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8275Re: Stories

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  • lady_caritas
    Sep 11, 2003
      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "wvdog61" <wvdog61@7...> wrote:
      > If what I'm about to ask is considered inappropriate for this group
      > please let me know, or perhaps there are previous posts addressing
      > this that I could be pointed to, or perhaps everyone could respond
      > to my e-mail address so as not to "clutter up" the discussion.
      > I would like to hear your stories; how you came to embrace
      > Gnosticism, and I would especially like to hear about everyone's
      > previous (or even current) realtionship with Orthodoxy. Perhaps
      > me you were at one time in your lives deeply involved in the
      > Orthodox faith and abandoned it, or simply considered it at one
      > and were turned off by it, or have deep seated resentments against
      > it. You don't have to include a lot of detail, in fact a brief
      > would be great.
      > Take my story, for example. I "fell out" with Orthodoxy because I
      > came to see after 16 years of intense involvement that all I had
      > gained was none of the results (peace of mind, power over "sin",
      > etc.) and twice the guilt. I didn't have any intellectual problems
      > with the whole "ethos", but I had come to see that "the proof of
      > pudding is in the eating". It just didn't work. Period. I was
      > incredibly bitter about this for many years, but there was a hidden
      > blessing in my disillusionment: whereas before I would have been
      > terrified (literally) to explore heterodox beliefs I now felt
      > complete freedom to do so and the payoff has been nothing short of
      > remarkable.
      > I could be expansive, but I'll spare everyone.
      > Peace,
      > Rodney

      Hey, Rodney... looks like either people are responding privately or
      else no one is responding and we have a lot of private people
      here. ;-)

      No worry about clutter, as long as we're relating to historical
      Gnosticism. And, in fact, you'd be able to trace some stories if we
      hadn't mysteriously "lost" a large portion of our archives during the
      switch from Yahoo clubs to groups a while back. Also, one thing to
      remember is that we have quite a variety of members, many who
      don't "embrace Gnosticism" so much as have an interest in the subject
      for various reasons.

      I'm curious. You mention how bitter you were about orthodoxy. Were
      you brought up in a very conservative environment by any chance?

      My own story is not too unusual, and there were no sirens and bells
      involved. I was brought up in the United Methodist faith, but
      couldn't (and still don't) relate to a personal god or atonement
      theology. So, after high school, I became a self-designated agnostic
      or nontheist and continued experiencing life for many years, not
      worrying about anything spiritual. Very gradually though, my "gut"
      or what might in hindsight have been a type of spiritual intuition or
      mystical experience kept gnawing away; it became not enough just to
      say, "I don't know or care."

      I decided to go back to my roots in my quest for some insight into
      what this crazy world is all about. I immersed myself in the United
      Methodist tradition and joined some study groups, all the while
      retaining my skepticism. I just couldn't leave my brain in the
      narthex and blindly swallow the orthodox teachings. But I knew that
      ignoring my past might just catch up with me without additional
      exploration. Plus I was interested in further investigation of other
      traditions. I suppose that was all part of the self-discovery

      Interestingly, one of the study groups I attended traced Christian
      history, and, yes, those "heretical" Gnostics were mentioned. I
      found them intriguing, and I joined a smaller, informal study group
      that was delving a bit further into early Christianity, in addition
      to other religious traditions. I picked up some books on Gnosticism
      at a bookstore, found gnosis.org in an online search, and, well, the
      rest is history. I had found ancient people with whom I could relate
      and eventually also an online group.

      Cari :-)
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