BOOK I - ONTOLOGY

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2014

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2014
ONTOLOGY
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2014
'From the place of the ever living. From the far horizon of the gods.
From the moment of the beginning.
From the Foundation of all things - I, Upuaut, 'the opener of the ways', come to you, and give to you a gift !
The gift of the 'Books of Foundation'.
A gift to those who would seek, and those who would know.'

THE ONE

The ONE is ineffable, not to be described or named, for the ONE is beyond every name and category, beyond definition, utterance, conception and comprehension, and beyond all terms we may apply.
The ONE is nameless, secret, concealed, holy beyond holiness, and outside the range of all thought.
The ONE is a hidden deity (Lat. deus absconditus), utterly unknown and unknowable.
Of  the ONE  no words can tell.
Yet men have ever attempted to speculate about the ONE, and to find terms to describe what the ONE  might be.
Thus, the the ONE is said to be the 'fore-beginning', antecedent to all origins and events, being self-existent, unbegotten and uncreated.
As the ONE  is without origin, so the ONE  is without end.
To these privative and negative attributes the Gnostics add another, taken from Greek metaphysics, namely, that the divine nature is impassible, incapable of suffering, injury or emotion.

Impassibility (from Latin in-, "not", passibilis, "able to suffer, experience emotion") describes the doctrine that divinity does not experience pain or pleasure from the actions of another being. It has often been seen as a consequence of divine aseity, the idea that God is absolutely independent of any other being, i.e., in no way causally dependent. Being affected (literally made to have a certain emotion, affect) by the state or actions of another would imply causal dependence.

Nor is the the ONE  to be considered in terms of any moral quality, since the ONE  is morally neutral and beyond good and evil.
The ONE is completely dissimilar to created things
Again, the ONE is formless, boundless, indivisible, incorporeal, beyond measure, quality, quantity, and not subject to classification.
To the ONE can be applied no concepts of time, space, matter, or substance.
The ONE is immutable, stable and motionless, undergoes no change, has no history.
Through innumerable eternities, the un-originated Godhead, undifferentiated, unitary, alone within himself, remained in profound repose,  immersed in unendurable light.

THE AEONS

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2014
A fundamental concept relating to existence is that of a projecting forth (probole), or out-raying of qualities from the divine unity, commonly known as 'emanation'.

Emanation, from the Latin emanare meaning "to flow from" or "to pour forth or out of", is the mode by which things are derived from the First Reality, or Principle. Things are derived from the first reality (the ONE) by steps of degradation to lesser degrees of the first reality, and at every step the emanating beings are less pure, and less perfect. Emanationism is a transcendent principle from which everything is derived, and is opposed to both Creationism (wherein the universe is created by a sentient God who is separate from creation) and materialism (which posits no underlying subjective and/or ontological nature behind phenomena being immanent). The primary classical exponent of emanationism was Plotinus, in his work, the 'Enneads', where all things phenomenal and otherwise were emanations from the ONE.

The ONE generates or causes existence, not through the intermediary of another, or an opposite, not by creation, reproduction or evolution, but by a unique manifestation that brings into existence a complex, and at times paradoxical, chain of being, forming a descending hierarchy of spiritual entities.
The divine attributes of the ONE , that is, the abstract qualities, mental states, spiritual concepts and metaphysical ideas, constituted the ONE's thoughts and designs, which lay hidden, known to the ONE, but unknown to themselves.
Then the ONE  gave them existence, and they flowed forth from the divine source.
The externalization of the divine attributes in this manner constitutes the first stage of a long process resulting from the overflow or outpouring of the fullness (pleroma) of the ONE.
The entities that initially emerged from this process are known as aeons, a class of sentient spiritual beings of varying attributes and powers.
Their own qualities, the regions they occupy, the dimensions in which they function, and the time-span of their operations, all likewise become actualized, take on independent existence, and form links in the chain of emanation.
Each Aeon was a hypostasis of the emanation from the ONE. 
The heavenly hierarchy includes many entities amongst which, are principalities (archat), powers (dynameis), thrones (thronoi), dominions (kuriotetes), lesser gods (theoi), and archons (archontes).
The most powerful of these entities are the great Aeons, which many humans have taken to be 'gods'.


There are three main worlds - the πλήρωμαthe plērōmathe material realm ('Kingdom') , and  'Foundation' - where the 'Forms' were brought into existence.


World of Forms
Plato
The 'Theory of Forms' asserts that non-material abstract (but substantial) forms (or ideas), and not the material world of change known to us through sensation, possess the highest and most fundamental kind of reality. These 'Forms' are the only true objects of study that can provide us with genuine knowledge. The 'Forms' are the essences of various objects: they are that without which a thing would not be the kind of thing it is. The world of 'Forms' is transcendent to our own world (the world of substances) and also is the essential basis of reality. Super-ordinate to matter, 'Forms' are the most pure of all things, and true knowledge/intelligence is the ability to grasp the world of 'Forms' with one's mind. A 'Form' is aspatial (transcendent to space) and atemporal (transcendent to time). Atemporal means that it does not exist within any time period, rather it provides the formal basis for time. It therefore formally grounds beginning, persisting and ending. It is neither eternal in the sense of existing forever, nor mortal, of limited duration. It exists transcendent to time altogether. 'Forms' are aspatial in that they have no spatial dimensions, and thus no orientation in space, nor do they even (like a point) have a location. They are non-physical, but they are not in the mind. 'Forms' are extra-mental (i.e. real in the strictest sense of the word). A 'Form' is an objective "blueprint" of perfection. The 'Forms' are perfect themselves because they are unchanging

It was through through the πλήρωμα - the plērōma and 'Foundation' that the ONE descended, or emanated, the causal powers, which manifested as the Aeons.
In the material world, or 'Kingdom', the Aeons manifest as Nature.
The Aeons may also manifest within the human psyche.
In esoteric terms, the Aeons  are not the lifeless idols they are so often accused of being by the spiritually blind and ignorant.
Rather we can see these images as reflections of a greater Unseen - reflections of the ONE.

In Hebrew thought the term for the Aeons is the Elohim - although in reality these entities are Archons - the servants of the chief Archon - the Demiurge.
Elohim (אֱלֹהִ֔ים) is a grammatically singular or plural noun for 'god' or 'gods' in both modern and ancient Hebrew language.
When used with singular verbs and adjectives, elohim is usually singular, 'god' or especially, the 'god'.
When used with plural verbs and adjectives elohim is usually plural, "gods" or "powers".
The first verse of Psalm 82: ‘Elohim has taken his place in the divine council.’
Here elohim has a singular verb and clearly refers to 'god'.
But in verse 6 of the Psalm, 'god' says to the other members of the council, ‘You [plural] are elohim.’
Here elohim has to mean 'gods'.”
We must not, however, confuse the use of 'elohim as god' with the true concept of god which is the ONE.
There is a further use of the word elohim in the phrase 'Sons of god' (Heb: Bənê hāʼĕlōhîm, בני האלהים) which is a phrase used in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament.
The offspring of the so-called 'Sons of god' were the "Nephilim" (נְפִילִים), or 'watchers' - the Nephilim are technically dæmons of a lower nature.
The word dæmon is a Latinized spelling of the Greek "δαίμων" of ancient Greek religion and mythology, as well as later Hellenistic religion and philosophy.
Daemons are spirit guides, forces of nature or the 'gods' (Aeons) themselves (see Plato's 'Symposium').
In the 'Symposium', the priestess Diotima teaches Socrates that love is not a 'god', but rather a "great daemon" (202d).
She goes on to describe daemons as "interpreting and transporting human things to the 'gods' and divine things to men; entreaties and sacrifices from below, and ordinances and requitals from above..." (202e).
In Plato's 'Apology of Socrates', Socrates claimed to have a daimonion (literally, a "divine something") that frequently warned him - in the form of a "voice" - against mistakes but never told him what to do.
In the Hellenistic ruler cult that began with Alexander the Great, it was not the ruler but his guiding daemon that was venerated.
Similarly, the first-century Roman Imperial cult began by venerating the genius or numen of Augustus.
Eventually daemons were attributed to nations and races.

In Gnostic systems the lesser Egyptian Neters ('gods') and Elohim ('gods') were referred to as  Archons (rulers).
Some of the archons were the servants of the δημιουργός (Demiurge), the "creator god" that stood between the lesser sentient beings and a transcendent God - the ONE - that could only be reached through gnosis.
The archons are referred to by Porphyry in his exposition of Neo Platonist philosophy, and are often referred to as θεοὶ ἄρχοντες (ruling 'gods') in Hellenistic thought.'

The demiurge - δημιουργός - is a concept from the Platonic, Neopythagorean, Middle Platonic, and Neoplatonic schools of philosophy for a divine figure responsible for the fashioning and maintenance of the physical universe. The term was subsequently adopted by the Gnostics. Although a fashioner, the demiurge is not necessarily thought of as being the same as the creator figure in the familiar monotheistic sense, because both the demiurge itself plus the material from which the demiurge fashions the universe are considered either uncreated and eternal, or the product of some other being, depending on the system.

Plato developed this distinction between true reality and illusion, in arguing that what is real are eternal and unchanging Forms, of which things experienced in sensation are at best merely copies, and real only in so far as they copy ('partake of') such Forms.
In general, Plato presumes that all nouns (e.g., 'Beauty') refer to real entities, whether sensible bodies or insensible Forms, hence, in 'The Sophist' Plato argues that Being is a Form in which all existent things participate and which they have in common (though it is unclear whether 'Being' is intended in the sense of existence, copula, or identity); and argues, against Parmenides, that Forms must exist not only of Being, but also of Negation and of non-Being (or Difference).


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