2011/01/21 – The Gnostics

At the same time I was involved with the New Age stuff in my twenties, I became more interested in Gnosticism. It was a broad subject to research, and it took me years to go through all the different schools and movements within Gnosticism. For you that do not know what this Gnostic movement was about, the history books claim that it existed before the time of Christianity, which afterwards became a prominent heretical movement within the 2nd-century Christian Church.

There were all kinds of figures and schools and streams of thought that made up what is called Gnosticism. But there was more or less a thread that ran through most of it: this world of suffering must have been made by angels or an evil or  crazy  God. They did take the cycle of life apart and found that there was nothing “divine” about an existence where life fed off life. Well, nothing “divine” about the physical world, It was considered to be evil. Surely, this evil world must have been created by an evil and incompetent god. So they created metaphysical systems which mapped out and explained how it was done. I won’t go into it here, but all of it is readily available online.

This perspective delighted me because I saw the world in the same way! It was a horrid waste of life and time. Evil always seemed to win out, every time! The people were always slaves and exploited. Kings claimed Divine Right and weak must buckle under to the strong and it’s always been that way. It’s really something that those spiritual rebels were able to see that there was something fundamentally wrong with the set-up in existence. Most other would say, “It’s God’s Will,” and try to justify the bullshit. The Gnostics didn’t. They called out God and they were eventually hunted down and eliminated.

Another aspect of the Gnostics that I liked was their mode of salvation was “knowledge.” Knowledge of what was up was likely to save your immortal soul. The only “sin” they considered of avoiding of course, was ignorance. Ignorance of the insane God that the dupes unwittingly worshipped as the “good” God was likely to get your hide tacked to a metaphysical tree. While I didn’t believe that there existed an evil god that created an evil world, the argument was for me, well played. When I watched the Matrix for the first time, I was convinced it was based on Gnostic themes.

So the program was based on acquiring secret knowledge and self-knowledge. This acquisition of  secret  knowledge appealed to me, too. The jackpot in Gnosticism was a claim that there was a spark of the “True God” of the universe that was secretly inside each being. This idea, and many others would be recycled into Swedenborgian, New Thought and New Age systems 18 centuries later.

For example, the spirit was considered supreme and the body; evil matter. The Gnostics totally rejected the physical as worthless… as an “abortion.” This classic Gnostic idea the Body/Spirit split came from Pythagorean and Orphic religious systems, and was recycled down to us through the centuries until the development of  Theosophy, New Thought and New Age movements.

As I looked at the Gnostics through applying the Equality Equation, it makes sense that the movement died out. The poor Gnostics couldn’t go all the way with their rebellion. They couldn’t go past their perceived need to have a “God” to give a being a proper context. They rejected the God they thought created the world, but still wanted to chase after “Divine things,” variously conceived “higher” “Alien” God that had no part of  creating the world. They couldn’t remove themselves completely from the  God Construct. It was no surprise that the Gnostic faded out and became totally irrelevant. They didn’t have an answer to deal with the world as it was. Their solution was to reject it and unite with their “higher self” to enter Heaven.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to delude myself into believing that by acquiring “secret knowledge,” I could save myself.  It didn’t save the Gnostics because knowledge is limited. I didn’t realize that until all are “saved,” nobody is saved. Or safe. My personal wish to find an answer to the problems of the world did not consider everyone within it, just like the Gnostics. There was something within me that wanted to deal with the world as it is, I just didn’t know how to work it out. It never occurred to me to look at the simple, all-encompassing answer of Universal Equality. Now that I do see it, I can help myself in dealing with this world by showing others the same thing, and for that, I’m grateful for recognizing, before it was too late, the futility of “secret knowledge.”

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