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It is an inward "knowing," comparable to that encouraged by Plotinus (neoplatonism), and differs from Christian proto-orthodox views.
By the Hellenistic period, it began to also be associated with Greco-Roman mysteries, becoming synonymous with the Greek term musterion.
Early research into the origins of Gnosticism proposed Persian origins or influences, spreading to Europe and incorporating Jewish elements.
The Syrian–Egyptian traditions postulate a remote, supreme Godhead, the Monad.
A major question in scholarly research is the qualification of Gnosticism, based on the study of its texts, as either an interreligious phenomenon or as an independent religion.
Gnosis refers to knowledge based on personal experience or perception.
The term gnostikos may have acquired a deeper significance here.From this highest divinity emanate lower divine beings, known as Aeons.The Demiurge, one of those Aeons, creates the physical world.[The Lord Christ is commissioned by the Father] And I heard the voice of the Most High, the father of my LORD as he said to my LORD Christ who will be called Jesus, ‘Go out and descend through all the heavens...The Shepherd of Hermas is a Christian literary work considered as canonical scripture by some of the early Church fathers such as Irenaeus.
This Divine spark could be liberated by gnosis of this Divine spark.