Modern Gnosticism's Relationship With the World

Ancient "Gnostic" sects looked at the world in various ways.  Some saw it as garbage.  Others as almost like a prison.  The Gospel of Thomas that says, "he who has found the world, has found a corpse," also says "lift a stone I am there, split a piece of wood and there I am".   I have wrestled with the views.  It almost caused me to leave the modern Gnostic movement because of this.  Until I looked at the Eastern faiths.  Hinduism looks at the world in several ways is "lila", God's play.  It is maya, illusion.  It is the body of God.  They have sacred rivers, trees, and stones, that are worshipped as aspects or faces of God.    Buddhism in some ways agrees with Gnosticism.  "Life is suffering." They say.  And yet they hold all life sacred.  They point it is useless to hang on to things....all things are impermanent. 
My personal philosophy is somewhere between these two.  This is what I believe the Gospel of Thomas is saying.  The world that you can cling to is a corpse.  The clinging to money, or trying to stay in perfect health so we never die, or protecting this or an exercise in neurosis.  It has no real substance and offers no real control over life.  Everything in this world is impermanent. It is constantly changing. 
And yet  it is full of God or the Sacred.
It is full of the Pleroma or fullness of the Divine beyond any personality.  Lift a stone and you see the sacred.  Break a stick in half, and you can see the face of God.  The world of forms has been placed atop the Formless.  Look closely and you can see.  This is what gnosis is.  See who you are...who we all are.  The Logos..the mind challenges you to think with Sophia wisdom challenging you to comprehend.  This is the journey home....a journey of not even one step.  Only of realization.


  1. Dear Father,

    I'm a new seminarian in the UCA. it would be great to chat by email or skype. kindly write to me, if you will, at or skype me at peter.smith.california.


    pete smith

  2. Ah, this is a most beautiful post and I have come to the same Understanding of which you have written here! =) You have contained so much Wisdom and Knowledge within such a brief amount of space.

    Yours Before The Sacred Flame


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