But it is far more. It reveals the process involved in the supreme initiation that turns a man into a Master of wisdom. In the text, after Jesus returns from the height "shining most exceedingly," the disciples ask him to "withdraw his light-glory" and then ask, "Rabbi, where didst thou go, or what was thy ministry in which thou didst go?
Jesus then recounts his entire journey, from region to region, starting from the moment that he saw Mary, his mother "according to the material body" and then going through the Firmament, the Sphere, the Providence, and the Twelve Aeons. He narrates that all the archons and the powers therein were agitated and afraid because of his exceeding light.
- Pistis Sophia: A Gnostic Gospel by G.R.S. Mead.
- Chinas America: The Chinese View the United States, 1900-2000 (SUNY series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture).
- The Gnostic Bible: The Pistis Sophia Unveiled, a book by Samael Aun Weor?
- Catalog Record: Pistis Sophia | HathiTrust Digital Library?
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And he went on bringing order into their regions until he came to the Thirteenth Aeon. At that point he finds Pistis Sophia alone, below her place of origin, without her brothers. And he describes how the Pistis Sophia worked her way out of chaos with his help.
The narrative is, of course, atemporal. Present, past, and future unfold as the eternal now in which Jesus spins his tale.
While this story looks like a myth, Jesus actually seems to be recounting one aspect of his experience at the Great Initiation, which probably took place during the thirty hours that he remained at the height. His recollection of the incidents on his way up has a surprising parallel with the life review that takes place in the dying process of every human being. We learn that this rapid but thorough process at the end of each incarnation teaches us the implications of our actions in this world.
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If we recall that the law of correspondence tells us, "What is above is like that which is below and that which is below is like what is above," we can infer that the Pistis Sophia tale seems like a monumental review of the actions of the soul throughout its long journey in this world.
This process is mentioned in the Mahatma Letters : "The full remembrance of our lives will return back at the end of all the seven Rounds" Barker, But it seems also to take place when the evolutionary process is speeded up, as in the case of adepts that reach the Fifth Initiation in advance of the majority of the race. Jesus seems to be revealing to his disciples his own journey in consciousness throughout his many lives in this world until his final process of "death" as a human being.
He tells us that he will make a revelation at the very point when he finds Pistis Sophia below her place of origin: "I will tell you the mystery of how these things happened. Thus the Pistis Sophia myth is the story of the passage of Jesus's soul through the world from time immemorial until his final triumph. Jesus and Pistis Sophia are presented as a pair, the two aspects of the soul, just like the two sides of a coin.
Each has its role in the mystery of life. The progressive expansion of consciousness that eventually turns Jesus into a Master of Wisdom was in fact a reflection, on a higher level, of Pistis Sophia's slow and relentless battle in this world against all agents of matter that have constantly strived to take away her light.
No mention is made of the great number of incarnations that Jesus must have gone through until that historical one in Palestine. During all those lives, regardless of the names by which he may have been known, Pistis Sophia, his soul, was the loyal heroine doing battle in this world. We can now return to the myth. Pistis Sophia "falls" from her original region, pursuing a mirage, a reflection of the Light of the Height seen down below in the region of the Aeons, which represents the power of matter. This fall, due to ignorance, was her "original sin," but later on the text says that Pistis Sophia fell at the command of the First Mystery, that is, following an inner urge to comply with the divine plan.
This would require her to incarnate in order to fulfill the final objective of having Spirit manifest fully through matter. As Pistis Sophia descends into chaos, she takes upon herself the necessary vehicles for manifestation in the material world. Thus both on the astral and the physical planes the soul is "wrapped" with appropriate bodies to function in those planes. It will be remembered that the entities of the middle region of each plane have the motherly role of providing appropriate conditions and giving sustenance.
Thus, on the astral plane, Providence in Greek, heimarmene , also translated as "fate" bestows all the tendencies from past lives that provide recurrent opportunities for the individual to learn the lessons that remain to be learned. On the physical plane, the middle region provides a physical body for the individual that is adequate for the type of life that karma has in store for him.
The story expresses the reality as seen from the Height, that is, from a spiritual vantage point. Thus when Pistis Sophia complains that the archons of the Aeons are oppressing her, trying to take her light away, this might mean that the personality has experienced a heavy, aggressive, or unpleasant vibration, such as a feeling of hatred, or has told a lie. But the "oppression of the archons" can also mean experiences of immoderate sense gratification that to a worldly individual mean "to enjoy life" and "to have fun," but to the soul, seeing reality from the vantage point of the inner light, are seen as an affliction for which she will pay dearly.
Here is enacted the classical struggle of the forces of darkness against those of the Light. Pistis Sophia, the soul, strives to go to the Height but has to fight every inch of the way against evil and darkness. In her process of ascent, Pistis Sophia experiences thirteen metanoias , followed by eleven songs of praise to the Light.
The word metanoia , generally translated as "repentance," is central to the Christian tradition. But its original Greek meaning was much broader than "repentance," indicating a change in one's mental state. Since Pistis Sophia's region is the Thirteenth Aeon, she must symbolically effect thirteen changes of consciousness or metanoias , one for each region or aspect of herself. The much-heralded Way or Path in all esoteric traditions in fact entails this very process of inner change.
This is made clear in The Voice of the Silence in the statement "Thou canst not travel on the Path before thou hast become that Path itself" The Voice of the Silence , Nowhere in the Pistis Sophia do we see Jesus preaching any moral code of behavior. What is made clear is that man must renounce the world and transform his mind if he hopes to receive the mysteries that will open for him the inheritance of the Light. This is done ingeniously by means of interpretations advanced by the disciples after each metanoia uttered by Pistis Sophia, which in fact are quotations from the biblical Psalms and the apocryphal Odes of Solomon.
The metanoias and invocations uttered by Pistis Sophia suggest the protracted process of transformation needed to turn a worldly individual into "a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" Eph. On closer examination of these metanoias and songs of praise, we notice some turning points and fundamental changes in her situation as she is slowly freed from chaos. These turning points have a parallel with the five major initiations of the esoteric tradition. The first turning point occurs when her insistent pleas for assistance from the Light of the Height are finally heard.
These pleas have a parallel with the surrender of the mystic, implicit in Jesus's utterance "Thy will be done, Lord, not mine.
Pistis Sophia - Wikipedia
After Pistis Sophia's sixth metanoia , her sin of going down into chaos alone without her consort is forgiven, and Jesus leads Pistis Sophia "into a somewhat spacious region in the chaos. Here the aspirant's interests in the coarser things of the outer world, with their heavy vibrations, begins to diminish. This relative respite from the oppressions of the archons, that is, of emotions and passions, expressed as an elevation into a more "spacious region in the chaos," seems to indicate what Theosophy calls the First Initiation.
Once the archons notice that Pistis Sophia has not been taken entirely away from chaos, they return with redoubled efforts to afflict her and she continues to utter her metanoias, thus continuing her inner transformation. After the ninth metanoia , her plea for help from the Light is partially accepted, and Jesus is sent by the First Mystery the pure mind reinforced by the power of the inner Christ to help her to secretly escape from chaos.
From then on, Pistis Sophia, man's consciousness, perceives Jesus as a Light shining brightly, probably an indication of the opening of her spiritual vision, or of an expansion of consciousness arising from the Second Initiation. From then on, the man in the outer world has his mind progressively illumined by the Light of the Height, enabling him to carry out his work in the world as a light bearer, as Jesus did after his baptism in the Jordan, which represents the Second Initiation.
But the desires and emotions elicited by material things are still felt as the emanations of the Self-Centered One the egotistic personality , and the powers of the archons desires and passions change form as the seeker conquers the grosser vibrations. After the thirteenth metanoia, Jesus sends a light-power to assist Pistis Sophia and to take her to higher regions of chaos.
The initiation process continues with the fourteenth invocation, when a light-power is sent by the First Mystery the power of Divine Spirit. These two powers meet together and become a great stream of light, forming a protecting crown over the head of Pistis Sophia. This seems to reflect the stage of illumination reached with the Third Initiation, in which periods of consciousness of unity with God and with all beings alternate with the usual dualistic consciousness of the world.
Now the joy of Pistis Sophia becomes the central theme of her songs of praise, in which she reiterates her determination to remain firm and never stray from the Light again. Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters.
Pistis Sophia: A Gnostic Gospel
Sort order. I don't remember the first time I read it, but I recently reread it from beginnning to end and realize that every time I do I notice somthing more than before.
Profound things that make you talk out loud to yourself. I'm impressed with all ancient books, I feel like they are windows into life in those times. Oct 19, Jon Cook rated it really liked it. Peter hates women lol. Very eye opening book, and teachings similar to escaping Buddhist samsara cycle. Shelves: religion.
Here you will find what might be called the classical "gnostic" text Representative of the Valentinian school, the Pistis Sophia Faith and Wisdom personified in some sense gives what often passes for the central myth of gnosticism. Readers of the recently disclosed by National Geographic most popularly Gospel of Judas will immediately note the similarity between their cosmological portions--not the point usually emphasized by commentators.
I personally wonder at the mindset of the third-four Here you will find what might be called the classical "gnostic" text Representative of the Valentinian school, the Pistis Sophia Faith and Wisdom personified in some sense gives what often passes for the central myth of gnosticism. I personally wonder at the mindset of the third-fourth century Mediterranean world which invested the heavens with so much meaning. How much is symbolical? How much is meant literally? How much is lost if the astronomical associations are beliefs are removed? What is left is the kernal of feeling which many moderns share, namely, that this, the quotidian world, our existence in it, is not quite right, not really real.
Some of this is simply ethical repulsion at the order of things, political and natural. Some of this is despair at our own personal failings, a sense that the world, other people, our parents, our jobs, our kids bring us down to being less than we could be or really are. There is certainly some truth to this, a truth we conceptualize very differently, we in our representative "democracies", than the ancients, in their autarchies and shameless oligarchies, did.
But there is at least this kernal of meaning that connects our decadences. See my little essay entitled "Millenial Gnosis in the Matrix" for more on this theme. Mead is to be credited for this early, and influenial, translation. Perhaps he deserves five stars, but I find most such literature tedious to the extreme--thus a compromising three. Oct 29, Alexandru rated it it was amazing Shelves: gnosticism , christianity , religion , ancient-mythology. A most interesting read There is a strange beauty in this work, and an even greater strangeness in its message.
I have read many religious texts, but this one seems very fascinating and original.