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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shadow

Shadow Called Darkness or The Demiurge

“The immeasurable light is everywhere within it. Outside it, however, is a shadow, and it was called darkness. From it appeared a power over the darkness. And the powers that came into being afterward called the shadow the limitless chaos. From it every kind of deity was brought forth, one after another, along with the whole place. Consequently, the shadow too is subsequent to what “derived from Pistis, whom we have mentioned. The shadow perceived that there was one stronger than it. It was jealous, and when it became self-impregnated, it immediately bore envy. Since that day the principle of envy has appeared in all of the aeons and their worlds. But envy was found to be an aborted fetus without any spirit in it. It became like the shadows in a great watery substance. Then the bitter wrath that came into being from the shadow was cast into a region of chaos. Since that day a watery substance has appeared. What was enclosed in the shadow flowed forth, appearing in chaos. Just as all the useless afterbirth of one who bears a little child falls, likewise the matter that came into being from the shadow was cast aside. Matter did not come out of chaos, but it was in chaos, existing in a part of it.

“Now, after these things happened, Pistis came and appeared over the matter of chaos, which was cast off like an aborted fetus, since there was no spirit in it. For all of that is a boundless darkness and water of unfathomable depth. And when Pistis saw what came into being from her deficiency, she was disturbed. And the disturbance appeared as something frightful, and it fled to her in the chaos. She turned to it and breathed into its face in the abyss, which is beneath all of the heavens. Now, when Pistis Sophia wanted to cause the thing that had no spirit to be formed into a likeness and rule over matter and over all its powers, a ruler first appeared out of the waters, lion like in appearance, androgynous, with great authority within himself but ignorant of whence he came into being.” ~On the Origin of the World

Immeasurable Light

The Immeasurable Light is the spiritual light that originates with God. It is eternal and everywhere in the spiritual universe. It is even found in the material universe, but to a lesser degree because spiritual light and matter are, in a sense, opposites. Matter repels spiritual light as much as it can. But thanks to the birth of the Sun of Righteousness which acts as a sort of doorway between the realms of matter and spirit, that light is now entering into matter more than ever before and slowly transforming the realm of matter back into spirit.

Shadow Called Darkness

From what I see on social media spiritual groups, many people don’t understand what it means when spiritual teachers talk about darkness being evil and light being good. They will immediately respond that light cannot exist without darkness, which is false on all levels, but especially on the spiritual level. But the darkness the spiritual teachers are talking about isn’t simply a matter of physical light being blocked as in an eclipse. The spiritual Light they speak of is the Light of God which is full of truth and knowledge about God, the spiritual universe, and all of reality. The darkness is the opposite of that, specifically, ignorance of God, truth, and reality. I don’t think anyone is so foolish as to claim that intelligence can’t exist without ignorance, likewise, light can exist without darkness. Some might argue that you can’t recognize Light without darkness for contrast. That is simply not the case. People who have near-death experiences often talk about seeing a bright light, so bright they can’t look at it directly. I have never heard one claim that this light is surrounded by absolute darkness for contrast. Only in the physical realm of duality must everything have an opposite. Continue reading “Shadow Called Darkness or The Demiurge”

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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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nag hammadi

Nag Hammadi Library and the Return of Gnosticism

If the Nag Hammadi texts had not been discovered, it is more than probable that the correct renewal of interest in Gnosticism would not have taken place. There will always be those who do not see eye to eye with mainstream ideas, so it is highly unlikely that Gnostic thought would have died out altogether. However, the texts that were found give new impetus to research into the early Gnostics. …

“The perennial questions of life needed answering. ‘How can a good God ________? What if for instance an A-bomb does destroy” Where do you go when you are dead?’ When this is added to the existence of a new freedom, both financial and moral, there was a need for a different way of thinking. … One of the core beliefs of Gnosticism became more prevalent. The only hope for humanity was to acquire the information it needed so that it could perfect itself and evolve out of its current physical state. … People began to realize that we had let the knowledge of our own Christ Consciousness pass us by.” ~Bernard Simon

Nag Hammadi Library

Almost everyone who has the slightest interest in spiritual matters has heard of the Dead Sea Scrolls, but before the discovery of those scrolls, another important library of ancient Gnostic writings was found: the Nag Hammadi Library. Like the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Nag Hammadi books were found in Egypt in 1945. Some of the books include the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Philip. These and other books found were thought to have been completely destroyed by the orthodox Christian church. They are controversial because they contradict many things commonly believed by Christians at that time, and even today despite this finding. They include, for example, a statement that the belief that Mary, mother of Jesus, was a virgin.

The library is a collection of Coptic translations written about 1,500 years ago of even older documents. This puts them among the oldest copies of these gospels and other scriptural writings. But as Mr. Simon notes, their importance may be that they help reawaken interest in Gnostic teachings which help answer so many of the common questions of Christians and others that are not answered in the Bible. Of course, just as with the Dead Sea Scrolls, you need to understand the allegory used or much of the meaning will be lost.

How Can God

Mr. Simon says that the Nag Hammadi library and other Gnostic literature can answer the common question asked by Christians and others: “How can God ________?”. For example, “How can God allow evil in the world?” and “Why does God create death and disease?”. Those questions, and similar ones, are usually answered in the traditional Christian churches with the vague non-answers, “Who are we to understand God?” or “Who are we to question what God does?” While those answers do make a valid point, they don’t satisfy the curious and leave them disappointed. Gnostic scripture does have an answer, and it isn’t vague. The Gnostic answer is that the True God, the God of Spirit, did not create the physical world of matter. The realm of matter was created by the fallen angels known in Gnostic literature as the Demiurge. While there is some difference between various Gnostic sects and schools, they generally do not talk about the Demiurge as a truly evil being or group of beings, but simply beings who made a bad choice, an egotistical choice. Continue reading “Nag Hammadi Library and the Return of Gnosticism”

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