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Re: [Gnosticism2] Re: New Gostic text... how do you think it fits in with the gnostic movement?

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  • Chris Heading
    Hi Cari- Thanks for you indepth thoughts.  I agree with what you said in my limited understanding of gnosticism.  There are some pretty interesting takes in
    Message 1 of 14 , Jun 9, 2009
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      Hi Cari-

      Thanks for you indepth thoughts.  I agree with what you said in my limited understanding of gnosticism.  There are some pretty interesting takes in the message for me.  Particularly the concept of humanity being a religion.  I tend to be a humanist with social justice views and this fits in very nicely with them.  The video explain this a bit more in detail - particularly on how to create peace.  It seems to make it a lot more practical than what I've learned about gnosticism - do you know of any gnostic texts that give very practical guidence like this?

      thanks

      --- On Tue, 6/9/09, lady_caritas <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

      From: lady_caritas <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
      Subject: [Gnosticism2] Re: New Gostic text... how do you think it fits in with the gnostic movement?
      To: gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Tuesday, June 9, 2009, 3:43 AM

      --- In gnosticism2@ yahoogroups. com, "chris_heading" <chris_heading@ ...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi All…
      >
      > Does anyone know anything about this Gnostic movement? I haven't been able to find very much on it and wondered if anyone has studied it. It has a strong Gnostic basis similar to Nag Hammadi, but seem much more modern and human based in it's approach. It focuses a lot on choice and self-empowerment in steps towards transcendence and looks like it is shared in story/parable form interweaving various forms of gnosis.
      >
      > Here's the page that compares their Gnosis with other forms of gnosis. They have a book they follow called the Song of God which was written by a man named Azrael Ondi-Ahman over a 28 year period. The site also has some interesting videos on creating your own reality.
      >
      > http://www.truegnos ticchurch. org/basic_ beliefs..html
      >
      > I emailed the site, but have yet to get a response. I'd like to get any advice feedback before I purchase the book.
      >
      > I'm pretty intrigued and any help would be greatly appreciated.
      >
      > Thanks,
      >

      Hi, Chris. I'm not at all familiar with this group. It seems to be one of many modern groups that have decided to label themselves "Gnostic". As you know, the focus of our group is historical Gnosticism, and after reading a bit from the link you left, it appears that there are many differences and also some misconceptions regarding ancient Gnosticism.

      For instance, the material world and the demiurge were not considered evil by all historical Gnostic groups. The Valentinians considered the material world to be inferior, yet it contained a purpose in nurturing the spiritual seed.

      The Basic Beliefs of this group that you linked show some major differences from the ancients. That is not to say that either approach is necessarily wrong or right, so much as that they definitely do differ.

      For example, the ancient Gnostics did not believe that God evolved from humanity, nor was God a "glorified and exalted human being." The ultimate source for the historical Gnostics was not human, but rather infinite, ineffable and unknown.

      Perhaps others know more about this modern belief, but it does appear to involve a very different worldview from the ancients we focus on here.

      Cari


    • lady_caritas
      ... Chris, there are people I know who care about social justice, who have an ethical philosophy that centers on the value of humanity, and who care about
      Message 2 of 14 , Jun 9, 2009
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        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Chris Heading <chris_heading@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi Cari-
        > Thanks for you indepth thoughts.  I agree with what you said in my limited understanding of gnosticism.  There are some pretty interesting takes in the message for me.  Particularly the concept of humanity being a religion.  I tend to be a humanist with social justice views and this fits in very nicely with them.  The video explain this a bit more in detail - particularly on how to create peace.  It seems to make it a lot more practical than what I've learned about gnosticism - do you know of any gnostic texts that give very practical guidence like this?
        > thanks



        Chris, there are people I know who care about social justice, who have an ethical philosophy that centers on the value of humanity, and who care about peace. Some of these people do follow various religions, although others are agnostic and some are secular atheists. Some humanists don't accept transcendental or religious explanations. IOW, my opinion is that religion or a realized sense of spirituality is not necessary for a humanistic approach to life. There are many organizations and philosophies and religions and self-help psychology books that have various noble goals such as peace, human justice, self-awareness and self-improvement. Those that include spiritual and/or philosophical worldviews offer an added dimension, so to speak, in contextualizing humanity.

        The ancient Gnostics obviously existed in a social context and lived by rules of society. Instead of outlining a practical set of rules or laws or a prescription for moral living on an individual plane, as well as societal level, they focused on self-knowledge and salvific Gnosis, thereby, acquaintance with a spiritual seed or spark united with the ultimate ineffable, infinite Source. Unifying spirit realized on an individual and group level could not help but influence an ethical sense, in my opinion. Whether or not peace could ever prevail in our world as long as ignorance exists, the ancients demonstrated in practical ways an inner understanding.

        From the Gospel of Philip:

        "Speak concerning the truth to those who seek it and of knowledge to those who, in their error, have committed sin. Make sure-footed those who stumble and stretch forth your hands to the sick. Nourish the hungry and set at ease those who are troubled. Foster men who love. Raise up and awaken those who sleep. For you are this understanding which encourages. If the strong follow this course, they are even stronger. Turn your attention to yourselves."
        http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/got.html

        There are modern gnostics who relate to this Valentinian approach.

        Perhaps other members have some insights. Chris, I hope your path leads you to fulfillment.

        Cari
      • lady_caritas
        ... OOPS! I meant, The Gospel of Truth. ;-) Cari
        Message 3 of 14 , Jun 9, 2009
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          --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, lady_caritas <no_reply@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > From the Gospel of Philip:
          >
          > "Speak concerning the truth to those who seek it and of knowledge to those who, in their error, have committed sin. Make sure-footed those who stumble and stretch forth your hands to the sick. Nourish the hungry and set at ease those who are troubled. Foster men who love. Raise up and awaken those who sleep. For you are this understanding which encourages. If the strong follow this course, they are even stronger. Turn your attention to yourselves."
          > http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/got.html


          OOPS! I meant, The Gospel of Truth. ;-)


          Cari
        • Ben
          ... there are arguably commandments to be found in Pistis sophia...
          Message 4 of 14 , Jun 10, 2009
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            > There are modern gnostics who relate to this Valentinian approach.
            >
            > Perhaps other members have some insights. Chris, I hope your path leads you to fulfillment.
            >
            > Cari
            >
            there are arguably "commandments" to be found in Pistis sophia...
          • Ben
            http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/ps/ps107.htm JESUS continued again in the discourse and said unto his disciples: When I shall have gone into the Light, then
            Message 5 of 14 , Jun 10, 2009
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              http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/ps/ps107.htm

              JESUS continued again in the discourse and said unto his disciples: "When I shall have gone into the Light, then herald it unto the whole world and say unto them: Cease not to seek day and night and remit not yourselves until ye find the mysteries of the Light-kingdom, which will purify you and make you into refined light and lead you into the Light-kingdom.

              "Say unto them: Renounce the whole world and the whole matter therein and all its care and all its sins, in a word all its associations which are in it, that ye may be worthy of the mysteries of the Light and be saved from all the chastisements which are in the judgments.

              "Say unto them: Renounce murmuring, that ye may be worthy of the mysteries of the Light and be saved from the fire of the dog-faced [one].

              etc
            • Rosalie Shelton
              ... Sorry that I cannot comment on this. I have never read anything on this at all. I ll look at your files and resources but would like an explanation or
              Message 6 of 14 , Jun 10, 2009
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                Cari wrote to me:
                > For purposes of our group, would you like to share which Gnostic literature you enjoy? Also, from your readings, what do the Gnostics say about love in relation to the Gnostic conception of the ultimate Source?

                Sorry that I cannot comment on this. I have never read anything on this at all. I'll look at your files and resources but would like an explanation or some links for further reading on this issue.
                >
                > Cari
                Hi Cari,
                Yes, I have
                • The Gnostic Gospels, Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas by Elaine Pagels
                • The Gnostic Bible by Willis Barnstone
                • The Gospel of Mary Magdalene by Jean-Yves Leloup
                • Jesus and the Lost Goddess: The Secret Teachings of the… by Timothy Freke
                • If You Could See What I See: The Tenets of Novus Spiritus by Sylvia Browne
                • The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Christian Myth by John Marco Allegro
                • The Nature of Good and Evil (Journey of the Soul Series,… by Sylvia Browne
                • Holy Blood Holy Grail by Michael beignet Richard Leigh & Henry Lincoln
                • Illustrated Bloodline of the Holy Grail by Laurence Gardner
                • The Gospel of Thomas: Annotated & Explained (Skylight Illuminations,) by Steven L. Davies and Andrew Harvey
                • If You Could See What I See: The Tenets of Novus Spiritus
                • Complete set for teaching a Sylvia Brown study Group plus 10 or more of her books and tapes of her sermons.
                Thanks,
                Rose
              • lady_caritas
                ... Thank you, Ben. Yes, again here we see some esoteric, initiatory instruction with the eye on the prize, so to speak, the mysteries of the Light-kingdom.
                Message 7 of 14 , Jun 11, 2009
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                  --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Ben" <brbenjaminassisi@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/ps/ps107.htm
                  >
                  > JESUS continued again in the discourse and said unto his disciples: "When I shall have gone into the Light, then herald it unto the whole world and say unto them: Cease not to seek day and night and remit not yourselves until ye find the mysteries of the Light-kingdom, which will purify you and make you into refined light and lead you into the Light-kingdom.
                  >
                  > "Say unto them: Renounce the whole world and the whole matter therein and all its care and all its sins, in a word all its associations which are in it, that ye may be worthy of the mysteries of the Light and be saved from all the chastisements which are in the judgments.
                  >
                  > "Say unto them: Renounce murmuring, that ye may be worthy of the mysteries of the Light and be saved from the fire of the dog-faced [one].
                  >
                  > etc
                  >


                  Thank you, Ben. Yes, again here we see some esoteric, initiatory instruction with the eye on the prize, so to speak, the mysteries of the Light-kingdom. There are lists of virtues to uphold and vices of the world to overcome. There is a rising above the chaos vs. working only within a perception of the division within the world. In effect, though, we don't see an escape from the world so much as a different perspective. Perhaps Chris can find some practical guidance in our examples and others.

                  Also, Ben, are you or anyone else here aware of any very recent scholarship about Pistis Sophia? With the Nag Hammadi findings and development of scholarly categories of Sethian and Valentinian literature, I'm not sure how to categorize Pistis Sophia. The dating alone is difficult. I've seen ranges from second century to fourth century CE. April DeConick during past discussion on her blog called it a fourth century text and described it as a collection of random esoteric lore from numerous geographies and traditions.

                  Cari
                • lady_caritas
                  ... Rose, thank you for the list. It is very helpful. You have a range of approaches reflected in your reading list. Of course, for the purposes of our
                  Message 8 of 14 , Jun 11, 2009
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                    --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Rosalie Shelton" <rosashelton@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Cari wrote to me:
                    > > For purposes of our group, would you like to share which Gnostic literature you enjoy? Also, from your readings, what do the Gnostics say about love in relation to the Gnostic conception of the ultimate Source?
                    >
                    > Sorry that I cannot comment on this. I have never read anything on this at all. I'll look at your files and resources but would like an explanation or some links for further reading on this issue.
                    > >
                    > > Cari
                    > Hi Cari,
                    > Yes, I have
                    > • The Gnostic Gospels, Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas by Elaine Pagels
                    > • The Gnostic Bible by Willis Barnstone
                    > • The Gospel of Mary Magdalene by Jean-Yves Leloup
                    > • Jesus and the Lost Goddess: The Secret Teachings of the… by Timothy Freke
                    > • If You Could See What I See: The Tenets of Novus Spiritus by Sylvia Browne
                    > • The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Christian Myth by John Marco Allegro
                    > • The Nature of Good and Evil (Journey of the Soul Series,… by Sylvia Browne
                    > • Holy Blood Holy Grail by Michael beignet Richard Leigh & Henry Lincoln
                    > • Illustrated Bloodline of the Holy Grail by Laurence Gardner
                    > • The Gospel of Thomas: Annotated & Explained (Skylight Illuminations,) by Steven L. Davies and Andrew Harvey
                    > • If You Could See What I See: The Tenets of Novus Spiritus
                    > • Complete set for teaching a Sylvia Brown study Group plus 10 or more of her books and tapes of her sermons.
                    > Thanks,
                    > Rose
                    >


                    Rose, thank you for the list. It is very helpful. You have a range of approaches reflected in your reading list. Of course, for the purposes of our group, we focus on historical Gnosticism, rather than modern interpretations such as those espoused by Sylvia Brown or Holy Blood, Holy Grail speculations.

                    I asked about the conception of God you mentioned, that being "God is Love," mainly because there are many different understandings of the ultimate source or god prevalent today, even though using the same label of "gnostic". It's not that love is not important, so much as the ancient Gnostics did not equate god or source solely with love. The ultimate source basically was an unknown, and ineffable, and infinite. I'm not sure if that was your meaning or not.

                    As example, in the Gnostic Bible, which you own, you can find an attempt to describe this indescribable One, starting on page 139 (The Secret Book of John). For comparison and more literature there are other compendiums of Gnostic writings, such as those by Bentley Layton and James Robinson. You can also find more texts online, too:
                    http://www.gnosis.org/library.html
                    http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/index.html

                    Now, as far as "love" specifically, that can be seen as one aspect of the source or "Father", such as described in A Valentinian Exposition:
                    http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/valex.html

                    Love is an emanation from the source in The Secret Book of John.

                    In Eugnostos the Blessed, "Love Sophia" is the fifth name given to the feminine aspect of one of six revealed androgynous spiritual beings.

                    Also, as example, there is mention of "love" throughout The Gospel of Truth.

                    Rose, I'll stop here and let you and others contribute more examples and ideas to this discussion.

                    Cari
                  • Brian
                    Message 9 of 14 , Jun 11, 2009
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                      Hello chris! In my opinion,I would read everything I could find the time to read. There is a good chance that ten years from now you won't be as interested in this text as you are today,but who's to say that one small piece of it will stick with you to later open a door that you couldn't have done so without it? (In my opinion) you've got to dig deep,especially at first. You may disregaurd half of what you come across, but you may find that one thing that relates to you and opens the next door. I think that would be more important than wondering how it relates to nag hammadi. How it relates to you and your path seems to be your goal,in my opinion! --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "chris_heading" <chris_heading@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Hi All…
                      >
                      > Does anyone know anything about this Gnostic movement? I haven't been able to find very much on it and wondered if anyone has studied it. It has a strong Gnostic basis similar to Nag Hammadi, but seem much more modern and human based in it's approach. It focuses a lot on choice and self-empowerment in steps towards transcendence and looks like it is shared in story/parable form interweaving various forms of gnosis.
                      >
                      > Here's the page that compares their Gnosis with other forms of gnosis. They have a book they follow called the Song of God which was written by a man named Azrael Ondi-Ahman over a 28 year period. The site also has some interesting videos on creating your own reality.
                      >
                      > http://www.truegnosticchurch.org/basic_beliefs.html
                      >
                      > I emailed the site, but have yet to get a response. I'd like to get any advice feedback before I purchase the book.
                      >
                      > I'm pretty intrigued and any help would be greatly appreciated.
                      >
                      > Thanks,
                      >
                    • Rosalie Shelton
                      Hi Cari, Thanks for the info and references. I copied it and I will be interested to follow those readings. I just watched a video at
                      Message 10 of 14 , Jun 11, 2009
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                        Hi Cari,
                        Thanks for the info and references. I copied it and I will be interested to follow those readings.
                        I just watched a video at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5783057043188740843

                        Alan Steinfeld of New Realities interviews author JJ Hurtak about his book Pistis Sophia. He also wrote the Keys of Enoch.
                        He explains Gnosticism as "A pathway seeking Divine experience to knowledge".

                        "New Realities host Alan Steinfeld interviews the legendary J.J. Hurtak, bestselling author of "The Book of Knowledge: The Keys of Enoch®", doctor, and president of The Academy For Future Science. In this interview, James J. Hurtak discusses his book The Pistis Sophia, Text and Commentary (co-authored with his wife, Desiree), which is a translation and commentary of a special collection of 2,000 year old Gnostic Coptic manuscripts, derived from ancient Egyptian-Coptic Christian Codexes."

                        Here is another helpful link to the Pistis Sophia I found on Nag Hammadi Library website: http://www.gnosis.org/library/pistis-sophia/ps005.htm
                        Gnostic Scriptures and Fragments

                        Pistis Sophia
                        Translated by G. R. S. Mead

                        Thanks,
                        Rose
                      • lady_caritas
                        Thank you, Rose. I ll check out that interview. Cari
                        Message 11 of 14 , Jun 12, 2009
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                          Thank you, Rose. I'll check out that interview.

                          Cari

                          --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Rosalie Shelton" <rosashelton@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Hi Cari,
                          > Thanks for the info and references. I copied it and I will be interested to follow those readings.
                          > I just watched a video at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5783057043188740843
                          >
                          > Alan Steinfeld of New Realities interviews author JJ Hurtak about his book Pistis Sophia. He also wrote the Keys of Enoch.
                          > He explains Gnosticism as "A pathway seeking Divine experience to knowledge".
                          >
                          > "New Realities host Alan Steinfeld interviews the legendary J.J. Hurtak, bestselling author of "The Book of Knowledge: The Keys of Enoch®", doctor, and president of The Academy For Future Science. In this interview, James J. Hurtak discusses his book The Pistis Sophia, Text and Commentary (co-authored with his wife, Desiree), which is a translation and commentary of a special collection of 2,000 year old Gnostic Coptic manuscripts, derived from ancient Egyptian-Coptic Christian Codexes."
                          >
                          > Here is another helpful link to the Pistis Sophia I found on Nag Hammadi Library website: http://www.gnosis.org/library/pistis-sophia/ps005.htm
                          > Gnostic Scriptures and Fragments
                          >
                          > Pistis Sophia
                          > Translated by G. R. S. Mead
                          >
                          > Thanks,
                          > Rose
                          >
                        • Chris Heading
                          Great points!  thanks ... From: Brian Subject: [Gnosticism2] Re: New Gostic text... how do you think it fits in with the gnostic
                          Message 12 of 14 , Jun 22, 2009
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                            Great points!  thanks

                            --- On Fri, 6/12/09, Brian <humbleservant1god@...> wrote:

                            From: Brian <humbleservant1god@...>
                            Subject: [Gnosticism2] Re: New Gostic text... how do you think it fits in with the gnostic movement?
                            To: gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com
                            Date: Friday, June 12, 2009, 3:02 AM

                            Hello chris! In my opinion,I would read everything I could find the time to read. There is a good chance that ten years from now you won't be as interested in this text as you are today,but who's to say that one small piece of it will stick with you to later open a door that you couldn't have done so without it? (In my opinion) you've got to dig deep,especially at first. You may disregaurd half of what you come across, but you may find that one thing that relates to you and opens the next door. I think that would be more important than wondering how it relates to nag hammadi. How it relates to you and your path seems to be your goal,in my opinion! --- In gnosticism2@ yahoogroups. com, "chris_heading" <chris_heading@ ...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Hi All…
                            >
                            > Does anyone know anything about this Gnostic movement? I haven't been able to find very much on it and wondered if anyone has studied it. It has a strong Gnostic basis similar to Nag Hammadi, but seem much more modern and human based in it's approach. It focuses a lot on choice and self-empowerment in steps towards transcendence and looks like it is shared in story/parable form interweaving various forms of gnosis.
                            >
                            > Here's the page that compares their Gnosis with other forms of gnosis. They have a book they follow called the Song of God which was written by a man named Azrael Ondi-Ahman over a 28 year period. The site also has some interesting videos on creating your own reality.
                            >
                            > http://www.truegnos ticchurch. org/basic_ beliefs.html
                            >
                            > I emailed the site, but have yet to get a response. I'd like to get any advice feedback before I purchase the book.
                            >
                            > I'm pretty intrigued and any help would be greatly appreciated.
                            >
                            > Thanks,
                            >


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