Esoteric Online



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

Members: 357
Latest Activity: Aug 31, 2019


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, 2017. 5 Replies

Neo-Gnostic Societies

Started by Adam Mistry. Last reply by George Elliott Jul 7, 2017. 4 Replies

Duality and Unity

Started by The Initiate. Last reply by George Elliott Jul 7, 2017. 2 Replies

Comment Wall


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Comment by pysgodaur on August 15, 2012 at 1:29pm

hello all!

Comment by Godfather89 on January 29, 2010 at 7:58am
Carl Jung wrote at great length concerning his field of Depth Psychology in relation to Gnosticism please join here if you are interested:
Comment by Self-baptised on January 2, 2010 at 7:54am
What system is that Litchkind? Forgive my ignorance, sounds kabbalistic, but I don't know the Kabbala yet.
To me the tower represents something huge and monumenetal happening to the person, out of the blue. While this event marks the destruction of a way of life, it will be realized this was a false structure not built on the truth anyway and so the truth is about to be revealed.
Comment by Self-baptised on January 1, 2010 at 7:04pm
You have 100% responsibility for yourself in this matter. And you of course also have the 100% right to ignore that responsibility.
In the East, they see enlightenment in the opening of the beautiful Lotus blossom. In the West we see it in the true and noble Rose. (so the Tarot is certainly one way, the rose grows rampant in the pages of the Tarot.)
And you can't catch any fish if your hook isn't in the water too, good luck: )
Comment by Minus on January 1, 2010 at 3:47pm
This is sort of off-topic, but something i've been thinking about... zen koans, and the lightning flash / moment of realization, seems analagous to the experience being symbolized in the tarot card The Tower. Any thoughts on that? What kinds of things do we have in the West that prompt this type of sudden insight, that are safe for consumption LOL? For practical purposes, what kind of techniques might be developed to "wake people up", and does it matter / what responsibility do we have for taking that upon ourselves?
Comment by Self-baptised on January 1, 2010 at 3:36pm
Koans are a great way to find enlightenment. Good one. And the revelations they bring can happen in a flash. Lots of prep work behind the scenes they don't talk about so much, kinda like those "15 minute" recipes on cooking shows.
I'm just teasing about all this though eh. I just think its neat. This western wisdom that can bring enlightenment seems to be soo out of place here in the west. There are no Gnostic Churches for miles around here.
Comment by Self-baptised on December 31, 2009 at 6:02am
whoa, wayy too many words. I can only get enlightened during commercials you know. but all the same thanks for the attempt. I'd like to schedule my gnosis for 5:55, I should be back from the liquor store by then and it's before all the good shows start. I'll just kick back on the couch and wait for it.
Comment by Self-baptised on December 30, 2009 at 9:47pm
I'd like to know more about gnosticism... but yeah geez I don't have much time, you know how it is these days: cel phone's ringing, walk light is blinking, cars honking, you know... anyone want to break it down for me? What is gnosticism, quick, ten words or less!
Comment by LUNATIC ALAN MICHEAL CULPEPPER on December 30, 2009 at 6:29pm
Comment by Sean Harrison on July 15, 2009 at 5:26pm
Hello all new member here this site and this group in particular are just brilliant. Feel free to contact me,I love to discuss all things esoteric.

cheers S.

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