The following is transcribed from one of my favorite books, ‘The Gnostic Gospels’ by Elaine Pagels. When I first read it back in 1998 it profoundly affected me, showing me that Christianity, as I had sensed intuitively, is far more than I was told in Sunday School at the First Church in Swampscott.
This passage I share with you here today perfectly illustrates the condition of ‘most people’ today, especially those who dutifully march off to be further brainwashed every week at the businesses posing as ‘Christian Churches.’ Tis the condition of the Lost Sheeple, the sleeping masses who must awaken if we are to ever get out of this age of War and Imbalance.
The Gnostic Gospels, pages 125-126:
Most people live, then, in oblivion- or, in contemporary terms, in unconsciousness. Remaining unaware of their own selves, they have “no root.” The Gospel of Truth describes such existence as a nightmare. Those who live in it experience “terror and confusion and instability and doubt and division,” being caught in “many illusions.” So, according to the passage scholars call the “nightmare parable,” they lived
as if they were sunk in sleep and found themselves in disturbing dreams. Either (there is) a place to which they are fleeing, or, without strength, they come (from) having chased after others, or they are involved in striking blows, or they are receiving blows themselves, or they have fallen from high places, or they take off into the air though they do not even have wings. Again, sometimes (it is as) if people were murdering them, though there is no one even pursuing them, or they themselves are killing their neighbors, for they have been stained with their blood. When those who are going through all these things wake up, they see nothing, they who were in the midst of these disturbances, for they are nothing. Such is the way of those who have cast ignorance aside as sleep, leaving (its works) behind like a dream in the night. . . This is the way everyone has acted, as though asleep at the time when he was ignorant. And this is the way he has come to knowledge, as if he had awakened.
Whoever remains ignorant, a “creature of oblivion,” cannot experience fulfillment. Gnostics said that such a person “dwells in deficiency” (the opposite of fulfillment). For deficiency consists of ignorance:
. . . As with someone’s ignorance, when he comes to have knowledge, his ignorance vanishes by itself; as the darkness vanishes when the light appears, so also the deficiency vanishes in the fulfillment.
Self-ignorance is also a form of self-destruction. According to the Dialogue of the Savior, whoever does not understand the elements of the universe, and of himself, is bound for annihilation:
. . . If one does not (understand) how the fire came to be, he will burn in it, because he does not know his root. If one does not first understand the water, he does not know anything. . . . If one does not understand how the wind that blows came to be, he will run with it. If one does not understand how the body that he wears came to be, he will perish with it. . . . Whoever does not understand how he came will not understand how he will go . . .