The Exegesis: Knowledge and Escape

Gnostic to the bone

It's very difficult to determine what exactly the scattered and disorganized groups we now look back on and call the Gnostics believed, but certain broad strokes can be drawn. It goes like this: the world is a prison, an inferior hellhole created by an sadistic celestial being called the Demiurge. The result of a kind of cosmic abortion, the Demiurge anointed himself as the god above all gods. Human souls are trapped here to be tormented by this demon, who was often named Ialdabaoth.

It gets considerably more complicated when you look at all of the different sects, but the means of deliverance from this cosmic insane asylum was acquiring gnosis- the knowledge that would grant you the means of escape. In Christian Gnostic sects Jesus was the deliverer, who had the keys to break out of the Black Iron Prison.

This is the kind of belief system that a people living under a great deal of stress and oppression gravitate towards. In the early days of the common era, radicals and free thinkers gravitated toward the Gnostic sects, seeking to escape the new world order of their time, the rapidly-expanding Roman Empire. For Rome threw centuries- millennia, really- of spiritual and cultural certainty in utter chaos.

Former world powers such as Greece, Egypt and the various nations in Palestine were especially fractured. They had seen their place in the world as ordained by God, whether they called him Jehovah, Zeus or Amun-Ra. And here was this rampaging horde of uncultured thugs smashing their universe to pieces.

As always happens, the colonized would eventually become the colonizers, but things were pretty dicey for quite some time. And so the sour grapes of Gnosticism offered a kind of comfort to the dispossessed. If the Romans were in charge it could only mean that God had himself been usurped as lord of this world. The only solution was escape.

I'm not really that big on a lot of the ancient Gnostic teachings and sects when you get to the detail stage. The reason being is that the knowledge they claimed to possess was often just another kind of faith. But I've always been captivated by this idea of gnosis as the means of deliverance, since that's an entirely sensible conclusion. If you know how to change something you can change it. And it's why I began to see the most powerful and resonant science fiction as the new custodian of this gnosis.

The reason why we find a lot of the sci-fi heroes (and superheroes, certainly) so alluring is that they know the world doesn't work at all like we're taught in school. They experience it. They work with it. And more often than not, they pay for it. And even so we all want to be like them because deep in our hearts we all know this world is a prison, albeit one with varying degrees of comfort in its cells.

Sarah Connor has a knowledge of destruction and deliverance that separates her from the people who she's trying to save, and she is made a criminal for it. Skynet in this context is the ultimate Demiurge, it means to wipe out the previous one's work and start from scratch. Same goes for Fox Mulder and the alien Colonists. The Black Oil aliens are literal Demiurges as well, in that they seeded life on this planet for their own purposes.

John Murdoch and Thomas Anderson are more obvious and widely-cited examples- they are both subjects of lesser creators who kept a more literal kind of prison. Luke Skywalker must learn to use the gnosis of the Force in order to deliver his people from the Empire.

But all of this has been seen as "escapism," which is a dirty word in America. Never mind that this country is entirely made up of people who escaped their previous worlds for whatever reason. If you're unjustly imprisoned, then a desire to escape is a virtue (soldiers are ordered to attempt to escape if captured in wartime). The alternative is existential malaise, something that seems to be spreading like a virus.

I'm always a bit suspicious when I notice people looking down on escapism, because in my experience they're usually people who've never had anything bad happen to them. For anyone who has ever found themselves trapped in a situation where they have been hurt- really hurt, "escape" is the most beautiful word in the English language. Escapism has undoubtedly kept a lot of miserable kids alive and sane, just as it can for adults as we all become targets for the schoolyard bullies of the world.

Of course, we have to do what we can to change our world for the better, which means we're going to have to learn to compromise and sacrifice. But in real terms, that kind of big 'C' Change itself is an escape, from a bad situation to a better one. Escape shouldn't mean shirking or running away from a problem- it should be solely reserved for deliverance from an intolerable situation.

Kind of like the one we're drifting into every single day. Ignorance seems to becoming a virtue in some quarters - it's certainly celebrated in the media. But only knowledge, real knowledge- gnosis- is going to grant us the tools to make our lives better. The problem becomes figuring out what exactly that knowledge is, a process that should be our first priority.


  1. I suppose you could assume it is just another "FAITH" if you didn't understand science encoded in symbolism.
    (as are all the others too!)


    Visit The SYNC LIST - a BIG list of Synchronicity and Semiotic webs and blogs.

  2. Chris, spot on. Gnosis is but a tool to strengthen ones soul. This black iron prison is an awful dismal situation at times. To seek Gnosis is to understand our shared reality, dreams and all. One cool aspect of your Secret Sun is that such subjects are being discussed here. Nothing is more important. Eye hope everyone alive today wakes up to the possibilities of Gnostic thought and it's potential to heal our souls. Thanks Chris, Dennis.

  3. Chris this essay really hit home emotionally! You write like you know what real pain is all about! I'm a pain sufferer too. Many people in my life have questioned my total obsession with the philosophies of Gene Roddenberry. I've sort have become the "voice" of Gene here at Secret Sun. Gene was a spiritual, not religious Gnostic, and I knew his healing power by the early 1970's. I've run Star Trek fanships and told group members, "Gene Roddenberry literally saved my life"! They are never told of my life after 10 years of age of a boy physically abused by his father who was a sociopath, then upon my father's death raised by a fundamentalist mother who would not allow me to date in either high school or college. I could have committed suicide any time along that path. One man prevented that, Gene Roddenberry! He told of a future, a hope that violence, and abusive religion would not dominate humanity, and I might just have a chance to see some of it in my lifetime. Gene's close friend, our Scotty, Jimmy Doohan, was working on a book before he died on those saved from suicide by Star Trek. My story would have been in that book! Gene offered an escape like any great Gnostic of rebellion from hopelessness into HOPE! I see short-term darkness rising into light as we move into the next 10 year period. The Earth is early in pregnency with the world Gene said would pass with the rise of First Contact. The pregnency will have some scary moments ahead, but victory is assured. Our dimurge will be beaten every day we hope and resist!

  4. Excellent Post Chris - funnily enough, I took that backwards attitude of "escape" to mean shirking life and existence. Now as I get older, its such a sweet smelling word that really means "escape" from a bad situation to a better. For example, simple things, like going to work and then escaping to research mythology or read Thomas Pynchon when you get home.

    Lastly, Chris, is there anywhere I can buy "Gods Wear Spandex" from you personally instead of sites like Amazon.

  5. I really recommend this article: FROM ORPHISM TO GNOSTICISM It also goes into the great influence of the philosophical mystical cult, Orphism who had as their saying 'soma sema' translated as 'the body a tomb'
    Joseph Campbell also mentions in his book Masks of God, about The Great Reversal when ancient writings went from poetry about the joys of life and living to more dire writings of distress due to growing wars and so on

    We sure NUFF are still in those times, and they seem to be coming more and more in the face even for the 'middle classes'.
    What is going to happen? What are we going to do? Where is the end to the sorry recurring maintaining pattern of a portion of the people being such dehumanized predatory greedy self-aggrandized bloodlusting sadists only interested in profit and power, AND their millions of supporters who choose through chosen blindness, and also fear, to just go along with this shit?
    Gnosis or know~ledge for me is not seeing earth and body as the problem, but the PROPAGANDA. Ie., they will use the closest technique of divide and rule - to divide you from your very essence~~sacred interelation of bodymind with nature and its cycles...

  6. "I'm not really that big on a lot of the ancient Gnostic teachings and sects when you get to the detail stage. The reason being is that the knowledge they claimed to possess was often just another kind of faith."

    The knowledge they possed was astrology, sacred plants, seer's, meditation and so on. And to me those thing's are not faith based, but 2000year old methods that work's even today, if know have to use them. Same goes with synchromysticism. To most people it is faith upgrated to 2010, but to us it is just another method to use when navigating in 3D-cosmos.

  7. "Never mind that this country is entirely made up of people who escaped their previous worlds for whatever reason" is a just tad ethno-centric, no? Does that include Native Americans and African Americans?

    The alleged moon landings are exactly the phony landscape a demiurge would project-a la The Matrix. Chris, you have said you have dealt with the NASA moon landing hoax on this blog, as a balance I suppose, since you cite the moon landing so often and "researchers" like Hoagland. You've mentioned it, but where is your research? If you spent a few hours researching it with your skills and insight, and with the same intensity that you dig into pop culture TV and music, you might get some gnosis and share it with your readers. What would it mean for you to accept that vast numbers of people are being so spectacularly duped? If the elections are a clown show, what is the moon hoax? I say it's the new religion- science. Religion has always used impressive imagery and phony (and perhaps real!) magic to lull the masses for coercive purposes of the power elite. Science is the new religion. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain?

  8. I think you may have a slightly different take on the gnosines than the literature affords but it is interesting and as real as anything I could say. My take is the comic book escape by Superman from Krypton. Not many get out before the planet is destroyed. Here's a link to a Chinese translation of an early investigation of the Gnostic teacher, Basilides...

  9. What Sixto Paz says in this video is interesting “The Cosmic Plan Sixto Paz”
    Funny that many very *different* sources also says +- the same...
    “Earth is an experiment for fast evolution, based in adversity.”

  10. I also remember in the movie Matrix the talk between Neo and the Architect...
    The Architect: “The first Matrix I designed was quite naturally perfect. It was a work of art: flawless, sublime, a triumph equaled only by its monumental failure.”

  11. I believe in a version of the
    demiurge, however all is made
    by a creator, who is made by
    a deeper principle itself. The
    ancient Gnostics were just using
    what they had to describe their
    mystical being who
    is subject aging, disease, birth
    and death has the capacity to
    understand the "ultimate", in a
    way that is comprehensive.

    All our religious gestures are
    games....we make masks, we make
    temples to receive divine power.

  12. The prison is in your mind.
    The door that leads to freedom is inside you. Not in thoughts, not in words, but in your Hearts. Follow it's voice, and just let go.

  13. "The prison is in your mind.
    The door that leads to freedom is inside you. Not in thoughts, not in words, but in your Hearts. Follow it's voice, and just let go."

    Does that mean I don't have to go to work today?

  14. Very thought provoking post. Personally I have found that it's not the knowledge that one aquires throughout one's lifetime, but the inherent filter each of us is given, though genetics(aka providence) to discern all incoming knowledge to deepen our understanding of something greater than mortality. Because knowledge itself is a creation of something far beyond mortal understanding. Gathering of knowledge cannot nor ever will be the secret or key to greater understanding of realities beyond our current realm. Only the understanding that life is too complex to be an accident or the creation of higher beings who are themselves, apparently, just as flawed as mankind, and that somethings are just beyond our comprehension at this juncture in time.
    Escapism is a beautiful safey switch keep us from going insane from either pressures from pain in our lives, whatever the cause, or even an overload of heavy information.

  15. "Does that mean I don't have to go to work today?"

    It means whatever you want it to mean.
    We are here to Create, to express our Will, and to live our Dream. Not to work, which is to live other's dreams.
    The real Work is to express yourself and to enjoy life.

  16. Visiting your blog, Chris is always interesting. But reading this piece on escapism was a real kick. Fluid and mind-acquiescing.
    Men have natural common sense, no matter how covered with the monoform described by Peter Watkins.
    So I want to side with Cartography's optimism. Truth is bound to manifest itself,peace will follow.
    Until then, take good care of you all and those around you. Sheer common sense. Elibi

  17. "I'm always a bit suspicious when I notice people looking down on escapism, because in my experience they're usually people who've never had anything bad happen to them."


    I do however have contempt for some forms of escapism. I think you have to draw another line down the middle somewhere. The reason I have contempt for some forms of escapism is that they're not really escape-ism.

    I'm referring to the mediocre, formulaic, palliative stuff. It's not about escape. It's about numbing. Real escapism is about thinking about ways our world might be different, or about empathizing with sympathetic (and often tragic) characters who are struggling against the idiocy, brokenness, and meanness of the world.

    Escapism has the wrong connotation.

  18. cualdron: don't want to start a debate here on this, but I've looked into the moon hoax thing and don't buy it. The moon missions make perfect sense, were entirely doable, and the evidence cited by the hoax advocates is very weak.

    I do however think there is a possibility that things about the moon missions were covered up. There is some evidence that is suggestive of that. As for what was covered up, I have no idea. Did they find something? Or did they have a second secret mission related to the cold war or something? Who knows.

    One of the problems people get into when they question consensus reality is switching over and just blindly accepting everything that seems "anti" consensus reality. But there are lies there too, and manipulation galore. The enemy of your enemy is not your friend. There is an entire expressway to hell paved with that idea.

  19. Good demiurge, I'm triple posting. Last one I promise. Too much coffee man! Just wanted to add something about escapism.

    To me real artistic escapism is an active thing. It has the same active "feel" to me as hard-core hands-on engineering and problem solving. It's a thing where you roll up your sleeves, dig your hands in, get dirty, and try to learn something or expand your mind or make something work. You also try to communicate visions and ideas to others, and that's hard work too.

    It's not passive or palliative at all. The really effective stuff is about as passive and wishy-washy as being hit upside the head with a baseball bat. Go read 1984 or watch Dark City.

  20. When I was 17 I wrote a list of things I wanted to do before I die. I'm still working my way through it and keep adding to it. It works for me and in a way it is a part of my own (private) religion.

    People say that when the time comes we don't so much regret the things that we have done, but regret more the things that we haven't done. I believe that's true.

    I feel I have got a relationship with a force that is greater than me, and find no need to be bogged down with others interpretations of what that force is. However that said, I do like to study all religions and I find them all so fascinating (as is most Sci-fi) and thanks to you Chris, Gnostics is now at the top of my religious study list.
    With an open mind, as always.
    I am quite shocked at just how much religions manage to find ways of expressing themselves. Especially when it seeps into cartoons, comics, sci-fi and other places where you wouldn't expect it to be lurking.

    Great post.

  21. The key is to bring those insights you got from heaven down to earth. Often, the hardest part.


  23. Sorry if this has already been posted before, The Body on the top of the pyramid:

  24. Hi Chris,

    I just finish a project and "escape" to some fine reading here. We humans are always escaping something. Like Cauldron said the US is on big
    "escaping" Land for so many. Everybody in the world has a "escaped" family member in the US. This is part of the physical aspect of "escapism".

    The thing is you go deeper into ancient Gnostic you'll have to take a dip into "religions". Cause the big ones did their best to distort our human history to present themselves as the only real and only way to "escape".
    from one master to the other.

    Big Religions have destroyed every other spiritual means we had to communicated to our creators". You see like big companies do to smaller ones.

    Science fiction went to the stars, to show us other possibilities, witch will means to leave this 3D life.

    But the real knowledge may be in front of us, but in this control world, we have to find the way to first escape the control and then take time to search within ourselves for that knowledge.
    To me "Gnostic escapism" is spiritual, it's harder and more confusing with so much information and SO much misinformation. Beginning with education.

    OUF!!!!, It's gonna be hard. Right now my ego want me to go back to work in order to survive.

    Good post, Keep up the good job.


  25. This post was an interesting synch for me. Minutes before reading this I finished watching "Year One" with Jack Black which was heavily Gnostic to my surprise. I recommend it to all the readers. Not to mention right before that we watched the 2 X-files eps "Tunguska" and "Terma" which were all about the black oil.

    By the way... I finally started a synch journal since I can't seem to go a day w/o experiencing at least a few.

  26. Thank you fellow responders to Chris's amazing blogs for sharing your life stories and your revelations so openly, consistantly, and kindly.

    Chris grows great concepts and you all make them bloom.

    Sincerely and with great affecton, Delorus

  27. I've been intrigued by the idea of "escaping" since I was a child.

    When I discovered the Gnostic texts, I couldn't believe the stories they contained. When I learned of the concept of the Demiurge contained within the Nag Hammadi, I could only shake my head in amazement. Because I'd had this hunch all along ... Somehow, on a deep level, I'd suspected all was not as it appeared on the surface. I'd even considered as a child the idea that I was imprisoned (if you'd been raised in my family and terrorized by my abusive dad you may have felt the same way) and plotted my escape just to escape the pain. A favorite game in the 3rd grade was to pretend I was a character "Penny" from that old TV show "Lost in Space", which came on every afternoon after school. I'd walk through the woods, seeking a portal back to my real home, where my real father was awaiting me.

    I am very much looking forward to escaping the underworld. And enjoying the journey, this marvelous adventure, more than I realized was possible.

  28. Chris, you opened this article with the promo pic for "Escape to Witch Mountain." A few days ago I saw a similar movie featuring psychic twins, volcanos, and shape-shifting alien bad guys in the New Zealand version titled "Under the Mountain."

    Wondering why this concept is being rehashed and adapted for other cultures? What's the dream really about?

    Here's a review:

  29. People are funny...

  30. Very timely. You described exactly what I'm going through in my life right now. I feel my situation is becoming very intolerable. I am considering selling my car and moving to a self sustaining community in South America. I am fed up. I feel like I am in a merry go round that goes round and round but never stops. God help us.

  31. OK, another fantastic round of insights and thoughts here. I'm falling behind, but I've been busy and I really want to get down to it. Stick around, I'll dig in tomorrow...

  32. on a previous post you said " Not in a "Chris, go out and kill tonight" kind of way (I get that from Dancing with the Stars)"

    so of course I thought you might like this story:

  33. Adami- the faked moon landings make as much "sense" as moses parting the seas and the messiah's returning to make everybody feel high. It makes absolutely no sense at all which is why it has been so easily accepted. It is symbolically very real in a religion of science. But science isn't supposed to deal in symbols, the scientific method is about evidence. But actual hard evidence of the moon landings is nil. Every single thing about the alleged landings has been shown to be falsified, as with historical notions christianity and judaism. (not ethical odf course- they are just hypocrites in that department) Buddhism is science ready, because it deals with the areas of experience outside of the scientific method. Almost everything of real importance in life is outside the scientific method, like Love, Art, Ethics, the paranormal. Sad little science has only evolution and chemistry. And lies.

    They can get a machine to the moon but not a man. Why do you think they are sending a robot this time? Why has the fake not been duplicated? Trust me- in your lifetime in never will. At present 4 foot thick shields of lead would be needed to stop the radiation in space from which the earth goddess protects us, warm in her sometimes cold embrace.

  34. cauldron said: "Almost everything of real importance in life is outside the scientific method, like Love, Art, Ethics, the paranormal. Sad little science has only evolution and chemistry."

    Why does explaining or understanding something devalue it?

    I don't get that.

    As for lies, there are lies everywhere. Lies are versatile. Yes, they can dress up as science and they do. They can also dress up as spiritual truth, religious faith, etc.

    But everything isn't a lie, and the idea that everything is a lie can itself be a manipulative lie. A dogmatic disbelief is itself a belief, and disbelieving everything is the same as believing everything.

    That's why the fundie-skeptics are fundamentalists just like the religious fanatics and "true believers" that they spend all day debating until they are blue in the face.

    You've got to expose everything to the same level of skepticism. That's easier said than done, and I sure don't pretend to be perfect in that regard. But try this as a thought experiment: expose your most cherished beliefs to the same level of skepticism that you have for, say, the moon landing. It's hard. Your mind will recoil in horror. But try it anyway.

    You might find out that there's something wrong with your cherished beliefs. You might also find out that maybe we did land on the moon and you're being... well... too skeptical. You might end up somewhere in between.

  35. This comment has been removed by the author.

  36. Just so happens I am discussing about this with Eric Dubay. He is supporting the idea that Nazis were involved with early UFO technology.
    I have looked into this in the past but my research capacities are quite diverse and I lose track so was refreshing my savvy about it and found out about the originator of this myth who is a mad-arsed neo nazi called Ernst Zündel and he has even refuted his claims and said he did it to get attention so he could get a stage to spew more of his anti-semitic and Holocaust denial propaganda!
    I mean think about it?--what a myth-in-the-making--having people believe the Nazis are up there buzzing about in the UFOs, and planning global takeover. This would make Hitler proud of his ubermensch ya??!

  37. I have just watched that movie trailer Cowboys and Aliens. I am total virgin to it--didn't know anything to do with this film till you just linked me so this is my take on what i have seen. First the title---it is a take on the usual propaganda fayre i remember from being a kid (and I ALWAYS wanted to be the Indian which I am proud of!) of 'Cowboys and Indians' implying of course that the Indians are the evil enemy.
    And from the looks of this typically over-violent preview yip--the aliens are the bad guys, and the cowboys--as we know--aint that freakin good neither--which means the aliens are REALLL bad!
    This seems to be the Hollywood MESSAGE: 'UFOs&Aliens=BAD

    Now hmmmm, who is puishin this shit?

  38. Intellectualism, an Indoctrination in Lunacy!

    Every word & number conjured to form the 3 dimensional energy illusion, is based on a flawed system conspired to generate death. For example, the 360 degree circle is based on the yearly cycle the earth travels around the sun. 360 degrees is supposed to represent the 360 days needed to fulfill the cycle. However, the actual time it takes is 365 1/4 days, and a couple of minutes and a few seconds. The number 360 is rounded down so that mathematical equations can be devised. The 360 degree zodiac circle, the perfect pi system of 3.14 and the golden mean phi ratio of 1.61 are all examples of a ridiculous system that was invented to manufacture all kinds of seductions. Everyone of these seductions is meant to deceive the world as it manipulates every aspect of the illusory body of humanity. This is done deliberately to conflict with the illusory conjured up natural creation, so that the illusory 3D world experience is out of harmony, corruptible and subject to death. So much of the 3D illusion seems to almost work, to almost be in harmony, yet isn’t. Not only does it create disharmony, it is designed to frustrate and fail, keeping peace and harmony just out of reach.

    The letter T, or cross, symbolizes the intersecting lines of the zodiac circle as well as being symbolic of every sun/son savior throughout history. The majority of these saviors were all crucified on the cross – therefore, the inclusion of the subliminal T in the word STAR.

    The T also comes from the first letter of Tammuz, the ancient Babylonian Son of God/sun god, who also died for the sins of the world. This word/sound association runs rampant through the English language. The English language, as we know it now, didn’t exist at the beginning of this system, the sound & shape of the letters existed in primitive forms with vague meaning attached. As these illusory centuries past, the system perfected the combining of shapes, colors & sounds & became known as the CRAFT – bewitching craft or witchcraft. This is the craft of religion and science recognized throughout the ages as Magic. Today, English is used world wide and recognized by all as the universal language. This is not because English has the sweetest sound or the easiest to work with, but it is the perfection of sounds and shapes needed to push the buttons that manipulate the illusory body of humanity to once again disconnect our ultimate state of being from WISDOM. English has also been designed with the introduction of SILENT LETTERS, place holders, subliminal markers, interfering with the hidden meaning in countless phrases and terms.

    Keep in mind, that even the words written here, are all designed to manipulate you. If you could hear me speak, the sound of my voice would likewise manipulate you. My intent is to inform you that if anyone is using sound, shape or color in any 3 dimensional form, there is no absolute truth in it. There is an absolute TRUTH, and there is an absolute REALITY. However, it cannot be accurately expressed with the corrupting elements of anything 3 dimensional, such as sound, shape or color. When reading these words, comprehend what’s being spoken between the lines, in spite of the manipulative abilities within the lines, and the letters themselves. Realizing this reconnects us to our Original Wisdom State through this awareness...


  39. cont..

    Realizing that no thought is accurate thought, (because all thought has a sound, shape & color) then I only need to know ONE THING, that is I KNOW "NO THING". This removes the ego and any hint of pride, the exact opposite of the luciferian egregore intent for all 3 dimensional life experiences. This leaves only wisdom, that characteristic not learned, or associated with thought. When we trust wisdom to show us what to do, it’s there when we need it. Wisdom doesn’t know what to do until it arrives at the moment. For there is only ONE MOMENT, & the concepts of Time & Space are apparitions only experienced within the RITUALS called THOUGHT.

    It’s amazing how, even the seemingly enlightened people of the world, find the thought of giving up the everyday common practices of the 3D world as extreme. This is but another example of the hypnotic MATRIX illusion, where even the wise are not.

    There are no numbers or language systems in the awareness state. When these ‘teachers’ say that learned knowledge will set us free, understand that this is a complete lack of awareness. It is, of course, learned knowledge that placed us in this circumstance we now find ourselves in. Wisdom knows nothing. Knowledge THINKS it knows something. The Serpent in the fable of the Garden of Eden story said (as it pretended to speak with some authority) that Adam and Eve could eat of all of the fruit in the garden but not of the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” or they would die. What a twist on reality. This is a perfect example of seeming to say something wise, when in fact, it’s laced with deceit.

    Nuff Said!

  40. much of a stretch would it be if Admiral Byrd's Antarctic adventures in 1947, was really a re-supplying exercise?

  41. Strangey- Well, there's no evidence that the Gnostics themselves understood the science behind the symbols. There was almost certainly an entheogenic component here as well, which means there was a lot of information welling up that was still filtered through religious and supernatural viewpoints.

    Dennis- My pleasure. I see this blog as a place of shared exploration, not as a soapbox.

    Doug- Well, for all his faults Gene had a vision - something Harve Bennett, Rick Berman and JJ Abrams do not. I would say that Michael Pillar and his proteges like Ira Steven Behr, Robert Hewitt Wolfe, Ron Moore, and Rene Echevarria were the real inheritors of that vision, even if some purists might take exception. I do not. I think they were the spiritual progeny and in that they were about the spirit and not the letter. I think Behr and Wolfe especially are unsung heroes here.

    Tion- Well put. As to Spandex you can try ordering at your local bookseller or maybe on the RedWheel Weiser site.

    Muzu- You know, I read that piece ages ago - it's very interesting, but there are actually a few factual errors in it. I cover a lot of that ground in The Secret History of Rock 'n' Roll.

    Urbanus- That was all quite common among many different sects before the Church destroyed it all and long predate the Gnostics. But like I said to Strangey there's a theology at work that doesn't speak to those topics. So we're talking two parallel issues here.

    Cauldron- I've already covered the Apollo hoax controversy at length here so why don't you read them before coming around and trying to start fights? It also has nothing to do with the topic the rest of us are discussing.

    Eric- There was actually a lot of interaction between East and West in Alexandria, so that link is very germane.

  42. Kikz- =)

    Pictus- Wise words. Thanks for the links, too.

    Pete- Exactly. Very well put.

    1032- I'll tell that to the bank when the mortgage bill comes due! =)

    1146- Interesting thoughts. Thank you.

    E.Billien- Thank for the kinds words and the link. (Love me some links!)

    AdamI - Exactly. Sometime I wonder if the crap you refer to isn't escapism but a kind of trump l'oeil of an open prison door. In other words, it's just another feature of the jail itself. It usually feels that way to me. And triple-post all you like if you need to drop those kinds of thought-products on us.

    Wotie- The Force? I knew it- you're a Jedi! Obie Wan Woot. (and good luck with your new research mission).

    Mark- Ain't it though?

    359- Cryptic. Any prelude on the link?

    406- Awesome! Love it!

    PJ- Thanks. And remember- big religion is big business. The spiritual food you get there is the moral equivalent of a McDonald's Happy Meal.

    Jim A- Glad to see you've been infected! Keep at it- it's easy to forget even important syncs.

  43. 550- You know you can't lose by bringing up Lost in Space around these parts. Wonderful comment- it has the ring of poetry about it.

    Oyin- Wonderful- thanks for the link. I'll check it out.

    Sophie- No surprise here.

    Anony- We did that before- the Nazi not-flying saucers. Why are they dredging that up now? Look up "Plan Nein" up on the search up top.

    Muzu- Thanks for that tidbit there on Zundel. As to Cowboys and Aliens- it's a rip on a Green Lantern comic that I quite enjoyed back in the day. The trailer? Meh.

    Jedi- Ah the real Jedi makes an appearance! Thanks for the data,JTO.

    Eric- Hmm, you could be on to something.

  44. the country made of escapees from their previous worlds. not everyone. white people, sure, they came when nothing was and fought their way through. but blacks were brought, and the central america indians never came when there was nothing, its more like parasitic. a gnostic base rule is live in the exact reality all the time, without the illusions from the demiurge.

  45. Please point me to WHERE exactly you discuss the moon hoax?? I can't find it. The moon hoax pertains exactly to your post- the demiurge is power elite, the system that hoaxed the landings.

  46. Hi Chris, Gnosis is exactly the same thing as enlightenment and the knowledge is not hidden, it's available in any good work on Zen Buddhism or Taoism. The problem is these things are not easily understood and therefore tend to generate an air of mystery about them. The actual practise is also difficult and therefore all but the most determined give up or satisfy themselves with "feelgood meditation". For most people there is an element of pain in the process of gnosis. This is because it involves releasing their grip on the world, which manifests in the need to comment on everything. This "force" clings to the world and personality like a wet flannel.

    Gnosis can be "achieved" quite simply but we meet another problem. The average person simply doesn't have sufficient faith in the process because it doesn't yield results instantly. It takes years and in the meantime the person has to sacrifice much they hold dear ie. their habit of comment. To really relinquish this job of comment is a painful process because it strikes at the persons very raison d'être. What they say is a human being who does not comment on things, other than a robot? Is not this a kind of death? Well it is a death yes, but it's also a rebirth. Without faith in the process few will see it through. If you want gnosis just put the following in to practise :

    "Do not seek enlightenment, merely stop cherishing opinions"

    If you can do it you will come to understand.

  47. everyone's entitled to their views. but when you put them across expect top be challenged also. I distrust 'gnosis' and this stuff about it takes years and years to get enlightened. As you know in the East they go on about LIFETIMES and up pop the gurus with their long beards, and flashy eyes, and knowing looks, ANd followers who believe them and make excuses for any behaviour even shitty behaviour. It's as though there is a blindspot when someone who isss 'enlightened' is a cunt, but anyone else are castigated and even scapegoated.
    THIS is why I more respect psychedelics---they are far more egalitarian. ANYONE can eat them and get the sense of spiritual experience. Yes, true, people can and do abuse them, but thats not the point. All they need is learn to respect themselves and what they eat. But with the 'holy man/cult' trip the follower is immediately disenrachized because 'ohh it takes YEARS....' AND 'not everyyyyone can accomplish this quest' and all that crap. I recommend this book The Guru papers: Masks of Authoritarian Power which exposes how this 'I am more enlightened than you' IS abuse.

  48. @ muzuzuzus I agree with you there are significant numbers of charlatans / abusers claiming to be spiritually enlightened etc but you find fakes in every aspect of life. Some people are just dishonest and the spiritual deceivers are the worst. They are a shame to themselves and humanity. They take something that is meant to be beneficial and use it to make money or gain control of people. They are idiots. The point is you don't need a guru. There are huge numbers of books on these subjects so you can do it yourself.

    I also agree that many people can be turned on to spiritual things by taking drugs but I have yet to come across anyone who enlightened themselves through taking them. The trouble with drugs is it's a transitory experience. The result is that most people either give them up or become recreational users or if they're unlucky they make themselves ill. In other words there's no perseverance and no progress which is exactly what I was talking about with the "traditional" methods. Drugs often just become another lifestyle thing. People take them for years on end then just give them up. Wheres the progress? And drugs don't always make for nice people. I've come across nasty pieces of work that use them.

    It always puzzles me why people who have had a transitory experience with drugs don't then make the effort to make it a permanent experience through working on themselves without drugs. They probably think it's not possible without them but that is not true. It IS possible but it takes real work, something they are not prepared to do.

    And the truth is I'm afraid that not everybody can enlighten themselves just as not everybody can become a brilliant mathematician or brilliant gymnast. People have different makeups and talents. There are varying degrees of spiritual development among the general public. One person sees no problem with killing somebody. Another wouldn't dream of it. This is not elitist it is just plain fact. There is no equality in this world even if you would like to think so.

  49. I never said there was equality in the world, that is obvious. I mean there is when people--all people, from ALL walks of life can have access to psychedelic experience. So there is no 'invisible' thang where one dude--USUALLY A dude, yip--- claims 'ohhh I am sooo enlightened. Follow me, and buy my books and watch my vids', and of course there are always sadly the gullible who do. And doing so disenfransizes them because they are always looking up to this other human who shits and pisses and bitches just like them! But THEIR shit is supposed to be pure.
    What does it even mean to 'be enlightened'? If you tell me you are how am I supposed to be with you? Are you then better than me. Let me ask you because you brought this up: are you enlightened? If so what do you mean by that?

  50. @ muzuzuzus , your attitude to these things is too cynical. Yes there are abusers but 99% of the people I've come across in the west who are interested in these things are sincere individuals who are simply seeking knowledge / wisdom. All the Buddhist groups I've attended have been full of decent people who wouldn't dream of exploiting others. The teachers are usually kind and modest. Most of the fakes come from India a country where this kind of "holy man" attitude is part of the fabric of society. Western Buddhism is very different. That's not to say it hasn't happened in the west, it has but thankfully it's rare. I've never come across a western person interested in Buddhism that "shits and pisses and bitches" on others. It's the wrong attitude. Your attitude is actually far closer to that than the people you are stereotyping. With you it's "my way or no way" and all the religious teachings are just exploitation. I've never read a book on Buddhism or Taoism that came across as exploitative. Helpful would be a better description.

    As far as enlightenment goes I would say it's a permanent perception that all is mind with all separation between subject and object obliterated. The enlightened person knows that the world is them and they are the world. There is no "me and it" or "me and them". It's also an understanding of what the senses really are as the subject / object relationship between the mind and senses is also obliterated.

    When you ask if an enlightened person is "better than you" this is a rather egotistical attitude. Are you really saying that nobody is allowed to be superior to you in any shape or form? Are you a better chess player than Bobby Fischer? And does it bother you that you're not? If so, isn't this a philosophy of envy? It would be no good me telling you whether I was enlightened or not because you would see a positive answer as being a lie or an egotism and a negative answer as evidence that I don't have a clue what I'm talking about. Here's a quote from a Bob Dylan song - "Equality I spoke their word as if a wedding vow". Away with such nonsense!

  51. Andrew, "I've never come across a western person interested in Buddhism that "shits and pisses and bitches" on others." LOL, I meant that no matter how 'enlightened' they ALSO shit and piss and bitch. They surely Do shit and piss, right? As for bitching, hmmm I am sure they do too, if you get to know them. We all do.
    Yes your right, there are great guitarists, and tennis players, etc--I'd be foolish to thinmk I could play the guitar better than Hendrix, But he propabaly could better than your 'enlightened' person also, lol! it's one thing to have some skill that you are good at, and another to assume that you are 'enlightened' and thus superior. To me seeing this is not cynicism but seeing through phoniness that has the potential for being exploitative. because it is a posture. What does it really MEAN?
    "Creating a special category called the "enlightened state" is itself a manifestation of an accumulation mentality, it becomes the ultimate goal to achieve through accumulating merit and partially enlightening experiences. One day or lifetime, one finally crosses the barrier and arrives. Then one is a perfect manifestation of the godhead--a perfect master with nowhere else to go. You work toward the goal of enlightenment and once you get it, you have it. The way the ideal is constructed makes it static and unchanging. The experience of unity feels timeless, but the concept of enlightenment turns a timeless moment into an "all the time" fixed identity that continues over time. Ironically, the identity of being enlightened attempts to crystallize in time what is experienced as timeless." (The Guru Papers: Masks of Authoritarian Power, Joel Kramer & Diana Alstad, page 309)

  52. I am more attracted to this definition of enlightenment:

    “Ratsch believes in enlightenment, which he defines as "a state of complete understanding," "total loss of ego structures," and "just being one with everything." The spiritual path "starts with the enlightenment, and then you can try to get this integrated into your life. It's not the other way around." Ratsch abhors so-called spiritual leaders who claim that enlightenment can only be achieved through decades of meditation and other spiritual practices.

    "That’s such a bad lie, and an exploitation of needs," he snarled. His cool irony had vanished; he was momentarily vehement, passionate. Then he paused, regaining his composure, his lizard-like, Mona Lisa smile. "This is my point of view."

    Enlightenment "has nothing to do with all these spiritual teachings." It merely requires "the right molecule to hit your brain." Enlightenment is an intrinsically transient state, like an orgasm; in fact, some Amazonian societies use their term for orgasm to describe mystical states. "You are not in a permanent state of orgasm," Ratsch said. "It's one peak, and then you have to recharge your batteries."

  53. Ok muzuzuzus I will make this my final reply because to argue about these things goes against the spirit of what we're both trying to achieve. We each have to find our own way. I think we have more in common than is apparent as this subject always presents problems with language and understanding.

    The enlightened person doesn't bitch and doesn't think themselves superior to anyone because they have eliminated conception. The unenlightened person is like a puppet who reacts to the external environment and thinks these things are important, hence they "bitch" and have opinions about themselves. The Zen teacher Richard Rose used to say interesting things about this such as "Does a person think or are they caused to think", "Does a person have power or are they overpowered". If you want a flavour of the transcendental nature of enlightenment and why an enlightened person would not think of themselves as superior here is quote from the Diamond Sutra - " bodhisattva who is a real bodhisattva cherishes the idea of an ego, a personality or a separated individuality". Such a person makes no distinction between me and them, this and that etc.

    The enlightened person doesn't create any categories let alone one called "the enlightened state" because again they are free of conception. " bodhisattva who is a real bodhisattva cherishes the idea of an ego, a personality or a separated individuality". This is a profound misunderstanding of what enlightenment is and shows that the author has no appreciation of the transcendental nature of enlightenment or the fact that the enlightened person is not remotely the same as an enlightened person. He does indeed live in a "timeless state" but he doesn't think "now I live in a timeless state". You don't seem to understand that Buddhist training is about eliminating conception and opinionation the exact opposite of seeking. This is why Zen masters tend to dismiss their students ideas as "stuff and nonsense". And hence the saying "Do not seek enlightenment, merely stop cherishing opinions".

    Ratsch's definition of enlightenment as being "a state of complete understanding," "total loss of ego structures," and "just being one with everything" is essentially the same as the one I made in my earlier post but worded differently. Ratsch's view that the spiritual path "starts with the enlightenment, and then you can try to get this integrated into your life. It's not the other way around" treats enlightenment like an add on to life not life itself, when in reality Buddhism and enlightenment are emphatically about living the enlightened state. His definition is a profound misunderstanding. Essentially Ratsch doesn't have any faith that the enlightened state can be permanent or a part of life itself. It is just an endless series of transient experiences brought about through use of narcotics. I would go as far as saying that Ratsch is a bit like the puppet I described earlier except his concerns now include having "transcendental" experiences to define himself by. He still is a victim of self definition and egotism however. Isn't desiring transcendental experiences a form of seeking? a form of self-crystallization? And who is it that views the experience and is apparently unaffected by it? That is the real question.

  54. Psychedelics are not 'narcotics' they are psychedelics: "narcotic (n.) Look up narcotic at
    late 14c., from O.Fr. adj. narcotique (early 14c.), from M.L. narcoticum, from Gk. narkotikon, neut. of narkotikos "making stiff or numb," from narkotos, verbal adjective of narcoun "to benumb, make unconscious," from narke "numbness, stupor, cramp," perhaps from PIE root *(s)nerq- "to turn, twist." Sense of "any illegal drug" first recorded 1926, Amer.Eng. The adjective is first attested c.1600. Related: Narcotics." They most definately do not make you stiff and numb and unconscious.

    Indigenous peoples have called them sacred medicine.

    "The enlightened person doesn't bitch and doesn't think themselves superior to anyone because they have eliminated conception. The unenlightened person is like a puppet who reacts to the external environment and thinks these things are important, hence they "bitch" and have opinions about themselves. "

    How do you know they have? Cause they tell you , right? if not, how do you know?