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帖子发表于 : 2010年 3月 10日 周三 11:27 pm 
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我这两日无意中找到 G.R.S. Mead 的着作,是关於诺斯替的,总共有多於六卷,我未完全看过,但原书太大,无法上传,我复制了一个网址的文章在这边。


作者简介

G.R.S. Mead
1863~1933

Mead 在剑桥大学时读了关於 Alfred Percy Sinnett 的佛学着作,这使得他在 1884 年加入了 Blavatsky 夫人的神智学会。他放弃了在剑桥的教职,并成为了 Blavatsky 夫人的秘书。Mead 成为了神智学内部资深的成员,了解到神智学内部的奥传教导。

後来 Mead 对西方奥秘传统的兴趣日渐增加,尤其是新柏拉图主义丶诺斯替丶赫尔密斯之学等等。後来神智学的焦点在於东方的奥秘教导,在神圣学 25 年的 Mead 就离开了神智学会,并在 1909 年带着 150 个神智学的成员成立了 the Quest Society。


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http://www.gnosis.org/library/grs-mead/ ... ismind.htm

ECHOES FROM THE GNOSIS

VOL. I

BY G. R. S. MEAD

THE GNOSIS OF THE MIND

1906


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ECHOES FROM THE GNOSIS.

Under this general title is now being published a series of small volumes, drawn from, or based upon, the mystic, theosophic and gnostic writings of the ancients, so as to make more easily audible for the ever-widening circle of those who love such things, some echoes of the mystic experiences and initiatory lore of their spiritual ancestry. There are many who love the life of the spirit, and who long for the light of gnostic illumination, but who are not sufficiently equipped to study the writings of the ancients at first hand, or to follow unaided the labours of scholars. These little volumes are therefore intended to serve as introduction to the study of the more difficult literature of the subject; and it is hoped that at the same time they may become for some, who have, as yet, not even heard of the Gnosis, stepping-stones to higher things.

G. R. S. M.




The references in this volume are to the recently-published work--Thrice Greatest Hermes: Studies in Hellenistic Theosophy and Gnosis. Being a Translation of the Extant Sermons and Fragments of the Trismegistic Literature, with Prolegomena, Commentaries and Notes, 3 vols. (London, 1906).


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THE GNOSIS OF THE MIND.



For long I have been spending much of my time in a world of great beauty of thought and purity of feeling, created by the devotion and intelligence of one of the many theosophical fraternities of the ancient world. They called themselves disciples of Thrice-greatest Hermes, and sometimes spoke of their faith as the Religion of the Mind. They were prior to and contemporary with the origins and earliest centuries of Christianity, and they lived in Egypt.


What remains of their scriptures and what can be gleaned of their endeavour pg 7 has recently been made accessible in the English tongue, in such fashion as I have been able to reproduce their thought and interpret it. The labour of many months is ended; the task of reproduction is accomplished, and the echoes of the Gnosis of Thrice-greatest Hermes are audible across the centuries for English ears in fuller volume than before, and I hope in greater clarity.


It is no small thing--this Gnosis of ten-thousand-times-great Hermes, as Zosimus in an ecstasy of enthusiasm calls Him; for it has as its foundation the Single Love of God, it endeavours to base itself upon the True Philosophy and Pure Science of Nature and of Man, and is indeed one of the fairest forms of the Gnosis of the Ages. It is replete with Wisdom (Theosophia) and Worship (Theosebeia) in harmony--the Religion of the Mind. It is in its beginning Religion, pg 8 true devotion and piety and worship, based on the right activity and passivity of the Mind, and its end is the Gnosis of things-that-are and the Path of the Good that leads man unto God.


Do I claim too much for the Gnosis of Thrice-greatest Hermes? I do but echo what He teaches in His own words (or rather those of His disciples) turned into English speech. The claim made is for the Gnosis, not for the forms of its expression used by its learners and hearers. All these forms of expression, the many sermons, or sacred discourses, of the disciples of this Way, are but means to lead men towards the Gnosis; they are not the Gnosis itself. True, much that is set forth appears to me to be very beautifully expressed, and I have been delighted with many a thought and phrase that these nameless writers and thinkers of years long ago have pg 9 handed down to us in the fair Greek tongue; all this however, is as a garment that hides the all-beautiful natural form and glory of the Truth.


What is of importance is that all these Theosophists of the Trismegistic tradition declare with one voice--a sweet voice, that carries with it conviction within, to the true knower in our inmost soul--that there is Gnosis and Certitude, full and inexhaustible, no matter how the doubting mind, opinion, the counterfeit mind, may weave its magic of contrary appearances about us.


Seeing, then, that I have now much in mind of what has been written of this Religion of the Mind, I would set down a few thoughts thereon as they occur to me, an impression or two that the contemplation of the beautiful sermons of the disciples of the Master-Mind has engraved upon my memory. pg 10 And first of all I would say that I regard it as a great privilege to have been permitted by the Gods to be a hander-on in some small way of these fair things; for indeed it is a great privilege and high honour to be allowed in any fashion to forward the preparation for the unveiling of the beauties of the Gnosis in the hearts of one’s fellows,--even in so insignificant a way as that of translating and commenting on that which has already been set forth by greater minds in greater beauty centuries ago. The feeling that so pleasant a task has been granted by the Providence of God as a respite on the way (to use a phrase of Plotinus’). And so, as in all sacred acts, we begin with praise and thankfulness to God, as Hermes teaches us.


But when is there (the disciple of the Master will interject) an act that is not pg 11 sacred for one who is a "man" and not a "procession of Fate"? He who is coming unto himself, who from the unconscious and the dead is beginning to return to consciousness and rise into life, self-consecrates his every act for ever deeper realisation of the mystery of his divine nature; for now no longer is he an embryo within the womb, nourished in all things by the Mother-Soul, but a man-babe new born, breathing the freer spirit of the greater life, the cosmic airs of the Father-Mind. And so it is that every act and function of the body should be consecrated to the Soul and Mind; the traveller on this Way should pray unceasingly, by devoting his every act unto his God; thinking when eating: As this food nourishes the body, so may the Bread of Wisdom nourish the mind; or when bathing: As this water purifies the body, so may the Water of Life pg 12 vivify the mind; or when freeing the body of impurities: As these impurities pass from the body, so may the refuse of opinion pass from the mind!


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Not, however, that he should think that anything is in itself unclean or common, for all is of the divine substance and of mother-matter; this he already knows in his heart of hearts, but his lower members are not as yet knit together in right harmony; they are as yet awry, not centred in the perfect whole. He as yet sees things from only one point; he has not yet realised that the Point is everywhere, and that for everything there is a point of view whence it is true and right and beautiful and good. That all-embracing point of view is the one sense, all-sense, the common sense, the sense of the intelligence, in which the sensible and the intelligible are identical and not apart. It is the little pg 13 mind, the mind in man, the fate-procession, that creates external duality; the Great Mind knows that the without and the within are twain in one, are self-conditioned complements, the one within the other and without the other at one and the same time.


In this Religion of the Mind there is no opposition of the heart and head. It is not a cult of intellect alone, it is not a cult of emotion alone; it is the Path of Devotion and Gnosis inseparably united, the true Sacred Marriage of Soul and Mind, of Life and Light, the ineffable union of God the Mother and God the Father in the Divine Man, the Logos, the Alone-Begotten of the Mystery of Mysteries, the All and One--Ineffability and Effability eternally in simultaneous Act and Passion.


And if you should object to the word Mind as excluding other names of equal pg 14 dignity, know that this also has been spoken of again and again by the disciples of Thrice-greatest Hermes.


He has no name, for He is the One of Many names, nay, He is the One of all names, for He is Name itself and all things else, and there is naught that is not He. Nor is He One alone, though He is the One and Only One, for He is All and Nothing, if such a thing as nothing there can be.


But we, because of our ignorance, call Him Mind, for Mind is that which knows, and ignorance seeks ever for its other self, and the other self of ignorance is Gnosis. And seeking Gnosis, whether it love or hate its own false view of what it seeks, ignorance is ever changing into some form of knowing, experiencing some novelty or other as it thinks, not knowing that it is experiencing itself. But Mind is not only that which knows, but also pg 15 the object of all knowledge; for it knows itself alone, there being nothing else to know but Mind. It self-creates itself to know itself, and to know itself it must first not know itself. Mind thus makes ignorance and Gnosis, but is not either in itself. It is itself the Mystery that makes all mysteries in order that it may be self-initiate in all.


Thus we are taught that Mind, the Great Initiator, is Master of all masterhood, Master of all ignorance as well as knowledge. And so we find the Supreme addressing one of His Beloved Sons, one who has won the mastery of self, as "Soul of my Soul and Mind of My own Mind."


The Religion of the Mind is pre-eminently one of initiation, of perpetual perfectioning. The vista of possibility opened up to the mind’s eye of the neophyte into these sacred rites pg16 transcends credibility. One asks oneself again and again: Can this be true? It seems too good to be true.


But how can it be "too good" (the Master smiles in reply) when the inevitable end of everything is the Perfection of perfection, The Good Itself?


It cannot be too good, for that which is too good is out of its own self; but with the Good there is neither too little nor too much, it is Perfection.


What then, we feebly ask, is imperfection? And in the Master-Presence we cannot but reply: It is the doubt "It is too good" that is the imperfection of our nature; we fear it cannot be for us, not knowing that the "little one" who catches some glimpse of the vista, the earnest of the Vision Glorious, sees not something without, but that which is within himself. It is all there potentially, the full Sonship of the Father. It is pg 17 there and here and everywhere, for it is the nature of our very being.


The first glimpse of this Divine possibility is brought to the consciousness of the prepared disciple by the immediate Presence and Glory of the Master, according to the records of the followers of the Religion of the Mind. But who is the Master? Is He someone without us; is He some other one; is He some teacher who sets forth a formal instruction?

Not so. "This race," that is to say, he who is born in this natural way, "is never taught, but when the time is ripe, its memory is restored by God." It is not therefore some new thing; it is not the becoming of something or other; it is a return to the same, we become what we have ever been. The dream is ended and we wake to life.


And so in one of the marvellous pg18 descriptions of initiation handed on in the Trismegistic sermons, in which the disciple is reborn, or born in Mind, he is all amazed that his "father" and initiator here below should remain there before him just as he ever was in his familiar form, while the efficacious rite is perfected by his means. The "father" of this "son" is the link, the channel of the Gnosis; the true initiation is performed by the Great Initiator, the Mind.

And that this is so may be learned from another sermon, in which a disciple of a higher grade is initiated without any intermediate link; by himself, alone as far as any physical presence of another is concerned, he is embraced by the Great Presence and instructed in the mystery.


The office of the "father" is to bring the "son" to union with himself, so that he may be born out of ignorance into Gnosis, born in Mind, his Highest pg 19 Self, and so become Son of the Father indeed.


What is most striking in the whole of the tradition of the Mind-doctrine is its impersonal nature. In this it stands out in sharp contrast with the popular Christianity and other saving cults contemporary with it. It is true that the sermons are set forth mostly in the form of instruction of teacher to pupil. We learn to love Hermes and Asclepius and Tat and Ammon, and become friends with all of them in turn; they seem to be living men, with well-marked characters. But they are not historical characters; they are types. There is an Ammon, a Tat, an Asclepius, and a Hermes, in each one of us, and that is why we learn to love them. The "holy four" are in the shrine of our hearts; but transcending all, embracing all, is the Shepherd of all men, the Love pg 20 Divine that through the lips of our Hermes teaches us--as Asclepius or Tat or Ammon--as we have ears to hear the words of power, or eyes to see the gnostic splendour of the teaching.


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Nay, more than this; such instruction, beautiful and true as it may be, is not the highest teaching of the Mind. They who are born in Mind, are taught by Mind by every act and every thought and every sensation. The Mind eternally instructs the man through body, soul and mind; for now the man begins to know through all of these, for he is changing from the little mind and soul and body that he was to the Great Body and Great Soul and Mind of the Great Man. He no longer seeks a teacher, for all things teach him, or rather the One Teacher teaches him through all. All that there is transforms itself for him into the nature of the Gnosis of the Good. pg 21


No longer is he a hearer, but the Hearer; for he has ears on all sides to hear the voice of Nature, Spouse of the Divine, in everything that breathes and all that seems to have no life--the simultaneous winter and summer of the Lord.


No longer is he a seer, but the Seer; for he has eyes on all sides to see the beauty of the whole, and fairest things in things that are most foul.


No longer is he a doer, but the Doer; for all he does is consecrated to the Lord who dedicates Himself to acting in the man.


And so all of his senses and his energies are set on the Great Work of self-initiation in the Mysteries of God; his life becomes illumined by the glory of perpetual perfectioning, and he no longer thinks that he has ever been other than now he is. For memory is ever present with him, and the memory of the Mind is of the pg 22 nature of eternity, which transcends all time and sees all past and future and all present in the instant that endures for evermore.


And What does the Religion of the Mind teach us of God, the universe and man? It teaches us many things of great solemnity and joyous presage; but one thing especially it seems to teach, and that is the impossibility of human speech to tell the mystery. For every man is but a letter in the language of the Gods; so that all that a man may write, no matter how well stocked his mind may be with systems of the world or of theology, or with the science of the human state, no matter how exactly he may reproduce his thought and trick it forth in fairest human language--all that he can express is but a single letter of his Word. The Words of God are written with the general purposed acts pg 23 of men, and are not uttered by their individual spoken speech or penned with written words. The Words of God are spoken by the energies of Nature, and are not written on the surfaces of things; the surfaces of things are scribbled over with the false appearances that men project from their unknowing minds.


How then can men describe the universe, except by their inscribing of themselves upon the fields of space? To describe the universe as it is they must become the universe, and then they will describe themselves; and to describe themselves they will be able to discover no better way than that in which the universe gives utterance to itself. It speaks perpetually the Language of the Gods, the Universal Tongue, for it is God for ever giving utterance unto Himself.


The Tongue of the Eternal is the Mind pg 24 of God. It is by Mind, the Reason of His Self-subsistence, that He perpetually speaks forth all things.

Thus we learn that the Religion of the Mind is pre-eminently the Religion of the Logos, and throughout the whole of our Trismegistic tractates no name comes more frequently before us than the word Logos. For the Logos is the Word of God, not in the sense of a single Word, but the Word in the sense of the Universal Scripture of all worlds and of all men.


And so it is that Hermes is the Scribe of the Gods. Not that Hermes is one of the Gods who is a scribe for the rest, as though they could not write themselves; but Hermes is the Logos of God, and the Words he writes are Gods.


We men are letters of our Word or our God; for man has the glorious destiny before him, nay, the actuality even now in his universal nature, of being a God, a pg 25 Divine Being, of the nature of Gnosis and Joy and Subsistence. That Word has written itself many times in the world, now one letter and now another; it spells itself in many ways, in sequences of lives of men, and of other lives as well.


And time will be when each and every God-Word, in its own proper turn, will sound forth in all its glory, not letter by letter, but the whole Word simultaneously on earth; and a Christ will be born and all Nature will rejoice, and the world of men will know or be ignorant according to the nature of the times and the manner of the utterance of the Word.


Such are some of the ideas aroused by some of the leading conceptions of the Religion of the Mind, or the Pure Philosophy, or Single Love, as the disciples of Thrice-greatest Hermes called their Theosophy some nineteen centuries ago. pg 26


The most general term, however, by which they named their science and philosophy and religion was Gnosis; it occurs in almost every sermon and excerpt and fragment of their literature which we possess. The doctrine and the discipline of Mind, the Feeder of men and Shepherd of man’s soul, are summed up in that fairest word--Gnosis.


Let us then briefly consider the meaning of the name as the followers of this Way understood it. Gnosis is knowledge; but not discursive knowledge of the nature of the multifarious arts and sciences known in those days or in our own. On this "noise of words," these multifarious knowledges of the appearances of things and vain opinions, the followers of the True Science and Pure Philosophy looked with resignation; while those of them who were still probationers treated them with even less tolerance, pg 27 declaring that they left such things to the "Greeks"; for "Egyptians," of course, nothing but Wisdom could suffice.


At any rate this is how one of the less instructed editors of one of the collections of our sermons phrases it. For him Egypt was the Sacred Land and the Egyptians the Chosen Race; while the Greeks were upstarts and shallow reasoners. The like-natured Jew of the period, on the other hand, called the body "Egypt," while Judæa was the Holy Land, and Israel the Chosen of God; and so the game went merrily on, as it does even unto this day.


But the real writers of the sermons knew otherwise. Gnosis for them was superior to all distinction of race; for the Gnostic was precisely he who was reborn, into the Race, the Race of true Wisdom-lovers, the Kinship pg 28 of the Divine Fatherhood. Gnosis for them began with the Knowledge of Man, to be consummated at the end of the perfectioning by the Knowledge of God or Divine Wisdom.


This Knowledge was far other than the knowledge or science of the world. Not, however, that the latter was to be despised; for all things are true or untrue, according to our point of view. If our standpoint is firmly centered in the True, all things can be read in their true meaning; whereas if we wander in error, all things, even the truest, become misleading for us.


The Gnosis began, continued and ended in the knowledge of one’s self, the reflection of the Knowledge of the One Self, the All Self. So that if we say that Gnosis was other than the science of the world, we do not mean that it excluded anything, but only that it regarded all pg 29 human arts and sciences as insufficient, incomplete, imperfect.


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Indeed it is quite evident on all hands that the writers of the Trismegistic tractates, in setting forth their intuitions of the things-that-are, and in expressing the living ideas that came to birth in their hearts and heads, made use of the philosophy and science and art of their day. It is, in very deed, one of the stories of their endeavour that they did so; for in so doing they brought the great truths of the inner life into contact with the thought of their age.


There is, however, always a danger in any such attempt; for in proportion as we involve the great intuitions of the soul and the apocalypses of the mind in the opinions of the day, we make the exposition of the mysteries depart from the nature of scripture and fall into the changing notions of the ephemeral. pg 30 Human science is ever changing; and if we set forth such glimpses of the sure ideas and living verities of the Gnosis as we can obtain, in the ever-changing forms of evolving science, we may, indeed, do much to popularise our glimpse of the mysteries for our own time; but the days that are to come will accuse us of clothing the Beauty of the Truth in rags as compared with the fairer garments of their own improved opinions.


The Documents that have been preserved from the scriptoria of the Trismegistic tradition are by many hands and the product of many minds. Sometimes they involve themselves so closely with the science of their day that the current opinion of the twentieth century will turn from them with a feeling of contemptuous superiority; on the other hand they not infrequently remain in the paths of clear reason, and offer us an pg 31 unimpeded view of vistas of the Plain of Truth. But even when they hold most closely to the world-representations and man-knowledges of their own day they are not without interest; for it may be that in their notions of living nature--the very antipodes of our modern day opinions based on the dead surfaces of things--they may have been with regard to some things even nearer the truth than we are ourselves in this so boasted age of grace and enlightenment.


Be this as it may, there are many examples of clean and clear thinking in the logoi or sacred sermons, or discourses, or utterances, of the School; and one of the most attractive elements in the whole discipline is the fact that the pupil was encouraged to think and question. Reason was held in high honour; a right use of reason, or rather, let us say, right reason, and not its counterfeit, opinion, pg 32 was the most precious instrument of knowledge of man and the cosmos, and the means of self-realisation into that Highest Good which, among many other names of sublime dignity, was known as the Good Mind or Reason (Logos) of God.


The whole theory of attainment was conditioned by the fact that man in body, soul and mind was a world in himself--a little world, it is true, so long as he is content to play the part of a "procession of Fate"; but his Destiny is greater than that Fate, or rather, let us say, his Unknowingness is Fate, his Awareness will be his Destiny. Man is a little world, little in the sense of personal, individual, separate; but a world for all that--a monad. And the destiny of man is that he should become the Monad of monads, or the Mind of God--the Cosmos itself, not only as perceived by pg 33 the senses as all that is, both that which moves and moves not, which is the Great Body and Great Soul of things; but also as conceived by mind, as that Intelligible Greatness of all greatnesses, the Idea of all ideas, the Mind and Reason of God Himself, His own Self-created Son, Alone-begotten, the Beloved.


On this transcendent fact of facts is founded the whole discipline and method of the Gnosis of the Mind. The Mystery of mysteries is Man or Mind. But this naming of the Mystery should not be understood as excluding Soul and Body. Mind is the Person of persons, the Presence of all presences. Time, space, and causality are conditioned by the Mind. But this Mind, the True Man, is not the mind in bondage to causality, space and time. On the other hand, it is just this mind in bondage, this "procession of Fate," the "servant’s pg 34 form," which is the appearance that hides the potentiality of becoming the All, of becoming the Æon, the Presence,--that is, the Subsistence of all things present, at every moment of time, and point of space, and every instant cause-and-effect in the Bosom of Fate. It is true that in the region of opinion, body, soul and mind seem separate and apart; they are held by the man in separation as the fundamental categories of his existence; and truly so, for they are the conditions of ex-istence, of standing out of Being, that environment of incompleteness--the complement or fulfilment of which is ec-stasis, whereby the man goes forth from his limitations to unite himself with Himself, and so reaches that Satisfaction and Fulfilment, which our Gnostics call the PLEROMA when set over against the conception of space, and the Æon when set over against the pg 35 idea of time, and the Good when contrasted with the notion of Fate.


But Being is the Three in One, Mind, Soul and Body--Light, Life and Substance, co-eternal together and co-equal.


It therefore follows that he who would be Gnostic, must not foolishly divorce within himself the mystery of the triple Partners, the Three Powers, or the Divine Triad. For him the object of his endeavour is to consummate the Sacred Marriage within himself, where Three must "marry" to create; that so he may be united to his Greatest Self and become at-one with God. Body, soul, and mind (or spirit, for in this Gnosis spirit is frequently a synonym of mind) must all work together in intimate union for righteousness.


The body of man must be regarded as a holy temple, a shrine of the Divine--the most marvellous House of God that pg 36 exists, fairer far than the fairest temple raised with hands. For this natural temple which the Divine has wrought for the indwelling of His beloved sons, is a copy of the Great Image, the Temple of the Universe in which the Son of God, the Man, dwells.


Every atom of every group of atoms, every limb and joint and organ, is laid down according to the Divine Plan; the body is an image of the Great Seal, Heaven-and-Earth, male-female in one.


But how few know or even dream of the possibilities of this living temple of the Divine! We are sepulchres, tombs of the dead; for our bodies are half-atrophied, alive only to the things of Death, and dead to the things of Life.


The Gnosis of the Mind thus teaches us to let the Life flow into the dead channels of our corporeal nature, to invoke the Holy Breath of God to enliven pg 37 the substance of our frames, that so the Divine Quickener may first bring to birth in us our divine complement, our other self, our long-lost spouse, and then we may ourselves with ungrudging love and fair wooing of her bring our true selves to birth, so becoming regenerate or reborn,--a trinity of Being, not a unit of vegetative existence, or a duality of man-animal nature, but the Perfect Triangle jewelled with all three sparks of perfected manhood.


It is very evident, then, that if the idea of this Gnosis be carried out logically, the hearer of this Mathesis must strive ever to become a doer of the Word, and so self-realise himself in every portion of his being. The object that he has in view is intensification of his whole nature. He does not parcel out his universe or himself into special compartments, but he strives ever to refund himself into ever pg 38 more intimate union with himself--meaning by this his ever-present consciousness; for there is nothing really that he is not.


Indeed it is one of the pleasantest features of the Trismegistic Gnosis, or rather, one may say its chief characteristic, a characteristic which should specially endear it to our present age, that throughout it is eminently reasonable. It is ever encouraging the pupil to think and question and reason; I do not mean that it encourages criticism for the sake of pedantic carping, or questioning for the sake of idle curiosity, but that it is ever insisting on a right use of the purified reason, and the striving to clarify the mind and soul and body, so that they may become a crystal prism through which the One Ray of the Logos, the All-Brilliancy, as Philo calls it, many shine with unimpeded lustre in clean pg 39 and clear colours according to the nature of the truth in manifestation.


And here we may attempt to compare, though not with any idea of contrasting to the disparagement of either, the greater simplicity of the Gnosis of the Mind with the dazzling multiplicity and endless immensities of the, perhaps for my readers, more familiar revelations of the Christianised Gnosis. They are two aspects of the same Mystery; but whereas the former is conditioned by the clear thinking of philosophic reason as set forth pre-eminently in the Logic of Plato, and refuses to sever its contact with the things-that-are "here" as well as "there," the latter soars into such transcendent heights of vision and apocalypsis, that it loses itself in ecstasies which cannot possibly be registered in the waking consciousness.


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