Gnostic Christianity

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Gnostic Christianity

Post by yougarksooo » Tue Feb 06, 2007 3:43 am

I'm no expert but what I have heard of Gnostic Christianity or (Esoteric christianity or inner Christianity) makes sense spiritually. Tolle opened my mind to Jesus' teachings but I've had trouble digesting some of the teachings of the Orthodox church.

Gnostic Christianity is really a term which covers a wide and varied group of Christians which flourished during and right after Jesus' life. Some had their own Gospels, which never made it into the bible. Some of these gospels were discovered buried in Egypt in the 20th Centurty.

The Orthodox Christian Church had its reasons for wanting a centralized, universal religion. The hierarchy of God, Jesus, etc was mirrored in the Orthodox Church as Pope, bishop, priest etc. There was also the belief that people could only find Jesus by coming to church.

The Gnostics challenged this idea. Again they believed you find God inside. They looked at the Orthodox hierarchy as ego based. So, they would name a different person as "bishop" each time they met. They believed in total equality in that way. Needless to say, the Orthodox church labeled them "heretics" and discounted their experience. Yet when I read Tolle's teachings, they are more aligned with some aspects of Gnostic Christianity than even with Buddhism.

The Gnostics believed you come to spiritual knowledge inside, not through Jesus or the church. Some saw Jesus as a divine being, others as an enlightened being. The Gnostics seemed to be well aware way back then of the "true I." Knowing yourself is Gnosis. Not knowing in terms of facts, but who you really are beyond the things of the world. Stated another way, Gnosis is integrating the false self into the true self, such that you become a fully integrated being.

They believed salvation was only the start. Sure, you could come to church and be baptized, but ultimately the point was to reach Gnosis. Once that happened, the false self gave way to the "true I." They believed in integrating mind, body, and spirit. Whereas salvation simply places you into a higher realm after death. Gnosis was considered rare and allowed you to be absorbed into God, so to speak. It was the ultimate realization of who we are. Consciousness becomes the guide of all systems, mind, body, soul etc.

It is much like Buddhism except they believe in a God, as creator, although some strands believed that there was a God even beyond the one in the bible who created the world. They seemed to understand the formless or unmanifested realm. The Gospels and teachings of Jesus among the more well-known strands of Gnosticism centered on this self-realization described above.

Anyone have any interest in discussing?
"When people ask me who they are or who God is, I smile inside and whisper to the light: there you go again . . . pretending."


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Re: Gnostic Christianity

Post by Yutso » Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:42 pm

"If there is no silence beyond and within the many words of doctrine, there is no religion, only a religious ideology. For religion goes beyond words and actions, and attains to the ultimate truth in silence and Love. Where this silence is lacking, where there are only the "many words" and not the one Word, then there is much bustle and activity but no peace, no deep thought, no understanding, no inner quiet. Where there is no peace, there is no light and no Love." Thomas Merton

Agreeing with you.

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Re: Gnostic Christianity

Post by rideforever » Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:06 pm

Absolutely. Jesus said "God is in you" - that's the beginning and end.

What happened was that the State wanted to control people and the Church was good at controlling people, and they made a little deal together in order so that the powerful could rule. Of course, real spiritual teachings had to be removed from the Church ... the whole aim was to remove any connection ordinary people have to their power so that they would make good slaves. It is for the same reason that history is destroyed by the winners - to remove any intelligence, understanding, or connection that ordinary people could have with their past.

For instance in the UK we have been celebrating 80 years of the Queen being on the throne. The Queen's money comes from the enslavement of the ancestors of ordinary British people - but that's not in the history books - that bit was erased. And so the ordinary people celebrate the slavery of their forefathers blindly.

It is easy to see the relationship between Jesus and what the Church has become : an old man in strange robes in the Vatican sitting on a goldmine big enough to cure world hunger, and the child molesting priests in every country ... there is no relationship whatsoever. This has zero to do with Jesus.

I am very taken with the Quakers - there is a Friend's Meeting House near me ... they are mystics and simple living folk.

As for the similarity between Buddhism and Christianity ... I would say that these things do not really exist, there is only a Buddha and a Christ. Actually the people who came after Buddha found their own truth - like Bodhidharma - now it is no longer Buddhism. Each seeker is unique. Buddha learnt his craft from the teachers of his time, and people who came after Buddha moved in their own directions.

So why do people call it Buddhism ? Because they point to an "authority" in order to gain status - to impress you. It is the "I have got a big banana" game that all primate societies play.

There is no such thing as Buddhism. There was a man called Buddha once, that's all. These things are quite quite obvious.
I was proud, and I demanded the finest teacher
.. .. and when he appeared
.. .. .. .. I was so small

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Re: Gnostic Christianity

Post by Mariposa » Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:22 am

One of the big steps towards awareness that I experienced during my transition out of christianity was letting go of the traditional definition of the word God and opening it up to "The Universe", "Life", until one day, while in church, singing, worshiping, I came to the realization that God was the Actual Now, and I worshipped the crap out of it!!! It made me cry, I had to stop going to church or I'd cry every time :lol: it was beautiful...

I think the hardest, most rigid, and dead concept most religions hold on to is their own definition of God... I've always felt the presence of God was real, I never considered atheism, but I did let go of the religious definition of God as an anthropomorphic entity, this father figure, male figure, let alone all his quialities, association with War and so on and so forth, I released those one by one, it's been a freeing process. Also, the book "Conversations with God" by Neale Donald Walsch helped me a lot, I recommend it.


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