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Re: Pursuit of gnosis

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  • pmcvflag
    Hey Gich, in answer to your question... ... Well, to start with we have to be sure that we are understanding the word gnosis in the intended context so that
    Message 1 of 31 , Mar 22, 2005
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      Hey Gich, in answer to your question...

      >>>"Could you enlarge on this please. How does one PURSUE gnosis?"<<<

      Well, to start with we have to be sure that we are understanding the
      word "gnosis" in the intended context so that we know exactly what
      it is we are talking about pursuing. So let me revisit this for a
      second. Consider this passage that we looked at previously in

      "Whoever finds the meaning of these words will not taste death."

      Gnostics used a number of terms to outline the idea of what we have
      condenced into a single essential concept called "Gnosis". Aspects
      of this over all concept include knowing ones self, knowing the
      spiritual realm, and.... obviously.... understanding the meanings
      behind the Gnostic system.

      Technically speaking, if a person does not know the meanings of the
      Gnostic metaphors, they don't have Gnosis. Since the mythologies,
      analogies, rituals, etc., of the Gnostic systems were meant to
      contain what the Gnostics believed they had come to know, failing to
      comprehend this system completely is to fail to have Gnosis. Let me
      put that another way. Look at this passage...

      "Blessed is the lion that a person will eat and the lion will become
      human. And anathema is the person whom a lion will eat and the lion
      will become human."

      Since salvation is dependent on understanding the message, and we
      have already outlined the fact that this message has meaning on more
      than one level, then pursuing Gnosis is at least partly about trying
      to come to understand a passage such as this. Or, if we are talking
      about a ritual, then the Gnosis that is gained by that ritual is
      dependant on having to be correctly effected by the ritual, as well
      as understanding the meaning of the ritual. These aspects are
      supposed to facilitate each other, and are inter-dependent.

      We would then have to go on to include questions like "What is the
      Sophia, really?" and "what is the destinction between the First
      Father, the Second Father, and the Demiurge?" Anyone who either does
      not fully grasp the destinctions intellectually, or who has not
      experienced the function of the destinctions on a personal level
      (BOTH of these must be achieved), can not technically be said to
      have gained that gnosis. And that gnosis is THE Gnosis of Gnosticism.

      How did Gnostics believe that Gnosis was gained? The answer is....
      generally through the initiatory system. In fact, just as modern
      physics cannot be completely removed from the mathmatic language
      that outlines it, Gnosis to some extent IS the system of initiation.


      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "gich morgan" <gich2@b...> wrote:
      > Hey PMCV
      > You write in a post to Mychael
      > "Within the Gnostic texts, the function of "Gnosis" is passed on
      via the
      > initiatory process. .... I think their [historical Gnostics]
      definition of
      > Gnosis was very much based in an idea of something that should be
      > Could you enlarge on this please. How does one PURSUE gnosis?
      > Gich
    • pmcvflag
      Hey Gich ... I m struggling to see any connection with gnosticism as I understand it. :)
      Message 31 of 31 , Apr 7, 2005
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        Hey Gich

        >>>"Gosh!! I must confess to feeling somewhat baffled by your post.
        I'm struggling to see any connection with gnosticism as I understand
        it. :)"<<<

        Honestly, I thought that was part of the point of your line of
        questions..... that you are struggling to understand Gnosticism

        >>>"(1) You said it, it's an ASSUMPTION. But, other assumptions MAY
        be equally valid including ones that haven't yet been proposed."<<<

        Sure, other assumptions could be equally as valid or invalid... that
        has nothing to do with whether other assumptions are
        particularly "Gnostic". The point is not relevent to the other
        philosophies that my make this assumption either.

        >>>"(2) I didn't know we were discussing "movements that deal with the
        destinction between the perciever and the percieved". I'd need loads
        more definitions to begin to understand what you're talking about."<<<

        Well, the vast majority of philosophical movements make this
        destinction, and Gnosticism is one of them. Your other alternatives
        are pantheism or solipsism... and even the first of those two makes
        some destinction. Since we are not here to talk about New Age or post
        modernist movements, you can now assume for the remainder of our
        conversation that we are indeed dealing with a destinction between
        the perciever and the percieved.

        (3) I'm glad you put "fact" in inverted commas.

        >>>If one cannot grasp this, they cannot grasp the very function of

        I find this statement incomprehensible:

        Harris writes: Gnosticism is a term that is used of a movement centred
        around a deep inner yearning to know the secret of deliverance. The
        movement is not a "sociological entity", [Perkins, P. (1980) Gnostic
        Dialogue, New York.] but the use of the word "movement" is intended
        to indicate a process of developing wider vistas of reality on the
        way to full salvation. There is within such a process an implicit
        unity or self-revealĀ­ing experience that is a foretaste of that all-
        consuming coming union between the human and the divine.

        While Harris seems to prefer to couch the point in terms I find a
        little fluffy, it seems he is agreeing with what I said more than you
        seem to believe. He seems to be aware of the teachings in Gnostic
        texts dealing with what is beyond the realm of opposites, but I think
        his subtlety has served more to confuse you than to make the point
        clear. He is, however, wrong in defining the movement in the way he
        does... this is in fact not fully what the term "Gnosticism" was
        coined to refer to. On the contrary, while the "movement" is
        certainly primarily defined by this soteriological function, it is
        also defined by cosmology and ritual, aspects that are very much
        definitive of a "sociological entity". Harris becomes so vague here
        that while he may have started with the intent to deal with
        historical Gnostics what he winds up presenting looses its accuracy
        (at least from the academic perspective).

        It may, however, be of great interest to those who are using a wider
        definition based on emic qualities. That is to say, while for our
        purposes Gnosticism is defined more by the academic qualities that
        the word was created for in the first place, I know that many
        here.... like our friend George who's group you are also a member
        of.... prefer to foster a slightly wider definition for personal use.
        That is certainly ok in that context, and I think that Harris seems
        to be fitting that context more. But again, here we are talking about
        traditional "Gnosticism" so that the point becomes far more specific
        to be generalized in such a way (for our purposes).

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