Kenosis (“self-emptying”) is about letting go of bad habits.
Pistis (“faithful practice”) is about establishing good habits.
Gnosis (“spiritual vision”) is about seeing deeply into the heart of what is good and bad.
Kenosis is as much about renunciation as it is about surrender;
pistis is as much about orthopraxy (right action) as it is about orthodoxy (right belief);
gnosis is as much about discernment as it is about knowledge.
The deeper the practice of gnosis-pistis-kenosis, the higher the forms of the Good.
This ascending spiral can be understood as noesis.
Bad habits are associated with the six realms on the Wheel of Babylon:
narcissism and pride (Divas); ideological possession (Muppets);
conventional mediocrity (Muggles); victim mentality (Victims);
addictive behaviours (Addicts); hatred and vengefulness (Demons).
The ultimate goal of spiritual practice is freedom from Babylon:
“Babylon dropped” is the kenotic state of no-kleshas and no-sins.
We can express this in the language of love:
God is love and God is everything.
All things therefore subsist in love, including Babylon.
However, the love that fuels Babylon is divorced from agape, the divine source of love,
through the falling away occasioned by the original sin of Pride.
The love that fuels Babylon is limited, conditional, human love:
storge (familial affection), eros (sexuality) and philia (friendship),
that is, storge without agape; eros without agape; philia without agape.
These three dissociated loves create the Wheel of Babylon:
storge without agape produces Muggles and Victims;
eros without agape produces Addicts and Demons;
philia without agape produces Divas and Muppets.
With this understanding, we can see the need for noesis
(the cycle of kenosis-gnosis-pistis)
in our return from our spiritual exile in Babylon:
kenosis being the renunciation of all limited, human forms of love,
gnosis direct contact with the divine source of love and reception of the divine gift,
and pistis the suffusing of storge, eros and philia with agape.
Noesis is the progressive spiritualisation of human love
through the continual influx of divine love
in the upward spiral of kenosis-gnosis-pistis.
In the imagery of John the Divine and John of the Cross,
the deadening and dehumanising love of the Whore of Babylon
is transformed by the love of God into a resurrected life, a living flame of love.
Religious discipline and discipleship therefore necessarily involves kenosis,
renunciation of creature comforts (storge), sexual gratification (eros) and social chitchat (philia):
“If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life
also, he cannot be my disciple.”
…until he learns to bear the beams of love in gnosis and to integrate it into his life in pistis.
Noesis is both salvific and redemptive:
it creates a New Heaven and a New Earth.