Birth of the Demiurge

As Sophia looked down into the swirling void, a monstrous creature swam forth from the darkness – an insane fallen angel called “the Demiurge”:

“…a Ruler first appeared out of the waters… having a great authority within himself, but not knowing whence he came into being.”  [1]

Disgusted by her accidental creation, Sophia threw the Demiurge back into the darkness, where he landed with a splash:

“When Sophia saw what her desire had produced, it changed into the figure of a snake with the face of a lion… She threw it away… so that none of the Immortals would see it. For she had produced it ignorantly.”  [2]

  1. ”On the Origin of the World.” The Other Bible. Ed. Willis Barnstone. Harper San Francisco, 1984. 64. []
  2. “The Secret Book of John.” The Secret Teachings of Jesus. Trans. Marvin W. Meyer. Vintage, 1984. 64. []

5 Comments

  1. Demiurge 1

    Where to begin? Just where IS the “beginning”? Gnosticism is more than a Jewish-Greco-Egypto-Romano-Arabic paradigm. But it is a primarily Jewish Cosmogony, being concerned with Adam and Eve, Yahweh, Satan, Samael and Azazael and their assorted and sundry cast of cohorts. To this we add the constant attempts by Gnostics to explain their angeology in terms of Greco-Romano deism. So we keep seeing the Archons explained as being the Greek gods for instance. There are ancient historians whom claim that Israel was Kronus and Judah was Zeus and Noah was Uranus or Anu and Tamar was Venus and so on and so forth. When viewed in these terms, Jesus, whom the original orthodox as well as the Gnostic Church Fathers often explained was Hermes, takes his proper place. Neither Mars nor Apollo nor their sisters were the children of Zeus, but they were children of Hera. Hermes however, was the “only begotton son” of Zeus, whom the Egyptians and Arabs called the “Amen” or “Amun”, same as Jesus called his father.

    To this we add the Jewish cognition that there were in fact two “beginnings”– the creation of Adam circa 4000 bc give or take a handful of years, and the (re) creation of the Earth from the chaos which had existed before this first beginning. The opening lines of the Tanakh in the original Jewish do _not_ say that the earth was created “without form and void”, but instead that it was covered in Tohu (salt water mud) and Bohu (fresh water or ice mud). In other words, it was an icy muddy wastland aka “chaos”.

    In this moment Sophia created the Demiurge. So there is the ending of one story– that of the 30 Aeonic pairs of which Sophia was the last immortal, and the beginning of another story– what happened after Atlantis “fell” into the sea. The Greeks and Romans used the word Demiurge to describe a being whom had to exhort a group of beings living in a community to do his bidding. Think of the President of the USA lobbying the American Congress to pass a bill and you are spot on. Such a being would creatively (urgos) lobby (urge) the Demos (the community), and hence was a Demi-urge. Look closely at the Old Testament to see evidence of this. For instance, after Adam has eaten the apple and is in hiding, God (El) becomes a plurality (Elohim) which is lobbied by a single voice: “let us go down” (to the garden). Again when the Tower of Babel is being built, God is revealed to be a plurality “let us go down” (to confuse their tongues). And in Psalms 82 we can see how the Greek and Roman “Assembly” of the gods is blatantly mentioned outright as “God judges among the gods” and casts some of them out of heaven.

    Since Jesus was Hermes, the Corpus Hermetica becomes useful here, for it speaks of a large group of souls whom were punished after a conflageration. Their punishment? They became the newly created human race. And whom was the punishers? Well, the Egyptian Hermetics recognized that Ra was the leader of a group of beings called Ra’s (see the Demotic Egyptian texts), and they were served by another group collectively called the Horae which was led by a chief Horus. The Egyptians were the ones whom taught Solon the story of Atlantis, having claimed that the Neturu or Neti floated out of the great flood. There were either 8 of them (Ogdoad) or 9 of them (Ennead) and this is a first clue, since this is what the original Archon’s of the Demiurge were in fact called. Here is where it gets even more tricky, as if it weren’t enough already.

    The Egyptians claimed that these gods had psychic powers, including the ability to merge their souls together into a super being. This is how we get the word Monad (single god) Dyad (two merged gods), Triad or TRINITY (three merged gods) and so on and so forth. The Egyptian Hermetics claimed that all of the respective Neti considered the post Atlantis chaos of the earth and how to deal with it. It was a muddy wasteland and no good to them, forever perhaps. Individually they could do might works like raising a mountain of rock up and casting it a long distance, but it tired them. But collectively they could become so much more. So each of this group of Neteru, individually called “Demiurges” in the Corpus Hermetica, merged into one single powerful Demiurge at the behest of a single leader. This is where the Gnostics got the idea of the Demiurge.

  2. Demiurge 2

    Now that we have glossed over the story _after_ Atlantis, let us go back to the other beginnings implied in the Gnostic as well as the Greek and Roman mythos. The Gnostics say there were thirty Aeons, of which Sophia was the last. Now an Eon is usually 500 years, which would bring us back 15,000 years before the fall of Atlantis. But an Aeon is usually 1000 years which would make it 30,000 years before the fall of Atlantis. What do the Greek texts imply?

    Look closely. Before Zeus there was Kronus, whom the Egyptians and Greeks taught ruled over the golden era of Atlantis. Before Kronus and his Titans however there was Uranus and the elder gods. These eld gods were given harsh names, really derogatory pejoratives as if they were being punished for something. And before them, the Greeks say there ruled another race, of which Nemesis and a handful of other deities were members. So here we have two distinct ages before that of Atlantis, which began around 18,000 bc if you will. In fact, some Greek historians claimed that Zeus was the Sumerian Enlil, Kronus was Enki or EA (Yahweh the elder) and Uranus was Anu. And according to the Sumer’s, before Anu ruled Alalu and before him there were other ages. And each age– that of Anu, that of Alalu and the previous ages, were in increments of 9,000 years. So to get back to the original beginning of the Aeonic cycle which Sophia was part of we are going back 9,000 years before Zeus to the rise of Kronus (18,000 bc), and 9,000 years before Kronus to the rise of Uranus (27,000 bc) and then 9,000 years before Uranus to the rise of Alalu (36,000 bc). Are we close? If Sophia was the 30th Aeon or the ruler of the 30th _age_, and each age was 1000 years, we are harking back to around 39,000 bc at the earliest and probably somewhat later since Sophia didn’t seem to finish ruling her own Aeon, not having married her groom as seemed customary around the Aeonic beginning. So we are basically spot on.

    See how this works?

    By the way… Kronus, or Saturn was recognized in the Demeter cults as later being incarnated as Dionysus. And Dionysus was said to have been born as a changeling originally with the legs of a snake and, in one text, the head of a lion. Hmmm. And in Greek, the letters “Di” actually transliterate to the English J or G, so sound it out… Geonysus… or GENISIS. Or as I like to say: Gnosis.

  3. Demiurge 3

    So to reiterate: not all Gnostics believed the Demiurge was a bad guy. There may be some conflation of two or more beings into the gestalt of the Demiurge– an attempt to force a distinctly polarized duality upon a situation which before this had been undeveloped. Among others, the Valentinians taught the salvation of all living beings. In the Tripartite Tractate we find the archetype representing the lower catalyst of the highest unseen deity; we look at aspects of the One when we look into the other.

    By and large the concept of the Demiurge was borrowed from Hermetics, whom were using this Greek descriptor in summarizing Egyptian Cosmogony. Knowing the difference between the two primary camps of Gnosticism– Alexandria: tending towards the cerebral, meditation, and practical gnosis… and Antioch, Syria: tending towards the fantastic, the mythic, the stories and ritual magick. Can you see from Orthodoxy that ritual dogma goes hand in hand with apocalyptic stories of great and abiding forces of evil and good? Stories evince faith. Critical thinking is a huge threat to a faith-based religion, such as Orthodox Xianity and circa-Jesus Syrian gnostics. And so most Gnostic dogma emenated from Syria. And so for them, the Demiurge became the head of the legion of evil.

    In Egypt and Greece however, Platonistic gnostics held forth a Demiurge whom was implemental. There is the fall of Atlantis, after a great war. The earth is destroyed. The losers are held accountable by a group of surviving deities. These deities, each called Demiurges, impose their collective will by uniting together into one single uber-God: the singular Demiurge. Humanity is created to enslave this former race, the losers in this great war. Whom lost the great war of Atlantis if not the Titans ruled by Kronus?

    Interestingly, the new humanity is not created directly by the Demiurge. Instead, there is a very powerful and wise older race of humanity which has animal attributes. They are charged with the creation of humanity, a process which is overseen by the Demiurge. When the time comes for the collective imprisonment, the souls cry out in pain and suffering against the Demiurge. This is the original story predating Syrian Gnosticism. Ask me for references and I will supply the libelli.

  4. i’m so impressed with the work that you have done here. i would like to see more of your research, as i have been reading gnostic material for 15 years, and i am always looking for well researched information. at this time i am reading more about the demiurge, which is how i came upon this article.

  5. Regarding “So to reiterate: not all Gnostics believed the Demiurge was a bad guy.”, as Shakespeare wrote, “What is good, or evil, but that which we pertain it to be?”

    Incompetent, vain, fool Yaldaboath may be, but he’s the prisoner of his own creation, while we’re just passing through.

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