Manifestation of the Living Gnosis, Alex Rivera
This is my occasional blog about why the ancient spiritual path of Gnosticism, which is very different from any extant traditional religion, makes a lot of sense for our modern world.
In Part 5, I began adding an appendix that profiled prominent individuals active in the contemporary Gnostic movement to provide role models for different ways to interpret and practice this path’s insights. I began with three: Stephan Hoeller, bishop of Ecclesia Gnostica, Jenny Gomes, creator of the Gnostic Café Facebook page, and Rafi Simonton, active on the Inner Sanctum of Gnosis Facebook page for subscribers to the www.AeonByte.com podcast. Appended to Part 6 (which has links to the prior ones https://brevity.news/the-case-for-gnosticism-part-6-a-gnostic-viewpoint-on-alien-abductions/) was an article about Rosamonde Ikshvaku Miller, leader of Ecclesia Gnostica Mysteriorium in Redwood City, California.
I had announced that Part 7 would be primarily about Carl Jung’s Gnostic-influenced psychology, but that is taking much longer to research than I expected. Meantime, I had solicited other candidates for the Living Gnosis appendix, but found few people willing to talk at length about their experiences and insights. I decided to depart from custom (no reason to be orthodox in this, either) and make this entire blog about Alex Rivera, an outspoken proponent of Christian Gnosticism and one of modern Gnosticism’s inspired philosophers. Alex’s story in his own words:
“It’s sort of hard to describe where I’m at now. It all started when I decided to write my own little blog (The Aeon Eye) and it all branched out from there. My name is Alex Rivera and I like to think of myself as a Gnostic Christian, although I tend to draw the line somewhere in Valentinian Christianity. I’ll get to that later. There was a time in my life where I thought using the term was committing some sort of “sin” against the ivory tower Academic elite Orthodoxy but nowadays I really could care less about academic pontificating and “puffing up” as St. Paul would say in 1 Corinthians 4:18. In the end, it’s really all vanity and very little to do with gnosis/divine knowledge and revelation.
“In mainstream Christianity, there is an easy belief, instant faithism, which really is just belief in belief and faith in faith, in reality. Extant Christianity (in every denomination) is really just a severely watered down version of the Word. However, I really do appreciate the mystical church of Orthodox Christianity, its rituals, traditions, and iconography. It reminds me of the Jewish Temple symbolism but with the Gospel put front in center. But despite this, scripture itself states that it trumps traditions of men (Matthew 15:1-9), and revelations from God clearly trump scripture (John 5:39)!
“Years later, it’s almost like my research manifested into reality. And I punched a hole in it. In the winter of 2015, one cold winter night, I had a dream. A very special dream vision. In it, Jesus Christ himself appeared to me. He was hooded, in white, bright, flowing Shepherd’s garments of light and he was beaming brightly with a large grin. And behold, I heard a loud voice, saying, “God sent his Son to wash people clean.” After this vision, something within me changed. The spiritual seed was taking root despite all the attacks of the enemy. And yet, somehow, I tried to forget about it all and descended back into the world and all enticing, deceitful sins and lusts. I tried to convince myself, it was just my imagination. But the truth could not be denied. It refused. Please see my video, “On the Mysteries” for more information on that.
“As Margaret Barker has revealed in her research, true Christianity and even Gnosticism can actually be traced back all the way to the first temple of Solomon, where Wisdom, Yahweh’s wife, was deified and venerated. Temple theology is the key to all this. This very saying reminds me of how Peter is said to hold the keys to the kingdom in Catholicism as well as the Mithraic leontocephalus Aion/Saturn, which is said to be embodiment or synthesis of all the powers of the gods. He reminds me of the Cherubim described in Ezekiel and Revelation, not to mention the Lion of Judah, as well.
“Second Temple Judaism, according to Barker, was when the first temple tradition was entirely dismantled and rejected, when Wisdom was expelled from the Temple, just like how the eagle-winged Woman Clothed with the Sun in Revelation 12 is also chased away by the Great Dragon of Wrath. You can see hints of this in texts like Jeremiah 44.17-19, 2 Kings 18, and 1 Enoch 42. You can also see this in the Kabbalah, with Shekinah being exiled from God, as well. This relates to Gnosticism and the intricate cosmologies and creation myths ascribed to the ancient Gnostic texts like the Apocryphon of John, Hypostasis of the Archons, On the Origin of the World, The Wisdom of Jesus Christ, etc, with Sophia giving birth to a miscarriage or abortion called the Demiurge. Margaret Barker makes a great case that the fall of Sophia and the proclamations of the arrogant Archon can be traced back to the abandonment of Wisdom in the temple. But I won’t get into all their complexities and nuances now about Gnosticism and Egyptian religion. Interestingly, even the Gospels have various hints of Gnostic dualism, especially in the Gospel of John, in multiple places, despite its various editing done by multiple parties. In a way, Revelation 12 could also be seen as a culmination of all the Gnostic mysteries in encapsulated form. My upcoming book, The Sun Lady Unveiled: Revelation 12 Decoded will explain all of this in greater detail.
“This book has been inspired by Margaret Barker’s research, throughout her many books, especially The Great Angel: Israel’s Second Son. If you read Margaret Barker’s work, she points out that Yahweh is actually one of the seventy angels or sons of El Elyon or the Most High God. In the earliest OT text, Yahweh is much more of a tribal, regional deity than he is an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent prime mover. The Jews’ beliefs about God evolved as they became more educated and influenced by surrounding cultures as they progressed through the centuries like we see in Philo of Alexandria and his unique synthesis of Judaism and Platonic philosophy. Yahweh can be equated to other deities like Jupiter, Saturn and El Gabal. All one has to do is read Hesiod’s works like “Theogony” or “Days and Works” to see the many parallels between Greek and Jewish myths. There is a line from the Gospel of Philip which infers that men have the magical ability to create compound gods or egregores which may explain the similarities between various deities in the ancient world. You see this especially in Greco-Roman Egyptian deities like Serapis. “That is the way it is in the world – men make gods and worship their creation. It would be fitting for the gods to worship men!”
“But at the same time, I have a problem looking at the Bible from a non-religious standpoint now because I know that a lot of what those texts talk about are true and actually were inspired by some kind of spirit(s). I’ve also experienced things that confirm a Gnostic understanding of reality too. I would say that Valentinianism was more orthodox, yes, but I wouldn’t consider Valentinianism to be pure Gnosticism. Valentinianism, to me, is Gnosticized Christianity rather than Christianized Gnosticism. I think all these traditions come from a standpoint in which they are trying to verify how humanity fits into the scheme of things cosmically.
“We do find an inverted hermeneutic and libertine creeds in Gnosticism, if we are to take the church fathers at face value. If Gnosticism wasn’t libertine in the beginning, we may find that this was the case much later with St. Epiphanius’ testimonies on these groups. We also do find seeds of that “inverted” hermeneutic in Genesis with the struggle between the “Lord God” and his fellow Elohim and the serpent, and even in John’s Gospel, where Jesus would condemn his Pharisaic critics as children of the devil, inferring that the Jewish God was actually Satan in John 8:44! In another part of the same chapter, Jesus equates himself with the power behind the statement of “I am.” Indeed, there is a reason and a deep mystery to this that I explore in my book. When Jesus is telling the Pharisees that they are the children of the devil and their commitment to the murderous and deceitful lusts of their father, he was actually talking to the human race at large. The reversals of traditional Judeo-Christianity are one of the blasphemous practices of Satanism and the left-hand path, such as reciting the Pater Noster backward. You can see where I am going with this as I also second guess Gnosticism in my upcoming book as well.
“Even still, there are higher degrees of gnosis which can be cultivated in rare, esoteric texts like the Pistis Sophia and the Books of Jeu, which are only meant for higher initiatory teachings or keys of Gnostic adepts, and not for the public. It involves various baptisms and Jesus Christ is presented as the High Priest or Hierophant initiator for the Gnostic race, after the order of Melchizedek. Mithras and Michael are also related. No one can really call this Satanic, in their right mind. The role of the Priest-King in many ancient sources is also similar to that of the psychopompus which I also explore in my upcoming book.
“It should be noted that the early Church was known as followers of “the Way” (Acts 24:14). John the Baptist was also seen as a “herald” or the “preparer” of the “way.” The Gnostic idea of the Savior, the Divine Physician, also depicts him as descending through the spheres or drilling a hole, all the way down to the depths of the sublunary realms to trailblaze a path of ascension. From this act, while loosening fate’s bonds and beyond, thereby clearing a path all the way up into the perfect, heavenly realm for the initiates of the Savior to follow. The Naassenes also have a very interesting interpretation of “the Way” that we see in Hippolytus’ Philosophumena or Refutation of All Heresies.
“Why are we in such a predicament? Why even have a need for a Savior at all? Because Adam and Eve eat from the forbidden tree enticed by the serpent? Perhaps there is a greater meaning to this idea that theologians haven’t grasped yet. The traditional orthodox answer to that is that God gave man free will, as he created man in his image, and the tree of knowledge was planted to test man’s obedience. Adam failed that test, but Jesus negated Adam’s sin by doing what Adam failed to do. Continuing with orthodox belief, Jesus becomes a sort of second test and the second tree of life sent by God to see if man will be obedient and accept God’s sacrifice of his Son, a new test of faith, thus restoring man to his pre-Adamic state. I am finding that the Gnostic and Cathar versions of Genesis are much more gratifying in terms of answers but also quite disturbing in their implications as well if we take them seriously at all.
“And yet, why did God create the Devil, if he did, in fact, create the Devil? Why did God set man up for the fall? Why did God have to send his own son to die in order to save man? It almost seems as though God set up man to fall from the get-go as if God is responsible for the original sin. “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.” Isaiah 45:7 KJV.
“This is true but only if man doesn’t have free will. Or perhaps predestination and free will work in tandem somehow. If man does have free will, God allowed for the possibility of the fall but did not predestine it. Man caused it through his own free will choice. Satan, then, could have been used by God to test man. Man failed the test and fell. Jesus then becomes a second test and a second chance for man to redeem himself from Adam’s original sin. But then one must ask, why did God create us with the propensity to sin? If man were created perfect, how could he have sinned, to begin with? It’s a rabbit hole of questions. Like Morpheus tells Neo in The Matrix film, I keep stumbling down the rabbit hole like Alice in Wonderland. Is this rabbit hole related to the “walk” that 2 Corinthians 5:7 and 1 John 1:6 talks about? I don’t know.
“In any case, please check out my upcoming book Sun Lady Unveiled: Revelation 12 Decoded. I am also creating a new premium channel for my site for subscribers. Also, check out my Youtube Podcast, The Megas Aeon. Last but not least, please check out a book I co-wrote with Tracy Twyman, Baphomet: The Temple Mystery Unveiled. Stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks!”
By Scott Smith