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Why the Aeon Sophia Fell Into Ignorance


"The Aeon who wished to grasp what is beyond knowledge fell into ignorance and

formlessness. Whence she brought into being the Void-of-knowledge, which is the

Shadow of the Name" (31. 3 f.). Very different is the folly of the Sophia in Hippol.

VI. 30. 6, here summarized: Rushing up to the depth of the Father, she perceives

that whereas all the begotten Aeons generate by copulation, the Father alone

generates out of himself (being in this version without consort, see note 9); in this

she wants to emulate him and also generate out of herself without spouse, so that

she may not fall short of the Father's achievement.


She failed to perceive that this is the power solely of the Unbegotten One, and so

she managed only to bring forth a formless entity. In this effect—the existence of a

formless entity—all versions agree, and it is the important fact for the progress of

the narrative, whether the guilty cause of it is presumption to imitate the Absolute,

i.e., plain hybris, as here, or desire to know Him completely, i.e. trespassing love,

as in the more prevalent versions.''  From The Gnostic Religion by Hans Jonas









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