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Re: Pursuit of gnosis (and the source)

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  • pmcvflag
    Gich ... Not the answer I was hoping for; I find your language confusing but, well, we re used to that by now :)
    Message 1 of 31 , Apr 4, 2005

      >>>"Hey PMCV.
      Not the answer I was hoping for; I find your language confusing but,
      well, we're used to that by now :)"<<<

      As long as you are willing to put in the time, I am as well.

      >>>"I'll attempt to paraphrase what I think you're getting at:
      "Our individuality" is dependent on "the world in which we live".
      [your field of opposites (space/time)] "The spirit" is not part
      of "the world in which we live". Therefore, it follows that the
      concepts of "our individuality" and "the spirit" are somehow
      mutually exclusive. Hence, questions that involve comparing them are
      meaningless. But before this follows (logically) we have to be sure
      we know exactly what we mean by "our individuality", "the spirit"
      and "the world in which we live"."<<<<

      It is actually a good thing you did this, Gich, because I can see
      exactly how my wording looked to you now, and it isn't what I meant
      to say. Let me try to make a few things more clear:

      The "field of opposites" is not simply the world we live in, it is
      everything conceptual, everything perceptual, even if we have not
      percieved it yet. It will be easier to get into it more as I deal
      with your breakdown.....

      >>>"I would alter your statements (2), (3) as follows:

      (2) We live in a 3-dimensional space/time continuum and our
      perception (of anything) is restricted by this fact."<<<

      Well, outside the fact that some consider time to be the 4th
      dimension while others prefer to use the term "dimension" to only
      refer to spacial properties, it is obviously something we agree on
      that our physical senses are restricted by the three dimensions +

      >>>"(3) "The spirit" does NOT live in our 3-dimensional space/time
      continuum.[Let's take this as a "given" for the time being]. However
      this does not prevent the spirit from living in a 4-dimensional
      space/time continuum which contains (as a proper sub-space) our 3-
      dimensional space/time continuum!"<<<

      Sure, but then it still would not be the spirit that Gnostics are
      talking about. It does not matter how many dimensions you postulate,
      3, 4, 12, it is still the field of opposites. Something within those
      dimensions are connected to linear conception. The fact that you can
      even mention this as a concrete possibility demonstrates that it is
      not the absolute infinite source.

      >>>"A basic gnostic tenet, I understand, is that we are born into
      this world, ignorant of our true nature, and it's the role of the
      esoteric "gnosis" to free us from this ignorance and allow us to be
      aware of our true nature. This is a concept I find very thought
      provoking. It's easy to produce mathematical models that have our
      universe as a FINITE 3-dimensional space contained in a 4-
      dimensional world. Our universe would look like a flat disc to the
      inhabitants of the 4-dimensional world; i.e. it would NOT have a
      dimension out-of it's plane. The laws of physics for our universe
      could have been fixed by it's 4-dimensional creators so that (1) we
      can never discover that our universe is finite and (2) we can never
      become aware of our 4th component; i.e. we can never realise that we
      exist in a 4-dimensional world."<<<<

      All very interesting. I have read theories by popular physicists
      that speculate on many more than 4 dimensions as I am sure you have
      as well. However you talked about the "creators".... which means you
      are still talking about Demiurgic speculation. Whether or not what
      you propose is true, it would remaing that it is not fully dealing
      with the vastness of the Gnostic conceptualization.

      >>>"The gnostic idea that our human existence (our bodies) are
      trapping us in our present 3-dimensional world looms large here. If
      we have received the esoteric "gnosis" before we die then the death
      of the body (which is trapping us) would free us from the plane of
      the 3-dimensional space and allow us to be aware of the 4-
      dimensional world in which we have been living all along; alongside
      it's other inhabitants that have always been there. Do you see the

      I certainly can see the analogy. If we keep it as a metephor (rather
      than a literal truth) it could work nicely. However many dimensions
      we discover to be a part of the universe (or universes), the Pleroma
      could be seen as that dimension just beyond, as the mold that the
      dimensions are imperfectly drawn on. And then, the Gnostic spirit
      comes from just beyond that where there no longer are any
      dimensions, but but instead the negation of all dimensions.

      >>>"For "the 4-dimensional world" read "the pleroma". Using more
      gnostic language my last sentence would now read: If we have
      received the esoteric "gnosis" before we die then the death of the
      body (which is trapping us) would free us from our present existence
      and allow us to be aware of the pleroma in which we have been living
      all along; alongside it's other inhabitants that have always been

      In fact, Gnostics would tell us that we can know and experience the
      Pleroma even before death, to a certain extent. It is a good
      analogy, though not an accurate model if taken literally. The
      Platonic "forms", remember, are a stamp on all conceptual existance,
      so any dimension that touches physical space is below the Aeons.

      >>>"And so, with regard to how I see things: there doesn't seem to
      be any contradiction with what I know about gnosticism and science
      that preludes us from "still existing as individuals" in the pleroma
      after the death of our earthly body."<<<

      Who said the Pleroma is our final destination? Remember, just as the
      Kenoma is transitory, the Pleroma melts back into it's source. The
      Pleroma is only the world of emenations, there is something beyond
      it. So, you are not yet dealing with the source of the Pleroma,
      which the Gnostics would tell you is our source.

    • pmcvflag
      Hey Gich ... I m struggling to see any connection with gnosticism as I understand it. :)
      Message 31 of 31 , Apr 7, 2005
        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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