Pistis Sophia

“And Melchisedec, the Receiver of the Light; purifieth those powers and carrieth their light into the Treasury of the Light, while the servitors of all the rulers gather together all matter from them all; and the servitors of all the rulers of the Fate and the servitors of the sphere which is below the aeons, take it and fashion it into souls of men and cattle and reptiles and wild-beasts and birds,

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and send them down into the world of mankind. And further the receivers of the sun and the receivers of the moon, if they look above and see the configurations of the paths of the aeons and the configurations of the Fate and those of the sphere, then they take from them the light-power; and the |36. receivers of the sun get it ready and deposit it, until they hand it over to the receivers of Melchisedec, the Light-purifier. And their material refuse they bring to the sphere which is below the aeons, and fashion it into [souls of] men, and fashion it also into souls of reptiles and of cattle and of wild-beasts and of birds, according to the circle of the rulers of that sphere and according to all the configurations of its revolution, and they cast them into this world of mankind, and they become souls in this region, as I have just said unto you.

Pistis Sophia, by G.R.S. Mead, [1921], at sacred-texts.com

CHAPTER 26

destroyed, and the universe became quickly raised up.

“This then they accomplished continuously before their power was diminished in them and they waned and became exhausted, or powerless. It came to pass then, when they became powerless, that their power began to cease in them, so that they became exhausted in their power, and their light, which was in their region, ceased and their kingdom was

“It came to pass then, when they had perceived this at the time, and when the number of

the cipher of Melchisedec, the Receiver [of the Light], happened, then had he to come out again and enter into the midst of the rulers of all the aeons and into the midst of all the rulers of the Fate and of those of the sphere; and he threw them into agitation, and made them quickly abandon

[p. 29]

their circles. And forthwith they were constrained, and cast forth the power out of themselves, out of the breath of their mouth and the tears of their eyes and the sweat of their bodies.

“And Melchisedec, the Receiver of the Light, purifieth them, as he doth continually; he carrieth their light into the Treasury of the Light. And all the rulers of the aeons and the rulers of the Fate and those of the sphere turn to the matter of their refuse; they devour it and do not let it go and become souls in the world. They devour then their matter, so that they may not become powerless and exhausted and their power cease in them and their kingdom become destroyed, but in order that they may delay and linger a long time until the completion of the number of the perfect souls who shall be in the Treasury of the Light.

Pistis Sophia, by G.R.S. Mead, [1921], at sacred-texts.com

CHAPTER 27

“It came to pass then, when the rulers of the aeons and those of the Fate and those of the sphere continued to carry out this type,–turning on themselves, devouring the refuse of their matter, and not allowing souls to be born into the world of mankind, in order that they might delay in being rulers, and that the powers which are in their powers, that is the souls, might spend a long time here outside,–they then persisted doing this continually for two circles.

“It came to pass then, when I wished to ascend for the ministry for the sake of which I was called |38. by command of the First Mystery, that I came up into the midst of the tyrants of the rulers of the twelve aeons, with my light-vesture

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about me, shining most exceedingly, and there was no measure for the light which was about me.

“It came to pass then, when those tyrants saw the great light which was about me, that the great Adamas, the Tyrant, and all the tyrants of the twelve aeons, all together began to fight against the light of my vesture, desiring to hold it fast among them, in order to delay in their rulership. This then they did, not knowing against whom they fought.

“When then they mutinied and fought against the light, thereon by command of the First Mystery I changed the paths and the courses of their aeons and the paths of their Fate and of their sphere. I made them face six months towards the triangles on the left and towards the squares and towards those in their aspect and towards their octagons, just as they had formerly been. But their manner of turning, or facing, I changed to another order, and made them other six months face towards the works of their influences in the squares on the right and in their triangles and in those in their aspect and in their octagons. And I made them to be confounded in great confusion and deluded in great delusion |39.–the rulers of the aeons and all the rulers of the Fate and those of the sphere; and I set them in great agitation, and thence on they were no longer able to turn towards the refuse of their matter to devour it, in order that their regions may continue to delay and they [themselves] may spend a long time as rulers.

they spend a time facing to the left and another time

“But when I had taken away a third of their power, I changed their spheres, so that

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facing to the right. I have changed their whole path and their whole course, and I have made the path of their course to hurry, so that they may be quickly purified and raised up quickly. And I have shortened their circles, and made their path more speedy, and it will be exceedingly hurried. And they were thrown into confusion in their path, and from then on were no more able to devour the matter of the refuse of the purification of their light. And moreover I have shortened their times and their periods, so that the perfect number of souls who shall receive the mysteries and be in the Treasury of the Light, shall be quickly completed. For had I not changed their courses, and had I not shortened their periods, they would not have let any soul come into the world, because of the matter of their refuse |40. which they devoured, and they would have destroyed many souls. For this cause I said unto you aforetime: ‘I have shortened the times because of my elect; otherwise no soul would have been able to be saved.’ And I have shortened the times and the periods because of the perfect number of the souls who shall receive the mysteries, that is to say, the ‘elect’; and had I not shortened their periods, no material soul would have been saved, but they would have perished in the fire which is in the flesh of the rulers. This then is the word on which thou dost question me with precision.”

It came to pass then, when Jesus had finished speaking these words unto his disciples, that they fell down all together, adored him and said to him: “Blessed are we before all men, for unto us thou hast revealed these great exploits.”

Pistis Sophia, by G.R.S. Mead, [1921], at sacred-texts.com

CHAPTER 28

[p. 32]

And Jesus continued again in his discourse and said unto his disciples: “Hearken concerning the things which befell me among the rulers of the twelve aeons and all their rulers and their lords and their authorities and their angels and their archangels. When then they had seen the vesture of light which was about me, they and their unpaired, then every one of them saw the mystery of his name, that it was on my vesture of light, which was about me. They fell down all together, adored the vesture of light which was about me, and cried out all together, saying: ‘How hath the lord of the universe passed through us without our knowing it?’ And they all sang praises together to the interiors of the interiors. And all their triple-powers and their great forefathers and their ungenerated and their self-generated and their generated and their gods and their light-sparks and their light-bearers–in a word all their great ones–saw the tyrants of their region, that their power was diminished in them. And they were in weakness and themselves fell into great and immeasurable fear. And they gazed on the mystery of their name on my vesture, and they had set out to come and adore the mystery of their name which was on my vesture, and they could not because of the great light which was about me; but they adored a little removed from me, and they adored the light of my vesture and all cried out together, singing praises to the interiors of the interiors.

“It came to pass then, when this befell among the tyrants who are below these rulers, that they all lost power and fell down to the ground in their aeons and became as the dead world-

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dwellers with no breath in them, as they |42. became in the hour when I took from them their power.

facing to the right and towards their triangles and their squares and those which are

“It came to pass then thereafter, when I left those aeons, that every one of all those who were in the twelve aeons, was bound to their order all together, and they accomplished their works as I have established them, so that they spend six months turned to the left and accomplishing their works in their squares and their triangles and in those which are in their aspect, and that further they spend another six months

in their aspect. Thus then will those who are in the Fate and in the sphere travel.

Pistis Sophia, by G.R.S. Mead, [1921], at sacred-texts.com

CHAPTER 29

“It came to pass then thereafter that I ascended to the veils of the thirteenth aeon. It came to pass then, when I had arrived at their veils, that they drew apart of their own accord and opened themselves for me. I entered in into the thirteenth aeon and found Pistis Sophia below the thirteenth aeon all alone and no one of them with her. And she sat in that region grieving and mourning, because she had not been admitted into the thirteenth aeon, her higher region. And she was moreover grieving because of the torments which Self-willed, who is one of the three triple-powers, had inflicted on her. But this,–when I shall come to speak with you respecting their expansion, |43. I will tell you the mystery, how this befell her.

“It came to pass then, when Pistis Sophia saw me shining most exceedingly and with no measure for the light which was about me, that she was in

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great agitation and gazed at the light of my vesture. She saw the mystery of her name on my vesture and the whole glory of its mystery, for formerly she was in the region of the height, in the thirteenth aeon,–but she was wont to sing praises to the higher light, which she had seen in the veil of the Treasury of the Light.

“It came to pass then, when she persisted in singing praises to the higher light, that all the rulers who are with the two great triple-powers, and her invisible who is paired with her, and the other two-and-twenty invisible emanations gazed [at the light],–in as much as Pistis Sophia and her pair, they and the other two-and-twenty emanations make up four-and-twenty emanations, which the great invisible Forefather and the two great triple-powers have emanated.”

Pistis Sophia, by G.R.S. Mead, [1921], at sacred-texts.com

CHAPTER 30

It came to pass then, when Jesus had said this unto his disciples, that Mary came forward and said: “My Lord, I have heard thee say aforetime: ‘Pistis Sophia is herself one of the f our-and-twenty emanations, how then is she not in their region? |44. But thou hast said: ‘I found her below the thirteenth aeon.'”

[THE STORY OF PISTIS SOPHIA]

And Jesus answered and said unto his disciples: “It came to pass, when Pistis Sophia was in the thirteenth aeon, in the region of all her brethren the invisibles, that is the four-and-twenty emanations of the great Invisible,–it came to pass then by command of the First Mystery that Pistis Sophia gazed into the height. She saw the light of the veil of the Treasury of the Light, and she

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longed to reach to that region, and she could not reach to that region. But she ceased to perform the mystery of the thirteenth aeon, and sang praises to the light of the height, which she had seen in the light of the veil of the Treasury of the Light.

rulers in the twelve aeons, who are below, hated her, because she had ceased from their

“It came to pass then, when she sang praises to the region of the height, that all the

mysteries, and because she had desired to go into the height and be above them all. For this cause then they were enraged against her and hated her, [as did] the great

triple-powered Self-willed, that is the third triple-power, who is in the thirteenth aeon, he who had become disobedient, in as much as he had not emanated the whole purification of his power in him, and had not given the purification of his light at the time when the rulers gave their purification, in that he desired to rule over the whole thirteenth aeon |45. and those who are below it.

“It came to pass then, when the rulers of the twelve aeons were enraged against Pistis Sophia, who is above them, and hated her exceedingly, that the great triple-powered Self-willed, of whom I have just now told you, joined himself to the rulers of the twelve aeons, and also was enraged against Pistis Sophia and hated her exceedingly, because she had thought to go to the light which is higher than her. And he emanated out of himself a great lion-faced power, and out of his matter in him he emanated a host of other very violent material emanations, and sent them into the regions below, to the parts of the chaos, in order that they might there lie in wait for Pistis

[p. 36] [paragraph continues] Sophia and take away her power out of her, because she thought to go to the height which is above them all, and moreover she had ceased to perform their mystery, and lamented continuously and sought after the light which she. had seen. And the rulers who abide, or persist, in performing the mystery, hated her, and all the guards who are at the gates of the aeons, hated her also.

“It came to pass then thereafter by command of the First Commandment that the great triple-powered Self-willed, who is one of the three |46. triple-powers, pursued Sophia in the thirteenth aeon, in order that she should look towards the parts below, so that she might see in that region his lion-faced light-power and long after it and go to that region, so that her light might be taken from her.

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