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.