On Jesus as a Gnostic

 Why write about him at all? Because, like it or not, he is the protagonist in the story of Western civilization. You know about him; you have a theory about him, even if it’s that you should ignore him. But, as with most topics, it’s better to be well-informed than to be ignorant.Before 1945, the few people interested in the Gnostics generally thought they were heretical interlopers whose teachings had nothing to do with the genuine Christian message. The Nag Hammadi documents, which iclude … [Read more...]

On the Necessity of Awakening

The Castle Frankenstein poem I posted as a blog records an experience that set me on a Gnostic path. It think it must be significant that I recovered my memory of it during a strange, dark prelude—maybe calling it “existential despair”is not too inaccurate—to my 1963 Awakening experience, of which I have not yet posted a full description, although my long History poem was one attempt to describe it.My experience in 1954 had been an Awakening also. Afterward I knew many things; in that sense I … [Read more...]

Knowledge Rather Than Faith

What serves as my religion was formed in an instant when I was 14. Ever since, I have searched for adequate vehicles to express it in practical ways. What I know from that experience is how the Divine felt to me. That knowledge is a foundation, primordial relative to all specific religions. It enables me to be aware of the presence of the divine in almost any context, Christian or Jewish, Hindu or Buddhist or Pagan, as long as I remember to pay attention, which I sometimes don’t, at least not at … [Read more...]

A History of the Craft in America: California and Councils, VII: A Church for Witches

After the second Pagan Ecumenical Council meeting in June 1974, Gwydion and I continued to discuss the problem of how to organize a "church" for Witches, now that we had a reason not to have to include Pagans in general. In a way, it was like trying to set up an organization for anarchists—so that one could be the Anarch. There were already organizations whose members were individual Witches, but these were not meeting the need.Most Witches at that time clearly believed that one normally b … [Read more...]

A History of the Craft in America: California and Councils, VI, The Second PEC

In discussing the first Pagan Ecumenical Council meeting afterward, Gwydion, Alison, I and several others realized that we had not arrived at a specific proposal for an organizational structure because, in fact, the Pagan groups represented at the meeting did not have enough common ground to define any goals or structures. The PEC had focused on Pagan religions, excluding the magical lodges, political associations, and metaphysical churches, yet we still differed on what we did, how we worked, … [Read more...]

Divinity, Infinity, and Infinitesimals

No one can be absolutely objective about religion, because every person must have a set of values that enable one to make life decisions. Those values always serve as the equivalent of a religion, no matter what they are called. A person who was truly neutral and value-free would experience life as being meaningless and would be in a state called anomie, which is a late and usually lethal stage of clinical depression. The best one can do is to be consciously aware of and candid about all one’s v … [Read more...]

The Man Who Falls in Love with Goddesses

He never wants to fall in love; it's justThat every once in a while She walksInto his life, grows wings, burstsInto flame, and then he knowsIt's Her, and he must loveAs long as She decides to stay,Whether a year, or just today. Sometimes she doesn't even know,And there is no way to tell her; soHe works, and waits for the pain to end,Knowing She'll be back again.But when she hears and can assent —Yes she said Yes I will Yes! —Flesh wit … [Read more...]

A History of the Craft in America: California and Councils, Part V, 1974-1975

Here begins what will become Volume IB or II of the finished book. As I mentioned, many important changes took place in 1973 within at least half a dozen different Traditions. As a result, the period 1974 to 1979, which I will now begin covering for the whole of the USA and parts of Canada, requires a new chapter. I’m starting with events in California in the mid-1970s, not because they were the only developments at that time, but they turned out to have national implications.Focusing first o … [Read more...]

A Request and Previews

Our intrepid Managing editor for the Patheos Pagan Channel, Dr. Christine Hoff Kraemer, has suggested to me that, in order to avoid burnout, it might be wise not to try to make a major contribution to world literature, theology, and philosophy with every blog. I can see that. It's okay just to chat once in a while.Now, I do have a request. If those among my readers who are college teachers or who otherwise hold a prestigious position that might impress our Dean might be so kind as to post a … [Read more...]

On the Nature of the Gods

[These are thoughts based on my own Awakening experiences and on Alan Watts’ explication of  The Cloud of Unknowing. These are not “Gospel truth,” but instead are insights from what I myself have experienced, leaving out all the footnotes, qualifications, and conditionals, for the sake of clarity. I’ll be happy to discuss details and fine tuning later. By the way, I think it relevant that the Greek anastasis means both “resurrection” and “Awakening,” and that the Hebrew death means both “knowledg … [Read more...]


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