2682 Middlefield Road, Suite J,
Redwood City, CA 94063
This is a group of people with a sense of humor. Life is too serious for us to take ourselves seriously. We enjoy life and all it has to offer. We rejoice in the discoveries of science: the decoding of the DNA, the functioning of the brain, the wresting of the mysteries within the heart of the atom itself, the new physics, modern technology, and the computer age. We rejoice in poetry, music, and dance. We rejoice in nature.
We also remain aware of the past and its traditions. We do not follow the traditions themselves, nor do they bind us. Rather we acknowledge them as part of our cultural past and as a source from which much of our present civilization springs forth.
The same applies to all scriptures. The Hebrew Bible, the Gnostic Gospels, the Christian and Apocryphal Gospels, the Koran, the Bhagavad Gita—we use them and others from more recent sources. We never take them literally. We do not consider any of them to be "the word of God" or a final authority. We do not see them as "God's laws," but as men's laws. They are many voices with varying degrees of consciousness expressing, with whatever they could, their vision of the universe and its source. Each the voice of its culture and times. Each colored by its political and social condition—often tainted with fear and the effort to demonize enemies or to justify actions and the establishment of new beliefs. Each a cry for hope. All longing for God. Much in them is of great beauty and wisdom. We recognize and acknowledge the value of these ancient mythologies. By mythology, we mean something that while not necessarily factual, is nevertheless true. They point not to one time and event in history but to the ever-recurrent realities of the soul. As we discover more about evolution and the universe, new meanings arise. The old mysteries, as they unravel, eternally disclose new ones to be unveiled. Therefore we can hold no beliefs—only hypotheses; open to be discarded or changed at all times.
We acknowledge and celebrate ritual—so deeply ingrained within our own primitive natures. Since primitive times and against all rationality we continue to search for the Unknown and Unknowable within and beyond perceived reality, the Great Mystery beyond birth and death. The rituals that we celebrate in our Sanctuary, with their flow of poetry, music and rich metaphor often lead us beyond ordinary reality. When consciously celebrating their mystery, a paean of joy often bursts from our souls that connects us to the root and totality of our beings—as well as with that which has been, is, and is yet to come.
We are not exactly dualists nor exactly monists, as we don't exactly fit those classifications. We do not follow any one school of Gnostic thought, ancient or modern, such as Valentinian, Sethian, Basilidian or Marcionite, among others. We today, as did our early Gnostic ancestors, maintain our freedom to inquire and explore all levels of existence, unfettered by the consensus beliefs of our society and times. We do not follow "Gnostic doctrines," the term amounting to an oxymoron, any more than any other belief handed down through the centuries. Gnosis is a matter of experience, not belief.
Gnostics are a paradox. We do not embrace beliefs or form concepts, but are deeply committed to that which moves us. We hesitate to call it God because of all the dogma and theology the word implies. That Which Is defies explanations.
We hold ourselves open for that Supreme Mystery to manifest in all its life and splendor in each blinding, eternal moment. This is not a goal—something to reach and obtain, like a degree—so that we may call ourselves "enlightened." We strive to be intensely aware at all times, free from conditioning and expectations, for Gnosis cannot be coerced, only invited, so it may move and dwell in us.
We reject all prejudices. We stand for the dignity of all sentient beings and their freedom to choose and inquire deeply within; to question all formulas; to explore without assumptions or taking anything for granted. We stand for our right to find our way out from all conditioning; to make our own choices and decisions, be them of faith, of lifestyle or of anything pertaining to us as individuals. We stand for our right to face life without fear and to look at the unknown with courage and joy. These Gnostics are not pessimistic, but see life as a great adventure.
© 2000, Rosamonde Miller