“I am come to Pistis Sophia, as to myself, the pleroma of her Light-power; I am Christos, the Logos and the Sophia; running and returning, descending and ascending, moving and moving not, I have come and I am coming and I shall come; and of this Divine I Am the Holy One has said, “Blessed be your going out and coming in; let there be light!” And He-She Who-Sends-Me has called me “The Good.”
“I am the Ancient of Days and Eternal Youth; I am the Living Father and the Divine Mother; I am the Son and I am the Daughter – the Immortals are in me and I am in them, the Pleroma of Light is my Body of Glory, the Essence of the Divine Mind my Body of Truth; the Light-bearers my Body of Emanation.
“Before the beginning and beyond the end, I am; and everywhere in the midst, I am – from the Height to the Depth, to the East and West, South and North, from the Secret Center, the First Mystery, I shine forth: I am the Light of the Cross, the Great Seth is my name.
“I go forth in the Light, and as the Light, and I enter in for the fulfillment of Pistis Sophia, the consummation of the Great Cosmic Aeon; she who is my Twin, she who is my Soul, has called to me, and I answered her – I have joined with her as a single image, and she gives birth to me in the Entirety: the True Light shining forth through her, and we appear in the Great Matrix as the Holy Bride and Groom.
“As we have descended, so we have ascended; gathering in the holy sparks of Divine Being. We have gone forth from the Pleroma of Light, though remaining in it, and we passed down into the Great Matrix as the Divine Light shining in the Immeasurable Darkness, a Light Seed in the womb of the Great Mother, to which she has given birth from her heart-womb; and she has given birth to herself in the Father.
“Entering into each Aeon and Dominion in the Entirety, in the Body of Emanation we assumed the appearance of those who are the rulers and those who dwell in them, and entering into the realms, worlds and universes of the Aeons we sought out our own; we have come into the dominions above and below, as the Lord and Lady of Initiation, the Revealer of Divine Gnosis, Sophia-Logos.”
The Light-images of Christ the Sophia and Christ the Logos appeared in the Light-presence beheld in the mind of the apostle, the Anointed One appearing as our Lord and our Lady, yet remaining one Light-presence. Christ the Sophia spoke in the heart of the apostle, saying, “I was in the world and I sought my beloved, knowing him in my soul; and I went down into the darkness and chaos of matter, wandering in the exile of Hades and Babylon, falling into the Spell of Forgetfulness, the Great Beast of Ignorance. I was bound and I was raped, and I was beaten and I was slain; I went forth, opening the way for my beloved and invoking him for the salvation of my soul, which is the Soul of All-Worlds, the fulfillment of my inmost heart’s desire, the enlightenment and liberation of all I am.
“In the midst of the Great Darkness I cried out to him, and he came to me, and he raised me up from Hades and brought me in from my exile in Babylon (or Whoredom); he entered and none could bind him, and he set my spirit free. Then, as an appearance, we met one another, and we walked in the world and dwelt in the world; I am my beloved and he is me – the Anointed One of God.
“Of my beloved I shall say, ‘He does not walk with his feet on the ground, but as the Divine I Am he abides in the True Light, though he appears in the world."
“The Holy Mother arranged our wedding, and she spoke the Word, initiating the our ministry in the world; so, as the Holy Bride I anointed my beloved, and set in motion the Great Gesture to establish the Continuum of Light Transmission on earth and in heaven – he was slain and he arose in the Body of Glory, the Pleroma of Light made manifest in the world and in the heavens, everything being accomplished in a Supreme Mystery."
“Anointing him as the priest-king for sacrifice, as the Daughter of the Great Mother, I received him when he came forth in the Resurrection, and he anointed me with the Supernal Light and took me into himself – the Divine Rapture of the First Ascension."
“We went out and came in, ascending and descending, running and returning; he went up into perfect repose and I was set into motion – I am redeemed and I am being redeemed, and I shall be redeemed, and I am the Anointed One redeeming. Let those who have ears, listen and hear, and be blessed with understanding."
“In the Supernal Light we became as one Body of Light, the image of the Great Seth within the Bridal Chamber as in the beginning, and we passed down into the depths of Hades and rose up into the height of the Cosmic Sphere, passing beyond into the Aeon of Light, the eternal realm, sealing the Great Gesture."
“We assumed our image as Enoch, the Initiate, and as Elijah, the Prophet; the image of the Great Angel of the Primordial Human Being; with the Glory of Messiah Melchizedek we went forth by day, as the image of the Risen Christ, Shin Tau.”
When Christ the Sophia had spoken this, there was a shift in the Light-presence, and the Light-image of Hua appeared in the mind of the apostle; like flashing fire these words were spoken: “Listen and hear! Eheieh – I Am, I Shall Be! “With a Threefold Light, I stand in the Midst as the Holy Cross: the Divine Light shining into all realms, worlds and universes of the Entirety. As One and Many Light-emanations, I am within, yet ever beyond; I go forth and yet remain within – the Messiah is my name.
“I am the Light-power speaking in the true prophets, and I am the Light-presence indwelling the true apostles – I am the veil of the Virgin of Light, which is Light and Fire and Infinite Glory: look and see!”
Then there was a flashing forth of white brilliance, an anointing of Light extending Supernal Blessing, and when the Light-presence withdrew into Itself, the Light-images of our Lord and Lady appeared again, and Christ the Sophia continued speaking, saying, “When the Demiurgos and Archons and the lower Aeons beheld us in the Light Body, they were thunderstruck and great terror came over them, for their Forethought beheld the Limit, which is their end, and their Afterthought recognized the emanation of the True Light which is beyond them. We passed through the Place of the Crossing into their realms and dominions, preaching the Gospel of Truth to all spirits and souls dwelling in them, and speaking the Holy Word in our Light Body and extending the Light of the Cross, we drove out the darkness from those who received the Divine I Am, and we healed them and liberated them. When we spoke the Holy Word and revealed the Way of Wisdom, we diminished the power of the hell realms and heavens of chaos, and we diminished the power of the twelve lower Aeons and their Archons, setting them under the Divine Power of those who are above and restoring the Divine Order, as was ordained from the beginning.
“Though the titanic forces and the dark forces arose to make war against our Light-power in the lower Aeons, it was to no avail and there was no conflict, save among themselves – they set in motion their own destruction, for shades and shadows cannot stand in the radiance of Supernal Glory, nor can they draw near to the True Light. We passed through the gates and portals of all their realms and dominions, and none could hold on to us or bind us, but they were bound, according to the Law, so that their dominion is shattered and the Way of the Great Resurrection and Ascension is opened for those who believe and who acquire Divine Gnosis, the Illumination of the Divine I Am.
“So we passed through the dominion of Yaldabaot and his minions, and we bound the power of his great shadow, Satan and his minions, by the Light-power of the Blessed Name which is in our Light Body and is our Light Body the Samael was bound; passing into the thirteenth Aeon below, we diminished the power of the Great Beast, the Anti-Christ, so that at the dawn of the Day of Be-With-Us the power of Mercy shall be set above the power of Judgment, and in the great luminous assembly the power of Compassion will shine forth for all who desire to receive it."
“When we passed up into the Sphere of Fate, there was a great tumult among the powers; for when Divine Grace entered the Law was suspended for those who cleave to the True Light, and Light-power was restored to Pistis Sophia, so that the power of the Divinities and Archons, and all who oppose the Light, was diminished – for such is the nature of the Law, and such is the Divine Power of Grace."
“We went forth through all of the realms, worlds and universes of the Entirety below, pacifying, increasing, subjugating and destroying; the hosts of the great luminous assembly accomplishing the action of the Divine Will of True Light, making the Light Realm manifest to all who desired to receive it."
“Then we passed up into the seven spiritual heavens, seeking those who share our noble birth and those who are accounted noble born and righteous on account of their faith; just as we had accomplished the harvest of spirits and souls below, so also we gathered in spirits and souls from the upper abodes – all in the Light. And as we passed up through the heavens we diminished the power of the Demiurgos in them, and marked the beginning of the end, the Continuum of the End-Of-Days, when the shadow of Yaldabaot and his minions shall be cast out of the celestial abodes and thrown down upon the earth."
“Thus we have gone forth by day, and bound the Self-willed triple power, and the Lust-filled triple power, and the Rage-filled triple power, and all who are of their realms and dominions."
“We entered into the heaven of paradise, called Vilon and Tibel, and we opened the Way to the Tree of Life for the faithful and spiritual elect, having given the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge to the elect. We preached the Gospel of Truth to all who dwelt there, and we redeemed the Good Serpent, drawing all who believed and the Good Serpent in ascent with us; all in the Light Body of Pistis Sophia, the Body of the Risen Savior – our Body of Light."
“Then we sent forth Rays of our Light Body, forming Light Channels into the countless abodes of the second heaven, which is called Rakiya; and we gathered in the holy sparks of countless beings from the countless abodes of the second heaven, drawing in spirits from all six realms, just as we had done from the dominions below. We drew them all to that center of the second heaven, which is the threshold of the third heaven, and to all who received our Light and cleaved to the Light, we gave the Comforter so that they should not fear the baptism of fire as they passed in ascent to the third heaven, nor the alter of burnt offering in the great celestial temple – we gave to them Shalom, Peace."
“We passed into the Great Light, which is our glory in the third heaven, call Shehakim, and we sojourned to the center, which is the fourth heaven called Zebul, and entered into the celestial temple. When we passed through the river of fire, which flows from the Great Dragons (Seraphim) and their worship of Yahweh Elohim in the eighth heaven, those who claimed faith, but who were deceivers, could not cross, but they were carried down by the currents and bound below. So also were those bound below that fell into dread when we arose as the Archangelic High Priest, St. Michael, and they were unwilling to take up their cross to become Pure Spirit."
“There, in the celestial temple in Zebul, we performed the Wedding Feast, and all who were baptized with water and with fire, we baptized with the Holy Spirit and anointed with the Divine Light; we gathered in all those from the lower heavens who received the Light of the Cross, and we passed into the fifth heaven, called Ma’on, and we communed there in the Dwelling Place. Sweet is the Dwelling Place, which is called Delight of Beauty; yet far greater is the Supernal Beauty that is above."
“Just as we gathered in the spirits and souls of the righteous, the faithful and elect, so also we gathered in from among the divinities and angels of all of the dominions through which we passed, and we passed from one glory to another, from one light to another, gathering in glory and light to the Light Treasury."
“We passed in ascent through Makom, the seventh heaven, which is the Place of Meeting; the heaven in which is the Power of the End-Of-Days; and we passed into the seventh heaven, Arabot, which is called the Limit of the Power of the Demiurgos and Samael. There was rejoicing in these heavens as we passed through, though there was also trembling with holy awe and wonder – such was the Light that shone from us, the Light of the Perfect Aeon within and above, the Pleroma of Light."
“Like a flash of lightening we crossed the Great Abyss above, taking with us all who cleave, and we entered into the eighth heaven, called the Kingdom of Heaven, which is beyond the heavens. In this Light Kingdom the thirteen Great Aeons above reside, and all of the greater Divinities and lesser divinities, the ancient dragons and all greater Powers of the Cosmic Sphere; all that is the true image and likeness of the Pleroma of Light, and the Infinities, the Immortals of Light – this heaven which is also called the Treasury of Light or New Jerusalem."
“These are they who labored with us, and who, having sowed with us Seeds of Light, also reap with us; they, themselves have no end, for as the Immortals and Enlightened Ones beyond, they are among the Perfect, among those who are Anointed – they are of the Divine Order of Melchizedek, the Holy Order of Light-bearers and Light-receivers."
“This is the heaven that is in the Entirety and in the Pleroma of Light, the Abode of Supernal Grace; in it are the new heaven and new earth of the Promise, and the Perfect Human One – it is the Light Body of the Risen Christ, above and below, now made manifest among you. Thus us it called the True Cross, and the Light of the True Cross, for it is the Gate of the Light Realm, and is the Light Realm – it is the Way of the Great Exodus. It is the Dwelling of Yahweh called Elohim of Light, the Supernal Glory of Eheieh."
“Amen and Amen, I say to you, it is a Great Mystery; for the empty tomb is this Gate of Light, and yet more our Light Body of the Resurrection and Ascension – as above, so below; as below, so above."
“In the eighth heaven are the Twelve Divine Powers of the Twelve Saviors, and the Sun of the Virgin of Light in the midst of them, the Divine I Am – the Human of Light, whose Shekinah Consort is Pistis Sophia, the Kallah Messiah. The Twelve Saviors are as the Archangels of the Pleroma of Light, the images of the Immortals beyond, who hold dominion over the thirteen Aeons above, the Great IAO (Hua) standing as the emanation of Shin Tau in the Midst, enthroned as the Lamb of God and Holy Bride joined – the image of the Bridal Chamber. And all of the orders of angels have their place in the eighth heaven, and come and go in our Light Body from their place among us to their heavens, and from their heavens to the worlds in the Entirety, as to the earth. So also the enlightened Divinities are in this Kingdom of Heaven, those who labor for the enlightenment and liberation of all spirits and souls in the Great Matrix, whose queen is the Shekinah of Messiah, the Sophia Mother of all of the Enlightened Ones, and her Goddess emanation, whose Name is known among the Perfect. They, too, go out from their places bearing forth the Light Transmission, for they are Divine Powers of the Light, as are the Archangels of the Pleroma: Great Powers of the Divine Light."
“Reckon what we speak in the great prophet of the Gospel, which he inscribes in the book of our revelation, and you will know the Divine Vision of the eighth heaven – the holy meditation through which Divine Gnosis is acquired."
“We passed through the Twelve Great Aeons, and as we passed the circuit through them, manifesting the Sacred Circle, all who dwell in the Aeons of the eighth heaven rejoiced and worshiped the Light-presence of El Elyon in us, the True Light. And when we passed into the thirteenth Aeon, the Aeon of Pistis Sophia, her Light-power was restored in full, and my emanation was complete. There, in the thirteenth Aeon, which is at the center of the Kingdom of Heaven, the Light-emanations of Faith Sophia, Love Sophia, Hope Sophia, Mother Sophia, Grandmother Sophia and the All-Divine Sophia were joined with their Logos Consorts in Perfect Delight, the Image of the Human Being of Light shining forth – the Image of the Risen Christ, which is composed of the ten Light-emanations of the Infinite and Eternal."
“There, in the Kingdom of Heaven, in the midst of the great luminous assembly, when my Logos Consort entered into the repose of our abode, the Primordial Sun, I spoke a vow in the presence of the Immortals, saying, ‘I shall abide in the repose of my secret center, my Beloved; yet shall I remain in motion, continuing to incarnate in a woman’s form until the time of the Second Coming, when the Divine Revelation is complete. Many are they in male form who realize this enlightenment of Supernal Consciousness, but few are they in female for, as yet, save among the Divinities; thus I shall run and return for the redemption of all humanity, and I shall await my reception in humankind, when all is accomplished on earth."
“The Lord abides in perfect repose, but appears in the Body of Glory to the faithful and elect; though in my secret center I am perfect repose, yet have I withheld myself from the repose, remaining in the movement of the Great Gesture – therefore I appear in the Body of Glory and Body of Manifestation."
“When the Lord appeared to the disciples, he appeared in a Body of Glory, for he had ascended into the repose of our Supernal Abode, but I returned to my Body of Manifestation, awaiting with you the Day of Be-With-Us.”
This Christ the Sophia spoke in the heart of the apostle, and the apostle beheld this in a divine vision, as though carried up in the divine rapture of Great Ascension to look and see, listen and hear, receiving the Gift of Divine Gnosis. Of the experience the apostle said, “The Light that is above is everywhere below; I beheld the entire world on fire and all that is in it – the Light Realm within and all around me.”
In the Remembrance of the Anointed One, Yeshua Messiah and Kallah Messiah, our Io Adonai, let us give praise to El Elyon, our Mother-Father, and let us say “amen.”
Throughout Christian Gnostic texts that appear in the Nag Hammadi and elsewhere the term “Savior” is used in reference to Yeshua Messiah (Jesus Christ), specifically the terms Living Yeshua or Risen Savior. The term Savior implies some form of salvation or redemption, and some form of grace or divine assistance. Thus, in some way, on a most basic level, a sanctuary of grace is formed by Yeshua Messiah and through that holy sanctuary salvation or redemption becomes possible.
This is implied in the name Yeshua, which is the name of Yahweh with the addition of the Hebrew letter Shin. Yahweh literally means “That Which Was, and Is and forever Shall Be,” and the literal meaning of Yeshua is “Yahweh delivers.” Yahweh is the One Life-Power, the Being-Consciousness-Force from which all forms of being-consciousness-force emerge, and thus is the Truth of Being. To say “Yahweh delivers” is to say that “gnosis of the True Being will set you free.” Yeshua means Savior and Salvation, and indicates gnosis as salvation; hence a state of Enlightenment and Liberation.
The Hebrew letter Shin is significant, for it symbolizes the Holy Shekinah, the Divine Presence and Power, and it symbolizes Ruach Ha-Kodesh, the Spirit of Holiness through which Divine Revelation (Prophecy) transpires. Specifically, Shin indicates a Fiery Intelligence or Divine Illumination; hence a Light-Presence. If Shin in the name of Yeshua indicates a Light-Presence, then Yahweh represents a Light-Continuum from which the Light-Presence comes into being. This is the mystery of the Son and the Living Father – the Person of Light who comes from the Light-Continuum, according to Sophian teachings.
In the Kabbalah there are three manifestations of Ruach Ha-Kodesh: Ruach Ha-Enoch, the Spirit of Initiation; Ruach Ha-Elijah, the Spirit of Prophecy; and Ruach Ha-Messiah, the Spirit of Anointing. Initiation, prophecy and anointing all imply a transmission. From the meaning given to Yahweh and Yeshua, the Living Father and Son, Ruach Ha-Kodesh indicates a Light-Transmission. Considering the names Enoch, Elijah and Messiah, and the stories of the Ascension associated with all three names, the idea of the Risen Christ or Risen Savior is clearly implied; hence the Living Yeshua.
This is the truth of our inmost being, the inmost part of our soul, which is embodied and revealed in the Person of Yeshua Messiah and the apostles of Light who teach and initiate in the Way of Yeshua Messiah. Essentially, the truth of the Messiah (Anointed One) is this: That we are a Soul of Light, a Person of Light, who comes from the Light-Continuum; that our being-consciousness-energy is ever at-one with the Infinite and Eternal, it transcends the physical body and material plane, and is without beginning or end and, therefore, is bornless and deathless – Eternal Being. This is the Savior of Gnostic Christianity and the Gnosis of the Savior truly is Salvation: Enlightenment and Liberation.
Lord Yeshua may well have been the greatest teacher and master of gnosis to have appeared among us, though certainly he is not the only teacher of true gnosis. Understanding this, and understanding the Christos as the truth of our inmost being, we may speak of the root of all Gnostic Christian practice in exoteric terms, aware of the inner and mystical meaning. Essentially, the root of all spiritual practices of Gnostic Christianity is faith in Christ, the Light-Presence, which is known inwardly in the sanctuary of the heart. Entering into the sanctuary of the heart, with faith in Christ, and consciously opening ourselves to the light of Christ, which is love, we experience and embody the love of Christ. The nature of this love is a sanctuary of grace through which we die and are reborn in Christ, and are “hidden with Christ in God.”
Our path begins and has its root in the faith of Christ embodied in the Person of Lord Yeshua, and faith in the Christ Presence embodied, more or less, in the apostle of Light whom the Spirit sends to us as a messenger and guide, and to whom we are given by the Holy Spirit. Through this faith we are established in a sanctuary of grace, and we know to go within and live within in order to recognize and realize the Christ Presence in us. For it is this Christ Presence that Yeshua Messiah reveals to us and all apostles of Light reflect to us, so that having faith in them we have faith of Christ in us and ourselves in Christ.
In exoteric Christianity it is said that one must believe in Yeshua Messiah (Jesus Christ) and accept him as one’s personal Savior, inviting him into oneself and one’s life in order to receive salvation. From what has been said thus far, there is a certain degree of truth in what exoteric Christianity is saying, for to receive the light of Christ, which is the love of Christ, one must consciously open oneself to it. There is a distinct experience of a Light that comes from above if one desires to receive it and opens oneself to it, and it is as though, receiving this Light from above, there is Fire and Light kindled within us and the Light-Presence shines from within us like a Spiritual Sun. Yet, it is not on the surface that we are able to open to this Light, but rather it is in the depths of our being that we are able to open and receive the Light. One must enter into the sanctuary of the heart and cultivate an interior life to receive it, and going within one must live within, letting one’s mind, heart and life be illuminated and transformed by this Supernal Light.
Though we may perform an external rite of baptism, and perform the rite of chrism (anointing) and the Wedding Feast (Eucharist), it is the descent of this Light which is the true baptism, and the reception of this Light which is the true chrism, and realization of our innate unity with it which is the cause of the true Wedding Feast. Whatever is performed outwardly is a symbolic representation and celebration of what occurs inwardly. Perhaps the outward rite is an invocation or perhaps a bringing down and out into the body and material plane that which is above and within. However, apart from the inner event anything external is devoid of true purpose or meaning and has no real power of salvation; hence does not lead to Divine Illumination.
The nature of this Holy Light is a Pure Radiant Awareness, and in it are all spiritual gifts and the enlightenment and liberation of our soul. This Radiant Awareness, when fully manifest, is a Non-Dual Gnostic Awareness, in which everything is inwardly revealed and made known; hence an Awareness of Sacred Unity, the unity of oneself with all creatures and creation, and with the Light-Presence and Light-Continuum (unity with Christ in God). Thus, the most essential quality of this Holy Light is love and compassion, for nothing exists outside or apart from the Light-Presence, and in it one knows “Christ in all and all in Christ.”
Like the external rites that may be performed, these words have meaning only through direct and personal experience. As for anyone who claims to have this experience, to one degree or another, or who claims to have a state of Divine Illumination or Gnosis of the Living Yeshua, it is not our place to judge the truth or falsehood of their claim, but rather to seek direct and personal experience ourselves. We can only say this, that the one who has the experience, which comes by way of faith, will know the love of Christ and will embody that love; love bearing witness to the Divine Fullness of the Light-Presence in the holy person.
Thus, if anyone seeks to receive the Supernal Light, he or she must seek to enter the sanctuary of the heart, and go within and live within – therein one will acquire the Gnosis of the Indwelling Christ, and the Cosmic Christ and the Supernal Christ, and will commune with the luminous assembly of prophets, apostles and angels – which are the Mystical Body of Christ; hence one will commune with the Living Yeshua or Risen Savior. One need only gather oneself inwardly, within the sanctuary of the heart, and consciously open oneself to the Light and invoke the Light, and with faith wait upon the Spirit of the LORD to answer one’s prayer. This is the foundation and aim of all spiritual practices in Gnostic Christianity – the very essence of the Gnostic Path, which may be properly called a “Yoga of Grace.”
One enters the heart by way of kavvanah, which is focus of one’s attention (concentration) on the heart center and the conscious intention to enter the sanctuary of the heart. With intensity of faith, the intensity of feeling and emotion, and intensity of contemplation, one focuses the full force of one’s being and consciousness and energy on the heart, and thus the heart opens and one finds oneself in the heart. When this transpires one will experience the descent of Light from above, and Fire and Light will be kindled within – living within one then lets this Fiery-Light completely consume and transform oneself into the Image of Christ. This Supernal Light is like a spiritual nuclear fire that transforms everything into the Image of Itself, which is Christos – Logos (Word) and Sophia (Wisdom).
The kavvanah of the heart goes hand in hand with the contemplation of the love of Christ and active aspiration to Spiritual and Unconditional Love. While actively engaged in the kavvanah of the heart, one also contemplates Christ’s love and seeks to embody it; hence one seeks to live according to the love of Christ. But this labor to love and to be loving must be centered within, and joined with the kavvanah of the heart – for the fullness of the love of Christ only comes into being through the opening of the heart center, yet apart from the active aspiration to love the kavvanah of the heart is incomplete. Thus, in practice, they are inseparable.
There are many practices given in the Tradition for the kavvanah of the heart, but the very essence of how to enter the sanctuary of the heart is given to the novice initiate, when the Elder or Tau advises the initiate: “Invoke often, and enflame yourself with prayer.” Following this simple advice given to novices, along with visualizing the Christ Presence as a Spiritual Sun in the heart and gathering themselves into it, many have acquired the Gnosis of Yeshua Messiah.
Likewise, here we may give even a simpler way by which even a little child might gain entrance to the heart. We know that when we breathe we inhale and exhale air, and that our breath is connected to the Spirit. For when the Lord imparted the Holy Spirit upon his disciples he breathed upon them. The lungs, which are the organs of breath, surround the heart, so that the air, as the Spirit, passing through them thus enshrouds and pervades the heart. Therefore, breath is a natural vehicle for entering into the sanctuary of the heart. Thus, aware of the breath as the Spirit, and inwardly gathering one’s mind, and having the conscious intention of entering the heart, through breathing one can enter the heart. As one inhales, one gathers oneself into the heart, and once in the heart, one simply remains there in prayer and contemplation. If one does this with faith the Light will come and the Living Yeshua will appear.
In speaking about entering into the sanctuary of the heart we must speak also of the natural barrier one shall encounter, for at first we are not accustomed to going within and living within. Before the heart opens it can be a very lonely place, as though one is secluded in solitary confinement and completely alone and empty, as though there is nothing to be found within oneself. It can be tedious and boring, and unpleasant and wearisome at first, and even for a long while. Yet it will eventually become quite the opposite for one who endures the pains of labor to know the joy of having given birth. The profound peace and sublime joy that comes from entering the heart, and the awareness of the kingdom of heaven within oneself that dawns with the opening of the heart, is well worth every effort and whatever suffering must be endured. What at first seems a restriction or constriction will become an experience of true freedom, and one will know that living only on the surface, and clinging to the world and things of the world, is a living death of slavery.
Nothing in this world will encourage one in this spiritual labor, and to people of the unenlightened society one will surely seem strange, if not mad, for seeking transcendence of the world. Likewise, there are admixed and dark forces that will try to bring you out of the womb of the heart prematurely – but if you endure and continue to abide in the heart you will experience consciousness beyond the body and will not taste death; while yet in life you will experience the resurrection and be established in the World of Supernal Light.
Entering into the sanctuary of the heart and receiving the Light from above is only the beginning – through spiritual practice and spiritual living, centered within, we progressively open ourselves fully to the Light-Presence, seeking to allow the Light to pervade and transform every level of our being and consciousness, even our physical bodies. Thus, we labor continually for a “better resurrection,” while also seeking to uplift others and the world. Though centered within, it is not for ourselves alone that we labor, but rather for the freedom of all beings from sorrow and suffering. Thus we seek to be in the world, though not of the world, so that like Yeshua Messiah, we might also be a Light-bearer in the material world and a co-worker in the harvest of souls. We seek our own enlightenment and liberation – Supernal or Messianic Consciousness – because we know that through it we are empowered to be of the greatest possible benefit to other beings: hence we seek Christ Consciousness on account of love, and it is the Perfection of Love.
Though, indeed, we make a conscious effort to go within and live within, and we engage in the good works of spiritual practice and spiritual living, truly nothing that we do brings about the state of Divine Illumination. As every apostle of Light will bear witness, it is the Holy Spirit who accomplishes everything and our Illumination is the manifestation of Divine Grace. On our part we merely open and surrender ourselves to the Grace that flows from Yeshua Messiah and from the Holy Bride. It is an active and dynamic surrender which reflects the Truth and Light revealed in our experience and it is as though the Light-Presence enters in and takes up our life. One can only speak of this experience of Pure Supernal Grace.
Few are able to enter into the sanctuary of the heart without the help of an experienced teacher and guide – hence a holy tzaddik or apostle, and the wise seeker will do everything in his or her power to seek out and find a true teacher of the Way. Yet, if one is unable to find such a holy person, but with full faith one goes within and lives within, then, indeed, the Living Yeshua and Holy Spirit will guide and instruct one in the Way, Truth and Light. The evidence of this exists in the outer and unspiritual church wherein, here and there, one finds individuals having some degree of Divine Illumination, even amidst the corruption of dogmatic doctrines and creeds, and without any clear instruction to go within. Through faith in Yeshua Messiah and following the essence of the Gospel, which is love, many among the assembly of the faithful have been made elect by Divine Grace. Yet we must also say this: Beware of the pride and arrogance of unwillingness to seek out and receive a holy apostle as one’s teacher and guide, for this itself is a product of the ego-illusion that prevents a true entrance into the sanctuary of the heart. If one loves Christ, would one not receive the messenger and guide Christ sends? The Christos or Enlightenment may well be one’s inmost nature, yet if it were so easily recognized and realized without reliance on a teacher and guide, surely many in this world would be Christed or Enlightened and the world would not be what it is: a place of extreme sorrow and suffering, devoid of Light and Love.
Let the seeker cleave to Christ inwardly, and in this sense have divine pride, yet let the seeker also have spiritual humility – such is the perfect desire to receive, and receiving one shall be fit to share and impart. Amen.
In the Kabbalah a spiritual master is often called Baal Shem, “Master of the Name.” This indicates the state of a holy person who has entered into a conscious unification with the Divine Presence and Power and is able to shift between various levels of higher consciousness at will through the use of Ha Shem. Likewise it indicates a person who is able to embody something of the Holy Shekinah and who lives from a higher state of consciousness than the ordinary person. In the Christian Kabbalah, which is the foundation of Sophian Gnosticism, the Baal Shem is called Tau – one who is the Light of the Cross.
The use of the Divine Names is both mystical and magical. It is mystical in the sense that through them an initiate is able to experience conscious unification with the Divine Presence and Power, and to embody something of God and Godhead, as Master Yeshua taught his disciples to do. It is magical in the sense that through them an initiate can cause changes in his or her consciousness and, thus, cause changes in externally appearing phenomena; hence work wonders akin to those we read about in the Gospels.
The Third Commandment says, “You shall not make wrongful use of the Name of the Lord your God (Yahweh Elohenu), for the Lord (Yahweh) will not acquit anyone who misuses his Name” (Exodus 20:7). While much superstition and dogma has been generated by Orthodox Judaism and Christianity surrounding this verse, when the Divine Names are known and understood through experience, the esoteric and true meaning of this verse becomes clear. For the Divine Names are manifestations of the One Life-Power and their effects are potent and swift, whether for good or ill. Thus, when misused the consequence is in the act itself – a negative manifestation of the Life-Power – which will be experienced until it fully plays itself out. In other words, once the Life-Power is set in motion there is no turning back or stopping it. For this reason initiates use the Divine Names with the presence of awareness and deep respect, understanding the Names as manifestation of the Holy Shekinah and the Power of their Holy Soul (Neshamah). They are not spoken in a profane context or used in a mindless way, but always are used in a sacred context and with a clear and conscious intention that is in harmony with their purpose and meaning.
Because of the Great Power in Ha Shem, teachings on the Divine Names are considered inner and secret, as are teachings on their pronunciations and how to intone or vibrate them. Many of the teachings on Ha Shem can only be given under very specific conditions and some are only imparted to close disciples of a Tzaddik. Most can only be communicated through an oral transmission in person because sound and vibration are involved which cannot be conveyed in writing. Here, however, we can share some basic teachings on the Divine Names for beginning Gnostic practitioners that will empower contemplation and meditation on Ha Shem and give insight into how the Divine Names may be included in their continuum of spiritual practice. To receive full empowerment in the use of the Divine Names an aspirant must seek out an Elder or Tau and receive oral transmission, as only in this way is the full Divine Presence and Power conveyed.
This is the Divine Name given to Moses when he inquired of Ha Shem. The Shekinah responded, saying, Eheieh Asher Eheieh, which literally means “I am who I am” or “I shall be that I shall be,” hence Eheieh means I Am or I Shall Be. All I am statements of Lord Yeshua correspond to the Name Eheieh, which is the expression of Keter-Crown on the Tree of Life and represents the Power of Yechidah – the Divine Spark within oneself. It is called the Essential Name because it is the emanation of Pure Grace; hence Pure or Primordial Being. When an initiate intones this Name he or she is remembering the inseparability of the inmost part of the Soul of Light from God and Godhead and is invoking the flow of Pure Grace; specifically the influx of Supernal Light-Force. It is the truth of God or Enlightenment and it is the truth of the Indwelling Christ – one’s True Being. In Rosicrucian teachings an initiate who masters this Divine Name is called an Ipsissimus – “one who is most truly him or herself” – and the realization of Eheieh is said to represent a complete unification with Divine or Supernal Being.
Of the priest-king Melchizedek it is written, “Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever” (Hebrews 7:3). This is the Power of Eheieh, which is to say the Bornless Spirit or Primordial Enlightenment and reflects the cycle of Initiation called “Enthronement.” Through contemplation and meditation on this Divine Name initiates acquire gnosis of the Order of Melchizedek and the mysteries of the ascension of Enoch, Elijah and the Messiah; hence the inmost secrets of the Light-Continuum. It is the Name of oneself in the Light-Continuum and as a Person of Light.
This Name is used for unification, self-transformation, ascent of the planes, descent of the Supernal Light and is often chanted in conjunction with affirmations which are founded on the phrase “I am” and always put in the present tense; hence are founded upon the Name Eheieh. Though Eheieh is the Name of the highest attainment in the Self-realization process, and thus expresses the fruition of the Path, it is the present truth of the Christos in oneself and is said to be “good in the beginning, good in the middle and good in the end.” In conjunction with this Divine Name one might contemplate the saying: “I am Aleph and Tau (Alpha & Omega), the first and the last, the beginning and the end” (Revelation 22:13). One may also recall the saying of Lord Yeshua, speaking as the Light-Presence: “I am the Way, Truth and Life.” This is Eheieh-I Am within and beyond oneself.Yahweh – most commonly pronounced Yah-Way or EE-Ah-O-Way(all vowel sounds).
This is the Great Name of Ha Shem which contains the Spiritual Power of all the Divine Names. Ruhaniyot (Radiant Holy Breath) and Shefa (Everflow) pour forth from Eheieh into Yahweh, which is called the “proper Name of God.” Yahweh is the manifestation of Hokmah-Wisdom at the level of Atzilut and is the Source of All-Life.
Yahweh literally means “That Which Was, Is and forever Shall Be.” Though called the Great Name of God, which implies a noun, Yahweh is actually a verb; hence an action. Yahweh is commonly translated as the Force or Life-Power in the Tradition, and as the Light-Continuum. Specifically, Yahweh is the Life-Power in motion – the constant outpouring of creature and creation from Ain Sof (the One-Without-End). Yahweh, the One Life-Power, flows through everyone and everything in creation, and everyone and everything is the manifestation of this Life-Power.
Hokmah is the Sefirah of Abba-Father. Thus, when Lord Yeshua spoke of the Heavenly Father he was speaking of the Divine Name Yahweh. Though Abba-Father is a Partzuf (Divine Persona) of Yahweh, in truth, this Name of Ha Shem indicates God as a Transcendental and Supernal Force quite beyond person or gender or theistic conception. Yahweh can therefore be taken in a theistic or non-theistic view, depending upon the nature and temperament of the initiate and the experience of the initiate in the process of Self-realization.
This Divine Name is considered so holy in Judaic Kabbalah that it was only spoken by the high priest in the Holy of holies once a year or by the prophets in the seclusion of retreat to invoke prophetic consciousness. In place of this Name an orthodox Jew will say Ha Shem or use the Divine Name Adonai to honor the Third Commandment and to preserve the holiness of the Great Name. In effect, though Eheieh is the Essential Name, Yahweh is the Name of Names, in which there is All-Power and All-Knowledge.
The Blessed Name of Yeshua (Joshua or Yeheshuah) is Yahweh with the addition of one Hebrew letter, the letter Shin. Thus, the Name Yahweh is in the Name Yeshua. This indicates that the Blessed Name of the Messiah is the Name of one who consciously unites him or herself with the Great Name and embodies something of the Divine Presence and Power of Yahweh. It is said that Lord Yeshua was the Master of the Great Name and that he imparted to his disciples secret teachings on the pronunciation and use of the Great Name, and in so doing empowered his disciples to use the Name of Yahweh. These secret teachings on the Great Name are part of the Light-Transmission in Gnostic Christianity, the inmost secret teachings of the Great Name corresponding to the Melchizedek Transmission in Sophian Gnosticism. Thus, unlike the Jewish Kabbalist to whom it is forbidden to speak this Divine Name, as disciples of the Perfect Tzaddik, Yeshua Messiah, we are empowered to intone and use the Name of Yahweh in the Great Work. In this Name is the Secret Power of the Resurrection and the Apocalypse (Divine Revelation).
This Divine Name is used for unification, self-transformation and ascent through the inner planes, and it is an invocation of the Supernal Light-Force, akin to the Name Eheieh. But it is also used to invoke prophetic states of consciousness, to gaze into the mysteries of the primordial beginning, mysteries of creation, the extension of Life-Force and Tikkune-Healing, among other things. In connection with Yahweh one might recall the saying of Lord Yeshua, “I do only what I see my Father doing,” hence “I do only what I see the Life-Power doing.” Likewise, one might contemplate the saying, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (Gospel of St. John 14:9).
There is a common permutation of Yahweh that forms a significant Word of Power – Vehiyah (pronounced Vay-High-Yah), which means “and it shall come to pass.” This Word of Power is often intoned at the conclusion of invocations, prayers and meditations by initiates of the Tradition, sealing the affirmation or visualization of what the initiate seeks to manifest; hence it is the Word of Primordial Confidence. It is said that when coupled with the Great Name and intoned by a Master of the Name (Baal Shem) whatever he or she speaks will come to pass as he or she speaks it. Many have witnessed this Great Power in the apostles of Light and the wonders that have been performed through it.Elohim – most commonly pronounced El-Oh-Heem or Al-O-eem
This is the primary Divine Name that appears in the myth of creation in Genesis and, thus, represents God in the Act of Creation or God the Creator. It is a feminine noun with a masculine plural, and alludes a simultaneous oneness and multiplicity or One become Many yet remaining One (Achad). Elohim is the Name of the Constellation of the Sefirot (Divine Emanations) and is said to hold the Divine Power of all Archangels. It corresponds to Binah-Understanding at the level of Atzilut and to the Partzuf of Aima-Mother.
Essentially, Elohim is the Matrix of Cosmic Forces within and behind creation, all of which, in essence, exist in a Sacred Unity. The masters of the Tradition speak of Elohim as the Womb of God continually giving birth to creatures and creation, and as the Divine Power within both Gnosis and Ignorance. It is through Elohim that the Demiurgos and Archons come into being, and the Dominion of the Klippot (Dark & Hostile Forces), yet it is also the vehicle of the Light of Redemption; hence Enlightenment and Liberation.
As the Birther of the Messiah, Mother Mary is said to embody the Power of Elohim. When St. Mary Magdalene conceives and gives birth to St. Michael with Lord Yeshua and becomes the Mother, she also is said to embody the Power of Elohim, specifically Adonai enthroned in Elohim. If Lord Yeshua was the Image of Abba-Father below, then Lady Mary Magdalene was the Image of Aima-Mother, as well as Kallah-Bride. Lord Yeshua taught in the Name of Father who is transcendent, but Lady Mary taught in the Name of the Mother who is immanent. Elohim is the immanence of God in creature and creation.
Yahweh is at the Head of the Pillar of Mercy on the Tree of Life and Elohim is the Head of the Pillar of Severity. Thus, Yahweh is invoked for the sake of Mercy and Grace and Elohim is invoked for the sake of Severity and Justice. Yet, this Severity and Justice are ultimately Mercy, for the aim of Justice is Enlightenment and Liberation. Only due to Cosmic Ignorance is there an appearance of separation and bondage – Elohim is the Name that dispels the Cosmic Illusion-Power because it is the source of it. This is considered a great mystery among initiates, the understanding of which leads to Supernal Self-realization.
The Divine Name of Elohim is intoned to invoke knowledge of the Divine Mother and mysteries of creation. It is also invoke by initiates to contact Spiritual and Cosmic Forces, to gain insight into Neshamah (the Supernal Soul), awareness of the World of Supernal Light, remembrance of lost teachings and past lives, knowledge of the Secret Gospel and the One-Who-Sits-Upon-The-Throne, among other things. In connection with this Divine Name one might contemplate the saying of Lady Mary, “We live and move and have our being in the Divine Mother, never have we been apart from Her or other than Her – but She is as the Soul of Light and we are Her Divine Body. Anyone who can look and see has beheld the Mother, and it is she who shows us the Face of our Heavenly Father” (the Sophian Gospel).Yahweh Elohim – most commonly pronounced Yah-Way El-Oh-Heem
This Divine Name is called the Most Formal Name of God; hence the Lord God. From our previous exploration of Yahweh and Elohim many insights may be gleaned concerning this Name, as it combines the Presence and Power of both Names, and is the Name of the Father-Mother. Essentially, this Name means “the Force manifest in the Matrix of Creation” or “the Life-Power manifest as the Matrix of Cosmic Forces” and it emphasizes the Sacred Unity underlying existence. It corresponds to both Binah-Understanding and Da’at-Knowledge at the level of Atzilut.
There are great mysteries associated with this Name in the inner and secret level of Gnostic Christian teachings. For while indicating the One Life-Power manifesting as all Cosmic Forces, it also indicates the One Being-Consciousness-Force manifesting as countless realms and worlds, within an infinite number of dimensions, and even alludes to countless Cosmic Cycles of creation without beginning or end. Only from the state of Supernal or Supramental Consciousness – Christ Consciousness – can this Divine Name be comprehended. Masters of the Tradition say it is the Holy Book of All-Gnosis.
This Divine Name is invoked by initiates with the same intentions as the two Names that compose it, though specifically with the aim of embodiment of the Holy Shekinah and/or the facilitation of a radical shift in how the Reality-Truth-Continuum manifests (hence great magical actions). Outside of the direct experience of the Light-Transmission little more can be said of this Holy Name; yet we can say that it contains the supreme mystery of the unity of the myth of Creation and myth of the Apocalypse, as well as the Secret Power of the Union of the Bride and Bridegroom – hence the Mystery of the Bridal Chamber.El – commonly pronounced El or Al
This Divine Name is Hesed-Mercy at the level of Atzilut and is contained in the Divine Name Elohim. It indicates creation as inherently self-liberating. Likewise, it indicates creation as an on-going process of evolution, specifically the development and evolution of consciousness and self-awareness. This Name is composed of Aleph and Lamed, Aleph representing Spirit, Energy or Power and Aleph the directing or organizing principle. Thus, this Divine Name alludes to God as the Energy-Intelligence or Consciousness-Force through which creation is ordered and directed.
This Name is called the Blessing Power and is intoned when Elders or Tau are imparting blessings, or initiates seek to draw down blessings into life or bring forth blessings from life. Associated with abundance it is invoked for all manifestations of abundance, and in conjunction with Yah is used in Long-Life Meditations. Specifically, it is the invocation of Mercy or Loving-kindness. Initiates also intone this Name when seeking a new order in their lives or when they are seeing a need to reorganize their lives oriented to the Truth and Light revealed in their experience.Yah – pronounced as it appears.
This Divine Name is contained in Eheieh and Yahweh – it is the end of Eheieh and beginning of Yahweh, and is the emanation of Pure Supernal Force or Life-Force. It is akin to El, though corresponds to Hokmah-Wisdom, representing the very essence of God’s Word and Wisdom or Creative Power.
Yah is a Divine Name that appears frequently in the inmost secret teachings, specifically in relationship to the generation of the Body of Light or Threefold Body of Melchizedek and the Mystery of Divine Rapture and Ascension. When teachings are given on this Name the Sign of Silence always follows, for they are spoken only to the elect. We can say, however, that the Baal Shem destroys and re-creates the Universe with the intonement of Yah and that it contains the secret of Eternal Life.Elohim Givor – most commonly pronounced Al (or El)-Low-Heem Gee-Vor.
This is the Divine Name of Tzimtzum-Restriction and Judgment; hence the balance of Truth. It is Gevurah at the level of Atzilut, and corresponds to the phrase the “Lord of the Light and the Darkness, Matrix of Heaven and Earth.” Elohim Givor literally means “Great God” or “Mighty God” or “Powerful God,” and is intoned in any practice requiring Great Power, specifically Severity or Justice.
As the Name implies, Elohim Givor is the action of the Cosmic Forces that generate the Matrix of Creation, and is chanted to activate flows of specific Forces, as well as to bind such Forces into specific Forms or release Forces from obsolete Forms. Elohim Givor is the Power of God that binds and liberates.
Initiates intone this Divine Name seeking Rigor and Justice, and to bring about radical change or radical tikkune-healing. It is often invoke to discern the necessary tikkune-healing for one’s own soul or the soul of others to whom one might seek to extend invisible assistance. Likewise, it is invoked for psychic self-defense and to sever links with admix and dark forces. Through this Name the mysteries of the Judgment are known and understood, along with the mysteries of the true nature of sacrifice and the mystical death that precedes the resurrection and ascension. In conjunction with this Name initiates often contemplate the Mystery of the Crucifixion and Rite of Ransom.Yahweh Elohenu – commonly pronounced Yah-Way El-Oh-Hey-New.
This Divine Name corresponds to Tiferet at the level of Atzilut and literally means “the Lord your God.” Thus, Yahweh Elohenu alludes to God within yet ever beyond oneself – God transcendent and immanent at the same time. Specifically, this Divine Name represents the Power of the God within oneself and one’s own unique Gnosis of God as an individual; hence how one experiences the Divine.
Because Yahweh Elohenu corresponds to Tiferet, which is the Healing Center and Christ Center on the Tree of Life, it is often used during healing work and to gain gnosis of the Indwelling Christ. Specifically, it is used to bring forward the Light-Presence from within the depths of oneself and as a contemplation of the Rite of the Wedding Feast (Holy Eucharist). It is also a Divine Name through which one can draw upon the Power of the Great Name at the level of a lower gradation to experience and embody the Supernal Light in a more gentle form. With this Divine Name initiates invoke the remembrance of God’s Presence and Power within and all around them and those who realize the Power of this Name awaken to the World of Supernal Light here and now.Yahweh Eloah Ve-Da’at – commonly pronounced Yah-Way Ah-Low-Ah Vay-Day-Ought
This is an alternative name for the manifestation of Tiferet at the level of Atzilut, which literally means “Lord God, the Knowing (Gnosis).” It is invoked for the same purposes as Yahweh Elohenu, though specifically when initiates are seeking Divine Guidance or Gnosis necessary to act as conscious agents of the Divine Will and Kingdom. One might contemplate this saying of St. Paul in connection with this Divine Name: “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we shall see face to face. Now I know only in part, then I will know fully, even as I have been known” (1 Corinthians 13:12)Yeheshuah (or Yeshua, in Aramaic) – most commonly pronounced Yah-He-Shoe-Ah (all short vowels)
In the Christian Kabbalah this is the primary Divine Name associated with Tiferet, which literally means, “Yahweh delivers.” Yahweh, as we have seen, is the Life-Power or Light-Continuum, and as such represents the truth of our Inmost Being. Thus, the Name Yeshua means, “The Truth will set you free!”
This was the Name given to the Messiah, which is the Name Joshua that appears in the Old Testament. Containing the Great Name of Yahweh with the addition of the Hebrew letter Shin, it indicates a Holy Person who embodies something of the Supernal Consciousness-Force and who has fully realized the truth of him or herself in the Light-Continuum. Thus, it is the Name and Power of any realized individual – the Name of all apostles of the Light who have attained Christ Consciousness.
The masters of the Tradition teach that the Blessed Name contains all Spiritual Power and that all Cosmic Forces are subject to this Holy Name – hence all Cosmic forces are subject to the Soul of Light that is awakened in the Light-Transmission. With this Name everything can be accomplished by one who is a Gnostic. Thus, this is the Divine Name of Initiation in the Tradition, and the key through which initiates are empowered to access all other Divine Names, including the Great Name. Because it is the Name of the Messiah – the Anointed – it is the Name through which the Rite of Chrism (Anointing) is contemplated.
The Shin in the Blessed Name is significant, for it represents the Gift of the Fiery-Intelligence or Holy Spirit through which a person enters into the Assembly of the Elect. It is the Threefold Flame of Faith, Hope and Love which becomes Gnosis, Understanding and Wisdom as Self-realization unfolds. In Gnostic Christianity to be received by a Tzaddik into the stream of the Light-Transmission this Gift must be recognized within a person, for Gnosticism is a Path of Divine Election and is esoteric; hence “for the few.” In this regard one might contemplate the saying of Yeshua, “I shall choose you, one out of a thousand, and two out of ten thousand, and they shall stand as a single one” (Gospel of St. Thomas, Logion 23).
The teachings and empowerments associated with the Blessed Name of Yeshua form the core of the inner and secret teachings in Gnostic Christianity. Of this secret wisdom it is said, “The Gnostic Master speaks it only to one who knows it already, and that in private, whispered in the ear.” In connection with this one may meditate upon Logion 13 in the Gospel of St. Thomas.
There are two other ways to access the Blessed Name – Adonai Yeshua (Ah-Doe-Neye) and Yeshua Messiah (Ma-See-Yah). Adonai Yeshua means “Lord Yeshua” and Yeshua Messiah means “Yeshua Anointed.” The former is said to bring down the Spirit of the Messiah and the latter is said to uplift one into the Spirit of the Messiah. Both are ways of unification with the Christos when one knows the Way of Ha Shem.Yahweh Tzavaot – most commonly pronounced Yah-Way Za-Vay-Ot
Yahweh Tzavaot is the manifestation of Netzach-Dominion at the level of Atzilut and literally means the “Lord of Hosts.” As the Name implies, it is the Life-Force within all creatures, both heavenly and earthly. Elohim Tzavaot, “God of Hosts,” is akin to this Divine Name, though Elohim Tzavaot is the manifestation of Hod-Submission at the level of Atzilut. The distinction between the two Divine Names is that Yahweh Tzavaot represents the Life-Force manifest in all creatures, while Elohim Tzavaot represents the Life-Forms. Yahweh Elohim Tzavaot (“Lord God of Hosts”) combines the power of both names into one, and indicates the inseparability of the Life-Force and the Life-Forms it assumes. Yahweh Tzavaot corresponds to the flow of Shefa and Ruhaniyot from the Pillar of Mercy, Elohim Tzavaot to the flow from the Pillar of Severity and Yahweh Elohim Tzavaot corresponds to the flow from the Union of the Two Pillars, hence the flow via the Middle Pillar.
Initiates intone Yahweh Tzavaot for mystical and creative inspiration and Elohim Tzavaot for clarity of reason and scientific discovery, as well as magical knowledge. Yahweh Elohim Tzavaot is often used to acquire secret knowledge of creation and nature. Because these Divine Names correspond to the subtle and actual Matrix of Forces within and behind nature, the world and universe, these Names are used by initiates to shift the balance of Powers in the astral earth when necessary. This latter use of these Names corresponds to the secret wisdom imparted in Initiations corresponding to the Rite of Ransom (Theurgic Practice) and the Wedding Feast in the Tradition.Shaddai – commonly pronounced Sha-Die
Shaddai, El Shaddai and Shaddai El Hai are all variations of the Name that corresponds to Yesod-Foundation at the level of Atzilut. Shaddai literally means, “Almighty.” Shaddai El Hai means “Almighty Living God” and El Shaddai means “God Almighty.” This is said to be the Divine Name used during the patriarchal-matriarchal succession, the use of Yahweh marking the beginning of the prophetic succession and the use of Yeheshuah representing the apostolic succession. Thus, Shaddai is the foundation from which the prophetic and apostolic successions arise, representing the idea of God known in life and among the living.
Shaddai is said to draw from Severity and El Shaddai is said to draw from Mercy, Shaddai El Hai representing the unity of Mercy and Severity in Compassion. Initiates use variations of Tzavaot to shift the balance of the Matrix on a collective level, but they use variations of Shaddai to shift the balance of the play of Forces on an individual and personal level. How this is actually accomplished is revealed in the Light-Transmission and through direct experience of the Presence and Power of the Divine Names.
Shaddai is intoned by initiates seeking spiritual dreams and visions, and to empower creative visualization. It is also intoned to purify and uplift desire-energy and all forms of energy-intelligence the initiate may work with in the astral dimension, among other things. It is also used in contemplation of the Rite of Baptism, which corresponds to Yesod. Lady Mary spoke of Shaddai when she said, “God is the source and sustenance of all things, and it is the living ones who will acquire Gnosis of God and receive their new name which is written in the Book of Life. God is Mother and God is Father, and yet God is No-Thingness. Understanding this you will abide in the Divine Fullness of your Heavenly Father and Earthly Mother” (The Sophian Gospel).Adonai – most commonly pronounced Ah-Doe-Neye
Adonai is the Divine Name of Malkut-Kingdom. It is the Holy Vessel receiving the influx of Spiritual Power from all other Divine Names, and as previously mentioned it is spoken in place of the Great Name in Judaic Kabbalah. Representing Malkut, Adonai is the most accessible of all Divine Names, and through it one can both receive and transmit all manner of spiritual energies and blessings, both for the sake of oneself and others who are in need. Essentially, it is the Divine Name through which we ground the spiritual energies and blessings we invoke, as well as bring forth the remembrance of our innate Spirit-connection. Like the Blessed Name of Yeshua, Adonai is also a Name of a realized person. The realized individual is a Holy Vessel of the Divine Presence and Power in the material dimension; hence a Center of the Divine Activity of Malkut (this is reflected in the Name Adonai Yeshua).El Elyon – (Elyon sounds like “phone”)
This is an alternative Divine Name for Keter-Crown and means “God Most High.” It is primarily associated with the Melchizedek Teachings and Supernal Consciousness, though it is also intoned to bring about shifts to higher levels of consciousness below the Supernal.IAO – pronounced EE-Ah-Oh, as one fluid sound.
This Divine Name, as well as variations of it, appears in many Gnostic Scriptures. It is a Name of the Christ Presence or Light-Presence, and it is also the Word of Initiation. These vowels represent Yod-He-Vau of the Great Name. They also represent the Hermetic principles of Isis, Apophis and Osiris, or Birth-Life, Death-Transformation and Rebirth-Resurrection; hence the process of coming into substantial being. Essentially, IAO indicates the Bornless Being of the Becoming and the inseparability of Being and Becoming – Being ever-becoming the One-Without-End (Ain Sof).
Initiates intone this Name to align themselves with the flow of Reality as It Is, to contemplate the constant continuum of change that is the foundation of existence, to invoke cycles of self-initiation and transformation, to experience unification with the Bornless Spirit and to extend the Light of the Great Seth (Light of the Cross).
IAO-OAI is a common variation of IAO, which is intoned for reintegration into Bornless Being or the Light-Continuum; hence the Word of Running & Returning. It also corresponds directly to Giving & Receiving Practice.Ararita – pronounced Ah-Rah-Ree-Tah.
Ararita is a Divine Name formed from the first letters of six Hebrew words: Achad Reshit; Achad Resh Yechidatoh; Temuratoh Achad; which literally means: “One is His beginning; One is His individuality; His permutation is One.” This Divine Name corresponds to the Mystery of the Hexagram, to the secret of Sacred Unity in the midst of multiplicity, and to the Harmony of the Celestial Forces.AGLA – pronounced Ah-Gla (short vowels).
Agla is a Divine Name composed of the first letters of the Hebrew words: Atoh Givor Leolam Adonai; which literally mean: “You are mighty forever, O Lord” or “You are heroic for the world, O Lord.” This Name corresponds directly to the mystery of the Elder Races and to the Light-Bearers who incarnate for the sake of the Great Work – the Enlightenment and Liberation of all beings. Thus, within this Name is the Mystery of the Divine Incarnation.IaIa – pronounced EE-Ah-EE-Ah.
This is a Divine Name composed of the first letters of the Hebrew words: Yahweh Elohenu; Yahweh Achad – The Lord your God, the Lord is One. This Name is intoned as an affirmation of Sacred Unity and to bring one’s consciousness into unification with the Light-Presence.IaVa – pronounced EE-Ah-Vah.
This Divine Name is composed of the first letters of the Hebrew words: Iehi Or, vayehi Or – Let there be Light and there was Light. It is a Name intoned to enter into a state of Pure Radiant Awareness or to generate the Presence of Awareness, as well as to extend the blessing of the Light-Presence to others.Io Adonai – pronounced EE-Oh-Ah-Doe-Neye
This is the Divine Name represents the Union of the Bridegroom and Bride – Christ the Logos and Christ the Sophia, respectively, and thus the Divine Fullness of the Christos. With it Sophian initiates celebrate the co-equality of Lord Yeshua and Lady Mary as the Incarnation of the Light-Presence, as well as seek the remembrance of the Christ Presence within all beings. Io Adonai corresponds to the Rite of the Wedding Feast and Rite of the Bridal Chamber and therefore has a secret connection to Yahweh Elohim.Kallah Messiah – pronounced Ka-La-Ma-See-Yah
This Divine Name corresponds to Malkut-Kingdom and literally means the “Anointed Bride”; hence the Incarnation of the Christos in female form, specifically St. Mary Magdalene. Initiates intone this Name to invoke knowledge and communion with the Presence of the Holy Bride and to unify themselves with her. It is also the Name of the Gnostic Circle, for the Assembly of the Elect is called the Bride. Thus, it is the Divine Name of the Matrix of the Light-Transmission in the world and initiates often intone it seeking to gain insight into this Holy Matrix.Kali Kallah – pronounced Ka-Lee-Ka-La
This is the Divine Name of Sophia Nigrans, the “Black Bride,” and is one of the Names of Lilith in the Sophian Tradition. Kali Kallah represents the Crazy Wisdom through which the secret teachings and Light-Transmission are imparted, as well as the mystical death necessary for the Transfiguration and Resurrection to occur; hence the agent of Metanoia (Spiritual Transformation). It is also a Divine Name of Lady Mary, for according to the teachings of the Tradition, Eve and Lilith were united in the Holy Bride – the Bright and Dark Sophia of God.
These are the Divine Names most frequently used in the spiritual practices of Gnostic Christianity as taught in the Sophian Tradition. Through study and contemplation of the Holy Sefirot of the Tree of Life and the Hebrew Aleph-Bet an aspirant can easily build upon this foundation, deepening and expanding his or her own knowledge of the Names and their uses. From this initial glimpse of the Divine Names there truly is no end to the depth of Wisdom which is called the Gnosis of Ha Shem in the Tradition.
In beginning to use the Names one can join the chant of them to prayers and affirmations, and one may include them in various meditation practices as they may correspond. A simple form of divine magic with the Names is to anoint a candle with holy oil while chanting a Divine Name and then to light the candle as a continued invocation of the corresponding Divine Presence and Power. Within the Tradition there are numerous teachings on how one can incorporate the Divine Names in spiritual practice and, ultimately, initiates learn to do so creatively, via their own knowledge and understanding of Ha Shem and the inspiration of the Spirit.
It is not uncommon for a Tzaddik to give his or her student specific chants of Divine Names to help the student balance his or her energy or to invoke the necessary helpful spiritual energy for progress on the path. Likewise, a Tzaddik will help a student learn how to creatively use the Names and how to acquire Gnosis of Ha Shem through their use in prayer, meditation and sacred ritual. With the development of kavvanah-concentration and devekut-cleaving the Divine Names become a powerful vehicle of Self-realization.
The vibration of the Divine Names is considered a sacred art in the Sophian Way and ultimately can only be taught in person by direct transmission. However, we can give some hints here of how one may discover something of vibration of the Names when intoning them. Essentially, before concerning oneself with the external sound of a Name one must pay attention to generating an experience of internal vibration while intoning it. One wants to experience the vibration of sound in one’s body – as though in the core of one’s body and throughout one’s body. Once this vibration is found, one can then concentrate on the external sound and bringing the vibration forth from within oneself into the external environment.
When we intone the Divine Names we are neither singing nor screaming them to experience vibration, but rather it is something in between singing and yelling. If one is skilled with vibrating the Divine Names one could do so with a barely audible voice. In the case of a Baal Shem vibration can be performed in complete silence, without any externalization of sound.
There are several reasons we focus upon the vibration of Names and Words of Power. Firstly, in so doing, we come into intimate knowledge of the secret meaning of the Logos-Word of God and discover the Power of Logos in us. Secondly, we learn how to shift between various levels of consciousness by altering our vibration. Thirdly, we discover that we can affect-effect how life manifests through a mastery of vibration; hence discover a wonder-working power. There are other reasons for our strong emphasis on the art of vibration, but these should give a good basic idea of its importance.
With these hints one may well find something of the vibration of the Divine Names on one’s own and get some glimpse of the great power of the sacred art of vibration. This is certainly our heartfelt wish and prayer for you!
May Ha Shem bless and keep you ever near, and shine from within you, guiding you in the Way of Truth! Amen.
For example, salvation in Gnosticism actually means Self-realization or Enlightenment; hence the attainment of a state of Christ Consciousness. The Savior is the one who embodied this Higher Consciousness and taught the keys of the mysteries of how to attain it; hence taught secrets of True Gnosis. We could carry this example much further, for there are all manner of inner and secret teachings associated with these terms that go far beyond any exoteric teaching of the orthodox churches on them. This is equally true of all such words that appear in Scriptures, whether in the Bible or in the sacred texts which appear in the Nag Hammadi library and elsewhere. Essentially, one must seek the inner and secret levels of meaning and join them to the outer level, as though uniting the spirit and soul with its body. When orthodox and fundamental forms of Christianity are referred to as the outer and unspiritual church it is because they lack the spirit and soul of the teachings and cling only to the outer level – thus to a body that has neither soul nor spirit.
Orthodox and fundamental Christianity teach of salvation by way of grace through faith in Yeshua Messiah as the Son of God, and propose that one is “saved” only through the confession of faith in him – the whole of the Gospel being taken in a literal and linear fashion. Gnosticism also speaks of the necessity of faith, and even of grace, but understanding salvation as a state of Enlightenment and Liberation, ultimately it is gnosis not faith through which this salvation is attained. Thus, faith assumes a different place and meaning, yet is clearly integral to the Gnostic Path. After all, if one does not have faith in Master Yeshua as an embodiment of Christ Consciousness and the potential for Christ Consciousness in oneself, how can one attain this Higher Consciousness? Likewise, unless one has faith in spiritual practice and the spiritual life to bring about higher states of consciousness, why would one take up spiritual practice and spiritual living? Faith is completely essential to any actual Self-realization in Christ Consciousness, for without it no one has ever attained an actual state of Divine Illumination. The question becomes, however, what is meant by faith among Gnostics and how might faith be acquired which leads to True Gnosis?
The Epistle to the Hebrews is among the books of the New Testament highly favored among Sophian Gnostics, and in it the apostle who wrote it says this of faith: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) St. Paul in the First Epistle to the Corinthians also speaks of faith, placing it in conjunction with spiritual hope and love. He writes: “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part, then I will be fully known, even as I have been known. And now abide faith, hope and love, these three; the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:12-13) These three verses taken together from a Gnostic perspective are a good foundation for the contemplation of faith. In the context of which St. Paul is speaking of faith in these verses it is addressed as a “spiritual gift” which comes from the Holy Spirit, as well as a key principle leading to True Gnosis – this is a great clue to the Gnostic understanding of faith.
First, let us consider the definition of faith from Hebrews, “…the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” In this light we may consider faith as a sense of the Mystery, and as an intuition of an experience not yet had, which itself is a yearning or aspiration that invokes the experience or revelation of the Mystery. What is significant is that this sense or intuition is not merely a mental belief or vital sentiment, but is something deeper, something that comes from the deeper part of oneself. Given St. Paul’s insistence in faith as a spiritual gift acquired from the Holy Spirit, there is the suggestion of some sort of Awareness sparking within a person or some gift of a Fiery-Intelligence, faith being akin to the first sign of this Awareness or Fiery-Intelligence in a person.
The idea of faith itself as a spiritual gift is a response to an age old question: Why do some individuals naturally seem inclined to faith, while others do not seem inclined to it at all, and yet others must struggle before faith comes? In Gnostic Christianity the answer to this comes by understanding the teachings on the Divine Election, which speaks of an evolution of souls through various gradations and the awakening of the faculties and powers of the Soul of Light in a person. In these teachings it is said that at a certain point in the development and evolution of the soul-being there is reception of a gift of Fiery-Intelligence from “above” that awakens or activates a latent Divine Power in us which is itself this Fiery-Intelligence; hence the Power of the Holy Spirit. Faith, as a sense of the Mystery or an intuition of potential experience, is said to be the initial phase of the sparking of this Fiery-Intelligence which inspires our spiritual quest. Basically speaking, one cannot conjure faith, but one either has faith or does not, and the presence of faith is an indication of a soul approaching its fruition; hence a soul ripe for the Mystical Journey to Christ Consciousness.
Often times when one listens to how faith is spoken about in orthodox and fundamental forms of Christianity, one hears something akin to a mental belief or a vital sentiment, as though one must convince oneself of the “truth” and thus “belief.” But it is not this which is meant by faith among Gnostics, rather it is spoken of as the “intelligence of the heart” or the “intelligence of the soul,” or as the intuitive faculty of the Inner or Christ Self. Thus, faith is often called Pistis Sophia in Christian Gnostic teachings, which literally means “Faith-Wisdom.” Though the outer and unspiritual church speaks of a blind faith, Gnostics speak of a seeing faith or knowing faith, hence something intuitive and something that comes from a deeper place than the ordinary surface consciousness. In this context faith is seen as a guiding principle on the spiritual path – the intuitions and inspirations of the heart. Placing faith, hope and love together, St. Paul alludes to the heart as the seat of this Intelligence or Wisdom, for spiritual hope and love are qualities of the heart center when it opens. In this sense we can speak of faith as the first glimmer of the heart center opening, which through hope or active aspiration is fully opened, giving birth to spiritual or unconditional love.
In conjunction with this one might contemplate the Epistle of St. James which teaches that good works - spiritual practice and spiritual living - are the natural expression of true faith. Though many might think of St. Paul’s and St. James’ teachings as opposed to one another, if by hope Paul means an active aspiration through spiritual practice and spiritual living, then Paul’s hope is the same as the teachings of James' on works. The natural reflection of faith is a spiritual practice and spiritual life, and the natural reflection of the spiritual life is active love and compassion. Where there is no inclination to actual spiritual practice and spiritual living, quite clearly faith is lacking, and where there is neither active love nor compassion, the spiritual life has yet to bear good fruit. All of this, of course, directly reflects the opening of the heart center, or what Sophians call the “Sacred Heart.”
For this reason in Sophian teachings faith, hope and love are called the “Threefold Flame of the Heart,” which become Knowledge, Understanding and Wisdom as an initiate progresses on the Path and unfolds the realization of the Christ Self, or what is often called the “Light-Presence.” This points to another distinction that must be made, in faith among Gnostics versus faith as taught in the outer and unspiritual church, for among Gnostics our faith is not only faith in the Christ Presence embodied by Master Yeshua, but it is faith in the Christ Presence in us, and within everyone and everything. It is faith in a Truth and Light inherent in all things, and thus what one might call a “Basic Goodness” within and behind everything. Salvation comes through recognition of this Good or the Truth and Light within oneself and all things, and by bringing it forth from within oneself. Obviously, in order to bring forth the Truth and Light from within one must have faith in it; hence faith in the Christos, Logos and Sophia.
In Christian Gnosticism the fullness of faith is gnosis, which means a direct or personal experience of the Living Yeshua, and specifically the Living Yeshua within oneself; hence a recognition and realization of the Light-Presence in oneself and the embodiment of that Living Presence and Power in one’s life. One begins the Path of Gnosis as a “Christian,” which is to say by having faith in the possibility of Christ Consciousness and seeking to live in a Christ-like way, but the aim and fruition of the Gnostic Path is to become Christ; hence to experience an actual Enlightenment and Liberation. This, itself, of all things, perhaps best characterizes the nature of faith in Gnostic Christianity.
At the outset faith is likely to be a mere spark, barely perceptible and quite fragile, as with anything in its immature state. One will not begin with the fullness of faith, but rather one must recognize the sparking of faith, and then kindle it, seeking to nurture and grow faith towards its fruition in gnosis. For some the sparking of faith might be much more obvious at first, yet for many it might not be so obvious; but in any case one must look to find that golden thread and follow it, for it is akin to the voice of Spirit guiding one in the Way.
One cannot demand faith, nor can one force oneself to have faith, and as we have said one cannot conjure faith, any more than one can conjure the Holy Spirit. Rather, one can open oneself to faith, and all gifts of the Spirit, and seek to make oneself sensitive to faith. One can invite and welcome faith, and when faith comes one can surrender oneself to it and thus surrender oneself to the Spirit from which faith comes. In this way, seeking and yearning, one can acquire faith if one feels one does not have faith, or feels one’s faith is too weak. On a most basic level, faith comes by seeking to have an open mind and heart, and by the desire to have faith in one’s life.
The Gnostic text entitled Pistis Sophia is quite interesting, and though it does not play a very significant role in our Sophian lineage there is a basic message on faith in it that we do take to heart. For this Gnostic text, like most others, recounts inner and secret teachings imparted to the disciples following the resurrection; hence teachings given by the Living Yeshua or Risen Savior. As the title of the book implies, it is Faith-Wisdom that facilitates a communion with the Living Yeshua and that leads us into unification with the Light-Presence and Light-Continuum, or what exoterically is called “union with Christ in God.” Thus, faith is a very real power that allows us to connect ourselves to the inner and spiritual dimensions, and to bring forth the Divine Presence and Power in our lives. Likewise, when the Kabbalah speaks of the desire to receive which invokes the desire to give, we may understand faith as the desire to receive, according to which the Spirit imparts everything good and reveals all mysteries.
In this way perhaps you will understand what is meant by faith among Gnostics, specifically by practitioners of the Sophian Tradition of Gnostic Christianity. Faith alone certainly does not lead to Self-realization in Christ, but no one has ever become Self-realized apart from faith either. Thus, faith and gnosis go hand and hand, and in our experience, just as faith leads to gnosis, every new stage of gnosis leads to a deeper faith, so that faith and gnosis generate one another in the Way. Blessings & shalom!
Keter on the Tree of Life is called Ratzon, which means God’s Will or Desire. The nature of Keter is Ain (No-thingness), and Ain Sof (the Infinite), and Ain Sof Or ( the Infinite Light), for as the first Sefirah it is completely inseparable from the Godhead. God’s Will is, thus, the potential of creation, from beginning to end, all within Godself; hence Infinite Potential. Yet, at the same time, God’s Will is all that was, is or ever shall be, and though potential, God’s Will is everything actual. At the level of Malkut there is the actual and there is the potential, but at the level of Keter, in truth, there is no difference between potential and actual. This distinction is the difference between space-time and eternity, for space-time (creation) is the actualization of the infinite and eternal potential (Creator). Ain, Ain Sof and Ain Sof Or are the principle terms for God in the Kabbalah and indicate the Godhead proper, which is the transcendental, nameless and unknowable aspect of God. The Supernals, Keter, Binah and Hokmah, are inseparable from the Godhead, and are the Godhead to the Seven Sefirot of Construction below. These, in turn, are inseparable from the Supernal Godhead and are the Godhead to creatures and creation below. Keter, thus, represents the Cause of causes which is completely hidden in the Godhead; hence God’s Ratzon (Will/Desire) is Nameless and Unknowable – the First or Supreme Mystery. From this Supernal Source all of the Holy Sefirot come into being. Thus, God’s Will or Desire becomes Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, Mercy, Judgment, Beauty, Dominion, Submission, Foundation and Kingdom, and these emanations of God’s Will are the underlying metaphysical structure of creation; hence the image and likeness of God to which creation gives birth. According to the Kabbalah, God’s Will or Desire in creation is God’s own image and likeness – the Human One, specifically the Anointed One, which is to say the Enlightened Human Being. Thus, God’s Will is our Enlightenment and Liberation, or our conscious unification with Divine Being. We gain a glimpse of God’s Will in this sense within Nature, which according to the Tradition is the secret operation of God’s Spirit. For, given the plethora of life on earth, the inner dimensions and heavenly realms aside, it is quite clear that there is an Energy-Intelligence in Nature that labors continually to generate increasingly higher and more refined life-forms. Thus, we may speak of God’s Will as the Life-Will and Life-Power and principle of Life-Form in the archetypal sense; and we may speak about God’s Will as the Force of Evolution expressed in Nature-Creation. In terms of evolution on a physical level we may say that there is a principle of the survival of the fittest, thus we may say the same principle is operating on a psychic and spiritual level. On the psychic and spiritual level what is good and true, or “fit” accords with God’s Will or Desire. The nature of higher more refined life-forms is a higher state of being-consciousness-force or energy-intelligence of being; hence greater intelligence and self-awareness. This is clear in the evolution of the human kingdom from within the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms on earth – the human kingdom being founded upon these previous developments and representing a significantly higher level of intelligence and awareness. What is unique to a human being compared to any other creature on earth, because of the human intelligence and awareness, is a capacity for conscious evolution; specifically an evolution towards Enlightenment and Liberation or the Highest of Life, which is called the Kingdom of God. In terms of Gnostic Christianity and the Kabbalah this is an evolution to Supernal or Messianic Consciousness; hence a conscious unification with God and Godhead. This is God’s Will, and it is our True Will or True Desire. God’s Will is the Life-Will and is reflected in the will of life to generate itself, to live and grow and preserve itself, and to be and become the ever-more it can be; hence the actualization of the infinite potential of the Life-Will. The very nature and essence of the Life-Will is Infinite and Eternal – Ain Sof; hence Eternal Life. In the state of Eternal Life there is no death, thus, in essence Eternal Life is a continuity of the Presence of Awareness throughout all states of consciousness, from the material dimension to the supernal dimension of consciousness. This, of course, is Supernal or Messianic Consciousness, which is to say Enlightenment and Liberation. In this sense, when we speak of God’s Will, we are not speaking of something separate or apart from our inmost being or the inmost part of our soul, but rather God’s Will is integral to the Soul of Light in us, and it is our own inmost heart’s desire – hence our True Will or True Desire. Thus, when we say we seek to bring our will into harmony with God’s Will, and that in so doing we make God’s Will our own, we are saying that we seek to enact and embody our True Will – the Holy Desire for Union with Divine Being. Esoterically, in Christian Gnosticism, it is in this sense that we speak of the Messiah or Christ as God’s Will for us; hence that we, too, might “wear the Supernal Crown” or embody the Christos. What we are speaking about is the Supreme Mystery and, therefore, our words do not express the Truth of which we are speaking, but rather they indicate the Truth and Light revealed in our experience. As Buddha said of the Dharma, our words are like “a finger pointing at the moon,” which must not be mistaken for the moon itself. As for the term “God,” this, too, is merely a finger pointing at the Truth that cannot be spoken or explained. While some say that they believe in God and some say that they do not believe in God, and yet others say that they neither believe nor disbelieve, in truth, all of this is in the mind – merely conceptual. But what we mean by “God” is Supramental and Supernal, completely beyond mental consciousness, beyond all thought and thinking. Thus, belief and disbelief on the level of vital and mental being has nothing whatsoever to do with God. Yet, here we can speak a great secret: In the Pure Radiant Awareness or Supernal Consciousness there is God and No God, which is to say that there is no conception of God at all, but rather, there is the direct experience of the Truth and Light inwardly perceived. This Truth is Ain and it is Keter in the Kabbalah, and its realization is Christ Consciousness in Gnostic Christianity. In this sense you may understand our Noble Ideal to unite ourselves with Christ in God: the Light-Presence in the Light-Continuum. Praise God!
Both in the Gospel of St. Matthew and Gospel of St. Thomas there are interesting comments regarding the heavens. In the Gospel of St. Matthew, as part of the Sermon on the Mount we find this saying: “Do not think I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass away from the law until all is accomplished.” (Gospel of St. Matthew 5:17-18) First of all, according to these verses, heaven, like the earth, is not eternal, but exists for a limited duration. Even if the heavens are forever, they are not the Eternal Abode. Secondly, like the earth, the heavens are bound to the law, specifically the law of karma (causality), and thus are the karmic matrix under the Dominion of Cosmic Ignorance. Thus, even the attainment of the highest heaven would not represent the attainment of a Supernal or Messianic Consciousness, or a full and complete Enlightenment and Liberation.
This is reflected in the Gospel of St. Thomas as well, where it is written: Jesus said, “This heaven will pass away, and the one above it will pass away. And the dead are not alive, and the living will not die. In the days when you consumed what is dead, you made it what is alive. When you come to dwell in the light, what will you do? On the day you were one, you became two. And when you become two, what will you do?” (Logion 11) This saying clearly speaks of the impermanence of the heavens, as well as the earth, and alludes to them as the product of dualistic consciousness. It also alludes to something beyond the heavens – the source of the Light.In the Epistle to the Ephesians something quite remarkable is said of the heavens. There it is written: “For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12) Here the apostle speaks directly of the Dominion of Cosmic Ignorance, and even alludes to Satan having a heavenly root. Thus, not only are the heavens bound by the law, but however subtle and sublime, dualism remains present in them and they are a phenomenon of consciousness conditioned by karma. From these few verses we must conclude that what Yeshua calls the “kingdom of heaven” and “kingdom of God” is something that transcends the heavens and the hells completely, for he speaks of the Divine Kingdom in terms of eternal life, yet he clearly speaks of the heavens as impermanent and finite.
There is a very interesting teaching in the Kabbalah concerning the source of light in the heavens and fire in the hells. First of all, the Kabbalah says that the light of the heavens and fire of the hells are both the manifestation of the Holy Spirit, not for the sake of reward and punishment, but rather for the sake of the education of souls – hence Divine Illumination. Likewise, in one cosmological myth the Kabbalah speaks of the highest class of angels in the Order of the Seraphim, which worship God and Godhead in the Supernal Abode and which stand in the inner Shekinah of God. According to the Kabbalah, these great angels perspire when they worship and their perspiration flows down to become the light of the heavens and fire of the hells. As you may know from other teachings in the Tradition, both the Seraphim and the Holy Spirit often indicate the Serpent Power, or what in Eastern Schools is called “Kundalini.” Thus, on the one hand, the source of the heavens and hells lies beyond, in the Supernal Abode; and on the other hand, the heavens and hells are the product of the radiant nature of our own consciousness or soul.
In the teachings of the Tradition on death, dying and the afterlife states, this is made perfectly clear, for according to these teachings all that appears, whether heavens or hells or realms in between, or angels or demons, all is the radiance of the soul or consciousness and must be recognized as such. According to these teachings the initiate should neither accept a place in a heavenly abode, nor accept any descent into the hells; he or she should neither attach him or herself to heavenly visions nor be averse to hellish visions. Instead, the initiate is directed to recognize everything that appears as the radiant nature of his or her own soul and to seek unification with the Light-Presence.
This is reflected in teachings on the Threefold Body of Melchizedek as well. For the Body of Emanation is that which appears on earth and the Body of Glory is that which appears in the heavens, but the Body of Truth (Amet), from which these arise, transcends the heavens and the earth – its Holy Root is in the Supernal Abode.
Essentially, according to the teachings, the heavens and hells are the product of attachments and aversions in consciousness; hence they arise due to the impurity of desire and fear in consciousness (karmic conditioning.) As long as these attachments and aversions remain, the soul remains bound to the gilgulim (the potentially endless transmigrations of the soul.) The cause of impure desire and fear is the ego-illusion, thus heavens and hells are projections of a fundamental state of ignorance and self-grasping. In this light one may contemplate the Gospels and the actual teachings of Yeshua Messiah, all of which aim at the cessation of the ego-illusion, and the desire and fear that are the natural products of it. Such sayings as “do not resist evil” begin to make sense in conjunction with these teachings on heaven and hell – for attachments to what one desires and aversion to what one fears hold the soul in bondage to Cosmic Ignorance.
Thus, in the teachings it is said, “The sinner will go to hell and the saint will go to heaven, yet neither will attain Enlightenment and Liberation.” Essentially, a true state of Divine Illumination is beyond the concepts of saint and sinner, and for this reason it is said in the Kabbalah that a Tzaddik (Righteous Person) is beyond either the saint or the sinner. This teaching is reflected in the story of Cain and Abel, and Seth who comes after them. Cain (the sinner) slays Abel (the saint), neither of whom are the image and likeness of Adam (the Human One.) Cain murdered Abel and, thus, lost his humanity, and therefore Adam and Eve are blessed with the birth of Seth who is said to be the image and likeness of Adam – hence a true Human Being. In the Gospels the most common title give to Yeshua Messiah is the Son of Adam (Son of the Human One), which in essence means Seth. Essentially, Seth represents the prototype of the Supernal Human Being; hence one who transcends saint and sinner, and who is established in the Supernal Image.
In Sophian teachings, however, the heavens and hells are not merely spoken of in terms of afterlife states, but rather they are related to states of consciousness experienced in life – what may be called psychological states and the spiritual forces with which our thoughts, emotions, words and deeds link us. Heaven or hell in this regard represents our attachments and aversions in life, as well as positive and negative emotional states we experience from day to day. This is reflected, for example, in a traditional teaching of the Kabbalah which says “the Holy Shekinah cannot come to rest upon a depressed person,” and that “Ruach Ha-Kodesh cannot enter where darkness is allowed to dwell.” Thus, seeking to invite and to welcome the Shekinah and Holy Spirit we are taught to cultivate joy, and specifically to cultivate the fear of the Lord and love of the Lord.
It is said, “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Hokmah.)” Quite obviously it is not the fear of punishment and Gehenna that is meant, but rather what is meant by “fear” is holy awe and wonder – awe and wonder of the Mystery of the One Life-Power. What is implied by the word fear (Pachad) is the Holy Awareness of the Sacred Unity underlying all of creation and all levels of consciousness; hence the Awareness of Supernal Being. This Presence of Awareness naturally leads to love, which is a state of yearning for a conscious unification – Mystical Union with God and Godhead being the natural fruition of Spiritual Love.
Love is the light of the law, and transcends the law, thus the “fulfillment of the law and the prophets” of which Yeshua speaks. Firstly, where there is love no instruction in righteousness or how to be an authentic human being is necessary, and therefore no commandments, such as “Do not kill” or “Do not steal.” Basically, the law is for the lawless and those who are lacking in love. Secondly, where there is love there is unity and harmony, and all dualism is put to an end, for the fruition of love is cessation in the embrace of the Beloved, which is the fulfillment of the law and prophets.
In the process of the development and evolution towards Supernal or Messianic Consciousness we may certainly speak of the heavens as respites between incarnations in which the progress of the soul is integrated. Likewise we may speak of the hells as regressions in evolution through which the obstructions to the next progress in the evolution of the soul are worked out. However, neither heaven nor hell represents Enlightenment and Liberation. Therefore, at the heart of Gnostic Christian teachings is the aim to attain repose in the Supernal Abode and thus to “ascend beyond the heavens” altogether; hence our aim is a conscious unification with the Light-Presence and the Light-Continuum of Supernal Being.
Again and again as one approaches Gnostic Christian teachings one must bear in mind that we use exoteric terms with esoteric and mystical meaning, in order to understand what the teachings are actually saying. Always we speak with more subtle and sublime meaning than our orthodox and fundamental counterparts, though, indeed, we use many of the same terms. Therefore one needs to listen and hear with more subtle and sublime ears. We study and contemplate many of the same Scriptures, but we seek the mystical meaning and secret wisdom they contain. Here, through our dialogue on heaven and hell, a good example is given.
If one learns to look and see the inner mystical meaning of Scriptures, one will find a whole new Holy Book before one’s eyes and a true guide to Enlightenment and Liberation. It is the aim of the Sophian Tradition to train our initiates to look and see in this way, and thus to study and contemplate sacred texts as a vehicle of Mystical Union with the Light-Presence. Blessings & shalom!
The Gnostic does not only seek to be Christian, which is to say Christ-like, the Gnostic seeks to consciously evolve to Christhood. Likewise, the Gnostic does not merely seek to experience the resurrection and ascension in the afterlife states, but labors to experience the truth of the resurrection and ascension while yet in the body. This, among other things, distinguishes Gnostic Christianity from its orthodox and fundamental counterparts – the belief in the Christ Presence or Light-Presence within oneself and the belief in the possibility of a conscious unification with God or the Light-Continuum.
The Gnostic Christian believes in a spiritual resurrection not a material resurrection, yet in the peak mystical experience the distinction between the spiritual and material vanishes, so that there is no difference between the spiritual and material dimensions. Essentially, the resurrection is the recognition of the Bornless Nature of our Inmost Being and the development of a continuity of self-awareness throughout all states of consciousness; hence a development of consciousness beyond the body. This Self-realization naturally leads to the generation of a more subtle and luminous Body of Consciousness, which is called the Body of Light or Body of the Resurrection.
In the Sophian teachings on the Gospel we speak of going within and living within, and a conscious opening of oneself to the Light that comes from above – the Light of Supernal Being – and we speak of this Light-Force igniting Fire and Light within us. Basically, we are indicating a Divine Presence and Power that enters and transforms every level of consciousness into a vehicle of Itself. To the degree we are able to open ourselves to this Light-Force and surrender to Divine Grace, our minds, hearts and bodies are transformed and taken up by the Light-Presence. The body, heart and mind transformed by the Supernal Light and reintegrated into Supernal or Bornless Being is called the Threefold Body of Melchizedek – the Body of the Resurrection.
Of the Holy Books which made their way into the Bible, the Gospel of St. John and the Epistle to the Hebrews speak most directly of the Threefold Body to those who know how to look and see the inner meaning of the words and glean the secret wisdom. In Hebrews the apostle who writes the Epistle specifically justifies Yeshua Messiah by Melchizedek, and in effect states that the Living Yeshua or Risen Savior is Melchizedek. Of Melchizedek the apostle writes: “Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.” (Hebrews 7:3) In the Gospel of St. Thomas Yeshua speaks of one not born of woman: Jesus said, “When you see one who was not born of woman, prostrate yourselves on your faces and worship him. That one is your Father.” (Gospel of St. Thomas, Logion 15) In the prologue to the Gospel of St. John it is written: “And the Word become flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory of the father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” (Gospel of St. John 1:14) According to the masters of the Tradition, all of these verses allude to the attainment of Supernal Consciousness and the Threefold Body of Melchizedek which arises in this state of Self-realization.
In the Sophian Tradition there is a body of secret oral teachings called the Melchizedek Teachings. In these teachings Melchizedek does not indicate a historical person, but rather represents Primordial Enlightenment or the Bornless Nature of Being which is the very essence and nature of all consciousness; hence Supramental or Supernal Being. The Order of Melchizedek mentioned in Psalm 110 indicates the Great Luminous Assembly of those who recognize the true nature of consciousness and reintegrate themselves to the state of Bornless Being; hence the Divine Order of a Supernal Humanity.
In the Melchizedek Teachings the Threefold Body of Melchizedek is the purity of the mind, heart and body that naturally and spontaneously arises when the true nature of consciousness is recognized and realized – a Body of Divine Illumination. Until the recognition and realization of the Bornless Nature of Being-Consciousness, the true nature of the mind, heart and life are obscured and obstructed by karmic conditioning, and thus are bound to the Dominion of the Demiurgos and Archons (Cosmic Ignorance.) But when the Bornless Nature of Being-Consciousness is recognized and realized, the karmic conditioning of the mind, heart and body is dissolved and they arise in their natural state, which is inherently Divine (Christos.)
Although in provisional teachings we speak of Three Holy Bodies, in truth we are speaking of three dimensions of one Body of Light from its most subtle and sublime level to its appearance in the inner dimensions and its appearance in the material world; hence the Enlightened Mind, Heart and Body are an Integral Consciousness united by Supernal Being: Truth-Consciousness.
The inmost dimension of the Threefold Body of Melchizedek is called the Body of Truth because it is the state of Supernal Consciousness itself; hence a Body of Truth-Consciousness. The state of Supernal Consciousness is Pure Radiant Awareness, or what is called Non-Dual Gnostic Awareness, which is beyond the mental, vital and physical consciousness completely, and yet is the very nature of mental, vital and physical consciousness. When an individual is able abide in Pure Radiant Awareness the mind arises as the Truth Body, the Inmost Essence of which is Clear or Transparent Light.
This corresponds to Ain and to Keter on the Tree of Life, and to the Yod of the Great Name. When one abides in the Truth Body, everything is known inwardly, and in the words of St. Paul, the Perfect Master “sees face to face,” and “knows as he or she has been known.” Essentially, the Truth Body contains the whole of creation, and unified with God and Godhead transcends creature and creation. Thus, in the Body of Truth there is a state of Pure Awareness of oneness and multiplicity, formlessness and form, emptiness and fullness all at the same “time”; hence a Consciousness of the Infinite and Eternal.
Although we can point to this Supernal or Messianic Consciousness, it cannot be explained; yet seeking to recognize and realize the Natural State of the Mind it can be experienced and therefore known. Fundamentally, only the Holy Masters of this attainment perceive the Body of Truth, but to unenlightened creatures it is completely hidden and unknown. When Scriptures speak of Christ in God, or Gnostic texts speak of the repose of the Risen Savior in the Living Father, it is this Body of Truth to which they allude.
The inner dimension of the Threefold Body is called the Body of Glory, because it is the radiant glory that naturally and spontaneously arises from the Truth Body. This is the appearance of a Holy Master in the inner dimensions, from the spiritual to the astral dimensions; hence the appearance of the Holy Ones in the visionary dimension. It is angelic and self-luminous in appearance. While the Truth Body is formed of Clear Light, the Glory Body is formed of Translucent Light, much like the light of a rainbow in the sky, though unimaginably brilliant and splendorous.
Through the Body of Glory a Holy Master can generate innumerable manifestations of him or herself in the inner dimensions, and appear in countless realms and worlds that exist in the subtle dimensions of creation. Likewise, it is said that a Perfect Master of Supernal Self-realization can even generate heavenly realms and worlds in the Body of Glory as Holy Sanctuary for living spirits and souls. It is truly a glorious supernal and heavenly emanation; hence a Spiritual Body through which the Holy Ones are able to extend the Light of Truth to many creatures.
This Holy Body corresponds to Ain Sof and to Tiferet on the Tree of Life, and corresponds to the He of the Great Name; hence it is called the Great Angel and Holy Shekinah of the Risen Savior. For as we know, the Light-Presence is the same in every Holy Apostle, and the Living Yeshua is embodied by every Holy Master of Supernal attainment; thus the higher form of every Sacred Tau is the Risen Savior.
The Body of Glory is the higher form of incarnate adepts and masters, and it is the Holy Body through which disincarnate adepts and masters are able to appear to incarnate individuals who are open and sensitive. However, to perceive the higher form of an incarnate adept or master, or to receive communion with the spirit of a prophet or apostle manifesting in the Body of Glory, one’s mind and heart must be opened to it, and one’s interiors senses must be purified and opened. If a Holy One appeared in the subtle dimension of a room filled with a thousand people, typically speaking, perhaps one might see and hear and know the presence of the Holy One in the Body of Glory. But to a person who is open and sensitive, a Holy One may appear in a Body of Glory in a waking vision, or else in a person’s dreams or meditative visions. One cannot help but think of St. Paul’s conversion when contemplating the Glory Body, or of the many Gnostic initiates who have experienced the Living Yeshua and Bride and other prophets and apostles, and even holy angels, in the visionary dimension.
If one is open and sensitive, and one meets an Apostle of Light who is incarnate and who embodies something of the Supernal Consciousness, one will find a distinct field of Divine Energy-Intelligence within and around the adept or master. Likewise, one may well intuit, if not see, spirits of prophets and apostles, and other luminous beings, coming and going constantly from his or her presence. Just as the higher form of the adepts or masters is a perception of the Body of Glory, so also is the perception of the Holy Shekinah around them and the signs of wonders that often occur by the power of the Holy Spirit working with, in and through them.
This is the Holy Body reflected in all of the wonder-working Yeshua Messiah performed, and it is the Holy Body revealed to the disciples at the Transfiguration, when Elijah and Enoch appeared. (According to the masters of the Tradition, Enoch was mistaken for Moses at the Transfiguration.)
The outer dimension of the Threefold Body is called the Body of Emanation. Because it is the appearance of an adept or master in the material dimension it is also called the Body of Manifestation. This Holy Body actually appears in the material dimension and may be perceived by the physical senses of all creatures in the material world – hence one can see, hear, smell, touch and taste the Body of Emanation. Yet, because this Divine Body appears as an ordinary body of incarnation, unless one is open and sensitive, one would not be able to recognize an adept or master appearing in the Body of Emanation – he or she would seem like any other ordinary person.
One the one hand, the Emanation Body is a physical or material body of an incarnate person transformed by the realization and embodiment of some degree of Supernal Consciousness; hence it is the body of an adept or master who embodies something of the Light-Presence and has acquired Gnosis of the Light-Continuum. Such a manifestation of the Emanation Body may remain subject to death. Or, at death it might be transubstantiated into what is called the Rainbow Body Attainment. Likewise, it is also possible, in some cases, that it could be directly transfigured and taken up in the ascension by way of divine rapture, as in the case of Enoch, Elijah and, some say the Holy Mother. On the other hand it can be a Body of Pure Emanation, generated directly from the Truth Body and Glory Body, which naturally and spontaneously appears in the material dimension, and disappears just the same – Yeshua Messiah demonstrated this capacity following the resurrection, showing himself both in a Body of Pure Emanation and also the Body of Glory.
The physical body is composed of matter-energy-light, and quite literally is composed of mostly space. In the experience of Supernal Consciousness, one realizes that the Supernal Light above is everywhere here below, hidden as the secret center of every particle of matter. Thus, bringing down the Supernal Light from above tends to activate and release the Light-Force in the physical body and the physical body is transformed, more or less, dependent upon the degree of Supernal Self-realization.
If one is blessed to meet an Apostle of Light, whether an adept or master, and one draws close to that holy person, one will eventually discover that he or she can transmit Divine Power through the physical body itself – by touch, by glance, by gesture and by other means, and even merely by physical proximity. Such is the nature of the Emanation Body – it is a Body of Light or Divine Energy-Intelligence made material. In truth, through the Body of Emanation many Apostles and Angels live and move among us, though compared to the trillions of creatures on the face of the earth they are relatively rare and precious. It is truly a great blessing to encounter one of these Light-bearers in one’s life time, and an even greater blessing to become a spiritual companion of one of these Holy Ones.
Here we may share one more quality of the Emanation Body – potentially, anything touched by the Emanation Body can become an extension of the Emanation Body, and therefore become blessed and holy. As well as animate forms, inanimate forms may also be Emanation Bodies. This reflects a secret concerning the Wedding Feast (Eucharist) when performed by a Holy Apostle, as well as the basic principle behind the creation of talismans in the Divine Theurgy of the Tradition. You may recall the woman who was healed by merely touching the hem of the Master’s robe. Many wonders can occur by way of the Emanation Body, for it is not as it appears to be to those who lack faith and eyes to see in the Spirit.
The Emanation Body corresponds to Or Ain Sof and to Malkut on the Tree of Life, and corresponds to Vau of the Great Name. The unity of the Threefold Body corresponds to the final He in the Great Name, or to Shin of the Holy and Blessed Name of the Anointed. This may give insight into the true power of the Name and the esoteric meaning of “putting on the Name of the Lord.”
The oral teachings on the Threefold Body are extensive in Sophian Gnosticism, and are part of the Melchizedek Teachings given to initiates of the Tradition. The above article represents a brief discourse for the sake of the illumination of terms used in our teachings and a deeper explanation of the secret level of the Threefold Sanctuary of Faith-Wisdom. As previously mentioned in the article on the Threefold Sanctuary, it is the actual attainment of Supernal or Messianic Consciousness which is the True and Holy Sanctuary of our Faith; hence the Truth Body, Glory Body and Emanation Body given as the three objects of faith at the “secret level” of the Threefold Sanctuary. Essentially, faith in the Threefold Body of Melchizedek is affirmation of our faith in all other objects of faith, for all arise from this inmost secret level of the Mystery. Blessings & shalom!
Faith in one form or another is the foundation of all spirituality, for without faith we would not embark upon the spiritual quest or actively engage in the spiritual practice and life that constitute an actual Path to Self-realization. Thus, as in any other wisdom tradition, faith plays a key role in Gnostic Christianity. In the teachings of the Sophian Tradition faith is frequently spoken of in the context of what is called the Threefold Sanctuary of Faith-Wisdom. Rather than a creed or dogmatic doctrine the Threefold Sanctuary is the basis of a spiritual practice through which we cultivate and direct the power of faith towards our noble ideal of Self-realization in Christ Consciousness. The word sanctuary reflects something about the function of faith. On the one hand, faith shields us against negativity and empowers us to direct our mind, heart and life towards things that are positive, uplifting and true; on the other hand, through faith we are able to establish a connection to a source of blessings and grace through which we receive divine assistance and are empowered in our spiritual practice and life.
The Threefold Sanctuary has an outer, inner and secret level, reflecting the stages of the development of Self-realization in the Path, and each level is composed of three “objects of faith” which serve to uplift our consciousness and empower us. What each of the objects of faith means to an initiate is ultimately determined according to his or her own faith and understanding of them, thus from one initiate to another each will likely have his or her own view and expression of the Threefold Sanctuary.
On the outer level the Threefold Sanctuary is represented by three objects of faith: Yeshua Messiah, the Gospel of Truth and the Gnostic Circle. Yeshua Messiah is the first object of faith because it is through the embodiment of the Christos or Light-Presence in him that the Christian stream of the Light-Transmission is manifest in the world. Essentially, because he embodied the Christos and attained the state of Christ Consciousness, and taught us how to consciously evolve towards Christ Consciousness, he opened the Way of the Great Ascension to us – revealing the possibility of a Divine or Supernal Humanity. Having faith in Yeshua Messiah the Gnostic initiate has faith in the Indwelling Christ within him or herself, and seeks to consciously evolve towards Christhood.
There is a significant difference in this object of faith in Gnostic Christianity versus its orthodox and fundamental counterparts, for at the heart of Christian Gnosticism is an actual spiritual experience of the Living Yeshua or Risen Savior – an inner experience of the Truth and Light. Thus, while at the outset, perhaps, we are established in the first object of faith purely by faith, eventually we are established in it by gnosis acquired through a direct spiritual or mystical experience.
The second object of faith is the Gospel, which represents the teachings of Yeshua Messiah - hence the Way to Christ Consciousness. In the Sophian Tradition there are outer, inner and secret teachings of the Gospel, all of which relate directly to spiritual practice and spiritual living. Thus, first and foremost, by “Gospel” is meant one’s own continuum of spiritual practice and spiritual living. Likewise by Gospel we mean one’s own knowledge and understanding of Yeshua Messiah – one’s own experience of the Spirit and Truth born of spiritual practice and spiritual living. If one considers the titles of various Gospels that have been written one will notice that each Gospel is the account of the Mystery according to the initiate who wrote it; hence there is the Gospel according to St. John, the Gospel according to St. Thomas and so on. In a similar way every Gnostic initiate develops his or her own Gospel which unites the teachings of the Tradition he or she has received with his or her own experience of the Truth and Light.
The Gnostic Circle or Spiritual Community is the third object of faith in the outer sanctuary. Essentially, one must go to school and receive a spiritual education in order to learn how to go within and live within, and to unfold the higher levels of Self-realization. A Gnostic Circle is basically a Mystery School in which one receives teachings and initiations that empower one in the spiritual practice and life, along with guidance, encouragement and support in the Mystical Journey. Aside from the necessity of a spiritual education, in the midst of the unspiritual and unenlightened society in which we live it is difficult to progress very far along the Path alone on one’s own – spiritual fellowship and community is a true refuge that serves to uplift and empower our own spiritual practice and life.
In Sophian teachings it is said that even Yeshua had spiritual teachers and participated to some degree in spiritual community, and a spiritual community naturally formed about him once he experienced realization in Christ Consciousness. In terms of the Aquarian Age it is said that learning to be an authentic individual and yet to be able to work harmoniously on a group level is an essential lesson of the Age. Thus, perhaps more than ever, healthy spiritual community is very important to us. Some spiritual adepts and masters would say that it may well be critical to the survival of the human race. This feeling is quite strong among Sophians, thus the role of spiritual community is emphasized in the Sophian Tradition.
The inner level of the Threefold Sanctuary represents a more subtle and sublime manifestation of the outer sanctuary, and is said to be the Energy-Dimension within and behind the outer sanctuary. The objects of faith in the inner sanctuary are the Apostle of Light, the Great Angel of the Lord and the Holy Bride. The first object of faith of the inner sanctuary is the Apostle of Light or one’s Holy Tzaddik who serves as one’s spiritual teacher and guide. All authentic wisdom traditions around the world speak of the need for a reliance upon an experienced teacher and guide who embodies something of a higher consciousness or who is a realized individual. The same is true of Gnostic Christianity, which is founded upon actual discipleship with a living Tzaddik as much as faith in Lord Yeshua and Lady Mary Magdalene. We receive teachings and guidance in our spiritual practices from our Tzaddik, along with the extension of helpful spiritual energies and initiation. There is a distinct Living Presence and Power in a Tzaddik that uplifts us and serves to protect us during vulnerable periods in the Mystical Journey, and through which the Tzaddik knows how to guide us in the Path. Essentially, our Tzaddik is the embodiment of the realized adepts and masters of the past, present and future, and thus is a direct link to the Light-Transmission or True Apostolic Succession. It is as though the Apostle of Light is a physical manifestation of the Living Yeshua or Risen Savior.
The blessing we receive from our Tzaddik is dependent upon our view and faith. If we receive him or her as an embodiment of the Light-Presence and Apostle of Light, we receive the blessing and teachings from a Holy Apostle. If we receive the Tzaddik as a righteous person and well educated teacher, then we receive the blessing and teachings from a righteous person. If we receive him or her as a somewhat spiritual and ordinary person, then it is the blessing and teachings of an ordinary person we receive. This is reflected in the Gospel of St. Matthew 10:40-43, where it is written: “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of a righteous person; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple – truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”
There is something more profound in our sacred friendship with a living Tzaddik, however, for the Outer Tzaddik reflects our Inner Tzaddik – the truth of the Light-Presence within us. In the midst of the actual Light-Transmission we come to realize that the Light-Presence in Yeshua Messiah, the Light-Presence in our Tzaddik and the Light-Presence in us is one and the same Light-Presence. It is quite a blessing to meet a holy person who embodies something of the Christ Presence, for in so doing we may be certain of our own potential to embody the Divine Presence and Power.
On an esoteric level the Apostle of Light represents something else – the Light that comes from above in the Inner Baptism which ignites the Light and Fire within us; hence the Presence and Power of our Inner and Higher Self – the Christ Self. Specifically, the Apostle symbolizes the descending force of the Serpent Power through which the ascending force is awakened and guided in ascent through the central channel. Thus, while speaking of the Outer Tzaddik, in truth, we are speaking of the awareness of the Inner Tzaddik. For the Light-Transmission we receive from our Tzaddik serves to awaken the power of the Soul of Light in us – it is like a candle that is lit passing its flame to a candle that is unlit, both becoming self-radiant with the Divine Presence and Power.
Gnostic Circles in the Sophian Tradition are composed of the students and disciples who naturally gather around a realized adept or master to receive teachings and initiations from one who embodies something of the Light-Presence. In this sense the Gnostic Circle reflects the first circle of disciples that gathered around Lord Yeshua and Lady Mary Magdalene, so that entering into a sacred friendship and a spiritual community we live the divine drama of the Gospel, and the Light-Transmission continues among us. The Tzaddik and Gnostic Circle are especially integral to the Sophian way of spiritual practice, because for the most part it is an oral and experiential tradition that relies strongly on a close sacred friendship and spiritual fellowship.
The second object of faith in the inner sanctuary is the Great Angel of the Lord, the image of which appears at the outset of the Book of Revelation. On the one hand, the Great Angel indicates the Partzuf with which one experiences a heart connection and which is central to one’s continuum of spiritual practice; on the other hand, it represents one’s Way upon the Path as personified by the six Archangels of the Sacred Circle in the Tradition.
Partzuf is a word that comes from the Kabbalah which means “Divine Personification,” specifically an image envisioned in the mind through which one can experience contact with an aspect of the Divine Presence and Power. A Partzuf may be the light-form of a holy person from the past such as Lord Yeshua, Lady Mary Magdalene, the Holy Mother, John the Baptist, St. Lazarus or any number of other prophets or apostles. Likewise, it can also be the image of an archangel or angel or other divine being. Generally speaking, the Great Angel is one’s Heart Tzaddik, which is an adept or master from the past with which one feels a close affinity. While all Sophian initiates honor Yeshua Messiah as the Risen Savior many experience a strong sense of connect to another Heart Tzaddik. The light-form envisioned is “angelic” in appearance, thus the phrase “The Great Angel of the Lord.” Typically speaking, all initiates have a Heart Tzaddik and that Partzuf serves as a foundation of their way of spiritual practice. Likewise, as the phrase indicates there are many practices involving contact with archangels and orders of angels in the Tradition – so the “Great Angel” may also imply an archangel or order of angels significant to a given cycle of spiritual practice.
Apart from the Way of Melchizedek, there are Five Ways on the Path, which are personified by the Archangels Raphael, Michael, Gabriel, Uriel and Metatron-Sandalphon. These are the Way of Knowledge, Way of Power, Way of Devotion, Way of Work and the Way of the Weave, respectively. Although the Sophia Tradition is founded upon the Way of the Weave, which is the Union of the Four Ways, early on the Path most initiates are inclined to a more limited combination of Ways, one Way typically being principle. The Way to which an initiate is naturally inclined determines the methods of practice used and his or her approach to the spiritual life. Based upon this the Tzaddik gives specific teachings and instructions unique to each individual. Essentially, though all sojourn the same Path, the Way upon the Path is different with every person because every person is unique. Quite obviously, one’s Heart Tzaddik and one’s Way upon the Path will directly reflect one’s own experience of the Truth and Light; hence one’s own knowledge and understanding of the Gospel.
There is another more esoteric meaning to this object of faith, for as one enters into the Fruition Stage of the Path there is a development of consciousness beyond the body and the generation of the Body of Light. This Body of Light is generated by the activation and union of the descending and ascending currents of the Serpent Power, and in the Body of Light the appearance of the adept is “angelic,” just like the light-forms of Partzufim envisioned in spiritual practice. Thus, the Great Angel is one’s own Heavenly and Supernal Image which comes into being as the Self-realization process unfolds. In this development, truly, the promise of the Gospel is fulfilled – that one will not experience death.
The third object of faith is the Holy Bride, St. Mary Magdalene, who is the female embodiment of the Christos according to Sophian Tradition. It is faith in Lady Mary that distinguishes Sophians among Gnostic Christians. She is the First Holy Apostle, and the Apostle of all Apostles, and thus, in the Sophian Tradition she represents the embodiment of the Apostolic Succession. Likewise, she represents the Matrix of Light, which is the Divine Energy-Intelligence within and behind the Gnostic Circle or Spiritual Community.
There is something far more than merely teachings and methods of practice we receive from a Holy Apostle and the Sacred Circle – more important than the words of the teachings or techniques of practice are the fields of Divine Energy-Intelligence generated within and around a Tzaddik and in the Sacred Circle of the Community. Having a strong connection to a living Tzaddik and the fellowship of spiritual community we receive a large influx of Energy-Intelligence that is helpful to spiritual practice and will likely lead to a more rapid experience of the Light-Transmission and various degrees of the Enlightenment Experience. Because we tend to remain very active in life while seeking to unfold Self-realization and lead very busy lives, the need for such Energy-Intelligence is even more crucial in the Western Path to Enlightenment than its Eastern counterparts; hence the grace that flows from a living Tzaddik and Community.
The Divine Energy-Intelligence that manifests within and around a realized adept or master and that moves through a spiritual community is called the Shekinah and Holy Spirit, and it is quite distinct. Yet, the Shekinah and Holy Spirit are not isolate to the Tzaddik and Sacred Circle – it is the Life-Power which is within everything and everyone. On an esoteric level, the Holy Bride represents the ascending force of the Serpent Power, or the Fire Snake proper; hence the Divine Power latent within oneself which is awakened and uplifted in the Self-realization process.
By the description of the outer sanctuary one will realize that it is applicable to exoteric forms of Christianity and to Gnostic Christianity equally, but that the inner sanctuary is specifically esoteric and corresponds to Gnostic Christianity. Likewise, one will note that, although seemingly external objects of faith are given for the inner sanctuary, they actually point at the Energy-Dimension of the Light-Transmission, and specifically the Energy-Dimension of oneself; hence the realization of the Light-Presence in oneself and generation of the Body of Light, which is the Body of the Resurrection.
The secret level of the Threefold Sanctuary is the unification with the Christ Presence and attainment of Christ Consciousness, and thus is the actual attainment of the Body of the Resurrection, which is called the Threefold Body of Melchizedek in the Sophian Tradition. This Body of Light naturally and spontaneously arises from the state of Supernal or Messianic Consciousness. The Threefold Body spoken of as though three distinct Bodies, however, are actually three dimensions of one Body of Light. There is the Body of Truth, which is the very Essence of the Christos and is composed of Transparent Light, and there is the Body of Glory which is an Image of Translucent Light, and then there is the Body of Emanation which is the appearance of a Perfect Tzaddik or Master in the world. These, respectively, form the three objects of faith in the secret sanctuary – thus the ultimate manifestation of Sanctuary is the Enlightenment and Liberation of Christ Consciousness itself. This is the true Noble Ideal of the Gnostic Christian, the actual attainment of Christhood. (For a more in-depth teaching on the secret sanctuary see the article entitled: Threefold Body, which also appears in the archives.)
The body of teachings on the Threefold Sanctuary is extensive in the Sophian Tradition and could easily fill several volumes. Thus, what is given here is only a brief introduction that might serve to give the reader deeper insight into the Tradition and to serve as a guide to these terms as they appear in our writings and teachings. Blessings & shalom!