New Page -- 6 August 2003
Updated -- 1 April 2007
Gnosticism, its belief structures, history, and relevant texts are remarkably consistent with much of the Chronicles of Earth described elsewhere in this website. The connections to the Sumerian histories, stories of Anunnaki, Enki and Enlil, and even the modern day understanding of Mary Magdalen’s true role (as recounted, for example, by Dan Brown in his novel, The Da Vinci Code ), is nothing short of amazing. Gnosticism is thus an essential ingredient in understanding – from a wholly different viewpoint – the myriad events from the time of 600 B.C.E. to the present day.
To appreciate this concept, it is important to consider various descriptions of Gnostics by diverse modern scholars. In the recounting and brief summaries of their views, one can obtain a better understanding of Gnosticism, and periodically gleam from this description aspects which account for the whole of the Chronicles of Earth, the Star Fire, and the current bewilderment of a dysfunctional world.
We begin with: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/gnostics.html, i.e.
Gnosticism is: “A religion that differentiates the evil god of this world (who is identified with the god of the Old Testament) from a higher more abstract God revealed by Jesus Christ, a religion that regards this world as the creation of a series of evil archons/powers who wish to keep the human soul trapped in an evil physical body, [and] a religion that preaches a hidden wisdom or knowledge only to a select group as necessary for salvation or escape from this world.” The term ‘gnostic’ derives from ‘gnosis,’ Greek for ‘knowledge’. “Some scholars have theorized that Gnosticism has its roots in pre-Christian religions, instead of being merely an offshoot of Christianity.”
http://www.gnosis.org/gnintro.htm provides us with an extended excellent summary of Gnosticism. For example:
“GNOSTICISM IS THE TEACHING based on Gnosis, the knowledge of transcendence arrived at by way of interior, intuitive means. Although Gnosticism thus rests on personal religious experience, it is a mistake to assume all such experience results in Gnostic recognitions. It is nearer the truth to say that Gnosticism expresses a specific religious experience, an experience that does not lend itself to the language of theology or philosophy, but which is instead closely affinitized to, and expresses itself through, the medium of myth. Indeed, one finds that most Gnostic scriptures take the forms of myths. The term “myth” should not here be taken to mean “stories that are not true”, but rather, that the truths embodied in these myths are of a different order from the dogmas of theology or the statements of philosophy.”
Relevant aspects of Gnosticism are (from: http://www.gnosis.org/gnintro.htm):
Gnostics hold that the world is flawed because it was created in a flawed manner. By beginning with the fundamental recognition that earthly life is filled with suffering, it becomes evident that all forms of life are living in a world which is flawed and absurd.
Gnostics blame the world’s failings not on humans, but on the creator. “Since -- especially in the monotheistic religions -- the creator is God, this Gnostic position appears blasphemous, and is often viewed with dismay even by non-believers.”
“The ancient Greeks, especially the Platonists, advised people to look to the harmony of the universe, so that by venerating its grandeur they might forget their immediate afflictions. But since this harmony still contains the cruel flaws, forlornness and alienation of existence, this advice is considered of little value by Gnostics.
“Nor is the Eastern idea of Karma regarded by Gnostics as an adequate explanation of creation’s imperfection and suffering. Karma at best can only explain how the chain of suffering and imperfection works. It does not inform us in the first place why such a sorrowful and malign system should exist.”
Of particular importance is the Gnostic concept of God, which unites and reconciles the recognitions of monotheism and polytheism, as well as of theism, deism, pantheism, and quite possibly humorism(?). Maybe even fundamentalism. Or just Ismism.
Gnostics believe there is a true, ultimate and transcendent God, a being who is beyond all created universes and who never created anything in the sense in which the word ‘create’ is ordinarily understood. Instead this God ‘emanated’ or brought forth from within Himself the substance of all there is in all the worlds, visible and invisible. However, much of the original divine essence has since been projected from their source and in the process has undergone some distinctly unwholesome changes in the process.
This process of change involves, in Gnostic myth, the existence of Aeons, “intermediate deific beings who exist between the ultimate, True God and ourselves. They, together with the True God, comprise the realm of Fullness (Pleroma) wherein the potency of divinity operates fully.”
“One aeonial being who bears the name Sophia (‘Wisdom’) is of great importance to the Gnostic world view. In the course of her journeyings, Sophia came to emanate from her own being a flawed consciousness, a being who became the creator of the material and psychic cosmos, all of which he created in the image of his own flaw. This being, unaware of his origins, imagined himself to be the ultimate and absolute God. Since he took the already existing divine essence and fashioned it into various forms, he is also called the Demiurgos or ‘half-maker’.”
It is worth noting that in the first 34 verses of Genesis, “God” created the heavens and the earth. After that, the “Lord God” begins to really muck things up, expelling humans from an Eden, causing a Deluge, a massive language foul up with the Tower of Babel, and something often referred to as the “Wars of Gods and Men.”
This results in a dualism, a world consisting of the stuff created by a false God, and yet having the light of the True God. The latter in its connection with humans results in what has been referred to as the “divine spark”.
According to: <http://www.gnosis.org/gnintro.htm>, "Humans are generally ignorant of the divine spark resident within them. This ignorance is fostered in human nature by the influence of the false creator and his Archons, who together are intent upon keeping men and women ignorant of their true nature and destiny. Anything that causes us to remain attached to earthly things serves to keep us in enslavement to these lower cosmic rulers. Death releases the divine spark from its lowly prison, but if there has not been a substantial work of Gnosis undertaken by the soul prior to death, it becomes likely that the divine spark will be hurled back into, and then re-embodied within, the pangs and slavery of the physical world. [emphasis added]
This aspect of Gnosticism is critically important, in that its description of “archons” is plausibly a direct reference to the Anunnaki, with Enlil being “the evil god of this world (who is identified with the god of the Old Testament) and Enki being the “higher more abstract God revealed by Jesus Christ” (see the first quoted paragraph of this webpage).
(4/1/07) See also The Gnostic Society Library and its webpage on The Hypostasis of the Archons, where it states, among other things:
In addition to suggesting that Enlil was the 'god of the blind', we might also note in the Archons webpage, that it was "The rulers" who modeled man "as one wholly of the earth" but were unable to instill spirit and life. It was the spirit from the Adamantine Land and the voice from incorruptibility which created the living soul of Adam. Clearly, "Samael" cannot be believed merely because he claims to be the only god.
Gnosticism does believe that not all humans are spiritual (pneumatics) and thus ready for Gnosis and liberation. [For example, the current administration in Washington, DC] Some are earthbound and materialistic beings (hyletics) [aka greedy, “axis of evil” types], who recognize only the physical reality. Others live largely in their psyche (psychics). Such people usually mistake the Demiurge for the True God and have little or no awareness of the spiritual world beyond matter and mind. In effect they never go beyond the physics into metaphysics [the latter which by definition is “beyond physics”].
Furthermore, Gnosticism does not believe evolutionary forces alone are sufficient to bring about spiritual freedom.
“Humans are caught in a predicament consisting of physical existence combined with ignorance of their true origins, their essential nature and their ultimate destiny. To be liberated from this predicament, human beings require help, although they must also contribute their own efforts.”
Accordingly, the Gnosticism drill seems to be that from the earliest times – particularly around 600 B.C.E.,
“Messengers of the Light have come forth from the True God in order to assist humans in their quest for Gnosis. Only a few of these salvific figures are mentioned in Gnostic scripture; some of the most important are Seth (the third Son of Adam), Jesus, and the Prophet Mani. The majority of Gnostics always looked to Jesus as the principal savior figure (the Soter).”
At the same time, however, in the Gnostic view it is Christ’s teachings that are relevant, not his suffering and death. Ignorance – particularly of the willful kind -- is the problem. Salvation is an individual experience, stimulated and facilitated by Messengers of Light – a latter example possibly being Lucifer, “Bringer of Light” (often associated with Enki).
Interestingly, Gnosticism opposes any system of rules, such as “ethics” or “morality”. The view is that such systems (e.g. the work ethic) are the tools of the false god, and are ultimately designed to serve his nefarious purposes. Morality as an inner integrity which derives from the divine spark, on the other hand, is spiritually ideal.
According to: http://www.gnosis.org/gnintro.htm,
“To the Gnostic, commandments and rules are not salvific; they are not substantially conducive to salvation. Rules of conduct may serve numerous ends, including the structuring of an ordered and peaceful society, and the maintenance of harmonious relations within social groups. Rules, however, are not relevant to salvation; that is brought about only by Gnosis. Morality therefore needs to be viewed primarily in temporal and secular terms; it is ever subject to changes and modifications in accordance with the spiritual development of the individual.”
In today’s world, Gnosticism is often viewed in its classical Alexandrian form, wherein matters of conduct are largely left to the insight of the individual. This may include a non-attachment and non-conformity to the world, a “being in the world, but not of the world”; a lack of egotism; and a respect for the freedom and dignity of other beings -- something of a Common Law attitude.
When asked about death, Confucius reportedly replied, “Why do you ask me about death when you do not know how to live?” This answer is pure Gnosticism. In the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas, Jesus said that “human beings must come by Gnosis to know the ineffable, divine reality from whence they have originated, and whither they will return. This transcendental knowledge must come to them while they are still embodied on earth.”
Highly noteworthy is the Gnostic belief that death does not automatically bring about liberation from bondage [Bummer!]. If liberation is not forthcoming in life, then its back to the Wheel of Life of reincarnation. [Double Bummer!] The cycle of rebirths continue! Gnosticism does not directly emphasize reincarnation, but the essence of it implies a serious acceptance of the possibility.
http://www.gnosis.org/gnintro.htm, and its author, Stephan A. Hoeller (Tau Stephanus, Gnostic Bishop), notes that:
“Theology has been called an intellectual wrapping around the spiritual kernel of a religion. If this is true, then it is also true that most religions are being strangled and stifled by their wrappings. Gnosticism does not run this danger, because its world view is stated in myth rather than in theology. Myths, including the Gnostic myths, may be interpreted in diverse ways. Transcendence, numinosity, as well as psychological archetypes along with other elements, play a role in such interpretation. Still, such mythic statements tell of profound truths that will not be denied.
“Gnosticism can bring us such truths with a high authority, for it speaks with the voice of the highest part of the human -- the spirit. Of this spirit, it has been said, ‘it bloweth where it listeth’. This then is the reason why the Gnostic world view could not be extirpated in spite of many centuries of persecution.”
“The Gnostic world view has always been timely, for it always responded best to the ‘knowledge of the heart’ that is true Gnosis. Yet today, its timeliness is increasing, for the end of the second millennium has seen the radical deterioration of many ideologies which evaded the great questions and answers addressed by Gnosticism. The clarity, frankness, and authenticity of the Gnostic answer to the questions of the human predicament cannot fail to impress and (in time) to convince.”
Other sources, for example, http://members.aol.com/heraklit1/gnostic.htm, have written that there “is no reliable body of sayings or teachings of Jesus which represent his own views beyond reasonable doubt. The four gospels are only four out of dozens that were whittled down by the formation of the church canon, and by censorship and physical destruction of rival texts.”
This led to a wide diversity in interpretations concerning the life of Christ. Two of the Gnostic gospels – the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Eve, for example – are clearly pantheistic, stating that God or Christ is present in everything and everyone. At the same time, the Gospel of Thomas (found at Nag Hammadi in Egypt) rejects the flesh and woman, while fragments from the Gospel of Eve get into lurid sexual practices, including sexual orgies and sharing mates. Obviously, interpretation becomes a highly individual and/or collective practice!
One aspect, however, is particularly significant. Coitus interruptus was normal practice. Semen was collected and offered to the body of Christ before being consumed. The Gnostics also, apparently consumed women’s menstrual blood. This corresponds to the semen of the god being equivalent to The Golden Tear from the Eye of Horus, the semen of the Father of Heaven being the White Powder of Gold, and the menstrual blood being the Star Fire of the Goddess! Obviously, the Gospel of Eve is dealing with a wholly new interpretation than the one afforded by Thomas.
http://members.aol.com/heraklit1/gnostic.htm, goes on to note that, “the power of the soul was found in semen and menses. But allowing semen to beget children in this world would play into the hands of the evil archon. So if by accident a woman fell pregnant, the sect would abort the fetus. They would pound it in a mortar, mix it with honey and spices, and eat it.” In effect, “the material world was ruled by an evil ‘archon’ or intermediate deity. The bodily flesh belonged to this archon, and would not be raised up.” The modern day equivalent to this might be in not supporting the Matrix!
Allegedly, Jesus “was the first teacher of these practices. He took Mary (probably Mary Magdalene) to a mountain, took a woman out of his side and had sex with her, then drank his own sperm saying: ‘Thus we ought to do, that we may live’" The sect even claimed that when Jesus at the Last Supper spoke of eating his flesh and drinking his blood, he was referring to this practice.”
[The accounts and texts are from: Wilhelm Schneemelcher, New Testament Apocrypha, James Clarke & Co-Westminster/John Knox Press, Cambridge and Louisville, 1990, and Philip Amidon, The Panarion of St Epiphanius, Oxford University Press, 1990.]
http://www.religioustolerance.org/gnostic.htm provides an alternative summary of Gnosticism. It notes, for example, that Gnosticism was tolerant of different religious beliefs within and outside of Gnosticism – suggesting that Thomas’ and Eve’s differing views on sex were to be considered equally valid.
This same site also provides an excellent history of Gnosticism. This includes the contention that Gnosticism’ many syncretistic belief systems combined elements from Asian, Babylonian, Egyptian, Greek, and Syrian pagan religions, from astrology, and from Judaism and Christianity. It is also suggested that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the LDS or Mormon Church) has adopted some of the ancient Gnostic beliefs and practices.
In terms of Gnostic beliefs, http://www.religioustolerance.org/gnostic.htm states that, Sophia, a virgin*, gave birth to a defective, inferior Creator-God; a lower god who created the earth and its life forms. “This is Jehovah, the God of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). He is viewed by Gnostics as fundamentally evil, jealous, rigid, lacking in compassion and prone to genocide.” Apparently, someone capable of allowing the human race to die by a Deluge. This lower god “thinks that he is supreme. His pride and incompetence have resulted in the sorry state of the world as we know it, and in the blind and ignorant condition of most of mankind.” The world had not been created perfectly and then degenerated as a result of the sin of Adam and Eve, but instead, “the world was seen as evil at the time of its origin, because it had been created by an inferior God.”
[*The original definition of virgin was, “A woman beholden to no man.”]
The latter, as mentioned before, is a good description of Enlil (aka Jehovah). Enki, on the other hand, always identified symbolically as the serpent, was honored by Gnostics. “They did not view the snake as a seducer who led the first couple into sinful behavior. Rather, they saw him/it [Enki] as a liberator who brought knowledge to Adam and Eve by convincing them to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and thus to become fully human.” [emphasis added]
If humans could use their full brains and DNA genetic makeup, "become fully human" – as opposed to about the ten or fifteen percent they currently use – humans might well become, “as one of us”, i.e. as one of the Anunnaki, the Gods and Goddesses. Eating of the fruit (the ORME or ORMUS?) of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil – even potentially the semen and menses of… whomever – may be the route!
The timing of Gnosticism and its arrival on the stage of history may thus be linked to 600 B.C.E., the beginning of the Age of Pisces, and the overriding influence of Enki. Being closer to the history of the ancient world, it is likely the Gnostics were more accurate in their description of ancient reality – a reality which may very well continue to exist to the present day. The so-called myths of the Anunnaki and the Gods and Goddesses, and so forth, are seen in the Gnostic tradition as the way it was. And very likely, still is.
Finally, http://www.religioustolerance.org/gnostic.htm notes that most Gnostic texts were destroyed during various campaigns to suppress the movement – such as the burning of the Library of Alexandria by the Catholics. Despite these set backs, however, religious historians have determined that:
Many Gnostics were solitary practitioners,
Many texts were attributed to women,
Mary Magdelene was second only to Jesus in status,
Ritual sex magic was practiced in some groups, and
In some cases, new members were baptized by saying, “In the name of the Father unknown to all, in the Truth, Mother of All, in the One who came down upon Jesus, in the union, redemption and communion of powers.”
The above reference to “the union” may likely have been the marriage of Jesus and Mary Magdalene (which explains her status in a patriarchal society). Again and again, beliefs and traditions from Gnosticism connect with the Anunnaki and History 009. This coincidence of beliefs and understanding about the world tends to mutually support each of the possibilities.
http://www.gnostics.com compares Gnostics with a Marxist “long awaited International Social Revolution” – which is something of a stretch! Yet at the same time, the site adds some interesting notes on the discovery of the Gnostic “secret books”.
For example, the 44 papyrus documents of the Gnostic Archive was found at Gebel et-Tarif (and yet called Nag Hammadi). Furthermore, they were very nearly lost a second time – “either as a result of nationalist bureaucratic bungling and petty scholastic intrigue, or by simply vanishing on the international black market”. Also, the young men who found the artifacts were unaware of their value to the extent they used some to warm their tea. “There’s no way to telling how much more Gnostic history had been lost by that little tea break.”
They go on to note that the Coptic Gnostic Texts are very likely far more valuable than the famous Nassene “Dead Sea Scrolls” of Qumran,“in that they reveal the essence of a religion that Christianity tried to obliterate.” At the same time, much of what we know about Gnosticism derived from a certain “Saint Epiphanius” who bravely allowed himself to be seduced by a Gnostic sect’s more attractive females – all for the cause of investigating the “cult” – and then once having infiltrated the ranks, this stalwart Christian handed a list of members to the Church for their immediate banishment!
http://www.gnostics.com also notes that all pagan religions of the Mediterranean and the Near East had adapted their creeds to astrology -- which as accorded the status of a science. It was in this way that human were subjected to the Determinism and shackles of the Wheel of Fate. The jury is still out on that one.
 Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code, Doubleday, New York, 2003.
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