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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After Richmond Park, Labour MPs are haunted by a familiar ghost

Labour MPs in big cities fear the Liberal Democrats, while in the north, they fear Ukip. 

The Liberal Democrats’ victory in Richmond Park has Conservatives nervous, and rightly so. Not only did Sarah Olney take the votes of soft Conservatives who backed a Remain vote on 23 June, she also benefited from tactical voting from Labour voters.

Although Richmond Park is the fifth most pro-Remain constituency won by a Conservative at the 2015 election, the more significant number – for the Liberal Democrats at least – is 15: that’s the number of Tory-held seats they could win if they reduced the Labour vote by the same amount they managed in Richmond Park.

The Tories have two Brexit headaches, electorally speaking. The first is the direct loss of voters who backed David Cameron in 2015 and a Remain vote in 2016 to the Liberal Democrats. The second is that Brexit appears to have made Liberal Democrat candidates palatable to Labour voters who backed the party as the anti-Conservative option in seats where Labour is generally weak from 1992 to 2010, but stayed at home or voted Labour in 2015.

Although local council by-elections are not as dramatic as parliamentary ones, they offer clues as to how national elections may play out, and it’s worth noting that Richmond Park wasn’t the only place where the Liberal Democrats saw a dramatic surge in the party’s fortunes. They also made a dramatic gain in Chichester, which voted to leave.

(That’s the other factor to remember in the “Leave/Remain” divide. In Liberal-Conservative battlegrounds where the majority of voters opted to leave, the third-placed Labour and Green vote tends to be heavily pro-Remain.)

But it’s not just Conservatives with the Liberal Democrats in second who have cause to be nervous.  Labour MPs outside of England's big cities have long been nervous that Ukip will do to them what the SNP did to their Scottish colleagues in 2015. That Ukip is now in second place in many seats that Labour once considered safe only adds to the sense of unease.

In a lot of seats, the closeness of Ukip is overstated. As one MP, who has the Conservatives in second place observed, “All that’s happened is you used to have five or six no-hopers, and all of that vote has gone to Ukip, so colleagues are nervous”. That’s true, to an extent. But it’s worth noting that the same thing could be said for the Liberal Democrats in Conservative seats in 1992. All they had done was to coagulate most of the “anyone but the Conservative” vote under their banner. In 1997, they took Conservative votes – and with it, picked up 28 formerly Tory seats.

Also nervous are the party’s London MPs, albeit for different reasons. They fear that Remain voters will desert them for the Liberal Democrats. (It’s worth noting that Catherine West, who sits for the most pro-Remain seat in the country, has already told constituents that she will vote against Article 50, as has David Lammy, another North London MP.)

A particular cause for alarm is that most of the party’s high command – Jeremy Corbyn, Emily Thornberry, Diane Abbott, and Keir Starmer – all sit for seats that were heavily pro-Remain. Thornberry, in particular, has the particularly dangerous combination of a seat that voted Remain in June but has flirted with the Liberal Democrats in the past, with the shadow foreign secretary finishing just 484 votes ahead of Bridget Fox, the Liberal Democrat candidate, in 2005.

Are they right to be worried? That the referendum allowed the Liberal Democrats to reconfigure the politics of Richmond Park adds credence to a YouGov poll that showed a pro-Brexit Labour party finishing third behind a pro-second referendum Liberal Democrat party, should Labour go into the next election backing Brexit and the Liberal Democrats opt to oppose it.

The difficulty for Labour is the calculation for the Liberal Democrats is easy. They are an unabashedly pro-European party, from their activists to their MPs, and the 22 per cent of voters who back a referendum re-run are a significantly larger group than the eight per cent of the vote that Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats got in 2015.

The calculus is more fraught for Labour. In terms of the straight Conservative battle, their best hope is to put the referendum question to bed and focus on issues which don’t divide their coalition in two, as immigration does. But for separate reasons, neither Ukip nor the Liberal Democrats will be keen to let them.

At every point, the referendum question poses difficulties for Labour. Even when neither Ukip nor the Liberal Democrats take seats from them directly, they can hurt them badly, allowing the Conservatives to come through the middle.

The big problem is that the stance that makes sense in terms of maintaining party unity is to try to run on a ticket of moving past the referendum and focussing on the party’s core issues of social justice, better public services and redistribution.

But the trouble with that approach is that it’s alarmingly similar to the one favoured by Kezia Dugdale and Scottish Labour in 2016, who tried to make the election about public services, not the constitution. They came third, behind a Conservative party that ran on an explicitly pro-Union platform. The possibility of an English sequel should not be ruled out.  

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to British politics.