Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy. (Exodus 20:8-1 I)
The Shabbat: in Sophian Gnosticism is not a religious duty or obligation, but rather is a spiritual practice. It is in this sense that Lord Yes'nua spoken of the Shabbat when he said, 'The sasbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for .• sabbath,- so the Son of the Human One is lord even of the Sabbath. '' Likewise, in the Gospel of St. Triomas, Yeshua says, If you do not fast as regards the world, you svill not find the kingdom. If you do not observe the Sabbath as Sabbath, you will not see the Father."4
Previously we spoke of the Gnostic emphasis on self-knowledge as the foundation of divine Cnosis, as well as rhe Gnostic teaching that the kingdom of heaven is within oneself—the awareness o! the sacred unity, the light-presence and light-continuum. Thus, to acquire self-knowledge we must make time to meet ourselves, and to actually progress towards self-realization in supernal consciousness, we must take time to turn inward and upward—Godward This, in essence, is the meaning of the Shabbat—a day set aside to meet ourselves and to meet the Beloved.
2 Th s -.polliiiK reflects the Hebrew pronunciation
4. Gospel of St. Thomas Verse 27
In Gnostic Christianity as practiced in the Sophian tradition, one does not re- • t from the world and mundane life to seek enlightenment. One learns to transform one's life into a vehicle of the path to enlightenment. Thus, Sophian initiates generally lead full and active lives. In any actual path to enlightenment, daily spiritual practice and spiritual living are necessary."Yet in the midst of the active Western lifestyle, there is a limited amount of time for spiritual practice in :te midst of the workweek. Therefore, in order to deepen one's continuum of study and contemplation, prayer, meditation, and sacred ritual, a day is needed when more space and time can be given over to spiritual study and practice. This is the practice of Shabbat among Gnostics.
In the midst of a very active and busy life, our attention is drawn outward as we tend to all of the things that must be done. The Shabbat allows us to let go of all of this and to experience a bit of spiritual retreat once each week. On a practical level, in terms of self-awareness and personal growth it gives us time to reflect upon the past week, to integrate what has transpired, and to consider what we might wish to change for the coming week. However, it also provides the opportunity to feed ourselves spiritually with spiritual study and contemplation and spiritual fellowship, as well as to potentially allow us to entertain deeper spiritual and mystical experience. Quite frankly, without such a holy day in the week, swift progress towards actual self-realization is unlikely in our extremely active lifestyle in the West. Thus, th Shabbat is an essential spiritual practice for a Western path to enlightenment, according to the masters of the Sophian tradition.
In Gnostic Christianity, the Shabbat is both an individual and a community event. Therefore, for practical reasons, in each Gnostic circle or spiritual community, a day is . upon for the celebration of the
Shabbat. Yet, truly from a Gnostic perspective, it could be any day in the week and is not isolated to Saturday or Sunday, as though these days are more sacred than others in life. Thus, individuals who are independent practitioners of Gnosticism could make any day of the week the Shabbat.
The Shabbat is viewed as a spiritual practice. Because of this, when a person decides to remember and keep the Shabbat, it will not necessarily be a full day at first. Often, it is a few hours in the beginning, and then the practice of Shabbat is built upon this foundation and grown over time. If one has not yet kept the Shabbat, it requires a Tadual adjustment in one's lifestyle in order to do so. Gentle change is often much better than unfounded leaps with great expectations. This is one of the lessons the practice of the Shabbat itself tends to teach initiates.
Because the Shabbat is both an individual and community event, it reminds us of the great power of individuals working together with one mind and heart, joined in the bonds of spiritual love and compassion. The idea that we are going to make swift progress towards an actual self-realization in complete isolation, without a sacred friendship with a spiritual teacher and community, is considered very questionable by initiates of most authentic wisdom traditions, including the Sophian tradition. From the Sophian perspective, there is something more to spiritual community than merely what we gain from involvement in the community,- acting together, it is felt that skilled spiritual practitioners have a greater capacity to extend the light and to uplift humanity and the world. Thus, as much as for the psychic and spiritual benefit the individual might receive, Gnostic Christians practice the Shabbat to benefit and bring blessings to others—to-all that live.
This commandment, simply put: Remember to make time for your soul and spirit, and time to meet your Beloved.
Was this article helpful?
This work on 2012 will attempt to note them allfrom the concepts andinvolvement by the authors of the Bible and its interpreters and theprophecies depicted in both the Hopi petroglyphs and the Mayan calendarto the prophetic uttering of such psychics, mediums, and prophets asNostradamus, Madame Blavatsky, Edgar Cayce, and Jean Dixon.