Often when Gnostics argue against the Creation myth of orthodox Christianity, they do so by understanding the myth from a literalistic point of view. If this indeed the case, yes, the Genesis myth says some terrible things about God, and as God throughout the Old Testament is portrayed, he is often not fit for worship.

If and only if we take it 100% literally as factual history.

The issue here is that Gnostics take their own Scriptures most often as being symbolic, metaphorical, and having many layers of meaning to them- but rarely do modern Gnostics understand their own Scriptures as being 100% literal and historically accurate. So the question that I have is why this same principle and method of exploration is not applied to the Creation myth according to Genesis.

The Temptation and the Fall of Mankind have a completely different meaning when taken symbolically- it isn’t that God is cruel and that we’re horrible and disobedient; rather, it’s an Existential situation in which mankind makes a choice to leave the Divine and bears the consequences thereof. It all comes down to free-will and choice and reaction. God never abandoned us; we abandoned God, in other words. HUMANS created the rift between the spiritual and the material, between the Divine and the Mundane.

But in the same way, when Christ comes, it shows that God has not forgotten us. God still loves us. God still wants us. And God’s immersion and incarnation into the material realm, along with His life, death, and resurrection (the return to the spiritual, in other words) repaired the rift that we created. Man created the rift, and God, in the form of man, repaired it for us.

Naturally, that doesn’t explain why suffering exists and does not explain the problem of evil, which is probably the first thing someone would point out. But perhaps that’s what Genesis tells us- leaving the Divine abode creates evil inside of us. This is a Neo-Platonic idea that evil is the absence of good, not unlike how cold is the absence of heat.

We might also question mankind’s motives for leaving the Divine abode. Why would we do it and do so collectively? This is the important part of the story, the nagging question that arises in the mystical understanding of the orthodox myth.

The Gnostic account is much more helpful here, as the “fall” is no “fall” at all but the beginning of liberation from the false god. Christ’s eventual coming is a finishing of the liberation of mankind begun by Sophia and a redeeming of the material world that ultimately belongs to Sophia anyway.

I find it interesting to note that Sophia’s fall in Gnosticism is much more indicative of humanity’s fall or analogous to humanity’s fall in the orthodox account, and Christ redeems Her; and then, in turn, when mankind is created in an enslaved fashion, Sophia begins the process of redemption for mankind, and Christ again is the ultimate Redeemer.

Another humorous thought I have about why the Catholic traditions don’t take so much of the Scripture literally is because of the literal belief in transubstantiation. You don’t have to really believe too much of the Bible to be 100% accurate when your God shows up to every single Mass, do you?

Beaux


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