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Re: another newbie

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  • 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 1 of 27 , Nov 10, 2005
      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 2 of 27 , Nov 10, 2005
        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 3 of 27 , Nov 11, 2005
          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 4 of 27 , Nov 11, 2005
            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 5 of 27 , Nov 11, 2005

              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 6 of 27 , Nov 11, 2005
                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 7 of 27 , Nov 11, 2005
                  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 8 of 27 , Nov 12, 2005
                    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 9 of 27 , Nov 12, 2005
                      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 10 of 27 , Dec 2, 2005
                        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 11 of 27 , Dec 3, 2005
                          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 12 of 27 , Dec 5, 2005
                            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 13 of 27 , Dec 6, 2005
                              Interesting, do you feel fulfilled and 'whole' because of your knowledge?
                               


                              Yahoo! Personals
                              Single? There's someone we'd like you to meet.
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                            • 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 14 of 27 , Dec 7, 2005
                                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 15 of 27 , Dec 7, 2005
                                  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 16 of 27 , Jan 12, 2006

                                    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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