12784Re: Follow-up to an Earlier Post: Why I'm a Gnostic
- Oct 5, 2006Good timeline! I hope we can all survive the upcoming growing pains
with grace and goodness!
Love and hope for whirled peas
--- In email@example.com, flowjack11 <no_reply@...> wrote:
> Hello, DarkChild,
> Hoeller's chapel is in Los Angeles. And yes, he rebuilt it.
> Best Wishes,
> I was thinking today during an English lit class that the condition
> of literature departments in America closely mirrors the condition
> of the Christian church before Iranaeus' campaign to unify beliefs
> and excise heresy. There is, however, a subtle difference: the
> of those who wanted to unify came into power in Christianity, that
> is, choice and personal revelation were shunned -- but in the
> English department the opposite has happened -- the English
> department, in a sense, allowed the gnostic groups, ie, post-
> structuralists, that is, those who oppose uniformity and welcome
> opening up interpretation rather than closing it down (Catholicism
> and New Criticism), to take power. Thus the explosion of "theory
> before text" in modern literature departments.
> I wonder if we will see the same in Christianity in the coming
> ages. Perhaps the gnostics -- and by these I simply mean those who
> seek personal revelation and knowledge of God -- will grow
> increasingly powerful. For a while we should expect to see a great
> variety of disparite and perhaps idiotic beliefs, much like we see
> in current English departments. But eventually I believe a natural
> unity and harmony will take hold. This could be 5,000 years from
> now, though. The timeline would look something like this (grossly
> 33 AD -- Christ's death
> 70-150 AD -- Early Christian church, lacking unity, some groups
> studying different gospels than others.
> 200-600 AD -- persecution of the Christians and a gradual
> progression towards a faith-based system as defined by the Nicine
> 700-1600 -- Dark Ages. The church rules, no separation between
> church and state.
> 1600-1850 -- Enlightenment period. More thinkers start doubting
> simplicity and repressive nature of the orthodox church.
> 1945-ish -- Discovery of Nag Hammadi texts.
> 1950-Present -- Explosion of scholarly research on Gnostic texts --
> particularly the Gospel of Thomas -- reveals a set of beliefs that
> makes Iraeneus' "Against Heresies" seem unfair and even dishonest.
> 2010-3000 -- Growing gnostic church movement. Leads to a great
> variety of disparite beliefs and an non-unity. Many people believe
> they have reached "gnosis" and teach utterly non-sensical and
> idiotic things.
> 3000-6000 -- The Gnostic church progresses from non-unity to an
> admirable and somehow self-unifying, meditative practice -- very
> different from what we know today.
> 6000-10000 -- Birth of the children of humanity. We become Christs.
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "imdarkchylde"
> <imdarkchylde@> wrote:
> > Blessings and wingwhispers, Pi!!
> > Just thought I'd mention that two of the 'modern' gnostic groups
> > mentioned hold services, and of course if you live in France you
> > visit the Cathars site and find many abiguious chapels that are
> > actually of a Catharian origin. If you live in San Fransisco you
> > visit Holloer's Chapel (or has he rebuilt since the fire?) and
> > would be some examples of communities of 'modern' gnostics, but
> > likeness to the ancients would have to be for you to determine.
> > I tend to think of the Internet as an Indra's Web of minds, since
> > aren't in physical contact it is like a meeting of the minds.
> > that is just me. It seems that few want to call an online group
> > community, but I have found groups who consider themselves just
> > and the 6th definition of webster for 'community' says 'ownership
> > participation in common," and the 7th definition
> says "simsilarity,
> > likeness, us, a community of spirit." So under those
> > an 'online community' could exist, argueably.
> > But this is my opinion, just that.
> > May the Light of the One shine on your path!!
> > Love and inner peas,
> > DarkChylde
> > --- In email@example.com, "i_eat_pi_at_314"
> > <i_eat_pi_at_314@> wrote:
> > >
> > >
> > > In a recent post I talked about the difficulties of modern
> > > gnostics identifying with historical gnosticism. I drew a
> > > with those Jews who were expelled from the Iberian peninsula
> > > the 15th century. Upon trying to subsequently reintergrate with
> > > mainstream Judaism, they faced the challenges of entering a
> > religion
> > > at once familiar and foreign. I face a similiar debacle with
> > > gnosticism. I suggested using the experiences of those
> > > "Christianized" Jews to inform us as to how we ought to
> > the
> > > ancient gnostics. The implicit assumption, of course is that
> > > all basically "wayward" gnostics in need of instruction.
> > > I need to make myself clear, though. I'm not drawing a one-
> > > one comparison between the plethoria of ancient gnostic beliefs
> > > Judaism. Given the varieties of their teachings, a "wayward
> > gnostic"
> > > is almost a contradiction in terms. While different gnostic
> > teachers
> > > did sometimes promugate incompatable beliefs with acrimony,
> > > gnosticism itself is inherently diffuse and user-friendly.
> > > havn't yet defined a general rubic by which gnosticism can be
> > > defined. To be a little facetious, we might all be gnostics
> > > even knowing it. So, am I creating a problem where there isn't
> > > This is why I compared "returning" to gnosticism with the
> > > experiences of those estranged Jews returning to Judaism. It's
> > > because there's more to being a gnostic than what one believes;
> > it's
> > > also belonging to a community, as well. The Mandaeans, a
> > sect
> > > more-or-less surviving in present day Iraq are defined as much
> > > their community mores and rituals as by their theology. In
> > > they're so scrupulous about following those rituals that even
> > > accidental infraction is severly punished. Talismans are
> > > used to ward off bad luck. The tarmida, or priests are
> > > consulted for propitious dates to hold festivals. To abandon
> > > Mandaean community and forsake the rituals is to stop being one
> > > them. This is my claim: if the Mandaeans are gnostics, and if
> > there's
> > > more to being a Mandaean than merely believing their theology,
> > > there might just more to being a gnostic than subscribing to
> > certain
> > > religious tenets.
> > > Are the Mandaeans typical gnostics? A better question is
> > whether
> > > there's such a thing as a typical gnostic, at all. Who the hell
> > > knows. I'm simply making the modest point that gnosticism, like
> > > other human activity springs from a community and not from
> > > individuals. I want to go further, though and say
> that "community"
> > is
> > > more than just conversation and text-messaging. It's
> > > social interaction. Therefore, no internet group can claim to
> > > community. At best, it's an adjunct to a community. We're
> > > ourselves if we say the various members of our group are in
> > > community of gnostics.
> > > In a nutshell, I'm a gnostic because I yearn for a
> > of
> > > like-minded believers. The dilemma, though is that no such
> > community
> > > really exists, anymore. Human relationships have to develope
> > > organically and cannot be manufactured ad hoc. Our society is
> > too
> > > fluid to allow anything that stable. Communities like, say the
> > Amish
> > > are anachanistic and cannot survive without being subsidized by
> > > larger society. I have no desire to see a band of gnostics
> > > such a museum piece. I'm a stranger in a strange land. Like
> > > "Christianized" Jews kicked out of Spain, I feel cut off from
> > > community. Again, like them I want to become what I truly was
> > > to be. Unlike them, however, my community exists only in the
> > > This means the past has to come alive in order for me to
> > in
> > > that community which no longer exists. I can't share in the
> > > of those long dead gnostics; I can't celebrate or mourn with
> > > What I can do, though is long to be with them. The angst of
> > > isolated is itself a kind of purification rite. I can infuse
> > > words with my meanings. In reading about the Jews who were
> > to
> > > renounce their religion and who subsequently sought out that
> > > religion, I've taken away one very clear message. While I might
> > > always be regarded as an outsider by my community, that's
> > than
> > > being accepted where I don't belong. I often doubt the ancient
> > > gnostics would recognize me as their brother. That's ok: I
> > recognize
> > > them and that's enough.
> > >
> > > pi
> > >
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