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Re: God: what's in a name? (was Gnosticism & Darwin)

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  • pmcvflag
    Hey Crispin ... time i hear an evangelist invoking the OT God thinking to myself how he or she doesn t realize they are really invoking the Demiurge. and
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 10, 2005
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      Hey Crispin

      >>"i can imagine how easily, if i held Gnostic convictions, every
      time i hear an evangelist invoking the OT God thinking to myself how
      he or she doesn't realize they are "really" invoking the Demiurge.
      and that would be projection on my part since chances are the
      evangelist doesn't believe in a Gnostic cosmogony, nor do i have any
      clue how this person conceives of God in addition to any dogmatic
      conceptions they may embrace: for all i know it may be quite
      sophisticated and more or less as valid as any conception i hold."<<

      What makes a "god" the Demiurge is not whether that notion of god
      has some sophistication to it, it is whether it is a god that is
      thought to have created the physical universe. The OT god is
      literally described as creating the universe, so it is the Demiurge.
      Whether we think of that god as loving or vengeful, small minded or
      infinitely loving, it is still the creator with attributes in time,
      and so it is still the Demiurge. There are writings about the
      Demiurge that are very philosophically deep, and beautiful... this
      isn't the point.

      There are three forms of infinity, but only one of these forms is
      absolute in its expression. Some modern writers state
      that "Gnosticism" has a negative view of the Demiurge, this is
      false. The point of making a destinction between the Demiurge and
      the apophatic source is to open the way for dealing with a point
      that is extremely difficult for most people to grasp. It is breaking
      a paradigm so that people can get the idea of "god" out of their
      head so they can start to be open to that thing that is
      beyond "god"..... any "god", but especially the god who is
      our "Creator" (literally.... "Demiurge" or "Craftsman").

      As you can see, this has a bit more philosophical and spiritual
      depth than simply replacing some common Christian "Satan" with the
      OT "God" and then using it to go around attacking other religions.

      You then state....

      >>>"like i said, i'm game and agree that its only logical that we
      use a common nomenclature. i can adapt to this standard, but i have
      to tell you i'm not very well versed in the Gnostic pantheon. were
      all ancient Gnostics in agreement with this? the "First Father, the
      Second Father (Barbelo), the later Aeons (Sophia and Logos)?" you
      may need to edgumicayt us. i think most of us can agree on Demiurge,
      but beyond that i just don't know. maybe you can supply a
      hierarchical list or table with the ultimate, first cause, supreme
      being at the top and descending to the Demiurge (and below if you
      think it would help). we look to be a pretty freelance group and
      i'd like to hear what others have to say on this subject as well."<<<

      Sure, let me do that in another post though. And, yes, everyone is
      free to jump in of course. However, to your specific question as to
      whether Gnostics of old all were in agreement with this basic
      cosmological outline, the answer is yes. In fact, this is one of the
      attributes that makes them "Gnostics" in the first place. There are
      variations, different ways of talking about it. Sometimes the
      Demiurge is derided, other times the demiurge is not seen as evil at
      all. Some texts don't really attempt deal with the notion of
      the "First Father" and seem to start their descriptions with
      the "Monad" that the other sources would equate with the Second
      Father, and some texts ascribe the inital movement from the
      spiritual into the material via Sophia, while others do it through
      the Logos, etc. However, the essential structure is there in all
      Gnostic groups.

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