The Greek word γνῶσις gnosis refers to the direct experiential knowledge of fundamental truths. Gnosis is not limited to conceptual theory, dogma or belief. In its universality of application, Gnosticism consists of a vast body of esoteric writings across numerous cultures and has been expressed throughout all of the world's great religions and mystical traditions. Although each tradition has been taught differently according to the language, customs and needs of each culture, they in truth point to one science, whose sole objective is to free the consciousness from suffering.
As a tradition, Gnosticism seeks to impart unto aspirants key scientific methods for attaining genuine spiritual growth. All religions have taught such techniques, albeit in veiled and often cryptic forms throughout the religious scriptures. While the great teachers and spiritual guides of humanity offered many rituals, prayers and mystical practices to the public masses, much of their essential teachings have only been delivered from mouth to ear throughout an unbroken chain of secretive transmission between master and disciple. As a result, the very methods to procure profound spiritual change and enlightenment were only taught in a rudimentary form in public religion, whereas practitioners dedicated to the most rigorous esoteric disciplines secretly conserved and developed such techniques unbeknownst to a public blindly enamored by fanaticism, institutionalization, and dogmas.
Despite scholastic endeavors, such enigmatic methodologies have remained hidden within both eastern and western religious writings in allegorical form, unacknowledged and unexplained except through the daring of a few esoteric authors in the most recent centuries. The first revelations of this teaching are related with the emergence of the Western Esoteric Tradition, the writings of Manly P. Hall, the Anthroposophical works of Rudolf Steiner, and the esoteric teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff and P. D. Ouspensky. However, this knowledge was also expressed by numerous accomplished yogis and authors of the eastern traditions, including the eminent Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Swami Sivananda, Yogananda, Vivekananda, and other great spiritual practitioners of Eastern mysticism.
Yet despite their tremendous contributions to humanity, these initiates have only served to precede a much greater and revolutionary spiritual knowledge encompassing both western and eastern esoteric philosophies, and which has only been unveiled within the past few decades. Such knowledge embodies the most ancient and radical techniques for attaining spiritual transformation, and is now being disseminated worldwide in part of a humanitarian effort to alleviate the suffering of humanity.
This rare and unprecedented symbiosis of both eastern and western doctrines is found precisely in the writings of Samael Aun Weor, who, as an expositor of practical spirituality, expressed a highly synthetic teaching about the basis of religion that has served as the culmination of the rich and highly diverse tradition of esoteric thought. At the Gnostic Academy of Chicago, we study his writings precisely for their clarity, profundity, and pragmatism, in contrast with the literature of many philosophical, mystical, and spiritual systems that deliver complicated theories while lacking the practical dimension for acquiring deep personal change.
In conjunction with the works of Samael Aun Weor, we also study and teach from some of the most well-known literary monuments within esotericism, including Helena Petrovna Blavatsky's Theosophical writings, the Anthroposophical works of Rudolf Steiner, the Fourth Way teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff and P. D. Ouspensky, the Kabbalistic and Initiatic literary canon of Dion Fortune and Manly P. Hall, the sacred Buddhist manuals of Padmasambhava, Tsong Khapa, Shantideva, and Nagarjuna, the occult Middle Eastern wisdom of the Holy Qur'an and mystical Sufi writings, the Eastern and Western Esoteric Traditions, etc.
We welcome you, from whatever denomination, faith or creed, to the study of this liberating mystical knowledge and the intimate realization of your divine potential.
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May the light and peace of divinity reign within your heart!
The Gnostic Academy of Chicago
Gnostic articles on practical spirituality: the science, mysticism, art, and philosophy of conscious living.