Gnosis: An Esoteric Tradition of Mystical Visions and Unions by Daniel Merkur

By Daniel Merkur

"I just like the ardour and exuberance of an writer involved with anything actual who pursues it with an open brain. Implicit this is the author's seriousness and dedication. He believes his topic makes a distinction and he communicates this to the reader. The author's point of view provides a few startling and significant insights right into a culture that's for the main half unknown and ignored." -- Christopher Bamford, Lindisfarne Press

Gnosis traces using strong gnostic visionary strategies from Hellenistic Gnosticism and Jewish merkabah mysticism, via Muhammad, the Ismaeilis, and theosophical Sufism to medieval neoplatonism, and renaissance alchemy.

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Extra resources for Gnosis: An Esoteric Tradition of Mystical Visions and Unions (S U N Y Series in Western Esoteric Traditions)

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St. 88 By negating everything that can be thought, unconsciousness can be induced. An experience of nothingness occurs when meditation stops just short of unconsciousness. Not only are there differences within single traditions of the negative way, but we must also avoid facile comparisons between traditions. Experiences of nothingness are not rendered uniform by the innate structure of the mind. When Buddhist nirvana is not "bliss-unspeakable,"89 it may be a sort of nothingness, as is Hasidic 'ayin,90 but they are not the same sort.

106 Throughout his vision, the hunter knew that the seals and caribous signified people. The images were not reified. In keeping with Netsilik Inuit beliefs concerning the goddess of the sea, who controls both species,107 the hunter saw seals and caribous; but he did not think the animals real. Neither did he think that his vision pertained to real animals. His emotions and concepts concerned Inuit women, men, and children. In a study of ancient Jewish apocalypticism, I established that the visionaries combined darkness, solitude, fasting, and sleep deprivation with deliberate mood alteration by mourning, grieving, and weeping, in order to trigger a compensatory elation.

When you concentrate on a mental picture, it begins to stir, the image becomes enriched by details, it moves and develops. Each time, naturally, you mistrust it and have the idea that you have just made it up, that it is merely your own invention. But you have to overcome that doubt, because it is not true. We cannot do much in the way of conscious invention; we over-estimate the power of intention and the will. 40 Jung also remarked that "in the later stage of analysis, the observation of images replaces the dreams.

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