12543Re: Old vs new
- Jul 11, 2006Michael
>>>Maybe I don't belong in any camp.<<<And maybe "camp" isn't the best word anyway. I used it because it is
how Ken described himself, but in fact I am a firm believer in
exploring all of our subtle differences rather than glossing past
them with pretense of alignments. However, at the same time dealing
with a question like this is bound to create some simple groupings
(though we should not hold them overly tightly).
>>>All I want to do is remedy my woeful ignorance (andmisunderstanding, no doubt) of Gnosticism. Learning is the goal.<<<
No one could deny that it is an honerable goal, and in fact I am
glad you brought it up because I do like to point out to the many
new people here who joined recently that this is not a club OF
Gnostics (and many people here do not consider themselves to be
Gnostic) but a club about historical Gnosticism and the way many
people today understand them.
>>>I do not want to practice it, or _any_ spiritual system.Applying certain principles of Greek philosophy to my life is quite
sufficiently satisfying, thank you. Not to mention challenging.<<<
You confused me a little there, Greek philosophies are almost all
spiritual systems. Do you mean to say you feel it is best to remove
the spiritual elements from those philosophies even though you
attempt to otherwise practice them?
Anyway, this particular Greek philosophy that this group deals with
is no doubt related to some of the other philosophies you mention....
>>>There are Neo-Stoics and Neo-Epicureans that attempt to expandupon and apply their respective doctrines as best as possible,
considering modern conditions. They attempt to follow in the
footsteps of the ancients with the necessary modifications to fit
into the present. In fact, Stocism underwent many modifications over
the course of centuries.<<<
Indeed, we have previously talked about terms like "neo-Gnostics"
and "semi-Gnostics" and "pseudo- Gnostics" For some unexplainable
reason there are some people who find the term "neo-Gnostic"
insulting, but we need not concern ourselves with that. I take it as
a given that a modern person who thinks of themselves as a "Gnostic"
is a neo-Gnostic, categorically (etically) speaking, no matter what
their emic definition.
>>>All I ask is a no more than provided by scholars writing forgeneral (although educated and interested) audiences - a lengthy
discussion of the background of the material (social, cultural,
philosphical, etc.) and explanations of the always-necessary
technical and untranslatable terms.<<<
And, of course, making this available to the layperson is exactly
what this club is here to do. However, I have recently been
interested in exactly what people do with the history... how they
write it off, or accept it, or if they are using it for intellectual
curiousity vs how they may use it to recreate something from the
past. Even those like myself who place a great deal of effort into
history as an objective study (something not all historians have
equally attempted) have to admit that history is not a pure
science.... so I do think the human element as it relates to people
today need not be completely removed (otherwise this would be
STRICTLY a history group rather than LARGELY a history group).
>>>But is there any reason for Gnosticism to be adapted to presenttimes?<<<
Well, that is part of my own question as well. Let me also ask
you... is there any need for Stoicism to be adapted to present times?
When does it stop being Stoicism and become something else? Or, more
importantly, what is it about Stoicism that attracts modern minds to
it? Do we take it fully as it was understood by its ancient
practitioners? Or, are there things about Stoicism that can be
adapted to modern thinking while still keeping it's essential
attributes by which it is defined?
The questions are exactly what I am trying to explore on the front
of traditional Gnosticism.
>>It's challenging enough to attempt to make an ancient Greekphilosophy part of one's life. Wouldn't that be even more so with
I think that is true, and a very good observation. However, in the
case of Gnosticism I think it was very difficult to make a part of
one's life even in it's original era.... or I think more accurately,
as an esoteric system it demanded that one make their life a part of
it, rather than the inverse.
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