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Re: [Gnosticism2] Salvation

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  • annie
    ... From: pmcvflag To: gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com Sent: Thursday, September 02, 2004 9:47 PM Subject: [Gnosticism2] Salvation Again, Annie, you raise some
    Message 1 of 83 , Sep 3 12:23 PM
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: pmcvflag
      Sent: Thursday, September 02, 2004 9:47 PM
      Subject: [Gnosticism2] Salvation

      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 forms
      of 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 didn't mean to give the impression I was giving it that type of treatment, because I don't see that way, either.  That's the heaven and hell simplicity of literalism which was something I could not swallow. But there is a determining factor inherent in any search for the origins and reasons for these determinations which we know we are not in control of deciding, the understanding of which is the intitiating factor in most peoples spriritual developmet. The search which results from the desire for guidance, and something greater than ourselves naturally progresses to the place where new rules apply, and ideally it will be a positive thing, not a break even or negative balance.  If we see guidance it's because we desire either it or somo other restraing, and if we follow it, we want acknowledgment, it's human nature.
      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.
      Yes I am fully in tune with your statement here, and really didn't expect anyone here to be of the fluffy heaven on a cloud type of 'kingdom' which is more of the same I often choked on when I was growing up.  As I said, I understand my own expectations but then again I'm not expecting any certain thing.  I just know there is something as far as what I can verbalize.
      >>>"As to the nature of salvation, it's called by many names, but
      it'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.
      That is something, again, I understand and have encountered these concepts, although I didn't thing they were thorough enough in the acknowledgement of the motivation factor.  Do we strive to meet the ideals we believe in, just because we're 'good'?, just so we can return to a state of existence which is basically the same as the one we were in initially.  That just doesn't make sense in regard to the reason for the bother caused by bodies which have been quickened with anima and free will enough to wreak havoc on all that they touch?  If our creators had no purpose or intention in the sense of something being 'worked toward', then they're even bigger fools than we are, and allowed something to happen for no reason. Free will necessitates the offering of some kind of choice, in some stage of the game.

      >>>"I never thought about the many nuances which most likely do exist
      in 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
      That's not what I'm looking by my interest in gnosticism, as another expression of the christian paradigm.  A rejection of that has been the reason I've sought the truth of this concept, for myself, for over 20 years of my life.  My desire to understand this has resulted in actual fruit on the vine.  I came here not to find some plan for salvation but to discover what thoughts are born in the minds of those who are seekers (or finders) in a similar fashion as myself.  My own understandings, which I had already come to by way of my own road of discovery, were unique to me as far as I knew, and finding these documented in the Nag Hammadi in such a way that gave me the background information, that filled in all the questions I had about why I believed what I did, had a profound effect on me.  It wasn't an increase in my ability to believe, I wasn't lacking in that area.  It was the comfort in the details.  Even if these were based in symbology and allegory, with mythical qualities, they were something I lacked.  I've never had uncertainty in the faith department, and knowledge is my drive, and not just about spiritual issues, I'm just a natural storehouse for information because I love to learn.  I had peace in my heart, and the feeling of security, but it was empty in certain aspects because I had done it outside of some kind of church.  There are social reasons for going to church that are important spritually in a way most don't realize, and that's what I was lacking.  I have many people I can talk to about spiritual subjects in general, but not in regard to the gnostic aspects, or at least what I thought I understood them to be.
      I felt like my ideas are not seen as gnostic, which I don't mind, because I have never put too specific a label on my things of this nature.  And actually it doesn't matter if the details I spoke of are gnostic or not.  I know where they came from, and when I learned what they were known as, I just wanted to learn from the views of others in similar places, regardless of how they got there.  But I was starting to wonder if maybe I had misunderstood something early on, about the reasons for the beliefs of others in the model of gnosis, and I didn't want to be off topic all together in the group sense.  If there is still the commonality of the desired outcome, then I know I can enrich myself by learning the things talked about here, but not if they're actually foreign to my basic thoughts, because there's no middle ground. 
      >>>"I see many similarities, some differences, but I'm not sure what
      exactly 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".
      So that means I did have the correct understanding, because it is of the same nature as what I've set my sights on, which is what I think of as 'unity with G-d.' The attachment I have toward the name G-d seems to be a barrier in mutual understandings, as I was beginning to suspect.  I believe I understand why you say The First Father is not a "god", and I'm not saying 'god' in the way you might think, it's the name I use, it's a detail I needed to make what I believe mine, I guess. It is not the descriptor, because there is none.  A god is something worshipped, and that's not what I do or even understand, the concept of 'worship'.  Praising is one thing, and exalting, but worshipping is something which doesn't apply, since I think of worship as requiring an icon.  That which is G-d to me, is not icon material nor is that necessary. It would be closer to an insult, the way I see it.
      Thanks for your answers and your patience.

    • pmcvflag
      Aleada ... and Elaine Pagels, Gnostic Gospel but mostly from experiencing personal Gnosis which I m sorry to say is being separated from this discussion or
      Message 83 of 83 , Jul 1, 2006

        >>>With this background and also having read Freke and Gandy's books
        and Elaine Pagels, Gnostic Gospel but mostly from experiencing
        personal Gnosis which I'm sorry to say is being separated from this
        discussion or seems to be discounted.<<<

        It isn't that your personal definition of the word "Gnosis" is
        discounted here, just that it isn't the definition of the
        word "Gnosis" that this forum uses.

        >>>Freke and Gandy explain the experience of Gnosis as more than can
        be written, it must be experienced, it is that knowledge or knowing
        beyond intellect that cannot contain the totality to Gnosis.<<<

        Freke and Gandy also claim that this definition of the word "Gnosis"
        is the one used by the traditional Gnostics... but I should point
        out that Freke and Gandy are mistaken. We are a bit more technical

        >>>You are all so intelligent but you miss the mark if you think you
        will "get it" from all your books and reading, get quiet and get in
        touch with the God with in and you may start to have Gnosis.<<<

        You misunderstand, Aleada, no body suggested that your idea
        of "Gnosis" is something that would be found in a book, but you need
        to also understand the historical meaning of the word "Gnosis" and
        not only the modern definition you get from people like Freke and

        >>>>Whatever the culture it's all the same God or Great Spirit,
        whatever; the experience of Gnosis is the same, look at the mystics
        and refer to Barbara's experience and you will see what it is to
        have Gnosis.<<<

        No, that is what it means to have a mystical experience..... not
        Gnosis. They are not the same thing.

        Why do you feel that we must use your definition of the
        word "Gnosis" rather than the one this forum was designed to deal
        with? It isn't that I disagree with the importance of the experience
        you are talking about, it is just that we don't call that
        experience "Gnosis" here.

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