“Gnosis is the death of faith and the birth of power.” That quote comes from a mystical work I’ve been studying. I do not represent the work, nor do I claim it is a valid work for anyone else. This work has inspired and given me things to ponder and consider. In fact there are some positions that I may not agree with, but in thinking them through (and I’ve written dozens of notes on just the few pages I’ve read) I began to form a sense of Gnosis.
This quote comes from the work Liber Nigri Solis, and it’s the opening line of the chapter titled, “Introduction Into the Mystery of the Black Sun.”
The Greek word “gnosis” is a noun for knowledge or wisdom. In its spiritual context, it is more akin to wisdom gained through direct experience. Personal Gnosis, as I refer to it here is in harmony with the host of the Black Flame Immersion: it is the Individual realization of truth.
This truth, wisdom, or knowledge is not something that can be taught through a book, nor through a teacher. Those who teach, and those books that have wisdom within, are great tools but they do not themselves confer gnosis. What they confer are ideas.
For the birth of Gnosis one must take in the data around them (books, life experience, teachings) and proverbially ingest it. By meditating upon these things, and spending time in spiritual practice, thoughts and brain activity become replaced with a deep “knowing.”
Perhaps this process could be thought of in a Zen way. The writings of the Zen teacher, Soho, talk about the unfettered mind. This is the state wherein the thoughts of the Initiate are let go. The mind is put on nothing, and in this state, true Awareness (gnosis) is birthed.
While true that teaching materials (books, spiritual guidance) are pivotal in spiritual growth, they themselves do not make a person have the realization. Such Personal Gnosis is birthed through the inward work.
Death of Faith
Faith is without work, or earning. Faith is the belief in something, where there is no foundational evidence. In religions like Christianity, it is faith (not works) that supposedly “saves” a person from an eternity in hell.
Giving faith an honest look, I find it to be only a starting point, and of little value. One might have faith that there is a Lucifer, Set, Kali, Odin or other non-corporeal being out there. That’s a start. That’s the founding belief.
Founding beliefs did not grow my spiritual path. My path grew from work and spiritual engagement. By sitting in meditation and interacting with my life experiences through a spiritual lens (using spiritual tools throughout my day, such as attempting to remote influence someone / something, get a read on an object or person, feel the space between all things), something began to stir within me.
Thought was involved. I sat down and thought about cosmological questions. I pondered many dilemmas – which are posted throughout this blog. Gnosis woke within me. When I began to have an awakening, the wisdom I was gaining was far beyond that of mere faith.
Gnosis is the Death of Faith, because gnosis removes the “hope” and “belief,” replacing it with something far more valuable: direct experience.
Birth of Power
In my view, the quote I began this article with, is spot on. The concept of Gnosis being the Death of Faith, makes sense to me. So too does the idea of the “Birth of Power.” When I began to have the direct experience, it shaped my world view.
“Such things are not possible,” says the occultist who never shared the Individual experience. Yet I had experiences and for me they were real. I had a moment of Gnosis, awakening, and no one can take that away (and they will try), unless we allow them to.
Groups especially will attempt to control Personal Gnosis. The Group Mind considers itself the authority it’s boundary of belief. If a member has a direct experience that is contrary to the group, the group (like a cellular organism) will attempt to isolate or remove them. Personal Gnosis is not group-think, and therefore it is a dangerous poison to a group.
Others have tried to take away my Personal Gnosis, which is why I quickly gravitated to the old biblical concept: Do not cast pearls before swine.
If our pearls of Gnosis are trampled on by others (the pigs in that analogy), they do so to make us like them. To get us to conform. We lose our deep truth, and it gets replaced with a weak or false image of truth (the truth of group acceptance).
Personal Gnosis has power. It has the Power to advance our accession, as it were. We become more of an Individual, and have more confidence in operating outside the teachings of group thought. We gain evidence of our work, and hold to our cause.
For some, this is the Power of ascending to godhood (or enlightenment), for others it is the power of becoming the spiritual Individual. What I think both views have in common, is the idea of improvement into the true Self: a truly great feat of magic.