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The Old & New Inquisition against the Gnostics this Sun on CCG!!!

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  • miguelconner
    The foundation of The Inquisition began with the Heresiologists and their polemics against the Gnostics. The tools of the Totalitarian Regimes-- including
    Message 1 of 10 , Feb 8, 2007
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      The foundation of The Inquisition began with the Heresiologists and
      their polemics against the Gnostics. The tools of the Totalitarian
      Regimes-- including thought crime, instilling horror in the population
      and public confessions, just to name a few—were borrowed from the
      Church Father in their wars against the Cathars. Later in history, in
      a very conscious way, these procedures were utilized by modern fascist
      and socialist regimes. There has always been an intellectual movement
      to banish the Gnostics. We reveal that this movement is alive as
      ever. It's a chilling reality

      Arthur Versluis, author of `The New Inquisition', `Restoring Paradise:
      Western Esotericism, Literature, and Consciousness' and `Awakening the
      Contemplative Spirit', editor of Esoterica and Professor of American
      Studies at Michigan State University joins `Coffee, Cigarettes, &
      Gnosis' this Sunday, February 11 at 3 PM PST/5 PM CST/6 PM EST at
      Freethoughtmedia.com. Just click the `ON AIR' button under the banner
      (if there is ever a problem simply go to the direct feed at
      http://infidelguy.primcast.com:8313/).

      Topics Discussed (what more can I say after the introduction?):

      --How the Heresiologist's duality of `right thinking' (Orthodoxy) and
      `wrong choice' (Heresy) were the foundation for the Inquisitional
      pathology and Totalitarian mind set for centuries to come.
      --How the crusades against the Cathars crystallized the Inquisition
      and Totalitarian mind set by creating a system of victimology against
      one's own population.
      --Clear evidence that many of Totalitarian leaders of the Twentieth
      Century were directly influenced by intellectuals who believed in the
      Inquisitional model and the dangers of any Gnostic ideology.
      --How Gnosticism, from the Classic Ages to modern times, has always
      been one of the boogie men for those seeking strict order in their
      societies.
      --Even though religion went from the hunter to the hunted in modern
      times, the Inquisitional model was still used with the Gnostics in mind.
      --Sifting through the terror of the `Satanic Panic' of the Eighties
      and the secret Christian organizations that to this day are attempting
      to quell Freethinkers and the Gnostic revival.
      --A look into some Gnostic secret societies that are ensconced in the
      Eastern Churches of the world that have avoided the eyes of the heresy
      hunters for centuries..


      It's not a matter of `it can happen again', but `it is happening and
      will happen again'. We reveal to you the importance of being vigilant
      under the long shadows of the Church Fathers and their eternal
      heresy-hunting by this nasty needle we thread.

      Next week it's Aleister Crowley. So lock up your muses and get your
      old Ozzie Osbourne t-shirts out.

      Abraxas
    • pmcvflag
      Well, I know that Miguel is aware that we try to open these topics up to commentary, criticism, observation, and I guess that no one here would be particularly
      Message 2 of 10 , Feb 11, 2007
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        Well, I know that Miguel is aware that we try to open these topics
        up to commentary, criticism, observation, and I guess that no one
        here would be particularly shocked that this particular one would
        cause me to raise my eyebrow a bit and feel the need to comment
        *lol*.

        Unfortunately I was unable to catch the show (as I was with the
        Turner interview, though I did hear at least part of the latter). I
        did want to, but because I couldn't I am not able to comment on the
        show itself... only the subject matter. I think the subject if VERY
        important, though, because it raises the issue of a particular
        misunderstanding that many modern readers have IMO.

        To start with, I do wish to make the disclaimer that I am not very
        familiar with Dr Versluis' work. I have only thumbed through a
        couple articles that he did, and he seemed to be a sober and
        critical thinking... at least at a quick glance. I notice that his
        specialty is a bit wider than Gnosticism, and covers many forms of
        esotericism (including modern forms). My observations have nothing
        to do with him in particular (since I don't know how he presented
        the subject)... just the subject matter at hand.

        My only purpose is to offer a couple of counterpoints so that we can
        look at the subject matter here from more than one angle...
        hopefully eventually finding a critical middle. I don't particularly
        LIKE defending the church fathers *lol*, but we don't want to
        present the topic from ONLY a sensationalist perspective either. SO,
        the devil's advocate.....

        >>>--How the Heresiologist's duality of `right thinking' (Orthodoxy)
        and `wrong choice' (Heresy) were the foundation for the Inquisitional
        pathology and Totalitarian mind set for centuries to come.
        --How the crusades against the Cathars crystallized the Inquisition
        and Totalitarian mind set by creating a system of victimology against
        one's own population.
        --Clear evidence that many of Totalitarian leaders of the Twentieth
        Century were directly influenced by intellectuals who believed in the
        Inquisitional model and the dangers of any Gnostic ideology.
        --How Gnosticism, from the Classic Ages to modern times, has always
        been one of the boogie men for those seeking strict order in their
        societies.
        --Even though religion went from the hunter to the hunted in modern
        times, the Inquisitional model was still used with the Gnostics in
        mind.
        --Sifting through the terror of the `Satanic Panic' of the Eighties
        and the secret Christian organizations that to this day are
        attempting to quell Freethinkers and the Gnostic revival.
        --A look into some Gnostic secret societies that are ensconced in the
        Eastern Churches of the world that have avoided the eyes of the
        heresy hunters for centuries..<<<

        I think no one can deny that the people in power have often misused
        it. Before the Inquisition existed, Roman rulers tried to stamp out
        the Greek mysteries. At times, factions of Christianity have been
        far from blameless in this regard. Of course, on the other end there
        is a spectrum of people who love to be misunderstood martyrs for
        their cause (I will avoid speculation about the psychological
        mechanics at this point). For example, consider how some (generally
        younger) modern Wiccans seemed so keen to talk about the "Burning
        Times". The whole idea that the "Catholic Inquisition" burned
        millions of witches simply is not something that has turned out to
        be true, and even more thoughtful Wiccans realize this.

        I don't think the ancient Gnostics thought of themselves via this
        kind of victimology, but in the past we have had some others in this
        forum who have seemed to feel this is the case (though I would
        challenge it). Gnostic sources could be just as brutal in their
        attack of what they viewed as heterodoxy. I think that we must be
        careful not to make the mistake of setting up "Orthodoxy" as a
        boogieman for for a construct of Gnosticism that never existed.

        I think another misunderstanding that is common with us modern would-
        be Gnostics is the growing desire to paint the ancient Gnostics as
        some kind of mystical anarchists in line with popular postmodernist
        thinking. Just as I would debate Jonas for trying to make them the
        ancient Existentialists, I think the attempt to make the Gnostics
        into the ancient New Age movement is misguided.

        In opposition to this view, I would point out that in some ways the
        ancient Gnostics were sometimes quite a bit MORE strict and
        structured than the "Orthodox" church. At least some of them seemed
        to view themselves as a HIGHLY intellectual movement in contrast to
        the overly free UNthinking masses of pagan (and I mean "pagan" in
        the literal usage) Christianity that we now often think of as
        orthodox (or "Orthodox"). It is possible that the reason some of
        them fizzled is because they were TOO structured and TOO exclusive,
        while the "Orthodox" were frankly more open to a wider set of people.

        How many here think they would stick with a traditional Gnostic
        system if they had the chance?

        Point, counterpoint?

        PMCV
      • lady_caritas
        ... can ... particularly ... SO, ... (Orthodoxy) ... Inquisitional ... against ... the ... the ... there ... this ... would- ... people. ... PMCV, I think you
        Message 3 of 10 , Feb 17, 2007
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          --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@...> wrote:
          >
          > Well, I know that Miguel is aware that we try to open these topics
          > up to commentary, criticism, observation, and I guess that no one
          > here would be particularly shocked that this particular one would
          > cause me to raise my eyebrow a bit and feel the need to comment
          > *lol*.
          >
          > Unfortunately I was unable to catch the show (as I was with the
          > Turner interview, though I did hear at least part of the latter). I
          > did want to, but because I couldn't I am not able to comment on the
          > show itself... only the subject matter. I think the subject if VERY
          > important, though, because it raises the issue of a particular
          > misunderstanding that many modern readers have IMO.
          >
          > To start with, I do wish to make the disclaimer that I am not very
          > familiar with Dr Versluis' work. I have only thumbed through a
          > couple articles that he did, and he seemed to be a sober and
          > critical thinking... at least at a quick glance. I notice that his
          > specialty is a bit wider than Gnosticism, and covers many forms of
          > esotericism (including modern forms). My observations have nothing
          > to do with him in particular (since I don't know how he presented
          > the subject)... just the subject matter at hand.
          >
          > My only purpose is to offer a couple of counterpoints so that we
          can
          > look at the subject matter here from more than one angle...
          > hopefully eventually finding a critical middle. I don't
          particularly
          > LIKE defending the church fathers *lol*, but we don't want to
          > present the topic from ONLY a sensationalist perspective either.
          SO,
          > the devil's advocate.....
          >
          > >>>--How the Heresiologist's duality of `right thinking'
          (Orthodoxy)
          > and `wrong choice' (Heresy) were the foundation for the
          Inquisitional
          > pathology and Totalitarian mind set for centuries to come.
          > --How the crusades against the Cathars crystallized the Inquisition
          > and Totalitarian mind set by creating a system of victimology
          against
          > one's own population.
          > --Clear evidence that many of Totalitarian leaders of the Twentieth
          > Century were directly influenced by intellectuals who believed in
          the
          > Inquisitional model and the dangers of any Gnostic ideology.
          > --How Gnosticism, from the Classic Ages to modern times, has always
          > been one of the boogie men for those seeking strict order in their
          > societies.
          > --Even though religion went from the hunter to the hunted in modern
          > times, the Inquisitional model was still used with the Gnostics in
          > mind.
          > --Sifting through the terror of the `Satanic Panic' of the Eighties
          > and the secret Christian organizations that to this day are
          > attempting to quell Freethinkers and the Gnostic revival.
          > --A look into some Gnostic secret societies that are ensconced in
          the
          > Eastern Churches of the world that have avoided the eyes of the
          > heresy hunters for centuries..<<<
          >
          > I think no one can deny that the people in power have often misused
          > it. Before the Inquisition existed, Roman rulers tried to stamp out
          > the Greek mysteries. At times, factions of Christianity have been
          > far from blameless in this regard. Of course, on the other end
          there
          > is a spectrum of people who love to be misunderstood martyrs for
          > their cause (I will avoid speculation about the psychological
          > mechanics at this point). For example, consider how some (generally
          > younger) modern Wiccans seemed so keen to talk about the "Burning
          > Times". The whole idea that the "Catholic Inquisition" burned
          > millions of witches simply is not something that has turned out to
          > be true, and even more thoughtful Wiccans realize this.
          >
          > I don't think the ancient Gnostics thought of themselves via this
          > kind of victimology, but in the past we have had some others in
          this
          > forum who have seemed to feel this is the case (though I would
          > challenge it). Gnostic sources could be just as brutal in their
          > attack of what they viewed as heterodoxy. I think that we must be
          > careful not to make the mistake of setting up "Orthodoxy" as a
          > boogieman for for a construct of Gnosticism that never existed.
          >
          > I think another misunderstanding that is common with us modern
          would-
          > be Gnostics is the growing desire to paint the ancient Gnostics as
          > some kind of mystical anarchists in line with popular postmodernist
          > thinking. Just as I would debate Jonas for trying to make them the
          > ancient Existentialists, I think the attempt to make the Gnostics
          > into the ancient New Age movement is misguided.
          >
          > In opposition to this view, I would point out that in some ways the
          > ancient Gnostics were sometimes quite a bit MORE strict and
          > structured than the "Orthodox" church. At least some of them seemed
          > to view themselves as a HIGHLY intellectual movement in contrast to
          > the overly free UNthinking masses of pagan (and I mean "pagan" in
          > the literal usage) Christianity that we now often think of as
          > orthodox (or "Orthodox"). It is possible that the reason some of
          > them fizzled is because they were TOO structured and TOO exclusive,
          > while the "Orthodox" were frankly more open to a wider set of
          people.
          >
          > How many here think they would stick with a traditional Gnostic
          > system if they had the chance?
          >
          > Point, counterpoint?
          >
          > PMCV
          >


          PMCV, I think you have hit on a major reason why what eventually
          developed into mainstream, exoteric Christian orthodoxy was used as a
          weapon instead of more otherworldly, abstruse systems. It didn't
          necessarily matter who was swinging polemical barbs. What might have
          mattered more to those people throughout history who cared about
          political power could have been which group - whose ideas, whose
          earthly prominence - served their purposes better, whether this was
          done consciously or not. And surely, as you say, if "the `Orthodox'
          were frankly more open to a wider set of people," dredging out and
          citing the old polemics of Tertullian, such as Nazi Charles Schmitt
          did, would have appeal to those who were interested in old polemical
          fear tactics. It's very possible that not only the exoteric church
          and its polemics, but also its emphasis on Biblical religious figures
          as historical figures would more readily relate to mainstream groups
          and the worldly political arena than an otherworldly, metaphorical
          and mythological approach. Worldly political powers targeted
          heretics as enemies by which to define their ideologies.

          During the interview, Dr. Versluis noted that victimology changed by
          the time of the Cathars and into modernity from what was more of an
          emphasis on phobic rhetoric to what eventually involved more actual
          victims. Also, during times of chaos, there was concern about how to
          force order on society. Later, for example, Cortez would force
          Catholicism on society for order. In the 18th and 19th centuries, we
          would see the secular order using a religious model. And later, in
          cases where there was an antireligious sentiment, the state became
          the religion, the new orthodoxy, ideologically, as with Stalin.

          Regarding the term "gnostic," Dr. Versluis also noted how gradually
          the expression no longer always had historical meaning, and often
          became synonymous with "People that I don't like." The professor
          also mentioned Couliano's essay from the 1980s in which he made fun
          of everything being "gnostic" nowadays. "Gnostic" often became
          pejorative, where things were seen to be diminished if this word were
          used. He sees that as a throwback to ancient antiheresy rhetoric.

          Actually, part of the thrust of his interview was directed toward
          discussing roots of totalitarianism, pointing out the inquisitional
          dynamic throughout history and that we need to be aware of this
          dynamic instead of being subject to it.

          Cari
        • Miguel Conner
          Hi Cari, You expressed this better than I could have. In the end, as in the beginning, anything mainstream they don t like will be called Gnostic. In
          Message 4 of 10 , Feb 17, 2007
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            Hi Cari,

            You expressed this better than I could have.  In the end, as in the beginning, anything mainstream they don't like will be called Gnostic.  In Arthur's book he points out authors who have humorously accused Oprah Winfrey, Gloria Steimen, and even Louis Farrakan of being 'gnostic'.  And the list doesn't end there!

            I'm surprised the backlash has been rather tepid against 'The Gospel of Judas' and the real crumbs of 'The Da Vinci Code'; but let us hope that humanity is mature enough to understand that they have been robbed for centuries of other spiritual possibilities.  Either that, or Christian apologetics is still stuck on CS Lewis.

            Miguel

            lady_caritas <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
            --- In gnosticism2@ yahoogroups. com, pmcvflag <no_reply@.. .> wrote:
            >
            > Well, I know that Miguel is aware that we try to open these topics
            > up to commentary, criticism, observation, and I guess that no one
            > here would be particularly shocked that this particular one would
            > cause me to raise my eyebrow a bit and feel the need to comment
            > *lol*.
            >
            > Unfortunately I was unable to catch the show (as I was with the
            > Turner interview, though I did hear at least part of the latter). I
            > did want to, but because I couldn't I am not able to comment on the
            > show itself... only the subject matter. I think the subject if VERY
            > important, though, because it raises the issue of a particular
            > misunderstanding that many modern readers have IMO.
            >
            > To start with, I do wish to make the disclaimer that I am not very
            > familiar with Dr Versluis' work. I have only thumbed through a
            > couple articles that he did, and he seemed to be a sober and
            > critical thinking... at least at a quick glance. I notice that his
            > specialty is a bit wider than Gnosticism, and covers many forms of
            > esotericism (including modern forms). My observations have nothing
            > to do with him in particular (since I don't know how he presented
            > the subject)... just the subject matter at hand.
            >
            > My only purpose is to offer a couple of counterpoints so that we
            can
            > look at the subject matter here from more than one angle...
            > hopefully eventually finding a critical middle. I don't
            particularly
            > LIKE defending the church fathers *lol*, but we don't want to
            > present the topic from ONLY a sensationalist perspective either.
            SO,
            > the devil's advocate.... .
            >
            > >>>--How the Heresiologist' s duality of `right thinking'
            (Orthodoxy)
            > and `wrong choice' (Heresy) were the foundation for the
            Inquisitional
            > pathology and Totalitarian mind set for centuries to come.
            > --How the crusades against the Cathars crystallized the Inquisition
            > and Totalitarian mind set by creating a system of victimology
            against
            > one's own population.
            > --Clear evidence that many of Totalitarian leaders of the Twentieth
            > Century were directly influenced by intellectuals who believed in
            the
            > Inquisitional model and the dangers of any Gnostic ideology.
            > --How Gnosticism, from the Classic Ages to modern times, has always
            > been one of the boogie men for those seeking strict order in their
            > societies.
            > --Even though religion went from the hunter to the hunted in modern
            > times, the Inquisitional model was still used with the Gnostics in
            > mind.
            > --Sifting through the terror of the `Satanic Panic' of the Eighties
            > and the secret Christian organizations that to this day are
            > attempting to quell Freethinkers and the Gnostic revival.
            > --A look into some Gnostic secret societies that are ensconced in
            the
            > Eastern Churches of the world that have avoided the eyes of the
            > heresy hunters for centuries..< <<
            >
            > I think no one can deny that the people in power have often misused
            > it. Before the Inquisition existed, Roman rulers tried to stamp out
            > the Greek mysteries. At times, factions of Christianity have been
            > far from blameless in this regard. Of course, on the other end
            there
            > is a spectrum of people who love to be misunderstood martyrs for
            > their cause (I will avoid speculation about the psychological
            > mechanics at this point). For example, consider how some (generally
            > younger) modern Wiccans seemed so keen to talk about the "Burning
            > Times". The whole idea that the "Catholic Inquisition" burned
            > millions of witches simply is not something that has turned out to
            > be true, and even more thoughtful Wiccans realize this.
            >
            > I don't think the ancient Gnostics thought of themselves via this
            > kind of victimology, but in the past we have had some others in
            this
            > forum who have seemed to feel this is the case (though I would
            > challenge it). Gnostic sources could be just as brutal in their
            > attack of what they viewed as heterodoxy. I think that we must be
            > careful not to make the mistake of setting up "Orthodoxy" as a
            > boogieman for for a construct of Gnosticism that never existed.
            >
            > I think another misunderstanding that is common with us modern
            would-
            > be Gnostics is the growing desire to paint the ancient Gnostics as
            > some kind of mystical anarchists in line with popular postmodernist
            > thinking. Just as I would debate Jonas for trying to make them the
            > ancient Existentialists, I think the attempt to make the Gnostics
            > into the ancient New Age movement is misguided.
            >
            > In opposition to this view, I would point out that in some ways the
            > ancient Gnostics were sometimes quite a bit MORE strict and
            > structured than the "Orthodox" church. At least some of them seemed
            > to view themselves as a HIGHLY intellectual movement in contrast to
            > the overly free UNthinking masses of pagan (and I mean "pagan" in
            > the literal usage) Christianity that we now often think of as
            > orthodox (or "Orthodox"). It is possible that the reason some of
            > them fizzled is because they were TOO structured and TOO exclusive,
            > while the "Orthodox" were frankly more open to a wider set of
            people.
            >
            > How many here think they would stick with a traditional Gnostic
            > system if they had the chance?
            >
            > Point, counterpoint?
            >
            > PMCV
            >

            PMCV, I think you have hit on a major reason why what eventually
            developed into mainstream, exoteric Christian orthodoxy was used as a
            weapon instead of more otherworldly, abstruse systems. It didn't
            necessarily matter who was swinging polemical barbs. What might have
            mattered more to those people throughout history who cared about
            political power could have been which group - whose ideas, whose
            earthly prominence - served their purposes better, whether this was
            done consciously or not. And surely, as you say, if "the `Orthodox'
            were frankly more open to a wider set of people," dredging out and
            citing the old polemics of Tertullian, such as Nazi Charles Schmitt
            did, would have appeal to those who were interested in old polemical
            fear tactics. It's very possible that not only the exoteric church
            and its polemics, but also its emphasis on Biblical religious figures
            as historical figures would more readily relate to mainstream groups
            and the worldly political arena than an otherworldly, metaphorical
            and mythological approach. Worldly political powers targeted
            heretics as enemies by which to define their ideologies.

            During the interview, Dr. Versluis noted that victimology changed by
            the time of the Cathars and into modernity from what was more of an
            emphasis on phobic rhetoric to what eventually involved more actual
            victims. Also, during times of chaos, there was concern about how to
            force order on society. Later, for example, Cortez would force
            Catholicism on society for order. In the 18th and 19th centuries, we
            would see the secular order using a religious model. And later, in
            cases where there was an antireligious sentiment, the state became
            the religion, the new orthodoxy, ideologically, as with Stalin.

            Regarding the term "gnostic," Dr. Versluis also noted how gradually
            the expression no longer always had historical meaning, and often
            became synonymous with "People that I don't like." The professor
            also mentioned Couliano's essay from the 1980s in which he made fun
            of everything being "gnostic" nowadays. "Gnostic" often became
            pejorative, where things were seen to be diminished if this word were
            used. He sees that as a throwback to ancient antiheresy rhetoric.

            Actually, part of the thrust of his interview was directed toward
            discussing roots of totalitarianism, pointing out the inquisitional
            dynamic throughout history and that we need to be aware of this
            dynamic instead of being subject to it.

            Cari




            Visit http://thegodabovegod.com/ and become part of the new Renaissance of Gnosticism and Truthseeking.


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          • pmcvflag
            Hey Lady Cari ... developed into mainstream, exoteric Christian orthodoxy was used as a weapon instead of more otherworldly, abstruse systems... .... It s
            Message 5 of 10 , Feb 19, 2007
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              Hey Lady Cari

              >>>PMCV, I think you have hit on a major reason why what eventually
              developed into mainstream, exoteric Christian orthodoxy was used as a
              weapon instead of more otherworldly, abstruse systems...<snip>....
              It's very possible that not only the exoteric church and its
              polemics, but also its emphasis on Biblical religious figures as
              historical figures would more readily relate to mainstream groups
              and the worldly political arena than an otherworldly, metaphorical
              and mythological approach. Worldly political powers targeted
              heretics as enemies by which to define their ideologies.<<<

              Exactly. The literalism and simple pistic soteriology is a double
              whammy in that it is easy to understand, but also plays well into
              political agendas since it lends itself readily to a sort of civil
              codification.

              The perfect tool for the power hungry.

              >>>Regarding the term "gnostic," Dr. Versluis also noted how
              gradually the expression no longer always had historical meaning,
              and often became synonymous with "People that I don't like." The
              professor also mentioned Couliano's essay from the 1980s in which he
              made fun of everything being "gnostic" nowadays. "Gnostic" often
              became pejorative, where things were seen to be diminished if this
              word were used. He sees that as a throwback to ancient antiheresy
              rhetoric.<<<

              It is always nice to hear somebody else point this out besides us,
              eh? *lol*

              PMCV
            • pmcvflag
              Hey Miguel ... the beginning, anything mainstream they don t like will be called Gnostic. In Arthur s book he points out authors who have humorously accused
              Message 6 of 10 , Feb 19, 2007
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                Hey Miguel

                >>You expressed this better than I could have. In the end, as in
                the beginning, anything mainstream they don't like will be called
                Gnostic. In Arthur's book he points out authors who have humorously
                accused Oprah Winfrey, Gloria Steimen, and even Louis Farrakan of
                being 'gnostic'. And the list doesn't end there!<<<

                Then again, this would be expected on the part of the polemicists.
                Critical perspective is not in their agenda. What I find even more
                strange is that the same thing is going on with many people who
                label THEMSELVES "Gnostic". Just as it was with the polemicists
                trying to connect heresies together, some modern self professed
                Gnostics often reduce the category to a specific attribute and
                extend the label accordingly. Things like egalitarianism, mysticism,
                some sort of spiritual anarchy or counterculture individualism, or
                simply not being "orthodox" becomes the idenity of "Gnostic".

                No wonder people often join the forum confused about what the
                heck "Gnosticism" actually is *lol*.

                PMCV
              • pmcvflag
                BTW Lady Cari, when you talked about Couliano being mentioned in the interview I meant to post this as the probable quote... Once I believed that Gnosticism
                Message 7 of 10 , Feb 20, 2007
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                  BTW Lady Cari, when you talked about Couliano being mentioned in the
                  interview I meant to post this as the probable quote...

                  "Once I believed that Gnosticism was a well-defined phenomenon
                  belonging to the religious history of Late Antiquity. Of course, I
                  was ready to accept the idea of different prolongations of ancient
                  Gnosis, and even that of spontaneous generation of views of the
                  world in which, at different times, the distinctive features of
                  Gnosticism occur again.

                  I was soon to learn however, that I was a naïf indeed. Not only
                  Gnosis was gnostic, but the Catholic authors were gnostic, the
                  Neoplatonic too, Reformation was gnostic, Communism was gnostic,
                  Nazism was gnostic, liberalism, existentialism and psychoanalysis
                  were gnostic too, modern biology was gnostic, Blake, Yeats, Kafka
                  were gnostic…. I learned further that science is gnostic and
                  superstition is gnostic…Hegel is gnostic and Marx is gnostic; all
                  things and their opposite are equally gnostic."

                  The funny part is, I have had people actually use this quote to
                  counter something I have said thinking that Couliano was being
                  serious. They thought he was advocating an uncritical usage
                  of "Gnosticism" and saying it really WAS all these things. I would
                  like to dream that people don't abuse our words this way... but...
                  *sigh*.

                  PMCV

                  --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Hey Lady Cari
                  >
                  > >>>PMCV, I think you have hit on a major reason why what eventually
                  > developed into mainstream, exoteric Christian orthodoxy was used
                  as a
                  > weapon instead of more otherworldly, abstruse systems...<snip>....
                  > It's very possible that not only the exoteric church and its
                  > polemics, but also its emphasis on Biblical religious figures as
                  > historical figures would more readily relate to mainstream groups
                  > and the worldly political arena than an otherworldly, metaphorical
                  > and mythological approach. Worldly political powers targeted
                  > heretics as enemies by which to define their ideologies.<<<
                  >
                  > Exactly. The literalism and simple pistic soteriology is a double
                  > whammy in that it is easy to understand, but also plays well into
                  > political agendas since it lends itself readily to a sort of civil
                  > codification.
                  >
                  > The perfect tool for the power hungry.
                  >
                  > >>>Regarding the term "gnostic," Dr. Versluis also noted how
                  > gradually the expression no longer always had historical meaning,
                  > and often became synonymous with "People that I don't like." The
                  > professor also mentioned Couliano's essay from the 1980s in which
                  he
                  > made fun of everything being "gnostic" nowadays. "Gnostic" often
                  > became pejorative, where things were seen to be diminished if this
                  > word were used. He sees that as a throwback to ancient antiheresy
                  > rhetoric.<<<
                  >
                  > It is always nice to hear somebody else point this out besides us,
                  > eh? *lol*
                  >
                  > PMCV
                  >
                • lady_caritas
                  ... the ... PMCV, I guess we need to utilize all those emoticons more, like winky faces, or something. ;-) Not only Gnosis was gnostic, but the Catholic
                  Message 8 of 10 , Feb 20, 2007
                  • 0 Attachment
                    --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > BTW Lady Cari, when you talked about Couliano being mentioned in
                    the
                    > interview I meant to post this as the probable quote...
                    >
                    > "Once I believed that Gnosticism was a well-defined phenomenon
                    > belonging to the religious history of Late Antiquity. Of course, I
                    > was ready to accept the idea of different prolongations of ancient
                    > Gnosis, and even that of spontaneous generation of views of the
                    > world in which, at different times, the distinctive features of
                    > Gnosticism occur again.
                    >
                    > I was soon to learn however, that I was a naïf indeed. Not only
                    > Gnosis was gnostic, but the Catholic authors were gnostic, the
                    > Neoplatonic too, Reformation was gnostic, Communism was gnostic,
                    > Nazism was gnostic, liberalism, existentialism and psychoanalysis
                    > were gnostic too, modern biology was gnostic, Blake, Yeats, Kafka
                    > were gnostic…. I learned further that science is gnostic and
                    > superstition is gnostic…Hegel is gnostic and Marx is gnostic; all
                    > things and their opposite are equally gnostic."
                    >
                    > The funny part is, I have had people actually use this quote to
                    > counter something I have said thinking that Couliano was being
                    > serious. They thought he was advocating an uncritical usage
                    > of "Gnosticism" and saying it really WAS all these things. I would
                    > like to dream that people don't abuse our words this way... but...
                    > *sigh*.
                    >
                    > PMCV
                    >


                    PMCV, I guess we need to utilize all those emoticons more, like winky
                    faces, or something. ;-)


                    "Not only Gnosis was gnostic, but the Catholic authors were gnostic
                    [ :-0 ], the Neoplatonic too [ ;-> ], Reformation was gnostic
                    [ :-S ], Communism was gnostic [ :-( ],"... etc.

                    Cari
                  • Michael Leavitt
                    ... Cutsipoo gnosis, no less. :-)
                    Message 9 of 10 , Feb 20, 2007
                    • 0 Attachment
                      > PMCV, I guess we need to utilize all those emoticons more, like winky
                      > faces, or something. ;-)
                      >
                      >
                      Cutsipoo gnosis, no less. :-)
                      >
                      >
                    • Gerry
                      ... Yes, naïf indeed! Ya know, before our initial venturing into the Internet all those years ago, I m sure that I would NEVER have believed that people
                      Message 10 of 10 , Mar 1, 2007
                      • 0 Attachment


                        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@...> wrote:

                        >
                        > BTW Lady Cari, when you talked about Couliano being mentioned in the
                        > interview I meant to post this as the probable quote...
                        >
                        > "Once I believed that Gnosticism was a well-defined phenomenon
                        > belonging to the religious history of Late Antiquity. Of course, I
                        > was ready to accept the idea of different prolongations of ancient
                        > Gnosis, and even that of spontaneous generation of views of the
                        > world in which, at different times, the distinctive features of
                        > Gnosticism occur again.
                        >
                        > I was soon to learn however, that I was a naïf indeed. Not only
                        > Gnosis was gnostic, but the Catholic authors were gnostic, the
                        > Neoplatonic too, Reformation was gnostic, Communism was gnostic,
                        > Nazism was gnostic, liberalism, existentialism and psychoanalysis
                        > were gnostic too, modern biology was gnostic, Blake, Yeats, Kafka
                        > were gnostic…. I learned further that science is gnostic and
                        > superstition is gnostic…Hegel is gnostic and Marx is gnostic; all
                        > things and their opposite are equally gnostic."
                        >
                        > The funny part is, I have had people actually use this quote to
                        > counter something I have said thinking that Couliano was being
                        > serious. They thought he was advocating an uncritical usage
                        > of "Gnosticism" and saying it really WAS all these things. I would
                        > like to dream that people don't abuse our words this way... but...
                        > *sigh*.
                        >
                        > PMCV
                        >

                         

                        Yes, naïf indeed!  Ya know, before our initial venturing into the Internet all those years ago, I'm sure that I would NEVER have believed that people could actually understand such a clear and reasonable statement as advocating the very opposite of what the author intended.  Unfortunately, we've seen it happen too many times.

                        Gerry

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