The most important injunction on the spiritual path of the ancient Mysteries was ascribed over the sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi: Gnothi Seauton— "Know Thy Self." The initiates of the ancient Mysteries were after Gnosis, which meant the knowledge of self knowledge, the knowledge of the “Who Am I?”.
They used to say: “Whoever has not known himself has known nothing, but he who has known himself has at the same time already achieved Gnosis about the depth of all things. In an early Christian Gnostic book entitled the Testimony of Truth, Jesus advises a disciple to become "a disciple of his own higher mind," and continues to say that one’s higher mind is "the father of Truth." Elsewhere, The Gnostic sage Silvanus encourages his disciples in this way: “Knock on yourself as upon a door and walk upon yourself as on a straight road. For, if you walk on the road, it is impossible for you to go astray. Open the door for yourself so that you may know what is.”
But what is the Self? The ancient sages taught that every human being has a mortal lower self, called the eidolon and an immortal Higher Self (Soul) called the DAEMON. The eidolon is the embodied self, the physical body, and ego personality. The Daemon is the Spirit, the true Self, which is each person's spiritual connection to God. The Mysteries were designed to help initiates realize that one’s eidolon is a false self and that one’s true identity is the immortal Daemon.
From the eidolon's point of view the Daemon appears to be an independent Guardian Angel. Disciples and seekers who still identify with the eidolon, therefore, do not experience the Daemon as their own true Self, but as a spirit guide, whose job it is to lead them to their spiritual destination – hence it is a separate entity that entices them to advance and awake to their true essence. Plato teaches: "We should think of the most authoritative part of the Soul as a Guardian given by God which lifts us to our heavenly home."
The Gnostic sages of the past taught exactly the same Mystery doctrine. Valentinus, a gnostic sage who lived in Alexandria explains that a person receives Gnosis from their Guardian Angel, or Daemon but that this angelic being is actually the seeker's own Higher Self or Soul. In ancient Egypt the Daemon had for millennia been pictured as a Heavenly Twin of the eidolon. This image is also found in Gnosticism. The Gnostic sage Mani was said to have been conscious of having a protecting angel from the age of four and, at aged 12, to have realized it was his Heavenly Twin, whom he called the "most beautiful and largest mirror image of my own person. " In the gnostic version of The Acts of John, John observes that Jesus sometimes held conversations with a Heavenly Twin who descended to join him: He says: “When all of us, his disciples, were sleeping in one house at Gennesaret, I alone, having wrapped myself up, watched from under my garment what he did; and first I heard him say, "John, go thou to sleep," and thereupon I pretended to be asleep; and I saw another like unto him come down, whom I also heard saying to my Lord, "Jesus, do the ones that you have chosen still not believe in you?" And my Lord said, " You say well, for they are men."
As a comment, we could faintly enter into the mystery of the two complementary aspects of our pure Being, and understand the real meaning of the mystery of Jesus Christ …in other words what the Acts of John is hinting…which is the TWIN aspects of the One and unique Essence of Being. Hence the One Essence projects a part of Itself into the world of duality and seems to become two - A part incarnating as the consciousness of divinity in human beings – this means that the initiate becomes a pure reflection and mirror “Jesus” in which the part of himself that never incarnates appears…that is the Presence of the Christ Consciousness… a level of consciousness that goes beyond the world of creation and duality.
The Pistis Sophia relates a charming myth of the child Jesus meeting his own Heavenly Twin for the first time. His mother Mary recalls: “When you were a child, before the Spirit had descended upon you, when you were in the vineyard with Joseph, the Spirit came down from the height, and came unto me in the house, like unto thee, and I knew Him not, but thought that he was you. And he said unto me, "Where is Jesus, my brother, that I may go to meet him?"
Mary relates to Jesus that when his Twin finally found him, "He embraced you and kissed you, and you also did kiss him and you became one and the same being."
The goal of Gnostic initiation was, likewise, to bring the lower self into union with the Higher Self or Soul, for it is when they are made one that enlighten¬ment occurs. Irenaeus relates that the Gnostic "believes himself to be nei¬ther in heaven nor on earth, but to have embraced his Guardian Angel." The great Gnostic master Valentinus writes: When the human self and the divine "I" are interconnected they can achieve perfection and eternity.
THE UNIVERSAL DAEMON
'The quest for Self-knowledge leads the ancient or Gnostic initiate on a remarkable journey of discovery. At first initiates experience themselves as the eidolon, the embodied personality, and see the Daďmon as a Guardian Angel or Heavenly Twin. The more mature initiate, experiences the Daemon as a higher manifestation of their own Higher Self or Soul. To those blessed with the final vision of complete Self-knowledge or Gnosis, the Daďmon is found to be more awesome still. It truly is the "divine I,” the Essence that has no appearance and yet takes all kinds of appearances in the world of creation. Valentinus puts it like this: “Although it appears as if each person has their own Daďmon or Higher Self, the enlightened initiate discovers that actually on the axial Pole of Being there is one Daďmon shared by all, a universal Self, which inhabits every being. Each Soul is a part of the one Soul of God. To know oneself therefore is to know God.
These mystical teachings are found both in the ancient Mysteries of Egypt, Greece and in the early Gnostic Christianity. In the ancient Mysteries the initiates used to say: "I am Thou, and Thou art I" and it can also be found in the Gnostic text of the Pistis Sophia and in the New Testament in Gospel of John, we read: " I in Thou, and Thou in me." (I in you and you in me.)
The Pagan sage Sextus writes: "If you would know Him by whom you were made, you would know yourself." Similarly, the Christian philosopher Clement writes: "It is the greatest of all disciplines to know oneself; for when a man knows himself, he knows God." Clement taught his Christian initiates to "practice being God" and that the true Gnostic had "already met God.
Gnostic means "Knower," but it is not some piece of spiritual information that Gnostic initiates know. They “know” because it is their Higher Self that Knows… Hence they are conscious that they are not the ones who know, the ones who experience, it is the Soul, the Higher Self within, the divine "I," the Daemon who KNOWS! The Daďmon communes on the Axial Pole of Being – the Pole of pure Consciousness. The true Gnostic, like the enlightened initiate of the ancient Mysteries, discovers that the Daemon is actually the one Soul of the Universe — the pure level of Consciousness that inhabits each one of us. According to the ancient Gnostic sages who have traversed the path of Self-knowledge and reached enlightenment, when, we finally discover who we are, we discover that there is only one Perfect Being, one God.