What is Gnosis?
Gnosis (Greek γνώσις) Knowledge.
The word Gnosis refers to the knowledge we acquire through our own experience, as opposed to knowledge that we are told or believe in. Gnosis – by whatever name in history or culture – is conscious, experiential knowledge, not merely intellectual or conceptual knowledge, belief, or theory. This term is synonymous with the Sanskrit “Jna.”
The Hebrews describe Gnosis with the Da’at. A Hebrew word for knowledge, that in the Kabbalah describes a mystical state one has as they ascend up the tree of life to then reach the self-giving Divine Light. The ancient Egyptians had described the Gnostic experience in many texts of their proverbs such as; “The body is the house of God,” and “Man, know thyself… and thou shalt know the gods.
Gnosis comes from within each one of us through the secret knowledge of all things hidden. Gnosis in its purest form is the intuitive spiritual knowledge that comes with knowing thyself and thyspirit. Plato describes this process when he says “all learning is remembering.” He calls this a recollection and restoration of the views a person once had, and original knowledge that was once lost. Today science describes part of this Gnostic experience that Plato had described as intuition.
The Valentinians (Valentinus) taught that gnosis was the privileged Gnosis kardias, “knowledge of the heart” or “insight” about the spiritual nature of the cosmos that brought about salvation to the pneumatics— the name given to those believed to have reached the final goal of sanctity. The Sethians understood themselves to be children of Adam and Eve, through Seth who had walked the Right Hand Path (RHP) which is the path of the heart. The path of water. All desire, learning and the Great Work is done through our hearts, rather than just the mind.
It is self-knowledge through ongoing self-awareness and self-consciousness that can only be reached by quiet contemplation, and deep thought. Self-Awareness Theory states that when we focus our attention on ourselves, we evaluate and compare our current behavior to our internal standards and values. Gnosis is the self-knowledge that each one of us needs to develop in order to evolve our souls to the next level for our next incarnation.