Demiurge



Definition:

Demiurge, Demiourgos (Greek) [from demos the people + ergon work] In Gnosticism, the deity as creator or cosmic artificer was a secondary or subordinate god, distinct from the supreme deity of the hierarchy, acting as creator or former of worlds, with which function the supreme is not directly concerned. because of this seeming duality of rival gods, monotheistic christian theology classed the demiurge among the powers hostile to god and mankind, as it did with Satan, the Serpent, Lucifer, and so many others. Marcion (2nd century) and his school attempted to reconcile these by equating the Demiourgos with the jewish Jehovah. the Demiourgos, however, is the deity in its creative aspect, the second logos -- not a personal deity, but an abstract term denoting the host of creative powers. Later, the conception was anthropomorphized. It is the elohim of the bible who make kosmos out of chaos; the universal mind, separated from its fountain-source; the four-faced Brahma; the seven principal dhyani-chohans. In the Qabbalah, Hokhmah (wisdom) becomes united with binah (intelligence), which latter is jehovah or the Demiourgos. but the Demiourgos itself is dual in the same sense as are those formative powers for which the name stands: acting on all planes from the highest to the lowest, the contrast between above and below, light and its shadow, is shown; added to which, it includes potencies which are symbolized by human minds as masculine and feminine. there was plenty of scope, then, for confusion as to the meaning and application of the word.

the creator of a world, whether real or mythical

demiurgedem"i*urge (?), n. [gr. dhmioyrgo`s a worker for the people, a workman, especially the maker of the world, the creator; dh`mios belonging to the people (fr. dh^mos the people) + 'e`rgon a work.] 1. (gr. antiq.) the chief magistrate in some of the greek states. 2. god, as the maker of the world. 3. according to the gnostics, an agent or one employed by the supreme being to create the material universe and man.

(n.)

The chief magistrate in some of the greek states.

(n.)

God, as the maker of the world.

(n.)

According to the Gnostics, an agent or one employed by the supreme being to create the material universe and man.

Noun1. a subordinate deity, in some philosophies the creator of the universe (hypernym) deity, divinity, god, immortal

Demiurge (from the Greek, latinized , meaning "artisan" or "craftsman", literally "worker in the service of the people", from "of the people" + "work") is a term for a creator deity, a divine artisan or architect responsible for the creation of the physical universe.


Yaldabaoth

150px-Lion-faced_deity.jpgA lion-faced deity found on a Gnostic gem in Bernard de Montfaucon's L'antiquité expliquée et représentée en figures may be a depiction of the Demiurge.

In the Ophite and Sethian systems, which have many affinities with the teachings of Valentinus, the making of the world is ascribed to a company of seven archons, whose names are given, but still more prominent is their chief, "Yaldabaoth" (also known as "Yaltabaoth" or "Ialdabaoth").

In the Apocryphon of John c. AD 120–180, the demiurge arrogantly declares that he has made the world by himself:
Now the archon ["ruler"] who is weak has three names. The first name is Yaltabaoth, the second is Saklas ["fool"], and the third is Samael. And he is impious in his arrogance which is in him. For he said, 'I am God and there is no other God beside me,' for he is ignorant of his strength, the place from which he had come.[24]

He is Demiurge and maker of man, but as a ray of light from above enters the body of man and gives him a soul, Yaldabaoth is filled with envy; he tries to limit man's knowledge by forbidding him the fruit of knowledge in paradise. At the consummation of all things, all light will return to the Pleroma. But Yaldabaoth, the Demiurge, with the material world, will be cast into the lower depths.[25]
Yaldabaoth is frequently called "the Lion-faced", leontoeides, and is said to have the body of a serpent. The demiurge is also[26] described as having a fiery nature, applying the words of Moses to him: "the Lord our God is a burning and consuming fire". Hippolytus claims that Simon used a similar description.[27]
In Pistis Sophia, Yaldabaoth has already sunk from his high estate and resides in Chaos, where, with his forty-nine demons, he tortures wicked souls in boiling rivers of pitch, and with other punishments (pp. 257, 382). He is an archon with the face of a lion, half flame, and half darkness.
Under the name of Nebro (rebel), Yaldabaoth is called an angel in the apocryphal Gospel of Judas. He is first mentioned in "The Cosmos, Chaos, and the Underworld" as one of the twelve angels to come "into being [to] rule over chaos and the [underworld]". He comes from heaven, and it is said his "face flashed with fire and [his] appearance was defiled with blood". Nebro creates six angels in addition to the angel Saklas to be his assistants. These six, in turn, create another twelve angels "with each one receiving a portion in the heavens".


Names

Leontocephaline-Ostia.jpg
Drawing of the leontocephaline found at the Mithraeum of C. Valerius Heracles and sons, dedicated 190 AD at Ostia Antica, Italy (CIMRM 312).


The most probable derivation of the name "Yaldabaoth" was that given by Johann Karl Ludwig Gieseler. Giesler believed the name was derived from the Aramaic yaldā bahuth, ילדאבהות, meaning "Son of Chaos". However, Gilles Quispel notes:
Gershom Scholem, the third genius in this field, more specifically the genius of precision, has taught us that some of us were wrong when they believed that Jaldabaoth means "son of chaos", because the Aramaic word bahutha in the sense of chaos only existed in the imagination of the author of a well-known dictionary. This is a pity because this name would suit the demiurge risen from chaos to a nicety. And perhaps the author of the Untitled Document did not know Aramaic and also supposed as we did once, that baoth had something to do with tohuwabohu, one of the few Hebrew words that everybody knows. ... It would seem then that the Orphic view of the demiurge was integrated into Jewish Gnosticism even before the redaction of the myth contained in the original Apocryphon of John. ... Phanes is represented with the mask of a lion's head on his breast, while from his sides the heads of a ram and a buck are budding forth: his body is encircled by a snake. This type was accepted by the Mithras mysteries, to indicate Aion, the new year, and Mithras, whose numerical value is 365. Sometimes he is also identified with Jao Adonai, the creator of the Hebrews. His hieratic attitude indicates Egyptian origin. The same is true of the monstrous figure with the head of a lion, which symbolises Time, Chronos, in Mithraism; Alexandrian origin of this type is probable.[28]

"Samael" literally means "Blind God" or "God of the Blind" in Hebrew (סמאל). This being is considered not only blind, or ignorant of its own origins but may, in addition, be evil; its name is also found in Judaism as the Angel of Death and in Christian demonology. This link to Judeo-Christian tradition leads to a further comparison with Satan. Another alternative title for the demiurge is "Saklas", Aramaic for "fool".

The angelic name "Ariel" (meaning "the lion of God" in Hebrew)[29] has also been used to refer to the Demiurge and is called his "perfect" name;[30] in some Gnostic lore, Ariel has been called an ancient or original name for Ialdabaoth.[31] The name has also been inscribed on amulets as "Ariel Ialdabaoth",[32][33] and the figure of the archon inscribed with "Aariel".[34]