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Ryan's Alt.satanism FAQ

To: alt.religion.gnostic,alt.satanism
From: Kater Moggin 
Subject: Re: Ryan's Alt.satanism FAQ
Date: Sun, 16 Mar 2003 07:26:31 GMT

> Orthodoxy interpets Genesis as the serpent being the devil; the
> serpent tempts them to eat and so the serpent is evil while Elohim is
> good and has the right to be pissed off. The eating results in a fall
> and we now have to work to get back into heaven.
> (Some) Gnostic interpretation reverses this. Hypostasis of the Archons
> for example, where the snake is the "female instructing principle" and
> an emissary of the Father, and eating is a means to get back to true
> origins of the Father and the Pleroma. (By the way, HoA is interesting
> in another way too. There, you've got a distinction between "God" and
> the "rulers" and the "chief ruler". That's not just another can of
> worms, it's a clue to this).
> But now, here you've got Apocryphon of John, which is truly a puzzle.
> Here, the eating of the tree of knowledge is a good thing, yet the
> snake/serpent is still evil. So how come? What's going on here?

     I think I can explain.  Yes, it's a good thing to eat from 
the tree of knowledge in the Apocryphon of John, but if you
look closely, you'll see the savior credits herself for getting 
Adam and Eve to do so.  ApJohn 22:9:  "It was I who brought 
about that they ate."  That confuses John, who asks, "Lord, was 
it not the serpent that taught Adam to eat?"  The savior 
smiles and answers, "The serpent taught them to eat from
wickedness, begetting, lust [and] destruction, that he might be
useful to him."

     Remember there are two trees.  In Genesis they're known as
the tree of knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life.
Same goes for the Apocryphon of John.  The savior gets Adam and 
Eve to to eat from the tree of knowledge, but the snake teaches 
them to eat from "the tree of their life" (21:24-25), where
"they" are the archons, "their life" is life in this world, and 
the tree's fruit is poison (21:23).

     In short, the snake is evil here in the Apocryphon of John
because he teaches Adam and Eve to eat the fruit of the tree 
of life, as opposed to the savior, who teaches them to eat from
the tree of knowledge.

> And who's the serpent by the way, do you think?

     I'd say he's the archons' servant or their symbol.  Layton
claims he's one particular archon.  GS, p. 45.

-- Moggin

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