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12860Re: [Gnosticism2] Re: A Question for the gruop...

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  • Michael Leavitt
    Nov 10, 2006
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      pmcvflag wrote:
      > Hey Darkchylde
      >
      >
      >>>> I think the definition of gnosis and gnostic have been expessed
      >>>>
      > adequately enough to show that many have differing branches of the
      > same tree.<<<
      >
      > Yes, I think most of us would agree that "Gnosticism" is a branch on
      > the tree of "Esotericism", and as such has things in common with other
      > forms of mystical or esoteric thought. Also, as a branch on the trees
      > of "Hellenism" and "Middle Platonism" we see similarities with other
      > groups in those categories as well.
      >
      >
      >>>> But my question is this. What exactly is it we are to 'know?'<<<
      >>>>
      >
      > Of course that question would depend on who's notion of "gnosis". For
      > instance, many New Age groups seem to connect the term "gnosis" to
      > attaining some kind of psychic powers... so what it is they are
      > to "know" is how to attain those powers.
      >
      > In my perspective, when we bring that focus down to the historical
      > Gnostics the subject gains a more specific meaning. According to
      > Gnostic texts Gnosis is a multifold and comprehensive understanding
      > that includes very specific cosmological knowledge, personal
      > knowledge, and hermeneutic understanding. More specifically, what we
      > must know is who we are within a wider spiritual cosmology, and how we
      > as individuals relate to that cosmology (where we are from, and where
      > we can return).
      >
      >
      >>>> Is it the dusty ramblings in the many and sometimes contridictory
      >>>>
      > texts? Is it mythologies and analogies? Or is there something more?
      > Why would there be all this learning if we are still trapped in our
      > perspectives and do not realize the greater reality that exists beyond
      > what we see, hear, taste, smell and feel?<<<
      >
      > In traditional "dusty" Gnostic thinking, it is the act of
      > understanding itself that frees one from the confines of pure material
      > reactonary perspective. This is very much like the destinction between
      > a priori knowing vs a posteriori knowing in that it is a knowing that
      > goes beyond direct perception. The understaning in question must
      > contain both the experience based form of knowledge AND the
      > intellectual breakthrough in order to truly BE this
      > salvational "Gnosis".
      >
      > I can put that more simply. Imagine you and I were part of a
      > traditional Gnostic sect, and you were my teacher. Now since I am a
      > person who is not familiar with the "mystery" you are going to teach
      > me, you would have to start by helping me understand HOW to
      > contextualize things correctly for the system. You might give me some
      > ritual activities, or meditations, meant to widen my awareness and
      > evoke spiritual experiences. At the same time you would likely work on
      > my ability to conceptualize things I had not previously understood.
      > Eventually I will have to come to understand a cosmology that includes
      > several very complicated notions of infinity, and what they have to do
      > with me. I will have to gain that understanding by connecting the two
      > methods you are using to teach me.
      >
      > As Plato said...
      >
      > "This knowledge is not something that can be learned only through
      > words like other sciences; but rather after long-continued intercourse
      > between teacher and pupil, in joint pursuit of the subject, suddenly,
      > like light flashing forth when a fire is kindled, it is born in the
      > soul and straightway nourishes itself."
      >
      >
      >>>> What marks a moment of 'gnosis', is it to allow our perspectives
      >>>>
      > (or mind) to transend reality as we know it? Is this the 'goal'
      > or 'holy grail' that we are to seek?<<<
      >
      > Although Gnosis has moments of breakthrough presenting it (the light
      > flashing forth), epiphanies, we should be careful not to confuse it
      > with the moment of mystical experience. Gnosis, in the traditional
      > meaning, isn't an event or a moment, it is the attainment of a process
      > that gives an entire perspective.
      >
      > In other words, once you have taught me what I am supposed to know
      > then if I have not had spiritual experience I don't have "Gnosis". At
      > the same time, if I don't have understanding of the meaning of those
      > dusty texts I ALSO don't have Gnosis. One is just a happening, while
      > the other is just a context. A true full comprehension (gnosis) must
      > have both the event and the context.
      >
      > Knowing how to build the bike is not Gnosis. Having the ability to
      > ride the bike is not Gnosis either. Gnosis is a complete understanding
      > of the bike... how to make it, how to ride it, and finally where that
      > bike will take you.
      >
      > Anyone here disagree or have thoughts?
      >
      > PMCV
      >
      >
      Neither, but what role does meditation have in all this?
      >
      >
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