- Paperback: 186 pages
- Publisher: New Gnosis Publications (July 1, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1904519075
- ISBN-13: 978-1904519072
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,238,437 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
From New Age To New Gnosis: The Contemporary Significance Of A New Gnostic Spirituality Paperback – July 1, 2003
See the Best Books of 2018 So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year so far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Wilberg takes on such modern Gnostic icons as Jung with the same brilliant, unrelenting reasoning that characterizes the author's criticism. -- Gnostics.com - Theo Eridanos, June 2004
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Lifting the Veil
In the centuries immediately preceding and following the birth of Christ, a multi-cultural mix of races co-existed under the political sway of the Roman empire and its vassals, along with a medley of spiritual mythologies and theologies - a medley mirrored in todays New Age pick-and-mix assortment of ancient spiritual traditions and new fangled therapies. Then, as now, the main concern of the ruling powers of the day was only to ensure that no coherent spiritual movement emerged which in any way challenged their political authority or the military hegemony. But the spiritual key word of the day was not therapy or healing however, but redemption. This word did not mean salvation from sin but freedom from slavery to the ruling military-political powers and their religious servants.
Thus it was that in closest secrecy small circles of initiates formed covert spiritual cells whose purpose was to quietly educate others in a new and coherent religious philosophy. This philosophy, unlike the New Age style medley of gods and religions that preceded it, was indeed spiritually and politically subversive. Its sheer spiritual power was a covert challenge to the ruling military-political powers. For it was capable of restoring a sense of authentic spiritual communion between individuals that transcended the ethnic, class and cultural divisions on which those powers rested.
One outcome of the work of these initiates was the birth of a Christianity which very soon deformed itself into a personality cult of saviour worship and redemption from original sin. Another, less visible outcome was the continued survival of a powerful underground spiritual tradition - the gnostic tradition. This tradition had begun with the secret cells of initiates - spiritual teachers who taught that the key to salvation lay neither in political rebellion nor in redemption from sin, but rather in overcoming spiritual blindness and ignorance. In place of this ignorance they offered knowledge or gnosis - not in the form of dogmas but in the form of direct spiritual experiences undergone by individuals through initiation.
For those in the business of creating a new structure of spiritual-political and cultural-communal authority - the Church - gnostic Christianity became subversive heresy. The official canon of Christian gospels were carefully selected to remove as many traces as possible of the gnostic message or gospel that Christ had been chosen to publicly enunciate and embody. Direct knowledge of spiritual reality through individual experience was regarded as inherently suspect and replaced by official rites or sacraments which merely symbolised initiatory experiences.
In todays world however, knowledge is something identified solely with academic studies and science, whereas religion is seen as a matter of belief or faith, culture or community. All claims to knowledge that fall outside its officially sanctioned sources - science and academia - are deemed to be unscientific rather than heretical. Nevertheless, the very idea that there is such a thing as subjective knowledge is of course sheer scientific heresy in modern scientific terms. The fact that we no longer see any scientific truth in direct subjective experience - not least spiritual experience - is testament to the spiritual ignorance or a-gnosticism fostered by centuries of institutionalised Christianity.
The official churches fulfilled the function of nurturing and sustaining a communal spirituality based on personal faith and sacramental rites. The underground anti-church of traditional gnosticism focused on the enlightenment of the individual through initiation in secret societies. But as Martin Buber emphasised:
"The individual is a fact of existence in so far as he steps into a living relation with other individuals. The aggregate is a fact of existence in so far as it is built up of living units of relation." Martin Buber
Here Martin Buber writes as a prophet of a New Gnosis, being the first spiritual thinker to identify spirituality as such with a Third Realm transcending both the individual and the community, the realm of human relationships or inter-being that he called The Between. The primary focus of this New Gnosis is neither the fostering of a communicable faith nor the spiritual enlightenment of the individual. Instead its whole purpose lies in the redemption and spiritual deepening of relationships between individuals.
|5 star (0%)|
|4 star (0%)|
|3 star (0%)|
|2 star (0%)|
|1 star (0%)|