Gnosis Revisited

Posted by & filed under 2012.

An Excerpt from The Geometry of the End Of Time: Proportion, Prophecy and Power, by Robert Lawlor

gnosisAccording to Gnostic beliefs, the greatest obstacle to the advancement of human consciousness has been conceptual and linguistic error: “Giving a name to the nameless.” It is due to this error that we find our society stretched over an abyss between an irreconcilable duality: Monotheism and Atheism, with no third term upon which dialogue or integration might occur.

Perhaps Gnosticism can fulfill that bridging role.

The three dominant monotheisms which originated with and presently bind Western civilization, all adopted dramaturgies with one very simple element: One God, having a specific name who actively intrudes in the social, political, sexual and military endeavors of human life. This specified and anthropomorphized “God” guides nations through the rise and fall of Empires as well as through the, not uncommon, plagues, famines and floods. In this way the deification earns devotion and fear in their constituency. Consistent in the three mid-Eastern European monotheisms the ultimate “God” communes through a historic figure, (rulers or military) who is instrumental in establishing an institutionalized church.

The Gnostics believed that collective narratives, such as those found in monotheism, as well as in its antithesis, atheistic secular scientism, distorts human thought and perception on all levels and can only direct the formation and goals towards corrupt and self-destructive conclusions. The following Gnostic verses address this very question and also speak to the human yearning for freedom from the millennia of warring monotheisms which continue to fracture the potential spiritual wholeness in humankind. The Gnosis is a deep intuitive sense of the presence of an unspeakable mystery beneath all knowing and all being.

Thou art alone the non-containable
And thou art alone the non-visible
Thou art alone the non-subsistent

– Gnostic hymn, preserved in Coptic

O thou beyond all things what else can it be meet to call thee?
How can speech praise thee? for thou art not expressible by any speech.
How can reason gather thee? for thou art not comprehensible by any mind.
Thou that art alone ineffable while thou engenderest all that is open to speech.
Thou that alone art unknowable while thou engenderest all that is open to thought….
End of all things art thou and one and all and none,
Not being one nor all, claiming all names how shall I call thee?

– Opening lines of a hymn by Gregorius the Theologian