12468Re: It's in our DNA
- Jun 11, 2006Hey Barbara
>>>I agree that it is facinating to try to understand what theGnostics of old thought - but understanding at the same time, that
this was not a homgeneous group, by any stretch.<<<
Very true, and VERY good point. There are important differences we
really need to try and keep in mind. However, there are also things
that tie these groups together. When I attempt to outline systems of
Gnosticism I try to do my best and say things like "this is a
Sethian version" or "this is Valentinian" when they do differ. On
the other hand, there are important things that draw these groups
into a single category, and I think we should not foget that either.
>>>I do think it's very curious that there were so many differentgroups of Christian communities in the first few hundred years with
so many disparate views. There was much controversy.<<<
I agree absolutely! In fact, it is the study of Gnosticism that has
really brought this realization to the academic community at large.
However, it doesn't only apply to Gnostic groups. There were many
non-Gnostic Christian groups as well. I don't find it curious in
that I don't think there was as much of a genuine "system" from the
very beginning. There is something called the "Eusebian Paradigm"
that says there was one original church. Scholars today generally
reject this "Eusebian Paradigm" because it just doesn't work with
the historical info we have right now.
>>>How could it be that Jesus left so many different impressionsamong his followers? Surely what he was teaching had a hidden
meaning - some 'got it' or thought they did and others took his
teachings literally, interpreting it as best they could... on and on
throughout the millennia.<<<
Well, outside the question of whether Jesus ever actually
historically existed, I think it actually makes sense. The info we
have shows even the very first generation of Christians looking at
this message in many different ways. This is common for purely oral
>>>My whole point is this - it can only be informed speculation onour part.<<<
True. However, isn't informed speculation at least a little better
than uninformed speculation? What I find so common today is that
many people talking about "Gnosticism" do so in an uninformed way.
It is not about whether I am right or wrong, I have learned from
people less technically educated on the subject and I admit it up
front. But, instead it is about whether somebody has simply really
taken the time to stop and think about it critically rather than
just trying to make the "Gnostics" fit thier own preconcieved idea.
>>>>Somewhere else in this website, someone made the comment thatpersonal experience is also necessary - not just special knoweldge
I have made that point myself. HOWEVER, I have also found myself
having to make the point that it is NOT JUST personal experience
either. BOTH must be there. Failure on EITHER side is failure to
gain Gnosis (at least according to the historical meaning we see in
the texts). There had been a common attempt today to equate "Gnosis"
with personal experience, and that simply is not what the word meant
in the Gnostic texts.
>>>That is the point I am trying to make (although not clearly, asyou point out). The only thing about which we can be sure is our own
personal experience. We can then interpret the books in that
So you don't believe in the notion of the "Logos"? Does that mean
you don't think the Sophia ever "fell"?
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