Every spiritual tradition in the World has developed a gnostic tradition. The word "Gnosis" is related to the English word "know." It is based upon a deep spiritual intuition that we can go beyond mere blind faith to a "knowing" and direct experience of the ultiamte realities. Some religious traditions, like Buddhism are based entirely upon a gnostic experience and some more politically based religions, Like Roman Catholicism, have developed a strong aversion to gnosticism as a threat to their authority. Gnosis springs up in many places and times like an underground river. The work of British poet and artist, William Blake is profoundly gnostic. Dante's "Divine Comedy" is based upon gnostic beliefs and the teachings of underground gnostic groups of the Middle Ages that are now preserved in his immortal work. Deciphering these hidden and coded messages to the Ages is the work of Modern scholars and students. There is a vast treasure trove of Wisdom and mystical insight buried in Western art, literature and music and it is slowly being excavated. The Athanor Institute is deeply involved in that work, as well supporting and discovering contemporary movements of gnosis.
We use all of the possible tools in our work: traditional scholarship, science, psychological study and intuitive arts. The core of our particular work uses Art and Art History in the quest for buried and lost traditions as well as the personal work of experiencing the most profound realities. In the words of the great American writer Howard Philips Lovecraft:
"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age."
'The Call of Cthulhu'
Our minds are shielded from the vastness and emptiness that are our actual realities and it is our paradoxical craving to touch and taste these that lead us to the gnostic desire. This work is for those who have grown out of mere faith in unexperienced realities and who want to see further and further into the hidden heart of the World. It is without saying a mountain-climb of daunting proportions and for that reason, this is a road chosen by the few and the fearless. We welcome all of those who relish the climb and the challenge and the sheer exaultation of insight and discovery. It is a great journey on black seas of Infinity!!