Eros, Orpheus and “On the Origin of the World” ~ Alexander Rivera

From the Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition No 25, Vol. 3. Autumnal Equinox 2013 http://www.jwmt.org/v3n25/rivera.html

 

Introduction

On the Origin of the World (Codex II) of the Nag Hammadi Library, is dominated by a compendium of influences including Manichean, Valentinian, Sethian, Ophite, Egyptian, Hermetic (Pagan Gnosis), Jewish apocalyptic apocrypha (Enoch and Jubilees), magic and astrology, and last but not least, and as the primary focus of this paper, the Orphic and Hellenistic mysteries. Yet, despite the variety of different influences, it still retains a particular Gnostic flavor—written persuasively as an academic essay, to not only attract potential adherents to the Gnostic religion but also to defend the Gnostic world-view in a distanced and factual manner. These references and allusions to other, non-Gnostic works, are employed to lend weight to the author’s message. Because of the juxtaposition of eclectic influences and even the citation of other texts, which are now lost to us, they seem to point to a school in Alexandria, Egypt as a place of origination……. cont’d at the link above.

Alan F Segal – Two Powers in Heaven

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Early Rabbinic reports on Christianity and Gnosticism

The Works of Philo Judaeus, The Contemporary of Josephus

Available to read online here:
https://archive.org/details/worksphilojudaeu01philuoft

or in PDF if you prefer.

 

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Vol. 1. On the creation of the world; On the allegories of the sacred laws; On the cherubim, and On the flaming sword, and On the first-born child of man, Cain; Of Cain and his birth; On the sacrifices of Abel and Cain; On the principle that the worse is accustomed to be always plotting against the better; On the posterity of Cain; On the giants; On the unchangeableness of God; On the tilling of the earth by Noah; About the planting of Noah; On drunkenness; On sobriety.

Vol. 2. On the confusion of languages; On the migration of Abraham; On the question, Who is the heir of divine things; On the meeting for the sake of receiving instruction; On fugitives; On the question why certain names in the Holy Scriptures are changed; On the doctrine that dreams are sent from God, Books I [and] II; On the life of the wise man made perfect by instruction, or, On the unwritten law, that is to say, on Abraham; On the life of a man occupied with affairs of state, or, On Joseph.

Vol. 3. On the life of Moses, that is to say, on the theology and prophetic office of Moses, Books I-III; Concerning the Ten Commandments, which are the heads of the Law; On circumcision; On monarchy, Books I [and] II; On the question, What the rewards and honours are which belong to the priests; On animals fit for sacrifice, or, On victims; On those who offer sacrifice; On the Commandment that the wages of a harlot are not to be received in the sacred treasury; On the special laws which are referred to three articles of the Decalogue, namely, the third, fourth and fifth: about oaths, and the reverence due to them, about the holy Sabbath, about the honour to be paid to parents; To show that the Festivals are ten in number; On the festival of the basket of first-fruits; On the honour commanded to be paid to parents; On those special laws which are referrible to two commandments in the Decalogue, the sixth and seventh, against adulterers and all lewd persons, and against murderers and all violence; On those special laws which are contained under and have reference to the eighth ninth, and tenth commandments; On justice; On the creation of magistrates; On three virtues, that is to say, on courage, humanity and repentance; On rewards and punishments; On curses; On nobility; To prove that every man who is virtuous is also free.

Vol. 4. On a contemplative life, or, On the virtues of suppliants; On the incorruptibility of the world; Against Flaccus; On the virtues and on the office of ambassadors, addressed to Caius; Concerning the world; The fragments of the lost works; Fragments extracted from the Parallels of John of Damascus; Fragments from a monkish manuscript; Fragments preserved by Antonius; Fragments from an anonymous collection in the Bodleian Library at Oxford; Fragments from an unpublished manuscript in the library of the French king; A volume of questions, and solutions to those questions, which arise in Genesis; Index to the four volumes

 

Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden – Alex Rivera

In five parts:

 

Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden (Part 1)
Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden (Part 2)
Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden (Part 3)
Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden (Part 4)
Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden (Part 5)

Where Do Demons Come From? ~ Michael S Heiser

https://blog.logos.com/2015/10/where-do-demons-come-from/

Excerpt:

Everyone familiar with the Bible knows it talks about angels and demons. But most would be surprised to learn that there’s no verse in the Bible that explains where demons came from. Christians typically assume that demons are fallen angels, cast from heaven with Satan (the Devil) right before the temptation of Adam and Eve. But guess what? There’s no such story in the Bible. The only description of anything like that is in Revelation 12:9—but the occasion for that whole episode was the birth of the messiah (Rev 12:4-6), an event long after Adam and Eve. The idea of a primeval fall of angels actually comes from church tradition and the great English poet John Milton in his epic Paradise Lost.

Continued at the link above

Lilith, Adam’s Intended “Wife” ~ Patai

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Source for image

 

Click to access Patai-Lilith.pdf

NO SHE-DEMON has ever achieved as fantastic a career as Lilith, who started out from the lowliest of origins, was a failure as Adam’s intended wife, became the paramour of lascivious spirits, rose to be the bride of Samael the demon King, ruled as the Queen of Zemargad and Sheba, and finally ended up as the consort of God himself. The main features of Lilith’s mythical biography first appear in Sumerian culture about the middle of the 3rd millennium B.C. What she meant for the Biblical Hebrews can only be surmised, but by the Talmudic period (second to fifth centuries A.D.) she was a fully developed evil she-demon, and during the Kabbalistic age (thirteenth to sixteenth centuries) she rose to the high position of queenly consort at God’s side.

THE BACKGROUND
The earliest mention of a she-demon whose name is similar to that of Lilith is found in the Sumerian king list which dates from around 2400 B.C. It states that the father of the great hero Gilgamesh was a Lillu-demon. The Lillu was one of four demons belonging to a vampire or incubi-succubaeclass. The other three were Lilitu (Lilith), a she-demon; Ardat Lili (or Lilith’s handmaid), who visited men by night and bore them ghostly children; and Irdu Lili, who must have been her male
counterpartand used to visit women and beget children by them.’ Originally these were storm-demons,but, because of a mistaken etymology, they came to be regarded as night-demons.2
Lilith’s epithet was “the beautiful maiden,” but she was believed to have been a harlot and a vampire who, once she chose a lover, would never let him go, without ever giving him real satisfaction. She was unable to bear children and had no milk in her breasts.3According to the Sumerian epic Gilgamesh and the Huluppu Tree (dating from around 2000 B.C.) Lilith (Lillake) built her house in the midst of the Huluppu (willow) tree which had been planted on the bank of the Euphrates in the days of creation. A dragon set up its nest at the base of the tree, and the Zu-bird placed his young in its crown. Gilgamesh slays the dragon with his huge bronze axe, whereupon the Zu-bird flees with his young to the mountain, and Lilith, terror-strickent,earsdown her house and escapesto the desert.4
A Babylonian terracotta relief, roughly contemporary with the above poem, shows in what form Lilith was believed to appear to human eyes. She is slender, well shaped, beautiful, and nude, with wings and owl-feet. She stands erect on two reclining lions which are turned away from each other and are flanked by owls. On her head she wears a cap embellished by several pairs of horns. In her hand she holds a ring-and-rodcombination.5

Evidently, this is no longer a lowly she-demon, but a goddess who tames wild beasts and, as shown by the owls on the reliefs, rules by night.
In the course of the ensuing centuries Lilith’s shape changed again. A seventh- century B.C. tablet found at Arslan Tash in northern Syria shows her as a winged sphinx across whose body is written the following inscription in the Phoenician- Canaanite dialect:
296 Vol. 77, No. 306 Journal of American Folklore Oct.-Dec., I964
O, Flyer in a dark chamber, Go away at once, O Lili! 6
These lines are part of an incantation text used to help women in childbirth- one of many extant from the period of the Assyrian Empire and the new Babylonian Kingdom-and they show that by that time the myth of Lilith had all the major features which were elaborated to their fill two thousand years later by Kabbalistic Judaism.
ISAIAH34:14
One brief reference to Lilith, and a doubtful one at that, is all that is found in the entire Bible. Isaiah, in describing Yahweh’s day of vengeance, when the land will be turned into a desolate wilderness, says:
The wild-cat shall meet with the jackals

And the satyr shall cry to his fellow,

Yea,Lilith shall repose there
And find her a place of rest.7
The Mesopotamian and North Syrian material surveyed above supplies the background to this prophetic allusion. Evidently, Lilith was a well known she-demon in Israel of the eighth century B.C., whose name only had to be mentioned to conjure up the beliefs current about her. That she is said to find a place of rest in the desert seems to tie in with the episode recorded in the Sumerian Gilgamesh fragment- after Lilith  the desert,she evidently found repose there.

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Related The Lilith Myth from gnosis.org

Looking for Lilith