Newmedia on Sun, 4 Oct 1998 00:15:59 +0200 (MET DST)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

<nettime> We Are All Gnostics Now


A friend of nettime, Eric Davis, has just published his book, "Techgnosis :
Myth, Magic, and Religion in the Information Age" which, in turn, is reviewed
by Matthew DeBord in the current FEED.  While I haven't seen the published
work, from what we've seen of the manuscript, I suspect that this will be an
important book to read.

After you finish Davis, I suggest that you read Harold Bloom ("The American
Religion", "Omens of Millenium") and then Eric Vogelin ("New Science of
Politics") and then Hans Jonas ("The Gnostic Religion") and then Karl
Ratzinger ("In the Beginning . . .").  And, if you're serious, St. Augustine's
"City of God."

What you will find out is very important.  It turns out that we are all
gnostics.  This may even be the most important thing that you will ever figure
out about yourself.

Left-wing gnostics and right-wing gnostics.  Apollonian gnostics and dionysian
gnostics.  Optimistic gnostics and pessimistic gnostics.  Utopian gnostics and
dystopian gnostics.

For instance, there is no "Christian Coalition" in the U.S.; it's really the
"Gnostic Coalition."  Read Pat Robertson on the Apolcalypse.  Exquisitely

And, Marxism?  Thoroughly gnostic.  As was Hegel.  And, Kant.  (And, Newton
and the Royal Society and the whole Enlightenment and the Romantics, too).
And, so on.

Hitler was a gnostic.  So was Stalin.  And, H.G. Wells.  And, Aldous Huxley.
And, Crowley and L. Ron Hubbard.  And, WIRED Magazine (as is its editors, main
contributors, associated organizations).  And, the Dalai Lama, too.

It turns out that gnosticism is as old as the hills.  The Persian (or should I
say Median?) hills.  Gnosticism is the Ur-religion.  It most likely comes all
the way from Zarathustra/Zoraster in, say, 1500 B.C.E.  It thoroughly pervades
all "monotheisms", Buddhism, Taoism, syncretic Confuscianism, and, oh yes,
"materialism" and "atheism."  Particularly atheism.  Had enough?

Everyone who wants out from reality is a gnostic.  Everyone who wishes to
*not* be a human is a gnostic.  That's why reading these books and figuring
out what you really believe is likely to be rather important.

Because, if you want out from reality, you just might get your wish.  The end
of reality.

If you wish to be other-than-human, then you just might get your wish.


Mark Stahlman
#  distributed via nettime-l : no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a closed moderated mailinglist for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  URL:  contact: