This blog does not represent the views, beliefs, traditions, etc. of all Pagans. This blog does not claim to be 100% correct, nor does it claim to have every answer. This blog represents the personal views, beliefs, and morals of one Pagan. This blog represents the belief system and spiritual journey of one Pagan. The blogger in charge of this blog is not looking for followers or others with the same outlook on life. The blogger believes that every individual is exactly that, an "individual;" with individual beliefs, individual paths, and individual outlooks on life. The blogger stresses how important it is for people to discover their own spiritual paths, their own system of beliefs, and their own morals.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Pagan Experience - March Week 1

Knowledge, Wisdom, and Gnosis

When it comes to things such as knowledge, wisdom, and gnosis is my everyday pagan living, it can sometimes be hard to differentiate them. They are three very separate and individual things, but they very much go hand in hand.

Let's define them.

Knowledge is to understand something; to know the facts/truths about a given subject. When we gain knowledge, we are gaining an understanding of a given subject, based on information, facts, and even opinions. We seek to understand, usually with the potential to use the understanding for a specific purpose. Knowledge allows for change, in response to new information. The hunger for knowledge is the hunger to seek improvement. We gain knowledge by learning, education, science, reflection, reasoning and logical thought.

Wisdom is the ability to make correct judgments and decisions based on our knowledge. It is an intangible quality gained through life experiences. Wisdom governs choices, the pursuit of knowledge, communication, and relationships. Wisdom is a timeless process, as it is based on our experiences throughout our lives. Wisdom defines and redefines our character. 

To put these two simply: Knowledge is understanding the facts. Wisdom is knowing what to do with those facts.

In my opinion, the greatest example of Knowledge vs Wisdom is:

"Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad."

Now, when it comes to Gnosis, it is a bit harder to define.

The simplest way to define gnosis is this: spiritual knowledge or mystical enlightenment. Like wisdom, gnosis is gained through experience; specifically divine experience, or experience that goes beyond the five senses. It is not simply based off of personal experiences, but rather experiences that defy conceptualizations and beliefs. Gnosis is not based on what we are told or what we believe in. Rather, gnosis is conscious, experiential knowledge. It is not confined to intellectual knowledge, conceptual knowledge, beliefs or theories. It implies a knowledge that encompasses the whole person, and is not confined to a concept, dogma, or theory. It embodies the core wisdom and knowledge of humanity.

To sum it up:

"To understand it, one must experience it."

So how do these three things fit into my daily spirituality? These three concepts seem so drawn out, so large that they are hard to grasp. How could one possibly cram all of them into daily spirituality?! 

The strain is maddening...

It's quite simple actually. Every day, I gain knowledge about my personal views, morals, and spirituality. Gaining this knowledge feeds my wisdom, because let's face it, this is a spiritual journey. And no spiritual journey is traveled without a growing amount of wisdom. As for gnosis, well, it is gained from the growing wisdom and knowledge. Without one, I would not have the others.

Follow me for a second:

When I first started my path towards Paganism, I gained knowledge of what religions and faiths were out there. When I found a few that seemed to fit me, I researched them, and gained more detailed knowledge about them. That allowed me to narrow it down to Paganism. Learning all this knowledge allowed me to gain some wisdom about myself. I discovered my core beliefs, values, and morals. Using my wisdom gained through the process of researching religions/faiths, I defined my own faith was able to connect with others who shared similar views or similar paths. This wisdom was gnosis. My knowledge and my wisdom engulfed me in the divine truths that I needed. My own truths.

Granted this example was across more than one day, but you get where I coming from.

"Spirituality is based on one's own effort to experience the truth, and the method to reach that experience is primarily practical."

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