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13039Re: Mysticism a Regressional Experience?

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  • Thomas Wycihowski
    Apr 4, 2007
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      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hey Thomas
      >
      > In response to Cari's question you state...
      >
      > >>> First, I am attracted to it because i beleive that Adam and Eve
      > were the first modern humans on earth. Of course there were other
      > creautres, hominids, predecessors to Adam and Eve, but I no more
      > consider them to be human then a chimpanzee is the same as a lemur.
      > I beleive the Ethian lineage is the possessors and guardians of
      > the varied esoteric doctrines that were promulgated over the Earth.
      > Each opf these fragments of the primal knowledge was passed down
      from
      > father to son, begining with Adam to Seth, and eventually
      culminating
      > in Jesus of Nazareth.<<<
      >
      > I find it difficult to reconcile the two versions of the creation
      > mythology that you seem to present, but then again perhaps that
      does
      > not matter. I would like to ask you a question, though. Do you feel
      > that the historical Sethians intended their myths to be taken
      > literally? Or, do you feel the expression of the text is intended
      to
      > be allegorical?
      >
      > I know it is this kind of question relating to readings of the
      > historical text that causes Imdarkchylde to say we "miss the
      point",
      > but in spite of her judgemental presumption of our spiritual
      failure
      > I feel that attempting to understand the intent of the original
      > authors of the texts can be valuable.
      >
      > PMCV
      >
      Ok. My take is that the authors intent was important, but that it
      is a more nuanced subject then an either or decision.
      First, the authors were at the very least aware and conversant
      with the story of creation. However, they felt that it needed to b e
      amended, or supplemented by additi9onal information and insights
      provided by other thought and philisophical systems.
      My guess would be that they were describing in mythological terms
      the spiritual/mystical experiences they had when in contemplation, as
      you can see was promoted by NeoPlatonic sages and theurgists. Plus,
      you can't remove the social milieu that most of these texts were
      found in Egypt.
      So who were these written for? Well, first they'd need to be able
      to read. Literacy was not as widespread as it is to day. Second, it
      would be of interest to people who were spiritual seekers. Third, it
      probably would appeal to people who understood, roughly at least, the
      Biblical creation story, as there does not seem, in the text, to be a
      lot of explanation. My assumption is the authors knew that it was
      well known enough not to have to give a lot of background information
      on the Creation story.
      So..we have 1)literate 2) people who are spiritual seekers and are
      3) familiar with the Biblical story of creation. My guess, especially
      with the Sethian material, is that were dealing with Hellenized Jews
      who were familiar with the book of Bereshith, but were heavily
      influenced by both NeoPlatonic philosophy and to some degree Stoic
      ideas. They used these ideas to question and "correct" what they saw
      was wrong with the story of creation, from their perspective.
      So the answer to your question is both. I am sure they visualized
      the structures and cosmologies they conceived as literal, in a sense.
      But just as in the orthodox version of Creation, with the wordplays
      on the name Adfam and others, it was meant to be taken figurative too.
      Just like the Apostle Paul who said he spoke differently to the
      spiritual, so too the Gnostic texts probably would mean different
      things, depending where a person stood in their philisophical and
      spiritual development.
      Hence, the variety of texts. The constant textual and theological
      criticism the Masters engaged in led to new systems of thoughts and
      new ideas. It is a mistake to think this all happened in isolation
      from each other and other systems of thought.

      Thus, I have no problem in both beleiving the story of Creation
      and using modern ideas of evolution, e.t.c to criticisize the
      orthodox account and suggest a personal interpertation that includes
      both literalism and allegorical views.
      We need to be constantly aware of the nuanced nature of the
      Gnostic scriptures.
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