What is Gnosticism?

Gnostics aspire to achieve this first by discovering and understanding the principle nature of man himself, and then by a rigorous programme of seclusion and purification. Their end goal is in one way very similar to some Hindu and Buddhists doctrines which speak of spiritual liberation from the world towards a union with the divine.

The Church on the other hand certainly does seek to reach up to the sublime, but union only occurs in heaven after death. Their devotional emphasis while incarnated is centered on divine interventions (especially the deeds of Christ), divine worship, and efforts to evangelize the life of Christ, because only through Christ is it possible to reach those lofty heights for all eternity.

One can imagine the Gnostic doctrine as it is interpreted today as an earthly doctrine of doom- reaching its hand up so high up to heaven that it absolutely misses the divine hand presently reaching down. But if any Gnostic reaches up high enough and long enough, surely the divine hand will clasp on sooner or later. Using the same analogy we can imagine the Christian doctrine not reaching its hand high enough to heaven because, firstly, it teaches adherents are already saved, and secondly, it seeks and implores God to reach down to Earth by grace. This often does come about by countless acts of self-sacrifice and life-long devotion, which provides an appropriate channel for the divine to work through.

Whereas both these systems have their own theological merits and shortcomings, to the student of the occult the esoteric truths behind these differences must be eventually reconciled, and no favour acclaimed for one path over the other. These differences of philosophy on both sides provide a shining example of small historical errors which eventually bloom over time to become pernicious dogmas. The fundamental truths behind both theologies are indeed true, but the student must have sharp discrimination to recognize their only difference in kind is their angle of approach to the Divine. Each faction has appropriated petty details along their way, and has raised them to fetish proportions. One philosophy seeks to raise up Man to God, the other claims God lowered Himself down as Man, but only when we find and understand the historical Jesus Christ can these two holy truths ring out in harmony.

The synopsis given above describes only for comparative purposes the contemporary scholastic schism. Early Christianity and some early forms of Gnosticism did indeed have no esoteric differences, but to all outside historical accounts and appearances this full truth has never been publicly profaned. Both are great paths to go down but one must eventually find the middle way and become the path oneself.

March 16,2021.
Chief Editor of Self-Initiation.com