GNOSTIC CHRISTIANS, SYLVIA BROWNE, FOUNDER
125 E Sunnyoaks Ave, #214, Campbell CA 95008
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NOVUS SPIRITUS IN MORE DETAIL
"Take what you want and leave the rest behind."
The Society of Novus Spiritus was founded by Sylvia Browne to promote a community of people who seek to be guided by the Light and dedicated to living a spiritual life. We encourage everyone to seek the perfection of their soul, meet God on their own terms, and activate their own unique inner spark of divinity. This requires bonding the intellect to the emotion, a process which naturally occurs as we replace centuries of social, cultural, and religious ignorance with knowledge and Light.
Since the earliest times the Gnostics (from the Greek word “gnosis” - meaning knowledge) have espoused the primacy of intellect over faith. Novus follows that idea. Indeed, we find that you may directly experience God's wisdom.One such way was through Sylvia Browne, yet any person may also reach into the mind of God, thereby finding great truths. And never forget, every person is part of God. This means anyone can be an agent for the Divine, and reveal great wisdom from Him (and Her!).
Novus Spiritus regards understanding as more important than faith. We find that people today need to satisfy their intellect, in addition to their beliefs, where traditional religions do not address this issue. A lack of understanding can impede one's spiritual growth, for without a solid reason for life, many people will merely say: "There cannot be a loving God, as evidenced by the pain and suffering in our world."
The task then is to disclose the cause, and meaning, of the pain and suffering so rampant in our world. The erroneous conclusion that God cannot exist is based upon ignorance of the meaning of life. We will show later how a loving God can exist even when set against the background of our world.
Notwithstanding the above, faith does have a role. The premise of God's existence cannot be proven in a scientific sense. Hence, we accept the following concepts without proof:
God is perfect.
God is pure love and intellect.
Novus is dedicated to eliminating the false concepts of Satan, hell, sin, guilt, and the fear of God, all of which are contrary to our understanding of a benevolent Creator. We know that an all-loving God does exist, One who is infinitely concerned about our welfare and state of being. The pain of life is not punishment from God, rather it is a learning tool, and a very necessary one in the larger scheme of life.
Novus strives to uncover all of the 'mysteries' regarding the nature of life, death, God, and the role we play in life's scheme. God never withholds information; it is humans who chose to ignore it. The Society exists to help prepare you for receiving God's wisdom.
Novus feels that knowledge provides the key needed to unlock the mind, to help us understand the nature of life. The Greek word for knowledge is gnosis (the 'g' is silent), which makes the Society a Gnostic organization. This simply means we are seekers after truth, God being the source of all truth, available to all who are ready to receive it.
Francine, Sylvia's Spirit Guide, assures us that every question can be answered. She then reminds us that we are responsible for asking the right questions. God gives us the seeds of truth according to our ability to cultivate them. However, these seeds of wisdom must fall upon an open and fertile mind to take root, and they must be nurtured in the Light to grow strong.
Novus is open to anyone who wishes to rid themselves of ignorance and explore new methods of perfecting their soul. We are open to all people who seek to be free of judgmental bigotry, prejudice, and racism. We do not want to replace your existing expression of faith or religion; we simply offer additional avenues and ideas to broaden your mind. Our motto is: "Take what you want and leave the rest behind."
Nearly everything in nature exhibits a dual nature, most notably in the pairing of male/female. We understand that this pattern extends even to the Most High, to God. In fact, we find there must be a Mother God as well as a Father God to reflect the natural pattern we see all around us.
We know that all of creation is the work of both a male and female God. While God the Father holds creation in a constant state of being, God the Mother actively works with us and through us for learning and perfection. We also find that each of them is a distinct entity, not just a nebulous force, and we address them as Om (male) and Azna (female).
Life is intended as a school for the soul where each of us plans out the lessons we need in order to become a better person. In addition, the world is a place for God to experience all knowledge firsthand. Each person makes a contract with God to experience certain facets of life, as though we are the reporters and God, the Editor. This way a person gains perfection for their soul, and God gains the direct experience of that knowledge.
You may wonder, 'If life is for learning, why is it so hard at times?' Simply put, through adversity we can test the strength of our soul. The pain of life allows us to really know what it means to be a good and spiritual person.
THE OTHER SIDE
Fortunately, the hardship of life does not extend into the reality after physical death, a place we call the 'Other Side.'
After 'death,' your soul goes to the Other Side, which is better known as heaven. This place is the true reality, as opposed to the temporal planet Earth. The Other Side is eternal, a place of total harmony, no physical limitations, no problems, and you have a constant awareness of the presence of God. Your identity is intact, you have a body, your personality is carried over (the good aspects), and loving is the normal state of affairs. Life exists in its most wondrous and joyous form on the Other Side.
Even though the Other Side is total beauty and happiness, the soul may not be at peace and will still seek to better itself. This seeking drives our urge to enter life on Earth to experience God's knowledge, gaining perfection in the process. Each soul decides how much experience they want. While some may never have a life on Earth, others will choose fifty or more lives. Only you and God will know when you have reached your final level of contentment, and need not return to Earth.
God is all loving, never judgmental.
God is dual Beings, Mother AND Father.
Life on Earth is for our learning, to overcome the old, control-oriented concepts of guilt, sin and fear.
Because Mother and Father God love us, we are given many opportunities to live (Reincarnation).
Before and after each lifetime, our Home is on the Other Side, a place of peace, lightness and continued learning.
Prior to incarnating, we sit with our counselors and design our lesson plan (including Spirit Guide; life Chart with Themes and Option Lines; etc.).
While incarnated, we have support from a whole host of beings on the Other Side, so we are never alone.
The goal in life -- Sylvia's short version -- is to 'love God, do good, then shut up and go Home.'
WHY NOVUS WAS FOUNDED
Novus was founded for several types of people:
Those wishing to accelerate the perfection of their soul.
Those who need an expanded dimension to their faith.
Those who find no reasonable explanation of God or life.
Those who are confused by traditional religion, and need more than faith alone in their search for God.
Novus Spiritus stands in accord with all of today's religions. We feel that every church has fundamental Truth and we encourage each person to find a means of worship. Perhaps Novus will be yours. In addition, we find many people are joining Novus even though they are happy with their current faith. Our goal is to open each mind to the splendor of God, allowing the intellect to grasp the Divine.
Novus believes that any question asked can be answered. There is no need to rely upon faith alone. Just as God gave us an inquiring mind, so too, He gave us the means to resolve its questions. Novus appeals to those who need an intellectual basis for God; we do not appeal to those who are content to follow blindly and never question the basis of their beliefs.
Novus is a place of learning, growing, and sharing in the Spirit of Christ Consciousness. It is a way to be among people of common beliefs, to understand life, and to provide a means to help others.
Sylvia has formed a community of people who believe in God but reject the harsh dogma and judgment found in today's religions. She brings us a renewed appreciation for the loving God and Goddess, which Christ spoke of in his teachings. We seek to find the true basis for knowing God, which is a journey of discovery and experience that is unique for each person.
Since we all seek the truth about God, we call ourselves “gnostics” (the "g" is silent), which is taken from the Greek word "gnosis" meaning knowledge. We define a gnostic as a seeker of truth, one who looks to all of the great prophets (such as Christ, Buddha, and Mohammed) for wisdom and truth.
GOD THE MALE
For the record, God is blameless. He is not prone to the human traits of vengeance, hate, or crankiness. He is a constant, pure, loving intellect. God does not sit around all day, then suddenly invoke damnation on a hapless person. Never. If that were the case, then God would be imperfect, which cannot be.
How then are we to recognize and understand God? This question has occupied mankind since the dawn of reason. Note here that primitive man does not ask such silly questions. For them, God simply is, which is sufficient unto itself.
The definition of God has eluded the greatest minds of this world. One philosopher stated, "God is that, greater than which, nothing can be conceived." Is this correct? Sort of, but there is much more to God.
A definition of God is not really the main goal here. Far better than mere words is the personal experience of knowing God. The act of touching the Divine provides all the definition anyone could want, and it usually defies words. There are many words describing this sudden knowing of the Divine, among them are:
born again - nirvana - satori
enlightenment - epiphany - samadhi
The fundamental nature of God is:
God exists - God is perfect -
God is pure love and intellect.
As stated earlier, God does not exhibit the many petty traits which afflict humanity. There is no room in the perfect Being for such nonsense. Attendant with His perfection is a steady love for His creations, a never wavering compassion, and a constant companion along the way. Whatever you experience, God too has felt it, right by your side. For within you lies a spark of the Divine.
God is simple; people are complex.
"I am who I am"
"I am who I am" comes down to us from the Old Testament (Ex. 3:14), and the speaker goes on to instruct Moses to tell the Israelites, "I AM sent me ..." So the first reference to His name is not very clear. Actually, the Hebrew version of this is YHWH (pronounced Yahweh), which appears more than 6,000 times in the Hebrew bible.
Only in the New Testament does the word "father" become a proper name for God. This was consistent with Christ's message to the world of a loving God, not the God of wrath as depicted in the Old Testament. Some other names used for God are:
El - Hebrew for "to be strong"
Elohim - Plural of El
Adonai - "My Lord"
Shaddai - "Almighty"
Elyon - "Most High"
Qadosh - "the Holy One"
Jehovah - mixed form of YHWH and Adonai
OM - Sanskrit word for supreme entity
Brahma - Hindu term for supreme entity
Allah - Islamic term for supreme entity
The bottom line is that God has many names, and it is not very important which language is used. The important fact is to know that He is addressable, however you choose. Novus Spiritus likes to use "OM" as His formal name and "Father" as an endearment.
GOD THE FEMALE
Does it startle you even to think of a Female God? It should, because our society has been misled (for about 2,000 years) and taught that God is only male. How ridiculous! Why would a single, male god make everything in creation as a paired male/female? It is much more sensible that God's creation mirrors Their own image, both male and female.
Does the Bible offer any support for a female counterpart to God? Yes indeed! In fact, a very interesting statement was left in the Bible (Genesis 1:26, The New Jerusalem Bible, 1985) which supports a dualistic nature for God, namely:
"Let us make man in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves ...."
Pay heed that the above quote uses a plural reference to God. Naturally one wants to know about these other gods. Could it have been a mistake in the Bible? (Even this has not been proposed by the established church.) Or is this a reference to the doctrine of a "triune" God, i.e., the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? No, it cannot be the Trinity either, for that was developed in the New Testament many thousands of years later!
The most simplistic explanation is the obvious one, that there are multiple gods. The exact number of gods is uncertain, but Novus accepts at least two: Om - the Father God, and Azna - the Mother God. We believe that the Gods are paired male/female just like all of creation, and just like the Bible tells us in Genesis.
How did the name "Azna" come about? Easily, through Francine, Sylvia's Spirit Guide. Francine reports that the Mother God is a vital and active force in the daily affairs of our world. In fact, Azna is the one to petition when you need Divine intervention to resolve problems. Where the Father God maintains a constant loving force, the Mother God will actively take an interest in helping you and can change things around to make life better.
Anytime we use the word "God," please understand that we imply both the Male and Female Gods. For together They made our world and are the loving Parents of Humanity.
Christ lived and died upon this world; he is our Lord and the "Son of God" (as are we all). Novus believes that he brought God's word to mankind, and was martyred for it. We follow the principal teachings of Christ, namely:
Love God with your whole heart, mind and soul.
Love thy neighbor as thyself.
These above two thoughts form the basis for Christianity, and through them the entirety of heaven is open to you. We agree with Christ when he said (John 14:6):
"I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me."
Since Christ equates himself to "the way, the truth, and the life," a logically equivalent statement is:
"No one comes to the Father but through the way, and the truth, and the life."
Hence, if you follow the teachings of Christ, then the doors of heaven (the eternal Home) open. Do remember however, Novus feels that Christ's teachings are simply the two statements above. We do not hold that Christ was God, nor that he died for our "sins," nor that he rose from the dead.
Every religion has truth, and Novus fully embraces people from every religion. Indeed, we could be called Jewish, Buddhist, Moslem, Hindu, Taoist, etc. as well as Christian. We are a Spiritual organization, which means that we look above religious differences to get to the Great Truth which covers them all. In fact, all religions (when stripped of their dogma) boil-down to a very simple creed:
Love God, Love One Another.
Fortunately, God sent many prophets to this world. And every one of them espoused the same basic philosophy of Christ. This, of course, allows all of God's children to find their way home. And God, in His mercy, has a way for every one of His people to return home. The paths are many, and all people will be saved. Francine said it very well:
"This philosophy will not save your soul, but it will make your soul worth saving."
Novus views the Bible as a marvelous book of learning and hope for a (then) tired world. The message of hope is the New Testament, with wonderful truths from a Master. And the Old Testament provides a diary of the path to perfection that awaits every person.
Is the Bible the unaltered word of God? No. It simply cannot be, due to the centuries of social, political, language, and geographical changes. In fact, the current Bible is not even complete. Many books have been deleted in order to preserve the church's power. The most glaring purge was at the Ecumenical Council at Nicaea in 325 ce.
REASON FOR LIFE
Every person, indeed every sentient being, is like a newspaper reporter. And the main Editor for them all is God. This is the reason for life: to witness for God all of His knowledge. Along the way, we must learn the meaning of being good and to perfect our soul in the process.
KNOWLEDGE VS. EXPERIENCE
God is pure love and intellect, which means He knows everything there is to know. Yet pure knowledge without experience is empty and incomplete.
For example, if you read a book on how to build a boat, does that mean you can actually go do it? Not usually, for the knowledge is necessary, true enough, but it is not sufficient by itself to complete the job. To physically do something is entirely different from simply knowing about it.
Another example is the mystery of setting up your VCR. Even with diligent reading of the book, and endless diagrams, the task reverts to trial and error for success. Then (oh my God) add the complexity of cable TV and the brain simply fizzles. Those brave souls doing this always fear the day the VCR must be disconnected. Can it ever be reconnected?
Why then did God create us? Easy. To experience His knowledge. Does that seem imperfect? Why would the Divine ever need to rely on mere humans? How can we reconcile God's being perfect and then say that God actually needs us?
EMOTIONAL SIDE OF GOD
God is pure love and intellect. He is also static, that is, not moving yet always present. We live, move, and have our Being within God.
The misconception most people have is that God is separate from us. Not true. That feeling is a result of being trapped on Earth, bound by time and space. Most of us labor with a homesickness our whole life, an incompleteness that has no name. This feeling is exactly the result of being in the physical world, where the soul is not free to love and be loved without bound. The body itself is a barrier to the total experience of another person, and the world is a barrier which prevents the total experience of God.
Since God is a static intellect, how does He experience His knowledge? Through His creations, us. How does God manifest His pure love? Again, through us. In fact, God's creations are the emotional side of Him. Put another way:
People embody God's love and emotion, not as a separate part of Him, but as the actual essence of His love. We are the experiencing, emotional God Himself.
This fact answers the question posed earlier: Is it imperfect for God to rely upon us for His experience? No, for we are Him. Please note that just because we are God's emotion does not imply we are also perfect. The discrepancy is due to the fact that we are not also His perfect intellect, and we have the free will to choose between positive and negative. This allows our emotion to become off-track without proper intellectual control.
Also, since God is perfect, all of us have always existed. He did not exist without emotion, suddenly decide to have some, then create us. Just as God always was, so too were all of us.
PERFECTION OF THE SOUL
Every person was created by God in a perfect state of grace. However, we were also in a perfect state of ignorance. Our job is to experience His knowledge, and learn the true meaning of truth, love, justice, etc. To do so is the most important task set before us all. To complicate things, God gave us free will in our actions, we can actually choose between doing good or not.
In the Bible, the story is told of man's fall from grace by grasping for knowledge. Novus agrees with that parable. To complete one's knowledge, people incarnate as a means to experience knowledge. In so doing, we actually leave heaven (state of grace) to inhabit the physical world (fall from grace).
The idea here is that true experience, with free will, cannot be accomplished in a perfect environment (namely heaven, the eternal abode, called the Other Side). So God created physical worlds (yes, more than one) as places for us to gain knowledge and perfect our soul.
Perfection of the soul is the primary goal for all of us. The way to do it is by living upon an imperfect world, choosing to do good or not. The world is our school, complete with tests, where you are the student. Just by living in this negative environment you gain perfection. Each soul must decide upon their own level of perfection.
The idea stated earlier, that we are reporters for God, has another twist. It is called your "Theme," which acts to flavor all of your experiences. For example, if you were assigned as the "Sports Reporter" for God, then your job is to view everything from the sports angle. You must see how world events affect the sporting scene, and to know its impact on the local sports fans. Your entire perspective is filtered through this sports analyzer.
Themes are much like the above analogy. Every person carries a major and minor Theme through life. The effect is to flavor all of your experiences as they relate to your Theme. Some Themes discovered so far are:
Loner - Cause Fighter - Patience
Survivor - Humanitarian - Warrior
Altogether, Novus has found forty-five different Themes. A separate book is available which fully describes the Themes, their meaning, and how to determine yours.
The end result of living, surviving, and perfecting is to know the true meaning of being good. The road is not easy, but you can do it. The reward is to live forever in a state of grace on the Other Side, having earned your position with love.