Friday, November 27, 2009

I Heart Irenaeus

Irenaeus explaining the teaching of the Gnostic Valentinus:
"He maintained that there is a certain Dyad (two-fold being), who is inexpressible by any name, of whom one part should be called Arrhetus (unspeakable), and the other Sige (silence). But of this Dyad a second was produced one part of whom he names Pater, and the other Aletheia. From this Tretrad, again, arose Logos and Zoe, Anthropos and Ecclesia. These constitute the primary Ogdoad .... There is another, who is a renowned teacher among them, and who, struggling to reach something more sublime, and to attain to a kind of higher knowledge, has explained the primary Tetrad as follows: There is [he says] a certain Proarche who existed before all things, surpassing all thought, speech, and nomenclature, whom I call Monotes (unity). Together with this Monotes, being one, produced, yet not so much as to bring forth ... the beginning of all things, an intelligent, unbegotten, and invisible being, which beginning language terms "Monad." With this Monad there co-exists a power of the same essence, which again I term Hen (one). These powers then--Monotes, and Henotes, and Monas, and Hen--produced the remaining company of Aeon."

Irenaeus--why I love him:
"Iu, Iu! Pheu, Pheu!--for well may we utter these tragic exclamations at such a pitch of audacity in the coining of names as he has diplayed without a blush, in devising a nomenclature for his own system of falsehood. For when he declares: There is a certain Proarche before all things, surpassing all thought, whom I call Monotes; and again, with this Monotes there co-exists a power which I also call Henotes,--it is most manifest that he confesses the things which have been said to be his own invention, and that he himself has given names to this scheme of things, which had never been previously suggested by any other. It is manifest also, that he himself is the one who has had sufficient audacity to coin these names; so that, unless he had appeared in the world, the truth would still have been destitute of a name. But in that case, nothing hinders any other, in dealing with the same subject, to affix names after such a fashion as the following: There is a certain Proarche, royal, surpassing all though, a power existing before every other substance, and extended into space in every direction. But along with it there exists a power which I term a Gourd; and along with this Gourd there exists a power which again I term Utter-Emptiness. This Gourd and Emptiness, since they are one, produced (and yet did not simply produce, so as to be apart of themselves) a fruit, everywhere visible, eatable, and delicious, which fruit-language calls a Cucumber. Along with this Cucumber exists a power of the same essence, which again I call a Melon. These Powers, the Gourd, Utter-Emptiness, the Cucumber, and the Melon, brought forth the remaining multitude of the delirious melons of Valentinus .... If any one may assign names at his pleasure, who shall prevent us from adopting these names, as being much more credible [than the others], as well as in general use, and understood by all?"
--Against All Heresies 1.11

It's the "Iu, Iu! Pheu, Pheu!" that did it for me. Booyah.

2 comments:

五月天 said...

haha~ funny!.thank .you for .your ..share.....

melissiatjohanson said...

旁觀自己的悲傷是解脫,主觀自己的悲傷是更加悲傷..................................................