Friday, June 08, 2007

The Neccessity Of Praxis

Practice (in Greek, "praxis") is one of the areas that is often overlooked when it comes to spiritual paths like this. There is so much academic discussion and arguing, not to mention the sheer reading pleasure of the texts we have available, that the actual practical application of these things can be ignored. Many people are studious in terms of the intellectual elements of these things, and that is a vital element, without doubt, but most of them fail to balance that with actual practice, with actual use of what the material describes.

If there is no practice, it amounts to little more than, as many call it, intellectual masturbation (effectively, stroking the brain). It might be fun, but it isn't going to produce much more than short-term pleasure, and spiritual progress relies on much more than intellectual knowledge. As Gnostics this should be doubly notable, given how we stress that Gnosis is not intellectual knowledge. Reading books won't produce Gnosis (though it will help towards it) - if there is no practical application of knowledge, it is wasted potential for growth. It is the planting of seeds and not watering and nurturing them.

I implore, therefore, that all genuine students of any form of spirituality, religious or mystical, orthodox or heretical, put the teachings of their path to use, to help transform the world and the lives of those within it. Spirituality that is divorced from everyday life is spirituality that is divorced from an integral aspect of God, the God that is right here and now.

I will be devoting a few posts to things that aspiring Gnostics can do in terms of "praxis", so keep reading for the next few weeks.

No comments: