Re: Limited reading, have questions
- Hey Chuck
>>>I have been reading the online recources lately that define anddiscuss religious Gnosticism. Namely, I have read through much
of "Gnosis.org" and a few other sites. As such, I wouldn't call
myself a particularly well-read persron with regards to Gnostic Lit.
Still, I think that I have a fairly decent idea of what Gnosticism
means today. As such, there are a few questions I would like to
I just want to take a moment to point out that Gnosis.org is a very
useful site.... BUT, it does not claim to present the views
of "Gnosticism". This group, on the other hand, is meant to deal
with historical perspectives a bit more directly.
>>>Before asking them, however, I would like to clarify a few thingsthat define the nature and purpose of my inquiry: a) I am not a
Christian seeking to declaim against Gnosticism, call it heresy or
any suchlike; b) I am not particularly religous at this moment, nor
am I, as the saying is, "spiritual"; I believe in God but do not
claim to have any knowledge about him/her/it. For all I know, God
either hates us, loves us, a combination of the two, or else he is
completely indifferent to us; c) I am basically a fascinated
observer, intrigued by Gnosticism, perhaps considering a conversion,
yet remaining skeptical, as I am with religions of any kind.<<<
Actually, it would be perfectly fine if you were a Christian wanting
to put Gnosticism down... as long as it took place on your own time.
There are many people here for many different reasons. From the
technical perspective, none of them are part of the historical
cateogry of "Gnosticism". There are Christians here, historians,
linguists, philosophers, and even some modern people who feel
sympatico with the historical Gnostics and have come to agree with
them. I personally have no concern with what the members here
believe in their personal spiritual lives.
>>>1) Is the "Unknown Father God" considered to be AbsolutelyPerfect? If so, what is the standard definition of "perfection" for
Gnosticism? Is the "Unknown Father God" at all like Descartes idea
of God as an "Ontological God", meaning the most perfect being
I see that others here have already answered this, but I just wanted
to repeat and throw in my 2 pesos. No, the Gnostic conception of
spirituality is not like Decartes'. In fact, one could very rightly
question whether some Gnostics had a "God" at all. Yes, they use the
term, but they qualify it. There is a lower thing, a "Second Father"
that perhaps could be something a little more like various mystical
notions of "God", and that could, in some ways, be compared to the
Cartesian view... or more directly it would be Plato's "Unmoved
Mover". The high spiritual source, on the other hand, is not exactly
a being and can't be accurately talked about using any language...
>>>2) Which is more perfect: A) A fruit seed which never whithers,decays, or becomes unwholesome in any way, regardless of age, or B)
a fruit seed which decays after a few months and becomes infertile?
Is that meant to evoke a personal response? or does it have
something to do with your question concerning the Gnostic
cosmoconception? I think what you may have seen from the more
Gnostic perspective is that a seed is not perfect either way.
Assuming you are using the seed as an analogy with the Gnostic
spiritual source, I would point out that it isn't a helpful analogy
in this case. I think it would serve more to confuse the issue than
to clarify it.
The Gnostic mythology deals with a philosophical problem that has
not been answered to this very day. The Gnostics used a late
Platonist model that is finding a bit of a revitalization in modern
times because a number of mathmaticians and physicists have been
influenced by it. The problem is this... how does one move from
higher forms of infinity to lesser forms, and what does this concept
imply about us humans here on earth?
In some of the most important examples of the Gnostic text, the
Gnostic spiritual source is not represented as connected directly
with the lesser infinities, and those lesser infinite sources are
not directly connected with the universe. So, neither of the
two "Fathers" are the source of creation, in these cases. Other
texts deal with the subject a little differently.
I don't know if that is what you were looking for conversation
about. Feel free to put the question another way if I misunderstand.
- Hey David
>>>wow, your questions really sparked some thought in my head, Ineed to ask ya first. Did Early "Gnostics" really think and speak in
allegorical terms? Cause if so that may answer a lot but only open
more questions to debate. very good questions at that.<<<
Thanks, glad you liked the questions :) As Lady Cari states, there
is evidence in the original Gnostic writings for allegorical
hermeneutic. Part of the point I was trying to bring up was exactly
where this should be applied. In other words... Philip, the
Tripartite Tractate, and other texts state directly that there is
allegory (so there is no question on that front), but exactly where
and how it is applied is very open to discussion.
In this particular case, I was asking if you think that that
allegory extends to the notion of the Demiurge or not. Let me also
point out that the idea that something may literally be true does
not exclude the notion that it may have also been allegorical in
meaning. So.... where do you think this all fit in the original
intent of the Gnostic texts?