I stand in the midst of the world and in the flesh was I seen of them. And I found all men drunken, and none found I athirst (for God) among them. And my soul grieveth over the sons of men, because they are blind in their heart, and see not. For empty they came into the world, and empty they seek to leave the world. But for the moment they are intoxicated. When they shake off their wine, then they will repent.
– Jesus, The Gospel of Thomas
Once a person accepts the Gnostic Call they embark on a process of deconditioning, of turning away from the ethos, mores and values of the world, to embrace a new view and way of life.
Most people, conditioned as they are by the world order, suffer a loss of primordial memory and are therefore without inner sensitivity, awareness, or coherence. Gnosis is a restoration, a recovery of wholeness through the sacrifice of the small self and the birth of the True Self.
We all as human beings have traveled so far downwards from our original point of purity. Gnosis goes beyond the limiting telluric condition, facilitating communion with the Light of the Pleroma and contact with the metaphysical realm of subtle energies (often called demigods, angels, Elohim, Ancient Ones, or Saints). The Gnostic experience transcends this world of suffering.
Unfortunately, too many people are basically bystanders in the Great Battle of existence. Like the broken pieces of a chess set, they are unable to play their part. Others, due to their ignorance and blind pride, act negatively, unconsciously responding to the demiurgic influences. The Adversary wants to convince you that he does not exist. Gnostics, those who seek Awakening, can only ever be a remnant, as in this epoch only a ‘few’ recover the memory, the full consciousness of who they really are.
In opposition to the Gnostic Tradition, the world seeks to preserve and promote all that is external Man; Man’s laws and ways, Man’s demands, Man’s creations, Man’s supremacy over all things, Man’s agreements and decisions, and the entire structure of Man’s modern way of life.
Man remains all too-human and materialistic, bound to his mortality, beset by fears and conflicts, ruled by his own mechanical creations, overwhelmed by his own technology, confused and persecuted by his own contradictory laws, burdened by greater and greater demands.
Modern humanity, for all their material abundance and technological wizardry, long ago lost the ability to act truly independently, to be genuinely self-determined, rather than herd-determined. They have become completely dependent for their pleasure and comfort on artificial techniques and gadgets that enslave them, both mentally and physically. Instead of mastering technology, humans are now trapped by their creation.
Gnostics do not despise the natural environment, as some superficial writers contend. On the contrary, Gnostics have a profound appreciation for nature and all life. The devil may be the mind of matter and the earth can be said to be in a ‘fallen state’, but divine light is trapped within. What people generally see as ‘natural beauty’ is the divine light element in life.
The earth was once a reflection of the higher Realm of Light, the supernal world of eternity, infinity and permanence. All beings derive their life from the True God of Light. The nearer a being is to the SOURCE, the more perfect it is. The more remote in the scale, the less its purity. A ray of Light from the Deity is the cause of all actual life and existence.
In its primordial first state the earth was etheric and spiritual. In his rebellion the Adversary attacked the Realm of Light. Unable to create a world like that of the God of Light, the Dark Lord fashioned the gross material world, a world of imperfection, impermanence and death. The Adversary as the Demiurge (craftsman) is the ‘ape of God’ who made a counterfeit, illusory world.
Evil originates not in the goodness and wisdom of the True God, whose substance underlies the universe, but in the blindness and willfulness of certain spiritual entities who fashioned this substance into our universe. The Dark Lord (Demiurge) and his false rulers (Archons) are the cause of the ambivalent nature of the universe.
However even the structure of this world and the lower universe reveals the wisdom of the Kingdom of Light. Our gross world may be crafted by the Dark Lord, but Divine Light is mixed within it. Trapped in materiality, Divine Light nevertheless can be glimpsed in nature. One medieval writer noted how the Gnostic Manichaean “would strive to live in peace with the whole nature. He knows that everything in it leads to the triumph of the good. Therefore he will refrain from upsetting its harmony.”
The Gnostic Manichaeans respected all life, teaching:
The sages and the righteous are able to recognize the pure goodness of Paradise, infinite in space and time, in the mixed, limited and transient goodness of this world. And, likewise, in the itemized and limited evil of this world, the global and unlimited evil of hell.
In the beginning, the God of Light, brought forth a magical universe. The Kingdom of Light, a spiritual realm, the Pleroma. Then from the Supreme Being, the Good and True God, emanated (came forth) a whole chain of being, forming a descending hierarchy of spiritual entities (known as ‘Aeons’, ‘Mighty Ones’, ‘angels’…). Some Gnostic writers describe these powers as the personified thoughts, designs and will of the Heavenly Father. The author of Gnosticism: Its History and Influence explains:
The heavenly hierarchy includes a great host of angelic entities: archangels, cherubim, seraphim, amens, voices, virtues, marks, guardians, splendours (augai), reasons (logoi, not to be confused with the Logos), authentics and others. In the Bible some are grouped as principalities (archai, literally ‘ancient ones’), powers (dynameis), thrones (thronoi), dominions (kuriotetes), authorities (exousiai), lesser gods (theoi), and rulers (archontes).
Out of boundless love the Heavenly Father gave to these entities the power of free choice, even if it meant that they might choose to move out of the area of His love. The God of Light withdrew the operation of His will over these beings, and bestowed upon them the gift of free will, letting them decide their own destiny. Nonetheless, everything that comes from the Eternal One, no matter how degraded, eventually yearns to return to Him.
Many ancient mythologies tell of Cosmic Battles, of great upheavals among the celestial host. Of the willful degradation of certain spiritual beings. The forces of Good and Evil were polarised. The Christian tradition relates how Michael, the archangel, fought against the rebel Satan. In this war, rebellious entities interfered with the vibratory patterns. Our area of the universe, originally etheric, became dense and material. These disobedient ones crafted the world and perverted the development of life on this planet. Through the machinations of the rebel Dark Lord, who is the Adversary Satanael, entities that once inhabited the “many mansions” of the Father’s Realm of Light became trapped on earth. Life was ‘transplanted’ to earth from other higher worlds, as Man lost his ‘heavenly’ status.
We once lived with the spiritual entities of Light, were acquainted with the mighty hosts of heaven and aware of the magical universe. Then disaster struck, we became entangled in the dark planes of matter, forgetting the Pleroma, our True Home beyond the stars. But through life on this planet we have the opportunity of contributing to the restoration of Truth and the liberation of Light trapped in darkness.
Perhaps this incredible saga may be clarified by the following story:
In the ageless past there was a cosmic catastrophe, the real nature of which cannot be explained in our limited human language or fully comprehended by the human mind. This cataclysm, known only as the attack of the Darkness on the Realm of Light, precipitated a phenomenal chain of events. In response the God of Light and Truth set in motion a corrective process capable of completely defeating the Darkness.
A faint memory of one of these events is described in the Bible as the “War in Heaven” (Revelation 12:7-9). We are told of a Great War that was fought in space, and how Michael, the Commander of the divine extra-terrestrials, defeated a rebellious entity symbolised by the “dragon”, along with his rebel extra-terrestrial army. After his defeat in the intergalactic war, this Dark Lord retreated to what became his main stronghold, the planet Earth and its solar system.
At this time the Earth existed in a purely etheric state. The Dark Lord and his rebel bands perverted the very stuff of life causing it to become coarse and material. The vibratory pattern was altered. The primordial Light of the etheric Earth became mixed with gross Darkness. Thus the Dark Lord, also called in the ancient texts the Demiurge, crafted the physical world of nature, whose main elements are time, space and change. The rebel extra-terrestrials used this fallen Earth as their personal playground. They owned it. However this material Earth, like the work of an imperfect craftsman, is deficient, subject to decay and death.
The Dark Lord and his minions then desired to craft an Earth-bound creature who would serve them as a worker-slave. Lacking the divine ability to truly create, the Demiurge can only pervert or counterfeit. So after sundry experiments, through trial and error, the Dark Lord eventually fashioned a low robotic humanoid, an early form perhaps of Neanderthal Man. The Dark Lord envied the divine extra-terrestrials, the spiritual entities that came from the Realm of Light, and desired to imprison them in the soulless humanoid forms he had fashioned.
While the Dark Lord conducted genetic experiments, in an effort to fashion Earth-bound automatons, divine extra-terrestrials entered this planet’s solar system in Discs of Light. As part of their ongoing strategy to defeat the Dark Lord, these Pilgrims of the Dawn established a centre on Earth known in history as Hyperborea.
The divine extra-terrestrials were on a mission to rescue the Light mixed with Darkness. They waged a holy war against the Dark Lord and his rebel forces. Divine extra-terrestrials descended the frequency scale to help raise the consciousness of the developing humanoids of Earth. Under their guidance great civilisations arose, like Lemuria and Atlantis. The Pilgrims began to spiritualise the Earth and purify the perversions of the Adversary. This was the planet’s Golden Age.
Then disaster struck. The Adversary through various intrigues led astray a number of the divine extra-terrestrials, trapping them in human bodies. Some of the Pilgrims engaged in sexual intercourse with Earth-women. Frequencies were changed. They became trapped on Earth, unable to ascend the vibrational scale and re-enter their etheric world. Spiritual beings found themselves in dense bodies, bound on this miserable planet controlled by their Adversary. The Dark Lord’s rebel bands became their Prison Warders!
These Prison Warders (Archons) cast a spell of sleep over their captives. The Dark Lord and his Prison Warders see people as their property and view men and women as slaves bred to worship them. But the Prison Warder’s spell of ignorance is broken once you realise that you are a spiritual being in a human body exiled on this planet. This explains why the forces of Darkness are actively engaged in keeping humanity in mental, spiritual and physical bondage to the Earth.
The story of Adam and Eve is an expurgated allegory of the seduction of divine extra-terrestrials by malevolent entities. Adam, the sacred texts tell us, was originally the issue and offspring of the Heavenly Father of Light, an androgynous figure with a bright shining form resplendent in his beauty. Seduced by the Adversary, Adam and Eve lost their radiant glory. Exiled from the Garden of Eden they had to survive in a hostile environment. They were able to have children through the physical process of birth. They and their children could experience sickness, pain and physical death.
The ancient work known as the First Book of Adam and Eve tells of the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Eden and how Adam laments:
“O God, when we dwelt in the garden, and our hearts were lifted up, we saw the angels that sang praises in Heaven, but now we do not see as we were used to do;…Then God said unto Adam, ‘When thou wast under subjection to Me, thou hadst a bright nature within thee, and for that reason couldst thou see things afar off. But after thy transgression thy bright nature was withdrawn from thee; and it was not left to thee to see things afar off, but only near at hand; after the ability of the flesh; for it is brutish.’”
All this is in keeping with the divine plan of the ages, the long range corrective strategy launched by the Heavenly Father of Light. Yes, due to the Dark Lord’s attacks, Sparks of Light became mixed with the Darkness, and the soul suffers by reason of this unnatural connection. Although the forces of Darkness wish to hold on to the captured Light Souls, the mixing will in the long run corrupt them, since by surrendering the Sparks the forces of Light have obtained a weapon that can destroy their enemies from within. Held captive in the world of the Demiurge, spiritual beings – awakened to their real nature – can conquer the Darkness and thus play their part in the redemption of the entire universe. This way the divine extra-terrestrials isolated the Darkness and confined it.
Victory is achieved by sending out a number of Messengers of Light. These Heavenly Envoys awaken the imprisoned Light Souls, enabling them to achieve liberation. When Darkness has thus been deprived of all Light it can be bound forever.
Under their Adversary’s influence, intoxicated by earthly existence, kept in ignorance by the Prison Warder’s spell, unaware that he is a spiritual being, Man believes he is just a physical body. When he hears and responds to the message of Awakening brought by the Heavenly Envoys, he realises his true nature.
Now we are imprisoned in a foreign land and can return home only by rejecting the ways of the crude environment. By awakening to our true inner nature and freeing ourselves from attachment to the world, we defeat the attack of the Adversary. In the last analysis we are to consider ourselves as agents of another world, the higher Realm of Light.
Today there are still a few people on Earth who have not quenched the spirit within and know the inner turmoil of the struggle between the spark of Light, trying to return to the Realm of Light from whence it came, and the flesh which acts as its prison on Earth.
May this story help to bring to our remembrance the magnificent divine plan of the ages woven throughout the patterns of history and the sacred records. The sending forth by the Heavenly Father of the Children of Light into physical bodies, fallen to be restored, lost Light and Power to be brought back, with the eventual total defeat of the powers of Darkness and the victory of the celestial Kingdom of Light.
Thus a person’s highest ambition consists in participating in and obtaining final liberation from the bondage represented by the world and the limited human condition.
The purpose of life is spiritual enlightenment. The proper beginning of Man is direct KNOWLEDGE (Gnosis) of the True God, and the goal of Man is the ascent of the divine spark through the higher worlds of spiritual states that the planets represent, until his expanding consciousness and the grace of the Heavenly Father enables the inner True Being to attain the highest spiritual perfection: ONENESS with the BELOVED. The Path of the Gnosis reveals the nature of our relationship to the magical universe, and to its source: the Eternal One.