4. THE CREATOR GOD
In the first centuries of our era many of the Gnostic sects viewed the creator god not as a good or just being, but as a satanic one. Many of them likened him to satan. Gustavo Adolfo Becquer relates in one of his accounts how the creator god Brahma created worlds, like bubbles, and how he experimented with them, as sometimes they turned out good and sometimes not. The creator god is not a completely perfect god but apparently quite inept. There are worlds which turn out badly and he has to destroy them. There are worlds that turn out better. He tries, practices, creates through trial and error. The bible says "God said: Let there be light. And there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good". How! Didn't he know? Didn't he know it was something good? That is why Gnostics say "we are in the presence of a creator ignorant of the effects of his creation".
Likewise, the creator god always maintains that he is the only one. He doesn't just say it once, he says it all the time, he is constantly saying "I am the only God", "there is no other God", "I, your God, am the only one", etc. We all know that when someone repeats the same thing over and over again it is because they are not sure of what they are saying, which is why they have to repeat it so often. The Gnostics' interpretation of this is that the creator suspects, since he is not altogether sure, that there is another God higher than him. A God infinitely more superior to him, much bigger, much more important than him, and that is what he is trying to hide by incessantly repeating "I am the only one", "there is no other God".
Without a doubt, this creator god is the creator of the world, of all the worlds, the planets, the universe, matter and time. He is responsible for what physicists today call the Big Bang. Everything maintained by modern physics, that everything started with a huge explosion, a flash of light, coincides with most of the myths of all religions concerning the creation of the world. First god created light, then he created various other things until he managed to create animals and then finally, man. All these myths in the bible and other religious books agree with the modern-day conclusions of physicists and biologists concerning the creation of the world and man.
Of course this creation is full of mistakes and is imperfect. And if this world is imperfect, if matter is imperfect or if everything that exists in the universe is imperfect, it is because the creator of all this is an imperfect being.
Today a Gnostic would say for example "dinosaurs were a stupid idea; it was a mistake, the creator had to wipe them out, eliminate them all and start again with another experiment, until he managed to do something with which he was satisfied". Because the creator god has plans. We will be looking later at what these are about.
Physicists also maintain, Albert Einstein for one, that the universe is not something infinite, but is like a kind of bubble, in which all creation is contained. The universe is finite, claimed Einstein. This creation is limited, it is like a huge bubble in which everything created by the creator god is contained, and we do not know what exists outside of this. Gnosis claims to know, as we shall now see.
In sacred books of various religions, which are said to be inspired by the creator god of the universe, we are related facts, details, which show the creator god to be an imperfect being and not entirely good. He is sometimes portrayed as being vindictive, bad-tempered, arrogant, insecure and indecisive. A god who loves sacrifices in his name, genocide, and who orders people to kill others, and their belongings, land, people and livestock to be taken away. He gives orders to kill not only his enemies but also women, children and animals. A god who commits genocide. This god demands sacrifices in his name, since he loves the smell of the burnt flesh of the victims sacrificed at the altar. This is the god who caused the Flood. How many hundreds of thousands of men drowned in the Flood! This is how it is related in the bible and other pre-biblical texts, like that of the Babylonian Flood for example. He has a taste for sacrificing people and animals and for the spilt blood of his enemies. He likes to be admired, adored, served, feared and obeyed. He likes the temples built in his honour, the rituals, the commandments, the accomplishment of his orders, the prayers sent up to him. He likes the pain suffered by all his living beings, the torture, the suffering. Ancient Gnostics used to call him Ialdabaoth which means "son of chaos"; sometimes he was called Sabaot: "god of exertion". They also used to call him Kosmocrator or the Great Arconte, the creator and arranger of matter. But the name most commonly given to him by Gnostics is the demiurge, Greek for creator.
Without a doubt, this "superior being" cannot be good and throughout history those who maintained this, (these ideas that I am relating), were naturally persecuted or paid with their lives for daring to say that which for them was the truth. A superior being who loves wars, filicide, and who orders the genital mutilation of boys cannot possibly be a good god. That is why Gnostics likened him to satan. They considered him to be a creator satan. We now know what the destiny of Gnostics, their doctrines and books was to be: they were set on fire, destroyed. Such is the destiny of those called "heretics", as they have been dubbed throughout the course of history.
This world, created by the creator god, belongs only to him. All the physical things in this world respond to him, adore him, admire him. Of course the doctrines of which we are giving accounts are condemned to be persecuted forever and are not going to have much influence or enjoy great success. Only a brave minority can study, interpret or maintain these ancient and eternal Gnostic ideas and they are, unquestionably, in enemy territory. But Gnosis is always present in this strange world in which it does not belong. And this Gnostic thought, opposed to all conventionally established ideas is the most persecuted and rejected of all. There are subjects which "should not" be touched, things which "should not" be said, books which "ought to" disappear, since we live in a world in which we only have the freedom to say "two plus two is four".
This world is an enemy ground for a Gnostic. A Gnostic will be able to appear, speak and quickly disappear since all creation will automatically turn against him. How many years ahead could Jesus Christ predict according to the christian myth? Only three. But in these three years a successful religion was formed which has now been known on Earth for 2000 years!
We were saying that this world is an enemy ground for a Gnostic, because the whole of this material world and all the beings that populate it are made from matter and are devotees of matter. They belong to and defend matter and its creator and cannot conceive of anything different. All those opposed to the material world and the creator god are dangerous and must be destroyed. Gnosis is therefore perceived as something unthinkable and horrific which must be eliminated.
Gnostics have represented the creator god as something horrific, taking the form of an octopus or reptile, sometimes with the head of a pig, a wild boar or a donkey. That is why certain religions forbid the consumption of these animals. He has also been represented as something similar to the demiurgic baphomet of the templars and the followers of certain masonic sects. Some Gnostics have also represented the creator god as a huge multiple-eyed wild boar, half asleep, which exhales breath of time, since as we have said, time is the breath of this creator god.
Unquestionably, this world is not good. Animals have to rip each other apart and destroy each other in order to eat and survive. Human beings need to cheat on each other in all ranks of life to better themselves, to compete and to survive better. Herbivores need to destroy plants which are also living beings. Everything is constantly destroying itself and others. And there are those which call this "perfection" or "perfect balance". Incredible! This is hell. It is not a perfect system or even a good one. It is a system in which everyone has to destroy something else in order to survive. This is the system created, this is the world created by a "superior being": the creator god or demiurge.
> Continue reading next chapter: The creation of the world