Who is Valentinus? the Gospel of Truth 2nd century
Valentinus lived in the 2nd century and considered a “Gnostic” (gnosis), The Christian Gnostic Ideas of Valentinus made him a mystic and poet. Valentinus was born in Phrebonis in upper Egypt about 100 AD and began his career teaching in Alexandria around 120AD. Valentinus became a disciple of Theudas who taught him secret wisdom which supposedly St. Paul taught privately to his inner circle.
Gnostics had a reputation for having visions of the risen Christ and inspired understanding of Christ’s message, Valentinus was one of them. In 136 AD, he went to Rome and was widely respected for his eloquence and mystic thought. He taught in Rome for at least ten years and died there around 155 AD. His work was not included in the cannons of the church.
Valentinian Theology, The Secret Tradition
Mediation, prayer and study provide the keys to Jesus’ message. Mystical understanding does not always fall into place with a child’s disposition accepting the truth behind church doctrine. The message requires contemplation and awareness.
Jesus spoke to his disciples discretely saying “The secrets of the kingdom of heaven have been given to you, but to the rest comes by means of metaphors and parables so some may look but not see and listen but not understand.” When Saint Paul encountered Christ in a vision (2 Corinthians 12:2-4; Acts 9:9-10), he received the secret teaching mysteriously experienced as Gnosis, apparently it came to him in the same fashion as did the Gnostic Ideas of Valentinus.
Gnostic Ideas of Valentinus
believed God is;
Incomprehensible and cannot be;
fully known or controlled.
Infinite, without beginning or end.
Encompasses all things
without being encompassed.
Androgynous and frequently
depicted as a He/She dyad.
The masculine part is essentially passive, creative yet when moved to action by feminine ‘ thought ‘, there is action.
The feminine aspect is essentially silent, yet when this primordial state of tranquility, wisdom and self-awareness is acted on it becomes masculine and active.
Jesus comes to bring knowledge (gnosis) to those desperately seeking to know why we are here or how we are here. Knowledge is what intimately yolks the physical and spiritual.
Valentinus believed that people are created and composed of three non-corporeal elements: a demonic part (chous), a rational soul (psyche), and a spiritual seed (pneuma). Human beings were divided into three types depending on which of the three natures is dominant within them. That is why Adam and Eve are described as having had three children who they named Cain, Abel and Seth. They are the prototypes of carnal (choic), animate (psychic) and spiritual (pneumatic) human beings respectively.
The Gnostic Ideas of Valentinus comprehend Jesus as human and Christ as divine, two natures inseparable and complete. The human Jesus was born physically to Mary and Joseph. When he was thirty years old, he went to John the Baptist to be baptized. As he came up out of the water, the “Spirit of the Thought ” descended on him in the form of a dove. This is the “virgin birth” and resurrection from ignorance to fullness. This reality and lived awareness is open to all humanity.
Jesus experienced all of the emotions of human being including grief, fear and confusion in the Garden of Gethsemane. The human Jesus suffered pain and died on the cross while the divine Christ aspect transcends physical suffering and death. When his physical body died, his non-corporeal spiritual body lives as does ours. As Einstein said, matter cannot be created or destroyed.
If you have ever watched a live body become a dead body, a loved one, a bird, even something as small as an insect, it becomes quite clear we are more than flesh and blood happening, the thing that is alive is mystery and in some magnificent way housed in each of us. I have not yet experienced how that mystery can be; life with no body. However, I continue to probe the boundary between mind and body wondering what is immortality and what separates me from it.
The parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1-8), explains Jesus as Sophia (wisdom) sowing the spiritual seed with varied final results. In some people the seed “falls on the path” and some do not respond at all. Some of us are carnal by nature, those spiritual seeds get choked by the thorns of worldly concerns. We hesitate and are unable to go beyond the level of rational explanations and intellect. In others, the seed falls “in good earth” and bear spiritual fruit. Such people are Gnostic or spiritual Christians.
Humanity will awakened from the drunken stupor of ignorance and bear fruit spiritually by attaining a state of mystical knowledge (gnosis). True resurrection is where ignorance dies and mystic reality begins. We do know the mind of God, perhaps not fully but in part. This resurrection does not take place in the afterlife, rather in the here and now.
Gnostic Ideas of Valentinus describe resurrection in terms of eschatology, meaning the end of ordinary reality and reunion with the divine here and now. Resurrected people live “in the world but not of it.”
Perhaps we will come to fully realize we are light or pure energy, we will walk on water, change water into wine, heal the blind and move mountains. The terrible imbalance we live in today needs more of the feminine Silence, Grace and Thought.
For sure, if we continue to live in the ignorance we have mapped out for ourselves; the devastation of war, abuse of the environment and hideous crimes against humanity, we will annihilate ourselves as species on the planet. The God or energy we have come from will still be here without us.
The Sermon on the Mount was seen as a guide to leading an ethical life.
When we crucified Christ we showed God our failure to cherish what was given in love for love of money and power. When we design laws which encourage greed we show God our insatiable appetite for more. When Banking, Government, Corporate Business and Health Care Systems are driven by fear instead of mercy we show God our lack of trust. When we are driven by the pride of ownership and power over someone else, we show God we do not need Him.
As I watched the refugee situation in Europe it is shocking how much money is allotted to building borders rather than admitting we have not been generous with those less fortunate. We have destroy and gutted other nations for our own profit and do not share the planet as a whole.
The new Christ is a new paradigm which must arise in each of us, a reorientation where the ‘ I ‘ ultimately becomes ‘ We ‘ where the light and energy of the divine is limitless in humankind.