Son of the Human

If one reads the sacred texts of Christian Gnosticism that appear in the Nag Hammadi library, one will find many different cosmological and metaphysical teachings attempting to reveal the deeper mysteries of the Messiah. This is common to all Gnostic Christian traditions— all have elaborate and in-depth esoteric teachings of cosmology and metaphysics behind them. It is a mystical language of myth and symbolism among initiates that allows active contemplation and meditation through which inner and secret knowledge is acquired.

This is also true of Sophian Gnosticism, which basically represents a Christian Kabbalah with very strong Judaic roots. As a pre-Nag Hammadi tradition, Sophian teachings represent an independent development of Gnosticism that relies more upon source works of Judaic mysticism than upon texts that appear in the Nag Hammadi. What is drawn from the Nag Hammadi library is typically what reflects and supports n the teachings of the Christian Kabbalah as expressed in one of my previous books, Gnosis of the Cosmic Christ (Llewellyn, 2005,. Thus, in speaking about the mysteries of the Messiah—the Anointed of Cod—again and again, Sophians do so through principles taught in the Kabbalah. Central to the mysteries of the Messiah are the mysteries of Adam Kad-mon, :he archetypal or primordial human being.

Th ? most common term Yeshua uses to refer to himself is not the Son of God, but rather the Son of Adam —Son of the Human One. This has deep esoteric meaning il one is familiar with the many teachings that appear i:i the Kabbalah on Adam Kadmon, the primordial human being, and Adam Ha-Rishon, the generation of the first human being. Speaking of himself as the Son of Adam. Yeshua speaks of himself as the embodiment of something of the ideal human, which is Adam Kadmon and Adam Ha-Rishon.

According to the Kabbalah, Adam Kadmon is a pure emanation of divine being, specifically a pure emanation of Or Aim So/, the light of the infinite, and the form of Adam Kadmon is the "image and likeness of God," as indicated in Genesis. Thus, Adam Kadmon is a person of light existing in the light-continuum. Adam Ha-Rishon is essentially the sn-ne, except Adam Kadmon represents the divine potential of the Humr.n One in the great unmanifest and Adam Ha-Rishon represents the activation of that potential, hence the Human One coming into substantial being. This Adam is male and female in one body or light, which is reflected in the Sophian teachings on the male and female incarr.ation of Christ in the persons of Lord Yeshua and Lady Mary of Magdal It is said of Adam that he-she sees from the beginning to the end of creation in the light-continuum, because the whole of creation exists in the light-continuum and in the body of Adam Kadmon him-herself.

In the Kabbalah, everything is said to come into being through Adam Kadmon, for the sake of Adam Kadmon, who is said to be the fruition of all creation. It is as though Adam Kadmon is the potential of all life, and

I The actual translation of what typically appears as "Son of Man"

at the outset exists in an unconscious unity with the light-continuu r> .ind divine being. Through the process of creation, Adam Kadmon is individuating and awakening to enter into a conscious unification with the light and divine being. The soul ©f every human being that has evtr existed, exists at present, or that wi'il ever exist comes from the great ,oul of Adam Kadmon and is an expression of the soul of Adam. Thus, in t ie deepest part of our being, as individuals we are a unique expression of Adam and, on a collective level, we are all united in Adam Ha-Rishon— the human being of light. As individuals and as a collective, we are Adam Kadmon awakening and coming into substantial being, and in 'his sense we are all sons and daughters of Adam. The whole purpose of e-ation is activation and realization of the divine potential represented by Adam Kadmon, and we are this purpose being fulfilled.

If our souls come from this Adam, and if this Adam is a person of light existing in the light-continuum, intimately connected to Cod5 and Godhead,3 then in our inmost being we also arc a person of lij^ht who comes from the light-continuum. Within each and every one of us there is a soul of light, which is the image and likeness of God .¡nd in which we are inseparable from God. Whether we are conscioti: or unconscious of it, this is the truth of our inmost being and essence

When Yeshua speaks of himself as the Son of the Human One, he alludes to the realization and embodiment of this truth and light in h;.n-self. When he makes I am" statements, such as "1 am the way, and the truth, and the life . . or "I am the light of the world . . .it is of this divine truth that he is speaking. But he does not confine such staie-ments to himself; in the Sermon 011 the Mount as it appears in the Gospel of St. Matthew, for example, he says, "You are the iight of the world," which is to say, You are a person of light who comes from the light-continuum," hence a son or daughter of the Human One. In the

2 The manifest aspect of divine being

3 The unmanifest aspect of divine being

Gospel of St. Thomas Yeshua says, "There is light within a man of light, and he iights up the whole world. If he does not shine, he is darkness."6 According to the Sophian teachings, this is the "good news" Yeshua proclaimed, the gnosis of which is enlightenment and liberation of the soul.

There is another esoteric teaching on the title Son of the Human One that is also quite revealing. In Genesis we find the story of Cain and Abel, in which Cain kills his brother Abel and becomes a "marked man.' In effect, both sons are lost in this act, for Abel dies and Cain loses his humanity. Therefore, a new son is given to Adam and Eve who is said to be "the image and likeness of Adam" and who is named Seth. Cain and Abel represent the sinner and saint, the darkness and the light within a human being, while Seth represents the unification and harmony of the light and darkness, and thus the transcendence of light and darkness and all corresponding duality. Being the image and likeness of Adam, Seth is the true Son of Adam. Thus, in calling himself the Son of the Human One, Yeshua is also calling himself Seth.

A study and contemplation of the name Seth proves most intriguing because the name is composed of the last two letters of the Hebrew alphabet, Shin (£) and Tau (i"l). This implies completion or fruition, and a state of perfection. Shin is the letter added to the name Yahweh to produce the name Yeshua and. as has been said, is the letter representing the Shekinah and Holy Spirit, specifically a fiery intelligence or fiery light. Tau was originally drawn as a cross, thus Shin-Tau or Seth suggests the light of the Cross. The Cross itself is a symbol of unification of all duality—hence a state of divine illumination. Thus, in Sophian teachings the title "Son of the Human One" is often translated as the "Great Seth."

The connection to the story of Cain and Abel, and to Seth, the true Son of Adam, directly reflects the process of the awakening of the soul of light in us. In the process of the soul's awakening, at the outset there is a play of fundamental ignorance, and we are unaware of our innate connection to divine being. Because of this ignorance, dualism occurs in

6. Gosptl of St Thomas, saying 24

consciousness and an illusion of separation from the source of our being. In the process of individuation, the soul enters the cycles ofcarnation, with the creative Spirit of God in the soul of light generating the menial, vital-emotional, and physical being of numerous incarnations. Because of cosmic ignorance and the illusion of separation, the soul becomes I ¡nd to potentially endless cycles of life, death and rebirth, and while dualism remains in consciousness, the soul of light becomes obscured and hidden in the play of cause and effect. It is, in effect, as though we forget who and what we most truly are, and thus must labor to remember ourselves and reintegrate ourselves to the state of the person of light who is united with divine being in the light-continuum. Cain and Abel are the ,tate of dualistic consciousness,- Seth is the state of consciousness :ied-hence self-realization or divine illumination.

In our present state, we arc bound to dualistic consciousness. We tend to polarize ourselves, identifying ourselves almost exclusively with surface consciousness, finite reason, and the limited name and form of mortal being. Yet, in truth, we exist on many other levels, and there are many other dimensions to our consciousness and being, from the physical, vital-emotional and mental levels to spiritual and supernal levels. The person of light is one who integrates all of these levels or aspects of consciousness and being into an authentic individual representing the alignment and harmony of our true being. To recognize and realize the soul of light in us brings about a conscious unification with God naturally and spontaneously. In Christian Gnosticism, it is this state which is called Messianic or Christ consciousness or the Gnosis of Yeshua Messiah.

Whatever might transpire in our incarnation in the material plane and physical world, the unique essence and truth of our soul of light remains unchanged. It is, was, and forever shall be the same, completely pure and pristine, radiant and glorious, ever at-one with the light of the infinite and divine being. At any time, we can remember ourselves and the light that is in us and experience a conscious unification with God and Godhead. It is the present truth of our inmost being—our Christ self. ,

This points to an essential message found in all forms of Gnostic Christianity: knowledge of oneself leads to divine illumination—hence the knowledge of God. From a Gnostic point of view, unless one knows oneself one cjn certainly not know God,- if the inmost part of oneself is of God. then to know that inmost part is to have knowledge of God. If one speaks oi God, but does not kr.ow him or herself, then one speaks in ignorance. In this sense we might contemplate the saying of Yeshua, "Very truly, 1 tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen . . ,''7 In other words, "we speak from direct spiritual experience nd gnosis, the true nature of which is self-knowledge.'

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