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In Gnosticism, Zoe (Greek: ζωή, "Life") is the a daughter of Sophia (Greek: Σοφíα, "Wisdom") and the creator of Eve. In The Hypostasis of the Archons, Zoe is referred to as "the woman of spirit", "female spiritual presence", and "the instructor".

On the Origin of the World and The Hypostasis of the Archons[edit]

In the Gnostic text On the Origin of the World, Pistis Sophia sent Zoe to Sabaoth, a son of the Demiurge who had recognized and acknowledged Pistis Sophia's role in the cosmos, in order to help and inform Sabaoth. When the Demiurge created death, sin, and misery, Zoe responded by creating virtue and gladness.

The Demiurge eventually realized that it Pistis' reflection he saw and realized that there were beings before him, yet he sought to deny it. The Demiurge demanded that for any beings that had existed before him to reveal themselves, and a light appeared. In On the Origin of the World, this was 'Adam of light", and in The Hypostasis of the Archons, Sophia is the source of the light.

In On the Origin of the World, the Demiurge and the archons then decided to create a man out of earth based on their own bodies and the likeness of "Adam of light" in order to distract "Adam of light".

In The Hypostasis of the Archons, the archons saw Sophia's reflection in water and sought to capture her. The archons built a man from earth, and they modeled him after the reflection of Sophia that they saw. The archons hoped to to use this newly-created male counterpart to lure and ensnare Sophia.

In On the Origin of the World, Sophia Zoe created her own human being in anticipation of the archons' creation so that the being would know how to escape from the material world. This was Eve the beast, or the serpent.

Meanwhile, the archons created Adam. However, this creation was spiritless. Later, Sophia Zoe breathed life into Adam, although Adam could not yet stand up.

Sophia then sent her daughter Zoe to teach Adam. Zoe commanded him to rise up, and Adam did. Adam then called Zoe Eve (mother of all life) due to her giving him life.

The archons saw Zoe and decided to rape and defile Zoe in order to prevent her from returning to the light, to create servants for themselves, and to trick Adam into believing that Eve was creating from him. Zoe blinded the archons and fled into the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. She left a likeness of herself behind in order to trick the archons, and when the archons recovered their vision, they raped this likeness instead of the real Zoe.

In On the Origin of the World, the likeness became pregnant by the archons and gave birth to seven children, including Abel. The likeness was not as wise or intelligent as Zoe, and the archons were afraid that the real Zoe might be residing in the Tree, so they forbid Adam from eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. In The Hypostasis of the Archons, the archons are not stated to be the fathers of any of Eve's children, and Adam is explicitly stated to be father of Abel, Seth, and Noraia.

The beast / serpent (possessed by Zoe) convinced likeness-Eve to eat from the Tree. Eve collected fruit from the Tree and gave some to Adam. They ate the fruit and became knowledgeable, and knowledgeable of their nakedness.

The archons cursed the serpent, Adam, Eve, and their progeny, and they cast Adam and Eve out of Eden in order to prevent them from eating from the Tree of Life.

In On the Origin of the World, Sophia Zoe was displeased at at how the archons cursed Adam and Eve, and she chased them out of the heavens and cast them onto the Earth as demons. She then sent a phoenix to act as a witness.

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