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Re: [Gnosticism2] Old vs new

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  • Tsharpmin7@aol.com
    In a message dated 7/6/2006 8:59:19 PM Central Standard Time, no_reply@yahoogroups.com writes: Ok, I am going to ask a loaded question that I know will make
    Message 1 of 97 , Jul 10, 2006
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      In a message dated 7/6/2006 8:59:19 PM Central Standard Time, no_reply@yahoogroups.com writes:
      Ok, I am going to ask a loaded question that I know will make my
      fellow mods here cringe! *lol* Now, this question is quite frankly
      assumed in most forums on the net, and the reason I am asking it here
      is that the assumption (either way) is almost never accompanied with
      an explination or even a thought process. Most in this group have the
      ability to debate in an intelligent and non-partial way (we tend to
      get rid of the evangelists pretty quickly here *lol*), and even those
      of us who are less concerned with objectivity here tend to at least be
      willing to really look at the possibilities that come up in discussion.

      I have seen many people suggest that modern notions of Gnosticism
      outweigh ancient forms. So here is the question; Why
      would "Gnosticism" need to "keep up with the times", so to speak? In
      what way would it need to be modernized, or what is it failing by
      modern standards?

      Inversely, is it possible that in trying to modernize "Gnosticism" it
      could loose something? Get dumbed down somehow?

      I would like to see some genuine conversation on this, not assumptions
      or preconceptions.

      hello, PMCV, your questions seem to be addressing the
      "practice" of Gnosticism as opposed to modern
      "scholarly" notions regarding ancient Gnosticism.
      as i don't know what "modern standards" (didn't get the
      memo) to apply when assessing the modernization of
      Gnosticism i can only apply my own assumptions and
      preconceptions (sorry about that, mate, but i'll call it
      "my experience" in order to at least lend the illusion of 
      being somewhat authoritative) to the question of why
      current Gnostic practice is "failing."
      in my limited experience it appears that "modern
      notions of Gnosticism" are all over the map of human
      imagining.  the nearest thing to a consensus i can
      detect is a virtual "anything goes" approach that glibly
      tosses all manner of disparate "forms" into the cooking
      pot of modern (or maybe it would be more accurate to
      say "popular") Gnosticism.  for me this is the
      trivialization of Gnosticism: for all intents and purpose 
      a reduction of a mystical science to a banal set of "do it
      yourself" and "anything goes" aphorisms; an attitude
      of condescension (or outright hostility) to the
      application of intellectual discipline and an inordinate
      valuation of intuition and emotion ("feelings") as a sort
      of magical conduit to "the truth."  it all seems rather
      meaningless to me when the inmates are running the
      asylum.  not meaning to offend, but it does appear to
      be marked by an inordinate degree of gullibility and
      wish fulfillment (keep in mind that my exposure to
      "popular" Gnosticism has been limited to Yahoo
      discussion groups and one popular web site that
      purports to represent a modern Gnostic church, which
      did have the "virtue" of eschewing New Age incursions
      into its particular "system").
      as far as "modernizing" the ancient mystical discipline
      of Gnosticism i have no objection to that.  but there is
      one major caveat as far as i can tell.  and that is who is
      going to modernize it?  or better, who has the capacity
      and genuine experience to modernize it?  all i can say
      is that i have yet to encounter ANYBODY, despite
      many claims to the contrary, that has the genuine
      capacity and necessary experience to pull it off. 
      Widad's Lebanese Gnostics (which may or may not be
      in actuality a disguised Sufic operation) are very
      interesting to me, but we know too little about them to
      say anything particularly meaningful about their
      validity as a genuinely transformative discipline or
      operation, much less describe them as a valid or
      effective modernization of ancient Gnosticism.
      [Widad, by the way, should be returning to the States
      in the next week or two.]
      imo, and it's not mine alone, there seems to be this
      glaring blind spot in the eyes of many of today's
      self-proclaimed Gnostics in regards to the rigid
      discipline and diligent effort today's scholars
      insist was part and parcel of ancient Gnosticism,
      and which is also consistent with genuine Sufism
      as it is practiced today.  part of this attitude may
      be derived from popular infusions of Buddhist
      thought and attitudes regarding "effort"; partly from
      current cultural attitudes favoring instant
      gratification.  it's somewhat tantamount to an
      individual whose mathematical abilities are at the
      high school algebra level rewriting the precepts of
      quantum mechanics in order to bring that
      discipline down to their own particular level of
      understanding.  at a personal level they may well
      feel some vindication and a sense of
      accomplishment.  fine and dandy. but do you want
      this person on the faculty of your university
      perpetuating their error?
      your friend,
      Crispin Sainte III
    • pmcvflag
      Michael ... G/gnostic?
      Message 97 of 97 , Aug 20, 2006
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        >>>How could one ever conceive of Garnerian Wicca being in the least

        Er... my point exactly.

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