The Gnostic Basilidean doctrine begins from an abstract notion of the absolute God. This ineffable and unnamable God first forms the creative world not from emanation, but as a world-seed or a world-embryo. From this, the world-seed (also called chaos) develops into the present world. This development occurred through a series of arithmetical relations in unbroken succession.
Because God is above everything, He attracts everything to Himself. All created matter grows upward, towards God. God remains un-moved. Within the world-seed, there are three son-ships: pneumatic, psychic and hylic.
The first son-ship liberates himself immediately from the chaos and rises quickly with the thought of God. There the first son-ship remains (with God) in the blessed spirit-world, or the pleroma. With the Father, the first son-ship creates the first ogdoad.
The second son-ship produces the Holy Spirit to aid his ascent. Despite attempts to follow the first son-ship, the second son-ship is trapped in the impenetrable firmament (the limit of the pleroma), and can endure no more.
The third son-ship remains in the chaos, in desperate need of purification and redemption from the Father.
Next, two archons (demiurges) arise from the world-seed. The first archon creates the ethereal world, or the upper heave. The second archon creates and rules the lower planetary heaven below the moon. This is the hebdomad.
There are three hundred sixty five heavens or circles of creation designated by the mystic name Abrasax. Each of the two archons also begets one son who towers above his father. The sons’ responsibility is to communicate the knowledge received from the Holy Spirit that concerns the upper spirit world with plans of penance and redemption.
Thus, Basilides presents a three-fold Christ: the son of the first archon, the son of the second archon, and the son of Mary.
Basilides elaborated further with the explanation of the eternal Father. Once the eternal Father saw the corruption of humanity, He sent his Firstborn (the Nous) into the world. Jesus is a manifestation of the Firstborn. The Nous appeared in the form of Jesus and performed miracles. Because the Nous is not mortal and has no physical body, it cannot die.
Thus, the Basilidean Gnostics believed that Christ himself did not die and that his actual death was nothing more than an illusion. The Basilidean Gnostics believed that the only actual death that occurred relating to Jesus was the death of his material body. Therefore, Basilides rejected the blood sacrifice of Jesus traditionally revered by the Christian Orthodox Church. Basilides would not credit death to Jesus as a human being, nor to the Divine Mind that appeared within Him. The Basilidean Gnostics worshipped not Jesus as a person, but his Divine Mind. They further taught that this Divine Mind designated a means for all men to purify their sinful nature.
| The Mystic Christ
by Ethan Walker III
The light of non-duality and the path of love according to the life and teachings of Jesus. The Gnostic path is the inner path to God-realization. Buddha, Krishna, Jesus and the other great Masters are all one and in essence taught the same thing.