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Appendix 4 - Psychognosis
The Secret Spiritual Knowledge or Gnosis of Self.
It has sometimes been said that Gnosis, like the Tao, cannot be spoken; or the Tao and Gnosis which can be spoken of is not IT. This is not true, but I imagine they never went on to explain simply because it should be obvious to all that all language is symbolic and merely points to something. Thus, all language has both a meaning and a purpose. The purpose is to point the mind to that phenomenon, and the meaning is the phenomenon to which it points. But the thing pointed to itself has a function in existence it does not have a meaning for it is not symbolic. Some (without even thinking, or by nurture which seems to put so many to sleep anyway) ask the question as to what is the meaning of life. Life is not symbolic so it does not have a meaning; it is the thing itself, and it has a role to play, a function and purpose in the vast scheme of things. Hence we have the observer and the observed. But that aside the mystical experience of Gnosis can be described in fine grain detail just as any other description of things experienced by human beings can be. So much for "it cannot be spoken" then - it can be spoken. But of course the words are not the thing itself - hearing it is not gnosis; it is simply hearing about it or reading about it.
We then come to the 'secret' bit. Why is it the secret teaching? There are two aspects to the truth of this. The real and first one is that it cannot be shared with anybody; simply because it is an experience and we cannot share cognitive events other than by way of words - and which as stated above are merely symbolic of something else. So, it is secret in that it becomes axiomatic to the person experiencing it yet it cannot be shared (other than by way of words). But of course it is an open secret to any life form. The second aspect of 'secret' is that of going 'underground' and not speaking of it in public. For many years if mystics/gnostics openly spoke of their experience of this eternal wisdom (Gnosis) then society (priestcraft of religions) would have them well and truly shut up - killed. For you cannot have the truth of human depth spiritual transcendent experience and socio-political priestcraft at the same time. Priestcraft has a living to earn by brainwashing the gullible mob - so, it is the old 'fat cats' syndrome. Large business corporations now rule the roost in that chicken shed.
Naturally enough if and when the mystics/gnostics come out of the closet of secrecy in large numbers then you cannot kill them all - so what do they do? They take the thing over for themselves and try to kill it from the inside. Christianity made a good job of that too. Gnosis has always existed, and by many names by many tribes and cultures since we lived in caves (and longer); and yet so many people today either fall foul of 'standard' Christian doctrine (of which there is no such thing) or if not they still fall foul of the truth of the spoken word (and the thing itself) by so called Christian Gnosis. They wonder if spiritual truth will ever be redeemed :- ))) But I personally wonder as to whether mere human intelligence and common sense will ever be redeemed on this world. Certainly not whilst priestcraft and international monopoly capitalism is around anyway. But these days it seems that they zap most minds into Somnus by encouraging the drug scene instead. Oh dear oh dear, what does humanity do to this world; and to itself. I often wonder if this planet is a failed cosmic project. I hope not for it is such a beautiful and profound little world - almost like paradise on earth indeed (in a manner of speaking, not literally). And hence, all the genuine mystics and gnostics have always said - and let us make Man in our image (transcendent image that is.) Hope springs eternal - it needs to here.
Likewise too is this concept of IT cannot be said being the ultimate tool in the hands of self erected gurus. For there is nothing simpler than saying "I know this, and I know you are wrong, but that which I know cannot be said". They say that there is no answer to that one :- ) But there is, and the answer is Rubbish ! As for example… "What is the Tao" or "What is this mystical Gnosis". But, if it cannot be talked about then how come so much literature purporting to be IT exists? True, talking of it does not reveal the thing itself to the listener of it (it does not give them Gnosis) - but it sure helps in their understanding of what it is and what it is like, and where it is found. And that too becomes plainly obvious to those that tell it by the reactions of those that hear it. The Power of the word.
This of course brings us to the concept of the Quest for the Grail, or the Cup. Thus, finding this 'cup' is not what it is all about, for it is not about the Cup at all (the place where it is found), it is about drinking from it - drinking of that experience that is. And nobody can drink of experience for another. But they can sure tell them what it taste like and what it looks like and where it is found. No problem. So, words are good and useful tools of communication - assuming one knows what one is talking about of course and being honest whilst doing so :- ) Anyway, after all that searching the prize which awaits the seeker is but THEIR SELF - Psychognosis. Fascinating is it not, and ironic too - kind of back to square one some might say. Well, yes, that is so. But something even more profound is found in that mystical Gnosis - - the Knowledge OF that which we are NOT.
Tis then that the next part begins - or the New Quest. And that being, "Oh gawd help us, what am I gonna do with it now that I have got it" ? !!! We do not drink simply for the sake of drinking do we. And the real job of the Gnostic or Guardian of the Grail is doing something useful with it - and that can take many forms and is up to each individual as a matter of choice and innate abilities and potentials. ( I sure cannot write music and songs - but one can do other things).
So, the Heart of the Jewel found in the Elysian Field is the Heart, the Essential Nature and Life Force, of the Seeker themselves. And we all share that same Heart, for it is Eternal, Evergreen, Unchanging and Universal to all Life. And let the self erected guru's (and Priestcraft and their Myrmidons of pestilent Mind virus) chew the bones out of that - or perhaps better to quit their trade altogether and apply their energy elsewhere to something constructive for a change.
Dick Richardson. Tuesday, 07 June 2005