History UsefulNotes / Gnosticism

20th May '18 6:42:03 PM costanton11
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** It should be noted that they are ALighterShadeOfBlack in EvilVersusEvil against the Demiurge. It should also be noted that the Demiurge was the ManipulativeBastard TheChessmaster who used a XanatosGambit to orchestrate their StartOfDarkness. This is especially with regards to Cain and Pharaoh. Cain was pushed over the edge to killing his brother Abel because the Demiurge liked him better. Actually, the Demiurge creates several enemies using this same "love the younger brother, hate the older brother" strategy i.e. love Abel hate Cain, love Isaac hate Ishmael, love Jacob hate Esau, love Judah hate Israel, etc. The Pharaoh was needed to play the role he did because the Demiurge was really really invested in a 400+ year old XanatosGambit to cause the Exodus. Similar to god on trial if you think about it. Sodom and Gommorah was ArsonMurderAndJaywalking because of the jaywalking part, i.e. deviant sexuality, which is one of the Demiurge's {{Berserk Button}}s.

to:

** It should be noted that they are ALighterShadeOfBlack in EvilVersusEvil against the Demiurge. It should also be noted that the Demiurge was the ManipulativeBastard TheChessmaster who used a XanatosGambit to orchestrate their StartOfDarkness. This is especially with regards to Cain and Pharaoh. Cain was pushed over the edge to killing his brother Abel because the Demiurge liked him better. Actually, the Demiurge creates several enemies using this same "love the younger brother, hate the older brother" strategy i.e. love Abel hate Cain, love Isaac hate Ishmael, love Jacob hate Esau, love Judah hate Israel, etc. The Pharaoh was needed to play the role he did because the Demiurge was really really invested in a 400+ year old XanatosGambit to cause the Exodus. Similar to god on trial if you think about it. Sodom and Gommorah was ArsonMurderAndJaywalking because of the jaywalking part, i.e. deviant sexuality, which is one of the Demiurge's {{Berserk Button}}s.



* SlidingScaleOfVillainEffectiveness:'''[[color:red:High]] - Infinite''': The Demiurge naturally due to being several of the tropes under this category. EldritchAbomination, CosmicHorrorStory, GodIsEvil, etc. but also some tropes from the high category as well. ManipulativeBastard, TheChessmaster, NoNonsenseNemesis, etc.

to:

* SlidingScaleOfVillainEffectiveness:'''[[color:red:High]] - Infinite''': The Demiurge naturally due to being several of the tropes under this category. EldritchAbomination, CosmicHorrorStory, GodIsEvil, etc. but also some tropes from the high category as well. ManipulativeBastard, TheChessmaster, NoNonsenseNemesis, etc.
18th May '18 4:45:53 PM costanton11
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** It should be noted that they are ALighterShadeOfBlack in EvilVersusEvil against the Demiurge. It should also be noted that the Demiurge was the MagnificentBastard ManipulativeBastard TheChessmaster who used a XanatosGambit to orchestrate their StartOfDarkness. This is especially with regards to Cain and Pharaoh. Cain was pushed over the edge to killing his brother Abel because the Demiurge liked him better. Actually, the Demiurge creates several enemies using this same "love the younger brother, hate the older brother" strategy i.e. love Abel hate Cain, love Isaac hate Ishmael, love Jacob hate Esau, love Judah hate Israel, etc. The Pharaoh was needed to play the role he did because the Demiurge was really really invested in a 400+ year old XanatosGambit to cause the Exodus. Similar to god on trial if you think about it. Sodom and Gommorah was ArsonMurderAndJaywalking because of the jaywalking part, i.e. deviant sexuality, which is one of the Demiurge's {{Berserk Button}}s.

to:

** It should be noted that they are ALighterShadeOfBlack in EvilVersusEvil against the Demiurge. It should also be noted that the Demiurge was the MagnificentBastard ManipulativeBastard TheChessmaster who used a XanatosGambit to orchestrate their StartOfDarkness. This is especially with regards to Cain and Pharaoh. Cain was pushed over the edge to killing his brother Abel because the Demiurge liked him better. Actually, the Demiurge creates several enemies using this same "love the younger brother, hate the older brother" strategy i.e. love Abel hate Cain, love Isaac hate Ishmael, love Jacob hate Esau, love Judah hate Israel, etc. The Pharaoh was needed to play the role he did because the Demiurge was really really invested in a 400+ year old XanatosGambit to cause the Exodus. Similar to god on trial if you think about it. Sodom and Gommorah was ArsonMurderAndJaywalking because of the jaywalking part, i.e. deviant sexuality, which is one of the Demiurge's {{Berserk Button}}s.



** In the Docetic Gnostic tradition, Christ is portrayed as a disembodied force rather than a mortal man, with Jesus himself being either a host possessed by the spirit of Christ or simply an illusion. Particularly strange is one passage in the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Treatise_of_the_Great_Seth Second Treatise of the Great Seth]] in which the true Christ [[AttendingYourOwnFuneral watches the Crucifixion]] and laughs at the gullibility of his persecutors. Depending on [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation how one interprets the scene]], this is either [[GuileHero really cool]], [[GodIsEvil really creepy]], or [[MagnificentBastard some combination]] [[CreepyAwesome of the two]].

to:

** In the Docetic Gnostic tradition, Christ is portrayed as a disembodied force rather than a mortal man, with Jesus himself being either a host possessed by the spirit of Christ or simply an illusion. Particularly strange is one passage in the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Treatise_of_the_Great_Seth Second Treatise of the Great Seth]] in which the true Christ [[AttendingYourOwnFuneral watches the Crucifixion]] and laughs at the gullibility of his persecutors. Depending on [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation how one interprets the scene]], this is either [[GuileHero really cool]], [[GodIsEvil really creepy]], or [[MagnificentBastard or some combination]] combination [[CreepyAwesome of the two]].



* SlidingScaleOfVillainEffectiveness:'''[[color:red:High]] - Infinite''': The Demiurge naturally due to being several of the tropes under this category. EldritchAbomination, CosmicHorrorStory, GodIsEvil, etc. but also some tropes from the high category as well. MagnificentBastard, ManipulativeBastard, TheChessmaster, NoNonsenseNemesis, etc.

to:

* SlidingScaleOfVillainEffectiveness:'''[[color:red:High]] - Infinite''': The Demiurge naturally due to being several of the tropes under this category. EldritchAbomination, CosmicHorrorStory, GodIsEvil, etc. but also some tropes from the high category as well. MagnificentBastard, ManipulativeBastard, TheChessmaster, NoNonsenseNemesis, etc.
17th May '18 10:30:34 AM Cieloazul
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Gnosticism at no point constituted a monolith, but rather a wide variety of sects, schools and even religions that maintained an at least vaguely similar set of beliefs. These beliefs can be synthesized in four points.

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Gnosticism at no point constituted a monolith, but rather a wide variety of sects, schools and even religions from a rough period of History (between the first and third centuries AD, with some exceptions) that maintained an at least vaguely similar set of beliefs. These beliefs can be synthesized in four points.
points:



* Beyond the material world there is a dimension of non-material existence, often called the Pleroma. This is the place where true existence lies, usually considered to be in a timeless, thoughtless state analogous to the Buddhist experience of Nirvana. If there is a creator god, this is where it resides in, along with its godly light and possibly derivates.

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* Beyond the material world there is a dimension of non-material existence, often called the Pleroma. This is the place where true existence lies, usually considered to be in a timeless, thoughtless state analogous to the Buddhist experience of Nirvana. If there is a creator god, this is where it resides in, along with its godly light and possibly possible derivates.



* On the other hand, there ''is'' evil in the Gnostic universe. From the matter that solidified out of Sophia's divine power, a false god (the "bad" one) was born, known as the Demiurge or Yaldabaoth, the Gnostic equivalent of [[Franchise/CthulhuMythos Azathoth]]. The Demiurge then creates the physical universe, which is isolated from the higher dimensions above, and elects himself as its ruler. He's accompanied by a myriad of created servants called the Archons, which are identified as the angels and demons of the Old Testament. Some sects specify the archons are actually only six and are rulers of six celestial bodies, with the Demiurge being the septh and ruling the Earth.
* The reason why [[CrapsackWorld suffering and evil exist in this world]] is because it is actually governed by this flawed Demiurge who mistakenly believes himself to be the absolute God and demands arrogantly to be worshipped as such. This is the deity worshiped by many Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam and others) who are materialistic, vicious and not in possession of true spiritual wisdom. He is, thus, analogous to Mahabrahma in Hinduism and some forms of Buddhism, who also mistakenly believes himself to be the ultimate authority while the rest of the gods snigger behind his back. In any case, the Demiurge and his archons manipulate humanity into violence and misery to feed themselves and further their egotistical projects.

to:

* On the other hand, there ''is'' evil in the Gnostic universe. From the matter that solidified out of Sophia's divine power, a false god (the "bad" one) was born, known as the Demiurge or Yaldabaoth, the Gnostic equivalent of [[Franchise/CthulhuMythos Azathoth]]. The Demiurge then creates the physical universe, which is isolated from the higher dimensions above, and elects himself as its ruler. He's accompanied by a myriad of created servants called the Archons, which are identified as the angels and demons of the Old Testament. Some sects specify the archons are actually only six and are rulers of six celestial bodies, with the Demiurge being the septh seventh and ruling the Earth.
* The reason why [[CrapsackWorld suffering and evil exist in this world]] is because it is actually governed by this flawed Demiurge who mistakenly believes himself to be the absolute God and demands arrogantly to be worshipped as such. This is the deity worshiped by many Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam (UsefulNotes/{{Judaism}}, UsefulNotes/{{Christianity}}, UsefulNotes/{{Islam}} and others) who are materialistic, vicious and not in possession of true spiritual wisdom. He is, thus, analogous to Mahabrahma in Hinduism UsefulNotes/{{Ninduism}} and some forms of Buddhism, UsefulNotes/{{Buddhism}}, who also mistakenly believes himself to be the ultimate authority while the rest of the gods snigger behind his back. In any case, the Demiurge and his archons manipulate humanity into violence and misery to feed themselves and further their egotistical projects.



* Despite the anti-Abrahamic nature of Gnosticism, [[JesusWasWayCool Jesus has a free pass in their teachings]], being described as come to Earth to spread the Gospel of the True God, which explains the discrepancy between the Old and New Testaments. Their beliefs about his nature varied radically: some believed he was fully divine and his physical form an illusion, some believed he was a divine being who temporarily inhabited a human shell and was "freed" at death. Anyways, to show how important he was in their beliefs, he was often considered to be an aeon by itself, sometimes the intended counterpart of Sophia who came too late. With the true knowledge of the universe he imparted, others could hope to achieve freedom from the Demiurge's clutches.

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* Despite the fundamentally anti-Abrahamic nature of Gnosticism, [[JesusWasWayCool Jesus has a free pass in their teachings]], being as he's described as come to Earth to spread the Gospel of the True God, which explains the discrepancy between the Old and New Testaments. Their beliefs about his nature varied radically: some believed he was fully divine and his physical form an illusion, some believed he was a divine being who temporarily inhabited a human shell and was "freed" at death. Anyways, to show how important he was in their beliefs, he was often considered to be an aeon by itself, sometimes the intended counterpart of Sophia who came too late. With the true knowledge of the universe he imparted, others could hope to achieve freedom from the Demiurge's clutches.



This tradition was founded or at least influenced by Valentinius (100-180), a former Christian bishop who almost became Pope. This and the Sethian sects (called Syriac-Egyptian together) pretty much codified the philosophical corpus and popular perception of Gnosticism altogether, their doctrine composing most of what you just read about the Aeons and the Demiurge in the mythology above. However, unlike other Gnostic schools, Valentinianism was deeply optimistic and preached universal salvation of all sentient beings; according to them, even the malevolent Demiurge will eventually be rescued from his ignorance with the redeeming of Sophia by Christ, as all things containing the spark of creation are inexorably moving towards redemption.

to:

This tradition was founded or at least influenced by Valentinius (100-180), a former Christian bishop who almost became Pope. This and the Sethian sects (called Syriac-Egyptian together) pretty much codified the philosophical corpus and popular perception of Gnosticism altogether, their doctrine composing most of what you just read about the Aeons and the Demiurge in the mythology above. However, unlike other Gnostic schools, Valentinianism was deeply optimistic and preached universal salvation of all sentient beings; according to them, it, even the malevolent Demiurge will eventually be rescued from his ignorance with the redeeming of Sophia by Christ, as all things containing the spark of creation are inexorably moving towards redemption.



Founded by Persian prophet Mani, Manichaeism was a wildly popular Gnostic sect, so much that it reached China, contended with Christianity for the spiritual control of Asia, and only disappeared when Christianity, Islam and Taoism ganged up on it. Its doctrine was significantly different from Syriac-Egyptian Gnosticism: it postulated humanity and the universe were created during a series of battles between two opposing and non-omnipotent twin deities, equivalent to God and Satan, and as such they believed matter was neutral instead of evil. However, matter had been used to trap sparks of God's light in Adam and his sons, and Jesus Christ and Mani had been sent to teach them to get free through gnosis.

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Founded by Persian prophet Mani, who was influenced by Jesus, Zoroaster and Buddha, Manichaeism was a wildly popular Gnostic sect, so much sect. So much, in fact, that it reached China, covered from Rome to ''China'', contended with Christianity for the spiritual control of Asia, Asia Minor, and only disappeared when Christianity, Islam and Taoism the Chinese religions ganged up on it. Its doctrine was significantly different from Syriac-Egyptian Gnosticism: it postulated humanity and the universe were created during a series of battles (or "creations", in a multiple sense) between two opposing and non-omnipotent twin deities, equivalent to God and Satan, and as such they Satan. They believed matter was mostly neutral instead of evil. However, matter evil by itself, but it had been used by evil to trap sparks of God's light in Adam and his sons, and Jesus Christ and Mani had been sent to teach them to get free through gnosis.



A Christian-turned-Gnostic school created in the Byzantine Empire by Paul, Bishop of Antiochy. Paulicians were often mistaken for an offshoot of Manichaeism, but this was actually a BerserkButton for them, as they looked down at Mani and his followers due to Paulicianismís Christian heritage. Although they similarly taught that there were two opposing deities, God and the Demiurge, they ascribed the creation of the material world exclusively to the latter, and thus believed matter was an evil trap Jesus Christ had been sent (or maybe chosen) to preach against. Although persecuted, Paulicians survived through History under in diminutive communities, and it seems they were still active in 19th Century before merging back with Christianity.

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A Christian-turned-Gnostic school created in the Byzantine Empire by Paul, Bishop of Antiochy. Paulicians were often mistaken for an offshoot of Manichaeism, but this was actually a BerserkButton for them, as they looked down at Mani and his followers due to Paulicianismís Paulicianism's Christian heritage. Although they similarly taught that there were two opposing deities, God and the Demiurge, they ascribed the creation of the material world exclusively to the latter, and thus believed matter was an evil trap Jesus Christ had been sent (or maybe chosen) to preach against. Although persecuted, Paulicians survived through History under in diminutive communities, and it seems they were still active in 19th Century before merging back with Christianity.



The actionized version of Gnosticism, Priscillianism was a current developed in the Roman Hispania by a Manichaean noble named Priscillian. According to him, humans were once angelic beings sent by the ethereal Kingdom of Light to conquer the material Kingdom of Darkness, but they had been defeated and imprisoned in matter; only after many failed attempts by their comrades to rescue them, a spirit under the name of Jesus managed to pass humans the key of their freedom, gnosis. This sect was greatly popular in Spain for two centuries until being suppressed by Christianity.

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The actionized version ActionizedAdaptation of Gnosticism, Priscillianism was a current developed in the Roman Hispania by a Manichaean noble named Priscillian. According to him, humans were once angelic beings sent by the ethereal Kingdom of Light to conquer the material Kingdom of Darkness, but they had been defeated and imprisoned in matter; only after many failed attempts by their comrades to rescue them, a spirit under the name of Jesus managed to pass humans the key of their freedom, gnosis. This sect was greatly popular in Spain for two centuries until being suppressed by Christianity.
29th Apr '18 9:59:07 AM Carliro
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* OrderVersusChaos: The Monad and the Aeons are ChaoticGood (or ChaoticNeutral), versus the LawfulEvil [[GodIsEvil Demiurge]] and Archons.

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* OrderVersusChaos: The Monad and the Aeons are ChaoticGood (or ChaoticNeutral), versus the LawfulEvil [[GodIsEvil Demiurge]] and Archons. Naturally, OrderIsNotGood.
6th Apr '18 1:06:04 AM Yahya
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* The cosmology of ''VideoGame/FranBow'' seems very heavily inspired by Manichaeism specifically: the world of the game is said to be divided into Five Realtities, which are populated by anthithetical beings of Darkness and Light. Number five is very important in the Manichean mythology, and so it the Darkness-Light dualism.

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* The cosmology of ''VideoGame/FranBow'' seems very heavily inspired by Manichaeism specifically: the world of the game is said to be divided into Five Realtities, Realities, which are populated by anthithetical antithetical beings of Darkness and Light. Number five is very important in the Manichean mythology, and so it is the dualistic Darkness-Light dualism.worldview.
6th Apr '18 12:58:40 AM Yahya
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Added DiffLines:

* The cosmology of ''VideoGame/FranBow'' seems very heavily inspired by Manichaeism specifically: the world of the game is said to be divided into Five Realtities, which are populated by anthithetical beings of Darkness and Light. Number five is very important in the Manichean mythology, and so it the Darkness-Light dualism.
24th Mar '18 4:57:48 PM Carliro
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Added DiffLines:

* According to Creator/GeorgeRRMartin, the faith of R'hllor in ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' is partly based on Catharism. Indeed, a select few traits line with Cathar beliefs, like theological dualism and the belief that the physical world is essentially hell. However, their overall belief system is fundamentally opposite to Cathar teachings: whereas the Cathars believed in fundamental human free will, asceticism and the rejection of meaningless ritual, the faith of the Red God is all about preaching how people are its slaves, uses sexual rituals randomly and is so utterly dogmatic that it makes the medieval Catholic Church that the Cathars opposed look tame in comparison. Combined with the fact that R'hllor's title is "Lord of Flame And Shadow" (how the Demiurge is described in the ''Pistis Sophia''), if anything this religion is to Cathar beliefs what Satanism is to mainstream Christianity.
24th Mar '18 6:41:36 AM Cieloazul
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Gnosticism was both a religious and an intellectual movement, which pretty much guaranteed the developed of an elaborated, multiculturally-influenced mythology. Although there were dominant currents that codified most of it, most specifically those called Syriac-Egyptian Gnosticism, different groups would hold doctrines that mixed-and-matched or varied from the below list in their own ways. Gnosticism was also highly syncretic, tending to merge with any other religion it came into contact with, creating a new Gnostic sect of that religion or forming a new religion altogether.

to:

Gnosticism was both a religious and an intellectual movement, which pretty much guaranteed the developed developing of an elaborated, multiculturally-influenced mythology. Although there were dominant currents that codified most of it, most specifically those called Syriac-Egyptian Gnosticism, different groups would hold doctrines that mixed-and-matched or varied from the below list in their own ways. Gnosticism was also highly syncretic, tending to merge with any other religion it came into contact with, creating a new Gnostic sect of that religion or forming a new religion altogether.



Founded by Marcion of Sinope (85-160), Marcionism was an ancient Christian sect created 100 years of Jesus' life. It is not always considered a full-fledged Gnostic movement, as it lacked the Hellenistic and Egyptian polytheistic flavor of its successors and didnít taught about any kind of gnosis yet (instead, it postulated the key to salvation was in the Gospel of Paul), but its system of beliefs was massively influential in posterior currents, to the point it could be considered the prototype of Gnosticism.

to:

Founded by Marcion of Sinope (85-160), Marcionism was an ancient Christian sect created 100 years of Jesus' life. It is not always considered a full-fledged Gnostic movement, as it lacked the Hellenistic and Egyptian polytheistic flavor of its successors and didnít taught teach about any kind of gnosis yet (instead, it postulated the key to salvation was in the Gospel of Paul), but its system of beliefs was massively influential in posterior currents, to the point it could be considered the prototype of Gnosticism.
21st Jan '18 12:08:42 PM Cieloazul
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* Gnostic beliefs were dualistic as often as monistic. The former entailed believing in a balance of forces of spirit and matter, a concept similar to the Yin-Yang where the force that ruled the physical world (the "bad" God) was as old and powerful as the force that ruled the spiritual plane (the "good" God). The latter, on the other hand, believed matter and its ruler to be an accidental subproduct of spirit. This is roughly what Syriac-Egyptianism preached, although it was by no means the only or more popular interpretation.

to:

* Gnostic beliefs were dualistic as often as monistic. The former entailed believing in a balance of forces of spirit and matter, a concept similar to the Yin-Yang where the force that ruled the physical world (the "bad" God) was as old and powerful as the force that ruled the spiritual plane (the "good" God). The latter, on the other hand, believed matter and its evil ruler to be an accidental subproduct of spirit. spirit and its divine creator, thus inferior to them. This is roughly what Syriac-Egyptianism preached, although it was by no means the only or more most popular interpretation.



* The most distant aeon from the Monad, named Sophia, a female entity named Sophia (Greek for "wisdom"), [[FallenAngel fell into error]]. Some versions say that she tried to emanate a universe without her male counterpart, others say that she tried to take on the mind of the Source in its entirety. Whatever the reason, she fell out of communion with the rest of the aeons and became trapped in the primordial material universe. Some say that [[PiecesOfGod Sophia was destroyed and her remnants would become human souls.]]
* From the matter that solidified out of Sophia's divine power, a false god (the "bad" one) was born, known as the Demiurge or Yaldabaoth, the Gnostic equivalent of [[Franchise/CthulhuMythos Azathoth]]. The Demiurge then creates the physical universe, which is isolated from the higher dimensions above, and elects himself as its ruler. He's accompanied by a myriad of created servants called the Archons, which are identified as the angels and demons of the Old Testament. Some sects specify the archons are actually only six and are rulers of six celestial bodies, with the Demiurge being the septh and ruling the Earth.

to:

* The most distant aeon from the Monad, named Sophia, a female entity named Sophia (Greek for "wisdom"), [[FallenAngel fell into error]]. error. Some versions say that she tried to emanate a universe without her male counterpart, others say that she tried to take on the mind of the Source source in its entirety. Whatever the reason, she fell out of communion with the rest of the aeons and became trapped in the primordial material universe. Some say that [[PiecesOfGod Sophia was destroyed and her remnants would [[PiecesOfGod become human souls.]]
]] In any case, although she evokes the figure of Lucifer or a FallenAngel in role, it's firmly established that Sophia is not evil, neither in intention nor in actions, but rather a victim of herself who is now working for humanity's good and her own atonement.
* On the other hand, there ''is'' evil in the Gnostic universe. From the matter that solidified out of Sophia's divine power, a false god (the "bad" one) was born, known as the Demiurge or Yaldabaoth, the Gnostic equivalent of [[Franchise/CthulhuMythos Azathoth]]. The Demiurge then creates the physical universe, which is isolated from the higher dimensions above, and elects himself as its ruler. He's accompanied by a myriad of created servants called the Archons, which are identified as the angels and demons of the Old Testament. Some sects specify the archons are actually only six and are rulers of six celestial bodies, with the Demiurge being the septh and ruling the Earth.



* There are many versions about how humans came to be. Some say the Demiurge originally created a bunch of soulless apes out of matter, and that Sophia took pity on them and breathed sparks from the Pleroma into them, trapping the sparks in their material bodies but also giving the bodies the capacity for intelligence, hence the evolution of humanity. Others say that the sparks were the destroyed remnants of Sophia herself, imprisoned and tortured by the Demiurge. Sometimes also considered a reinterpretation of the story of Genesis, with Sophia herself as the Tree of Knowledge[=/=]Prometheus-equivalent (her name implies that role) who gave intelligence and souls to the ignorant animals who then became mankind.

to:

* There are many versions about how humans came to be. Some say the Demiurge originally created a bunch of soulless apes out of matter, and that Sophia took pity on them and breathed sparks from the Pleroma into them, trapping the sparks in their material bodies but also giving the bodies the capacity for intelligence, hence the evolution of humanity. Others say that the sparks were the destroyed remnants of Sophia herself, imprisoned and tortured by the Demiurge. Sometimes also considered a reinterpretation of the story of Genesis, with Sophia herself as the Tree of Knowledge[=/=]Prometheus-equivalent (her name implies that role) who gave intelligence and souls to the ignorant animals who then became mankind.mankind, either by herself or through the serpent.



Founded by Marcion of Sinope (85-160), Marcionism was an ancient Christian sect created 100 years of Jesus' life. It is not always considered a full-fledged Gnostic movement, as it lacked the Hellenistic and Egyptian polytheistic flavor of its successors and didnít taught about any kind of gnosis yet (instead, it postulated the key to salvation was in the Gospel of Paul), but its system of beliefs was massively influential in posterior currents, to the point it could be considered a prototype of Gnosticism.

to:

Founded by Marcion of Sinope (85-160), Marcionism was an ancient Christian sect created 100 years of Jesus' life. It is not always considered a full-fledged Gnostic movement, as it lacked the Hellenistic and Egyptian polytheistic flavor of its successors and didnít taught about any kind of gnosis yet (instead, it postulated the key to salvation was in the Gospel of Paul), but its system of beliefs was massively influential in posterior currents, to the point it could be considered a the prototype of Gnosticism.



This tradition was founded or at least influenced by Valentinius (100-180), a former Christian bishop who almost became Pope. This and the Sethian sects (called Syriac-Egyptian together) pretty much codified the philosophical corpus and popular perception of Gnosticism altogether, their doctrine composing most of what you just read about the Aeons and the Demiurge in the mythology above. However, unlike other Gnostic schools, Valentinianism was deeply ecumenical and preached universal salvation of all sentient beings; even the malevolent Demiurge will eventually be rescued from his ignorance with the redeeming of Sophia by Christ, as all things containing the spark of creation are inexorably moving towards redemption.

to:

This tradition was founded or at least influenced by Valentinius (100-180), a former Christian bishop who almost became Pope. This and the Sethian sects (called Syriac-Egyptian together) pretty much codified the philosophical corpus and popular perception of Gnosticism altogether, their doctrine composing most of what you just read about the Aeons and the Demiurge in the mythology above. However, unlike other Gnostic schools, Valentinianism was deeply ecumenical optimistic and preached universal salvation of all sentient beings; according to them, even the malevolent Demiurge will eventually be rescued from his ignorance with the redeeming of Sophia by Christ, as all things containing the spark of creation are inexorably moving towards redemption.



This sect was founded by Basilides of Alexandria. Although Syriac-Egyptian in kind like the previous two, itís actually very little what we know for sure about this school, as it was incredibly secretive and not even its Christian detractors were very sure what was up with it. Apparently, they believed the world was created with the rising of powerful yet innocent archons, or possibly during a violent rebellion among them in the line of the Christian War in Heaven. They were known, however, for practicing elaborate rituals and magic invocations.

to:

This sect was founded by Basilides of Alexandria. Although Syriac-Egyptian in kind like the previous two, itís actually very little what we know for sure about this school, as it was incredibly secretive and not even its Christian detractors were very sure what was up with it. Apparently, they believed the world was created with the rising of powerful yet innocent archons, or possibly during a violent rebellion among them in the line of the Christian War in Heaven. They were known, however, for practicing elaborate rituals and magic invocations.
invocations, as well as for introducing a sort of deity called Abrasax (wrongly spelled Abraxas everywhere else).



Founded by Persian prophet Mani, Manichaeism was a wildly popular Gnostic sect, so much that it reached China, contended with Christianity for the spiritual control of Asia, and only disappeared when Christianity, Islam and Taoism ganged up on it. Its doctrine was significantly different from classic Gnosticism: it postulated humanity and the universe were created during a series of battles between two opposing and non-omnipotent twin deities, equivalent to God and Satan, and as such they believed matter was neutral instead of evil. However, matter had been used to trap sparks of God's light in Adam and his sons, and Jesus Christ and Mani had been sent to teach them to get free through gnosis.

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Founded by Persian prophet Mani, Manichaeism was a wildly popular Gnostic sect, so much that it reached China, contended with Christianity for the spiritual control of Asia, and only disappeared when Christianity, Islam and Taoism ganged up on it. Its doctrine was significantly different from classic Syriac-Egyptian Gnosticism: it postulated humanity and the universe were created during a series of battles between two opposing and non-omnipotent twin deities, equivalent to God and Satan, and as such they believed matter was neutral instead of evil. However, matter had been used to trap sparks of God's light in Adam and his sons, and Jesus Christ and Mani had been sent to teach them to get free through gnosis.



A religion that it still lives today in Iraq, Mandaeans have a blurred history, but their set of beliefs is essentially a localized mixture of Gnostic doctrines (to the point that ''manda'' is the word for ''gnosis'' in Aramaic). They resemble Manichaeism due to the belief in two opposing dimensions of light and darkness, showing also some Valentinian flavor by teaching that matter belongs to the dark side, but they differ from most sects by clarifying that the material world, while certainly created and ruled by the "bad" god (not one, but ''three'' Ė Ptahil, Yushamin and Abathur), is not an evil prison, but more of an annoying waiting room. They also believe John the Baptist was the true prophet sent by the "good" god, with Jesus Christ being either evil or simply misguided.

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A religion that it still lives today in Iraq, Mandaeans have a blurred history, but their set of beliefs is essentially a localized mixture of Gnostic doctrines (to the point that ''manda'' is the word for ''gnosis'' in Aramaic). They resemble Manichaeism due to the belief in two opposing dimensions of light and darkness, showing also some Valentinian monistic flavor by teaching that matter belongs to the dark side, but they differ from most sects by clarifying that the material world, while certainly created and ruled by the "bad" god (not one, but ''three'' Ė Ptahil, Yushamin and Abathur), is not an evil prison, but more of an annoying waiting room. They also believe John the Baptist was the true prophet sent by the "good" god, with Jesus Christ being either evil or simply misguided.



The first Gnostic revival movement in the Middle Ages, Bogomilism was created in the first Bulgarian empire by the monk Bogomil (probably influenced by Paulicianism) as a current of both political and religious anarchism. According to their doctrine, God had two sons, Sataniel and Michael; the former revolted and created the material world, enslaving mankind there and founding Christianity out of arrogance, while the latter adopted the role of Jesus and came to the world to teach humans the way to escape. Bogomils were deeply social, rejecting any religious hierarchy beyond the rank of teacher and any temple beyond the human body, which meant it was their duty to travel far and wide to heal the sick and propagate their doctrine. Bogomilism was finally eradicated in the 13th century by both the Pope and the Ottoman Empire.

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The first Gnostic revival movement in the Middle Ages, Bogomilism was created in the first Bulgarian empire by the monk Bogomil (probably influenced by Paulicianism) as a current of both political and religious anarchism. According to their doctrine, God had two sons, Sataniel and Michael; the former revolted and created the material world, enslaving mankind there and founding Christianity the Abrahamic religions out of arrogance, while the latter adopted the role of Jesus and came to the world to teach humans the way to escape. Bogomils were deeply social, rejecting any religious hierarchy beyond the rank of teacher and any temple beyond the human body, which meant it was their duty to travel far and wide to heal the sick and propagate their doctrine. Bogomilism was finally eradicated in the 13th century by both the Pope and the Ottoman Empire.



Catharism (from Greek "pure", etymologically the source of the German word ''Ketzer'' for a heretic, although it seems they called themselves ''Bons Hommes'' or "Good Men" rather than any other title) was a Gnostic revival school that grew out in Southern Europe, where Paulician and Bogomilian influences spread into. Their members believed the God of Ancient Testament was actually Satan and humans were angels trapped in his world of matter, which they could escape through vows of ascetism and celibacy. Cathars became highly influential in France and amassed a fair amount of wealth, castles, and prestige, which eventually made the Catholic Church to feel threatened by [[TallPoppySyndrome making them look bad]]. So, the usual campaign of book burning and priest killing was embarked upon with the usual devastating consequences. Still, the legacy of Catharism lived on, turning through centuries into a fountain of legends and (pseudo)historical theories.

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Catharism (from Greek "pure", etymologically the source of the German word ''Ketzer'' for a heretic, although it seems they called themselves ''Bons Hommes'' or "Good Men" rather than any other title) was a Gnostic revival school that grew out in Southern Europe, where Paulician and Bogomilian influences spread into.were still hot. Their members believed the God of Ancient Testament was actually Satan and humans were angels trapped in his world of matter, which they could escape through vows of ascetism and celibacy. Cathars became highly influential in France and amassed a fair amount of wealth, castles, and prestige, which eventually made the Catholic Church to feel threatened by [[TallPoppySyndrome making them look bad]]. So, the usual campaign of book burning and priest killing was embarked upon with the usual devastating consequences. Still, the legacy of Catharism lived on, turning through centuries into a fountain of legends and (pseudo)historical theories.
16th Jan '18 10:06:41 PM Viss3r
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