The Manichaean -Christian Revolution
The Doctrine of Mani
The Conspiracy of Darkness
The Realm of Light
The Original Purity of the Preexistent Soul
The Realm of Darkness
The Darkness Attacks the Light
The Soul Enters "Matter"
The Rescue of the Soul
The Judgment of the Archons and the Creation of the Physical Cosmos
The Archons Release Their Stolen Light
The Archons Entrap Souls in Material Bodies - "Adam and Eve"
The Redemption of Adam and Eve
Doctrine of the Last Things
Comments on Christian-Gnostic and Manichaen-Christian Anthropology
Manichaen-Christian Salvation - The Writings of Mani
The Character of Mani
The Controversy between Orthodox and Manichaean Christianity
The Manichaean Concept of Christ
The Universal Religion of Light
While the "Catholic" church was beset from within by Trinitarian controversy and schisms, besieged by religious factions and undergoing imperial persecution, an obscure prophet arose in the ancient land of Mesopotamia who was to exert a tremendous and lasting influence on all of Christendom. Just when the Church Fathers had subdued (or so they thought) the last vestiges of the heretical Gnosis, a new Gnostic revolution was brewing in the East. Just when Origen's grand Christian synthesis was falling into disfavor among the dogmatic architects of orthodoxy, a new yet ancient universal religion of truth was being promulgated which rapidly spread throughout the four corners of the Roman Empire. A new messenger of Light was heralding the Religion of Light, and yet another veil covering the mystery of the universe was being lifted and new mysteries were being revealed. What made the orthodox Church Fathers to tremble was that this universal theosophy proclaimed itself as the true, original Christianity, implemented by progressive revelation and carried forward by one who called himself, like St. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ— the prophet Mani.
Mani was born on April 14, 216, in the southern region of Mesopotamia (Iraq) in the vicinity of Selencia-Ctesiphan on the
Tigris River.< 1> Mani's parents were of noble Persian descent, and his father Pattak had early on joined a Christian-Gnostic baptist sect. At an early age Mani joined this sect founded by the prophet Elkesai in about 100 A. D. in Syria. The sect was almost wholly concerned with ablutions and the purification of the body and had an affinity with the ancient Nazoreans, the sect with which Jesus was identified.
When Mani was 12 years old, in 228 or 229, he received his first revelation, transmitted from the Highest God to an angel whom Mani calls "the twin," his companion or perhaps his "higher Self." This heavenly being or divine counterpart assured Mani of his constant help and protection; his message was as follows: "Forsake this congregation! Thou art not of its followers. The guidance of morals, the restraint of appetites, these are thy tasks. Yet because of thy youth, the time is not come to stand forth openly."< 2>
According to Coptic texts, Mani also received complete knowledge at this time but yet was unable to act upon it. According to Mani's own words:
... This Living Paraclete came down and spoke to me [for the first time]. He revealed to me the hidden mystery, hidden from the ages, and the generations of Man: The mystery of the Deep and The High: The mystery of the Contest, the War, and the Great War, these he revealed unto me.... Thus did the Paraclete disclose to me all that has been and all that will be.< 3>
In the above passage, Mani associates his Twin with the Paraclete or the Holy Ghost. This is in agreement with what Western sources say concerning Mani: that he described himself as the Paraclete (or representative of the Paraclete) predicted by Jesus in John's gospel.< 4>
Mani then left the baptist sect and spent the next 12 years in apparent obscurity. Scholars conjecture that Mani may have prepared for his coming mission by studying sacred literature. Duncan Greenlees writes that Mani was well informed of Christian doctrine, was familiar with the gospels of Matthew, John and Luke, and the epistles of Paul, and further showed a knowledge of the socalled apocryphal Acts of the Apostles by Leucius Charinus, who was said to be a disciple of John.< 5>
In 240 A. D., when Mani was 24 years old, he received a final call from the angel, his celestial twin:
Peace unto thee, Mani, from me and from the Lord who sent me to thee and who has selected thee for his apostleship. He bids thee now to call the peoples to the truth and to proclaim from him the good message of the truth and to dedicate thyself to this task. The time is now come for thee to stand openly and to preach thy teaching.< 6>
Thus, while the Church Fathers were hammering out their dogmas and "rational" arguments forbidding further revelations from above, Mani was receiving the most explosive revelation to date on the nature of existence and the purpose of the universe.
This was the beginning of Mani's public mission, and his first act as "Messenger of the Light" was to proclaim his revelation to his father and other members of his family and to convert them.
We next find Mani traveling to India, probably to what is now Pakistan, as he himself attests: "At the close of King Ardashir's years I set out to preach. I sailed to the land of the Indians. I preached to them the hope of life and I chose there a good selection."< 7> Mani dwelt in India a little over a year, returned to Persia, then went on to Mesopotamia. During this time, King Ardashir died and his son Shapur succeeded him. Mani is said to have miraculously converted the King's brother by showing him a vision of the "paradise of Light."< 8>
Mani's missionary activity now began in earnest throughout Babylonia, Media and Parthia. Mani eventually established a favorable relationship with King Shapur and was received by the new monarch in three successive audiences.< 9> This was due to his having converted the King's brother Peroz, in whom Mani had found a powerful patron.
George Widengren tells us that Shapur "was deeply impressed by Mani's message and agreed to allow him to proclaim his teaching freely throughout the empire."< 10> In fact, Mani accompanied King Shapur on his military campaigns during the days of the Roman Emperor Valerian. Thus, "there existed a special bond of obedience and loyalty between Shapur and Mani."< 11> In the Kephalaia, quoted by Widengren, Mani writes in his own words: "King Shapur was solicitous on my behalf and wrote letters for me to all magnates in the following terms: 'Befriend and defend him, that none shall transgress or trespass against him. '"< 12> For a period of ten years Mani enjoyed the favor of the king, although the religion Mani taught never became the state religion. The King commanded his Zoroastrian "court chaplain" Karter, later Mani's archenemy, to reorganize the occupied provinces in Asia Minor according to the Iranian Fire- cult.< 13> The Zoroastrian state church and its priesthood were so powerful and so firmly entrenched that the king never supplanted the old religion with Mani's new synthesis, which would have united the two theologies, Zoroastrian and Christian, into one grand universal religion and theosophic system. It was also, no doubt, meant to replace the narrow orthodox Christian creed which spurned every other religion as false. Although Shapur's personal sympathies lay with Mani, Mani's vision of a universal religion was to remain unfulfilled.
During his period of association with the King, Mani took extensive missionary journeys to various parts of the empire, founding new communities wherever he went, and sending his disciples east and west. One of Mani's disciples, Addai, founded monasteries, wrote books and "made of wisdom a weapon," preaching as far as Alexandria.< 14> Mani himself wrote numerous books, letters and personal recollections, none of which have survived. We possess only fragments. In these letters Mani introduces himself at all times as, "Mani, Apostle of Jesus Christ." The religion of Mani, during this fruitful decade, spread into Egypt,
Asia Minor, Mesopotamia, Persia, Afghanistan and parts of India. King Shapur died in April of 273 A. D. and was succeeded by his son Hormizd I, who was also favorably disposed toward Mani. Unfortunately Hormizd died after a reign of one year and was followed by his brother Bahram I, who reigned from 274 to 277. Mani, who at that time was preaching in the lower Tigris area, was commanded by the new King not to visit the realm Mani was intending to convert. Mani was ordered to return to the palace and present himself to the King. The powerful priesthood led by Karter had gained ascendancy and no doubt turned the king against Mani. A Parthian fragment quoted by Widengren states that Karter took counsel with the "royal vassals," and "envy and wiles were in their hearts."< 15> The Magi submitted a bill of impeachment against Mani accusing him of teaching against the "law," i. e., the recognized Zoroastrian faith administered by the Magi. There is little doubt that Mani and his teaching were a threat to established Zoroastrianism— a threat to the power base enjoyed by the Magians, as Jesus was a threat to the priests of Judaism, and earlier to the Brahmins, and as the Christian-Gnostics were a threat to the bishops of the orthodox Christian Church.
When Mani entered the city (Belapat), the Magi accused him to the city authorities, who followed Mani to the court of the King. During the trial of Mani, the Magi and later the King are depicted as being enraged against Mani. This is more understandable when we realize that Mani was a healer and miracle- worker, who, like Jesus, his Lord, received the power to cast out demons and raise the dead. The Magi accused Mani of being a false teacher who led men astray, and an enemy of the state. Thus began the passion of Mani:
[The King] wrathfully said to [Mani]: 'Who bade thee do these things, or who art thou? Thou doest deeds that harm all men; who hast sent thee? For whom are thy preachings?...
Mani then answered:
Know, O King, that I am the servant of the God of Light, who has sent me in order to choose the Church out of a world which has fallen into many sins. It is God who has sent me to call thee, thou being a man, to the law of Life, and to teach thee the perfect commandments of Christ.... Ask all the men about me. I have no human master and teacher from whom I have learned this wisdom.... From God was sent to me a message that I should preach this in your kingdom, for this whole world has wandered into error and got into a bye-path; it has willfully fallen away from the Wisdom of God the Lord of All.... For the proof of everything I bring is obvious; all that I teach existed in the first generations; but it is the custom that the Way of Truth is now and then revealed, and now and then conceals itself again.
Angered, the King replied:
How comes it that God reveals this to you, while the same God has not revealed it also to us, even though we are still the lords of the whole land?... Thou are a man of insignificance, unfit for God to give this unutterable favour and gift?
Those who are of God do not seek after gold and the world's possessions; it is God who has the power to reveal His Truth to the one he chooses out of the crowd of all his creatures. It is God who teaches whom he will, and gives to him the Gift that surpasses all gifts, as a seal that he is a Prophet, the true Man of God in his deeds and his words.< 16>
The furious King then sentences him to death but first fetters him with chains on his feet, neck and back. Mani is kept in prison for 26 days, admonishing his disciples and communing with God. Finally, on February 26, A. D. 277, Mani, worn out by fasting and torture, ascended, in hi soul, to the Father. He was sixty years of age. The vengeful King then proceeded to mistreat the body of Mani; his corpse was cut up and his head stuck over the gate of the city. After Mani's death a fierce persecution arose against Mani's disciples and all followers of the religion. Nevertheless, the Religion of Light spread in the following two decades over the entire face of the Roman Empire, finally threatening the "stability" of orthodox Christianity. Later in this chapter we will discuss the controversy between Manichaean and orthodox Christianity.
The Doctrine of Mani
The Conspiracy of Darkness
The religion of Mani was based on the backdrop of a pre-cosmic war between the Light and the Darkness. As a consequence of this War the elements of Light and Darkness became intermingled, giving rise to the creation of the physical cosmos. The purpose of existence, understood individually and cosmically, is to separate and redeem the Light from the Darkness.
Mani seems to have been vouchsafed a personal vision of the universe; a vision which he was commanded to share with all who would listen. In so doing he exposed a conspiracy of Darkness that threatened the vested interests in Church and State. His unveiling of "evil" as a positive force in the universe, as opposed to evil as "an absence of good," provoked persecution and vilification upon himself and his followers. Yet for every element of Darkness, Mani provided a counterpoint of Light, and in the end, Light is victorious.
Mani proclaimed that before the creation of the physical/ material cosmos, there were two distinct realms: the Realm of Light, unbounded on three sides, spread North, East and West, and the realm of Darkness, which bordered the Light Realm on the South. These realms were also designated as two distinct natures, sources or principles.
Mani does not elaborate upon or attempt to explain the origin of these realms, except to affirm that they can be equated with two principles. The "Evil principle" is chaotic, destructive and warlike, and the "Good principle" is harmonious, peaceful and beautiful. Mani, therefore, would attribute no evil to the "Good principle." In Mani's theology God never was nor ever could be the cause of evil either directly or indirectly.
The Realm of Light
God, whom Mani terms "the Father of Greatness," rules in the Realm of Light, which is described as a veritable universe of Light consisting of the spiritual or Light-counterparts of what later became the material cosmos. Thus, the Light-Realm is the Archetypal universe "consisting of the light of the earth and the light of the spheres."< 17> Light is described by Mani as the substance of the Divine Being, and the entire Realm of Light is at once the body of the Godhead inhabited by numerous hierarchical beings. Surrounding God are his five glories who dwell with Him: Mind, Knowledge, Reason, Memory and Will. These are said to be parallel to the five aspects of the human soul.< 18> The eternal God is also surrounded by twelve maidens described as angels with harps and lutes. There follows a description of the various Aeons. As a divine emanation or "evolution" from the Father, the Mother of Life is understood to be the first manifestation of God. Other Aeons who inhabit the Light-Realm are: the Friend of Lights; the Great Builder (Architect); the Living Spirit; the Holder (Custodian) of Splendour; the King of Honor; the Light-Adam; the King of Glory; Atlas the Supporter; the Third Messenger; the Archetypal or spiritual Sun and Moon; the Great Mind or Column of Glory; the Light Maiden; Jesus, the Archetypal Saviour; and the Primal Man and his five sons.< 19> The latter have been equated with the ideal Souls of all humanity.
The Original Purity of the Preexistent Soul
Mani held that the Soul preexisted the material cosmos and in fact was of the same essence as the First or Primal Man. A Manichaean scripture reads as follows:
Now the Soul in men is part of the Light....< 20> You shall see the Great of Glories [the Father] from whom every Soul has come forth in the beginning, and they shall also return to the Light and ascend to it in the end.... O Soul, where art thou from? Thou art from on high, thou are a stranger to the world....< 21> My holy Father [the Soul utters], let me see Thy Likeness that I saw before the universe was created....< 22>
Far from teaching the debasement of man, as the Church Fathers accused him of teaching (in their own self-projection), Mani taught that the real man is the Soul, the Original Man, and that man's true home is the Land of Light, another descriptive term used for the Light-Realm. The system of Mani is pervaded by a sense of mission, as we shall later see, for the Soul came forth from the Father for the purpose of redeeming the cosmos. In contrast to the doctrine of the original sin, propounded by Irenaeus, Tertullian and later by Augustine, Mani teaches the doctrine of the Soul's original purity prior to its descent into matter.
The Realm of Darkness
In marked opposition to the Light-Realm, Mani describes the Realm of Darkness as agitated, chaotic, possessing a lunar landscape of deep gulfs, abysses and pits.< 23> In Manichaeism, the Darkness is sometimes termed "Matter," although not the matter of which this earth is composed. The matter of Darkness is more accurately termed "absolute dense matter." The Dark Realm consists of sub-worlds of smoke, fire, wind and water, each under its own ruler or archon in the form of an animal. The chief Archon of the Realm of Darkness, called the Prince or King of Darkness, rules with the Sons of Darkness over numerous demons whose chief characteristics are lust, concupiscence and desire. The Realm of Darkness is described by Mani as the exact antithesis of the Realm of Light.
Again, Mani does not reveal the origin of this realm. We may speculate, in accordance with Zoroastrian and Jewish Apocalyptic texts, that the inhabitants of the Realm of Darkness were rebels against the Light and perhaps were confined to this realm as a punishment for their rebellion. Mani, however, does not say.
Perhaps the Realm of Darkness was considered by the Manichaeans to be of unknown origin. Astronomers and physicists are speculating today about the origins of black holes, parallel universes and dark matter. Like Mani's Realm of Darkness black holes are thought to be absolutely dense. It is hypothesized that there exist galaxies composed entirely of antimatter. What is the origin of antimatter? No one really knows. Was Mani the recipient of a Gnosis concerning the existence of invisible universes, realms or worlds occupying other octaves or frequencies of spirit and matter from the darkest and most dense or "evil" up to a universe of absolute Light where dwells the "Father of Greatness"?
Throughout the ages, humanity has wondered about the mystery of evil. Mani reveals quite logically that evil originates from a realm of evil which existed prior to and beyond the physical cosmos. Could this be the "dark matter" of our modern physicists? Or something entirely distinct from "dark matter" not yet dreamed of by scientists but known by visionaries down through the ages? We cannot dismiss, out of hand, Mani's vision any more than we can dismiss the vision of Zarathustra, or Enoch, or Jesus, or Paul, or Valentinus, or Origen regarding the origins of "Good" and "Evil." Perhaps these visionaries each unveiled a part of the truth, a part of the mystery.
Mani was the most persecuted, reviled and hated of all religious leaders. We can only conclude that his teachings on "evil" were, in fact, most threatening to Evil itself, acting through the powers that be in this world who perhaps wished to keep certain "secrets" regarding the nature of evil from the masses. It is a simple application of the law of action and reaction. The principles of physics are but a reflection of the laws of the spiritual sphere, and this is a principle that must be contemplated in the context of the actions we have seen taken against ChristianGnostic teachings throughout this work. Thus it must be considered that the greater the light of truth released, the greater the reaction against it by its counterforce, the force of darkness. The intensity of reaction can be considered a gauge of the truth released. Did Evil and its embodied elements in fact feel the thrust, the action of Mani's teaching? Did they feel threatened? Their actions gave every indication that they did. Let me leave this question to the reader again to draw his or her own conclusions, as we continue to explore Mani's cosmological system.
The Darkness Attacks the Light
According to Mani, what precipitated the eventual creation of the physical cosmos was the attack of the Darkness and its inhabitants against the Light.
We recall that the Realm of Darkness bordered the Realm of Light to the south. After many ages, the Darkness became more and more disorderly and kept emanating many powers. As the Race of Darkness rose up, it gazed at the Light and desired, through lust, to possess it, to mingle with it and to occupy the Realm of Light, thus dispossessing God.< 24> The King of Darkness, his five Sons, and the entire Race of Darkness determined to war against the Light- Realm, to seize and to blend their darkness with the Light.
The Soul Enters "Matter"
The Father of Greatness, seeing what was about to happen, considered that he would not send his five glories to fight the war (since the Realm of Light was a peaceful realm) but instead declared, "I myself will go out and see to this revolt."< 25> God then devised a plan against the Darkness— a plan which would act as a bait for the force of Darkness while diminishing its ferocity by pervading the Darkness with Light. God's plan therefore was:
... To send... towards Matter [Darkness] a certain Power which is called the Soul, which should wholly permeate it. Now the Soul in men is part of the Light while the Body is of Darkness and Matter's handiwork... and there are these names of the Soul: Mind, Thought, Intention, Consideration, Reason... having taken a certain portion of the Light, He sent it out as a sort of bait and fishhook for Matter— a Power of the Good, not yet sensible Light but an emanation of God.< 26>
To accomplish this task, the Father of Greatness:
... called forth the Mother of Life, and (then) the Mother of Life evoked the First Man; then the First Man called forth his five Sons, like a man who puts on armor for war. Before him went out an Angel called Nahashbet, holding a crown of victory in his hand. So the First Man spread the Light in front of him.< 27>
The First Man or Primal Man, as we have said, has been equated with the Archetypal Man. According to the "Gospel" of Mani, this man is the "Perfect Man" alluded to by St. Paul in his epistles and is, in fact, the "ideal of all humanity, manifesting God before the beginning of the worlds."< 28> The First Man and his five Sons exist within the Souls of all humanity and, in a sense, are those Souls. The original Image of the First Man then is the pattern for all humanity. Jesus designated himself as the Son of Man— the Son (image) of the First Man, the Divine Man.
When the King of Darkness saw the First Man and his Sons and the Light emanating from them, he said, "What I was seeking from afar I have found nearby."< 29> The Darkness, gazing at the Power sent forth, longed for it and became infatuated with it. Evil still continued to advance toward the Light in order to mingle with it and thus, through the power of Light, to sustain its (Evil's) own nature.
A supreme act of Self-sacrifice was now accomplished by the First Man and his five sons in order to diminish and eventually cause the dissolving of the Darkness:
The First Man gave himself and his five Sons in the five Elements as food for the five Sons of Darkness, just as a man who has an enemy mixes deadly poison in a cake and gives it to him. Then warring on him in return, the Rulers of Darkness... snatched from the Light, swallowed what had been sent, devoured from his panoply what was the Soul and distributed it to their own Powers. When they had eaten these, the intelligence of the five Bright Gods [the five Sons] was taken from them, and they were like the man bitten by a mad dog or a snake, because of the venom of the Sons of Darkness.< 30>
Here we come across a concept fundamental to Christianity: that of the "Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world (cosmos)," as it is expressed in Rev. 13: 8. The archetypal idea presented here is that the Son of Man/ Son of God sacrifices himself and allows himself to be slain by the powers of Darkness, to accomplish the judgment and eventual dissolution of the Darkness. The light (blood) of the Lamb (Rev. 5: 9, 7: 14) is for the nourishment of the Sons of Light while at the same time, it is a poison for the Sons of Darkness. Jesus, in his role as Son of the First Man, reenacted the sacrifice of Archetypal Man when he permitted himself to be captured, crucified and slain by the powers of evil. The Book of Revelation is careful to point out that this process of "slaying" or self- sacrifice has been going on since the origin of the physical cosmos.
In Mani's sublime vision, God the Father sends a portion of himself, his Divine Image or Son, as a sacrifice for the salvation and redemption of the Light. In so doing the Souls of spiritual humanity are likewise sharing in the sacrifice, as they are one with the essence of the First Man— the Lamb— and have likewise sacrificed themselves.
So in this way... was the Soul mixed with Matter [Darkness], one unlike thing with an( other) unlike, and in the mixing the Soul has come to feel with Matter, and has been fettered and, as it were, snared in a sort of trap.< 31>
The fall and plight of the Soul is expressed beautifully in another Manichaean scripture:
(The Soul says:) "I am the Father's love, being the Robe clothing thee; I was a Prince wearing a crown among the kings; I knew not how to fight, belonging to the City of Gods. From the time that the Hated One cast an eye on my kingdom, I left my Fathers resting, I came and gave myself to death for them. I armed myself... and I fought. Thou didst agree with me at that time, saying: 'If victorious thou shalt receive thy garland! ' I conquered in the first battle, (but) yet another struggle arose for me. I put on error and oblivion; I forgot my being and race and kinsfolk, not knowing the door of the place of prayer to Him and of invoking Him— I became an enemy to my Father, I was made to drink the cup of madness, I was made to rebel against my own Self. The Powers and Authorities entered. They armed themselves against me.< 32>
The above passage also clearly states that the Soul preexisted in a divine state in the Kingdom of the Father, the Archetypal spiritual universe, before descending to battle with the forces of Darkness. The Soul's sojourn in the matter universe is imbued with mission: to be the very incarnation (Robe) of the Father's selfsacrificing love. As a result of the Soul's battle with Darkness, the now fallen Soul became a divine victim, lost the memory of its origin and became rebellious toward the Father, having imbibed the poison of the madness of the Dark Ones.
The Rescue of the Soul
The Gospel continues:
Then the First Man was cruelly afflicted down there by the Darkness. When the First Man came to his senses, he put up seven times a prayer to the Father of Greatness, and the Father heard when he prayed. God therefore pitied him and called for the Second Evocation, the Friend of Lights; and the Friend of Lights evoked the Great Builder; and the Great Builder called forth the Living Spirit— another Power emanated from Himself.
Then the Living Spirit called his five Sons; The Holder of Splendour from his Intelligence, the Great King of Honour from his Knowledge, the Diamond [Adamas] of Light from his Reason, the King of Glory from his Thought, and the Supporter from his Deliberation; these came to the Region of Darkness and found the First Man absorbed by the Darkness, he and his Sons.
Thereupon the Living Spirit called with a (loud) voice, and the Living Spirit's voice resembled a sharp sword swift as the lightning; and it became another God and revealed the form of the First Man. Then it said to him, "Peace to thee, O good one among the wicked, light amidst the darkness, god dwelling among wild beasts who know not their honour!" The First Man answered him saying, "Come in peace, bringing the merchandise [merits] of calm and peace!" He also said to him, "How are our Fathers, the Sons of Light, faring in their City?" The Caller said to him, "They are prospering."; and coming down he gave him a right hand and led him up out of the Darkness.
The Caller and the Answerer united and went up towards the Mother of Life and the Living Spirit; and the Living Spirit put on the Caller, while the Mother of Life put on the Answerer, her beloved Son, and they went down to the Earth of Darkness to the place of the First Man and his Sons.< 33>
Thus, by the agency of various members of the spiritual hierarchy, the Archetypal Man/ Soul is rescued from the Darkness and united with the Divine Mother in the Kingdom of Light. Then commences the formation of the physical cosmos in order to separate the elements of Light and Darkness.
The Judgment of the Archons and the Creation of Physical Cosmos
Although the First Man was rescued, the light elements still remained in the throes of Darkness. Thus the "self" or "soul" of the First Man continued fettered and defiled and needed to be liberated and brought back to the Light Realm. This task was performed by the Living Spirit,< 34> who called forth his Sons to kill and to flay the Rulers of Darkness and to deliver them to the Mother of the Living.< 35> She then spread out the heavens with their "skins" and formed ten heavens; the archons' "bodies" were flung to the Region of Darkness and eight earths were constructed from these "bodies." Then the Living Spirit created the Universe by first descending to the Darkness and leading the Rulers up and fastening (crucifying) them in the heavens or firmament. The Living Spirit, then, commences the work of liberation: the particles of light that had not been befouled he purified and thus formed the Sun and moon as two vessels of Light. Light particles that had been partially mixed with Darkness he transformed into stars. To rescue Light elements (souls) that had been almost wholly sullied with Darkness, the Father of Greatness called forth the Third Messenger, who then prepared the mechanism for the saving of the Souls: a "machine" with twelve "waterwheels," i. e., the twelve Virgins or Virtues, corresponding to the twelve signs of the zodiac, expressing consecutive stages of spiritual growth within twelve dimensions or attributes of God's Being.
Greenless expounds on the meaning of the formation of the physical cosmos as follows:
To rescue Soul bound up in Matter [Darkness], this very Matter itself had to be fashioned into a universe subject to law; this very obedience imposed upon its evil qualities of disorder—" crucifying the demons" and binding them to a form molded of their own very nature— enabled God to overcome the rebelliousness inherent in every form of Evil. So the Divine manifestations of Mind each took over the control of a part of the vast universe, and the luminaries— Sun and Moon and Stars being themselves formed from Light— were devised as means to attract the Light-Spark held in dark Matter, to draw it up to its eternal Source, and so to free it from the entangling impurity.< 36>
The Third Messenger, therefore:
... revealed the first steps up the Path of Righteousness, the twelve great virtues symbolized and conferred by the Zodiacal signs after conquest of the opposite evils innate in them. While the rotating universe pursues its ceaseless course, the practice of these virtues gradually refines and elevates the Soul towards the endless Light of perfection.< 37>
The cosmic wheel, therefore, the twelve signs of the zodiac, draws up the particles of light or souls to the Moon and to the Sun (understood in their archetypal nature). I quote again from the Gospel:
When the Moon, then, has handed over the freight of Souls to the Aeons [Divine Beings] of the Father, they remain there in the Column of Glory [visible in the Milky Way} which is called the 'Perfect Man'... it is a pillar of light because loaded with the Souls that are being purified. Now the Moon... first receives the radiant Souls from Matter, and then deposits (them) in the Light, and it does this continuously; this is the way in which the Souls are saved. So the Sun began to purify the Light which was mixed with the demons of Heat, and the Moon began to purify the Light mixed with the demons of Cold, that (Light) rises up in the 'Column of Praise' with the hymns and worships, the good deeds and kind words which are sent up.< 38>
Thus there was expressed here profound spiritual laws determining the rising of spiritual light in fact generated by "righteous" thought and action into higher spheres of being. Mani and his followers, however, received the condemnation of the Church Fathers for his "pagan" manner of expressing the mechanism of salvation by the use of the heavenly bodies and luminaries. Again, the Church Fathers interpreted Mani's doctrine literally and failed to appropriate the spiritual sense of his teachings. For the Sun and Moon have, from ancient times, represented stages or levels of spiritual unfoldment or evolution and stations that souls progress through on their way to Absolute Light. In Mani's concept, the entire universe is involved with the separation of Light from Darkness, which is the very process of salvation.
The Archons Release Their Stolen Light
As a consequence of the archons' devouring or assimilating the Light of the five Sons of the Primal Man, much Light was still entangled in the archons who themselves were fastened in the firmament, i. e., controlled by the laws of the material cosmos. In order to release this Light, the Third Messenger revealed his male and female forms to the male and female archons. At the sight of the beauty of the Messenger, the archons were filled with sexual lust for the Light and, as a result, began to emit the Light of the five Sons which they had stolen. This escaping Light is received by the angels and transported to the Moon and the Sun to the Realm of Light or Spiritual Source. However, as the archons released their Light, they also released their Dark substance or "sin." The substance of "sin," mingled with the Light, was separated out by the Messenger; the darkness or sin fell back upon the archons, who rejected it. Consequently the rest of the mingled Light and darkness fell upon the earth where it eventually produced plants, trees and grain. That which fell upon the sea (the plane of desire) became a female monster, who was slain
The Archons Entrap Souls in Material Bodies "Adam and Eve"
We now arrive at that portion of Mani's doctrine which provoked the unmitigated wrath of the Church Fathers, as did the doctrines of the Christian- Gnostics over a century earlier: the creation/ procreation of material man by the evil archons. Mani's exposè of the strategies of Darkness or Evil in its attempt to counteract the strategies of Light engendered both fear and unrelenting anger in his self-styled enemies, namely the orthodox clergy. In an age when the Church Fathers were seeking to suppress and conceal all evidence regarding the existence of the archons, demons, giants, fallen angels and other manifestations of evil, Mani was revealing the conspiracy of Darkness to his followers, for he taught nothing less than the counterfeit creation of mankind (a kind of man) by evil creative powers.
The scenario begins when Ashaqlun or Saklas, the Son of the King of Darkness, declares to the daughters of Darkness: "Come, give me some of the Light we have taken; it is I who will make for you a form like what you have seen which is the First Man."< 40> We note the similarity to the previously quoted text The Apocryphon of John (2nd century) wherein Iladobaoth determines to create a material man as a copy of the spiritual man.
... moved by jealously, matter made man out of itself by mixing with the whole of the Power, having also something of the Soul (in him). However the form did much to let Man gain somewhat more of the Divine Power than other mortal living things, for he is an image of the Divine Power.< 41>
The King of Darkness, then:
... conceived anew a wicked plan in his poisoned heart: he then ordered Saklas and Nebroel [the female demon] to imitate Pure Spirit and Excellent Mother.... They formed the body of Man and there imprisoned the Light Natures to imitate the Macrocosm. So then the flesh body, with the corrupt evil Greed and Lust, was the faithful image point by point, though smaller, of the heavens and the earths.... There was not a single formation of the universe they did not reproduce.< 42>
Then Nebroel and Ashaqlun [Saklas] united together and she conceived from him and bore a son whom she called "Adam"; she conceived again, and bore a daughter whom she called "Eve"....< 43>
Now whereas Adam was created beastlike, Eve was lifeless and motionless; but the male virgin whom they call Daughter of the Light and named Ioel gave Eve a share of Life and Light. Next Eve freed Adam from bestiality....< 44>
Thus, in this account, "Adam and Eve," representative of a certain race of souls of Light, took incarnation as the progeny of the rebellious archons in order to counteract the strategies of darkness and eventually to redeem and purify the bodies (from greed and lust carried in the genes) which they would propagate from generation to generation. Mani, like the Christian- Gnostics before him, viewed the archons as the originators of lustful sexual intercourse. Although Mani has been recorded as teaching that propagation is a device used by the archons to keep souls forever chained to bodies, it is also true that in Mani's "church" the "hearers" were not forbidden to marry. The Elect alone were celibate. Like the Buddha before him, Mani was concerned with the problem of untoward desire, which keeps the soul bound to the body and to seemingly endless successive reincarnations. And yet souls of Light, taking incarnation in these bodies, could themselves purify the act of sex, which the archons had injected with lust. It also becomes quite obvious that the two archons/ demons mentioned in the above text are embodied and not vapory "spirits," as it would be impossible to propagate through sexual intercourse. The "Adamic race" had a mission to redeem future generations from the pollutions of the archons through whom corruption entered the race of humanity. But first "Adam and Eve" must themselves be redeemed.
The Redemption of Adam and Eve
Continuing our survey:
So they both [Adam and Eve] asked for the Redeemer, and the Mother of Life and the First Man and the Spirit of Life (decided) to send to that "first child," one who should free him and save him, show him the Knowledge and Righteousness, and rescue him from the demons. Being kindly and pitiful... the Good Father sent from his bosom... His beloved Son... into the heart of the earth and into its lowest parts... for the saving of the Soul....< 45>
Jesus the Radiant approached Adam the Innocent, and awoke him from the sleep of death, so that he might be rescued from the Great Spirit [the Great Demon].... So he woke him, took hold of him and shook him.... Then he warned him against Eve, showed him reproach, and forbade him to touch her; he drove away from him the Seducer and bound the Great Queen [Greed— the female Archon] far from him. Thereupon Adam examined himself and realized whence (he came); and Jesus showed him the Fathers on high and his own Self in everything....
Then Jesus raised him and made him taste of the Tree of Life; and thereupon Adam looked and wept, he mightily lifted up his voice like a raging lion saying: "Woe, woe to the maker of my body, and to the binder of my Soul, and to the Rebels who have enslaved me."< 46>
This scenario is the archetypal pattern of Christian-Gnostic salvation: redemption from ignorance perpetrated by the archons through their attempt to bind men permanently to a genetically and otherwise manipulated physical matrix, an envelope of matter and consciousness tainted with rebellion and the lust of the archons. It is these desires, Mani taught, that enslave man, not mere physical matter alone. Thus Mani's rationale for the fallen state of humanity unveils a far greater and more complex scenario than the simplistic orthodox dogma that two individuals named Adam and Eve, in a one-time, God- given, all-or-none test for the whole of humanity, ate of forbidden fruit after being tempted by a talking serpent.
We can also note the very significant fact that Jesus in his preexistent state, prior to his descent into incarnation, is the instrument of Adam's redemption, the Saviour, par excellence. We find this scene curiously missing from the orthodox accounts of the fall. Thus, for Mani, Jesus' saving mission is far more ancient than his single incarnation in Palestine. This is nearly identical to Paul's teaching regarding Jesus, who, he writes, existed in a "Godlike" form before his mission on earth. (Phil. 2: 6-8)
As Adam and Eve were awakened and saved by the Redeemer, so all souls in this world must be awakened to their true origin and made aware of the Great Rebellion, the mingling of Light and Darkness, and the purpose of the Cosmos: to free the Light-Souls from darkness and matter. The instruments of this ultimate freedom and salvation are Jesus, the Saviour, the Hierarchies of Light, and the Light Mind, present in all spiritual beings and in the soul of Light.
Mani's Doctrine of the Last Things
The process of the liberation of the Light concludes when all the particles of Light are reassembled in the Light-Realm. The final eschatalogical event is the dissolving of dense matter and darkness, and thus the "world" as we know it ends, for all has been assimilated into the World of Light. This event will be heralded by a series of catastrophic scenarios similar to the synoptic apocalypses in the New Testament (Mark 13, Matthew 24, Luke 21), and to the Jewish apocalyptic texts. Widengren mentions a Turkish Manichaean fragment which describes a "False Mithra" (in Christian terminology the Anti-Christ) who will appear in the last days mounted on a bull and whose token is war.< 47> When the liberation of the Light has been nearly fulfilled the great war will break out, as Lieu observes, since by that time what remains on earth will be primarily Matter, dominated by sin and strife.< 48> The other side of the coin of this "war" concerns the simultaneous triumph of the church of righteousness. Widengren encapsulates Manichaean eschatology as follows:
The scattered congregation would come together again, the church would be restored, the endangered scriptures saved, and Manichaeism's victory be complete. "The new generation will come and take firm possession of its estate." (Homilies, p. 28, 7-8) The Great King will come and assume dominion, for the new generation will do him homage. The last judgment will follow, when the souls will assemble in front of the throne, his bema. The Good will be separated from the Evil, the sheep from the goats....
Jesus... would reign on earth a short time. Then Christ and the elect together with the cosmic tutelary gods will leave the world and return to the realm of light. A last process of purification takes place. Those particles of light that it is still possible to rescue will be collected to form an "ultimate statue"... which will be raised to heaven like a cosmic pillar of light. Hereupon the terrestrial globe itself will be annihilated. The damned and the demons, the world of matter and darkness, will be thrown together in a shapeless clod, bolos, which will be sunk in the deeps of a moat of cosmic extent that will then be covered with a gigantic rock.
With these grandiose cosmic visions Mani ended his account of the world's course and thus came to the close of the "Third Epoch." The First Epoch embraced the state of the universe prior to the blending of the light and darkness; the Second Epoch was concerned with the period of that blending; the Third Epoch signified the sundering of the blended elements. This doctrine of the Three Epochs is together with the Two Principles Manichaeism's main dogma.< 49>
According to Manichaean-Christian doctrine, the "annihilation" of the earth refers to the process whereby the dense material globe is "raised" to its "etheric" counterpart, its true form and likeness as it existed in the universe of Light. This "annihilation" is made possible by the burning of a "Great Fire" (for a period of 1,468 "years") and the entire universe of matter is transmuted into the higher realms. Thus, the universe moves from the manifest to the (to our senses) unmanifest. We note the absence in this eschatology of an eternal hell as taught by the orthodox clergy. Darkness/ Evil is rendered inactive, and a universe of Light prevails forever.
Comments on Christian-Gnostic and Manichaean-Christian Anthropology
The reader may, find the idea of the "creation" of the physical or material man by the evil powers to be repugnant or perhaps even ludicrous. The reader may query, "Is not man made in the image of God?" To answer this question, we must remember that man is a spiritual being first and foremost, and in his true nature he is spiritual, not material— the image of the invisible God. The Divine Nature and soul of man are of God. The true Man is not to be found in the body, nor can we circumscribe man by his body alone. We recall Jesus' statement regarding men’s true nature, "Ye are gods," i. e., spiritual beings. Once we have established that man is primarily spiritual, we can easily conclude that the appearance of man's body, of whatsoever shape, form or origin, does not and cannot define who man really and intrinsically is.
This dichotomy between spiritual and the physical we have previously reviewed in the first two chapters of Genesis: the spiritual creation of man in the first, and the physical creation of man in the second. Paul, we recall, writes of the Adam of flesh, of the earth, earthy and the second Adam, the "Lord from Heaven." This duality of man's nature and its causes is a pervading theme of ancient Christianity as it was in ancient Judaism and Zoroastrianism. If man is created spiritually in God's image, why is he mortal and doomed to so-called death? The modernday average Christian would answer that man became "mortal" after the fall in Eden. Yet, according to orthodox Christianity, the "fall" of man occurred in only two individuals: Adam and Eve. What of the rest of humanity? They had no free-will choice to fall or not to fall. They were born fallen from the womb, subject to mortality, since, according to the orthodox viewpoint, there is no preexistence.
But the ancient Christians answered differently. All souls were given free choice to fall or not to fall, and in lowering the frequency of their consciousness they became vulnerable to the machinations of the fallen ones of whatever species. The teachings of ancient Christianity, as we have seen, unveiled a "conspiracy of darkness" among hierarchies of rebellious beings who sought to compete with and usurp the authority of hierarchies of Light, and to seduce the souls and spirits evolving in various dimensions of the spiritual/ material universe. For according to the law of spiritual evolution, all beings must come to the point of decision where the choice is given them to take what is known in esoteric parlance as the "right- handed" path or "left-handed path." In the former, the choice is made to serve all sentient beings as the expression of the One Life. In the latter, the choice is made to serve and aggrandize the self as the ego, now conceived as a "being" separate from and greater than the One Life. Hence we find the origin of duality as a self-made choice according to the texts we have perused. This "left-handed" decision with its attendant defection and rebellion took place on a grand scale at some point in the distant past, perhaps millions of years ago. We have seen this clearly in the Book of Revelation (Chapter 12), and in the Christian-Gnostic and Manichaean texts. As a corollary to this defection, the fallen hierarchies sought to imitate the spiritual creation by capturing the spiritual beings in dense bodies which they fabricated b y various means, not excluding genetic engineering. Thus, in order to sustain themselves, the rebellious powers needed the "light" or energy of the heavenly realms of which the souls created by God were composed. The souls then became the "food" of the archons, without which they would perish. This interference in and manipulation of humanity's spiritual evolution as one of the causes of duality and mortality in man was clearly taught by the ancient Christian initiates of various schools and communities and was apparently known by Jesus. The creation of physical, material man by the archons, and what might be considered subsequent "nth derivative" creations of "homo sapiens" by the Nephilim and the propagation of an ungodly race by the Watchers, thus rendered man subject to not only the laws of mortality but to inbred emotions of rebellion and lust and animal-like behaviour that could only be eradicated by "spiritual surgery" as it were, by man's submission to the path of initiation whereby he is restored to his original, inner Divine Nature. The initial means to this restoration or redemption was provided by the Avatars, such as Jesus, who either had never become subject to the seductions of the fallen ones or who had found their way out of the fallen condition by aeons of spiritual striving and evolution. If humanity lost the Divine Spark or if some had never had it, they could gain it by acceptance of the Saviour as the Archetype of the true man— an acceptance which now would be the symbol of that to which they would begin to strive. This, I believe, is the meaning of the statement in John's gospel, "But as many as received him [Jesus], to them gave he the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." (John 1: 12-13) To have been "born" or physically created through "blood" and the "will of the flesh" or the "will of man" relates to the genetic material in the bodies worn by humanity for aeons, which originated not from a Divine Source but from the evil or lesser "creators," whether we consider them to be advanced scientists (" gods") or self- proclaimed rulers (archons) who sought to make or remake the race of mankind in their own image. No matter how or by whom humanity's physical, corrupt human nature had arisen, humanity could receive the power to become the "Sons of God," as they were formerly in their preexistent state, through the person and teaching of Jesus. This was the key behind the distorted doctrine of "original sin," which, as it was developed in the church, ignored the true spiritual nature of man, which existed before the body.
Are we to blame the woes of humanity on these fallen powers? Not necessarily. According to Origen, all in the universe is the result of cause and effect, or the working of karma. If the souls or created spirits had preserved their first love and had not grown "cold" as Origen expresses it, thus descending to a lower estate, they would not have been subject to the bodily entrapments and seductions of the fallen powers. Yet once they had so fallen, the Father in his Infinite Wisdom accommodated the souls in their fallen levels of consciousness by the creation of various realms or frequencies of matter in and through which the souls would evolve to work out their "karma" and thus again gain access to the spiritual realms and their lost first estate.
According to Mani, however, the plight of the soul is due to 1) its being sent by the Father into the realm of darkness/ matter to dissolve the darkness and thus redeem not only itself but the entire universe, and 2) the soul's voluntary act of descent into matter for the judgment of the archons. Thus, in Origen's system, the souls fall because of a defect in their nature; in Mani's system, the souls "fall" of their own free will or the Father's will, to redeem the cosmos. I suggest that these two cosmologies are not antagonistic but complementary and that there are souls presently in incarnation for both these reasons.
We again ask the question, were mankind or at least the bodies of mankind created by God or the fallen powers? If we closely examine the teaching of ancient Christianity, the answer seems to be that the bodies of humanity were created or formed by both: by God (Elohim) as vehicles of self-expression in the material cosmos and by the fallen powers in imitation of God's creation. And what of the soulless beings created by genetic engineering or by other means? This is simply answered by the understanding that all beings, whatever their origin, have the potential to receive the divine spark, and thus become spiritual beings.
In the final analysis, what is significant about man is not his body but his Divine Nature, his soul and his mind, which bears an affinity to the Divine Mind. The body of man, no matter what its origin, is, in reality, a chimera on the screen of life as matter itself resolves into Spirit. And as we have seen in the ChristianGnostic and Manichaean texts, souls who take incarnation in dense bodies of whatever source, can redeem and "resurrect" those bodies, i. e., the matter of those bodies can become spiritualized. And thus a divine race of Sons of God was destined to replace the corrupt "human" race. Let us close this section with passages from Paul illustrative of man's glorious destiny:
So when this corruptibility shall have put on incorruption and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory! (1 Cor. 15: 54)
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the Sons of God....
Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
And not only they, but ourselves also, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves, waiting for the adoption, that is the redemption of our body. (Rom. 8: 18-19, 21-23)
In this second passage, Paul writes somewhat mysteriously of the "creature" which, in the light of all we have reviewed, I understand to mean the counterfeit bodies, the genetically engineered man, the mechanized man; in short, all within man that is not of Divine Origin— the creation of the archons/ demons. Yet, within this "creature" lies the potential to become the Son of God. Paul expects the "redemption" of the body. From what must the body be redeemed if not from the genetic "tares" sown among the "wheat" of man's higher nature? (As illustration, see Jesus' parable of the tares and the wheat.) Such were the "mysteries" of redemption unveiled by Mani and others before him who had access to the secret doctrine.
Manichaean - Christian Salvation
The Writings of Mani
From the beginning Mani divided his followers into the Elect and the hearers. The elect were called, if they chose to accept the call, to live a life solely for the redemption of their souls. Thus they were celibate, and vegetarian, and practiced strict purity of thought and speech. It was taught that they were not subject to reincarnation. The hearers led a normal domestic life and provided for the elect. The basic teaching undergirding the Manichaean way of life was respect for the presence of Light elements in all of nature and, as a corollary, a rejection of the darkness which likewise permeated nature and the soul of man. This life of a Manichaean Christian initiate was to consciously liberate the Light in himself and the world, thus contributing to the alchemy of cosmic salvation.
The Manichaean Christians practiced Baptism, Bema Feast and Communion. The Bema Feast (Bema: throne or the focus of Mani's presence) was a celebration of the passion and death of their founder Mani. The Communion was in commemoration of Jesus' bestowing upon Adam the fruit of the tree of life. The Manichaean practiced the giving of hymns, prayers and chants for the purpose of releasing the soul from bondage. By practicing the codes and the way of life recommended by Mani, the initiate could free his soul from reincarnation and ascend back to the Source of Life, the Heavenly Realm from whence it had descended. By fasting, prayer and service to one's fellowman, and by following the precepts of Mani, the initiate won the "Robe of Glory" or "wedding garment"— the soul must wear this "vesture of Light" in order to ascend back to the Light Realm and to the Father. If the soul has not kept the precepts of the holy religion and is not worthy of the "Robe of Glory," it returns to the world and continues to reincarnate until a future age when, purified and made white, the soul then ascends. I quote a Manichaean scripture which beautifully expresses the joy of the soul who has won its spiritual victory by faithfulness to the Religion of Light:
I rejoice, I rejoice for eternity of eternities! I worship Thee, O Father of the Lights, and I bless you, O Aeons of Joy, and my brothers and sisters from whom I have been far away and have found again once more! I have become a holy Bride in the peaceful Bridechambers of the Light; I have received the gifts of the victory.< 50>
I have left the garment [dense physical body] on the earth. I have put upon me the immortal robe.... O Saints, rejoice with me, for I have returned again to my beginning, the Path of Light has stretched for me right up to my First City, it has victoriously given me unto the Lands of the Angels, and they have escorted me to my Kingdom.... The gates of the skies have opened before me through the rays of my Saviour and his glorious Light-image. Christ my Bridegroom has welcomed me to his bridechamber, (and) I have rested with him in the land of the Immortals.... O my end which has had (so) happy an issue! O my everlasting possession.< 51>
Before closing this chapter, we should briefly discuss the writings of Mani, only fragments of which have survived. These works were considered to be the "canon" of Manichaean Christians:< 52>
1) S_ hbuhrag_ n or Shapur-aquan was written in Persian expressly for King Shapur I in about A. D. 242, by Mani himself. This was the first publication in which Mani initially revealed his doctrine and contained Mani's cosmology. In it Mani wrote an account of his birth, calling and Prophethood.
2) The Living Gospel or The Great Gospel written in Syriac in 22 chapters. We know very little of the content of this book except that it was said to contain all truth and was written with illustrations. We possess a fragment of its alleged opening words: "I Mani, the Messenger of Jesus the Friend, in the love of the Father, of the Glorious One..." To this work seem to have belonged several surviving fragments on the Crucifixion and Resurrection.
3) The Treasure of Life dealt with, among other subjects, the condition of the dwellers in the Realm of Light, the so-called "Seduction of the Archons." This work consisted of seven books and dealt with anthropology, psychology and a detailed interpretation of man as microcosm.
4) The Pragmateia, i. e., "what ought to be done." This book is said to have contained the "commandments" and rules for entering into religion, precepts for the "Elect" governing clothing, diet, fasts, rituals, the liturgy of hymns and psalms to be sung at home and in the churches.
5) The Book of Mysteries in eighteen chapters was written to refute the false doctrines of the established sects and creeds in the world, including the sect of Bardesain or Bardesan. The book evidently dealt with the esoteric life of Jesus. The nature of Soul and Body was defined, and this work clearly taught reincarnation. A portion of the book was in the form of a dialogue between Jesus and his apostles.
6) The Book of the Giants contained stories of the fall of angels and Watchers of primeval times, of their offspring the "giants" and heroes. Two characters appear in this work, Sam and Nariman, dragon-killers. Both Seth and Enoch are mentioned in this work and are said to be "Messengers" of God.
7) The Book of Letters was a collection of Mani's letters about which we know very little, except to say that Mani dealt with doctrinal points organizational problems, much in the manner of Paul's epistles.
There are numerous pieces of non-canonical literature extant, such as the recently discovered Cologne Mani Codex. We, of course, possess voluminous tracts and writings from Church Fathers, Popes and Muslims refuting Mani's doctrine and quoting from Mani's works. It would take an entire volume to properly discuss and delineate the doctrines of this Christian movement, despised and misunderstood for centuries. Yet I can do nothing less than take "Manichaeism" at face value and accept it as a legitimate body of Christian teachings, as another "gnostic" revelation worthy of our study and assimilation. Only then can we rightly discern the nature of early Christianity.
The Character of Mani
In analyzing Manichaeism or what I choose to term Manichaean Christianity, George Widengren argues that Mani, in fact, founded "a completely new religion"< 53> comprised of earlier creeds and doctrines. I would agree with this, except for the fact that Mani seems not to have gathered past religious teachings and sewn them together to form a patchwork quilt of new ideas he then called a religion. Like Paul, Mani received his message as a revelation, and because of this, as Widengren states, he was the last of the great Gnostics. What Mani founded was a universal Christian theosophy, far ahead of its time, a universal religion and church destined to replace the warring creeds of the day, yet thoroughly imbued with the essence of true mystical Christianity. We may even say that Mani, before Mohammed, was the last of the great prophets.
Widengren reflects on the personality of Mani and the effect his character had on the times:
A vivid sense of mission sounded through all Mani's words. He proclaimed his teaching with natural authority.... Astonishing too was his vigor and versatility. He intervened at all points, teaching, consoling, admonishing, bringing order. He was one of the most tremendous church founders and religious organizers the world has ever seen. In his own lifetime his faith stretched from the west of the Roman Empire to India, from the borders of China to Arabia.... The facts cited do suggest the founder of this religion to have been a quite extraordinary personality who was brought low only by external forces....< 54>
His personality was out of the ordinary in a way that is directly attractive to us. The brisk and successful missionary, shrewdly and methodically building up his propaganda, is as intelligible to us as the careful organizer who lays down both a firm and supple structure for his church....
There were nevertheless other aspects of his character, aspects that have since ancient times been hallmarks of Middle Eastern religious leaders. He was a miracle-worker in the classic style. Above this he was a physician capable of driving out the demons possessing the sick and thus healing them.... Mani himself evidently could command levitation at will.... He apparently claimed to have ascended to heaven and there to have received the divine revelation in the shape of a book....< 55>
Mani's artistic and literary endowment was surprisingly varied. He was a complete master of all the different branches of Oriental literature. Not only was he lyrical and epic, but so vivid in his description of the struggle between the world of light and that of darkness that he could almost be called a dramatist.... His sermons too were admirably contrived. In unpretentious, simple language he showed the ordinary man the situation of the material world. He employed all the symbols, similes and allegories of the gnostic language to give his preaching life and colour.... His capacity to hold his listeners must have been very striking....
Without pedantry, he preached with great vivacity, in a way that everybody could understand....
But Mani was a great ritualist who developed a special type of divine service in which the word of God as shaped by the Master was at the centre. His hymns and psalms gave the lead to the rich deployment of sacred poetry that so markedly distinguished his religion.... His zealous efforts to enlist art in the service of religion reached from the sacred writings to the rich costumes of the officiating priests and the embellishment of the holy precincts. Ahead of his time, he grasped how to blend word and picture.< 56>
From Chapter Seven, "Manichaean Art," Widengren discusses Mani as artist:
Mani had an aesthetic turn of nature. He loved music and painting, the former to such a degree that his followers, according to Augustine (De Moribus Manichaeorum 11, v. 16), ascribed music to divine origin.... Mani dispatched scribes and illuminators together with his missionaries. According to his own testimony, the pictures illustrating his writings were to complete educated people's instruction whilst rendering the message easier to understand for others....
That he was himself a practicing artist is unanimously attested by all Oriental sources.... He says: 'For the Apostles all, my Brothers, who before came, [did not write down] their wisdom, as I wrote mine, [nor did] they paint their wisdom in pictures, as [I did paint] mine. '< 57>
Widengren concludes by referring to Mani as an "eclecticsyncretic theosophist" who propounded not a religious philosophical system but "a divine revelation":
He should, however, be judged for what he was and wanted to be: the bearer of divine revelation and the Apostle of Light.< 58>
The Controversy between Orthodox and Manichaean
The Manichaean Concept of Christ
By the close of Mani's life, the teachings of the revolutionary religion he founded reached the Jordan in Palestine. Thomas, one of Mani's disciples, preached the doctrines in Judea, as well as Syria and Egypt. From Egypt, the religion spread to Northern Africa and Spain, from Syria via Asia Minor to Greece, Illyria, Italy and Gaul. Manichaeism suffered persecution as a result of the Edicts of the Emperor Diocletian circa 297, but far worse was the persecution emanating from the orthodox Christian church, which had aligned itself with the Roman State. By 312 A. D. the religion was firmly established in Rome as a powerful rival of orthodox Christianity. What so incensed the orthodox clergy against the expositors of the doctrines of Mani was that its adherents were preaching what they considered to be original Christianity as carried forward by Paul the Apostle, and as restored and renewed by Mani, as the representative of the Paraclete. Why the necessity for renewal? Manichaean Christians taught that by the close of the third century, the original doctrines of Christ had been destroyed by dogmas alien to Chri stianity and by church leaders who continued to keep Christianity bound to Judaism, or at least orthodox Judaism, through their enforcing of the Old Testament upon Christians of whatever persuasion and from whatever background. Manichaean Christians, on the other hand, claimed that what they taught was a universal theosophic religion, all-inclusive, and that this religion was not only Christian but contained revelations as received by Mani, the Apostle of Christ, and these revelations were deemed authentic. Added to this was Mani's exposure of the "conspiracy of Darkness" in the cosmos and in the world and his resuscitation of certain banned texts such as the Book of Enoch. Mani produced his work, The Book of the Giants, which further expounded upon the infiltration of "embodied evil" on the planet. What further paralyzed the bishops with fear was the Manichaean viewpoint that the Christian church itself had been subject to this infiltration and that very early on the doctrines of Jesus had been purposely changed and distorted. So convincing was the doctrine of Mani that during the Council of Nicea (325 A. D.) Constantine besought a certain Musonian to report to him on Manichaean doctrine so as to choose between it and orthodox Christianity as a replacement for the Roman State religion.< 59> This was not to be, however, and throughout the fourth century, both Church Fathers and orthodox Christian emperors fulminated against Manichaean Christianity, determined to destroy it.
The epitome of this controversy was soon to be seen in the debate between Augustine and the Manichaean bishop, Faustus. Prior to the debate runs a history of severe persecution against the Manichaeans by some of the most well- known and respected Church Fathers such as Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa, Epiphanius, Ambrose of Milan, John Chrysostom and Cyril of Jerusalem.
In his ongoing debate with Augustine carried out through the written word, Faustus attacked the Christian Bible, which by the fourth century had become a "sacred cow" to the Church Fathers and, of course, the sole "proof" of the "truth" of their dogmas. Faustus argued that the Bible (which by that time had become the "official Bible," ordered and published by Constantine) is filled with contradictions and forgeries. He wrote to Augustine:
But what escape from this difficulty can there be for you, since you condemn the use of reason, which is the prerogative of human nature. By examining everything we determine which scriptures contain Christ's actual words... your predecessors have made many interpolations in the words of our Lord, which thus appear under His name, while they disagree with His doctrine. Besides... the writings are not the production of Christ and His apostles, but a compilation of rumors and beliefs, made long after their departure, by some obscure semi-Jews, not in harmony even with one another, and published by them under the name of the apostles, or of those considered the followers of the apostles, so as to give the appearance of apostolic authority to all these blunders and falsehoods.< 60>
Faustus further adds that the gospels must "be tested to find whether they are true and genuine; for the enemy who comes by night has corrupted almost every passage by sowing tares among the wheat."< 61> Faustus, of course, was destroying the very foundation upon which the orthodox church had built its edifice. In this view, Manichaeism was preeminently gnostic, as it looked to insight and revelation for the truth and not to the written word which so easily can become corrupted. Regarding the authenticity of the gospels, biblical criticism over the past century has come to much the same conclusion as Faustus: the Bible as it presently stands is not completely accurate. For example, the sayings of Jesus as recorded by Mark, when compared with the same sayings as written by Matthew and Luke, demonstrate reworking and re-editing to conform with the authors' viewpoint. Faustus also rejected the doctrine of the Incarnation as it was being taught by orthodox Catholic Christians. Faustus pointed out that the birth sequences in Matthew and Luke are contradictory, as are the genealogies in these two gospels. Faustus rejected the virgin conception and birth and the perpetual virginity of Mary. He writes:
It is not in accordance with the laws of nature that a virgin should bring forth, and still less that she should still be a virgin after bringing forth....< 62>
... To begin with calling Jesus the Son of David, and then to go on to tell of His being born of Mary before the consummation of her marriage with Joseph, is pure madness.< 63>
We can well understand why the Manichaean Christians were so hated by the Church Fathers: the doctrines of Mani threatened to topple the orthodox Church.
Another thorn in the side of the Church Fathers was the Manichaeans' rejection of the Old Testament as necessary and binding upon the Christian. Faustus viewed the Old Testament, with the exception of the Ten Commandments, as binding upon the Jews alone and that the Levitical laws of the Old Testament had been brought to completion by Christ and had ended. In what is probably a somewhat extreme position, Faustus claimed he found no prophecies regarding the coming and subsequent mission of Jesus in the Old Testament. He claimed that the Old Testament prophecies concerned the coming of a Jewish Messiah only who was to establish a physical kingdom on earth in opposition to the Roman government. Christ, he taught, came to establish a spiritual kingdom, not an earthly one, and was not the kind of Messiah the Jews expected; he points out that Jesus was rejected by the Jewish authorities as their Messiah. Faustus argued that Christians from a non-Jewish background should not be forced to accept the Old Testament. He further argued that the prophecies of Christ's coming in the so-called pagan Sibylline Books, in the writings of Hermes Trismegistus and in the Orphic prophecies were more relevant to Christ than the Old Testament prophecies and were better suited to "Gentile Christians." The Manichaeans also found prophecies of Christ's coming in the Zoroastrian scriptures. Why were these attitudes so threatening to the Church Fathers? Precisely because the Church Fathers had determined to undermine the truths of other religions which they felt could not co-exist with what they termed "Christianity." Their attempt to found the "Christian Religion" as an exclusive church under which they had full control over the mind of men was being undermined by the Manichaeans such as Faustus, who saw the universality of the religion of Christ. Although the Manichaeans have been accused of denigrating the Old Testament prophets, Faustus and other Manichaean teachers actually believed that Enoch, Seth, Noah, Abraham, Shem, Enosh, Nikotheas (a gnostic teacher) were true messengers of the Light and had received special revelations and commandments from angels that were worthy of observance.
What most infuriated orthodox Church Fathers, however, were Mani's doctrines concerning Christ. Mani used the term "Christ," "Son of God" and "Jesus" in various ways, which the Church Fathers were unable or refused to understand. Mani has been accused of teaching that Jesus was never born, never died and never had a "body." If we examine Mani's doctrine closely we shall find that Mani taught about "Christ" under three different aspects, as follows:
1) Jesus of Light/ Jesus Splendor or the Light-Mind: This aspect referred to the Divine Mind or Nous (Greek: mind). This Mind is the Source from which emanate all the great religious leaders; the Nous is the father of all apostles and messengers and was active in the historical Jesus, who, with others, such as Zoroaster, Buddha, Paul and Mani, were earthly instruments or embodiments of this Divine Intelligence. This aspect also referred to Jesus as the preexistent Son of God, the Divine Archetype, before his descent to earth as the hist orical Jesus, the Nazarene; Mani also referred to the Jesus of Light as the Jesus after his ascension on "High." This "Jesus" was also the "guardian angel" of Mani, his divine twin. The primary role of the Jesus of Light was as supreme revealer to and the awakener of the soul. The Jesus of Light, being an aspect of the Divine Mind, was never really born, never suffered or died. The Jesus of Light is birthless, deathless and eternal, the "before Abraham was, I AM," and contains the "All."
It was this "Jesus" who awakened Adam and revealed to him his origin, as we have seen. I quote from a Manichaean scripture the words of the Jesus of Light addressed to the soul who is prepared to ascend into the Light:
I AM thy Higher Mind, a security and seal; thou art my body, a garment I have put on in order to terrify the Powers, while I myself am thy Light, the original Effulgence.... I shall show thee the Father, eternally the Sovereign, and lead thee up in pure raiment before Him.... I Am thy Light, thy beginningless Illumination.< 64>
In the Manichaean view, as the above clearly shows, there is no difference between the Light-Mind in Jesus and the Light-Mind of the individual believer or disciple of Christ. In another Manichaean scripture we read:
The Light-Mind, who is the Awakener of those who sleep... is the Father of all the Messengers... the Physician of the Souls, he is the Light-Mind and this is the "New Man."< 65>
The Light-Mind or Divine Intelligence therefore is fundamentally identical to the Jesus of Light and is the Redeemer of all sentient beings.
2) The historical Jesus: This figure refers primarily to Jesus as an historical personage in time, the Jesus who was born, lived, and "died." It also refers to the incarnation on earth of the Jesus of Light to fulfill his mission in Palestine. We quote the Manichaean scriptures as follows:
The Son of God... was thrown into a womb; he who is in the "All," in whom the "All" exists! For he was led from world to world, from age to age... he came down to the substance of the flesh, the vesture of humanity... he went about in all the land, he took a man's likeness, the raiment of a slave. He came for all the sheep of His flock, because he knew there was no other to rescue them. He had come without a body <66> yet his apostles declared of him that he took a boy's, form an aspect like us men, he came down and manifested in the world in the sect of the Jews....< 67>
We find in this passage a very intriguing sentence: "For he was led from world to world, from age to age." Like Origen, the Manichaeans taught that Jesus, like all souls, had previously incarnated on other worlds in past ages, according to the law of cyclic evolution, and on this planet had previous incarnations. We recall that certain Gnostic-Christians believed Jesus to have been previously incarnated as the patriarch Seth. The phrase "age to age" also translates as "aeon to aeon," which would then be understood as Jesus' passage from the divine pleromic heights to the earthly plane or dwelling where he assumed a body. This agrees with St. Paul's statement noted earlier that Jesus, being in a Godlike form, took upon himself the form of a servant (Phil 2: 6-8). The reference in the above passage to Jesus' taking a boy's form relates to similar passages from The Acts of John and the Acts of Thomas, apocryphal texts which demonstrate that Jesus had the ability to change his form a t will. Both these texts and others like them were banned by the orthodox church.
Another passage from the scriptures of the Manichaeans treats of the Passion of Christ. Manichaeans were accused of denying both Christ's Passion and the reality of the incarnation. In light of the above and the passage below, this accusation is false and misleading. To quote:
Then the Jews seized the Son of God, judged him lawlessly in an Assembly and unrighteously condemned him, although he had no sin. They raised him upon the wood of the cross. They crucified him on the cross together with robbers; they took him down from the cross and laid him in the tomb; but after three days he rose from the dead. He came to his disciples and appeared to them, he clothed them with power and breathed his holy Spirit into them, he sent them out into all the world to preach the Greatness, while he in his part raised himself up to the Height.< 68>
The above passage applies to the historical Jesus, not the "Jesus of Light/ Light-Mind," which has no birth nor death. The orthodox Church Fathers, in their ignorance or willful refusal to discern the truth of Mani's teaching, steadfastly confused one with the other, refusing to make this simple distinction, and condemned the Manichaeans for denying the sufferings of Christ. The Manichaeans were also known to have studied the so-called Hymn of Jesus, extant in The Acts of John, which we have previously quoted and in which Jesus states: "Amen, I was crucified; Amen, again I was not crucified!... Amen, I suffered; Amen, again I did not suffer!" Duncan Greenless, editor of The Gospel of Mani, writes:
To the ignorant it seems a paradox; those with any kind of spiritual experience will understand the truth can be expressed in no other way— the most dreadful path is at times exquisite bliss.< 69>
3) The Suffering Jesus/ Jesus Patibilis: This aspect of Christ relates to the archetypal suffering of the Soul of Humanity, crucified in the realm of matter— on the matter cross formed by its beam of space and its transverse beam of time; in the words of Faustus, the "Suffering Jesus" refers to "the mystic nailing to the cross, emblematic of the wounds of the Soul in its passion."< 70> The "Suffering Jesus" is eternally suspended on the mystical Cross of Light and is eternally "the life and salvation of Man."< 71> Moreover, this mystical crucifixion is present in every tree, herb, fruit, vegetable, stone, and in soil.< 72> George Widengren explains:
... The sparks of eternal light were not confined to human souls but... the amount of light gone astray and not recovered was distributed throughout nature....< 73>
The "suffering" of the Light-Mind confined and scattered as Light particles throughout the material universe is beautifully expressed as follows:
The strangers with whom I mixed, me they know not; they tasted my sweetness, they desired to keep me with them.
I am life to them, but they were death to me; I bore up beneath them, they wore me as a garment upon them.
I am in everything, I bear the skies, I am the foundation, I support the earths, I am the Light that shines forth, that gives joy to souls.
I am the life of the world: I am the milk that is in all trees: I am the sweet water that is beneath the sons of matter.< 74>
We cannot think of a more exquisite way to explain the immanence of the Divine Light throughout all creation, spurned by some, ignored by others, crucified in those who misuse it. This is the "Suffering Jesus": the archetypal passion of the Light of the Soul in all nature.
Augustine, of course, in what appears to be another example of his ignorance of mystical teachings, accuses the Manichaeans of teaching "many Christs" without understanding the esoteric and subtle nature of their universal view of Christ under three aspects. He writes:
Again, tell us how many Christs you say there are? Is there one whom you call the suffering one whom the earth conceives and brings forth by the power of the Holy Spirit, and another crucified by the Jews under Pontius Pilate, and a third who is divided between the sun and the moon?< 75>
We note the sarcasm in Augustine's question. It is not the tone of a seeker attempting to penetrate the profound mysteries of Manichaean Christianity. Let us call a spade a spade: this is a shameless form of willful ignorance.
Several Catholic bishops, popes and emperors were instrumental in waging war against Manichaean Christianity. They targeted Manichaeans especially for their doctrines on Evil, reincarnation, the nature of God and of Christ. Emperors Honorius and Theodosius II maintained a secret service to ferret out and persecute Manichaeans. Augustine and Bishop Porphyry were active in their persecution in the first half of the fourth century. Rabbula, Bishop of Edessa, was tireless in his campaigns against various Christian sects such as the Marcionites, the followers of Bardaisan, and the Manichaeans. An edict of Emperor Valentinian I in 372 called for the confiscation of houses and dwelling places of Manichaeans. Samuel Lieu, author of Manichaeism, writes that the Manichaeans in the city of Rome became a source of concern to the papacy as early as the pontificate of Miltaiades (311-14).< 76> He writes that from the end of the fourth century onwards, popes played an active part in suppressing Manichaeans and other socalled heretics. Popes Siricius (134-99) and Anastasius (399-401) both issued decrees against Manichaeans. Pope Leo I (440-461) ordered Manichaeans in 445 to be arrested and subjected to penalties. Lieu states that adherence to the sect was declared a public crime. He elaborates:
In one of his sermons Leo urged the faithful to inform on the hiding places of the Manichaeans to their priests for to inform on such enemies of God was not only an act of piety but also a means of grace in the last judgment. He also wrote to the bishops of Italy urging them to be extra vigilant for Manichaean infiltration and a copy of the edict of 445 was also sent to them as a pastoral letter.... According to Prosper of Acquitaine, he [Leo] also dragged many of them out of their hiding places and compelled them to abjure their error in public. He also confiscated a large number of their books which he ordered to be burnt.< 77>
Lieu adds that Prosper of Acquitaine considered Leo's zeal "divinely inspired." Pope Leo I has been known to Catholics for centuries as Saint Leo the Great!
Both detection and expulsion of Manichaeans, Lieu continues, occur regularly in accounts of fifth century popes.< 78> Under Gelasius (492-496) Manichaeans discovered in Rome were deported and their books burnt before the doors of the Basilica of St. Mary. Pope Symmachus (498-514) ferreted out Manichaeans, sent them into exile and burned their books and images before the Basilica of Constantine (somehow ironically appropriate).< 79> Pope Hormisdas (514-523) subjected Manichaeans to investigation under torture in addition to exiling them and burning their books. In 527 in Constantinople (Byzantium) Justinian and his coemperor Justin I forbade Manichaeans to appear anywhere "as they defiled anything that came into contact with them. If they were caught in the company of others they would be subjected to capital punishment."< 80> According to Lieu, Justinian put many Manichaeans to death, and due to such remorseless persecution the Manichaean sect became extinct in Byzantium in the course of the sixth century.< 81> Lieu writes that "the refutation of Manichaean dualism also became a standard form of rhetorical training for the theologians." Byzantine theologians such as John of Caesarea, John of Damascus, Photius and John the Orthodox all wrote antiManichaean works. Lieu observes that these refutations are not based on first-hand knowledge of Manichaean works (not that it would have made any difference) and they display "a lack of interest in the genuine teaching of Manichaeism."< 82> Of cou rse, twentieth-century "Manichaeans" and "heretics" fare no better today than the originals as we observe that any nonconformist religion teaching revelatory, prophetic or esoteric doctrines is quickly labeled a "cult" and almost invariably prejudged and condemned without any honest and open-minded study by orthodox Christians and the self-righteous in the press and government. Freedom of religion has to this day not found general acceptance in the hearts of the orthodox, and those who persecuted the Christian-Gnostics,
Origenists, Manichaeans and others are with us still, although the methods slightly differ— due again to the thin veneer of culture and protection made possible by the institutions of this country.
To conclude this chapter I would like to quote from various hymns and prayers of Manichaean Christians still extant and leave it to the reader to decide whether the adherents of the Manichaean "cult" were, in fact, "enemies of God" as the "saintly" Pope Leo averred.
The Bride is the Church, the Bridegroom is the LightMind; the Bride is the Soul, (and) Jesus is the Bridegroom! If he rises in us, we too shall live in him, if we believe in him, we shall transcend death and come to Life.< 83>
My holy Father, let me see Thy Likeness that I saw before the universe was created, before the Darkness dared to stir up envy against the Aeons. On that occasion did I become a stranger to my Kingdom: I have cut its root and have come up victoriously on high.< 84>
O eternal Victor, I call to Thee; hear my cry, Compassionate! Let thy Members cleanse me, and wash me, Thou, in Thy holy waters and make me spotless, even as I (really) am! Lo, the time has drawn near that I should return to my homes! Thou are the Way, Thou art indeed the Gate of eternal Life, O Son of God, my Saviour....< 85>
O Light-Mind, the Sun of my heart that gives my Soul the things of the Light, Thou are my witness, that I have no comfort save in Thee!< 86>
Jesus, my Light whom I have loved, take me in to Thee! I have trusted to the knowledge of Thy Hope which called me to Thee, take me up to Thy homes, Jesus, my Spouse!... I have become divine again as I was at first.... I have set myself to please Thee to the end! Make even me worthy of Thy holy bridechambers....< 87>
How great a lover of men Thou art, O Jesus, the First Rose of the Father! How gentle Thou art, my true Bridegroom! Glory to Thee, O Christ of the Bridechambers of the Light.< 88>
God, God, God! Lovely is God, God, God! God, my God! I dived to the depth of the Abyss wishing to comprehend Thy depth!... Who can comprehend Thee, and who is able to understand Thee, my Lord? What light shall I find and compare it with Thy fragrance? Where is there a gracious Mother to compare with my Mother, Love? Where a kind Father to compare with my Father, Christ?...
My Mind has not ceased thinking of Thy wonders; My Thought has not swerved from searching Thy secrets;
My Insight has not moved from aspiring in Thy mysteries;
Nor has my Counsel swerved from seeking after Thy marvels;
My Intention have I set up desiring to comprehend Thee, my Lord.
I have tasted a sweet taste; I have found no sweeter than the Word of Truth!
I have tasted a sweet taste; I have found no sweeter than the Name of God!
I have tasted a sweet taste: I have found no sweeter than Christ!
Taste and realize that the Lord is sweet.< 89>
"Be yourselves Refiners and Saviours for your Soul which abides in every place, that you may lead it to the dwelling of the Fathers of the Light."
1. This narrative on the life and teaching of Mani is taken variously from the following sources: Mani and Manichaeism by George Widengren; Gnosis, by Kurt Rudolph; and The Gospel of the Prophet Mani, by Duncan Greenlees.
2. George Widengren, Mani and Manichaeism, (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1965), p. 26.
3. Ibid., pp. 26-27.
4. Ibid., p. 27.
5. Duncan Greenlees, The Gospel of the Prophet Mani, (Adyar, Madras, India: The Theosophical Publishing House, 1956), p. xxvii.
6. Widengren, p. 28.
8. Ibid., pp. 29-30.
9. Ibid., p. 30.
11. Ibid., p. 31.
14. Ibid., p. 34.
15. Ibid., p. 38.
16. Greenlees, Preface, pp. ix-lxi.
17. Widengren, p. 45.
18. Greenlees, pp. 2-3.
19. Ibid., pp. 51-83.
20. Ibid., p. 7.
21. Ibid., p. 164.
22. Ibid., p. 214. All references from the "Gospel of Mani" are derived from the Manichaean scriptures as quoted by Greenlees and are drawn from compilations of thirty extant works in Coptic, Chinese, Syrian, Arabic, Iranian, Turkish, Greek and Latin.
23. Samuel N. C. Lieu, Manichaeism, (Oxford: Manchester University Press, 1985), p. 10.
24. Greenlees, pp. 4-6.
25. Ibid., p. 7.
26. Ibid., pp. 7-8.
27. Ibid., pp. 8-9.
28. Ibid., p. 8 n. 4
29. Ibid., p. 9.
30. Ibid., pp. 9-11.
31. Ibid., p. 11.
32. Ibid., pp. 156-58.
33. Ibid., pp. 12-15.
34. Widengren, pp. 54-5.
35. Greenlees, p. 16.
36. Ibid., p. 20, commentary.
37. Ibid., p. 23, commentary.
38. Ibid., pp. 24-5.
39. Jonas, The Gnostic Religion, Chap. 9, pp. 225-6.
40. Greenlees, p. 31.
42. Ibid., p. 32 n. 1.
43. Ibid., p. 32.
44. Ibid., p. 33.
45. Ibid., p. 34.
46. Ibid., p. 37.
47. Widengren, p. 67.
48. Lieu, p. 21.
49. Widengren, pp. 67-8.
50. Greenlees, p. 237.
51. Ibid., p. 252-53.
52. See Greenlees, preface, pp. clvii-clxvi and Widengren, pp. 76-94.
53. Widengren, p. 139.
54. Ibid., p. 140.
55. Ibid., pp. 140-41.
56. Ibid., pp. 142-43.
57. Ibid., pp. 107-108.
58. Ibid., p. 144.
59. Greenlees, p. cii.
60. Larson, Religion of the Occident, pp. 555-6, quoting Augustine, Reply to Faustus, xviii 3.
61. Ibid., p. 556, xxix, 1.
62. Ibid., p. 559.
63. Ibid., p. 464, Reply to Faustus, xxiii, 2, 3, 4.
64. Greenlees, p. 225, 227.
65. Ibid., p. 193.
66. That is, either without a dense physical body or "body" of sin/ karma, or with a body of a higher grade of matter, as the Valentinians taught. This statement also refers to the fact that the "Jesus of Light" or "LightMind" has no permanent "body" or focus subject to the limitations of time and space.
67. Ibid., pp. 101-102.
68. Ibid., pp. 105-106.
69. Ibid., p. 106 n. 2.
70. Ibid., p. 105 n. 1, quoting Faustus.
71. Lieu, p. 127.
73. Widengren, p. 66.
74. Lieu, p. 127.
76. Ibid., p. 164-65.
77. Ibid., pp. 165-66.
78. Ibid., p. 167.
80. Ibid., p. 170.
81. Ibid., p. 175.
83. Greenlees, p. 212.
84. Ibid., p. 214-15.
85. Ibid., p. 216.
86. Ibid., p. 221.
87. Ibid., pp. 222-23.
88. Ibid., p. 242.
89. Ibid., pp. 288-290.
90. Ibid., title page.