"Come from invisible things to the end of those that are visible, and... [this] thought will reveal to you how... those things that are not visible [are] found..." "The Sophia of Jesus Christ." The Nag Hammadi Library. Ed. James Robinson. HarperCollins, 1978. 227.

God’s Family Tree

"Seeing that everybody, gods of the world and mankind, says that nothing existed prior to chaos, I, in distinction, shall...
"One should not think of it as a god, or like a god. For it is greater than a god, because it has nothing over it and no lord above it. It does not exist within anything that is inferior to it, since everything exists only within it... It is impossible to say,'How much is it?' or'What kind is it?' for no one can understand it. It is not one among many things that are in existence: it is much greater. Not that it is actually greater. Rather, as it is in itself, it is not a part of the worlds or of time, for whatever is part of a world was once produced by something else." “The Secret Book of John.” The Secret Teachings of Jesus. Trans. Marvin W. Meyer. Vintage, 1984. 57-58.

God Above God : Before the Beginning

Before there was a God, a heaven or an earth, there was only the Alien God, the infinite and eternal...
"Now, it is not difficult to know the Creator of all creatures, but it is impossible to comprehend the likeness of this One. For it is difficult not only for men to comprehend the All, but it is also difficult for every divine being, both the angels and the archangels." "The Teachings of Silvanus." The Nag Hammadi Library. Ed. James Robinson. HarperCollins, 1978. 387.

The Alien God and Panentheism

The gnostic Christians acknowledged a supreme being, but their god was not the bumbling, all-too-human creator god of the Bible....
"Since, then, there was nothing - no matter... nothing simple, nothing complex.. no man, no angel, no god, not anything that is named or perceived...the nonexistent God wished, without intelligence, without sense, without will... to make... the seed of the universe. The seed of the universe contained everything within it... Everything... of which one can speak, and even of which one cannot speak because it does not exist; everything which was necessarily going to adapt itself to the universe which was to come... all these beings existed, deposited in the seed." ”Basilide's System.” The Other Bible. Ed. Willis Barnstone. Harper San Francisco, 1984. 620-630.

The Non-Existent God and the Multiverse

THE NON-EXISTENT GOD The main difference between the "Alien god" of gnosticism and the Biblical god of Genesis is the...
"I am androgynous. I am both Mother and Father since I copulate with myself. I copulate with myself and with those who love me, and it is through me alone that the All stands firm. I am the Womb that gives shape to the All by giving birth to the Light that shines in splendor." "The Trimorphic Protennoia." The Nag Hammadi Library. Ed. James Robinson. HarperCollins, 1978. 519.

The Barbelo : Womb of the Universe

BIRTH OF THE BARBELO A convention common to many ancient philosophical speculations was the designation of deities as male and...
"Now Immortal Man revealed Aeons and powers and kingdoms and gave authority to everyone who appeared from him to make whatever they desire until the days that are above chaos. For these consented with each other and revealed every magnificence, even from spirit, multitudinous lights that are glorious and without number." "The Sophia of Jesus Christ." The Nag Hammadi Library. Ed. James Robinson. HarperCollins, 1978. 237.

The Infinite Aeons

Before the material world existed, the divine world was created, erupting from the ecstatic union of Sophia (the world soul)...
"This Man is a single unity, incomposite and indivisible, composite and divisible; wholly friendly, wholly peaceable, wholly hostile, wholly at enmity with itself, dissimilar and similar, like some musical harmony, which contains within itself everything which one might name or leave unnoticed, producing all things, generating all things..." Bloom, Harold. Omens of Millennium. New York: Riverhead Books,1996. 241.

Immortal Man

The Gnostic trinity of Father, Mother and Child was made complete with the birth of Immortal Androgynous Man, first and...
"The power which overflowed from the Woman...fell from above [and] came down directly upon the waters, when they were motionless, and set them in motion, moving boldly as far as the abysses; and it took a body for itself from them." "The Sethian Ophites." The Other Bible. Ed. Willis Barnstone. Harper San Francisco, 1984. 661.

The Fall of Sophia

"The power which overflowed from the Woman...fell from above [and] came down directly upon the waters, when they were motionless,...
"This gloomy ruler has three names: The first name is Yaldabaoth (child of the void). The second is Saklas (the fool). The third is Samael (god of the blind). He is wicked because of the Mindlessness that is in him. For he said,'I am God, and there is no other God besides me,' since he did not know from where his own strength had come." ”Hypostasis of the Archons.” The Other Bible. Ed. Willis Barnstone. Harper San Francisco, 1984. 79.

The Demiurge and Disorder

The Biblical creator god's greatest flaw is his ignorance - he literally does not understand where he came from. The...
"A veil exists between the World Above and the realms that are below; and Shadow came into being beneath the veil; and that Shadow became Matter; and that Shadow was projected apart. And what she [Sophia] had created became a product in the Matter, like an aborted fetus." ”Hypostasis of the Archons.” The Other Bible. Ed. Willis Barnstone. Harper San Francisco, 1984. 79.

The Creation of Chaos

At the beginning of time, Sophia (the world soul) broke away from Christ (the world spirit) and gave birth to...
"When Sophia saw what her desire had produced, it changed into the figure of a snake with the face of a lion...She threw it away...so that none of the Immortals would see it. For she had produced it ignorantly." “The Secret Book of John.” The Secret Teachings of Jesus. Trans. Marvin W. Meyer. Vintage, 1984. 64.

Birth of the Demiurge

As Sophia looked down into the swirling void, a monstrous creature swam forth from the darkness - an insane fallen...
"Opening his eyes he saw a vast quantity of Matter without limit; and he became arrogant, saying, "It is I who am God, and there is none other apart from me!" When he said this, he sinned against the Entirety. And a voice came forth from above the realm of absolute power saying, "You are mistaken, Samael."" And he said, "If any other thing exists before me, let it become visible to me!" And immediately Sophia stretched forth her finger and introduced Light into Matter; and she pursued it down to the region of Chaos. And she returned up to her light; once again Darkness returned to Matter." ”Hypostasis of the Archons.” The Other Bible. Ed. Willis Barnstone. Harper San Francisco, 1984. 79.

Blasphemy of Samael

The Demiurge looked at his surroundings, realized that he was alone, and declared himself "god"; Sophia acted quickly to punish...
"And when Sophia left behind a part of light, the Arrogant One laid hold of it... Now when the Arrogant One had taken a part of the light, he sowed it. And he placed powers over it and Authorities. And he enclosed it in the aeons which are dead." "Letter of Peter to Philip." The Nag Hammadi Library. Ed. James Robinson. HarperCollins, 1978. 435.

This Footstool Earth

Cast down from the worlds of light, Yaldabaoth carved a new home for himself out of the  darkness: "When the...
"Yaldabaoth is the first ruler, who took great power from his Mother. Then he left her and moved away from the realms where he was born. He was strong, and created for himself other realms by means of a bright flame of fire that still exists. He mated with the Mindlessness that is in him, and produced his own Authorities..." “The Secret Book of John.” The Secret Teachings of Jesus. Trans. Marvin W. Meyer. Vintage, 1984. 65.

Origin of the Seven Archons

Fleeing Sophia's presence, Yaldabaoth/Yahweh used the divine energy he had stolen from her to create offspring of his own: "Yaldabaoth...
"...by that very process of reasoning on which they depend for teaching that there is a certain Pleroma or God above the Creator of heaven and earth, any one who chooses to employ it may maintain that there is another Pleroma above the Pleroma, above that again another...and thus, their doctrine flowing out into immensity.... after worlds without limits, and gods that cannot be numbered. ...Basilides himself will, according to his own principles, find it necessary to maintain not only that there are three hundred and sixty-five heavens made in succession by one another, but that an immense and innumerable multitude of heavens have always been in the process of being made, and are being made, and will continue to be made, so that the formation of heavens of this kind can never cease...the operation must go on ad infinitum..." Irenaeus. Against Heresies : Book II. <a href="http://www.columbia.edu/cu/augustine/arch/irenaeus/advhaer2.txt">http://www.columbia.edu/cu/augustine/arch/irenaeus/advhaer2.txt</a>

Many Heavens of the Hebdomad

In the gnostic view, Yaldabaoth built the universe as a sort of cosmic penal colony where "dimensions, times, and seasons"...
"Apes become human as a result of a virus infection that kills most of the species and mutates the rest. The survivors feel a painful invasion of their bodies by an external force that gradually produces human behavior. Humanity develops from language ("the talk sickness"), eating flesh and excrement (cannibalism is implied), and sexuality... [and] must adapt to painful mutations as they become "soft machines." The soft machine is the human body controlled by physical needs, which can be manipulated through language. The body itself is not evil, but the psychophysical control mechanisms are, and it is these that make bodily existence a trap..." Jenny Skerl, "William S. Burroughs," Boston, MA: G.K. Hall, 1985

Archons of Eden

As the gnostic scriptures reveal, the Garden of Eden was not a paradise, but a prison laboratory where fallen angels...