you’re super respectful. What a sweetie!
I think sex can be part of gnosis, yes. Because certainly ecstasy can be part of gnosis, and ecstasy is part of sex.
and if ecstasy and sex get you closer to God and yourself, then yes. that’s super awesome!
and I might be wrong because like I mentioned, there are many paths to gnosis and there is no one right way.
But there are lots of wrong ways. And to say that “the most exciting path to gnosis, quite literally, is using sexual energy” is grossly over simplifying the matter. It doesn’t do the experience justice at all!
I can’t tell anyone how to achieve gnosis. And I shouldn’t have the right to tell anyone how not to achieve gnosis. But this is just wrong. It’s also insulting and dangerous.
But, don’t feel silly for starting a discussion on this! The subject of Gnosis deserves more attention than a misplaced little paragraph in Chris Penczak’s book.
And I don’t have the most experience with gnosticism. I stay away from the contemporary gnostic community, especially online, because their historical claims are dubious and they spend too much time mud slinging one another. I haven’t read all of the gnostic gospels, and I’ve only read parts of the Nag Hammadi. But I have studied a lot, and talked to God a lot, and this claim is just irresponsible to make.
Hell, I don’t even have a problem with sex magic! go for it! but that’s not gnosis. And if meant something more about what he said, he has the responsibility as being a leader in the Pagan community to be more clear and specific. You can’t just go around making claims about these things!
(by the by, the rest of the paragraph doesn’t even talk about gnosis. the sentence I posted was the intro to a paragraph about sex magic, the chalice and the blade, and the great rite.)
And sex isn’t a commonly discussed path to Gnosis (gnosis is not enlightenment, though they might be similar). It might be a good place to explore… but sex involves two or more people, and Gnosis really is something that is solitary and incredibly individual, at least in my opinion and experience.
Anyway, I see what you’re saying, and I’m glad you said it because this subject needs to be explored more, and I need to be able to make myself clear rather than just yelling and grunting about it! hahah. so thank you!
Some of this makes a lot more sense to me now. Firstly, you pointing out that Gnosis and enlightenment aren’t the same thing is important. I have no idea how sex would play into true Gnosis, because it obviously isn’t what I thought it was. Secondly, what you said about Christopher (and authors in general, but especially Pagan ones) being more concise and responsible is entirely right.
The bolded part above is my own emphasis. I think that is really important here. While the statement wasn’t entirely ‘incorrect’, you’re right that it is grossly over simplified. It was written in a way that could/should be expanded upon (which we just did), but the context was so out of place that you know it almost never would be under normal circumstances! Chris might have actually known exactly what he was talking about, and we’d never know because it wasn’t presented in the right forum and comes across super assumptive.
In his defense, I’ve met Christopher before, and got to go to dinner with him. While that doesn’t make me an expert on his character, I can say that I don’t feel he would have intentionally made a statement that was ‘untrue’, nor would he have made that sort of ‘mistake’ out of laziness, either (so, i doubt he said “Meh, I heard something about that thing that one time, somewhere. I’ll use it, no need to check up on it”). I mean that negligence for profit doesn’t seem to be his style. But, I can certainly say that any career author needs to be especially careful that their work doesn’t get in the way of their writing (i.e. writing for the sake of publication, rather than expertise or passion.)
Thanks for being so open about your thoughts, I really appreciate it!
You, too, are a sweetie! Hahaha! ;)
Well, now that I’ve slept a little, I’m not as angry but I am still a little annoyed. For the most part I’m enjoying this book, and I know a lot of people who adore him as a writer and as a person. I think the book will help me grow, too, and I think the workshop I’m part of will be a good experience for me.
It’s hard to talk about Gnosis, even in a book devoted to gnosis. I wish he hadn’t used that term. Or, I wish he would have explained himself more. I just shudder to think of a bunch of baby pagans running around having sex and trying out sex magic and thinking that they’ve reached gnosis. oh gawd! hahah
I think it’s totally cool that you’ve met Christopher Penczak! I’d probably go all fan girl on him, even though he makes me angry sometimes. But, making one angry is just another stage of growth I guess.
He’s pretty young, right? he’s written so many books, and to be honest, it makes me wonder how he could be an expert on so many subjects. But, maybe he’s just one of those gifted dudes.
anyway, thanks again for the great discussion! it’s important for people to keep me in check ^_-