Meditation on the Gnostic Demiurge

“What if there were an ultimate villain out there, unseen; an absolute mastermind, closing in for the kill? What if there existed an invisible, implacable foe who’d calculated my every weakness? Who had access to allies, weapons, and tactics I couldn’t imagine? An adversary whose plots and grand designs were so vast, so elaborate, that they went unnoticed until it was too late? How could I prepare for a challenge like that? Would I have the resources to deal with it? I’ve often wondered.” –Batman

           What I find most fascinating about comics is that people tend to fixate on the medium and are unable to appreciate or acknowledge its exceptionally valuable messages. Academia is only recently beginning to credit comic books, and particularly graphic novels, as having any sort of artistic or literary merit, despite the fact that for the last 20 or 30 years, in many cases, they're not even remotely being written for children.

          I felt that the above quote was an intriguing point of Gnostic departure from this character's otherwise banal career of crime fighting (as banal as a world full of comic-book villains can get anyway). Some would caution we can theoretically manifest what we fear by failing to cultivate a constructive attention for more positive things (although I think "magnetize" might be a more accurate term to use for that phenomenon) but one should be careful not to fall into the now fashionable magical conceit that we can rid the world of evil by being oblivious to it. “The Secret” has introduced millions to a basic Hermetic principle, the “Law of Attraction,” that far too often I see being used to justify the willful ignorance of frail new agers who are now even more afraid to think of bad things than they instinctively were before.

          I guess my point is this: The world may be transitory from the perspective of our time in it, but each one of us, if eternal, might want to be careful who and what we are establishing ourselves as within the context of this temporary respite. What could be more worthwhile spiritually than the affirmation of our abilities to both face and resist the powers of evil, particularly in such a difficult context as this one? Comic book heroes, like the Batman, have provided me with encouraging models of resistance in the face of overwhelming odds, good examples that have helped me to truly appreciate how much of our lives are composed of rationalizations and excuses designed to allow us to more comfortably capitulate to the negative forces that rule our world.

          The depth and dangerousness of your imagined Demiurge and His evil schemes, in my opinion, directly corresponds to your potential as a true Gnostic, although most Gnostics, as with most people, are obviously far less willing to embrace, much less take seriously, such a heroic paradigm as this. Only by conceiving of our enemies in their most overwhelming and nefarious manifestations might we possibly be able to conceive of a proper defense against them, like the architects of the great cathedrals who designed those holy spaces to be impervious even to the demons who they knew probably held the leases on the buildings. There are some things that even the greatest evil cannot fathom and it's the preservation of these things that will provide us with our best weapons against it.

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