> "Soteriology," eh? All are free to do as they see fit. How do you come
> this Gnosis without the Sacraments?
> This feels like over-intellectualising to me.
I must be having some kind of disorder, whenever I read or hear
the word "over-intellectualizing" I twitch..
I oriented myself pretty much in the intellectual, the "intelligible"
world before I had my first experience, before the first germ of
world-rendering cataclysmic knowledge was activated..when I was a teenager,
I had a kind of bulemia, only it was with words, sentences, books,
magazines, newspapers that filled the void, that almost stilled the
unease, the unrest, almost but not quite comforted.. by words, I could
almost be assured, that one shut-in, alienated reality could approach
another shut-in,alienated reality.. that we could communicate, share...
That being said, I wasnt a very oral person...I give anyone amused by
freudian slips have that one, I`ll be moving on to my point;
do we here assume we can get to grips with a Gnosis that can be dissected,
approportioned to its "constituent parts" ...and well, explain it?
Now, after my experience, something serving as an anchor, some certainty,
just fell away.. I looked in there, where that anchor stood, daily, and
found out it was missing, as if it had never been there.. I knew there was
something else, and what appeared to be "here" before - either in my
experience or my continous appreciation of what was real, my
"understanding" or "interpretation" (not in the sense of intellectual
analysis, but in sense of ...sense/orientation), was now missing.
I discovered that I had much in common with those who, upon discovering
they are lost at sea, began seeking for a shoreline.. but also much more
in common with those who, upon sailing, had a dream wherein they undertook
the whole journey to their destination - and upon waking, day by day, year
by year, continually discovering the vision and wisdom of the dream to be
salvific, to actually bring their vessel closer to that golden horizon.
When I participate in the sacraments, I avail myself of the opportunity of
consciously responding to memory, to vision, to "dream" - to a different
nuance of consciousness, or a different way of being conscious; and in
responding to these, and becoming conscious thusly - I can "ground" that
consciousness in what I do, I can let my vision descend into my self -
allowing my mind, allowing my senses, allowing my imagination.. even my
sensate body, to participate in the sacrament and mystery, which was there
upon my first awakening to it, which is here now, and which ever will be
The chief sacrament of the Gnostics, according to some sources, are The
Bridal Chamber - if we inspect the descriptions of the conscious first
universe, what generates and emanates from First Thought, the Pleroma - in
Gnostic literature, consists in, begins with - continues with - this
Bridal Chamber, this unification and complementation of opposites or
unique beings, which produces more unique beings.. an increase of
reflection, if it begins with Thought and Light; Light consists in the
attention,attendance to - presence with - Light; Thought is mighty when it
unifies- raises up, deepens.. attends to, embrace.. I am trying to say
that the Bridal Chamber to me are as immanent as it is transcendent, not
divided but continually the life of being, the true life of being.. the
activity which fills everything with meaning, rather than it being
something final or fixed in time and space. Many of our dreams,
experiences, understandings, accumulated wit and wisdom..remains
unmanifest,passive,unreconciled with our "understanding", our sense, our
being.. some await to transfigure this sense, some await to be
transfigured by the light of our being, by this sense..
There are redemptive moments, events in our lives - which are more
important than years and centuries, at least to us, while at the same
time, in physical space,is the most minute and confined of all.. some we
can re-view (consider or remember) with the help of either a sense of
narration (the story, the myth, the song, the poem) or explanation
(analysis,discourse etc.) - some we need to break down the barriers of our
conception or hold on reality in this world or in our mind, clearing a
space within or on some other surface, and fill with symbols (artwork for
instance) - some needs a combination of all three, to which is added a
solemn, conscious decision to bless, to sanctify, to purify, to enlighten,
to infuse another moment in our lives with the help of the light, the
understanding, the love, the enthusiasm, the sense of the Holy within us,
and which we share with others.. to me that is what the sacraments are
about.. it is a concentration of years of discovery into active
remembrance. I know it is conceited, but I like the word ; re membrance,
sometimes I feel like my head is severed from the rest of my body,
sometimes I feel like I have no say in what my legs do, incapacicated,
loosing confidence, knowledge, presence with them, fearing I will forget
how to walk, knowing well that walking, to me personally, who have been
walking the last 30 or so years of my physical life on this earth..
The Eucharist has some exercises which deattached from the presumed
"obligation" and externals isn`t all that bad -
you intend, you praise,you draw a line - establishing intention to
remove or banish all dissonance, all evil, all confusion -
you evaluate, you repent (deciding what you know, understand is
your wish not to repeat ever, or what you wish you had not repeated..
Jesus said in the Gospel of Thomas, when his disciples asked him
what they should do to fulfill the new law "Do not lie, and do not
do what you in your hearts hate" - since we have such a great wealth
within us, this is pretty much an understanding of what it means
to love God and love our fellows in the sense of loving ourselves..
lying and repeatedly doing what we hate - only increase our resentment
of ourselves.. as well as the suffering of ourselves and others),
you release (the priest does so at absolution, we do so in the Lord`s
prayer)- and you fill a former void; realizing it is a unique moment
at every time something is set apart for the mysterious meeting of
inner and outer, when the interior reveals itself - everytime that
chalice is filled with wine, it is already present in the room,
and everytime the wine is mixed with water, the ceremonial has become
a potentional meditation and mystery of the bridal chamber..
That is where in the liturgy,Marcus, a disciple of Valentinius - intoned
""May Grace (Charis) who is before all things, who is beyond thought and
description, fill your inner man and multiply in you her knowledge
(gnosis), sowing the mustard seed in good soil!"
Just some words..
Pax Sophiae et Pleromae
Terje Dahl Bergersen
Deacon for the Capella Santa Sophia, Ecclesia Gnostica, Oslo,Norway
Ecclesia Gnostica Norvegia: http://www.ecclesiagnostica.org/