Jan 15, 2011
At the opening of every episode, I introduce myself as "High Priest of the Temple of Gaia and a priest of the Universal Gnostic Fellowship." The first one you probably understand, but some of you might not have had a lot of exposure to what "Gnostic" might be about. And some of you may have only been exposed to some peoples' pre-conceived notions, and that can be worse than knowing nothing at all!
I recall my own first impressions when I heard about Gnosticism. In a college course titled "Great Religions of the World", the professor suddenly mentioned Gnostics and Gnosticism. Well, I knew that I considered agnostics to be even more of a pain than atheists, so if "Gnostic" was the opposite of "agnostic", I was not going to oppose it. But it was a while before I got to meet any real Gnostics and get to really grasp Gnosticism.
Virtually every spiritual path has its own Gnostic sub-path. In some cases, the Gnostic element is obvious, such as you'll find in the Jewish Kaballah (which you can find in Wicca as well), in Buddhism you have much of it in Zen, and I could go on and on. In other paths, they might not advertise themselves as much if they're there. As I see it, Gnosticism is unavoidable for some.
Regrettably, some people pin the "Gnostic" label on the strangest things. Case in point, a blog I visit now and then where people refer to some practices among the more non-traditionalist in their denomination as "Gnostic," when they definitely are not. Well, these are people who have been made to feel strangers in the churches which they grew up in, so I'll not blame them for not knowing a map of where they've never been.
But when you see what it is, you might find it worth your while. Come on, let's look!