Gnosis in a Sethian Sufi Context

Gnosis for the Sufi is a living knowledge of God, and an understanding of who you are in relation to God. In the Quran a story is told a story that before Adam all of the future humanity was brought before the One, that they might remember their God when they are born. There is within humanity that spark of God called that spirit. It longs for the realization of union with God (Ma'rifah).
This gnosis is not a belief but an experience, but is that present experience that there is nothing but God. It is a realization of your oneness with God. In Sufism this oneness is called tawhid. It is a living realization that God is all in all. All all that is impermanent including the ego dissolves and one experiences only this oneness.

I think the real challenge is we can speak a lot about oneness. We can believe and preach on oneness. But we may not have experienced this oneness.But we forget this oneness in coming into this bodily existence. We forget who we are, we forget who God is. The flame of the Spirit within us is hidden like a mirror under layers of dust. The soul is untrained and thus the ego rules the mind, will, emotions (called nafs) and body.

The practices of Sufism are there to provide a foundation to train the soul to align with the spirit within. The practices provide opportunities for bring one back into that state of awareness of God. They seek to train the soul through the practices of salaat (prayer), zikhr (rememberance), as well as works of zakaat (charity) that we might be made God conscious. In learning to submit the soul and body to God, we water the seeds of Gnosis giving them room to grow. In a Sethian context, these practices are there challenging the archons that would keep us ignorant. Salaat, uses the body and mind in prayer seeking to break the archon's hold on the physical body and mind. In zikhr, the mind is united with the Spirit repairing and bringing knowledge (gnosis) to the personality, challenging those archon's brainwashing of our minds. In zakaat, we challenge the archon's control of the world through social justice, compassion, and works of charity...a simple case of God serving God. We are seeking to bring the brokenness back into unity...what Jews call Tikkun Olam...repairing the world.

Belief, faith, and religious practices are all essential in the Sufi path. When gnosis is experienced they are transcended but not abandoned.


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