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Mysticism/Gnosticism Thread

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For the mystic parts of organized religions (in which the seeker longs for absolute or near-absolute union with the Divine through contemplative, scholastic, ritual or magical means), the controversial heresies stamped out of those religions, the obscure and usually exclusive remnants of the mutated forms of these religions or their forebears, and related posts (hopefully not so broadly extrapolated), or for your own experiences/questions as a prospective mystic/gnostic...

Pretty self-explanatory.

Tell me what I am not covering in the definition haha
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based primary source resources

http://hermetic.com/
http://gnosis.org/welcome.html
http://ars-theurgica.org/
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>>253001

Don't forget:

sacred-texts.org

They have a positively based library (for any religious topic), even though it's all HTML.

While we're on the subject of Semitic letters, are there any esoteric meanings for the Arabic letters, or the Syriac/Aramaic?

I have no idea about the Mandean alphabet and why it's so significant to them...
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>>253029
Sacred-texts.org is great.

As far as I know, the only bonafide sacred languages are Sanskrit and Hebrew.
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>>252987
Love the subject
Too sick and brain dead to say anything.
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>>252987
>>253001
http://www.digital-brilliance.com/
You really ought to check this one.
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>>253086

Say what you like then... your soul is never exhausted, only burdened! Lol
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>>253098
already read everything on that site lol. i think I've read every online resource on the qabbalah there is. I'm dying for more, but not corny ones, like the really in-depth plebfilter shit Fortune's Mystical Qabalah
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>>253001
>>253098

I'll definitely check these out... never seen the ars-theurgica or digital brilliance. Btw thanks for posting a tree of life that's actually easy to follow.

>>253057

I can see where that reasoning comes from... studying Arabic in real depth makes you appreciate the structure and the semantics of the Semetic languages and the true depth of meaning that can be achieved with them. I can understand why it became one of the major languages of discourse and of the sciences in the medieval times, it's a real treat to read excerpts of the great works.

As for Sanskrit, I have no clue where to begin there... I'm probably going to learn Persian first, then Urdu, then Sanskrit (maybe Latin along the way). What makes it sacred in your opinion? I heard Tamil is a considered by many to be sacred.

I'd also like to study the Guru Granth Sahib, Nahuatl or some other Mesoamerican language, and the Avesta.
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>>253165
The Rig Veda was written in Sanskrit, and as I understand it all religious ceremonies were conducted in Sanskrit. I'm afraid that's all I know, personally, but all these sites itt mention sanskrit being considered a sacred language frequently.

Here's another great website:

http://www.searchlightforyou.com/E-Books/E-Books.htm

lots of very technical, well-researched articles on pretty much every spiritual topic there is. dude really knows his shit
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I always thought Hebrew was considered sacred due to gematria and the tetragrammaton and Sanskrit was considered sacred due to its subtle descriptions of consciousness and sacred mantras and the sound "aum".


I'm more interested in Neoplatonism these days tho. Trying to read Plotinus.
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>>253461

Don't forget the root system. The meanings of its different measures are inherent in the Jewish scriptures.
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>>252987
Yogic practises are all about feeling like you're the center of the world and identifying yourself with the 'ego'.

But other philosophies e.g. Buddhism always says the ego needs to be shed, is this a misidentification of the ego or is it the actual ego that is mentioned in Yogi texts?

If the ego in Yogi texts is different, how would you actually go about realizing it? How do you truly focus on the 'self'?
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>>253545
>Yogic practises are all about feeling like you're the center of the world and identifying yourself with the 'ego'.

lol what is this bait
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>>253545
in hinduism there is the jiva which is the personal ego and the atman which is the transpersonal ego and often gets conflated with the absolute, i.e., brahman -- it's similar to the debates over buddha nature versus anatta

you should read the yoga sutras of patanjali, buddhism incorporates many forms of yoga
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>>253545
Beneath the ego lies the self. The self that Yogis talk about is liberated from the chains of the ego.
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>>253566
no? In the texts I've read ,it may not be representative of the ALL yogic practises, it says something about feeling like you are a sun and the world revolves around you and the Ego is mentioned in a positive light, in fact it says that when you say 'I' you must refer to not the body nor mind but the ego.
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>>253572
>read the yoga sutras of patanjali
are these available on sacred-texts or are they on another website?
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>>253582
This->>>253582

they mean the absolute self, the divine atman, the immaculate you that is undefiled by worldly life
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>>253594
>they mean the absolute self, the divine atman, the immaculate you that is undefiled by worldly life
Oh, I see. Thanks. I assume 'Ego' in the texts I was reading is just a translation of 'atman' then.
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>>253604
ego has many connotations but in mystical texts it usually means our conditioned, small self, not our unconditioned, cosmic self. think of the ego as your thoughts, and the atman as the space your thoughts take place in. your thoughts might be a mess, but consciousness itself is pure
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>>253545
Buddhism says ego is a rather a mis-identification of skandha (mis identifying your experience, senses, feelings, etc or even all together combined as a ego is an error)
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>>253628
>think of the ego as your thoughts, and the atman as the space your thoughts take place in
thanks, that's a pretty apt comparison.
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>>253637
i find it interesting that despite the remarkable parallels between many mystic traditions (pic related), buddhism fundamentally disagrees with the divine spark/Higher Self/soul stuff. i wonder if in some way these views are reconciled in the highest mystic states.
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Didn't Jung write some books on this subject?
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>>253660
well looking at that picture I guess it eventually is. I guess what I meant to say is why no one seems to address it, since both the atman and no-self seem intuitively correct in their own ways.
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>>253684
his 7 sermons to the dead
http://www.gnosis.org/library/7Sermons_hoeller_trans.htm
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>>252987
Did it take long for you guys to break free of the bonds of the mind,body and ego?

This is the first step in a lot of mystic traditions but it just seems incredibly hard. How long does it usually take for you to realise this?

The only effects I feel are being slightly more detached but admittedly I have only just started reading up on various mystic traditions and practising them.
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>>253461
>I always thought Hebrew was considered sacred due to gematria and the tetragrammaton
>I'm more interested in Neoplatonism these days

there's a possible direct link between the two, that'd connect plato and the kabbalists via the pythagoreans
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetractys
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>>253720
I'll tell you I can go without fapping for like 4 days in a row now without even noticing it. I'm also eating so clean I feel woozy if I treat myself to some sweets. I also don't snap at people anymore, or if I do I catch myself and don't let it stick around. Just today I was banging my steering wheel so I still have a looooong fucking way to go.

it really is about just making a choice to harmonize your body, mind, and soul to the best things in life. the beautiful thing is keeping that choice at the front of your mind just comes with plain awareness of thoughts and emotions, since by living in the moment you naturally don't succumb to negative emotions and thought patterns
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>>253660
Since there is nothing to unites to and nothing that unites. It would be fundamentally opposite of unity with God/universe/brahman. Not sure about Tao.

This doesn't mean there is nothing. Its a statement against the premise of unity and existence of something that unites, that the buddhist argues against.
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>>253698
ayy this shit is based
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>>253720

I'm not separated from those things very much. Right now, I'm 20 years old, I have ambitions, political feelings, I'm a jerkin FIEND too to be honest.

(yes, I am picking and choosing at the moment guys)
However, I began delving into this topic as a scholastic pursuit, and now I am slowly beginning to formulate a strategy for myself. Right now, I am going slowly towards Christian mysticism. Jesus' lessons in humility are the ones I follow the most. I see Jesus as the ultimate archetype for mankind to understand and embrace that he might attain closer contact with God. I'm not ready yet to make the true jump, because I feel young (hard to explain).

The thing I find most difficult is the celibacy usually involved in mysticism.

In terms of my ego, I intend to trick it out superstar-style through performing on stage as a frontman. The music I compose and perform with my group will become more contemplative slowly, and they will use the sacred languages as well. I intend to gain a lot of fans, then introduce the sacred into mine and their corrupt experience in the same way that corruption is normally sneaked into the innocent to make it lucrative in the world. Once I am at the throes of apex and be within reach of worldly fortune, a harem of women, ultimate earthly dreams, etc., then I will implode on my created personality (drop out of the spotlight, give away my money, etc.) and experience an amazing ego-death, creating a lesson for myself and others on the way down to humility and anonymity again. (Hopefully with a farm in the Northeast on the side lol) No one will know who I am after that except a few people that won't tell, and so I will live my life.
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>>253893
the dionysian ascent -> spiritual anonymity thing would be my ideal life too.

>tfw not talented enough
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>>253720
desu its a never-ending process. You know how Buddhist traditions say one learns to perceive eternity through the present, since the present never really ends?

I think of the spiritual quest as something that brings reward simply through practice and improvement. With time we begin to separate ourselves from our ego a bit, but the closer we get the more we realize how far away we really are.
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>>253698
This was really interesting but it seems like Jung is saying the yearning for union with divine is misplaced, since the path to the pleroma only leads to 'dismemberment and dissolution'. The end even sounds like an endorsement for the LHP too. What gives? His vision of reality is very dark
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>>255093
Jung cheated on his wife with mistresses and attempted to create a cult around themselves.
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Bumping because this is a very interesting subject

I just finished reading an intro to gnosticism and this >>253698
Must say, it's a cool take on God. I see a form of reincarnation in having your essence sent back into the material world if you die without having achieve gnosis, I guess it's similar to Buddhism in that respect.
Then you have the concept of Aeons being intermediary gods to the True God...pretty schway as a reader from a monotheist-Christian society
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>>253660
>remarkable parallels
the only reason you see parallels is because your image is made with a syncretic bias.
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>>256274
read the philokalia if you can
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Is the Kybalion a good start for Western Mysticism? I've already read a bit of Plato and I'm reading the Neo-Platonists later.
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>>253893
you seem to be more hedonistic than anything else
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>>255458
It's not cheating if your wife actively encourages it.
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>>256992
Yes.
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What is /his/'s take on Eastern Orthodox mysticism, and the subsequent Theology? Hesychasm, Theosis, Theoria, the energies-essence distinction, aerial toll houses, etc.
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>>256637
I like how anons who post this never have anything to actually say. I guess syncreticism sets off your hippie sensors, sorry you're so meme'd
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Bump for interest
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>>253684
Jung is a great way to start entering Gnosticism but not the be all end all
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>>254023

I didn't even think about the Dionysian/Apollonian thing at all, thanks for that insight

>>257014

This is indeed an issue. I intend to look at my life subjectively and see what I can do.
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bumpr
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>>252987

Please don't get my wrong, but this thread is not about real Gnosticism.

You're talking about Quabalah and Hermetic stuff mostly.

And while I understand that these traditions have their connections with the original Gnosticism, saying that these ARE Gnosticism is just wrong.

I also follow a not-really-original form of Gnosticism, see, I admit it.

Anyway, I'll post some useful links:

This is the unorthodox book I was talking about:
http://www.theforbiddenreligion.com/gnostic-book.htm

It's not the original Gnosticism, but the main ideas are basically the same.

Also this is a really good summary:
http://gnosis.org/gnintro.htm

The wikipedia article of Gnosticism is, surprisingly, a good one: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnosticism

Oh, and some Gnostics say that Jung's writings are not a really good way to study Gnosticism.
I read the book you suggested and I kinda agree with the others.
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>>255093
Jung has a bad habit of letting little truths like this slip. Don't trust the Christian mystics. What they are describing is God literally smacking you back down to point equally as low.
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>>255093

Gnosticism - from the view of the Demiurge and its Creation - is LHP in nature.

The Right-Hand Path means that you willfully play along with the Demiurge, mindlessly following its laws and plans.
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>>252987

bump
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>he hasn't crossed the abyss to the supernal triad

Sure is reddit in here
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>>265138
>he hasn't crossed the abyss to the supernal triad

What do you mean?
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This is an outstanding, from-the-ground-up take on Kabbalah

http://www.digital-brilliance.com/kab/nok/NoK.pdf
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>>263075

>Tell me what I am not covering in the definition

for the sake of future threads then, what would be your broad definition of Gnosticism?
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>>266008

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnosticism

http://www.theforbiddenreligion.com/gnostic-book.htm
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>>266019
Living life believing I'm stuck in an actual hell isn't a healthy way to live my man, esp when any contentment or appreciation of reality is seen as playing right into the hands of the demiurge. Some interesting ideas but literally autism: the religion
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>>268491
>believing I'm stuck in an actual hell

But you are!

>isn't a healthy way to live my man

But it is true!

>esp when any contentment or appreciation of reality is seen as playing right into the hands of the demiurge

Yes, it sucks.

>Some interesting ideas

Yes, they are.

>but literally autism: the religion

No, it's not.
(Also you use the word "literally" incorrectly.)

Gnosticism is clearly not for you.
Many people couldn't live with a burden like that.

Also it's easier to understand Gnosticism if you live in shitty conditions.
People favoured by the Demiurge (wealth, good health, etc) would say the world is absolutely all right, so Gnosticism is nonsensical.

The so-called "red pill" is hard to take.
So relax, it's not just you. ;)
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>>252987
there, everything is exposed to you
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>>269616

While Buddhism has its own merits, there are far too many implications in it (just like Gnosticism, I know).

Also it mixes pure enlightenment with social behaviour, and that's bullshit.

Although original, pure Buddhism is absolutely legit.
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>>269661
>with social behaviour,
what do you mean ?
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>>253720
>Dunno if this is out of context, I sort of random paged to this and started jumping about. It's been a minute since I studied any of this stuff.

to answer your question, I think it's ongoing. I had a near death when I was a child. I was witness to ethereal plane where something was to take me away, or put me back. I never doubted the existence of peripheral beings afterward. Didn't become overly religious, but naturally fell into Buddhist pacifying measures for my wrath, spent years inducing dreamstate, practiced stoicism and trained in martial arts beyond regular limits. Something had changed in me permanently. So long after, I'm still very clear in these teachings of spirit. Other things find a way in. I struggle with my path lately, but there will always be the acknowledgement I am on one. Coincidences have been for me a determinant I'm in the correct place, with curious frequency. Premonitions would be a stretch, but I wonder if my capacity for accounting for the worst of possibilities has preventative elements.

Traditions I'm not clear about, I've been so isolated on this path.
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Try Sikhism/Sikhi holy book called "GURU GRANTH SAHIB" Apart from its faith founders writing the text hand themselves it also has many south Asian mystics writings. Very underrated.
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>>268491
>Living life believing I'm stuck in an actual hell
It is not hell in the sense of Christian theology, but more of plato's allegory of the cave
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>>270471
Holy fuck.
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>>269390
Matter just is, man. If the demiurge were pure evil reality would be infinitely more unpleasant than it already is. If the demiurge is just flawed enough of the True Light still gets in that it's not all that bad. If the true God is unknowable, where's the conflict with pretty much all mysticism, that also insists God is something ineffable and transcendent?

Matter is the inert pole of spirit. That's all
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test
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I love that /his/ can harbor some proper /x/ subjects while not going batshitposting like on current /x/.

That being said, I recommend for those interested a less known but highly praised book: The Other God by Yury Stoyanov.

Also, Ioan Petru Culianu was a romanian scholar, highly competent in his studies on gnosticism and neoplatonic thought. He was a close friend of Mircea Eliade; the two can present a wide array of study material for someone interested in a clear yet rich radiography of comparative religious studies.
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I just started reading about Gnosticism. I was looking through archives and someone recommended this book, he even refers to it . Really interesting belief.

http://www.amazon.com/Gnosticism-Light-Ancient-Tradition-Knowing/dp/0835608166

http://bookzz.org/ireader/2472803
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>>273486
whoops
*refers to it as a beginner's introduction but says it would be impossible to write "Gnosticism for dummies" so this is the next best thing.
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I've been getting really, really into mediation the last couple of weeks.
I've been reading up on all kinds of shit like a mad man, I must have read thousands of pages worth of shit on the subject.

It seems to be the way to some real shit, and the actual practice is deceptively simple.
What I'm also interested in is the alleged improvement in cognitive abilities derived from Samatha/concentration practice/whatever., leaving all the insight into nature wacky dacky stuff aside.

I've started practicing, but it's it's rough. Like I said, meditation is deceivingly simple.
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>>273812
What's your take on meditation as something beyond just sitting there and breathing?
Like for example the tea ceremony is considered meditation in Japan
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>>274128
Well, meditation can be divided into two practices.
Concentration/Samatha, and Insight/Visspana these both works towards achieving samadhi.
Generally speaking, you need to reach a jhanic state(google that shit nigga) through concentration in which you're mind will be free from thoughts, and at that point you can start practicing insight, contemplating on the nature of existence and all that shit.
In concentration practice you need to find and object and to concentrate on.
This can literally be anything. Usually it's a mantra or the breath, or even a visual stimuli like a candle flame or something, but this can be literally anything.

You could practice some mindfulness I guess, or even concentration, but it's what goes on the mind that dictates whether something is meditation or not, not the actual action. I'm not really familiar with Japanese tea ceremonies so I wouldn't really know to be honest.
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>>274271
>In concentration practice you need to find and object and to concentrate on

Lel, fucked that sentence up.
What I meant to say is: You need an object to concentrate on.

Also note, walking meditation is a thing, and mindfulness is something that will eventually, ideally, be carried throughout the day.
Meditation is far more than just ''sitting and breathing''.
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how is it like to be in a jhana ?
I want a description by anons, not by the suttas.
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bumpbump
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>>272574

That sounds like neoplatonism.

Funny thing is, if I think about my achievements and failures in life, I kinda see that there is an "evil" force that "punished" me every time I tried to be too independent, too curious or just studying the occult.

It sounds crazy, I know!
I've always thought that there is no such thing as "good" and "evil" in this world - I've loved Taoism, Zen, the cosmology / cosmogony of Peter J. Carroll, etc...

I'm not saying that morality exist outside of mankind's ideologies.
But I do see patterns in my life... weird patterns.
Most of them seemed to be accidents or synchronicities... but now, that I'm into Gnosticism, I'm not so sure about that.

Ok, I stop here - I already sound like a madman, and this is really not /x/ (unfortunately >>273427 is right about that place).
>>
Speaking of meditation.
I found this while searching the web.
https://www.reddit.com/r/Meditation/comments/1u9acp/ama_ive_been_doing_concentration_meditation/

I know 'gb2 leddit kek desu senpai, etc.', but it's a pretty interesting read.
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>>276513
>Drink as much as you want. Some people find it helps them. I have tried every drug under the sun, from Injecting Heroin, Smoking Meth, every psychedelic, and even just drinking for Enjoyment. They all bring me down and disrupt the natural meditative blissful high that I am experiencing all day long. Not only is this blissful high amazing in every way imaginable, I can maintain perfect cognition and clarity during it. Even outside of meditation this high that is developed is better than any drug I've tried. If I wanted to I can go into meditation and focus on the qualities and make them even stronger, permanently. Drinking just isn't my cup of tea. Doesn't sit well on my stomach, doesn't make me feel good, doesn't enhance me, doesn't make things any more enjoyable, nada. I'm soaring at a peak all day long.
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>>276905

The author of that sure was euphoric.
>>
he seems to be the typical hedonist looking into meditation, who meditate for higher pleasures.
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>mumbo jumbo general
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>>276513
his last comment:

You can concentrate on anything really. What counts is locking your mind on something, and keeping it sturdy and calm on it for as long as you can. The real key is to be able to keep your mind locked onto something while breathing, and being totally aware of any movements of your mind, whilst focusing just enough to hold the mind still and prevent them. Some people focus on candles, spots on the wall, on distracting noises themselves, on the silence in the mind, etc. It is not needed to focus on the breath persay.

I know for instance, when I first started I couldn't focus on my breath whenever my airconditioner came on because it would drown out the sound of my breath and my mind would wander without me noticing. I have had some success using noise canceling headphones as well, but they do cover up the breath slightly, though not as much as other sounds. Crickets shouldn't be that much of a distraction!

Concentration Meditation -> Samadhi/Jhana. If you're truly interested in the cognitive benefits(which will lead to all sorts of mental abilities) start by looking at the following links and their subjects. For instance all of the supposed psychic powers stem from direct mental awareness/power, which consequently is the foundation of all cognitive power.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rupajhana http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samadhi http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siddhi http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iddhi

I mostly study in the confines of the Yoga Sutras and Yogic Systems. These are the original meditations, that were all basically concentration of some sort, until Kundalini/Kriya yoga came along. This mindfulness, or insight meditation, didn't come along until thousands of years after Concentration meditation when the Buddha came and declared mindfulness and talked about his mindful approach to meditation, which he fused with concentration meditation. The latter part of that statement a good majority of modern buddhist miss.
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>>277975

The Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali is a documented scientific approach to the science of mastering the mind by the sage Pantanjali. He was somewhat of a Yogic Scientist and analyzed these practices and these approaches from a very modern(for his time) scientific manner. He was also a very skilled Yogi. This particular text, originally written in Sanskrit, is often translated many ways, but out of all of them the following is my favorite, and what I believe, the more correct translation. Many scholars try to translate them in terms of metaphorical statements that dismiss the powers, but this is undeniably wrong. These texts, even translated, can be difficult to understand totally when one is getting into meditation. Even I today am still rereading these short Sutras trying to grasp some of the concepts. They are very clear on how to overcome most any mind obstacle and cultivate any mind-state, if you know how to interpret them. You could honestly consider this a neuropsychological document from ancient times that is thousands of years more advanced than anything we know today about the brain. The peak states of meditation are so barely studied by science because they take so much time to cultivate.

http://www.swamij.com/pdf/yogasutrasinterpretive.pdf - There are also several other ancient texts that detail these powers and meditative states and how to get them, Visuddhimagga, etc
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>>277977
Ultimately, coming to an understanding of how these spiritual 'powers' arise by studying the states that they arise from(Jhana/Samadhi) can give a person insight into how these same practices responsible for these powers also give incredibly mental flexibility and power. You just rarely hear about it anywhere other than very subtle mentions in various texts, as most of these Yogis aren't engaged in anything like mathematics or quantum physics. Yogananda in his book Autobiography of a yogi notes discretely something like (paraphrased)"My master rarely shows it but he has on several occasions demonstrated the ability to play masterfully several different instruments, as well as having a perfect understanding of music theory. This combined with his fluency in so many languages, yet, I never see him practice much of either." He even mentions that for instance his master doesn't sleep, since he can meditate and heal himself much for efficiently, so when his students sleep at his house(which is customary), he would lay in bed with his eyes closed and meditate until they awaken. Truly fascinating. I can personally attest to how high levels of meditation can act effectively to replace sleep and provide superior rest.

Speaking of which. Studying some of these past yogis and the stories surrounding them can also be a very insightful way to understand how meditation effects the brain, instead of just looking directly into the technical aspects as recording in ancient texts. I highly recommend reading the book Autobiography of a Yogi, if you are interested in meditation as a long-term practice. It is truly a good read, and can expand the mind a more than a little.
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