Saturday, December 26, 2009

Somatics, Psychics, & Pneumatics

There are three grades of human spirits which gnostics have categorized throughout time. If you are just beginning to read gnostic texts these terms can make you quite dizzy, as they are tossed about liberally and poetically. Here are some general definitions to make your journey easier.

  1. Somatics/Hylics: The body of the human being composed of flesh (sarx) which is a form of matter (hyle) albeit endowed temporarily with biological life. In plain English- these types of souls depend on the flesh to tell them right from wrong. The 'worldly' people. Pure emotion and living in the now for pleasure. The collectors of exotic cars, homes, and million dollar gems are just as likely to be somatic souls as is the person who obsessively and compulsively hoards food, clothes, or any other easily collectible and likely-to-be-obsessed-over items as if their life depended on it. They put their worth in the things they have collected. If their things suddenly disappeared or were taken away from them they would feel worthless as a human being.
  2. Psychics: Also called psychical(sye-kick-ul) these souls are at the in-between stage of gnosis. They can accept that there is a world beyond the flesh however they are still fighting between what their eyes see and what their heart feels. A combination of thinking and feeling.
  3. Pneumatics: From "pneuma" meaning "air." These souls retain a living connection with pleroma understanding the human spirit is a spark of God's light and in effect a part of God himself. These souls have attained gnosis through learning and experience with pleroma. Material minimalists and sometimes even ascetics.
These definitions do not have boundaries written in stone. And it can get a bit confusing when you think about all the variations of religion in the world today. The lines blur and gray areas become a bit more washed out when you also consider that there are gnostic verses hidden even in the literalist versions of the Bible. It truly depends upon the Reader to decide where they are in the grand scheme of soma, psyche, and pneuma. Gnosis can come about gradually or in a torrential rush, overwhelming the soul.

These hidden gnostic verses and themes can be seen(for those who have eyes to see) and heard(for those who have ears to hear) in everything from movies and children's cartoons to fiction/non-fiction books and even comic book stories. They are all around us. Gnosis is not limited to religious texts which you purposely seek out. Gnosis is available to all.

The somatic who begins to see the downplayed undercurrents around them are well on their way to becoming a psychical soul. And the psychic, (no they don't wear all turbans and use tarot cards. Well... most of them don't!) can only move on toward the final pneumatic stage when they give up their literalistic interpretation of religions teachings and instead begin to have a true relationship with pleroma. Gnosis is based in experience not empty headed faith that something miraculous is supposed to happen.

Another way to look at the division between the literalistic interpretations of the Bible(and any other religious text) and gnosis is to say that the literal interpretation is for those still not graduated from the hands-on experience. Child's play. A child grasps the concepts behind a literal interpretation far easier while the adult moves on to more complicated ideas. But this isn't about the body's age. Instead this is about what the soul needs and what the soul understands- no matter what your body's age happens to be. If you're not ready to move on then you won't.

This isn't about indoctrination or faith. Gnosis is about world experience, an adult level of rationality, and a willingness to think for YOURSELF about the grand questions concerning life and death. Ultimately what occurs is that gnostic texts and ideas become like guideposts on a road, giving you a starting point or even arrows to help you continue. In the end, though, the conversations you have in which you reach answers to all these grand questions happen between you and pleroma. These are private conversations which some gnostics choose to keep to themselves or they can write poetry and even entire books about it.
(And some blog about it. lol)

Why? Why would gnostics write about their experiences with pleroma and publish them? Plainly put- it's too much emotion. We need a release. And we want to let others know that there is a rational way to look at this madness we call life. There is no indoctrination necessary. No need to give up your free will. Think for yourself and the truth you find within yourself will truly make you a free human being.

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