The Nag Hammadi Library


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Not only did the aeons generate the countenance of the Father to whom they gave praise, which was written previously, but also they generated their own; for the aeons who give glory generated their countenance and their face. They were produced as an army for him, as for a king, since the beings of the thought have a powerful fellowship and an intermingled harmony. They came forth in a multifaceted form, in order that the one to whom help was to be given might see those to whom he had prayed for help. He also sees the one who gave it to him.

The fruit of the agreement with him, of which we previously spoke, is subject to the power of the Totalities. For the Father has set the Totalities within him, both the ones which pre-exist and the ones which are, and the ones which will be. He was capable (of doing it). He revealed those which he had placed within him. He did not give them, when he entrusted them to him. He directed the organization of the universe according to the authority which was given him from the first and (according to) the power of the task. Thus, he began and effected his revelation.

The one in whom the Father is and the one in whom the Totalities are <was> created before the one who lacked sight. He instructed him about those who searched for their sight, by means of the shining of that perfect light. He first perfected him in ineffable joy. He perfected him for himself as a perfect one and he also gave him what is appropriate to each individual. For this is the determination of the first joy. And <he> sowed in him in an invisible way a word which is destined to be knowledge. And he gave him power to separate and cast out from himself those who are disobedient to him. Thus, he made himself manifest to him. But to those who came into being because of him he revealed a form surpassing them. They acted in a hostile way toward one another. Suddenly he revealed himself to them, approaching them in the form of lightning. And in putting an end to the entanglement which they have with one another he stopped it by the sudden revelation, which they were not informed about, did not expect, and did not know of. Because of this, they were afraid and fell down, since they were not able to bear the appearance of the light which struck them. The one who appeared was an assault for the two orders. Just as the beings of thought had been given the name "little one," so they have a faint notion that they have the exalted one, he exists before them, and they have sown within them an attitude of amazement at the exalted one who will become manifest. Therefore, they welcomed his revelation and they worshipped him. They became convinced witnesses to <him>. They acknowledged the light which had come into being as one stronger than those who fought against them. The beings of the likeness, however, were exceedingly afraid, since they were not able to hear about him in the beginning, that there is a vision of this sort. Therefore they fell down to the pit of ignorance which is called "the Outer Darkness," and "Chaos" and "Hades" and "the Abyss." He set up what was beneath the order of the beings of thought, as it was stronger than they. They were worthy of ruling over the unspeakable darkness, since it is theirs and is the lot which was assigned to them. He granted them that they, too, should be of use for the organization which was to come, to which he had assigned them.

There is a great difference between the revelation of the one who came into being to the one who was defective and to those things which are to come into being because of him. For he revealed himself to him within him, since he is with him, is a fellow sufferer with him, gives him rest little by little, makes him grow, lifts him up, gives himself to him completely for enjoyment from a vision. But to those who fall outside, he revealed himself quickly and in a striking way and he withdrew to himself suddenly without having let them see him.

  • The Pleroma of the Logos

    When the Logos which was defective was illumined, his Pleroma began. He escaped those who had disturbed him at first. He became unmixed with them. He stripped off that arrogant thought. He received mingling with the Rest, when those who had been disobedient to him at first bent down and humbled themselves before him. And he rejoiced over the visitation of his brothers who had visited him. He gave glory and praise to those who had become manifest as a help to him, while he gave thanks, because he had escaped those who revolted against him, and admired and honored the greatness and those who had appeared to him in a determined way. He generated manifest images of the living visages, pleasing among things which are good, existing among the things which exist, resembling them in beauty, but unequal to them in truth, since they are not from an agreement with him, between the one who brought them forth and the one who revealed himself to him. But in wisdom and knowledge he acts, mingling the Logos with him(self) entirely. Therefore, those which came forth from him are great, just as that which is truly great.

    After he was amazed at the beauty of the ones who had appeared to him, he professed gratitude for this visitation. The Logos performed this activity, through those from whom he had received aid, for the stability of those who had come into being because of him and so that they might receive something good, since he thought to pray for the organization of all those who came forth from him, which is stabilized, so that it might make them established. Therefore, those whom he intentionally produced are in chariots, just as those who came into being, those who have appeared, so that they might pass through every place of things which are below, so that each one might be given the place which is constituted as he is. This is destruction for the beings of the likeness, yet is an act of beneficence for the beings of the thought, a revelation Dittography of those who are from the ordinance, which was a unity while suffering, while they are seeds, which have not come to be by themselves.

    The one who appeared was a countenance of the Father and of the harmony. He was a garment (composed) of every grace, and food which is for those whom the Logos brought forth while praying and giving glory and honor. This is the one whom he glorified and honored while looking to those to whom he prayed, so that he might perfect them through the images which he had brought forth.

    The Logos added even more to their mutual assistance and to the hope of the promise, since they have joy and abundant rest and undefiled pleasures. He generated those whom he remembered at first, when they were not with him, (he generated them) having the perfection. Dittography Now, while he who belongs to the vision is with him, he exists in hope and faith in the perfect Father, as much as the Totalities. He appears to him before he mingles with him, in order that the things which have come into being might not perish by looking upon the light, for they cannot accept the great, exalted stature.

    The thought of the Logos, who had returned to his stability and ruled over those who had come into being because of him, was called "Aeon" and "Place" of all those whom he had brought forth in accord with the ordinance, and it is also called "Synagogue of Salvation," because he healed him(self) from the dispersal, which is the multifarious thought, and

    returned to the single thought. Similarly, it is called "Storehouse," because of the rest which he obtained, giving (it) to himself alone. And it is also called "Bride," because of the joy of the one who gave himself to him in the hope of fruit from the union, and who appeared to him. It is also called "Kingdom," because of the stability which he received, while he rejoices at the domination over those who fought him. And it is called "the Joy of the Lord," because of the gladness in which he clothed himself. With him is the light, giving him recompense for the good things which are in him, and (with him is) the thought of freedom.

    The aeon of which we previously spoke is above the two orders of those who fight against one another. It is not a companion of those who hold dominion and is not implicated in the illnesses and weaknesses, things belonging to the thought and to the likeness.

    That in which the Logos set himself, perfect in joy, was an aeon, having the form of matter, but also having the constitution of the cause, which is the one who revealed himself. (The aeon was) an image of those things which are in the Pleroma, those things which came into being from the abundance of the enjoyment of the one who exists joyously. Moreover, the countenance of the one who revealed himself, was in the sincerity and the attentiveness and the promise concerning the things for which he asked. It had the designation of the Son and his essence and his power and his form, who is the one whom he loved and in whom he was pleased, who was entreated in a loving way. It was light and was a desire to be established and an openness for instruction and an eye for vision, qualities which it had from the exalted ones. It was also wisdom for his thinking in opposition to the things beneath the organization. It was also a word for speaking and the perfection of the things of this sort. And it is these who took form with him, but according to the image of the Pleroma, having their fathers who are the ones who gave them life, each one being a copy of each one of the faces, which are forms of maleness, since they are not from the illness which is femaleness, but are from this one who already has left behind the sickness. It has the name "the Church," for in harmony they resemble the harmony in the assembly of those who have revealed themselves.

    That which came into being in the image of the light, it too is perfect, inasmuch as it is an image of the one existing light, which is the Totalities. Even if it was inferior to the one of whom it is an image, nevertheless it has its indivisibility, because it is a countenance of the indivisible light. Those, however, who came into being in the image of each one of the aeons, they in essence are in the one whom we previously mentioned, but in power they are not equal, because it (the power) is in each of them. In this mingling with one another they have equality, but each one has not cast off what is peculiar to itself. Therefore, they are passions, for passion is sickness, since they are productions not of the agreement of the Pleroma, but of this one, prematurely, before he received the Father. Hence, the agreement with his Totality and will was something beneficial for the organization which was to come. It was granted them to pass through the places which are below, since the places are unable to accommodate their sudden, hasty coming, unless (they come) individually, one by one. Their coming is necessary, since by them will everything be perfected.

    In short, the Logos received the vision of all things, those which pre-exist, and those which are now, and those which will be, since he has been entrusted with the organization of all that which exists. Some things are already in things which are fit for coming into being, but the seeds which are to be he has within himself, because of the promise which belonged to that which he conceived, as something belonging to seeds which are to be. And he produced his offspring, that is, the revelation of that which he conceived. For a while, however, the seed of promise is guarded, so that those who have been appointed for a mission might be appointed by the coming of the Savior and of those who are with him, the ones who are first in knowledge and glory of the Father.

  • The Organization

    It is fitting, from the prayer which he made and the conversion which occurred because of it, that some should perish, while others benefit, and still others be set apart. He first prepared the punishment of those who are disobedient, making use of a power of the one who appeared, the one from whom he received authority over all things, so as to be separate from him. He is the one who is below, and he also keeps himself apart from that which is exalted, until he prepares the organization of all those things which are external, and gives to each the place which is assigned to it.

    The Logos established him(self) at first, when he beautified the Totalities, as a basic principle and cause and ruler of the things which came to be, like the Father, the one who was the cause of the establishment, which was the first to exist after him. He created the pre-existent images, which he brought forth in thanks and glorification. Then he beautified the place of those whom he had brought forth in glory, which is called "Paradise" and "the Enjoyment" and "the Joy full of sustenance" and "the Joy," which pre-exist. And of every goodness which exists in the Pleroma, it preserves the image. Then he beautified the kingdom, like a city filled with everything pleasing, which is brotherly love and the great generosity, which is filled with the holy spirits and the mighty powers which govern them, which the Logos produced and established in power. Then (he beautified) the place of the Church which assembles in this place, having the form of the Church which exists in the aeons, which glorifies the Father. After these (he beautified) the place of the faith and obedience (which arises) from hope, which things the Logos received when the light appeared; then (he beautified the place of) the disposition, which is prayer and supplication, which were followed by forgiveness and the word concerning the one who would appear.

    All the spiritual places are in spiritual power. They are separate from the beings of the thought, since the power is established in an image, which is that which separates the Pleroma from the Logos, while the power which is active in prophesying about the things which will be, directs the beings of the thought which have come into being toward that which is pre-existent, and it does not permit them to mix with the things which have come into being through a vision of the things which are with him.

    The beings of the thought which is outside are humble; they preserve the representation of the pleromatic, especially because of the sharing in the names by which they are beautiful.

    The conversion is humble toward the beings of the thought, and the law, too, is humble toward them, (the law) of the judgment, which is the condemnation and the wrath. Also humble toward them is the power which separates those who fall below them, sends them far off and does not allow them to spread out over the beings of the thought and the conversion, which (power) consists in fear and perplexity and forgetfulness and astonishment and ignorance and the things which have come into being in the manner of a likeness, through fantasy. And these things, too, which were in fact lowly, are given the exalted names. There is no knowledge for those who have come forth from them with arrogance and lust for power and disobedience and falsehood.

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