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12543Re: Old vs new

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  • pmcvflag
    Jul 11, 2006

      >>>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 (and
      misunderstanding, 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 expand
      upon 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 for
      general (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 present

      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 Greek
      philosophy 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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