Whenever I refer to ApJohn, it’s the LR (Long Redaction) that includes the Pronoia Hymn. Much of this section is aligned with probably the most profound work of all — the TriProt. Pronoia is a Savior figure, as Christ can be, and Christ is the Revealer, as Pronoia can be. The concepts are intertwined. It is possible that they, along with the Father of course, allowed this aeon, and even the counterfeit spirit, to evolve in order to come back and claim what is theirs (the TriProt end of [On Fate: Two.]) Perhaps this is why such works as ApJohn were lost in time until 1945 with the discovery of the Nag Hammadi Corpus (though regarding ApJohn specifically, one of the shorter redactions was found towards the end of the 19th/beginning of the 20th centuries in the Berlin Codex.) In other words, this Redemption will be fulfilled once individual Souls/Spirits sort themselves out such that those who truly are from the Immovable Race (the Valentinians believe this sort is called pneumatic) will become known. It refers to those who have learnt, felt, seen, and touched the various elements and attributes of what are in this aeon such that they can individually discriminate for themselves right from wrong. The Immovable Race therefore becomes. They are the true Crusaders of the Pure Light. Perhaps this was and is the Pleroma’s grand plan. Per the Trimorphic Protennoia:
“But now I have come down and reached down to Chaos. And I was with my own who were in that place. I am hidden within them, empowering them, giving them shape. And from the first day until the day when I will grant mighty glory to those who are mine, I will reveal myself to those who have heard my mysteries, that is, the Sons of the Light.”
Furthermore, TriProt‘s Verse VII explicitly delineates Pronoia’s and Christ’s similarity:
“Then the Son who is perfect in every respect — that is, the Word who originated through that Voice; who proceeded from the height; who has within him the Name; who is a Light — he revealed the everlasting things, and all the unknowns were known. And those things difficult to interpet and secret, he revealed. And as for those who dwell in Silence with the First Thought, he preached to them. And he revealed himself to those who dwell in darkness, and he showed himself to those who dwell in the abyss, and to those who dwell in the hidden treasuries, he told ineffable mysteries, and he taught unrepeatable doctrines to all those who became Sons of the Light.”
Is salvation predetermined, and this spiritual concept can mean different things depending on the individual, or is it earned? This is a classic question among philosophers regarding determinism vis-à-vis free will. It’s worth contemplating, that’s for certain. In good form, I truly believe it’s a fusion of sorts, though determinism trumps free will in my opinion. Just read the entire TriProt!
I do not believe anyone can know this answer, though I’m certain many believe they know the truth. Said another way, it is difficult to read Trimorphic Protennoia and not take away the belief that Providence (determinism) trumps free will. Other treatises might hold otherwise, but in my opinion TriProt (Part III of John’s Gospel) is a force to be reckoned with—after all, it is attributed to the Father with perfect knowledge. However, the entire work is written with the Immovable Race in mind; others might indeed be subject to free will, if it’s not in fact determinism that they make other choices, as Einstein and Spinoza would most likely argue. This fundamental issue is not entirely resolved to everyone’s agreement, though I rest my case based on the Verses included in TriProt. I will state that I believe more or less in soft determinism, which does allow for some of the daily aspects of free will, however.