Gnostic Understanding of God
How the Gnostic’s understood God.. The Ineffable One, was through a direct experience (Gnosis) of the One. Not by mere past reports but as a Living Understanding. Lets take alook at one of the most complete and foundational texts of the Gnostics contained in the Nag Hammadi Libary… The Apocryphon of John and see this Empyreal understanding, wealth of Knowledge and wisdom from a short and powerful expression.
The Apocryphon of John
And I asked to know it, and he said to me, “The Monad is a monarchy with nothing above it. It is he who exists as God and Father of everything, the invisible One who is above everything, who exists as incorruption, which is in the pure light into which no eye can look.
“He is the invisible Spirit, of whom it is not right to think of him as a god, or something similar. For he is more than a god, since there is nothing above him, for no one lords it over him. For he does not exist in something inferior to him, since everything exists in him. For it is he who establishes himself. He is eternal, since he does not need anything. For he is total perfection. He did not lack anything, that he might be completed by it; rather he is always completely perfect in light. He is illimitable, since there is no one prior to him to set limits to him. He is unsearchable, since there exists no one prior to him to examine him. He is immeasurable, since there was no one prior to him to measure him. He is invisible, since no one saw him. He is eternal, since he exists eternally. He is ineffable, since no one was able to comprehend him to speak about him. He is unnameable, since there is no one prior to him to give him a name.
“He is immeasurable light, which is pure, holy (and) immaculate. He is ineffable, being perfect in incorruptibility. (He is) not in perfection, nor in blessedness, nor in divinity, but he is far superior. He is not corporeal nor is he incorporeal. He is neither large nor is he small. There is no way to say, ‘What is his quantity?’ or, ‘What is his quality?’, for no one can know him. He is not someone among (other) beings, rather he is far superior. Not that he is (simply) superior, but his essence does not partake in the aeons nor in time. For he who partakes in an aeon was prepared beforehand. Time was not apportioned to him, since he does not receive anything from another, for it would be received on loan. For he who precedes someone does not lack, that he may receive from him. For rather, it is the latter that looks expectantly at him in his light.
“For the perfection is majestic. He is pure, immeasurable mind. He is an aeon-giving aeon. He is life-giving life. He is a blessedness-giving blessed one. He is knowledge-giving knowledge. He is goodness-giving goodness. He is mercy and redemption-giving mercy. He is grace-giving grace, not because he possesses it, but because he gives the immeasurable, incomprehensible light.
“How am I to speak with you about him? His aeon is indestructible, at rest and existing in silence, reposing (and) being prior to everything. For he is the head of all the aeons, and it is he who gives them strength in his goodness. For we know not the ineffable things, and we do not understand what is immeasurable, except for him who came forth from him, namely (from) the Father. For it is he who told it to us alone. For it is he who looks at himself in his light which surrounds him, namely the spring of the water of life. And it is he who gives to all the aeons and in every way, (and) who gazes upon his image which he sees in the spring of the Spirit. It is he who puts his desire in his water-light which is in the spring of the pure light-water which surrounds him.
As you can see they knew the One was incomparable to all as all came from the One. Contemplate this because you too can know this beyond words directly. Gnosis. As were on the subject ill leave you with a extract from The Kybalion the Master of Masters and a great discription by one of the Initiates..
“THAT which is the Fundamental Truth–the Substantial Reality–is beyond true naming, but the Wise Men call
it THE ALL. “–The Kybalion.
“In its Essence, THE ALL is UNKNOWABLE.”–The Kybalion.
“But, the report of Reason must be hospitably received, and treated with respect.”–The Kybalion.
The human reason, whose reports we must accept so long as we think at all, informs us
as follows regarding THE ALL, and that without attempting to remove the veil of the
1. THE ALL must be ALL that REALLY IS. There can be nothing existing outside of THE
ALL, else THE ALL would not be THE ALL.
2. THE ALL must be INFINITE, for is nothing else to define, confine, bound, limit or
restrict THE ALL It must be Infinite in Time, or ETERNAL,–it must have always continuously
existed, for there is nothing else to have ever created it, and something can never evolve
from nothing, and if it had ever “not been,” even for a moment, it would not “be” now,–it must
continuously exist forever, for there is nothing to destroy it, and it can never “not-be,” even
for a moment, because something can never become nothing. It must be Infinite in Space–it
must be Everywhere, for there is no place outside of THE ALL–it cannot be otherwise than
continuous in Space, without break, cessation, separation, or interruption, for there is
nothing to break, separate, or interrupt its continuity, and nothing with which to “fill in the
gaps.” It must be Infinite in Power, or Absolute, for there is nothing to limit, restrict, restrain,
confine, disturb or condition it–it is subject to no other Power, for there is no other Power.
3. THE ALL must be IMMUTABLE, or not subject to change in its real nature, for there is
nothing to work changes upon it; nothing into which it could change, nor from which it could
have changed. It cannot be added to nor subtracted from; increased nor diminished; nor
become greater or lesser in any respect whatsoever. It must have always been, and must
always remain, just what it is now–THE ALL–there has never been, is not now, and never
will be, anything else into which it can change.
THE ALL being Infinite, Absolute, Eternal and Unchangeable it must follow that anything
finite, changeable, fleeting, and conditioned cannot be THE ALL. And as there is Nothing
outside of THE ALL, in Reality, then any and all such finite things must be as Nothing in
Both of these texts are available in our Archive if you wish to study them further.