Pistis Sophia

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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? 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.


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Indeed, there is nothing in this world which is of the quality of heaven. 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. 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.

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.

But high above all of them the souls of men who have received the mysteries of light, shall take precedence.

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The "Last" shall be "First. 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.

Pistis Sophia, A Gnostic Text Book One Chapter 1-15

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.

To these supernal realms of the Inheritance shall come those who have received the light-mysteries, The Inheritance of Light. Inheritance of Light; and he who shall have received the Mystery of Ineffable, that man the is Myself. 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. But the disciples are amazed at the glories of the Gnosis of this greatest Mystery and lose courage.

Pistis Sophia: A Gnostic Gospel

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? 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.

All this, which He now recites simply, naming the great spaces and their indwellers, He promises to explain at length in His further teaching. 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. 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:. He is a man in the world but a King in the Light. 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.

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. 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.

Pistis Sophia and Yaldabaoth

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. 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. 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.


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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,. 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.

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. Ye shall find them The Books of Ieou. 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. 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. Of Souls in Incarnation. 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.

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. 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. 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 Boundary Marks of the Paths of the Mysteries.


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

    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?

    Pistis Sophia

    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. 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,. The Added Glories of the Saviour of Souls. 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. 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.