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UPG: An Ugly, Misguided Notion

By Sam Webster

“Unsubstantiated Personal Gnosis” as a term is dismissive and insulting, but worse it turns us away from the only spiritual reality…experience.

The only point in saying that a person has had a UPG, an Unsubstantiated (sometimes Unverified) Personal Gnosis, is to be dismissive and demeaning to them, and on examination the claim or criticism of UPG has no worthy intellectual basis. The Wikipedia entry is illuminating. I will start by taking the phrase apart, backwards:

‘Gnosis’ is being used here as a euphemism for knowledge acquired through intuition, insight, or a spiritual event, such as conversation with a Spirit or Deity. In another day this might have been called a revelation. There may be words or symbols involved, but it is not limited to discursive intelligence. Non-discursive communication or knowing (properly called noisis and contrasted with gnosis which means knowledge in the ordinary sense), is also included when people use UPG as a label.

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