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Gnosticism, Pagans, and Aleister Crowley

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  • frendlyfascist
    I, being the very curious and spirit-thirshty person I am, decided to do some research on Aleister Crowley. I found a website on his religion, Thelema. From
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 8, 2005
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      I, being the very curious and spirit-thirshty person I am, decided to
      do some research on Aleister Crowley. I found a website on his
      religion, Thelema. From the website I linked to the page of a group
      called Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica. The Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica
      perform a Gnostic Mass that written up by Crowley himself which is
      very pagan in nature and probably originated from Hermetic and
      Christian traditions. I dont know why this should come as a suprise to
      me, I just never knew that Ceromonial Magick had much connection with
      Gnosticism ,accept with Alchemists.But ever since I discoverd this
      connection Ive noticed a connection with Satanism as well. Lucifer,
      The Light-Bearer, Snake in the garden who tells humans they can become
      gods.
    • pmcvflag
      Friendlyfascist ... decided to do some research on Aleister Crowley. I found a website on his religion, Thelema. From the website I linked to the page of a
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 11, 2005
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        Friendlyfascist

        >>>"I, being the very curious and spirit-thirshty person I am,
        decided to do some research on Aleister Crowley. I found a website
        on his
        religion, Thelema. From the website I linked to the page of a group
        called Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica. The Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica
        perform a Gnostic Mass that written up by Crowley himself which is
        very pagan in nature and probably originated from Hermetic and
        Christian traditions. I dont know why this should come as a suprise
        to
        me, I just never knew that Ceromonial Magick had much connection with
        Gnosticism ,accept with Alchemists.But ever since I discoverd this
        connection Ive noticed a connection with Satanism as well. Lucifer,
        The Light-Bearer, Snake in the garden who tells humans they can
        become
        gods."<<<<

        I think we should be very careful about presenting certain similar
        aspects between movements as any kind of "connection". What I mean
        by that is, fromt he historical perspective there is no connection
        between the "Magick" of Crowley and Gnosticism. I also mean this on
        a deeper level as well. Besides the lack of historical connection, I
        also believe there is a sharp philosophical destinction we should be
        careful to look at.

        Crowey was interested in the historical Gnostics, that is well
        known. He also seems to have considered himself to be something of a
        prophet re-awakening that historical Gnosticism in the new modern
        venue. I believe he got this notion from the OTO, which seems to
        have considered itself to be an organization related to historical
        Gnosticism. The problem with all of this is that these practitioners
        did not seem to have a very firm grasp of what the historical
        Gnostics actually practiced and believed. This is not meant to say
        that these groups may not be valid for those who are in them.....
        just to say these groups are not technically part of "Gnosticism"
        any more than they are an accurate recreation of ancient Egyptian
        beliefs (another thing they draw off for influence but are unrelated
        to).

        When it comes to the issue of Satan and Lucifer (which are not
        necessarily the same thing), we have to be even more careful. The
        fact that some Gnostic texts (not all) viewed the serpent in the
        Garden as good does not make for much of a connection with modern
        understanding of the myth. For one, the texts that do see the
        serpent as good to not equate the serpent with "Satan". In fact, off
        the top of my head I can't think of any Gnostic texts that even
        mention "Satan". We have to understand that in those days it was not
        an obvious connection between the serpent and Satan as it is for
        modern Christians.

        Because this group tries to understand the historical beliefs, we
        try to be very careful to be slow and skeptical when it comes to
        generalizations and connections based on mere surface similarities.
        Sometimes what looks like an obvious similarity is actually a point
        of great difference between two movements.

        PMCV
      • Gerry
        ... Of course, we have yet to see the finished product, but once the Gospel of Judas is fully available in reliable form for our inspection, we may well find
        Message 3 of 3 , Jul 12, 2005
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          --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
          >
          > [...]
          > When it comes to the issue of Satan and Lucifer (which are not
          > necessarily the same thing), we have to be even more careful. The
          > fact that some Gnostic texts (not all) viewed the serpent in the
          > Garden as good does not make for much of a connection with modern
          > understanding of the myth. For one, the texts that do see the
          > serpent as good to not equate the serpent with "Satan". In fact,
          > off the top of my head I can't think of any Gnostic texts that even
          > mention "Satan". We have to understand that in those days it was
          > not an obvious connection between the serpent and Satan as it is
          > for modern Christians.
          >


          Of course, we have yet to see the finished product, but once the
          Gospel of Judas is fully available in reliable form for our
          inspection, we may well find use of "Satan" near the opening of those
          pages. As you may recall from the facsimiles we've seen, it appears
          at least once as a parenthetical notation in the drafts "released"
          thus far (along with other Greek terms NOT of Coptic origin), so I
          would assume that the name actually appears in the text. As you
          point out though, that usage still portrays this "Satanas" in a very
          negative light, and as clearly NOT stemming from the "family line" of
          the Father and Allogenes.

          Gerry
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