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By Willis Barnstone

The folks we’ve come to name gnostics have been passionate advocates of the view that salvation comes via wisdom and private adventure, and their ardour shines via within the extraordinary physique of writings they produced over a interval of greater than a millennium and a part. Willis Barnstone and Marvin Meyer have created a translation that brings the gnostic voices to us from around the centuries with striking energy and beauty—beginning with texts from the earliest years of Christianity—including fabric from the Nag Hammadi library—and carrying on with all of the means as much as expressions of gnostic knowledge came upon inside of Islam and within the Cathar stream of the center a long time. The twenty-one texts integrated the following function a compact advent to Gnosticism and its relevant ideas—and additionally they offer an entrée to the pleasures of gnostic literature as a rule, representing, as they do, the best masterpieces of that culture.

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100000 shining lighting fixtures, candles, and lamps emerged from the depths of the excessive king in that dome, relocating from nonbeing to being. because it is written, ‘Questions of the hour are yet a moment. ’ not anyone is familiar with the majesty of angels, of angelic beings and creatures. If the seas became ink and timber have been writing tools, the seven heavens have been paper, and the spirits and beings of lighting, jinns, and people started to write and wrote concerning the visual appeal and majesty of the everlasting farthest dome, all will be used, below 1000th of it written down, enjoyable phrases of god, ‘Look, if the ocean have been ink for phrases of my lord, it should dry up sooner than seizing phrases of my lord. ’ “Then the excessive king’s cries echoed left and correct. the 2 cries then switched over into beams, and those beams have been natural uncounted spirits. every one spirit used to be made from seven shades, each one colour 1000000 shades just like the rubies from Badahsan, carnelian, coral, turquoise, emerald, and pearls. and every joint beamed its gentle like a transparent megastar, and as our palms and feet have nails, so each moon or solar shone from every one nail. They have been in six circles, and every staff had a pace-setter and an elder. The grasp was once Azazi’il, and his six ranks of elders went from one to 6. In His snapshot and vanity Azazi’il Creates from gentle “The excessive king lent Azazi’il gentle, and utilizing this mild he formed his creations. In his photo he made spirits. The king shouted approximately what he had performed. Azazi’il shouted his construction of position, aeon, and spirit into being, and nobody however the excessive king is familiar with what number. three “The excessive king acknowledged to Azazi’il, ‘Old guy, inform me who you're and what i'm and what most of these creatures are. ’ Azazi’il replied, ‘You are a god and I’m a god, and some of these spirits either one of us have made. ’4 “The excessive king stated, ‘There can't be gods. You’re my construction. I’m the single who’s made those spirits,’ in success of god’s observe; ‘I will create somebody out of clay. ’ “Azazi’il stated, ‘What I’ve made is extra than yours; definite, I’ve made ten occasions greater than you. how are you going to dare declare your divinity? ’ The excessive King Takes again the sunshine from Azazi’il “The excessive king captured Azazi’il’s gentle, announcing, ‘These creatures you have got made I made additionally. If I withdraw the reward I loaned you, how are you going to create? ’ He took from Azazi’il the sunshine he’d loaned him and the creatures that were made with it, and from it he made a dome of a white sea 1000 instances better than the blue dome of earthly sky. He made 124,000 lamps, flickering candles, and brightly burning lighting look, and painted palaces and castles out of white crystal in 100,000 colours, and he decorated them with the flowing rivers of the water of lifestyles and at the riverbanks the Tuba tree. In branches of the bushes the royal phoenix sat, and in its coloration have been younger males and boys. The white falcon, Duldul, Boraq, and the lion decorated this white sphere. On branches he created the wooden pigeon, turtledove, and nightingale, attractive past description.

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