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Gnosticism Does Not Posess Passwords To Heaven

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  • Chester
    Orthodoxy assumes the great gnostic texts were written during the halcyon years of the church. According to the official line, they were composed as a direct
    Message 1 of 15 , Apr 12, 2010
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      Orthodoxy assumes the great gnostic texts were written during the halcyon years of the church. According to the official line, they were composed as a direct challenge to the authority of the nascent Christian faith. We know, now that orthodoxy is an anachronism; at most, there was only a proto-orthodoxy in the early to middle second century. Elaine Pagels has persuasively argued that orthodoxy was primarily a political attempt at control over the various recalcitrant churches. So; the question arises: Why do we search the gnostic scriptures, now? At most, they have an historical and antiquarian value. Why do we presume, though that these ancient writings conceal hidden wisdom? I dearsay that few, if any new-age gnostics know of, or care about the Enneads by Plotinus. Yet, straightforward philosophical works contain more truth than obtuse speculations embellished with religious trappings.

      Of course; The Hypostasis of the archons contains legitimate attempts at understanding intractable questions, perhaps even the most intractable question, of all: What is our role in the cosmos? I don't object to appreciating what, say the Gospel of Judas alleges about the nature of God. What I do object to is mining the gnostic texts for passwords to heaven. The cosmologies and cosmogonies of the gnostics are long exploded. I'm incredulous at those who actually believe they can descern the geography of heaven from 2000 years old writings; and yet, would scoff at anyone who claims Jesus is the son of God by appealing to Holy Scripture.

      What I'm inveighing against is the shallow supposition that history colluded with Christian orthodoxy to conceal truth which can now be had by tabloid-crazed new-age zealots. I put them on the same intellectual level as those sad street people who wear tinfoil hats to protect themselves from alien rays. Of course, if burning incense and chanting passages from a Mandean text gives you the illusion of being closer to the divine, then have at it. After all, that is your constitutional right. But, if you want to be a serious student of gnosticism, then reconcile yourself to this truth: God is not to be found in some yellowing palimpsest. The divine can only be gleaned in our efforts to discern the law behind the law.

      Chester
    • D.
      Well said. A forthright reading of Plato is as illuminating as any scripture. That is to a mind that seeks to discern the truth. Yet again there is irony in
      Message 2 of 15 , Apr 12, 2010
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        Well said. A forthright reading of Plato is as illuminating as any scripture. That is to a mind that seeks to discern the truth. Yet again there is irony in Plotinus writing against "Christian" gnostics when his seperation is only by degrees in the eyes of some. A great thread has woven the centuries together in a tapestry of beauty to a seeing eye. Truth has always been there and has been seen by many of the ancients before "Christianity". As the Ancients said, "man know thyself" Dennis "Nazgno" Peae to all!

        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Chester" <chesterelders28@...> wrote:
        >
        > Orthodoxy assumes the great gnostic texts were written during the halcyon years of the church. According to the official line, they were composed as a direct challenge to the authority of the nascent Christian faith. We know, now that orthodoxy is an anachronism; at most, there was only a proto-orthodoxy in the early to middle second century. Elaine Pagels has persuasively argued that orthodoxy was primarily a political attempt at control over the various recalcitrant churches. So; the question arises: Why do we search the gnostic scriptures, now? At most, they have an historical and antiquarian value. Why do we presume, though that these ancient writings conceal hidden wisdom? I dearsay that few, if any new-age gnostics know of, or care about the Enneads by Plotinus. Yet, straightforward philosophical works contain more truth than obtuse speculations embellished with religious trappings.
        >
        > Of course; The Hypostasis of the archons contains legitimate attempts at understanding intractable questions, perhaps even the most intractable question, of all: What is our role in the cosmos? I don't object to appreciating what, say the Gospel of Judas alleges about the nature of God. What I do object to is mining the gnostic texts for passwords to heaven. The cosmologies and cosmogonies of the gnostics are long exploded. I'm incredulous at those who actually believe they can descern the geography of heaven from 2000 years old writings; and yet, would scoff at anyone who claims Jesus is the son of God by appealing to Holy Scripture.
        >
        > What I'm inveighing against is the shallow supposition that history colluded with Christian orthodoxy to conceal truth which can now be had by tabloid-crazed new-age zealots. I put them on the same intellectual level as those sad street people who wear tinfoil hats to protect themselves from alien rays. Of course, if burning incense and chanting passages from a Mandean text gives you the illusion of being closer to the divine, then have at it. After all, that is your constitutional right. But, if you want to be a serious student of gnosticism, then reconcile yourself to this truth: God is not to be found in some yellowing palimpsest. The divine can only be gleaned in our efforts to discern the law behind the law.
        >
        > Chester
        >
      • william unowho
        unsuscribe ________________________________ From: Chester To: gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com Sent: Mon, April 12, 2010 6:37:29 PM
        Message 3 of 15 , Apr 12, 2010
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          unsuscribe


          From: Chester <chesterelders28@...>
          To: gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Mon, April 12, 2010 6:37:29 PM
          Subject: [Gnosticism2] Gnosticism Does Not Posess Passwords To Heaven

           

          Orthodoxy assumes the great gnostic texts were written during the halcyon years of the church. According to the official line, they were composed as a direct challenge to the authority of the nascent Christian faith. We know, now that orthodoxy is an anachronism; at most, there was only a proto-orthodoxy in the early to middle second century. Elaine Pagels has persuasively argued that orthodoxy was primarily a political attempt at control over the various recalcitrant churches. So; the question arises: Why do we search the gnostic scriptures, now? At most, they have an historical and antiquarian value. Why do we presume, though that these ancient writings conceal hidden wisdom? I dearsay that few, if any new-age gnostics know of, or care about the Enneads by Plotinus. Yet, straightforward philosophical works contain more truth than obtuse speculations embellished with religious trappings.

          Of course; The Hypostasis of the archons contains legitimate attempts at understanding intractable questions, perhaps even the most intractable question, of all: What is our role in the cosmos? I don't object to appreciating what, say the Gospel of Judas alleges about the nature of God. What I do object to is mining the gnostic texts for passwords to heaven. The cosmologies and cosmogonies of the gnostics are long exploded. I'm incredulous at those who actually believe they can descern the geography of heaven from 2000 years old writings; and yet, would scoff at anyone who claims Jesus is the son of God by appealing to Holy Scripture.

          What I'm inveighing against is the shallow supposition that history colluded with Christian orthodoxy to conceal truth which can now be had by tabloid-crazed new-age zealots. I put them on the same intellectual level as those sad street people who wear tinfoil hats to protect themselves from alien rays. Of course, if burning incense and chanting passages from a Mandean text gives you the illusion of being closer to the divine, then have at it. After all, that is your constitutional right. But, if you want to be a serious student of gnosticism, then reconcile yourself to this truth: God is not to be found in some yellowing palimpsest. The divine can only be gleaned in our efforts to discern the law behind the law.

          Chester

        • brownbagprd@netscape.net
          I am quite sure this Gnostic doesn t know what an Ennead is. Neal Gnostic and other Judeo-Christian materials/ subjects at http://iontruth.blogspot.com/ ...
          Message 4 of 15 , Apr 13, 2010
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            I am quite sure this Gnostic doesn't know what an "Ennead" is.


             
            :-)Neal
             
            Gnostic and other Judeo-Christian materials/ subjects at
             


            -----Original Message-----
            From: Chester <chesterelders28@...>
            To: gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Mon, Apr 12, 2010 6:46 pm
            Subject: [Gnosticism2] Gnosticism Does Not Posess Passwords To Heaven

             
            Orthodoxy assumes the great gnostic texts were written during the halcyon years of the church. According to the official line, they were composed as a direct challenge to the authority of the nascent Christian faith. We know, now that orthodoxy is an anachronism; at most, there was only a proto-orthodoxy in the early to middle second century. Elaine Pagels has persuasively argued that orthodoxy was primarily a political attempt at control over the various recalcitrant churches. So; the question arises: Why do we search the gnostic scriptures, now? At most, they have an historical and antiquarian value. Why do we presume, though that these ancient writings conceal hidden wisdom? I dearsay that few, if any new-age gnostics know of, or care about the Enneads by Plotinus. Yet, straightforward philosophical works contain more truth than obtuse speculations embellished with religious trappings.

            Of course; The Hypostasis of the archons contains legitimate attempts at understanding intractable questions, perhaps even the most intractable question, of all: What is our role in the cosmos? I don't object to appreciating what, say the Gospel of Judas alleges about the nature of God. What I do object to is mining the gnostic texts for passwords to heaven. The cosmologies and cosmogonies of the gnostics are long exploded. I'm incredulous at those who actually believe they can descern the geography of heaven from 2000 years old writings; and yet, would scoff at anyone who claims Jesus is the son of God by appealing to Holy Scripture.

            What I'm inveighing against is the shallow supposition that history colluded with Christian orthodoxy to conceal truth which can now be had by tabloid-crazed new-age zealots. I put them on the same intellectual level as those sad street people who wear tinfoil hats to protect themselves from alien rays. Of course, if burning incense and chanting passages from a Mandean text gives you the illusion of being closer to the divine, then have at it. After all, that is your constitutional right. But, if you want to be a serious student of gnosticism, then reconcile yourself to this truth: God is not to be found in some yellowing palimpsest. The divine can only be gleaned in our efforts to discern the law behind the law.

            Chester

          • Tommy
            i tried to stay with chester [re: below comment] but I think i fell asleep too many times to figure out what he means and where he was going with this mixed
            Message 5 of 15 , Apr 13, 2010
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              i tried to stay with 'chester' [re: below comment] but I think i fell asleep too many times to figure out what he means and where he was going with this mixed up 'copy-paste' comment. i mean, i thought the gnostic books and kabalah were hard to follow for many many years...so maybe i'm missing something here.
              Maybe i just need to get a round tuit. With that i could re-read & decipher anything. I just never seem to be able to get a round tu-it.

              Was it my crossed eyes or is chester trying to say that old books have no purpose other than being nice scenery in ones library or some such nonsense?
              And wasn't there a book already written a while back about the fire department and burning useless books? Fahrenheit something...i think...

              And what about poor Ennead? What if someone had destroyed all the 'useless old books' [my quotes] from before his time? What would he study to become a philosopher?
              Does Chester know that the greatest library of all time was in Egypt & that it was burned down by religious zealots & then the head of the place, a most incredible Lady holding five university degrees {Hypatia}, was drug from her chariot on the way to open the Library {of Alexandria} by those same ignorant people with the matches & they stripped her skin from her body with abalone shells?

              When will we ever learn? {probably never from the looks of it}

              And by the way, i don't consider following my spirit/soul/curiousity's needs...to be a constitutional right even if it is. It is MY right to go peacefully and do no harm as I search the globe for kernels of Knowledge...can i get an amen, Sophia? AMEN!
              Perchance Chester should forgo his random, confused tirade for a moment and go read Socrates.
              Now there's a read...of course one must first READ Plato to READ Socrates because Socrates NEVER wrote any thing down. The great ones never do!

              Side bar:
              Here in Mississippi an 'Ennead' is a greeting made by a friend to anyone called Ned..ie: 'Eh-Ned, whar'd you get them hound dogs Uh saw you a hunten with yasterday, eh?'

              --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, brownbagprd@... wrote:
              >
              >
              > I am quite sure this Gnostic doesn't know what an "Ennead" is.
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Neal
              >
              > Gnostic and other Judeo-Christian materials/ subjects at
              > http://iontruth.blogspot.com/
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > -----Original Message-----
              > From: Chester <chesterelders28@...>
              > To: gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com
              > Sent: Mon, Apr 12, 2010 6:46 pm
              > Subject: [Gnosticism2] Gnosticism Does Not Posess Passwords To Heaven
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Orthodoxy assumes the great gnostic texts were written during the halcyon years of the church. According to the official line, they were composed as a direct challenge to the authority of the nascent Christian faith. We know, now that orthodoxy is an anachronism; at most, there was only a proto-orthodoxy in the early to middle second century. Elaine Pagels has persuasively argued that orthodoxy was primarily a political attempt at control over the various recalcitrant churches. So; the question arises: Why do we search the gnostic scriptures, now? At most, they have an historical and antiquarian value. Why do we presume, though that these ancient writings conceal hidden wisdom? I dearsay that few, if any new-age gnostics know of, or care about the Enneads by Plotinus. Yet, straightforward philosophical works contain more truth than obtuse speculations embellished with religious trappings.
              >
              > Of course; The Hypostasis of the archons contains legitimate attempts at understanding intractable questions, perhaps even the most intractable question, of all: What is our role in the cosmos? I don't object to appreciating what, say the Gospel of Judas alleges about the nature of God. What I do object to is mining the gnostic texts for passwords to heaven. The cosmologies and cosmogonies of the gnostics are long exploded. I'm incredulous at those who actually believe they can descern the geography of heaven from 2000 years old writings; and yet, would scoff at anyone who claims Jesus is the son of God by appealing to Holy Scripture.
              >
              > What I'm inveighing against is the shallow supposition that history colluded with Christian orthodoxy to conceal truth which can now be had by tabloid-crazed new-age zealots. I put them on the same intellectual level as those sad street people who wear tinfoil hats to protect themselves from alien rays. Of course, if burning incense and chanting passages from a Mandean text gives you the illusion of being closer to the divine, then have at it. After all, that is your constitutional right. But, if you want to be a serious student of gnosticism, then reconcile yourself to this truth: God is not to be found in some yellowing palimpsest. The divine can only be gleaned in our efforts to discern the law behind the law.
              >
              > Chester
              >
            • Des Adams
              From Des, I’ve read the Gnostic Bible and have been meditating and reading postings on Gnosticism for a few months now. What I am inquiring about and may be
              Message 6 of 15 , Apr 14, 2010
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                From Des, I’ve read the Gnostic Bible and have been meditating and reading postings on Gnosticism for a few months now. What I am inquiring about and may be someone out there knows. Was Jesus and Paul the apostle of the north Israel group of the Essences or were they of another group, which went back to the Buddha to which Paul Christianised “The Way” which is in the book of Acts?

                ----- Original Message -----
                Sent: Tuesday, April 13, 2010 5:16 PM
                Subject: Re: [Gnosticism2] Gnosticism Does Not Posess Passwords To Heaven

                 

                I am quite sure this Gnostic doesn't know what an "Ennead" is.


                 
                :-)Neal
                 
                Gnostic and other Judeo-Christian materials/ subjects at
                 


                -----Original Message-----
                From: Chester <chesterelders28@ yahoo.com>
                To: gnosticism2@ yahoogroups. com
                Sent: Mon, Apr 12, 2010 6:46 pm
                Subject: [Gnosticism2] Gnosticism Does Not Posess Passwords To Heaven

                 
                Orthodoxy assumes the great gnostic texts were written during the halcyon years of the church. According to the official line, they were composed as a direct challenge to the authority of the nascent Christian faith. We know, now that orthodoxy is an anachronism; at most, there was only a proto-orthodoxy in the early to middle second century. Elaine Pagels has persuasively argued that orthodoxy was primarily a political attempt at control over the various recalcitrant churches. So; the question arises: Why do we search the gnostic scriptures, now? At most, they have an historical and antiquarian value. Why do we presume, though that these ancient writings conceal hidden wisdom? I dearsay that few, if any new-age gnostics know of, or care about the Enneads by Plotinus. Yet, straightforward philosophical works contain more truth than obtuse speculations embellished with religious trappings.

                Of course; The Hypostasis of the archons contains legitimate attempts at understanding intractable questions, perhaps even the most intractable question, of all: What is our role in the cosmos? I don't object to appreciating what, say the Gospel of Judas alleges about the nature of God. What I do object to is mining the gnostic texts for passwords to heaven. The cosmologies and cosmogonies of the gnostics are long exploded. I'm incredulous at those who actually believe they can descern the geography of heaven from 2000 years old writings; and yet, would scoff at anyone who claims Jesus is the son of God by appealing to Holy Scripture.

                What I'm inveighing against is the shallow supposition that history colluded with Christian orthodoxy to conceal truth which can now be had by tabloid-crazed new-age zealots. I put them on the same intellectual level as those sad street people who wear tinfoil hats to protect themselves from alien rays. Of course, if burning incense and chanting passages from a Mandean text gives you the illusion of being closer to the divine, then have at it. After all, that is your constitutional right. But, if you want to be a serious student of gnosticism, then reconcile yourself to this truth: God is not to be found in some yellowing palimpsest. The divine can only be gleaned in our efforts to discern the law behind the law.

                Chester



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              • kurt31416
                Hi Chester, Do you consider the Gospel of Thomas gnostic/Gnostic? If so, do any of those more interesting ancient writings give full equality to women? Are
                Message 7 of 15 , Apr 14, 2010
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                  Hi Chester,

                  Do you consider the Gospel of Thomas gnostic/Gnostic? If so, do any of
                  those more interesting ancient writings give full equality to women? Are
                  they fully compatible with modern science with no explicit superstition
                  whatsoever from the viewpoint of science? If so, I'd like a reading list
                  if it's not too much trouble.

                  To be fair, these neo-Gnostics with their evil Hebrew God/demiurge and
                  so on at least have more class than devil worshippers or whatever. Got
                  all these 1700 year old gospels and such. And they haven't ruled the
                  roost for 2000 years and don't dominate Biblical "Scholarship" like
                  Christian ideas and history/propaganda do.

                  Rick Van Vliet




                  --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Chester" <chesterelders28@...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  > Orthodoxy assumes the great gnostic texts were written during the
                  halcyon years of the church. According to the official line, they were
                  composed as a direct challenge to the authority of the nascent Christian
                  faith. We know, now that orthodoxy is an anachronism; at most, there was
                  only a proto-orthodoxy in the early to middle second century. Elaine
                  Pagels has persuasively argued that orthodoxy was primarily a political
                  attempt at control over the various recalcitrant churches. So; the
                  question arises: Why do we search the gnostic scriptures, now? At most,
                  they have an historical and antiquarian value. Why do we presume, though
                  that these ancient writings conceal hidden wisdom? I dearsay that few,
                  if any new-age gnostics know of, or care about the Enneads by Plotinus.
                  Yet, straightforward philosophical works contain more truth than obtuse
                  speculations embellished with religious trappings.
                  >
                  > Of course; The Hypostasis of the archons contains legitimate attempts
                  at understanding intractable questions, perhaps even the most
                  intractable question, of all: What is our role in the cosmos? I don't
                  object to appreciating what, say the Gospel of Judas alleges about the
                  nature of God. What I do object to is mining the gnostic texts for
                  passwords to heaven. The cosmologies and cosmogonies of the gnostics are
                  long exploded. I'm incredulous at those who actually believe they can
                  descern the geography of heaven from 2000 years old writings; and yet,
                  would scoff at anyone who claims Jesus is the son of God by appealing to
                  Holy Scripture.
                  >
                  > What I'm inveighing against is the shallow supposition that history
                  colluded with Christian orthodoxy to conceal truth which can now be had
                  by tabloid-crazed new-age zealots. I put them on the same intellectual
                  level as those sad street people who wear tinfoil hats to protect
                  themselves from alien rays. Of course, if burning incense and chanting
                  passages from a Mandean text gives you the illusion of being closer to
                  the divine, then have at it. After all, that is your constitutional
                  right. But, if you want to be a serious student of gnosticism, then
                  reconcile yourself to this truth: God is not to be found in some
                  yellowing palimpsest. The divine can only be gleaned in our efforts to
                  discern the law behind the law.
                  >
                  > Chester
                  >
                • kurt31416
                  ... Jesus and Paul were mortal enemies. Paul slaughtered most of the followers of Jesus according to Acts and the letters of Paul. It s as likely as not that
                  Message 8 of 15 , Apr 14, 2010
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                    --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Des Adams" <sirdesmond1@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > From Des, I’ve read the Gnostic Bible and have been meditating and reading postings on Gnosticism for a few months now. What I am inquiring about and may be someone out there knows. Was Jesus and Paul

                    Jesus and Paul were mortal enemies. Paul slaughtered most of the followers of Jesus according to Acts and the letters of Paul. It's as likely as not that Paul was involved in killing Jesus too.

                    > the apostle of the north Israel group of the Essences or were they of another group,

                    Virtually nothing is known of the Essenes. The Christians and Jews never mention them in their writings. They had nothing to do with Qumran or the Dead Sea Scrolls. They pin it on the Essenes, since it's inconvenient for Christians and Jews. Turns out, for instance, the Dead Sea Scrolls are as close or closer to the Samaritan version of the Torah than the Masoretic the Jews use.

                    > which went back to the Buddha to which Paul Christianised “The Way” which is in the book of Acts?

                    Jesus and apparently Paul were totally oblivious to the Buddha. Not a single solitary parallel. Lots to the Greeks including the Cynics, but not Buddha.

                    >
                    > ----- Original Message -----
                    > From: brownbagprd@...
                    > To: gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com
                    > Sent: Tuesday, April 13, 2010 5:16 PM
                    > Subject: Re: [Gnosticism2] Gnosticism Does Not Posess Passwords To Heaven
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > I am quite sure this Gnostic doesn't know what an "Ennead" is.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Neal
                    >
                    > Gnostic and other Judeo-Christian materials/ subjects at
                    > http://iontruth.blogspot.com/
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > -----Original Message-----
                    > From: Chester <chesterelders28@...>
                    > To: gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com
                    > Sent: Mon, Apr 12, 2010 6:46 pm
                    > Subject: [Gnosticism2] Gnosticism Does Not Posess Passwords To Heaven
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Orthodoxy assumes the great gnostic texts were written during the halcyon years of the church. According to the official line, they were composed as a direct challenge to the authority of the nascent Christian faith. We know, now that orthodoxy is an anachronism; at most, there was only a proto-orthodoxy in the early to middle second century. Elaine Pagels has persuasively argued that orthodoxy was primarily a political attempt at control over the various recalcitrant churches. So; the question arises: Why do we search the gnostic scriptures, now? At most, they have an historical and antiquarian value. Why do we presume, though that these ancient writings conceal hidden wisdom? I dearsay that few, if any new-age gnostics know of, or care about the Enneads by Plotinus. Yet, straightforward philosophical works contain more truth than obtuse speculations embellished with religious trappings.
                    >
                    > Of course; The Hypostasis of the archons contains legitimate attempts at understanding intractable questions, perhaps even the most intractable question, of all: What is our role in the cosmos? I don't object to appreciating what, say the Gospel of Judas alleges about the nature of God. What I do object to is mining the gnostic texts for passwords to heaven. The cosmologies and cosmogonies of the gnostics are long exploded. I'm incredulous at those who actually believe they can descern the geography of heaven from 2000 years old writings; and yet, would scoff at anyone who claims Jesus is the son of God by appealing to Holy Scripture.
                    >
                    > What I'm inveighing against is the shallow supposition that history colluded with Christian orthodoxy to conceal truth which can now be had by tabloid-crazed new-age zealots. I put them on the same intellectual level as those sad street people who wear tinfoil hats to protect themselves from alien rays. Of course, if burning incense and chanting passages from a Mandean text gives you the illusion of being closer to the divine, then have at it. After all, that is your constitutional right. But, if you want to be a serious student of gnosticism, then reconcile yourself to this truth: God is not to be found in some yellowing palimpsest. The divine can only be gleaned in our efforts to discern the law behind the law.
                    >
                    > Chester
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > No virus found in this incoming message.
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                    > Version: 9.0.791 / Virus Database: 271.1.1/2809 - Release Date: 04/14/10 06:22:00
                    >
                  • Tommy
                    -Correction to myself, Neal, & Chester: [04/14/2010] ...Oops--i really was falling asleep last night whilst trying to decipher & comment on Chester s remarks.
                    Message 9 of 15 , Apr 14, 2010
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                      -Correction to myself, Neal, & Chester: [04/14/2010]
                      ...Oops--i really was falling asleep last night whilst trying to decipher & comment on Chester's remarks. Please forgive, i will now correct meself.....
                      i re-read my comments to 'chester' & saw where i wrote of the Ennead's as if that were the philosopher, Plotinus, when in reality the Ennead's were the six 'offsprings' of Plotinus. lol. At the time i was trying to make a joke & it woulda worked if i'd remembered to add the guy's name in somewhere. once again...sorry folks.

                      Wait, i have to add just a little more to this...senseless discussion...& just maybe the younger seekers can actually get something from this because knowledge can be found in anything, anywhere.

                      i must say, chester, from the looks of things this morning you have stepped into some deep d-do with the members here who are merely trying to have some intellectual discourse with like minds.
                      Here's one to get your teeth around, ' As Above so Below, as Below so Above'. A simple puzzle and passed down and written way before you and i were born...now who is/was this attributed to? And what do it mean?


                      In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Tommy" <tburns2012@...> wrote: [04/14/2012]
                      >
                      > i tried to stay with 'chester' [re: below comment] but I think i fell asleep too many times to figure out what he means and where he was going with this mixed up 'copy-paste' comment. i mean, i thought the gnostic books and kabalah were hard to follow for many many years...so maybe i'm missing something here.
                      > Maybe i just need to get a round tuit. With that i could re-read & decipher anything. I just never seem to be able to get a round tu-it.
                      >
                      > Was it my crossed eyes or is chester trying to say that old books have no purpose other than being nice scenery in ones library or some such nonsense?
                      > And wasn't there a book already written a while back about the fire department and burning useless books? Fahrenheit something...i think...
                      >
                      > And what about poor Ennead? What if someone had destroyed all the 'useless old books' [my quotes] from before his time? What would he study to become a philosopher?
                      > Does Chester know that the greatest library of all time was in Egypt & that it was burned down by religious zealots & then the head of the place, a most incredible Lady holding five university degrees {Hypatia}, was drug from her chariot on the way to open the Library {of Alexandria} by those same ignorant people with the matches & they stripped her skin from her body with abalone shells?
                      >
                      > When will we ever learn? {probably never from the looks of it}
                      >
                      > And by the way, i don't consider following my spirit/soul/curiousity's needs...to be a constitutional right even if it is. It is MY right to go peacefully and do no harm as I search the globe for kernels of Knowledge...can i get an amen, Sophia? AMEN!
                      > Perchance Chester should forgo his random, confused tirade for a moment and go read Socrates.
                      > Now there's a read...of course one must first READ Plato to READ Socrates because Socrates NEVER wrote any thing down. The great ones never do!
                      >
                      > Side bar:
                      > Here in Mississippi an 'Ennead' is a greeting made by a friend to anyone called Ned..ie: 'Eh-Ned, whar'd you get them hound dogs Uh saw you a hunten with yasterday, eh?'

                      >
                      > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, brownbagprd@ wrote:
                      > > I am quite sure this Gnostic doesn't know what an "Ennead" is.
                      > > Neal

                      > >
                      > > Gnostic and other Judeo-Christian materials/ subjects at
                      > > http://iontruth.blogspot.com/

                      > > -----Original Message-----
                      > > From: Chester chesterelders28@
                      > > To: gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com
                      > > Sent: Mon, Apr 12, 2010 6:46 pm
                      > > Subject: [Gnosticism2] Gnosticism Does Not Posess Passwords To Heaven
                       
                      > > Orthodoxy assumes the great gnostic texts were written during the halcyon years of the church. According to the official line, they were composed as a direct challenge to the authority of the nascent Christian faith. We know, now that orthodoxy is an anachronism; at most, there was only a proto-orthodoxy in the early to middle second century. Elaine Pagels has persuasively argued that orthodoxy was primarily a political attempt at control over the various recalcitrant churches. So; the question arises: Why do we search the gnostic scriptures, now? At most, they have an historical and antiquarian value. Why do we presume, though that these ancient writings conceal hidden wisdom? I dearsay that few, if any new-age gnostics know of, or care about the Enneads by Plotinus. Yet, straightforward philosophical works contain more truth than obtuse speculations embellished with religious trappings.
                      > >
                      > > Of course; The Hypostasis of the archons contains legitimate attempts at understanding intractable questions, perhaps even the most intractable question, of all: What is our role in the cosmos? I don't object to appreciating what, say the Gospel of Judas alleges about the nature of God. What I do object to is mining the gnostic texts for passwords to heaven. The cosmologies and cosmogonies of the gnostics are long exploded. I'm incredulous at those who actually believe they can descern the geography of heaven from 2000 years old writings; and yet, would scoff at anyone who claims Jesus is the son of God by appealing to Holy Scripture.
                      > >
                      > > What I'm inveighing against is the shallow supposition that history colluded with Christian orthodoxy to conceal truth which can now be had by tabloid-crazed new-age zealots. I put them on the same intellectual level as those sad street people who wear tinfoil hats to protect themselves from alien rays. Of course, if burning incense and chanting passages from a Mandean text gives you the illusion of being closer to the divine, then have at it. After all, that is your constitutional right. But, if you want to be a serious student of gnosticism, then reconcile yourself to this truth: God is not to be found in some yellowing palimpsest. The divine can only be gleaned in our efforts to discern the law behind the law.
                      > >
                      > > Chester

                      > >
                      >
                    • Ank Kelly
                      Agreed with this statement, but then, what does and do we know we are there? (heaven). Would it  - the password - be coming with the morning mail, or have to
                      Message 10 of 15 , Apr 14, 2010
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                        Agreed with this statement, but then, what does and do we know we are there? (heaven). Would it  - the password - be coming with the morning mail, or have to be earned by the sweat of thy Brow. camels that can pass through needles?

                        Mmmm, maybe this is simply a reflex of this 'instant' this and that of this 'civilisation', and under the same heading as instant Karma, although I am sure we have all had this or wished it likewise on someone else. I know I have.

                        What was it again in the bible, when Jesus cures a blind man (and maybe , JUST maybe that is an allegory for someone whose eyes were suddenly opened to a truth) and his disciples ask him to the cause of his blindness that he says that this is 'God's work'?

                        Indeed, will we ever learn? That we are all One?

                        When will we no longer confuse the messengers with the message? imho that is a distraction.

                        I agree with Tommy that some of the texts are hard to read, let alone to interpret I have to admit to my embarrassment. I will be the first to admit I am notoriously dense in some ways.

                        Totally agreed on Socrates, that would be the way forward, there is definitely a good side to this.

                        About Ennead, the Nine, the council of Nine, also Nine deities described in Mayan mythology,

                        http://www.calleman.com/content/articles/999_and_the_mayan_calendar.htm

                        and nine dimensions

                        please don't take my word for it.

                        Might it be some universally felt principle, mayhaps in the 'archetypal realm', some marker that we are all at least on the way of becoming one?

                        Words are words and can always be twisted, unfortunately.

                        for me it goes something like this: I run the materials that I find past an inner 'program' that I developed, where conditions like integrity, no idolatry (people as gods), no expensive workshops, no selling of product, is it consistent (nothing wrong with the tree of knowledge), is it logical (borg/vulcan in any which combo), does it make sense to my humble self in this state of 'progress' will have to be met.

                        I liked what I read about gnosticism, because some of it explained the experiences I have had, not all of them, but some. I am guessing there is a universal principle at work here and am curious about that.

                        There is but one truth - in the end - and many myriads of ways to get to this truth and many different systems (not confusing the tools with the goal).

                        The last words are given over to Jesus/Jeshua/Joshua:
                        One example of how words' are interpreted differently here:
                        http://www.heartlight.org/wjd/mark/0521-wjd.html#Fulltext

                        Who do they say I am?

                        hopes this makes any sense.

                        Ank

                        laughing about yourself  can be a source of great and enduring fun!


                        --- On Wed, 14/4/10, Tommy <tburns2012@...> wrote:

                        From: Tommy <tburns2012@...>
                        Subject: [Gnosticism2] Re: Gnosticism Does Not Posess Passwords To Heaven
                        To: gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com
                        Date: Wednesday, 14 April, 2010, 3:21

                         

                        i tried to stay with 'chester' [re: below comment] but I think i fell asleep too many times to figure out what he means and where he was going with this mixed up 'copy-paste' comment. i mean, i thought the gnostic books and kabalah were hard to follow for many many years...so maybe i'm missing something here.
                        Maybe i just need to get a round tuit. With that i could re-read & decipher anything. I just never seem to be able to get a round tu-it.

                        Was it my crossed eyes or is chester trying to say that old books have no purpose other than being nice scenery in ones library or some such nonsense?
                        And wasn't there a book already written a while back about the fire department and burning useless books? Fahrenheit something... i think...

                        And what about poor Ennead? What if someone had destroyed all the 'useless old books' [my quotes] from before his time? What would he study to become a philosopher?
                        Does Chester know that the greatest library of all time was in Egypt & that it was burned down by religious zealots & then the head of the place, a most incredible Lady holding five university degrees {Hypatia}, was drug from her chariot on the way to open the Library {of Alexandria} by those same ignorant people with the matches & they stripped her skin from her body with abalone shells?

                        When will we ever learn? {probably never from the looks of it}

                        And by the way, i don't consider following my spirit/soul/ curiousity' s needs...to be a constitutional right even if it is. It is MY right to go peacefully and do no harm as I search the globe for kernels of Knowledge... can i get an amen, Sophia? AMEN!
                        Perchance Chester should forgo his random, confused tirade for a moment and go read Socrates.
                        Now there's a read...of course one must first READ Plato to READ Socrates because Socrates NEVER wrote any thing down. The great ones never do!

                        Side bar:
                        Here in Mississippi an 'Ennead' is a greeting made by a friend to anyone called Ned..ie: 'Eh-Ned, whar'd you get them hound dogs Uh saw you a hunten with yasterday, eh?'

                        --- In gnosticism2@ yahoogroups. com, brownbagprd@ ... wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        > I am quite sure this Gnostic doesn't know what an "Ennead" is.
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Neal
                        >
                        > Gnostic and other Judeo-Christian materials/ subjects at
                        > http://iontruth. blogspot. com/
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > -----Original Message-----
                        > From: Chester <chesterelders28@ ...>
                        > To: gnosticism2@ yahoogroups. com
                        > Sent: Mon, Apr 12, 2010 6:46 pm
                        > Subject: [Gnosticism2] Gnosticism Does Not Posess Passwords To Heaven
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Orthodoxy assumes the great gnostic texts were written during the halcyon years of the church. According to the official line, they were composed as a direct challenge to the authority of the nascent Christian faith. We know, now that orthodoxy is an anachronism; at most, there was only a proto-orthodoxy in the early to middle second century. Elaine Pagels has persuasively argued that orthodoxy was primarily a political attempt at control over the various recalcitrant churches. So; the question arises: Why do we search the gnostic scriptures, now? At most, they have an historical and antiquarian value. Why do we presume, though that these ancient writings conceal hidden wisdom? I dearsay that few, if any new-age gnostics know of, or care about the Enneads by Plotinus. Yet, straightforward philosophical works contain more truth than obtuse speculations embellished with religious trappings.
                        >
                        > Of course; The Hypostasis of the archons contains legitimate attempts at understanding intractable questions, perhaps even the most intractable question, of all: What is our role in the cosmos? I don't object to appreciating what, say the Gospel of Judas alleges about the nature of God. What I do object to is mining the gnostic texts for passwords to heaven. The cosmologies and cosmogonies of the gnostics are long exploded. I'm incredulous at those who actually believe they can descern the geography of heaven from 2000 years old writings; and yet, would scoff at anyone who claims Jesus is the son of God by appealing to Holy Scripture.
                        >
                        > What I'm inveighing against is the shallow supposition that history colluded with Christian orthodoxy to conceal truth which can now be had by tabloid-crazed new-age zealots. I put them on the same intellectual level as those sad street people who wear tinfoil hats to protect themselves from alien rays. Of course, if burning incense and chanting passages from a Mandean text gives you the illusion of being closer to the divine, then have at it. After all, that is your constitutional right. But, if you want to be a serious student of gnosticism, then reconcile yourself to this truth: God is not to be found in some yellowing palimpsest. The divine can only be gleaned in our efforts to discern the law behind the law.
                        >
                        > Chester
                        >

                      • D. Tackett
                        As above so below is an ancient Egyptian concept that was written on temple walls of Egypt. As far as meaning, I guess gnosis is needed to make this clear.
                        Message 11 of 15 , Apr 14, 2010
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                          "As above so below" is an ancient Egyptian concept that was written on temple walls of Egypt. As far as meaning, I guess gnosis is needed to make this clear.

                        • Ank Kelly
                          If I am not mistaken, and I might well be the saying as above, so below comes from the Tabula Smaragdina aka Emerald tablets and is attributed to the
                          Message 12 of 15 , Apr 14, 2010
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                            If I am not mistaken, and I might well be the saying 'as above, so below' comes from the Tabula Smaragdina aka Emerald tablets and is attributed to the Egyptian 'Hermes Trismegistus', and part of the Hermetic tradition.
                            http://www.crystalinks.com/emerald.html

                            as within, so without?

                            Ank



                            laughing about yourself  can be a source of great and enduring fun!


                            --- On Wed, 14/4/10, Tommy <tburns2012@...> wrote:

                            From: Tommy <tburns2012@...>
                            Subject: [Gnosticism2] Re: Gnosticism Does Not Posess Passwords To Heaven
                            To: gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com
                            Date: Wednesday, 14 April, 2010, 16:03

                             


                            -Correction to myself, Neal, & Chester: [04/14/2010]
                            ...Oops--i really was falling asleep last night whilst trying to decipher & comment on Chester's remarks. Please forgive, i will now correct meself.....
                            i re-read my comments to 'chester' & saw where i wrote of the Ennead's as if that were the philosopher, Plotinus, when in reality the Ennead's were the six 'offsprings' of Plotinus. lol. At the time i was trying to make a joke & it woulda worked if i'd remembered to add the guy's name in somewhere. once again...sorry folks.

                            Wait, i have to add just a little more to this...senseless discussion.. .& just maybe the younger seekers can actually get something from this because knowledge can be found in anything, anywhere.

                            i must say, chester, from the looks of things this morning you have stepped into some deep d-do with the members here who are merely trying to have some intellectual discourse with like minds.
                            Here's one to get your teeth around, ' As Above so Below, as Below so Above'. A simple puzzle and passed down and written way before you and i were born...now who is/was this attributed to? And what do it mean?


                            In gnosticism2@ yahoogroups. com, "Tommy" <tburns2012@. ..> wrote: [04/14/2012]
                            >
                            > i tried to stay with 'chester' [re: below comment] but I think i fell asleep too many times to figure out what he means and where he was going with this mixed up 'copy-paste' comment. i mean, i thought the gnostic books and kabalah were hard to follow for many many years...so maybe i'm missing something here.
                            > Maybe i just need to get a round tuit. With that i could re-read & decipher anything. I just never seem to be able to get a round tu-it.
                            >
                            > Was it my crossed eyes or is chester trying to say that old books have no purpose other than being nice scenery in ones library or some such nonsense?
                            > And wasn't there a book already written a while back about the fire department and burning useless books? Fahrenheit something... i think...
                            >
                            > And what about poor Ennead? What if someone had destroyed all the 'useless old books' [my quotes] from before his time? What would he study to become a philosopher?
                            > Does Chester know that the greatest library of all time was in Egypt & that it was burned down by religious zealots & then the head of the place, a most incredible Lady holding five university degrees {Hypatia}, was drug from her chariot on the way to open the Library {of Alexandria} by those same ignorant people with the matches & they stripped her skin from her body with abalone shells?
                            >
                            > When will we ever learn? {probably never from the looks of it}
                            >
                            > And by the way, i don't consider following my spirit/soul/ curiousity' s needs...to be a constitutional right even if it is. It is MY right to go peacefully and do no harm as I search the globe for kernels of Knowledge... can i get an amen, Sophia? AMEN!
                            > Perchance Chester should forgo his random, confused tirade for a moment and go read Socrates.
                            > Now there's a read...of course one must first READ Plato to READ Socrates because Socrates NEVER wrote any thing down. The great ones never do!
                            >
                            > Side bar:
                            > Here in Mississippi an 'Ennead' is a greeting made by a friend to anyone called Ned..ie: 'Eh-Ned, whar'd you get them hound dogs Uh saw you a hunten with yasterday, eh?'

                            >
                            > --- In gnosticism2@ yahoogroups. com, brownbagprd@ wrote:
                            > > I am quite sure this Gnostic doesn't know what an "Ennead" is.
                            > > Neal

                            > >
                            > > Gnostic and other Judeo-Christian materials/ subjects at
                            > > http://iontruth. blogspot. com/

                            > > -----Original Message-----
                            > > From: Chester chesterelders28@
                            > > To: gnosticism2@ yahoogroups. com
                            > > Sent: Mon, Apr 12, 2010 6:46 pm
                            > > Subject: [Gnosticism2] Gnosticism Does Not Posess Passwords To Heaven
                             
                            > > Orthodoxy assumes the great gnostic texts were written during the halcyon years of the church. According to the official line, they were composed as a direct challenge to the authority of the nascent Christian faith. We know, now that orthodoxy is an anachronism; at most, there was only a proto-orthodoxy in the early to middle second century. Elaine Pagels has persuasively argued that orthodoxy was primarily a political attempt at control over the various recalcitrant churches. So; the question arises: Why do we search the gnostic scriptures, now? At most, they have an historical and antiquarian value. Why do we presume, though that these ancient writings conceal hidden wisdom? I dearsay that few, if any new-age gnostics know of, or care about the Enneads by Plotinus. Yet, straightforward philosophical works contain more truth than obtuse speculations embellished with religious trappings.
                            > >
                            > > Of course; The Hypostasis of the archons contains legitimate attempts at understanding intractable questions, perhaps even the most intractable question, of all: What is our role in the cosmos? I don't object to appreciating what, say the Gospel of Judas alleges about the nature of God. What I do object to is mining the gnostic texts for passwords to heaven. The cosmologies and cosmogonies of the gnostics are long exploded. I'm incredulous at those who actually believe they can descern the geography of heaven from 2000 years old writings; and yet, would scoff at anyone who claims Jesus is the son of God by appealing to Holy Scripture.
                            > >
                            > > What I'm inveighing against is the shallow supposition that history colluded with Christian orthodoxy to conceal truth which can now be had by tabloid-crazed new-age zealots. I put them on the same intellectual level as those sad street people who wear tinfoil hats to protect themselves from alien rays. Of course, if burning incense and chanting passages from a Mandean text gives you the illusion of being closer to the divine, then have at it. After all, that is your constitutional right. But, if you want to be a serious student of gnosticism, then reconcile yourself to this truth: God is not to be found in some yellowing palimpsest. The divine can only be gleaned in our efforts to discern the law behind the law.
                            > >
                            > > Chester

                            > >
                            >

                          • lady_caritas
                            Hi, Des. I m not sure if you re actually interested in a historical Jesus or whether you re just tracing the character in stories. It seems that much of
                            Message 13 of 15 , Apr 14, 2010
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                              Hi, Des. I'm not sure if you're actually interested in a historical Jesus or whether you're just tracing the character in stories. It seems that much of mainstream Christian scholarship spends a lot of time and energy on a historical Jesus when historicity of Jesus is not a certainty, especially as portrayed in various gospels. There are no reliable controls outside gospel accounts to corroborate his existence, even though everyone has a right to belief or faith in such a person, if that is their interest.

                              The ancient Gnostics seemed more concerned in Jesus as part of their theology, and finding esoteric meaning within the mythology, rather than as a character in a solely historical account.

                              Cari


                              --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "kurt31416" <kurt31416@...> wrote:
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Des Adams" <sirdesmond1@> wrote:
                              > >
                              > > From Des, I’ve read the Gnostic Bible and have been meditating and reading postings on Gnosticism for a few months now. What I am inquiring about and may be someone out there knows. Was Jesus and Paul
                              >
                              > Jesus and Paul were mortal enemies. Paul slaughtered most of the followers of Jesus according to Acts and the letters of Paul. It's as likely as not that Paul was involved in killing Jesus too.
                              >
                              > > the apostle of the north Israel group of the Essences or were they of another group,
                              >
                              > Virtually nothing is known of the Essenes. The Christians and Jews never mention them in their writings. They had nothing to do with Qumran or the Dead Sea Scrolls. They pin it on the Essenes, since it's inconvenient for Christians and Jews. Turns out, for instance, the Dead Sea Scrolls are as close or closer to the Samaritan version of the Torah than the Masoretic the Jews use.
                              >
                              > > which went back to the Buddha to which Paul Christianised “The Way” which is in the book of Acts?
                              >
                              > Jesus and apparently Paul were totally oblivious to the Buddha. Not a single solitary parallel. Lots to the Greeks including the Cynics, but not Buddha.
                              >
                              > >
                              > > ----- Original Message -----
                              > > From: brownbagprd@
                              > > To: gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com
                              > > Sent: Tuesday, April 13, 2010 5:16 PM
                              > > Subject: Re: [Gnosticism2] Gnosticism Does Not Posess Passwords To Heaven
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > I am quite sure this Gnostic doesn't know what an "Ennead" is.
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > Neal
                              > >
                              > > Gnostic and other Judeo-Christian materials/ subjects at
                              > > http://iontruth.blogspot.com/
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > -----Original Message-----
                              > > From: Chester <chesterelders28@>
                              > > To: gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com
                              > > Sent: Mon, Apr 12, 2010 6:46 pm
                              > > Subject: [Gnosticism2] Gnosticism Does Not Posess Passwords To Heaven
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > Orthodoxy assumes the great gnostic texts were written during the halcyon years of the church. According to the official line, they were composed as a direct challenge to the authority of the nascent Christian faith. We know, now that orthodoxy is an anachronism; at most, there was only a proto-orthodoxy in the early to middle second century. Elaine Pagels has persuasively argued that orthodoxy was primarily a political attempt at control over the various recalcitrant churches. So; the question arises: Why do we search the gnostic scriptures, now? At most, they have an historical and antiquarian value. Why do we presume, though that these ancient writings conceal hidden wisdom? I dearsay that few, if any new-age gnostics know of, or care about the Enneads by Plotinus. Yet, straightforward philosophical works contain more truth than obtuse speculations embellished with religious trappings.
                              > >
                              > > Of course; The Hypostasis of the archons contains legitimate attempts at understanding intractable questions, perhaps even the most intractable question, of all: What is our role in the cosmos? I don't object to appreciating what, say the Gospel of Judas alleges about the nature of God. What I do object to is mining the gnostic texts for passwords to heaven. The cosmologies and cosmogonies of the gnostics are long exploded. I'm incredulous at those who actually believe they can descern the geography of heaven from 2000 years old writings; and yet, would scoff at anyone who claims Jesus is the son of God by appealing to Holy Scripture.
                              > >
                              > > What I'm inveighing against is the shallow supposition that history colluded with Christian orthodoxy to conceal truth which can now be had by tabloid-crazed new-age zealots. I put them on the same intellectual level as those sad street people who wear tinfoil hats to protect themselves from alien rays. Of course, if burning incense and chanting passages from a Mandean text gives you the illusion of being closer to the divine, then have at it. After all, that is your constitutional right. But, if you want to be a serious student of gnosticism, then reconcile yourself to this truth: God is not to be found in some yellowing palimpsest. The divine can only be gleaned in our efforts to discern the law behind the law.
                              > >
                              > > Chester
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > No virus found in this incoming message.
                              > > Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                              > > Version: 9.0.791 / Virus Database: 271.1.1/2809 - Release Date: 04/14/10 06:22:00
                              > >
                              >
                            • Tom Urash
                              Hello Chester, ... From: Chester Subject: [Gnosticism2] Gnosticism Does Not Posess Passwords To Heaven To:
                              Message 14 of 15 , Apr 15, 2010
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Hello Chester,

                                --- On Mon, 4/12/10, Chester <chesterelders28@...> wrote:

                                From: Chester <chesterelders28@...>
                                Subject: [Gnosticism2] Gnosticism Does Not Posess Passwords To Heaven
                                To: gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com
                                Date: Monday, April 12, 2010, 10:37 PM

                                 
                                Orthodoxy assumes the great gnostic texts were written during the halcyon years of the church. According to the official line, they were composed as a direct challenge to the authority of the nascent Christian faith. We know, now that orthodoxy is an anachronism; at most, there was only a proto-orthodoxy in the early to middle second century. Elaine Pagels has persuasively argued that orthodoxy was primarily a political attempt at control over the various recalcitrant churches. So; the question arises: Why do we search the gnostic scriptures, now? At most, they have an historical and antiquarian value. Why do we presume, though that these ancient writings conceal hidden wisdom? I dearsay that few, if any new-age gnostics know of, or care about the Enneads by Plotinus. Yet, straightforward philosophical works contain more truth than obtuse speculations embellished with religious trappings.
                                *******************************************************************************************
                                T-- 
                                I'd say the presumption you speak of can come from several quarters. While I mostly agree with you questioning the presumption that truth or wisdom can always be gleaned from these texts (I'm intentionally skeptical most of the time), it's equally valid, imo, to question anybody's presumptions as they approach any given text, even those orthodox philosophies handed down to us from the ancients.
                                *******************************************************************************************

                                Of course; The Hypostasis of the archons contains legitimate attempts at understanding intractable questions, perhaps even the most intractable question, of all: What is our role in the cosmos? I don't object to appreciating what, say the Gospel of Judas alleges about the nature of God. What I do object to is mining the gnostic texts for passwords to heaven. The cosmologies and cosmogonies of the gnostics are long exploded. I'm incredulous at those who actually believe they can descern the geography of heaven from 2000 years old writings; and yet, would scoff at anyone who claims Jesus is the son of God by appealing to Holy Scripture.
                                *******************************************************************************************
                                T-- 
                                That's a great turn of phrase there, "mining the gnostic texts for passwords to heaven." Not to mention I think you make a really good point about the "discerners" who are also "scoffers." Makes me think about the recent
                                New Age "fluffy bunnies" posting.
                                 
                                The Sufis have maintained for centuries that the transmission of "truth," shall we say, depends entirely on time, place and location; that there are a scant few in the world at any one time who can decipher anything of value from the ossified remains of your "yellowed palimpsests." In other words, it takes one who has already arrived to make the determination of what, if anything, from such traditions can or should be retransmitted in some form or another. Otherwise the emotion and entertainment seekers are not unlike an unlearned music enthusiast trying, for one thing, to decipher an uncredited score of a Mahler or Bach from the
                                uncredited score of a 1950's era "B" monster film; and then, for another thing, imaging they can make either score come alive in their hearts and imagination without an orchestra playing it for them.
                                *******************************************************************************************

                                What I'm inveighing against is the shallow supposition that history colluded with Christian orthodoxy to conceal truth which can now be had by tabloid-crazed new-age zealots.
                                *******************************************************************************************
                                T-- 
                                "Inveighing" was the right adjective here. But before I go on, this little ditty from Hafiz:
                                 

                                I know a thousand brilliant lies
                                For the question
                                "What is God."
                                 
                                I know a thousand brilliant lies
                                For the question
                                "How are you."
                                 
                                If you think you can find Truth from words
                                 
                                If you think the sun and the ocean
                                 
                                Can pass through that tiny opening
                                Called the Mouth,
                                 
                                O someone should start laughing,
                                Someone should start wildly laughing --
                                Now!
                                 

                                We have no real knowledge of what kinds of "truth" (of the internalized, self-realized gnosis variety) some gnostic authors possessed or came into, nor any definitive knowledge of the processes and techniques used to attain it, only the knowledge that some early Xians tried to suppress their writings and, soon enough, their very person.
                                 
                                We don't really know how to read their words. We don't know whether or not they were designed by their authors to be taken as literal or encrypted (the "obtuse speculations embellished with religious trappings" ) for the benefit of the initiated or the ripening, so to speak, of the catechumen  To take their cosmogonies and other unique ideas as expressed in their writings literally may be very much a mistake. We just can't know. And those heresy hunters and suppressors probably never saw themselves as working to conceal esoteric truths. I think it more likely they had a heart felt belief that they were doing the right thing for the sake of their flock's salvation. They feared. Or, to paraphrase Virginia Wolfe, maybe they, being human, sought to do violence to those who held low the things they held so high.
                                 
                                Looking back at the comic tragedy wrought so large by Arius, Athanasius, Constantine, his issue, literally hundreds of bishops, numerous cities and thousands of lay people (the hoi poloi) over the whole homoousis vs homoiousis arguments is a great historical personification of Wolfe's observation. 
                                *******************************************************************************************
                                 
                                I put them on the same intellectual level as those sad street people who wear tinfoil hats to protect themselves from alien rays. Of course, if burning incense and chanting passages from a Mandean text gives you the illusion of being closer to the divine, then have at it. After all, that is your constitutional right. But, if you want to be a serious student of gnosticism, then reconcile yourself to this truth: God is not to be found in some yellowing palimpsest. The divine can only be gleaned in our efforts to discern the law behind the law.

                                Chester
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                                T--
                                Again, at the risk of coming across as overly strident, your example of the Mandean chanter might very well place a person's very being closer to "the
                                divine." After all, couldn't that work as a form of meditation that might, just maybe, quiet someone's mind enough to allow them some new insight; even a gleaning of the "law behind the law?"  I could see that happening.I certainly wouldn't rule it out.

                                 Tom U.

                              • kurt31416
                                There s more evidence for a historical Jesus than for Socrates. Other than kings that wrote it on walls, it s all hearsay. We have actual physical scraps of
                                Message 15 of 15 , Apr 15, 2010
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                                  There's more evidence for a historical Jesus than for Socrates. Other than kings that wrote it on walls, it's all hearsay. We have actual physical scraps of things said by Jesus within about 100 years of his death. We have nothing Socrates said within about 1000 years of his death.

                                  --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, lady_caritas <no_reply@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Hi, Des. I'm not sure if you're actually interested in a historical Jesus or whether you're just tracing the character in stories. It seems that much of mainstream Christian scholarship spends a lot of time and energy on a historical Jesus when historicity of Jesus is not a certainty, especially as portrayed in various gospels. There are no reliable controls outside gospel accounts to corroborate his existence, even though everyone has a right to belief or faith in such a person, if that is their interest.
                                  >
                                  > The ancient Gnostics seemed more concerned in Jesus as part of their theology, and finding esoteric meaning within the mythology, rather than as a character in a solely historical account.
                                  >
                                  > Cari
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "kurt31416" <kurt31416@> wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Des Adams" <sirdesmond1@> wrote:
                                  > > >
                                  > > > From Des, I’ve read the Gnostic Bible and have been meditating and reading postings on Gnosticism for a few months now. What I am inquiring about and may be someone out there knows. Was Jesus and Paul
                                  > >
                                  > > Jesus and Paul were mortal enemies. Paul slaughtered most of the followers of Jesus according to Acts and the letters of Paul. It's as likely as not that Paul was involved in killing Jesus too.
                                  > >
                                  > > > the apostle of the north Israel group of the Essences or were they of another group,
                                  > >
                                  > > Virtually nothing is known of the Essenes. The Christians and Jews never mention them in their writings. They had nothing to do with Qumran or the Dead Sea Scrolls. They pin it on the Essenes, since it's inconvenient for Christians and Jews. Turns out, for instance, the Dead Sea Scrolls are as close or closer to the Samaritan version of the Torah than the Masoretic the Jews use.
                                  > >
                                  > > > which went back to the Buddha to which Paul Christianised “The Way” which is in the book of Acts?
                                  > >
                                  > > Jesus and apparently Paul were totally oblivious to the Buddha. Not a single solitary parallel. Lots to the Greeks including the Cynics, but not Buddha.
                                  > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > > ----- Original Message -----
                                  > > > From: brownbagprd@
                                  > > > To: gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com
                                  > > > Sent: Tuesday, April 13, 2010 5:16 PM
                                  > > > Subject: Re: [Gnosticism2] Gnosticism Does Not Posess Passwords To Heaven
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > > I am quite sure this Gnostic doesn't know what an "Ennead" is.
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Neal
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Gnostic and other Judeo-Christian materials/ subjects at
                                  > > > http://iontruth.blogspot.com/
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > > -----Original Message-----
                                  > > > From: Chester <chesterelders28@>
                                  > > > To: gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com
                                  > > > Sent: Mon, Apr 12, 2010 6:46 pm
                                  > > > Subject: [Gnosticism2] Gnosticism Does Not Posess Passwords To Heaven
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Orthodoxy assumes the great gnostic texts were written during the halcyon years of the church. According to the official line, they were composed as a direct challenge to the authority of the nascent Christian faith. We know, now that orthodoxy is an anachronism; at most, there was only a proto-orthodoxy in the early to middle second century. Elaine Pagels has persuasively argued that orthodoxy was primarily a political attempt at control over the various recalcitrant churches. So; the question arises: Why do we search the gnostic scriptures, now? At most, they have an historical and antiquarian value. Why do we presume, though that these ancient writings conceal hidden wisdom? I dearsay that few, if any new-age gnostics know of, or care about the Enneads by Plotinus. Yet, straightforward philosophical works contain more truth than obtuse speculations embellished with religious trappings.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Of course; The Hypostasis of the archons contains legitimate attempts at understanding intractable questions, perhaps even the most intractable question, of all: What is our role in the cosmos? I don't object to appreciating what, say the Gospel of Judas alleges about the nature of God. What I do object to is mining the gnostic texts for passwords to heaven. The cosmologies and cosmogonies of the gnostics are long exploded. I'm incredulous at those who actually believe they can descern the geography of heaven from 2000 years old writings; and yet, would scoff at anyone who claims Jesus is the son of God by appealing to Holy Scripture.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > What I'm inveighing against is the shallow supposition that history colluded with Christian orthodoxy to conceal truth which can now be had by tabloid-crazed new-age zealots. I put them on the same intellectual level as those sad street people who wear tinfoil hats to protect themselves from alien rays. Of course, if burning incense and chanting passages from a Mandean text gives you the illusion of being closer to the divine, then have at it. After all, that is your constitutional right. But, if you want to be a serious student of gnosticism, then reconcile yourself to this truth: God is not to be found in some yellowing palimpsest. The divine can only be gleaned in our efforts to discern the law behind the law.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Chester
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
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