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Re: Gnosis

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  • pmcvflag
    Hey David ... PMCV in pointing out Phillip s bias. I must admit, though, that it was refreshing to read Phillip s points about the tendency in academe to
    Message 1 of 6 , Mar 28 1:44 PM
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      Hey David

      >>>Phillip was generous to apologize for ruffling feathers, as was
      PMCV in pointing out Phillip's bias. I must admit, though, that it
      was refreshing to read Phillip's points about the tendency in
      academe to value ancient texts from whatever source with a sort of
      reverence that may or may not be justified. And also, that modern
      voices may be dismissed for lack of historical validation.<<<

      Well, of course the historian will be more interested in an
      historical text, where somebody who studies textual criticism,
      language, hermeneutics, or something of that sort, may be just as
      interested in a modern text as an historical one. And,
      unfortunately, many people mistakenly throw theologians in with
      academic personages. It all depends on what subject matter you are
      talking about, and what context that subject matter is being
      understood within.

      >>>The issue, to my mind, is not so much about exchanging opinions
      and scholarly insights about historical or modern writings, but
      rather to hold a dismissive attitude about such writings when one
      may disagree. It's one thing to attempt objective analysis of a
      subjective experience, and quite another to judge whether another's
      gnosis is right or wrong.<<<

      No critical academician looking at an historical text judges whether
      the spiritual content is valid or not.... it isn't the point. These
      are two completely seperate issues. IF that is what you are trying
      to point out, then I agree with you. I think part of the problem is
      that many lay persons misunderstand the function of an academic
      study of a subject like this, and think that the academic stance is
      valuating things that it is not generally meant to even deal with.

      I am not sure where you have ever heard an historian or textual
      critic judge whether somebody's "gnosis" is right or wrong, but I
      would suggest questioning their credentials rather than the study
      itself.

      >>>I respect the breadth of academic knowledge shared in this forum,
      and it offers me an expanded knowledge base. I read and almost
      never post. Historical evidence of Gnosticism, however, only takes
      a modern Gnostic so far. From all I've learned, it's this moment,
      not one in the past, one's present experience, not that of others in
      the past, that constitutes gnosis.<<<

      Depends on how you define "Gnosis". The question wold not be whether
      one or the other (modern vs historical) is VALID, but simply whether
      they are really communicating the same thing.

      >>>In writing this, I freely admit that this is simply my own
      opinion, and distinguish "gnosis" from "Gnosticism." But I doubt
      anyone could argue that Gnosis is essentially subjective, even if
      historical texts and myths can be studied objectively. My pagan,
      mystical soul bristles and bridles a bit when anyone claims to
      know "The Truth." As a friend and journalist once told me, "You
      must always write the facts, but you must never claim to tell the
      truth."<<<

      Whether or not the word "Gnosis" is meant to imply something
      objective or subjective is entirely a matter of what you use the
      word to mean. Does the practice of scientific methodologies include
      (maybe even depend on) subjective elements? Sure. Perhaps we never
      really can attain to a true objectivity in the limited scope of our
      lives. I am not sure how anyone could claim to know "Truth" without
      knowing everything about the material universe, as well as any
      possible spiritual realms, etc. Personally, I would doubt anyone who
      makes such a claim. Again, though, that may depend on context. Truth
      about what?

      PMCV
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