Gnosis, as a special kind of knowledge, should not be confused with. “Gnosticism.” ~Carl Jung, Footnote #13, CW 11, Page 45.

I have Gnosis so far as I have immediate experience, and my models are greatly helped by the representations collectives of all religions. ~Carl Jung, CW 18, Para 1643

It is your theological standpoint that is a gnosis, not my empiricism, of which you obviously haven’t the faintest inkling. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 245.

I grant you that I am on the best way to delivering up the Christian concept of the spirit to the chaos of Gnosis again, from which it was so carefully insulated. But in my view the spirit is alive only when it is an adventure eternally renewed. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Pages 90-93

The Gnosis is a disturber of the peace of the Church, but it is full of psychological truths, many yet undiscovered. ~Carl Jung, ETH Lecture 8March1935, Pages 199.

This leads us over to the secret gnosis of the Middle Ages, when it takes the form of alchemy. ~Carl Jung, ETH Lecture 8March1935, Pages 198

In the history of Gnosis, this figure [Lawgiver and Master of the Past] plays a great role, and every sect claims to have been founded by such a one. ~Carl Jung, 1925 Seminar, Page 101

Cabbala was the mystic philosophy of the Jews, a contemporary of hermetic philosophy. Cabbala is a Greek philosophy and is the ‘Gnosis’ of the Jews, and still going in Galicia, and in Poland in the Jewish sector.  ~Carl Jung, Jung My Mother and I, Page 172-173

The Christian principles of love and faith kept knowledge at a distance. In the Christian sphere the pneumatikoi would accordingly get the lower rating, since they were distinguished merely by the possession of Gnosis, i.e., knowledge ~Carl Jung, CW 6, Para 14


Gnosis, which in reality is a passion for thinking and knowing, he [Tertullian] attacked with unrelenting fanaticism, together with philosophy and science which differed from it so little ~Carl Jung, CW 6, Para 17

With the sacrificium intellectus [by Tertullian] philosophy and science, and hence also Gnosis, fell to the ground ~Carl Jung, CW 6, Para 19

Through castration Origen freed himself from the sensuality that was coupled with Gnosticism; he could then surrender without fear to the treasures of Gnostic thought, whereas Tertullian through his sacrifice of the intellect turned away from Gnosis but also reached a depth of religious feeling that we miss in Origen ~Carl Jung, CW 6, Para 26

Tertullian’s most valuable organ was the intellect and the clarity of knowledge it made possible. Through the sacrificium intellectus the way of purely intellectual development was closed to him; it forced him to recognize the irrational dynamism of his soul as the foundation of his being. The intellectuality of Gnosis, the specifically rational stamp it gave to the dynamic phenomena of the soul, must have been odious to him, for that was just the way he had to forsake in order to acknowledge the principle of feeling ~Carl Jung, CW 6, Para 20

Moreover owes, its continued existence, and its form on the one hand to so-called “revealed” or immediate experiences of the “Gnosis “for instance, the God-man, the Cross, the Virgin Birth, the Immaculate Conception, the Trinity, and so on, and on the other hand to the ceaseless collaboration of many minds over many centuries ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 81

This was the time when the Greeks started criticizing the world, the time of “gnosis” in its widest sense, which ultimately gave birth to Christianity. The archetype of the redeemer-god and Original Man is age-old we simply do not know how old. The Son, the revealed god, who voluntarily or involuntarily offers himself for sacrifice as a man, in order to create the world or redeem it from evil, can be traced back to the Purusha of Indian philosophy, and is also found in the Persian conception of the Original Man, Gayomart. Gayomart, son of the god of light, falls victim to the darkness, from which he must be set free in order to redeem the world. He is the prototype of the Gnostic redeemer-figures and of the teachings concerning Christ, redeemer of mankind ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 202

The divisive and separative function of the sword, which is of such importance in alchemy, is prefigured in the flaming sword of the angel that separated our first parents from paradise. Separation by a sword is a theme that can also be found in the Gnosis of the Ophites: the earthly cosmos is surrounded by a ring of fire which at the same time encloses paradise. But paradise and the ring of fire are separated by the “flaming sword.” An important interpretation of this flaming sword is given in Simon Magus: there is an incorruptible essence potentially present in every human being, the divine pneuma, “which is stationed above and below in the stream of water.” Simon says of this pneuma: “I and thou, thou before me. I, who am after thee.” It is a force “that generates itself, that causes itself to grow; it is its own mother, sister, bride, daughter; its own son, mother, father; a unity, a root of the whole.” It is the very ground of existence, the procreative urge, which is of fiery origin. Fire is related to blood, which “is fashioned warm and ruddy like fire” ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 359

The Churches, of course, continued to exist because they were maintained by the strictly religious needs of the public, but they lost their leadership in the cultural sphere. While the Church of Rome, thanks to her unsurpassed organization, remained a unity, Protestantism split into nearly four hundred denominations. This is a proof on the one hand of its incompetence, and, on the other, of a religious vitality which refuses to be stifled. Gradually, in the course of the nineteenth century, this led to syncretistic outgrowths and to the importation on a mass scale of exotic religious systems, such as the religion of Abdul Baha, the Sufi sects, the Ramakrishna Mission, Buddhism, and so on. Many of these systems, for instance anthroposophy, were syncretized with Christian elements. The resultant picture corresponds roughly to the Hellenistic syncretism of the third and fourth centuries A.D., which likewise showed traces of Indian thought. (Cf. Apollonius of Tyana, the Orphic-Pythagorean secret doctrines, the Gnosis, etc.) ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 861

Since the Apocalypse we now know again that God is not only to be loved, but also to be feared. He fills us with evil as well as with good, otherwise he would not need to be feared; and because he wants to become man, the uniting of his antinomy must take place in man. This involves man in a new responsibility.  He can no longer wriggle out of it on the plea of his littleness and nothingness, for the dark God has slipped the atom bomb and chemical weapons into his hands and given him the power to empty out the apocalyptic vials of wrath on his fellow creatures. Since he has been granted an almost godlike power, he can no longer remain blind and unconscious. He must know something of God’s nature and of metaphysical processes if he is to understand himself and thereby achieve gnosis of the Divine. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 747

If the spiritual adventure of our time is the exposure of human consciousness to the undefined and indefinable, there would seem to be good reasons for thinking that even the Boundless is pervaded by psychic laws, which no man invented, but of which he has “gnosis” in the symbolism of Christian dogma. Only heedless fools will wish to destroy this; the lover of the soul, never. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 168

“As a shadow continually follows the body of one who walks in the sun … so our Adamic hermaphrodite, though he appears in masculine form, nevertheless always carries about with him Eve, or his feminine part, hidden in his body.” ~Dominicus Gnosius cited by Carl Jung, CW 11, fn 22

Evil and matter together form the Dyad, the duality (fig. 156) . This is feminine in nature, an anima mundi, the feminine Physis who longs for the embrace of the One, the Monad, the good and perfect. The Justinian Gnosis depicts her as Edem, virgin above, serpent below (fig. 157) . Vengefully she strives against the Pneuma because, in the shape of the demiurge, the second form of God, he faithlessly abandoned her. She is “the divine soul imprisoned in the elements,” whom it is the task of alchemy to redeem. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 413

I hope the reader will not be outraged if my exposition sounds like a Gnostic myth. We are moving here in those psychological regions where, as a matter of fact, the Gnosis is rooted. The message of the Christian symbol is Gnosis, and the compensation effected by the unconscious is Gnosis in an even higher degree. Myth is the primordial language natural to these psychic processes, and no intellectual formulation comes anywhere near the richness and expressiveness of mythical imagery. Such processes deal with the primordial images, and these are best and most succinctly reproduced by figurative speech. ~Carl Jung, CW 12 Para 28

In so far as the tree symbolizes the opus and the transformation process “tam ethice quam physice” (both morally and physically), it also signifies the life process in general. Its identity with Mercurius, the spiritus vegetativus, confirms this view. Since the opus is a life, death, and rebirth mystery, the tree as well acquires this significance and in addition the quality of wisdom, as we have seen from the view of the Barbeliots reported in Irenaeus: “From man [= Anthropos] and gnosis is born the tree, which they also call gnosis.” In the Gnosis of Justin, the angel Baruch, named the “wood of life,” is the angel of revelation, just as the sun-and-moon tree in the Romance of Alexander foretells the future. ~Carl Jung, CW 13. Para 459

It is clear from this text that the “hidden” thing, the invisible centre, is Adam Kadmon, the Original Man of Jewish gnosis. It is he who laments in the “prisons” of the darkness, and who is personified by the black Shulamite of the Song of Songs.  ~Carl Jung, CW 14, Para 44

Gnosis is characterized by the hypostatizing of psychological apperceptions, i.e., by the integration of archetypal contents beyond the revealed “truth” of the Gospels. ~Carl Jung, CW 18, Para 1647

I grant you that I am on the best way to delivering up the Christian concept of the spirit to the chaos of Gnosis again, from which it was so carefully insulated. But in my view the spirit is alive only when it is an adventure eternally renewed. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Pages 90-93


They [Symbols] are just no Gnosis, no metaphysical assertions. They are partly even futile or dubious attempts at pronouncing the ineffable. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 291.

The characteristic difference is that God’s incarnation is understood to be a historical fact in the Christian belief, while in the Jewish Gnosis it is an entirely pleromatic process symbolized by the concentration of the supreme triad of Kether, Hokhmah, and Binah in the figure of Tifereth. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 92.

Scholem is certainly all wet when he thinks that the Jewish Gnosis contains nothing of the Christian mystery. It contains practically the whole of it, but in its unrevealed pleromatic state. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 92.

Jung’s creative libido was already flowing into his greatest book, the Mysterium Coniunctionis, and he felt he could not divert it in order to write a lecture for the Eranos Tagung that year, whose theme was “Old Sun Cults and the Symbolism of Light in Gnosis and Early Christianity.” ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 198

In the history of Gnosis, this figure plays a great role, and every sect claims to have been founded by such a one. ~Carl Jung, 1925 Seminar, Page 101

These various formulations indicate the same being that we find in the Gnosis as the ethereal man, light and diaphanous, identical with gold, diamond, carbuncle, the Grail, and, in Indian philosophy, with the Purusha or personified as Christ or Buddha. ~Carl Jung, ETH, Page 118.

I use the word “Gnosis” intentionally, because alchemy retained, or rediscovered, a great many things which played a very important role in the early days of Christianity. ~Carl Jung, ETH Lecture V. Page 162.