In the Beginning

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To the Gnostic Christian, the Gospel is a living myth and ongoing divine revelation that continues to unfold in his or her own experience, and will not come to fruition until the Second Coming. Likewise, while it appears that the spirit of prophecy is dead among orthodox and fundamental movements of Christianity, in Gnostic Christianity it remains very aiive. This reflects the Gnostic view that creation is an ongoing process of evolution, which in essence is a continuum of actualizing and realizing the potential of the infinite and eternal.

In the previous chapter, we quoted a verse from the Gospel of St. Thomas, which was applied to our exploration of the origin of the demiurgos and Satan, but which is also relevant to out present discussion. Responding to a question from the disciples concerning their er J

and presumably the end-of-days, Yeshua says, "Have you discovered, then, the beginning, that you look for the end? For where the beginning is, there will be the end. Blessed is he who takes his place in the beginning,- he will know the end and will not experience death.'

There is a teaching in the Kabbalah that is quite amazing and might serve to illuminate the deeper meaning of this verse. It says that countless universes were created, existed, and ceased to exist in the process of this presenc universe coming into being—hence, there is no beginning to creation. Civen the saying of Yeshua from the Gospel of St Thomas, this would imply that there is also no end to creation. How will the divine potential of the infinite and eternal ever be exhausted? Universes could potentially arise and pass away without end, and the Great Unmanifest would never be exhausted. The same fundamental idea is found in Eastern traditions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism, and a similar idea has been proposed in modern physics, which theorizes a connection between black holes and Big Bangs. Essentially, the theory suggests that, if a black hole draws in sufficient matter, energy and lig it could translate into a Big Bang that constitutes the beginning of another universe in a different dimension This idea is in perfect harmony with what many ancient and modern mystics have beheld in their visions and the enlightenment experience. Basically, there is no beginning or end to creation and life. Rather. ;i is a continuum of eve: becoming arising out of bornless being.

In this light, Yeshua's saying is quite profound. On the one hand, he points to the beginningless and endless nature of the reality-truth-continuum and, on the other hand, cites the purpose of creation as the realization of bornless being. In truth, when cosmic ignorance is dispelled, this being and the continuum of ever-becoming are one and the same—the divine being is the ever-becoming. This is reflected in titles used to indicate divine being, as well as to indicate those who realize a conscious unification with divine being—the self-generating One or the self-begotten One.

Christian orthodoxy has relied upon the Book of Revelation for thousands of years for its vision of the Second Coming, which in a certain sense is ironic considering this prophetic book was almost excluded from the Christian canon. The interpretations of Revelation among orthodox and fundamental Christians are lar ely based on the idea of a fixed or static creation, or on creation as an event of the past which ¡s literally conceived of as occurring in "six days" some "six thousand" years ago. In the light of i Gnostic view of creation, in which there is neither beginning nor end and which is envisioned as an ongoing process of evolution, the interpretation of the Book of Revelation is quite different. Likewise the understanding of the Apocalypse and Second Coming is not isolated to this single prophecy. It includes prophecies that have occurred among previous generations of Gnostic initiates and which continue to occur—hence, part of the oral traditions that are common to Gnosticism. This, of course, produces very different teachings on the Apocalypse and Second Coming, which are viewed both in terms of an individual and a collective enlightenment.

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