Ralph Waldo Emerson; an American Trancendentalist and one of the most influential Americans to have ever lived. And we would not be wrong to say that his view on life and the human soul is entirely Gnositic. His essay on Experience focuses on Genius; a core ideal of the Gnostic Church of L.V.X. We are always promoting our community as one that fosters Genius in each other; holding that Genius to be divinity at the heart of the human soul.



  1. Sermon Notes
    Emerson’s Essay Commented
    Experience Pt. 1

    1. For the Gnostic, the whole of oattention is removed from belief to experience.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

    “Where do we find ourselves? In a series which we do not know the extremes, and believe that it has none. We wake & find ourselves on a stair; there are stairs below us, which we seem to have ascended; there are stairs above us, many a one which go upward and out of sight. But the Genius which according to the old belief, stands at the door by which we enter and gives us the lethe to drink, that we may tell no tales, mixed the cup too strongly, and we cannot shake off the lethargy now at noonday.”

    1A. The ontology of our experience of life before we awake to our Gnostic yearning is described as a set of stairs; that which we have ascended is our life to the present moment, as the stairs above us represent our life yet to come.
    And the “Genius” is the Divine withiin us; but that the “old belief” had us deluded, as if we drank an intoxicative cup of brew and struggle with a certain ifficulty to recognize where we are on the staircase of our lives.
    This seems a natural state that we are norn into & that for many, never changes.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

    “Sleep lingers all our lifetime about our eyes, as night hovers all day in the boughs of the fir-tree. All things swim and glitter. Our life is not so much threatened as our perception. Ghostlike, we glide through nature and should not know our place again.”

    2. The unconsciousness of our birth seems to remove our perception of the Divine spark of life, so that we bein to ascend Emerson’s staircase in a “Ghostlike glides,” that we have no idea where we are on this alleghorical staircase. Our “Genius is just covered over by so much earth.”

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

    “Did our birth fall into some fit of indigence and grugality in nature, that she was so sparing of her fire & so liberal of her earth, that it appears to us that we lack the affirmative principal, and though we have health and reason, yet we have no superfluity of spirit for new creation? We have enough to live and bring the year about, but no an ounce to impart or to invest. Ah that our Genius were a little more of a genius!”

    3. Emerson refers to “Genius” with an upper case G, suggesting to us the Augoeies or higher self; the Divine spark in earth of us. And yet he seems to indicate that it too needs to be fed.
    But how is it that we can feed this Genius from our natural unconscious state in order to bring about the Gnostic quest? Emerson seems to give us a certain key.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

    “In the thougt of genius there is always a surprise; and the moral sentiment is well called ‘the newness,’ for it is never other; as new to the oldest intelligence as to the young child-“the kingdom that cometh without observation.”

    3A. We can liken this to the Christian parable that describes the Divine coming like a thief in the night. But also that we begin to determine a moral center that in its “sentiment” is a morale that nurtures that fire of nature that originally was given to us so sparkingly.

    3B. Divine gace then seems to be something of both a passive blessing that we receive & also something we proactively seek by readying ourselves.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

    “In like manner, for practical success there must not be too much design. A man will not be observed in doing that which he can do best. There is certain magic about his properest action, which stupifies your powers of observation, so that though it is done before you, you wist not of it. The art of life has a prudence, and will not be exposed.”

    4. The process by which we approach Gnosis then comes at us when we not so readioy conscious of it.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

    “In times when we thought ourselves indolent, we have afterwards idscovered, that muc was accomplished, and much was begun in us.”

    4A. So that like in the creative process, down time allows our creative juices to gather. But also this time is that of rumination that allows us to remember all this subconscious activity. And this has much to do with our temperament; that manner in which we hold ourselves.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

    “Nature and books belongs to the eyes that see them. It depends on the mood of the man, whether he shall see the sunset or a fine poem. There are always sunsets, and there is always genius; but only a few hours so serence that we can relish nature of criticism. The more or less depends on temperament. Temperament is the iron wire on which the beads are strung. Of what use is fortune or talent to a cold and defective nature?”

    5. To focus on Genius; especially in he modern world, when even in our leisure, we are bombarded with distraction can be a difficult task for the ease that it requires in our approach to it. So that we must build an appreciation for the little time we are afforded.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

    “So much of our time is preparation, so much is routinge, and so much is retrospect, that the pith of each man’s enius contracts itself to a very few hours.”

    5A. So that the genius we promote here at the GCL is a very profound genius; found in every man and every woman, but built in respose with merely the preparation of our intent at Gnosis.

    5B. And finally my favorite quote by Emerson:

    “…common sense is as rare as genius,–is the basis of genius, and experience is hands and feel to every enterprise…”


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