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8279Re: Stories

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  • pmcvflag
    Sep 11 5:27 PM
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      Oh yes, sorry Rodney, I don't think anyone meant to ignore you. I am
      willing to bet, along with Lady Cari, that your experience is fairly
      common here amongst those who have come to sympathize with Gnosticism
      on a more personal level. My story may be a little bassackwards...

      I was raised in close proximity to several types of Christianity,
      without really being connected to any of them. My earliest school
      days were at a Baptist parochial school, but my family was in no way
      Baptist and I was never encouraged to practice the belief. I was also
      in a Catholic boy scout troup, and had in some way been around just
      about all the common Christian sects. I came across the
      name "Gnosticism" from very early, but mostly just incedental
      mentions.

      By my early teens I was heavily into Jungian type comparative
      mythology. By my late teens I was interested in history (started with
      Japanese history), and started checking these things I picked up from
      Dr Campbell against a more critical observation of the religions. In
      my early 20s I became interested in a specific form of esoteric
      thought, that later (my mid twenties) I found had some similarities
      with Gnosticism. I did not study it in earnest until I discovered
      similarities to what I was already doing.

      I have never been through that bitter seperation from "Orthodoxy"
      other than specific run-ins I have had with individuals. Most of my
      interaction has simply been a sort of external observation. On the
      other hand, my study of Gnosticism has been both internal and
      external. While I don't exactly think of myself as "Gnostic",
      technically speaking, I do have enough similarities that I have
      described myself as Gnostic for the sake of simplicity. In fact... I
      have even described myself as "Carpocration" *lol*, but understand,
      if you have been watching the conversatin so far it is obvious that I
      don't mean that seriously..... mostly ;) .

      PMCV

      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, lady_caritas <no_reply@y...>
      wrote:
      > --- 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
      > like
      > > me you were at one time in your lives deeply involved in the
      > > Orthodox faith and abandoned it, or simply considered it at one
      > time
      > > 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
      > reply
      > > 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
      > the
      > > 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
      > process.
      >
      > 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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