Location: Texas

Tuesday, October 19, 2004


I've been sympathetic to Gnosticism ever since I first found it and began to understand it's message. I don't think that many people, especially mainstream Christians, understand much about it. My experience is that they refuse to even consider it because it will somehow taint their souls and condemn them to damnation. Now, that is mere speculation on my part, but I've not found many that will actually read any of the work.

I've been reading The Templar Revelation for amusement (it's not the book I originally thought it was) and I ran across a passage that pretty much explains it the way I understand it and better than any other explanation that I've run across.

It is not difficult to understand the appeal of Gnosticism, although it was no easy option - the emphasis being on personal responsibility for one's own actions - but at the same time the threat to the Church of Rome is obvious. As Hermes Trismegistus supposedly wrote: 'Oh! What a miracle is Man!', an exclamation that encapsulates the idea that mankind contains the divine spark. Neither Gnostics nor hermeticists grovelled before their God. Unlike Catholics, they did not think of themselves as lowly and evil creatures who were destined for purgatory, if not hell itself. Recognizing their divine spark automatically bestowed what we today would call 'self-esteem' or confidence - the magic ingredient in the process of fulfilling one's potential. This was the key to the Renaissance as a whole, and the fearlessness it induced can be seen in the sudden opening up of the world through circumnavigation and exploration. Worse still, as far as the Church was concerned, this notion of individual potential for godhood implied that women were as good as men, at least spiritually. Gnostic women had always had a voice, and even officiated at religious ceremonies: this was one of the major threats that Gosticism posed to the Catholic Church. Moreover, the idea of mankind's essentially divine status did not accord with the Christian idea of 'original sin' - the idea that all men and women are born sinful because of the Fall of Adam and Eve (especially the latter). Because all children are the result of the 'shameful' sex act, that idea inextricably linked women and children in a kind of everlasting conspiracy against pure men and a vengeful God. Gnostics and hermeticists, on the whole, had no truck with 'original sin'.

Each individual was encouraged to explore both outer and inner worlds for him/herself - experiencing gnosis, knowledge of the Divine. This emphasis on individual salvation was totally antithetical to the Church's insistence that only priests were the conduits through which God might communicate with mankind. The Gnostic idea of a direct line to God, as it were, threatened the Church's very existence. With no priestly hold over it's flock, what chance did the Church have to maintain its control?

The Church is all about control and it maintains this through the myth of original sin from which you must be saved, the only path to which is through the Church. I find the very idea of original sin offensive and the need to be saved by grovelling equally offensive.

I have come to believe that this hatred of man in general and women in particular is a creation of Pauline Christianity.

It falls neatly into place, doesn't it?

I think I ought to mention that I am not certain of God, despite many years of searching.

Many Red Sox fans are however. The camera men in Yankee stadium seemed to take great pleasure in searching them out as they prayed!


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