Beneath me, the stars
a pattern scattered upon the waters,
a labyrinth etched behind closed eyelids
awoken by the briefest touch,
a vessel that held everything,
in a moment,
shattered into tiny specks,
beneath my feet.
Beneath me, the stars
a pattern scattered upon the waters,
a labyrinth etched behind closed eyelids
awoken by the briefest touch,
a vessel that held everything,
in a moment,
shattered into tiny specks,
beneath my feet.
The Gnosis Archive is online again.
First impression is that it will take a little reconstruction work.
It also gave me a moments pause – it actually means something
that both “our side of the story”, that contemporary human beings
respond to, rediscover deep meaning,have a sense of affiliation
with a two thousand year old hushed down,slandered religious
,philosophical and metaphysical tradition – and find a praxis and a
reorientation in it – as well as the fact of these texts, the access
to them in the English language, would become lost.
The Gnosis Archive developed in tandem with my social interaction
and continued dialogue with people who have gone through the same
experiences,troubles and triumphs that I had gone through: In the
autumn of 1994 I met several subscribers of the Gnosis magazine
in a forum dedicated to on-topic/off-topic banter in the ambience
of the topical issues of that magazine; one of the first to present a
less sectarian, less biased, less doctrinaire investigation of the Western mystical traditions… from those discussions, from that exchange of material – an affluence accrued,grew – Thomas Leavitt put it on a site
on the server of his company, Web Communications. Eventually Right Revd.Lance Owens took over editing, announcements was made for the lectures Dr.Stephan Hoeller held at the Gnostic Society, about mid-1996 I was exasperated with the Societas Gnostica Norvegia webpages, I was trying, after all,to create,to make way for a physical space for communication and exchange – so I donated what was then a significant amount of material of transcribed material to the Gnostic Society Virtual Library, from that project/site.
In that way, countless hours spent musing over the wisdom of these tradtions travelled across Atlantic and into a legacy which was greater than anything I could have made on my own. I am very relieved that we are on the way of recovering it. Pax Pleromae
concrete world, far from being illusionary, is quite
relevant and approached by the capacities which exist
within the soul.
The soul cannot afford to be passive because the
world is participatory
in its essence and emerges out from it;
darkness repress and separates it
from its light, conforming it
into its own – this darkness, while emerging
out of forgetfulness
is nevertheless part of the evil which is real.
The world, material
conditions, the lower soul, the counterfeit spirit
and evil –
while we may find ourselves to exist in a twilight between them and
the Pleroma – has such claim upon us that
it is nonsense to speak of any kind of illusion.
An illusion is some phenomenon which briefly, or in a period of extension, appears
to be real, to be “solid” – in terms of the language applied by our positivistic empiricism inherited from the thinkers of the age of enlightenment and their successors in philosophy – but which, and this is important, reveal themselves to be unreal, to be a fabrication forged by the senses, by faulty interpretation of such, or as a cluster of beliefs which in a brief period of disorientation manifests itself as immediate, solid and verified by perception. “Illusion” as a figure of speech isn’t even a valid argument for or against any phenomenon, deattached from perception and the interpretation of perception.
It is impossible for you to sit down in your chair, turn your computer on, log onto the internet and open this blog, and read these words – without this sequence of events, and your interaction with certain apparatus – apart from the world of matter.
This is observed also by the Gospel of Phillip, which argues that the resurrection will occur to a body, and this body is also matter :
But tell me what will rise, that we may honor you. You
say the Spirit in the flesh, and it is also this light in the flesh. (But) this too is a
matter which is in the flesh, for whatever you shall say, you say nothing outside the
So this flesh goes to destruction with all things that go to destruction – what rises out of the earth, given time, will return to it. In the meantime, as I addressed earlier, the Soul embodied continues to be sacrifice on the part of all incarnate life. There will be comprehension, there will be understanding,there will be wisdom, there will be knowledge – and there will be Gnosis – in the body, in the flesh, with you now, that you are living –
but the body goes to back to its own, leaving behind comprehension, leaving behind consciousness, leaving behind the mystery of breath. So it is true, the concrete, physical
world, with all its matter, with all its limitations, with all suffering – all unions and all separations – will not last, it is not eternal. But it is not an illusion, in any capacity.
About the proper attitude towards matter, the Gospel of Philip says “Do not love it,
and do not fear it” – either way it detains you and substract
from you what is
needed elsewhere, by way of emotion and
disposition. This dispassion with
regards to it is made possible
by not being centered within a conscious
center within us whose
balance is towards “flesh” and “appearance”(untruth),
it might be pertinent to speak of it as the body insofar as the
manifest body is a form with which we are accustomed to. If we are
too disposed towards the physiology and anatomy of ourselves
and others, to the degree it overshadows all else, we grow morbid
loose ourselves in these things – sensually,
intellectually, creatively –
notion does not escape us that this
appreciation itself does not repair
its condition, which is
The Gospel of Thomas has Jesus diagnose the “rude
awakening” of one which formerly thought to know and possess
the body; “when you have found the body, you have discovered
I do not mean with this that the Gnostic
dualism has to do with body vs.
spirit, for there is a
tripartition of man`s priority or
most Gnoses within the Gnostic tradition, and
the three can never
achieve status as dual or duality – also a tripartite
nature of the human being – his creation or coming into this particular form
and I have – speaking of all qualities within the former three;
also three stadiums and natures – the dualism of Gnosticism is
There is Pleroma and Kenoma; Fullness and Emptiness,
there is Light and
Dark which are directly relating to the
acquisition of Gnosis – moreover,
and this anchors the Initiatory,
progressive, calculated approach of the
Gnostic Systems; wherein
the Myth of Descent and Ascent, Fall and
and Remembering, Exile and Return plays a
significant part –
namely the divide which exist between Spirit and
In the progression of the Gnostic Myth, Sophia produces an unequated reflection upon herself apart
from the wholeness – while man is disposed to do so from
beginning of his life on earth, enforced and encouraged by
mediators and tutors, by parental upbringing to
education and religious
instruction – this also occurs in his
soul. As such, he receives that
which is excreted out of Sophia, a
particular portion of the Demiurge
containing his essence, and
becomes its container, for most, for the
duration of his life..
whereupon the lion briefly roars and instills fear
in the souls of
this aeon, only to again be brought down into this abyss
purificatory preparations of Man interior.
one liturgy we are informed Sophia bears twins, this becomes a
for both the Zervanite story of the younger and elder son,
younger coming to realization that his destination is
through the womb before his brother and waits
there to strangle him at his
arrival – and the medieval Cathar
story of the sons Jesus and Satanael,
born to the unknown Dyadic
Myth speaks to no-one else but the soul, that means, not the soul
general, but yours and mine. If we are fulfilled in a greatly
discerning consciousness coupled with all-embracing
compassion for all
life, and particular that of our fellows who
suffers the same from the day
they enter into the world, we may,
through this really extraordinary,
almost unique ,.disposition,
make do without it or similar reminders. But
the world is full of
effective and ineffective, true and counterfeit
addressing souls in this capacity, and Tradition more often than
are anchored with it, but often, so deep no “traditionalist”
of it and cultures are bereaved of its benefits.
is called, in some Christian traditions, “Second Creation” or even
Nature” – it is Christ, in the selfsame, who
collects and brings
together – the “Christian” himself/herself becomes
the embodiment of this Second Creation and receives it; in one
capacity as Adam, meaning the virgin “earth” which
it (whose symbol the Cross and essence the Ashes, are drawn upon
brows on this day without any realization of this) –
capacity, active, as Sophia, who in iconography is the
bearing within her the complete
Christ (here pious Christian Ikons
actually depict a Docetic
Christ who arrives completely formed and
transfigured out of Mary,
but in a manner of revelation rather than
fleshly form) encircled
by a Vesica Piscis, a Mandorla, a “womb of light”.
Catholics, ironically the most bitter polemists against
Modern and Ancient, today – thinks that the Gnostics
lived in fear of the
flesh and matter, thinking it to be the
essence of evil contradistinct to
an entirely divorced reality of
spirit; they still look toward the
Nativity on December the 25th
as an answer to the fall of man into a
predicament which equals
the fragility, vulnerability and nakedness of all
simultaneously offers thought to the “forebears” earthly
earthly Eve, and essentially all mortal men and women
proceeding from them
by the generations -and their fall into this
condition which is what has
been diagnosized as the same by their
“rivals and enemies” the Gnostics;
they still apply
words pointing hope in the direction of a reintegration
Kingdom of God, following the ascent of Christ, in Christ and
Christ, as well as a contemplation on the tomb of a man who was
in the sight of other mortals, “laying with him in his tomb,
our death through his”. All that is lacking is an
appreciation that the
finitude of “creation” is a
beguiling lie, and the architects of the
notions have for all too
long forget the reasoning behind their craft – to
temporal as eternal. I.e. Idolatry.
we possess a notion of Idolatry – the notion of a
wrought by human hands, receiving the glory and
worship True divinity,
True deity deserves; we acknowledge the
Duality of types, and the
possibility of having a relationship
towards true, revealed Reality
contra distinct to the false and
contrived appearance of Reality.
There is no both and same in
Gnosticism; at best we may be reminded of
existing things by
inspecting what is “before our eyes”, as the Gospel
Thomas reminds us ; if we “cleave the wood, lift the
stone” – we will see
what is hidden within_and hidden
beneath; but this requires a certain
type of seeing, which only
one certain type of eye might see.
This requires something else
than passive certainity.
anything can be received into me, I must make sure I am the
which receives it; it demands an emptying, and a complete
disrobing. In the same way, the verified authenticity of any world,
any being, any thing – depends on there first being a verified authentic
self. If there is any doubt, we must go where it leads, and open up
that about which there is any doubt. In the case of our self, we need
to be able to empty ourselves completely of everything preconceived,
everything that has accumulated without consent, without knowledge –
of that which we know is whole.
When we loose hold of this knowledge, we loose hold of any consciousness, any awareness concerning that which we do, that which we know, that which our senses bring back to us, that which is subjected to us through the body – that which we are.
Whenever a Chalice is lifted,
Bread broken, in the memory of Christ
and according to the type of the
the chains of the authorities are
the portals to Hades burst open, and all
arisen and put in the presence of
Whenever a Soul enter the world, Light
enters with Her. Whenever a Soul departs from
World, the Light and Life restores itself,
its semblances, its
forms and all of its offspring,
who had fallen beforehand, to its
We hear the words spoken in the
Gospel of John, receiving these words
in the respect and
perspective that we as modern individuals can afford them.
hear spoken of, through these words, the Word, out of which the all
, take shape and enter into life all around us.
Inspecting Space, afforded a new
perspective through the
uncommitted stance of our witness, we discovered that
nowhere is the place where this Life
and this Light is received in this universe.
Although it is from
the Word, Logos, that they have their existence and continuity,
All does not recognize its own root, its own foundation.
it is us that hears these words, therefore it is to us that
they are spoken.
Inspecting Time, afforded a new perspective
through the committed stance of our
witness – we discovered
that there are myriads of generations spoken to; we
are bidden to
acknowledge the great descent of messengers, prophets and
throughout the entire expanse of the generations; each of
whom may have spoken
and each of which might have received
the words spoken thusly. But it is to us
that it is given a new
foundation, a new root, and a new structure of consciousness
the anointed Logos, who came amongst us, entered into our birth,
its Life and its Light, and who enter our death – and
thusly becomes, verily,
as foreshadowed in our reception, our
assimilation, our appropriation and our
living the Light-Life of
Christ, our Resurrection.
O Soul, while you are in the midst of
do not be hesitate to seek access to
redemption – with which word I intend to
The words spoken through the body
generations address it as the
They raise their eyes up to the Cross,
fixed to its crossbeam, its centre,
they see a light that endures
all of history,
this they call Salvation.
Ask to what does all that lives in
Ask to what death all that dies through you go.
what is returned to the Eternal, the Good,
and Being, through you, O Soul.
– Concerning this Cross, it is where
the dying of the world meets the resurrection to the real.
sacredness of the treasures of the Holy of Holies is not that of a
refined and super-essential
metal, but that of a light that
descends upon it.
This light is essentially different from all
light in the world outside of the Temple; It is
accentuated through all the spaces of the Temple, in each of the
in the antechamber and in the courtyard in front of the
Temple proper. Wherefore not a jot
nor a fragment of that which is
made holy by its participation in light within the Temple might ever
decreased or destroyed; for each exists truly in its
participation in the sacrosanct
light, while none of them exists
outside of this light. The Temple itself is rubble, ruin and
– it’s architectural, ritual and ceremonial beauty, its
glory and its function of transfiguring the senses,
the mind and the
bodies of whichever soul sees,approaches or touches – remains
unsullied and intangible with anything
Wherefore, I speak of a specific Cross which elevates,
rather than sinks into the ground,
whose verticality can only be
compared to the verticality of super-essential,divine Light
Which is to say, its descent is the decent into the
proximity of The Soul; it goes nowhere else,
for nowhere else is
established on account of receiving it.
Contrast against that image the horizontality of history; We learn at an increasing rate from the studies made of the past
that the Idea of the Sacred and Divine, of God, itself cannot be restored from History, rather that which exists of religious
ideas exists in tandem, but also independently, of the progression of events which make up recorded History,and which
bolster our “historical identification”. Wherever there is a dissolving
of the ties with the historical in human consciousness,
individual or in a more collective capacity,wherever the fixtures of Tradition itself is shaken to its very foundation –
what arise is not new news as such, but an acute, immediate yet pre-historical identification
with the Sacred as primary rather than secondary capacity in the
experiential, creative and imaginative life of our civilizations.
The Soul persists longer than the idea of God.
There is always someone left who could cry out at the sight of the vacated,desecrated and destroyed sanctuary ; “Woe is unto us“,
Always a widow, or a mother lamenting at the unmarked grave of some
Prophet or friend of God. Always a generation that asks questions whose
answers have become a crime to give, always some mind which dreams the ancients alive again. This will not die.
It will, however, in the course of its living moment, be fixed to the
world; lifted up on the crossbeam of existence and bidden to
contemplate its living and dying. This befalls the Soul. This also
befalls its relationship with God. If this does not happen to its
with God, with Divine Reality, it is no relationship at all. What it
beheld when it was first spoken of, what it sees when it addresses it
and what it goes to meet at the threshold of this life will be the
selfsame abstraction, a spectre that is not quite dead because it was
never quite alive.
That is not to say that The Soul does not go to dissolution with the contents it carries,but in a world
dominated by the Soul and fed as if by a fuel the tension in the Soul
between incarnative and de-incarnative movement; descent and ascent,
materialization and spiritualization – the idea of God, the perception
of a centre, the dissolution of local contextuality (in the
theologies and theogonies) – fluctuates with the Soul’s movement.
Pain sits in the Soul,
the Soul rests in Life,
Life dwells in the Body.
– Wherefore you must look for the Son
of Man in Man, through the eyes of spirit
rather than the
eyes of flesh. This indwelling of Life in the Body
consists in the
animation of dead tissue.The Body is on its own already a corpse at
birth but through this extended existence it develops and express
diverse forms, even beautifully –
despite its condition, rather
than because of it.
The Soul’s experience of the Body
depends on the continual Sacrifice in the Mind and Senses
of power and consciousness.
This progression through forms, which
through the mind assumes kinds and varieties – is what Nature is.
Such a paradox, that Reason in order to be understood, takes upon itself the flesh, elevate it to a world,
situates the centre of consciousness within it; filling it up completely with Wisdom. Drunk from Reason, Drunk with Wisdom,
the Soul sees itself scattered, torn, spread out thin – into a world
which does not receive it, which resists, which rejects, which
against it; a world full of rulers that demand justice and tribute for
a theft of power and light which never belonged to them, a power and
a light that does not belong among them. But it is there that the Soul
discovers its mate, there She sees Reason, and does receive Him,
there She resist Him not, there She accepts Him fully and there where She sings thanksgiving and glorifying hymns unto Him.Share on Facebook
We stand all of one mind
and we will reach out our hands in invocation,
And rest our eyes upon thy form.
And our mouths we open invoke Thee,
and our tongues prepare for praise.
Thee we invoke, who art the fullness of life.
Thee we praise, Jesus the Brilliant! New Aeon!
Thou art, Thou art the God who performs Truth,
a noble Healer, the most beloved Son, the most loved Self.
Come with grace, liberated Lord!
Come with aid, good Spirit, Apostle with Peace,
Helper of the frail and Conqueror of Aggressors!
Come with grace, new Lord!
Come with grace, Redeemer of the subjected!
Healer of the wounded!
Come with grace, Awakener of the Sleeping and
Arouser of the Fatigued,
Thou who Causeth the dead arise!
Come with grace, mighty God and hallowing Voice!
Come with grace, true Word, great Luminary, and
Come with grace, new Lord of the new Day!
Come with grace, Gift of the good, Blessing of the frail, Revered of the Holy!
Come with grace, Loving Father and Just Judge
of those who have sought refuge with thee!
Come with grace, Father, Thou wh art our stout protection and firm faith!
Now, Just dealer, peace be upon us!
And have mercy upon us and love us, Benefactor who Himself art all Love.
And reckon us not together with the rebels.
Save thouse who have sought refuge and have mercy upon us, O most Beloved and Loving!
We have beheld Thee, New Aeon, And we have fallen at thy fet, Thou who art all Love.
Drunk with joy we have seen Thee, Loving Lord.
And we avow Thy name, Messiah, sunder us from amid the deficient, and free us from
amid the aggressors!
O Lord, we are thine own, have mercy upon us!
Hasten hither and subdue the rebellion!
For it has become insolent and have spoken thus:
“We are the ones and there is none like us!”.
Therefore exercise Thy power, and cast the aggressors and enemies down.
We praise Thy name, that is all Light, and Thy name, Father!
Praise be to thy name, Father!
And devotion to Thy Greatness!
So be it, Now and Ever More!
AMEN.Share on Facebook
On Friday the 3rd March, in El Gouna, Egypt , Exhausted from pneumonia contracted in a foreign, but beloved land
-the persona (mask) slipped, the body released back into the embrace to its mother, our earth – ‘
and the mind returned to its star. Professor Gilles Quispel left us behind.(Jim West’s Petros Baptist Church Blog has an English translation of the Obituary published in the Dutch papers on Saturday)
I feel I have been fortunate to hear respecting and almost doting voices speak of Professor Quispel,
it bears thinking about today – since to my experience he was an animate presence behind
the words and sentences I read in a book, or an article. These fortunate associates and friends
of mine has heard his presentations, lectures and table talks, I have read a few lucid articles
and papers presented in topical anthologies..So I am, needless to say, perhaps not the most
qualified to speak of the recently liberated soul.
Having been born, the 30th of May, 1916.
He has throdden the selfsame soil and breathed this air for
an , from our perspective, admirable 89 years.
Professor Quispel discovered quite early in his youth that while
hard and honest labour were difficult to him, he was better equipped
for working with languages, concepts and interrelationships.
Steadily he ascended the often perilous staircase of academic study –
studying the ancient languages of the scriptures, the ancient middle
east, and theology.
While his accomplishments, within this brief space, is too numerous and exhaustive to mention in
detail – I feel, that – Without reservation, It should be stated that Gilles Quispel singlehandedly handed us the Coptic
Gnostic Library discovery from Nag Hammadi, with all its repercussions and consequences.
It was the Professor who purchased , on May the 10th, 1952, the Codex which due to its custodian and protector in the earliest phase of its discovery is called the Jung Codex – which contained 5 Gnostic scriptures, the
first of 53 which would later see the light of day. It also found a temporal home in Zürich,
which eventually lead to a bargain being struck between the Egyptian authorities and the
European scholars, they would get full access to the manuscripts over the expanse of time it
took to take photographs and other preparation necessary, only would they please hand the Jung
Codex back.. Initial work with the Nag Hammadi discovery, thus, were done in a kind of mischiveous,
“secret agent” atmosphere – in addition to the fact that the studies on the Jung Codex contributed to
an increasing academical interest in Gnosticism, Early Christianity and the Sayings tradition.
Four years later, in 1956, Quispel brought back from
Egypt photographs of the first page of the Gospel of Thomas in Coptic, and translated that quite readily.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Professor set off the Thomas bomb on latter day Christianity.
To many thousands of contemporaries, the event of discovering that particular scripture and its
message had, and continues to have – a great dramatic impact on their spirituality, religiousity
and appreciation of religious history.
His perspective on the Logia contained in the Gospel of Thomas, his critics may say – is possibly
affected by his proximity to the find – he thinks the Gospel may be first century in origin
and that it was participant, on some stage¨, in the developement of the four canonical gospels.
He was also convinced that the early Gnostics were discerning about a, to us, very important
aspect of developement – namely liberation; from being slaves (both metaphorical and actual sense)
to becoming free men and women, Gnosis is a means for this liberation – Gnosis were, and is
participant in our developement towards a more observant,ethical and human civilization.
Thats the reverse of what theologian N.T. Wright thinks of it – he thinks that basically the Gnostics
couldn’t be bothered with anything worldly and was sitting around doing nothing but obsessing about their own importance.. I think I can see evidence of this behaviour some place else, but nevermind about all that.
Gilles Quispel remained in the Dutch Reformed Church all his life, while engaging in this kind of work
with _enthusiasm_ and personal investment – it takes a certain kind of integrity,to do that.
Before I read the brief note of Gilles Quispel’s death on Stephen C.Carlson’s blog
Hypotypoesis, I was thinking it would
be useful, as an experiment or meditation – to consider what message the Gospel of Thomas had
to the specific area of time when it was unearthed and subsequently published (it was published
only in a matter of a few years afte the discovery, later interesting archeological finds of this
nature remains obscure to the rest of the world for decades!); what does the Gospel of Thomas
say to people, in say, 1952 – also, is there a specific difference between now and then, and
almost two thousand years… after which I thought the best possible input, perhaps, for that
would be to ask Professor Quispel for his personal experience, which to me would mean to return
again to his books.
I am a regretful writer of anyone’s recent obituary.
I would, childishly, wish minds and hearts and hands to be
active, fervently, in whatever increases the good and decrease
the bad, never idle.. all round, no matter my own prejudices and
other flaws in vision.. I feel I do owe ..words.. and thanks to
Gilles Quispel, for inspiring me during a period of my life that
was quite despairing.
The blurb for it reads “Shortly before the year 2000 a document surfaced from out of China containing 72 alleged sayings of Jesus which show Gnostic influences. This document, translated from the original Greek was entrusted to Dr. Hoeller by his book publisher for evaluation for possible publication. Genuine or not, this beautiful material has by its Gnostic merits an authenticity of its own.”
It’s an presentation of a hitherto unknown apocryphal gospel translated from Greek. It were handed an
undisclosed Professor by two Chinese colleagues who wanted his assistance in
translating the entire manuscript into English.
Briefly stated this scripture is an edited anthology of Logia ascribed to Jesus, much alike what is imagined to be the contents of the elusive Gospel Q(for Quelle, “Source” in German), the Gospel of Thomas unearthed first with the Oxyrhynchus papyri cache in the mid 19th century and later completed in its presently known form by the find of the Nag Hammadi Library. The sayings of Yeshu (Yeshu, a Chinese variation upon the latin Jesus), in Greek and translated by a person well acquianted with the genre, contained in this unknown find – shares several characteristics with those found in the Gospel of Thomas – especially the existencial and psychological tangents: the world is drunk, human beings are addicted to the world, human beings do not possess their full faculties of perception _therefore they are unable to discern what has happened_ (i.e. the entry of Christ into the world and the coming of the Kingdom); religious men and women are conditioned to follow commandments and rules as a safeguard against minor evils and affirmation of worth – both commodities traded for their spiritual integrity being but a puff of stale air since they have no substance, either in this world nor the next. In short, the disciples showing off their ,to the Gnostics, famous ignorance (prior to their coming around to their senses) – mimic the compact ignorance and arrogance of the “Pharisees” and Scribes, while Jesus warns them against their potentionally fatal superficiality.
This may be hard to stomach, and when I heard James complaining about the presence of “effeminate men” and his worry about the contagion of their ritual impurity – being answered with a warning about judgement and neglect to seek purity and recti tude on account of own necessity rather than that of society – just a breather away from Hoeller’s comment that he thought the topicality were too up-to-date to our own time and our modern concern about understanding, tolerating and adapting to the multitude of ways in which each individual is human in all of this world…it added to my expectation that the scripture in question will remain without affirmation, either to its being a forgery or authentic, until the end of time, basically.
Be that as it may be.
I contend that as far as perspective goes – Apocrypha is Good for You.Share on Facebook