Bloomin' Omens


The dominant theme in Western religious traditions—particularly in Europe and the Middle East, less so in America—tends to be institutional, historical, and dogmatic in its orientations. This is true for normative Judaism, for Islam in its Sunni and Shi’ite branches, and for Christianity, whether Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or mainline Protestant. In all of these, God essentially is regarded as external to the self. There are mystics and spiritual visionaries within these traditions who have been able to reconcile themselves with institutional authority, but there always has been an alternative convention, the way of Gnosis, an acquaintance with, or knowledge of, the God within, that has been condemned as heretical by the institutional faiths. In one form or another, Gnosis has maintained itself for at least the two millennia of what we have learned to the call the Common Era, shared first by Jews and Christians, and then by Muslims, also. My own religious experience and conviction is a form of Gnosis, and in some sense all of this book, and not just its coda, is a kind of Gnostic sermon. My spiritual concerns, while personal, Jewish, and American, have a universal element in them that stems from a lifetime’s study of Gnosis, both ancient and modern. Yet this book, through informed by scholarship, is not a scholarly work but a personal religious testimony that reaches out to our common concerns as Millennium approaches.

—Howard Bloom, from the introduction to Omens of the Millennium: The Gnosis of Angels, Dreams, and Resurrection (1996)


Omens of the Millennium: The Gnosis of Angels, Dreams, and Resurrection (Amazon)