Buddha’s Nirvana and Christian Gnosis Part 2

Awakening and Salvation

Buddha’s Nirvana and Christian Gnosis Part 2

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Bodhi, the “awakening”, is what Siddhattha Gotama (Sanskrit: Siddharta Gautama) experienced under the fig tree in Uruvelā (near today’s Gayā). Neither the reading of Brahmanic scriptures nor strict asceticism had led him to it. Rather, the yearning for salvation was so strong in him that he did not stop striving. The Gnostic is filled with the same longing for unification with the all-embracing love. In this regard, he is one with the mystic. Late Buddhism speaks of Buddha-nature, the state of nibbāna, the perfect merging with the Ultimate, or, as the Gnostic would say, the union of the Phoenix resurrected from the ashes, with the spirit-soul, the eternal spirit-fire. The Gnostic too, knows awakening to be a result of the process of salvation. It is a spiritual breakthrough from the straight jacket of patterns; it is resurrection from the ashes of dialectics. But doubt should be a constant companion. “Therefore, examine everything, keep the good!” is one of the core tenets of Universal Philosophy. Likewise, this tenet is also explicitly encouraged on the Buddhist path.

All karmic ties dissolve during this process. This is also the highest goal in Buddhism. When no karma is generated any more, the actions do not leave tracks in the world. The Saṃsāra, or gnostically speaking, the “world of dialectics”, the dualities working against each other, are the cause of the constant turning of the wheel. Birth, growth and death follow each other uninterruptedly. Nothing remains, nothing persists, everything is transient. All beings are trapped in this cycle and bound by karma through their actions, thoughts, emotions, wishes and desires. It is important to recognize and overcome all of this.

There is always the practice of attentiveness on the path, for both the Buddhist and the Gnostic initiation: to be in the here and now, to perceive everything as it really is, clearly and consciously; that is, the situations you are in at the moment, as well as the people you are dealing with, and not to judge them. Thus, one obtains knowledge; a knowledge that is no longer head-learning, but a higher-level of knowledge, which falls into the realm of wisdom and truth and is ultimately founded in the heart, in the „Rose“, in the Christ light, in the Buddha nature. This “thinking with the heart,” as the Gnostic expresses it, gradually happens through a change of personality in the process of “transfiguration.”[1] This first forms a new soul “vehicle”, then the whole physical system of man is recreated. This transformation is depicted in the Buddhist Sutta On the Fruit of Asceticism: out of the will of the (renewed) heart man forms his new, immortal body and pulls him “like a sword out of a scabbard”.[2]

“Live in the flaming now as in a daily feast!” This is the call of the Gnostic to the people. The ultimate truth is only in the Now. Only in the “flaming now“ is the holy one, that alone heals. The past and the future are lifeless shadows, thought-constructs of the ego, shadows, like the ego itself.

Deep loving mercy, true compassion, is the fruit nourished by the primordial fountain. Both a Bodhisattva of Mahāyāna Buddhism as well as a Gnostic can truly serve the fellow human beings in the right way. Both paths remind him of the inner mission, which is found in every human being as a nucleus; it is the call to return home to the true divine homeland. When Christ, the “Rose” begins to shine in the inner being, the process of liberation is set in motion. The foot is then put on the path.


[1] Catharose de Petri, the co-founder of the Spiritual School describes transfiguration as “a Gnostic method for the performance of the endura that is the complete substitution of the mortal, separated, earth bound human being by the original immortal, divine, human being, the true spirit man according to the divine plan of creation”. In:  Catharose de Petri: Transfiguration, Haarlem 1995.

[2] Karl Eugen Neumann: Die innere Verwandtschaft buddhistischer und christlicher Lehren. Zwei buddhistische Suttas und ein Traktat Meister Eckharts, Leipzig 1891. (The inner relatedness of Buddhist and Christian teachings. Two Buddhist suttas and a treatise by Meister Eckhart)


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Date: October 2, 2018
Author: Jutta Valent (Germany)
Photo: MP

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