Colby Whittaker, a first year Duke Divinity student, composed this Dr. Seuss-inspired version of a Gnostic creation story:
One day the first principle was feeling a bit down,
his glumdiferous magnificence turned in a frown.
he pondered and thunk and he thunk and he thought
and oh what a surprise when he saw what he'd wrought
there in the light of his emanated glow,
sat the second principle, the barbelo!
The barbelo in its barbelo suit, with its barbelo spirit munching
spiritual barbelo fruit.
And that barbelo
in its barbelo suit,
with its barbelo thoughts and its barbelo fruit,
why it looked on ole dad with his emanated glow his splendiferous
magnifence and before you know
there came a loud pop, a gnarf and kabangs
And out of the ole Barbelo came 4 more things
And not any ole things
no not any would do
but the best and the brightest, the shiny and new.
First Logos and Life, for who doesn't need a buddy
Then Man and then Church that fuddy old duddy
and they came and they spread
oh they spread and they spread
but they looked around and you know what they said?
Our world is too small oh far far too small
For our father is so so great, so grand and so tall
his world must be sad, such a tiny little world
and so they thought and they thought and thought unfurled
they expanded and grew and then they knurled.
What is knurl I hear you ask?
Why a wonderful thing in which we all should bask.
For out of their knurling
their thinking and thought
their swirling and whirling
they found what they sought
10 little aeons all in a lot.
Well not all at once you must understand
They came out in pairs!
Like a 10 man band.
10 aeons sprung forth, all shiny and new,
and fresh out in the world, they knew and they grew,
and they knew and they grew as good aeons ought
and then, as you'd guess, they too had a thought!
With their 12 aeon friends 22 strong,
they thought and they thought all the day long.
They thought of great things, such marvelous things
spirit-God kings and androgynous rings,
and they thought and they sang
their beautiful song
they sang and it rang
till something went wrong.
Poor little Sophie
said its much too crowded
with all your spirit singing I've been quite out-louded!
And then as you see poor Sophie was outed.
For Sophie had passions what a terrible lot
For silence and thinking is what a good aeon thought.
But Sophie wanted more, oh so much, more
she looked at her Aeon-friends and said “What a bore!”
So she sought out First-Principle,
grand ole Abyss,
and strung up in her passions
she gave him a kiss.
But oh what a kiss and such a kiss to miss
For Abyss would be having with none of this
he sent rough old limit,
that crabbity sort
to sort all this out
all this huffing and snort.
So limit did his limit-y best
and Sophie was purified
and returned to the nest
she returned to the rest
of her Aeon-y friends
but as we know things
take turns and bends
Cause Sophie's desire was not easily undone
It said “I'm still here! I'll still have my fun!”
That desire, misshapen and lumpy and cross,
It looked at that world and gave it the toss.
It said “Forget you Spirits” I've had my fill
of your Aeon-y sounds,
of your Aeon-y rules
of limits and bounds
and with a great whabumph,
and a sickening slumph
why gross ole desire
made some crumph,
and that crumph
it had mass and growth
so Desire became Ii-al-da-both.
And Ialdaboth was a bit of a fool
a bit of a munchkin, a bit of a tool
He forgot all that spiritual, gnosticky junk
and out came some matter with a resounding plunk
And out of that plunk came the moon and the earth
the clouds and the sky and so matter gave birth!
It gave birth to it all
All you can see
The rocks and dolphins
the birds in the trees
But all was not right
Oh certainly not right
Because all that world
was sad without light
Not normal light that pale thin drink
but the light of the Spirits!
Their old thoughty-think!
But Ialdaboth when he messed it all up,
he accidentally brought some spiritual stuff!
He dragged some gnosticy thoughty-thinking souls
And those souls fell into meat-mattery holes.
Those souls became psychics and gnosticky sorts
forming all new secret spiritual cohorts.
Poor Abel who died right off the bat,
And Cain who might have had a hand in that.
But then came Seth, marvelous Seth,
cause inside his chest was the spiritual breath
And inside his heart was the spiritual stuff,
the wonderful mystical spiritual stuff,
the stuff of which theres never enough,
So the children of Seth learned to think a humdinger thought
and this secret they took and they went and they taught
they taught about Sophie and they taught about her weird child
And they told the stories of how he went wild.
They taught about how all this matter is bunk
and all about Ialdy the maker of junk.
But with their humdinger secrets safe in your head
you too could go back, or so they said.
Go back to the start, to the place they still miss,
back home with the Spirits and good ole Abyss.