The Highest vs The Creator in the Grimoires   Leave a comment

There is a conflict in the grimoires I struggled with for quite some time. Well, I say “in the grimoires”, but the conflict was really within myself – centered upon my personal relationship with these books and the Divinity described in them. The problem was simple enough: I am a Gnostic, and as a Gnostic I don’t “worship” the Demiurge (“Creator”). Yet, the invocations provided in the grimoires are directed to the Creator Himself.

To the old Sethian Gnostics, the Creator was a demonic entity who created the world as a prison for the Light. They, and the Gnostics who followed, worshiped nothing less than the Highest God, and their goal was to circumvent the Demiurge and return to the Kingdom of Light.

But the grimoires are not Gnostic texts. Sure, they are gnostic (little “g”) in nature, and there is no doubt about the influence of Gnosticism on these texts and the entire Western Occult Tradition. But the grimoires are mainstream Christian – written largely by Catholics and Protestants. And, of course, we have some older Jewish grimoires, and even Arabic ones. But none of these are Gnostic. And, as such, they make no distinction between the Creator and the Highest God.

Now, if you follow my Facebook postings, I’ve discussed this to some extent already. At least, I’ve discussed who this “God” fellow is the grimoires keep going on about – and how He differs from the Christian orthodoxy of the time they were written. You can read the whole thing here:

In that post, I talk a little about the differences between the older Sethian Gnostics, and the later Valentinian Gnostics. The latter took a much less antagonistic view of the Demiurge, suggesting he was not an evil demon – but merely an indifferent Workman who did the job that was placed before him. In this view, reality and all of its suffering isn’t because we are being tortured in a prison; this is simply the furnace of a Great Athanor, purifying the gold within us so we might return Home once again.

In fact, the Valentinians suggest the Highest Unknowable God, the Christos, and the Demiruge are actually three facets of the Greater Whole. And, as such, they tended to play it pretty loose with the titles they placed upon these Divinities. The Ancient of Days could be the wizened old Demiurgos, sitting upon His Throne in the Seventh Heaven, or just as easily refer to the Highest God instead. The Savior could be the Logos Himself, or it could refer to the Holy Spirit who is the child of the Logos and Sophia. And, most importantly here, the Creator could refer to the Demiurge OR the Logos. Because while the Demiurge was the foreman of the construction site, and was in charge of the physical building of the world, He wasn’t exactly the Architect who designed it all or put the plan into motion.

And this is how I approach the grimoires. I see their many invocations of the Creator and Master of the World (under such names as YHVH Zabaoth – see my FB post for more on that) not as invocations to the demonic Demiurge of the Sethians, but more toward the Christos/Logos as the Architect (not to mention all three – Highest/Logos/Demiurge as One) in the Valentinian style.

Posted August 22, 2022 by kheph777 in gnosticism, grimoires

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