Saturday, October 22, 2011

An introduction to "Echoes from the Gnosis".

Welcome to "Echoes from the Gnosis".

As the brief opening suggests, this blog is named after a book of the same title by an English Theosophist called George R.S. Mead in the late 19th/early 20th century; a remarkable man for his ideas yet, sadly, his ideas seem to be neglected and overlooked these days.  Mead had a keen interest in Eastern thought and philosophy and was responsible for translating the Pistis Sophia (an obscure Gnostic tract in the British Library) as well as writing various books on subjects as diverse as Simon Magus, Hermes Trigmagistus, and the Gnostics and heretics of the Early Church.  Regrettably, Mead died before a significant cache of Gnostic tracts were located in Egypt in 1945, which are nowadays termed the "Gnostic Gospels".  Mead, however, remains one of the few remaining sources that sought to discuss the Gnostics themselves; men like Marcion, Cerdo, Valentinus and others whose unorthodox ideas didn't survive beyond condemnation by their detractors.  Furthermore, now that we have a (significant) number of Gnostic texts, scholars and academics seem more interested in the works themselves than the individuals behind them.  It is a sad quirk of Fate that G.R.S. Mead was deprived the opportunity to see these texts.  Yet his works are invaluable, if overlooked, having influenced scholars such as Jung in their teachings.

This "blog" is a journey into the unusual, and the esoteric.  It will not purely focus on Gnosis, but it hopes to expand upon the "gnosis" (Greek for knowledge) both of the reader and of the writer. Themes herein will vary from interpretations of paintings, interesting and unusual individuals in history, ideas, thoughts, and random articles on a hopefully a variety of different themes and ideas.  Subject matters will doubtless be scattered, here and there, without seemingly possessing a sense of unification.  However, the unifying factor will be that they will (hopefully) challenge the reader, or at least ask the reader to make informed ideas and opinions upon a wide variety of subjects.

These articles, thoughts, subjects and ideas are, and will be, highly individual and of personal interest to me. I make no apology for that. I am fully aware that some readers won't be in the slightest bit interested in the subject I have chosen to write about.  In which case, well, this journey (or leg thereof) is not for you.  This voyage of (re-)discovery is, for me, a pseudo-Pilgrim's Progress, which I hope to share with kindred spirits and like-minded individuals.  I am setting out to cover a range of ideas, themes.  I further seek to share impressions of numerous unusual and perhaps unorthodox subjects that have, for some reason or another stayed in my thoughts, my mind, my brain over the days, months, and in some cases, years since I first read or heard them.

Be forewarned, the route this journey will take is complicated, convoluted, and sometimes leads back on itself; but in the words of Douglas Adams "I seldom end up where I wanted to go, but almost always end up where I need to be".

Thank you for reading so far, the journey begins now.

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