Gnosticism Quotes


Be passersby.

Jesus of Nazareth
(The Gospel of Thomas - Saying 42)

The Father is surrounded by light.

Secret Book According to John (The Origin of Reality)

Whoever discovers the interpretation of these sayings will not taste death.

Jesus (The Gospel of Thomas - Saying 1)

I am one who is honored, praised, and scornfully despised.
I am peace, and war has come because of me.
I am alien and citizen.
I am the substance and one without substance.
Those unconnected to me are unfamiliar with me,
and those in my substance know me.
Those close to me are ignorant of me,
and those far away have known me.
On the day I am close to you, you are far,
and on the day I am far, I am close to you.

Thunder, Perfect Mind

His self-aware thought (ennoia) came into being.
Appearing to him in the effulgence of his light.
She stood before him.
She is from His image in His light
Perfect in power
Image of the invisible perfect Virgin Spirit.

Secret Book According to John (The Origin of Reality)

It happened that the realm (aeon) Wisdom (Sophia)
Of conceptual thought (Epinoia),
Began to think for herself,
She used the thinking (enthymesis)
And the foreknowledge (prognosis)
Of the Invisible Spirit.

Secret Book According to John (A Crisis that Became the World)

She, Barbelo, asked the virgin Spirit for foreknowledge (prognosis).
The Spirit agreed.
Foreknowledge came forth and stood by Providence
[This one came through the Invisible Virgin Spirit’s Thought.]
Foreknowledge gave glory to the Spirit
And to Barbelo, the Spirit’s perfect power,
For She was the reason that it had come into being.

Secret Book According to John (The Origin of Reality)

Because she had unconquerable Power
Her thought was not unproductive.
Something imperfect came out of her
Different in appearance from her.

Secret Book According to John (A Crisis that Became the World)

She, Barbelo, asked the virgin Spirit for Incorruptibility
The Spirit agreed.
Incorruptibility came forth and stood by Thought and Foreknowledge.
    Incorruptibility gave glory to the Invisible Virgin Spirit
And to Barbelo,
For She was the reason that it had come into being.
    She asked for everlasting Life.
The Spirit agreed
Everlasting life came forth and they all stood together.
They gave glory to the invisible Spirit

Secret Book According to John (Primary Structures of the Divine Mind)


Jesus said, "If they say to you, 'Where have you come from?' say to them, 'We have come from the light, from the place where the light came into being by itself, established [itself], and appeared in their image.'
If they say to you, 'Is it you?' say, 'We are its children, and we are the chosen of the living Father.'
If they ask you, 'What is the evidence of your Father in you?' say to them, 'It is motion and rest.'"

Jesus of Nazareth
(The Gospel of Thomas - Saying 50)

Look then at his words
and all the writings which have been completed.
Give heed then, you hearers
and you also, the angels and those who have been sent,
and you spirits who have arisen from the dead.
For I am the one who alone exists,
and I have no one who will judge me.
For many are the pleasant forms which exist in numerous sins,
and incontinencies,
and disgraceful passions,
and fleeting pleasures,
which (men) embrace until they become sober
and go up to their resting place.
And they will find me there,
and they will live,
and they will not die again.

Thunder, Perfect Mind

More from Gnostic Texts

For more Gnostic wisdom have a look at this list below!

The true face of Gnosticism must remain for the time being a mystery. However, we are quite happy to leave this for others to discover.

Giovanni Filoramo (A History of Gnosticism, 1990)

The history of the early Church was profoundly influenced, between the second and third centuries, by the struggle against the Gnostics

Giovanni Filoramo (A History of Gnosticism, 1990)

The study of Gnosticism is about to enter upon a new phase. Of this we are confidently assured by those who have had opportunity to examine the documents discovered some thirteen years ago at Nag Hammadi, and to say the least the publication not of one or two only but of no less than forty-three hitherto unknown texts cannot but bring a considerable accession to our knowledge.

Giovanni Filoramo (A History of Gnosticism, 1990)

Because of the importance of Jewish and Christian elements in Gnosticism, such early Church Fathers as Irenaeus, Clement, Tertullian and Hippolytus regarded it as a supremely dangerous enemy to Christian faith, and they took great pains to describe it as exactly as possible in order to refute its tenets. Their writings remain the most important sources for early Gnostic thought which we possess.

Robert M. Grant (Gnosticism An Anthology, 1961)

In keeping with the Gnostic view of the world and humanity, Gnostic ethics is marked by hostility to the body and striving to escape from the world. In patristic attacks the Gnostics are constantly accused of libertinism and especially of sexual excess and dissipation. This criticism finds no support in the original texts, which point rather to a strongly ascetic lifestyle and which contain sharp attacks on the legalistic morality of the fathers.

The Encylopedia of Christianity (Volume 2, 2001)

According to the Church tradition, the originator of the Gnostic movement was Simon of Gitta, the ’sorcerer’ whom Peter and John encountered at Samaria. There is no reason to doubt that Samaria, with its mixed population, was an early centre of Gnosticism, or that Simon was a historical personage who was prominently connected with som important phase in its development. But the movement as a whole cannot be traced back to the activity of any individual teacher. It manifested itself under so many forms and in localities so widely separate that we can regard it only as the outcome of ideas and tendencies which were involved in the general life of the time. This is acknowledged by the Fathers themselves, who derive the heresies of Simon and his successors from Greek philosophical speculation; and the hypothesis has been accepted, in a modified form, by not a few modern scholars.

James Hastings (Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics Volume VI, 1913)

Relevant Pages

Western Esotericism

A Seekers Thoughts on Gnosticism

Thats roughly how the Gnostic worldview is constituted in very broad strokes. But that isn't the entire story of Gnosticism, there is considerably more things to explore when it comes to this fascinating ancient tradition.

Gnosticism was one of the many religious-philosophical movements in the western world during the first centuries of the common era, and the gnostic teachings accompanied by many other creeds, faiths and schools of thoughts were functioning as competitors to what would later become the orthodox catholic church.

The main tenets of the gnostic worldview was derived out of the belief that all matter was the creation of an ignorant and imperfect deity, called Ialdaboath, which in turn was made out of a gargantuan cosmic mistake, as is so fascinatingly told in some Gnostic myths. (Most notably the Secret Book of John)

According to the Gnostics, this imperfect and ignorant deity (Ialdaboath) was equivalent to the Abrahamic God Yahweh, which one finds in the Old Testament and consequently the same God that is found, though a more lenient version perhaps, in the New Testament and in the Koran.

The spiritual goal of the Gnostic was to gain this knowledge (gnosis) about the nature of the world and in doing so begin his/her spiritual ascension into the realm of the Fullness, the abode of the one true perfect God, the Invisible Virgin Spirit.