Gnosticism and the Archons

01001aIn 1945 a cache of ancient texts was discovered in a cave near Nag Hammadi in Egypt. These 52 documents are widely assumed to be original Gnostic writings almost 2000 years old. These texts are rare evidence for a mystical tradition that has a very unique creation myth. The texts refer to an off-world species called the Archons which act as overlords and deceivers of humanity at the same time. A fascinating subject with explosive ties to psychology and religion.


There are different views on the history of Gnosticism. Most scholars see it rising with Christianity but this conception might be related to the emergence of Gnostic initiates into the public eye in this time period, because they felt compelled to warn Christians about the doctrine of Salvationism which they strongly opposed.

Gnostics criticized the saviour/redeemer complex of Abrahamic religions because they saw it as psychological warfare on the human mind : If humanity requires external salvation, this implies that we can not really be responsible for our own lives because we can not save ourselves. By accepting original sin as a given, Christians are taught that there is something wrong with them from birth and there is nothing they can do about it. Guilt is often used as a psychological weapon in cults in order to steer the behaviour of the flock. Gnostics were opposed to this kind of trickery because they lead to a glorification of the victim and thrive on the redemtive value of suffering.

In the Christian belief system a male God created the universe and the high priests were the only ones who were able to communicate with this God. Gnostics saw this as another form of mass mind control of the population in order to get people to follow orders the high priests allegedly received from God.

Gnostic creation myth

In the gnostic belief system planet Earth is a conscious entity. Long before Earth was created two divine entities by the names Christos and Sophia were pondering the creation of a new world. Sophia became so fascinated with it that she punged herself into their creation. This plunge created an unforseen side effect because a spiritual species called the Archons emerged. In passages of Gnostic texts these Archons are portrayed as some sort of miscarriage. The Archons gathered around a leading figure called the Demiurge, who falsely believes that he is the creator of the universe.

This demented god creates the solar system except for planet Earth. Sophia decides to morph into planet Earth but becomes captured in the inorganic solar system of the Demiurge. Sophia’s emotions, grief and confusion transform into physical elements of Earth and the biosphere, thus the errestrial globe solidifies and life arieses in rampant forms but Sophia is unable to control her progeny. As Christos notices Sophias entrapment in their creation he tries to intervene in order to bring order to the biological diversity of Sophia’s world. Upon making this intercession, Christos leaves a radiant afterimage in the biosphere and recedes from Earth. Sophia finds herself in the world of her solitary dreaming where a particular strain of humanity emerges and proceeds to live out a divine experiment : The unfolding of human novelty.

The Archons

01002bAbout 20% of the Nag Hammadi texts talk about the species of the Archons. They are portrait as a non-physical species that can take physical form for a short period of time. One of the Nag Hammadi texts (Apocryphon of James) describes the abduction of human beings by small beings. The similarities to the “Greys” as portrayed in many science-fiction movies and as they are described by people who have experienced alien abductions are staggering, especially if you consider that the Nag Hammadi texts are almost 2000 years old, so this meme of an alien species is nothing new to human history.

The Archons are described as psychic intruders. They are not able to live in the material world like human beings but they can visit it for short periods of time. It is comparable to a human being diving in water, we can also only stay there for short periods of time. Their prefered way of entry into this reality is through the human mind. Gnostic texts warn about the Archons and their attempts to deviate human evolution from its course. They have two main methods to achieve this :

  1. Mistakes : Human beings make mistakes but human beings are not very good at learning from their mistakes. The Archons are masters at exploiting our unwillingness to learn from mistakes
  2. Simulation : The Archons are masters of virtual realities and holographic projection : They can create holographic images of any living thing but these holograms are not alive they only represent the original.

The texts about the Archons describe that they intend to live “through” humans, since they are unable to live in our reality in physical form. They are trying to make humans more archonic for this : They attempt to have humanity loose its connection to the natural world (nature) and spend more and more time in virtual worlds. The motivation of the Archons for doing all this is envy. The Archons envy humans because humans live in a wonderful world full of creativity which is very different from the virtual and cold environment that the Archons inhabit. Their envy also seems to be related to the divine spark that is hidden within every human being. Gnostics refer to this divine spark as “nous” and it is something that the Archons do not have because they do not have a divine origin. Nevertheless gnostic texts remind the reader that the Archons are part of creation because they came into being when Sophia plunged into her own creation.

The Archons seem to often show senseless behaviour. They get a thrill from causing human emotions like fear and from creating confusion. It is implied that the Archons feed energetically of human emotions because they do not have any emotions themselves, thus do not have any emotional energy of their own.

It is very difficult to make sense of these descriptions. What seems to make most sense is that the Archons are a way of the reality construct to test human beings and to see if we can master our own mind despite the Archons trying to cause us internal confusion. They seem to be part of a cosmic test, a way to remove consciousness that is not willing to take responsibility for its own thoughts and actions. In this sense the Archons might be a cosmic tool to incite human evolution.

As mentioned earlier, there are different views concerning gnosticism. This articles is based on the book “Not in his image” by John Lamb Lash. If you want to learn more about this approach towards gnosticism, it is recommended to check out the podcasts with John Lamb Lash about Gnosticism available in the Resource section (particular Podcast number 5 is of interest as it deals with the Archons).

Further information is available on the homepage of John Lamb Lash.



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