Meeting of Jesus and Judas From “The Flight” book

matthias_stom_young_man_reading_by_candlelight

The account of the meeting of Jesus and Judas from The Flight of the Feathered Serpent is, to me, one of the most beautiful part of that book, supposedly written by the Judas himself. The depth that it contains is profound. To give a context to the excerpt that now follows, Judas was a student of Nicodemus for many years, but after the latter have met Jesus he understood that he is not in the know, and that it would be better for Judas to study with Jesus. After Nicodemus told that to Judas, together they went to find him:

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“We went together, in silence, in the direction of the temple. And in arriving to the patio, it wasn’t difficult to find the Rabbi Nazarene. Multitudes were surrounding him, and amongst them were also some Pharisees.

The silence we found was full of threats.

Many of the multitudes opened the way so that my Rabbi Nicodemus could come forward, since everyone knew him and esteemed him as a man of virtue and knowledge.

And I saw the Rabbi Nazarene. Continue reading

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The Water We Seek

Not long ago I found one of poem by Rumi which I found to be inspiring and insightful.  It’s called The Water We Seek

The eye or the spirit that focuses on the transient
falls on its face wherever it goes.
Someone who focuses on the distance,
without knowledge, may see far,
but just as we do in a dream.

Asleep on the bank of a river, lips parched,
you dream you are running toward water.
In the distance you see the water of your desire
and, caught by your seeing, you run toward it.

In the dream you boast,
“I am the one whose heart can see through the veils.”
Yet every step carries you further away
toward the perilous mirage.

From the moment you dreamed you set out
you created the distance
from that which had been near to you.
Many set out on a journey
that leads them farther away from their goal.

The intuitive claims of the sleeper are a fantasy.
You, too, are sleepy; But for God’s sake,
if you must sleep, sleep on the Way of God,
and maybe some other seeker on the Way
will awaken you from your fantasies and slumber.

No matter how subtle the sleeper’s thought becomes,
his dreams will not guide him Home.
Whether the sleeper’s thought is twofold or threefold,
it is error multiplying error.

While he dreams of running through the wilderness,

the waves are lapping so near.

While he dreams of the pangs of thirst,

the water is nearer than his jugular vein.

Gnosis means knowledge

Gnosis means knowledge in Greek. I will say something about my understanding of Gnosis in the way I came to know this concept in the last several years.

“Know thyself and you will know the Universe and the gods.”

This is written on the entrance of the temple of Apollo in Delhi, Greece. This phrase in short says what Gnosis is about. It’s about attaining the knowledge of the Universe through the knowledge of oneself. It is not a type of knowledge that we can get by reading it in a book – that is not knowledge, it is information we read. Rather, knowledge is something we directly experience.

Self-knowledge is a knowledge we get by observing our inner world of thoughts, emotions, drives, impulses and all other subconscious elements that we can perceive. This is done by self-observation, a technique taught in Gnostic teachings. With it we start seeing things that are happening within us, things that are driving our actions and which we are not even aware of. We start seeing dark elements of subconscious, such as anger, jealousy, negativity, fear, greed, pride etc. Usually those aspects are thought of as being a part of human nature, something that we just happen to have and need to learn how to live with it. However, that is not so. These elements are not permanent part of who we are. The core of who we are is the consciousness, a spiritual spark.

When we are aware of the present moment, being free from thoughts and emotions, without any worry or concern, just being here and now and simply existing, then we get a glimpse on who we are. It is that awareness that is us.

So the emotions and thoughts are just things stuck to our psyche, and they are things that we can change. We can change the nature of our psyche by transforming those negative aspects of ourselves. Within them are parts of our consciousness, and by eliminating the negative aspects we set those parts of consciousness free and in this way the consciousness grows. That changes everything. The way we perceive world is different, our understanding increases, we see deeper into things, we see more, we get more power to detach from negative states when they manifest, we start seeing that same divine spark in others, we start feeling more compassion and love for others etc.

In this way then, by applying techniques such as self-observation and elimination of the negative inner states (and later on alchemy), we start getting self-knowledge. We start to know about the enslaving negative forces within us, and we also gradually know the core of who we are. And then, according to esoteric teachings,  we start to know “the Universe and the gods”, because all life in its core is of the same substance. But to truly know who we are is a great quest, and it takes a long time of dedicated effort to attain this great knowledge.