Our Gnostic Church is the Transcended Church. This church is found in the Superior Worlds. We also have many temples in the physical world. In addition, we have opened thousands of Gnostic Lumisials where holy rituals are celebrated and the secret doctrine of the Beloved Savior of the world is studied. We must not forget that our Gnostic Movement has both a school and a religion. It has already been decisively confirmed that Jesus the Christ was Gnostic. The Savior of the World was an active member of the cast of Essenes, mystics who never cut their hair or their beards. The Gnostic Church is the authentic primeval Christian Church whose first Pope was the Gnostic initiate called Peter. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
The Gnostic Church was established by Jesus of Nazareth in accordance with the rites of Melchizedek. The Apostle Peter, Patar, or Cephas, whose name means "stone," became the foundation for the Gnostic Church in the physical world, and symbolically represents the foundation for any spiritual practitioner entering into the Christic mysteries. Peter, Patar, with its three radical letters: P-T-R, represents a profound and hidden teaching. "Pater" is the Father or divinity within man; "T" is the mystical crossing of the apostle's gold and silver keys, granting access to the divine kingdom and demonstrating the marriage of masculine (solar) and feminine (lunar) principles in the ancient metallurgic science of holy alchemy. The cross also symbolizes the purification and crucifixion of lower, animal passions in obedience to divine will. Lastly, "R" signifies the Egyptian Ra, the solar deity, creator Logos or Word of the Gnostics, personified and incarnated within the Master Jesus, the Son or Sun of God, "the light of the world" (John 8:12).
While the Gnostic Church has existed in the physical world, the physical church is merely a material expression of the universal Christian Gnostic Church upheld by the great masters, priests, bishops, and patriarchs within the superior dimensions of nature. These supra-sensible regions are accessible through awakened consciousness within the dream state, which can only become realized within us through practical works and the application of a highly technical, mystical, and scientific methodology.
The Roman sect is a derivation of or deviation from the Gnostic Church, resulting from the dogmatism, fanaticism, and ignorance of mistaken individuals whose adherence to belief without evidence has obscured the experiential dimension of the nature of religion (Latin: religare, reunion with divinity). The Gnostic Church, on the other hand, has been secretly maintained by purified souls who, through rigorous esoteric discipline, have obtained personal knowledge of the divine mysteries as well as the specific means of acquiring that direct knowledge for oneself.
The Greek word γνῶσις gnosis signifies conscious experience devoid of theory, concept, belief, or ideation, a state of awakened, objective perception of the realities of life and death on the physical and spiritual planes. The Greek word myein, the root of the word mystery, means "to close the eyes" of external, sensory perception in order to develop inner, spiritual sight through the science of meditation. A person of any race, culture, or creed may realize their divine nature by closing their eyes to belief, theory, materialism and illusions, and through meditation, awaken their complete human potential, thereby becoming a mystikos or "initiate": one initiated into a new way of life and being.
Just as Jesus of Nazareth fasted for forty days and forty nights within the wilderness by engaging himself in contemplation, so we too, through learning to fast to our egotistical desires and inferior psychological qualities, may arrive at the threshold and amphitheater of cosmic wisdom. Likewise by following the example of Christ through his life, ministry, passion, death and resurrection, we too, by divine will and grace, may conquer temptation within ourselves and thereby overcome the inherent causes of suffering. This is "the straight and narrow gate that leadeth unto life" (Matthew 7:14) and the complete development of the human being.
The mysteries of the Gnostic Church teach the difficult path of selfless service leading to complete liberation, a road traversed by very few. However, this road was taken by the greatest and most venerated human beings our humanity has ever known: Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Moses, the Prophets, and the great masters whose example and teachings have crystallized into the major religions of the world today. Thus have all the great messengers, saints, and disciples of this universal mystery school defined themselves by their higher moral, ethical, and spiritual caliber in contrast to the common, unconscious, and suffering masses, whom they seek to serve out of mercy, compassion, and love.
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
The founding of Christianity was marked by the divergence of two different types of individuals: one initiated into the wisdom of God from direct experience, and the other merely accepting the testimonies of others based on dogma and hear-say, religious fanatics who would eventually use belief and superstition to manipulate others in order to gain power. The esoteric or secret teachings of Christianity were forced underground as those within the public or exoteric doctrine gained prominence and influence for political and personal means. Dion Fortune, famous author of The Mystical Qabalah, wrote the following regarding the split between the Gnostic and the orthodox traditions:
There naturally sprang up a keen rivalry between the two types of Christians; those who had accepted the teaching of Our Lord without any previous Mystery-training depended entirely upon spiritual intuition and good works; those who were already accustomed to the methods of the Mysteries sought to express the Christian truths in the language of the esoteric philosophy of their day. The first chapter of the Gospel according to John is an excellent example of the process whereby men already highly trained in mystical knowledge correlated the new teaching with that which was already familiar to them. In this Gospel we see the influence of the Greek Schools of initiation, but in the Apocalypse we see the influence of Qabalistic thought.
The Gnostic Academy of Chicago maintains the esoteric Christian tradition of the Gnostic Church as established by Jesus of Nazareth (Master Aberamentho) through his patriarchs, bishops, deacons, and priests. This tradition has been maintained by the gnostic institutions founded by Samael Aun Weor, as well as the awakened masters within the superior dimensions of nature. As Samael Aun Weor stated:
The Church of our Lord Jesus Christ is not of this world; he himself said it, “My kingdom is not of this world.” In the mountain of the living God, there is a church, invisible to the eyes of the flesh, but visible to the eyes of the soul and the spirit. That is the primeval Gnostic Church, to which Christ and the prophets belong.
If you are interested in becoming a member of our Gnostic Church, you can first participate in a series of preparatory courses and introductory classes on the foundations, practices, and principles of this tradition.
For more information about the Gnostic Church, particularly its foundation within the Hebraic Kabbalah, Egyptian ceremonial magic, and the Greek mysteries, see the following resources:
The Gnostic Academy of Chicago
Gnostic articles on practical spirituality: the science, mysticism, art, and philosophy of conscious living.