Gnosis Volume 1 , English edition Introduction page 25, Madbouly Bookshop, 2005


How can we explain that the intellectual who has made marvellous discoveries and the technocrat, who has exploited them, have left the problem of our end out of the field of our investigations?  How can we explain that the enigma raised by the problem of death, leaves that science indifferent and which dares anything and pretends to reach everything?  How can we explain that Science, instead of opposing itself to its older sister, Religion, has not come to unite its efforts with hers to resolve the problem of the Being who, in fact, is also that of death?

Whether a man dies in bed or aboard an interplanetary ship, the human conditions have not changed in the least.

Happiness? But we are taught that happiness lasts only as long as the Illusion lasts...; and what is Illusion?  Nobody knows. But it submerges us.

If we only knew what Illusion is, we would then know by the opposite what the Truth is. The Truth would liberate us from slavery[1].

Has Illusion, as a psychological phenomenon, ever been submitted to a critical analysis making the most recent facts of Science intervene? It does not seem so, and yet one cannot say that man is lazy and does not search. He is a passionate searcher but he misses the essential and bypasses it while searching.

That which strikes us from the very beginning is that man confuses moral progress and technical progress and that the development of Science is going forth in dangerous isolation.

The brilliant progress, breaking out of techniques has changed nothing in the essential of human conditions and will change nothing in it because it operates in the domain

of circumstances and touches, but superficially, the inner life of man. But, from the very ancient times, it is known that the essential is found inside man and not outside him. 



We are generally in agreement in thinking that humanity has arrived at an important turning point in its history. The Cartesian spirit, which has ruined the scholastic philosophy, is now, in its turn, being surpassed. The logic of history reclaims a new spirit. The divorce between traditional knowledge of which Religion is a trustee and acquired knowledge, fruit of Science, risks numbing the Christian civilisation, which promised so much originally. 

It is an aberration to believe that Science is, by its nature, opposed to Tradition. It must equally be firmly stressed that the Tradition does not include any tendency, which is opposed to Science. On the contrary, the Apostles foresaw the prodigious development of science.

Thus the celebrated formula of St. Paul: Faith, Hope and Love[2] resume a vast programme of evolution for human knowledge[3]. If we examine this formula in relation to its context[4], we see that the first two are temporary while the third is permanent.  It was valid, according to the Apostle, for the epoch in which it was expressed[5] and its significance had to evolve with time. That is what happened, in the sense that St. Paul had predicted Science[6] and broadly speaking, Knowledge[7], destined to substitute both Faith and Hope together, these two limited categories - according to the Apostle and according to the mentality of the epoch in which he was teaching. Both have known since then extraordinary development. He, therefore adds: Now that I have become a man I am putting away what belongs to the child[8]. That is how the passage from Faith to Knowledge is described. St. Paul, thereafter, specifies that the latter, though necessary to evolution, is not a definite state for it cannot have but a partial character[9]. He, further adds, that “when that which is perfect is come, that which is partial shall be done away with"[10]. The perfect is Love which englobes in itself the accomplishment of all virtues, of all prophecies, of all mysteries and of all Knowledge[11]. St. Paul insists on this point and concludes by this adjuration: "try to attain love"[12].

[1] John, VIII, 32.

[2] I Corinthians, XIII, 13. The third word is definitely LOVE and not CHARITY. The inference is important. For LOVE is a Noumenal Power while Charity is only a certain attitude that constitutes one of the many manifestations of love.

[3] Translator’s notes: I want to warn the reader here that there are a few important French words: "savoir" and "connaitre" which I am, more or less, indiscriminately translating by the English term "to know" and, yet, they are not equivalent in French. If the reader refers to the sixth paragraph of the first chapter he would read: for...knowledge leads us towards power. “Knowledge” here is the translation of the French word "connaissance" which derives from the verb "connaitre." Now, if we turn to the third paragraph of the second chapter we would see that "one can know without understanding while the reverse is not true" and also "that to understand is to know with something imponderable added to it". Here also "to know" is always the translation of the French verb "savoir".     We deduce from these two facts that since Knowledge (connaissance and not savoir) leads us towards Power and since Knowledge (savoir) is nothing but a preliminary step towards understanding, therefore, Savoir (to know) is a kind of inferior knowledge which, though indispensable, neither leads to Power nor is it in itself Understanding. I am, therefore, justified in translating Connaissance by "thorough knowledge" and Savoir by preliminary knowledge, and I mean, either preliminary to knowledge or to understanding. In addition to the preceding conclusions, the etymology of the French word “connaitre” is quite illuminating. Co-naitre, "naitre-avec" to be born with, to have seen the foundation, the beginning, the growth and development of something is equivalent in fact to a knowledge of Power, to a knowledge that would give us an efficient mastery of it. Lastly, I apologise for that lengthy discussion, but the author has stipulated that the use of simple terms does not exclude a rigorous precision of the meaning. (Chapter ii, paragraph ii) Besides these are very important notions amongst the many others to come. 

[4] Ibid. 1-12.

[5] "Now" says St. Paul, verse 13.

[6] Ibid, 9 and following.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid., verse 11.

[9] Ibid., verse 9.

[10] Ibid, verse 10.

[11] 1 Corinthians, XIII passim.

[12] 1 Corinthians, XIV, 1.