February 2014, (Updated 2019) Gnosticism and Lébé
Gnostic Gem from 1722 depicting Lébéhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File: Lion-faced_deity.jpg Bernard de Montfaucon's L'antiquité expliquée et représentée en figures published in 1722 vol. II, parte II, plancha CL, p. 362.
This is a picture of a lion faced deity found on a Gnostic gem in Bernard de Montfaucon's L'antiquité expliquée et représentée en figures published in 1722. The importance of this gem is that it depicts Lébé as she/he was known to the Dogon people. Lébé, who was symbolized by the lion, had a serpent/fish tail and was created during the third experiment or "Third Word". Lébé's creation was considered the hope for humanity. She/he was androgynous and the mother of present day humans. She was immortal and symbolized by the sun, which is depicted on this gem. In my book The Nummo, I discuss some of the similarities between the Dogon religion and Gnosticism.Dorey, The Nummo p. 254
Like other apocryphal documents, Gnostic scriptures were left out of the New Testament at the time it was compiled in the fourth and fifth centuries. They were considered too pagan, which was incompatible with what the Church fathers believed was correct Christian doctrine. Until recently, little was known of the Gnostic writings because the orthodox Church was successful at banning the writings and the teaching of Gnosticism. The Gnostic teachers disappeared and what we knew about them in history came primarily from the writings of their enemies, the Church fathers.
It wasn't until 1945, when a collection of Gnostic writings was found in Upper Egypt, that more information became available on Gnosticism. These previously unknown documents, the Nag Hammadi library, have "provided overwhelming evidence that these Gnostic writings are based on either the Old or the New Testament, or both, and that they represent a way of radically reinterpreting the biblical tradition."
Although individual Gnostics held varying beliefs, they generally "agreed that the salvation of human beings depended on their gaining knowledge of the origin of the world. One of the Greek words for knowledge, gnosis, was used in the literature for this special kind of divine information, and gave its name to the movement: Gnosticism." In earlier forms of the doctrine, it was thought the God of the universe had created the world through his chosen agent, Wisdom also called Sophia.Dorey, The Nummo (2019 edition) p. 251
Griaule used the word "sophy" in trying to explain his understanding of the Dogon way of thinking. He said the Dogon saw the universe as an "orderly whole, where the notion of law was less present than that of a pre-established harmony, incessantly troubled and continually reordered."Dorey, The Nummo (2019 edition) p. 251
In the Gnostic scriptures "the word" was identified with Sophia. In Dogon mythology "the word" was so. The Fourth Word was known as the "clear word," so dayi. The "good word" was so ezu, which constituted "the final state of knowledge" and which may have some etymological association with so phia. Griaule reported that during the Dogon initiation process individuals didn't just acquire an accumulation of knowledge or a philosophy, but what they learned was of an educational nature that made them understand the structures of the universe. This led them "to as conscious and complete a life as possible within nature and society".
Elements of Dogon mythology can be found throughout the Gnostic scriptures. In Dogon mythology, humans were supposed to be given the ability to know themselves as well as all other creatures and matter in the universe. The Gnostic scripture Wisdom: On the Origin of the World talks of a similar ability.
For more information on these things refer to The Nummo.Dorey, The Nummo, (2019 edition) pp. 251-262
Pistis Sophia desired [to cause] the one who had no spirit to receive the pattern of a likeness and rule over the matter and over all its powers, a ruler first appeared out of the waters, lion-like in appearance, androgynous and having a great authority within himself, but not knowing whence he came into being." The passage later says he "came into being by means of the word."