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Re: another newbie

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  • Ben
    ... The Grail ultimatly is about divine union... what can be more Gnostic than that?
    Message 1 of 27 , Nov 9, 2005
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      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      >
      > BTW, Ben...
      >
      > While the Grail myths are not technically Gnostic, I also have an
      > interest in them. I run another group (with a far wider focus) that
      > deals with them, the troubadours and "Courtly Love", as well as a
      > number of related forms of esoteric romance. Here is the URL for
      > anyone here who is interested...
      >
      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/esotericromance/
      >
      > PMCV
      >
      The Grail ultimatly is about divine union...

      what can be more Gnostic than that?
    • arlene anjum
      Hello....newbie here as well... ... significant ... schools...I never ... to paganism . ... Wow so lucky to have that experience. Did you ever get to meet
      Message 2 of 27 , Nov 9, 2005
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        Hello....newbie here as well...
        > Ben...31...
        >  I was brought up in england around the town of Glastonbury ( a
        significant
        > place for Gnostics....)Though I attended CHurch of ENgland
        schools...I never
        > felt at home. I eventually went a bit new age....which lead
        to "paganism".
        > Whereupon I practised a form of magic.

         

        Wow so lucky to have that experience. Did you ever get to meet Caitlin Matthews or her husband John Matthews? John is an excellent historian.But I digress..his focus is mainly Arthurian and Celtic Myth cycles..couldn't resist I have  friend who just came back from Glastonbury..AA



        pmcvflag <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
        Hey Ben, welcome to the group. Looks like we got a bunch of new
        people all at once. It is always interesting to hear the different
        ways in which people have come to hear of Gnosticism.

        Since some of you new people have given us a brief intro of who you
        are and how you came to be here, let me take a moment to give you
        all an idea of where "here" is and what this group is all about.

        You all have probably already noticed that in the "Gnosticism"
        section of Yahoo Groups there are almost 300 forums dealing with the
        subject. Many of these groups have slightly, or sometimes very,
        different functions or focuses... so here is ours.

        For one, we are very careful here with the definition of the
        term "Gnosticism". As you all may already know the term "Gnosticism"
        was invented by modern scholors, and we stick to a historical
        definition just so there is no confusion about what anyone is
        talking about. We fully understand that the word has come to be used
        in many different ways, and that is ok, but when we use it here we
        mean it in the traditional sense of the word.

        Also, we are not connected to any modern "Gnostic" church or order,
        but instead deal only with the beliefs as they are exhibited in the
        historical texts like the Nag Hammadi. This does not mean that we
        are not interested in personal spiritual paths, just that we try to
        never loose focus concerning how that may or may not relate to the
        historical groups. Many people here do not consider themselves to
        be "Gnostic", though many others do.

        Also, we do have some historians here, and sometimes the
        conversation can get a little technical... PLEASE don't be afraid to
        say so. It does not mean any of you are dumb, just that specialists
        sometimes forget when they are talking to a wider audience. We try
        to keep the specialist lingo to a minimum so that everyone knows
        what is going on... but we also rely on newbies to the subject to
        speak up and help the group include them in the conversation. We
        want everyone here to be able to express their interest in
        traditional Gnosticism and learn from each other.

        Anyone who wishes to better understand the historical Gnostics, this
        is probably one of the best places on the net for that. On the other
        hand, many people find that they are more interested in the personal
        journey more, and find that the traditional Gnostic groups are a bit
        dull. While we do hope it is fun and interesting here, if you do
        find this particular groups focus on the ancient text to be a bit of
        a yawn, may I offer another specific group that deals more with
        modern thinking and personal progression that still sometimes
        touches on historical Gnosticism from the opposite direction than we
        do....  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GnosticThought/ That group is
        run by a person who is a member here as well, but the focus is much
        wider than this group.

        If you have any specific texts you would like to deal with, or any
        specific beliefs within Gnosticism, or interest in any particular
        sect.... questions, comments, disagreements..... feel free to start
        a conversation.

        PMCV

        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Hoomer <hoomerick@g...> wrote:
        >
        > Hello....newbie here as well...
        > Ben...31...
        >  I was brought up in england around the town of Glastonbury ( a
        significant
        > place for Gnostics....)Though I attended CHurch of ENgland
        schools...I never
        > felt at home. I eventually went a bit new age....which lead
        to "paganism".
        > Whereupon I practised a form of magic.
        >  I then "recently" met a wonderful woman...who just happens to be a
        > manichean essene/carmelite/coptic christian0
        (http://essenes.net/ ). So as I
        > consider myself a "grail seeker" first and foremost...I have no
        trouble
        > embracing Gnostcism and her spirituality...relaly it feels like a
        logical
        > growth from what I was doing already....
        >  I joined this site as a "friend" of the AGCA (
        > http://gnostic-church.org/)...and am currently considering joining
        > "properly"....
        >  My interest center around kabbalah, the grail and Gnosticism in
        general.
        >  I have recently begun a Gnostic scriptures "book reading" group...
        > and invite anyone to join.
        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Gnostic_scripture_discussions/
        >   --Ben
        >
        >
        > --
        > He who knows both knowledge and ignorance together, crosses death
        > through ignorance and attains immortality through knowledge.
        >






        Arlene Anjum
         
        The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it. – Albert Einstein 1879-1955, German-born American Physicist


        Yahoo! FareChase - Search multiple travel sites in one click.

      • arlene anjum
        The Grail ultimatly is about divine union... How very Great Rite . Grail is often associated with the feminine divine..AA ... The Grail ultimatly is about
        Message 3 of 27 , Nov 9, 2005
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          The Grail ultimatly is about divine union...
          How very "Great Rite" . Grail is often associated with the feminine divine..AA

          Ben <hoomerick@...> wrote:
          --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
          >
          > BTW, Ben...
          >
          > While the Grail myths are not technically Gnostic, I also have an
          > interest in them. I run another group (with a far wider focus) that
          > deals with them, the troubadours and "Courtly Love", as well as a
          > number of related forms of esoteric romance. Here is the URL for
          > anyone here who is interested...
          >
          > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/esotericromance/
          >
          > PMCV
          >
          The Grail ultimatly is about divine union...

          what can be more Gnostic than that?










          Arlene Anjum
           
          The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it. – Albert Einstein 1879-1955, German-born American Physicist


          Yahoo! FareChase - Search multiple travel sites in one click.

        • Ben
          ... divine..AA ... well no how very alchemy ..... to quote the master hismelf: 22. Jesus saw some babies nursing. He said to his disciples, These nursing
          Message 4 of 27 , Nov 9, 2005
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            --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, arlene anjum <koalaKards@y...>
            wrote:
            >
            > The Grail ultimatly is about divine union...
            > How very "Great Rite" . Grail is often associated with the feminine
            divine..AA
            >
            well no how very "alchemy".....


            to quote the master hismelf:

            22. Jesus saw some babies nursing. He said to his disciples, "These
            nursing babies are like those who enter the (Father's) kingdom."

            They said to him, "Then shall we enter the (Father's) kingdom as
            babies?"

            Jesus said to them, "When you make the two into one, and when you
            make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the
            upper like the lower, and when you make male and female into a single
            one, so that the male will not be male nor the female be female, when
            you make eyes in place of an eye, a hand in place of a hand, a foot
            in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then you will
            enter [the kingdom]."

            The grail is something you become not own....
            an object is an object..a symbol is a symbol....

            but

            God is God.......

            Thomas Aquinas stated that there are ONLY 3 movements in the
            universe....

            straight line.....masculine..the penis...the rod..the sword..air and
            fire

            circular...vagina...womb...cup..shield...water and earth

            and

            obtuse.....a unification of male and female...chanign direction
            midflow...serpetine....the kabbalistic lightning flash..the
            chord...quintessence...aether..the Christ.....

            SO we see the idea of the alchemical unity.....

            a "chemical wedding" (the rosicrucian term)...a marraige of opposites
            to form a new whole.....

            Ok I am new here...and really dotn wish to blab on too much...and I
            realise that the grail can be seen in many ways. I also know many
            down play the feminine in favor of the masculine or vice
            versa.....even amongst Gnostics....

            The cathars for instance had many many grreat ideas....but shunned
            union on all levels...did they not? Myself..I seek wholism..on ALL
            levels......but I can only speak for myself....

            My apologies if this is stepping on any toes...

            --Ben
          • Ben
            ... Caitlin Matthews or her husband John Matthews? John is an excellent historian.But I digress..his focus is mainly Arthurian and Celtic Myth cycles..couldn t
            Message 5 of 27 , Nov 9, 2005
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              --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, arlene anjum <koalaKards@y...>
              wrote:
              >
              > Hello....newbie here as well...
              > > Ben...31...
              > > I was brought up in england around the town of Glastonbury ( a
              > significant
              > > place for Gnostics....)Though I attended CHurch of ENgland
              > schools...I never
              > > felt at home. I eventually went a bit new age....which lead
              > to "paganism".
              > > Whereupon I practised a form of magic.
              >
              >
              >
              > Wow so lucky to have that experience. Did you ever get to meet
              Caitlin Matthews or her husband John Matthews? John is an excellent
              historian.But I digress..his focus is mainly Arthurian and Celtic
              Myth cycles..couldn't resist I have friend who just came back from
              Glastonbury..AA
              >
              >
              No...but I have a signed book...from having corresponded with them
              personally...but no.

              I have however done "work" (group 'magic') with RJ Stewart....several
              times. I am however moving away from a less pagan scope in my
              practises....into a more "classical neo gnosticism"...as mentioned in
              my intro....
            • pmcvflag
              Hey Ben I am at a seminar right now, just sneaking online ;) so let me give the short answer to your question and hope you ll forgive if in being short I
              Message 6 of 27 , Nov 10, 2005
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                Hey Ben

                I am at a seminar right now, just sneaking online ;) so let me give
                the short answer to your question and hope you'll forgive if in being
                short I somehow sound curt.... It isn't intended.

                >>>The Grail ultimatly is about divine union...

                what can be more Gnostic than that?<<<

                The word defined by the notion of "divine union" is "mystic"
                not "Gnostic". There are three terms that may be helpful here.

                -Mystic is any form of spirituality that deals with this divine union.

                -Esoteric is a system that has some form of secret knowledge dealing
                with the notion of this divine union.

                -Gnostic is a set of specific systems of esotericism from the late
                antiquities.

                The three words are not synonyms. So the fact that the Grail myths
                have mystical, and even esoteric, elements does not make
                them "Gnostic".

                PMCV
              • Mike Leavitt
                Hello pmcvflag ... I d sure like to see what Valentinus would have done with the Grail myths via interpretation though. Regards -- Mike Leavitt
                Message 7 of 27 , Nov 10, 2005
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                  Hello pmcvflag

                  On 11/10/05, you wrote:

                  > Hey Ben
                  >
                  > I am at a seminar right now, just sneaking online ;) so let me give
                  > the short answer to your question and hope you'll forgive if in
                  > being short I somehow sound curt.... It isn't intended.
                  >
                  >>>> The Grail ultimatly is about divine union...
                  >
                  > what can be more Gnostic than that?<<<
                  >
                  > The word defined by the notion of "divine union" is "mystic"
                  > not "Gnostic". There are three terms that may be helpful here.
                  >
                  > -Mystic is any form of spirituality that deals with this divine
                  > union.
                  >
                  > -Esoteric is a system that has some form of secret knowledge dealing
                  > with the notion of this divine union.
                  >
                  > -Gnostic is a set of specific systems of esotericism from the late
                  > antiquities.
                  >
                  > The three words are not synonyms. So the fact that the Grail myths
                  > have mystical, and even esoteric, elements does not make
                  > them "Gnostic".
                  >
                  > PMCV

                  I'd sure like to see what Valentinus would have done with the Grail
                  myths via interpretation though.

                  Regards
                  --
                  Mike Leavitt ac998_@_lafn._org remove -'s
                • Hoomer
                  ... Gnosis.... but I am getting a feeling for this group..its ok......I wont mention melchizedek...lol... .I need an academic approach as well.....shrug if
                  Message 8 of 27 , Nov 10, 2005
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                    On 11/10/05, pmcvflag <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                    Hey Ben

                    I am at a seminar right now, just sneaking online ;) so let me give
                    the short answer to your question and hope you'll forgive if in being
                    short I somehow sound curt.... It isn't intended.

                    >>>The Grail ultimatly is about divine union...

                    what can be more Gnostic than that?<<<

                    The word defined by the notion of "divine union" is "mystic"
                    not "Gnostic". There are three terms that may be helpful here.

                    -Mystic is any form of spirituality that deals with this divine union.

                    -Esoteric is a system that has some form of secret knowledge dealing
                    with the notion of this divine union.

                    -Gnostic is a set of specific systems of esotericism from the late
                    antiquities.

                    The three words are not synonyms. So the fact that the Grail myths
                    have mystical, and even esoteric, elements does not make
                    them "Gnostic".

                    PMCV

                     
                     
                    OK we'll have to agree to disagree.....I was meaning more the word Gnosis....
                    but I am getting a feeling for this group..its ok......I wont mention melchizedek...lol...
                     
                    .I need an academic approach as well.....shrug if thats your thing...this group's,,,so be it
                     
                    I know my girl friend would wince though....lol....but I am not her....
                    --Ben
                    --
                    He who knows both knowledge and ignorance together, crosses death
                    through ignorance and attains immortality through knowledge.
                     
                  • pmcvflag
                    Mike ... myths via interpretation though.
                    Message 9 of 27 , Nov 11, 2005
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                      Mike

                      >>>I'd sure like to see what Valentinus would have done with the Grail
                      myths via interpretation though.<<<

                      Hmmm, or how about the Sethians?

                      PMCV
                    • Mike Leavitt
                      Hello pmcvflag ... Yes, yes! Regards -- Mike Leavitt ac998_@_lafn._org remove - s
                      Message 10 of 27 , Nov 11, 2005
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                        Hello pmcvflag

                        On 11/11/05, you wrote:

                        > Mike
                        >
                        >>>> I'd sure like to see what Valentinus would have done with the
                        >>>> Grail
                        > myths via interpretation though.<<<
                        >
                        > Hmmm, or how about the Sethians?
                        >
                        > PMCV

                        Yes, yes!

                        Regards
                        --
                        Mike Leavitt ac998_@_lafn._org remove -'s
                      • pmcvflag
                        Hey Ben ... Well, it is certainly ok to disagree here. Who knows where conversation will lead? As for the term Gnosis . I do understand that Many in the New
                        Message 11 of 27 , Nov 11, 2005
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                          Hey Ben

                          >>>OK we'll have to agree to disagree.....I was meaning more the word Gnosis....but I am getting a feeling for this group..its ok<<<<

                          Well, it is certainly ok to disagree here. Who knows where conversation will lead?

                          As for the term "Gnosis". I do understand that Many in the New Age movement use it to refer to devine union, but I can demonstrate that it is not how the traditional Gnostics used the word.  Not that there is anything wrong with the New Age movement, but they are not traditional Gnostics. Actually, the subject was just being discussed in another group so I can paste some of what I wrote here as well. Let me get back to the subject in a moment.

                          >>>......I wont mention melchizedek...lol...<<<

                          Well, there is the Melchezidek of Jewish legend.... and then there is the Nag Hammadi version.  
                           
                          >>>I need an academic approach as well.....shrug if thats your thing...this group's,,,so be it
                           
                          I know my girl friend would wince though....lol....but I am not her....<<<

                          Good, I am glad you can enjoy it *lol*. It really isn't such a bad thing to have an historical understanding to add to ones spiritual understanding. I do find it unfortunate that many people are under the mistaken impression that Gnostics were against academic approach though. Though the New Age groups like the Nazorean Essenes are surely very nice people, their beliefs are not always really very similar to the original Essenes, Manichaeans, etc.

                          So, let me take a moment and use passages from historical Gnostic texts to demonstrate what I mean. First, here are some passages that absolutely prove that union with the divine, or the mystical experience, was not exactly what the Gnostics were talking about with the concept of "Gnosis".....

                          "Whoever comes to understand the interpretation of these sayings will not taste death." (Thomas)

                          "When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are children of the living Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you live in poverty, and you are the poverty." (Thomas)

                          As you can see, Thomas states explicitely that part of the soteriological function of knowledge was related to interpretation... an intellectual process. It also talks about knowing one's self, which certainly for the ancient Gnostics includes divine union, but there is also another aspect to it as the following text demonstrates.

                          "Now it is not merely the washing which liberates, but also the knowledge: who were we? What have we become? Where were we? Into what place have we been cast? Whither are we hastening? From what have we been delivered? What is birth? What is rebirth? (Theodotus)

                          This passage deals directly with the mythological outline in Gnosticism. In ancient Gnostic thinking, knowing yourself means knowing the cosmological outline you are connected to. To them, the spirit is of course from the spiritual source, and one is cast into the physical trap. The Sophia is fallen into the world, and is dealing with the error. The point is, understanding of the mythology was considered part of Gnosis, according to the historical Gnostics.

                          Gnostics got the term "Gnosis" from Plato, who describes it this way...

                          "This knowledge is not something that can be put into words like other sciences; but after long-continued intercourse between teacher and pupil, in joint pursuit of the subject, suddenly, like light flashing forth when a fire is kindled, it is born in the soul and straightway nourishes itself. "(Plato)

                          What is being talked about there is something like what we today would call an "epiphany". It includes both the study aspect of the student and teacher, but also a sort of intuited grasp. Either one without the other was not "Gnosis" in this original usage.

                          So, we should be clear that the Gnostics of old did not see Gnosis as completely destinct from critical thinking. On the contrary, the Gnostics of old saw themselves as philosophers, academicians... scholors. Here is solid proof in Gnostic texts...

                          "For scientific knowledge is necessary both for the training of the soul and for gravity of conduct; making the faithful more active and keen observers of things. For as there is no believing without elementary instruction, so neither is there comprehension without science. For what is useful and necessary to salvation, such as the knowledge of the Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit, and also of our own soul, are wholly requisite; and it is at once beneficial and necessary to attain to the scientific account of them. "(Theodotus)

                          "So also scientific knowledge (gnosis), shedding its light and brightness on things, shows itself to be in truth the divine wisdom, the pure light, which illumines the men whose eyeball is clear, unto the sure vision and comprehension of truth."  (Theodotus)

                          Even besides these passages (and these are just a few of many passages I could have picked), we have accounts from Platonists like Celsus and Plotinus that Gnostics were members of the Platonic academies. We are told by other heresiologists that some Gnostics considered Pythagoras to be a prophet equal to Jesus.

                          PMCV

                        • Hoomer
                          ... mmm new agers..I am a bit insulted by this....but nevermind...I realise all groups have their dynamic...so I wont mention this ....you have your
                          Message 12 of 27 , Nov 11, 2005
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                            On 11/11/05, pmcvflag <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                            Hey Ben

                            >>>OK we'll have to agree to disagree.....I was meaning more the word Gnosis....but I am getting a feeling for this group..its ok<<<<

                            Well, it is certainly ok to disagree here. Who knows where conversation will lead?

                            As for the term "Gnosis". I do understand that Many in the New Age movement use it to refer to devine union, but I can demonstrate that it is not how the traditional Gnostics used the word.  Not that there is anything wrong with the New Age movement, but they are not traditional Gnostics. Actually, the subject was just being discussed in another group so I can paste some of what I wrote here as well. Let me get back to the subject in a moment.

                            >>>......I wont mention melchizedek...lol...<<<

                            Well, there is the Melchezidek of Jewish legend.... and then there is the Nag Hammadi version.  
                             
                            >>>I need an academic approach as well.....shrug if thats your thing...this group's,,,so be it
                             
                            I know my girl friend would wince though....lol....but I am not her....<<<

                            Good, I am glad you can enjoy it *lol*. It really isn't such a bad thing to have an historical understanding to add to ones spiritual understanding. I do find it unfortunate that many people are under the mistaken impression that Gnostics were against academic approach though. Though the New Age groups like the Nazorean Essenes are surely very nice people, their beliefs are not always really very similar to the original Essenes, Manichaeans, etc.

                            So, let me take a moment and use passages from historical Gnostic texts to demonstrate what I mean. First, here are some passages that absolutely prove that union with the divine, or the mystical experience, was not exactly what the Gnostics were talking about with the concept of "Gnosis".....

                            "Whoever comes to unde

                             
                            mmm new agers..I am a bit insulted by this....but nevermind...I realise all groups have their dynamic...so I wont mention this ....you have your aproach...myslef I prefer a less mercurial approach and more of a venusian (intelect vs intuition...hod vs netzach)..you have read every one of the 250,000 pages of their website I assume? ...
                             
                            unacademic? mmmm I am thinking you have a certain impression of me....already...beleive me I do not think Gnostics were unacademic!
                             
                            I am well aware of what Gnosis is.....divine union is but 1 way to look at it.....For me the Rosicrucian manifestos had a great affect on my outlook...really they just told me more of what I already beleived.....do you know of the rosicrucians? Or are they not Gnostic either?....
                             
                            I have experienced Gnosis...I am aware of what it is......
                             
                            Summa Sceintia Nihil Scire
                             
                            --Ben
                          • pmcvflag
                            Ben ... realise all groups have their dynamic...so I wont mention this ....you have your aproach...
                            Message 13 of 27 , Nov 11, 2005
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                              Ben

                              >>>mmm new agers..I am a bit insulted by this....but nevermind...I
                              realise all groups have their dynamic...so I wont mention
                              this ....you have your aproach...<<<

                              Ben, don't misread me here. I did not say you were a New Ager, nor
                              did I say New Age is bad. If you are insulted it is only because of
                              a valuation you placed, not me. I'm sorry if the connotations seems
                              bad to you, I intended no offence. I am simply trying to point out a
                              difference between a common modern usage of the word gnosis (which
                              comes from New Age sources) and the traditional Gnostic meaning of
                              the word.

                              You are not the only person I am talking to when I outline these
                              things, by the way. There are a number of new people here who joined
                              at the same time as you who may also be wondering exactly what we
                              are talking about. For that reason I try to be very direct and
                              explain each term as it comes up.

                              >>>myslef I prefer a less mercurial approach and more of a venusian
                              (intelect vs intuition...hod vs netzach)..you have read every one of
                              the 250,000 pages of their website I assume? ...<<<

                              250,000 pages of who's website? I am not sure exactly what site you
                              are talking about there.

                              >>>unacademic? mmmm I am thinking you have a certain impression of
                              me....already...beleive me I do not think Gnostics were unacademic!
                              <<<

                              What are you talking about, Ben? You have confused me. It will not
                              be good for anyone in the conversation if we read things into posts
                              that the other person didn't say... would you agree? My only
                              impression of you is what you yourself told me, which is that you
                              are new to the subject of historical "Gnosticism" and you are here
                              to feed your curiousity. I am not new to the subject, so I am just
                              throwing out points that may be of interest (not only to you, but
                              also others here).

                              >>>I am well aware of what Gnosis is.....divine union is but 1 way
                              to look at it.....<<<

                              Sure, divine union is one way to use the word. I am simply pointing
                              out it is not the way the historical Gnostics used the word.

                              >>>For me the Rosicrucian manifestos had a great affect on my
                              outlook...really they just told me more of what I already
                              beleived.....do you know of the rosicrucians?<<<

                              I do know about the Rosicrucians, both the historical ones run by
                              Y.V. Andrea and his mentor, as well as the legendary ones they
                              created, and even various modern groups that claim to be part of the
                              tradition (I have even been to the AMORC university in Cali, it was
                              quite fun). The Rosicrucians are a group I am very much interested
                              in.

                              >>>Or are they not Gnostic either?<<<

                              Understand, when I say something isn't technically "Gnostic" it does
                              not mean I don't think they are interesting, or valid. To use the
                              technical definition of the word "Gnosticism", I am not Gnostic
                              either... and in fact technically speaking no one alive today is.
                              Would you be upset if I said the Rosicrucians are not Buddhist? Of
                              course not. Why would it matter whether or not they are
                              technically "Gnostic"? No critical historian today considers the
                              Rosicrucians to be a form of "Gnosticism", but instead a form
                              of "esotericism". This doesn't mean that they are not equally as
                              valid a movement. It just means they are in a different category.

                              The academic usage the term "Gnosticism" is actually quite specific.
                              Scholars also invented the term "neanderthal" for the same kind of
                              reason they invented the term "Gnosticism". What would be the value
                              of taking the term "Neanderthal" and using it to mean anybody who
                              has more hair, for instance? Well, of course we can do so, but if a
                              person was in a university class dealing with the ancient
                              neanderthals it would seem worth while to use the term to mean what
                              the specialist uses the term for, right? It is the same here in this
                              group for the terms "Gnosis" and "Gnosticism".

                              I have nothing against wider usages, Ben, but please understand that
                              while I do have a personal interest in the subject I also am talking
                              from an academic stance. When you jokingly said that your girlfriend
                              would hate that but you are ok with it, I thought it meant that you
                              understood that you are dealing with people who have some academic
                              training in this subject.

                              >>>I have experienced Gnosis...I am aware of what it is......<<<

                              Cool, I can dig it. You have had an experience that you choose to
                              call "Gnosis", and so have I. Not only that, but over the many years
                              I have been working in this Yahoo Group, my meaning of the
                              term "Gnosis" has changed. I don't use the word the way I used to.
                              Now lets all talk and see if the thing we have chosen to
                              call "Gnosis" is the same thing the ancient Gnostics were talking
                              about. Lets look at what those ancient Gnostics believed, and
                              contrast it with how we see things. We don't have to agree with
                              them, but maybe it is interesting to hear what they had to say all
                              the same.

                              PMCV
                            • Hoomer
                              PLease accept my apologies. --Ben ... -- He who knows both knowledge and ignorance together, crosses death through ignorance and attains immortality through
                              Message 14 of 27 , Nov 12, 2005
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                                PLease accept my apologies.
                                 
                                --Ben

                                 
                                On 11/12/05, pmcvflag <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                Ben

                                >>>mmm new agers..I am a bit insulted by this....but nevermind...I
                                realise all groups have their dynamic...so I wont mention
                                this ....you have your aproach...<<<

                                Ben, don't misread me here. I did not say you were a New Ager, nor
                                did I say New Age is bad. If you are insulted it is only because of
                                a valuation you placed, not me. I'm sorry if the connotations seems
                                bad to you, I intended no offence. I am simply trying to point out a
                                difference between a common modern usage of the word gnosis (which
                                comes from New Age sources) and the traditional Gnostic meaning of
                                the word.

                                You are not the only person I am talking to when I outline these
                                things, by the way. There are a number of new people here who joined
                                at the same time as you who may also be wondering exactly what we
                                are talking about. For that reason I try to be very direct and
                                explain each term as it comes up.

                                >>>myslef I prefer a less mercurial approach and more of a venusian
                                (intelect vs intuition...hod vs netzach)..you have read every one of
                                the 250,000 pages of their website I assume? ...<<<

                                250,000 pages of who's website? I am not sure exactly what site you
                                are talking about there.

                                >>>unacademic? mmmm I am thinking you have a certain impression of
                                me....already...beleive me I do not think Gnostics were unacademic!
                                <<<

                                What are you talking about, Ben? You have confused me. It will not
                                be good for anyone in the conversation if we read things into posts
                                that the other person didn't say... would you agree? My only
                                impression of you is what you yourself told me, which is that you
                                are new to the subject of historical "Gnosticism" and you are here
                                to feed your curiousity. I am not new to the subject, so I am just
                                throwing out points that may be of interest (not only to you, but
                                also others here).

                                >>>I am well aware of what Gnosis is.....divine union is but 1 way
                                to look at it.....<<<

                                Sure, divine union is one way to use the word. I am simply pointing
                                out it is not the way the historical Gnostics used the word.

                                >>>For me the Rosicrucian manifestos had a great affect on my
                                outlook...really they just told me more of what I already
                                beleived.....do you know of the rosicrucians?<<<

                                I do know about the Rosicrucians, both the historical ones run by
                                Y.V. Andrea and his mentor, as well as the legendary ones they
                                created, and even various modern groups that claim to be part of the
                                tradition (I have even been to the AMORC university in Cali, it was
                                quite fun). The Rosicrucians are a group I am very much interested
                                in.

                                >>>Or are they not Gnostic either?<<<

                                Understand, when I say something isn't technically "Gnostic" it does
                                not mean I don't think they are interesting, or valid. To use the
                                technical definition of the word "Gnosticism", I am not Gnostic
                                either... and in fact technically speaking no one alive today is.
                                Would you be upset if I said the Rosicrucians are not Buddhist? Of
                                course not. Why would it matter whether or not they are
                                technically "Gnostic"? No critical historian today considers the
                                Rosicrucians to be a form of "Gnosticism", but instead a form
                                of "esotericism". This doesn't mean that they are not equally as
                                valid a movement. It just means they are in a different category.

                                The academic usage the term "Gnosticism" is actually quite specific.
                                Scholars also invented the term "neanderthal" for the same kind of
                                reason they invented the term "Gnosticism". What would be the value
                                of taking the term "Neanderthal" and using it to mean anybody who
                                has more hair, for instance? Well, of course we can do so, but if a
                                person was in a university class dealing with the ancient
                                neanderthals it would seem worth while to use the term to mean what
                                the specialist uses the term for, right? It is the same here in this
                                group for the terms "Gnosis" and "Gnosticism".

                                I have nothing against wider usages, Ben, but please understand that
                                while I do have a personal interest in the subject I also am talking
                                from an academic stance. When you jokingly said that your girlfriend
                                would hate that but you are ok with it, I thought it meant that you
                                understood that you are dealing with people who have some academic
                                training in this subject.

                                >>>I have experienced Gnosis...I am aware of what it is......<<<

                                Cool, I can dig it. You have had an experience that you choose to
                                call "Gnosis", and so have I. Not only that, but over the many years
                                I have been working in this Yahoo Group, my meaning of the
                                term "Gnosis" has changed. I don't use the word the way I used to.
                                Now lets all talk and see if the thing we have chosen to
                                call "Gnosis" is the same thing the ancient Gnostics were talking
                                about. Lets look at what those ancient Gnostics believed, and
                                contrast it with how we see things. We don't have to agree with
                                them, but maybe it is interesting to hear what they had to say all
                                the same.

                                PMCV






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                                --
                                He who knows both knowledge and ignorance together, crosses death
                                through ignorance and attains immortality through knowledge.
                              • pmcvflag
                                Absolutely no apologies necessary, Ben. I just wanted to try and explain that I am not trying to insult you, or anyone.... and again, I also apologise for any
                                Message 15 of 27 , Nov 12, 2005
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                                  Absolutely no apologies necessary, Ben. I just wanted to try and
                                  explain that I am not trying to insult you, or anyone.... and again, I
                                  also apologise for any insults I have accidentally hurled.

                                  PMCV

                                  --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Hoomer <hoomerick@g...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > PLease accept my apologies.
                                  > --Ben
                                  >
                                • Tsharpmin7@aol.com
                                  hi PMCV... i ve been away for a while and had a wonderful time. just wanted to poke my head into the room and say i think this is a marvelous reply you ve
                                  Message 16 of 27 , Dec 2, 2005
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                                    hi PMCV... i've been away for a while and had a wonderful time.  just wanted to poke my head into the room and say i think this is a marvelous reply you've written to Ben.  anyone can assume or imitate the trappings of Gnosticism, speak the lingo, etc., but i fear most would tuck tail and run if they believed they were required to excel at some other higher learning such as science or math.  like children playing house, its a very unrealistic understanding of what the actual requirements and necessities of maintaining a family and household.  so let the children play and have their entertainment.  those who mature, mature; those who don't, don't.  this is nothing new.
                                     
                                    your friend,
                                     
                                    Crispin Sainte III
                                     
                                    In a message dated 11/11/2005 4:54:30 PM Central Standard Time, no_reply@yahoogroups.com writes:

                                    Hey Ben

                                    >>>OK we'll have to agree to disagree.....I was meaning more the word Gnosis....but I am getting a feeling for this group..its ok<<<<

                                    Well, it is certainly ok to disagree here. Who knows where conversation will lead?

                                    As for the term "Gnosis". I do understand that Many in the New Age movement use it to refer to devine union, but I can demonstrate that it is not how the traditional Gnostics used the word.  Not that there is anything wrong with the New Age movement, but they are not traditional Gnostics. Actually, the subject was just being discussed in another group so I can paste some of what I wrote here as well. Let me get back to the subject in a moment.

                                    >>>......I wont mention melchizedek...lol...<<<

                                    Well, there is the Melchezidek of Jewish legend.... and then there is the Nag Hammadi version.  
                                     
                                    >>>I need an academic approach as well.....shrug if thats your thing...this group's,,,so be it
                                     
                                    I know my girl friend would wince though....lol....but I am not her....<<<

                                    Good, I am glad you can enjoy it *lol*. It really isn't such a bad thing to have an historical understanding to add to ones spiritual understanding. I do find it unfortunate that many people are under the mistaken impression that Gnostics were against academic approach though. Though the New Age groups like the Nazorean Essenes are surely very nice people, their beliefs are not always really very similar to the original Essenes, Manichaeans, etc.

                                    So, let me take a moment and use passages from historical Gnostic texts to demonstrate what I mean. First, here are some passages that absolutely prove that union with the divine, or the mystical experience, was not exactly what the Gnostics were talking about with the concept of "Gnosis".....

                                    "Whoever comes to understand the interpretation of these sayings will not taste death." (Thomas)

                                    "When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are children of the living Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you live in poverty, and you are the poverty." (Thomas)

                                    As you can see, Thomas states explicitely that part of the soteriological function of knowledge was related to interpretation... an intellectual process. It also talks about knowing one's self, which certainly for the ancient Gnostics includes divine union, but there is also another aspect to it as the following text demonstrates.

                                    "Now it is not merely the washing which liberates, but also the knowledge: who were we? What have we become? Where were we? Into what place have we been cast? Whither are we hastening? From what have we been delivered? What is birth? What is rebirth? (Theodotus)

                                    This passage deals directly with the mythological outline in Gnosticism. In ancient Gnostic thinking, knowing yourself means knowing the cosmological outline you are connected to. To them, the spirit is of course from the spiritual source, and one is cast into the physical trap. The Sophia is fallen into the world, and is dealing with the error. The point is, understanding of the mythology was considered part of Gnosis, according to the historical Gnostics.

                                    Gnostics got the term "Gnosis" from Plato, who describes it this way...

                                    "This knowledge is not something that can be put into words like other sciences; but after long-continued intercourse between teacher and pupil, in joint pursuit of the subject, suddenly, like light flashing forth when a fire is kindled, it is born in the soul and straightway nourishes itself. "(Plato)

                                    What is being talked about there is something like what we today would call an "epiphany". It includes both the study aspect of the student and teacher, but also a sort of intuited grasp. Either one without the other was not "Gnosis" in this original usage.

                                    So, we should be clear that the Gnostics of old did not see Gnosis as completely destinct from critical thinking. On the contrary, the Gnostics of old saw themselves as philosophers, academicians... scholors. Here is solid proof in Gnostic texts...

                                    "For scientific knowledge is necessary both for the training of the soul and for gravity of conduct; making the faithful more active and keen observers of things. For as there is no believing without elementary instruction, so neither is there comprehension without science. For what is useful and necessary to salvation, such as the knowledge of the Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit, and also of our own soul, are wholly requisite; and it is at once beneficial and necessary to attain to the scientific account of them. "(Theodotus)

                                    "So also scientific knowledge (gnosis), shedding its light and brightness on things, shows itself to be in truth the divine wisdom, the pure light, which illumines the men whose eyeball is clear, unto the sure vision and comprehension of truth."  (Theodotus)

                                    Even besides these passages (and these are just a few of many passages I could have picked), we have accounts from Platonists like Celsus and Plotinus that Gnostics were members of the Platonic academies. We are told by other heresiologists that some Gnostics considered Pythagoras to be a prophet equal to Jesus.

                                    PMCV

                                     
                                  • pmcvflag
                                    Hey Crispin ... Glad you have been doing well. ... a marvelous reply you ve written to Ben. anyone can assume or imitate the trappings of Gnosticism, speak
                                    Message 17 of 27 , Dec 3, 2005
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                                      Hey Crispin

                                      >>>hi PMCV... i've been away for a while and had a wonderful time.<<<

                                      Glad you have been doing well.

                                      >>>>just wanted to poke my head into the room and say i think this is
                                      a marvelous reply you've written to Ben. anyone can assume or imitate
                                      the trappings of Gnosticism, speak the lingo, etc., but i fear most
                                      would tuck tail and run if they believed they were required to excel
                                      at some other higher learning such as science or math.<<<

                                      I hope that did not come off as any kind of valuation... not for Ben
                                      or for any other group. There are many today who feel that critical
                                      learning (I will specifically avoid the term "Higher Learning") is
                                      somehow not spiritual. Whether or not that is true, I think that is
                                      not an accurate understanding of the intent of the historical
                                      Gnostics. Ben has NOT specifically stated his agreement with that
                                      sentiment, and I have already apologized for perhaps implying that he
                                      had (unintentionally). The only point I intend is that the anti-
                                      intellectual stance that SOME people feel is not a Gnostic belief.

                                      >>>like children playing house, its a very unrealistic understanding
                                      of what the actual requirements and necessities of maintaining a
                                      family and household. so let the children play and have their
                                      entertainment. those who mature, mature; those who don't, don't.
                                      this is nothing new.<<<

                                      Well, I will leave my own stories of "Playing House" to the other
                                      group *lol*. I will leave the implications to the exploration of
                                      Civilitas and Libido, rather than Gnosticism. Still, I understand your
                                      point.... and I think it is one that is supported in the Gnostic texts.

                                      PMCV
                                    • Tsharpmin7@aol.com
                                      In a message dated 12/3/2005 10:07:37 PM Central Standard Time, no_reply@yahoogroups.com writes: Hey Crispin ... Glad you have been doing well. ... a
                                      Message 18 of 27 , Dec 5, 2005
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                                        In a message dated 12/3/2005 10:07:37 PM Central Standard Time, no_reply@yahoogroups.com writes:
                                        Hey Crispin

                                        >>>hi PMCV... i've been away for a while and had a wonderful time.<<<

                                        Glad you have been doing well.

                                        >>>>just wanted to poke my head into the room and say i think this is
                                        a marvelous reply you've written to Ben.  anyone can assume or imitate
                                        the trappings of Gnosticism, speak the lingo, etc., but i fear most
                                        would tuck tail and run if they believed they were required to excel
                                        at some other higher learning such as science or math.<<<

                                        I hope that did not come off as any kind of valuation... not for Ben
                                        or for any other group. There are many today who feel that critical
                                        learning (I will specifically avoid the term "Higher Learning") is
                                        somehow not spiritual. Whether or not that is true, I think that is
                                        not an accurate understanding of the intent of the historical
                                        Gnostics. Ben has NOT specifically stated his agreement with that
                                        sentiment, and I have already apologized for perhaps implying that he
                                        had (unintentionally). The only point I intend is that the anti-
                                        intellectual stance that SOME people feel is not a Gnostic belief.

                                        >>>like children playing house, its a very unrealistic understanding
                                        of what the actual requirements and necessities of maintaining a
                                        family and household.  so let the children play and have their
                                        entertainment.  those who mature, mature; those who don't, don't. 
                                        this is nothing new.<<<

                                        Well, I will leave my own stories of "Playing House" to the other
                                        group *lol*. I will leave the implications to the exploration of
                                        Civilitas and Libido, rather than Gnosticism. Still, I understand your
                                        point.... and I think it is one that is supported in the Gnostic texts.

                                        PMCV
                                        hi PMCV.... i am doing well, thank you.  i still have both of my legs,
                                        and just returned from a long vacation with my lovely wife: the first chance I've had to spend any significant time out of house or hospital since my accident.  i feel thoroughly rejuvenated and am actually looking forward to my next round in the torture chamber (rehab).
                                         
                                        as to your concerns, no, I had no specific individual (certainly not Ben) or group in mind unless you care to aggregate the following as a single group:  those who seek esoterica for entertainment, for solace, for emotional stimulation or in order to be perceived as unique or a rebel. 
                                         
                                        my post was in part a caveat for those who seem to imagine the ancient Gnostics received a free lunch, i.e., something for nothing.  i think we have all encountered individuals who imagine they can attain to some form of life altering gnosis on their own through pure intellect or passion yet disdain the idea of hard work and guidance, and this in turn they sometimes project backward in time to the Gnostics of old.  it appears to be a unique but anachronistic juxtaposition of mysticism and the American love affair with the self-made man and rugged individualism:  Jesus with spurs and a cowboy hat (of course there are those whose belief system assumes enlightenment as a sort of historical inevitability through reincarnation and, while i don't subscribe to that particular belief, i am respectful of it and mean no offense to those who hold it to be true).
                                         
                                        but mainly i just wanted to express my appreciation to you for reminding all of us that for many of the original Gnostics rigorous study was often a sort of prerequisite for admittance.  i personally believe they wanted the best and brightest and academic excellence helps to separate the wheat from the chaff.  i don't see this as snobbery so much as a recognition on the part of the Gnostics that not everybody who shows up at the door has the current capacity to receive what they offered.  this is simply being sober and realistic.  nothing elitist about it, despite the charges of some Christian apologists that that was precisely what they were.  surely nobody with a clue would call medical schools elitists for maintaining their entrance requirements.  if one thinks of the Gnostics as physicians of the pneuma i think we get a better appreciation of what it took to join their ranks.
                                         
                                        Your refreshed friend,
                                         
                                        Crispin Sainte III
                                         
                                         
                                      • angela jones
                                        Interesting, do you feel fulfilled and whole because of your knowledge? ... Yahoo! Personals Single? There s someone we d like you to meet. Lots of someones,
                                        Message 19 of 27 , Dec 6, 2005
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                                          Interesting, do you feel fulfilled and 'whole' because of your knowledge?
                                           


                                          Yahoo! Personals
                                          Single? There's someone we'd like you to meet.
                                          Lots of someones, actually. Yahoo! Personals
                                        • Tsharpmin7@aol.com
                                          In a message dated 12/6/2005 8:29:41 AM Central Standard Time, angelanjones2003@yahoo.com writes: Interesting, do you feel fulfilled and whole because of
                                          Message 20 of 27 , Dec 7, 2005
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                                            In a message dated 12/6/2005 8:29:41 AM Central Standard Time, angelanjones2003@... writes:
                                            Interesting, do you feel fulfilled and 'whole' because of your knowledge
                                            Hi Angela, I think knowledge is a tool that can be wielded
                                            wisely or not. I am fulfilled at one level by my educational
                                            accomplishments (isn't it always fulfilling when we achieve 
                                            a difficult goal thorough our own tenacity and sweat), but
                                            it has little or no bearing at other levels of my existence.
                                             
                                            I experience wholeness when I love, how about you?
                                             
                                            Your friend,
                                             
                                            Crispin Sainte III
                                          • pmcvflag
                                            Angela I can t speak for any of the others here. My first inclination was to think that this is off topic here, but in reality there is something about the
                                            Message 21 of 27 , Dec 7, 2005
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                                              Angela

                                              I can't speak for any of the others here. My first inclination was to
                                              think that this is off topic here, but in reality there is something
                                              about the conversation that is on mark, and something we must all deal
                                              with.

                                              Have you read Plato by any chance? Plato draws a line between
                                              different kinds of happiness and fulfilment, as well as different
                                              kinds of unhappiness. Lets think about this for a moment. What is is
                                              you need to be fulfilled?

                                              It is possible for a person to be unhappy with the direct day to day
                                              reality of thier lives, while being quite content deep down inside. On
                                              the other hand, it is possible for a person who seems to have
                                              everything to be quite unhappy.According to Plato (and I agree) the
                                              true deeper happiness comes from an understanding, a realization of
                                              yourself in your life within this cosmos.

                                              I don't meant to degrage the conversation by using an example from
                                              popular media, but I thought that perhaps this trite example frome the
                                              movie "Matrix" could help illustrate the point. The hero of the movie
                                              is driven to know, to gain the truth. He has his regrets, but it is
                                              his deep desire. On the other hand, one of the team he is in only
                                              wants the direct happiness of his prior experience. Which one do you
                                              think is deeper and truer?

                                              PMCV

                                              --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, angela jones
                                              <angelanjones2003@y...> wrote:
                                              >
                                              > Interesting, do you feel fulfilled and 'whole' because of your
                                              knowledge?
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > ---------------------------------
                                              > Yahoo! Personals
                                              > Single? There's someone we'd like you to meet.
                                              > Lots of someones, actually. Yahoo! Personals
                                              >
                                            • angela jones
                                              Hi, thanx for writing, no haven t had the chance to look into Plato yet. In answer to yr question below I have to say, both points are interesting & I feel my
                                              Message 22 of 27 , Jan 12, 2006
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                                                Hi, thanx for writing, no haven't had the chance to look into Plato yet. In answer to yr question below I have to say, both points are interesting & I feel my levels of existing need to be heightened then I won't feel so bad at times Yet perhaps 'the highs' won't be so high!
                                                I know emotion isn't so much an element of spirituality. So in time, I will just BE. Being in the here and now though is difficult as us Humans are just so complex! 

                                                is driven to know, to gain the truth. He has his regrets, but it is
                                                his deep desire. On the other hand, one of the team he is in only
                                                wants the direct happiness of his prior experience. Which one do you
                                                think is deeper and truer?

                                                PMCV

                                                --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, angela jones
                                                <angelanjones2003@y...> wrote:
                                                >
                                                > Interesting, do you feel fulfilled and 'whole' because of your
                                                knowledge?
                                                >   
                                                >  
                                                >
                                                >            
                                                > ---------------------------------
                                                >  Yahoo! Personals
                                                >  Single? There's someone we'd like you to meet.
                                                >  Lots of someones, actually. Yahoo! Personals
                                                >






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