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7844Re: Venturing into gnosticism

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  • Steve
    Jun 5, 2003
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      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, m.bockermann@t... wrote:
      > Hello everybody!
      >
      >
      > I joined a couple of days ago and wanted to observe the list for a
      couple of
      > days to get a feel for it. But now it is time to leave the lurking
      mood. I'm
      > not sure wether a newbie is expected to introduce him/herself in
      this
      > newsgroup, so I thought I just give you a short intro of myself
      combined
      > with my first post.
      >
      > I'm Barbara and I'm a teacher-in-training from Germany. My
      subjects are
      > biology and chemistry.
      >
      > I was raised in Christian faith of Lutheran confession (so you
      know my
      > background). But in recent years, I have developed a lot of
      problems with my
      > faith and questions that remain unaswered.
      >
      > For example:
      >
      > Can we simply ignore "apocryphical" texts and simply trust that
      the people
      > who chose the books of the New Testimony were inspired by God? And
      what
      > about the texts *in* the Bible - how realiable are they. What is
      the reader
      > to make of beings like "angels" and "giants" that are not really
      explained
      > in the scripture but seem to draw on a longstanding, not-written
      tradition.
      >
      > Are people that have not grown up with a Christian tradition
      really destined
      > for damnation? If not (and personally I believe so), then it
      follows that
      > the Christian faith is not the only one that leads to wisdom and
      knowledge.
      > Is it possible that there is some kind of "higher" truth of which
      the
      > "traditional" religions give only a glimpse and that can be
      reached by
      > following different kinds of paths to "enlightment"?
      >
      > I have always been interested in different kind of religions,
      including
      > different point of views on Christianity. I guess if you'd demand
      an answer
      > from me right now, I'd say that I believe that there was a wise
      man called
      > Jesus who had a big influence on the world. Wether he did miracles
      or was
      > the "Son of God"... right now I'm too confused to give an answer
      to that
      > question.
      >
      > For some reason, maybe because my life has changed so much in the
      recent
      > years, questions like these have risen up more and more inside of
      me, so
      > that I've begun to look around and search for different answers.
      >
      > And I found a lot of ideas, reaching from different religions and
      traditions
      > to New age ways. The first time I read about gnosticism (not to
      long ago) I
      > felt for the first time in a long time that something was
      beginning to make
      > sense to me. I do not claim that I've understood everything that
      gnostics
      > wrote or said, but what I've read so far makes a lot of sense and
      resembles
      > several ideas that I have thought of in the past. Currently I am
      studying
      > what I can find on the net or in books about gnosticism, and texts
      like the
      > Nag Hammadi or the Thomas evangelium. There is still a lot to
      learn, but I'm
      > interested and eager.
      >
      > What I haven't really found out yet is what gnostics "do". It says
      that they
      > strife to reach "gnosis" - but how does a gnostic do that?
      Thinking?
      > Meditating? Doing good deeds? I'd love to hear your ideas on that.
      >
      > Well, I don't want to make this post too long. I hope that I can
      learn
      > things here and offer to others what I have learned.
      >
      > Take care,
      > Barbara

      Hi, Barbara! It's the people who win who get to write the history
      books. In my opinion, our New Testament is a perfect example of
      this. I tend to believe that St.Paul was a Gnostic and the up-and-
      coming Institutional Church had to monkey with his letters and do
      some serious "damage control" in order to tame him for Catholicism.
      By the way, coming from a Lutheran background, you may be interested
      in the writings of the German Gnostic Jacob Boehme, who also started
      as a Lutheran. Yours, Steve
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