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Re: Salvation

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  • lady_caritas
    ... the ... this ... some ... this ... I ... all ... to ... Hi, Jana. Welcome back. I really feel for our members who have had to deal with the effects of
    Message 1 of 83 , Sep 4, 2004
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      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "janahooks" <janahooks@y...>
      wrote:
      > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Mary VanEsselstyn"
      > <maryjvan@m...> wrote:
      > > Hi folks On the meaning of Salvation I was wondering if
      the
      > Gnostics
      > > understood it differently than an easy way to get off the hook or
      > am I off
      > > base here?There is likely more it it than that. Can anyone
      > explaiin the
      > > difference?
      >
      > My computer has been in the shop, and I'm 2 and 1/2 hurricanes into
      > the season. I have tried to catch up on 119 missed messages in
      this
      > group, and my head is spinning. HOWEVER, I noticed in your message
      > some questions I have been pondering as well. Personally, I have
      > thought of salvation as a major decision--almost as a doorway to
      some
      > big responsibililty.
      >
      > For example in the letter to the Phllippians Paul taught, "Work
      > > out your own salvation with fear and trembling" What did he mean
      > by this
      > > scripture? Could it mean that we may have some part in our own
      > salvation.
      >
      > Yeah, I think about this one constantly. Maybe one steps onto the
      > path and heads in the right direction, but there is so much to see
      > along the way. Higher levels of conciousness, and all. In my very
      > early stages of learning, it does seem that gnostics are very much
      > involved in their own salvation. The whole NH seems to read in
      this
      > manner.
      >
      > Is
      > > it individual oor collective?
      >
      > Something that I was thinking about before I found out about
      > gnosticism was that God would draw all things to himself. I think
      I
      > was basing this loosely on scriptures that said something to the
      > effect that it was God's will that no man should perish. You
      > know, "Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess..." It does make
      > me think in the more collective sense, come to think of it.
      >
      > Paul also taught in I Corinthians2 that the
      > > spiritual man questions all things, investigates all things and
      > discerns all
      > > things.
      >
      > I think the last part of this scripture is the best,"...discerns
      all
      > things." It doesn't say "TRIES to discern...". I'm sorry I don't
      > have any answers for you, though, as the others in this group who
      > have obviously studied gnosticism for some time. It was just nice
      to
      > see someone bring up the same scriptures that have been nagging at
      > me. Thanks! jana


      Hi, Jana. Welcome back. I really feel for our members who have had
      to deal with the effects of hurricanes this year.

      Yes, "discerns all things" is important. This discernment is about
      revelation, not just wishful thinking or factual knowledge, but it's
      also not handed on a silver platter. You recognize correctly the
      importance of self-acquaintance and personal responsibility in
      stripping away layers of ignorance toward salvific gnosis.

      For those interested in Paul, _The Gnostic Paul_ by Elaine Pagels
      might come in handy. I'll quote a bit from pages 58-60, including
      the verses Mary mentions, plus a few leading up to those:
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      1 Cor 2:10-13: God has revealed this to us through the spirit. For
      the spirit searches all things, even the deep things (_ta bathe_) of
      God. For who knows the things of man, but the spirit of mankind that
      is in him? So also, no one knows the things of God but the spirit of
      God. Now we have not received the spirit of the cosmos, but the
      spirit which is from God, that we may perceive the gifts of grace
      (_charisthenta_) given to us by God. And we speak these things not
      in words taught by human wisdom, but taught by the spirit,
      interpreting pneumatic things to those who are pneumatic.

      [Pagels:] These secret mysteries are revealed "through the spirit"
      which "searches all things, even the deep things of God" (2:10),
      which, according to Valentinian exegesis, suggests the mysteries of
      the divine pleroma. The "soul," being psychic, cannot comprehend
      these mysteries; only "the spirit" can know them. Paul
      continues, "We have not received the spirit of the cosmos (i.e. the
      demiurge) but the spirit of God (the Father)" who alone reveals
      the "deep things of God," as the Naassenes, Basilides, and the
      Valentinians agree.

      1 Cor 2:14-16: For the psychic (_ho psychichos_) does not receive
      the things of the spirit of God: they are foolishness to him, and he
      cannot know them, because they are pneumatically discerned. The
      pneumatic (_ho pneumatikos_) on the other hand discerns all things,
      but himself is discerned by no one. For "who has known the mind of
      the Lord, and who may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ!

      [Pagels:] This passage commands great attention from Gnostic
      theologians. Here, they claim, Paul clearly distinguishes the
      _psychic_ from the _pneumatic_ nature. He declares that the
      demiurge, being psychic, "does not comprehend the things of the
      spirit," since he, "being psychic, knew neither his Mother, who was
      pneumatic, nor her seeds, nor the aions of the pleroma"; he
      was "foolish, and lacked understanding, imagining that he himself
      made the cosmos. But he was ignorant that Sophia, the Mother, the
      Ogdoad, was really the cause of his activity. Those who, like the
      demiurge, are psychic have received only the "spirit of the cosmos"
      (2:12) and consequently lack understanding of pneumatic realities.
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      However, Pagels goes on to say that Paul then differentiates between
      the "pneumatics spiritual potential and their actual situation.
      Although gifted with the spirit, they are still `sarkic, immature in
      Christ': they are not ready to receive the secret, oral teaching he
      could offer them.
      [...]
      "As long as the pneumatics argue about which of the apostles
      has `generated them in Christ' they demonstrate their spiritual
      immaturity--failing to realize that they have been generated `from
      above.' As Heracleon says, the pneumatic seed is not sown by the
      apostles but by the Logos himself. This seed, generated in a state
      of immaturity, must be clothed with the sarkic garment of
      materiality, in order to grow in wisdom and strength to maturity."

      So, according to the Valentinians, this is a process, and we can see
      their view of the need for the material world to aid in this
      process. More on the Christ, Demiurge and Sophia roles in this
      process in Valentinian mythology is discussed in the links I left in
      my last message (#10108) for anyone interested.


      Cari
    • 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
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        Aleada

        >>>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
        here.

        >>>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
        Gandy.

        >>>>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.

        PMCV
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