A Gnostic Creation Story

gnostics

Some (but not all) Gnostics believed that the creator Yahweh was the fallen God, the Demiurge. They believed that Lucifer (which means Light Bearer) was sent by Abraxas (the God above Yahweh) to enlighten mankind and set him free from “Satan’s” (demiurge) bondage. It does make sense. If the creation is imperfect, obviously you blame the creator. If we somehow create our own reality, perhaps the demiurge is the ego. I have to say that the church’s dogmatic explanation that God had to somehow satisfy his own ego by torturing and killing a human being in order to forgive sin doesn’t make much sense. No matter how you paint it, no matter what spin you put on it, it just doesn’t make sense. Not all Gnostics believe the same thing. Gnosis is ‘intuitive self knowledge.’  I know, and I believe the ancient Gnostics knew that myths were not separate entities. They are the same ‘things’ Freud called Id, ego and super-ego. The mythical ‘beings’ are parts of the human psyche. It is perfectly necessary to understand the Gnostic religion that ‘orthodox’ destroyed, and did so in a most inhumane and ‘un-Christian’ way.  The book The Dark Side of Christianity explains all the harm committed by Rome’s fabricated church. Gnosticism was a flourishing religion in it’s day.  They lived side by side, peacefully, with Pagans. Scholars believe St Paul was a Gnostic.When Rome became involved it did so for anything but spiritual reasons and changed Christianity. It soon became a violent political tool for mind control, simply by literalizing the myths and creating dogma.

Like Buddhism, Gnosticism begins with the recognition that earthly life is filled with suffering. In order to nourish themselves, all forms of life consume each other, thereby visiting pain, fear, and death upon one another (even herbivorous animals live by destroying the life of plants). In addition, so-called natural catastrophes — earthquakes, floods, fires, drought, volcanic eruptions — bring further suffering and death in their wake. Human beings, with their complex physiology and psychology, are aware not only of these painful features of earthly existence. They also suffer from the frequent recognition that they are strangers living in a world that is flawed and absurd.

In the Gnostic view, there is a true, ultimate and transcendent God, who is beyond all created universes and who never created anything in the sense in which the word “create” is ordinarily understood. While this True God did not fashion or create anything, He (or, It) “emanated” or brought forth from within Himself the substance of all there is in all the worlds, visible and invisible. In a certain sense, it may therefore be true to say that all is God, for all consists of the substance of God.

Humans are generally ignorant of the divine spark resident within them. This ignorance is fostered in human nature by the influence of the false creator and his Archons, who together are intent upon keeping men and women ignorant of their true nature and destiny. Anything that causes us to remain attached to earthly things serves to keep us in enslavement to these lower cosmic rulers.

I will now quote from the book ”The Forbidden Religion” by Herrou Aragon, Jose M. to try to understand some of the Gnostic view points.

Gnostics say “we are in the presence of a creator ignorant of the effects of his creation”. Likewise, the creator god always maintains that he is the only one. He doesn’t just say it once, he says it all the time, he is constantly saying “I am the only God”, “there is no other God”, “I, your God, am the only one”, etc. The Gnostics’ interpretation of this is that the creator suspects, since he is not altogether sure, that there is another God higher than him. A God infinitely more superior to him, much bigger, much more important than him, and that is what he is trying to hide by incessantly repeating “I am the only one”, “there is no other God”.  

He is sometimes portrayed as being vindictive, bad-tempered, arrogant, insecure and indecisive. A god who loves sacrifices in his name, genocide, and who orders people to kill others, and their belongings, land, inhabitants and livestock to be taken away. He gives orders to kill not only his enemies but also women, children and animals. A god who commits genocide. This god demands sacrifices in his name, since he loves the smell of the burnt flesh of the victims sacrificed at the altar. This is the god who caused the Flood. How many hundreds of thousands of men drowned in the Flood! This is how it is related in the bible and other pre-biblical texts, like that of the Babylonian Flood for example. He has a taste for sacrificing people and animals and for the spilt blood of his enemies. He likes to be admired, adored, served, feared and obeyed. He likes the temples built in his honour, the rituals, the commandments, the accomplishment of his orders, the prayers sent up to him. He likes the pain suffered by all his living beings, the torture, the suffering. Ancient Gnostics used to call him Ialdabaoth which means “son of chaos”; sometimes he was called Sabaot: “god of exertion”. They also used to call him Kosmocrator or the Great Arconte, the creator and arranger of matter. But the name most commonly given to him by Gnostics is the demiurge, Greek for creator.

Another interesting thing about the myths of various religions is that the creator isn’t creating alone, he says “let us make “, as if there were many creators working together. “Let us make this”, “Let us make that”. The bible says: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness”. Us, Us, our . Why? Who are the others? Who else is he creating with?

Gnostics maintain that man has a body, a soul and a Spirit. Where did this Spirit, not created by the creator god, come from? Why is It there? This is one of the next issues we will be looking into. The man in Eden, this “paradise” in which god placed him, didn’t know who he was , he was only carrying out orders. He was naming the animals for example, being a sort of administrator, or representative of the creator god. There, in this “paradise” which god had prepared for him, it was like he was asleep, he did not know who he was or where he had come from. Man became aware of who he was, found himself, only after what was called “the sin”, the Disobedience, when he ate the forbidden fruit and was thrown out of paradise.

(An interesting fact is that, at the beginning of christianity, the existence of these three entities in man – body, soul and Spirit – was upheld. Saint Paul, for example, accepted this, Saint Augustine as well. Later it was lost through the councils and decisions of the pope and the roman church. It remained as it is known to us now: body and soul. Now it would appear that the soul is the only divine thing within man and that there is nothing else. What happened to the Spirit? It has disappeared. It is striking that it has happened this way).

Man in his normal state is lost in confusion, sleepy, not knowing who he is, where he came from or where he is going. He does not know what he should be doing and is in a state of confusion, as if in a mist or half-asleep. When we were talking about the creator of the world, we said that for Gnostics, the creator, the demiurge, the creator of matter, the universe and man can be likened to satan, since matter is satanic, all creation is satanic and the creator is a satanic being. This creator oppresses man. Since the creation of man, he has forced him to carry out his orders and obey his precepts and commands. This creator wants to be obeyed by man, admired, feared and adored by him by means of sacrifices and rituals. He wants to impose his oppressive rules on man. He wants man to obey him and renounce his own wishes, which are very often the desires of his Spirit, of this Spiritual Self that, although ignored by man is carried within him.

According to Gnostic legends and myths, the great Unknowable God sent Lucifer, angel of indescribable fire and light, to show man the light and to help him wake up and see his true origin, the origin of his Spirit, which has been perversely imprisoned in this impure matter called body-soul. He is an uncreated being, who came to the created world to bring Light: Liberating Gnosis. The saving knowledge which can wake man up and help him free his imprisoned Spirit. The knowledge which allows him to know who he truly is, why he is here in this world and what he has to do to liberate himself and fulfill his Spirit, which belongs to another uncreated and unknowable plane.

Gnostics consider that the biblical myth of creation can be explained as follows: the creator satan of the world trapped Adam and Eve in his miserable world, and Lucifer , in the form of a serpent , offered them the forbidden fruit of saving Gnosis, and showed them that the creator was deceiving them. In other words, the creator said to man “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” On the other hand, the Serpent said “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” The bible continued : “And the eyes of both of them were opened”. It doesn’t say “they both died”, it says “the eyes of both of them were opened”, like the Serpent had said. Later, the creator says “And now man has become as one of us, to know good and evil”. The creator lied. He said that man would die if he ate the fruit, but man did not die.

The Serpent was telling the truth. The creator himself ended up agreeing that the Serpent was right. More precisely, Gnostics called the demiurge a liar as well as a plagiarizer. For them, the entire creation is a failed attempt by the demiurge to imitate the unknowable world. In this way, they think that the bible itself is a complete plagiarism, based principally on pre-biblical Babylonian and Egyptian texts.

So man did wake up, and he did become aware of good and evil. How did he manage to do this? The Serpent of temptation in Eden fed him the forbidden fruit which opened his eyes. According to Gnostics this Serpent is Lucifer, the Messenger of Light. This is the meaning of the word Lucifer: Bearer of Light. Lucifer took the form of a serpent to wake man up. He is a Messenger of the Supreme God, the Unknowable God. He is a Messenger of the True God who came into this imperfect, inadequate and wretched world to wake up and liberate man, to show him his true situation and what his great destiny could be like. For this reason, those who follow the orders of the creator god consider the serpent to be something malicious and satanic and in all this confusion liken it with satan.

Gnostic Christians regarded Christ as the Serpent of Genesis. This was because Christ, much later than the events in the earthly paradise, came carrying a liberating message,  just like the Serpent. A message which frees man from this impure world. These Christian Gnostics believe that it was this knowledge which allowed man to make contact with the other world, the one opposed to the demiurge: the unknowable world of the True God.

SOURCE: The Forbidden Religion, by Herrou Aragon, Jose M. (2012-06-04). Excellent book, fascinating perspective on an old mostly unchallenged story.

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4 thoughts on “A Gnostic Creation Story

  1. “The bible says: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness”. Us, Us, our . Why? Who are the others? Who else is he creating with?”

    When I first noticed this wording while reading the Bible, I immediately knew there was a much more interesting story not being told. :)

    Liked by 1 person

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