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I'm not an expert in Gnosticism; my background relates more to how gnostic churches and Christian Churches interacted. I hope someone out there who has a good Platonic or Gnostic understanding can add more to the general description, 'cause right now, it's pretty lame.--WaitingforGodot 11:00, 18 July 2008 (EDT)

"deionized" - did you mean de-lionized? Or something else? The current wording makes it sound like battery water. Jollyfish.gifGenghisIs the Pope a Catholic? 11:24, 18 July 2008 (EDT)
Oh my non-existant god, i don't even know what i said... that's just bad. I'll fix it.--WaitingforGodot 11:26, 18 July 2008 (EDT)
Ok, now i'm really confused. where did i say "deionized?" Don't Taze Me, Bro!--WaitingforGodot 11:27, 18 July 2008 (EDT)
I claim no specialised knowledge of this subject, but I had always thought that the defining thing about the gnostics was that they felt that they could obtain some personal relationship/contact/knowledge of god without the church acting as an intermediary. Have I been wrong all my life? --Bobbing up 11:34, 18 July 2008 (EDT)
"defining", probably no, "important", yes. At least for Christian gnostic who were fighting the "other guys" that turned into teh Catholics. let's add that, shall we? --WaitingforGodot 11:36, 18 July 2008 (EDT)
Well, if you want to add it great (because people like me will expect to see it) but I'm not sufficiently up on the subject to insert my own precious keystrokes. Th unsure.gif --Bobbing up 11:58, 18 July 2008 (EDT)


"Unverifiable personal gnosis" is a modern pagan invention, to describe any kind of "mystical" experience, whether it correlates with received wisdom or not. This is when a god/dess just "calls out" to a person. Gnosticism relied heavily on received, esoteric wisdom, handed down when initiates were ready for it. Moreover, communion with god, particularly in the form of ascending through the spheres to rejoin with god, came about by being able to recite exactly complex magical formulas to the intervening angels. I'm not saying Gnosticism wasn't based on some form of personal gnosis, just that it's not the same as the current idea of UPG often bandied about in neopagan circles. Researcher 19:05, 23 October 2008 (EDT)

And, to give a better description than I could, . Researcher 19:33, 23 October 2008 (EDT)

Anti Abrahamic[edit]

I removed the term "anti abrahamic" from the article. As it is usually presented, Gnosticism develops out of judaism or xianity, so as written, it didn't make sense how it's "anti abrahamic". The term might actually be appropriate, but until it's used in an article that talks about gnosticism as one of the main battle grounds in xianity, it needs a sentence or two to explain how it's anti abrahamic. thanks. --Green mowse.pngGodot She was a venus demilo in her sister's jeans 19:29, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

Consensus scholarship[edit]

Hey all. I think this article would benefit from some kind of discussion about how Gnosticism was a very broad movement. People like Elaine Pagels, who have made careers out of studying this stuff; have pointed out that what we think of as common traits of Gnosticism might not actually be so. For example, the idea that all Gnostics thought the flesh was evil just doesn't hold up to reality based on her work on the Gospel of Judas ( a Gnostic gospel found in Nag Hamadi). I think Gnostic was a braod label used by the mainstream church to lump together everyone who didn't buy into Trinitarian Christianity (.e. didn't believe in the Nicene Creed). Since the mainstreamers got to write the history books, they portrayed the Gnostics in an essentialistic and sometimes inaccurate way. We would never trust the GOP to wgive a fair assessement of the Dems, or vice versa, and I think we should adopt a similar attitude here. The newest research by Pagels, et al, is showing that our understanding of Gnosticism up to this point has been a little oversimplified. Ideas?--User: Tuscarora

If you have a decent grasp of what Pagels has said on the subject, go ahead and add it. It's not my field, unfortunately, but it's easy to recognise Pagels as knowing what she's talking about. Scarlet A.pngsshole 02:27, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

"Gnosticism teaches that any person can have direct knowledge of God"[edit]

This is an incorrect assertion. Gnostic schools, both historical (i.e. Valentinians) and modern (Mandaeans), teach of divisions among mankind as to who is capable of knowing God. Classically, these were the "Pneumatics" (those who definitely can know God), the "Psychics" (those who may possibly come to know God), and the "Hylics" (those who possess totally animal souls and thus are wholly incapable of knowing God). Mandaeans hold that only ethnic Mandaeans may know God, as their line alone has the proper pedigree to have a truely human soul. Additionally, Mandaeans and the historical Cathars maintain(ed) distinctions between priests and laity, which are rather significant. Tl;dr, Gnostic sects aren't some collection of hippy-dippy egalitarian religions; most of the world is basically considered to be P-Zombies/sub-humans in these faiths. (talk) 20:06, 20 October 2015 (UTC)