13043Re: [Gnosticism2] Re: Mysticism a Regressional Experience?
- Apr 5, 2007Thomas Wycihowski wrote:
> Ok. My take is that the authors intent was important, but that itI think this is a vary balanced view of things.
> 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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