Re: [Gnosticism2] Re: Introducing myself...
- I see gnosticism as an individual sprituality, which naturally makes it the enemy of all groups of organized religion, which is basically just a political tool for controlling the masses, initiated in Rome under Constantine, and has used ignorance and control to the point of believing it themselves, it seems. I notice that catholic 'apologetics' never refer to Christ, just the 'fathers'. That's a glaring fact, and as far I as I know, having to be apologetic for your religion is a big red flag!I always saw the presence of John and Mary M as the sprinkling of actual truth, clues in the hunt, perhaps, that were left in the canonized bible, largely because the 'fathers' could be fooled, since they follow always and seem to observe never. John was exalted and Mary demoralized, but represented much of the same thing, to me.love from annie----- Original Message -----From: pneumen_borealisSent: Thursday, August 26, 2004 10:54 PMSubject: [Gnosticism2] Re: Introducing myself...> > > Also, what do you think about the fact that many Gnostics
> > care
> > > less about "Jesus"?
> > They did, however, care about what he represented. Or why would
> > Herecleon spend so much time commenting on John?
> How important was Jesus, in any context, to groups such as the
Woops. I misread. I missed the "many" qualifier. Changes the meaning
completely. Objection withdrawn.
> I'm also curious, Pneumen, what you thought of my previous
> that Valentinianism was possibly a survival strategy for certain
> Gnostics who might have simply been trying to fly under the radar
> the growing proto-orthodoxy?
Well, if I recall the bleatings of Iraneus, the Christians at the
time were being slaughtered left and right (fed to lions and all
that) as atheists by the rather conservative and very Pagan Romans.
Orthodoxy was definitely not yet what it would become at the time of
Constantine about a century later. I would think that the Orthodox
would be Gnosticizing Christianity in order to make it look it look
more Greek and Pagan if survival was the issue in the 2nd and 3rd
century. Now that I think of it, maybe that's what the Gospel of
John was all about.
> Of course, if you're still intent on
> melding Gnosticism and orthodoxy into one,
I'm not intent on doing this. I'm saying that Clement of Alexandria
was. Alexandria at the time was not Rome. It was a center of open
and honest intellectual exchange.
Christianity was not really that important yet and under heavy
attack elsewhere. Thatwould be a good reason for attempting to bring
more unity to the Church.
I suppose it would be a
> moot point for you, but regardless of how nicely we see Heracleon
> elaborating certain Gnostic concepts, we should remember that what
> we've come to view as characteristic of Gnosticism didn't begin
> the Valentinian school.
True. Given the symbolism in Genesis, one could possibly trace it
back to Egypt. One could argue, though, that Gnosticism reached a
certain apex in this age and that Christianity has deep Gnostic
roots. One could also argue that it is the most relevant to our
modern age since it is through Valentinus that Gnostic ideas and
motifs survived on the margins of the Catholic Church and formed the
foundation for its mystical orders, which were often at odds with or
indifferent to Orthodoxy
> It didn't even begin with Valentinus
> himself, for that matter.
Personally, I see Valentinus as a historical figure who by genuine
insight and the force of his personality expressed a unique and
convincing system of spiritual thought. I believe that
"Valentinianism" represents his personal path to salvation. You
can't really call it a system of belief. The highly personalized and
individualized spiritual paths that Gnostics generally adopted and
encouraged just don't lend themselves well to characterization as
The Orthodox and Catholic Churches were more interested in
establishing creeds and consistent doctrine in order to build an
organization. They would essentially reject his theology yet use the
power of his ritual and symbolism to lay the foundation for modern
Western Civilization and its Christian cultures. From a historical
perspective, Valentinianism is more relevant to our modern mindset
than the earlier forms because it addresses motifs that have
survived (void of meaning) to this day. They bring them back to
That doesn't mean Sethians aren't relevant to the discussions. I'm
fully aware that this is not a "Gnosticism in Western Civilization"
page, although it's a favorite theme of mine.