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6474updated Hoeller list of gnostic criteria [was Re: Hi Flag]

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  • wilbro99
    Aug 13, 2002
      Well, John, that cuts off me water. I can not even claim to be a small
      g. Back to the drawing board.

      --- In gnosticism2@y..., "eris never died." <jkr@n...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > On Tue, 13 Aug 2002, wilbro99 wrote:
      >
      > > Hi Klaus, thanks for the reply. If I may enquire, which of the 12
      do
      > > you personally subscribe to?
      >
      > just wanted to jump in here to say that Hoeller has an updated list
      of
      > criteria towards a definition of what is "gnostic" from his new book
      > "Gnosticism: New Light on the Ancient Tradition of Inner Knowing"
      (the
      > older list, to which a link was given in an earlier post was
      actually
      > taken from a certain Professor Clark Emory, and not from Hoeller
      himself).
      >
      > Hoeller precedes his list with a discussion of how difficult it is
      to
      > define what gnosticism is, and how this list shouldn't be taken as
      an
      > authoritative dogma, but offers this as a pretty universal set of
      > criteria:
      >
      > 1. There is an original and trancendental spiritual unity from which
      > emanated a vast manifestation of pluralities.
      >
      > 2. The manifest universe of matter and mind was created not by the
      > original spiritual unity but by spiritual beings possessing inferior
      > powers.
      >
      > 3. One of the objectives of these creators is the perpetual
      separation of
      > humans from the unity (God).
      >
      > 4. The human being is a composite: the outer aspect is the handiwork
      of
      > the inferior creators, while the inner aspect is a fallen spark of
      the
      > ultimate divine unity.
      >
      > 5. The sparks of transcendental holiness slumber in their material
      and
      > mental prison, their self-awareness stupified by the forces of
      materiality
      > and mind.
      >
      > 6. The slumbering sparks have not been abandoned by the ultimate
      > unity; rather, a constant effort directed toward their awakening and
      > liberation comes forth from this unity.
      >
      > 7. The awakening of the inmost divine essence in humans comes
      through
      > salvific knowledge, called "gnosis".
      >
      > 8. Gnosis is not brought about by belief or by the performance of
      virtuous
      > deeds or by obedience to commandments; these at best serve to
      prepare one
      > for liberating knowledge.
      >
      > 9. Among those aiding the slumbering sparks, a particular position
      of
      > honor and importance belongs to a feminine emanation of the unity,
      Sophia
      > (Wisdom). She was involved in the creation of the world and ever
      since has
      > remained the guide of her orphaned human children.
      >
      > 10. From the earliest times of history, messengers of Light have
      been sent
      > forth from the ultimate reality for the purpose of advancing gnosis
      in the
      > souls of humans.
      >
      > 11. The greatest of these messengers in our historical and
      geographical
      > matrix was the descended Logos of God manifest in Jesus Christ.
      >
      > 12. Jesus exercised a twofold ministry; he was a teacher, imparting
      > instruction concerning the way of gnosis; and he was a hierophant,
      > imparting mysteries.
      >
      > 13. The mysteries imparted by Jesus (which are also known as
      > sacraments) are mighty aids toward gnosis and have been entrusted by
      him
      > to his apostles and their successors.
      >
      > 14. Through the spiritual practice of the mysteries (sacraments) and
      a
      > relentless and uncompromising striving for gnosis, humans can
      steadily
      > advance toward liberation from all confinement, material and
      > otherwise. The ultimate objective of this process of liberation is
      the
      > achievement of salvific knowledge and with it, freedom from embodied
      > existence and return to the ultimate unity.
      >
      > (Hoeller 187-189).
      >
      > and a short explanation of these:
      >
      > "Certainly, the fourteen points offered here have all been part of
      the
      > Gnostic tradition and have been espoused by Gnostics at one time or
      > another. At least the first ten of the fourteen points may be
      considered
      > wholly authoritative, even in a non-Christian Gnostic sense, and
      thus the
      > absence of any of them from a person's worldview might disqualify
      him or
      > her as a Gnostic. Gnostics, when they stand up to identify
      themselves,
      > would have to agree to the majority of these tenets, but whether the
      > interpretation of them would be literal, psychological,
      philosophical, or
      > other must be left to the individual" (Hoeller 189-90).
      >
      > in this list, points 1 through 10 are considered the general gnostic
      > points, while 11 through 14 are the additions for more Christian
      varieties
      > of gnosticism. one of the reasons i like Holler is the last sentence
      > quoted, where he says that people can interpret these points in
      different
      > ways, that there is no "one true way" to interpret the teachings and
      myth
      > of the ancient gnostic groups. i'm sure some will disagree.
      >
      > john.
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