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The Latin word ĉon means forever. It is derived from the Greek word αίών.


Temporal ĉon

This means the same thing as the word eon: an eternal frame of time, eternity.

Quantitatively, eon refers to a period of time of 1,000,000,000 years. However, geologists refer to the period in which animals evolved into abundance as the Phanerozoic Eon, which only lasts 545 million years, to the present day.

Platonic ĉons

The word ĉon was used by Plato to denote the eternal world of ideas, which he conceived was "behind" the perceived world, as demonstrated in his famous cave-allegory.

Gnostic ĉons

In many Gnostic systems, the various emanations of the God, who is also known by such names as the One, the Monad, Aiwn teleos (The Perfect Ĉon), Bythos, Proarkh (Before the Beginning), H'Arkh (The Beginning), are called ĉons. This first being is also an ĉon and has an inner being within itself, known as Ennoea (Thought), Charis (Grace), or Sige (Silence). The split perfect being conceives the second ĉon, Nus (Mind), within itself. Along with the male Nus comes the female ĉon Veritas (Truth)

The ĉons often came in male/female pairs called syzygies, and were frequently numerous (20-30). Two of the most commonly listed ĉons were Jesus and Sophia. The ĉons constitute the pleroma, the "region of light". The lowest regions of the pleroma are closest to the darkness; i.e. the physical world.

When an ĉon named Sophia emanates without her partner ĉon, the result is the Demiurge (or Ialdaboth), a creature that should never have come into existence. This creature does not belong to the pleroma, and the One emanates two savior ĉons, Christ and the Holy Spirit to save man from the Demiurge. Christ then took the form of the man, Jesus, in order to be able to teach man how to achieve gnosis; i.e. return to the pleroma.

Valentinian ĉons

According to Tertullian's Against the Valentinians (Latin: Adversus Valentinianos) chapter VII and VIII (and we only know the details of this system from its opponents), the Gnostic Valentinius had 30 different ĉons which emanate each other in sequence. The first 8 of these (corresponding to generation one-four below) is referred to as the Ogdoad.

  • First generation
    • Bythos (the One) and Sige (Silence, Charis, Ennoea etc)
  • Second generation
    • Nous (Nus, Mind) and Aletheia (Veritas, Truth)
  • Third generation, emanated from Nous and Aletheia
    • Sermo (the Word) and Vita (the Life)
  • Fourth generation, emanated from Sermo and Vita
    • Anthropos (Homo, Man) and Ecclesia (Church)
  • Fifth generation
    • Emanated from Sermo and Vita:
      • Bythios (Profound) and Mixis (Mixture)
      • Ageratos (Never old) and Henosis (Union)
      • Autophyes (Essential nature) and Hedone (Pleasure)
      • Acinetos (Immovable) and Syncrasis (Commixture)
      • Monogenes (Only-begotten) and Macaria (Happiness)
    • Emanated from Anthropos and Ecclesia
      • Paracletus (Comforter) and Pistis (Faith)
      • Patricas (Paternal) and Elpis (Hope)
      • Metricos (Maternal) and Agape (Love)
      • Ainos (Praise) and Synesis (Intelligence)
      • Ecclesiasticus (Son of Ecclesia) and Macariotes (Blessedness)
      • Theletus (Perfect) and Sophia (Wisdom)

Ptolemaic and colorbasal ĉons

According to St. Irenaeus Against heresies (Latin: Adversus Haereses) also known as The Detection and Overthrow of Falsely So-Called Gnosis book 1, chapter 12, the followers of the Gnostics Ptolemy and Colorbasus had ĉons which differ from those of Valentinius. Logos is created when Anthropos learn to speak. The first four are called the Tetrad and the eight are called the Ogdoad.

  • First generation
    • Bythos (the One) and Sige (Silence, Charis, Ennoea etc)
  • Second generation (conceived by the One):
    • Ennoae (Thought) and Thelesis (Will)
  • Third generation, emanated from Ennoae and Thelesis:
    • Nous (or Monogenes) and Aletheia
  • Fourth generation, emanated from Nous and Aletheia:
    • Anthropos (Homo, Man) and Ecclesia (Church)
  • Fifth generation, emanated from Anthropos and Ecclesia:
    • Logos and Zoe
  • Sixth generation:
    • Emanated from Logos and Zoe:
      • Bythius and Mixis
      • Ageratos and Henosis
      • Autophyes and Hedone
      • Acinetos and Syncrasis
      • Monogenes and Macaria
    • Emanated from Anthropos and Ecclesia:
      • Paracletus and Pistis
      • Patricos and Elpis
      • Metricos and Agape
      • Ainos and Synesis
      • Ecclesiasticus and Macariotes
      • Theletos and Sophia

The order of Anthropos and Ecclesia versus Logos and Zoe are somewhat debated, different sources give different accounts. Logos and Zoe are unique to this system as compared to the previous and may be an evolved version of the first, totalling 32 ĉons, but it is not clear if the first two were actually regarded ĉons.

See also

External links

  • Tertullianus account against the Valentinians is the source text for much of what we know about the Ĉons.
  • Corresponding text in original Latin
  • Inenaeus: Against heresies

In the role-playing video game Final Fantasy X, an aeon is a creature that can be summoned by certain player characters and enemies. Aeons roughly equate Guardian Forces (GFs) from earlier Final Fantasy games.

Last updated: 02-02-2005 09:36:19
Last updated: 02-09-2005 13:56:14