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In the beginning... Our understanding of creation

Our Cosmology

In the beginning...

Let us worship the Spirit

Let us worship the Spirit of the Paraclete. Let us bless our Lord Yeshua who has sent to us the Spirit of Truth.
He came and separated us from the Error of the world, he brought us a mirror, we looked, we saw the Universe in it.
When the Holy Spirit came he revealed to us the way of Truth and taught us that there are two Natures, that of Light and that of Darkness, separate one from the other from the beginning.
The Kingdom of Light, on the one hand, consists of five Powers, and they are the Father and his twelve Aeons and the Aeons of the Aeons, the Living Air, the Land of Light, the great Spirit breathing in them, nourishing them with his Light.

But the Kingdom of Darkness consists of five store-houses, which are Smoke and Fire and Wind and Water and Darkness; their Counsel creeping in them, moving them and inciting them to make war with one another.
Now as they were making war with one another they dared to make an attempt upon the Land of Light thinking that they would be able to conquer it. But they know not, that which they have thought to do they will bring down upon their own heads.

But there was a multitude of angels in the Land of the Light, having the power to go forth to subdue the enemy of the Father, whom it pleased that by his Word that he would send, he should subdue the rebels who desired to exalt themselves above that which was more exalted than them.

Like into a shepherd that shall see a lion coming to destroy his sheep-fold: for he uses guile and takes a lamb and sets it as a snare that he may catch him by it; for by a single lamb he saves his sheep-fold. After-these things, he heals the lamb that has been wounded by the lion:

This too is the way of the Father, who sent his strong son; he produced from himself his Maiden equipped with five powers, that she might fight against the five abysses of the Dark. When the Watcher stood in the boundaries of light, he showed to them his Maiden who is his soul; they bestirred themselves in their abyss, desiring to exalt themselves over her, they opened their mouth desiring to swallow her.

He held her power fast, he spread her over them, like nets over fishes, he made her rain down upon them like purified clouds of water, she thrust herself within them like piercing lightning.

She crept in their inward parts, she bound them all, they not knowing it.

When the First Man had finished his war, the Father sent his second son.

He came and helped his brother out of the abyss; he established this whole world out of the mixture that took place of the Light and the Darkness.

He spread out all the powers of the abyss to ten heavens and eight earths, he shut them up into this world once, he made it a prison too for all the powers of Darkness, it is also a place of purification for the Soul that was swallowed in them.
The sun and moon he founded, he set them on high, to purify the Soul. Daily they take up the refined part to the height, but the dregs, however they erase and are mixed, they convey it above and below.

This whole world stands firm for a season, there being a great building which is being built outside this world.
So Soon as that builder shall finish, the whole world will be dissolved and set on fire that the fire may smelt it away-
All life, the relic of Light wheresoever it is, he will gather to himself and of it depict an image And the counsel of death too, all the Darkness, he will gather together and make a likeness of its very self, it and the Ruler.

In a moment, the Living Spirit will come and he will succor the Light.
But the counsel of death and the Darkness he will shut up in the dwelling that was established for it, that it might, he bound in it forever.

There is no other means to bind the Enemy save this means; for he will not be received into the Light because he is a stranger to it; nor again can he be left in his land of Darkness, that he may not wage a war greater than the first?
A new Aeon will be built in the place of the world that shall dissolve, that in it the powers of the Light may reign because they have performed and fulfilled the will of the Father entire, they have subdued the hated one, they have imprisoned him forever.

This is the Knowledge of Mani, let us worship him and bless him. Blessed is he every man that shall trust in him, for he shall live with all the Righteous.

Glory and victory to our Lord Mani, the Spirit of Truth, that cometh from the Father, who has revealed to us the beginning, the Middle and the End. Victory to the soul of the blessed Mary, Theona, Pshaijmnoute.




THE FIRST CREATION

THE REALM OF LIGHT AND DARKNESS AND THE FATHER OF GREATNESS

 

Mani says that before heaven and earth and all that they contain came into being, there existed two entities: one Good

and the other Evil. Also referred to as The tree of life (The realm of Light) and the Tree of Death (The realm of darkness).

The Good Father dwelt in the Region of Light, and he terms him the Father of Greatness, and he says that there were dwelling there in addition to him (the Father) his five ‘shekinah’s’: mind, knowledge, intellect, thought, and reflection.

THE FATHER OF GREATNESS AND HIS NAMES

The Father of Greatness (Syriac: ܐܒܐ ܐܬܘܒܪܕ Abbā də Rabbūṯā ; Middle Persian: pīdīwuzurgīh, or the Zoroastrian deity Zurwān; Parthian: Pidar wuzurgift, Pidar roshn; Chinese: 無上明尊; lit. 'Unsurpassed Divinity of Light' or 薩緩 lit. 'Zurvan')

THE FOUR FACES OF THE FATHER OF GREATNESS

-Divinity -Light -Power -Wisdom


HIS FIVE SHEKHINAH'S

Mind -Knowledge -Intellect -Thought -Reflection

THE LAND OF DARKNESS

 

The Evil entity he terms the King of Darkness, and he says that he dwelt in the Land of Darkness with his five ‘aeons’: the aeon of smoke, the aeon of fire, the aeon of wind, the aeon of water, and the aeon of darkness.


THE KING OF DARKNESS


The King of Darkness (Syriac: ܟܠܡ ܐܟܘܫܚ mlex ḥ ešoxā ; Middle Persian: Ahriman, also the Zoroastrian supreme evil being)

HIS FIVE KINGDOMS OR AEONS FROM THE HIGHEST REALM TO THE LOWEST


-Smoke -Fire -Wind -Water -Darkness

HIS SON


(Syriac: ܢܘܠܩܫܐ Ashaklun; Middle Persian: Az, from the Zoroastrian demon, Až i Dahāka)

HIS SONS MATE


(Syriac: ܠܐܘܪܒܢ Nevro'el)

THEIR OFFSPRING

 

Adam and Eve (Middle Persian: Gehmurd and Murdiyanag)


GIANTS


Giants (Fallen Angels, also Abortions): (Syriac: ܐܛܚܝ yaḥ tē , "abortions" or "those that fell"; also: ܐܬܢܘܟܪܐ; ’Εγρή γοροι Egrē goroi, "Giants"). Related to the story of the

fallen angels in the Book of Enoch (which Mani used extensively in The Book of Giants), and the נפילי ם nephilim described in Genesis

DARKNESS ATTACKS THE REALM OF LIGHT


He says that when the King of Darkness contemplated ascending to the Region of Light, those five shekinah's there became agitated, and he says that at that time the Father of Greatness took thought and said: ‘I will not send from my worlds any of these five shekinah's to do battle because they were created by me for tranquility and peace. Instead, I myself, will go and do battle.’


THE FATHER OF GREATNESS EVOKES THE MOTHER OF LIFE

He says that the Father of Greatness evoked the Mother of Life, and the Mother of Life evoked the Primal Man.

THE MOTHER OF LIFES NAMES


The Mother of Life (Syriac: ܐܝܚܕ ܐܡܐ imā dəḥ ayyē ; Middle Persian: mʾdrʾy zyndgʾn; Chinese: 善母佛; lit. 'Good Mother Buddha')

THE MOTHER OF LIFE EVOKES THE PRIMAL MAN


Primal Man evoked his five sons, like a man who puts on armor for battle.

He says that an angel whose name was Nḥ šbṯ went out in front of him, holding in his hand a crown of victory, and he says that he spread (or shed) light before Primal Man.

When the King of Darkness saw him, he (the King) took thought and said, ‘The thing that I desired which was distant, I have discovered nearby!’ Then Primal Man gave himself and his five sons as food to the five sons of Darkness, just as a man who has an enemy mixes deadly poison in a cake and gives it to him.


THE PRIMAL MANS NAMES


The First Man (Syriac: ܐܫܢܐ ܐܝܡܕܩ Nā šā Qaḏ mā yā ; Middle Persian: Ohrmazd Bay, the Zoroastrian god of light and goodness; Latin: Primus Homo

PRIMAL MAN'S FIVE SONS


His five Sons (the five Light Elements; Parthian: panj rō šn; Middle Persian: Amahrā spandā n; Chinese: 五明子)

-Ether (Parthian: ardā w; Middle Persian: frâwahr; Chinese: 氣)

-Wind (Parthian and Middle Persian: wā d; Chinese: 風)

-Light (Parthian and Middle Persian: rō šn; Chinese: 明)

-Water (Parthian and Middle Persian: ā b; Chinese: 水)

-Fire (Parthian and Middle Persian: ā dur; Chinese: 火)

THE SECOND CREATION


And he says that when they had eaten them, the reasoning power of the five luminous deities was removed, and they became like a man bitten by a rabid dog or a serpent due to the venom of the sons of Darkness.

He says that Primal Man regained his rationality and prayed seven times to the Father of Greatness, and he (the Father) evoked the Second Evocation, the Beloved of the Lights.

THE BELOVED OF THE LIGHTS


The Friend of the Lights (Syriac: ܐ ܖܝܗܢ ܒܝܒܚ ḥ aviv nehirē ; Chinese: 樂明佛; lit. 'Enjoyer of Lights')


THE GREAT BUILDER


The Beloved of the Lights evoked the Great Builder, and the Great Builder evoked the Living Spirit.

THE GREAT BUILDERS NAME'S


The Great Builder (Syriac: ܢܒ ܐܒܖ ban rabbā ; Chinese: 造相; lit. 'Creator of Forms') In charge of creating the new world that will separate the darkness from the light.

THE LIVING SPIRITS NAME'S


The Living Spirit (Syriac: ܐ ܝܚ ܐܚܘܪ ruḥ ā ḥ ayyā ; Middle Persian: Mihryazd; Chinese: 淨活風; pinyin: Jìnghuófē ng; Latin: Spiritus Vivens; Greek: Ζων Πνευμα). Acts as a demiurge, creating the structure of the material world.

THE LIVING SPIRIT'S SONS

The Living Spirit evoked his five sons: the Ornament of Splendor from his mind, the Great King of Honor from his knowledge, the Adamos of Light from his intellect, the King of Glory from his thought, and the Porter from his reflection.

 

THEIR NAMES

His five Sons (Syriac: ܝܗܘܢܒ ܐܫܡܚ ḥ amšā benawhy; Chinese: 五等驍健子; lit. 'Five Valiant Sons')


HIS FIRST SON

The Keeper of the Splendour (Syriac: ܐ ܘܝܙ ܬܦܨ ṣ fat ziwā ; Latin: Splenditenens; Chi-nese: 催光明使; lit. 'Urger of Enlightenment'). Holds up the ten heavens from above.


HIS SECOND SON

The King of Glory (Syriac: ܟܠܡ ܐܚܒܘܫ mlex šuvḥ ā ; Latin: Rex Gloriosus; Chinese: 地藏 Dìzàng "Earth Treasury", a Chinese bodhisattva).


HIS THIRD SON

The Adamas of Light (Syriac: ܐ ܪܗܘܢ ܣ ܘܡܕܐ adamus nuhrā; Latin: Adamas; Chinese: 降魔使; pinyin: Jiàngmó shī ). Fights with and overcomes an evil being in the image of the King of Darkness.


HIS FOURTH SON

The Great King of Honour (Syriac: ܐ ܪܩܝܐܕ ܐ ܒܪ ܐܟܠܡ malkā rabbā dikkā rā ; Dead Sea Scrolls Imperial Aramaic: מלכא רב א דאיקר א malka raba de-ikara; Latin: Rex Ho-noris; Chinese: 十天大王; pinyin: Shítiā n Dàwáng; lit. 'Ten Heavens Great King'). A being that plays a central role in The Book of Enoch (originally written in Aramaic), as well as Mani's Syriac version of it, the Book of Giants. Sits in the seventh heaven of the ten heavens (corresponding to the celestial spheres, the first seven of which house the classical planets) and guards the entrance to the world of light.


HIS FIFTH SON

The porter or Atlas (Syriac: ܠܐܒܣ sebblā ; Latin: Atlas; Chinese: 持世主; pinyin: Chíshìzhū ). Supports the eight worlds from below.

THEY COME TO THE LAND OF DARKNESS

 

They came to the Land of Darkness and found Primal Man and his five sons engulfed by Darkness.

Then the Living Spirit cried out with his voice, and the voice of the Living Spirit was like a sharp sword, and it uncovered the form of Primal Man, and he said to him: ‘Greetings to you, O Excellent One among evil entities, O Luminous One in the midst of Darkness, O Divine One dwelling among wrathful beasts who have no knowledge of his glory!’ Then Primal Man answered him and said:
 

‘Come in peace, O bringer of the merchandise of tranquility and peace!’ And he said: ‘How do our Fathers, the sons of Light, fare in their city?’ The Caller answered him: ‘They are faring well!’ The Caller and the Respondent joined together and ascended to the Mother of Life and the Living Spirit.

The Living Spirit clothed himself with the Caller, and the Mother of Life clothed herself with the Respondent, her beloved son, and they descended to the Land of Darkness where Primal Man and his sons were.

THE MESSENGER

The Living Spirits sixth Son, the Call-God (Syriac: ܐܝܪܩ qaryā ; Middle Persian: Padvaxtag; Chinese: 觀音 Guanyin "watching/perceiving sounds [of the world]", the Chinese Bodhisattva of Compassion). Sent from the Living Spirit to awaken the First Man from his battle with the forces of darkness.


THE CREATION OF THE UNIVERSE

Then the Living Spirit commanded three of his sons, that each should kill and should skin the archons, the sons of Darkness, and bring them to the Mother of Life.

 

The Mother of Life stretched out the heavens from their skins, and she made eleven heavens.
 

They threw down their bodies to the Land of Darkness, and they made eight earths.
 

And the five sons of the Living Spirit each completed their task—the Ornament of Splendor is the one who holds the five luminous deities by their loins, and below their loins the heavens were spread out, and the Porter is the one who bends upon one of his knees and supports the earths. After the heavens and earths were made, the Great King of Honor took a seat in the midst of the heavens and kept watch over the whole.


THE CREATION OF THE SUN AND MOON
 

Then the Living Spirit revealed his forms to the sons of Darkness, and he strained out some light from the light that these had consumed from those five luminous deities, and made from it the sun and the moon, and from the light which remained after making these vessels he made ‘wheels’ of wind, water, and fire.
 

He descended and forged them near the Porter. The King of Glory evoked and raised over them a covering so that they (the sun and moon) can ascend over those archons who are subjugated in the earths, so that they may serve the five luminous deities and not be harmed by the venom of the archons.


THE THIRD CREATION
 

He says, then the Mother of Life and Primal Man and the Living Spirit rose in prayer and besought the Father of Greatness.

The Father of Greatness hearkened to them and evoked the Third Evocation, the Messenger.


THE THIRD MESSENGERS NAME'S

The Third Messenger (Syriac: ܐܕܓܙܝܐ izgaddā ; Middle Persian: narē sahyazad, Par-thian: hridī g frē štag; tertius legatus)

THIRD MESSENGER EVOKES THE VIRGINS

 

The Messenger evoked twelve virgins with their garments, crowns, and attributes—the first is majesty, the second wisdom, the third victory, the fourth persuasion, the fifth chastity, the sixth truth, the seventh faith, the eighth patience, the ninth up-rightness, the tenth grace, the eleventh justice, and the twelfth light.


THE VIRGINS AND THEIR NAMES

The Twelve Virgins of Light (Syriac: ܐܪܣܥܬܪܬ ܐܬܠܘܬܒ tratʻesrā btultē ; Middle Persian: kanī gā n rō šnā n; Chinese: 日宮十二化女; pinyin: Rìgō ng shí'èr huànū ; lit. 'Sun Palace Twelve Maidens of Transformation'). Reflected in the twelve constellations of the Zodiac.

THE COLUMN OF GLORY

the Column of Glory (Syr. esṯ ū n šubaḥ , Lat. columna gloriae, Parth. bā mistū n, Ar. ʿamū d al-sobḥ ), also called the Perfect Man (Mid. Pers. mard ī g ispurr, Lat. vir per-fectus), an evocation of the Third Messenger, through which the portions of the Light scattered through the world were purified and carried up to the moon, whence they ascended into the ship of the sun and thence into the New Paradise of Light

THE THIRD MESSENGER REDEEMS SOME OF THE LIGHT

When the Messenger came to those vessels (sun and moon), he appointed three servants to make the vessels move.

He commanded the Great Builder to construct a new earth and three wheels for their (the vessels’) ascending.
 

When the vessels moved and reached the midst of heaven, the Messenger then revealed his male and female forms and became visible to all the archons, the sons of Darkness, both male and female.
 

At the appearance of the Messenger, who was attractive in his forms, all the archons became excited with desire, the males for the female image and the females for the male image.
 

Due to their lust, they began to eject the light which they had consumed from the five luminous deities. Then the sin that was in them devised a plan.
 

It mixed itself with the light that came forth from the archons like a portion of yeast in bread-dough, and sought to enter within the emitted light.
 

Then the Messenger concealed his forms, and separated the light of the five luminous deities from the sin that was with them, and it (the sin) fell back up-on the archons from whom it had issued, but they did not receive it back, just like a man who feels loathing for his own vomit.


THE ABORTIONS AND THE ADAMAS OF LIGHT

It (the sin) thereupon fell upon the earth, half of it upon moist ground and half of it upon dry.

 

(The half which fell upon moist ground) became an odious beast in the likeness of the King of Darkness, and the Adamas of Light was sent against her, and he did battle with her and defeated her, and turned her over upon her back, and struck her with a spear in her heart, and thrust his shield over her mouth, and set one of his feet upon her thighs and the other upon her breast. That half which fell upon dry ground sprouted up into five trees.


THE CREATION OF ADAM AND EVE

He says that these daughters of Darkness were previously pregnant of their own nature, and when they beheld the attractive forms of the Messenger, their embryos aborted and fell to the earth. These ate the buds of the trees.

Then the abortions took counsel together and recalled the forms of the Messenger that they had seen and said: ‘Where is the forms that we saw?’ And Ašaqlūn, son of the King of Darkness, said to the abortions: ‘Give me your sons and daughters, and I will make for you a form like the one you saw.’ They brought them and gave them to him.

He ate the males, and the females he gave to Namrāēl his wife.
 

Namrāēl and Ašaqlūn then united together, and she became pregnant from him and gave birth to a son, naming him Adam. She again became pregnant and bore a daughter, naming her Eve.


JESUS THE SPLENDORS NAMES

Jesus the Splendour (Syriac: ܥܘܫܝ ܐܘܝܙ Ishoʻ Ziwā ; Chinese: 光明夷數; lit. 'Jesus of Bright Light' or 夷數精和 lit. 'Jesus the Essence of Harmony'). Sent to awaken Adam and Eve to the source of the spiritual light trapped within their physical bodies.


JESUS THE SPLENDOR IS SENT TO AWAKEN

He then says that Jesus the Splendor approached the unsuspecting Adam and roused him from the sleep of death so that he might be delivered from the ‘Great Spirit.’ As when one who is righteous comes across a man possessed by a strong demon and calms him by his skill, so likewise it was with Adam when the Beloved One found him prostrate in deep sleep. He roused him, shook him, and woke him up.

He chased the deceptive demon away from him, and bound the great (female) archon apart from him. Then Adam examined himself and recognized who he was, and (Je-sus) showed him the Fathers on high, and revealed to him regarding his own self (i.e., Jesus’s) all that into which he (i.e., Jesus) had been cast—into the teeth of leopards

and the teeth of elephants, swallowed by voracious ones and absorbed by gulping ones, consumed by dogs, mixed and imprisoned in all that exists, and bound in the stench of Darkness.

He (Mani) says that he (Jesus) raised him (Adam) up and made him taste of the Tree of Life.

Then Adam saw and wept, and raised his voice loudly like a lion that roars and tears prey.

He cast himself down, beat his breast, and said: ‘Woe, woe to the one who formed my body, and to the one who bound my soul, and to the rebels who have enslaved me.’

 

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