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The Mind's Eye

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  • mercyboxfan
    I guess what I am trying to do is my feeble attempt at distancing Gnosticism from the orthodox Christianity that I grew up with. I don t want to fall victim to
    Message 1 of 10 , Sep 3, 2005
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      I guess what I am trying to do is my feeble attempt at distancing
      Gnosticism from the orthodox Christianity that I grew up with. I don't
      want to fall victim to just replacing one crutch for another. It seems
      to me if there are no angels, no demons, no devil, literaly, then there
      is no literal demiurge or sophia or aeons. I understand and appreciate
      the fact that Gnostics use these myths as metaphors and the
      fundamentalist are all together more literal, but still it seems lonely
      sometimes that there is no Sophia to cry to for wisdom, just ourselves.
      I think that my most convenient way of understanding the Gnostic myths
      is through my only and literal learned behaviour with orthodox
      Christianity. I am so sorry to be so confused.

      Thanks for any input,
      Anne Marie
    • j.j.salt
      Dear Anne Marie, There is no need to apologize for confusion. Confusion is always the first stage of learning, because confusion simply means that one is
      Message 2 of 10 , Sep 4, 2005
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        Dear Anne Marie,
         
        There is no need to apologize for confusion.  Confusion is always the first stage of learning, because confusion simply means that one is aware of certain things that seem to be disparate and contradictory.  To get out of confusion, we need to integrate those apparently contradictory ideas into a new synthesis. 
         
        Of course, it has been my experience that getting out of one confusion inevitably leads me into another confusion, but that is the cycle of learning that we sign up for when we take the ride on this plane. 
         
        One thing that helps me in dealing with the "is this real or is it a metaphor" problem is what I call the "two-fold realization," which consists of a two-step logical proposition: 
         
        Because the Absolute realm deals with infinity, and while our consciousness is tied closely to limited three-dimensionally-oriented brains we are not capable of comprehending infinity, everything we say about the Absolute is therefore a metaphor. 
         
        So whenever I have a question in my mind as to whether something is "real" or a "metaphor," the answer is, simply, "Yes." 
         
        If you need a literal Sophia, and you don't find one, then you need to create one.  As the old saying goes, "If God did not exist we would be obliged to create Him."  (Who did say that, anyway?  I'm blocking who it was.  If anybody knows, I'd appreciate being reminded.)
         
        In Unity,
        j.j.salt


        mercyboxfan <mercyboxfan@...> wrote:
        I guess what I am trying to do is my feeble attempt at distancing
        Gnosticism from the orthodox Christianity that I grew up with. I don't
        want to fall victim to just replacing one crutch for another. It seems
        to me if there are no angels, no demons, no devil, literaly, then there
        is no literal demiurge or sophia or aeons. I understand and appreciate
        the fact that Gnostics use these myths as metaphors and the
        fundamentalist are all together more literal, but still it seems lonely
        sometimes that there is no Sophia to cry to for wisdom, just ourselves.
        I think that my most convenient way of understanding the Gnostic myths
        is through my only and literal learned behaviour with orthodox
        Christianity. I am so sorry to be so confused.

        Thanks for any input,
        Anne Marie





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      • Tsharpmin7@aol.com
        In a message dated 9/4/2005 6:52:28 AM Central Standard Time, mercyboxfan@yahoo.com writes: I guess what I am trying to do is my feeble attempt at distancing
        Message 3 of 10 , Sep 4, 2005
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          In a message dated 9/4/2005 6:52:28 AM Central Standard Time, mercyboxfan@... writes:
          I guess what I am trying to do is my feeble attempt at distancing
          Gnosticism from the orthodox Christianity that I grew up with. I don't
          want to fall victim to just replacing one crutch for another. It seems
          to me if there are no angels, no demons, no devil, literally, then there
          is no literal demiurge or sophia or aeons. I understand and appreciate
          the fact that Gnostics use these myths as metaphors and the
          fundamentalist are all together more literal, but still it seems lonely
          sometimes that there is no Sophia to cry to for wisdom, just ourselves.
          I think that my most convenient way of understanding the Gnostic myths
          is through my only and literal learned behavior with orthodox
          Christianity. I am so sorry to be so confused.

          Thanks for any input,
          Anne Marie
          hello, Anne Marie.  i don't know how long you've been in the game, so to speak, but it appears to me you have a budding awareness of the limitations of orthodoxy -- be it Christian or Gnostic -- as well as a desire to transcend the ordinary modes of perception and being.  i admire this in you.  your confusion may be no more than a consequence of your chosen journey which, let's face it, flies against the prevailing winds of a culture that treasures artificial certainties and sleepy beliefs over the triumph of wisdom and the virtue of those who seek, persevere and see.  that is the way of intolerance, the blind god, the Demiurge. 
           
          you can be in the world but not of the world:  cultivate positive friendships and lose the negative relationships, surround yourself with joyful people -- people who actively and effectively work for a better world; look outward and love like its nobody's business.  this is virtuously being in the world.  yet work equally hard to find and recognize your true self and your connection to the Beloved.  persevere.  discover the wisdom that is not of this world yet resides with you always.
           
          continue to cultivate your "Mind's Eye."  continue to reject, and go beyond, the carrot and the stick, the fear and hope which are but the secondary and immature vehicles with which most people approach the Beloved.  that is a path of unworthiness.  instead "quench the fires of Hell and burn Heaven, so that both these barriers to understanding shall vanish from the eyes of pilgrims, so that they may seek Truth without hope or fear (Rabia)."
           
          your friend,
           
          Crispin Sainte III
        • lady_caritas
          ... is real or a metaphor, the answer is, simply, Yes. ... to create one. As the old saying goes, If God did not exist we would be obliged to create
          Message 4 of 10 , Sep 4, 2005
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            --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "j.j.salt" <jj_salt@y...> wrote:

            >
            > So whenever I have a question in my mind as to whether something
            is "real" or a "metaphor," the answer is, simply, "Yes."
            >
            > If you need a literal Sophia, and you don't find one, then you need
            to create one. As the old saying goes, "If God did not exist we
            would be obliged to create Him." (Who did say that, anyway? I'm
            blocking who it was. If anybody knows, I'd appreciate being
            reminded.)
            >
            > In Unity,
            > j.j.salt


            Hi, Durak.

            That would be Voltaire:
            http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=776218


            Cari
          • lady_caritas
            ... need ... By the way, where on earth did you pick up your nickname Durak ? You do *not at all* appear to be the fool. ;-) Cari
            Message 5 of 10 , Sep 4, 2005
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              --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, lady_caritas <no_reply@y...>
              wrote:
              > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "j.j.salt" <jj_salt@y...> wrote:
              >
              > >
              > > So whenever I have a question in my mind as to whether something
              > is "real" or a "metaphor," the answer is, simply, "Yes."
              > >
              > > If you need a literal Sophia, and you don't find one, then you
              need
              > to create one. As the old saying goes, "If God did not exist we
              > would be obliged to create Him." (Who did say that, anyway? I'm
              > blocking who it was. If anybody knows, I'd appreciate being
              > reminded.)
              > >
              > > In Unity,
              > > j.j.salt
              >
              >
              > Hi, Durak.
              >
              > That would be Voltaire:
              > http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=776218
              >
              >
              > Cari

              By the way, where on earth did you pick up your nickname "Durak"?
              You do *not at all* appear to be the "fool." ;-)

              Cari
            • Nick Lawrance
              From Anne Marie I guess what I am trying to do is my feeble attempt at distancing Gnosticism from the orthodox Christianity that I grew up with. I don t want
              Message 6 of 10 , Sep 4, 2005
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                From Anne Marie
                I guess what I am trying to do is my feeble attempt at distancing
                Gnosticism from the orthodox Christianity that I grew up with. I don't
                want to fall victim to just replacing one crutch for another. It seems
                to me if there are no angels, no demons, no devil, literaly, then there
                is no literal demiurge or sophia or aeons. I understand and appreciate
                the fact that Gnostics use these myths as metaphors and the
                fundamentalist are all together more literal, but still it seems lonely
                sometimes that there is no Sophia to cry to for wisdom, just ourselves.
                I think that my most convenient way of understanding the Gnostic myths
                is through my only and literal learned behaviour with orthodox
                Christianity. I am so sorry to be so confused.

                Thanks for any input,
                Anne Marie

                ...........................................

                I think the Gnostics tended to see a reality expressed in myth and metaphor to explain the sorrowful condition we find ourselves in; I obtained this for a website dealing with Valentinan ideas:

                "They believed that the experience expressed through the myth was real and that through visionary experiences (gnosis) and ritual one could experience the events it described. Thus the "myth" is not merely a teaching story. It is a metaphorical description of the experience of redemption."

                As for wisdom not being around, it is there but not to be cried upon; Stevan Davies has to say concerning the Gospel of Thomas especially in reference to saying 14 that turns completely upside down the traditional viewpoints of  orthodox Christian salvation: "Thomas consistently expresses confidence in the human ability to discover hidden truth without any direct divine help or intervention. If you rely on divine help through prayer, or on repentance through fasting, or on obedience through acts of charity, you are going in the wrong direction."

                Nick

                 

                 

              • j.j.salt
                Thanks for the source of the quote. I m sure I knew that it was he who said that, some years ago, but I had long since forgotten. As for the spiritual name
                Message 7 of 10 , Sep 4, 2005
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                  Thanks for the source of the quote.  I'm sure I knew that it was he who said that, some years ago, but I had long since forgotten. 
                   
                  As for the spiritual name "Durak," I recently told a correspondent on another discussion list who speaks Russian, "Ya Durak, potomu chto Ya nichevo ne znayu."  If you don't happen to be fluent in Russian, that means, basically, "I am Fool because I know nothing."  The more I have learned, the more I have come to realize how much I don't know.  I took that name, as I did the more obscure j.j.salt, for a variety of reasons, but partly my inspiration was the learned professor of Zen, Daisetz T. Suzuki, who took the name "Daisetz" also voluntarily, and it translates from the Japanese as, "Know nothing." 
                  Regards,
                  Durak, aka j.j.salt
                   
                  P.S.  If you are curious about the reasons for my taking on the name, j.j.salt, I may share that some time, but don't feel quite like giving that up yet.  What is interesting and surprising to me is that both "Durak" and "j.j.salt" are, apparently, rather popular choices for screen names and e-mail addresses.  The reason this is true for Durak is readily apparent, to me, but I can't imagine how anyone else came to the name "j.j.salt," since this arose from entirely idiosyncratic reasons. 

                  lady_caritas <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                  --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, lady_caritas <no_reply@y...>
                  wrote:
                  > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "j.j.salt" <jj_salt@y...> wrote:
                  >
                  > > 
                  > > So whenever I have a question in my mind as to whether something
                  > is "real" or a "metaphor," the answer is, simply, "Yes." 
                  > > 
                  > > If you need a literal Sophia, and you don't find one, then you
                  need
                  > to create one.  As the old saying goes, "If God did not exist we
                  > would be obliged to create Him."  (Who did say that, anyway?  I'm
                  > blocking who it was.  If anybody knows, I'd appreciate being
                  > reminded.)
                  > > 
                  > > In Unity,
                  > > j.j.salt
                  >
                  >
                  > Hi, Durak. 
                  >
                  > That would be Voltaire:
                  > http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=776218
                  >
                  >
                  > Cari

                  By the way, where on earth did you pick up your nickname "Durak"? 
                  You do *not at all* appear to be the "fool."  ;-)

                  Cari


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                • j.j.salt
                  That attitude--that just as the human mind is the creation of God, so too God is the creation of the human mind--is one with which I feel a great deal of
                  Message 8 of 10 , Sep 4, 2005
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                    That attitude--that just as the human mind is the creation of God, so too God is the creation of the human mind--is one with which I feel a great deal of resonance.  I do see, at a basic level, creation as God creating not-God, which then evolves to become God, although it has had God within all the time.  Who creates whom is thus, in my mind, a "chicken and egg" kind of question. 
                     
                    Regards,
                    j.j.salt

                    Mike Leavitt <ac998@...> wrote, in part:
                    Well it wasn't him who said it first, but it sounds a lot like the
                    attitude of Eliphas Levi Zahid, the French occultist.  More like the
                    quote (again while it might have been Voltare, I'm not sure) God
                    created man and man returned the favor.  That is more like Levi.

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




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                  • Mike Leavitt
                    Hello j.j.salt ... Well it wasn t him who said it first, but it sounds a lot like the attitude of Eliphas Levi Zahid, the French occultist. More like the
                    Message 9 of 10 , Sep 4, 2005
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                      Hello j.j.salt

                      On 09/04/05, you wrote:

                      > Dear Anne Marie,
                      >
                      > There is no need to apologize for confusion. Confusion is always the
                      > first stage of learning, because confusion simply means that one is
                      > aware of certain things that seem to be disparate and contradictory.
                      > To get out of confusion, we need to integrate those apparently
                      > contradictory ideas into a new synthesis.
                      >
                      > Of course, it has been my experience that getting out of one
                      > confusion inevitably leads me into another confusion, but that is
                      > the cycle of learning that we sign up for when we take the ride on
                      > this plane.
                      >
                      > One thing that helps me in dealing with the "is this real or is it a
                      > metaphor" problem is what I call the "two-fold realization," which
                      > consists of a two-step logical proposition:
                      >
                      > Because the Absolute realm deals with infinity, and while our
                      > consciousness is tied closely to limited
                      > three-dimensionally-oriented brains we are not capable of
                      > comprehending infinity, everything we say about the Absolute is
                      > therefore a metaphor.
                      >
                      > So whenever I have a question in my mind as to whether something is
                      > "real" or a "metaphor," the answer is, simply, "Yes."
                      >
                      > If you need a literal Sophia, and you don't find one, then you need
                      > to create one. As the old saying goes, "If God did not exist we
                      > would be obliged to create Him." (Who did say that, anyway? I'm
                      > blocking who it was. If anybody knows, I'd appreciate being
                      > reminded.)
                      >
                      > In Unity,
                      > j.j.salt

                      Well it wasn't him who said it first, but it sounds a lot like the
                      attitude of Eliphas Levi Zahid, the French occultist. More like the
                      quote (again while it might have been Voltare, I'm not sure) God
                      created man and man returned the favor. That is more like Levi.

                      Regards
                      --
                      Mike Leavitt ac998_@_lafn._org remove -'s
                    • Mike Leavitt
                      Hello lady_caritas ... OK I was right, but you had a more accurate quote, though my version has been uttered before, but the idea was Voltaire. Regards -- Mike
                      Message 10 of 10 , Sep 4, 2005
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                        Hello lady_caritas

                        On 09/04/05, you wrote:

                        > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "j.j.salt" <jj_salt@y...> wrote:
                        >
                        >>
                        >> So whenever I have a question in my mind as to whether something
                        > is "real" or a "metaphor," the answer is, simply, "Yes."
                        >>
                        >> If you need a literal Sophia, and you don't find one, then you need
                        > to create one. As the old saying goes, "If God did not exist we
                        > would be obliged to create Him." (Who did say that, anyway? I'm
                        > blocking who it was. If anybody knows, I'd appreciate being
                        > reminded.)
                        >>
                        >> In Unity,
                        >> j.j.salt
                        >
                        >
                        > Hi, Durak.
                        >
                        > That would be Voltaire:
                        > http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=776218
                        >
                        >
                        > Cari

                        OK I was right, but you had a more accurate quote, though my version
                        has been uttered before, but the idea was Voltaire.

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