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5568Re: Mark Twain

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  • hey_market
    Feb 5, 2002
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      I vote atheist. <br><br>I think Twain was a
      creative curmugeon who used reverse exegesis (which
      inevtably leads to Gnostic-style speculations) as a means
      of debunking man-made religious myths invented for
      the sake of man-made manipulations of
      mankind.<br><br>Of course, it's not like I have proof. However, as
      any theologian worth his salt knows, Gnosticism
      ultimately is an extemely positive religion--it just tends
      to see a whole lot of darkness before you get to the
      light.<br><br>Twain, on the other hand, was ultimately a pessimist--at
      least ultimately in the sense of the end of his life.
      By all counts, he was positiviely negative--a
      severely anticosmic misanthrope.<br><br>Such were his
      intentions and his words. However, his words, as put into
      the action of literature, betray a spark. <br><br>So,
      what was he? <br><br>To him, he seemed to look at the
      world and see nothing more than stuff. Silly, foolish
      stuff. As such, he was a mere player on the world stage
      romping and stomping about and saying much but signifying
      nothing. <br><br>But to a Gnostic, he was something more,
      save the realization that he was something more. And
      this realization, gnosis itself, is critical.
      <br><br>Therefore, from a Gnostic perspective, or perhaps more aptly
      a Manichean perspective, he appears to be a Gnostic
      light who shaded himself from gnosis.<br><br>I say
      Manichean perspective, because the Manicheans, far from
      popular depiction, were perhaps the most positive of all
      Gnostics... ultimately. That is, they saw light in
      EVERYTHING, even if those same things do not see the light
      within themselves.<br><br>They even saw light in animals
      and vegetation, even rocks, which is why they were so
      careful with how they behaved towards the world. so, for
      example, they were careful to eat fruit only after it had
      fallen from the ground, since it might harm it to be
      violently plucked from the stem.<br><br>Extreme? Certainly
      from most perspectives. But nonetheless, extremely
      positive to be sure. And constructive as well, since it is
      the task of manicheans to collect this light.
      <br><br>Manichean mythology speaks to this, so that, for example,
      even the moon collects light. That is, on the 14 or 15
      days that is waxes, it is said to be gathering up
      light from the world, and then on the 14 or 15 days
      that it wanes, it is said to be depositing this light
      to the sun, which in turns spreads further
      light.<br><br>So in the end, quite theopposite of Mr. Twain's
      perspective, everything will lighten up. But atht was just his
      perspecvtive,a nd we all know that perspective can be at
      variance with reality. <br><br>So maybe ole Sam Clemmons
      just didn't get there yet, or else, he didn't share
      his real assessment. In any case, according to most
      perspectives, he served to spread the light of enlightenment
      and consciousness, which does always reflect or
      expose darkness, doesn't it? <br><br>After all, we
      wouldn't know darkness except for light, and mark Twain
      used one to show the other. Rather Gnostic I'd say. Or
      gnostic. But wait, I said he wasn't a Gnostic, didn't I?
      <br><br>I guess that's always a loaded question, at least
      for Gnostics, who always have loaded answers (loaded
      with more questions). <br><br>So, I guess that my own
      'ultimate' take on Twain is that he was an atheist who was
      gnostic but not a Gnostic.