Fall of the Wisdom Goddess
Here, in a nine-part synopsis, is a complete version of the open-ended myth of Sophia, the Fallen Goddess of the Mysteries. This myth is not the invention of John Lash. It is his reconstruction of a sacred narrative developed by ancient seers ("Gnostics") who intended it as a vision story to guide humanity on its proper course of evolution, interactively with the living planet, Gaia. Another version, the Gaia Mythos tells the same story in the form of a prose poem in sixteen Episodes (the last five remain to be written.) As the prose poem may be unpalatable to some people, the synopsis below is the best place to start learning the myth.
My book Not in His Image contains a full expansion of the nine episodes. "Or Ever the Earth Was" is also helpful in oriention to the unique significance of this myth. Readers will also benefit from looking at the Overview.
- John Lash
Please go to website for the great pictures included in this !
The Sophia Myth in Nine Episodes
One - In the Galactic Core
At a certain moment in eternal Becoming, a singularity arises in the core of our home galaxy. This spontaneous and selfless offering of new potential arises from the One Source, which may be called the Originator. The Originator is the all-pervading presence greater than any God, any single Generator. The Gods within the galactic core generate or manifest what the Originator offers in pure potential. The Originator imposes nothing on the Generator Gods (Aeons, in Gnostic language), so the singularity a discrete potential for infinite novelty — is without signature, non-encoded. It has no predetermined form, no innate shape or structure. It is pure, sweet, unconditioned possibility. The singularity is like a vast, soft tremor that erupts from the One and spreads deliciously through the company of Generators in the cosmic vortex, the Pleroma.
Two - The Singularity Encoded
The singularity offered by the Originator is received by two Generators, the Aeon Christos and the Aeon Sophia, who balance it between them and dance it into a particular shape. By their combined intensities, they endow the singularity with a set of inherent properties. They encode its pure potential so that its unique properties can unfold in a particular way and eventually give rise to a particular life-form: the Anthropos, the template for the human species. Configuration of the Anthropos begins with the dyadic dance of Christos and Sophia.
(Buddhist yab-yum: iconographic image of mating gods,
useful to visualize the dance of the Aeons Christos and Sophia )
Three - Projecting the Anthropos
When the Pleromic duo Christos and Sophia complete their ritual dance, the singularity is configured and ready to be released. In a collective act of emanation, all the Aeons within the galactic core form a delicate lattice, like a holographic plate; then, using the lattice as a lens, they pour their collective luminosity into the outer realms, beyond the bounding membrane of the Pleroma. Out there is the Kenoma, the zone of dark elementary matter arrays (dema) swirling in the immense carousel of the galactic arms. The encoded singularity will be seeded in the dema where new worlds are constantly arising, so that the Anthropos can have a habitat, a world of its own in which to unfold its singular potential.
The luminous template of humanity is projected into the outer regions via a stalk of light, an immense opalescent shaft. Acting in unison, the Generators implant the potential novelty in the carousel arms, rather like a fertilized ovum is implanted in the walls of the uterus.
Once the Anthropos is projected into the galactic limbs, and deposited for incubation in a molecular cloud, the Pleromic Gods withdraw and watch. They remain within the bounding membrane of the galactic core, yet they observe and sense what lies beyond it, in the Kenoma. The joy of the Aeons is to see the spontaneous arising and dissolving of myriad worlds, and to divine the life-stories of the creatures that emerge in those worlds. To do this they only have to use a kind of cosmic empathy, they do not have to enter or intervene into the worlds they witness.
The Aeons are sentient, feeling intensively and responding to what they observe. At a certain moment, in a certain mood, one Aeon responds more keenly than the others to the glorious spectacle of the Anthropos template nesting in the molecular cloud. While the other Generators hold back, the Aeon Sophia senses an unusual stirring of her currents. Divine desire draws here to the boundary of the Pleroma, where she lingers. Sophia feels a profound, unsettling attraction, a sense of fascination for how the Anthropos will evolve and manifest its unique potential. She muses about a world to come where the human singularity will emerge and thrive.
(Cabalistic Tree of Life, arcane image of DNA in two
intertwining strands with nodal points - an attempt to visualize
in formal terms the Anthropos template)
Four - Sophia Plunges
Wrapped in her Dreaming, and ever more detached from the other Generators in the Pleroma, Sophia previsions a world yet to be, where humanity will emerge to live, learn, and love. The vision of the Anthropos in the nebular cloud engages her divine powers of Dreaming in an unusual way, independent of the other Aeons. Rather than leaving this cosmic novelty to mature and unfold on its own, according to the instructions encoded within it, the Wisdom Goddess feels a strange attraction. She is compelled to get involved.
Slowly, exquisitely, Sophia’s longing pulls her precariously close to the porous bounding membrane of the Pleroma. Her desire follows the light-path taken by the Anthropos, vibrating out and down into the dema, the chaotic flux of elementary matter in the galactic limbs. Deliciously tempted, the Goddess feels pulled out of her natural depths, more and more — until she plunges, out and away. Like a slow-motion waterfall twisted into a torrential braid, the Goddess spirals downward toward the far node of her Dreaming. The currents that compose her body form a massive power spike, a tongue of Divine Light leaping from the Pleroma, shooting light-years into the exterior regions.
Episode Five - Archons Arising
When Sophia plunges, the immense surge of high-density, low-mass luminosity composing her body impacts the dema in a totally unforeseen manner. The dema is a quantum foam composed of subatomic matter not yet formed into discrete elements. It is pure chaos, but it is not blind, dead matter. The chaotic flux of the elements is a residue from previous worlds and the raw material of worlds to come. Even the dema has the potential for life, if not organic life. The dema glitters and crackles with a kind of phantom life.
In the residual dust of long-gone worlds, vast fields of particles surge with attractions and repulsions, unfulfilled potential consisting of impulses that remain from things seen and felt in previous worlds, left incomplete when those worlds dissolved. Out of this residuum other worlds, organic and inorganic, continually arise. In the Kenoma, many worlds are in the making, and some will become the habitats of organic species like the Anthropos.
But due to Sophia's plunge, the usual order of cosmic evolution is perturbed. The world to come, in which the Anthropos will fulfill its potential, will not be formed exclusively from the dema, the subatomic residuum of dense elementary matter arrays.
The immense surge of high-density, low-mass current of the Aeon Sophia impacts realm of sub-atomic matterin an odd, unforeseen manner. When her torrential current reaches the dema, the force of Sophia’s Dreaming is engaged in a way she cannot resist. Like all Generators, the Goddess is superanimating: wherever Sophia directs her attention the dema springs into life and acquires form. To her horror and amazement, she finds herself surrounded by bizarre creatures, a phantom species in embryonic form: Archons. These entities are legion, like a swarm of locusts. Having no place to alight, they mass around Sophia, sucked into her currents and blown out again. They acquire a shadowy kind of life from the superanimation of her Dreaming powers.
(Generation of quasi-embryonic fractal at high iteration,
useful to visualize the fracture effect of Sophia on the dema)
As she beholds this monstrous display, Sophia sees one distinct form emerge from the hive of embryonic life-forms. This is a violent and aggressive shape, a dragon-body with the head of a lion who rages and roars: the Demiurge, lord of the Archon legions, the bizarre offspring of the fallen Goddess. The Demiurge prances and preens before the Archons. He is blind arrogance embodied. Looking around, he does not see the Pleroma or the Anthropos, nor does he even see Sophia. The Demiurge takes the chaotic void of the dema for the entire cosmos, and declares himself to be the lord of all he surveys. “I am the only god, let there be no others before me.”
The chief Archon wants a habitat, a kingdom to reflect his false omnipotence and his arrogant impulses. He wishes to organize fantastic celestial mansions for himself, but since he has no intentionality, no will of his own, he can create nothing. Archons can only imitate, they cannot originate. They can copy life but they cannot engage its most intimate dynamics. They are a cybernetic species stranded in a cosmos not of their making.
Six - The Mother Star
Sophia has compassion for the plight of the Archons and the Demiurge. They are, in a sense, her offspring. She imparts a portion of her Dreaming to the chief Archon so he sees the Pleroma, even though he does not realize how this is being done. The Demiurge commands his legion of celestial drones to fashion an immitation of the living fractal currents of the Generators that swirl in immense kaliedoscopic patterns in the galactic core. The Archons construct celestial mansions that mimic the living formations of the Aeons as they circle and dance, but the Archontic heaven is a blind clockwork mechanism, rigid and lifeless: the planetary system. This realm is dominated by the laws of inorganic chemistry: . The legion of Archons gather around the Demiurge, who falsely believes he is the creator of this clockwork cosmos. The demented god reigns arrogantly over his kingdom, the planetary system exclusive of the earth, sun, and moon.
But the planetary system partially formed by the Demiurge is still in formation, and under the influence of other cosmic forces. From the molecular cloud where the Anthropos is nested, a newborn star emerges. The Demiurge desires to be the center of the heaven world he has constructed, but the center will not hold, for a planetary system must be supported by a central sun, a star. Fortunately for the Demiurge, the young star is composed of inorganic elements comparable to those of his own realm of elementary matter, the dema.
Stars are continually being born in the depths of M42, the Orion Nebula, and expulsed like flaming cannonballs into the galactic arms. The forces involved in starbirth are independent of the Archons, and superior to them. As long as the Archontic world has no solar focus, it remains unstable. But gradually, the turbulent whirling of the dema assumes the form of a disc with the newborn sun at its center, like a bright, throbbing furnace. The planetary forms of the dema and the incandescent metals forged deep inside the newborn star fuse into a single system.
Sophia beholds these events, but she is no longer alone in her observations. The newborn star at the center of the nascent planetary system is also alive. It is a cosmic entity able to observe and react to events in the environment. Sophia senses the proximity of the mother star and attunes herself to its force-field. At a moment when the arrogance of the Demiurge becomes excessive, the Goddess decides to act. She declares in a commanding voice to the Lord Archon:
“ Saklas, you are blind. Humanity exists, and the Child of Humanity, the earthbound strain, who is greater than all your works.”
The Demiurge cannot detect the origin of this voice, for there is no other god before him in the whole cosmos — so he believes. Once again, he declares his claim to omnipotence but Sophia responds:
No, Blind one. You are mistaken, and lest your error be the cause of much confusion for the Child of Humanity, I chastise you.”
With these words the Goddess breathes a blast of purgative fire formed like an angel into the face of the Lord Archon. Then she discharges from herself a tongue of Divine Light infused with deathless life: Zoe, her likeness and flame-born daughter.
(Wrathful Kali colored with red ochre: useful to visualize
the "Angel of Wrath" sent by Sophia to chastise the Demiurge)
Beholding these events, the newborn star, who is called Sabaoth, suddenly reacts and undergoes a conversion. The star repents for collaborating with the Demiurge to contrive his pseudo-heaven of demented vanity. Having seen the repudiation of the Lord Archon, and the birth of Zoe, the everlasting life-flame, Sabaoth chooses to align with the Aeon Sophia, and stand against the planetary forces. Sophia recognizes this choice and sends her daughter Zoe to join the newborn sun, the mother star of the planetary system. Zoe places herself on the right hand of Sabaoth, in the eighth heaven. And the Angel of Wrath, the fire-angel whom Sophia send to chastise the Demiurge, stands on the left of Sabaoth. In this way they preside over the actions of the Lord Archon and his legion, the denizens of the extraterrestrial world.
Seven - The Living Planet
Slowly, with increasing anguish and confusion, Sophia shifts from being a torrent of living light to something else, something like a mottled globe of light, a dusky pearl spinning in the void. Around her she beholds the planetary system constructed by the Archons, the clockwork cosmos of the Demiurge. The planets of the Archontic system are inorganic, unable to support life, but Sophia senses herself becoming a different sort of planet. She is morphing into a planetary body that does not belong to the realm of the Archons, yet it is captured in it.
Sophia turns into a planet that is organic, sentient and aware. But the life she acquires in this transformation is different from the life she knew before, among the Pleromic Aeons. It is not a life singular and whole, seamless, integral, autonomous, but a life of dependence and interrelation, a vast living web of precarious complexity.
As the Goddess morhps into a planet, her high-porosity current of Organic Light curdles like milk and finally solidifies into a globular crystal that irritates her, like the grain of sand in an oyster. She discharges the globe into space, leaving a deep rift in her flank where scar tissue forms, generating a bleeding barrier reef of coral. The discharged globe, like a huge gleaming pearl, spins through the sky around her and measures the tempo of her gestation. The counterwight of the moon helps Sophia manage the bulkiness of her dense ovoid body and hold her own against the pull of the planetary system.
As Sophia loses her Aeonic form, her emotions transform into the physical elements of the earth The terrestrial globe solidifies, a fetal planet captured in the clockwork heaven of the Archons. After the conversion of Sabaoth, the Mother Star, bestows a stream of the nurturing solar warmth on the emergent planet. At the same time, the planetary system exerts its blind forces and Sophia is violently pulled into the throes of gravity, electromagnetism, and other laws that are suspended in the Pleroma.
Over many eons Sophia perspires in her labor to form the planet Earth. By her exertions she produces an atmosphere and oceans. Volcanoes vent her menstruation. The Aeon veils herself demurely in the cloudy marbled vapors of the biosphere. Upon her body life arises in rampant forms, creatures great and small abound, but Sophia is unable to manage her progeny. Looking on from the galactic core, the Gods of the Pleroma sense her plight. By communal assent they send the Aeon Christos to bring order to the biological diversity teeming in Sophia’s world. The Christos intercedes to organize the life-forms burgeoning in Sophia’s womb, and then recedes, withdrawing to the Pleroma, the galactic center.
The Aeon Christos leaves a imprint in the biosphere that lingers like a living afterimage. Aeons later, humans will spontaneously encounter this form as the Mesotes, the intermediary.
(Benard cells: hexagonal lattice that appears in nature,
indicating the afterimage of the Aeon Christos,
i.e., "Honeycomb Light of the Christos.")
Nine - Sophia’s Correction
Totally identified with the life-processes of the planet she has become, Sophia awakens to the world she dreamed, where humanity, the Anthropos, now emerges and proceeds to live out a divine experiment: the unfolding of cosmic singularity.
Sophia embodied is the living planet, all the way from its molten core out to the limits of the biosphere. Her passions have become the physical elements, solid, watery, aerial, fiery. In and through the elements Sophia experiences joy and anguish like every sentient being, and her emotional field encompasses the array of planetary sentience, entire. Having become a planetary body, Gaia, she does not forget what it is to be an Aeon, a dancing torrent of Organic Light, alive and aware, autopoetic, super-animating.
But Gaia’s memory of her own divine condition is dependent upon what unfolds in terrestrial conditions. And in some mysterious way, the Goddess depends for self-recollection upon one species among all the others — that singularity, the human strain.
Even before her plunge, Sophia was intimately engaged with the novelties that were to emerge on Earth through the Anthropos. This species does not decide the fate of life on Earth, nor does it even determine Sophia’s ultimate return to the Pleroma, when the planetary form passes away. But it does play a key role in how Sophia realigns to the Pleroma while she is still entrained in the cycles of nature, undergoing the cyclic metamorphoses of planetary life.
Over four billion years, the Goddess shows that she is fully able to recover her life force after massive traumas and extinctions. The continuity of her life-cycles is shared by all creatures whom she selects for resurrection, but it is lived out by humankind in a special way, because humans have a narrative skill more advanced than other animals. It may be that humanity, with its story-telling capacity, serves as a memory-circuit for Gaia-Sophia. In imagination, through the medium of language, the human species remember and relate the entire trajectory of her metamorphosis.
(Alchemical image of Sophia as a Tree of Learning,
and source of the Elixir of Life)
But can the human species see itself? Can its trace its own proper course of evolution?
Although not the most precious species – all her progeny are precious to the Goddess – humankind has the rare privilege to participate intimately in Sophia’s correction, her realignment to the cosmic source, the Pleroma. But to do this the Anthropos must first correct itself. It must realize its own true potential, and face and master the deviance of the Archons. How humankind meets this challenge, and how the delicate correction of Gaia’s cosmic trajectory will be accomplished, is the future, unwritten part of Sophia’s story.
jll: March 2006 Flanders