Month: December 2014

Gnosis. What is it?

The word “Gnosis” can be the object of a gross misconception, unless properly understood. “Gnosis” is knowledge; but this knowledge is no collection of pieces of information about metaphysical facts. Excerpta ex Theodoto is very clear on this subject:

“Since the Father was unknown…He emitted the Only Begotten Son through His own Enthýmësis — for so He knows Himself — as Spirit of Knowledge (Pneûma Gnôseös). So He who has proceeded from the Father’s Enthýmësis has become Gnosis, and this is the Son, for through the Son has the Father been known (7:1)”.

The Only Begotten Son is the Noûs, here said to have been emanated as “Spirit of Knowledge”. His “feminine” counterpart in the syzygy is Truth, and ExTh 7:2 says that from Truth emanates the “Spirit of Love” (Pneûma Agàpës). Thus, while we find it stressed that “Gnosis” means the Knowledge of the Father, we are taught that Knowledge and Love, Gnôsis and Agàpë, are like the two faces of a coin in the Son. There is no Gnosis without Love. Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:2, he claims about the futility of both faith and knowledge without the right attitude of heart:

“Though I understand all mysteries, and all knowledge (gnosis); and though I have all faith so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity [love], I am nothing”.

Gnosis is also described as a “science” according to Theodotus (35):

So also scientific knowledge (gnosis), shedding its light and brightness on things, shows itself to be in truth the divine wisdom, the pure light, which illumines the men whose eyeball is clear, unto the sure vision and comprehension of truth.

The proper appreciation of what Gnosis is holds the key to the correct understanding of what “the New Covenant” means–to a Gnostic at least.

“And he took the bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them saying: This is my body which is given for you; this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying: This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is shed for you” (Luke 22:19-20).

“Do this in remembrance of me” (toûto poieìte eis tên emên anàmnësin): does “this” refer to the repetition of a meal, or–gnostically understood–to the continuation, in the life of a disciple, of the self-sacrificing attitude–the Pneûma Agàpës— of a Son of God?

The Teachings of Silvanius, a largely Christian Orthodox writing with some Gnostic and Stoic influence, writes about knowledge:

Do not become desirous of gold and silver, which are profitless, but clothe yourself with wisdom like a robe; put knowledge on yourself like a crown, and be seated upon a throne of perception.

In Luke 11:52, Jesus denounces the Pharisees and gives them a bitter warning about hindering access to the “key of knowledge”, the same “keys of the kingdom” supposedly given to Peter:

“Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you yourselves did not enter, and you hindered those who were entering.”

In Proverbs 4:13, it makes another stark warning in guarding Wisdom’s keys of the Kingdom.

Take hold of my instructions; don’t let them go. Guard them, for they are the key to life.

Proverbs 3:18 also compares the key of Wisdom to the Tree of Life of Eden:

She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed.

Man is the keystone of the whole cosmic arch, and really, every sentient being, in which they have been entrusted with possession of the divine light, which is the soul. In essence, man is light. The soul is not made by the demiurge and is not native to this world. It’s a stranger (Allogenes) to the kosmos which is likened to Tartarus, which is any area outside of the Pleroma. Its origin is the sphere of being, which is spiritual and enduring. It is the kingdom of God the Father hid in man. Even the Simonian Great Declaration states about the luminous seed, or the immoral spark in man, which echoes the Gospel of John quite a bit:

For those what are three, and if there were not three standing aeons, there would be no ordering of the creation which hovers over the water and has been created in the likeness unto a perfect celestial being, which becomes in no way inferior to the Unbegotten Power, so that one shall say to the other: You and I are one; you are before me that I may after you.”

Compare this to the Gospel of John 10:37:

Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.

So where can one find this knowledge or gnosis? How can one be one with the Father? One must realize that they are a prisoner; a slave ruled over by a prince (archon) of this world spoken by Jesus in John 12:31.

31 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.

According to scripture, he is also the one possessing world power (cosmocrator). In the New Testament he is described as lord of the universe with the power to dispose of this world’s goods (Luke 4:6). He is the prince of this world, and the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4). The Christian interpretation of “world” in these contexts is “age”, so that the demiurge or Satan is god of the present epoch. The tactic here is to keep the prisoner occupied with various diversions (a chief tactic in warfare) from realizing that there is a spiritual war and that man is at the center of it. It is this entity that “blinds the minds of men”, and “deceives the whole world”. The Hypostasis of the Archons says many similar things to this effect as well.

In the Gospel of Truth, the Father keeps within Himself the Perfection (i.e. the Fullness or Pleroma) of all the created beings, only to bestow it to them as a boon for their return to Him. Before then all the creatures are in a condition of “Lack” (Void or Kenoma), which means lack of Truth, that is Ignorance. Ignorance generates Error (plànë) that, accompanied by Forgetting, Anguish, Oblivion and Fear, in its turn feeds Ignorance, so that a self-perpetuating chain is formed. This chain is called the Schêma (“form”, “pattern”): “The schêma is the world in which He came as a Servant” (Gospel of the Truth). It is tò schêma toû kòsmou toùtou (“the pattern of this world”) of 1 Corinthians 7:31.

Accordingly, ignorance means ignoring our true nature and identity, identifying ourselves with our ego or animal nature, itself a part of the schêma. It is then obvious that such a self-perpetuating chain cannot break by itself. Having recognized its nature, one has to abandon all self-centered interests and open oneself to the saving Presence of the Christ within. Only this “vertical” intervention can break the schêma. And with his calling and intervention, can the keys of knowledge be gained. And yet this intervention is a two way street because the soul is invited drill down to its core, into the hidden, “inner man” where the “Spirit of Love” awaits on the other side. It is the portal to a dimension, so radically different than the schêma, the cosmos of matter.

According to Proverbs (20-27), Wisdom (Sophia) calls those who are willfully ignorant as “scorners delight in their scorning, And fools hate knowledge.” She also warns that all those who “distained” her counsel, will be laughed at their “calamity” and will “mock” them when “terror comes” as well as the “destruction” that “comes like a whirlwind”. Lot’s of warnings everywhere. So let’s drop off all of our Bovine droppings and get with the program. 

Interview: Jeremy Crow 2.0

Jeremy Crow was a guest of mine last year, around this time. I enjoyed our discussion so much that I decided to interview him again on some separate but related issues. Further and beyond!

Before we begin, I have to say that I cannot speak on behalf of all Luciferians. I will, however, give my personal opinion as an individual who self-identifies as a Luciferian. – Jeremy Crow.

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From a Luciferian perspective, how would one go about defining the “Left Hand Path”?

The famous mythologist Joseph Campbell defined the Right Hand Path as the path which involves staying within the institutions and norms of the culture or society you were raised in. He defined the Left Hand Path as the Journey of the Hero: one who for whatever reason becomes an outsider to their culture, goes on a quest and returns home to enrich their community with the rewards gained and lessons learned on their journey. I think this is a great starting point. The status-quo tends to be very good at “works of light” such as promoting love and compassion as well as placing a high value on service to the community. However, they are also frequently found actively discouraging exploration into the unknown and the taboo. This type of behaviour can be poetically referred to as a fear of the dark. Contrary to popular opinion the Left Hand Path is not the polar opposite of this. In fact, the LHP is more accurately referred to as the Complete Path, as it includes both the works of light and the courageous exploration of the darkness.

What is your view(s) on Baphomet and how does this archetype relate to Luciferianism?

It isn’t something that I have worked with extensively, but I think it could be used as a symbol of the Complete Harmonized Self. In other words, it combines all the parts of the self, even those that seem to be in opposition, and gets them all working together in harmony. All internal dualities have been transcended, both the Shadow and the Transpersonal Spirit have been integrated and a more focused and powerful being has emerged.

Is there a “Left Hand” path view on the Apocalypse or Eschatology (The end of the world)? Is this anyway related to the concept of “Year Zero”?

The mainstream Gregorian calendar divides our concept of time into the world before and after the birth of Jesus Christ. Hence we have B.C. to refer to the years “Before Christ” and A.D. or “Anno Domini” meaning “the year of our Lord” to indicate the years since Christ entered the world. The Age of Christ corresponds roughly to the esoteric concept of the Age of Pisces. We are currently in a transition out of the Age of Pisces and into the Age of Aquarius. A very simple sign of this shift is the modern usage of C.E. or “Common Era” to replace the reference to Christ in our standard method of counting time.

In addition, a few years ago one could observe a popular obsession with the Mayan Long Count calendar, which described a much larger cycle of not just the transition between two Ages but the end of a full set of twelve zodiacal Ages. We can think of a zodiacal Age as a Macrocosmic or “Great” Month. The long count calendar describes an entire Great Year, and that Great Year was said to end on December 21st, 2012 C.E. A great many people predicted something catastrophic would happen on this date, up to and including the End of the World.

I say that the End of the World actually did happen on that date and the New Luciferian Era (NLE) sprung up to take its place. It is the start of a brand new Great Year: An entire new set of Ages of a fundamentally different quality than those which preceded it. I like to call that moment when the NLE arose from the ashes of the End of the World as the start of Year Zero. As I am writing this, we are approaching the start of Year Two of the New Luciferian Era, or 2 NLE. In the wake of this new Aeonic current of cosmic energy the Luciferian movement has made a profound level of progress, and we’re just getting started!

How does Jesus Christ fit into Luciferianism? Or can it all?

It can be said that Jesus Christ was the prophet of the previous Age. Each of these Ages prepares us for the next. Jesus Christ is clearly a Right Hand Path figurehead, however if we are honest we can clearly see more than a glimmer of the Light Bearer archetype in him. This is especially true if we look at this mythological character through a Gnostic lens. Before the term Lucifer became synonymous with the character of Satan in the public mind, Jesus was often referred to as a Lucifer or Light Bearer. To borrow a parable, his message was a seed that fell mostly on hard soil hostile to the intended crop. His message has since been distorted and abused by many along the way. Christianity has become a powerful movement and isn’t likely to fade into oblivion anytime soon. If they can capture some of that original gnostic light bearer archetype, if they can learn to adapt with the changing times and if they can gain a tolerance for other religious beliefs, I can see a place for a reformed version of Christianity within the New Luciferian Era.

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What is the Luciferian view on the “Divine Feminine” or what is often called “Sophia” in Platonic, Jewish and Gnostic literature?

The original term Left Hand Path came from Hindu Tantra. In this practice, women would sit to the left of their male partner. This is one part of the meaning behind the term Left Hand Path. Personally, I see the modern Left Hand Path (or Complete Path, as stated earlier) includes a generous dose of recognition and even veneration of the divine feminine. Within Luciferianism specifically, we see that the term Lucifer is a term applied to the celestial phenomenon of the Morning Star. This is the last bright object in the sky before the rising of the Sun. In this sense it is the herald of the dawn or bringer of the light. This bringer of light is actually the planet we now call Venus, which has been considered a feminine force since the beginning of recorded time. We can even look to the myth of the serpent in Eden (who was clearly an example of the Light Bringer archetype) that tells us that a woman was the first initiate into forbidden knowledge. She then shares that knowledge. I usually use the feminine pronoun when referring to Lucifer as an entity or character. I feel that the divine feminine is very important in Luciferianism.

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Can you explain the significance of the Ziggurat of Enki?

An ancient myth speaks of the Babylonian people building a Tower to reach the heavens and attain equality with the gods. There were indeed towering structures built by the ancient Mesopotamian people. These structures were a type of stepped pyramid called a Ziggurat. The building of a Ziggurat can be seen as an analogy for both the establishment of a powerful legacy and on a more subtle level, for the emergence of an immortal Body of Light.

The Ziggurat of Enki is an esoteric Order for the New Luciferian Era that embraces the Complete Path. Its rituals are based on the myths of Mesopotamia. Enki is the Sumerian name for a promethean character who in myth was the god of magick and both the creator of humanity and later through the divulging of forbidden knowledge also became its saviour. This god was also known to the Babylonian people as Ea. Since the ZoE is a Magickal Lodge, its symbolic patron and archetypal inspiration is naturally Enki.

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The Zigurat of Enki takes a novel approach to working a Magickal Lodge system. Much of the concepts are drawn from the Open Source movement. There are no oaths of secrecy regarding the ceremonies, to the point where non-initiates can even be present during an initiation if all the primary participants are comfortable with that. When potential members are permitted to read (or observe) an initiation ceremony before becoming an initiate, everybody knows exactly what they are getting themselves into. A heightened state is achieved in ways that do not require the element of surprise.

Another break with tradition is that there is no requirement for a Charter in order to start a lodge. Anyone who has managed to obtain a copy of the ritual, one way or another, can choose to utilize that ritual without asking anyone else for permission. This allows an incredible level of flexibility and freedom. If you want to open a secret lodge of the Ziggurat of Enki, you can do so without anyone but the individuals directly involved knowing. You can also open a temporary lodge that will only operate for one night and never again if you so choose. This type of independent and autonomous lodge system offers great potential to anyone creative enough to experiment with it.

Currently the best and most complete information about the Ziggurat of Enki is available in my book “Initiation into the Left Hand Path.” The limited advance edition is currently available on my website JeremyCrow.com. Each of the only 45 copies are signed and numbered. Most have already been sold but there are still a handful of copies available.

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What is the Greater Church of Lucifer?

The Greater Church of Lucifer is an organization founded by Jacob No. Other leaders of the Church include Michael W. Ford, Etu Malku and me. The word Church is being used to indicate a gathering or community based around a shared set of similar beliefs and philosophies. We all have our own way to describe this particular set of philosophies such as Adversarial Thought, Mercurial Consciousness, Left Hand Path or my personal favorite, The Complete Path. The word Lucifer, meaning Bringer of Light, is used to indicate that our philosophy includes the goal of making knowledge available to others who seek it. While rational self-interest is viewed as important, this is not a path of pure selfishness. We seek to leave the world a better place than we found it through our individual and collective actions.

That being said, we do not focus exclusively on works of Light. It is also valuable to explore, understand and integrate the contents of the Shadow. We do not shun the Darkness for we understand that it is a very real part of ourselves. To shun it would not eliminate it but only repress it, where its contents will continue to grow twisted in the dark, subtly (or not so subtly) influencing our decisions. We can liberate a lot of mental and emotional energy by unraveling past traumas, addressing them with self-compassion and allowing them healthy expression and respect as a valid part of the complete self. Again, all of this works toward establishing a Complete Harmonized Self.

This balance of focus on both Light and Darkness is a large part of the New Luciferian Era, which the Greater Church of Lucifer fully embraces. The planet Venus is not only the Morning Star or “Bringer of Light” but is also the celestial body which produces the phenomenon of the Evening Star or “Bringer of Night.” They are like two sides to the same coin and we should strive to work with both these complementary forces towards the goal of elevating the human species through the empowerment of individuals.

The Greater Church of Lucifer is very much about community and education. While many of the members may be interested or involved in the occult, this is not the primary focus of the GCoL. Instead we first want to explore the philosophy and lifestyle of those who choose to take up the banner of Luciferianism. We have some very ambitious plans, including the establishment of brick and mortar locations for local meetings, starting in the areas with the most members and spreading out from there as we are able. We are also working on educational programs, campaigns to provide food for the hungry and even assistance with addiction related issues. To find out how you can get involved please check out GreaterChurchOfLucifer.org.

Biblical Exegesis: Nicodemus’ Mistake

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“Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him: Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him” (John 3:1-2).

The phrase “A ruler of the Jews” indicates that Nicodemus symbolized an àrchön, which is the exact word used in the Greek original. An àrchön is the Gnostic technical term for any power or agent of the Demiurge, to whom John 12:31 refers with the words: ho àrchön toû kòsmou toùtou, “the ruler of this world”, whose agents, in Paul’s words, are hoi àrchontes toû aiônos toùtou (“the rulers of this aeon” – the kòsmos) of 1 Corinthians. 2: 6, 8 (there in the genitive). Therefore also Nicodemus’ name may be significant, for Nikòdëmos means “conqueror of the people”, and the Demiurge is the one who “conquers” people and keeps them in slavery through the power of his heimarmènë, the Fate (karma). This means of slavery is called the “counterfeit spirit” in the Apocryphon of John.

The Jewish Pharisees, in John’s Gospel, symbolize the hylic class of human beings. The Law of Moses according to Paul also symbolized the flesh and was thus crucified on the Cross. The Gospel of John attaches fundamental importance to the cross and through it Christ throws down the Prince of the world. It is the cross that for Paul and John, it must be looked upon in order to be saved, just as the bronze serpent was looked at.

The Demiurge rules within the shadows, and therefore moves in the darkness. Not by chance then Nicodemus “came to Jesus by night”. It is an apt description of Nicodemus’ life and all those who live within the cave of matter. Man is a prisoner of this cave, or the box of time-space continuum. Now how can any demiurgic power, or any man under the demiurgic rulership, understand the nature of what shines beyond its sphere?

First of all, such power or man cannot but reason in terms of heimarmènë, of cause and effect, ignoring that space and time do not exist beyond his world of cause and effect. He believes that he can recognize a divine incarnation (an Avatara) from the “signs” He does. He thinks he can measure the divine dimension as he would the ability and the cleverness of a juggler. Jesus does not waste his time in explaining him the difference. He just points at Nicodemus’ blindness (because of the darkness he moves in) and at the condition necessary to overcome it:

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born ànöthen, he cannot see the Kingdom of God”(3:3).

Anöthen means both “anew” and “from above”. Naturally Nicodemus understands it in terms of time (“anew”) and of “reincarnation” which indicates his carnal thinking:

“How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?”.

Nicodemus is one of those who believe that one can reach the infinite by adding step to step, or that eternity is an infinite summation of days. He believes that finally his heimarmènë will produce the uncaused. Now Jesus tries to open Nicodemus’ eyes:

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.”

(The words “of the water and” are missing in many ancient manuscripts). And Jesus explains the difference between the heimarmènë-bound world of matter and that of Spirit’s freedom:

“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you: You must be born (ànöthen). The spirit (Pneuma) blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes”.

And finally He makes it clear what ànöthen really means:

“No one has ascended to heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man (the Anthröpos) (ho hyiòs toû anthròpou)”.

Here “the son of the Anthropos” is the Pneumatic (spiritual) element in man. Anöthen means a vertical movement intervening in the horizontal chain of cause and effect in time and space, which is the schêma, the latter being unable to stop itself. The laws of cause and effect are also very much a big concern in later Hermetic texts. Although this scene is not mentioned in Heracleon’s (a Valentinian teacher) fragments as preserved by Origen, he does give some interesting insights into another scene that is somewhat reminiscent of the scene with Nicodemus. Here is one example taken from these fragments:

Fragment 20, on John 4:21 (In John it says, “Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.’”) The mountain represents the Devil, or his world, since the Devil was one part of the whole of matter, but the world is the total mountain of evil, a deserted dwelling place of beasts, to which all who lived before the law and all Gentiles render worship. But Jerusalem represents the creation or the Creator whom the Jews worship. . . The mountain is the creation which the Gentiles worship, but Jerusalem is the creator whom the Jews serve. You then who are spiritual should worship neither the creation nor the Craftsman (Demiurge – my emphasis), but the Father of Truth. And he (Jesus) accepts her (the Samaritan woman) as one of the already faithful, and to be counted with those who worship in truth.

As we can see, allegory was a common teaching tool that many early Christians and Gnostics were engaged in. Even Hellenistic Jews like Philo Judeaus of Alexandria was heavily invested in this allegorical methodology but applied to the Old Testament. Another example of this can be seen in the Valentinian teacher Theodutus’ fragments as preserved by Clement of Alexandria:

XXIV. For we are of the earth. . . . Caesar is the prince, for the thee being, whose earthly image is the old man, to which he has returned. To him, then, we are to render the earthly things, which we bore in the image of the earthly, and the things of God to God. For each one of the passions is on us as a letter, and stamp, and sign. Now the Lord marks us with another stamp, and with other names and letters, faith instead of unbelief, and so forth. Thus we are translated from what is material to what is spiritual, “having borne the image of the heavenly.” [2]

Stay tuned for more small posts like these in the tradition of the Biblical Exegesis.