Many / One

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Compiled by JoAnn Kite

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The Gnostic Gospels
Elaine Pagels

1 "God lets himself be seen in his works that he may be recognized as their creator." The Odes of Solomon (2nd century Gnostic hymnbook), Ode 7

2 "Self-knowledge is knowledge of God; the self and the divine are identical."

3 "The gnostic movement shared certain affinities with contemporary methods of exploring the self through psychotherapeutic techniques. Both gnosticism and psychotherapy value, above all, knowledge – the self-knowledge which is insight. They agree that, lacking this, a person experiences the sense of being driven by impulses he does not understand."

4 "To know oneself, at the deepest level, is simultaneously to know God; this is the secret of gnosis."

5 "The living Jesus of these (Gnostic) texts speaks of illusion and enlightenment, not of sin and repentance….he comes as a guide who opens access to spiritual understanding."

6 "Men and women share equally in perfection….the name 'humanity' is common to both men and women." Clement of Alexandria, 'Paidagogos', 1.6

7 "Proponents of these diverse (Gnostic) views agreed that the divine is to be understood in terms of a harmonious, dynamic relationship of opposites – a concept that may be akin to the Eastern view of yin and yang."

8 "To know oneself, they [the Gnostics] claimed, is to know human nature and human destiny."

9 "Some of the gnostic texts…speak of the feminine element in the divine, celebrating God as Father AND Mother."

10 "Abandon the search for God and the creation and other matters of a similar sort. Look for him by taking yourself as the starting point. Learn who it is within you who makes everything his own and says, 'My God, my mind, my thought, my soul, my body.' Learn the sources of sorrow, joy, love, hate….If you carefully investigate these matters, you will find him in yourself." Monoimus, quoted by Hippolytus, 'Refutation of All Heresies', 8.15.1-2

11 "There is in everyone divine power existing in a latent condition….generating itself, making itself grow, seeking itself, finding itself, being mother of itself, father of itself, sister of itself, spouse of itself, daughter of itself, son of itself – mother, father, unity, being a source of the entire circle of existence." Hippolytus, 'Refutation of All Heresies', 6.17

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite