What does "gnostic experience" mean to you?

A casual friend left an Away message that say…“gnostic experience, everyone should have one”. She rarely answers questions directly, and sometimes doesn’t respond for weeks, so asking her will be a frustrating experience. She has never shown any religious or spiritual leanings, and she’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer, so even if she answers, it may be hard to decipher. I’ve done a little googling of gnosticism, but I’m more thoroughly confused than before. Can someone give me the short version of what a gnostic experience might be?


That was my first thought, and would explain some of her recent behavior…

Possible she meant some kind of out-of-body type of thing? Gnosticism, as I understand it, is somewhat about the separateness of body and soul, or physical and spiritual.

And yeah, I think I’d vote for something to do with 'shrooms, too. Either that, or she doesn’t have a clue what she’s talking about and it just sounded kind of ‘mystical’.

you can only know it by experiencing it.

Imagine watching your friends getting off a roller coaster, they are flushed, excited and blown away… Both you and they know that telling you about it is a silly waste of time, unless they are gifted mystical poets… even then, its only a description.

If you REALLY want to know, you better buy a ticket on the roller coaster and try the ride…


But where does one find the roller coaster? And does it resemble other roller coasters?

In the theme park of your mind.

Gnocchi? First think I thought of.

Some…skinny old mystic in a shack in the Sahara, making weird, warbling chants?
Makes as much damn sense as anything else.

Experiencing the ‘Truth’ that the distinction between Self and the Universe is an illusion. Oneness etc.

I hate it when people use words they don’t understand.

Wiki on Gnosis.

Your friend is either talking about taking drugs, meditating, or some “insight” she gained by talking for several hours with some guy she has the hots for, who uses the whole mystical angle to validate himself and get chicks.

well, she did type it experiance…

And I read the Wiki before I started the thread…that’s what confused me!

I could see the first and third options being true, though the drugs would really surprise me…but then, she’s been hangin out with this guy who has some strange hold on her…

A-ha ! :slight_smile: Ten virtual bucks says it’s the guy, and they did either some mild form of drugs, some exotic form of sex, or some intense book reading together. Probably all three. I bet some oriental music and incense was involved, too.

Maastricht, Maastricht, Maastricht… such cynicism. Such world-weary ennui. :smiley:

I’ll bet you’re spot-on. I’ve seen that movie myself, although it didn’t work on me.

Isn’t the whole idea behind a gnostic experience is that most people can’t have one?

It’s a mystery :wink:


Okay, so can I assume from the above responses that the girl is just a flake? Which I already knew…I just wondered what she might be talking about.

She is sort of a flake. Gnosticism is a religious/philosophical position that holds that there is deeper mystery or knowledge to be revealed or experienced. She may have experienced something that she thinks opened her mind spiritually or philosophically revealing something previously hidden, so in a sense, this would be a correct use of the term gnostic.

From a christian perspective, the Gnostics taught that there were deeper mysteries to salvation/redemption, rather than the very open “believe in Christ and be saved” of the gospels. Several of the epistles directly address and refute this as a heresy. Some of the Gnostic cults also had an issue with the divine inhabiting the physical (the incarnation) and had elaborate explanations around this. The Gnostic Gospels are a collection of writings dating to the second century about Jesus that express gnostic positions. They postdate the traditional gospels and are not included in the biblical canon. They have formed part of the plot of books like The DaVinci Code, portrayed as a true theological and historical record suppressed by the church.

Sometimes Gnosticism is lumped with mysticism - the experience of the supernatural that reveals more about God. This leads to the supernatural experience being interpreted as a gnostic one. It probably is a valid use of the term, in my opinion.

Just thinking about it, the most Gnostic group of people I can think of today are Scientologists - hidden knowledge, immortal perfect souls trapped in physical bodies striving for release, layers of knowing. Bah.

So to answer your question, your friend is probably a flake, but she may have used (or repeated) the phrase “gnostic experience” properly, but most likely she just had a good trip.


Moving this over to IMHO.