By Brian George
12The Gnostic teacher Valentinus wrote, “What liberates is the knowledge of what we were; of what ego and self are; of whereto we evolve; of wherefrom we are thrown; of what birth is, and how it differs from rebirth.” (Translation by the author.)
13Gnostics believed that matter was the consequence of “hyle”—error, an ancient flaw in the structure of creation. Consciousness preexisted the soul's descent into space. Gods were not different from monsters. Time was a snake, or vice versa; its knowledge, although encyclopedic, fell upon deaf ears. The Earth was an abomination. Sophia was violated by an army of perverse hypnotic fields.
Hallucinations made species. 12 birds forgot that amnesia was in charge, and, without thanks, continued to hatch eggs. From each shell stepped an Aeon, still wet behind the ears. So drunk were we that, in the mirror, we could not recognize our own radioactive faces, and these perfect beings seemed, at first, more terrible than the gods. Dead seas haunted languages. Blood erected—as from a catalog of bones—the totalitarian tower.
The omnipotent played games—for no good reason, or just because they could. Prosthetic hands were transplanted. Ego was the each day more ignorant shadow of the self. The body was a corpse—a kind of afterbirth. A dream of history turned philosophers to stone. Self-consciousness was the fly in the ointment of the Archons, or planetary lords—a metaphysical black hole that led to the circumference.
(Illustration: Alberto Savinio)