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Re: Gnosticism vs. Orthodoxy/ Sethians

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  • eyeambetty
    Hi Cari, elmoreb, everyone, ... what ... on Sethian ... an ... increasingly ... orthodox ... into ... surviving ... Yes! thank you, Cari, for reposting this
    Message 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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 15 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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