The four is the base of all things, our world is sustained by the harmony of the four elements, nature is balanced by the four seasons, even on our earth we are confined to movement within the four cardinal points. The Buddhists have the Four Noble Truths, Gurdjieff talked of the Fourth Way and we find the Holy Cross (with four points) which is not just confined to Christianity, it is also found upon the altars of almost every "Pagan" religion.
In the same way the Gnostic doctrine affirms that all knowledge rests on harmony of four principles or better said the Temple of Gnosis rests on four pillars. These four pillars of knowledge are Science, Philosophy, Art and Religion (also known as Mysticism).
"The Gnostic teaching is based on the communion between science, philosophy, art and religion. It comprehends that life is empty if it does not pursue transcendence, the realisation of the Being. It would not be possible without developing superior emotions, which humanises science, sublimates art, elevates philosophy and crystallizes religion." ...Samael Aun Weor
From ancient times and, in fact, up until about 50yrs ago these four principles were practiced in complete communion and harmony. The scientist was a religious man, a philosopher and an artist. This is clearly seen in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome where all things were done in the name of God (Gods) and religion was the main focus of life. Modern man finds himself unable to imitate the Art of the Egyptians (eg Pyramids), even the renaissance stands as level of art that Man (humanity) has achieved but is far from the grasp of modern man.
The philosophy of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle has remained unrivalled for almost two thousand years and yet Socrates was a sculpture and his treatise talk of spirit working through man. Plato, Socrates disciple, surpassed his master creating a mystical school and starting the first university, not to mention Aristotle's scientific works.
Lucretius and Epicurus, both Greek scientists from before the time of Christ, first defined matter as atoms moving through void or space, which has only just been understood by scientists, 2000 years later. But Lucretius wrote his scientific observations and theories as a poem dedicating it to the goddess Venus. Pythagoras, known only for his simple maths in modern days, was a great mystic and scientist and his treatise on triangles or trinities was deeply esoteric having much in common with ancient Kabbalah. He demanded of all his students a grounding in astronomy, geometry and rhythm (particularly dance).
Even more recently there has been a flourishing of the knowledge during the last few hundred years, the philosophers known as Bacon, Nietzsche, Steiner, the artist Goethe, the musicians Mozart, Wagner and Beethoven, even coming right up to the most famous scientist of all time Albert Einstein. All these men were religious and many of them were Masons. The operas of Mozart and Wagner are full of esoteric symbolism, Goethe was a painter and poet who also wrote scientific treatise.
And most recently Einstein famously quoted: "Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind"
In short all the greatest names who have shaped and inspired modern thought, feeling and expression, were deeply mystical or religious people who understood that to truly understand oneself there must be harmony between science and art, religion and philosophy.
Gnosis and Religion
"All religions are precious stones strung on the golden thread of divinity"
The Religious man becomes the fanatic, caught in the many Religions forgetting the true principle of Religion.
We must distinguish Religion from Religions. To say "my religion is better than yours" is fundamentally flawed, for in truth although their exists many interpretations of the holy word the principles are always the same.
It should be understood that every religion departs from the principle of Religion, grows develops, multiplies into many sects and then slowly dies:
"Religious forms can die, but religious principles, in other words, internal values, never die. These continue robing themselves with new forms. There are profoundly religious men who do not belong to any religion"
The word religion comes from the Latin Religare meaning to re-link or bind together with Divinity or God, so the religion in itself or the principle of religion is to unite God and Man.
All those who fight amongst each other over who is in the correct religion, those fanatics, are caught in the external teaching, the written words, books and scriptures interpreted without and an understanding (or link) with Divinity, the dead religion.
Gnosis and Science
Science defines; how can man know himself unless he can see what is not himself?
It acts as a mirror for Man and God through its contrast, like a vast lake which perfectly reflects the starring night sky.
Science must depart from a position of Faith in the Truth (Divinity/Religion).
"Through science we understand knowledge. But not all knowledge is scientific, at least in the strict sense, since, for this it has to meet two conditions (1) it must be true and (2) it must be evident, which implies that it must be demonstrated. Moreover, scientific knowledge must be ordered and complete."
Modern science is far from achieving this, almost all its "theories" are isolated facts strung together by mere hypothesis. Science needs to be objective in order to be true and evident, thus modern scientists find themselves unable to understand anything outside of our three dimensional world. Trying to understand the nature of the universe and of the atom through the narrow gap of the five senses is like trying to study the universe through a microscope or an atom through a telescope. It has already been well proven that man only perceives a minute fraction of the many waves of energy that make up our universe and his eyes translate that stimulation into our "physical reality".
The Gnostic is objective; in Gnosis we teach practices to pass out of this body to observe phenomena free of the subjective senses, practices to place the body into a state of Jinns which allows one to perceive the world free of time and move through the higher dimensions of Nature.
But above all is taught the Awakening of Consciousness, this awakens the dormant potential in the human being, and as the word implies, makes one conscious of what is happening around and inside oneself psychologically and esoterically, in this dimension and those higher and lower. The consciousness can expand to the size of the universe to observe the movements of galaxies and size of an atom to observe the rotation of an electron around the nucleus of an atom.
Gnosis and Philosophy
"In itself, philosophy is evident reflection, mystical cognition of the Being, cognitive knowledge of awakened consciousness. Philosophy is the love of wisdom."
A philosopher must receive his information from science (which is derived from its link with the Divine) or else he will always depart from the Truth. For as Goethe said "the philosopher can calmly continue to operate in his abstract department on a false result, for no result is so false but that it can be made to appear valid, as form without substance, by some means or another"
Without a reference point in the Truth Philosophy is abstraction and speaks of nothing for nothing.
Philosophy in Gnosis is the Awakened Consciousness.
Gnosis and Art
"The purpose for Art is the search for beauty in its different manifestations."
Art is faithful witness to that great human work known as culture.
But truly we must see that Art, as from the root "to be" (thou art), is expression, it is the expression of our true selves into the world. Thus any work of Art without philosophy has no reason; it is pointless. Art without science has no order; it is unintelligible; and art without a link to the Divine is uninspired.
Gnosis has always been present in all great works of universal literature, in the production of the geniuses of music, painting, sculpture, and architecture. There are two kinds of Art: first, subjective art, which leads nowhere; secondly, natures regal art; transcendental art founded on the Law of seven. Obviously, such art contains cosmic truths in itself. The art of our modern age is lost. It has not reason, inspiration or order. A splash of paint on a canvas, a can of soup, pictures and sculptures full of darkness, negative emotions and ugliness, even photos of depressed naked people seem to be "high" art of our day.
We find Gnostic art in all archaic pieces in the pyramids and in all the ancient obelisks of Egypt of the Pharaohs, in ancient Mexico, among the Mayas, in the archaeological relics of the Aztecs, Zapotecs Toltec etc., in the hieroglyphs and in all the bas-reliefs of ancient Egypt; in the paintings and sculptures of Michelangelo, in the Mona Lisa of Leonardo Da Vinci, in the music of Beethoven, Mozart, Liszt, Richard Wagner; in all works of Universal Literature such as Homers Iliad and Odyssey, Dantes Divine comedy and so much more"
Beauty is born of harmony and without beauty true art does not exist. With harmony of the four pillars we live a naturally artistic life, in higher emotions, and we express our selves with simplicity and harmony. "Gnosis is the poetry of understanding, the rose of philosophy, the light of science and the spring of mysticism"
All quotes from Samael Aun Weor founder of the Contemporary Gnostic Movement
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