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Re: It's in our DNA

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  • 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 1 of 27 , Jun 11 11:30 AM
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      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 2 of 27 , Jun 11 12:30 PM
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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 3 of 27 , Jun 11 1:07 PM
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          --- 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 4 of 27 , Jun 11 3:20 PM
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            --- 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 5 of 27 , Jun 11 4:13 PM
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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 6 of 27 , Jun 11 5:35 PM
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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 7 of 27 , Jun 11 6:40 PM
                • 0 Attachment
                  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 8 of 27 , Jun 11 7:04 PM
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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 9 of 27 , Jun 11 7:19 PM
                    • 0 Attachment
                      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 10 of 27 , Jun 11 7:48 PM
                      • 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 11 of 27 , Jun 11 8:56 PM
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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 12 of 27 , Jun 12 11:06 AM
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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

                            --
                            Thomas Leavitt <thomas@...> - 831-295-3917
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                            - Web and graphic design made spiffy -

                            Encrypted public key at http://www.thomasleavitt.org/thomas.asc

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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 13 of 27 , Jun 13 5:57 AM
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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 14 of 27 , Jun 13 5:50 PM
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                                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 15 of 27 , Jun 13 6:06 PM
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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 16 of 27 , Jun 14 8:22 AM
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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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