The term gnosticism derives from Latin gnosticus, which comes from Greek gnostikos (knowledge) and refers to gnosis which is a mystical and godlike knowledge of the heart and the soul. It is a journey of self-discovery and self-knowledge, which by experiencing the Truth within oneself awakes one's consciousness, hence bringing it into the state of pleroma (fullness or the totality of divine powers).
"Matthew said, "Lord, I wish to see that Place of Life, that place in which there is no evil but rather where there is only pure light."
The Lord said, "Brother Matthew, you cannot see it, as long as you wear the flesh."
Matthew said, "O Lord, even if I cannot see it, let me know it."
The Lord said, "Every one of you who has known himself has seen it"
"The Dialogue of the Savior"- Codex III of the Nag Hammadi codices
Uncovering this knowledge and the spiritual transformation that results from it is the goal of the gnostic seeker.
Finding this individual inner peace enables one to help others achieve the same.
Spiritual and mystical practices include working with life questions through meditation, silence, concentration, self-observation, out-of-body-experiences, dreams and other spiritual techniques that aid in achieving a transcendental knowledge about destiny and death while still being embodied on Earth.
Jesus' words to Thomas:
"Now, since it has been said that you are my twin and true companion, examine yourself, and learn who you are, in what way you exist, and how you will come to be. Since you are called my brother, it is not fitting that you be ignorant of yourself."
"For he who has not known himself has known nothing, but he who has known himself has at the same time already achieved knowledge about the depth of the all."
The Book of Thomas the Contender