Gnostics readily recognize the existence of evil (1), which is ultimately separate (2) from God and the Pleroma – moreover it is recognized by that tradition that within any man born into the world is a dichotomy consisting of an authentic life-spark, a spiritual being which is part of divinity – and a counterfeit _spirit_. This duality, exemplified by St.Paul´s admission that “what good I wish to do, I do not” and “what ill I do not wish to do, I do” – is a condition of unredeemed identity.
In the Gospel of Thomas a saying is directed towards this problem:
Jesus says, in Logion 24, “There is a light existing within a person of light. And it enlightens the whole world: If it does not enlighten (shine), that person is darkness.”
We, as human beings, partake of the role of _mirrors_ unto our fellows; and when those mirrors – our perception of things as well as the bias through which everything is filtered – are clouded over and blackened, we broadcast a particular darkness; we hand back a distortion of our fellows. And likewise, we more than often _receive_ the same kind of distortion, and this goes on into perpetuity and oblivion.
Therefore the Blade of Discernment, the Sword – and the other symbol associated with St.Michael _and_ the exorcist archetype- the Scales represent quite powerful evocations of what needs to be done.
I meant to just post this little link for the Catholic Encyclopedia´s historical entry on Exorcists,
but I also thought it pertinent to make a distinction between the Catholic use of the concept, and the Gnostic Christian adaptation of the role. Above all concerns; discernment and a swift dispatch of errenous associations/identifications which emanate/originate from the presence of the Counterfeit, interior as well as exterior – is the most important to us Gnostics.It is this activity I have now endeavoured to study and participate in.
So, whereas the title I received, the “office”, is Exorcist, I am not authorized, neither by my Church, nor in any other capacity – to cast out spirits in the dramatic way which the Catholic office of Exorcist (which were almost extinct, but come the Third Millenium it became quite increased)…I would never presume such authority, nor advocate it.