- Again, Annie, you raise some interesting questions. May I ask, for
the record, which books about Gnosticism you are familiar with? This
will help me to anticipate your line of questioning in such a was as
to perhaps suggest helpful readings in addition to our conversation.
On to your points...
>>>"I've always assumed that salvation is the basic goal in all formsof spirituality (or religion), otherwise why go by any sort of rules
at all? -- there must have been the initial promise of reward even
for the most disciplined and wise individual, who is still just
I would say, Annie, yes and no. I mean, we should not reduce the
notion of "reward" to something Pavlovian. I mean, not all forms of
spirituality believe in some kind of heaven where we float around and
be happy. Sometimes the reward is subtle, such as the simple
satisfaction of knowing something (such as in the religion of
atheism) or, sometimes the "reward" is difficult to explain, and far
from obvious to the pistic relgious observer.
In that same line.....
>>>"As to the nature of salvation, it's called by many names, butit's definitely not the mere dead end of a state of zero
consciousness and memory."<<<<
In fact, that is exactly what some religions believe... such as in
some forms of Buddhism where salvation is zero consciousness and
memory. One is released from identity into the absolute.
>>>"I never thought about the many nuances which most likely do existin this concept for other individuals and groups, because I have been
such a spiritual renegade as far as any one else I've ever talked to,
that there was no desire or need to explore this."<<<
Now is definately the time to explore this Annie. What I mean is,
Gnosticism was simply not another expression of the commonly
understood Christian salvational paradigm. Even in the Christian
forms of Gnosticism, Jesus is not an external bringer of salvation in
the way any modern Christian would view it. Jesus is just a
convenient name. One cannot understand Gnosticism without completely
letting go of the monkey trap that is contained in previously studied
>>>"I see many similarities, some differences, but I'm not sure whatexactly is the concept of the final goal in classic, or traditional,
gnosticism. Not in the sense of Marcion, I think I understand that
one. I'm talking about in the purest sense in relation to just
It is absolute rejoining with the non-anthropomorphic, unthinking,
unfeeling, unbeing. The First Father.... which is not a "God".
- When you ask about which books about Gnosticism I've read, I'm assuming you mean modern authors on the subject of gnosticism? If so, then really nothing which has been noted as such so that I would know. I have read a few articles and sermons on line, but nothing of any significance. That is why I seem so out of step with your thoughts, and vocabulary, because I haven't addressed gnosticism as far as the philosophy surrounding it. That's why so many questions, also.I have read pretty much all the Nag Hammadi, and that is how I was introduced to the concept of gnosis. Not actually the concept, but the defining of it, as such. I immediately understood it's character of which it is not just intellectual or emotional knowledge, as it is defined in the lexicon on the groups file page. That is the primary connection for me, is that way of thinking, because that's been the way I've thought, not the things I've thought about, but the way my head works. When you talk about initiation, I'm of the understanding that it is maybe the 'crossing of the threshold' into that mode of thinking, but I'm not quite clear on that. I knew before I joined this group that there are organized gnostic churches, and I read about the some of the practices of a few early gnostic sects, but I was more of the understanding it was more of the method than the subject.These likely are not what you meant in your question, I'm sure, but they might give you an idea of the nature of my thinking. I've read sacred texts of many cultures and religions, throughout history, not in depth, but more to get an idea of the world view. I've read a lot of what's online at the Gnostic Society Library, besides the Nag Hammadi. Any aprocryphal texts I find, I do read. I've also read the Manichean Mythos and related. I've read a some of Hippolytus and Iraneaus against heresy, and eastern philosophy, mainly in the way of Buddhism. I have read some of the theosophical society writings, but didn't really feel comfortable with the feeling I got from reading Madame Blavatsky, and there is some by Annie Besant that I liked, but on an intellectual level. There's something contained in theosophy that I just don't feel comfortable with, more of a feeling than a specific view or belief. I have read a great deal of Roscrucian literature, also.I'm familiar with Kabbalah, as well, which I first encountered while exploring the sacred tree in relation to numerous cosmologies of various cultures, and there is a lot of it I can identify with. It's main interest to me lies in the Hebrew alphabet and gematria, and I can see where the in and out breath of creation is of that tone, but that's something I mainly conceived of from an astronomical perspective.love from annie----- Original Message -----From: pmcvflagSent: Thursday, September 02, 2004 9:19 PMSubject: [Gnosticism2] Annie and JungSay Annie, I think perhaps I made my point a little unclear. You
>>>"I do understand what you are saying, and there's a middle ground
I find between totally being psychic or going all the way in Jung's
direction of the opposite (what is that? I want to say
intellectualize it, or is that not the right term?)"<<<
Well, we should take a look at this for a second. Now, there would be
some debate here about just how Jung himself may have intended
certain things, but the common reading that has spawned a rendering
of myths to be representative of psychological, or personal,
principles. It is this understanding in which the basic field of
comparative mythology works, and which is made most popular by
writers like Joe Campbell. This is "psychologicising" the religions.
Look at these two words a bit more closely... "psychologicising"
and "psychic". As you will quickly see, this "Jungian" method is not
the opposite of psychic, it IS psychic.... one form of it anyway.
One thing you said I found interesting.....
>>>"Of course, I actually don't believe that all that we've been is
all a tragic and extinct mistake, it goes one further for me as being
necessary for chaos to rise from the shadow of the light in order to
be conquered by that light, in an endless sequence, and it's
conceivable that each vast time span, such as the solar systems' life
time, from beginning to halfway, is G-d exhalation, and then the
second half is the inhalation."<<<
I am thinking that you may be far more interested in Kabbalah than in
Gnosticism. It really sounds a bit closer to your theological
thinking as well as to your method of interperatation. Ever study it?
If so, what did you think?
Lastly, you ask....
>>>"So what conceptions are found for salvation within the truest
types of gnosticism, with respect to what you posted below?"<<<
I am not sure if you mean to ask how salvation is achieved in
Gnosticism, or what that salvation is. Could you restate your
question for me to remove my confusion?
- Nice explanation, with a concrete example to boot.
You really should archive posts like this under an "FAQ" that people
can link to.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
> Hey IgnisApocryphon.
> In addition to Lady Cari's answer to you in post
> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gnosticism2/message/10084 I wanted to
> bring tis together with the conversation between Mike and Annie.
> Mike states to Annie
> >>>"Thank-you Marcion (sorry, couldn't resist). :-) Good point,
> Whether or not Mike intended this (I assume he is aware of it) it
> does seem to be relavant to the post that Annie writes on a few
> levels. Annie wrote...
> >>>"Just my opinion, however. If you read the bible, next time you
> do, for an experiment, read it with the frame of mind that the OT
> YHVH and the NT "Father" are two different dieties."<<<
> You see, IgnisApocryphon, Marcion proposed a cosmological system
> is essentially identical to what we find in Gnosticism, with the
> Demiurge, etc.. In fact, it is common for people to come to the
> here and assume Marcion WAS Gnostic, based simply on the fact that
> his cosmology was the same. Care to guess why Marcion would not be
> considered "Gnostic"?
> It works like this; Marcion, unlike Gnostics, believed that
> was gained by faith in the actual literal validity of his system
> least that is how it looks in the things we read from the
> heresiologists). The Gnostic model is not dependant on a literal
> belief of the cosmology. SOme may have believed it literally,
> may not have.... but the Gnostic writings themselves make fairly
> clear that what is important is the underlying MEANING of the texts.
> We know this from many sources. First, as you can see from the
> passages that Cari gave you, Gnostics understood the problem of
> language in communicating these kinds of ideas... and is many
> passages they even tell us more specifically that the meanings are
> hidden. Two, the heresiologists tell us this about the Gnostics. Of
> course, we can't always believe this source but in this case it is
> held up by the evidence. Three, the very structure of many Gnostic
> sects, in which we know that part of the initiatory process was to
> learn the hidden meanings of the texts that other Christians took
> be literal, makes very clear that part of the very essence of
> Gnosis was about comming to understand these meanings.
> Now, let me be specific about something here. There has been a lot
> talk here lately that seems to place Gnosticism in some sort
> of "Spiritual Anarchist" camp of free interperatation without any
> church structure. Historically, this is simply not true. It DOES
> to be true that Gnostic sects sometimes participated in a sort of
> creative interperative session, but this was still done under
> guidance and was done with the intent of adding richness to the
> intended goal (maybe something like modern music teachers do with
> thier classes when trying to drive home a principle of a specific
> point in music theory... there is creativity but there is ALSO a
> point that is not so individual).
> Gnostics do have some specific beliefs that make the term "Gnostic"
> possible, and one set of those is the cosmology you mention, while
> the other is how that cosmology relates to an internal struggle.
> I hope that helps more than it confuses :)
> --- In email@example.com, "ignisapocryphon"
> > On the Demiurge...
> > Is the demiurge a construct of the human mind as "Jehovah", or is
> > a
> > real metaphysical transcendent being?
> > Also...
> > I'd like some feedback on archetypes and metaphysics... How is
> > viewed? As a transcendent, metaphysical being? Or an archetype?
> > both? I've always thought that the metaphysical realm and the
> > archetypal (sp?) realm coincide with each other to produce mystic
> > experiences. (Can there be more than one "gnosis"?) Thoughts and
> > comments are greatly appreciated.
> > I'm going for the Valentinian POV if anyone wants to know.
> > I know that's a mouthfull, but still.
> > Also, while I'm at it, I might as well say that the Gnostic
> > is one I plan to stay with. I've seen that it is very, VERY
> > and open to new-comers. I've also seen the oppression we face by
> > other
> > Christians and non-Christians. I'm very proud to say I'm a
> > Christian and I hope to learn much and maybe have a mystic
> > myself soon. It's been a great joy of mine to understand just
> > communication with and interaction with The Divine is all about...
> > The
> > Gnostics take it back to it's roots, when time with God was holy
> > unadulterated, no sound or anything... Wow, it's just
> > even talk about. Anywho, I'm sure you guys are tired of me being
> > postwhore...
> > Comments are appreciated. :D
> > Christ is holy,
> > IgnisApocryphOn
> I see the 'church' of the NT, the bride, as being first the virgin,then the unfaithful wife progressing to prostitute, who at last
returns to wear the white garment of pure redemption which was
heroically acquired by the bridegroom, which would be the christ
spirit. But the one last thing she gets to do before beginning anew
her life as the queen of heaven is to 'clothe herself in witless'
wrath and correct the defect which resulted in the creation of
matter, and so what should have never come about is now like it has
never been, justified karmic account balancing on a higher level!
Interesting. It rings true in ways I don't quite understand.