The True Lucifer is Sophia
Part 1: Falling from Heaven
Continuing:Welcome to the investigation of an implex.
In this first installment of the three-part series on Lucifer/Sophia, I cover references to the "fallen angel" motif universally applied to Lucifer, and show how they actually describe the Aeon Sophia, the Pleromic goddess who fell from the heights of heaven (galactic center), according to the Gnostic star myth, the Fallen Goddess Scenario (FGS).
I first encountered the word "implex" in Hamlet's Mill by Santillana and von Dechend, in reference to certain astronomical motifs found in the lore of sidereal mythology, i.e., myth and legend associated with the starry constellations and individual stars. I understand it to be an adjective, "The story is implex," as well as a noun, "The figure of Lucifer presents an implex of uncertain, diverse, and conflicting components." The concept of an implex is especially helpful in approaching the identity of Lucifer.
The analysis below reveals the "changing fortune" of the Gnostic goddess figure, Sophia, considered as a divine rebel or dissenting figure but, equally so, as the supreme divine agency present to human reality. Hence, her story parallels in many respects the mixed reputation of Lucifer variously considered as an heroic accomplice to humanity, or a demonic adversary intent upon undermining the will of the creator god.
To begin, I list five components of the implex as initial talking points for the Sophia/Lucifer identity:
1 Bible: "The Morning Star": one allusion in the Book of Isaiah, Chapter 14, verse 12
This verse presents the sole occurrence of the name Lucifer in the Bible.
The Hebrew of the Old Testament does not use any equivalent to Lucifer: it has merely, heylel, "the son of dawn." Neither does that name appear in the Septuagint, the Greek-language version of the OT, where heylel is translated as heosporos, "dawn-bringer." The name Lucifer shows up only in English-language versions where Christian-indoctrinated translators saw fit to insert it. In other words, it has been inserted by translators. This fact alone alerts the discerning mind to the possibility of a stitch-up, a frame job, to cite the lingo of police work.
The above passage clearly attributes to "son of the morning"/"fallen angel" the motive to equal or excel the Most High God. Hence, the theme of Luciferian pride, expressed in the attempt to be equal to God, to match the splendor of the Supreme Being. Later in the essay I will show how this theme appears on Gnostic material on the Wisdom Goddess Sophia, whose "fall from heaven" is attributed in some texts to the same motive: to equal or excell the supreme creator (the Gnostic Originator), or to act on her own volition independent of higher cosmic powers.
The passage in Isaiah also states the consequence of the so-called act of "transgression" against God: to be cast down into Hell. Curiously, it does not specify that Lucifer is an angel. This fact alone shoots down the Christian assumption that Lucifer was a radiant angel among the celestial host, who was cast out of heaven due to pride and subsequently he and all his attendent angels became devils. There is no basis in Christian scripture for this widely held assumption.
What then is the source of this mytheme so widely and uncritically accepted in our time? The mythic elements for it occur in the oldest Hebrew writings, hence: it originates in Judaism. In the literature of the Second Temple period (after 530 BCE) the apocryphal text 2 Enoch says that "Satanail was hurled from the height together with his angels" (29:3). The full and complete story of Lucifer among the heavenly host, first favored, then condemned, does not appear in any single ancient source. It was constructed piecemeal over many centuries.
In fabulating the legend of Lucifer, Christians played a huge role, as it they ndded to create a "controlled opposition" of the supreme power of the Father God. The New Testament contains a smattering of passages such as this one from Peter 2, 2,4: "For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment." Thus, NT writing attributed to Paul assert the notion of fallen angels cast down by a vengeful god (OT Yahweh), but nowhere in the NT can you find a coherent scenario of Lucifer standing before God and acting in a way that caused him to be thrown out of heaven. In other words, neither the OT or the NT provide a coherent narrative on Lucifer. That scenario is a fabrication of Christian preachers through the ages, but entirely without solid or specific textual basis "in Scripture."
Christians, beware of what you presume to be found in your revered scriptures.
Isaiah uses the Greek word for "human": anthropos in reference to Lucifer. Note that anthropos in Greek denotes humanity, the human species, by contrast to androu, "male, man," denoting the male gender of the species. Textually, the language of the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Hebrew OT) associates the fall of Lucifer with the fall of humanity. This association makes no sense whatsoever if Lucifer is considered to be a mighty celestial being of light, a superhuman entity in the company of the supreme deity. It does however make sense when considered relative to the Gnostic account of the fallen goddess, Sophia, which relates the fall of Sophia to her excessive fascination for the human species, the anthropos.
So, looking precisely at what is written in scripture, and disregarding first-, second-, and third-hand speculation ad nauseum about textual sources, we discover little that supports popular Christian notions of Lucifer. On the other hand, the implex presents clues that suggest the identification of Sophia with the supposed "fallen angel" scenario. Needless to say, if you don't know the Sophianic narrative in the first place, you would not detect these suggestive elements. All the clues in the world don't count if you don't know what crime has been committed.
2 Red Dragon in Sky: The Book of Revelation Ch 12
Greek interlinear translation: http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/NTpdf/rev12.pdf
Verse 9: the great dragon MEGAS DRAKON, that old serpent: OPHIS ARCHAIOS, called the Devil: DIABOLOS, and Satan: SATANAS. Four metonyms in sequence. Over-determination often occurs when the exact definition of a subject is uncertain.
Verse 3: the great red dragon: DRAKON MEGAS PYRROS, having seven heads and ten horns: KEPHALAS HEPTA KAI KERATA DEKA. The morphology of the red dragon in the sky of Ch. 12, v.3 is identical with that of the "Great Beast" TO MEGA THERION that arises from the sea in Ch 13, v 1. (These parallels are elucidated at length in the series, Gnostic Sabotage -- three remaining talks in development.) At no point does the text directly equate this "reptilian" figure to Lucifer, nor does it make any allusion that would support such an identification.
The name Satan occurs 14 times in the Old Testament, always referring to this entity as an adversary or attorney-like figure -- "The Devil is God's lawyer" -- never as a supernatural incarnation of evil. His role is to test and try Job, for instance, but he is not an agent of pure evil with power to overcome humanity. It also occurs 40 times in the New Testament, most frequently in the Gospels. It occurs nine times in Revelation, twice in condeming Jews as forming "the synagogue of Satan." Revelation reveals the conversion of the adversary doing God's will in the OT to a full-blown opponent of God who seeks to corrupt and possess humanity.
Conclusion: Lucifer, considered as the lightning-like luminous angel who was cast down from heaven, is entirely absent from Revelation. So is the Antichrist, which only occurs four times in the Gospel of John, as noted in the talks on Gnostic Sabotage. Christians who babble about Revelation and include these two figures go against scripture. They show complete ignorance of their own tradition.
3 The Koran : Iblis
The angel Iblis shows immense pride, declaring himself superior to Adam. For refusing to worship Adam, God (Allah, presumably) cursed Iblis to Jahannam, Hell/Purgatory, for eternity, but gave him a kind of reprieve until the Day of Judgment. Iblis was complicit with God in the role of a satanic agent, an adversary who would use this time to lead men and women astray, and eventually into Hell. In the logic of the Islamic mind, Iblis would in this way prove humanity's inferiority and so justify his act of defiance, his refusal to worship Adam/Anthropos. For refusing to abide by the will of God, Iblis was cast out of Heaven, and thereafter he was called "Shaytan" (Satan).
I would argue on Gnostic sources that Iblis in the Islamic narrative appears closer to Yaldabaoth, the lord archon, than to Lucifer. Far closer. The Apocryphon of John (NHLE, p. 115-116, passages 19-21) describes the preterrestrial scene of confrontation between the archons and the image of humanity. There are difficult and puzzling features in this episode that require a penetrating exegesis with reference to some occult terms such as "plasmic double" and the "five-light array." Setting those problems aside, the components in this text that apply to the legend of Iblis are as follows:
The gist of these lines is clear: Anthropos is superior to the Archons, as Adam is superior to Iblis.
The Iblis passage in the Koran is not about Lucifer. Like all the other material in the Koran, it is highly derivative, reflecting themes and fragments appropriated from Near Eastern mythologies, pillaged and distorted materials. Appropriated without understanding, I must add.
4 The Valentinian Clue NHC XI, 2
See NHLE, p 481 ff. NHC with a Roman numeral refers to the tractate in the Gnostic Coptic Library. NHLE refers to the Nag Hammadi Library in English, the standard translation.
This text is so heavily damaged and obscurely written that no exact and explicit language concerning the reason for Sophia's separation from the Pleroma can be drawn from it. No problem for scholars, though. In their commentaries, the experts routinely state what cannot be found in the actual text, but is merely implied -- if that --and back it up by citing other sources on Valentinian doctrine, mainly from the heresiologists, the first Christian ideologues who argued against the Gnostic. For example, Ireneaus:
By extrapolation, Sophia wanted in some manner to equal the level of the Father (Propater), the Originator, source of all the Aeons. Or to comprehend his nature so that she could imitate it, or compete with it, something along those lines. Such is the Luciferian quality of hubris, prideful excess or striving beyond one's station. By some accounts, this striving resulted in expelling the Aeon Sophia out of the Pleroma.
But was the expulsion due to an act of transgression for which she was rejected, cast out of the celestial company? This interpretation implies a moral fault on the part of the Wisdom Goddess. Valentinus engaged in compromising views with the Christians he wished to influence and even lead. Guilt and punishment are inherent to the Judeo-Christian worldview but entirely lacking in the Sethian Gnostic perspective.
My extrapolation of the FGS -- developed in detail in some briefings of the Gaian Navigation Experiment -- does not attribute Sophia's plunge to a fault of any kind, for which she would be punished, but to the extremity of her passion. Moreoever, there is not the slightest indication in the Gnostic materials that the supreme deity beyond the Aeons, the Originator, would punish anyone, human or divine, for anything.
A Valentinian Exposition states explicitly what is often regarded as another key factor in Sophia's Luciferian hubris: she acted unilaterally, without a consort. Doing so, she defied the wish or will of the Originator "not to allow anything to happen in the Pleroma except by a syzygy" (passage 36, NHLE). Fine, that is clear enough. Where do Gnostic writings give any suggestion that the Originator would punish or expel any Aeon who did not abide by that principle, dyadic emanation? Nowhere. Absolutely nowhere.
At this point, the textual exegesis establishes a clear distinction between the FGS and the standard Lucifer mythologies, which all assume a factor of punishment, chastisement, expulsion, transgression. Such factors merely reveal the Judeo-Christian spin that has been given to the received materials that adumbrate the fall of the Wisdom Goddess.
5 Didymus the Blind : Sophia's "Fall"
Conventional legends about Lucifer always state that the "fallen angel" was "cast out of heaven." The Fallen Goddess scenario says that Sophia plunged due to her enthusiasm, enthumysis. Her bold, overweening passion for the human experiment caused her to become enmeshed in it. This point is unique to Gnostic cosmology and represents the singular element in the FGS that invites the empathy of humans. The power of that narrative convinces by its scope and its astonishing detail, but it compels by the call to empathy for the Wisdom Goddess. Thus it captures the minds and hearts of human animals in a way no other story can.
So what remains for textual evidence pertinent to the theme of Sophia's fall from heaven?
A book privately published by the Hermetic Library in Amsterdam, From Poimandres to Jacob Bohme: Gnosis, Hermetism, and the Christian Tradition (In de Pelikaan, 2000) cites an extremely rare source: the commentary of the Alexandrian theologian Didymus the Blind (ca. 313 - 398), in De Trinitate III, 42:
This is an extremely rare instance found in the skant surviving materials where the Aeon is actually, literally said to fall. I submit this passage as textual evidence for my rock-solid restoration of the Fallen Goddess Scenario.
Consider the syntax here, introducing the fall or betrayal meme, and stating that Sophia fell from inability to behold the splendour of the Originator. Well, that is one opinion, coming from a Christian theologican of the 4th Century. Was Sophia in consequence of pride repelled, rejected, consistent with the Luciferic theme? Can the Divine Source reject anything which it produces or manifests? And what does it mean to be repelled by divine splendor? Does this assumption not belie the spin of Judeo-Christian theology, attributing unworthiness, inferiority, and guilt to transactions among divine beings. and by extension, to humanity itself?
I argue that no Aeonic divinity was ever cast out of heaven for offending the supreme source, the Originator. Rumor has it that Lucifer was "cast down from heaven" and did a lot of evil things, presumably trying to prove he was equal to the highest god. (See ahead, Part 2 on the Nephilim.) This interpretation (common in the rumor mill) makes Lucifer an evil-doer who leads humans into sinful ways. But the Gnostic materials state explicitely that it is the archons and not Lucifer who did these evil things, or tried to do them, or claimed to have done them when they in fact did not.
In noe aspect of the implex, the Lucifer story covers and conceals the evil influence of the archons. Those today who propagate that story do not look at it critically and lack the gnostic intel to deconstruct or decode it, hence they cannot reach an interpretation that offers genuine insight on the true identity of the light-bearer. See how the implex grows: "when the fortune of the chief actor changes from bad to good, or from good to bad."
The citation above exemplifies one of dozens of examples that any responsible scholar has to find and scrutinize before pronouncing a view of Lucifer. Janice Barcelo (http://dl.gaiaspora.org/nl/Nousletter-13-Sept-14.mp3) and countless others fail to come close to such investigation, and do not even pretend to try.
jll: September 1, 2015 Andalucia
Material by John Lash and Lydia Dzumardjin: Copyright 2002 - 2018 by John L. Lash.