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Re: Gnosticism vs. Orthodoxy

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  • janahooks
    Well, that was fast! Thanks for the link, Cari. jana
    Message 1 of 20 , Dec 5, 2004
      Well, that was fast! Thanks for the link, Cari. jana
    • lady_caritas
      ... LOL! Must be synchronicity, jana. I posted that before reading your request. The link came from this page, where you can find other interesting
      Message 2 of 20 , Dec 5, 2004
        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "janahooks" <janahooks@y...>
        wrote:
        >
        >
        > Well, that was fast! Thanks for the link, Cari. jana


        LOL! Must be synchronicity, jana. I posted that before reading your
        request. The link came from this page, where you can find other
        interesting articles:
        http://jdt.unl.edu/

        Actually, PMCV and others might be able to suggest further reading
        materials, too.


        Cari
      • Mike Leavitt
        Hello lady_caritas ... I think this quote really sums up what happened, it is excellant. ... I tend to agree with you. I might add, that on its face,
        Message 3 of 20 , Dec 5, 2004
          Hello lady_caritas

          On 12/05/04, you wrote:
          >
          > I'm currently wading again through the following article on "Sethian
          > Gnosticism: A Literary History" by John D. Turner ~
          > http://jdt.unl.edu/lithist.html I don't know if you or other members
          > have had a chance to skim or read this article. It might offer
          > additional fodder for thought in connection with this discussion.
          >
          > The article expands from this outline in the Preface:
          >
          > "The result of the study suggests that Sethianism interacted with
          > Christianity in five phases: (1) Sethianism as a non-Christian
          > baptismal sect of the first centuries B.C.E. and C.E. which
          > considered itself primordially enlightened by the divine wisdom
          > revealed to Adam and Seth, yet expected a final visitation of Seth
          > marked by his conferral of a saving baptism; (2) Sethianism as
          > gradually Christianized in the later first century onward through an
          > identification of the pre-existent Christ with Seth, or Adam, that
          > emerged through contact with Christian baptismal groups; (3)
          > Sethianism as increasingly estranged from a Christianity becoming
          > more orthodox toward the end of the second century and beyond; (4)
          > Sethianism as rejected by the Great Church but meanwhile
          > increasingly attracted to the individualistic contemplative
          > practices of third- century Platonism; and (5) Sethianism as
          > estranged from the orthodox Platonists of the late third century and
          > increasingly fragmented into various derivative and other sectarian
          > gnostic groups, some surviving into the Middle Ages."

          I think this quote really sums up what happened, it is excellant.

          > I'm tempted at this early stage in conversation to say that
          > Sethianism does not appear to be an outgrowth of Christianity. In
          > any case, Platonism seems to have had a strong impact on both the
          > Valentinians and Sethians.

          I tend to agree with you. I might add, that on its face, Mandeanism
          looks a bit like early Sethianism. It may even be one of the
          branches he referrs to. It would be hard to establish though. In
          any case, like the Manacheans, it became a religion, more than pure
          gnosticism.

          Regards
          --
          Mike Leavitt ac998@...
        • eyeambetty
          Hi Cari, elmoreb, everyone, ... what ... on Sethian ... an ... increasingly ... orthodox ... into ... surviving ... Yes! thank you, Cari, for reposting this
          Message 4 of 20 , Dec 6, 2004
            Hi Cari, elmoreb, everyone,


            elmoreb" wrote:
            > > Also, what are the roots of gnosticism. I know there are the
            > > sethians who claim that its always been around since Adam, but
            what
            > > I want to know is who were the first historical gnostics.
            >

            Cari wrote:
            > Hi, elmoreb. Your query in the last paragraph about the roots of
            > Gnosticism seems directly related to the first of PMCV's issues
            > listed in the post (#10377) previous to yours:
            >
            > >>>1) There is some debate as to whether Gnosticism is an outgrowth
            > from Christianity with the Sethians being the farthest swing away
            > (as A. Logan states), or whether Sethians are an original source and
            > the Valentinians are more of an attempt to modify it towards
            > Christianity (as B. Pearson outlines). Any comments?<<<
            >
            > I'm currently wading again through the following article
            on "Sethian
            > Gnosticism: A Literary History" by John D. Turner ~
            > http://jdt.unl.edu/lithist.html
            > I don't know if you or other members have had a chance to skim or
            > read this article. It might offer additional fodder for thought in
            > connection with this discussion.
            >
            > The article expands from this outline in the Preface:
            >
            > "The result of the study suggests that Sethianism interacted with
            > Christianity in five phases: (1) Sethianism as a non-Christian
            > baptismal sect of the first centuries B.C.E. and C.E. which
            > considered itself primordially enlightened by the divine wisdom
            > revealed to Adam and Seth, yet expected a final visitation of Seth
            > marked by his conferral of a saving baptism; (2) Sethianism as
            > gradually Christianized in the later first century onward through
            an
            > identification of the pre-existent Christ with Seth, or Adam, that
            > emerged through contact with Christian baptismal groups; (3)
            > Sethianism as increasingly estranged from a Christianity becoming
            > more orthodox toward the end of the second century and beyond; (4)
            > Sethianism as rejected by the Great Church but meanwhile
            increasingly
            > attracted to the individualistic contemplative practices of third-
            > century Platonism; and (5) Sethianism as estranged from the
            orthodox
            > Platonists of the late third century and increasingly fragmented
            into
            > various derivative and other sectarian gnostic groups, some
            surviving
            > into the Middle Ages."
            >
            > I'm tempted at this early stage in conversation to say that
            > Sethianism does not appear to be an outgrowth of Christianity. In
            > any case, Platonism seems to have had a strong impact on both the
            > Valentinians and Sethians.
            >


            Yes! thank you, Cari, for reposting this link awhile back. i've been
            engrossed in reading several articles there, including the one you've
            mentioned. "Sethian Gnosticism: A Literary History" is a very
            thorough investigation of the literary history of the Sethians and
            the diverse background of influences. a little further into the
            article, after mentioning a wealth of texts considered to be Sethian
            Gnosticism( which the author explores in detail throughout the
            article), under the heading of "The Sethian Themes" the author more
            specifically outlines the doctrinal influences:

            "So far as I can see, most of the Sethian documents cited above
            originated in the period 100-250 C.E. They seem to derive their
            content from five basic complexes of doctrines:(1)a fund of
            Hellenistic- Jewish speculation on the figure of Sophia, the divine
            wisdom;(2)midrashic interpretation of Genesis 1-6 together with
            assorted motifs from Jewish scripture and exegesis;(3)a doctine and
            practice of baptism;(4)the developing Christology of the early
            church; and(5)a religiously oriented Neopythagorean and Middle
            Platonic philosophical tradition of ontological and theological
            speculation."

            so, while the Sethians apparently continued to develop alongside
            Christianity, and even integrated aspects of the Christology, most
            importantly their identification of Christ/the Logos with Seth,or
            Adam, it seems to function very differently within the Sethian
            context.
            they really seem to distinguish themselves with their interpretation
            of Genesis 2-6, setting up the salvational history of the Sethians.
            Professor Turner goes on to describe this:

            "Given the existence of an upper(either undeclined or restored) and
            lower Sophia, conceived as Mother, and her upper and lower sond, the
            Logos and the Archon, the peculiar Sethian reinterpretation of
            Genesis 2-6 easily follows: the anthropogony; the inbreathing of the
            divine Spirit; the sending of Eve or her extraction from Adam; the
            eating from the tree of knowledge; expulsion from paradie; the birth
            of Cain,Abel,Norea,and Seth and his seed; the flood and intercourse
            between women and the angels, with the addition of the story of Sdom
            and Gemorrah; and a final judgement and salvation. These episodes
            are interpreted in terms of a series of moves and countermoves
            between the upper Mother and Son and the lower Son in a contest over
            the control of the divine Spirit in mankind. In a very early period,
            still within the context of a disaffected and heterodox Judaism( and
            working with Jewish materials and gnosticizing Hellenistic-Jewish
            principles of interpretation),the peculiar Sethian doctrines
            concerning the origins, incarnation, subsequent history and salvation
            of these Gnostics were worked out in terms of the upper and lower
            Adam, Seth and seed of Seth, in particular this involved the doctines
            of heavenly dwellings(the four Lights) for the exalted counterparts
            of the "historical" Sethians, and the tripartitioning of history into
            three basic epochs of salvation. These epochs could be delineated by
            events in the lower world, such as the flood, the conflagration, and
            the final overthrow of the Archons(as in the 'Apocalypse of Adam' and
            the 'Gospel of the Egyptians'). Or these epochs could be marked by
            the three descents from the upper world of a Savior(as Father,Mother
            and Son)involving (1) the inbreathing of the divine Spirit into Adam,
            (2) the arrival of the luminous Epinoia(a Sophia figure) in the form
            of Eve, and (3) the final appearance of Seth as the Logos(or
            Christ,cf. the "Apocryphon of John' and the 'Trimorphic Protennoia).
            Other schemes or combinations of these episodes were also worked out.
            If there is anything peculiarly Sethian in the tractates under
            discussion, it would show itself here, since these speculations in
            fact constitute the sacred history of the Sethian Gnostics."

            now, if that isn't enough to make your head spin, much later in the
            article the author is more specific in describing the contrast
            between Christianity and Sethianism, then mentions just where
            Valentinus is, in proximity to Christianity.

            "For Christianity, the period of Isreal was one only of preparation
            for the advent of salvation in Christ, while for the Sethians,
            salvation had been in principle already achieved in primordial times,
            with the raising of Seth and his seed into the Aeons. Thus the first
            and second descents of the redeemer had actually already performed
            the fundamental work of salvation in primordial times and left
            witnesses to it on inscribed steles and in books. The third descent
            of the redeemer is therefore only to remind the earthly Sethians of
            what had been accomplished for them in the past, and to grant them a
            means of realizing this in the present through the baptismal ascent
            ritual.
            That this third descent of the redeemer is identified with the
            preexistent Christ who brings salvation as gnosis rather that
            salvation through his death on the cross should occasion no suprise.
            There were tendencies toward such views in Johannine Christian
            circles as well. One should bear in mind that also during this period
            (140-160)Valentinus likewise developed the notion of a pneumatic
            Christ coming to waken the sleeping spirit in humankind, a notion
            which lies at the core of his system. Valentinus and his sucessors
            made Christ the focus of their system and thus were allied pricipally
            with Christianity.'rite Sethians, however, seemed to find their sense
            of uniqueness in opposition to the church on grounds just mentioned.
            Since various groups were not isolated from one another but freely
            made use of texts and ideas borrowed from other groups, the adoption
            of Christ into their system was only natural, but did not
            fundamentally change its basically non-Christian nature and inner
            cohesion."

            it's seems then, that fundementally, the Sethians and Valentinians
            idea of gnosis would logically differ? for Valentinians, Gnosis is a
            more vague notion of "knowledge" that one cultivates within, with the
            potential of salvation. while the Sethians, salvation has already
            occured in primordial times, and Gnosis is merely remembering one's
            spiritual past, inferred by a Heavenly counterpart through the
            practice of the baptismal ascent ritual.

            i know i have leaned quite heavily upon Professor Turner's article,
            but at the moment i have no other sources at hand, to draw from, that
            goes to such lengths, in discussing Sethian Gnostian.
            well, i'd like to comment more on the Platonic influences upon the
            Sethians and Valentinians,and more of PMCV questions, but i have to
            go eat dinner before i faint.

            very exciting discussion here!

            cheers everyone, betty
          • lady_caritas
            ... that ... Hi, Betty. It s so good to see you. Thank you for your very thoughtful post. Speaking of food, I m slowly digesting your wonderful analysis in
            Message 5 of 20 , Dec 7, 2004
              --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "eyeambetty" <eyeambetty@y...>
              wrote:
              >
              > i know i have leaned quite heavily upon Professor Turner's article,
              > but at the moment i have no other sources at hand, to draw from,
              that
              > goes to such lengths, in discussing Sethian Gnostian.
              > well, i'd like to comment more on the Platonic influences upon the
              > Sethians and Valentinians,and more of PMCV questions, but i have to
              > go eat dinner before i faint.
              >
              > very exciting discussion here!
              >
              > cheers everyone, betty


              Hi, Betty. It's so good to see you. Thank you for your very
              thoughtful post. Speaking of food, I'm slowly digesting your
              wonderful analysis in between holiday food preparations. I look
              forward to your future comments, too. I'll be back soon!

              Cari
            • Mike Leavitt
              Hello pmcvflag ... Just one, the early Valentinians were in the church, the Sethians were not. Regards -- Mike Leavitt ac998@lafn.org
              Message 6 of 20 , Dec 9, 2004
                Hello pmcvflag

                On 12/10/04, you wrote:


                > I would like to see what people think of the mythological structure
                > itself. Are there reasons for the severe dramtic difference we see
                > between the Valentinian and Sethian outlines? I ahve often dealt
                > with this as a literary hermeneutic point, but I also brought up the
                > question as to just how literal vs literary this should be
                > understood. Why, then, with the Valentinian and Sethian cosmology
                > being essentially related, is the emphasis so strikingly different?

                Just one, the early Valentinians were in the church, the Sethians were
                not.

                Regards
                --
                Mike Leavitt ac998@...
              • pmcvflag
                Hey Betty, well I guess I need to get over and read Turner s pages too. I know he has some books on the subject of the specific relationship between Platonism
                Message 7 of 20 , Dec 9, 2004
                  Hey Betty, well I guess I need to get over and read Turner's pages
                  too. I know he has some books on the subject of the specific
                  relationship between Platonism and Sethiansim, perhaps I'll try to
                  pick one of those up at some point.

                  Unfortunately, some of the books I am more familiar with, such as
                  Pearson's "Gnosticism, Judasim, and Egyptian Christianity" are not
                  in print and quite hard to find I guess.

                  It seems to me from this short bit I have read, that Dr Turner
                  postulates a later origin for Sethianism, but not so late as some
                  believe.

                  In looking at this part of Turner's outline....

                  "So far as I can see, most of the Sethian documents cited above
                  originated in the period 100-250 C.E. They seem to derive their
                  content from five basic complexes of doctrines:(1)a fund of
                  Hellenistic- Jewish speculation on the figure of Sophia, the divine
                  wisdom;(2)midrashic interpretation of Genesis 1-6 together with
                  assorted motifs from Jewish scripture and exegesis;(3)a doctine and
                  practice of baptism;(4)the developing Christology of the early
                  church; and(5)a religiously oriented Neopythagorean and Middle
                  Platonic philosophical tradition of ontological and theological
                  speculation."

                  .... I was thinking that it would be interesting to deal a bit more
                  specifically with the influences. While I don't think anyone would
                  debate these influences (though other influences could possibly be
                  added), I am wondering if there is any significance to the ordering.

                  I found it interesting that the thing you point out as a difference
                  in the notion of "Gnosis" between the Valentinians and the Sethians
                  very directly implies that at least this one particular motif is
                  more directly related to the Platonic schools on the Sethian side,
                  and considering the continued degeneration of the Academies this
                  alone could give us cause to speculate on what order those
                  influences should be stated.

                  To be honest though, I am not completely convinced that this
                  destinction is necessarily accurate. Not to say I disagree either,
                  but it does seem to be that while the Valentinian texts do seem to
                  express the notion a bit more vaguely, they still attach it to the
                  ritual system and the cosmology that is implied in the system. And
                  remember, most of the Valentinian texts are also vague in dealing
                  with the cosmology, but we know it was there all the same. In other
                  words, I am not sure that this tendancy to be a bit less explicit
                  may not have more implications concerning the textual purpose (and
                  the "taste" of the sect) rather than the specifics of belief.

                  Something that threw me a little, is the way Dr Turner mentions the
                  Valentinian developement so obliquely that it almost seems to imply
                  that these thoughts popped up on thier own in both sects. While he
                  does mention sect interaction, I would wonder if he would list the
                  same influences, in the same order, for both sects.

                  One thought I have had is, the expression is Sethianism is so
                  dramatic, and on the surface it is hard to see interaction between
                  some of these Gnostic sects, as well as Neopythagorian and
                  Hermeticism. When I look at the early Hermetic texts, I see
                  something very easily in line with Valentinian thought.... the
                  Demiurge is not evil, just a tool.... etc. Some of the
                  Neopythagorian thought, on the other hand, seems to me to be more
                  inline with the Sethians. Still, I can see the interacction between
                  all of these groups as more intuitively obvious than the interaction
                  between the Sethians and Valentinians. And yet it did seem to
                  happen. SO, what does this imply?

                  I would like to see what people think of the mythological structure
                  itself. Are there reasons for the severe dramtic difference we see
                  between the Valentinian and Sethian outlines? I ahve often dealt
                  with this as a literary hermeneutic point, but I also brought up the
                  question as to just how literal vs literary this should be
                  understood. Why, then, with the Valentinian and Sethian cosmology
                  being essentially related, is the emphasis so strikingly different?

                  Thoughts?

                  PMCV
                • lady_caritas
                  ... times, ... first ... a ... suprise. ... period ... pricipally ... sense ... mentioned. ... adoption ... a ... the ... Betty, you speak of the idea of
                  Message 8 of 20 , Dec 10, 2004
                    --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "eyeambetty" <eyeambetty@y...>
                    wrote:

                    > now, if that isn't enough to make your head spin, much later in the
                    > article the author is more specific in describing the contrast
                    > between Christianity and Sethianism, then mentions just where
                    > Valentinus is, in proximity to Christianity.
                    >
                    > "For Christianity, the period of Isreal was one only of preparation
                    > for the advent of salvation in Christ, while for the Sethians,
                    > salvation had been in principle already achieved in primordial
                    times,
                    > with the raising of Seth and his seed into the Aeons. Thus the
                    first
                    > and second descents of the redeemer had actually already performed
                    > the fundamental work of salvation in primordial times and left
                    > witnesses to it on inscribed steles and in books. The third descent
                    > of the redeemer is therefore only to remind the earthly Sethians of
                    > what had been accomplished for them in the past, and to grant them
                    a
                    > means of realizing this in the present through the baptismal ascent
                    > ritual.
                    > That this third descent of the redeemer is identified with the
                    > preexistent Christ who brings salvation as gnosis rather that
                    > salvation through his death on the cross should occasion no
                    suprise.
                    > There were tendencies toward such views in Johannine Christian
                    > circles as well. One should bear in mind that also during this
                    period
                    > (140-160)Valentinus likewise developed the notion of a pneumatic
                    > Christ coming to waken the sleeping spirit in humankind, a notion
                    > which lies at the core of his system. Valentinus and his sucessors
                    > made Christ the focus of their system and thus were allied
                    pricipally
                    > with Christianity.'rite Sethians, however, seemed to find their
                    sense
                    > of uniqueness in opposition to the church on grounds just
                    mentioned.
                    > Since various groups were not isolated from one another but freely
                    > made use of texts and ideas borrowed from other groups, the
                    adoption
                    > of Christ into their system was only natural, but did not
                    > fundamentally change its basically non-Christian nature and inner
                    > cohesion."
                    >
                    > it's seems then, that fundementally, the Sethians and Valentinians
                    > idea of gnosis would logically differ? for Valentinians, Gnosis is
                    a
                    > more vague notion of "knowledge" that one cultivates within, with
                    the
                    > potential of salvation. while the Sethians, salvation has already
                    > occured in primordial times, and Gnosis is merely remembering one's
                    > spiritual past, inferred by a Heavenly counterpart through the
                    > practice of the baptismal ascent ritual.


                    Betty, you speak of the "idea" of Gnosis. Ideas may have differed
                    due to differing environments and cultural influences. There is
                    certainly that element, and yet I feel that this mental aspect, the
                    intellectual realization, was part of a larger common
                    cognitional/pneumatic _experience_ (not just emotional or magical or
                    mystical or rational) from whence came an abundance of differing
                    expressions, which in themselves changed in the first few centuries
                    as explained by John D. Turner in his article.

                    I'm reminded of "An Interview with Gilles Quispel" by Christopher
                    Farmer (p. 27-29) in the first issue _Gnosis Magazine_, (Fall/Winter
                    1985).
                    From the interview:
                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                    Farmer: I liked what you once said in an article about the Nag
                    Hammadi discovery, that whether or not these writings are true or not
                    there is certainly a sincere and authentic expression being
                    manifested in them.

                    Quispel: Yes, and that's what Jung once said to me. He said, "I
                    don't like the Neoplatonists, mainly because you don't find there so
                    much an experience but more of a rationalization of the experience,
                    but with the Gnostics you have the experience, and the proof that it
                    is all personal experience is that these systems are so different
                    from each other." I think that is a very valid observation from that
                    old fox.
                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                    Well, perhaps it is personal, but there is a cultural as well as a
                    personality component that could very well affect individual likes,
                    dislikes, and differences in general. I do agree with Jung's
                    observation about "a sincere and authentic expression." This could
                    very well stem from an origin of experience that transcends
                    nature/nurture considerations. In spite of Jung's observation about
                    different systems, the Neoplatonists and Valentinians and Sethians
                    had plenty in common. Their griping at each other was often about
                    emphasis and details. So human they were. The rationals didn't like
                    all the ecstatic incantations of others, etc. Humans are so
                    complex. That is why I appreciate what often seems like the
                    ridiculous intricacy of Gnostic cosmologies. Some things these
                    Gnostic groups did share were emanation systems from an unknown
                    source and an interest in cosmogony.

                    I think remembrance through an inner awakening was important for all
                    Gnostics, whether with the help of one or three descents of a
                    redeemer. As Mike pointed out, the Valentinians seemed to have a
                    more direct connection with a burgeoning Christianity than others.
                    Remembrance was the key, though, for Valentinians and Sethians
                    alike,... awakening "the sleeping spirit in humankind."

                    Regardless of when a salvation "in principle" had been achieved for
                    these groups, the inner realization wasn't always considered apparent
                    without the aid of ritual or an initiatory process, in some cases.
                    Various rituals were used and sometimes were even discarded by
                    various sects. I would imagine that Sethian and Valentinian groups
                    were comprised of members at various stages in the process of Gnosis,
                    just as we find today. Hence, the amount of emphasis on sacramental
                    aspects would vary.

                    IOW, to end my rambling here, there seemed to be a common emphasis on
                    a pneumatic remembrance, an awakening from ignorance common to these
                    groups, that was still apparent in spite of varying expressions,
                    cosmological details, and ritual emphasis in attaining Gnosis.


                    Cari
                  • lady_caritas
                    ... Hi, PMCV. Turner also does mention (near the end of III. Chronology and Redaction, A. Before 100 C.E.) earliest Sethian compositions that were written by
                    Message 9 of 20 , Dec 10, 2004
                      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                      >
                      > It seems to me from this short bit I have read, that Dr Turner
                      > postulates a later origin for Sethianism, but not so late as some
                      > believe.
                      >
                      > In looking at this part of Turner's outline....
                      >
                      > "So far as I can see, most of the Sethian documents cited above
                      > originated in the period 100-250 C.E.


                      Hi, PMCV. Turner also does mention (near the end of III. Chronology
                      and Redaction, A. Before 100 C.E.) earliest Sethian compositions that
                      were written by the end of the first century. I would copy and paste
                      here, but I can't seem to access the web page right now.

                      He basically shows an origin for Sethianism before 100 C.E in this
                      whole section. Are there sources that postulate a much earlier
                      origin?

                      Cari
                    • Mike Leavitt
                      Hello lady_caritas ... I have heard about 100 BCE. PMCV? Regards -- Mike Leavitt ac998@lafn.org
                      Message 10 of 20 , Dec 10, 2004
                        Hello lady_caritas

                        On 12/10/04, you wrote:

                        >
                        >
                        > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                        >>
                        >> It seems to me from this short bit I have read, that Dr Turner
                        >> postulates a later origin for Sethianism, but not so late as some
                        >> believe.
                        >>
                        >> In looking at this part of Turner's outline....
                        >>
                        >> "So far as I can see, most of the Sethian documents cited above
                        >> originated in the period 100-250 C.E.
                        >
                        >
                        > Hi, PMCV. Turner also does mention (near the end of III. Chronology
                        > and Redaction, A. Before 100 C.E.) earliest Sethian compositions
                        > that were written by the end of the first century. I would copy and
                        > paste here, but I can't seem to access the web page right now.
                        >
                        > He basically shows an origin for Sethianism before 100 C.E in this
                        > whole section. Are there sources that postulate a much earlier
                        > origin?
                        >
                        > Cari

                        I have heard about 100 BCE. PMCV?

                        Regards
                        --
                        Mike Leavitt ac998@...
                      • Mike Leavitt
                        Hello lady_caritas ... We should remember that the late NeoPlatonists like Proclus were very theurgic, if not plain magical in their emphasis. Regards -- Mike
                        Message 11 of 20 , Dec 10, 2004
                          Hello lady_caritas

                          On 12/10/04, you wrote:

                          > IOW, to end my rambling here, there seemed to be a common emphasis
                          > on a pneumatic remembrance, an awakening from ignorance common to
                          > these groups, that was still apparent in spite of varying
                          > expressions, cosmological details, and ritual emphasis in attaining
                          > Gnosis.

                          We should remember that the late NeoPlatonists like Proclus were very
                          theurgic, if not plain magical in their emphasis.

                          Regards
                          --
                          Mike Leavitt ac998@...
                        • lady_caritas
                          ... attaining ... very ... Yes, Mike, and I don t know if Jung felt the same dislike for Proclus as he did toward other Neoplatonists. Proclus was still the
                          Message 12 of 20 , Dec 11, 2004
                            --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Mike Leavitt <ac998@l...> wrote:
                            > Hello lady_caritas
                            >
                            > On 12/10/04, you wrote:
                            >
                            > > IOW, to end my rambling here, there seemed to be a common emphasis
                            > > on a pneumatic remembrance, an awakening from ignorance common to
                            > > these groups, that was still apparent in spite of varying
                            > > expressions, cosmological details, and ritual emphasis in
                            attaining
                            > > Gnosis.
                            >
                            > We should remember that the late NeoPlatonists like Proclus were
                            very
                            > theurgic, if not plain magical in their emphasis.
                            >
                            > Regards
                            > --
                            > Mike Leavitt ac998@l...


                            Yes, Mike, and I don't know if Jung felt the same dislike for Proclus
                            as he did toward other Neoplatonists. Proclus was still the
                            philosopher, but certainly incorporated theurgy in his contemplation
                            of Forms.
                            http://www.kheper.net/topics/Neoplatonism/Proclus-theurgy.html


                            Cari
                          • lady_caritas
                            ... some ... Chronology ... and ... this ... Oh, yes, Mike. I checked back to a previous post of mine (#10379) in which I quoted from the preface of Turner s
                            Message 13 of 20 , Dec 11, 2004
                              --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Mike Leavitt <ac998@l...> wrote:
                              > Hello lady_caritas
                              >
                              > On 12/10/04, you wrote:
                              >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...>
                              wrote:
                              > >>
                              > >> It seems to me from this short bit I have read, that Dr Turner
                              > >> postulates a later origin for Sethianism, but not so late as
                              some
                              > >> believe.
                              > >>
                              > >> In looking at this part of Turner's outline....
                              > >>
                              > >> "So far as I can see, most of the Sethian documents cited above
                              > >> originated in the period 100-250 C.E.
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > Hi, PMCV. Turner also does mention (near the end of III.
                              Chronology
                              > > and Redaction, A. Before 100 C.E.) earliest Sethian compositions
                              > > that were written by the end of the first century. I would copy
                              and
                              > > paste here, but I can't seem to access the web page right now.
                              > >
                              > > He basically shows an origin for Sethianism before 100 C.E in
                              this
                              > > whole section. Are there sources that postulate a much earlier
                              > > origin?
                              > >
                              > > Cari
                              >
                              > I have heard about 100 BCE. PMCV?
                              >
                              > Regards
                              > --
                              > Mike Leavitt ac998@l...


                              Oh, yes, Mike. I checked back to a previous post of mine (#10379) in
                              which I quoted from the preface of Turner's article, mentioning
                              "Sethianism as a non-Christian
                              baptismal sect of the first centuries B.C.E. and C.E. which
                              considered itself primordially enlightened by the divine wisdom
                              revealed to Adam and Seth,..."

                              I don't know how much further back we could go, but even activity
                              around 100 B.C.E. would exemplify non-Christian roots.

                              Cari
                            • Mike Leavitt
                              Hello lady_caritas ... I seem to remember Iamblicus On the Mysteries, which was very theurgic too. I don t have ready access to my library (long story) or I
                              Message 14 of 20 , Dec 11, 2004
                                Hello lady_caritas

                                On 12/11/04, you wrote:

                                >
                                >
                                > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Mike Leavitt <ac998@l...> wrote:
                                >> Hello lady_caritas
                                >>
                                >> On 12/10/04, you wrote:
                                >>
                                >> IOW, to end my rambling here, there seemed to be a common emphasis
                                >> on a pneumatic remembrance, an awakening from ignorance common to
                                >> these groups, that was still apparent in spite of varying
                                >> expressions, cosmological details, and ritual emphasis in
                                > attaining
                                >>> Gnosis.
                                >>
                                >> We should remember that the late NeoPlatonists like Proclus were
                                > very
                                >> theurgic, if not plain magical in their emphasis.
                                >>
                                >> Regards
                                >> --
                                >> Mike Leavitt ac998@l...
                                >
                                >
                                > Yes, Mike, and I don't know if Jung felt the same dislike for
                                > Proclus as he did toward other Neoplatonists. Proclus was still the
                                > philosopher, but certainly incorporated theurgy in his contemplation
                                > of Forms.
                                > http://www.kheper.net/topics/Neoplatonism/Proclus-theurgy.html

                                I seem to remember Iamblicus On the Mysteries, which was very theurgic
                                too. I don't have ready access to my library (long story) or I would
                                check.

                                Regards
                                --
                                Mike Leavitt ac998@...
                              • lady_caritas
                                ... emphasis ... the ... contemplation ... theurgic ... would ... You must have some amazing library, Mike. Anyway, I was able to find this online:
                                Message 15 of 20 , Dec 11, 2004
                                  --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Mike Leavitt <ac998@l...> wrote:
                                  > Hello lady_caritas
                                  >
                                  > On 12/11/04, you wrote:
                                  >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Mike Leavitt <ac998@l...>
                                  wrote:
                                  > >> Hello lady_caritas
                                  > >>
                                  > >> On 12/10/04, you wrote:
                                  > >>
                                  > >> IOW, to end my rambling here, there seemed to be a common
                                  emphasis
                                  > >> on a pneumatic remembrance, an awakening from ignorance common to
                                  > >> these groups, that was still apparent in spite of varying
                                  > >> expressions, cosmological details, and ritual emphasis in
                                  > > attaining
                                  > >>> Gnosis.
                                  > >>
                                  > >> We should remember that the late NeoPlatonists like Proclus were
                                  > > very
                                  > >> theurgic, if not plain magical in their emphasis.
                                  > >>
                                  > >> Regards
                                  > >> --
                                  > >> Mike Leavitt ac998@l...
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > Yes, Mike, and I don't know if Jung felt the same dislike for
                                  > > Proclus as he did toward other Neoplatonists. Proclus was still
                                  the
                                  > > philosopher, but certainly incorporated theurgy in his
                                  contemplation
                                  > > of Forms.
                                  > > http://www.kheper.net/topics/Neoplatonism/Proclus-theurgy.html
                                  >
                                  > I seem to remember Iamblicus On the Mysteries, which was very
                                  theurgic
                                  > too. I don't have ready access to my library (long story) or I
                                  would
                                  > check.
                                  >
                                  > Regards
                                  > --
                                  > Mike Leavitt ac998@l...


                                  You must have some amazing library, Mike. Anyway, I was able to find
                                  this online:
                                  http://www.esotericarchives.com/oracle/iambl_th.htm


                                  Cari
                                • Mike Leavitt
                                  Hello lady_caritas ... This appears to be the work in question. The style makes it a bit hard to read, I m afraid. Regards -- Mike Leavitt ac998@lafn.org
                                  Message 16 of 20 , Dec 11, 2004
                                    Hello lady_caritas

                                    On 12/11/04, you wrote:

                                    >
                                    >
                                    > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Mike Leavitt <ac998@l...> wrote:
                                    >> Hello lady_caritas
                                    >>
                                    >> On 12/11/04, you wrote:
                                    >>
                                    >>>
                                    >>>
                                    >>> --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Mike Leavitt <ac998@l...>
                                    > wrote:
                                    >>>> Hello lady_caritas
                                    >>>>
                                    >>>> On 12/10/04, you wrote:
                                    >>>>
                                    >>>> IOW, to end my rambling here, there seemed to be a common
                                    > emphasis
                                    >> >> on a pneumatic remembrance, an awakening from ignorance common
                                    >> >> to these groups, that was still apparent in spite of varying
                                    >> >> expressions, cosmological details, and ritual emphasis in
                                    >>> attaining
                                    >>>>> Gnosis.
                                    >> >>
                                    >> >> We should remember that the late NeoPlatonists like Proclus were
                                    >>> very
                                    >>>> theurgic, if not plain magical in their emphasis.
                                    >>>>
                                    >>>> Regards
                                    >>>> --
                                    >>>> Mike Leavitt ac998@l...
                                    >>>
                                    >>>
                                    >>> Yes, Mike, and I don't know if Jung felt the same dislike for
                                    >>> Proclus as he did toward other Neoplatonists. Proclus was still
                                    > the
                                    >>> philosopher, but certainly incorporated theurgy in his
                                    > contemplation
                                    >>> of Forms.
                                    >>> http://www.kheper.net/topics/Neoplatonism/Proclus-theurgy.html
                                    >>
                                    >> I seem to remember Iamblicus On the Mysteries, which was very
                                    > theurgic
                                    >> too. I don't have ready access to my library (long story) or I
                                    > would
                                    >> check.
                                    >>
                                    >> Regards
                                    >> --
                                    >> Mike Leavitt ac998@l...
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > You must have some amazing library, Mike. Anyway, I was able to find
                                    > this online:
                                    > http://www.esotericarchives.com/oracle/iambl_th.htm

                                    This appears to be the work in question. The style makes it a bit
                                    hard to read, I'm afraid.

                                    Regards
                                    --
                                    Mike Leavitt ac998@...
                                  • pmcvflag
                                    In my memory I seem to recall that Pearson pushes back even farther, a little into the second century B.C.. To be honest though, I can t recall what evidence
                                    Message 17 of 20 , Dec 11, 2004
                                      In my memory I seem to recall that Pearson pushes back even farther,
                                      a little into the second century B.C.. To be honest though, I can't
                                      recall what evidence he presents for that.... and I can't think of
                                      any myself. I also was just noticing that Turner and Pearson seem to
                                      have many parallel studies, such as the specific connection between
                                      Gnosticism and Platonism. From what I am reading they seem very much
                                      in agrement. Perhaps Turner is a good replacement (and maybe a bit
                                      updated) for the fact that Pearson seems pretty hard to find. It
                                      would be helpful to have more books on this perticular subject to be
                                      able to recomend to people. Expect my review within a year ;) *lol*

                                      PMCV

                                      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, lady_caritas <no_reply@y...>
                                      wrote:
                                      >
                                      > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Mike Leavitt <ac998@l...>
                                      wrote:
                                      > > Hello lady_caritas
                                      > >
                                      > > On 12/10/04, you wrote:
                                      > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...>
                                      > wrote:
                                      > > >>
                                      > > >> It seems to me from this short bit I have read, that Dr
                                      Turner
                                      > > >> postulates a later origin for Sethianism, but not so late as
                                      > some
                                      > > >> believe.
                                      > > >>
                                      > > >> In looking at this part of Turner's outline....
                                      > > >>
                                      > > >> "So far as I can see, most of the Sethian documents cited
                                      above
                                      > > >> originated in the period 100-250 C.E.
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Hi, PMCV. Turner also does mention (near the end of III.
                                      > Chronology
                                      > > > and Redaction, A. Before 100 C.E.) earliest Sethian
                                      compositions
                                      > > > that were written by the end of the first century. I would
                                      copy
                                      > and
                                      > > > paste here, but I can't seem to access the web page right now.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > He basically shows an origin for Sethianism before 100 C.E in
                                      > this
                                      > > > whole section. Are there sources that postulate a much
                                      earlier
                                      > > > origin?
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Cari
                                      > >
                                      > > I have heard about 100 BCE. PMCV?
                                      > >
                                      > > Regards
                                      > > --
                                      > > Mike Leavitt ac998@l...
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Oh, yes, Mike. I checked back to a previous post of mine (#10379)
                                      in
                                      > which I quoted from the preface of Turner's article, mentioning
                                      > "Sethianism as a non-Christian
                                      > baptismal sect of the first centuries B.C.E. and C.E. which
                                      > considered itself primordially enlightened by the divine wisdom
                                      > revealed to Adam and Seth,..."
                                      >
                                      > I don't know how much further back we could go, but even activity
                                      > around 100 B.C.E. would exemplify non-Christian roots.
                                      >
                                      > Cari
                                    • pmcvflag
                                      Hey Mike... ... Sethians were not.
                                      Message 18 of 20 , Dec 11, 2004
                                        Hey Mike...

                                        >>>"Just one, the early Valentinians were in the church, the
                                        Sethians were not."<<<

                                        Perhaps, but what about the synagogue? Also, I am not so sure that
                                        the Christinized "Sethian" tracts were not originally used in the
                                        church. On the other hand, they are hard to reconcile with what we
                                        know of the earliest Christian texts. I think this question is very
                                        difficult to be positive about, either way.

                                        PMCV
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