VI. The Redemption of Sophia
[Excerpt from The Gospel of Simon and Helen, as translated by S. Dugan.]
The man lay on the ground, unable to stand. Sophia breathed her life into him, and he stood and walked. The angels became angry and turned on Sophia, saying, “Who is this that confounds us and interferes with us?”
They began casting all their powers of darkness and ignorance upon Sophia, until she became confused, for she had spent so much of her own substance in the creation of the cosmos that she could not withstand her own creations.
When Sophia was in their power, the angels said, “Now no one will think that we are the offspring of another.”
The angels caused the man to sleep. They made the body of a woman, casting Sophia into it, to hold her prisoner. They called the woman Eve, for she was to be the mother of all who live. They called man Adam, for he was made of red earth.
When the woman Eve died, releasing her spirit, which was Sophia, the angels again cast her into a woman’s body to keep her prisoner. Thus have they done to Sophia down until these days.
Yet again and again Sophia awoke and remembered who she was, for the power of the Light was great within her. Then she taught people to know they are children of the Light, held in bondage by ignorance.
In many masks did Sophia play upon the Earth, teaching men to know the truth, and by many names has she been called.
By Hellenes she was called the Kore, and Athena, and Artemis.
By Philistines she was called Anatha, and Astarte, and Rahab.
By Babylonians she was called Ishtar, and Lilith, and Sarah.
By Egyptians she was called Isis, and Hathor, and Nephthys.
Always some few men remembered the teachings of Sophia, and the angels could not prevail against them, for the Light was in man; he was not made entirely of darkness and confusion.
Because the angels could not prevail against man, they struggled against one another. Thus was caused the first war among men, the war of the Achaeans against the Phrygians of Troy. At this time Sophia was called Helen, the one over whom this first war was fought. She stood on the towers of Ilium and waved a torch to the Hellenes, signaling the plot against the Phrygians, like the Light from above. Below the Phrygians drew in the wooden horse by which their destruction came, for they were ignorant of what it hid. So by ignorance are men destroyed, who do not know what is hidden within them.
At the end of that first age, Sophia had been cast by the angels into the body of a priestess named Helen. In the evenings she stood on the roof of the temple, gazing upon the sea, dreaming of a black ship with eight sails that would come to rescue her, to reward her for her true worth, in spite of her conditions.
The Great Power of the Unknowable Light, He Who Stands, Stood, and Will Stand, descended to the roof and revealed himself to her as Simon Magnus. He taught her that she was Sophia, by whom all had been made, the reflection of the Beloved Thought of the Unknowable Light. Helen awoke to the Light within her. She remembered who she was. She remembered all that the angels had done to her. She said, `I am the handmaid of the queen in the sky.’
She looked at Simon, and Simon at her. They each saw that the other was fair, and they loved one another. They lay down on the roof and cleaved unto one another, joining in love, as before. As it was above, so it was below, there, in the sight of the angels and all the universe. This was the second celebration of the greatest of the knowable mysteries.
Simon bought Helen’s freedom from the temple of Astarte and took her away with him, to help in the work of the clarification of the light. He preached to the people in this way.
“Behold the Mother of All! She, who was a slave of your Goddess, is in her true spirit the Mother of all, from the Beloved Thought of the Light. She who was called Helen by Homer is the same who dwelled above before all creation, by whom all was created.
“She is the lost sheep; for her sake I came, to free her from her bonds and to offer men salvation from the angels by their recognition of me. Because the angels misruled the world, I have come, transformed into the likeness of their spheres and powers, to restore all things.
“I tell you, in your spirit you are gods. You are all children of the Most High, of the Unknowable Light. You have only to know it, only to awaken to the Light within you. Then you will know who you are, and you will be free from all tyranny.”