The Role of the Demiurgos and Evil

As indicated ibove, what Gnostics mean by the demiurgos and Satan is a natural part of the creative process in which free will is imbued into creatures and creation. In the Sophian tradition, it is viewed as part of the divine plan. The purpose of free will is an individuation of souls or consciousness through an involution that opens the way for the evolution of unique and individual beings. Essentially, everything begins in an unconscious unity and, through the process of creation, the potential for a conscious reunification is actualized and realized by operation of free will. Yet the role of the demiurgos and Satan goes beyond the generation of free will; for in an evolutionary process there must be forces of resistance and opposition that create the necessary pressure, tension, and stress for evolution to occur, and that tries and tests all developments in evolution to ensure they are good and strong and true. In a certain sense, the demiurgos and Satan ensure the health and well-being of creatures and creation.

We may gain some insight into this by considering the great pressure and heat necessary to transform the dullness of carbon substance into the dazzling beauty of jewels and diamonds. Without great pressure and intense heat, the potential beauty would not become manifest. Likewise, we can consider the role of the predator in nature, which serves to ensure the health, well-being, and strength of species, as well as to maintain the necessary balance in ecosystems. WTthout the predator, the development and evolution of diverse species could not occur and ecosystems would not be kept in the necessary dynamic balance. When faced with challenge personally it may be frightful and undesirable to us, yet it is all part of a larger picture of the development and evolution of the soul-being and creation as a whole. Without it, we cou'ei not grow and evolve,- we could not actualize our full human and divine potential.

While facilitating free will and serving as a force of resistance and opposition in the evolutionary process, at the same time, psychic and spiritual forces of admixture and darkness are natural distortions and obscurations of life-power that occur during immature stages of development.

It is in this sense that we might understand the teachings of some Gnostic schools, such as the Sophian tradition, which propose that the der.ii-urgos and archons, even the most dark and hostile forces, must ultimately be uplifted and redeemed, along with everything else in creation. As we have said, in nondualiStic schools of Gnosticism, there is a divine spark in all things, and even what appears "demonic" is a secret operation of the Holy Spirit. Thus, whatever impurity, distortion, obscuration, or obstruction may arise in the process of creative evolution, it will eventually be worked out,.and the divine spark that is in it will ultimately be realized and restored to the sacred unity. In the Gnostic Christian view, the fruition of the divine revelation is not as simple as the destruction of the demiurgos and Satan. Rather, the Gnostic envisions redemption of all cosmic forces in the light-presence and light-continuum.

This is reflected in the early life story of St. Mary Magdalene as told among Sophians. The message is, regardless of how immersed in admixture and darkness a holy spark or soui might become, the innate luminosity and divinity remains, and it will ultimately be actualized. In the larger scheme of things, nothing exists that does not have its place and role in creation, and there is nothing that will ultimately be lost in the fruition of creation. Thus, although Sophian Gnosticism does speak of relative states of heaven and hell,' there are no teachings of "eternal damnation." After all, appearances are a relative reality and everything is always changing. The true essence and nature of all things is divine being: the One being-consciousness-force.

These ideas about the nature of the demiurgos and evil, and the play of cosmic forces in a process of creative evolution, are integral to the Sophian teachings on the Apocalypse and Second Coming of Christ, to which we may now turn our attention.

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