Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Thought of Norea

Who was She?

Who was the ancient author whose ecstatic poetry is preserved for us in the ancient Gnostic hymn entitled "The Thought of Norea"?

I say She, for scholars believe this may very well be a rare Gnostic tractate composed by a Female hand.

Who was She?

The text (this translation being found in the James Robinson edition of the Nag Hammadi Library) seems to follow the Gnostic pattern of redeeming a Biblical villain -- or, in this case, a villainess, Na'amah of Cain's line from Genesis -- Norea being a Greek version of Her name, and given here a salvatory role.

You may not grasp much of the meaning -- I certainly didn't -- but still, the poetry sings:

"Father of All, Ennoia of the light,
dwelling in the heights above the regions below,
Light dwelling in the heights, Voice of truth,
upright Nous, untouchable Logos, and ineffable Voice,
incomprehensible Father!

It is Norea who cries out to them.
They heard and they received her
into their place forever.

They gave it to her in the Father of Nous
Adamas, as well as the voice of the Holy Ones,
in order that she might rest
in the ineffable Epinoia,
in order that she might inherit
the first mind which she had received,
and that she might rest
in the divine Autogenes,
and that she too might generate herself,
just as she also has inherited
the living Logos
and that she might be joined
to all of the Imperishable Ones,
and speak with the mind of the Father.

And she began to speak with words of Life,
and she remained in the presence of the Exalted One,
possessing that which she had received
before the world came into being.

She has the great mind of the Invisible One,
and she gives glory to her Father
and she dwells within those who
[lacuna] within the Pleroma
and she beholds the Pleroma.

There will be days when she beholds the Pleroma,
and she will not be in deficiency,
for she has the four holy helpers
who intercede on her behalf
with the father of the all, Adamas.

He it is who is within all the Adams,
possessing the thought of Norea
who speaks concerning the two names
which create a single name.

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