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Gnosticism

A group to explore the aspects and practical application of Gnosticism.

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Latest Activity: Aug 7

Introduction

Gnosticism (Greek: γνῶσις gnōsis, knowledge) refers to diverse, syncretistic religious movements in antiquity consisting of various belief systems generally united in the teaching that humans are divine souls trapped in a material world created by an imperfect god, the demiurge; this being is frequently identified with the Abrahamic God, and is contrasted with a superior entity, referred to by several terms including Pleroma and Godhead. Depictions of the demiurge - the term originates with Plato's Timaeus - vary from being as an embodiment of evil, to being merely imperfect and as benevolent as its inadequacy permits. Thus, broadly speaking, Gnosticism was a dualistic religion, influenced by and influencing Hellenic philosophy, Judaism (see Notzrim), and Christianity;[citation needed] however, by contrast, later strands of the movement, such as the Valentinians, held a monistic world-view. This, along with the varying treatments of the demiurge, may be seen as indicative of the variety of positions held within the category.

The gnōsis referred to in the term is a form of revealed, esoteric knowledge through which the spiritual elements of humanity are reminded of their true origins within the superior Godhead, being thus permitted to escape materiality. Consequently, within the sects of gnosticism only the pneumatics or psychics obtain gnōsis; the hylic or Somatics, though human, being incapable of perceiving the higher reality, are unlikely to attain the gnōsis deemed by gnostic movements as necessary for salvation. Jesus of Nazareth is identified by some Gnostic sects as an embodiment of the supreme being who became incarnate to bring gnōsis to the earth. In others (e.g. the Notzrim and Mandaeans) he is considered a mšiha kdaba or "false messiah" who perverted the teachings entrusted to him by John the Baptist. Still other traditions identify Mani and Seth, third son of Adam and Eve, as salvific figures.

Whereas formerly Gnosticism was considered by some a heretical branch of Christianity, it now seems clear that traces of Gnostic systems can be discerned some centuries before the Christian Era. Gnostic sects may have existed earlier than the First Century BCE, thus predating the birth of Jesus. The movement spread in areas controlled by the Roman Empire and Arian Goths (see Huneric), and the Persian Empire; it continued to develop in the Mediterranean and Middle East before and during the Second Century and Third Centuries. Conversion to Islam and the Albigensian Crusade (1209–1229) greatly reduced the remaining number of Gnostics throughout the Middle Ages, though a few isolated communities continue to exist to the present. Gnostic ideas became influential in the philosophies of various esoteric mystical movements of the late 19th and 20th Centuries in Europe and North America, including some that explicitly identify themselves as revivals or even continuations of earlier gnostic groups.

Discussion Forum

Is God Good?

Started by ckevn. Last reply by George Elliott Jul 7. 5 Replies

Neo-Gnostic Societies

Started by Adam Mistry. Last reply by George Elliott Jul 7. 4 Replies

Duality and Unity

Started by Teri. Last reply by George Elliott Jul 7. 2 Replies

Comment Wall

Comment

You need to be a Seeker of Gnosticism to add comments!

Comment by Alarga on December 10, 2015 at 8:40pm


Kabbalist
Comment by Jahbulon on October 24, 2013 at 10:59pm

Right on thanks William! :)


Alchemist
Comment by william23 on October 24, 2013 at 10:45pm

hey jahbulon, sorry about that, if u go to theosophicalinstitute.org n then  click on media libary and enter john alego in the serch box the link that says "cracking the gnostic code" is the lecture i was refering to, and u should be abel to find it that way, there is also a tone of excilent media on that site also so hope it opens some doors for others


Mystic
Comment by monkeyofstick on September 13, 2013 at 11:21am

different link to a great article on the early history

http://www.esotericonline.net/forum/topics/gnosticism


Kabbalist
Comment by Jahbulon on September 13, 2013 at 12:56am

Link didn't work William


Alchemist
Comment by william23 on September 12, 2013 at 10:53pm

just listened to a great lecture on gnosticism by John Algeo at the theosophical society in america  and wanted to share

http://http://www.theosophicalinstitute.org/medialibrary/viewtitle....

Comment by Adam Kadmon on July 9, 2013 at 7:39pm

Alchemist
Comment by Green Lantern on November 26, 2012 at 12:55pm
well, said compendium. most the sects of gnosticism that i've found all have varying yet helpful philosophies. the ophites and sethian being amongst my favoured especially that of basillides.
Comment by Daniel Silversun on September 27, 2012 at 11:34am

Alchemist
Comment by Green Lantern on September 11, 2012 at 11:36am

I have a book to recommend if anyone is interested. Its called Echoes from the Gnosis  written by g.r.s. mead, a theosophist  and partner of blavatsky's. I'm half way through this 6-700 pg book and im finding it easy to read as opposed to the often dry work of these subjects. Things are thoroughly explained and is well organized.

 
 
 

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