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Re: another newbie

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 of 27 , Dec 6, 2005
                      Interesting, do you feel fulfilled and 'whole' because of your knowledge?
                       


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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 10 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 11 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 12 of 27 , Jan 12 5:55 AM

                            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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