Gnostic cosmology and Hermetic philosophy are vast and numbered, almost by definition.  An accurate and complete inventory of 365 emanations and their variations would be an undertaking of scholarship that I’m not ready to perform.  I am not a priest of that new religion nor do I have interest in becoming one.

The Abraxas mythos is sparse and scattered.  What little remains has been heavily revised by Jung and popularized by Hesse.  None the less we’ll begin—and end—here.

“The bird fights it way out of the egg.  The egg is the world.  Who would be born must first destroy a world.  The bird flies to god.  That god’s name is Abraxas.”

~Max Demian; Hesse

The basis of Gnosticism as spoken through Hermeticism holds that man is bound in a material world by the god of Abraham—the Demiurge—the creator.  Man and the world are 90% complete, the rest is up to us.  Psychic completion is the goal; through the union of opposites a coincidentia oppositorum.

Man is not begotten, but made.  We are saved by works and not by faith alone.

Once we break through the firmnament, we can perceive the supreme god: Abraxas who is the god who is both god and devil.  But are we to end as angels ‘who are lost in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory?’  Can we mount that most luciferian project of original sin and slip passed the godhead?  To steal the light lent to us.  For the emanations of the divine still differentiate and drive individuation.

That is what I saw—and in some ways this is so—and in some ways it is not—and in some ways it is indescribable.  There was the void—die leere—and it broke into absence, presence, and aspect.  And everything is only a twist in presence.  And aspect is perceiving without a perceiver,  ‘the strange loop.’  They are not in opposition or otherwise arranged, there is no center.  And if you pursue these things I have only one warning for all that you encounter—they lie.

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3 thoughts on “Abraxas

  1. Manly P. Hall has some very interesting lectures on Gnosticism, Hermeticism & Neo-Platonism, which you can find on Youtube, if you have 9 or so hours spare.
    He says that Christianity at this point could have gone in a progressive direction as these sects of the faith were philosophically & scientifically oriented; Christianity trying to find its feet. If i remember correctly it was the Big 3 at the Council of Nicaea who determined the rigid set of circumstances that was to spiral the faith through century upon century of carnage in order to preserve their rules for the church.

    Liked by 1 person

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