Song 8

Updated: Sep 5

[Sophia cries out to her Light of Lights (Christ).]


“‘1. O Light of lights, in whom I have had faith from the beginning, hearken now then, O Light, unto my repentance. Save me, O Light, for evil thoughts have entered into me.

“‘2. I gazed, O Light, into the lower parts and saw there a light. thinking: I will go to that region, in order that I may take that light. And I went and found myself in the darkness which is in the chaos below, and I could no more speed thence and go to my region, for I was sore pressed by all the emanations of Self-willed, and the lion-faced power took away my light in me.

“‘3. And I cried for help, but my voice hath not reached out of the darkness. And I looked unto the height, that the Light, in which I had had faith, might help me.

“‘4. And when I looked unto the height, I saw all the rulers of the æons, how in their numbers they looked down on me and rejoiced over me, though I had done them no ill; but they hated me without a cause. And when the emanations of Self-willed saw the rulers of the æons rejoicing over me, they knew that the rulers of the æons would not come to my aid; and those emanations which sore pressed me with violence, took courage, and the light which I had not taken from them, they have taken from me.

“‘5. Now, therefore, O Light of Truth, thou knowest that I have done this in my innocence, thinking that the lion-faced light-power belonged to thee; and the sin which I have done is open before thee.

“‘6. Suffer me no more to lack, O Lord, for I have had faith in thy light from the beginning; O Lord, O Light of the powers, suffer me no more to lack my light.

“‘7. For because of thy inducement and for the sake of thy light am I fallen into this oppression, and shame hath covered me.

“‘8. And because of the illusion of thy light, I am become a stranger to my brethren, the invisibles, and to the great emanations of Barbēlō.

“‘9. This hath befallen me, O Light, because I have been zealous for thy abode; and the wrath of Self-willed is come upon me–of him who had not hearkened unto thy command to emanate from the emanation of his power–because I was in his æon without performing his mystery.

“’10. And all the rulers of the æons mocked me.

“’11. And I was in that region, mourning and seeking after the light which I had seen in the height.

“’12. And the guards of the gates of the æons searched for me, and all who remain in their mystery mocked me.

“’13. But I looked up unto the height towards thee and had faith in thee. Now, therefore, O Light of lights, I am sore pressed in the darkness of chaos. If now thou wilt come to save me,–great is thy mercy,–then hear me in truth and save me.

“’14. Save me out of the matter of this darkness, that I may not be submerged therein, that I may be saved from the emanations of god Self-willed which press me sore, and from their evil doings.

“’15. Let not this darkness submerge me, and let not this lion-faced power entirely devour the whole of my power, and let not this chaos shroud my power.

“’16. Hear me, O Light, for thy grace is precious, and look down upon me according to the great mercy of thy Light.

“’17. Turn not thy face from me, for I am exceedingly tormented.

“’18. Haste thee, hearken unto me and save my power.

“’19. Save me because of the rulers who hate me, for thou knowest my sore oppression and my torment and the torment of my power which they have taken from me. They who have set me in all this evil are before thee; deal with them according to thy good pleasure.

“’20. My power looked forth from the midst of the chaos and from the midst of the darkness, and I waited for my pair, that he should come and fight for me, and he came not, and I looked that he should come and lend me power, and I found him not.

“’21. And when I sought the light, they gave me darkness; and when I sought my power, they gave me matter.


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– From Pistis Sophia 1:33 (click on link for complete translation). G.R. S. Mead, 1921.


In this section of the Pistis Sophia, The (pre-Roman) Gnostic Christ explains to his disciples (this is probably a later more Christianized version of an earlier text) Sophia’s Song of repentance, after which Mary Magdalene says that she has been moved by her Indwelling Light to recognize Sophia’s lament as an original version of the 69th psalm. “Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul. I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me…”

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