Friday, June 12, 2015

Gnosis of the Light

Currently I'm reading The Gnosis of the Light, translated by F. Lamplugh from the Coptic Codex Brucianus. It's also been called the Untitled Apocalypse. The edition I was reading had a wonderful Preface by R.A. Gilbert, where he talks about the idea that in order for the Divine Spark to be liberated, three things are needed:
  1. The Divine Spark within must be identified 
  2. There must be revealed but secret knowledge, gnosis and 
  3. There are specific practices that must be performed, known only to the Illuminated Gnostic
The elitist ideas contained herein will be addressed later, but one of the things I like about the Gnosis of the Light is that it actually gives you most of the requirements for the third point.

I haven't finished reading it yet, but in the first sections that I've read lay out a conceptual map for the specific practices. There are names of power. There are intoned vowels. There are literal maps of temples and names and images for the beings encountered therein.

A close reading of this work, combined with a knowledge for ancient and current initiatory practices, should provide plenty of inspiration for rediscovering a ritual to enact point three, above.

Consider this excerpt:
In this wise has He created the Temple of the Plêrôma. At the four gates of the [Temple of] the Plêrôma are four Monads, a Monad at each gate, and six Supporters at each gate, in all four and twenty Supporters, and four and twenty myriads of powers at each gate, nine Enneads at each gate, ten Decads at each gate, twelve Dodecads at each gate, and five Pentads of Powers at each gate. At each gate there is an Overseer of triple aspect having countenances Ingenerable, True, and Ineffable. Of these faces one gazes upon the external æons without the gate; another beholds Sêtheus, and the third looks upward to the Sonship contained in every Monad. There it is that Aphrêdon is discovered with his twelve Holy Ones and the Forefather, and in that Space abides also Adam, the Man of the Light, with his three hundred æons. There also is the Perfect Mind. All these surround a Basket (9) that knows no death. The Ineffable face of the Overseer, who is the Warden of the Holy Place, gazes into the Holy of Holies upon the Boundless One. Now this Warden has faces twain. One is disclosed from the side of the Deep, the other from the side of the Overseer called the Child (or Servant). For there is a Deep [within the Holy of Holies] which is named "Light" (10), or "He who gives the Light," and in this Abyss there is concealed an Alone-begotten Son. He it is who manifests the Three Powers, who is mighty amongst all Powers.
Here we have the Temple of the Pleroma. There are four gates, four monads, 24 supporters, 24 myriads of powers, 36 Enneads, 40 Decads, 48 Dodecads, 5 pentads of Powers, etc. etc. Then each group of groups is defined, as well as the middle (A basket that holds no death, perhaps similar to the kalathos of the Eleusinian Mysteries).

To one who knows, this looks like an interesting ritual, a journey through the Temple of the Pleroma, encoutering the monads, supporters, etc. At each of these encounters, the mysteries are communicated, the secret knowledge is revealed. The names of powers to be invoked, the intonations to be intoned, are all laid out in later sections of the Gnosis of the Light, and are to be communicated through a walk through the temple.  There was probably oral knowledge to be communciated as well, but this is a wonderful start.

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