The Secret pt II

Bastardized Gnosticism

Gnosticism, and ancient spiritual philosophy, is making a resurgence; even to the point of the popularization of ancient gnostic texts.  Now ancient gnosticism was characterized by several defining emphases: a disgust of the material world and the eschewing of physical pleasure; a belief in esoteric wisdom (hence the name); a commitment to the inner spark of divinity of some human beings; and the goal of escaping from the prison of the material world through the pursuit of that inner spark and ascetic practices.

Contemporary Western gnostics have (in true Western form) taken bits and pieces of the ancient forms, and used them to suit their own purposes...  Contemporary gnostics are attracted primarily to the concept of inner divinity, but of course, they democratize it; each human carries the spark of divinity, unlike the ancient beliefs.  Wisdom remains esoteric and otherworldly to the contemporary gnostic, but the asceticism of the ancient way is rejected for a hedonistic pursuit.  In short, contemporary gnosticism has bastardized the old; where the old was the renunciation of desire, the new has become the unshackling and divinizing of personal desire.

No where is this contemporary gnostic impulse better displayed than in 'The Secret.'  A popular book, concept, teaching, film, movement.

The following two video clips highlight this for us:

The Secret

The Power


Josh Hopping said...

wow, those are pretty Gnostic videos... I had known about those books before, but I have ran into plenty of Christian gnostics who dismiss this physical world in favor of the "spiritual world of Jesus".

Sadly enough my sister-in-law, who is a seminary librarian and teacher, recently told me about a visiting speaking from another famous seminary who told the student body NOT to feed to poor or focus on social justice. The only thing that mattered, according to this person, was the spirit of a person. Pure gnosticism packaged into a 'Christian' box and sold to the church....

sigh and double sigh...

Josh Hopping said...

BTW - if you are studying gnosticism, you may be interested in Derek Morphew's "The Spiritual Spider Web: A Study in Acient and Contemporary Gnosticism (Kingdom Theology Series)". Morphew is a South African Vineyard theologian/pastor who founded the Vineyard Bible Institute and is the best Kingdom Theologian I've read so far.