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Re: Rex Mundi film,

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  • lady_caritas
    ... There seems to be a pervasive need in popular culture to commonly think in terms of historical figures when it comes to religious matters. And mostly I
    Message 1 of 20 , Mar 3, 2007
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      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > I think part of the issue in here may be that right now there is a
      > movement in popular culture to place a "Gnostic" tag on things that
      > question the "orthodox" church. On top of that, though you are right
      > that some of the movies that are out now are getting people to think,
      > some (like the Da Vinci Code) are actually spreading false and
      > harmful info about Gnosticism. Because this forum tries particularly
      > hard to keep the info about Gnosticism as technically accurate as we
      > can, some of us may sometimes find ourselves combating the movie,
      > book, poem, music, etc., in question (even if we may like them
      > personally).
      >
      > Imagine the number of people who initially joined this forum because
      > they thought Gnostics believed that Jesus had children.
      >
      > PMCV
      >

      There seems to be a pervasive need in popular culture to commonly think in terms of historical figures when it comes to religious matters.  And mostly I shrug my shoulders, except in some cases where misinformation is blatantly tagged to scholarship.

      From an article today in The New York Times:

      Early Christian Gospels suggesting that Mary Magdalene was the wife of Jesus and a respected apostle in her own right, not a fallen woman, are the foundation of Gnostic studies by scholars like Elaine Pagels — as well as of the plot of the Dan Brown best seller "The Da Vinci Code."

      ("Leaning on Theory, Colliding With Faith" by Alessandra Stanley)

      http://tinyurl.com/2sv7v5

      [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/03/arts/television/03stan.html?ex=1173589200&en=98bf67e7c2efc9ed&ei=5070&emc=eta1]

      I wonder how Elaine Pagels would really describe what she considers the "foundation," the FOUNDATION (yikes), of Gnostic studies and how she feels about being lumped in the same sentence with Dan Brown.

      Robert Eisenman presents a scathing contrast:

      http://news.yahoo.com/s/huffpost/20070228/cm_huffpost/042235

      Cari

       

    • Michael Leavitt
      Well for once I agree completely with Robert Eisenman. ... Excellent article. -- M. Leavitt
      Message 2 of 20 , Mar 3, 2007
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        Well for once I agree completely with Robert Eisenman.

        lady_caritas wrote:
        >
        >
        > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@...> wrote:
        > >
        > >
        > > I think part of the issue in here may be that right now there is a
        > > movement in popular culture to place a "Gnostic" tag on things that
        > > question the "orthodox" church. On top of that, though you are right
        > > that some of the movies that are out now are getting people to think,
        > > some (like the Da Vinci Code) are actually spreading false and
        > > harmful info about Gnosticism. Because this forum tries particularly
        > > hard to keep the info about Gnosticism as technically accurate as we
        > > can, some of us may sometimes find ourselves combating the movie,
        > > book, poem, music, etc., in question (even if we may like them
        > > personally).
        > >
        > > Imagine the number of people who initially joined this forum because
        > > they thought Gnostics believed that Jesus had children.
        > >
        > > PMCV
        > >
        >
        > There seems to be a pervasive need in popular culture to commonly
        > think in terms of historical figures when it comes to religious
        > matters. And mostly I shrug my shoulders, except in some cases where
        > misinformation is blatantly tagged to scholarship.
        >
        > From an article today in /The New York Times/:
        >
        > /Early Christian Gospels suggesting that Mary Magdalene was the
        > wife of Jesus and a respected apostle in her own right, not a
        > fallen woman, are the foundation of Gnostic studies by scholars
        > like Elaine Pagels — as well as of the plot of the Dan Brown
        > <http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/dan_brown/index.html?inline=nyt-per>
        > best seller "The Da Vinci Code."/
        >
        > ("Leaning on Theory, Colliding With Faith" by Alessandra Stanley)
        >
        > *http://tinyurl.com/2sv7v5*
        >
        > [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/03/arts/television/03stan.html?ex=1173589200&en=98bf67e7c2efc9ed&ei=5070&emc=eta1
        > <http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/03/arts/television/03stan.html?ex=1173589200&en=98bf67e7c2efc9ed&ei=5070&emc=eta1>]
        >
        > I wonder how Elaine Pagels would /really/ describe what she considers
        > the "foundation," the FOUNDATION (yikes), of Gnostic studies and how
        > she feels about being lumped in the same sentence with Dan Brown.
        >
        > Robert Eisenman presents a scathing contrast:
        >
        > http://news.yahoo.com/s/huffpost/20070228/cm_huffpost/042235
        >
        > Cari
        >
        Excellent article.

        --
        M. Leavitt
      • thalprin
        ... I think I agree too. It s a find, looks to be an archeological find, and we should, yup, I d imagine try looking/investigating it as that. It ll be
        Message 3 of 20 , Mar 3, 2007
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          --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Michael Leavitt <ac998@...> wrote:
          >
          > Well for once I agree completely with Robert Eisenman.


          I think I agree too. It's a find, looks to be an archeological find,
          and we should, yup, I'd imagine try looking/investigating it as
          that. It'll be interesting to see this program when it airs - and I
          wanna know more about what is/isn't inside the other burial site
          they're mentioning too.

          Thanks for posting this link Lady Caritas.

          Terrie


          >
          > lady_caritas wrote:
          > >
          > >
          > > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@> wrote:
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > I think part of the issue in here may be that right now there
          is a
          > > > movement in popular culture to place a "Gnostic" tag on things
          that
          > > > question the "orthodox" church. On top of that, though you are
          right
          > > > that some of the movies that are out now are getting people to
          think,
          > > > some (like the Da Vinci Code) are actually spreading false and
          > > > harmful info about Gnosticism. Because this forum tries
          particularly
          > > > hard to keep the info about Gnosticism as technically accurate
          as we
          > > > can, some of us may sometimes find ourselves combating the
          movie,
          > > > book, poem, music, etc., in question (even if we may like them
          > > > personally).
          > > >
          > > > Imagine the number of people who initially joined this forum
          because
          > > > they thought Gnostics believed that Jesus had children.
          > > >
          > > > PMCV
          > > >
          > >
          > > There seems to be a pervasive need in popular culture to commonly
          > > think in terms of historical figures when it comes to religious
          > > matters. And mostly I shrug my shoulders, except in some cases
          where
          > > misinformation is blatantly tagged to scholarship.
          > >
          > > From an article today in /The New York Times/:
          > >
          > > /Early Christian Gospels suggesting that Mary Magdalene was
          the
          > > wife of Jesus and a respected apostle in her own right, not a
          > > fallen woman, are the foundation of Gnostic studies by
          scholars
          > > like Elaine Pagels — as well as of the plot of the Dan Brown
          > >
          <http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/dan_brow
          n/index.html?inline=nyt-per>
          > > best seller "The Da Vinci Code."/
          > >
          > > ("Leaning on Theory, Colliding With Faith" by Alessandra
          Stanley)
          > >
          > > *http://tinyurl.com/2sv7v5*
          > >
          > >
          [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/03/arts/television/03stan.html?
          ex=1173589200&en=98bf67e7c2efc9ed&ei=5070&emc=eta1
          > >
          <http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/03/arts/television/03stan.html?
          ex=1173589200&en=98bf67e7c2efc9ed&ei=5070&emc=eta1>]
          > >
          > > I wonder how Elaine Pagels would /really/ describe what she
          considers
          > > the "foundation," the FOUNDATION (yikes), of Gnostic studies and
          how
          > > she feels about being lumped in the same sentence with Dan Brown.
          > >
          > > Robert Eisenman presents a scathing contrast:
          > >
          > > http://news.yahoo.com/s/huffpost/20070228/cm_huffpost/042235
          > >
          > > Cari
          > >
          > Excellent article.
          >
          > --
          > M. Leavitt
          >
        • thalprin
          I think things go/can go odd in acheology sometimes. Sometimes, it simply takes time to sort things out. For example (an example which I think is kinda
          Message 4 of 20 , Mar 3, 2007
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            I think things go/can go odd in acheology sometimes. Sometimes, it
            simply takes time to sort things out. For example (an example which
            I think is kinda funny,) I was watching as show few days/weeks back
            on Tut, and folks were discussing this mural of him with a deformed
            leg. Basically, they were staring at this mural and yet wondering
            why he had 100+ walking sticks burried with him in his tomb. ?
            Then, as the program went on, essentially trying to riddle his cause
            of death, they discovered his broken/missing kneecap and wondered ifn
            that might've been what killed him. In time, I imagine they'll sort
            things out to speculate that Tut might've had a knee injury that
            didn't kill him but left him lame. Still, as yet, I don't think I've
            heard they have.

            Terrie


            --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Michael Leavitt <ac998@...> wrote:
            >
            > Well for once I agree completely with Robert Eisenman.
            >
            > lady_caritas wrote:
            > >
            > >
            > > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@> wrote:
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > I think part of the issue in here may be that right now there
            is a
            > > > movement in popular culture to place a "Gnostic" tag on things
            that
            > > > question the "orthodox" church. On top of that, though you are
            right
            > > > that some of the movies that are out now are getting people to
            think,
            > > > some (like the Da Vinci Code) are actually spreading false and
            > > > harmful info about Gnosticism. Because this forum tries
            particularly
            > > > hard to keep the info about Gnosticism as technically accurate
            as we
            > > > can, some of us may sometimes find ourselves combating the
            movie,
            > > > book, poem, music, etc., in question (even if we may like them
            > > > personally).
            > > >
            > > > Imagine the number of people who initially joined this forum
            because
            > > > they thought Gnostics believed that Jesus had children.
            > > >
            > > > PMCV
            > > >
            > >
            > > There seems to be a pervasive need in popular culture to commonly
            > > think in terms of historical figures when it comes to religious
            > > matters. And mostly I shrug my shoulders, except in some cases
            where
            > > misinformation is blatantly tagged to scholarship.
            > >
            > > From an article today in /The New York Times/:
            > >
            > > /Early Christian Gospels suggesting that Mary Magdalene was
            the
            > > wife of Jesus and a respected apostle in her own right, not a
            > > fallen woman, are the foundation of Gnostic studies by
            scholars
            > > like Elaine Pagels — as well as of the plot of the Dan Brown
            > >
            <http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/dan_brow
            n/index.html?inline=nyt-per>
            > > best seller "The Da Vinci Code."/
            > >
            > > ("Leaning on Theory, Colliding With Faith" by Alessandra
            Stanley)
            > >
            > > *http://tinyurl.com/2sv7v5*
            > >
            > >
            [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/03/arts/television/03stan.html?
            ex=1173589200&en=98bf67e7c2efc9ed&ei=5070&emc=eta1
            > >
            <http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/03/arts/television/03stan.html?
            ex=1173589200&en=98bf67e7c2efc9ed&ei=5070&emc=eta1>]
            > >
            > > I wonder how Elaine Pagels would /really/ describe what she
            considers
            > > the "foundation," the FOUNDATION (yikes), of Gnostic studies and
            how
            > > she feels about being lumped in the same sentence with Dan Brown.
            > >
            > > Robert Eisenman presents a scathing contrast:
            > >
            > > http://news.yahoo.com/s/huffpost/20070228/cm_huffpost/042235
            > >
            > > Cari
            > >
            > Excellent article.
            >
            > --
            > M. Leavitt
            >
          • pmcvflag
            Hey Mike ... Although I agree with Eisenman for being critical of the discoveries, I was taken aback by this statement from him... And what of this Mary s
            Message 5 of 20 , Mar 9, 2007
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              Hey Mike

              >>Well for once I agree completely with Robert Eisenman.<<<

              Although I agree with Eisenman for being critical of the discoveries,
              I was taken aback by this statement from him...

              "And what of this "Mary"'s other descendant all Gnostic Gospel
              enthusiasts and those wishing for the eternal feminine (to say nothing
              of "the bloodline of the Holy Grail" ) fantasize over, "Sarah"?"

              Good lord! Now Nag Hammadi studies have no validity and anyone with an
              insterest in Gnosticism must be followers of Dan Brown's uncritical
              historical theories. Is there an emoticon for the rolling of ones eyes?

              PMCV
            • Michael Leavitt
              ... I didn t take that statement personally, but you have a point. 0)0) (rolls eyes) (I just made that up). :-)
              Message 6 of 20 , Mar 9, 2007
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                pmcvflag wrote:
                > Hey Mike
                >
                >
                >>> Well for once I agree completely with Robert Eisenman.<<<
                >>>
                >
                > Although I agree with Eisenman for being critical of the discoveries,
                > I was taken aback by this statement from him...
                >
                > "And what of this "Mary"'s other descendant all Gnostic Gospel
                > enthusiasts and those wishing for the eternal feminine (to say nothing
                > of "the bloodline of the Holy Grail" ) fantasize over, "Sarah"?"
                >
                > Good lord! Now Nag Hammadi studies have no validity and anyone with an
                > insterest in Gnosticism must be followers of Dan Brown's uncritical
                > historical theories. Is there an emoticon for the rolling of ones eyes?
                >
                > PMCV
                >
                I didn't take that statement personally, but you have a point. 0)0)
                (rolls eyes) (I just made that up). :-)
              • tau_mar_thoma
                ... nothing ... with an ... eyes? ... Greetings, Mike and PMCV: AMEN! It s about time that people accept that, in fact, The Da Vinci Code is a book of
                Message 7 of 20 , Mar 11, 2007
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                  --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Michael Leavitt <ac998@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > pmcvflag wrote:
                  > > Hey Mike
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >>> Well for once I agree completely with Robert Eisenman.<<<
                  > >>>
                  > >
                  > > Although I agree with Eisenman for being critical of the discoveries,
                  > > I was taken aback by this statement from him...
                  > >
                  > > "And what of this "Mary"'s other descendant all Gnostic Gospel
                  > > enthusiasts and those wishing for the eternal feminine (to say
                  nothing
                  > > of "the bloodline of the Holy Grail" ) fantasize over, "Sarah"?"
                  > >
                  > > Good lord! Now Nag Hammadi studies have no validity and anyone
                  with an
                  > > insterest in Gnosticism must be followers of Dan Brown's uncritical
                  > > historical theories. Is there an emoticon for the rolling of ones
                  eyes?
                  > >
                  > > PMCV
                  > >
                  > I didn't take that statement personally, but you have a point. 0)0)
                  > (rolls eyes) (I just made that up). :-)
                  >
                  Greetings, Mike and PMCV:

                  AMEN! It's about time that people accept that, in fact, "The Da Vinci
                  Code" is a book of fictions, not inspired by the True God, but
                  comprised of a clever concoction of facts but mostly theories put
                  together to make money, promote movies, and to be the new hot topic of
                  bloggers galore. Furthermore, a lot of his "facts and theories" are
                  imperfectly understood and, consequently, render a very imperfect
                  "gnostic" revelation. Besides, in the final analysis, you will never
                  find Truth in any form of written literature, not even the NHL et al.
                  but solely through experiential Gnosis. The written words have their
                  place, to be sure, but they are at best vague adumbrations of how and
                  what Truth might appear as.

                  It is one thing to say "The Word" but this mystical concept must never
                  be confused - not ever - with the written words of humans, be they
                  spiritual or secular or nearly brain-dead. Unless, at heart, we too
                  are become "bible-beating fundamentalists"? What divine Being ever
                  wrote anything down, other than the demiurge when it "inscribed" the
                  words of the Torah on two blocks of stone?

                  Peace,

                  +Tau Mar Thoma

                  http://www.myspace.com/holy_ewer_gnostic_studies
                  http://blog.myspace.com/holy_ewer_gnostic_studies
                • lady_caritas
                  ... Vinci ... of ... never ... al. ... their ... and ... never ... Hello, + Tau Mar Thoma. We ve had many discussions about how the ancient Gnostics might
                  Message 8 of 20 , Mar 12, 2007
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                    --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "tau_mar_thoma"
                    <tau_mar_thoma@...> wrote:
                    > >
                    > Greetings, Mike and PMCV:
                    >
                    > AMEN! It's about time that people accept that, in fact, "The Da
                    Vinci
                    > Code" is a book of fictions, not inspired by the True God, but
                    > comprised of a clever concoction of facts but mostly theories put
                    > together to make money, promote movies, and to be the new hot topic
                    of
                    > bloggers galore. Furthermore, a lot of his "facts and theories" are
                    > imperfectly understood and, consequently, render a very imperfect
                    > "gnostic" revelation. Besides, in the final analysis, you will
                    never
                    > find Truth in any form of written literature, not even the NHL et
                    al.
                    > but solely through experiential Gnosis. The written words have
                    their
                    > place, to be sure, but they are at best vague adumbrations of how
                    and
                    > what Truth might appear as.
                    >
                    > It is one thing to say "The Word" but this mystical concept must
                    never
                    > be confused - not ever - with the written words of humans, be they
                    > spiritual or secular or nearly brain-dead. Unless, at heart, we too
                    > are become "bible-beating fundamentalists"? What divine Being ever
                    > wrote anything down, other than the demiurge when it "inscribed" the
                    > words of the Torah on two blocks of stone?
                    >


                    Hello, + Tau Mar Thoma. We've had many discussions about how the
                    ancient Gnostics might have conceived "Gnosis." Of course, without
                    their writings we could not learn what they thought or experienced,
                    nor did they convey this information without a theoretical setting of
                    some sort. We don't have absolute, firsthand knowledge of all their
                    initiatory study and practices; however, their writings exhibit more
                    than a passing familiarity with Platonist philosophy, for instance.

                    You mention that written works have their place. If I may ask, what
                    place is that? If Truth is found "only through experiential Gnosis,"
                    what does the adjective "experiential" encompass? From your reading
                    of the NHL you mention and other literature, what would the ancients
                    take this to mean?

                    Do you agree or disagree with the "Attributes of Gnosis" outlined in
                    our group files section regarding the historical Gnostics?
                    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gnosticism2/files/

                    Cari
                  • Michael Leavitt
                    ... Right on both points. _The Da Vinci Code_ is no better than _Holy Blood, Holy Grail._
                    Message 9 of 20 , Mar 12, 2007
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                      > Greetings, Mike and PMCV:
                      >
                      > AMEN! It's about time that people accept that, in fact, "The Da Vinci
                      > Code" is a book of fictions, not inspired by the True God, but
                      > comprised of a clever concoction of facts but mostly theories put
                      > together to make money, promote movies, and to be the new hot topic of
                      > bloggers galore. Furthermore, a lot of his "facts and theories" are
                      > imperfectly understood and, consequently, render a very imperfect
                      > "gnostic" revelation. Besides, in the final analysis, you will never
                      > find Truth in any form of written literature, not even the NHL et al.
                      > but solely through experiential Gnosis. The written words have their
                      > place, to be sure, but they are at best vague adumbrations of how and
                      > what Truth might appear as.
                      >
                      Right on both points. _The Da Vinci Code_ is no better than _Holy
                      Blood, Holy Grail._
                    • Michael Leavitt
                      ... To me Cari, the books are the lead into the experiential thing, no more no less, sort of like a road map. Now I ll shut up and let the two of you talk.
                      Message 10 of 20 , Mar 12, 2007
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                        lady_caritas wrote:
                        > You mention that written works have their place. If I may ask, what
                        > place is that? If Truth is found "only through experiential Gnosis,"
                        > what does the adjective "experiential" encompass? From your reading
                        > of the NHL you mention and other literature, what would the ancients
                        > take this to mean?
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        To me Cari, the books are the lead into the experiential thing, no more
                        no less, sort of like a road map. Now I'll shut up and let the two of
                        you talk.
                      • pmcvflag
                        Hey Tau Mar Thoma ... Vinci Code is a book of fictions, not inspired by the True God, but comprised of a clever concoction of facts
                        Message 11 of 20 , Mar 12, 2007
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                          Hey Tau Mar Thoma

                          >>>AMEN! It's about time that people accept that, in fact, "The Da
                          Vinci Code" is a book of fictions, not inspired by the True God, but
                          comprised of a clever concoction of facts<<<

                          I go even further than that, in that I question whether these
                          supposed "facts" really are facts at all.

                          Anyway, I will be interested to hear your take on Lady Cari's
                          questions.

                          PMCV
                        • lady_caritas
                          ... what ... Gnosis, ... reading ... ancients ... more ... of ... Hi, Mike. Certainly there is no need to shut up. Silence can be deafening at times. ;-)
                          Message 12 of 20 , Mar 26, 2007
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                            --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Michael Leavitt <ac998@...> wrote:
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > lady_caritas wrote:
                            > > You mention that written works have their place. If I may ask,
                            what
                            > > place is that? If Truth is found "only through experiential
                            Gnosis,"
                            > > what does the adjective "experiential" encompass? From your
                            reading
                            > > of the NHL you mention and other literature, what would the
                            ancients
                            > > take this to mean?
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > To me Cari, the books are the lead into the experiential thing, no
                            more
                            > no less, sort of like a road map. Now I'll shut up and let the two
                            of
                            > you talk.
                            >


                            Hi, Mike. Certainly there is no need to "shut up." Silence can be
                            deafening at times. ;-)

                            So, if "books are the lead into the experiential thing," as you say,
                            could one also place other things like ritual as part of the
                            direction, part of the "road map"? Actually, does one even need
                            books or rituals in order to generate whatever this "experiential
                            thing" is you mention? Or are you referring to a
                            unique "experiential thing"? I guess what I'm thinking is that
                            specific guides might influence direction or quality or framework of
                            a certain "experiential thing." In fact, all these could be
                            considered part of the whole experiential process, even as various
                            facets could be readdressed during an ongoing progression?

                            And even though many different written words and everyday life
                            rituals could influence a mystical episode or a progression of
                            spiritual occurrences and inner exploration in someone's life, it
                            seems that there are specific paths that rely on particular
                            precedents, taken together as an interrelated whole, in order to
                            accomplish desired results within a distinctive context. Gaining
                            inner knowledge or spiritual clarity or whatever is sought after is
                            not always a free-for-all, taking various elements out of context,
                            when it comes to methodology.

                            A question might remain whether all the guides make any difference in
                            the uniqueness or authenticity of a mystical experience. And that is
                            outside the scope of our group. What seems apparent to me, however,
                            is that how one interprets the experience, how much emphasis one
                            places on a mystical episode in relation to other aspects of the
                            process, and how one proceeds in this existent life are factors that
                            can be observed, apart from judging as to efficacy. And the Gnostic
                            writings do give us some information on that score.

                            Anyway, I'll stop here for now to allow for others' coments.

                            Cari
                          • Michael Leavitt
                            ... I agree, and ritual has its part. Being ordained a Deacon and then a Priest were numinous experiences, but geared to service, and initiation in support
                            Message 13 of 20 , Mar 26, 2007
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                              lady_caritas wrote:
                              > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Michael Leavitt <ac998@...> wrote:
                              >
                              >>
                              >> lady_caritas wrote:
                              >>
                              >>> You mention that written works have their place. If I may ask,
                              >>>
                              > what
                              >
                              >>> place is that? If Truth is found "only through experiential
                              >>>
                              > Gnosis,"
                              >
                              >>> what does the adjective "experiential" encompass? From your
                              >>>
                              > reading
                              >
                              >>> of the NHL you mention and other literature, what would the
                              >>>
                              > ancients
                              >
                              >>> take this to mean?
                              >>>
                              >>>
                              >>>
                              >>>
                              >> To me Cari, the books are the lead into the experiential thing, no
                              >>
                              > more
                              >
                              >> no less, sort of like a road map. Now I'll shut up and let the two
                              >>
                              > of
                              >
                              >> you talk.
                              >>
                              >>
                              >
                              >
                              > Hi, Mike. Certainly there is no need to "shut up." Silence can be
                              > deafening at times. ;-)
                              >
                              > So, if "books are the lead into the experiential thing," as you say,
                              > could one also place other things like ritual as part of the
                              > direction, part of the "road map"? Actually, does one even need
                              > books or rituals in order to generate whatever this "experiential
                              > thing" is you mention? Or are you referring to a
                              > unique "experiential thing"? I guess what I'm thinking is that
                              > specific guides might influence direction or quality or framework of
                              > a certain "experiential thing." In fact, all these could be
                              > considered part of the whole experiential process, even as various
                              > facets could be readdressed during an ongoing progression?
                              >
                              > And even though many different written words and everyday life
                              > rituals could influence a mystical episode or a progression of
                              > spiritual occurrences and inner exploration in someone's life, it
                              > seems that there are specific paths that rely on particular
                              > precedents, taken together as an interrelated whole, in order to
                              > accomplish desired results within a distinctive context. Gaining
                              > inner knowledge or spiritual clarity or whatever is sought after is
                              > not always a free-for-all, taking various elements out of context,
                              > when it comes to methodology.
                              >
                              > A question might remain whether all the guides make any difference in
                              > the uniqueness or authenticity of a mystical experience. And that is
                              > outside the scope of our group. What seems apparent to me, however,
                              > is that how one interprets the experience, how much emphasis one
                              > places on a mystical episode in relation to other aspects of the
                              > process, and how one proceeds in this existent life are factors that
                              > can be observed, apart from judging as to efficacy. And the Gnostic
                              > writings do give us some information on that score.
                              >
                              > Anyway, I'll stop here for now to allow for others' coments.
                              >
                              > Cari
                              >
                              >
                              I agree, and ritual has its part. Being ordained a Deacon and then a
                              Priest were numinous experiences, but geared to service, and initiation
                              in support thereof. The mass can do this to you as can Golden Dawn
                              rituals, these are all I'm familiar with. All have had their effect.
                              Reading Zostranos, I was there with him for a while, and that was not
                              the only instance. When I read Gareth Knight on the paths, I worked
                              them. My psyche got thrown all over the place. So reading has its place.
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