Traditional Knowledge

"The study we are presenting here is directly drawn from the sources of the Christian Oriental Tradition: the sacred texts, the commentaries written around these texts, especially in that summa represented by the Philocalia, finally the teaching and the discipline such as they were transmitted by the persons who were regularly invested to do so."


 "Since the farthest antiquity, man has searched to resolve the problem of absolute Knowledge. A classic initiatory formula says: try to grasp that, when learning what, you will know all. Novices were taught that to understand all, it is necessary to know very little, but to grasp this very little, a lot must be learned." "In this order of ideas, the notion of Gnosis represented in the minds of the ancients, not a simple knowledge, but the vivifying Knowledge which is superior to Reason and Faith. Gnosis - the Gnosis - appeared then, as that mysterious and hidden wisdom, according to the words of Saint Paul."



 If the "Tradition" - and the teachings attached thereto - "do follow the historical evolution of man and of nature since their creation", this does not "generally take place in the open". At all times, an esoteric teaching has been given to certain people, but more often than not, this took place within the framework of an oral teaching. The Christian esoteric Tradition particularly, has been conserved intact throughout the centuries, sheltered within its hermetic form.* Hermetic obscuration has constituted since very long ago the principal safeguard. But one must recognize that circumstances have changed. The present times demand for this teaching to be much more accessible and for the veil to be partially lifted.* Accordingly, today the research is made easier for those who wish to grasp the real sense of life, and to comprehend the task incumbent on man in this Era at the threshold of which we find ourselves.



The repeated and aggravated crises which affect our modern world lead us to think "that humanity has reached an important turn in its history". The Cartesian spirit, born of a purely intellectual civilization, is now overtaken, and the logic of History demands a new spirit.* If contemporary man is convinced that the body is more than raiment, he all too often forgets that the soul is more than the body. And his 'I' of which he is so proud, proves to be insufficient to face the actual crisis, for it is inconstant, impermanent and multiple.* It becomes urgent for man to regain consciousness of the place he occupies in the Universe, of which he partakes as an integral part, and towards the development of which he contributes whether consciously and willingly or unconsciously and passively.



All traditions agree on the fact that "at every great turning point in history, man is at the center of the problem"; and that always, in accordance with the positive solution of the problem of man "depends the solution to the problem of humanity". The Christian Tradition reminds us that man does not become Man unless he passes through a second birth. But what are the conditions - and notably what role must man play - in order to realize this second birth which leads to Life, to that new state of consciousness defining the New Man, in Saint Paul's terminology? While pondering this question more and more seekers find themselves lifted towards esoteric researches, questioning the traditions, of which each is but a form of the "Unique Tradition", yet "adapted to the mentality of the human group" which receives it.



 During the past century, some significant voices were raised, in order to make more public those elements of a knowledge that was hitherto reserved for the few. Among those voices was that of Boris Mouravieff (1890 -1966) who left a remarkable work "Gnosis" which is of paramount importance to anyone seeking the Way of the New Man announced by Saint Paul. "In his search for practical means" to identify the human's Real 'I', the author of Gnosis "goes back to the sources of traditional knowledge, and by a synthesis with acquired, positive knowledge, indicates" the way of a development which culminates into "the New man, spiritually strong, always equal to himself, and whose advent is imperiously demanded by the logic of History". GNOSIS, a work in three volumes, which appeared in 1961, presents in a rigorous manner and in contemporary language, the Christian esoteric doctrine while founding itself in the Tradition of Oriental Orthodoxy.

Gnosis is a working tool for the seekers of Truth of our times, who desire to "grasp the real meaning of life"; they are those, from all confessions, who wish to approach and "become initiated in that secret and hidden Wisdom of God" of which the Scriptures speak. Although Gnosis has been published four times in French since its first appearance, and although it has been awarded the Victor-Emile Michelet prize in 1962 which is the award for a most remarkable book in the esoteric domain, and moreover, although it has been translated to numerous languages, including Arabic, Russian, Spanish and Greek, yet unfortunately in our day it is a book of little circulation. The primary objective of the authors of this site as well as of the Association Boris Mouravieff (ABM), is therefore to watch over the longevity of this work, to boost its circulation and to facilitate contacts between all those who are interested by the message of Gnosis. On other pages of this site detailed information is given on the author, his works (primarily Gnosis), as well as on the ABM.