Gnosticism is the practice of spiritual inquiry independent of established religious dogma. The term derives from the root, Gnosis, which refers to intuitive knowledge of spiritual truths or mysteries as originally possessed by ancient Gnostics. An essential aspect of Gnosticism is the confirmation of spiritual truths through reflection and personal experience. We might think of it as a form of “freelance religion.” Coming from actual experience, both inner and outer, the knowledge is subjective and varies from one individual to the next, a situation quite different from the abstract knowledge of learned dogma. This is why mainstream Christian churches regard Gnosticism as heresy.
Gnostics practice a kind of “freelance religion.” They shun dogma and seek confirmation of spiritual truths through intuition and personal experience. (photo: public domain)