This is transcribed from an audio lecture you can download: Path of Initiation 10 Pistis Sophia and Yaldabaoth .
Pistis Sophia is a series of books, also known as The Books of the Savior, written many centuries ago. It is the bible of the Christian Gnostics . A major portion outlines the story and the path of one who is attempting to incarnate Wisdom (Christ) within themselves. This book was written sometime shortly after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who in this book is called Aberamentho. It is said that eleven years after he resurrected that he gave these teachings. The book itself is very elevated, speaking about, and pointed towards, someone who is already on the path and who has developed themselves to a certain degree. By this we mean, the teachings of the Pistis Sophia are the teachings to live the drama of Christ in our hearts and minds. It deals with death, resurrection, and ascension - the path of Christ. We must work to understand these teachings on our own level.
The Pistis Sophia is very esoteric, very alchemical and Kabbalistic, very veiled in symbolism, and it was a book was lost for quite some time, at least to our visible public eyes. It rested in obscurity for quite a long time, even though the Western world found it in the late 1700s, the scholars and the people who read it could not make any sense of it, so it just sat in a collection of a museum.
H. P. Blavatsky commented quite extensively on The Pistis Sophia, but when one studies this commentary, it is more related with Cosmogenesis (creation of the universe) than Anthropogenesis (the full development and creation of the human being). It was not until more recently that Samael Aun Weor read and meditated on it and gave detailed commentary about it, which we can see coincides with the universal doctrine of the science of how to awaken our Consciousness, how to develop all the capacities of our soul, all the capacities of what it is to be a human being.
The Pistis Sophia can be a very difficult book to read. Today we are going to look at it from just one aspect, just one small part of a large portion of the book. It is actualy multiple books, but a portion is called “The Story of Pistis Sophia”. Sophia goes through a drama, and she gives a number of repentances – thirteen repentances – to ascend back into the light after she lost it. All of this has to do with our soul, our spirit, and our inner Being. All of this has to do with our own work on ourselves.
At the same time, this book or any true religious book, also deals with the outer world. So the book of Genesis, typically we think of it as a book that relates to the world, but the more important aspect, when we are studying spirituality, is how it relates to our own inner Genesis, of how it relates to the creation of what needs to happen within ourselves. This book, The Pistis Sophia, deals with that as well – everything in it has multiple layers of meaning.
Before we read from the actual Pistis Sophia, we must study a little bit what it means when the universe creates, or, is created. What is that exactly?
In Kabbalah or Judaism the word for God is often Elohim, which really means Gods and Goddesses. There is another word which is Aelohim, which means “Not God” or “Beyond God.” It is negating what that God is. What we are saying here is that there is something, we call it the Absolute, that is beyond this creation. What is God? It, or they, are those forces which manage this creation, and we as a soul and spirit have a connection to that. When we fully develop our capacities, we incarnate God. God is present in the perfected soul of an individual.
But, there is something even beyond the Gods and human beings, and that is the Absolute. The Gods come out of the Absolute. The Absolute is an abstract space, where neither matter, nor energy, nor spirit exists – it’s a non-existence.
Samael Aun Weor writes in his book Christ’s Will:
This universe exists because of karma. Even the gods exist in this universe because of karma.
When the Causal Logos initiated its electrical movement at the dawn of the Mahamanvantara, nothing was heard but the weeping, pleading and lamentation of children.
At the dawn of the Mahamanvantara, the gods wept.
The Causal Logos contains in its divine mind all the karmic causes that originated the existence of this universe.
Thus, when that Great Being began to move upon the face of the waters, there was nothing but the weeping and the lamentation of gods.
Little by little, the uncreated light of the Absolute began to withdraw from the gods, thus, this is how they fell into this mass of universal shades.
Hence, when the Great Logos that expresses itself as electricity in all that exists emanated from within itself the Logos of the solar system and the seven planetary genii, nothing was heard but bitter weeping.
When the gods fertilizing the chaotic matter with the fire began to weave in the loom of God, nothing was heard but bitter weeping.
The gods wept in their exit from the Absolute.
They wept for the uncreated light that had already become darkness for them, and they justified themselves, saying: "I am not guilty; I am innocent," etc.
The gods fell when the Great Mother robbed their fire.
Then, the Great Mother shone with pleasure with the universal Protogonos.
So in these tweleve lines, an immense amount of information is being displayed here.
Karma is the predicate of this (or any) existence. Everything exists for a cause, and because of a cause, and that’s what Karma is. Karma is not simply a gift or punishment of some sort, although it may appear that way and it may be symbolized that way at times. We can say there were causes still latent within that Absolute Abstract Space, which caused creation to emerge. In the same sense of a seed, inside of a seed can be all the potential - all of the factors needed - for that seed to emerge out of the soil and create a beautiful plant or tree. Something similar occurs in the universe: all of the causes of this universe are reduced to a seed – or to seeds. Each of us has a connection to a seed in the Absolute and from that seed the Divinity emerges, and then a further unfoldment related to our soul emerges.
There is absolute happiness within the abstract space, so the very beginning of this existence causes, as Samael Aun Weor writes, the Gods “to weep,” because they have to go back into existence.
The potentiality (in the Absolute) comes out into the Mahamanvantara, which is the Great Cosmic Day. The Great Cosmic Day unfolds in a great process and eventually that day ends in the same way that a physical day here does: the sun eventually sets, and the light of the day goes away. There is a Mahapralaya which is the Great Cosmic Night and that is when everything gets absorbed into the Absolute. Mahapralaya is a suspension of the karma of the Universe in order to bring everything back into the Absolute. Mahapralaya, however, only occurs for a certain period or certain space and then all that karma has to come back into activity again.
We see in nature this unfolds in all the different levels of ourselves, in the day – the fact that we go to sleep and we arise in the next day with more or less the same mind with the same emotions that we had yesterday. We know that normally when we are asleep we are unconscious of this state of the world. We fall asleep and our mind is unconscious, so we dream, we may not even remember the dream. That is our Consciousness going through a minature pralaya. If you awaken your Consciousness you can be awake while your physical body sleeps. You can then see into that “night” and you would see the light of our own Consciousness, which still exists when we fall asleep. We do not experience it because we are unconscious.
Something similar is occurring on the cosmic scale on the level of the Gods, a much higher level though. There is a type of God or Deity known as a Paramarthasattya that can chose to go into this non-existence because they have perfect Consciousness, but those Gods are not what are being talked about – Paramarthasattyas have complete freedom to remain within the abstract space, they are not forced, they are not ejected into this world into this universe, into this creation. All Gods which are not Paramarthasattyas have no choice but to emerge out of the Absolute when the Great Cosmic Day occurs.
We often talk about the three aspects of the Absolute. These are very abstract concepts they seem a little bit removed from our daily life, but in order to really understand the essential content, we need to have some grasp of what the Absolute is. Absolute is beyond creation and has three aspects. The most incomprehensible aspect is called the Ain; and in the Pistis Sophia it is called the Thirteenth Aeon, that is the most abstract absolute space – totally incomprehensible to our mind.
The next aspect is the Ain Soph, in this level as it is written, that “a certain type of manifestation exists.” But even that is a poor way of understanding it – it is just for our intellect to understand it. The Ain Soph, this second aspect, is this atomic principle almost like that seed (that we just mentioned) where our entire existence can be reduced to just the Ain Soph, our own particular Ain Soph; because we come from the Absolute and the final synthesis.
The Ain Soph is the second aspect of the Absolute; it is where certain manifestation already exists. A divine Ray exists within the human being. That Ray wants to return back into its own Star that has always smiled upon it. The Star that guides our interior is a super divine Atom from the Abstract Absolute Space. The Kabbalistic name of that Atom is the sacred Ain Soph.
So, we can think in the sense that we come from the Ain Soph and we will return to the Ain Soph.
The third aspect, is written,
Each universe in the infinite space possesses its own central sun and the addition of all those spiritual suns constitutes the Ain Soph Aur, the protocosmos, the solar Absolute.
Another way of understanding the Ain Soph Aur: it is the ray of light is the projected out of the Ain Soph into creation. The Ain Soph Aur is the activity that continues through the different levels until it reaches the physical world.
Now let us talk about Pistis Sophia. Normally the word pistis is associated with our mind and with a certain level of Consciousness within our mind, but in this context Pistis is not really mind, it is better understood as “power.” Sophia means wisdom. Pistis as a compound word that signifies Power-Wisdom. The Pistis Sophia, she (Pistis Sophia) is the central symbol, who is undergoing many different dramas.
Pistis Sophia emerges from the Absolute, from the Thirteenth Aeon, which is the Ain. She goes down into the lower Aeons, so she can manifest herself into any of the spheres in the Tree of Life.
Fundamentally, this two part word of Pistis and Sophia, we can relate to the two columns of the Tree of Life: Pistis, meaning power, we can relate to the left-side of the Tree of Life. Wisdom relates to the right-side of Tree of Life. Now in Kabbalah, the head of the left column is Binah – which is related to the Holy Spirit. Binah is translated as understanding and intelligence. On the right side, the head of the right column is Chokmah; which is related to the Son (in Christian terms) and Chokmah means wisdom. So, to say that Pistis Sophia is related to wisdom is simple, because Sophia means wisdom, but the Pistis aspect requires more reflection.
Pistis is related to power. We have to understand that the power of God comes from the left side, the power of the Holy Spirit is the creative potential – the power of God is the power to create, which is happening foremost on the left side.
If we could put up as a map the Tree of Life upon the body, the image on the back of the human body, the left (Binah) and right side (Chokmah) would start with the two shoulders, and Kether (the Father) would be upon the crown of the head. The left-side of the Tree of Life descends, and it reaches Yesod, which are the sexual organs. This is where the creative potential comes into us, this is where we have the power to create, even us as intellectual animals who know nothing about God, we still have the power of creation in our sexual organs, in our sexual glands – so that is where the power of God comes into us.
We have an aspect of that power within us, even though we do not have an aspect of that wisdom. So we see that the power comes down first. This is going to relate to the fact that Pistis Sophia, even though she comes from the Thirteenth Aeon, from the Absolute, she descends all the way down and then she re-ascends all the way back up. This is a summary of the whole great work. The emergence from the Absolute, the descent, and also the ascension back up.
Now we are going to read out of the Pistis Sophia and we will find out why it is so difficult to read this text. It is very symbolic and we have to learn how to understand it in a certain way. We have to learn how to meditate on it.
Jesus is speaking to his disciples, and the reason why he is talking right now, is because in the book Mary asks to elaborate on why Pistis Sophia was not in the Thirteenth Aeon anymore.
And Jesus answered and said unto his disciples: “It came to pass, when Pistis Sophia was in the thirteenth aeon, in the region of all her brethren the invisibles, that is the four-and-twenty emanations of the great Invisible, — it came to pass then by command of the First Mystery that Pistis Sophia gazed into the height. She saw the light of the veil of the Treasury of the Light, and she longed to reach to that region, and she could not reach to that region. But she ceased to perform the mystery of the thirteenth aeon, and sang praises to the light of the height, which she had seen in the light of the veil of the Treasury of the Light.”
If we want to understand this we must first understand the Thirteen Aeons related to the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. There are ten sephiroth and three aspects of the Absolute. Very simply, the Thirteen Aeons in the Pistis Sophia are those ten sephiroth and the three aspects of the Absolute.
If we start from the bottom, the first Aeon, and go from “without to within” (as it says in the book), we start in Malkuth, which is the kingdom of the physical body.
The second aeon (going upwards from Malkuth) is Yesod (which I mentioned earlier). This is where the sexual energy is deposited within ourselves. This is where our vitality, our creative energy is, and is related to our Energetic Body, our Vital Body. When we are born into this world, having done no work on our self, just like any person is born we are born with a physical body and vital body, those are given to us for free.
The third aeon is Hod which is related to the Astral body – the center of emotions. We have something related to an Astral body (a Lunar Astral body), but unless you have performed the work within ourselves, you do not have the legitimate Astral body; you have to create it; you have to be born again into that body. That is a creation that only occurs through the power that is related to our sexual energy. Our sexual energy is not just simply a matter or material that creates physical bodies; it is the creative potential of God; there is something spiritual about it.
The fourth aeon is Netzah, which is related to the Mental body, related to our mind and reasoning.
The fifth aeon is Tiphereth, which is the center of the human soul, where a lot of the drama of the work occurs. Tiphereth is in the middle column and it is also in the middle of the Tree of Life, so all of the initiatic drama of the soul occurs around Tiphereth. Think of Tiphereth as the center of a clock and all the initiatic hours and days are going around Tiphereth. Tiphereth is the Human Soul.
The Seventh Aeon is Chesed, which is related to our inner spirit. As a trimurti, our monad expresses itself firstly in this way: the spirit (Chesed), the spiritual soul (Geburah) and the human soul (Tiphereth).
The human soul does not come completely developed: it comes as an Essence, as a seed, and that seed unfolds itself it to other types of seeds. When we find ourselves in a physical body we are only partly created, our soul is not fully created, it exists only as a potential. We have an Essence, we have a Consciousness, an elemental of a soul, but it is not a fully developed human soul. We need to possess our soul, we need to incarnate our soul – we need to do a work to accomplish that.
The Ninth Aeon is Chokmah, which is the Second Logos – the Son, where all the Beauty and Wisdom of the Christ resides.
The Tenth Aeon is the Father, Spirit of the Spirit, the Father of Fatherhood, also called the Ancient of Days.
The three aspects of the Absolute as we said are: the Ain Soph Aur, Ain Soph and the Ain. The Ain Soph Aur is the projection of the Ain Soph as a ray of spiritual light descending downwards and going through multiple transformations. The Ain Soph is where that ray of light is coming out and unfolding into all the cosmos outside of ourselves and also the cosmos inside of ourselves.
The Ain is like an ocean, and particles of that ocean are called Ain Sophs. Each of us can be reduced to an Ain Soph.
So unless we know all these things about the aeons, there will be no way to comprehend the concept of the Thirteenth Aeon:
“It came to pass when Pistis Sophia was in the Thirteenth Aeon…”
What does that mean? We know it means that the Pistis Sophia was in the Absolute, which is a region with her brethren the Invisibles.
One of the most important things to understand if we are reading this text, is that all of the characters, all of the personages in this text relate to parts of our own self. There is nothing outside of us in this text. Pistis Sophia is a part of our own being; it is a part of our being related to the Thirteenth Aeon. She is one of the most elevated parts of our own being, our own spirit.
When it says that she is the region with her brethren the Invisibles, what this is referring to is other parts of our own Being.
Amazing as it may sound, our inner being has an essential quality of emptiness. This sounds very strange, but that Absolute we just spoke about is in Abstract Space. This is where our being comes from. It manifests into form, into any form. Our being has that power, right? If the being has the power to manifest into any form, with that understanding then the Being is not one “thing” or object – it is an activity, an experience, a great mystery that we need to understand.
The Being is a multitude of many things relating to its own self. When the great work is completed, our being knows Itself completely. The Being will contain one hundred percent self-cognizance, self-knowledge of its own self. Not just as a ‘me’ as an ego, or as a soul, or just as a spirit, but the whole Being. There are parts of the Being related to Christ, different parts related to the spiritual world, different parts related to the soul, different parts related physically. Some parts are related to multiple other parts and multiple aspects. They all have to know each other and perfectly unite and form into a Diamond Soul. This is similar to the story of Moses working and getting all the Israelites out of the rule of the Pharaoh, all of the Israelites represent in some way parts of our Being.
We mentioned the Four and Twenty of the great Invisible. Four and twenty, or we can say twenty-four, is related to the number of hours in a day. But of course, the day we are speaking about is not the one that transpires mechanically just by sitting around. The “day” in this sense is symbolic, alchemical, kabbalistic, and initiatic.
The Arcanum 24 is called The Weaver – it is related to the Loom of God. The Loom of God is how He and She (the Elohim Gods and Godesses) creates the Universe, by weaving the fabric of reality. Arcanum Twenty-Four is creation – the creative power.
That twenty-four gets reduced: if you add four plus two you get six (4 + 2 = 6), which is the Sixth Arcanum called Indecision. The Sixth Arcanum is the discernment and the knowledge to wisely use the creative power of God.
What decisions do we make to use the creative power of God?
On the top of the card, we see a man with a bow and arrow. There are two women, one on the left and the other on the right: one woman represents the Divine Mother, Chastity and sexual purity. On the other side is related to the harlot using sexual power or sexual creativity to manifest one’s own desires and indulge in them. The man is sitting lower in the waters of life making a decision between one or the other.
Ultimately to progress in the path we need to direct that arrow, at the top of the card, towards our own desires. If you look, you can see that the bow and arrow creates a triangle. That arrow creates a triangle of three forces. If we know how to point the three forces we have within ourselves towards our ego, towards our desire, we can kill it – in the same way that cupid shoots an arrow.
Cupid is related to the Holy Spirit, another name for Cupid is Eros, and this is where you get the word Erotic from. Normally we use our eroticism in a way that it indulges our ego. This is ordinarily the only way we know, but this is not the only way. We can use our sexual creative power to destroy our ego.
In the text, all of this is in play right now, at a very abstract level.
The other number mentioned here is the number thirteen. Thirteen represents the Thirteenth Aeon, Ain, and the number thirteen is the number of Death. The number thirteen is a very ‘unlucky’ number. Many people do not like the number thirteen, but it is only through Death, Supreme Death, that we can achieve liberation. A complete a radical death is required.
Pistis Sophia is in the Thirteenth Aeon, and she is in the region of the Four and Twenty – that Four and Twenty is related to the twelve zodiacal houses. There is a duality within every zodiacal house, hence twelve plus twelve equals twenty-four (12 + 12 = 24). Two Elders for each zodiacal house. Those twenty-four are the Invisibles, the brethren. These are Twenty-four aspects of our own being related to the cosmos, the different aspects of ourselves related to those twelve tribes of Israel that Moses must work with, or those twelve disciples of Jesus. Jesus being the number thirteen.
So what this is all saying is that there is something here related to creation. By the command of the First Mystery, Pistis Sophia gazes into the light and she sees the Treasury of the Light, and she yearns after the Treasury of the Light.
The Treasury of the Light is the culmination of our spiritual work. Treasury of the Light in alchemical terms is the Philosophical Stone. Sophia is that part of our being that is looking to do the work; it wants to complete the work. She’s implored to gaze into the light; she wants to gain wisdom. She wants to complete the whole work.
Who tells Pistis Sophia to gaze into the light? The First Mystery. The First Mystery is another part of the Being, the Abstract Father, commanding Sophia to look into the light. The Abstract Father is behind the entire drama of Sophia.
It came to pass then, when she sang praises to the region of the height, that all the rulers in the twelve aeons, who are below, hated her, because she had ceased from their mysteries, and because she had desired to go into the height and be above them all. For this cause then they were enraged against her and hated her, [as did] the great triple powered Self-willed, that is the third triple-power, who is in the thirteenth aeon, he who had become disobedient, in as much as he had not emanated the whole purification of his power in him, and had not given the purification of his light at the time when the rulers gave their purification, in that he desired to rule over the whole thirteenth aeon and those who are below it.
The text references the three triple light powers, and again if you are not familiar with Kabballah then this seems very confusing, but if you know the Kabalistic Tree of Life it becomes simpler.
The first triple light power is related to the first triangle of the Tree of Life, which are the three Logos – the Christic principle, the aspect that the first division of God from one into three (Kether, Chokmah, Binah).
The third triple light power is the one that is disobedient. The third triple light power is called the self-willed. It is also later called the lion faced light power.
The third triangle: Netzah is related to the mind, Hod is related to emotions, and Yesod is related to sex. These aspects become disobedient. So we can see in ourselves, we are really living in the third triple light power, physically we have an intellect, emotions, and our instincts in sexuality. Moment to moment we are living within the self-willed. We are the self-willed, which is exactly what the ego is.
The ego resides in this region, because in the second triple light power the will of God is always done. This is what we really consider heaven or nirvana, and our superior aspects are up there as well - in the region of the second triple light power. Of course the will of God is done in the first triple light power as well. When you get to the third triple light power, the will of God is not being done, the will of the ego is being done.
During the manifestation of our own Being into creation – the third triple light power exists in a potential form. The third triple light power is already becoming active, even if the Being and Sophia have not manifested physically, as they are coming out of the Absolute there is still a karmic legacy or residue related to the third triple light power.
In other parts of the Pistis Sophia there are places called the mixture. The mixture is the physical body - Malkuth. The third triple light power manifests in our body as: brain, heart, and sex. It is called the mixture because the physical body is the final crucible where all of the energies and all of these different qualities mix together, in the physical body. All the elements come together for the crossing – the necessary crossing of those elements for the physical body.
… the great triple-powered Self-willed […] emanated out of himself a great lion-faced power, and out of his matter in him he emanated a host of other very violent material emanations, and sent them into the regions below, to the parts of the chaos, in order that they might there lie in wait for Pistis Sophia and take away her power out of her …
You can see here a very beautiful illustration from William Blake, where a dragon is about to impose himself on a beautiful woman in gold, which we can say is Sophia. Sophia is impelled to look into the light and she wishes to do the work. She goes towards the light and believes that she is going into the Treasury of the Light, but instead she ends up going towards the triple powered self-willed, the light of the triple power self-willed. She confuses the pure light for the impure light. She lacks something. She does not know all the parts of the Being, thus, she sees the inferior light as the superior light.
It came to pass then thereafter by command of the First Commandment that the great triple powered Self-willed, who is one of the three triple-powers, pursued Sophia in the thirteenth aeon, in order that she should look towards the parts below, so that she might see in that region his lion-faced light-power and long after it and go to that region, so that her light might be taken from her.
It came to pass then thereafter that she looked below and saw his light-power in the parts below; and she knew not that it is that of the triple powered Self-willed, but she thought that it came out of the light which she had seen from the beginning in the height, which came out of the veil of the Treasury of the Light. And she thought to herself: I will go into that region without my pair and take the light and thereout fashion for myself light-aeons, so that I may go to the Light of lights, which is in the Height of heights.
Here we see the First Commandment, which is a symbol of the Great Common Cosmic Father, causing a series of events to occur in the same way that, as we previously mentioned, Sophia is impelled or commanded to look into the light. The First Commandment – that intelligence – knows that Sophia does not know all the parts of herself, and not knowing all the different parts of the Being, she will confuse the light of the third triple light power with the Treasury of the Light.
Realize that this great drama occurs by command of the first commandment; the first commandment knows that this drama is going to occur, but it does it anyway because the first commandment is very interested in Sophia acquiring the Treasury of the Light, which is the Philosophical Stone, the completion of the work.
We can see here that there is a great parallel with Lucifer. Falling from grace, or the theme of the disobedient angels. It is very same myth shown from a different perspective. If you read or listen to a previous lecture called “The Secret of Satan” you may understand this a little bit more.
This then thinking, she went forth from her own region, the thirteenth aeon, and went down to the twelve aeons. The rulers of the aeons pursued her and were enraged against her, because she had thought of grandeur. And she went forth also from the twelve aeons, and came into the regions of the chaos and drew nigh to that lion-faced light-power to devour it. But all the material emanations of Self-willed surrounded her, and the great lion-faced light-power devoured all the light-powers in Sophia and cleaned out her light and devoured it, and her matter was thrust into the chaos; it became a lion-faced ruler in the chaos, of which one half is fire and the other darkness, — that is Yaldabaoth, of whom I have spoken unto you many times. When then this befell, Sophia became very greatly exhausted, and that lion-faced light-power set to work to take away from Sophia all her light-powers, and all the material powers of Self-willed surrounded Sophia at the same time and pressed her sore.
However, it is one thing for the power Sophia to descend – another thing is for the wisdom of Sophia to descend. What the text (above) is saying is that Sophia, this aspect of our self is descending into the lower sephiroth, but by doing so and being created, Sophia becomes entangled in the karma.
In the Thirteenth Aeon there is no karma in activity, there is complete freedom, so as the energies descend, it is as if that karma related to the third-triple power, which is where all that karma is being generated, comes and swallows up Sophia. This is related to other myths, such as the myth of Persephone or Proserpine.
When our divinity or our divine essence is coming down into the lower worlds, it immediately gets devoured by our karma, and our ego, and what comes out of it is Yaldabaoth: one half which is fire and the other which is darkness. You can say that is our ego. There is some light within our being, and there is some power which is the fire, but the other half is darkness.
To better understand how the Ain Soph Aur descends (the ray of creation coming down) we need to understand what Pistis Sophia calls the Spaces, which in Kabbalah are called the Four Worlds. Four Worlds are Atziluth, Briah, Yetzirah, and Assiah.
The first space, Atziluth, is related to the archetypes. These are the blueprints, the primordial aspects, or molds of what the Being can express itself as. That’s Atziluth: the architypes or potentials. That is related to the Absolute, and also to the top triangle of the Tree of Life
Briah is the very activity or action of creation and has a relationship with the second triangle. It is birth, Genesis, or Berashieth. Usually the most difficult thing for students to understand is the Second Space, Briah. A lot of intuition and Meditation is required here.
Yetzirah is the third space. Which is the formation, the form which has been created. It is related with the third triangle.
The formation comes in two parts. There are two halves to it. The first part is related to the Third Logos (Binah), which descends first. This is the creative power of God that we spoke of earlier. The Second Logos as has to descend afterwards – after the creation has formed.
First is the Third Logos, then the Second Logos descends.
When we look at this cosmically, related to this whole universe, first the Third Logos (Holy Spirit) creates, then the Second Logos (the Son) goes into that creation to sustain and protect that creation. The Second Logos continuously sacrifices itself to have life, to continuously regenerate life.
Christ is the great sacrifice. But the great sacrifice doesn’t happen until there is some creation there, in order to have that life in there.
Then, Assiah is the final mixture of all the elements in the physicality – in the physical world.
Returning to the narrative: Sophia is in those higher aeons, in the region of the twenty-four brethren of the Great Invisible, and she looks down and sees the light of the third triple light power, and she mistakes that light for the Treasury of the Light.
What is happening here is happening in Briah, which is the world of creation. In Briah nothing is actually created yet – it is happening, it is the activity of creation. How Briah works is related to the trinity. We know that Kether, Chokmah and Binah are the Three Logos. They are three in one, there are three sides to one thing, and we can look at it as Kether, Chokmah and Binah.
Binah is the aspect of the trinity, which performs the creation. It does so by splitting itself into a duality. Each half of the duality has that trinity. So, Binah splits itself into a masculine trinity and into a feminine trinity.
It is through that masculine and feminine trinity, when they come back together – it is that mystery of Daath – which means knowledge or Gnosis, occurs. This is where the actual products of creation are coming out of.
We can relate this to our own self. Inside of our self we have three centers – three brains - intellect, our emotion, our motor instinctive sexual brain. Intellect is in our head, our emotional brain is related to our heart, and the motor instinctual sexual brain is related to our sex organs and spinal cord.
We are a trinity. One trinity crosses with another trinity: if a feminine trinity (woman) crosses with the masculine trinity (man), you can have a creation. So as below so above. The Logos, or Christ, must divide itself. Binah creates a masculine-feminine duality which provides the power of creation. In this way the ray of creation manifests – through the seven mighty cosmo creators, who we call Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Michael, Samael, Zachariel, and Orifiel.
So what does this mean in relation to the story of Sophia?
In the beginning, we have Sophia who has not realized herself: a type of monad or Ain Soph who does not know its self. A type of Ain Soph that will confuse the Treasury of the Light with that light of the triple light power. Another way to say this is an Ain Soph that still has karma and chaos related to it.
That type of Ain Soph or Sophia cannot place itself into creation. This is because that type of monad does not have cognizance of the three primary forces (Kether, Chokmah, Binah). It doesn’t have Consciousness within the first triangle – within the top Christic-Logoic triangle. That is the triangle that can create something. That is the triangle that can create the universe, but those monads that are not self-realized do not have realization of that, so they cannot put themselves into creation. They need a helper. They need a cosmocreator.
A cosmocreator is another monad, but this type of monad has self-cognizance. This type of Monad has incarnated Christ. They have perfected the Power (Third Logos) and the Wisdom (Second Logos). They have achieved the Golden Fleece of Hercules or, the Treasury of the Light, or the Philosophical Stone. They have achieved it, therefore they can work to place other monads into creation.
So those seven mighty cosmocreators are what we call the Seven Rays, and all of us, as a monad, belong to exactly one of those rays. Own individual monad – unless it is self-realized – cannot put itself into creation, but the cosmocreators can do it. Those cosmoscreators are conscious within the upper cosmos – they are conscious within the world of Briah and Atziluth. They can work with the energy to place the monads into creation.
All of us belong to one of those seven rays. This is how the Ray of Christ, goes from a trinity to a septenary, a seven-fold, in Yetzirah. The creation happens in accordance to the Law of Three, but the creation then becomes organized in accordance with the Law of Seven. Which are related to the seven mighty Cosmocreators, also the seven aspects of our soul.
The outcome, which say is Daath, or Gnosis. That outcome descends into the Second Triangle (the second triple light power of Chesed, Geburah, and Tiphereth). When that creation is complete, through the path of initation, that outcome is Horus: Chesed-Geburah-Tiphereth completely united and awake.
In the beginning however, what is created is our Essence, our soul as we have it now, which unfolds. First, our spirit, then the spiritual soul, then the human soul, then mind, emotions, vitality and the physical body. Seven unfoldments.
We already think that we are a completed soul, but in truth we are not – we are Yaldabaoth. We are one-half fire and one-half darkness; we have not completed that work yet. We are a mixture here in the physical body, we have a small percentage of free Consciousness, but mostly we are ego. Beyond the ego is just chaos. Our inner matter is undifferentiated. Our inner matter is not developed.
We are like an egg that has not been developed. We have a thin layer called our physical body and our personality. If that inner layer is cracked open, what is in the egg? Chaotic material which could become something, but if you crack that egg open it is a mess, a chaos. That is why we, when we leave our physical body – we cannot have Consciousness, we do not seem to have those experiences, we have to work very hard to have them. This is why we do not remember when we are outside of our physical body, because that hard shell is gone, and all that is in our Being at that level is chaos: darkness and fire.
At the core of darkness and fire is sexual potency. That is the creative potential of God, but in darkness, and out of control. Reflect on desires and lust – that is Yaldabaoth, which is causing Sophia, our divine essence and principle, to suffer. Sophia is enslaved. Our spirit is suffering.
We said in the beginning that Pistis Sophia is a compound word: first the Power descends, then the Wisdom descends. The Power has already descended. We have the power of the Holy Spirit! It is active in Yesod. That is how we get into lots of trouble. We use our creative potential wrongly.
If we can learn how use our power correctly, then we can finish our creation. We can actually complete the soul. Then, if we actually complete the soul, Wisdom (Christ as the Second Logos) can descend into it.
We think that Christ can descend into any normal person, but Christ (Second Logos) can only descend into the fully completed man or woman.
Samael Aun Weor writes:
That which is above is like that which is below. At the beginning of the aurora of creation, the sexual fire of the Third Logos fecundates the womb of the great mother, the fundamental substance.
The second part is performed by the Second Logos, the Cosmic Christ, by incarnating himself within the worlds that are arising, so that all beings can have life, and have it in abundance.
This event is repeated within the Microcosmos human. The first one who intervenes is the Third Logos, when fertilizing the chaotic matter contained in the semen and in the dorsal spine, fertilizing the Divine Mother, the Akashic principle, so that the inner universe, the solar bodies, are born.
Thereafter, the Second Logos is born within those superior existential bodies of the Being, in order to work in the Great Work of the Father.
This is important to understand: the book The Pistis Sophia is really a book for people who have already completed becoming a human being (one who has created all of those bodies) and they are ready for the Second Logos to come and descend.
We can read the work and understand it, especially with the commentary Samael Aun Weor writes in order for us to understand the various aspects of the work – it has a level for us to understand. However, the real work is related to the resurrection, and with the incarnation of Christ, in the human being.
In the dawn of each Mahamanvantara, the great Mother, the universal feminine principle, steals the fire from the Gods in order to fertilize herself and to shine with pleasure.
This is the universal Protogonos; this is the tragedy of the Gods. This is what the Logoic downfall is.
The gods can be liberated only when their virginal sparks are liberated.
Our essence is that virginal spark, and although we often think that God is omnipotent and omniscient and free, there are different levels of that, because ultimately we are connected with God. If we are in karma and we are suffering, then part of God is suffering. When we liberate our self, then we can incarnate Christ as well.
In The Pistis Sophia Unveiled, it is written:
The Divine Ray and the Chaos, Pistis Sophia and the Great Abyss, shine with pleasure when united. Thus, the Chaos delectably sparkles when obtaining its meaning from this union with the Spirit. When Sophia, as Divine Spirit, is associated with the Chaos, then the Protogonos, the primogenial light, emerges. The Logoic Ray, impregnated by Sophia, fecundates the waters of life, in order for the Universe to emerge. - The Pistis Sophia Unveiled
Samael Aun Weor writes his commentary in a way that is quite beautiful, within the text of the Pistis Sophia itself it appears very violent. We have to understand that both ways of presenting them are the same, it just a matter of how we want to look at them, what perspective. From the higher parts of the Being, the ejection from the Absolute Abstract Space into creation is a very difficult thing. The law of karma causes great suffering. And all the parts of the Being start attacking and antagonizing each other. Through the antagonism the drama occurs, and Sophia needs to work with all those different parts. As they do, Sophia works on all those different aspects the Being is being united.
Let us look at the word Yaldabaoth. In Hebrew , you can dissect it as yalda and bohu and abbott. Yalda (ילדה) means child, bohu (בהו) means void, such as the phrase ‘Tohu VeBohu’ which means formless and void, and abbott (אבהות) meaning Father. This is how we get the phrase ‘children of the void.’
There are two types of children in this sense because there is another word here, Sabaoth, which means ‘army’ or ‘host’ or ‘Lord of hosts’.
The Being, in itself, cannot be outlined and diagrammed. We cannot make an exact diagram, since the Being is like an army of innocent children. That is the Being, and one must learn how to know this in order to understand it. - Seven Minds and Seven Truths
The Being is related to Sabaoth, which is an army of God – angels. Those millions of angels exist within us. An angelic intelligences are different aspects of our own Being. There are different Archons or Rulers, which reside over diverse aspects of our own Being. It sounds strange, but these diverse, sunderable aspects of the Being antagonize Sophia. These aspects, “children of the Being” or “children of the Void” (because the Being’s essential quality is voidness) do not all understand each other. Thus, there is antagonism. Sophia is the one that unites all the parts of the Being to shine in the Light of Lights, which is in the Height of Heights, which is the Treasure of the Light, which is in the Thirteenth Aeon.
The other type of children of the void is that chaotic material which is our ego. Yaldabaoth is a mixture of that power of Sophia, mixing with our ego, and producing all these offspring. That is one-half fire and one-half darkness animating our chaotic material. Yaldabaoth is both the good and the evil of karma. This is another type of a child of the void: because the ego has no real existence and they are void of the Father. Our ego is not one, but many, and each of our egos are like a self-willed child, a child of chaos.
Yaldabaoth is the demiurge. Yaldabaoth is elements of our own ego, but even outside of our-self are elements beyond, in creation itself. Even those Cosmocreators who are working in the work of the Father, have to fight against the temptations of Yaldabaoth. The Cosmocreators, Archangels, which to go beyond creation. They want to become a Paramarthasattaya and reside in the Thirteenth Aeon.
To do that, they have to die to the level of being a cosmocreator, in order to be born in the Thirteenth Aeon. Cosmicly, Yaldabaoth is all the activity, the good as well as the evil, in all the spheres of creation. The Being which yearns for the Thirteenth Aeon must fight against the activity of Yaldabaoth, all the energy within creation, in order to go beyond it.
Yaldabaoth must be understood in different ways:
- In relationship with the ego.
- With the diverse aspects of one’s own inner Being.
- With the diverse Beings working in the all the dimensions of space.
The story of Pistis Sophia speaks about all three of these contexts at once in a synthesized way.
First the Third Logos descends and the humanoid is created, and much ego is created in that process as well. Then, the humanoid becomes a human being by finishing the formation of the astral, mental, and causal subtle bodies. Then the work with the Second Logos begins, wisdom descends in successive degrees, as the final works of the Third Logos are achieved. The formation is perfected and the ego is eliminated. Then, and only then, can the human die and the Christ-Man resurrect. Then, much later, the Christ-Man, a Cosmocreator God, can ascend beyond creation itself.
Those Gods can be tempted by all the beautiful manifestations and forms of this world and the nirvanic worlds, if they fall into that temptation they would stay within the creation. Only the one, or the Being that renounces everything and accomplishes the Thirteenth Arcanum completely can ascend to the Thirteenth Aeon.
We may have troubles becoming more or less attached to things like our technology, television, our phone, or a movie – but imagine being the intelligence of an entire constellation and the beauty and magnificence of that, being at that level of Being. Imagine having complete knowledge of creation, true omnipotence and uninterrupted bliss, and then renouncing that. It is enough for a Cosmocreator to have just a thought, an inclination, to exist, and this would preclude such a Being from residing in the Thirteenth Aeon.
Those are the levels of the Cosmocreators. For example, being an intelligence that manages this entire earth or this entire solar system because there are intelligences, Beings, Monads that are doing that – they have to give that up, they have to learn at a very subtle level, so when the Gnostics are talking about not falling under sway or fighting against Yaldabaoth – it has a dualistic meaning – fighting against our own ego and fighting pleasures and divine powers that we may possess.
In the Pistis Sophia Unveiled, it is often spoken of in relationship to 49 demons of Yaldabaoth. Those are the forty-nine levels of our subconscious mind. Now, the lion-faced light power is how Yaldabaoth is often described in the Pistis Sophia, the lion is related to two principle symbols. One symbol is the lion of the law: the power of Karma. The other is the sexual energy: solar energy related to the sun, solar Christic energy. Again, that lion-faced light power is related to our karma and also to Christ at the same time. Christ is the Law – which is karma.
The Eleventh Arcanum and Tarot Card features the lion. A divine woman opening the jaw of that lion with tremendous sincerity and tranquility, meaning that person has achieved dominion over that lion power. Due to that we see the Philosophical Stone at the bottom of the card with the sparrow and the serpent, which is related to Horus, to our Divine Mother, and to our sexual power.
Yaldabaoth is working within us right now. We feel that power any time we become identified with something, any time we have a passionate type of energy towards something. An egotistical type of urge, is the lion faced power working within us, and we have to fight against it. We have to go within those 49 levels, within those forty-nine demons of Yaldabaoth and to understand them, comprehend them and eliminate them. With that same power (the creative power of the Third Logos – sex), like that card ‘Indecision’, we must chose to use the power correctly. We do this to eliminate our ego and create the superior bodies of the soul, and by doing that we accomplish the Eleventh Arcanum, which has the phrase Coagula et Solve. By using our sexual energy correctly, by using the power of the lion correctly, we coagulate or create the soul. Thus, we can manifest the Being completely. We are no longer formless and void. Then the second half occurs, with the descension of Christ as the Second Logos, and the complete destruction of the ego.
Q: Is there karma in the Thirteenth Aeon?
A: There is no karma in activity in the Thirteenth Aeon, but there is the seed or legacy of karma that is not being played out, which is the exact reason why the Thirteenth Aeon spits out all of those elements which still has karmic residue. Those seeds of karma then begin to sprout and unfold.
Q: Is the karma there first, before Sophia acts?
A: Unless there is self-realization, the three gunas has some imbalance in them - which leads to karma. There are other lectures about the three gunas. In our case we already have karma. Sophia, in the Thirteenth Aeon, is looking into the creative akashic waters, in Briah. In those waters, she sees what is possible. She sees the potential of the completion of the work, the Treasury of the Light. But it turns out, that it is light of the third triple light power, which becomes Yaldabaoth. But where is the Treasury of the Light found? Well, in truth it is found inside the work – so in a way she saw correctly, because within Yaldabaoth is the Treasury of the Light. What do we have to work with to achieve the Treasury of the Light? Yaldabaoth. In the beginning Sophia is not self-realized so she does not see the difference between the Light of the Height and the Light of Third Triple Light power. So, that is why the work is needed. The Treasury of the Light is in fact that glorious light which shines due to the fact that all the parts of the being are completely self-realized.
Things in the Pistis Sophia are difficult for our intellect to understand. At first, Sophia is seeing the third triple light power in the Second space (Briah), and by going after it, creates the Third and Fourth spaces (Yetzirah and Assiah). All four spaces contain all three triple light powers, and the story of Sophia is occurring at different times in different spaces. It is complex, yes, but with Meditation we can understand it.