"Many gnostics, then would have agreed in principle with Ludwig Feuerbach, the nineteenth-century psychologist, that "theology is really anthropology" ... The gnostic movement shared certain affinities with contemporary methods of exploring the self through psychotherapeutic techniques. Both gnosticism and psychotherapy value, above all, knowledge—the self-knowledge which is insight. They agree that, lacking this, a person experiences the sense of being driven by impulses he does not understand. Valentinus expressed this in a myth. He tells how the world originated when Wisdom, the Mother of all beings, brought it forth out of her own suffering ... Few psychiatrists would disagree with the saying attributed to Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas: "If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you." ... According to the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus ridiculed those who thought of the "Kingdom of God" in literal terms, as if it were a specific place. "If those who lead you say to you, 'Look, the Kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds will arrive there before you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,'" then, he says, the fish will arrive before you. Instead, it is a state of self-discovery."
"The fascination with crime comes in part from the idea that one can live rightly by following real needs and desires, against the rule of an external authority that declares what one ought to have and must remain. By following impulses where they want to go, and aiding and abetting them with knowledge and experience, one transforms those needs and desires into a law that rules from within. What is perhaps most satisfying about committing crime may be the feeling that one is following a superior law while doing so. In a sense, this is what autonomy is: self-rule. And this is why criminals are so captivating: they are ciphers of independence. On the other hand, the self that rules may not be a self at all, but the force of an inner nature that governs by compulsion. Who has not experienced the utter lack of freedom that comes from being ruled by various passions and urges? One feels no longer in control, with no will to determine the course of one’s life, as if the self just split and left. And yet, isn’t there always also a curious pleasure to unfreedom, as if what secretly pleases one most is being told what to do?"