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Cosmogony and Dramaturgy
The Supreme Principle The First Emanation Autogenes And The Intermediary Godhead Principles The Origin of the Archetypal Man The Gnostic Account of the Fall and Creation The Battle for the Spiritual Light The Gnostic Savior The Consummation

The Consummation

the Gnostic Savior

Thus Gnosticism differs from some other esoteric cosmologies in that it sees the consummation of the Cosmos in the form of its dissolution into non-being, rather than its transmutation.  This is indicative of the very anti-worldly attitude of classical Gnosticism, according to which the entire Cosmos is seen as an error, rather than (as for example in Christianity) something that started out good and was ruined (the Fall), but will eventually be restored to its Divine glory.

The Valentinian Cosmo-dramaturgy for example ends with a collective return back to the Pleroma at the end of time.

"The spirits transformed by knowledge (Gnosis) rest in the middle region...where their Mother the Sophia clothed with them  awaits the consummation of the world.  Her own final salvation takes place when all the pnuematic (spiritual) elements in the world have been "formed" by knowledge and perfected.  Then the spirits, stripped of their souls [= "causal bodies"?], with their Mother enter the Pleroma, which becomes the bridal chamber in which takes place the marriage of Sophia with Jesus and that of the spirits with their bridegrooms, the angels around Jesus."
[Hans Jonas, The Gnostic Religion, p.196]

It is worth pointing out here that the Valentinians considered Earthly marriage be to the physical form or counterpart of this eschatological heavenly marriage, and developed various rites on the basis of this.  These were later incorporated into Catholicism, and thus became the basis of the modern Christian marriage ceremony.

"...With this, the Fullness is restored in its integrity, the original breach finally repaired, the pre-temporal loss [of Light through Sophia's original Passion] retrieved; and matter and soul, the expression of the fall, with their organised system, the world, cease to exist..." [Ibid]

Here we have the theme of an eschatological consummation of the cosmos; a return to the state of pre-creation and/or pre-Fall perfection.  This is a common theme that runs with variations throughout Christian, Gnostic, Manichaean, Kabbalistic, and Theosophical thought.

The Sethian Gnostics | The Valentinian Cosmology | Cyclic, Historical, and Dramaturgic Time | The Pleroma | The Gnostic Dramaturgy - Creation and Redemption

the Gnostic Savior

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content by M.Alan Kazlev
page uploaded 28 June 1998, last modified 6 June 2004