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Re: Pursuit of gnosis (GNOSIS and Salvation)

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  • Serenity
    I am new here but have met several of you on other boards. I hope that you don t mind my jumping in here with my two cents worth.:-) I hope too, that it will
    Message 1 of 26 , Apr 11, 2005
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      I am new here but have met several of you on other boards. I hope
      that you don't mind my jumping in here with my two cents worth.:-) I
      hope too, that it will serve as an introduction to my sense of Gnosis.

      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "gich morgan" <gich2@b...> wrote:
      > (1) Is there any divine input into receipt of this "Gnosis"?

      What I have noticed from the Concept of Gnosis, which is new to me
      terminologically but spiritually started in my teens, is that it is
      something that you need to strive for. It doesn't come to one who
      does not seek it out.

      In Luria, there is the concept of the four levels: the personality
      plane is divided into three bodies in chakra energy patterns. These,
      we can correlate with the Assiah. The personality bodies are the
      physical, emotional and mental bodies. The Intuitional, will and soul
      are in the Yetzirah. The divine bodies are on the Beriah. Though
      practiced throughout the Hindu world to this day, kundalini and the
      chakras still have a place in mystical kaballah. The only difference
      that I have seen is the Middle Pillars of Kaballah are top down (from
      the Divine to the Kingdom) and the Chakras are top up (from the root
      to the crown and out to the selves).

      To be able to see all of your bodies, it takes training. Usually,
      because you see matter, it is only the physical body that you can see
      with your eyes. Your physical body reacts to the energy bodies which
      surrounds it. It is made up of cells which are controlled by the same
      nervous system that holds the energy centers that we call the
      chakras. We can also affect the energy bodies through proper
      maintenance of the physical body though diet and exercise. We can
      touch each level by touching a different chakra on the physical body.
      The chakra that controls the physical body are the heals of the feet
      and hands.

      When you are sensitive, you can feel your emotional body. You can
      change your emotions by changing the vibrations of your emotional
      body. Your physical chakra that controls the rate of the vibration of
      emotional body is the navel chakra. By massaging this chakra and
      controling the breathing patterns that massage this chakra from the
      inside, you can learn to control and be more aware of your emotional
      body. eventually, you can learn to not only feel but see your
      emotional body.

      Your mental body vibrates at a rate that can intune you with the
      creative forces of the universe. It is with this body that we think
      and create. Reason and logic are the tools that this body uses to
      make knowledge work of us. The chakra that affects this body is what
      is called the third eye. It is in the center of the forhead. If you
      massage this area when you are exhausted mentally, you will cleanse
      the energy and refresh your thought processes. These three levels are
      the personality level of our body. They are perhaps the most visible
      bodies within our personal universes.

      The intuitive body is connected to your compassion for others. This
      first spiritual body is the source of our abstract thinking. It is
      our basis for intuition and understanding both of others and
      ourselves. This is the body of the compassionate Buddha. This is the
      body that helps us to determine what to do with the information that
      the mental body aquires. Here, too, we begin the absolute knowlege of
      temporariness. This is just a moment in time. It is what we do with
      it that matters. The heart chakra is our physical connection to this
      body. This is the body where forgiveness begins.

      Next is the will or spirit body. This is the body that we use when
      dealing with the outside world. This is a difficult body to control.
      Karma is usually initiated here. This is a very powerful energy body.
      As this energy body is accessed and utilized, personality changes may
      occur. A mild mannered person can become very steadfast and willfull
      in their positions and actions. If not properly cleansed, this body
      can entice the physical body into actions that would have been
      unthinkable before. This is where Karma fits in. This energy,
      however, helps the individual respond to the external society with
      confidence. This is a polarized body because its physical connection
      is the sex chakra. Our sexual energy is strongest in this body and
      can be utilized as power through our will or spirit.

      Our Soul body is our sense of I AM. As you step up the levels of the
      soul body, the physical performs the actions of I AM; the emotional
      level holds our feelings about I AM; the mental level explores new
      ways of being; The intuitive or compationate level helps us to
      understand and relate to our polarity as male or female; our will or
      spirit level concerns our breath and the choice or will to exist; the
      soul level relates to pride in self - not vanity but acceptance of I
      AM; the divine level places us as one with Godde's energy. Here we
      bring together our individual karmatic energy. When fully developed,
      the I Am combines with the Divine I Am and becomes one with the
      universe. The Soul really makes us one with the creation and with
      ourselves. The chakra for the soul body is the side of the neck as it
      joins the body.

      The Divine body is where we feel one with Godde and the universe.
      This is where we channel out energy that can be harmful. Here is
      where we are grateful for our life which is essential for physical
      health. This is where in life we know where we should be more in
      control and take appropriate action. This is where our will bends to
      the Divine Will. This is where we find our oneness with others and
      the Divine Oneness of Energy. This is where we connect ourselves to
      the higher bodies. Here we are aware of our energy changes, insights
      and spiritual experiences. Here we bring together our collective
      karmatic energy. Here we develop our personal idea of Godde. The
      Chakra of the Divine Body is the crown of the head.

      I know that I am blending philosophies, but I am a rather wholistic
      individual and believe in all forms of worship being equally
      respected by the Creator. That said, Divine Input comes from the
      mingling of the Divine Self with Cosmic Divinity. Gnosis comes from
      the combined experience of your other selves contemplating and
      experiencing the eternal of Cosmic Self which comes through
      meditation. That is my definition of the process of Gnosis. It may
      not be anybody else's but I believe that all Gnosis is personal and
      individual.
      >
      > (2) Is this "Gnosis" a divine gift?

      Life is a Divine Gift. The selves are a Divine Gift. Creation is a
      Divine Gift. So, yes, Gnosis would be a Divine Gift as well. But all
      gifts must be sought to be found. I have read that there are levels
      of ability to reach Gnosis. I do not believe that they are more than
      convenient tools to distinguish possible personal journeys if one
      makes the effort.


      > (3) Does "God" have a prerogative with regard to who receives
      this
      > "Gnosis"?

      That depends on where you seek Godde. (I use this spelling to respect
      the male and femaleness more completely in my own psyche. I was
      raised the the God spelling is exclusively male so please forgive my
      selfindulgence here.) In the Gospel of Thomas, it is
      written, "Recognize what is in front of you, and what is hidden from
      you will be revealed. There is nothing hidden that will not be
      revealed." If you seek answered from Godde too high up and too far
      away, you will never see the Deity right in front of your very nose.
      If you see Godde within your very nature, then it is in deed Godde's
      perogative with regard to who receives Gnosis. If you are separated
      from Godde through blindness or ego, then no, you will not find what
      is lost aka Gnosis.

      The other questions speak more to the language of Gnostics and to
      that I am an undernovice. I have found my path and am comfortable
      with it but it fits in no category that I can find. Gnosis is the
      best term that I have found to describe my inner light.

      I have a question for you. What is it that you want to be saved from?

      In most cases, the salvation that has been granted is from our
      own "habits" for lack of a better term. Our own need to justify our
      own existances and failures at "perfection" again for lack of a
      better term. When I sought salvation it was from my responses that
      reflected the way that I was raised and the voices of my family which
      blocked out my own and Godde's inside my head. I find the longer I am
      free of those bonds the more I can feel my oneness with Creation and
      with the Divine. So, perhaps I would have to say that Gnosis is the
      Salvation from the demeaning Freudian Superego.

      Blessed be,
      Serenity
    • pmcvflag
      Hello Serenity, welcome to the group. You state.... ... individual and believe in all forms of worship being equally respected by the Creator.
      Message 2 of 26 , Apr 11, 2005
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        Hello Serenity, welcome to the group. You state....

        >>>"I know that I am blending philosophies, but I am a rather wholistic
        individual and believe in all forms of worship being equally
        respected by the Creator."<<<

        Of course, if ecclecticism works for you then run with it. However, I
        do need to point something out to you. This group is not like other
        groups that have a more open focus. It is not that those open focuses
        are not good for what they do, but sometimes there needs to be a place
        to deal with much more specific and detailed topics. For that reason,
        we only deal with traditional Gnosticism here. I am personally very
        interested in Kundalini myself, but I don't really talk about it here
        since it isn't the topic.

        By the same token, in this group we define "Gnosis" in a different way
        from what has become popular for the general reader. In this group we
        try to stick to traditional Gnostic meanings for words like this.

        Lastly, I would point out that traditional Gnostics don't respect
        the "creator" much, and sometimes call him by names like "Fool"
        or "Blind God". So, what the "Creator" respects is not something that
        the historical Gnostics much cared to consider.

        However, there are not many places on the net where you can get as
        much accurate info concerning historical Gnosticism as you can here.
        If you find that subject interesting, then this is the place to
        discuss it for sure.

        PMCV
      • pmcvflag
        Hey Gich ... mathematics in this group?
        Message 3 of 26 , Apr 11, 2005
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          Hey Gich

          >>"Theorems follow from definitions; but do we really want to discuss
          mathematics in this group?"<<<

          No, you are right, generally not. BTW, I don't mean to offend you with
          my previous post... I just felt the point needed to be made if we were
          to move on. Since you didn't answer my post I was not sure whether to
          procede.

          BTW, there is some evidence that some Gnostics may have been involved
          with the mathmatical schools of the time... such as the Pythagorians
          (and obviously the Platonic Academies), so the subject need not be
          entirely off topic either.

          PMCV
        • Serenity
          ... I have spent the past few months researching Gnosticism and have found that there are as many variations on the idea of Gnosis as there are about Christ in
          Message 4 of 26 , Apr 12, 2005
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            --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
            >
            > However, there are not many places on the net where you can get as
            > much accurate info concerning historical Gnosticism as you can here.
            > If you find that subject interesting, then this is the place to
            > discuss it for sure.

            I have spent the past few months researching Gnosticism and have found
            that there are as many variations on the idea of Gnosis as there are
            about Christ in Christianity decended from the Roman tradition. I hear
            that the Valintinian tradition is quite popular these days but the
            Sophian tradition is on the rise. What sort of label to you put on
            your Gnosis?

            Blessed be,
            Serenity
          • Nick Lawrance
            From Serenity I hear that the Valintinian tradition is quite popular these days but the Sophian tradition is on the rise. ................ What is the
            Message 5 of 26 , Apr 12, 2005
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              From Serenity
               
              I hear that the Valintinian tradition is quite popular these days but the
              Sophian tradition is on the rise.
              ................
               
              What is the difference between the Valentinian tradition and the Sophian tradition. I believe Sophia plays a big role in the school of Valentinius?
               
              Nick
               
              ----- Original Message -----
              From: Serenity
              Sent: Tuesday, April 12, 2005 1:44 PM
              Subject: [Gnosticism2] Re: Pursuit of gnosis (GNOSIS and Salvation)



              --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
              >
              > However, there are not many places on the net where you can get as
              > much accurate info concerning historical Gnosticism as you can here.
              > If you find that subject interesting, then this is the place to
              > discuss it for sure.

              I have spent the past few months researching Gnosticism and have found
              that there are as many variations on the idea of Gnosis as there are
              about Christ in Christianity decended from the Roman tradition. I hear
              that the Valintinian tradition is quite popular these days but the
              Sophian tradition is on the rise. What sort of label to you put on
              your Gnosis?

              Blessed be,
              Serenity







            • lady_caritas
              Gich, could you please explain which Sophian gnosticism is not part of a Christological gnosticism ? Thanks, Cari ... Salvation) ... days but the ... the
              Message 6 of 26 , Apr 13, 2005
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                Gich, could you please explain which "Sophian gnosticism" is not part
                of a "Christological gnosticism"?

                Thanks,

                Cari

                --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "gich morgan" <gich2@b...> wrote:
                > Valintinian gnosticism == Christological gnosticism
                > Sophian gnosticism == Non-Christological gnosticism
                > Gich
                >
                > ----- Original Message -----
                > From: Nick Lawrance
                > To: gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com
                > Sent: Tuesday, April 12, 2005 7:40 PM
                > Subject: Re: [Gnosticism2] Re: Pursuit of gnosis (GNOSIS and
                Salvation)
                >
                >
                >
                > From Serenity
                >
                > I hear that the Valintinian tradition is quite popular these
                days but the
                > Sophian tradition is on the rise.
                > ................
                >
                > What is the difference between the Valentinian tradition and
                the Sophian tradition. I believe Sophia plays a big role in the
                school of Valentinius?
                >
                > Nick
                >
                > ----- Original Message -----
                > From: Serenity
                > To: gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com
                > Sent: Tuesday, April 12, 2005 1:44 PM
                > Subject: [Gnosticism2] Re: Pursuit of gnosis (GNOSIS and
                Salvation)
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...>
                wrote:
                > >
                > > However, there are not many places on the net where you can
                get as
                > > much accurate info concerning historical Gnosticism as you
                can here.
                > > If you find that subject interesting, then this is the place
                to
                > > discuss it for sure.
                >
                > I have spent the past few months researching Gnosticism and
                have found
                > that there are as many variations on the idea of Gnosis as
                there are
                > about Christ in Christianity decended from the Roman tradition.
                I hear
                > that the Valintinian tradition is quite popular these days but
                the
                > Sophian tradition is on the rise. What sort of label to you put
                on
                > your Gnosis?
                >
                > Blessed be,
                > Serenity
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
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              • Serenity
                ... Sophian tradition. I believe Sophia plays a big role in the school of Valentinius? Namate Nick, I haven t much time today and would probably mess up the
                Message 7 of 26 , Apr 13, 2005
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                  --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Nick Lawrance"
                  <nicholson2000r@c...> wrote:
                  > What is the difference between the Valentinian tradition and the
                  Sophian tradition. I believe Sophia plays a big role in the school of
                  Valentinius?

                  Namate Nick,
                  I haven't much time today and would probably mess up the explanation
                  anyway, so I will give you a site that will explain everything. I hope
                  that you enjoy it.

                  http://www.sophian.org/

                  Blessed be,
                  Serenity
                • Nick Lawrance
                  From Gich Valintinian gnosticism == Christological gnosticism Sophian gnosticism == Non-Christological gnosticism ...........................................
                  Message 8 of 26 , Apr 13, 2005
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                    From Gich
                    Valintinian gnosticism == Christological gnosticism
                    Sophian gnosticism == Non-Christological gnosticism
                    ...........................................
                    Thanks but Sophia and her relationship to Christ still seems to play a large part in the teachings of Valentinius.
                     
                    Nick
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    Sent: Wednesday, April 13, 2005 8:52 AM
                    Subject: Re: [Gnosticism2] Re: Pursuit of gnosis (GNOSIS and Salvation)

                    Valintinian gnosticism == Christological gnosticism
                    Sophian gnosticism == Non-Christological gnosticism
                    Gich
                     
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    Sent: Tuesday, April 12, 2005 7:40 PM
                    Subject: Re: [Gnosticism2] Re: Pursuit of gnosis (GNOSIS and Salvation)

                     
                    From Serenity
                     
                    I hear that the Valintinian tradition is quite popular these days but the
                    Sophian tradition is on the rise.
                    ................
                     
                    What is the difference between the Valentinian tradition and the Sophian tradition. I believe Sophia plays a big role in the school of Valentinius?
                     
                    Nick
                     
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: Serenity
                    Sent: Tuesday, April 12, 2005 1:44 PM
                    Subject: [Gnosticism2] Re: Pursuit of gnosis (GNOSIS and Salvation)



                    --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                    >
                    > However, there are not many places on the net where you can get as
                    > much accurate info concerning historical Gnosticism as you can here.
                    > If you find that subject interesting, then this is the place to
                    > discuss it for sure.

                    I have spent the past few months researching Gnosticism and have found
                    that there are as many variations on the idea of Gnosis as there are
                    about Christ in Christianity decended from the Roman tradition. I hear
                    that the Valintinian tradition is quite popular these days but the
                    Sophian tradition is on the rise. What sort of label to you put on
                    your Gnosis?

                    Blessed be,
                    Serenity









                  • Serenity
                    ... Namste Gich, I think that you are confused. Non Christological Gnosticism, from my understanding, is Sethian Gnosticism. It is more Hebraic although, some
                    Message 9 of 26 , Apr 13, 2005
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                      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "gich morgan" <gich2@b...> wrote:
                      > Valintinian gnosticism == Christological gnosticism
                      > Sophian gnosticism == Non-Christological gnosticism

                      Namste Gich,
                      I think that you are confused. Non Christological Gnosticism, from my
                      understanding, is Sethian Gnosticism. It is more Hebraic although,
                      some Christological interpretation seems to have peaked in a bit in
                      the second century of the common era. Of course the strait Platonic
                      Pagans seem to be claiming Gnosticism for themselves as well. They
                      seem to be a smaller bunch and keep more to their own "clans."

                      I will try to answer your other post soon. Today is just horrific for
                      doing anything at length.

                      Blessed be,
                      Serenity
                    • pmcvflag
                      Hey Serenity..... ... found that there are as many variations on the idea of Gnosis as there are about Christ in Christianity decended from the Roman
                      Message 10 of 26 , Apr 13, 2005
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                        Hey Serenity.....

                        >>>"I have spent the past few months researching Gnosticism and have
                        found that there are as many variations on the idea of Gnosis as there
                        are about Christ in Christianity decended from the Roman tradition. I
                        hear that the Valintinian tradition is quite popular these days but the
                        Sophian tradition is on the rise. What sort of label to you put on
                        your Gnosis?"<<<

                        My "Gnosis"? Well, what I had been trying to say previously is that we
                        are not here to talk about my particular ideas or beliefs. Let me
                        point you, for a moment, to the undtroduction to our group on the
                        front page. You may be one of the people who participate via e-mail,
                        so perhaps you have not seen it. Here it is.....

                        <<<"Gnosticism" is, specifically, a category derived to express the
                        emphasis of "Gnosis" in the belief system held by any one of a number
                        of inter-related, spiritual traditions of the Late Antiquities.>>>

                        In other words, the focus of this group is historical Gnosticism.
                        Technically, no modern group is part of the category of "Gnosticism"
                        since it is an academic term kind of like "neanderthal". There are neo-
                        Valentinians (groups that attempt to recreate some of the Valentinian
                        system as much as possible, while also having other influences), but
                        there are no actual surviving Valentinians today. The Sophian group
                        you mention is also modern.

                        So, I am not here to talk about a personal system and this group is
                        not in support of any modern group.

                        So, while it is true there are many variations on the ideas
                        of "Gnosis" in modern times (including usages of the term to imply
                        everything from ESP to racial purity), for the sake of this group we
                        are talking about the way the word was used by various groups in
                        history.

                        Does that make more sense?

                        PMCV
                      • pmcvflag
                        Serenity.. ... I think that you are confused. Non Christological Gnosticism, from my understanding, is Sethian Gnosticism. It is more Hebraic although, some
                        Message 11 of 26 , Apr 13, 2005
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                          Serenity..

                          >>>"Namste Gich,
                          I think that you are confused. Non Christological Gnosticism, from my
                          understanding, is Sethian Gnosticism. It is more Hebraic although,
                          some Christological interpretation seems to have peaked in a bit in
                          the second century of the common era. Of course the strait Platonic
                          Pagans seem to be claiming Gnosticism for themselves as well. They
                          seem to be a smaller bunch and keep more to their own "clans.""<<<<

                          I am also guessing that Gich may have meant "Sethian" since Jesus is
                          sometimes assumed to have been a later addition to Sethian texts.

                          However, the figure of "Christ" is not necessarily equated
                          with "Jesus" in Gnosticism, so I think the term "Christological"
                          could be a bit misleading here. A text neen not have Jesus in it to
                          have Christological elements in this case. The figure of the Logos
                          is important even if Jesus is not.

                          One thing you say...

                          >>>"Of course the strait Platonic Pagans seem to be claiming
                          Gnosticism for themselves as well."<<<

                          Could you expand on that? I was not exactly sure which groups you
                          mean to imply there. And to add something, Platonists were not
                          generally Christians, but they would have been very angry if you
                          called them "Pagans".

                          PMCV
                        • lady_caritas
                          ... mind ... provide on ... appreciated. ... No, I m not personally aware of different versions, Gich, but then I m not aware of all modern Sophian groups that
                          Message 12 of 26 , Apr 14, 2005
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                            --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "gich morgan" <gich2@b...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Hey Cari!
                            >
                            > >>>... explain WHICH "Sophian gnosticism" ...<<<
                            >
                            > I didn't know there was ONE recognised "Sophian gnosticism" never
                            mind
                            > SEVERAL as is implied by your question. Any information you can
                            provide on
                            > the different versions of "Sophian gnosticism" would be much
                            appreciated.
                            > :-)


                            No, I'm not personally aware of different versions, Gich, but then
                            I'm not aware of all modern Sophian groups that might be around. I
                            just worded my question in that manner because you had denoted an
                            actual modern category of "Sophian gnosticism" and I thought you
                            might have had some modern groups in mind. Now I see you were
                            hypothesizing such a category, if I understand you correctly.
                            Generally, historical Gnosticism has been broadly categorized into
                            Valentinian and Sethian Gnosticism.



                            > Now to answer your question which was prompted by my earlier
                            comments. The
                            > way I use the term "Sophian gnosticism" is regarding a gnosticism
                            that would
                            > be "Sophia" centred rather than "Christ" centred. There will be a
                            > Christology because the "Christ" event cannot be ignored but the
                            main route
                            > to salvation will be via Sophia and her emanations. The
                            whole "idea" system
                            > forms a very coherent whole and a very workable traditional non-
                            Christian
                            > "Sophia centred" gnosticism can be described without reference to
                            Christ at
                            > all.
                            > Gich


                            Interesting conjecture, Gich; however, I am confused as to how you
                            are using the term, "Christ." If Sophia were to be the "anointed" in
                            this hypothetical system, she could theoretically be a soter. On the
                            other hand, if you're saying that Jesus, a man, need not be part of
                            the system, that's another thing.

                            Even in Valentinian mythology, there is a difference between the
                            anointed (Christ) within the Pleroma (Fullness) and the (lower) Jesus
                            born of Mary of the material realm. Also, Ptolemy's version of the
                            Gnostic myth includes a higher Jesus (second-anointed Christ) within
                            the Fullness, Achamoth's bridegroom (and NOT to be confused with the
                            Jesus of the material realm)[_The Gnostic Scriptures_, Bentley
                            Layton, p. 278 – a book with helpful annotations I would highly
                            recommend, BTW, Gich.].

                            Cari
                          • Nick Lawrance
                            From: Serenity Namate Nick, I haven t much time today and would probably mess up the explanation anyway, so I will give you a site that will explain
                            Message 13 of 26 , Apr 15, 2005
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                              From: Serenity
                              Namate Nick,
                              I haven't much time today and would probably mess up the explanation
                              anyway, so I will give you a site that will explain everything. I hope
                              that you enjoy it.

                              ......................................................
                              Thanks Serenity, I was confused as Indicated I thought you were refering to the aeon Sophia.
                               
                              Nick
                              ----- Original Message -----
                              From: Serenity
                              Sent: Wednesday, April 13, 2005 7:15 PM
                              Subject: [Gnosticism2] Re: Pursuit of gnosis (GNOSIS and Salvation)



                              --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Nick Lawrance"
                              <nicholson2000r@c...> wrote:
                              >   What is the difference between the Valentinian tradition and the
                              Sophian tradition. I believe Sophia plays a big role in the school of
                              Valentinius?

                              Namate Nick,
                              I haven't much time today and would probably mess up the explanation
                              anyway, so I will give you a site that will explain everything. I hope
                              that you enjoy it.

                              http://www.sophian.org/

                              Blessed be,
                              Serenity








                            • lady_caritas
                              ... You re welcome, Gich. ... confusing. I don t ... by the ... event? I ... Christ ... short of ... together. Confusion. (Excuse me a moment while I jump out
                              Message 14 of 26 , Apr 15, 2005
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                                --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "gich morgan" <gich2@b...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Cari
                                >
                                > Hey Cari
                                >
                                > Thanks for a very constructive post.


                                You're welcome, Gich.


                                >
                                > From the start of my studies I've found the "Christ" term
                                confusing. I don't
                                > know why it's there. Why not use SOTER instead? Was it introduced
                                by the
                                > Christian gnostics when trying to make sense of the "Jesus Christ"
                                event? I
                                > understand that it's a concept not necessarily connected with Jesus
                                Christ
                                > but in my reading [? I need to check this; I'm not sure; but I'm
                                short of
                                > time today and wanted to reply to you] they always seem to occur
                                together.


                                Confusion. (Excuse me a moment while I jump out of my chair and
                                yell, "YES!") Okay, I'm back.

                                Truthfully, Gich, it seems that a large source of miscommunication
                                comes from the fact that most people first encounter these terms in a
                                modern, traditional, orthodox context. These terms certainly occur
                                together in a traditional context. Jesus and Christ are the same in
                                orthodox theology in the literal person of Jesus, a.k.a. Jesus
                                Christ. Christ in Greek (same as the Hebrew "messiah") means "the
                                anointed". The Old Testament prophets, priests, and kings would have
                                been anointed for their particular offices. The deliverer of the
                                Jews would have been "the Anointed," having the characteristics of a
                                prophet, priest, and king. "Soter" is Greek for savior. A savior
                                would have these characteristics of the Anointed. So, effectively
                                these terms were similar.

                                Now, as I mentioned in my last post, the Gnostics did not view the
                                flesh and blood Jesus and the Christ as one and the same. In
                                adoptionist versions, the Christ descends into Jesus; however, the
                                Christ would not suffer death, as the mortal Jesus would. And,
                                further, in the docetic version, even Jesus only *appears* to be
                                human. These interpretations all serve to emphasize the
                                otherworldliness of the Gnostics.

                                In any case, why use all these "Christian" terms? Well, because in
                                the fluid milieu of the first few centuries, many whom we refer to
                                as "Gnostic" thought of themselves as *Christian* (before "orthodoxy"
                                demanded a specific dogma), with a varying, esoteric interpretation
                                of a Christological *mythology*.



                                >
                                > You're correct - I was suggesting "that Jesus, a man, need not be
                                part of
                                > the system". How do you view this?


                                Since you were apparently speaking hypothetically of a modern,
                                Sophian gnosticism, Gich, I'd say that a man, Jesus, as part of the
                                system might not at all be necessary. But then, I guess I really
                                don't know how you would envision this system.



                                > Thanks for the reference, I'll look into it; I've got a long list
                                of books I
                                > want to read already ... not enough hours in the day nor days in
                                the week.
                                > :-) ..."Jonas, Hans (1988) "The Gnostic Religion", Boston." sounds
                                very
                                > useful; described as "seminal" by Harris. Do you have an opinion on
                                this
                                > book?


                                Hmmm, well, Han Jonas's book is considered by many to be very useful,
                                but outdated. He does have an existential outlook, which some find
                                compelling. Kurt Rudolph's book, _Gnosis_, which is more recent,
                                does fully incorporate the Nag Hammadi texts. Gich, I would highly
                                recommend that you obtain some original Gnostic texts, with or
                                without commentary. Robinson's _The Nag Hammadi Library and Layton's
                                selections, _The Gnostic Scriptures_ (which I already mentioned, with
                                annotations and outlines of mythic characters) would be very good
                                additions to your library. In any case, it's good to immerse
                                yourself in the actual texts and not just rely on commentary.

                                Cari
                              • pmcvflag
                                Hey Gich, sorry it took so long. I got caught up in silly things. It looks like Lady Caritas has gotton to your question as well, so let me just throw in some
                                Message 15 of 26 , Apr 16, 2005
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                                  Hey Gich, sorry it took so long. I got caught up in silly things.

                                  It looks like Lady Caritas has gotton to your question as well, so
                                  let me just throw in some backing. Part of the problem is in dealing
                                  with the way christ is used in different situations. Consider this
                                  passage...

                                  "Through the Holy Spirit we are indeed begotten again, but we are
                                  begotten through Christ in the two. We are anointed through the
                                  Spirit. When we were begotten, we were united. None can see himself
                                  either in water or in a mirror without light. Nor again can you see
                                  in light without mirror or water. For this reason, it is fitting to
                                  baptize in the two, in the light and the water. Now the light is the
                                  chrism."

                                  As you know, "Christ" simply means "anointed". So, who is the christ
                                  here? This author has just pointed out that become anointed.

                                  Later passage....

                                  "Jesus appeared [...] Jordan - the fullness of the Kingdom of
                                  Heaven. He who was begotten before everything, was begotten anew. He
                                  who was once anointed, was anointed anew. He who was redeemed, in
                                  turn redeemed (others)."

                                  The Christ manifest in Jesus, is anointed in Jesus "anew", and the
                                  same thing happens to us? In other words, the Christ manifests in
                                  one with the anointing...

                                  "The chrism is superior to baptism, for it is from the word "Chrism"
                                  that we have been called "Christians," certainly not because of the
                                  word "baptism". And it is because of the chrism that "the Christ"
                                  has his name. For the Father anointed the Son, and the Son anointed
                                  the apostles, and the apostles anointed us. He who has been anointed
                                  possesses everything. He possesses the resurrection, the light, the
                                  cross, the Holy Spirit."

                                  Philip does go on to equate Jesus with the "Christ", but you can see
                                  that this would be obvious. Other cases are a bit different though.

                                  In Allogenes we see the anointing.... but no Jesus.

                                  >>>"And the all-glorious One, Youel, anointed me again and she gave
                                  power to me."<<<

                                  And here is a point of interest. Jesus is only mentioned off-hand in
                                  the "Gospel of the Egyptians", as a sort of suit put on by Seth, the
                                  true savior, but "Christ" is integrated in the text. It possible
                                  that the Christian element (of Jesus' name) may be a later addition
                                  (as we know happened to "Eugnostos the Blessed") to the tradition,
                                  while "Christ" is not likely so.

                                  PMCV

                                  --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "gich morgan" <gich2@b...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > PMCV
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Hey PMCV
                                  >
                                  > >>>the figure of "Christ" is not necessarily equated with "Jesus"
                                  in
                                  > >>>Gnosticism <<<
                                  >
                                  > I thought they were "linked" and you couldn't have one without the
                                  other.
                                  > Could you go into this in more detail please. When I write
                                  about 'the
                                  > "Christ" event' I'm specifically thing of Jesus; I may have to
                                  change may
                                  > terminology and write about 'the "Jesus" event'.
                                  >
                                  > Gich
                                • Mike Leavitt
                                  Hello pmcvflag ... This could as well be read that Jesus and Christ were one at birth and just renewed at the jordan, and not adoptionist at all. Of course it
                                  Message 16 of 26 , Apr 17, 2005
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                                    Hello pmcvflag

                                    On 04/17/05, you wrote:

                                    > "Jesus appeared [...] Jordan - the fullness of the Kingdom of
                                    > Heaven. He who was begotten before everything, was begotten anew. He
                                    > who was once anointed, was anointed anew. He who was redeemed, in
                                    > turn redeemed (others)."

                                    This could as well be read that Jesus and Christ were one at birth and
                                    just renewed at the jordan, and not adoptionist at all. Of course it
                                    is but one statement out of Phillip's Gospel, and it is Valentinian.

                                    Regards
                                    --
                                    Mike Leavitt ac998@...
                                  • pmcvflag
                                    Hey Mike ... and just renewed at the jordan, and not adoptionist at all. Of course it is but one statement out of Phillip s Gospel, and it is Valentinian.
                                    Message 17 of 26 , Apr 18, 2005
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                                      Hey Mike

                                      >>>"This could as well be read that Jesus and Christ were one at birth
                                      and just renewed at the jordan, and not adoptionist at all. Of course
                                      it is but one statement out of Phillip's Gospel, and it is
                                      Valentinian."<<<

                                      Oh, sure.... which is why I pointed out that in the end Philip does
                                      equate the two as well. But even in teh equation there are
                                      destinctions. Obviously in other texts the case is different, and
                                      there are many ways in which the "Christ" motif and the "Jesus" motif
                                      is dealt with. Maybe you could point out which ones are most
                                      interesting to you?

                                      PMCV
                                    • Mike Leavitt
                                      Hello pmcvflag ... In the docetist text the Acts Of John, Christ actually talks extensively to John while Jesus is being crucified, what they say of me I
                                      Message 18 of 26 , Apr 19, 2005
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                                        Hello pmcvflag

                                        On 04/19/05, you wrote:

                                        >
                                        >
                                        > Hey Mike
                                        >
                                        >>>> "This could as well be read that Jesus and Christ were one at
                                        >>>> birth
                                        > and just renewed at the jordan, and not adoptionist at all. Of
                                        > course it is but one statement out of Phillip's Gospel, and it is
                                        > Valentinian."<<<
                                        >
                                        > Oh, sure.... which is why I pointed out that in the end Philip does
                                        > equate the two as well. But even in teh equation there are
                                        > destinctions. Obviously in other texts the case is different, and
                                        > there are many ways in which the "Christ" motif and the "Jesus"
                                        > motif is dealt with. Maybe you could point out which ones are most
                                        > interesting to you?
                                        >
                                        > PMCV

                                        In the docetist text the Acts Of John, Christ actually talks
                                        extensively to John while Jesus is being crucified, "what they say of
                                        me I suffered, I did not suffer, what they do not say of me, that I
                                        suffered" (paraphrased).

                                        Regards
                                        --
                                        Mike Leavitt ac998@...
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