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Re: Weekly Study Session #1: Definitions of Gnosis - "God's prerogative..."

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  • lady_caritas
    ... intent. ... I ve ... of the ... another and ... carnal nature ... psychic ... divine gnosis , and a ... (body) ... immortal (soul) ... ignorant ... (mind)
    Message 1 of 32 , May 31, 2005
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      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "gich morgan" <gich2@b...> wrote:
      > Cari wrote
      >
      > >>>(1) "God's prerogative..." -- That seems to indicate a god with
      intent.
      > >>>Do you view that god as a separate, existent entity?<<<
      >
      > Yes definitely. Without this nothing makes sense. From my studies
      I've
      > evolved the following thesis regarding God, salvation, and the role
      of the
      > divine gnosis. These are all interconnected and dependent on one
      another and
      > none can be sensibly discussed in isolation....
      >
      >
      > MAN
      >
      > (man) is a compound being ... This compound being comprises a
      carnal nature
      > (body), which is incapable of receiving the divine "gnosis", a
      psychic
      > component (mind), which is capable of receiving the
      divine "gnosis", and a
      > pneumatic component (spirit) in which resides the divine spirit.
      >
      >
      > CREATION AND THE DEMIURGE
      >
      > The demiurge created (man) as a compound being comprising a mortal
      (body)
      > and a mortal (mind) both located in the natural world and an
      immortal (soul)
      > located in the Ogdoad [the domain of the demiurge]. He made (mind)
      ignorant
      > of the true nature of (man) by making the communication between
      (mind) and
      > (soul) one-way, from (mind) to (soul), thus ensuring that (soul)
      knows
      > everything about (man) but (mind) knows nothing about (soul). The
      demiurge
      > intended that (soul) would suffer through being aware of man's
      suffering on
      > earth. This situation can be represented as follows:
      >
      >
      > [1] (man) == [(body), (mind)-->(soul)]
      >
      >
      > The symbol --> is intended to show that (mind) and (soul) are
      connected but
      > that no communication passes from (soul) to (mind). (mind) was
      purely hylic
      > in nature; and so (man) himself was purely hylic.
      >
      >
      > SOPHIA
      >
      > To give (man) the possibility of becoming aware of his true nature
      Sophia
      > added an immortal "rational" component to (mind). She also enhanced
      (soul)
      > so that two-way communication was possible with (rational mind)
      and, at the
      > point of death, (rational mind) would merge with (soul) in the
      ogdoad. These
      > considerations allow us to expand [1] as follows:
      >
      >
      > [2] (man) == [(body), (hylic mind)<--xxx->(rational mind)<-->(soul)]
      >
      >
      > The symbol <--xxx-> is intended to show that there is a constant
      internal
      > "battle" between (hylic mind) and (rational mind) for control of
      (mind) and
      > hence control of (body). The symbol <--> is intended to show that
      > communication is possible between (rational mind) and (soul) and
      that
      > merging is possible at the point of death.
      >
      >
      > SALVATION
      >
      > To give (soul) the hope of escape from the ogdoad and the demiurge,
      Sophia
      > gave (man) a divine (spirit) located in the Pleroma [the domain of
      God and
      > Sophia] that was also linked to (soul) in the Ogdoad. This "link"
      is also
      > the medium whereby (man) may receive the divine "gnosis" during his
      earthly
      > life. [(spirit) --> (soul) ---> (rational mind)] The "link"
      provides the
      > means for (soul) to merge with (spirit) in the Pleroma at the point
      of
      > death. This "merging" is only possible if the divine "gnosis" has
      been
      > received during life.
      >
      >
      > Putting all this together [2] can now be extended as follows:
      >
      >
      > [3] (man) == [(body), (hylic mind)<--xxx->(rational
      > mind)<-->(soul)<--|-->(spirit)]
      >
      >
      > The symbol <--|--> is intended to show that communication is
      possible
      > between (soul) and (spirit) but merging at the point of death is
      dependent
      > on the divine "gnosis".
      >
      >
      > "LIFE" AFTER DEATH
      >
      > When (body) dies, (hylic mind) also dies but (rational mind) joins
      with
      > (soul) in the Ogdoad. Equation [3] becomes:
      >
      >
      > [4] (man) == [(soul)<-->(spirit)]
      >
      >
      > It is "gnosis" that determines whether (soul) can join with
      (spirit) when
      > (man) dies and his soul moves to the Ogdoad. If "gnosis" has been
      received
      > then they can merge together; otherwise they cannot.
      Taking "gnosis" into
      > account we can now rewrite [4] to produce:
      >
      >
      > [5] (man) == [(soul)<---merge together, depending on "gnosis"--->
      (spirit)]
      >
      >
      > There are two possibilities: either (man) HAS received the
      divine "gnosis";
      > or (man) HAS NOT received the divine "gnosis"
      >
      >
      > IF (MAN) HAS DIED HAVING RECEIVED THE DIVINE "GNOSIS" then the stay
      in the
      > Ogdoad is temporary and (soul) joins with (spirit) in the Pleroma.
      This
      > joining of (soul) and (spirit) in the Pleroma produces (pneuma)
      which is our
      > divine essence. This IS salvation; this is "life" after death in the
      > Pleroma.
      >
      >
      > The Apocalypse of Adam
      >
      > Adam is said to have received the revelation of light and to be
      endowed with
      > the spirit (pneuma) which brought to him the gift of insight
      ("gnosis") and
      > the means of escape from the archons (in the ogdoad).
      >
      >
      > Gospel of Mary, chapter 8
      >
      > We may paraphrase the Gospel of Mary, chapter 8 and write:
      >
      > (soul) now leaves the ogdoad but before he goes "ignorance" (the
      demiurge)
      > says to him:
      >
      > "where are you going? In wickedness (the ogdoad) you are bound".
      [8:14]
      >
      > ... and later, when joined with (spirit) in the pleroma, (soul)
      said:
      >
      > "I was bound, I was not recognised... what binds me has been
      slain ... and
      > ignorance has died". [8:16, 17, 21, 22]
      >
      >
      > Notice that (soul) has progressed from a state of "ignorance"
      to "knowledge"
      > and (man) has progressed from a state of duality [(soul<-->
      (spirit)] to
      > oneness (pneuma).
      >
      >
      > IF (MAN) HAS DIED WITHOUT HAVING RECEIVED THE DIVINE "GNOSIS" then
      (soul)
      > cannot join with (spirit) and so is compelled to remain in the
      Ogdoad. This
      > IS NOT salvation; this is "life" after death in the Ogdoad.
      >
      >
      > Depending on what goes on in the ogdoad one can hold out the
      possibility
      > that (soul) can, over time, become more spiritual so
      that "ignorance" may be
      > destroyed ["what binds me has been slain." Mary 8:21] and the divine
      > "gnosis" may eventually be received; but the divine prerogative
      applies as
      > always.
      >
      > Gich
      >


      Hello, Gich. Thank you for your detailed analysis. However, some of
      your items confuse me. Would you be able to clarify which Gnostic
      myth you are outlining? A specific Sethian or Valentinian system?
      It would help readers to follow or critique your analysis if they
      have the appropriate scripture to follow along.

      For instance, Ptolemy's Valentinian system identifies the primal
      Ogdoad to be the First Eight Aeons of the Pleroma. Now, outside the
      Pleroma (fullness), the craftsman "constructed the seven heavens,
      above which – they say – is the craftsman. For this reason they call
      him the seventh, and the mother they call the eighth, preserving the
      count of the primal and first octet of the fullness." So, at least
      in this myth, the mother, Achamoth (the lower Sophia), is technically
      in the Middle Region (source of soul) and above the demiurge's
      heavenly region.

      Anyway, to swing back around to the topic of Gnosis, what's
      important, for me at least, is that these various mythologies seem to
      be expressions of this special knowledge, acquaintanceship, that vary
      according to the narrator. The question remains as to how literally
      we should view these mythologies. The Gnostics spoke of an
      ultimate "unknown," which we have discussed before, that is beyond
      conception, beyond existence. At most, what these ancients seem to
      be describing is an image of this unknown. But, I view their
      descriptions as metaphorical, perhaps trying to reach something
      inside us beyond "sense," even though our rational, critical minds
      are important to help spur us along the journey and help sort out
      what isn't real.

      As you described before, Gich –
      >>>"Gnosis" is not discursive, analytical or abstract knowledge but
      "insight" into reality that is beyond the reach of normal intellectual
      understanding.<<<

      Maybe others have some insight to contribute...

      Cari
    • marinas_snake
      ... Thank you. Makes me wonder though. Marina
      Message 32 of 32 , Jun 11, 2005
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        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Mike Leavitt <ac998@l...> wrote:
        > Hello marinas_snake
        >
        > On 06/11/05, you wrote:
        >
        > > "Demiurge: According to the Gnostics (as opposed to Plato and others
        > > who had a more positive assessment), an inferior deity who
        > > ignorantly and incompetently fashioned the debased physical world"
        >
        > Let's look at the obvious, derrevation can be negative or positive, in
        > this case, the demiurge turns negative, but the idea was still
        > derived from the Platonists. Gnosis has a smaller role in Platonism,
        > but again Gnosis as salvation was derrived from it. Augustine
        > derrived original sin (I would bet) from Manachean ideas of good and
        > evil, but wound up looking quite different. Derrivation does not
        > mean carrying through ideas in the same way.
        >
        > Regards
        > --
        > Mike Leavitt ac998_@_lafn._org remove -'s


        Thank you. Makes me wonder though.

        Marina
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