6954Re: [Gnosticism2] Re: Answer to Plotinus?
- Jan 8, 2003
> pmcvflag writes:
> > To boil that down, Plotinus and the Gnostics tend to be different
> in > that they chose a different lingo, and that Plotinus hated the
> body > in practice but not in theory, while Gnostics hated the body
> in > theory but not in practice.
> This is only valid for feable Gnosticists like Valentinus, Isidoros,I think I can with a certain confidence state for the record that such
> Simon the Mage, Herakleion, Ptolemaios, BarDaisanes.
> True, strong Gnosticists like Satornil, J. Cassianus, and Severus
> hate world and life in theory && practice.
weak gnosticists (sic!) are quite happy not be counted among such.
That Plotin considers there exists a breach or chasm between a system
wherein material existence is either considered a cause for ignorance, or
caused by ignorance (which is, respectively, addressing either an
individual,specific or a universal,general situation) and a view that all
suffering and "evil" is caused by ignorance of the good (this would make
Plotin an excellent source for apologetic of a basically Augustinian
ethic, an argument for the Privatio Boni doctrine - that evil is the
absence of good and repaired by being _informed_ of the existence and
superiority of the good, whatever its definition or actual relevance in
. The "feeble" Gnosticists, almost contradistinct to the "true,strong"
Gnosticists - would consider matter as _doketia_ or the appearance of
reality, but in truth, nothing in and of itself - They would address
"evil" as a condition caused by the interference of intermediary
authorities who abuse conscious beings and entrap them on account of their
affiliation/dependence on matter. I thought this was what the encratists
were basing their doctrines and practices upon; the orthodox encratists in
the Syrian tradition, for instance, focused on the condition of
"translucency" and non-judgement - which meant that the
adepts/practicioners sought to become as "clarified light",invisible to
the authorities - by way of "fulfilling the commandments", not in order to
be favoured, but in order not to be accounted for by the
Inherent in this is a dual appreciation of the word "acquiantance" -
either a man is acquianted with material and sensual concerns, and a
material and sensual "world" - or else he is, by his renouncement of "the
world and all the matter therein", acquianted with the spiritual and
suprasensual "world" through his uniformity with the nature of that world,
while still being "in" this world. As such, Matter does not matter, only
if the archons which dwell within man (a view shared between a great
variety of Gnoses, whether you consider them "true" or "false") or some
exterior influence, be it embodied or disincarnate - confuses and
confounds man to value either the physical or psychic as being
divine,eternal,ultimate,absolute or of greater necessity than the soul
itself. In that respect, man looses himself temporarily through his
predicament _in_ Matter, just as he stands in danger of eternally loosing
himself _in_ the "Outer darkness", these two are most clearly not
identical, just as Chaos and emptiness are _distinct_ from eachother.
As for Satornil, I am not sure if you are correct, to wit - if we consider
the implications of Yahweh, the creator of the physical realm being an
_angel_ or angelos in his cosmology, even subordinate to the Unknown God
(i.e. employee/servant) - which in Marcion is demoted to ignorant
lawgiver, demagogue _without_ ultimate authority, a view also reflected by
Ptolemaus in his letter to Flora, Satornil appears to be closer to the
Jewish Christian groups, such as the Ebionites and Elchesaities, as well
as Menander. Also in terms of the Supreme Father himself breathing into
Man the "breath" or "spirit" so that he might live, _in this particular
setting_, to wit, the world.
There is the distinction made between man in generic sense, as being
passive containers of the spark (an evaluation close to the one possessed
by Buddhists and Manichaeans, concerning _animals_)- and the disembodied
and completely spiritual saviour. Like Marcion, Satornil is nevertheless
positive in his view that such men, in generic, might be redeemed and
transformed, by the mysteries.
The terminology used by Simon Magus, according to the churchfathers, are
quite negative in terms of the souls experience of incarnate existence, I
see no evidence of an actual practical approach to this negative view of
the world - appart from the assumed practice of Magic.
Magic is defined by a manipulation of forms and the nature of containers
and their relationship to eachother, in order to obtain control or
influence upon powers which allow themselves to be found in such.
Terje Dahl Bergersen
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