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Discussion in 'Gnosticism DIR' started by Mr Cheese, Jun 24, 2009.

  1. Mr Cheese

    Mr Cheese Well-Known Member

    Apr 23, 2007
    Pleroma: The word means “fullness,” and the ‘All.’ It refers to ”all existence
    beyond matter. Refers to the world of the Aeons, the heavens or spiritual
    universe, which represents being out of the state of matter. According to the
    “Gospel of Truth” “….all the emanations from the Father are Pleromas.” see
    Tractates 3, 2, Codices, I, and XII, Nag Hammadi Lib. Pleroma can have other
    connotations according to the Gnostic school of thought, some differences in
    Sethian and Valentinian (other) schools can be noted. Pleroma, is different than
    Logos. (See; Logos, See aslo; Gaffney, p. 246.)
    http://www.kheper.net/topics/Gnosticism/Pleroma.html :
    One idea that characterises most Gnostic texts are their complex accounts of the unfolding of the various Divine emanations, the Aeons, the “Eternities” or “Worlds”, which become the transcendental Pleroma or realm of Light. The Pleroma is distinguished from the lower or manifest creation, so the Gnostic Cosmology is based on the idea of a duality between the transcendent Spiritual Reality (which includes the manifest and unmanifest) Absolute) and the imperfect psychic and physical reality, the “Cosmos”. The psycho-physical cosmos in fact is considered a lower or imperfect reflection or copy of the higher perfect order of the Pleroma
    The exact representations of the Pleroma differ according to different Gnostic sects, but if we take the Sethian and Valentinian schools there is the division into four grades of divine existence, as follows
    the Supreme Principle;
    Spirit, Abyss, Fore-Father etc
    (and associated Aeons)
    The Self-Begotten – Autogenes
    (and associated Aeons)
    the Archetypal Man
    (and associated Aeons)
    the Cosmos
    psyche and matter

    To continue the discussion started in the last few posts, I thought I would discuss briefly another word you will probably encounter inthe Gnostic scriptures: the "Pleroma." This can be a bit confusing since it seems sometimes to be used almost interchangeably with Aeon. My understanding of what the Pleroma represents is thespiritual realm as a whole, in which the spiritual beings of Gnostic cosmogony move and have their being. In this sense, it is a bit more inclusive and can include the modes of existence of the archonentities as well as the aeonic entities.Pleroma may also be seen as a kind of communion of spirit, linkingall spirit together in a basic unity. The implication of this, ofcourse, is that insofar as we are spiritual beings, we are linked tothe Pleroma in that spirit; however, as we are simultaneouslylimited by physicality, we are unable to fully and immediatelyactualize that Pleromic existence in the way that we will be able toonce we acheive gnosis.What is perhaps more interesting, however, is this theology of thePleroma with regard to how it affects the Gnostic perception ofChrist and Sophia. When we say Christ was the full incarnation ofthe divine spirit into the world, what we are really saying is thathe was unique among all human beings in being able to reallyactualize his Pleromic identity even while he was physicallycontained within his human nature. We see this idea reflected inGnostic writings, for example the so-called "Second Apocalypse ofJames," where Jesus remarks that he himself has received "revelationfrom the Pleroma of Imperishability." In the Apocalypse of Peter,Jesus actually declares that the Pleroma was like a being "coming tome" who provided him with the divine revelation that makes him thegreat mediator between God and human beings, and the power that evenconquered death, as, again in the words of the Apocalypse of Peter,Christ is seen "on the tree, glad and laughing." Or, as the Apoc.Pet. continues, the nature of Jesus "into whose hands and feet theydrive nails is his fleshly part," but it is Christ's spiritualconnection with the Pleroma that ensures that mere physical deathwill not prevent his continued life and his continuing revelation ofthe divine spirit. In this light, we can better understand theevent of the Ascension, which represented Christ more or lessshifting back from the physical existence begun by his incarnation,drawing this physical phase to a close and reentering the realm ofthe Pleroma fully. In this way, the ascent of the combined physical-spiritual Christ to the Pleromic Christ means indeed that Christ isthe "firstfruits of those who believe" -- in other words, he haslaid out the same path that we will follow in the process of gnosis,as beings who now are a kind of amalgamation of physicality,intellect, and spirit, but will eventually find the true fulfillmentof our human identity in the end state of the Pleroma.

    full article: N-P « Prayers and Reflections