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Re: God: what's in a name?

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  • pmcvflag
    Crispin, you raise a number of interesting points, but I am not sure that my points were meant to say what it seems you think they were. Perhaps I need to try
    Message 1 of 4 , Mar 11, 2005
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      Crispin, you raise a number of interesting points, but I am not sure
      that my points were meant to say what it seems you think they were.
      Perhaps I need to try to put it another way.

      >>>"what you say may be true from a strict literalist Gnostic
      p.o.v. if some other group claims all creator gods are really Sally
      the Silly Universal Weaver, who is a spiritual emanation from Allan
      the All, then so be it, but that's not going to invalidate anyone's
      conception of God that, for instance, believes or imagines that one
      god is responsible for everything, including the idea of a
      Demiurge."<<<

      There is no "strict literalist Gnostic p.o.v."... as you put it. If
      you are reading these texts this way then you are not reading them
      the way they are meant to be understood. If we take the reasoning
      you just presented at face value then we can't even use the
      word "Divine" because the word divine would be foisteng your
      conception off on somebody else.... see what I mean? Any word you
      use that is not the word of the other religion, by your reasoning,
      is a word that is false. If you call Buddha "divine", then you are
      doing what you say Gnostics did by using the term "Demiurge".

      you then say....

      >>>"in other words, for the literalist Gnostic, there really is a
      Demiurge, and they'll view the world through those glasses; the
      Allan the All literalists will view the world through another
      reality tunnel, and so on."<<<

      The problem here though is that it is you who are still looking at
      this in a very literal way, not the gnostic sources. I understand
      you are not "Gnostic", but technically speaking no one else here is
      either... and no one alive today is. I am not trying to convert you
      to the Gnostic belief system, I am trying to be sure that you
      understand it.... and after all.... why else would anyone join
      a "Gnosticism" group if not to try and understand it, right? This
      means you need to understand the philosophical point behind the
      Demiurge, and stop seeing it in the literal since you are reading it
      as.

      You then continue....

      >>>"the point being that when you wrote "What most
      people the world over call 'God' IS, IN FACT, the Demiurge,"
      (emphasis mine) you appear to be in possession of a certainty and
      conviction that i'm not in possession of."<<<

      The term "in fact" that I use there does not have to mean "in
      LITERAL fact". An allegorical truth can also be termed a "fact" of
      sorts. Look at this a bit more simply... the word "Demiurge" can
      simply be translated as "Creator". What is the problem in using that
      term "Demiurge" to refer to any "Creator" just as you use the
      word "Divine" to refer to any deity? Do you then deny the "Divinity"
      of what you called "simplistic" Christian thought? It seems to me
      that perhaps you are applying a double standard here and throwing
      all the negative onto the Gnostic word usage. That hardly seems to
      be a critical and objective view of the subject.

      >>>"i have no problem discussing Gnostic conceptions,
      philosophies, applications and practices, history, etc., and
      employing Gnostic nomenclature where appropriate -- and i agree with
      you that we can do a better job of it -- but i'm not about to adopt
      a literalist p.o.v. nor abandon my personal conceptions and
      understandings while i'm here: where's the virtue in that?"<<<<

      To be honest, I think it may be a bit defensive on your part to
      think that anyone suggested such a thing. If we are talking about
      the ancient Sumarians would you feel that we were trying to tell you
      to give up your own view and take theirs? Granted, there are people
      here who very personally feel a connection to these ancient views,
      but this is not a church and there are also atheists and Christians
      and Moslems, and New Agers, and Thelemites, and many agnostics here.

      >>>"so when i'm speaking from my own spiritual p.o.v. i'll most
      likely be using the term "the divine," which is my own personal
      choice and reflects my own conceptions about God, the infinite, the
      ineffable, the One or the monad, which is decidedly NOT influenced
      by Christian or Gnostic mythology and cosmogony, and i ask you to
      accept that, and in the future i'll try to do a better job of making
      the distinctions clearer."<<<

      I certainly do accept that you have your own terms, as to all of us
      here. A Moslem here would... on thier own time.... talk about Allah.
      A Jewish person would think of Ha Shema. However, remember, this is
      a club dealing with Gnosticism, and Gnosticism is a VERY complex and
      deep system of ideas. There is already enough confusion so we should
      try, as much as possible, to separate our own terms and concepts
      within our posts. That is to say, not only be clear, but tbe VERY
      clear when we are talking about our own ideas vs how we wish to
      compare them with Gnosticism.

      I thought I would point out to you also, just so you know, that many
      western religions fully admit that their primary "God" is the
      Demiurge, at least in their eXoteric masses. In Kabbalah you will
      see the same clear destinction made as in Gnosticism. In Sufism you
      will also see the destinction made. It is important here to
      understand the difference between "eSoteric" and "eXoteric". We are
      talking about a philosophical system that rides WITHIN other
      religions to some extent.

      I hope this may make it a little more clear.

      PMCV
    • Tsharpmin7@aol.com
      hi PMCV... let s just put this whole thing to bed. in fact, my wife insists on it and i like to let her think she s the boss. she thinks we re both
      Message 2 of 4 , Mar 11, 2005
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        hi PMCV... let's just put this whole thing to bed.  in fact, my wife insists on
        it and i like to let her think she's the boss.  she thinks we're both ridiculous
        because neither one of understands the other's point of view, and i'm
        convinced she's right:  you misunderstand me and i misunderstand you.
        just one of things.
         
        your friend,
         
        Crispin Sainte III
         
        PS  Hello, PMCV, I'm Crispin's wife and I AM the boss. You guys are
        pitiful. These exchanges would be hysterical if it wasn't for the shamefully
        obvious fact that you're both too damn self-preoccupied to listen to each
        other. I feel like I understand you both. Perfectly well. Why you guys don't
        get it is a mystery to me, and I'm especially frustrated with Crispin
        because I know he can do much, much better.
         
        So, BOYS, the thing you're groping with in the darkness is an elephant.
        It's not a tree trunk, not a fan, not a snake. It's an elephant!!!
         
        Katherine Favier Sainte
         
         
      • pmcvflag
        Crispin, you state.... ... wife insists onit and i like to let her think she s the boss. she thinks we re both ridiculous because neither one of understands
        Message 3 of 4 , Mar 11, 2005
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          Crispin, you state....

          >>>"hi PMCV... let's just put this whole thing to bed. in fact, my
          wife insists onit and i like to let her think she's the boss. she
          thinks we're both ridiculous because neither one of understands the
          other's point of view, and i'm convinced she's right: you
          misunderstand me and i misunderstand you. just one of things."<<<

          Hmmm, perhaps, but I am less convinced. Let me explain after the
          following.....

          >>>"PS Hello, PMCV, I'm Crispin's wife and I AM the boss. You guys
          are pitiful. These exchanges would be hysterical if it wasn't for
          the shamefully obvious fact that you're both too damn self-
          preoccupied to listen to each other. I feel like I understand you
          both. Perfectly well. Why you guys don't get it is a mystery to me,
          and I'm especially frustrated with Crispin because I know he can do
          much, much better."<<<

          It is not shameful to misunderstand each other. On the contrary, we
          all start without understanding... it is the essence of "Gnosis" to
          overcome this state. Perhaps, Ms Katherine, you do understand us
          both. Perhaps Mr Crispin and I do misunderstand each other. But Mr
          Crispin is hopefully not here to understand MY point of view, he is
          hopefully here to better understand Gnosticism. It is a rewarding
          venture to hash out misunderstandings, but I am not so sure that
          there really is so much a misunderstanding.

          To put that another way, let me point out that it is not
          preocupation with myself that may be in the way, but preoccupation
          with the subject matter to which this group is dedicated. It is,
          after all, my job here as a mod. Beyond that, there simply is
          nothing to "get". It is not ME that Mr Crispin (or you in this case)
          need to understand, it is the subject of Philosophy to which we are
          dedicated to gaining better understanding of in this group.
          Likewise, I don't need to understand Mr Crispin.... only to know
          that he is sincere in wanting to understand the subject in and of
          itself (whether or not he empathises with or hates Gnosticism is no
          concern of mine. He could be here as an evangelist trying to
          understand what he is against for all I care.... as long as he
          truely wants to understand it).

          My understanding is that Cripin is self admitedly new to the
          subject. Is it much of a leap that perhaps he has some
          preconceptions of the subject that may be inaccurate? Or that
          perhaps the ideas look initially differently to him than they really
          are meant?

          >>>"So, BOYS, the thing you're groping with in the darkness is an
          elephant. It's not a tree trunk, not a fan, not a snake. It's an
          elephant!!!"<<<

          With all due respect, Ms Katherine, this is not an elephant, it is
          an historical belief system... one that I know pretty well, and from
          many angles (including, but not limited to, some small level of
          academic training in the subject). I don't mean that to sound puffed
          up, but neither would I be honest if I pretended that I have not
          dedicated some time to the subject at hand. I am not asking Crispin
          to agree with the beliefs of Gnosticism, only to understand them
          without assuming much right in the beginning.

          There is no disagreement here, nor anything to "put to bed". Either
          Crispin is sincere in his desire to understand historical Gnosticism
          in it's own context (in which case he is in the right place), or he
          is looking for something else (which is a different story).

          I only wish to provide an accurate picture of what Gnostic beliefs
          looked like..... anyone who is looking for anything other than this
          may have misunderstood what this group is about.

          But one can't understand this historical system if they are making
          judgement calls before they get the facts.

          My suggesting then, would be... instead of putting this to bed, as
          it were, to step back for a moment and remove preconceptions. Then,
          try to understand even if it is not what you personally believe or
          ever wish to believe. Just try to understand it for what it is.

          PMCV
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