Forbidden Knowledge

In the 1st century ACE, a group of Christians known as Gnostics promoted their own take on Jesus Christ and the search for 'God'. Their particular heretical beliefs were that the Christ was not of divine origin, and that he was in fact a teacher facilitating a process whereby individuals found 'God' within.

It's perhaps the closest that Western civilisation ever came to having a more 'Eastern' view of religion - that is, finding the divine spark within through a system of self-exploration. As Elaine Pagels writes in the introduction to her book THE GNOSTIC GOSPELS:


The first essential characteristic of Gnosticism was introduced above: Gnosticism asserts that "direct, personal and absolute knowledge of the authentic truths of existence is accessible to human beings," and that the attainment of such knowledge is the supreme achievement of human life. Gnosis, remember, is not a rational, propositional, logical understanding, but a knowing acquired by experience. The Gnostics were not much interested in dogma or coherent, rational theology--a fact which makes the study of Gnosticism particularly difficult for individuals with "bookkeeper mentalities".

I found this quote quite ironic. As most now know, by the time of Constantine the definition of Christianity, and the establishment of rituals and rules for the creed, had become quite rigid and have stayed that way for a millenium and a half. The only thing to have swayed the power of Christianity (in the Western world) since that time has been the Enlightenment, the 'Age of Reason' - the scientific revolution. Since that time, many would argue that science has come to be the dominant (or at least, orthodox) thought form, dictating how we are supposed to think.



So this attempt at personal union with the divine, originally squashed by the church, is now - despite the rise of a new paradigm - still heterodox. Those not in line with the religious thought of the church are pagans, heretics, or in league with Satan, and often treated as misguided souls. Those who believe in more than syllogistic thinking, the cold scientism which ignores the richness of life, are 'alternative thinkers' or worse, nutters (or in the taunting vocabulary of that paragon of materialism, James Randi - 'woo-woos'). Beyond that, those who consider the use of entheogenic plants as a method of self-exploration are considered criminals.



Why have we run scared from this idea for the past two millenia? Is it the collective fear of society, that if people think individually that our civilisation will collapse? Is it the controlling heirarch, controlling thought to ensure that nobody rocks the boat? Or are we just scared of dipping beneath our superficial shells and seeing what lies beneath?

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Richard's picture
Member since:
1 May 2004
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3 years 3 weeks

Good comments Greg.

Had we the will, the foresight to consider that there is no such a thing as a divine being, incarnated or not, without denying the fact that initiates have long come to pave a way that would be followed by whole cultural and religious movements thus created, we might come to a more profound realisation of what 'cosmic politics' and planetary consciousnes insemination could mean.

In our state of knowledge, the beliefs of so called pagan tribes is as valid, perhaps even more, than our western assumptions about the invisible.

Mr Otis's picture
Member since:
13 May 2004
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12 years 23 weeks

I don't think it's a fear of individual thought. Christians are commanded to love God with all of our hearts, souls, and minds.

A careful and thorough examination of the evidence from the first century leads to the realization that one has to take Jesus' claim of divinity seriously; He came back from the dead, after all, and was witnessed by over 500 people in Judea and Galilee.

Therefore, one has to assign His claim that "no one comes to the Father but through Me" some degree of credibility.

Derek Gilbert
The MythArc
Can you see the truth?

Seeker1's picture
Member since:
5 May 2004
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12 years 23 weeks

Of course, one has to decide whether or not he ever made such a claim for himself, aside from the question of whether or not he existed.

Given that Osiris, Attis, Tammuz, and Dionysus all rose, too, I don't see anything being claimed which is unique, either.

Steven Mizrach
Academic, Pop Culture Junkie, Grail Recycler

Richard's picture
Member since:
1 May 2004
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3 years 3 weeks

I know what you mean. Still, is it possible that this is something that some entities in the universe are capable of doing without adhering to our concept of divinity? I guess my point is that the concept of divinity is a human concept based on human ignorance and that these beings find their attributes to be quite natural, not necessarily divine.

the shadow's picture
Member since:
24 June 2004
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10 years 6 weeks

Richard, I am impressed with your lateral thinking.I have not thought of this myself before but it is so true that the only way we are able to think is as humans, and thus a divine concept for us is still only from a human perspective.

shadows

Richard's picture
Member since:
1 May 2004
Last activity:
3 years 3 weeks

It would be greatly advantageous for us to better 'mentalize' our energies in regards to our thought process.

My view on thought is that there is nothing to be learned from it as it proceeds from memorial recordings and is tainted with emotional evaluations seated on an insecure position that reflects the degree of our real knowledge or, perhaps rather the degree of our deep ignorance.

The emotional and memorial ties of this process prevent us from considering what is possible, as we tend to rationalize everything we consider, not based on what we know but on what we think we know as it is a security for our psychological makeup although the simple product of rational experimentation through trial and error, and projections from the thought process itself. This is a by-product that we call reflection.

Would not a free mind then be that of a man that could deal head to head with his thoughts, the same way that he can (or should be able to) with any other individual? This way, it might be possible to not so easily lie to oneself, as we don’t necessarily accept the product of the thoughts of our peers but easily fall prey to our own delusions.

Anonymous's picture

First of all I in no way dispute the existence of Jesus.{just wanted to make that clear}In all of the major religions Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism etc. The prophet whose amazing teachings initiated the religion said basically-"My way is the only way to get to God"
Putting it into that kind of context-and looking at what the prophets actually taught and how they lived-is it not remotely possible that they meant...Do as I do as opposed to,worship me? What I mean by that is...they all taught forgiveness and non judgement-they all lived a life of prayer and meditation, impressing the importance of knowledge and awareness. Jesus didnt just show his kindness to like minded others-he saught out thieves and beggers and prostitutes by all accounts-all God's children. And all the prophets had a very intimate relationship with God.
So what if he was talking about taking personal responsibilty for your own spirituality-being aware that everyone comes from God, trying to live in the highest and most loving way-loving even your enemy? What if they were all simply trying to tell the people who had been wildly sacrificing and living in chaos or being too controlled by their previous religion's hierarchy (as all these civilizations were at the time}how to make a heaven on earth, and how to get to God?
I guess its a matter of perception as well as faith. But the similarities of the prophets and their teachings should give everyone pause. Its made me realize that none of them initiated a religion-so much as a spirituality. Its the people left behind once they "moved on" who formed all the rituals and laws around their teachings. And you have to stop and wonder...if the lessons are the same, and in at least 3 of the religions I've mentioned the actual God is the same ie Allah, Yaweh, Jehovah, then why all the holy wars? Would our wonderous God who created us all, really only pick a select few to bring home? Allowing billions of others to worship him in a different way (though still with pure and adoring faith} to be fooled for thousands of years until finally, they are left behind to suffer for not being Christian?

toxilogic's picture
Member since:
1 May 2004
Last activity:
5 years 29 weeks

Hi,

Greg, humans don't run scared of the idea of thinking individually, those in power do (church,science and state) subsequently they do everything in their power to discourage it. Our human materialistic/ fysical nature makes this so much easier. Recluses, prophets are potential trouble makers same goes for gnostics. The irony is that one can control the individual, but the individuals that find out we're part of a collective anyway, and that god resides in us directly, are much harder to control, worse they will undermine the sway still held over the ignorant and gullible majority.

Then there's that other aspect, these people might know more, have a better understanding of our super reality and might come into a position to challenge the authorities, so lets keep 'm down. They nailed Jesus didn't they?
These days it's not the church that does the atttacking it's the scientists. For the last 200 years they are the ones that have been claiming to know all the answers, which off course has been proven untrue again and again. Scientists can't 'heal', because they refuse to acknowledge our metafysical reality, they are fully embedded in the their 'flat' earth. They fear inferiority, something all of us will have to deal with once it is established there are other realms and other entities out there.

Richard, i think any sentient being will seek 'Origen = God'