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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Our treatment of today's refugees harks back to Europe's darkest hour

We mustn't forget the lessons of the Second World War in the face of today's refugee crisis, says Molly Scott Cato.

In the 1930s, thousands of persecuted people fled Europe. Our own press ignominiously reported these as "Stateless Jews pouring into this country" and various records exist from that time of public officials reassuring readers that no such thing would be allowed under their watch.

With the benefit of historical hindsight we now know what fate awaited many of those Jews who were turned away from sanctuary. Quite rightly, we now express horror about the Holocaust, an iconic example of the most shocking event of human history, and pledge ourselves to stop anything like it happening again. 

Yet as Europe faces its worst refugee crisis since the Second World War we are witnessing a deafening cacophony of xenophobic voices in response to people fleeing their own present-day horror. We must therefore reflect on whether there is an uncomfortable parallel in the language being used to describe those seeking asylum today and the language used to describe Jews seeking refuge in the 1930s.

Our response to the current refugee crisis suggests we feel fearful and threatened by the mass movement of desperate people; fearful not just of sharing what we have but also of the sense of disorganisation and chaos. Does the fact that these refugees are from Syria, Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan, and so not part of our continent, provide an excuse to allow them to be bombed at home or drowned during their desperate journey to safety?

We are not helped by the poorly informed public debate which—perhaps intentionally—conflates three quite different movements of people: free movement within the EU, irregular or unauthorised migration and the plight of the Middle Eastern refugees. While our misguided foreign policy and unwillingness to tackle change may give us a moral responsibility for those fleeing famine and conflict, our responsibility towards refugees from war zones is clear under international law.

Due to our commitments to the UN Refugee Convention, the vast majority of Syrian refugees who reach our territory are given asylum but the UK has taken fewer Syrian refugees than many other European countries. While Germany admitted around 41,000 asylum-seekers in 2014 alone, the UK has taken in fewer than 7000.

The problem is that any sense of compassion we feel conflicts with our perception of the economic constraints we face. In spite of being the fifth largest economy in the world we feel poor and austerity makes us feel insecure. However, when actually confronted with people in crisis our humanity can come to the fore. A friend who spent her holiday in Greece told me that she saw local people who are themselves facing real poverty sharing what they had with the thousands of refugees arriving from Turkey.

A straightforward response to the growing sense of global crisis would be to restore the authority of the UN in managing global conflict, a role fatally undermined by Tony Blair's decision to go to war in Iraq. Our role should be to support UN efforts in bringing about strong governments in the region, not taking the misguided ‘coalition of the willing’ route and running foreign policy based on self-interest and driven by the demands of the oil and arms industries.

We also need EU policy-makers to show leadership in terms of solidarity: to co-operate over the acceptance of refugees and finding them safe routes into asylum, something the European Greens have consistently argued for. The EU Commission and Parliament are in clear agreement about the need for fixed quotas for member states, a plan that is being jeopardised by national government’s responding to right-wing rather than compassionate forces in their own countries.

Refugees from war-torn countries of the Middle East need asylum on a temporary basis, until the countries they call home can re-establish security and guarantee freedom from oppression.

The responsibility of protecting refugees is not being shared fairly and I would appeal to the British people to recall our proud history of offering asylum. Without the benefit of mass media, the excuse of ignorance that can help to explain our failure to act in the 1930s is not available today. We must not repeat the mistakes of that time in the context of today’s crisis, mistakes which led to the deaths of so many Jews in the Nazi death camps. 

Molly Scott Cato is Green MEP for the South West of England.

Molly Scott Cato is Green MEP for the southwest of England, elected in May 2014. She has published widely, particularly on issues related to green economics. Molly was formerly Professor of Strategy and Sustainability at the University of Roehampton.