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Re: Mark Twain

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  • lady_caritas
    �����So, I guess that my own ultimate take on Twain is that he was an atheist who was gnostic but not a Gnostic.����� Jim, it�����s possible that the
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 6, 2002
      �So, I guess that my own 'ultimate' take on Twain
      is that he was an atheist who was gnostic but not a
      Gnostic.�<br><br>Jim, it�s possible that the capital �G� didn�t surface
      because Twain might not have been aware of Gnostics,
      except perhaps through biased accounts of
      heresiologists. The Manicheans assuredly were a bit extreme from
      most perspectives, relying heavily on praxis; however,
      I would agree that light imagery is used widely
      throughout Gnostic literature. The Gospel of Philip
      attributed to Valentinian schools speaks of the bridal
      chamber. �Every person who [enters] the bedroom will
      kindle the [light.] [�] For, to this person the eternal
      realm is fullness and, as such, is manifest to him or
      her alone � hidden not in darkness and night but
      hidden in perfect day and holy light.�<br><br>One
      wonders if Mark Twain might have found a home with the
      Gnostics if he would have had access to the scripture of
      the later Nag Hammadi findings. <br><br>The following
      link includes an excerpt from _Mark Twain: A
      Biography_ (1912) by his friend, Albert Paine.
      <br><a href=http://www.magicmartini.com/deism/marktwain.htm target=new>http://www.magicmartini.com/deism/marktwain.htm</a> <br><br>Here we see an admission by Twain of his
      belief in �God,� but not the God of Christian orthodoxy,
      to be sure. In that sense, he could be considered an
      atheist, not believing in a literally interpreted,
      anthropomorphized deity of Christianity. <br><br>�In 1906 he
      wrote:<br><br>Let us now consider the real God, the genuine God,
      the great God, the sublime and supreme God, the
      authentic Creator of the real universe, whose remotenesses
      are visited by comets only -- comets unto which
      incredible distant Neptune is merely an outpost, a Sandy
      Hook to homeward-bound specters of the deeps of space
      that have not glimpsed it before for generations -- a
      universe not made with hands and suited to an astronomical
      nursery, but spread abroad through the illimitable reaches
      of space by the fiat of the real God just mentioned,
      by comparison with whom the gods whose myriads
      infest the feeble imaginations of men are as a swarm of
      gnats scattered and lost in the infinitudes of the
      empty sky.�<br><br>Some have also interpreted Twain�s
      views as being Deist. I would then question whether
      Twain had really found his true home yet, or was he
      still a work in progress like most of us? As Stephan
      Hoeller points out in his essay, �The Gnostic World View:
      A Brief Summary of Gnosticism� (
      <a href=http://gnosis.org/gnintro.htm target=new>http://gnosis.org/gnintro.htm</a> ), �The Gnostic God concept is more subtle than
      that of most religions. In its way, it unites and
      reconciles the recognitions of Monotheism and Polytheism, as
      well as of Theism, Deism and Pantheism.� <br><br>Cari
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