Here you will find podcasts that explain gnosis, as simply as humanly possible. What is gnosis? Gnosis is knowing. Gnosis is not faith, or studying, or imagining. Gnosis is remembering. Remembering who you are, why you are here, what your mission on earth is, and where you will go when you die. Gnosis involves remembering the origin of consciousness and creation. The who, what, when, where, and why of everything.
Free Will. What is it? Do you have it?
Welcome back to Gnostic Insights. This week I had a very nice gift of a couple of different listeners writing to me with comments and questions and saying how much the podcast means to them. And that's very special for me because you realize I'm sitting here recording this all by myself in the darkness of the early morning and it's good to know that people are listening on the other side and getting something from this gnosis, so thank you very much.
I am going to address in this week's episode a point that was brought up by one of the listeners. He wrote to say that he had been researching and learned of a fallen angel or a demon who asked Yahweh if he wished man not to sin and do the things he did not want them to do, then why didn't he just take away their free will so they would obey? Apparently, this outraged Yahweh, and so he was cast out. Now, I don't know this legend. If you happen to know who this fallen angel is, it would be good for you to write to me with his name and where I can find the original material in some ancient manuscript.
I think that the moral of the story is interesting. I did write back to him and say that of course, the Demiurge would be very angry at anyone suggesting he could remove the free will of humans. And the reason is because it's not within the Demiurge's power to give or remove free will. That power comes from the God Above All Gods. It's part of our aeonic inheritance. We all have free will. All Second Order creatures that populate creation have free will because it's part of the nature of the Father, and we are fractals of the Father. The Demiurge is not. The Demiurge, is a fraction, a portion, of one of the Aeons. It's not within the Demiurge’s power to give or take free will from humans, and so the question that the archon asked the Demiurge embarrassed the Demiurge. It showed he couldn't do something, and that's why he got angry at the archon and cast him out. At least the legend apparently goes something like that. I haven't read it myself, so I don't know. But you could see why the Demiurge would be embarrassed by someone asking him about free will because he doesn't know what free will is.
The Demiurge doesn't like us having free will, because remember that the Demiurge can only control the material world through strings—through bonds like chemical bonds and physical bonds and willpower bonds, we could say. So that's how it controls the material aspects. The atoms and molecules are run by laws, and they obey. If they didn't obey the laws of physics, nothing would hold together in the universe. So the Demiurge is used to having control and having the objects that he controls obey him. And then along comes the Second Order powers and they don't obey with that pesky free will. So it would really be embarrassing to him.
the demiurge keeps chaos at bay by forbidding free will in his subjects
So let's talk about free will today. I like to look at all of these issues as cosmogenic outgrowths of the origination, so that is why we always start at the beginning. Cosmogenic means how things got started, like genic as in Genesis. Cosmo, as in the cosmos, which, in the case of these spiritual matters, begins before the creation of our physical universe. That's why we usually start with the Father and then the Son arose out of the Father as a monad of the Father—as a particular point of view—out of the Father. And then as soon as the Son emerged from the Father, he broke into all of the possible variabilities within himself. These are called the ALL or the Totalities—all of the characteristics of the Son broken out into their infinite number of variables. So the ALL or the Totalities were individuals, but they didn't have their own will because they were fully subsumed into the Son’s willpower because they were so unified.
Near Death Experiences Gnosis
A listener to the Gnostic Reformation on Substack recommended a video this week about Near Death Experiences. NDEs. It’s been quite a long time since I looked into the subject. He was right in saying the video was gnostic. In fact, the experiencer in the video I watched confirmed many of the spiritual aspects of the gnostic cosmology I share here.
The video is called Neuro Surgeon Dies; Gets Shown Truth about Re-incarnation and Quantum World (NDE). The experiencer’s name is Eban Alexander and he’s written a couple of books about his NDE. You can find his book at this link: Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife
The video appears on a youtube channel devoted to Near Death Experiences. The channel is called The Other Side (NDE).
I watched a couple of more experiencer videos on the channel and then did a little research online. I found a few interesting educational articles written by a Catholic priest named Fr. Spitzer, who uses the findings to point to the existence of God and heaven. So there’s something we have in common. His site is called Magis Center and the article is called 5 Credible Stories of Near Death Experiences (Peer-Reviewed).
Let me share the big takeaway first. We are loved. You are loved. Existence within and beyond this universe is love. There is no need to fear death or separation from loved ones. Consciousness does not cease with the death of the physical body—we move into a realm of love. And once you experience that cosmic love, you never forget it and you never doubt it, because it is not only as real as our normal reality, it is more real, more intense. And the experiencers who then return into their bodies are changed forever by that experience of love. The big takeaway is that we can share this love, God’s love, through being kind to those around us.
Let me share Dr. Alexander’s experience with you and at the same time relate it to our Gnostic cosmology.
Dr. Alexander was stricken with meningitis that damaged his neo-cortex and took his brain off-line. He had total amnesia of who he was throughout his experience. His body was in a deep coma that lasted for a couple of weeks. He was given a 5% chance of recovery into a vegetative state because of the extent and location of the brain damage.
He says his first experience was from the point of view of an earthworm. As far as he could tell, he was an earthworm. I would liken that awareness to the lowest consciousness level that connects directly to the molecules of the material world. We are all higher, eternal consciousness fused onto the transient material world. A fertilized egg would build itself up to an organism from that baseline, earthworm point of view.
The earthworm view is down near the bottom of the stack
He next observed a white, spinning light that threw off a musical melody—an extraordinarily beautiful melody. This resembles the figure that I associate with the Totalities of the ALL as they transition and emit the individual consciousnesses that make up the Aeons of the Fullness. It was at this point in the Gnostic cosmogeny that the Silences of the Totalities spoke the Word--that Word in Dr. Alexander’s vision is the musical melody.
A Path to Gnosis
What is gnosis? I know that some people, perhaps many people who come to listen to Gnostic Insights, come here because of the word gnostic. And gnostic has come to be identified to a large extent with the ancient manuscripts that were dug up out of Nag Hammadi, and the Qumran scripts from the Dead Sea Scrolls. And indeed, a lot of what I teach here has come out of the Nag Hammadi book called the Tripartite Tractate, as well as from my own familiarity with the Bible, mostly the New Testament, but a passing familiarity with the Old Testament. And I'm very surprised when I get comments from people that Gnostic Insights is “provincial.” I really have to laugh at that because I think what they mean by provincial is old-fashioned or narrowly constrained, very biblical or scriptural. But really, it isn't at all. The gnosis that I'm sharing with you is the gnosis that has come to me through an entire lifetime of deep contemplation and much reading of what would be called wisdom books or holy books from a variety of religions.
Provincialism, as I think of it, is very narrowly constrained, like a person who is a strong believer in one denomination of Christianity, for example. They only believe the things that they have been taught, and we know that is what I call a meme bundle, right? The meme bundle of their church or their holy book is all they are allowed to believe in. That's what provincialism is. It's belonging to a church or a philosophy that restrains the way that you are allowed to contemplate; restrains the things you are allowed to think because it wants to make sure that you stay on the straight and narrow. You believe X, Y and Z. You believe it just in this manner that we teach you. And that way you're safe and you feel comforted because you know that you're going to heaven. It doesn't matter what the other people are going to do because they have their own lives to lead. But you're going to take the straight and narrow path. That's provincialism.
I am anything but provincial. I've always been one who has curiosity and asks why? And, why is that? But not in a challenging way. Not in a way to confront authority and bring them down, but in a way to examine truth. What is the truth of the situation? What is the Truth? Truth with a capital T. That is not a provincial way of thinking. Modern provincialism would be following one of the political parties so closely that you only know and advocate for what that current cause is. My PhD is in Rhetoric, mostly classical rhetoric, studying ancient manuscripts. Generally the Greeks and the Romans, people like Cicero or Socrates and Plato. But as part of my coursework in gaining a PhD in Rhetoric, I also study ideologies—modern ideologies as well as the methods of persuasion that you would employ in advertising or propaganda. So when I read a press release that is put out or a scientific paper or a book, I read it not only for what the message is that the writer is trying to put across, but I look at the method that they are using to sell that idea. The definition of rhetoric is persuasion. The method of persuading another person to agree with you. That's the baseline concept of rhetoric.
As our political situation and worldwide current wave of distress came upon us, I thought it was just big talk. And when I noticed that my university students would refer to historical events as dead white men, I thought that was kind of a funny way to dismiss all of what went before. But it's not so funny now that the people who were once my university students have grown up and taken the reins of power. And they want to pull down all of the statues; pull down all of the foundational beliefs of, for example, our nation or any nation. And they want to start over from scratch. I can see the rhetoric. I can see the methods of persuasion. And one of the methods of persuasion is to change the language—to change the ...
If everybody is going to heaven anyway, what’s the point of being virtuous?
Welcome to Gnostic Insights. My name is Dr. Cyd Ropp, and I'm your host. In 2019, I posted an article to my new Gnostic Gospel blog called If All Are Redeemed, Why Not Be Sinful?, and I'd like to share that with you today. Much of this episode was broadcasted in May of 2021; this content has been updated as my gnosis has deepened.
One of the big heresies of Gnosticism is that all Second Order Powers are redeemed by Christ and all will someday return to the paradise of the Fullness. Yes. Yay! Everyone's going to heaven! No one is going to hell, not even the fallen angels. What joy! This seems to fly in the face of Christian Orthodoxy that promotes the idea that only those humans who confess a belief in Jesus as the Christ will make it into heaven. And those who don't believe in Jesus will go to an eternal damnation of suffering in hell.
Conventional Christianity states that Jesus came to save humanity, but only those who acknowledge Jesus as the only son of God and invite him into their hearts will be saved. This is the basis for all evangelism and all churches that follow the Nicene Creed, which is to say all Christian churches, whether Catholic or Protestant. This is why Christians are so keen on saving souls. They don't want you to suffer for eternity in hell.
The Gnostic church begs to differ with that common interpretation of Christ's mission. According to the books of the Nag Hammadi Library, all of Creation will be redeemed and returned to the Fullness and the Father's home in heaven. All of creation, everyone and everything, will be made clean and pure and holy by the end. As they say, it will all be good in the end, and if it's not good yet, then it's not yet the end.
Gnosis refers to the ability to use reason and logic to arrive at spiritual truth. So let's think together about this idea of Christ and redemption, and who does or does not go to heaven.
First, if Christ's redemption were a matter of your belief, then Christ's mission of salvation would be limited to what you believe. In other words, you would be the one holding the power of salvation, not Christ. Does that make any sense to you? Are you the one who redeems, or is Christ? Can you see how making your belief central to redemption actually limits the power of Christ? Can you see how that makes sinful humans more powerful than the mission of Christ's redemption? Limiting Christ to your belief, it seems to me, is the greater heresy than simply trusting Christ to accomplish the mission. It is Christ’s job to redeem humanity, not yours.
Second, according to Gnostic texts, all creatures great and small will be redeemed. This means that all creatures are going to heaven. My dog has never professed a belief in Jesus as the Christ. Yet my dog is going to heaven. The fishes in the water, the birds in the air, the insects, the forest animals—all Second Order Powers are redeemed by Christ. It is the job of the Christ to redeem creation, irrespective of creation’s ability to confess that fact. Do you think that only good dogs go to heaven or nice fishes? Maybe only herbivores. Perhaps only parrots who can say Jesus saves.
Once we concede that it is only the Christ that can redeem, then what is the point of leading a virtuous life? Why not sin up until the end, have all kinds of fun and then waltz into heaven without repentance? Repentance, by the way, means to feel sorrow and regret. Are we allowed to sin willy nilly with no negative consequences? An even more profound question is why were we created in the first place?
According to the Tripartite Tractate, the 2nd Order Powers were created in order to rescue the fallen Aeon known as Logos...
Gnostic Evolution–in the beginning…
Someone left a comment on an old article from 2019 on my Simple Explanation blog, and it caused me to reread the article. And, gee, it’s a good article. I don’t think we’ve ever shared it here on Gnostic Insights, so I’m going to talk to you today about a Simple Explanation of Gnostic Evolution. (this podcast refuses to allow me to paste the link to the original Simple Explanation article! grrrr....)
There are just a couple of basic ways you can think of evolution.
As commonly taught in school, "scientific" evolution explains the tremendous diversity of life on earth as lucky mutations that add up to great results. Darwinism promotes the idea that mutations and mechanisms morph into increasingly sophisticated life forms because genetic goof-ups allow the ones who change to better survive and dominate those who stayed true to form. These lucky mutations keep going in the same lucky direction until there are so many of them they add up to a new and improved creature, and now they are "evolved."
These developmental genes are the same for all multicellular animals. Evolutionists believe they have been highly conserved through hundreds of millions of years of evolution. [Hox protein classification across model organisms by CLANS analysis, Hueber et al. ]
The second argument for intelligent design is called "specified complexity," which refers to the improbability of essential, highly complex operations arising by chance. The double-strand DNA machinery is one example of a super-complex mechanism where many steps must be accomplished using many components assembled in exactly the right order. Watch the short video below and contemplate how unlikely it is that the DNA replication process "evolved" by chance.
The complexity of mechanisms at the smallest possible chemical and biological levels argues against their having arisen by happenstance as quickly as they did.
Below is the geological clock of earth. Look how soon protokaryotes arose on Earth--just half a billion years after the newly-arrived moon stabilized the planet's tilt and rotation. Yet all of the sophisticated machinery required for assembling and maintaining a cell was already available for use by the newly emerging single-celled organisms; if they hadn't been, the organisms could not have formed. How were those complex processes ready and waiting? By chance? I don't think so.
For a religious system that existed long before modern science invented the concept of evolution, Gnosticism has a lot to say about it. The Tripartite Tractate of the Nag Hammadi scriptures that I use for reference, describes us humans as the end result of an unfolding, universal ecosystem it calls "The Economy." The supernatural beings credited with this intelligent design are the Father, the Son, and the Fullness.The Gnostic Gospel suggests that life on earth arose in several cataclysmic steps,
Evolution and Conscious Design
Last week we looked at the unreasonable assumptions made by Darwinian evolutionists. This episode continues that discussion. I am going to begin this episode with a very quick review of basic Gnostic cosmology.
In this series of podcasts I'm sharing with you the insights I have gained by my study of the Nag Hammadi transcripts and, in particular, one book of the Nag Hammadi called the Tripartite Tractate. A new podcast listener tells me that some podcast hosts, such as Spotify, do not archive podcasts far enough back in time for new listeners to be able to hear the early episodes and catch up. So, beginning next week, I am going to put out a series of Gnostic Insights episodes that will relay the basic gnosis of the Tripartite Tractate and my commentary. This will serve as a review to longtime listeners and a necessary foundation for the newcomers. Meanwhile, here's a brief introduction to those foundational concepts before we go on to today's topic.
This cosmology begins with the ground state of consciousness that is called the Father. Then the Father has a particular thought and creates the Son. And the Son is a portion of the Father that contains all of the knowledge of the Father, but in a location, rather than being infinitely spread out. Then the Son immediately broke into its constituent parts, and these are called the ALL, and each one of the ALL is a fractal of the Son, just as the Son is a fractal of the Father.
And we've spent time discussing what fractals are, which are a mathematical concept. So please go back and listen to the podcasts in order so that you understand this material and catch up to where we are.
Gnosis means knowledge and the purpose of this gnosis is so that we might reason. Reasoning, logic, is a basic facet of the Father of consciousness.
The other basic factor of the Father is love. And love is not only this feeling of love that we have, but love is the containing force—the holding on to one another, to work together in harmony. We've also discussed the Simple Golden Rule, which is reaching out to others, holding hands metaphorically or in reality, working together on a single project with love, assistance, and information in order to build the next level up of complication or of sophistication.
Then the ALL of the Son, which is his differentiated parts, became self aware and each one of the ALL became a conscious entity on its own. I refer to these conscious entities as units of consciousness because they embody the consciousness of the Son and of the Father. These units of consciousness of the ALL constitute what is called the Pleroma or the Fullness of God. And the Fullness of God sits there in a unified body. There are many cells to it, each of them self aware units of consciousness, but all of the cells work in absolute harmony. They share one thought. They sing one song. They dream of a paradise. These units of consciousness in the Gnostic Gospels are called the Fullness or the Fullnesses of God. They're also called the Aeons.
One of the Aeons named Logos had his own thought that deviated from the rest of the Fullness, and because of this thought, he overreached in his ambition and he Fell. And this is the first act of Ego. It is the first act of striking out on one's own for what...