Modern Gnosticism

This thread has some free ranging discussion covering some classic forum topics, such as alchemy.
hey here is some gnosis for ya, that crash at Roswell decades ago, it was a deep space satellite that returned to earth at its programmed time. It was a probe sent out deep into space by a lost civilization of beings that inhabited the Earth. Yeh that is right people we are not even close to the most advanced beings to live here. Shoot we probably aint the most advanced being here right now. With science proving the possibility of just how much can be achieved with research, it kinda takes away some of the supposed mystery of god or the gods. Time travel, scalar tech, life extension genetics, teleportaion, and hey even the 11th dimension (akashik records). If God the Fathers ways are mysterious then i would venture to say thath there must be ways beyond our scientists understanding. I mean if people who dont believe in god or gods can believe in all possibilities in physics in our physical world, the Father must be far beyond this physical universe and the understanding of its ways. I think we may be on the verge of pulling back the curtain and seeing the wizard who lives in ignorance of the Father.
Hi Friends,

I am interested in modern Gnosticism, trying to get a handle on what Gnostics today believe, or exactly how Gnosticism influences their life. I've read various wiki articles, but I am more interested in what individual Gnostics think. Here is a response from someone on another forum who identifies himself as a Christian Gnostic. Is this something you agree with?

Thank you,

I consider myself a Christian Gnostic, BUT with a slightly modern enlightened view.
I will let you be the judge.
I will start from the beginning.

Genesis 1 (the most high) Elohim made "Has'samayim" (the Heavens) and "Ha'ares" (the Earth) with everything in it, in a 7 "Yom", 13.8 billion period of time (not days).
Including both males and females.
1)the point being that both male and female are represented as being Elohim's true image.

Genesis 2, Yahweh comes on the scene copy creating "Eres" (land) and "Wesamayim" (sky) in a place called the Garden of Eden.
Yahweh then makes Adam from dirt and fools the (most high) Elohim to breathe life into it.
Yahweh doesn't possess an eternal spirit and is therefore unable to make Adam move from of the ground and make him fully alive.
(The most high) Elohim spirit takes pity on Adam and touches him from within, making Adam a living soul.
2)the point is that Adam although a clever copy of surrounding homosapiens is now also with (a) a soul and (b) that soul made alive by (the most high) Elohim.
3) Yahweh is only able to replicate a male form offspring because he isn't the true god.
4)Adams offspring mixes and mingles with the local communities in the surrounding area's, resulting in the mixed homosapien and Adamic race of the fertile crescent.

These are my basic foundation believes about how we as humans have come to be on this earth and the rest of my Gnostic believes are build on it.

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I'm pretty happy to find a thread with other Gnostics here, even if it's an old one, just because it can show you that there's more diversity in Gnostic thought than just what I subscribe to. Even though this thread is nearly 15 years old, I think the conversation is still a decent one and I think I have some things to add. As @Gnosticer said, Gnosticism has a lot of variation between sects and finding a genuine consensus is a tall order.

"God is infinite and essentially unknowable to the limited human mind."

I agree with this.

"The material world is not as real as the spirtual world, our spirit is trapped and blinded by the material. (See The Matrix for a good example of the "illusion of the world".)"

I disagree with this. I think they're both equally "real." The problem is that our spirit is alienated here. We aren't supposed to be in the material world. Our true home is in the Fullness.

"Through personal spiritual effort we can re-gain the knowledge of our place within God (gnosis) and free ourselves of material illusion."

I disagree with this, too. I think that effort is required, but not sufficient. It is only though the grace of Barbelo that we can attain salvific gnosis.

Gnosticism isn't a religion, it's a method. It transcends religions for that reason. It is a means of taking an interior journey to find one's "self." Modern Gnosticism is more closely related to psychology, linguistic philosophy and anthropology then it is with religion. Indeed, I have been helped in my journey by reading Friedrich Neitzsche, Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell as much as any recognized "religious" text. I prefer the language of Christianity (my favorite ancient Christian text is the Gospel of Thomas) because I am most comfortable with having grown up in an "orthodox" Christian culture - but I was unable to ascertain its meaning for me until I walked away from it and began studying other myths. I am also very fond of the Tao Te Ching.

Gnostic myths are not to be taken literally. They are vehicles to aid in the inward journey and not an end in themselves. Consequently, it is not accurate to say "Gnostics believed Jesus was this . . . " or "Gnostics believed the existence of a 'demiurge' . . ." in the same sense that we talk about followers of a religion "believing" in the tenets of a particular faith.

I disagree that Gnosticism is more closely related to psychology, philosophy, and anthropology than religion. I really don't think that Friedrich Nietzsche, Carl Jung, or Jospeh Campbell fully understood Gnosticism or, if they did, I feel like they actually parted from Gnosticism a great deal. Jung in particular shies way too much from the actual religious parts of Gnosticism, interpreting every figure as a psychological archetype and every spiritual place as a metaphor. I don't think this is accurate. I do think that the ancient Gnostics genuinely believed in many supernatural forces and in an afterlife and in a literal, metaphysical dualism between spirit and matter.

I do agree that the myths are highly esoteric and metaphorical and that they're meant to aid an orthopraxy rather than dictate a strict orthodoxy.

Indeed, the Gnostic doesn't suggest, as do Creationists, that things just simply appeared (some 4000 years ago, or what-have-you). Rather, the emanation, or work of the Demiurge, occurred according to a PROCESS ... which is described in some detail in the Kabbalah, from what I gather - yet is certainly given in detail by various Theosophical authors, these resonating considerably with the Neo-Platonics (eg, Plotinus) in their explanations.

Personally, I don't see the emanations as occurring at some point in the past. I see them as something that is actively happening. The emanations represent, to me, the steps to achieving salvific gnosis in backwards order. By ascending them, we recede back into ourselves and approach the divine. I don't see them as literal stages of physical creation.

This came to me on the road, and I am well aware it reads like a 'trick question', but I think it is valid nonetheless.

If the Gnostic believes in the 'free thinking' expression of spiritual realities in terms of a mythic cosmology ...

... why then does he insist that another's doctrine must equally be a mythic cosmology? Why cannot it be a literal reality, that encompasses the mythic and the metaphorical?

Thomas, this is a great question! I probably would have asked the same thing. The answer is that, in reality, there are really only two forces or substances in Gnosticism; spirit and matter. Everything else can be seen as an "aspect" of these forces. There are many ways to divide them and I'd wager that none are really more accurate or valid than another. Even in Sethianism, we have a variety of different names and divisions that vary not only from text to text, but change over time, too.

As such, I do think that there are ways that one could approach Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. and still arrive at gnosis. The cruxpin for me is asceticism and a form of meditation where one "lets go of" or "tunes out" the material world and the individual. These are practices that I think most mystical traditions share in some form. Gnosticism is just one expression of that.

I think it's useful to have a specific and rigid expression to follow. I disagree with many Gnostics in this thread that promote finding one's own way. I think a road map can only be developed by someone who has already walked it and I think reinventing the wheel just makes travelling the path more difficult.

Gnosis is a natural function of the consciousness, a Perennis et Universalis Philosophy.

True gnosis is found when those artifacts within one’s psyche or soul that normally distort the image of truth are removed in either a temporal or absolute fashion. When the true nature of reality can be direct experienced: this is Gnosis. Gnosis is undoubtedly direct mystical experience of the ultra. It is absolutely clear, profound and inexorably shakes the very foundations of one’s inner constitution.

Gnosis means knowledge, yet not intellectual knowledge. As astounding as it may sound, anyone can study the scriptures, even “Gnostic” scriptures, and not have an inkling of true gnosis. Likewise, a strictly intellectual study of such scriptures as Gospel of Thomas, The Thunder Perfect Mind, or The Pistis Sophia (Books of the Savior) is similar to someone attempting to reconstruct a meal from the ashes of a stove. The Bread of Wisdom is found in the Heart. The Doctrine of the Heart is gnosis. The Doctrine of the Eye is everything else.

Those who have nourished themselves on the Heart Wisdom intuitively understand the sublime truths of ancient texts even though no empirical evidence can prove to those who follow the Doctrine of the Eye of such truths. Jesus, throughout the Bible, is always condemning the Pharisees because they are the ones who are following the Doctrine of Eye. They don’t understand Jesus because he was teaching the Doctrine of the Heart.

Many people believe in God, yet who has really experienced this intelligence? Many people believe in the subtle bodies and the higher planes yet how many of us have directly left their physical body and experienced the Heavens? Many believe of the Masters of humanity, yet how has spoken with them?

Many people hold on to very incipient and nominal experiences as if they were the absolute experience of the transcendental. I do not want to underestimate such these experiences, yet I think many people accidentally, haphazardly experience something and suddenly feel as if they have been enlightened with gnosis. There is a level of gnosis there, in these random experiences; yet we (Gnostics) need to be more profound in these studies. Let us go much deeper into meditation, transform the vague into the precise. The light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness does not understand. So you must go deeper. The Light is the awakened consciousness, the darkness is the unconsciousness. Thus, to enlighten one’s self is to give gnosis to one’s self.

Because few people who study the Gnostic scriptures actually have any real gnosis, the interpretations of their doctrines have been very limited. People believe that the Demiurge is some insane God that is living in the outside world. Yet, the real Demiurge lives within one’s own self. The false creation of the Demiurge is one’s ego; the Demiurge is you and I.

The Twelve Repentances of Sophia is directly related with the Twelve Labors of Hercules, the Twelve Hours of Apollonius, and the Twelve Keys of Basil Valentine. Thus, these repentances are something that one must work in order to perform within each one of us.

The 13 Aeons are directly related with the 12 plus one, that is to say, 10 emanations plus the three aspects of the absolute (Ain, Ain Soph, Ain Soph Aur). This invites us to reflect on the profound kabbalistic symbolism that no scholar I have ever seen even suspect. Who really knows what the 13 Aeons are? The empirical scholars do not know, they only debate and speculate; where is the gnosis they study so much about? Anyone who studies their own inner self knows very well.

The Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden is the Tree of Gnosis. Under this tree Satan (Demiurge-Logos) tempted Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. The mystery of the cooperative antaganism of Christus-Lucifer is being displayed here. Lucifer (Carrier of Light) is what gives light, knowledge (gnosis) yet only when one overcomes him, like in the story of Job. But in story of Adam and Eve, they did not overcome, thus they fell into the opposite of gnosis: ignorance.

Daath in the Kabbalah means Knowledge, Gnosis. Daath is the hidden knowledge or gnosis. Daath is related with the Seal of Solomon (The Star of David) which itself is tantric knowledge. Remember that tantrism is not coition per se, yet, certainly the phenomena arising from intercourse is obviously tantric. The cross on which Christ saves is tantric, the cross is where knowledge, gnosis forms. This is why “Adam knew Eve” in the sexual act. The tantric-gnostic crossing of Wisdom and Compassion is the foundational basis of Buddhism, the crossing of Imagination and Willpower through skillful means is the basis of meditation.

Redemption is within gnosis because it is under the Tree of Gnosis that one fell into ignorance (without gnosis). With ignorance, Buddha said, comes suffering. This is why Buddha meditated under the Tree in order to awaken from ignorance. Gnosis is the auto-discovery of one’s own self. The wisdom of the Word is stored within your own subconsciousness. Liberating the Word allows one to utter the mystery. I am speaking in code, what this means is related with the fact that God speaks in order to create. Remember, Daath is located at the larynx of God. The larynx of God is like a uterus that fecundates the Verb through the Waters of Life. God said through his masculine principle, “Let there be light!” and then it was reflected back through his feminine principle, “And there was light!” This is tantric, this is gnosis. This is why the highest levels of Buddhism are tantric. This is what created the universe, thus to gain gnosis is to understand not only your self, but that which your self is a reflection of, all of Creation.

This is such a brilliantly succinct way of putting it. I am delighted to find and read this. I agree wholeheartedly with pretty much everything here, except that I see the serpent in Eden as Christ and the Tree of Knowledge to be salvific. I would also say that one's "self" should not be mistaken as one's "individual" but, similar to Advaita Vedanta, the true self here is the One which we are all a part of.

Other than that, I agree with a lot of the symbolism and correspondences that you give here. I'm glad that somebody else has seen the same thing that I do.
William Kingsland was as much a theosophist as a gnostic, there is little difference though. At any rate here is his last work on Gnosis in Christianity.\

"It is only the man who knows how little he knows, and the necessity of knowing more if he would escape from the present deplorable condition of mankind, and recover his divine birthright as a "Son of God," who can, or will, reach out for that supreme knowledge, that "pearl of great price " which can be obtained only when he has "sold all that he had." Of this more hereafter; but I may remark here that this and other similar parables clearly show Jesus to have been an Initiate in the Ancient Wisdom or Gnosis."
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