Gnosticism - Understanding the Liberal Mind
Gnosticism is not a term we usually hear today, and yet we live in the age of the Gnostic. Gnosticism permeates every aspect of modern life. I tell my kids that it’s even in our ice cream. Many people associate this term with early Christianity, and not with modern liberalism. Liberalism is indeed Gnostic. It is a child of a much older philosophy known as Gnosticism.
Gnosticism pre-dates Christianity by many centuries. Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle combated the Gnostic attitude long before Christ entered the pages of history. In the time of Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle, liberals were known as the sophist. The sophists claimed that men could be “possessors” of ultimate wisdom, much like John Kerry who considers himself part of the “enlightened.” Plato considered himself a seeker of wisdom, not a possessor of the ultimate wisdom. That was reserved for God.
Liberals are our modern Sophists. The Gnostic Liberal believes that man can possess the wisdom and the power to change the nature of reality, or fundamental ground of being. The Gnostic Liberals either consider themselves to be god, or claim that god is dead... either way, they believe that we must look to man, rather than to God, for the solutions to global issues.
Eric Voegelin has written extensively on this subject, and I will be using him as our guide throughout this article. I understand liberalism in a much broader light since reading Voegelin. I recommend two works by Eric Voegelin on the subject of Gnosticism: The New Science of Politics, and Science, Politics and Gnosticism. For a different take on WWII, check out Voegelin’s Hitler and the Germans. Voegelin does not let the German people off the hook like so many other historians.
FOUNDERS OF MODERN GNOSTICISM
Hegel, Marx, and Nietzsche can indeed be considered the founding fathers of all the Gnostic mass movements of the past century. Their ideas led to the holocaust and multiculturalism. Their ideas led to the political decline spawned by communism, and the moral decline caused by relativism.
The Gnostic Enterprises in recent history include Karl Marx, with his attempt to create the social man, Fredric Nietzsche with his attempt to create the superman, Hitler with his attempt to create the Arian man, the New Age Movement with its attempt to create the god man, and yes, modern liberalism with its attempt to create the softer, gentler, kinder girly-man. As well, we should not forget Hegel who thought he was the only man.
All of these Gnostic enterprises ended in disaster. All of these enterprises share certain principles which we will get to in a moment.
SIX PRINCIPLES OF THE GNOSTIC ENTERPRISE
Voegelin lists six characteristics that all Gnostic Enterprises have in common.
First, the Gnostic is always dissatisfied with any given situation. To the Gnostic, the glass is always half empty. Even in the best of times the Gnostic will find the situation bleak. A recent example of this attitude can be seen in the liberals’ view of our current economy. Despite record employment, a booming housing market, and a thriving stock market, the liberal mind sees things as gloomy. The Gnostic attitude is founded in pessimism. It sees everyone as victims in one form or another, especially oppressors. That is why Gnostic Liberals see Islam as the victim, and Christianity as the oppressor. Somehow the Gnostic mind is able to turn reality on its head, no matter what the issue may be.
The second aspect of the Gnostic attitude is the belief that any drawbacks to any given situation can be attributed to a flaw in the system, that the world is intrinsically poorly organized. To the Gnostic Liberal, it is God who screwed things up. Creation itself is evil. What is never considered, is the possibility that mankind, with his free will, is flawed. To quote Voegelin: “Gnostics are not inclined to discover that human beings in general and they themselves in particular are inadequate. If in a given situation something is not as it should be, then the fault is to be found in the wickedness of the world.”
The third principle in the mindset of the Gnostic Liberal is, “the belief that salvation from the evil of the world is possible.”
Voegelin: “Form this follows the belief that the order of being will have to be changed in an historical process. From a wretched world a good one must evolve historically.” I personally encounter this thinking quite often. To site just one example; I often attend Gnostic Liberal discussion groups, just to see what they are up to. Gnostic Liberals love to do lots of talk-talk, so I have many to choose from in my town. At the one I attend on Thursday nights, the topic is often centered on negotiating with mad men like Kim Jung Mentally Ill, and Ah, mad in jihad. I often cite Chamberlain’s attempts to do the same with Hitler and how that did not pan out so well. Referring to history often makes Gnostic Liberals upset, because they truly think the nature of man has changed, that man has evolved. One person who was getting hot around the collar said, “why do you keep bringing up WWII? Things are different today.” This is why Gnostic Liberals are extremely dangerous people. Reality does not register.
The fifth aspect of the Gnostic attitude is that the nature of reality can be changed through human action. Voegelin: “…the belief that a change in the order of being lies in the realm of human action, that salvational act is possible through man’s own effort.” If we just gave everyone food, starvation would end; if we just provided more education, everyone would be smart like liberals; if we just found common ground with our enemies, wars would end; if we just meditated long enough, we would become enlightened; if we just promoted more science, we could live forever. “If we all just would get along.”
This sets the Gnostic Liberal on the quest for the right formula or methodology to achieve this self, and world salvation. As well, a Gnostic prophet will come forward who claims to posses the knowledge to save us all. Al Gore has recently come forward as just such a prophet. He has the knowledge, and the power to alter weather patterns. What a man! What a god!
THE SPIRITUAL GNOSTICS
We can break the Gnostic Liberals into two general categories that intertwine with each other. First we have the spiritual Gnostic Liberal. The spiritual Gnostic Liberals come in all sorts of flavors. We have the rebirth of paganism, with the belief that god can be found in rocks and trees; that the earth itself is god. Environmentalism is closely related to this religion. Save the moss and the hell with humans! Voegelin calls this the “path to de-humanization;” where man is placed beneath the animals. Historically, mass murder soon follows this philosophy.
Another flavor of the spiritual Gnostic Liberal is one where man is really god; it’s just that he has forgotten this fact. These Gnostic Liberals have all kinds of methods to remember that we are god. Meditation is a popular system to pursue this “awakening.” If one can gain the power to stop all thought, then bang-o! Now you are god. In reality one simply stops all thought. Another popular method of self salvation is to submit to a guru. The Sufis subscribe to this line of reasoning. If one can kill their ego by absolute surrender to a “master,” then true freedom will be achieved. Again, historically speaking, blind submission to a man has led to mass slaughter, not freedom.
THE SECULAR PROGRESSIVE GNOSTICS
The second category of Gnostic Liberals is the secular progressives. This group has two main reasons for evil existing in the world. The first being economic hardships, the second, Religion.
If there are terrorists, it is due to poverty. If there is theft, it is due to poverty. According to the secular progressive Gnostic Liberal, just about every evil in the world is caused by lack of economic resources. Therefore, they believe that through the redistribution of wealth, a new and great society can be created. The inadequacy within human nature never crosses their mind as a possible cause of evil.
Religion is also a cause of evil to this group of Gnostics. Every atrocity that has occurred was caused by religion, in the mind of the secular Gnostic Liberal. Of course, the Gnostic Liberal would not recognize their own belief as a religion, nor do they recognize the slaughter of the past century as evolving from the anti-religious Gnostic mass movements.
THE UNCHANGING GROUND OF BEING
The truth of the matter is that while many external changes can be measured and recorded concerning external reality, the internal realms have remained unchanged since the beginning. Evil is found within the nature of man. Yesterday, today and tomorrow. All Gnostic Liberal insanity can be traced back to the denial of this reality.
Plato cried tears of sorrow, and laughed with joy, just as you and I do today. Greed is still found in man despite the passing of time. People, like all things decay, and fade away despite advances in science. Death still comes to us all. Galaxies dance and collide into each other, and yet life goes on. Many worlds have come and gone, souls have departed this life, and yet we think we have gotten somewhere. The metaphysical world resides in the mind of God, the one and only unmovable mover. The timelessly boundless ground of being remains unchanged.
It is often claimed by the Gnostic Liberal that religion, and the belief in God, have been the cause of all the evil in the world. I say that it is the shortcomings of man. I will go further and state that when man abandoned God, and entered the age of the Gnostic, the ovens really cranked, the bodies stacked up to unparalleled heights, and the blood truly began to flow. Industrial production line slaughter on a massive scale. The death count of the past century, the century of the Gnostic, dwarfs any killing performed by any church or religion. The slaughter that is about to take place will be even worse. Man has indeed killed man in the name of God. Man has killed more men in the name of man.