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Re: Lebanese Gnostics? Crispin's questions

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  • pmcvflag
    Steve ... 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.
    Message 1 of 44 , Apr 5, 2006
      Steve

      >>>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?<<<

      Yes, still a bit of work... but at least more managable I think. I
      am willing to put in the effort in that conversation if everyone
      else is.

      >>>The example of the Demiurge is instructive for me because
      I'm always walking that fine line between reading the gnostic myths
      as a coded reference to inner spiritual life and reading them as an
      ontological explanation of existence. Of course, in all Platonic-
      influenced systems of thought the two are not considered separate
      from each other, the whole microcosm/macrocosm thing.<<<

      And, again, you read my mind there. The macrocosm/microcosm element
      was exactly where I was driving. The line is difficult, and maybe on
      purpose. I think you hit on the subject of meaning very nicely, and
      why the Gnostics were so involved in the relation between the
      philosophical, the literal, AND the mystical, rather than simply
      concentrating on the mystical to the exclusion of all else (as some
      other movements do). I think, PERHAPS, this could by why many modern
      mystics want so badly to reform Gnosticism into the more open model.
      Obviously, many would argue that the mystical is the
      proverbial "baby" that needs to be preserved when the bathwater is
      thrown out, and they may be right, but I am not so sure that the
      Gnostics would agree. And I wonder if in some cases this reworking
      may be coming at the expense of understanding other points the
      Gnostic systems were trying to impart.

      It would be a shame to only hold on to "THE baby" when there could
      have been twins in this particular bathtub.

      Well, I went off the subject a bit there.

      PMCV
    • 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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