All religions, secret societies, open societies and who we can call new age organizations that teach their followers the secrets of life and being human are derived from the ancient wisdom teachings of the Gnostics.
If we are to strip away all the different names of the various religions and the plethora of titles we would simply be left with the one word, "gnosis."
A word that simply means knowledge of thyself and thyworld.
Fully conscious to who you are and what is going on in the world around you. Awake while others sleep walk.
If we study the teachings of Jesus Christ and all the Saints in the Catholic Church, we can safely say they are based on Gnosticism. The same can be said about the thousands of philosophers who have given us their wisdom over the years.
Manly P. Hall had written in The Secret Teachings of All Ages, "Even today there are evidences of Gnostic philosophy in the modern world, but they bear other names and their true origin is not suspected. Many of the Gnostic concepts have actually been incorporated into the dogmas of the Christian Church, and our newer interpretations of Christianity are often along the lines of Gnostic emanationism.
The entire history of Christian and pagan Gnosticism is shrouded in the deepest mystery and obscurity; for, while the Gnostics were undoubtedly prolific writers, little of their literature has survived. They brought down upon themselves the animosity of the early Christian Church, and when this institution reached its position of world power it destroyed all available records of the Gnostic cultus. The name Gnostic means wisdom, or knowledge, and is derived from the Greek Gnosis."
Even more New Age movements such as Theosophy base their teachings on the wisdom of the ancient Gnostics.
Madame Helena Blavatsky had considered the ancient Gnostics her kindred spirits. She had written, "My doctrine is not mine, but Theirs who sent me," she said, and every Teacher of Truth has said the same. It is one of the great texts of the Christian religion interpreted in different ages, however, in very different ways. We find one of the Christian Fathers, Clemens Alexandrinus, defining the "Gnostic," or one who possessed this ancestral Theosophy or Gnosis, as "the enlightened or perfect Christian."
The freemasons know gnosis well. After all, the G that can be found in Masonic symbolism represents gnosis. Their teachings and their degrees system are based on helping initiated freemasons reach their own gnosis whether they are aware of this or not.
33rd degree Freemason and Knight, Sir Godfrey Higgins had said, "The more I reflect upon Gnosticism, the more I am convinced that in it we have, in fact, the real science of antiquity—for a long time almost lost—but, I trust, by means of our oriental discoveries, yet to be recovered."
You'll hear some people call it being illuminated, enlightened and or fully conscious. These are all different words for gnosis.
With that said, to be like Christ or Buddah is to be a gnostic.
To become an illuminated or ascended master is just another way of saying that you are a Gnostic.
When you are enlightened and are a fully conscious human being, you are person who has reached gnosis.
This is why I choose to use the original words and honor the ancient teachings by simply calling them by their original names.
My name is Moe and I AM a Gnostic.