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Re: Lebanese Gnostics? Crispin's questions

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  • pmcvflag
    Hey Steve and Cari, you two of course picked out exactly why I mentioned the Tripartite Tractate in specific. I have my own personal theories as to the cause
    Message 1 of 44 , Apr 5, 2006
      Hey Steve and Cari, you two of course picked out exactly why I
      mentioned the Tripartite Tractate in specific. I have my own
      personal theories as to the cause of the change, but they are not
      important in this case... if we can pick out the function of the
      original motif, we can also pick out whether this change would be
      thought valid by those who would be teaching the system in the other
      context.

      I do want to make clear, just in case I came of in any other way,
      that I am not disagreeing with Widad's observation that a teacher of
      a system would know what to use and what not to use, and how to
      change it in order to fit a student in a dynamic way (though I would
      also contend that even the best teacher may not always know all the
      functions within a system that had been built over many hundreds of
      years by many hundreds of minds). Nor was the spiritual message in
      Wadad's post lost on me, BTW. I just want to raise the issue as to
      where the ancient Gnostics may have drawn a line... AND, I also want
      to raise the issue as to whether a teacher from another school (e.g.
      Sufism) really has the tools to make the same judgement call about
      another school that they are not really part of. In other words...
      is a Sufi in Gnostic clothing really adapting the Gnostic method? Or
      just taking some external attributes they find useful for Sufism?

      I can think of arguments for both sides, and I am not answering the
      question. I think, though, it is important to explore since the
      issue had been raised as to whether these teachers in Lebanon were
      possibly Sufi.

      PMCV

      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, lady_caritas <no_reply@...>
      wrote:
      >
      > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Steve" <eugnostos2000@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Well, that makes sense. By focusing on the general function of
      > the
      > > motifs it should be possible to address this. Of course, as you
      > note,
      > > we need to be reasonably sure of what that function is before
      > > proceeding. Perhaps then we can account, for example, for why
      the
      > > Logos, rather than Sophia, is blamed for the gnostic Fall in the
      > > Tripartite Tractate in contradiction of other Valentinian works,
      > and
      > > so on and so forth. A bit of work, though, don't you think? -
      Steve
      > W.
      > > >
      > >
      >
      >
      > Steve, you've hit on one example of what Harold Attridge and
      Elaine
      > Pagels in their introduction to The Tripartite Tractate
      (Robinson's
      > _The Nag Hammadi Library_) have seen as an attempt to present a
      > theological statement that appeals to the church as a whole,
      > including ordinary Christians,... a "work that departs from
      classical
      > Valentinian doctrine more radically than any known representative
      of
      > the tradition."
      >
      > The fall of logos (as "agent of rupture in the pleroma")
      > is "presented in remarkably positive terms, as a result of his
      > own `abundant love,'"... "in accordance with the Father's will,"
      and
      > the fall even "proceeds from the Logos' free choice."
      >
      > If we weigh this against other works in which the "agent of
      rupture
      > in the pleroma" is Sophia, do we find a comparable function? Or
      > rather does this highly Christianized work compromise a perceived
      > function of the other more classical Valentinian works?
      >
      > You're right, Steve. We might need to identify what the function
      of
      > Logos and the fall are before proceeding. Then again, maybe there
      > are other *related* functions among the works that are even more
      > important.
      >
      > Cari
      >
    • Michael Leavitt
      ... Doesn t seem necessary for the Quabalists and the breaking of the vessles. Might make it better though, if he were there. -- M. Leavitt
      Message 44 of 44 , Apr 30, 2006
        Steve wrote:
        >
        >
        >
        >> I'm curious what others think. Going back to Plato (as Steve did
        >> with his reference to Theaetetus), we see Plato's demiurge in
        >> Timaeus. How is a relational demiurge of some sort necessary
        >> functionally to a Gnostic system, and is this necessary to carry into
        >> a modern adaptation?
        >>
        >> Cari
        >>
        >>
        > Hi Cari. IMO, it's fascinating to see how, for example, the author of
        > The Apocryphon of John goes back and forth from the Timaeus to Genesis
        > and uses both as a point of departure for his/her own perspective. In
        > Timaeus Plato has the Demiurge using the Form of the Intelligible
        > Living Creature as a template for the Cosmos. As such, Plato seems to
        > be an early advocate for 'Intelligent Design'. For Plato, the world is
        > intelligible, hence modeled upon an intelligible pattern. In the
        > Apocryphon of John the Demiurge also seeks to work from an intelligible
        > pattern, but doesn't fully understand it. Consequently his handiwork is
        > flawed in ways that go beyond the inherent imperfection of a copy in
        > relation to the original. IMO, it might be possible to dispense with a
        > demiurgos in an Neo-Platonic emanationist system wherein the only
        > problem with materiality is the inherent inferiority of copy to
        > original and wherein the successive unfolding of emanations is simply
        > inevitable. However, it seems to me that the problem in the Apocryphon
        > of John goes deeper than this and is conceived as being an actual
        > rupture in the Great Chain of Being. As such, it would be difficult to
        > account for this apart from a Demiurgic figure, or at least a Sophia
        > figure driven by a desire which is contrary to the will of her Consort,
        > that is to say, unbalanced. What is your opinion on this? -Steve W.
        >
        Doesn't seem necessary for the Quabalists and the breaking of the
        vessles. Might make it better though, if he were there.

        --
        M. Leavitt
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