Sacred Texts

Apocalypse of Peter

Translated by James Brashler and Roger A. Bullard


 

As the Savior was sitting in the temple in the three hundredth (year) of the covenant and the agreement of the tenth pillar, and being satisfied with the number of the living, incorruptible Majesty, he said to me, "Peter, blessed are those above belonging to the Father, who revealed life to those who are from the life, through me, since I reminded they who are built on what is strong, that they may hear my word, and distinguish words of unrighteousness and transgression of law from righteousness, as being from the height of every word of this Pleroma of truth, having been enlightened in good pleasure by him whom the principalities sought. But they did not find him, nor was he mentioned among any generation of the prophets. He has now appeared among these, in him who appeared, who is the Son of Man, who is exalted above the heavens in a fear of men of like essence. But you yourself, Peter, become perfect in accordance with your name with myself, the one who chose you, because from you I have established a base for the remnant whom I have summoned to knowledge. Therefore be strong until the imitation of righteousness - of him who had summoned you, having summoned you to know him in a way which is worth doing because of the rejection which happened to him, and the sinews of his hands and his feet, and the crowning by those of the middle region, and the body of his radiance which they bring in hope of service because of a reward of honor - as he was about to reprove you three times in this night."

And as he was saying these things, I saw the priests and the people running up to us with stones, as if they would kill us; and I was afraid that we were going to die.

And he said to me, "Peter, I have told you many times that they are blind ones who have no guide. If you want to know their blindness, put your hands upon (your) eyes - your robe - and say what you see."

But when I had done it, I did not see anything. I said "No one sees (this way)."

Again he told me, "Do it again."

And there came in me fear with joy, for I saw a new light greater than the light of day. Then it came down upon the Savior. And I told him about those things which I saw.

And he said to me again, "Lift up your hands and listen to what the priests and the people are saying."

And I listened to the priests as they sat with the scribes. The multitudes were shouting with their voice.

When he heard these things from me he said to me, "Prick up your ears and listen to the things they are saying."

And I listened again, "As you sit, they are praising you".

And when I said these things, the Savior said, "I have told you that these (people) are blind and deaf. Now then, listen to the things which they are telling you in a mystery, and guard them, Do not tell them to the sons of this age. For they shall blaspheme you in these ages since they are ignorant of you, but they will praise you in knowledge."

"For many will accept our teaching in the beginning. And they will turn from them again by the will of the Father of their error, because they have done what he wanted. And he will reveal them in his judgment, i.e., the servants of the Word. But those who became mingled with these shall become their prisoners, since they are without perception. And the guileless, good, pure one they push to the worker of death, and to the kingdom of those who praise Christ in a restoration. And they praise the men of the propagation of falsehood, those who will come after you. And they will cleave to the name of a dead man, thinking that they will become pure. But they will become greatly defiled and they will fall into a name of error, and into the hand of an evil, cunning man and a manifold dogma, and they will be ruled without law."

"For some of them will blaspheme the truth and proclaim evil teaching. And they will say evil things against each other. Some will be named: (those) who stand in (the) strength of the archons, of a man and a naked woman who is manifold and subject to much suffering. And those who say these things will ask about dreams. And if they say that a dream came from a demon worthy of their error, then they shall be given perdition instead of incorruption."

"For evil cannot produce good fruit. For the place from which each of them is produces that which is like itself; for not every soul is of the truth, nor of immortality. For every soul of these ages has death assigned to it in our view, because it is always a slave, since it is created for its desires and their eternal destruction, in which they are and from which they are. They love the creatures of the matter which came forth with them."

"But the immortal souls are not like these, O Peter. But indeed, as long as the hour is not yet come, it (the immortal soul) shall resemble a mortal one. But it shall not reveal its nature, that it alone is the immortal one, and thinks about immortality, having faith, and desiring to renounce these things."

"For people do not gather figs from thorns or from thorn trees, if they are wise, nor grapes from thistles. For, on the one hand, that which is always becoming is in that from which it is, being from what is not good, which becomes destruction for it and death. But that which comes to be in the Eternal One is in the One of the life and the immortality of the life which they resemble."

"Therefore all that which exists not will dissolve into what exists not. For deaf and blind ones join only with their own kind."

"But others shall change from evil words and misleading mysteries. Some who do not understand mystery speak of things which they do not understand, but they will boast that the mystery of the truth is theirs alone. And in haughtiness they shall grasp at pride, to envy the immortal soul which has become a pledge. For every authority, rule, and power of the aeons wishes to be with these in the creation of the world, in order that those who are not, having been forgotten by those that are, may praise them, though they have not been saved, nor have they been brought to the Way by them, always wishing that they may become imperishable ones. For if the immortal soul receives power in an intellectual spirit -. But immediately they join with one of those who misled them."

"But many others, who oppose the truth and are the messengers of error, will set up their error and their law against these pure thoughts of mine, as looking out from one (perspective) thinking that good and evil are from one (source). They do business in my word. And they will propagate harsh fate. The race of immortal souls will go in it in vain, until my Parousia. For they shall come out of them - and my forgiveness of their transgressions, into which they fell through their adversaries, whose ransom I got from the slavery in which they were, to give them freedom that they may create an imitation remnant in the name of a dead man, who is Hermas, of the first-born of unrighteousness, in order that the light which exists may not believed by the little ones. But those of this sort are the workers who will be cast into the outer darkness, away from the sons of light. For neither will they enter, nor do they permit those who are going up to their approval for their release."

"And still others of them who suffer think that they will perfect the wisdom of the brotherhood which really exists, which is the spiritual fellowship of those united in communion, through which the wedding of incorruptibility shall be revealed. The kindred race of the sisterhood will appear as an imitation. These are the ones who oppress their brothers, saying to them, "Through this our God has pity, since salvation comes to us through this," not knowing the punishment of those who are made glad by those who have done this thing to the little ones whom they saw, (and) whom they took prisoner."

"And there shall be others of those who are outside our number who name themselves bishop and also deacons, as if they have received their authority from God. They bend themselves under the judgment of the leaders. Those people are dry canals."

But I said " I am afraid because of what you have told me, that indeed little (ones) are, in our view, the counterfeit ones, indeed, that there are multitudes that will mislead other multitudes of living ones, and destroy them among themselves. And when they speak your name they will be believed."

The Savior said, "For a time determined for them in proportion to their error they will rule over the little ones. And after the completion of the error, the never-aging one of the immortal understanding shall become young, and they (the little ones) shall rule over those who are their rulers. The root of their error he shall pluck out, and he shall put it to shame so that it shall be manifest in all the impudence which it has assumed to itself. And such ones shall become unchangeable, O Peter."

"Come therefore, let us go on with the completion of the will of the incorruptible Father. For behold, those who will bring them judgment are coming, and they will put them to shame. But me they cannot touch. And you, O Peter, shall stand in their midst. Do not be afraid because of your cowardice. Their minds shall be closed, for the invisible one has opposed them."

When he had said those things, I saw him seemingly being seized by them. And I said "What do I see, O Lord? That it is you yourself whom they take, and that you are grasping me? Or who is this one, glad and laughing on the tree? And is it another one whose feet and hands they are striking?"

The Savior said to me, "He whom you saw on the tree, glad and laughing, this is the living Jesus. But this one into whose hands and feet they drive the nails is his fleshly part, which is the substitute being put to shame, the one who came into being in his likeness. But look at him and me."

But I, when I had looked, said "Lord, no one is looking at you. Let us flee this place."

But he said to me, "I have told you, 'Leave the blind alone!'. And you, see how they do not know what they are saying. For the son of their glory instead of my servant, they have put to shame."

And I saw someone about to approach us resembling him, even him who was laughing on the tree. And he was <filled> with a Holy Spirit, and he is the Savior. And there was a great, ineffable light around them, and the multitude of ineffable and invisible angels blessing them. And when I looked at him, the one who gives praise was revealed.

And he said to me, "Be strong, for you are the one to whom these mysteries have been given, to know them through revelation, that he whom they crucified is the first-born, and the home of demons, and the stony vessel in which they dwell, of Elohim, of the cross, which is under the Law. But he who stands near him is the living Savior, the first in him, whom they seized and released, who stands joyfully looking at those who did him violence, while they are divided among themselves. Therefore he laughs at their lack of perception, knowing that they are born blind. So then the one susceptible to suffering shall come, since the body is the substitute. But what they released was my incorporeal body. But I am the intellectual Spirit filled with radiant light. He whom you saw coming to me is our intellectual Pleroma, which unites the perfect light with my Holy Spirit."

"These things, then, which you saw you shall present to those of another race who are not of this age. For there will be no honor in any man who is not immortal, but only (in) those who were chosen from an immortal substance, which has shown that it is able to contain him who gives his abundance. Therefore I said, 'Every one who has, it will be given to him, and he will have plenty.' But he who does not have, that is, the man of this place, who is completely dead, who is removed from the planting of the creation of what is begotten, whom, if one of the immortal essence appears, they think that they possess him - it will be taken from him and be added to the one who is. You, therefore, be courageous and do not fear at all. For I shall be with you in order that none of your enemies may prevail unto you. Peace be to you, Be strong!"

When he (Jesus) had said these things, he (Peter) came to himself.

 


Apocalypse of Peter

Original translation of this text was prepared by members of the Coptic Gnostic Library Project
The Coptic Gnostic Library Project was funded by UNESCO, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and other Institutions.

E. J. Brill has asserted copyright on texts published by the Coptic Gnostic Library Project.

The translation presented here has been edited, modified and formatted for use in the Gnostic Society Library.
For academic citation, please refer to published editions of this text.

Discourse on the Eighth and Ninth

- Click for Original Translation -


Translated by Marvin Meyer and Willis Barnstone

This original translation of The Discourse on the Eighth and Ninth (Nag Hammadi Codex VI, 6) is presented in the Gnostic Society Library by permission and under license from Dr. Willis Barnstone, who retains copyright. Dr. Barnstone's translations of the Nag Hammadi texts are published in The Gnostic Bible, © 2003, Willis Barnstone & Marvin Meyer. 
Headings in bold type have been added to the text for clarity by the translators.

_____________________________________

Archive Notes: The Nag Hammadi collection includes a previously unknown and crucially important Hermetic document, The Discourse on the Eighth and Ninth. Probably dating to the second or third century, this text appears to be an initiation rite into a visionary journey. This document provides singular evidence of the liturgical and experiential elements within Hermetic tradition. It gives witness to the existence of a ritual genera of Hermetic writings previously unknown and now lost.

The ritual vowel phrases shown in the text are meditational vocalizations (perhaps similar to a mantra) based on the sacred name: IAO.


The Discourse on the Eighth and Ninth

“My father, yesterday you promised me you would take  my mind to the eighth heavenly sphere and after that you would take me to the ninth. You said this is the sequence of the tradition.”

“Yes, my child,  this is the sequence, but the promise was made about human nature. I said to you when I first made the promise, ‘If you remember each of the stages.’ After I received the spirit through the power, I established the action for you. Clearly understanding dwells within you. In me it is as if the power were pregnant, for when I conceived from the spring that flows to me, I gave birth.”

“Father, you have spoken every word rightly to me, but I am amazed at what you say. You said, ‘The power in me.’”

He said, “I gave birth to it as children are born.”

“Then, father, I have many siblings if I am to be counted among the generations.”

“Right, child. This good thing is counted . . . always. So, child, you must know your siblings and honor them rightly, since they have come from the very same father. For each of the generations have I addressed. I have named them, since they are offspring like these children.”

“Then, father, do they have a day?”

“Child, they are spiritual, for they exist as forces that nurture other souls. That is why I say they are immortal.”

“Your word is true. From now on it cannot be refuted. Father, begin the discourse on the eighth and the ninth, and count me also with my siblings.”

“Let us pray, child, to the father of the universe, with your siblings, who are my children, that the father may grant the spirit of eloquence.”

“How do they pray, father, when they are united with the generations? Father, I want to obey.”

“. . . It is right for you to remember the progress you have experienced as wisdom in the books.  Child, recall your early childhood. You have posed, as children do, senseless and foolish questions.”

“Father, I have experienced progress and foreknowledge from the books, and they are greater than what is lacking—these matters are my first concern.”

“Child, when you understand the truth of your statement, you will find your siblings, who are my children, praying with you.”

“Father, I understand nothing else than the beauty I have experienced in the books.”

“This is what you call the beauty of the soul—the edification you have experienced in stages. May the understanding come to you, and you will teach.”

“I have understood, father, each of the books, and especially. . . .”

“Child, . . . in praises from those who raise them.”

“Father, I shall receive from you the power of the discourse you will utter. As it was spoken to the two of us, let us pray, father.”

“Child, it is fitting for us to pray to god with all our mind and all our heart and our soul, and to ask god that the gift of the eighth reach us, and that each receive from god what belongs to god. Your job is to understand, mine is to be able to utter the discourse from the spring that flows to me.”


PRAYER FOR THE ASCENT TO THE EIGHTH AND THE NINTH

“Let us pray, father:

I call upon you, 
who rules over the kingdom of power, 
whose word is an offspring of light, 
whose words are immortal, 
eternal, immutable, 
whose will produces life for the semblances everywhere, 
whose nature gives form to substance, 
by whom the souls of the eighth and the angels are moved . . . , 
whose word reaches all who exist, 
whose forethought reaches everyone here, 
who produces everyone, 
who has divided the eternal realm among spirits, 
who has created everything, 
who, being self within self, supports everything, 
being perfect, 
the invisible god one speaks to, in silence, 
whose image is moved when it is ordered, 
and it is ordered, 
mighty one in power, 
who is exalted above majesty, 
who is superior to the honored ones,

ZOXATHAZO

A

OO EE

OOO EEE

OOOO EE

OOOOOO OOOOO

OOOOOO UUUUUU

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

ZOZAZOTH

 

 

Lord, grant us wisdom from your power that reaches us, 

that we may relate to ourselves the vision of the eighth and the ninth. 
Already we have advanced to the seventh, 
since we are faithful 
and abide in your law. 
Your will we fulfill always, 
we have walked in your way 
and have renounced . . . 
so your vision may come. 
Lord, grant us truth in the image. 
Grant that through spirit we may see 
the form of the image that lacks nothing 
and accept the reflection of the fullness 
from us through our praise. 
And recognize the spirit within us. 
From you the universe received soul. 
From you, one unconceived, 
one that has been conceived came into being. 
The birth of the self-conceived is through you, 
the birth of all conceived things that exist. 
Accept these spiritual offerings from us, 
which we direct to you 
with all our heart and soul and strength. 
Save what is within us, 
and grant us immortal wisdom.”


VISION OF THE EIGHTH AND THE NINTH

“Child, let us embrace with love.  Be happy. Already the power, light, is coming to us from them.

I see, I see ineffable depths. How shall I tell you, child? . . .  How shall I tell you about the universe?

I am mind,  and I see another mind, one that moves the soul.

I see the one that moves me from pure forgetfulness.

 

You have given me power.

I see myself.

I want to speak.

Fear seizes me.

 

I have found the beginning of the power above all powers, without beginning.

I see a spring bubbling with life.

 

I have said, child, that I am mind. I have seen.

Speech cannot reveal this.

For all of the eighth, child, and the souls in it, and the angels,  sing a song in silence.  

I, mind, understand.

 

“How does one sing a song through silence?”

“Can no one speak to you?”

“I am silent, father. I want to sing a song to you while I am silent.”

 

“Sing it. I am mind.”

 

“I understand mind, Hermes. You cannot be known, since you stay in yourself.

 

I am happy, father.

 

I see you laughing.

 

The universe is happy.

 

No creature will lack your life, for you are the lord of the inhabitants everywhere

Your forethought keeps watch.

 

I call you father, eternal realm of eternal realms, great divine spirit, who through spirit sends moisture on everyone. What do you tell me, father Hermes?”

 

“Child, I say nothing about this. It is right before god for us to be silent about what is hidden.”

“Trismegistos, don’t let my soul be deprived of the great, divine vision. Everything is possible for you as master of the universe.”

“Praise again, child, and sing while you are silent. Ask what you want in silence.”

 

When he finished praising, he called out, “Father Trismegistos, what shall I say?

We have received this light, and I myself see this same vision in you.

I see the eighth, and the souls in it, and the angels singing a song to the ninth  and its powers.

I see the one with the power of them all, creating those in the spirit.”

 

“From now on it is good for us to remain silent, with head bowed.  

From now on do not speak about the vision. It is fitting to sing a song to the father till the day of leaving the body.”

 

“What you sing, father, I also want to sing.”

 

“I am singing a song in myself. While you rest, praise. You have found what you seek.”

 

“But is it right, father, for me to praise when my heart is filled?”

 

“What is right is for you to sing praise to god so it may be written in this imperishable book.”

 

“I shall offer up the praise in my heart as I invoke the end of the universe and the beginning of the beginning, the god of the human quest, the immortal discovery, the producer of light and truth, the sower of reason, the love of immortal life. No hidden word can speak of you, lord. My mind wants to sing a song to you every day. I am the instrument of your spirit, mind is your plectrum, and your guidance makes music with us. I see myself. I have been strengthened by you, for your love has reached us.”

 

“Yes, my child.”

 

“O grace! After this, I thank you with my song. You gave me life when you made me wise. I praise you. I invoke your name hidden in me,

A

O EE

O EEE

OOO III

OOOO OOOOO

OOOOO UUUUUU

OOOOOOOOOOO

OOOOOOOOOOO.

You exist with spirit. I sing to you in a devout manner.”


INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE PRESERVATION OF THE TEXT

“Child, copy this book for the temple at Diospolis  in hieroglyphic characters, and call it the Eighth Reveals the Ninth.”

 

“I shall do it, father,  as you command.”

 

“Child,  copy the contents of the book on turquoise steles.  
Child, it is fitting to copy this book on turquoise steles in hieroglyphic characters, for mind itself has become the supervisor of these things.
So I command that this discourse be carved into stone and that you put it in my sanctuary.  
Eight guards watch over it with . . . the sun: the males on the right have faces of frogs, and the females on the left have faces of cats.  
Put a square milkstone at the base of the turquoise tablets, and copy the name on the azure stone tablet in hieroglyphic characters.
Child, you must do this when I  am in Virgo, and the sun is in the first half of the day, and fifteen degrees have passed by me.”

 

“Father, all you say I shall gladly do.”

 

“Write an oath in the book, so that those who read the book may not use the wording for malicious purposes or to subvert fate.
Rather, they should submit to the law of god and not transgress whatsoever, but in purity ask god for wisdom and knowledge.
And whoever will not be conceived in the beginning by god develops through the general and instructional discourses.
Such a person will not be able to read what is written in this book, even though the person’s conscience is pure within and the person does nothing shameful and does not go along with it.
Rather, such a person progresses by stages and advances in the way of immortality, and so advances in the understanding of the eighth that reveals the ninth.”

 

“I shall do it, father.”

 

“This is the oath: I adjure you who will read this holy book, by heaven and earth and fire and water and seven rulers of substance and the creative spirit in them and the god not conceived and the self-conceived one and the one who has been conceived, that you guard what Hermes has communicated.

God will be at one with those who keep the oath and everyone we have named, but wrath will come upon each of those who violate the oath.

This is the perfect one who is, child.”

[The Teaching of the Savior]
The Revelation of the Mysteries Hidden in Silence
[Those Things that He Taught to John, His Disciple]


Prologue

One day John, the brother of James [these are the sons of Zebedee], was going up to the Temple. A Pharisee by the name of Arimanios came up to him and challenged him, asking: "Where is the teacher you used to follow?"

John replied, "He has gone back to the place from which he came."

The Pharisee said, "That Nazarene misled you (plural), told you lies, closed your hearts and turned you away from your ancestral traditions.”

When I heard these things, I, John, turned away from the temple and went off to a deserted mountainous place. I was very unhappy, saying to myself:

"How was the Savior designated?
Why did his Father send him into the world?
Who is his Father?
What kind of realm will we go to?

For, although he told us, ‘This realm is modeled on the imperishable realm,’
            He didn't teach us about the latter.”

All of a sudden, while I was contemplating these things, 
           Behold! 
The heavens opened and the whole of creation shone with a light from above, 
            And the world quaked!
I was afraid, yet
           Behold!

A little child appeared before me in the light.
            I continued looking at him as he became an old man
                        And then he changed again, becoming like a young man.
I didn't understand what I was seeing, 
            But the one likeness had several forms in the light,
            And these likenesses appeared each through the other
            And the vision had three forms.

He said to me, 
            “John, why doubt?
            Why be afraid?
            Don’t you know this image?
Be not afraid. 
            I am with you (plural) always.
            I am the Father
                        The Mother
                                    The Son
            I am the incorruptible
                        Purity.

I have come to teach you
            About what is
            And what was
            And what will be
            In order for you to understand 
                        The invisible world
                        And the world that is visible
                        And the immovable race of perfect humanity.

Raise your head; 
Understand my lessons; 
Share them with any others who have received the spirit,
            Who are from the immovable race of perfect humanity.”
 

The Inexpressible One

The One rules all. Nothing has authority over it. 
            It is the God. 
            It is Father of everything, 
                        Holy One
                        The invisible one over everything.
It is uncontaminated
            Pure light no eye can bear to look within.

The One is the Invisible Spirit.
            It is not right to think of it as a God or as like God.
            It is more than just God.

Nothing is above it.
Nothing rules it. 
            Since everything exists within it
                        It does not exist within anything.
            Since it is not dependent on anything
                        It is eternal.

It is absolutely complete and so needs nothing.
It is utterly perfect
Light.

The One is without boundaries
            Nothing exists outside of it to border it
The One cannot be investigated
            Nothing exists apart from it to investigate it
The One cannot be measured
            Nothing exists external to it to measure it

The One cannot be seen
            For no one can envision it
The One is eternal
            For it exists forever
The One is inconceivable 
            For no one can comprehend it
The One is indescribable
            For no one can put any words to it.

The One is infinite light
            Purity
            Holiness
            Stainless,

The One is incomprehensible
            Perfectly free from corruption.
Not “perfect”
Not “blessed”
Not “divine”
But superior to such concepts.
            Neither physical nor unphysical
            Neither immense nor infinitesimal
            It is impossible to specify in quantity or quality
                        For it is beyond knowledge.

The One is not a being among other beings  
            It is vastly superior
                        But it is not “superior.”

It is outside of realms of being and time
            For whatever is within realms of being was created
            And whatever is within time had time allotted to it
The One receives nothing from anything.
            It simply apprehends itself in its own perfect light

The One is majestic. 
            The One is measureless majesty

Chief of all Realms 
            Producing all realms

Light
            Producing light

Life
            Producing life

Blessedness
            Producing blessedness

Knowledge
            Producing knowledge

Good
            Producing goodness

Mercy
            Producing mercy

Generous
            Producing generosity

            [It does not “possess” these things.]

It gives forth light beyond measure, beyond comprehension.

[What can I say?]

His realm is eternal, peaceful, silent, resting, before everything.
He is the head of every realm sustaining each of them through goodness.
 

The Origin of Reality

[We would know nothing of the ineffable
And nothing of the immeasurable
Without the help of the one who comes forth 
from the One who is the Father.
He alone has informed us.]

The Father is surrounded by light.
He apprehends himself in that light
            [which is the pure spring of the water of life 
            that sustains all realms].

He is conscious of his image everywhere around him,
            Perceiving his image in this spring of Spirit
                        Pouring forth from himself.
He is enamored of the image he sees in the light-water,
            The spring of pure light-water enveloping him.

His self-aware thought (ennoia) came into being.
Appearing to him in the effulgence of his light.
She stood before him.

This, then, is the first of the powers, prior to everything.
Arising out of the mind of the Father
The Providence (pronoia) of everything.
Her light reflects His light.

She is from His image in His light
Perfect in power
Image of the invisible perfect Virgin Spirit.

She is the initial power
glory of Barbelo 
glorious among the realms
glory of revelation

She gave glory to the Virgin Spirit
She praised Him
            For she arose from Him.

 [This, the first Thought, is the Spirit’s image]

She is the universal womb
She is before everything 
She is:
            Mother-Father
            First Man
            Holy Spirit

            Thrice Male
            Thrice Powerful
            Thrice Named

Androgynous eternal realm
First to arise among the invisible realms.

She, Barbelo, asked the virgin Spirit for foreknowledge (prognosis).
            The Spirit agreed.
            Foreknowledge came forth and stood by Providence
            [This one came through the Invisible Virgin Spirit’s Thought.]
            Foreknowledge gave glory to the Spirit
                        And to Barbelo, the Spirit’s perfect power, 
                        For She was the reason that it had come into being.


Primary Structures of the Divine Mind

She, Barbelo, asked the virgin Spirit for Incorruptibility
            The Spirit agreed.
            Incorruptibility came forth and stood by Thought and Foreknowledge.

Incorruptibility gave glory to the Invisible Virgin Spirit
                        And to Barbelo, 
            For She was the reason that it had come into being.

She asked for everlasting Life. 
            The Spirit agreed
            Everlasting life came forth and they all stood together.
            They gave glory to the invisible Spirit

And to Barbelo,
                        For She was the reason that it had come into being.

She asked for Truth. 
            The Spirit agreed
            Truth came forth and they all stood together.
            They gave glory to the invisible Spirit

And to Barbelo,
                        For She was the reason that it had come into being.

This is the fivefold realm of the Father:

The First Man who is
The Image of the Invisible Spirit who is
Providence who is
Barbelo who is
            Thought.
             And
            Foreknowledge -  Incorruptibility - Life Everlasting - Truth

[These are an androgynous fivefold realm - therefore it is a realm of ten - of the Father.]


Secondary Structures of the Divine Mind

The Father looked into Barbelo
            [into the pure light surrounding the Invisible Spirit]

Barbelo conceived and bore a spark of light 
Who had blessedness similar to, but not equal to, her blessedness,

Who was the only child of that mother–father
            The only offspring, 
            The only begotten child of the pure light, the Father.

The Invisible Virgin Spirit celebrated the light that had been produced
            Coming forth from the first power who is 
                        The Providence
                        Barbelo

The Spirit anointed him with Goodness, making him perfect
            [he lacked no goodness whatsoever,
            for he was anointed with the Invisible Spirit’s Goodness]

He stood in the Spirit’s presence and it was poured upon him.

Having received this anointing from the Spirit he immediately glorified Him
            And he glorified the perfect Providence.
            Because of Her he had come into being.

He asked for Mind (nous) to be a companion to him.
            The Spirit consented

When the Invisible Spirit consented
            Mind came into being. 
            It stood by the Anointed 
            and glorified the Spirit and Barbelo

[These beings came into existence through silence and thought.]

He wished to act through the Word of the Invisible Spirit.
            Whose Will became an action and appeared with Mind 
            Glorifying the Light.

And then Word followed Will into being.

            [The Christ, the divine autogenes, 
            created everything through the Word.]

Everlasting Life and Will, 
Mind, and Foreknowledge 
            Stood together.
            They glorified the Invisible Spirit and Barbelo.
            Because of Her they had come into being.
 

Tertiary Structures of the Divine Mind

The Holy Spirit 
Brought his and Barbelo’s divine autogenes Son to completion
In order that he could stand before the great Invisible Virgin Spirit
                        As the divine autogenes Christ
            And honor Him with a mighty voice.

[The Son came through Providence].

The Invisible Spirit
Placed the divine autogenes over everything.
All authorities were subordinated to him.
The truth within him let him learn everything

[He is called by the highest name of all.
That name will be told only to those who are worthy to hear it
From the light, [which is the Christ,]

From the incorruptibility,
            Through a gift of the spirit
The Four Lights arising from the divine autogenes stood before him.

[The four fundamental powers are Understanding, Grace, Perception, and Consideration.]

Grace exists within the realm of the Light called Harmozel, the first angel. 
Along with Harmozel are
            Grace
            Truth
            Form

The second Light is called Oriel and it stands over the second realm. 
With Oriel are:
            Conceptualization (Epinoia)
            Perception
            Memory

The third Light is called Daveithai and it stands over the third realm. 
With Daveithai are:
            Understanding
            Love
            Idea

The fourth Light is called Eleleth and it stands over the fourth realm. 
With Eleleth are:
            Perfection 
            Peace
            Wisdom (Sophia).

These are the four lights standing before the divine autogenes.

Twelve realms stand before the Son of the Powerful
The autogenes
            The Christ
Through the intention
                        And the grace
            Of the Invisible Spirit
Twelve realms belong to the Son of the autogenes.

[All of this came into being through the intention of the Holy Spirit
            Through the autogenes.]

From the perfect mind’s foreknowledge
Through the intention of the Invisible Spirit
And the autogenes’s will.
The perfect human appeared,
 Its first true manifestation

The Virgin Spirit named the human Adamas
            And placed him over the first realm with the mighty autogenes Christ
With the first Light Harmozel and its powers.

The Invisible One gave Adamas invincible power of mind.

Adamas spoke, glorifying and praising the Invisible Spirit:
            “Everything has come into being from you 
              Everything will return to you.
              I will praise you and glorify you
                        And the Autogenes
                        And the triple realm: 
                                    Father – Mother – Son, 
                                    the perfect power.”

Over the second realm was appointed Adamas’s son Seth
            With the second Light Oriel.

In the third realm were placed the children of Seth
            With the third Light Daveithai.
            [The souls of the saints are placed there.]

In the fourth realm were placed the souls of those ignorant of the fullness
            Those who did not repent at once
            But who, after some time, eventually repented,
They are with the fourth Light Eleleth.

All of these created beings glorify the Invisible Spirit
 

A Crisis that Became the World

It happened that the realm (aeon) Wisdom (Sophia)
            Of conceptual thought (Epinoia),
            Began to think for herself,
                        She used the thinking (enthymesis)
                        And the foreknowledge (prognosis)
                        Of the Invisible Spirit.

She intended to reveal an image from herself
            To do so without the consent of the Spirit,
                        Who did not approve,
            Without the thoughtful assistance of her masculine counterpart,
                        Who did not approve.

Without the Invisible Spirit’s consent
            Without the knowledge of her partner
                        She brought it into being.

Because she had unconquerable Power
Her thought was not unproductive.
            Something imperfect came out of her
            Different in appearance from her.

            Because she had created it without her masculine counterpart
                        She gave rise to a misshapen being unlike herself.

Sophia saw what her desire produced.
            It changed into the form of a dragon with a lion’s head
            And eyes flashing lightning bolts.
She cast him far from her,
            Outside of the realm of the immortal beings
            So that they could not see him.

[She had created him in ignorance.]

Sophia surrounded him with a brilliant cloud,
            Put a throne in the center part of the cloud
            So that no one would see it.
            [Except for the Holy Spirit called the Mother of the Living]
She named him Yaldabaoth.

Yaldabaoth is the chief ruler.
            He took great Power (dynamis) from his mother,
                        Left her, and moved away from his birthplace.
            He assumed command,
                        Created realms for himself
            With a brilliant flame that continues to exist even now.

The Fashioning of This World

Yadabaoth united with the thoughtlessness (aponoia) within him.
He begot ruling authorities (exousia)
            Modeling them on the incorruptible realms above.

The first is Athoth
The second is Harmas [called the eye of flame]
The third is Kalilaumbri
The fourth is Yabel
The fifth is Adonaiu [called Sabaoth]
The sixth is Cain [called the sun]
The seventh is Abel 

The eighth is Abrisene
The ninth is Yobel
The tenth is Armupiel
The eleventh is Melcheir-adonein
The twelfth is Belias
            Who rules over the very depth of Hades.He made the first seven rulers to reign in the seven spheres of heaven.
He made the next five rulers to reign in the five depths of the abyss.He shared a portion of his fire with them,
            But shared none of the power of Light he had received from his mother.

[He is ignorant darkness.
When the Light mingled into the darkness
            the darkness shone.
When darkness mixed with the Light,
            the Light diminished,
            No longer Light nor darkness but dim.] 

This dim ruler has three names:
            Yaldabaoth is the first.
            Saklas is the second.
            Samael is the third.
He is blasphemous through his thoughtlessness.
He said “I am God, and there is no God but me!”
            Since he didn’t know where his own Power originated. 

His rulers created seven Authorities for themselves.
            Each of these Authorities created six demons apiece,
            There came to be 365 demons altogether.

Here are the seven Authorities’ names and physical forms:
            First, Athoth with a sheep’s face
            Second, Eloaios with a donkey’s face
            Third, Astaphaios with a hyena’s face
            Fourth, Yao with the face of a seven headed snake
            Fifth, Sabaoth who has the face of a dragon
            Sixth, Adonin whose face is that of a monkey
            Seventh, Sabbataios with a face of flame and fire.
These are the seven of the week.
These Authorities rule the world.

Yaldabaoth has many faces.
            More than all that have been listed
            So he can convey any face he wants to the seraphim around him.

Yaldabaoth shared his fire with his seraphim
            But gave them none of his pure Light
            Although he ruled them by virtue of the power and glory
                        Of the Light had received from his Mother.

            [Therefore he called himself “God” and defied his place of origin.]

He united his thought’s sevenfold Powers with the Authorities who accompanied him.
            He spoke and it happened.

He named those sevenfold Powers starting with the highest one:
            Goodness paired with the first: Athoth
            Providence paired with the second: Eloaios
            Divinity paired with the third: Astaphaios
            Lordship paired with the fourth: Yao
            Kingdom paired with the fifth: Sabaoth
            Zeal paired with the sixth: Adonin
            Understanding paired with the seventh: Sabbataios 

Each has its own realm modeled on one of the higher realms.
            And each new name refers to a glory in the heavens
            So that Yaldabaoth’s demons might be destroyed.

The demons’ own names, given by Yaldabaoth, are mighty names
            But the Powers’ names reflecting the glory above
                        Will bring about the demons’ destruction and remove their Power.
                                    That is why each has two names.

Yaldabaoth modeled his creation
            On the pattern of the original realms above him
            So that it might be just like the indestructible realms.
            [Not that he had ever seen the indestructible ones.
            Rather, the power in him, deriving from his mother,
            made him aware of the pattern of the cosmos above.] 

When he gazed upon his creation surrounding him
            He said to his host of demons
            The ones who had come forth out of him:
 “I am a jealous God and there is no God but me!”

            [But by doing this he admitted to his demons that there is indeed another God.
            For, if there were no other God, whom would he possibly be jealous of?] 

His mother began to move back and forth
            Because she had become aware that she now lacked Light
            For her brightness had dimmed. 

            [Since her consort had not approved of her actions, she grew darker] 

[I said “Master, what does it mean ‘she moved back and forth’?”
He laughed, saying, “It’s not as Moses said ‘upon the waters.’ Not at all.”] 

When she saw the evil that had taken place and
            The theft of light that her son had committed
She repented. 

In the darkness of ignorance
            She began to forget.
            She began to be ashamed.
                        But she could not yet return above
                        Yet she began to move.
And so she moved back and forth. 

 [The arrogant one removed Power from his mother
            For he was ignorant
            He thought no one existed except for his mother.
He saw the host of demons he had created
            And he elevated himself above them.
But when the mother realized that that miscarriage
            Was so imperfect
            She came to realize that her consort had not approved.
She repented and wept furiously.] 

All of the divine realms (pleroma) heard her repentant prayer
They sought blessing for her from the Invisible Virgin Spirit.
            The Spirit consented.
            He poured the Holy Spirit over her
                        Brought forth from the whole full realm. 

[Her consort did not come down to her on his own,
but he came through the whole full realm
to restore her to her original condition.] 

She was elevated above her son,
          But she was not restored to her own original realm.
She would remain in the ninth sphere until she was fully restored.


Humanity Begins

Then came a voice from the highest realms saying:
            “The Man exists! And the Son of Man!”

Yaldabaoth, chief ruler, heard it
            He thought it came from his mother
            He did not know the true source of the voice:
                        The Holy Mother-Father
                        Perfect Providence
                        Image of the Invisible
                                    Father of Everything
                                    In whom everything has come to be.

The First Man
            [This is the one who appeared to them.
            He appeared in the form of a human being.] 

All of the realm of the chief ruler quaked!
            The foundations of the abyss moved! 

He illuminated the waters above the world of matter,
            His image shown in those waters. 

All the demons and the first ruler together gazed up
            Toward the underside of the newly shining waters.
Through that light they saw the Image in the waters.
 

Yaldabaoth said to his subordinate demons:
            “Let’s create a man according to the image of God
                        And our own likeness
             So that his image will illuminate us.” 

Each one through another’s Power created aspects of the man;
            Each added a characteristic corresponding to the psychic factors
They had seen in the Image above them.
They made a creature of substance
In the likeness of that perfect First Man
And they said, “Let us call him Adam, so that his name will give us the power of light.”

Construction of the Human Body

The seven Powers began to work:
.           Goodness made a psyche of bone
            Providence made a psyche of sinew
            Divinity made a psyche of flesh
            Lordship made a psyche of marrow
            Kingdom made a psyche of blood
            Zeal made a psyche of skin
            Understanding made a psyche of hair 

The host of demons took these substances from the Powers to create the limbs and the body itself. They put the parts together and coordinated them. 

The first ones began by making the head: Abron created his head; Meniggesstroeth created the brain; Asterechme the right eye; Thaspomocha, the left eye; Ieronumos, the right ear; Bissoum, the left ear; Akioreim, the nose; Banenrphroum, the lips; Amen, the front teeth; Ibikan, the molars; Basiliademe, the tonsils; Achcha, the uvula; Adaban, the neck; Chaaman, the neckbones; Dearcho, the throat; Tebar, the shoulder; Mniarcon, the elbow; Abitrion, the right arm; Evanthen, the left arm; Krys, the right hand; Beluai, the left hand; Treneu, the fingers of the right hand; Balbel, the fingers of the left hand; Kriman, fingernails; Astrops, the right breast; Barroph, the left breast; Baoum, the right shoulder joint; Ararim, the left shoulder joint; Areche, the belly; Phthave, the navel; Senaphim, the abdomen; Arachethopi, the right ribs; Zabedo, the left ribs; Barias, the right hip; Phnouth the left hip; Abenlenarchei, the marrow; Chnoumeninorin, the skeleton; Gesole, the stomach; Agromauna, the heart; Bano, the lungs; Sostrapal, the liver; Anesimalar, the spleen; Thopithro, the intestines; Biblo, the kidneys; Roeror, the sinews; Taphreo, the spine; Ipouspoboba, the veins; Bineborin, the arteries; Atoimenpsephei, respiration; Entholleia, the flesh; Bedouk, the right buttock; Arabeei, the penis; Eilo, the testicles; Sorma, the genitals; Gormakaiochlabar, the right thigh; Nebrith, the left thigh; Pserem, the kidneys of the right leg; Asaklas, the left kidney; Ormaoth, the right leg; Emenun, the left leg; Knyx, the right shin; Tupelon, the left shin; Achiel, the right knee; Phnene, the left knee; Phiouthrom, the right foot; Boabel, its toes; Trachoun, the left foot; Phikna, its toes; Miamai, the toenails.

And those who were appointed over all of these are:
           Zathoth, 
           Armas, 
           Kalila, 
           Iabel, 
           Sabaoth,
           Cain, 
           Abel.

The energizing powers in the limbs were divided among:
the head made by Diolimodraza; the neck by Yammeax; the right shoulder Yakouib; the left shoulder Verton; the right hand Oudidi; the left Arbao; the fingers of the right hand Lampno; the fingers of the left hand Leekaphar; the right breast Barbar; the left breast Imae; the chest Pisandriaptes; the right shoulder joint Koade; the left shoulder joint Odeor; the right ribs Asphixix; the left ribs Synogchouta; the abdomen Arouph; the womb Sabalo; the right thigh Charcharb; the left thigh Chthaon; the genitals Bathinoth; the right leg Choux; the left leg Charcha; the right shin Aroer; the left shin Toechtha; the right knee Aol; the left knee Charaner; the right foot Bastan; its toes Archentechtha; the left foot Marephnounth; its toes Abrana.

Seven govern the whole body:
           Michael, 
           Ouriel, 
           Asmenedas, 
           Saphasatoel, 
           Aarmouriam, 
           Richram, 
           Amiorps.  

The one who governs perceptions: Archendekta
The one who governs reception:     Deitharbathas
The one who governs imagination: Oummaa 
The one who governs integration:   Aachiaram
The one who governs impulse:        Riaramnacho.


There is a fourfold source of the bodily demons:
            Hot, Cold, Dry, Wet.

            [Matter is the mother of them all.]

           Ruler of hot:                Phloxopha
           Ruler of cold:              Oroorrothos
           Ruler of dry:                Erimacho
           Ruler of wet:               Athuro.

Their mother stands among them: Onorthochrasaei
            She is unlimited
            She mixes with all of them.
            She is matter
                        And they are nourished by her.

The four chief demons are:
            Ephememphi, associated with pleasure, 
            Yoko, associated with desire, 
            Nenentophni, associated with distress, 
            Blaomen, associated with fear.
                       Their mother is Esthesis-Zouch-Epi-Ptoe.  

Out from these four demons come passions:
            From distress arises
                        Envy, jealousy, grief, vexation, 
                        Discord, cruelty, worry, mourning.

            From pleasure comes much evil
                        And unmerited pride, 
                        And so forth.

            From desire comes
                        Anger, fury, bitterness, outrage, dissatisfaction 
                        And so forth.

            From fear emerges
                        Horror, flattery, suffering, and shame.

[Their thought and truth is Anayo, the ruler of the material soul.
It belongs with the seven senses, Esthesis-Zouch-Epi-Ptoe.]

This is the total number of the demons: 365
They worked together to complete, part by part, the psychical and the material body.

There are even more of them in charge of other passions
            T
hat I didn’t tell you about.
            If you want to know about them
            You will find the information in the Book of Zoroaster.

All of Yaldabaoth’s servants and his demons
            Worked to finish the psychic body.
            For a very long time it lay inanimate
            It did not move. 

Yaldabaoth’s mother wanted to take back the Power
            She had turned over to the Chief Ruler.
            She earnestly asked the most merciful,
            The Mother-Father of everything,
                        For help.


Yaldabaoth Deceived

By His sacred command He sent down the five Lights
            In the forms of the principal advisors to Yaldabaoth. 
            [This led to the removal of Yaldabaoth’s mother’s divine Power from him.] 
They told Yaldabaoth:
            “Blow some of your Spirit in the man’s face,
            Then his body will rise up.”
Yaldabaoth blew some of his Spirit into the man.
            That Spirit was the divine Power of his mother. 

[He didn’t understand what was happening, for he lived in ignorance.] 

His mother’s divine Power left Yaldabaoth
            It entered the psychic human body
            Modeled on the primordial image. 

The human body moved!
            It grew powerful!
            It shone! 

Yaldabaoth’s demonic forces envied the man.
            Through their united efforts he had come into being
            They had given their Power to him.
His understanding was far greater than that of those who had created him.
            And greater than that of the Chief Ruler himself. 

When they realized that he shone with light
            And could think better than they could
            And was naked of evil,
They took him and cast him down
            Into the lowest depths of the material world.


The Beginning of Salvation

The blessed one.
            The Mother-Father
            The good merciful one
Looked compassionately upon the Mother’s Power
            Relinquished by the Chief Ruler. 

Since Yaldabaoth’s demons might again overpower the perceptible psychic body
He sent down from his good Spirit a helper for Adam,
            Out of his great compassion
A light-filled Epinoia emerged.
            And he called her Life (Zoe). 

            She aids the entire creation
                        Working with him
                        Restoring him to the fullness.
            She taught Adam about the way his people had descended
            She taught Adam about the way he could ascend,
                        Which is the way he had descended. 

The light-filled Epinoia was hidden in Adam.
            So that the rulers wouldn’t know about her
            For Epinoia would repair the disaster their mother had caused. 

[Adam was revealed because within him dwelt the shadow of light.
            His mental abilities were far greater than those of his creators.
            They had gazed upward and seen his exalted mental capability.] 

            The host of rulers and demons plotted together
            They mixed fire and earth and water
                        Together with four blazing winds
                        They melded them together in great turbulence.

Adam was brought into the shadow of death.

They intended to make him anew
            This time from
                        Earth,
                        Water,
                        Fire,
                        Wind,
            Which are
                        Matter,
                        Darkness,
                        Desire,
                        The Artificial Spirit.
            This all became a tomb,
             A new kind of body.

Those thieves bound the man in it,
            Enchained him in forgetfulness,
             Made him subject to dying. 

[His was the first descent
            And the first separation.
Yet the light-filled Epinoia within him will elevate his thinking.]


Adam in Yaldabaoth's Paradise

The rulers took the man and put him into paradise
They told him to eat freely. 

[Their food is bitter; their beauty is corrupt. 
Their food is deceit; their trees are ungodliness.
Their fruit is poison.
Their promise is death.] 

They placed the Tree of Their Life into the middle of paradise. 

[I will teach you (plural) the secret of their life:
The plan that they made together about an artificial spirit.] 

Its root is bitter
Its branches are dead.
            Its shadow is hatred
            Its leaves are deception
The nectar of wickedness is in its blossoms.
            Its fruit is death
            Its seed is desire
It flowers in the darkness.
            Those who eat from it are denizens of Hades
            Darkness is their resting place.

As for the tree called “The Knowledge Of Good And Evil”
            It is the Epinoia of the light.
They commanded him not to eat from it,
Standing in front to conceal it,
            For fear that he might look upwards to the fullness
            And know the nakedness of his indecency. 

[However, I caused them to eat.I asked the Savior, 
“Lord, isn’t it the serpent that caused Adam to eat?”He smiled and replied, 
“The serpent caused them to eat 
in order to produce the wickedness of the desire to reproduce 
that would make Adam helpful to him.”] 

The chief ruler, Yaldabaoth, knew that
            Because the light-filled Epinoia within Adam
            Made his mental abilities greater than his own,
            Adam had been disobedient.
In order to recover the Power that he had put into Adam
            Yaldabaoth made Adam completely forgetful. 

[I asked the Savior, “What is it to be ‘completely forgetful?’”

He replied, “It is not what Moses wrote in his first book:
‘He caused Adam to fall into deep sleep’
Rather, Adam’s perceptions were veiled
And he became unconscious.
As he (Yaldabaoth) said through his prophet:
'I will make their minds dull so that they do not see or understand.'”]
 

Woman Comes into Being

The light-filled Epinoia hid deep within Adam.
            The Chief Ruler tried to remove her from his ribcage,
            But Epinoia cannot be captured.
Although the darkness pursued her it did not catch her. 

The Chief ruler did remove a portion of his Power from Adam
            To create a person with a woman’s form
            Modeled on the light-filled Epinoia that had been manifested to him.
He placed the Power removed from the man into the woman. 

            [It did not happen the way Moses said it did:
             “he took a rib and made the woman.”] 

Adam saw the woman standing next to him.
            The light-filled Epinoia immediately appeared to him
            She raised up the veil that dulled his mind.
            He sobered up from the dark drunkenness
And he recognized his own counterpart. 

He said: “This is bone from my bones
                Flesh from my flesh.”
Because of this a man will leave his mother and father
And be joined to a woman and those two will become one flesh.
            For they will send his helper to him. 

[Sophia, our sister, came down
            Descending innocently
            So as to regain what she had lost.
Therefore she was called Life.
            The Mother of the Living
            The one from the Providence of the Authority of Heaven
By her assistance people can achieve perfect knowledge.] 

I appeared as an eagle perched on the Tree of Knowledge!
            [Which is the Epinoia from the pure Providence of Light.]
In order to teach them
            And raise them up from sleep’s depths.  

            [For the two of them were fallen and aware of their nakedness.
            Epinoia appeared as a being full of light
            She enlightened their minds.] 

When Yaldabaoth discovered that they had moved away from him
            He cursed his earth.
            He located the woman as she was preparing herself for her man.
He gave the woman over so that the man might be her master,
            Because he did not know the secret of the divine strategy.  

The man and woman were too terrified to renounce Yaldabaoth,
            Who showed his ignorance to his angels
And he cast both of them out of paradise
            Dressing them in heavy darkness.
 
The Chief Archon saw the young woman who was standing by Adam.
            He realized that the light-filled Epinoia of life was within her.
            Yaldabaoth became completely ignorant. 

            [When the Providence of all saw what was going to happen
            She sent assistants to remove Divine Life from Eve.] 

Yaldabaoth raped Eve.
She bore two sons. 

[Elohim was the name of the first.
Yahweh was the name of the second.
            Elohim has a bear’s face.
            Yahweh has a cat’s face.
                        One is righteous;
                        One is not.
                                    Yahweh is righteous;
                                    Elohim is not.
Yahweh would command fire and wind
Elohim would command water and earth.] 

Yaldabaoth deceptively named the two: Cain and Abel. 

[From then until now sexual intercourse has persisted
            Thanks to the Chief Ruler
            Who put desire for reproduction into the woman who accompanies Adam.
            Through intercourse the Ruler caused new human bodies to be produced
            And he blew his artificial spirit into each of them.] 

Yaldabaoth installed the two with authority over natural elements
            So they can to rule over the tomb.

The Children of Seth Populate the World 

Adam had intercourse with the image of his foreknowledge (prognosis)
He begot a son like the Son of Man
            And he called that son Seth
            Modeling him on the heavenly race in the higher realms. 

In the same way the mother sent down her spirit
            The image of herself
            A model of the full higher realm,
In order to prepare a place for the descent of the realms. 

The Chief Ruler, though, forced the humans to drink
            From waters of forgetfulness
            So that they might not know their true place of origin. 

The children (of Seth) remained in this condition for a while
In order that when the Spirit descends from the holy realms
The Spirit can raise up the children and heal them from all defects
And thus restore complete holiness to the fullness of God.


Six Questions about the Soul

I asked the Savior, “Lord, will every soul be saved and enter the pure light?”

He replied, “You are asking an important question, one it will be impossible to answer for anyone who is not a member of the unmoved race. They are the people upon whom the Spirit of Life will descend and the power will enable them to be saved and to become perfect and worthy of greatness. They expunge evil from themselves and they will care nothing for wickedness, wanting only that which is not corrupt. They will achieve freedom from rage, envy, jealousy, desire, or craving.”

“The physical body will negatively effect them. They wear it as they look forward to the time when they will meet up with those who will remove it. Those people deserve indestructible eternal life. They endure everything, bearing up under everything that happens so that they can deserve the good and inherit life eternal.”

Then I asked him, “Lord, what about the souls who didn’t do these things even though the Spirit of Life’s power descended on them?“

He answered, “If the Spirit descends to people they will be transformed and saved. The power descends on everyone and, without it, no one can even stand up. After they are born, if the Spirit of Life increases in them, power comes to them and their souls are strengthened. Nothing then can leave them astray into wickedness. But if the artificial spirit comes into people, it leads them astray.”

Then I said, “Lord, when souls come out of the flesh where do they go?”

He replied, smiling, “If the soul is strong it has more of power than it has of the artificial spirit and so it flees from wickedness. With the assistance of the Incorruptible One that soul is saved and it attains eternal rest.”

I then asked him, “Lord, what of the souls of the people who do not know whose people they are? Where do they go?”

He responded, “In those people the artificial spirit has grown strong and they have gone astray. Their souls are burdened, drawn to wickedness, and cast into forgetfulness.”

“When they come forth from the body, such a soul is given over to the powers created by the rulers, bound in chains, and cast into prison again. Around and around it goes until it manages to become free from forgetfulness through knowledge. And so, eventually, it becomes perfect and is saved.”

Then I asked, “Lord, how does the soul shrink down so as to be able to enter its mother or a man?

He was happy that I asked this and said, “You are truly blessed because you have understood. The soul should be guided by another within whom is the Spirit of Life. It will be saved by that means and accordingly will not have to enter a body again.

And I said, “Lord, what happens to the souls of people who achieved true knowledge, but who turned away from it?”

He said to me, “Demons of poverty will take them to a place where there is no possibility of repentance. There they will stay until the time when those who blasphemed against the spirit will be tortured and subjected to punishment forever.”            

I asked, “Lord, where did the artificial spirit come from?”

And he told me:


Three Plots against Humanity  

The Mother-Father is merciful
            A Holy Spirit sympathizing with us.
Through the Epinoia of the Providence of the light
            It raises up the children of the perfect race
            Raising up their thought, their light eternal. 

When the Chief Archon learned that they were elevated above him
            And that their mental ability surpassed his
He wanted to put a stop to their thought
            But he did not know the extent of their mental superiority
And he could not stop them. 

He made a plan with his demons
            Who are his powers
Each of them fornicated with Wisdom (Sophia)
            And produced fate
            The last variety of imprisonment.
 

Fate changes unpredictably
            It is of different sorts just as the demons are of different sorts.
Fate is hard.
Fate is stronger than
            The gods, the authorities, the demons, the generations of people
            Who are caught up in it.

Out of fate emerged
            Sinfulness, violence, blasphemy, forgetfulness, ignorance,
                        Weighty commandments
                        Heavy sins
            Terrible fear.
In this way all of creation became blind,
            Ignorant of God above everything. 

Because of imprisonment in forgetfulness
            They are unaware of their sins,
            They are bound into periods of time and seasons
By fate who is lord of it all. 

Yaldabaoth eventually came to regret everything he had created.
            He decided to bring a great flood
            Upon creation, upon mankind.

But the great light of Providence warned Noah.
            He preached to all of the children,
            The sons of men,
But if they were strangers to him they didn’t listen. 

            [It was not the way Moses said: “they hid in an ark.”
            Rather, they hid in a special place,
            Not just Noah
            but also many other people from the immovable race.
            They went into hiding within a cloud of light.] 

Noah knew his own authority
            And that of the light Being who illuminated them
            Although the Chief Ruler poured darkness over all the world. 

The Chief Ruler and his powers plotted a strategy,
            To send his demons to human daughters
            And make themselves children by them to enjoy.
But they failed. 

After their failure they made another plan.
            They created an artificial spirit
            Modeled on the Spirit who descended
So, to impregnate souls by means of this spirit,
            The demons changed appearance 
            to look like the women’s husbands
            They filled the women with that spirit of darkness and wickedness. 

They brought into being
            Gold and silver,
            Money and coins,
            Iron and other metals and all things of this sort.

And the people who were attracted were led astray into troubles
            And were greatly misled.
            And grew old
                        Experiencing no pleasure,
            And died
                        Finding no truth,
            Never knowing the true God.

This is the way that they enslaved all of creation
            From the foundation of the world until now. 

[They took some women and produced children out of darkness
            And they closed their hearts
            And they hardened themselves 
                        in the hardness of their artificial spirit
Until the present day.]


The Providence Hymn 

I am the Providence of everything.
I became like my own human children. 

I existed from the first.
I walked down every possible road. 

I am the wealth of the light.
I am the remembering of the fullness. 

I walked into the place of greatest darkness and on down.
I entered the central part of the prison. 

The foundations of chaos quaked. 

I hid because of their evil.
            They did not recognize me.  

I came down a second time
            continuing on. 

I emerged from among those of light
I am the remembering of Providence 

I entered the middle of darkness,
            The inner part of the underworld
            To pursue my mission. 

The foundations of chaos quaked.
            Threatening to collapse upon all who were there
            And utterly destroy them 

I soared upward again
            To my roots in light
            So as not to destroy them all yet. 

I descended a third time.

I am light
I am dwelling in light
I am the remembering of Providence 

I entered the midst of darkness
I came to the deepest part of the underworld. 

I let my face light up
            Thinking of the end of their time
I entered their prison
            The body is that prison 

I cried out:
            “Anyone who hears,
              Rise up from your deep sleep!” 

And the sleeping one awoke and wept
            Wiping bitter tears saying
            “Who calls me?”
            “Where has my hope come from
                          As I lie in the depths of this prison?” 

“I am the Providence of pure light,” I replied,
“I am the thought of the Virgin Spirit
            Raising you up to an honored place.
            Rise up!
Remember what you have heard.
            Trace back your roots
To me.
            The merciful one.
Guard against the poverty demons.
Guard against the chaos demons.
Guard against all who would bind you.
            Awaken!
            Stay awake!
            Rise out of the depths of the underworld! 

I raised him up
I sealed him with the light/water of the five seals.
Death had no power over him ever again. 

I ascend again to the perfect realm.
I completed everything and you have heard it.”
 

Conclusion 

“I have told you everything now so that you can write it all down
And share it with your fellow spirits secretly
For this is the mystery of the unmoved race.”

The Savior gave all of this to him to write and to keep carefully. He said to him, “Anyone who exchanges it for a present, or for food, or for drink, or for clothing, or for anything else of that sort will be cursed.”


These things came to John in a mystery.
Instantly the Savior vanished.

John came to his fellow disciples and told them what the Savior had said to him. 

Jesus the Christ.
Amen.

 The Apocryphon of John