--- In email@example.com
, lady_caritas <no_reply@y...>
> Okay, Fred, then perhaps you could expand more on how you are using
> the term, "immanence"?
> And considering your definition, can you provide other passages in
> Gnostic scripture to exemplify this?
Hi Lady C,
I would define "divine immanence" as the state of things as a result
of an emanationist process. It is a well accepted part of the system
of Valentinus and Basilides. In fact so well known, the system of
successive links of Being which goes to descending levels, that it is
known by the shorthand term, the "Alexandrian schema." It is shared
by both Gnostics and the Hermetists, as well as the Platonists and
"... it is inherited by Plotinus from the Gnostic system he attacks.
The thinking of the first Neoplatonist comprises an apostrophç (in
Latin, processio), or estrangement from the essence of Being, which
humans alone can make good by the opposite process of epistrophç
(conversio) or return to Being.
... The theme of concordia discors between Plotinus and the Gnostics
(whom he fights--by proxy, so to speak--in his Enneads, II, 9) ... is
one of the favorite subjects of Hans Jonas, ... he confided to me
that he no longer feels up to realizing the dream of his youth--to
write the long-planned book in which he would show that Plotinus is
the metaphysical continuator of the Gnostics ... In substance,
Plotinus' adversaries profess a doctrine with traces of Valentinian
Gnosticism: they believe that the world and its creator are evil and
that the very soul of the world has undergone a decline; as for
Plotinus himself, the creator of the cosmos can only be good, the
cosmos necessary to the perfection of the world and the soul of the
world being above mutability. It is only individual souls that fall.
Nevertheless, Plotinus' schema of the emanation of Being (the so-
called "Alexandrian schema") which is at the same time a gradual
descent of Intellect towards matter, stems from a process of
devolution (Hans Jonas' term) typical of the Syro-Egyptian Gnostic