In most forms of Gnosticism secret oral tradition is often associated with accounts of the creation of the world, the experiences of Adam and Eve in the Garden, and the fall of man. It is usually in this creation setting or in a temple or on a mountaintop that Gnosticism places the revelation of the esoteric mysteries and the knowledge needed to thwart the archontic powers and return to God.
Gnosticism is primarily concerned with the questions, Who am I? Where am I from? and What is my destiny? That the answers to these questions are often associated with the creation, the Garden, and the fall of man is probably due to the Gnostic presupposition that the end of all things is to be found in their beginning. Of those documents which manifest this concern, the Nag Hammadi Apocalypse of Adam is perhaps the prime example.