Basilides was a scholar of the 2nd century C.E. who knew the Hebrew and Christian scriptures as well as being knowledgeable in Egyptian and Greek thought. But he also received what was to become a secret tradition named after him, based on knowledge passed to him from an early interpreter of the Apostle Peter. Basilides wrote psalms, odes, and commentaries on the Gospels. He also wrote a gospel for his own sect, but very little of his writings have been preserved. His system seems to include aspects of Neoplatonism, Pauline Christianity, and Gnosticism. His sect, the Basilidians, included concepts that would today be called reincarnation, karma, and asceticism.
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