Re: Valentinian Christians
--- In email@example.com, Tsharpmin7@a... wrote:
> Hi Bob... I believe Gus is right, "Secrecy is not only the
> hallmark for valentinian gnosticism. It prevails also in
> Judo-Christian and muslim gnosticism." And its only
> the "muslim gnostics" (Sufis) that I'm aware of who
> really speak clearly on the issue. And it boils down to
> this: they don't waste time with those whom they
> perceive as not having the current capacity to receive
> what they offer. This may seem unfair or cold-blooded
> to some of us, but they voice some very compelling
> arguments why this should be so.
> Your friend,
> Crispin Sainte III
Crispin, I think I would carry that assertion even further. After all, wouldn't "secrecy" be characteristic of any esoteric system? Of course, regarding my original comments, I wasn't so much questioning the private portion of Valentinian services as I was the involvement of their pneumatic followers in the public portion.
As for the Sufis, other than some favorite gems of their literature here and there, I'm largely unfamiliar with the specifics of their teachings. Feel free to elaborate on their admonitions (either here or through private e-mail if you feel it goes too far afield of our subject matter).
Meanwhile, do you really find that the Gnostics didn't speak clearly enough on the matter of gifts and the capacity of the recipients? Well, I take it that you may mean "clearly" in the sense that the Sufis might have been more direct about the point they were making, but for my tastes, well chosen metaphors can drive a point home with just as much force and precision. If we are warned of casting our pearls before swine, or told that it is fitting to throw a mere bone to a hungry dog well, the gist of their wisdom is readily apparent, don't you think?
I very much agree with your observation that this attitude may come across as "unfair" or "cold-blooded" to some, but, after all, where did the Gnostics speak of the world being "fair"? If we wanted something warm and fuzzy, we could always look to the newage bastardizations of their writings, no? ;-)
- hello AA.... maybe these particular Wiccan and NewAge teachers you speak of need to develop the capacityto recognize those "empty containers" (I think of thetype of approach you described more as entertainmentand identity seeking) and turn them away at the doorbefore they waste everbody else's time and energy....unless, of course, as part of the teaching, thesemystical tourists are being made examples of. sometransformative traditions have this technique down toa virtual art form. its not as cruel or cold as it soundswhen to do so serves a higher purpose. which is notto say that the individual, whether they are turnedaway or made an example of, does not benefit atsome level.Your friend,Crispin Sainte IIIIn a message dated 1/26/2006 5:34:03 PM Central Standard Time, koalaKards@... writes:Hi,I don't know if this is Homer or Crispin's quote:"but imitating hand-me-down transformative traditionsin hopes of duplicating their highest accomplishmentsis pretty silly, yet it is the most common thing in theworld and few ever think twice about it. this may be abit of a cliche, but it really does boil down to containerand content; surface and depth. so if you canrecognize those who rely on the container; those whoappear to you to be empty vessels, you're way aheadof the game. and I believe you are!"I'm seeing this in Wiccan/New Age Community. Lots of wannabees they see Charmed and they look for people in the craft to teach "all that they know" then they consider themselves to be a High Priest/tess or in even New Age circles, Reiki Mastership in a weekend, or people calling themselves shaman after taking a single class just to say they are. I consider them to be "empty vessels". AA
Tsharpmin7@... wrote:hey Homer... you seem to have developed a prettymature and perceptive outlook regarding thesematters in a very short time. you're going to spareyourself a lot of wasted energy.some people approach traditional systems like Fredand Barney in the Flintstones cartoons approach theBuffalo Lodge: for its entertainment and social benefit.The secret handshakes are fun and its good to makefriends with a common interest and slip away fromthe mundane and routine. and there is nothing atall wrong with that as long you're not mistaking it forsomething higher.but imitating hand-me-down transformative traditionsin hopes of duplicating their highest accomplishmentsis pretty silly, yet it is the most common thing in theworld and few ever think twice about it. this may be abit of a cliche, but it really does boil down to containerand content; surface and depth. so if you canrecognize those who rely on the container; those whoappear to you to be empty vessels, you're way aheadof the game. and I believe you are!the use of specialized language, myth and allegorymay serve a very specific purpose when employed bythose who have already arrived where I think you wishto someday arrive, Homer. i think you'll understandthe way and why of it as you continue to study theancient Gnostics. and i do agree with you in the sensethat if there were a live and functioning Gnosticismtoday -- and i can't say for sure there isn't -- i imaginetheir use of metaphor and allegory would draw frommore contemporary sources than those employed bythe ancients; that those dusty old paradigms wouldhave long since been discarded as barriers to learningin favor of something much more accessible andimmediate. to foment confusion, even if it'sinadvertant, should be a very trustworthy indication tous that IT'S NOT HERE!as you so wisely suggest, Homer, mystery for the sakeof mystery is just plain vanity and gamesmanship.they are what they are, not what they could be.Your friend,Crispin Sainte IIIIn a message dated 1/26/2006 2:03:26 PM Central Standard Time, shaftpopper@... writes:Dear Crispin,This makes good sense to me. From what I've seen I think there is a lot of copying without understanding if what they're copying is even needed anymore. Its the same with some of the language and the myths and allegories. If I really want somebody to understand me or learn something I can teach I would try to make it as plain as I could. But I think some people like to be mysterious because it makes them feel special, and I think that just encourages the false self or our vanity. I feel like that's the wrong direction to go if you are trying to find something like what the original Gnostics were searching for. I like how in the Gnostic Gospels the Gnostics wouldn't waste their lives to be martyrs if they could help it. What a shame and a waste it would have been if they copied the orthodox Christians who thought that copying the Jesus myth would automatic get them in heaven. I think the Gnostics knew God would have to be insane to want something so cruel.Homer