The Sethian Neoplatonic Treatises

Other descriptions of Autogenes include “a divine intellect generating itself and the sensible cosmos by a contemplative seeing of the first God who thinks only insofar as he makes use of a contemplative second God (Marsanès frag. 20-22; Marsanès (NH X) edited by Wolf-Peter Funk, Paul-Hubert Poirier, John Douglas Turner; Platonism: Ancient, Modern, and Postmodern edited by Kevin Corrigan, John Douglas Turner.) Autogenes operates on the realm of the individuals who constitute the self-generated Aeons where he saves a multitude—thus a multiplicity. He’s a figure with the salvation of the realms below the Barbelo Aeon, thus Autogenes and his descent become the incessant topic of Marsanès’ preaching, since its result is the salvation or preservation of the entire sensible world.”

As regards the mythology, Barbelo’s third power is Autogenes, after Kalyptos and Protophanes. Truth was severed as the consort of Autogenes at the Christ Aeonic level and given to Barbelo, but here we see the balance of the scales in action as Autogenes was originally at the Barbelo level, which makes sense given the initial divine spark that created Christ. Furthermore, in Allogenes:

  • “Autogenes is the Barbelo’s Aeon’s means of interacting with the ‘perfect individuals’ including sounds and divine beings resident in this aeon prior to their unification in the Protophanes Aeon. This includes those who inhabit the realm of corporeal nature, continually rectifying the defects from nature.”
  • “In effect, Autogenes is constantly occupied with the shaping of the natural realm, literally ‘setting right’ or rectifying the ‘sins from nature.’” Marsanès continues describing the basic teaching concerning the Powers and configurations of the Zodiacal signs in Fragments 41-46: “whether s/he is gazing at the two or is gazing at the seven [then] planets or at the twelve signs of the Zodiac or at the 36 Decans [that] are and these reach up to these numbers, whether those in heaven or those upon the earth, together with those that are under the earth, according to the relationships and the divisions among these, and in the rest—parts according to kind and according to species—they will submit since she has power above; they exist apart, every body, the divine Barbelo [did] reveal them in this manner.” 

I will restate that Providence trumps fate. Universal energy does exist, however. Additionally, according to Rudolf Steiner on p. 170 of According to Matthew (though it’s worth noting that he quite possibly valued GosJohn the most in True Knowledge of The Christ: Theosophy and Rosicrucianism–The Gospel of John):

  • “In ancient times, any large number of people was described as a “thousand,” and more specific descriptions added a number derived from the most important characteristic of the group. For example, the people of the fourth cultural period were described as the “fourth thousand,” while those already living in the style of the next cultural period were called the “fifth thousand.” (These are merely technical terms.)
  • Hence, the disciples realized that in their waking consciousness they received Christ’s solar forces through the seven diurnal signs of the zodiac, which provided nourishment suited to the “fourth thousand,” or those in the fourth cultural period. But what they received through clairvoyant imagination, or through the five nocturnal signs, applied to the near future, the “fifth thousand.”
  • Thus those of the fourth epoch (the four thousand) receive nourishment from Heaven through the seven diurnal constellations, or the seven heavenly loaves, whereas the five loaves of the five nocturnal constellations of the zodiac nourishes those of the fifth epoch (the five thousand). The constellation of Pisces, or the fishes, always indicates the point where day signs meet the night signs.”

Back to Allogenes, one particularly well stated expression of the Sethian Triple-Powered One is as follows: Existence, Vitality, and Mentality (Knowledge.) Barbelo has three powers too: the invisible Spirit (or the masculine silent one,) the pre-existing otherness characterized by the actual feminine nature of the Triple Powered One itself, and the masculine dynamic equivalent of the Barbelo Aeon. Then there are the three additional Aeons: Kalyptos (initial latency or potential existence,) Protophanes (initial manifestation (divine mind,)) and lastly Autogenes (determinate, self-generated instantiation, now attributed to Christ.)

“Kalyptos includes the contemplated mind, containing the paradigmatic ideas or authentic existents, each unique. Protophanes is the contemplative mind, containing the subdivision of ideas, those who are unified and all together distinguished from ideas of particular things and from the distinctly unique authentic existents as congeries of similar units capable of combination with one another.” Lastly, Autogenes is “akin to a [second level] mind who shapes the realm of nature below according to the forms contemplated and analyzed by Protophanes, and would thus contain the ‘perfect individuals,’ the ideas of particular, individual things, as well as individual souls.’”

Allogenes further describes the Father as follows, complementing ApJohn’s description of his essence as found at the beginning of this work:

  • Allogenes 47-48 [But] concerning the invisible, spiritual Triple-Powered One, hear! He exists as an Invisible One who is incomprehensible to them all. He contains them all within himself, for they all exist because of him. He is perfect, and he is greater than perfect, and he is blessed. He is always One and he exists in them all, being ineffable, unnameable, being One who exists through them all — he whom, should one discern him, one would not desire anything that exists before him among those that possess existence, for he is the source from which they were all emitted. He is prior to perfection. He was prior to every divinity, and he is prior to every blessedness since he provides for every power. And he is a nonsubstantial substance, since he is a God over whom there is no divinity, the transcending of whose greatness and beauty do not compare with any power. It is not impossible for them to receive a revelation of these things if they come together. Since it is impossible for the individuals to comprehend the Universal One situated in the place that is higher than perfect, they apprehend by means of a First Thought — it is not as being alone, but it is along with the latency of Experience that he confers Being. He provides everything for himself since it is he who shall come to be when he recognizes himself. And he is One who subsists as a cause and source of Being and an immaterial material and an innumerable number and a formless form and a shapeless shape and powerlessness and a power and in insubstantial substance and a motionless motion and an inactive activity. Yet he is a provider of provisions and a divinity of divinity — but whenever they apprehend, they participate the first Vitality and an undivided activity, an hypostasis of the First One from the One who truly exists.
  • Allogenes 52-53, the Sethian Triple-Powered One: “And the all-glorious One, Youel [of the Barbelo Hypostasis,] anointed me again and she gave power to me. She said, “Since your instruction has become complete and you have known the Good that is within you, hear concerning the Triple-Powered One those things that you will guard in great silence and great mystery, because they are not spoken to anyone except those who are worthy, those who are able to hear; nor is it fitting to speak to an uninstructed generation concerning the Universal One that is higher than perfect. But you have <these> because of the Triple-Powered One, the One who exists in blessedness and goodness, the One who is responsible for all these. There exists within him much greatness. Inasmuch as he is One in silence of the First Thought, which does not fall away from those who dwell in comprehension and knowledge and understanding. And That One moved motionlessly in that which governs, lest he sink into the boundless by means of another activity of Mentality. And he entered into himself and he appeared, being all-encompassing, the Universal One that is higher than perfect. Indeed it is not through me that he is to such a degree anterior to knowledge. Whereas there is no possibility for complete comprehension, he is (nevertheless) known. And this is so because of the third silence of Mentality and the second undivided activity which appeared in the First Thought, that is, the Aeon of Barbelo, together with the Indivisible One of the divisible likenesses and the Triple-Powered One and the non-substantial existence.”
  • Allogenes 62-64: “He is neither divinity nor blessedness nor perfection. Rather it (this triad) is an unknowable entity of him, not that which is proper to him, rather he is another one superior to the blessedness and the divinity and perfection. For he is not perfect but he is another thing that is superior. He is neither boundless, nor is he bounded by another. Rather, he is something superior. He is not corporeal. He is not incorporeal. He is not great. He is not small. He is not a number. He is not a creature. Nor is something that exists, that one can know. But he is something else of himself that is superior, which one cannot know. He is primary revelation and knowledge of himself, as it is he alone who knows himself. Since he is not one of those that exist but is another thing, he is superior to all superlatives even in comparison to both what is properly his and not his. He neither participates in age nor does he participate in time. He does not receive anything from anything else. He is not diminishable, nor does he diminish anything, nor is he indiminishable. But he is self-comprehending, as something so unknowable that he exceeds those who excel in unknowability. He is endowed with blessedness and perfection and silence — not <the blessedness> nor the perfection–and stillness. Rather it (these attributes) is an entity of him that exists, which one cannot know, and which is at rest. Rather they are entities of him unknowable to them all.”

In relation to the Father and Autogenes/Christ, the following revelatory discourse addresses the Immovable Race directly in Zostrianos:

  • Zostrianos 20 “(About) the All and the all-perfect race and the one who is higher than perfect and blessed. The self-begotten Kalyptos pre-exists because he is an origin of the Autogenes, a god and a forefather, a cause of the Protophanes, a father of the parts that are his. As a divine father he is foreknown but he is unknown, for he has a power and a father from himself. Therefore, he is [fatherless.] The invisible Triple Powerful, First Thought [of] all [these,] the Invisible Spirit [represents] the Essence and Existence [of] all these. They are in every place that he loves or desires, yet they are not in any place. They have capacity for Spirit, for they are incorporeal yet are better than incorporeal. They are undivided with living thoughts and a power of truth with those purer than these since with respect to him they are purer and are not like the bodies which are in one place. Above all, they have necessity either in relation to the All or to a part. Therefore, the way of ascent, it is pure, and [henceforth] each herself and with them are above all particular Aeons.”
  • Zostrianos 24 “He can see with his perfect soul those who belong to Autogenes; with his mind, those who belong to the Triple Male, and with his Holy Spirit, those who belong to Protophanes. He can learn of Kalyptos through the powers of the Spirit from whom they have come forth in a far better revelation of the Invisible Spirit. And by means of thought which now is in silence and by First Thought he learns of the Triple Powerful Invisible Spirit, since there is the a report and power of silence which is purified in a living Spirit. It is perfect and and [always] perfect and all perfect.”
  • Zostrianos 62 “You who belongs to all the glories said to me, ‘you have received all the baptisms in which it is fitting to be baptized, and you have become perfect [in the light of] the hearing of [the All.] Now call again upon the all-perfect, the Lights of the aeon Barbelo and the immeasurable knowledge. They will reveal the Power and the Glory of the Invisible Spirit which are the essence of Barbelo and the Invisible Triple Powerful Spirit.’”
  • Zostrianos 114 “There are those who are begotten, and those who are in an unborn begetting, and there are those who are Holy and Eternal, and there are those who are as All; there are those who are races and who are in All; there are those who are races and those who are in a world and order; there are those in indestructibility, and these are the first who stand and the second in all of them. All those who are from them and those who are in them, and from these who followed them, these stood, they existing in them, being scattered abroad. They are not crowded against one another, but to the contrary they are alive, existing in themselves and agreeing with one another, as they are from a single origin. They are reconciled because they are all in a single Aeon of Kalyptos, not being divided in power, for they exist in accord with each of the Aeons, standing in relationship to the one which has reached them.”