Re: Gnostic philosophy
- Hey Gich
Yes, there are a range of philosophical principles which are part of
what binds the various groups known as "Gnosticism" together, as
well as some spiritual understandings that do likewise (and actually
since Gnostics are Platonists, the destinction between "philosophy"
and "spirituality" is not really considered two completely different
things. Consider the fact that the female spiritual principle is
named "Sophia", and then look at the word philosophy broken into
it's original terms.... philo sophia).
--- In email@example.com, "gich morgan" <gich2@b...> wrote:
> Is there an established "Gnostic philosophy"?
> The term has cropped up from time to time in my search for
> I can't find anything specific.
In the last two posts you ask for a general outline of Gnostic
belief. I will try to give something basic, but I want to point out
that a full blown system cannot be accurately outlined in short. For
instance, if you aksed me to outline "Existentialism" it would be
very hard to reduce. So, besides the brief outline I am about to give
you, I would suggest you take a look at the reading lists we provide
in the files section here, and get your hands on some of the books
that deal with traditional Gnosticism.
In brief, Gnosticism is....
A category created by modern scholors to refer to a number of
historical groups that had certain attributes in common. These common
attributes include the notion that salvation rests on "gnosis"
(rather than faith or moral practice), a common cosmology (which is
Platonist and includes a seperation between the so called "Creator"
and the true unknowable), and a belief in certain initiatory
practices that use special "secret" allegorical interpretations and
For more specific attributes we can continue the conversation so that
it deals with the more subtle Platonist destinctions... such as the
difference between "intellect" and "reason", or the function
of "forms"..... or we can talk about the Gnostic cosmology such as
the Archons and the Aeons, as well as the , Bythos, Barbelo, and the
Logos and Sophia, but I am not sure at this point exactly what you
are familiar with in Gnosticism and what you are not. Perhaps you
have more specific questions?
- I would like this thread to continue.
I could not reply from e-mail and had to come to the site. Said
because I did not disclose my e-mail address?
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
> In the last two posts you ask for a general outline of Gnostic
> belief. I will try to give something basic, but I want to point out
> that a full blown system cannot be accurately outlined in short.
> instance, if you aksed me to outline "Existentialism" it would begive
> very hard to reduce. So, besides the brief outline I am about to
> you, I would suggest you take a look at the reading lists weprovide
> in the files section here, and get your hands on some of the booksThe files section has a little, but most reading suggestions are
> that deal with traditional Gnosticism.
found in the "links" section:
- In a message dated 2/5/2005 8:49:10 AM Eastern Standard Time, gich2@... writes:
Many thanks PMCV
By way of background information for yourself, I have read all the
introductory texts found on the gnosis archive and am commencing a study in
a number of areas. For reference material I am drawing on: (1) The Bible,
together with the noncanonical literature (The Apocrypha, The
Pseudepigrapha), (2) The Nag Hammadi Library and (3) The Dead Sea Scrolls.
Apart from the historical aspects of Gnosticism which are obviously very
important for a full understanding, I am trying to get a grip on Gnostic
thought as it exists today and this is what triggers off most of my current
questions. I have obtained a number of books that seem to me to be relevant
[The Hiram Key (Knight & Lomas), The Templar Revelation (Picknett & Prince),
Gnosticism: Beliefs and practices (Harris), Jesus and the Lost Goddess
(Freke & Gandy)] and have started to work through them.
You write: "These common attributes include the notion that salvation rests
on "gnosis" (rather than faith or moral practice)".
I suppose my biggest problem at the moment is trying to understand exactly
what is meant by GNOSIS. We need to have it for salvation but it's not faith
nor has it anything to do with morals. Also I understand that it has nothing
to do with intellectual knowledge; i.e. mathematics, philosophy, science,
etc. So no matter how much I study anything, including Gnosticism, this
study will not give me gnosis. So I know what it's not but don't know what
it is! What is it? How do I get it? I read somewhere that I have to get to
know my "spiritual side". How?
You write elsewhere: "in the Gnostic system this sensate self and material
existence is to some extent a copy of the spiritual world so that our
experience of perception and cognition is a preparation for spiritual
understanding, it is an aspect of "Gnosis"".
I have always considered that our present life is, in some way, a
preparation for whatever is to come. You imply that our life experience of
perception and cognition .. is an aspect of Gnosis. Interesting; gnosis has
aspects.... I'm struggling for a sensible question at this point - perhaps
some enlargement on your part would help.
GichGich, I commend you for furthering your understanding and comprehension.Gnosis itself is nearly indescribable, you know it when you know it..it sometimes happens like revelation, sometimes like epiphany, sometimes, you just go, "oh" and actually it is still not any one of these but all of them...even as it isn't intellectual pursuit and knowing, these things follow gnosis, so, you may have already had your "gnosis" without realizing it...one doesn't choose this route from mere curiosity and displeasure with their upbringing in a religious context alone.I think gnosis is already inside of us, just waiting to be cracked out of it shell and given birth..much like cancer cells(bad analogy) typically already are there but that for some reason, something "awakens" them and makes them non -dormant, but active.It is like tripping over one's own shoelaces, that you left untied or had gotten untied for some reason...even as you cuss at it, or yourself for tripping like an idiot, you have a small momentary pause and say, "Of course..this is why I tripped."sometimes, we just overlook it all and go our merry way forward in whatever we were doing, but sometimes we stop and reflect upon it, insignificant as it may have been it caused a rift in your routine. sometimes the "pause" incites some of us to further research and study.Even as I would be hesitant to call it some phenomenon, I think it is just one of those things that exists, that we just don't pay much heed to..this gnosis is the voice of the divine coming from self, the part of self that is divine..it is easy to overlook because we blur it in with the voice of the ego-self.mychael