This is an extremely difficult situation for me to deal with, however since other people seem to have decided to take the liberty of telling the story of my time in Gnostic movement it seems that I have to speak up. They are doing this because I have challenge the lack of accountability within the organization, their failure to be up front with new students about what they belief and their complete lack of an objective greivance system within the organization.
Also I should mention that I find the teachings of Mark Pritchard to be extremely intolerant, but you don’t see this right away and many excuses are made for this intolerance. As many others have reflected he beliefs that out of almost 7 Billion people he is the only enlightened master. This means that any other teachings belong to darkness. Mark Pritchard, writing under the name Belzebuub, has even stated that all other teachings are either the creation of Negative beings who belong to the black lodge, or are promoted by them. Now I must ask who is calling who a heretic now? How is attacking who’s freedom of choice and freedom of religion and spirituality?
I find it very offensive when I read agents of the Gnostic Movement referring to their belief system as Gnosis. To me Gnosis is a state of being, or realization. Perhaps it should be compared even to a Eureka moment. It is a word to describe a mystical experience. Perhaps this a continual process, but no one has a manopoly on the word Gnosis the and the Gnostic movement uses the word to refer only to their beliefs and teachings. They use the terms Gnosticism and Gnostic in the same way. Although I did not know the term at the time I would say that I achieved Gnosis (an awareness of the state of the world) at about 17 or 18 years of age with no help from anyone else.
My continuous spiritual quest lead me to start research and investigate Gnosticism as a religious and philosophical in a serious way starting in about the summer of 2007. When I say this mean the specific development of Gnosticism as I already had experience exploring related matters. By May of 2008 I had had enough of research and comtemplating spirituality on my own and I wanted to be involved with other people.
The big turning point was finishing an overview book on Gnosticism in general, most from a historical perspective but the author also dealt with the various perspective and philosophies. This author had helped me to start to find a respect for all forms of Gnosticism in all its diversity and perhaps I should say the western esoteric tradition in general. Before this I really want to delve into so called Pagan Gnosticism as that seemed like the right balance for me. For me the Pagan/Occult crowd seemed too off and perhaps even dangerous and Christianity either seemed distasteful or just simply not spiritual. This state of fear of exploration as well as fear-impatience to get going in experiencing spirituality from other people was my first regret and the regret that would lead to other regretful actions.
Because of my inherent dislike of Christianity and even Christian Gnosticism as a result my investigations had never taken me to know of the name Samael Aun Woer, although I’ve since realized that the intro book mentioned earliar did mention him as a founder of a form of Modern Gnosticism . Never had I even looked Theosophy, the Grandmother of Samaelean Gnosticism, as I was not keen on modern western spirituality in general.
So I wanted to be part of a Gnostic group and work on dream work, meditation, self improvement and discussing spirituality in general. This is still true, and when I eventually left the Gnostic Movement in October of 2008 it was not because I had changed my mind but because the Gnostic Movement had failed to live up to what it had claimed to be.
I avoided going back to the centre after my fateful day of realization because I did not want to fight with the people who I thought were my friends. At the same time I felt that I needed to speak out against this group. While I felt bad for those people who were still stuck in the movement there was not much I could do for them. Now I wish I would have showed up at the centre Monday evening, prepared to fight about all the problems I was aware of at the time. The problem is that I had already made to many other mistakes to be able to do this.
To go back to May 2008 again, I can still remember Googling Gnosticism and Toronto and what would come next. This was when I found the Gnosticweb site. At the time I remembered thinking that it looked rather superficial and empty. It was also strange that they were not forthcoming with their philosphy.
At the time there didn’t seem to be a group that fit what I was looking for and I wanted to get started with investigating the matters of spirituality that seemed important to me. This group seemed to be working on a number of the areas that interested me so I signed up for an online course, as to get going with something right away and I also set to go to a drop in meditation session. I don’t regret these actions as it is never bad to reach out.
Just before going to the meditation session I noticed that it was a mantra meditation session. This made me really nervous as I didn’t really want to jump right into meditation or practices, but a meditation event was a good way to check out the group and the centre. Mantras were even more of a concern as I really had no experience with such activities. With great nervousness I decided to go anyways.
When at the centre I went along with the instructions and the lesson. It was really interesting that we were shown that there were Mantras of different cultural backs, although there were claims of certain Mantras being universal. Upon hearing the answers from the teachers to various questions, it really did not seem like they knew what they were talking about. Also I asked a question about how safe Mantras were and I was told there was no danger. I would now have to say that I was lied to as I now know that there are many risks psychologically to such activities. Considering the disclaimer on their website I have to say the officials of the Gnostic Movement knew this as well.
At this point I should have taken these practices and tireied them out on my own for a while. I regret that I didn’t do that and that I continued to be involved with the Gnostic movement.
Continued in Part 2