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10331Re: something to think about

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  • Mike Leavitt
    Nov 11, 2004
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      Hello pmcvflag

      On 11/12/04, you wrote:

      >
      >
      > Hey Annie, let me try to make my question a little more direct
      > here... using your post as a counterpoint.
      >
      >>>> "Yes, I certainly do, of course not as 'god' but in the sense
      > of 'The'. There is a common thread which runs through all things,
      > by virtue of the spirit. Once the aim is focused on the spirit, it
      > can be seen everywhere."<<<<
      >
      > What you seem to be talking about is called "pantheism". Are you
      > sure that historical Gnostics believed that the true spiritual
      > source is in everything?
      >
      >>>> "From reading the Nag Hammadi, I have no doubt the original
      > gnostics believed this, as well. The reason I say this is because of
      > their portrayal of the serpent in the garden being the cleverest
      > beast and the 'instructor.' To one not yet prepared to discern all
      > things, the snake is a trickster, and a liar. But the second time
      > one meets that snake, it's a friend, one that is easily understood.
      > To get past that point also makes the spirit evident in all things,
      > revealing everything as an opportunity to learn."<<<<
      >
      > This is actually not true of all Gnostics. In fact, there is part of
      > your point that is not internally consistant here. You say later
      > that you are not sure if the "Sethian" outline is really Gnostic,
      > you also say the Gnostics have a positive view of the serpent, but
      > let me point out that the tendancy to view the serpent in positive
      > terms does not hold out in Valentinian texts.
      >
      > Can you point out how you see getting past the view of good and evil
      > means that the "spirit is evident in all things"? I don't think this
      > logically follows, and I personally don't think that historical
      > Gnostics agreed with this notion.
      >
      > I do think your point is very interesting, but somehow it seems to
      > be an itch... either I am misunderstanding you, or perhaps we need
      > to look further to see if we really find these ideas in Gnostic
      > texts.

      As phrased, the point seems more Tauest than Gnostic, not that that
      necessarily invalidates it as also Gnostic. OTOH this world is at
      best only a necessary evil, even to the Valentinians, so....
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