by John Lash
Here and there the Coptic Gnostic
materials contain passages that describe encounters with the ET-like
beings, sometimes with explicit advice about how to handle these
I will attempt to address both these
questions in this brief topical essay.
For a first-hand look at the testimony, let's consider a passage
The First Apocalypse of James (NHC
V, 3), a revelation dialogue in which an unnamed teacher (the "Lord"
or "Master") confers secret knowledge upon a Gnostic named James:
The Master said:
James, behold, I
shall reveal to you the path of your redemption. Whenever you
are seized and you undergo death-pangs (mortal fear), a
multitude of Archons may turn on you, thinking they can capture
you. And in particular, three of them will seize you, those who
pose as toll collectors.
Not only do they demand toll, but
they take away souls by theft.
Now, when you come under their
power, one of them who is the overseer will say to you: "Who
are you, and where are you from?"
You are then to say to him, "I
am a child of humanity and I am from the Source."
He will then say to you, "What
sort of child are you, and to what Source do you belong?"
You are to say to him, "I am
from the pre-existent Source, and I am the offspring of the
Then he will say to you, "Why
were you sent out from the Source?"
Then you are to say to him, "I
came from the Pre-existent One so that I might behold those
of my kind and those who are alien."
And he will say to you, "What
are these alien beings?"
You are to say to him: "They are
not entirely alien, for they are from the Fallen Sophia
(Achamoth), the female divinity who produced them when she
brought the human race down from the Source, the realm of
the Pre-Existent One. So they are not entirely alien, but
they are our kin. They are indeed so because she who is
their matrix, Sophia Achamoth, is from the Source. At
the same time they are alien because Sophia did not combine
with her like in the Source (her divine male counterpart),
when she produced them."
When he also says to you, "Where
will you go now?"
You are to say to him, "To the
place when I came, the Source, there shall I return." And if
you respond in this manner, you will escape their attacks.
(NHC V, 3. 33 - 34: 1-
25. Translation from NHLE 1990, pp. 265-6 and Kurt Rudolf,
Gnosis, p. 174-5.)
Considerable information is packed into
The resemblance to contemporary reports
of close encounters is undeniable: the Archons induce a state of
mortal panic, they often appear in threes, they perform
abductions ("take away souls by
theft"). These details present a striking match to contemporary
But in an equally striking departure from the current
literature, the Gnostic teacher gives explicit instructions on how
to face the alien entities.
The vast amount of testimony on the
ET/UFO phenomenon available today presents almost nothing on defense
against alien intrusion.
Contactees and abductees are
passive witnessed, overwhelmed and overpowered by the aliens. But
Gnostic writings not only describe such encounters, they also
prescribe defensive action.
The Master offers cogent counsel
the Archons in their place.
Gnosis is a remembering of our origins. The student is
instructed to remember the cosmic birthright of humankind, and to
affirm its direct link to the Pleroma, the Source. Specifically, the
student is taught to recall and repeat the key episode in Gnostic
mythology, the fall of the Aeon Sophia, and thus effectuate a
defense against the Archons.
By recounting the myth of their origins,
the student demonstrates initiated knowledge of the origin and
identity of the entities s/he is facing.
Intentional recall of cosmic matters disempowers the Archons.
This, at least, is a clear inference from the above passage.
tactic of remembrance accords closely with indigenous wisdom
- consider, for instance, the saying of
the Na-Khi, a Tibetan people
of southeastern China:
"One must relate the origin of the
medicine, otherwise it cannot work its magic."
Shamans heal, not only by their knowledge of the
properties of plants, but also by their recounting the story of the
Likewise, Gnostics defeated the Archons
with the "medicine" (occult power) of mythological recall.
The Coptic materials become increasingly relevant as we realize they
do not merely present pedantic or recondite commentaries on a dead
religion, but vital insights on the timeless spiritual dilemmas of
humanity, insights as valid today as they were 2000 years ago.
Describing the find at
Nag Hammadi, Tobias Churton
"Had Mohammed Ali not broken open
the jar, we would not be able to hear these things. In the
truest sense of the word, these things are dynamite. One might
have imagined headlines throughout the world..."
The Gnostics, p. 12
But there were no such headlines, even
in the tabloids.
It took many years before the codexes were
translated and still, even today, no scholar will allow that these
rare Coptic codices contain reliable accounts of encounters with
In another passage of The First Apocalypse of James, the
Master refers to those people "who exist as the type of the Archons"
Gnostics were not only alert to the intrusion of the
Archons, they were also acutely aware of the possibility of humans
becoming totally "Archontized."
This threat appears to have emerged in a
particularly alarming way in that era to which Philip K. Dick
the first century of the Common Era,
when the incarnation of Christ is said to have occurred,
according to Christian belief.
Both the time and the place where
Archontic molding of human character set in strongly are specified
in the Nag Hammadi texts. In his Gnostic view of the human
condition, Dick assumed that the spiritual life of humanity was
arrested at that moment.
It is as if the behavior of those "who
exist as the type of Archons" locked into place in that era, and
came to dominate all subsequent centuries - until the moment in 1945
when the Nag Hammadi texts were discovered.
In a close parallel to Philip K. Dick's vision of "the Empire,"
Wilhelm Reich saw the rise of a
similar syndrome which he characterized as "the mechanico-mystical"
The Mass Psychology of Fascism.)
Its signature is "authoritarian ideology," the mindset of fascism
and patriarchal domination.
Significantly, archon was the common
term for "governer," or "authority" in Roman times.
In some translations of the Coptic
materials, archon (plural, archontoi) is rendered as "the
authorities." Reich's analysis of what I propose to call the mystico-fascist
complex focuses on National Socialism, the Nazi movement, which he
experienced first-hand, but The Mass Psychology of Fascism contains
ample references to Catholicism and the Holy Roman Empire, the
millennial ancestor of the mystico-fascist program.
For more comments on this subject viewed in a contemporary vein, see
In allusion to the fascist ideology of the "authorities", Philip
K. Dick wrote:
"The Empire is the institution, the
codification, of derangement; it is insane and imposes its
insanity on us by violence, since its nature is a violent one."
Valis, p. 235, citing entry 41
from "The Exegesis."
This is purely a Gnostic insight,
compatible with passages in the NHC and deeply resonant with Reich's
views on the massenpsychosen of Roman Christianity.
It might be argued that the Nazis were
not Christians, but in fact Hitler imagined himself as a Grail
Knight, modeled after Wagner's Parsifal, and the savior complex of Judaeo-Christian belief is wholly transposed into Nazi racial
ideology - hence the "Aryan Christ" identified, and, to some degree,
embraced by C. G. Jung.
Holy Reich, published in 2004
by Richard Steigman-Gall, professor of history at Kent State
University in the USA, argues that Hitler was sincere in calling
himself a Christian, and reveals to what extent Christian
ideology was embraced by the Nazi party and contributed to the
advancement of their cause.
Wilhelm Reich warned that since the breakdown of the pre-Christian
ethos of earth-oriented Paganism,
"the biological core of humanity has
been without social representation."
(Ibid., p. xii)
This is a staggering observation, to say
The "authorities" exhibit the behavior of spiritual zombies, people
who exemplify a baffling mix of mystical and militaristic fixations.
(What I have called behavioral
cloning - see below insert - is widely evident in both
militaristic and mystical behavior, such as we see today in
neocon religious realpolitik, although it is also embodied in
the mass conformity of global consumerism and the rites of
Proposed term for the hive
behavior of a society driven by unquestioned beliefs or
by technological prosthetics. Both beliefs (especially
religious beliefs) and prosthetics (that is, tools that
replace human faculties and functions) depend for their
efficacy on a prior condition: disembodiment of the
human subject, or the strong tendency toward
In the long-term overview developed in this site,
behavioral cloning is seen as developing historically in
introduction of religious ideology of salvation,
including the idea of the Incarnation. Approximately
1800 BCE - 400 AD. 1800 is the date generally
assigned to era of the Biblical Patriarch Abraham.
repression of body knowledge in favor of
abstraction. Approximately 400 BCE - 1200 AD (the
Dark Ages), overlapping and extending the Initial
Phase. 400 BCE marks the death of Socrates and the
rise of Platonic abstraction.
replacement of human faculties, and eventually the
human organism itself, by artificial entities.
Approximately 900 CE to the present, overlapping the
Middle Phase, with a surge at 1600 (the
Enlightenment). The date 900 CE represents the
introduction of the zero into Western science.
There is an overall
continuity here in which religion (Judeo-Christian
ideology) and Platonic philosophy (the abstracting
tendency) combine to turn the species away from Sacred
Nature; and then, when the quest for knowledge of the
natural world is revived in the Enlightenment (1600),
the disembodiment has already advanced so far that the
formulations of science can only continue the deviation,
and extrapolate it beyond correction.
This trend culminates
today in the fantasy of running the world on artificial
intelligence and replacing humans by robots or cyborgs.
This entire trajectory of development would not have
been possible if the quest for transcendence from the
blocking of the ego-self had not been diverted into a
quest of the ego-self to transcend nature.
(By "blocking of the
ego-self," I mean the psychological necessity of the
social ego to turn off its connection with nature so
that it can develop a field of human-based,
culture-oriented relations. Genuine transcendence, such
as was offered in the Mystery School initiations,
involved temporary dissolving of the ego-blocks and
melting of self-consciousness so that nature is once
again encountered as the numinous source of life.)
In his landmark essay, "Why
the Future Doesn't Need Us," IT
(informational technology) pioneer
Bill Joy wrote:
Once an intelligent
robot exists, it is only a small step to a robot
species - to an intelligent robot that can make
evolved copies of itself... But if we are downloaded
into our technology, what are the chances that we
will thereafter be ourselves or even human?
to me far likely that a robotic existence will not
be like a human one in any sense we understand, that
the robots would in no sense be our children, that
on this path our humanity may well be lost.
Taking the Red Pill,
ed. by Glen Yeffeth, p. 250ff.)
In the terminal phase of
behavioral cloning, a powerful fantasy comes into play -
but it is just a fantasy.
This is the widely hyped claim
that AI (artificial intelligence), will replace human
intelligence, and humans in the future will become cyborgs. The tool for achieving this goal is IT,
informational technology. The presumed outcome of this
transmogrification will be AL (artificial life.)
This entire proposed
development shows how the Dreaming of the Archons
intrudes upon the human mind and displaces our species
from its proper relation to Gaia's Dreaming. In reality,
the Alien Dreaming is a
discarnate fantasy that cannot be realized by humankind
because we are an embodied species embedded in a natural
habitat, and our self-awareness depends on direct
mirroring in nature. However, due to the disease of
narcissism (obsession with the socially mirrored
ego-self), we are prone to take the Alien Dreaming for a
IT is the tool we are using to write ourselves out of
By themselves the Archons can do nothing but insinuate.
They rely heavily on our tendency to give over our power
by wrong use of imagination.
Let's recall the
quoted in Sources of the Gaia Mythos:
"Let thy imagination
be guided wholly by nature... And observe according
to nature, through whom the substances regenerate
themselves in the bowels of the earth. And imagine
this with true and not with fantastic imagination."
Our problem - without
question, the single most threatening spiritual problem
of our species - is that we do not adequately or
consistently distinguish the true from the fantastic
How we lost the "Old Gnosis" (illumined body-knowing of
Sacred Nature), and how Judeo-Christian monotheism
gradually undermined the imaginative faculties we need
to co-evolve with Gaia, are lucidly explained by
Theodore Roszak in
Where the Wasteland Ends.
One of the most reliable tactics of the Archons is
Simulation (Hal in Coptic).
We might assume, then,
that they are capable of simulating life to the point
where their simulation cannot be distinguished from the
real thing. Not so. The Archons cannot make pearls from
plastic, but we can become so dull in sense perception
that we cannot distinguish plastic from pearl.
Gnostic seers ascertained
that Archontic simulation is largely a faking process,
like the special effects of the
Wizard of Oz.
Our alien cousins cannot
actually simulate the human organism, but if they can
convince us that they can do so, we risk making the
simulation look real because we grant it reality in our
own imaginations. Gnostics taught that the Archons can
do nothing without our complicity - and, in fact, we are
the ones who do most of the work for them!
The power of human
imagination is immense (Gnostics called this faculty the
luminous epinoia), and the Archons rely on stealing its
inventive fire to pass off their simulations as real.
Consistent with this tactic, the Alien Dreaming seduces
us into believing that all kinds of ridiculous things
are possible, or even have been achieved already. The
fear factor plays beautifully into our inflated
expectations. For instance, we live in breathless
anticipation that a
human being will be physically
cloned, perhaps with a little help from our alien
cousins on the biotechnological points.
Fearing this will occur,
or eagerly waiting for it to occur, we do not see what
is actually occurring, what is actually happening to us.
It is as if we lived in a building under constant threat
of an earthquake while acid is silently eating away the
foundations. This tactic of distraction, or
misdirection, is extremely effective.
Consequently, the world today is constantly jolted with
the immanence of human cloning, while behavioral cloning
Common forms of behavioral cloning are:
rote learning of
religious scriptures (often accompanied by shaking
the head, seen with devout Jews at the Wailing Wall,
or the entire body, seen in Muslim schools where
children are forcefully indoctrinated)
conformity to empty
religious formulas and vicarious rites (in the
Catholic mass, for instance)
usage of mobile
telephones (involving the same set of gestures
around the world: eyes fixed on keyboard to text
messages, phone-set to ear while walking, eating,
slogan-chanting at political rallies
the spiked fingers
gesture of heaving masses at rock concerts (Who
remembers that at the original Woodstock gathering,
Frank Zappa told the immense crowd of hippies, "You
are all wearing uniforms"?)
spectacles in Korea and China
dance crazes and
mindless imitation of dance moves modeled by pop
idols and mimicked by "Star Academy" candidates
designer labels and chic logos
Furious and unabated,
these and other forms of behavioral cloning proceed
without the blink of an eye.
Indeed, they are encouraged
and enforced at every turn, especially where financial
gain is at stake. Their effect is to reinforce the
zombie mentality that allows them to occur in the first
The dynamic of behavioral
cloning is a classic case of "positive feedback"
unfortunate designation, however. In the language of
complexity theory (formerly, chaos theory) positive
feedback is a self-enforcing loop that eventually spins
out of control and self-destructs.
On an icy road, when a car
begins to slide out of control, the smart driver will
steer slightly and steadily in the direction the car's
rear end is shifting, thus correcting the spin. This
exemplifies "negative feedback," but I propose it would
be better called corrective feedback. Many of the
natural processes on earth, such as the formation of the
polar icecaps and the carbon cycle, demonstrate
If the driver on an icy road panics and makes the
seemingly logical move to steer out of the slide (i.e.,
away from it), the car goes into an uncontrollable spin.
This is positive feedback, but I would prefer to call it
dystrophic feedback. Dystrophy (from dys-, "abnormal,
impaired," + tropos, "turn.") is a physical disorder of
the limbs characterized by the wasting of organs and
tissues, as in muscular dystrophy. Dystrophy - literally, "a turn for the worse"
- is more radical than
entropy, which is merely the passive running down of a
Dystrophic feedback leads
to violent disintegration of an organism or machine. In
short, it is the path of catastrophic breakdown.
Behavioral cloning is extremely deceptive because
the high degree of conformity it demands gives the
impression of order and stability. Yet a society driven
by behavioral cloning will, sooner or later, enter the
path of catastrophic breakdown. Behavioral cloning is
the norm in societies where the ruling powers are
blindly driven to pathological extremes, such as the Sun
sacrifice madness of the Aztecs.
As noted above, behavioral
cloning is driven from within by belief and lured or
entrained from without by technology and trickery (i.e.,
"magic," as in the case of Aztec magical ceremonies to
feed blood to the dying sun).
When beliefs and
technology combine, the formula is LETHAL.
Gnostics taught that the Archons do not autonomously
cause us to deviate from our proper course of evolution,
but they exploit our tendency to let our errors
extrapolate beyond the scale of correction - i.e., to
verge on dystrophic feedback. To my knowledge, no other
ancient teaching carries such a clear predictive view of
the risk of evolutional deviance inherent to human
The Gnostics may have been
silenced 1600 years ago, but they can still speak
vividly to us today.
The dynamics of behavioral cloning can also be
understood by way of two seminal ideas proposed by
the mechanism of
According to Reich, these fixations,
focused on the master fixation on a transcendent God beyond
the Earth, arise from the repression and displacement of somatic
sensations, especially sexual-genital feelings.
Philip K. Dick agreed with Reich
in observing that the mystico-fascist ideology grows like armor
around people who adopt these fixations, either through
indoctrination or intimidation ("conversion").
The mystico-fascist ideology operates
like a virus,
"imposing its form on its enemies.
Thereby it becomes it enemies."
Valis, p. 235
The ideology of the authorities can
infect even those who resist it. Hence it turns humanity against
But it would appear that some Gnostics were immune to infection - not
by accident, but due to their deliberate practice of orgiastic
sexual techniques to produce immunity, and due, in equal measure, to
their explicit teachings on the Archons and how to resist them, as
seen in the above passage from The First Apocalypse of James.
Gnostic observers on the ground when
Christianity arose saw salvationist ideology exactly the way
Philip K. Dick did: as a virus. An ideological virus, to be
Pagan intellectuals of the day even used that very term for
the fanaticism of the converts. Gnostics saw the tyranny of belief,
of metaphysical fantasies that underwrite militaristic agendas, in
the rise of early Christianity.
We can only imagine what they would see
today in the political religiosity of the American right.
What are we to make, then, of Gnostic beliefs about the Archons?
It might be said that Gnostics believed
that only by confronting what is insane and inhumane in ourselves,
can we truly define what is human. In essence, to define humanity is
to defend it against distortion.
Gnostics asserted that the capacity for
distortion of humanitas, or dehumanization, is
inherent in our minds, but this capacity alone is not potentially
Since we are endowed with nous, a dose
of divine intelligence, we are able to detect and correct distorted
thinking. We can master what Tibetan Buddhists call krol'pa,
"thoughts that lead astray," mental fixations that turn us away from
humanitas, our true identity.
However, Gnostics also warned
of an alien spin that can add a truly deviant element to our
The effect of the Archons is not to make
us err, but to make us, largely through dullness and distraction,
disregard our errors, so that they extrapolate beyond the scale
The Archons cast a 'trance" over
Adam... They put him into a sleepy state, but it was his
perception they dulled... They make our hearts heavy that we may
not pay attention and may not see. So we lose the reflection of
the Divine Light within us.. . [Thus the Archons acted on
humanity] with a view to deceive.
When the life-spirit increases and the illuminating power of the
body strengthens the soul, no one can lead you astray into the
lessening of your humanity. But those on whom the counterfeit
spirit preys are alienated from humanity and deviated... The
despicable spirit gains strength by leading us astray.
Archons burden the soul, attracting us to works of evil, and
pull us down into oblivion, making us forget who we are.
The Apocryphon of John,
II, 22: 14-10, through 27-20
The catechism on alien encounters
The First Apocalypse of James
is not exceptional.
A great deal of Gnostic teaching was
dedicated to the theory of error I have just summarized. In a
practical sense, Gnostic teachers in the Mystery Schools instructed
the neophytes in how to face the Archons both as alien intruders,
the Greys and
Reptilians of contemporary lore,
and as tendencies in their minds.
The detection of Archontic intrusion
in both these modes of experience seems to be unique to the finely
nuanced noetic science of the Mysteries.
In the Gnostic view, human beings "who exist as the type of the
Archons" are those who blindly follow
religious ideologies of an
insane and inhumane nature, for it is primarily through religious
beliefs that the Archons intrude upon us.
Behavior driven by such
beliefs produces pathological personality fixations, resulting in
the spiritual zombie.
All scholars agree that some Gnostics
condemned equally the Jewish origins of the Christian
salvationist program, and the Pauline-Johannine program
itself. Doing so, they did not spread a hate message against anyone.
Rather, they attempted to expose what they perceived to be the
hateful and deceiving message disguised in the Judeo-Christian
ideology of salvation.
At the source of this message, they
detected the subliminal intrusion of the Archons into the human
mind. Hence the thrust and preponderance (more than half of all
surviving material, by my estimate) of politically and theologically
incorrect passages in the Coptic materials.
Whether or not Gnostics were delusional about the Archons is a
private judgment call.
But a fair and open-minded reading of
the Coptic texts will not yield much evidence for derangement on
their part. The seers who exposed derangement were not deranged.
They were sober and methodical in describing what they knew, and
extremely conscientious in prescribing action to face the
They believed that they really had
identified that most baffling of all enigmas: the root cause of
inhumanity in human nature.
What are we to believe about all this today?
There is an issue of credibility here,
of course - that is to say, we may consider the source of Gnostic
teachings apart from their content. But Gnosis is by definition a
matter of knowing and not of believing. It is about enlightenment,
To give Gnostics credit for actually
knowing what they claimed to know is only the first step. Beyond
that, we must confirm what they knew by our own resources, our own
This is the perennial challenge of
Gnosis, the living, ever-renewing cognition of the human spirit.
Knowledge of that which is
alive can alone banish terror.
The Function of the Orgasm