The Gnostic Genesis
The Gnosis issued forth, and stood at once
In rank with Forethought, born to mother true,
Who by her wish had helped to bring him forth.
The One whose sight blinds mortal eye was glad
To see effulgent fruit swell on His bough,
And He anointed him with chrism pressed
From His own goodness, and from His own store
Of overflowing virtue’s essence, pure.
And thus endowed, he waited on his source,
And added to the glory that no eye
Can see of his progenitor, and His
Prevenient grace, the matrix of the All.
And Gnosis asked for Truth. The One agreed,
And swift on His consent that Truth came forth,
And joined the heavenly rank of all who dwell
As mind ineffable. But Truth would speak,
And so the Word then issued forth and joined
The sphere in which Truth lives and moves and has
Its being. And from that Word, imbued with Light
And Life, came what could turn a Word to Deed.
By active Word, Sophia came to be.
But she desired a thing exclusive to
Herself. This thought was not inert, and so
It reified: short of perfection, shorn
Of that ideal beauty typical
Of her who gave him birth, a thwarted clone
Of one true-born of heavenly gene and stock,
All self-engendered, selfishly conceived.
The One had not engaged or wed with her
In union divine; no spouse or sire
Had courted her consent, no nuptial bliss
Had blessed the product of chaste amity;
For what she willed was without conference
Of family, or consummation of
Conjugal love; concupiscence instead,
Without relationship, a fantasy impure,
And alien to the hymns its Mother sang
When in accord with her pure ancestry.
In this her wish came true: a monster formed,
A snake with lion-jaws and eyes that blazed
With horrid fire of self-will. She cast
It out, beyond the zone of purity
Where he might not be seen by all her peers:
From Wisdom born, in ignorance to dwell.
She gave her child a name, as it befits
A ruler who inherits a great power:
It is Ialdabaoth, matter’s prince.
Ialdabaoth strutted forth, and marched
From place to place, far from the place where he
Was born. And annexing still more he formed
Self-glorifying spheres of fire that still
Flare on unto this day in heaven’s dome.
The tyrant raised his hand – his arrogance –
And masturbated, got Authorities,
Egged on by fantasies of unknown realms.
And as Sophia’s light within him shone
And gave him unique power: because of this
He blasphemously called himself a god.
So he created seven Angels, each with Powers
Sufficient for a year of days, and all
In mimicry of that intuited
From what was long before. But those whom he
Begot, those children of the ignorance
And dark, lacked intimation of the source
And principle from which all things had come.
A week of angels this way rules the world,
For Ialdabaoth, who is Saklas, has
A multitude of faces, more than all,
So he can show himself in any face,
Just as he wills. He shares his nature with
Them – ev’rything except the pristine power
That he drew from his mother, Wisdom: that
He would not share. This made him cosmic lord,
Conferring – as he thought – divinity
Upon his minion powers. And their “god”
Gave each a place to dwell, a so-called “heaven”.
Their urge to rule instilled makes them believe
That they are gods; but Truth is not deceived:
Their bestial natures are revealed to those
Who know. Their god-like attributes are part
And parcel of a fantasy dreamed up
By Saklas; but illusion will not have
Its way – except with those who dwell within
The dream. The light of Truth will chase away
The fog, dissolve its shifting, swirling shapes
Which scare all the deceived like flimsy masks
Pinned onto wind-puffed cloaks. Such images
Invoke some dread reality, from which
They draw their fearful influence and power.
And so it was with these, for Saklas shaped
His schemes upon a kind of memory
Of what he had experienced in the womb
Of what is truly real. And when he saw
The world he had created all laid out,
And gazed upon the panoply which he
Had spun, enveloping his nakedness,
His tongue clapped in his bell, and said:
“I am a jealous god. There is no god
But me.” And so in his stupidity
He gave the game away, and told his friends
There was a God who spurned “Divinity” –
The title of this insane jealousy.
The Mother then became aware of her
Deficiency, and how her light had dimmed.
For when she saw her blemishes within
The light of the Pleroma, she then drew
Across her face a veil of darkness: she
No longer could return her consort’s smile
Without deception, and be unabashed.
Her holy fear caused her to hover at
The gate of Truth, unable to go in.
For when her offspring in his arrogance
Had taken power from his Mother, he
Was ignorant of any provenance
And thought her womb was all that there had been.
Infatuated with his handiwork,
He placed himself upon a pedestal,
An idol to himself. And so she turned;
And so was heard in her humility.
For now she knew what kind of thing he was,
And how he lacked perfection’s symmetry.
Up to her source she raised her tear-filled eyes.
He gave the consent, and so a healing flood
Of cleansing holiness washed over her
To make her whole; for Providence agreed
To supervise her in austerity
Within a place of penance set aside
Beyond carnality and snares of sin,
Where she could re-acquire her modesty.
And then a voice came forth: “Behold the Man!’
And when the chieftain of the Powers heard
He had no inkling of from whence it came.
At once, however – ignorant or not –
They were aware – to their damnation – that
There was a holy, perfect Source above:
The Mother-Father, Parents who brought forth
All that there is, and whose beneficence
Was now displayed in dazzling Anthropos.
A shiver went through Ialdabaoth’s world,
And rippled through its fundamental sands.
And in the sky the purest element,
Transfigured by the bright epiphany,
Revealed that Truth is Beauty, Beauty Truth.
And so the carnal gang beheld a light
Infuse the cavern of the world below.
Their eyes were opened, and they saw revealed
The shimmering glory of the Son of Man.
The upstart god addressed his fawning clan:
“Come let us make a thing like what we saw
To give some aim and purpose to our plans.”
So each and every one of them then gave
A little something from his psychic pouch,
And made an entity from out themselves,
Each adding layer on layer of plastic stuff,
Along the lines of what they had just seen.
Thus a reflection creaturely became,
And looked just like the sole original –
The perfect Anthropos. And then they said,
“Now let us call him Adam, that his name
May light our high road to imperium.”
And so this wondrous work, this body came
About – not yet of flesh, but harbouring
A vital force that tapped the secrets of
Their universe, their sevenfold harmony,
In sense and a potential agency.
And yet there was something in short supply:
The thing had no vocation to fulfil,
And thus no will to try, and lay inert.
No aspiration graced that dawning day.
Sophia wanted to retrieve the power
Which she had given to her bastard son.
In innocence she came and humbly asked
The Mother-Father of transcendent All
Who is most merciful. And He decreed
That Gnosis should go down to that cold place
Where ignorance prevails. Elsewhere, within
The stony hearts of all the Powers the weed
Of envy sprang. Their flaws exposed by this
Wise luminosity, they cast the Man
Into a pit, heaped on him all their dung,
Detestable excrescence of their days.
So Adam came within the mortal sphere,
Coiled there and then of base material,
Engendered from desire within the dark,
Enlivened by a soul-less breath, mere air.
Thus was our fetter forged, our dungeon made,
By which these bandits now enslaved the Man,
Who, in the darkness, soon forgot the light
And grew accustomed to the stench of death.
And then Heimarmene was made, so that in time
The cruellest jailer shackled all his being,
With an array of manacles and chains
Called times and seasons, moments, ages, dates,
Those fetters from which none could be exempt
Outside the All, nor gods nor mortal men,
Now doomed to live within a space of time
That was the past, or will be days to come –
But never now, the present never seized,
With minds obsessed with what will be and what
There might have been, with schemes and plans stretched to
Infinity, but that eternal now
Beyond their ken. And hence the consciousness
Of the Beyond eluded Man again.
And furthermore he was engenderised,
By which the husband, stronger than the wife
In limb, for males might claim a spiritual
Domain irrelevant to Truth derived
From high authority – for Saklas knew
He must divide and rule. And thus it was
Ialdabaoth’s die was cast and stamped
On all; and in his image, in due course
Two sons were born, and Cain and Abel named;
And thanks to Saklas, human creatures were
Endowed with seed to replicate themselves,
The carnal and the psychic; one inspired
By wind, the other by Sophia’s ghost.
Meanwhile, within a bower of Life the Man
Called Adam met the Woman Eve, and each
Encount’ring each within their very core
Begot the Son of Man called Seth, the True.
This son and all his offspring, blessed by those
On high, are called to dwell in heaven’s courts,
And taught to trace their names inscribed upon
The scroll of Life, while monuments to flesh
Collapse, their epitaphs erased. For those
Who truly live cannot abide the dark:
They must illumine all the catacombs
Where the enlightened have been forced to dwell,
And lead them to the sunlight up above.
Thus shall the righteous gather, and assist
Each other on the way, that true mankind
Might find its rightful place within the All,
And holiness, made whole, might be complete.