linking Gnosticism

Linking Gnosticism Joins Past to Present

“If we can find nature’s own coordinate system, we might really be able to bring together the chasm between the humanists and scientists. THAT’S THE VERY ESSENCE OF ALL THE THINGS I’M COMMUNICATING TO YOU ALL HERE. Is there a structure common to both physical and metaphysical reality? … Perhaps there is a structure that is common to both metaphysical and physical reality – Gnosticism. …

“If God were wholly good how could he create a world such as ours?On the other hand, if he were wholly bad then what was the payoff in his creation? It is only when we move away from the idea of religion and get back to the idea of Gnostic thought that we can see how everything ties in together – and how it applies to the present day.

“Briefly, if we look again at the myths of Gnosticism we can remind ourselves that they were tales told to explain certain phenomena. There are many myths, but they all have a central theme: Gnostics believed in the distinction between spirit and matter, the one good, the other evil.They were dualists, although some would reconcile dualism with primitive monism. To all of them, God, pure spirit and supreme good, could have no direct contact with matter and the creation of this present evil world. They provided, therefore, for a succession of emanations from Him. It was thought the Demiurge or creator1, one of the more remote of these emanations, or aeons, that the world came into existence. … Into this world were introduced by a higher aeon sparks of divinity which found lodgment in human beings.” ~Bernard Simon

Linking Gnosticism

While many will, of course, deny it, Gnosticism is the only spiritual and religious philosophy that causes both the realm of matter and the realm of spirit to both exist and both make sense.

I read in spiritual and New Age philosophy groups on social media all the time comments that God cannot be real because the universe—that is, the physical universe—is clearly imperfect. It is full of death, disease, and creatures that must kill each other and eat each other to survive. “How can God have created such a place?”, they ask. There answer is usually that this proves there is no God. Far from it. God is nothing more than the guiding intelligence of the universe in question. If there is no guiding intelligence, then naturally there would be no God. But a total lack of intelligence would mean a completely random world where anything can and will happen. Where if a chicken laid an egg, we would have no idea whatsoever what can of creature may hatch from that egg. (I have gone into this in greater depth in a previous post). But in truth, we can reasonably expect that more than 99% of the time, the egg will hatch a baby chicken. That is not random. And if it isn’t random, it must have intelligence of some sort. That is simple, basic logic. And if there is intelligence in the universe, there must be a top to the pyramid of that intelligence. That top or collective consciousness is what we call God. Yet it should be clear that the physical universe, while intelligent and predictable, is imperfect. It, therefore, must be the product of an imperfect god. That is the one Gnostics call the Demiurge.

Linking to Spiritual Realms

The spiritual realm must be intelligently guided as well. The idea that a random and idiotic realm could be the progenitor of a reasonably intelligent one makes no sense. Especially if we accept that the spiritual worlds are the homes of angels and other higher-level beings than us. But the spiritual world doesn’t have the evil side that the physical world has. It is the creation of the true God, the God of spirit. This is the God that Jesus called father. It is not the angry, jealous god of the Old Testament. Linking Gnosticism helps us link the spiritual to the material world.

Myths of Gnosticism

When Simon talks about the myths of Gnosticism, he doesn’t mean fantasies. Myths can be fantasies, but there are two other types of myths.

One is allegorical stories. These stories may or may not be literally true. That really doesn’t matter. They are not told as history. It is their allegorical meaning that matters. One needs to know the key to the allegory used by a particular school to truly understand it’s writings.

The other kind is stories which are literally true, not intended as an allegory, but are not accepted as truth by the general public. These are labeled as myth by those who don’t accept them. This label is incorrect. Simply because you don’t agree with something doesn’t make it a myth. But the popular churches label much of Gnostic teachings myths, by which they mean lies. They have no proof of that. They label it as such only because it conflicts with their teachings. They have no interest in finding the truth.

Linking Gnosticism Old and New

But the times are definitely changing. More and more people are looking beyond the traditional churches with their dogma to spiritual schools. As a result, Gnosticism is awakening again. So now linking Gnosticism is linking the old mystery schools and Gnostic schools with the spiritual schools of today. Not all of them, of course, but eventually they will all come around.


1 – Creator of the physical world only.

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Gnosticism, Gnostic mysticism

Gnosticism is not Existentialism

“The philosopher Hans Jonas was the first to compare ancient Gnosticism with modern existentialism. (Gnosticism and Modern Nihilism, 1952). For Jonas, the central tenet of both is the entrapment of human beings in a world at odds with their true nature. Jonas emphasizes that the two outlooks are far from identical. In Gnosticism, the world is demonic and hostile; in existentialism it is impersonal and indifferent. In Gnosticism one is presently separated from one’s true self; in existentialism, one has no fixed nature. In Gnosticism this alienation is surmountable; in existentialism it is not. …

“As time goes on, it can be seen that Mankind is ‘in process’. As the various strands of religion (belief) Gnosis (knowledge) and emotions (feeling) are brought together, a much more coherent whole emerges. Segal says: “Whereas Voegelin uses the term “Gnostic” negatively, Jung uses it positively. … Jung applauds Gnostics as budding Jungians.” ~Bernard Simon

Gnosticism

It is interesting that Hans Jonas is said to have compared Ancient Gnosticism with modern Existentialism. This sentence seems to imply that either Gnosticism is something that existed only in the distant past, or that ancient Gnosticism differs significantly from the modern version. The second part of that, I believe, is somewhat true.

While there are different Gnostic groups today just as in the distant past, I think that there is one major difference between the ancient ones and their modern version. The ancient Gnostics of virtually all variations taught that Gnosis, or divine knowledge, came through methods of directly accessing this divine knowledge through the development of the spirit and soul and the gradual achievement of higher and higher levels of consciousness. At least some of the modern ones seem to think they can find that Gnosis in books and ancient writings.

Existentialism

As best as I understand it, which I admit is limited, the Existentialist philosophy is a materialistic one that emphasizes the importance of the individual and the idea that each individual must find his own truth and his own path. It seems that in this philosophy, there are no higher beings to turn to for assistance or advice. Nor, apparently, do they see any advantage in working together with others. His seems far from the ideas of the Gnostics. I really don’t see why anyone would compare the two groups. The only thing they have in common is that they both think the material world is seriously messed up. And they are both right on that. Continue reading “Gnosticism is not Existentialism”

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Gnosticism, Gnostic mysticism

Gnostic Mysticism and the Teachings of Jung

“By developing his system of depth psychology, Jung incorporated certain aspects of the Hermetic tradition. The progressions from Gnosticism and alchemy were seen by him as ‘manifestations of unconscious archetypal elements not adequately expressed in the varying forms of Christianity’. … He saw one of the most important aspects of of the individualization process (the journey toward Self) as the union of opposites. …

“Such a union. Leading to androgyny, would also account for the Gnostic stories about the love and union between Christ and Sophia. … The unions are ‘sacred marriages’ in the drive towards perfection. G. S. Mead makes the point that:

‘Hermes … is practically one of the very numerous permutations and combinations of the Sophia mythos—one of the many settings-forth of the mystic lore of love of the Christ and the Sophia, or Wisdom., of the Son of God and his spouse or sister, the Holy Spirit. … But when we say Gnostic we mean much that is also Hellenic mysticism, and therefore much that is also Hermetic.” ~Bernard Simon

Jung and Gnostic Mysticism

Carl Gustav Jung is one of he most famous psychiatrists and psychologists. He was also a philosopher and student/teacher of mysticism. Especially Gnostic and related teachings. Any student of mysticism or spiritual growth would do well to read some of his books. He coined the word “Synchronicity” for apparent coincidences that are not coincidences at all, but meaningful.

Your cleaning out a drawer and come across an unusual type of battery that you don’t even remember having. Your tempted to throw it away, but decide to put it aside for a while. An hour later, the battery in some device dies, and it needs the battery you just found. That’s an example of synchronicity.

Jung was also big on archetypal symbols and their meaning. I used to write often about the spiritual meaning of symbols, but I don’t do it much anymore.

Gnostic Mysticism and Alchemy

Yes, Gnosticism and alchemy are related, just as Gnostic mysticism is related to the ancient mystery schools of Egypt and Greece. Real alchemy wasn’t about changing base metals into gold. It was about changing the dull consciousness of the average person into the golden Christ Consciousness of the fully awakened. This is what all the Gnostic groups and mystery schools were doing. Continue reading “Gnostic Mysticism and the Teachings of Jung”

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midnight ceremonies

Midnight Madness in Mystery Schools

“An ancient initiate once said that the living are ruled by the dead. Only those conversant with the Eleusian concept of life could understand that statement. It means that the majority of people are not ruled by their living spirits but by their senseless (hence dead) animal personalities. … It was believed that at midnight the invisible worlds were closest to the Terrestrial sphere and that souls coming into material existence slipped in during the midnight hour. For this reason, many of the Eleusinian ceremonies were performed at midnight. Some of those sleeping spirits who had failed to awaken their higher natures during the earth life and who now floated around in the invisible worlds, surrounded by a darkness of their own making, occasionally slipped through at this hour and assumed the forms of various creatures.” ~Manly P. Hall

Ruled by the Dead

Mr. Hall provided an exceptionally short answer to the question of why the Eleusinians said the living are ruled by the dead. Lets elaborate.

First, it is true that most people are ruled by their primitive animal personality, not their spiritual higher self. This is generally not their fault. We come into this world with that primitive self fully conscious, but the spiritual self dormant. The spirit cannot rule while it lies dormant. And few people even try to awaken it. Largely, that is because the powers that be don’t want it awakened. Governments and dark spirits can control the sleeping ones better than those few who awaken. For that reason, they make all effort to stop anyone from engaging in a spiritual awakening process.

Secondly, we are often ruled by the dead because we let our thinking and behavior be controlled by the beliefs of our ancestors. We do have to learn from our parents, of course, but when we teach our young we must be sure to let them know what is definite truth and what is simply opinions and beliefs passed down from generation to generation with little or no proof. Continue reading “Midnight Madness in Mystery Schools”

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