Gnostic psychology

It is only through self discovery that man may realise his true potential

There exist many different schools in the world that have methods to develop the many internal senses, but all this could lead us to disorientation and failure, if we did not begin by developing the sense of psychological self-observation.

The development of this sense of intimate observation leads us gradually towards knowledge of our self, permitting us to carry out a psychological inventory of what we have in excess, and of what we are lacking. Arriving at this stage of the knowledge of oneself, our other internal senses will also have been developed extraordinarily.

We discover that we contain many psychological defects, each personified in a specific “I” or “Self”. As it is that we have thousands and up to millions of defects, it is obvious that there are many people living inside us.

Therefore, by discovering ourselves- what we are internally- and eliminating that which is inside ourselves that makes our life bitter, we will unravel the enigma of our own existence and we will develop all our latent possibilities. This is why we are told by the Oracle of Delphi: "Man, know yourself and you will know the Universe and the Gods."

The human being has always aspired to know the answers to the questions of life: 'who are we?'; 'where do we come from?’; 'where do we go to?'; 'what is the reason for our existence?'. To conquer the integral knowledge of oneself and of the Universe, of our material and spiritual destiny, is the true objective of the Gnostic studies.

However, it is clear that we cannot access this knowledge by using the ordinary intellectual faculties, or by mere belief or ideology. Unquestionably, the Gnostic knowledge always escapes the mundane analysis of subjective rationalism.

The intellect is inadequate and terribly poor as an instrument of knowledge. We have to distinguish between the intellect and the consciousness. The intellect is educated intellectually; the consciousness is educated with the dialectic of the consciousness. We must never confuse the intellect, or the memory, with the consciousness, because they are as different as the light from a car's headlights, to the road upon which it drives.

The Gnostic knowledge is related to the infinite reality of each one of us, to that which we still do not have incarnated, to the internal Master, to the Being. Authentic Wisdom belongs to the Being. The self-realisation of self-knowing of the Being is a supra-rational process which has nothing to do with intellectualism. Only the Consciousness can know that which is the real, that which is the Truth; only the Consciousness can penetrate to the legitimate depths of the Being.

For those who perform "the esoteric work" upon themselves, at a very advanced stage, two distinct paths emerge: the Straight Path and the Spiral Path. The Spiral Path involves reaching a relative state of enlightenment and choosing to enjoy the superior worlds (Heaven or Nirvana), and occasionally returning to a physical body in order to pay out a little more karma and help humanity.

Samael Aun Weor refers to these as the Pratyeka Buddhas and Sravakas, and that the vast majority who reach this state choose the spiral path because it is very easy and enjoyable. The Straight Path is the Path of the Bodhisattva who renounces the happiness of the superior worlds (Nirvana) in order to help humanity.

Samael Aun Weor gives a very specific definition to the term Bodhisattva - it is not merely someone who has taken the Bodhisattva vows. Speaking in the language of the Kabbalah, it is the physical (Malkuth), vital (Yesod), astral (Hod), mental (Netzach) and causal (Tiphereth) vehicles – in other words the human soul – of a self-realized spirit, (Geburah-Chesed) who has chosen the Straight Path in order to incarnate the Christ (Kether-Binah-Chokmah).

In other words, the Bodhisattva is the "Son" of a self realized God who is attempting to return to the Absolute or 13th Aeon.

Giles Oatley lectures in forensic statistics, data mining and decision support systems for crime detection and prevention. He has also worked in the care sector for several years with adults with challenging behaviour and severe learning difficulties. He chairs the Gnostic Institute of Anthropology.
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Rarely has it mattered so little if Manchester United won; rarely has it been so special they did

Team's Europa League victory offers chance for sorely needed celebration of a city's spirit.

Carlo Ancelotti, the Bayern Munich manager, memorably once said that football is “the most important of the least important things”, but he was only partly right. While it is absolutely the case that a bunch of people chasing around a field is insignificant, a bunch of people chasing around a field is not really what football is about.

At a football match can you set aside the strictures that govern real life and freely scream, shout and cuddle strangers. Football tracks life with such unfailing omnipresence, garnishing the mundane with regular doses of drama and suspense; football is amazing, and even when it isn’t there’s always the possibility that it’s about to be.

Football bestows primal paroxysms of intense, transcendent ecstasy, shared both with people who mean everything and people who mean nothing. Football carves out time for people it's important to see and delivers people it becomes important to see. Football is a structure with folklore, mythology, language and symbols; being part of football is being part of something big, special, and eternal. Football is the best thing in the world when things go well, and still the best thing in the world when they don’t. There is nothing remotely like it. Nothing.

Football is about community and identity, friends and family; football is about expression and abandon, laughter and song; football is about love and pride. Football is about all the beauty in the world.

And the world is a beautiful place, even though it doesn’t always seem that way – now especially. But in the horror of terror we’ve seen amazing kindness, uplifting unity and awesome dignity which is the absolute point of everything.

In Stockholm last night, 50,000 or so people gathered for a football match, trying to find a way of celebrating all of these things. Around town before the game the atmosphere was not as boisterous as usual, but in the ground the old conviction gradually returned. The PA played Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds, an Ajax staple with lyrics not entirely appropriate: there is plenty about which to worry, and for some every little thing is never going to be alright.

But somehow the sentiment felt right and the Mancunian contingent joined in with gusto, following it up with “We’ll never die,” – a song of defiance born from the ashes of the Munich air disaster and generally aired at the end of games, often when defeat is imminent. Last night it was needed from the outset, though this time its final line – “we’ll keep the red flag flying high, coz Man United will never die" – was not about a football team but a city, a spirit, and a way of life. 

Over the course of the night, every burst of song and even the minute's silence chorused with that theme: “Manchester, Manchester, Manchester”; “Manchester la la la”; “Oh Manchester is wonderful”. Sparse and simple words, layered and complex meanings.

The match itself was a curious affair. Rarely has it mattered so little whether or not United won; rarely has it been so special that they did. Manchester United do not represent or appeal to everyone in Manchester but they epitomise a similar brilliance to Manchester, brilliance which they take to the world. Brilliance like youthfulness, toughness, swagger and zest; brilliance which has been to the fore these last three days, despite it all.

Last night they drew upon their most prosaic aspects, outfighting and outrunning a willing but callow opponent to win the only trophy to have eluded them. They did not make things better, but they did bring happiness and positivity at a time when happiness and positivity needed to be brought; football is not “the most important of the least important things,” it is the least important of the most important things.

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