Gnosis

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Gnosis (from one of the Greek words for knowledge, γνῶσις) is the spiritual knowledge of a saint[1] or mystically enlightened human being. Within the cultures of the term's provenance (Byzantine and Hellenic) Gnosis was a knowledge or insight into the infinite, divine and uncreated in all and above all,[2] rather than knowledge strictly into the finite, natural or material world.[3] Gnosis is a transcendental as well as mature understanding.[4] It indicates direct spiritual experiential knowledge[5] and intuitive knowledge, mystic rather than that from rational or reasoned thinking. Gnosis itself is obtained through understanding at which one can arrive via inner experience or contemplation such as an internal epiphany of intuition and external epiphany such as the Theophany.

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Etymology

Gnosis is a Greek word, originally used in specifically Hellenistic pagan philosophical contexts. Plato, for example, uses the terms γνωστικοί – gnostikoi and γνωστικὴ ἐπιστήμη – gnostike episteme in the text called Politikos. The word means the "knowledge to influence and control῾ Gnostike episteme was also used to indicate one's aptitude. The terms do not appear to indicate any mystic, esoteric or hidden meaning in the works of Plato, but instead expressed a sort of higher intelligence and ability analogous to talent.[6] The term is used throughout Greek philosophy as a technical term for experience knowledge (see gnosiology) in contrast to theoretical knowledge or epistemology. The term is also related to the study of knowledge retention or memory (see also cognition). In relation to ontic or ontological, which is how something actually is rather than how something is captured (abstraction) and stored (memory) in the mind.

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