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Salvation, Hope, Do non-gnostics enter the Kindom

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  • elmoreb
    This is a reply to several threads. Here is a quote from The Apocryphon of John. *********************** And I said to the savior, Lord, will all the souls
    Message 1 of 19 , Sep 16, 2004
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      This is a reply to several threads. Here is a quote from The
      Apocryphon of John.

      ***********************
      And I said to the savior, "Lord, will all the souls then be brought
      safely into the pure light?" He answered and said to me, "Great
      things have arisen in your mind, for it is difficult to explain them
      to others except to those who are from the immovable race. Those on
      whom the Spirit of life will descend and (with whom) he will be with
      the power, they will be saved and become perfect and be worthy of
      the greatness and be purified in that place from all wickedness and
      the involvements in evil. Then they have no other care than the
      incorruption alone, to which they direct their attention from here
      on, without anger or envy or jealousy or desire and greed of
      anything. They are not affected by anything except the state of
      being in the flesh alone, which they bear while looking expectantly
      for the time when they will be met by the receivers (of the body).
      Such then are worthy of the imperishable, eternal life and the
      calling. For they endure everything and bear up under everything,
      that they may finish the good fight and inherit eternal life."

      I said to him, "Lord, the souls of those who did not do these works
      (but) on whom the power and Spirit descended, (will they be
      rejected?" He answered and said to me, "If) the Spirit (descended
      upon them), they will in any case be saved, and they will change
      (for the better). For the power will descend on every man, for
      without it no one can stand. And after they are born, then, when the
      Spirit of life increases and the power comes and strengthens that
      soul, no one can lead it astray with works of evil. But those on
      whom the counterfeit spirit descends are drawn by him and they go
      astray."

      And I said, "Lord, where will the souls of these go when they have
      come out of their flesh?" And he smiled and said to me, "The soul in
      which the power will become stronger than the counterfeit spirit, is
      strong and it flees from evil and, through the intervention of the
      incorruptible one, it is saved, and it is taken up to the rest of
      the aeons."

      And I said, "Lord, those, however, who have not known to whom they
      belong, where will their souls be?" And he said to me, "In those,
      the despicable spirit has gained strength when they went astray. And
      he burdens the soul and draws it to the works of evil, and he casts
      it down into forgetfulness. And after it comes out of (the body), it
      is handed over to the authorities, who came into being through the
      archon, and they bind it with chains and cast it into prison, and
      consort with it until it is liberated from the forgetfulness and
      acquires knowledge. And if thus it becomes perfect, it is saved."

      ************************

      I think this text has some to say about alot of the recent topics. I
      wanted to post it a week or so ago, but I couldnt find the text I
      had read it in. Finally found it :)
    • sahms2
      Thank you! This does help. There is something that wasn t mentioned in this passage(s), or maybe I missed it. Since I don t see it, I ll ask my question, but
      Message 2 of 19 , Sep 16, 2004
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        Thank you! This does help.

        There is something that wasn't mentioned in this passage(s), or maybe
        I missed it. Since I don't see it, I'll ask my question, but no one
        get defensive if I don't ask it in a non-orthodox manner. =)

        Here goes....Does God want man to spread this message, so that others
        can be saved? I know this question sounds orthodox, but I don't know
        how else to ask it.

        To better clarify my question...Not everyone knows or believes they
        can be saved, but I assume God ultimately wants all mankind to enter
        the Kingdom (Yes/No?), as opposed to the Demiurge who wants something
        else (I'm not really sure what he wants.) Anyway, I hope I'm making
        sense???


        Connie


        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "elmoreb" <elmoreb@y...> wrote:
        > This is a reply to several threads. Here is a quote from The
        > Apocryphon of John.
        >
      • sahms2
        I re-read your post and this is my understanding/thoughts/concerns: Based on my understanding, the majority of the souls will not enter the Kingdom of God (in
        Message 3 of 19 , Sep 16, 2004
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          I re-read your post and this is my understanding/thoughts/concerns:

          Based on my understanding, the majority of the souls will not enter
          the Kingdom of God (in this lifetime) because most of us are greedy,
          have desire for something, are envious of one another, possess anger
          and are involved in evil of sorts as opposed to being pure or
          perfect.

          Wow! This sounds sooo dismal and final. All of my life I'm strived to
          do well in all my endeavors. The only one endeavor I have not
          succeeded thus far is to be pure and perfect. Consequently, there is
          no salvation (in this lifetime) for me or anyone else who is not pure
          or perfect.

          Why strive to get an get a good job, a home, a car, etc., if it's all
          pointless?

          Am I misunderstanding the Apocryphon of John??

          Connie



          --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "elmoreb" <elmoreb@y...> wrote:
          > This is a reply to several threads. Here is a quote from The
          > Apocryphon of John.
          >
          > ***********************
        • annie
          Connie, I think you are understanding right, but I don t think it has to be necessarily dismal, although you hit a few key points when you said because most
          Message 4 of 19 , Sep 16, 2004
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            Connie,
             
            I think you are understanding right, but I don't think it has to be necessarily dismal, although you hit a few key points when you said 'because most of us are greedy, have desire for something' .  All the 'somethings' that people desire for, for the most part, and that give rise to greed, are things of the material plane.  Things we can't take with us, even power and prestige in this world are worth nothing in the next, and can even be detrimental.  It's what we attach ourselves to that rules over our lives.
             
            Without wishes, the heart is happy.  When desire ends, there is peace.
             
            'All of my life I'm strived to do well in all my endeavors.'  But what has been the focus and end-goal of your endeavors?--toward concerns of the physical/material type or are they more oriented toward the spiritual side of life?  I don't think anyone should give any serious thought to perfection, it's just not possible in the way we percieve the concept of 'perfect'.  It's got to be a self-destructive aim,  somehow, in that sense.   What really matters is your priorities and your understanding of what is transient and 'false', i.e. what things will pass away some day, and what things will be counted as riches in the place beyond this one.  If there's nothing of material substance on the spiritual level, nothing of that description should come before the things which are abstract, because to put it simply, it's a waste of time.  If you're worried about entering the Kingdom, that's got to be what is foremost in your mind, in all that you do.   Love, compassion for others, empathy, peace of mind, and the enjoyment of just 'being' should not be sacrificed for a bigger paycheck, social obligations, busy schedules, political interest, whatever.  
             
            In that passage it says 'Then they have no other care than the incorruption alone, to which they direct their attention from here on, without anger or envy or jealousy or desire and greed of anything. They are not affected by anything except the state of being in the flesh alone, which they bear while looking expectantly for the time when they will be met by the receivers (of the body). '
             
            That's the whole thing, right there.  It's all about where you direct your attention.
             
            'Why strive to get an get a good job, a home, a car, etc., if it's all pointless?'
             
            Exactly.


            love from annie
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: sahms2
            Sent: Thursday, September 16, 2004 2:55 PM
            Subject: [Gnosticism2] Re: Salvation, Hope, Do non-gnostics enter the Kindom

            I re-read your post and this is my understanding/thoughts/concerns:

            Based on my understanding, the majority of the souls will not enter
            the Kingdom of God (in this lifetime) because most of us are greedy,
            have desire for something, are envious of one another, possess anger
            and are involved in evil of sorts as opposed to being pure or
            perfect.

            Wow! This sounds sooo dismal and final. All of my life I'm strived to
            do well in all my endeavors. The only one endeavor I have not
            succeeded thus far is to be pure and perfect. Consequently, there is
            no salvation (in this lifetime) for me or anyone else who is not pure
            or perfect.

            Why strive to get an get a good job, a home, a car, etc., if it's all
            pointless?

            Am I misunderstanding the Apocryphon of John??

            Connie



            --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "elmoreb" <elmoreb@y...> wrote:
            > This is a reply to several threads. Here is a quote from The
            > Apocryphon of John.
            >
            > ***********************




          • pmcvflag
            Connie..... For this last question concerning whether God wants anyone to enter it s kingdom ... can I point you back to the passage I offered earlier in
            Message 5 of 19 , Sep 16, 2004
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              Connie.....

              For this last question concerning whether "God wants" anyone to
              enter "it's kingdom"... can I point you back to the passage I offered
              earlier in which Basilides points out that the TRUE god "WANTS"
              nothing? In Gnosticism there simply is not thinking "God" that had
              wants or needs etc.. I know that may sound dismal on the surface, but
              in fact is is not so after understanding the points of Gnosticism.
              Wanting is part of the realm of the Demiurge and the last truely
              spiritual realm of the low Sophia. SO!!!! wanting can be either the
              failing of the Demiurge, or the subtle bridge into the realm of the
              Sophia... BUT... it alone is NOT the realm of the true high "Father",
              who simply has no "want".

              In toher words... what "God" may want is dependant on what you mean
              by "God". Most people mean the Demiurge... some people mean something
              greater.... the Logos or the Sophia. The TRUE "Father" does
              not "WANT" anything... it does not have a message.... it is TRUELY
              outside the notions that the word "want" can express.

              PMCV

              --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "sahms2" <sahms2@y...> wrote:
              > Thank you! This does help.
              >
              > There is something that wasn't mentioned in this passage(s), or
              maybe
              > I missed it. Since I don't see it, I'll ask my question, but no one
              > get defensive if I don't ask it in a non-orthodox manner. =)
              >
              > Here goes....Does God want man to spread this message, so that
              others
              > can be saved? I know this question sounds orthodox, but I don't
              know
              > how else to ask it.
              >
              > To better clarify my question...Not everyone knows or believes they
              > can be saved, but I assume God ultimately wants all mankind to
              enter
              > the Kingdom (Yes/No?), as opposed to the Demiurge who wants
              something
              > else (I'm not really sure what he wants.) Anyway, I hope I'm making
              > sense???
              >
              >
              > Connie
              >
              >
              > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "elmoreb" <elmoreb@y...> wrote:
              > > This is a reply to several threads. Here is a quote from The
              > > Apocryphon of John.
              > >
            • elmoreb
              ... others ... know ... they ... enter ... something ... making ... Like PCMV said, the All Father doesnt have wants or needs. his Aeons ( Pistis Sophia, etc)
              Message 6 of 19 , Sep 17, 2004
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                > Here goes....Does God want man to spread this message, so that
                others
                > can be saved? I know this question sounds orthodox, but I don't
                know
                > how else to ask it.
                >
                > To better clarify my question...Not everyone knows or believes
                they
                > can be saved, but I assume God ultimately wants all mankind to
                enter
                > the Kingdom (Yes/No?), as opposed to the Demiurge who wants
                something
                > else (I'm not really sure what he wants.) Anyway, I hope I'm
                making
                > sense???
                >
                >
                > Connie


                Like PCMV said, the All Father doesnt have wants or needs. his Aeons
                ( Pistis Sophia, etc) may be a different story.

                From what Ive gathered from the texts that have Christ in it, we we
                are instructed to teach. If they dont listen, move on. But thats
                just the impression I get. Facilitate the process, without getting
                wrapped up too much in it.





                >Why strive to get an get a good job, a home, a car, etc., if it's
                >all
                >pointless?

                Like it or not, we are here in this world. Some believe it HAS no
                point, or even has a detrimental effect to try and achieve any kind
                of material success.

                Here are some quotes from the Gospel of Thomas

                "(14) Jesus said to them, "If you fast, you will give rise to sin
                for yourselves; and if you pray, you will be condemned; and if you
                give alms, you will do harm to your spirits. When you go into any
                land and walk about in the districts, if they receive you, eat what
                they will set before you, and heal the sick among them. For what
                goes into your mouth will not defile you, but that which issues from
                your mouth - it is that which will defile you." "

                If we get hung up on praying a certain way, or shunning food and
                material possessions because we think we should, not because we want
                to, then we are doing more harm to ourselves than good. If we push
                food aside, then we will leave the fast hungrier than ever and end
                up worse than we began. If we give all our money to the Church, then
                lifes stresses dealing with money will pre-occupy our minds.

                I think the point is to get your material needs out of the way so
                you can concentrate on more important things. But there is a limit.
                Dont ever make material things a priority.


                "27) <Jesus said,> "If you do not fast as regards the world, you
                will not find the kingdom. If you do not observe the Sabbath as a
                Sabbath, you will not see the father." "

                This passage seems contradictory at first. But really, its not. It
                means dont just go through the motions. Realize the material realm
                is nothing, and look for the Truth with no regards to the material
                world.

                How did traditional Gnostics feel about this? I have no idea, but I
                bet there were a thousand different views on the matter. Some
                shunned all material possessions, some got thier needs out of the
                way. There are several other passages dealing with the same thing,
                but I can't find them at the moment. And some of them are ( or at
                least seem) contradictory.
              • pneumen_borealis
                ... maybe ... one ... others ... know ... I think the others are right, but I think that you might find their explanations lacking because they are too quick
                Message 7 of 19 , Sep 19, 2004
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                  --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "sahms2" <sahms2@y...> wrote:
                  > Thank you! This does help.
                  >
                  > There is something that wasn't mentioned in this passage(s), or
                  maybe
                  > I missed it. Since I don't see it, I'll ask my question, but no
                  one
                  > get defensive if I don't ask it in a non-orthodox manner. =)
                  >
                  > Here goes....Does God want man to spread this message, so that
                  others
                  > can be saved? I know this question sounds orthodox, but I don't
                  know
                  > how else to ask it.
                  >


                  I think the others are right, but I think that you might find their
                  explanations lacking because they are too quick to reject "orthodox"
                  scripture. Personally, I believe the "orthodox bible" is incomplete,
                  but still contains gnostic content (particular in Mark, John, and
                  the writings of Paul).

                  The Father of the Gnostics is not a human God, and cannot be
                  described in human terms. He is certainly not the jealous or
                  wrathful God of the Bible. The loving Father of the New Testament
                  might be a better allegory that gets closer to the heart of the
                  matter, but it still misses the mark ultimately. I personally view
                  this God (and have done so for quite a while) as a radiant light
                  that calls us to Him both from within and from every outside
                  direction much the way a light will draw a moth to it in the night.
                  That description may ultimately prove to miss the mark as well, but
                  it does make the point that to speak of this Father "wanting"
                  something simply doesn't make sense in Gnostic terms.

                  The Demiurge can be viewed as sort of an imperfect view of this
                  Father that we build in our attempts to come closer to the light. As
                  we reach for the light, we try to understand this Father in human
                  terms. We assign to him Fatherly attributes (well, I suppose how the
                  Hebrews viewed fatherly), a Creative power, a Will, jealousy, wrath,
                  possessiveness, and even a benevolent Love.

                  Christ represents, in part, the personal aspect of this God. He
                  instructs us that the way to the father is through Love. But we
                  cannot love an impersonal God. Such a God would seem distant and
                  even wrathful when that love is not returned. Hence, our imperfect
                  view of God as the Demiurge needs to be redeemed. Hence we are to
                  love Jesus, who is God taken on human form so that we can love him
                  in the more appropriate way that will bring us closer to the Father.
                  We are to love God unconditionally and freely as we would a son as
                  opposed to approaching God with fear and respect as we would a
                  father.

                  So, taken this way, the only way to the Father is by Jesus. It is
                  fruitless to try to love the Father directly. It is through the
                  humanity of Jesus as the Son of Man that true love of God is
                  possible.
                • sahms2
                  pneumen_borealis, I was just about to reply to PMCV s post in response to my question about what God wants . But, I ll go ahead and reply to both of you. Keep
                  Message 8 of 19 , Sep 19, 2004
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                    pneumen_borealis,

                    I was just about to reply to PMCV's post in response to my question
                    about "what God wants". But, I'll go ahead and reply to both of you.
                    Keep in mind that I may come back to your post after I re-read it. =)

                    Your explanation was a little easier to comprehend. I can't say (for
                    sure) I understand it completely yet... but it's a good start for me.
                    When PMCV said God wants "nothing", I was a little confused. I
                    thought entering the Kingdom of the Father was pointless, if it's not
                    part of the plan. The plan being, God wants us to enter the Kingdom.
                    I guess, the difference is that the Father "calls us" to him as
                    opposed to "wants us". Yes/No? I definitely need to re-read your
                    post.

                    Connie


                    --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pneumen_borealis <no_reply@y...>
                    wrote:
                    > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "sahms2" <sahms2@y...> wrote:
                    > > Thank you! This does help.
                    > >
                    > > There is something that wasn't mentioned in this passage(s), or
                    > maybe
                    > > I missed it. Since I don't see it, I'll ask my question, but no
                    > one
                    > > get defensive if I don't ask it in a non-orthodox manner. =)
                    > >
                    > > Here goes....Does God want man to spread this message, so that
                    > others
                    > > can be saved? I know this question sounds orthodox, but I don't
                    > know
                    > > how else to ask it.
                    > >
                    >
                    >
                    > I think the others are right, but I think that you might find their
                    > explanations lacking because they are too quick to
                    reject "orthodox"
                    > scripture. Personally, I believe the "orthodox bible" is
                    incomplete,
                    > but still contains gnostic content (particular in Mark, John, and
                    > the writings of Paul).
                    >
                    > The Father of the Gnostics is not a human God, and cannot be
                    > described in human terms. He is certainly not the jealous or
                    > wrathful God of the Bible. The loving Father of the New Testament
                    > might be a better allegory that gets closer to the heart of the
                    > matter, but it still misses the mark ultimately. I personally view
                    > this God (and have done so for quite a while) as a radiant light
                    > that calls us to Him both from within and from every outside
                    > direction much the way a light will draw a moth to it in the
                    night.
                    > That description may ultimately prove to miss the mark as well, but
                    > it does make the point that to speak of this Father "wanting"
                    > something simply doesn't make sense in Gnostic terms.
                    >
                    > The Demiurge can be viewed as sort of an imperfect view of this
                    > Father that we build in our attempts to come closer to the light.
                    As
                    > we reach for the light, we try to understand this Father in human
                    > terms. We assign to him Fatherly attributes (well, I suppose how
                    the
                    > Hebrews viewed fatherly), a Creative power, a Will, jealousy,
                    wrath,
                    > possessiveness, and even a benevolent Love.
                    >
                    > Christ represents, in part, the personal aspect of this God. He
                    > instructs us that the way to the father is through Love. But we
                    > cannot love an impersonal God. Such a God would seem distant and
                    > even wrathful when that love is not returned. Hence, our imperfect
                    > view of God as the Demiurge needs to be redeemed. Hence we are to
                    > love Jesus, who is God taken on human form so that we can love him
                    > in the more appropriate way that will bring us closer to the
                    Father.
                    > We are to love God unconditionally and freely as we would a son as
                    > opposed to approaching God with fear and respect as we would a
                    > father.
                    >
                    > So, taken this way, the only way to the Father is by Jesus. It is
                    > fruitless to try to love the Father directly. It is through the
                    > humanity of Jesus as the Son of Man that true love of God is
                    > possible.
                  • pmcvflag
                    Connie Not to put words into Pneumans mouth, but I do believe that he was using allegorical lingo that you may have taken a bit literally. If I am wrong, he
                    Message 9 of 19 , Sep 20, 2004
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                      Connie

                      Not to put words into Pneumans mouth, but I do believe that he was
                      using allegorical lingo that you may have taken a bit literally. If I
                      am wrong, he can correct me. However, even if I have misunderstood
                      Pneumen, I am only doing so with the assumption that he is accurately
                      relating it as Gnostics would have meant such things. Let me point
                      out that this kind of lingo that resonates with Christian theology is
                      something that some Gnostics (The Valentinians we keep talking about)
                      used quite often... HOWEVER..... they generally also warned us to not
                      forget that these words could also be misleading if we don't
                      understand that in the end they are not accurate (so I assume it was
                      simply a slight oversight on Pneumens part in not including the same
                      disclaimer).

                      Contrary to Pneuman's claim, we do not reject the "orthodox" bible
                      here at all (it is not our job to either confirm of deny the Bible).
                      Some Gnostic groups DID use this Bible, others did not. We simply
                      mean to point out the dangers of trying to see Gnosticism as a whole
                      through some kind of Biblical reading, and to caution against getting
                      stuck in common modern Biblical understandings. (We also don't want
                      more explicitely Christian forms of Gnosticism to dominate the board
                      when there were other forms to study)

                      I tell you what... I need to go to bed, but tomorrow I will try to
                      post some actual Gnostic passages, both Christian and otherwise, that
                      deal with this subject directly. Perhaps they will help to explain a
                      bit better than I.

                      PMCV

                      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "sahms2" <sahms2@y...> wrote:
                      > pneumen_borealis,
                      >
                      > I was just about to reply to PMCV's post in response to my question
                      > about "what God wants". But, I'll go ahead and reply to both of
                      you.
                      > Keep in mind that I may come back to your post after I re-read it.
                      =)
                      >
                      > Your explanation was a little easier to comprehend. I can't say
                      (for
                      > sure) I understand it completely yet... but it's a good start for
                      me.
                      > When PMCV said God wants "nothing", I was a little confused. I
                      > thought entering the Kingdom of the Father was pointless, if it's
                      not
                      > part of the plan. The plan being, God wants us to enter the
                      Kingdom.
                      > I guess, the difference is that the Father "calls us" to him as
                      > opposed to "wants us". Yes/No? I definitely need to re-read your
                      > post.
                      >
                      > Connie
                      >
                      >
                      > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pneumen_borealis
                      <no_reply@y...>
                      > wrote:
                      > > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "sahms2" <sahms2@y...> wrote:
                      > > > Thank you! This does help.
                      > > >
                      > > > There is something that wasn't mentioned in this passage(s), or
                      > > maybe
                      > > > I missed it. Since I don't see it, I'll ask my question, but no
                      > > one
                      > > > get defensive if I don't ask it in a non-orthodox manner. =)
                      > > >
                      > > > Here goes....Does God want man to spread this message, so that
                      > > others
                      > > > can be saved? I know this question sounds orthodox, but I don't
                      > > know
                      > > > how else to ask it.
                      > > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > I think the others are right, but I think that you might find
                      their
                      > > explanations lacking because they are too quick to
                      > reject "orthodox"
                      > > scripture. Personally, I believe the "orthodox bible" is
                      > incomplete,
                      > > but still contains gnostic content (particular in Mark, John, and
                      > > the writings of Paul).
                      > >
                      > > The Father of the Gnostics is not a human God, and cannot be
                      > > described in human terms. He is certainly not the jealous or
                      > > wrathful God of the Bible. The loving Father of the New Testament
                      > > might be a better allegory that gets closer to the heart of the
                      > > matter, but it still misses the mark ultimately. I personally
                      view
                      > > this God (and have done so for quite a while) as a radiant light
                      > > that calls us to Him both from within and from every outside
                      > > direction much the way a light will draw a moth to it in the
                      > night.
                      > > That description may ultimately prove to miss the mark as well,
                      but
                      > > it does make the point that to speak of this Father "wanting"
                      > > something simply doesn't make sense in Gnostic terms.
                      > >
                      > > The Demiurge can be viewed as sort of an imperfect view of this
                      > > Father that we build in our attempts to come closer to the light.
                      > As
                      > > we reach for the light, we try to understand this Father in human
                      > > terms. We assign to him Fatherly attributes (well, I suppose how
                      > the
                      > > Hebrews viewed fatherly), a Creative power, a Will, jealousy,
                      > wrath,
                      > > possessiveness, and even a benevolent Love.
                      > >
                      > > Christ represents, in part, the personal aspect of this God. He
                      > > instructs us that the way to the father is through Love. But we
                      > > cannot love an impersonal God. Such a God would seem distant and
                      > > even wrathful when that love is not returned. Hence, our
                      imperfect
                      > > view of God as the Demiurge needs to be redeemed. Hence we are to
                      > > love Jesus, who is God taken on human form so that we can love
                      him
                      > > in the more appropriate way that will bring us closer to the
                      > Father.
                      > > We are to love God unconditionally and freely as we would a son
                      as
                      > > opposed to approaching God with fear and respect as we would a
                      > > father.
                      > >
                      > > So, taken this way, the only way to the Father is by Jesus. It is
                      > > fruitless to try to love the Father directly. It is through the
                      > > humanity of Jesus as the Son of Man that true love of God is
                      > > possible.
                    • lady_caritas
                      ... I ... accurately ... is ... about) ... not ... was ... same ... Bible). ... whole ... getting ... board ... Hi, all. I ll just interject a few thoughts
                      Message 10 of 19 , Sep 20, 2004
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                        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                        > Connie
                        >
                        > Not to put words into Pneumans mouth, but I do believe that he was
                        > using allegorical lingo that you may have taken a bit literally. If
                        I
                        > am wrong, he can correct me. However, even if I have misunderstood
                        > Pneumen, I am only doing so with the assumption that he is
                        accurately
                        > relating it as Gnostics would have meant such things. Let me point
                        > out that this kind of lingo that resonates with Christian theology
                        is
                        > something that some Gnostics (The Valentinians we keep talking
                        about)
                        > used quite often... HOWEVER..... they generally also warned us to
                        not
                        > forget that these words could also be misleading if we don't
                        > understand that in the end they are not accurate (so I assume it
                        was
                        > simply a slight oversight on Pneumens part in not including the
                        same
                        > disclaimer).
                        >
                        > Contrary to Pneuman's claim, we do not reject the "orthodox" bible
                        > here at all (it is not our job to either confirm of deny the
                        Bible).
                        > Some Gnostic groups DID use this Bible, others did not. We simply
                        > mean to point out the dangers of trying to see Gnosticism as a
                        whole
                        > through some kind of Biblical reading, and to caution against
                        getting
                        > stuck in common modern Biblical understandings. (We also don't want
                        > more explicitely Christian forms of Gnosticism to dominate the
                        board
                        > when there were other forms to study)


                        Hi, all. I'll just interject a few thoughts here.

                        Well, yes, I agree that we must be careful about interpretation, and
                        the highly Christianized Valentinians were not the only
                        representatives of Gnosticism. I still haven't had any bites though
                        on Sethian articles I linked to (in case anyone is interested at some
                        point):
                        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gnosticism2/message/10121
                        ( http://jdt.unl.edu/ )

                        One note about interpretation. Reading the end of Pneumen's post
                        gives me pause. For instance, "Hence we are to love Jesus, who is
                        God taken on human form" can be misleading. The unknown "god" is
                        never equated with the human Jesus in Gnostic literature.

                        Also, "It is through the humanity of Jesus as the Son of Man that
                        true love of God is possible." The humanity of Jesus was not always
                        so important to Gnostics (even the Valentinians), hence their docetic
                        portrayal of the Christ.

                        Again, as Pneumen does say earlier, "The Father of the Gnostics is
                        not a human God, and cannot be described in human terms." The Father
                        is not a being, as has been demonstrated ad infinitum by posted
                        scriptural quotes here. So, anthropomorphized descriptions such
                        as "true love of God" (or even "Father," for that matter) should not
                        be taken as literally referring to a "loving godbeing." The image of
                        the Unknown is still ineffable and infinite.

                        Hopefully, PMCV's upcoming quotes will help explain.


                        Cari



                        > I tell you what... I need to go to bed, but tomorrow I will try to
                        > post some actual Gnostic passages, both Christian and otherwise,
                        that
                        > deal with this subject directly. Perhaps they will help to explain
                        a
                        > bit better than I.
                        >
                        > PMCV
                        >
                        > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "sahms2" <sahms2@y...> wrote:
                        > > pneumen_borealis,
                        > >
                        > > I was just about to reply to PMCV's post in response to my
                        question
                        > > about "what God wants". But, I'll go ahead and reply to both of
                        > you.
                        > > Keep in mind that I may come back to your post after I re-read
                        it.
                        > =)
                        > >
                        > > Your explanation was a little easier to comprehend. I can't say
                        > (for
                        > > sure) I understand it completely yet... but it's a good start for
                        > me.
                        > > When PMCV said God wants "nothing", I was a little confused. I
                        > > thought entering the Kingdom of the Father was pointless, if it's
                        > not
                        > > part of the plan. The plan being, God wants us to enter the
                        > Kingdom.
                        > > I guess, the difference is that the Father "calls us" to him as
                        > > opposed to "wants us". Yes/No? I definitely need to re-read your
                        > > post.
                        > >
                        > > Connie
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pneumen_borealis
                        > <no_reply@y...>
                        > > wrote:
                        > > > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "sahms2" <sahms2@y...>
                        wrote:
                        > > > > Thank you! This does help.
                        > > > >
                        > > > > There is something that wasn't mentioned in this passage(s),
                        or
                        > > > maybe
                        > > > > I missed it. Since I don't see it, I'll ask my question, but
                        no
                        > > > one
                        > > > > get defensive if I don't ask it in a non-orthodox manner. =)
                        > > > >
                        > > > > Here goes....Does God want man to spread this message, so
                        that
                        > > > others
                        > > > > can be saved? I know this question sounds orthodox, but I
                        don't
                        > > > know
                        > > > > how else to ask it.
                        > > > >
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > > I think the others are right, but I think that you might find
                        > their
                        > > > explanations lacking because they are too quick to
                        > > reject "orthodox"
                        > > > scripture. Personally, I believe the "orthodox bible" is
                        > > incomplete,
                        > > > but still contains gnostic content (particular in Mark, John,
                        and
                        > > > the writings of Paul).
                        > > >
                        > > > The Father of the Gnostics is not a human God, and cannot be
                        > > > described in human terms. He is certainly not the jealous or
                        > > > wrathful God of the Bible. The loving Father of the New
                        Testament
                        > > > might be a better allegory that gets closer to the heart of the
                        > > > matter, but it still misses the mark ultimately. I personally
                        > view
                        > > > this God (and have done so for quite a while) as a radiant
                        light
                        > > > that calls us to Him both from within and from every outside
                        > > > direction much the way a light will draw a moth to it in the
                        > > night.
                        > > > That description may ultimately prove to miss the mark as well,
                        > but
                        > > > it does make the point that to speak of this Father "wanting"
                        > > > something simply doesn't make sense in Gnostic terms.
                        > > >
                        > > > The Demiurge can be viewed as sort of an imperfect view of this
                        > > > Father that we build in our attempts to come closer to the
                        light.
                        > > As
                        > > > we reach for the light, we try to understand this Father in
                        human
                        > > > terms. We assign to him Fatherly attributes (well, I suppose
                        how
                        > > the
                        > > > Hebrews viewed fatherly), a Creative power, a Will, jealousy,
                        > > wrath,
                        > > > possessiveness, and even a benevolent Love.
                        > > >
                        > > > Christ represents, in part, the personal aspect of this God. He
                        > > > instructs us that the way to the father is through Love. But we
                        > > > cannot love an impersonal God. Such a God would seem distant
                        and
                        > > > even wrathful when that love is not returned. Hence, our
                        > imperfect
                        > > > view of God as the Demiurge needs to be redeemed. Hence we are
                        to
                        > > > love Jesus, who is God taken on human form so that we can love
                        > him
                        > > > in the more appropriate way that will bring us closer to the
                        > > Father.
                        > > > We are to love God unconditionally and freely as we would a son
                        > as
                        > > > opposed to approaching God with fear and respect as we would a
                        > > > father.
                        > > >
                        > > > So, taken this way, the only way to the Father is by Jesus. It
                        is
                        > > > fruitless to try to love the Father directly. It is through the
                        > > > humanity of Jesus as the Son of Man that true love of God is
                        > > > possible.
                      • annie
                        Well said, Pneumen! You ve put into words the understandings that have recently been coming to me, through these new ways (to me) of assimilating ideas of God
                        Message 11 of 19 , Sep 20, 2004
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                          Well said, Pneumen!
                           
                          You've put into words the understandings that have recently been coming to me, through these new ways (to me) of assimilating ideas of God and the different needs of various soul's development.
                           
                          love from annie
                          ----- Original Message -----
                          Sent: Sunday, September 19, 2004 2:34 PM
                          Subject: [Gnosticism2] Re: Salvation, Hope, Do non-gnostics enter the Kindom

                          --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "sahms2" <sahms2@y...> wrote:
                          > Thank you! This does help. 

                          > There is something that wasn't mentioned in this passage(s), or
                          maybe 
                          > I missed it. Since I don't see it, I'll ask my question, but no
                          one 
                          > get defensive if I don't ask it in a non-orthodox manner. =)

                          > Here goes....Does God want man to spread this message, so that
                          others 
                          > can be saved? I know this question sounds orthodox, but I don't
                          know 
                          > how else to ask it. 



                          I think the others are right, but I think that you might find their
                          explanations lacking because they are too quick to reject "orthodox"
                          scripture. Personally, I believe the "orthodox bible" is incomplete,
                          but still contains gnostic content (particular in Mark, John, and
                          the writings of Paul).

                          The Father of the Gnostics is not a human God, and cannot be
                          described in human terms. He is certainly not the jealous or
                          wrathful God of the Bible. The loving Father of the New Testament
                          might be a better allegory that gets closer to the heart of the
                          matter, but it still misses the mark ultimately. I personally view
                          this God (and have done so for quite a while) as a radiant light
                          that calls us to Him both from within and from every outside
                          direction  much the way a light will draw a moth to it in the night.
                          That description may ultimately prove to miss the mark as well, but
                          it does make the point that to speak of this Father "wanting"
                          something simply doesn't make sense in Gnostic terms. 

                          The Demiurge can be viewed as sort of an imperfect view of this
                          Father that we build in our attempts to come closer to the light. As
                          we reach for the light, we try to understand this Father in human
                          terms. We assign to him Fatherly attributes (well, I suppose how the
                          Hebrews viewed fatherly), a Creative power, a Will, jealousy, wrath,
                          possessiveness,  and even a benevolent Love. 

                          Christ represents, in part, the personal aspect of this God. He
                          instructs us that the way to the father is through Love. But we
                          cannot love an impersonal God. Such a God would seem distant and
                          even wrathful when that love is not returned. Hence, our imperfect
                          view of God as the Demiurge needs to be redeemed. Hence we are to
                          love Jesus, who is God taken on human form so that we can love him
                          in the more appropriate way that will bring us closer to the Father.
                          We are to love God unconditionally and freely as we would a son as
                          opposed to approaching God with fear and respect as we would a
                          father. 

                          So, taken this way, the only way to the Father is by Jesus. It is
                          fruitless to try to love the Father directly. It is through the
                          humanity of Jesus as the Son of Man that true love of God is
                          possible.     
                           





                        • sahms2
                          Cari, I went to: http://jdt.unl.edu/ One quick question...The Book of Thomas is NOT the same as the Gospel of Thomas. Right? The Book of Thomas reads more like
                          Message 12 of 19 , Sep 20, 2004
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                            Cari,

                            I went to: http://jdt.unl.edu/

                            One quick question...The Book of Thomas is NOT the same as the Gospel
                            of Thomas. Right? The Book of Thomas reads more like a dialog between
                            Jesus and Thomas, where as The Gospel of Thomas lists Jesus's
                            saying. Yes/No?

                            Thanks,
                            Connie


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

                            > Hi, all. I'll just interject a few thoughts here.
                            >
                            > Well, yes, I agree that we must be careful about interpretation,
                            and
                            > the highly Christianized Valentinians were not the only
                            > representatives of Gnosticism. I still haven't had any bites
                            though
                            > on Sethian articles I linked to (in case anyone is interested at
                            some
                            > point):
                            > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gnosticism2/message/10121
                            > ( http://jdt.unl.edu/ )
                            >
                            > One note about interpretation. Reading the end of Pneumen's post
                            > gives me pause. For instance, "Hence we are to love Jesus, who is
                            > God taken on human form" can be misleading. The unknown "god" is
                            > never equated with the human Jesus in Gnostic literature.
                            >
                            > Also, "It is through the humanity of Jesus as the Son of Man that
                            > true love of God is possible." The humanity of Jesus was not
                            always
                            > so important to Gnostics (even the Valentinians), hence their
                            docetic
                            > portrayal of the Christ.
                            >
                            > Again, as Pneumen does say earlier, "The Father of the Gnostics is
                            > not a human God, and cannot be described in human terms." The
                            Father
                            > is not a being, as has been demonstrated ad infinitum by posted
                            > scriptural quotes here. So, anthropomorphized descriptions such
                            > as "true love of God" (or even "Father," for that matter) should
                            not
                            > be taken as literally referring to a "loving godbeing." The image
                            of
                            > the Unknown is still ineffable and infinite.
                            >
                            > Hopefully, PMCV's upcoming quotes will help explain.
                            >
                            >
                            > Cari
                          • lady_caritas
                            ... Gospel ... between ... Quick answer: Yes. :-) http://gnosis.org/naghamm/bookt.html http://gnosis.org/naghamm/gosthom.html Cari
                            Message 13 of 19 , Sep 20, 2004
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                              --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "sahms2" <sahms2@y...> wrote:
                              > Cari,
                              >
                              > I went to: http://jdt.unl.edu/
                              >
                              > One quick question...The Book of Thomas is NOT the same as the
                              Gospel
                              > of Thomas. Right? The Book of Thomas reads more like a dialog
                              between
                              > Jesus and Thomas, where as The Gospel of Thomas lists Jesus's
                              > saying. Yes/No?
                              >
                              > Thanks,
                              > Connie
                              >


                              Quick answer: Yes. :-)

                              http://gnosis.org/naghamm/bookt.html
                              http://gnosis.org/naghamm/gosthom.html


                              Cari
                            • pmcvflag
                              Ok, I finally am getting to the examples I meant to post. Perhaps this part of the conversation is really over, but I did want to post the examples in case
                              Message 14 of 19 , Sep 21, 2004
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                                Ok, I finally am getting to the examples I meant to post. Perhaps
                                this part of the conversation is really over, but I did want to post
                                the examples in case there are any readers who still wanted them.
                                Actually, we have posted them many times before, so some of you all
                                may wish to skip this one..... for the new people.....

                                I'm just going to pick out the few easy ones.

                                Concerning the imperfection in language, and how some terms can be
                                used but should not be taken at face value.....

                                "Not one of the names which are conceived or spoken, seen or grasped -
                                not one of them applies to him, even though they are exceedingly
                                glorious, magnifying and honored. However, it is possible to utter
                                these names for his glory and honor, in accordance with the capacity
                                of each of those who give him glory. Yet as for him, in his own
                                existence, being and form, it is impossible for mind to conceive him,
                                nor can any speech convey him, nor can any eye see him, nor can any
                                body grasp him, because of his inscrutable greatness, and his
                                incomprehensible depth, and his immeasurable height, and his
                                illimitable will. "
                                (Tripartite Tractate)

                                As we can see, while it is possible to use terms like "Great"
                                and "Big", or "Glory", or "Grace", this passage warns us at the same
                                time to understand that we should not take these terms very
                                seriously. They are simply ways for us to try to communicate
                                something imperfectly.

                                And, concerning the fact that the Father is not a "loving godbeing",
                                and does not have a "plan" (and I have to point out in support to
                                Lady Cari that I am aware of no Gnostics who believed that Jesus was
                                the high Father incarnate... that would not make sense in Gnostic
                                cosmoconception)........

                                "There once was when there was nothing, but even the nothing was not
                                any of the things that are, but plainly and ingenuously without any
                                sophism there was absolutely not a single thing. But, when I
                                say `was' I do not mean that it was, but in order to indicate what I
                                want to demonstrate, I mean that there was absolutely nothing at all.
                                For that nothing is not merely unspeakable, since the unspeakable has
                                a name — we call it unspeakable — but that nothing is not unspeakable
                                either. And what is not unspeakable either is not named unspeakable
                                but is over and above every name that is named. Nor indeed are there
                                even enough names for the cosmos, because it is divided into such a
                                multitude of parts, but they fall short. And I cannot find proper
                                names for all things but it is necessary to understand with the
                                intellect … unspeakably the characteristics of the things named."
                                (Basilides Fragment)

                                As we can see, a great deal of effort was made in various Gnostic
                                sects (including Valentinians) to demonstrate the problems of dealing
                                with this subject using common religious terms, or indeed... any
                                terms at all. It is also not possible to really "love" this Father
                                any more than this unthinking, unfeeling "Father" can love us. To
                                some extent, the very function of "Gnosis" is simply to start to
                                somehow grasp this concept in opposition to our human desire for some
                                kind of caring god who provides for us.

                                PMCV

                                --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, lady_caritas <no_reply@y...>
                                wrote:
                                > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                > > Connie
                                > >
                                > > Not to put words into Pneumans mouth, but I do believe that he
                                was
                                > > using allegorical lingo that you may have taken a bit literally.
                                If
                                > I
                                > > am wrong, he can correct me. However, even if I have
                                misunderstood
                                > > Pneumen, I am only doing so with the assumption that he is
                                > accurately
                                > > relating it as Gnostics would have meant such things. Let me
                                point
                                > > out that this kind of lingo that resonates with Christian
                                theology
                                > is
                                > > something that some Gnostics (The Valentinians we keep talking
                                > about)
                                > > used quite often... HOWEVER..... they generally also warned us to
                                > not
                                > > forget that these words could also be misleading if we don't
                                > > understand that in the end they are not accurate (so I assume it
                                > was
                                > > simply a slight oversight on Pneumens part in not including the
                                > same
                                > > disclaimer).
                                > >
                                > > Contrary to Pneuman's claim, we do not reject the "orthodox"
                                bible
                                > > here at all (it is not our job to either confirm of deny the
                                > Bible).
                                > > Some Gnostic groups DID use this Bible, others did not. We simply
                                > > mean to point out the dangers of trying to see Gnosticism as a
                                > whole
                                > > through some kind of Biblical reading, and to caution against
                                > getting
                                > > stuck in common modern Biblical understandings. (We also don't
                                want
                                > > more explicitely Christian forms of Gnosticism to dominate the
                                > board
                                > > when there were other forms to study)
                                >
                                >
                                > Hi, all. I'll just interject a few thoughts here.
                                >
                                > Well, yes, I agree that we must be careful about interpretation,
                                and
                                > the highly Christianized Valentinians were not the only
                                > representatives of Gnosticism. I still haven't had any bites
                                though
                                > on Sethian articles I linked to (in case anyone is interested at
                                some
                                > point):
                                > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gnosticism2/message/10121
                                > ( http://jdt.unl.edu/ )
                                >
                                > One note about interpretation. Reading the end of Pneumen's post
                                > gives me pause. For instance, "Hence we are to love Jesus, who is
                                > God taken on human form" can be misleading. The unknown "god" is
                                > never equated with the human Jesus in Gnostic literature.
                                >
                                > Also, "It is through the humanity of Jesus as the Son of Man that
                                > true love of God is possible." The humanity of Jesus was not
                                always
                                > so important to Gnostics (even the Valentinians), hence their
                                docetic
                                > portrayal of the Christ.
                                >
                                > Again, as Pneumen does say earlier, "The Father of the Gnostics is
                                > not a human God, and cannot be described in human terms." The
                                Father
                                > is not a being, as has been demonstrated ad infinitum by posted
                                > scriptural quotes here. So, anthropomorphized descriptions such
                                > as "true love of God" (or even "Father," for that matter) should
                                not
                                > be taken as literally referring to a "loving godbeing." The image
                                of
                                > the Unknown is still ineffable and infinite.
                                >
                                > Hopefully, PMCV's upcoming quotes will help explain.
                                >
                                >
                                > Cari
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > > I tell you what... I need to go to bed, but tomorrow I will try
                                to
                                > > post some actual Gnostic passages, both Christian and otherwise,
                                > that
                                > > deal with this subject directly. Perhaps they will help to
                                explain
                                > a
                                > > bit better than I.
                                > >
                                > > PMCV
                                > >
                                > > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "sahms2" <sahms2@y...> wrote:
                                > > > pneumen_borealis,
                                > > >
                                > > > I was just about to reply to PMCV's post in response to my
                                > question
                                > > > about "what God wants". But, I'll go ahead and reply to both of
                                > > you.
                                > > > Keep in mind that I may come back to your post after I re-read
                                > it.
                                > > =)
                                > > >
                                > > > Your explanation was a little easier to comprehend. I can't say
                                > > (for
                                > > > sure) I understand it completely yet... but it's a good start
                                for
                                > > me.
                                > > > When PMCV said God wants "nothing", I was a little confused. I
                                > > > thought entering the Kingdom of the Father was pointless, if
                                it's
                                > > not
                                > > > part of the plan. The plan being, God wants us to enter the
                                > > Kingdom.
                                > > > I guess, the difference is that the Father "calls us" to him as
                                > > > opposed to "wants us". Yes/No? I definitely need to re-read
                                your
                                > > > post.
                                > > >
                                > > > Connie
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pneumen_borealis
                                > > <no_reply@y...>
                                > > > wrote:
                                > > > > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "sahms2" <sahms2@y...>
                                > wrote:
                                > > > > > Thank you! This does help.
                                > > > > >
                                > > > > > There is something that wasn't mentioned in this passage
                                (s),
                                > or
                                > > > > maybe
                                > > > > > I missed it. Since I don't see it, I'll ask my question,
                                but
                                > no
                                > > > > one
                                > > > > > get defensive if I don't ask it in a non-orthodox manner.
                                =)
                                > > > > >
                                > > > > > Here goes....Does God want man to spread this message, so
                                > that
                                > > > > others
                                > > > > > can be saved? I know this question sounds orthodox, but I
                                > don't
                                > > > > know
                                > > > > > how else to ask it.
                                > > > > >
                                > > > >
                                > > > >
                                > > > > I think the others are right, but I think that you might find
                                > > their
                                > > > > explanations lacking because they are too quick to
                                > > > reject "orthodox"
                                > > > > scripture. Personally, I believe the "orthodox bible" is
                                > > > incomplete,
                                > > > > but still contains gnostic content (particular in Mark, John,
                                > and
                                > > > > the writings of Paul).
                                > > > >
                                > > > > The Father of the Gnostics is not a human God, and cannot be
                                > > > > described in human terms. He is certainly not the jealous or
                                > > > > wrathful God of the Bible. The loving Father of the New
                                > Testament
                                > > > > might be a better allegory that gets closer to the heart of
                                the
                                > > > > matter, but it still misses the mark ultimately. I personally
                                > > view
                                > > > > this God (and have done so for quite a while) as a radiant
                                > light
                                > > > > that calls us to Him both from within and from every outside
                                > > > > direction much the way a light will draw a moth to it in the
                                > > > night.
                                > > > > That description may ultimately prove to miss the mark as
                                well,
                                > > but
                                > > > > it does make the point that to speak of this Father "wanting"
                                > > > > something simply doesn't make sense in Gnostic terms.
                                > > > >
                                > > > > The Demiurge can be viewed as sort of an imperfect view of
                                this
                                > > > > Father that we build in our attempts to come closer to the
                                > light.
                                > > > As
                                > > > > we reach for the light, we try to understand this Father in
                                > human
                                > > > > terms. We assign to him Fatherly attributes (well, I suppose
                                > how
                                > > > the
                                > > > > Hebrews viewed fatherly), a Creative power, a Will, jealousy,
                                > > > wrath,
                                > > > > possessiveness, and even a benevolent Love.
                                > > > >
                                > > > > Christ represents, in part, the personal aspect of this God.
                                He
                                > > > > instructs us that the way to the father is through Love. But
                                we
                                > > > > cannot love an impersonal God. Such a God would seem distant
                                > and
                                > > > > even wrathful when that love is not returned. Hence, our
                                > > imperfect
                                > > > > view of God as the Demiurge needs to be redeemed. Hence we
                                are
                                > to
                                > > > > love Jesus, who is God taken on human form so that we can
                                love
                                > > him
                                > > > > in the more appropriate way that will bring us closer to the
                                > > > Father.
                                > > > > We are to love God unconditionally and freely as we would a
                                son
                                > > as
                                > > > > opposed to approaching God with fear and respect as we would
                                a
                                > > > > father.
                                > > > >
                                > > > > So, taken this way, the only way to the Father is by Jesus.
                                It
                                > is
                                > > > > fruitless to try to love the Father directly. It is through
                                the
                                > > > > humanity of Jesus as the Son of Man that true love of God is
                                > > > > possible.
                              • annie
                                That s the whole point behind The , for me! I tried to find the original message, but I couldn t. Hopefully you recall what I m referring to-- The more I
                                Message 15 of 19 , Sep 21, 2004
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                                  That's the whole point behind 'The', for me!  I tried to find the original message, but I couldn't.  Hopefully you recall what I'm referring to--
                                   
                                   The more I know and understand, the less I can aptly refer or refer at all to 'The'.  'God' in the traditional sense really doesn't mean much to me, except for the type of synthetic idols and icons.  It's hard to describe what you mean, very true, when you don't know the particular meaning of a word to another person.  I like 'The' because it describes and defines nothing, yet is not common or impersonal, and it represents ultimate supremacy in its area (such as saying The Truth, or The Big Day) and so The with nothing following is the ultimate supremacy of everything. It is best word I find to represent what I don't conceive of, as it were, when there is the need to make a reference to that which is unnameable.
                                   
                                  love from annie
                                  ----- Original Message -----
                                  From: pmcvflag
                                  Sent: Tuesday, September 21, 2004 6:54 PM
                                  Subject: [Gnosticism2] Re: Salvation, Hope, Do non-gnostics enter the Kindom

                                  Ok, I finally am getting to the examples I meant to post. Perhaps
                                  this part of the conversation is really over, but I did want to post
                                  the examples in case there are any readers who still wanted them.
                                  Actually, we have posted them many times before, so some of you all
                                  may wish to skip this one..... for the new people.....

                                  I'm just going to pick out the few easy ones.

                                  Concerning the imperfection in language, and how some terms can be
                                  used but should not be taken at face value.....

                                  "Not one of the names which are conceived or spoken, seen or grasped -
                                  not one of them applies to him, even though they are exceedingly
                                  glorious, magnifying and honored. However, it is possible to utter
                                  these names for his glory and honor, in accordance with the capacity
                                  of each of those who give him glory. Yet as for him, in his own
                                  existence, being and form, it is impossible for mind to conceive him,
                                  nor can any speech convey him, nor can any eye see him, nor can any
                                  body grasp him, because of his inscrutable greatness, and his
                                  incomprehensible depth, and his immeasurable height, and his
                                  illimitable will. "
                                  (Tripartite Tractate)

                                  As we can see, while it is possible to use terms like "Great"
                                  and "Big", or "Glory", or "Grace", this passage warns us at the same
                                  time to understand that we should not take these terms very
                                  seriously. They are simply ways for us to try to communicate
                                  something imperfectly.

                                  And, concerning the fact that the Father is not a "loving godbeing",
                                  and does not have a "plan" (and I have to point out in support to
                                  Lady Cari that I am aware of no Gnostics who believed that Jesus was
                                  the high Father incarnate... that would not make sense in Gnostic
                                  cosmoconception)........

                                  "There once was when there was nothing, but even the nothing was not
                                  any of the things that are, but plainly and ingenuously without any
                                  sophism there was absolutely not a single thing. But, when I
                                  say `was' I do not mean that it was, but in order to indicate what I
                                  want to demonstrate, I mean that there was absolutely nothing at all.
                                  For that nothing is not merely unspeakable, since the unspeakable has
                                  a name — we call it unspeakable — but that nothing is not unspeakable
                                  either. And what is not unspeakable either is not named unspeakable
                                  but is over and above every name that is named. Nor indeed are there
                                  even enough names for the cosmos, because it is divided into such a
                                  multitude of parts, but they fall short. And I cannot find proper
                                  names for all things but it is necessary to understand with the
                                  intellect … unspeakably the characteristics of the things named."
                                  (Basilides Fragment)

                                  As we can see, a great deal of effort was made in various Gnostic
                                  sects (including Valentinians) to demonstrate the problems of dealing
                                  with this subject using common religious terms, or indeed... any
                                  terms at all. It is also not possible to really "love" this Father
                                  any more than this unthinking, unfeeling "Father" can love us. To
                                  some extent, the very function of "Gnosis" is simply to start to
                                  somehow grasp this concept in opposition to our human desire for some
                                  kind of caring god who provides for us.

                                  PMCV

                                  --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, lady_caritas <no_reply@y...>
                                  wrote:
                                  > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                  > > Connie
                                  > >
                                  > > Not to put words into Pneumans mouth, but I do believe that he
                                  was
                                  > > using allegorical lingo that you may have taken a bit literally.
                                  If
                                  > I
                                  > > am wrong, he can correct me. However, even if I have
                                  misunderstood
                                  > > Pneumen, I am only doing so with the assumption that he is
                                  > accurately
                                  > > relating it as Gnostics would have meant such things. Let me
                                  point
                                  > > out that this kind of lingo that resonates with Christian
                                  theology
                                  > is
                                  > > something that some Gnostics (The Valentinians we keep talking
                                  > about)
                                  > > used quite often... HOWEVER..... they generally also warned us to
                                  > not
                                  > > forget that these words could also be misleading if we don't
                                  > > understand that in the end they are not accurate (so I assume it
                                  > was
                                  > > simply a slight oversight on Pneumens part in not including the
                                  > same
                                  > > disclaimer).
                                  > >
                                  > > Contrary to Pneuman's claim, we do not reject the "orthodox"
                                  bible
                                  > > here at all (it is not our job to either confirm of deny the
                                  > Bible).
                                  > > Some Gnostic groups DID use this Bible, others did not. We simply
                                  > > mean to point out the dangers of trying to see Gnosticism as a
                                  > whole
                                  > > through some kind of Biblical reading, and to caution against
                                  > getting
                                  > > stuck in common modern Biblical understandings. (We also don't
                                  want
                                  > > more explicitely Christian forms of Gnosticism to dominate the
                                  > board
                                  > > when there were other forms to study)
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Hi, all.  I'll just interject a few thoughts here.
                                  >
                                  > Well, yes, I agree that we must be careful about interpretation,
                                  and
                                  > the highly Christianized Valentinians were not the only
                                  > representatives of Gnosticism.  I still haven't had any bites
                                  though
                                  > on Sethian articles I linked to (in case anyone is interested at
                                  some
                                  > point):
                                  > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gnosticism2/message/10121
                                  > ( http://jdt.unl.edu/ )
                                  >
                                  > One note about interpretation.  Reading the end of Pneumen's post
                                  > gives me pause.  For instance, "Hence we are to love Jesus, who is
                                  > God taken on human form" can be misleading.  The unknown "god" is
                                  > never equated with the human Jesus in Gnostic literature. 
                                  >
                                  > Also, "It is through the humanity of Jesus as the Son of Man that
                                  > true love of God is possible."  The humanity of Jesus was not
                                  always
                                  > so important to Gnostics (even the Valentinians), hence their
                                  docetic
                                  > portrayal of the Christ.
                                  >
                                  > Again, as Pneumen does say earlier, "The Father of the Gnostics is
                                  > not a human God, and cannot be described in human terms."  The
                                  Father
                                  > is not a being, as has been demonstrated ad infinitum by posted
                                  > scriptural quotes here.  So, anthropomorphized descriptions such
                                  > as "true love of God" (or even "Father," for that matter) should
                                  not
                                  > be taken as literally referring to a "loving godbeing."  The image
                                  of
                                  > the Unknown is still ineffable and infinite.
                                  >
                                  > Hopefully, PMCV's upcoming quotes will help explain.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Cari
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > > I tell you what... I need to go to bed, but tomorrow I will try
                                  to
                                  > > post some actual Gnostic passages, both Christian and otherwise,
                                  > that
                                  > > deal with this subject directly. Perhaps they will help to
                                  explain
                                  > a
                                  > > bit better than I.
                                  > >
                                  > > PMCV
                                  > >
                                  > > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "sahms2" <sahms2@y...> wrote:
                                  > > > pneumen_borealis,
                                  > > >
                                  > > > I was just about to reply to PMCV's post in response to my
                                  > question
                                  > > > about "what God wants". But, I'll go ahead and reply to both of
                                  > > you.
                                  > > > Keep in mind that I may come back to your post after I re-read
                                  > it.
                                  > > =)
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Your explanation was a little easier to comprehend. I can't say
                                  > > (for
                                  > > > sure) I understand it completely yet... but it's a good start
                                  for
                                  > > me.
                                  > > > When PMCV said God wants "nothing", I was a little confused. I
                                  > > > thought entering the Kingdom of the Father was pointless, if
                                  it's
                                  > > not
                                  > > > part of the plan. The plan being, God wants us to enter the
                                  > > Kingdom.
                                  > > > I guess, the difference is that the Father "calls us" to him as
                                  > > > opposed to "wants us". Yes/No? I definitely need to re-read
                                  your
                                  > > > post.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Connie
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pneumen_borealis
                                  > > <no_reply@y...>
                                  > > > wrote:
                                  > > > > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "sahms2" <sahms2@y...>
                                  > wrote:
                                  > > > > > Thank you! This does help. 
                                  > > > > > 
                                  > > > > > There is something that wasn't mentioned in this passage
                                  (s),
                                  > or
                                  > > > > maybe 
                                  > > > > > I missed it. Since I don't see it, I'll ask my question,
                                  but
                                  > no
                                  > > > > one 
                                  > > > > > get defensive if I don't ask it in a non-orthodox manner.
                                  =)
                                  > > > > > 
                                  > > > > > Here goes....Does God want man to spread this message, so
                                  > that
                                  > > > > others 
                                  > > > > > can be saved? I know this question sounds orthodox, but I
                                  > don't
                                  > > > > know 
                                  > > > > > how else to ask it. 
                                  > > > > > 
                                  > > > > 
                                  > > > > 
                                  > > > > I think the others are right, but I think that you might find
                                  > > their
                                  > > > > explanations lacking because they are too quick to
                                  > > > reject "orthodox"
                                  > > > > scripture. Personally, I believe the "orthodox bible" is
                                  > > > incomplete,
                                  > > > > but still contains gnostic content (particular in Mark, John,
                                  > and
                                  > > > > the writings of Paul).
                                  > > > > 
                                  > > > > The Father of the Gnostics is not a human God, and cannot be
                                  > > > > described in human terms. He is certainly not the jealous or
                                  > > > > wrathful God of the Bible. The loving Father of the New
                                  > Testament
                                  > > > > might be a better allegory that gets closer to the heart of
                                  the
                                  > > > > matter, but it still misses the mark ultimately. I personally
                                  > > view
                                  > > > > this God (and have done so for quite a while) as a radiant
                                  > light
                                  > > > > that calls us to Him both from within and from every outside
                                  > > > > direction  much the way a light will draw a moth to it in the
                                  > > > night.
                                  > > > > That description may ultimately prove to miss the mark as
                                  well,
                                  > > but
                                  > > > > it does make the point that to speak of this Father "wanting"
                                  > > > > something simply doesn't make sense in Gnostic terms. 
                                  > > > > 
                                  > > > > The Demiurge can be viewed as sort of an imperfect view of
                                  this
                                  > > > > Father that we build in our attempts to come closer to the
                                  > light.
                                  > > > As
                                  > > > > we reach for the light, we try to understand this Father in
                                  > human
                                  > > > > terms. We assign to him Fatherly attributes (well, I suppose
                                  > how
                                  > > > the
                                  > > > > Hebrews viewed fatherly), a Creative power, a Will, jealousy,
                                  > > > wrath,
                                  > > > > possessiveness,  and even a benevolent Love. 
                                  > > > > 
                                  > > > > Christ represents, in part, the personal aspect of this God.
                                  He
                                  > > > > instructs us that the way to the father is through Love. But
                                  we
                                  > > > > cannot love an impersonal God. Such a God would seem distant
                                  > and
                                  > > > > even wrathful when that love is not returned. Hence, our
                                  > > imperfect
                                  > > > > view of God as the Demiurge needs to be redeemed. Hence we
                                  are
                                  > to
                                  > > > > love Jesus, who is God taken on human form so that we can
                                  love
                                  > > him
                                  > > > > in the more appropriate way that will bring us closer to the
                                  > > > Father.
                                  > > > > We are to love God unconditionally and freely as we would a
                                  son
                                  > > as
                                  > > > > opposed to approaching God with fear and respect as we would
                                  a
                                  > > > > father. 
                                  > > > > 
                                  > > > > So, taken this way, the only way to the Father is by Jesus.
                                  It
                                  > is
                                  > > > > fruitless to try to love the Father directly. It is through
                                  the
                                  > > > > humanity of Jesus as the Son of Man that true love of God is
                                  > > > > possible.


                                • pmcvflag
                                  Annie.... ... original message, but I couldn t. Hopefully you recall what I m referring to--
                                  Message 16 of 19 , Sep 22, 2004
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                                    Annie....

                                    >>>"That's the whole point behind 'The', for me! I tried to find the
                                    original message, but I couldn't. Hopefully you recall what I'm
                                    referring to--"<<<<

                                    I do remember the posts you are talking about, and the way in which
                                    you coined the term. I think that helps me understand why you meant
                                    to coin the term, and I also believe you have the point as to why
                                    Gnostics have thier own terms for this... such as "Bythos" (which
                                    means "void").

                                    >>>"The more I know and understand, the less I can aptly refer or
                                    refer at all to 'The'. 'God' in the traditional sense really doesn't
                                    mean much to me, except for the type of synthetic idols and icons.
                                    It's hard to describe what you mean, very true, when you don't know
                                    the particular meaning of a word to another person."<<<<

                                    Exactly!!! And, again, perhaps that helps you to understand why we
                                    are a little suspicious here of people who refuse to accept anything
                                    outside that terminology of "Biblical" exegesis (especially when it
                                    comes in spite of repeated warnings that our focus of TRADITIONAL
                                    forms of Gnosticism is often quite direct in warning against doing
                                    so). It is not that Gnostics don't value "Orthodox" Biblical texts in
                                    an offhand way, it is that Gnosticism recognizes something outside
                                    the commonly undestood version of that as well.

                                    >>>"I like 'The' because it describes and defines nothing, yet is not
                                    common or impersonal, and it represents ultimate supremacy in its
                                    area (such as saying The Truth, or The Big Day) and so The with
                                    nothing following is the ultimate supremacy of everything. It is best
                                    word I find to represent what I don't conceive of, as it were, when
                                    there is the need to make a reference to that which is
                                    unnameable."<<<<

                                    GOOD Annie, very heartening, I feel like you are demonstrating that
                                    you are reflecting the point (and to me that is more important than
                                    agreing with the point)... let me only add that in fact this is not
                                    even "the ultimate supremacy". Of course, I think you get that
                                    already. And, this is not even the "Love that Jesus teaches us of the
                                    Father". Or anything of that sort. May I only suggest one thing
                                    here.... that we try to outline this in traditional Gnostic terms. I
                                    totally understand the reason you like the therm "The", but
                                    traditional Gnostics already have terms for this. If you wish to
                                    think of it as "THE", well, that is fine. However, in order to help
                                    remove confusion.... let's try to outline it in the way that Gnostics
                                    do, just for the sake of the "lingo" here. Maybe that doesn't sound
                                    important to you, I would understand that, but just for the sake of
                                    conversation we do want to understand this message in the Gnostic
                                    context. I already feel like you are understanding that point a bit
                                    more (including why we have a strick focus here).... so I only state
                                    it for those who may be unsure.

                                    PMCV
                                  • annie
                                    Good then, we are understanding each other. I don t mind at all complying with the group accepted terminology, because it is necessary. But I m still not
                                    Message 17 of 19 , Sep 22, 2004
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                                      Good then, we are understanding each other.  I don't mind at all complying with the group accepted terminology, because it is necessary.  But I'm still not real sure what the term here is for what I call 'The.'  The Pleroma is all that I can think of, at this point. 
                                      And actually, the truth of it is, I probably won't have much cause to talk about the unnameable anyway, so it could be considered a unnecessary inquiry.  That wasn't the purpose of my post, anyway, as I'm sure you realize.  I just wanted to say 'hey, we're on the same page, aren't we?'
                                      So--good enough.
                                       
                                      Your music is awesome, I have to say.  It is undescribable in its effect upon one's inner workings, at least for me.   Much like the tonal expression of the fibonacci sequence, which I'm sure you're familiar with. 
                                       
                                      love from annie
                                      ----- Original Message -----
                                      From: pmcvflag
                                      Sent: Wednesday, September 22, 2004 2:19 AM
                                      Subject: [Gnosticism2] Re: Salvation, Hope, Do non-gnostics enter the Kindom

                                      Annie....

                                      >>>"That's the whole point behind 'The', for me!  I tried to find the
                                      original message, but I couldn't.  Hopefully you recall what I'm
                                      referring to--"<<<<

                                      I do remember the posts you are talking about, and the way in which
                                      you coined the term. I think that helps me understand why you meant
                                      to coin the term, and I also believe you have the point as to why
                                      Gnostics have thier own terms for this... such as "Bythos" (which
                                      means "void").

                                      >>>"The more I know and understand, the less I can aptly refer or
                                      refer at all to 'The'.  'God' in the traditional sense really doesn't
                                      mean much to me, except for the type of synthetic idols and icons. 
                                      It's hard to describe what you mean, very true, when you don't know
                                      the particular meaning of a word to another person."<<<<

                                      Exactly!!! And, again, perhaps that helps you to understand why we
                                      are a little suspicious here of people who refuse to accept anything
                                      outside that terminology of "Biblical" exegesis (especially when it
                                      comes in spite of repeated warnings that our focus of TRADITIONAL
                                      forms of Gnosticism is often quite direct in warning against doing
                                      so). It is not that Gnostics don't value "Orthodox" Biblical texts in
                                      an offhand way, it is that Gnosticism recognizes something outside
                                      the commonly undestood version of that as well.

                                      >>>"I like 'The' because it describes and defines nothing, yet is not
                                      common or impersonal, and it represents ultimate supremacy in its
                                      area (such as saying The Truth, or The Big Day) and so The with
                                      nothing following is the ultimate supremacy of everything. It is best
                                      word I find to represent what I don't conceive of, as it were, when
                                      there is the need to make a reference to that which is
                                      unnameable."<<<<

                                      GOOD Annie, very heartening, I feel like you are demonstrating that
                                      you are reflecting the point (and to me that is more important than
                                      agreing with the point)... let me only add that in fact this is not
                                      even "the ultimate supremacy". Of course, I think you get that
                                      already. And, this is not even the "Love that Jesus teaches us of the
                                      Father". Or anything of that sort. May I only suggest one thing
                                      here.... that we try to outline this in traditional Gnostic terms. I
                                      totally understand the reason you like the therm "The", but
                                      traditional Gnostics already have terms for this. If you wish to
                                      think of it as "THE", well, that is fine. However, in order to help
                                      remove confusion.... let's try to outline it in the way that Gnostics
                                      do, just for the sake of the "lingo" here. Maybe that doesn't sound
                                      important to you, I would understand that, but just for the sake of
                                      conversation we do want to understand this message in the Gnostic
                                      context. I already feel like you are understanding that point a bit
                                      more (including why we have a strick focus here).... so I only state
                                      it for those who may be unsure.

                                      PMCV


                                    • pmcvflag
                                      Annie... ... complying with the group accepted terminology, because it is necessary. But I m still not real sure what the term here is for what I call The.
                                      Message 18 of 19 , Sep 23, 2004
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                                        Annie...

                                        >>>"Good then, we are understanding each other. I don't mind at all
                                        complying with the group accepted terminology, because it is
                                        necessary. But I'm still not real sure what the term here is for
                                        what I call 'The.' The Pleroma is all that I can think of, at this
                                        point."<<<

                                        Yes, I do think we understand each other in principle.... but there
                                        is again some difference in lingo. The Pleroma (fullness) is in fact
                                        something else entirely. The "Pleroma" would better be talked about
                                        as the conceptual universe, as opposed to the physical). The
                                        true "Father" is not the pleroma, it is something outside the pleroma.

                                        >>>"And actually, the truth of it is, I probably won't have much
                                        cause to talk about the unnameable anyway, so it could be considered
                                        a unnecessary inquiry. That wasn't the purpose of my post, anyway,
                                        as I'm sure you realize. I just wanted to say 'hey, we're on the
                                        same page, aren't we?' So--good enough."<<<

                                        You are right there. I mean, honestly, we are so often trying to deal
                                        with the concepts that lead up to that fact that it would seem we
                                        should not have been dealing with that yet. On the other hand.... we
                                        come back to the subject often. After all, it is the point
                                        of "Gnosis".

                                        >>>"Your music is awesome, I have to say. It is undescribable in its
                                        effect upon one's inner workings, at least for me. Much like the
                                        tonal expression of the fibonacci sequence, which I'm sure you're
                                        familiar with."<<<

                                        Thanx *blush*, well I only posted it so others might feel ok to post
                                        their own stuff after the conversation a while ago on "creativity". :)

                                        PMCV
                                      • annie
                                        I knew that about the Pleroma, although when I posted this I had obviously forgotten the difference. That s still kind of hard to see, for me, probably why I
                                        Message 19 of 19 , Sep 23, 2004
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                                          I knew that about the Pleroma, although when I posted this I had obviously forgotten the difference.  That's still kind of hard to see, for me, probably why I forgot it.  It's not something I know yet.
                                          love from annie
                                          ----- Original Message -----
                                          From: pmcvflag
                                          Sent: Thursday, September 23, 2004 11:37 PM
                                          Subject: [Gnosticism2] Re: Salvation, Hope, Do non-gnostics enter the Kindom

                                          Annie...

                                          >>>"Good then, we are understanding each other.  I don't mind at all
                                          complying with the group accepted terminology, because it is
                                          necessary.  But I'm still not real sure what the term here is for
                                          what I call 'The.'  The Pleroma is all that I can think of, at this
                                          point."<<< 

                                          Yes, I do think we understand each other in principle.... but there
                                          is again some difference in lingo. The Pleroma (fullness) is in fact
                                          something else entirely. The "Pleroma" would better be talked about
                                          as the conceptual universe, as opposed to the physical). The
                                          true "Father" is not the pleroma, it is something outside the pleroma.

                                          >>>"And actually, the truth of it is, I probably won't have much
                                          cause to talk about the unnameable anyway, so it could be considered
                                          a unnecessary inquiry.  That wasn't the purpose of my post, anyway,
                                          as I'm sure you realize.  I just wanted to say 'hey, we're on the
                                          same page, aren't we?' So--good enough."<<<

                                          You are right there. I mean, honestly, we are so often trying to deal
                                          with the concepts that lead up to that fact that it would seem we
                                          should not have been dealing with that yet. On the other hand.... we
                                          come back to the subject often. After all, it is the point
                                          of "Gnosis".

                                          >>>"Your music is awesome, I have to say.  It is undescribable in its
                                          effect upon one's inner workings, at least for me.   Much like the
                                          tonal expression of the fibonacci sequence, which I'm sure you're
                                          familiar with."<<<

                                          Thanx *blush*, well I only posted it so others might feel ok to post
                                          their own stuff after the conversation a while ago on "creativity". :)

                                          PMCV


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