Mentioned in the past as the servants of the Demiurge; the permanent creator God between the human race and another transcendent God.
The Archons derive from the Greek word “ruler”, which was also used as a title for a certain public function in a government. If we review history from a Gnostic point of view, we understand that in this context, they were considered the angels and demons of the Old Testament.
The Archons: divine creators
The ancient rulers created a man who would be “earth from earth”. Thus they modelled their creature, as a being of the earth.
This creature was modelled after their body and after the image of God, which had appeared to them in the waters.
The story goes as follows:
“Come, let us lay hold of it by means of the form which we have fashioned, so that it may see its male counterpart […], and we may harness it with the form which we have fashioned” – without understanding God’s strength, because of his powerlessness.
And he breathed on his face, and the man came to have a soul (and stayed) on earth for many days. But they could not bring it forth because of their powerlessness. Like the storm winds, they persisted (blowing) to try to capture that image that had appeared to them in the waters. And they did not know the identity of its power.”
Also known as The Reality of the Rulers, the Archon hypothesis is an exegesis, or critical interpretation of a religious text. Specifically, of Genesis 1-6, where it expresses the Gnostic mythology of the divine creators of the cosmos and humanity.
Genesis is the first book of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament. This ancient text was revered, among many others, in the Nag Hammadi Library.
Also known as “Gnostic Gospels”, it is a collection of a series of ancient Christian and Gnostic texts found in Upper Egypt in 1945.
The Reality of the Rulers, believed to have been written somewhere in the 3rd century AD. Scholars suggest that it originated from a traditional period of Gnosticism when it was converting from a mythological state to a philosophical phase.
The Reality of the Rulers
The scripture is shown to be an instruction on the subject of the rulers of the world mentioned by St. Paul. The intention expressed in the text is to show the truth about the powers that rule in the world.
The story begins with the boast of the demiurge, the supreme ruler, in words attributed to the God of the Bible: “I am who I am, God is nothing separate from me”.
The Reality of the Rulers is presented as a learned treatise where a teacher touches on a theme suggested by the recipient of the work.
It begins with a fragment of cosmology, which guides the reader through the revisionist “true story” of events in the history of creation, showing the Gnostic distrust of the material world and the demiurge.
A dialogue of angelic revelation emerges within this narrative where an angel repeats and elaborates a fragment of the author’s cosmogonic myth in a much larger scope, concluding with a historical prophecy of the coming of the saviour and the end of days.
Bentley Layton, Professor of Religious Studies and Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Yale University, wrote on this topic:
“The Reality of the Rulers, or the Hypostasis of the Archons, tells the Gnostic story of the creation from Yaldabaoth to Noah and the great flood and ends with a prediction of the final advent of the saviour, the destruction of the demonic powers and the victory of the Gnostics.”
This story narrates a totally different creation, which challenges the biblical account of Genesis. It also highlights the existence of a higher being, an energy that could rule the world even today.