An email from a legend

It’s time I should mention my research. I’m working on a Masters by Research at Edinburgh University, on 20th Century Gnosticism. But I’ll tell all about that another time.

You may have seen this Vanity Fair interview with the legendary comic artist Robert Crumb (the epitome of “underground”). He’s currently promoting his illustrated version of The Book of Genesis, and in the interview he states that he considers himself a Gnostic.

So I sent an email to his official website, asking if there was any possibility of asking what he understood “Gnostic” to mean, not really expecting any reply. Yesterday, his reply arrived, only two days later.


Mr. Robertson,
I define myself as a gnostic in the loosest sense of the word.  As different from an athiest, who denies the existence of God, or an agnostic, who doubts the existence of God, or a true believer, who accepts on faith some traditional conception of God, as a “Gnostic,” I believe in the existence of some higher, greater force behind our universe, but I don’t presume to fully understand what that force is, or how it works.  But I want to know.  I want unity with that force.  I seek knowledge of that greater being.  That’s my definition of “gnostic,” and that’s about it.
R. Crumb

What a gent. Incidentally, Robert Crumb also drew a comic based on Philip K. Dick’s “Gnostic experience”, and you can read it here.


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