Discovering our Luminous Epinoia
(First web published on 1/8/13)
As has been anticipated now since at the 60’s, “this is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius.” The turn of the next two thousand year mark in the long course of a 26,000 year full precession, is upon us, but it is not going to just happen overnight. I think that the best model to understand this is that we are undergoing a gradual dimensional shift of perspective, from the 3D business as usual to a 4D to 5D world where inner emotional, mental and spiritual reality is what manifests more fluidly in outer experience. As the Joe Dispenza said in the movie, What the Bleep, “I create my day”. This is it. Are you suffering, are you experiencing grief, ecstasy? Are you clutching or are you releasing old habits? This process of self-creation is a foundation of the New Paradigm and as we move into a New Era, there is a quickening of this process, for better or for worse, depending, of course on our emotional, mental and spiritual outlook.
I have focused some time recently on the connection between the Christ who appears in many of the gnostic texts, not only in the Pistis Sophia, but also in the Gospel of Mary and the Gospel of Thomas, with the supposed founder of Gnosticism, Simon Magus. This is not easy material but I feel that bringing this material forward is essential in freeing up our ability to really talk about the CHRIST aspect of the equally important theme of SOPHIA. To really see that this Christ aspect of the Story of Sophia involves history that predates the rise of Christian orthodoxy, is to “reset”, or clean the slate of familiar Christ imagery so that talk of “Christ Sophia” can be freed from much of the baggage that comes with the ever so familiar New Testament figure, Jesus Christ.
There was a book that was popular a few years ago and appeared on many bookstore shelves across the country, called Beyond Belief, by Elaine Pagels (2003). Well I finally read it and it is incredible as it gives more fodder to the themes discussed here in this website. Ms. Pagels is a preeminent gnostic scholar and she was looking into just how early orthodox Christianity got off the ground in the key years between 100 and 200 AD. What she found is nothing short of phenomenal. During this period, what is generally referred to as Gnosticism came into full fruition with Basilides and Valentinus, both coming from Eqypt, being leaders of schools of mystic Christianity that were widely popular at the time. Basilides learned from Menander who studied at “Antioch” (which I suggest, based on the work of Robert Eisenman, was more specifically Edessa, the location where “Ananias”, (possibly Simon Magus), Thomas and Paul formed their less Jewish, more neo-Platonic, New Dispensation schools.)
Pagels writes that the Book of Thomas was a prime text in these gnostic schools and promoted the teachings based on the idea of INWARD DIVINITY, or the “luminous epinoia”. Epinoia is a feminine Greek word ἐπίνοια meaning thought, or the intention of consciousness. The gnostics used this word to identify that Spark of Divine Wisdom Within that Sophia brought to humanity, a spark which brought fear to the Archons, the lower controlling gods. The lower gods created the Human mortal form within 3D but this mortal form was planted with the Luminous Epinoia by way of the trick referred to in Genesis 2:7 (a favorite of the gnostics) “the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” In the Secret Book or Apochryphon of John, one of the most popular of the Gnostic books at the time, describes how Eve WAS this Luminous Epinoia that Sophia planted in Adam who was first inside Adam (the rib thing) but then became externalized in the form of the woman Eve. This is a whole part of the multidimensional Adam and Eve story that has been edited out. But in a book that survived the editorial pen of the “universal church” in Rome, The Secret Book of John, tells the story.
“Then the Epinoia of the light hid herself in him (Adam). And the chief archon wanted to bring her out of his rib. But the Epinoia of the light cannot be grasped. Although darkness pursued her, it did not catch her. And he brought a part of his power out of him. And he made another creature, in the form of a woman, according to the likeness of the Epinoia which had appeared to him. And he brought the part which he had taken from the power of the man into the female creature, and not as Moses said, ‘his rib-bone.’
“And he (Adam) saw the woman beside him. And in that moment the luminous Epinoia appeared, and she lifted the veil which lay over his mind. And he became sober from the drunkenness of darkness. And he recognized his counter-image, and he said, ‘This is indeed bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.’ Therefore the man will leave his father and his mother, and he will cleave to his wife (the luminous spark within), and they will both be one flesh. For they will send him his consort, and he will leave his father and his mother…”
I.e. Adam realizes, upon seeing the exquisite expression of the Sophianic presence, Eve, that his etheric nature has become locked into third dimensional physical reality and that he has fallen out a state of higher divine vibration and that he must not belong to physical progeny of his biological parents but he (i.e we,) belong to the progeny of a celestial kingdom of Light.
Yes, this is the PRIMARY THEME of early Christianity, that we hold within us the stuff of the Great Light and it is hidden within us and it is sooo powerful that the gods who control this corner of the universe are working very very hard to DISTRACT US FROM KNOWING THIS.
Indeed, Pagels talks about how it was exactly this point that became a pivot in the early formation of Orthodox Christianity. The early Christian heresiologist Iranaeus, around 180AD was a key player in locking out the mystical gnostic teachings from the emerging orthodox Roman Church. The Gnostics were creative thinkers and they loved to read esoteric texts with a mind for analogy, metaphor and higher meaning. Valentinus was a prominent Bishop within the Roman Church who almost became Pope but, it was around this time that the emerging church began to cut off the mystical aspect and promote a theology that was more nailed down, more concrete, more replicable, and more able to be duplicated between churches where quality control could help provide ballast to a hugely diverse early “Christianity” and Iranaeus was key in this process.
What Iranaeus did, as Pagels argues, is to promote a fourth Gospel of John to purposely overshadow and replace the popular gnostic Gospel of Thomas.
“I was amazed when I went back to the Gospel of John after reading Thomas, for Thomas and John clearly draw upon similar language and images, and both apparently, begin with similar ‘secret teachings’. But John takes this teaching to mean something so different from Thomas that I wondered whether John could have written his gospel to refute what Thomas teaches. For months I investigated this possibility, and explored the work of other scholars who also have compared these sources, and I was finally convinced that this is what happened”. (p. 57-58)
What the Gospel of John did was to make Jesus the message and to equate Jesus with the Light which was external to the inner Sophianic Light. Jesus Christ as THE WORD WHO WAS OF GOD. This is so important and so key to the shift from esoteric to orthodox Christianity. “I am the light of the world” says Jesus and with this, Iranaeus edited out the whole cosmology of Sophia and replaced it with a deification of Jesus Christ. Let me say this again. Iranaeus cut out the cosmology of Sophia and replaced it with a deification of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ became the main focus of religious doctrine, not Sophia and her Luminous Epionoia that is within us. Jesus’ passion replaced Sophia’s Passion. Jesus’ divinity replaced the divinity of the Sophianic Light that is in our midst. Indeed Iranaeus was a hugely important person who clarified what was right and what was heresy. It was his writings in fact that for much of Christian history contained the few references to an largely eradicated spiritual system called gnosticism. Iranaeus set the early paradigm of a universal or “Catholic” church” that was based on the “faith” that Jesus was God, that was outlined in only 4 gospels. People either joined or were forced to join this new church via a rite of baptism, the saying of a creed, and the ritual of the eucharistic mass, all of which is designed to protect an “Apostolic Tradition”, that is upheld by a church hierarchy, to guard against the intrusion of mystical thought, specifically the idea of the Luminous Epinoia. This is essentially the main theme of what Pagels is saying in her book, Beyond Belief, which is both unbelievable, and something which is outside of the limited doctrine of “faith” (beyond belief). John replaced Thomas, is what Pagels is saying. Though the Gospel of Thomas includes little of the Sophianic mysteries, it was a more common and more easily accessible collection of sayings of the Gnostic Christ, which is why it is one of the most popular of the gnostic books today, because of its simplicity. But this is where Iranaeus drew the line and ever since then, “gnostic heresy” was virtually obliterated.
So we need to be patient as we try to reconstruct what was really going on in first century, in the New Dispensation which provided the raw materials of this new religion called Christianity. Now more than ever, this central idea of the Luminous Epinoia is the key to our transformation, the code to unlocking the door to this New Era. For example, in the Simonian system, this Epinoia is related to the idea of “perfecting our imaging” or zeroing in on a focus of consciousness that comes into sympathetic resonance with the Light of Divine Reality.
Pagels writes, “When John (Apochrypon of John) asks whether everyone receives the luminous epinoia, the savior answers yes – ‘the power will descend upon every person, for without it no one can stand…'” This power is in everyone is the message that was too destabilizing for the early church to be able to incorporate it into its orthodox doctrine.
The “savior” uses the word “stand” which is a key word that was used by Simon Magus, the Standing One, (which he equated with the Greek term, The Christ) whose use of this word “standing” had to do with our mandate to engage in an alchemical process of extracting our divine fruit, our Luminous Epinoia, from the lower dimensional “tree”, which would survive the higher vibrational “fire” of the Holy Spirit, (Thought, Pronoia) which will allow us to survive and “STAND” in the New Era of Living Light and not be recycled with that which is not the stuff of this higher vibration.
Here we are gradually coming to a focus on creating a consciousness of inner Light, which is a simple but obviously difficult goal, and one which is rapidly becoming an object of unimaginable value.
And if this was ever a question, the time is now.