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Experiential gnosis


"The thinkable is false. All our attempts to crystallize Truth in words are just as futile as the trickery by which the artist gets his sunlight effects with some dull ochre. The impresson's good enough, maybe, at a distance, as an impression. Examine it close: it goes. God sees the clever composition; man sees the untidy brushwork. So logic destroys our religions, despite their truth."
-Aleister Crowley from "The Stone of the Philosophers" in
Konx Om Pax


Certain knowledge lies beyond the realm of the intellect. The intellect implies duality, the knower & the known - this implies falsity. As Crowley remarks in Konx Om Pax, "the thinkable is false." Knowledge from the intellect may be true in certain circumstances, but by the law of polarity, it must be false in other situations or from a different point-of-view.

It might even be said that all positive manifestations of the negative continuum necessitate an aspect of illusion & falsity; this point could be illustrated by the Magus in the Tarot (Atu I) who is also the Juggler of Illusion, the initiator of Maya - he brings Truth, but in this he must also bring Falsity like the curse of the Magus of the 9=2 degree. The Magus is the 1st Atu after Atu 0, The Fool which can symbolize the negative continuum of all space, all stars, and all possibilities - beyond all attributes - synonymous in various ways with Tao, Nuit, and Nirguna Brahma. Naught (0) is beyond all attributes, which are inherently positive statements (not in the sense of being "good" or "likeable" but simply "existing") - When Naught becomes All (the Universe), it enters into positive manifestation, the 1 as opposed to the 0. When it manifests as such, it clothes itself in Duality: Being and Non-Being, knower and known, existence and non-existence, good and bad, etc. Intellect is a part of this All, often referred to as the Ruach which contains Sol and the spheres around it below the Abyss, and therefore it is inherently subject to duality. The supreme Self is beyond the intellect and can only be experienced through direct perception, discarded from the intellect.

Mystical states, trances, visions, experiences, yoga (dharana, dhyana, samadhi), intuitive insights are needed to give true 'faith': experiential knowledge. Without experience to back up knowledge, without understanding to back up wisdom, one only has a sterile, detached (and perhaps irrelevant to one's personal Being) philosophy.



"Also reason is a lie; for there is a factor infinite & unknown; & all their words are skew-wise."
-Liber AL vel Legis, II:32

"Genuine Gnosis is the Universal Knowledge that frees the soul from suffering. Gnosis is experiential knowledge, not merely intellectual or conceptual knowledge, belief or theory. True Gnosis is universal to all mankind and is the root wisdom of all genuine religions and mystical traditions. "
-Samuel Aun Weor

"The only kind of learning which significantly influences behavior is self-discovered or self-appropriated learning - truth that has been assimilated in experience."
-Carl Rogers (Humanist psychologist)

"What I hear, I forget.
What I see, I remember.
What I do, I understand."

"If you want to know the taste of a pear, you must change the pear by eating it yourself. . . . If you want to know the theory and methods of revolution, you must take part in revolution. All genuine knowledge originates in direct experience."
-Mao Zedong from a speech, July 1937, Yenan, China.

"The secret of life is not enjoyment but education through experience."
-Swami Vivekananda

"There is no knowledge without experience, and man has to see God in his own soul. When man has come face to face with the one great fact in the universe, then alone will doubts vanish and crooked things become straight. This is "seeing God." Our business is to verify, not to swallow. Religion, like other sciences, requires you to gather facts, to see for yourself, and this is possible when you go beyond the knowledge which lies in the region of the five senses. Religious truths need verification by everyone."
-Swami Vivekananda, The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, 1984-1987 , 6:133

Quotations from Vivekananda's Raja-Yoga

“All our knowledge is based upon experience.”
-Swami Vivekananda, Raja-Yoga, p.7

“…It is clear that all the religions of the world have been built upon that one universal and adamantine foundation of all our knowledge – direct experience.”
-Swami Vivekananda, Raja-Yoga, p.9

“If there is a God we must see Him; if there is a soul we must perceive it; otherwise it is better not to believe. It is better to be an outspoken atheist than a hypocrite.”
-Swami Vivekananda, Raja-Yoga, p.10

“Every human being has the right and the power to seek religion; every human being has the right to ask the reason why and to have his question answered by himself – if he only takes the trouble… in the study of Raja-yoga no faith or belief is necessary. Believe nothing until you find it out for yourself – that is what it teaches us.”
-Swami Vivekananda, Raja-Yoga, p.15

“It is wrong to blindly believe. You must exercise your own reason and judgment; you must learn from experience whether these things happen or not.”
-Swami Vivekananda, Raja-Yoga, p.18

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