| | The Gnostic Mythos | |

DISCLAIMER: We are not Gnostics. In fact, a lot of what gnosticism teaches is really, really icky. Like the body being evil, women being evil, and stuff like that. That being said, there is much about post-modern society that resonates with the ancient gnostic teachings. Like people's experience of God as being uncaring or even inept, religion and traditional institutions in general being a sham, rejection of the organic in favor of the technological, etc. There's just a hell of a lot of relevant stuff here which, we think, needs to be explored artistically. Thus, STARFOOTED.

In (Valentinus') Gnostic cosmology, Sophia (Holy Wisdom) somehow "slipped out" of the Pleroma, where the Godhead resides [Ladder From the Sky]. Hoping to regain her place through imitation of the divine (a practice known as "demiurgy"), she creates a demiurge, Ialdabaoth (the Hebrew God Yahweh) and inspires him to create a world. [Chaos with a Crown of Gold] This Ialdabaoth does, but then, having gained a taste of divine power, Ialdabaoth rebels against Sophia and contrives to keep Adam and Eve - and Sophia herself - trapped in matter, enslaved forever in the wheel of reincarnation. [Ignorance and Bess]

The earth, for the Gnostics, was a prison-planet ruled by an evil tyrant. The soul would continue to reincarnate in this insufferable vale of tears until the power of Ialdabaoth and his evil angels (the "archons" which encircle the earth) could be broken.

Meanwhile, the "true" God, observing these events from the Pleroma ("Fullness"), decides to help humankind, who, though helplessly trapped in evil and corrupt matter, nonetheless contain a spark of divinity which longs to rejoin the Godhead, if only it could escape the body and the earth.

Thus, the highest God sends the serpent to the garden to help Adam and Eve in their plight. Acting on the serpent's wise counsel, the pair eat of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, and their eyes were opened to their incarceration. But before they could eat of the other tree which would break the archons' power, Ialdabaoth intercedes and succeeds in keeping them captive, though no longer ignorant of their plight. Lots of time passes, and the people look forward to one who would come to teach them how to break free of the prison planet. [The Ages unto the Ages]

In the fullness of time, the true God from the top of the Pleromic hierarchy, sends the Christ to teach humanity how to break the power of the archons' once and for all, and to woo Sophia back into the Pleroma. [The Illusion of Flesh] The "secret" gospel "woke them up" to their plight, and they longed to rejoin the "fullness" of the pleroma, their true home. [In the Cave]

Gnostics felt that they were strangers living in a hostile and alien world. [Seed] They spread the "secret" gospel of Christ, and underwent rituals such as the Bridal Chamber [The Bridal Chamber] in order to receive the "gnosis" a flooding of insight, or enlightenment that puts one beyond the archons' power.

After death [Don't Sleep], the soul would rise through the archons, who would nonetheless fight to keep him/her or imprisoned [Battle of the Archons]. But if the initiate has true gnosis, the archons cannot touch him/her, and the soul is free to rejoin the fullness of the Godhead, or the Pleroma [Assumption].

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