Gnostic Doctrine

Saturday, 15 September 2018

The Emanation of the Divine Mind

The Emanation of the Divine Mind 1Cor 2:16

In this study we will look at the aspects of the Mind of God which are referred to as the emanation of the aeons. First we will have an opening reading from 1cor 2:16

1Cor 2:16  For who hath come to know the mind of the Lord, that shall instruct him? But, we, have, the mind of Christ.

First the scriptures teach that all things are out of God: 

1Cor 8:6 there is actually to us one God the Father, out of whom all things are, and we for him; and there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, on account of whom all things are, and we because of him. (NWT)

All things being out of Deity, they were not made out of nothing. The sun, moon and stars, together with all things pertaining to each, were made out of something, and that something was the radiant flowing out of His substance, or active force, which pervades all things. By his active force, all created things are connected with the creator of the universe, which is light that no man can approach unto, so that not even a sparrow falls to the ground without the Father, who is not far from every one of us.

Here in 1Cor 8:6 we see the doctrine of emanation

emanate--"To issue forth from a source" (Webster). (For more information on the meaning of 
emanation see

In many Gnostic systems, aeons and other beings are emanated as an outpouring from the divine source, rather than created or begotten. The emanation usually refers to a primordial cosmogony which flows from the Father.  

This process of emanation first begins within the mind of the Father it is the silent thought which effusion from him. it is best understood like this the logos was "with God" in that it emanated from him 

The concept of emanation is that from the One (the Monad) sometimes referred to as the Depth issue forth all things. The first stage in the process, the Divine Mind, thinks, and thus from it emanate the reason (logos) and wisdom (Sophia). These are called aeons which are aspects or attributes of the Deity. There are 30 aeons altogether which make up the fullness (pleroma). The pleroma is the sum total of the aeons and emanations of the Deity. The divine pleroma is thus the full manifestation of the glory of the transcendent Deity. In Valentinian texts. With thought, depth constitutes the first Valentinian pairs called syzygies these are androgynous aspects of the mind of the Deity. 

The doctrine of Emanation was taught by early church fathers like Athenagoras, Origen, and Arnobius however this was in relation to the trinity. Another advocate of emanationism was Michael Servetus, who was burned at the stake for his nontrinitarian cosmology.

God existed before he created the Heavens and the earth. God exists outside of time and space in the Bythos or depth.

First of all the Pleroma did not always exist it was produced and formed by the Eternal Spirit this we call the emanation.

"He created the holy Pleroma in this way" (The Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex)

The word Pleroma means "fullness". It refers to all existence beyond visible universe. In other words it is the world of the Aeons, the heavens or spiritual universe. Bythos is the spiritual source of everything which emanates the pleroma,

The Pleroma is both the abode of and the essential nature of the True Ultimate Deity or Bythos. 

However there is another understanding to the Pleroma as well as being the dwellings place of the Aeons and the divine nature of the Deity it is also a state of consciousness. 

The Peroma is the total structure of the mind of the Deity. The emanations of the Aeons first happens within the consciousness of the Monad (The One) or the Deity. The emanation of the Aeons is the expanding of the Mind of the Deity. 

The Pleroma is the sum total of the divine attributes

The aeons are attributes of the Deity there are 30 divine attributes altogether each attribute is referred to as an aeon or an eternal these attributes emanate from the mind of the Deity.

In Jewish Mysticism known as kabbalah the Sefirot means emanations, which are the 10 attributes/emanations through which Ein Sof (The Infinite One) reveals Himself and continuously creates both the physical realm and the chain of higher spiritual realms.

To summaries this section the Pleroma is both a spatial and metaphysical
The Divine Mind
A spiritual understanding of God, the Divine Mind or logos, is the key to understanding the scriptures. In the account of creation as told by Moses, creation is brought forth by "God said"--Mind thought or logos.

John 1:1 Aramaic Bible in Plain English
In the origin The Word had been existing and That Word had been existing with God and That Word was himself God.

John 1:1 Rotherham's Emphasized Bible 

1 ¶  Originally, was, the Word, and, the Word, was, with God; and, the Word, was, God.
2  The same, was originally, with God.
3  All things, through him, came into existence, and, without him, came into existence, not even one thing: that which hath come into existence,
4  in him, was, life, and, the life, was, the light of men.--

The Greek word "logos" which is translated in the English as "word" can also be translated as reason. (See 1Peter 3:15)

1Peter 3:15  But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason <3056> of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 

The term “word” in the Bible most frequently translates the Hebrew and Greek words davar´ and logos. These words in the majority of cases refer to an entire thought, saying, or statement rather than simply to an individual term or unit of speech. (In Greek a ‘single word’ is expressed by rhēma (ῥῆμα 4487) [Mt 27:14], though it, too, can mean a saying or spoken matter.) 

Logos signifies the outward form of inward thought or reason, or the spoken word as illustrative of thought, wisdom and doctrine. in the very beginning, God's purpose, wisdom or revelation had been in evidence. It was "with God" in that it emanated from him; it "was God" in that it represented.

A word is a spoken thought, or idea. therefore by the term Mind, we mean logos or God--the all-embracing principle of causation, which includes all principles. The Existing One is the Creator of all things, the great First Cause; hence he is un-created, without beginning and end. (Rev 4:11; Psalm 36:9 His name, Yahweh, means The Existing One or “He causes to become.”

God is Spirit. The Word of Spirit is the God's main thought. By and through this absolute thought (the Christ of God), all things are made manifest.

The Word of God; the divine archetype thought that contains all ideas: the Christ, the Son of God, life, light, truth, church, man makeup the Divine Mind. 

Logos is the Christ, the Son, the divine light, the living Word, or Word of the Infinite One, and it contains all divine qualities; all things were made by it. A believer can acquire some, or a part, as God chooses. Jesus was completed filled with the fullness of the divine quality without measure, and He became the Logos, or Word, made flesh.

The logos is not a person but a personification of the Father's reasoning or mind

Brain and Mind
The logos is the reasoning intelligence of the divine mind or spirit:

Isaiah 40:13  Who has known the mind of the Lord? and who has been his counsellor, to instruct him?  (Greek Septuagint Version)

Isaiah 40:13  Who hath directed the Spirit of Yahweh, and, [as] his counsellor, hath taught him?

Here we can see that the Hebrew text as the word "spirit" and the Greek translation known as the Septuagint uses the word "mind". This shows that the word spirit is used sometimes in the bible as a synonym for the mind or heart. The spirit comprises both heart and mind. 

Spirit and Mind are synonymous; therefore we know God--Spirit--as Mind, the one Mind, or Intelligence, of the universe.

Theos is the Brain, Logos is the Thought or Reasoning of the Spirit or Mind. Therefore the Logos is the mind of God

No Logos, then there would be no Theos; and without Theos, the Logos could have no existence. This may be illustrated by the relation of reason, or intelligence and speech, to brain, as affirmed in the proposition, No brain, -- no thought, reason, nor intelligence. Call the brain Theos; and thought, reason, and understanding intelligently expressed, Logos; and the relation and dependence of Theos and Logos, in John's use of the terms, may readily be conceived. Brain-flesh is substance, or the hypostasis, that underlies thought; so Theos is substance which constitutes the substratum of Logos. Theos is the substance called Spirit; as it is written, "Theos is Spirit;" and he who uttered these words is declared to be himself both substance and spirit. (Dr. John Thomas Eureka Volume 1 Of Deity Before Manifestation in Flesh.)

Thus the logos is the reasoning mind of God. Now reason has another name Sophia or the wisdom of God.

Here was the offspring of Yahweh, of whom it is said : " She is more precious than rubies. Length of days is in her right hand; in her left hand, riches and honor: a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her." Here is an existence previous to the existence of the earth and all that it contains" By me," says Wisdom, " Yahweh formed the earth." " I am understanding ;" and "by understanding he established the heavens."

As a comment upon this, it may be remarked that in Job it is written : " By his SPIRIT he garnished the heavens;" or in the words of David, " By the WORD of Yahweh were the heavens made ; and all the host of them by the Spirit of his mouth." For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. From these premises, then, it is evident that Wisdom, the Word, and the Spirit, are but different terms, expressive of the same thing; so that the phrases, "the Spirit of Wisdom," and "the Spirit of Counsel and of Might" are combinations expressive of the relations of the Spirit in certain cases

The apostle John, in speaking of this, saith, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was made not any thing which exists. In him was life, and the life was the light of men." This appears to me to be a very intelligible account of the matter. The Word, Wisdom, Spirit, God, all one and the same; for He, being the fountain and origin, is as the emanation from himself.

The Word, Wisdom, Spirit are not separate beings or persons but personifications of the Father.

Wisdom of Solomon 7:26 The New Revised Standard Version 
26 For she is a reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of the working of God, and an image of his goodness.

Our attention is called to the 1st chapter of Genesis: "And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light."

The Father sees himself in the light of the water (compare Genesis 1:2 with John 1:4)  The Father is self-reflective self-consciousness.

God is spirit and the logos was God therefore we have Brain (Theos or God), Mind (spirit) and thought/reason (logos) The Word of Spirit is the Father's thought or plan. Spirit-Mind forms within itself the Thought or Reason that was expressed in Creation. This is the “Word,” that was and is with God.

Let this mind be in you, which was in Christ Jesus 
We have the Mind of Christ

We will look now at the text from our opening reading 

1cor 2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.
15  But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
16  For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Romans 11:34  For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?

God's counsels are profound and inscrutable. Paul cites Isa. 40:13, "Who hath directed the spirit of Yahweh?" — a challenging statement showing that none have known the mind of Yahweh in the sense that they have dominated or governed it

How does a person merge their consciousness with the Divine Mind? A believer merges their consciousness with the Divine Mind through harmonizing all his thoughts with the will of the Christ Consciousness. This is accomplished through appropriating or thinking upon the teachings and parables of Jesus and meditating on the ways of God.

Valentinian interpretation of John chapter 1
This information will help us to understand the Valentinian interpretation of john chapter 1

Extracts from the Works of Theodotus:

7 Therefore, the Father, being unknown, wished to be known to the Aeons, and through his own thought, as if he had known himself, he put forth the Only-Begotten, the spirit of Knowledge which is in Knowledge. So he too who came forth from Knowledge, that is, from the Father's Thought, became Knowledge, that is, the Son, because “through' the Son the Father was known.” But the Spirit of Love has been mingled with the Spirit of Knowledge, as the Father with the Son, and Thought with Truth, having proceeded from Truth as Knowledge from Thought. And he who remained “ Only-Begotten Son in the bosom of the Father” explains Thought to the Aeons through Knowledge, just as if he had also been put forth from his bosom; but him who appeared here, the Apostle no longer calls “ Only Begotten,” but “ as Only-Begotten,” “Glory as of an Only-Begotten.” This is because being one and the same, Jesus is the” First-Born” in creation, but in the Pleroma is “Only- Begotten.” But he is the same, being to each place such as can be contained [in it]. And he who descended is never divided from him who remained. For the Apostle says, “For he who ascended is the same as he who descended.” And they call the Creator, the image of the Only-Begotten. Therefore even the works of the image are the same and therefore the Lord, having made the dead whom he raised an image of the spiritual resurrection, raised them not so that their flesh was incorruptible but as if they were going to die again.

Note the Only-Begotten is the father's own thought also called the the spirit of Knowledge

The Father could be known through the two Spirits proceeding from him, which were mingled together. These spirits are the Spirit of knowledge (πνεῦμα γνώσεως) and the Spirit of love (πνεῦμα ἀγάπης).

Now since the word "logos" means the entire thought it would be logical to conclude that this reasoning had within its self, foreknowledge, forethought, insight or gnosis, this is referred to as the spirit of knowledge also contained within the reasoning is life grace light which is the spirit of love

In Extracts from the Works of Theodotus 6-7, the principal Tetrad (a group or set of four aeons,) consisted of the Mind, the Truth, the Logos, and the Life but the Father was not counted as a member of the Pleroma. 

Maybe this Tetrad is where we get the name Barbelo from? Barbelo meaning (EL) God in four in the Sethian system 

The Extracts from the Works of Theodotus goes on to say: 

8 But we maintain that the essential Logos is God in God, who is also said to be “in the bosom of the Father,” continuous, undivided, one God.

God came forth, the Son, Mind of the All. This means that even his thought takes its existence from the root of the all, since he had him in mind (Valentinian Exposition from the Nag Hammadi Library)

The All preexisted within the Father, and the son who is the Father's Thought and Will, revealed it

Ptolemy's Commentary On The Gospel of John Prologue

Now since he is speaking of the first origination, he does well to begin the teaching at the beginning, i.e with the Son and the Word. He speaks as follows: "The Word was in the beginning, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. It was in the beginning, with God." [Jn 1:1] First, he distinguishes three things: God; beginning; Word. Then he unites them: this is to show forth both the emanation of the latter two,( i.e. the Son and the Word), and their union with one another, and simultaneously with the Father. For the beginning was in the Father and from the Father; and the Word was in the beginning and from the beginning. Well did he say, "The Word was in the beginning", for it was in the Son. "And the Word was with God." So was the beginning. "And the word was God"; reasonably so, for what is engendered from God is God. This shows the order of emanation. "The entirety was made through it, and without it was not anything made." [Jn 1:3] For the Word became the cause of the forming and origination of all the aeons that came after it. (
Ptolemy's Commentary On The Gospel of John Prologue)

The phrase “The Word was in the beginning” was not a temporal expression, but it “shows the order of emanation” 
(See Ptolemy's Commentary On The Gospel of John Prologue)

Since the term logos signifies an inward thought it would be logical to conclude that logos is Sige or silence in the Valentinian system. 

Silence has a partner or companion (syzygies, pairwith the Depth (Bythos)

The Depth is another aspects or attributes of Theos or Deity

Thus the logos is the 
silent thought of the Deity.  

The Deity was reasoning with himself this reasoning lead to the rest of the Emanations or attributes coming forth from the divine mind. The Deity was always self aware and had self knowledge

There is one life force: the creative all-embracing life, even the logos which is God. This life is eternal and without limit, from before time to everlasting.

The things made, or externalized, are from the one and inseparable Mind and thought or God and logos, the self-existent and ever active, the cause of all that appears.

The Divine Mind or logos the ever-present, all-knowing Mind; the Absolute, the unlimited. present everywhere at the same time, all-wise, all-loving, all-powerful Spirit.

There is but one Mind, and that Mind cannot be separated or divided. All that we can say of the one Mind is that it is absolute.

1 Corinthians 2:16 for, "Who has known the mind of Yahweh so as to instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ

The Divine Mind, the creative power or Spirit in action. The Divine Mind first conceives the idea, then brings its external form to fulfilment. Believers, acting in accordance with the Divine Mind, place themselves under this same creative law and thus brings the divine ideas into manifestation.

The first Emanation is Logos, the masculine Father Principle of the Divine Mind that thinks and plans the molds for all expression through form. Mind builds form.

The second Emanation is Love, the feminine Mother Principle of the Divine Mind Love Substance that nourishes and sustains the molds formed by Mind. Love fills Form.

The Logos is Light, Life and Action.

The Logos is the Christ Principle, Holy Breath, Holy Spirit, Holy Ghost. This is the beginning of the first Day of Manifestation.

As the Emanations completed their second circuit,

 The Deity begot Lesser Gods, the Elohim, who plan the rest of manifestation or the rest of creation.
The Deity is spirit as well as Logos, wisdom and life this is Sophia 

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