Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

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

Expand Messages
  • 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 1 of 5 , Feb 1, 2007
    View Source
    • 0 Attachment
      --- 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 2 of 5 , Feb 11, 2007
      View Source
      • 0 Attachment
        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 3 of 5 , Feb 13, 2007
        View Source
        • 0 Attachment
          --- 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 4 of 5 , Feb 14, 2007
          View Source
          • 0 Attachment
            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.
            >
          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.