Unverified Personal Gnosis (UPG) or Unverifiable Personal Gnosis, refers to any spiritual beliefs, truths or revelations experienced or adhered to by an individual that is based on personal experience that differs from or does not exist in accepted lore.
The term is used quite a bit in reconstructionist circles to distinguish those beliefs and practices that are held by an individual based on personal experience from those beliefs and practices that have a historical basis or that are drawn from myth, folklore or archaeological evidence.
The personal gnosis itself may take the form of a “gut feeling”, a logical deduction or a message received from spirit in the form of a dream or vision.
For reconstructionists, primary sources of liturgy and cosmology tend to be written works, including epic poems, discussions of philosophy, various historic documents and ethnographic accounts, as well as evidence gathered by archaeologists.
Unverified personal gnosis can fill in the gaps that these sources leave, but it is generally approached with caution.
The related term “Shared Personal Gnosis” (SPG) is used when several people arrive at the same conclusion independently of one another, whether through logical deduction, “just a feeling”, or a vision, dream or other messages from spirit.
More Information Online
- About Unverifiable Personal Gnosis at About.com’s Alt Religion
- John Becket on UPG at Patheos.com