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Universal Life ChurchWe also have a course on Gnosticism available through the Seminary.

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Universal Life ChurchThe question of what Gnosticism has been vague over the years. I believe the vagueness of it lies in its historical context.Universal Life ChurchGnosticism is not really a term that can be defined by one individual and include all that have practiced it. In 1966 an assembly of Scholars met in Messina Italy to try and define Gnosticism. They were not very successful. They tried putting the term in a box giving Gnosticism a definition of so-called "heretical" movements of Christianity in the first and second centuries. (Which when studied is very debatable).Universal Life ChurchThe term Gnosis was defined as ‘Knowledge of the divine mysteries for an elite’, separating Gnosis from Gnosticism. This did not help much.Universal Life ChurchI guess the most problematic issue with Gnosticism is its controversy about when it all started. Its origins are vague and controversial with many debates that have raged over the years. Some say it was an offshoot of Christianity, while others say it has been a much older hidden tradition or philosophy that existed before the advent of Christianity. Universal Life ChurchNo One has been able to answer these questions with any kind of convincing finality. Gnosticism is not something that can be neatly tucked in a box and wrapped up for all to experience in the same manner.Universal Life ChurchIt is a journey, a journey within you. Everyone is different so everyone will have a different journey, a different experience with Gnosis. There do seem to be some basic points that have been written by a professor at the University of Miami that could apply to characteristics of the Gnostic Mythos.Universal Life ChurchThis however concerns those that indulge themselves in classic Gnosticism. (Those that have studied the scripture of the lost gospels) I could go into great detail with this, but this is not the place to go into such a lengthy dissertation.Universal Life ChurchSo I present to you twelve points that Professor Clark Emery summarized in which most Gnostics tended to agree with.

1. The Gnostics posited (proposed) an original spiritual unity that came to be split into a plurality. 2. As a result of the pre-cosmic division the universe was created. This was done by a leader possessing inferior spiritual powers and who often resembled the Old Testament Jehovah 3. A female emanation of God was involved in the cosmic creation (though in a much more positive role than the leader) 4. In the cosmos, space and time have a malevolent character and may be personified as demonic beings separating mankind from God. 5. For humans the Universe is a vast prison. They are enslaved both by the physical laws of nature and by such moral laws as the Mosaic code. 6. Humankind can be personified by Adam, who lies in the deep sleep of ignorance, his powers of spiritual self-awareness stupefied by materiality. 7. Within each natural human is an "inner human" a fallen spark of the divine substance. Since this exists in each human, we have the possibility of awakening from our stupefaction. 8. What affects the awakening is not obedience, faith, or good works, but knowledge. 9. Before the awakening, humans undergo troubled dreams. 10. Humans do not attain the knowledge that awakens them from these dreams by cognition but through revelatory experience, and this knowledge is not information but a modification of the sensate being. 11. The awakening or Salvation of any individual is a cosmic event. 12. Since the effort is to restore the wholeness and unity of the Godhead, active rebellion against the moral law of the Old Testament is enjoined upon every human.



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