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Re: Old vs new

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  • George
    Dear PMCV: It s been ages since I have offered any posts here. But I think your question is a very good one. While I have read many flavors of how to
    Message 1 of 97 , Jul 6, 2006
      Dear PMCV:

      It's been ages since I have offered any posts here.
      But I think your question is a very good one.

      While I have read many "flavors" of how to interpret
      Gnosticism, some flavors being especially esoteric, I
      continue to return to what I see as the core of ancient
      Gnosticism:

      The ancient ones used symbols and ritual and philosophy
      to break the bondage to the material world, through
      knowledge, to attain perfection of spirit.

      This can be dumbed-down to a simple phrase: "flesh is
      a prison to the perfectable soul".

      In this stark light, we can see that there are many
      competing "modern" forms of gnosticism. To my surprise,
      "gnosticism lite" has actually survived in almost all
      Christian communities, and in Islam as well.

      In Judaism, there doesn't appear to be as strong a
      gnostic content (but I could be wrong, depending whether
      we mean the Reform Jews or the Orthodox ones).

      We see an expression of Gnosticism in this part of Luke:

      Luk 20:29-36
      = = = = = = = =
      "There were therefore seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and
      died without children.

      And the second took her to wife, and he died childless.

      And the third took her; and in like manner the seven also: and they
      left no children, and died.

      Last of all the woman died also.

      Therefore in the resurrection whose wife of them is she? for seven
      had her to wife.

      And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry,
      and are given in marriage: BUT THEY WHICH SHALL BE ACCOUNTED
      WORTHY ... [in]...the resurrection from the dead, neither marry,
      nor are given in marriage:

      Neither can they die any more:
      for they are equal unto the angels;
      and are the children of God,
      being the children of the resurrection.
      [EMD OF TEXT]

      What would be useful from the Ancient Gnosticism?

      This central premise that the flesh is flawed, and perfection
      can be attained in the spiritual plane.

      Do we value the symbols and precepts that surround this
      ancient core? Yes... in the same way Free Masons
      value and employ their own symbols and precepts. There
      is no special magic to this practice.

      CONCLUSION:
      Does anyone know a Gnostic Fraternity/Sorority? Are
      there communities of "gnostics" that swear an oath to
      each other and to the unifying zeal to perfect practicing
      men and women?

      To use a play on words, it is within such a community that
      modern gnosticism can be perfected. Otherwise, it's just
      individual people who commune casually (like a
      pro-environment club), with no unifying obligation to the
      symbolism of ancient gnosticism.

      If you don't **want** the old symbols and rituals, then
      you might as well become a Muslim or Unitarian or some
      other variant of contemporary religion that believes perfection
      is attained after the flesh is shed.

      There is a third option. Shall we invent NEW rituals and
      NEW vocabulary and symbols? I suppose it could be a noble
      effort. But I think it would be vain without an oath of
      obligation to these re-engineered concepts and to each other.

      Regards,

      George

      Oh boy... I **KNOW** this is going to stir up the bees!
    • pmcvflag
      Michael ... G/gnostic?
      Message 97 of 97 , Aug 20, 2006
        Michael

        >>>How could one ever conceive of Garnerian Wicca being in the least
        G/gnostic?<<<

        Er... my point exactly.

        PMCV
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