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Re: "accepting one's lot"

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  • Mike Leavitt
    Hello gich ... There have been enough definitionss given, I won t add any, just read back a few messages. Regards -- Mike Leavitt ac998@lafn.org
    Message 1 of 15 , Jun 2, 2005
      Hello gich

      On 06/02/05, you wrote:

      > Hey Mike!
      >>>> Gich sounds more like a theosophist than a gnostic.<<<
      > Would you please define exactly what you mean by "a gnostic"?
      > Many thanks
      > Gich

      There have been enough definitionss given, I won't add any, just read
      back a few messages.

      Regards
      --
      Mike Leavitt ac998@...
    • lady_caritas
      ... think ... You re kidding, right? :-D http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gnosticism2/message/10562 I don t know if this will help, but here are a few online
      Message 2 of 15 , Jun 3, 2005
        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Mike Leavitt <ac998@l...> wrote:
        > Hello gich
        >
        > On 06/02/05, you wrote:
        >
        > > What's a theosophist?
        > > Gich
        > >
        > > ----- Original Message -----
        > > From: "Mike Leavitt" <ac998@l...>
        > > To: <gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com>
        > > Sent: Thursday, June 02, 2005 6:17 AM
        > > Subject: [Gnosticism2] Re: "accepting one's lot"
        >
        > It is enough to say, that under Karma and the Divine Plan, they
        think
        > perfect justice rules the world. I'm sure Cari can provide you with
        > some earlier discourse on this.
        >
        > Regards
        > --
        > Mike Leavitt ac998@l...


        You're kidding, right? :-D
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gnosticism2/message/10562


        I don't know if this will help, but here are a few online sites for
        starters:
        http://www.blavatsky.net/
        http://theosophy.org/
        http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/dp5/homepage.htm


        Cari
      • Gerry
        ... Thanks, Mike. That was my point exactly. We can appreciate the diversity of those early groups without losing sight of the fact that there actually were
        Message 3 of 15 , Jun 5, 2005
          --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Mike Leavitt <ac998@l...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > While for the Valentinians the universe had some redeming features as
          > a training ground, even for them the universe was a mistake, a big
          > mistake. . . .
          >
          > Regards
          > --
          > Mike Leavitt




          Thanks, Mike. That was my point exactly. We can appreciate the
          diversity of those early groups without losing sight of the fact that
          there actually were points of commonality between them——some very
          important points.

          To some of us, I suppose such considerations must seem like givens,
          but they apparently need to be stated here from time to time . . .
          to time . . . to time . . . to time.

          Gerry
        • Gerry
          ... Honestly, Gich, you need to know. At the very least, it s something you need to consider, and given that Gnostic material is replete with such
          Message 4 of 15 , Jun 5, 2005
            --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "gich morgan" <gich2@b...> wrote:
            >
            >
            > >>> . . . Suppose we accept that what you're suggesting is in line
            > >>> with what the Gnostics posited. Can you tell us where they
            > >>> outline this grand strategy . . . the divine PLAN behind
            > >>> creation? Seems to me it is generally described in terms of
            > >>> "error." What do you make of that?<<<
            >
            > I don't know.
            >



            Honestly, Gich, you need to know. At the very least, it's something
            you need to consider, and given that Gnostic material is replete with
            such descriptions, I'm not sure how it has eluded you thus far.

            I mentioned this quote from your "Harris" book back in April, but you
            might have missed it:

            >>>Gnostic cosmogony is noted for its elaborate cosmologies with
            multi-storeyed heavens and spheres ..... The myths are not to be
            interpreted in a literal way: the task is to penetrate the inner
            meaning the myth enshrines and seek to comprehend the truth.<<<
            ——http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gnosticism2/message/10919

            [That is actually very similar to the advice that Nick just gave you
            regarding the interpretation of "Thomas."]

            In the case of Error, you don't seem to have picked up on even
            the "literal" mention of it in the texts. I just don't see how you can
            hope to explore the esoteric nature of this material when even the
            exoteric isn't readily apparent.

            In the end, if it really floats your boat to believe that there is some
            comforting God up there (wherever you wish to compartmentalize him),
            that Man has a quadripartite nature, and Creation is part of some
            wonderful, perfect plan, then I hope it adds meaning to your life. If
            you truly wish to pursue the writings of those early Gnostics though,
            you may find it necessary to suspend some of your preconceptions.

            Gerry
          • marinas_snake
            If you truly wish to pursue the writings of those early Gnostics though, you may find it necessary to suspend some of your preconceptions. ... Suspending
            Message 5 of 15 , Jun 5, 2005
              "If you truly wish to pursue the writings of those early Gnostics
              though, you may find it necessary to suspend some of your
              preconceptions."
              >
              > Gerry


              Suspending preconceptions is not an easy thing to do though, is it?
              Anyone have any advice on how to accomplish that?
            • pmcvflag
              Marinas_snake ... Anyone have any advice on how to accomplish that?
              Message 6 of 15 , Jun 5, 2005
                Marinas_snake

                >>>"Suspending preconceptions is not an easy thing to do though, is it?
                Anyone have any advice on how to accomplish that?"<<<

                It IS hard... REALLY hard. I personally don't claim to completely
                attain it, and I am on record for pointing out the flaws of nearly
                every scholar on the subject for not attaining it. I think sometimes
                people even get the impression that I am some kind of pessimist who is
                overly ready to rip down everyone else's theories... but this is not
                really my intent. I simply think that a self aware attempt to
                understand this in and of itself is admirable, and that we should all
                be willing to admit our own failings in this area (scholors even MORE
                so).

                I can even tell you my own eisigetic leanings, as I am very aware of
                them. However, to some extent that is a subject for another group. My
                advice is this; understand the history! THEN, Understand the
                hermeneutics. And as you learn that history, continue to ask yourself
                if you are simply looking at it from a personal perspective, or if you
                are really understanding the intended communication. This is a double
                check, since anyone can claim to understand it in spirit. I don't
                agree with Gich that this "Gnosis" does not have an intellectual
                function... as you know. I think that this intellectual function is a
                ballance to the Sophia experience, and that they should work together.
                The Sophia fell without the Logos, so it seems that dealing with this
                subject on a logical and historical front is something that the
                Gnostics of old would have supported. Don't get me wrong, I am not
                saying that it is the only aspect... I am simply pointing out that it
                can be a way of testing the communication against our own eisegesis.

                So, the way to deal with the subject while suspending preconceptions
                seems to me to be aboutbacking off on our personal needs, and trying
                to understand if the message may have communicated something beyond
                the desire to prove our own observations. How do you feel about that?

                PMCV
              • lady_caritas
                ... or gods, ... and ... considered ... creation, some ... even the ... can hope to ... exoteric isn t ... over the ... itself. ... point ... Whether or not
                Message 7 of 15 , Jun 7, 2005
                  --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "gich morgan" <gich2@b...> wrote:
                  > Hey Gerry.
                  >
                  > (1) I don't think I've made myself clear. What I was trying to say
                  was this:
                  > if the ancient gnostics believed that there is (literally) a god,
                  or gods,
                  > that are responsible for the creation of the universe, the Earth
                  and
                  > mankind THEN it seems to me logical that the ancient gnostics
                  considered
                  > that the gods must have some purpose, some reason for the
                  creation, some
                  > plan.
                  >
                  > (2) >>>In the case of Error, you don't seem to have picked up on
                  even the
                  > "literal" mention of it in the texts. I just don't see how you
                  can hope to
                  > explore the esoteric nature of this material when even the
                  exoteric isn't
                  > readily apparent.<<<
                  >
                  > I need you to help me here Gerry. The word "error" crops up all
                  over the
                  > place in Harris, but I don't recall reading of it as a "concept" in
                  itself.
                  > Could you please enlarge on your comments as I don't understand the
                  point
                  > your making. :-)



                  Whether or not Gerry expands on his point, in the meantime, Gich,
                  here are a few references to read for starters, if you'd like,
                  regarding various schools or groupings of Gnosticism (Valentinian and
                  Sethian), which might help address things
                  like "creation," "error," "god," "demiurge," etc.:

                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                  Valentinian Gnosticism articles found in our "links" section I have
                  previously mentioned on this board (probably ad nauseum to people who
                  have been around a while) --

                  Sethians viewed demiurge as hostile, even evil, contrary to
                  Valentinians, who viewed demiurge as capricious, foolish, arrogant,
                  etc.:
                  http://www.gnosis.org/library/valentinus/Demiurge.htm

                  Brief summary of Valentinian theology:
                  http://www.gnosis.org/library/valentinus/Brief_Summary_Theology.htm

                  Valentinian theology in more detail:
                  http://www.gnosis.org/library/valentinus/Valentinian_Theology.htm

                  Discussion of Valentinian view of creation:
                  http://www.gnosis.org/library/valentinus/Valentinian_Creation.htm

                  Discussion of Sophia myth:
                  http://www.gnosis.org/library/valentinus/Sophia_Eve.htm

                  Discussion of "error" in Gospel of Truth:
                  http://www.gnosis.org/library/valentinus/Error_GTruth.htm

                  More articles, plus links to *actual source* writings from
                  Valentinian school.
                  http://www.gnosis.org/library/valentinus/index.html
                  http://www.gnosis.org/library/valentinus/Detailed_Articles.htm

                  IOW, articles and books give a view, but don't replace reading
                  original source material.

                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                  Also, for Sethian Gnosticism, check out --

                  Sethian original source writings and related articles:
                  http://jdt.unl.edu/

                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                  Cari
                • marinas_snake
                  ... it? ... sometimes ... is ... not ... all ... MORE ... of ... My ... yourself ... you ... double ... a ... together. ... this ... it ... preconceptions ...
                  Message 8 of 15 , Jun 7, 2005
                    --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                    > Marinas_snake
                    >
                    > >>>"Suspending preconceptions is not an easy thing to do though, is
                    it?
                    > Anyone have any advice on how to accomplish that?"<<<
                    >
                    > It IS hard... REALLY hard. I personally don't claim to completely
                    > attain it, and I am on record for pointing out the flaws of nearly
                    > every scholar on the subject for not attaining it. I think
                    sometimes
                    > people even get the impression that I am some kind of pessimist who
                    is
                    > overly ready to rip down everyone else's theories... but this is
                    not
                    > really my intent. I simply think that a self aware attempt to
                    > understand this in and of itself is admirable, and that we should
                    all
                    > be willing to admit our own failings in this area (scholors even
                    MORE
                    > so).
                    >
                    > I can even tell you my own eisigetic leanings, as I am very aware
                    of
                    > them. However, to some extent that is a subject for another group.
                    My
                    > advice is this; understand the history! THEN, Understand the
                    > hermeneutics. And as you learn that history, continue to ask
                    yourself
                    > if you are simply looking at it from a personal perspective, or if
                    you
                    > are really understanding the intended communication. This is a
                    double
                    > check, since anyone can claim to understand it in spirit. I don't
                    > agree with Gich that this "Gnosis" does not have an intellectual
                    > function... as you know. I think that this intellectual function is
                    a
                    > ballance to the Sophia experience, and that they should work
                    together.
                    > The Sophia fell without the Logos, so it seems that dealing with
                    this
                    > subject on a logical and historical front is something that the
                    > Gnostics of old would have supported. Don't get me wrong, I am not
                    > saying that it is the only aspect... I am simply pointing out that
                    it
                    > can be a way of testing the communication against our own eisegesis.
                    >
                    > So, the way to deal with the subject while suspending
                    preconceptions
                    > seems to me to be aboutbacking off on our personal needs, and
                    trying
                    > to understand if the message may have communicated something beyond
                    > the desire to prove our own observations. How do you feel about
                    that?
                    >
                    > PMCV
                  • marinas_snake
                    ... it? ... sometimes ... is ... not ... all ... MORE ... of ... My ... yourself ... you ... double ... a ... together. ... this ... it ... preconceptions ...
                    Message 9 of 15 , Jun 7, 2005
                      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                      > Marinas_snake
                      >
                      > >>>"Suspending preconceptions is not an easy thing to do though, is
                      it?
                      > Anyone have any advice on how to accomplish that?"<<<
                      >
                      > It IS hard... REALLY hard. I personally don't claim to completely
                      > attain it, and I am on record for pointing out the flaws of nearly
                      > every scholar on the subject for not attaining it. I think
                      sometimes
                      > people even get the impression that I am some kind of pessimist who
                      is
                      > overly ready to rip down everyone else's theories... but this is
                      not
                      > really my intent. I simply think that a self aware attempt to
                      > understand this in and of itself is admirable, and that we should
                      all
                      > be willing to admit our own failings in this area (scholors even
                      MORE
                      > so).
                      >
                      > I can even tell you my own eisigetic leanings, as I am very aware
                      of
                      > them. However, to some extent that is a subject for another group.
                      My
                      > advice is this; understand the history! THEN, Understand the
                      > hermeneutics. And as you learn that history, continue to ask
                      yourself
                      > if you are simply looking at it from a personal perspective, or if
                      you
                      > are really understanding the intended communication. This is a
                      double
                      > check, since anyone can claim to understand it in spirit. I don't
                      > agree with Gich that this "Gnosis" does not have an intellectual
                      > function... as you know. I think that this intellectual function is
                      a
                      > ballance to the Sophia experience, and that they should work
                      together.
                      > The Sophia fell without the Logos, so it seems that dealing with
                      this
                      > subject on a logical and historical front is something that the
                      > Gnostics of old would have supported. Don't get me wrong, I am not
                      > saying that it is the only aspect... I am simply pointing out that
                      it
                      > can be a way of testing the communication against our own eisegesis.
                      >
                      > So, the way to deal with the subject while suspending
                      preconceptions
                      > seems to me to be aboutbacking off on our personal needs, and
                      trying
                      > to understand if the message may have communicated something beyond
                      > the desire to prove our own observations. How do you feel about
                      that?
                      >
                      > PMCV


                      OOps, sorry I hit the "send" button before I even replied on the last
                      post.

                      Thanks for answering my question. I think it would be a real
                      challenge.

                      Marina
                    • Gerry
                      ... Honestly, Gich, it is apparent that you haven t understood many of the points made since you got here. What is truly tragic about the whole thing is that
                      Message 10 of 15 , Jun 10, 2005
                        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "gich morgan" <gich2@b...> wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        > I need you to help me here Gerry. The word "error" crops up all
                        > over the place in Harris, but I don't recall reading of it as
                        > a "concept" in itself. Could you please enlarge on your comments as
                        > I don't understand the point your making. :-)


                        Honestly, Gich, it is apparent that you haven't understood many of
                        the points made since you got here. What is truly tragic about the
                        whole thing is that your understanding of Gnosticism actually seems
                        to have declined over recent months.

                        If you understand the concept of the word "error," then you have a
                        point of reference by which you might attempt to understand why the
                        Gnostics might have depicted their creation myths in this way. You
                        could say that it was the "opposite" of how the same story was
                        portrayed by the orthodox. The latter maintained that God's creation
                        was perfect from the start and that Man screwed it up, but the
                        Gnostics posited that the physical creation was NOT the result
                        of "God's" will——that it was, in fact, a mistake.

                        Perhaps you can see how different these things are:

                        • something done purposely and intentionally; a Divine plan.
                        • something done accidentally——in error; an abomination.


                        > I don't personally believe any of this Gerry. I've just been trying
                        > to produce models that help me make sense of gnosticism.
                        >
                        > Gich



                        I know you're trying to produce models, and you're looking at the
                        entire phenomenon quite concretely while you do so. BTW, that is not
                        a compliment. Of course, neither is it an attack; it is merely an
                        observation of your tendencies to pick apart details in an extremely
                        obsessive manner——to the point that you often miss the bigger picture.

                        If you were able to step back far enough to actually see the subject
                        of your focus, you might realize that there is probably a reason that
                        those early Gnostics chose to represent the Creation story in the way
                        that they did. If they believed that God had a purpose for Man and a
                        place for us in this ostensibly perfect world (again, the belief of
                        the orthodox already), then why would they have been at odds with
                        those mainstream believers in the first place? Why create a story
                        antithetical to theirs?

                        While you may think you're trying to construct a model of Gnosticism,
                        you are actually composing something that is at odds with the very
                        system you are striving to represent.

                        Gerry

                        BTW, I'm well aware that you claim not to be an orthodox Christian,
                        Gich. I heard you very plainly when you commented early on that you
                        did NOT have a background in that tradition. And yet, you DO seem to
                        have a propensity for viewing this material through the same
                        mindset. Again, just an observation, but one that may have meaning
                        to some.
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