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glossary

(Gnostic) From The Theosophical Glossary: "Famous 2nd century Gnostic who in many ways was the unacknowledged teacher of the Church Fathers Origen and Clement. His teachings, largely those of the ancient wisdom, were probably derived from the esoteric schools in Alexandria. He is author of "The Shepherd of Hermes" and various Homilies and Epistles, and is said to have been the author of the celebrated Gnostic gospel, the Pistis Sophia, where his doctrines are set forth. His school, the Valentinians, had Italian and Asiatic branches, which gave rise to other offshoots, thus spreading his influence far and wide and exerting an enduring effect on thought. He averred that the apostles had not publicly given out all they knew, but that they had esoteric knowledge. He taught that the primal cause, which he names Bythos (depth), manifested itself as the pleroma (fullness), the sum total of all manifestation. His teachings on pleroma are defined by a vast, intricate diagrammatic scheme, representing a process of emanation on a hierarchical plan with threefold, sevenfold, tenfold, and twelvefold hierarchies; mankind itself forming a lower branch of these hierarchies. Thus he is enabled to explain the origin of mixture or evil, and to reconcile the goodness of God with the imperfection of nature by pointing to minor demiurgic creators; thus too he can give the true meaning of Christ and redemption."

"Undoubtedly, Valentinus was a great master of love and formed a school called the Valentinians. They were dedicated to the study of Esoteric Christianity in all its aspects, and because of this we will address you in a precise form to speak about the miracle of love." - Samael Aun Weor

"After the death of Basilides, Valentinus became the leading inspiration of the Gnostic movement. He still further complicated the system of Gnostic philosophy by adding infinitely to the details. He increased the number of emanations from the Great One (the Abyss) to fifteen pairs and also laid much emphasis on the Virgin Sophia, or Wisdom. In the Books of the Savior, parts of which are commonly known as the Pistis Sophia, may be found much material concerning this strange doctrine of ├ćons and their strange inhabitants." - Manly P. Hall, The Secret Teachings of All Ages (1928)

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