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7846Re: Venturing into gnosticism

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  • lady_caritas
    Jun 6, 2003
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      Greetings, Barbara, and welcome to the group. We look forward to
      your future thoughts and comments.

      Feel free to browse our message board and links section (Mike has
      already mentioned a good one ~ www.gnosis.org ). Regarding what
      material made it into the Bible and what didn't, Gerry left a link in
      his Post #7825 on how the canon was formed. I'll repost the link

      You wrote, "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."

      No doubt Gnostics think and some meditate and some do good deeds, but
      not because of any prescribed dogma. Good deeds won't get you
      to "heaven," but good deeds might be a result of Gnostic awareness.
      This awareness comes through life experience and self-examination and
      gaining acquaintance by means of both one's rational and nonrational
      natures. Many Gnostics place importance on critical thinking as well
      as spiritual experience during the process of Gnosis.

      From _The Gospel of Philip_:

      "Should not all people who possess all things know themselves
      utterly? Now, if some do not know themselves, they will not have the
      use of what they possess; but those who have learned about themselves
      will do so."

      From _The Gospel of Thomas_:

      Jesus said, "If those who lead you (plur.) say to you, `See, the
      kingdom is in heaven,' then the birds of heaven will precede you. If
      they say to you, `It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you.
      But the kingdom is inside of you. And it is outside of you.

      "When you become acquainted with yourselves, then you will be
      recognized. And you will understand that it is you who are children
      of the living father. But if you do not become acquainted with
      yourselves, then you are in poverty, and it is you who are the

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