Racing to Win: Philosophy versus the new Gnostics

Subverting reason by divorcing it from the transcendent is a perversion of love. It is blasphemy that can only lead to the triumph of nihilism.

(Image: Steven Lelham/

Blue ribbon blues

My kid, then a fifth grader at the local public school, came home one spring afternoon with a fistful of blue ribbons. Boy, was I proud. My son had been blessed with athletic ability! Regional championships, college scholarships, and Olympic gold exploded in my mind like so many fireworks on the Fourth of July. I clapped the kid on the back and congratulated him on what must have been a series of stellar performances.

He shrugged and said, “It’s no big deal. Everybody got blue ribbons.”

I refrained from pointing out the absurdity of a track meet where every participant won each event they entered. It wasn’t the kids’ fault; they didn’t make the rules. I walked away scratching my head.

My son is now a thirty-year-old man. Everything happening these days—the dictatorship of relativism, extremist organizations like BLM gaining political clout, the tilt towards a tribalism tinctured with totalitarian tendencies—germinated in that blue-ribbon moment of so many years ago.

It had been my responsibility to teach my son that the purpose of a track meet, or any other competition, was to celebrate excellence, not to promote some crazed vision of an emaciated equality. I failed on that point. I had inadvertently bought-in to the notion that self-esteem was the single most important ingredient in the formation of a healthy human being. I hadn’t given the topic much thought and blindly accepted that the maintenance of self-esteem was a new cardinal virtue. The blue ribbon track meet served as a wake-up call.

Virtue doesn’t come easy and must be earned through continuous practice. The kind of self-esteem the public schools were and are promoting by handing out blue ribbons like sour candy, the once symbols excellence drained of meaning because everybody wins, is too easy. It is given and not earned. There is no gift in this kind of giving. In the seeming banality of a track meet where there are no clear winners, evil forces strive to suffocate human excellence. The people that pedal this gift-less giving are convinced that our human nature does not exist and human identity is constructed primarily through language. They are wrong.

Philosophy versus Evil

German-American political philosopher Eric Voegelin (1901-1985) was a man who believed in the power of philosophy. For an introduction to his thought, get a copy of Science, Politics, and Gnosticism, not only for a lesson in the history of political philosophy but to orient yourself to our present conundrum. For Voegelin, philosophy’s role was none other than saving humanity from evil.

Philosophy, in Voegelin’s view, serves the good, and it is this good that works to vanquish the evil found in systems forwarded by the likes of Karl Marx, whom Voegelin called a “swindler,” Hegel, whom he called a “con-man,” and August Comte, a grand wizard of positivism. Following the tradition begun by Socrates, Voegelin did not suffer fools who masquerade as wise men. Neither can we. Not if we hope to wrest Western civilization from those who would see it destroyed from the inside.

Voegelin defines philosophy as that which is “the love of being through love of divine Being as the source of its order.” It is akin to Plato’s contemplation of the Good and St. Thomas’ contemplation of God. In other words, the natural order of being depends on the transcendental nature of Being for its existence. This truth, which is still self-evident to many, has now been perverted by reductionist systems expounded by Comte, Marx, Hegel, and those of similar ilk.

The philosopher’s calling is that of a warrior. “Protecting philosophy against perversion is vital to the larger task of protecting human existence itself against perversion and tyranny,” writes Voegelin. “The issues are matters of life and death.” This may sound like hyperbole to those who have been indoctrinated into what Cardinal Ratzinger labeled “the dictatorship of relativism.” When truth is relegated to a relative valuation of subjective experience by large swaths of a population, the term “perversion,” like the blue ribbons my kid “won” at a track meet, is emptied of meaning. Perversion is then free to become both ubiquitous and invisible. It gnaws like termites at the fiber of the society it has infested. Twenty-five fifth-graders all carrying fistfuls of blue ribbons home is an apt illustration of the metaphor. It is the perversion of excellence.

Voegelin argues that, “Philosophy springs from the love of being; it is man’s loving endeavor to perceive the order of being and attune himself to it.” Natural law is written onto the hearts of all human beings. The enemies of this attunement, this tuning into the heart, are those who would see love of being perverted into love of self. They are Gnostics. They were with us long before St. Augustine wrote City of God, a formable tome designed to push Gnosticism back to the darkness from whence it came. Each era of Western civilization has been threatened by some form of Gnosticism. Ours is no different.

The wolves in our midst

EWTN’s documentary, A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, showcases a contemporary Gnostic in the person of Saul Alinsky (1909-1972). Author of the infamous Rules for Radicals, Alinsky was no lover of being. He was, however, the godfather of a system of community organizing we have seen play out in the streets of Seattle, New York, Portland, Chicago, and others in 2020. Alinsky was a progenitor of the contemporary American radical leftist ideology that has given rise to political organizations such as Black Lives Matter. He is a fitting example of Voegelin’s Gnostic who “desires dominion over being.”

Voegelin understood that men and women like Alinsky, in order to seize control of being, required systems to carry the plan out. “The building of systems is a gnostic form of reasoning, not a philosophical one,” observed Voegelin. Martin Heidegger, the German “philosopher” who was an unapologetic Nazi, constructed such a system in his notoriously difficult treatise Being and Time (1927). Hans Jonas, a contemporary of Voegelin, through the application of Gnosticism, laid bare the nihilism lurking in Heidegger’s work. Neither Heidegger nor Alinsky would qualify as philosophers in Voegelin’s view. They were both Gnostics who created systems to dominate being.

Like Hegel before him, who constructed an equally impenetrable system designed to enslave being in his quest to appropriate the ultimate wisdom of Absolute Knowledge, Heidegger’s work attempts to conflate temporal being with divine Being to change the nature of both. Voegelin was not fooled by such ploys: “The nature of a thing cannot be changed; whoever tries to ‘alter’ its nature destroys the thing. Man cannot transform himself into a superman; the attempt to create a superman is an attempt to murder man.” Man, of course, by his very nature, is incapable of Absolute Knowledge. Temporal man has never been and will never be omniscient or omnipotent. Humans do not create reality but rather live through it. This doesn’t stop the Gnostics from trying. Gender Studies—along with Queer Theory, Postcolonial Theory and other spinoffs of the Frankfurt School—attempts to blur boundaries situated in reality prior to human definition. They see themselves as gods who create a separate reality constructed from words. This false reality is where, as Heidegger put it his Letter on Humanism, “language is the house of Being.” Heidegger’s house is really a would-be cage. Gnostics attempt to blend the word of man with the Logos that is God. Hubris is in opposition to human excellence.

Armed with Nietzsche’s maxim, “If there were gods, how could I endure not to be one? Therefore, there are no gods,” Gnostic theorists develop and deploy systems designed to dominate being. These systems are fated to eat themselves alive like a sex-spent salmon. Unlike salmon, whose bodies dissolve into the reality that spawned them, Gnostics seek to destroy reality. The death factories in Nazi Germany, in which the sole product was human ash, is but one example of an irrational system attempting to change the nature of man by killing him.

Fictional hubris

New cardinal virtues such as self-esteem require new parables to explain them. In Kurt Vonnegut’s short story “Harrison Bergeron,” the title character is a rebel fighter par excellence. He is a highly intelligent, good looking fourteen-year-old, a seven-foot tall athletic god. This won’t do in a society where the concept of equality reigns supreme. Agents of The United States Handicapper General’s Office have unleashed and now enforce a plague of equality laws which reduce society to a slobber of mediocrity.

The Handicapper General, one Diana Moon Glampers, is at a loss when it comes to handicapping Harrison. He outgrows the handicaps—thick glasses to half-blind and cause whanging headaches, ridiculous amounts of dead weight attached to his body, a rubber nose to make him appear a fool—as fast as they can dream them up. Because the system cannot contain his virility, Harrison is arrested for suspicion of plotting to overthrow the government.

When Harrison manages to escape from authorities, he invades a state-run television studio where handicapped ballerinas are being filmed. He tears away his handicaps like scraps of garbage and declares himself Emperor. The Emperor requires an Empress. He strips away the sole volunteer, a timid young ballerina, of her handicaps. She is blindingly beautiful. Newly unencumbered musicians play their instruments and the Emperor and Empress dance the dance of transcendence as they float some 30-feet above the floor on waves of unleashed human creativity. They kiss the ceiling as one.

Enter Glampers. She carries a double-barreled ten-gauge shotgun. She fires both barrels and Harrison and his Queen are dead before they hit the floor. Equality is restored.

Vonnegut’s vision of dystopian equity paints the title character as a hero. Youthful, brilliant, strong, and beautiful, Harrison rises up to free his people from an imposed equality of a heartless system that would alter human nature through scientific-technological means. Once he does so, he declares himself Emperor. He is the Artist/King, a dancer who defies gravity, a boy who would be a god.

Vonnegut’s tale is possessed by a Nietzschean spirit that disguises hubris as heroism. The young Harrison is an iconoclast full of sound and fury who would beat back an evil system and its attempt to dominate being. Bravo for Harrison, though the attempt fails. The system is simply too strong. Vonnegut’s Superman is a tragic hero. Nietzsche would be proud.

“Harrison Bergeron” spotlights two sides of the totalitarian coin: collective and individual. On the one hand we find a governmental system attempting to alter human nature based on a will-to-power disguised as social justice. On the other, we have an individual that would alter human nature by defying all laws, natural, human, and divine, through sheer force of will. Harrison Bergeron could no more bear not to be a god than he could stooping down to Diana Moon Glampers or succumbing to gravity itself.

Vonnegut, a self-described atheist, posited no exit from the will-to-power that defines Gnosticism in this story. Human creativity, whether one is an individual like Nietzsche or a governmental system like China, is incapable of transcending nature. If there really is no escape from the will-to-power as “Harrison Bergeron” shows, then all is lost. “All hope abandon ye who enter here.” A system that attempts to erase individuality is as hellish as one that casts the individual as radically autonomous. The two are one and Gnosticism makes three in this unholy trinity.

Back to the races

I have often regretted that I failed to march over to the public school to ask on what authority the administrators had decided to hold a track meet where there were no winners. I know now, after teaching at a university for many years, it wouldn’t have done much good. The rough Gnostic beast had begun its juggernaut slouch toward America decades before my kid came home from a track meet clenching a fistful of limp blue ribbons.

In a country where The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture can unabashedly display a chart that assigns traits such as hard work, self-reliance, delayed gratification, being on time, and politeness derogatorily to “white culture,” it may appear like things are too far gone. On dark days, it seems like that to me.

Most days, though, I trust that reason will be the deciding factor in the centuries long war between the Philosophers and the Gnostics. There can only be one winner in this contest. I’m not talking about human reason that can be used to build systems designed to enslave being. I have faith in the Logos that transcends being but is imprinted on the natural order. This is the Logos of the Ancient Greeks. It is also the Logos of the New Testament: “In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God.” Subverting reason by divorcing it from the transcendent is a perversion of love. It is blasphemy that can only lead to the triumph of nihilism.

Eric Voegelin celebrated being “through love of divine Being as the source of its order.” In this sense, all who love Being can be seen as philosophers. The fact that human nature cannot be reduced to a system is a testament of our faith in God. It is our armor against the nonsense of perverse reasoning employed by the Gnostics. So take heart, you lovers of wisdom. We are many. We are strong. With right reason we nourish hope; our continued faith inspires it. We are still in the race against the New Gnostics. Race to win.

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About Jack Gist 16 Articles
Jack Gist is a professional writer and teacher who has published essays, poetry, and fiction in journals such as Catholic World Report, Crisis, Galway Review, First Things, The Imaginative Conservative, New Oxford Review, Academic Questions, St. Austin Review, and many other national and international venues.


  1. We read: “He shrugged and said, “It’s no big deal. Everybody got blue ribbons.” And, from the cited Eric Voegelin: “The nature of a thing cannot be changed; whoever tries to ‘alter’ its nature destroys the thing. Man cannot transform himself into a superman; the attempt to create a superman is an attempt to murder man.”

    And, the “superman” is not all that super. Instead, in their serpentine groveling the Gnostics deny the most basic complementarity of man and woman, substituting their medicine-show “diversity”. And, pedaling their flat-universe “gender theory” while deconstructing the “family” and redefining “marriage” itself.

    We now suffer the indignity of ratifying this virtual non-reality through the ritual of a national public vote (blue!). And with less ritual, by simply continuing to acquiesce as the viral deep state replicates itself as the deep church (more lavender than blue).

    There are no boundaries because there are no substances. No “nature of things,” only the bare/barren nothings-of-anti-nature. No room for any kind of “otherness” in this bubble world of diversified “sameness.” Least of all for the otherness of the transcendent Other.

    St. Augustine, pray for us.

  2. Exactly. This was one of the points the solidarist jurist and political scientist Dr. Heinrich A. Rommen (a student of Fr. Heinrich Pesch, S.J.) made in his book on the natural law. The shift from God’s Nature, self-realized in His Intellect, as the basis of natural law, to some interpretation of the will of whatever or whoever one accepts as God (the State, the People, Mumbo Jumbo), results in what Msgr. Ronald Knox termed “enthusiasm,” which he defined as an excess of love that leads to disunity; charity without justice is not true charity, as charity fulfills and completes justice, it does not replace it. Law is therefore reason (lex ratio) not will (lex voluntas), and the end does not justify the means, although that is the fundamental tenet of socialism and modernism in which might makes right. As Rommen explained,

    “For Duns Scotus morality depends on the will of God. A thing is good not because it corresponds to the nature of God or, analogically, to the nature of man, but because God so wills. Hence the lex naturalis could be other than it is even materially or as to content, because it has no intrinsic connection with God’s essence, which is self-conscious in His intellect. For Scotus, therefore, the laws of the second table of the Decalogue were no longer unalterable. . . . an evolution set in which, in the doctrine of William of Occam on the natural moral law, would lead to pure moral positivism, indeed to nihilism.” (Heinrich A. Rommen, The Natural Law. Indianapolis, IN: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1998, 51-52.)

  3. This is a really nice article. I could underline some specific parts of this article, lift them out, and stick in a number of contemporary issues and the article would continue to yield valuable insight.

  4. Saul Alinsky was not Catholic, but it is said that he was a friend of St. Paul VI. In any case, it would be much fairer to say that his vision of community organizing is showcased much more in dozens of federations composed of religious institutions than by Black Lives Matter or other “antifascist” groups. He did – no doubt tongue in cheek – claim Lucifer as a patron in his book “Rules for Radicals,” but that should be taken as no more revelatory than someone working in the Congregation for the Causes of Saints being being called the “devil’s advocate.” Professor Gist writes with much wisdom on the need to pursue excellence. However, his disparagement of community-based organizing, which most often trains the poor to participate meaningfully in social decision-making, woefully dismisses a helpful source of human development.

    • It depends on what the organizers are organizing for, correct? If they are Gnostics organizing in order to gain control of being by promoting rebellion against natural law through a subversion of excellence, as can be seen on numerous fronts today, is this to be seen as human development?

  5. Can Christ enter this picture? Eric Voegelin argues that Philosophy springs from the love of being, whereas the ancients held philosophy is love of Wisdom. Being as being is best defined by Aquinas in Essence and Existence as First Principle. Example, Heidegger to his credit realized we cannot conceptualize Being. Being and Time acknowledges that and turns to a descrip of being realized in man, that in his self realization [concern distinguishes man] he is the most prominent of all perceivable beings. Voegelin would likely agree with Bernard Lonergan SJ in Insight that the good of order is the root of ethics, that “the actual good is identical with actual intelligibilities and so includes but may also extend beyond human values”. Except perhaps for the latter, intelligibilities beyond human values. Well cited by Jack Gist we draw Natural Law from human nature written in the heart of Man. If however God simply wills Natural Law, understood by Voegelin as not reflective of God’s essence the question then is, How is Man created in God’s image? Eric Voegelin was influenced by Friedrich Nietzsche, an existential voluntarist. “Voegelin seems to think that the Thomistic and Augustinian influences are more or less compatible. But there is one crucial difference. The Thomistic tradition is essentially rationalistic, whereas the Augustinian tradition is voluntaristic. Both influences had a decisive influence in Voegelin’s work and an important question, so it seems, is whether they can be reconciled at all” (Eric Voegelin’s critique of ideology Paul Cliteur 2001). Example. Intelligibility of the good of Natural law is evident in human nature, the Natural Law Within [Aquinas]. If that Law is merely willed by God we know nothing of God’s essence. Reason opens the human mind to the existence of God seen in the causal nature of things, and simultaneously in the good perceived in things. All Being is good. What we perceive as good is found in things that are good. Good then is convertible with being (ST 1a2ae 18, 3). God is known through reason. His existence is evident in creation. Natural Law must offer a sense of that good that is God. Lonergan’s “the actual good is identical with actual intelligibilities and so includes but may also extend beyond human values” suggests what is revealed beyond reasoned Natural Law. Christ the revelation of the Father is known through faith. Reason requires intelligible evidence in pursuit of truth, whereas Christ is Truth. All truth, all evidence is acquiescent to Him, in that He is Truth, the supreme intelligibility. Faith here is evidence of what we hope for, evidence that surpasses [transcends] reasoned enquiry. Known directly by the intellect. Christ’s human nature affirms natural law, also perfecting it [not changing it] as revelation of God and the realization of Man’s end. Christ is the ultimate end in the pursuit of Wisdom.

    • “Faith here is evidence of what we hope for, evidence that surpasses [transcends] reasoned enquiry… “Christ is the ultimate end in the pursuit of Wisdom”

      “Attach bayonets! courage and glory is the cry, do or die
      First over the Parapet
      John leads the Ferocious attack
      While opposing Hans reciprocates the advance to the death dance
      In crater of mud both stood
      Eye meet eye one must die
      But who would hold true to the Christian creed they knew?

      Bayonet gone, bowed head, bending knee, faith/love other did see
      The making of sign of the Cross, for one who would not be lost
      Worldly courage gone from the other humility now holding the same song.

      Yes! Excellence has its place but we follow the One who gives heavenly grace
      He did not seek first place
      Gentleness His is Creed, the blue ribbon is an earthly seed which He not need.

      kevin your brother
      In Christ

    • Different than the Dominican Thomist synthesis of faith and reason is the work of a successor theologian, the Franciscan Duns Scotus (1265?–1308, declared blessed in 1993). By placing priority on the WILL over the INTELLECT (like Voegelin), Scotus was actually influenced by the Muslim thinker Avicenna.

      Today, where modernity on steroids falls into the camp of Rationalism, Islam as such falls into the opposite camp of fideism (no Incarnation, rather “let God be God”). In both cases, overemphasis on the will yields a God who is, on the one hand, irrelevant, and on the other hand unknowable and arbitrary. Under William of Occam in the West the outcome is the “nominalist” worldview out of touch with any universals—such as “man” or “natural law” or even “reason.” Under Islam the outcome is the mosque-state detached from reason as exercised in a distinct public square. Modernity takes God out of the public forum; Islam takes the public forum out of Man.

      The 21st-century mirror crises of Modernity and Islam. The first crisis is irreligious dominance of the quantitative method where morality becomes at best a field of applied mathematics. The second crisis is “religious” fatalism where reasoned discourse can be treason and blasphemy, and fatal.

      But, why be so either-or, as if the realm of philosophy actually matters? Surely, the answer is to simply pose a politic and middle-ground “pluralism” (and implied equivalence?) of—what—cultures and “religions.”

      • Jack Gist’s well written review of Neo Gnosticism deserves the evident acknowledgment because of its well argued insights, excellent references and contemporary relevance. Gist perceives Nouveau Gnostics attempting to dominate reality ending in its destruction. From the perspective Catholic faith Neo Gnosticism first became apparent in the revival of ancient texts some alleged as authentic [discovered in Egypt late 19th century] that presented Christ as an emissary of some higher form of existence [demiurge]. A messenger who taught we’re all encouraged to be gods in the exact manner that Christ was thought to be God by the Apostles. Thomas and the Gospel of Thomas is discussed by Princeton Scripturalist Elaine Pagels in Beyond Belief. Christ shares ‘secretive’ knowledge with Thomas that he, like Christ is potentially a god. This new Gnosticism was previously a theme of New Age thought. The famous case on record is that of Dominican Fr Thomas Fox who was censured 1989 by then prefect CDF Ratzinger. Fox preached a paradigm shift not unlike today, a radical change in belief of an amorphous Cosmic Christ present in nature. New Age in its wide variations incurs a form of Gnosticism likened to what Fr Fox held. Fellow Dominican Fr Aidan Nichols discussed this phenomenon in The New Age Movement in journal The Month 1992. There is then a similarity in the current revised theological perception of Christ.

  6. Professor Gist, thank you for your timely article. Funny you should mention Vonnegut, I was a teen in the 1980’s when I first read “Slaughter House Five” and have since read all of Vonnegut’s work, (With the exception of “A man without a country” and “Happy birthday Wanda June”) – and I was just thinking about how Seattle’s ‘Chaz’ resembled Wayne Hoopler’s ‘Fairyland’ in “Breakfast of Champions”. Yes I agree with your article, but what about the big quandary for the future: 8 Billion people with the vast majority having no substantial identity-building work; Just like “Player Piano” and “God Bless you Mr. Rosewater”. In a beautiful Catholic world what you do for a living and how much money you make would mean nothing compared to strong, caring communal social bonds and inclusivity through civility, (“How much you love and are loved” to quote the Wizard of Oz). But here we are in the utopian world of Positivism and Pragmatism triumphant, where the reason of Science and Progress trample the grapes of religious superstition and dogmatic moral wrath. And soon everyone who were so led will expect their trophy for participating in the great revolution – What will happen when it’s found out that their great ‘Fairyland’ is just a dream?

  7. Machiavelli may have somewhat put his finger on the spiritual play that explains modern peculiarities. He defines ‘fortuna’ as each person’s fundamental experience of existence. It is by this existential toss of dice that everyone acquires their physical and mental baggage. For Machiavelli the task was to apply a filter to ‘fortuna’ to arrive at ‘virtu'(the correction to the flaws in ‘fortuna’). And as Voegelin notes in his ‘Story of the Clerks’ the intellectual, who may be thought of as a clerk tasked with filtering through masses of historical information and giving some order to it, needs a filter by which to select what is relevant. So, what is the filter which one would apply? Voegelin suggests that it is ‘sentiment’. Intellectuals, of all specialties, select from masses of materials what for them is worth noting based on their ‘sentiments’. So, we are forced to ask how are such ‘sentiments’ acquired? The answer is somewhat begging the question because ‘sentiments’ derive from and are a part of ‘fortuna’. However, Igor Shafarevich in his “The Socialist Phenomenon” provides a further clue. He notes that all major modern thinkers (Voltaire, Rousseau, Marx, Hegel, Heidegger, Nietzche, Diderot, et al and, not to forget Hume, Ayers, et al) started life in unfriendly environments. They were raised to be disgruntled envious individuals whose ‘sentiments’ later became the filter whereby they surveyed what ‘fortuna’ had provided them. Raised in situations fostering anger against both life and ideas these poor souls rebelled. And, of course, rebellion has always been the hallmark of Gnosticism, which Voegelin described as “disenchantment with existence”. So, how can the disgruntled fix their ‘fortuna’ and arrive a ‘virtu’? By striving to break the bonds of existence by creating a second reality in which there is no abstractly perceived pain. And, this includes pitying poor children for whom their inherited society dictates that they must sometimes lose to those who better them in sports, school, work, etc. This solution in second reality is not a solution at all for those whose filter is not disgruntlement. Unfortunately, modern education and many social institutions are now run by the disgruntled.

    • Amplifying Pagnan’s lucid analysis on early “unfriendly environments”, the psychologist Paul Vitz also researches such nihilists or atheists as Friedrich Nietzsche and our modern evolutionary biologist and atheist Richard Dawkins. He finds that in neither case, for example, “do we find a strong, beloved father with a close relationship with his son or daughter.” Even the atheist Sigmund Freud said that psychoanalysis “daily demonstrates to us how youthful persons lose their religious belief as soon as the authority of the father breaks down” (Paul Vitz, Faith of our Fathers, Ignatius Press, 1999). It is well-known, too, that homosexual orientation–a modernday societal disgruntlement/solvent–often stems from a bonding failure between a son and his (distant) father.

  8. Back in the 60’s/early 70’s, “Punt, Pass and Kick” was a big deal for the elementary age boys; almost like a coming out for the future men of the world. Even if you had no athletic ability it seems like you were expected to participate in, or at least, revere, this ‘blessed’ event. Those of us that just ‘grinned and beared/bore it’ until it passed did not seem to suffer any lasting effect though – lol.

    Funny how the fuzzy math and fuzzy competition and fuzzy grading came into vogue in the 1990’s.

  9. Thought provoking article- incisively germane to today’s discourse. Relating Alinsky and others is helpful to a full understanding of the continued battle between Gnosticism and Philosophy. Thank you for bringing this important discourse to us.

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