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First Mystery, which is the twenty-fourth mystery

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   And Yeshua said to the disciples, “I am come forth out of the First Mystery, which is the last mystery, that is the twenty-fourth mystery” (Pistis Sophia, first chapter).

Yes, indeed, Pistis Sophia is a convoluted and complex Gnostic text in which the meaning of different symbols appears to swirl and within which mixed metaphor appears to be good style. I recall my first introduction to it in my youth very well – it was so dense it was very difficult read all the way through and most of the time left me perplexed, yet it also invoked some intense visions in dream and some rather curious insights into teachings I had received. Perhaps more than a text of instructions it is like a grand invocation, the study and contemplations of which becomes like a continuum of spiritual practice, as though the books forming it become a vehicle in consciousness, Merkabah Mysticism. In fact, we might say that it is a Gnostic Christian “merkavah text.”

The first mystery, which is the “twenty-fourth mystery” from within to without, is, indeed, the First Commandment, corresponding to Keter on the Tree of Life, which reads: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall not place the gods of others before me” (Exodus 20:2).

In Gnostic jargon “Pharaoh” is the Demiurge, and “Egypt,” the house of slavery, is the Dominion of the Demiurge and Archons – the Entirety or Great Matrix; thus, the twenty-four mysteries correspond to the Pleroma of Light or Light Treasury, transcendent of the Entirety. When the First Mystery, which is the twenty-fourth mystery from within to without, is associated with Keter this becomes an intriguing contemplation, for Keter, in essence, is completely transcendent of creation (the cosmic cycle) and never appears within the matrix of creation, though the energy-intelligence of creation flows from it; what holds the place of Keter on the Tree of Life and in this matrix of creation is *Da’at*, which is the emanation of Knowledge, the Knower and the Known.

All that we may speak of Keter, all that we see and hear and know of the First Mystery, is, in truth Da’at; Da’at is the “revealed” aspect of Keter and is the “concealed” aspect of Tiferet, the Christ Center. Thus, the Human One of Light, the Risen Christ, is also called the First Mystery and First Commandment in the Pistis Sophia.

The First Mystery, of course, is the True Light, the Truth of God, and in speaking of the True Light we point to Or Ain Sof, the Light of the Infinite – the Primordial Unconditioned Light, which emanates as Adam Kadmon and the Light-emanations (Sefirot) of Atzilut. According to the Kabbalah, the Ten Utterances, which are the Ten Commandments, are the *Foundation of Creation* (Beriyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah), and Yesod of Atzilut is Da’at of Beriyah – the First Commandment.

Yesod is the last of the Six that form the Human One of Light – the Partzuf of the Son or Arik Anpin, which transmits Supernal Light to Malkut, the Daughter (Nukva), who becomes Kallah (the Bride) when she receives this influx and is joined to her Divine Consort. (Malkut of Atzilut, of course, flows out as Tiferet of Beriyah, the Christ Center within the Cosmic Sphere – the dimension of the Archangels and Cosmic Beings-Forces, corresponding to the original domain of Pistis Sophia before she descends.)

In this we may begin to gain some insight into the metadimensional nature of reality being communicated by the symbolism of the Pistis Sophia. In terms of the First Mystery, which is the twenty-fourth mystery from within to without, our attention is being directed to the threshold between the Pleroma of Light and the Entirety, the Realm of Yichud (Unity) and Realm of Perud (Separation); hence, the threshold in between Adam Kadmon/Atzilut and the Matrix of Creation formed by Beriyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah. From the perspective of the Entirety that threshold – Da’at and the Great Abyss, is the “First Mystery,” yet from the perspective of the Pleroma of Light it is the Last Mystery, the outermost mystery.

What is this First Mystery? It is Knowledge (Gnosis) of the Knower and the Known, which we call “God” – the awareness of Divine or Enlightened Being. Thus, if we are to inquire into the mysteries within and behind this Great Mystery, they are the mysteries of God and Godhead – mysteries of Adam Kadmon and Atzilut, Adam Kadmon and the Divine Names and Partzufim.

In the later books of the Pistis Sophia there is discourse on the twenty-four mysteries, beginning with the outermost. In the Holy Kabbalah we discuss these in terms of the mysteries of Adam Kadmon and Atzilut; yet, ultimately speaking, there is no comprehending these mysteries in terms of the mental, vital and physical consciousness, but they are known and understood only within the experience of Supernal or Supramental Consciousness, *Messianic Consciousness* (Divine Gnosis, Da’at). Indeed, if I do not know myself in terms of Knowledge, the Knower and the Known, how shall I know God as the Holy Root of all Knowledge, the Knower and the Known – Pure Knowing, Gnostic Being?

In this sense we may say that the “First Mystery” to be recognized and realized is the nature of “self,” which is to say the Nature of Mind, for only in this may we look and see the Source of All Being, the Holy One of Being; hence the esoteric meaning of the First Commandment read as: “Do not place the gods of others before me.”

The Gnosis of the Human One of Light (Christ), Divine or Enlightened Being, is “self-knowledge,” for the Human One of Light is the “Truth of Self”; in this Self-realization is the Divine Gnosis of God and Godhead – Union with God and Godhead, as embodied in Master Yeshua.

This is reflected in the teaching of the Risen Christ that the twelve powers of the twelve saviors are within the disciples; hence, that Christ is to be recognized and realized within each and every one of us, for the Christos is our Yechidah, Hayyah and Neshamah in us, our Supernal Soul.

In orthodox forms of Christianity, in the outer and unspiritual church, scripture is read as though truth revealed from outside of oneself, as though separate and apart from oneself and one’s experience; in Gnostic Christianity, however, scripture is read as truth revealed within oneself and one’s experience, something known and understood inwardly, through direct spiritual and mystical experience.

Tau Malachi, Sophia Fellowship, Ecclesia Pistis Sophia

   Along with what has been said above, gazing into the “First Mystery,” which is the “last mystery” of “twenty-four mysteries” – the outermost of the twenty-four mysteries, there is something more to be gleaned from our Christian Kabbalah on the subject, another angle to consider and contemplate.

In Genesis we may recall that the Human One (Adam Ha-Rishon) was created male and female in the image and likeness of Elohim – this implies Elohim is male and female, and the very word “elohim” indicates male and female, for it is a feminine noun with a masculine plural. As we know and understand, Elohim indicates the Holy One in quantum emanation, One becoming Many, yet remaining One – or Many in Sacred Unity.

If we consider the idea of many mysteries, all of which are emanations of one Holy and Supreme Mystery – the Great Mystery that Ain Sof is, these mysteries may be seen as the manifestation of Elohim, Father and Mother, the Holy One, and as such they may be understood as Male and Female Partzufim, or as Divine Attributes and their corresponding Shekinah Emanations.

Now, according to the Holy Kabbalah the matrix of Light Transmission that appears below reflects the matrix above in the Supernal World – it is the expression of an archetypical pattern in the Supernal Abode, the Pleroma of Light. In the generation of the twelve tribes of Israel there are twelve sons, and we may assume twelve wives or shekinah consorts, and so again, there are twelve disciples surrounding the Messiah, having the twelve powers of the twelve saviors, which is to say that they have the twelve shekinah consorts of the twelve saviors with them as their companions – in this play of twelve there are twenty-four, male and female, reflecting this mystery of Elohim in the Supernal Abode, the Pleroma of Light.

Generally speaking, the Ten Commandments correspond to Beriyah, for the law comes into effect in Beriyah, and plays out through Yetzirah and Asiyah, the whole of the Entirety. Thus, the First Commandment corresponds to Keter at the level of Beriyah, which is Tiferet at the level of Atzilut, the Sefirah attributed to Jacob/Israel, and the generation of the twelve tribes, and to the Messiah and the twelve disciples surrounding him – we may say that Keter of Beriyah, the First Commandment, is the outermost manifestation of the Divine Power of Tiferet of Atzilut, the Human One of Light, which has twelve emanations, each of which has a shekinah consort, making twenty-four mysteries.

The Human One of Light, or rather the twelve emanations of the Human One of Light – the twelve saviors and their twelve shekinah consorts, is the manifestation of the Power of Elohim emanating from within the Supernal Abode, the Pleroma of Light, the matrix of Light Transmission below reflecting that great matrix of Partzufim above.

   Something intriguing happens when we consider the twelve saviors and twelve shekinah consorts gathered around the Messiah and Shekinah of Messiah, Yeshua Messiah and the Magdalene (Kallah Messiah), for twenty-four becomes twenty-six, the number of Yahweh, the Great Name of God.

   Thus, Yahweh is joined to Elohim, and the Name of Yahweh Elohim points to the full manifestation of the Human One receiving Hayyah Nefesh, Living Soul, thus truly manifesting as the image and likeness of God, the True Light.

This matrix of souls, the twenty-four and two, corresponds to the full manifestation of the Human One of Light, the image and likeness of Yahweh Elohim – the one able to know and understand, and realize, the great mysteries of creation and the True God.

The frequent mention of the First Commandment as a Name of God, the True Light, and the Messiah, is very revealing, for it means to teach us that the Divine Incarnation of the Messiah and Shekinah of the Messiah, along with the matrix of the disciples, is the fruition and fulfillment of the action of liberation, the true salvation of souls, and likewise, that although there is an appearance of many, all are emanations of the Holy One, God, the True Light, above, and all are emanations of one and the same Light-presence and Light-power, Christ and the Holy Spirit, below.

Here, perhaps, we may recall something the Risen Savior says to his disciples – he says to them that like himself, their souls and the powers in them come from above, from the Pleroma of Light, and not from the dominion of the demiurge and archons, or from the Entirety, and likewise he says that it is through them that the world will receive salvation, and that living spirits and souls will be delivered from the Entirety.

This alludes to a very esoteric understanding of a passage in the Gospel of St. John, in which Adonai Yeshua teaches us, saying, “No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of the Human One. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of the Human One be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life” (3:13-15).

According to the teachings of the Risen Messiah in Pistis Sophia this action of salvation – the realization of the Supernal Mysteries, is not isolate to Yeshua Messiah, but it extends to his disciples, understanding that their souls and the powers that are in them also descend from heaven, the Pleroma of Light, through the grace of the Divine Incarnation.

If this is true of the First Circle, the disciples gathered around Yeshua Messiah and his Shekinah Consort, then it must also be true of his disciples throughout all time, or for those who enter into a full Gnostic experience of the Risen Messiah, receiving the full spectrum of the Gnostic and Light Transmission, the full power of the Holy Spirit, which they, in turn, impart to other living spirits and souls.

This can lead to some very intriguing contemplations, but no doubt this is a good time for a pause to see where the discussion might be carried next.

May we remember our descent so that we might realize our ascent and transcendence, and thus be empowered to uplift the world with us into union with Yahweh Elohim – the Light Continuum and Pleroma of Light. Amen.

Tau Malachi, Sophia Fellowship, Ecclesia Pistis Sophia

    Having said this, we may allude to the “inmost secret mystery,” which is the inseparability of Adam Kadmon (or Keter of Atzilut) from Ain Sof; the ultimate and supreme mystery being Ain Sof (“True God”). According to the Kabbalah, the root essence of our holy soul is drawn from the “Body of Adam Kadmon,” which is composed of Or Ain Sof, the Light of the Infinite; thus, in our inmost essence and nature, we are inseparable from Ain Sof, our Yechidah (Divine Spark) being an emanation of Or Ain Sof. Of course, such a great and holy mystery cannot be spoken, which is why it is called a “mystery,” but this Divine Truth can be recognized and realized in our own experience, and embodied; hence, the@ attainment of Self-realization in Christ.

*If you read some of the streams of discussion on other topics in this forum you should find these ideas explored further, along some other associated teachings on the subject as it occurs in our Sophian Gnostic lineage.

May we be blessed to recognize and realize the present truth of the Great Resurrection and Ascension – all in the Pleroma of Light; amen.

Tau Malachi, Sophia Fellowship, Ecclesia Pistis Sophia

Another angle of contemplation...
There is one teaching in particular that caused some thoughts and questions to arise:
Tau Malachi wrote:

" If this is true of the First Circle, the disciples gathered around Yeshua Messiah and his Shekinah Consort, then it must also be true of his disciples throughout all time, or for those who enter into a full Gnostic experience of the Risen Messiah, receiving the full spectrum of the Gnostic and Light Transmission, the full power of the Holy Spirit, which they, in turn, impart to other living spirits and souls. "

Elsewhere in the teachings I recall something being said about the soul (nefesh) of an enlightened being at times splintering or shattering, and then incarnating into multiple personalities. And when reading your words above the thought appeared that perhaps these shards of the nefesh of the enlighten being, in joining with a nefesh behamit, become the nefesh elokit, compelling the personality towards discipleship, thus creating a play of ascending and descending, for the ultimate illumination and salvation of the entire world.
Does this thought have any semblance to the ongoing planting and harvesting that is occuring in our world?


   First it must be said that there is something more than the play of ivurim, our the impregnation of souls with sparks of the souls of tzaddikim or realized beings, in terms of the core disciples of the First Circle. According to the Christian Kabbalah, the soul of Yeshua Messiah was realized in previous incarnations within other world-systems, and as a realized soul he was a pure emanation from the Light Continuum, the full embodiment of the Pleroma of Light – hence, the Christ or Messiah. The same is also true of his core group of disciples, those closets to him, for he says that they also received their souls and the light-power that is in them from the Pleroma of Light, not from the Entirety, and so he tells them that they are also saviors and that this world, as well as other worlds, will receive salvation through them.

Thus, Adonai Yeshua and his inner circle of disciples are souls from among the elder races, and as souls having embodied various degrees of self-realization, like himself, they are direct emanations from the Light Continuum, or from the Pleroma of Light, descending from heaven and therefore having the power to ascend into heaven, and to carry living spirits and souls in ascent with them.

There is the material or bestial humankind, the psychic or faithful humankind, and the spiritual or elect humanity – the disciples are among the spiritual elect, having received their souls and light-power from the Pleroma of Light, not from the dominion of the demiurge and archons, or from the Entirety.

What is the distinction between souls from the Entirety and souls from the Pleroma? Souls from the Entirety are souls bound up in the ignorance, the power of the demiurge, and as such, their ruachot and nefeshim are not the pure emanation of their holy neshamah, but they are the manifestation of the karmic continuum of the soul in the play of cause and effect, the bondage of the law. Souls from the Pleroma, on the other hand, are souls that have become realized, enlightened, and are no longer bound up in the ignorance, and as such, their ruachot and nefeshim are the pure emanations of their holy neshamah, more or less, the neshamah being embodied in their incarnations.

As you might imagine, there are souls in between the two extremes of full ignorance and full enlightenment – souls having various degrees of the influence of the holy neshamah, though their ruachot and nefeshim are not pure emanations of neshamah. In the case of the disciples, though, according to the Master they are pure emanations, for the revelation of the supernal grades of Gnostic and Light Transmission, the advent of the Messiah, requires a matrix of souls of a very lofty grade to receive and impart it.

Something similar continues to this very day – souls of higher grades continue to enter into this world to bring in, hold and anchor the Supernal Influx, though now, some two thousand years later, more and more souls are arising from this world to participate in this luminous matrix of souls, their self-realization in Christ being accomplished in this world.

Thus, among the faithful there are souls that are the spiritual elect, laboring to bring souls from among the faithful into the spiritual elect – those whose faith has come to fruition in gnosis, Divine Illumination.

Elsewhere today, in the Christian Kabbalah forum, I wrote about soul connections between tzaddikim and their disciples – here, however, we can speak of the play of ivurim with Holy Tzaddikim or Gnostic Apostles.

Now, ivurim can occur from every aspect of the soul – yechidah, hayyah, neshamah, ruach and nefesh, though the most common are from neshamah, ruach or nefesh. In the play of ivurim, in fact, the soul of the tzaddik is not splintered or shattered or diminished in the least – they simply emanate a spark of one level or another and implant it in a soul that they are seeking to help or uplift. Although going out of them, the spark remains within them, and they remain within it – which is the great power of an ivur from a realized being or holy tzaddik.

A realized being or tzaddik can generate innumerable ivurim, for inseparable from Or Ain Sof, the Light of the Infinite, or the Light of the Messiah, the Light-power in them is immeasurable, inexhaustible.

An ivur at the level of nefesh can bring more godly desires, righteous living, or it can bring healing, extend life, shift the play of fate and fortune in life, among other things, and generally will help bring a soul to faith and to the path. An ivur at the level of ruach can increase intelligence, help bring about higher or more expanded states of consciousness, bring new insights, knowledge and understanding, or new creative inspiration, deepen faith and spiritual connections, as well as many other blessings. An ivur at the level of neshamah can increase holiness and wisdom, facilitate various gradations of spiritual illumination and self-realization, amplify or increase spiritual gifts, along with other blessings.

An ivur at any level, in every case, fortifies, strengths and uplifts the soul.

Some ivurim can be rather subtle, but some can be very radical – sometimes they can bring about a radical transformation in a person, like night and day.

Yes, indeed, tzaddikim use the play of ivurim to help bring souls to Christ and to help set them on the Path of the Great Ascension, and they may use the play of ivurim along the way to uplift souls, helping souls enter into higher or inner gradations of the Gnostic and Light Transmission.

As we might surmise, the play of ivurim with a Perfect Tzaddik, such as Adonai Yeshua, is immeasurably great, far beyond our capacity to conceive or imagine!

This play of ivurim, as you say, is integral to the labor of the harvest of souls – influences that might help to enlighten and liberate souls, bringing true salvation.

Here we may say, when ivurim are done in Christ, or in Supernal Realization, then something of the Supernal Light, the Supernal Force, is in that holy spark and, thus, a soul receiving it may be blessed to experience something of the Supernal Influx – as much as preaching the Word of God, the True Light, this implanting of Seeds of Light is key in a “Gnostic ministry,” a significant part of the spiritual labor of Gnostic Apostles in the Continuum of Light Transmission.

If we were to gaze upon the First Circle, or upon any true Circle of Light, no doubt it would resemble a Bliss Wheel with countless radiant sparks flying out upon countless beings, blessing, uplifting and bringing them to Divine Illumination.

May we be on fire with the Holy Spirit, and may that fire blaze forth in the world, illuminating all (Kol). Amen.

Tau Malachi, Sophia Fellowship, Ecclesia Pistis Sophia

Ivurim from Gnostic Apostles
   This play of impregnation, whether it be of realized souls into another world-system, or of sparks of a realized soul into another soul - thus within both macrocosms and microcosms of the Entirety, feels to be the critical impetus of awakening, illumination and ultimately salvation. 

Is there a point in the evolution of a world-system where such impregnation can begin to occur in full force? For it feels that behind this world, where it presently is in time and space in its evolution, is much joy and beauty. 


   Yes, indeed, in any world-system there is a point at which the compassionate play of ivurim intensifies – once the Gospel or Dharma is revealed, which is to say actual teachings on the Path to Enlightenment, the inner gradations of Gnostic and Light Transmission. Once that happens, there is a far greater play of ivurim, as well as incarnations of souls of higher grades, realized beings, or tzaddikim and maggidim.

Likewise, the Kabbalah says that the play of this Great Gesture intensifies when judgment comes into dominion, or when darkness gains greater dominance in a world-system, an effort for the mitigation of judgment,
the counterbalancing of the darkness.

Along the same lines the Kabbalah says that as the end-of-days approaches a world-system there will be an intensification of ivurim, along with the incarnation of souls of a higher grade, laboring for the salvation of as many souls as possible before the world-system passes into destruction. This intensification in the labor of the harvest of souls continues right through the end-of-days, for the holy and enlightened ones never cease from their love and compassion in Christ, but as Adonai Yeshua and the original apostles, they are willing to this labor even in the face of great persecution, suffering and death.

As we might imagine, an intensification of sorrow and suffering provokes an intensification of mercy and
compassion – always holy and enlightened ones of the Order of Melchizedek
respond with greater compassion and light-power
when darkness and destruction threaten to overcome souls and a world,
using every form of skillful means at their disposal.

At present, given the extreme dominion of darkness in the world today, and the great judgment that appears to be moving in it, no doubt there is an intensification of this Great Gesture, this Great Work in the harvest of souls.

In this regard, these teachings take on deep meaning for us, for in the face of trial and tribulation they instruct us to keep the faith and to continue in our labor for the Continuum of Light Transmission – they teach us never to be deceived by the darkness so as to become discouraged and give up. If, in truth, we have a mandate ordained by the Supreme, then we must never cease from our labor as long as we live, but rather, we must abide in our faith as a sign of hope for the people in good times and bad times – this is our commitment as disciples of Yeshua Messiah and the Magdalene. In so doing we give strength to the tzaddikim and maggidim, and to the Shekinah of the Messiah – we actively co-labor with them.

Put in the simplest way, when hard times come we pray harder, intensifying our spiritual labor with the tzaddikim and maggidim – when we do this we stand among them in the company of the Holy Shekinah.

May we be empowered in the Risen Messiah to bring peace and joy – true hope. Amen.

Tau Malachi, Sophia Fellowship, Ecclesia Pistis Sophia

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