Someone today asked me these questions: Just why is Gnosis important? How is it useful? And why bother at all?
It was a good set of questions? This is my answer.
Gnosis is salvation.
This knowledge of God, this acquaintance with the Divine is what saves us from a world of systems, archons, and basic bullsh!t. By knowing at a deep, experiential level, that we are all part of the divine and that we're all trapped here together, helps us in our day to day life (we know other folks can't help their failings, and cut them some slack. We also cut ourselves some). We can be healthier, happier, less stressed, less cruel.
It saves us from ourselves. It saves us from the anti-life, anti-humanity, anti-virtue culture that we are surrounded with. As within, so without. When we must do something unpleasant, we try to do it in the way that is least hurtful. When we must do something good, we do so with the maximum amount of joy. We see in those the world considers least, the reflection of our savior, and ourselves. We strive to approach the powerful without fear, the sick without disgust, the prisoner without judgment, bringing the love and the Word of God to all.
You don't have to be clergy, you don't have to have initiations, you don't need to be a saint. It may even be that it's better not to be or have these things.
And people will spit on you. Laugh at you. Slap your hand, which you extended in love. Drive you away. Reinforce the separation. Or they will take you in, try to smother you, absorb all your time and your love, for their selfish needs. Argue about points of doctrine, dogma, worldview, try to convert you to these. Or they will see the light of God in your face, and endeavor to reflect it. They will take solace in your words of comfort. They will compliment you. Perhaps worst of all, they will look at you with a blank stare of incomprehension. Or any of a thousand thousand other possibilities.
But once you have that knowledge, both everything and nothing changes. You are still here, this collection of cells, egos, ideas, warped perceptions and amorphous drives. Yet, there's this certainty that you've seen paradise, and you do all you can, in your failing, halting, insufficient way, to tell the world "The kingdom of God is near."(Mark 1:14)
Why bother at all? Because you can't do anything else. Here I stand, I can do no other. God help me. Amen.*
*Attributed to Martin Luther, but applicable here.