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Gnostic Reflections in Freemasonry

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posted on Jul, 15 2009 @ 02:01 AM
I came across a very insightful and interesting articles titled Gnostic Reflections in Freemasonry.

Gnosticism and Gnostic thought are mentioned several times in the Scottish Rite degrees, and we can see it as a general theme in Freemasonry, though it is rarely mentioned specifically by name outside of the Scottish Rite. This is partially due to the fact that the Gnostics generally considered themselves their own form of religion, and as Freemasonry accepts brothers of all faiths, it is important not to make the mistake of portraying Freemasonry itself as a Gnostic religion. That being said, the idea associated with Gnosticism can be found in almost all religions, and as such, it can be viewed as more of an esoteric philosophy that unites people across various religions- though some people today claim to be Gnostics as a religion. For example, the ideas associated with a Gnostic Christian are fundamentally almost identical to a Buddha or Boddisatva in the Buddhist religion, Gnanis in Hinduism, an Arif in the Islamic tradition, and a “knower” in the Taoist tradition, and it is for this reason that it is believed that Gnosticsm had an influence on all of these religious philosophies as it spread between Egypt and Tibet, and likewise these other schools contributed to Gnostic doctrine. Though Gnostic philosophies vary somewhat depending on the school, in their essential details and philosophy they are mostly the same. The Gnostic philosopher Mani alluded to this universality when he said, “But my hope will go to the West and to the East. And they will hear the voice of its teaching in all languages and they will teach it in all cities. Gnosticism surpasses in this first point all earlier religions, for the earlier religions were founded in individual places and in individual cities. Gnosticism goes out to all cities and its message reaches every land.” 1 Therefore it is important to explore some of these ideas and see how they relate to Freemasonry.

I know there is always speculation on what the G actually stands for on the Masonic symbol, perhaps could it mean Gnostic? It seems that Freemasonry encourages speculation regarding this symbol. I think there is a good possibility that the G actually stand for Gnostic. Since Gnosticism essentially allows all faiths to take part.

From a Gnostic standpoint, then, it was ridiculous to worship anything matter based, as it is just a shadow of a very real spiritual phenomenon from the realm of light. The quest for salvation was believed by most Gnostics to take place over several incarnations on the earth plane, and therefore the battle between two gods over the soul of man was a symbolic metaphor of the battle within oneself over the focus and perceptions in life. Mastering the Gnostic process was considered to be true living, as opposed to being asleep and non-living, which was usually associated with “evil”. Ultimately, the Gnostic must free himself from the illusions of attachment to matter and, leaving the darkness of the mundane world, unite with the Divine Light of God, the first Principle Creator. Metaphors associated with raising the dead, or giving the blind sight were said to be symbolically associated with this awakening. Biblical scholars, for example, usually translate the early Greek word “anastasis” as “resurrection”, but the word more correctly means “awakening”. Therefore most Christian Gnostics considered Jesus’ resurrection as a metaphor for an awakening to Gnosis. The Gnostics did not require the intervention of a Priest to know God, as they became their own conduit for God’s revelation. They did set up a series of initiations to help in the development of consciousness and to lead to Gnosis. These initiations were also sometimes associated with stages of consciousness development after the transition from this life at death, and prior to new incarnation.

If you have the time I'd recommend spending the time to read this article. I'm fascinated! Enjoy

[edit on 15-7-2009 by oconnection]

posted on Jul, 15 2009 @ 04:31 AM
After reading the article three times, I ponder.

I do not want to insult or upset the Masons of this board but I say this is purely out of curiosity. It seems that, at least from this article that certain aspects of Freemasonry has many spiritual aspects to it. This article seems to focus on the Christian Gnostic side of Gnosticism and it's tie to Freemasonry. I'll further my research on all different forms of Gnosticism.

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[1]. Depictions of the demiurge - the term originates with Plato's Timaeus[2] - 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[3]. This, along with the varying treatments of the demiurge, may be seen as indicative of the variety of positions held within the category.

I know Freemasonry will strongly disagree that Freemasonry is a religion, but I'm having a problem over seeing the spiritual tones. While spirituality is not a religion, clearly Freemasonry is a system of teaching spiritual ideals, at least certain aspects. But I am a "profane", perhaps it's time I take my grandfathers invitation and explore this my self.

Note that I'm a very open minded person. In the past I will admit that I jumped, blindly onto the whole conspiratorial band wagon, thinking Masons must run the world non-sense. But I believe I'm very open minded and as a result of soul searching and reading a great amount of material, I've had a change of heart these past years. I'm undecided and won't be quick to judge. After all I'm human and my knowledge is limited. But I damn well try to soak up as much as I can!

I'm a very spiritual person and I don't think my answer will be necessarily answered. Masonic Light or emsed1 , do you care yo comment? I trust your insight and feel you answer honestly.

This type of information is obviously public. It is said that the real secret of Freemasonry is a secret revealed individually, dealing with each person internally.

I will tell you my nature, when it comes to personal wisdom, I share it openly with the people around me. I've struggled, personally through great personal hardship and any wisdom I gather, I try to share this with my loved ones.

With Gnosticism, from what I've read (I will admit I need to read more) it seems that it seems to paint Jesus (with Christian Gnosticism) as a symbolic death, where as Christianity will teach you Christ died on the cross for your sins, literally. I can see how a Bible thumping Christian will have issue.

I can appreciate this aspect and see how many religious text are very symbolic. In fact this is shown when one reads the Bible, or the Koran and at one time you see one thing, but when time goes by, it has a completely different meaning.

I will try not to speculate too much and not upset those of this board. This post was really out of curiosity and the fact I admit I'm not very versed and wish more information.

I am but a person limited to my own limited personal experience. But I feel what I have going for me is I've been through enough to be open minded.

Thank you ahead of time, and again I mean no disrespect.

- Omega

[edit on 15-7-2009 by oconnection]

posted on Jul, 15 2009 @ 09:27 AM
Interesting post. It is my belief that Gnosticism is the pure, primitive, original Christianity, and that the modern "orthodox" Christian groups, both Catholics and Protestants, are sun cults misunderstood almost universally by their own members.

You may find this of interest:

Apostolic Johannite Church


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