9949Re: First Line of Questions, :)>
- Aug 3, 2004Hello Gavin
On 08/03/04, you wrote:
> 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
>> it... so once again the search be becomes a sham if we even take
>> time to look at ANY ancient liturature or assume any
>> 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.
Mike Leavitt ac998@...
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