A begets b, which begets C
In our example….
Coffee is hot, we are told this
We read about the hotness of coffee
We learn more about this when we pick up the coffee cup.
It is here scripture stops.
It is here where Gnosis begins.
It is here where we drink the coffee.
Scripture tells us nothing about the taste of Coffee, just that it is hot.
Thus it is the same with Holy Scripture. It tells us what tradition knows God to be like. It tells us that God has a beard, five arms and is name George.
Then we pray and meditate and have interaction with God
Scripture has ended. Gnosis has begun. It is here where we hear God’s voice, we see his third nipple.
Scripture thus acts like a sign post. But it is the “reader” that must actually walk along the road that the sign post is pointing to. The sign post, no matter how much we insist, is not the road.
This is how “mysticism” differs from religion.
Hope that helps
“Both scientia sacra and all the ancillary traditional sciences in
Islam may be said to issue the fountainhead of the inner wisdom
contained in the Quran in the same way that Hinduism considers the
Traditional sciences to be the limbs of the Vedas.
Spiritual hermeneutics is the means whereby the intelligence,
Sanctified by revelation, is able to penetrate into the heart of
revelation to discover the principle truth which is the very root
and substance of intelligence itself.
In this process the microcosmic manifestation of the Intellect,
which is the source of inner illumination and intellection,
unveils the inner meaning of that macrocosmic manifestation of the
Intellect which is revelation or more specifically Sacred Scripture.
Moreover, the same truth pertains mutatis mutandis to the inner
meaning of that other revealed book which is the cosmos itself”
– Seyyed Hossein Nasr (”Knowledge and the Sacred “).
You can’t see that God has a beard or you would come to the conclusion that it was not created in 6 days.
What to do?
Let me try to ask it more provocatively: “How do you know something is “holy” scripture and not rubbish?”
What to do?
Well Gnostics understand that cosmology is mainly just a way of understanding things…an approximation.
For example God having a beard is actually a part of Judaism. In kabbalah we find the idea that God has a beard. There are texts describing God’s beard hair….I kid you not!
But why a beard? The beard is SYMBOLIC. It is a symbol of wisdom, of many separate “parts” that together make a cohesive whole.
Thus it is in Gnosticism, God’s nipple and the fact he is called George are symbols.
In order to understand the nature of George and the 6 days of creation we must ascertain what they mean. Again these are sign posts.
For example it would be like thinking about running. We spend days and weeks thinking about running. While and before we actually go running. The purpose of thinking about running is to “help” us actually participate in the Olympics. Thus we are focused, focused upon the Olympics.
Gnosticism teaches that Gnosis is experiential knowledge. Thomas Aquinas actually defined mysticism as experiential knowledge of God. Now Gnosis goes further, it states in order to know something we must become it. Thus in order to know the Olympics we must become it. In order to know God we must become it. This is where Gnosticism differs from “Christianity” or more “accurately” ..”churchianity”
So the six days, whether God is called George or Susan is like thinking about running. In themselves they are only important as aides, helpful things. They are of God, but Gnosticism posits the idea that once we have begun or have learned to actually know God fully, there is no 6 days or George..There is only God, which is ineffable.
As the Zen guys say:
“Those that know do not speak
Those that speak do not know”
So really for Gnostics there is no “worrying” about whether we can actually see God’s beard or if there were 6 days…..as those are like paint brushes. Brushes are great, but an artist paints a picture they don’t paint brushes.
How do you know if something is holy or rubbish?
Does it enable Gnosis?
Does it fit in with the universal language of the divine that is expressed in many traditions, that when one begins to learn it, one can see it very easily.
For example the classic journey of the Buddha is also the classic journey of Christ:
A child is born into a privileged or special family
They leave this family
They wander in the desert of forgetfulness
They gain the magic turnip
The magic turnip is remembrance of who they are
They return home
This pattern can be seen in many many places….The Gnostics find this in the Acts of Thomas. This Apocryphal text is used by Indian Christians (in India). This text contains a hymn supposedly sung by Thomas (the apostle) in prison. The hymn of the pearl describes the above journey.
We can find this journey in
Alchemy (the search for the philosopher’s stone)
Sufism, and related to this in the story of Aladdin
Star wars, the story of Anakin Sky walker
It is these universal symbols that help us know the difference between
“Spot and the magic ball” and something that is “holy.”