What Gnosticism Means to Me...Part One
AKA A Short, Selected, Personal History
It all started with a dream. In the dream I was locked in a building, like a jail execpt not, with many other people. Then we needed to escape because there was a flood. We ended up on the roof, a few dozen of us, and then the roof became an island. We were the only people left on earth. It was cold and night-time, and we were all scared. We looked up and the moon, a crescent moon with something wierd attached to the end, began 'dancing'. We knew this was an omen of impending doom.
This dream bugged the heck out me! I wanted to know what it meant (and no dream dictionary entries don't help). So, I bought a few books on moon lore, and one of them had something about goddess. Well after a while the dream faded, although it returns to haunt me periodically, but I started reading books about women and various religions, mostly Christian, and pagan/goddess. I had been raised as, well nothing really but Christian in a VERY non-denomination/non-church-related way, but I had always believed in something divine. But Christianity turned me off, because of the male bias. That's when I stumbled, quite by accident, upon Elaine Pagel's book "Adam, Eve and the Serpent", which seemed to be delving into the gender issues of the Genesis story. It did, but by examining the myth in gnostic texts. I was fascinated. And when I get that fascinated, look out!
So I started reading into gnosticism, searching out every book I could get my hands on. I've had books that I didn't see literally fall off the shelf, drawing my attention to them. I was able to get a copy of the Nag Hammadi Library by James M. Robinson. Then I had access to the texts themselves. That sealed the deal. Everything just fell into place.
So now that you know how I became Gnostic, I should tell you what attracted me to it. Well the main thing that did, and still does (only more so now), reel me in, was the fact that women are treated much more sympathetically then in most of Christianity, and in fact in many World Religions. Rather than seeing Eve as the first sinner, here she is viewed as the first teacher. Women were active in the early Gnostic Churches (as they were in most early Christian churches despite what you may have heard.) Women were equal to men, they were revered in the persons of Eve, Sophia, Mary Magdalene and other goddess-like figures. This was exactly what I had been looking for. And the best part, I could still consider myself a Christian, a Gnostic Christian! (FYI - this is a position I've been reconsidering since)
So, That's part one of what Gnosticism means to me. Female equality and power in the religious sphere. Of course this isn't all that gnosticism has to offer. But that will have to be discussed at a later time. Untill then...
Oh and if you know nothing about Gnosticism, visit my page in the links section (The Thunder). Anything else you need to know that you can't find there, ask me! Untill whenever....