Gnosis: An Esoteric Tradition of Mystical Visions and Unions by Daniel Merkur

By Daniel Merkur

"I just like the ardour and exuberance of an writer involved with anything genuine who pursues it with an open brain. Implicit this is the author's seriousness and dedication. He believes his topic makes a distinction and he communicates this to the reader. The author's standpoint supplies a few startling and demanding insights right into a culture that's for the main half unknown and ignored." -- Christopher Bamford, Lindisfarne Press

Gnosis traces using strong gnostic visionary ideas from Hellenistic Gnosticism and Jewish merkabah mysticism, via Muhammad, the Ismaeilis, and theosophical Sufism to medieval neoplatonism, and renaissance alchemy.

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Sample text

The proposition presenting matter as the interaction of light energy is something I feel as though I could confirm. I beheld the One and the Many emphasized in Eastern philosophy. It seemed truethe tree, my companion, and Iwe were all the same thingdying in and out. Status and classifica- < previous page page_28 If you like this book, buy it! next page > < previous page page_29 next page > Page 29 tion appeared as mere superficial differentiation, in the light of the harmony I saw among all beings.

The perception of this in the psychedelic experiences is an immediate one, somewhat like the immediate perception upon awakening in the morning that I am the same "I" that went to bed here last night. It is not inconsistent with rational examination of our more usual experiences, but it does not arise from such rational examination. This entrance into seeming awareness of the nature of reality may take various forms. After such an experience, the person is never the same: in a sense he is born anew, even if it occurs just once, since never can he completely forget the knowledge of the underlying reality which he was glimpsed.

Realitytesting proceeds throughout. Consider the following self-report: In the loveliness of the morning, and the beauty of the hills and valleys, I soon lost my sense of sadness and regret. For nearly an hour I walked along the road. On the way back, suddenly, without warning, I felt that I was in Heavenan inward state of peace and joy and assurance indescribably intense, accompanied with a sense of being bathed in a warm glow of light, as though the external condition had brought about the internal effecta feeling of having passed beyond the body, though the scene around me stood out more clearly and as if nearer to me than before, by reason of the illumination in the midst of which I seemed to be placed.

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