Gnosis are entities shrouded in mystery with a hostility toward mankind, appearing in many different forms and sizes. They are the main enemies and battle fodder of the Xenosaga series. Each Gnosis is actually a human spirit that refused to join the Collective Unconscious when they died. Some loathe qualities such as beauty, charm and strength.
The Gnosis exist in a unique dimension separate from the physical plane (or real space) called the imaginary space; therefore, it is normally impossible for humans to come into contact with them.
If someone is touched by a Gnosis, they either die by breaking down into salt, or become Gnosis themselves. The latter of which occurs if one is touched but survives. However, Shion Uzuki was touched by a Gnosis and failed to turn into a Gnosis. This most likely comes from the Gnostic belief that in the quest for enlightenment, three things can happen:
- One can be unworthy and simply dies by turning into salt. In the story of Lot in the Bible, his wife is turned into a pillar of salt after looking back on the city of Sodom.
- One's soul can be considered worthy, but one's material body is still impure (turning into a Gnosis, such as Andrew Cherenkov a few hours after being touched by one.)
- One can be of the few who reach enlightenment without losing one's body (Shion surviving being attacked by a Gnosis).
Gnosis are human wills who resonate passively with Anima to the point of seeking dispersal and destruction. Because they fear and reject other people, they reject the entire collective consciousness of humanity. People who become infected with this fear by contact with Gnosis may also become a Gnosis themselves if they submit to the fear or try to escape from it. People who resonate purely with Anima do not become Gnosis, which may be why Shion never turns into a Gnosis after being attacked and almost whitened.
Gnosis come from imaginary space, which occupies the same space as real space (normal space). The collective consciousness of the Lower Domain (the universe of human consciousness) is composed of both the real (physical) and the imaginary (spiritual) sides. What looks human on one side looks like a Gnosis on the other side. Everything that exists in the real world also exists in the imaginary world, which is why there are even Gnosis planets, such as Cathedral Ship. Although the term Gnosis generally applies to the wills that seek dispersal, everything that exists on the imaginary side is composed the same as a Gnosis. This is also why Abel's Ark is seen as a giant Gnosis, yet at the same time it is not a Gnosis.
According to Jr., Gnosis have been reported throughout history, albeit in very few sightings and nothing near the scale at which they currently appear. It was only during the Miltian Conflict that the Gnosis came into human's dimension en masse. It was this event that caused the dispersal phenomenon that was destroying the universe to rapidly advance.
By activating the Hilbert Effect, Gnosis within the radius of the effect are drawn into the same physical plane as humans, allowing them to be affected by conventional weapons.
Due to the variations in their external appearance, the standard practice is to categorize and name Gnosis after mythical, legendary, and folkloric creatures. Examples of these are Goblins (top-heavy white bipeds), Golems (gangly humanoids with flexible arms), Manticores (large greenish caterpillars) and Gremlins (fishlike beings, one of which merged with an A.G.W.S. in Episode I as a boss on the Woglinde). Other common types include boxlike whales and amber-skinned seals.
Gnosis also appear to have the ability to possess machinery and integrate it into their body, thus giving themselves extra abilities based on the machinery they possess. A Gnosis of the "Gremlin" type possessed an A.G.W.S. unit and was able to use its weapons.
In Episode III, four Gnosis appear on Abel's Ark, guarding the way to Dmitri Yuriev's location and Ω Res Novae, similar to the four pillars of Deus' core in Xenogears. These each resemble several of the Omnigears from Xenogears, and are named Natus Flamma (resembling Bart Fatima's Andvari), Natus Glacies (Resembling Citan Uzuki's Fenrir), Natus Lumen (Resembling Billy Lee Black's Renmazuo), and Natus Tellus (Resembling Rico Banderas' El Stier).
Gnosis is the Greek word for "knowledge".
Gnosticism is a system of beliefs which teaches that the material world is evil, and only through the pursuit of the knowledge of the true nature of the world can humanity return to the spiritual realm after death.
Consciousnesses of Rejection Edit
A person dies. The functions of the flesh in the real number domain come to a halt. The consciousness which has lost its "body"-anchor will then begin to exist only in the imaginary number domain. While the body is functioning, the person's consciousness is imprisoned in that cell, and although it is something that exists in the imaginary number domain, it is aware of only the real number domain. This is because it recognizes its surroundings through the body's eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin. By freeing the consciousness from the flesh, it becomes a purely imaginary number domain type existence.
The imaginary number domain is a state where everything has been freed, and everyone's consciousnesses come to be in an exposed state. The deep contact of those exposed spirits reveals even the malice that they would have wanted to keep hidden, and causes them to come into contact with the dark side of each others' hearts. Also, the consciousnesses, which have become purely existences of the imaginary number domain, begin to be swallowed into the Collective Unconscious.
A person's consciousness fears being swallowed into the Collective Unconscious. It is thought that, fundamentally, it wants the act of intermingling and coming into intimate contact with another person to be kept at a distance. However, if such fear isn't strong enough to resist the drawing force, the consciousness will eventually endure the mutual deep contact and unification with the Collective Unconscious, and it will accept it and begin to belong.
Within that kind of flow, there are not only consciousnesses that will be reeled into the flow; there also exist consciousnesses that possess strong rejecting power. They are consciousnesses that, due to a firm basis of value, draw a line between themselves and other consciousnesses. Consciousnesses of this kind of rejection will continue to reject unification with the Collective Unconscious, and as they try to escape from its gravity, they will begin to turn into Gnosis.
Gnosis Aggression Edit
When Gnosis appear in the real number domain, a violent aggression can be seen. This is the manifestation of the rejecting consciousnesses' preference of rejection. A consciousness that has turned into Gnosis is frightened of its surroundings and of others, and so in order to protect itself, it becomes aggressive.
This tendency of rejection does not change even with fellow Gnosis.
From a human's perspective in the real number domain, it may seem as if Gnosis become a group and begin to strike. However, in actuality, Gnosis do not form into groups.
A Gnosis is unable to recognize the existence of another Gnosis other than itself.
Like a moth that is drawn to a flame, Gnosis are attracted to the radiance given off from the Zohar, and they only end up flocking as a result in order to appear in the real number domain. They by no means cooperate or have anything like tribal or companion consciousnesses.
For instance, as a phenomenon, even in the case that there was that kind of a situation, it is not something the Gnosis intended, and the individual movements only happen to be linked by a cooperative result. This is not anything unusual. In the human community as well, there aren't just actions that hold a purpose, but through the linking of individual self-serving actions, one large flow of unintentional cooperation arises and weaves an unthinking result-- It is a cooperative result that is built from the linking of actions that disregarded each other. The unrelated cooperation of purpose and means is seen in large numbers even in real society. The way fellow Gnosis relate may be something as straightforward as that.
Size and Shape of Gnosis Edit
Gnosis are consciousnesses that have the tendency of rejection. However, when fellow consciousnesses that have the same wave-movement gather together, they form a small group of consciousnesses. Like a community where people who share the same values congregate, the clump of Gnosis turns into a single Gnosis as that clump. Although the fellow consciousnesses that have a filter of the same values are unable to be conscious of each other, because they have a filter of the same vector, they form a community as a result.
Different forms are shaped by differing values, and size differs depending on the amount of assembled consciousnesses.
For these such reasons, Gnosis come to exist in various shapes and scales.
Gnosis and the Dissipation of the Universe Edit
Gnosis reject others, and so they have a directionality of opposition. Gnosis that reject others who do not match their own values break away and escape from the series of consciousnesses that must naturally join together -- the Collective Unconscious. This is the phenomenon of the dissipation of consciousness connected to the collapse of the universe. When the directionality of the rejecting consciousnesses of the Gnosis exceeds a critical point, then the structure of the imaginary number domain, which is based on the premise that all consciousnesses are interconnected, begins to break down.
The Necessary Factor in Their Arrival Edit
Essentially, there is only one single factor that makes Gnosis, who exist in the imaginary domain, arrive in the real domain: the light of the Zohar. Gnosis appear in the real number domain by responding to the Zohar, namely, the energy of U-DO's wave. For the Gnosis, the radiance of the Zohar may feel like an irresistible flame.
Ancient Gnosis Phenomenon Edit
Gnosis are what a consciousness, one which rejects the deep contact with another consciousness, transforms into in the imaginary domain. The birth of such Gnosis had already been occurring since the era of Lost Jerusalem. Or perhaps it had already begun from the time human consciousness came into being.
Within a group, an existence that deviates inevitably comes into being. This deviation may also become the impetus that produces a new era or flow. This is also a reversal that causes the collapse of the previous era.
A city contains many human existences, and therefore, allows deviation. And because there is deviation, there becomes a sharpness that cultivates the era. It is also thought that the very assembly that does not allow deviation breeds stagnation and degeneration.
This kind of deviant existence is something perfectly natural. No matter the era, a consciousness of rejection and opposition exists, and that is what turned into Gnosis.
Mythical creatures such as fairies and the like, which were said to be existences of the imagination, are thought to have possibly been these Gnosis.