The Gnosis of Love
par Jules Doinel
Published in the journal l’Initiation, June 1893.
Translated by Reverend Mathieu Ravignat
To the Most Holy Gnostic Synod
Monsignors and my Brothers,
We have seen, in exposing the system of Valentinus, that the exile of Sophia-Achamoth out of the Pleroma had been the start of the suffering of the world. But what Valentinus does not say, is that the Aeons, in order not to leave this terribly painful fall of the Infinite into the Finite without consolation, begged the Abyss to give to Achamoth a Paraclete. This Paraclete is adored by the Greeks under the name of Eros, by the Aryans under the name of Kama. It is the Aeon-Love. To produce it, the Abyss and the Silence (Bythos and Sig) united in an ineffable embrace. Eros emanated from their union. From that point on, the redemption of Sophia-Achamoth is accomplished through two parallel paths, the path of the Spirit and the path of the flesh. Jesus the flower of the Pleroma, saved the Spirit, for salvation comes from Gnosis and not Faith. Eros saves the flesh. Science and Love inaugurate the sublime work which pursues itself throughout the Times and Spaces (throughout Time and Space). Achamoth had a double spouse, the spouse of the heart. This is the divine mystery which we must interpret.
Those that mistakenly take Achamoth for a myth err and delude (literally “abuse”) themselves. She is a substance, a Hypostasis of the divine.
Her joys and sufferings are real. Rejoicing (enjoying) and suffering in her. She suffers and rejoices in us, the Pneumatics. Fallen like her and with her, we will be with her and like her reintegrated in the Unity. Therefore, she interests us greatly (should interest us is implied here as well). Her story is our own and the Tragedy in which she is the heroine plays out with our blood and our tears. Valentinus, primitive revealer, could not see nor understand all the consequences of the esoteric doctrine which he founded. Or if he did see them and understand them, he could not reveal them, being too close to the apostolic century for one and to Paganism for the other. But when he says that Love is not without an object to love, he implies that the object which is loved, meaning Achamoth, will be the prey of this love. Valentinus himself, under another name and form, was (“is” is also implied here) supposed to come (return) at some point in the cycle of Rebirths to complete what he so magnificently started.
« Dicit Helena in quadam revelatione cuidam gnostico, quod Valentinus nunc vivit, infulâ donatus episcopali. Qui potest capere capiat ».
Firstly, I put in place (declare) the initial (first) dogma, the first standard of the Most Holy Gnosis:
Salvation comes from Knowledge and not Faith. Faith without Knowledge is dead. Outside of the Gnosis there is no salvation.
But like the doctors of the Church thought, Knowledge resolves (summarizes) itself in Love. And Love is like an abducting eagle; it powerfully attacks the Loved and transports him to the place (home) of desire, of Hedone.
Therefore, we do not believe that the Gnosis is sad. She is joyous and strong. She (the Gnosis) knows and she wants (desires). She loves and takes pleasure in what she loves. A Catholic mystic excellently said:
The Love of God rejoices.
And John in his archangelic voice cries out to us from on top of the rock (Mt.) of Patmos: God is Love. Agustine of Hippona added: Ama et fac quod vis. Finally, Wisdom herself tells us: Omnia munda mundis.
Let return to the story of Sophia-Achamoth, at the precise moment where born from Sophia-Celeste in the intermediary world, she perceives, with an unspeakable horror and a supernatural anxiety, that she is being engulfed by the darkness, the oppressive and demon like dark places which the Gospel , with a brutal and impressive concision names : “the outer darkness.”
Those that mistaken Achamoth for a myth err and delude (literally abuse) themselves. She is a substance, a Hypostasis of the divine. Her joys and sufferings are real. Enjoying and suffering are in her. She suffers and rejoices in us, the Pneumatics. Fallen like her and with her, we will be with her and like her reintegrated in the Unity. Her story is our own and the tragedy of which she is the heroine plays out in our blood and our tears.
While she suffered like this –inexorably--- the all-powerful supplications of the Aeons ---omni-potentia supplex--- rose in the Abyss. In a wink, (an instant) the Abyss and Silence united. In a wink, Eros was emanated. In a wink, a ray passed through the darkness and Achamoth felt palpitate on her broken heart broken the eternal heart of her lover: The Sacred Heart! The Song of Songs is the pale reflection of the Epithalamium which sung the Aeons. Eros was made flesh, and he lived amongst us. The grand mystic word was uttered: I.N.R.I. The profound meaning, and glorious beauty of which so many modern Rose+Croix (Rosicrucians) ignore. The Tau was formed. The Rose+Croix was attached (made, conjoined), the holy mixture was realised. The Son of the Spirit and of the flesh, was born to us from Eros and Achamoth, and their union was declared indissoluble by the Pleroma which blesses them and blesses us in (through) them. So our Mother started her mission. In the work of the Demiurge, she planted the sparks of Fire, this Fire which Simon Magus described in the Apophasis of Megale, this fire of a double nature, material without the spirit, spiritual without the matter, this salvific fire which the Aryans and Parses adore, and for which the sun is a cosmic symbol, I.N.R.I. Igne Natura Renovatur Integra.
We will now predict and defeat the capricious and perfidious objection. This fire is lust say the theologians of the Demiurge. Let us answer boldly: this fire, its Love. An even more boldly let us add: this fire is Love in its fullness, not split, not divided, not useless but whole, Love one and indivisible; not pure lust like the pagans, nor sterile charity like the ascetics, but the love which coming from the spirit passes through the flesh which it idealizes like the ray of the sun which passes through the crystal it irradiates.
Let us go further. All of the Gnosis teaches us that in God there are the sexes, the masculine and the feminine. All of the Gnosis teaches us that the Aeons are emanated in Syzygies. The Father of the Aeons, the first Aeon is male-female, Deus-Dea, God-Goddess; he is called Abyss-Silence! And the entire scene (stage might be implied here as well) emanates like him. I said in my Canticle published in l’Étoile (a publication):
The Aeons that emanate,
One and Two is the Arcana
From unfathomable Love.
Eros really possesses Achamoth and amongst the Pneumatics, the Man and the Woman love each other and possess each other. The Aeon Hedone is the link which unites them. Holy Desire, the Possession is (also) holy, neither its desire nor its Possession are Debauchery, they are Love.
So what distinguishes Love from her fallen sister, Debauchery, is that Debauchery does not love and only seeks Pleasure. She has Pleasure as a goal. And (But) Love has Pleasure as a means. This supreme and necessary difference distinguishes them so much from one another that one would have to be blind not to grasp it.
O! how our mother Achamoth, consoled by Eros, recognizes us and avows us as her sons and imitators! May she recognize herself in us who are made in her image and in her resemblance! She seemed to want to give us an example, in producing this Simon and this Helen whose story is familiar to us. The great lovers criss-cross the night of ages like luminous lamps: Simon and Helen! -- Abelard and Héloïse! --Dante and Beatrice!—quasi scintillae in arundineo discurrunt!
They light our paths (ways)! They walk in front of us like precursors, and, like the ancient runners of antiquity of which Lucretius speaks, they hand to us while passing the torch of love—et quasi cursors vitce lampada tradunt.