This article is one which would be considered delicate due to the numerous points of views out there about who or what God is. God to me isn’t a person but an infinite being who is not on the outside but within self. The article here presented its written from a Gnostic point of view; you don’t have to agree to it; I am not here to try to convince you of anything, simply to inform and share that which I am passionate about.
To set the foundation for this article, I will quickly make reference to the Eleusinian mysteries. The Eleusinian mysteries is the most complex and mysterious part of Grecian beliefs; initiations (learnings) held every year for the cult of Demeter and Persephone, based at Eleusis in ancient Greece. In the mythology of Persephone and Ades; Persephone when she was still called Core, meaning “young”, was kidnapped by Ades and taken to the underworld; it is important to remember the underworld was not “hell” as later on was confused by others; but simply a deeply hidden place. The myth continues stating anyone who ate from any of the fruits found there was not to return to the land of the living. Persephone was tricked by Ades into eating a fruit from the underworld and as such she was to remain there. Demeter through various actions managed to get her daughter back; not entirely; Persephone was to share her time between the land of the living and the underworld. This myth is better explained in my article “Sacred Goddess, Sacred Prostitute: Rediscovering the sacred feminine”. In that article I also made clear the distinction between a common story and a myth. A myth is history passed orally; its teachings lost over time. It cannot be proven or disproven but the lesson found in the archetype continues to be of value.
Getting back to the myth of Persephone and its relevance to helping us find our inner God; the Eleusinian mysteries are based on that particular myth. When paying close attention, studying and dissecting the myth, one becomes aware of its valuable lesson. The myth revolves around a young woman or young soul in its process of evolvement and recognition of self. It is when that young soul; represented by Persephone; meets Ades, who is a representation of the deep parts of self, subconscious– that her soul starts the process of growth; recognizing her duality and starting the process of integration, growing into a more mature, wise, soul. That process however takes work and strength as reflected by all the challenges Persephone and Demeter (who represents transcendence) had to overcome.
Unfortunately it seems everything which has to do with what is hidden, deep, subconscious or consider dark (which is just another word to describe the aspects of self that need work) is considered in modern times as wrong or evil. In reality the first concept has nothing to do with the latter descriptions; it has all to do with inner reflection and the diving into the deepest parts of self.
The subject I am about to explore here is quite delicate; one would need to keep an open mind and remember that I am not trying to change your path. If what you do works, then all the more power to you; what is important is not which path but the results. If at the end of the day your beliefs are making you a better, more evolved, more coherent human being then keep going. I am offering a different path, a Gnostic path.
Gnosis means knowledge and is based more on discovering of self and the spiritual mysteries; it has a lot in common with the study of psychology and philosophy, both emanated from Gnosis. This is why I believe, that it’s important to educate one self on the roots of our history, our languages and our beliefs. The information presented here is but a mere fraction of the vast knowledge which can be found by anyone who seeks. Do not take my word, or simply read one or two books. It requires discipline, years of self work, and the desire to always keep an open mind, being willing to learn from different points of view; only then can one end up with a more rounded, better informed opinion. Afterwards you can choose whether or not you put that knowledge to practice; if choosing to do so, examine the results. Does it bring coherency to your life, does it open your mind to greater things, does it make it you a better person, does it make you crave for self evolvement, does it unify your mind and soul, lastly and more importantly does it bring you REAL peace?
According to Gnostic or ancient knowledge, rediscovering and claiming our inner God is not hard; man has chosen to make it complex. We all want to exit this dual plane, to leave this imperfect world onto a more “heavenly” plane. We all want to exit the wheel of Karma behind; however, the big question remains whether or not we are actually willing to do the work and confront/heal the parts of ourselves we don’t like, or do we want the easy way; a way which does not offer evolvement but offers temporary soothing, doctrine, judgement of others and avoidance of self.
A world of no questioning means one avoids self responsibility, for this is placed at the feet or altar of one’s teacher in exchange for being absolved of “sins”. Such attitude to life, is no different than a person who seeks therapy yet expects to heal based solely on the therapist doing all the work; we see the folly in this, why do we then choose to put blinders when applying the same psychology to spiritual growth? We don’t seem to realize we have bought the idea of following beliefs, doctrines, therapies, based on external solutions in order to save ourselves. They teach us to look outside for salvation instead of within self; how are you then to find your center? By its definition it is within you, it cannot be found outside.
Any teaching, whether spiritual, psychological, or philosophical which avoids looking inside and really doing the work you need to, in order to become the ultimate you, is an erroneous one. This doesn’t mean all spiritual, psychological, or philosophical teachings are wrong; the fault lies more on people…some people, not all–from the so called spiritual guides who teach to exoteric knowledge (looking out) instead of esoteric knowledge (looking in), to the people who follow them, hoping to be relieved of responsibility for their actions through repetition or dogma.
Unfortunately in our desire to avoid working on ourselves. many of us have chosen to buy into the idea that all is require of us is to hold one belief to be saved (negating or other knowledge, even though one has no idea what that other knowledge implies); under that criteria, it matters not if our actions are coherent with our souls, so long as we get down on hour knees to show reverence. We need to become honest enough with ourselves to accept the dark parts of our humanity which we need to transcend; of course choosing this path is harder for it requires facing all that which hurts and which most of us would rather not look at. As such, I often ask myself…Do most of us really see ourselves when looking at the mirror? or do we see only the masks we have willfully chosen in order to fit in?–just something to ponder upon.
The path to self discovery or to reclaiming our inner God is a slow, hard process. It requires more than just a couple of hours of your time, it requires full devotion to confronting and understanding every aspect of yourself; it does not offer a quick fix. To follow the path of self discovery, keeping an open mind is key. It is important to look at everything without getting stuck on one line of thought, one doctrine, one belief; falling into rigidity or delusion that only perspective holds all the truth to solve all the mysteries within and without–as such it creates more division than unity.
It seems through the new doctrines, in order for a person to accept himself, it is require of him to give up the search…why such fear? When a person truly is coherent and centered, that person isn’t afraid of discovering and learning other points of view. In rounded knowledge and experience lies wisdom, this can’t be found only within one line of thought. This is why real Gnosis does not exclude any knowledge, it finds value in all. Gnosis reminds you however that all knowledge will mean nothing if you don’t learn to discern and learn to apply what you learn to your own life; that starts through introspection. The knowledge you collect gives you the strength to face your shadow, to do the work and transcend the aspects of you which are holding you back.
The mystic schools understood the concept of real knowledge without crippling the initiate; your mentors were not to walk side by side with you your whole life. They were not there to repeat themselves time and time again, but to be your mirror and offer you the knowledge needed before you were sent on your way to reclaim your inner God. Unfortunately later on the desire to control and manipulate took precedence. The sad belief that a person always needs a teacher, never allowing the student to grow and develop came to place. The false belief “there is only one way, everyone else is wrong” took precedence, bringing with it less tolerance and more fights among human beings. The new dogmas based themselves mostly on “Mea Culpa”… “Guilt”. They based themselves on making sure people saw themselves a guilty, inconsequential, powerless human beings, who had to do penance for their existence. Guilt and punishment were the order of the day; concepts entirely human which have nothing to do with the loving force of life which many call God.
Gnostics and Pagans used to follow their hearts making sure their actions were coherent with their mind and soul. They understood their body was “The” temple; not in the drastic prude way modernly taught but in knowledge that the force called God, the spark, was inside of one self. Never to be diminished through extreme prudish beliefs or extreme abuse of self. We have forgotten this connection to the source, creating false dogmas and religions.
For me the biggest enemy of humanity are religions. Do not confuse my words with me saying all who follow religion are bad, for that is not the case. Do not think I am saying their teachings are empty, for they are NOT. Within their teachings one can find the connection among all of them and valuable lessons for growth. When I talk about religion, I talk about rigid doctrine; the mixed up way they created in order to keep control of a group of people who don’t look in but look out for answers. I have seen people fight viciously to defend their religion, in the process entirely missing its teachings. They fight for a name, for a line, not for the source; God doesn’t exclude, doesn’t punish, and God lives inside as well as everywhere else. They fight for the roots of their dogmas more than for their actual teachings, for if they understood their teachings, there would be no wars, no murder, no false idea of needing to be accepted, no living preaching peace while hurting your neighbor and no hiding one’s challenges.
I believe if those who follow dogma, actually developed TRUE acceptance vs tolerance of those of different thinking….if they actually took the time to separate the name of their religion and its roots vs their teachings, they would actually get closer to the source… closer to God. Christ didn’t teach about churches or religions, he taught lessons, wisdom, knowledge. He wasn’t sectarian or extremist. He didn’t tolerate, he accepted.
People over time have misquoted Christ as saying to Peter “upon this rock I will build my church”. The correct translation before the Council of Nicaea took place was “upon this rock I will build my Ecclesia”. The word “Church” comes from the old English and German word “Kirche”, which means “belongs to A Lord, a bodily entity”. The correct word, Ecclesia means “The called out ones”, “The ones with knowledge”. To explain the whole root of how this manipulation of words happened would take an entire article of its own. I simply mentioned it here for all to see the huge difference between the root of both words and the danger of mistranslation or manipulation; which took place at the time for political gain. This is why I believe in the power of a well rounded education and the value of seeking the root of things; whether historically, philosophically or grammatically; for words are power.
Allan Watts; one of the greatest philosophers and writers; explains very well the confusion religion has caused and what it has done to humankind. Religion is explained by him on the first part of his lecture, called the ceramic model. The fully automatic model was his second model, used to describe atheists. He supported neither concept. One seeks control or gives its power to something external and the other lives in rebellion denying the divinity of its existence. I won’t give his full lecture because its too long, here is a small piece: “The ceramic model of the world is the traditional view that the world was something created by an external god, just as a potter creates a pot imposing his will to whatever end and a carpenter creates a table. It is the idea that the world is made as an artifact through some sort of an act of supernatural will. And this creator god is the ruler of this universe and resides as a king or puppeteer. The fully automatic model, is the traditional atheistic or naturalistic view of the world where the universe exists almost as some kind of blind, unintelligent machine, and that humans are just a chance fluke in its history”.
Watts didn’t think either model made sense, instead he held to a view that the universe was something musical, divine and magnificent; it was God but not in the limited sense we have been taught. The universe was a symphony, it was a piece of music. And just like how when making music, the goal isn’t to get to the end of the piece as quick as possible — Rather the point of the music is the music itself, the person herself. The unfolding of the universe is the purpose, beauty, and audacity of this symphony.
To Watts limited sectarian beliefs, saw man as nothing but an unintelligent thing which needs something exterior to control it, who seeks an external intelligence, an external power to give sense to his life. Watts believed that it’s in this manner sectarian beliefs imposed a concept of ourselves as artifacts, who were created with no power and whose life control resides entirely on the outside. He goes further by explaining that when you teach someone to see himself as manufactured, then that who manufactured him has the total power and control. To me that idea, that type of teaching is the root of all our troubles.
Watts explained when you manufacture something, you put pieces side by side, and work from the outside in, just the way an sculptor gives shape to a rock. On the other hand when you see something grow, it works in the opposite direction, it extends from the inside out, it flowers, it grows; its process nothing short than miraculous, just a like a cell replicates itself time and time again until it becomes a baby. Watts made emphasis on how important and how different the process of growth vs the process of manufacturing is. To be manufactured, created, means to have a creator who has total control and power over our lives. According to Watts, this new image of creation originated with the monarchy, who described God as the ultimate King. Limiting the divine power, life itself, which is the source of all. This divine source who created nothing to control but replicated himself for its sake, for its enjoyment; an expansion of itself, of its divinity and love.
If we buy into the idea of God as it was taught by the monarchs, then nothing will change because everything is already programmed, if that is the case where does free will fit in?… important question. Within the concept of free will there is no control, it’s the person himself who decides. To say there is free will yet it comes with punishment, is to offer a Machiavellian system; another system well used by the monarchies. If we accept the belief that all has been decided for us, then what purpose do our lives have? What is the point? We might as well sit on the sofa and do nothing because all will happen based on an external. True Gnostics like old pagans, believe on the sweet spot, which means balance…where free will meets fate–this is a whole other topic which later on I will write on.
Gnosis says all things happen based on our own choices, our own level of growth and what these choices have attracted. Wherever we are in life is due to our own exercise or lack of its power. If things aren’t well is because we have chosen not to exercise our power, we have chosen not to set limits where they need to be set, not to grow in the areas we need to, and choose not to expand on those areas which are already developed. It is a tough concept because it teaches to stop blaming someone else for how your life is going. To respect someone else’s choices and to understand their choice only affects you either because it forces you to see areas where you need to grow or to set limits to what you allow within your life.
In order to reclaim our internal God, to connect with the spark which lives inside we need to discard the idea of an external God, to stop seeing ourselves as needing to connect in the same way an ant connects to its queen. We need to stop seeing God through the monarch archetype and ourselves as subjects who have nothing to offer but blind devotion. This is not our authentic reality, this reality was created in order to control, to stop us from truly connecting with the divine. Our souls are kidnapped within our body and we have allowed it. Souls aren’t created by anyone, they are portions of a much bigger reality, of that beginning which has no end. God really is the primary source, foundation of all, not some archetypal being (s), whom the ancients used to call lesser Gods. Gods who became Gods by imposing their will upon men and fighting to be known as the “only” God. God the source has to fight with nothing, for its everything. The authoritarian idea of a God who had to fight with others whom were called false Gods were given to us by the new dogmas. God is infinite and always was, it’s the source, the primary force, and you can call it God or whatever you want. It does not require a building, or a doctrine…to connect you only have to look within.
The base root of Gnosis is to get back to our root, through a process of self work. Jesus called himself son of God, as we all are children of God, but he never said he was the only son of God. The belief of Christ as the only son of God came to be much later; in the fourth century when the concept of Church was created. This new concept of Church taught there is only one way back to the source and never to go back as an equal because human beings are so evil, weak, not divine, perverted. They taught only through unconditional devotion, or the giving up of our internal power can we become worthy of reuniting with God. If that is how it works, then again where does free will fit in? or better yet why Guilt? punishment? None of these makes sense.
Its about time we wake up and discover the falsity within the teachings of a God who punishes out of love. That seems to me like the very vision a tyrant holds, but a tyrant is imperfect and he is extremely disconnected from the source; so this theory makes no sense. Any line of belief which isn’t willing to integrate the others and leave the fighting for their specific religion behind cannot be connecting with Love, therefore its not connecting with the source, with the divine or God.
Within the divine there are no differences, there are no names to a belief, it is simply divine knowledge, but there also isn’t the false belief that we are all the same. This concept has been totally misunderstood. Our essence is one as we all originate from the same source but our realities are not. We all have follow our own paths, have had our own unique experiences, our own lessons, our own way of living. This concept of “we are all one and the same” is a different approach to mass control; another extreme same result. It is of interest to those who impose this, that we may have the same mentality so we may follow the same path in order for us not to project ourselves or to see how much richness our differences bring to our lives. Our differences are valuable they don’t diminish us. We can see within our society the importance of creating a common pattern of being; are we really that afraid to simply be ourselves, no matter what that looks like? Do we all have to belong to something or to think like someone?
Let’s start digging, learning, expressing things as they are. Let’s learn to live coherently and to embrace our differences– there is no shame in that. Lets strive to make sure our words match our actions. You may not have it all figured out, chances are this life time won’t be enough, there will always be something to work on….but at least live coherently enough where your preaching really matches your actions, not only openly but more importantly behind closed doors. Otherwise you will never be yourself, you will only be a prototype that fits and feels accepted by a mass of people who seek the same, willing to give up their individuality, their power in order to falsely belong.
Let’s focus on reclaiming our individuality and leaving behind the mass produce common personality which is currently being imposed. Let me explain what it means to be an “Individual”. It is not the same as egotistical or selfish. It is made of two words “Indivi” and “Dual”; the first refers to something, someone undividable and that undividable being; which we all are; came to experience life’s duality (Maya). What is that duality?…On one side the superior God while on the other lies the insignificant “I”–so we are placed between two extremes, trying to understand it all. Let’s look for our own individuality which has nothing to do with false ego, and let’s stop accepting a misunderstood concept where all of us are the exact same. If we buy onto that idea, we lose the opportunity to be ourselves first, to help ourselves first and to grow while feeling connected. Like a tree; many different branches, they don’t all look the same but they are connected.
When speaking about reincarnation Aristotle used to say “one does not come to life to learn it but to experiment it”. If you think its only an intellectual process, you are wrong; its bigger than that; its an internal process of self knowledge. The ancients knew that although you may learn a lot, or you may follow patterns taught to you by others or you may choose to belong and follow doctrine, yet at the end if you don’t experience life, you will still have no concept of who you really are.
It is easy to follow others because real freedom is scary, there is no set pattern, there is no set teacher to follow for life, there is no one specific book which to read all the time in order to be saved, there is no set ritual; in freedom we all are as we are and more. In true freedom we face ourselves and decide what to do next, the need to really discover the “who am I?”…In doing this, one starts to look in more and more, and discovers an entirely different world, and the ability to see past what is pose in front of our senses. It is a process, by which one’s fears are awakened but only until you are willing to face them, then fear dissipates. Its not an overnight process, but it builds true character.
Let’s leave behind the concept of the divine being unattainable and what is human as broken, imperfect and our body as evil and prompt to temptation. Our body is a vessel, no temptation can affect the body if it did not affect the mind first. Our bodies aren’t the problem, the root lies in our minds. If our inside is clean, nothing can pervert us.
Let’ stop looking for the eternal teacher, the eternal guide, the priest, the pastor, the rabbi, the guru, whatever you want to call it and relying on their experiences and judgement in order for us to grow. We are not miniscule, unintelligent, ignorant (if we are, it is by choice, not imposed). We are divine and until we accept this, and see that it is a process which will require our commitment; not to the external but to ourselves, to honoring our own divinity and rediscovering it within our selves and everything around us; until we do this, we will not rediscover our inner God.