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Re: [Gnosticism2] Re: The Genesis Factor

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  • annie
    CS, I found On the origin of the world and The Hypostasis of the Archons both to be particularly enlightening in regard to the story of creation and the
    Message 1 of 16 , Sep 3, 2004
      CS,
       
      I found 'On the origin of the world' and 'The Hypostasis of the Archons' both to be particularly enlightening in regard to the story of creation and the underlying basis of the struggles of man.
       
      This is in answer to Cari's reflections about using G-d in my references:  I probably wrote more about this than you ever wanted to know in some other posts I send before I read this, but not really addressing the things you mentioned.  More than anything it is a long standing habit of convenience and my own attachments which I find comfort in. I've never thought of the force that you refer to as the Father (and I do as well, when speaking) as anything even in the same neighborhood as fear, and I didn't realize that way of spelling it might have that connotation.  I don't really understand the fear for the OT diety either, but not for the same reasons, I just never felt he had any jurisdiction for scaring me.  He wasn't anything I had a use for, either literal or symbolic.  I remember being small and hearing about the flood for one of the first times, when they got to the part where he was sorry he'd destroyed the world with the flood and gave us a rainbow, I remember thinking 'this god's not very good at being god' and that was the end of that.   The reason leave the vowel out of G-d is because it makes it a non word.  I need a new representation, easy to type.   I think maybe just The.   All this explaining has me less attached by the minute.  :o)
       
      love from annie
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Friday, September 03, 2004 9:53 AM
      Subject: [Gnosticism2] Re: The Genesis Factor

      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "sahms2" <sahms2@y...> wrote:
      > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      >
      > > Well, I am not familiar with this book, but I can deal with your
      > > questions. You ask....
      >
      >
      > PMCV,
      >
      > I was referring to the article, The Genesis Factor, by Hoeller.
      >
      > Thanks for answering my questions. ....Okay...now. I'm really
      > confused. In the article, Hoeller says the following about
      demiurge:
      >
      > "When discussing the story of Noah and the flood, author Karen
      > Armstrong (A History of God, 1993), as a panelist on Moyers's
      > program, asserted that God is "not some nice, cozy daddy in the
      sky,"
      > but rather a being who decidedly behaves frequently "in an evil
      > way.".........
      >
      > ............"With his actions in connection with the flood,
      Armstrong
      > said, God originated the idea of justifiable genocide. Hitler and
      > Stalin, one might deduce, acted on the instruction of such stories
      as
      > that of the flood and of Sodom and Gomorrah when instituting the
      > holocaust and the camps of the Gulag. Had the panelists called on
      > Gnostic scriptures, they could have quoted many precedents for
      > Armstrong's criticism of the vengeful God of the Old Testament."
      >
      > Question: If demiurge ( the God from the OT) is evil, why would he
      > destroy evil?
      >
      > Also, I read the Bible with two deities in mind and have questions.
      >
      > In the Bible (KJV)....
      >
      > Genesis 1:26
      > God said: "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and
      let
      > them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of
      the
      > air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every
      > creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."
      >
      > Question: Why would a jealous God give man domain of all the earth?
      >
      > Question: If the God from the OT is evil and he created man like
      him
      > doesn't that make man evil?
      >
      > ---------------------------------------------
      > Genesis 2:9 
      > "And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is
      > pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in
      > the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and
      evil."
      >
      > Question: Why would the demiurge grow the tree of knowledge if he
      > didn't want man to eat from it? Wouldn't it have been easier if the
      > tree never existed, then man would have never acquired the
      knowledge
      > that demiurge was trying to hide from man?
      >
      > I have lots more questions, but I'd appreciate your answers to
      these
      > first. =)
      >
      > Thanks a bunch!
      > CS


      Hello, CS.  Before PMCV has an opportunity to respond, perhaps it
      would be helpful to delve more into the mythology of the Gnostics. 
      As PMCV previously noted, the Valentinian demiurge is different
      functionally than the demiurge seen in Sethian Gnosticism. 

      Here is a link to a discussion thereof, also beginning to address the
      role of Sophia in Valentinian mythology (important to note that this
      mythology is *metaphorical*):
      http://www.gnosis.org/library/valentinus/Demiurge.htm
      and some additional reading on Sophia:
      http://www.gnosis.org/library/valentinus/Sophia_Eve.htm

      Lastly, I'm a bit concerned about the direction of recent discussion
      regarding two deities prevalent in the orthodox Bible.  Even though
      we see the *term* "god" used in Gnostic literature, the
      Gnostic "father" was not the loving, all-powerful, all-knowing
      godbeing, deity, of the traditional Christians.  The Gnostic "father"
      was unknown (#10084),... and as PMCV wrote (#10101) "the non-
      anthropomorphic, unthinking, unfeeling, unbeing. The First Father....
      which is not a `God'."  I suppose it doesn't matter what you call
      this unknown, but for instance, I wouldn't choose to use G-D, which
      implies to me something to be feared, and of course this is just my
      own irrational bias.  But what happens to me if I add a vowel?

      Cari

      P. S.  I thought that the OT god was "jealous" of *other* gods.  Back
      in those days, most gods lived amicably together, but this new god
      wanted none of that.  He wanted to be recognized as the one and only
      true god.



    • annie
      CS, I meant to send the links for the reading I recommended, but got all caught up in my nomenclature issue. lol http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/origin.html
      Message 2 of 16 , Sep 3, 2004
        CS,
         
         
        I meant to send the links for the reading I recommended, but got all caught up in my nomenclature issue. lol
         
         
        this one is one I really like, it's a expansion of all things perfect and female, even that which is not perfect is perfect, it's beautiful, IMO
        It is about Sophia and I also find in it that which I always believed was the truth behind Mary Magdalene.
         
        love from annie
         
         
      • annie
        Hi--here s my answers that I discovered when I was looking into these matters, hope it helps. Question: If demiurge ( the God from the OT) is evil, why would
        Message 3 of 16 , Sep 3, 2004
          Hi--here's my answers that I discovered when I was looking into these matters, hope it helps.
           
          Question: If demiurge ( the God from the OT) is evil, why would he
          destroy evil?
           
           
          The evil is not quite the dogmatic idea of sinister and foul demonic evil--more like the evil which comes from being a 'good' thing--a spark of divine light--imprisoned within a fleshly enclosure.  In the symbolism of duality and good and evil, evil is the fact of being made of matter, which is subject to death, and which is the opposite of life, which is good, and in not composed of matter. 
          All that boils down to is an illustrated warning for us, that we must not become attached to the physical reality of the world we live in, to a larger degree than we aspire to our real reality, which is of a spiritual and eternal nature.  If we attach ourselves to this world, it will destroy us from our own enslavement to it's false riches, which will all pass away.
           
          And so the OT god, besides just being doomed to lose in this comparison, up against Christ, is by default, evil, and he born of this world and cannot ever become 'good', because good cannot become from evil.
           
          That's how I see salvation, also, that eternal life as it is found in our spirit form, is not a gift given by the bloodshed of a violent death of a peaceful savior, but it comes from the savior rising again which is the real key, he is showing us that our flesh is a outer garment, that is guaranteed to death, but if we trust and understand that we can take this outer cloak off, the eternal part of us will be revealed.  The gift of his blood would be more in the sense that he took on the dangers inherent in putting on the fleshly garment of death, to become human so that we could know that what He did, we can also do.  And thus we are saved by his revelation that we are spirit trapped within physical enclosures, not by a murderous sacrifice of blood.  That's ugly and doesn't hold up in the final analysis

          Also, I read the Bible with two deities in mind and have questions.
          In the Bible (KJV)....

          Genesis 1:26
          God said: "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let
          them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the
          air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every
          creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."

          Question: Why would a jealous God give man domain of all the earth?
           
          I never thought about it too much, I just figured it was bribery, payments put up against the possibility of being all alone and unloved by anyone.  That is the biggest fear behind the jealousy of the ot god.  He's just basically lonely, he knows he won't get to live for eternity like even those he pretends to be mightier than, if they realize the truth.  He can't stand it if they realize too soon and reject him.

          Question: If the God from the OT is evil and he created man like him
          doesn't that make man evil?
           
          The 'image' is the 'modeled form' of the authorities, which are the archons of the world, and that refers to our physical parts.  The 'likeness' is actually the likeness of the divine light of the Christ of which the archons caught a glimpse of, and became infatuated, which brought about eros, and sexual love, and flowers and all sorts of 'lovely ' things.  Anyway we are in the bodies of 'beasts',  as in physical (think how coarse we truly must seem to another who'd never been in a heavy thick body of flesh, living like beasts, it's just a perspective thing, really), but our likeness is that of Christ (which is our spirit.)
           
          As far as the realms of earth and the 7 heavens which are physical creation and by default, evil, the OT god is actually the best one they've got.   And so he's in charge and not in bad favor, really, of any sort that's preventable.   His destiny is to be destroyed, though, and there's nothing that can be done.  That's why we should be glad we have free will. 
          Anyway, IMO, I think he tries his best to be good and kind, and above all fair according to the laws he's given.  But he seems not more more than human himself, and at times you might almost feel sorry for the guy.
           
          In this whole story, my personal take on it, when it gets to the part of Christ coming, I think initially the OT god welcomes him to heaven, and it takes a little bit before it dawns on him that he is automatically usurped by Christ, again the bad luck of a will that's not free, and then the jealousy really kicks in, because he knows his days are numbered.  Then things get a little ugly and he thinks killing Christ will fix things but these archons are short sighted and act in haste without too much forethought (no will, no planning, either , I guess) and if you carry it this far you might as well extend his role to the end and cast him as the false prophet who makes everyone worship the beast who is the devil, by falsifying religion based on an hasty decision to kill Christ, which fails miserably, but they attempt to regroup by setting up the myth of a blind belief in a blood sacrifice saving everyone who goes to church, but in the end, this fails, too, for the truth will be revealed  and all that is hidden will come to the light. 


          The last part is my own understanding but the first parts are my understandings which I found in the Nag Hammadi texts I linked to earlier today.


           
          love from annie
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: sahms2
          Sent: Friday, September 03, 2004 12:44 AM
          Subject: [Gnosticism2] Re: The Genesis Factor

          --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:

          > Well, I am not familiar with this book, but I can deal with your
          > questions. You ask....


          PMCV,

          I was referring to the article, The Genesis Factor, by Hoeller.

          Thanks for answering my questions. ....Okay...now. I'm really
          confused. In the article, Hoeller says the following about demiurge:

          "When discussing the story of Noah and the flood, author Karen
          Armstrong (A History of God, 1993), as a panelist on Moyers's
          program, asserted that God is "not some nice, cozy daddy in the sky,"
          but rather a being who decidedly behaves frequently "in an evil
          way.".........

          ............"With his actions in connection with the flood, Armstrong
          said, God originated the idea of justifiable genocide. Hitler and
          Stalin, one might deduce, acted on the instruction of such stories as
          that of the flood and of Sodom and Gomorrah when instituting the
          holocaust and the camps of the Gulag. Had the panelists called on
          Gnostic scriptures, they could have quoted many precedents for
          Armstrong's criticism of the vengeful God of the Old Testament."

          Question: If demiurge ( the God from the OT) is evil, why would he
          destroy evil?

          Also, I read the Bible with two deities in mind and have questions.

          In the Bible (KJV)....

          Genesis 1:26
          God said: "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let
          them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the
          air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every
          creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."

          Question: Why would a jealous God give man domain of all the earth?

          Question: If the God from the OT is evil and he created man like him
          doesn't that make man evil?

          ---------------------------------------------
          Genesis 2:9 
          "And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is
          pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in
          the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil."

          Question: Why would the demiurge grow the tree of knowledge if he
          didn't want man to eat from it? Wouldn't it have been easier if the
          tree never existed, then man would have never acquired the knowledge
          that demiurge was trying to hide from man?

          I have lots more questions, but I'd appreciate your answers to these
          first. =)

          Thanks a bunch!
          CS






        • sahms2
          ... these matters, hope it helps. ... him ... archons of the world, and that refers to our physical parts. The likeness is actually the likeness of the
          Message 4 of 16 , Sep 7, 2004
            --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "annie" <annielu38@z...> wrote:

            > Hi--here's my answers that I discovered when I was looking into
            these matters, hope it helps.

            > Question: If the God from the OT is evil and he created man like
            him
            > doesn't that make man evil?
            >
            > The 'image' is the 'modeled form' of the authorities, which are the
            archons of the world, and that refers to our physical parts.
            The 'likeness' is actually the likeness of the divine light of the
            Christ of which the archons caught a glimpse of, and became
            infatuated, which brought about eros, and sexual love, and flowers
            and all sorts of 'lovely ' things. Anyway we are in the bodies
            of 'beasts', as in physical (think how coarse we truly must seem to
            another who'd never been in a heavy thick body of flesh, living like
            beasts, it's just a perspective thing, really), but our likeness is
            that of Christ (which is our spirit.)
            >


            Annie,

            Thanks for your response! I've been away for a number of reasons...
            one being I've been doing additional reading, hoping to learn
            something each day. As I said in my earlier post, I'm really new at
            gnosticism, so it takes me awhile to digest what I read.

            Your comment (above) is confusing to me... IMO, John 1:1-1:5 (KJV)
            (below) contradicts what you're saying. If "all things were made by
            God and the word was with God"... doesn't this mean the creator
            (not creators) is the one and only God. Also, according to this
            statement John doesn't think we are "in the body of beasts".
            Could you clarify? =)

            [John 1:1-1:5(KJV)]
            In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the
            Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were
            made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In
            him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light
            shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

            Connie(newbie)
          • annie
            Hi Connie, I m new to gnosticism, too, but not the bible, and so the answers I know are Annie answers only. But I do love logic more than confusion! You said
            Message 5 of 16 , Sep 8, 2004
              Hi Connie,
               
              I'm new to gnosticism, too, but not the bible, and so the answers I know are Annie answers only. But I do love logic more than confusion!
               
              You said 'If "all things were made by
              God and the word was with God"... doesn't this mean the creator
              (not creators) is the one and only God. Also, according to this
              statement John doesn't think we are "in the body of beasts".
              Could you clarify? =)'
               
              The creator had to come from somewhere, just as the rest of us.  There is only One that's always been.  Also--if  you have a name, you were created.  Good rule of thumb.  So, if you trace back anything, you always come to The Father in the end.  That's the source of all creation, ultimately.
               
              As for John, well, he was in the body of a beast, too, so it's all fine and good to him, just like it is for us!
               
              Be sure and read the posts from the last few days.  I have learned a lot about some confusing matters within this subject, and you probably will, too.  Very enlightening.
               
              love from annie
              ----- Original Message -----
              From: sahms2
              Sent: Tuesday, September 07, 2004 11:30 PM
              Subject: [Gnosticism2] Re: The Genesis Factor

              --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "annie" <annielu38@z...> wrote:

              > Hi--here's my answers that I discovered when I was looking into
              these matters, hope it helps.

              > Question: If the God from the OT is evil and he created man like
              him
              > doesn't that make man evil?
              >
              > The 'image' is the 'modeled form' of the authorities, which are the
              archons of the world, and that refers to our physical parts. 
              The 'likeness' is actually the likeness of the divine light of the
              Christ of which the archons caught a glimpse of, and became
              infatuated, which brought about eros, and sexual love, and flowers
              and all sorts of 'lovely ' things.  Anyway we are in the bodies
              of 'beasts',  as in physical (think how coarse we truly must seem to
              another who'd never been in a heavy thick body of flesh, living like
              beasts, it's just a perspective thing, really), but our likeness is
              that of Christ (which is our spirit.)
              >


              Annie,

              Thanks for your response! I've been away for a number of reasons...
              one being I've been doing additional reading, hoping to learn
              something each day. As I said in my earlier post, I'm really new at
              gnosticism, so it takes me awhile to digest what I read.

              Your comment (above) is confusing to me... IMO, John 1:1-1:5 (KJV)
              (below) contradicts what you're saying. [John 1:1-1:5(KJV)]
              In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the
              Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were
              made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In
              him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light
              shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

              Connie(newbie)



            • pmcvflag
              Hey Connie, I just wanted to offer another translation of John. You may be surprized by how different it is.... starting with 1:1... In the beginning was the
              Message 6 of 16 , Sep 9, 2004
                Hey Connie, I just wanted to offer another translation of John. You
                may be surprized by how different it is.... starting with 1:1...

                "In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the
                Logos was divine. This one was with God in the beginning. All things
                came to be through it, and apart from it not one thing came to be.
                That which came to be in it was life, and the life was the light of
                human beings; and the light shines in the darkness and the darkness
                did not overpower it."

                Well, the passage goes on in a way that is quite different from what
                you will normally see in most English translations. BTW, this
                translation is by Dr Jason BeDuhn. It goes on to say things like....

                "No one has seen a god at any time, but a unique type of god -- the
                one existing in the bosom of the Father".

                As you can see, this really can be taken to have Gnostic lingo, and
                it is even full of terms like "pleroma" etc.. Some of these passages
                can even be seen as having a notion of a Demiurge (like the last one
                I posted up there), however it appears more like the Demiurge of
                Merkabah rather than that of Gnosticism (many people don't know this,
                but there was a notion of a demiurge that was fairly widely accepted
                in Judism of the era of Jesus, and even in mystical Judism today.)

                Besides the fact that the KJV is one of the worst translations
                available, I feel that this conversation has had a bit overly much
                concerned about what Jesus is supposed to have said. I am a little
                confused by your point.... we are not here to study the Bible, we are
                here to study Gnosticism.

                PMCV

                --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "sahms2" <sahms2@y...> wrote:
                > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "annie" <annielu38@z...> wrote:
                >
                > > Hi--here's my answers that I discovered when I was looking into
                > these matters, hope it helps.
                >
                > > Question: If the God from the OT is evil and he created man like
                > him
                > > doesn't that make man evil?
                > >
                > > The 'image' is the 'modeled form' of the authorities, which are
                the
                > archons of the world, and that refers to our physical parts.
                > The 'likeness' is actually the likeness of the divine light of the
                > Christ of which the archons caught a glimpse of, and became
                > infatuated, which brought about eros, and sexual love, and flowers
                > and all sorts of 'lovely ' things. Anyway we are in the bodies
                > of 'beasts', as in physical (think how coarse we truly must seem
                to
                > another who'd never been in a heavy thick body of flesh, living
                like
                > beasts, it's just a perspective thing, really), but our likeness is
                > that of Christ (which is our spirit.)
                > >
                >
                >
                > Annie,
                >
                > Thanks for your response! I've been away for a number of reasons...
                > one being I've been doing additional reading, hoping to learn
                > something each day. As I said in my earlier post, I'm really new at
                > gnosticism, so it takes me awhile to digest what I read.
                >
                > Your comment (above) is confusing to me... IMO, John 1:1-1:5 (KJV)
                > (below) contradicts what you're saying. If "all things were made by
                > God and the word was with God"... doesn't this mean the creator
                > (not creators) is the one and only God. Also, according to this
                > statement John doesn't think we are "in the body of beasts".
                > Could you clarify? =)
                >
                > [John 1:1-1:5(KJV)]
                > In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the
                > Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things
                were
                > made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
                In
                > him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light
                > shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
                >
                > Connie(newbie)
              • sahms2
                Annie, Cari, Mike, Gerry and PMCV, Just a quick note...I appreciate your openness and willingness to share. I want to comment on many of the points you ve
                Message 7 of 16 , Sep 9, 2004
                  Annie, Cari, Mike, Gerry and PMCV,

                  Just a quick note...I appreciate your openness and willingness to
                  share. I want to comment on many of the points you've made, but I'll
                  do that tomorrow. You've given me so much to read....I'm not
                  complaining or anything. As a matter of fact, all of you have been a
                  big help. I just want to take my time and read your posts and links
                  before I respond.

                  <snip>
                  > Besides the fact that the KJV is one of the worst translations
                  > available, I feel that this conversation has had a bit overly much
                  > concerned about what Jesus is supposed to have said. I am a little
                  > confused by your point.... we are not here to study the Bible, we
                  are
                  > here to study Gnosticism.
                  >
                  > PMCV


                  BTW, PMCV I wasn't trying to make a point when I asked about the
                  Bible, it's just that I have soooo many questions, thanks to Annie.
                  She had suggested I read the Bible w/2 deities in mind. =)

                  Anyway, I'll talk to everyone tomorrow.

                  Thanks Again!
                  Connie
                • Gerry
                  ... Was that from published material of his, or from classroom or personal correspondence? I m just curious whether I might find more. Gerry
                  Message 8 of 16 , Sep 15, 2004
                    --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > ...Well, the passage goes on in a way that is quite different from
                    > what you will normally see in most English translations. BTW, this
                    > translation is by Dr Jason BeDuhn....




                    Was that from published material of his, or from classroom or
                    personal correspondence? I'm just curious whether I might find more.

                    Gerry
                  • pmcvflag
                    Hey Gerry Well, That was actually from personal and academic sources. I have just orderd the latest book he published on New Testement translation (Called
                    Message 9 of 16 , Sep 16, 2004
                      Hey Gerry

                      Well, That was actually from personal and academic sources. I have
                      just orderd the latest book he published on New Testement translation
                      (Called "Truth In Translation"), and if it is not contained in this
                      book I will post it if you all wish (I will of course ask first if
                      that is ok with Dr BeDuhn). However, it is pretty long.

                      PMCV

                      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Gerry" <gerryhsp@y...> wrote:
                      > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > ...Well, the passage goes on in a way that is quite different
                      from
                      > > what you will normally see in most English translations. BTW,
                      this
                      > > translation is by Dr Jason BeDuhn....
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Was that from published material of his, or from classroom or
                      > personal correspondence? I'm just curious whether I might find
                      more.
                      >
                      > Gerry
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