The Gnostic Society is based in Auckland, New Zealand, and was established in 1985. Members work together to follow the teachings of Shaikh Abdullah Isa Neil Dougan who taught a system of working on oneself to achieve one’s psychological and spiritual potential. Abdullah emphasized selfless service and remembrance of God as key aspects of his teaching. He was a Naqshibandi Sufi but also incorporated ideas from the Gurdjieff system, Taoism, Buddhism, Gnosticism and many other sources in his teaching.
The first three objects of the Gnostic Society are:
- 1. To foster the truth that God and this universe are One and that man is an expression of this Unity.
- 2. To foster in humanity the constant desire for self-perfection so that people may learn to serve their fellow man and God in modest stillness and humility.
- 3. To foster the teaching of love and understanding between all people with the aim of uniting all men in the service of God.
In Auckland, meetings are held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and a Sufi Universal Worship church service is held every second Sunday. Newcomers and interested people are welcome to attend. There are also groups in Northland, Wellington, and Christchurch.
Tuesdays: these meetings are held weekly from 8pm to 9:15pm at our meeting room at 55 Tramway Rd, Beach Haven, Auckland. The book for study and discussion in these meetings is Probings by Abdullah Dougan, Chapter 6, p. 74, ‘The Sufis have always aimed at losing oneself in the Beloved.’ The next meeting is 25 October 2016.
The meetings are chaired by a Gnostic Society member and have an emphasis on the psychological work on ourselves as taught by G.I. Gurdjieff and expanded by Abdullah. The format followed is; each week one member reports on their progress and experience in their work on themselves with feedback and support given by the other members according to their own experience; this is followed by a period open to general questions pertaining to the Work, reading and discussion of one of Abdullah’s books, and the meeting concludes with a silence.
Thursdays: these meetings are held weekly from 7:30pm to 8:30pm. On alternate weeks we read from and discuss the works of Hazrat Inayat Khan, and a book by another spiritual teacher that is selected by the members, at present ‘The Masnavi Teachings of Rumi’ (abridged and translated by E.H. Whinfield).
Books studied recently include The Eternal Companion by Swami Brahmananda, and Raja Yoga by Swami Vivekananda.
The next Hazrat Inayat Khan meeting will be held on 27 October 2016 in a member’s home. The reading is from The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan, Volume VII, ‘In an Eastern Rose Garden’, Chapter: ‘Character and Fate’, p. 110, ‘WHEN A person hears that an influence is exerted …’
The next Masnavi meeting will be held on 20 October 2016 in the meeting room. The reading for these meetings is The Masnavi; Teachings of Rumi, (abridged and translated by E.H. Whinfield), p.287, ‘Then comes a commentary on the tradition …’ These meetings are chaired by a Gnostic Society member. The place in the readings will be updated for each meeting on this page.
Sunday Services: these are held every second Sunday from 10:30am to 11:00am at 55 Tramway Rd, Beach Haven and follow the format of the Sufi Universal Worship Service of Hazrat Inayat Khan. The next service is 23 October 2016 . This service acknowledges the unity of all spiritual teachings with readings from Hindu, Buddhist, Zoroastrian, Jewish, Christian and Islamic texts, tied together with a reading from Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Gayan. Each service focuses on one of seven aspects of a chosen topic, which is illustrated with stories suitable for children to understand and relate to.
Contact: Abdullah’s books and further information about Abdullah are available on the Gnostic Press website. If you wish to know more about the Gnostic Society or Abdullah’s teachings, please feel free to contact us here.