by John L. Lash
18 October 2010
from MetaHistory Website
This essay is an attempt to elucidate one of the more perplexing aspects of human experience:
If that were not difficult enough a challenge, I will interpret some passages from The Apocryphon of John, a text that presents material on the archons unique in the corpus of Gnostic writings.
My aim is to show that Gnostics held an
extremely sophisticated view of human self-delusion, especially
regarding morality and accountability.
By the usual definition, the law of karma assures that every act will eventually return to the doer in a equivalent way.
Good will be returned with good; evil
with evil. The law works through all events in the course of life, a
seemingly iron-clad process of fate, and extends beyond the limits
of mortality. Conditions suffered or enjoyed in this life are due to
actions in a previous lifetime.
The Christian formulation is "as ye
sow, so shall ye reap."
A person who does harm to others will suffer retribution, having harm done to them in turn, etc. In Hinduism and Buddhism, teachings on karma are inseparable from the assumption of reincarnation.
Why? Generally, it is believed that karma must work through time, spanning many lives, because it a universal principle.
This is a lofty concept of morality, indeed. It implies that any action undertaken by a person when alive will have repercussions and ramifications after they die, and will ultimately rebound upon the reborn doer, for good or ill.
Thus there is long-term cautionary power
in the doctrine of karma.
Reincarnation itself is a complicated subject.
The veracity of karmic retribution depends on assuming that successive lives really do demonstrate a pattern of cause and effect. This premise may be impossible to verify, leaving the law of karma contingent upon something that remains unproven, if not improvable.
However, there is a simple way to explain why reincarnation is invoked when the doctrine of karma is promulgated.
In plain reality, karma is not
demonstrable. It does not match the facts of reality. It is
non-intuitive and non-evidential, unsupported by the facts of human
experience. Karma defies common sense and run sharply against the
Good folks suffer atrocious harm. Bad folks get away with murder. Deceit is rampant and most often never exposed. If exposed, not punished. Perpetrators are almost never brought to account. There is very little justice in human reality.
This is a plain and brutal fact of life
that must be ignored by a conscious act of denial.
But as a rule, this is certainly not the case, and not something to count on. Horrible acts go down without the perpetrator being known or made accountable. Those known and proven to be guilty of heinous acts often walk free. They flaunt impunity. This situation is difficult to accept, but nevertheless the evidence is everywhere in the social order, in politics, in intimate and familial affairs.
Those who commit bad deeds rarely get the same in return, although it can happen in specific situations of gang war or Mafia feuds.
In such cases, though, it is hardly
necessary to suppose a vast impersonal law of karma at work. People
are taking revenge or exercising reciprocal violence. No cosmic law
Reincarnation, which cannot be proven, is called in to shore up a premise that is flatly disproved by the facts of life.
This is an instance of what existentialists call
mauvaise foi, bad faith: i.e., that is, believing or pretending
to believe something you know is not true, for some ulterior motive,
for consolation and a sense of justice, or simply out of sheer
inability to accept the brutal truth.
If there is no reincarnational process to insure retribution, no problem, just leave it to the Creator. Hence, the belief in divine retribution that figures so markedly in those faiths. God will punish wrong-doers and reward the good behavior of the faithful, who tend to be downtrodden and abused. Divine judgment will prevail over every single person and even over the drama of history.
Christians and Muslims alike cling to
this conviction with vehement intensity.
After all, if there is no retribution, no punishment and reward system that operates upon human behavior, then everyone is free to do anything with no concern for consequences that may redound upon the doer.
As long as there will be no undesired consequences for me, I can do as I damn please, acting to the harm or benefit of others, either way, free of reciprocal action on myself, either way.
As Walter Kaufmann observed in his critique of the "prudential" morality of Judeo-Christian faith, a truly moral act is done without prudent concern for how it benefits the doer, i.e. by the reward of God's favor or eternal life after death. Evil and deceptive acts, by contrast, are always performed with concern for the result to the doer.
I will return to this point at the close
of this essay.
Such people universally agree that good, "moral" behavior is only possible among human beings by following prescribed rules.
The argument for faith in God is closely linked to an argument for moral order authorized by a superhuman agency, and this assumes that such authority is the sole basis for morality.
Without God-given rules, enforced by a
reward and punishment system, why would anyone do anything but
follow their own selfish impulses?
But perhaps it would be worth considering what "moral anarchy" might actually look like.
that topic for the close of the essay.
In the mixed bag of Gnostic Coptic writings, this text is unique because it contains two features not found elsewhere in the otherwise redundant literature. As it happens, these two features concern two key questions that frequently arise in discussion of the archons, the malicious tricksters of Gnosticism.
These questions are:
Needless to say, these are pretty large questions.
I have to advise that The Apocryhon of John does not provide anything like clear and adequate answers to either question. Sorry about that. It does, however, presents a tentative basis for such answers, if inference and extrapolation be allowed.
Objectionable as this method may be to some minds, inference and extrapolation are the exercises to follow, with sobriety and rigor, to get anything viable out of Gnostic literature. To those who object to my well-known technique in this regard, I say, sue me. To those who follow my drift, I must warn that the answers that may be developed from this material are not simple.
On the other hand, although the explanations required for
both answers are complicated, the outcome of these explanations may
be surprisingly simple. In this essay I will only address the second
First, archons affect humans by subconscious or subliminal insinuation. In this respect, they operate through a telepathic link to humankind - to us, their cosmic cousins, so Gnostic cosmology informs us. Not all that happens in the human mind originates there.
The specific insinuation of the archons is evident in religious and spiritual thinking, especially in the mental virus of salvationism and the messiah complex.
Gnostics warned explicitly that archons infect human
thinking with false religious ideas, including the belief in a male
mastermind or paternal overlord, the off-planet father god.
The Demiurge himself is insanely deluded, believing he is the sole cosmic deity responsible for the heavens and the earth, and the creation of the human race to boot.
The God of Abrahamic faith exists, for sure, but
he is an insane alien predator bent on deceiving and enslaving
humanity - such is the bizarre warning from Gnostic seers in the
By another vector of influence, they use fakery and simulation to divert our attention from the reality of human potential, the gifts of our species such as rational thinking and imagination, and distract us from the presence of nature and the supernatural power within nature. I have discussed this tactic of counter-mimicry at length in Not in His Image.
Ialdabaoth, the Gnostic name for Jehovah, is called the counterfeiting spirit. The Coptic word for simulation, HAL, denotes the signature of the archons who can imitate but not create.
They are a mimic species. They imitate our faculties to substitute their mind set for our own, hence living vicariously through us.
As Castañeda said, they function as a "foreign installation" in our own minds. Both on psychological and parapsychological terms, the Gnostic archon profile is truly sophisticated and warrants careful and respectful consideration.
It is without doubt the most lucid
descriptive paradigm of subliminal mind control produced by the
human mind. Dismiss it at your peril.
The Apocryphon of John has some startling
and perplexing information on this issue. I will concentrate on one
A little more than two-thirds of the way through this opus, at 27, we are presented with a remarkable event:
This cogent description of a system of karmic binding with "fetters" recalls the Buddhist chain of reincarnational links, nidanas, pictured round the periphery of the Wheel of Life (above).
that this passage presents the Gnostic equivalent to Buddhist
doctrine of karma, but the Gnostic teaching ought not to be
identified point by point with Buddhist doctrine. It has perhaps a
different lesson to teach about moral cause and effect.
When the archons commit adultery with Sophia, the goddess allows something in the natural make-up of humanity to be adulterated by the archontic influence.
For adultery, read:
The result is that archons put an entropic
bias into behavior that would otherwise be free to exercise
self-correction and self-regeneration. Just as the corn syrup
additive spins the natural chemistry and nutritional value of honey.
Humans have a huge advantage over the archontic horde, so the text repeatedly says.
Even the archons know this:
Archons cannot compete with human imagination, the very faculty endowed in humanity for the detection and defeat of those mind-parasites.
But the text says that the archon overlord commands a certain power:
Meaning, the archons can actually fog and skew our perception, which they do mainly through HAL, simulation.
But it must be added that we perform the simulations,
acts of modeling and imitation, by which they cloud our perception.
Even at its best, archontic power over the human mind is borrowed
from the mind.
So Sophia, who endowed these superior capacities in the human race in the first place, gives the archons an edge in their game against humanity by allowing them to provide the trigger signals.
Facing these tricksters, humankind is challenged to use its imagination for its very survival.
Archons are both the agents and expressions of the power of deception in the human mind, and not just in a general way:
To realize that we are not alone in deceiving ourselves, but always
involved in a cosmic orchestration, a rigged game, is the great
truth for liberation of humankind from all forms of deceit,
manipulation, and enslavement.
The additive (equivalent to corn syrup in honey) is a tendency to trance, to self-hypnosis or auto-suggestion, as the text clearly indicates. That tendency is purely archontic.
In effect, Sophia allows the archons to induce a trancing factor into human minds, as if you would handicap the mechanism of the inner ear to keep someone slightly dizzy, off-balance. What is handicapped is perception, due to the blurring of suggestion: merely suggest that something be seen in a certain way, and humans will tend to see it that way.
Hence, the magic of advertising. Hence, the impact of psi-ops using simulation technology.
Sophia does so, so that, by
detecting the spin of auto-suggestion, we can arrest delusion at its
root and rise to our true potential, using imagination to merge into
the sublime reality of terrestrial designs, rather than for fantasy
The blind compulsion of fate is due to the way behavior repeats itself through imprinting itself on the human organism, NLP-style Our bondage to karma resides in this:
Now, I realize that mixing mythological language with psychological analysis will not go over well with some people. But there is simply no other way to frame the diagnosis here.
The mythological metaphor,
Compulsive activity imprints the human organism so as to reproduce itself in ever-repeating patterns (interchangeable fetters), but is then enacted through different, one-time-only actions (changeable fetters).
the drunk who beats the wife who is the enabler of his addiction,
repeats a compulsive pattern of abuse, and she repeats her
involvement in that pattern, but each time it happens, they are two
people performing distinct actions at that moment in time. Each time
he hits her in the face is a unique instance of physical abuse, even
though his act exhibits a repeating pattern of abuse.
Sophia really takes a chance with us by allowing karma to function
corporeally and not merely as a mental process. I would venture to
say that she does so because our divine endowment of epinoia is also
corporeal, and it takes one to match and master the other.
The essence of karma in the Gnostic model is not reward and punishment, as seen in the Abrahamic creed of divine retribution and, in another way, in the Hindu-Buddhist doctrine of rebirth.
Rather, it is pure compulsivity that feeds on itself and gets rutted in patterned repetition.
The deal with the archons binds every human act to corporal entrainment, so that an act done automatically tends to produce a similar act or an opposite, compensating act, by the same person. The key idea here is entrainment, which is what hiemarmene means.
The chain of karmic bondage does not cause a kind deed to generate another kind deed, nor does it cause an evil deed to generate another evil deed, qualitatively speaking. It just causes any kind of deed to become repetitive and take on a life of its own.
This being so, someone who harms others is condemned by their own actions to continue doing so until they self-correct - or until someone else corrects them, or stops them, dead cold.
Repetition compulsion forces the doer toward self-correction, or
else the sheer physical entropy of repetition will eventually undo
A genuinely free act has no merit or detriment, no mechanically derived consequence for the doer.
The common sense conclusion of this arcane behavioral diagnostic is:
The option of self-correction means that there is no accountability from outside the sovereign will of each solitary individual.
There is no cosmic system of moral compensation. There is no ordained justice in the universe, although justice can occasionally be attained by human initiative in certain situations. The evil-doer who harms and deceives others, and who cannot self-correct, can only be stopped by another individual, in direct and first-hand interaction.
How many Hollywood films
demonstrate that obvious truth?
The game is rigged by the archontic bias that Sophia allows:
The mechanism of moral entropy operates in the human body, in the physiological and neurological circuits that sustain behavior and retain behavioral patterns.
If Sophia did not allow it to happen this way, we would experience total resilience of mind and body, bounding from one moment of peak expression to the next, correcting and improving ourselves in every single action taken. But we would never fool ourselves and become that much wiser by catching the act.
Due to compulsion, we run down and wear out, behaviorally speaking.
But overcoming compulsion gives us a lift, a special elan, that does not arise in the constant unhindered thrust of our potential. Archons provide the resistance against which we generate a an ever-higher release of potential. From Sophia's view, it's a fair trade-off: without that challenge to our potential, we would not go for the optimal scope of our species. With the challenge, the archons get to play their game.
can be realized in each and every situation where they intrude.
It don't pay to do good, that is just a brutal fact.
It can, but not necessarily. But in the expression of innate goodness, no payoff is sought. Or needed. It is worth noting that there is often more vigor involved in doing harm than doing good.
Evil, malicious people can be possessed of truly demonic determination.
Why? Because to persist in doing harm you have to work vigorously against the natural order of things, and the benign disposition of the human animal, but the archontic entropy that informs blind compulsion increases as you resist it.
that entropic bias requires continually hyping your system,
ratcheting up your forces. This goes some way to explaining the
success of Starbucks, doesn't it?
Another brutal truth
of the way things are in the human condition.
An-archy is composed of the root arch, found in archon. An-archy is the condition of being "not- or un-archonic."
Anarchy is against all authority except that which resides in the sovereign will of an individual person. There is no such thing as karma considered as a system of reward and punishment. That is a bald fabrication of old men for intimidating children.
You are free to do whatever you like in life, and treat people just as you wish with no prescribed moral regulation of any kind.
That adage is just a little under half of an essential truth, and a most dangerous half-truth, indeed.
The other half is, whatever you do happens in a pattern of blind compulsion, unless you see that pattern and break through it. Then you are really free to do as you will; but unfree of compulsion, you can't realize what free will actually is.
Freedom depends not merely
on the liberty and capacity to act, but on action free of patterned
repetition, blind compulsion, archontic entropy, heimarmene.
In a liberated view, there is no karmic law by which you may gauge the cause and effect of your actions.
how that kind of freedom feels.
They become totally archontified. They shop and kill with equal abandon. There are plenty of them running around these days.
So we find a cabal of psychopathic control-freaks managing human affairs. Big surprise. Orchestrations of archontic behavior are by now so painfully obvious on the global scale that Sophia may be looking us over with a keen eye to the test she set for us, checking on the results.
Every single problem in the world at large is rigged, orchestrated, deliberately instigated and deceitfully implemented and managed:
How much rigging does it take before we snap to the way
karma works and see through the blind collusion of a self-deluded
not for those problems, we might all be working things out quite
well. But you cannot win a game rigged for you to lose.
It could be said that Sophia cut the deal with the archons, but Kali sees out the deal.
human enmeshment with demonic powers of deceit and manipulation. She
is called Durga, "invincible," because no archontic or demonic
impulse in the universe can defeat her. Kali liberates humankind
from all illusions, including the illusion of compassion.
The planetary animal mother is indeed teleological, goal-oriented, but she plays wildly with chance and novelty to keep the margins of her world open and fluid. She loves running through the odds like an autistic child conjugating square roots to 50 decimal points. The Gnostic scenario of hiemarmene shows how Gaia-Sophia has set up a precarious gamble pitting humankind against itself with the archons for leverage.
Kali oversees the game for a particular purpose, because admission to Kali's Game becomes an option upon getting out of the rigged game. You do not beat that archontic game, you just get off it.
There is no karma to master or overcome.
The act performed for its own beauty and pleasure is already a Kalika initiation.