--- In email@example.com
, GP <swtmeadow@...> wrote:
> I'm not really new to Gnosticism. But I am struggling lately with
some more or less obvious problems that I'm sure others of you have
>run into. I am wondering how you dealt with them.
Hello, GP. I've been thinking about your questions, and I'll just
offer a few ideas to kick around or throw out, whatever you decide.
These are purely personal reflections of mine.
> First, I realize that unlike Sophia, I don't know where I belong
but I'm pretty sure it isn't "here." So, how do you find out where
you belong? Do you wait until grace is offered from another plane
much as Christ offered grace to Sophia because she prayed so
> Second, it has occurred to me that perhaps this IS where I belong
despite my dissatisfaction with where I am. I long for something more
free -- less burdened by the heaviness of the physical, but is that
really an indication that I belong somewhere else? Perhaps I could be
of the world but not in it (as some religious groups advise) and
simply be of service to what seems best in this Malcut of a place
(sorry for the place name dropping!)<<
Or you could be in this world but not of it... The Gnostics did
recognize the material world as real, even if corruptible. And
that's where we all function right now. As far as "another
plane,"... do you like to obediently "wait," GP? Does prayer have
meaning for you? IOW, you need to be honest with yourself and
continue to learn to know yourself.
Saying 3 from The Gospel of Thomas says, "If those who lead you
(plur.) say to you, `See, the kingdom is in heaven,' then the birds
of heaven will precede you. If they say to you, `It is the sea,'
then the fish will precede you. But the kingdom is inside you of
you. And it is outside of you."
Also, from Saying 6, "His disciples questioned him and said to
him, `Do you want us to fast? And how shall we pray? Shall we give
alms? And what kind of diet shall we follow?' Jesus said, `Do not
lie, and do not do what you hate. For all things are disclosed
before heaven. For there is nothing obscure that will not be shown
forth, and there is nothing covered that will remain without being
> Finally, I ain't no intellectual. Most of what I know is
um....empirical or has been taught me orally or by demonstration. How
important is book learning to the pursuit of understanding ourselves?
(I can't think how to phrase this without it sounding
um....smartalecy.....not meant in that way!) I read lots but retain
little from books. Thanks for your responses.
GP, I'm thinking it might not be about being "intellectual" so much
as that we all have different learning styles. If you're retaining
little from reading books, have you considered making audiotapes of
selected writings and listening to them? No matter how you "read"
them, have you taken that empirical knowledge and those oral
teachings you speak of and knocked them around against ideas from the
ancient Gnostics or modern authors who talk about them? I find that
getting involved and critically comparing to my own experience helps
make the reading meaningful. And there are also times when I'm just
swept up by the poetry of it all.
In any case, our group is always available to discuss these readings
if that is of any help to you. Maybe other members have further
helpful ideas or suggestions.