Everything below is taken completely and with gratitude from Jordan Stratford's blog Ecclesia Gnostica in Nova Albion from the Section Gnosticism 102. I am deeply grateful for this site, since it seems to resonate with my own understandings of things, in that, I am always trying to see how the pieces of religion fit together. Gnosticism seems to resonate with ideas in the Vedanta tradition, Buddhism, Qabalah, Greek Philosophy and Egyptian Hermetic understandings. In other Words, it has it all. And...I thought the following would be of benefit to share.
"What follows is sometimes called "The Gnostic Road", and relates to the personal process of becoming a Gnostic.
1) Aporia ("roadlessness"). A feeling of disorientation or exclusion from the accepted conventions of the world, and a sense that "this is not the deal". The certainty that something is wrong with the universe, and creeping paranoia that a) this is not the real world and b) that the forces in charge of this world are hiding something secret, something powerful.
2) Epiphany ("shining above"). The big light bulb over the head, the primal "Aha!" that reveals the glowing spark of divinity in all things. A perception of real and immediate and undeniable TRUTH in art and life and joy and beauty and the sacred real.
3)Agon ("struggle"). This is where things get ugly. The problem is, the Opposition is real, organized, and thoroughly pissed off at your recent epiphany. You're suddenly a lightning rod for "bad luck" in the form of THE SYSTEM - parking tickets, tax audits, bank charges, mechanical failures, illness, miscommunication. People are "worried about you". This is where most people either give up and deny their epiphany, or go crazy and talk to themselves on the bus. The real struggle is in finding equilibrium - knowing what you know, and continuing to live in the world. Rendering unto Caesar. Sitting down with the Archons and negotiating some kind of truce.
4) Gnosis ("knowledge"). Equivalent to the satori of Zen or the nirvana of Hinduism, this is personally-negotiated spiritual enlightenment. A first-hand experience of divinity as real and present. Tag, you're it.
5) Charis ("grace"). This is Sainthood, the ability to radiate your own gnosis to others, and overcome the limitations imposed on you by the Archons."