Gnosticism and the Present Church

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Gnosticism and the Present Church

#1 Postby kanaloa » Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:29 pm

Hello, in my past studies on Gnosticism, I have had a difficult time finding a living tradition. One thing I did find, in some authors has been an outright rejection of the outer religion of Christianity that has arisen since it became an overly centralized institution after Constantine. It is as if the Bible and the church is to be rejected as a colossal mistake.

I've been contemplating this for some time but feel that what's done is done, but Christianity was essentially a gnostic Judaic tradition and that was never completely lost. When I go to a more traditional Catholic or Episcopal service, it's like in the Matrix where I can see the matrix code of gnosticism in everything, even thought the priests and congregants don't see it.

It seems that the living oral tradition of gnostic Christianity is able to integrate with the standard church and scriptures but with enlightened eyes. I think of some of the esoteric greats such as Boheme who have been part of the church but were able to stay deeply spiritual within it.

Elder Gideon
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The Life of Oral Tradition

#2 Postby Elder Gideon » Wed Mar 11, 2015 8:05 pm


Glad to meet you in our forums! By what name may address you? :)

Your insight into a living, oral tradition is perceptive. They're hard to find, particularly ones that are actually living, meaning growing, changing, and responsive to what is happening in every respect. In a word: Organic.

Had esoteric and exoteric perspectives of the Gospel been allowed to mature together, as is evidenced in Hindu and Buddhist communities of Northern India and their environs, the West might not have had to divide faith among other faiths and, most sadly, faith from reason. It is now too easy in hindsight to critique what happened. Our work in this and forthcoming generations, is to re-weave and re-knit an ancient awareness of the oldest questions of our human condition for the critical demands of our time.

By grace of the Holy Spirit, it is my great fortune that I met a living, oral tradition of mystical Christianity with the vocabulary of ancestors integrated with needs of the future. This lineage is particular, in that it took a very different direction by inspiration of its lineage holders away from patristics (Early Church Fathers) in preference for rabbinics (Judaic tradition). This shift in our lineage accounts for everything parallel with general tenants of outer orthodoxy (the Living Yeshua as Messiah) yet, because of having more Judaic nuance in midrashim (legends) and Kabbalah (mysticism), is able to go far beyond everything petrifying Christianity.

Rather than looking backwards at how religion failed, I'm careful to be more interested in how an oral tradition succeeds. This forum is a case in point. As people kindly inquire into the teachings presented here from so many perspectives of spiritual experience, is how Tau Malachi, our Senior Lineage Holder, can further share. The model for this exists in narratives of canonized and Gnostic Gospels such as St. Thomas, St. Mary, and Pistis Sophia, where disciples and Messiah interact reverently and confidently for the life of the mystery to touch down.

Gnostic oral tradition depends upon an Anointed Apostle. More than the words of the Apostle is the energy that moves behind them. Drawing in, holding, and anchoring what is received from the Apostle, the community forms a circuit that draws yet more nuance and revelation, elevating the mystery to the next level. This puts far more responsibility upon practitioners in an oral tradition than in a typical church setting; the devotion and focus of disciple companions determines what the Apostle may share.

This emphasis on community is entirely Judaic, of which a minion of ten are traditionally required for study of scripture. There are even wild midrashim furthering this point, teaching that Moses was destined to embody Messiah at Mount Sinai, but the people were distracted, degrading him and the covenant. The consequence is that what was written on the first tablets Moses destroyed, later requiring two new tablets. Rabbis subtly imply that what was written on the second tablets was not the same as what was written on the first, leaving us to wonder, What for Moses and the Children of Israel did the Holy One originally intend?

We in an oral tradition live then with more responsibility as practitioners. Keeping teachings up and off the ground, so to speak, reaching out to those seeking whenever there's a chance to share, and above all, offering ourselves in compassion for the people and land.

May living waters within us well up and flow in gratitude for the more we've received.

Elder Gideon

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Re: Gnosticism and the Present Church

#3 Postby Tau Malachi » Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:40 am

Greetings and blessings in the Holy Light of the Messiah!

Our lineage and tradition is a Judeo-Christian form of Gnosticism, and basically speaking it is a Christian Kabbalah, or Messianic Kabbalah. As such, as Elder Gideon has said, we study and contemplate the Holy Scriptures in a similar way to the Judaic tradition, seeing layers of meaning within them and all manner of stories in between the lines. This generates a very large oral tradition, one that’s playful and always evolving.

Your observation seems true to me friend, there is no need for a division and conflict between the gnostic, or mystic, and the outer church, and in truth the outer and inner church are intended to be one Body of Christ, or something like body and soul joined as together in the Christ-Spirit. The truth is that on many essential points of faith we agree with the teachings of the outer church, it is just that we venture into deeper esoteric dimensions of the mysteries of Christ and the Gospel, and as much as have faith in Yeshua as the Savior, we have an experience of Yeshua as the Gnostic Revealer, or a teacher of a path to enlightenment. To us there is no contradiction in these two views of Adonai Yeshua, but rather, they are completely interconnected and interwoven. In a similar way, we do not view the Old Testament and New Testament as the revelation of two different gods, but rather as the revelation of One God; hence, we view the New Testament as an evolution of the revelation of God, corresponding with the development and evolution of human consciousness and our ability to receive a greater revelation of the Divine, one far more subtle and sublime. Thus, we do not need to discard the Holy Bible, but rather we read it with different eyes, and we do not have to see ourselves in conflict with the outer church, but rather we may understand that on many points we share the same faith – faith in Christ and God, all as each of us understands through our journey with the Spirit of God.

Some generations ago, in fact, the majority of initiates of our lineage would attend services of the outer church, and yet were distinctly a “gnostic” or mystical Christians. At the time the term “gnostic” wasn’t even used by our lineage, but rather initiates viewed themselves as spiritual Christians and “followers of the Way.” What they meant by “spiritual Christian” was a person who was blessed to receive a greater influx of the Holy Spirit joined with the Perfect Light; hence, a person of faith who had an awakening experience and who embodied the Christ-Spirit.

Today we would say that they shared a ‘Gnostic experience,’ and we may say that there are three aspects to this Gnostic experience: 1) The experience of higher, more expanded states of consciousness, the peak of which is Christ Consciousness or God Consciousness; 2) The opening of consciousness to inner, metaphysical dimensions, and the realms and worlds within them; 3) Knowledge of Christ and God through direct spiritual and mystical experience, and ultimately the experience of conscious unification with Christ and God.

It is through this Gnostic experience that we acquire very different eyes and hears, and therefore see and hear the Holy Scriptures in a very different way than many sisters and brothers of the outer church. Seeing and hearing in this way, however, does not negate points of faith and teachings founded upon simple interpretations of the Scriptures, not in the least, but rather it gives added dimensions to the simple teachings and points of faith, and it brings about a deeper communion and a greater spiritual realization in Christ.

As you might imagine, though, having faith in the evolution of the revelation of the Divine, naturally, in our experience, this revelation is ongoing and has never ended; it is the experience of an ongoing revelation that generates a living tradition, a tradition that remains alive in the Spirit of God, growing and evolving from one generation to another. Of course, any new cycle of revelation does not negate those that have come before it, but rather it is built upon them and is an evolution of them - it's one great continuum of revelation and realization in the Spirit.

These are some thoughts I can share on the subject.

Tau Malachi
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Ecclesia Pistis Sophia

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Re: Gnosticism and the Present Church

#4 Postby kanaloa » Sat Mar 14, 2015 7:17 pm

Thank you both for the great replies. I have loved Christianity like a poem that speaks to me or a lens into the esoteric that fits me better than others. But I always felt a need to see much much deeper into it than everyone else. For example, some of the non-dualistic teachings in the Gospel of John, opened my eyes to the absurdity of the dualism in political thought, when I was a child and I have felt that politics are of the will of man and one of societies constructs that is the farthest from God.

I feel both at home and alone in the church. No Christian understands it at the level I do. They either take is like a literal myth or mindf**k it with theology.

But I've also worked through much vicious hate I used to carry towards the fundamentalists. It's liberating to have the openness to welcome levels of consciousness that are not your own.

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Re: Gnosticism and the Present Church

#5 Postby PiXie-Jewels » Thu Mar 19, 2015 6:47 pm

Shalom Kanaloa :)
I can very much relate to the last post you have written in this thread.
I am relatively new on this site but would absolutely recommend coming to the online meditation/teaching on a Tuesday evening, I think you will find more of the connection you are looking for.
And both Elder Gideon & Tau Malachi are so patient , I have asked so many questions (given them a break recently!)
& all of the posts in the forum really help with insight.


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