A Very Deep Secret

Rosie Burroughs rosieburroughs at yahoo.com
Tue Sep 4 18:06:20 EDT 2001

Jacob wrote:
> From what I've read (likely faulty so I'll bow to anyone who actually
> knows), Gnostics were an early Christian sect that believed in active
> pursuit of "gnosis" and were kind of a precursor of the monastic
> tradition.  I believe that "Gnosis" means knowledge and that Gnostics
> pursued a state where they would become one with divinity and to do so
> would bring great knowledge.  It was an inner revelatory type of
> thing--flash of light/enlightenment.

And Kyra wrote:
> Gnosticism of course proposes that the God who created the world
> is in fact evil and is merely deluded into thinking that he is the true
> creator of existence.

Desperately trying to recall some of my first- and second-year theology
work, I'm not sure either of these is right. "Gnosis" does indeed mean
knowledge, and the Gnostics were an early sect, but didn't have much to do
with the existence of the monastic tradition. And they didn't believe God
was evil. It was all about secret knowledge, which was only accessible to
initiates. There was a series of "circles" - seven, I think - through which
one progressed by means of this knowledge, until one reached God at the
centre. I can't remember whether oneness with God was then supposed to


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