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12784Re: Follow-up to an Earlier Post: Why I'm a Gnostic

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  • imdarkchylde
    Oct 5, 2006
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      Good timeline! I hope we can all survive the upcoming growing pains
      with grace and goodness!
      Be Blessed!!
      Love and hope for whirled peas
      DarkChylde



      Gnothi Seauton

      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, flowjack11 <no_reply@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hello, DarkChild,
      >
      > Hoeller's chapel is in Los Angeles. And yes, he rebuilt it.
      >
      > http://gnosis.org/gnostsoc/gnostsoc.htm
      >
      > Best Wishes,
      >
      > Chuck
      >
      > PS:
      >
      > 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
      will
      > 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
      > oversimplified):
      >
      > 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
      > Creed.
      > 700-1600 -- Dark Ages. The church rules, no separation between
      > church and state.
      > 1600-1850 -- Enlightenment period. More thinkers start doubting
      the
      > 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 gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "imdarkchylde"
      > <imdarkchylde@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Blessings and wingwhispers, Pi!!
      > > Just thought I'd mention that two of the 'modern' gnostic groups
      I
      > > mentioned hold services, and of course if you live in France you
      > can
      > > visit the Cathars site and find many abiguious chapels that are
      > > actually of a Catharian origin. If you live in San Fransisco you
      > can
      > > visit Holloer's Chapel (or has he rebuilt since the fire?) and
      > these
      > > would be some examples of communities of 'modern' gnostics, but
      > their
      > > 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
      > we
      > > aren't in physical contact it is like a meeting of the minds.
      But
      > > that is just me. It seems that few want to call an online group
      a
      > > community, but I have found groups who consider themselves just
      > that,
      > > and the 6th definition of webster for 'community' says 'ownership
      > or
      > > participation in common," and the 7th definition
      > says "simsilarity,
      > > likeness, us, a community of spirit." So under those
      deifinitions
      > > 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 gnosticism2@yahoogroups.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
      > parallel
      > > > with those Jews who were expelled from the Iberian peninsula
      > during
      > > > 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
      approach
      > > the
      > > > ancient gnostics. The implicit assumption, of course is that
      > we're
      > > > all basically "wayward" gnostics in need of instruction.
      > > > I need to make myself clear, though. I'm not drawing a one-
      > to-
      > > > one comparison between the plethoria of ancient gnostic beliefs
      > and
      > > > 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.
      > Scholars
      > > > havn't yet defined a general rubic by which gnosticism can be
      > > > defined. To be a little facetious, we might all be gnostics
      > without
      > > > even knowing it. So, am I creating a problem where there isn't
      > one?
      > > > 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
      gnostic
      > > sect
      > > > more-or-less surviving in present day Iraq are defined as much
      > by
      > > > their community mores and rituals as by their theology. In
      fact,
      > > > they're so scrupulous about following those rituals that even
      an
      > > > accidental infraction is severly punished. Talismans are
      > constantly
      > > > used to ward off bad luck. The tarmida, or priests are
      routinely
      > > > consulted for propitious dates to hold festivals. To abandon
      the
      > > > Mandaean community and forsake the rituals is to stop being one
      > of
      > > > them. This is my claim: if the Mandaeans are gnostics, and if
      > > there's
      > > > more to being a Mandaean than merely believing their theology,
      > then
      > > > 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
      > any
      > > > other human activity springs from a community and not from
      > isolated
      > > > individuals. I want to go further, though and say
      > that "community"
      > > is
      > > > more than just conversation and text-messaging. It's
      > multifarious
      > > > social interaction. Therefore, no internet group can claim to
      be
      > a
      > > > community. At best, it's an adjunct to a community. We're
      > deceiving
      > > > ourselves if we say the various members of our group are in
      fact
      > a
      > > > community of gnostics.
      > > > In a nutshell, I'm a gnostic because I yearn for a
      > community
      > > 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
      > far
      > > too
      > > > fluid to allow anything that stable. Communities like, say the
      > > Amish
      > > > are anachanistic and cannot survive without being subsidized by
      > the
      > > > larger society. I have no desire to see a band of gnostics
      > become
      > > > such a museum piece. I'm a stranger in a strange land. Like
      > those
      > > > "Christianized" Jews kicked out of Spain, I feel cut off from
      my
      > > > community. Again, like them I want to become what I truly was
      > meant
      > > > to be. Unlike them, however, my community exists only in the
      > past.
      > > > This means the past has to come alive in order for me to
      > live
      > > in
      > > > that community which no longer exists. I can't share in the
      > rituals
      > > > of those long dead gnostics; I can't celebrate or mourn with
      > them.
      > > > What I can do, though is long to be with them. The angst of
      > being
      > > > isolated is itself a kind of purification rite. I can infuse
      > their
      > > > words with my meanings. In reading about the Jews who were
      > forced
      > > 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
      better
      > > 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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