The Nag Hammadi Library
The Prayer of the Apostle Paul
Translation by Dieter Mueller
(Approximately two lines are missing.)
… your light, give me your mercy! My Redeemer, redeem me, for I am yours; the one who has come forth from you. You are my mind; bring me forth! You are my treasure house; open for me! You are my fullness; take me to you! You are (my) repose; give me the perfect thing that cannot be grasped!
I invoke you, the one who is and who pre-existed in the name which is exalted above every name, through Jesus Christ, the Lord of Lords, the King of the ages; give me your gifts, of which you do not repent, through the Son of Man, the Spirit, the Paraclete of truth. Give me authority when I ask you; give healing for my body when I ask you through the Evangelist, and redeem my eternal light soul and my spirit. And the First-born of the Pleroma of grace — reveal him to my mind!
Grant what no angel eye has seen and no archon ear (has) heard, and what has not entered into the human heart which came to be angelic and (modelled) after the image of the psychic God when it was formed in the beginning, since I have faith and hope. And place upon me your beloved, elect, and blessed greatness, the First-born, the First-begotten, and the wonderful mystery of your house; for yours is the power and the glory and the praise and the greatness for ever and ever. Amen.
The Nag Hammadi Library
The Apocryphon of James
translated by Francis E. Williams
James writes to […]: Peace be with you from Peace, love from Love, grace from Grace, faith from Faith, life from Holy Life!
Since you asked that I send you a secret book which was revealed to me and Peter by the Lord, I could not turn you away or gainsay (?) you; but I have written it in the Hebrew alphabet and sent it to you, and you alone. But since you are a minister of the salvation of the saints, endeavor earnestly and take care not to rehearse this text to many – this that the Savior did not wish to tell to all of us, his twelve disciples. But blessed will they be who will be saved through the faith of this discourse.
I also sent you, ten months ago, another secret book which the Savior had revealed to me. Under the circumstances, however, regard that one as revealed to me, James; but this one … [untranslatable fragments]
… the twelve disciples were all sitting together and recalling what the Savior had said to each one of them, whether in secret or openly, and putting it in books – But I was writing that which was in my book – lo, the Savior appeared, after departing from us while we gazed after him. And five hundred and fifty days since he had risen from the dead, we said to him, “Have you departed and removed yourself from us?” But Jesus said, “No, but I shall go to the place from whence I came. If you wish to come with me, come!”
They all answered and said, “If you bid us, we come.”
He said, “Verily I say unto you, no one will ever enter the kingdom of heaven at my bidding, but (only) because you yourselves are full. Leave James and Peter to me, that I may fill them.” And having called these two, he drew them aside and bade the rest occupy themselves with that which they were about.
The Savior said, “You have received mercy …
(7 lines missing)
Do you not, then, desire to be filled? And your heart is drunken; do you not, then, desire to be sober? Therefore, be ashamed! Henceforth, waking or sleeping, remember that you have seen the Son of Man, and spoken with him in person, and listened to him in person. Woe to those who have seen the Son of Man; blessed will they be who have not seen the man, and they who have not consorted with him, and they who have not spoken with him, and they who have not listened to anything from him; yours is life! Know, then, that he healed you when you were ill, that you might reign. Woe to those who have found relief from their illness, for they will relapse into illness. Blessed are they who have not been ill, and have known relief before falling ill; yours is the kingdom of God. Therefore, I say to you, ‘Become full, and leave no space within you empty, for he who is coming can mock you.”
Then Peter replied, “Lo, three times you have told us, ‘Become full’; but we are full.”
The Savior answered and said, “For this cause I have said to you, ‘Become full,’ that you may not be in want. They who are in want, however, will not be saved. For it is good to be full, and bad to be in want. Hence, just as it is good that you be in want and, conversely, bad that you be full, so he who is full is in want, and he who is in want does not become full as he who is in want becomes full, and he who has been filled, in turn attains due perfection. Therefore, you must be in want while it is possible to fill you, and be full while it is possible for you to be in want, so that you may be able to fill yourselves the more. Hence, become full of the Spirit, but be in want of reason, for reason the soul; in turn, it is (of the nature of) soul.”
But I answered and said to him, “Lord, we can obey you if you wish, for we have forsaken our fathers and our mothers and our villages, and followed you. Grant us, therefore, not to be tempted by the devil, the evil one.”
The Lord answered and said, “What is your merit if you do the will of the Father and it is not given to you from him as a gift while you are tempted by Satan? But if you are oppressed by Satan, and persecuted, and you do his (i.e., the Father’s) will, I say that he will love you, and make you equal with me, and reckon you to have become beloved through his providence by your own choice. So will you not cease loving the flesh and being afraid of sufferings? Or do you not know that you have yet to be abused and to be accused unjustly; and have yet to be shut up in prison, and condemned unlawfully, and crucified reason, and buried as I myself, by the evil one? Do you dare to spare the flesh, you for whom the Spirit is an encircling wall? If you consider how long the world existed you, and how long it will exist after you, you will find that your life is one single day, and your sufferings one single hour. For the good will not enter into the world. Scorn death, therefore, and take thought for life! Remember my cross and my death, and you will live!”
But I answered and said to him, “Lord, do not mention to us the cross and death, for they are far from you.”
The Lord answered and said, “Verily, I say unto you, none will be saved unless they believe in my cross. But those who have believed in my cross, theirs is the kingdom of God. Therefore, become seekers for death, like the dead who seek for life; for that which they seek is revealed to them. And what is there to trouble them? As for you, when you examine death, it will teach you election. Verily, I say unto you, none of those who fear death will be saved; for the kingdom belongs to those who put themselves to death. Become better than I; make yourselves like the son of the Holy Spirit!”
Then I asked him, “Lord, how shall we be able to prophesy to those who request us to prophesy to them? For there are many who ask us, and look to us to hear an oracle from us.”
The Lord answered and said, “Do you not know that the head of prophecy was cut off with John?”
But I said, “Lord, can it be possible to remove the head of prophecy?”
The Lord said to me, “When you come to know what ‘head’ means, and that prophecy issues from the head, (then) understand the meaning of ‘Its head was removed.’ At first I spoke to you in parables, and you did not understand; now I speak to you openly, and you (still) do not perceive. Yet, it was you who served me as a parable in parables, and as that which is open in the (words) that are open.
“Hasten to be saved without being urged! Instead, be eager of your own accord, and, if possible, arrive even before me; for thus the Father will love you.”
“Come to hate hypocrisy and the evil thought; for it is the thought that gives birth to hypocrisy; but hypocrisy is far from truth.”
“Do not allow the kingdom of heaven to wither; for it is like a palm shoot whose fruit has dropped down around it. They (i.e., the fallen fruit) put forth leaves, and after they had sprouted, they caused their womb to dry up. So it is also with the fruit which had grown from this single root; when it had been picked (?), fruit was borne by many (?). It (the root) was certainly good, (and) if it were possible for you to produce the new plants now, would find it.”
“Since I have already been glorified in this fashion, why do you hold me back in my eagerness to go? For after the labor, you have compelled me to stay with you another eighteen days for the sake of the parables. It was enough for some to the teaching and understand ‘The Shepherds’ and ‘The Seed’ and ‘The Building’ and ‘The Lamps of the Virgins’ and ‘The Wage of the Workmen’ and the ‘Didrachmae’ and ‘The Woman.'”
“Become earnest about the word! For as to the word, its first part is faith; the second, love; the third, works; for from these comes life. For the word is like a grain of wheat; when someone had sown it, he had faith in it; and when it had sprouted, he loved it, because he had seen many grains in place of one. And when he had worked, he was saved, because he had prepared it for food, (and) again he left (some) to sow. So also can you yourselves receive the kingdom of heaven; unless you receive this through knowledge, you will not be able to find it.”
“Therefore, I say to you, be sober; do not be deceived! And many times have I said to you all together, and also to you alone, James, have I said, ‘Be saved!’ And I have commanded you to follow me, and I have taught you what to say before the archons. Observe that I have descended and have spoken and undergone tribulation, and carried off my crown after saving you. For I came down to dwell with you, so that you in turn might dwell with me. And, finding your houses unceiled, I have made my abode in the houses that could receive me at the time of my descent.”
“Therefore, trust in me, my brethren; understand what the great light is. The Father has no need of me, – for a father does not need a son, but it is the son who needs the father – though I go to him. For the Father of the Son has no need of you.”
“Hearken to the word, understand knowledge, love life, and no one will persecute you, nor will anyone oppress you, other than you yourselves.”
“O you wretches; O you unfortunates; O you pretenders to the truth; O you falsifiers of knowledge; O you sinners against the Spirit: can you still bear to listen, when it behooved you to speak from the first? Can you still bear to sleep, when it behooved you to be awake from the first, so that the kingdom of heaven might receive you? Verily, I say unto you, had I been sent to those who listen to me, and had I spoken with them, I would never have come down to earth. So, then, be ashamed for these things.”
“Behold, I shall depart from you and go away, and do not wish to remain with you any longer, just as your yourselves have not wished it. Now, therefore, follow me quickly. This is why I say unto you, ‘For your sakes I came down.’ You are the beloved; you are they who will be the cause of life in many. Invoke the Father, implore God often, and he will give to you. Blessed is he who has seen you with Him when He was proclaimed among the angels, and glorified among the saints; yours is life. Rejoice, and be glad, as sons of God. Keep his will, that you may be saved; accept reproof from me and save yourselves. I intercede on your behalf with the Father, and he will forgive you much.”
And when we had heard these words, we became glad, for we had been grieved at the words we have mentioned before. But when he saw us rejoicing, he said, “Woe to you who lack an advocate! Woe to you who stand in need of grace! Blessed will they be who have spoken out and obtained grace for themselves. Liken yourselves to foreigners; of what sort are they in the eyes of your city? Why are you disturbed when you cast yourselves away of your own accord and separate yourselves from your city? Why do you abandon your dwelling place of your own accord, making it ready for those who want to dwell in it? O you outcasts and fugitives, woe to you, for you will be caught! Or do you perhaps think that the Father is a lover of mankind, or that he is won over without prayers, or that he grants remission to one on another’s behalf, or that he bears with one who asks? – For he knows the desire, and also what it is that the flesh needs! – (Or do you think) that it is not this (flesh) that desires the soul? For without the soul, the body does not sin, just as the soul is not saved without the spirit. But if the soul is saved (when it is) without evil, and the spirit is also saved, then the body becomes free from sin. For it is the spirit that raises the soul, but the body that kills it; that is, it is it (the soul) which kills itself. Verily, I say unto you, he will not forgive the soul the sin by any means, nor the flesh the guilt; for none of those who have worn the flesh will be saved. For do you think that many have found the kingdom of heaven? Blessed is he who has seen himself as a fourth one in heaven!”
When we heard these words, we were distressed. But when he saw that we were distressed, he said, “For this cause I tell you this, that you may know yourselves. For the kingdom of heaven is like an ear of grain after it had sprouted in a field. And when it had ripened, it scattered its fruit and again filled the field with ears for another year. You also, hasten to reap an ear of life for yourselves, that you may be filled with the kingdom!”
“And as long as I am with you, give heed to me, and obey me; but when I depart from you, remember me. And remember me because when I was with you, you did not know me. Blessed will they be who have known me; woe to those who have heard and have not believed! Blessed will they be who have not see, yet have believed!”
“And once more I prevail upon you, for I am revealed to you building a house which is of great value to you when you find shelter beneath it, just as it will be able to stand by your neighbors’ house when it threatens to fall. Verily, I say unto you, woe to those for whose sakes I was sent down to this place; blessed will they be who ascend to the Father! Once more I reprove you, you who are; become like those who are not, that you may be with those who are not.”
“Do not make the kingdom of heaven a desert within you. Do not be proud because of the light that illumines, but be to yourselves as I myself am to you. For your sakes I have placed myself under the curse, that you may be saved.”
But Peter replied to these words and said, “Sometimes you urge us on to the kingdom of heaven, and then again you turn us back, Lord; sometimes you persuade and draw us to faith and promise us life, and then again you cast us forth from the kingdom of heaven.”
But the Lord answered and said to us, “I have given you faith many times; moreover, I have revealed myself to you, James, and you (all) have not known me. Now again, I see you rejoicing many times; and when you are elated at the promise of life, are you yet sad, and do you grieve, when you are instructed in the kingdom? But you, through faith and knowledge, have received life. Therefore, disdain the rejection when you hear it, but when you hear the promise, rejoice the more. Verily, I say unto you, he who will receive life and believe in the kingdom will never leave it, not even if the Father wishes to banish him.”
“These are the things that I shall tell you so far; now, however, I shall ascend to the place from whence I came. But you, when I was eager to go, have cast me out, and instead of accompanying me, you have pursued me. But pay heed to the glory that awaits me, and, having opened your heart, listen to the hymns that await me up in the heavens; for today I must take (my place at) the right hand of the Father. But I have said (my) last word to you, and I shall depart from you, for a chariot of spirit has borne me aloft, and from this moment on, I shall strip myself, that I may clothe myself. But give heed; blessed are they who have proclaimed the Son before his descent, that when I have come, I might ascend (again). Thrice blessed are they who were proclaimed by the Son before they came to be, that you might have a portion among them.”
Having said these words, he departed. But we bent (our) knee(s), I and Peter, and gave thanks, and sent our heart(s) upwards to heaven. We heard with our ears, and saw with our eyes, the noise of wars, and a trumpet blare, and a great turmoil.
And when we had passed beyond that place, we sent our mind(s) farther upwards, and saw with our eyes and heard with our ears hymns, and angelic benedictions, and angelic rejoicing. And heavenly majesties were singing praise, and we, too, rejoiced.
After this again, we wished to send our spirit upward to the Majesty, and after ascending, we were not permitted to see or hear anything, for the other disciples called us and asked us, “What did you hear from the Master. And what has he said to you? And where did he go?”
But we answered them, “He has ascended, and has given us a pledge, and promised life to us all, and revealed to us children (?) who are to come after us, after bidding us love them, as we would be saved for their sakes.”
And when they heard (this), they indeed believed the revelation, but were displeased about those to be born. And so, not wishing to give them offense, I sent each one to another place. But I myself went up to Jerusalem, praying that I might obtain a portion among the beloved, who will be made manifest.
And I pray that the beginning may come from you, for thus I shall be capable of salvation, since they will be enlightened through me, by my faith – and through another (faith) that is better than mine, for I would that mine be the lesser. Endeavor earnestly, then, to make yourself like them, and pray that you may obtain a portion with them. For because of what I have said, the Savior did not make the revelation to us for their sakes. We do, indeed, proclaim a portion with those for whom the proclamation was made – those whom the Lord has made his sons.
The Nag Hammadi Library
The Gospel of Truth
Translated by Robert M. Grant
The gospel of truth is joy to those who have received from the Father of truth the gift of knowing him by the power of the Logos, who has come from the Pleroma and who is in the thought and the mind of the Father; he it is who is called “the Savior,” since that is the name of the work which he must do for the redemption of those who have not known the Father. For the name of the gospel is the manifestation of hope, since that is the discovery of those who seek him, because the All sought him from whom it had come forth. You see, the All had been inside of him, that illimitable, inconceivable one, who is better than every thought.
This ignorance of the Father brought about terror and fear. And terror became dense like a fog, that no one was able to see. Because of this, error became strong. But it worked on its hylic substance vainly, because it did not know the truth. It was in a fashioned form while it was preparing, in power and in beauty, the equivalent of truth. This then, was not a humiliation for him, that illimitable, inconceivable one. For they were as nothing, this terror and this forgetfulness and this figure of falsehood, whereas this established truth is unchanging, unperturbed and completely beautiful.
For this reason, do not take error too seriously. Thus, since it had no root, it was in a fog as regards the Father, engaged in preparing works and forgetfulnesses and fears in order, by these means, to beguile those of the middle and to make them captive. The forgetfulness of error was not revealed. It did not become light beside the Father. Forgetfulness did not exist with the Father, although it existed because of him. What exists in him is knowledge, which was revealed so that forgetfulness might be destroyed and that they might know the Father, Since forgetfulness existed because they did not know the Father, if they then come to know the Father, from that moment on forgetfulness will cease to exist.
That is the gospel of him whom they seek, which he has revealed to the perfect through the mercies of the Father as the hidden mystery, Jesus the Christ. Through him he enlightened those who were in darkness because of forgetfulness. He enlightened them and gave them a path. And that path is the truth which he taught them. For this reason error was angry with him, so it persecuted him. It was distressed by him, so it made him powerless. He was nailed to a cross. He became a fruit of the knowledge of the Father. He did not, however, destroy them because they ate of it. He rather caused those who ate of it to be joyful because of this discovery.
And as for him, them he found in himself, and him they found in themselves, that illimitable, inconceivable one, that perfect Father who made the all, in whom the All is, and whom the All lacks, since he retained in himself their perfection, which he had not given to the all. The Father was not jealous. What jealousy, indeed, is there between him and his members? For, even if the Aeon had received their perfection, they would not have been able to approach the perfection of the Father, because he retained their perfection in himself, giving it to them as a way to return to him and as a knowledge unique in perfection. He is the one who set the All in order and in whom the All existed and whom the All lacked. As one of whom some have no knowledge, he desires that they know him and that they love him. For what is it that the All lacked, if not the knowledge of the Father?
He became a guide, quiet and in leisure. In the middle of a school he came and spoke the Word, as a teacher. Those who were wise in their own estimation came to put him to the test. But he discredited them as empty-headed people. They hated him because they really were not wise men. After all these came also the little children, those who possess the knowledge of the Father. When they became strong they were taught the aspects of the Father’s face. They came to know and they were known. They were glorified and they gave glory. In their heart, the living book of the Living was manifest, the book which was written in the thought and in the mind of the Father and, from before the foundation of the All, is in that incomprehensible part of him.
This is the book which no one found possible to take, since it was reserved for him who will take it and be slain. No one was able to be manifest from those who believed in salvation as long as that book had not appeared. For this reason, the compassionate, faithful Jesus was patient in his sufferings until he took that book, since he knew that his death meant life for many. Just as in the case of a will which has not yet been opened, for the fortune of the deceased master of the house is hidden, so also in the case of the All which had been hidden as long as the Father of the All was invisible and unique in himself, in whom every space has its source. For this reason Jesus appeared. He took that book as his own. He was nailed to a cross. He affixed the edict of the Father to the cross.
Oh, such great teaching! He abases himself even unto death, though he is clothed in eternal life. Having divested himself of these perishable rags, he clothed himself in incorruptibility, which no one could possibly take from him. Having entered into the empty territory of fears, he passed before those who were stripped by forgetfulness, being both knowledge and perfection, proclaiming the things that are in the heart of the Father, so that he became the wisdom of those who have received instruction. But those who are to be taught, the living who are inscribed in the book of the living, learn for themselves, receiving instructions from the Father, turning to him again.
Since the perfection of the All is in the Father, it is necessary for the All to ascend to him. Therefore, if one has knowledge, he gets what belongs to him and draws it to himself. For he who is ignorant, is deficient, and it is a great deficiency, since he lacks that which will make him perfect. Since the perfection of the All is in the Father, it is necessary for the All to ascend to him and for each one to get the things which are his. He registered them first, having prepared them to be given to those who came from him.
Those whose name he knew first were called last, so that the one who has knowledge is he whose name the Father has pronounced. For he whose name has not been spoken is ignorant. Indeed, how shall one hear if his name has not been uttered? For he who remains ignorant until the end is a creature of forgetfulness and will perish with it. If this is not so, why have these wretches no name, why do they have no sound? Hence, if one has knowledge, he is from above. If he is called, he hears, he replies, and he turns toward him who called him and he ascends to him and he knows what he is called. Since he has knowledge, he does the will of him who called him. He desires to please him and he finds rest. He receives a certain name. He who thus is going to have knowledge knows whence he came and whither he is going. He knows it as a person who, having become intoxicated, has turned from his drunkenness and having come to himself, has restored what is his own.
He has turned many from error. He went before them to their own places, from which they departed when they erred because of the depth of him who surrounds every place, whereas there is nothing which surrounds him. It was a great wonder that they were in the Father without knowing him and that they were able to leave on their own, since they were not able to contain him and know him in whom they were, for indeed his will had not come forth from him. For he revealed it as a knowledge with which all its emanations agree, namely, the knowledge of the living book which he revealed to the Aeons at last as his letters, displaying to them that these are not merely vowels nor consonants, so that one may read them and think of something void of meaning; on the contrary, they are letters which convey the truth. They are pronounced only when they are known. Each letter is a perfect truth like a perfect book, for they are letters written by the hand of the unity, since the Father wrote them for the Aeons, so that they by means of his letters might come to know the Father.
While his wisdom mediates on the logos, and since his teaching expresses it, his knowledge has been revealed. His honor is a crown upon it. Since his joy agrees with it, his glory exalted it. It has revealed his image. It has obtained his rest. His love took bodily form around it. His trust embraced it. Thus the logos of the Father goes forth into the All, being the fruit of his heart and expression of his will. It supports the All. It chooses and also takes the form of the All, purifying it, and causing it to return to the Father and to the Mother, Jesus of the utmost sweetness. The Father opens his bosom, but his bosom is the Holy Spirit. He reveals his hidden self which is his son, so that through the compassion of the Father the Aeons may know him, end their wearying search for the Father and rest themselves in him, knowing that this is rest. After he had filled what was incomplete, he did away with form. The form of it is the world, that which it served. For where there is envy and strife, there is an incompleteness; but where there is unity, there is completeness. Since this incompleteness came about because they did not know the Father, so when they know the Father, incompleteness, from that moment on, will cease to exist. As one’s ignorance disappears when he gains knowledge, and as darkness disappears when light appears, so also incompleteness is eliminated by completeness. Certainly, from that moment on, form is no longer manifest, but will be dissolved in fusion with unity. For now their works lie scattered. In time unity will make the spaces complete. By means of unity each one will understand itself. By means of knowledge it will purify itself of diversity with a view towards unity, devouring matter within itself like fire and darkness by light, death by life.
Certainly, if these things have happened to each one of us, it is fitting for us, surely, to think about the All so that the house may be holy and silent for unity. Like people who have moved from a neighborhood, if they have some dishes around which are not good, they usually break them. Nevertheless the householder does not suffer a loss, but rejoices, for in the place of these defective dishes there are those which are completely perfect. For this is the judgement which has come from above and which has judged every person, a drawn two-edged sword cutting on this side and that. When it appeared, I mean, the Logos, who is in the heart of those who pronounce it – it was not merely a sound but it has become a body – a great disturbance occurred among the dishes, for some were emptied, others filled: some were provided for, others were removed; some were purified, still others were broken. All the spaces were shaken and disturbed for they had no composure nor stability. Error was disturbed not knowing what it should do. It was troubled; it lamented, it was beside itself because it did not know anything. When knowledge, which is its abolishment, approached it with all its emanations, error is empty, since there is nothing in it. Truth appeared; all its emanations recognized it. They actually greeted the Father with a power which is complete and which joins them with the Father. For each one loves truth because truth is the mouth of the Father. His tongue is the Holy Spirit, who joins him to truth attaching him to the mouth of the Father by his tongue at the time he shall receive the Holy Spirit.
This is the manifestation of the Father and his revelation to his Aeons. He revealed his hidden self and explained it. For who is it who exists if it is not the Father himself? All the spaces are his emanations. They knew that they stem from him as children from a perfect man. They knew that they had not yet received form nor had they yet received a name, every one of which the Father produces. If they at that time receive form of his knowledge, though they are truly in him, they do not know him. But the Father is perfect. He knows every space which is within him. If he pleases, he reveals anyone whom he desires by giving him a form and by giving him a name; and he does give him a name and cause him to come into being. Those who do not yet exist are ignorant of him who created them. I do not say, then, that those who do not yet exist are nothing. But they are in him who will desire that they exist when he pleases, like the event which is going to happen. On the one hand, he knows, before anything is revealed, what he will produce. On the other hand, the fruit which has not yet been revealed does not know anything, nor is it anything either. Thus each space which, on its part, is in the Father comes from the existent one, who, on his part, has established it from the nonexistent. […] he who does not exist at all, will never exist.
What, then, is that which he wants him to think? “I am like the shadows and phantoms of the night.” When morning comes, this one knows that the fear which he had experienced was nothing. Thus they were ignorant of the Father; he is the one whom they did not see. Since there had been fear and confusion and a lack of confidence and doublemindness and division, there were many illusions which were conceived by him, the foregoing, as well as empty ignorance – as if they were fast asleep and found themselves a prey to troubled dreams. Either there is a place to which they flee, or they lack strength as they come, having pursued unspecified things. Either they are involved in inflicting blows, or they themselves receive bruises. Either they are falling from high places, or they fly off through the air, though they have no wings at all. Other times, it is as if certain people were trying to kill them, even though there is no one pursuing them; or, they themselves are killing those beside them, for they are stained by their blood. Until the moment when they who are passing through all these things – I mean they who have experienced all these confusions – awake, they see nothing because the dreams were nothing. It is thus that they who cast ignorance from them as sheep do not consider it to be anything, nor regard its properties to be something real, but they renounce them like a dream in the night and they consider the knowledge of the Father to be the dawn. It is thus that each one has acted, as if he were asleep, during the time when he was ignorant and thus he comes to understand, as if he were awakening. And happy is the man who comes to himself and awakens. Indeed, blessed is he who has opened the eyes of the blind.
And the Spirit came to him in haste when it raised him. Having given its hand to the one lying prone on the ground, it placed him firmly on his feet, for he had not yet stood up. He gave them the means of knowing the knowledge of the Father and the revelation of his son. For when they saw it and listened to it, he permitted them to take a taste of and to smell and to grasp the beloved son.
He appeared, informing them of the Father, the illimitable one. He inspired them with that which is in the mind, while doing his will. Many received the light and turned towards him. But material men were alien to him and did not discern his appearance nor recognize him. For he came in the likeness of flesh and nothing blocked his way because it was incorruptible and unrestrainable. Moreover, while saying new things, speaking about what is in the heart of the Father, he proclaimed the faultless word. Light spoke through his mouth, and his voice brought forth life. He gave them thought and understanding and mercy and salvation and the Spirit of strength derived from the limitlessness of the Father and sweetness. He caused punishments and scourgings to cease, for it was they which caused many in need of mercy to astray from him in error and in chains – and he mightily destroyed them and derided them with knowledge. He became a path for those who went astray and knowledge to those who were ignorant, a discovery for those who sought, and a support for those who tremble, a purity for those who were defiled.
He is the shepherd who left behind the ninety-nine sheep which had not strayed and went in search of that one which was lost. He rejoiced when he had found it. For ninety-nine is a number of the left hand, which holds it. The moment he finds the one, however, the whole number is transferred to the right hand. Thus it is with him who lacks the one, that is, the entire right hand which attracts that in which it is deficient, seizes it from the left side and transfers it to the right. In this way, then, the number becomes one hundred. This number signifies the Father.
He labored even on the Sabbath for the sheep which he found fallen into the pit. He saved the life of that sheep, bringing it up from the pit in order that you may understand fully what that Sabbath is, you who possess full understanding. It is a day in which it is not fitting that salvation be idle, so that you may speak of that heavenly day which has no night and of the sun which does not set because it is perfect. Say then in your heart that you are this perfect day and that in you the light which does not fail dwells.
Speak concerning the truth to those who seek it and of knowledge to those who, in their error, have committed sin. Make sure-footed those who stumble and stretch forth your hands to the sick. Nourish the hungry and set at ease those who are troubled. Foster men who love. Raise up and awaken those who sleep. For you are this understanding which encourages. If the strong follow this course, they are even stronger. Turn your attention to yourselves. Do not be concerned with other things, namely, that which you have cast forth from yourselves, that which you have dismissed. Do not return to them to eat them. Do not be moth-eaten. Do not be worm-eaten, for you have already shaken it off. Do not be a place of the devil, for you have already destroyed him. Do not strengthen your last obstacles, because that is reprehensible. For the lawless one is nothing. He harms himself more than the law. For that one does his works because he is a lawless person. But this one, because he is a righteous person, does his works among others. Do the will of the Father, then, for you are from him.
For the Father is sweet and his will is good. He knows the things that are yours, so that you may rest yourselves in them. For by the fruits one knows the things that are yours, that they are the children of the Father, and one knows his aroma, that you originate from the grace of his countenance. For this reason, the Father loved his aroma; and it manifests itself in every place; and when it is mixed with matter, he gives his aroma to the light; and into his rest he causes it to ascend in every form and in every sound. For there are no nostrils which smell the aroma, but it is the Spirit which possesses the sense of smell and it draws it for itself to itself and sinks into the aroma of the Father. He is, indeed, the place for it, and he takes it to the place from which it has come, in the first aroma which is cold. It is something in a psychic form, resembling cold water which is […] since it is in soil which is not hard, of which those who see it think, “It is earth.” Afterwards, it becomes soft again. If a breath is taken, it is usually hot. The cold aromas, then, are from the division. For this reason, God came and destroyed the division and he brought the hot Pleroma of love, so that the cold may not return, but the unity of the Perfect Thought prevail.
This is the word of the Gospel of the finding of the Pleroma for those who wait for the salvation which comes from above. When their hope, for which they are waiting, is waiting – they whose likeness is the light in which there is no shadow, then at that time the Pleroma is about to come. The deficiency of matter, however, is not because of the limitlessness of the Father who comes at the time of the deficiency. And yet no one is able to say that the incorruptible One will come in this manner. But the depth of the Father is increasing, and the thought of error is not with him. It is a matter of falling down and a matter of being readily set upright at the finding of that one who has come to him who will turn back.
For this turning back is called “repentance”. For this reason, incorruption has breathed. It followed him who has sinned in order that he may find rest. For forgiveness is that which remains for the light in the deficiency, the word of the pleroma. For the physician hurries to the place in which there is sickness, because that is the desire which he has. The sick man is in a deficient condition, but he does not hide himself because the physician possesses that which he lacks. In this manner the deficiency is filled by the Pleroma, which has no deficiency, which has given itself out in order to fill the one who is deficient, so that grace may take him, then, from the area which is deficient and has no grace. Because of this a diminishing occurred in the place which there is no grace, the area where the one who is small, who is deficient, is taken hold of.
He revealed himself as a Pleroma, i.e., the finding of the light of truth which has shined towards him, because he is unchangeable. For this reason, they who have been troubled speak about Christ in their midst so that they may receive a return and he may anoint them with the ointment. The ointment is the pity of the Father, who will have mercy on them. But those whom he has anointed are those who are perfect. For the filled vessels are those which are customarily used for anointing. But when an anointing is finished, the vessel is usually empty, and the cause of its deficiency is the consumption of its ointment. For then a breath is drawn only through the power which he has. But the one who is without deficiency – one does not trust anyone beside him nor does one pour anything out. But that which is the deficient is filled again by the perfect Father. He is good. He knows his plantings because he is the one who has planted them in his Paradise. And his Paradise is his place of rest.
This is the perfection in the thought of the Father and these are the words of his reflection. Each one of his words is the work of his will alone, in the revelation of his Logos. Since they were in the depth of his mind, the Logos, who was the first to come forth, caused them to appear, along with an intellect which speaks the unique word by means of a silent grace. It was called “thought,” since they were in it before becoming manifest. It happened, then, that it was the first to come forth – at the moment pleasing to the will of him who desired it; and it is in the will that the Father is at rest and with which he is pleased. Nothing happens without him, nor does anything occur without the will of the Father. But his will is incomprehensible. His will is his mark, but no one can know it, nor is it possible for them to concentrate on it in order to possess it. But that which he wishes takes place at the moment he wishes it – even if the view does not please anyone: it is God`s will. For the Father knows the beginning of them all as well as their end. For when their end arrives, he will question them to their faces. The end, you see, is the recognition of him who is hidden, that is, the Father, from whom the beginning came forth and to whom will return all who have come from him. For they were made manifest for the glory and the joy of his name.
And the name of the Father is the Son. It is he who, in the beginning, gave a name to him who came forth from him – he is the same one – and he begat him for a son. He gave him his name which belonged to him – he, the Father, who possesses everything which exists around him. He possess the name; he has the son. It is possible for them to see him. The name, however, is invisible, for it alone is the mystery of the invisible about to come to ears completely filled with it through the Father`s agency. Moreover, as for the Father, his name is not pronounced, but it is revealed through a son. Thus, then, the name is great.
Who, then, has been able to pronounce a name for him, this great name, except him alone to whom the name belongs and the sons of the name in whom the name of the Father is at rest, and who themselves in turn are at rest in his name, since the Father has no beginning? It is he alone who engendered it for himself as a name in the beginning before he had created the Aeons, that the name of the Father should be over their heads as a lord – that is, the real name, which is secure by his authority and by his perfect power. For the name is not drawn from lexicons nor is his name derived from common name-giving, But it is invisible. He gave a name to himself alone, because he alone saw it and because he alone was capable of giving himself a name. For he who does not exist has no name. For what name would one give him who did not exist? Nevertheless, he who exists also with his name and he alone knows it, and to him alone the Father gave a name. The Son is his name. He did not, therefore, keep it secretly hidden, but the son came into existence. He himself gave a name to him. The name, then, is that of the Father, just as the name of the Father is the Son. For otherwise, where would compassion find a name – outside of the Father? But someone will probably say to his companion, “Who would give a name to someone who existed before himself, as if, indeed, children did not receive their name from one of those who gave them birth?”
Above all, then, it is fitting for us to think this point over: What is the name? It is the real name. It is, indeed, the name which came from the Father, for it is he who owns the name. He did not, you see, get the name on loan, as in the case of others because of the form in which each one of them is going to be created. This, then, is the authoritative name. There is no one else to whom he has given it. But it remained unnamed, unuttered, `till the moment when he, who is perfect, pronounced it himself; and it was he alone who was able to pronounce his name and to see it. When it pleased him, then, that his son should be his pronounced name and when he gave this name to him, he who has come from the depth spoke of his secrets, because he knew that the Father was absolute goodness. For this reason, indeed, he sent this particular one in order that he might speak concerning the place and his place of rest from which he had come forth, and that he might glorify the Pleroma, the greatness of his name and the sweetness of his Father.
Each one will speak concerning the place from which he has come forth, and to the region from which he received his essential being, he will hasten to return once again. And he want from that place – the place where he was – because he tasted of that place, as he was nourished and grew. And his own place of rest is his Pleroma. All the emanations from the Father, therefore, are Pleromas, and all his emanations have their roots in the one who caused them all to grow from himself. He appointed a limit. They, then, became manifest individually in order that they might be in their own thought, for that place to which they extend their thoughts is their root, which lifts them upward through all heights to the Father. They reach his head, which is rest for them, and they remain there near to it so that they say that they have participated in his face by means of embraces. But these of this kind were not manifest, because they have not risen above themselves. Neither have they been deprived of the glory of the Father nor have they thought of him as small, nor bitter, nor angry, but as absolutely good, unperturbed, sweet, knowing all the spaces before they came into existence and having no need of instruction. Such are they who possess from above something of this immeasurable greatness, as they strain towards that unique and perfect one who exists there for them. And they do not go down to Hades. They have neither envy nor moaning, nor is death in them. But they rest in him who rests, without wearying themselves or becoming involved in the search for truth. But, they, indeed, are the truth, and the Father is in them, and they are in the Father, since they are perfect, inseparable from him who is truly good. They lack nothing in any way, but they are given rest and are refreshed by the Spirit. And they listen to their root; they have leisure for themselves, they in whom he will find his root, and he will suffer no loss to his soul.
Such is the place of the blessed; this is their place. As for the rest, then, may they know, in their place, that it does not suit me, after having been in the place of rest to say anything more. But he is the one in whom I shall be in order to devote myself, at all times, to the Father of the All and the true brothers, those upon whom the love of the Father is lavished, and in whose midst nothing of him is lacking. It is they who manifest themselves truly since they are in that true and eternal life and speak of the perfect light filled with the seed of the Father, and which is in his heart and in the Pleroma, while his Spirit rejoices in it and glorifies him in whom it was, because the Father is good. And his children are perfect and worthy of his name, because he is the Father. Children of this kind are those whom he loves.
The Nag Hammadi Library
The Treatise on the Resurrection
Translated by Malcolm L. Peel
Some there are, my son Rheginos, who want to learn many things. They have this goal when they are occupied with questions whose answer is lacking. If they succeed with these, they usually think very highly of themselves. But I do not think that they have stood within the Word of Truth. They seek rather their own rest, which we have received through our Savior, our Lord Christ. We received it when we came to know the truth and rested ourselves upon it. But since you ask us pleasantly what is proper concerning the resurrection, I am writing you that it is necessary. To be sure, many are lacking faith in it, but there are a few who find it. So then, let us discuss the matter.
How did the Lord proclaim things while he existed in flesh and after he had revealed himself as Son of God? He lived in this place where you remain, speaking about the Law of Nature – but I call it ‘Death’. Now the Son of God, Rheginos, was Son of Man. He embraced them both, possessing the humanity and the divinity, so that on the one hand he might vanquish death through his being Son of God, and that on the other through the Son of Man the restoration to the Pleroma might occur; because he was originally from above, a seed of Truth, before this structure had come into being. In this many dominions and divinities came into existence.
I know that I am presenting the solution in difficult terms, but there is nothing difficult in the Word of Truth. But since the Solution appeared so as not to leave anything hidden, but to reveal all things openly concerning existence – the destruction of evil on the one hand, the revelation of the elect on the other. This is the emanation of Truth and Spirit, Grace is of the Truth.
The Savior swallowed up death – (of this) you are not reckoned as being ignorant – for he put aside the world which is perishing. He transformed himself into an imperishable Aeon and raised himself up, having swallowed the visible by the invisible, and he gave us the way of our immortality. Then, indeed, as the Apostle said, “We suffered with him, and we arose with him, and we went to heaven with him”. Now if we are manifest in this world wearing him, we are that one`s beams, and we are embraced by him until our setting, that is to say, our death in this life. We are drawn to heaven by him, like beams by the sun, not being restrained by anything. This is the spiritual resurrection which swallows up the psychic in the same way as the fleshly.
But if there is one who does not believe, he does not have the (capacity to be) persuaded. For it is the domain of faith, my son, and not that which belongs to persuasion: the dead shall arise! There is one who believes among the philsophers who are in this world. At least he will arise. And let not the philosopher who is in this world have cause to believe that he is one who returns himself by himself – and (that) because of our faith! For we have known the Son of Man, and we have believed that he rose from among the dead. This is he of whom we say, “He became the destruction of death, as he is a great one in whom they believe.” Great are those who believe.
The thought of those who are saved shall not perish. The mind of those who have known him shall not perish. Therefore, we are elected to salvation and redemption since we are predestined from the beginning not to fall into the foolishness of those who are without knowledge, but we shall enter into the wisdom of those who have known the Truth. Indeed, the Truth which is kept cannot be abandoned, nor has it been. “Strong is the system of the Pleroma; small is that which broke loose (and) became (the) world. But the All is what is encompassed. It has not come into being; it was existing.” So, never doubt concerning the resurrection, my son Rheginos! For if you were not existing in flesh, you received flesh when you entered this world. Why will you not receive flesh when you ascend into the Aeon? That which is better than the flesh is that which is for (the) cause of life. That which came into being on your account, is it not yours? Does not that which is yours exist with you? Yet, while you are in this world, what is it that you lack? This is what you have been making every effort to learn.
The afterbirth of the body is old age, and you exist in corruption. You have absence as a gain. For you will not give up what is better if you depart. That which is worse has diminution, but there is grace for it.
Nothing, then, redeems us from this world. But the All which we are, we are saved. We have received salvation from end to end. Let us think in this way! Let us comprehend in this way!
But there are some (who) wish to understand, in the enquiry about those things they are looking into, whether he who is saved, if he leaves his body behind, will be saved immediately. Let no one doubt concerning this. […]. indeed, the visible members which are dead shall not be saved, for (only) the living members which exist within them would arise.
What, then, is the resurrection? It is always the disclosure of those who have risen. For if you remember reading in the Gospel that Elijah appeared and Moses with him, do not think the resurrection is an illusion. It is no illusion, but it is truth! Indeed, it is more fitting to say the world is an illusion, rather than the resurrection which has come into being through our Lord the Savior, Jesus Christ.
But what am I telling you now? Those who are living shall die. How do they live in an illusion? The rich have become poor, and the kings have been overthrown. Everything is prone to change. The world is an illusion! – lest, indeed, I rail at things to excess!
But the resurrection does not have this aforesaid character, for it is the truth which stands firm. It is the revelation of what is, and the transformation of things, and a transition into newness. For imperishability descends upon the perishable; the light flows down upon the darkness, swallowing it up; and the Pleroma fills up the deficiency. These are the symbols and the images of the resurrection. He it is who makes the good.
Therefore, do not think in part, O Rheginos, nor live in conformity with this flesh for the sake of unanimity, but flee from the divisions and the fetters, and already you have the resurrection. For if he who will die knows about himself that he will die – even if he spends many years in this life, he is brought to this – why not consider yourself as risen and (already) brought to this? If you have the resurrection but continue as if you are to die – and yet that one knows that he has died – why, then, do I ignore your lack of exercise? It is fitting for each one to practice in a number of ways, and he shall be released from this Element that he may not fall into error but shall himself receive again what at first was.
These things I have received from the generosity of my Lord, Jesus Christ. I have taught you and your brethren, my sons, considering them, while I have not omitted any of the things suitable for strengthening you. But if there is one thing written which is obscure in my exposition of the Word, I shall interpret it for you (pl.) when you (pl.) ask. But now, do not be jealous of anyone who is in your number when he is able to help.
Many are looking into this which I have written to you. To these I say: Peace (be) among them and grace. I greet you and those who love you (pl.) in brotherly Love.
The Nag Hammadi Library
The Tripartite Tractate
Translated by Harold W. Attridge and Dieter Mueller
As for what we can say about the things which are exalted, what is fitting is that we begin with the Father, who is the root of the Totality, the one from whom we have received grace to speak about him.
- The Father
He existed before anything other than himself came into being. The Father is a single one, like a number, for he is the first one and the one who is only himself. Yet he is not like a solitary individual. Otherwise, how could he be a father? For whenever there is a “father,” the name “son” follows. But the single one, who alone is the Father, is like a root, with tree, branches and fruit. It is said of him that he is a father in the proper sense, since he is inimitable and immutable. Because of this, he is single in the proper sense, and is a god, because no one is a god for him nor is anyone a father to him. For he is unbegotten, and there is no other who begot him, nor another who created him. For whoever is someone’s father or his creator, he, too, has a father and creator. It is certainly possible for him to be father and creator of the one who came into being from him and the one whom he created, for he is not a father in the proper sense, nor a god, because he has someone who begot him and who created him. It is, then, only the Father and God in the proper sense that no one else begot. As for the Totalities, he is the one who begot them and created them. He is without beginning and without end.
Not only is he without end – He is immortal for this reason, that he is unbegotten – but he is also invariable in his eternal existence, in his identity, in that by which he is established, and in that by which he is great. Neither will he remove himself from that by which he is, nor will anyone else force him to produce an end which he has not ever desired. He has not had anyone who initiated his own existence. Thus, he is himself unchanged, and no one else can remove him from his existence and his identity, that in which he is, and his greatness, so that he cannot be grasped; nor is it possible for anyone else to change him into a different form, or to reduce him, or alter him or diminish him, – since this is so in the fullest sense of the truth – who is the unalterable, immutable one, with immutability clothing him.
Not only is he the one called “without a beginning” and “without an end,” because he is unbegotten and immortal; but just as he has no beginning and no end as he is, he is unattainable in his greatness, inscrutable in his wisdom, incomprehensible in his power, and unfathomable in his sweetness.
In the proper sense, he alone – the good, the unbegotten Father, and the complete perfect one – is the one filled with all his offspring, and with every virtue, and with everything of value. And he has more, that is, lack of any malice, in order that it may be discovered that whoever has anything is indebted to him, because he gives it, being himself unreachable and unwearied by that which he gives, since he is wealthy in the gifts which he bestows, and at rest in the favors which he grants.
He is of such a kind and form and great magnitude that no one else has been with him from the beginning; nor is there a place in which he is, or from which he has come forth, or into which he will go; nor is there a primordial form, which he uses as a model as he works; nor is there any difficulty which accompanies him in what he does; nor is there any material which is at his disposal, from which creates what he creates; nor any substance within him from which he begets what he begets; nor a co-worker with him, working with him on the things at which he works. To say anything of this sort is ignorant. Rather, (one should speak of him) as good, faultless, perfect, complete, being himself the Totality.
Not one of the names which are conceived or spoken, seen or grasped – not one of them applies to him, even though they are exceedingly glorious, magnifying and honored. However, it is possible to utter these names for his glory and honor, in accordance with the capacity of each of those who give him glory. Yet as for him, in his own existence, being and form, it is impossible for mind to conceive him, nor can any speech convey him, nor can any eye see him, nor can any body grasp him, because of his inscrutable greatness, and his incomprehensible depth, and his immeasurable height, and his illimitable will. This is the nature of the unbegotten one, which does not touch anything else; nor is it joined (to anything) in the manner of something which is limited. Rather, he possesses this constitution, without having a face or a form, things which are understood through perception, whence also comes (the epithet) “the incomprehensible. If he is incomprehensible, then it follows that he is unknowable, that he is the one who is inconceivable by any thought, invisible by any thing, ineffable by any word, untouchable by any hand. He alone is the one who knows himself as he is, along with his form and his greatness and his magnitude. And since he has the ability to conceive of himself, to see himself, to name himself, to comprehend himself, he alone is the one who is his own mind, his own eye, his own mouth, his own form, and he is what he thinks, what he sees, what he speaks, what he grasps, himself, the one who is inconceivable, ineffable, incomprehensible, immutable, while sustaining, joyous, true, delightful, and restful is that which he conceives, that which he sees, that about which he speaks, that which he has as thought. He transcends all wisdom, and is above all intellect, and is above all glory, and is above all beauty, and all sweetness, and all greatness, and any depth and any height.
If this one, who is unknowable in his nature, to whom pertain all the greatnesses which I already mentioned – if, out of the abundance of his sweetness, he wishes to grant knowledge, so that he might be known, he has the ability to do so. He has his Power, which is his will. Now, however, in silence he himself holds back, he who is the great one, who is the cause of bringing the Totalities into their eternal being.
It is in the proper sense that he begets himself as ineffable, since he alone is self-begotten, since he conceives of himself, and since he knows himself as he is. What is worthy of his admiration and glory and honor and praise, he produces because of the boundlessness of his greatness, and the unsearchability of his wisdom, and the immeasurability of his power, and his untasteable sweetness. He is the one who projects himself thus, as generation, having glory and honor marvelous and lovely; the one who glorifies himself, who marvels, honors, who also loves; the one who has a Son, who subsists in him, who is silent concerning him, who is the ineffable one in the ineffable one, the invisible one, the incomprehensible one, the inconceivable one in the inconceivable one. Thus, he exists in him forever. The Father, in the way we mentioned earlier, in an unbegotten way, is the one in whom he knows himself, who begot him having a thought, which is the thought of him, that is, the perception of him, which is the […] of his constitution forever. That is, however, in the proper sense, the silence and the wisdom and the grace, if it is designated properly in this way.
- The Son and the Church
Just as the Father exists in the proper sense, the one before whom there was no one else, and the one apart from whom there is no other unbegotten one, so too the Son exists in the proper sense, the one before whom there was no other, and after whom no other son exists. Therefore, he is a firstborn and an only Son, “firstborn” because no one exists before him and “only Son” because no one is after him. Furthermore, he has his fruit, that which is unknowable because of its surpassing greatness. Yet he wanted it to be known, because of the riches of his sweetness. And he revealed the unexplainable power, and he combined with it the great abundance of his generosity.
Not only did the Son exist from the beginning, but the Church, too, existed from the beginning. Now, he who thinks that the discovery that the Son is an only son opposes the statement (about the Church) because of the mysterious quality of the matter, it is not so. For just as the Father is a unity, and has revealed himself as Father for him alone, so too the Son was found to be a brother to himself alone, in virtue of the fact that he is unbegotten and without beginning. He wonders at himself, along with the Father, and he gives him(self) glory and honor and love. Furthermore, he too is the one whom he conceives of as Son, in accordance with the dispositions: “without beginning” and “without end.” Thus is the matter something which is fixed. Being innumerable and illimitable, his offspring are indivisible. Those which exist have come forth from the Son and the Father like kisses, because of the multitude of some who kiss one another with a good, insatiable thought, the kiss being a unity, although it involves many kisses. This is to say, it is the Church consisting of many men that existed before the aeons, which is called, in the proper sense, “the aeons of the aeons.” This is the nature of the holy imperishable spirits, upon which the Son rests, since it is his essence, just as the Father rests upon the Son.
- Aeonic Emanations
[…] the Church exists in the dispositions and properties in which the Father and the Son exist, as I have said from the start. Therefore, it subsists in the procreations of innumerable aeons. Also in an uncountable way they too beget, by the properties and the dispositions in which it (the Church) exists. For these comprise its association which they form toward one another and toward those who have come forth from them toward the Son, for whose glory they exist. Therefore, it is not possible for mind to conceive of him – He was the perfection of that place – nor can speech express them, for they are ineffable and unnameable and inconceivable. They alone have the ability to name themselves and to conceive of themselves. For they have not been rooted in these places.
Those of that place are ineffable, (and) innumerable in the system which is both the manner and the size, the joy, the gladness of the unbegotten, nameless, unnameable, inconceivable, invisible, incomprehensible one. It is the fullness of paternity, so that his abundance is a begetting […] of the aeons.
They were forever in thought, for the Father was like a thought and a place for them. When their generations had been established, the one who is completely in control wished to lay hold of and to bring forth that which was deficient in the […] and he brought forth those […] him. But since he is as he is, he is a spring, which is not diminished by the water which abundantly flows from it. While they were in the Father’s thought, that is, in the hidden depth, the depth knew them, but they were unable to know the depth in which they were; nor was it possible for them to know themselves, nor for them to know anything else. That is, they were with the Father; they did not exist for themselves. Rather, they only had existence in the manner of a seed, so that it has been discovered that they existed like a fetus. Like the word he begot them, subsisting spermatically, and the ones whom he was to beget had not yet come into being from him. The one who first thought of them, the Father, – not only so that they might exist for him, but also that they might exist for themselves as well, that they might then exist in his thought as mental substance and that they might exist for themselves too, – sowed a thought like a spermatic seed. Now, in order that they might know what exists for them, he graciously granted the initial form, while in order that they might recognize who is the Father who exists for them, he gave them the name “Father” by means of a voice proclaiming to them that what exists, exists through that name, which they have by virtue of the fact that they came into being, because the exaltation, which has escaped their notice, is in the name.
The infant, while in the form of a fetus has enough for itself, before ever seeing the one who sowed it. Therefore, they had the sole task of searching for him, realizing that he exists, ever wishing to find out what exists. Since, however, the perfect Father is good, just as he did not hear them at all so that they would exist (only) in his thought, but rather granted that they, too, might come into being, so also will he give them grace to know what exists, that is, the one who knows himself eternally, […] form to know what exists, just as people are begotten in this place: when they are born, they are in the light, so that they see those who have begotten them.
The Father brought forth everything, like a little child, like a drop from a spring, like a blossom from a vine, like a flower, like a […], in need of gaining nourishment and growth and faultlessness. He withheld it for a time. He who had thought of it from the very beginning, possessed it from the very beginning, and saw it, but he closed it off to those who first came from him. (He did this,) not out of envy, but in order that the aeons might not receive their faultlessness from the very beginning and might not exalt themselves to the glory, to the Father, and might think that from themselves alone they have this. But just as he wished to grant that they might come into being, so too, in order that they might come into being as faultless ones, when he wished, he gave them the perfect idea of beneficence toward them.
The one whom he raised up as a light for those who came from himself, the one from whom they take their name, he is the Son, who is full, complete and faultless. He brought him forth mingled with what came forth from him […] partaking of the […] the Totality, in accordance with […] by which each one can receive him for himself, though such was not his greatness before he was received by it. Rather, he exists by himself. As for the parts in which he exists in his own manner and form and greatness, it is possible for to see him and speak about that which they know of him, since they wear him while he wears them, because it is possible for them to comprehend him. He, however, is as he is, incomparable. In order that the Father might receive honor from each one and reveal himself, even in his ineffability, hidden, and invisible, they marvel at him mentally. Therefore, the greatness of his loftiness consists in the fact that they speak about him and see him. He becomes manifest, so that he may be hymned because of the abundance of his sweetness, with the grace of <…>. And just as the admirations of the silences are eternal generations and they are mental offspring, so too the dispositions of the word are spiritual emanations. Both of them admirations and dispositions, since they belong to a word, are seeds and thoughts of his offspring, and roots which live forever, appearing to be offspring which have come forth from themselves, being minds and spiritual offspring to the glory of the Father.
There is no need for voice and spirit, mind and word, because there is no need to work at that which they desire to do, but on the pattern by which he was existing, so are those who have come forth from him, begetting everything which they desire. And the one whom they conceive of, and whom they speak about, and the one toward whom they move, and the one in whom they are, and the one whom they hymn, thereby glorifying him, he has sons. For this is their procreative power, like those from whom they have come, according to their mutual assistance, since they assist one another like the unbegotten ones.
The Father, in accordance with his exalted position over the Totalities, being an unknown and incomprehensible one, has such greatness and magnitude, that, if he had revealed himself suddenly, quickly, to all the exalted ones among the aeons who had come forth from him, they would have perished. Therefore, he withheld his power and his inexhaustibility within that in which he is. He is ineffable and unnameable and exalted above every mind and every word. This one, however, stretched himself out and it was that which he stretched out which gave a foundation and a space and a dwelling place for the universe, a name of his being “the one through whom,” since he is Father of the All, out of his laboring for those who exist, having sown into their thought that they might seek after him. The abundance of their […] consists in the fact that they understand that he exists and in the fact that they ask what it is that was existing. This one was given to them for enjoyment and nourishment and joy and an abundance of illumination, which consists in his fellow laboring, his knowledge and his mingling with them, that is, the one who is called and is, in fact, the Son, since he is the Totalities and the one of whom they know both who he is and that it is he who clothes. This is the one who is called “Son” and the one of whom they understand that he exists and they were seeking after him. This is the one who exists as Father and (as) the one about whom they cannot speak, and the one of whom they do not conceive. This is the one who first came into being.
It is impossible for anyone to conceive of him or think of him. Or can anyone approach there, toward the exalted one, toward the preexistent in the proper sense? But all the names conceived or spoken about him are presented in honor, as a trace of him, according to the ability of each one of those who glorify him. Now he who arose from him when he stretched himself out for begetting and for knowledge on the part of the Totalities, he […] all of the names, without falsification, and he is, in the proper sense, the sole first one, the man of the Father, that is, the one whom I call
the form of the formless,
the body of the bodiless,
the face of the invisible,
the word of the unutterable,
the mind of the inconceivable,
the fountain which flowed from him,
the root of those who are planted,
and the god of those who exist,
the light of those whom he illumines,
the love of those whom he loved,
the providence of those for whom he providentially cares,
the wisdom of those whom he made wise,
the power of those to whom he gives power,
the assembly of those whom he assembles to him,
the revelation of the things which are sought after,
the eye of those who see,
the breath of those who breathe,
the life of those who live,
the unity of those who are mixed with the Totalities.
All of them exist in the single one, as he clothes himself completely and by his single name he is never called. And in this unique way they are equally the single one and the Totalities. He is neither divided as a body, nor is he separated into the names which he has received, (so that) he is one thing in this way and another in another way. Also, neither does he change in […], nor does he turn into the names which he thinks of, and become now this, now something else, this thing now being one thing and, at another time, something else, but rather he is wholly himself to the uttermost. He is each and every one of the Totalities forever at the same time. He is what all of them are. He brought the Father to the Totalities. He also is the Totalities, for he is the one who is knowledge for himself and he is each one of the properties. He has the powers and he is beyond all that which he knows, while seeing himself in himself completely and having a Son and form. Therefore, his powers and properties are innumerable and inaudible, because of the begetting by which he begets them. Innumerable and indivisible are the begettings of his words, and his commands and his Totalities. He knows them, which things he himself is, since they are in the single name, and are all speaking in it. And he brings (them) forth, in order that it might be discovered that they exist according to their individual properties in a unified way. And he did not reveal the multitude to the Totalities at once nor did he reveal his equality to those who had come forth from him.
- Aeonic Life
All those who came forth from him are the aeons of the aeons, being emanations and offspring of procreative nature, they too, in their procreative nature, have glory to the Father, as he was the cause of their establishment. This is what we said previously, namely that he creates the aeons as roots and springs and fathers, and that he is the one to whom they give glory. They have begotten, for he has knowledge and wisdom and the Totalities knew that it is from knowledge and wisdom that they have come forth. They would have brought forth a seeming honor: “The Father is the one who is the Totalities,” if the aeons had risen up to give honor individually. Therefore, in the song of glorification and in the power of the unity of him from whom they have come, they were drawn into a mingling and a combination and a unity with one another. They offered glory worthy of the Father from the pleromatic congregation, which is a single representation although many, because it was brought forth as a glory for the single one and because they came forth toward the one who is himself the Totalities. Now, this was a praise […] the one who brought forth the Totalities, being a first-fruit of the immortals and an eternal one, because, having come forth from the living aeons, being perfect and full because of the one who is perfect and full, it left full and perfect those who have given glory in a perfect way because of the fellowship. For, like the faultless Father, when he is glorified he also hears the glory which glorifies him, so as to make them manifest as that which he is.
The cause of the second honor which accrued to them is that which was returned to them from the Father when they had known the grace by which they bore fruit with one another because of the Father. As a result, just as they brought forth in glory for the Father, so too in order to appear perfect, they appeared acting by giving glory.
They were fathers of the third glory according to the independence and the power which was begotten with them, since each one of them individually does not exist so as to give glory in a unitary way to him whom he loves.
They are the first and the second and thus both of them are perfect and full, for they are manifestations of the Father who is perfect and full, as well as of those who came forth, who are perfect by the fact that they glorify the perfect one. The fruit of the third, however, consists of honors of the will of each one of the aeons, and each one of the properties. The Father has power. It exists fully, perfect in the thought which is a product of agreement, since it is a product of the individuality of the aeons. It is this which he loves and over which he has power, as it gives glory to the Father by means of it.
For this reason, they are minds of minds, which are found to be words of words, elders of elders, degrees of degrees, which are exalted above one another. Each one of those who give glory has his place and his exaltation and his dwelling and his rest, which consists of the glory which he brings forth.
All those who glorify the Father have their begetting eternally, – they beget in the act of assisting one another – since the emanations are limitless and immeasurable and since there is no envy on the part of the Father toward those who came forth from him in regard to their begetting something equal or similar to him, since he is the one who exists in the Totalities, begetting and revealing himself. Whomever he wishes, he makes into a father, of whom he in fact is Father, and a god, of whom he in fact is God, and he makes them the Totalities, whose entirety he is. In the proper sense all the names which are great are kept there, these (names) which the angels share, who have come into being in the cosmos along with the archons, although they do not have any resemblance to the eternal beings.
The entire system of the aeons has a love and a longing for the perfect, complete discovery of the Father and this is their unimpeded agreement. Though the Father reveals himself eternally, he did not wish that they should know him, since he grants that he be conceived of in such a way as to be sought for, while keeping to himself his unsearchable primordial being.
It is he, the Father, who gave root impulses to the aeons, since they are places on the path which leads toward him, as toward a school of behavior. He has extended to them faith in and prayer to him whom they do not see; and a firm hope in him of whom they do not conceive; and a fruitful love, which looks toward that which it does not see; and an acceptable understanding of the eternal mind; and a blessing, which is riches and freedom; and a wisdom of the one who desires the glory of the Father for thought.
It is by virtue of his will that the Father, the one who is exalted, is known, that is, (by virtue of) the spirit which breathes in the Totalities and it gives them an idea of seeking after the unknown one, just as one is drawn by a pleasant aroma to search for the thing from which the aroma arises, since the aroma of the Father surpasses these ordinary ones. For his sweetness leaves the aeons in ineffable pleasure and it gives them their idea of mingling with him who wants them to know him in a united way and to assist one another in the spirit which is sown within them. Though existing under a great weight, they are renewed in an inexpressible way, since it is impossible for them to be separated from that in which they are set in an uncomprehending way, because they will not speak, being silent about the Father’s glory, about the one who has power to speak, and yet they will take form from him. He revealed himself, though it is impossible to speak of him. They have him, hidden in a thought, since from this one […]. They are silent about the way the Father is in his form and his nature and his greatness, while the aeons have become worthy of knowing through his spirit that he is unnameable and incomprehensible. It is through his spirit, which is the trace of the search for him, that he provides them the ability to conceive of him and to speak about him.
Each one of the aeons is a name, , each of the properties and powers of the Father, since he exists in many names, which are intermingled and harmonious with one another. It is possible to speak of him because of the wealth of speech, just as the Father is a single name, because he is a unity, yet is innumerable in his properties and names.
The emanation of the Totalities, which exist from the one who exists, did not occur according to a separation from one another, as something cast off from the one who begets them. Rather, their begetting is like a process of extension, as the Father extends himself to those whom he loves, so that those who have come forth from him might become him as well.
Just as the present aeon, though a unity, is divided by units of time and units of time are divided into years and years are divided into seasons and seasons into months, and months into days, and days into hours, and hours into moments, so too the aeon of the Truth, since it is a unity and multiplicity, receives honor in the small and the great names according to the power of each to grasp it – by way of analogy – like a spring which is what it is, yet flows into streams and lakes and canals and branches, or like a root spread out beneath trees and branches with its fruit, or like a human body, which is partitioned in an indivisible way into members of members, primary members and secondary, great and small.
- The Imperfect Begetting by the Logos
The aeons have brought themselves forth in accord with the third fruit by the freedom of the will and by the wisdom with which he favored them for their thought. They do not wish to give honor with that which is from an agreement, though it was produced for words of praise for each of the Pleromas. Nor do they wish to give honor with the Totality. Nor do they wish (to do so) with anyone else who was originally above the depth of that one, or (above) his place, except, however, for the one who exists in an exalted name and in the exalted place, and only if he receives from the one who wished (to give honor), and takes it to him(self) for the one above him, and (only if) he begets him(self), so to speak, himself, and, through that one, begets him(self) along with that which he is, and himself becomes renewed along with the one who came upon him, by his brother, and sees him and entreats him about the matter, namely, he who wished to ascend to him.
So that it might be in this way, the one who wished to give honor does not say anything to him about this, except only that there is a limit to speech set in the Pleroma, so that they are silent about the incomprehensibility of the Father, but they speak about the one who wishes to comprehend him. It came to one of the aeons that he should attempt to grasp the incomprehensibility and give glory to it and especially to the ineffability of the Father. Since he is a Logos of the unity, he is one, though he is not from the agreement of the Totalities, nor from him who brought them forth, namely, the one who brought forth the Totality, the Father.
This aeon was among those to whom was given wisdom, so that he could become pre-existent in each one’s thought. By that which he wills, will they be produced. Therefore, he received a wise nature in order to examine the hidden basis, since he is a wise fruit; for, the free will which was begotten with the Totalities was a cause for this one, such as to make him do what he desired, with no one to restrain him.
The intent, then, of the Logos, who is this one, was good. When he had come forth, he gave glory to the Father, even if it led to something beyond possibility, since he had wanted to bring forth one who is perfect, from an agreement in which he had not been, and without having the command.
This aeon was last to have brought forth by mutual assistance, and he was small in magnitude. And before he begot anything else for the glory of the will and in agreement with the Totalities, he acted, magnanimously, from an abundant love, and set out toward that which surrounds the perfect glory, for it was not without the will of the Father that the Logos was produced, which is to say, not without it will he go forth. But he, the Father, had brought him forth for those about whom he knew that it was fitting that they should come into being.
The Father and the Totalities drew away from him, so that the limit which the Father had set might be established – for it is not from grasping the incomprehensibility but by the will of the Father, – and furthermore, (they withdrew) so that the things which have come to be might become an organization which would come into being. If it were to come, it would not come into being by the manifestation of the Pleroma. Therefore, it is not fitting to criticize the movement which is the Logos, but it is fitting that we should say about the movement of the Logos that it is a cause of an organization which has been destined to come about.
The Logos himself caused it to happen, being complete and unitary, for the glory of the Father, whom he desired, and (he did so) being content with it, but those whom he wished to take hold of firmly he begot in shadows and copies and likenesses. For, he was not able to bear the sight of the light, but he looked into the depth and he doubted. Out of this there was a division – he became deeply troubled – and a turning away because of his self-doubt and division, forgetfulness and ignorance of himself and which is.
His self-exaltation and his expectation of comprehending the incomprehensible became firm for him and was in him. But the sicknesses followed him when he went beyond himself, having come into being from self-doubt, namely from the fact that he did not the glories of the Father, the one whose exalted status is among things unlimited. This one did not attain him, for he did not receive him.
The one whom he himself brought forth as a unitary aeon rushed up to that which is his and this kin of his in the Pleroma abandoned him who came to be in the defect along with those who had come forth from him in an imaginary way, since they are not his.
When he who produced himself as perfect actually did bring himself forth, he became weak like a female nature which has abandoned its virile counterpart.
From that which was deficient in itself there came those things which came into being from his thought and his arrogance, but from that which is perfect in him he left it and raised himself up to those who are his. He was in the Pleroma as a remembrance for him so that he would be saved from his arrogance.
The one who ran on high and the one who drew him to himself were not barren, but in bringing forth a fruit in the Pleroma, they upset those who were in the defect.
Like the Pleromas are the things which came into being from the arrogant thought, which are their (the Pleromas’) likenesses, copies, shadows, and phantasms, lacking reason and the light, these which belong to the vain thought, since they are not products of anything. Therefore, their end will be like their beginning: from that which did not exist (they are) to return once again to that which will not be. It is they, however, by themselves who are greater, more powerful, and more honored than the names which are given to them, which are their shadows. In the manner of a reflection are they beautiful. For the face of the copy normally takes its beauty from that of which it is a copy.
They thought of themselves that they are beings existing by themselves and are without a source, since they do not see anything else existing before them. Therefore, they lived in disobedience and acts of rebellion, without having humbled themselves before the one because of whom they came into being.
They wanted to command one another, overcoming one another in their vain ambition, while the glory which they possess contains a cause of the system which was to be.
They are likenesses of the things which are exalted. They were brought to a lust for power in each one of them, according to the greatness of the name of which each is a shadow, each one imagining that it is superior to his fellows.
The thought of these others was not barren, but just like of which they are shadows, all that they thought about they have as potential sons; those of whom they thought they had as offspring. Therefore, it happened that many offspring came forth from them, as fighters, as warriors, as troublemakers, as apostates. They are disobedient beings, lovers of power. All the other beings of this sort were brought forth from these.
- The Conversion of the Logos
The Logos was a cause of those who came into being and he continued all the more to be at a loss and he was astonished. Instead of perfection, he saw a defect; instead of unification, he saw division; instead of stability, he saw disturbances; instead of rests, tumults. Neither was it possible for him to make them cease from loving disturbance, nor was it possible for him to destroy it. He was completely powerless, once his totality and his exaltation abandoned him.
Those who had come into being not knowing themselves both did not know the Pleromas from which they came forth and did not know the one who was the cause of their existence.
The Logos, being in such unstable conditions, did not continue to bring forth anything like emanations, the things which are in the Pleroma, the glories which exist for the honor of the Father. Rather, he brought forth little weaklings, hindered) by the illnesses by which he too was hindered. It was the likeness of the disposition which was a unity, that which was the cause of the things which do not themselves exist from the first.
Until the one who brought forth into the defect these things which were thus in need, until he judged those who came into being because of him contrary to reason – which is the judgment which became a condemnation – he struggled against them unto destruction, that is, the ones who struggled against the condemnation and whom the wrath pursues, while it (the wrath) accepts and redeems (them) from their (false) opinion and apostasy, since from it is the conversion which is also called “metanoia.” The Logos turned to another opinion and another thought. Having turned away from evil, he turned toward the good things. Following the conversion came the thought of the things which exist and the prayer for the one who converted himself to the good.
The one who is in the Pleroma was what he first prayed to and remembered; then (he remembered) his brothers individually and (yet) always with one another; then all of them together; but before all of them, the Father. The prayer of the agreement was a help for him in his own return and (in that of) the Totality, for a cause of his remembering those who have existed from the first was his being remembered. This is the thought which calls out from afar, bringing him back.
All his prayer and remembering were numerous powers according to that limit. For there is nothing barren in his thought.
The powers were good and were greater than those of the likeness. For those belonging to the likeness also belong to a nature of falsehood. From an illusion of similarity and a thought of arrogance has come about that which they became. And they originate from the thought which first knew them.
To what do the former beings pertain? They are like forgetfulness and heavy sleep; being like those who dream troubled dreams, to whom sleep comes while they – those who dream – are oppressed. The others are like some creatures of light for him, looking for the rising of the sun, since it happened that they saw in him dreams which are truly sweet. It immediately put a stop to the emanations of the thought. They did not any longer have their substance and also they did not have honor any longer.
Though he is not equal to those who pre-existed, if they were superior to the likenesses, it was he alone through whom they were more exalted than those, for they are not from a good intent.
It was not from the sickness which came into being that they were produced, from which is the good intent, but (from) the one who sought after the pre-existent. Once he had prayed, he both raised himself to the good and sowed in them a pre-disposition to seek and pray to the glorious pre-existent one, and he sowed in them a thought about him and an idea, so that they should think that something greater than themselves exists prior to them, although they did not understand what it was. Begetting harmony and mutual love through that thought, they acted in unity and unanimity, since from unity and from unanimity they have received their very being.
They were stronger than them in the lust for power, for they were more honored than the first ones, who had been raised above them. Those had not humbled themselves. They thought about themselves that they were beings originating from themselves alone and were without a source. As they brought forth at first according to their own birth, the two orders assaulted one another, fighting for command because of their manner of being. As a result, they were submerged in forces and natures in accord with the condition of mutual assault, having lust for power and all other things of this sort. It is from these that the vain love of glory draws all of them to the desire of the lust for power, while none of them has the exalted thought nor acknowledges it.
The powers of this thought are prepared in the works of the pre-existent , those of which they are the representations. For the order of those of this sort had mutual harmony, but it fought against the order of those of the likeness, while the order of those of the likeness wages war against the representations and acts against it alone, because of its wrath. From this it […] them […] one another, many […] necessity appointed them […] and might prevail […] was not a multitude, […] and their envy and their […] and their wrath and violence and desire and prevailing ignorance produce empty matters and powers of various sorts, mixed in great number with one another; while the mind of the Logos, who was a cause of their begetting, was open to a revelation of the hope which would come to him from above.
- The Emanation of the Savior
The Logos which moved had the hope and the expectation of him who is exalted. As for those of the shadow, he separated himself from them in every way, since they fight against him and are not at all humble before him. He was content with the beings of the thought. And as for the one who is set up in this way and who is within the exalted boundary, remembering the one who is defective, the Logos brought him forth in an invisible way, among those who came into being according to the thought, according to the one who was with them, until the light shone upon him from above as a lifegiver, the one who was begotten by the thought of brotherly love of the pre-existent Pleromas.
The stumbling, which happened to the aeons of the Father of the Totalities who did not suffer, was brought to them, as if it were their own, in a careful and non-malicious and immensely sweet way. It was brought to the Totalities so that they might be instructed about the defect by the single one, from whom alone they all received strength to eliminate the defects.
The order which was his came into being from him who ran on high and that which brought itself forth from him and from the entire perfection. The one who ran on high became for the one who was defective an intercessor with the emanation of the aeons which had come into being in accord with the things which exist. When he prayed to them, they consented joyously and willingly, since they were in agreement, and with harmonious consent, to aid the defective one. They gathered together, asking the Father with beneficent intent that there be aid from above, from the Father, for his glory, since the defective one could not become perfect in any other way, unless it was the will of the Pleroma of the Father, which he had drawn to himself, revealed, and given to the defective one. Then from the harmony, in a joyous willingness which had come into being, they brought forth the fruit, which was a begetting from the harmony, a unity, a possession of the Totalities, revealing the countenance of the Father, of whom the aeons thought as they gave glory and prayed for help for their brother with a wish in which the Father counted himself with them. Thus, it was willingly and gladly that they bring forth the fruit. And he made manifest the agreement of the revelation of his union with them, which is his beloved Son. But the Son in whom the Totalities are pleased put himself on them as a garment, through which he gave perfection to the defective one, and gave confirmation to those who are perfect, the one who is properly called “Savior” and “the Redeemer” and “the Well-Pleasing one” and “the Beloved,” “the one to whom prayers have been offered” and “the Christ” and “the Light of those appointed,” in accordance with the ones from whom he was brought forth, since he has become the names of the positions which were given to him. Yet, what other name may be applied to him except “the Son,” as we previously said, since he is the knowledge of the Father, whom he wanted them to know?
Not only did the aeons generate the countenance of the Father to whom they gave praise, which was written previously, but also they generated their own; for the aeons who give glory generated their countenance and their face. They were produced as an army for him, as for a king, since the beings of the thought have a powerful fellowship and an intermingled harmony. They came forth in a multifaceted form, in order that the one to whom help was to be given might see those to whom he had prayed for help. He also sees the one who gave it to him.
The fruit of the agreement with him, of which we previously spoke, is subject to the power of the Totalities. For the Father has set the Totalities within him, both the ones which pre-exist and the ones which are, and the ones which will be. He was capable (of doing it). He revealed those which he had placed within him. He did not give them, when he entrusted them to him. He directed the organization of the universe according to the authority which was given him from the first and (according to) the power of the task. Thus, he began and effected his revelation.
The one in whom the Father is and the one in whom the Totalities are created before the one who lacked sight. He instructed him about those who searched for their sight, by means of the shining of that perfect light. He first perfected him in ineffable joy. He perfected him for himself as a perfect one and he also gave him what is appropriate to each individual. For this is the determination of the first joy. And sowed in him in an invisible way a word which is destined to be knowledge. And he gave him power to separate and cast out from himself those who are disobedient to him. Thus, he made himself manifest to him. But to those who came into being because of him he revealed a form surpassing them. They acted in a hostile way toward one another. Suddenly he revealed himself to them, approaching them in the form of lightning. And in putting an end to the entanglement which they have with one another he stopped it by the sudden revelation, which they were not informed about, did not expect, and did not know of. Because of this, they were afraid and fell down, since they were not able to bear the appearance of the light which struck them. The one who appeared was an assault for the two orders. Just as the beings of thought had been given the name “little one,” so they have a faint notion that they have the exalted one, he exists before them, and they have sown within them an attitude of amazement at the exalted one who will become manifest. Therefore, they welcomed his revelation and they worshipped him. They became convinced witnesses to . They acknowledged the light which had come into being as one stronger than those who fought against them. The beings of the likeness, however, were exceedingly afraid, since they were not able to hear about him in the beginning, that there is a vision of this sort. Therefore they fell down to the pit of ignorance which is called “the Outer Darkness,” and “Chaos” and “Hades” and “the Abyss.” He set up what was beneath the order of the beings of thought, as it was stronger than they. They were worthy of ruling over the unspeakable darkness, since it is theirs and is the lot which was assigned to them. He granted them that they, too, should be of use for the organization which was to come, to which he had assigned them.
There is a great difference between the revelation of the one who came into being to the one who was defective and to those things which are to come into being because of him. For he revealed himself to him within him, since he is with him, is a fellow sufferer with him, gives him rest little by little, makes him grow, lifts him up, gives himself to him completely for enjoyment from a vision. But to those who fall outside, he revealed himself quickly and in a striking way and he withdrew to himself suddenly without having let them see him.
- The Pleroma of the Logos
When the Logos which was defective was illumined, his Pleroma began. He escaped those who had disturbed him at first. He became unmixed with them. He stripped off that arrogant thought. He received mingling with the Rest, when those who had been disobedient to him at first bent down and humbled themselves before him. And he rejoiced over the visitation of his brothers who had visited him. He gave glory and praise to those who had become manifest as a help to him, while he gave thanks, because he had escaped those who revolted against him, and admired and honored the greatness and those who had appeared to him in a determined way. He generated manifest images of the living visages, pleasing among things which are good, existing among the things which exist, resembling them in beauty, but unequal to them in truth, since they are not from an agreement with him, between the one who brought them forth and the one who revealed himself to him. But in wisdom and knowledge he acts, mingling the Logos with him(self) entirely. Therefore, those which came forth from him are great, just as that which is truly great.
After he was amazed at the beauty of the ones who had appeared to him, he professed gratitude for this visitation. The Logos performed this activity, through those from whom he had received aid, for the stability of those who had come into being because of him and so that they might receive something good, since he thought to pray for the organization of all those who came forth from him, which is stabilized, so that it might make them established. Therefore, those whom he intentionally produced are in chariots, just as those who came into being, those who have appeared, so that they might pass through every place of things which are below, so that each one might be given the place which is constituted as he is. This is destruction for the beings of the likeness, yet is an act of beneficence for the beings of the thought, a revelation Dittography of those who are from the ordinance, which was a unity while suffering, while they are seeds, which have not come to be by themselves.
The one who appeared was a countenance of the Father and of the harmony. He was a garment (composed) of every grace, and food which is for those whom the Logos brought forth while praying and giving glory and honor. This is the one whom he glorified and honored while looking to those to whom he prayed, so that he might perfect them through the images which he had brought forth.
The Logos added even more to their mutual assistance and to the hope of the promise, since they have joy and abundant rest and undefiled pleasures. He generated those whom he remembered at first, when they were not with him, (he generated them) having the perfection. Dittography Now, while he who belongs to the vision is with him, he exists in hope and faith in the perfect Father, as much as the Totalities. He appears to him before he mingles with him, in order that the things which have come into being might not perish by looking upon the light, for they cannot accept the great, exalted stature.
The thought of the Logos, who had returned to his stability and ruled over those who had come into being because of him, was called “Aeon” and “Place” of all those whom he had brought forth in accord with the ordinance, and it is also called “Synagogue of Salvation,” because he healed him(self) from the dispersal, which is the multifarious thought, and returned to the single thought. Similarly, it is called “Storehouse,” because of the rest which he obtained, giving (it) to himself alone. And it is also called “Bride,” because of the joy of the one who gave himself to him in the hope of fruit from the union, and who appeared to him. It is also called “Kingdom,” because of the stability which he received, while he rejoices at the domination over those who fought him. And it is called “the Joy of the Lord,” because of the gladness in which he clothed himself. With him is the light, giving him recompense for the good things which are in him, and (with him is) the thought of freedom.
The aeon of which we previously spoke is above the two orders of those who fight against one another. It is not a companion of those who hold dominion and is not implicated in the illnesses and weaknesses, things belonging to the thought and to the likeness.
That in which the Logos set himself, perfect in joy, was an aeon, having the form of matter, but also having the constitution of the cause, which is the one who revealed himself. (The aeon was) an image of those things which are in the Pleroma, those things which came into being from the abundance of the enjoyment of the one who exists joyously. Moreover, the countenance of the one who revealed himself, was in the sincerity and the attentiveness and the promise concerning the things for which he asked. It had the designation of the Son and his essence and his power and his form, who is the one whom he loved and in whom he was pleased, who was entreated in a loving way. It was light and was a desire to be established and an openness for instruction and an eye for vision, qualities which it had from the exalted ones. It was also wisdom for his thinking in opposition to the things beneath the organization. It was also a word for speaking and the perfection of the things of this sort. And it is these who took form with him, but according to the image of the Pleroma, having their fathers who are the ones who gave them life, each one being a copy of each one of the faces, which are forms of maleness, since they are not from the illness which is femaleness, but are from this one who already has left behind the sickness. It has the name “the Church,” for in harmony they resemble the harmony in the assembly of those who have revealed themselves.
That which came into being in the image of the light, it too is perfect, inasmuch as it is an image of the one existing light, which is the Totalities. Even if it was inferior to the one of whom it is an image, nevertheless it has its indivisibility, because it is a countenance of the indivisible light. Those, however, who came into being in the image of each one of the aeons, they in essence are in the one whom we previously mentioned, but in power they are not equal, because it (the power) is in each of them. In this mingling with one another they have equality, but each one has not cast off what is peculiar to itself. Therefore, they are passions, for passion is sickness, since they are productions not of the agreement of the Pleroma, but of this one, prematurely, before he received the Father. Hence, the agreement with his Totality and will was something beneficial for the organization which was to come. It was granted them to pass through the places which are below, since the places are unable to accommodate their sudden, hasty coming, unless (they come) individually, one by one. Their coming is necessary, since by them will everything be perfected.
In short, the Logos received the vision of all things, those which pre-exist, and those which are now, and those which will be, since he has been entrusted with the organization of all that which exists. Some things are already in things which are fit for coming into being, but the seeds which are to be he has within himself, because of the promise which belonged to that which he conceived, as something belonging to seeds which are to be. And he produced his offspring, that is, the revelation of that which he conceived. For a while, however, the seed of promise is guarded, so that those who have been appointed for a mission might be appointed by the coming of the Savior and of those who are with him, the ones who are first in knowledge and glory of the Father.
- The Organization
It is fitting, from the prayer which he made and the conversion which occurred because of it, that some should perish, while others benefit, and still others be set apart. He first prepared the punishment of those who are disobedient, making use of a power of the one who appeared, the one from whom he received authority over all things, so as to be separate from him. He is the one who is below, and he also keeps himself apart from that which is exalted, until he prepares the organization of all those things which are external, and gives to each the place which is assigned to it.
The Logos established him(self) at first, when he beautified the Totalities, as a basic principle and cause and ruler of the things which came to be, like the Father, the one who was the cause of the establishment, which was the first to exist after him. He created the pre-existent images, which he brought forth in thanks and glorification. Then he beautified the place of those whom he had brought forth in glory, which is called “Paradise” and “the Enjoyment” and “the Joy full of sustenance” and “the Joy,” which pre-exist. And of every goodness which exists in the Pleroma, it preserves the image. Then he beautified the kingdom, like a city filled with everything pleasing, which is brotherly love and the great generosity, which is filled with the holy spirits and the mighty powers which govern them, which the Logos produced and established in power. Then (he beautified) the place of the Church which assembles in this place, having the form of the Church which exists in the aeons, which glorifies the Father. After these (he beautified) the place of the faith and obedience (which arises) from hope, which things the Logos received when the light appeared; then (he beautified the place of) the disposition, which is prayer and supplication, which were followed by forgiveness and the word concerning the one who would appear.
All the spiritual places are in spiritual power. They are separate from the beings of the thought, since the power is established in an image, which is that which separates the Pleroma from the Logos, while the power which is active in prophesying about the things which will be, directs the beings of the thought which have come into being toward that which is pre-existent, and it does not permit them to mix with the things which have come into being through a vision of the things which are with him.
The beings of the thought which is outside are humble; they preserve the representation of the pleromatic, especially because of the sharing in the names by which they are beautiful.
The conversion is humble toward the beings of the thought, and the law, too, is humble toward them, (the law) of the judgment, which is the condemnation and the wrath. Also humble toward them is the power which separates those who fall below them, sends them far off and does not allow them to spread out over the beings of the thought and the conversion, which (power) consists in fear and perplexity and forgetfulness and astonishment and ignorance and the things which have come into being in the manner of a likeness, through fantasy. And these things, too, which were in fact lowly, are given the exalted names. There is no knowledge for those who have come forth from them with arrogance and lust for power and disobedience and falsehood.
To each one he gave a name, since the two orders are in a name. Those belonging to the thought and those of the representation are called “the Right Ones” and “Psychic” and “the Fiery Ones” and “the Middle Ones.” Those who belong to the arrogant thought and those of the likeness are called “the Left”, “Hylic”, “the Dark Ones,” and “the Last.”
After the Logos established each one in his order, both the images and the representations and the likenesses, he kept the aeon of the images pure from all those who fight against it, since it is a place of joy. However, to those of the thought he revealed the thought which he had stripped from himself, desiring to draw them into a material union, for the sake of their system and dwelling place, and in order that they might also bring forth an impulse for diminution from their attraction to evil, so that they might not any more rejoice in the glory of their environment and be dissolved, but might rather see their sickness in which they suffer, so that they might beget love and continuous searching after the one who is able to heal them of the inferiority. Also over those who belong to the likeness, he set the word of beauty, so that he might bring them into a form. He also set over them the law of judgment. Again, he set over them the powers which the roots had produced in their lust for power. He appointed them as rulers over them, so that, either by the support of the word which is beautiful, or by the threat of the law, or by the power of lust for power, the order might be preserved from those who have reduced it to evil, while the Logos is pleased with them, since they are useful for the organization.
The Logos knows the agreement in the lust for power of the two orders. To these and to all the others, he graciously granted their desire. He gave to each one the appropriate rank, and it was ordered that each one be a ruler over a place and an activity. He yields to the place of the one more exalted than himself, in order to command the other places in an activity which is in the allotted activity which falls to him to have control over because of his mode of being. As a result, there are commanders and subordinates in positions of domination and subjection among the angels and archangels, while the activities are of various types and are different. Each one of the archons with his race and his perquisites to which his lot has claim, just as they appeared, each was on guard, since they have been entrusted with the organization and none lacks a command and none is without kingship from the end of the heavens to the end of the earth, even to the foundations of the earth, and to the places beneath the earth. There are kings, there are lords and those who give commands, some for administering punishment, others for administering justice, still others for giving rest and healing, others for teaching, others for guarding.
Over all the archons he appointed an Archon with no one commanding him. He is the lord of all of them, that is, the countenance which the Logos brought forth in his thought as a representation of the Father of the Totalities. Therefore, he is adorned with every which a representation of him, since he is characterized by every property and glorious quality. For he too is called “father” and god” and “demiurge” and “king” and “judge” and “place” and “dwelling” and “law.”
The Logos uses him as a hand, to beautify and work on the things below, and he uses him as a mouth, to say the things which will be prophesied.
The things which he has spoken he does. When he saw that they were great and good and wonderful, he was pleased and rejoiced, as if he himself in his own thought had been the one to say them and do them, not knowing that the movement within him is from the spirit who moves him in a determined way toward those things which he wants.
In regard to the things which came into being from him, he spoke of them, and they came into being as a representation of the spiritual places which we mentioned previously in the discussion about the images.
Not only he work, but also, as the one who is appointed as father of his organization, he engendered by himself and by the seeds, yet also by the spirit which is elect and which will descend through him to the places which are below. Not only does he speak spiritual words of his own, in an invisible way, (he speaks) through the spirit which calls out and begets things greater than his own essence.
Since in his essence he is a “god” and “father” and all the rest of the honorific titles, he was thinking that they were elements of his own essence. He established a rest for those who obey him, but for those who disobey him, he also established punishments. With him, too, there is a paradise and a kingdom and everything else which exists in the aeon which exists before him. They are more valuable than the imprints, because of the thought which is connected with them, which is like a shadow and a garment, so to speak, because he does not see in what way the things which exist actually do exist.
He established workers and servants, assisting in what he will do and what he will say, for in every place where he worked he left his countenance in his beautiful name, effecting and speaking of the things which he thinks about.
He established in his place images of the light which appeared and of those things which are spiritual, though they were of his own essence. For, thus they were honored in every place by him, being pure, from the countenance of the one who appointed them, and they were established: paradises and kingdoms and rests and promises and multitudes of servants of his will, and though they are lords of dominions, they are set beneath the one who is lord, the one who appointed them.
After he listened to him in this way, properly, about the lights, which are the source and the system, he set them over the beauty of the things below. The invisible spirit moved him in this way, so that he would wish to administer through his own servant, whom he too used, as a hand and as a mouth and as if he were his face, (and his servant is) the things which he brings, order and threat and fear, in order that those with whom he has done what is ignorant might despise the order which was given for them to keep, since they are fettered in the bonds of the archons, which are on them securely.
The whole establishment of matter is divided into three. The strong powers which the spiritual Logos brought forth from fantasy and arrogance, he established in the first spiritual rank. Then those (powers) which these produced by their lust for power, he set in the middle area, since they are powers of ambition, so that they might exercise dominion and give commands with compulsion and force to the establishment which is beneath them. Those which came into being through envy and jealousy, and all the other offspring from dispositions of this sort, he set in a servile order controlling the extremities, commanding all those which exist and all (the realm of) generation, from whom come rapidly destroying illnesses, who eagerly desire begetting, who are something in the place where they are from and to which they will return. And therefore, he appointed over them authoritative powers, acting continuously on matter, in order that the offspring of those which exist might also exist continuously. For this is their glory.
- The Creation of Material Humanity
The matter which flows through its form (is) a cause by which the invisibility which exists through the powers […] for them all, for […], as they beget before them and destroy.
The thought which is set between those of the right and those of the left is a power of begetting. All those which the first ones will wish to make, so to speak, a projection of theirs, like a shadow cast from and following a body, those things which are the roots of the visible creations, namely, the entire preparation of the adornment of the images and representations and likenesses, have come into being because of those who need education and teaching and formation, so that the smallness might grow, little by little, as through a mirror image. For it was for this reason that he created mankind at the end, having first prepared and provided for him the things which he had created for his sake.
Like that of all else is the creation of mankind as well. The spiritual Logos moved him invisibly, as he perfected him through the Demiurge and his angelic servants, who shared in the act of fashioning in multitudes, when he took counsel with his archons. Like a shadow is earthly man, so that he might be like those who are cut off from the Totalities. Also he is something prepared by all of them, those of the right and those of the left, since each one in the orders gives a form to the […] in which it exists.
The […] which the Logos who was defective brought forth, who was in the sickness, did not resemble him, because he brought it forth forgetfully, ignorantly, and defectively, and in all the other weak ways, although the Logos gave the first form through the Demiurge out of ignorance, so that he would learn that the exalted one exists, and would know that he needs him. This is what the prophet called “Living Spirit” and “Breath of the exalted aeons” and “the Invisible,” and this is the living soul which has given life to the power which was dead at first. For that which is dead is ignorance.
It is fitting that we explain about the soul of the first human being, that it is from the spiritual Logos, while the creator thinks that it is his, since it is from him, as from a mouth through which one breathes. The creator also sent down souls from his substance, since he, too, has a power of procreation, because he is something which has come into being from the representation of the Father. Also those of the left brought forth, as it were, men of their own, since they have the likeness of .
The spiritual substance is a single thing and a single representation, and its weakness is the determination in many forms. As for the substance of the psychics, its determination is double, since it has the knowledge and the confession of the exalted one, and it is not inclined to evil, because of the inclination of the thought. As for the material substance, its way is different and in many forms, and it was a weakness which existed in many types of inclination.
The first human being is a mixed formation, and a mixed creation, and a deposit of those of the left and those of the right, and a spiritual word whose attention is divided between each of the two substances from which he takes his being. Therefore, it is said that a paradise was planted for him, so that he might eat of the food of three kinds of tree, since it is a garden of the threefold order, and since it is that which gives enjoyment.
The noble elect substance which is in him was more exalted. It created and it did not wound them. Therefore they issued a command, making a threat and bringing upon him a great danger, which is death. Only the enjoyment of the things which are evil did he allow him to taste, and from the other tree with the double (fruit) he did not allow him to eat, much less from the tree of life, so that they would not acquire honor […] them, and so that they would not be […] by the evil power which is called “the serpent.” And he is more cunning than all the evil powers. He led man astray through the determination of those things which belong to the thought and the desires. made him transgress the command, so that he would die. And he was expelled from every enjoyment of that place.
This is the expulsion which was made for him, when he was expelled from the enjoyments of the things which belong to the likeness and those of the representation. It was a work of providence, so that it might be found that it is a short time until man will receive the enjoyment of the things which are eternally good, in which is the place of rest. This the spirit ordained when he first planned that man should experience the great evil, which is death, that is complete ignorance of the Totality, and that he should experience all the evils which come from this and, after the deprivations and cares which are in these, that he should receive of the greatest good, which is life eternal, that is, firm knowledge of the Totalities and the reception of all good things. Because of the transgression of the first man, death ruled. It was accustomed to slay every man in the manifestation of its domination, which had been given it as a kingdom because of the organization of the Father’s will, of which we spoke previously.
- The Variety of Theologies
If both the orders, those on the right and those on the left, are brought together with one another by the thought which is set between them, which gives them their organization with each other, it happens that they both act with the same emulation of their deeds, with those of the right resembling those of the left, and those of the left resembling those of the right. And if at times the evil order begins to do evil in a foolish way, the order emulates, in the form of a man of violence, also doing what is evil, as if it were a power of a man of violence. At other times the foolish order attempts to do good, making itself like it, since the hidden order, too, is zealous to do it. Just as it is in the things which are established, so (it is) in the things which have come to be. Since they bring things unlike one another, those who were not instructed were unable to know the cause of the things which exist. Therefore, they have introduced other types (of explanation), some saying that it is according to providence that the things which exist have their being. These are the people who observe the stability and the conformity of the movement of creation. Others say that it is something alien. These are people who observe the diversity and the lawlessness and the evil of the powers. Others say that the things which exist are what is destined to happen. These are the people who were occupied with this matter. Others say that it is something in accordance with nature. Others say that it is a self-existent. The majority, however, all who have reached as far as the visible elements, do not know anything more than them.
Those who were wise among the Greeks and the barbarians have advanced to the powers which have come into being by way of imagination and vain thought. Those who have come from these, in accord with the mutual conflict and rebellious manner active in them, also spoke in a likely, arrogant and imaginary way concerning the things which they thought of as wisdom, although the likeness deceived them, since they thought that they had attained the truth, when they had (only) attained error. (They did so) not simply in minor appellations, but the powers themselves seem to hinder them, as if they were the Totality. Therefore, the order was caught up in fighting itself alone, because of the arrogant hostility of one of the offspring of the archon who is superior, who exists before him. Therefore, nothing was in agreement with its fellows, nothing, neither philosophy nor types of medicine nor types of rhetoric nor types of music nor types of logic, but they are opinions and theories. Ineffability held sway in confusion, because of the indescribable quality of those who hold sway, who give them thoughts.
Now, as for the things which came forth from the of the Hebrews, things which are written by the hylics who speak in the fashion of the Greeks, the powers of those who think about all of them, so to speak, the “right ones,” the powers which move them all to think of words and a representation, they them, and they grasped so as to attain the truth and used the confused powers which act in them. Afterwards they attained to the order of the unmixed ones, the one which is established, the unity which exists as a representation of the representation of the Father. It is not invisible in its nature, but a wisdom envelops it, so that it might preserve the form of the truly invisible one. Therefore, many angels have not been able to see it. Also, other men of the Hebrew race, of whom we already spoke, namely the righteous ones and the prophets, did not think of anything and did not say anything from imagination or through a likeness or from esoteric thinking, but each one by the power which was at work in him, and while listening to the things which he saw and heard, spoke of them in […]. They have a unified harmony with one another after the manner of those who worked in them, since they preserve the connection and the mutual harmony primarily by the confession of the one more exalted than they. And there is one who is greater than they, who was appointed since they have need of him, and whom the spiritual Logos begot along with them as one who needs the exalted one, in hope and expectation in accord with the thought which is the seed of salvation. And he is an illuminating word, which consists of the thought and his offspring and his emanations. Since the righteous ones and the prophets, whom we have previously mentioned, preserve the confession and the testimony concerning the one who is great, made by their fathers who were looking for the hope and the hearing, in them is sown the seed of prayer and the searching, which is sown in many who have searched for strengthening. It appears and draws them to love the exalted one, to proclaim these things as pertaining to a unity. And it was a unity which worked in them when they spoke. Their vision and their words do not differ because of the multitude of those who have given them the vision and the word. Therefore, those who have listened to what they have said concerning this do not reject any of it, but have accepted the scriptures in an altered way. By interpreting them, they established many heresies which exist to the present among the Jews. Some say that God is one, who made a proclamation in the ancient scriptures. Others say that he is many. Some say that God is simple and was a single mind in nature. Others say that his activity is linked with the establishment of good and evil. Still others say that he is the creator of that which has come into being. Still others say that it was by the angels that he created.
The multitude of ideas of this sort is the multitude of forms and the abundance of types of scripture, that which produced their teachers of the Law. The prophets, however, did not say anything of their own accord, but each one of them (spoke) of the things which he had seen and heard through the proclamation of the Savior. This is what he proclaimed, with the main subject of their proclamation being that which each said concerning the coming of the Savior, which is this coming. Sometimes the prophets speak about it as if it will be. Sometimes (it is) as if the Savior speaks from their mouths, saying that the Savior will come and show favor to those who have not known him. They have not all joined with one another in confessing anything, but each one, on the basis of the thing from which he received power to speak about him, and on the basis of the place which he saw, thinks that it is from it that he will be begotten, and that he will come from that place. Not one of them knew whence he would come nor by whom he would be begotten, but he alone is the one of whom it is worthy to speak, the one who will be begotten and will suffer. Concerning that which he previously was and that which he is eternally – an unbegotten, impassible one from the Logos, who came into being in flesh – he did not come into their thought. And this is the account which they received an impulse to give concerning his flesh which was to appear. They say that it is a production from all of them, but that before all things it is from the spiritual Logos, who is the cause of the things which have come into being, from whom the Savior received his flesh. He had conceived at the revelation of the light, according to the word of the promise, at his revelation from the seminal state. For the one who exists is not a seed of the things which exist, since he was begotten at the end. But to the one by whom the Father ordained the manifestation of salvation, who is the fulfillment of the promise, to him belonged all these instruments for entry into life, through which he descended. His Father is one, and alone is truly a father to him, the invisible, unknowable, the incomprehensible in his nature, who alone is God in his will and his form, who has granted that he might be seen, known, and comprehended.
- The Incarnate Savior and his Companions
He it is who was our Savior in willing compassion, who is that which they were. For it was for their sake that he became manifest in an involuntary suffering. They became flesh and soul, that is, eternally which (things) hold them and with corruptible things they die. And as for those who came into being, the invisible one taught them invisibly about himself.
Not only did he take upon the death of those whom he thought to save, but he also accepted their smallness to which they had descended when they were in body and soul. (He did so) because he had let himself be conceived and born as an infant, in body and soul.
Among all the others who shared in them, and those who fell and received the light, he came into being exalted, because he had let himself be conceived without sin, stain and defilement. He was begotten in life, being in life because the former and the latter are in passion and changing opinion from the Logos who moved, who established them to be body and soul. He it is has taken to himself the one who came from those whom we previously mentioned.
He came into being from the glorious vision and the unchanging thought of the Logos who returned to himself, after his movement, from the organization, just as those who came with him took body and soul and a confirmation and stability and judgment of things. They too intended to come.
When they thought of the Savior they came, and they came when he knew; they also came more exalted in the emanation according to the flesh than those who had been brought forth from a defect, because in this way they, too, received their bodily emanation, along with the body of the Savior, through the revelation and the mingling with him. These others were those of one substance, and it indeed is the spiritual (substance). The organization is different. This is one thing, that is another. Some come forth from passion and division, needing healing. Others are from prayer, so that they heal the sick, when they have been appointed to treat those who have fallen. These are the apostles and the evangelists. They are the disciples of the Savior, and teachers who need instruction. Why, then, did they, too, share in the passions in which those who have been brought forth from passion share, if indeed they are bodily productions in accordance with the organization and Savior, who did not share in the passions?
The Savior was an image of the unitary one, he who is the Totality in bodily form. Therefore, he preserved the form of indivisibility, from which comes impassability. They, however, are images of each thing which became manifest. Therefore, they assume division from the pattern, having taken form for the planting which exists beneath the heaven. This also is what shares in the evil which exists in the places which they have reached. For the will held the Totality under sin, so that by that will he might have mercy on the Totality and they might be saved, while a single one alone is appointed to give life, and all the rest need salvation. Therefore, it was from (reasons) of this sort that it began to receive grace to give the honors which were proclaimed by Jesus, which were suitable for him to proclaim to the rest, since a seed of the promise of Jesus Christ was set up, whom we have served in (his) revelation and union. Now the promise possessed the instruction and the return to what they are from the first, from which they possess the drop, so as to return to him, which is that which is called “the redemption.” And it is the release from the captivity and the acceptance of freedom. In its places, the captivity of those who were slaves of ignorance holds sway. The freedom is the knowledge of the truth which existed before the ignorance was ruling, forever without beginning and without end, being something good, and a salvation of things, and a release from the servile nature in which they have suffered.
Those who have been brought forth in a lowly thought of vanity, that is, (a thought) which goes to things which are evil through the thought which draws them down to the lust for power, these have received the possession which is freedom, from the abundance of the grace which looked upon the children. It was, however, a disturbance of the passion and a destruction of those things which he cast off from himself at first, when the Logos separated them from himself, (the Logos) who was the cause of their being destined for destruction, though he kept at end of the organization and allowed them to exist because even they were useful for the things which were ordained.
- The Tripartition of Mankind
Mankind came to be in three essential types, the spiritual, the psychic, and the material, conforming to the triple disposition of the Logos, from which were brought forth the material ones and the psychic ones and the spiritual ones. Each of the three essential types is known by its fruit. And they were not known at first but only at the coming of the Savior, who shone upon the saints and revealed what each was.
The spiritual race, being like light from light and like spirit from spirit, when its head appeared, it ran toward him immediately. It immediately became a body of its head. It suddenly received knowledge in the revelation. The psychic race is like light from a fire, since it hesitated to accept knowledge of him who appeared to it. (It hesitated) even more to run toward him in faith. Rather, through a voice it was instructed, and this was sufficient, since it is not far from the hope according to the promise, since it received, so to speak as a pledge, the assurance of the things which were to be. The material race, however, is alien in every way; since it is dark, it shuns the shining of the light, because its appearance destroys it. And since it has not received its unity, it is something excessive and hateful toward the Lord at his revelation.
The spiritual race will receive complete salvation in every way. The material will receive destruction in every way, just as one who resists him. The psychic race, since it is in the middle when it is brought forth and also when it is created, is double according to its determination for both good and evil. It takes its appointed departure suddenly and its complete escape to those who are good. Those whom the Logos brought forth in accordance with the first element of his thought, when he remembered the exalted one and prayed for salvation, have salvation suddenly. They will be saved completely because of the salvific thought. As he was brought forth, so, too, were these brought forth from him, whether angels or men. In accordance with the confession that there is one who is more exalted than themselves, and in accordance with the prayer and the search for him, they also will attain the salvation of those who have been brought forth, since they are from the disposition which is good. They were appointed for service in proclaiming the coming of the Savior who was to be and his revelation which had come. Whether angels or men, when he was sent as a service to them, they received, in fact, the essence of their being. Those, however, who are from the thought of lust for power, who have come into being from the blow of those who fight against him, those whom the thought brought forth, from these, since they are mixed, they will receive their end suddenly. Those who will be brought forth from the lust for power which is given to them for a time and for certain periods, and who will give glory to the Lord of glory, and who will relinquish their wrath, they will receive the reward for their humility, which is to remain forever. Those, however, who are proud because of the desire of ambition, and who love temporary glory, and who forget that it was only for certain periods and times which they have that they were entrusted with power, and for this reason did not acknowledge that the Son of God is the Lord of all and Savior, and were not brought out of wrath and the resemblance to the evil ones, they will receive judgment for their ignorance and their senselessness, which is suffering, along with those who went astray, anyone of them who turned away; and even more (for) wickedness in doing to the Lord things which were not fitting, which the powers of the left did to him, even including his death. They persevered saying, “We shall become rulers of the universe, if the one who has been proclaimed king of the universe is slain,” (they said this) when they labored to do this, namely the men and angels who are not from the good disposition of the right ones but from the mixture. And they first chose for themselves honor, though it was only a temporary wish and desire, while the path to eternal rest is by way of humility for salvation of those who will be saved, those of the right ones. After they confess the Lord and the thought of that which is pleasing to the church and the song of those who are humble along with her to the full extent possible, in that which is pleasing to do for her, in sharing in her sufferings and her pains in the manner of those who understand what is good for the church, they will have a share in her hope. This is to be said on the subject of how men and angels who are from the order of the left have a path to error: not only did they deny the Lord and plot evil against him, but also toward the Church did they direct their hatred and envy and jealousy; and this is the reason for the condemnation of those who have moved and have aroused themselves for the trials of the Church.
- The Process of Restoration
The election shares body and essence with the Savior, since it is like a bridal chamber because of its unity and its agreement with him. For, before every place, the Christ came for her sake. The calling, however, has the place of those who rejoice at the bridal chamber, and who are glad and happy at the union of the bridegroom and the bride. The place which the calling will have is the aeon of the images, where the Logos has not yet joined with the Pleroma. And since the man of the Church was happy and glad at this, as he was hoping for it, he separated spirit, soul, and body in the organization of the one who thinks that he is a unity, though within him is the man who is the Totality – and he is all of them. And, though he has the escape from the […] which the places will receive, he also has the members about which we spoke earlier. When the redemption was proclaimed, the perfect man received knowledge immediately, so as to return in haste to his unitary state, to the place from which he came, to return there joyfully, to the place from which he came, to the place from which he flowed forth. His members, however, needed a place of instruction, which is in the places which are adorned, so that they might receive from them resemblance to the images and archetypes, like a mirror, until all the members of the body of the Church are in a single place and receive the restoration at one time, when they have been manifested as the whole body, namely the restoration into the Pleroma. It has a preliminary concord with a mutual agreement, which is the concord which belongs to the Father, until the Totalities receive a countenance in accordance with him. The restoration is at the end, after the Totality reveals what it is, the Son, who is the redemption, that is, the path toward the incomprehensible Father, that is, the return to the pre-existent, and (after) the Totalities reveal themselves in that one, in the proper way, who is the inconceivable one and the ineffable one, and the invisible one and the incomprehensible one, so that it receives redemption. It was not only release from the domination of the left ones, nor was it only escape from the power of those of the right, to each of which we thought that were slaves and sons, from whom none escapes without quickly becoming theirs again, but the redemption also is an ascent to the degrees which are in the Pleroma and to those who have named themselves and who conceive of themselves according to the power of each of the aeons, and (it is) an entrance into what is silent, where there is no need for voice nor for knowing, nor for forming a concept, nor for illumination, but (where) all things are light, while they do not need to be illumined.
Not only do humans need redemption, but also the angels, too, need redemption, along with the image and the rest of the Pleromas of the aeons and the wondrous powers of illumination. So that we might not be in doubt in regard to the others, even the Son himself, who has the position of redeemer of the Totality, needed redemption as well, – he who had become man, – since he gave himself for each thing which we need, we in the flesh, who are his Church. Now, when he first received redemption from the word which had descended upon him, all the rest received redemption from him, namely those who had taken him to themselves. For those who received the one who had received (redemption) also received what was in him.
Among the men who are in the flesh redemption began to be given, his first-born, and his love, the Son who was incarnate, while the angels who are in heaven asked to associate, so that they might form an association with him upon the earth. Therefore, he is called “the Redemption of the angels of the Father,” he who comforted those who were laboring under the Totality for his knowledge, because he was given the grace before anyone else.
The Father had foreknowledge of him, since he was in his thought before anything came into being, and since he had those to whom he has revealed him. He set the deficiency on the one who remains for certain periods and times, as a glory for his Pleroma, since the fact that he is unknown is a cause of his production from his agreement […] of him. Just as reception of knowledge of him is a manifestation of his lack of envy and the revelation of the abundance of his sweetness, which is the second glory, so, too, he has been found to be a cause of ignorance, although he is also a begetter of knowledge.
In a hidden and incomprehensible wisdom he kept the knowledge to the end, until the Totalities became weary while searching for God the Father, whom no one found through his own wisdom or power. He gives himself, so that they might receive knowledge of the abundant thought about his great glory, which he has given, and (about) the cause, which he has given, which is his unceasing thanksgiving, he who, from the immobility of his counsel, reveals himself eternally to those who have been worthy of the Father, who is unknown in his nature, so that they might receive knowledge of him, through his desire that they should come to experience the ignorance and its pains.
Those of whom he first thought that they should attain knowledge and the good things which are in it, they were planning – which is the wisdom of the Father, – that they might experience the evil things and might train themselves in them, as a […] for a time, so that they might receive the enjoyment of good things for eternity. They hold change and persistent renunciation and the cause of those who fight against them as an adornment and marvelous quality of those who are exalted, so that it is manifest that the ignorance of those who will be ignorant of the Father was something of their own. He who gave them knowledge of him was one of his powers for enabling them to grasp that knowledge in the fullest sense is called “the knowledge of all that which is thought of” and “the treasure” and “the addition for the increase of knowledge,” “the revelation of those things which were known at first,” and “the path toward harmony and toward the pre-existent one,” which is the increase of those who have abandoned the greatness which was theirs in the organization of the will, so that the end might be like the beginning.
As for the baptism which exists in the fullest sense, into which the Totalities will descend and in which they will be, there is no other baptism apart from this one alone, which is the redemption into God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, when confession is made through faith in those names, which are a single name of the gospel, when they have come to believe what has been said to them, namely that they exist. From this they have their salvation, those who have believed that they exist. This is attaining in an invisible way to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in an undoubting faith. And when they have borne witness to them, it is also with a firm hope that they attained them, so that the return to them might become the perfection of those who have believed in them and (so that) the Father might be one with them, the Father, the God, whom they have confessed in faith and who gave (them) their union with him in knowledge.
The baptism which we previously mentioned is called “garment of those who do not strip themselves of it,” for those who will put it on and those who have received redemption wear it. It is also called “the confirmation of the truth which has no fall.” In an unwavering and immovable way it grasps those who have received the restoration while they grasp it. (Baptism) is called “silence” because of the quiet and the tranquility. It is also called “bridal chamber” because of the agreement and the indivisible state of those who know they have known him. It is also called “the light which does not set and is without flame,” since it does not give light, but those who have worn it are made into light. They are the ones whom he wore. (Baptism) is also called “the eternal life,” which is immortality; and it is called “that which is, entirely, simply, in the proper sense, what is pleasing, inseparably and irremovably and faultlessly and imperturbably, for the one who exists for those who have received a beginning.” For, what else is there to name it apart from “God,” since it is the Totalities, that is, even if it is given numberless names, they are spoken simply as a reference to it. Just as he transcends every word, and he transcends every voice, and he transcends every mind, and he transcends everything, and he transcends every silence, so it is Dittography with those who are that which he is. This is that which they find it to be, ineffably and inconceivably in (its) visage, for the coming into being in those who know, through him whom they have comprehended, who is the one to whom they gave glory.
- Redemption of the Calling
Even if on the matter of the election there are many more things for us to say, as it is fitting to say, nonetheless, on the matter of those of the calling – for those of the right are so named – it is necessary for us to return once again to them, and it is not profitable for us to forget them. We have spoken about them, – If there is enough in what preceded at some length, how have we spoken? In a partial way, – since I said about all those who came forth from the Logos, either from the judgment of the evil ones or from the wrath which fights against them and the turning away from them, which is the return to the exalted ones, or from the prayer and the remembrance of those who pre-existed, or from hope and faith that they would receive their salvation from good work, since they have been deemed worthy because they are beings from the good dispositions, (that) they have cause of their begetting which is an opinion from the one who exists. Still further (I said) that before the Logos concerned himself with them in an invisible way, willingly, the exalted one added to this thought, because they were in need of him, who was the cause of their being. They did not exalt themselves when they were saved, as if there were nothing existing before them, but they confess that they have a beginning to their existence, and they desire this: to know him who exists before them. Most of all (I said) that they worshipped the revelation of the light in the form of lightning, and they bore witness that it appeared as salvation.
Not only those who have come forth from the Logos, about whom alone we said that they would accomplish the good work, but also those whom these brought forth according to the good dispositions will share in the repose according to the abundance of the grace. Also those who have been brought forth from the desire of lust for power, having the seed in them which is the lust for power, will receive the reward for (their) good deeds, namely those who acted and those who have the predisposition toward the good, if they intentionally desire and wish to abandon the vain, temporal ambition, and they keep the commandment of the Lord of glory, instead of the momentary honor, and inherit the eternal kingdom.
Now, it is necessary that we unite the causes and the effects on them of the grace and the impulses, since it is fitting that we say what we mentioned previously about the salvation of all those of the right, of all those unmixed and those mixed, to join them with one another. And as for the repose, which is the revelation of the form which they believed, (it is necessary) that we should treat it with a suitable discussion. For when we confessed the kingdom which is in Christ, escaped from the whole multiplicity of forms, and from inequality and change. For the end will receive a unitary existence, just as the beginning is unitary, where there is no male nor female, nor slave and free, nor circumcision and uncircumcision, neither angel nor man, but Christ is all in all. What is the form of the one who did not exist at first? It will be found that he will exist. And what is the nature of the one who was a slave? He will take a place with a free man. For they will receive the vision more and more by nature and not only by a little word, so as to believe, only through a voice, that this is the way it is, that the restoration to that which used to be is a unity. Even if some are exalted because of the organization, since they have been appointed as causes of the things which have come into being, since they are more active as natural forces, and since they are desired because of these things, angels and men will receive the kingdom and the confirmation and the salvation. These, then, are the causes.
About the who appeared in flesh, they believed without any doubt that he is the Son of the unknown God, who was not previously spoken of, and who could not be seen. They abandoned their gods whom they had previously worshipped, and the lords who are in heaven and on earth. Before he had taken them up, and while he was still a child, they testified that he had already begun to preach. And when he was in the tomb as a dead man the angels thought that he was alive, receiving life from the one who had died. They first desired their numerous services and wonders, which were in the temple on their behalf, to be performed continuously the confession. That is, it can be done on their behalf through their approach to him.
That preparation which they did not accept, they rejected, because of the one who had not been sent from that place, but they granted to Christ, of whom they thought that he exists in that place from which they had come along with him, a place of gods and lords whom they served, worshipped, and ministered to, in the names which they had received on loan. – They were given to the one who is designated by them properly. – However, after his assumption, they had the experience to know that he is their Lord, over whom no one else is lord. They gave him their kingdoms; they rose from their thrones; they were kept from their crowns. He, however, revealed himself to them, for the reasons which we have already spoken of: their salvation and the return to a good thought until […] companion and the angels […], and the abundance of good which they did with it. Thus, they were entrusted with the services which benefit the elect, bringing their iniquity up to heaven. They tested them eternally for the lack of humility from the inerrancy of the creation, continuing on their behalf until all come to life and leave life, while their bodies remain on earth, serving all their […], sharing with them in their sufferings and persecutions and tribulations, which were brought upon the saints in every place.
As for the servants of the evil , though evil is worthy of destruction, they are in […]. But because of the […] which is above all the worlds, which is their good thought and the fellowship, the Church will remember them as good friends and faithful servants, once she has received redemption from the one who gives requital. Then the grace which is in the bridal chamber and […] in her house […] in this thought of the giving and the one who […] Christ is the one with her and the expectation of the Father of the Totality, since she will produce for them angels as guides and servants.
They will think pleasant thoughts. They are services for her. She will give them their requital for all that which the aeons will think about. He is an emanation from them, so that, just as Christ did his will which he brought forth and exalted the greatnesses of the Church and gave them to her, so will she be a thought for these. And to men he gives their eternal dwelling places, in which they will dwell, leaving behind the attraction toward the defect, while the power of the Pleroma pulls them up in the greatness of the generosity and the sweetness of the aeon which pre-exists. This is the nature of the entire begetting of those whom he had when he shone on them in a light which he revealed […]. Just as his […] which will be […], so too his lord, while the change alone is in those who have changed.
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… which […] by him […] said, while the hylics will remain until the end for destruction, since they will not give forth for their names, if they would return once again to that which will not be. As they were […] they were not […] but they were of use (in the) time that they were (in it) among them, although they were not […] at first. If […] to do something else concerning the control which they have of the preparation, […] before them. – For though I continually use these words, I have not understood his meaning. – Some elders […] him greatness.
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… all […] angels […] word and the sound of a trumpet, he will proclaim the great complete amnesty from the beauteous east, in the bridal chamber, which is the love of God the Father […], according to the power which […] of the greatness […], the sweetness of the […] of him, since he reveals himself to the greatnesses […] his goodness […] the praise, the dominion, and the glory through […] the Lord, the Savior, the Redeemer of all those belonging to the one filled with Love, through his Holy Spirit, from now through all generations forever and ever. Amen.