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9949Re: First Line of Questions, :)>

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  • Mike Leavitt
    Aug 3, 2004
      Hello Gavin

      On 08/03/04, you wrote:

      > PMCV,
      >
      > Hrmm, you are really making me think :P
      >
      >> Well, now, before you take my point... or leave it... maybe we
      >> should talk about it a bit further to make sure it is understood.
      >> You are very right to point out that "Gnosticism" was not a single
      >> group, or even a close nit one, but I do not feel you are accurate
      >> to say that it is not a "defined philosophy".
      >
      > By "single, defined philosophy" I meant one with no variation.
      > Obviously though, Gnosticism is not like this; it is not uniform.
      > I'll get to why I mentioned this next...
      >
      >> While I am now the one to say "I take your point", let me point out
      >> that the focus of this club is not simply specified "for the
      >> purpose of discussion". You and I can both be seekers of truth, as
      >> you put it, but unless you really do wish to go back to the notion
      >> that "truth" is subjective (in which case, what is there to seek?),
      >> then we do have to understand the intent of communications via
      >> which we find our interest in truth piqued.
      >>
      >> If we can't define what the word "Gnosis" means, we cant
      >> communicate
      >> it... so once again the search be becomes a sham if we even take
      >> the
      >> time to look at ANY ancient liturature or assume any
      >> communication.
      >> What is the point of having a club dealing with the subject then?
      >
      > Well, I'm glad that I don't have to limit myself to purely academic
      > discussions. However, I'm not for one minute suggesting that truth
      > is subjective. On the contrary, that's why I'm interested in this
      > line of questioning. I don't accept that all texts that can be
      > placed under the (defined!) umbrella as "Gnostic" necessarily
      > contain the truth. The fact that Gnoisis is defined as a
      > _particular_ type of intuitive, spiritual knowledge does not mean
      > that every text displaying Gnostic cosmology and all the right
      > typological criteria is a genuine expression of Gnosis... does it?
      > (Note the emphasis on "particular" there - I realise that Gnosis
      > does not refer to spiritual intuition in general. You wondered if my
      > definition of Gnosis is a little unsure. Well, I think Gnosis must
      > be truth - in the same sense that the equation 2+2=4 is true. Maybe
      > this isn't the proper definition? If so, my entire line of
      > questioning is misguided, hehe.)
      >
      > I'm not sure that I agree with what you say using the example of the
      > Divine Comedy. The fact that you are capable of disagreeing with the
      > interpretations of some modern authors does not necessarily relate
      > to Gnostic scriptures. Afterall, not all Gnostic texts agree with
      > one another. If a man in Germany decided to do some spring cleaning
      > and found a Gnostic text in a dusty old cabinet somewhere, it would
      > no doubt add yet another myth or idea to the collection. It might be
      > obviously Gnostic in character, but it certainly won't literally
      > 100% agree with all the other texts. (Not that they are meant to be
      > read literally, but bear with me...) What if, several years later,
      > it was discovered that this was a fake? The author, sufficiently
      > qualified--a writer himself, expert in ancient languages and
      > familiar with the other texts, etc--wrote it fairly recently. He had
      > no Gnostic experience; he just wrote it to make money.
      >
      > How would we know whether it was a genuine expression of Gnosis or
      > not? Is there any way to tell? Is the question even relevant? A
      > historian might not care about this question of real Gnosis, but I
      > do, and it's nagging at me. When I open a book and start reading a
      > particular Gnostic scripture, that part of me says, "that's great,
      > but how do you know it's really Gnosis?" Please realise that I'm not
      > questioning whether Gnostic texts as a whole express Gnosis. As you
      > pointed out, that really would be nonsensical. But within the
      > tradition, the question for certain texts... well, then I think it's
      > open for debate. Consider that I start my own school, Gavinism.
      > Within time, my students set up different sects which in turn
      > experience schisms, and more and more diversity enters into it. To a
      > historian, they would all be different schools of Gavinism. But
      > within that tradition, there would be room for debate as to whether
      > certain sects or authors have really understood and expressed
      > Gnavos. See what I'm trying to get at?
      >
      > (By the way, I wasn't suggesting that Jung was a Gnostic, I just
      > used him as an example. I should probably have used a metaphorical
      > example, like Mr. Joe Smith or some other made-up name.)
      >
      >
      > Gavin Riggott

      Your fake book, written as it was, may be fake, but still may contain
      gnosis (or even Gnosis) stolen from earlier sources. I suspect many
      of the gnostic texts are actually this way.

      Jung was a Hermeticist (in the sense of an Alchemistical philosopher)
      more than a Gnostic. Alchemy was his true love.

      Regards
      --
      Mike Leavitt ac998@...
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