The term Gnosis is the root of the word “knowledge”. However, it is not simply knowledge of an intellectual type. The word Gnosis has been used by varying philosophical and mystical groups throughout history, but it really refers to the Truth beyond philosophy, dogma, personality, and theory. Gnosis is “direct, experiential knowledge of the truth”, or in other words, knowing oneself.
To have Gnosis is to have one’s own experience of the truth. Fire burns, gravity exists; these are truths that cannot be denied once experienced. Gnosis can be expressed in theories and concepts, but it is neither the theory nor the concept. Gnosis is both the intimate experience of the Truth, along with the Path that takes us there. This is the same path taught by the awakened masters of all great traditions.
There is Gnosis throughout the Christian gospels and also in the Buddhist doctrine, in the Tantric Buddhism from Tibet, in the Zen Buddhism from Japan, in the Chan Buddhism of China, and in the Taoist teachings. Hinduism is rich with Gnostic stories, symbols and guidance, as are all of the worlds mystical traditions.
The Gnostic teachings are based on the communion between science, art, philosophy and mysticism; they seek to rescue the highest values of the human being in order to be able to comprehend that life is empty without the pursuit of transcendence and the self-realisation of the Being. This would not be possible without the development of superior emotion, which humanises science, sublimates art, elevates philosophy and crystallises mysticism.