gnosis

Gnosis is Knowing, But We Must Know Gnosis

“Gnosis depends upon distinguishing the psyche, or soul, from the deep self, which pragmatically means that any strengthening of the psyche depends upon acquaintance with the original self, already one with God. Originality is as much the mark of historical Gnosticism as it is of canonical Western literature; that C. S. Lewis simultaneously deprecates both the self and originality confirms the Gnostic negative analysis of those who assert that they live by faith rather than by knowledge. Christian faith is pistis, a believing that something was, is, and will be so. Judaic faith is a trusting in the Covenant. Islam means submission to the will of Allah, as expressed through his messenger, Muhammad, ‘the seal of the prophets.’ But Gnosis is not a believing that, a trusting in, or a submission. Rather, it is mutual knowing, and a simultaneous being known, of and by God.

“I cannot pretend that this is a simple process, it is far more elitist than C. S. Lewis’s ‘mere Christianity,’ and I suspect that this elitism is why Gnosticism always has been defeated by by orthodox Christian faith, in history.” ~Harold Bloom

Knowing is Gnosis

Bloom is writing more as a critic of traditional religion rather than a defender of Gnosticism. That needs to be taken into account when reading his comments on Gnosticism and Gnosis.

Before you can achieve Gnosis, you have to know what Gnosis means. Some say that it simply means knowledge, all knowledge, knowledge of anything. That is incorrect. Knowledge of how to make a chocolate cake is not Gnosis. Knowledge of how to build a house is not Gnosis. The knowledge found in a book is not Gnosis, even if the author of the book was a Gnostic.

Only one kind of knowledge truly qualifies as Gnosis and that is Divine Knowledge. This Divine Knowledge is all Knowledge, true knowledge with no veils, no distortions, no opinions. So the only way to get such knowledge is through a direct connection with higher levels of consciousness and the spiritual beings that live there. The ultimate Gnosis comes when we fully realize our connection to the One Consciousness that is God. That is true Gnosis, and it can only be gained by direct experience, never indirectly by reading books or watching videos. Continue reading “Gnosis is Knowing, But We Must Know Gnosis”

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gnostic thought

Gnostic Thought Reawakened

“Much of Gnostic thought was being incorporated into New Age beliefs – partly because it was so close to the main principles of the Eastern religions and partly, if we are totally honest, because people with Christian ideals did not have to move too far away from their own base. They could explore the new ways of thinking in the name of research.

“At the same time, the new science of sociology was becoming better understood, so its methods could be applied to a culture in order to to discover how groups of people had handled new information and innovative groupings. The dynamics of a group such as the deciples and their charismatic leader – whether he was divine or otherwise – provided a model for understanding the psychology behind the way in which people might get together in order to practice new ways of being. …

“With the translation of some of the Gnostic texts into English the world had access to material that had formed the thought of the early Christian Gnostics. It offered alternatives, perhaps pure, sources that were not colored by the invective of the orthodox Christians. …

“The Gnostic Jesus, far from dying as an atonement for the sins of the world, an act that many might thing was pointless, actually descended from the spiritual realm in order to make information available that was necessary both for self-perfection and for the perfection of the whole human race.” ~Bernard Simon

Gnostic Thought

Exactly what Mr. Simon means by “Gnostic thought” is not clear, but we can guess at some of it. There were many Gnostic groups in early Christianity and many more before Christianity. Just as each Christian church today teaches something slightly different, each Gnostic organization had different teachings. But we can look at just the primary teaching of the majority of those groups. They include:

  • The Loving God Jesus called Father is not the same as the angry, material god of the Jews and some other pre-Christian religions.
  • The world of matter is not the creation of the true God, but of a false god called the Demiurge.
  • Jesus did not redeem us but taught us how we are do redeem ourselves with the help of God.
  • Jesus was the Messiah, not God born as a man.
  • Awakening the spirit and soul is a requirement for redemption and we must each do it ourselves.
  • Only those who do go through the process of awakening the soul—sometimes called “rebirth”—can achieve immortality.
  • Immortality is for the spirit and soul only, never the body.

Continue reading “Gnostic Thought Reawakened”

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fruitive unity

Fruitive Unity With God and the Universe

“Now mark how, in each of our works, we shall go out to meet God, and shall increase our likeness unto Him, and shall more nobly possess the fruitive unity. By every good work, how small soever it be, which is directed to God with love and with an upright and single intention, we earn a greater likeness, and eternal life in God. A single intention draws together the scattered powers into the unity of the spirit, and joins the spirit to God. A single intention is end, and beginning, and adornment, of all virtues. It offers to God praise and honor and all virtues, and it pierces and passes through itself, and all the heavens, and all things, and finds God within the simple ground of its own being. The intention is single which aims only at God and in all things only at their connection with God. The single intention casts out hypocrisy and duplicity and a man must possess it and practice it in all his works above all other things, for it is this which keeps man in the presence of God, clear in understanding, diligent in virtue, and free from outward fear, both now and in the day of Doom.” ~John of Ruysbroeck

Meet God

When Ruysbroeck says we should “go out to meet God,” he isn’t talking about literally moving, but a mental and spiritual moving. He means that in the things we do, we need to think of how doing them serves God. And when they don’t directly serve God, they should at least serve Man in a way that God would want them to. What that means is not always obvious. There are those who are fond of saying “What would Jesus Do?” but in most cases, they have no idea what the answer to that question is. You can’t get the answer from your local preacher or from your brain. The only way to truly know what God wants you to do is to awaken your spirit and soul. Only the soul knows spiritual things, therefore, only the soul knows God and what God wants. We might occasionally guess correctly without awakening the soul, but the only sure way to get it right is to go through the awakening process.

Fruitive Unity

You might think that fruitive unity has something to do with being fruitful, and it can mean that. In this case, however, I think the other definition of “fruitive” applies. It means possessing unity or enjoying unity. But unity can mean many things. Unity with what, or who? Unity with a frog or a tree doesn’t matter. Even unity within your material family is not particularly significant. The fruitive unity Ruysbroeck is talking about is unity with God. That is the only unity that allows you to “meet God” in all that you do. It is the only unity that brings, over time, a complete knowledge of the spiritual realms known as Gnosis. Fruitive unity allows Gnosis to happen. Continue reading “Fruitive Unity With God and the Universe”

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universal knowledge

Universal Knowledge of Matter and Spirit

“Adam was the first inventor of arts, because he had knowledge of all things as well after the Fall as before. … From this cause, it came about that his successors erected two tablets of stone, on which they engraved all natural arts. … Noah found one of these tablets under Mount Ararat, after the Deluge. In this table were described the courses of the upper firmament and of the lower globe, and also of the planets. At length this universal knowledge was divided into several parts. By means of this separation, one man became an astronomer, another a magician, another a cabalist, and a fourth an alchemist. Abraham … carried the art out of the land of Canaan into Egypt, whereupon the Egyptians rose to so great a height and dignity that this wisdom was derived from them by other nations. …

“So it was in the time of Moses when both the priests and the also the physicians were chosen from among the Magi—the priests for the judgment of what related to health, especially in the knowledge of leprosy, Moses, likewise was instructed in the Egyptian schools, at the cost and care of Pharaohs’ daughter, so that he excelled in all the wisdom and learning of that people. Thus to was it with Daniel who … became a cabalist. Witness his divine predictions. … These words can be understood by the prophetic and cabalistic Art. “ ~Paracelsus

Universal Knowledge

I’m not sure why Paracelsus says that Adam was “the inventor of arts,” but doesn’t mention science. Perhaps to Paracelsus it was all the same thing. In any case, I think it is safe to say that if we consider Adam the inventor of arts, we must also consider him the inventor of science. He is, after all, the symbolic first human being.

Paracelsus also says that Adam had knowledge of all things, even after “the Fall,” meaning that he retained heavenly knowledge even after “falling” from the dimension of spirit into the dimension of matter. This was fortunate in one way, for Adam probably would have perished very quickly without that knowledge to help him learn, develop, and feed and care for himself in this new place he was now living. On the other hand, he couldn’t help but be depressed about the situation he was now in while he retained the knowledge and memories of the much greater spiritual worlds. Continue reading “Universal Knowledge of Matter and Spirit”

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