Beyond archetypes: Do the AEONS describe a path?
And then it struck me.
The origin mythos of the Gnostics describes the emanations of the Aeons that start with the ineffable being and roll out through the different aeons to the youngest of the Aeons Sophia. The bridge between the earthly and divine domains. This journey from the ineffable, via the knowable forces of the Aeons, to the chaos of our material world, is referenced in chapter 6 of the Pistis Sophia.
Then Jesus, the compassionate, said unto them: "Rejoice and exult from this hour on, for I have gone to the regions out of which I had come forth… From this hour on will I not hide anything from you of the [mystery] of the height and of that of the region of Truth. For authority hath been given me through the Ineffable and through the First Mystery of all mysteries to speak with you, from the Beginning right up to the Fulness, both from within without and from without within. Hearken, therefore, that I may tell you all things. Pistis Sophia.
Because the story was always told from the origin out, I had never really thought about the pathway “from the Beginning right up to the fullness”. The beginning in this instance being the repentance and rejection of the realm of darkness and created by the lion headed Demiurge.
While I had written much about the syzygies (link) of the decad and the dodecad. The 22 aeons (24 if you include Anthropos and Ecclesia). I had not seen them as a pathway before with a beginning and an end. Where the journey of enlightenment starts and the fulfillment is realized.
Jesus said “Have you discovered, then, the beginning, that you look for the end? For where the beginning is, there will the end be. Blessed is he who will take his place in the beginning; he will know the end and will not experience death.” Book of Thomas, Saying 18.
In this direction it makes sense that the path of enlightenment starts with Sophia for she was the Aeon who transgressed the realm of the Aeons and in doing so created the chaos. (It also explains why the symbol of Sophia is on the cover of the AEON book).
I elaborate on all of these steps in the Syzygies of Aeon but not as a linear progression but here for anyone interested is the reversed path.
Starting from the Earthly realm:
Step 1: Sophia (Wisdom) and Theletus (Perfection): The desire of Gnosis and improvement. The realization that the material realm is imperfect and must be rejected.
Step 2: Ecclesiasticus (son of the church) and Macariotes (Utopia): To do what is right and true to ourselves so that we might be blessed. The power to give and receive. Communion
Step 3: Ainos (Praise) and Synesis (Understanding): To find the divine in ourselves so that we might know the divine in others. Rites and Sacraments.
Step 4: Metricos (Mother) and Agape (Love): To give of yourself, to create and bring forth love. The power to renew and fuel new life. Resurrection.
Step 5: Patricos (Father) and Elpis (Hope): Responsibility to protect and die for a legacy and future you believe in. Transcendence of self.
Step 6: Paracletus (Helper) and Pistis (Faith): To build reciprocity and trust. Faith in self and others comes before faith in God.
Moving into the realm of the divine:
Step 7: Monogenes (Originality) and Macaria (Happiness): The power to create what makes you happy. Explore your True nature. Build your inner compass.
Step 8: Acinetos (Immovable) and Syncrasis (Intercourse): The power to combine our true nature with others to find new potential. Revealing new understanding of our self in different combinations and contexts.
Step 9: Autophyes (Self-Made) and Hedone (Pleasure): The power to find self satisfaction and the satisfaction of others. What we bring forth is not only for ourselves but for others.
Step 10: Ageratos (Eternal) and Henosis (Union): The power of our intimacies. The secret of eternal life comes only from our togetherness.
Step 11: Bythos (Depth) and Mixis (Stir-up): The power of infinite growth comes from both the deeper understanding of your own being and the agitations and reactions with others of equal depth of knowledge.
Step 12: Anthropos (Mankind) and Ecclesia (Congregation): The two modes of being (personal and social) for which we must achieve cohesion and coherence. Personal wholeness reveals our true nature, body, mind and spirit. Integrated self-ness. Social and collective ‘ wholeness’ from which we find harmony and balance within our environment and society.