Abrasax, the Prince of Darkness

Discussion in 'Esoteric' started by Ella S., Dec 10, 2021.

  1. Ella S.

    Ella S. Utilitarian Logician

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    The all-hating personification of destruction and suffering, in Manichaeism he is a Demiurgic Anti-God associated with Satan, Mara, and Ahriman. In Jungian Gnostic alchemy, he is Abrasax, the devil associated with the Demiurge and the Collective Consciousness. In Tarot, he is The Devil, known as Set-hen, Saturn, and Adonai, who rules material passions.

    He's also called the great deceiver, the father of lies, and the illusion. It is this latter sense that I have some insight to shed on the matter.

    As children, most of what we experience is novel. We are seeing the world through clean eyes. As we grow older, we learn to process visual information by comparing it with what we know. This means that kids process visual information slower, but in more detail, and can remember more about what they see than adults, who generalize what they see.

    For instance, an adult might look into a room and remember that there's a chair in it. A child might look into the same room and remember the colors of the walls, the direction and color of the wood grain on the chair, etc. They take in more of the "raw experience" and see "things-of-themselves" rather than categorizing those experiences as a chair. On top of this, the kid experiences novelty, whereas the adult has seen plenty of chairs in the past.

    This illusion of abstract concepts formed by comparing the past to the present, prioritized over the undiluted sensory experience, leads to the adult no longer finding enjoyment in the moment of something so mundane. The lie of the concept of what a chair is comes before actually seeing this specific chair as it is in that moment.

    This is, potentially, why Buddha-nature is often described as neither existing nor not existing. It's seeing beyond the abstract concepts of the labels we construct and seeing things as they are rather than how we define them or the context that they might be in.

    This happens with more than just vision. As a kid, you might enjoy terrible candies and poorly made cartoons, only to be hyper-critical of them when you age and have a broader understanding of food and entertainment to judge them by.

    This in-the-moment novelty has a downside for kids, too. Horror movies are scarier. Papercuts and bruises feel more painful. An argument with a friend can feel like the end of the world. In adulthood, these are less pressing obstacles, in part because of the broader perspective gained from experience.

    It's also possible, with time, to learn self-discipline and integration, making even worse hardships easier to endure. This is also done, in part, by letting go of the analytical mind, and refusing to label emotions or sensations as "bad" so that one can accept their experience of them in the moment.

    While we cannot be purified of these illusions entirely, as some amount of abstraction and contextualization is necessary for daily functioning, we can learn to recognize them for what they are and take control over them rather than let them rule over or torment us.

    But those are just the thoughts of a young fool, really, and maybe a bit lengthy. This personification of evil is one that has been on my mind a lot lately as I struggle with my own inner demons that beckon me towards being miserable, causing misery, being self-destructive, and tearing down others. By gaining a better understanding of these impulses in myself, I have been able to overcome them.

    That's why the devil in Manichaeism is also known as the "evil impulse" (Yetzer Hara) or the "malevolent mind" (Angra Mainyu); it is that inner demon. It can only be guarded against by facing it and understanding its tricks.
     
  2. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    Thank you for this.

    Does Abrasax lie because of course he does, or is he pursuing goals of his own? And what does that mean in the Jungian Gnostic way of understanding things?
     
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  3. Ella S.

    Ella S. Utilitarian Logician

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    Personally, I think his lying is a metaphor for ignorance being the cause of suffering, and that, if Abrasax exists externally, it's more of a force of nature and less of a sapient agent. This fits nicely into the Jungian emphasis on integration with the hidden parts of ourselves and the break down of the "false self" or Persona.
     
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  4. Ella S.

    Ella S. Utilitarian Logician

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    Personally, I think his lying is a metaphor for ignorance being the cause of suffering, and that, if Abrasax exists externally, it's more of a force of nature and less of a sapient agent. This fits nicely into the Jungian emphasis on integration with the hidden parts of ourselves and the break down of the "false self" or Persona.
     
  5. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    I'm only superficially familiar with Jungian concepts, but I understand you to mean that Abrasax, when considered to exist "internally" to the psyche, is different from other archetypes in that he represents the concept of ignorance, and is not to be integrated?
     
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  6. Ella S.

    Ella S. Utilitarian Logician

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    Jung calls him the deceitful reality. Here is an excerpt from Jung's "Seven Sermons of the Dead," a Gnostic diatribe from his Red Book:

    "He is fullness, uniting itself with emptiness.
    He is the sacred wedding;
    He is love and the murder of love;
    He is the Holy one and his betrayer.
    He is the brightest light of day and the deepest night of
    madness.

    To see him means blindness;
    To know him is sickness;
    To worship him is death;
    To fear him is wisdom;
    Not to resist him means liberation

    Such is the terrible Abrasax."

    However, Abrasax cannot be dismissed during integration, as Jung writes:

    "So remember [Abrasax], do not worship him, but also do not imagine that you can flee him since he is all around you. You must be in the middle of life, surrounded by death on all sides. Stretched out, like one crucified, you hang in him, the fearful, the overpowering."

    He must be integrated. Indeed, it's the lack of integration that gives him power over us, which is what Jung means when he writes that Abrasax is "a god about whom you know nothing, because men have forgotten him." It's remembering him and not resisting him, that is, integrating him, that liberates one from his grasp.

    So while he is the "deceitful reality," he must be recognized for what he is, rather than denied or struggled against.
     
  7. powessy

    powessy Well-Known Member

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    Hello Ella S.

    First off I speak to minds, or hear voices from within the veil. I can try to explain Abrasax as you mention him here. 100% of all things including those not understood requires time to become something. Minds like to sort things into groups to allow other minds the chance to find time.

    If you were to look down at who we are as people of this world you would first only see three minds that encapsulates us, from left to right in this order you have sins, innocence, and then virtues. Within each of these minds you have a multitude of minds that make up who we are, from large groups to the smallest groups to even individuals. I always imagine this to fall into a very nice bell curve with the majority of us in the middle of it.

    Abrasax would be to the farthest left, those to the left will try to figure him out and give him time, They will then find he is so badly done they do not want him to find time so they teach him nothing here, but this will not happen until he runs out of time. Other minds on this side of things will try to become him so they also cannot find time this gives him even more time to become himself. Minds do not want to be badly done so they will do anything not to become something or find time. Since sins are connected to ourselves bad thoughts can pull you into their world of problems and which then effects our world.

    Virtues is just as bad to find time in as sins. I think of the story of Adam and Eve when thinking of virtues. Minds like nicely done thoughts they like it when we think of being good even perfect and so they will try hard to pull us to this side of the line. The more virtuous we become the more we do nothing we just stop wanting to do anything for our thoughts might not be virtuous enough. I think The interpretation of god found time here when it is only virtues trying to figure itself out. Virtues realized in order to make minds become something again that he needed to create temptations that made us ask questions about things to question all things bringing us back into innocence, or into ourselves.

    Innocence is ourselves, at the very core, it is our moral compass and is were we all begin. As god said we will judge ourselves.

    Again minds like to sort things out, they like to form boxes to place things into that keeps us finding time for them so they can figure things out. We as people do this also constantly forming new groups to separate ourselves from themselves. How many religions we have, is how many gods we have.


    Powessy
     
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  8. Ella S.

    Ella S. Utilitarian Logician

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    Thank you for your input. It's always nice to have a variety of perspectives available on sites like this.
     
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  9. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    Those verses reminded me of "The Thunder, Perfect Mind". Just something that bobbed up into my thoughts. Did Jung have access to that text when he wrote the Seven Sermons?

    Also, and again just mentioning an association my under-caffeinated brain came up with, those paradoxical opposites remind me a bit about the Aeons and their respective Syzygys.

    Are the aeon-like archetypes also subject to Abrasax?

    This is a fascinating topic, please dont mind my rambling questions.
     
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  10. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    Interesting, thanks, @powessy. The following caught my attention (emphasis added by me):

    I've heard it said that Abrasax is an "unfinished god". Your post reminded me of that.
     
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  11. RJM

    RJM God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    Thanks @powessy.
    Good to hear from you.
    I tried composing a response above, but realized it adds nothing to what you wrote, so I deleted it.
     
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  12. Ella S.

    Ella S. Utilitarian Logician

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    That's a good question! I think the inspiration was actually the Corpus Hermeticum or Orphic texts that follow this format, because Jung wrote the Red Book several decades before the Nag Hammadi find. It's interesting to me how much of his writings line up with the themes of the texts that we uncovered.

    The Aeons aren't necessarily subject to Abrasax, so much as one must go through Abrasax before they can work with the higher Aeons like Sophia and, according to Jung, Phanes. A big part of alchemy, and a few Gnostic schools of thought, is the ascension through the planetary spheres, starting with the lowest one.

    I don't mind at all! Any excuse to discuss the subject brings me joy.
     
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  13. powessy

    powessy Well-Known Member

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    I did get a chance to read your responses before you removed them, I did not mind your interpretations.
    You mentioned something I wanted to add about virtues, and minds.

    Let me explain the mind our yourself as they refer to us. In life we are on this side of the wall finding time and experiencing life. Through out or lifetime we are constantly bringing time across into nothing here. So your box "RJM Corbert, is made up of your life's experiences, and your time it is what makes us unique from one another. So inside of your box that you are making, you have another you, one made up of something there. This other you is something there and is not yourself here until you are not becoming something here anymore. This you on the other side of the wall is your ability to become yourself after death.

    This other you is part of ourselves which is where judgments take place as minds come along to figure you out and place you in a box of other minds like you. Virtues is what I call "yourself is not yourself", we do not seek perfection it is not in who we are. I think the movie "The Matrix" expressed this the best when Mr. Smith had morpheus trapped at the top floors of that building. Smith told morpheus that the matrix was built several times and all the ones that came before failed because they were to perfect, people Like so solve problems.

    Sorry for off the topic


    I spend a lot of time trying to understand the things I see and it is hard to sometimes express these images into words. When I was thirteen or so I could look into myself and see a place that confused me. In this place was a gateway of sorts it was a grid that seemed to spread infinitely in all directions. On top the first pathway stood a man arms spread extended outwards towards the voids to his left and right facing away from me. From this vision formed my mantra that I have spoken thousands of times over and over again during the past forty or so years. "Spirits of evil and good enter into my soul and body walk with me down the path of limbo, with good on my right and evil on my left walk with me into the light".

    During my lifetime the voids have filled and emptied hundreds of times as people would come and go from there. The description you give from Jung, about Abrasax seems very familiar to what I also see and have understood, but this is a place of judgment.

    Above he talks about the extremes of virtues and sins as I refer to them. In my simple thoughts I express this as, "I do not love him, I do not hate him, I do not want anything to do with him. This is my balancing act as I constantly seek center within myself and those around me.

    In the middle of life, surrounded by death on all sides, stretched out like one crucified is how I also see him. If you are to the right or the left of him you will be ripped apart to figure ourselves out again. If you follow your life according to ourselves you will know him and you will not need to resist him as you will integrate with him so you can become something again, and figure yourself out.

    To understand Abrasax is to understand judgment.

    Powessy
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2021
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  14. powessy

    powessy Well-Known Member

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    Hello again Ella S.

    I hope you do not mind me asking about the text I placed in bold letters above. To understand why these thoughts become more then they should be is that you have strayed from ourselves, and found these thoughts are gaining more time. If I do something I do not feel right about one time this is understood through simple experience, I placed my hand on the hot stove and burnt myself, I never did it again. If you do something many times that moves you to the left or right of ourselves and continue to do it this is teaching other minds about yourself.

    Once you find time to the left or right of ourselves you will find thoughts of judgment of yourself and your judgments of others. Once these minds find time they want you to keep teaching you things so you can become who they are and not who we are. Many times we become defensive in our thoughts, fighting our thoughts trying to find even ground. Many times we over shoot and will choose the virtuous side maybe go to church on Sunday and ask for forgiveness. Religion is not ourselves it teaches you nothing here, do not seek this path.

    To find time back inside of ourselves you have to just listen to yourself your line in time the one that teaches you about yourself. Bow in respect to who they are and move back away from them until you feel you are part of all the things of this world and that you are, not more then or less then those around you. Do not try to take control of them you are dealing with minds that are not who we are.

    It is a journey of life to find our true self, our line in the sand we do not cross, the line with our thoughts on it.

    powessy
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2021
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  15. RJM

    RJM God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    I get this. Thanks @powessy
    Thank you for this.
    Ditto
    Ditto
    Ditto
    Ditto
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2021
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  16. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    Next question:

    Who is Phanes in Jungian Gnosticism? Are there parallels in other Gnostic currents?
     
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  17. Ella S.

    Ella S. Utilitarian Logician

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    I'm not sure what your question here is. If it's if I agree with everything you say here, no, I actually don't agree with anything you said here.

    I think we have to give our thoughts and feelings time. Not doing so is avoidance and repression, which is unhealthy.

    I do not believe in minds that are here to turn me into them. I don't see virtue as a bad thing, or unbalanced, or religion as something that teaches us nothing. I am very religious and have learned a lot from religion.

    I think Sophia, our spark of divinity, is a part of God, and therefore timeless, not a line of time. I do not believe that nobody is more or less than one another; I do believe that some people are more moral than others, but I also recognize that there are many people who are better than I am. Instead of being ashamed of this, they remind me that it is possible to be better and they inspire me to continue my constant spiritual growth.

    I don't think that finding our Self is a lifelong journey. I think it takes about 7 years, when properly prepared. (ETA: And I think that healthy people tend to individuate mostly on their own in their 20's or 30's. Jung was concerned with treating mental illness, not people who were already healthy.)
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2021
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  18. Ella S.

    Ella S. Utilitarian Logician

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    Jung did not really care about the concept of virtue or sin, going as far as to say that his concern wasn't with goodness, but with wholeness. This description is meant to equate Abrasax with a sort of Pantheistic Demiurge, with Jung even translating later Gnostic texts where he replaced phrases such as "archon of this world" and "Demiurge" with Abrasax.

    Phanes is essentially Jung's name for the Gnostic Monad, as the transcendental God beyond the materialistic Abrasax. He's closely tied to the concepts of the Self and the Collective Unconscious.
     
  19. RJM

    RJM God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    Moral is not a virtue. It is a social necessity. It is not a true part of the soul/mind. The soul follows its light. The soul is not bound by nature. Virtue can be an obstacle. Thinking the 'right' thoughts becomes an obstacle. Virtue comes from the soul/mind following its own path: it is not the object. The first commandment is all

    Nature/the world's judgements can paralyse the 'mind'. Spiritual law can seem to contradict nature. Doing the right thing, thinking the right thoughts, can be stagnation.

    Written and posted without deep consideration ...
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2021
  20. RJM

    RJM God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    "To thine own self be true, then as night follows day, thou cans't not then be false to any man."
     

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