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Re: gnostic cosmology and the creation of mankind

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  • Mike Leavitt
    Hello gich ... I think [(body) + (mind+soul+divine spark, gnosis)] might be better, after all the mind should be illumened by gnosis, I would think. Regards --
    Message 1 of 18 , Mar 16, 2005
      Hello gich

      On 03/16/05, you wrote:

      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Hi All!
      >
      > After studying "Gnosticism: Beliefs and practices (Harris - 1999)" I
      > have come up with the following view of Gnostic Cosmology and the
      > creation of mankind which I present to the group for discussion:
      >
      > THE GICH THEORY of gnostic cosmology and the creation of mankind.
      >
      > (1) Supreme God ---> Sophia ---> demiurge ---> mankind.
      >
      > (2) Supreme God ---> Sophia ---> ------------> the divine spark.
      >
      > The demiurge created man as a complex being comprising body, mind
      > and soul who is also ignorant of his true nature.
      >
      > Sophia then added the divine spark which gives man the possibility
      > of becoming aware of his true nature.
      >
      > So we can represent man as a duality:
      >
      > [(body, mind, soul, ignorance) + (divine spark)].
      >
      > After receipt of the esoteric gnosis (which is a divine gift and
      > cannot be obtained by human effort alone), ignorance is replaced
      > with gnosis, the soul and divine spark become connected and we
      > become a different (more spiritual) form of human being. The duality
      > becomes:
      >
      > [(body, mind) + (soul+divine spark, gnosis)].
      >
      > I am not excluding the possibility that other entities exist in the
      > realm of Sophia or in the realm of the demiurge but the nub of my
      > thesis is contained in the diagrams above. Hope this is clear.
      >
      > Gich

      I think [(body) + (mind+soul+divine spark, gnosis)] might be better,
      after all the mind should be illumened by gnosis, I would think.

      Regards
      --
      Mike Leavitt ac998@...
    • Tsharpmin7@aol.com
      my pleasure, Gich, and thank you as well. i m reminded of a passage i read on the plane ride home this morning. this is from Ehrman s Lost Christianities:
      Message 2 of 18 , Mar 17, 2005
        my pleasure, Gich, and thank you as well.  i'm reminded of a passage i read
        on the plane ride home this morning.  this is from Ehrman's "Lost
        Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew."
        "... scholars have come to suspect that Gnostic Christians did not, in fact,
        treat their myths as literal descriptions of the past, in the way modern
        fundamentalist Christians might treat the opening chapters of Genesis."
        personally i thought that pretty much went without saying, but there you
        have it nevertheless.
         
        its been said in this forum that Gnosticism/gnosis no longer exists as a
        functioning entity and i'd like to take issue with that assertion.  or at least
        try to clear it up a bit.
         
        if an actualized Gnostic, one of the "chosen" per Gich's #6 for instance, did
        not take these myths literally then the myths must be a tool, and that tool, i
        assume, played a part in the attainment of gnosis in the original Gnostic
        methodology.  but wouldn't it be ridiculous to imagine for one moment that
        there did not exist other methodologies and techniques for attaining gnosis? 
        not all Gnostic mythologies agree, so was only one of the myriad versions
        truly efficacious, and all the rest were barking up the wrong tree of
        knowledge?  per Ehrman, just as there were competing branches of
        Christianity, so too were there competing branches of Christian Gnosticism. 
        so i suppose its possible that the original Gnostic Christianity could have
        been efficacious in developing actualized Gnostics and all the rest were
        simply degenerate and imitative forms.  however, as Cari just shared from
        Layton's Gospel of Truth translation, "Make steady the feet of those who have
        stumbled, and stretch out your hands to those who are sick. Feed those who
        are hungry, and unto those who are weary give repose; and awaken those
        who wish to arise, and get up from your sleep. For it is you who are
        unsheathed intelligence. If strengthening is thus, it is truly strong," doesn't
        this and other Valentinian texts suggest the necessity of the actualized
        Gnostic to go out in the world, break new ground, and do those things that
        are necessary, correct and right per the inner dictates of a divine revelation,
        and not per the dictates of some religious carrot and stick, risk and reward
        mentality?  my guess is you would inevitably end up with the best and
        worse operating simultaneously: actualized Gnostics as well as deluded or
        fraudulent Gnostics, and if one were seeking self-discovery they'd better
        hope they're sufficiently perceptive not to fall in with the latter.
         
        if there were not a single Christian alive today yet all the texts from the 4th
        century and earlier did exist, Christianity could very easily begin again.  no
        doubt it would look very different than the contiguous Christianities we're
        familiar with today, and, of course, it would be extremely educational to
        watch this hypothetical rebirth's develop, yet its extremely likely the basic
        tenants of today's Christianity would be readopted.
         
        it will be argued that the problem with a modern rebirth of Gnosticism, if we're
        dismissing a merely literalist rebirth,  would be the very reasonable argument
        that one can not attain to gnosis, in the fullest inner and transformative sense
        of the word, from reading ancient Gnostic texts. Christianity doesn't require
        the postulant to actively participate in more than a relatively superficial  
        manner in their own salvation: faith and declaration/confession seems to
        suffice.  the Gnostic postulant on the other hand was expected to do a great
        deal of inner work and study under the direction of one or more teachers who
        could facilitate the transmission to those who sought it and were capable of
        receiving it.
         
        how can it be argued that nobody exists today who has obtained all those
        elements we associate with the various descriptions of gnosis in Gich's and
        my post below? how could it be established one way or the other?  if it can
        be argued that no such individuals exist today, then it can be argued just as
        forcefully that it never has existed; it has all been lies and fantasy.
         
        if one does argue that the attainment of gnosis as variously described in this
        post does not exist, today or yesteryear, then your interest here must be
        mostly historical, external and, possibly, psychological.  nothing wrong with
        that, but your probably not one to argue the implausibility of a modern
        redevelopment of Gnosticism, you simply wouldn't find the claims of inner
        transformation any more valid today then you do for the past.  but if one does
        imagine gnosis was obtainable under a Gnostic system of transmission in
        centuries past, please explain to me how its unobtainable today.  if these
        individuals exist,  if the transmission is alive and well, what matter what, if
        any, name they employ to refer to themselves or the transmission?  a rose
        by any other name...  if such individuals exist what would prevent them from
        reinvigorating and revitalizing and reinventing Gnosticism if they so chose to
        do so?  if they found it necessary to use that form? i can think of several
        reasons why they would choose not to use an ancient model in
        contemporary times and stay, in a sense, under the radar -- that's a subject
        for another day -- but that's not the same as believing they don't have the
        capacity to do so.
         
        i honestly don't know if any of the contemporary groups who refer to
        themselves as practicing Gnostics are producing fully actualized Gnostics or
        not.  i've yet to explore any of them.  but Gnostic, Gnosticism, gnosis: these
        are only words.  their realization/actualization, if its not mere fantasy or
        legend, is beyond the merely verbal.
         
        your friend,
         
        Crispin Sainte III
        ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
         

        Thanks Crispin.

        From my reading of Harris I've condensed the following regarding GNOSIS:
        (1) Knowledge received from divine revelation.
        (2) Gnosis equips the soul with the necessary knowledge required to transcend the obstructive barriers that would keep it in captivity; i.e. knowledge of the path of redemption.
        (3) Knowledge of the self in its relation to God ... which leads to ...
        (4) Knowledge of the redeemer.
        (5) Knowledge of the soul's divine origin ... knowledge of the transcendent God.
        (6)
        The "chosen" were those who had received the gift of gnosis, but this gift was given for a purpose, namely, that those who were enlightened should be a source of enlightenment to others. Thus they would contribute to creating a truly spiritual united church.

        Gich

         

         
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Wednesday, March 16, 2005 5:48 PM
        Subject: [Gnosticism2] Re: Gnostic Cosmology

        Hi Gich...  per the article -- i'll assume we can skip the etymology -- gnosis is
        defined in the first paragraph as experiential knowledge and as another form
        of knowledge obtained through the development, or refining, of an interior
        spark of comprehension.
         
        in the 2nd paragraph gnosis is indirectly defined, through Gnostic claims, as
        "a 'special witness' revelatory experience of the divine." Stephan Hoeller is
        quoted, in regards to Gnostic Christians, claiming they held a 'conviction that
        direct, personal and absolute knowledge of the authentic truths of existence
        is accessible to human beings, and, moreover, that the attainment of such
        knowledge must always constitute the supreme achievement of human life."
         
        in paragraph ten we are told what gnosis is not: rational, propositional,
        logical understanding.  gnosis is nonlinear and experiential in a very creative
        and revelatory fashion; progressive and non-static.
         
        in paragraph eleven, Harold Bloom defines Gnosticism thus: "... a knowing,
        by and of an uncreated self, or self-within-the self, and [this] knowledge
        leads to freedom...." and that appears to serve as a definition of gnosis as
        well.
         
        also in the 11th paragraph are descriptions of the possible results of
        gnosis and/or its pursuit.  they are described as "revelatory perceptions," a
        "profound awakening," a realization that some aspect of self is uncreated
        ("the uncreated self") which Gnostics sometimes referred to as "the divine
        seed, the pearl, the spark of knowing: consciousness, intelligence, light." 
        it is of God (First Father, if you wish), not the Demiurge, and is our true
        reality.
         
        in the 13th chapter Theodotus is quoted thus, commenting on what gnosis
        reveals: "who we were, what we have become, where we have been cast out
        of, where we are bound for, what we have been purified of, what generation
        and regeneration are."
         
        in the same chapter Elaine Pagels is quoted from The Gnostic Gospels
        (my first introduction to Gnosticism by the way): "to know oneself, at the
        deepest level, is simultaneously to know God: this is the secret of gnosis....
        Self-knowledge is knowledge of God; the self and the divine are identical."
         
        in the 15th chapter it is claimed that, according to the Gnostics themselves, 
        the nature of gnosis is revelation.
         
        and those are the definitions you requested.  i didn't think a single definition
        would suffice or do justice to the author.
         
        your friend,
         
        Crispin Sainte III
        ________________________________________________________________
         
        Hey Crispin
        I'd like to know your definition of gnosis that you have extracted from the article.
        Gich
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Sunday, March 13, 2005 4:57 PM
        Subject: [Gnosticism2] Re: Gnostic Cosmology

        Hi Gich... i'd asked PMCV if he/she would care to compare and contrast

        his/her understanding of gnosis vs the article's presentation of gnosis, to

        which he/she graciously has done so.  are you then asking me to simply

        restate what's written in the article in my own words or something more

        than that?  if its the former i'm not sure i see the point,  but i'll happily do

        so if that's what you wish.  i'll say this much for now, in case it wasn't

        clear in the original post, that i'm in harmonious agreement with that

        article. 

         

        i'm leaving town shortly to seek some further opinions regarding a

        medical condition and don't know when i'll return.  my darling wife may

        or may not share her laptop with me on the trip, so be patient (i'm

        beginning to despise that word) with me.

         

        your friend,

         

        Crispin Sainte III

         

        PS  PMCV, i'm assuming you're of the male persuasion, seeing as Kate

               called us "BOYS" in her reprimand and you didn't object.

               would you care to confirm or deny it?


      • pmcvflag
        Hey Crispin, you have confused me with something here..... ... exists as a functioning entity and i d like to take issue with that assertion. or at least try
        Message 3 of 18 , Mar 17, 2005
          Hey Crispin, you have confused me with something here.....

          >>>"its been said in this forum that Gnosticism/gnosis no longer
          exists as a functioning entity and i'd like to take issue with that
          assertion. or at least try to clear it up a bit."<<<

          I have been trying to think back through the recent posts and figure
          out who it was who said this, but I simply don't recall such a thing
          being said by anyone here. I am wondering if part of the problem may
          be in the fact that you have just written "Gnosticism/gnosis" as if
          they are absolute synonyms? While they are obviously interdependant
          terms, they don't mean the same thing.

          "Gnosticism" is an historical term created by scholors. Even if a
          modern group recreated an ancient Gnostic sect that is accurate in
          absolute detail, in understanding and practice, it would not
          technically be "Gnosticism", but instead "neo-Gnosticism"... simply
          because of the date of it's existance. This has nothing to do with
          whether it is successful in passing on Gnosis or not. So, if anyone
          here has stated that Gnosis itself must be dead then I would have to
          disagree. Of course, whether or not "Gnosis" even ever actually
          existed is something that each person will have to figure out for
          themselves. I personally have no qualms with the notion of a
          spiritual realm, but we have had atheists here who may disagree.

          >>"if an actualized Gnostic, one of the "chosen" per Gich's #6 for
          instance, did not take these myths literally then the myths must be a
          tool, and that tool, i assume, played a part in the attainment of
          gnosis in the original Gnostic methodology. but wouldn't it be
          ridiculous to imagine for one moment that there did not exist other
          methodologies and techniques for attaining gnosis? not all Gnostic
          mythologies agree, so was only one of the myriad versions truly
          efficacious, and all the rest were barking up the wrong tree of
          knowledge?"<<<

          If we agree that the function of Gnostic myth was a mythological
          methodology, then how sure are you that surface differences can
          actually be said to "disagree" when talking about the less obvious
          and literal functions? That is one of the things we explore here...
          but in order to do that we have to be very careful to read the texts
          for their underlying meanings. This is the reasonf for my previous
          statement concerning hermeneutics and the average historian vs the
          function of this group.

          I do, however, think that it is very unlikely that most people can
          simply sit down and read a Gnostic text and understand it. On the
          contrary, more often the message recieved in this situation is
          directly in opposition to the meaning of the texts. It is possible to
          know quite a bit about traditional Gnostic beliefs and practice, but
          I think a person should be very cautious in assuming they have done
          so.

          >>"how can it be argued that nobody exists today who has obtained all
          those elements we associate with the various descriptions of gnosis
          in Gich's and my post below? how could it be established one way or
          the other?"<<

          The question here is not whether a person can attain the attributes
          listed in these posts, but whether those attributes actually equate
          with "Gnosis". That is a subject we can certainly look into further
          in this group. Perhaps more people will give their perspective on it.

          I think that if we were to assume the existance of "Gnosis", then we
          have to explore just how connected the term is, or is not with, the
          specific system outside hermeneutics. Then, we would have to explore
          just how much of the system would need to be recreated in order to
          foster "Gnosis" in the modern setting. Outside that though, I do
          think most of us would agree that one thing that is a must would be
          propper understanding of the concepts meant to be communicated within
          the Gnostic system... and this would probably include very close and
          critical understanding of Gnostic texts.

          PMCV
        • Tsharpmin7@aol.com
          hi Mr. PMCV... i confused you? get used to it. hell, i even confuse myself! no, i don t see Gnosticism/gnosis as synonymous. yes, i could have been
          Message 4 of 18 , Mar 17, 2005
            hi Mr. PMCV... i confused you?  get used to it.  hell, i even confuse myself!
             
            no, i don't see Gnosticism/gnosis as synonymous.  yes, i could have been
            mistaken or misread an earlier post.  also, i must shamefully confess that i
            was influenced to write this at the prompting of a disgruntled former member
            of this group who has e-mailed me, quite out of the blue i might add.  this
            individual made the assertion and i took them at their word.  based on your
            reply this was no doubt a mistake in judgment on my part, and i do
            apologize. anyway, let's move on.
             
            you ask, "then how sure are you that surface differences can actually be
            said to 'disagree' when talking about the less obvious and literal
            functions?"  its simply because i wasn't addressing the esoteric aspect. and
            when i wrote "not all Gnostic mythologies agree, so was only one of the
            myriad versions truly efficacious, and all the rest were barking up the wrong
            tree of knowledge," the question is rhetorical.  and this rhetorical question is
            preceded by a statement that quite clearly avows the functional purpose of
            Gnostic mythology.  we have no argument there.  but i still suspect that
            one or more groups came into being that were degenerate, or disingenuous,
            imitations of genuine Gnostic groups, and i don't base this suspicion on the
            fact that not all so-called Gnostic mythologies are in complete agreement.
            i don't have any direct evidence of this faux Gnosticism at hand: its just an
            educated guess based on what appear to be historic inevitabilities that
            most movements eventually fall prey to. i have no reason to suspect
            Gnosticism would have been immune to this phenomenon.
             
            i agree "it is very unlikely that most people can simply sit down and read a
            Gnostic text and understand it." in fact i probably would have stated it more
            forcefully.
             
            as far as recreating a path to gnosis, i don't know that it would be
            necessary. one person's gnosis in another's enlightenment, or illumination,
            or any of a score of WORDS that, to me at any rate, signify the same
            sublime state of being.  i imagine there are Sufis who know the way, and
            Sufis who don't; Buddhists who do and who don't; yogis who do and who
            don't, etc.  i also suspect that those who know the way have refined the
            way in the intervening centuries.  no reason to think the process is stagnant
            and one-dimensional; non-evolutioinary.
             
            as to whether a group calls themselves Gnostic or neo-Gnostic, i could
            care less.  i think you're maybe splitting hairs a bit on this.  if this were
            some standard naming criteria we'd be inundated with groups of  neo- this
            and neo- that.
             
            your friend,
             
            Crispin Sainte III
            _______________________________________________________________
             
            Hey Crispin, you have confused me with something here.....

            >>>"its been said in this forum that Gnosticism/gnosis
            no longer
            exists as a functioning entity and i'd like to take issue with that
            assertion. or at least try to clear it up a bit."<<<

            I have been trying to think back through the recent posts and figure
            out who it was who said this, but I simply don't recall such a thing
            being said by anyone here. I am wondering if part of the problem may
            be in the fact that you have just written "Gnosticism/gnosis" as if
            they are absolute synonyms? While they are obviously interdependant
            terms, they don't mean the same thing.

            "Gnosticism" is an historical term created by scholors. Even if a
            modern group recreated an ancient Gnostic sect that is accurate in
            absolute detail, in understanding and practice, it would not
            technically be "Gnosticism", but instead "neo-Gnosticism"... simply
            because of the date of it's existance. This has nothing to do with
            whether it is successful in passing on Gnosis or not. So, if anyone
            here has stated that Gnosis itself must be dead then I would have to
            disagree. Of course, whether or not "Gnosis" even ever actually
            existed is something that each person will have to figure out for
            themselves. I personally have no qualms with the notion of a
            spiritual realm, but we have had atheists here who may disagree.

            >>"if an actualized Gnostic,
            one of the "chosen" per Gich's #6 for
            instance, did not take these myths literally then the myths must be a
            tool, and that tool, i assume, played a part in the attainment of
            gnosis in the original Gnostic methodology. but wouldn't it be
            ridiculous to imagine for one moment that there did not exist other
            methodologies and techniques for attaining gnosis? not all Gnostic
            mythologies agree, so was only one of the myriad versions truly
            efficacious, and all the rest were barking up the wrong tree of
            knowledge?"<<<

            If we agree that the function of Gnostic myth was a mythological
            methodology, then how sure are you that surface differences can
            actually be said to "disagree" when talking about the less obvious
            and literal functions? That is one of the things we explore here...
            but in order to do that we have to be very careful to read the texts
            for their underlying meanings. This is the reasonf for my previous
            statement concerning hermeneutics and the average historian vs the
            function of this group.

            I do, however, think that it is very unlikely that most people can
            simply sit down and read a Gnostic text and understand it. On the
            contrary, more often the message recieved in this situation is
            directly in opposition to the meaning of the texts. It is possible to
            know quite a bit about traditional Gnostic beliefs and practice, but
            I think a person should be very cautious in assuming they have done
            so.

            >>"how can it be argued that nobody exists today who
            has obtained all
            those elements we associate with the various descriptions of gnosis
            in Gich's and my post below? how could it be established one way or
            the other?"<<

            The question here is not whether a person can attain the attributes
            listed in these posts, but whether those attributes actually equate
            with "Gnosis". That is a subject we can certainly look into further
            in this group. Perhaps more people will give their perspective on it.

            I think that if we were to assume the existance of "Gnosis", then we
            have to explore just how connected the term is, or is not with, the
            specific system outside hermeneutics. Then, we would have to explore
            just how much of the system would need to be recreated in order to
            foster "Gnosis" in the modern setting. Outside that though, I do
            think most of us would agree that one thing that is a must would be
            propper understanding of the concepts meant to be communicated within
            the Gnostic system... and this would probably include very close and
            critical understanding of Gnostic texts.

            PMCV
          • pmcvflag
            Crispin.... ... have been mistaken or misread an earlier post. also, i must shamefully confess that i was influenced to write this at the prompting of a
            Message 5 of 18 , Mar 17, 2005
              Crispin....

              >>>"no, i don't see Gnosticism/gnosis as synonymous. yes, i could
              have been mistaken or misread an earlier post. also, i must
              shamefully confess that i was influenced to write this at the
              prompting of a disgruntled former member of this group who has e-
              mailed me, quite out of the blue i might add. this individual made
              the assertion and i took them at their word. based on your reply
              this was no doubt a mistake in judgment on my part, and i do
              apologize."<<<

              Well, I probably wouldn't even blame this disgruntled former member
              (and I am sure there are many). In truth, most readers assume many
              underlying meanings in communications, and not all people can read
              my very literal style without adding assumptions. For instance, if I
              say "Gnosticism is a dead religion" it is not uncommon that a person
              will assume that I am also saying Gnosis is dead, and that since no
              one today is technically part of the category "Gnosticism" that I
              must also mean that no one is "Gnostic", so forth and so on (has
              happened a number of times over the years). People who read this way
              are better off in forums that use other means of communication and
              deal with the subject in a slightly less technical or focused way.
              There is nothing wrong with that and we will often even provide
              links to other groups that seem to better fit a person's reading
              style or interest. We do have a pretty strict focus here and we make
              no bones about it.... and that is simply not for everyone.

              Though I am a bit surprised that such a person would seem to have a
              grudge and continue reading our posts in spite of hopefully finding
              happy communication elsewhere. Perhpas this is why other groups
              close posts to the public, since it seems kind of poisonous to be
              whispering in other members ears behind the scenes. Oh well, nothing
              we should worry about.

              >>>"but i still suspect that one or more groups came into being that
              were degenerate, or disingenuous, imitations of genuine Gnostic
              groups, and i don't base this suspicion on the fact that not all so-
              called Gnostic mythologies are in complete agreement. i don't have
              any direct evidence of this faux Gnosticism at hand: its just an
              educated guess based on what appear to be historic inevitabilities
              that most movements eventually fall prey to."<<<

              I don't think anyone can dispute that. There is record of people
              doing so under the guise of Mystery religions, modern people have
              formed Christian sects promoting pedephilia as a means of salvation
              (more likely an excuse for their own proclivities), this happens
              time and again in history.

              >>>"as far as recreating a path to gnosis, i don't know that it
              would be necessary. one person's gnosis in another's enlightenment,
              or illumination, or any of a score of WORDS that, to me at any rate,
              signify the same sublime state of being."<<<

              I think this may be the real point that we have had some disagrement
              on, and some of the other confusion may be sort of a cary over. I
              simply am not so willing to equate "Gnosis" as it is defined in
              Gnostic tradition with terms like "enlightenment" as they are used
              today. I DO understand why people see them as simply various words
              for the same thing, but I disagree. I think it is true that there
              are similarites within many philosophies and religious outlines, but
              I don't think we should bulldoze the differences to make them fit
              more directly when sometimes what looks like a minor difference may
              be a very important inovation in human understanding.... though I
              admit sometimes what look like major differences may in fact also be
              nothing more than different means of expressing almost identical
              thoughts. (not to mention exploring whether various religions are
              more or less logical, more or less expressive and creative, more or
              less healthy. I don't think it is always a good idea to assume that
              a rose by any name is still the same.... since the assumption could
              predispose one to think my description of something smelling nice
              must be a rose based on this stated attribute, when it isn't a rose
              I'm talking about at all)

              PMCV
            • George Harvey
              ... I ... person ... no ... Hi PMCV, Hummm, I think I must have misunderstood you slightly. I understood your difference between Gnosticism and Gnosis but I
              Message 6 of 18 , Mar 19, 2005
                --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                > In truth, most readers assume many
                > underlying meanings in communications, and not all people can read
                > my very literal style without adding assumptions. For instance, if
                I
                > say "Gnosticism is a dead religion" it is not uncommon that a
                person
                > will assume that I am also saying Gnosis is dead, and that since
                no
                > one today is technically part of the category "Gnosticism" that I
                > must also mean that no one is "Gnostic", so forth and so on (has
                > happened a number of times over the years).

                Hi PMCV,
                Hummm, I think I must have misunderstood you slightly. I understood
                your difference between Gnosticism and Gnosis but I thought you once
                said there are no Gnostics today. I thought you said any modern
                Gnostics would be neo Gnostics. I know I saw a such a statement on
                this list but it must not have been you.

                George
              • pmcvflag
                Hey George..... ... Hummm, I think I must have misunderstood you slightly. I understood your difference between Gnosticism and Gnosis but I thought you once
                Message 7 of 18 , Mar 19, 2005
                  Hey George.....

                  >>>"Hi PMCV,
                  Hummm, I think I must have misunderstood you slightly. I understood
                  your difference between Gnosticism and Gnosis but I thought you once
                  said there are no Gnostics today. I thought you said any modern
                  Gnostics would be neo Gnostics. I know I saw a such a statement on
                  this list but it must not have been you."<<<

                  Isn't a "neo-Gnostic" still a type of "Gnostic"? Sure I could have
                  pointed out the destinction within a specific context where the
                  destinction is important... just as I do with Platonism and neo-
                  Platonism. I think you will also agree that I often simply lump the
                  various groups (even including less obvious groups like Hermeticism)
                  together as simply forms of "Platonism". Obviously it is very
                  possible that I have not made the fact that something I say may need
                  to be understood in its particular context clear, so my
                  communication will certainly have its flaws. So, let me clerify by
                  pointing out that I think what I have usually outlined is something
                  like this (dependent on context of course)......

                  1) Technically, acording to academic definition, there is no there
                  is no such thing as modern "Gnosticism" since Gnosticism is an
                  historical category kind of like "neanderthal".

                  2) Anyone has the right to call themselves "Gnostic" from the emic
                  perspective (I know I have also said that very directly many times),
                  while from the etic perspective they are "neo-Gnostics". Some of
                  these individuals and groups may be more or less similar to
                  traditional Gnostic thinking than others (and therefore may also be
                  closer or farther from the outline defined by the category
                  of "Gnosticism").

                  3) Many people talking about "Gnosis" are talking about something
                  different than the traditional Gnostics use the word to mean, so we
                  sometimes have to figure out what kind of "Gnosis" we are talking
                  about in order to communicate rather than assume we (and they) are
                  all talking about the same thing.

                  PMCV
                • lady_caritas
                  ... Hermeticism) ... need ... times), ... Hi, all. Yes, there has been past discussion, sometimes lively. One discussion of terms begins here (some follow-up
                  Message 8 of 18 , Mar 19, 2005
                    --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Hey George.....
                    >
                    > >>>"Hi PMCV,
                    > Hummm, I think I must have misunderstood you slightly. I understood
                    > your difference between Gnosticism and Gnosis but I thought you once
                    > said there are no Gnostics today. I thought you said any modern
                    > Gnostics would be neo Gnostics. I know I saw a such a statement on
                    > this list but it must not have been you."<<<
                    >
                    > Isn't a "neo-Gnostic" still a type of "Gnostic"? Sure I could have
                    > pointed out the destinction within a specific context where the
                    > destinction is important... just as I do with Platonism and neo-
                    > Platonism. I think you will also agree that I often simply lump the
                    > various groups (even including less obvious groups like
                    Hermeticism)
                    > together as simply forms of "Platonism". Obviously it is very
                    > possible that I have not made the fact that something I say may
                    need
                    > to be understood in its particular context clear, so my
                    > communication will certainly have its flaws. So, let me clerify by
                    > pointing out that I think what I have usually outlined is something
                    > like this (dependent on context of course)......
                    >
                    > 1) Technically, acording to academic definition, there is no there
                    > is no such thing as modern "Gnosticism" since Gnosticism is an
                    > historical category kind of like "neanderthal".
                    >
                    > 2) Anyone has the right to call themselves "Gnostic" from the emic
                    > perspective (I know I have also said that very directly many
                    times),
                    > while from the etic perspective they are "neo-Gnostics". Some of
                    > these individuals and groups may be more or less similar to
                    > traditional Gnostic thinking than others (and therefore may also be
                    > closer or farther from the outline defined by the category
                    > of "Gnosticism").
                    >
                    > 3) Many people talking about "Gnosis" are talking about something
                    > different than the traditional Gnostics use the word to mean, so we
                    > sometimes have to figure out what kind of "Gnosis" we are talking
                    > about in order to communicate rather than assume we (and they) are
                    > all talking about the same thing.
                    >
                    > PMCV


                    Hi, all.

                    Yes, there has been past discussion, sometimes lively. One
                    discussion of terms begins here (some follow-up posts in thread at
                    bottom of page):
                    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gnosticism2/message/9510

                    And PMCV explains himself clearly in the following post that personal
                    monikers aren't so important for this list's purpose as is
                    investigating how ancients might have used terms,
                    particularly "Gnosis," in comparison to usages today -- how people
                    today who use the term "Gnostic" feel about "Gnosis":
                    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gnosticism2/message/9545

                    We're not here to police people on how they label themselves. We're
                    just looking to explore meanings to aid in discussion focusing on
                    historical usages in comparison to use in our own modern lives.

                    Cari
                  • George Harvey
                    ... once ... the ... Hermeticism) ... need ... something ... times), ... be ... we ... Hi PMCV, Thanks. I was confused when you used the word Gnostic in a
                    Message 9 of 18 , Mar 19, 2005
                      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Hey George.....
                      >
                      > >>>"Hi PMCV,
                      > Hummm, I think I must have misunderstood you slightly. I understood
                      > your difference between Gnosticism and Gnosis but I thought you
                      once
                      > said there are no Gnostics today. I thought you said any modern
                      > Gnostics would be neo Gnostics. I know I saw a such a statement on
                      > this list but it must not have been you."<<<
                      >
                      > Isn't a "neo-Gnostic" still a type of "Gnostic"? Sure I could have
                      > pointed out the destinction within a specific context where the
                      > destinction is important... just as I do with Platonism and neo-
                      > Platonism. I think you will also agree that I often simply lump
                      the
                      > various groups (even including less obvious groups like
                      Hermeticism)
                      > together as simply forms of "Platonism". Obviously it is very
                      > possible that I have not made the fact that something I say may
                      need
                      > to be understood in its particular context clear, so my
                      > communication will certainly have its flaws. So, let me clerify by
                      > pointing out that I think what I have usually outlined is
                      something
                      > like this (dependent on context of course)......
                      >
                      > 1) Technically, acording to academic definition, there is no there
                      > is no such thing as modern "Gnosticism" since Gnosticism is an
                      > historical category kind of like "neanderthal".
                      >
                      > 2) Anyone has the right to call themselves "Gnostic" from the emic
                      > perspective (I know I have also said that very directly many
                      times),
                      > while from the etic perspective they are "neo-Gnostics". Some of
                      > these individuals and groups may be more or less similar to
                      > traditional Gnostic thinking than others (and therefore may also
                      be
                      > closer or farther from the outline defined by the category
                      > of "Gnosticism").
                      >
                      > 3) Many people talking about "Gnosis" are talking about something
                      > different than the traditional Gnostics use the word to mean, so
                      we
                      > sometimes have to figure out what kind of "Gnosis" we are talking
                      > about in order to communicate rather than assume we (and they) are
                      > all talking about the same thing.
                      >
                      > PMCV

                      Hi PMCV,
                      Thanks. I was confused when you used the word Gnostic in a modern
                      setting without the neo. I thought I might have misunderstood you. I
                      did understand except I didn't realize you somethimes use drop the
                      neo but still mean neo.

                      George
                    • pmcvflag
                      George... ... Thanks. I was confused when you used the word Gnostic in a modern setting without the neo. I thought I might have misunderstood you. I did
                      Message 10 of 18 , Mar 19, 2005
                        George...

                        >>"Hi PMCV,
                        Thanks. I was confused when you used the word Gnostic in a modern
                        setting without the neo. I thought I might have misunderstood you. I
                        did understand except I didn't realize you somethimes use drop the
                        neo but still mean neo."<<

                        Ah, ok. Well George, it is true I'm a tight-ass *lol*. Still, whats
                        a little neo between family (Platonist family that is ;) ).
                        Sometimes the subject just seems to call for a little more technical
                        hair splitting than others. I do understand why I could confuse you
                        on that because I have given a great deal of attention to the matter
                        when it seems important for the topic at hand. But, just don't
                        forget that I have said many times that from an emic perspective the
                        term "Gnostic" (without the "neo") is completely valid in a modern
                        context (I have even said it in your club msg #28944... UGH, what a
                        lot of typos I always see when I re-read my posts).

                        PMCV
                      • Mike Leavitt
                        Hello pmcvflag ... You need a spell checker, like I have (when I bother to use it). Just a thought from one neo-Gnostic to another. :-) Regards -- Mike
                        Message 11 of 18 , Mar 19, 2005
                          Hello pmcvflag

                          On 03/20/05, you wrote:

                          >
                          >
                          > George...
                          >
                          >>> "Hi PMCV,
                          > Thanks. I was confused when you used the word Gnostic in a modern
                          > setting without the neo. I thought I might have misunderstood you. I
                          > did understand except I didn't realize you somethimes use drop the
                          > neo but still mean neo."<<
                          >
                          > Ah, ok. Well George, it is true I'm a tight-ass *lol*. Still, whats
                          > a little neo between family (Platonist family that is ;) ).
                          > Sometimes the subject just seems to call for a little more technical
                          > hair splitting than others. I do understand why I could confuse you
                          > on that because I have given a great deal of attention to the matter
                          > when it seems important for the topic at hand. But, just don't
                          > forget that I have said many times that from an emic perspective the
                          > term "Gnostic" (without the "neo") is completely valid in a modern
                          > context (I have even said it in your club msg #28944... UGH, what a
                          > lot of typos I always see when I re-read my posts).
                          >
                          > PMCV

                          You need a spell checker, like I have (when I bother to use it). Just
                          a thought from one neo-Gnostic to another. :-)

                          Regards
                          --
                          Mike Leavitt ac998@...
                        • Mike Leavitt
                          Hello gich ... I used the neo on purpose, but you have a point. :-) Regards -- Mike Leavitt ac998@lafn.org
                          Message 12 of 18 , Mar 20, 2005
                            Hello gich

                            On 03/20/05, you wrote:

                            >
                            >
                            > Hey Mike
                            > After reading PMCV's comments, you ought to write: "from one
                            > gnostic/neo-Gnostic [use whichever term you prefer] to another." :-)
                            > Gich

                            I used the neo on purpose, but you have a point. :-)

                            Regards
                            --
                            Mike Leavitt ac998@...
                          • pmcvflag
                            ... After reading PMCV s comments, you ought to write: from one gnostic/neo-Gnostic [use whichever term you prefer] to another. ... Gich
                            Message 13 of 18 , Mar 20, 2005
                              >>>"Hey Mike
                              After reading PMCV's comments, you ought to write:
                              "from one gnostic/neo-Gnostic [use whichever term you prefer] to
                              another."
                              :-)
                              Gich"<<<

                              *lol*, but wait.... I kinda think of myself as a neo-Middle
                              Platonized Romantic Humanist with Sceptical Epicurean leanings.
                              Can't I be called that instead?

                              PMCV
                            • Gerry
                              ... Personally, I still think the label buddhy best suits you, but then, it does tend to confuse the whole Eastern/Western thing. On the other hand, maybe
                              Message 14 of 18 , Mar 20, 2005
                                --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                >
                                >
                                > *lol*, but wait.... I kinda think of myself as a neo-Middle
                                > Platonized Romantic Humanist with Sceptical Epicurean leanings.
                                > Can't I be called that instead?
                                >
                                > PMCV



                                Personally, I still think the label "buddhy" best suits you, but
                                then, it does tend to confuse the whole Eastern/Western thing. On
                                the other hand, maybe the notion of our becoming buddhies with one
                                another exemplifies the ability to overcome such "apparent" divisions
                                between us.

                                ;-)

                                Gerry
                              • Mike Leavitt
                                Hello pmcvflag ... Too complicated, too much of a mouthful. Middle Platonic, kind of interesting, a la Pico de Merinola and the Platonic Acadamy? Regards --
                                Message 15 of 18 , Mar 20, 2005
                                  Hello pmcvflag

                                  On 03/21/05, you wrote:

                                  >
                                  >
                                  >>>> "Hey Mike
                                  > After reading PMCV's comments, you ought to write:
                                  > "from one gnostic/neo-Gnostic [use whichever term you prefer] to
                                  > another."
                                  > :-)
                                  > Gich"<<<
                                  >
                                  > *lol*, but wait.... I kinda think of myself as a neo-Middle
                                  > Platonized Romantic Humanist with Sceptical Epicurean leanings.
                                  > Can't I be called that instead?
                                  >
                                  > PMCV

                                  Too complicated, too much of a mouthful. Middle Platonic, kind of
                                  interesting, a la Pico de Merinola and the Platonic Acadamy?

                                  Regards
                                  --
                                  Mike Leavitt ac998@...
                                • pmcvflag
                                  ... then, it does tend to confuse the whole Eastern/Western thing. On the other hand, maybe the notion of our becoming buddhies with one another exemplifies
                                  Message 16 of 18 , Mar 20, 2005
                                    >>>"Personally, I still think the label "buddhy" best suits you, but
                                    then, it does tend to confuse the whole Eastern/Western thing. On
                                    the other hand, maybe the notion of our becoming buddhies with one
                                    another exemplifies the ability to overcome such "apparent" divisions
                                    between us."<<<

                                    *LOL*, I had forgotton about that one. Buddy Jesus (tm) only better.
                                    I sit with my legs crossed and a peaceful look on my face, with a
                                    six pack of reintigration to share with all who would rejoin with
                                    thier "buddhy".

                                    Hmmm, I'm not sure but I think that could get me on some kind of
                                    cult watch list.... maybe even arrested in some states considering
                                    the statutory problems of mixing sixpacks with rejoining.

                                    PMCV
                                  • pmcvflag
                                    ... interesting, a la Pico de Merinola and the Platonic Acadamy?
                                    Message 17 of 18 , Mar 20, 2005
                                      >>>"Too complicated, too much of a mouthful. Middle Platonic, kind of
                                      interesting, a la Pico de Merinola and the Platonic Acadamy?"<<

                                      Sure, Pico della PMCV, thats me. After all, my other Yahoo ID is
                                      Troubadour ;)

                                      PMCV
                                    • Mike Leavitt
                                      Hello pmcvflag ... Just as I figgured, Middle Platonic is a little late for Dunes Scottius Erigina. Besides he was more of a neo-Platonic type. Regards --
                                      Message 18 of 18 , Mar 21, 2005
                                        Hello pmcvflag

                                        On 03/21/05, you wrote:

                                        >
                                        >
                                        >>>> "Too complicated, too much of a mouthful. Middle Platonic, kind
                                        >>>> of
                                        > interesting, a la Pico de Merinola and the Platonic Acadamy?"<<
                                        >
                                        > Sure, Pico della PMCV, thats me. After all, my other Yahoo ID is
                                        > Troubadour ;)
                                        >
                                        > PMCV

                                        Just as I figgured, Middle Platonic is a little late for Dunes
                                        Scottius Erigina. Besides he was more of a neo-Platonic type.

                                        Regards
                                        --
                                        Mike Leavitt ac998@...
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