Meaning of Gnostic
What is Gnostic:
Gnostic or nostic is an adjective that can be used to refer to something that belongs to or is related to Gnosticism, or to refer to the person who is a follower of this doctrine. The word comes from Latin gnostĭcus, and this in turn from the Greek γνωστικός (gnostikós), which is derived from γνῶσις (gnósis), which means 'knowledge'.
Gnosticism, as such, is a doctrine with foundations in philosophy and religion, which mixes Christian and Judaic beliefs with elements of the religious traditions of the East, at the same time that it shares essential postulates of Plato's philosophical thought. Hence, for example, for the Gnostics, good is associated with spirit, while matter is the principle of evil.
In its initial stage, Gnosticism was divided into pagan and Christian Gnosticism. The Christian Gnostics had a notable presence in the first centuries of the Church, even enjoying a certain prestige. However, they became a heterodox branch of early Christianity that later came to be considered heretical by the Church itself, and later condemned.
The fundamental purpose of the Gnostics is to access, through mysticism and intuition, the mystery of the divine. According to them, salvation is not obtained through faith or the sacrifice of Christ, but the human being must save himself, but for this he must achieve knowledge or gnosis, which is the introspective knowledge of the divine, even superior to faith.
Modern Gnosticism, for its part, reappeared in the 19th century in Europe, mainly in France, as a result of the publication of a series of studies referring to the discovery of Gnostic texts. However, its massive popularization occurred in the 20th century, as a consequence of the publication of new books on the subject. Since then, it has led to a set of movements of a spiritual nature with an esoteric tinge, which took up part of the old precepts of Gnosticism and reformulated and adapted them to the new times.
Gnostic and agnostic
The fundamental difference between a person who professes Gnosticism and an agnostic is that the former considers that knowledge of the divine can be accessed through intuition and mysticism, while the agnostic does not opt for or against of these beliefs, but admits that he does not have the capacity to understand the magnificence of the divine, and therefore prefers a position that does not deny or accept the Gnostic thesis.