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6964Re: Answer to Plotinus?

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  • Will Brown <wilbro99@yahoo.com>
    Jan 8 2:17 PM
      Tony 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 gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "troberti <AJRoberti@a...>"
      <AJRoberti@a...> wrote:
      > 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 day¬ócomplete 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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