Key Terms from Not In His Image
By John Lamb Lash
Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam considered as variations of a common belief system characterized by monotheism, patriarchal values, a linear time scheme for history, a divinely prescribed moral code, redeemer ideology, and the dominator agenda, including domination of nature and the assumption of human superiority over all other species.
Deep Ecology: Social-ethical philosophy asserting that nature has intrinsic value, independent of its use to human beings, or even of the existence of human beings. Formulated in an eight-point program by Arne Naess and George Sessions in the 1970s. In contrast to shallow ecology, which views nature as worth conserving in order to serve and satisfy human needs.
Gaia-Sophia principle: Proposed term for the assertion that humanity receives both its instinctual survival skills and its moral sense in the same endowment. Implies the Deep Ecological notion that kindness and cooperation, rather than brutality and competition, are compatible with our deepest survival drives. Also assumes that genuine morality is impossible if humanity is not empathically rooted in nature and intimately allied to other species.
Gnostic: (Greek gnostokos, plural gnostokoi; “one who understand divine matters,” “knowing as the gods know”) Loosely, the Pagan intellectual class. Specifically, initiated teachers (telestai) in the Mystery Schools. Used by Plato for experts in statecraft and social control, or special advisors to the theocrats— a role rejected by Mystery initiates. Used by the Church Fathers as an insult meaning “smartass” or “know-it-all.”
Illuminati: Deviant group of shamans who split off from the Magian order and applied their initiatory knowledge to social control, ideological games, and the empowerment of sacred kings. Called gnostokoi, “special advisors,” and “experts” by Plato, who endorsed their method of “the noble lie.”
Mysteries: (from the Greek verb muein, “to be silent,” “shut the mouth” or “speak in a murmur”) Millennial rites of ecstatic communion with nature, the outgrowth of the indigenous, Goddess-oriented shamanism of pre-Christian Europe and the Near East. From 600 B.C.E. on, the Mysteries became the infrastructure for the educational institutions of the ancient world, i.e., centers of literacy and training in the sciences, arts and crafts.
Nag Hammadi Library: Abbreviated NHL. Thirteen leather-bound packets, the earliest example of bound books, comprising fifty-two documents written in Coptic. Discovered in Upper Egypt in December 1945. Widely assumed to be original writings that survive from various Gnostic Sects existing in Egypt and the Near East between 150 and 350 C.E.
Sophia: (so-FI-uh) (Greek, “wisdom”) The living intelligence of the earth. Central Figure in Gnostic cosmology and the Pagan Mysteries. The goddess Sophia from the Pleroma, who by force of her dreaming came to be metamorphosed into a planetary body, the earth. Her primary substance body is the Organic Light. Adj., Sophianic