Hi there, this is Rev. Mr. Jonathan Stewart, co-host of Talk Gnosis. As the Gnostic Wisdom Network and Talk Gnosis grows, we’re adding this new weekly content: Blog Gnosis. We’ll often tie these feaures into our present content to expand even further the range of the show…and other times we’ll be writing about whatever amazing wayward bits of Gnosis that come our way.
This month on the show we’re working our way through the Gospel of Mary with Clark Aitkins, but since this is the first post EVER I thought we’d just take a little look at Gnosticism in general, but through the lens of another text important for this week’s show: The Invisibles.
The Invisibles is Grant Morrison’s 1990s’ (and it’s very much of the 90s) comic book series that mashes together conspiracy theories, action movies, horror, Gnosticism, Phillip K. Dick, sex, and magic. Though in my opinion it’s far from perfect it’s a thrilling read and an important influence on our guest Clark Aitkins—where it even made it’s way into one of his Harvard papers on Gospel of Mary And its had its influence on me, and I’d like to share what this text beamed into my mind.
But let’s back up, especially if you’re new to the Gnostic Wisdom Network. The word Gnosis is one of the words in Greek for knowledge, and it’s where English gets words like agnostic, diagnosis, prognosis, and so forth. It specifically refers to experiential knowledge. Often on the show when we use the phrase “The Gnostics” we’re usually talking about a group of Knowers back 1900 years ago-ish who figured out the universe by combining bits of Greek philosophy, poetry, Judaism, magic, myth, Christianity, hymns, rumours, ritual, political critiques of Empire, and more.
They created a new way of knowing, working like a collage artist, like a freestyle jazz musician, like a science fiction writer, like a computer hacker, like a kid at a campfire telling a ghost story she’s making up as she goes along. Wrestling with their culture the Gnostics rewrote it, reclaimed it, and transformed it, until it gave up its mysteries.
And what did they figure out? What did they come to KNOW? Well, you can expect future content on what Gnosis is, but I believe there’s a number of important things revealed through the Gnostic experience. And one of the most important is this:
The system is not the world.
The god who created this world is not the real god, there is a God higher then the god of this world.
There’s a whole world higher than the system, or I should say the systems. The higher world is actually the true world but we miss it due to it being under-laid behind the schemes of 9-to-5, bad tv, famine, social networking, war, dieting, oppression, chipped nails, video games, neurotic families, dirty water, racism etc.
Friend of the show and host of the other best Gnostic podcast in the world, Miguel Conner, has called the Gnostics “the original conspiracy theorists” because they knew the whole cosmos was a plot, a lie and a story concocted to keep us in the dark. But the other big revelation they KNEW, that they pieced together, separates them from our modern conspiracy theorists and that insight is this. And this is what The Invisibles taught me:
It is not a war, it’s a rescue mission.
Conspiracy theorists today believe its Us Vs Them. It’s the bankers, FEMA, the John Birch Society, the Greys, the Illuminati, the reptillian-humanoids, the CIA, Bilderberg and all the other secret masters of the earth on one side, and the conspiracy theorists and all that is good on the other. But the Gnostics realized it’s not a war between the Knowers and the secret masters of the earth—it’s a rescue mission.
We’re all in this together, we’re all jailed in the patterns and the systems we and others have put in place. War…that’s the wrong metaphor for Gnostic dualism—we’re not on the battlefield, we’re all in the dock, on the same cell block together. So, when you get the Gnosis that shows you the secret passage letting you escape from the prison, there’s then no point in breaking back into jail to kill that inmate who use to beat on you, you got to go back and show him the way out too.
Because you’ll discover once your former enemy is liberated he will confide in you he was ordered to beat you by a prison guard. That’s when you convince him to go back to the jail and tell that prison guard he’d be happier if he quit, and when that guard joins the two of you in that sunny field he will tell the two of you how he was ordered by his boss to make the prisoners smash each other up, and then that guard, he goes back in to get his boss. And if the process continues then we all get out.
I don’t want to dish out any spoilers, but this War/Prison Break approach to duality is one of the major themes of The Invisibles and as the series goes on its subverts its action movie tropes more and more. If you’ve read it please feel free to discuss the series further in the comments section below.
And please join us next week on the blog as we explore the Divine Feminine and Mary(s).
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The opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of the Gnostic Wisdom Network, the Apostolic Johannite Church, or any other organization.