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Re: Old vs new - Who decides?

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  • Steve
    ... word, gnosis ... texts ... world ... specific ... you ... that ... direct ... to ... think ... the ... readier ... others ... afraid I m not. OK, I ll
    Message 1 of 97 , Jul 31 9:23 AM
      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@...> wrote:
      > Hey Steve
      > >>>Also, when I am posting on this list, I try to restrain
      > myself and use the word, "gnosis" as it MAY have been intended by
      > adherents of Sethianism and Valentinianism. But all I can really do
      > is to read the text and look for correspondances to cultural
      > expressions of that time and place. When I am posting about my
      > personal spirituality on Ken or Tom's lists, I use the
      word, "gnosis"
      > as an equivalent to "spiritual enlightenment".<<<
      > And I think that this multiple usage you describe is how it should
      > be. The only problem I see as that sometimes people are not aware
      > that there are multiple usages of the word being delt with.
      > >>>I can't pretend to know what meaning, exactly, the author of The
      > Secret Book of John may have applied to the term since I have never
      > spoken to him.<<<
      > I find a number of quite explicit and direct statements in the
      > that are nearly as good as sitting down and talking to the person.
      > In recent years there really isn't much debate in the academic
      > as to exactly what was meant by the word "Gnosis".
      > >>>I gather that you see the term, in Sethian and Valentinian
      > thought, as being spiritual insight (Sophia) "married" to a
      > intellectual interpretation (Logos). Please correct me if I am
      > mistaken.<<<
      > Well, that is my partial allegorization of the point... so you
      > partly have me right there, but not wholely what I am saying. If
      > recall, some time back I listed a number of specific attributes
      > are very directly (even explicitely) stated in the texts. I think
      > those would be hard to deny. I'm not talking about arcane
      > implications lifted via difficult hermeneutic theories.
      > >>>However, there is really nothing in the ancient documents that
      > spells this out.<<<
      > Well, the little allegory admittedly depends on the debatable point
      > of whether or not these texts were meant to be allegory at all.
      > This, however, only applies to the that aspect and not to the
      > defining points that I previously listed.
      > >>>From a purely historical point of view, I take the comments of
      > Plotinus seriously, and can only assume that he was, in fact,
      > aquainted with a group or groups that were cosmo-phobic and
      > elitist.<<<
      > Oh, I take Plotinus seriously as well. However, it doesn't follow
      > that simply because he was in contact with some people he is
      > debating that he understood them fully. Perhaps he did, but without
      > knowing exactly who he was talking to it is hard to be sure.... we
      > are only hearing one side of the debate and that is never a good
      > thing. If, as some evidence suggests, Allogenes was one of the
      > specific texts he was trying to refute, then we do have to leave
      > some room for the book (and movement) to speak for itself.
      > I think there is no question that there were a number of
      > philosophies (including some Gnostics, though not necessarily all)
      > that held negative views of the Cosmos.
      > >>>From a personal point of view, I, myself was mired for some time
      > in a dualistic, cosmo-phobic world-view, so it doesn't trouble me
      > think that the author of the Secret Book of John might similarly
      > been stuck at what I now perceive to be a lower spiritual
      > understanding.<<<
      > I have doubts that this is actually what AOJ was really trying to
      > convey, but you could be right. There are hints of apophatic
      > theology in it as well, though I agree they don't seem to be as
      > developed (or at least as fully stated) as some other texts. I
      > either way we have to be careful about taking implications from a
      > text that may simply have no connection to the people Plotinus was
      > talking to. Not to say it isn't of value, just that we have to be
      > careful.
      > >>>The historian, as historian, can only base his conclusions on
      > best available evidence. Unfortunately, in the case of Sethian and
      > Valentinian thought, this is complicated by the fact that we can
      > never know whether a particular mythological motif is to be taken
      > literally or symbolically.<<<
      > I have to disagree with you here. There are several passages I can
      > think of off the top of my head where Gnostic texts warn the
      > explicitly to understand something as, if not allegory, at least
      > imperfect metephor.
      > >>>Of course, from a purely personal point of view, this
      > makes no difference to me whatsoever.<<<
      > I have a number of personal views that have not always found
      > reconciliation yet ;) For me, everything makes a difference... but
      > that annoys many others so I guess I should not always expect
      > to be so anal as I am *lol*.
      > PMCV

      > Hi Karl. My goodness, you are precise in your thinking! LOL! I'm
      afraid I'm not. OK, I'll bite. How, exactly, do you think that the
      Sethians defined the word, "gnosis"? Don't worry, I'm not trying to
      debate this, since I really don't know exactly what they might have
      meant. Maybe you could give us a 30-second "sound-bite" spelling-out,
      in plain straightforward language, what AOJ meant by the word. -Steve
    • pmcvflag
      Michael ... G/gnostic?
      Message 97 of 97 , Aug 20, 2006

        >>>How could one ever conceive of Garnerian Wicca being in the least

        Er... my point exactly.

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