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8282Re: Stories

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  • Mike Leavitt
    Sep 11, 2003
      Hello lady_caritas

      On 11-Sep-03, you 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 :-)

      I guess I was lucky to have grown up in a household where Max Heindel,
      Rudolph Steiner, and Manley P. Hall were all revered (my mother knew
      Manley Hall and his mother). At least I had no Orthodox baggage to
      get rid of, and since I never bought Max Heindel's racism, he didn't
      mess me up too much either. First the Qabalah (I still love it) and
      then Gnosticism brought me where I am. I met Stephen Hoeller when I
      was 13, and we became fast friends, and have been ever since (44
      years now). Our friendship has even survived my being a Priest in
      his church (28 years). :-)

      Mike Leavitt ac998@...
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