Ahura-Mazda and Persian Gnosticism

“According to the Persians, there coexisted in eternity two principles. The first of these, Ahura-Mazda, or Ormuzd was the Spirit of Good. From Ormuzd came forth a number of hierarchies of good and beautiful spirits (angels and archangels). The second of these eternally existing principles was called Ahriman. He was also a pure beautiful spirit, but…

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Cathar Beliefs and Practices

“The last surviving ruins of the Cathar Gnostic school in the south of France near Toulouse, in Languedoc, are now a tourist attraction. The so-called sacred mountain of Montsegur and the meadow beneath, the Field of the Burned, were the places where the remnants of the Cathars (Greek for ‘pure’), branded heretics by the Catholic…

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Mystical Saint and the Way to Become One

“The fact that St. Francis wrote little and lived much, that his actions were of unequaled simplicity and directness, long blinded his admirers to the fact that he is a typical mystic: the only one, perhaps, who forced the most trivial and sordid circumstances of sensual life to become perfect expressions of reality. “Now the…

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Gnostic Kabbalah and Spiritual Growth

“By far the most potent contribution that has been made to Jewish thought by Gnosticism is provided by developments in the Kabbalah, a philosophical system which is said to predate any religion. In fact, it only became well known in the twelfth century AD. … In essence, it is thought to be a set of…

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