by Zen Gardner - Jun 19, 2014
Galactic DynamicsWritings attributed to ancient seers known as Gnostics describe an outpouring of energy from the center of our galaxy that eventually forms the planet earth. This event and its consequences are recounted in the narrative of the fallen goddess Sophia, whose name means “wisdom.” My summary of this “creation myth” uses a transposition of it mythic features into terms consistent with modern cosmology. Following the summary is an evaluation of what the myth tells us about life on earth, and how it may be corroborated by scientific finding, on the other hand, and mythology, on the other.jll 2 October 2010
This entry is linked to the Reading Plan for the Nag Hammadi Codices which I have upgraded.
Framed in mythological language, this fallen goddess scenario (FGS) describes the core of our home galaxy as a vortex of infinite potential (Pleroma: fullness, plenum) consisting of massive serpentlike entities or torrents. The gods and goddesses of the Pleroma are called Aeons in the Gnostic writings. They are gendered male and female to describe different types of dynamic activity, like positive and negative charges of electric current, or the attractive and repulsive poles of a magnet. The Aeons are divine: that is, luminous, radiant, emanating light. They are also alive and intelligent and capable of feeling, perception, and desire, but on the level of cosmic consciousness. From the glossary of Not in His Image:
An Aeon might be envisioned as a massive current of living luminosity capable of sentient response, gesture, speech. The standard metaphor for such energies is “serpent. “The Aeons are serpentine but not reptilian. A snake is a reptile but distinct from a lizard, iguana, chamelion, etc. All things snakey and serpentine ought not to be contaminated by association with the dubious label, “reptilian.”Aeon: (AY-on) (Greek, “god,” “divinity,” “process,” “emanation,” “time cycle”) Gnostic term for a cosmically pervasive process, aware, animated, and animating. Aeons manifest sensory worlds by dreaming, rather than by the artisanlike act of creation attributed to the biblical father god. Adj., Aeonic.
The “outpouring of energy” in the FGS describes the central event in Gnostic myth: how one of the massive luminous serpentine currents swirling the galactic core burst beyond the boundaries of the core. Science today recognizes that the galactic core has a boundary, but a soft, porous one, like the yellow of an egg. The structure of our galaxy conforms to a standard model, the regular lenticular spiral: a egg-shaped rotating core surrounded by limbs or spiral arms. The extent of the rotating arms is vast, but the arms themselves are thin, so the entire galaxy has the shape of a pancake with a central bulge. The dynamics of the core, the Pleroma, differ from the dynamics operating in the spiral arms, called the Kenoma, “deficiency, incompletion.” This is the difference between infinite and finite potential. The core is like a fountain head perpetually erupting with boundless, undefined potential. In the spiral arms, this cosmic potential scales down into the relatively limited, but still immense, potentiality of celestial events, including planetary systems where experiments in life can unfold.
In the normal course of cosmic events, Aeonic currents remain dynamically within the boundaries of the galactic core. To produce experiments in worlds arising in the galactic limbs, Aeons project their power of intention (ennoia) outward while remaining where they are. Consider the analogy of massive kleig lights inside a white canvas tent. The power generators, bulbs, and mounting apparatus of these lights remain within the tent, but they can project beams through the canvas walls. So do the Aeons, the cosmic divinities, project their intentions and designs into the Kenoma without engaging dynamically in the dema, the dense elementary matter arrays. Then they observe what happens in the interaction between the inorganic field of the dema and the sentient-organic projections they have “seeded” into it.
It could be said that the gods, the Pleromic Aeons, project myriads of Kenomic experiments to entertain themselves. This view of divine purpose recalls the Asian concept of Lila, “divine play.”
And so it goes in the usual course of cosmic events. The designing powers at the galactic center—Aeonic headquarters, if you will—allow for free play of boundless potential, trial and error, novelty and innovation, in the experiments they initiate. The divine powers do not interfere with an experiment in progress, otherwise they would not be able to see how it plays out on its own terms. But there can be exceptions in the cosmic order, and Sophia’s plunge is one of them. “The world as we know it came about due to a mistake,” (The Gospel of of Philip). The “mistake” is an anomaly rather than an out-and-out error. Sophia commits a misstep or overstepping of cosmic boundaries and a mistake arises as a consequence of her audacity. Sophias’s becomes enmeshed with the experiment she has projected, forced by her own compulsion, as it were, to go interactive with the subjects and conditions of the experiment. The dilemma faced by the goddess is the crucial plot factor of the fallen goddess scenario.
Of course, there may also be other Kenomic experiments where something similar occurs. Gnostic cosmology is a multi-world perspective, even a multi-galaxy perspective. The texts assert that there are many Pleromas. It may be that we will get optimal insight and benefit from the fallen goddess scenario if we consider it to be unique to our world, describing conditions specific to the earth. If the myth of the Aeon Sophia specifically describes an event in this galaxy with particular consequences for the planet earth and humanity, as I am convinced is so, then we would do well to concentrate on our unique situation before speculating on what happens elsewhere or, ultimately, what happens in the scope of the Universe, the totality of all galaxies.
The Sophia Mythos, as it may be called, is not, technically speaking, a creation myth like the Biblical account of creation in Genesis. Rather, it is an emanation myth consistent with the Aboriginal paradigm of the Dreamtime and the Hindu mytheme of “Vishnu dreaming,” i.e., the oneiric paradigm. From Greek oneiros, “dream.” Oneiric: of or relating to dreams or dreaming.The recognition that the fallen goddess scenario tells the story of OUR planet exclusively, and so engages humanity in an urgent and intimate way with the “earth goddess, ” presents a block for some people, I have noted. Interest in this particular galaxy, the planet earth, and the conditions of human existence in this unique habitat where we are, may act as a deterrent or self-selection factor. I have noted that some people don’t care for this limited scenario, preferring to go beyond it toward a larger picture. I would argue that the larger picture will come into view when our perspective here on earth is clear, including our view of the origin of the earth and the role of the human species in terrestrial design.But this earth-first view is not attractive to some people who (it seems to me) assume that some abstract vision of the larger picture will automatically make our situation on earth clear and comprehensible, if not purposeful. A Gnostic would advise cautious scrutiny of any cosmic perspective that overlooks the particular fate of the home planet, Gaia.
The analogy to dreaming is a metaphor, if you will, but not just that. The oneiric paradigm describes a dynamic process in which life on earth is sustained in the way a dream is sustained by the dreamer. The characters in a dream exist and act as long as the dreaming continues. In the creationist paradigm, the creations persist after the initial fiat of the creator that brings them into existence. In Sophia’s dreaming, called apporia in the NHC, terrestrial life persists as the dream activity concurrent with it unfolds. The creationist paradigm allows for humans to have a relationship to the off-planet deity, usually realized in an act of faith, but relating to Gaia-Sophia is interactive and experimental. We know Gaia in the immediate sensuous presence called nature, but interacting with her dreaming requires a dialogue with the mind of nature, the indwelling intelligence or Anima Mundi (“soul of the world”).Atypical image of the paternal deity or Father God creating the world and its creatures. Unlike the male creator, Sophia does not make this world of ours, she makes herself into it. She does not create the animal species by divine fiat, she dreams them empathically. Theologically, emanation is a paradigm of immanence, placing the generative force of divinity with and in the world, permeating it. No matter how hard apologists try to say otherwise, the Father God does not permeate the world. The creator remains distinct from his creation, transcendent, omniscient, off-planet. The above image is atypical because shows the creator in the midst of his creations, rather than stationed in the clouds (i.e., some heavenly zone beyond this world).
In short, this habitable world of ours has not been created as an artifact, like a pot made by a potter, but is continually being emanated by the Aeon who dreams it. The assertion that the world was not created once and for all but is continually emanated is a first-hand truth of experimental mysticism, attested by many mystics and psychonauts who have enjoyed this mysterious dynamic perception both with and without the use of psychoactive agents.
Consider again the “mistake” that produced this particular world of ours: the compulsion of an Aeon to be engaged in an experiment projected from the Pleroma, the galactic core. The FGS describes how Sophia actually morphed into the planet earth. Her mass of living luminosity of Organic Light turns into the planet we inhabit by a process of condensation and densification. Sophia does not create the earth at all: she becomes the earth.Well-known image of the Anima Mundi from an alchemical text. It shows the continuity from an extraterrestrial Pleromic realm (cloud with Hebrew lettering and extended hand) to the Divine Sophia to the rational mind of humanity (squatting monkey), with many divisions of the celestial and terrestrial elements. The entire ensemble might have been conceived with this line in mind: “All natures, starting from the revelation of chaos, are in the Light that shines without shadow, and indescribable joy, and unutterable jubilation” (The Sophia of Jesus Christ, NHC III, 4. 20). The Light that casts no shadow is the Organic Light, the primary substance body of Sophia and all the Aeons, contrasted to her planetary body, the earth.
Nor does Sophia create humanity. At least not in the way the paternal deity of the Bible creates Adam and Eve “in his image.” Gnostic writings explain that the Anthropos, the genomic template for humanity, is at first a featureless singularity produced from the Originator. called propater in the Greek loan-words in the Coptic books. The Originator is the monistic source of the multiple Aeons. Then the featureless singularity, an explosion of pure undefined possibility, comes to be configured by the Aeons of our galaxy into an experimental projection that will be implanted into the galactic arms. Variations of this event can be found in different texts.
One version says that two Aeons, Sophia and Christos, undertook the encoding of the human genome (Anthropos). These two Aeons are as it were the “parents” of the human species, but not in a biological sense. Christ and Sophia make a syzygy, a dyad or cosmic coupling. Once they have configured the ground plan for the human genome, encoding it with countless capacities and talents, they join the entire Pleromic company to release it into the galactic limbs. The Anthropos then emerges from the cosmic center as a projection of the divine imagination of the gods, not a creature made in the image of any god. Such is the grand vision of the Mysteries on the origin of the human species.
Gaia Mythos is a multi-world scenario, so the Anthropos template may be conceived as the matrix of many strains of the human species, able to emerge in many Kenomic experiments unfolding in the galactic limbs. But again, the Mythos is about one particular strain of humanity on that one particular planet subject to the anomalous plunge of the Aeon Sophia. The uniqueness of this story cannot be overemphasized.
Although allusions to a feminine deity identified with the earth are widespread in mythology and indigenous lore, they are fragmentary and anecdotal. Gnostic materials present the unique case of a complete and coherent scenario describing how such a deity on the cosmic level turns into a planetary body. Only the FGS of Gnosticism presents such a complete narrative about a goddess who morphs into the planet earth.
Due to the sparse and fragmentary condition of the surviving textual evidence, the fallen goddess scenario has to be reconstructed, sometimes by extrapolations from slim and scattered clues. The lamentable state of the NHC requires imaginative reworking of the mythos. This task benefits from a transposition of the mystical and symbolic language of the Gnostic materials into astronomical terms, as seen above. Modern science itself is largely an imaginative exercise—the fantastic scenario of “black holes,” for instance.Sculpture by Binna Green. The tendency to represent the planet earth or the totality of nature by woman’s body is universal. Why? In the Hero – Manhood and Power, I pointed out that models of the abstract totality of the universe almost always use the male body, whereas some intuition in us sees this planet and the natural world as female. This is not mere anthropomorphism; rendering something non-human in human terms. The earth is Sophia’s body, literally speaking. [url=http://www.metahistory.org/GAIA SOPHIA/FallenGoddess.php#more]This is not a metaphor.[/url]
For more on extrapolations and astronomical language, see Coco de Mer, Part One: [url=http://www.metahistory.org/GAIA SOPHIA/sacredecology/CocoDeMer1.php]The Human Role in Gaia’s Dreaming[/url], and the [url=http://www.metahistory.org/GAIA SOPHIA/mythos/Gaia_Commentaries.php]Commentaries[/url] on the Gaia Mythos.
The complete scenario can be summarized in nine episodes:
1. A singularity, the potential for a unique divine experiment, emerges in the galactic center (Pleroma)
2. Two divinities (Aeons) in the galactic core, Sophia and Christos, configure the singularity into the Anthropos, i.e., they encode template of the human species
3. The divinities of the cosmic center collectively project the Anthropos into the galactic limbs where it can emerge and evolve experimentally in many worlds
4. Fascinated by the possibilities of the human experiment, and compelled by a desire to be involved in it, the Aeon Sophia plunges from the galactic center
5. Sophia’s solitary and anomalous act (“the fall of the wisdom goddess”) sets off a bizarre side-effect on elementary matter in the galactic limbs, producing the Archons, an inorganic species with a hive mentality that proceeds to construct a planetary system under the direction of a reptilian overlord, Ialdabaoth
6. As the densification of Sophia’s energies assumes a globular, planet-like form, eventually to become the earth, a newborn sun (the Mother Star) emerges from a nebular cloud in the spiral arms and churns the chaos of the proto-planetary disk into a system of centralized orbits. The terrestrial globe becomes captured in this system of celestial mechanics. The Mother Star affects a “structural coupling” with the unique planet arising from Sophia’s metamorphosis of Sophia, so that the two bodies, sun and earth, will be symbiotic
7. Sophia, originally a mass-free current of living luminosity, gradually solidifies into the earth, morphing into the elements of terrestrial habitat. In a final definitive condensation of Sophia’s energies, the terrestrial globe secretes the moon like a massive pearl, thus completing the three-body system, earth-sun-moon with special properties distinct from the rest of the solar system
8. Observing that Sophia cannot manage the prodigious explosion of biological diversity she produces, the divinities of the galactic center send the Aeon Christos to configure and coordinate the instinctual life-plans of her progeny. This is the Christic intercession.
9. With the full metamorphosis of Sophia into Gaia, the living earth, humanity emerges as a unique part of her experiment but without knowing how it is so. Thus, the “mistake” of overriding cosmic boundaries leaves Sophia in a dilemma regarding how to achieve her “correction,” that is, the coordination or harmonization of her experiment in the galactic limbs with its origin in the galactic center
Of these nine episodes, 1 through 6 are preterrestrial. They concern events that occur before Sophia turns into the earth, preparatory to the conditions of terrestrial life, for instance, the capture of the organic earth in the inorganic planetary system of the Archons. 7 describes the formation of the planetary body, the biosphere, and the appearance of all species, including our strain of humanity, the outgrowth of the Anthropos template. With the definitive morphing of Sophia into a planetary globe, problems arise. Episode 8 describes the emergence of rampant biodiversity on that globe—a chaotic situation that evokes a “rescue call” on the part of the Aeons in the galactic core. Episode 9 is ongoing, here and now. It involves current and future events unfolding in the biosphere, and poses a sublime challenge: the prospect of co-evolution of our species with Gaia-Sophia, the planetary animal mother.
People writing to me at this site have occasionally objected to my apparent literalization of the Sophianic narrative. Isn’t it just a metaphor? they ask. I am warned of looking like a Biblical fundamentalist by taking it literally. How can I respond to this objection?
[Hat tip: Lorraine - tx!]
Thanks to: http://www.zengardner.com/