The Nag Hammadi Library

themselves to the glory, to the Father, and might think that from themselves alone they

have this. But just as he wished to grant that they might come into being, so too, in order that they might come into being as faultless ones, when he wished, he gave them the perfect idea of beneficence toward them.

The one whom he raised up as a light for those who came from himself, the one from whom they take their name, he is the Son, who is full, complete and faultless. He brought him forth mingled with what came forth from him […] partaking of the […] the Totality, in accordance with […] by which each one can receive him for himself, though such was not his greatness before he was received by it. Rather, he exists by himself. As for the parts in which he exists in his own manner and form and greatness, it is possible for

<them> to see him and speak about that which they know of him, since they wear him while he wears them, because it is possible for them to comprehend him. He, however, is as he is, incomparable. In order that the Father might receive honor from each one and reveal himself, even in his ineffability, hidden, and invisible, they marvel at him mentally. Therefore, the greatness of his loftiness consists in the fact that they speak about him and see him. He becomes manifest, so that he may be hymned because of the abundance of his sweetness, with the grace of <…>. And just as the admirations of the silences are eternal generations and they are mental offspring, so too the dispositions of the word are spiritual emanations. Both of them admirations and dispositions, since they belong to a word, are seeds and thoughts of his offspring, and roots which live forever, appearing to be offspring which have come forth from themselves, being minds and spiritual offspring to the glory of the Father.

There is no need for voice and spirit, mind and word, because there is no need to work at that which they desire to do, but on the pattern by which he was existing, so are those who have come forth from him, begetting everything which they desire. And the one whom they conceive of, and whom they speak about, and the one toward whom they move, and the one in whom they are, and the one whom they hymn, thereby glorifying him, he has sons. For this is their procreative power, like those from whom they have come, according to their mutual assistance, since they assist one another like the unbegotten ones.

The Father, in accordance with his exalted position over the Totalities, being an unknown and incomprehensible one, has such greatness and magnitude, that, if he had revealed himself suddenly, quickly, to all the exalted ones among the aeons who had come forth from him, they would have perished. Therefore, he withheld his power and his inexhaustibility within that in which he is. He is ineffable and unnameable and exalted above every mind and every word. This one, however, stretched himself out and it was that which he stretched out which gave a foundation and a space and a dwelling place for the universe, a name of his being “the one through whom,” since he is Father of the All,

out of his laboring for those who exist, having sown into their thought that they might seek after him. The abundance of their […] consists in the fact that they understand that he exists and in the fact that they ask what it is that was existing. This one was given to them for enjoyment and nourishment and joy and an abundance of illumination, which consists in his fellow laboring, his knowledge and his mingling with them, that is, the one who is called and is, in fact, the Son, since he is the Totalities and the one of whom they know both who he is and that it is he who clothes. This is the one who is called “Son” and the one of whom they understand that he exists and they were seeking after him. This is the one who exists as Father and (as) the one about whom they cannot speak, and the one of whom they do not conceive. This is the one who first came into being.

It is impossible for anyone to conceive of him or think of him. Or can anyone approach there, toward the exalted one, toward the preexistent in the proper sense? But all the names conceived or spoken about him are presented in honor, as a trace of him, according to the ability of each one of those who glorify him. Now he who arose from him when he stretched himself out for begetting and for knowledge on the part of the Totalities, he […] all of the names, without falsification, and he is, in the proper sense, the sole first one, the man of the Father, that is, the one whom I call

the form of the formless, the body of the bodiless, the face of the invisible, the word of the unutterable,

the mind of the inconceivable,

the fountain which flowed from him, the root of those who are planted, and the god of those who exist,

the light of those whom he illumines,

the love of those whom he loved,

the providence of those for whom he providentially cares, the wisdom of those whom he made wise,

the power of those to whom he gives power,

the assembly of those whom he assembles to him,

the revelation of the things which are sought after, the eye of those who see,

the breath of those who breathe, the life of those who live,

the unity of those who are mixed with the Totalities.

All of them exist in the single one, as he clothes himself completely and by his single name he is never called. And in this unique way they are equally the single one and the Totalities. He is neither divided as a body, nor is he separated into the names which he has received, (so that) he is one thing in this way and another in another way. Also, neither does he change in […], nor does he turn into the names which he thinks of, and become now this, now something else, this thing now being one thing and, at another

time, something else, but rather he is wholly himself to the uttermost. He is each and every one of the Totalities forever at the same time. He is what all of them are. He brought the Father to the Totalities. He also is the Totalities, for he is the one who is

knowledge for himself and he is each one of the properties. He has the powers and he is

beyond all that which he knows, while seeing himself in himself completely and having a Son and form. Therefore, his powers and properties are innumerable and inaudible, because of the begetting by which he begets them. Innumerable and indivisible are the begettings of his words, and his commands and his Totalities. He knows them, which things he himself is, since they are in the single name, and are all speaking in it. And he brings (them) forth, in order that it might be discovered that they exist according to their individual properties in a unified way. And he did not reveal the multitude to the Totalities at once nor did he reveal his equality to those who had come forth from him.

  • Aeonic Life

    All those who came forth from him <who> are the aeons of the aeons, being emanations and offspring of <his> procreative nature, they too, in their procreative nature, have

    <given> glory to the Father, as he was the cause of their establishment. This is what we

    said previously, namely that he creates the aeons as roots and springs and fathers, and that he is the one to whom they give glory. They have begotten, for he has knowledge and wisdom and the Totalities knew that it is from knowledge and wisdom that they have come forth. They would have brought forth a seeming honor: “The Father is the one who is the Totalities,” if the aeons had risen up to give honor individually. Therefore, in the song of glorification and in the power of the unity of him from whom they have come, they were drawn into a mingling and a combination and a unity with one another. They offered glory worthy of the Father from the pleromatic congregation, which is a single representation although many, because it was brought forth as a glory for the single one and because they came forth toward the one who is himself the Totalities. Now, this was a praise […] the one who brought forth the Totalities, being a first-fruit of the immortals and an eternal one, because, having come forth from the living aeons, being perfect and full because of the one who is perfect and full, it left full and perfect those who have given glory in a perfect way because of the fellowship. For, like the faultless Father, when he is glorified he also hears the glory which glorifies him, so as to make them manifest as that which he is.

    The cause of the second honor which accrued to them is that which was returned to them from the Father when they had known the grace by which they bore fruit with one another because of the Father. As a result, just as they <were> brought forth in glory for the Father, so too in order to appear perfect, they appeared acting by giving glory.

    They were fathers of the third glory according to the independence and the power which was begotten with them, since each one of them individually does not exist so as to give glory in a unitary way to him whom he loves.

    They are the first and the second and thus both of them are perfect and full, for they are manifestations of the Father who is perfect and full, as well as of those who came forth, who are perfect by the fact that they glorify the perfect one. The fruit of the third, however, consists of honors of the will of each one of the aeons, and each one of the properties. The Father has power. It exists fully, perfect in the thought which is a product of agreement, since it is a product of the individuality of the aeons. It is this which he loves and over which he has power, as it gives glory to the Father by means of it.

    For this reason, they are minds of minds, which are found to be words of words, elders of elders, degrees of degrees, which are exalted above one another. Each one of those who give glory has his place and his exaltation and his dwelling and his rest, which consists of the glory which he brings forth.

    All those who glorify the Father have their begetting eternally, – they beget in the act of assisting one another – since the emanations are limitless and immeasurable and since there is no envy on the part of the Father toward those who came forth from him in regard to their begetting something equal or similar to him, since he is the one who exists in the Totalities, begetting and revealing himself. Whomever he wishes, he makes into a father, of whom he in fact is Father, and a god, of whom he in fact is God, and he makes them the Totalities, whose entirety he is. In the proper sense all the names which are great are kept there, these (names) which the angels share, who have come into being in the cosmos along with the archons, although they do not have any resemblance to the eternal beings.

    The entire system of the aeons has a love and a longing for the perfect, complete discovery of the Father and this is their unimpeded agreement. Though the Father reveals himself eternally, he did not wish that they should know him, since he grants that he be conceived of in such a way as to be sought for, while keeping to himself his unsearchable primordial being.

    It is he, the Father, who gave root impulses to the aeons, since they are places on the path which leads toward him, as toward a school of behavior. He has extended to them faith in and prayer to him whom they do not see; and a firm hope in him of whom they do not conceive; and a fruitful love, which looks toward that which it does not see; and an acceptable understanding of the eternal mind; and a blessing, which is riches and freedom; and a wisdom of the one who desires the glory of the Father for <his> thought.

    It is by virtue of his will that the Father, the one who is exalted, is known, that is, (by virtue of) the spirit which breathes in the Totalities and it gives them an idea of seeking after the unknown one, just as one is drawn by a pleasant aroma to search for the thing from which the aroma arises, since the aroma of the Father surpasses these ordinary ones. For his sweetness leaves the aeons in ineffable pleasure and it gives them their idea of

    mingling with him who wants them to know him in a united way and to assist one another in the spirit which is sown within them. Though existing under a great weight, they are renewed in an inexpressible way, since it is impossible for them to be separated from that in which they are set in an uncomprehending way, because they will not speak, being silent about the Father’s glory, about the one who has power to speak, and yet they will take form from him. He revealed himself, though it is impossible to speak of him. They have him, hidden in a thought, since from this one […]. They are silent about the way the Father is in his form and his nature and his greatness, while the aeons have become worthy of knowing through his spirit that he is unnameable and incomprehensible. It is through his spirit, which is the trace of the search for him, that he provides them the ability to conceive of him and to speak about him.

    Each one of the aeons is a name, <that is>, each of the properties and powers of the Father, since he exists in many names, which are intermingled and harmonious with one another. It is possible to speak of him because of the wealth of speech, just as the Father is a single name, because he is a unity, yet is innumerable in his properties and names.

    The emanation of the Totalities, which exist from the one who exists, did not occur according to a separation from one another, as something cast off from the one who begets them. Rather, their begetting is like a process of extension, as the Father extends himself to those whom he loves, so that those who have come forth from him might become him as well.

    Just as the present aeon, though a unity, is divided by units of time and units of time are divided into years and years are divided into seasons and seasons into months, and months into days, and days into hours, and hours into moments, so too the aeon of the Truth, since it is a unity and multiplicity, receives honor in the small and the great names according to the power of each to grasp it – by way of analogy – like a spring which is what it is, yet flows into streams and lakes and canals and branches, or like a root spread out beneath trees and branches with its fruit, or like a human body, which is partitioned in an indivisible way into members of members, primary members and secondary, great and small.

  • The Imperfect Begetting by the Logos

    The aeons have brought themselves forth in accord with the third fruit by the freedom of the will and by the wisdom with which he favored them for their thought. They do not wish to give honor with that which is from an agreement, though it was produced for words of praise for each of the Pleromas. Nor do they wish to give honor with the Totality. Nor do they wish (to do so) with anyone else who was originally above the depth of that one, or (above) his place, except, however, for the one who exists in an exalted name and in the exalted place, and only if he receives from the one who wished (to give honor), and takes it to him(self) for the one above him, and (only if) he begets him(self), so to speak, himself, and, through that one, begets him(self) along with that which he is, and himself becomes renewed along with the one who came upon him, by

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    Methinks I am a conspiracy theorist. Art thou? Thou block, thou stone, thou worse than senseless thing, for whilst thou slept didst this become a badge of honor. Informed dissent shall always prevail, wherefore art thou worthy, or art thou this unwholesome fool in the group conformity experiment herein?