Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Aeon Byte Appearance of Cyd on youtube, Presenting The Gnostic Gospel Illuminated

Here is Cyd's youtube presentation of The Gnostic Gospel Illuminated on Aeon Byte Gnostic Radio, with Miguel Conner. The show lasts over an hour and a half and was streamed live on June 28, 2019. This interview presents Cyd's gnostic illustrations with in-depth descriptions, why's, and wherefore's. 


 The Gnostic Gospel Illuminated bookstore

Friday, June 7, 2019

Gnostic Gospel Illuminations -- An Illustrated Cosmology

The following illustrations and descriptions are excerpted from my book, The Gnostic Gospel Illuminated. These illustrations present the essence of Gnostic cosmology, demonstrating the manner by which an illimitable consciousness became One who became Many, and the relationship between those Above, and those of us here Below.

1.

Imagine nothing exists but pure consciousness, without thought. No images, no structure or form. No thing at all. Timeless. Still. Quiet. Alone.

2.

The Child exists as the Absolute having a thought. As the Father knowing Itself.  The Son is a complete and perfect sampling of the Father in which it dwells, as a bucket of sea water represents the sea. Every trait of the Father, expressed in the singularity of the Son. A perfect fractal. The Son is called The First Glory.

3.

The moment the Son was formed, he was no longer alone. For not only the Son, but the ALL arose at once. The ALL immediately appeared as the offspring of the Son, because the Son could not help himself from bringing others into existence, even as he was brought into existence by his Father. The Son and the Father are One, and the Father's creative Holy Spirit flows through the Son. With the birth of the ALL, the Son became a Father as well.

4.

The One begat the ALL, and the Father loved them ALL, even as He loved His Son. The ALL is called the Second Glory, the Joy of the Lord, and the Pre-Existent Church. The ALL glorified their Father with one mind, for only in their totality could they reflect and exalt their Father's greatness. This state did not last, for the members of the ALL soon became self-aware, and "it" became "they."

5.


 The moment identities arose, the Son's rays fruited into individual selves, each one distinct and self-aware.

6.

The Aeons of the ALL awakened to themselves in fulfillment of the Father's desire for innumerable points of view. In this manner, the ALL fruited and the Aeons of the Fullness became conscious of themselves and their individual capabilities.

7.


The awakened Aeons sorted themselves into a mutually beneficial and cooperative colony -- a hierarchy consisting of names, stations, ranks, duties, and locations. Each Aeon occupies a unique place and perspective in the union of the Fullness. The Hierarchy of the Fullness prefigures every pattern and relationship that would eventually become our universe.

8.

As DNA anticipates an organism and a blueprint promises a building, the Fullness dreamed of a perfect plan for Paradise. The newly self-aware Aeons were not separated from the One, for their Father was the Son who embodied the traits of the Formless One, and His Holy Spirit flowed throughout them as a reassuring presence. Although the Aeons dwelt within the single body of the Fullness, they were each an independent entity. Their variety required them to work together and remain in full agreement in order to remain aligned with the Glory of the One.

9.

The final Aeon produced by the will of the Father was placed at the very top of the hierarchy. This youngest Aeon carried within its singular self all of the traits of every other Aeon of the Fullness. It also possessed wisdom and curiosity. It is known by various names -- here we call it "Logos," which is Greek for knowledge and wisdom. This final Aeon beheld its own perfection and mistook itself for the Fullness. Mistakenly believing itself to be equal to the totality of the ALL, Logos unilaterally launched itself upward toward the realm of perfect glory, abandoning its proper position and duties.  

10.

Motivated by a mistaken, presumptuous thought, Logos overreached. Instead of reuniting with the Father, Logos stumbled and fell. This is called The Fall.

11.

These scattered pieces of the fallen Aeon emerged as poor, weak imitations of the Aeons above. And, because they were no longer arranged in the hierarchy, they lacked places, functions, and names. Rather than acting out of unity, the dark ones manifested disturbance, upheaval, and confusion. They were feeble, small, and unruly, lacking in wisdom. They thought they were all there was and they only admired themselves, arising as they did from division. Personal ambition eclipsed the Father's will.

12.

The Fall gave rise to a Boundary that separated those who had remained with the Father and the Fullness from the imitations that spilled forth. The Fallen Aeon was repelled by its creation and retreated to its own in the Fullness. The Boundary hardened, encircling a limited space where a finite economy could emerge, separating finitude from infinity, ignorance from truth, light from darkness.

13.

With the blessing of the Father, Logos and the Fullness produced a Second Order of Powers patterned after themselves. This new fruit embodied better abilities than those of the imitation; whereas those of the imitation were blind to the glory of the Father, this new fruit dreamed of Paradise and the ALL, giving them a good disposition. With that good thought, they worked in harmony and love, after the fashion of their parents above.

14.

It was decided that the Second Order of Powers would enter the deficiency one by one, from the lowest stations on up, in their full profusion of functions and forms. In this manner, the deficiency came to be populated with Powers from the Fullness.

15.

Whenever the Second Order of Powers came upon those of the imitation, they naturally attempted to overthrow them out of an inherent sense of self-righteousness. With great zeal, those of the Remembrance pitted themselves against those of the imitation, forgetting themselves and their origin. Due to the Law of Mutual Combat, the Second Order of Powers became infected with the same lust for dominion that ruled those of the imitation, and the two Orders entered a Never-ending War over resources in the bounded ecology of the economy.

16.

The Second Order Powers battle the imitation, hoping for rescue from Above.

17.

The Aeons produced a new fruit bearing the image of their Father. This One Fruit then took on many forms so those of the Remembrance would be able to recognize and welcome their Redeemer. The Christ took charge of the economy and proceeded to carry out His revelation, one soul at time.

18.

Those of the Remembrance joyfully greeted the Light, and they were awakened from their ignorance and made whole. 

19.

Those of the Remembrance were given chariots like those of the Aeons that could traverse all realms, great and small, establishing order. Working in concert with knowledge from the Fullness and power from the Father, the Redeemer's chariots brought the cooperative hierarchy to creation, and organized systems began to replace the chaos of the imitation.

20.

The Redeemed Third Order Powers find themselves in the world, but they are no longer of the world. Meanwhile, the Second Order Powers continue to battle those who cling to the imitation, both refusing to abandon their rage for redemption.

21.

This is the mystery of the birth of the Christ--that the inconceivable, ineffable, invisible, and ungraspable One was conceived, expressed, made visible, and able to be held, touched, and cradled by humans. Human beings were designed by the Aeons to become the "truly existent living images" of themselves they had always imagined themselves to be in their dreams of Paradise. Repentance allows one to grasp the love of the Father and so return home to Paradise.

22.

The symbol of the cross bridges top to bottom--Holy Spirit to creation--and side-to-side--reconciliation and harmony within creation. Jesus of Nazareth represents the Fullness of God entwined at conception with human DNA: the perfect material instantiation of the Father and the Fullness, bringing restoration not only to the Second Order Powers but to the Fallen Aeon as well. 

23.

The final sorting of Judgment Day, where every creature chooses its desired place in the Paradise offered to all. The only forms banished to the outer darkness called Hades will be the shadows and phantoms of the imitation that bring nothing but sorrow, death, and destruction, for these have no place in Paradise. 

24.

The final economy

25.

We all dream of the Paradise of the Aeons, where there is naught but life; so all the grass is green, and flowers blossom endlessly, and every soul that has ever lived, lives happily with their friends and families for evermore.
[
"The Prologue and the Promise" by Robert McCall was a popular image of Paradise that once graced the walls of Disney's Florida EPCOT Center.]

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

A Gnostic Perspective on the Misplaced Hopes of Progressives

I first posted this political article on the Simple Explanation blog earlier this week, but my brother thought it was a better fit for the New Gnostic Gospel blog. So I'm reposting it over here, with a couple of Gnostic amendments. 

First, for the Gnostic perspective, keep in mind that our political disagreements are examples of the Neverending War that consumes the Imitation and Second Order Powers. As pointed out in my Gnostic Gospel series
"When those of the remembrance came upon those of the imitation, they attempted to overthrow them out of an inherent sense of self-righteousness. Those of the remembrance knew they were superior to those of the imitation, "because they were nobler than those previous ones" [The Tripartite Tractate, v. 84].
The Second Order of Powers fought against the shadows of the imitation. 
Because the imitation "waged war against the likenesses" in the Fullness, the offspring of the Fullness "acted against itself on account of its rage." But the ones who were in opposition would not surrender, due to their own ignorance of what came before. "They believed they were self-engendered" and had given birth to themselves, and so owed nothing to these Powers either above or below" [The Tripartite Tractate, v. 84]. 
The two orders fought against each other, struggling for command with such a result that they were engulfed by forces and material substances in accordance with the law of mutual combat, and they too acquired lust for domination and all the other passions of this sort; and consequently, empty vainglory pulls them all toward the desire of lust for domination, and not one of them remembers what is superior or confesses it" [The Tripartite Tractate, v. 84]."
I mention these verses because the Endless War will soon end, and victory will not come through violence or through politics, but only through repentance and redemption. The Second Order Powers who succumb to political rage are denying their own redemption, for this is the wrong arena for engagement. We must first cleanse our own hearts and motives before casting stones at others. Nonetheless, as humans dwelling among humans, it is difficult to remember to repent of rage and return to the Father and the ALL Above.

Having said all that, here's my two cents about the Progressives:
The Progressive Democrats who are currently wresting power from America's traditional Democratic Party are, bless their hearts, way off base. No need for me to go into particulars; you can read other people's books and columns for details. 

Here's my take on it. The Progressives are mistakenly trying to usher in a Utopian society that is not possible to achieve in this fallen world. 

It appears to me that the Progressives are mistaking earth for heaven. History proves over and over again that the Progressive ideals, such as socialist redistribution of wealth, open borders, and "free" government programs never achieves its objectives. 

Hope springs eternal, yet those who forget the lessons of the past are condemned to repeat them.

Yes, the Progressive ideals are, for the most part, lovely thoughts. Yet, they are impossible to bring into reality. The reason is that human beings are too easily corrupted, and the politicians you trust today will become the dictators you fear tomorrow. Why? 

Because absolute power corrupts absolutely.

As I watch the promises pour out of the lips of the younger Progressives, I admire their egalitarian ideals. But, unfortunately, that is not the way the world works. It is the way heaven works. 

You can not force the egalitarian hierarchy of the ALL upon unwilling humans, for that is a violation of the Father's gift of Free Will.


I believe the young Progressives are mistaking the hope for Utopia as something that can be achieved. It cannot. Again, the problem is not the ideals, for they are indeed heavenly. The problem is the fallen nature of humankind and the hard, sad fact that wealth and power corrupt those entrusted with ushering in Utopia. 

The older Democrats running for President who are now changing their stripes to appear more Progressive are not Progressives--they are politicians pandering to the youth vote. You young idealists are being played by the old men and women who pretend to agree with you. They do not. They only seek power and dominion over you. This is the sad the truth of the matter, and anyone who has been alive on this planet for any length of time knows it.

The Progressive ideals will quickly turn ugly as unintended consequences take over the agenda. Here's just a few off the top of my head--

I could go on. The point I am trying to make is that things don't turn out the way you hope they will. 

I used to teach college. I have a pretty good idea of your reasoning abilities. You are not smarter than the writers of the American Constitution, and neither are the politicians you trust. It's tragic. Your motives are noble, but the results are not achievable. 

No, it's not a good idea to try anyway, because civilizations do fail and governments do fall. It can happen here and then we will have the post-apocalyptic scenarios that are so popular on television and in the game worlds. Anarchy is not better than our Constitutional government; don't fool yourself. 

Anarchy is a trait of the Imitation.

*****************

Below is a reprint of my article, "Live and let live is the Democratic Ideal," which appeared previously in my Simple Explanation blog (August, 2018). 

I am reprinting this column about tolerance of those with whom you disagree. "Live and Let Live" is a meme that is absolutely central to a functioning democracy. Every American citizen is entitled by the law of this land to hold and express their opinions. It is only through exchange of information and assistance that the big jobs get done. Read on for the why's and how's:

The Simple Explanation's theory of memes uses the term "meme" to stand for a belief or a tidbit of knowledge. These memes are passed around to our friends like trading cards--most of our close friends hold the same meme cards we do; that's why they are our friends. The more memes you hold in common with someone else, the more you like them. The opposite is also true--we have a difficult time relating to people who hold a different set of memes.
Here is the bottom-line of the previous Apocalyptic Visions article:

The Simple Explanation suggests that "live and let live" would be a great meta-meme for everyone to adopt. If we could appreciate the fact that each of us has a unique perspective, then perhaps we could allow each other to hold the memes that make the most sense for our lives. This is my meme chord; that is your meme chord. If I don't like your meme chord then I can talk it over with you and see if we can move our meme chords closer to one another in agreement. If neither of us is able or willing to swap memes with the other, then so be it. Either accept the other person, memes and all, or move on. Find someone else who more closely agrees with your memes. There is enough room in this world for each of us to hold our own chords, but only if "live and let live" is an overarching meme.

We are now in the midst of a social epidemic of intolerance. Intolerance is the opposite of "live and let live." When we are intolerant of others' memes, we are declaring that our memes are correct and their memes are wrong. And then we take it a step further--we refuse to "tolerate" the others' memes. We throw up resistance, we throw up roadblocks, we close our ears and refuse to listen to the other. We do not merely disagree, as reasonable people may do from time to time. When we are intolerant, we look for ways to force the other to abandon their memes and adopt ours. We shout them down because we feel we are shouting the right memes and theirs are not only wrong, they are evil and have no right to be heard. And once you declare the other "evil," it is no longer a disagreement in good faith, but a fight for the soul. "God is on our side, therefore we can do whatever it takes to crush the opposition," is a dangerous and usually delusional meme to hold. And if it entitles the holder to disregard rule of law, then it is not a democratic ideal and it has no place in American politics.

Once words can no longer be exchanged, frustration builds and violence follows. This is what we are seeing now in the U.S.  Free exchange of memes has been thwarted because of intolerance. 

Exchange of ideas is the key. You needn't agree with the other person, but you must hear them out. Because, once you agree to sit and exchange ideas and concerns, whether or not you adopt the other's ideas, the very act of hearing each other out creates a shared space that acts as a balm to soothe both your soul and theirs. When you are too angry, frustrated, or afraid to listen to the other, you perpetuate the intolerance that leads to violence. This intolerance is not helpful. 
 Maxine Waters calls followers to adopt intolerance of others' right to disagree. [cnn photo credit]
We hear a lot about the importance of "diversity" nowadays in America. True diversity can only thrive if we allow each other to "live and let live." When you seek to silence those with whom you disagree, you are not encouraging diversity; you are actually partaking in fascism. Fascism advocates the forced suppression of those who express opposing views. Disagreement, on the other hand, is not forced suppression, it is merely disagreement.  Shouting others down when they have the floor, shunning those with whom you disagree, refusing service in a restaurant to paying customers who voted for a different candidate--this is not the side of the angels, folks. This is not helping us come together to get the job done.


Thursday, May 16, 2019

If God Is All Good, Where Did the Evil Come From?

There's a theological riddle that people often wonder about, and it goes something like this: 

If God is all good, and if God created everything, then where did evil come from? Another way to ask this would be, if God is all powerful, then did God create evil? And if you do ask that, then you might next ask, if God is all good, then why did God create evil? And once you get to that question, then you're apt to begin feeling angry at God for creating evil and putting you in the middle of this mess.

Those very questions were one reason the Emperor and the Pope banned the books we consider "Gnostic," because such questions were not to be raised. Or so they said. And, prior to 1945's discovery of the original Gnostic books buried at Nag Hammadi, Egypt, we had only the Orthodox naysayers word for what Gnosticism stood for. But the cat's out of the bag now, so let's take a fresh look at the original Gnostic answer, shall we?

Before Gnosticism was trimmed from the Bible, the Fall from grace was attributed to the chief aeon and not to humankind. Nowadays, Eve is blamed for tempting Adam to eat of the forbidden tree, which they both did and then came the Fall. Easier to blame womankind for tempting man to sin than to blame God for creating the Garden, the tree, the snake, the Law, and, for that matter, woman. This simplistic answer--blame woman--takes the heat off of God. In this way theologians could conclude that woman created evil through disobedience to God. Pretty tidy answer, and one that continues to enthrone male dominance and superiority over females here on earth.
Photo of a Coptic Christian woman, circa 1918.
The true Gnostic Gospel has a much more elegant and satisfying answer than our familiar Christian version. In the Gnostic version, evil came from the Fall of the chief aeon. This fallen angel goes by many names; some call it Lucifer, others call it Sophia or Logos. My book uses the name "Logos" for he who Fell.

Briefly, the aeons were each one a self-aware attribute of God. They began as the the Son of God becoming aware of its own parts and traits and then those traits becoming aware of themselves as named individuals. Here's how I illustrate that progression of differentiation:
The Son emerges from the stillness as a distinct sub-set of the Eternal and Infinite Father.
The ALL emerges from the Son as the Son's individual traits--traits of God the Father as mirrored by the Son of God.

The ALL name themselves as they become aware of themselves.
Once the ALL names itself, it sorts itself into a hierarchy of names, ranks, positions, and powers.
You will note that there is no evil in the Universe at this point in the mythology. The ALL is all of the attributes of the Son, who is Himself the perfect reflection of God the Father. The attributes of the ALL are all virtuous, as they are perfect yet limited reflections of the Son.

The chief aeon, Logos, sitting atop the hierarchy of the ALL, forgets it is but one of many. Logos attempts to reunite with the Father on its own out of an overabundance of love and enthusiasm.
Logos overreaches and tumbles from the top of the ALL. He breaks into smithereens and his bits go flying all about.
Evil came from the Fall of Logos.
And here is the Gnostic answer to the origin of evil. When Logos Fell, his perfectly beautiful body broke open and little bits spilled out. The small, scattered shadows of the virtues that had once formed the body of Logos resembled dark, weak imitations of the aeons of the ALL. 

Because the isolated glory of Logos was inadequate to the task of reconstructing the perfection of the ALL, everything he produced as a result of that effort fell disastrously short. Where there had been unity with the Son and with his brethren in the Fullness, now there was “a division and a turning away.” The undiluted will expressed by the Fullness was splintered because Logos “could not bear to look at the light, but looked at the depths, and he faltered.” [The Tripartite Tractate, v. 77]

“What issued from his presumptuous thought and his arrogance had existed from something that itself was deficient; because of that, what was perfect in him left him and went upward to his own” in the Fullness, leaving the “sicknesses” behind in the darkness. [The Tripartite Tractate, v. 78]


“From the faltering and division came oblivion and ignorance of oneself and of that which is.” [The Tripartite Tractate, v. 77]  Presumptuous thought and arrogance was left in place of wisdom.



“Those who came into being from the presumptuous thought resemble in fact the Fullnesses of whom they are imitations, though they are phantoms, shadows, and illusions, deprived of reason and light, belonging to this empty thought, being nobody’s offspring. . .  In their own eyes, however, they are great and powerful beings, more beautiful than the names [of their originals in the Fullness], though they are only their shadows.” [The Tripartite Tractate, v. 78]

Thus, evil did not arise from God or that which God created, but from the Fall of the aeon Logos. And rather than creating evil, what Logos did was sow shadows and phantoms of his prior goodness. Evil in this sense is the shadow of the virtues, the yin to the yang of the ALL. Evil is the vacuum left behind when virtue Falls.
******************


Friday, May 3, 2019

Why is There Suffering in the World?

A trove of ancient manuscripts was discovered buried in an earthen jar by a farmer working his field in the Egyptian desert in 1945. These codices were named for the location near where they were found, Nag Hammadi. The Nag Hammadi scriptures are among other "Gnostic Gospels" that were edited out of the Holy Bible during the 4th century by Emperor Constantine and Pope Clement in a move to restrict orthodox belief and exert tighter control over the new religion. 

As a devout Christian I have always adhered to the findings of the Nicene Council of 330 AD, as instructed by my pastoral elders. But recently I realized that I am neither a Roman citizen nor a 4th century Catholic. And, as a modern Protestant with several advanced degrees and 60-plus years under my belt, I may be permitted to revisit the original heretical teachings that so threatened the Empire.

Therefore, over a period of several years, I have put my trained eye to a deep study of one of these rediscovered Nag Hammadi books, the Tripartite Tractate, in an effort to discover and demystify the gnosis originally known and taught by Jesus and John the Baptist. In so doing, I have discovered that the Gnostic Gospel answers many of our most basic theological conundrums, such as "Why is there death?" "Why does God allow evil in the world?" and the subject of this article: "Why is there suffering in the world?" In fact, it is now my belief that had these details been included in the Holy Bible, much of the suffering due to ignorance would have been avoided.

Why is there suffering in the world?

This world in which we dwell is a temporary home. We are born into it, and we die out of it. Our time here is limited.

The Gnostic Gospel refers to our world as an "Economy," meaning a closed operational system of value and exchange. The resources of this world's economy are limited because we live in a bounded space. Those of us who live in this economy find ourselves in continual struggle with others over limited resources. Our continual struggle to "get what's coming to us" feels like an Endless War. We fight this battle against others and within our own egos.


The entities that came before us and live in the place called the Fullness are known as "aeons" and also the "First Order of Powers." The "Second Order of Powers" (us) were fashioned after the traits of the aeons. Whereas the Father and Son are immutable and indescribable, the aeons of the Fullness have awakened to themselves and, taken as a whole, are no more and no less than the sum of all the traits of the Father of ALL, broken out and individually named. 

As their descendants, we are naturally attracted upward, yet because we live in the Deficiency and struggle against the shadows of the Imitation, we are unprepared to "go home." We were given a desire for the things of this world,

"with the intention that it should draw them into a communion with the material. This was in order to provide them with a structure and a dwelling place, but also in order that by being drawn toward evil they should acquire a weak basis for their existence, so that instead of rejoicing unduly in the glory of their own environment and thereby remaining exiled, they might rather perceive the sickness they were suffering from and so acquire a consistent longing and seeking after the One who is able to heal them from this weakness" [The Tripartite Tractate, v. 98, 99].

In other words, because this world is only a temporary home, we would be wise not to become overly attached to it. And, because this world is the battleground of the Endless War against the Imitation and the phantoms of the Deficiency, we feel constantly under siege by those seeking dominion over us. We strive for perfection and happiness in a place that is far from perfect and full of power struggles. We dimly remember the Paradise of the Fullness from whence we came and we try in vain to reestablish Paradise on Earth, but to no avail. No wonder we feel depressed and anxious!

Fortunately, our progenitors in the Fullness dream of the day when we are all Redeemed by the Christ and a new Economy comes to the world, bringing an end to the Endless War. In that day, Paradise will replace the Deficiency, light will drive out darkness, and love will be the only Power remaining. This is known as the coming of the Kingdom of Christ, where all of our hopes for happiness reside.

Walking the Fine Line of Heresy

Recently, I shared lunch at a local restaurant with some respectable ladies I've been associating with for a couple of years. We all happen to belong to a club called "Belles and Beaus of Jacksonville," which promotes get-togethers in Victorian, Western, and Civil War era clothing.  
The author appears second from the right, in the green dress and black hat. Our club, Belles and Beaus of Jacksonville, is a Victorian / Western Wear society that marches in parades and dines out at local restaurants, all dressed up.
Anyway, lacking any sense of propriety, I pulled out my phone and shared my latest Gnostic Gospel illustrations with the table. One of the ladies expressed interest in the Nag Hammadi texts, so I emailed her an explanatory cover letter and the link to the blog article: "Why is There Suffering in the World?" I explained in the email that this material covered Old Testament, pre-Genesis cosmology, and because of the timeline she would be able to find the Father and the Son, even the Christ, but not Jesus who had yet to be born.  I told her the Gnostic texts had been excluded from the Holy Bible in the 4th Century by Emperor Constantine's Bible committee in a maneuver to clean up the Christian narrative, and so there would be stories about the Father and the Son she didn't know.

The next day I received a strident defense of the Christian Gospel from this lady. She was so upset at my heretical teachings. She said she found my article to be so weird and convoluted as to be incomprehensible. It was clear that she had not understood that article and that she had consulted some typical anti-Gnostic authority for her boiler-plate rebuttals. She also declared that it was entirely inappropriate to share such apostasy at our Lady Belles luncheon and that I should never do such a thing ever again or I'd get booted out of the  club. There was much more to her reply but, to tell you the truth, I couldn't bear to read it. 

Naturally, my ego wanted to defend itself, so I whipped out a quick defense of my academic and Christian credentials and corrected some misinterpretations of the article she had put forth. I also commended her for standing up for Jesus. But then wisdom took the reins back from ego, and rather than hit "send," I deleted my reply. 

The article that follows has been sitting in "draft" form awaiting completion for a few weeks, so I've decided to make it the subject of today's post. This article will share the highlights of my academic and religious history with the hope of allaying the fears of those who believe in more conventional theology, although I actually have little or no expectation that anything I say will have the intended effect. In fact, I believe I now understand why Jesus and Socrates both stood mute before their accusers--because when someone's mind is closed to your point of view, there is no point in speaking.  

Nonetheless, I share the following information in case someone who is searching for an honest and informed perspective runs across it. Mazel tov!
*****************
You may have noticed a number of religious-themed posts on this blog having to do with Christianity, alongside articles dealing with Taoism and Gnosticism. While the Simple Explanation is a consciousness-based ecumenical philosophy that covers literally all areas of human endeavor, from physics, biology, and chemistry through politics, psychology, and religion, my own personal belief system could be described as neo-Gnostic-Christian-Taoism. Since the Simple Explanation philosophy allows for both personal and transcendent memes, my own religious orientation does not limit the Simple Explanation to my uniquely personal beliefs. Nor does it limit my personal beliefs to the Simple Explanation, since the philosophy is global and transcendent. That is the beauty of this philosophy. All are welcomed and we needn't agree on the particulars. No matter your personal beliefs, they can be better understood with the Simple Explanation.

As a pious Christian who has faithfully refrained since childhood from crossing swords with the Church's orthodoxy, I have always taken seriously the admonition against adding or subtracting any "jots or tittles" to the Bible's words. As a teacher, I have striven to only share what I know to be True. And, as a True Believer, I have been cautious to avoid being led astray by wolves in sheep's clothing. I am mindful that, in the last days, "false Christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect" (Mark 21,22), and I have guarded my meme-bundle against many a false prophet and wrong teachings.  I have not sat at the feet of any guru, nor do I attend spiritual seminars and conferences, or watch them on youtube, as I do not wish to be led astray by any human's philosophy. I mostly read original source materials. 

This long-winded introduction is my attempt to assure readers that I approach all material with caution. I am not a liberal theologian but a simple follower of God who seeks to explain the Truths that underlie all religion and science. 


Here's the funny thing-- To conservative Christians, I appear to be a liberal heretic. To liberal Christians, I appear too fundamentalist. To non-Christians, I appear to be a religious simpleton. To scientists I appear to be superstitious, and to non-scientists I appear to be too scientific. And to fellow philosophers, my metaphysics is so unique and fresh, it lacks the academic stamp of approval from a major league institution.


Just to get it out there on the table, I was "Born Again" when I was five or six years old. This religious encounter happened at a Baptist friend's house one day after school. My own parents were not true believers, but more along the lines of cultural Christians who attended the Methodist church to make a good impression on the children and the neighbors. Later, in high school, I went through an evangelical phase of street-corner preaching and soul saving. My parents didn't much care for that and never would let me preach to them. 


When I introduce the blog to traditional Christians, I try to reassure them that Jesus would not have a problem with the Simple Explanation. As a born-again Christian who has been baptized in the river and in the Holy Spirit, my Christian credentials are as good as anyone's. It is not for man to say that I do not know Jesus, because I do. I wish it made sense to tell people that I'm really good friends with Jesus, and He approves of my message, but who would believe that? And, while the Simple Explanation can be confusing to religious traditionalists, the Gnostic Gospel Illuminated should be able touch the spirit with remembrance of the Father, the Son, and the Fullness. As I said to the Lady Belle in my email to her, "How can it be wrong to give glory to the Father, the Son, and the Christ?"


My academic credentials are pretty good for someone who didn't go to an Ivy League school. I hold a Bachelor's degree in Science in Psychology, a Master's degree in Education, another Master's degree in Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling, and a Ph.D. in Classical Rhetoric. My academic papers won many awards and I have been published in academic journals as well as numerous popular magazines. 


I taught Logic and Argumentation, Public Speaking, Interpersonal Communication, and Group Dynamics in college for six years. I left teaching just about the time cell phones became ubiquitous. Within the first two years of their appearance, cell phones had students by the throat. I could see it was nothing but downhill from there.


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I find in the Nag Hammadi scriptures fresh theological insights that were excluded from traditional Christianity during Emperor Constantine's reign. The emperor took it upon himself to condense the Judeo-Christian narrative into one story that the Church should follow. The books that were acceptable to the Nicene Council made their way into the first Bible--the Tyndale Translation. The books that were unacceptable were burned. Fortunately for us, a few of those banned books were buried in clay jars in the desert. These buried books were uncovered as recently as 1947 and are only now being translated and distributed. 
The Nag Hammadi Scriptures
Reading through the Nag Hammadi texts is not easy. Many of the books contradict one another, and most of them paint femaleness in a very poor light. They also use odd metaphors for concepts that our modern minds find difficult to interpret, and that makes them easily misunderstood. Some of the books are downright contrary to books that made it into our modern Bible. 

The book my own Gnostic Gospel Illuminated focuses on is called the Tripartite Tractate. (Tripartite Tractate means 3-part book.) The Tripartite Tractate is a book of cosmology that tells the story of creation before the Genesis story. I think of it as a prequel to Genesis. It wonderfully glorifies God while addressing many long-standing theological complaints and conundrums. 


I have used scholarly methods to read and dissect the Tripartite Tractate, and I have applied the Simple Explanation method to raise the archaic verbiage to the meta level of understanding, in keeping with our latest scientific insights and modern speech forms. But, even more importantly, as a True Believer, my interpretations give glory to God in a fresh new way that illuminates His true nature. The Gnostic Gospel Illuminated and the Simple Explanation of Absolutely Everything are not apostasy--they are enlightening to those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.


Which brings me to my final point--I think the reason people knock Gnosticism for requiring this thing called "gnosis" is that they do not understand what gnosis means. Gnosis is not a bundle of hidden, secret memes that must be studied and understood to gain redemption. Simply put, gnosis is the realization that we come from above, and that our Father is in heaven, and to heaven we shall return. That's all. Gnosis is stepping down from the throne of ego and the meme shroud of the Imitation to better reveal the light of God that shines from within. That's all. You cannot be taught gnosis, but you must discover it inside yourself. 


"This is accordingly how I know the ways of everything and the origin of all things: by observing what is within me." (Tao te Ching, v. 21)


So, even though gnosis cannot be taught, I will continue to do my best to explain, in the simplest possible terms, how to reach it. 

This diagram is possibly the most concise Gnostic Gospel ever conceived.