12860Re: [Gnosticism2] Re: A Question for the gruop...
- Nov 10, 2006pmcvflag wrote:
> Hey DarkchyldeNeither, but what role does meditation have in all this?
>>>> 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?
- << Previous post in topic Next post in topic >>