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Re: It's in our DNA

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  • imdarkchylde
    ... know ... perhaps ... will ... and ... to ... or ... related ... the ... and ... your ... was ... the ... all ... for ... to ... I have found the main thing
    Message 1 of 27 , Jun 9, 2006
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      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, eagleeyedwildwoman
      <no_reply@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi I'm new here
      > Looks like I'm come across an intelligent group of thinkers. I
      know
      > I'm going to be a bit behind the times with this comment but
      perhaps
      > I have something different to say on the subject so, here goes: I
      > finally saw The Da Vinci Code at the movies Wednesday night. I
      will
      > not give a movie review. I did not read the book. I do like that
      > this movie and book get people interested in the alternative
      > scriptures and therefore Gnostic thinking. But the idea of this
      > woman descendant of Mary Magdalene and Jesus being the Holy Grail
      > becomes a road block to Gnosis which is a direct knowledge of God.
      > It is also a problem in the Omen which I know is pure fun but
      > unfortunately is what many people believe, that is the idea of the
      > big characters playing these big roles while we sit back a watch.
      > Many people do not realize they are the Hero of their own story
      and
      > have a direct connection to God or the Great Spirit. Our path is
      to
      > realize that connection and have direct experience of this.
      > Realization with direct experience of the Divine is Enlightenment
      or
      > Gnosis and it may be so individual that it is experienced or
      related
      > differently for each of us. Gnosis is an on going process, it is
      the
      > road traveled ever onward. Leader or teacher come into our life
      and
      > will help us on our way but it is we who decides and we who exert
      > the effort, I mean to say don't rely on the way showers, it is
      your
      > journey and all you really need is you. The blood line of Jesus
      was
      > said to be part of the royal family of the Hapsburgs, who's line
      > runs through most of the royal houses of Europe, this is another
      > form of Hierarchy which is anti Gnostic thinking. I see little
      > evidence of Jesus in the royal lines. I see more evidence among
      the
      > rich about power, selfishness, and oppression. I see evidence of
      > his teachings among those who relinquish power in favor of helping
      > humanity. Sacred words from my own countries constitution say, All
      > men are created equal and endowed by the Creator with unalienable
      > rights of Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. I believe
      > Eve, our original Earth Mother chose Gnosis over obedience and
      > opened the door for Men to become Gods which was the Creators test
      > of our capacity to make our own way. We too become Gods and create
      > our own Universes as Great Spirit wills it so, ever onward. Yes
      > Barbara I too have visions and as the veil gets thinner it seems
      > more of us are doing so. Some of the visions I have had are not
      all
      > light and gold some are about being stripped naked of all beliefs
      > and ego, some were harsh from where I have sat but I am thankful
      for
      > all revelation which aids my souls growth. I am working each day
      to
      > simplify my soul and be open to the purest gold the soul has to
      > offer, Gnosis.
      >
      > In Peace,
      > Your Sister,
      > Aleada Barbara Aine
      >
      > PS as far as Gnostic reading I have read the 3 books by Freke and
      > Gandy and the Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels
      > I will continue to read more as my spiritual path is a life time
      > pursuit. The best path I can imagine is One With Spirit
      >



      I have found the main thing I like about Gnostism is that it is a
      path, a way of life-not a set of rules and creeds whose only purpose
      is a self imposed slavery. So I adamantly refuse to think of
      another's beliefs as "wrong". I too saw the Da Vinci Code and I
      found it to be full of history and interpretation. I applaud
      ANYTHING that brings people to ANY faith, especially an interest in
      Christ. Personally, I am what I have heard is dubbed
      a 'pessamistic' gnostic and I believe Christ was an asetic, much
      like Buddha and Mani. I am not saying that Christ and Mary weren't
      married, because I do believe that there may have been Tantric magic
      used by Yeshua and Mary, but that would have fostered no children.
      Mary could have become impregnated after the crucifiction and had
      children, giving some crediance to the "line." I also feel there
      may be vested interests from the parties involved, drawing this from
      my studies of the Merovingian dynasty. I was studying this way
      before the book even came out. But despite my beliefs and leanings
      on gnostic thought, I think we would be hypocritical to claim that
      someone's belief is wrong, incorrect, whatever. My parents are very
      conservative and evangelical types, and they asked why I felt the
      scriptures were incorrect. I had to tell them I didn't feel the
      scriptures to be incorrect, but incomplete. I also applaud the
      movie for bringing out (somewhat) the political influences at the
      Nicene Council and that the accepted cannon of scriptures is
      deliberatly put together to support personal theories rather than
      expose people to the truth. But if I dislike someone saying that I
      am wrong in being a gnostic, then a great big hypocrit would I be to
      not allow others that same freedom to believe and not be told that
      they are wrong. To be convinced of your own supriority in thought
      or belief would also be a stumbling block to gnosis. After all, to
      speak of the divine is to discuss the undiscussable to make up a
      word. Basic Kabbalistic idea. So how can we say someone is wrong
      because they do not see as we do? Aren't we more enlightened than
      that?
      Love and peas always
      Darkchylde
    • Ralph Renick
      Good Afternoon SisterAine I just read your email as recieved and am so pleased to meet another member on the road to Gnosis. I am very new to the ideas also,
      Message 2 of 27 , Jun 9, 2006
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        Good Afternoon SisterAine
        I just read your email as recieved and am so pleased to meet another member
        on the road to Gnosis. I am very new to the ideas also, gaining a good bit
        of knowledge from Elaine Pagel's "The Gnostic Gospels" and her other books
        as well. I have found since I started on this quest that I cannot seem to
        get enough of it. It is almost like manna from heaven. I know that Gnostic
        learning has answered so many questions for me that have been with me most
        of my life. With each new answer I feel closer to the ultimate goal that
        Jesus has put forth.
        You are so right in stating that Gnosis is a truth found within oneself. It
        is there in all of us, but only some will get it. I would pray that all
        would get it, but knowing man, I doubt it.

        As to the DaVinci Code, it was an excellent book and movie. Its one goal
        has been reached in getting so many people to open their eyes and minds to
        truth. I only pray that I can, somehow reach so many.
        God Bless you
        Ralph Renick
        The Church of the Obedient Servant


        >From: eagleeyedwildwoman <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
        >Reply-To: gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com
        >To: gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com
        >Subject: [Gnosticism2] It's in our DNA
        >Date: Fri, 09 Jun 2006 18:14:56 -0000
        >
        >Hi I'm new here
        >Looks like I'm come across an intelligent group of thinkers. I know
        >I'm going to be a bit behind the times with this comment but perhaps
        >I have something different to say on the subject so, here goes: I
        >finally saw The Da Vinci Code at the movies Wednesday night. I will
        >not give a movie review. I did not read the book. I do like that
        >this movie and book get people interested in the alternative
        >scriptures and therefore Gnostic thinking. But the idea of this
        >woman descendant of Mary Magdalene and Jesus being the Holy Grail
        >becomes a road block to Gnosis which is a direct knowledge of God.
        >It is also a problem in the Omen which I know is pure fun but
        >unfortunately is what many people believe, that is the idea of the
        >big characters playing these big roles while we sit back a watch.
        >Many people do not realize they are the Hero of their own story and
        >have a direct connection to God or the Great Spirit. Our path is to
        >realize that connection and have direct experience of this.
        >Realization with direct experience of the Divine is Enlightenment or
        >Gnosis and it may be so individual that it is experienced or related
        >differently for each of us. Gnosis is an on going process, it is the
        >road traveled ever onward. Leader or teacher come into our life and
        >will help us on our way but it is we who decides and we who exert
        >the effort, I mean to say don't rely on the way showers, it is your
        >journey and all you really need is you. The blood line of Jesus was
        >said to be part of the royal family of the Hapsburgs, who's line
        >runs through most of the royal houses of Europe, this is another
        >form of Hierarchy which is anti Gnostic thinking. I see little
        >evidence of Jesus in the royal lines. I see more evidence among the
        >rich about power, selfishness, and oppression. I see evidence of
        >his teachings among those who relinquish power in favor of helping
        >humanity. Sacred words from my own countries constitution say, All
        >men are created equal and endowed by the Creator with unalienable
        >rights of Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. I believe
        >Eve, our original Earth Mother chose Gnosis over obedience and
        >opened the door for Men to become Gods which was the Creators test
        >of our capacity to make our own way. We too become Gods and create
        >our own Universes as Great Spirit wills it so, ever onward. Yes
        >Barbara I too have visions and as the veil gets thinner it seems
        >more of us are doing so. Some of the visions I have had are not all
        >light and gold some are about being stripped naked of all beliefs
        >and ego, some were harsh from where I have sat but I am thankful for
        >all revelation which aids my souls growth. I am working each day to
        >simplify my soul and be open to the purest gold the soul has to
        >offer, Gnosis.
        >
        >In Peace,
        >Your Sister,
        > Aleada Barbara Aine
        >
        >PS as far as Gnostic reading I have read the 3 books by Freke and
        >Gandy and the Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels
        >I will continue to read more as my spiritual path is a life time
        >pursuit. The best path I can imagine is One With Spirit
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >

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      • Michael Leavitt
        ... I think you have a pretty goood handle on things as it is, I look forward to seeing you a few books from now. -- Mike Leavitt
        Message 3 of 27 , Jun 9, 2006
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          eagleeyedwildwoman wrote:
          > Hi I'm new here
          > Looks like I'm come across an intelligent group of thinkers. I know
          > I'm going to be a bit behind the times with this comment but perhaps
          > I have something different to say on the subject so, here goes: I
          > finally saw The Da Vinci Code at the movies Wednesday night. I will
          > not give a movie review. I did not read the book. I do like that
          > this movie and book get people interested in the alternative
          > scriptures and therefore Gnostic thinking. But the idea of this
          > woman descendant of Mary Magdalene and Jesus being the Holy Grail
          > becomes a road block to Gnosis which is a direct knowledge of God.
          > It is also a problem in the Omen which I know is pure fun but
          > unfortunately is what many people believe, that is the idea of the
          > big characters playing these big roles while we sit back a watch.
          > Many people do not realize they are the Hero of their own story and
          > have a direct connection to God or the Great Spirit. Our path is to
          > realize that connection and have direct experience of this.
          > Realization with direct experience of the Divine is Enlightenment or
          > Gnosis and it may be so individual that it is experienced or related
          > differently for each of us. Gnosis is an on going process, it is the
          > road traveled ever onward. Leader or teacher come into our life and
          > will help us on our way but it is we who decides and we who exert
          > the effort, I mean to say don't rely on the way showers, it is your
          > journey and all you really need is you. The blood line of Jesus was
          > said to be part of the royal family of the Hapsburgs, who's line
          > runs through most of the royal houses of Europe, this is another
          > form of Hierarchy which is anti Gnostic thinking. I see little
          > evidence of Jesus in the royal lines. I see more evidence among the
          > rich about power, selfishness, and oppression. I see evidence of
          > his teachings among those who relinquish power in favor of helping
          > humanity. Sacred words from my own countries constitution say, All
          > men are created equal and endowed by the Creator with unalienable
          > rights of Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. I believe
          > Eve, our original Earth Mother chose Gnosis over obedience and
          > opened the door for Men to become Gods which was the Creators test
          > of our capacity to make our own way. We too become Gods and create
          > our own Universes as Great Spirit wills it so, ever onward. Yes
          > Barbara I too have visions and as the veil gets thinner it seems
          > more of us are doing so. Some of the visions I have had are not all
          > light and gold some are about being stripped naked of all beliefs
          > and ego, some were harsh from where I have sat but I am thankful for
          > all revelation which aids my souls growth. I am working each day to
          > simplify my soul and be open to the purest gold the soul has to
          > offer, Gnosis.
          >
          > In Peace,
          > Your Sister,
          > Aleada Barbara Aine
          >
          > PS as far as Gnostic reading I have read the 3 books by Freke and
          > Gandy and the Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels
          > I will continue to read more as my spiritual path is a life time
          > pursuit. The best path I can imagine is One With Spirit
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          I think you have a pretty goood handle on things as it is, I look
          forward to seeing you a few books from now.

          --
          Mike Leavitt
        • eagleeyedwildwoman
          What books do you all recommend?, I want to read translations the scriptures. I went to my local books store and found these books possibilities: The Gospel of
          Message 4 of 27 , Jun 10, 2006
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            What books do you all recommend?, I want to read translations the
            scriptures. I went to my local books store and found these books
            possibilities:

            The Gospel of Thomas: The Gnostic Wisdom of Jesus

            by Jean-Yves Leloup, Jacob Needleman (Foreword)
            Avg customer review:
            Usually ships in 24 hours
            Price: $9.72


            The Gospel of Philip : Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and the Gnosis of
            Sacred Union

            by Jean-Yves Leloup, Jacob Needleman (Foreword)
            Avg customer review:
            Usually ships in 24


            The Gospel of Mary Magdalene

            by Jean-Yves Leloup, Jacob Needleman (Foreword)
            Avg customer review:
            Usually ships in 24 hours
            Price: $9.72

            Gnostic Gospel Of St. Thomas

            by Tau Malachi
            Avg customer review:
            Usually ships in 24 hours
            Price: $11.67



            > > PS as far as Gnostic reading I have read the 3 books by Freke
            and
            > > Gandy and the Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels
            > > I will continue to read more as my spiritual path is a life time
            > > pursuit. The best path I can imagine is One With Spirit
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > I think you have a pretty goood handle on things as it is, I look
            > forward to seeing you a few books from now.
            >
            > --
            > Mike Leavitt
            >
          • pmcvflag
            Hey Darkchylde ... I applaud your open-mindedness. I do think it is important to understand, though, that the Gnostics were actually quite willing to think of
            Message 5 of 27 , Jun 10, 2006
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              Hey Darkchylde

              >>>So I adamantly refuse to think of another's beliefs as "wrong".<<<

              I applaud your open-mindedness. I do think it is important to
              understand, though, that the Gnostics were actually quite willing to
              think of the beliefs of others as "wrong". Now, of course anyone is
              welcome to disagree with the Gnostics here, but it is also to disagree
              with the ancient meaning of the very word "Gnosis", since the whole
              point of that word was to draw a line between what they viewed as a
              right understanding vs a wrong one.

              >>>So how can we say someone is wrong because they do not see as we
              do? Aren't we more enlightened than that?<<

              How do you logically justify the assumption that enlightenment equates
              with un-critical acceptance of anything anyone says? I ask that
              honestly and out of curiousity. Some would argue that if we were
              enlightened we should accept the notion that WE can be wrong, and toss
              things out for the sake of debate so that we can really test them (a
              basic notion of the "Enlightenment Era").

              The reason I am curious about this is that is all seems so
              inconsistant with the fact that you also talk about "Truth". If no one
              can be wrong, then there can be no such thing as "Truth" other than
              the one truth that no one is wrong. What I mean is, if everyone is
              already right, then there is simply no need to look any further for
              not only any kind of scientific "truth", but also for any spiritual
              truth. It also means, that in thier own world even those who think
              others are "wrong" are right to do so... and justified in whatever
              action they take. What, then, would even be the point of questioning
              the fact that anyone says others are wrong, since they would be right
              to do so?

              If all that is true... what is the point of being interested in
              Gnosticism other than for the sake of personal entertainment?

              PMCV
            • Michael Leavitt
              ... All of Stephan Hoeller s books on Gnosticism, if I may plug my Bishop. The Nag Hammadi Library in English ed.by Robinson, The Gnostic Bible and the Gnostic
              Message 6 of 27 , Jun 10, 2006
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                eagleeyedwildwoman wrote:
                > What books do you all recommend?, I want to read translations the
                > scriptures. I went to my local books store and found these books
                > possibilities:
                >
                > The Gospel of Thomas: The Gnostic Wisdom of Jesus
                >
                > by Jean-Yves Leloup, Jacob Needleman (Foreword)
                > Avg customer review:
                > Usually ships in 24 hours
                > Price: $9.72
                >
                >
                > The Gospel of Philip : Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and the Gnosis of
                > Sacred Union
                >
                > by Jean-Yves Leloup, Jacob Needleman (Foreword)
                > Avg customer review:
                > Usually ships in 24
                >
                >
                > The Gospel of Mary Magdalene
                >
                > by Jean-Yves Leloup, Jacob Needleman (Foreword)
                > Avg customer review:
                > Usually ships in 24 hours
                > Price: $9.72
                >
                > Gnostic Gospel Of St. Thomas
                >
                > by Tau Malachi
                > Avg customer review:
                > Usually ships in 24 hours
                > Price: $11.67
                >
                >
                All of Stephan Hoeller's books on Gnosticism, if I may plug my Bishop.
                The Nag Hammadi Library in English ed.by Robinson, The Gnostic Bible and
                the Gnostic scriptures are good too. The Gnostic Paul and The Johanine
                Gospel in Gnostic Exegesis by Pagels, etc. Kurt Rudolph's book on
                Gnosticism is good too. Check out the bookstore at
                <http://www.gnosis.org> for still other titles.

                --
                Mike Leavitt
              • Michael Leavitt
                ... When ever get into an argument, I always remember I might be the one who is wrong (perhaps not likely :-)) and that the other guy might be right. A
                Message 7 of 27 , Jun 10, 2006
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                  pmcvflag wrote:
                  > Hey Darkchylde
                  >
                  >
                  >>>> So I adamantly refuse to think of another's beliefs as "wrong".<<<
                  >>>>
                  >
                  > I applaud your open-mindedness. I do think it is important to
                  > understand, though, that the Gnostics were actually quite willing to
                  > think of the beliefs of others as "wrong". Now, of course anyone is
                  > welcome to disagree with the Gnostics here, but it is also to disagree
                  > with the ancient meaning of the very word "Gnosis", since the whole
                  > point of that word was to draw a line between what they viewed as a
                  > right understanding vs a wrong one.
                  >
                  >
                  >>>> So how can we say someone is wrong because they do not see as we
                  >>>>
                  > do? Aren't we more enlightened than that?<<
                  >
                  > How do you logically justify the assumption that enlightenment equates
                  > with un-critical acceptance of anything anyone says? I ask that
                  > honestly and out of curiousity. Some would argue that if we were
                  > enlightened we should accept the notion that WE can be wrong, and toss
                  > things out for the sake of debate so that we can really test them (a
                  > basic notion of the "Enlightenment Era").
                  >
                  > The reason I am curious about this is that is all seems so
                  > inconsistant with the fact that you also talk about "Truth". If no one
                  > can be wrong, then there can be no such thing as "Truth" other than
                  > the one truth that no one is wrong. What I mean is, if everyone is
                  > already right, then there is simply no need to look any further for
                  > not only any kind of scientific "truth", but also for any spiritual
                  > truth. It also means, that in thier own world even those who think
                  > others are "wrong" are right to do so... and justified in whatever
                  > action they take. What, then, would even be the point of questioning
                  > the fact that anyone says others are wrong, since they would be right
                  > to do so?
                  >
                  > If all that is true... what is the point of being interested in
                  > Gnosticism other than for the sake of personal entertainment?
                  >
                  > PMCV
                  >
                  >
                  When ever get into an argument, I always remember I might be the one
                  who is wrong (perhaps not likely :-)) and that the other guy might be
                  right. A little humility never heart anyone, even PMCV. :-)

                  --
                  Mike Leavitt
                • Gerry
                  ... On the one hand, you mention visiting your local bookstore, but you also appear to have pasted the above information from an on-line dealer. Either way,
                  Message 8 of 27 , Jun 11, 2006
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                    --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, eagleeyedwildwoman <no_reply@...> wrote:

                    >
                    > What books do you all recommend?, I want to read translations the
                    > scriptures. I went to my local books store and found these books
                    > possibilities:
                    >
                    > The Gospel of Thomas: The Gnostic Wisdom of Jesus
                    >
                    > by Jean-Yves Leloup, Jacob Needleman (Foreword)
                    > Avg customer review:
                    > Usually ships in 24 hours
                    > Price: $9.72
                    >
                    >
                    > The Gospel of Philip : Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and the Gnosis of
                    > Sacred Union
                    >
                    > by Jean-Yves Leloup, Jacob Needleman (Foreword)
                    > Avg customer review:
                    > Usually ships in 24
                    >
                    >
                    > The Gospel of Mary Magdalene
                    >
                    > by Jean-Yves Leloup, Jacob Needleman (Foreword)
                    > Avg customer review:
                    > Usually ships in 24 hours
                    > Price: $9.72
                    >
                    > [ . . . ]
                    >

                     

                    On the one hand, you mention visiting your local bookstore, but you also appear to have pasted the above information from an on-line dealer.  Either way, I'm curious as to how your searches were narrowed down to so many titles by Leloup? 

                    Here's the thing.  In the past, I haven't minded being critical of various authors and editors on the subject of Gnosticism, but I have generally managed to find something positive to say about all of them, even if their works were not among my favorites.  I have to tell you (and everyone else here) that I have been particularly bothered over recent months by some of the pseudo-scholarship that is becoming increasingly available to the public.  I have even felt that certain instances deserved mentioning here, but the difficulty for me has been in figuring out how to go about basically trashing an author's work without it looking like a libelous attack.  At this point, my attitude is pretty much one of "appearances be damned"—I feel a need to get something off my chest.

                    I have promised a number of times to wrap us some thoughts on a discussion on Critical Reading that began several months ago.  My new computer system is on order, so I'll hopefully have both the means and the time to get around to resuming that message thread over the next couple of weeks.  As it was, we looked at the ways in which one passage from a Gnostic text might be rendered by various translators.  Most were good translations, but, depending upon the criteria one might use to evaluate them, some could simply be deemed "better."  Personally, I wondered if it might be helpful to include some other versions that I found to be altogether bad.  And I don't mean that they simply are not my favorites, or that by comparison to certain others they simply weren't as good.  No, I mean BAD.

                    Well, now that Leloup's name has been brought up, I have to say that from what I've seen of his work, anyone interested in a serious exploration of Gnosticism would do well to steer clear of that author.  He was, in fact, the worst offender I encountered.  The misrepresentations found in the commentaries of certain of these alleged "experts" in the field are bad enough, but when it comes to downright fabrications in their "translations" that are ostensibly based on the Coptic originals, I find myself left with no respect whatsoever for these individuals.  There's simply no reason for anyone to rely on such unscrupulous sources when one might just as easily choose to become acquainted with the work of reputable scholars.  Even among these genuine scholars, we may continue to question their work and the conclusions they've drawn, but if we limit ourselves to the works peddled by those other folks advocating one conspiracy theory after another, then we may as well be meeting at one of the numerous "Dan Brown" or "Holy Blood" sites that are available (ad nauseam) on the Internet.

                    I'll try to jump back into the mix here as soon as I'm able, but as difficult as it is for me to keep my PC running at the moment, I still have some research to do this morning for a couple of friends who have no computer at all.

                    Gerry

                  • eagleeyedwildwoman
                    Dearest Darkchylde, When I wrote my critique on the Da Vinci Code I was giving another point of view, my point of view. If you read Plato you will see the
                    Message 9 of 27 , Jun 11, 2006
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                      Dearest Darkchylde,

                      When I wrote my critique on the Da Vinci Code I was giving another
                      point of view, my point of view. If you read Plato you will see the
                      Greek Intellectuals gathered at places like the Lyceum to debate
                      ideas, this was stimulating to the brain function and thought
                      processes, it can be described as a Mind Walk. This is why I am
                      here. I was expressing my view point, this is all. I am hoping to
                      find people to discuss ideas and to have cordial exchange of
                      thoughts on the subject of Gnosis and transcendence, not just people
                      taking sides but people who really do say something and think things
                      through. I hope you will enjoy this type of thought process, where
                      it is allowed even encouraged to have a dissenting point of view.
                      One question to ask is why you think that way or try to find where
                      someone is coming from. By the way, the Gnostics called the
                      Literalists Babies or Children as they believed their approach
                      towards spirituality to be undeveloped and childish, now would you
                      want to debate that? With Love, Aleada


                      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Hey Darkchylde
                      >
                      > >>>So I adamantly refuse to think of another's beliefs
                      as "wrong".<<<
                      >
                      > I applaud your open-mindedness. I do think it is important to
                      > understand, though, that the Gnostics were actually quite willing
                      to
                      > think of the beliefs of others as "wrong". Now, of course anyone
                      is
                      > welcome to disagree with the Gnostics here, but it is also to
                      disagree
                      > with the ancient meaning of the very word "Gnosis", since the
                      whole
                      > point of that word was to draw a line between what they viewed as
                      a
                      > right understanding vs a wrong one.
                      >
                      > >>>So how can we say someone is wrong because they do not see as
                      we
                      > do? Aren't we more enlightened than that?<<
                      >
                      > How do you logically justify the assumption that enlightenment
                      equates
                      > with un-critical acceptance of anything anyone says? I ask that
                      > honestly and out of curiousity. Some would argue that if we were
                      > enlightened we should accept the notion that WE can be wrong, and
                      toss
                      > things out for the sake of debate so that we can really test them
                      (a
                      > basic notion of the "Enlightenment Era").
                      >
                      > The reason I am curious about this is that is all seems so
                      > inconsistant with the fact that you also talk about "Truth". If no
                      one
                      > can be wrong, then there can be no such thing as "Truth" other
                      than
                      > the one truth that no one is wrong. What I mean is, if everyone is
                      > already right, then there is simply no need to look any further
                      for
                      > not only any kind of scientific "truth", but also for any
                      spiritual
                      > truth. It also means, that in thier own world even those who think
                      > others are "wrong" are right to do so... and justified in whatever
                      > action they take. What, then, would even be the point of
                      questioning
                      > the fact that anyone says others are wrong, since they would be
                      right
                      > to do so?
                      >
                      > If all that is true... what is the point of being interested in
                      > Gnosticism other than for the sake of personal entertainment?
                      >
                      > PMCV
                      >
                    • bkimbell98
                      Gerry, Please list some of the authors you recommend on Gnostic Gospels. Thanks, Barbara ... you also ... dealer. ... have ... them, ... you ... over ...
                      Message 10 of 27 , Jun 11, 2006
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Gerry,

                        Please list some of the authors you recommend on Gnostic Gospels.

                        Thanks,
                        Barbara

                        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Gerry" <gerryhsp@...> wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, eagleeyedwildwoman <no_reply@>
                        > wrote:
                        > >
                        > > What books do you all recommend?, I want to read translations the
                        > > scriptures. I went to my local books store and found these books
                        > > possibilities:
                        > >
                        > > The Gospel of Thomas: The Gnostic Wisdom of Jesus
                        > >
                        > > by Jean-Yves Leloup, Jacob Needleman (Foreword)
                        > > Avg customer review:
                        > > Usually ships in 24 hours
                        > > Price: $9.72
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > The Gospel of Philip : Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and the Gnosis of
                        > > Sacred Union
                        > >
                        > > by Jean-Yves Leloup, Jacob Needleman (Foreword)
                        > > Avg customer review:
                        > > Usually ships in 24
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > The Gospel of Mary Magdalene
                        > >
                        > > by Jean-Yves Leloup, Jacob Needleman (Foreword)
                        > > Avg customer review:
                        > > Usually ships in 24 hours
                        > > Price: $9.72
                        > >
                        > > [ . . . ]
                        > >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > On the one hand, you mention visiting your local bookstore, but
                        you also
                        > appear to have pasted the above information from an on-line
                        dealer.
                        > Either way, I'm curious as to how your searches were narrowed down
                        > to so many titles by Leloup?
                        >
                        > Here's the thing. In the past, I haven't minded being critical
                        > of various authors and editors on the subject of Gnosticism, but I
                        have
                        > generally managed to find something positive to say about all of
                        them,
                        > even if their works were not among my favorites. I have to tell
                        you
                        > (and everyone else here) that I have been particularly bothered
                        over
                        > recent months by some of the pseudo-scholarship that is becoming
                        > increasingly available to the public. I have even felt that
                        certain
                        > instances deserved mentioning here, but the difficulty for me has
                        been
                        > in figuring out how to go about basically trashing an author's work
                        > without it looking like a libelous attack. At this point, my
                        attitude
                        > is pretty much one of "appearances be damned"—I feel a need to
                        > get something off my chest.
                        >
                        > I have promised a number of times to wrap us some thoughts on a
                        > discussion on Critical Reading that began several months ago. My
                        new
                        > computer system is on order, so I'll hopefully have both the means
                        > and the time to get around to resuming that message thread over
                        the next
                        > couple of weeks. As it was, we looked at the ways in which one
                        passage
                        > from a Gnostic text might be rendered by various translators.
                        Most were
                        > good translations, but, depending upon the criteria one might use
                        to
                        > evaluate them, some could simply be deemed "better."
                        > Personally, I wondered if it might be helpful to include some other
                        > versions that I found to be altogether bad. And I don't mean that
                        > they simply are not my favorites, or that by comparison to certain
                        > others they simply weren't as good. No, I mean BAD.
                        >
                        > Well, now that Leloup's name has been brought up, I have to say
                        that
                        > from what I've seen of his work, anyone interested in a serious
                        > exploration of Gnosticism would do well to steer clear of that
                        author.
                        > He was, in fact, the worst offender I encountered. The
                        > misrepresentations found in the commentaries of certain of these
                        alleged
                        > "experts" in the field are bad enough, but when it comes to
                        > downright fabrications in their "translations" that are
                        > ostensibly based on the Coptic originals, I find myself left with
                        no
                        > respect whatsoever for these individuals. There's simply no reason
                        > for anyone to rely on such unscrupulous sources when one might
                        just as
                        > easily choose to become acquainted with the work of reputable
                        scholars.
                        > Even among these genuine scholars, we may continue to question
                        their
                        > work and the conclusions they've drawn, but if we limit ourselves
                        to
                        > the works peddled by those other folks advocating one conspiracy
                        theory
                        > after another, then we may as well be meeting at one of the
                        numerous
                        > "Dan Brown" or "Holy Blood" sites that are available (ad
                        > nauseam) on the Internet.
                        >
                        > I'll try to jump back into the mix here as soon as I'm able, but
                        > as difficult as it is for me to keep my PC running at the moment, I
                        > still have some research to do this morning for a couple of
                        friends who
                        > have no computer at all.
                        >
                        > Gerry
                        >
                      • bkimbell98
                        The older I get and the more I read, the more I understand that EVERYTHING is based on perception - and it follows that if everything is based on perception,
                        Message 11 of 27 , Jun 11, 2006
                        • 0 Attachment
                          The older I get and the more I read, the more I understand that
                          EVERYTHING is based on perception - and it follows that if
                          everything is based on perception, there is no absolute truth. What
                          makes you think the ancient Gnostics had absoulte truth? It seems
                          that if they had, they would have been the victors instead of the
                          orthodox Christian group and the world would be an entirely
                          different place!
                          (I say all this as a point of argument - not as an attack) I see
                          Gnostics as no different than any of those living today who are on a
                          path to enlightenment. As a matter of fact, they had less info,
                          because they did not have as complete an understanding of the world
                          as we do today - we have explored the universe and know that heaven
                          is not tiered - there is no such thing as heaven being 'up there' in
                          the clouds - we have a better understanding of DNA, infection,
                          mental illness, etc. than those who lived 2000 years ago. And yet,
                          we understand so little of the world and the living beings who
                          inhabit it!
                          At best, we are viewing the world as a shadow-play on the walls of a
                          darkened cave - as the ancient parable suggests. We seem to have
                          progressed very little in 2000 years, largely, I believe, because we
                          refused to let go of the idea that the ancients held the secret to
                          knowing God.

                          As Dorothy realized, in the end, that she had the ability all along
                          to get out of Oz, we, also, have the ability to 'see God '- and we,
                          too, have had it all along. It is our misguided beliefs that hold
                          us back.

                          Barbara

                          --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, eagleeyedwildwoman
                          <no_reply@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Dearest Darkchylde,
                          >
                          > When I wrote my critique on the Da Vinci Code I was giving another
                          > point of view, my point of view. If you read Plato you will see
                          the
                          > Greek Intellectuals gathered at places like the Lyceum to debate
                          > ideas, this was stimulating to the brain function and thought
                          > processes, it can be described as a Mind Walk. This is why I am
                          > here. I was expressing my view point, this is all. I am hoping to
                          > find people to discuss ideas and to have cordial exchange of
                          > thoughts on the subject of Gnosis and transcendence, not just
                          people
                          > taking sides but people who really do say something and think
                          things
                          > through. I hope you will enjoy this type of thought process, where
                          > it is allowed even encouraged to have a dissenting point of view.
                          > One question to ask is why you think that way or try to find where
                          > someone is coming from. By the way, the Gnostics called the
                          > Literalists Babies or Children as they believed their approach
                          > towards spirituality to be undeveloped and childish, now would you
                          > want to debate that? With Love, Aleada
                          >
                          >
                          > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@> wrote:
                          > >
                          > > Hey Darkchylde
                          > >
                          > > >>>So I adamantly refuse to think of another's beliefs
                          > as "wrong".<<<
                          > >
                          > > I applaud your open-mindedness. I do think it is important to
                          > > understand, though, that the Gnostics were actually quite
                          willing
                          > to
                          > > think of the beliefs of others as "wrong". Now, of course anyone
                          > is
                          > > welcome to disagree with the Gnostics here, but it is also to
                          > disagree
                          > > with the ancient meaning of the very word "Gnosis", since the
                          > whole
                          > > point of that word was to draw a line between what they viewed
                          as
                          > a
                          > > right understanding vs a wrong one.
                          > >
                          > > >>>So how can we say someone is wrong because they do not see as
                          > we
                          > > do? Aren't we more enlightened than that?<<
                          > >
                          > > How do you logically justify the assumption that enlightenment
                          > equates
                          > > with un-critical acceptance of anything anyone says? I ask that
                          > > honestly and out of curiousity. Some would argue that if we were
                          > > enlightened we should accept the notion that WE can be wrong,
                          and
                          > toss
                          > > things out for the sake of debate so that we can really test
                          them
                          > (a
                          > > basic notion of the "Enlightenment Era").
                          > >
                          > > The reason I am curious about this is that is all seems so
                          > > inconsistant with the fact that you also talk about "Truth". If
                          no
                          > one
                          > > can be wrong, then there can be no such thing as "Truth" other
                          > than
                          > > the one truth that no one is wrong. What I mean is, if everyone
                          is
                          > > already right, then there is simply no need to look any further
                          > for
                          > > not only any kind of scientific "truth", but also for any
                          > spiritual
                          > > truth. It also means, that in thier own world even those who
                          think
                          > > others are "wrong" are right to do so... and justified in
                          whatever
                          > > action they take. What, then, would even be the point of
                          > questioning
                          > > the fact that anyone says others are wrong, since they would be
                          > right
                          > > to do so?
                          > >
                          > > If all that is true... what is the point of being interested in
                          > > Gnosticism other than for the sake of personal entertainment?
                          > >
                          > > PMCV
                          > >
                          >
                        • eagleeyedwildwoman
                          Thank you Mike, I want some boks that give interpetations of the Gnostic Gospels, I went to Barnes and Nobel and I tought these books seemed pretty good but it
                          Message 12 of 27 , Jun 11, 2006
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                            Thank you Mike, I want some boks that give interpetations of the
                            Gnostic Gospels, I went to Barnes and Nobel and I tought these books
                            seemed pretty good but it looks like I may be wrong and that's why I
                            asked, I know different interpetations can affect meaning. After
                            going to B & N I looked up the books on Amazon to read more, and
                            then I put them on my wish list, I should of given only the title, ,
                            sorry. I will look up the books you recomended, thanks again. AA

                            --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Michael Leavitt <ac998@...>
                            wrote:
                            >
                            > eagleeyedwildwoman wrote:
                            > > What books do you all recommend?, I want to read translations
                            the
                            > > scriptures. I went to my local books store and found these books
                            > > possibilities:
                            > >
                            > > The Gospel of Thomas: The Gnostic Wisdom of Jesus
                            > >
                            > > by Jean-Yves Leloup, Jacob Needleman (Foreword)
                            > > Avg customer review:
                            > > Usually ships in 24 hours
                            > > Price: $9.72
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > The Gospel of Philip : Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and the Gnosis of
                            > > Sacred Union
                            > >
                            > > by Jean-Yves Leloup, Jacob Needleman (Foreword)
                            > > Avg customer review:
                            > > Usually ships in 24
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > The Gospel of Mary Magdalene
                            > >
                            > > by Jean-Yves Leloup, Jacob Needleman (Foreword)
                            > > Avg customer review:
                            > > Usually ships in 24 hours
                            > > Price: $9.72
                            > >
                            > > Gnostic Gospel Of St. Thomas
                            > >
                            > > by Tau Malachi
                            > > Avg customer review:
                            > > Usually ships in 24 hours
                            > > Price: $11.67
                            > >
                            > >
                            > All of Stephan Hoeller's books on Gnosticism, if I may plug my
                            Bishop.
                            > The Nag Hammadi Library in English ed.by Robinson, The Gnostic
                            Bible and
                            > the Gnostic scriptures are good too. The Gnostic Paul and The
                            Johanine
                            > Gospel in Gnostic Exegesis by Pagels, etc. Kurt Rudolph's book
                            on
                            > Gnosticism is good too. Check out the bookstore at
                            > <http://www.gnosis.org> for still other titles.
                            >
                            > --
                            > Mike Leavitt
                            >
                          • imdarkchylde
                            ... also ... have ... them, ... been ... attitude ... new ... next ... passage ... were ... author. ... alleged ... as ... scholars. ... theory ... who ... I
                            Message 13 of 27 , Jun 11, 2006
                            • 0 Attachment
                              --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Gerry" <gerryhsp@...> wrote:
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, eagleeyedwildwoman <no_reply@>
                              > wrote:
                              > >
                              > > What books do you all recommend?, I want to read translations the
                              > > scriptures. I went to my local books store and found these books
                              > > possibilities:
                              > >
                              > > The Gospel of Thomas: The Gnostic Wisdom of Jesus
                              > >
                              > > by Jean-Yves Leloup, Jacob Needleman (Foreword)
                              > > Avg customer review:
                              > > Usually ships in 24 hours
                              > > Price: $9.72
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > The Gospel of Philip : Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and the Gnosis of
                              > > Sacred Union
                              > >
                              > > by Jean-Yves Leloup, Jacob Needleman (Foreword)
                              > > Avg customer review:
                              > > Usually ships in 24
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > The Gospel of Mary Magdalene
                              > >
                              > > by Jean-Yves Leloup, Jacob Needleman (Foreword)
                              > > Avg customer review:
                              > > Usually ships in 24 hours
                              > > Price: $9.72
                              > >
                              > > [ . . . ]
                              > >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > On the one hand, you mention visiting your local bookstore, but you
                              also
                              > appear to have pasted the above information from an on-line dealer.
                              > Either way, I'm curious as to how your searches were narrowed down
                              > to so many titles by Leloup?
                              >
                              > Here's the thing. In the past, I haven't minded being critical
                              > of various authors and editors on the subject of Gnosticism, but I
                              have
                              > generally managed to find something positive to say about all of
                              them,
                              > even if their works were not among my favorites. I have to tell you
                              > (and everyone else here) that I have been particularly bothered over
                              > recent months by some of the pseudo-scholarship that is becoming
                              > increasingly available to the public. I have even felt that certain
                              > instances deserved mentioning here, but the difficulty for me has
                              been
                              > in figuring out how to go about basically trashing an author's work
                              > without it looking like a libelous attack. At this point, my
                              attitude
                              > is pretty much one of "appearances be damned"—I feel a need to
                              > get something off my chest.
                              >
                              > I have promised a number of times to wrap us some thoughts on a
                              > discussion on Critical Reading that began several months ago. My
                              new
                              > computer system is on order, so I'll hopefully have both the means
                              > and the time to get around to resuming that message thread over the
                              next
                              > couple of weeks. As it was, we looked at the ways in which one
                              passage
                              > from a Gnostic text might be rendered by various translators. Most
                              were
                              > good translations, but, depending upon the criteria one might use to
                              > evaluate them, some could simply be deemed "better."
                              > Personally, I wondered if it might be helpful to include some other
                              > versions that I found to be altogether bad. And I don't mean that
                              > they simply are not my favorites, or that by comparison to certain
                              > others they simply weren't as good. No, I mean BAD.
                              >
                              > Well, now that Leloup's name has been brought up, I have to say that
                              > from what I've seen of his work, anyone interested in a serious
                              > exploration of Gnosticism would do well to steer clear of that
                              author.
                              > He was, in fact, the worst offender I encountered. The
                              > misrepresentations found in the commentaries of certain of these
                              alleged
                              > "experts" in the field are bad enough, but when it comes to
                              > downright fabrications in their "translations" that are
                              > ostensibly based on the Coptic originals, I find myself left with no
                              > respect whatsoever for these individuals. There's simply no reason
                              > for anyone to rely on such unscrupulous sources when one might just
                              as
                              > easily choose to become acquainted with the work of reputable
                              scholars.
                              > Even among these genuine scholars, we may continue to question their
                              > work and the conclusions they've drawn, but if we limit ourselves to
                              > the works peddled by those other folks advocating one conspiracy
                              theory
                              > after another, then we may as well be meeting at one of the numerous
                              > "Dan Brown" or "Holy Blood" sites that are available (ad
                              > nauseam) on the Internet.
                              >
                              > I'll try to jump back into the mix here as soon as I'm able, but
                              > as difficult as it is for me to keep my PC running at the moment, I
                              > still have some research to do this morning for a couple of friends
                              who
                              > have no computer at all.
                              >
                              > Gerry
                              >






                              I must recommend a few books myself. I keep rereading Tau Malachi's
                              Gnosis of the Cosmic Christ. I was given it as a Christmas present,
                              and I messed the cover up and will continue to wear the pages thin
                              with rereading. It deals with Christian Gnostism, but the parallels
                              drawn in from other beliefs are enhanced and even supported by the
                              Kabbala. Much of the more enigmatic aspects of Kabbalistic reasoning
                              and instruction are explained and there is much of practical
                              application for daily life as well. I have read (and different
                              translations still tend to impart the same message) everything from
                              the Hymn of the Pearl (a personal favorite) to the Pistis Sophia.
                              Bert Ehrman has an excellent compilation of texts in his Lost
                              Scriptures, although he draws some conclusions from orthodox and
                              gnostic gospels I don't agree with in Lost Christianities-but his
                              research is good. I believe it does us no good to pigeonhole any
                              translations being "good" or "bad". What you can't get from one
                              translation you may get for another, for there is a reason for all
                              things. I tend to brace when I hear that someone is "wrong" for
                              their belief, interpretation, whatever. Perhaps it would be more
                              enlightened of us to say "different". As I told my parents when I
                              was accused of thinking the cannonized scripture as "incorrect" Not
                              incorrect, I told them, but incomplete.

                              Also, the Sophian Fellowship has wonderful thoughts and quotes from
                              the 'gnostic' texts on their website, as well as a mentoring program
                              I am getting involved in as soon as possible. I too have some
                              technical problems.

                              Love and peas
                              Darkchylde
                            • imdarkchylde
                              ... What ... a ... in ... a ... we ... another ... where ... where ... you ... anyone ... as ... were ... Barbara Please forgive if I sounded as though I
                              Message 14 of 27 , Jun 11, 2006
                              • 0 Attachment
                                --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "bkimbell98" <bkimbell98@...>
                                wrote:
                                >
                                > The older I get and the more I read, the more I understand that
                                > EVERYTHING is based on perception - and it follows that if
                                > everything is based on perception, there is no absolute truth.
                                What
                                > makes you think the ancient Gnostics had absoulte truth? It seems
                                > that if they had, they would have been the victors instead of the
                                > orthodox Christian group and the world would be an entirely
                                > different place!
                                > (I say all this as a point of argument - not as an attack) I see
                                > Gnostics as no different than any of those living today who are on
                                a
                                > path to enlightenment. As a matter of fact, they had less info,
                                > because they did not have as complete an understanding of the world
                                > as we do today - we have explored the universe and know that heaven
                                > is not tiered - there is no such thing as heaven being 'up there'
                                in
                                > the clouds - we have a better understanding of DNA, infection,
                                > mental illness, etc. than those who lived 2000 years ago. And yet,
                                > we understand so little of the world and the living beings who
                                > inhabit it!
                                > At best, we are viewing the world as a shadow-play on the walls of
                                a
                                > darkened cave - as the ancient parable suggests. We seem to have
                                > progressed very little in 2000 years, largely, I believe, because
                                we
                                > refused to let go of the idea that the ancients held the secret to
                                > knowing God.
                                >
                                > As Dorothy realized, in the end, that she had the ability all along
                                > to get out of Oz, we, also, have the ability to 'see God '- and we,
                                > too, have had it all along. It is our misguided beliefs that hold
                                > us back.
                                >
                                > Barbara
                                >
                                > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, eagleeyedwildwoman
                                > <no_reply@> wrote:
                                > >
                                > > Dearest Darkchylde,
                                > >
                                > > When I wrote my critique on the Da Vinci Code I was giving
                                another
                                > > point of view, my point of view. If you read Plato you will see
                                > the
                                > > Greek Intellectuals gathered at places like the Lyceum to debate
                                > > ideas, this was stimulating to the brain function and thought
                                > > processes, it can be described as a Mind Walk. This is why I am
                                > > here. I was expressing my view point, this is all. I am hoping to
                                > > find people to discuss ideas and to have cordial exchange of
                                > > thoughts on the subject of Gnosis and transcendence, not just
                                > people
                                > > taking sides but people who really do say something and think
                                > things
                                > > through. I hope you will enjoy this type of thought process,
                                where
                                > > it is allowed even encouraged to have a dissenting point of view.
                                > > One question to ask is why you think that way or try to find
                                where
                                > > someone is coming from. By the way, the Gnostics called the
                                > > Literalists Babies or Children as they believed their approach
                                > > towards spirituality to be undeveloped and childish, now would
                                you
                                > > want to debate that? With Love, Aleada
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@> wrote:
                                > > >
                                > > > Hey Darkchylde
                                > > >
                                > > > >>>So I adamantly refuse to think of another's beliefs
                                > > as "wrong".<<<
                                > > >
                                > > > I applaud your open-mindedness. I do think it is important to
                                > > > understand, though, that the Gnostics were actually quite
                                > willing
                                > > to
                                > > > think of the beliefs of others as "wrong". Now, of course
                                anyone
                                > > is
                                > > > welcome to disagree with the Gnostics here, but it is also to
                                > > disagree
                                > > > with the ancient meaning of the very word "Gnosis", since the
                                > > whole
                                > > > point of that word was to draw a line between what they viewed
                                > as
                                > > a
                                > > > right understanding vs a wrong one.
                                > > >
                                > > > >>>So how can we say someone is wrong because they do not see
                                as
                                > > we
                                > > > do? Aren't we more enlightened than that?<<
                                > > >
                                > > > How do you logically justify the assumption that enlightenment
                                > > equates
                                > > > with un-critical acceptance of anything anyone says? I ask that
                                > > > honestly and out of curiousity. Some would argue that if we
                                were
                                > > > enlightened we should accept the notion that WE can be wrong,
                                > and
                                > > toss
                                > > > things out for the sake of debate so that we can really test
                                > them
                                > > (a
                                > > > basic notion of the "Enlightenment Era").
                                > > >
                                > > > The reason I am curious about this is that is all seems so
                                > > > inconsistant with the fact that you also talk about "Truth". If
                                > no
                                > > one
                                > > > can be wrong, then there can be no such thing as "Truth" other
                                > > than
                                > > > the one truth that no one is wrong. What I mean is, if everyone
                                > is
                                > > > already right, then there is simply no need to look any further
                                > > for
                                > > > not only any kind of scientific "truth", but also for any
                                > > spiritual
                                > > > truth. It also means, that in thier own world even those who
                                > think
                                > > > others are "wrong" are right to do so... and justified in
                                > whatever
                                > > > action they take. What, then, would even be the point of
                                > > questioning
                                > > > the fact that anyone says others are wrong, since they would be
                                > > right
                                > > > to do so?
                                > > >
                                > > > If all that is true... what is the point of being interested in
                                > > > Gnosticism other than for the sake of personal entertainment?
                                > > >
                                > > > PMCV
                                > > >
                                > >
                                >


                                Barbara
                                Please forgive if I sounded as though I didn't respect your opinion.
                                My heartfelt apologies. I cetainly did not mean that, and I must not
                                have communicated what I meant. When I am working with a horse I
                                know the horse technically doesn't do wrong- he (or she) is acting on
                                instinct and impulse and I inadvertantly triggered a response that is
                                detrimental to the training process. WHereas the horse would not be
                                considered wrong, I, as the human, being more enlightened and I AM
                                the one bothering him in the first place (they don't come in my
                                living room and run me off the couch on a whim to go for a run)I can
                                be wrong in that I would give into frustration and anger and
                                aggression and abuse an animal that wouldn't be doing anything but
                                grazing if it wasn't for me anyway. So instead I realise that the
                                horse is only being a horse and it is I who must evolve to get the
                                responce I seek. Those who do not understand there is no need for
                                fear and dominance and superiority would be drawn to religions that
                                promote such ideas. I feel gnostics rise above those tendencies (or
                                should) in order that there path make way for a spiritual
                                transformation that should be ever evolving and growing that becomes
                                apparent in their everday lives and with every person they meet and
                                every choice they make. Then they are like the good horse whisperer
                                that knows the animal he is working with is not on lis level of
                                rational or intellect, yet this is not from superiority or judgement
                                but rather by respect for the parameters that animal can function
                                in. Those who are not in "the know" are simply not there because
                                they are still burdened by superior thinking and judgement.
                                Rally, I beg forgiveness at any offense I gave.
                                Love and peas forever
                                Darkchylde


                                PMCV
                                So much to reply to. I do not see it as an attack (although it seems
                                my opinion might have been taken as one.) As a gnostic I avoid
                                anything that smacks of domination, and I believe the only absolute
                                truth is that we are all in this together. Have a problem with
                                dissention? Quite the contrary, my point is that we cannot judge
                                anothers beliefs to be wrong. That hardly sounds like there is no
                                room for dissention. And I do believe(this doesn't make it truth,
                                albeit MY truth) that enlightment will not come if there is not a
                                tolerance for ALL beliefs and faiths. I can only speak from my
                                person experience, but I have searched many faiths, and even put my
                                name to a few of them, and my present evolution has led me to
                                gnostism. I worshiped the Gad and the Goddess as a wiccan, and I now
                                understand that I was not 'wrong' but incomplete with my awareness
                                and knowledge now. And I might point out gnosis means knowledge, and
                                that can take many forms and have many names but you will know it to
                                be the truth when you FEEL it, as I do. Christ never told anyone
                                they were wrong, yet he imparted a belief that I believe brought
                                people around because of that fact. Perhaps you miss the point with
                                so much polartization and judgement on what is "wrong" and what
                                is "right". I do not even believe that you are wrong for casting
                                judgement. I do not believe I am right in my views that no jugement
                                should be cast. But I will remind that to dominate, to make oneslef
                                superior for what is believed or not is the very urges I seek to
                                eliminate on my effort to expand the Christ consciouness within me.
                                I was unaware that Gnosis meant "right" anything. I was under the
                                impression it meant knowledge and didn't make such constrictive and
                                human confines on ideas that extend beyond the physical realm.
                                Uncritical acceptance is not what I have for the traditions of
                                others, but rather a healthy respect and the true spirit of
                                compassion and acceptance for anyone - which cannot exist in my heart
                                while I harbor judgemnt and critism. I have enjoyed the postings by
                                Tau Malachi and have read the work of Bishop Hoeller on their
                                thoughts on Sufism, Islam and the like and never once was there a
                                judgement or accusation of the belief as wrong. And to think that I
                                excuse all behavior because I refuse to think another is wrong shows
                                you have made judgments on my rationallizing that are incomplete, as
                                you do not know me very well. If as a gnostic I seek to elimiate
                                cosmic ignorance then I would do well to steer away from judgements
                                or condemnations. My heart, which I have learned to listen to, tells
                                me that my head is right.
                                I do find it much more interesting with different points of view.
                                After all, aren't we just individual flames of a larger fire?
                                Love and peas and compassion
                                Darkchylde
                              • pmcvflag
                                Barbara ... seems that if they had, they would have been the victors instead of the orthodox Christian group and the world would be an entirely different
                                Message 15 of 27 , Jun 11, 2006
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                                  Barbara

                                  >>>What makes you think the ancient Gnostics had absoulte truth? It
                                  seems that if they had, they would have been the victors instead of
                                  the orthodox Christian group and the world would be an entirely
                                  different place!<<<

                                  It is not my intent to state whether the Gnostics HAD the absolute
                                  truth. You misunderstand my point there, Barbara. My point is that
                                  the Gnostics of old BELIEVED there is an absolute truth (even if
                                  sometimes they admitted that they didn't completely have it, they
                                  believed it was there all the same). How do I know they believed
                                  that? Because they tell us over and over that it is core to the very
                                  function of thier system.

                                  No one here can completely refute the notion of absolute relativism,
                                  nor can they refute the notion of absolute truth. It is not my place
                                  or intent to convince you either way, I am not here to be a
                                  spiritual guru. That is a question you have to answer for yourself,
                                  and let others answer for themselves. Instead we are simply here to
                                  try and see how the Gnostics looked at the situation so that we can
                                  understand what they believed accurately before we either agree or
                                  disagree with them. After that it is your own business. And heck, in
                                  the process of understanding them, they may even make us think about
                                  it and help us define our own thinking a bit better.... even if we
                                  disagree with them.

                                  Now, if you wish to talk about it on a more philosophical level,
                                  then we need not even drag the Gnostics into it... but then we
                                  wouldn't really be talking about the focus of this group (which is
                                  Gnosticism). However, talking about it that way would require some
                                  smoothing out of what appears to be some serious core
                                  inconsistancies in your points (or at least the way you communicated
                                  those points). Not to say you are right or wrong, just that you seem
                                  to be hopping over the fence and making points for both sides
                                  without seeming to realize it. Or maybe you do realize and you are
                                  just trying to confuse poor ol' befuddled minds like mine ;)

                                  PMCV
                                • bkimbell98
                                  PMCV I agree that it is facinating to try to understand what the Gnostics of old thought - but understanding at the same time, that this was not a homgeneous
                                  Message 16 of 27 , Jun 11, 2006
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                                    PMCV

                                    I agree that it is facinating to try to understand what the Gnostics
                                    of old thought - but understanding at the same time, that this was
                                    not a homgeneous group, by any stretch. I do think it's very
                                    curious that there were so many different groups of Christian
                                    communities in the first few hundred years with so many disparate
                                    views. There was much controversy. How could it be that Jesus left
                                    so many different impressions among his followers? Surely what he
                                    was teaching had a hidden meaning - some 'got it' or thought they
                                    did and others took his teachings literally, interpreting it as best
                                    they could... on and on throughout the millennia.

                                    My whole point is this - it can only be informed speculation on our
                                    part. Somewhere else in this website, someone made the comment that
                                    personal experience is also necessary - not just special knoweldge
                                    or understanding. That is the point I am trying to make (although
                                    not clearly, as you point out). The only thing about which we can
                                    be sure is our own personal experience. We can then interpret the
                                    books in that light.

                                    Barbara

                                    In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Barbara
                                    >
                                    > >>>What makes you think the ancient Gnostics had absoulte truth?
                                    It
                                    > seems that if they had, they would have been the victors instead
                                    of
                                    > the orthodox Christian group and the world would be an entirely
                                    > different place!<<<
                                    >
                                    > It is not my intent to state whether the Gnostics HAD the absolute
                                    > truth. You misunderstand my point there, Barbara. My point is that
                                    > the Gnostics of old BELIEVED there is an absolute truth (even if
                                    > sometimes they admitted that they didn't completely have it, they
                                    > believed it was there all the same). How do I know they believed
                                    > that? Because they tell us over and over that it is core to the
                                    very
                                    > function of thier system.
                                    >
                                    > No one here can completely refute the notion of absolute
                                    relativism,
                                    > nor can they refute the notion of absolute truth. It is not my
                                    place
                                    > or intent to convince you either way, I am not here to be a
                                    > spiritual guru. That is a question you have to answer for
                                    yourself,
                                    > and let others answer for themselves. Instead we are simply here
                                    to
                                    > try and see how the Gnostics looked at the situation so that we
                                    can
                                    > understand what they believed accurately before we either agree or
                                    > disagree with them. After that it is your own business. And heck,
                                    in
                                    > the process of understanding them, they may even make us think
                                    about
                                    > it and help us define our own thinking a bit better.... even if we
                                    > disagree with them.
                                    >
                                    > Now, if you wish to talk about it on a more philosophical level,
                                    > then we need not even drag the Gnostics into it... but then we
                                    > wouldn't really be talking about the focus of this group (which is
                                    > Gnosticism). However, talking about it that way would require some
                                    > smoothing out of what appears to be some serious core
                                    > inconsistancies in your points (or at least the way you
                                    communicated
                                    > those points). Not to say you are right or wrong, just that you
                                    seem
                                    > to be hopping over the fence and making points for both sides
                                    > without seeming to realize it. Or maybe you do realize and you are
                                    > just trying to confuse poor ol' befuddled minds like mine ;)
                                    >
                                    > PMCV
                                    >
                                  • pmcvflag
                                    Hey Darkchylde ... doesn t do wrong- he (or she) is acting on instinct and impulse and I inadvertantly triggered a response that is detrimental to the training
                                    Message 17 of 27 , Jun 11, 2006
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                                      Hey Darkchylde

                                      >>>When I am working with a horse I know the horse technically
                                      doesn't do wrong- he (or she) is acting on instinct and impulse and
                                      I inadvertantly triggered a response that is detrimental to the
                                      training process. WHereas the horse would not be considered wrong,
                                      I, as the human, being more enlightened and I AM
                                      the one bothering him in the first place (they don't come in my
                                      living room and run me off the couch on a whim to go for a run)I can
                                      be wrong in that I would give into frustration and anger and
                                      aggression and abuse an animal that wouldn't be doing anything but
                                      grazing if it wasn't for me anyway.<<<

                                      I like that picture you paint. It allows for openness towards
                                      other's beliefs without stating that we must throw out critical
                                      perspective in the mix.

                                      >>>So much to reply to. I do not see it as an attack (although it
                                      seems my opinion might have been taken as one.)<<<

                                      Don't worry, Darkchylde, most of us in this group actually respect
                                      and enjoy a little bit of a friendly challenge ;) . Honestly, you
                                      don't need to apologize. We test ideas and debate as friends here.
                                      Not everyone is able to do that, and when they find this to be a
                                      threat they write us off as "silly academics". You are welcome to
                                      question my ideas, but expect me to question in return. Keep in mind
                                      that this should always be brought back to the subject at hand....
                                      not just our personal views (that rule applies to me as well).

                                      >>>As a gnostic I avoid anything that smacks of domination, and I
                                      believe the only absolute truth is that we are all in this
                                      together.<<<

                                      Very understandable, though I would question whether it is
                                      indicative of being a Gnostic. Of course, the Gnostic was a rebel
                                      against temporal authority, Yaldebaoth and maybe even the Roman
                                      occupation, but on the other hand the Gnostic also believed in a
                                      rightful cosmic order. Personally, I probably still have some of
                                      that punk rock anarchism in me from my youth, but it would not be
                                      right of me to foist that on to historical Gnostic thinking.

                                      >>>Have a problem with dissention? Quite the contrary, my point is
                                      that we cannot judge anothers beliefs to be wrong. That hardly
                                      sounds like there is no room for dissention. And I do believe(this
                                      doesn't make it truth, albeit MY truth) that enlightment will not
                                      come if there is not a tolerance for ALL beliefs and faiths.<<<

                                      I can certainly sympathize, but I am not so sure the Gnostics would.
                                      Think about it another way, Yaldebaoth can be seen as an allegory
                                      for the those very religions you say we should respect (and I
                                      generally feel ambivalent for). In fact, that is actually partly
                                      what his function is. It becomes very clear in the Gospel of Judas
                                      that the Demiurge is intended as an attack on religious faith. This
                                      is not what we can call tolerance of all beliefs and faiths, but
                                      just the opposite... it is a rejection of blind faith and poorly
                                      thought beliefs.

                                      Now, I am not saying the Gnostics must be right about this. Once
                                      again, that is for people figure out on their own. What I AM saying
                                      is that no one can say that the Gnostics were particularly
                                      relativist.

                                      >>>I can only speak from my person experience, but I have searched
                                      many faiths, and even put my name to a few of them, and my present
                                      evolution has led me to gnostism.<<<

                                      I'm sure nearly everyone here can sympathise with the growth process.

                                      >>>And I might point out gnosis means knowledge, and that can take
                                      many forms and have many names but you will know it to
                                      be the truth when you FEEL it, as I do.<<<

                                      Well, actually that isn't really an accurate meaning for the
                                      word "Gnosis" as the Gnostics used it. This is a subject this forum
                                      does tend to revisit pretty often.

                                      >>>Christ never told anyone they were wrong, yet he imparted a
                                      belief that I believe brought people around because of that fact.<<<

                                      I guess that depends on who's version we are reading. ;) In the
                                      Bible the "Christ" is quite direct in calling people hypocrites,
                                      etc.. However, we don't have to take the Bible seriously here if we
                                      don't want. There is no assumption of scriptural validity here.

                                      >>>Perhaps you miss the point with so much polartization and
                                      judgement on what is "wrong" and what is "right". I do not even
                                      believe that you are wrong for casting judgement.<<<

                                      I didn't cast any judgement, Darkchylde. I am simply trying to
                                      present a historically acurate understanding of the Gnostic belief
                                      system so people can think and talk about about them in an informed
                                      way. Please don't assume that I am some kind of missionary for that
                                      position.

                                      >>>But I will remind that to dominate, to make oneslef superior for
                                      what is believed or not is the very urges I seek to eliminate on my
                                      effort to expand the Christ consciouness within me.<<<

                                      No one is trying to dominate here, Darkchylde. This forum deals with
                                      historical forms of Gnosticism, and all we want to do is make sure
                                      that it is understood.... not agreed with.

                                      >>>>I was unaware that Gnosis meant "right" anything. I was under the
                                      impression it meant knowledge and didn't make such constrictive and
                                      human confines on ideas that extend beyond the physical realm.<<<

                                      Like I mentioned above, we do try to stick with the historical
                                      Gnostic meaning of the word "Gnosis" in this group.... for the sake
                                      of communication. I think you will find that Gnostic ideas were very
                                      open in many ways that many people find very interesting today, but
                                      maybe not in the ways that many would LIKE them to be open.

                                      >>>Uncritical acceptance is not what I have for the traditions of
                                      others, but rather a healthy respect and the true spirit of
                                      compassion and acceptance for anyone - which cannot exist in my heart
                                      while I harbor judgemnt and critism.<<<<

                                      Respect and tolerence is not the same as agreement. Glad you pointed
                                      that out.

                                      >>>And to think that I excuse all behavior because I refuse to think
                                      another is wrong shows you have made judgments on my rationallizing
                                      that are incomplete, as you do not know me very well.<<<

                                      Hmmmmm, maybe you are right. However, on what grounds do you NOT
                                      excuse a behavior? How can you say something is not ok if you can't
                                      say it is wrong? What is the arbitrary difference you assign?

                                      >>>If as a gnostic I seek to elimiate cosmic ignorance then I would
                                      do well to steer away from judgements or condemnations. My heart,
                                      which I have learned to listen to, tells me that my head is right.<<<

                                      You needn't defend your heart here (the head may be something a bit
                                      more testable), thit is your own. Honestly, it simply isn't the
                                      point of this forum. What we are talking about is Gnosticism.

                                      >>>I do find it much more interesting with different points of view.
                                      After all, aren't we just individual flames of a larger fire?<<<

                                      I find various views interesting as well. After all, without the
                                      challenge I would not have been able to test my own views. Sometimes
                                      I have been wrong (yes, I can say "wrong"), but I think the trick
                                      has been to accept that with humility rather than saying nobody can
                                      be wrong therefore I must be right (Thanks Mike.... I think *lol*).

                                      PMCV
                                    • pmcvflag
                                      Hey Barbara ... Gnostics of old thought - but understanding at the same time, that this was not a homgeneous group, by any stretch.
                                      Message 18 of 27 , Jun 11, 2006
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                                        Hey Barbara

                                        >>>I agree that it is facinating to try to understand what the
                                        Gnostics of old thought - but understanding at the same time, that
                                        this was not a homgeneous group, by any stretch.<<<

                                        Very true, and VERY good point. There are important differences we
                                        really need to try and keep in mind. However, there are also things
                                        that tie these groups together. When I attempt to outline systems of
                                        Gnosticism I try to do my best and say things like "this is a
                                        Sethian version" or "this is Valentinian" when they do differ. On
                                        the other hand, there are important things that draw these groups
                                        into a single category, and I think we should not foget that either.

                                        >>>I do think it's very curious that there were so many different
                                        groups of Christian communities in the first few hundred years with
                                        so many disparate views. There was much controversy.<<<

                                        I agree absolutely! In fact, it is the study of Gnosticism that has
                                        really brought this realization to the academic community at large.
                                        However, it doesn't only apply to Gnostic groups. There were many
                                        non-Gnostic Christian groups as well. I don't find it curious in
                                        that I don't think there was as much of a genuine "system" from the
                                        very beginning. There is something called the "Eusebian Paradigm"
                                        that says there was one original church. Scholars today generally
                                        reject this "Eusebian Paradigm" because it just doesn't work with
                                        the historical info we have right now.

                                        >>>How could it be that Jesus left so many different impressions
                                        among his followers? Surely what he was teaching had a hidden
                                        meaning - some 'got it' or thought they did and others took his
                                        teachings literally, interpreting it as best they could... on and on
                                        throughout the millennia.<<<

                                        Well, outside the question of whether Jesus ever actually
                                        historically existed, I think it actually makes sense. The info we
                                        have shows even the very first generation of Christians looking at
                                        this message in many different ways. This is common for purely oral
                                        teaching.

                                        >>>My whole point is this - it can only be informed speculation on
                                        our part.<<<

                                        True. However, isn't informed speculation at least a little better
                                        than uninformed speculation? What I find so common today is that
                                        many people talking about "Gnosticism" do so in an uninformed way.
                                        It is not about whether I am right or wrong, I have learned from
                                        people less technically educated on the subject and I admit it up
                                        front. But, instead it is about whether somebody has simply really
                                        taken the time to stop and think about it critically rather than
                                        just trying to make the "Gnostics" fit thier own preconcieved idea.

                                        >>>>Somewhere else in this website, someone made the comment that
                                        personal experience is also necessary - not just special knoweldge
                                        or understanding.<<<

                                        I have made that point myself. HOWEVER, I have also found myself
                                        having to make the point that it is NOT JUST personal experience
                                        either. BOTH must be there. Failure on EITHER side is failure to
                                        gain Gnosis (at least according to the historical meaning we see in
                                        the texts). There had been a common attempt today to equate "Gnosis"
                                        with personal experience, and that simply is not what the word meant
                                        in the Gnostic texts.

                                        >>>That is the point I am trying to make (although not clearly, as
                                        you point out). The only thing about which we can be sure is our own
                                        personal experience. We can then interpret the books in that
                                        light.<<<

                                        So you don't believe in the notion of the "Logos"? Does that mean
                                        you don't think the Sophia ever "fell"?

                                        PMCV
                                      • eagleeyedwildwoman
                                        Darkchylde, I Never said certin Christians were wrong in my first post on this line. I was expressing a point of view that we all have God in our DNA and that
                                        Message 19 of 27 , Jun 11, 2006
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                                          Darkchylde, I Never said certin Christians were wrong in my first
                                          post on this line. I was expressing a point of view that we all have
                                          God in our DNA and that having the blood line of Jesus was, again in
                                          my opinion, of no consequence nor should it be. Also, I want to
                                          stress that the quest for Gnosis should be an individual matter with
                                          teachers along the way; but ultimately between you and God. If you
                                          read what I wrote this is it, so why the discussion about that I
                                          said someone was wrong? Unless we are continuing an argument from
                                          another group? Also consider dear Gnostics, that just because some
                                          in a certain Royal line in Europe claim heredity to Jesus does not
                                          make it so. It's a claim made by wealthy people that helps justify
                                          their leadership, also something to consider. I really don't want to
                                          be jumped all over when I try to make a point so please really
                                          consider what I write and don't read other things into it and I will
                                          try to do the same for you.

                                          Quietly, Aleada



                                          Hi I'm new here
                                          Looks like I'm come across an intelligent group of thinkers. I know
                                          I'm going to be a bit behind the times with this comment but perhaps
                                          I have something different to say on the subject so, here goes: I
                                          finally saw The Da Vinci Code at the movies Wednesday night. I will
                                          not give a movie review. I did not read the book. I do like that
                                          this movie and book get people interested in the alternative
                                          scriptures and therefore Gnostic thinking. But the idea of this
                                          woman descendant of Mary Magdalene and Jesus being the Holy Grail
                                          becomes a road block to Gnosis which is a direct knowledge of God.
                                          It is also a problem in the Omen which I know is pure fun but
                                          unfortunately is what many people believe, that is the idea of the
                                          big characters playing these big roles while we sit back a watch.
                                          Many people do not realize they are the Hero of their own story and
                                          have a direct connection to God or the Great Spirit. Our path is to
                                          realize that connection and have direct experience of this.
                                          Realization with direct experience of the Divine is Enlightenment or
                                          Gnosis and it may be so individual that it is experienced or related
                                          differently for each of us. Gnosis is an on going process, it is the
                                          road traveled ever onward. Leader or teacher come into our life and
                                          will help us on our way but it is we who decides and we who exert
                                          the effort, I mean to say don't rely on the way showers, it is your
                                          journey and all you really need is you. The blood line of Jesus was
                                          said to be part of the royal family of the Hapsburgs, who's line
                                          runs through most of the royal houses of Europe, this is another
                                          form of Hierarchy which is anti Gnostic thinking. I see little
                                          evidence of Jesus in the royal lines. I see more evidence among the
                                          rich about power, selfishness, and oppression. I see evidence of
                                          his teachings among those who relinquish power in favor of helping
                                          humanity. Sacred words from my own countries constitution say, All
                                          men are created equal and endowed by the Creator with unalienable
                                          rights of Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. I believe
                                          Eve, our original Earth Mother chose Gnosis over obedience and
                                          opened the door for Men to become Gods which was the Creators test
                                          of our capacity to make our own way. We too become Gods and create
                                          our own Universes as Great Spirit wills it so, ever onward. Yes
                                          Barbara I too have visions and as the veil gets thinner it seems
                                          more of us are doing so. Some of the visions I have had are not all
                                          light and gold some are about being stripped naked of all beliefs
                                          and ego, some were harsh from where I have sat but I am thankful for
                                          all revelation which aids my souls growth. I am working each day to
                                          simplify my soul and be open to the purest gold the soul has to
                                          offer, Gnosis.

                                          In Peace,
                                          Your Sister,
                                          Aleada Barbara Aine
                                          --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          > Hey Darkchylde
                                          >
                                          > >>>When I am working with a horse I know the horse technically
                                          > doesn't do wrong- he (or she) is acting on instinct and impulse
                                          and
                                          > I inadvertantly triggered a response that is detrimental to the
                                          > training process. WHereas the horse would not be considered wrong,
                                          > I, as the human, being more enlightened and I AM
                                          > the one bothering him in the first place (they don't come in my
                                          > living room and run me off the couch on a whim to go for a run)I
                                          can
                                          > be wrong in that I would give into frustration and anger and
                                          > aggression and abuse an animal that wouldn't be doing anything but
                                          > grazing if it wasn't for me anyway.<<<
                                          >
                                          > I like that picture you paint. It allows for openness towards
                                          > other's beliefs without stating that we must throw out critical
                                          > perspective in the mix.
                                          >
                                          > >>>So much to reply to. I do not see it as an attack (although it
                                          > seems my opinion might have been taken as one.)<<<
                                          >
                                          > Don't worry, Darkchylde, most of us in this group actually respect
                                          > and enjoy a little bit of a friendly challenge ;) . Honestly, you
                                          > don't need to apologize. We test ideas and debate as friends here.
                                          > Not everyone is able to do that, and when they find this to be a
                                          > threat they write us off as "silly academics". You are welcome to
                                          > question my ideas, but expect me to question in return. Keep in
                                          mind
                                          > that this should always be brought back to the subject at hand....
                                          > not just our personal views (that rule applies to me as well).
                                          >
                                          > >>>As a gnostic I avoid anything that smacks of domination, and I
                                          > believe the only absolute truth is that we are all in this
                                          > together.<<<
                                          >
                                          > Very understandable, though I would question whether it is
                                          > indicative of being a Gnostic. Of course, the Gnostic was a rebel
                                          > against temporal authority, Yaldebaoth and maybe even the Roman
                                          > occupation, but on the other hand the Gnostic also believed in a
                                          > rightful cosmic order. Personally, I probably still have some of
                                          > that punk rock anarchism in me from my youth, but it would not be
                                          > right of me to foist that on to historical Gnostic thinking.
                                          >
                                          > >>>Have a problem with dissention? Quite the contrary, my point is
                                          > that we cannot judge anothers beliefs to be wrong. That hardly
                                          > sounds like there is no room for dissention. And I do believe(this
                                          > doesn't make it truth, albeit MY truth) that enlightment will not
                                          > come if there is not a tolerance for ALL beliefs and faiths.<<<
                                          >
                                          > I can certainly sympathize, but I am not so sure the Gnostics
                                          would.
                                          > Think about it another way, Yaldebaoth can be seen as an allegory
                                          > for the those very religions you say we should respect (and I
                                          > generally feel ambivalent for). In fact, that is actually partly
                                          > what his function is. It becomes very clear in the Gospel of Judas
                                          > that the Demiurge is intended as an attack on religious faith.
                                          This
                                          > is not what we can call tolerance of all beliefs and faiths, but
                                          > just the opposite... it is a rejection of blind faith and poorly
                                          > thought beliefs.
                                          >
                                          > Now, I am not saying the Gnostics must be right about this. Once
                                          > again, that is for people figure out on their own. What I AM
                                          saying
                                          > is that no one can say that the Gnostics were particularly
                                          > relativist.
                                          >
                                          > >>>I can only speak from my person experience, but I have searched
                                          > many faiths, and even put my name to a few of them, and my present
                                          > evolution has led me to gnostism.<<<
                                          >
                                          > I'm sure nearly everyone here can sympathise with the growth
                                          process.
                                          >
                                          > >>>And I might point out gnosis means knowledge, and that can take
                                          > many forms and have many names but you will know it to
                                          > be the truth when you FEEL it, as I do.<<<
                                          >
                                          > Well, actually that isn't really an accurate meaning for the
                                          > word "Gnosis" as the Gnostics used it. This is a subject this
                                          forum
                                          > does tend to revisit pretty often.
                                          >
                                          > >>>Christ never told anyone they were wrong, yet he imparted a
                                          > belief that I believe brought people around because of that
                                          fact.<<<
                                          >
                                          > I guess that depends on who's version we are reading. ;) In the
                                          > Bible the "Christ" is quite direct in calling people hypocrites,
                                          > etc.. However, we don't have to take the Bible seriously here if
                                          we
                                          > don't want. There is no assumption of scriptural validity here.
                                          >
                                          > >>>Perhaps you miss the point with so much polartization and
                                          > judgement on what is "wrong" and what is "right". I do not even
                                          > believe that you are wrong for casting judgement.<<<
                                          >
                                          > I didn't cast any judgement, Darkchylde. I am simply trying to
                                          > present a historically acurate understanding of the Gnostic belief
                                          > system so people can think and talk about about them in an
                                          informed
                                          > way. Please don't assume that I am some kind of missionary for
                                          that
                                          > position.
                                          >
                                          > >>>But I will remind that to dominate, to make oneslef superior
                                          for
                                          > what is believed or not is the very urges I seek to eliminate on
                                          my
                                          > effort to expand the Christ consciouness within me.<<<
                                          >
                                          > No one is trying to dominate here, Darkchylde. This forum deals
                                          with
                                          > historical forms of Gnosticism, and all we want to do is make sure
                                          > that it is understood.... not agreed with.
                                          >
                                          > >>>>I was unaware that Gnosis meant "right" anything. I was under
                                          the
                                          > impression it meant knowledge and didn't make such constrictive and
                                          > human confines on ideas that extend beyond the physical realm.<<<
                                          >
                                          > Like I mentioned above, we do try to stick with the historical
                                          > Gnostic meaning of the word "Gnosis" in this group.... for the
                                          sake
                                          > of communication. I think you will find that Gnostic ideas were
                                          very
                                          > open in many ways that many people find very interesting today,
                                          but
                                          > maybe not in the ways that many would LIKE them to be open.
                                          >
                                          > >>>Uncritical acceptance is not what I have for the traditions of
                                          > others, but rather a healthy respect and the true spirit of
                                          > compassion and acceptance for anyone - which cannot exist in my
                                          heart
                                          > while I harbor judgemnt and critism.<<<<
                                          >
                                          > Respect and tolerence is not the same as agreement. Glad you
                                          pointed
                                          > that out.
                                          >
                                          > >>>And to think that I excuse all behavior because I refuse to
                                          think
                                          > another is wrong shows you have made judgments on my
                                          rationallizing
                                          > that are incomplete, as you do not know me very well.<<<
                                          >
                                          > Hmmmmm, maybe you are right. However, on what grounds do you NOT
                                          > excuse a behavior? How can you say something is not ok if you
                                          can't
                                          > say it is wrong? What is the arbitrary difference you assign?
                                          >
                                          > >>>If as a gnostic I seek to elimiate cosmic ignorance then I
                                          would
                                          > do well to steer away from judgements or condemnations. My heart,
                                          > which I have learned to listen to, tells me that my head is
                                          right.<<<
                                          >
                                          > You needn't defend your heart here (the head may be something a
                                          bit
                                          > more testable), thit is your own. Honestly, it simply isn't the
                                          > point of this forum. What we are talking about is Gnosticism.
                                          >
                                          > >>>I do find it much more interesting with different points of
                                          view.
                                          > After all, aren't we just individual flames of a larger fire?<<<
                                          >
                                          > I find various views interesting as well. After all, without the
                                          > challenge I would not have been able to test my own views.
                                          Sometimes
                                          > I have been wrong (yes, I can say "wrong"), but I think the trick
                                          > has been to accept that with humility rather than saying nobody
                                          can
                                          > be wrong therefore I must be right (Thanks Mike.... I think *lol*).
                                          >
                                          > PMCV
                                          >
                                        • imdarkchylde
                                          ... mind ... would. ... process. ... with ... the ... very ... heart ... pointed ... think ... right.
                                          Message 20 of 27 , Jun 11, 2006
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@...> wrote:
                                            >
                                            > Hey Darkchylde
                                            >
                                            > >>>When I am working with a horse I know the horse technically
                                            > doesn't do wrong- he (or she) is acting on instinct and impulse and
                                            > I inadvertantly triggered a response that is detrimental to the
                                            > training process. WHereas the horse would not be considered wrong,
                                            > I, as the human, being more enlightened and I AM
                                            > the one bothering him in the first place (they don't come in my
                                            > living room and run me off the couch on a whim to go for a run)I can
                                            > be wrong in that I would give into frustration and anger and
                                            > aggression and abuse an animal that wouldn't be doing anything but
                                            > grazing if it wasn't for me anyway.<<<
                                            >
                                            > I like that picture you paint. It allows for openness towards
                                            > other's beliefs without stating that we must throw out critical
                                            > perspective in the mix.
                                            >
                                            > >>>So much to reply to. I do not see it as an attack (although it
                                            > seems my opinion might have been taken as one.)<<<
                                            >
                                            > Don't worry, Darkchylde, most of us in this group actually respect
                                            > and enjoy a little bit of a friendly challenge ;) . Honestly, you
                                            > don't need to apologize. We test ideas and debate as friends here.
                                            > Not everyone is able to do that, and when they find this to be a
                                            > threat they write us off as "silly academics". You are welcome to
                                            > question my ideas, but expect me to question in return. Keep in
                                            mind
                                            > that this should always be brought back to the subject at hand....
                                            > not just our personal views (that rule applies to me as well).
                                            >
                                            > >>>As a gnostic I avoid anything that smacks of domination, and I
                                            > believe the only absolute truth is that we are all in this
                                            > together.<<<
                                            >
                                            > Very understandable, though I would question whether it is
                                            > indicative of being a Gnostic. Of course, the Gnostic was a rebel
                                            > against temporal authority, Yaldebaoth and maybe even the Roman
                                            > occupation, but on the other hand the Gnostic also believed in a
                                            > rightful cosmic order. Personally, I probably still have some of
                                            > that punk rock anarchism in me from my youth, but it would not be
                                            > right of me to foist that on to historical Gnostic thinking.
                                            >
                                            > >>>Have a problem with dissention? Quite the contrary, my point is
                                            > that we cannot judge anothers beliefs to be wrong. That hardly
                                            > sounds like there is no room for dissention. And I do believe(this
                                            > doesn't make it truth, albeit MY truth) that enlightment will not
                                            > come if there is not a tolerance for ALL beliefs and faiths.<<<
                                            >
                                            > I can certainly sympathize, but I am not so sure the Gnostics
                                            would.
                                            > Think about it another way, Yaldebaoth can be seen as an allegory
                                            > for the those very religions you say we should respect (and I
                                            > generally feel ambivalent for). In fact, that is actually partly
                                            > what his function is. It becomes very clear in the Gospel of Judas
                                            > that the Demiurge is intended as an attack on religious faith. This
                                            > is not what we can call tolerance of all beliefs and faiths, but
                                            > just the opposite... it is a rejection of blind faith and poorly
                                            > thought beliefs.
                                            >
                                            > Now, I am not saying the Gnostics must be right about this. Once
                                            > again, that is for people figure out on their own. What I AM saying
                                            > is that no one can say that the Gnostics were particularly
                                            > relativist.
                                            >
                                            > >>>I can only speak from my person experience, but I have searched
                                            > many faiths, and even put my name to a few of them, and my present
                                            > evolution has led me to gnostism.<<<
                                            >
                                            > I'm sure nearly everyone here can sympathise with the growth
                                            process.
                                            >
                                            > >>>And I might point out gnosis means knowledge, and that can take
                                            > many forms and have many names but you will know it to
                                            > be the truth when you FEEL it, as I do.<<<
                                            >
                                            > Well, actually that isn't really an accurate meaning for the
                                            > word "Gnosis" as the Gnostics used it. This is a subject this forum
                                            > does tend to revisit pretty often.
                                            >
                                            > >>>Christ never told anyone they were wrong, yet he imparted a
                                            > belief that I believe brought people around because of that fact.<<<
                                            >
                                            > I guess that depends on who's version we are reading. ;) In the
                                            > Bible the "Christ" is quite direct in calling people hypocrites,
                                            > etc.. However, we don't have to take the Bible seriously here if we
                                            > don't want. There is no assumption of scriptural validity here.
                                            >
                                            > >>>Perhaps you miss the point with so much polartization and
                                            > judgement on what is "wrong" and what is "right". I do not even
                                            > believe that you are wrong for casting judgement.<<<
                                            >
                                            > I didn't cast any judgement, Darkchylde. I am simply trying to
                                            > present a historically acurate understanding of the Gnostic belief
                                            > system so people can think and talk about about them in an informed
                                            > way. Please don't assume that I am some kind of missionary for that
                                            > position.
                                            >
                                            > >>>But I will remind that to dominate, to make oneslef superior for
                                            > what is believed or not is the very urges I seek to eliminate on my
                                            > effort to expand the Christ consciouness within me.<<<
                                            >
                                            > No one is trying to dominate here, Darkchylde. This forum deals
                                            with
                                            > historical forms of Gnosticism, and all we want to do is make sure
                                            > that it is understood.... not agreed with.
                                            >
                                            > >>>>I was unaware that Gnosis meant "right" anything. I was under
                                            the
                                            > impression it meant knowledge and didn't make such constrictive and
                                            > human confines on ideas that extend beyond the physical realm.<<<
                                            >
                                            > Like I mentioned above, we do try to stick with the historical
                                            > Gnostic meaning of the word "Gnosis" in this group.... for the sake
                                            > of communication. I think you will find that Gnostic ideas were
                                            very
                                            > open in many ways that many people find very interesting today, but
                                            > maybe not in the ways that many would LIKE them to be open.
                                            >
                                            > >>>Uncritical acceptance is not what I have for the traditions of
                                            > others, but rather a healthy respect and the true spirit of
                                            > compassion and acceptance for anyone - which cannot exist in my
                                            heart
                                            > while I harbor judgemnt and critism.<<<<
                                            >
                                            > Respect and tolerence is not the same as agreement. Glad you
                                            pointed
                                            > that out.
                                            >
                                            > >>>And to think that I excuse all behavior because I refuse to
                                            think
                                            > another is wrong shows you have made judgments on my rationallizing
                                            > that are incomplete, as you do not know me very well.<<<
                                            >
                                            > Hmmmmm, maybe you are right. However, on what grounds do you NOT
                                            > excuse a behavior? How can you say something is not ok if you can't
                                            > say it is wrong? What is the arbitrary difference you assign?
                                            >
                                            > >>>If as a gnostic I seek to elimiate cosmic ignorance then I would
                                            > do well to steer away from judgements or condemnations. My heart,
                                            > which I have learned to listen to, tells me that my head is
                                            right.<<<
                                            >
                                            > You needn't defend your heart here (the head may be something a bit
                                            > more testable), thit is your own. Honestly, it simply isn't the
                                            > point of this forum. What we are talking about is Gnosticism.
                                            >
                                            > >>>I do find it much more interesting with different points of view.
                                            > After all, aren't we just individual flames of a larger fire?<<<
                                            >
                                            > I find various views interesting as well. After all, without the
                                            > challenge I would not have been able to test my own views.
                                            Sometimes
                                            > I have been wrong (yes, I can say "wrong"), but I think the trick
                                            > has been to accept that with humility rather than saying nobody can
                                            > be wrong therefore I must be right (Thanks Mike.... I think *lol*).
                                            >
                                            > PMCV
                                            >




                                            First I would like to respond to our earlier exchange where the
                                            statement was made about why to get into gnostism. Well, I didn't
                                            get into it for entertainment but I didn't get into it so I could be
                                            right and everyone else be wrong. I could have stuck with most
                                            orthodox beliefs had that been my motivation. I also feel that since
                                            my beliefs are considered heresy by many in mainstream Christianity,
                                            that to be intolerate towards another's beliefs is to go against one
                                            of the main attractions that gnostism had for me, which is the
                                            freedom to interpret as I wish. And do not get hung up on the fact
                                            that I do not see a difference in what is good and what is evil. But
                                            to judge and condemn and critize, reguardless of justification, would
                                            I think expose one's cosmic ignorance, and align one to dark forces.
                                            You made an excellent point about Yeshua pointing out to the
                                            Pharisees and their hypocrisy, or his reaction to the temple
                                            merchants. Still, this showed thier ignorance, and Christ didn't
                                            tell the woman caught in adultry she was wrong. He also never told
                                            anyone that they were wrong that I could find, and he kept a careful
                                            balance of severity and mercy, the Middle Pillar concept of the
                                            Kabala if you will, and rather than telling people they were wrong he
                                            told them how to be right. As far as historical accuracy goes, we
                                            seem to rewrite history on a daily basis as new evidence come to
                                            light so I would warn against being to ridgid in what is believed to
                                            be accurate, because what is seen as historically accurate now may be
                                            seen to be inaccurate in the light of some future evidence. I
                                            believe the gnostic perspective to be a bit more far reaching, even
                                            with the ancients, as there were many factions then with differing
                                            views and opinions that perhaps didn't jive on one plae but when all
                                            are boiled down they come to the some conclusions. I am a Valentinian
                                            myself, but there is much diversity out there and I for one
                                            wholeheartedly embrace that. And I do not defend my heart or head,
                                            and as you pointed out the forum is on Gnostism and my heart and my
                                            head are gnostic so I believe I can include them in my discussion.
                                            You ask how I can say something is not okay if I can't say it is
                                            wrong. I do feel there are many things that are not "okay", such as
                                            killing, domination, and the like but I assign no difference,
                                            arbitrary or otherwise, that would make me jugde another because they
                                            do not think as I do. The Cathars were quite tolerant and were wiped
                                            out by a dominating presence that was not tolerant. When you truly
                                            are superior in your thinking, then like Christ you won't need to
                                            feel as you are superior and you would not communicate this
                                            superiority to others. The need to feel superior dissentegrates when
                                            your reasoning rises above it. Perhaps there are others who have
                                            differnet ideas on what should be expressed in this forum. And what
                                            you consider to be historically accurate might not be considered
                                            historically accurate and it not be, hmm, wrong.

                                            Love and peas
                                            Darkchylde
                                          • GP
                                            Hello, I m not really new to Gnosticism. But I am struggling lately with some more or less obvious problems that I m sure others of you have run into. I am
                                            Message 21 of 27 , Jun 11, 2006
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                                              Hello,

                                              I'm not really new to Gnosticism. But I am struggling lately with some more or less obvious problems that I'm sure others of you have run into. I am wondering how you dealt with them.
                                               
                                              First, I realize that unlike Sophia, I don't know where I belong but I'm pretty sure it isn't "here." So, how do you find out where you belong? Do you wait until grace is offered from another plane much as Christ offered grace to Sophia because she prayed so fervently?
                                               
                                              Second, it has occurred to me that perhaps this IS where I belong despite my dissatisfaction with where I am. I long for something more free -- less burdened by the heaviness of the physical, but is that really an indication that I belong somewhere else? Perhaps I could be of the world but not in it (as some religious groups advise) and simply be of service to what seems best in this Malcut of a place (sorry for the place name dropping!)
                                               
                                              Finally, I ain't no intellectual. Most of what I know is um....empirical or has been taught me orally or by demonstration. How important is book learning to the pursuit of understanding ourselves? (I can't think how to phrase this without it sounding um....smartalecy.....not meant in that way!) I read lots but retain little from books. Thanks for your responses.
                                               
                                              GP

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                                            • Thomas Leavitt
                                              I really like Bentley Layton s translations. http://www.yale.edu/religiousstudies/facultypages/cvbl.html
                                              Message 22 of 27 , Jun 12, 2006
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                                                I really like Bentley Layton's translations.

                                                http://www.yale.edu/religiousstudies/facultypages/cvbl.html

                                                http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0385478437/103-1005991-0341427?v=glance&n=283155

                                                Thomas

                                                --
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                                              • bkimbell98
                                                So you don t believe in the notion of the Logos ? Does that mean you don t think the Sophia ever fell ? I do believe in Logos and I do believe in the myth
                                                Message 23 of 27 , Jun 13, 2006
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                                                  "So you don't believe in the notion of the "Logos"? Does that mean
                                                  you don't think the Sophia ever "fell"?"

                                                  I do believe in Logos and I do believe in the myth of Sophia. If
                                                  that were not true, we'd not be searching for meaning in life,
                                                  knowing that this physical world is not our true home. The problem
                                                  is how to get back to paradise. Another problem is that 90% or
                                                  greater of earth's population doesn't even question this human
                                                  dilemma.

                                                  I have often contemplated whether some of these 2000 year old
                                                  writings are descriptions of personal mystical experience, which
                                                  these individuals interpreted (rightly or wrongly, just as we do)
                                                  based upon their own personal experience in a world of Roman
                                                  occupation, Jewish law, poverty, etc. One also has to think about
                                                  the fact that Jesus, if he was actually one person (as you point
                                                  out), and his initial followers may have been illiterate - and all
                                                  that is written is oral tradition changed a thousand times and
                                                  passed through several generations before it was written by persons
                                                  who never had 'gnosis'. And it certainly was used by the Roman
                                                  empire for control of its population - it was then that it seemed to
                                                  take on more and more pagan/mystery religion ideas and ritual - so
                                                  it was more easily incorporated into Roman society. And gnosis got
                                                  forgotten in the process . Sophia seems forever doomed!

                                                  Although this type of forum is great to discuss ideas, it also is
                                                  difficult to get ideas across!

                                                  Thanks for your comments.

                                                  Barbara

                                                  --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@...> wrote:
                                                  >
                                                  > Hey Barbara
                                                  >
                                                  > >>>I agree that it is facinating to try to understand what the
                                                  > Gnostics of old thought - but understanding at the same time, that
                                                  > this was not a homgeneous group, by any stretch.<<<
                                                  >
                                                  > Very true, and VERY good point. There are important differences we
                                                  > really need to try and keep in mind. However, there are also
                                                  things
                                                  > that tie these groups together. When I attempt to outline systems
                                                  of
                                                  > Gnosticism I try to do my best and say things like "this is a
                                                  > Sethian version" or "this is Valentinian" when they do differ. On
                                                  > the other hand, there are important things that draw these groups
                                                  > into a single category, and I think we should not foget that
                                                  either.
                                                  >
                                                  > >>>I do think it's very curious that there were so many different
                                                  > groups of Christian communities in the first few hundred years
                                                  with
                                                  > so many disparate views. There was much controversy.<<<
                                                  >
                                                  > I agree absolutely! In fact, it is the study of Gnosticism that
                                                  has
                                                  > really brought this realization to the academic community at
                                                  large.
                                                  > However, it doesn't only apply to Gnostic groups. There were many
                                                  > non-Gnostic Christian groups as well. I don't find it curious in
                                                  > that I don't think there was as much of a genuine "system" from
                                                  the
                                                  > very beginning. There is something called the "Eusebian Paradigm"
                                                  > that says there was one original church. Scholars today generally
                                                  > reject this "Eusebian Paradigm" because it just doesn't work with
                                                  > the historical info we have right now.
                                                  >
                                                  > >>>How could it be that Jesus left so many different impressions
                                                  > among his followers? Surely what he was teaching had a hidden
                                                  > meaning - some 'got it' or thought they did and others took his
                                                  > teachings literally, interpreting it as best they could... on and
                                                  on
                                                  > throughout the millennia.<<<
                                                  >
                                                  > Well, outside the question of whether Jesus ever actually
                                                  > historically existed, I think it actually makes sense. The info we
                                                  > have shows even the very first generation of Christians looking at
                                                  > this message in many different ways. This is common for purely
                                                  oral
                                                  > teaching.
                                                  >
                                                  > >>>My whole point is this - it can only be informed speculation on
                                                  > our part.<<<
                                                  >
                                                  > True. However, isn't informed speculation at least a little better
                                                  > than uninformed speculation? What I find so common today is that
                                                  > many people talking about "Gnosticism" do so in an uninformed way.
                                                  > It is not about whether I am right or wrong, I have learned from
                                                  > people less technically educated on the subject and I admit it up
                                                  > front. But, instead it is about whether somebody has simply really
                                                  > taken the time to stop and think about it critically rather than
                                                  > just trying to make the "Gnostics" fit thier own preconcieved idea.
                                                  >
                                                  > >>>>Somewhere else in this website, someone made the comment that
                                                  > personal experience is also necessary - not just special knoweldge
                                                  > or understanding.<<<
                                                  >
                                                  > I have made that point myself. HOWEVER, I have also found myself
                                                  > having to make the point that it is NOT JUST personal experience
                                                  > either. BOTH must be there. Failure on EITHER side is failure to
                                                  > gain Gnosis (at least according to the historical meaning we see
                                                  in
                                                  > the texts). There had been a common attempt today to
                                                  equate "Gnosis"
                                                  > with personal experience, and that simply is not what the word
                                                  meant
                                                  > in the Gnostic texts.
                                                  >
                                                  > >>>That is the point I am trying to make (although not clearly, as
                                                  > you point out). The only thing about which we can be sure is our
                                                  own
                                                  > personal experience. We can then interpret the books in that
                                                  > light.<<<
                                                  >
                                                  > So you don't believe in the notion of the "Logos"? Does that mean
                                                  > you don't think the Sophia ever "fell"?
                                                  >
                                                  > PMCV
                                                  >
                                                • Michael Leavitt
                                                  ... Clear as a bell. -- Mike Leavitt
                                                  Message 24 of 27 , Jun 13, 2006
                                                  • 0 Attachment
                                                    bkimbell98 wrote:
                                                    > "So you don't believe in the notion of the "Logos"? Does that mean
                                                    > you don't think the Sophia ever "fell"?"
                                                    >
                                                    > I do believe in Logos and I do believe in the myth of Sophia. If
                                                    > that were not true, we'd not be searching for meaning in life,
                                                    > knowing that this physical world is not our true home. The problem
                                                    > is how to get back to paradise. Another problem is that 90% or
                                                    > greater of earth's population doesn't even question this human
                                                    > dilemma.
                                                    >
                                                    > I have often contemplated whether some of these 2000 year old
                                                    > writings are descriptions of personal mystical experience, which
                                                    > these individuals interpreted (rightly or wrongly, just as we do)
                                                    > based upon their own personal experience in a world of Roman
                                                    > occupation, Jewish law, poverty, etc. One also has to think about
                                                    > the fact that Jesus, if he was actually one person (as you point
                                                    > out), and his initial followers may have been illiterate - and all
                                                    > that is written is oral tradition changed a thousand times and
                                                    > passed through several generations before it was written by persons
                                                    > who never had 'gnosis'. And it certainly was used by the Roman
                                                    > empire for control of its population - it was then that it seemed to
                                                    > take on more and more pagan/mystery religion ideas and ritual - so
                                                    > it was more easily incorporated into Roman society. And gnosis got
                                                    > forgotten in the process . Sophia seems forever doomed!
                                                    >
                                                    > Although this type of forum is great to discuss ideas, it also is
                                                    > difficult to get ideas across!
                                                    >
                                                    > Thanks for your comments.
                                                    >
                                                    > Barbara
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    Clear as a bell.

                                                    --
                                                    Mike Leavitt
                                                  • pmcvflag
                                                    Hey Barbara ... that were not true, we d not be searching for meaning in life, knowing that this physical world is not our true home. The problem is how to get
                                                    Message 25 of 27 , Jun 13, 2006
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                                                      Hey Barbara

                                                      >>>I do believe in Logos and I do believe in the myth of Sophia. If
                                                      that were not true, we'd not be searching for meaning in life,
                                                      knowing that this physical world is not our true home. The problem
                                                      is how to get back to paradise. Another problem is that 90% or
                                                      greater of earth's population doesn't even question this human
                                                      dilemma.<<<<

                                                      I think you are right. However, I would also point out that without
                                                      the ability to state the possibility that something is "wrong" we
                                                      throw out the allegorical function of the Logos. This is why I
                                                      thought perhaps you were against the notion. Gnostics never cared
                                                      about "paradise", it was not the point of their notions of
                                                      salvation. That is an idea connected to the religion of the very
                                                      same common folk you just mentioned in a negative way.

                                                      >>>>I have often contemplated whether some of these 2000 year old
                                                      writings are descriptions of personal mystical experience, which
                                                      these individuals interpreted (rightly or wrongly, just as we do)
                                                      based upon their own personal experience in a world of Roman
                                                      occupation, Jewish law, poverty, etc.<<<

                                                      I really like the fact that you point out the interpative aspect of
                                                      the mystical expeirence. Many people today deny such a thing exists
                                                      while presenting the opposite view that everything is about personal
                                                      experience. Whether or not I feel you have presented an over all
                                                      consistant point, I have to give you kudos for doing so in this
                                                      particular area. If everything is personal interpretation, then so
                                                      too must be the mystical experience.

                                                      However, in the end we have to remember that whether or not WE feel
                                                      this way, the Gnostics of old did not. The function of the Logos in
                                                      the liturature is pretty clearly presented as an external and
                                                      objective force.

                                                      The notion of objective and empirical truth vs falsehood is so
                                                      deeply core to historical Gnosticism, that it is possible to
                                                      genuinely say that modern relativism is anti-Gnostic on this front.
                                                      To say that there can be no wrong, is to say that one does not agree
                                                      with the myth of the Logos and the fall of Sophia. Now I am not
                                                      saying THAT is right or wrong, just that it is a disagreement with
                                                      the historical Gnostics.

                                                      >>>One also has to think about the fact that Jesus, if he was
                                                      actually one person (as you point out), and his initial followers
                                                      may have been illiterate - and all that is written is oral tradition
                                                      changed a thousand times and passed through several generations
                                                      before it was written by persons who never had 'gnosis'. And it
                                                      certainly was used by the Roman empire for control of its
                                                      population - it was then that it seemed to take on more and more
                                                      pagan/mystery religion ideas and ritual - so it was more easily
                                                      incorporated into Roman society. And gnosis got forgotten in the
                                                      process . Sophia seems forever doomed!<<<

                                                      If we can't say something is right or wrong, we can't say if anyone
                                                      genuinely had "Gnosis". I absolutely think the point
                                                      that "Christian" beliefs became a tool for political aims is an
                                                      historical fact, but I have to disagree that this is when "Pagan"
                                                      (and I hate the word because it is already creating historical
                                                      confusion) Mystery elements came into play. In fact, I can
                                                      historically demonstrate otherwise if you are interested in the
                                                      subject. Texts like Thomas demonstrate Mystery elements, Paul has
                                                      Mystery elements, and if we accept Secret Mark then even the oldest
                                                      existing Gospel has mystery elements. Jewish sources contemporary
                                                      with Jesus demonstrate a Mystery element being introduced into
                                                      Judism in opposition to Roman occupation. There is some reason to
                                                      argue that perhaps from the very beginning, with Jesus himself (and
                                                      even before Jesus, with John) there were some Mystery elements. I
                                                      think it is important to consider that this may not have been a
                                                      later addition.

                                                      I would also say that it is not Sophia that has been left behind in
                                                      recent thinking, but the Logos. Sure, the name of the Logos has been
                                                      used more often, but the allegorical function of the Logos is far
                                                      more lost.

                                                      >>>Although this type of forum is great to discuss ideas, it also is
                                                      difficult to get ideas across!<<<<

                                                      Very true. However, anyone who is going to be part of a group
                                                      dealing with Gnosticism, whether from an academic perspective or
                                                      from an emic perspective, should be willing to put in the work...
                                                      don't you think?

                                                      PMCV
                                                    • lady_caritas
                                                      ... some more or less obvious problems that I m sure others of you have ... Hello, GP. I ve been thinking about your questions, and I ll just offer a few
                                                      Message 26 of 27 , Jun 14, 2006
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                                                        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, GP <swtmeadow@...> wrote:
                                                        >
                                                        > Hello,
                                                        >
                                                        > I'm not really new to Gnosticism. But I am struggling lately with
                                                        some more or less obvious problems that I'm sure others of you have
                                                        >run into. I am wondering how you dealt with them.


                                                        Hello, GP. I've been thinking about your questions, and I'll just
                                                        offer a few ideas to kick around or throw out, whatever you decide.
                                                        These are purely personal reflections of mine.




                                                        > First, I realize that unlike Sophia, I don't know where I belong
                                                        but I'm pretty sure it isn't "here." So, how do you find out where
                                                        you belong? Do you wait until grace is offered from another plane
                                                        much as Christ offered grace to Sophia because she prayed so
                                                        fervently?
                                                        >
                                                        > Second, it has occurred to me that perhaps this IS where I belong
                                                        despite my dissatisfaction with where I am. I long for something more
                                                        free -- less burdened by the heaviness of the physical, but is that
                                                        really an indication that I belong somewhere else? Perhaps I could be
                                                        of the world but not in it (as some religious groups advise) and
                                                        simply be of service to what seems best in this Malcut of a place
                                                        (sorry for the place name dropping!)<<


                                                        Or you could be in this world but not of it... The Gnostics did
                                                        recognize the material world as real, even if corruptible. And
                                                        that's where we all function right now. As far as "another
                                                        plane,"... do you like to obediently "wait," GP? Does prayer have
                                                        meaning for you? IOW, you need to be honest with yourself and
                                                        continue to learn to know yourself.

                                                        Saying 3 from The Gospel of Thomas says, "If those who lead you
                                                        (plur.) say to you, `See, the kingdom is in heaven,' then the birds
                                                        of heaven will precede you. If they say to you, `It is the sea,'
                                                        then the fish will precede you. But the kingdom is inside you of
                                                        you. And it is outside of you."

                                                        Also, from Saying 6, "His disciples questioned him and said to
                                                        him, `Do you want us to fast? And how shall we pray? Shall we give
                                                        alms? And what kind of diet shall we follow?' Jesus said, `Do not
                                                        lie, and do not do what you hate. For all things are disclosed
                                                        before heaven. For there is nothing obscure that will not be shown
                                                        forth, and there is nothing covered that will remain without being
                                                        disclosed.'"



                                                        > Finally, I ain't no intellectual. Most of what I know is
                                                        um....empirical or has been taught me orally or by demonstration. How
                                                        important is book learning to the pursuit of understanding ourselves?
                                                        (I can't think how to phrase this without it sounding
                                                        um....smartalecy.....not meant in that way!) I read lots but retain
                                                        little from books. Thanks for your responses.
                                                        >
                                                        > GP


                                                        GP, I'm thinking it might not be about being "intellectual" so much
                                                        as that we all have different learning styles. If you're retaining
                                                        little from reading books, have you considered making audiotapes of
                                                        selected writings and listening to them? No matter how you "read"
                                                        them, have you taken that empirical knowledge and those oral
                                                        teachings you speak of and knocked them around against ideas from the
                                                        ancient Gnostics or modern authors who talk about them? I find that
                                                        getting involved and critically comparing to my own experience helps
                                                        make the reading meaningful. And there are also times when I'm just
                                                        swept up by the poetry of it all.

                                                        In any case, our group is always available to discuss these readings
                                                        if that is of any help to you. Maybe other members have further
                                                        helpful ideas or suggestions.

                                                        Cari
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