- Aug 2, 2005--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
>You used two words there that I meant to include in my last post, but
> The seperation from the spirit, the hylic notion of the world from
> only a subjective and perceptual basis, is something that is the
> core idea that Gnosticism is meant to fight against. Waking up from
> the mere subjectivity into a larger objective perspective is a
> constant theme. Yes, it is true that there is also the admonition
> to look inward, but that look inside is meant to be a search for
> the connection to something beyond the self.
from a different slant. Thanks for reminding me!
I was perplexed from the beginning when Felix brought up his musings
about Protestantism. As I tried to point out with the film example,
both Catholicism and Protestantism are still pistic religions, so,
regardless of the differences we note between them, what kind of
pertinent "connection" are we drawing with regards to Gnosticism?
Even allowing for the trends that Bloom observes in Southern
religious movements, we are still talking about beliefs that involve
faith and a personal god, so I still don't see how it was relevant to
this group's interests. In addition, concerning the issue of
Docetism, I mentioned how certain self-proclaimed Gnostics embrace
this viewpoint while still treating such a savior as an
anthropomorphized, limited, personal god. Again (to be more blunt
this time, in hopes of avoiding anyone thinking that I've implied
something other than what I intended!), I should simply say, "WTF."
At such a group's very best, it's probably just another case of
Gnosis Envy. I think you had the same individuals in mind when you
reiterated the point with your reference to Marcionites.
Going back to Bloom's book, I was struck by the comments of one
critic in particular. I believe he was a cleric, and he noted that
his biggest concern was that the "objective" God (envisioned by the
Church) was being ignored among the highly "subjective" movements
associated with the phenomenon that Bloom was describing. As he
critiqued the inevitable drawback of such personalized religion
(paraphrasing), "We are all Popes . . . but only unto ourselves." I
thought the imagery there was quite appropriate: a great deal of
people authoritatively pontificating and proselytizing, but with no
one having any true believers of their message save themselves.
Well, whether talking about Catholics, or Protestants, or some kind
of newfangled Protestants, or even some sort of wannabe pneumatics
who have hijacked the Gnostic myths and perverted them to suit their
own fundamentalist faith, I think I would have difficulty with anyone
who questioned whether I saw a "connection" between those groups and
Gnosticism. It would be as if I had been asked, "Do you prefer an
objective or subjective Demiurge? . . . How about a literalist or
solipsist approach to the Divine"
Geez, if those were my only choices, I suppose I would have to pass
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