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Re: Apophatic Theology

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  • pmcvflag
    ... perception ... involved. ... who ... this ... gets ... Even ... as ... Excellent, as always, Lady Cari. Better stated than mine, actually. PMCV
    Message 1 of 23 , Jan 16, 2005
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      > Well, yes. It's possible that there could oftentimes be a
      perception
      > of a god of some sort dependent on the needs of the person
      involved.
      > It *does* become very personal. Some might conjure up a father or
      > mother figure. Others might push limits, sending a deity way out
      > into eternity, ending up with a disinterested, non-interfering,
      > deistic type of god. Also, there are some people who
      > consider "notions of a beyond conceptualization" that you mention
      who
      > nonetheless retain a materialistic worldview. In their minds,
      this
      > unknown is a material unknown. Others might ask how then one can
      > know this unknown is only material.
      >
      > I would imagine considering an absolute ineffability outside of
      > temporal concepts of eternity could be scary for lots of people...
      > because when you do, there is no footing, no familiar grounding.
      > Preconceptions are continually being discovered and tested.
      > Personally, I wouldn't have it any other way even when the going
      gets
      > rough because any other path would be fake and a copout for me.
      Even
      > apophatic theology in relation to trying to understand the gods of
      > various religions doesn't go far enough for me. It's not the same
      as
      > the ultimately absolute apophatic concept of the Gnostics. By
      > allowing for the unknowable absolute (in both thinking and
      > nonthinking mode), I discover things about myself that might be
      > uncomfortable but in turn end up contributing to my journey to
      > wholeness while I'm here on earth. I just can't help but be
      > practical in that way. ;-)
      >
      >
      > Cari



      Excellent, as always, Lady Cari. Better stated than mine, actually.

      PMCV
    • janahooks
      ... gets ... Even ... as ... I think I may be on the verge of an aha moment (or duh ). Once again, Cari, could you direct me toward a text that is helpful
      Message 2 of 23 , Jan 17, 2005
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        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, lady_caritas <no_reply@y...>
        wrote:
        > I would imagine considering an absolute ineffability outside of
        > temporal concepts of eternity could be scary for lots of people...
        > because when you do, there is no footing, no familiar grounding.
        > Preconceptions are continually being discovered and tested.
        > Personally, I wouldn't have it any other way even when the going
        gets
        > rough because any other path would be fake and a copout for me.
        Even
        > apophatic theology in relation to trying to understand the gods of
        > various religions doesn't go far enough for me. It's not the same
        as
        > the ultimately absolute apophatic concept of the Gnostics. By
        > allowing for the unknowable absolute (in both thinking and
        > nonthinking mode), I discover things about myself that might be
        > uncomfortable but in turn end up contributing to my journey to
        > wholeness while I'm here on earth. I just can't help but be
        > practical in that way. ;-)
        >
        >
        > Cari

        I think I may be on the verge of an "aha" moment (or "duh"). Once
        again, Cari, could you direct me toward a text that is helpful along
        these lines? You've probably done this before for me and it just
        didn't take....:)
        Thanks in advance,
        jana
      • nakedalchemy@aol.com
        In a message dated 1/16/2005 10:55:18 PM Eastern Standard Time, no_r eply@yahoogroups.com writes: I mean, even those who think they are beyond
        Message 3 of 23 , Jan 17, 2005
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          In a message dated 1/16/2005 10:55:18 PM Eastern Standard Time, no_reply@yahoogroups.com writes:
          I mean, even those who think they are beyond nathropomorphic ideas
          of deity often still think of spirituality in very egocentric terms.
          People generally still believe that the spirit is a personal
          function, subjective and interpretive. Sometimes that is about
          floating in astral realms, or psychological growth, etc.. Or, as we
          all know there are many who feel that the mystical experience is THE
          definitive process of spirituality. I can think of few concepts that
          really challenge a person to look beyond these things.
           
          Hmmm? I have mostly thought that I am in spirit and spirit is in  me, but I have never considered it being limited to me, in fact, it is what I mean when I say Spirituality is connection, that everything is connected to everything, and the simple realization of this is what brings on the logic of what spirituality entails...one doesn't necessarily need to have a mystical experience, but it is nice and helpful(although I have found it to be a hindrance too in compounding the message of gnosis). A mystical experience, for one, sometimes happens like a acid trip, way too overwhelming and not always clear. I would not comprehensively recommend it, but then, we have little say so, it would seem, if it does occur.
          Gnosis, although akin to such a thing is without description, it is a "knowing" sometimes a feeling mingled in with conceptualizations, but, basically, once described, it is never of the same potency, or, rather...well, Like when I go to write a poem and try to get my thoughts into words, and the poem turns out not to be anything like I intended it to be. It may be a good poem, it may be full of all sorts of cool meaning and depth, but it still isn't the same thing as when I first imagined it.(Sometimes I write things that don't even seem to be of my own persona doing it at all).

          Of course, the fact that modern science is conceptualizing in a
          direction that points to these notions of a beyond conceptualization
          removes an element of pistic doctrin and I sure that would have been
          an attraction to the historical Gnostics considering the respect
          that most of these people had for the scientific thinking of their
          time... but I think the logical aspect and the effect on thinking
          itself might have been more important. The logic involved seems
          practically incontrovertaible, so what better way to evoke the
          Logos? *lol* :)
           
          when we dissect something we remove the mystique from it and see that its organs have functions, that, the thing that was once alive is just a carcass, it takes the romance out if it, so we go with reason and logic from thereon.
          but, if we have never personnaly dissected anything, the mystique remains...CSI on TV spoils everything by being so in your face with precisely this. Instead of faith we have cold science, but science cannot and is not in the business of explaining supernatural phenomena beyond what can be proven. It attempts to and is sometimes confronted with unknown variables, but just by being unknown does not make it illogical, it just hasn't yet come to light.
          I think the Gnostics wanted to work both sides of the fence here, and why not, it gives a broader view.
           
          mychael

          PMCV



           
        • nakedalchemy@aol.com
          In a message dated 1/17/2005 1:25:40 AM Eastern Standard Time, no_reply@yahoogroups.com writes: I would imagine considering an absolute ineffability outside
          Message 4 of 23 , Jan 17, 2005
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            In a message dated 1/17/2005 1:25:40 AM Eastern Standard Time, no_reply@yahoogroups.com writes:
            I would imagine considering an absolute ineffability outside of
            temporal concepts of eternity could be scary for lots of people...
            because when you do, there is no footing, no familiar grounding. 
            Preconceptions are continually being discovered and tested. 
            Personally, I wouldn't have it any other way even when the going gets
            rough because any other path would be fake and a copout for me.  Even
            apophatic theology in relation to trying to understand the gods of
            various religions doesn't go far enough for me.  It's not the same as
            the ultimately absolute apophatic concept of the Gnostics.  By
            allowing for the unknowable absolute (in both thinking and
            nonthinking mode), I discover things about myself that might be
            uncomfortable but in turn end up contributing to my journey to
            wholeness while I'm here on earth.  I just can't help but be
            practical in that way.  ;-) 


            Cari
            Cari..as I agree here, also, if the Unknow God is that unknown, then, I wont try to know it since no matter how much I would try, I wouldn't anyway. Just inconceivable and try and leave it at that.
            But, my nature is insistent, too, so damn curious, I will be arrogant enough to confront mu understanding or misunderstanding, as the case may be, that I will go ahead and make the attempt.
            One thing I have noticed in the TEXTS is that mention is made of the Ineffable, but so many more gloss over it, too. Some may make the attempt, as I do, but knowing it can't be done.., well, they tend to go back to what they know, and they know that these other gods they can describe are not the "one"..so sticking with the knowable gods is a much easier task.
            I feel the Trimorphic Prottennoia is a beautiful example, they describe the Three Thoughts as having existence rather than describe or attempt to describe from What these  THOUGHTS came from.
            It is these Three THOUGHTS that do the speaking. each connected to the other, distinct but ONE..A great concept for the original understanding of a TRINITY and incidentally understood as Feminine, The First THOUGHT being Barbelo, whom is the First Father(A FEMALE being a male), the Second Thought is the VOICE, and is the Female, the Mother, and the Third Thought is the Logos, now male and the Son...and EACH THOUGHT DESCENDS, and has its own story, you might say, spoken in the first person by each.
            I love it!
            So, that which is scary to many is that which we cannot know, so why bother, is what I say.
            Howvere, that which we can know, it is our journey to find out as much as we can about it, them, whatever, the more we know, the more we understand what we know, and the more we understand, the greater our capacity for reaching beyond ourselves by reaching into ourselves.
             
            mychael
          • lady_caritas
            ... people... ... of ... same ... along ... jana, not being inside your head or heart, I ll not venture to guess that I d be successful in complementing your
            Message 5 of 23 , Jan 17, 2005
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              --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "janahooks" <janahooks@y...>
              wrote:
              >
              >
              > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, lady_caritas <no_reply@y...>
              > wrote:
              > > I would imagine considering an absolute ineffability outside of
              > > temporal concepts of eternity could be scary for lots of
              people...
              > > because when you do, there is no footing, no familiar grounding.
              > > Preconceptions are continually being discovered and tested.
              > > Personally, I wouldn't have it any other way even when the going
              > gets
              > > rough because any other path would be fake and a copout for me.
              > Even
              > > apophatic theology in relation to trying to understand the gods
              of
              > > various religions doesn't go far enough for me. It's not the
              same
              > as
              > > the ultimately absolute apophatic concept of the Gnostics. By
              > > allowing for the unknowable absolute (in both thinking and
              > > nonthinking mode), I discover things about myself that might be
              > > uncomfortable but in turn end up contributing to my journey to
              > > wholeness while I'm here on earth. I just can't help but be
              > > practical in that way. ;-)
              > >
              > >
              > > Cari
              >
              > I think I may be on the verge of an "aha" moment (or "duh"). Once
              > again, Cari, could you direct me toward a text that is helpful
              along
              > these lines? You've probably done this before for me and it just
              > didn't take....:)
              > Thanks in advance,
              > jana


              jana, not being inside your head or heart, I'll not venture to guess
              that I'd be successful in complementing your impending "aha" or "duh"
              moment. ;-)

              However, for starters, I can direct you to some Sethian scripture
              that describes the ascent of the soul toward Gnosis. Both _The
              Foreigner_ (or _Allogenes_) and Zostrianos involve intellectual
              abstractions and mystical aspects. The Foreigner describes a
              lifetime of deliberation (study, contemplation) in preparation. _The
              Foreigner_ is concerned mainly with ascent, and _Zostrianos_ also
              discusses the descent. Zostrianos is heavily metaphorical compared
              to _The Foreigner_, but both works describe a process, a journey
              through abstract aeons. Particularly relevant to our subject is the
              apophatic description of the unrecognizable in _The Foreigner_
              (similar to that found in _The Secret Book According to John_),
              involving, ironically, a rational recognition that *complete*
              rational understanding or description of the ineffable first
              principle isn't humanly possible.

              Here's a passage from _The Foreigner_ (Bentley Layton trans.)
              preceding this apophatic depiction that describes part of this
              person's experience with an added mystical component:

              "Now, I was listening to them say these things {instructions of holy
              powers}, and within me was stillness of silence. I listened to
              blessedness, through which I understood myself as I really am. And I
              withdrew to vitality, which I sought to understand; and I accompanied
              it into itself, and stood at rest--not firmly, but in stillness. And
              I beheld an indivisible, eternal, intellectual movement--belonging to
              all the powers; formless; and unlimited by bestowal of limit. And
              when I wished to stand firmly at rest I withdrew to reality, which I
              found to be standing at rest and still, after an image and a
              resemblance of the (image) which I was wearing. Through a
              manifestation of the undivided and the still, I became full of
              manifestation. (And) through a first manifestation of the
              unrecognizable, I [understood] it (the unrecognizable), at the same
              time [that] I was uncomprehending of it. And from the latter I
              received power, having gotten eternal strength from [it]."


              Cari
            • lady_caritas
              ... gets ... Even ... as ... then, I wont ... anyway. Just ... arrogant enough ... be, that I ... the ... attempt, as I do, ... they know, ... the
              Message 6 of 23 , Jan 17, 2005
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                --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, nakedalchemy@a... wrote:
                >
                > In a message dated 1/17/2005 1:25:40 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                > no_reply@yahoogroups.com writes:
                >
                > I would imagine considering an absolute ineffability outside of
                > temporal concepts of eternity could be scary for lots of people...
                > because when you do, there is no footing, no familiar grounding.
                > Preconceptions are continually being discovered and tested.
                > Personally, I wouldn't have it any other way even when the going
                gets
                > rough because any other path would be fake and a copout for me.
                Even
                > apophatic theology in relation to trying to understand the gods of
                > various religions doesn't go far enough for me. It's not the same
                as
                > the ultimately absolute apophatic concept of the Gnostics. By
                > allowing for the unknowable absolute (in both thinking and
                > nonthinking mode), I discover things about myself that might be
                > uncomfortable but in turn end up contributing to my journey to
                > wholeness while I'm here on earth. I just can't help but be
                > practical in that way. ;-)
                >
                >
                > Cari
                >
                >
                >
                > Cari..as I agree here, also, if the Unknow God is that unknown,
                then, I wont
                > try to know it since no matter how much I would try, I wouldn't
                anyway. Just
                > inconceivable and try and leave it at that.
                > But, my nature is insistent, too, so damn curious, I will be
                arrogant enough
                > to confront mu understanding or misunderstanding, as the case may
                be, that I
                > will go ahead and make the attempt.
                > One thing I have noticed in the TEXTS is that mention is made of
                the
                > Ineffable, but so many more gloss over it, too. Some may make the
                attempt, as I do,
                > but knowing it can't be done.., well, they tend to go back to what
                they know,
                > and they know that these other gods they can describe are not
                the "one"..so
                > sticking with the knowable gods is a much easier task.
                > I feel the Trimorphic Prottennoia is a beautiful example, they
                describe the
                > Three Thoughts as having existence rather than describe or attempt
                to describe
                > from What these THOUGHTS came from.
                > It is these Three THOUGHTS that do the speaking. each connected to
                the
                > other, distinct but ONE..A great concept for the original
                understanding of a
                > TRINITY and incidentally understood as Feminine, The First THOUGHT
                being Barbelo,
                > whom is the First Father(A FEMALE being a male), the Second Thought
                is the
                > VOICE, and is the Female, the Mother, and the Third Thought is the
                Logos, now
                > male and the Son...and EACH THOUGHT DESCENDS, and has its own
                story, you might
                > say, spoken in the first person by each.
                > I love it!
                > So, that which is scary to many is that which we cannot know, so
                why bother,
                > is what I say.
                > Howvere, that which we can know, it is our journey to find out as
                much as we
                > can about it, them, whatever, the more we know, the more we
                understand what
                > we know, and the more we understand, the greater our capacity for
                reaching
                > beyond ourselves by reaching into ourselves.
                >
                > mychael


                Thank you, mychael. I hope jana finds your words helpful, too.

                Cari
              • lady_caritas
                ... people... ... grounding. ... of ... same ... what ... attempt ... to ... THOUGHT ... Thought ... the ... Also,... *recognition* of the unknown in the
                Message 7 of 23 , Jan 17, 2005
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                  --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, lady_caritas <no_reply@y...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, nakedalchemy@a... wrote:
                  > >
                  > > In a message dated 1/17/2005 1:25:40 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                  > > no_reply@yahoogroups.com writes:
                  > >
                  > > I would imagine considering an absolute ineffability outside of
                  > > temporal concepts of eternity could be scary for lots of
                  people...
                  > > because when you do, there is no footing, no familiar
                  grounding.
                  > > Preconceptions are continually being discovered and tested.
                  > > Personally, I wouldn't have it any other way even when the going
                  > gets
                  > > rough because any other path would be fake and a copout for me.
                  > Even
                  > > apophatic theology in relation to trying to understand the gods
                  of
                  > > various religions doesn't go far enough for me. It's not the
                  same
                  > as
                  > > the ultimately absolute apophatic concept of the Gnostics. By
                  > > allowing for the unknowable absolute (in both thinking and
                  > > nonthinking mode), I discover things about myself that might be
                  > > uncomfortable but in turn end up contributing to my journey to
                  > > wholeness while I'm here on earth. I just can't help but be
                  > > practical in that way. ;-)
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > Cari
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > Cari..as I agree here, also, if the Unknow God is that unknown,
                  > then, I wont
                  > > try to know it since no matter how much I would try, I wouldn't
                  > anyway. Just
                  > > inconceivable and try and leave it at that.
                  > > But, my nature is insistent, too, so damn curious, I will be
                  > arrogant enough
                  > > to confront mu understanding or misunderstanding, as the case may
                  > be, that I
                  > > will go ahead and make the attempt.
                  > > One thing I have noticed in the TEXTS is that mention is made of
                  > the
                  > > Ineffable, but so many more gloss over it, too. Some may make the
                  > attempt, as I do,
                  > > but knowing it can't be done.., well, they tend to go back to
                  what
                  > they know,
                  > > and they know that these other gods they can describe are not
                  > the "one"..so
                  > > sticking with the knowable gods is a much easier task.
                  > > I feel the Trimorphic Prottennoia is a beautiful example, they
                  > describe the
                  > > Three Thoughts as having existence rather than describe or
                  attempt
                  > to describe
                  > > from What these THOUGHTS came from.
                  > > It is these Three THOUGHTS that do the speaking. each connected
                  to
                  > the
                  > > other, distinct but ONE..A great concept for the original
                  > understanding of a
                  > > TRINITY and incidentally understood as Feminine, The First
                  THOUGHT
                  > being Barbelo,
                  > > whom is the First Father(A FEMALE being a male), the Second
                  Thought
                  > is the
                  > > VOICE, and is the Female, the Mother, and the Third Thought is
                  the
                  > Logos, now
                  > > male and the Son...and EACH THOUGHT DESCENDS, and has its own
                  > story, you might
                  > > say, spoken in the first person by each.
                  > > I love it!
                  > > So, that which is scary to many is that which we cannot know, so
                  > why bother,
                  > > is what I say.
                  > > Howvere, that which we can know, it is our journey to find out as
                  > much as we
                  > > can about it, them, whatever, the more we know, the more we
                  > understand what
                  > > we know, and the more we understand, the greater our capacity for
                  > reaching
                  > > beyond ourselves by reaching into ourselves.
                  > >
                  > > mychael
                  >
                  >
                  > Thank you, mychael. I hope jana finds your words helpful, too.
                  >
                  > Cari


                  Also,... *recognition* of the unknown in the first place seems to be
                  of utmost importance in this process.


                  Cari
                • janahooks
                  Thank you, Cari and Mychael. And Cari, I thought it was interesting that you said *recognize* the Unrecognizable One--I think I have only been *acknowledging*
                  Message 8 of 23 , Jan 17, 2005
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                    Thank you, Cari and Mychael. And Cari, I thought it was interesting
                    that you said *recognize* the Unrecognizable One--I think I have only
                    been *acknowledging* several concepts. I wish I could pull my
                    thoughts together into an actual question, but I don't think that's
                    going to happen. Ha--the unrecognizable question. ;)

                    jana
                  • lady_caritas
                    ... interesting ... only ... Ha! Didn t mean to provide a koan there, jana. lol Maybe I should have said it was important to recognize the image or concept,
                    Message 9 of 23 , Jan 17, 2005
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                      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "janahooks" <janahooks@y...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      > Thank you, Cari and Mychael. And Cari, I thought it was
                      interesting
                      > that you said *recognize* the Unrecognizable One--I think I have
                      only
                      > been *acknowledging* several concepts. I wish I could pull my
                      > thoughts together into an actual question, but I don't think that's
                      > going to happen. Ha--the unrecognizable question. ;)
                      >
                      > jana


                      Ha! Didn't mean to provide a koan there, jana. lol

                      Maybe I should have said it was important to recognize the image or
                      concept, since we indeed only perceive through images in this realm.


                      Cari
                    • nakedalchemy@aol.com
                      In a message dated 1/17/2005 6:03:12 PM Eastern Standard Time, no_reply@yahoogroups.com writes: Also,... *recognition* of the unknown in the first place seems
                      Message 10 of 23 , Jan 17, 2005
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                        In a message dated 1/17/2005 6:03:12 PM Eastern Standard Time, no_reply@yahoogroups.com writes:
                        Also,...  *recognition* of the unknown in the first place seems to be
                        of utmost importance in this process.


                        Cari
                        yeppers...i,e, just knowing there is ofr isnt an unknon is quite enough to know
                      • Mike Leavitt
                        Hello lady_caritas ... Ah yes, as it says in the Gospel of Philip, explicitly. Regards -- Mike Leavitt ac998@lafn.org
                        Message 11 of 23 , Jan 17, 2005
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                          Hello lady_caritas

                          On 01/18/05, you wrote:

                          >
                          >
                          > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "janahooks" <janahooks@y...>
                          > wrote:
                          >>
                          >>
                          >> Thank you, Cari and Mychael. And Cari, I thought it was
                          > interesting
                          >> that you said *recognize* the Unrecognizable One--I think I have
                          > only
                          >> been *acknowledging* several concepts. I wish I could pull my
                          >> thoughts together into an actual question, but I don't think that's
                          >> going to happen. Ha--the unrecognizable question. ;)
                          >>
                          >> jana
                          >
                          >
                          > Ha! Didn't mean to provide a koan there, jana. lol
                          >
                          > Maybe I should have said it was important to recognize the image or
                          > concept, since we indeed only perceive through images in this realm.
                          >
                          >
                          > Cari

                          Ah yes, as it says in the Gospel of Philip, explicitly.

                          Regards
                          --
                          Mike Leavitt ac998@...
                        • lady_caritas
                          ... that s ... or ... realm. ... Yes, it does indeed, Mike. Truth did not come to the world nakedly; rather, it came in prototypes and images: the world will
                          Message 12 of 23 , Jan 17, 2005
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                            --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Mike Leavitt <ac998@l...> wrote:
                            > Hello lady_caritas
                            >
                            > On 01/18/05, you wrote:
                            >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "janahooks" <janahooks@y...>
                            > > wrote:
                            > >>
                            > >>
                            > >> Thank you, Cari and Mychael. And Cari, I thought it was
                            > > interesting
                            > >> that you said *recognize* the Unrecognizable One--I think I have
                            > > only
                            > >> been *acknowledging* several concepts. I wish I could pull my
                            > >> thoughts together into an actual question, but I don't think
                            that's
                            > >> going to happen. Ha--the unrecognizable question. ;)
                            > >>
                            > >> jana
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > Ha! Didn't mean to provide a koan there, jana. lol
                            > >
                            > > Maybe I should have said it was important to recognize the image
                            or
                            > > concept, since we indeed only perceive through images in this
                            realm.
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > Cari
                            >
                            > Ah yes, as it says in the Gospel of Philip, explicitly.
                            >
                            > Regards
                            > --
                            > Mike Leavitt ac998@l...


                            Yes, it does indeed, Mike.

                            "Truth did not come to the world nakedly; rather, it came in
                            prototypes and images: the world will not accept it in any other
                            form."


                            And one of my favorites,

                            "And, furthermore, when that person leaves this world, he or she has
                            already received the truth in the form of images, and the world has
                            already become the eternal realm. For, to this person the eternal
                            realm is fullness and, as such, is manifest to him or her alone--
                            hidden not in darkness and night but hidden in perfect day and holy
                            light."


                            Cari

                            "
                          • pmcvflag
                            Mychael ... in me, but I have never considered it being limited to me, in fact, it is what I mean when I say Spirituality is connection, that everything is
                            Message 13 of 23 , Jan 17, 2005
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                              Mychael

                              >>>"Hmmm? I have mostly thought that I am in spirit and spirit is
                              in me, but I have never considered it being limited to me, in fact,
                              it is what I mean when I say Spirituality is connection, that
                              everything is connected to everything, and the simple realization of
                              this is what brings on the logic of what spirituality entails...one
                              doesn't necessarily need to have a mystical experience, but it is
                              nice and helpful(although I have found it to be a hindrance too in
                              compounding the message of gnosis). A mystical experience, for one,
                              sometimes happens like a acid trip, way too overwhelming and not
                              always clear. I would not comprehensively recommend it, but then, we
                              have little say so, it would seem, if it does occur.<<<"

                              I think you very nicely outline the problem with equating the
                              mystical experience with "gnosis".

                              >>>"Gnosis, although akin to such a thing is without description, it
                              is a "knowing" sometimes a feeling mingled in with
                              conceptualizations, but, basically, once described, it is never of
                              the same potency."<<<

                              I am not sure I agree with that, but I am not sure if I understood
                              you correctly. The usage of the word "gnosis" in both the Platonic
                              texts and the Gnostic is not so vague. On the contrary it often in
                              very obvious contexts that we see it come up.

                              Remember when we were using the allegory of math to
                              describe "gnosis"? Since that was in the other group let me recount
                              it here for the people who were not there......

                              A person can understand the formulas for a very complex physics
                              problem but have no understanding of how it is practically used or
                              why the math even exists. They may even have the statistics to plug
                              into the problem that represent real world actions. This is pure
                              data, simply an academic knowing. We have all met those who are
                              mathematicians for the plain love of numbers. This is obviously not
                              gnosis, it is "pliroforo".

                              On the other hand, there are the engineers and technicians who know
                              exactly what the numbers are for. It is their job to actually USE
                              those numbers to equate to real world practical experience. Often
                              times they have no understanding as to why the numbers work, or
                              where they came from, only that they do work. When you ask them how
                              they know when to use which methods in a problem, you will
                              surprisingly often here them say that they simply felt it in thier
                              gut. This is also not gnosis, it is "xero".

                              However, sometimes these two forms of "knowing", xero and pliroforo,
                              come together. They cross the lines and meld into a situation where
                              the person can really say they "know" the subject as if it was the
                              back of their hand. You know the experience, you know the
                              intellectual context, you know it inside and out... you
                              have "gnosis" of it.

                              It is interesting that so many people today are so bent on removing
                              the academic end so that they equate gnosis with xero, but that is
                              exactly what seems to be the popular usage today.

                              Ok, Mychael, I know that you are already aware of all that. But let
                              me point out then that I don't see what you mean by saying that once
                              you can describe it it looses potence. When Archemedes supposedly
                              ran naked from his bath after obtaining "gnosis" of the problem of
                              mass, he was surely very excited to be able to describe it. After
                              all, as the saying goes.... one who can't describe it doesn't really
                              know it. Perhaps this is where the attacks from the polemicist
                              against the Gnostics comes from when they say 'these Gnostics
                              believe that you are not spiritually mature until you can write your
                              own gospel' (paraphrase). I think that a deep knowing like this
                              produces an excitement, a WISH to communicate it, and that
                              includes "gnosis" as it pertainst to spirit as well.

                              What do you think?

                              PMCV
                            • nakedalchemy@aol.com
                              In a message dated 1/17/2005 11:47:56 PM Eastern Standard Time, no_reply@yahoogroups.com writes: Ok, Mychael, I know that you are already aware of all that.
                              Message 14 of 23 , Jan 18, 2005
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                                In a message dated 1/17/2005 11:47:56 PM Eastern Standard Time, no_reply@yahoogroups.com writes:
                                Ok, Mychael, I know that you are already aware of all that. But let
                                me point out then that I don't see what you mean by saying that once
                                you can describe it it looses potence. When Archemedes supposedly
                                ran naked from his bath after obtaining "gnosis" of the problem of
                                mass, he was surely very excited to be able to describe it. After
                                all, as the saying goes.... one who can't describe it doesn't really
                                know it. Perhaps this is where the attacks from the polemicist
                                against the Gnostics comes from when they say 'these Gnostics
                                believe that you are not spiritually mature until you can write your
                                own gospel' (paraphrase). I think that a deep knowing like this
                                produces an excitement, a WISH to communicate it, and that
                                includes "gnosis" as it pertainst to spirit as well.

                                What do you think?

                                PMCV

                                perhaps "potency" is the wrong word to use here...I simply meant oftentimes it is not easy to put down in words--for others--exactly what you experienced, while it still can be true that you do know whereof you speak. Not all of us are Archemedes, and not all of us have the skills to describe things accurately...this is all I meant.
                                 
                                mychael
                              • pmcvflag
                                Hey Gich Pliroforo is facts and data, pure intellectual knowledge. Xero is intuited and experiential knowledge.
                                Message 15 of 23 , Jan 21, 2005
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                                  Hey Gich

                                  Pliroforo is facts and data, pure intellectual knowledge.
                                  Xero is intuited and experiential knowledge.

                                  --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "gichnosis" <gich@h...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Please forgive a newbie for butting in to your conversation.
                                  > Could you give a definition of 'xero' and 'pliroforo'.
                                  > gich
                                  >
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