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THE FUNDAMENTAL EPISTLE

Mani, the apostle of Jesus Christ by the providence of God, the Father.

These are the wholesome words from the perennial and living fountain.

Whoever hears them and at first believes them and then guards what they teach will never be subject to death but will enjoy eternal and glorious life.

For he is indeed to be regarded as blessed who, having been instructed in this divine realization, will remain in eternal life.

The peace of the invisible God and knowledge of the truth be with my holy and dearest brothers, who believe in the heavenly commandments in the same manner and follow them!

But may also the right hand of the Light protect you and tear you away from every evil aggression and the noose of the world!

And may the piety of the Holy Spirit open up your innermost heart so that you may see your souls with your own eyes.

So, let me answer truly your questions about that which you told me you would like to know, O dearest Patticius, namely, how it is with the birth of Adam and Eve, whether they were brought forth by the Word or born from a body.

For most authors in their various scriptures and revelations discuss and teach variously regarding these matters.

Therefore almost all peoples ignore the real truth about this matter, as well as all those who have discussed it long and exhaustively.

For if they had had the good fortune to know clearly the circumstances of the lineage of Adam and Eve they would never have been subject to corruption and death.

Therefore, in order to be able to arrive at an understanding of this mystery without any ambiguity, several things must needs be discussed.

Hence, if you like, first listen to what was before the world was made and in what manner the battle was fought, in order that you may distinguish between the nature of the Light and the Darkness.

For there were in the beginning these two substances divided from one an-other, and a God, Father, ruled the Light, eternal in his holy origin, magnifi-cent in his power (virtus), true by his very nature, always rejoicing in his own eternity.

He keeps with him wisdom and vital senses, through which he also encom-passes the twelve limbs of his Light, being clearly the copious wealth of his own realm.

Now, in each of his limbs are hidden thousands of countless and immense treasures, while the Father himself—foremost in price, unfathomable in mag-nitude—keeps joined with him the blessed and glorious aeons, whose number and variety cannot be estimated.

With these the holy and illustrious Father and sire passes the time.

Nobody in his wonderful realms ever lacks anything, and nobody is placed lowest in order.

Thus, his most splendid realms are founded upon the blessed luminous Earth, sot that nobody can ever move or shake them.

Now, next to one part and side of that illustrious and holy Earth there was the earth of Darkness, deep and immense in magnitude, in which fiery bodies dwell, pestilential races. From this same nature infinite darkness went out with its own abortions.

Beyond this darkness were dirty and whirling waters with their inhabitants.

Inside it were horrible and vehement winds with their own prince and sire.

Next, a fiery and corruptible region with its leaders and nations.

In the same manner, inward, a people full of fog and smoke, in which the ter-rible prince of them all dwelt, who was himself the mind and origin of them all.

And these were the five natures of the pestilential land.

And those five races who inhabited those natures were wild and pestilential.

Now, the Father of the most blessed Light knew that the great destruction and devastation that was surging up from the Darkness was threatening his holy aeons unless he set against it an outstanding, remarkable, and powerful deity, by which he could overcome and at the same time destroy the race of Darkness, so that when it had been destroyed the inhabitants of the Light would have eternal calmness.

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The father, who had sired the sons of Light there, and the Air and the Earth itself and the sons themselves are of one substance, and all things there are the same.

For that is the Epistula Fundamenti, as your Holiness knows well and I have said as well, that it contains the beginning, the middle, and the end.

...

Then he (the prince of Darkness) said in his fantasies to those who were there: “What do you think of this great light that is rising?

Look, how it moves the sky somehow and shakes most of the powers (potestates)!

I think it is best that you give me the Light you have in your strength (vires).

Thus, I shall form an image of that great one, who appeared in such glory, and through it we shall be able to rule and finally be freed from having to move about exclusively in the Darkness.”

When they heard this they deliberated for a long time among themselves and decided it would be best to give him what he had asked them, for they were not quite sure they would be able to hold on to the Light forever.

Therefore they thought it best to give it to their prince: in this way they could be sure they would get to rule.

Now we must consider how they gave him this Light which they had, for this too is scattered throughout all the divine scriptures and heavenly mysteries.

For those who possess the knowledge it is of course not difficult to know how it was given, for whoever wishes to look at it truly and faithfully will find it familiar and open.

Since there were both sexes among those who had gathered, that is, females and males, he made them have intercourse, during which some emitted their semen and some were made pregnant. The offspring was of course similar to those who produced it, and the first born obtained most of the strengths of the parents.

The prince took this of theirs and rejoiced over it as over an exquisite gift.

Now, we can still observe how the nature of evil becomes the maker of bodies and takes from them strength to make new ones, and in exactly the same way the afore-mentioned prince received the offspring of his companions, which had the senses and wisdom (providentia) of its parents, as well as Light, which had been transmitted through the procreation, and he ate it all.

From this food he acquired a number of strengths, for it contained not only the fortitude, but even much more the slyness and depraved senses from the wild mind of the progenitors.

He called his wife, who was of the same race as himself. And having inter-course with her he emitted his semen like the others before him and an abun-dance of the evils which he had devoured, adding a considerable amount of his own thought and strength, so that it would be his own sense which formed and shaped all that he had gushed forth.

His partner received these things like a well-cultivated earth usually receives the seed.

And in her the images of all the heavenly and earthly powers (virtutes) were constructed and woven together, so that that which was being shaped came to look like the full sphere.

But it was the enemy, who hoped he had crucified the savior, the father of the just, who himself was crucified.

At the time one thing happened although another thing appeared to the eye

The souls which, for love of the world, permitted themselves to stray from their previous Light nature, became enemies of the holy Light, armed them-selves openly to fight and destroy the holy elements, and became followers of the fiery spirit, and also by their unholy persecution afflicted the holy Church and those Chosen in it, the keepers of the heavenly commandments, will be kept out of the bliss and glory of the holy Earth.

And because they permitted themselves to be overcome by evil, they will con-tinue in that race of evil, being themselves denied entrance to that peaceful Earth and immortal regions.

This will happen to them because they became so tied up in wicked deeds that they became strangers to the life and freedom of the holy Light.

Therefore they cannot be received into those peaceful realms but are molded together in that afore-mentioned horrible ball, which it is even necessary to put a guard over.

Hence, these souls will be attached to those things which they loved, left in that ball of Darkness, having brought it upon themselves by their merits.

For they did not seek to learn about these future things and segregated them-selves from them when they were given time to do otherwise.

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