10881Chicken or Egg (and other layings and scratches)
- Mar 24, 2005hi PMCV....you wrote:"Jesus says: 'The one who seeks should not cease seeking until he
finds. And when he finds, he will be dismayed. And when he is
dismayed, he will be astonished. And he will be king over the All.'"
"This is obviously something that not only can be persued, but MUST
be persued in order to achieve."this might be a chicken or the egg issue: which came first? can weentertain the idea that someone might have attained to what we mightconsider the sublimities of gnosis in lieu, or outside, of any Gnostic orPlatonic or Mystery training or trappings? other traditions claim that, whileextremely rare, some individuals just have "it": "it" being gnosis, illumination,enlightenment, or choose a term (we needn't be too strict in our definitionshere -- just trying to establish some points of reference). they're simplyborn with "it" or may be suddenly hit with "it" through no intention or pursuiton their part -- "it" appears to have pursued them!someone had to develop the "system" (i'm using "system" for lack of a moreflexible, creative and perceptive substitute to describe what a true Gnosticmight have employed to realize gnosis in others) we think of as Gnosticism.and the individual(s) who developed the original may or may not have comeout of another tradition. i believe we can see elements of other traditions,obviously, that influenced Gnosticism, but we don't know this original"Gnostic" developer. we can' say anything really meaningful about theoriginator other than he/she was familiar with one or more developmentaltraditions that were culturally prevalent at the time, but was not necessarilya product of any of those traditions.the Sufis (who do not refer to themselves as Sufis -- ring a bell?) claim thata Perfected, or Completed, Man (or woman: Rabia for instance) who finds itnecessary to transmit the way, will do so in such a fashion as to be inperfect tune with the times, places and cultures where the transmission is totake place (this is one reason why, here in the West, if you see somebodywho purports to be a Sufi and is not indistinguishable from everyone else inmanner of speech and appearance, etc., you can be pretty sure this is not atrue Sufi). the point being that those who truly have "it" can transmit "it"through any vehicle that is in harmony with the time, place and culture that'sbeing targeted. so if a Sufi found it necessary to pass on the transmission,and perceived that a particular group (though it could be a single individual),a chapter of Shriners in Hoboken, New Jersey for instance, containedindividuals with an immediate capacity to receive the transmission, the Suficould do so within the parameters of Free Masonry.who's to say that Christian Gnosticism couldn't just as easily have beenJewish or Solar or Mithraic Gnosticism, or that any of the preceding didnot in fact exist under our historic noses? it has been pointed out to mehere some parallels between Gnosticism and Hermeticism, and thatD8th&9th was an example of Hermetic teaching included in the NagHammadi find. maybe this model produced individuals of comparableattainment as the Gnostic model? container/content, map/territory,menu/meal.i've sidetracked myself here. i'm actually in 99% agreement with the ideathat gnosis "MUST be pursued." but i also think there exist those rareexceptions. unfortunately there are a lot of people who mistakenly imaginethey are one of these exceptions, and i find that sad even if it is inevitable.wishful thinking, an obsession to be perceived as unique and/orparticularly authoritative can lead to such illusions. and if one thinks WORKis a dirty word, chances are one may as well put the idea of attaining "it" outof one's mind. and i frankly find it scandalous that so many suggestotherwise, especially those who seemingly ought to know better. but maybeit helps to weed out the true seekers from the kibitzers? i don't know -- i'mnot the gardener.by the way, i meant to share this with you in regards to an earlier series ofposts between us (one of the "what's in a name" or "a rose by any othername" postings). this is from the late Wendell Johnson's book, Your MostEnchanted Listener:"A rose with onion for its name
Might never, never smell the same --
And canny is the nose that knows
An onion that is called a rose."(oddly enough i had "remembered" the poem as:A rose by any other nameCould never, nerver be the same --And wise is the nose that knowsAn onion once called rosemy lovely and mysterious wife said she didn't think that was right. i lookedit up on the web and she's right... go figure: my old grey-mattered muleain't what she used to be. my god, how many other poems, quotes, dreamsand events and faces and tastes and smells do i remember incorrectly?)anyhoo, i just thought you might dig Mr. Johnson's little ditty.your friend,Crispin Sainte IIIPS it suddenly occurs to me, PMCV, was there any sort of "miracle"tradition within any of the Gnostic communities? i don't recall havingread of any, but i'm curious what their attitude might have been on thesubject of supposed miracles. i've got a hunch about what their attitudemay have been, but i can't find anything. all my web searches comes upempty except for references to a "Gnostic Mass" and Jesus stories.
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