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Re: Genuine Gnostics

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  • Robert Anderson
    Dear Cari Thanks for your query. Yes, I agree that reading certain (i.e. Genuinely Gnostic = TRUE) historic “scriptures” can help in our search for Truth.
    Message 1 of 16 , Oct 10, 2006
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      Dear Cari
      Thanks for your query.
      Yes, I agree that reading certain (i.e. Genuinely Gnostic = TRUE) historic “scriptures” can help in our search for Truth.  As long as we understand that the scriptures themselves are NOT the GOAL.  In orthodox religions the scriptures themselves have taken the place of the EXPERIENCE of Truth.  Another problem is that we have no autograph texts of any ancient scripture – only mutilated copies, often translated from the original language by some unknown hand.  How can we know the Truth from such sources?  The important thing to understand (and that which all genuine Gnostic scriptures will tell us) is that we must search for the Truth with ALL our heart and mind – MORE than ANYTHING else on earth!  These scriptures will also tell us to seek for the LIVING MASTER – the one who can reveal the Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven (or whatever else it may be called, e.g. Experience of God, Realm of Divine Light, Nirvana, Paradise, etc.). 
      As far as the group is concerned, you say that your interests focus on history.  Does this mean that you (and ALL the members) are not interested in attaining the experience of Gnosis?  If this is the case you face a futile task – just like a religion trying to understand the true purpose and teaching of its historic Master – no end of intellectual debates, arguments, schisms, and chaos!  Quite simply: NO UNDERSTANDING and NO KNOWLEDGE.
      As far as your (or ‘scholars’) definitions of Gnosis and Gnosticism are concerned, I would agree to a certain extent.  There were certainly many so-called gnostic sects throughout history; however, genuine Gnosticism should not be confused with pseudo-gnosticism!  Anyone may claim to be Gnostic, but genuine Gnosticism relates to those who truly have and experience the genuine Gnosis, which is simply the Knowledge of God (NOT belief).
      Only when one attains Gnosis will one KNOW what the true purpose of our life is.  Before that time we may have many ideas and beliefs on the subject.  We may think Mother Teresa of Calcutta fulfilled the purpose of life, or we may make saints out of many other people for doing various things; there is no end to beliefs and ideas of “goodness.”
      You are perfectly correct – I do not know if any of the previous (i.e. historical) so-called Masters / Prophets / Messiahs / Messengers of God were genuine or not!  But it is actually not important for a Gnostic to know such things, as a genuine Gnostic will always have a LIVING CONTEMPORARY MASTER who reveals the ineffable NAME of GOD and the hidden LIGHT within.  This can only be revealed by a contemporary Master, as no amount of study or intellectual pursuit can reveal it.  This is the reason why God sent (and continually sends) so many Prophets (etc.) to earth throughout history and to all nations.
      The purpose of my book is simply to explain these things in a simple way, and in modern English, to those who wish to experience the Truth for themselves.  I have used suitable quotes from a large variety of ancient scripture purely to reinforce the message to those who will not believe anything that is not contained in sacred scriptures.
      I hope this will answer your queries.
      Best wishes
      Bob


      lady_caritas <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
      --- In gnosticism2@ yahoogroups. com, "randerson_3535"
      <randerson_3535@ ...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi from Bob
      > Today it seems like some sort of fad or fashion to call oneself a
      > gnostic or a mystic. There are new "gnostic" churches
      and "religions"
      > being created all over the world, and many web sites devoted to the
      > subject. It seems like a new clique scene, almost like a social
      club.
      > From my observations it seems like most of these organisations are
      > trying to rediscover the past – to look back in time at various
      > ancient gnostic sects and try to revive their history.
      > However, genuine Gnosticism (i.e. the personal experiential
      KNOWLEDGE
      > of TRUTH / GOD) is not achieved by looking back at history, or by
      > having any beliefs about historic Masters or their teachings. As
      soon
      > as the word belief appears – Gnosis is no more! Belief is a word
      that
      > a genuine Gnostic will never use – s/he will either KNOW or not
      know.
      > Can you imagine any Gnostic Master (like Melchizedek, Zoroaster,
      > Krishna, Moses, Buddha, Elijah, Isaiah, John the Baptist, Jesus,
      > Nanak, Mohammed, etc. etc.) talking about beliefs – no, they were in
      > direct contact with the Divine, and KNEW the TRUTH. It is religions
      > that cling to (blind) beliefs about the past and always persecute
      > anyone claiming to be Gnostic. They are frightened of knowing and
      > facing the Truth. A true Gnostic lives and experiences the
      PRESENT –
      > not the past or future. The experience of God is always in the
      > PRESENT – you will not find God in history. In REALITY there is no
      > other time than the PRESENT.
      > I was initiated into the sacred mysteries of Gnosis 33 years ago,
      and
      > have experienced the Divine Light of God on many occasions in
      > meditation. This experience has been referred to in the
      > Judaic/Christian traditions as the Shekhinah or Beatific Vision.
      > Every religious tradition refers to this experience in some form –
      but
      > the whole purpose of our lives is to actually EXPERIENCE it – NOW.
      > This is the essence of Gnosticism – for this experience itself
      bestows
      > Divine INTUITION or Gnosis, which is both Knowledge of the SELF and
      > GOD. I have written a lengthy study on this whole subject, and will
      > gladly share it with any members who are interested. I can attach
      it
      > to an email (it's a MS Word document) if you contact me. It would
      > make a good topic for future discussion.
      > Bob
      >

      Greetings, Bob.

      As clarification, our group is very much interested in the focus of
      history. And members are welcome to compare modern experience,
      knowledge, beliefs, trends, movies, literature, etc. to the focus of
      our group, historical Gnosticism. That said, for the purposes of our
      group we differentiate between the terms Gnosticism and Gnosis, based
      on historical usage. You can read more here ~
      http://www.geocitie s.com/pmcvflag/ lexicon.html
      (found in our "links" section) ~
      regarding these definitions, which appear to differ from your usage.

      One thing about history. It's part of the contextual fabric of our
      world. Gnosis or any spiritual knowledge has been interpreted within
      the context of our world.

      I am presently responding to a historical post. My words will soon
      become history to anyone reading them later.

      If the "whole purpose of our lives" should be "to actually EXPERIENCE
      it – NOW," then why bother learning about someone else's past ideas
      about spirit and some assumed correct path to knowledge and truth,
      whether written two hours ago or two thousand years ago? If
      a "genuine Gnostic" never uses the word "belief," then why should a
      Gnostic have `faith' or `believe' in the first place that our WHOLE
      PURPOSE is to EXPERIENCE? How do you KNOW that the "masters" you
      mention were "in direct contact with the Divine, and KNEW the
      TRUTH"? What would be the purpose of reading your writings or those
      of the ancients or having a discussion about gnosis that you
      suggest?

      As far as trying to actually revive their history, we had an
      interesting debate along these lines not too long ago. You may want
      to read some of this discussion in the archived posts.

      Cari



      Try the new Yahoo! Philippines Front Page!

    • pmcvflag
      Hey Mike ... Since Lady Cari is the more skilled of the two of us I think the fact I could even be remotely compared with her is quite a compliment to me. Of
      Message 2 of 16 , Oct 10, 2006
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        Hey Mike

        >>>'Till the very end, I thought that was Karl.<<<

        Since Lady Cari is the more skilled of the two of us I think the fact
        I could even be remotely compared with her is quite a compliment to
        me. Of course, all three of us mods are basically in agreement as to
        the focus of our little tea party and how it should be hosted, in
        spite of our stylistic differences. Maybe the more surprising (and
        funny) perspective comes from those people here who find so much
        difference in us in spite of the fact that we are often saying exactly
        the same things in only slightly different ways.

        Anyway, all, I have been offline for a bit but I am back and should be
        able to get in the swing of things within the next few days. Sorry
        about any posts I left unanswered.

        PMCV
      • lady_caritas
        ... fact ... to ... exactly ... be ... Dear PMCV, thank you for your gracious support; however, I interpreted Mike s comments as complimentary in relation to
        Message 3 of 16 , Oct 11, 2006
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          --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hey Mike
          >
          > >>>'Till the very end, I thought that was Karl.<<<
          >
          > Since Lady Cari is the more skilled of the two of us I think the
          fact
          > I could even be remotely compared with her is quite a compliment to
          > me. Of course, all three of us mods are basically in agreement as
          to
          > the focus of our little tea party and how it should be hosted, in
          > spite of our stylistic differences. Maybe the more surprising (and
          > funny) perspective comes from those people here who find so much
          > difference in us in spite of the fact that we are often saying
          exactly
          > the same things in only slightly different ways.
          >
          > Anyway, all, I have been offline for a bit but I am back and should
          be
          > able to get in the swing of things within the next few days. Sorry
          > about any posts I left unanswered.
          >
          > PMCV
          >


          Dear PMCV, thank you for your gracious support; however, I
          interpreted Mike's comments as complimentary in relation to *your*
          skillfulness as a barometer. ;-)

          Besides, I'm not past feeling clumsy in my communication attempts, by
          any means. *lol*

          Welcome back.

          Cari
        • lady_caritas
          ... Thanks for your query. Yes, I agree that reading certain (i.e. Genuinely Gnostic = TRUE) historic “scriptures” can help in our search for
          Message 4 of 16 , Oct 11, 2006
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            --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Robert Anderson <randerson_3535@...> wrote:

            >>>Dear Cari

            Thanks for your query.

            Yes, I agree that reading certain (i.e. Genuinely Gnostic = TRUE) historic “scriptures” can help in our search for Truth.  As long as we understand that the scriptures themselves are NOT the GOAL.  In orthodox religions the scriptures themselves have taken the place of the EXPERIENCE of Truth.<<<

             

            The scriptures themselves might not be the ultimate goal; however, understanding them could be indicative of a special knowledge that derives from study and experience.

            From the Prologue in The Gospel According to Thomas:

            "These are the obscure sayings that the living Jesus uttered and which Didymus Jude Thomas wrote down.  And he said, `Whoever finds the meaning of these sayings will not taste death.'"

             

            >>>  Another problem is that we have no autograph texts of any ancient scripture â€" only mutilated copies, often translated from the original language by some unknown hand.  How can we know the Truth from such sources?  The important thing to understand (and that which all genuine Gnostic scriptures will tell us) is that we must search for the Truth with ALL our heart and mind â€" MORE than ANYTHING else on earth!  These scriptures will also tell us to seek for the LIVING MASTER â€" the one who can reveal the Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven (or whatever else it may be called, e.g. Experience of God, Realm of Divine Light, Nirvana, Paradise, etc.).  <<<

             

            Well, I don't recall the historical Gnostics we discuss using the term "nirvana"; however, Bob, could you provide for us an example of historical Gnostic scripture that talks about seeking the "LIVING MASTER"?  And would this master be a literal human being or a metaphorical figure?

             

            >>>As far as the group is concerned, you say that your interests focus on history.<<<

             

            Yes, and this should be no surprise to new members.  We clearly state our focus in the Description on our homepage as well as in a welcome letter that is sent to all new members.  And, yes, this can include discussion of what the ancients meant by "Gnosis," and also does not mean that we don't welcome conversation about modern subjects while retaining this historical focus.

             

            >>>Does this mean that you (and ALL the members) are not interested in attaining the experience of Gnosis?  If this is the case you face a futile task â€" just like a religion trying to understand the true purpose and teaching of its historic Master â€" no end of intellectual debates, arguments, schisms, and chaos!  Quite simply: NO UNDERSTANDING and NO KNOWLEDGE.<<<

             

            Whoa there, tiger.  You asked a question, but didn't let me reply before taking a tack on one possible response.  To answer your question, I am interested in attaining spiritual knowledge that involves the intellect as well as experience.  Intellect does not always preclude experience and vice versa.  Interest in history does not automatically preclude interest in personal spiritual experience.  I have no idea why one would presume that in the first place.  I also do not agree that debate, if civil, should be coupled with chaos.  There are those who find it preferable to bounce ideas and experience off of others' ideas and experiences for comparison, for context, for interpretation, for a bit of critical evaluation, rather than delude themselves that every flash of light is gnosis. 

             

            Whether or not my perception or those of other members here relate in some ways to the ancients' understanding of Gnosis is perhaps something about which we could speculate based on source materials we have, even though we were not privy to their actual secret initiation process.  I also am not aware of an unbroken esoteric initiatory chain from the ancient Gnostics.

             

            As far as other members here, it is their own business how they respectfully use what they draw from our discussions.  Some are searching for spiritual awareness; others might have academic or other interest.  They are welcome to share whatever they are comfortable sharing.  We are not a church, nor are we an exclusive society of Gnostics.  And, "quite simply," we do not appreciate someone becoming self-appointed judge and jury as to who has or has not achieved UNDERSTANDING and KNOWLEDGE.

             

            >>>As far as your (or ‘scholars’) definitions of Gnosis and Gnosticism are concerned, I would agree to a certain extent.  There were certainly many so-called gnostic sects throughout history; however, genuine Gnosticism should not be confused with pseudo-gnosticism!  Anyone may claim to be Gnostic, but genuine Gnosticism relates to those who truly have and experience the genuine Gnosis, which is simply the Knowledge of God (NOT belief).<<<

             

            And, again, Gnosticism, for the purposes of our group, is a coined word used to describe historical groups.

             

            >>>Only when one attains Gnosis will one KNOW what the true purpose of our life is.  Before that time we may have many ideas and beliefs on the subject.  We may think Mother Teresa of Calcutta fulfilled the purpose of life, or we may make saints out of many other people for doing various things; there is no end to beliefs and ideas of “goodness.”

            You are perfectly correct â€" I do not know if any of the previous (i.e. historical) so-called Masters / Prophets / Messiahs / Messengers of God were genuine or not!  But it is actually not important for a Gnostic to know such things, as a genuine Gnostic will always have a LIVING CONTEMPORARY MASTER who reveals the ineffable NAME of GOD and the hidden LIGHT within.  This can only be revealed by a contemporary Master, as no amount of study or intellectual pursuit can reveal it.  This is the reason why God sent (and continually sends) so many Prophets (etc.) to earth throughout history and to all nations.

            The purpose of my book is simply to explain these things in a simple way, and in modern English, to those who wish to experience the Truth for themselves.  I have used suitable quotes from a large variety of ancient scripture purely to reinforce the message to those who will not believe anything that is not contained in sacred scriptures.

            I hope this will answer your queries.

            Best wishes

            Bob<<<<

             

            "Experience the Truth for themselves"?  A thought:  Valentinian cosmology shows the aeon Truth not alone, but rather paired with its consort, Intellect. 

             

            You have claimed to know the whole purpose of life, Bob.  Does that mean you were in contact with a "LIVING CONTEMPORARY MASTER"?  If so, are you permitted to divulge this person's name?  Or is this a metaphorical or otherworldly presence of some sort? 

             

            Also, studying scriptures and gaining information and perhaps even inspiration from them are not necessarily equivalent to blind belief in some divine authority of written word.  I'm not claiming that study alone will result in Gnosis, and neither did the ancients, to my knowledge.  But they certainly showed evidence of the importance of study in their Platonist philosophical abstractions and elaborate cosmologies, as example. 

             

            Cari

             

          • Michael Leavitt
            Message 5 of 16 , Oct 11, 2006
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              lady_caritas wrote:
              > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@...> wrote:
              >
              >> Hey Mike
              >>
              >>
              >>>>> 'Till the very end, I thought that was Karl.<<<
              >>>>>
              >> Since Lady Cari is the more skilled of the two of us I think the
              >>
              > fact
              >
              >> I could even be remotely compared with her is quite a compliment to
              >> me. Of course, all three of us mods are basically in agreement as
              >>
              > to
              >
              >> the focus of our little tea party and how it should be hosted, in
              >> spite of our stylistic differences. Maybe the more surprising (and
              >> funny) perspective comes from those people here who find so much
              >> difference in us in spite of the fact that we are often saying
              >>
              > exactly
              >
              >> the same things in only slightly different ways.
              >>
              >> Anyway, all, I have been offline for a bit but I am back and should
              >>
              > be
              >
              >> able to get in the swing of things within the next few days. Sorry
              >> about any posts I left unanswered.
              >>
              >> PMCV
              >>
              >>
              >
              >
              > Dear PMCV, thank you for your gracious support; however, I
              > interpreted Mike's comments as complimentary in relation to *your*
              > skillfulness as a barometer. ;-)
              >
              > Besides, I'm not past feeling clumsy in my communication attempts, by
              > any means. *lol*
              >
              > Welcome back.
              >

              > Cari fear not, you both have great ability. Stylistically it sounded like Karl.
              >
            • Michael Leavitt
              l ... Ouch.
              Message 6 of 16 , Oct 11, 2006
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                l
                >
                > I hope this will answer your queries. large variety of ancient
                > scripture purely to reinforce the message to those who will not
                > believe anything that is not contained in sacred scriptures.
                >
                > Best wishes
                >
                > Bob<<<<
                >
                >
                >
                > "Experience the Truth for themselves"? A thought: Valentinian
                > cosmology shows the aeon Truth not alone, but rather paired with its
                > consort, Intellect.
                >
                Ouch.
              • lady_caritas
                ... to ... as ... in ... (and ... should ... Sorry ... *your* ... attempts, by ... sounded like Karl. ... Ah, thanks for that, Mike. So, I was expressing
                Message 7 of 16 , Oct 11, 2006
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                  --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Michael Leavitt <ac998@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > lady_caritas wrote:
                  > > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > >> Hey Mike
                  > >>
                  > >>
                  > >>>>> 'Till the very end, I thought that was Karl.<<<
                  > >>>>>
                  > >> Since Lady Cari is the more skilled of the two of us I think the
                  > >>
                  > > fact
                  > >
                  > >> I could even be remotely compared with her is quite a compliment
                  to
                  > >> me. Of course, all three of us mods are basically in agreement
                  as
                  > >>
                  > > to
                  > >
                  > >> the focus of our little tea party and how it should be hosted,
                  in
                  > >> spite of our stylistic differences. Maybe the more surprising
                  (and
                  > >> funny) perspective comes from those people here who find so much
                  > >> difference in us in spite of the fact that we are often saying
                  > >>
                  > > exactly
                  > >
                  > >> the same things in only slightly different ways.
                  > >>
                  > >> Anyway, all, I have been offline for a bit but I am back and
                  should
                  > >>
                  > > be
                  > >
                  > >> able to get in the swing of things within the next few days.
                  Sorry
                  > >> about any posts I left unanswered.
                  > >>
                  > >> PMCV
                  > >>
                  > >>
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > Dear PMCV, thank you for your gracious support; however, I
                  > > interpreted Mike's comments as complimentary in relation to
                  *your*
                  > > skillfulness as a barometer. ;-)
                  > >
                  > > Besides, I'm not past feeling clumsy in my communication
                  attempts, by
                  > > any means. *lol*
                  > >
                  > > Welcome back.
                  > >
                  >
                  > > Cari fear not, you both have great ability. Stylistically it
                  sounded like Karl.
                  > >
                  >


                  Ah, thanks for that, Mike. So, I was expressing myself like PMCV?
                  *lol* As long as this expression remains literary and doesn't take a
                  physical turn. I'm really not ready to shave my head. ;-)

                  Cari
                • pmcvflag
                  Great post, Cari. Experience the Truth for themselves ? A thought: Valentinian cosmology shows the aeon Truth not alone, but rather paired with its
                  Message 8 of 16 , Oct 12, 2006
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                    Great post, Cari.

                    ""Experience the Truth for themselves"? A thought: Valentinian
                    cosmology shows the aeon Truth not alone, but rather paired with its
                    consort, Intellect."

                    I am still amazed sometimes that no matter how explicit the ancient
                    Gnostics were about the importance of reason and intellect in the
                    concept of Gnosis, there are people who seem to breeze past such
                    passages in the text as if they were not there.

                    PMCV
                  • Michael Leavitt
                    ... Heaven forfend!
                    Message 9 of 16 , Oct 12, 2006
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                      lady_caritas wrote:
                      > Ah, thanks for that, Mike. So, I was expressing myself like PMCV?
                      > *lol* As long as this expression remains literary and doesn't take a
                      > physical turn. I'm really not ready to shave my head. ;-)
                      >
                      > Cari
                      >
                      >
                      Heaven forfend!
                    • Michael Leavitt
                      ... I m tempted to say it is because they are airheads, but probably it is lazyness, as thought is difficult especially about symbolic visions and experiences,
                      Message 10 of 16 , Oct 12, 2006
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                        pmcvflag wrote:
                        > Great post, Cari.
                        >
                        > ""Experience the Truth for themselves"? A thought: Valentinian
                        > cosmology shows the aeon Truth not alone, but rather paired with its
                        > consort, Intellect."
                        >
                        > I am still amazed sometimes that no matter how explicit the ancient
                        > Gnostics were about the importance of reason and intellect in the
                        > concept of Gnosis, there are people who seem to breeze past such
                        > passages in the text as if they were not there.
                        >
                        > PMCV
                        >
                        >
                        I'm tempted to say it is because they are airheads, but probably it is
                        lazyness, as thought is difficult especially about symbolic visions and
                        experiences, it is easier just to "intuit" and go on. Real intuition is
                        seeing everything at once on any given matter, abstract thought, so even
                        here things get messed up. Maybe this whole thing is why old Max
                        Heindel once said, you never understand anything until you have
                        explained it to another.
                      • pmcvflag
                        What? The shaved head isn t sexy? Drat! PMCV ... PMCV? ... take a
                        Message 11 of 16 , Oct 17, 2006
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                          What? The shaved head isn't sexy? Drat!

                          PMCV

                          --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Michael Leavitt <ac998@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > lady_caritas wrote:
                          > > Ah, thanks for that, Mike. So, I was expressing myself like
                          PMCV?
                          > > *lol* As long as this expression remains literary and doesn't
                          take a
                          > > physical turn. I'm really not ready to shave my head. ;-)
                          > >
                          > > Cari
                          > >
                          > >
                          > Heaven forfend!
                          >
                        • pmcvflag
                          Mike... ... it is lazyness, as thought is difficult especially about symbolic visions and experiences, it is easier just to intuit and go on.
                          Message 12 of 16 , Oct 17, 2006
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                            Mike...

                            >>>I'm tempted to say it is because they are airheads, but probably
                            it is lazyness, as thought is difficult especially about symbolic
                            visions and experiences, it is easier just to "intuit" and go on.<<<

                            I am REALLY glad you said it and not me *lol*. Well, I do like to
                            try and play "good cop" SOMETIMES ;) Seriously though, I think what
                            you point out is a common problem with popular postmodernist belief.

                            >>>Real intuition is seeing everything at once on any given matter,
                            abstract thought, so even here things get messed up.<<<

                            Indeed. In fact, maybe we should not blame the people who are simply
                            taking this word in common English usage, but instead the
                            translators who mistakenly put the term in the texts. Many people
                            simply assume it is some kind of "gut feeling" or "precognition"
                            (common to modern usage), when in fact the texts talk about it in a
                            very different way.

                            >>>Maybe this whole thing is why old Max Heindel once said, you
                            never understand anything until you have explained it to another.<<<

                            Don't know so much about Max, but it does remind me of a much older
                            saying... "one who does not know the words does not know the
                            meanings"

                            PMCV
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