like an excellent mystery which is received into the gates of light, which those who will repent, will recite, and whose light they will purify.

32. Now at this time, let all material things rejoice; seek the light, all of you, so that the power of your souls, which is within you, may live.

33. Because the Light has heard the material things, and it will not leave any material things which it has not purified.

34. Let the souls and the material things bless the Lord of all the aeons; the material things and all things in them.  

35. For God will save their souls out of all matter, and a city will be prepared in the light; and all souls which will be saved will dwell in that city, and they will inherit it.

36. And the soul of those who will receive mysteries will be in that place, and they who have received mysteries in his name will be within it.

Mead Translation:

1. O Light of lights, in whom I have had faith from the beginning, hearken now then, O Light, unto my repentance. Save me, O Light, for evil thoughts have entered into me.

2. I gazed, O Light, into the lower parts and saw there a light. thinking: I will go to that region, in order that I may take that light. And I went and found myself in the darkness which is in the chaos below, and I could no more speed thence and go to my region, for I was sore pressed by all the emanations of Self-willed, and the lion-faced power took away my light in me.

3. And I cried for help, but my voice hath not reached out of the darkness. And I looked unto the height, that the Light, in which I had had faith, might help me.

4. And when I looked unto the height, I saw all the rulers of the æons, how in their numbers they looked down on me and rejoiced over me, though I had done them no ill; but they hated me without a cause. And when the emanations of Self-willed saw the rulers of the æons rejoicing over me, they knew that the rulers of the æons would not come to my aid; and those emanations which sore pressed me with violence, took courage, and the light which I had not taken from them, they have taken from me.

5. Now, therefore, O Light of Truth, thou knowest that I have done this in my innocence, thinking that the lion-faced light-power belonged to thee; and the sin which I have done is open before thee.

6. Suffer me no more to lack, O Lord, for I have had faith in thy light from the beginning; O Lord, O Light of the powers, suffer me no more to lack my light.

7. For because of thy inducement and for the sake of thy light am I fallen into this oppression, and shame hath covered me.

8. And because of the illusion of thy light, I am become a stranger to my brethren, the invisibles, and to the great emanations of Barbelo.

9. This hath befallen me, O Light, because I have been zealous for thy abode; and the wrath of Self-willed is come upon me–of him who had not hearkened unto thy command to emanate from the emanation of his power–because I was in his æon without performing his mystery.

10. And all the rulers of the æons mocked me.

11. And I was in that region, mourning and seeking after the light which I had seen in the height.

12. And the guards of the gates of the æons searched for me, and all who remain in their mystery mocked me.

13. But I looked up unto the height towards thee and had faith in thee. Now, therefore, O Light of lights, I am sore pressed in the darkness of chaos. If now thou wilt come to save me,–great is thy mercy,–then hear me in truth and save me.

14. Save me out of the matter of this darkness, that I may not be submerged therein, that I may be saved from the emanations of god Self-willed which press me sore, and from their evil doings.

15. Let not this darkness submerge me, and let not this lion-faced power entirely devour the whole of my power, and |50. let not this chaos shroud my power.

16. Hear me, O Light, for thy grace is precious, and look down upon me according to the great mercy of thy Light.

17. Turn not thy face from me, for I am exceedingly tormented.

18. Haste thee, hearken unto me and save my power.

19. Save me because of the rulers who hate me, for thou knowest my sore oppression and my torment and the torment of my power which they have taken from me. They who have set me in all this evil are before thee; deal with them according to thy good pleasure.

20. My power looked forth from the midst of the chaos and from the midst of the darkness, and I waited for my pair, that he should come and fight for me, and he came not, and I looked that he should come and lend me power, and I found him not.

21. And when I sought the light, they gave me darkness; and when I sought my power, they gave me matter.

22. Now, therefore, O Light of lights, may the darkness and the matter which the emanations of Self-willed have brought upon me, be unto them for a snare, and may they be ensnared therein, and recompense them and may they be made to stumble and not come into the region of their Self-willed.

23. May they remain in the darkness and not behold the light; may they behold the chaos for ever, and let them not look unto the height.

24. Bring upon them their revenge, and may thy judgment lay hold upon them.

25. Let them not henceforth come into their region to their god Self-willed, and let not his emanations henceforth come into their regions; for their god is impious and self willed, and he thought that he had done this evil of himself, not knowing that, had I not been brought low according to thy command, he would not have had any authority over me.

26. But when thou hadst by thy command brought me low, they pursued me the more, and their emanations added pain to my humiliation.

27. And they have taken light-power from me and fallen again to pressing me sore, in order to take away all the light in me. Because of this in which they have set me, let them not ascend to the thirteenth æon, the region of Righteousness.

28. But let them not be reckoned in the lot of those who purify themselves and the light, and let them not be reckoned with those who will quickly repent, that they may quickly receive mysteries in the Light.

29. For they have taken my light from me, and my power hath begun to cease in me and I am destitute of my light.

30. Now, therefore, O Light, which is in thee and is with me, I sing praises to thy name, O Light, in glory.

31. May my song of praise please thee, O Light, as an excellent mystery, which leadeth to the gates of the Light, which they who shall repent will utter, and the light of which will purify them.

32. Now, therefore, let all matters rejoice; seek ye all the Light, that the power of the stars which is in you, may live.

33. For the Light hath heard the matters, nor will it leave any without having purified them.

34. Let the souls and the matters praise the Lord of all æons, and [let] the matters and all that is in them [praise him].

35. For God shall save their soul from all matters, and a city shall be prepared in the Light, and all the souls who are saved, will dwell in that city and will inherit it.

36. And the soul of them who shall receive mysteries will abide in that region, and they who have received mysteries in its name will abide therein.

I apologize for not exactly lining up some of the texts. WordPress is kind of weird with their formatting, but it’s close enough. 😉

The Greatest Evil in Man is Not Knowing God

I’ve been reading the “Corpus Hermeticum: The Divine Pymander” (2015 edition edited by Tarl Warwick, see post photo) and I wanted to share this section. The book itself is quite interesting though some parts are a bit hard to understand/read. Not sure if it’s just this particular edition/translation or the fact it’s my first time reading through it. Anyway, I really liked this section and I am going to reprint the entire section below for you all to enjoy. This particular edition can be found on Amazon for $6, so if you are interested in reading the rest of the book, you can get it there. Other editions/translations are available as well.

VIII: THE GREATEST EVIL IN MAN IS NOT KNOWING GOD

  1. Where are you carried, Oh men, drunken with the win of ignorance? When you see that you cannot hold it down, why do you vomit it up again?
  2. Stand, and be sober, and look up again with the eyes of your heart, and if you cannot all do so, yet do so as many as you can.
  3. For the malice of ignorance surrounds all the Earth, and corrupts the soul, shut up in the body, not suffering it to arrive at the havens of salvation.
  4. Suffer not yourselves to be carried with the great stream, but stem the tide you that can lay hold of the haven of safety, and make your full course towards it.
  5. Seek still what may lead you by the hand, and conduct you to the door of truth and knowledge, where the clear light is that which is pure from darkness, where there is not one drunken, but all are sober, and in their heart look up to him, whose pleasure it is to be seen.
  6. For he cannot be heard with ears, nor seen with eyes, nor expressed in words; but only in mind and heart.
  7. But first you must tear to pieces, and break through the garment that you wear; the web of ignorance; the foundation of all mischief; the shackles of corruption; the cloak of darkness; the living death; the corruptible corpse; the sepulcher, carried about with us; the domestic thief, which in what he loves us, hates us, envies us.
  8. Such is the hurtful apparel, with which you are now clothed, which draws and pulls you downward by its own self, lest looking upward and seeing the beauty of truth, and the good that is reposed therein, you would hate the wickedness of this garment and understand the traps and ambushes which it had laid for you.
  9. Therefore it labors to make good those things that seem, and are by the senses, judged and determined; and the things that are true, it hides, and veils in much matter, filling what it presents unto you, with hateful pleasure, that you may neither hear what you should hear, nor see what you should see.

The Sentences of Sextus

I love “sayings” texts. They are easy to read and after each sentence, you can stop and take in what it said. I wanted to highlight this particular text that was found in the Nag Hammadi library. The above video is a reading of the text but for below, I am quoting a slightly different translation. If you are like I am, you read various translations of texts as they all add a different take on texts (and at times, can make them flow more poetically rather than dry academia). Below are some of my favorite quotes from this translation: http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/sent.html

(163b) When it is proper to act, do not use a word.

Actions speak louder than words!

(164b) While it is a skill to speak, it is also a skill to be silent.

Now this is a skill our modern society should consider implimenting!

(178) What it is not right to do, do not even consider doing it.

(179) What you do not want to happen to you, do not do it yourself either.

The ole “practice what you preach” mentality.

(323) The fear of death grieves man because of the ignorance of the soul.

I see this as an issue with a lot of people who are afraid of dying. If you know the Father, there should absolutely be no fear of death.

(328) Let not an ungrateful man cause you to cease to do good.

Another lesson I would LOVE to see our modern society take hold. I’ve heard this excuse from people all the time on why they should not help someone. That is definitely not the way to go.

(331) Persuade a senseless brother not to be senseless; if he is mad, protect him.

Those taking up this cause, it can be very aggravating if you do not have patience especially if the one who is senseless is very persistent.

(336) It is better to serve others than to make others serve you.

I live to serve! 😀 I always tell my kids, help whoever you can, whenever you can. Do not ask for anything in return and you will be amazed with what happens in your life.

(343/344) Do not provoke the anger of a mob. Know, then, what is fitting for the fortunate man to do.

I am guilty of this at my workplace though in the past few years, I have gone the other way (even when my co-workers still partake in this). This is another example where our current society could learn a lot from this advice. Social media has made it all too easy to get caught up in the mob mentality.

(350) Do not give the word of God to everyone.

(351) For those who are corrupted by glory it is not assuring to hear about God.

(352/353) It is not a small danger for us to speak the truth about God; do not say anything about God before you have learned from God.

(354/356) Do not speak with a godless person about God; if you are polluted on account of impure works, do not speak about God.

(355) Speak concerning the word about God as if you were saying it in the presence of God.

(358) If first your mind is persuaded that you have been god-loving, then speak to whomever you wish about God.

(360) Do not wish to speak with a crowd about God.

(361) Be (more) sparing with a word about God (than) about a soul.

(362) It is better to dispose of a soul than to discard at random a word about God.

(365) He who speaks the word of God to those for whom it is not lawful, he is the betrayer of God.

(366) It is better for you to be silent about the word of God, than to speak recklessly.

(367/368) He who speaks lies about God is lying to God; a man who does not have anything truthful to say about God is abandoned by God.

I grouped these sayings all together since they refer to speaking of the Father. Living in the USA, I am full aware of the TV evangelicals that I believe do much more harm than good. Based on these sayings, those people go against quite a few of them. But to each their own. Speaking of the Father should be personal and pure, and to those who wish to seek the wisdom of the Father. Cast not pearls before swine, as the saying goes.

(380) He who thinks that no one is in the presence of God, he is not humble towards God.

The Father is everywhere and in everything. Know this!

Those are just some of my favorite sayings but really, the whole text is quite lovely and I highly recommend it.

The Seven Hermetic Principles

Late last year, I picked up a copy of “The Kybalion” and was very impressed with the book. It was published in 1908, author unknown (though the introduction to the edition I bought lays the groundwork for whom they believe the author was). The book deals with seven Hermetic principles of the universe and how they work together. This was my formal introduction to Hermeticism (though it is not a work of classical Hermeticism). This is one of those few books that I read through and on the first time, it really connected with me. Esoteric books can be quite puzzling at times but this one really laid it out quite nicely. After I read a book that I really like, I look around on the internet for reviews to see what others say. Most people like to make the comment “This book will find you in life at the right time that you need it to” and isn’t that the truth! Here is the seven principles of the teaching:

  1. MENTALISM – All is mind.
  2. CORRESPONDENCE – Correspondence between the laws and phenomena of the various planes. “As Above, So Below.”
  3. VIBRATION – Everything is in motion.
  4. POLARITY – Everything is dual / has two poles. Opposites are the same, just differing in degrees.
  5. RHYTHM – Everything is manifested a measured motion, to and for (think of a pendulum).
  6. CAUSE AND EFFECT – There is a cause for every effect, an effect for every cause. Everything happens according to law. Nothing ever happens merely by chance.
  7. GENDER – Masculine and feminine principles always at work, regardless of plane.

The book goes into more detail about each principle. The principle that really got to me is the POLARITY aspect. I have a tendency to always look at issues from various viewpoints. I like to play “devil’s advocate” quite a bit. But when you look at issues from both sides, it gives you a different perspective and different ways to accomplish a goal. Example, if I state “I am feeling tired”, my mind is telling me that I am feeling sleepy and drained of energy. But if I would look on the flip side and say “I am feeling slower than usual”, my mind will then look for a solution to pick myself up. Imagine you have a line, like so:

Tiredness————————————–Vibrant

My example would first start me at:

Tiredness–<*———————————-Vibrant

I am thinking of that negative aspect and thus my mind tends to drift towards that. But when I on the flip side, thinking why am I feeling slower, I would be as such:

Tiredness–*>———————————-Vibrant

Now I am heading in the opposite direction and thus my mind reacts in that way. I start to find different solutions. I look at my problem a different way. So instead of repeating the mantra “why am I tired”, I now have a mantra of “need to get awake.”

I have applied this method into my life and it has really helped me over come quite a bit of tasks with results I would not have thought possible. The whole book is really quite a GEM and I highly recommend it to all. All seven principles are explained in detailed and it really just makes perfect sense IMO. If you want to read a PDF of the text, you can find it here: http://www.kybalion.org . I personally prefer to read my books in physical versions and I recommend the “The Kybalion: Centenary Edition” that is a small black hardback (faux leather) book that can be found on most online bookstores and even some brick and mortar shops (I found mine in store at a Barnes and Noble).

Authoritative Teaching

With this post, I wanted to bring attention to a Gnostic text that does not get mentioned much, at least from what I have seen.  That text is titled the “Authoritative Teaching” from Codex VI of the Nag Hammadi Library.  It is a text that speaks of the soul.  The text is not complete as it is fragmented in the beginning.  It may be kind of hard to read starting out but once the fragmented parts go by and the text that is mostly complete continues on, you start to get the picture.  It speaks of the soul needing to know the Father and to be aware of the evils of the material world.  I like to quote some lines for this post.

Secretly her bridegroom fetched it. He presented it to her mouth to make her eat it like food, and he applied the word to her eyes as a medicine to make her see with her mind and perceive her kinsmen and learn about her root, in order that she might cling to her branch from which she had first come forth, in order that she might receive what is hers and renounce matter.

I love the allegorical phrasing of this paragraph, which is just the second paragraph in the text.  The first paragraph is very fragmented.  

And (as for) those who contend with us, being adversaries who contend against us, we are to be victorious over their ignorance through our knowledge, since we have already known the Inscrutable One from whom we have come forth.

The text has various examples of this conflict between those with gnosis and those without.  It has a very heavy emphasis on avoiding ignorance and those who have decided to live in the material world without having any desire to know the Father.

We have also become ashamed of the worlds, though we take no interest in them when they malign us. And we ignore them when they curse us. When they cast shame in our face, we look at them and do not speak.

Another example of avoiding the ignorant.  Now you may say “Should we try to help these people?”  Of course, but if a person is not willing to even entertain the idea of such a concept of a higher power, will you ever get through to them?  I believe everyone will awaken when it is their time and it may not be during this particular life cycle.  The text does address this issue and I will quote it later.

Our soul indeed is ill because she dwells in a house of poverty, while matter strikes blows at her eyes, wishing to make her blind. For this reason she pursues the word and applies it to her eyes as a medicine <opening> them, casting away […] thought of a […] blindness in […] afterwards, when that one is again in ignorance, he is completely darkened and is material.

Despite the fragmentary nature of this paragraph, it is pretty easy to see what is being said.  Notice the re-use of the allegory of applying the word as medicine to one’s eyes to see the truth.  

Now these are the foods with which the devil lies in wait for us. First he injects a pain into your heart until you have heartache on account of a small thing of this life, and he seizes (you) with his poisons. And afterward (he injects) the desire of a tunic, so that you will pride yourself in it, and love of money, pride, vanity, envy that rivals another envy, beauty of body, fraudulence. The greatest of all these are ignorance and ease.

This is just one paragraph that goes on to state on how the world constantly tempts the soul to fall into ignorance.  During this section of the text, it reminds me of the “Hymn of the Pearl” in that it is a cautionary tale and how one needs to stay vigilant of falling asleep in the material world.

She gave the body to those who had given it to her, and they were ashamed, while the dealers in bodies sat down and wept because they were not able to do any business with that body, nor did they find any (other) merchandise except it. They endured great labors until they had shaped the body of this soul, wishing to strike down the invisible soul. They were therefore ashamed of their work; they suffered the loss of the one for whom they had endured labors. They did not realize that she has an invisible spiritual body, thinking, “We are her shepherd who feeds her.” But they did not realize that she knows another way, which is hidden from them. This her true shepherd taught her in knowledge.

This paragraph is about the soul leaving the physical body to the archons of the physical world and how those forces are not aware of the true path for one who has obtained gnosis.

The next three paragraphs, that I did not quote, go on to speak of those who do not have any desire to know the Father and the error of their ways.  The text is very forceful in it’s damning of such individuals.  The main theme of this text is of avoiding ignorance and the obtaining of gnosis, thus the strong wording that comes from these paragraphs.

But the rational soul who (also) wearied herself in seeking – she learned about God. She labored with inquiring, enduring distress in the body, wearing out her feet after the evangelists, learning about the Inscrutable One. She found her rising. She came to rest in him who is at rest. She reclined in the bride-chamber. She ate of the banquet for which she had hungered. She partook of the immortal food. She found what she had sought after. She received rest from her labors, while the light that shines forth upon her does not sink. To it belongs the glory and the power and the revelation for ever and ever. Amen.

The final paragraph of the text beautifully portrays the soul finally at rest in the pleroma with the Father.  

I HIGHLY recommend everyone read the full text at http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/autho.html  

Body – Soul – Spirit

Body – Soul – Spirit

While reading “The Hermetica: The Lost Wisdom of the Pharaohs” translated by Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy, there is a section dedicated on sayings regarding “souls.”  Texts relating to souls have always interested me.  Gnostic literature features quite a few texts detailing the soul’s journey and I was happy to see this continue in Hermeticism.  The soul is not to be confused with spirit, but rather as our bridge from the body to spirit, thus Body-Soul-Spirit.  See my crude diagram (above) for a visualization of such a concept.  

Rather than post full texts from The Hermetica, I will post sections/phrases that really stuck out to me.  This first section is from the text titled “Incarnation of the Soul.”  This is the last part of the text and it’s a detailed account of souls not wanting to leave their heavenly home to be incarnated in the flesh.  

I have seen a vision of souls

About to be shut up in bodies.

Some of them wailed and moaned.

Some struggled against their doom,

Like noble beasts caught by crafty hunters

And dragged away from their wild home.

One shrieked

And looking up and down exclaimed:

‘O Heaven, source of Being,

Bright shining stars

And unfailing sun and moon,

Light and Life-breath of the One,

All you that share our home–

How cruel it is that we are being torn away

From such celestial splendour!

We are to be expelled

From this holy atmosphere

And from the blissful life we live here,

To be imprisoned

In a mean and sorry place.

What hard necessities wait for us?

What hateful thing will we have to do

To meet the needs of a body

That will quickly perish?

Our eyes will see little,

And only through the fluid

Which these orbs contain.

And when we see our vast heavenly home

Contracted to a size as small as an eye,

Our sorrow will never cease.

We shall not even see clearly,

For we have been condemned to darkness.

And when we hear our brothers and sisters

Blowing with the wind

We shall grieve

That we are no longer breathing

In unison with them.’

**

Definitely sounds like someone did not want to incarnate in a walking meat sack on the physical realm!  I don’t blame them one bit.  The second “soul” related text in the book is titled “Death and Immortality.”  Like the title states, it is about death and immortality (gotta keep it simple!).  Here is a passage from the text.  Please note, I replaced “Atum” with “The Father” (see my previous blog post on why I did this).

After quitting the body,

Mind, which is divine by nature,

Is freed from all containment.

Taking on a body of Light,

It ranges through all space–

Leaving the soul

To be judged and punished,

According to its deserts.

Souls do not all go to the same place.

Not to different places at random.

Rather, each is allocated

To a place that fits its nature.

When a soul leaves the body

It undergoes a trial and investigation

By the chief of the gods.

When he finds a soul to be honourable and pure,

He allows it to live in a region

That corresponds to its characteristics.

But if he finds it stained

With incurable ignorance,

He hurls it down

To the storms and whirlwinds,

Where it is eternally tossed between sky and earth on the billowing air.

Only a good soul is spiritual and divine.

Having wronged no one

And come to know The Father,

Such a soul has run the race of purity,

And becomes all Mind.

After it leaves its physical form,

It becomes a spirit in a body of Light,

So that it may serve The Father.

**

The third text in the book is titled “Ignorance of the Soul” and its about awakening from ignorance and seeking your true self.  Of the three, this is probably my favorite.  I will include several phrases below:

It is impossible to be permanently happy

While attached to a body.

A man should train his soul in this life

So that, when he enters the other world

Where he is able to see The Father,

He does not lose his way.

*

Our possessions possess us.

We were not born with possessions,

But acquired them later.

Everything a man uses to gratify his body

Is alien to his original god-like nature.

Not only possessions–

Even the body is foreign

To our true self.

*

You are drunk with ignorance of The Father

It has overpowered you,

And now you are vomiting it up.

Empty yourselves of darkness

And you will be filled with Light.

*

There is no greater mistake

Than to have the power to know The Father

And not to use it.

*

Everywhere The Father will come to meet you.

Look and he appears–

At times and places when you least expect.

*

This is because

The Father is All.

**

Man is a Marvel

While I have been studying Gnosticism for over three years now, I have recently started to get into Hermeticism.  A lot of the concepts, from what I read, go along with Gnosticism quite well.  I am currently reading “The Hermetica: The Last Wisdom of the Pharaohs”, translated by Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy.  This book is a collection of various Hermetic texts.  Sort of an introduction to Hermeticism if you will (though I did read “The Kybalion” before this, a book that I will cover at another time).  There are amazing passages in this book and I would like to share some.  With this post, I am sharing the text titled “Man is a Marvel” which is about Man and his place among the divine line; God – Cosmos – Man.  The authors of the book use the word “Atum” in place of GOD (Atum being one of the ancient Egyptian names for the Supreme One).  They wanted to avoid using the word GOD due to the preconceptions that come with the word.  Personally I prefer “The Father”.  For this post, I will use “The Father” rather than “Atum” as that is how I read it.  

Man is a Marvel

The Father is first,

The Cosmos is second,

And man is third.

The Father is One,

The Cosmos is One,

And so is man–

For like the Cosmos

He is a whole made up

Of different diverse parts.

The Maker made man

To govern with him,

And if man accepts this function fully,

He becomes a vehicle

Of order in the Cosmos

Man may know himself,

And so know the Cosmos,

By being aware

That he is an image of The Father

And of the Cosmos.

He differs from other living things

In that he possess Mind.

Through Mind he may commune

With the Cosmos, which is the second god–

And by thought he may come to Knowledge

Of The Father the One-God.

The human body encloses pure Mind,

As if within a walled garden,

Which shelters and secludes it,

So that it may live in peace.

Man has this two-fold nature–

In his body he is mortal,

And in his intelligence he is immortal.

He is exalted above heaven,

But is born a slave to Destiny.

He is bisexual,

As his Father is bisexual.

He is sleepless,

As his Father is sleepless.

Yet he is dominated by carnal desires,

And lost in forgetfulness.

Of all beings that have Soul,

Only man has a two-fold nature.

One part, called “The Image of The Father”,

Is single, undivided, spiritual and eternal.

The other part

Is made of the four material elements.

One comes from the Primal Mind.

It has the power of the Creator,

And is able to know The Father.

The other is put in man

By the revolution of the heavens.

Man is the most divine of all beings,

For amongst all living things,

The Father associates with him only–

Speaking to him in dreams at night,

Foretelling the future for him

In the flight of birds,

The bowels of beasts

And the whispering oak.

All other living things

Inhabit only one part of the Cosmos–

Fishes in water,

Animals on the earth,

Birds in the air.

Man penetrates all of these elements.

With his sense of sight,

He even grasps the heavens.

To speak without fear,

Human beings are above the gods of heaven,

Or at least their equal–

For the gods will never pass

Their celestial boundaries

And descend to Earth,

But a man may ascend to heaven,

And what is more,

He may do so without leaving the Earth,

So vast an expanse

Can his power encompass.

By The Father’s will,

Humankind is compacted,

Of both divinity and mortality.

He is more than merely mortal,

And greater than the purely immortal.

Man is a marvel,

Due honour and reverence.

He takes on the attributes of the gods,

As if he were one of their number.

He is familiar with the gods,

Because he knows he springs

From the same source.

He raises reverent eyes to heaven above,

And tends the Earth below.

He is blessed by being the intermediary.

He loves all below him,

And is loved by all above him.

Confident of his divinity,

He throws off his solely human nature.

He has access to all.

His keenness of thought

Descends to the depths of the seas.

Heaven is not too high

For the reach of his wisdom.

His quick wits penetrate the elements.

Air cannot blind his mental vision

With its thickest fog.

Dense earth cannot impede him.

Deep water cannot blur his gaze.

Man is all things.

Man is everywhere.

Man not only receives the Light of divine Life,

But gives it as well.

He not only ascends to God,

But even creates gods.

Just as The Father has willed

That the inner man

He created in his likeness,

So we on Earth create the gods

In our human image.

Is this not worthy of wonder?

There are then these three–

The Father, Cosmos, man.

The Cosmos is contained by The Father.

Man is contained by the Cosmos.

The Cosmos is the son of The Father.

Man is the son of the Cosmos,

And the grandson, so to speak, of The Father.

The Father does not ignore man,

But acknowledges him fully,

As he wishes to be fully acknowledged by man,

For this alone is man’s purpose and salvation–

The ascent to heaven

And the Knowledge of The Father.