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Re: [Gnosticism2] Re: Mysticism a Regressional Experience?

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  • Michael Leavitt
    ... I think this is a vary balanced view of things.
    Message 1 of 22 , Apr 5, 2007
      Thomas Wycihowski wrote:
      > Ok. My take is that the authors intent was important, but that it
      > is a more nuanced subject then an either or decision.
      > First, the authors were at the very least aware and conversant
      > with the story of creation. However, they felt that it needed to b e
      > amended, or supplemented by additi9onal information and insights
      > provided by other thought and philisophical systems.
      > My guess would be that they were describing in mythological terms
      > the spiritual/mystical experiences they had when in contemplation, as
      > you can see was promoted by NeoPlatonic sages and theurgists. Plus,
      > you can't remove the social milieu that most of these texts were
      > found in Egypt.
      > So who were these written for? Well, first they'd need to be able
      > to read. Literacy was not as widespread as it is to day. Second, it
      > would be of interest to people who were spiritual seekers. Third, it
      > probably would appeal to people who understood, roughly at least, the
      > Biblical creation story, as there does not seem, in the text, to be a
      > lot of explanation. My assumption is the authors knew that it was
      > well known enough not to have to give a lot of background information
      > on the Creation story.
      > So..we have 1)literate 2) people who are spiritual seekers and are
      > 3) familiar with the Biblical story of creation. My guess, especially
      > with the Sethian material, is that were dealing with Hellenized Jews
      > who were familiar with the book of Bereshith, but were heavily
      > influenced by both NeoPlatonic philosophy and to some degree Stoic
      > ideas. They used these ideas to question and "correct" what they saw
      > was wrong with the story of creation, from their perspective.
      > So the answer to your question is both. I am sure they visualized
      > the structures and cosmologies they conceived as literal, in a sense.
      > But just as in the orthodox version of Creation, with the wordplays
      > on the name Adfam and others, it was meant to be taken figurative too.
      > Just like the Apostle Paul who said he spoke differently to the
      > spiritual, so too the Gnostic texts probably would mean different
      > things, depending where a person stood in their philisophical and
      > spiritual development.
      > Hence, the variety of texts. The constant textual and theological
      > criticism the Masters engaged in led to new systems of thoughts and
      > new ideas. It is a mistake to think this all happened in isolation
      > from each other and other systems of thought.
      >
      > Thus, I have no problem in both beleiving the story of Creation
      > and using modern ideas of evolution, e.t.c to criticisize the
      > orthodox account and suggest a personal interpertation that includes
      > both literalism and allegorical views.
      > We need to be constantly aware of the nuanced nature of the
      > Gnostic scriptures.
      >
      >
      >
      I think this is a vary balanced view of things.
    • lady_caritas
      ... point , ... failure ... about ... post ... historical ... on ... am ... this ... have ... As one of the proclaimed missers of the `point , all I have to
      Message 2 of 22 , Apr 5, 2007
        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Verna Leigh Johnson"
        <imdarkchylde@...> wrote:
        >
        > >>>I know it is this kind of question relating to readings of the
        > historical text that causes Imdarkchylde to say we "miss the
        point",
        > but in spite of her judgemental presumption of our spiritual
        failure
        > I feel that attempting to understand the intent of the original
        > authors of the texts can be valuable.<<<
        > Judgmetal you may think it is (and you would certainly know all
        about
        > being judgemental, eh?), I was not alluding to your attempts to
        > understand the intent of the ancients. I was refering to the fact
        > that discussions on the ACTUAL, real, mystical experience of gnosis
        > is not encouraged in this group, I have not been allowed to even
        post
        > things as they didn't fit the definition of gnosis in its
        historical
        > and academic boundries AS IT PERTAINS TO YOUR GROUP, and to focus
        on
        > gnosticism only in such contexts DOES miss the point, IMHO (and I
        am
        > allowed that, or should be). Is this not true? The experience of
        > gnosis is real, and happens to people NOW, as it did then, but
        this
        > is not what is desired for discussion in this group. Or did I
        > misunderstand? Can we discuss the experience, that people ALIVE
        > TODAY have, or does that not fit into the criteria of this group?
        > Our discussions offgroup led me to believe this, but mayhaps you
        have
        > had a change of heart?
        > peas
        > DarkChylde


        As one of the proclaimed missers of the `point', all I have to say
        is, well, yes, I admittedly appear to missing whatever point you seem
        to be making, Darkchylde.

        This is a group about historical Gnosticism, that category that some
        even debate should not be a category,... and members are free to
        discuss this topic. Whether or not Gnosis "happens to people NOW, as
        it did then" could be another interesting topic of debate.

        That said, the letter all new members in our group receive mentions
        that our focus is historical Gnosticism and "how that relates to us
        in our modern world." In other words, talk about personal mystical
        experience is not off limits as long as one relates it to the FOCUS
        of historical Gnosticism. Pretty simple, isn't it? If someone is
        not interested in what the ancient Gnostics intended and this someone
        is primarily interested in discussing personal experience or
        mysticism in a more general context with others, there are many other
        groups devoted to that focus. We offer a different angle. That's
        all. That does not mean that we don't appreciate other `points' of
        focus.

        Actually, I had thought you already understood this, considering you
        already had a conversation like this with PMCV:
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gnosticism2/message/12865
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gnosticism2/message/12867
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gnosticism2/message/12872
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gnosticism2/message/12876
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gnosticism2/message/12880

        I might have missed something, but I couldn't find further posts in
        this thread, and no one is obligated to always reply if they choose
        not to. Yet, though I wasn't privy to off-group discussions,
        perhaps you can appreciate my confusion when you were asking about a
        change of heart, well, unless that would involve an absolute change
        of focus, which isn't going to happen in our group.

        Cari – Point Misser
      • lady_caritas
        ... from ... culminating ... curtains, ... It ... Demiurge ... and ... Thank you for all your recent comments, Thomas. I was a little confused by a couple
        Message 3 of 22 , Apr 6, 2007
          --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Thomas Wycihowski"
          <tjwycihowski@...> wrote:
          > >
          > > First, I am attracted to it because i beleive that Adam and Eve
          > were the first modern humans on earth. Of course there were other
          > creautres, hominids, predecessors to Adam and Eve, but I no more
          > consider them to be human then a chimpanzee is the same as a lemur.
          > I beleive the Ethian lineage is the possessors and guardians of
          > the varied esoteric doctrines that were promulgated over the Earth.
          > Each opf these fragments of the primal knowledge was passed down
          from
          > father to son, begining with Adam to Seth, and eventually
          culminating
          > in Jesus of Nazareth.
          > At all times and all cultures, humans have known the primal
          > revelation. The apparent discrepancies come from this revelation
          > mixing with local customs and cultures.
          > The Apocalypse of Adam reveals what happened BEHIND the
          curtains,
          > and is presented as a testament by the dying Adam to his son Seth.
          It
          > reveals the TRUE reason for the discord and evil on what is a good
          > planet.
          > Basically, humans have lived under spiritual tyrrany sinmce our
          > inception. The Demiurge has played one person or religion against
          > another, in classical divide and counquer tactics of tyrants.
          > Irregardless if this "being" is called Allah, Yahweh, Jesus or
          > someother name, in the end it is the same being.
          > This deception is used to enslave our minds and keep us busy
          > fighting over words and doctrines that in the end serve the
          Demiurge
          > very well.
          > Part of it is to steal the Gnosis from us, because the Demiurge
          > knows if we remember our root and origins, we will eventually find
          > our way out of his and his Aeons clutches.
          > The Secret Book of John details, from a Sethian standpoint, the
          > associated Aeons and the planets they are related to.
          > Combine that with some Hermetic material, and you see that true
          > to the conception of demonologists, these beings are not "gods" but
          > devils! There the personification of Vice, and the downward pull of
          > evil to enslave us for eternity here.
          > IMHO, the way to escape is to shed the chains on our minds. We
          > must cast away all that holds us down and enlighten our minds with
          > the TRUTH of our manipulation by the demonic forces of Ialdabaoth
          and
          > his minions of wickedness.


          Thank you for all your recent comments, Thomas. I was a little
          confused by a couple thoughts in the post above.

          You said, "Each opf these fragments of the primal knowledge was
          passed down from father to son, begining with Adam to Seth, and
          eventually culminating in Jesus of Nazareth."

          You further stated, "Basically, humans have lived under spiritual
          tyrrany sinmce our inception. The Demiurge has played one person or
          religion against another, in classical divide and counquer tactics of
          tyrants. Irregardless if this "being" is called Allah, Yahweh, Jesus
          or someother name, in the end it is the same being.
          This deception is used to enslave our minds and keep us busy
          fighting over words and doctrines that in the end serve the Demiurge
          very well."

          When you refer to "being," are you referring to the Demiurge or
          a "being" used by the Demiurge? You mention "Jesus" in your list,
          and I am curious if you associate him with the Demiurge or whether
          you are referring to others who interpret "Jesus" in a deceptive way.

          Thanks in advance for clarifying for me.

          Cari
        • pmcvflag
          Cari and Thomas ... confused by a couple thoughts in the post above.
          Message 4 of 22 , Apr 7, 2007
            Cari and Thomas

            >>>Thank you for all your recent comments, Thomas. I was a little
            confused by a couple thoughts in the post above.<<<

            Cari, your observations and questions are exactly where I was leading
            as well. This is the reason I was asking Thomas where he drew the line
            between literal and allegorical. I think you hit the core of the issue
            better than I did.

            Thomas

            Your post answered many of my questions, but somehow I am still not
            sure of your stance on the issues that Cari is asking about. I don't
            want you to think you are getting the 3dr degree (so to speak), just
            that it is a genuine curiousity that I think is worth exploring.

            This is my ditto to Cari's question.

            PMCV
          • pmcvflag
            Darkchylde Lady Cari answered it pretty well. I guess I should respond also. ... did then, but this is not what is desired for discussion in this group. Or did
            Message 5 of 22 , Apr 7, 2007
              Darkchylde

              Lady Cari answered it pretty well. I guess I should respond also.

              >>The experience of gnosis is real, and happens to people NOW, as it
              did then, but this is not what is desired for discussion in this
              group. Or did I misunderstand?<<<

              You did, in fact, misunderstand (or perhaps I have not done a good
              job explaining... though it does seem others here understand). As
              Cari points out, this is explained in the letter that everyone gets
              when they join the forum.

              >>>Can we discuss the experience, that people ALIVE TODAY have, or
              does that not fit into the criteria of this group?<<<

              You are welcome to talk about personal experience as long as it is
              within the context of historical Gnosticism. Do you find that
              confusing? If so just ask and I will try to do a better job
              explaining it.

              We do accept there are many definitions of "Gnosis" (or "gnosis"),
              and they are valid in their own (emic) context even if they are not
              the context this forum uses. For those who are not happy sticking to
              traditional meanings of terms like "Gnosis" or "Sophia" etc., we
              would like to help them find the forums that they feel fits them
              best. Here are a few...

              The group Darkchylde suggests is run by Dick Richardson (aka Merlin,
              aka Doug, and maybe a number of other names). It seems to deal
              largely with semi-psychological notions of mysticism that it
              calls "Gnostic" (Valentinians would likely call this "Psychic"). The
              url is already posted in Darkchylde's post so I need not post it
              again.

              DharmaGnosis is a group run by Tom Ragland. The subject matter as I
              understand it is a sort of Jungian conjuction between Kabbalah,
              Eastern mysticism (especially Buddhism), and a notion of gnosis as a
              sort of general mystical realization. Though it does not seem to be
              the focus, the forum has not discouraged critical discussion when
              the subject has come up.

              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DharmaGnosis/

              Gnostic_Cafe is run by Ms Jenny (aka Vee). The subject matter is a
              wider and looser grouping of modern spiritual mystical thinking in a
              very informal setting (as I guess the word "Cafe" in the title would
              suggest).

              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gnostic_cafe/

              GnosticThought is run by GnosticKen (aka George). It deals with what
              Ken has termed "New Age" Gnostic thinking (which I think may be
              similar to what I would call "eclectic relativism", but I could be
              wrong and I don't intend to put words in Ken's mouth), and allows
              for some exploration of a number of systems from personal
              perspectives.

              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GnosticThought/

              You are encouraged to be in the groups that you find helpful for
              what you are trying to discover. Each group has stronger points and
              weaker points... including this one. I will not go so far as
              Darkchylde in accusing anyone of "missing the point", since I think
              that many different functions and foci can have important places
              within a larger human search for meaning.

              While we don't disregard other contexts, we do offer a more
              specifically "historical Gnostic" conversation FOCUS. We think this
              does have an important value. Take it or leave it... but don't be
              here and heckle it.

              PMCV
            • gnostic_ken
              ... I ... a ... be ... Hi PMCV, Tom is also a moderator of GnosticThought. ... a ... would ... Jenny is Jungian Gnostic. She has disappeared as she does from
              Message 6 of 22 , Apr 8, 2007
                --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@...> wrote:
                >
                > DharmaGnosis is a group run by Tom Ragland. The subject matter as
                I
                > understand it is a sort of Jungian conjuction between Kabbalah,
                > Eastern mysticism (especially Buddhism), and a notion of gnosis as
                a
                > sort of general mystical realization. Though it does not seem to
                be
                > the focus, the forum has not discouraged critical discussion when
                > the subject has come up.
                >
                > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DharmaGnosis/

                Hi PMCV,
                Tom is also a moderator of GnosticThought.

                >
                > Gnostic_Cafe is run by Ms Jenny (aka Vee). The subject matter is a
                > wider and looser grouping of modern spiritual mystical thinking in
                a
                > very informal setting (as I guess the word "Cafe" in the title
                would
                > suggest).
                >
                > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gnostic_cafe/

                Jenny is Jungian Gnostic. She has disappeared as she does from time
                to time. The last time she disappeared she deleted her Jung cafe
                group. This time she left her cafe running on automatic.

                >
                > GnosticThought is run by GnosticKen (aka George). It deals with
                what
                > Ken has termed "New Age" Gnostic thinking (which I think may be
                > similar to what I would call "eclectic relativism", but I could be
                > wrong and I don't intend to put words in Ken's mouth), and allows
                > for some exploration of a number of systems from personal
                > perspectives.
                >
                > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GnosticThought/

                GnosticThought is only "New Age" in the same sense this group
                is "New Age." That is we are not traditional Christian
                as "Christian" has been defined for the past 1600 or so years. We
                are part of the new age of openness, diversity and tolerance. When I
                said "we are all of the new age" I was including you ;-)

                GnosticThought could be defined as having the exact opposite focus
                of this group. While this group is about historical gnosticism and
                modern personal experiences are not off topic so long as they are
                related to historical gnosticism in some way, GnosticThought is
                about modern personal Gnosis and related mystic experiences with
                some historical discussion hopefully relating to modern personal
                experiences.

                I don't remember ever saying GnosticThought is "New Age" because
                spelling it with capital letters usually refers to the loose
                movement personified by Shirley MacLaine. The only Gnostic movement
                I know of that would fit that definition of New Age would be Sylvia
                Browne's Gnostics. While Sylvia Browne Gnostics are welcome on
                GnosticThought they are generally not real comfortable with the
                range of viewpoints there. They generally want to talk about
                Sylvia's personal mythology and most of us relate more to historical
                Gnostic mythology than to Sylvia's mythology. Several, such as Tom
                and Steve, seem to relate most to Buddhism.

                Ken
              • pmcvflag
                Hey Ken ... Ah, yes... and after I posted I thought about at and realized I should have posted all of the mods of the groups. Isn t Brenda also a mod there?
                Message 7 of 22 , Apr 8, 2007
                  Hey Ken

                  >>>Tom is also a moderator of GnosticThought.<<<

                  Ah, yes... and after I posted I thought about at and realized I
                  should have posted all of the mods of the groups. Isn't Brenda also
                  a mod there?

                  >>>GnosticThought is only "New Age" in the same sense this group
                  is "New Age." That is we are not traditional Christian
                  as "Christian" has been defined for the past 1600 or so years. We
                  are part of the new age of openness, diversity and tolerance. When I
                  said "we are all of the new age" I was including you ;-)<<<

                  That sounds like what I picked up as well. So my term "eclective
                  relativism" seems not so far off the mark in intent.

                  >>>GnosticThought could be defined as having the exact opposite focus
                  of this group. While this group is about historical gnosticism and
                  modern personal experiences are not off topic so long as they are
                  related to historical gnosticism in some way, GnosticThought is
                  about modern personal Gnosis and related mystic experiences with
                  some historical discussion hopefully relating to modern personal
                  experiences.<<<

                  I think that is a good observation of the primary differences
                  between the groups. I am glad to see that there are others here who
                  understand how this forum is meant to function so that it is not
                  simply that us mods have completely failed to communicate it.

                  PMCV
                • gnostic_ken
                  ... also ... I ... focus ... who ... Hi PMCV, Yes Brenda is also one of the GnosticThought moderators. You have always been quite clear about the focus of this
                  Message 8 of 22 , Apr 9, 2007
                    --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Hey Ken
                    >
                    > >>>Tom is also a moderator of GnosticThought.<<<
                    >
                    > Ah, yes... and after I posted I thought about at and realized I
                    > should have posted all of the mods of the groups. Isn't Brenda
                    also
                    > a mod there?
                    >
                    > >>>GnosticThought is only "New Age" in the same sense this group
                    > is "New Age." That is we are not traditional Christian
                    > as "Christian" has been defined for the past 1600 or so years. We
                    > are part of the new age of openness, diversity and tolerance. When
                    I
                    > said "we are all of the new age" I was including you ;-)<<<
                    >
                    > That sounds like what I picked up as well. So my term "eclective
                    > relativism" seems not so far off the mark in intent.
                    >
                    > >>>GnosticThought could be defined as having the exact opposite
                    focus
                    > of this group. While this group is about historical gnosticism and
                    > modern personal experiences are not off topic so long as they are
                    > related to historical gnosticism in some way, GnosticThought is
                    > about modern personal Gnosis and related mystic experiences with
                    > some historical discussion hopefully relating to modern personal
                    > experiences.<<<
                    >
                    > I think that is a good observation of the primary differences
                    > between the groups. I am glad to see that there are others here
                    who
                    > understand how this forum is meant to function so that it is not
                    > simply that us mods have completely failed to communicate it.
                    >
                    > PMCV

                    Hi PMCV,
                    Yes Brenda is also one of the GnosticThought moderators.

                    You have always been quite clear about the focus of this group. I
                    have no idea why so many people seem to misunderstand.

                    I do know from experience that no matter how clear we try to be
                    somebody will always misunderstand. Those who misunderstand seem to
                    talk (write) the most ;-)

                    So my point is it's certainly not your fault. You are and always
                    have been as clear as you possibly can be.

                    Ken
                  • gnostic_ken
                    ... Update: Jenny is now back. Ken
                    Message 9 of 22 , Apr 26, 2007
                      > Jenny is Jungian Gnostic. She has disappeared as she does from time
                      > to time. The last time she disappeared she deleted her Jung cafe
                      > group. This time she left her cafe running on automatic.

                      Update: Jenny is now back.

                      Ken
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