In Gnostic myth, Animus Mundi, The Soul of the Universe, or First Thought, voluntarily allows herself to be degraded and abused by the vindictive malice
of the inferior Yaldabaoth in order to bring about the restoration of human souls to their rightful place in the heavens. This voluntary degradation, or descent into confounded understanding and forgetfulness is usually symbolized in the various myths as prostitution. In the vision of St. John The Divine, the goddess becomes the great whore of Babylon, who from the Gnostic perspective, is a degraded form of the Queen of Heaven.
Animus Mundi, the mother of all things, recognizing the will of her Father to create the archangels and angels, secretly issued out of him by her own volition and descended to the lower regions where she generated the angelic powers, who are usually called Archons. It was these angelic powers, whose leader was Yaldabaoth, that created the universe. Unfortunately, since they were created without the express command of the Father, they are flawed.
After she created the Archons, they kept her prisoner to conceal the fact they were not the highest of all beings. About the true God, the Father, these Archons knew nothing, but they subjected Animus Mundi to unceasing degradation and torment, imprisoning her in a body of matter and causing her to prostitute herself so that she would forget her high estate and be incapable of returning to Heaven. Throughout the ages, Animus Mundi has reincarnated in countless female forms, none of which reflect her true essence, and she is compelled by the angels to pass from one form to another like water poured from vessel to vessel.
Man is physically created by Yaldabaoth and the other Archons, yet he is infused with a spark of true divinity by will of the Father, making man a higher creature than the Archons who created him. However, man does not recognize his divinity, and this ignorance of his true estate allows Yaldabaoth to use humans as his slaves, manipulating them through a combination of bribes, threats, and lies. In later Gnostic myths, Yeheshua, the Christ, descends and liberates humanity from its slavery, and rescues the fallen goddess from her degraded state and bears her back to Heaven where he weds her.
From the Gnostic point of view, Yaldabaoth is the beast who appointed the various angelic powers as Archons over the innumerable parts of the universe and instructs them to continue to multiply and transmute her forms in order to keep her in a bewildered and forgetful state. This is a kind of rape of the world by the Archons, and her child is also made to suffer with her. The words "One while let her be known, and another while a stranger" apply to both the Animus Mundi and to human souls at root. They are both a single essence.
In a Gnostic sense, it is not so much a command to do something new as it is a description of what is already taking place. At one moment, a human soul may rise up in ecstatic gnosis and attain union with the First Thought by remembering her name, who then knows herself through the awareness of her child. But at the next moment forgetfulness comes amid the countless petty distractions of manifest existence.
I am The Alpha and The Omega,
The First and The Last,
The Beginning and The End.
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