[NB] Gnostic Illumination

[More revisiting old ideas while I work through others. Notebooked to indicate this is a first draft toward a conception of gnostic that provides the means of differentiating but also clarifying a broad family of practices, the ol’ Deleuzian disjunctive synthesis.]

I have talked about a gnostic sensibility of discontent as a way to think of gnosticism from a ‘big tent’ perspective. That’s useful for discussion, but the movement toward practice demands a somewhat narrower articulation of the term. Still, that practice can be articulated in a way that leaves the term with a wide but meaningful community of practitioners capable of communicating with each other (as long as we don’t presume communication to entail too much agreement).

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Idolatry and Mystery

We are heavy, dense, stupid. We are coils of neurons, patterns of habit, symbols distilled from our animal life. We come to spiritual work with base understanding and strain to see the highest and most subtle through it. When we pray and invoke the subtle powers, we bring them to ourselves and our weighty lives. When we do this for a long time, deeply and passionately, the mystery of that only intensifies. While we sense more clearly the vastness, the subtlety more subtle than the subtlests part of our awareness, we also discover the heaviest parts of ourselves growing bright. If we hold to the mystery, it grows more profound.

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