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The Gnostics turned the tables on religion in antiquity. They really revolutionized conventional religion. While they based their world views on profound philosophical insights and reasoned biblical exegesis, they felt that reason could not get us all the way to God. Reason was step one. But step two was another matter. God, for the Gnostics, was beyond our comprehension, ineffable, unknowable by conventional means. The Gnostic felt that God had to be experienced. Ultimately it was the experience of God (which was had through intense ritual events) that mattered. This was the pinnacle of knowledge. This was step two, and it is what they thought other Jews and Christians missed. The Gnostics felt that other Jews and Christians had mistaken lower gods for the real God who was beyond all the images and forms we can make of him-her.

April DeConnick
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