Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Gnostic #2

The second issue of The Gnostic: A Journal of Gnosticism, Western Esotericism and Spirituality. Featuring an interview with Colin Wilson and an indepth examination of his ideas on the occult. An interview with Tessa Dick, widow of Philip K Dick, plus an excerpt from her memoir and Anthony Peake's analysis of Dick's precognitive abilities. An interview with noted scholar April DeConick on the Gospel of John. The Gnosticism of the TV series The Prisoner. Kimetikos, Jeremy Puma's Gnostic practice. Tony Blake's meetings with remarkable people including J.G. Bennett, David Bohm and Idries Shah. Articles on asceticism, the symbolism of the Bible, Resurrection, Schrodinger's Gun, a short story by Andrew Phillip Smith. Extensive book reviews, original art and more.

Published Autumn 2009 by Bardic Press. Perfectbound softcover, 186 pages, ISBN 978-1906834029, $14, £9 €10. See

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Gospel & the Zodiac

Scott Rassbach of the AJC gave a lecture on the Gospel and the Zodiac (based on the Unitarian minister Bill Darlison's book of the same name) as part of the AJC's Conclave 2009. A video of this lecture has been uploaded to Youtube, which you can watch in four parts below:

Another video of an interview with Bill Darlison himself (note that this interview was done before the book's release, and thus it is now widely available for purchase).

Finally, check out the book itself (my review of which should be in #2 of The Gnostic):

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Whoever is Free is a Slave...

"Whoever knows the truth is free, and a free person does not sin, for 'one who sins is a slave of sin....' Those who do not allow themselves to sin the world calls free. They do not allow themselves to sin, and the knowledge of the truth lifts them up - that is, it makes them free and superior to all. But 'love builds up'. Whoever is free through knowledge is a slave because of love for those who do not yet have freedom of gnosis. Gnosis enables them to be free."

- Gospel of Philip (via Jeremy Puma's column in The Gnostic #1)

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Gnostic #1 Now Available

From Andrew Phillip Smith's blog:

"The Gnostic #1 is finally available.

It includes an interview with John Turner, an expert on Sethian Gnosticism, a new translation of the Gospel of Judas, a whirlwind tour of the alternative Judas, and a note on translational issues in the Gospel of Thomas. Gnostic-influenced writers are featured heavily with a long interview with Alan Moore, and an excerpt from a prose work inspired by William Blake, and articles on William Burroughs and Philip K. Dick. The more adventurous scholarly articles include Will Parker’s examination of the magical worldview, a look at the figure of Judas outside of the New Testament, and an examination of Paul’s attitude to Moses. Jeremy Puma’s regular column looks at the pivotal topic of Gnosis itself. Plus reviews of more than a dozen books. Oh, and an excerpt from Freke and Gandy's Gospel of the Second Coming. And more.

Scott Finch, John Coulthart and Eddie Campbell provide visuals.

The easiest way to purchase it is through Amazon:

It's also available through, most other online bookstores and eventually in selected brick-and-mortar bookstores. Comp copies are on their way to contributors.

Thanks to you all for your encouragement and help."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Knowledge of God

If God is beyond the grasp of our fragile minds, then we have to content ourselves with the fact that our approximations of what God is are merely that - approximations. This should not, however, discourage us from using mythology, religion, and art as an attempt to describe and understand the majesty of God, however ultimately futile such an attempt might be, nor discourage us to use our heart and our Gnosis to come to the only real knowledge of God that can be attained.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Book Review: The Gnostics

Gnosticism has become increasingly popular over recent years, with the publication of the Nag Hammadi library, the even more recent Gospel of Judas, the blockbuster Matrix films, and, of course, the infamous Da Vinci Code book and film, not to mention countless others that slip under the radar of all but those who have “eyes to see”. However, all this popularity has led to a very skewed understanding of what Gnosticism is all about – some people think it was invented by Aleister Crowley, that it was all about Jesus' relationship with Mary Magdalene, or that it was a single obscure heretical group that didn't last very long. The Gnostics, by Andrew Phillip Smith, is an accessible book that dispels these erroneous views with a thorough introduction to the history, tradition, scriptures, and influence of Gnosticism in all its facets.

The book, numbering just under 250 pages, is broad in scope, dealing with nearly all of the Gnostic groups of note from its inception two millenia ago to its revival in modern days in both an occult and ecclesiastical form. Entire chapters are devoted to the Sethians and Valentinians, the Manichaens, the Cathars, and the Mandaens, with brief mention of other smaller groups (which we sadly lack information on) in between. Other chapters deal with Gnostic mythology, psychology, praxis, and, of course, that illusive concept of
Gnosis itself. Smith includes a rather sizeable chapter on the modern Gnostic revival which “brings it home”, as it were, in a way that people can relate to; works from Blake, Philip Pullman, Philip K. Dick, and other modern works are mentioned, allowing the reader to see how the transmission of Gnosis never truly died out. References, a good bibliography, and an index are also supplied, which will please anyone looking at this from an academic perspective.

It is evident that Smith is not merely a scholar in this field, but immensely interested in the traditions and texts which he studies. His enthusiasm is apparent in nearly every page of the book, and his sympathy for Gnosticism is a welcome change for Gnostics like myself, who all too often have to contend with the cruel eye of heresiological bias. However, in stating this, Smith never abandons historical accuracy or conventional scholarly practice in presenting his views. His arguments are generally solid and widely accepted throughout the academic world. One such argument is “Gnosticism is dualist”, which frequently raises the ire of modern Gnostics who vehemently disagree with the notion. Initially a Gnostic reader might bite their lip when reading this same argument coming from Smith, but it quickly becomes apparent that he has found a balance between the conventional view and the modern Gnostic one: “...classical Gnostic dualism was a dualism within unity.” Smith also takes care not to lump every Gnostic group into the same “dualistic” heading: “There is a clear distinction between absolute or radical dualism [...] and mitigated or moderate dualism, which posits a good God or good force at the beginning and culmination, at the highest point of the universe, but which acknowledges that an independent evil force or lower God has as much, or more, influence on our present world. The Sethians and Valentinians were mitigated dualists, the Manichaens absolute dualists.” While many modern (Valentinian) Gnostics might still grind their teeth at the word “dualist” being used here at all, this explict distinction between absolute and mitigated forms, so well described by Smith, goes a long way to ammending the somewhat negative usage of the word.

The Gnostics
is one of the few introductory texts that covers almost the entire scope of Gnosticism, providing a true and accurate portrayal of the variety and uniqueness that comes with Gnosis through the ages. In these days when people are questioning the orthodox Christian viewpoint, hungry now for a tradition that utilises the mythology they are used to in a radically different and positive way, it is important that they educate themselves on these alternate traditions that have remained a secret for too long in this world. In light of this, this book is one of the few I would recommend to those who know little or nothing about Gnosticism, and yet even for those who actively engage in the Gnostic path, for, as Smith puts it, “the opportunities for Gnosis are greater now than they may have been for several centuries.”

The Gnostics
, by Andrew Phillip Smith; Watkins Publishing (2008)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Prayer for the Global Economy

We send energy to aid in the regeneration of the global economy, that we might all be prosperous, that we might all avail of wealth, and that we might all return to days of hope and joy, and partake in a better, more affluent world. We will for reinvigoration, recovery, and stimulation in the global economy, and we take the fear and gloom and despair that permeates the world and transform it into hope, joy, and universal happiness, for such such is the power and potency in us as global alchemists to bring about change and transformation, to ensure a thriving and flourishing economy for this day and the many days to come.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wasatch Gnostic Society - 2009 Tolkien Lectures

The Lord of the Rings, while perhaps not intended as a Gnostic work, is a piece of fiction that tends to resonate loudly with Gnostics around the world - so much so that the Ecclesia Gnostica has a section dedicated to Tolkien on its website.

Recently when checking a fan-site ( I found an interesting series of lectures being held by the Wasatch Gnostic Society. Details can be found here.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

My Views on Fate

I believe that certain things are "fated" to be, but, in fact, they're also completely changeable. In a normal human sense they are fated, but in a more "godly" sense they are changeable. This is where the distinction between Higher and Lower Self is needed. The Higher Self chooses, while the Lower Self enacts a choice. Indeed, this is where, to give an analogy from the Matrix, the Oracle tells Neo "You've already made the choice. Now you have to understand it". If we will, we may change anything that is "fated", but only through the Higher Self - and we may decide not to change something after initially trying to once we realise it was an essential choice for our spiritual growth.