One of the questions I've asked myself and others is "What do Gnostics do?" And the answer to that question has been very telling, because it's exceptionally elusive. Nobody, including myself seems to have any idea.
"If a blind person leads a blind person, both will fall into a hole."-- Logion 34, Gospel of Thomas
What led me to consider the Thomasine Church in the beginning, aside from an aesthetically pleasing website and a lack of Romanized trappings, was its Illuminist Philosophy; they said what they had to say in a clear, concise way, and it made sense. Eventually, I exchanged a series of lengthy e-mails with Deacon Joseph ("Randy") Knapp, and I realized through that exchange just how radically different the Thomasine philosophy was from that expounded by other Gnostic churches.
"Yeshua said, Seek and do not stop seeking until you find. When you find, you will be troubled, you will marvel and rule over the All."--Logion 2, Gospel of Thomas
I became uncomfortable, perhaps even afraid. Why not go with what I already knew? Why embrace a philosophy that was going to force me to confront the imperfections of my perception? Why not go with the nice re-hashed Tridentine masses with smatterings of "Gnosis" and "Sophia" sprinkled in for good measure?
"Know what is in front of your face and what is hidden from you will be disclosed. There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed."Logion 5, Gospel of Thomas
What is Gnosis? Is it something external? Something given by an entity, a deity? In the convoluted cosmologies and hierarchies of emanations in the Valentinian corpus, it can certainly seem that way. But there's Thomas. He put down the hookhah and opened his eyes. Gnosis not external to you. It is you. It's there, in front of your face. Reach out and rend the veil of your own perceptions.
In a way, in embracing the Thomasine Church, I've gone back to the beginning of this journey. To know the end, you've got to know the beginning, eh?