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Re: "accepting one's lot"

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  • 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 1 of 15 , Jun 5, 2005
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      --- 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 2 of 15 , Jun 5, 2005
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        "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 3 of 15 , Jun 5, 2005
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          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 4 of 15 , Jun 7, 2005
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            --- 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 5 of 15 , Jun 7, 2005
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              --- 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 6 of 15 , Jun 7, 2005
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                --- 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 7 of 15 , Jun 10, 2005
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                  --- 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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