Origins of Gnosis

Since Gnostic studies have progressed extraordinarily in recent times, no educated person would fall today as in the past, into the simplistic error of associating the flow of Gnosis with some exclusive spiritual latitude.

Although it is true that in any Gnostic system we must take into account its Eastern Hellenistic elements, including Persia, Mesopotamia, Syria, India, Palestine, Egypt, etc, we must never ignore the Gnostic principles visible in the sublime religious cults of the Indo-American Nahuas, Toltecs, Aztecs, Zapotecs, Mayas, Chibchas, Incas, Quechuas, etc.

Speaking quite frankly and straightforward, we will state: Gnosis is a very natural function of the consciousness, a perennis et universalis philosophy.

Unquestionably, Gnosis is the enlightened knowledge of the divine mysteries, which are reserved for a certain elite.

The word ‘Gnosticism’ encloses within its grammatical structure the idea of systems or methods dedicated to the study of Gnosis.

‘Gnosticism’ implies a coherent, clear and precise series of fundamental elements that can be verified through direct mystical experience:

  • Damnation, from a scientific and philosophic point of view.
  • The Adam and Eve of the Hebraic Genesis
  • The Original Sin and the fall from Paradise
  • The Mystery of Nahua Lucifer
  • The Death of the Myself
  • The Creative Powers
  • The essence of the Salvator Salvandus
  • The Sexual Mysteries
  • The Intimate Christ
  • The Igneous Serpent of our magical powers
  • The Descent into Hell
  • The return to Eden
  • The Gift of Mephistopheles
  • Only the Gnostic doctrines that entail the above mentioned ontological, theological and anthropological bases are part of genuine Gnosticism.

A pregnostic system portrays in a concrete, evident and specific manner certain characteristics that in some way could be detected in the Gnostic systems, however, such characteristics are integrated to a conception that is entirely anomalous to revolutionary Gnosticism. Indeed, it is a thinking that is not and nonetheless is Gnostic.

Any Gnostic system in an incipient, germinal state is protognostic; these are movements directed by an attitude very similar to the one that characterises definite Gnostic methods.

The adjective ‘Gnostic’ can and even must be applied intelligently to conceptions that are related in one way or another to Gnosis or to Gnosticism.

Undoubtedly, the term ‘Gnosticising’ is very close to pregnostic in its meaning, for it is truly related, ‘estricto sensu,’ to intrinsic aspects that bear certain similarity with Universal Gnosticism, but which are integrated in a method that is not defined as Gnosis.

Having these semantic explanations firmly established, now let us define Gnosticism in an absolutely crystal-clear manner.

It is not irrelevant to emphatically clarify in this exposition that Gnosticism is a very inner, natural and profound religious process.

Gnosticism is genuine, in-depth esotericism, developed from instant to instant, with very individual mystical experiences and with its own doctrine and rites.

It is an extraordinary doctrine that fundamentally takes a mythical and, sometimes, a mythological structure.

It is ineffable magical liturgy with vivid illustration for the superlative consciousness of the Being.

Unquestionably, Gnostic knowledge always escapes the analyses of normal subjective rationalism.

The correlative of this knowledge is the infinite togetherness of the person, the Being.

The reason for the Being to be is to be the Being himself. Only the Being can know himself.

In Gnosis, therefore, the Being becomes Self-known.

Undoubtedly, Gnosis in itself is Self-gnosis; it is the Being re-evaluating and knowing himself.

The Self-knowledge of the Being is a supra-rational movement that depends on the Being, and which has nothing to do with intellectualism.

The abyss that exists between the Being and the ego is impassable; this is why only the Pneuma, the Spirit, can recognise himself, and the action of recognising himself is an autonomous act in which the subjective reasoning of the intellectual mammal becomes ineffective, insufficient and terribly weak.

Self-knowledge, Self-gnosis, demands annihilation of the ‘I,’ as a previous, urgent and unpostponable work. The I, the Ego, is made up of additions and subtractions of subjective inhuman and bestial elements, which unquestionably have a beginning and an end.

Unfortunately, the Essence, the consciousness, since it is imprisoned, trapped, bottled up within these diverse elements which constitute the myself, the ego, is painfully processing itself according to its conditioning.

However, the Essence, the consciousness, awakens, becomes enlightened, is liberated, when the ‘I,’ the Ego, is dissolved, thus as a consequence or corollary, Self-knowledge, Self-gnosis, develops. Undoubtedly, authentic revelation has its irrefutable and indisputable basis in Self-gnosis.

Gnostic revelation is always immediate, direct, and intuitive; it radically excludes subjective intellectual operations, this has nothing to do with experiencing and assembling fundamentally sensorial data.

Indeed, even recognising that Intelligence or Nous in its Gnosiological sense, can be the basis of enlightened intellection, nonetheless, it categorically refuses to fall into vain intellectualism.

Therefore, the ontological, pneumatic or spiritual characteristics of Nous (Intelligence) are perfectly clear.

In the name of truth, I solemnly declare that the Being is the only real existence, and before the ineffable and terribly divine transparency of the Being that which we call I, ego, myself is just outer darkness, wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Therefore, due to the flow of the anthropological aspects of the Pneuma or Spirit, Self-gnosis, or the Self-gnostic recognition of the Being, is confirmed decisively a Savior.

Knowing oneself is having achieved identification with one’s own Divine Being.

To know that you are identical to your own Pneuma or Spirit, to experience directly the identification of cognisance with the cognisant, is what we can and must define as Self-gnosis.

Clearly, this extraordinary disclosure invites us to die within ourselves so that the Being can manifest himself within us.

On the contrary, to move away from the Being, to continue as ego within the heresy of separateness, means to condemn ourselves to the submerged devolution within the infernal worlds.

This evident reflection leads us to the topic of the freely chosen Gnostic. Unquestionably, a serious Gnostic is already a chosen one, a posteriori chosen one.

The Gnostic experience allows the sincere devotee to know himself and to integrally realise the Self.

Let it be understood that Self-realisation is the harmonious development of the entire infinite of human possibilities.

Self-realisation is not a matter of capriciously distributed intellectual data nor is it a mere insubstantial wordy talk of ambiguous chattering.

Everything that we are stating in these paragraphs should be appreciated as genuine experience, real and vivid.

The dogma of orthodox predetermination does not exist within Gnostic methods, since this dogma would bound us lamentably to that narrow conception of an anthropomorphic deity.

God is Theo in Greek, Deus in Latin and Div or Deva in Sanskrit, a word that translates as angel or angels.

Even among the most conservative Semitic peoples, the most ancient god of light — El or Ilu — appears (in the first chapters of Genesis) in its synthetic plural form of Elohim.

God is not any human or divine individual in particular: God is Gods. It is the Army of the Voice, the Great Word, the Word of the Gospel of Saint John, the Creator Logos, the Perfect Multiple Unity.

To know and realise oneself on the horizon of infinite possibilities implies to join or rejoin oneself to the Creative Host of the Elohim.

Thus, this is the Gnostic’s Self-assurance; his Being has disclosed himself completely to him, and the marvellous splendours of his Being radically destroys any illusion.

The opening of the Pneuma or Divine Spirit of the human being encloses the total Soteriological content.

If we have the Gnosis of the great ancient mysteries, it is because some very holy men managed (due to their doctrinarian loyalty) to approach the revealing dynamism of their Being.

Without this previous information on Gnostic anthropology it would be more than impossible to study rigorously the different anthropological pieces of the Aztec, Toltec, Maya, Egyptian, cultures, etc, etc, etc.

Regarding profane anthropology (excuse me for being blunt), it can be compared to the consequences of a monkey, chimpanzee or any ape left completely free in a laboratory; do it and observe what happens.

Mexican codices, Egyptian papyri, Assyrian bricks, Dead Sea scrolls, strange parchments, as well as certain very ancient Temples, sacred monoliths, old hieroglyphs, pyramids, millenary sepulchres, etc, offer in their symbolic depth a Gnostic sense that definitively escapes literal interpretation and which has never had an exclusively intellectual explanatory value.

Lamentably, speculative rationalism, instead of enriching the Gnostic language, impoverishes it, since Gnostic matters (whether they be written or allegorised in any artistic form) are always directed to the Being.

Thus, it is in this extremely interesting quasi-philosophic and quasi-mythological language of Gnosis that a series of extraordinary invariants appear: symbols with a transcendental esoteric content, which silently say much.

Divines and humans know very well that silence is the eloquence of wisdom.

The characteristics that clearly specify the Gnostic myth and which mutually complement each other are the following:

1. Supreme Divinity.
2. Emanation and fall of the Pleroma.
3. Architect Demiurge.
4. Pneuma in the World.
5. Dualism.
6. Savior.
7. Return.

The Gnostic Supreme Divinity can be characterised as Agnostos Theos, the Absolute Abstract Space, the Ignored or Unknowable God, the One Reality from which the Elohim emanate at the dawn of any universal creation.

It should be remembered that Paranishpana is the Summum Bonum — what is Absolute — and, therefore, the same as Paranirvana.

Later on, all that seemingly exists in this Universe will come to have real existence in the state of Paranishpana.

Unquestionably, the faculties of human cognition would never be able to go beyond the Cosmic Empire of the Female-Male Logos, the Creator Demiurge, the Army of the Voice (the Word).

Jah-Hovah, the secret Father-Mother of each of us, is the authentic Jehova.

The Hebrew letter Iod is the Membrum Virile (the masculine principle). Eve, Heve — the same as Hebe, the Greek Goddess of youth and bride of the Olympic Heracles — is the Yoni, the divine chalice, the eternal Feminine.

The Divine Rabbi of Galilee, instead of worshipping the anthropomorphic Jehova of Jewry, adored his Divine Male-Female (Jah-Hovah), the inner Father-Mother.

The Blessed One, crucified on the Mount of Skulls, screamed in a great voice saying, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” RAM-IO, Isis, his Divine Mother Kundalini, accompanied him along the Via Crucis (the Way of the Cross).

All nations have their first god, or gods, as androgynous; it could not be in any other way, since they used to consider their distant primal ancestors, their double-sex forefathers, as divine beings and holy gods, just as the Chinese do today.

Indeed, the artificial conception of an anthropomorphic Jehova who is exclusivist, independent of his own work, sitting up there on a throne of tyranny and despotism, throwing lightning and thunder against this miserable human ant hill, is the outcome of ignorance, mere intellectual idolatry.

This erroneous conception of the truth, has unfortunately taken possession of both the western philosopher and the religious person who is affiliated to any of those sects that are completely lacking the Gnostic elements.

What the Gnostics of all times have rejected, is not the unknown God, One and always present in Nature, or Nature in abscondito, but the God of the orthodox dogma, the horrific vengeful deity of the Law of Talion (“an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”).

The Absolute Abstract Space, the Unknowable God, is neither a limitless void nor a conditioned fullness, but both things in unison.

The Gnostic esotericist understands that revelation comes from divine beings, from manifested lives, but never from the One Life not Manifestable.

The Unknowable Seity is the Absolute Abstract Space, the Rootless Root of all that has been, is, or shall be.

Evidently, the Infinite and Eternal Cause is devoid of any kind of attributes; it is a negative light, a negative existence; it is beyond the reach of any thought or speculation.

The Valentinean Gnostic myth that specifically shows us the Thirty Pleromatic Aeons, emerging mysteriously in successive and ordered emanations and in perfect pairs from the Absolute Abstract Space, can and must serve as archetypal model of a monistic myth that, in a more or less manifested form, is found present in any defined Gnostic system.

This transcendental point of the First Progeny [Proto-prole or Probole], is classically oriented towards a ternary division of the Divine: the Agnostos Theos (the Absolute), the Demiurge, the Pro-father, etc.

The Divine World, the glorious domain of the Pleroma, came out directly from the Negative Light, the Negative Existence.

Finally the Nous, Spirit or Pneuma, contains in itself infinite possibilities that can develop during manifestation.

The multiplicity or the fall did occur between the extraordinary limits of “to be or not to be” of Philosophy.

The Gnostic myth of the fall of Sophia (divine wisdom), solemnly allegorizes this terrible disruption in the bosom of the Pleroma.

Desire, fornication, to want to stand out as ego, brings about disaster and disorder; it produces an adulterated work that is left outside the divine realm, even though the Essence, the Buddhata, the psychic material of the human creature, remains trapped in such a work.

The impulse towards the Unity of Life, free in its motion, can become diverted towards the ‘I,’ and forge a whole world of bitterness in the separation.

The fall of the degenerate human being is the basis of the Theology of all ancient nations.

According to Philolaus, the Pythagorean (fifth century BC), ancient philosophers used to say that the psychic material, the Essence, was buried in the ‘I,’ like a tomb, as punishment for some sin.

Plato testifies to this (that such was the Orphic Doctrine) and he himself professed it.

Inordinate desire, disruption in the regime of emanation, leads to failure.

To want to distinguish ourselves as ego always sparks off disorder and the fall of any angelic rebellion.

The sculpture of a double Tlaloc as the author of the world of shapes is actually a mystical group of Male-Female creators or Double Gods –as Tlaloc the God of rain and lightning, and his wife Chachiuhtlicue, she of the jade skirt, in the Pantheons of the Mayas, Aztecs, Olmecs, Zapotecs, etc, etc, etc.

In the word Elohim, we find a transcendental key that invites reflection.

Certainly, Elohim is translated as “God” in the various authorised and revised versions of the Bible.

Not only from the esoteric point of view, but also linguistically, it is an incontrovertible fact that the term Elohim is a feminine noun with a plural masculine ending.

The correct translation of the noun Elohim in its strict sense is Goddesses and Gods.

And the Spirit of the Male and Female Principles was hovering over the surface of what was shapeless, and creation took place.

Unquestionably, a religion without Goddesses is half-way towards complete Atheism.

If we truly want perfect balance in psychic life, we need to worship Elohim (the Gods and Goddesses of ancient times), and not the anthropomorphic Jehova rejected by the Great Kabir Jesus.

The idolatrous cult of the anthropomorphic Jehova instead of Elohim is certainly a powerful impediment to achieving supernormal conscious states.

Instead of laughing skeptically — as profane anthropologists do — before the depictions of Gods and Goddesses of the diverse Pantheons of the Aztec, Maya, Olmec, Toltec, Inca, Chibcha, Druidic, Egyptian, Hindu, Chaldean, Phoenician, Mesopotamian, Persian, Roman, Tibetan, etc, etc, etc, Gnostic anthropologists bend on our knees at the feet of these Divinities, because we recognise in them the Elohim Creator of the universe. “Whosoever laughs at what he does not know is an ignoramus who walks on the path of idiocy.” (Goethe)

The deviation from the Creator Demiurge is the antithesis, is what is fatal, is the inclination to egoism, the real origin of so much bitterness.

Undoubtedly, the egoical consciousness is identified with Jahve who, according to Saturninus of Antioch, is a fallen angel, the genie of evil.

The Essence, the Consciousness, bottled up within the ‘I,’ painfully processes itself within time, by virtue of its own conditioning.

The situation — certainly not very pleasant — incessantly repeated in the Gnostic matters of the Pneuma cruelly submitted to the powers of the law, to the world and to the abyss, is too evident to insist on it here.

It is evident that the Intellectual Mammal mistakenly called “human being” is too feeble and disconcertingly helpless to rise from the dust of the earth without divine aid.

There is a common proverb that goes like this: “Strike with thy rod while thou beg to thy God.”

Only the Igneous Ray, imperishable, held at the bottom of the cold, dark, shapeless substance, can reduce the Psychological ‘I’ to Cosmic Dust in order to free the consciousness, the essence.

We declare with fiery words: only Divine Breath can reinstate us in the truth; nevertheless, this is only possible by conscious works and voluntary sufferings.

Specific possession of Gnosis is always accompanied by a certain attitude of strangeness or surprise at this illusory world.

Genuine Gnostics want a definitive change, they feel intimately the secret impulses of their Being; hence their anguish, rejection and embarrassment at the diverse inhuman elements of which the ‘I’ is made.

They who yearn to be lost in the Being, bear affliction and abhorrence of the horrors of the ‘Myself.’

To contemplate oneself as a moment in totality is to know oneself to be infinite, and to reject with all the might of ones own Being the sickening egoism of separateness.

Two psychological states open before a defined Gnostic:

A) That of the Being, which is transparent, crystal-clear, impersonal, real and true.
B) That of the ‘I,’ which is a collective of psychic aggregates that personify defects, whose only reason to exist is ignorance.
Higher I and Lower I [so-called Higher Self and Lower Self] are just two sections of one same thing, different aspects of the Myself, diverse facets of the Infernal.

The sinister, diabolic and tenebrous ‘I’ –whether Higher, Middle or Lower — is, therefore, continual addition, subtraction and multiplication of inhuman psychic aggregates.

The so-called Higher I [Higher Self] is certainly a trick of the myself, an intellectual hoax by the ego seeking ways out in order to continue existing; a very subtle form of self-deceit.

The ‘I’ is a horrifying work of many volumes, the result of countless yesterdays, a fatal knot that we have to untie.

The egoical self-praise, worship of the ‘I,’ the overestimation of the myself, is paranoia, the worst kind of idolatry.

Gnosis is revelation or disclosure, refined aspirations, conceptual synthetism, maximum achievements.

Clearly, both in essence and in accident, Gnosis and Grace are identifiable phenomenologically.

Self-gnosis, the Inner Self-realisation of the Being, would be more than impossible without divine grace, without the extraordinary help of the sacred Breath.

To be Self-saved is right, and this requires full identification of what saves with what is saved.

That which is divine, that which dwells deepest in the Soul, the authentic and legitimate cognisant faculty, annihilates the ego and absorbs the Essence in its Parousia, and in a total enlightenment saves it. This is the theme of the Salvator Salvandus.

The Gnostic who has been saved from the waters has closed the cycle of infinite bitterness, has passed the limit that separates the ineffable realm of the Pleroma from the ineffable regions of the universe, he has bravely escaped the empire of the Demiurge because of having reduced the ego to cosmic dust.

The passage through the diverse worlds, the successive annihilation of the inhuman elements, affirms this reincorporation within the Sacred Absolute Sun; this is how we transform ourselves into terribly divine creatures and pass beyond good and evil.

Samael Aun Weor – Gnostic Anthropology (Secret Doctrine of Anahuac)