Worldview Week 7: Gnosticism

I’m blogging through a worldview class I’m teaching for our homeschool coop through the next year in this series of posts. Each week I’ll post a class outline and notes.

Outline

[gview file=”http://www.thinkinginchrist.com/media/worldview/07%20Gnosticism.pdf”]

Thoughts From this Week’s Class

    • Gnosticism is heavily dualistic in nature; reality is seen as having two generally opposite extremes. This dualism drives much of Gnostic thinking.
    • Dualism drives the Gnostic view of god into an extreme transcendence. God, in the Gnostic system, is completely separated from everything physical, cannot change, and cannot interact with humans directly. In fact, the Gnostic god didn’t even create the physical; this was done by a lower order being.
    • Dualism also drives the Gnostic view of reality. All that is physical is evil, all that is spiritual is good.
    • Salvation is moving towards the “good god,” and away from the “dungeon” of Earth. This can be manifested through radical communitarianism or through self-denial and denial of the material.

The entire concept of the seven spheres and Archons might seem odd to us, but they are the foundation of the heliocentric universe, among other things. Most modern Gnostics, like most modern Christians, haven’t really spent time investigating and learning about their system of belief –they just read a few things, think it sounds good, and adopt it in a rather general and unformed way.

Spirit guides, ascended masters, labyrinths, and many forms of meditation are Gnostic in origin and character. They are all generally forms of focusing on the spiritual by escaping the physical, and of trying to gain an experience of “higher consciousness.”

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