In Judaic tradition, the Torah, or law, is the first five books of the Old Testament from C nesis to Deuteronomy. Following are the writings and the prophets that form the rest of the Old Testament. As one reads and studies the Old and the New Testaments, one cannot help but be struck by the radical difference there appears to be between conceptions of God. In fact, if one did not know better, one might feel that these two parts of the Bible represented the revelation of two very different Gods. This is certainly the conclusion of some Gnostic schools, which as we have said bc!;cve the God of the Old Testament to be the demiurgos.
In the Sophian tradition of Gnostic Christianity, however, it is not God who changes between the Old and New Testaments. Rather, it is human beings and the prophets who have matured and who have spiritually evolved to see hear, and know the divine revelation more directly
and clearly. The distinction is one of gradations of n purity in human consciousness moving towards greater purity and clarity. However, even in che New Testament there is necessarily some degree of admixture. Any inspiration or revelation flowing through an incarnate human being will naturally be limited by the capacity "I the individual's own knowledge, understanding, and wisdom, the place and time in which he or she lives, and his or her own assumptions and prejudices.
As an example, though Yeshua was a realized individual and a great master nevertheless, Yeshua believed the earth was flat because that is what people tnought in those days. Likewise, Yeshua did not denounce slavery, which was pan of the culture of the time, even though today it is clear to us that it is inhumane and unjust. The same is true for comments n the New Testament regarding gays and lesbians—rundamen-tal cultural prejudices color the teachings of the ancient apostles. St. Man,' Magdalene herself fell victim to prejudices against women in the ancient Palestinian culture of patriarchal domination. While the source of the divine revelation in both the Old and New Testaments is the same life-power, the impurities in the consciousness oi the prophets and apostles receiving it are the result of the demiurgos and archons— hence ignorance, and the distortions ignorance produces in both the individual and collective consciousness. According to Gnostic teachings, as long as one is in this world and in the body, ti •¿•re must necessarily be some influence of cosmic ignorance.
This is all part and parcel of the realm of becomin > and evolution, for p vious stages of development and evolution are necessarily inferior aid imperfect to these of the present or future, and indeed, many former developments naturally become obsolete in the evolutionary process. It is with this awareness that Sophians look upon the Torah and Old Testament and even various aspects of the New Testament There can certainly be no greater form of fundamental ignorance than to 3ssume anything spoken or written by a human being is the 'absolute word of God," however inspired or enlightened the author might be. Such ideas represent a complete lack of self-knowledge and understanding regarding the functions of consciousness, and certainly lack insight into the psychic and spiritual dimensions of the mystical and prophetic experience. In truth, whatever might be communicated of the mystical or prophetic experience is an interpretation and creative i: pression, limited by a person's knowledge and ability.
Thus, when Christian Gnostics look into the Scriptures, from t c Old Testament to the New, and even into Gnostic Scriptures, what they see is a progressive light-transmission occurring at various level. each a more refined and evolved revelation of the light-presence and light-continuum. Essentially, Gnostics seek to draw from Scriptures whatever knowledge, understanding, and wisdom they can. Whatever is obsolete is left behind, like chaff when the grain of wheat is extracted. Using this analogy, in the midst of a harvest when the husk and fruit are joined together, it would be unwise to throy out the fruit with the husk, or as the saying goes, "to throw out the baby with the bath water.' Thus, just as there are teachings and an ora' tradition coupled with the New Testament and Gnostic Scriptures in the Sophian tradition, so also are there wisdom teachings and oral tradition associated with the Torah and Old Testament.
Much of the old covenant and the law is obsolete and irrelevant to the Gnostic Christian, such as laws concerning clean and unclean foods and the bloody sacrifices of the ancient Jewish temples. Yet the heart oi the law and the essence of the law remain relevant and true in the eye , of Sophians; thus there are spiritual and mystical teachings associated with it that pc;nt to the Gnosis ol the Living Yeshtta.
The essence of the law is love, through which the law is fulfilled and all good things are accomplished. According to the Sophian teachings, the essence of the law is confined in the following statement: "Love the Lord your God with ail of your heart and with all of your soul, and with all of your mind and all of your strength,- and love your neighbor as yourself." The basic implication of this is the awareness of sacred unity underlying all things through which one is able to experience conscious unification with the light-presence and light-continuum. As we shall see, the fundamental understanding of this to the Gnostic i<
not so much religious, but rather represents the very essence of the spiritual or mystical experience and thus the essence of Gnosis.
The heart of the law flows out from the essence of the law and is represented by the Ten Commandments, to which we shall now turn our attention as we explore some of the Gnostic Christian teachings associated with them.
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This work on 2012 will attempt to note them allfrom the concepts andinvolvement by the authors of the Bible and its interpreters and theprophecies depicted in both the Hopi petroglyphs and the Mayan calendarto the prophetic uttering of such psychics, mediums, and prophets asNostradamus, Madame Blavatsky, Edgar Cayce, and Jean Dixon.