GNOSIS


Copyright 2000

Church of the New Covenant in Christ

All Rights Reserved

 

GNOSIS—DIVINE KNOWLEDGE

Gnosis is experiential knowledge.  True gnosis cannot be learned through study but only through experiencing its reality.  This is the reason gnostic texts say,

 

Don't seek the Law [“the Law” refers to the Eternal Sea, the Divine Reality which is behind the illusions of mortal existence] only in your scriptures, for the Law is Life, whereas, the scriptures are only words.  I tell you the truth when I say that Moses did not receive the greater Law from the Eloheim in writing, but through the living word.  The Law is living word, of living Gods, to living prophets, for living mortals.  (Communion with the Angel of Life) Holy Wisdom, you give us the understanding that unfolds continuously and endlessly, yet is not acquired through the study of the scriptures, but through the study of Light.  (Communion with the Angel of Wisdom)

 

Studying the scriptures is a process requiring the utilization of our physical senses.  Learning through our physical senses is a valuable part of our search for gnosis, but it can never carry us to the end of our quest.  To arrive at our goal, we must transcend the limitations of our physical senses and experience the Reality in which we exist.  Modern science tells us that as basic a concept as “solid” is really an illusion.  Those things we call solid are mostly empty space, and even the atoms and molecules of which we perceive them to be constructed are illusions formed by vibrating strings.  Gnosis carries us beyond such illusions of our mortal existence as we experience the Reality that generates them.  The acquisition of this knowledge of Reality is not only exciting for its own sake, but even more because its effect is the transformation of our minds so that as our perceptions penetrate deeper into Ultimate Reality we are enabled to commence living in that Reality. 

 

AQUIRING GNOSIS TRANSFORMS MORTAL MIND

How can our minds be transformed so that we perceive the Reality in which we exist instead of the illusions of mortal existence?  There is no simple answer to this question because we are discussing a complex process.  Briefly stated, however, it is ignorance that keeps us in bondage to the archons [psychological forces] of mortal existence.  Gnosis dispels ignorance, freeing us to undertake and complete the process of deification, the development of our ultimate potential. 

Then Jesus said to those who believed in him, “If you continue to acquire gnosis through me and live by the principles I teach, you will be my true disciples.  Then you will learn of Truth, and Truth will set you free.   ***  I tell you the truth when I say that ignorance makes a person a slave of darkness,” explained Jesus.  “The Son of the Eloheim has come to lift you out of slavery and make you part of the Family of the Eloheim.  Only the Son of the Eloheim has the power to free you from darkness.”  (Testimony of St. John 8:31-32, 34-36)  

Another text says of the Redeemer,

He rescues them [mortals] from their ignorance of Divine Reality by proclaiming the good news of hope, that hope which generates faith.  Faith motivates those who possess it to the quest for gnosis, and gnosis restores those who find it to the Parents’ presence.  ***  Everything that exists is an emanation of the Eternal Sea [another name for the Law or Divine Reality] through the Parents.  Even the Parents themselves are an emanation of the Eternal Sea through the Parents.  In the same manner, the Only Begotten Son is the Son of the Only Begotten of the Father.  So, also, the Father is the Mother, and the Mother is the Father; the Father and Mother are One.  The Master, himself, said, “I am in the Parents, and the Parents are in me; the Parents and I are one.”  This is a mystery which mortal mind cannot absorb, but when we have put on the mind of Christ, it is perfectly comprehensible to us.  Then we perceive the Reality of all things, and the illusion of separateness ceases to exist in us.  This is the reason the Redeemer said, “When you know Truth, you will be freed from the illusion of separateness, for the power of that illusion is ignorance of Reality.  Never fear Truth, for the knowledge of Truth has only the power to free, never to enslave.”  (Truth’s Good News 1:1; 6:1)

Again, this is an extreme simplification of a complex process.  As this discussion continues, more principles relating to this topic should become visible.

 

KINDS OF GNOSIS

Actually, there are two kinds of gnosis, (1) that which is acquired in the gnostic temple rites and through the teachings of the masters, and (2) that which can only be acquired through the ministry of Sophia (Wisdom, the feminine aspect of the Christ, or the Holy Spirit) within the individual disciple of gnosis.  Clement of Alexandria called these “human gnosis” and “divine gnosis.”  The effect of the reception of human gnosis is an opening of our minds to be able to think in new ways so that we are enabled to receive divine gnosis.

 

THE ROLE OF THE SCRIPTURES IN THIS PROCESS

The scriptures are the repository of the collective experience of those who have preceded us in gnosis.  Through studying them, we are able to use these experiences as a jumping off point for our own growth in gnosis.  One of the major functions of the scriptures is to generate questions in our minds.  These questions help shake the ego from its position of presumed omniscience and, through meditating on them, our minds are made receptive to principles of gnosis as they come to us.

 

THE ROLE OF GNOSIS IN METAPHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT

Gnosis is the power of salvation.  Our need is to be saved from the ignorance that traps us in lives based on the illusion of separateness.  In their natural state, mortals perceive themselves as separate from the Divine and from the world around them.  As long as they base their decisions on this illusion of separateness, they will act contrary to the Divine nature.  This type of inappropriate conduct ties them to darkness, and the nature of darkness is destruction.  To be saved from the powers of darkness, we must become enlightened to perceive the Reality of which we (and everything else) are manifestations so that we can live in that Reality.

 

Gnosis, then, is the means of escape from the darkness of the mortal condition.  Ignorance of Reality keeps us trapped in this state; knowledge of Reality shows us the means of escape from its limitations.  Utilizing study of the gnostic scriptures, in connection with the teachings of the masters and the gnostic temple rites, blocks in our minds that prevent us from viewing this Reality are removed so that we can develop our divine potential to begin living our lives on a plane above the illusions of mortal existence.


Copyright 2000 Church of the Pearl -- All rights reserved

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