As above so below- revisited
As above so below- revisited[7/16/2002 12:54:31 PM | Corvus Corax]
Stavros, or course means Cross, and this is the boundary which separates the Pleroma from the Cosmos in the Acts of John it is exemplified as follows-
98....John, it is needful that one should hear these things from me, for I have need of one that will hear.
This Cross of Light is sometimes called the (or a) Word by me for your sakes, sometimes mind, sometimes Jesus, sometimes Christ, sometimes door, sometimes a way, sometimes bread, sometimes seed, sometimes resurrection, sometimes Son, sometimes Father, sometimes Spirit, sometimes life, sometimes truth, sometimes faith, sometimes grace. And by these names it is called as toward men:
but that which it is in truth, as conceived of in itself and as spoken of unto you (MS. us), it is the marking-off of all things, and the firm uplifting of things fixed out of things unstable,
and the harmony of wisdom, and indeed wisdom in harmony [this last clause in the MS. is joined to the next: 'and being wisdom in harmony']. There are of the right hand and the left, powers also, authorities, lordships and demons, workings, threatenings, wraths, devils, Satan, and the lower root whence the nature of the things that come into being proceeded.
99 This cross, then, is that which fixed all things apart (al. joined all things unto itself) by the (or a) word, and separate off the things that are from those that are below (lit. the things from birth and below it), and then also, being one, streamed forth into all things (or, made all flow forth. I suggested: compacted all into ). But this is not the cross of wood which thou wilt see when thou goest down hence: neither am I he that is on the cross, whom now thou seest not, but only hearest his (or a) voice. I was reckoned to be that which I am not, not being what I was unto many others: but they will call me (say of me) something else which is vile and not worthy of me. As, then, the place of rest is neither seen nor spoken of, much more shall I, the Lord thereof, be neither seen .
As we can see the Hermetic adage as above so below does not apply to Valentinian gnosis since of course there is a fixed boundary between the Cosmos and the Pleroma -
:This cross, then, is that which fixed all things apart (al. joined all things unto itself) by the Word, and separate off the things that are from those that are below :
Consequently there is a problem in systematically trying to embrace all esoteric systems as gnosticism; there are qualities of traditional gnosticism which are incompatable- indeed, diametrically opposed to kabbalism (Lurianic and Christian) as well as Hermetism.