>>>"I get fairly persnickety about words"<<<GOOD, then you will surely be understanding for what I am about to
>>>"Enlightenment means enlightenment for me. "Blinded By TheLight" 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 ifinstead 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
- Hello lady_caritas
On 08/12/05, you wrote:
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "janahooks" <janahooks@y...>
>> Hello, Mike.
>>> Well the theosophists would say (recasting their termanalogy into
>>> gnostic) that at death only the portion of soul useful to the
>>> is saved, the rest is left to decay.
>> Now, that's something to think about: what part of my soul is
>> to my spirit? I might not sleep if I think about that. ;)
> 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:
> 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?
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.
Mike Leavitt ac998_@_lafn._org remove -'s