Passwords to the Pleroma
Per the recent discovery of a heretical Greek text of Jesus and his secret teachings to his “brother” James, a newfound, non-Coptic version of the First Apocalypse of James was mentioned in the media recently:
The First Apocalypse of James (Briefly)
The substance of the Coptic to English translation available on line is as such: James, the “non-material brother” of Jesus, becomes anxious, saddened, and concerned when he learns of his future persecution and death through a direct conversation with Jesus Christ. Jesus, in turn, promises to return from his very own death and resurrection to provide the secret “passwords” to James in order for James to ascend through the 72 levels of heaven after death “without being blocked by evil powers of the Demiurge (paraphrasing Wiki).”
The original Coptic work was found within the cache of ancient documents known as the Nag Hammadi library in late December of 1945. The most recent, original Greek version was found in 2017 at Oxford University by two University of Texas-Austin researchers.
My Simplified Gnostic Overview
Upon death, the general Gnostic philosophy states that the divine spark of the soul, which seeks to return to the Pleroma, is confused, distracted, disoriented, and lied to by the agents of the Ialdabaoth/Demiurge, known as the archons. For in order for the Demiurge’s false material simulation/creation to continue, it requires that the divine spark be returned to the material world.
Or as I interpret it: our divine spark (which was brought here by Sophia’s error) wishes to return to the Godhead upon death, but is intentionally blocked/confused by the archons. This archonic intervention prevents our spark from returning to the Pleroma, and is returned to this miserable, physical existence. This simple, deceptive cycle not only keeps the Demiurge’s simulation intact, but it also prevents the Demiurge’s creation from collapsing upon itself. Should enough divine sparks return to their origin known as the Pleroma, the reunion would bring upon a complete ruin of the Demiurge’s simulation. This collapse would bring an end to the physical universe, the archons, and to the arrogant/ignorant/misguided Ialdabaoth.
Fortunately for James (but not the rest of us), Jesus conveyed to him the passwords that allowed his divine spark to maneuver through the 72 levels of games played by the archons and a return to the Godhead. How lucky was James?
Key Names of the Text
Rabbi Jesus : an image of Him-Who-Is, and too unnamable and ineffable (yet also who has been given many names, two of which were given directly by Him-Who-Is).
Rabbi Jesus is also responsible to give all sons of Him-Who-Is consultation regarding what things are theirs and what things are alien to them.
(Saint) James (the Just) : stoned to death in the year 62, James was the possibly the first bishop of Jerusalem and the “nonmaterial brother of Jesus,” as well as the “brother of God.”
How to Reach Him-Who-Is (in Bullet Point Format)
- Upon death, one will encounter three archons known as “toll collectors”
- One will ask you: “Who are you or where are you from?”
- The soul should reply: “I am a son, and I am from the Father.”
- The archon will then ask “What sort of son are you, and to what father do you belong?”
- The soul should reply: “I am from the Pre-existent Father, and a son in the Pre-existent One.”
- They are not entirely alien, but they are from Achamoth, who is female. And these she produced as she brought down the race from the Pre-existent One. So then they are not alien, but they are ours. They are indeed ours because she who is mistress of them is from the Pre-existent One. At the same time they are alien because the Pre-existent One did not have intercourse with her, and when she produced them.”
- The archon will then ask : “Where will you go?
- The soul is to respond, “to the place from which I have come, there I shall return.”
The text concludes with direction from Jesus to James to pass off the secret knowledge, or “passwords” to Addai. Addai is “possibly some unknown person, the Addai who was the disciple of Mani to the Egyptians, or one of the seventy disciples of Jesus sent by Thomas to convert the Syrians. (x) There is also an interesting discussion regarding the importance of female apostles at the time of the text (four being mentioned Salome, Mariam, Martha, and Arsinoe.)
Heavy on the Numbers
Numbers included in the original Coptic to English translation online:
- 12 hebdomads of archons , or 12 groups of 7, or 84 archons versus 7 archons mentioned in scripture
- 7 women who were the disciples of Jesus
- 72 measures, 72 archons, and 72 heavens
- 12 archons
- There are 7 heavens manifested through the generation and progress of the 7 days of Creation
- Each day of Creation generates a unique “heaven”
- Six of these days are “active,” the 7th day is the day of rest
- There are twelve archons per active heaven
- This implies 6 male/female pairs or archons per each of the 6 active heavens
- Therefore, the archons that preside over the 72 heavens are the 12 archons presiding over each of the 6 “active” heavens, or 12 x 6 = 72
- The 7th heaven exists outside of the domain and authority of the archons and Demiurge
So one does have to wonder: what else did the complete, original text contain regarding the complete array of passwords?
Why Am I Blogging About This?
In early October, I was walking our dog on a very windy, blustery fall morning around 6 am Wisconsin time. It was very dark outside, and the street lights were randomly being blocked by ash, maple, and birch tree branches violently swaying in the wind. Our dog was freaking out, and honestly, I was freaking out a bit. And I thought : Is this what death is like? Wandering through utter blackness with howling wind and blustery lights hidden behind some incomplete, black veil, leading, distracting, and confusing us? Will this be similar to the maze of confusion I may encounter upon death that will misguide my “divine spark” to return to this realm of existence?
I often think back to that morning when I read Gnostic literature, and always connect it to a chaotic environment that we must all face upon death.
Freaky Wisconsin October mornings aside, let’s return to my fictional working hypothesis:
- The Jungian perspective of the collective unconscious is the Abyss
- Call it the Tarot’s Fool/the Godhead (or whatever else fits the idea of the infinite, lack of polarity, lack of form, etc.)
- Let’s also call it the Pleroma
- The Magician was either a) aborted from the Abyss, or b) intentionally conjured from the Abyss, or c) something entirely else beyond our comprehension
- The Magician is able to generate a return upon “energy/primordial waters/whatever you want to call it”
- The Magician is the Prime Deity
- Let’s also call the Magician the Demiurge
- The Magician/Demiurge generated the material world through the utilization of what mystical adepts call the Tree of Sephiroth
- The Tree is the Program that places parameters around our existence and physical world
- The Tree of Life is dependent upon the Abyss
- The Tree was constructed by the Magician
- The Tree generates the Program that manifests the Simulation we live in
- Let’s assume this Existence Simulation is similar to the idea proposed by the Simulation Hypothesis
- Humanity, as a by-product of the workings of the Magician, and its inherent consciousness too is attached to the Abyss
- Human consciousness is attached to the collective unconsciousness through the subconscious
- Whether the Magician intended for any this is unknown/unclear
With all that said, a select group of initiates within our ancestors discovered this grand secret. Through hundreds of years of experimentation through various rites and rituals, this group discovered it too could manipulate the Abyss byway of the collective unconscious. Small adjustments to the Program can take place with small groups of people, but manipulation of large groups of people and their pooled subconscious can yield much more dramatic adjustments. Yet this group can only “nudge” the Universe, for any full-out adjustment to the Magician’s program will generate an outcome of nullified existence.
Let’s add another layer of excitement to this fictitious hypothesis. I had been playing around with the idea that this certain group of individuals, call them the Sacred or what have you, have made a deal with the Demiurge. In return for a continued, indefinite, elite status in this realm of existence, this group agreed to assist with the will and the agenda of the Demiurge. Sort of like, “we’ll agree to perpetuate and promote lies to the Profane in order for your grand simulation to continue in exchange for benefits.” Or something like that.
Fortunately for me, I was able to listen to Carlwood’s Higher Side Chats interview with Peter Mark Adams regarding his new book Game of Saturn: The Sola – Busca Tarot and was immediately enthralled by the material presented. Adams is currently presenting a similar Demiurge/elite minority “deal/hypothesis” that is possibly represented in the symbology and imagery of the Sola Busca Tarot. My current rumblings of Gnostic thought suddenly coincided with a well-respected author from Scarlett Imprint, and I was blown away with the timing of the interview I listened to (I highly recommend the interview to everyone. I did buy the book, so I hope to have an analysis on the subject completed soon).
So for the time being, let’s add the following axioms to the current hypothesis. Let’s add :
- A small, elite ruling class of humanity has made a covenant with the Magician/Demiurge
- This ruling class acts in accordance with the will of the Magician
- This ruling class is well aware of the simulation currently in place
- This ruling class intentionally hides the simulation in place from the masses
- In exchange for this covenant with the Magician,
- Upon the death of a member of this ruling class, this unique spark is returned to a corporeal body residing in a similar group of people with similar social and economic advantages
- This ruling class conceals the truth of our simulation in order for the Magician’s creation to continue on
So Again, Why I am Blogging About This…
In context to the fictitious hypothesis I have presented, let us pretend that we no longer want to be part of the simulation we live in. Yet again, upon death and without an advance, secret knowledge, we fall into the games of the archons, and despite desperately wanting to reunite with the Pleroma, are intentionally discharged back into this plane of existence. This discharge back to the physical world allows for the Demiurge’s Creation to continue.
What I find interesting about the First Apocalypse of James is that there is the idea that passwords exist to exit the program of the Demiurge’s simulation. Hypothetically, all of us could bypass the rules of this simulation and rejoin the Pleroma if we each carried these passwords to death. Said passwords would not only spoil the grand design of the Demiurge and archons, but also the masters who rule our lives. The workings of the great Magician would end, the Magician would cease to exist, and Creation, as we know it, would converge to null.
Sadly, the original Coptic version of the First Apocalypse of James is incomplete, and the complete set of passwords is not available. Yet we now see news of another version, in Greek, of the heretical conversation of Christ and James recently discovered in Oxford, with hopefully more detail and text. Thanks to the possible writings of an ancient teacher who recorded the account for educational purposes, we may have new text to review in respect to this Nag Hammadi account. I , for one, am curious what the upcoming translation will reveal.