I remember first coming across some aspects of the Gnostic teachings via word of mouth. I had heard about Gnosis through some friends and their new acquaintances who were studying Samael Aun Weor in 2002, but from what I was told about Gnosis by them, and in seeing the examples of people who were supposedly “Gnostics,” I wasn’t the least bit interested. It seemed that it was all like some sort of fairy tale, and I felt that if I took it up, I’d end up looking and acting in ways that to me seemed false and pious, and on the whole quite strange.
Fortunately, then came our encounter with The Gnostic Movement. People emphatically told me about how great the courses were, that the teachers were so knowledgeable, patient, and helpful, and how the information they got really changed their lives for the better. They said it was different to the approach that this other group of people were taking, and that the teachers there were spiritual, yet normal people and quite friendly.
Nonetheless, being somewhat of a bookworm I was hesitant to attend any classes without having done some reading first. I took out a book on meditation from the local library and started practising on my own. It felt quite nice and relaxing to do, yet I felt there was something missing from simply doing meditation practices a couple times a day. A friend sent me a copy of the courses online at the time, which other than some supplementary reading material and books by other Gnostic authors, were written by Belzebuub (Mark Pritchard) and eventually became available in book format as The Peace of the Spirit Within and A Course in Astral Travel and Dreams. Also, another friend of mine lent me Revolutionary Psychology by Samael Aun Weor.
When I actually began to read The Peace of the Spirit Within and Revolutionary Psychology at the beginning of 2003, it hit me deep down just how important this information was. I was really moved by the honesty and sincerity of the authors, and not only read all the material very carefully, but wholeheartedly tried the exercises and practices mentioned in the weekly topics of The Peace of the Spirit Within. It was as if a light bulb had gone off inside, and I made a firm decision internally then and there to apply the information I was reading as much as I could to my own life.
I phoned my friend full of enthusiasm and demanded to know when the next live course session was taking place. Fortunately, it was later on that week, and I quickly rearranged whatever else I had going on at the time in order to attend.
When I first came to the Astral Travel and Dreams Course that night, I could immediately see what they were talking about. You could see clearly that the teacher was moved by a love for what he was doing at the time, and had that genuine care and wish to help others who were interested in attempting to achieve it too. It helped to foster that sense of enthusiasm I had developed towards these teachings and guide me in how to apply the various practices in my daily life.
I went through all of the courses at the time with eagerness, but had yet to meet the author, Mark Pritchard (Belzebuub) in person. At the time, since there weren’t yet all the videos and audio talks on the web, all I knew of him was from second-hand accounts or from what I had read in the books. Finally, after a couple of opportunities fell through, we heard he’d be guiding a retreat in the next province in the country I lived in. Leading up to that retreat, I had all sorts of thoughts running through my mind as to what it’d be like to meet a real spiritual teacher, but that was all shattered the first time we met—a simple smile and wave from the car on his way up there at first, and then introducing himself to me and a handshake. I was quite relieved that it turned out in reality to be a very simple and humble man, dressed normally, and without all the usual pretenses, funny clothes, or ways of acting that usually accompany those the world considers “spiritual.” Yet at the same time, I could really feel a real sense of strength and love from within underneath it all, a power that I couldn’t quite put into words, and which really came out when he was teaching. Whatever it was that he had, I wished I could achieve too.
That meeting solidified for me in a way the whole package of Gnosis. What I mean by that is not only was I learning and gaining so much from the Gnostic teachings personally in so many ways in my life, but also, I could see that there was someone who had actually achieved the Gnostic work in their lifetime, a living example of Gnosis.
I have had many encounters and experiences with Belzebuub and of course The Gnostic Movement over the years I was involved that helped me immensely, and confirmed time and again just how important this information was, and really reminded me to be thankful for the efforts of those who went through many difficulties to ensure this message stayed out there and also spread to new places. It may not have been for everyone, but for those who were interested, it was a true guiding light.