Fragments of a Faith Forgotten

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Fragments of a Faith Forgotten

By G.R.S. Mead

Summary of the Contents of the So-Called Pistis Sophia Treatise

THE treatise begins by informing us that Jesus, after rising from the dead, had spent eleven years The Teaching of the Eleven years.with His disciples, instructing them. So far, however, He had taught them the mysteries of the inner world up to a certain point only, apparently up to the outermost realms of the Light-world only, and yet even so far with omissions of many points which they were as yet incapable of understanding. But so wonderful had been the instruction imparted that the disciples imagined that all had been revealed to them, and that the First Mystery--the Father in the likeness of a dove--was the end of all ends and the gnosis of all gnoses. They did not know that this First Mystery was the lowest of a vast series of still higher mysteries.

It came to pass, therefore, in the twelfth year, that the disciples were assembled with the Master on The Mystic Transfiguration and Ascent in the Twelfth year.the Mount of Olives, rejoicing that they had, as they thought, received all the fullness. It was the fifteenth day of the month Tybi, the day of the full moon. Jesus was sitting apart, when, at sunrise, they beheld a great light-stream pouring over Him, so that he became lost to view in the ineffable radiance which stretched from earth to heaven. The light was not one radiance, but its rays were of every kind and type; and in it the Master soared aloft into heaven, leaving the disciples in great fear and confusion as they silently gazed after Him. From the third hour of the fifteenth day until the ninth hour of the morrow (thirty hours) the Master was absent; and during this time there was a shaking of all the regions and great confusion and fear, while songs of praise came forth from the interior of the interiors.

The Master returns to His Disciples.On the ninth hour of the morrow they saw Jesus descending in infinite light, more brilliant far than when He had ascended; the light was now of three degrees, glory transcending glory. The disciples were dismayed and in great fear, but Jesus, the compassionate and merciful-minded, spake unto them, saying: "Take courage, it is I; be not afraid." At their prayer Jesus withdraws His great light into Himself, and appears in His familiar form once more, and the disciples come to worship, and ask Him, saying: "Master, whither didst thou go? or on what ministry wentest thou? or wherefore are all these confusions and shakings?"

The Master, now speaking as the glorified Christ, bids them rejoice, for that now He will tell them all things "from the beginning of the truth to the end thereof," face to face, without parable, for that authority has now been given Him by the First Mystery to reveal these things unto them.

Of the Mystic Incarnation of the Twelve.For this cause is it that He hath again been clothed in the vesture of light, the robe of glory; which he had left with the First Mystery, in the lowest spaces of the supernal Light-realm. He hath received it in order that He may speak to human kind and reveal all the mysteries, but first of all to the Twelve. For the Twelve are His order, whom He hath chosen from the beginning, before He came into the world. He chose twelve powers, receiving them from the hands of the twelve Saviours of the Light-treasure, and when He descended into the world cast them, as light-sparks, into the wombs of their mothers, that through them the whole world might be saved. It is by reason of these powers that they are not of the world, for the power in them is from Him, a part of Himself.

So too another of His powers was in John the Baptizer with water for the remission of sins; not That the Soul of Elias is born in the Baptist.only so, but the soul of John was the soul of Elias reborn in him. These things had He explained before, when He said: "If ye will receive it, John the Baptist is Elias, who, I said, was for to come"; but they had not understood.

Into Mary, His mother, also He had implanted a power higher than them all, "the body which I bore Of His own the height," and also another power instead of the soul, and so Jesus was born. It was He Himself who had watched over the birth of His disciples, so that no soul of the world-rulers should be found in them, but one of a higher nature.

And the Master continued in His conversation and said unto them: "Lo, I have put on My vesture, and Concerning the Robe of Glory.all power hath been given Me by the First Mystery. Yet a little while and I will tell you the mystery of the pleroma and the pleroma of the pleroma; I will conceal nothing from you from this hour, but in perfectness will I perfect you in the whole pleroma, and all perfection, and every mystery; which things, indeed, are the perfection of all perfections, the pleroma of all pleromas, and the gnosis of all gnoses, which are in My vesture. I will tell you all mysteries from the exterior of the exteriors, to the interior of the interiors. Hearken, I will tell you all things which have befallen Me.

"It came to pass, when the sun had risen in the regions of the east, that a great stream of light descended in which was My vesture, the same which I had laid up in the four-and-twentieth mystery, as I have said unto you. And I found a mystery in My vesture, written in these five words which pertain to the height: Zama, Zama, Ozza, Rachama, Ozai. And this is the interpretation thereof:

"The Mystery which is beyond the world, that whereby all things exist: It is all evolution and all involution; It projected all emanations and all things therein. Because of It all mysteries exist and all their regions."

Hereupon the Master recites the hymn of praise and welcome sung by the powers at His investiture on the Great DayThe Hymn of Welcome "Come unto us." "Come unto us"--the day of this supreme initiation, when all His Limbs are gathered together. "Come unto us, for we are Thy fellow-members (or limbs). We are all one with Thee. We are one and the same, and Thou art one and the same. This is the First Mystery, who hath existed from the beginning in the Ineffable, before He came forth; and the Name thereof is all of us. Now, therefore, we all live together for Thee at the last limit, which also is the last mystery from the interior. That also is part of us. Now, therefore, we have sent Thee Thy vesture, which, indeed, is Thine from the beginning, which Thou didst leave in the last limit, which also is the last mystery from the interiors, until its time should be fulfilled, according to the commandment of the First Mystery. Lo, its time being fulfilled, I give it Thee.

"Come unto us, for we all stand near to clothe Thee with the First Mystery and all His glory, by commandment of the same, in that the First Mystery gave us two vestures to clothe Thee, besides the one we have sent Thee, since Thou art worthy of them, and art prior to us, and came into being before us. For this cause, therefore, the First Mystery hath sent for Thee through us the mystery of His glory, two vestures."

The hymn proceeds to explain how that the first vesture hath in it the whole glory of all the names The Three Vestures of Light.of all the mysteries of all the orders of the spaces of the Ineffable; that the second contains the whole glory of all the names, or powers, of all the mysteries, or emanations, of the orders of the twin spaces of the First Mystery; that the third vesture contains all the glory of the powers of the emanations of all the spaces and sub-spaces below these supernal realms as far as the earth. The hymn then continues:

"Lo, therefore, we have sent Thee this [third] vesture, without any [of the powers] knowing it from the First Statute downward; because the glory of its light was hidden in it [the First Statute], and the spheres with all their regions from the First Statute downwards [knew it not]. Make haste, therefore; clothe Thyself with this vesture. Come unto us; for ever, until the time appointed by the Ineffable was fulfilled, have we been in need of Thee, to clothe Thee with the two [remaining] ventures, by order of the First Mystery. Lo, then, the time is fulfilled. Come, therefore, to us quickly, in order that we may clothe Thee, until Thou hast accomplished the full ministry of the perfections of the First Mystery, the ministry appointed for Thee by the Ineffable. Come, therefore, to us quickly, in order that we may clothe Thee, according to the commandment of the First Mystery; for yet a little while, a very little while, and Thou shalt come to us, and shalt leave the world. Come, therefore, quickly, that Thou mayest receive the whole glory, the glory of the First Mystery."

The Journey into the Height.Thereupon, on hearing the hymn of the powers, the Master said, He donned the lowest robe of glory, and, changed into pure light, soared upwards and came to the lower firmament. And all the powers of that firmament were in great confusion because of the transcendent light; and on seeing the mystery of their names or powers inscribed in it, leaving their ranks, they bowed down and worshipped, saying: "How hath the Lord of the pleroma changed us without our knowing!" And they all sang together to the interior of the interiors a hymn of praise in harmony.

And so He passed upwards and inwards to the First Sphere above the firmament, shining with a radiance forty-and-nine times as great as before, and the gates were opened and He entered the mansions of the Sphere, and the powers were changed and worshipped, and sang hymns of rejoicing as before.

Thence upward and inward he passed to the Second Sphere, shining with a light nine-and-forty times still more intensified, and the powers of that sphere did as them beneath them, and bowed and worshipped and sang hymns to the interior of the interiors.

Still continuing His triumphal flight, He soared still higher within, to the Space of the Twelve Æons, shining with radiance forty-and-nine times still further increased. And all the orders and rulers of the Æonic Space were amazed. Those of them called the Tyrants, under their great leader Adamas, in ignorance fought against the light; but in vain, for they only expended their strength one against the other, and fell down and became "as the inhabitants of the earth who are dead and who have no breath in them"--that is to say, deprived of the light-spark, like the unknowing among men.

And He took from them a third of their power, that they should no more prevail in their evil doings; The Master Robs the Æons of a Third of their that if men should invoke them for evil in the magic practices which the transgressing Angels brought down from above, they should not be able to work their will as heretofore.

And so He changed the Fate-Sphere, over which they are lords. For by order of the First Statute and First Mystery, they had been set, by Ieou, the Overseer of the Light, all facing the Left, accomplishing their influences. But now they were changed so that for six months they faced the Left and for six months the Right.

The Questions of Mary.Hereupon, the Master having invited questions and interpretations of the mysteries He has revealed, Mary Magdalene, who is throughout represented as the most spiritual by far of all the disciples, comes forward, and being granted permission to speak, interprets a passage from Isaiah by the light of the new teaching. The passage begins with the words: "Where, then, O Egypt, where are thy diviners and ordainers of the hour?"--and among other things Egypt is said to mean the "inefficacious matter (hyle)."

Mary is commended for her intuition, and in reply to her further questioning, the Master explains that all their power has not been taken from these Rulers of the Fate, by the third robe of glory, but only a third of it; so that if the ordainers of the hour chance on the Fate or the Sphere turning to the Left, they will say what is to take place; but if they chance on it turning to the Right they will not be able to prophesy, for He has changed all the influences. But those who know the mysteries of the magic of the Thirteenth Æon will accomplish them perfectly, for He has not taken away the power in that Space, according to the command of the First Mystery.

Why the Rulers have been robbed.In reply to a question by Philip, it is explained that this conversion of the spheres has been effected to aid the salvation of souls; otherwise the number of perfected souls would have been kept back from its accomplishment, that is to say, of those who shall be counted in the heritage of the height, by means of the mysteries, and shall dwell in the Light-treasure. The power of the Rulers is in the matter of the world which they make into souls By the victory of the Master a third of this power has been taken from them, and converted to a higher substance.

In answer to Mary's further questioning, it is further explained how this third part of their power was taken away. It always had been that their power, as it became purified, was gathered back to the higher world by Melchisedec, the Great Receiver or Collector of Light, it being continually liberated by the spheres being made to turn more rapidly, that is to say by the quickening of evolution owing to the influx of Light. The substance of the Rulers is graphically described as "the breath of their mouths, the tears of their eyes, and the sweat of their bodies"--the matter out of which souls are made.

But as their power was gradually taken from them, their kingdom began to be dissolved; the Rulers therefore began to devour their own matter, so that it should not be made into souls of men and so be purified, and in every way strove to delay the completion of the number of perfect souls--the crown of evolution. So it came to pass that they fought against the great soul of the Master as He passed through them, and so He changed them and their configurations and influences, "and from that hour they have not had the power to turn towards the purgation of their matter to devour it."

"I took away a third part of their power; I changed their revolution; I shortened their circles, and caused their path to be lightened, and they were greatly hurried, and were thrown into confusion in their path; and from that hour they have no more had the power of devouring the matter of the purgation of the brilliancy of their light."

The Shortening of the Times.Thus had He shortened their times and hastened evolution. "For this cause I said unto you before, 'I have shortened the times because of my Elect.'" The "Elect" (Pneumatics) are the perfect number of souls who shall receive the mysteries; indeed had not the times been shortened, "there would not have been a single material (hylic) soul saved, but they would have perished in the fire which is in the flesh of the Rulers."

The Heavenly journey continued.After these explanations the Master continues the narrative of his heaven journey. All the great powers of the Æonic Spaces, when they saw what had happened to their Tyrants, adored and sang hymns to the interior of the interiors. And so He passed inward to the veils of the Thirteenth Æon. Here, outside this Space, He found Pistis Sophia, sitting alone, mourning and grieving because she had not been brought into the Thirteenth Æon, her proper region in the height. She was grieving because of the sufferings brought upon her by Arrogant, one of the three Triple Powers. But when she saw the radiant light-vesture of the Master, containing the whole glory of her mystery, the mystery of the Thirteenth Æon, she began to sing a song to the light which is in the height, which she had seen in the veil of the Treasure of Light. And as she sang, the veils of the Thirteenth Æon were drawn apart, and her syzygy, and her two-and-twenty fellow-emanations within the Æon, making together four-and-twenty emanations who came forth from the Great Invisible Forefather and the two other great Triple Powers of that Space, gazed upon the light of His vesture.

Hereupon follows the mystic story of the sufferings of Pistis Sophia. In the beginning she was The Myth of Pistis the Thirteenth Æon with her companion Æons. By order of the First Mystery, she gazed into the height and saw the light of the veil of the Treasure of Light, and desired to ascend into that glorious realm, but could not. She ceased to do the mystery of the Thirteenth Æon and ever sang hymns to the Light she had seen.

Hereupon the Rulers in the Twelve Æons below hated her, because she had ceased to do their mystery--the mystery of intercourse or sexual union--and desired to go into the height and be above them all.

And Arrogant, the disobedient one, that one of the three Triple Powers of the Thirteenth Æon who The Enmity of Arrogant.refused to give the purity of his light for the benefit of others, but desired to keep it for himself and so be ruler of the Thirteenth Æon, led the onslaught against her. Arrogant is apparently the conservative power of the "matter" of this Space. He joined himself to the number of the Twelve Æons and fought against the Sophia. He sent forth a great power from his light and other powers from his matter, the reflections of the powers and emanations above, into Chaos; and caused the Sophia to look down into the lower regions, that she might see this power and imagine it was the real Light to which she aspired. And so in ignorance she descended into matter, saying: "I will go into that region, without my consort, to take the light, which the Æons of Light have produced for me, so that I may go to the Light of lights, which is in the Height of heights."

The Fall into Matter.Thus pondering she went forth from the Thirteenth Æon and descended into the Twelve; but they pursued her, and so she gradually descended to the regions of Chaos, and drew nigh to the light-power which Arrogant had sent below, to devour it. But all the material emanations of Arrogant surrounded her, and the light-power of Arrogant set to work to devour all the light-powers in the Sophia; "it expelled her light and swallowed it, and as for her matter they cast it into Chaos." This light-power of Arrogant is that Ialdabaoth "of which," says the Master, "I have spoken to you many times."

And so Sophia was greatly weakened and beset and "cried out exceedingly, she cried on high to that Light of lights which she had seen in the beginning, in which she had trusted [hence is she called Pistis (Faith) Sophia], and began to sing songs of repentance," whereby she might be converted or taken back to the Light.

The lengthy incident of the Pistis Sophia occupies pp. 42-181 of the Coptic translation, and her thirteen repentances and songs of praise are a mystical interpretation of a number of the Psalms of the Second Temple collection and of five of the Odes of Solomon.

To attain to the knowledge of the Light, the human soul (as the world-soul before it) has to descend into matter (hyle). Hence the Sophia, desiring The Descent of the Soul.the Light, descends towards its reflection, from the Thirteenth Æon, through the Twelve, into the depths of Chaos or Unorder, where she seems in danger of entirely losing all her own innate light or spirit, being continually deprived of it by the powers of matter. Having descended to the lowest depths of Chaos, she at length reaches the limit, and the path of her pilgrimage begins to lead upward to spirit again. Thus she reaches the middle point of balance, and still yearning for the Light, rounds the turning point of her cyclic course, and changing the tendency of her thought or mind or nature, recites her penitential hymns or repentances. Her chief enemy is the false light--presumably the counterfeit spirit of which we shall hear later on--the desire-nature, which is assisted by four-and-twenty material powers, the reflections of the supernal projections, powers or co-partners of the Sophia, the whole looked at from without making an ordering into forty-nine.

The Sophia first utters seven repentances. At the fourth of these, the turning point of some sub-cycle of Its Repentance and Redemption.her pilgrimage, she prays that the image of the Light may not be turned from her, for the time is come when "those who turn in the lowest regions" should be regarded--"the mystery which is made the type of the race."

At the sixth the Light remits her transgression; viz., that she quitted her own region and fell into Chaos. This perhaps refers to the dawning of the consciousness of the higher ego in the lower personality. But as yet the command has not come from the First Mystery to free her entirely from Chaos. This may refer to the higher illumination when the consciousness of the true spiritual soul is obtained.

Therefore at the conclusion of her seventh repentance, where she pleads that she has done it all in ignorance, through her love for the Light, Jesus, her syzygy (without the First Mystery) raises her up to a slightly less confined region in Chaos, but Sophia still knows not by whom it is done.

It is only at the ninth stage that the First Mystery partly accepts her repentance and sends Jesus in the form of the Light to her help, so that she recognises it.

Her next four hymns are sung knowingly to the Light, and are of the nature of thanksgiving, and of declaration that justice will shortly overtake her oppressors, while at the same time she prays to be delivered wholly from her "transgression"--the lower desire-nature.

The Degrees of Purification.After the thirteenth repentance, Jesus again, of himself, without the First Mystery, emanated a brilliant power of light from Himself, and sent it to aid Sophia, to raise her still higher in Chaos, until the command should come to free her entirely. There are, therefore, as it seems, three degrees of purification from the chaotic elements of the lower nature.

Next follows a description of the light-powers, which are to be closely compared with the description of the three vestures of glory in the opening pages of the Codex.

Then, while Sophia pours forth hymns of joy, the power becomes a "crown to her head," and her hyle The Light-Crown.(or material propensities) begins to be entirely purified, while the spiritual light-powers which she has succeeded in retaining during her long combat, join themselves with the new vesture of light which has descended upon her.

Then is the law fulfilled, and the First Mystery in His turn sent forth another great light-power, which joined with that already emanated by the Light, and it became a great light-stream. This stream was nothing else than the First Mystery Himself looking without, coming forth from the First Mystery looking within.

When all this is accomplished the Sophia is completely purified, and her light-powers are reestablished and filled with new light, by their own co-partner of light, that syzygy without whom Sophia in the beginning had thought to reach the Light of lights, unaided, and so fell into error.

But all is not yet over; the final victory is not yet won. For the higher she rises the stronger are the powers or projections sent against her; they proceed to change their shapes, so that she now has to struggle against still greater foes, which are emanated and directed by the subtlest powers of cosmos.

Thereupon Sophia is not only crowned but entirely surrounded with the light-stream, and further supported The Final Victory.on either hand by Michael and Gabriel, the "sun" and "moon." The "wings of the great bird" flutter, and the "winged globe" unfolds its pinions, preparatory to its flight. Thus the last great battle begins.

The First Mystery looking without directs her attack against the "cruel crafty powers, passions incarnate," and makes the Sophia tread underfoot the basilisk with seven heads, destroying its hyle, "so that no seed can arise from it henceforth," and casting down the rest of the opposing host.

Thereupon Sophia sings triumphant hymns of praise on being set free from the bonds of Chaos. Thus is she set free and remembers.

Still the great Self-willed one and Adamas, the Tyrant, are not yet entirely subdued, for the command has not yet come from the First Mystery looking within. Therefore does the First Mystery looking without seal their regions and those of their rulers "until three times are accomplished," presumably until the end of the seven cycles or ages, of which the present is said to be the fourth, when the perfect number of those of humanity who reach perfection will pass into the interplanetary Nirva?a--to use a Buddhist term. This Nirva?a, however, is a state out of time and space, as we know them, and therefore can be reached now and within by very holy men who can attain the highest degree of spiritual contemplation. Then shall the Gates of the Treasure of the Great Light be opened and the heights be crossed by the pilgrim.

An otherwise unknown Story of the Infancy.In the course of the many interpretations of scripture given by the disciples and women disciples, Mary, the Mother of Jesus ("my mother according to matter, thou in whom I dwelt"), who is also one of the women disciples, receives permission to speak and tells a quaint story of the Infancy, otherwise entirely unknown.

And Mary answered and said: "My Master, concerning the word which Thy power prophesied through David, to wit, 'Mercy and truth are met together, righteousness and peace have kissed each other; truth hath flourished on the earth, and righteousness hath looked down from heaven'--Thy power prophesied this word of old concerning Thee.

"When Thou wert a child, before the Spirit had descended upon Thee, when Thou wert in the vineyard with Joseph, the Spirit came down from the height, and came unto me in the house, like unto Thee, and I knew Him not, but thought that He was Thou. And He said unto me, 'Where is Jesus, my Brother, that I may go to meet Him?' And when He had said this unto me I was in doubt, and thought it was a phantom tempting me. I seized Him and bound Him to the foot of the bed which was in my house, until I had gone to find you in the field--Thee and Joseph, and I found you in the vineyard; Joseph was putting up the vine poles.

"It came to pass, therefore, when Thou didst hear me saying this thing unto Joseph, that Thou didst understand, and Thou wert joyful and saidest, 'Where is He, that I may see Him? Nay [rather] I am expecting Him in this place.' And it came to pass, when Joseph heard Thee say these words, that he was disturbed.

"We went together, we entered into the house, we found the Spirit bound to the bed, and we gazed upon Thee and Him, and found that Thou wert like unto Him. And He that was bound to the bed was unloosed; He embraced Thee and kissed Thee, and Thou also didst kiss Him; ye became one and the same being."

At the end of the story of the Sophia, Mary asks: "My Master and Saviour, how are the four-and-twenty Invisibles [the co-powers of Sophia]; of what type, of what quality; or of what quality is their light?"

Of the Glory of Them of the Thirteenth Æon.And Jesus answered and said unto Mary: "What is there in this world which is comparable to them; or what region in this world is like unto them? Now, therefore, to what shall I liken them; or what shall I say concerning them? For there is nothing in this world with which I can compare them; nor is there a single form to which I can liken them. Indeed, there is nothing in this world which is of the quality of heaven. But, Amen, I say unto you, every one of the Invisibles is nine times greater than the Heaven [the lower firmament], and the Sphere above it, and the Twelve Æons all together, as I have already told you on another occasion.

"[Again] there is no light in this world which is superior to that of the sun. Amen, Amen, I say unto you, the four-and-twenty Invisibles are more radiant than the light of the sun which is in this world, ten thousand times, as I have told you before on another occasion; but the Light of the Sun in its true form, which is in the space of the Virgin of Light, is more radiant than the four-and-twenty, . . . ten thousand times more radiant."

The Master promises further, when he takes them through the various spaces of the unseen world, to bring them all finally into the Twin Spaces of the First Mystery, as far as the supreme Space of the Ineffable, "and ye shall see all their configurations as they really are, without similitude."

"When I bring you into the region of the rulers of the Fate-Sphere, ye shall see the glory in which The Scale of Light.they are, and compared with their greatly superior glory, ye will regard this world as the darkness of darkness; and when ye gaze down on the whole world of men, it will be as a speck of dust for you, because of the enormous distance by which [the Fate-Sphere] will be distant from it, and because of the enormous superiority of its quality over it."

And so shall it be in ever increasing glory of light with each higher space, the lower appearing as a speck of dust from its sublimity, as they are taken through the Twelve Æons, the Thirteenth Æon (or the Left), the Midst, the Right (sci., of the cosmic cross), the Light-world, and the Inheritance of Light within it.

Then Mary asks: "Master, will the men of this world who have received the mysteries of light be higher in Thy Kingdom than the emanations of the Treasure of Light?"

And in answer the Master explains the ordering and nature and functions of these great emanations, and how that, at the final time of the completion of the æon and the ascension of the pleroma, these all shall have a higher place in His Kingdom; but this time has not yet come. But high above all of them the souls of men who have received the mysteries of light, shall take precedence.

The "Last" shall be "First."And Mary said: "Master, my indweller of light hath ears, and I comprehend every word which Thou speakest. Now, therefore, O Master, concerning the word which Thou hast spoken, to wit, 'All the souls of human kind which shall receive the mysteries of light, shall in the Inheritance of Light take precedence of all the Rulers who shall repent, and all them of the region of those who are on the Right, and the whole space of the Treasure of Light'; concerning this word, my Master, Thou hast said unto us aforetime, 'The first shall be last and the last shall be first,' that is, the 'last' are the whole race of men who shall be first in the Light-kingdom; so also they that are [now] in the space of the height are the 'first.'"

The Three Supernal Spaces of the Light.The Master then continues in His conversation and tells them of the glorious beings and spaces, of which He will treat in detail in His further teaching, up to the inner Space of the First Mystery, but of those within these supernal spaces He will not treat in the physical consciousness, for "there is no possibility of speaking of them in this world"; nay, "there is neither quality nor light which resembleth them, not only in this world, but also no comparison in those of the Height of Righteousness." He, however, in lofty language describes the greatness of the five Great Supporters of the outer Space of the First Mystery, above or within which is the inner Space of the First Mystery, and above all the Space of the Ineffable.

To these supernal realms of the Inheritance shall come those who have received the light-mysteries, The Inheritance of Light.and each shall occupy the space according to the mystery he has received, a higher space or a lower according to the degree of the mysteries he has received; each shall have the power of going into all regions of the Inheritance below him, but not of ascending higher.

"But he who shall have received the complete mystery of the First Mystery of the Ineffable, that is The Mystery of the First say, the twelve mysteries of the First Mystery, one after another, . . . . . . . shall have the power of exploring all the orders of the Inheritance of Light, of exploring from without within, from within without, from above below, and from below above, from the height to the depth, and from the depth to the height, from the length to the breadth, and from the breadth to the length; in a word, he shall have the power of exploring all the regions of the Inheritances of Light, and he shall have the power of remaining in the region which he shall choose in the Inheritance of the Light-kingdom.

"Amen, I say unto you, this man, in the dissolution of the world, shall be King over all the orders of the The Gnosis of Jesus, the Mystery of the Ineffable.Inheritance of Light; and he who shall have received the Mystery of Ineffable, that man the is Myself.

Hereupon follows a magnificent recital of the perfect Gnosis of such a one, for:

"That Mystery knoweth why there is darkness, and why light."

And so on, in great phrases describing the wisdom of the supreme Mystery, who knows the reason of the existence of all things: darkness of darkness and light of light; chaos and the treasure of light; judgment and inheritance of light; punishment of sinners and rest of the righteous; sin and baptisms; fire of punishment and seals of light; blasphemies and songs to the light; and so on through many pairs of opposites, ending with death and life.

But the recital of the greatness of the supreme Gnosis is not yet ended, for the Master continues: "Hearken, therefore, now further, O My disciples, while I tell you the whole Gnosis of the Mystery of the Ineffable."

It is the Gnosis of pitilessness and compassion; of destruction and everlasting increase; of beasts and creeping things, and metals, seas, and earth, clouds and rain, and so on working downwards from man into nature and upwards through all the supernal realms.

The Disciples lose Courage in Amazement at the Glories of the Gnosis.But the disciples are amazed at the glories of the Gnosis of this greatest Mystery and lose courage. And Mary said: "O Master, if the Gnosis of all these things is in that Mystery, who is the man in this world who shall be able to understand that Mystery and all its gnoses, and the manner of all the words which thou hast spoken concerning it?"

And the Master said: "Grieve not, My disciples, concerning the Mystery of that Ineffable, thinking that ye will not understand it. Amen, I say unto you, that Mystery is yours, and every one's who shall give ear unto you, and shall renounce the whole world, and all the matter therein, who shall renounce all the evil thoughts that are therein, and shall renounce all the cares of this æon.

"Now, therefore, will I tell you: Whosoever shall renounce the whole world and all therein, and shall The Highest Mystery is the Simplest of All.submit himself to the Divinity, to him that Mystery of them shall be far more easy than all the mysteries of the Kingdom of Light; it is far simpler to understand than all the rest, and it is far clearer than them all. He who shall come to a knowledge of that Mystery, hath renounced the whole of this world and all its cares. For this cause have I said unto you aforetime: 'Come unto Me all ye that are oppressed with cares and labour under their weight, and I will give you rest, for My burden is light and My yoke easy."

Let them not be dismayed at the vast complexity of the emanation of the pleroma and the world-process, "for the emanation of the pleroma is its Gnosis." Let but the Christ be born in their hearts by their forsaking the delights of the world, and they shall grow into the being of the pleroma and so possess all its Gnosis.

The Master then continues His description of the Gnosis of the Mystery of the Ineffable, resuming it at Concerning the One Word of the Ineffable.the point where He had broken off, and leading them higher and higher into the supernal heights through space after space, and hierarchy after hierarchy, of stupendous being and its emanation, up to the Mystery itself, the First Mystery who knoweth why He came forth from the Last Limb of the Ineffable. All this, which He now recites simply, naming the great spaces and their indwellers, He promises to explain at length in His further teaching.

"Now, therefore, it is the Mystery of the Ineffable which knoweth why all of which I have spoken unto you hath come into existence; of a truth all this hath existed because of Him. He is the Mystery which is in them all; He is the emanation of them all, the re-absorption of them all, and the support of them all.

"This Mystery of the Ineffable is in all those of which I have spoken, and of which I shall speak in treating of the emanation of the pleroma. He is the Mystery which is in them all, and He is the One Mystery of the Ineffable. And the Gnosis of that which I have said unto you, and of what I have not yet spoken unto you, but of all of which I shall speak when treating of the [full] emanation of the pleroma, and the whole Gnosis of each of them, one after another, that is to say, why they exist--all this is the One Word (Logos) of the Ineffable."

"The Mystery of the Ineffable is the One and Only Word, but there is another [Word] on the Tongue of the Ineffable; it is the rule of the interpretation of all the words which I have spoken unto you."

It is then explained how that he who receives this One and Only Word. when he comes forth from the body of the matter of the Rulers, becomes a great light-stream, and soars into the height; he The Glory of Him who Receive the Mystery.stands in no need of apology or symbol, for all powers bow down before the vesture of light in which he is clothed, and sing hymns of praise, and so he passes upwards and onwards, through all the Inheritances of Light, and higher still until he becometh one with the Limbs of the Ineffable. "Amen, I say unto you, he shall be in all the regions during the time a man can shoot an arrow."

Hereupon follows a recital of the greatness of such a soul. Beginning with the words, "Though he be a man in the world, yet is he higher than all angels, and shall far surpass them all," it recites in the same form all the grades of the supernal hierarchies of beings from angels upwards, and ends as follows:

"Though he be a man in the world, yet is he higher than the whole region of the Treasure, and shall be exalted above the whole of it.

"Though he be a man in the world, yet shall he be King with Me in My Kingdom. He is a man in the world but a King in the Light.

"Though he be a man in the world, yet is he a man who is not of the world.

"Amen, I say unto you, that man is Myself, and I am that man."

And at the great consummation all such men "shall be fellow-kings with Me, they shall sit on My right hand and on My left in My Kingdom.

"Amen, I say unto you, these men are Myself, and I am these men,"

Of the Thrones in the Light-Kingdom.There then follows apparently an interpolation consisting of a quotation from some now unknown Gospel: "Wherefore have I said unto you aforetime, 'In the place where I shall be, there also will be my twelve ministers, but Mary Magdalene and John the virgin shall be higher than all the disciples.'

"And all men who shall receive the Mystery in that Ineffable shall be on My left hand and on My right, and I am they and they are Myself.

"They shall be your equals in all things, and yet your thrones shall be more excellent than theirs, and My throne shall be more excellent than yours and [than those of] all men who shall have found the Word of that Ineffable."

There are other Logoi.And Mary thinks that this must be the end of all things and the Gnosis of all gnoses, and so protests: "Master, surely there is no other Word of the Mystery of that Ineffable, nor any other Word of the whole Gnosis?"

The Saviour answered and said: "Yea, verily; there is another Mystery of the Ineffable and another Word of the whole Gnosis." Nay, a multitude of Words, He might have added.

The Degrees of the Mysteries.Then Mary asks whether those who do not receive the Mystery of the Ineffable before they die, will enter the Light-kingdom. The Master answers that every one who receives a mystery of light, any one of them, shall after death find rest in the Light-world appropriate to his mystery, but no one who has not become a Christ will know the Gnosis of the whole pleroma, for "in all openness I am the Gnosis of the whole pleroma."

So he who receives the first mystery of the First Mystery shall be King over the spaces of the First Saviour in the Light-realm, and so on up to the twelfth.

And Mary asks: "Master, how is it that the First Mystery hath twelve mysteries, whereas the Ineffable hath but one Mystery?"

The answer is that they are really one Mystery; this Mystery is ordered into twelve, and also into five, and again into three, while still remaining one; they are all different aspects or types of the same Mystery.

The two higher mysteries of the three not only ensure the possessor of them, when he leaves the The Boons they Grant.body, his appropriate lot in the Inheritance, but they further bestow boons with regard to others. If a man "perform them in all their configurations, that is to say when he shall have created those mysteries for himself," they give the power of further enabling him to protect one who is not a participator in the Words of Truth, after his death, so that he shall not be punished. Of course such a man cannot "be brought into the Light until he have performed the whole polity of the light of those mysteries, that is to say, the strict renunciation of the world"; but he will be sent back again into "a righteous body, which shall find the God of Truth and the higher mysteries."

But as for the highest mystery of all, "whosoever shall receive the Mystery which is in the whole The Limbs of the Ineffable.Space of the Ineffable, and also all the other sweet mysteries which are in the Limbs of that Ineffable, of which I have not yet spoken unto you, both concerning their emanation, and the manner in which they are constituted, and the type of each of them as it is--I have not told you why It is called the Ineffable, or why It lies stretched out with all Its Limbs, or how many Limbs there are therein, or what are all Its regulations; nor will I say this unto you immediately, but only when I come to speak of the emanation of the [whole] pleroma; [then] will I tell you every detail, one by one, for It hath emanated together with Its own Word, just as it is in Itself, together with the sum total of all its Limbs, which belong to the regulation of the One and Only One, the changeless God of Truth--in the region, therefore, of which each shall receive the mystery in the Space of that Ineffable, there shall he inherit up to the region which he shall have received, [as far as] the whole region of the Space of that Ineffable; nor shall he give explanation throughout the regions, nor apology nor symbol, for [such souls] are without symbol and have no receivers.

So also for the second Space below this, the Space of the First Mystery looking within; such souls require no apology.

But for the third Space, the Space of the First Mystery looking without, each region has its receiver, explanation, apologies, and symbols, of all of which the Master will speak in due course.

"But when the pleroma is completed, that is to say, when the number of perfect souls shall be reached, and the Mystery shall be accomplished according to which the pleroma is the pleroma, I shall pass a thousand years, according to the years of Light, reigning over all the emanations of the Light and the whole number of perfect souls who shall have received all the mysteries."

Now "a day of the Light is a thousand years in the world, so that thirty-six myriads of years and a half a myriad of years of the world make a single year of the Light."

The glories of the Light-kingdom with its three Realms and Kings is then described.

"Now the mysteries of these three Inheritances of Light are exceedingly numerous. Ye shall find them The Books of the two great Books of Ieou." The higher ones He will reveal unto them; "but as for the rest of the lower mysteries, ye have no need thereof, but ye shall find them in the two Books of Ieou, which Enoch wrote when I spoke with him from the Tree of Knowledge, and from the Tree of Life, which were in the Paradise of Adam."

Hereupon Andrew is in great amazement, and cannot believe that men of the world like themselves can have so high a destiny reserved for them, and can reach such lofty heights. "This matter, then, is hard for me," he says.

When Andrew had said these words, the spirit of the Saviour was moved in Him, and He cried Ye are Gods.out and said: "How long shall I bear with you, how long shall I suffer you? Do ye still not know and are ye ignorant? Know ye not and do ye not understand that ye are all Angels, all Archangels, Gods and Lords, all Rulers, all the great Invisibles, all those of the Midst, those of every region of them that are on the Right, all the Great Ones of the emanations of the Light with all their glory; that ye are all, of yourselves and in yourselves in turn, from one mass and one matter, and one substance; ye are all from the same mixture. . . .

"The great Light-emanations have not at all [in reality] undergone sufferings, nor changes of region, nor have they at all torn themselves asunder, nor poured themselves into different bodies, nor have they been in any affliction.

Of Souls in Incarnation."Whereas, ye others, ye are the purgations of the Treasure, ye are the purgations of the region of them that are on the Right, ye are the purgations of all the invisibles and all the rulers; in a word, ye are the purgation of all of them. And ye have been in great afflictions and great tribulations, in your pourings into different bodies in this world. And after all these afflictions which came from yourselves, ye have struggled and fought, renouncing the whole world and all the matter that is in it; and ye have not held your hands in the fight, until ye found all the mysteries of the Kingdom of Light, which have purified you, and transformed you into refined light, most pure, and ye have become pure light itself. . . .

"Amen, I say unto you, the race of human kind is of matter. I have torn myself asunder, I have brought unto them the mysteries of light, to purify them, for they are the purgations of all the matter of their matter. . . .

"Now the Light-emanations have no need of any mystery, for they are pure; but the human race hath need of purification, for all men are purgations of matter. . . .

"For this cause, therefore, preach ye to the The Preaching of the Mysteries.whole human race, saying, 'Cease not to seek day and night, until ye have found the purifying mysteries'; and say unto them, 'Renounce the whole world, and all the matter therein', for he who buyeth and selleth in this world, he who eateth and drinketh of his own matter, who liveth in his own cares and all his own associations, amasses ever fresh matter from his matter, in that the whole world, and all that is therein, and all its associations, are exceedingly material purgations, and they shall make enquiry of every one according to his purity."

This is followed by a long instruction on the nature of the preaching of the disciples to the world when the Master shall have gone unto the Light.

"Say unto them, 'Renounce the whole world and The Burden of the Preaching.the matter that is in it, all its cares, all its sins, in a word, all the associations that are in it, that ye may be worthy of the mysteries of light, and be saved from all the torments which are in the judgments.'"

They are to renounce mourning, superstition, spells, calumny, false witness, boasting and pride, gluttony, garrulity, evil caresses, desire of avarice, the love of the world, robbery, evil words, wickedness, pitilessness, wrath, reviling, pillage, slandering, quarrelling, ignorance, villainy, sloth, adultery, murder, hardness of heart and impiety, atheism, magic potions, blasphemy, doctrines of error,--that they may escape the torments of fire and ice and other graphic horrors of an elaborate hell, capped by the torments of the Great Dragon of the inexorable Outer Darkness, reserved for the greatest of sins, where such absolutely unrepentant souls "shall be without existence until the end" of the æon; they shall be "frozen up" in that state.

The Boundary Marks of the Paths of the Mysteries.Thus far for the negative side, the things to be abandoned; but for the positive, the things to be done, they are to: "Say unto the men of the world, 'Be ye diligent, that ye may receive the mysteries of light, and enter into the height of the Kingdom of Light.'"

They are to be gentle, peacemakers, merciful, compassionate, to minister unto the poor and sick and afflicted, be loving unto God, and righteous, and live the life of absolute self-renunciation.

"These are all the boundary marks of the paths of them that are worthy of the mysteries of light."

Unto such and such only are the mysteries to be given; the absolute condition is that they make this renunciation and repent.

"It is because of sinners that I have brought these mysteries into the world, for the remission of all the sins which they have committed from the beginning. Wherefore have I said unto you aforetime, 'I came not to call the righteous.'"

The After-death State of the Uninitiated Righteous.The question now arises as to good men who have not received the mysteries, how will it be with them after death?

"A righteous man who is perfect in all righteousness," answers the Master, yet who has not received the mysteries of light, on going forth from the body, is taken charge of by the Receivers of Light--as distinguished from the Receivers of Wrath. "Three days shall they journey round with that soul in all the creatures of the world," and pass it through all the elements of the judgments, instructing it therein, and then it shall be taken to the Virgin of Light and sealed with an excellent seal that it may be carried into a righteous body of the æons, so that it may in its next birth find the signs of the mysteries of light and inherit the Kingdom of Light for ever.

So with a man who has only sinned twice or thrice, he shall be sent back into the world according to the type of the sins he hath committed; "I will tell you these types when I shall come to explain the emanation of the pleroma" in detail.

"But Amen, Amen, I say unto you, even though a righteous man have not committed any sin at all, it is impossible to take him into the Kingdom of Light, because the sign of the Kingdom of the Mysteries is not with him." He must have gnosis as well as righteousness.

The question next arises as to the sinner who has repented, and received the mysteries, and then has Of Those who Repent and again Fall Back.fallen away, and again repented, provided he be not a hypocrite; "Wilt Thou or not that we remit his transgressions unto seven times, and give him the mysteries again?"

The Saviour answered and said: "Remit ye his sin not only unto seven times, but Amen, I say unto you, remit ye it unto him many times seven times, and each time give ye him the mysteries from the beginning, the mysteries which are in the first Space from the exterior; perchance ye will win the soul of that brother, so that he may inherit the Kingdom of Light. . . .

The Added Glories of the Saviour of Souls."Amen, I say unto you, he who shall give life unto a single soul, and shall save it, in addition to his own proper light in the Kingdom of Light, he shall further receive an additional glory for the soul which he shall have saved, so that he who shall save a host of souls, in addition to his own proper glory in the Glory, he shall receive a host of additional glories for the souls which he shall have saved."

Nay, they shall not only give the lower mysteries, but the higher mysteries as well, provided always the man sincerely repent and is not a hypocrite; all mysteries up to the three highest mysteries of the First Mystery, "for the First Mystery is compassionate and merciful-minded."

Concerning the Irreconcilables."But if that man again transgresseth, and is in any kind of sin, ye shall not remit his sin again from that hour, nor any more accept his repentance; let him be for you a stumbling-block and transgressor.

"For Amen, I say unto you, these three mysteries shall witness against his last repentance for him from that hour. Amen, I say unto you, the soul of that man shall have no more probation for the world of the height henceforth from that hour, but it shall dwell in the habitation of the Dragon of the Outer Darkness."

In all of this the disciples have no choice; if they know a man is sincere, and not a hypocrite or merely curious to know what kind of things the rites of the mysteries are, they must give him these mysteries and not withhold them, even if he be one who has never received any of the lower mysteries; for should they hide them from him, they will be subject to a great judgment.

Beyond the giving of these three higher mysteries they have no power, for they have not sufficient knowledge.

But the case of a man who has fallen away after receiving the highest mysteries they can give, is not Of the Infinite Compassion of the Divine.entirely hopeless; it is, however, in the hands of the First Mystery and the Mystery of the Ineffable alone.

These alone can accept repentance from such a man, and grant him the remission of his sins, for these Mysteries are "compassionate and merciful-minded, and grant remission of sins at any time."

The question is now raised, Supposing they give the mysteries in error to those who are hypocrites Of those who Mimic the Mysteries.and who have deceived them and have afterwards made a mock of the mysteries "mimicking us and making forgeries of our mysteries," what then are they to do?

In this case they are to appeal to the First Mystery, saying: "The mystery which we have given unto these impious and iniquitous souls, they have not performed in a manner worthy of Thy mystery, but they have [merely] copied [what we did]; give back [therefore] that mystery unto us, and make them for ever strangers to Thy Kingdom."

In that hour the mysteries such impious souls have received, shall return to them, and such people can receive pardon from no one save only the Mystery of the Ineffable.

In the case of the unbelieving friends and relatives of those who have received the mysteries, the latter may by their prayers and invocations procure a better lot in the after-death state for their relatives and friends, so that they may be sent back into conditions favourable for their receiving the mysteries in another life.

Can the Pains of Martyrdom be Avoided.It is then asked whether the mysteries will save the disciples from the pains of martyrdom. "For they are in exceeding great number who persecute us because of Thee, and multitudes pursue us because of Thy name, so that if we be submitted to the torture, we shall utter the mystery, that we may immediately depart from the body without suffering pain."

The answer is not clear; every one who has accomplished the first (i.e., highest) of the three higher mysteries, in life, when the time comes to leave the body, shall soar into the Kingdom of Life without need of apology or sign. But it is not said that the pains of martyrdom can be avoided.

The Mystery of the Resurrection of the Dead.But they will be able to help others, for "not only ye, but all men who shall achieve the mystery of the resurrection of the dead, which healeth from demonian possessions, and sufferings, and every disease, [which also healeth] the blind, the lame, the halt, the dumb, and the deaf, [the mystery] which I gave unto you aforetime--whosoever shall receive of these mysteries and achieve them, if he ask for any thing whatever hereafter, poverty or riches, weakness or strength, disease or health, or the whole healing of the body, and the resurrection of the dead, the power of healing the lame, the blind, the deaf, and the dumb, of every disease and of every suffering--in a word, whosoever shall achieve this mystery, if he ask any of the things which I have just said unto you, they shall at once be granted unto him."

Hereupon the disciples cried out together in transport: "O Saviour, Thou excitest us with very The Transport of the Disciples.great frenzy because of the transcendent height which  Thou hast revealed unto us; and Thou exaltest our souls, and they have become paths on which we travel to come unto Thee, for they came forth from Thee. Now, therefore, because of the transcendent heights which Thou hast revealed unto us, our souls have become frenzied, and they travail mightily, yearning to go forth from us into the height to the region of Thy Kingdom."

The Master continues His teaching, saying that the rest of the mysteries which have been committed That this Mystery is to be kept Secret.unto them they may give to others, but not the mystery of the resurrection of the dead and the healing of disease, "for that mystery pertaineth to the rulers, it and all its namings." This they are to retain as the sign of their mission, so that when they do such wonder-deeds, "they will believe on you, that ye preach the God of perfection, and will have faith in all your words."

The next point of instruction taken up is the question; "Who constraineth a man to sin?" This The Constitution of Man.opens up the whole subject of the constitution of man, and gives rise to a very interesting exposition of Gnostic psychology.

When the child is first born, the "light-power," "soul," "counterfeit spirit," and "body," are all very feeble in it. "None of them hath sense enough as yet for any work, whether good or evil, because of the exceeding great weight of oblivion."

The babe eateth of the delights of the world of the Rulers; the power absorbeth from the portion of the power which is in the delights, the soul from the portion of the soul in the delights, the counterfeit spirit from the portion of evil in the delights, and the body from the unperceptive matter in the delights.

There is also another factor called the "destiny," which remains as it came into the world and takes nothing from the delights.

So, little by little, all these constituent elements in man develop, each sensing according to its nature. "The power senseth after the light of the height; the soul senseth after the region of mixed righteousness, which is the region of the Mixture (sci., of Light and Matter); and the counterfeit spirit seeketh after all vices, and desires, and sins; but the body hath no power of sensing unless it be an impulse to gain strength from matter."

The power is evidently the higher mind, the soul the lower mind, and the counterfeit spirit the animal nature.

"The power within impelleth the soul to seek after the region of light and the whole Godhead; whereas the counterfeit spirit draggeth down the soul, and persistently constraineth it to commit The Evil Desire which constraineth a Man to sin.every kind of iniquity and mischief and sin, and persisteth as something foreign to the soul, and is its enemy, and maketh it commit all these sins and evils"--bringing them into operation against the soul because of what it has done in the past; moreover, for the future, "it spurreth on the Workmen of Wrath to bear witness to all the sin which it will constrain the soul to commit. And even when the man sleepeth by night or by day, it plagueth him in dreams with the desires of the world, and causeth him to long after all the things of this world. In a word, it bindeth the soul to all the actions which the Rulers have decreed for it, and is the enemy of the soul, causing it to do what it would not." This it is which constraineth a man to sin.

The "destiny" is that which leadeth the man to his death. Then come the Receivers of Wrath to lead that soul out of the body.

"And for three days the Receivers of Wrath travel round with that soul through all the regions, The Cycle of the After-death State of the Sinner.taking it through all the æons of the world; and the counterfeit spirit and destiny accompany that soul, but the power withdraws itself unto the Virgin of Light."

The soul is then brought down into Chaos, and the counterfeit spirit becometh the receiver of that soul, and haunteth it, rebuking it in every punishment because of the sins which it hath caused it to commit; it is in exceeding great enmity to the soul.

The soul then rises higher, still always haunted by the counterfeit spirit, until it comes to the Ruler of the Way of the Midst between the lower firmament and the earth-surface. Here it is still subjected to the punishments of its counterfeit spirit, according to its "destiny."

It is then brought by the counterfeit spirit to the "light of the sun,"--the Way of the Midst being apparently the sublunary regions--and taken to the Judge, the Virgin of Light, according to the commandment of Ieou, the First Man; and "the Virgin of Light sealeth that soul and handeth it over to one of her receivers, and will have it carried into a body, which is the record of the sins which it hath committed."

"Amen, I say unto you she will not suffer that soul to escape from transmigrations into bodies, until it hath given signs of being in its last cycle according to its record of demerit."

And of the Initiated Righteous.In the case of a righteous soul, however, and one that hath received the higher mysteries of light, "when the time of that soul is come for its passing from the body, then the counterfeit spirit followeth after that soul, and also the destiny. They follow after it in the way whereby it shall pass into the height.

"And before it goeth far into the height, it uttereth the mystery of the breaking of the seals and all the bonds of the counterfeit spirit, whereby the Rulers bind it to the soul"; and so they cease to impede the soul, and the destiny departeth to its own region, to the Rulers of the Way of the Midst, and the counterfeit of the spirit to the Rulers of the Fate-Sphere. And so it becometh a glorious light-stream and passeth up to its inheritance, for "the receivers of that soul, who pertain to the light, become wings of light for that soul," and will be a vesture of light for it. Such a soul requires no seals or apologies.

But one that hath received the lower mysteries only, requires such apologies and seals, all of which the Master promises to give them in His detailed exposition of the emanation of the pleroma. For the present He simply states what spaces have to be traversed and what are the rulers.

Mary compares some of the statements with former sayings, including one which the Master "Agree with thine Enemy."spake "unto us aforetime by the mouth of Paul our brother." She further interprets the saying, "Agree with thine enemy whilst thou art in the way with him, lest at any time thine enemy deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and the officer cast thee into prison; thou shalt not come out thence till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing," as referring to the Judge, the Virgin of Light, and the recasting of the soul into another body, for that no soul is free from transmigration until it gives signs of being in its last cycle.

Mary next enquires as to the nature of the mysteries of the baptisms which remit sins, and the Master replies:

"The counterfeit spirit beareth witness to every sin which the soul hath committed; not only doth The Stamping of the Sins on the bear witness concerning the sins of the souls, but it sealeth every sin that it may be stamped on the soul, so that all the rulers of the punishments of sinners may know that it is the soul of a sinner, and may be informed of the number of sins which it hath committed, by the number of the seals which the counterfeit spirit hath stamped upon it, so that they may chastise it according to the number of sins which it Bath committed. This is the fashion in which they treat the soul of the sinner.

The Burning Up of the Sins by the Fires of the Baptism Mystery."Now, therefore, when a man receiveth the mysteries of the baptisms, those mysteries become a mighty fire, exceedingly fierce, wise, which burneth up sins; they enter into the soul secretly and devour all the sins which the counterfeit spirit hath implanted in it.

"And when the fire hath purified all the sins which the counterfeit spirit hath implanted in the soul, the mysteries enter into the body occultly, that the fire may secretly pursue after the pursuers and cut them off with the body. They chase after the counterfeit spirit and the destiny, to separate them from the power and the soul, and place them with the body, so that the counterfeit spirit, the destiny, and the body may be separated into one group, and the soul and power into another. And the mystery of baptism remaineth between the two, and separateth the one from the other, in order that it may cleanse them and make them pure, that the soul and power may not be fouled in matter."

It is then further explained that all the twelve and other mysteries of the First Mystery and of the Ineffable are still higher than the mysteries of the baptisms; but all of this will be explained in a further teaching.

Mary gives interpretations of passages of scripture by the light of the new teaching, the opportunity being offered by a recapitulation of some of the points by the Master, with enquiry as to. whether they have well understood. Especially is the unending compassion of the highest Mysteries insisted upon.

"If even a king of to-day, a man of the world, granteth boons unto them who are like unto him, The Infinite Forgiveness of Sins.if he moreover granteth pardon unto murderers, and them that are guilty of intercourse with males, and other horrible and capital crimes; if, I say, it is in the power even of one who is a man of the world to act thus, much more then have that Ineffable and that First Mystery, who are lords of the whole pleroma, power over everything to do as they will, and grant remission of sin unto every one who shall have received the Mystery.

"Again, if even a king of to-day investeth a soldier with a royal mantle, and sendeth him to foreign regions, and the soldier there committeth murders and other grave offences worthy of death, and yet they are not brought home to him, because he weareth the royal mantle, how much more, then, [is it the case with] them who are mantled in the mysteries of the vestures of that Ineffable, and those of the First Mystery who are lords over all them of the height and all them of the depth!"

Thereupon the Master makes trial of Peter, to see whether he is compassionate, in the case of a woman who had fallen away after receiving the mystery of baptism, and Peter comes out of the trial successfully.

But Delay not to Repent.It is then explained that the lot of a man who has received the mysteries and fallen away and not repented, is far worse than that of the impious man who has never known them. As to those who are indifferent, thinking they have many births before them and need not hasten, the Master bids the disciples:

"Preach ye unto the whole world, saying unto men: 'Strive together that ye may receive the mysteries of light in this time of stress, and enter into the Kingdom of Light. Put not off from day to day, and from cycle to cycle, in the belief that ye will succeed in obtaining the mysteries when ye return to the world in another cycle.'

For at a Certain Time the Gates of the Light will be shut."Such men know not when the number of perfect souls [shall be filled up]; for when the number of perfect souls shall be completed, I will then shut the Gates of the Light, and from that time none will be able to come in thereby, nor will any go forth thereafter, for the number of perfect souls shall be [completed], and the mystery of the First Mystery be perfected--[the mystery] whereby all hath come into existence, and I am that mystery.

"From that hour no one shall any more enter into the Light, and none shall come forth, in that the time of the number of perfect souls shall be fulfilled, before I set fire to the world, that it may purify the coons, and veils, the firmaments and the whole world, and also all the matters that are still in it, the race of human kind being still upon it. "At that time, then, the faith shall show itself forth more and more, and also the mysteries in those days. And many souls shall pass through the cycles of transmigrations of body and come back into the world in those days; and among them shall be some who are now alive and hear Me teach concerning the consummation of the number of perfect souls, [and in those days] they shall find the mysteries of light, and shall receive them. They shall mount up to the Gates of Light, and shall find that the number of perfect souls is complete, which is the Consummation of the First Mystery and the Gnosis of the Pleroma; they will find that I have shut the Gates of Light, and that from that hour no one can come in or go forth thereby.

"Those souls then will cry within through the Gates of Light, saying: 'Master, open unto us.' And "I know not whence ye are."I will answer unto them, saying, 'I know not whence ye are.' And they will say unto Me, 'We have received the mysteries, and we have fulfilled all Thy doctrine; Thou didst teach us on the high ways.' And I will answer unto them, saying, 'I know not who ye are, ye who have practised iniquity and evil even unto this day. Wherefore go [hence] into the Outer Darkness.' Forthwith they will depart to the Outer Darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth."

Mary then asks as to the type of the Outer Darkness and the number of the spaces and regions The Dragon of Outer Darkness.of punishment; and then follows an elaborate description of the space-dragon of this Outer Darkness, whose tail is in its mouth, and its twelve dungeons, with their authentic faces and names of the rulers, of the doors and angels that watch at them, and what souls pass into the Dragon and how; it is explained how the names are all contained in one another, and what are the torments and degrees of the fires. Thereupon follows the teaching how the souls of the uninitiated may be saved, and how finally the Mystery will save even those who have no more chance of rebirth.

It is further explained how the initiated become light-flames and streams of light. Mary pleads for them who have neglected the mysteries; and the efficacy of the names of the twelve rulers of the dungeons is explained, and how that the souls who know the names escape from the Dragon and are taken to Ieou, and their subsequent fate.

The Draught of Oblivion.Then comes fresh instruction as to the Rulers of the Fate and the Draught of Oblivion--"the seed of iniquity, filled with all manner of desire and all forgetfulness . . .; and that deadly draught of oblivion becometh a body external to the soul, like unto the soul in every way, and its perfect resemblance, and hence they call it the counterfeit spirit."

The manner of the fashioning of a new soul is then described, and how the power is inbreathed into it; this is set forth generally, and more detailed information is promised on a future occasion.

The Parents we are to Leave.It is further explained that the saying, "He who shall not leave father and mother and follow after Me," refers to the "parents" or fashioners of the soul and counterfeit spirit, and not our earthly parents, far less the parents of the light-power within--the Saviour and His mysteries.

Further information is also given as to the counterfeit spirit and its elemental builders, three-hundred and sixty-five in number; the embryonic stages of incarnation; the karmic compulsion of the parents--the father and mother of the physical body; the occult process of gestation; the mode of incarnation of the various constituent elements in man; occult physiognomy; the nature of the destiny and how a man comes by his death; and various other questions of a like nature. And then the Saviour continues:

"Now, therefore, for the sake of sinners have I torn myself asunder and come into the world, to save Of the Books of Ieou again.them, and also because it is necessary that the righteous, who have never done evil, and have never committed sin, should find the mysteries which are in the Books of Ieou, which I made Enoch write down in Paradise, when I spake to him from the Tree of Knowledge, and from the Tree of Life, and which I made him deposit in the rock of Ararad; and I set Kalapatauroth, the Ruler that is over Skemmut, on whose head is the foot of Ieou--the latter surroundeth all the Æons and the Fate-Sphere--I set [then] this Ruler to preserve the Books of Ieou from the flood, and [also] lest any of the Rulers out of enmity should destroy them. These [books] will I give unto you, when I have finished telling you the emanation of the pleroma."

But few only will comprehend the higher mysteries. "I tell you that there will be found one in a thousand and two in ten thousand for the consummation of the mysteries of the First Mystery."

The Christ of the First of this Humanity to Enter the Light.Before the coming of the First Mystery no soul of this humanity had fully entered into the Light; none of the prophets or patriarchs had as yet entered into the Light, but they will be sent back into righteous bodies and so find the mysteries and inherit the Kingdom.

The treatise brings itself to an end with the following paragraphs:

"Mary answered and said: 'Blessed are we before all men because of these great [truths] which Thou hast revealed unto us.'

"The Saviour answered and said unto Mary and all His disciples: 'I will also reveal unto you all the grandeurs of the height, from the interior of the interiors to the exterior of the exteriors, that ye may be perfect in every gnosis, and in every pleroma, and in every height of the heights, and every deep of the depths.'

’Tis He who holds the Keys of the Mysteries."And Mary answered and said to the Saviour: 'Now we know, O Master, freely, surely, plainly, that Thou hast brought the keys of the mysteries of the Kingdom of Light, which remit the sins of souls, that they may be cleansed, and be transformed into pure light, and be brought into the Light.'"




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