Beliefnet Guide to Gnosticism
The Beliefnet Guide to Gnosticism and Other Vanished Christianities by Richard Valantasis came out in 2006. In the preface he discusses the Dead Sea Scrolls and The Nag Hammadi Library. Gnosticism is intellectual, intense, spiritual, sophisticated and audacious.
There are a number of types or divisions. Valentianian believed more in the allegorical. Marcionite rejected the Jewish Old Testament Texts all together. Montanist was a Radical Feminist Pentecostal type of Gnosticism. They were associated with The Oracle of Delphi or were similar to them. The Donastist was similar to a terrorist wing.
Some of the non-canonical Gospels that were associated with the Gnostic Christians are The Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Phillip, Gospel of John, First and Second Apocalypse of James, Gospel of Truth, On the Origin of the World, Pista Sophia and The Gospel of Mary.
Gnosticism embraces the connection between the physical and spiritual realms. The spirit, not the soul, entered the spirit realm. The body submitted to the soul and soul to the spirit or the divine spark. Hylic is the world of matter. The Psyche was the soul. Pneumatic means the spirit or air. The Gnostics focused on the Pneumatic or the Spirit. Gnostics believe in the demiurge or the false God. The idea of Pleroma is the completeness or perfection or fullness that we can connect to in the universe. Aeons is Age in Greek.
Seth was the 3rd son of Adam and Eve. He is considered the savior by some in that the seed of Seth bestowed immortality. Sethians are comparable to New Age seekers.
According to Gnostic Writings, Sophia created the monster Yaltabaoth and Yaltabaoth created the physical universe, not God. The real God lies within us and needs us to free him from the bonds of the physical universe.
Hermeticists break through the limited knowledge and gain great depth of knowledge through prayer and meditation. They initiate the brotherhood into spiritual community. Hermeticism played a role in alchemy and the occult and eventually in the New Age Movement.
Neo-Platonism is a sort of Philosophical religion. Nous means knowledge—specifically intuitive knowledge. They believe that diversity and unity coherence in the universe.