Previous Chapter: Three Plots Against Humanity
Among the ancient Gnostic manuscripts rediscovered in modern times, the Secret Book of John is one of the most important. It a sacred reservoir of Gnostic myth and revelation. It breathes with the life of vision that vitalized early Christianity, a life suppressed and then largely forgotten in later ages. A modern reading grants fundamental insights into the lost foundations of Christian tradition.
In the thirteenth chapter, Barbelo offers a message of hope:
I am the Providence of everything. I became like my own human children. I existed from the first. I walked down every possible road.
I am the wealth of the light. I am the memory of fullness. I walked into the place of greatest darkness and on down. I entered the central part of the prison. The foundations of chaos quaked. I hid because of their evil. They did not recognize me.
I emerged from among those of light. I am the memory of Providence. I came down a second time, continuing on. I entered the center of darkness, the inner part of the underworld, to pursue my mission. The foundations of chaos quaked, threatening to collapse upon all who were there and utterly destroy them. I soared upward again to my roots in the light so as not to destroy them all yet.
I am light, I dwell in light, I am the memory of Providence. I descended a third time. I entered the heart of darkness. I came to the deepest part of the underworld. I let my face light up, thinking of the end of their time. I entered their prison, the prison of the body.
“Anyone who hears, awaken from your deep sleep!” I cried out.
The sleeper awoke and wept, wiping away bitter tears.
“Who calls me?” he cried. “Where has hope come from as I lie in the depths of this prison?”
“I am the Providence of pure light,” I replied. “I am the thought of the Virgin Spirit, come to raise you up to an honored place. Rise up! Remember what you have heard. Trace your roots back to me, the merciful one. Guard against the demons of poverty. Guard against the demons of chaos. Guard against all who would bind you. Awaken! Stay awake! Rise out of the depths of the underworld!”
I raised him up. I sealed him with the light and the water of the five seals. Death had no power over him ever again. I ascended again to the perfect realm.
Stephen Davies believes this chapter, which he calls the Hymn of Providence, to be an addition to the book. It’s interesting that Barabelo, the first emanation from the Creator, the incarnation of holy providence, is presented as the agent of the holy spirit when it descends into the material world to reveal to man his eternal nature.
Next Chapter: Epilogue
Image by Pierścień