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While many scholars have attempted to offer a generic description of Gnostic belief systems, literally every author who has been published has failed, and the entry for Gnosticism is a very good example of that, because no one is really going to understand very much unless the basics are first explained in terms of the original intent of the word; that originally the word Gnostic was limited in terms of one who follows in Philo’s (20B.C.-42 A.D.) footsteps to wed the teachings of Plato (427-347 B.C.) to the Old and New Testaments, by primarily justifying the same through the teachings that Plato learned from Moses, to produce a supposedly new and different philosophical position on the nature of the soul relative to Platonism and thereby profess a supposedly new and different “secret” knowledge of the truth and salvation.

That is, although the term Gnosis itself can be briefly described in terms of the fact that Gnostics held that Redemption was associated with mankind’s ability to overcome the grossness of matter and the ultimate end of all physical existence in terms of the return to the Parent-Spirit, even that conveys very little unless it is somehow presented in contrast to the Judeo-Christian belief that an immortal soul can only be experienced in terms of restoration of the biolongevity once experienced but lost by Adam and Eve, or equally in contrast to those forms of Buddhism where there is the recognizition that the karmic self is mistaken for the real self, which is reflected doctrine of “no-soul” and referred to as “anatman”, which is closely related to the subject of “moksa (also referred to as mukti)”, which is the term given to the state of completeness or fullness of being, free from samsara, the bondage of karma, and therefore the highest aim of human existence, which in its highest form is referred to by Eastern contemplative traditions as the 4th level of enlightenment, such that if anyone is to really understand anything in this respect the term Gnosis itself must be presented to contrast the Gnostic belief systems as opposed to both the Judeo-Christian and/or Buddhist belief systems which are not to be associated with a Redemption or Nirvana State associated with mankind’s ability to overcome the grossness of matter as the Gnostics held but rather the Restoration of the Stability or Integrity of Matter.

Blessings, Bill --Wmgreene 23:11, 22 March 2007 (UTC)