Protennoia Tree of Life
The subject matter in this image is complex, only because of the unfamiliarity of the Nag Hammadi Library and the books it contains. Protennoia Tree of Life combines multiple ideas addressed in the Nag Hammadi in regards to the role of Eve and the relationship with the Mother.
24"x40" oil, acrylilc and ink on mylar with fabric
The texts I reference in this painting all derive from the Nag Hammadi books.
The 'Trimorphic Protennoia' means, "The Three-formed (Divine) First Thought" or the "I am" self-predicatory aretalogies. The speaker starts out in the feminine voice, but tells a tell of how she has come different times in history, sometimes male, sometimes female, but she remains predominately female in Spirit, Voice, and Light.
"I am a single one (fem.) since I am undefiled. I am the Mother (of) the Voice, speaking in many ways, completing the All. It is in me that knowledge dwells, the knowledge of (things) everlasting. It is I (who) speak within every creature and i was known by the All. It is I who lift up the Speech of the Voice to the ears of those who have known me, that is, the Sons of Light."
When we read 'On the Origin of the World' we learn that the God who manifest, he was the only God, is not God, but trying to deceive Adam and Eve into being afraid to eat from the trees so they will not learn they can over-power him, or of their superior divinity over him. The Mother takes the form of the tree of knowledge and teaches Eve that she must partake so she can see the truth. Eve then discovers the warning they received from the shadow God was a lie. The shadow God then places the cherubim and flaming sword in front of the tree of life so Adam and Eve cannot become eternal and over throw him.
In this painting, Eve uses the flaming sword of truth to slay the cherubim, that has the image of the shadow God, Yaldabaoth, and she crosses the eternal river and disrobes her ignorance, and earthly form to put on her body of light, as she partakes of the Tree of Life, which the mother so happily gives. In "On the Origin of the World", Christ describes himself as the phoenix in the tree watching over the events. I choose the Sycamore fig fruit for its symbolism of eternal life. The ribbons represent the completed baptisms, or the four elements, their colors reference the colors the four elements represented in the veil of Solomon's temple.