Monday, December 3, 2007

"The Return of the Archons"

The original Star Trek was before my time, so I'm not surprised I've never heard of this particular episode. I'm not sure whether to be momentarily piqued and intrigued or have a fit of the giggles. Here's a synopsis of "The Return of the Archons":

The U.S.S. Enterprise is investigating Beta III, where the U.S.S. Archon disappeared over 100 years before.

When the landing party exhibits strange behavior, Kirk sends another party down to investigate. They find the culture on Beta III is quiescent, with no creative tendencies. The entire culture is controlled by a group of 'lawgivers' known as "The Body" which is, in turn, controlled by the omniscient Landru. The inhabitants change from normal, peaceful people to a violent mob at the coming of the Red Hour. This 'Festival' is the society's only outlet for the tyrannical hold that Landru has over them at all other times.

Meanwhile, the U.S.S. Enterprise is being pulled from its orbit, its crew to be absorbed into the Body. This, they discover, is what happened to the U.S.S. Archon, so many years before.

Archon survivors have formed an underground of sorts to fight the Body, and they help Kirk and Spock reach Landru. Landru turns out to be an incredibly complex computer built by Landru, a scientist who lived 6,000 years before, who wanted to guide his people into a peaceful, civilized progress.

Landru had affected the computer with his scientific thoughts and memories, but not his wisdom. For centuries the computer, 'Landru,' has been interpreting his suggestions to the point that no one is allowed independent thought. Kirk tells the computer that instead of helping to nurture the culture of Beta III, it has harmed it. Landru destroys itself, leaving the Betans to work toward the sort of culture Landru had wanted so many centuries before. With the promise of Federation help on the way, Kirk and his crew beam back to the U.S.S. Enterprise.


More here.


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Autumn Cleaning

I've revamped the look of the blog a bit.

All Ur Gnosis R Belong To Us?

I was reading this thread over at the Palm Tree Garden forums. The basic thrust of the thread is a discussion about the elitism found in ancient Gnostic texts, and WTF is up with the whole holier-than-thou-I-know-something-you-don't-know attitude that winds it's way through a number of the Gnostic texts, to varying degrees, like a tarnished string of pearls.

While reading some of the thoughts expressed I had some thoughts of my own about how I felt (which I wrote down), mostly whereas it relates to who has access to this whole gnosis thing. Is it reserved only for an elite few, or is it indeed like an apple on the eternal tree of life? Here's some of what I wrote down as I was thinking about these issues:

"I think everyone is capable of gnosis. Everyone can, but not everyone will in any given lifetime. The Spark of the Divine within us all (and I think it is within us all with varying levels of intensity [the Inner Fire must be stoked until it consumes the Material]) guarantees our place in the Pleroma, but given the nature of the earthly "reality", there is a process that must be fulfilled. The key to the exit. In the fullness of time everyone will make their way through the Labyrinth (the Unknowable has unknowable patience) like a trickle of water from a fountain. What does it mean when most souls have returned to the Pleroma, and less and less are left in the Labyrinth? End of the world(s) perhaps? I think the world(s) will exist only long enough for all Divine Sparks to return to the Pleroma. Once that occurs, the purpose of the world(s) will cease and there will only remain the Pleroma."

Whereas it concerns the seemingly elitist ideas in the texts, I think it is critical to remember that while gnostically inspired, the texts are still made by man and are thus capable of, if not rife with, flaws. The key is to use that old gnosis stuff and determine what is of value and what is irrelevant in the bigger picture. The problem with that is the end result can be very subjective, but I think some intents or themes are common enough that most can recognise them for what they are and regard them accordingly.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

<3 Monks


Myanmar pro-Democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, today met with buddhist monks who marched past the police blockade of the street she resides on. The monks are leading a protest against Myanmar's military government. Suu Kyi has been "under detention for more than 11 of the last 18 years, and continuously since May 2003. She is the leader of the National League for Democracy party, which won a 1990 general election but was not allowed to take power by the military."

The involvement of the monks, whom the military government of buddhist Myanmar is reticent to engage with hostility, are encouraging citizens to join in their protests of the government and their actions against the people of Myanmar.

More here...

Friday, September 21, 2007

Ponderance

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately, about many things, but specifically about my commitment to this path.

I am not uncommitted, but my drive has been lacking. I am not disinterested, but I find it hard to focus on this most of the time. I ponder if this is because of some personal failing of mine, and I know that the answer to that question is yes and no.

My life currently is not where I want it to be. It's messy. It's not totally my doing that it's come to the crossroads that it is at. In fact, most of it has come about due to the decisions of others that I have depended on. I can feel sorry for myself and pity my present situation in life all day if I want to. In fact, I have done that before! My responsibility lies in what I do about it.

Ultimately I shape the world I live in (as do we all for our respective lives). If it's not where I want it to be, it's because I have yet to transform it. I wonder if I have the tools for such a task, because I haven't always had them, but I know I have access to them. They're there for me if I have the courage to wield them and change the very nature of my universe.

Knowing that makes it no easier to take up those tools and take full control of my life and tell the archons that I'm driving this bus, so be quiet and sit down. There are many distractions, both static and dynamic, that make me look away from the road and slow down. Because of this I have recently focused more attention on my praxis. My present praxis is simple and doesn't require a lot of my time on a day-to-day basis, but it is my anchor. It keeps me here, keeps me looking back to the road, reminds me to be mindful.

I fail often at mindfulness, and sometimes feel like I am on 'standby'. I fail often at being Gnostic, but I believe it's not something you do, it's something you are. Am I a failure? No, because I haven't even really begun, but it is within me to either fully embrace the light or "let the [archons] win" (word up to the current Administration, yo).

I'm doing the former, slowly, even if I question where I am in my life or my ability to really make the changes I know I need to make. I was struck by a quote from Tim Boucher that I read in Bro. Puma's blog in a post about some crazy stuff (some people think the Mayans predicted the literal end of the world in 2012, and promoters of a non-Christian apocalypse have made a veritable bandwagon out of it, don't ask) today:

"The point is: Don’t lie. Don’t steal. Don’t do what you hate. Just start creating the reality you know you deserve by unabashedly expressing what you’re really all about instead of hiding behind emotional artifices which you think noone can see but which actually limit your ability to really express yourself. We all secretly suspect we’re actually completely awesome. It’s like that Will Ferrell movie or whatever the fuck it is. He says something like “I don’t know if you know this, but I’m kind of a big deal.” But actually be a big deal though. Be the reason for people’s hearts to get flighty when they get close to you. Be really you and it and stop hiding behind whatever that is you won’t let go of. 2012 is right now. We don’t have to wait. We’re not supposed to suffer. That’s not why we were sent here. We were sent here to experience His Love™ and he doesn’t care what the fuck you call it as long as you just don’t shut yourself down to it anymore. He knows you are seeking it in all things you do but just can’t seem to make it connect somehow or sometimes or both or neither. Just let go of that one terrible thing you’ve always been holding onto that you just can’t or won’t let go of because you’ve forgotten how to forgive."

I think that says it all, really.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Kindred

I have just read, for the first time, work by Philip Kindred Dick (aka PKD). I don't know why it took so long.

Certainly I've heard of PKD. I think it's impossible to explore modern Gnostic thinking without finding any number of references to the man and his great plethora of contributions to the Gnostic movement, insomuch as it can be called that.

Yesterday I came across his essay, Cosmogony and Cosmology, over at Homoplasmate. It's hard to describe exactly my thoughts as I read this essay, but I found myself nodding along, or having little "aha!" moments.

Today I find myself a little closer to understanding this gnosis thing because of Philip Kindred Dick. I am finally beginning to see why he and his work are so respected. For me, and I imagine many others, he strikes a chord of knowing that you had thought of in glimpses, or hadn't even imagined, but instantly you understand what he means. Even more important, it all makes sense.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Glimpse


I don't pretend to know everything. I do know that the experience I have had (because I do feel that I have only ever had one true experience of gnosis) is but a mere glimpse of something so much greater than I can imagine. I am somewhat able to put this in perspective.

I admit some of my faults. I don't always strive for gnosis every day. Sometimes I am lazy and let the importance of love and compassion and wisdom slip through my thinking process and actions. Sometimes I am selfish and inconsiderate or insensitive. It's not something I try to be, but through my lack of concious thought, it happens.

Having said that, I can sense that I am changing. It's a slow process, very slow. I imagined something more spectacular and instantly life changing when I first realised there was something that gave meaning to how I felt about life and what I believed. That something was (if you've been following along you'll already know this one!) Gnosticism. The ignorance of that original perception has been removed, but the excitement about what I've learned remains.

I still have much to learn, so very, very much. Part of the purpose for this blog, although I didn't really appreciate it at the time I created it, was to have the opportunity to come back and see how I have grown and how I am progressing with my understanding. It's at moments where I feel discouraged that this is most rewarding. It's as if I'm watching sped up still photography of a flower opening its petals and growing from a closed bud to a vibrant and beautiful thing.

I've only just begun to see the blooming of the first rose in the garden though, and I'm perfectly happy with that, because I know with proper care that the garden is yet to come.


Image © (copyright) Feb. 2006 by Fir0002

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Premiseless Imperative

...is nine kinds of boss. This is a good thing.

Written by Bro. Jeremy Puma, it's a series of articles that present a practical, tangible approach to gnosis. Think of it as a set of directions that give you certain landmarks to follow while allowing you to find your own path along the greater highway of gnosis.

I avidly encourage checking it out. Jeremy's style is not only very accessible and intriguing, but also just plain fun.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Nouveau

[insert "it's been a while since I last posted blah blah blah" excuse here]

I was just lazy and not very inspired. Moving on!

Over the last several weeks I've been thinking about a lot of things, most recently my old foray into witchcraft. I was drawn to really rethink my opinion on the value of witchcraft practices for my own personal journey.

You see, some years ago along my spiritual path I encountered witchcraft, specficially, Wicca. It was probably around 98 or 99 when I was still in my late teens. Wicca had really caught on by then, but it was still in the early stages of the mass-produced paperback experience that it can be today. I will admit to buying some of those paperbacks, and even learning from them, although they never filled my spiritual cup.

At some point, about three or four years ago, I came to the conclusion that Wicca (and witchcraft as a whole) was not what I was looking for. I valued the beauty that can be found in the poetry of spellcraft, and the creative licence witchcraft allows, as it can be a liberating and free-spirited process, but I put it behind me. It just wasn't my cup of tea, I thought, and it wasn't where I was going to find that which would ultimately nourish me.

Recently I have been given to rethink that, and to consider "the craft" as it might relate to my gnosis, and to Gnosticism. I have come to the conclusion that while I can never see myself embracing Wicca again, at least personally, witchcraft still has a beauty and breath to it that enlightens. There is, pardon the pun, a certain magic to it that I am still drawn to.

I am considering adding some craft practices to my praxis, or simply in the form of the occasional ritual or observance. Candle magic also holds a particular interest for me as it is simple, yet ancient, and I can't resist the connection of the light of the flame to the inner-light within us all.

Ultimately I'm not concerned with those who might question the validity of a "Gnostic witch", as I don't see the two as being mutually exclusive, nor do I require permission for my gnosis.

In a totally unrelated note, I read Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series for the first time last week. I have to say that I loved it, and absolutely recommend it. I hear they're making the first book into a movie. James Bond, aka Daniel Craig, is going to be in it. Innnnteresting.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Awareness

It seems like a constant struggle to stay aware of Sophia and the Logos, and to be present every moment of the day. I've not yet had the luxury to be able to immerse myself in Gnostic thought or works, so I feel even more disconnected on a day-to-day basis because of my lack of knowledge. Still, I suppose it's never easy no matter the extent of your understanding.

It is a daily effort to remain connected to the ideas and imagery of the bigger picture. Perhaps I'm not doing something right, but I have yet to figure that out. Gnosticism is not for those content to just show up, you have to participate. I say this more as a reminder to myself than a message to anyone else. I think I am beginning to understand the concept that the "Gnostic must personally negotiate with the Archons", as Fr. Jordan Stratford+ has so expertly said.

Having said all of that, I am very much commited to the task at hand, if not fully prepared for it. Every day is an adventure of the self... something about looking in to see out. Now is time for daily focus and prayer, though, so... peace in.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Prayer

I have been praying the Prayer of the Heart for the last few days with my prayer beads. Although I appreciate how it focuses me, and allows me to contemplate the Holy Logos, myself, and gnosis in general, I don't think that it specifically is the prayer I will find most beneficial for this task.

As it is I have already altered the words for something more in tune with what I feel is more appropriate, and even so, it is still a prayer directed only at the Holy Logos. I could also include the Holy Wisdom in my focus, but for that I might as well rewrite the prayer entirely, so that is what I have decided to do.

Truth be told I would rather focus on Sophia, as I do feel more of a connection with Her. The Christos is something for which I had rejected for a number of years, so that is a concept I still have yet to fully embrace. The Gnostic framework that I now have does make that slightly easier to do, however. It has given me an entirely different understanding, one that actually makes sense to me, as foreign as it sounded upon first discovery.

I know that these are very basic, on-the-face sorts of issues, but I feel that once I have a daily routine of practice I will be able to focus more readily on the more in depth issues. The present is a time of exploration of praxis in whatever form it may take. As they say, baby steps.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Prayer Beads, Part Two

After being inspired by Rev. Langley's post (which I mentioned in my previous post), I came up with an idea for some prayer beads.

The image is a crude diagram of the final result (as I haven't a camera or scanner, sorry, had to improvise). The red beads are carnelian, the yellow with the stripe down the centre are tiger's eye, and the rectangular one is wood. The little black lines represent knots in the cord.

It's similar in style to a chaplet, but will be used a little differently, thus the difference in layout from a typical chaplet. There is, obviously, a cross and 10 upper beads. The upper, or carnelian beads, will be used as a point of focus for The Prayer of the Heart, and the cross is used as an anchor (or at least, that is what I call it) because it seems appropriate, and I like it.

Update: I have now actually finished the beads. They aren't exactly as in the diagram as I had a different idea about the construction once I started assembling them (the carnelian beads are closer together), and they look rather... amateurish, but all things considered I am quite pleased with them! I intend to make a daily habit of saying the Prayer of the Heart at least 10 - 15 times on each bead, for a total of 100 - 150 repetitions. I blessed them in the names of Holy Sophia and Christ the Logos, and am quite happy with this small, but for me, important step.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Idle Thoughts

I've reached a bit of a lull recently. It's nothing out of the ordinary for me, by any means, but I have to maintain my commitment. In the past I have (more times than I would like to admit) started something only to become bored with it and move on to something else when the mood struck me.

I think I've come to a point where I wonder what I am supposed to be doing now, and I haven't found the answer as easily as I had originally hoped I would. This is work. Gnosis doesn't just come to you. You have to be looking for it. In retrospect this is obvious to me, but I hadn't really thought about it. I have a long way to go, indeed.

I could be easily discouraged at this stage were it not for the fact that I know how meaningful this search for gnosis is. Sometimes determination is all you have, although it isn't always enough. No matter, I will continue on this path and be dedicated, both to the ultimate destination, and to the path I will tread that will take me there.

On that note, Rev. Thomas Langley of Light and Life posted an excellent entry regarding some very straight-forward steps that one can take to begin a daily Gnostic practice, entitled, funnily enough, Getting Started : Building a Gnostic Practice. I found it quite inspiring!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Crazy

In a church by the face
He talks about the people going under
Only child knows...

A man decides after seventy years
That what he goes there for, is to unlock the door,
While those around him criticize and sleep...
And through a fractal on a breaking wall,
I see you my friend and touch your face again,
Miracles will happen as we dream

But we're never gonna survive unless
We get a little crazy
No we're never gonna survive unless
We are a little...

Crazy yellow people walking through my head.
One of them's got a gun, shoot the other one.
And yet together they were friends at school
Ohh, get it, get it, get it, no no no!
If I were there when we first took the pill,
Then maybe, then maybe, then maybe, then maybe...
Miracles will happen as we speak.

[Chorus]

Crazy...
No no, we'll never survive, unless we get a little...bit...

In a sky full of people, only some want to fly.
Isn't that crazy?
In a world full of people, only some want to fly.
Isn't that crazy?
Crazy...
In a heaven of people there's only some want to fly.
Isn't that crazy? crazy crazy...crazy...

[Chorus]

No no, we'll never survive unless, we get a little bit...


...crazy. Like a fox.


Song lyrics (in italics), "Crazy", written by Seal Henri Samuel and Guy Sigsworth. ©1990 SPZ Music Inc on behalf of Perfect Songs Ltd./Beethoven Street Music.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I'd like to Order now, please...

Just wanted to mention two recently launched Gnostic groups:

The Order of Saint Esclarmonde, lead (i.e. Proctored) by Reverend Mother Marsha Emrick+ of the GCMM and Monsignor Jordan Stratford+ of the AJC, and

The Gnostic Order of Allogenes, spearheaded by Bro. Jeremy Puma, independent Gnostic chaplain and webmaster of the Palm Tree Garden Online.

These groups aren't connected, but both groups seem to have been created for the (mostly) solitary Gnostic individual to provide a community and framework for which to grow in and expand their spiritual dedication. They differ in style and the way they approach the topic of the individual Gnostic, as far as I can tell, but I think they both have ultimately similar aims.

Needless to say I was quite interested to learn of these groups, and I will ponder if perhaps they are something that I would find value in. I don't think I'm quite at a point where I can commit myself to the workings of such a task, however. I think getting there will take a bit more time and action on my part to prepare myself for the dedication becoming involved in such a group would require.

I hope to move in that general direction, though, and am quite interested in the way these groups will further develop. For now I'll just be content to sit in my little corner with my thoughts.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Time



Everything that has happened in the past is happening now. Everything that is happening now has already happened. Everything that will ever happen is happening now. Everything that is happening now will happen in the future. So on and so forth...


Image © (copyright) 2005 by [parapente] under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Prayer (Meditation) Beads

I've been reading a thread over at the Palm Tree Garden Forums by LucidusV about "cobbling together a home Gnostic practice" if you're an individual Gnostic seeking your gnosis on your own, for whatever reason, like I currently am.

He talks about his meditation space, and the various odds and ends he has there. These things help him to focus himself, and to create a space for him apart from his everyday life from items found in his everyday life. At least, this is my understanding of what he wrote! In any event, I digress.

One of the things he mentions are his prayer beads. As I've said previously, I am very much drawn to the idea of prayer beads, and reading his posts got me thinking. I didn't think that I had easy access to a rosary, but what I do have are some beads that I once used to make a buddhist mala. There are a number of wood, carnelian, and tiger's eye beads that I had forgotten all about until a few minutes ago. They seem perfect for the task at hand.

I am still not sure exactly how to assemble a set of specifically Gnostic prayer beads, but at least I have the materials. I'll try to find something, as I am sure there is something about this somewhere on the glorious internet. I hope to incorporate their use into my praxis, if not at first. I still have yet to find a prayer that I really find meaningful. The search continues, though.

Edit: I found a great page from Jeremy Puma's blog, Fantastic Planet. It's a post with material from his book, Mysteries of the Gnostic Ascent. The post on his blog details how to make a Gnostic chaplet, and includes prayers, both long and short versions, from Bro. Puma. This info is great, and I am really happy to have found it.

There are two other versions of a Gnostic rosary that I know of, both of them more traditional in that they are very much in the form of the Roman Catholic rosary. One is from the Apostolic Gnostic Church in America (AGCA), and the other is made available from the website of the Gnostic Society.


Friday, March 9, 2007

John Inman, (28 June 1935 – 8 March 2007)


Veteran British actor notable for his role as Mr. Humphries on "Are You Being Served?", John Inman, has died at the age of 71. While he probably wasn't gnostic, he was a brilliantly funny man, and I for one shall remember his wit and charm. I've spent many a time beside myself with laughter thanks to Mr. Inman. Here's to hoping, where ever he may be, that he's free.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Coincidence?

Some time before I began to re-explore Gnosticism I set out a task for myself. I wanted to try to define what it was I believed in, spiritually. I was at a time when I didn't feel connected to any "relgious" path. I never did fully explore all of my thoughts at the time (partially because I was mostly sastisfied with the basic conclusions I had come to). It wasn't long after this process began that I rediscovered Gnosticism for myself. This came after the passing glance I had given it years earlier (although I would come to learn that what I had thought was 'big G' Gnosticism actually wasn't).

What is ironic is that I was on the trail of gnosis before I conciously realized it. What made the lightbulb go off in my head about Gnosticism and gnosis, was that I had previously defined the three main elements of what I believed in and cosmology in ways that would be very interesting to me later:

  • The Mythos of Christianity: I have always been most famliar with the Christian story as it is what I was taught as a child, and indeed it had been the only system of belief I was knowledgeable of until my mid-teens. I would go on to reject Christianity, but in reality it was a rejection of Protestanism. It hasn't been until recently that I've re-established my connection with my Christian heritage, albeit inthe heresiological form of Gnosticism!
  • The Heart of Buddhism: I would define the meaning and labeling of this, for me, as the praxis of Buddhism. When I began to explore Buddhist thought and practice, I read about the Four Noble Truths, the Five Precepts, and Eightfold Path. These teachings offer inspiration, but also a practical guide for being, living and interacting with the world around oneself in a way that encourages you to trully understand yourself and the truth of our "reality". My knowledge of Buddhism very much helped me to understand gnosticism.
  • The Magic of Paganism: When I rejected my Christian beliefs in my mid-teens I would soon find myself immersed in paganism, specifically Wicca. I felt connected to the ritual, symbology, mythology, and expanded perception it gave me. Wicca was something that I felt right about, although after a few years I realised that something was still missing.

Looking back at the ideas I put together about my own beliefs, I now find some intriguing similarities to what I now know as Christian Gnosticism. Are these similarities a coincidence? I can't say for sure. There are certainly arguments that can be made either way. I do know that everything I know now, and everything I have learned in the past has lead me to Gnosticism. It is the only answer to my question, so in that will I continue.

There is a quote attributed to one St. Ratford (ahahaha) that I feel expresses that syncretism quite well:
"Catholic on the outside, Buddhist on the inside. Quotes a lot of dead Greek guys."
From my past experiences this resonates with me, both in my attraction to Christian ritual and mythology, and of my respect for the wisdom within Buddhism. I don't quote many dead Greek guys, but give me some time and works by Greek philosophers and I'll get there in no time!

Friday, March 2, 2007

First Steps

I've been pondering (for a while actually but more actively today) about what I should do on a day to day basis to allow myself to focus my thoughts on gnosis. The first steps of developing my praxis, if you will.

A single prayer, or a verse from the texts of the Nag Hammadi Library to vocalise and ponder as Fr. Jordan Stratford+ suggests, is a good place to begin.

I am actually rather drawn to the idea of a Gnostic rosary. Growing up a Protestant I was always fascinated with Catholicism's rituals, the Marian rosary chief among them. There has always been something somewhat magical about it for me, both the physical act of passing your fingers over the beads, and of the mental process of reciting the memorised verse. The ability to let your mind flow over the words and to allow yourself to meditate on deeper meanings in the context of the rosary entrances me. I think the original reason I became interested in it was because rosary beads can be quite beautiful and oh, so sparkly, but I digress.

I think that's too ambitious to start out with, though. I want to begin simply
so that I can get into the habit of a daily prayer, or act of focus and meditation. The end goal is to allow myself a means to connect with the Divine, to further explore gnosis, thus I must first learn how to turn my attention inward.

For quite a while I have only committed myself to reading about gnosis and Gnosticism from sources on the internet. I finally intend to move beyond that and begin to actively approach my gnosis.

Ultimately I hope to search out a Gnostic church or group to participate in. Communion with like-minded people who understand my journey and can appreciate that for which I seek can only strengthen me. There is a reason that humanity has, for so long, sought to experience the Divine together. The shared experience holds meaning that the solitary experience can't recreate, and vice-versa. Right now I am at a stage where I feel that I need to explore these things mostly on my own.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Ignorance

...more specifically, mine.

I was thinking today about how much I don't know, and not just about Gnosticism. What I don't know about Gnosticism alone could probably fill a library. A big library. What is important is that I desire to learn, to know more.

So far, most of what I know about Gnosticism has been from sources on the internet. There truly are some very good places on the internet to learn about gnosis, gnosticism, and Gnosticism (yes, there is a difference between the big G and little g), some of which will soon be in the links section of the sidebar. The downside to the internet is that there are also a lot of bad sources of information. Thankfully I have a discerning eye for what probably is and probably isn't worth the effort, if only because I've seen so much of the "probably isn't".

I was reading the blog (this would be a "probably is") of a certain Gnostic today. As I read all of the references to ideas, people, and issues that I had no knowledge of, I felt ignorant. There is so much I don't know, but so much I want to understand. This excites me.

On the other hand, considering all that I don't know, it's the barely-scratched-the-surface bits I do know that assure me of where I am. I have spent years seeking, not always sincerely, to get to this point. Once I knew of gnosis, once I understood what was behind the curtain so to speak, I knew that my perception would never be the same.

That knowledge was life-changing, but it isn't enough to simply know it. I must explore that knowledge and ponder it so that I may try to understand it. Ignorance in and of itself isn't a bad thing. It's in the non-questioning where one errs.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

And Then There Was Light

Gnosticism is a tricky word. It can mean so many things, and indeed manages to encompass any number of different meanings at once, depending on who you ask.

My interest in gnosis and Gnosticism was first piqued after I read a book by a certain television psychic. That was several years ago and, at the time, I didn't explore the subject further. At various times in the past I have considered myself agnostic and pagan, and eventually I began to explore Buddhism. Needless to say, I had certainly taken a few steps away from the Southern Baptist beliefs I had been born into.

It has only been within the last year that I began to reconnect with gnosticism. This is thanks in large part to the wit and writings in the blog of Fr. Jordan Stratford+ of the Apostolic Johannite Church, an "esoteric Gnostic Christian communion with valid Apostolic succession". While I've never met him or indeed spoken to him, his passion for this gnosis Thing, and of his work with the AJC, has definitely been an inspiration.

My efforts to learn more about gnosis and Gnosticism have given me more questions than answers, but I know that it is this search that will lead me to the answers I seek.

In the last few days I have felt drawn to start this blog as a place where I can let my thoughts spill over, if only for my own benefit. I had gone so far as to pick out a name, but I questioned whether I wanted to commit to it.

Yesterday I was reading a post in Fr. Jordan's blog, and came upon a quote from the Book of Wisdom of Solomon,
Resplendent and unfading is Sophia, and she is readily perceived by those who love her, and found by those who seek her.
Thinking back to a few days ago of the name that sprang to mind when I first conceived making my own blog, Seeker of Sophia, there was now no lingering doubt in my mind as to whether I would write this blog. I found the answer I was looking for.

While I don't know exactly where this journey of exploration and knowledge, both of myself and of things Gnostic will lead, the journey has nevertheless begun.