The Purpose of Gnostic Practices is to Wake up the Consciousness
A while ago I have written an article (Fundamental and secondary practices of the Gnostic teachings) in which I attempted to describe or categorize the two main forms of practices that we use in the Gnostic work. In this current article, I would like to emphasize that the purpose of all the exercises is to wake up the consciousness. By saying this, it may sound that I am oversimplifying things, as all these practices are related to various inner processes on the journey to enlightenment, though it stands true that all of them are ultimately related to our awakening. First the awakening of the consciousness, and through this the incarnation of the Being within us, which gives us even more wakefulness/ awakening.
Every practice in the Gnostic teachings, temporarily increases one’s awareness of themselves and of life, and through continuous exercising the awareness is gradually expanded more and more. This type of awareness is closely tied to waking up to the moment, and everything that this entails – waking up to one’s inner state, the beauty of life, the hidden realities that surround us, and to one’s own greater purpose and higher self.
The exercise of self-remembrance is the first step towards waking up the consciousness, and as such the first step towards advancing on the Probationary Path. The exercises that build on that, such as self-observation and elimination of the egos, propel the process of awakening, or better said they make it commence in a very concrete way, enabling us to be always centered in the consciousness and thus in the present moment. We don’t have to depend on transient aspects of our psyche and on beliefs to ground us in the here and now, because as the consciousness in someone who hasn’t yet done anything to free it from the ego in a true way, is very tiny, so even the most elaborated beliefs and opinions are not enough when compared to the immensity of the ego. The latter simply knocks out every petty opposition, and we can see this clearly in people who claim (high) spiritual status, speak nice sounding words, and yet are full of anger, impatience and desire that they cannot hide from those around them. On the other hand, when we do the Gnostic exercises properly and regularly, our true and permanent nature (the consciousness) becomes our center of gravity; it becomes our source of nourishment, of strength and inspiration, and then we don’t have to depend on any idea or opinion.
And so the basic three exercises (self-remembrance, self-observation, and death from moment to moment) wake us up to the inner and outer reality in every moment of the day; this becomes our way of life, and eventually we break away from our lower nature in which we were living most of our lives and that pushes us to be in the state of psychological sleep and in the heavy and low states. We pass from that state of being asleep and in the darkness of the egos, into the state of being awake and in the consciousness. When we are in the latter, we tap into its qualities such as love, happiness, peace and compassion, which increase as we die to the ego and liberate more and more of the consciousness. This is the initial passage ‘from darkness to light’ that’s spoken of in ancient teachings.
The consciousness (which is of spiritual light and wakefulness) becomes our new home, though it has always been our true home, but through internal and external deception we strayed away from it and spent time in the matters of the ego and the personality, forgetting who we really are. Sometimes in life we felt we must get back to our true nature, but due to being lost we didn’t know where to get back to nor from where. Everything was a mist, and being distracted and identified with the trivial things of life the time passed, and we continued waiting for the impulse of the Being to save us from the sleep, and to take us into the wakefulness of the consciousness.
The three above-mentioned practices give us a great boost and due to them, we discover what it is to begin to wake up, and what it means to be awakened, even if only to a small degree. And when we add to those psychological-revolutionary practices other practices from the Gnostic teachings, such as alchemy, meditation, astral projection, chanting or vocalizing mantras, connecting to nature through the spirits of nature (elementals) and Devas etc., our awareness begins to expand in various directions that contribute to the totality of awakening that we go through on the Path.
Every practice of the Gnostic teachings have its specific role, but all of them help us to awaken the consciousness and bring us closer and closer to the ultimate goal, which is to start incarnating the Being. It is only through various parts of the Being that we experience the superior form of awakeness, and it is through the Being that we are saved from the darkness into which the lower nature is pulling us.
The awakeness of the consciousness and the Being is a spiritual light that is awakening us to a higher life that awaits us beyond the learning grounds that we call ‘our life’.
HDP, July 2022.