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9775Re: Prayer revisited

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  • pmcvflag
    Jul 19, 2004
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      Jana, Mike is in fact clergy in the EG, and we value his presence. As
      Cari states, the EG is a bit of a modern reworking of the
      Valentinians... with a slight Jungian slant. So maybe I could make
      something a bit more clear about the historic Valentinians (and this
      is outside Mike's answers concerning his own church).

      The Valentinians were part of early Catholic/Orthodox church (before
      the schism between the two). Valentinians existed within that
      Catholic church but offered a continued "initiation" beyond
      that "orthodox" teaching. In other words, there were a
      true "esoteric" order that existed within an exoteric foundation.
      This should answer the question you had concerning bishops and
      priests, etc..

      You have to understand, even though it has been popular for modern
      sensationalist authors to build some kind of a fight between
      Gnosticism and religious orders, the fact is historically this is not
      something that happened until later.

      There were also other Gnostic groups that were NOT part of the
      Catholic (or even "Christian") outlines. For instance, Sethians were
      probably not originally Christian. Some scholors believe that John
      the Baptist was actually Sethian, but we can't know for sure
      (however, this could imply something about the teachings of Jesus if
      it is true... and if Jesus even ever historically existed. Gnosticism
      is not dependant on an actual historical Jesus though).

      However, let me point out to you that Gnostics were historically
      quite structured. In spite of the need by some New Age authors to
      make Gnostics some kind of spiritual anarchists, in fact these orders
      were initatory, and that means there was also a destinction made
      between levels of initation. One of the attacks that we see in the
      anti-Gnostic authors of the time was that Gnostics are a bit too
      elitist. I don't think that is completely true either, but that is
      not to say it is completely false.

      As we read historical Gnostic texts, such as those found in the Nag
      Hammadi library, we will see mention of those levels of initiation.
      If there are levels, there is structure... they simply go hand in
      hand.

      Ok, finally, your question in this last post... do Gnostics pray for
      intervention?

      This is an arguement that I don't think can be completely resolved.
      Part of that may be in that it depends on the sect. Truth is, if you
      really look through the Gnostic texts, you would be hard pressed to
      find an example. On the other hand, the people who wrote against
      Gnostics accuse them of making love potions, stomach ointments, and
      spells (spells are simply prayers) etc.. If you think about it, it
      does not seem logical that a Gnostic would do such things, since some
      of the things mentioned would really be against Gnostic beliefs.

      So, you already conceded that Gnostics probably would not pray to the
      first father (since it does not think or hear or consider anything
      from the field of time... including prayers), so then who would a
      Gnostic pray too? The Second father? The Sophia? The Logos? It
      depends on whether you take these to be literal beings... otherwise
      you are praying to aspects of yourself that connect you to the second
      father. I am trying to pooint out that the question you ask is not
      cut and dry, balck vs white, but that it also may entirely depend on
      the practice of the sect invloved. Many Gnostics probably don't
      believe in prayer, but some may.

      PMCV

      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "janahooks" <janahooks@y...>
      wrote:
      >
      > > > I guess you could call us neo-Valenitnians. I am the senior
      > Priest
      > > of
      > > > the Ecclesia Gnostica, which along with the Gnostic Society, is
      > the
      > > > parent body of http://www.gnosis.org/. My Bishop is Stephan
      > > Höeller,
      > > > who has written a number of books on Gnosticism.
      >
      > Mike, I had even told my husband that I thought you were a priest.
      > You have that patient air about you! I read about the sacraments
      on
      > the site, but I need to look at them again. Are they necessary to
      > achieve gnosis or salvation?
      >
      > Cari, Mike, pmcv, anyone,
      > Do gnostics believe that any being (I understand the First Father
      > does not) intervenes on our behalf? For instance, if one wanted to
      > pray for another's protection or health?
      >
      > jana
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