Re: new/ a question
> > My question, and the cause of my search, is this: though Ihappened
> > the gnostic worldview, the concept of the Demiurge, the material
> > world as either a mistake or prison, I can't seem to get a clear
> > picture of the Gnostic creation story, the myth behind it. I've
> > about Archons and Sophia, but the information was confused.
> > Somewhere I read that the Gnostic creation was even recognized as
> > myth by the Gnostics and that they simply looked at it as a way to
> > better understand the world, and it doesn't really matter to me
> > whether they actually believed it or not. I just can't find what
> > that myth was exactly, what characters were involved, what
> > before humans came around.forward
> > Could someone please guide me?
> > Michael Matejka
> Welcome, Michael.
> Please feel free to review the "links" section of our group:
> The following article, "The Genesis Factor," by Stephan Hoeller
> treats in part the subject of Gnostic creation myths with a meaning
> and provides a good introduction. You'll find quotes and links to
> different versions from the Nag Hammadi scriptures for further
> Also, here is a discussion of "The Valentinian View of the Creation"
> by David Brons:
> Feel free to bring back questions and your insights. We look
> to learning from you, too.I had not read the links on Valentinus. I seem to be finding many
scholarly works lately (usually superficial) that depict Gnosticism as
having a pessimistic view of the physical world. I've always found
this puzzling. Certainly, compared to the literal gnashing of teeth,
obsession with Armageddon, and hellfire found in more fundamentalist
forms of Christianity, Gnosticism seems giddily optimistic. If
anything, Valentinian Gnosticism seems to be sober and realistic, and
more concerned with describing and adressing a universal human
condition rather than with fantastic prophecies and promises of
instant salvation through faith.
I think a key to understanding the Gnostic conception of these
creation myths is to suspend the scientific and materialistic (a
gnostic would call it "psychic") view that we all instinctively use to
approach the problem of creation. Indeed, this view is the downfall of
Sophia, who represents the part of us that becomes so ensared in this
material existance that we find no way out.
It is not the material world (the world of photons, atoms and
electrons) that is being created in these myths, but rather the human
perception and experience of them. These myths are made in a dream
world, with their own logic, beauty, and
meaning. Jung calls the players in these myths Archetypes of the
Collective Unconscious, primordial images and symbols that are
hardwired in our brain and represent internal processes playing
themselves out in the human psyche. They are a reality onto
themselves. An awareness of these archetypes and how they represent
real and universal aspects of our own and universal human psyche
represents the pneumatic or spiritual level of perception.
When viewed this way, the question as to what Gnostics believed was
around before creation is an irrelevant question. Before the
mytholocial creation, human consciousness of whatever was around did
not exist, so whatever was going on could not be perceived. Science
did not exist. Art did not exist. Religion did not exist. The psychic
and pneumatic worlds did not exist.
So Gnostics do believe that Creation happened, not in the world of
physics or ideas, but in the spiritual world. The place to understand
that is through the myths themselves and the dream world where they
Did they beleive they are real or allegory? The answer, in my humble
opinion, is "Yes"! Allegory is real, indeed, more real than the the
world of material ideas. Gnosis can perhaps be described as the
process of these allegories becoming real. Rather than being stories,
ideas, and images that appeal to the mind, they become truths that are
outward expressions of a living knowledge and perception of the world
that lives inside the Gnostic.