Thursday, 26 December 2013

An Invitation for Inter-Faith dialogue - Sunya, Purna and Pleroma

I have not put my hands on this book so I cannot review what is inside the book.

But I can give you the implications if anyone wants to take this road.

Purnamadah PurnamidamPurnat PurnamudachyatePurnasya PurnamadayaPurnameva VashishyateOm shanti, shanti, shanti

- Isha Upanishad

Translation - 

All this is full. All that is full.
From fullness, fullness comes.
When fullness is taken from fullness,
Fullness still remains.
O M shanti shanti shanti

Col 2:9 "In Christ dwell's all the pleroma(fullness) of deity in bodily form"


Sermo I

The dead came back from Jerusalem, where they found not what they sought. They prayed me let them in and besought my word, and thus I began my teaching.

Harken: I begin with nothingness. Nothingness is the same as fullness. In infinity full is no better than empty. Nothingness is both empty and full. As well might ye say anything else of nothingness, as for instance, white is it, or black, or again, it is not, or it is. A thing that is infinite and eternal hath no qualities, since it hath all qualities.

This nothingness or fullness we name the PLEROMA. Therein both thinking and being cease, since the eternal and infinite possess no qualities. In it no being is, for he then would be distinct from the pleroma, and would possess qualities which would distinguish him as something distinct from the pleroma.

In the pleroma there is nothing and everything. It is quite fruitless to think about the pleroma, for this would mean self-dissolution.

CREATURA is not in the pleroma, but in itself. The pleroma is both beginning and end of created beings. It pervadeth them, as the light of the sun everywhere pervadeth the air. Although the pleroma pervadeth altogether, yet hath created being no share thereof, just as a wholly transparent body becometh neither light nor dark through the light which pervadeth it. We are, however, the pleroma itself, for we are a part of the eternal and infinite. But we have no share thereof, as we are from the pleroma infinitely removed; not spiritually or temporally, but essentially, since we are distinguished from the pleroma in our essence as creatura, which is confined within time and space.
Yet because we are parts of the pleroma, the pleroma is also in us. Even in the smallest point is the pleroma endless, eternal, and entire, since small and great are qualities which are contained in it. It is that nothingness which is everywhere whole and continuous. Only figuratively, therefore, do I speak of created being as a part of the pleroma. Because, actually, the pleroma is nowhere divided, since it is nothingness. We are also the whole pleroma, because, figuratively, the pleroma is the smallest point (assumed only, not existing) in us and the boundless firmament about us. But wherefore, then, do we speak of the pleroma at all, since it is thus everything and nothing?
I speak of it to make a beginning somewhere, and also to free you from the delusion that somewhere, either without or within, there standeth something fixed, or in some way established, from the beginning. Every so-called fixed and certain thing is only relative. That alone is fixed and certain which is subject to change.

What is changeable, however, is creatura. Therefore is it the one thing which is fixed and certain; because it hath qualities: it is even quality itself.

The question ariseth: How did creatura originate? Created beings came to pass, not creatura; since created being is the very quality of the pleroma, as much as non-creation which is the eternal death. In all times and places is creation, in all times and places is death. The pleroma hath all, distinctiveness and non-distinctiveness.

Distinctiveness is creatura. It is distinct. Distinctiveness is its essence, and therefore it distinguisheth. Therefore man discriminateth because his nature is distinctiveness. Wherefore also he distinguisheth qualities of the pleroma which are not. He distinguisheth them out of his own nature. Therefore must he speak of qualities of the pleroma which are not.

What use, say ye, to speak of it? Saidst thou not thyself, there is no profit in thinking upon the pleroma?

That said I unto you, to free you from the delusion that we are able to think about the pleroma. When we distinguish qualities of the pleroma, we are speaking from the ground of our own distinctiveness and concerning our own distinctiveness. But we have said nothing concerning the pleroma. Concerning our own distinctiveness, however, it is needful to speak, whereby we may distinguish ourselves enough. Our very nature is distinctiveness. If we are not true to this nature we do not distinguish ourselves enough. Therefore must we make distinctions of qualities.

What is the harm, ye ask, in not distinguishing oneself? If we do not distinguish, we get beyond our own nature, away from creatura. We fall into indistinctiveness, which is the other quality of the pleroma. We fall into the pleroma itself and cease to be creatures. We are given over to dissolution in the nothingness. This is the death of the creature. Therefore we die in such measure as we do not distinguish. Hence the natural striving of the creature goeth towards distinctiveness, fighteth against primeval, perilous sameness. This is called the principium individuationis. This principle is the essence of the creature. From this you can see why indistinctiveness and non-distinction are a great danger for the creature.

We must, therefore, distinguish the qualities of the pleroma. The qualities are pairs of opposites, such as—
The Effective and the Ineffective.
Fullness and Emptiness.
Living and Dead.
Difference and Sameness.
Light and Darkness.
The Hot and the Cold.
Force and Matter.
Time and Space.
Good and Evil.
Beauty and Ugliness.
The One and the Many. etc.
The pairs of opposites are qualities of the pleroma which are not, because each balanceth each. As we are the pleroma itself, we also have all these qualities in us. Because the very ground of our nature is distinctiveness, therefore we have these qualities in the name and sign of distinctiveness, which meaneth—
1. These qualities are distinct and separate in us one from the other; therefore they are not balanced and void, but are effective. Thus are we the victims of the pairs of opposites. The pleroma is rent in us.
2. The qualities belong to the pleroma, and only in the name and sign of distinctiveness can and must we possess or live them. We must distinguish ourselves from qualities. In the pleroma they are balanced and void; in us not. Being distinguished from them delivereth us.
When we strive after the good or the beautiful, we thereby forget our own nature, which is distinctiveness, and we are delivered over to the qualities of the pleroma, which are pairs of opposites. We labor to attain to the good and the beautiful, yet at the same time we also lay hold of the evil and the ugly, since in the pleroma these are one with the good and the beautiful. When, however, we remain true to our own nature, which is distinctiveness, we distinguish ourselves from the good and the beautiful, and, therefore, at the same time, from the evil and the ugly. And thus we fall not into the pleroma, namely, into nothingness and dissolution.

Thou sayest, ye object, that difference and sameness are also qualities of the pleroma. How would it be, then, if we strive after difference? Are we, in so doing, not true to our own nature? And must we none the less be given over to sameness when we strive after difference?

Ye must not forget that the pleroma hath no qualities. We create them through thinking. If, therefore, ye strive after difference or sameness, or any qualities whatsoever, ye pursue thoughts which flow to you out of the pleroma; thoughts, namely, concerning non-existing qualities of the pleroma. Inasmuch as ye run after these thoughts, ye fall again into the pleroma, and reach difference and sameness at the same time. Not your thinking, but your being, is distinctiveness. Therefore not after difference, as ye think it, must ye strive; but after your own being. At bottom, therefore, there is only one striving, namely, the striving after your own being. If ye had this striving ye would not need to know anything about the pleroma and its qualities, and yet would ye come to your right goal by virtue of your own being. Since, however, thought estrangeth from being, that knowledge must I teach you wherewith ye may be able to hold your thought in leash.

- Carl C Jung.

The Angulimaliya Sutra consists largely of teachings by the bodhisattva Angulimala - in the immediate presence of the Buddha, under his direct spiritual influence and with his approval - on the correct understanding of Buddhist doctrine. The Sutra is most insistent that the tathagatagarbha and the self (Ātman) are real and that to deny their existence is to lapse into a state of dangerous spiritual imbalance. Thus, to seek out the tathagatagarbha - which is equated with the true Self - is deemed of great value. The Buddha teaches the bodhisattva Manjushri (traditionally, the bodhisattva given to the highest insight) that practising the spiritual life is meaningful only because there is a 'self principle' (the tathagatagarbha or 'atma-dhatu' - 'essence of Self') with which the quest can be rewarded. He states: 
Mañjuśrī, people churn milk because they understand that butter is present therein. Why do people not churn water ? Because that substance is not present there. Likewise, Mañjuśrī, people maintain moral discipline (śīla) and engage in the holy life (brahmacarya) because of the existence of the Tathāgata-garbha. 
Moreover, Mañjuśrī, people who want gold and are endowed with discernment, dig in cliffs. Why do they not dig in trees? They dig in rocks where gold-ore (suvarna-dhātu) is present, but they do not dig in trees, where there is no gold. Likewise, Mañjuśrī, people who discern the presence of the dhātu [i.e., buddha-dhatu, which means buddha principle] think to themselves, "I shall become a buddha" and so maintain the moral discipline and engage in the holy life. Furthermore, Mañjuśrī, if there were no dhātu, the holy life would be pointless. Just as butter will never be produced from water even if one were to churn it for a billion years, similarly there would be no benefit for those attached to a self who engage in the holy life and the moral discipline if there were no self principle [ātma-dhātu]. 
The sutra is remarkable for the vigour and passion with which Angulimala teaches Dharma and for its doctrine that at the heart of all beings is one unified principle: the buddha-dhatu (Buddha-nature) or tathagatagarbha. The doctrines of this sutra are also strikingly congruent with those of the much longer Mahaparinirvana Sutra
- Angulimaliya Sutra
For a fuller understanding of whether tathagatagarbha is ontologically real or empty continue reading here.

As I have made out very clear in my other posts, for us Pleroma is not just an abstract idea, it has a physical local existence and forms the body of Christ in Christianity, body of Savitr in Hinduism and body of Samanthabhadra in Buddhism.

The 30 odd Aeons of Valentinianism.

The hundred peaceful and wrathful deities of Tibetan Buddhism.

List of Rigvedic deities by number of dedicated hymns, after Griffith (1888). Some dedications are to paired deities, such as Indra-Agni, Mitra-Varuna, Soma-Rudra, here counted doubly.

- Rig Vedic Deities

The implications are quite clear:

All denominations of Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism will perish and die soon except Valentinianism in Christianity worshipping the pneumatic Christ (uniting all Christians having a fuller esoteric interpretation of the Bible), Sauram in Hinduism worshipping the Sun God (uniting all Hindus having a fuller esoteric interpretation of the Vedas and the Upanishads) and Dzogchen in Buddhism upholding the Buddha-nature or tathagathagarbha.

You better know the implications before getting yourself into such a venture! Now one can see why I have given so much importance to Valentinianism compared to Souram or Dzogchen. It is because it is only in Valentinianism that one finds explicit expressions of my views and in Souram and Dzogchen it exists implicitly and one has to do a lot of reading and research in these two religions to find similar expressions of thoughts as there is in Valentinianism.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Live search filter for jquery handsontable


I normally don't blog much about my coding skills which is the job that I do daily but since I like Jquery very much I might start doing it more often. Here I have shared a simple live search filter for Handsontable. Just ensure that you declare myData globally in your javascript.

Since many have asked as to how to keep the changes made to the grid persistent during searching and pagination operations I have added three plugin hooks to model the changes made to the grid to the original data source. You need to hook onto these three events of handsontable.
afterChange - to model the changes when the user searches for a row and edits a cell.
beforeRemoveRow - when the user removes a particular row.
afterCreateRow - when the user inserts a new row at a particular index.
With this your grid is ready and you can post the data to the server to save it in your database. You can do the validations at the client-side or at the server-side.
.pagination {
        padding: 2px 0;
        margin: 2px;
.pagination a {
            border: 1px solid grey;    
            padding: 2px 5px;

<script type="text/javascript">

$(document).ready(function (){

//have a unique row index or a unique running number in your original data source for preserving persistent changes made to the grid. 

var myData = [["Maria Anders", "Sales Representative", "Alfreds Futterkiste", "Germany", "00-800-531-82220", "R||0"],
["Ana Trujillo", "Owner", "Ana Trujillo Emparedados y helados", "Mexico", "00-100-531-7676", "R||1"],
["Antonio Moreno", "Owner", "Antonio Moreno Taquería", "Mexico", "00-200-541-820", "R||2"],
["Thomas Hardy", "Sales Representative", "Around the Horn", "UK", "00-80-591-5620", "R||3"],
["Christina Berglund", "Order Administrator", "Berglunds snabbköp", "Sweden", "00-80-232-86320", "R||4"],
["Hanna Moos", "Sales Representative", "Blauer See Delikatessen", "Germany", "00-300-521-89890", "R||5"],
["Frédérique Citeaux", "Marketing Manager", "Blondel père et fils", "France", "00-200-531-82520", "R||6"],
["Martín Sommer", "Owner", "Bólido Comidas preparadas", "Spain", "00-809-431-82320", "R||7"],
["Laurence Lebihan", "Owner", "Bon app'", "France", "00-800-531-82220", "R||8"],
["Elizabeth Lincoln", "Accounting Manager", "Bottom-Dollar Markets", "Canada", "00-400-561-89220", "R||9"],
["Victoria Ashworth", "Sales Representative", "B's Beverages", "UK", "00-800-531-82220", "R||10"],
["Patricio Simpson", "Sales Agent", "Cactus Comidas para llevar", "Argentina", "00-800-531-82229", "R||11"],
["Francisco Chang", "Marketing Manager", "Centro comercial Moctezuma", "Mexico", "00-800-531-82645", "R||12"],
["Yang Wang", "Owner", "Chop-suey Chinese", "Switzerland", "00-100-521-82456", "R||13"],
["Pedro Afonso", "Sales Associate", "Comércio Mineiro", "Brazil", "00-700-431-85620", "R||14"],
["Elizabeth Brown", "Sales Representative", "Consolidated Holdings", "UK", "00-600-231-82900", "R||15"],
["Sven Ottlieb", "Order Administrator", "Drachenblut Delikatessen", "Germany", "00-200-561-89220", "R||16"],
["Janine Labrune", "Owner", "Du monde entier", "France", "00-300-431-88720", "R||17"],
["Ann Devon", "Sales Agent", "Eastern Connection", "UK", "00-201-531-82850", "R||18"],
["Roland Mendel", "Sales Manager", "Ernst Handel", "Austria", "00-802-541-82820", "R||19"]];

var noOfRowstoShow = 4; //set the maximum number of rows that should be displayed per page.

    startRows: 5,
    startCols: 5,
    rowHeaders: true,
    colHeaders: true,
    columnSorting: true,
    colHeaders: ["Employee Name", "Designation", "Company Name", "Country", "Contact No"],
    contextMenu: ["row_below", "remove_row", "undo", "redo", "sep1", "sep2", "sep3"],
    columns: [{ data: 0, type: 'text' }, { data: 1, type: 'text' }, { data: 2, type: 'text' }, { data: 3, type: 'text' }, { data: 4, type: 'text'}],
    afterChange: function (change, source) {
        if (source === 'edit') {
            var datarow = $("#exampleGrid").handsontable('getDataAtRow', change[0][0]);
            for (row = 0, r_len = myData.length; row < r_len; row++) {
                for (col = 0, c_len = myData[row].length; col < c_len; col++) {
                    if (myData[row][col] == datarow[5]) {
                        myData[row][change[0][1]] = change[0][3];
    afterCreateRow: function (index, amount) {
        var rowvalue = myData[myData.length - 1][5];
        var rowno = rowvalue.split("||");
        var newrow = ["", "", "", "", "", "R||" + (parseInt(rowno[1]) + 1)];

        myData.splice(index, 0, newrow);
        getgridData(myData, "1", noOfRowstoShow);
    beforeRemoveRow: function (index, amount) {
        var removerow = $("#exampleGrid").handsontable('getDataAtRow', index);
        var flag = false;
        for (row = 0, r_len = myData.length; row < r_len; row++) {
            for (col = 0, c_len = myData[row].length; col < c_len; col++) {
                if (myData[row][col] == removerow[5]) {

                    myData.splice(row, 1);
                    flag = true;
                if (flag == true) {
            if (flag == true) {



function loadData() {
    getgridData(myData, "1", noOfRowstoShow);

$('#searchgrid').on('keyup', function (event) {
    var value = ('' + this.value).toLowerCase(), row, col, r_len, c_len, td;
    var example = $('#exampleGrid');
    var data = myData;
    var searcharray = [];
    if (value) {
        for (row = 0, r_len = data.length; row < r_len; row++) {
            for (col = 0, c_len = data[row].length; col < c_len; col++) {
                if (data[row][col] == null) {
                if (('' + data[row][col]).toLowerCase().indexOf(value) > -1) {
                else {
        getgridData(searcharray, "1", noOfRowstoShow);
    else {
        getgridData(myData, "1", noOfRowstoShow);

function getgridData(res, hash, noOfRowstoShow) {

    var page = parseInt(hash.replace('#', ''), 10) || 1, limit = noOfRowstoShow, row = (page - 1) * limit, count = page * limit, part = [];

    for (; row < count; row++) {
        if (res[row] != null) {

    var pages = Math.ceil(res.length / noOfRowstoShow);
    for (var i = 1; i <= pages; i++) {
        var element = $("<a href='#" + i + "'>" + i + "</a>");
        element.bind('click', function (e) {
            var hash = e.currentTarget.attributes[0].nodeValue;
            $('#exampleGrid').handsontable('loadData', getgridData(res, hash, noOfRowstoShow));
    $('#exampleGrid').handsontable('loadData', part);
    return part;

Search: <input id="searchgrid" type="text" />

<div id="exampleGrid">
<div id="gridpage" class="pagination">

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Esotericism, a big threat to the secular world.

List of forums where I am banned.

Why was I banned? Well, in some places I took the message of the pneumatic Christ to psychic Christians and at others I questioned why scientists have not abandoned scientific realism yet despite all empirical evidence showing that scientific realism is false and I challenged the whole idea of secular Buddhism and at others I made the Hindus remember verses from their scriptural texts and a God whom they have forgotten. Obviously all this would be very annoying to the secular ecclesia.

As a Gnostic(Valentinian), I am not going to open an another forum or establish a new church or form communities. Our attitude towards this empirical world has always been neutral and it will continue to remain like that, its neither positive nor negative.

Valentinian view of the Creation

"This view of the world is not without ethical consequences. Entering the world is viewed positively in Valentinianism. It was seen as a necessary step towards receiving gnosis and returning to the pleroma. With this in mind, Valentinian teachers vigorously defended marriage and raising children. Ptolemy, an important teacher of the Valentinian school at Rome says of marriage: "Whoever has been in the world and has not loved a woman in such a way as to unite himself with her (i.e. marry her) is not from the Truth and will not attain to the Truth"! (Against Heresies 1:6:4). Similarly, the teacher Theodotus argues that marriage and rearing children "is indispensable for the salvation of those who believe - for this child-bearing is essential until the previously reckoned seed is brought forth" (Excerpts of Theodotus 67:2-3). It is quite easy to see that the Valentinian view on marriage is a logical consequence of their teaching on the creation. If entering the world is the path to salvation for the spiritual element then the means by which this occurs (i.e marriage and child-bearing) must be viewed positively. For this reason Clement of Alexandria saw the Valentinians as allies against those who reject marriage (Stromata 3:1) despite his opposition to other aspects of their theology."

Sophia has sown the spiritual seed in all of us, in some it has already borne fruit, in others its ripening and in others it has not ripen yet.

But some of my criticisms will not stop and it will continue to go on as long as the misrepresentation of our scriptures is not stopped.

"Such a view is not good scholarship or archeology but merely cultural imperialism. The Western Vedic scholars did in the intellectual spehere what the British army did in the political realm discredit, divide and conquer the Hindus. In short, the compelling reasons for the Aryan invasion theory were neither literary nor archeological but political and religious that is to say, not scholarship but prejudice. Such prejudice may not have been intentional but deep-seated political and religious views easily cloud and blur our thinking. 
It is unfortunate that this this approach has not been questioned more, particularly by Hindus. Even though Indian Vedic scholars like Dayananda saraswati, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Arobindo rejected it, most Hindus today passively accept it. They allow Western, generally Christian, scholars to interpret their history for them and quite naturally Hinduism is kept in a reduced role. Many Hindus still accept, read or even honor the translations of the 'Vedas' done by such Christian missionary scholars as Max Muller, Griffith, MonierWilliams and H. H. Wilson. Would modern Christians accept an interpretation of the Bible or Biblical history done by Hindus aimed at converting them to Hinduism? Universities in India also use the Western history books and Western Vedic translations that propound such views that denigrate their own culture and country. 
The modern Western academic world is sensitive to critisms of cultural and social biases. For scholars to take a stand against this biased interpretation of the 'Vedas' would indeed cause a reexamination of many of these historical ideas that can not stand objective scrutiny. But if Hindu scholars are silent or passively accept the misinterpretation of their own culture, it will undoubtly continue, but they will have no one to blame but themselves. It is not an issue to be taken lightly, because how a culture is defined historically creates the perspective from which it is viewed in the modern social and intellectual context. Tolerance is not in allowing a false view of one's own culture and religion to be propagated without question. That is merely self-betrayal."
          - The Myth of the Aryan Invasion of India, David Frawley

David Frawley is right, any attempts to revive the Vedas is treated as Indian nationalism or as Hindu fundamentalism, its like saying anyone who says that the earth is revolving around the Sun is a fundamentalist,  but I am no fool to be carried away by that, if someone thinks that by making personal slurs, deleting my posts of solid evidence and by preaching our scriptures back to us, by any chance you have won the argument then there is  nothing more laughable and foolish than that.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

The divine Iamblichus: Offering to the Gods, a Neoplatonic perspective

This is what Julian had to say about the stature of the man named Iamblichus, the man of Gods,

Thus much, my dear Sallust, upon the threefold operation of the deity have I ventured to write for you, in about three nights' space, having gone over the subject in my memory as far as it was possible: since what I had previously written to you "upon the Saturnalia" did not prove entirely labour thrown away. But on the same subject you will obtain more complete and more abstruse information by consulting the works upon it composed by the divine Iamblichus: you will find there the extreme limit of human wisdom attained. May the mighty Sun grant me to attain to no less knowledge of himself, and to teach it publicly to all, and privately to such as are worthy to receive it: and as long as the god grants this to us, let us consult in common his well-beloved Iamblichus; out of whose abundance a few things, that have come into my mind, I have here set down. That no other person will treat of this subject more perfectly than he has done, I am well aware; not even though he should expend much additional labour in making new discoveries in the research; for in all probability he will go astray from the most correct conception of the nature of the god. It were perhaps an idle attempt (if I were writing this discourse for the sake of giving instruction) for me to treat of it at all after what that philosopher has done; but inasmuch as it is my wish only to compose a hymn of thanksgiving in honour of the god, I have deemed it quite sufficient  to discourse to the best of my ability concerning his nature. I do not think I have wasted words to no purpose: the maxim, "Sacrifice to the immortal gods according to thy means," I accept as applying not merely to burnt-offerings, but also to our praises addressed unto the gods. I pray for the third time, in return for this my good intention, the Sun lord of the universe to be propitious to me, and to bestow on me a virtuous life, a more perfect understanding, and a superhuman intellect, and a very easy release from the trammels of life at the time appointed: and after that release, an ascension up to himself, and an abiding place with him, if possible, for all time to come; or if that be too great a recompense for my past life, many and long-continued revolutions around his presence! 
- Julian, Upon the Sovereign Sun

For a fuller understanding of the wisdom of this man you need to read his dialogues with Porphyry which is very well documented in the work of this independent scholar Edward P.Butler.

Offering to the Gods: A Neoplatonic Perspective 

After reading the text fully I have discussed the main themes discussed by Porphyry and Iamblichus and the profound wisdom that Iamblichus has shown in his replies to Porphyry which is in full agreement with my views. Its important to first read the author's paper and then read the below passage.

Ritual is important for religion as experimental physics is important for physics which means ritual deals with the practical knowledge and methodologies through which religious ideas and beliefs are tested to see whether the beliefs and ideas is in accordance with the nature of reality out there, even though rituals exists in all religions it is explicitly practised and is given much importance in pagan religions and ritual was the only means to achieve oneness with God.

The author gives us a perspective of a ritual through the eyes of a Neoplatonist and explains the importance of Gods in achieving the higher good.

The names of Gods:

The author compares the different views on the significance of the names of the Gods. Porphyry is of the opinion that the language and the names of gods of a particular culture is insignificant means the names of gods can be translated to different languages where the syllable of the name of the Gods changes and Porphyry thinks that the ritual will work and will transcend us independent of the language in which the names of Gods are spoken.

Iamblichus replies to Porphyry that the names of gods carry a supra-rational efficacy in the cosmos and that they have high significance in ritual worship, this was the view adopted by Neoplatonists which in my opinion is the correct view because the names of Gods seems to have a direct effect on nature, means it has an efficacy, rituals performed uttering the names of Gods show empirical results where as rituals performed without uttering the names of Gods have no effects on nature.

Is it simply a means of ascent to a universal and transcendent divine that is either undifferentiated or not differentiated in a manner coinciding with the manifest differences between cultures?

Each culture has its own myth and its own pantheon as to how the cosmos got originated and manifested in its various forms. Even though the theory is the same, the names and the description of the Gods surrounding a culture is different from one another. For example, the Buddhists call the masculine aspect of God as Samanthabhadra and the feminine aspect of it as Samantabhadri, The Vedic Aryans call them as Savithru and Gayatri respectively, the Valentinians called it the Pistis Sophia and the Holy Father, now the question arises are each culture talking of and describing the same Gods or are they talking of different Gods coming from their own respective pantheon and if so which pantheon represents the manifested reality out there?

I think the fact that different cultures have discovered these myths on their own it is not wise to dogmatically assert that only one pantheon represent the manifested reality out there and the other pantheon is false or even to say the different cultures are talking about the same pantheon, instead it should be realized that not only the rituals of our nation work and the Gods of our pantheon are true but also it must be realized that the rituals of different cultures and their pantheon works indeed which philosophically we can term it as the divine Logos the working principle of the cosmos while simultaneously preserving and giving importance to the specific rituals and specific Gods discovered by each culture because only through this path of the Gods we can transcend the manifested reality and achieve the non-dualistic unity.

So even though the manifested reality appears differently for different cultures in truth it is undifferentiated which means the rituals and the pantheon of different cultures indeed works and this was the kind of liberal view adopted by Neoplatonists.

Is engagement with this culturally determinate material perhaps even a hindrance to attaining this transcendent viewpoint?

No, actually it is a ladder for attaining this transcendent viewpoint which means the pantheon of Gods in each of these traditions or cultures are as essential and important for achieving unity, actually it is the only true path for perfection, the Gods are real and they do exist.

The difference between private worship and public or mass worship like in Churches and temples:

One must ‘‘stand aside from all other pursuits’’ in order that ‘‘alone, one may associate with the solitary deity, and not attempt to join oneself to the One by means of multiplicity. For a person like this accomplishes the very opposite, and separates himself from the Gods.’’ - Proclus

Its important to worship privately and silently and the aim should be towards the subordination of ourselves to the Gods for it is the right way to approach the Gods and receive illumination from them and the aim of worship should never be to fulfil the need of Gods for they have no needs and should never be to fulfil one's own external needs for we curse gods when they give the very opposite of what we want and move ourselves away from the Gods without understanding it is impossible to blow wind towards the north and the south at the same time for sailors who pray for wind in the opposite directions respectively.

The importance of performing rituals with high respect and care:

‘‘just as it is impious to ill-treat the statues of the Gods, in the same way it is not righteous to err regarding names.’’

- Proclus

"He[Simplicius] spells out what should be determinative for our attitude toward the Gods explicitly in three theses: the Gods exist, they exercise forethought, and they do so in a way that is just and in accordance with correct reason."

One should not err while uttering the names of Gods in the ritual and shouldn't do carelessly.

The importance of Philosophy and Theology:

"A balance was thus struck such that the primacy of the theological discourse protected it from rationalizing ‘‘demythologization’’ while the universalizing philosophical discourse, equally divine in origin, held its ground against the absorption of philosophy by any particular, dogmatic theology."

It is wrong to study the pagan religions purely from a philosophical perspective for the pagans gave as much importance to rituals and the Gods and they made sure that the intense rationalization or intellectualization didn't suppressed the importance of the Gods and their rituals without which there is no philosophy.

There are a lot of stupid people out there who don't understand that Advaita Vedanta, Buddhism, Gnostic Christianity, Neoplatonism etc takes the existence of Gods very seriously and it is impossible to separate their philosophy from their Gods, they are inseparable because for them the Gods are real and they are everywhere and it is through these Gods they achieved oneness with the Cosmos.

Vedas are indigenous to India


"And what your European pundits say about the Aryans swooping down from some foreign land, snatching away the lands of the aborigines and settling in India by exterminating them, is all pure nonsense, foolish talk! In what Veda, in what Sukta do you find that the Aryans came into India from a foreign country? Where do you get the idea that they slaughtered the wild aborigines? What do you gain by talking such nonsense? Strange that our Indian scholars, too, say amen to them; and all these monstrous lies are being taught to our boys!... Whenever the Europeans find an opportunity, they exterminate the aborigines and settle down with ease and comfort on their lands; and therefore they think the Aryans must have done the same!... But where is your proof? Guess work? Then keep your fanciful ideas to yourself. I strongly protested against these ideas at the Paris Congress. I have been talking with the Indian and European savants on the subject, and hope to raise many objections to this theory in detail, when time permits. And this I say to you–to our pundits–also, ‘You are learned men, hunt up your old books and scriptures, please, and draw your own conclusions.’"

- Swami Vivekananda

Professor Nicholas Kazanas statements are correct even though his understanding of the Vedic texts are not up to the mark with the more esoteric genuine interpretations of the traditional Indian Scholars. He is absolutely right when he said that I got interested in the Upanishads but later I found out that what was there in the Upanishads existed in the Vedas too. What most people fail to understand is that Upanishads are not the end of the Vedas and the start of a new period where they somehow throw away the rituals and gods in the Vedas and turn towards a more rational philosophical approach to the divine instead Upanishads are the ending message of the Vedas. Both the Vedas(rituals and gods) and the Upanishads should be taken together in a full context only then you will really understand the true doctrine of our ancients.

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

III-ix-1: Then Vidagdha, the son of Sakala, asked him. ‘How many gods are there, Yajnavalkya ?’ Yajnavalkya decided it through this (group of Mantras known as) Nivid (saying), ‘As many as are indicated in the Nivid of the Visvadevas – three hundred and three, and three thousand and three’. ‘Very well’, said Sakalya, ‘how many gods exactly are there, Yajnavalkya ?’ ‘Thirty-three’. ‘Very well’, said the other, ‘how many gods exactly are there, Yajnavalkya ?’ ‘six’. ‘Very well’, said Sakalya, ‘how many gods exactly are there, Yajnavalkya ?’ ‘Three’. ‘Very well’, said the other, ‘how many gods exactly are there, Yajnavalkya ?’ ‘Two’. ‘Very well’, said Sakalya, ‘how many gods exactly are there, Yajnavalkya ?’ ‘One and a half’. ‘Very well’, said Sakalya, ‘how many gods exactly are there, Yajnavalkya ?’ ‘One’. ‘Very well’, said Sakalya, ‘which are those three hundred and three and three thousand and three ?’

III-ix-2: Yajnavalkya said, ‘these are but the manifestation of them, but there are only thirty-three gods.’ ‘Which are those thirty-three ?’ ‘The eight Vasus, the eleven Rudras and the twelve Adityas – these are thirty-one and Indra and Prajapati make up the thirty-three’.

III-ix-3: ‘Which are the Vasus /’ ‘Fire, the earth, air, the sky, the sun, heaven, the moon and the stars – these are the Vasus, for in these all this is placed; therefore they are called Vasus.’

III-ix-4: ‘Which are the Rudras ?’ ‘The ten organs in the human body, with the mind as the eleventh. When they depart from this mortal body, they make (one’s relatives) weep. Because they then make them weep, therefore they are called Rudras.’

III-ix-5: ‘Which are the Adityas ?’ ‘The twelve months (are parts) of a year; these are the Adityas, for they go taking all this with them. Because they go taking all this with them, therefore they are called Adityas.’

III-ix-6: ‘Which is Indra, and which is Prajapati ?’ ‘The cloud itself is Indra, and the sacrifice is Prajapati’. ‘Which is the cloud ?’ ‘Thunder (strength).’ ‘Which is the sacrifice ?’ ‘Animals’.

III-ix-7: ‘Which are the six (gods) ?’ ‘Fire, the earth, air, the sky, the sun, and heaven – these are the six. Because all those (gods) are (comprised in) these six.’

III-ix-8: ‘Which are the three gods ?’ ‘These three worlds alone, because in these all those gods are comprised.’ ‘Which are the two gods ?’ ‘Matter and the vital force.’ ‘Which are the one and a half ?’ ‘This (air) that blows.’

III-ix-9: ‘Regarding this some say, ‘Since the air blows as one substance, how can it be one and a half ?’ ‘ It is one and a half because through its presence all this attains surpassing glory’. ‘Which is the one god ?’ ‘The vital force (Hiranyagarbha); it is Brahman, which is called Tyat (that).’

These gods should not be confused with the forces of nature instead they are anthropomorphic beings who exist in the Pleroma and this world is just a shadow image of the real things, the thing in itself that exists in the Pleroma or the Agnisoma Mandala. There are two ways to percieve this universe one is Bahirmukh and the other one is Antharmukh. Bahirmukh is the normal perception, this is the world as it appears to us, the world of phenomena, the world of science and Antharmukh is the world as it really exists independent of us, the thing in itself, the world of noumena. Let's keep science and religion separate, science is one thing and religion is another do not get confused with both of them.

The first thing that is taught in the Upanishads is this to understand the difference between Bahirmukh and Anthurmukh and only after you have attained the ability to perceive the world by being Antharmukh you will have the authority to study the next stage of philosophical scriptures. Only such persons are true philosophers because they know the things as it exists and not how it appears to us and when we ask what is this world made of they will not quarrel among themselves as the world is made of this or that, they will firmly assert that the world is made of 'That' which is beyond reason and sight but accessible only through experiential knowledge.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Valentinian Gnosticism and Classical Samkhya : A Thematic and Structural comparison

Just past year I posted a post titled "Who is our true God and what is our true religion?" where I had tried to explain the astonishing similarities between Valentinianism and the other Indian traditions especially the Samkhya philosophical system. Well, even the church fathers knew that Valentinus had tried to amalgamate oriental speculations about the divine of the most fantastic kind into Christianity.

It seems I wasn't alone in trying to know as to how did Paul and the Paulinists had come up with a soteriology exactly identical to the highest esoteric interpretation of the Indian traditional philosophical systems. It seems scholars of the past decades were very much aware of this problem which is an unsolved mystery to this day.

Valentinian Gnosticism and Classical Sāṃkhya: A Thematic and Structural Comparison

Stephen A. Kent, 1980
Philosophy East and West 

This problem or mystery has been burning in my heart since the time I acquainted myself with the Pauline letters and after some research I have reached the conclusion that the mystery is not with Valentinus or Basilides neither with Saint Paul. The mystery is with Christ himself. Who is Christ? Is he one among the Aeons in the Pleroma? Was he sent by Yahweh or Abraxas?
"Afterwards broke out the heretic Basilides. He affirms that there is a supreme Deity, by name Abraxas, by whom was created Mind, which in Greek he calls Νοῦς; that thence sprang the Word; that of Him issued Providence, Virtue, and Wisdom; that out of these subsequently were made Principalities, powers, and Angels; that there ensued infinite issues and processions of angels; that by these angels 365 heavens were formed, and the world, in honour of Abraxas, whose name, if computed, has in itself this number. Now, among the last of the angels, those who made this world, he places the God of the Jews latest, that is, the God of the Law and of the Prophets, whom he denies to be a God, but affirms to be an angel. To him, he says, was allotted the seed of Abraham, and accordingly he it was who transferred the sons of Israel from the land of Egypt into the land of Canaan; affirming him to be turbulent above the other angels, and accordingly given to the frequent arousing of seditions and wars, yes, and the shedding of human blood. Christ, moreover, he affirms to have been sent, not by this maker of the world, but by the above-named Abraxas; and to have come in a phantasm, and been destitute of the substance of flesh: that it was not He who suffered among the Jews, but that Simon was crucified in His stead: whence, again, there must be no believing on him who was crucified, lest one confess to having believed on Simon. Martyrdoms, he says, are not to be endured. The resurrection of the flesh he strenuously impugns, affirming that salvation has not been promised to bodies."

“From the unbegotten Father, Nous was engendered first; from Nous was engendered the Logos; from the Logos, Phronesis; from Phronesis, Sophia; from Sophia and Dynamos [were engendered] the Virtues, the Powers and the Angels whom he named the first ones, and it was from them that the first heaven was created. From these angels came other angels who made a second heaven similar to the first. From these angels came [still] others, in their turn and in the same fashion, in the image of the superior angels, and these angels formed a third heaven. From this third heaven was born a fourth, and thus there followed, in an analogous fashion, the Princes, Angels and 365 heavens. It is from this number of heavens that the year has 365 days. The last heaven, the one that we see, is filled by the angels who made everything that is in the world. They shared among them the earth and all the people who are on it. Their leader is the God of the Jews. This last one, because he wanted the other people to be subjected to his people, that is to say, to the Jews, the other princes raised themselves up against him and paralyzed his plans. This was why the other people were animated by hostile sentiments with respect to his people. But having seen their corruption, the unbegotten and innumerable Father sent his unique Son, Nous, who is called Christ, to deliver those who believe in him from the domination of those who made the world. He manifested himself to their people as a man on the earth and accomplished the powers. But it wasn’t he who suffered; it was a certain Simon of Cyrene who was forced to carry his cross to its place. He was crucified by error and unconsciously, after which he was changed by Jesus so that he would be taken for him. Jesus took the form of Simon and mocked them, because he remained nearby. He was the incorporeal power and the unbegotten Nous; this is why he was able to transform himself at will, and he thus returned to the one who had sent him, mocking those who had not been able to keep him, and he was invisible to all. Those who knew this were delivered from the Prince and Creator of this world. It isn’t the crucified to whom one must confess, but he who was crucified in appearance, that is to say, Jesus, who had been sent by the Father to, by this action, destroy the works of those who had made the world. Thus the one who confesses to the crucified man is a slave to the power of those who created the world of bodies; on the contrary, the others are free; they know how the unbegotten Father had spared them all. But redemption is only extended to the soul, because the body can only dissolve itself in conformity with its nature. . . . Likewise, the prophecies came from their leaders who made the world, the Law, in particular, from the one who brought the people out of Egypt. Sacrifices to the gods had to be scorned and held as nothing, but they took part in them without scruple; likewise they were not bothered by any action or the exercise of any sensual pleasure. They likewise practiced magic, the evocation of ghosts and all of the other magic tricks; they invented all sorts of names for angels, and put some in the first heaven and some in the second, and they applied themselves to distinguishing the names, principles, angels and powers of their (...) 365 heavens. It was thus, for example, that the world to which the Savior descended and from which he ascended was called Kaulakau. The one who knew all the angels and their origin became invisible and ungraspable to all the angels and the powers, in the manner of Kaulakau. Just as the Christ was unknown to all, they must not be recognized by anyone, they are invisible and unknowable to all, whereas they know all the beings and can cross them all. ‘You know all, but no one knows you!’ – such is their formula [...] Few people are capable of this knowledge, one in a thousand, ten in ten thousand. They are no longer Jews, they say, and not even Christians. It is forbidden to reveal their secrets; one must keep them in silence. They determined the site of the 365 heavens as if they were mathematicians. They borrowed their theories and applied them to the particular requirements of their doctrine. Their leader is Abraxas; the numeric value of the letters of this name is 365.”[7] 
          - Ireneaus

Purusha and Prakrithi reside in the Agnishoma Mandala or the Pleroma and the master of this Mandala is Savithru (the unbegotten Father) which the philosophers of Samkhya didn't knew. If seen in this light both Valentinianism and the Vedantic systems is essentially monistic in nature so much so that they both teach us to go beyond the Father to know the unity or Brahman.

My position is quite clear in this issue that both Paul and the Indian seers had true revelations of the divine and that they both came up with an identical soteriology almost independent of another. 

"It is reasonable to agree that when there is a core agreement in the religious experiences of people in different times, places, and traditions, and when they have the same rational interpretations of the experiences; it makes sense to conclude that they are all in contact with some objective aspect of reality, unless there is positive evidence otherwise."

Thursday, 10 October 2013

"Where then is boasting?", asks St.Paul

I had the desire to write this post from a long long time but never really had the leisure to write it due to my hectic work profile. Of all the Romans which I have read this is the part I love the most.

Rom 3:25-28: What God foreordained as a reconciliation through faith in his blood to demonstrate righteousness through his forgiveness of previous sins in the forbearance of God, was done to demonstrate his righteousness in the present time (for he himself is just, and justifies the one from faith in Jesus). Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what law? The law of works? No - but through the law of faith. For we reason that a person(anthropos) is justified by faith apart from works of the law.

Valentinian Interpretation of the passage- From Gnostic Paul by Elaine Pagels.

From such passages as these, Valentinian exegetes infer that Paul intends his allegory of "Jews" and "Greeks" to characterize two distinct. The psychics being "under sin" (3:19) are bound to the "law of works". To escape the penalty of death for sins, they do need faith, but theirs is specially faith "in Jesus" (3:26), in the psychic son of the demiurge. Those who repent and believe in him recieve forgiveness, and are required to do "good works". The process of their salvation depends upon their choice and their own authority; it operates according to what Paul calls the "law of works" (3:27) 
          The pneumatics, on the other hand, are of the elect: they receive redemption according to the "law of faith" - faith not in the psychic Jesus but in the pneumatic Christ. Unlike the works - salvation of the psychics the pneumatic redemption excludes all human effort (and hence all boasting): it depends entirely upon "what God foreordained" (3:25) in election. Paul says of this in 3:28, "we reason that the anthropos (the pneumatic) is justified by faith apart from the works of the law".

Rom 12:3-6: I say, through the grace given to me, to every one among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think wisely, as God has measured to each the measure of faith. For as in one body we have many members, and not all members have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and each of us members of each other, having different gifts of grace (charismata) according to the grace given to us ....

Valentinian Interpretation of the passage- From Gnostic Paul by Elaine Pagels.

The initiated reader might see in 12:3 Paul's instruction to every believer , whether psychic or pneumatic, to evaluate himself and others according to "the measure of grace" given to him, the psychic "not thinking of lofty things, but led by humble things" (12:16) and the pneumatic putting aside any spiritual pride in the recognition that God has given to him "the measure of faith" he possesses. The author of Interpretation of the Gnosis uses Paul's metaphor of the church as the "one body" to remind all "members of the body" that they all mutually participate in it through the "grace and gift" of Christ. He urges each "member" to share his gift(charismata) freely with the others, accepting the diversity of gifts with gratitude, in harmony with all the members.

Rom 14:1-15:1 As for the one weak in faith, welcome him, but not into dispute over opinions. For one believes that he can eat anything, but the weak eats only vegetables. Let the one who eats not despise the one who abstains, and the one who abstains not judge the one who eats, for God has welcomed him, who are you to judge one who belongs to another? One stands or falls before his own Lord .... One man observes certain days; another considers every day the same. Let each be fully persuaded in his own mind. Whoever observes the day observes it to the lord and whoever eats, eats to the Lord, but gives thanks to God... I know .... that nothing is unclean in itself; but if anyone considers it unclean, for him it is unclean .... The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself for what he approves. But the one who doubts is condemned if he eats because it is not from faith. Whatever is not from faith is sin. We who are strong should bear with the weaknesses of the weak....

Valentinian Interpretation of the passage- From Gnostic Paul by Elaine Pagels.

In closing he advices the "strong" to keep their faith a secret "between yourself and God" (14:22), not offending the psychics, so that "together you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ". For he acknowledges to the "Gentiles" whom he praises and blesses that "you yourselves are full of goodness, having been filled with all gnosis, and are fully capable of admonishing others" (15:14). He praises the "grace" through which he has come to preach "the gospel of God" (15:16), the pneumatic gospel, adding that "I know that when I come to you I shall come in the fullness(pleroma) of Christ's blessing (15:29)". Finally, he commends them "to the one Wise God, through Jesus Christ, among the "aions"(16:27).

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Localization of the Pleroma: Where do the Gnostics stand?

If anyone had carefully read my posts I repeatedly assert that Pleroma has a local existence, what do I mean by that? Well, if you have read "On the meaning of the Pleroma" by J.B Lightfoot you would probably get an idea as to from where I'm coming from. I did gave a link in an another post to this work but I think most of them do not care to read it.

Thanks to J.B Lightfoot,

On the meaning of the word Pleroma

"When we turn from Catholic Christianity to the Gnostic sects we find this term used, though (with one important exception) not in great frequency. Probably however, if the writings of the earlier Gnostics had been preserved, we should have found that it occupied a more important place than at present appears. One class of early Gnostics separated the spiritual being Christ from the man Jesus ; they supposed that the Christ entered Jesus at the time of His baptism and left him at the moment of His crucifixion. Thus the Christ was neither born as a man nor suffered as a man. In this way they obviated the difficulty, insuperable to the Gnostic mind, of conceiving the connexion between the highest spiritual agency and gross corporeal matter, which was involved in the Catholic doctrine of the Incarnation and Passion, and which Gnostics of another type more effectually set aside by the theory of docetism, i.e. by assuming that the human body of our Lord was only a phantom body and not real flesh and blood.

Irenaeus represents the former class as teaching that 'Jesus was the receptacle of the Christ', and that the Christ 'descended upon him from heaven in the form of a dove and after He had declared (to mankind) the nameless Father, entered (again) into the pleroma imperceptibly and invisibly. Here no names are given. But in another passage he ascribes precisely the same doctrine, without however naming the pleroma, to Cerinthus. And in a third passage, which links together the other two, this same father, after mentioning this heresiarch, again alludes to the doctrine which maintained that the Christ, having descended on Jesus at his baptism, 'flew back again into His own pleroma' In this last passage indeed the opinions of Cerinthus are mentioned in connexion with those of other Gnostics, more especially the Valentinians, so that we cannot with any certainty attribute this expression to Cerinthus himself. But in the first passage the unnamed heretics who maintained this return of the Christ 'into the pleroma are expressly distinguished from the Valentinians ; and presumably therefore the allusion is to the Cerinthians, to whom the doctrine, though not the expression, is ascribed in the second passage. Thus there seems to be sufficient reason Connexion for attributing the use of the term to Cerinthus This indeed is probable of this use on other grounds. The term pleroma, we may presume, was common to St Paul and the Colossian heretics whom he controverts. To both alike it conveyed the same idea, the totality of the divine powers or attributes or Colossiaa agencies or manifestations. But after this the divergence begins. The heretics, maintained that a single divine power, a fraction of the pleroma, resided in our Lord : the Apostle urges on the contrary, that the whole pleroma has its abode in Him-. The doctrine of Cerinthus was a development of the Colossian heresy, as I have endeavoured to show above. He would therefore inherit the term pleroma from it. At the same time he seems to have given a poetical colouring to his doctrine, and so doing to have treated the pleroma as a locality, a higher spiritual region, from which this divine power, typified by the dove-like form, issued forth as on wings, and to which, taking flight again, it reascended before the Passion. If so, his language would prepare the way for the still more elaborate poetic imagery of the Valentinians, in which the pleroma, conceived as a locality, a region, an abode of the divine powers, is conspicuous.

The attitude of later Gnostics towards this term is widely divergent. The term The word is not, so far as I am aware, once mentioned in connexion with avoided by the system of Basilides. Indeed the nomenclature of this heresiarch, longs to a wholly different type ; and, as he altogether repudiated the doctrine of emanations*, it is not probable that he would have any fondness for a term which was almost inextricably entangled with this doctrine.

On the other hand with Valentinus and the Valentinians the doctrine of the pleroma was the very key-stone of their system; and, since at first in sight it is somewhat difficult to connect their use of the term with St Paul's, a few words on this subject may not be out of place.

Valentinus then dressed his system in a poetic imagery not unlike the myths of his master Plato. But a myth or story involves action, and action requires a scene of action. Hence the mysteries of theology and cosmogony and redemption call for a topographical representation, and the pleroraa appears not as an abstract idea, but as a locality.

Topogra- The Valentinian system accordingly maps out the universe of things great regions, called respectively the pleroma and the kenoma, the 'fulness' and the 'void'. From a Christian point of view these may be described as the kingdoms of light and of darkness respectively. From Antithesis the side of Platonism, they are the regions of real and of phenomenal of pleroma existences — the world of eternal archetypes or ideas, and the world of material and sensible things. The identification of these two antitheses was rendered easy for the Gnostic ; because with him knowledge was one with morality and with salvation, and because also matter was absolutely bound up with evil. It is difficult to say whether the Platonism or the Christianity predominates in the Valentinian theology ; but the former at all events is especially prominent in their conception of the relations between the pleroma and tlie kenoma. The pleroma is the abode of the AEons, who are thirty in number. These AEons are successive emanations, of which the first pair sprang immediately from the pre-existent Bythus or Depth. This Bythus is deity in itself, the absolute first principle, as the name suggests ; the profound, unfathomable, limitless, of whom or of which nothing can be predicated and nothing known. Here again we have something like a local representation. The AEons or emanations are plainly the attributes and energies of deity ; they are, or they comprise, the eternal ideas or archetypes of the Platonic philosophy. In short they are deity relative, deity under self-imposed limitations, deity derived and divided up, as it were, so as at length to be conceivable.

The topographical relation of Bythus to the derived AEons was differently given in different developments of the Valentinian teaching. According to one representation he was outside the pleroma; others placed his abode within it, but even in this case he was separated from the rest by Horus {"Opos), a personified Boundary or Fence, whom none, not even the AEons themselves, could pass^ The former mode of representation might be thought to accord better with the imagery, at the same time that it is more accurate if regarded as the embodiment of a philosophical conception. Nevertheless the latter was the favourite mode of delineation; and it had at least this recommendation, that it combined in one all that is real, as opposed to all that is phenomenal. In this pleroma every existence which is supra-sensual and therefore true has its abode.

Separated from this celestial region by Horus, another Horus or Kerwma, Boundary, which, or who, like the former is impassable, lies the ' kenoma ' the region or void '—the kingdom of this world, the region of matter and material things, the land of shadow and darkness Here is the empire of the Demiurge or Creator, who is not a celestial Man at all, but was born in this very void over which he reigns. Here reside all those phenomenal, deceptive, transitory things, of which the eternal counterparts are found only in the pleroma.

It is in this antithesis that the Platonism of the Valentinian theory Platonism reaches its climax. All things are set off one against another in these two of this antithesis.

The swan on still St Mary's lake
Floats double, swan and shadow.

Not only have the thirty AEons their terrestrial counterparts; but their subdivisions also are represented in this lower region. The kenoma too has its ogdoad, its decad, its dodecad, like the pleroma. There is one Sophia in the supra-mundane region, and another in the mundane; there is one Christ who redeems the AEons in the spiritual world, and a second Christ who redeems mankind, or rather a portion of mankind, in the sensible world. There is an Aeon Man and another Aeon Ecclesia in the celestial kingdom, the ideal counterparts of the Human Race and the Christian Church in the terrestrial. Even individual men and women, as we shall see presently, have their archetypes in this higher sphere of intelligible being.

The localisation of the plerOma carried out in detail. 

The topographical conception of the pleroma moreover is carried out in the details of the imagery. The second Sophia, called also Achamoth, is the desire, the offspring, of her elder namesake, separated from her mother, cast out of the pleroma, and left ' stranded ' in the void beyond^, being prevented from returning by the inexorable Horus who guards the frontier of the supra-mundane kingdom. The second Christ — a being compounded of elements contributed by all the AEons— was sent down from the pleroma, first of all at the eve of creation to infuse something like order and to provide for a spiritual element in this lower world ; and secondly, when He united Himself with the man Jesus for the sake of redeeming those who were capable of redemption^. At the end of all things Sophia Achamoth, and with her the spiritual portion of mankind, shall be redeemed and received up into the pleroma, while the psychical portion will be left outside to form another kingdom under the dominion of their father the Demiurge. This redemption and ascension of Achamoth (by a perversion of a scriptural image) was represented as her espousals with the Saviour, the second Christ; and the pleroma, the scene of this happy union, was called the bridal-chamber Indeed the localisation of the pleroma is as complete as language can make it. The constant repetition of the words * within * and 'without', 'above' and 'beneath', in the development of this philosophical and religious myth still further impresses this local sense on the term^.

In this topographical representation the connexion of meaning in the word pleroma as employed by St Paul and by Valentinus respectively seems at first sight to be entirely lost. When we read of the contrast between the pleroma and the kenoma, the fullness and the void, we are naturally reminded of the plenum and the vacuum of physical speculations. The sense of pleroma, as expressing completeness and so denoting the aggregate or totality of the Divine powers, seems altogether to have disappeared. But in fact this antithesis of Keuwfia was, so far as we can make out, a mere afterthought, and appears to have been borrowed, as Irenaeus states, from the physical theories of Democritus and Epicurus^. It would naturally suggest itself both because the opposition of ifK-qpr^s and K€vos was obvious, and because the word Kevcofia materially assisted the imagery as a description of the kingdom of waste and shadow. But in itself it is a false antithesis. The true antithesis appears in another, and borrowed probably an earlier, term used to describe the mundane kingdom.

In this earlier representation, which there is good reason for ascribing to Valentinus himself, it is called not Kevafia ' the void', * the deficiency, incompleteness '1. Moreover the common phraseology of this appears in Valentinian schools shows that the idea suggested by this opposition to theirs was not the original idea of the term. They speak of the whole aggregate of the AEons. And this (making allowance for the personification of the Aeons) corresponds exactly to its use in St Paul.

Again the teaching of the Valentinian schools supplies other uses which serve to illustrate its meaning. Not only does the supra-mundane kingdom as a whole bear this name, but each separate AEon, of which that shown kingdom is the aggregation, is likewise called a pleroraa This designation is given to an AEon, because it is the fullness, the perfection, of which its mundane counterpart is only a shadow and defective copy. Nor does the narrowing of the term stop here. There likewise dwells in this higher region a pleroma, or eternal archetype, not only of every comprehensive mundane power, but of each individual man; and to wed himself with this heavenly partner, this Divine ideal of himself, must be the study of his life. The profound moral significance which underlies the exaggerated Platonism and perverse exegesis of this conception will be at once apparent.

But the manner in which the theory was carried out is curiously illustrated by the commentary of the Valentinian Heracleon on our Lord's discourse with the Samaritan woman"*. This woman, such is his explanation, belongs to the spiritual portion of mankind. But she had had six husbands, or in other words she laid entangled herself with the material world, had defiled herself with sensuous things. The husband however, whom she now has, is not her husband; herein she has spoken rightly: the Saviour in fact means 'her partner from the pleroma'. Hence she is bidden to go and call him ; that is, she must find ' her pleroma, that coming to the Saviour visit him (or it), she may be able to obtain from Him the power and the union and the combination with her pleroma' {rfiv bvvap.iv Koi TTjv evcocriv koI ttjv avaKpacriv rffv Trpbs to irKr^papa avTTjs), * For', adds Heracleon, ' He did not speak of a mundane {KoaptKov) husband when He told her to call him, since He was not ignorant that she had no lawful husband'.

Impossible as it seems to us to reconcile the Valentinian system with the teaching of the Apostles, the Valentinians themselves felt no such difficulty. They intended their philosophy not to supersede or contradict Apostolic doctrine, but to supplement it and to explain it on philosophical principles. Hence the Canon of the Valentinians comprehended the Canon of Catholic Christianity in all its essential parts, though some Valentinian schools at all events supplemented it with Apocryphal writings. More particularly the Gospel of St John and the Epistles to the Colossians and Ephesians were regarded with especial favour; and those passages which speak of the pleroma are quoted more than once in their writings to illustrate their teaching. By isolating a few words from the context and interpreting them wholly Without reference to their setting, and quote they had no difficulty in finding a confirmation of their views, where we see them in only an incongruity or even a contradiction. For instance, their second Christ — the redeemer of the spiritual element in the mundane world — was, views. as we saw, compacted of gifts contributed by all the Aeons of the pleroma. Hence he was called ' the common fruit of the pleroma', ' the fruit of all the pleroma'^, 'the most perfect beauty and constellation of the pleroma; hence also he was designated 'All' (natf) and 'All things' (navTay.

Accordingly, to this second Christ, not to the first, they applied these texts; Col. iii. 11 * And He is all things', Rom. xi. 36 'All things are unto Him and from Him are all things'. Col. ii. 9 ' In Him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead', Ephes. i. 10 ' To gather together in one all things in Christ through God '2. So too they styled him EvdoKrjTos, with a reference to Col. i. 19, because 'all the pleroma was pleased through Him to glorify the Father'^ And inasmuch as this second Christ was according to the Valentinian theory instrumental in the creation of the mundane powers, they quoted, or rather misquoted, as referring to this participation in the work of the Demiurge, the passage Col. i. 16 ' In Him were created all things, visible and invisible, thrones, deities, dominions'*. Indeed it seems clear that these adaptations were not always afterthoughts, but that in several instances at least their nomenclature was originally chosen for the sake of fitting the theory to isolated phrases and expressions in the Apostolic writings, however much it might conflict with the Apostolic doctrine in its main lines°. "

Saint Paul was right, all the pleroma(totality of divine powers or Aeons) of deity(Father) dwells in Christ and form his body and moreover this pleroma has a local existence, it locally exists just as it is said in the Gospel of Thomas - "The kingdom of God is spread out upon earth but men don't see it".

As anyone can see Christ is at the very heart of the doctrine of Valentinian theology it is ridiculous to assert that there is no special place for Christ in Valentinian theology or in gnosticism as a whole. Christ is at the very soul of their doctrine.