The Valentinian system of beliefs incorporated perhaps the most extensive view of humanity. The Craftsman is the creator of humans, according to the Valentinian Gnostics.
The corpus is the physical element of the body. There are three non-corporeal parts. The first is the demonic part is the chous. The second part is the rational soul, called the psyche. The third is the spiritual seed, called the Pneuma.
The Valentinians believed that there are three essential kinds of people (corresponding to the children of Adam and Eve). Carnal people (those descended from Cain) are those that do not respond to the spiritual seeds. To them, the seed has fallen on their path, but they do not respond; instead, they choose to continue on their material existence without the gnosis. Psychic people (those descended from Abel) are those that are dominated by their soul. When the spiritual seed drops on the path of a psychic person, the seed chokes on the worldly concerns of the psychic. The third type of person is the spiritual person. The spiritual person is descended from Seth. The spiritual seed of these people bears fruit, as their seed lands on what the Valentinians consider “good earth”, or the path walked by the spiritual people.
From these human descriptions, Valentinus developed the pneumatic equation. This simply states that both humans and the world are flawed. Essentially, the human will only be able to recognize the error of humanity and the world through gnosis. Thus, salvation is not necessary, in the sense that salvation is to happen after death. Rather, Valentinus prophesized that humanity does not need saving – it needs transformation. The only way to transform humanity is through gnosis. From here, Valentinus described what he called spiritual self-knowledge. Before a human receives gnosis, the ego is the epicenter of all thought and living. When an individual’s life centers on the ego, they live in ignorance. The attainment of gnosis provides a spiritual self-awakening to become the inverse equivalent to the ignorance from the ego.
Valentinus believed that those that worshipped material items suffered from hylecticism. Those that worshipped the mind and emotional soul suffered from psychism. The real healing work of Jesus is known by replacing the attachment to such material things with spiritual freedom.