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Re: [Gnosticism2] Re: something to think about

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  • Annie
    Yes, I certainly do, of course not as god but in the sense of The . There is a common thread which runs through all things, by virtue of the spirit. Once
    Message 1 of 9 , Nov 11, 2004
      Yes, I certainly do, of course not as 'god' but in the sense of 'The'.  There is a common thread which runs through all things, by virtue of the spirit.  Once the aim is focused on the spirit, it can be seen everywhere. 
      From reading the Nag Hammadi, I have no doubt the original gnostics believed this, as well.  The reason I say this is because of their portrayal of the serpent in the garden being the cleverest beast and the 'instructor.'  To one not yet prepared to discern all things, the snake is a trickster, and a liar.  But the second time one meets that snake, it's a friend, one that is easily understood.  To get past that point also makes the spirit evident in all things, revealing everything as an opportunity to learn.
      From what I understand, the snake is the instructor in the sense that the concept of 'evil' has a purpose in guiding us before we see beyond 'good' and 'evil'.  Perhaps it's only a matter of movement, call it progression, evolution,  or just change.  In any case, it works like a cattle prod, ;o).  If we are told something is evil because it is not in the direction we should be going as far as the movement of the whole, we will go the opposite way, thinking it is 'good'.  Just a way to herd mankind toward the direction of spiritual evolution.
       
      Does that make sense?
       
      love~annie
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: pmcvflag
      Sent: Thursday, November 11, 2004 2:44 AM
      Subject: [Gnosticism2] Re: something to think about


      Annie.... the question here is not whether Malcolm believes this,
      but whether YOU believe this.

      AND.... whether Gnostics of old believe this.....

      What do you think?

      PMCV

      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Annie" <annielu38@z...> wrote:
      >
      > All happenings, great and small, are parables whereby God speaks.
      The art of
      > life is to get the message.
      >             by Malcolm Muggeridge
      >
      > love~annie




    • Annie
      Hi Mike-- Yes, I see your point exactly. Of course, it all depends on which voice one hears, according to their hearing ability. The gentiles hear the
      Message 2 of 9 , Nov 11, 2004
        Hi Mike--
        Yes, I see your point exactly.  Of course, it all depends on which 'voice' one hears, according to their 'hearing' ability.
         
        The gentiles hear the voice of the fleshly/carnal level, i.e. the 'devil'.
        The jews hear the voice of the psychic/soul level, i.e. the demiurge.
        And the christians hear the voice of the mystic/spirit level, which is gnosis, and is beyond both devil and demiurge in that it comes from within, from the pleroma?..
         
        If one is able to hear only one or the other of the 'polar' voices (meaning 'evil' or 'good'), then the lessons in life they observe will be applied or rejected according to their intepretation of what is good and bad in the situation.  There's no objectivity which allows them to see there is something to be learned in all things.  Things are manifested as good and bad when viewed from a perspective on one 'side' or the other.   
         
        So--the gnostics surely saw a lesson in everything, except perhaps the Sethian type who saw the demiurge as evil, but perhaps that means they weren't quite complete gnostics in the pure sense of the word.  The Valentinians saw him as necessary and good in his limited way. Or am I getting them reversed?  You get my drift.
         
        Seeing him as evil does not seem to be as near to complete gnosis as seeing him as good and necessary, since the 'evil' somehow still has a hold on the perceiver of such.  Once beyond that point somewhat, the devil and demiurge can be seen as two sides of the same necessary coin, and once they are seen as a balancing act and steps in a progression toward the pleroma (as in it's definition of 'fullness') they hold no power over the individual in any way and do not preclude the opportunity to learn from all experiences.
         
        That's why Christ and the symbol of the cross are tied together.  The cross, since antiquity, and long before the christian era, has represented a crossroads where matter meets soul/spirit, and when the ego is crucified at the crossroads, the two meet, and the spirit takes over--resurrection.
         
        It's basically the understanding of most people that we must know bad to understand good.  But then what?  If we stay at the point of 'good' we are still on one side of the fence.  If we are aiming toward a balanced state of being, 'good' still falls short.  Once we see and experience bad, we recognize good so that we can know it as well.  Once we know both we can understand 'fullness' and become part of it ourselves. 
        love~annie
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Thursday, November 11, 2004 10:32 AM
        Subject: [Gnosticism2] Re: something to think about

        Hello pmcvflag

        On 11/11/04, you wrote:

        >
        >
        > Annie.... the question here is not whether Malcolm believes this,
        > but whether YOU believe this.
        >
        > AND.... whether Gnostics of old believe this.....
        >
        > What do you think?
        >
        > PMCV
        >
        > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Annie" <annielu38@z...> wrote:
        >>
        >> All happenings, great and small, are parables whereby God speaks.
        > The art of
        >> life is to get the message.
        >>             by Malcolm Muggeridge
        >>
        >> love~annie

        I would rephrase it thus, All happenings, great and small, are
        parables whereby God or the Demiurge speak.  The art of life is to
        get the message and which it came from. :-)


        Regards
        --
        Mike Leavitt  ac998@...




      • Mike Leavitt
        Hello pmcvflag ... As phrased, the point seems more Tauest than Gnostic, not that that necessarily invalidates it as also Gnostic. OTOH this world is at best
        Message 3 of 9 , Nov 11, 2004
          Hello pmcvflag

          On 11/12/04, you wrote:

          >
          >
          > Hey Annie, let me try to make my question a little more direct
          > here... using your post as a counterpoint.
          >
          >>>> "Yes, I certainly do, of course not as 'god' but in the sense
          > of 'The'. There is a common thread which runs through all things,
          > by virtue of the spirit. Once the aim is focused on the spirit, it
          > can be seen everywhere."<<<<
          >
          > What you seem to be talking about is called "pantheism". Are you
          > sure that historical Gnostics believed that the true spiritual
          > source is in everything?
          >
          >>>> "From reading the Nag Hammadi, I have no doubt the original
          > gnostics believed this, as well. The reason I say this is because of
          > their portrayal of the serpent in the garden being the cleverest
          > beast and the 'instructor.' To one not yet prepared to discern all
          > things, the snake is a trickster, and a liar. But the second time
          > one meets that snake, it's a friend, one that is easily understood.
          > To get past that point also makes the spirit evident in all things,
          > revealing everything as an opportunity to learn."<<<<
          >
          > This is actually not true of all Gnostics. In fact, there is part of
          > your point that is not internally consistant here. You say later
          > that you are not sure if the "Sethian" outline is really Gnostic,
          > you also say the Gnostics have a positive view of the serpent, but
          > let me point out that the tendancy to view the serpent in positive
          > terms does not hold out in Valentinian texts.
          >
          > Can you point out how you see getting past the view of good and evil
          > means that the "spirit is evident in all things"? I don't think this
          > logically follows, and I personally don't think that historical
          > Gnostics agreed with this notion.
          >
          > I do think your point is very interesting, but somehow it seems to
          > be an itch... either I am misunderstanding you, or perhaps we need
          > to look further to see if we really find these ideas in Gnostic
          > texts.

          As phrased, the point seems more Tauest than Gnostic, not that that
          necessarily invalidates it as also Gnostic. OTOH this world is at
          best only a necessary evil, even to the Valentinians, so....
        • pmcvflag
          Hey Annie, let me try to make my question a little more direct here... using your post as a counterpoint. ... of The . There is a common thread which runs
          Message 4 of 9 , Nov 11, 2004
            Hey Annie, let me try to make my question a little more direct
            here... using your post as a counterpoint.

            >>>"Yes, I certainly do, of course not as 'god' but in the sense
            of 'The'. There is a common thread which runs through all things,
            by virtue of the spirit. Once the aim is focused on the spirit, it
            can be seen everywhere."<<<<

            What you seem to be talking about is called "pantheism". Are you
            sure that historical Gnostics believed that the true spiritual
            source is in everything?

            >>>"From reading the Nag Hammadi, I have no doubt the original
            gnostics believed this, as well. The reason I say this is because
            of their portrayal of the serpent in the garden being the cleverest
            beast and the 'instructor.' To one not yet prepared to discern all
            things, the snake is a trickster, and a liar. But the second time
            one meets that snake, it's a friend, one that is easily understood.
            To get past that point also makes the spirit evident in all things,
            revealing everything as an opportunity to learn."<<<<

            This is actually not true of all Gnostics. In fact, there is part of
            your point that is not internally consistant here. You say later
            that you are not sure if the "Sethian" outline is really Gnostic,
            you also say the Gnostics have a positive view of the serpent, but
            let me point out that the tendancy to view the serpent in positive
            terms does not hold out in Valentinian texts.

            Can you point out how you see getting past the view of good and evil
            means that the "spirit is evident in all things"? I don't think this
            logically follows, and I personally don't think that historical
            Gnostics agreed with this notion.

            I do think your point is very interesting, but somehow it seems to
            be an itch... either I am misunderstanding you, or perhaps we need
            to look further to see if we really find these ideas in Gnostic
            texts.

            PMCV
          • pmcvflag
            BTW, Annie.... ... perhaps the Sethian type who saw the demiurge as evil, but perhaps that means they weren t quite complete gnostics in the pure sense of the
            Message 5 of 9 , Nov 11, 2004
              BTW, Annie....

              >>>"So--the gnostics surely saw a lesson in everything, except
              perhaps the Sethian type who saw the demiurge as evil, but perhaps
              that means they weren't quite complete gnostics in the pure sense of
              the word. The Valentinians saw him as necessary and good in his
              limited way. Or am I getting them reversed? You get my drift."<<<<

              I don't think it is so much about getting it reversed here, as it is
              a matter of translating the meanings and assuming all groups within
              the categories fit nicely.

              Also, I am not sure I understood how you come to the conclusion of
              whether one group is "gnostics in the pure sense" based on this
              particular function. Perhaps you could explain a bit more?

              PMCV
            • pmcvflag
              Hey Mike.... ... that necessarily invalidates it as also Gnostic. OTOH this world is at best only a necessary evil, even to the Valentinians, so....
              Message 6 of 9 , Nov 11, 2004
                Hey Mike....

                >>"As phrased, the point seems more Tauest than Gnostic, not that
                that necessarily invalidates it as also Gnostic. OTOH this world is
                at best only a necessary evil, even to the Valentinians, so...."<<<

                Kinda my point also. My point here is more about trying to question
                and gain context than to really specifically deal with the exact
                point. You all know it is our job as "mods" ;) . I don't want any
                assumptions to go unchallenged if there is some common debate as to
                the validity of that belief as it pertains to "Gnosticism".

                PMCV
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