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Re: Trichotomy

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  • hey_market
    I guess first you d have to demonstrate that there is such a thing as an American Religion. I just can t seem to find it in the Yellow Pages. O.k.,
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 29, 2001
      I guess first you'd have to demonstrate that
      there is such a thing as an "American Religion." I just
      can't seem to find it in the Yellow Pages.<br><br>O.k.,
      cheap shot. Well, not altogether inexpensive. It seems
      like one can only discuss Amreican Religiuon in the
      sense of common spiritual impulses and their social
      expression and related organization.<br><br>Even then, can
      we say THESE are Gnostic? Certainly not explicitly
      so, since, of course, most Americans, or Europeans,
      or whomever, wouldn't know Gnosticism from Adam,
      much less Adom Kadmon.<br><br>But let's indulge Mr.
      Bloom (a man who thinks that Shakespeare invented
      personality). And besides, I think he's on to something here,
      and generally speaking, a fairly astute fellow and
      good thinker--just a decidedly poor communicator at
      times (bad combination of overstatement and overkill
      meets literary critic meets academic).<br><br>But
      what's he on to? Well, from my own perspective,
      Americans probably aren't much more Gnostic than anyone
      else. They do have their own dualizing tendencies, but
      hey, I'm a <br>Gnostic--I see dualism
      everywhere--that's pretty much a part of the Gnostic
      perspective.<br><br>But different societites are bound to see things in
      different ways. <br><br>And when it comes to how Americans
      divide themselves, there is 1) a tendency to be
      anti-intellectual authority, though not actually anti-intellectual
      (in other words, Americans like to use their minds,
      and often slavishly follow the teachings of academic
      masters, but usually get around to biting the intellectual
      hand that feeds them knowledge---in fact, it's the way
      academic reputations are built; 2) there's a tendency to
      reject authority in general (though we often kiss our
      own ass of authority all too much, which may also be
      a characteristic Gnostic flaw); 3) there's a
      tendency to believe that man is superior to the wordly
      authority of nature (yea, there are plenty of Greenpeacers
      stateside, but undoubted reality as expressed in action is
      our supercession of nature); 3) there's tendency
      toward an odd sort of egalitarianism combined with an
      acceptance of inequality (i.e., we may defend equal rights
      but we accept that some are more equal than others);
      4) there's a tendency towards a dualistic
      schizophrenia, wherein what you do does not equate to what you
      are (Americans are known as people of action, yet
      they reject the notion that today's actions define who
      you ultimately are--you're just being practical); 5)
      there's a tendency toward embracing the notion of radical
      evil (watching too much movies, I guess) yet also
      accepting that this can be part of us; and 6) there's a
      tendency toward creating American mytholigies (we make
      lots of movies too--we don't just watch
      them).<br><br>Well, I could go on, but I think to go so far as to
      describe Americans as uniquely Gnostic in any fashion is
      tenuous at best. However, maybe our stature as such a
      melting pot simply provides a better climate for
      Gnosticism to live within. That seems more likely to me.
      Syncretism seems to come with this sort of society, and
      Gnostics usually do o.k. under pluralistic and/or
      syncretistic societies. <br><br>As for the whole trichotomy
      issue from your post, well, I admit I couldn't get
      myself to read very far in it. Seemed like just another
      polemic of one sort or another. In this instance, the
      author appears to have a somewhat Orthodox ax to grind
      with tri-partate conceptions (body plus soul plus
      spirit--hyle, psyche, pneuma) vs. dualistic speculations (body
      plus soul/spirit).<br><br>He apparently harkens back
      to the old body/spirit synthesis. However, even
      under the tri-partate conception, there is the notion
      of alignment of the three into one, which is found
      in the idea.<br><br>At any rate, these are
      conceptions of personal nature vs. wordly nature, which is a
      different kind of dualism and alientation, which reflects
      the Gnostic perspective. Even American Gnostics.
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