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Is " A Course in Miracles" a gnostic text"?

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  • Alejandro
    Hello, I,m new to this group. My English wont be perfect, my native language is Spanish. Ive found that gnostic philosophycal tought system has much to do with
    Message 1 of 5 , Jan 30, 2007
      Hello, I,m new to this group. My English wont be perfect, my native
      language is Spanish. Ive found that gnostic philosophycal tought system
      has much to do with " A course in miracles" ideas. ┬┐Would it be correct
      to say that this book (ACIM) is a gnostic text? I would like to hear
      the opinions of those who have already read "a course in miracles" or
      at least know its principles.

      Thank you
    • lady_caritas
      ... system ... correct ... hear ... or ... Hello, Alejandro. I received _A Course in Miracles_ as a gift a few years ago. I admit that I have only read parts
      Message 2 of 5 , Feb 1, 2007
        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Alejandro" <catarsis0@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > Hello, I,m new to this group. My English wont be perfect, my native
        > language is Spanish. Ive found that gnostic philosophycal tought
        system
        > has much to do with " A course in miracles" ideas. ┬┐Would it be
        correct
        > to say that this book (ACIM) is a gnostic text? I would like to
        hear
        > the opinions of those who have already read "a course in miracles"
        or
        > at least know its principles.
        >
        > Thank you
        >



        Hello, Alejandro. I received _A Course in Miracles_ as a gift a few
        years ago. I admit that I have only read parts of the book, so I
        might not be the best person to make an evaluation. Yet, I haven't
        seen anyone else jump in to respond at this point, so I'll make a few
        comments and maybe there will be others who are familiar with this
        text.

        I find this book interesting if nothing else because it seems to
        appeal to a wide variety of people, from liberal Christians (to the
        consternation of some more conservative, orthodox Christians) to New
        Age groups. That makes me wonder how the book is being interpreted
        and whose interpretation best represents the intent of the text.

        As far as your question as to whether this is a gnostic text,... that
        would depend on one's definition of "gnostic." As you know, our
        group is concerned with a historical focus of Gnosticism, so we would
        look for things such as a variation of Platonist philosophy,
        emanationist cosmology, a demiurge, an unknown, ineffable, infinite,
        ultimate objective reality, etc. Perhaps you or others would be in a
        better position to answer how this might relate to _ACIM_.

        This text approaches spirituality within a modern psychological
        format. That alone, in my opinion, should not be a major,
        determining factor as to whether or not there could be at least a bit
        of Gnostic leaning, but we also should be careful not to inaccurately
        superimpose modern psychological ideas onto ancient texts in the
        process of exegesis and comparison to modern writings.

        Likewise, although _ACIM_ uses a conventional Christian framework,
        the content of the text is not at all traditional orthodoxy. How it
        differs from Christian orthodoxy is a matter of interpretation, and
        I'm not ready to make a definite analysis due to my cursory knowledge
        of this course book.

        From my partial reading, however, I do see what appears to be a
        mentalistic monism. In Chapter 18 when I read, "There is nothing
        outside you,"... and when I see discussion that the world we see is
        of our own making and does not exist, including instruction to deny
        war and plane crashes as real (Workbook, Lesson 14), I wonder how far
        we are to take this. There is idealism, yes. But is there also
        subjective idealism? Or something else?

        Just some introductory thoughts.

        Cari
      • Alejandro
        Hello Cari, thanks for your comments. See, I found some similar ideas between both systems, gnostic and ACIM. For example: 1)The world and the whole material
        Message 3 of 5 , Feb 11, 2007
          Hello Cari, thanks for your comments. See, I found some similar ideas
          between both systems, gnostic and ACIM. For example:

          1)The world and the whole material cosmos is not God creation, but a
          sort of fabrication based on a first mistake or error. (done by
          something else)

          2)Knowledge and salvation are related, faith or belief is not enough,
          there is something to be done or re-learned.

          3) In both systems there is strong dualism. (light and dark, true and
          false, etc)

          4) We humans are traped in kind of prison.

          5) They both do talk about emanationism.

          6) The God of vengance and fear in fisrt testament is not the supreme
          God

          7) They both talk about the posibility of freedom from the word when
          re-integration with God ocurrs.

          I could find you more similaritys if you want...

          Now, this book was written by a psychologyst, (who claims was a
          atheist and sudenly began experiencing revaltions ( symbolical
          visions) ans hear an inner dialogue whos said to be Crist or the Holy
          spirit inspiration). Most of folowers think this is the third
          testament, which comes to explain the meaning of the first two.

          I,ve been reading this book ACIM and Hans Jonas work on gnosticism
          and also some direct gnostic texts. I do believe there are strong
          correspondences between them. This book could be a gnostic one, maybe
          not historical, but in content or principle. They do fit ideological.
          There is no demiurge in it but it talks about the Ego being the maker
          of the world. The ego, I read, is the sick, confused and rebel aspect
          of the Mind, not of God, but of His Son.

          I also see similaritys between this two and the vedanta
          philosophy...but thats another topic.


          Again, thanks for your comments
        • lady_caritas
          ... ideas ... a ... enough, ... and ... supreme ... when ... Holy ... maybe ... ideological. ... maker ... aspect ... You re welcome, Alejandro. I m sorry I
          Message 4 of 5 , Feb 13, 2007
            --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Alejandro" <catarsis0@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            > Hello Cari, thanks for your comments. See, I found some similar
            ideas
            > between both systems, gnostic and ACIM. For example:
            >
            > 1)The world and the whole material cosmos is not God creation, but
            a
            > sort of fabrication based on a first mistake or error. (done by
            > something else)
            >
            > 2)Knowledge and salvation are related, faith or belief is not
            enough,
            > there is something to be done or re-learned.
            >
            > 3) In both systems there is strong dualism. (light and dark, true
            and
            > false, etc)
            >
            > 4) We humans are traped in kind of prison.
            >
            > 5) They both do talk about emanationism.
            >
            > 6) The God of vengance and fear in fisrt testament is not the
            supreme
            > God
            >
            > 7) They both talk about the posibility of freedom from the word
            when
            > re-integration with God ocurrs.
            >
            > I could find you more similaritys if you want...
            >
            > Now, this book was written by a psychologyst, (who claims was a
            > atheist and sudenly began experiencing revaltions ( symbolical
            > visions) ans hear an inner dialogue whos said to be Crist or the
            Holy
            > spirit inspiration). Most of folowers think this is the third
            > testament, which comes to explain the meaning of the first two.
            >
            > I,ve been reading this book ACIM and Hans Jonas work on gnosticism
            > and also some direct gnostic texts. I do believe there are strong
            > correspondences between them. This book could be a gnostic one,
            maybe
            > not historical, but in content or principle. They do fit
            ideological.
            > There is no demiurge in it but it talks about the Ego being the
            maker
            > of the world. The ego, I read, is the sick, confused and rebel
            aspect
            > of the Mind, not of God, but of His Son.
            >
            > I also see similaritys between this two and the vedanta
            > philosophy...but thats another topic.
            >
            >
            > Again, thanks for your comments
            >


            You're welcome, Alejandro. I'm sorry I can't give a more qualified
            opinion, since I would need to complete reading the book first. Then
            I might better be able to understand how much modern psychology plays
            a role in these writings.

            It's true that one can encounter similarities and common terminology
            among various spiritual traditions, yet still find enough differences
            to make them unique in their own way. The differences are often
            found in how terms are defined and used symbolically and how various
            concepts *function* within a given cosmology as a whole, for
            instance.

            I find it interesting when you say that most followers think of ACIM
            as a third testament explaining the meaning of the first two,
            especially if, as you say, "The world and the whole material cosmos
            is not God creation, but a sort of fabrication based on a first
            mistake or error." I wonder how mainstream Christians would
            reconcile this and other differences. Then again, it's not uncommon
            to find people who desire to interpret, whether consciously or not,
            others' writings in terms of their own belief systems.

            Jonas tended to have a personal existentialist bent when describing
            the Gnostics. You also might want to read some more modern
            scholarship on Gnosticism, too, for comparison (for instance, Karen
            King; Kurt Rudolph - _Gnosis_; or even Michael Williams).

            Feel free to continue using your critical eye while joining us in our
            group conversations, Alejandro.

            Cari
          • qoheleth_lives
            Hello, I m not new to Gnosticism, but I am new to the Course in Miracles material, which I begrudgingly began examining this week. I immediately made the
            Message 5 of 5 , Feb 14, 2007
              Hello,

              I'm not new to Gnosticism, but I am new to the Course in Miracles
              material, which I begrudgingly began examining this week. I
              immediately made the connection with gnostic thought in general,
              based upon some of the same points you've listed here. I have since
              discovered a book by Kenneth Wapnick that specifically addresses
              this subject at length by comparing some of the Nag Hammadi texts
              with the ACIM material. I plan to read it, as I am pretty compelled
              by the whole thing. Anyway, I wish I knew the title of the book, but
              if you do a web search for "wapnick gnostic" or something like that,
              you'll find it. It's on Amazon, also.

              Peace,
              Q.

              --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Alejandro" <catarsis0@...>
              wrote:
              >
              >
              > Hello Cari, thanks for your comments. See, I found some similar
              ideas
              > between both systems, gnostic and ACIM. For example:
              >
              > 1)The world and the whole material cosmos is not God creation, but
              a
              > sort of fabrication based on a first mistake or error. (done by
              > something else)
              >
              > 2)Knowledge and salvation are related, faith or belief is not
              enough,
              > there is something to be done or re-learned.
              >
              > 3) In both systems there is strong dualism. (light and dark, true
              and
              > false, etc)
              >
              > 4) We humans are traped in kind of prison.
              >
              > 5) They both do talk about emanationism.
              >
              > 6) The God of vengance and fear in fisrt testament is not the
              supreme
              > God
              >
              > 7) They both talk about the posibility of freedom from the word
              when
              > re-integration with God ocurrs.
              >
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