Gnostic perspective of Islam

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Parker
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Gnostic perspective of Islam

#1 Postby Parker » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:02 pm

Hi everyone!

I was curious to know your opinion on Islam.
I know that may seem like a very vague question, so I'll break it down further.

I want to know, from a Gnostic point of view, if you believe Islam is a spirituality in which gnosis can be sought and achieved?

The reason I ask is because I have been studying Islam and the Qur'an lately. So many things to me are beautiful about the religion, yet certain other things I've found have been a bit disturbing and unsettling.

The God of Islam, Allah, repeatedly proclaims that he is the ONE and ONLY, and you must submit to him as a servant. And while there are many references to Allah as being the Most Compassionate and Most Merciful (Ar-Rahman Ar-Rahim) there are also a lot of passages that talk about his wrath and punishment if you do not obey his will. I guess interpretation of this can vary from reader to reader, but I can't help but find it extremely reminiscent of the boastful nature of the Demiurge in the Hypostasis of the Archons.
The Qur'an also does confirm that Allah is in fact the same God of Abraham and Moses (correct my ignorance if I'm wrong, the God of the Old Testament IS the demiurge, correct?)
This makes me wonder if Islam is an entrapping path that inhibits gnosis and full spiritual development and leads to the jealous Creator as opposed to the Pleroma.

Also, from a Gnostic Christian perspective, what do you believe about the prophet Muhammad? He was a man- he never claimed divinity, nor performed miracles, etc. It wasn't until later in his life that the Angel Gabriel came to him in the Cave of Hira and revealed that he was a chosen prophet of God.
From my understanding of Gnosticism, the Christ was an Aeon sent to Earth to save humanity from the entrapment of the Creator and reawaken our gnosis. Could Muhammad have been on the same mission? Or do you believe that the demiurge and archons were responsible for his prophecies and the religion that developed out of it?

I apologize if I made any ignorant, generalized statements.
My intent is to understand better and I tried to use the best language I could to do so.

Tau Malachi
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another revelation...

#2 Postby Tau Malachi » Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:00 pm

Greetings and blessings in the Holy Light of the Messiah!

Oh my, what a big question; as many different sects of Islam as there are, which shall we speak about? If we were to speak about Christianity or Judaism, how many sects are there in each tradition, and how different are they? So it is with Islam. As with exoteric Judaism and Christianity, so with exoteric Islam, there is much that is beautiful, and that is good and true, and much that is quite the opposite. What shall we say?

A detailed explanation of Islam I’m not inclined to; that is not the intention or purpose of our forums, but rather, an exploration of Sophian Gnosticism, and its teachings and practices, this is the intention, and purpose, of our forums. Concerning Islam I can say this, however, that I’m quite captured by Sufism, the inner, mystical tradition of Islam, which if you inquire of some Sufi masters predates Islam, or the prophet; it is much like the Holy Kabbalah, Jewish and Christian Mysticism.

As for the idea that the demiurge is the “God of the Old Testament,” while perhaps that was the view of some classical schools of Christian Gnosticism, that is not the view of all schools of Gnosticism. In our own school of thought, that is considered an oversimplification of the demiurge, and the differences between the Old and New Testament. It is not that the demiurge is the God of the Old Testament, or Yahweh, but rather, the demiurge is the personification of the cosmic ignorance that taints the revelation of the Divine, whether in the Torah or Koran, or the dogmatic doctrines, and so “sacred” rites and rituals, of the Roman Church, and other churches, and much that has been done in the name of “Christ” and the “Gospel,” which has nothing to do with Christ, or the Gospel.

Our lineage and tradition is, basically speaking, a Jewish-Christian form of Gnosticism, a Christian Kabbalah rooted in Jewish Kabbalah. In our view, the God of the Old Testament and God of the New Testament is the same God – One God; what changes is the development and evolution of human consciousness in the reception of the revelation of God, the Divine – God does not change, we do. And so, now, today, as we continue to receive the revelation of God, the Divine; God has not changed, but we are changing, growing and evolving, and so new revelations, new insights and illuminations, and new knowledge, understanding and wisdom, is possible – a new consciousness.

If we wish to consider various revelations of the Divine, with Moses it is said God, or the presence of God, communicated directly with him, and with Yeshua (Jesus), it is said he abided in a conscious union with God, and so embodied something of God; Mohammed received his revelation from the angels of God. In this it seems we have three very different levels of revelation, or so it would seem; all by the account of these individuals about their experience of God.

In this, though, we see the mercy and compassion of God. Those who received the testament of Mohammed, would they ever have become Jewish or Christian? So then, potentially, many souls are gathered in through Mohammed that otherwise would not be gathered in – yes or no? What should we think of this? It seems that it is good, and established in God, the True Light, regardless of the shades and shadows it might attract, or engender, in this world.

The greater question in anything is, will it lead to the enlightenment and liberation of souls? What will bring about actual enlightenment and liberation?

In this, truly, I have no concern for religion, I’m interested in the mystical journey – a spirituality of direct experience. In other words, I’m interested in what will bring us into the same spiritual and mystical experience of Mohammed, Moses or Jesus, or any of the holy and enlightened ones – this is the interest, and aim, of “Gnostics.”

Islam, dear brother, we cannot speak much about – we are not Muslims in our lineage and tradition, nor are we Sufis; we are Christian Gnostics, Christian Mystics, and practice a Christian Kabbalah – this we can speak about, from our own knowledge and experience.

Peace be with you!
Last edited by Tau Malachi on Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
Tau Malachi
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Parker
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#3 Postby Parker » Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:00 pm

I thank you two so much for your perspectives and wisdom!
Upon further, extensive thought and pondering on the subject, I think I am becoming more enlightened.
I realize now that I was trying too hard to confine and dogmatize certain concepts of Gnosticism by taking the concept of the Demiurge and Archons very literally and thus, becoming confused in trying to discover who and what the nature of God is within Islam.
.

I am very happy to share what I have learned- please, share your thoughts with me on the following.

I now see that the concept of "Gnosis" exists in ALL religions- some of which provide a very exoteric easy-to-read language of teaching, while some other teachings show themselves within very hidden, metaphorical, and esoteric language- each one using different mythologies, doctrines, words, messengers, archetypes, etc., in an effort to convey the same Divine message:
To detach oneself from the ego and to become aware of the "divine spark" of God that exists within yourself and within all humanity.
Through this awareness, and through the abstinence of egotistical thoughts, speech, and actions (all of which keep us entrapped in ignorance and prevent us from knowing our highest spiritual selves, and our Source) we achieve Gnosis, Ma'rifa, Moksha, etc, the awareness of ones unity with God.

Gnostic writings tell this exact story of shedding ego and ignorance and finding Spiritual truth over and over again.. I am simply amazed!! For example:

Sophia (Wisdom) gave birth to the Demiurge, whom I will call Ignorance. Ignorance entrapped himself inside of the physical world due to the fact that he was completely ignorant of his Divine Source since he was unable see with his eyes who or what he came from. He only saw himself, Ego- the false self, the embodiment of greed, desire, selfishness, attachment, power, control, jealousy, wrath, etc. The Demiurge, is perhaps the personification of our own Ego that is "trapped" in the physical realm, separated from God, and is confused by the limiting flaws and ignorances that exist within ourselves and cause us to forget our Divine Kinship with God. The "Demiurge" aka Ignorance/Ego is the "false god" of ourselves, whom we "worship" by obeying "his"/our various desires that lead to greed, attachment, envy, judgment of others, anger, etc. In all of these "Ego-Worshiping" actions, we move ourselves farther away from our unity with God Source, and farther into our enslavement to the "Demiurge"/Our Own Ego. Sophia (Divine Wisdom) is the literal Spark/presence of Source within us ALL, which we must seek to find to know our true nature and to know GOD. To find Sophia/Divine Wisdom within ourselves, we must overcome the illusions, desires, attachments, and false promises perpetuated by the "Demiurge and his Archons" aka Our Own Ego/Ignorance, such as entitlement, selfishness, anger, jealousy, pride, and other worldly things that distract us from finding the UNIVERSAL TRUTH- that we are unified to Love, Truth, GOD, always.

Perhaps we don't all interpret that particular Gnostic story as metaphorically as I do, and I apologize if someone is offended by my theories.

Regardless, I believe that I am slowly but surely finding the sweet, simple, MYSTICAL truth that is behind ALL religions;
To look within and not without, and there- we will find our true nature, which is Spiritual. It is there that we experience and know God unto ourselves. It is there that we unite our soul with the presence Sophia-Wisdom, or with Allah-The Ever Merciful, or with whatever other beautiful name we know God by. It is there, that we feel and honor the longing of our Spirit, which is to unify with the Divine.

This mystical journey is the heart of every religion! Perhaps it's not always outwardly visible within strict compounds of literalistic dogmas, where turning inward as a seeker seems to be condemned and suppressed by religious hierarchy who seem to only know the words of Books (man-made.) I cannot pass judgement on them for that, instead I must invite them to join me in seeking the Beauty that the Books are telling us of that transcends written word. The Beauty that cannot be read or contained, the Beauty that cannot be found in man-made buildings, the Beauty that transcends our five senses, the Beauty that is experiencing God!

Much love you you all!

Tau Malachi
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Gnosis, Gnosticism & Gnostic

#4 Postby Tau Malachi » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:39 am

Greetings and blessings in the Holy Light of the Messiah!

These seem like good insights to me dear brother; what we mean by “gnosis” and “gnostic” occurs in every authentic wisdom tradition, and corresponds with the inner, mystical tradition within them. From one to another lineage and tradition there are various gradations of realization and enlightenment embodied, clearly so, but the essence and nature of the Truth, God or Enlightenment, is the same, and the essential points of focus are the same, such as love and compassion, and an evolution beyond the egoistic condition, or self-cherishing, attachment and aversion. If we wish to make a full push towards self-realization or enlightenment, first we need to understand the mystical journey in general, and then in particular; hence, first recognize the Universal Truths, if you will, and then find our way with them, the expression of the path, or teachings and practices, we feel a heart-connection to and resonate with. Once recognizing the Universal Truths, then we need to find a way to enter into direct spiritual and mystical experiences of that Truth and Light, and entering into direct experience, then we need to live according to that Truth and Light, and so actualize, realize and embody it.

Naturally, we begin with faith, which is an intuition of the possibility, or reality, of God or Enlightenment, and is an intuition of an experience that at the outset, as yet we have not had, and so we begin with many concepts of God or Enlightenment, some of which might have truth in them, and some of which might not; but our faith, and our concepts, lead us to seek and find – because of them we engage in the spiritual life and practice, and eventually enter into direct spiritual and mystical experience, or what we would call the “Gnostic experience.”

In our view, Gnosticism is not a religion to which one converts; hence, not a set of dogmas and doctrines one professes to believe and so is called “Gnostic.” Instead, Gnosticism is a vehicle through which we enter into the Gnostic experience, direct spiritual and mystical experience of the Truth and Light, and so acquire gnosis, knowledge, of the Truth and Light – it is through gnosis that a person becomes a Gnostic.

Each lineage or tradition will have their own vocabulary, their own mystical and symbolic language, through which they express their Gnostic experience (or enlightenment experience), and the gnosis (or enlightenment) that arises in it. It is important, though, that we do not confuse the vehicles for the experience of the journey itself, or the realization or enlightenment that dawns, for the purpose of the vehicles, or teachings and practices, is the spiritual journey and realization. As is said in Buddhist teachings, once “reaching the other shore” one then “leaves the boat behind.” Of course, until we reach the “other shore,” the boat is a wonderful and necessary vehicle, and it is good to remain in it.

Peace be with you!
Tau Malachi

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Ecclesia Pistis Sophia

kanaloa
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Re: Gnostic perspective of Islam

#5 Postby kanaloa » Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:16 pm

Sufism is one of the deepest gnostic paths in the west. I feel that much of the gnosticism that was disowned by the Christian church stayed alive in Sufism. Most Sufi's believe that there are many levels of meaning in the Quran depending on one's level of consciousness. They also have knowledge a sacred psychology that I would say is deeper and more transformative than anything else out there. Personally I feel that the shadow of exoteric Islam, possibly the most reactive and repressive outward religions, is one of the most advanced and beautiful gnostic paths on earth!

Tau Malachi
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Re: Gnostic perspective of Islam

#6 Postby Tau Malachi » Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:35 pm

Shalom,

Ah, dear friend, then you have your call, your path...how wonderful! Praise Allah! It's all about where we resonate, and commit ourselves - offer ourselves, and so cleave to the Beloved.

Blessings!
Tau Malachi

Sophia Fellowship

Ecclesia Pistis Sophia

kanaloa
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:40 pm

Re: Gnostic perspective of Islam

#7 Postby kanaloa » Tue Mar 10, 2015 3:53 am

Well, I'm not personally a Sufi, I've just learned much from it. More indirectly from the works of Ali Hameed and Faisal Maquaddam, who arn't really Sufi themselves but were raised in Islam.


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