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Setting the record straight, what a Gnostic is and isn't

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posted on Apr, 22 2016 @ 11:09 AM
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I have been noticing for some time now that just saying the word Gnostic on ATS attracts a certain element of people, mostly Christian, who are just dying to tell me (after a quick Google search) what Gnosticism is and what I am supposed to believe.

A minor nuisance, but one that should be addressed so as to at the very least explain the difference between the Nag Hammadi scriptures and the umbrella term Gnosticism.

The Nag Hammadi texts are a blend of neo-platonic thought, Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism, among other things.

They are not the bible of Gnosticism, just one school of thought out of many that are lost to history. But the idea of spiritual enlightenment did not originate with the "Gnostics" of Iraeneus and Nag Hammadi fame.

And Gnosticism is spiritual enlightenment, salvation through Wisdom, freedom from ignorance and the enslavement of Theocracy.

It's the good version of illumination.

Believing that the Old Testament god of Israel is not God is more common sense than Gnosticism, but I do believe that.

Gaining Wisdom through Faith and work is what gives me Gnosis. Studying as many religions as I can is also important to me.

Do I know God? No. Do I intuitively know he exists? In my mind I do and it doesn't matter how much Wisdom I gain I will not know for sure until I die.

Most religious beliefs are about controlling people. And money. They are successful because they threaten people with hell if they don't obey "God" well God has never told me that there was a hell so I don't believe in that. I don't believe you should be punished eternally for being born in the wrong country and not being a Christian because it's not your culture.

Gnosticism is not about secret knowledge, in fact Gnostics are usually dying to share what they have learned.

While religions have beliefs that you must hold in order to be a member, Gnosticism is spiritual freedom. Freedom to seek God without an intermediary and join 10 religions if I want.

I don't fear death or hell one bit. I don't fear Yahweh or the devil. I don't hate Judaism or Christianity or even Yahweh, I just think Yahweh is evil and Judaism and Christianity especially are confused about the nature of God.

So please Christians and everyone else, stop assuming that you know what Gnostics are about because you don't, not in my experience.

You barely know your own religion's history so before you tell me what I should believe or what I do believe figure out what your own religion believes.


When I say I am a Gnostic I am saying I don't worship a God because worship is not a requirement for being friends with God. I don't fear God. I want to know God and I do that by doing the only thing that can bring you closer to God.

Learning the Wisdom of the world.




posted on Apr, 22 2016 @ 11:59 AM
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a reply to: ElementalFreeze


Freedom to seek God without an intermediary and join 10 religions if I want.

But how do you resolve worshipping god in your heart with joining ten religions. They teach worship together in a building directed by men or priests, whatever, according to a 'program'.

Aren't you defeating what you learn direct from the source by letting others direct your learning?

Edit: Oh, I see you conclude that, nvm…
edit on 22-4-2016 by intrptr because: Edit:



posted on Apr, 22 2016 @ 12:22 PM
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And if you want to know what I really think about Gnosis, I think every religion is the claimant of what they consider Gnosis. Every major religion claims knowledge of God or gods and has their own unique revelations and stories of divine intervention and someone communicating with a god. Abraham, Jacob and Moses all interacted directly with their god and the prophets all spoke his word meaning they had divine knowledge to reveal. That's Gnosis.

Jesus was the Son of God and had more Gnosis than anyone who ever lived, even if you believe he was God he was still a flesh and blood prophet while on earth and not omniscient but had Gnosis of heavenly matters. He doesn't know the time or the day of the second coming through.

Zoroaster spoke to Ahura Mazda and taught others his Gnosis. The Magi might even be said to be the first Gnostics existing possibly before the reformist Zoroaster and at one time they used their Gnosis for taking power in the Monarchy and development of a theocracy by the Magi may have led to a split based on one side being unwilling to abuse the Gnosis for control over society (a model still in use today, the "secret societies" are the new and secret Theocracy abusing their knowledge for control. And the small nation of the Vatican has been using alleged divine knowledge for social control over willing subjects and churches can be very hierarchical and political within.

I would say that the group that didn't abuse it's Wisdom was the loser throughout the early history of the church. The Israelite faction of Jesus disciples lost to the Roman faction, along with the other Jews of the time. The "Gnostics", who did nothing wrong but were a perceived threat and exterminated by a supposed pacifist Catholic church that would let certain pagan groups retain certain traditions and adopt some themselves hypocritically persecuted a different from of syncreticism because it was claiming the exact same thing that they were in a different way, Gnosis, because they felt threatened by them. What would God's church have to feel threatened about? Competition, losing congregants to the more rational, liberal and spiritual version of God the Father and Christ. Control of the Empire was through the church and the Pope must have been taking orders from the Emporer and all other religions were basically outlawed,even Apocryphal books were outlawed and only to be read by priests.

Any religion that claims to know God's will is claiming Gnosis, scripture is Gnosis. If you think you know God you are claiming Gnosis.

But if you study religion and don't claim to have special knowledge about God just a love of Wisdom and a mind that desires to know God and consider all knowledge and yourself divine because you both came from God, you are a Gnostic.

Pretty ironic.



posted on Apr, 22 2016 @ 12:44 PM
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a reply to: intrptr

As I have said I don't worship God because I don't see why he needs it and he has never asked me to. People desire worship and project it onto their image of god.

You are thinking of the god of Israel who is not God.

God is unknowable so you can only learn as much Wisdom and Knowledge as you can until you find out at death the truth.


You are assuming I need to believe in the various deities of the world's religions to study them and benefit from their wisdom.

Or that only one religion is the correct one.

Where I feel they each have some of the truth and no one is the whole truth.


And that I actually joined ten religions, and that if I did I would be following the program.

It would be my program if I decided to do it and no man directs me in any endeavor unless I solicit direction which isn't likely.


I don't join organizations so I can be told what to do. I join for fun and do what I want.

I have taken Shahada because I support my local Muslim population and nobody has ever tried to tell me what to do or been anything other than friendly.

I baptized myself to be a disciple of biblical Jesus and believing that I would receive the Holy Spirit. I would say that since then I have definitely been blessed with the Spirit every moment and that is a good feeling that nobody can take.



posted on Apr, 22 2016 @ 04:43 PM
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a reply to: ElementalFreeze

Sorry didn't mean to judge you. I appreciate where you're coming from…


People desire worship and project it onto their image of god.

Mostly misled, religion has to define god for them so they have something tangible to 'pray to'. They are being led astray form their own internal guidance and antenna to heaven as it were through the conduit of ones own soul. The thing about the spirit world is it is difficult to describe something with words that isn't about words at all.

So to attract people to religion they have to describe and promise something to keep peoples attention.


You are thinking of the god of Israel who is not God.

I agree, not god. The people who occupy palestine are impostors.


Or that only one religion is the correct one.

Thats the problem with the world today, the belief in one true god better than any others.

I'm more a believer that religion is man made, and spirituality through the soul within is the proper road. Everyone has a soul. The kingdom of heavens within, the body is the temple, that kind of thing.



posted on Apr, 22 2016 @ 04:49 PM
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a reply to: ElementalFreeze

Well, that is mostly your opinion. Since it isnt based on fact, wikipedia in the last couple of years has made a huge contribution to split fact from opinion. And im gonna contribute to this OP as well with a wiki link..

wikipedia - gnosticism

It does wonder for everyone, but especially Americans with a huge imagination.



posted on Apr, 22 2016 @ 08:52 PM
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a reply to: ElementalFreeze

Praise "Bob!"



posted on Apr, 23 2016 @ 12:21 AM
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a reply to: ElementalFreeze

So, the defining feature of Gnosticism is that it can't truly be defined. Because by applying a definition, you prevent the freedom from definition that defines it.




posted on Apr, 23 2016 @ 02:26 AM
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originally posted by: ElementalFreeze
a reply to: intrptr
God is unknowable so you can only learn as much Wisdom and Knowledge as you can until you find out at death the truth.

Nonsense!
Knowledge = experience/perception!
Mystics Know God, the Enlightened Know God!
You, apparently, do not!
All 'wisdom' and all 'thought' is the vanity, the duality, that blinds you to the unconditional Love that is God!
The 'Experience/Knowledge' thereof!
The yoga of the philosophers, Jnana, must, eventually, leave all 'thought/duality' behind, to actually experience/Know the Unity of the One Omni- Self!



posted on Apr, 24 2016 @ 01:59 AM
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originally posted by: chr0naut
a reply to: ElementalFreeze

So, the defining feature of Gnosticism is that it can't truly be defined. Because by applying a definition, you prevent the freedom from definition that defines it.



Somehow I doubt anybody is going to lose their freedom to define something based on one person's personal statement.

What kind of definition are you looking for? You have classical Gnosticism which according to Catholic church fathers began with Simon Magus but truthfully it had been brewing in Egypt ever since the Greeks started teaching Hebrews and the Hebrews taught the religion of Moses first at Heliopolis then at Alexandria which became the learning capital and melting pot of the ancient world well into the succeeding Roman Empire.

You had Gnostic schools from Egypt to Syria and Persia. You had Marciones, Carpocrates, Valentinus and Manes, just to name a few of the ones we know about. You had the sons of Seth/Ophites who held the serpent as a symbol of wisdom but had a serpent of good and evil with the evil being Serapis the Greek Egyptian combination of Osiris-Apis worshipped by the Egyptians during the Greek Empire which was the source of the Hebrew word Seraphim as "bright or shining reptiles." Seraphim are a class of angel mentioned in the Tanakh.

You had Manicheanism that incorporated old Zoroastrian doctrines and then you have what is now the most familiar because of the Nag Hammadi find which is a mixture of many old faiths with a Christ mythology all its own and a cosmogonic mythology similar to Greek and Persian ideas and the Demiurge who is largely based on Jehovah and Aeons and Archons populate the Universe.

But go to any Gnostic website and you will find anything from the book of Enoch and various Apocryphal Hebrew works to the Nag Hammadi, Pistis Sophia and the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Likewise I have visited retro Essene websites that have the Gnostic scriptures which would have been unheard of at the time the DSS were written by the racist apocalyptic bent on destroying the Roman empire and every other nation in the known world Israelites who were definitely not the Essenes of Josephus accountand were more llike the Zealots but called themselves many things but never Essene.

And that is today's Gnosticism. Kabbalah, Sufism, Hermeticism are all popular with Gnostics as is just about anything that has to dowith wisdom. Religion is such a mental prison and Gnosticism is that which truly liberates the spirit, knowledge that you are divine and knowledge of the divine. The brief euphoria of religious discovery is always stumped by the requirement to reject everything else but the bible or that one religion. But if you don't have to reject in order to believe then you are free to learn everything.

So to be truthful there is no real defining feature. Not even the absence of a defining feature. Until someone meets God.



posted on Apr, 24 2016 @ 05:00 AM
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a reply to: Now Padawan CapstonePendulum

Padawan, another account!

Shame on you, shame on you!

Go to any Gnostic website, here, one that speaks of the Craftsman, which they all do but hay lets not forget the true meaning of the Demiurge Padawan:

•(in Platonic philosophy) the Maker or Creator of the world.

•(in Gnosticism and other theological systems) a heavenly being, subordinate to the Supreme Being, that is considered to be the controller of the material world and antagonistic to all that is purely spiritual.

gnosis.org...

Very good website to think about when contemplating Gnosticism. Hermeticism is interesting as well.

Coomba98... Sorry

Summers Eve.
(Your Female Friendly Companion)



posted on Apr, 24 2016 @ 05:19 AM
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a reply to: ElementalFreeze

I get what you are saying what you have to do is just laugh at them for pretending to know what something that they have never studied beyond a Wikipedia entry and the opinions of Christians who don't understand Christianity but want to tell you all about what Gnosticism is.

They are just jealous you have the courage to not be herded like a sheep and that you have the courage to say that guy in the OT is evil and is not God.

They are just following while you get to spread your wings and fly. When they harass you about your beliefs without knowing them or you they are just being ignorant and intolerant. When they pretend to know what Gnosticism is by associating it with one book that is different schools of thought (Nag Hammadi) they are just proving that they haven't read them. When people try to assume knowledge without actually having said knowledge then they are idiots for assuming and equally stupid for telling you whatyou sshould and shouldn't believe.

Don't ever let an imbecile like that get to you. That's the fun of being Gnostic is laughing at people who are clueless.

Good post though I didn't know people got like that. Everyone I know is cool and I am not used to dealing with what you said so I won't judge but just remember that wise men listen and laugh while fools talk.

Faith in Wisdom



posted on Apr, 24 2016 @ 03:15 PM
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originally posted by: CapstonePendulum
a reply to: ElementalFreeze

I get what you are saying what you have to do is just laugh at them for pretending to know what something that they have never studied beyond a Wikipedia entry and the opinions of Christians who don't understand Christianity but want to tell you all about what Gnosticism is.

They are just jealous you have the courage to not be herded like a sheep and that you have the courage to say that guy in the OT is evil and is not God.

They are just following while you get to spread your wings and fly. When they harass you about your beliefs without knowing them or you they are just being ignorant and intolerant. When they pretend to know what Gnosticism is by associating it with one book that is different schools of thought (Nag Hammadi) they are just proving that they haven't read them. When people try to assume knowledge without actually having said knowledge then they are idiots for assuming and equally stupid for telling you whatyou sshould and shouldn't believe.

Don't ever let an imbecile like that get to you. That's the fun of being Gnostic is laughing at people who are clueless.

Good post though I didn't know people got like that. Everyone I know is cool and I am not used to dealing with what you said so I won't judge but just remember that wise men listen and laugh while fools talk.

Faith in Wisdom


They say that talking to yourself is the first sign of madness...




posted on Apr, 24 2016 @ 04:32 PM
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a reply to: chr0naut



They say that talking to yourself is the first sign of madness...



lol.
They say the second sign of madness is the intermittent twitch, usually after saying or reading a sentence.

Padawan is so funny!



Coomba98
edit on 24-4-2016 by coomba98 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 24 2016 @ 11:41 PM
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If anyone wants to have a look at the surving writings of ancient known Gnostic schools like Valentinian and Manichaein as well as the Nag Hammadi scriptures and the Apocrypha of Judeo-Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls and the polemics against them by Catholic church fathers as well as some books by historians all in one place at:

Gnosis Archive

You don't have to be a Gnostic to enjoy reading about it and even if your goal is to refute Gnosticism Itthink it's beneficial to read about it.

edit on 24-4-2016 by CapstonePendulum because: fix link




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