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13842Re: Gnosticism Does Not Posess Passwords To Heaven

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  • kurt31416
    Apr 14, 2010
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      Hi Chester,

      Do you consider the Gospel of Thomas gnostic/Gnostic? If so, do any of
      those more interesting ancient writings give full equality to women? Are
      they fully compatible with modern science with no explicit superstition
      whatsoever from the viewpoint of science? If so, I'd like a reading list
      if it's not too much trouble.

      To be fair, these neo-Gnostics with their evil Hebrew God/demiurge and
      so on at least have more class than devil worshippers or whatever. Got
      all these 1700 year old gospels and such. And they haven't ruled the
      roost for 2000 years and don't dominate Biblical "Scholarship" like
      Christian ideas and history/propaganda do.

      Rick Van Vliet

      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Chester" <chesterelders28@...>
      > Orthodoxy assumes the great gnostic texts were written during the
      halcyon years of the church. According to the official line, they were
      composed as a direct challenge to the authority of the nascent Christian
      faith. We know, now that orthodoxy is an anachronism; at most, there was
      only a proto-orthodoxy in the early to middle second century. Elaine
      Pagels has persuasively argued that orthodoxy was primarily a political
      attempt at control over the various recalcitrant churches. So; the
      question arises: Why do we search the gnostic scriptures, now? At most,
      they have an historical and antiquarian value. Why do we presume, though
      that these ancient writings conceal hidden wisdom? I dearsay that few,
      if any new-age gnostics know of, or care about the Enneads by Plotinus.
      Yet, straightforward philosophical works contain more truth than obtuse
      speculations embellished with religious trappings.
      > Of course; The Hypostasis of the archons contains legitimate attempts
      at understanding intractable questions, perhaps even the most
      intractable question, of all: What is our role in the cosmos? I don't
      object to appreciating what, say the Gospel of Judas alleges about the
      nature of God. What I do object to is mining the gnostic texts for
      passwords to heaven. The cosmologies and cosmogonies of the gnostics are
      long exploded. I'm incredulous at those who actually believe they can
      descern the geography of heaven from 2000 years old writings; and yet,
      would scoff at anyone who claims Jesus is the son of God by appealing to
      Holy Scripture.
      > What I'm inveighing against is the shallow supposition that history
      colluded with Christian orthodoxy to conceal truth which can now be had
      by tabloid-crazed new-age zealots. I put them on the same intellectual
      level as those sad street people who wear tinfoil hats to protect
      themselves from alien rays. Of course, if burning incense and chanting
      passages from a Mandean text gives you the illusion of being closer to
      the divine, then have at it. After all, that is your constitutional
      right. But, if you want to be a serious student of gnosticism, then
      reconcile yourself to this truth: God is not to be found in some
      yellowing palimpsest. The divine can only be gleaned in our efforts to
      discern the law behind the law.
      > Chester
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