“The spiritual life is first of all a life. It is not merely something
to be known and studied, it is to be lived. Like all life, it grows
sick and dies when it is uprooted from is proper element. Grace is
engrafted on our nature and the whole man is sanctified by the presence
and action of the Holy Spirit. The spiritual life is not, therefore, a
life entirely uprooted from man’s human condition and transplanted into
the realm of the angels. We live as spiritual men when we live as men
It is too easy to live in a lofty tower. To embrace spirituality or inner “walking” toward a view to renouncing the body and grasping for the spirit.
Gnosticism is often accused of being a “religion” or religious outlook that hates flesh and seeks only spirit. For some Gnostics, more so than others this was true. As a general rule though. The commentary to Thomas 56 below illustrates this point; where one can assume from Gnostic texts that there is a hatred for form. Arguably this could be a hatred of Sophia herself! Clearly this is not what the Gnostics meant by any such sentiment.
56.) He who has known the world
has found a corpse,
and the world is unworthy of him
who has found a corpse.
Things of this world are not eternal,
but if you understand this, YOU ARE,
and you are therefore superior to it.
We are told to find the world, grow rich and powerful, but then to renounce the power, and renounce the world. These things are not eternal.
The somewhat derogatory mention of the world as
a carcass or corpse troubles me, because I believe the Earth is Holy. The Gnostic view of the “creator” (demiurge) being corrupt makes for an interesting mythology, but bad planetary ecology.
It is important to note that I do not associate Yaldabaoth with the Creator, but consider him only
as a "pretender". I consider Sophia as the true Mother of All. I think of Yaldabaoth as the “blind” god who mistakenly thinks he is God because he can "see" no one greater than himself.