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Walhalla (1896) by Max Brückner
Walhalla (1896) by Max Brückner

What is the Gnostic Church?

We get questions each week about the Gnostic Church; people want to join the Gnostic Church, be ordained as a gnostic priest, live at a gnostic monastery, or simply visit out of curiosity. We understand this longing, as it is natural and a good sign of the spiritual inquietude within. Yet it also shows that they do not yet understand what the Gnostic Church is. There are people who take advantage of that lack of understanding, so it is important to know what the Gnostic Church is, and what it is not. 

What Does Gnostic Really Mean?

People today mistakenly believe that the word Gnostic refers to a few groups that were active in the Middle East almost two thousand years ago, and left behind the so-called gnostic gospels or gnostic scriptures. In reality, those groups were not isolated or unique. They were part of a worldwide tradition found on every continent, whose roots are not in the physical world at all. 

In fact, Jesus, the greatest gnostic of all and the inspiration for the so-called gnostic scriptures and the modern Christian tradition, is a master of Kabbalah and Judaism. He is a master of Egyptian, Indian, and Tibetan teachings. That is why we find so much of them in his teachings. Therefore, the so-called “gnostic” and Christian scriptures are not separate from those other traditions. All of these teachings are rooted in the same source, so it is a mistake to try to isolate one from another. That only leads to confusion and misunderstandings.

The word gnostic comes from γνῶσις, gnosis, a greek word meaning “knowledge,” and implying spiritual knowledge that is acquired from personal experience. So, anyone who has had personal spiritual experience has gnosis. When someone has a lot of spiritual experience, they are gnostic: they have understanding, wisdom, from those experiences. 

Gnosis is not beliefs, theories, or book study. Everyone has beliefs and theories. Experience is something else. For instance, you can store in your mind everything there is to know about skydiving, and have many beliefs about it, but those are just mental concepts. They are nothing compared to the experience of it. Someone who has jumped from an airplane has gnosis of that experience, an understanding that cannot be conveyed in words. The same is true of spiritual experience. 

A genuine gnostic is someone with a lot of spiritual experience. Having one or two experiences does not give you real understanding, real knowledge. A genuine gnostic can perceive and interact with all the dimensions of nature, even while in their physical body. They can go out of their physical body at will and visit any dimension they wish. They can talk face to face with the gods, angels, buddhas. They have no pride, lust, envy, or fear, but instead are very insightful, wise, compassionate, diligent, and prudent. They can visit the temples in the internal worlds. They can investigate the truth about the past or future. This is what we mean by real gnosis, real spiritual experience. So, we are talking about highly developed human beings, people with extraordinary qualities and abilities. Of course, today, such people are quite unusual, and do not announce their presence to the public, because the public always tries to kill such people. 

This means that all of the founders of religions — Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, Moses — are gnostics. Since all religions emerged from the experience of their founders, gnosis is the source of all religions. That is why we say that gnosis is universal; it includes all religions. 

Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, Moses are the real gnostics; we, who are their students, are not gnostics yet. We are aspiring to be gnostics, but while we remain trapped in our negative thoughts and emotions, and repeat our foolishness day in and day out, we are not gnostics. 

What Does Church Really Mean?

People also have mistaken ideas about the word church. This comes from Greek ἐκκλησία,, and means a place of assembly. 

Of course, today the word church implies a Christian gathering place. But really, the root of the word is not Christian. Neither is the Gnostic Church: it is not limited to those who today are called "Christians." The Gnostic Church is the collective presence of all of the pure, awakened human beings that people call gods, angels, masters, buddhas. They come from all religions.

So, knowing the root meanings of these two words, the real meaning and location of the genuine Gnostic Church becomes obvious: the Gnostic Church is where the real gnostics gather together. Where would you expect to find Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, and Moses gathered together? Obviously, this would not be in any place in the physical world. 

Where to Find the Real Gnostic Church

The Gnostic Church is the authentic church of our Lord the Christ. It is the temple of initiations and it is situated within the astral plane. Our Lord the Christ and the holy masters officiate there. —Samael Aun Weor

The real Gnostic Church is not in the physical world. It is in the internal worlds, what people call the heavens, nirvanas, etc. That is why in his books The Perfect Matrimony and The Major Mysteries, Samael Aun Weor wrote that to attend the Gnostic Church, one needs to know how to travel in the astral world. 

Esoteric science is studied in the internal worlds. Therefore, the one who does not know how to be willingly projected in the astral body does not know esotericism. —The Major Mysteries

The Gnostic Church has many temples, cathedrals, and holy places, especially in Shambhala.


Jesus Christ presently lives in Shambhala (a secret country of Tibet) with his same resurrected physical body. Yes, in Shambhala he also has his temple of mysteries. The entire country of Shambhala is in the Jinn state [in the internal worlds]. Here is where the principal monasteries of the White Lodge are. Many masters live in Shambhala whose stream of life of their physical bodies comes from very ancient ages, and who are in the Jinn state...

In all the corners of the world there are monasteries of the White Lodge [the Gnostic Church] in the Jinn state. Our disciples (in the Astral Body or in Jinn state) can visit Shambhala and converse with Jesus Christ.

The true supreme headquarters of our Gnostic movement is in Shambhala (eastern Tibet). —The Major Mysteries

How to Visit the Gnostic Church

Since the Gnostic Church is in the internal worlds, we need to know how to travel there. 

Some who read that become discouraged, believing that astral travel is difficult. The reality is that everyone travels in their astral body every night, but are unaware of it. Yes: astral travel is a natural function. There is nothing dangerous or difficult about it, but people are unaware of it because the consciousness is asleep and deeply conditioned by bad habits.

To travel in the astral world requires (1) that we become aware of dreaming, and (2) that we have sufficient energy. You will learn both of these in our books.

Dreams are nothing more than astral experiences, but without consciousness. Astral travel is nothing more than conscious dreaming: to be aware of oneself while dreaming, and in control of what you do.

The astral world is in the fifth dimension. It is the antechamber of the heavens. But, it is also a reflection of our mind: usually what we experience there is just a projection of our mind, what we call “dreams.” So it is one thing to awaken in that world, and another to see the objective reality of that world. 

If you really want to visit the Gnostic Church, you simply need to become aware of yourself when you are dreaming. Then, awake and aware in the world of dreams, you can ask to visit the Gnostic Church, and you will. But be on guard against the habit of your mind to project its dreams!

To learn how to do this, we recommend practicing what is taught in Dream Yoga by Samael Aun Weor. It is an entirely practical handbook that if you put it into daily practice will change your life.

Most of the time, people fail at this effort simply because they do not want to change their bad habits. Those who are tired of suffering, who are willing to change, and adopt the techniques that lead to personal experience, can awaken their consciousness in the astral world, and visit the Gnostic Church for themselves. 

Astral travel is not difficult. Attending the Gnostic Church is not difficult. What is difficult is to change our bad habits and awaken from moment to moment. 

Experiences of the Gnostic Church

I entered inside the Gnostic Church. This temple of luminous marble with its unusual reflectivity looked as if it was made out of crystal… —The Three Mountains

The Church of our Lord Jesus Christ is not of this world; he himself said it, “My kingdom is not of this world.” In the mountain of the living God, there is a church, invisible to the eyes of the flesh, but visible to the eyes of the soul and the spirit. That is the primeval Gnostic Church, to which Christ and the prophets belong. That church has its bishops, archbishops, deacons, subdeacons, and priests who officiate at the altar of the living God. The patriarch of that invisible church is Jesus Christ…

All humans can also visit the Gnostic Church during sleep. There in that holy church, we see the Virgin of Carmel together with her holy angels. All the great saints of the church of God visit the Gnostic Church. Fridays and Sundays in the aurora there are masses and communions. By following the teachings given in chapters four and five of this book, all Christians can attend these masses and receive the communion of bread and wine... In the Gnostic Church, we see Christ seated on his throne, and all the Gnostics can converse with him personally. —Christ and the Virgin

How to Join the Gnostic Church

Membership in the Gnostic Church is not determined by your physical circumstances: what country you are in, what city, who you know, what group you attend, etc. Instead, membership in the Gnostic Church is determined by your internal condition. Simply stated: if you are making the daily effort to become a gnostic, then you will be helped by the real gnostics in the internal worlds, and they will help you in the Gnostic Church. Inevitably, simply as a result of working yourself, you will belong to the Gnostic Church in the internal worlds.

This is the natural result of daily work with these three factors:

  • Death: daily elimination of defects like pride, vanity, envy, lust. This is the death of our bad habits foolish behaviors, and all of our old ways of thinking that only lead to suffering
  • Birth: daily awakening of consciousness and active use of virtues like chastity, humility, prudence, silence, diligence. Through chastity, this leads to the birth of the soul, the creation of a real human being. 
  • Sacrifice: daily compassionate service to others without expectation of recognition or reward. This is giving up our selfish desires in order to help those in need. 

None of these require living in a certain country or city. None require belonging to a group. None require a priest. None require approval or instructions from a teacher. What they do require is self-analysis, meditation, chastity (sexual transmutation), sacrifice, study of the teachings, and study of oneself. 

Those who live by these three factors in their daily lives, and devote themselves to their Innermost Being, will be protected and guided by the Gnostic Church. 

Does the Gnostic Church Have Representatives in the Physical World?

Yes, of course, but it is not limited to one faction, group, or movement, nor is it obvious to the physical senses. Today, the Gnostic Church operates worldwide, but mostly in ways that are not easy to see.

In ancient times, the Gnostic Church had a visible presence in the physical world.

Jesus founded the Gnostic Church. The Gnostic Church existed in the times of Saint Augustine. This is the church that was known by Jerome, Empedocles, Saint Thomas, Marcion of Pontus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertulian, Saint Ambrose, Harpocrates, and all of the first fathers of the church. In that epoch, the church was named the Catholic Gnostic Church. The Roman Catholic Church in its present form was not founded by Jesus. This Roman Church is a deviation or corruption, a fallen branch of holy Gnosticism.

Many centuries ago, the Gnostic Church withdrew from the physical world in order to preserve the teachings for the future era. However, it continues its work everywhere in the world, under many different names and appearances, according to what is most effective for each place. 

The Universal Christian Gnostic Movement is non-sectarian. The Gnostic movement is made up of the Army of World Salvation, of all spiritual schools, of all lodges, religions, and sects...

Practice what you will, study in any school that you like. Pray in the temple that pleases you the most, but practice Sexual Magic.

Live the Path of the Perfect Matrimony. We are not against any holy religion, school, order or sect. All of these sacred institutions are necessary. Nevertheless, we advise you to live the path of the Perfect Matrimony. The Perfect Matrimony is not opposed to any religious way of life or to the esoteric practices of Holy Yoga. The Gnostic movement is made up of people from all religions, schools, lodges, sects, orders, etc. The Perfect Matrimony

Any group that lives by and teaches the three factors represents the Gnostic Church. Such groups exist all over the world, in every country and religious tradition, but the genuine ones do not boast about it or claim any special status, because they live by the principles of the teachings: humility, sacrifice for others, prudence, etc. In fact, in many cases they do not use the word gnosis at all.

You cannot find representatives of the Gnostic Church by searching the internet. You will more likely find the opposite.

For example, there are many groups that call themselves “gnostic,” but since they teach and encourage sexual degeneration, they have no connection to the real Gnostic Church. They are simply attempting to deviate people.

We advise you not to search in the physical world, but to search in the internal worlds. The physical world is a world of complex illusions, and it is easy for us to become confused by appearances. 

This is why we advise our disciples not to follow anyone.

Let our disciples follow their own Self. Each of our disciples has to follow their resplendent and luminous inner Being. Each one has to adore their own “I Am.”

We beg, beseech, our disciples not to follow us. We do not want henchmen or followers.

We have written this book so that you, our friends, listen to your own internal master, your resplendent “I AM.” The Innermost is your master: follow Him.

First, take heed that none of the many false avatars who appear during these times deceive you, for many impostors appear in these times and deceive others.

Second, take heed of sexual temptations.

Third, do not ever attend spiritual centers; the mediums-channelers can easily lead you astray from the path.

Many disciples have fallen horribly due to these three dangerous reasons. Flee from these three treacherous dangers so that you may not lose your initiations and degrees. —Samael Aun Weor, The Major Mysteries

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