Hylics

Hylics

Hylic from Greek το υλικό for material or, hulikos of matter, is the opposite of psychic, from Greek η ψυχή psyche, soul.

In the Gnostic view, Hylics, also called Somatics (from Gk το σώμα, soma the body or of the body), were the lowest order of the three types of human. The other two were the Psychics and the Pneumatics (from Gk το πνεύμα, spirit, breath). So humanity comprised matter-bound beings, matter-dwelling spirits and the matter-free or immaterial, souls.

Somatics were deemed completely bound to matter. Matter, the material world, was seen as "evil" in the Gnostic world view. The material world was created by a demiurge, in some instances a blind, mad God, in others an army of rebellious angels as a trap for the spiritual Ennoia. The duty of (spiritual) man was to escape the material world by the aid of the hidden knowledge (gnosis).

Somatics were human in form, but since their entire focus was on the material world, such as eating, sleeping, mating, creature comforts, they were seen as doomed. The Pneumatic saw himself as escaping the doom of the material world via the secret knowledge. Somatics were thought to be incapable of understanding.

For consideration of these dynamics see for example, The Gospel of Judas, believed to be a gnostic text, where Jesus is posited as a Pneumatic and the other disciples, non-gnostics, as Somatics.

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