Note: This article is about philosophy and myth of Gnosticism and its equivalent known as Sant Mat in the East.
Who is the creator of this world?
Is this a perfect world?
Who is responsible for your sufferings?
Such questions always come into the mind of spiritual seekers, philosophers and thinkers. There have been many world views in philosophy and religions. Some of the world views gained cult status and remained that way and some others became religions. Gnosticism is such a world view and Saint Mat is another such world view. They are very similar in the essence as far as philosophy goes but what they actually differ about is something about which we shall talk later on.
First things first: Who is the creator of this world?
Gnosticism says it’s Demiurge or Satan. Lets understand this that it’s one half of the truth because the very word Demiurge means ‘half creator’. What is the other half? Other half is something which emanated from God–substance of this universe–i. e. matter as well as spirit. What it means is –matter as well as spirit are eternal but the Demiurge shapes them to serve his own ends and to create this world.
Let me state that Saint Mat also suggests same things. Another question comes into the mind:
Why Demiurge created this world and who he is actually?
The answer given by Gnosticism is: Demiurge is an emanation from the Godhead. He was ignorant of the ultimate creator and he thought that he was alpha and omega of creation therefore he created this world for his enjoyment and amusement.
Here Gnostic world view differs from the Sant Mat in the sense that according to the latter Kaal(Satan/Devil) was a son of God who rebelled against God and did penance to get powers from God and then created the world.
In any case, after creating the world Demiurge became a ruler of the world. If we consider him as the negative power, there is a positive power as well, which according to Gnosticism is beyond the understanding and knowledge of Demiurge.
Now let us consider this: Is this world a perfect world or an imperfect world?
Almost all religious world views tell us that this world is an imperfect world. They differ in explaining ‘how’ but it’s obvious if you observe all the sufferings around you. Earthquakes, tsunamis, accidents and this whole jungle of everyone eating up everyone else for survival. Even herbivorous animals have to eat plants in other to survive. This suggests that it is an evil world.
A perfect world suggests a perfect creator.
An evil world suggests an evil or imperfect creator.
There could be many more arguments to implicate this but lets stop here to progress further in the discussion. The evil creator or Demiurge doesn’t want anyone to get out of this world to the perfect creator.
A deeper question for both Gnosticism and Sant Mat worldviews is : Why in the first place should the ultimate creator or God let this Demiurge come into existence or for Saint Mat–why should God let one of his own son turn into a rebel?
The ultimate creator is God but he did not actually create per se. Everything which was, which is and which will be exists in him as a whole. The world seems evil because it’s a part of the whole, similarly Demiurge is an emanation from creator.
Even if you consider this argument above it doesn’t answer the question–why should there be suffering?
There seems to be an answer–this is a plaything for God. It’s indeed a source of amusement for Devil but in the grand scheme of things it’s a play of God. Unless the God wants that there should be a world like this there would never be a Demiurge in the first place.
It’s also worthy of being taken into the account that this world might be a very tiny fragment of the whole and hence there isn’t as much of suffering as we imagine there is–but then–why should there be this suffering or play at all?
Karma doesn’t explain anything–neither does original sin. Karma must be taken into the account to explain your present suffering as well as the way out of it but it cannot answer the ultimate question–how did it all begin–how did Karma come into the picture in the first place? The answer that Demiurge created the law of Karma is alright as far as this world is concerned but why Demiurge had to become an alienated ruler(Gnosticism) or a rebellious son(Sant Mat) is not answered clearly.
Who is ultimately playing is God and not the Demiurge.
Who is actually playing?
With himself–because there is nothing else but him. Whatever was, whatever is, whatever will be cannot exist unless it’s God. If you consider the full equation–Demiurge, matter, spirit and all the intermingling is one and in one–God.
There are some people out there who suggest that Satan has created religions and traditions so that he is considered God. It’s true according to the Saint Mat and Gnosticism that most of the people worship Satan as God. They are not aware of the true God.
The argument goes like this–Satan wants everyone to kneel down before him. He wants everyone to serve him, appreciate him and adore him. He wants everyone to believe that he is the perfect creator. The true God is like our father or mother or friend who would never like us to kneel before him or pray to him all the time. He might like us hugging him or talking to him but would never want us to suffer on account of forgetting him.
Let that be the case–that doesn’t answer the two cents question–why do we suffer at all? Is it by accident? We do not know for sure. That is a mystery. God is a mystery.
What is sure according to Gnosticism and Saint Mat is-there is a way out of suffering—there is a way out of this game. The God sends his light bearing sons to redeem us. We have to listen to his word(Saint Mat) and to do reason-gnosis . We have to give up the desires and grow in detachment with this world because it’s not our true home. In order to get free from this eternal chain of birth and death and suffering, we have to give up the desires except the desire to be free–to be one with our true father.
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