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Re: Ghosts

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  • pmcvflag
    Felix ... GOOD, then you will surely be understanding for what I am about to say.... ... Light was a very descriptive tune.
    Message 1 of 61 , Aug 1, 2005
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      Felix

      >>>"I get fairly persnickety about words"<<<

      GOOD, then you will surely be understanding for what I am about to
      say....

      >>>"Enlightenment means enlightenment for me. "Blinded By The
      Light" was a very descriptive tune."<<<

      Sure, but lets not forget that "enlightenment" and "gnosis" are two
      different words that may not be synonyms. I just say that to help
      inject the story you relate (at Fort Bragg) with points that may
      help clarify the more specific meanings of the terms in this group.

      >>>"So, I ask you this, would it have made any difference if
      instead of the preacher handing him a Bible, a Hindu guru
      had handed him the Bhagavad Gita; or a Muslim imam had
      handed him a copy of the Koran; or ol' Adolph had handed him a copy
      of Mein Kampt; or Mao Tse Tung handed him a 'little red book', would
      it matter at this fragile point in his life?"<<<

      I think you demonstrate my intended point quite well there. At this
      point in his life he has had an experience.... but it obviously has
      not included what the Gnostics of old called "Gnosis". He has only
      seen the light through the lense of the fallen Sophia and he is now
      the soul running around looking for a mate to explain his drive (to
      use the images from Exegesis on the Soul). Not all will find that
      true mate. There are many kinds of mystical experiences, some
      subtle, some mind-blowing. The "light" manifests without context or
      Gnosis, and this is what led to the creation of the Demiurge.

      Recently in George's club (which I see you are a member of also) I
      was talking to Steve (who is also a member here) about the
      destinction between docetism and adoptionism in Gnostic texts. As
      you may know, the word "docetism" refers to the belief that Jesus
      (or Christ, which is not always the same thing) was not a physical
      being, but instead an "image" (from the Greek "Doka"
      meaning "image"). While some groups, like the Marcionites, believed
      that Jesus' image was an actual historical event of spirit being
      manifest directly into the world, I don't believe that this was the
      general Gnostic view. Many people use the word "Docetism" as
      something in opposition to other theories of the soteriological
      manifestation, but I also believe this misses the point intended by
      the people the word was coined to represent. In fact, when
      understood from the initiatory framework (and "Gnosis" IS an
      initiatory term) adoptionism and docetism can be expressed side by
      side. One is the image manifest as the teaching, the method TO
      attaining various levels of Gnosis, while the other is the word made
      flesh... so to speak.... in the initiate.

      What does that have to do with my point? Before I go there let me
      also bring in one more element.

      The reason I felt it important to point out that I don't think Gerry
      meant to imply that Gnostics were solipsists, is that Gnostics have
      generally found solipsism to be repulsive. The seperation from the
      spirit, the hylic notion of the world from only a subjective and
      perceptual basis, is something that is the core idea that Gnosticism
      is meant to fight against. Waking up from the mere subjectivity into
      a larger objective perspective is a constant theme. Yes, it is true
      that there is also the admonition to look inward, but that look
      inside is meant to be a search for the connection to something
      beyond the self.

      So here is where my two points come together. You ask if it would
      have made any difference what text he may have found in his hands. I
      say, yes it could. Not becuase the text given him is "right", but
      because his experience did not include meaning, so he is now going
      to put it in the easiest context he can find (generally the most
      familiar one). It is one thing to value deeply the experiences we
      have had... and it is another to assume we know what it means.

      I don't mean to keep seeming adversarial, but are you really sure
      you treated this fellow well? I have no qualms being a teacher of,
      say, guitar playing (I'm pretty good if I say so myself *lol*), or
      in the case of this club, perhaps a little bit of a teacher of the
      history and philosophy of the traditional Gnostics, these are just
      demonstratable things, skills, knowledges. By the same token, I have
      no problem admitting when somebody else has a greater grasp of them
      than I. But communication of personal spiritual experiences is a
      different matter entirely. We often think our mystical experience is
      the goal of the spiritual journey.... but from the gnostic
      perspective it is only one of a number of beginnings. (sorry if I am
      not understanding you fairly here, but it sounds like you may have
      come across with a bit of the ol' "guru complex"... and I would have
      run too).

      PMCV
    • Mike Leavitt
      Hello lady_caritas ... I can t give you citations, but some of the writings specifically say if you don t make it you are turned back to earth. I read such a
      Message 61 of 61 , Aug 12, 2005
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        Hello lady_caritas

        On 08/12/05, you wrote:

        > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "janahooks" <janahooks@y...>
        > wrote:
        >> Hello, Mike.
        >>
        >>> Well the theosophists would say (recasting their termanalogy into
        >>> gnostic) that at death only the portion of soul useful to the
        > spirit
        >>> is saved, the rest is left to decay.
        >>
        >> Now, that's something to think about: what part of my soul is
        > *useful*
        >> to my spirit? I might not sleep if I think about that. ;)
        >>
        >> jana
        >
        >
        > Say, Mike, to tie in Plotinus and the Enneads that Steve brought up,
        > I didn't know that Plotinus was a "Great Theosophist." ;-) lol Per:
        > http://www.wisdomworld.org/setting/plotinus.html
        >
        > Anyway, if you scroll about halfway down the page linked above,
        > Plotinus and Porphyry, have a dialogue about the soul.
        >
        > Plotinus: "Every soul has a lower part turned toward the body, and a
        > higher part turned toward the divine intelligence."
        >
        >
        > Anyone want to comment about how the Gnostics viewed "soul" and its
        > relation to death? (Are we just talking about physical death here?)
        > The Gnostics seemed to be more preoccupied with cosmogony,...
        > beginnings, origins, reunification, as I believe Gerry pointed out
        > earlier. Do the Gnostics have anything to specifically say about
        > reincarnation, or not?
        >
        > Cari

        I can't give you citations, but some of the writings specifically say
        if you don't make it you are turned back to earth. I read such a
        passage here just a few weeks ago. May have been Phillip, but I
        can't remember. No idea of karma there though.

        Regards
        --
        Mike Leavitt ac998_@_lafn._org remove -'s
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