Fragments of a Faith Forgotten, by G.R.S. Mead, , at sacred-texts.com
The Book of the Gnoses of the Invisible God.THE first page is headed with the beautiful words: "I have loved you and longed to give you Life," and is followed by the statement: "This is the Book of the Gnoses (pl.) of the Invisible God"; it is the Book of the Gnosis of Jesus the Living One, by means of which all the hidden mysteries are revealed to the elect. Jesus is the Saviour of Souls, the Logos of Life, sent by the Father from the Light-world to mankind, who taught His disciples the one and only doctrine, saying: "This is the doctrine in which all Gnosis dwelleth."
This is evidently an introduction written by an editor or compiler; immediately after there begins a dialogue between Jesus and the disciples.
Jesus saith: "Blessed is the man who crucifieth the world and doth not let the world crucify him."
The Hidden Wisdom.He then explains that such a man is he who hath found His Word, and fulfilled it according to the will of the Father. The apostles beg the Master to tell them this Word, for they have left all and followed Him; they desire to be instructed in the Life of the Father.
Jesus answers that the Life of His Father consists in their purifying their souls from all earthly stain, and making them to become the Race of the Mind, so that they may be filled with understanding, and by
[paragraph continues] His teaching perfect themselves, and be saved from the Rulers of this world and its endless snares. Let them then hasten to receive the Gnosis He is to impart--His Word--for He is free from all stain of the world.
The disciples break into praises of the Master--as the Light shining in the daylight--who hath enlightened their hearts until they receive the Light of Life, by means of the Gnosis which teacheth the hidden wisdom of the Lord.
Jesus saith: "Blessed is the man who knoweth this [Word] and hath brought down the Heaven, A Dark Saying is Explained. and borne the earth and raised it heavenwards; and it [the Earth] becometh the midst, for it is a nothing.'"
The Heaven is explained as being the invisible Word of the Father. They who know this--(who become children of the true Mind)--bring down Heaven to Earth. The raising of Earth to Heaven is the ceasing from being an earthly intelligence, by receiving the Word of these Gnoses (pl.) and becoming a Dweller in Heaven. Thus will they be saved from the Ruler of this World, and he will become the midst (that is to say, perhaps, that they will be above the Ruler and no longer subject to him as heretofore; he will be a "nothing" to them, that is to say, have no effect on them). Nay, the evil powers will envy them because they know Him, that He is not of this world and that no evil cometh from Him. But as for those who are born in the flesh of unrighteousness (and are not children of the Righteous Race, those of the second birth), they have no part in the Kingdom of the Father.
The Flesh of Ignorance.Thereupon the disciples are in despair, for they have been born "according to the flesh" and have known Him only "according to the flesh." But the Master explains that not the flesh of their bodies is meant, but the flesh of unrighteousness and ignorance."
The disciples ask to be instructed in the nature of ignorance (ἀγνοία, the opposite of gnosis, γνῶσις), and the Master tells them that, to understand this great mystery, they must first put on His virginity and righteousness, and His robe (of glory), and seek to understand the teaching of the Word, whereby they will learn to know Him in the Fullness (Plērōma) of the Father.
The apostles answered and said, "Lord, Jesus, Thou Living One, teach us the Fullness and it sufficeth us."
Here unfortunately the text breaks off and pages are lost; nowhere in the MS. is a direct continuation to be found.
Taking Schmidt's Second Book of Ieou first, we are introduced to the following narrative.
The Mysteries of the Treasure of Light.Jesus bids the twelve disciples and also the women disciples to surround Him, and promises to reveal to them the great mysteries of the Treasure of Light, which no one in the Invisible God knows (that is to say, no one even of the powers of the Thirteenth Æon--the Æon which surrounds or is beyond or within the Twelve Æons--over which the Invisible God is ruler). If these mysteries are consummated, neither the Rulers of the Twelve Æons nor those of the Invisible God can endure them nor comprehend them,
for they are the great mysteries of the interior of the interiors of the Treasure of Light. When these are consummated, the Receivers of the Light-treasure come and take the soul from the body, and bear it through all inferior spaces into the Light-treasure. Yea, the sins of that soul, whether conscious or unconscious, are blotted out, and the soul becomes pure Light. And not only does the purified soul pass through all inferior spaces, but also within into the Light-realm, ever inward, within all its spaces, orders, and powers, to the space of the Uncontainables in the innermost space of the Light-treasure.
These mysteries are to be guarded with utmost secrecy, and revealed to none who are unworthy; To be Revealed to the Worthy Alone. neither to father nor mother, to sister nor brother, nor to any relative; neither for meat nor drink, neither for woman nor gold nor silver, nor anything in this world. Beyond all to no sorcerer, those who practise certain most foul rites, whose God is the son of the Great Ruler, Sabaōth Adamas--the enemy of the Kingdom of Heaven, the chief of the six non-repentant Rulers. The mystery-name of this power is given and its monstrous form described.
Those alone are worthy of the mysteries of the Light-treasure (the emanation of the Unapproachable God) who have abandoned the whole world and all that pertains thereto, its gods and powers, and have centred their whole faith in the Light, giving ear to one another, and submitting themselves the one to the other, as do the children of the Light.
Now inasmuch as the disciples have left father
The Lesser Mysteries.and mother and brethren and all their possessions, and have followed Him and fulfilled His commandments, Jesus promises that He will reveal to them the mysteries as follows: The mystery of the Twelve Æons and their Receivers, and the mode of their invocation, so that the disciples may pass through their spaces; the mystery of the Invisible God (the Thirteenth Æon) and his Receivers (them of the Left), etc.; of them of the Middle, etc.; of them of the Right. But before all He will give them the mysteries of the three Baptisms--the Baptism of Water, the Baptism of Fire, and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Moreover He will give them the Mystery of Withdrawing the Malice or Naughtiness (κακία) of the Rulers, and thereafter the Mystery of the Spiritual Chrism.
The Good Commandments.But they must remember that, when they in turn give these mysteries to others, they must command them not to swear falsely, nor even to swear at all; neither to fornicate nor commit adultery; neither to steal nor covet other men's goods; neither to love silver nor gold, nor invoke the names of the seventy-two evil Rulers or of their angels for any purpose; not to rob, nor to curse, nor calumniate falsely, nor to rail, but to let their yea be yea and their nay nay; in a word, they must fulfil the good commandments.
The disciples remind Jesus that His first promise had been that they should be given the mysteries of the Treasure of Light, the greater, which are above these lower mysteries of which He has spoken.
Seeing then that the disciples have not only
abandoned all things in the world and kept all the commandments, but have further now followed Him The Greater Mysteries.for twelve years, Jesus assures them that He will further give them the mysteries of the Light-treasure, to wit: The mystery of the Nine Guardians of the three Gates of the Light-treasure and the way of their invocation, so that they may pass through their spaces; the mystery of the Child of the Child, etc.; of the Three Amens; of the Five Trees; of the Seven Voices; the will (? mystery) of the Forty-nine Powers; the mystery of the Great Name of all names, that is of the Great Light which contains, or is beyond, the Treasure of Light. The master-mysteries of the Light-treasure are those of the Five Trees and of the Seven Voices and of the Great Name. There is, however, yet another supreme Mystery, which bestows upon a man all the rest--the Mystery of the Forgiveness of Sins; this Mystery transmutes the soul into pure light, so that it may be received into the Light of lights.
Such souls have already inherited the Kingdom of God while still on earth; they have their share The Powers they Confer. in the Light-treasure and are immortal Gods; and at death, when they leave the body, all the Æons disperse and flee to the west, to the left, until their souls arrive at the Gates of the Light-treasure. And the Gates are opened to them, and the Wardens give them their seals and their Great Name. So they pass within successively through the various Orders, where they receive the successive seals and master-words--within into the Five Trees and Seven Voices; yea, still farther
within, to the Orders of the Parentless, to the spaces of their inheritance--the Order of the Thrice-spiritual; until they reach the space of the Ieou, the Lord over the whole Treasure--the middle Treasure; thence ever within to the inner Treasures--the spaces of the interior of the interiors, the within of the within, to the Silences, to Peace Eternal, in those Everlasting Spaces.
All of these mysteries Jesus promises to give to His disciples, that they may be called "Children of the Fullness (Plērōma) perfected in all mysteries."
The Master then gathers His disciples, men and women, round Him with the words: "Come all of you and receive the three Baptisms, ere I tell you the mystery of the Rulers!"
The Mystic Rite of the Baptism of the Water of Life.He bids them go to Galilee and find a man or woman in whom the greater part of evil (or the superfluity of naughtiness) is dead, that is to say, who has ceased from intercourse or sexuality (συνουσία), and receive from such a one two jars of wine and bring them to the place where He is, and also two vine branches.
They do so, and the Master sets forth a place of offering (θυσία), placing one wine jar on the right and one on the left, and strews certain berries and spices round the vessels; He then makes the disciples clothe themselves in white linen robes, puts a certain plant into their mouths, and the number of the Seven Voices and also another plant in their hands, and ranges them in order round the sacrifice.
Jesus then spreads a linen cloth, and on it places a cup, and bread or loaves according to the number
of the disciples; He surrounds this with olive-branches, and also puts wreaths of olive-branches on the heads of His disciples. He next seals their foreheads with a certain seal (the diagram of which., authentic name, and interpretation of it--also in the secret cypher--are given).
The Master then turns with his disciples to the four corners of the world, and the disciples are commanded to set their feet together (an attitude of prayer). He then offers a prayer which is prefixed with an invocation in the mystery-language, interspersed with triple Amens, and continues as follows:
"Hear Me, My Father, Father of all fatherhood, Boundless Light, who art in the Treasure of Light May the Supporters [or Ministers (παραστάται)] come, who serve the Seven Virgins of Light who preside over the Baptism of Life! [The mystery-names of the Supporters are here given.] May they come and baptize My disciples with the Water of Life of the Seven Virgins of Light, and wash away their sins and purify their iniquities, and number them among the heirs of the Kingdom of Light! If now Thou hast heard Me and hast had pity on My disciples, and if they have been numbered among the heirs of the Kingdom of Light, and if Thou hast forgiven their sins and blotted out their iniquities, then may a wonder be done, and Zorokothora come and bring the Water of the Baptism of Life into one of these wine-jars!"
The wonder takes place, and the wine in the right-hand jar becomes water; and Jesus baptizes them, and gives them of the sacrifice, and seals them
with the seal (? of the Supporters), to their great joy.
the Baptism of Fire.This is the Baptism of Water; we are next given a description of the Baptism of Fire. In this rite the vine-branches are used; they are strewn with various materials of incense. The eucharist is prepared as before, and the rest of the details are almost identical; the number of the Seven Voices is again used, but the seal is different.
The prayer is longer than the preceding one, but all to the same purpose; the supernal baptizers are no longer the Ministers of the Seven Virgins, but the Virgin of Life, herself, the Judge; she it is who gives the Water of the Baptism of Fire. A wonder is asked for in "the fire of this fragrant incense," and it is brought about by the agency of Zorokothora, a name now interpreted as Melchizedec. What the nature of the wonder was, is not stated. Jesus baptizes the disciples, gives them of the eucharistic sacrifice, and seals their foreheads with the seal of the Virgin of Light.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit.Next follows the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. In this rite both the wine jars and vine-branches are used; the details are otherwise very similar, the number of the Seven Voices being again employed. The supernal givers of the Baptism are not mentioned, but as the final sealing after the rite is with the seal of the Seven Virgins of Light, we may suppose that they are the givers of the Baptism. A wonder again takes place, but is not further specified.
After this we have the Mystery of Withdrawing
the Evil of the Rulers. There is here no mention of the eucharist, but in other respects the ceremonial The Mystery of Withdrawing the Evil of the Rulers. is very similar, and consists of an elaborate incense-offering. The number is that of the First Amen and the seal is very elaborate. The prayer asks that Sabaōth Adamas and all his chiefs may come, and take away their (the Rulers’) evil or naughtiness from the disciples. At the end of it the disciples are sealed with the seal of the Second Amen, and the Rulers have no longer any power over them; they have now become immortal, and can follow Jesus into all spaces whither they would go.
Jesus having now given the disciples the mysteries of the Baptisms, the mode of invoking the powers, their numbers, seals, and authentic names, promises to give them the apologies (defences or formula), whereby they will now be able to enter into the interior of the spaces or realms of these powers, and pass through them.
So far as they have been taught, they will be enabled, when out of the body, to pass through the The Powers the Lesser Mysteries Confer. realms apparently of the six Æons which have not repented, those of Sabaōth Adamas; these with all their rulers and indwellers will disperse before them. But on reaching the six great Æons (those apparently of Iabraōth, who repented and believed in the Light), they will be detained until they receive the Mystery of the Forgiveness of Sins.
The Mystery of the Forgiveness of Sins is said to have its being in the interior of the interior of the Treasures of Light; it is the perfect salvation of the soul. He who receives it is more excellent
The Mystery of the Forgiveness of Sins.than all the gods and powers of the twelve Æons of the Invisible God (the Ruler of the Thirteenth Æon). This Mystery is the Great Mystery of the Unapproachable God; it is the perfection of all mysteries, making the soul all-perfect.
It is this Mystery which will enable the disciples to pass into the Æons of the Invisible God--that is, the spaces that no physical eye can see, beyond the elements of water, fire, and air (or æther)--the baptismal mysteries of which have been already given.
The Power it Confers.But with the aid of the rite of the Mystery of the Forgiveness of Sins all the Æons will withdraw to the west, to the left, as veils before the eyes, up to the twelfth, which will then be so purified by the Light of the Light-treasure, that all the ways by which the disciples will have ascended will be purified; and moreover the exterior of the Light-treasure (the exterior being the Space of the Thirteenth Æon) will be revealed, and they will see Heaven from below. It will be at this point that Jesus will give them the apologies, seals, and numbers of the Mystery with their interpretations. And when they have received these and go out of the body, they will become pure light and soar upwards into the Light-treasure.
And then the Guardians of the Gates of the Treasure will open to them, and they will pass upwards and ever inwards through the following spaces, the powers therein rejoicing and giving them their mysteries, seals, and names of power: the Orders of the Three Amens, of the Child of
the Child, of the Twin Saviours, of the Great Sabaōth, of the Great Iaō the Good, of the Seven The Ordering of the Light Treasure. Amens, of the Five Trees, of the Seven Voices; the Orders of the Uncontainables, of the Impassables; the Orders of those who are before and beyond (in time and space) the Uncontainables and Impassables: the Orders of the Unstainables, and of those who are before and beyond them; the Orders of the Immovables, and of those who are before and beyond them; the Orders of the Parentless, and of those that are before them; the Orders of the Five Impressions, of the Three Spaces, of the Five Supporters, of the Thrice-spiritual, of the Triple Power, of the First Precept (or Statute), of the Inheritance, of the Silences and of Peace, of the Veils which are drawn before the Great King of the Light-treasure, unto the Great Man himself, the King of the whole Light-realm, whose name is Ieou.
These spaces and orderings are also mentioned in the Pistis Sophia treatise, but I have omitted them in the summary in order not to confuse the reader. The subject is exceedingly difficult, and no one has so far succeeded in reconstructing in detail the elaborate scheme of the Gnosis presupposed by the compiler or compilers of our treatises, owing in a great measure to the fragmentary state of the Codex Brucianus on the one hand and to the insufficient data of the Askew Codex on the other.
Still upwards and inwards are they to soar to the Space of the Great Light which surrounds or The Great Light. transcends the outer Treasure of Light itself. Ieou
is there too, he is the Great Light; this is the Second or inner Light Treasure. The guardians will open the Gates and they will pass into the Orders of the Triple Powers of the Second Light Treasure; thence inwards to the twelfth Order of the twelfth Great Power of the emanation of the True God. There are twelve Great Powers with twelve Chiefs in each of their Orders (of which the authentic names are given). These Twelve will stand apart in this Space and invoke the True God with this "Name" (? prayer), saying:
Invocation to the True God."Hear us, O Father, Father of all fatherhood [Here follows a sentence in the mystery-language containing four of the vowels each seven times repeated--with the interpretation: That is to say, Father of all fatherhood, for the All hath come out of the Alpha, and will return to the Ōmega when the consummation of all consummations will take place.] We will now invoke Thy imperishable Names that Thou mayest send forth Thy great Light-power, and that it follow these Twelve Uncontainables [that is to say, the twelve disciples], for they have verily received the Mystery of the Forgiveness of Sins, and therefore are they not to be held back from approaching Thy Light-Treasure."
Thereon the True God will send forth his Light-power; it will shine forth from behind the disciples, and cause all the Treasures of the Second Light-realm to withdraw, and they will reach the Space of the True God.
Then will the True God in turn invoke the
[paragraph continues] Unapproachable God, that is to say the One and Only One, and He will send forth a Light-power Invocation to the Unapproachable. out of Himself, into the Space of the True God, and the disciples shall be perfected in all fullness and be made into an Order in that Treasure. They shall sing hymns of praise to the Unapproachable God, for, while still in the body, they have received the Mystery of the Forgiveness of Sins, and attained to the Space of the True God.
The disciples hereupon ask to be given this Great Mystery; the Master promises that He will give it; The Mystery of the Twelve Æons. but before receiving it, they must be told the mystery of the Twelve (supernal) Æons, their seals, names, and apologies. These are given, seal-diagrams, names, numbers, and apologies; the last being in the form "Make way [mystery names], ye Rulers of the first (second, etc.) Æon, for I invoke [other mystery names--these being superior names of the Light-treasure]."
The sixth (? seventh) Æon is called the Little Midst, for it belongs to the six Æons which have believed on the Light; the Rulers of these Æons have a little good in them.
In the twelfth Æon is the Invisible God and Barbēlō and the Ingenerable God. The Invisible God is in a space alone in the twelfth Æon with veils drawn before him, and in that Æon are many other gods called the great rulers of the Æons, though servants of the Invisible God, Barbēlō and the Ingenerable God.
In the thirteenth Æon is the Great Invisible God, the Great Virginal Spirit (? Barbēlō) and the four
The Thirteenth Æon.and twenty emanations of the Invisible God. The mystery-names of these four and twenty are given, and also the invocation of the higher names of the Light-treasure in which are contained a series of triple ōmegas four times repeated, and a series of triple ētas four times repeated. The names of these emanations are said to be their names "from the beginning."
The Fourteenth Æon.Yet higher in the fourteenth Æon is a second Great Invisible God, and another Great God called the "Great Just One" (χρηστός); he is a power of the three Light-rulers which are within all the Æons, but without the Treasure of Light. Here also are numbers of emanations. The powers of this Æon will try to detain the disciples in order that they may perform the mysteries of Jesus in those spaces, and so these powers themselves receive further powers from the powers of the Light-treasure. The disciples, however, are given the proper seals, numbers, and apologies, so that the powers shall. withdraw.
The Three Great Rulers.Now the three Great Rulers that are within all these Invisibles (i.e., the emanations of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Æons), but without the Treasure of Light, are called the Triple-powered Gods, and are above all others.
They themselves have received the mysteries of the Treasure of Light, for when the First Power came forth (from the Light-kingdom) they first of all remained in it (the Power), and when they emerged from it the Kingdom of Light was preached to them. "I gave them," says the Master, "the mysteries
which I have given unto you, but I have not given them the Mystery of the Forgiveness of Sins. . . Therefore now I say unto you that I, when I shall separate all the Æons, will give to these three Rulers of the Light, who are in the last [highest] of all the Æons, the Mystery of the Forgiveness of Sins, because they have believed in the Mystery of the Light-realm."
No one can pass beyond them till he have received the Mystery of the Forgiveness of Sins; but, continues the Master, they are not to fear on this account, for there is no place of punishment in those spaces, for their indwellers received the Mysteries (? of Baptism).
The seals, names, and apologies of these powers are then given, and here unfortunately the text breaks suddenly off, and we come to the end of Schmidt's Second Book of Ieou.
Taking now Schmidt's First Book we next come to a description of the middle Light-world, and Concerning Ieou the Emanator of the Middle Light-world. its Ruler, the True God, the Demiurgos, above whom are the Treasures of the Plērōma of the Father. Jesus is still the narrator. The subject is one of immense complexity, with infinite emanations, treasures (i.e., storehouses of riches and fullness), spaces, orders, and hierarchies, with diagrams and symbols, and hosts of (to me) absolutely unintelligible "authentic" names, which are said to be "in the language of my Father." The authentic name of the supernal Demiurgos is translated as the True God or God of Truth, and is given in Greek transliteration as
[paragraph continues] Ieou, which Schmidt transliterates into German as Jeû.
The Tetragrammaton.I would suggest that Ieou is a transliteration of the four-lettered mystery name of the creator according to Semitic and Chaldæan tradition, the tetragrammaton of the Kabalah. Theodoret tells us that the Samaritans pronounced this name Iabe (Iave) and the Jews Iaō. Since the sixteenth century, by adding the vowels of Adonai to the unpronounceable Y H V H, it has been pronounced Jehovah. It is now generally written Yahweh: but there is no certainty in the matter, beyond the fact that Jehovah is absolutely wrong. Ieou or Iao are probably attempts in Greek transliteration at the same Semitic name, which contained letters totally unrepresentable in Greek; Yahoo or Yahuwh perchance, the name hidden in Iacchus (Yach), still further corrupted into Bacchus by the Greeks. Iacchus was the mystery-name of the creative power in that great mystery tradition; Bacchus was the name in the popular cult. But to continue with our summary.
Jesus, the Living One, has apparently taken his disciples with Him through the inner spaces of the unseen world, and brought them to the plane of this True God, from which He gives the mystic instruction on the creative dispensation of the universe, in the Realm of Light.
He first shows them Ieou in his own nature, as a simple emanation from the Ineffable Treasures of the Father, before he has in his turn sent forth emanations by the command of the Father. A strange combination of letters and signs is said to be the
[paragraph continues] "name" of this God "according to the treasures which are outside this region"--that is to say, either the planes below or sub-planes of that plane.
Next follows a diagram--a square surrounding a circle, within which is another square containing The Type of the Treasures. three lines; this diagram is said to be the type of the treasures over which Ieou will rule, and it is also the type of Ieou himself before he emanated.
But out of Ieou are to come a host of emanations, through the command of the Father, who are in their turn to become fathers of treasures; each of these fathers is also to be called Ieou. This ordering is effected by Jesus as the Logos; but the True God is the father of all of these fathers or fatherhoods, for he is a direct emanation from the Father, and through him and from him all subsequent emanation will proceed. Further, from each of the subordinate Ieou's, through the command of the Father, will proceed other hosts to fill the treasures, and they shall be called Orders (or hierarchies) of the Treasures of Light. Myriads of myriads will arise out of them. We are therefore in the Light-kingdom.
We are next given a diagram which is said to be the type of the True God before he The Type of the True God Ieou. emanated, that is to say when the subsequent emanations lay potential within him. The diagram is like an egg, with a smaller egg or nucleus within it containing three lines or strokes. The upper circumferences, or shells, of both the egg and the nucleus are lacking, as though to represent the creative Light-beam from the Father streaming into them.
The Mystic Diagrams.It is very probable, therefore, that in these diagrams squares may represent treasures or the substance-side, while circles may represent gods or the energy-side--but these can interchange, for the substance of one plane or phase becomes the energy of the plane below. The three strokes seem to represent the potential triad or trinity latent in all manifestation, and this triad acting within the tetrad of the squares produces the infinite ordering into twelves or dodecads. We should also recollect that in all probability we have only a very faulty reproduction of these diagrams, for we have to take into account the translating and copying and re-copying by ignorant scribes.
The three lines are said to be the three Voices, which Ieou will send forth when he is ordered "to praise the Father," that is to say, to emanate, for this is how the creative song of praise is sung.
Cosmic Embryology.Next we have a diagram of the first moment of this emanation; it is curious to notice that the symbols used closely resemble a spermatozoon and ovum. Within a square is a small circle with its diameter produced, so that it very well represents the head and tail of a spermatozoon; the ovum consists of three concentric circles, the innermost of which has a diameter and is of the same size as the head of the spermatozoon, which has also a similar diameter; there are thus two of the lines or strokes or Voices still latent, and only one is so far manifest.
Following this comes a diagram the upper half of which apparently repeats the preceding diagram, and
the lower half consists of six concentric circles with a point in the centre. The latter is called The Seal on the Forehead of Ieou. the seal (χαρακτήρ) upon the face or forehead of Ieou, and is said to be the type of the treasures. This emanation from the True God is caused by the streaming into the True God of a Light-power from the ineffable treasures above, in response to an invocation of Jesus as the Logos, calling upon the Name of His Father. The Light-power is called the "Little Idea," presumably to signify that though it has power to energize all creation, it is but little compared to the real "Greatnesses" or Ideas in the Divine Mind.
What follows is beyond my power of summarizing. We have diagrams of a series of twenty-eight Ieou's, General Characteristics of the Diagram. before the text again breaks suddenly off. What was the full number in the original is now impossible to say; Schmidt supposes thirty. The diagrams appear to have been very carelessly copied, but present certain general characteristics. The upper part generally consists of six squares, one within the other; within the smallest square is the word Ieou, and the special mystery-name of the Ieou or treasure for which the diagram stands. These names are generally placed over a small oblong figure (or two lines), which are said to stand for the "root" of the spaces or regions in which the particular Ieou is placed. Above and below, cutting through the top and bottom sides of the six squares, are two parallel lines, which are said to denote the paths whereby one must travel if he would enter into the space of the father of the treasure. These paths
where they cross the sides of the square are marked by Greek letters, alphas, which are said to stand for the curtains or veils which are drawn before the father. Above each diagram of squares we find again the three lines or strokes, which are now said to be the three Gates or Doors of each treasure. Each treasure has twelve orders, the authentic names of the Heads of each of which are appended, together with the authentic names of the three Guardians or Watchers of the Gates.
The lower half of each diagram consists of the seal upon the forehead of the Ieou; these seals are mostly circles with varying contents, but it is exceedingly difficult to trace any connection between them.
The Twelve the Order of Jesus.Between the second and third Ieou diagram is another figure differing entirely from the rest of the series: as to its meaning I have no notion. It is followed by these words of Jesus: "From these orders I will take Twelve and range them for Myself, that they may serve Me." This probably refers to the prototypes of the souls of the disciples which Jesus chooses for Himself before their incarnation, as we learn from the Pistis Sophia.
With the twenty-eighth diagram the text breaks off suddenly; and the next subject we meet with, according to Schmidt's ordering of the leaves, is a hymn which Jesus sings to the First Mystery.
After printing this fragment in this place, Schmidt came to the conclusion that these pages must be separated, and treated as fragments of
another work, on the ground that they could not be brought into organic unity with the rest.
We are now in the lower space or plane of the Thirteen Æons, each of which has its father or creator, its Ieou, with rulers, and subordinate powers, Hymn to the First Mystery sung in the Thirteen Æons. called decans and liturgi, signifying servants, ministers, or workmen. There are thirteen praise-givings, one for each Æon, but the text of the first four is missing. The general tenour of each petition is as follows:
"Give ear unto me, while I sing Thy praises, O Thou First Mystery, who didst shine forth in his mystery [i.e., the mystery of that particular Æon]; it was Thy Light which caused Ieou to order this Æon and establish therein its rulers, ministers, and workers. [Then follows the "imperishable name" of the Æon.] Save all my Members (Limbs), which since the foundation of the world have been scattered abroad in all the rulers, ministers, and workmen of this Æon, and gather them all together and receive them into the Light!"
The final petition is concluded by a threefold Amen.
The peculiarity of the praise-giving with regard to the Thirteenth Æon consists in the fact that The Thirteenth Æon. it is treated apparently as a separate plane or space. By command of the First Mystery the Ieou of this space brought into existence the space of the four and twenty invisible emanations, with all their rulers, gods, lords, archangels and angels, their ministers and workmen; further to this space of the Thirteenth Æon are assigned the "three gods." Moreover, by command of
the First Mystery the six Rulers under Iabraōth, who have believed in the Light-kingdom, are set just below this Thirteenth Æon in a space of pure air, the six unrepentant Rulers being apparently assigned to the lower impure atmosphere.
With regard to the scattering of the Limbs, we may remind the reader of Epiphanius' quotation from The Gospel of Philip: "I have recognised myself and gathered myself together from all sides. I have sown no children to the Ruler [the lord of this world], but have torn up his roots; I have gathered together my limbs that were scattered abroad, and I know thee who thou art."
The Sixty Treasures.We are now introduced to a new subject. Jesus is taking His Order, the twelve disciples, through the Treasures of the Middle Light-world, and giving them the seals, numbers, and authentic names whereby these Treasures can be entered and passed through. There are sixty of these Treasures, but our narrative begins only in the fifty-sixth, for all the intervening pages are lost. From what we are here told I am inclined to think that there were also sixty diagrams of the Ieou's, and not thirty only as Schmidt supposes. Fundamentally there were presumably twelve main treasures, but each apparently was regarded from five different standpoints, each view-point being called an order or ordering. There was thus a twelve-fold ordering, and a five-fold ordering as well, all immanent in the God "who dwells in the Middle of the universe," that is to say, in Ieou, the God of the Middle Light-world. Of the five, two are
called the exterior, two the interior, and one the middle order.
Each treasure is said to be surrounded by six regions or spaces, represented by the squares of the diagrams. By a use of the seals (a series of very curious diagrams), numbers, and names, the Guardians, Orders, and Veils are said to disperse and the innermost space of the father of the treasure is reached, and so the secret of his authentic name is revealed. Moreover within each treasure is a Door or Gate, and without three Gates; each of the outer Gates has three Guardians, but the inner gate has but one, presumably the father of the treasure himself.
On the conclusion of this exposition, the disciples
ask how all these spaces and their fatherhoods The Little Idea. have come into being. Jesus replies that it is because of the "Little Idea," which the Father has left behind and not withdrawn into Himself; all else of the Father He has withdrawn into Himself. "It was in this Little Idea that I streamed forth, having My being in the Father; I burst forth and freed Myself therefrom. I shone forth and it emanated Me, the first emanation therefrom, its perfect likeness and image. When it had emanated Me I stood before it." This was the First Voice.
Again it shone forth and emanated, sending forth the Second Voice--all these spaces, which came forth one after another.
The Third Voice streamed forth and emanated the rulers of all these spaces.
It is He, Jesus, the First Voice, the first emanation,
who has gathered together His own Order--the Twelve, and taken them through all the spaces, that they may serve Him, He has given them the powers whereby they may pass through all these spaces within, to the innermost space of the ruler of them all, the True God.
The Name of the Great Power.The disciples then remind Jesus that He had promised to give them the one master-name, whereby every space could be traversed without the wearisome repetition of each of the separate names--the Name that was the key to unlock every gate in every treasure. Is this, they ask, the Great Name of the Father?
The Christ (the first mention of this title) replied: "Nay, but the Name of the Great Power that is in all the spaces."
He then gives them this authentic name--apparently a sentence in cypher, interspersed with the triple repetition of the seven vowels. It is to be said in the Space of the True God, in the "space of the interiors which belongs to the space of the exteriors." The name must be invoked, turning to the four corners of the treasure, and then followed by the request that all the paths to the fatherhood be left free to the disciple, "for I have invoked the Great Name of the God of all the spaces." Then will all the veils be withdrawn, and all the rulers disperse; they will withdraw "into their own form.
"Lo, now," continued the Master, "I have told you the [master-name]; guard it, and do not repeat it continually, so that all the spaces may not be disquieted because of the glory therein."
Hereupon Jesus commands His disciples to follow Him, and goes yet farther within, into the seventh Hymn to the Unapproachable God Sung in the seventh Treasure. treasure; this cannot apparently be the seventh treasure of the sixty, but must be some other ordering. Here He commands them to surround Him, and answer Him with a threefold Amen for every praise-giving, as He sings a hymn of praise to the Father because of the emanation of the treasures.
The Father is addressed first by the Ineffable Name, symbols of which are given; then as "God, My Father," and then as the "Unapproachable One." The form of each praise-giving begins with the words: "I praise Thee, Thou Unapproachable God, for that Thou didst shine forth in Thyself," and ends with the question: "For what now is Thy will, but that all this should be, O Unapproachable God?"
The subject of the hymn is that God has withdrawn Himself into Himself, into His Truth, save only one Little Idea, the space of which He has left as the shining Light-world, shining within the Father. It is a radiance of the Father within Himself, according to His will. This Light is Jesus, the one emanation of the Father through His will. Jesus is the perfect likeness and whole image of God. The second emanation brings into being the spaces which surround the Father. The third emanation is the bringing into being the powers and rulers of the Light-spaces, which are called Treasures. Moreover all these powers are energized by a Great Power emanated by the Father, so that they are called True Gods, that is, Gods in Truth (presumably as distinguished
from the Gods of the vulgar pantheons). It is this Power that energizes not only in the various fathers of the treasures, but also in the subordinate powers.
Thus also are emanated the Guardians or Watchers and the sixty fatherhoods, one for each treasure. These sixty are called the "Orders of the Five Trees." It is also this Power which has brought into existence the seals and the great name. This same Power is further called the [First?] Mystery and the Light-image surrounding the Father.
The Great Logoi according to the Mystery.These Light-spaces are called the Spaces of the "Great Logoi according to the Mystery," in whom is the glory of the Father. This leads us to suppose that the "Great Logos" of the title of the treatise is the same as the First Mystery, the Great Power, and therefore identical with Jesus. The Great Logoi are also called Ieou's. The hymn then continues:
"I praise Thee, O Unapproachable God, for that Thou didst shine forth in Thyself; Thou hast emanated Thy One and Only Mystery, Thou who art an unapproachable God even for these Logoi. Thou art an unapproachable among them, in this Great Logos according to the Mystery of Ieou, the father of all Ieou's, which is Thyself;--yet what is else Thy one and only will but that we should draw nigh Thee in them, O God that none can approach, to whom nevertheless we have drawn near in this Great Logos according to the Mystery of Ieou?"
I am inclined to think that "Logos" is here used in two meanings. It generally means Reason or
[paragraph continues] Word; here it seems to mean also Sermon, Discourse, or Teaching.
The hymn ends with praises in which the Father is again said to have withdrawn, or inbreathed, Himself The Universal Idea. entirely into His Universal Likeness and Idea, with the single exception of the Little Idea, leaving it as a means whereby His boundless Riches, universal Glory, and mighty Mysteries might be manifested. The Great or Universal Idea and the Little Idea are thus seen to correspond in the ideal spiritual world to the ideas of the macrocosm and microcosm. And so ends this remarkable hymn, with a final triple Amen.
The two remaining fragments are put by Schmidt in an appendix. The first fragment is part of a hymn of praise, each praise-giving of which begins with the words:
"Give ear unto me, while I sing Thy praises, Thou Mystery before all Uncontainables and Impassables, Hymn to the [? First] Mystery. who didst shine forth in Thy Mystery, in order that he Mystery that is from the beginning should be completed."
The contents of the hymn are as follows, the imperishable names being added after each technical term:
The Mystery shining forth became Water of the Ocean. The Earth in the midst of the Ocean became purified. The whole vast matter of the Ocean became purified--that is to say, the Sea and all species existing therein. Through its shining forth it sealed the Sea and all that are therein, for the power that is in them was in disorder (? chaos) against the existing order (? cosmos).
The Way of the Midst.The hymn here breaks off suddenly, and we have a description of the passing of the soul through the regions of the dæmonian powers, and of the imperishable names of the "mystery of their fear," whereby the soul can escape from their clutches. These are the spaces of the orders of the various great ministers of the Great Powerful Ruler in the Way of the Midst; and the names of these ministers, recoverable from this scrap, are the same as the Rulers of the Way of the Midst as given in the Extracts from the Books of the Saviour. This Great Powerful Ruler is further described as "he who is filled with wrath." He is the successor of the Ruler of the Outer Darkness, of that space which changes all forms. He is spread out on the Way of the Midst, so that he may carry off the souls like a robber.
The leaves on which these fragments are found differ from the rest of the MS. in that they are surrounded by single-lined borders.