The Creation Myth has managed over the centuries to be changed many times into many different disguises but the one constant throughout time is that we originated somewhere else.
The Myth of Sophia
With the above-noted statement in mind, I would like to quote you, from Jung and the Lost Gospels, the Myth of Sophia: High in the ineffable and transcendental world of light there existed a primal pair named Depth and Silence. Together they brought forth a perfect realm of balance and creative power, consisting of thirty archetypal forms of consciousness called Aeons. The youngest and most adventurous of these, called Sophia (Wisdom), fell in love with her own royal progenitor, the great invisible king of the all, called Depth, and wished to fathom his perennially inscrutable nature. Confused by her love, she cast her glance in various directions from her aeonial seat in the fullness until in the distance she espied a magnificent light, shimmering with sublime grace. In her bewilderment brought about by love, she could no longer distinguish between the above and below and thus came to assume that the seductive light, which was in reality below her, was none other than the royal effulgence of the great king, her father, who resided at the highest point of the heavens. Thus she descended into the abysmal void, where in a boundless and fathomless sea of glass the reflection of the heavenly light beckoned to her. Her celestial consort, Christ, was unable to restrain her, and thus after a final, painful embrace she plunged into the murky deep, only to discover how the reflected light had deceived her. Saddened and frightened, she found herself enclosed by emptiness, devoid of the quality and power of Gnosis to which she was accustomed in the fullness. Desirous of having a kindred figure next to her, she brought forth in a virginal fashion a being whose name was Jesus. Although conceived mysteriously by her desire for her original Gnosis, Jesus was nevertheless joined to a shadow of darkness, which attached itself to him because of the malefic influences of the dark void wherein he was born. Jesus soon freed himself from his troublesome, shadow attachment, and ascended into the fullness, leaving Sophia in a state of despondency.
Left outside the supernal spiritual universe, alone and comfortless, Sophia experienced every sort of psychic storm imaginable. Passion, sorrow, fear, despair, and ignorance exuded from her being like mighty clouds and condensed into the four elements of earth, water, fire, and air, as well as into a number of beings, which later were to be known under such names as the Demiurge and the rulers (archontes) — fierce and troublesome spirits, one and all. The mightiest of these, a lion-faced being filled with pride and the will for power, marshaled his host of world-fashioning spirits, and out of the raw material of earth, water, fire, and air they built a world of impressive external appearance, yet replete with great flaws, having been created in the image of its creators. Sorrow, fear, ignorance, and other painful and destructive passions were built into the fabric of this imperfect world, inasmuch as the raw material used by the fashioners originated in feelings like those experienced by Sophia. Looking down at the flawed and troubled world pridefully fashioned by her own ignorant offspring, Sophia was filled with pity for creation and resolved to assist in such ways as would be available to her. She thus became the spirit of the world, anxiously observing it like a mother is wont to do when watching over a feeble and misshapen child.
Meanwhile in the lofty height, Jesus was anxiously observing the sorrowful fate of his mother, Sophia. He joined himself to Sophia’s twin aeon, Christ, and thus became Jesus-Christ, the Messiah and messenger of God. Around him rallied all the sublime and compassionate powers of the fullness, each contributing to him gifts and glories of their respective treasures. Thus in Jesus-Christ the fullness and its powers came to be gathered together, readying him for the great act of redemption, the liberation of Sophia from her lamentable condition in the void. Ceaselessly, Sophia’s supplications ascended like clouds of bittersweet incense, penetrating the recesses of the fullness, arousing the compassion of all the splendid aeonial beings who perpetually contemplate their glory in their kingdom of perfection. Through the centuries and millennia of earthly history, Sophia prayed and sorrowed over her fate and the fate of the flawed world and the sparks of light enmeshed in the nets of the rulers, who like monstrous spiders continued to manifest webs of matter, emotion, and thought for the entrapment of humans — in essence not their creation but rather the sparks of Sophia’s own higher nature infused into bodies of clay.
Finally, the powers of the fullness were assembled and, having entered Jesus-Christ, descended to earth to free Sophia and thereby also to bring redemption to her spiritual children, the members of the human race. After undergoing vicissitudes visited upon him by the rulers and their deceived human minions, Jesus-Christ rose triumphantly from earth, holding Sophia by the hand. Joyously they ascended to the various heavenly mansions, knocking on the portals of the spiritual guardians and gaining passage to ever-higher and subtler regions of existence. At each of these gates Sophia uttered great songs of praise and gratitude to the light that had saved her from the chaos of the nether regions.
When the World-Spirit Sophia came to the borders that separate the nether worlds from the fullness, she looked down once again unto the flawed and troubled world, suspended in the void and chaos, and compassion filled her broken but now mended heart. No, she could not leave utterly behind this strange creation, to its less than adequate resources. Neither could she abandon her true children, the women and men who were more intimately related to her than any other beings outside of the fullness. Thus, she worked her magic and divided her nature in half: one to ascend into the aeons of fullness, there to dwell with Christ and Jesus, the other half to remain in proximity to creation and continue to assist it with compassionate wisdom. Her second half, created by compassion, thus became known as Achamoth, the errant or lower one who is still in contact with humanity and the regions of this world.
The Three Regions
It was thus that it came to pass that the universe constellated itself in three regions. The first of these is the sublunar or material world, ruled by a prince whom the ancients called Pan and whom others inaccurately call the devil. This prince rules over the earth, the planets, and living creatures and like a patient shepherd sees to it that all of these manifestations of Sophia’s life may one day reach the higher worlds, no matter how far they stray. Not privy to the realities and designs of the mighty aeons of light, the prince of this world merely turns the great wheel of birth, death, and rebirth, hoping that if he and his flock are but able to remain within the motions of biological life, their hour of liberation will not find them past redemption.
Higher in immaterial space is the world of soul or mind, which is ruled by the chief archon, also called the Demiurge and having numerous names, including Yaldabaoth (childish God) and Saclas (blind one). It is from the realm of this arrogant and power-hungry godling that many of the concepts and precepts originate that enthrall the minds and wills of humans. The blind god has a great liking for what he is pleased to call law. Rules, commandments, and regulations of all sorts are fashioned by him in order to diminish freedom, which is the birthright of the spirit. Philosophies and ideologies of diverse sorts are also placed into human minds by the Demiurge, along with greed, power, and other obsessions that becloud and vitiate the spiritual purity of men and women.
Thirdly, in the world above planets, immediately below the portals of the mighty fullness itself, is a region where Sophia-Achamoth, the celestial mother and wise helper of humankind, is enthroned. With her live countless hosts of angels of light and holy and religious souls that once occupied human bodies. This is the world of spirit, where the twin angels of human personalities also reside and the celestial bride chamber is erected wherein the lesser selves of humans may meet and be wedded to their spiritual counterparts, the twin angels. When humans commune with whom they envision as the Goddess in her manifold aspects, it is none other than Sophia-Achamoth, their wise guardian, whom they envision. Unaware of these subtle mysteries, many well-intention followers of the Christian revelation have come to see this form of Sophia as Mary, Queen of Heaven. It is in this manner then that our Lady Wisdom, though redeemed and having assisted Jesus-Christ in the work of redemption, is not far from her children even to this day.
The World on the Turtle’s Back
Creation myths, although originally passed down from one generation to the next by word-of-mouth, contain essential elements of truth. Admittedly, some versions seem like simple fairy tales, the truth needed to be clothed in images that could be remembered by the listeners. Just because we have become more sophisticated, doesn’t mean that we cannot enjoy a good story when we hear one.
I found the following North American Indian creation legend, entitled The World on the Turtle’s Back, written down by John Dockstader, in a collection book called I am an Indian:
In ancient times, there dwelled in the sky-world a great and powerful chief, “He The Sky Holder”. In this sky-world there was neither light nor darkness. Near the lodge of this great chief grew the Great Tree of Light. The blossoms from this tree lighted the sky-world. The Beings that lived in this world possessed great wisdom and lived in peace.
The chief took a young wife named Mature Flowers, but did not find happiness because the fire-dragon of jealousy filled his mind. “He The Sky Holder” uprooted the Great Tree of Light and invited his wife to sit beside him and look down on the world below. While she was doing this he crept behind her and gave her a mighty shove. As she fell she grasped at the roots of the Tree of Light and the earth but she could not save herself from falling through the hole in the sky.
The world below was populated with man-creatures of the sea and of the air for there was only water. These creatures seeing the sky-woman falling toward them held a council and decided that she should be saved since she had the power to create.
The creatures of the air flew up to bring her gently down on their wings. The water creatures volunteered to dive to the bottom of the sea and bring up some mud so that she might have a safe place on which to rest. Many tried but all failed and some were drowned.
Finally Muskrat tried and after a long time had passed he rose to the surface but he too had drowned. In his lifeless paws and mouth he held some of the precious mud from the bottom of the sea.
Beaver tried to hold the mud on his back but it became too heavy and he asked that someone else take on the burden. Turtle tried next and Beaver placed the mud upon his back. The creatures of the air then placed sky-woman upon this island on the Turtle’s back and it immediately began to grow. As she walked about, the seeds from her clothing fell to the earth and in her footsteps vegetation sprang up instantly.
Just as the world grew to a suitable size sky-woman gave birth to a woman child. This child soon grew to maidenhood and had many suitors among the Beings that lived in this world. These Beings had the power to transform themselves into human form at will. The maiden, after asking her mother’s advice, rejected all these proposals but accepted the Being in scalloped leggings and robe.
She soon gave birth to twin male Beings but died because of the evil nature of the younger child. She was buried and from her grave grew the Three Sisters, Squash, Corn, and Beans. She then became known as Earth Mother.
Sky-woman, now a grandmother, named the eldest brother, who was good minded, “He Grasps The Sky With Both Hands”. The younger brother, who had purposely caused the death of his mother, was evil and ugly to look upon and was named “Flint”.
“He Grasps The Sky With Both Hands” sought out his father and finding him asked for wisdom and power to create the good things for this earth. He then created plants, animals, and songbirds. When all this was completed he created man after himself and called him “Sapling”, then he created woman and called her “Growing Flower”. In the sky he placed our grandmother the Moon, elder brother the Sun, Day Bringer the morning star, and the path to the sky-world the Milky Way and gave them all duties to perform.
His evil brother “Flint” tried to imitate his works but only succeeded in creating thistles, thorns, bats, monsters, and serpents. Rivers had currents that ran both ways for ease of travel till “Flint” made falls and rapids. He stunted the growth of food and caused winter to be invented. All of his creations were of no use to man. He finally challenged his brother to a duel to determine who should control man. “Flint” was defeated and was banished forever.
“Good-minded” returned to the sky-world but returned to earth four times to teach the people, whose bodies he created, the use of plants and animals and the four ceremonies of Thanksgiving. He taught them to live in peace and harmony and to seek out human values. When all his work was completed he left for the sky-world promising to return when the rains came from the east, saying, “Thus shall it continue to be in the future that there shall be always two tribes of people living on either side of the river.”
I wonder if the phrase, “when the rains came from the east” refers to the Age of Aquarius. Today, we might say,“when the sign of the Water-bearer rises in the sky”. Jesus referred to this age as “at that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky”.
To be continued.
Linked Page: Star: 10 – Neptune: The Mystic Star (part 1)
Picture credits: Star of Bethlehem courtesy of http://www.clipartbest.com;
Sophia courtesy of stmichaelsdivinity.weebly.com;
Blind Justice courtesy of statelymcdanielmanor.wordpress.com;
The World on the Turtle’s Back courtesy of http://www.pinterest.com;
Gaia – Earth courtesy of http://www.slowmuse.com;