A Gnostic Trinity?

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A Gnostic Trinity?

#1 Postby Jordan » Tue Apr 24, 2007 2:56 pm

I was wondering if Sophians have ever made use of the traditional Christian Trinity.

It would seem to me that the Father could represent Ein Sof, the Son would naturally be Adam Kadmon and the Holy Spirit would be God's essence or radiant breath flowing from Ein Sof in and through the Son into the world.

The person of the Son would then encompass all of the radiant display of the world. He would be the beginning of the Father’s self revelation, the object of the emanation of his essence or Spirit and the place from where that essence first departs.

The Trinity then, can be seen as not fully actualized, but that we all, through Yeshua Messiag, participate in the actualization and awakening of the Son. We have a direct role in the inner life of God.

At least this is how I look at the Trinity when participating in more traditional church events.

Are there Sophian teachings on the Trinity?
"O God, I will sing You a new song, sing a hymn to You with a ten-stringed harp"- Psalm 144:9

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The Holy Trinity

#2 Postby Tau Malachi » Wed Apr 25, 2007 1:07 pm

Greetings Jordan!

Yes, indeed, the subject of the Holy Trinity is taken up in Sophian teachings, though we also take up the subject of the Holy Tetrad as well. An introduction to this subject occurs both in Living Gnosis and Gnosis of the Cosmic Christ. Naturally, we hope that members of our online community have copies of our published works and are familiar with them, as they form the foundation of studies for new initiates in our circles and the discussions in our forums assume study of our published works, along with what is provided on our website, though there are two cycles of study we take new initiates through that, as yet, are not published, so there are some subjects covered in our base studies that cannot be accessed outside of circle at present.

Here, perhaps, we can take the contemplation of the Holy Trinity a bit further than appears in either of these books, letting students consider the interaction of the Trinity and Tetrad through study and contemplation of what is taught of the Tetrad in published works.

As mentioned in the books, when we speak in terms of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit is feminine, the balance to the Heavenly Father; hence the common term in Sophian teachings for the Holy Spirit, the “Mother Spirit.” According to the masters of the tradition, the Son comes into being through the union of the Living Father and Mother Spirit, but while we can speak of the Holy Spirit as the Mother, she is also the Holy Bride.

In our Christian Kabbalah, the first attribute of the Trinity is to the Sefirot of Tree of Life – the Father corresponds to the three Supernal Sefirot, the Son corresponds to the Six, and the Holy Spirit corresponds to Malkut. All of the Holy Sefirot are Ain Sof, therefore the Living Father may also be contemplated as Ain Sof, and in this we may glimpse the inseparability of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, all as Ain Sof, the Infinite.

Now, as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, Adam Kadmon is the potential of all, and Adam Kadmon is the direct emanation of Ain Sof, corresponding to Keter on the Tree of Life; according to the tradition, the Divine Names and Partzufim are all in Adam Kadmon as the Great Unmanifest, and we may say that Adam Kadmon is the One-Who-Is-Never-Seen. Thus, Adam Kadmon may also be contemplated as the Living Father, for the Father is said in the Gospel to never have been seen, save by the Son and through the Son.

In Living Gnosis we speak of Adam Kadmon as the unmanifest potential, and we speak of Adam Ha-Rishon, and Supernal Adam and Eve, as the actualization and realization of Adam Kadmon; this actualization being understood as taking place in Lord Yeshua and Lady Mirya, the realization of Supernal Adam and Eve, and in the Risen Messiah, the realization of Adam Ha-Rishon. Thus, the Son is Adam Ha-Rishon, or more truly the Great Seth – the Human One of Light (enlightened one) who is the image of the Father, Adam Kadmon.

In our Kabbalah it is said that the Soul of the Messiah is drawn from Adam Kadmon, and so in the Holy Gospel it is said that the Son comes from the Father, and is inseparable from the Father.

Now the Father may also be contemplated as Atik Yomin, the Ancient of Days, and Arik Anpin, the Big Face, and the Son may be contemplated as Zer Anpin, the Little Face – the Partzufim of Keter and the Partzuf of the Six, respectively; and the Holy Spirit may be contemplated as Nukva and Kallah, the Partzufim of Malkut. To the extent that Abba and Imma are the two sides of Arik Anpin, they too may be contemplated as aspects of the Living Father, so that the Father is also the Mother. (See Gnosis of the Cosmic Christ for discussions of these Partzufim, which occurs in several places exploring different aspects of the mysteries of the Sefirot.)

If we wish to contemplate the deeper mysteries of the Holy Spirit – it is the intention of God at the outset of creation to give of Godself as the Holy Spirit, and the Son is the vehicle of communicating the Holy Spirit; in much the same way, the purpose of the Tree of Life is the fruit, which is Malkut – hence the correspondence of the Holy Spirit as Malkut.

If we wish to go deeper still, as Ruach Elohim, the Holy Spirit moves on the surface of the deep and the outset of creation, and we may say that all of creation is the movement of the Holy Spirit, so that all of creation is the radiant display of the Holy Spirit – the holy vessels being formed of that which they shall receive, this innate potential being actualize through the process of Creative Evolution, its realization being the Risen Messiah.

This gives the basic outline for contemplation of the Trinity via the Tree of Life as taught in the Sophian Gnostic tradition, with a few hints that might form gates through which deeper insights might be gleaned – all in the joy of exploring the mysteries for the sake of the mysteries, the delight of the spiritual life for its own sake; in this the Holy Spirit will reveal All-Truth to those who look and see, and listen and hear.

Let our prayer be – Hallelu Yah! Amen.

Blessings & shalom!
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My true Mother gives me life

#3 Postby Claudia » Tue May 13, 2008 6:52 am

The Trinity is the single term that might summon up the very essence of Christianity, yet it is an idea that defies easy comprehension. This communion with God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, is “the religious act, the religious state par excellence,” Thomas S. Kepler explains, “the very substance of a spiritual life.”

What is the cosmological relevance of the Trinity? All of the prophets had spoken in the same Spirit, and it was the soul of the Messiah, that inspired and guided them all. They were ready to see the hand of God where a modern historian might prefer other explanations. As Matthew Fox said: “The Holy Trinity of science (knowledge of creation), mysticism (experiential union with creation and its unnameable mysteries), and art (expression of our awe at creation) is what constitute a living cosmology.”

Here, perhaps, I can take the contemplation of the Holy Trinity a bit further than appears in either of these religious traditions, Roman, Protestant, Orthodox, and Gnostic, letting you recognizes the interaction of Memory, Understanding and Will.

The Trinity is an analogy for the mental operations of self-consciousness in the memory, of understanding in the act of the intellect that proceeds from this consciousness, and of love that proceeds from both. There is a very similar spiral movement in the Bhagavad Gita. It is a subtle interplay between action (karma) love (bhakti), and knowledge (jnana), all under the guidance of the teaching of the integrated intelligence (buddhi yoga), each aspect supporting and furthering the other.

In Living Gnostic, Tau Malachi speaks of the Holy Spirit as the female image of God, the one who we received in Pentecost and with whom we have a relationship. This is an archetype or metaphor, which represents the mother image of the caring, nurturing God. As Jesus is reported saying in Logion 101 of the Gospel of Thomas, “My true Mother gave me life.”

In Logion 105, Jesus goes even further, pointing to the potentially scandalous and radical knowledge of God as both Mother and Father: “He who knows the Father and the Mother will be called the son of a harlot.” Orthodox Christianity might banish all “feminine” symbolism from the Trinity but authentic inner experience would always need to reclaim it.


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Hello Everyone

#4 Postby Christian_Crusader » Fri May 16, 2008 12:07 am

I am new to the forum and new to Gnostic Christianity. I found this site by accident one night. After reading the articles on this site I knew Gnostic Christianity was for me. I will be buying some of the publications on this site very soon. God bless.

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#5 Postby Silversoul » Mon Jun 02, 2008 5:24 pm

I always associate the trinity with the three sacred geometries, or with the three triads of the Tree of Life. The Father(more like the father/mother) would be the supernal triad, or the energy of pyramid in sacred geometry. It is the source of Spirit. The Son would be the middle triad, or the energy of the cube. This is the inner Christ -- our own divine potential. The Holy Spirit would be the lower triad plus Malkuth, or the energy of the sphere. This would be God's immanent presence within the world.

But one needn't look to gnosticism or other esoteric schools for this interpretation. The Eastern Orthodox church takes a similar interpretation of the trinity, in contrast to the Catholic interpretation of "three persons in one."

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Geometric Transmission

#6 Postby Tau Malachi » Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:39 pm

Salutations in the Light of the Messiah!

Yes, indeed, meditation upon these geometric figures may very well lead to deep insight into the Holy Trinity - much more than words or any theological contemplations may engender; especially if these geometric figures are forms assumed in the Body of Light, as in some esoteric practices of the tradition.

What a delightful sharing - it sets the contemplation of the Trinity along another very valuable track...

May we be blessed to know the Great Matrix in the Harmony of God, the True Light; amen.

Blessings & shalom!
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Gnostic Trinity

#7 Postby IAOHANNES » Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:24 am

This is a subject that interest me very much .
I agree that the Father can be associated to the supernal triangle .
The Son to the middle triangle and the Mother ( Holy Spirit) to the lower triangle and Malkhut .
But i also saw an association of the Son with the lower and the Mother with the middle .
In the Fourth Way teachings it is said that we , humans, are "three brained " beings .
Or , we could be ...
The very name of this Tradition , "Fourth Way", comes from the view that the "fourth" is just the integration of the three "centres" or brains .
Today , many years after Gurdjieff came with this ideas , the neuroscientists "discovered" the three layered brain : The most "primitive" , the reptilian brain ; the mamal ,limbic brain ; and the evolved neocortex of humans .And i guess that they even found a forth ,the pre-frontal brain that somehow coordinates the other three !
So above , as below ...
It is also said that the "instinctive centre" is associated with the Son ,the reptilian brain and Eros love .
The "emotional centre"is associated with the Mother , the mamal brain and Agape love ( compassion) .
And the "intelectual centre" is associated with the Father , the neocortex and Philia love ( Philosophy , fraternities ,brotherhood , etc... )
But ,to me , makes more sense to associate the Mother with instinct (is well known that in the past the serpent was one of the symbols of the Goddess ...) and the Son with compassion and Agape in Tipharet .
It is the Son that conciliates the Mother Earth with the Father sky in the heart ,isn't it ...?
Could this be a patriarchal distortion ?
What do you think , brothers and sisters of the great Sophian Tradition ?
I would appreciate any coments coming from you about this issue .
In Light

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#8 Postby Tau Malachi » Thu Aug 28, 2008 10:59 am

Salutations in the Light of the Messiah!

Personally, I do not venture into the theology of the Trinity all that much - God is more in feeling and experience than in much thought and thinking for me. If I were to speak of the Trinity in my experience, God is the Great Silence that my inner silence touches, and Christ in the Presence of Awareness in the Great Silence that my awareness touches, and the Holy Spirit is the energy that naturally and spontaneously arises in this silent awareness, and the inspiration and illumination that flows from this - it is the energy God gives to us in communion, union. In this the Holy Trinity becomes a Speaking Silence (Hashmal), the experience of Pure Radiant Awareness, supernal.

God is the True Light, the essence of light which is clear or transparent, and Christ is the Light-presence, and the Holy Spirit is the Light-power; the natural expression of this Holy Light in all of its aspects is love and compassion, agape, for in it is the awareness of Sacred Unity, the Holy One.

So too, knowledge, understanding and wisdom are in this Light, mercy and power, balance and harmony (beauty), victory and splendor, reciprocity and the kingdom - it shines from the beingness or amness that is the crown, silent volition.

I do not know that I'd attribute the layers of the brain to the Holy Trinity in contemplation of the Trinity; but if I were speaking in terms of the Holy Tetrad, the brain, as every thing in the material life, is a development in our Earthly Mother, the operation of the Holy Spirit in and as Nature, the Shekinah of the Supreme within and behind all creation.

The Holy and Supernal Light (the Clear Light) and the Presence and Power of the Holy Light - we can experience this and know this, or rather, this Knowing Being (Gnostic Being) can be manifest as us, knowing in us.

What the Earth Mother has fashioned in us, our brain, makes this self-realization possible, to be and become Christ, and to receive the Holy Spirit, the Fiery Intelligence - how wonderful! Hallelu Eretz Imma! Praise Earth Mother!

Indeed, so many teachings, so many ways - we only pray that by one of them, or some combination of them, souls may bring the Great Ascension, the Great Liberation, to its fruition.

Of course, while there are many teachings, many ways, there are also many deceptions and distractions from the path to enlightenment; spiritual discernment will be required along the way.

May all beings discover the Way, and discovering it, may they be blessed and empower to sojourn in it, accomplishing the Divine Intention; amen.

Blessings & shalom!
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Gnostic Trinity

#9 Postby IAOHANNES » Thu Aug 28, 2008 4:05 pm

Salutations , Tau Malachi !
Thank you for answering .Very enlightening , as usual !
Well ...i was just following my teacher here ...professor Naranjo makes this correlations of the instictive-Son-Eros ,emotional-Mother-Agape and intelectual-Father-Philia and the three "brains" .
But , also , and more important , this has been my experience since i started in my own path some 15 years ago in Siddha yoga .
My experience has always been with the three centres or "tan tiens" and not with the seven chakras , or five like the Tibetans .
And God knows how intense this experiences were sometimes !
This has been my blessing and my curse !
However , interestingly , lately when i was practicing Tibetan Buddhism , all the insights that "came" to me had to do with the Tree and , more specifically , with the relation of the Tree and the Enneagram .
It was very "crazy" : I was practicing Guru yoga , or simply shamata , or a Tara sadhana and what was "coming" were insights about the Tree !
But, basically , i understood the Tree related to the three triangles , related to the three tan tiens .
The Enneagram is a triadic symbol per excellence : 3x3 .
Yet , the Fourth Way , includes the tetrad too ...
That is my experience .And , along with that , many personal insights about my karmas and patterns , and some cosmological and methaphysical insights .
And Light , much Light , of course ...
I understood what you ment .As i said in the other forum , Gnosis and Gnosticism ( Sophian Gnosticism and Vajrayana) , very Dzogchen !
Very beatiful , clear and profound .
I understood about the supernals and Ain Sof Aur and how it manifests as the sephirot .
Yet , as i said , i have a different experience .I guess that in the Fourth Way ( and in the " Kalachakra Sophian Tradition " ) we have this more scientifical oriented attitude .
Professor Naranjo is a doctor and psychiatrist .I guess its natural for him to make this correlations .
Anyway , thank you very much for your reply .One of the insights i had once was that beyond "One Taste" there is the "Unique Taste" , the flavor and beauty of every path and of every person , actually .
I like to hear about other peoples experiences and i like to share mine .
Its mutually enriching .
May the clear Light shine in the hearts of all , guiding us in our unique paths .
In Light

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The motherhood of Grace

#10 Postby Claudia » Fri Oct 24, 2008 2:02 pm

Greetings Iaohannes

One of the greatest English mystics, Julian of Norwich, who died circa 1416, wrote of the Trinity in domestic terms and compares Jesus to a mother who is wise, loving, and merciful.

As part of her differing view of God as compassionate and loving, she connects God with motherhood in terms of 1) "the foundation of our nature's creation, 2) "the taking of our nature, where the motherhood of grace begins" and 3) "the motherhood at work" and speaks metaphorically of Jesus in connection with conception, nursing, labor, and upbringing.

She, like many other great mystics, used female language for God as well as the more traditional male pronouns. Her great saying, "... All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well", reflects this theology.

It is also one of the most individually famous lines in all of Christian theological writing, and certainly one of the most well-known phrases of the literature of her era.

Blessings and Shalom!


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Re: A Gnostic Trinity?

#11 Postby RoseOMagdala » Fri Sep 12, 2014 5:51 am

Blessings :)

In my research upon the Trinity, I've been fascinated by the many different interpretations, both in Gnosticism and Esoteric Christianity in general. What I adore about all of them is a wish to balance the gender of God Almighty. To recognize that the Spirit is both all and beyond all concepts and yet the Trinity speaks of the various emanations that we connect to the Divine, from the Great Source of all life to the many Aeons that came from Him/Her.

The first is thus:

Father = Parent (the Unknown One, Barbelo, The Father-Mother, "Forefather")
Son = Son (Logos, the Lord)
Holy Spirit = Daughter (Sophia, the 'goddess')

Another is what is spoken of more within Sophian circles.

Father = The Living Father, the Unknown and Transcendent One by a masculine name.
Son = 'Child', the Christos as Logos and Sophia.
Holy Spirit = The Earthly Mother, the eminent spirit of God in the Universe as a feminine force.

Then also, by the Esoteric Christian schools, there are those that keep the original Trinity of Father, Son, Holy Spirit as masculine (the Paraclete) - but also add to that the female Trinity. Mother, Daughter, Holy Sophia/Shekinah. By combining these we discover the Trinity that captures the potential to understand both sides of God in all forms. Creator, Teacher, Spiritual Presence. Or rather; Parent, Child, Holy Guide.

This echoes the Pagan aspects of the Divine. Maiden, Mother and Crone. The Holy Mother Spirit is both Daughter and Mother, as the Crone has been both in Her life. The Sacred Masculine in turn is Son or Prince, Father and lasty the Great Sage. The Sage or the older, wiser gods are typically those such as Hades or Osiris or Herne. The guardians of wildlife, sacrifice and death. Yeshua, before ascending, said he would send 'another Comforter' down after he departed. For we already had the Holy Mother Spirit as our living comforter. But the Lord's Spirit, the Paraclete, death is not to be feared, for He guides the souls that have passed on back into the womb of the Holy Mother Spirit.

So, in closing, that is how I see the Trinity. As I see a masculine and feminine presence to each emanation.

The Parent; Our Mother and Father who created and watch over us.
The Child; The Son and the Daughter, the Bride and the Bridegroom, who teach us of the Parent.
The Holy Spirit; the Shekinah and Her Consort, the Paraclete.

In the end the Trinity is a simplification to try to understand the endless attributes of the Almighty. There is no right and wrong way. But all aspects should be acknowledged, hence why the Mother and Daughter should not be forgotten. Our Father and the Son would not have it another way.

Blessings of Almighty God upon us all.

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Re: A Gnostic Trinity?

#12 Postby Tau Malachi » Mon Sep 15, 2014 10:41 am


Teachings of the trinity do not hold a strong place in our lineage, or in our teachings and practices, though, at times, we do speak of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In general, as a simple way of speaking of divine personifications (partzufim), we would do so in the context of the tetrad, Father, Mother, Son, Daughter (or Groom, Bride). The vision of the partzufim, and various aspects or attributes of the Divine in the Kabbalah go well beyond this, and provide a vehicle for a much richer contemplation of the mysteries of creation, revelation and God. As an example, principles transcendent of the dualism of gender are represented among the partzufim, which we find essential for the expression of Divine and Supernal Being, and our Gnostic experience.

If we look into other Gnostic schools of thought, most have a more elaborate teaching about personifications of the divine, going well beyond the trinity. In our lineage, though, we tend to focus on those that have evolved in the Kabbalah, and specifically our Messianic Kabbalah.

In a manner of speaking, to Gnostics the "trinity" is a very small box.

Here, of course, among Sophians, the inclusion of the Divine and Sacred Feminine is a given - the "choir" here all agrees on this.

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