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Re: [Gnosticism2] A request for help...

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  • gaye verrall
    Greetings and hi to you Graham, I too am living in England and been drawn to Gnosticism. I am quite new to this group. Sad to hear that you have suffered so
    Message 1 of 26 , May 22, 2005
      Greetings and hi to you Graham,
      I too am living in England and been drawn to Gnosticism. I am quite new to this group.
      Sad to hear that you have suffered so long but hopefully there is wisdom and
      self-knowledge that is flowering from this.
      The way is long and arduous but it is worthwhile.
      The Noble One, the Self, will see you through.
      Sophia never deserts.
      Take care,
      Gaye.

      grahambraithwaite <graham.braithwaite@...> wrote:
      Hi,

      I'm writing this from Yorkshire in England as a new adherent of the
      Gnostic faith, and I'm just pretty much looking for some friends to
      help me along the way into a realisation of Gnosis.

      In a nutshell, I've reached this point via a torturous spiritual
      journey that saw me have a previous interest in Gnosticism that was
      torn away from me by becoming involved in, and then hopelessly
      entangled in what were to become, for me, the harsh tentacles of
      Evangelical and, later, Charismatic Christianity. I left the
      Charismatic churches around ten years ago but it has taken me until
      now to pick myself up and take my courage in both hands to try to
      make sense of what happened to me in a way that enables me to go on
      to start to put things together again.

      In the time that I've been out of the 'Church', I've read lots of
      books on faith and belief and the subject matter of those has
      gradually taken me further and further away from the standard
      teachings of the Church to a present point where I now feel that
      I've 'come home' to be most interested in books about the 'hidden
      mysteries' in general and Gnosticism in particular. I've just bought
      a book called 'Jesus and the Lost Goddess'by Tim Freke and Peter
      Gandy, and I feel that I've reached a new awareness and insight of
      all that might have actually been happening to me over the years, so
      this is the reason why I'm now looking for take up correspondence in
      this way. I just feel that I need to spend a little bit of time
      relating the past to a few 'fellow travellers' in the hope that we
      might touch on things in the course of those exchanges that prove to
      be both both interesting and mutually beneficial to us all.

      I hope you'll apreciate that it's fairly difficult to condense the
      experiences of many adult years into one brief message in this way,
      but I nonetheless hope that one or more of you might feel disposed
      toward dropping me a line in the hope that we can have a chat.

      Thanks in advance for any help that this might turn up, and I look
      forward to hearing from you soon.








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    • grahambraithwaite
      Dear Gaye, Many thanks for getting in touch with me, and for the kind words of support in your message. It s good to know that there are people out there who
      Message 2 of 26 , May 22, 2005
        Dear Gaye,

        Many thanks for getting in touch with me, and for the kind words of
        support in your message. It's good to know that there are people out
        there who are prepared to sympathize with someone like myself who has
        had a bad time of it with mainstream religion, and I'm grateful that
        you took the time to show that.

        One of the biggest problems that I'm having is that I feel very, very
        isolated and simply don't know what to do next. I've no idea exactly
        how I should pray anymore, and I need some real and tangible
        experiences of something 'bigger' than me in order to prevent a lapse
        into the kind of doubts and feelings of simply being 'ignored' by God
        that have so troubled me in the past.

        Im being helped very much by the book that I mentioned in my previous
        despatch, and keep nipping back into it at various times during the day
        to get another quick 'fix' of encouragement and faith. I shoukld
        imagine that I'll have it finished by the end of this week, but I'll be
        cross-reference quotes and pieces of info from it for quite some time
        yet I think, so it's going to be with me for quite a while.

        I'll close here before I detain you any longer, but thank you again for
        getting in touch, and I look forward to hearing from you again. By the
        way, I'm in Yeadon near Leeds. Whereabouts in England are you?

        best regards,
        Graham
      • Graham Braithwaite
        Mike, Thanks very much for your help. I ll have a look at the material you recommend, and I ll hopefully find therein some more of the help that I ve been
        Message 3 of 26 , May 22, 2005
          Mike,
           
          Thanks very much for your help. I'll have a look at the material you recommend, and I'll hopefully find therein some more of the help that I've been looking for.
           
          Many thanks to you again.
           
          Best regards,
          Graham

           
          On 5/22/05, Mike Leavitt <ac998@...> wrote:
          Hello grahambraithwaite

          On 05/22/05, you wrote:

          > Dear Gaye,
          >
          > Many thanks for getting in touch with me, and for the kind words of
          > support in your message. It's good to know that there are people out
          > there who are prepared to sympathize with someone like myself who
          > has had a bad time of it with mainstream religion, and I'm grateful
          > that you took the time to show that.
          >
          > One of the biggest problems that I'm having is that I feel very,
          > very isolated and simply don't know what to do next. I've no idea
          > exactly how I should pray anymore, and I need some real and tangible
          > experiences of something 'bigger' than me in order to prevent a
          > lapse into the kind of doubts and feelings of simply being 'ignored'
          > by God that have so troubled me in the past.
          >
          > Im being helped very much by the book that I mentioned in my
          > previous despatch, and keep nipping back into it at various times
          > during the day to get another quick 'fix' of encouragement and
          > faith. I shoukld imagine that I'll have it finished by the end of
          > this week, but I'll be cross-reference quotes and pieces of info
          > from it for quite some time yet I think, so it's going to be with me
          > for quite a while.
          >
          > I'll close here before I detain you any longer, but thank you again
          > for getting in touch, and I look forward to hearing from you again.
          > By the way, I'm in Yeadon near Leeds. Whereabouts in England are
          > you?
          >
          > best regards,
          > Graham

          Go to the Website of this group, there is a list of recommended
          readings.  Reading the original scriptures in THE GNOSTIC BIBLE or
          THE NAJ HAMADI LIBRARY is a good exercise. 

          Regards
          --
          Mike Leavitt  ac998@...





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        • Mike Leavitt
          Hello grahambraithwaite ... Participating on this list will get you a lot of discussion. Feel free to ask questions. Regards -- Mike Leavitt ac998@lafn.org
          Message 4 of 26 , May 22, 2005
            Hello grahambraithwaite

            On 05/22/05, you wrote:

            > Hi,
            >
            > I'm writing this from Yorkshire in England as a new adherent of the
            > Gnostic faith, and I'm just pretty much looking for some friends to
            > help me along the way into a realisation of Gnosis.
            >
            > In a nutshell, I've reached this point via a torturous spiritual
            > journey that saw me have a previous interest in Gnosticism that was
            > torn away from me by becoming involved in, and then hopelessly
            > entangled in what were to become, for me, the harsh tentacles of
            > Evangelical and, later, Charismatic Christianity. I left the
            > Charismatic churches around ten years ago but it has taken me until
            > now to pick myself up and take my courage in both hands to try to
            > make sense of what happened to me in a way that enables me to go on
            > to start to put things together again.
            >
            > In the time that I've been out of the 'Church', I've read lots of
            > books on faith and belief and the subject matter of those has
            > gradually taken me further and further away from the standard
            > teachings of the Church to a present point where I now feel that
            > I've 'come home' to be most interested in books about the 'hidden
            > mysteries' in general and Gnosticism in particular. I've just bought
            > a book called 'Jesus and the Lost Goddess'by Tim Freke and Peter
            > Gandy, and I feel that I've reached a new awareness and insight of
            > all that might have actually been happening to me over the years, so
            > this is the reason why I'm now looking for take up correspondence in
            > this way. I just feel that I need to spend a little bit of time
            > relating the past to a few 'fellow travellers' in the hope that we
            > might touch on things in the course of those exchanges that prove to
            > be both both interesting and mutually beneficial to us all.
            >
            > I hope you'll apreciate that it's fairly difficult to condense the
            > experiences of many adult years into one brief message in this way,
            > but I nonetheless hope that one or more of you might feel disposed
            > toward dropping me a line in the hope that we can have a chat.
            >
            > Thanks in advance for any help that this might turn up, and I look
            > forward to hearing from you soon.

            Participating on this list will get you a lot of discussion. Feel
            free to ask questions.

            Regards
            --
            Mike Leavitt ac998@...
          • Mike Leavitt
            Hello grahambraithwaite ... Go to the Website of this group, there is a list of recommended readings. Reading the original scriptures in THE GNOSTIC BIBLE or
            Message 5 of 26 , May 22, 2005
              Hello grahambraithwaite

              On 05/22/05, you wrote:

              > Dear Gaye,
              >
              > Many thanks for getting in touch with me, and for the kind words of
              > support in your message. It's good to know that there are people out
              > there who are prepared to sympathize with someone like myself who
              > has had a bad time of it with mainstream religion, and I'm grateful
              > that you took the time to show that.
              >
              > One of the biggest problems that I'm having is that I feel very,
              > very isolated and simply don't know what to do next. I've no idea
              > exactly how I should pray anymore, and I need some real and tangible
              > experiences of something 'bigger' than me in order to prevent a
              > lapse into the kind of doubts and feelings of simply being 'ignored'
              > by God that have so troubled me in the past.
              >
              > Im being helped very much by the book that I mentioned in my
              > previous despatch, and keep nipping back into it at various times
              > during the day to get another quick 'fix' of encouragement and
              > faith. I shoukld imagine that I'll have it finished by the end of
              > this week, but I'll be cross-reference quotes and pieces of info
              > from it for quite some time yet I think, so it's going to be with me
              > for quite a while.
              >
              > I'll close here before I detain you any longer, but thank you again
              > for getting in touch, and I look forward to hearing from you again.
              > By the way, I'm in Yeadon near Leeds. Whereabouts in England are
              > you?
              >
              > best regards,
              > Graham

              Go to the Website of this group, there is a list of recommended
              readings. Reading the original scriptures in THE GNOSTIC BIBLE or
              THE NAJ HAMADI LIBRARY is a good exercise.

              Regards
              --
              Mike Leavitt ac998@...
            • josie
              Dear Graham, your summary of your spiritual path sounds very similar to mine, except I do not feel isolated. I have been given books on Centering, Meditating,
              Message 6 of 26 , May 22, 2005
                Dear Graham,
                your summary of your spiritual path sounds very similar to mine,
                except I do not feel isolated. I have been given books on Centering,
                Meditating, etc., and that has helped me overcome my unsureness when
                praying. and I too keep referring to these books as I need to, as
                well as trying to build my library. I was raised Catholic, but I'm
                now a "Church-hopper". I go to church when I want and where I want. I
                usually walk away with a message or information that pertains to my
                life. I'm also trying to find information on working with my
                children, one daughter who is clairvoyant.
                Good luck,
                jos

                -- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "grahambraithwaite"
                <graham.braithwaite@g...> wrote:
                > Dear Gaye,
                >
                > Many thanks for getting in touch with me, and for the kind words of
                > support in your message. It's good to know that there are people
                out
                > there who are prepared to sympathize with someone like myself who
                has
                > had a bad time of it with mainstream religion, and I'm grateful
                that
                > you took the time to show that.
                >
                > One of the biggest problems that I'm having is that I feel very,
                very
                > isolated and simply don't know what to do next. I've no idea
                exactly
                > how I should pray anymore, and I need some real and tangible
                > experiences of something 'bigger' than me in order to prevent a
                lapse
                > into the kind of doubts and feelings of simply being 'ignored' by
                God
                > that have so troubled me in the past.
                >
                > Im being helped very much by the book that I mentioned in my
                previous
                > despatch, and keep nipping back into it at various times during the
                day
                > to get another quick 'fix' of encouragement and faith. I shoukld
                > imagine that I'll have it finished by the end of this week, but
                I'll be
                > cross-reference quotes and pieces of info from it for quite some
                time
                > yet I think, so it's going to be with me for quite a while.
                >
                > I'll close here before I detain you any longer, but thank you again
                for
                > getting in touch, and I look forward to hearing from you again. By
                the
                > way, I'm in Yeadon near Leeds. Whereabouts in England are you?
                >
                > best regards,
                > Graham
              • Nick Lawrance
                From Graham and I need some real and tangible experiences of something bigger than me in order to prevent a lapse into the kind of doubts and feelings of
                Message 7 of 26 , May 22, 2005
                  From Graham

                  and I need some real and tangible experiences of something 'bigger' than me in order to prevent a lapse into the kind of doubts and feelings of simply being 'ignored' by God that have so troubled me in the past.
                  ...............
                  If you want some real and tangible experiences I would suggest that you obtain the Gospel of Thomas and then do what it instructs you to do; i.e attempt to interpret/put into practice what it teaches in the 114 sayings. In fact you won't have to go through all 114, hopefully you should have experiences much sooner than that but you have to into each saying deep and I mean deep.
                   
                  Nick 
                   
                   
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  Sent: Sunday, May 22, 2005 9:58 PM
                  Subject: [Gnosticism2] Re: A request for help...

                  Hello grahambraithwaite

                  On 05/22/05, you wrote:

                  > Dear Gaye,
                  >
                  > Many thanks for getting in touch with me, and for the kind words of
                  > support in your message. It's good to know that there are people out
                  > there who are prepared to sympathize with someone like myself who
                  > has had a bad time of it with mainstream religion, and I'm grateful
                  > that you took the time to show that.
                  >
                  > One of the biggest problems that I'm having is that I feel very,
                  > very isolated and simply don't know what to do next. I've no idea
                  > exactly how I should pray anymore, and I need some real and tangible
                  > experiences of something 'bigger' than me in order to prevent a
                  > lapse into the kind of doubts and feelings of simply being 'ignored'
                  > by God that have so troubled me in the past.
                  >
                  > Im being helped very much by the book that I mentioned in my
                  > previous despatch, and keep nipping back into it at various times
                  > during the day to get another quick 'fix' of encouragement and
                  > faith. I shoukld imagine that I'll have it finished by the end of
                  > this week, but I'll be cross-reference quotes and pieces of info
                  > from it for quite some time yet I think, so it's going to be with me
                  > for quite a while.
                  >
                  > I'll close here before I detain you any longer, but thank you again
                  > for getting in touch, and I look forward to hearing from you again.
                  > By the way, I'm in Yeadon near Leeds. Whereabouts in England are
                  > you?
                  >
                  > best regards,
                  > Graham

                  Go to the Website of this group, there is a list of recommended
                  readings.  Reading the original scriptures in THE GNOSTIC BIBLE or
                  THE NAJ HAMADI LIBRARY is a good exercise. 

                  Regards
                  --
                  Mike Leavitt  ac998@...



                • gaye verrall
                  Dear Graham, Thanks for responding to me so kindly. I am in London and have been for 20 years now. I too have read this book you are reading and really lapped
                  Message 8 of 26 , May 23, 2005
                    Dear Graham,
                    Thanks for responding to me so kindly. I am in London and have been for 20 years now.
                    I too have read this book you are reading and really lapped it up. It put me in touch with a
                    lot of ideas and like yourself I made notes and did a bit of research.
                    It really did feed me for weeks. A great find.
                    Currently I am really seeking to get deeper inside and find out who or what I/we really are
                    all about. I keep asking Who is this?...Who is suffering? Who is seeeing? etc etc
                    What I found is that there is no answer, just a silence that has an encouraging depth to it.
                    The joy is, an intuitive sense of a Self perceived to be the Self in every living thing.
                    I find the past dissolving, doubt and anxiety declining....and it requires no real effort.
                    Maybe, Graham, you might find something of help to you in such questioning.
                    If not, I hope that I have not gone on too much.
                    I wish you well.
                    Take care,
                    Gaye.

                    Mike Leavitt <ac998@...> wrote:
                    Hello grahambraithwaite

                    On 05/22/05, you wrote:

                    > Dear Gaye,
                    >
                    > Many thanks for getting in touch with me, and for the kind words of
                    > support in your message. It's good to know that there are people out
                    > there who are prepared to sympathize with someone like myself who
                    > has had a bad time of it with mainstream religion, and I'm grateful
                    > that you took the time to show that.
                    >
                    > One of the biggest problems that I'm having is that I feel very,
                    > very isolated and simply don't know what to do next. I've no idea
                    > exactly how I should pray anymore, and I need some real and tangible
                    > experiences of something 'bigger' than me in order to prevent a
                    > lapse into the kind of doubts and feelings of simply being 'ignored'
                    > by God that have so troubled me in the past.
                    >
                    > Im being helped very much by the book that I mentioned in my
                    > previous despatch, and keep nipping back into it at various times
                    > during the day to get another quick 'fix' of encouragement and
                    > faith. I shoukld imagine that I'll have it finished by the end of
                    > this week, but I'll be cross-reference quotes and pieces of info
                    > from it for quite some time yet I think, so it's going to be with me
                    > for quite a while.
                    >
                    > I'll close here before I detain you any longer, but thank you again
                    > for getting in touch, and I look forward to hearing from you again.
                    > By the way, I'm in Yeadon near Leeds. Whereabouts in England are
                    > you?
                    >
                    > best regards,
                    > Graham

                    Go to the Website of this group, there is a list of recommended
                    readings.  Reading the original scriptures in THE GNOSTIC BIBLE or
                    THE NAJ HAMADI LIBRARY is a good exercise. 

                    Regards
                    --
                    Mike Leavitt  ac998@...




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                  • pmcvflag
                    Hey Graham and Gaye, welcome to the group. This book as well as the other one by these authors, The Jesus Mysteries, has been a topic here before but it had
                    Message 9 of 26 , May 23, 2005
                      Hey Graham and Gaye, welcome to the group.

                      This book as well as the other one by these authors, The Jesus
                      Mysteries, has been a topic here before but it had kind of disappeared
                      for a bit. I don't know about elsewhere, but here in the states the
                      books were pretty popular. We heard quite a few people who expressed
                      the same sentiment as you, Graham, in having found these books in a
                      time when they were falling away from evangelical movements that they
                      felt had literally harmed them in some way.

                      Graham, you stated....

                      >>>"One of the biggest problems that I'm having is that I feel very,
                      very isolated and simply don't know what to do next. I've no idea
                      exactly how I should pray anymore, and I need some real and tangible
                      experiences of something 'bigger' than me in order to prevent a lapse
                      into the kind of doubts and feelings of simply being 'ignored' by God
                      that have so troubled me in the past."<<<

                      You may be interested to know that a feeling of isolation is almost a
                      sort of hallmark of Gnosticism. In fact, some scholors used to even
                      include this as part of the very definition of the word "Gnosticism",
                      though this has fallen out of favor with more recent critical
                      understanding of the historical movements. All the same, one of the
                      books in the Nag Hammadi library is even called "Allogenes", which
                      means the "Stranger" or "Alien". Gnostics consider the spirit to be
                      something kind of alien and isolated in the world, and the function
                      of "Gnosis" is to get past that flaw of existance.

                      >>"Im being helped very much by the book that I mentioned in my
                      previous despatch, and keep nipping back into it at various times
                      during the day to get another quick 'fix' of encouragement and faith.
                      I shoukld imagine that I'll have it finished by the end of this week,
                      but I'll be cross-reference quotes and pieces of info from it for
                      quite some time yet I think, so it's going to be with me for quite a
                      while."<<<

                      Feel free to bring up your impressions of the book here in the group
                      for discussion. I think you will find that the topics the book offer
                      will be revisited here in any event. One thing you may be surprised to
                      learn as time goes on is just how different your understanding of
                      Gnosticism may become from what your first impressions may be based on
                      this book. This change may include your notions of faith, and prayer.
                      The Gnostic view of spirituality sometimes may seem so different from
                      what modern Christians are used to that they find it hard to
                      understand. This is because there are base assumptions within modern
                      Christianity that are so intrinsic that even people who have left the
                      church find it hard to view the same passages in the different light
                      that earlier Christians sometimes saw them in. The function of faith
                      as salvation is one of those differences, the destinction between the
                      Demiurge and the infinite "Source" is another, and there are many more.

                      Having said that, I would like to welcome all our new members, and to
                      give this one piece of advice as we talk about the subject of
                      Gnosticism... try not to see it from the context of modern
                      Christianity. Be aware that even though many terms that exist in
                      modern Christianity also exist in Gnosticism (e.g. Logos, "God", and
                      Father) they may have very different meanings for these traditional
                      Gnostic groups.

                      PMCV
                    • gaye verrall
                      Hi, Thanks for the welcome to the group and for all the work you put in to helping to cultivate understanding of the faith. Much appreciated. Best wishes,
                      Message 10 of 26 , May 24, 2005
                        Hi,
                        Thanks for the welcome to the group and for all the work you put in to
                        helping to cultivate understanding of the faith.
                        Much appreciated.
                        Best wishes,
                        Gaye.

                        pmcvflag <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                        Hey Graham and Gaye, welcome to the group.

                        This book as well as the other one by these authors, The Jesus
                        Mysteries, has been a topic here before but it had kind of disappeared
                        for a bit. I don't know about elsewhere, but here in the states the
                        books were pretty popular. We heard quite a few people who expressed
                        the same sentiment as you, Graham, in having found these books in a
                        time when they were falling away from evangelical movements that they
                        felt had literally harmed them in some way.

                        Graham, you stated....

                        >>>"One of the biggest problems that I'm having is that I feel very,
                        very isolated and simply don't know what to do next. I've no idea
                        exactly how I should pray anymore, and I need some real and tangible
                        experiences of something 'bigger' than me in order to prevent a lapse
                        into the kind of doubts and feelings of simply being 'ignored' by God
                        that have so troubled me in the past."<<<

                        You may be interested to know that a feeling of isolation is almost a
                        sort of hallmark of Gnosticism. In fact, some scholors used to even
                        include this as part of the very definition of the word "Gnosticism",
                        though this has fallen out of favor with more recent critical
                        understanding of the historical movements. All the same, one of the
                        books in the Nag Hammadi library is even called "Allogenes", which
                        means the "Stranger" or "Alien". Gnostics consider the spirit to be
                        something kind of alien and isolated in the world, and the function
                        of "Gnosis" is to get past that flaw of existance.

                        >>"Im being helped very much by the book that I mentioned in my
                        previous despatch, and keep nipping back into it at various times
                        during the day to get another quick 'fix' of encouragement and faith.
                        I shoukld imagine that I'll have it finished by the end of this week,
                        but I'll be cross-reference quotes and pieces of info from it for
                        quite some time yet I think, so it's going to be with me for quite a
                        while."<<<

                        Feel free to bring up your impressions of the book here in the group
                        for discussion. I think you will find that the topics the book offer
                        will be revisited here in any event. One thing you may be surprised to
                        learn as time goes on is just how different your understanding of
                        Gnosticism may become from what your first impressions may be based on
                        this book. This change may include your notions of faith, and prayer.
                        The Gnostic view of spirituality sometimes may seem so different from
                        what modern Christians are used to that they find it hard to
                        understand. This is because there are base assumptions within modern
                        Christianity that are so intrinsic that even people who have left the
                        church find it hard to view the same passages in the different light
                        that earlier Christians sometimes saw them in. The function of faith
                        as salvation is one of those differences, the destinction between the
                        Demiurge and the infinite "Source" is another, and there are many more.

                        Having said that, I would like to welcome all our new members, and to
                        give this one piece of advice as we talk about the subject of
                        Gnosticism... try not to see it from the context of modern
                        Christianity. Be aware that even though many terms that exist in
                        modern Christianity also exist in Gnosticism (e.g. Logos, "God", and
                        Father) they may have very different meanings for these traditional
                        Gnostic groups.

                        PMCV



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                      • David Wilson
                        Does this group ever have, weekly study sessions. to where a reference is read by eveyone and for the rest of the week it up for open discussion? or is anyone
                        Message 11 of 26 , May 24, 2005

                          Does this group ever have, weekly study sessions. to where a reference is read by eveyone and for the rest of the week it up for open discussion? or is anyone up for that?

                          The other thing I wanted to meantion, I read everyones talking about Gnostic Bibles, I haven't heard any one mention about the Nag Hammadi, dead sea scrolls, or any any other arena similiar to those which have direct relations with Gnosticism.

                          sinicerely,

                          David


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                        • Graham Braithwaite
                          Dear PMCV, Like Gaye I want to say thank you for welcoming us to the group. I ve been inundated with replies from lots of very helpful and well meaning people,
                          Message 12 of 26 , May 24, 2005
                            Dear PMCV,
                             
                            Like Gaye I want to say thank you for welcoming us to the group. I've been inundated with replies from lots of very helpful and well meaning people, and I hope you'll all appreciate the fact tht my replies may be quite short due to the number of 'thank you notes' that I feel I msut write.
                             
                            Thank you also for taking the time to write such a long e-mail with so many interesting points. I was very interested in what you had to say about my feeling of isolation, and I hope I didn't give the impression that I had become something of a 'reluctant hermit' who misses the bright lights and the nights out and generall just wants to be where the sin is! The truth is that this feeling of being somehow 'different' from others has been with me for as long as I can remember - right back even into my childhood - so although I'm well used to ploughing a lone spiritual furrow, it gives me great encouragement that there are others like me who have experienced the same kind of things.
                             
                            As I mentioned earlier, I have many people to write to, so I hope you'll understand if I foreshorten this reply at this point, but thank you very much again for taking the time out to reply, and I hope to come across you once again in the weeks and months to come.
                             
                            best regards.
                            Graham    

                             
                            On 5/24/05, gaye verrall <gayeverrall@...> wrote:
                            Hi,
                            Thanks for the welcome to the group and for all the work you put in to
                            helping to cultivate understanding of the faith.
                            Much appreciated.
                            Best wishes,
                            Gaye.


                            pmcvflag <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                            Hey Graham and Gaye, welcome to the group.

                            This book as well as the other one by these authors, The Jesus
                            Mysteries, has been a topic here before but it had kind of disappeared
                            for a bit. I don't know about elsewhere, but here in the states the
                            books were pretty popular. We heard quite a few people who expressed
                            the same sentiment as you, Graham, in having found these books in a
                            time when they were falling away from evangelical movements that they
                            felt had literally harmed them in some way.

                            Graham, you stated....

                            >>>"One of the biggest problems that I'm having is that I feel very,
                            very isolated and simply don't know what to do next. I've no idea
                            exactly how I should pray anymore, and I need some real and tangible
                            experiences of something 'bigger' than me in order to prevent a lapse
                            into the kind of doubts and feelings of simply being 'ignored' by God
                            that have so troubled me in the past."<<<

                            You may be interested to know that a feeling of isolation is almost a
                            sort of hallmark of Gnosticism. In fact, some scholors used to even
                            include this as part of the very definition of the word "Gnosticism",
                            though this has fallen out of favor with more recent critical
                            understanding of the historical movements. All the same, one of the
                            books in the Nag Hammadi library is even called "Allogenes", which
                            means the "Stranger" or "Alien". Gnostics consider the spirit to be
                            something kind of alien and isolated in the world, and the function
                            of "Gnosis" is to get past that flaw of existance.

                            >>"Im being helped very much by the book that I mentioned in my
                            previous despatch, and keep nipping back into it at various times
                            during the day to get another quick 'fix' of encouragement and faith.
                            I shoukld imagine that I'll have it finished by the end of this week,
                            but I'll be cross-reference quotes and pieces of info from it for
                            quite some time yet I think, so it's going to be with me for quite a
                            while."<<<

                            Feel free to bring up your impressions of the book here in the group
                            for discussion. I think you will find that the topics the book offer
                            will be revisited here in any event. One thing you may be surprised to
                            learn as time goes on is just how different your understanding of
                            Gnosticism may become from what your first impressions may be based on
                            this book. This change may include your notions of faith, and prayer.
                            The Gnostic view of spirituality sometimes may seem so different from
                            what modern Christians are used to that they find it hard to
                            understand. This is because there are base assumptions within modern
                            Christianity that are so intrinsic that even people who have left the
                            church find it hard to view the same passages in the different light
                            that earlier Christians sometimes saw them in. The function of faith
                            as salvation is one of those differences, the destinction between the
                            Demiurge and the infinite "Source" is another, and there are many more.

                            Having said that, I would like to welcome all our new members, and to
                            give this one piece of advice as we talk about the subject of
                            Gnosticism... try not to see it from the context of modern
                            Christianity. Be aware that even though many terms that exist in
                            modern Christianity also exist in Gnosticism (e.g. Logos, "God", and
                            Father) they may have very different meanings for these traditional
                            Gnostic groups.

                            PMCV



                            Yahoo! Messenger NEW - crystal clear PC to PC calling worldwide with voicemail

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                          • lady_caritas
                            Greetings, everyone! ... reference is read by eveyone and for the rest of the week it up for open discussion? or is anyone up for that? David, we haven t been
                            Message 13 of 26 , May 24, 2005
                              Greetings, everyone!


                              --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, David Wilson
                              <light_life_love@y...> wrote:
                              >
                              >
                              > Does this group ever have, weekly study sessions. to where a
                              reference is read by eveyone and for the rest of the week it up for
                              open discussion? or is anyone up for that?


                              David, we haven't been quite that structured into study sessions, but
                              if enough people are game, we would be happy to accommodate your
                              interest.

                              We generally entertain questions or comments anyone wants to bring to
                              the forum, including specific article or scripture references.



                              > The other thing I wanted to meantion, I read everyones talking
                              about Gnostic Bibles, I haven't heard any one mention about the Nag
                              Hammadi, dead sea scrolls, or any any other arena similiar to those
                              which have direct relations with Gnosticism.
                              >
                              > sinicerely,
                              >
                              > David
                              >


                              Well, we're not talking about a variation of the Christian orthodox
                              Bible here. Actually, "The Gnostic Bible" is just a name given by
                              the authors to a compendium of historical Gnostic literature, in
                              addition to works from related groups.

                              Speaking of Nag Hammadi texts (included in _The Gnostic Bible_), I'd
                              also recommend James M. Robinson's _The Nag Hammadi Library_. _The
                              Gnostic Scriptures_ edited by Bentley Layton also contains a
                              selection of Gnostic scriptures with excellent translations and
                              commentary.

                              For new members, as I mentioned in my last post, don't forget to
                              check out our "links" section for suggested readings. Gnostic texts,
                              online lectures, and suggested readings can also be found online at
                              the Gnosis Archive listed in "links."
                              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gnosticism2/links


                              Cari
                            • josephine0214
                              The links are very helpful. I wrote down some books I d like to check out of the library (eventually may purchase them). Some of my colleagues have mentioned
                              Message 14 of 26 , May 24, 2005
                                The links are very helpful. I wrote down some books I'd like to check
                                out of the library (eventually may purchase them). Some of my
                                colleagues have mentioned Sylvia Brown's books also, another bunch i
                                need to check out!

                                please clarify this for me-The Gnostic Bible we have termed here, is
                                this the only translation of the original scrolls found near the town
                                of Nag Hammadi, or are there other translations?

                                I think a weekly study session is a great idea and would be
                                interesting;however, I know it would be too difficult for me
                                personally, with crazy schedules with children, sports, etc to
                                actually be able to specifically pinpoint a day and time for that.

                                thanks everyone!
                                peace,
                                -jos



                                --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, lady_caritas <no_reply@y...>
                                wrote:
                                > Greetings, everyone!
                                >
                                >
                                > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, David Wilson
                                > <light_life_love@y...> wrote:
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > Does this group ever have, weekly study sessions. to where a
                                > reference is read by eveyone and for the rest of the week it up for
                                > open discussion? or is anyone up for that?
                                >
                                >
                                > David, we haven't been quite that structured into study sessions,
                                but
                                > if enough people are game, we would be happy to accommodate your
                                > interest.
                                >
                                > We generally entertain questions or comments anyone wants to bring
                                to
                                > the forum, including specific article or scripture references.
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > > The other thing I wanted to meantion, I read everyones talking
                                > about Gnostic Bibles, I haven't heard any one mention about the Nag
                                > Hammadi, dead sea scrolls, or any any other arena similiar to those
                                > which have direct relations with Gnosticism.
                                > >
                                > > sinicerely,
                                > >
                                > > David
                                > >
                                >
                                >
                                > Well, we're not talking about a variation of the Christian orthodox
                                > Bible here. Actually, "The Gnostic Bible" is just a name given by
                                > the authors to a compendium of historical Gnostic literature, in
                                > addition to works from related groups.
                                >
                                > Speaking of Nag Hammadi texts (included in _The Gnostic Bible_),
                                I'd
                                > also recommend James M. Robinson's _The Nag Hammadi Library_. _The
                                > Gnostic Scriptures_ edited by Bentley Layton also contains a
                                > selection of Gnostic scriptures with excellent translations and
                                > commentary.
                                >
                                > For new members, as I mentioned in my last post, don't forget to
                                > check out our "links" section for suggested readings. Gnostic
                                texts,
                                > online lectures, and suggested readings can also be found online at
                                > the Gnosis Archive listed in "links."
                                > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gnosticism2/links
                                >
                                >
                                > Cari
                              • cynthia jarrell
                                I m game! lady_caritas wrote:Greetings, everyone! ... reference is read by eveyone and for the rest of the week it up for open
                                Message 15 of 26 , May 24, 2005
                                  I'm game!

                                  lady_caritas <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                  Greetings, everyone!


                                  --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, David Wilson
                                  <light_life_love@y...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Does this group ever have, weekly study sessions. to where a
                                  reference is read by eveyone and for the rest of the week it up for
                                  open discussion? or is anyone up for that?


                                  David, we haven't been quite that structured into study sessions, but
                                  if enough people are game, we would be happy to accommodate your
                                  interest. 

                                  We generally entertain questions or comments anyone wants to bring to
                                  the forum, including specific article or scripture references.



                                  > The other thing I wanted to meantion, I read everyones talking
                                  about Gnostic Bibles, I haven't heard any one mention about the Nag
                                  Hammadi, dead sea scrolls, or any any other arena similiar to those
                                  which have direct relations with Gnosticism.
                                  >
                                  > sinicerely,
                                  >
                                  > David
                                  >


                                  Well, we're not talking about a variation of the Christian orthodox
                                  Bible here.  Actually, "The Gnostic Bible" is just a name given by
                                  the authors to a compendium of historical Gnostic literature, in
                                  addition to works from related groups.

                                  Speaking of Nag Hammadi texts (included in _The Gnostic Bible_), I'd
                                  also recommend James M. Robinson's _The Nag Hammadi Library_.  _The
                                  Gnostic Scriptures_ edited by Bentley Layton also contains a
                                  selection of Gnostic scriptures with excellent translations and
                                  commentary.

                                  For new members, as I mentioned in my last post, don't forget to
                                  check out our "links" section for suggested readings.  Gnostic texts,
                                  online lectures, and suggested readings can also be found online at
                                  the Gnosis Archive listed in "links."
                                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gnosticism2/links


                                  Cari



                                  __________________________________________________
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                                • lady_caritas
                                  ... is ... town ... No, there certainly are other translations, books and online... a few I referenced in my last post. Jos, you might want to plug Nag
                                  Message 16 of 26 , May 24, 2005
                                    --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "josephine0214"
                                    <josephine0214@y...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > please clarify this for me-The Gnostic Bible we have termed here,
                                    is
                                    > this the only translation of the original scrolls found near the
                                    town
                                    > of Nag Hammadi, or are there other translations?


                                    No, there certainly are other translations, books and online... a few
                                    I referenced in my last post. Jos, you might want to plug "Nag
                                    Hammadi Library" in your favorite search engine and come up with
                                    other sources. Also, perhaps others might like to post additional
                                    translation sources they prefer.



                                    > I think a weekly study session is a great idea and would be
                                    > interesting;however, I know it would be too difficult for me
                                    > personally, with crazy schedules with children, sports, etc to
                                    > actually be able to specifically pinpoint a day and time for that.
                                    >
                                    > thanks everyone!
                                    > peace,
                                    > -jos


                                    David's suggestion was to post a reference for discussion once a
                                    week, allowing comments for the remainder of the week, if I
                                    understand correctly. That should provide a lot flexibility for
                                    comments, even for those with crazy schedules.


                                    Cari
                                  • josephine0214
                                    thank you for the clarification! - and sure, i m game for discussions on literature etc DAvid suggested :) jos ... few
                                    Message 17 of 26 , May 24, 2005
                                      thank you for the clarification! - and sure, i'm game for discussions
                                      on literature etc DAvid suggested :)
                                      jos

                                      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, lady_caritas <no_reply@y...>
                                      wrote:
                                      > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "josephine0214"
                                      > <josephine0214@y...> wrote:
                                      > >
                                      > > please clarify this for me-The Gnostic Bible we have termed here,
                                      > is
                                      > > this the only translation of the original scrolls found near the
                                      > town
                                      > > of Nag Hammadi, or are there other translations?
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > No, there certainly are other translations, books and online... a
                                      few
                                      > I referenced in my last post. Jos, you might want to plug "Nag
                                      > Hammadi Library" in your favorite search engine and come up with
                                      > other sources. Also, perhaps others might like to post additional
                                      > translation sources they prefer.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > > I think a weekly study session is a great idea and would be
                                      > > interesting;however, I know it would be too difficult for me
                                      > > personally, with crazy schedules with children, sports, etc to
                                      > > actually be able to specifically pinpoint a day and time for that.
                                      > >
                                      > > thanks everyone!
                                      > > peace,
                                      > > -jos
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > David's suggestion was to post a reference for discussion once a
                                      > week, allowing comments for the remainder of the week, if I
                                      > understand correctly. That should provide a lot flexibility for
                                      > comments, even for those with crazy schedules.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Cari
                                    • janahooks
                                      Hello, Jenny and Mike. Thanks for posting the article, Jenny. I actually daydream about visiting there. :) Mike, I sure wish you fellas could come to the
                                      Message 18 of 26 , May 24, 2005
                                        Hello, Jenny and Mike. Thanks for posting the article, Jenny. I
                                        actually daydream about visiting there. :) Mike, I sure wish you
                                        fellas could come to the East to enlighten us. (But wait until we see
                                        what the demiurge has scheduled for hurricane season--our version
                                        of "sweeps".)

                                        jana


                                        My next read
                                        > though is the article on Stephan Höeller in the L. A. Weekley.
                                        >
                                        > Regards
                                        > --
                                        > Mike Leavitt ac998@l...
                                      • pmcvflag
                                        Hey David Well, we had tried in the past to actually work through individual texts... but it never seems to go anywhere. Part of this is simply because of how
                                        Message 19 of 26 , May 24, 2005
                                          Hey David

                                          Well, we had tried in the past to actually work through individual
                                          texts... but it never seems to go anywhere. Part of this is simply
                                          because of how involved the conversations can be. But as Cari points
                                          out, we do like to see this kind of conversation happen here.

                                          Perhaps then you would consider bringing up the specific points of
                                          interest that you would most like to see more detailed conversation
                                          about. That goes for all the members here.... the more you bring up
                                          the more conversation there will be about it. Whether it is the
                                          confusing lingo of Gnosticism, or some philosophical point that
                                          seems difficult to grasp, or if there are some specific scriptures
                                          that have special meaning to you, your own inputs are where the
                                          topics come from so let the rest of us know.

                                          PMCV

                                          --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, David Wilson
                                          <light_life_love@y...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > Does this group ever have, weekly study sessions. to where a
                                          reference is read by eveyone and for the rest of the week it up for
                                          open discussion? or is anyone up for that?
                                          >
                                          > The other thing I wanted to meantion, I read everyones talking
                                          about Gnostic Bibles, I haven't heard any one mention about the Nag
                                          Hammadi, dead sea scrolls, or any any other arena similiar to those
                                          which have direct relations with Gnosticism.
                                          >
                                          > sinicerely,
                                          >
                                          > David
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > ---------------------------------
                                          > Do You Yahoo!?
                                          > Yahoo! Small Business - Try our new Resources site!
                                        • Mike Leavitt
                                          Hello David ... You must have missed my messages then. One pairs it with the Gnostic Bible as a basic text and the other menitons the Coptic Text/English
                                          Message 20 of 26 , May 24, 2005
                                            Hello David

                                            On 05/24/05, you wrote:

                                            >
                                            >
                                            > Does this group ever have, weekly study sessions. to where a
                                            > reference is read by eveyone and for the rest of the week it up for
                                            > open discussion? or is anyone up for that?
                                            >
                                            > The other thing I wanted to meantion, I read everyones talking about
                                            > Gnostic Bibles, I haven't heard any one mention about the Nag
                                            > Hammadi, dead sea scrolls, or any any other arena similiar to those
                                            > which have direct relations with Gnosticism.
                                            >
                                            > sinicerely,
                                            >
                                            > David

                                            You must have missed my messages then. One pairs it with the Gnostic
                                            Bible as a basic text and the other menitons the Coptic Text/English
                                            translation edition of the NAJ HAMADI LIBRARY for those who want the
                                            original Coptic text. I have read the whole thing (English only),
                                            how well I understood it is another question. I'm going to tackle
                                            the Gnostic Bible and THE GNOSTIC SCRIPTURES next. My next read
                                            though is the article on Stephan Höeller in the L. A. Weekley.

                                            Regards
                                            --
                                            Mike Leavitt ac998@...
                                          • Mike Leavitt
                                            Hello lady_caritas ... Thank you for the URL, it will save search time for people wanting those links. Regards -- Mike Leavitt ac998@lafn.org
                                            Message 21 of 26 , May 24, 2005
                                              Hello lady_caritas

                                              On 05/24/05, you wrote:
                                              > For new members, as I mentioned in my last post, don't forget to
                                              > check out our "links" section for suggested readings. Gnostic texts,
                                              > online lectures, and suggested readings can also be found online at
                                              > the Gnosis Archive listed in "links."
                                              > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gnosticism2/links
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > Cari

                                              Thank you for the URL, it will save search time for people wanting
                                              those links.

                                              Regards
                                              --
                                              Mike Leavitt ac998@...
                                            • Mike Leavitt
                                              Hello janahooks ... The closest Stephan is getting this year is the National Theosophical Conference in Wheaton, Ill., just out of Chicago. Regards -- Mike
                                              Message 22 of 26 , May 24, 2005
                                                Hello janahooks

                                                On 05/25/05, you wrote:

                                                > Hello, Jenny and Mike. Thanks for posting the article, Jenny. I
                                                > actually daydream about visiting there. :) Mike, I sure wish you
                                                > fellas could come to the East to enlighten us. (But wait until we
                                                > see what the demiurge has scheduled for hurricane season--our
                                                > version of "sweeps".)
                                                >
                                                > jana

                                                The closest Stephan is getting this year is the National Theosophical
                                                Conference in Wheaton, Ill., just out of Chicago.

                                                Regards
                                                --
                                                Mike Leavitt ac998@...
                                              • lady_caritas
                                                ... I d like to make a clarification here. I was *only* referring to the specific book, _The Gnostic Bible_ (Barnstone and Myer), in my comment above. As we
                                                Message 23 of 26 , May 25, 2005
                                                  --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, lady_caritas <no_reply@y...>
                                                  wrote:
                                                  >
                                                  > Well, we're not talking about a variation of the Christian orthodox
                                                  > Bible here. Actually, "The Gnostic Bible" is just a name given by
                                                  > the authors to a compendium of historical Gnostic literature, in
                                                  > addition to works from related groups.



                                                  I'd like to make a clarification here. I was *only* referring to the
                                                  specific book, _The Gnostic Bible_ (Barnstone and Myer), in my
                                                  comment above.

                                                  As we have discussed many times in the past, Gnostics certainly used
                                                  some of the same scripture, albeit with different interpretation,
                                                  that ended up being compiled in an orthodox Bible. Gerry brought up
                                                  an excellent discussion recently regarding translations and whether
                                                  anyone had found a version of the Bible that had "a more
                                                  favorably `Gnostic' bias":
                                                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gnosticism2/message/11006


                                                  Cari
                                                • lady_caritas
                                                  So, any ideas for topics for our first weekly study session,... anyone? Cari ... points
                                                  Message 24 of 26 , May 27, 2005
                                                    So, any ideas for topics for our first weekly study session,...
                                                    anyone?

                                                    Cari


                                                    --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                                    > Hey David
                                                    >
                                                    > Well, we had tried in the past to actually work through individual
                                                    > texts... but it never seems to go anywhere. Part of this is simply
                                                    > because of how involved the conversations can be. But as Cari
                                                    points
                                                    > out, we do like to see this kind of conversation happen here.
                                                    >
                                                    > Perhaps then you would consider bringing up the specific points of
                                                    > interest that you would most like to see more detailed conversation
                                                    > about. That goes for all the members here.... the more you bring up
                                                    > the more conversation there will be about it. Whether it is the
                                                    > confusing lingo of Gnosticism, or some philosophical point that
                                                    > seems difficult to grasp, or if there are some specific scriptures
                                                    > that have special meaning to you, your own inputs are where the
                                                    > topics come from so let the rest of us know.
                                                    >
                                                    > PMCV
                                                    >
                                                    > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, David Wilson
                                                    > <light_life_love@y...> wrote:
                                                    > >
                                                    > >
                                                    > > Does this group ever have, weekly study sessions. to where a
                                                    > reference is read by eveyone and for the rest of the week it up for
                                                    > open discussion? or is anyone up for that?
                                                    > >
                                                    > > The other thing I wanted to meantion, I read everyones talking
                                                    > about Gnostic Bibles, I haven't heard any one mention about the Nag
                                                    > Hammadi, dead sea scrolls, or any any other arena similiar to those
                                                    > which have direct relations with Gnosticism.
                                                    > >
                                                    > > sinicerely,
                                                    > >
                                                    > > David
                                                    > >
                                                    > >
                                                    > >
                                                    > > ---------------------------------
                                                    > > Do You Yahoo!?
                                                    > > Yahoo! Small Business - Try our new Resources site!
                                                  • lady_caritas
                                                    Okay, Gich, thank you. That s a doozie. I ll begin a new thread... BTW, members, this thread will be an addition, not a substitute, to our usual discussions.
                                                    Message 25 of 26 , May 27, 2005
                                                      Okay, Gich, thank you. That's a doozie. I'll begin a new thread...

                                                      BTW, members, this thread will be an addition, not a substitute, to
                                                      our usual discussions. Feel free to bring up questions and comments
                                                      in new threads, as you'd like.

                                                      Cari



                                                      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "gich morgan" <gich2@b...> wrote:
                                                      > Definitions of "gnosis"
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > ----- Original Message -----
                                                      > From: "lady_caritas" <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
                                                      > To: <gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com>
                                                      > Sent: Friday, May 27, 2005 12:59 PM
                                                      > Subject: [Gnosticism2] Re: study sessions
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > > So, any ideas for topics for our first weekly study session,...
                                                      > > anyone?
                                                      > >
                                                      > > Cari
                                                      > >
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