PHAISTOS DISK INSPIRED OPINIONATED DICTIONARY
EARLY COMMON ERA GNOSTICISM
The Nag Hammadi Library, The Secret Books of the Egyptian Gnostics
Page 10 - SECTION I
"And the great Demon began to produce aeons in the likeness of the real Aeons, except that he produced them out of his own power." (Trimorphic Protennoia, Gnostic papyri)
"For this reason error became powerful; it worked on its own matter foolishly, not having known the truth. It set about with a creation, preparing with power and beauty the substitute for the truth." (The Gospel of Truth, Gnostic papyri)
Ialdabaoth - (Ariel, Samael, Sacla) Modeled after Khnum of Elephantine, the Egyptian supernal being with the body of a serpent and a lion's head surrounded by rays, Ialdabaoth means "the child who traverses places." This meaning may be related to the Persian Mithra, the intermediate principle between two opposing principles. Ialdabaoth is often portrayed as lion-headed and serpent-bodied, like Mithraic Aeon. The account of Ialdabaoth as being dethroned and replaced by Sabaoth, his son, may be related to the Greek Kronos dethroned by his son, Zeus. Ialdabaoth is the Demiurge, the Cronocrater, and sometimes the son of the Demiurge.
In one account of the creation of Ialdabaoth, Sophia tested her creative abilities, but ineptly emanated Chaos which, sensing something greater than itself, was filled with jealousy, causing the abyss of Chaos to be filled with water. Sophia saw her creation, a place devoid of Spirit, and became terrified at what she had done. Her terror evoked an apparition upon the waters, a male-female Archon with the face of a lion whom she named Ialdabaoth. This being had seen Sophia's image on the water but knew nothing of her powers and virtues. He thought he alone existed and so he created for himself seven sons, one of whom is Sabaoth.
Ialdabaoth built heavens for each of them, with myriads of angels, archangels, chariots, spirits, thrones, and temples. Then he proclaimed himself the only god. Sophia spoke and told him he was mistaken, that an immortal of Light existed before him and has power over him. She then showed herself to him and his sons. Ialdabaoth's son, Sabaoth, upon hearing her voice and seeing her, sent up a hymn to her. In return, he was rewarded with honors and powers, and he rejected his parentage and family. Chaos, his mother, envied his new position and prepared to wage war against him. Sophia sent aid to Sabaoth in the form of her daughter Zoe and ten archangels who, together with Sabaoth, create every living thing in the Ogdoad. There they made a throne erected upon a chariot surrounded by cherubims with faces like a lion, a bull, a man, and an eagle. Ialdabaoth, still in the abyss, was tortured by jealousy. He created Death, which he established in the 6th heaven.
Basilides described Ialdabaoth as the head of the created world. Gnostics identified Ialdabaoth with the God of Genesis and the unrighteous creator who proclaimed there was no other god but him and that he was a jealous god. Ialdabaoth is identified with Saturn, which is malefic while Jupiter is benefic.
In another account of Ialdabaoth, the serpent son of Ialdabaoth brings gnosis to Adam and Eve and is cast down to Earth in punishment for this by his father, who originally created Eve to compete with Adam. Ialdabaoth is said to have caused the Great Flood out of anger because no one worshipped him. Sophia intervened to save humanity by helping Noah and his family with the ark. Ialdabaoth is said to have chosen Abraham as his own and to have promised him Earth for his descendants. He also led Moses out of Egypt and tried to have Jesus crucified. One text relates it was Ialdabaoth, not Jesus, who wore a crown of thorns and purple robes and was nailed to the cross.
In another text, Ialdabaoth lures Sophia to Earth by an illusion of light and traps her in the bondage of matter from which she is rescued by Jesus. As the unrighteous creator, Ialdabaoth keeps humanity bound and in prison. The ancients described him as having the face of an ass or a lion.
"And it has fettered them with its chains and bound all their limbs with the bitterness of the bondage of lust for those visible things that will decay and change and swerve by impulse. They have always been attracted downwards..."(The Book of Thomas the Contender, Gnostic papyri)
Islam - Founded by Mohammed (569-632 CE), who claimed all Arabs were descended from the biblical Abraham. The Gnostic impact on Islam can be seen in the copius Islamized Hermeticism writings with alchemical, astrological, and cosmological themes. In the early 13th century, the mystical currents that inspired it were joined to those of Sufism, the mysticism of Islam. The Gnostic Isma'ilites believed Melchezidek, after resurrection, will act as a judge and revealor of divine mysteries kept secret by the prophets from humanity because, while incarnate, humanity is subject to religious law rather than divine law. This is obviously an important tenant of Islam today. Upon death and resurrection, one learns of a different, and inconceivable, spiritual reality.
The Bektashis were an Islamic Gnostic sect of the 13th century. The Shi'ites have been erroneously classed as Gnostic because of their world-view regarding the Western world as evil and as being in direct opposition to their world.
In the Beginning | Subjects
A | Abel | Abraham | Abrasax | Adam | Adamanous | Aeons
Alchemy | Allogeneous Books | Androgyny | Anthropos
Archons | Archontici | Astrology, Classical | Athoth
Audians | Augustine, St.
Barbelo | Bardeson of Edessa | Baruch | Basilides | Behemoth
Book of Archangels | Book of Buried Pearls
Book of the Cave of Treasure
Cain | Cainites | Carpocrates | Cathars | Celsus | Chaos
Chenoboskion Manuscripts | Christianity
Cosmogony of the Gnostics | Counterfeiting Spirit
D | Death | Decans | Deir Anba-Palamun | Diagram
Dragon, Constellation of | Dualism
E | Egypt | El | Elohim | Enki | Enoch
Enoch, Book of the Secrets of | Essenes | Eugnostos | Eve
F | Fate | Father
G | Gnosis | Gnosticism
H | Hebdomad | Hermes | Hermes Trismegistus | Hermeticism
Holy Spirit | Homer
I | Ialdabaoth | Islam
J | Jesus Christ | John the Baptist | Judaism | Jung Codex
K | Kanteans | Key to Hydromancy | Kukeans
L | Leviathan | Limit-Cross | Luria, Isaac
M | Mandaeans | Manes | Manichaeism | Marcus | Mariamne
Mary | Matter | Melchizedek | Messenger, Divine | Mithra
Moses | Mountain of Lights
N | Nassenes | Nicolaitans | Noah | Norea
O | Ogdoad | Ophites | Ousiarchs
P | Paul, Apocalypse of | Perfect, The | Persia | Philo
Philosophers, Akhmim | Plato | Pleiades |
Pleroma | Plotinus
Porphyry | Principle of Opposites
Primordial Principles, Three | Pythagorus
Q | Queen of Heaven
R | Right and Left, Places of the
S | Sabaoth | Sacla | Seals | Sephiroth | Seth | Sethians | Shem
Simon Magus | Sophia
T | Thirteenth Aeon | Tree of Death
Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil | Tree of Life
Trees of Paradise
U | Ur
V | Valentinians | Valentinus
W | Wheel of Time
Z | Zoe | Zoroaster
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Claire Grace Watson, B.A., M.S.T., U.S. Copyright and under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, All rights reserved. No part of this web page may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the author, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review.