What is Gnosis?

Google it. You’ll find some definitions. You’ll see it has to do with knowledge. But, then forget about what you read because now I’m going to share what it means here in GnoTruth Land.

Don’t worry. It’s not gonna be a complex collection of words.

In the past, they have used ‘gnosis’ to describe direct knowledge of theistic stuff.
Now, here, it has nothing at all to do with that.

Gnosis, here, is Direct Experiential Understanding of any variety.

Most of the time,
when I (Nguyen Giac) use the word gnosis,
I am talking about the ultimate nature of things,
and/or I am talking about direct perception of mental or physical stuff,
so,
by ‘gnosis’,
I usually mean,

understanding of Suchness (tathata),
arisen through direct experience

Knowing vs. Gnoing

As long as you approach reality through ‘knowing
you will not grasp the whole of it.

When I use “knowing” in this way,
I mean,

“wrong [dualistic] view born of false imagination”

in contrast to

“direct / correct / nondual understanding of reality”

which is ‘Gnosis’.

The intellectual,
dualistic,

discriminating mind cannot carry, chew, or digest whole things.

That is why Intellect chops everything up into dead bits.
It has to kill the animal before it can eat it.

6 Comments

    1. pretty much, yeah. i think that is a good way to put it!

      knowing would be what we learn from reading and listening.
      knowing would also be stuff that we infer from observations,
      it is all the activity of ‘reasoning’
      it is all the stuff that has to do with sense data.
      all the dualistic samsaric stuff is included in knowing

      (this is just how i see it now, in my mind, i’m still working out the kinks 😉 i appreciate your comment it is making me think more about it)

      then, gnoing would be those intuitive ‘attainments’
      those things that ‘click’–
      nondual awareness.
      in the lankavatara sutra, we hear about 8 vijnanas, i think what i’m talking about has to do with ‘manasvijnana’.
      the part of our minds that doesn’t use words to think (doesn’t use ‘ideas’)–
      it is more ‘broad’ (i don’t know if that is the right word– it is not limited)
      gnoing is working with those thoughts that aren’t limited by dualism.

      it is really difficult to talk about,
      because it is beyond beyond beyond.
      but, those who gno, gno.
      like the taste of an apple:
      we can’t adequately describe the apple to someone who hasn’t tasted an apple, so we give them the apple and let the give it a try.

      we ‘come see’ (pali: ehipassiko),
      we do the practice,
      we engage this mundane level fully
      we practice continual mindfulness of some object within this conditioned realm
      we become tranquil in the chaos of samsara
      and insight / gnosis emerges
      we ‘gno’ —
      we gain a sense of the goal.

      I’m thinking now about the Mahanama Sutta (this excerpt just came to mind)

      “The mind heads straight, based on the Tathagata. And when the mind is headed straight, the disciple of the noble ones gains a sense of the goal, gains a sense of the Dhamma, gains joy connected with the Dhamma. In one who is joyful, rapture arises. In one who is rapturous, the body grows calm. One whose body is calmed experiences ease. In one at ease, the mind becomes concentrated.”

      i’m pretty much just rambling as i think about this
      but yeah!
      thank you for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. To know the taste of an apple, you must gno the taste of an apple.

        Your writing is revelatory. A little “out there” but I generally get the gist of your meanings. Thanks for explaining this. AM

        Liked by 1 person

      2. yeah, i’m out there ❤
        always learning and sharing and sharing and learning
        i learn a lot when i put myself out there
        test the water
        and then people like you pop out and bring attention to different places
        it is really wild!

        Liked by 1 person

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