Sunday, June 18, 2006
The Hypostasis of the Archons
On the day of my birthday I typed the words “The Hypostasis of the Archons” into my mobile phone and sent it as a text to my ex-wife, the mother of my child.
The funny thing is, of course, that using predictive text, my mobile phone did not recognise the words, “The Hypostasis of the Archons“ at all. Well it recognised some of the words, but not others. The others I had to spell out. Hypostasis. Archons. Letter by letter. Hypostasis. Archons. Therefore my mobile phone now contains the title of an early Christian Gnostic text in its memory.
The Hypostasis of the Archons.
This is one small victory for humour and sanity against the forces of separation and control.
My mobile phone, symbol of the technological world of mind-control and economic constraint - where every phone call can be monitored, and every phone traced, where your value as a human is measured by the cost of the gadget in your pocket and the price of the label on your breast, creation of the Archons - also contains a secret message. It now contains the key to an understanding of how to defeat that very world.
The Hypostasis of the Archons. It means, The Reality of the Rulers. It is an early Christian text, one of the Gnostic gospels found at Nag Hammadi in 1945, a soul-searing psycho-political interpretation of the creation of a false world by the ideological forces of the collectivised ego.
When I first found the text on the internet is was like a thrill of instant electric recognition passing through my whole body. The first lines are as follows:
‘On account of the reality of the authorities, (inspired) by the spirit of the father of truth, the great apostle - referring to the "authorities of the darkness" - told us that "our contest is not against flesh and blood; rather, the authorities of the universe and the spirits of wickedness.”’
Our contest is not against flesh and blood....
It is against the authorities of the universe and the spirits of wickedness....
Not against the body. Not against the human. Not against sex. Not against need. Not against grief. Not against hunger. Not against pain. Not against what a human needs to do to assuage that hunger and pain.
It is against the ideology of control. Against the whip and the prison. Against the shackles. Against the cells. Against torture. Against the evil of slavery. Against Rome and its collectivised insanity. Against the Emperor who is the embodiment of madness.
What we forget when we consider Christianity now - in its Romanised, sanitised, modernised form - is how deeply radical it was. It was the religion of the slave, the oppressed, the down-trodden, the defeated. It was a psycho-political reaction against the triumphalism of the sex-war-state machine that was the Roman occupation of Europe and the Middle East.
The early Christians did not call themselves Christians. They called themselves the Poor. Their religion was not only a religion, it was also a political movement. Their self-designation as the Poor was also a statement of identification. It was a statement of political intent.
Rome was a state based upon slavery and upon the subjugation of nations. Slavery is abuse, pure and simple. The slave owner has absolute control over his property. His property is the body of his slave - the body of the nation - whom he can abuse sexually and emotionally at his will. Rome was the political entity of sexual and economic abuse. It was a system of internal and external control. Christianity in this context is the realisation that true freedom lies beyond the confines of the body and the mind - what the slave owner has control over - in some other place. In some realm that cannot be touched.
This is why "our contest is not against flesh and blood; rather, the authorities of the universe and the spirits of wickedness.”
The Poor did not blame the victims of sexual abuse for their abuse, but the authorities of wickedness - Roman state power and Roman control - who inflicted this abuse upon them.
Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib. How much has really changed?