6964Re: Answer to Plotinus?
- Jan 8 2:17 PMTony with a touch of pluralism. I agree. It is my contention that
there is, in fact, one "basic mystical experience" that leads to the
different attempts to corral it within the confine of words. I would
define it an awakening up from a false sense of self, or, a "fog of
error," if you will (did some homework I did); and yes, I agree, it is
a process. My words would corral it by stating that the false sense of
self is a doing and that its demise comes about through a not doing,
which is, in effect, a passive stance towards the act that it is. It
is here that words arise such as repose, stillness, passive awareness,
or, as the Tao would put it: "Do that which consists in taking no
action and order will prevail." (Book I, Verse 10, tr. Lau)
Having said that, and assuming you agree with what I have said, it
would seem to me that we still have the task of uncovering whether or
not we are talking about the same thing. That task would, I assume,
need to be reduced to a long process of process talk. ---- willy-willy
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "troberti <AJRoberti@a...>"
> Hello Willy,
> << If my understanding of Plotinus is correct, and he sees evil as
> ignorance of the good, then that in itself would put him at odds with
> the Gnostics. If my understanding of the Gnostics is correct, they
> ascribe the material world as being evil and gnosis as its
> transcending. I see the difference between the two in light of my
> understanding of gnosis, namely, that ignorance is the problem and
> the removal of ignorance leaves only understanding. In this light the
> problem is not between two worlds, but within one's relation to
> oneself. >>
> This is how I read the Gnostic teaching too -- that it was primarily
> metaphorical and not literal. However there were schools of thought
> that appeared to take the teaching literally. I think this second
> group was whom Plotinus was targeting; those who considered Gnostic
> teaching more about removing ignorance (as is most clearly stated for
> example in the Gospel of Truth) would not have fundamental
> disagreements with Plotinus' arguments, or his overall position.
> << If the Gnostic scheme is a metaphor for that problem, cast in the
> language of the daycomplete with Gods and such, that is one thing,
> but if the Gnostic scheme is taken as representing the facts, then I
> am with Plotinus here. >>
> Me too. And, I think Plotinus was trying to correct and not destroy
> (unlike the Christian heresiologists).
> << Tony, not that I know any better, but it seems to me that the
> quote (see below) by Chaung Tzu at the end of your post puts the
> whammy on any underlying purpose of Gnostic teaching. How can the
> Gnostic path be seen as no path when the Gnostic path claims to be a
> unique path? I think I remember the Flag making the claim that there
> was more to Gnosticism than just gnosis. >>
> There have been debates concerning various specific systems, over
> whether or not they can be described as Gnostic. But little of the
> discussion has touched on what I think is more important -- whether
> or not Gnosticism "gels" on a mystical level with esoteric teachings
> that do not meet all of the qualifications of being "Gnostic."
> Personally I think there are strong parallels, on the
> mystical/experiential level, between Taoism and Gnosticism. Taoism
> is not Gnostic, but I think they are rooted in the same basic
> mystical experience.
> Consider the quote:
> "To exercise no-thought and rest in nothing is the first step toward
> resting in Tao."
> And then compare it to the various passages in the Gnostic texts
> regarding the value of "repose" (meaning stillness). For example,
> the Gnostics taught that the Father, the Root of All, resided
> in "repose." This can very easily be read as promoting stillness
> meditation, especially in light of the famous Jewish mystical addage
> to "be still and know that I am God."
> Tony Roberti
> Renewal Gnosticism: http://members.aol.com/AJRoberti/rg/index.htm
> Gulf Coast Gnostics: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GCGnostics/
> Truth is too much inclined to exaggerate its own importance, and one
> must guard oneself against its despotic authority.
> --Lev Shestov
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