- Sep 11, 2003Hello lady_caritas
On 11-Sep-03, you wrote:
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "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
>> I could be expansive, but I'll spare everyone.
> 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 :-)
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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