The Nag Hammadi Library, The Secret Books of the Egyptian Gnostics

Page 6 - SECTION E

Egypt | El | Elohim | Enki | Enoch | Enoch, Book of the Secrets of
Essenes | Eugnostos | Eve | Evil

"And in that day the country (Egypt) that was more pious than all countries will become impious. No longer will it be full of temples, but it will be full of tombs. Neither will it be full of gods but it will be full of corpses. Egypt! Egypt will become like the fables." (Asclepius, Gnostic papyri)

Egypt - The symbol of Matter in the ancient world. When the Israelites escaped from Egypt, it was interpreted to mean they escaped the bondage of matter and their involvement in it. The distinctive qualities of certain Gnostic ideas passed over into Egypt about 120 CE. The Egyptian concept of time probably influenced Gnostic doctrine, and the sciences of astrology, alchemy, and magic were highly developed there. Egyptian religion, since the earliest pharaonic ages, possessed a mystical astrology and distributed its divinities among the stars and heavenly bodies. And, it has always been well-known throughout the world that the Egyptian priests practiced magic.

The Hermetic treatises authored by Hermes Trismegistus are part of Egypt's contribution to the Gnostic manuscripts. Alexandria, Egypt was a center for Gnosticism during the time of Hadrian (110-38 CE), where Basilides, Carpocrates and Valentinus were influential Gnostics. Alexandria soon became a world center for the occult sciences, offering instruction in magical practices. John of Apamea, for one, went there to get occult instruction from the magicians and returned home with Gnostic teachings he had received (about 6th c. CE). From Egypt, Gnosticism spread to Rome where, because of its threat to the newly established Church, the Christian leaders branded it heretical and placed Gnostic books on the Index. The Christian mobs also flayed alive the astronomer and philosopher Hypatia with oyster shells after dragging her from her carriage. And they topped that off with the burning of the great library in Alexandria, Egypt, and lost were the majority of the great writings from the ancient world, all the way back to no telling when. So, we were obliged to start over with a lot of restraints.

El - The oldest deity of Canaan, considered to be creator of creatures and father of mankind. Other Canaanite gods were Baal, who struggled to earn the favors of El, Baal-Zebub (Lord of the Flies), Anath, Yam (Sea), Mot (Death), Astarte, Shapash, Kothar, Baalat, and Asherah whose cults were in the Phoenician Ports of Tyre and Sidon. The Israelites struggled to establish their monotheistic cult of Yahweh in this Canaanite, multi-god environment. The name El was carried forward by Judaism as a prefix and suffix god-name (Micha-el. Gabri-el, Auri-el, Rapha-el, El-ohim. Sama-el, Emmanu-el, etc.) El is also found as "Al."

Elohim - Composed of male and female elements, Elohim, who lacks prescience, is the second of the three uncreated principles and the father of all born beings. From Elohim and the prescient third principle, Eden, also called Israel, were born the angels of the lower heavens who constituted Paradise. One of these angels is Baruch, the Tree of Life, and another is Naas, the Serpent and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The angels of Elohim took the good earth from the upper half of the body of Eden and made Adam.

Elohim ascended to higher regions and saw a perfect light which he had not created. He invoked it and the supreme divinity, whom Elohim had no knowledge of before this, allowed him to attain to his presence. But Eden (Israel), feeling deserted by Elohim, avenged herself on Elohim's creation, humanity. She sent the serpent Naas to cause unrest. Naas seduced Eve and made Adam his minion. Elohim then sent Baruch, the Tree of Life, to instruct men, the Jews, so that they might turn towards the Good. To the uncircumcised pagans he sent Hercules to deliver them from the unrighteous angels of Eden's creation. When Elohim discovered his ignorance of a higher divinity, he desired to attain to its presence, unlike Ialdabaoth who was foolishly proud and became corrupt. In this account, ignorance alone does not lead to corruption. Desire for gnosis of the higher things conquers ignorance. It is pride that "goeth before the fall."

Elohim (god) is distinguishable from Jehovah (lord). In the Old Testament there are two Jewish people, the Hebrews and the Israelites, two Moseses, and two gods, Jehovah and Elohim. Most Gnostic sects considered Jehovah to be the unrighteous creator of the corrupt world. Moses of the Exodus united the duality expressed by Jehovah and Elohim into the unity of Jehovah Elohim, the Lord God.

Enki - Some elements of Gnosticism originated in Sumer in Babylon. In Sumerian belief, the ruler of Wisdom is the third principle, Enki, also called "lil," meaning spirit. From this probably came the mythology of Lillith, Adam's first wife. This domestic drama was undoubtedly deemed unworthy for the Bible. One really shouldn't start a world religion with a story of how Adam divorced Lillith in order to have a new, younger wife, Eve, although you have to admit it's a not-so-hidden pattern in our world, The god Enki reigned over the part of this creation in which grew the Tree of Life and out of which came the legend of Lilllith.

The Sumerians believed the structure of man parallels that of the universe, with the universe as the magnified image of a person - a Pre-Gnostic elucidation of macrocosm and microcosm. The knowledge of the existence of seven planets, counting the sun and the moon, is very ancient. Medallions from ancient Babylon feature seven Archons crowned with astral symbols.

Enoch - In Jewish beliefs, Enoch is an astrologer who founded the astrological traditions expressed in the Great Hekhaloth. In that system of astrology, the Lord Sabaoth, seated on the Merkaba, the chariot-throne, is the Pole Star, now Polaris. The circumpolar stars and planets, hosts of angels and powers, revolve around him.

I think is evident on the Phaistos Disk in the hidden pattern of what appears the North Star surrounded by the circumplar stars.

Enoch is said to have written the Books of Jeou in Paradise, as dictated to him by Jesus. With Seth and Hermes, he is credited as the author of Egyptian and Jewish literature, and cited by the Gnostic Sabian sect as a prophet who did not die, but was permanently caught up into heaven, as was Elijah. This belief, a kind of "carnal resurrection, "accounts for the second question of the ancient religious riddle: "Who died, but was never born?

Of course, UFOlogists interpret this as clearly an instance of "Beam me up, Scotty." How else would you explain someone dematerializing? Speaking of which, been there, done that.

Enoch, Book of the Secrets of - Contained in this book is a description of the cosmic veil, the curtain around the Merkaba. The cosmic veil separates the images of all pre-existing things from the vision of the material world of forms. The story of King Solomon's khalkhydras is told in Book of the Secrets of Enoch. Enoch is caught up into heaven, which has ten levels. At the tenth level is God, with whom Enoch converses.

The UFOlogists interpret this as a very good vision of the Mothership, all the different levels and of course, God/Alien Being.

Essenes - One of the four important Jewish sects during and after the life of Jesus Christ. Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist, who was probably an Essene as he preached and baptised in the area where the Essenes had their largest community. The celibate Essenes were apolitical, withdrawing completely from the political issues in which two other important sects, the Sadduces and Pharisees, who Jesus criticized, were deeply involved. The Essenes were established at Sodom and Gomorrha, and it has been suggested that Qumran was, in fact, Gomorrha. Sodom and Gomorrha, at one time, had a reputation for sanctity owing to the presence of the ascetic Essenes.

Jesus may have been an Essene, suggested because it is believed he spent some time in an Essene monastery. There is a long period of time in his life when nothing about him was known. It has been theorized he spent this time in an Essene monastery. Also theorized is that he spent this time in India. He also advanced personal beliefs nearly identical with the Essenes. They believed in the immortality of the soul, the advent of the Messiah to come, heaven and hell, and purification by baptism. They had a protocol for seating almost identical to that of the Last Supper, and a ritual identical to a Christian communion. They believed in a divinely sent Messiah whom they called the "Teacher of Righteousness" and who had died violently at the hands of the Sons of Darkness.

It's my impression, from reading all this literature like this, that nearly all the religious sects wanted to own Jesus as their own, but when they did so they imbued him with all kinds of qualities and powers that were distinct to their sect, so that the literature about Jesus is very interesting and even bizarre.

"And I was not like them, but I clothed myself with everything of theirs." (Jesus to James, The First Apocalypse of James, Gnostic papyri)

The first Teacher of Righteousness died 65-53 BCE. Jesus is the new Messiah who rekindled the faith, concentrated on himself the adoration of men, and died violently at the hands of the Sons of Darkness, the Romans.

In 30 CE, Jesus founded the fourth Jewish sect, the Christians. He may have established his sect because the Essenes did not accept him as messiah, because the Essenes, who may have been the sect that produced the Dead Sea Scrolls, were not acceptable to him as disciples, or for other reasons known only to Jesus who, perhaps, "was not like them.''

Eugnostos - An important Gnostic thinker, transcriber of the Sacred Book of the Invisible Great Spirit, also known as The Gospel of the Egyptians, a book Eugnostos said he channeled ("a book written from God.") He authored the Epistle of Eugnostos the Blessed. His spiritual name is Eugnostos "the well-known," a name attached to five Gnostic manuscripts. He took the surname, "the Agapite." His secular name of Goggessos means "the murmurer," because he murmured his texts to his followers and because he murmured his prayers. Zoroastrian sects also murmured their texts and prayers.

I love the philosophy of Emanationism that Eugnostos taught, even if he was a strange guy sitting there murmuring. Maybe he murmured because what he was teaching was so beautiful that he was concerned he would be overhead by the Unworthy. That's my guess, anyway. As usual with Gnosticism and just about all over historical religions, his worldview involves a man giving birth to the entire universe as something like thought-babies, since any other kind of birth is not possible. What sets Eugnostos apart from most others is his concept of chaos as having hidden patterns. This really is a philosophy evident on the Phaistos Disk in about 1,600 BCE, seen to the right. The idea of chaos being chaotic as dependant upon your perspective is quite an advance for Gnosticism and is really interesting to me as well as, apparently, to the creator(s) of the Phaistos Disk.

He taught that the universe and the Father of the universe are unbegotten. The Father, called Pro-Father, and the universe are both intelligent, immortal, without beginning, and inconceivable. That is the first principle of Gnosis. Eugnostos instructed that the hidden things, the unmanifest, are to be considered first, that it is these invisible things which give rise to all things physical, and it is Faith in the unmanifest which brings it manifest. Therefore, Eugnostos taught, the unmanifest is always contained in the manifest. This means that all things corruptible are born of incorruptibility and indestructibility. Eugnostos said he channeled the following information.

Pro-Father saw himself as if in a mirror. This image of his took on life just by Pro-Father having seen it, so powerful is his creativity. This emanation, Father, is the embodiment of Pro-Father manifesting himself as Father of himself and Generator of himself. Father is equal in duration with Pro-Father, but unequal in power. Pro-Father emanated a generation of such powers, the Sons of the unbegotten Fathers who trust in him. These are the infinite, begotten powers.

In the infinite, the Father emanated by himself an androgynous person whose feminine name is Sophia-Pansophos. This androgyne created Aeons of Powers, with gods and archangels, called God of Gods and King of Kings. This creation also possesses intelligence and is a living, thinking entity. The androgynous person united its masculine self with its feminine self to engender a hermaphrodite son, named First Father who Begets. This is the Son of Man, also called Adam of the Light. Adam creates an aeon peopled with angels called the Church of the Holy Lights, and unites with his feminine self and produces a bisexual luminary who is both Savior-Creator of all things and Sophia Generator of All, also called Pistis.

From these are engendered six couples of spiritual hermaphrodites who produce 72 more, as well as 360 other beings who are modeled on the patterns of eternity; the eras, the years, the months, the days, the hours and the instants. Eugnostos taught that every second that ticks by is sacred, and that nothing, not even Chaos, exists without its guardian deity and its hidden patterns. The Savior, Immortal Man, and Sophia, his companion, create for the six couples 12 aeons and 12 angels, six heavens in each aeon and five levels in each heaven. From them, all things, even Chaos, take their patterns.

Seems he is attempting to describe a hologram while using math that is very similar to the Phaistos Disk, which has 24 line segments on the outside spiral, 12 on each side, and the spiral has five levels. Perhaps telling it while murmuring causes the hearer to focus on the vision rather than on the voice.

"She taught me a word of knowledge of the eternal god." (Adam to Seth about Eve, The Apocalypse of Adam, Gnostic papyri)

Eve - In Revelation of Adam to his Son Seth, Adam, at age 700, tells Seth that the Archons created him and Eve from Earth. In this account, Eve, while in communication with angels, teaches Adam what she has learned of the everlasting God and tells him that the angels are intervening on their behalf. When the Archons who created them heard her tell this to Adam, they became angry and cut them off from the Aeons of the Powers, thus creating two aeons. Adam and Eve lost their glory and their primordial knowledge and learned mortal things like man learns. This is why, Adam tells Seth, that he was named Seth, meaning man. Adam then prophesies the Great Flood, Noah and his ark, the redemption of the Perfect, and a succession of Saviors.

Expulsion of Adam and Even from ParadiseAudius, in the Book of Strangers, relates that Eve conceived with God, not Adam. In some accounts, it is the Archons, entranced by her beauty, who seduce her. They create Adam from earth in the image of the supreme divinity, but Adam cannot stand upright. The demiurge breathes strength into him, places him in Paradise, and warns him never to eat of the Tree of Life. The Archons then create Eve out of Adam's side. Eve is so spiritual that her birth causes Adam to become ensouled. He names her "Mother of the Living.'' But the Archons are so dazzled by her beauty that they pursue her while she laughs at their stupidity. The son of the Demiurge, the Serpent, suggests to her that she eat of the Tree of Life. She does so and, as expected, the creator then expels the naked couple from Paradise (left) and away from Eve's pursuers. (I guess that's the upside of being expelled from Paradise. At least you no longer have Archons stalking you.)

In Baruch, Eve is seduced by the serpent. In Diagram, she is seduced by the Archons and begets some who are angels. Also in Diagram, an Aeon, the Mother, takes on the appearance of the serpent and induces Adam and Eve to eat of the fruit which the unrighteous creator, Ialdabaoth, has forbidden them. They do so and acquire knowledge (Gnosis) of the virtue above all things, and turn away from Ialdabaoth, who expels them from Paradise along with his son the serpent. The serpent begets six sons, and together they become the seven heads of the Dragon of chaos and injustice, who are secretly at war with the human race. It was this Dragon who caused Cain to kill Abel. In biblical terminology, these seducers of Eve would be called fallen angels, which does not truly describe then and what they represent, but is the closest biblical approximation or point of reference.

The stories of Adam and Eve tie two times together: the time when knowledge of human life was utterly lost and the time when the human mind could express itself in literature. The stories also embody the basic duality of human life; the existence of the subjective inner world, more real to some of us than the objective outer world.

For proof that the creator of the physical world is a second-class god, the Gnostics relied heavily on the scriptures of the Old Testament.

"But what sort of God? First he maliciously refused Adam from eating of the tree of knowledge. And secondly he said, 'Adam. where are you?' God does not have foreknowledge; otherwise would he not know from the beginning? And afterwards he said, 'Let us cast him out of this place, lest he eat of the tree of life and live for ever.' Surely he has shown himself to be a malicious grudger. And what kind of a God is this? For great is the blindness of those who read, and they did not know him. And he said, 'I am the jealous God; I will bring the sins of the fathers upon the children until three and four generations.' And he said, 'I will make their heart thick, and I will cause their mind to become blind, that they might not know nor comprehend the things that are said.' But these things he has said to those who believe in him and serve him!"

God says, "I am a jealous god." Jealous of whom? God asked Adam, "Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree...?" Is this God not omniscient? Eve tells Adam, "I have gotten a man from the Lord." How did this happen? Eve says, "God hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel." Seth must be of a superior generation to Cain and Abel. In the Book of Job, God abuses Job but learns a humbling lesson from that great man. To the Gnostic interpreters of the Old Testament, these incidents and others were an overwhelming indictment against Jehovah, the God of the Jews, who they considered infamous for not sharing his knowledge with humanity.

In Gospel of Eve are written the words:

"I was standing upon a high mountain, when lo! I saw one person of tall stature and another who was lame. Then I heard a voice like thunder...I drew near...and the vision addressed me in those words: 'I am identical with thee, and thou are identical with me; wherever thou art, there am I, for I am known in all things; wherever thou wilt thou reapest me; but in reaping me it is thyself that thou reapest."'

"There are many animals in the world which are in human form." (The Gospel of Philip, Gnostic papyri)

Evil - Of necessity, the opposite of Good. The concept of Evil as pre-existing the birth of humanity is bequeathed to us straight out of Dualism. Battai of the Kantean sect taught that, before the beginning, the supreme divinity divided Himself into two, and from the two issued Good and Evil, the light and the dark. Evil gained understanding of its position and waged retaliatory war on the supreme divinity who, in defense, uttered a word from which the Lord God (Jehovah Elohim) was created. The Lord God uttered seven words which engendered seven powers, and Evil engendered seven demons in response. The seven demons overcame the seven good powers and stole Adam. The Lord God destroyed Adam and remade him.

"Good cannot result from evil." (On the Origin of the World, Gnostic papyri)

In Gnostic doctrine, a human serves two gods, one good and one evil, and has two souls, one heavenly and one material. Salvation is the uplifting of a person who is good, but fallen. The universe of sensory experience is defined as evil (corrupt).

It is not hard to understand how these stories gained ground in the time of the world in which they were created. After all, polarity or positive and negative poles is the basis of our physics in this part of the universe, so naturally we would see things in this dualistic way. Also, during that time, these writers had to deal with the Romans breathing down their necks about every little thing and killing whoever they pleased whenever they pleased. Just like repression engenders neurosis, this kind of reality engenders escapism.

Perhaps it is not escapism but intense creativity that results from intense pressure of life. I have had, in my own life, people accuse me of escapism via this website, claiming it's a much better dimension than the world in which we live. But I disagree that escapism is my motive or the motive of the Gnostics. Art and creativity are not escapism but are patterned on a higher power who, in creating the universe, can't really be accused of escapism, can he/she/it? Escaping from what, solitude? Well, that was the theory of many Gnostic sects, that we are here because the Father got lonely. But I think we are here because the highest power is not the Father or the Mother or the Monad but rather Creativity.

In the Beginning | Subjects

A | Abel | Abraham | Abrasax | Adam | Adamanous | Aeons

          Alchemy | Allogeneous Books | Androgyny | Anthropos

          Archons | Archontici | Astrology, Classical | Athoth

          Audians | Augustine, St.

B | Barbelo | Bardeson of Edessa | Baruch | Basilides | Behemoth

          Book of Archangels | Book of Buried Pearls

          Book of the Cave of Treasure

C | 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


Copyright Notice - Disk of the World - Text and images copyrighted March 21, 1993-2023, Claire Grace Watson, B.A., M.S.T., U.S. Copyright and under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, All rights reserved.