Translated by John D.Turner and Orval S. Wintermute
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... since they are perfect individuals and dwell all together, joined with the mind, the
guardian which I provided, who taught you (sg.). And it is the power that exists within
you that often extended itself as word from the Triple-Powered One, that One of all those
who truly exist with the Immeasurable One, the eternal Light of the Knowledge that
appeared, the male virginal Youth, the first of the Aeons from a unique triple-powered
Aeon, the Triple-Powered-One who truly exists, for when he was stilled, was extended and
when he was extended, he became complete and he received power from all of them. He knows
himself and the perfect Invisible Spirit. And he came to be in an Aeon who knows that she
knows That One. And she became Kalyptos, who acted in those whom she knows. He is a
perfect, invisible, noetic Protophanes-Harmedon. And empowering the individuals, she is a
Triple-Male. And being individually ...
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... individual on the one hand, they are together on the other hand, since she is an
existence of theirs, and she sees them all also truly. She contains the divine Autogenes.
When she knew her Existence and when she stood, she brought This One (masc.), since he
saw them all existing individually as he is. And when they become as he is, they shall see
the divine Triple-Male, the power that is higher than God. He is the Thought of all these
who exist together. If he ponders them, he ponders the great male [...] noetic
Protophanes, the procession of these. When he sees it, he sees also those who truly exist
and the procession of those who are together. And when he has seen these, he has seen the
Kalyptos. And if he sees one of the hidden ones, he sees the Aeon of Barbelo. And as for
the unbegotten offspring of That One, if one sees how he lives ...
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... you have heard about the abundance of each one of them certainly.
But concerning the invisible, spiritual Triple-Powered-One, hear! He exists as an
Invisible One who is incomprehensible to them all. He contains them all within himself,
for they all exist because of him. He is perfect, and he is greater than perfect, and he
is blessed. He is always One and he exists in them all, being ineffable, unnameable, being
One who exists through them all - he whom, should one discern him, one would not desire
anything that exists before him among those that possess existence, for he is the source
from which they were all emitted. He is prior to perfection. He was prior to every
divinity, and he is prior to every blessedness, since he provides for every power. And he
<is> a nonsubstantial substance, since he is a God over whom there is no divinity,
the transcending of whose greatness and beauty ...
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... power. It is not impossible for them to receive a revelation of these things, if they
come together. Since it is impossible for the individuals to comprehend the Universal One
situated in the place that is higher than perfect, they apprehend by means of a First
Thought - not as Being alone, but it is along with the latency of Existence that he
confers Being. He provides everything for himself, since it is he who shall come to be
when he recognizes himself. And he is One who subsists as a cause and source of Being, and
an immaterial material and an innumerable number and a formless form and a shapeless shape
and a powerlessness and a power and an insubstantial substance and a motionless motion and
an inactive activity. Yet he is a provider of provisions and a divinity of divinity - but
whenever they apprehend, they participate the first Vitality and an undivided activity, an
hypostasis of the First One from the One who truly exists. And a second activity [...]
however, is the [...]. He is endowed with blessedness and goodness, because when he is
recognized as the traverser of the boundlessness of the Invisible Spirit that subsists in
him, it (the boundlessness) turns him to it (the invisible spirit) in order that it might
know what is within him and how he exists. And he was becoming salvation for every one by
being a point of departure for those who truly exist, for through him his knowledge
endured, since he is the one who knows what he is. But they brought forth nothing beyond
themselves, neither power nor rank nor glory nor aeon, for they are all eternal. He is
Vitality and Mentality and That-Which-Is. For then That-Which-Is constantly possesses its
Vitality and Mentality, and Life has Vitality possesses non-Being and Mentality. Mentality
possesses Life and That-Which-Is. And the three are one, although individually they are
Now after I heard these things, my son Messos, I was afraid, and I turned toward the
multitude [...] thought [...] gives power to those who are capable of knowing these things
by a revelation that is much greater. And I was capable, although flesh was upon me. I
heard from you about these things and about the doctrine that is in them, since the
thought which is in me distinguished the things that are beyond measure as well as the
unknowables. Therefore I fear that my doctrine may have become something beyond what is
And then, my son Messos, the all-glorious One, Youel, spoke to me again. She made a
revelation to me and said: "No one is able to hear these things except the great
powers alone, O Allogenes. A great power was put upon you, which the Father of the All,
the Eternal, put upon you before you came to this place, in order that those things that
are difficult to distinguish you might distinguish and those things that are unknown to
the multitude you might know, and that you might escape (in safety) to the One who is
yours, who was first to save and who does not need to be saved ...
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... to you a form and a revelation of the invisible, spiritual Triple-Powered One, outside
of which dwells an undivided, incorporeal, eternal knowledge.
As with all the Aeons, the Aeon of Barbelo exists also endowed with the types and forms
of those who truly exist, the image of Kalyptos. And endowed with the intellectual Word of
these, he bears the noetic male Protophanes like an image, and he acts within the
individuals, either with craft or with skill or with partial instinct. He is endowed with
the divine Autogenes like an image, and he knows each one of these. He acts separately and
individually, continuing to rectify the failures from nature. He is endowed with the
divine Triple-Male as salvation for them all, in cooperation with the Invisible Spirit. He
is a word from a counsel, <he> is the perfect Youth. And this hypostasis is a ...
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... my soul went slack, and I fled and was very disturbed. And I turned to myself and
saw the light that surrounded me and the Good that was in me, I became divine.
And the all-glorious One, Youel, anointed me again and she gave power to me. She said,
"Since your instruction has become complete, and you have known the Good that is
within you, hear concerning the Triple-Powered One those things that you will guard in
great silence and great mystery, because they are not spoken to anyone except those who
are worthy, those who are able to hear: nor is it fitting to speak to an uninstructed
generation concerning the Universal One that is higher than perfect. But you have
<these> because of the Triple-Powered One, the One who exists in blessedness and
goodness, the One who is responsible for all these.
"There exists within him much greatness. Inasmuch as he is one in a ...
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... of the First Thought, which does not fall away from those who dwell in comprehension
and knowledge and understanding. And That One moved motionlessly in that which governs,
lest he sink into the boundless by means of another activity of Mentality. And he entered
into himself and he appeared, being all-encompassing, the Universal One that is higher
"Indeed it is not through me that he is to such a degree anterior to knowledge.
Whereas there is no possibility for complete comprehension, he is (nevertheless) known.
And this is so because of the third silence of Mentality and the second undivided activity
which appeared in the First Thought, that is, the Aeon of Barbelo, together with the
Indivisible One of the divisible likenesses and the Triple-Powered-One and the
<Then> the power appeared by means of an activity that is at rest and silent,
although it uttered a sound thus: zza zza zza. But when she (Youel) heard the power and
she was filled ...
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... "Thou art [...], Solmis! [...] according to the Vitality that is thine, and the
first activity which derives from divinity. Thou art great, Armedon! Thou art perfect,
"And according to that activity of thine, the second power and the Mentality which
derives from blessedness: Autoer, Beritheus, Erigenaor, Orimenios, Aramen, Alphleges,
Elelioupheus, Lalameus, Yetheus, Noetheus, thou art great! He who knows thee knows the
Universal One! Thou art One, thou art One, He who is good, Aphredon! Thou art the Aeon of
the Aeons, He who is perpetually!"
Then she praised the Universal One, saying "Lalameus, Noetheus, Senaon, Asine[us,
...]riphanios, Mellephaneus, Elemaoni, Smoun, Optaon, He Who Is! Thou art He Who Is, the
Aeon of Aeons, the Unbegotten, who art higher than the unbegotten (ones), Yatomenos, thou
alone for whom all the unborn ones were begotten, the Unnameable One! ... (10 lines
missing) ... knowledge."
Now after I heard these things, I saw the glories of the perfect individuals and the
all-perfect ones who exist together, and the all-perfect ones who are before the perfect
Again the greatly glorious One, Youel, said to me, "O Allogenes, in an unknowing
knowledge you know that the Triple-Powered One exists before the glories. They do not
exist among those who exist. They do not exist together with those who exist nor those who
truly exist. Rather, all these exist as divinity and blessedness and existence, and as
nonsubstantiality and non-being existence."
And then I prayed that the revelation might occur to me. And then the all-glorious one,
Youel, said to me, "O Allogenes, of course, the Triple-Male is something beyond
substance. Yet were he insubstantial ...
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... those who exist in association with the generation of those who truly exist. The
self-begotten ones exist with the Triple-Male.
"If you seek with a perfect seeking, then you shall know the Good that is in you;
then you will know yourself as well, (as) one who derives from the God who truly
pre-exists. For after a hundred years there shall come to you a revelation of That One by
means of Salamex and Semen and [...] the Luminaries of the Aeon of Barbelo. And that
beyond what is fitting for you, you shall not know at first, so as not to forfeit your
kind. And if so, then when you receive a conception of That One, then you are filled with
the word to completion. Then you become divine, and you become perfect. You receive them
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... the seeking [...] the Existence [...] if it apprehends anything, it is apprehended by
that one and by the very one who is comprehended. And then he becomes greater who
comprehends and knows than he who is comprehended and known. But if he descends to his
nature, he is less, for the incorporeal natures have not associated with any magnitude;
having this power, they are everywhere and they are nowhere, since they are greater than
every magnitude, and less than every exiguity."
Now after the all-glorious One, Youel, said these things, she separated from me and
left me. But I did not despair of the words that I heard. I prepared myself therein and I
deliberated with myself for a hundred years. And I rejoiced exceedingly, since I was in a
great light and a blessed path because those whom I was worthy to see as well as those
whom I was worthy to hear (are) those whom it is fitting that the great powers alone ...
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When the completion of the one hundred years drew nigh, it brought me a blessedness of
the eternal hope full of auspiciousness. I saw the good divine Autogenes; and the Savior,
who is the youthful, perfect Triple-Male Child; and his goodness, the noetic perfect
Protophanes-Harmedon; and the blessedness of the Kalyptos; and the primary origin of the
blessedness, the Aeon of Barbelo, full of divinity; and the primary origin of the one
without origin, the spiritual, invisible Triple-Powered One, the Universal One that is
higher than perfect.
When <I> was taken by the eternal Light out of the garment that was upon me, and
taken up to a holy place whose likeness cannot be revealed in the world, then by means of
a great blessedness I saw all those about whom I had heard. And I praised all of them and
I stood upon my knowledge and I inclined to the knowledge of the Universals, the Aeon of
And I saw holy powers by means of the Luminaries of the virginal male Barbelo telling
me that I would be able to test what happens in the world: "O Allogenes, behold your
blessedness, how it silently abides, by which you know your proper self and, seeking
yourself, withdraw to the Vitality that you will see moving. And although it is impossible
for you to stand, fear nothing; but if you wish to stand, withdraw to the Existence, and
you will find it standing and at rest after the likeness of the One who is truly at rest
and (who) embraces all these silently and inactively. And when you receive a revelation of
him by means of a primary revelation of the Unknown One - the One whom if you should know
him, be ignorant of him - and you become afraid in that place, withdraw to the rear
because of the activities. And when you become perfect in that place, still yourself. And
in accordance with the pattern that indwells you, know likewise that it is this way in all
such (matters) after this pattern. And do not further dissipate, so that you may be able
to stand, and do not desire to be active, lest you fall in any way from the inactivity in
you of the Unknown One. Do not know him, for it is impossible; but if by means of an
enlightened thought you should know him, be ignorant of him."
Now I was listening to these things as those ones spoke them. There was within me a
stillness of silence, and I heard the Blessedness whereby I knew <my> proper self.
And I withdrew to the Vitality as I sought <myself>, and I joined into it, and I
stood, not firmly but silently. And I saw an eternal, intellectual, undivided motion that
pertains to all the formless powers, (which is) unlimited by limitation.
And when I wanted to stand firmly, I withdrew to the Existence, which I found standing
and at rest, like an image and likeness of what is conferred upon me by a revelation of
the Indivisible One and the One who is at rest. I was filled with revelation by means of a
primary revelation of the Unknowable One. As though I were ignorant of him, I knew him,
and I received power by him. Having been permanently strengthened, I knew the One who
exists in me, and the Triple-Powered One, and the revelation of his uncontainableness. And
by means of a primary revelation of the First One unknowable to them all, the God who is
beyond perfection, I saw him and the Triple-Powered One that exists in them all. I was
seeking the ineffable and Unknowable God - whom if one should know him, he would be
absolutely ignorant of him - the Mediator of the Triple-Powered One who subsists in
stillness and silence and is unknowable.
And when I was confirmed in these matters, the powers of the Luminaries said to me,
"Cease hindering the inactivity that exists in you, by seeking incomprehensible
matters; rather, hear about him in so far as it is possible by means of a primary
revelation and a revelation."
"Now he is something insofar as he exists in that he either exists and will
become, or acts or knows, although he lives without Mind or Life or Existence or
Non-Existence, incomprehensibly. And he is something along with his proper being. He is
not left over in some way, as if he yields something that is assayed or purified or that
receives or gives. And he is not diminished in any way, whether by his own desire, or
whether he gives or receives through another. Neither does he have any desire of himself
nor from another; it does not affect him. Rather, neither does he give anything by
himself, lest he become diminished in another respect; nor for this reason does he need
Mind, or Life, is indeed anything at all. He is superior to the Universals in his
privation and unknowability, that is, the non-being existence, since he is endowed with
silence and stillness lest he be diminished by those who are not diminished.
"He is neither divinity nor blessedness nor perfection. Rather, it (this triad) is
an unknowable entity of him, not that which is proper to him; rather, he is another one
superior to the blessedness and the divinity and perfection. For he is not perfect, but he
is another thing that is superior. He is neither boundless, nor is he bounded by another.
Rather, he is something superior. He is not corporeal. He is not incorporeal. He is not
great. He is not small. He is not a number. He is not a creature. Nor is he something that
exists, that one can know. But he is something else of himself that is superior, which one
"He is primary revelation and knowledge of himself, as it is he alone who knows
himself. Since he is not one of those that exist, but is another thing, he is superior to
superlatives, even in comparison to what is his and not his. He neither participates in
age nor does he participate in time. He does not receive anything from anything else. He
is not diminishable, neither does he diminish anything, nor is he undiminishable. But he
is self-comprehending, as something so unknowable that he exceeds those who excel in
"He is endowed with blessedness and perfection and silence - not <the
blessedness> nor the perfection - and stillness. Rather it (these attributes) is an
entity of him that exists, which one cannot know, and which is at rest. Rather they are
entities of him unknowable to them all.
"And he is much higher in beauty than all those that are good, and he is thus
unknowable to all of them in every respect. And through them all he is in them all, not
only as the unknowable knowledge that is proper to him. And he is united with the
ignorance that sees him. Whether <one sees> in what way he is unknowable, or sees
him as he is in every respect, or would say that he is something like knowledge, he has
sinned against him, being liable to judgment because he did not know God. He will not be
judged by That One who is neither concerned for anything nor has any desire, but it
(judgment) <is> from himself, because he did not find the origin that truly exists.
He was blind, apart from the eye of revelation that is at rest, the (one) that is
activated, the (one) from the Triple-Power of the First Thought of the Invisible Spirit.
This one thus exists from ...
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... something [...] set firmly on the [...], a beauty and a first emergence of stillness
and silence and tranquility and unfathomable greatness. When he appeared, he did not need
time nor <did he partake> of eternity. Rather of himself he is unfathomably
unfathomable. He does not activate himself so as to become still. He is not an existence,
lest he be in want. Spatially, he is corporeal, while properly he is incorporeal. He has
non-being existence. He exists for all of them unto himself without any desire. But he is
a greater summit of greatness. And he is higher than his stillness, in order that ...
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... he saw them, and empowered them all, although they do not concern themselves with That
One at all, nor, if one should receive from him, does he receive power. Nothing activates
him in accordance with the Unity that is at rest. For he is unknowable; he is an airless
place of boundlessness. Since he is boundless and powerless and nonexistent, he was not
giving Being. Rather he contains all of these in himself, being at rest (and) standing out
of the one who stands continually, since there had appeared an Eternal Life, the Invisible
and Triple-Powered Spirit which is in all of these who exist. And it surrounds them all,
being higher than them all. A shadow ...
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... he was filled with power. And he stood before them, empowering them all, and he filled
And concerning all of these things you have heard certainly. And do not seek anything
more, but go. We do not know whether the Unknowable One has angels or gods, or whether the
One who is at rest was containing anything within himself except the stillness, which is
he, lest he be diminished. It is not fitting to spend more time seeking. It was
appropriate that you (pl.) know, and that they speak with another one. But you will
receive them ...
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... and he said to me, "Write down the things that I shall tell you, and of which I
shall remind you, for the sake of those who will be worthy after you. And you will leave
this book upon a mountain and you will adjure the guardian: "Come Dreadful One".
And after he said these (things), he separated from me. But I was full of joy, and I
wrote this book which was appointed for me, my son Messos, in order that I might disclose
to you the (things) that were proclaimed before me in my presence. And at first I received
them in great silence, and I stood by myself, preparing myself. These are the things that
were disclosed to me, O my son Messos ...
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... proclaim them, O my son Messos, as the seal for all the books of Allogenes.
Selection made from James M. Robinson, ed., The Nag Hammadi Library,
revised edition. HarperCollins, San Francisco, 1990.