|Keeping true to its Persian Gnostic traditions, Manichaeism’s most important tenet is its dualism. Similar to Mandaeanism, there is Light and Darkness. The Darkness is constantly in conflict with itself. From these two realms comes the temporary universe, which resulted from an attack on the Light from the Darkness.
An important belief in Manichaean teaching is the notion that there is no all-powerful benevolent deity. By denying God’s infinite perfection and power, Mani created a religion that he believed accurately addressed the problem of evil by simply juxtaposing two coequal and opposite powers (Light and Darkness).
The Manichaean human view is also similar to other Gnostic teachings. Mani postulated that humans are the battleground in which the soul represents the Light, and the physical body represents the Dark. Humans are defined by their incorruptible soul. When the soul becomes dominated by a foreign matter (the body), the soul becomes lost. Now, it is the individual’s responsibility to identify themselves with their soul and learn who they really are. This is the Manichaean gnosis.