#2 - MED - Why a Gnostic investigation
Greetings to each and all. You've reached John Lash on Mandela Effect Decoded. And now let's see if I can reach you.
This would be the second recording in the series. Let's call it a briefing. These talks I'm going to be uploading on this YouTube channel and linking to various other platforms or through various other platforms on the Internet, present what you could call a series of briefings.
Now, why does one conduct briefings? Well, generally, it's rather a military term, isn't it? It refers to the preparation to undertake a mission. So the team assigned to the mission meet together with the leader or commander of the mission and the entire group discuss the mission to be accomplished. That's a briefing and following that when the mission has been conducted and the team returns to home base there is the debriefing in which they discuss what has been learned from the mission.
So I propose to you who are signing on to this little experiment to consider it in that manner. I'll be releasing a series of briefings and you will be discussing them with me in the comment sections that go with each talk I upload. I request you to confine the comments that you post in the section of the first talk, testing your PsyQ, to answers to the exam. So far there have been about 140 responses and almost all of you have confined yourself to answering the three questions in the exam and that's great. So that comment space attached to the first talk will be reserved specifically for those entries and as they are entered chronologically I can always go and look at the new ones that have come in, the latest ones that have come in.
Thank you very much for your responses and thank you for keeping to the simple rules of this experiment. I'm going to title this briefing, Why a Gnostic Experiment? And in the course of the next twenty minutes, I'm going to explain to you why I have given my treatment of the Mandela Effect that particular designation with that particular word. I'm confident that this is a good way to begin for a couple of reasons. First of all, the term Gnostic is an important one that needs clarification in the first place. It needs background. And most of all, it needs to be related in a specific way to the Mandela effect.
Secondly, by discoursing a little bit, not too long and not too much at length, but a little bit, on this term, Gnostic, I can state a disclaimer, and it's important to me to do so. You know, I've said off and on through the years, and those who are familiar with my talks and writings will perhaps smile at this phrase, I’ve said I like to keep my pretenses right out in the open. That's a way of telling you something about my teaching technique. One of my pretenses is that I am a teacher, so what kind of teacher am I and how do I teach?
Well one mark of my style is that I tell you where I'm coming from at the outset. You know, there are many individuals teaching on the internet at one level or another, in one genre or another. Many of them are addressing esoteric and metaphysical and so-called spiritual topics and themes and questions, and some of them even refer to themselves as Gnostics. You will find that with these teachers today, who are using the internet as a medium to teach, as I do, you will find that you can listen to them, study with them, draw upon the information they release, and you can do that for a considerable period of time, even years, and never actually know where that individual is coming from, never actually knowing what his or her agenda is.
So you might pick up on the teachings or talks coming from someone on the internet and find things that resonate with you, find things that you consider valuable, and let's say educational, instructive, and yet you would never suspect the agenda of the person who is releasing this information or these teachings. But in my case I like to keep my pretenses right out in the open. I like to keep them up front. I will tell you at the very first encounter exactly what my agenda is and where I'm coming from and then you see how that comes over with you and I see if you can handle it.
What I don't do is handle you by manipulation, by withholding. I don't withhold anything. I don't hold back where I'm coming from or what I want from you until some later time down the road when I'm sure that I have your attention and then I pull it on you. That's not my teaching technique. So I let you know right at the beginning where I'm coming from and the topic of Gnosticism is the perfect place to start. By the way, I'll just add as a footnote a little comment on this term, pretense. I have used the word pretense for many years. It's a translation from the Sanskrit word Lakṣaṇa, which is found, for instance, as a principal term in the Diamond Sutra. And I have drawn extensively in my life from the Diamond Sutra. I myself have been instructed from that Buddhist teaching, and I have passed on my realization of the essential truth of that teaching to others as best I can. You might be a little thrown by my use of the word pretense, because I don't use it in the ordinary manner. I use it, rather, in a subtle manner, which is reflected in the teaching of the Diamond Sutra.
Ordinarily, when people use pretense, it refers to a claim that someone makes, say a claim they make about themselves, which is untrue. So you could say, oh she has the pretense of being a really cool jazz singer. So she goes around and she cultivates this pretense and flaunts this pretense, but in fact she doesn't really have the talent or the style to be a good jazz singer. You could think of many examples. And generally speaking, in ordinary parlance, that is what pretense means. It means something that you claim of yourself or believe about yourself, which is in fact not true. It's merely a pretense. A pretense of being wealthy and so forth and so on. That's not how I use the word pretense.
Consistent with the teaching of the Diamond Sutra, anything that you claim about yourself and anything that you believe about yourself, even if it's true, is a pretense or a Lakṣaṇa. So when I say my main pretense, my leading pretense, is to be a teacher, I simply mean that that's my claim about myself, and it's a true claim, but it's also a pretense, according to the subtle interpretation which I hold and which I invite you to consider. If you ever happen to delve into the Diamond Sutra, by the way, I suggest that you look at the translation in Chan and Zen teaching by Charles Luck, L.U.K. You'll find, and you might be amused by this, who knows, it might get a chuckle out of your bones, that according to the teaching of the Diamond Sutra, even the claim that you have a life is a pretense.
Moving on from that fascinating subject to my disclaimer. The best way for me to present my disclaimer is to tell you about myself. Now sit tight and pull up your socks because John Lash is not someone who often talks about himself and I would never talk about myself simply for the entertainment that it might give me. I prefer to talk about myself when I have some ulterior motive, which in this case is to explain to you the meaning of the word Gnostic. Now, I am a Gnostic. There's another pretense for you.
I am a Gnostic. But what is a Gnostic today? Well, I'm also a Gnostic scholar. Some people consider me to be the leading Gnostic scholar in the world. I've demonstrated my skill in that genre in my book, Not in His Image, which is about the Gnostic teachers of the ancient mysteries of pagan and pre-Christian Europe. So, I am a Gnostic scholar and there are many other Gnostic scholars such as, for instance, James Robinson, who was the general editor of the Nag Hammadi Library in English. Or there is Kurt Rudolph, or there is Hans Jonas, Elaine Pagels, many others.
The difference between myself and the other team of Gnostic scholars on the planet, it's a pretty elite team, I'd say there's only about really 20 really high grade Gnostic scholars on the planet. I don't stand in that group, I'm an outsider. They are all academic, trained professionals. I am a self-educated seeker. And secondly, they are all based in a Judeo-Christian or Abrahamic mindset. And so they interpret the ancient materials of Gnosticism through the the filter of that mindset.
So I am the only scholar in the field, to my knowledge, I'd be happy to be informed if there's someone else, who treats of the materials of Gnosticism, the surviving evidence of Gnosticism, from the point of view of the Gnostics themselves and from the point of view of a pagan intellectual outlook that is entirely independent of Judaism and Christianity. And if you want the full background of that go check out Not in his image or go to MetaHistory.org and look at the dozens of articles on Gnosticism.
Gnosticism is a movement, is a name for a movement in the ancient world, which no longer exists. So Gnosticism is a scholarly term that is applied to the study of these ancient materials. Gnosis is a timeless phenomenon. Gnosis means knowledge, but it doesn't mean ordinary knowledge. It means a special kind of knowledge, what might be called expert knowledge. And the question arises, well of course, expert knowledge of what? You can look at someone and you can say, hey look at Tim over here, he has expert knowledge of Mercedes cars and engines. He's an engineer, he's a Mercedes engineer, he has expert knowledge. Or look at this individual over here, he has expert knowledge of golf. And many examples could follow. Someone could have expert knowledge of Thai cooking, or expert knowledge of the shamanic poetry of the Icelandic Eddas.
Generally, the way I define myself, the way I have defined myself since 1991, when my first book, The Seeker's Handbook, appeared, is as a comparative mythologist. Now a comparative mythologist is a mythologist who makes a survey or repertoire of all the different myths of the world from the different cultures and epochs and compares them. For instance, take the theme of twinning. I wrote a book about twinning, Twins and The Double. The theme of twinning, doubling, shamanic doubles, divine twins who are born at the beginning of a creation story, and so forth and so on, is widespread in world mythology. And so if you go look at the myth of the twins among the Aztecs, and then of the Japanese, and then of certain African tribes, and then the myths of the twins in Greco-Roman mythology, and you compare them, that's comparative mythology. That's my field, that's my badge, that's basically what I do.
But my specialization is in the field of the mysteries and the Gnostic practice, the Gnostic method, and the Gnostic view of life. One of the earliest Gnostic scholars was G.R.S. Mead, and he pointed out something extremely important when he said that the material of the ancient Mysteries, make that a capital M, the pagan Mysteries, also called the Mystery Schools, the material of those ancient institutions of higher spiritual learning and mystical experimentation, is best preserved in the Gnostic writings which have survived to us.
So I consider that the Gnostics were the ancient seers who founded what were called the Mysteries and who led the Mysteries. They were the teachers and the educators of the ancient world, because the Mysteries had a dual function in the ancient world previous to Christian times. One function was that in the inner circle of the Mysteries, certain initiatory practices took place for the purpose of accessing higher knowledge, non-ordinary awareness. The second purpose of the Mysteries was to educate the culture of the time.
So the teachers from from the mysteries did double duty. They were initiates investigating mystical subjects and topics and questions, delving into the paranormal, and that's where the Mandela Effect comes in here. By the way, be patient, I'm going to get you right on page one regarding regarding how Gnosis relates to the Mandela effect. That at least is my purpose in this second briefing. And likewise the teachers, the Gnostics, seers of the mysteries, turned to the outer world and they taught all kinds of subjects to the outer world, mathematics, music, astronomy, astrology, geography, they taught people to read. As I point out in Not in His Image, the vast majority of people in the pagan world prior to Christianity were literate. Even slaves were literate, and sometimes slaves were closely connected with the Gnostic schools and were serving the Mysteries as teachers in the outer world.
And so, where did this literacy come from? Who taught the ancient world to read and write? Who inspired the writing of the Greek tragedies of Sophocles and Euripides, the teachers of the Mysteries? So, I'll have a lot to say about the mysteries off and on as we go through these briefings. But for right now, you need to understand, consistent with my disclaimer, that this is where I'm coming from, but not in order to recruit you into my school or cult. My intention, totally, is to educate. That's what a teacher does. I'm an educator. And what I want from you is your attention to the highest degree that you can offer it.
So my pretense here is to be a scholar of Gnosticism, looking back to that ancient movement in all its splendor and scope, but to be a practicing and living Gnostic today, and that's a different matter, because with the retrieval of Gnosticism over the last ten years since my book appeared, well, Gnosticism needs to be upscaled. Gnosticism has been upscaled and adapted for the present time. So, I'm calling this investigation of the Mandela effect, with the aim of decoding it, a Gnostic investigation, because it is conducted in a Gnostic manner. Remember that I said Gnosis is knowledge, but it's a specialist or expert knowledge of something particular. Are you wondering what that is? Well, here it comes folks.
Gnosis is expert knowledge of the source and operations of human intelligence. Now just pause and savor that phrase for a moment. Suppose that I was, let's use an example for contrast here. Suppose that I was a theosophist and my intention in coming out on the internet was to teach you theosophy. Well, I would then proceed to call upon your intelligence and I would feed to your intelligence or supply to your mind a range of concepts and ideas that constitute the body of theosophy founded by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky at the end of the 19th century.
So, I would teach you theosophy and you would use your mind and your intelligence to grasp what I teach. But as a Gnostic, I teach you about your intelligence itself. I teach the best way to use your intelligence according to the way it is designed. Gnostics were known in their time by a certain designation, a number of designations, some of them are rather insulting because they were quite a threat to the early Christian ideologues and they still are a threat today to the leading belief systems. I should point out by the way that Gnosis, there's no revival of Gnosticism in the works here, okay? But Gnosis, this mastery of the operation of human intelligence, of the workings of your own mind based on knowing the source of your mind, is not a religion.
The Gnostic practice I present today is not another religion. It is not an alternative religion. It is an alternative to all religions. I can assure you personally, as a teacher and as an individual, and anyone who knows me, has met me, will confirm this. I am completely against all religions, all of them. And I have presented, in Not in His Image, a deep deconstruction and critique of Judeo-Christian religion. But the same applies as well to the religion of Hinduism, the religion of Islam certainly, the religion of Buddhism, if you want to call it a religion. Actually, it isn't. I am against all religions, and I am against all belief systems that rely on blind adherence, rather than the active and creative use of the mind. I teach the active and creative use of your own intelligence.
And to be a Gnostic is to know the source of your intelligence, how it is designed to work and consequently to know how to use it in the optimal fashion. And that is to say, and I assure you this is true, to cultivate your own intelligence to the genius level. That is the goal of Gnostic teaching and Gnostic practice.
So, running a little longer than I thought here, so I'll close off this first part and come back to the Mandela effect and conclude. In order to round off what I've said to you so far, I propose that you consider the word noetic. Have you heard this word noetic? N-O-E-T-I-C. Noetic. Gnosis, the Gnostic practice that I am demonstrating to you in the way I decode the Mandela Effect, is a noetic discipline. Gnosis is a noetic discipline. And this word Gnosis is derived from a Greek word, nous, N-O-U-S. And that single word is central to the entire tradition of the ancient pagan mysteries. And that concept of nous is at the core of everything that you can learn and appreciate about the Gnostic practice. Notice I don't say Gnosticism because that's the archaic version. That's passé, that's Gnosticism, it's an ism. This is not an ism we're doing. I’m not doing an ism to you or with you.
I'm introducing a living practice so that you and I together can discover how that practice responds to the Mandela effect and how that practice allows the Mandela effect to be decoded and its origin to be detected. So, the Greek word nous, which is the source of noetic, simply means mind or intelligence. You might have heard another word, which was discussed quite a bit some years ago, as I recall, although I haven't heard it recently. This word is spelled N-O-O-S-P-H-E-R-E. Now I'd like to point out carefully the correct way to pronounce this word. You might hear some people say that it's pronounced Noose-phere. So the N-O-O is pronounced Noose, N-O-O-S, Noose-phere.
Well, Noose-phere has a kind of... the sound of noose fear is not pleasant to my ears. First of all, it sounds like noose fear. Well, we have enough news with fear in it, don't we? We have enough news to fear. And also, noose fear implies a noose, so the fear is a noose around your neck, and pulling on the noose and choking you is the news. So these subliminal connotations of that pronunciation do not fly in this investigation. So don't pronounce it that way.
Now there are two other options. One is, you will hear that it is pronounced the new-us-fear. New-us-fear. Now this is a little better because what does it say to you? The new-us-fear. Well, it's this fear of the new-us. The new-us is kind of an attractive, inviting notion. It's a clue or cue contained in the pronunciation of this word. Now you know the New-us-fear is a term that I believe was introduced by a Catholic Jesuit intellectual named Teilhard de Chardin. Teilhard de Chardin. T-I-T-E-I-L-H-A-R-D-E-C-H-A-R-D-I-N. And not too long ago, but probably too long for some of you to remember, Teilhard de Chardin was quite a rage.
For instance, when the veterans of the 60s, such as myself, were reading a book that came out annually called the New Earth Catalogue, there were articles in that book about theories about the earth and Gaia, the Gaia hypothesis, and about theories of consciousness. And one of the theories much discussed at this time, let's say going on 40 years ago now, was the theory of the noosphere by Teilhard de Chardin. And when the internet really got up and running, and certain intellectual gurus such as Eric Davis, who wrote Technosis, began to elaborate on the alleged possibilities of the Internet as an alternative mind of its own, the name Noosphere was applied to the Internet and some people even speculated that the Internet might be the New-us-fear that had been predicted by Teilhard de Chardin.
Well I don't agree with that, and somewhere way, way back I wrote an article refuting that notion, but that's not important right now. What's important is that you pronounce the word noosphere in this way, the Know-us-phere. Call it the Know-us-phere. What does that suggest? It suggests know us. It suggests the sphere of self-knowledge. And what is the sphere of self-knowledge? It's the sphere of the knowledge of the mind's understanding of itself. So the know us sphere, the know us sphere, right? Not the news fear or even the noosphere, but the noosphere is the realm where the Mandela effect is erupting. It is erupting in a kind of planetary or collective mind zone, mental zone, a collective mental zone.
And the way this eruption is happening is extremely interesting, because it appears to be active in certain areas of culture, in certain areas of human attention, and not at all in others. And I intend to look very closely at the distribution of the Mandela effect across the planet as this investigation proceeds. But for right now, because I've already gone to 30 minutes, to round off this talk in 5 more minutes, I will alert you to the notion of subliminal cueing.
You see, in describing, in proposing the different ways to pronounce noosphere, N-O-O-S-P-H-E-R-E, I have demonstrated to you subliminal cueing. If you say, noosephere, that contains a subliminal message. Well, the Mandela effect is a form of subliminal cluing. And subliminal clueing is a function of the human mind. The human mind is designed to detect subliminal cluing. That's why human creatures, which I call human animals, can be so easily programmed, why they are so susceptible to mind control techniques conducted by people who have evil motives, because the human animal is designed mentally to pick up on subliminal cluing. And unless you know how to read subliminal cluing and how to be selective, there is a great chance that you will fall into manipulation and suggestion through any subliminal cluing that is broadcast into your field of attention.
So, Gnosis is a noetic discipline through which you learn the design, the source and design of your own intelligence. You cannot use your intelligence as you were designed to do unless you know the source of it, who designed it or what designed it, and unless you know the components of the design and there are components of your intelligence for instance I'll be talking about the three attentions: the first the second and the third attention. These are like parts working parts of your intelligence like working parts of a car engine like a generator the transmission and the carburetor.
You, you, most human beings drive around in their minds like someone who drives around in a car and doesn't know what's under the hood. Gnosis shows you what's under the hood and unless you learn what's under the hood and how your own mind actually works, it's going to be impossible to make sense of the Mandela effect. So now you know what you're in for. You see, I said at the beginning, I like to keep my pretenses right out in the open. I'm not coming on YouTube for the first time in my life, after teaching for, what, forty years, and after being on the Internet since 2002, which is what, fifteen years. I'm not coming on now, on YouTube, to recruit anyone, or to persuade you, or to mind control you, or to trick you, or to induct you into my cult.
I am coming on the internet to decode the Mandela Effect, and in the process of doing so, I invite you to participate in this investigation so that you can learn how your mind works. Now I'd like to mention in closing that I will proceed pretty much in the same way with each upload onto this YouTube channel. There will in some instances, often but not always, be written material that corresponds to or matches the recorded material. I call it TNT, talk and text. If there is text written specifically to go along with the talk or text which you might find on metahistory.org which has been there for years already which is relevant to the talk, relevant to the elaboration of the subject, then you can always find those materials in the description.
So be sure that every time you listen to me, you click and open the description to see the full content of what's in there. The next talk, for instance, number three, will be linked to the introduction that I have written for this investigation, decoding the Mandela effect, a Gnostic investigation. And you will find the introduction text beginning with an image of a woman standing in front of a magic mirror with a starry sky in the background and the moon reflected in a lake.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all? Magic mirror on the wall, who's the one with true recall? So I offer that text to go along with the next talk. Also I would point out that each time I upload on this channel, I send out an announcement to my mailing list, and there will be a link if you want to go on my mailing list, if you want to put yourself on, there'll be a link in the description below.
I also post the announcement of the talk on Mythophrenia, that is on Metahistory.org. Mythophrenia is a particular section or module of that site. And you will find that the talks are also announced on John Lamb Lash on Facebook and on the Facebook page of my assistant Audrey Evers. So that's pretty much the system for getting out this intel, Gnostic intel as I like to call it.
So right now as I speak there are three places on the internet you can go to discuss this investigation, one of them being the comments section here on YouTube. But please bear in mind that for the response to the exam, please register that response, the three-sentence paragraph, in the comments section of the first YouTube clip that I have posted.
If you have not entered the exam yet, or if you're coming on to this experiment a little bit after it has begun while it's underway, you can always go back to that first talk and enter the exam. So I leave it at that for now. I look forward to being with you again, and may your attention be rewarded by the truth.