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Gnosticism for Today

Gnosticism for Today


The original “spiritual but not religious” seekers grew restless in Alexandria. Predating Christianity, what came to be called Gnosticism began in spiritual study circles, mysterious rituals, sacred tales, reimagined myths, symbols and ciphers, dream interpretation, oral and written storytelling, and an abiding emphasis on direct contact with the Divine. Branded heretical and world-negating by the early church and driven underground, Gnosticism staged its “return of the repressed” (Freud’s term) over several centuries via once-forbidden texts reappearing unexpectedly and gradual transmutations into depth disciplines like alchemy, Jungian psychology, and terrapsychology.


As we will see, Gnostic imagery and themes also show up in fantasy and science fiction films, comic books, magical realism fables, and many other contemporary expressions.


This course will consider these questions: Who were the Gnostics? Why were they repressed? Why have they resurfaced? Why did Jung consider them early depth psychologists? What has Gnosticism to do with Jung’s Red Book and Black Books? With alchemy and Hermeticism? How are Gnostic stories and teachings relevant to our tumultuous time? How might we cultivate a Gnostic imagination?


The modules are:

  • Who Were (and Are) the Gnostics?
  • Kinds of Gnosticism
  • The Gnostic Journey
  • Managing Powers and Principalities
  • Magus vs. Redeemer
  • From Deficiency to Wholeness
  • Gnostic Consciousness and Psychology
  • Descents and Dances
  • Messengers of Light
  • Heretics?
  • Resurfaced Texts and Tales
  • Contemporary Gnosticism
  • Beyond Gnosticism: The Way of Hermes Trismegistus
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