Every Human Being Is A Seed.

Humanity is a collection of seeds; every one of us is a seed that longs to become a tree. Every seed, every human being, has the potential to become a great Tree of Life.
The seed that we are is called in Sanskrit ‘Tathagatagarbha.’ This term, when translated directly, means ‘the embryo of an awakened one’, an embryo of Soul, the potential to become Soul by becoming Aware of your True nature. It can also be called ‘Buddha Nature’ or ‘Buddhata-dhatu.’ This Buddha Nature or potential is a seed, a kernel, a germ, a small particle that contains within itself a collection of raw elements. This seed in us is our consciousness. In Gnosis, we call it ‘Essence,’ because in it is the very essence of our Being.
The Spiritual nature is our True inner self. It exists potentially, as a seed, within all who hear the Word and is expressed as creativity and intuition. The spiritual seed was sent “to be formed here along with the animate soul and to be brought up and elevated with it.” (Ireneus Against Heresies 1:6:1). The spiritual seed is often compared to gold or a pearl cast into mud (Ireneus Against Heresies 1:6:2, Gospel of Philip 62:17-25) since “it is a precious thing and it has come to reside in a lowly body” (Gospel of Philip 56:24-25). If the seed bears fruit (cf. Matthew 13:23) and the person attains to some level of Gnowledge, the spiritual nature is actualized. Such a person attains to the highest level of salvation.
Spiritual (Pneumatic) Human Beings
In order to become identified with the Spiritual element, the person must attain a state of mystical knowledge (gnosis) of God. The person directly experiences the presence of the risen Christ in the form of his or her personal angel. Just as Wisdom (Sophia) was formed according to Gnowledge by the Savior, they themselves are formed according to knowledge by the angels who will be their bridegrooms (cf. Excerpts of Theodotus 61, Exegesis on the Soul 132:9-23). The spiritual person no longer needs to rely on the testimony of others, having come to Gnow Truth Itself (Herakleon 39).
Awakened from the drunken stupor of ignorance, and freed of suffering, they recognize their true spiritual nature. They remember where they come from, where they are, and where they must return (Gospel of Truth 22:13-15, Excerpts of Theodotus 78:2, etc.). Confidently, they can proclaim, “I trace my origins to the Pre-existent One. I am returning to my own from whence I came” (Ireneus Against Heresies 1:21:5, 1 Apocalypse of James 34:17-18, cf. also Gospel of Mary 16:13-17, Gospel of Thomas 50). Gnowing God is the final result of Gnowing themselves. They come to know God because they are part of God.
Attaining to Gnowledge (gnosis) is spiritual rebirth (John 3:6-7). It is the True resurrection from the dead, that is, from the death of ignorance. This resurrection does not take place in the afterlife. It must be Xperienced in the here and now (Gospel of Philip 56:18-19, Treatise on the Resurrection 49:9-35 cf. Romans 6:4). As the Gospel of Philip says, “People who believe they will die first and then rise up are mistaken. If they do not first receive resurrection while they are alive, once they have died they will receive nothing” (Gospel of Philip 73:1-5).
Putting on the true flesh (Galatians 15:44, Romans 6:2), the elect obtain a spiritual body which will arise from the fleshly one when they die (Ep 7:3 cf. Gospel of Philip 56:26-57, Authoritative Teaching 32:30-32, Treatise on the Resurrection 47:4-8, 1 Corinthians 15:44-46). Thereby “imperishability descends upon the perishable” (Treatise on the Resurrection 48:38-49:1) and they “shall never die” (John 11:26). As the apostle John says, “We know that we have left death and come over to life” (1 John 3:14, cf. also John 5:24)
Valentinians made no distinction between present and future eschatology. Just as resurrection was immediate, the final consummation of the world was also said to be experienced here and now through Gnosis. Through resurrection, the spiritual person was said to ascend beyond the animate realm of the Craftsman to the Eighth heaven. There they put aside their soul, become joined with an angel (Ireneus Against Heresies 3:15:2). Then they reenter the heavenly realm or Fullness (Ireneus Against Heresies 1:7:1,Ireneus Against Heresies 3:15:2, Excerpts of Theodotus 64:1, Valentinian Exposition 39:28-33, Gospel of Philip 81:34-82:25) and all “attain to the vision of the Father and become intellectual Aeons, entering into the intelligible and eternal union in marriage” (Excerpts of Theodotus 64:1). The entire Fullness is the “bridal chamber” for their union (Ireneus Against Heresies 1:7:1, Excerpts of Theodotus 64:1). For them “the world has already become the eternal realm” (Gospel of Philip 86:11-14). Valentinus describes it this way, “The Father is within them and they are within the Father, being perfect, being undivided in the truly good one, being in no way deficient in anything, but they are refreshed in the Spirit” (Gospel of Truth 42:27-33).
This process is said to result in the dissolution of the material world (Valentinus Fragment 4, cf. also Ireneus Against Heresies 1:21:4). As Valentinus says, “Since deficiency came into being when the Father was unknown, therefore when the Father is known, from that moment on , the deficiency will no longer exist.” (Gospel of Truth 24:28-32) and the “realm of appearance is no longer manifest but will pass away in the harmony of unity” (Gospel of Truth 25:1-6). The deficiency and “the entire system originating in ignorance (including the world) is dissolved by knowledge” (Ireneus Against Heresies 1:21:4, cf also Ireneus Against Heresies 1:7:1). Those who have attained to knowledge are said to able to see through the illusion which is the world and “rule over creation and the whole of corruption” (Valentinus Fragment 4, cf. also Gospel of Thomas 2).
In order to attain to a state of mystical knowledge, the person needs to lead a life of meditation and detachment so that he or she is “in the world” but not “of the world” (John 17:11, 17:14 cf. Ireneus Against Heresies 1:6:4, also Treatise on the Resurrection 49:9-11). The Treatise on the Resurrection states, “Everyone should practice in many ways to gain release from this element so that one might not wander aimlessly but rather might recover one’s former state of being” (Treatise on the Resurrection 49:30-36).
Gnowledge (gnosis)is a restoration to the person’s original condition. It transforms everything. Spiritual people by definition do not sin. Through knowledge they die with regard to sin and are raised up again with Christ (Galatians 2:19-20, Colossians 3:5). Gnowledge enables them to annihilate the carnal nature (i.e. the burden of deficiency) which is the cause of sin. Valentinus describes this process in the Gospel of Truth: “It is within Unity that each one will attain himself; within Gnowledge he will purify himself from multiplicity into Unity, consuming matter (i.e. the carnal element) within himself like a fire and darkness by light, death by life” (Gospel of Truth 25:10-20).
According to Theodotus, when the risen Christ breathed his Spirit into the apostles, “He blew away the carnal like ashes and removed it, but he kindled and made alive the spark” (Excerpts of Theodotus 3:2). This metaphor is made even clearer when we remember that the Greek word translated here as ‘carnal’ is chous which literally means ‘dust’. In order to annihilate the carnal nature and become truly spiritual it is necessary to completely refrain from sin (Excerpts of Theodotus 52:2). The Gospel of Philip says “The one who has Gnowledge is a free person. But the free person does not sin, for the one who sins is a slave of sin ” (Gospel of Philip 77:15-18 cf. John 8:34). Therefore, as it says in another part of the Gospel of Philip, “Let each us burrow for the root of evil that is within and root it up from his or her heart. It will be rooted up when it is recognized” (Gospel of Philip 83:18-21).
This is why it is said that spiritual people are “saved by nature” (Excerpts of Theodotus 55:3, cf. Ep 7:8, Ireneus Against Heresies 1:6:4, Thessalonians 2:13), and that it is “impossible for them to fall prey to corruption” (Ireneus Against Heresies 1:6:2 cf. 1 John 3:9). They have the Gnowledge of God’s will that allows them to lead a sinless existence (cf. Gospel of Truth 22:9-11, Interpretation of Knowledge 9:31-33) and have become “illuminators in the midst of mortal men” (Letter of Peter to Philip 137:6-9).
In people who attain Gnowledge in their lifetime, the seeds are “sown in the good earth” and they “bear fruit” (Matthew 13:23 cf Ireneus Against Heresies 1:7:1). Each person who receives Gnowledge destroys a portion of the deficiency and brings the Godhead one step closer to reintegration. The final end of the world will occur when “all that is spiritual has been shaped by Gnowledge” (Ireneus Against Heresies 1:6:1). The triple division of the human psyche is overcome through Gnosis and the person is reintegrated into the Divine.
~ David Brons.
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