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Reading the Pistis Sophia

Reading the Pistis Sophia

Postby Shamash » Sat Sep 13, 2014 2:47 am

A couple of books just arrived in the mail that I'm going to start reading in my study of Gnosticism. One of them is The Nag Hammadi Scriptures, compiled and translated by Marvin Meyer and Elaine H. Pagels; that one has some fascinating texts in it and is a very exciting read. (I've already read and enjoyed the Gospel of Thomas.) The other is Samael Aun Weor's translation of the Pistis Sophia, which is not what I was expecting at all. The whole theme of it seems to contrast with the theoretical tone of the Nag Hammadi scriptures, and it seems to be much more literal, which is kind of a shock given the nature of Gnosticism. I have a very hard time making sense of any of this book. For example, this excerpt:
This is the name of the Immortal: aaa, ooo; and this is the name of the voice, for the sake of which the Perfect Man hath set himself in moton: iii. And these are the interpretations of the names of these mysteries: the first [name], which is aaa, the interpretation is fff; the second, which is mmm or ooo, its interpretation is aaa; the third, which is ps ps ps, its interpretation is ooo; the fourth, which is fff; its interpretation is nnn; the fifth, which is ddd, its interpretation is aaa. He in the throne is aaa. This is the interpretation of the second; aaa,aaa,aaa; this is the interpretation of the whole name.

What on earth is this supposed to mean? I know it's esoteric and requires thought, but I just don't know where to begin. I can't get past the beginning which just rambles about the First Commandment, the four-and-twentieth mystery, the sixth mystery, looms, treasuries of light, pentagrams, "transcendental sexual electricity", etc., etc., etc... I didn't want to have to ask you guys for help and be a burden, but I really need some tips on how exactly I should be interpreting this text. I feel like I need to read it to have a strong understanding of Gnosticism, since I really don't know what the Æons are, or the archons, or Sophia for that matter, and I can't find any information on this anywhere. Maybe I'm just more used to reading Eastern type of philosophical literature, which would explain why the Gospel of Thomas felt natural to me.

Edit:
Upon reading the publisher's note of my copy of the Pistis Sophia, I found out that it's apparently the G.R.S. Mead translation commentated by Samael Aun Weor (even though I can't find the alleged commentary anywhere within the book).
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Re: Reading the Pistis Sophia

Postby RoseRed » Sat Sep 13, 2014 2:58 pm

You might also enjoy a translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

I don't know what the 'correct' answer is here but it's obvious that it's not naming names.
When my wings get tired I grab my broom.
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Re: Reading the Pistis Sophia

Postby Shamash » Sat Sep 13, 2014 3:23 pm

Actually, I looked at the online version on the Gnostic Society Library, and figured out that my version of the book actually contains commentary by Samael Aun Weor after every single paragraph. The formatting really didn't make that obvious, and neither did the title of the book. Reading it makes a lot more sense when I skip past the commentary parts, which are just complete nonsense. Unfortunately, I was pretty short on time while I was looking for which edition to order, so I just went with the one that had the best reviews on Amazon. Anyway, now that I'm reading it correctly, it's a much more interesting book.
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