Books of the Savior & crucifixion

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Geocalyx
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Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2019 5:59 pm

Books of the Savior & crucifixion

Post by Geocalyx » Wed May 08, 2019 3:55 pm

So I find Pistis Sophia to be a really weird text, but for a special reason.

For those unfamilar with the askew codex, books 1-3 are one entity and books 4-5 another, and they are thematically (not stylistically) quite a ways off. 1-3 are a massive compendium of every gnostic tidbit the author could find, and they are congested into a singular teaching. (The Authades, for instance? The word appears once, and only once, in the Apocryphon of John describing Ialdabaoth - but here it's used for a different guy, and much more frequently. As usual, I don't have quotes on me, but basically, if a gnostic text describes something unique, chances are high you'll find it in here somewhere, in some form.) 4-5 are just sort of there, are inappropriately more self-standing and probably more ancient. Both are unique in the compendium of Gnosis in that they describe or even discuss sin and punishment, and they are written in a similar style.

It looks evident to me that the author of 1-3 took a lot of inspiration from 4-5... so what I find weird is that while the latter mentions the crucifixion (once and only once, at the very beginning, using the tau-rho glyph as expected) books 1-3 don't, and in fact completely gloss it over. According to book 1, Jesus sat upon a hill meditating, then vanished into a beam of light, then there were darkness and earthquakes and noise, and after that he returned, bringing the ultimate knowledge. Even when taking into account all the Christian miscellanea that contributed to the text... Jesus' death, for Catholics the main course, has been deliberately left out. On one hand it makes sense (he is Jesus the Living after all, I suppose), but on the other, what harm would death & resurrection do to the text's structure? Zero. He could have very well died and came back from heavens, in accordance with Catholic tradition, like he does in book 4. Yet instead we get a mouthful of ouoeins describing his departure and return, and boy is there a lot of light in those paragraphs. I guess it shows how much of an opposition to the Catholics they were building here; no Jesus on the cross. Never happened.

Another tidbit. What's the point of saying: "From this day on, I shall speak to you directly, face-to-face, no allegories," before starting an obviously allegorical tale that requires his students to present an explanation for each of the repentances? My take is that, again, it's a deliberate stab at the "truth" advertised by Catholics, since the gospels were to be understood literally and the OT allegorically. The repentances are interpretations of OT texts (which are to be interpreted), but since they are interpretations, they are to be understood literally. But this is backwards, as here, un-interpretable texts are interpreted with stuff that's supposed to be an allegory. Confusing!

I am seriously ambivalent about these texts, they are either impossibly boring (translating those 13 repentances sure felt like an actual repentance!) or really interesting (there's so much stuff in there and it's all tied together against all expectations). They should be discussed more, though.

PS I dislike the name Pistis Sophia, it is such an impossible new-ager magnet it's ridiculus. The actual name is "Portions of the Scrolls of the Savior" and I strive for its wider recognition. =|

Geocalyx
Posts: 50
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2019 5:59 pm

Re: Books of the Savior & crucifixion

Post by Geocalyx » Fri May 17, 2019 1:15 am

(I'm just going to ramble on in this thread rather than start new ones about these texts - it should be easier to follow the line of thought this way and keep it tidy. Apologies to mods and admin if such behavior is frowned upon.)

Jesus stands in for Mind, according to gnosis. So whenever he asks his students: "Do you understand in what manner I am speaking to you?" there's more going on than expected. His students are supposed to interpret his words. They are supposed to think.

No visible scholar outside the text itself appears to do so, though! Let's randomly see what a Theosophical Society Full of Consecrated People has to say:
In Theosophical terms, Pistis Sophia represents the soul, or more specifically, the part of the soul that incarnates; namely, the monad of consciousness in the concrete mind. Her name is a key to her role: Pistis is the Greek word for "faith." Not blind faith, but faith arising from total conviction of inner knowledge. Sophia is Greek for "wisdom." Thus her compound name indicates the fundamental principle (faith in the Light—an aspect of God) that enables her to undertake her mission, namely, the development of wisdom in both worlds. Her consort is Jesus, the aspect of the soul that unfolds the triple-natured higher Self in line with Pistis Sophia's progress in the material world. Jesus remained behind in the higher planes when she descended into chaos. This separation expresses the split in consciousness between the higher and lower nature of man. Although man is really one with his divine Self, the usual level of his consciousness cannot reach the spiritual planes; thus in the myth Pistis Sophia and Jesus are presented as separate entities.
Among the ballast of assumptions and high (as in, marijuana high) ontology, there's a notable point made in here - Pistis is faith arising from total conviction, her consort being Mind who indeed "unfolds"...stuff...eventually. In Apocryphon of John we learn that Sophia procreated without her consort, resulting in the (virgin - hence Pistis, virginal in a sense of never having "known" *cough* her spouse) birth of Catholic God. This God is styled Ialdabaoth and has a lion's face. Sophia is, here, still the same being (aion) as in the Apocryphon, except she's now "a being of material aeons" - this being later in history, Ialdabaoth has been firmly established, is now an independent entity and both his mother and his spurious conception have no bearing anymore, nor any power over his existence, which is why his mother is way more grounded than she is presented in other books. Now, then:
- Scrolls of the Savior consider Apocryphon of John and the NHL to be "canon", as evidenced by this quote: "There existed an archon in Chaos, namely Ialdabaoth, of whom I had told you many times before."
- what is Sophia being charged of here? Ceasing from her mystery as ordained by her despotic boss. She caught a glimpse of the highest Light, so she walked away from her ordained place. Authades, her boss, was furious about this! So he tricked her by misdirecting her gaze to a light emanating from "the lion-faced power" for which, in her desire to know the Highest, she mistook for the greatest of Lights, resulting in personal chaos.
- so Sophia, in her somewhat arrogant desire to know the Highest, ends up following the lion-faced power (= becomes a Catholic!)

This was a mistake! She's now vulnerable to 24 emanations of the Authades, who guard the Treasury of Light. (24 mishmarot groups who guard the inner sanction of the Temple mythologized, or something...). Her only hope and savior out of her misery is Mind, who is expected to show up after she sings a bunch of repentances (metanoia...meaning "change of mind"), BUT in the story does not save her until someone explains each and every repentance. As said, you're not supposed to explain the NT. This book teaches the opposite! Jesus' students are encouraged to think and understand on their own accord. Mind is the only salvation from faith as we know it today (total conviction with absence of mind). But it's not enough to just get Jesus in there and have him say faith is wrong. Thinking is a method, a process, and as such needs to be taught and learned by practice. A LOT of the doctrine in here is literary ballast, and those with an "understanding mind" (= common sense) are supposed to be able to tell what's important. A dead giveaway for this is at the end of the first book, where a verse is interpreted differently by different students, and they are all correct and blessed!

tl:dr Scrolls of the Savior teach how to use one's mind to avoid cognitive entrapments of faith. Crucifixion is not in them because the mind has never really been killed for the people who wrote this.

Geocalyx
Posts: 50
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2019 5:59 pm

Re: Books of the Savior & crucifixion

Post by Geocalyx » Sat May 18, 2019 12:47 am

I guess I have to agree with mr. Jung here in that this entire cosmic drama takes place inside a person, being psychological rather than ontological. Authades is "I" (but please, not "Ego"), the director responsible for my own internal operations. So the 12 paired aeons ("beings" rather than "gods" or "ages", as they actually exist within a real person) are in sync with my ambition, normally. But then comes a moment when my earthly urges are more or less satisfied - my personal self desires something more (beyond my control) and in this case it wishes to know what is the meaning of it all and who or what is behind it. The thought obsesses me, and my common sense is saying "this is waay above your head to make any conclusion, man, learn more"...but then the wisdom part of me, which provides cognitive stability, gets lazy and says "okay wrap it up, THIS is how it is". So wisdom saw a greater light and wished to know about it, but that light was unknowable by definition. No stable mind can participate in making conclusions when the process of thought has not yet been completed - but in this case, it can never even be. Wisdom is therefore forced to make a conclusion without it due to Authades being all like, what's going on? ...wrap it up! So with no place else to go, she turns to belief.

This is second-generation gnosis. In the first generation, the mindless conclusion to Unknowable was birthed. Here it is simply spotted and followed, it already exists independently. Apocryphon of John and The holy book of the great invisible Spirit writers and readers were there to witness the birth of a lion-faced serpent. In the second generation, it's already there for all to be fooled into believing.

Edit: cleared up some wording

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