Gnosis – The Secret Teachings of All Ages. The true inner secrets are known by those who ascend by the regular practice of meditation into an illumined state. Gnosis is a Greek word which means to know. The true inner secrets are known by those who ascend by the regular practice of meditation into an illumined state? Secret is concerned with this knowledge. What secret knowledge could be any greater than this? HIDDEN KNOWLEDGE-THE KEY THAT UNLOCKS THE SPIRIT
The true inner secrets are known by those who ascend by the regular practice of meditation into an illumined state . … Gnosis is a Greek word which means to know.
Gnostics claim to know God and it is reasonable to assume that the Great Secret is concerned with this knowledge.
Secret is concerned with this knowledge. What secret knowledge could be any greater than this? Gnostics have kept the secret alive in their writing, in stories, in mysteries and in parables. This was the way they taught their new initiates, with these stories that were designed to highlight the secret wisdom.
First , gnosis connotes the state of possessing secret , sacred knowledge , and the Greek gnosis , “ knowledge , ” equates a specific kind of knowledge and salvation.
While the Gnostics valued and appreciated the world of the spiritual creator God, they believed that the demiurge had fabricated the material world precisely to prevent humans from understanding and knowing the true creator God. The physi-cal world was a trap that caused a seeming narcosis, or a sleep state, among humans. Gnosis, true knowledge and insight, be-gan when the stupor induced by the demiurge was overcome. That awakening required a savior who would come to release the Gnostics from their stupor of materiality. The savior’s work was to proclaim the existence of the spiritual world and the reality of the true, spiritual God. This proclamation was a clarion call to throw off the dulling effects of material existence and to begin to pursue the way to true, spiritual knowledge.
HIDDEN KNOWLEDGE-THE KEY THAT UNLOCKS THE SPIRIT
But how to do this? How could the Gnostics transcend their materiality and ascend to the higher, more spiritual world? The demiurge locked their true spiritual selves behind the door of materiality. Once the Gnostics had the proper key to unlock that door, they could enter the truly spiritual world. The key was gnosis, secret and mysterious knowledge.
But what was this hidden knowledge knowledge? Each Gnostic system answered that question in different ways.
True knowledge was deposited in the sacred scriptures, the Bible. So much of Gnostic knowledge emerged from the interpretation of specific biblical passages.
When properly interpreted, these biblical passages (and many others as well) provided the Gnostic with the saving knowledge that would thwart the demiurge.
That knowledge also involved the recognition that the mind needed to be awakened from its material stupor before it could be connected to the truly spiritual world and to the divine mind that created it. Theological anthropology, the religious under-standing of the nature of the human being, provided the rationale. Human beings consisted of body, soul (psyche), and spirit (pneuma).
Gnostics believed that only the spirit, not the soul, could intuit the divine realm. Therefore, the body needed to be trained to submit to the soul, and the soul, in turn, to sub-mit to the spirit, which connected the human to God. Gnostics often described this process as discovering and following a “divine spark” that resided in the person, a divine spirit that, properly understood, would lead to true knowledge of self and of the true God.
To defeat the demiurge and gain access to the divine mind of God, Gnostics also required up-to-date “scientific” knowledge, which they gleaned from cosmology, astrology, demonol-ogy, angelology, medicine, physics, mathematics, geometry, and sophisticated interpretations of the scriptures (remember, the “scientific method,” with its objective proofs and experimenta-tion, was still more than a thousand years in the future.
As for those ignorant unfortunates who were oriented only to the body and the soul, not to the divine spirit, many of them found much to resent in the Gnostic? smug sense of election. Resentment of the Gnostics’ seemingly arrogant presumption, as much as any doctrinal issues, fueled the intense opposition that would eventually drive them underground. Often these themes of the Gnostic call, the spark of knowl-edge, and the Gnostic election coalesce in Gnostic sayings. The following saying from the Gospel ofTbomas reads almost like a Gnostic creed:
Jesus said, if interested people say to you, From where do you comer reply to them, ‘We come from the light, from the place where the light created itself use!! and appeared in its own image.’ If they hey ask futher, Are you the light?’ reply to them, ‘We are its children, and we are the elect of the living Father.’ If they ask you for proof that the Father dwells in you, answer them in this way, It is motion and rest’ ” – THE GOSPEL OF THOMAS
The hytic person was completely oriented toward the mate-rial world. The hylic person had no intimations of the divine spark, could not hear the call of the Savior, and was completely Lacking in the insight or knowledge to begin an ascent toward the divine. The hylics was asleep and unaware, completely en-trapped in the material world. Hylics existed as animated corpses, or as brute beasts, unable to understand either theta-selves or others, and they certainly could not comprehend the nature of God. The psychic person was one step beyond the hylic.
The psychic person had an inkling that the spiritual and divine realm existed. Psychic people knew enough to understand that the material world debilitated them, but not enough to perceive the divine spark, or to hear the call of the Savior, or to begin to ascend. Gnostic Christians considered regular churchgoing Christians to be psychic Christians. The psychic Christians at least knew that there is more to life than mere appearance and materiality, but they did not know how to transcend them. The Gnostic was a pneumatic person.
These people understood their election to ascent; they recognized the interior di-vine spark. They had heard the Savior’s call, and they oriented themselves completely to their ascent to the divine realm. The pneumatics alone understood the true nature of the world as a demiurgk imitation of the true spiritual world of God. They alone pursued the knowledge necmary to progress through the cosmos toward divine union. Gnostics were by nature pneumatics; all other people must be either psychics or hylics.
For our purposes, the defining characteristic of Gnosticism was its focus on the discovery of hidden knowledge and hidden “Truth.
The more general term, gnosis, refers to “knowledge of the divine mysteries reserved for an elite.’ Indeed, for Gnostics, the discovery of secret knowledge was more important than faith and held the ultimate key to spiritual enlightenment.
Luke 11:52 says; “Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.”
Gnosticism. -. the. Search. for. secret. Knowledge. “Gnosticism. is. a. quest. for. redeeming. knowledge. and. a. quest.
Rather than attaining gnosis through a “letting go” (of ego, of attachments, of fear), the Gnostic on the journey to the Pleroma must exert tremendous will and perseverance and obtain special knowledge. The ignorant ones, those who weren’t even aware of the need for gnosis in order to be saved, are doomed to oblivion.
The biggest stumbling block of ancient Gnosticism (or at least of any dogmatic reading of it, whether ancient or modem) was the self-fulfilling alienation built into its very structure. Rather than seeing the universe at root as fundamentally benign—the common perception of the mystic suffused with divine love—the Gnostic perceived it as an enormous illusion that one must see through.
Our souls hunger for a union with the divine and for a sense of wholeness where both feminine and masculine qualities can be embraced. Sophia is still alive in our efforts to find the divine spark amidst the darkness of daily life. The Archons confront us in the form of social strictures and pressures that do not always have our best interests in mind. And the Demiurge lives on when we succumb to rigid concepts of God and religion that haven’t been confirmed by our own living experience.
Many Christians insist that being “born again” is essential for salvation, yet few seem to know what this rebirth entails. It seems to have something to do with “accepting Jesus in your heart,” but is that all?
Does it mean anything more than going to the front of the hall after a moving evangelical performance? Esoteric Christianity also stresses the need to be ‘born again,” but it sees this process as both subtler and more demanding than many believe. According to Boris Mouravieff, the “second birth” requires an enormous amount of work, “much greater than that required for example from the student from the time when he starts his elementary education until he obtains his doctorate. To understand why the ‘second birth” takes so much effort, we might begin by going back to Christ’s famous words: “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5).
The lowest level is that of the fleshly, or, as the King James Version puts it, “carnal” man, the one who is ruled by the body’s desires and aversions: ‘For whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal?” (1 Cor. 3:3).
The second level is that of the soul—the parchie, or, as we might say today, the “psychological.” The King James Version translates the Greek word prychikos as ‘natural’ (see, e.g., 1 Cor. 15:44). While this usage may seem misleading, it is less so if we regard this level as being occupied with what is naturally human—the emotions and the intellect. One of the most universal symbols for the psyche is water, an image that reflects the flowing, liquid, turbulent quality of the mind.
The third level is the spiritual (Greek, pneumatilios). The spirit is, to use a contemporary catchword, “transpersonal”: It has to do with the eternal and unchanging, with what is Far beyond mere desires, thoughts, and emotions. More profoundly, it is the true Self, that in us which at the deepest possible level says, “I am.” It is also the part that reaches toward God.
Secret knowledge, which is a meditation technique or prayer that allows one to have a direct experience of God, just as Gnostics have always maintained, but, furthermore, access to God allows one to develop to a much higher spiritual level, attaining the Holy Grail and through that, spiritual immortality. The barriers that prevent one from reaching a higher level of consciousness are a lack of self-awareness and the way the ego defends itself, being the biggest obstacle to the process one has to face. Another obstacle is the lack of a concept to grasp the meaning, and the notion of a bodymind bridged the gap between Western head centred philosophy and the secret process that allows the mental leap to become possible.
The name Gnostic means wisdom, or knowledge, and is derived from the Greek Gnosis. The members of the order claimed to be familiar with the secret doctrines of early Christianity. They interpreted the Christian Mysteries according to pagan symbolism. Their secret information and philosophic tenets they concealed from the profane and taught to a small group only of especially initiated persons.
The Christ is the first Eon or generation; from him proceed others, by syzygies or pairs, till the void be-comes pleroma or fullness. It is not easy to make a statement that will apply equally to, all the heretical gnostics, nor is it easy to say what was their precise meaning, but it is not unlikely that their ‘Eons were personified abstractions, or the intellectual and moral virtues which go to make up the perfect gnostic, or man perfected in the gnosi8 or spiritual science, and their teaching when expressed in plain language, without metaphor, and understood in re-lation to the several processes by which the gnostic is able to arrive at perfect science, was really less a ‘,surd than it would seem. They probably did not differ much, save in their symbolism, from modern transcendentalists. Their genuine successors in history are the old Alchemists, who meant by the philosopher’s stone very much what the gnos-tics meant by the means by which one attains to the rode, or _perfect science.
The Gnostic Jung
To understand being alone in the true sense, is to unlock one of the greatest mysteries of and keys to the heavens … When isolation strikes the heart, it is a sign that the soul is being brought to another test and crossroad of life. The question arises: Will the individual drop the state of consciousness that is causing the aloneness, brought on by the Divine Spirit, allowing its loving hand to caress the heart; or will he seek refuge and comfort from the ruthlessness of Spirit through the material worlds.
Each time the despair came over me, the Spirit was handing me a choice. I could choose to indulge myself in the loneliness and wallow in it, which would not have done my situation any good, or I could set my pain aside and look to what the Spirit was trying to express to me . . . all hopes of happiness seemed to be gone for ever. Then I heard its sweet melody—the sound of the flute—sharply singing in my head. Immediately, the pain and despair left me; instantly, I understood loneliness. The dull pain of isolation was caused by the tight grasp with which I held onto the things of my past, which previously provided me happiness. I had lost all material joys of that lifetime. However, by accepting the greater joys of the Spirit, I was able to accept the universal love of life—even for those who were my captors. In doing so, the fist that tightly held at my heart, loosened its grip, enabling me to become one with the Spirit. Ultimately, we face (God) alone. It is only while alone that we void ourselves of that which we would grasp and cling to, in hopes of gaining happiness. And it is only when we are empty and alone that we can open ourselves entirely to the outpouring of Spirit. When loneliness appears in its foreboding, hooded shroud, know that with it will come a new fulfilment of love and light.
Gnosticism conceived of the true god as purely transcendental, absolutely surpassing the sphere of heimarmene, the sublunar reality where dark powers rule over our bodies. The highest god does not intervene in this world by force, as the demiurge does, but by revealing secret knowledge (gnosis) to remind fallen souls of their divine identities. According to its opponents, Gnosticism connected this view of the world to a soterio-logical determinism. The Gnostics believed they were saved by nature, because of the identity of their souls with the highest god.”) As long as they were in this world, they only had to resist the power of evil that intended to harm them through the body. God was on their side, but they had to suffer the onslaughts of the demiurg until its final defeat.”