Gnostic Path & Certainty

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Tau Malachi
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Gnostic Path & Certainty

#1 Postby Tau Malachi » Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:48 am

Certainty of Knowledge: Gnosis, Da’at

The beginning of the Gnostic Path is faith in God Most High, which stirs the desire for the knowledge of God, or the desire to ‘seek’ and ‘find’ God, and to strive for the realization of nearness and oneness with God. To have faith, to ‘believe,’ at the outset is to have a degree of certainty or conviction of things hidden and unseen, an intuition of secret mysteries and experiences as yet not had. Essentially, it is intuitive knowledge set into our hearts by the Spirit of God - Spirit of Truth, and is something like a breakthrough of a remembrance, a knowledge, of inner aspects of our soul into the outer aspects of our soul, or our person and life. Faith in the One God, however, is the beginning of the Gnostic Path, knowledge (gnosis or da’at) is the fruition and culmination of the Path. In this development, evolution, from faith to knowledge there is an increasing certainty, and we may speak of three fundamental levels of certainty.

There is the certainty of faith, the certainty of vision and the certainty of truth. To consider these we may recall the story of the prophet Moses and the burning bush, and consider his call as a prophet of God.

“There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed” (Exodus 3:2).

Before the angel of the Lord appeared in this way to Moses there is no doubt that he had faith in God, the certainty of faith, having heard and believed the teachings of the elders of Israel in Egypt, and having learned how to pray and worship God in the way that was known to his people, his ancestors. Given the story of the burning bush, Moses no doubt had a desire to seek and find God, and know God, the very appearance of the angel of the Lord in this way being an answer to his invocations and prayers, responding to this deep desire within his heart and soul. Having heard and believed, this is the certainty of faith, and it is a wonderful gift of the Spirit of God to have such faith, such certainty; but then, for those who strive and continuing seeking until they ‘find’ God there may come a greater certainty, the certainty of vision, or seeing something of the Reality of God. When Moses noticed the burning bush, and noticed the bush wasn’t being consumed, recognizing something out of the ordinary, and he turned aside to investigate the phenomena, as he approached the burning bush he would have seen more and more of the Divine Presence, and through this seeing, vision, he would have felt and known that this was a manifestation of something of God, the True Light, and as such he would have entered into the certainty of vision, or certainty of seeing; hence, an increasing faith joined with knowledge acquired through this vision or seeing something of the Reality of God. As Moses entered into the sphere of glory, and beauty and holiness of this manifestation of Divine Presence, and conversed with the Lord in a most direct and intimate way, necessarily he must have entered into an experience of intimate nearness to the Divine Presence, and even some degree of oneness with the Divine Presence - the Truth. This would correspond with a further increase of faith and knowledge, and what is called the certainty of truth - Knowledge of Truth (Amet). This latter, of course, is what is called ‘True Gnosis’ among gnostics.

This reflects the journey of souls in the Gnostic Path, the Straight Path, for having faith and experiencing the stirring of the mystical inclination - the desire for direct revelation and knowledge of God Most High, so there is a striving for higher states and stations, or higher state of consciousness and intelligence, and for the opening of consciousness to the unseen realms, worlds and universes of inner, metaphysical dimensions; hence, perceptions of the greater reality of creation. In the midst of this striving there comes a progressive unveiling and self-disclosure of God in the heart of the sojourner - revelations of the Divine Presence, and direct experience of the Messiah and God Most High, experiences of nearness to God and oneness with God, the True Light. In this is the certainty of truth - Knowledge of Truth.

Considering the story of Moses and the burning bush, and what was happening as he was receiving his prophetic call and realization, perhaps you will understand that the ‘Gnostic Path,’ or ‘Straight Path,’ corresponds with the way of the prophets and apostles of God, and understand that gnostic initiates literally follow the way of the prophets and apostles of God, seeking direct experience of the revelation of God and so true knowledge of God - not a “blind faith” but a seeing, hearing and feeling faith, a ‘knowing faith.’

There is much more that might be said of this journey into the certainty of truth, but this seems enough for a simple expression of the Gnostic Path, it’s essential aim and the fundamental stages of the journey upon it.

May the Holy spirit lead us into All-Truth! Amen.

Shalom Aleichem!
Tau Malachi
Sophia Fellowship
Ecclesia Pistis Sophia

Elder Gideon
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Behind the Curtain

#2 Postby Elder Gideon » Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:03 am

Shabbat Shalom, Tau Malachi:

Many thanks and praise to the One for this essence of the journey from faith, to vision, and its fulfillment in truth. We're so blessed by the kabbalistic teachings of the sefirot-emanations that articulate the rungs of the One by whom we move, live, and have our being (Acts 17:28) in greater degrees of intimate knowledge.

I'm enamored with how you arrayed the Gnostic Path and Certainty in a subtle observation of the two kinds of finding from Thomas 2:

Jesus said, "Those who seek should not stop seeking until they find. When they find, they will be disturbed. When they are disturbed, they will marvel, and will reign over all. [And after they have reigned they will rest.]"

You hinted at this a week ago in Shabbat discourse and described again more recently how these movements from certainty of faith to vision to truth are a matter of purification. If, as Thomas states, we find, we have found only to the degree we're surprised, even troubled. These you relate with a movement from faith into vision, which has myriad lenses, filters, and haze that require continual purification before breaking through into astonishment and sovereignty with the One—the certainty of truth.

The apostle writing to the Letter to the Hebrews speaks a beautiful image of this regarding vows God swore by himself that come to pass through something of this process of certainty from faith to truth that you've introduced:

When God made a promise to Abraham, because he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, saying, ‘I will surely bless you and multiply you.’ And thus Abraham, having patiently endured, obtained the promise. Human beings, of course, swear by someone greater than themselves, and an oath given as confirmation puts an end to all dispute. In the same way, when God desired to show even more clearly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it by an oath, so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible that God would prove false, we who have taken refuge might be strongly encouraged to seize the hope set before us. We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain, where Jesus, a forerunner on our behalf, has entered, having become a high priest for ever according to the order of Melchizedek.

The apostle's teaching begins with an allusion of the certainty of faith to the vow God made to Abram and swore by himself. Abraham had already conceived Ishmael before this vow of the Lord, for Sarai had given him her handmaiden Hagar. To this day, Sarai's gesture is complex: Did she or Abram lack certainty of faith, seeing no heir between them in their old age? It is this same concern that Abram raises with God in the transmission of His vow that Abram and Sarai would conceive. Yet they patiently endured by this vow thereafter and entered into greater degrees of the certainty of vision, evidenced in their new names Sarah and Abraham, the covenant of circumcision, and the angelic visitation.

The apostle sums this teaching with an image of the Holy of Holies as a figure of the certainty of truth, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain, where Jesus, a forerunner on our behalf, has entered, having become a high priest for ever according to the order of Melchizedek. I never noticed in this teaching until now three points: How with Lord Yeshua, we too enter behind the curtain, that we share his destiny by the way he opened as a forerunner of certainty of faith, vision, and truth; the supernal degree of hope here equal with the certainty of truth; and how through this image the apostle transitions the hearer to the great vista in the New Testament of Melchizedek.

There are other principles you've joined to these stations of certainty, but I imagine this is more than enough for the moment. Praise the Most High for the certainty of hope that is the truth of His purpose!

Gratefully,

Elder Gideon

Tau Malachi
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Re: Gnostic Path & Certainty

#3 Postby Tau Malachi » Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:43 pm

Blessings to you in the Holy Light of Adonai Messiah!

First, concerning Abram and Sarai, understand that Abraham bore the anointing of a prophet from the time he arose as a messenger of the One God in his homeland, and as a prophet he would have been established in the certainty of truth, aware of the Absolute Oneness that God Is. In this regard I do not know that the issue with Abram and Sarai, and Sarai’s offer of Hagar to him, was a lack of faith, but rather it may suggest lofty stations and states, such as complete submission to God, complete acceptance of God’s will, or ones place or portion and destiny, and so on. If indeed, Abram was a prophet from early in the story, and Sarai the bearer of the Shekinah, the Divine Presence, then they did not doubt God’s word and promise, but rather looked to its fulfillment, willing to submit, surrender, in any way necessary for the fulfillment of God’s intention. Thus, seeing that she was not able to bear children to Abram, and in the fullness of faith accepting her apparent destiny, she offered Hagar to him in her place that an heir might be born and God’s will be done.

If you consider what, in fact, transpired through all of this God’s promise was fulfilled twofold, for two great lineages of the One Faith arose from Abraham, through Sarah and Isaac and through Hagar and Ishmael, and of course from the foundation through Sarah and Isaac came the great branch of the Messiah; thus three great revelations and lineages of the One Faith. These good fruits, or rather amazing fruits through the generations of humanity, bear witness to actions in the fullness of faith and knowledge of God, not in any lack of faith or ignorance. If, indeed, we will keep the faith and live according to our faith as Abraham, Sarah and Hagar did, and their children after them, then God will also be with us as with them, and God will guide us in the way and bring us to the fulfillment of our destiny, God fulfilling God’s promise to us, certainly so! Praise God!

Now as to exactly where in the maturation of faith through the three grades of certainty the soul becomes deeply troubled is difficult to say, and in fact a certain troubling may occur a number of times as faith matures and as the knowledge of God increases. However, perhaps the most disturbing reality is the perception, recognition, of the Absolute Oneness of God that occurs in the fruition of the certainty of ‘vision,’ seeing, or ‘perceiving.’ The nature of this perception, recognition, is perhaps most directly stated by the prophet Isaiah.

“I form the light and create darkness, I make weal and I make woe; I Yahweh do all these things” (45:7).

Perhaps just reading these words does not particularly disturb us, but to those with understanding who contemplate them they will disturb, and more so having direct experience of this truth, reality of Oneness of God, ‘seeing’ Reality as It Is, and so ‘seeing’ God as God Is, initially can be very overwhelming and troubling, completely shattering all of our limited concepts about God Most High. This same perception, though, does lead to ‘astonishment,’ or holy awe and wonder, and as the Gospel of Thomas teaches, those who realize this Truth - the reality of the Oneness of God, will ‘rule over the entirety,’ realizing the oneness of the Self and God; hence, the manifestation of God as all things in their inwardness, their essence and existence.

Regarding progress from the certainty of faith to the certainty of vision, seeing or perception, remember that ‘seeing’ does not just imply luminous dreams and visions, but rather something much deeper, and more subtle and sublime, and it includes many different modes of perception that leads to insights and illuminations, and a growing knowledge of God. As an example, the natural world and all things in it, the physical universe and all that appears in it, are ‘signs’ of God, and through the observation of things as they are insights into the mysteries of creation and God, and the reality of God, can be glimpsed, and a greater certainty is acquired, a greater maturation of faith, believing and knowing God. If and when one learns to observe oneself, and acquire knowledge of oneself, then this certainty of vision, seeing, perception will be even greater. Along with this there are, indeed, luminous dreams and visions that may arise, as we hear with Abraham and other holy ones, and likewise there may be the witnessing of those special God given signs that we would call ‘wonders’ or ‘miracles,’ including experiences o various grades of light transmission, or ‘true initiation.’

After alluding to something of the mystery of the shift between the certainty of vision and the certainty of truth in First Corinthians chapter thirteen you may recall St. Paul’s recitation of the three greatest gifts of the Spirit of God: Faith, Hope and Love.

These correspond with the certainty of faith, vision and truth, respectively; indeed, for the fullness of hope comes from greater perception and knowledge, and the realization of truth, which is Oneness, is the meaning and fruition of love.

These are a few thoughts I was inclined to share today.

May God perfect our faith and increase our knowledge! Amen.

Shalom Aleichem!
Tau Malachi

Sophia Fellowship

Ecclesia Pistis Sophia


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