The Elect & Gnosticism

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Tau Malachi
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The Elect & Gnosticism

#1 Postby Tau Malachi » Tue Dec 02, 2003 5:27 pm

The teachings on the Divine Election in Gnosticism are typically drawn from the story of Cain and Abel, and Seth, the son born to Adam and Eve following the drama that unfolds between Cain and Abel. Essentially, these three characters are taken to represent three kinds of human beings or three grades of human souls. Some Gnostic Schools cite the lineage of the elect from Cain in their metaphysical cosmology, while others, like the Sophian School, cite the line coming from Seth. In any case, Gnostic Schools speak of three kinds of souls: the bestial or material human, the psychic or faithful human and the spiritual or elect human.

In Sophian teachings, Cain represents the bestial or material human who is prone primarily to darkness and violence. Abel represents the psychic or faithful human being who is prone to admixture and the ethical and moral weeakness indicitive of admixture. Seth, who is said to be the image and likeness of Adam (the Human Being), represents the spiritual or elect human who has a greater tendency to the Truth and Light.

Traditionally, in Gnostic Schools, the bestial or material humanity has been called the sons and daughters of Darkness, while the elect have been called the sons and daughters of Light - the psychic or faithful human representing a stage of development of the soul in between these two grades. This view is common to other mystical or esoteric schools as well, for example, it appears in the teachings of the Essences and among Jewish Kabbalists and Islamic Sufis.

The very word applied to mystical teachings and inner traditions - esoteric - implies this idea. Esoteric means "for the few," as opposed to exoteric, which means "for the masses" or "for the many." Thus, what is "esoteric" is for the spiritual or elect.

This idea has nothing to do with exoteric teachings of a "chosen people" but rather represents the development and evolution of the soul-being in individuals. It is spiritual not material, and it is discerned inwardly not outwardly.

Just as this idea has nothing to do with exoteric ideas of a "chosen people," as though one is chosen or elect just because one is born into a certain family or tribe or nation; likewise, it has nothing to do with whether one is in possession of esoteric teachings or not. One is spiritual or elect when one can embody and live the Spirit and Truth of the teachings, not merely because one knows the words and concepts. In a similar fashion, one is not spiritual or elect because one has some glimpse or recognition of the Spirit or Truth, but rather because one lives according to the Truth and Light revealed in one's own experience and thus realizes the Spirit of Truth. Again, it is an inward state - a state of the mind, heart and life - and is outward only in the sense that it determines how one speaks and acts and lives.

In the Valentinian Teachings we find this statement: "The material ends in decay; and the psychic, if it chooses what is better, will rest in the Middle; if it chooses what is worse, it too will end in a destiny like its choice." As for the spiritual or elect, the teaching goes on to say, they are in the world but not of the world, and they have their root above in Light and Life.

In the discussion of the material, psychic and elect, one cannot help but recall Yeshua's parable of the sower and the outcome of the seeds thrown on stone, shallow soil and rich soil: it directly reflects the result of teachings or initiations receive in three different conditions. Most importantly it reflects the result of whether or not spiritual teachings and initiations take root; hence whether or not one receives the Truth and Light and follows in the Way of the Spirit of Truth. Essentially, one who embodies and lives according to Truth-Consciousness is spiritual or elect.

Now we have the names Gnosticism and Gnostic, and the intention of Gnostic teachings is primarily for the spiritual or elect and secondarily for the psychic or faithful. Quite frankly, these names are no different than Buddhist, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim or any other; after all, anybody can call him or herself anything. The real question is: Does one live the Truth and Light of the name one puts on. In terms of the name Gnostic and Gnosticism, the intention is that one does - and that is true of any authentic spiritual tradition.

Though Gnosticism is growing in popularity it must be said that Gnosticism is not for everybody - for not every one is ready for the actual mystical journey. In a manner of speaking, there is such a thing as due season in the development and evolution of the soul-being, and Gnosticism seeks those who are ripe for the "harvest of souls." What determines the state of a soul is its capacity to directly receive the Light-Transmission and to unite itself with the Light-Presence and, thus enter into the Light-Continuum. Such a soul is holy and elect, and such a soul is Gnostic.

Blessings & shalom!
Tau Malachi
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Ecclesia Pistis Sophia

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#2 Postby lleyr » Sun Jan 02, 2005 5:12 pm

This is a very interesting topic for me. Coming from the outer church I always had issues with the idea of the "elect". I couldn't understand how God could chose some people and not others. I also didn't like the implication that many outer Christian churches seem to have that the "elect" are the good ones and everyone else isn't.

I really love the Sophian teachings and how reincarnation plays a part in this. Having many life-times to come into being seems to make a whole lot more sense than random choice of who is "good enough" and who isn't.

Blessings,
Mark


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