Call for Submissions by Raven Kaldera
Deadline: October 1, 2008
“The Personal Gnosis Handbook: Inspiration In Pagan Religious Practice”
This book will be a handbook for Pagan religious groups as to how to cope with the issue of personal gnosis in your religion. How do you tell what’s really a divine message and what’s not? Who decides, and what’s fair? Is fair even relevant when the Gods are involved? How do you figure it out anyway? This book will tackle all those hard questions, including how to turn UPG (unverified personal gnosis) into PCPG (peer-corroborated personal gnosis), and when you shouldn’t.
Basic assumptions of this book:
-Personal gnosis is desirable and valuable, and a side effect of having actual real Gods, not just archetypes.
-Personal gnosis, when applied to group practice, needs to be judged by a variety of criteria.
If you aren’t down with both of those, don’t answer this questionnaire. I am looking for deep and thoughtful discussion on the subject, not just Captain Obvious points like “we can’t prove the Gods exist in a laboratory setting anyway.”
If you have written an essay on the subject, and would like to submit that, feel free to do so instead of or in addition to filling out the questionnaire, but be advised that I may use it, not use it, or only use quotes from it (as I would with the interview questions).
Please send your questionnaires as attachments in Word or Word Perfect (not WordPad, I hate WordPad) or in the body of the email. Send them to email@example.com with PGH in the title. The deadline for submissions is October 1. Circulate this freely! If you don’t speak up, your voice will not be heard.
Questions for Personal Gnosis Handbook:
1. What’s your current religious tradition? What religious tradition were you raised?
2. How do you define the terms: gnosis? Personal gnosis? Unverified personal gnosis? Peer-corroborated personal gnosis?
3. How do you feel about personal gnosis?
4. How does the religious tradition that you are now a member of feel about it? (If applicable.) How do they judge what is valid and what is not? What does “valid” mean to them – objectively and provably true, intuitively true, or whether it’s applicable and useful to them?
5. How do you judge it? According to what criteria? What standards do you think should be applied to it?
6. Have you had any conflicts with people over your personal gnosis? Please describe.
7. Have you ever felt ashamed or afraid to share your personal gnosis for fear of being attacked?
8. Have you ever seen something accepted as personal gnosis by a group that then went horribly wrong? Please describe.
9. Have you seen the addition of personal gnosis handled well by a group? Please describe.
10. Please describe what personal gnosis comes to you. Do you experience it as a direct message from the Gods, or something more subtle?
11. Who, in a group, gets to decide whose personal gnosis is valid? By what authority?
12. How should disagreements over personal gnosis be mediated in a group? Is there any social engineering that can be done in a group’s culture to better prepare people to be able to handle the process of discrimination?
13. How trustworthy do you find ancient texts/primary sources?
14. How important is personal gnosis to your personal path? Does it define everything you do? Is it not really a big deal? Is it something you keep private? Could you be part of a group that didn’t accept it – or are you now? Would you give up everything for it? How many life decisions do you make based on this?