Descensus Averni Day 1: Gospel of Eve

I did not actually begin fasting until today, but this morning I woke up with a very clear flash of a quote from the Gospel of Eve, quoted by Joesph Campbell in The Hero With a Thousand Faces:

“I stood on a loftly mountain and saw a gigantic man and another a dwarf; and I heard as it were a voice of thunder, and drew nigh for to hear; and He spake unto me and said: I am thou, and thou art I; and wheresoever thou mayest be I am there.  In all am I scattered, and whensoever thou wiliest, thou gatherest Me; and gathering Me, thou gatherest Thyself.”

The Gospel of Eve is lost to us, except for a few quotations by Epiphanius, including the one above.  This quote flashed very suddenly in my mind and was gone as quickly, like lightning.

I looked up the quote in Campbell’s book and it is also interesting:

“Now it appears that the perilous journey was a labor not of attainment but of reattainment, not discovery but rediscovery. The godly powers sought and dangerously won are revealed to have been within the heart of the hero all the time. He is “the king’s son” who has come to know who he is and therewith has entered into the exercise of his proper power—’God’s son,’ who has learned to know how much that title means. From this point of view the hero is symbolical of that divine creative and redemptive image which is hidden within us all, only waiting to be known and rendered into life.”

After quoting the Gospel of Eve, Campbell goes on:

“The two—the hero and his ultimate god, the seeker and the found—are thus understood as the outside and inside of a single, self-mirrored mystery, which is identical with the mystery of the manifest world. The great deed of the supreme hero is to come to the knowledge of this unity in multiplicity and then to make it known.”

It seems portentous that I would be directed to a quote about the Hero and the god within as I begin my seven day Descensus Averni ritual.


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