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Roots-- dhii / j~na

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  • rsalm
    ... Are you certain it isn t del Gnosticismo ?-- Gunnar Rene: Le Origini Dello Gnosticismo.
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 17, 2005
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      > dello Gnosticisma

      Are you certain it isn't "del Gnosticismo"?-- Gunnar

      Rene: "Le Origini Dello Gnosticismo."

      http://janus.uoregon.edu/search/Xbianchi+origini&searchscope=8&SORT=D/Xbianchi+origini&searchscope=8&SORT=D&Search.x=0&Search.y=0/1%2C2%2C2%2CB/frameset&FF=Xbianchi+origini&searchscope=8&SORT=D&1%2C1%2C Most of the articles in this book are obsolete, but the one by Conze is still valuable, IMO.

      R: Jhana and gnosis, by the
      > way, etymologically are from the same root.

      G: Don't you mean ~naa.na/jñaa.na and gnosis, rather than

      R: Yes, and I should know better. Both jaanaati and jhaayati can mean "to perceive." I haven't studied the matter, but looking at their various meanings and derivatives (PED) I would say that the root (Sk.) "dhii" > jhaayati yields dynamic meanings. Thus, "to meditate, contemplate, think upon, brood over." The jhaanas are progressive stages of contemplation. As such, they "are only a means, not the end" (PED 286).

      In contrast, ~naa.na (jaanaati, root = j~na) in Paali appears to be the actual attainment of vipassana. PED defines ~naa.na as "knowledge, intelligence, insight, conviction, recognition," i.e., lack of ignorance. It gives many citations. I would be interested in any examples that show ~naa.na as a journey or process. Going outside Paali to Vedic and Sanskrit, is the root j~na ever used in words with a dynamic sense of 'finding, searching'?

      The Greek and Latin words related to jaanaati encompass both dynamic and static meanings. In the dynamic sense, the Greek gnOsis (with omega = long "O") is an "inquiry" (Liddell-Scott), while in the static sense, it is "a knowing, knowledge... especially of a higher kind, deeper wisdom." Similarly, the Latin cognitus is "the act of getting to know," and cognitio is "learning, acquiring knowledge." But in the static sense, cognitio can also be "knowledge, notion, idea, recognition."

      Western Gnosticism in antiquity considers both process and destination, e.g.: "He who finds the meaning (hermEneia) of these sayings will not taste death" (Gospel of Thomas, 1).


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