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Faith from a Gnostics’ point of view has nothing to do with merely believing, but knowing through experience.

“Genuine faith is living knowledge, exact cognition, direct experience. For many centuries faith and belief have been confused, and now it takes great effort and exertion to make people understand that faith is true knowledge and not futile beliefs.”

Samael Aun Weor

Not long before I left for the USA, I was talking with my Gnostic teacher (and mentor) while at a mutual friend’s engagement celebration.

He spoke about this very thing; the importance of practice and verifying the teachings through direct experience, as opposed to holding onto arbitrary beliefs and concepts. I was moving to a far away place with no Gnostic Center close by, and he told me that it would be my direct experience of Gnosis that would get me through when times got tough and my faith would be challenged.

It reminded me of what Jesus was referring to in his parable about building your house (your spiritual work) on rock (experience) and not sand (belief) in Matthew 7:24-27;

7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

7:25 And the rain descended, and the floods came,  and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

7:26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

7:27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.


My teacher also spoke about the importance of continuing to investigate. All too often he had seen students gain some direct experience of the teachings, and then stop pushing to investigate further. The incipient experience they gained only served to re-enforce their beliefs, tricking them into complacency thinking they already ‘knew’ (when in fact they actually had verified very little); their work built upon a weak foundation.

He said even if experiences are very clear and profound when they occur, with time they become distant memories, they lose their impact and begin to fade. It’s the way the mind and memory works. The more distant the experience, the more it loses strength and the mind can even begin to doubt it. He had seen countless students walk away from the work because of a lack of continued investigation, despite the initial esoteric pearls they had received.

He was very solemn when he reflected upon them. He spoke of one of Samael’s books where he had written that such people suffer for the rest of their lives from an intense uneasiness as their essence continues to long for the light while their egos mutiny against it.

He said that having had the experiences he himself had gained through Gnosis and knowing what he did up to that point, he could hardly imagine how horrible it would be to bury all that experience deep down inside so as to convince yourself that it wasn’t real, leaving yourself to battle your conscience every day for the rest of your life. As he spoke, his face was full of compassion and sadness.

At the time part of me wondered if he was referring to past students alone; I had the feeling he somehow had some knowledge of what the future held, and wondered if some of that compassion may have been for me.

Now when I reflect back, I wouldn’t be surprised if he did have some insight into what lay ahead.  But if so, rather than for me, I think I now realize who his compassion was for.

“And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” ~ Jesus.

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