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Re: It's in our DNA

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  • 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 1 of 27 , Jun 13, 2006
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      Hey Barbara

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

      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?

    • 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 2 of 27 , Jun 14, 2006
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        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, GP <swtmeadow@...> wrote:
        > Hello,
        > I'm not really new to Gnosticism. But I am struggling lately with
        some more or less obvious problems that I'm sure others of you have
        >run into. I am wondering how you dealt with them.

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

        > First, I realize that unlike Sophia, I don't know where I belong
        but I'm pretty sure it isn't "here." So, how do you find out where
        you belong? Do you wait until grace is offered from another plane
        much as Christ offered grace to Sophia because she prayed so
        > 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

        > 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.

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