XX arguement here is "Gnosis" is emical thing. well, yes but it is one thing
to have your personal gnosis and then turn around and say "oh by the way
Manichaean had it too based upon MY experience." Well, what ever you
say but don't take as the definative on what REALLY MANICHAEANS
BELIEVED. You never know you are an outsider. The question that brought
up is is Manichaeism gnostic? I think XX is only projecting his bias on the
First I am reminded of the statement by Humpty Dumpty;
`When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'
`The question is,' said Alice, `whether you can make words mean so many different things.'
`The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, `which is to be master - - that's all.'
Echoes of this debate in the etic-emic discussion -
I agree with Ernst that the terms etic and emic are quite specific in their use in linguistics and anthropology and to redefine these words to suit the purposes of one's argument renders the terms useless for discourse.
However, the more disturbing and commonly held view is that gnosis is "personal", and without picking on any one person I have to state that this "personal" view of gnosis is contrary tow what we know to be valid in the Valentinian school where Man and Ekklesia are paired as a szyzygy.
That is to say that no man is an island unto himself and is a part of the greater Ekklesia and the Body of Christ.
So while gnosis may be an internal and private experience, it is my understanding that it can be communicated in language through metaphor and analogy. So much current dialog is contaminated with personalism that one wonders why anybody bothers to write about their personal gnosis at all since of course it is so personal as to be of no importance to the reader who is assumed to have a personal gnosis all their own.
This is the danger of solipsism in discussing philosophy and gnosticism - since it is impossible to reflect on someone else's private experience; one can neither validate nor refute statements which have no context and I dare say, no meaning for anyone but the speaker.
And this wass the pitfall of the recent etic - emic debate where it was taken that one can form a 'personal' emic understanding; this is not possible, because etic and emic refer to understandings of communities - not individuals. The etic position is that of an 'outsider' and the emic is that of the 'insider' and their understandings of a behavior. But the position is a view taken towards an event outside of one's self - one in which one is a cultural participant or an observer from a different context - the understandings are based on shared not private knowledge.
But underneath all of this is the type of self-interest and personalization of gnosticism - something that one sees in the way people also approach Buddhism, or Vedanta, or sufism in western cultures; everyone seems to want to be unique and special and WITHOUT having to recognize any other authority than themselves.
Not that authority is always a bad thing; as it is helpful to use common knowledge within the community as some gauge of one's own insights. While the need for priests and popes may serve no purpose to the gnostic , the Ekklesia is central to the idea of Gnostic community.
Personal gnosis - enthymesis and Sophia seeking to know the father through her own efforts, alone and personally and ended up falling through lack of Logos - meaning, from the Pleroma - context.
Thanks Felis; Revelations 2: He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the
Message 74 of 74
, Jul 5, 2002
Re: [Gnosticism] Re: Shedding New Light on the Buddha of Light
Revelations 2: He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
This troubling passage in the Apocalypse of John of Patmos makes sense in CON-TEXT with what is known of the Valentinian teaching of the name.
Corax Bin Al-Ghorab Abu Gharib Al Maghribi
From: "Enheduanna" <argot@...>
Re: [Gnosticism] Re: Shedding New Light on the Buddha of Light
> How do we in fact know that Christ informs the understanding of someone?
I just came across an interesting reflection on this with reference to the
Valentinian concept of the Name:
"As noted in Dawson (1992), Thomassen (1993), and Zyla (1996) the Name is
closely identified by Valentinus with 'bold speaking' or 'free speaking'
(parhesia). This notion of 'bold speech' as a characteristic of the presence
of the Name seems to be derived from the New Testament. In the book of Acts,
speaking boldly, healings and miracles are all said to be produced by the
presence of the Name (Acts 4:29-30). According to Valentinus, the Father's
"free act of speaking is the manifestation of the Son" (Valentinus Fragment
2). He goes on to say that the Son visits the heart of the individual in
order to purify it. Similarly, in his account of the creation of human
beings, the presence of the Name within Adam is said to produce 'bold
speech' which frightens the angels(Valentinus Fragment 5). Just as the
Father expressed himself boldly in the Son, so the Son expresses himself in
"bold speech" within the individual person. As Zyla (1996) states, "Through
the sacrifice of Jesus, gnosis of the Father was gained and can be passed on
through parrhesia (bold speech)". Gnosis of the Name produces "bold speech"
in the individual.
"Valentinus attributes inspired speech to the presence of the Name. The Name
causes the individual to "utter sounds superior to what its modeling
justified" (Valentinus Fragment 1). According to Marcus, inspired speech
results from being joined to one's bridegroom angel (Irenaeus Against Heresy
1:13:3). This further confirms the thesis that the angel is identical with
the name. The experience of gnosis is the reception of one's angel/name
which is a particular instance of the Son/Name. "
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