The Nag Hammadi Library


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his brother, and sees him and entreats him about the matter, namely, he who wished to ascend to him.

So that it might be in this way, the one who wished to give honor does not say anything to him about this, except only that there is a limit to speech set in the Pleroma, so that they are silent about the incomprehensibility of the Father, but they speak about the one who wishes to comprehend him. It came to one of the aeons that he should attempt to grasp the incomprehensibility and give glory to it and especially to the ineffability of the Father. Since he is a Logos of the unity, he is one, though he is not from the agreement of the Totalities, nor from him who brought them forth, namely, the one who brought forth

the Totality, the Father.

This aeon was among those to whom was given wisdom, so that he could become pre- existent in each one's thought. By that which he wills, will they be produced. Therefore, he received a wise nature in order to examine the hidden basis, since he is a wise fruit; for, the free will which was begotten with the Totalities was a cause for this one, such as to make him do what he desired, with no one to restrain him.

The intent, then, of the Logos, who is this one, was good. When he had come forth, he gave glory to the Father, even if it led to something beyond possibility, since he had wanted to bring forth one who is perfect, from an agreement in which he had not been, and without having the command.

This aeon was last to have <been> brought forth by mutual assistance, and he was small in magnitude. And before he begot anything else for the glory of the will and in agreement with the Totalities, he acted, magnanimously, from an abundant love, and set out toward that which surrounds the perfect glory, for it was not without the will of the Father that the Logos was produced, which is to say, not without it will he go forth. But he, the Father, had brought him forth for those about whom he knew that it was fitting

that they should come into being.

The Father and the Totalities drew away from him, so that the limit which the Father had set might be established - for it is not from grasping the incomprehensibility but by the will of the Father, - and furthermore, (they withdrew) so that the things which have come to be might become an organization which would come into being. If it were to come, it would not come into being by the manifestation of the Pleroma. Therefore, it is not fitting to criticize the movement which is the Logos, but it is fitting that we should say about the movement of the Logos that it is a cause of an organization which has been destined to come about.

The Logos himself caused it to happen, being complete and unitary, for the glory of the Father, whom he desired, and (he did so) being content with it, but those whom he wished to take hold of firmly he begot in shadows and copies and likenesses. For, he was not able to bear the sight of the light, but he looked into the depth and he doubted. Out of this there was a division - he became deeply troubled - and a turning away because of his self-doubt and division, forgetfulness and ignorance of himself and <of that> which is.

His self-exaltation and his expectation of comprehending the incomprehensible became firm for him and was in him. But the sicknesses followed him when he went beyond himself, having come into being from self-doubt, namely from the fact that he did not

<reach the attainment of> the glories of the Father, the one whose exalted status is among

things unlimited. This one did not attain him, for he did not receive him.

The one whom he himself brought forth as a unitary aeon rushed up to that which is his and this kin of his in the Pleroma abandoned him who came to be in the defect along with those who had come forth from him in an imaginary way, since they are not his.

When he who produced himself as perfect actually did bring himself forth, he became weak like a female nature which has abandoned its virile counterpart.

From that which was deficient in itself there came those things which came into being from his thought and his arrogance, but from that which is perfect in him he left it and raised himself up to those who are his. He was in the Pleroma as a remembrance for him so that he would be saved from his arrogance.

The one who ran on high and the one who drew him to himself were not barren, but in bringing forth a fruit in the Pleroma, they upset those who were in the defect.

Like the Pleromas are the things which came into being from the arrogant thought, which are their (the Pleromas') likenesses, copies, shadows, and phantasms, lacking reason and the light, these which belong to the vain thought, since they are not products of anything. Therefore, their end will be like their beginning: from that which did not exist (they are) to return once again to that which will not be. It is they, however, by themselves who are greater, more powerful, and more honored than the names which are given to them, which are their shadows. In the manner of a reflection are they beautiful. For the face of the copy normally takes its beauty from that of which it is a copy.

They thought of themselves that they are beings existing by themselves and are without a source, since they do not see anything else existing before them. Therefore, they lived in disobedience and acts of rebellion, without having humbled themselves before the one because of whom they came into being.

They wanted to command one another, overcoming one another in their vain ambition, while the glory which they possess contains a cause of the system which was to be.

They are likenesses of the things which are exalted. They were brought to a lust for power in each one of them, according to the greatness of the name of which each is a shadow, each one imagining that it is superior to his fellows.

The thought of these others was not barren, but just like <those> of which they are shadows, all that they thought about they have as potential sons; those of whom they thought they had as offspring. Therefore, it happened that many offspring came forth

from them, as fighters, as warriors, as troublemakers, as apostates. They are disobedient beings, lovers of power. All the other beings of this sort were brought forth from these.

  • The Conversion of the Logos

    The Logos was a cause of those who came into being and he continued all the more to be at a loss and he was astonished. Instead of perfection, he saw a defect; instead of unification, he saw division; instead of stability, he saw disturbances; instead of rests, tumults. Neither was it possible for him to make them cease from loving disturbance, nor was it possible for him to destroy it. He was completely powerless, once his totality and his exaltation abandoned him.

    Those who had come into being not knowing themselves both did not know the Pleromas from which they came forth and did not know the one who was the cause of their existence.

    The Logos, being in such unstable conditions, did not continue to bring forth anything like emanations, the things which are in the Pleroma, the glories which exist for the honor of the Father. Rather, he brought forth little weaklings, hindered) by the illnesses by which he too was hindered. It was the likeness of the disposition which was a unity, that which was the cause of the things which do not themselves exist from the first.

    Until the one who brought forth into the defect these things which were thus in need, until he judged those who came into being because of him contrary to reason - which is the judgment which became a condemnation - he struggled against them unto destruction, that is, the ones who struggled against the condemnation and whom the wrath pursues, while it (the wrath) accepts and redeems (them) from their (false) opinion and apostasy, since from it is the conversion which is also called "metanoia." The Logos turned to another opinion and another thought. Having turned away from evil, he turned toward the good things. Following the conversion came the thought of the things which exist and the prayer for the one who converted himself to the good.

    The one who is in the Pleroma was what he first prayed to and remembered; then (he remembered) his brothers individually and (yet) always with one another; then all of them together; but before all of them, the Father. The prayer of the agreement was a help for him in his own return and (in that of) the Totality, for a cause of his remembering

    those who have existed from the first was his being remembered. This is the thought which calls out from afar, bringing him back.

    All his prayer and remembering were numerous powers according to that limit. For there is nothing barren in his thought.

    The powers were good and were greater than those of the likeness. For those belonging to the likeness also belong to a nature of falsehood. From an illusion of similarity and a thought of arrogance has come about that which they became. And they originate from

    the thought which first knew them.

    To what do the former beings pertain? They are like forgetfulness and heavy sleep; being like those who dream troubled dreams, to whom sleep comes while they - those who dream - are oppressed. The others are like some creatures of light for him, looking for the rising of the sun, since it happened that they saw in him dreams which are truly sweet. It immediately put a stop to the emanations of the thought. They did not any longer have their substance and also they did not have honor any longer.

    Though he is not equal to those who pre-existed, if they were superior to the likenesses, it was he alone through whom they were more exalted than those, for they are not from a good intent.

    It was not from the sickness which came into being that they were produced, from which is the good intent, but (from) the one who sought after the pre-existent. Once he had prayed, he both raised himself to the good and sowed in them a pre-disposition to seek and pray to the glorious pre-existent one, and he sowed in them a thought about him and an idea, so that they should think that something greater than themselves exists prior to them, although they did not understand what it was. Begetting harmony and mutual love through that thought, they acted in unity and unanimity, since from unity and from unanimity they have received their very being.

    They were stronger than them in the lust for power, for they were more honored than the first ones, who had been raised above them. Those had not humbled themselves. They

    thought about themselves that they were beings originating from themselves alone and

    were without a source. As they brought forth at first according to their own birth, the two orders assaulted one another, fighting for command because of their manner of being. As a result, they were submerged in forces and natures in accord with the condition of

    mutual assault, having lust for power and all other things of this sort. It is from these that

    the vain love of glory draws all of them to the desire of the lust for power, while none of them has the exalted thought nor acknowledges it.

    The powers of this thought are prepared in the works of the pre-existent <ones>, those of which they are the representations. For the order of those of this sort had mutual

    harmony, but it fought against the order of those of the likeness, while the order of those

    of the likeness wages war against the representations and acts against it alone, because of its wrath. From this it [...] them [...] one another, many [...] necessity appointed them [...] and might prevail [...] was not a multitude, [...] and their envy and their [...] and their wrath and violence and desire and prevailing ignorance produce empty matters and powers of various sorts, mixed in great number with one another; while the mind of the Logos, who was a cause of their begetting, was open to a revelation of the hope which would come to him from above.

  • The Emanation of the Savior

    The Logos which moved had the hope and the expectation of him who is exalted. As for those of the shadow, he separated himself from them in every way, since they fight against him and are not at all humble before him. He was content with the beings of the

    thought. And as for the one who is set up in this way and who is within the exalted boundary, remembering the one who is defective, the Logos brought him forth in an invisible way, among those who came into being according to the thought, according to the one who was with them, until the light shone upon him from above as a lifegiver, the one who was begotten by the thought of brotherly love of the pre-existent Pleromas.

    The stumbling, which happened to the aeons of the Father of the Totalities who did not suffer, was brought to them, as if it were their own, in a careful and non-malicious and immensely sweet way. It was brought to the Totalities so that they might be instructed about the defect by the single one, from whom alone they all received strength to eliminate the defects.

    The order which was his came into being from him who ran on high and that which brought itself forth from him and from the entire perfection. The one who ran on high became for the one who was defective an intercessor with the emanation of the aeons which had come into being in accord with the things which exist. When he prayed to them, they consented joyously and willingly, since they were in agreement, and with harmonious consent, to aid the defective one. They gathered together, asking the Father with beneficent intent that there be aid from above, from the Father, for his glory, since the defective one could not become perfect in any other way, unless it was the will of the Pleroma of the Father, which he had drawn to himself, revealed, and given to the defective one. Then from the harmony, in a joyous willingness which had come into being, they brought forth the fruit, which was a begetting from the harmony, a unity, a possession of the Totalities, revealing the countenance of the Father, of whom the aeons thought as they gave glory and prayed for help for their brother with a wish in which the Father counted himself with them. Thus, it was willingly and gladly that they bring forth the fruit. And he made manifest the agreement of the revelation of his union with them, which is his beloved Son. But the Son in whom the Totalities are pleased put himself on them as a garment, through which he gave perfection to the defective one, and gave confirmation to those who are perfect, the one who is properly called "Savior" and "the Redeemer" and "the Well-Pleasing one" and "the Beloved," "the one to whom prayers have been offered" and "the Christ" and "the Light of those appointed," in accordance with the ones from whom he was brought forth, since he has become the names of the positions which were given to him. Yet, what other name may be applied to him except "the Son," as we previously said, since he is the knowledge of the Father, whom he wanted them to know?

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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?