Entrapment is usually understood as ignorance or sleep, but not as sin. In order for the human spirit to find salvation, it needs to be awakened and delivered from its ignorance by recovering the knowledge (gnosis) of its true self as part of the Pleroma or ultimate God. Thus, the ultimate God sent a redeemer from the Pleroma to bring knowledge to imprisoned human spirits. Struggle between the flesh and the spirit, rebellion and resistance, reconciliation and submission, and finally — the supreme purpose of the struggle — union with God: this was the ascent taken by Christ, the ascent which he invites us to take as well. Tavistock Insitute. Part 150
In addition, most Gnostic texts and sys-tems reflect a belief in a proliferated array of intermediary beings who inhabit the cosmos between the Pleroma and the earthly realm of humanity. Though the Gnostics understood hu-manity to be trapped within the physical body, the human spirit is understood to be part of the ultimate spiritual reality (the Heron= and/ or the ultimate God).
This entrapment is usually understood as ignorance or sleep, but not as sin. In order for the human spirit to find salvation, it needs to be awakened and delivered from its ignorance by recovering the knowledge (gnosis) of its true self as part of the Pleroma or ultimate God. Thus, the ultimate God sent a redeemer from the Pleroma to bring knowledge to imprisoned human spirits.
Although this redeemer figure can be variously described in Gnostic texts (e.g., as Seth), the majority of the Christian Gnostic texts, of course, identify the redeemer figure with the Christ. Christ then taught the Gnostic “elect.” through “revelation discourses’ the truth about reality and salva-tion. Since the body is evil, Gnostics believed Christ’s human form was docetic (i.e., only appearing human), and thus did not actually die on the cross—a substitute died at the hands of the inferior god and its intermediary powers.
The Gnostics, according to their own writings, tended very strongly to an ascetic lifestyle. The denial of the reality and importance of the human body is the appropriate response for those who know the true character of salvation and the Plcroma.
It seems to me, remains uncomfortably trapped within a fundamental dualism that sees human life as constructed from irreconcilable antinomies: flesh and spirit, evolution and creation, the body struggling to differentiate itself from its animal roots, and the divine spark donated from above.
“Struggle between the flesh and the spirit, rebellion and resistance, reconciliation and submission, and finally — the supreme purpose of the struggle — union with God: this was the ascent taken by Christ, the ascent which he invites us to take as well.”
The path that his Jesus follows towards greater understanding is a way of askesis, of spiritual struggle, that entails divesting the spirit of its encumbrance of flesh. To get nearer to God, you have to get further away from the human condition.
In order to mount to the Cross, the summit of sacrifice, and to God, the summit of immateriality, Christ passed through all the stages, which the man who struggles passes through.’ This path of spiritual ascent is always from the material to the immaterial” and from the flesh to the spirit. The ‘Last Temptation’ is the culmination of this process and the final and ultimate rejection of the domain of the senses, the realm of the flesh and the world of common human destiny. But this seems to be a betrayal of the principle of incarnation, since it shows Jesus unable to reconcile godliness and life in the body. As Macqarrie says, ‘to save the whole of man Christ must have taken on the whole of man’.
The message of the Buddha’, says Carnegie Samuel Calians, ‘is to free oneself from fear and hope by giving up desire.
Kazantzakis . . . considered humanity’s greatest duty to be the transubstantiation of all matter into spirit, an idea drawn predominantly from Buddha and from Bergson’s immanent life force, the élan vital, which seeks freedom from material obstruction and imprisonment.
The arrival of the apostles signals the breaking of the spell, the enchantment dissolved and the illusion revealed. The guardian angel was Satan. Jesus completes his final cry, and empties himself into the death of the cross. Both the passion, and the novel, are ‘accomplished’.
You now have scientists in your world who are recognising that your body-circuitry, the ‘wiring up’ of all of your functions, has somehow been incomplete. This disconnected wiring, related to your not-fully-functioning DNA strands, has been explored in depth in other books and we would urge you to read further on this subject.
Why have we brought this up? It is to point out that the nature of human bodies contains faulty wiring and incomplete memories of who you are in creation and what magical creation abilities you have. Jesus fell into this human body trap from the moment he incarnated into a body and was immediately subject to limitations and emo-tions such as doubt and fear that do not exist in a non-incarnational form.
The ancient Gnostics responded to experiences of divine transcendence by concluding that the world itself is an alien and wicked place, the creation not of the true god of the Beyond but of an evil divinity, or of divine “lowly powers?’
Into this world each human spirit (pneuma) has strayed from its true source, but escape from alienation in the prison of the world and return to the true god of the Beyond is possible. At the individual level the imprisoning element is not just the body but also the soul, because for the Gnostics, Hans Jonas explains, not only the body but also the soul “is a product of the cosmic powers,” so that through both “his body and his soul man is a part of the world and subjected to [worldly fate].” However, enclosed in the soul “is the spirit, or
pneuma' (called also thespark’), a portion of the divine substance from beyond which has fallen into the world.”
Salvation of one’s spirit—one’s spark of true divinity—may be attained by gaining correct knowledge (gnosis): knowledge about the pneuma imprisoned in each human being, knowledge about the true god of the Beyond and of the nature and origins of our worldly prison, and knowledge of the methods or techniques that, when practiced, will ensure deliverance.
Gnostic writings envision the cosmos as a vast prison , of which the earth is the deepest dungeon , in which humans are imprisoned.
Knowledge enables man (that is , the Ophitic Gnostic) to reach back to the prime godhead.
The most significant aspects of these beliefs were firstly dualism — the idea that cosmic forces of Light and Darkness, Order and Chaos, were eternally ranged against each other; and secondly the existence of secret and mysterious powers, which could be made available to initiates who were shown how to acquire them by those who had already found the keys to their secret doors.
Spirit and matter were incompatible and irreconcilable — but somehow artificially emulsified here on earth, like oil and water, and always seeking ways to escape from each other. Light was conceived of as being trapped in darkness: spirit was imprisoned in matter. The Gnostic and the Hermeticist sought in their different ways to find the secret of releasing them — only then, so they believed, would true freedom, happiness and everlasting life be attainable.
After this divine substance fell to Earth , the Archons deliberately created human beings in order to imprison the spirit. The process of self – discovery begins as a person experiences the anguish and terror of the human condition.
Although he is immersed in a dimension of infinity, he is only a human imprisoned in time and space, and it is this conflict that defines his tragedy.
Gnosticism has a characteristic theology, according to which there is a transcendent supreme God beyond the god or powers responsible for the world in which we live. There is in Gnosticism a cosmology that entails a dualist stance, according to which the cosmos, having been created by an inferior power, is a dark prison in which human souls are held captive.
Gnostic anthropology views the essential human being as constituted by an inner self, a divine spark that originated in the transcendent divine world and that can, through gnosis, be released from the cosmic prison and return to its heavenly origin. The human body is part of the cosmic prison from which essential “man” must be redeemed. The notion of release from the cosmic prison entails an eschatology that, in its simplest form, assigns salvation to those with gnosis, and ultimate annihilation to the cosmos and its minions.
Hand in hand with the proclamation of the Pneuma – oáp goes the radical derogation of the flesh by the Gnostic charismatics.
A human being is a divine spark that originated in the transcendent divine world and, by means of gnosis, can be released from the cosmic prison and return to its heavenly origin.