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Re: Searching for knowledge

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  • lady_caritas
    ... Welcome to the group, kari.mudie. Yes, Gnostic terminology (and cosmology, etc.) can be difficult to decipher, as you and Richard note. In our links
    Message 1 of 8 , May 3 2:52 PM
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      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "kari.mudie" <kari.mudie@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi,
      >
      > I'm new to this forum. I have found myself drawn to gnosticism for
      > some time now, and have really just started to scratch the surface.
      > However, from what I can gather, some gnostic resources can be very
      > confusing and difficult to understand, especially as I now understand
      > that there are many different gnostic belief systems. I am currently
      > reading a book about the Naassene's and find their beliefs' compelling
      > and intriguing.
      > I joined this discussion forum in the hope of learning more, but am
      > not sure whether I need to take smaller steps, since after browsing
      > over some of the postings I find myself a little lost with the
      > conversation. Can anyone give me advice on how to further my knowledge
      > and understanding of gnosis. I would really appreciate some direction.
      > Thanks, K.
      >

      Welcome to the group, kari.mudie. 

       

      Yes, Gnostic terminology (and cosmology, etc.) can be difficult to decipher, as you and Richard note.  In our links sections you can find a lexicon of common Gnostic terms (PMCV is currently working on an update of that) in addition to some introductory articles, which you might find helpful.

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gnosticism2/links

       

      There are many books written about Gnosticism, some introductory.  One recent introductory book by Birger A. Pearson is good, Ancient Gnosticism, Traditions and Literature.  You can also find collections of scripture, such as James M. Robinson's The Nag Hammadi Library and Bentley Layton's The Gnostic Scriptures (which includes abundant annotations).  www.gnosis.org  also has Gnostic scriptures available online.

       

      As always, please feel free to bring any questions and comments here to the forum, Kari.  There are other members who are new to Gnosticism, and they also might benefit from discussions that attempt to clarify some confusion.

       

      So, what book are you reading about the Naassenes?  And what are you finding intriguing?

       

      Cari

       

    • Br Benjamin Assisi
      theres always tom saunder s Gnostic glossary also which is online in vasrious places, I am currently working on a version myself, probably much to tom s
      Message 2 of 8 , May 3 3:07 PM
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        theres always tom saunder's Gnostic glossary also

        which is online in vasrious places, I am currently working on a version myself, probably much to tom's disgust....

        here's an old version

        http://magdelene.net/glossary.htm

        this group is about episteme about Gnosis, not really Gnosis though....

        On Sat, May 3, 2008 at 5:52 PM, lady_caritas <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "kari.mudie" <kari.mudie@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi,
        >
        > I'm new to this forum. I have found myself drawn to gnosticism for
        > some time now, and have really just started to scratch the surface.
        > However, from what I can gather, some gnostic resources can be very
        > confusing and difficult to understand, especially as I now understand
        > that there are many different gnostic belief systems. I am currently
        > reading a book about the Naassene's and find their beliefs' compelling
        > and intriguing.
        > I joined this discussion forum in the hope of learning more, but am
        > not sure whether I need to take smaller steps, since after browsing
        > over some of the postings I find myself a little lost with the
        > conversation. Can anyone give me advice on how to further my knowledge
        > and understanding of gnosis. I would really appreciate some direction.
        > Thanks, K.
        >

        Welcome to the group, kari.mudie. 

         

        Yes, Gnostic terminology (and cosmology, etc.) can be difficult to decipher, as you and Richard note.  In our links sections you can find a lexicon of common Gnostic terms (PMCV is currently working on an update of that) in addition to some introductory articles, which you might find helpful.

        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gnosticism2/links

         



        --
        Better than one thousand verses
        Where no profit wings the word,
        Is one solitary stanza
        Bringing peace of mind when heard.
      • kari.mudie
        Hi, Thanks for the tips, I m sure they ll prove useful in helping me understand. The book I m reading is the Gnostic Secrets of the Naassenes written by Mark
        Message 3 of 8 , May 3 4:09 PM
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          Hi,
          Thanks for the tips, I'm sure they'll prove useful in helping me
          understand.
          The book I'm reading is the "Gnostic Secrets of the Naassenes" written
          by Mark Gaffney.
          To be completely honest, I'm not really sure what intrigues me yet,
          but something keeps me reading. I've read a lot about different types
          of religions lately and certain things disturb me. I find that a lot
          of dominant religions today have a lot of rules and if you follow the
          rules, you'll go to heaven, but if you disobey the rules you won't. I
          mean is this all we really have to learn, how to obey rules? We are
          equipped with minds that can reason and I just think there's got to be
          more to it than simply following rules?
          I learned that many religions have very similar beliefs e.g. creation,
          Jesus etc. but they interpret them differently. I'm stunned because I
          would have thought that they had to be so different considering all
          the trouble going on the world in the name of religion - I just do not
          understand how anyone can go to war in the name of any religion - to
          me that's just nuts!!
          I was also surprised to learn how some dominant religions have
          'interpreted' (I use this term loosely) events to suit their religion
          and teachings, this really disturbs me considering how so many people
          don't question the teachings.
          I don't think faith should be to blindly follow things without
          question, I think that we are equipped with minds to learn so that we
          can try to understand what it's all about, and this is what draws me
          to gnosis.
          Thanks again for the advice, I'm sure I'll be back with more questions.
          Kari





          --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, lady_caritas <no_reply@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          >
          > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "kari.mudie" <kari.mudie@> wrote:
          > >
          > > Hi,
          > >
          > > I'm new to this forum. I have found myself drawn to gnosticism for
          > > some time now, and have really just started to scratch the surface.
          > > However, from what I can gather, some gnostic resources can be very
          > > confusing and difficult to understand, especially as I now understand
          > > that there are many different gnostic belief systems. I am currently
          > > reading a book about the Naassene's and find their beliefs' compelling
          > > and intriguing.
          > > I joined this discussion forum in the hope of learning more, but am
          > > not sure whether I need to take smaller steps, since after browsing
          > > over some of the postings I find myself a little lost with the
          > > conversation. Can anyone give me advice on how to further my knowledge
          > > and understanding of gnosis. I would really appreciate some direction.
          > > Thanks, K.
          > >
          >
          >
          > Welcome to the group, kari.mudie.
          >
          >
          >
          > Yes, Gnostic terminology (and cosmology, etc.) can be difficult to
          > decipher, as you and Richard note. In our links sections you can find a
          > lexicon of common Gnostic terms (PMCV is currently working on an update
          > of that) in addition to some introductory articles, which you might find
          > helpful.
          >
          > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gnosticism2/links
          > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gnosticism2/links>
          >
          >
          >
          > There are many books written about Gnosticism, some introductory. One
          > recent introductory book by Birger A. Pearson is good, Ancient
          > Gnosticism, Traditions and Literature. You can also find collections of
          > scripture, such as James M. Robinson's The Nag Hammadi Library and
          > Bentley Layton's The Gnostic Scriptures (which includes abundant
          > annotations). www.gnosis.org <http://www.gnosis.org > also has
          > Gnostic scriptures available online.
          >
          >
          >
          > As always, please feel free to bring any questions and comments here to
          > the forum, Kari. There are other members who are new to Gnosticism, and
          > they also might benefit from discussions that attempt to clarify some
          > confusion.
          >
          >
          >
          > So, what book are you reading about the Naassenes? And what are you
          > finding intriguing?
          >
          >
          >
          > Cari
          >
        • pmcvflag
          Hey Kari, welcome to the forum. ... not sure whether I need to take smaller steps, since after browsing over some of the postings I find myself a little lost
          Message 4 of 8 , May 3 5:27 PM
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            Hey Kari, welcome to the forum.

            >>>I joined this discussion forum in the hope of learning more, but am
            not sure whether I need to take smaller steps, since after browsing
            over some of the postings I find myself a little lost with the
            conversation. Can anyone give me advice on how to further my knowledge
            and understanding of gnosis. I would really appreciate some
            direction.<<<

            Let me just ditto what Cari says.... don't feel overwhelmed. I know
            conversation here can start to look very academic, but I think you
            will find that if you simply ask a question the people here are VERY
            willing to help explain what they mean to say in plain terms. If you
            are willing to engage in conversation (rather than lurk) I think you
            will be happy to find how quickly you learn these terms, and how they
            relate directly to your study of the Naassenes (a group I am also
            interested in).

            >>>I'm new to this forum. I have found myself drawn to gnosticism for
            some time now, and have really just started to scratch the surface.
            However, from what I can gather, some gnostic resources can be very
            confusing and difficult to understand, especially as I now understand
            that there are many different gnostic belief systems. I am currently
            reading a book about the Naassene's and find their beliefs' compelling
            and intriguing.<<<

            It may help you to know that while there are many historical Gnostic
            groups, they actually generally fall into a few basic patterns that in
            turn fit into the category of "Gnosticism". That is to say, while we
            talk about each individual group we can also lump various groups
            together into a sort of family tree (taxonomy). In this family tree,
            the Naassenes are maybe more connected to a larger category known
            as "Sethians".

            PMCV
          • pmcvflag
            Hey Ben ... in vasrious places, I am currently working on a version myself, probably much to tom s disgust
            Message 5 of 8 , May 3 5:43 PM
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              Hey Ben

              >>>theres always tom saunder's Gnostic glossary also which is online
              in vasrious places, I am currently working on a version myself,
              probably much to tom's disgust<<<

              I do want to point out that most of Tom's glossary is actually mine,
              and he says so on the page you link. Not only rewriting the
              definitions, but even including some of the terms in the context of a
              Gnosticism list could create copyright problems so it could be good to
              talk to me about it. I am generally pretty free with usage as long as
              I get some word on how it is used.

              PMCV
            • Br Benjamin Assisi
              well I m not rewriting anything, I ve just added alternatives/additions, to approx 1% of it.... example, tom s work is in red here...the 1st paragraph...the
              Message 6 of 8 , May 3 7:34 PM
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                well I'm not rewriting anything, I've just added alternatives/additions, to approx 1% of it....

                example, tom's work is in red here...the 1st paragraph...the rest is the work of south african  kabbalist, Jacobus Swart; and is not just copied from a kabbalah website or a book. I think this adds to the glossary as opposed to detracting from it, but still it is only 1% of the overall document

                Gematria is one of a number of methods which Kabbalists, and others I might add, employ to uncover "hidden meanings" in Hebrew words and expressions. Simply Gematria is the art of calculating the numerical value of a word by adding together the value of each letter. Once the numerical value of the word is known, words or combinations of words having the same value can be carefully scrutinized and compared. In this manner one number can become representative of several ideas, all of which are understood to be intrinsically related.

                A famous example often quoted by commentators and authors addressing this specific topic is Genesis 49:10 which reads "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh, and unto him shall the gathering of the people be." By Gematria the words "until Shiloh" - y'voh Shiloh (Yod [10] + Bet [2] + Alef [1] + Shin [300] + Yod [10] + Lamed [30] + Heh [5] = 358), align with the Hebrew word for Messiah - Mashiach (Mem [40] + Shin  [300] + Yod [10] + Chet [8] = 358]). Hence, according to Kabbalah, there is a direct connection between the terms "until Shiloh" and "Messiah." Associated here is the Gematria of Numbers 21:9 which reads "And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the Serpent of brass, he lived." The serpent of brass is called Nachash (Nun [50] + Chet   [8] + Shin [300] = 358). So there is a connection between "Messiah," "until Shiloh," and the "Serpent of brass." Using this set of Gematria associations, Christian Kabbalists later assumed that the brazen serpent raised by Moses in the desert was a prefiguration of the Christian Saviour on the Cross. There are however other meanings such as the Nachash.

                Using Gematria, Kabbalists arrive at many remarkable Holy Names or the names of Angels, revealing the mysteries of the world of the Merkavah (the fiery Chariot Throne and the Angels). An example is that the Gematria of the entire verse of Song of Songs 6:16: "I have gone down into the nut garden," is equivalent to a verse in the Midrash (a Sacred Biblical Commentary) which reads "That is the depth of the chariot (Merkavah)."

                There is really no limit to what can be yielded by employing this simple Gematria method explained above, but over the years the application of this system became more and more complex, and many more ways of practising this art were devised. I certainly cannot go into all of them in this short missive, but I should mention that there are two schools of thought in Kabbalah regarding the use of Gematria. One favours it, the other uses it very rarely, however both of them used it, hence Gematria is a key system in the "Letter-number Mysticism" of Kabbalah.

                As said, Gematria became more and more complicated over the centuries. However, generally the most important types of Gematriot are:

                1. The numerical value of one wore is equal to another word. This is the method explained above. Another example is the word Gevurah [Severity] (Gimel [3] + Bet [2] + Vav [6] + Resh [200] + Heh [5] = 216). The Gematria of this word is equal to the word Aryeh [Lion] (Alef [1] + Resh [200] + Yod [10] + Heh [5] = 216). A connection is therefore recognized between the ideas of "Severity" and "Lion" in Hebrew.

                2.      The reduction of numbers to single units. For example the value of Shin (300) is reduced to 3 or Kaf (20) to 2.

                3.      The squared number is calculated by squaring the numerical values of each letter in a word. for example the Tetragrammaton YHVH squared equals (Yod) 102 ( Heh) 52 (Vav) 62 (Heh ) 52 which equals 186. This is in turn equated with the word Makom [Place] (Mem [40] + Kof [100] + Vav [6] + Mem [40] = 186). Makom is also a Divine Name.

                4.      Adding up the value of all letters preceding a letter in an alphabetical numerical series. For example, the letter Dalet is the fourth letter of the Hebrew letter-numbers (alphabet), and the use of this type of Gematria in this case, requires one to add the values of the letters preceding Dalet, thus 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 10.

                5.     Then there is the method of Gematria termed Millui meaning "filling" or "spellings." In this method the values of the letters comprising the names of the individual letters are calculated. In Hebrew each letter is a word, and is spelled as follows:

                Alef Alef-Lamed- Peh [Feh]
                Bet
                — Bet-Yod- Tav
                Gimel
                Gimel-Mem- Lamed)
                Dalet
                Dalet- Lamed- Tav

                Heh can be spelled:
                Heh-Alef
                    Heh
                -Heh
                    Heh
                -Yod

                Vav can be spelled:
                Vav-Alef-Vav
                    Vav-Yod-Vav
                Vav-Vav

                ZayinZayin-Yod-Nun
                Chet
                Chet-Yod-Tav
                Tet
                Tet-Yod-Tav
                Yod
                Yod-Vav-Dalet
                Kaf
                Kaf-Feh
                Lamed
                Lamed-Mem-Dalet
                Mem
                Mem-Mem
                Nun
                Nun-Vav-Nun
                Samech
                Samech-Mem-Kaf [ Chaf]
                AyinAyin-Yod-Nun
                PehPeh-Heh
                Tzadi
                Tzadi-Dalet-Yod
                Kof
                Kof-Vav-Peh [ Feh]
                ReshResh-Yod-Shin
                ShinShin-Yod-Nun
                TavTav-Vav

                Using this type of Gematria the value of Alef (Alef [1] + Lamed [30] + Feh [80]) = 111; Bet (Bet [2] + Yod [10] + Tav [400]) = 412, etcetera. These Millui or fillings are very important in the construction and permutation of Divine Names. Take for example the earlier mentioned  YHVH, in which the letter-numbers Heh and Vav have different fillings, that is different spellings. As indicated already, the letter Heh can be spelled Heh-AlefHeh-Heh or Heh-Yod, and Vav can be spelled Vav-Alef-Vav, Vav-Yod-Vav or Vav-Vav. So with these letters one can use three different kinds of fillings, traditionally called:

                Millui de-Alfin (Alef filling);
                Millui de-He'in (Heh filling); and
                Millui de-Yodin (Yod filling).

                Applying these to the Ineffable Name, YHVH, the Sacred Tetragrammaton can be varied accordingly to give the so-called "Forty-Five Letter Name of God," "Fifty-Two Letter Name of God," "Sixty-Three Letter Name of God," and "Seventy-Two Letter Name of God." In fact each of these names correspond to one of the Four Worlds of Kabbalah, respectively the worlds of Assiah, Yetzirah, Briah and Atzilut. This is done in the following manner:

                Yod-Vav-Dalet Heh-heh Vav-vav Heh-heh comprises the "Fifty-Two Letter Name of God," and in Gematria the word Ben (Bet [2] + Nun [50] = 52). The word Ben (son) is thus representative of the "Fifty-Two Letter Name of God."
                Yod-Vav-Dalet Heh-Alef Vav-Alef-Vav Heh-Alef comprises the "Forty-Five Letter Name of God," which corresponds in Gematria to the word Adam (Alef [1] + Dalet [4] + Mem [40] = 45). The word Adam (man) therefore symbolizes the "Forty-Five Letter Name of God."
                Yod-Vav-Dalet Heh-Yod Vav-Alef-Vav Heh-Yod comprises the "Sixty-Three Letter Name of God."
                Yod-Vav-Dalet Heh-Yod Vav-Yod-Vav Heh-Yod comprises the "Seventy-Two Letter Name of God," which according to some is related to what is called the "Name of Seventy-Two Names."

                Of course I have barely touched on this topic, and there are still a few Gematria techniques which I have not listed at all. This is purely because I am address more extensive details in this short message, but I hope I have been able to shed some light on this intriguing topic.


                ................

                mainly I'm adding links (which some exist, others dont.....ie a like to a wiki article on goats etc etc etc), to make it not so flat....and the occasional picture

                Tom's work is indeed partially yours...but it has expanded far beyond that

                is there a problem ?

                On Sat, May 3, 2008 at 8:43 PM, pmcvflag <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                Hey Ben

                >>>theres always tom saunder's Gnostic glossary also which is online
                in vasrious places, I am currently working on a version myself,
                probably much to tom's disgust<<<

                I do want to point out that most of Tom's glossary is actually mine,
                and he says so on the page you link. Not only rewriting the
                definitions, but even including some of the terms in the context of a
                Gnosticism list could create copyright problems so it could be good to
                talk to me about it. I am generally pretty free with usage as long as
                I get some word on how it is used.

                PMCV



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                --
                Better than one thousand verses
                Where no profit wings the word,
                Is one solitary stanza
                Bringing peace of mind when heard.
              • pmcvflag
                Ben ... alternatives/additions, to approx 1% of it.... mainly I m adding links (which some exist, others dont.....ie a like to a wiki article on goats etc etc
                Message 7 of 8 , May 4 11:57 PM
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                  Ben

                  >>>well I'm not rewriting anything, I've just added
                  alternatives/additions, to approx 1% of it....

                  mainly I'm adding links (which some exist, others dont.....ie a like
                  to a wiki article on goats etc etc etc), to make it not so
                  flat....and the occasional picture

                  Tom's work is indeed partially yours...but it has expanded far
                  beyond that

                  is there a problem ?<<<

                  Tom did expand on my lexicon...... with my permission. Some of the
                  terms have nothing to do with me at all, and as long as you asked
                  Tom and he gave permission then I have no problem with anything you
                  do to his sections of the lexicon.

                  PMCV
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