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Re: On Sufism and Gnosticism

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  • lady_caritas
    ... a ... brought ... PMCV, . . interesting topic. The comparative analysis by Seyyed Hossein Nasr sounds good. There is an online article by Nasr, which
    Message 1 of 10 , Apr 1, 2002
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      ---(Message #5723) In gnosticism2@y..., pmcvflag <no_reply@y...>
      wrote:
      > Hey Market and Ernst had made some comments recently (triggered by
      a
      > spam) concerning Sufism and Gnosticism. I thought the subject
      brought
      > up some interesting points, but didn't get a chance to delve.
      >


      PMCV, . . interesting topic.

      The comparative analysis by Seyyed Hossein Nasr sounds good. There
      is an online article by Nasr, which discusses mystical philosophy in
      Islam, including connections with with Hermetic, Pythagorean and
      Neoplatonic teachings:

      http://www.muslimphilosophy.com/rep/H004.htm

      The homepage for the website where this article is found also
      includes other articles by various authors discussing Islamic
      philosophy, including influences of Greek philosophy (Neoplatonism,
      Platonism, Pythagoreanism, Stoicism, Aristotelianism), for anyone
      interested:

      http://www.muslimphilosophy.com/ip/rep.htm

      A couple more links, discussing mysticism of Islam and borrowings
      from Neoplatonism and Gnosticism:

      http://answering-islam.org/Books/Zwemer/Heirs/chap10.htm

      http://www.khamush.com/greek/gr.htm

      Cari
    • morphodyte
      ... analysis of ... ideals ... Kabbalah ... Greetings: while this may be an old thread, it does IMO merit some further investigation. A prevailing idea is that
      Message 2 of 10 , Jun 7, 2002
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        --- In gnosticism2@y..., pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:

        > Dr Sayyed Hossein Nasr wrote an interesting comparative
        analysis of
        > Sufism and Gnosticism. Specifically he demonstrates Platonic
        ideals
        > in medieval Andelusian Sufism. It is interesting that the
        Kabbalah
        > comes into existance in the era,


        Greetings:

        while this may be an old thread, it does IMO merit some further
        investigation.

        A prevailing idea is that Muslim Spain was an ecumenical
        exchange of theology and philosophy in an atmosphere of
        religious tolerance, which it really was not.

        Andalus was characterized by brief periods of tolerance
        interspersed with longer periods of conflict of religious and
        political nature.

        In particular, much of the diffusion of Aristotelian and Platonic
        philosophy back into the West was due to the efforts of Raymond
        Lully to evangelize the Saracens, a move which later got hime
        stoned to death by his saracen audience.

        Part of this effort based itself on the requirement of missionaries
        to study the peripatetic philosophers of Islam like Ibn Rushd
        (Averroes) of refuting the aristotelian premises in favor of
        Catholic sacramentalism.

        While the study of Aristotle and Plato in the works of the Islamic
        peripatetic philosophers with the aim of refuting their
        foundations had the reverse effect of introducing the methods of
        hellenistic philosophy to feudal Europe, it cannot be said that
        this was done in the spirit of ecumenism.

        I wonder if kabbalah was developed in Toledo with a similar aim
        of defending jewish mysticism in the face of the onslaught of the
        sophisticated mysticism of Ibn Sina and Ibn Arabi?

        Clearly Ibn Sina and later al Kirmani developed an Islamic
        mysticism which was platonic and valentinian in nature with
        ranks of hypostases originating from an ineffable Truth.
        Similarly, the fallof Sohia, the descent of the Tenth Intellect and
        the kabbalistic "breaking of the vessels" all share a common
        theme in all three traditions and point to a common source.

        However, the undermining of Islamic idealism was not to come
        from without but from within in the formalization of the ashari
        aqeeda and shariah under Abu Hamid Al Ghazzali, a step which
        fossilized Islamic thought and led to the wholesale rejection of
        Platonic idealism and speculative philosophy.

        But perhaps this is a discussion best suited to another list.

        Morph
      • beautiful2afault
        A book by Raphael Patai, the Jewish Mind under the chapter Hebrew arabesque starting on page 130 and continuing to the end of that chapter explains the
        Message 3 of 10 , Jun 8, 2002
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          A book by Raphael Patai, "the Jewish Mind" under the chapter Hebrew
          arabesque starting on page 130 and continuing to the end of that
          chapter explains the development of the kabbalistic thinking into
          europe, through the arab/muslim mystic suffusion by way of hindue
          religion.

          its a nice overview.

          i personally think there is more to the kabbala than this overview
          tells as to religion or love. i think the kabbala among other things
          tells of the creation of humanity the equality between man and woman
          and our, the male and female, potential development, intellectual and
          spiritual toward god through love and through life.

          beautiful2afault



          --- In gnosticism2@y..., "morphodyte" <morphodyte@y...> wrote:
          > --- In gnosticism2@y..., pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
          >
          > > Dr Sayyed Hossein Nasr wrote an interesting comparative
          > analysis of
          > > Sufism and Gnosticism. Specifically he demonstrates Platonic
          > ideals
          > > in medieval Andelusian Sufism. It is interesting that the
          > Kabbalah
          > > comes into existance in the era,
          >
          >
          > Greetings:
          >
          > while this may be an old thread, it does IMO merit some further
          > investigation.
          >
          > A prevailing idea is that Muslim Spain was an ecumenical
          > exchange of theology and philosophy in an atmosphere of
          > religious tolerance, which it really was not.
          >
          > Andalus was characterized by brief periods of tolerance
          > interspersed with longer periods of conflict of religious and
          > political nature.
          >
          > In particular, much of the diffusion of Aristotelian and Platonic
          > philosophy back into the West was due to the efforts of Raymond
          > Lully to evangelize the Saracens, a move which later got hime
          > stoned to death by his saracen audience.
          >
          > Part of this effort based itself on the requirement of missionaries
          > to study the peripatetic philosophers of Islam like Ibn Rushd
          > (Averroes) of refuting the aristotelian premises in favor of
          > Catholic sacramentalism.
          >
          > While the study of Aristotle and Plato in the works of the Islamic
          > peripatetic philosophers with the aim of refuting their
          > foundations had the reverse effect of introducing the methods of
          > hellenistic philosophy to feudal Europe, it cannot be said that
          > this was done in the spirit of ecumenism.
          >
          > I wonder if kabbalah was developed in Toledo with a similar aim
          > of defending jewish mysticism in the face of the onslaught of the
          > sophisticated mysticism of Ibn Sina and Ibn Arabi?
          >
          > Clearly Ibn Sina and later al Kirmani developed an Islamic
          > mysticism which was platonic and valentinian in nature with
          > ranks of hypostases originating from an ineffable Truth.
          > Similarly, the fallof Sohia, the descent of the Tenth Intellect and
          > the kabbalistic "breaking of the vessels" all share a common
          > theme in all three traditions and point to a common source.
          >
          > However, the undermining of Islamic idealism was not to come
          > from without but from within in the formalization of the ashari
          > aqeeda and shariah under Abu Hamid Al Ghazzali, a step which
          > fossilized Islamic thought and led to the wholesale rejection of
          > Platonic idealism and speculative philosophy.
          >
          > But perhaps this is a discussion best suited to another list.
          >
          > Morph
        • pmcvflag
          Hey Morph. ... I think this topic is in fact relevent to this list. While this club is dedicated to Gnosticism as it is historically defined, the Platonic
          Message 4 of 10 , Jun 8, 2002
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            Hey Morph.

            >But perhaps this is a discussion best suited to another list.<

            I think this topic is in fact relevent to this list. While this club
            is dedicated to "Gnosticism" as it is historically defined, the
            Platonic framework within, and historical connections to, other forms
            of esoteric thought can certainly add to the overall discussion here
            (as long as we don't go TOO far from the subject)

            >A prevailing idea is that Muslim Spain was an ecumenical
            exchange of theology and philosophy in an atmosphere of
            religious tolerance, which it really was not.

            Andalus was characterized by brief periods of tolerance
            interspersed with longer periods of conflict of religious and
            political nature.<

            Undoubtedly true. In fact, this is true of almost any era, or social
            order, we can name. I tend to take a middle ground when it comes to
            the critical examination of such things, which is to say that I would
            caution against romanticism, but would also avoid dimminishing the
            accomplishments of such groups at the other extreme. These are people
            after all, they had thier good times and bad.

            Even esoteric groups fall victim to the failing of conservatism in a
            political and religious venue. Y.V. Andrea decried his own role as
            one of the inventers of the Rocicrucians in his later life. Many of
            the most illustrious members of the Florintine Camerata, including M.
            Ficino, Pico della Merindola, and Botticelli, bacame followers of the
            fanatic Dominican, Savoranola, and spoke out against thier own
            previous works.

            >In particular, much of the diffusion of Aristotelian and Platonic
            philosophy back into the West was due to the efforts of Raymond
            Lully to evangelize the Saracens<

            I have doubts about this one. Raymond was active in the late 1200s,
            and the Platonic diffusion in the west can be shown very actively in
            the 1100s. The Spanish Kabbalah school comes later than the Provencal
            school (the Bahir was published in 1178 in Provance, which is
            obviously before Lully), and several courts in Languadoc (William vi
            for instance) made overtures to Platonic studies even before that.

            I am convinced that too much emphasis is sometimes placed on the
            influence Islam had on the disimination of some of these
            philosophies. The influence is clearly there, but, in my view, it is
            only an influence not a source. What's more is it went both ways. For
            instance, much has been made of the Adelusian influence on the
            Troubadours, but there was also a Troubadour influence on the Moorish
            love poets in Spain (BTW, I noticed you also joined my troubadour
            club Morph)... it wasn't a one way street.

            However, there does seem to be an ideological connection between
            certain Sufic, early Kabbalistic, and Gnostic systems of thought
            (which is of course largely the Platonic element) as you very nicely
            point out next.......

            >Clearly Ibn Sina and later al Kirmani developed an Islamic
            mysticism which was platonic and valentinian in nature with
            ranks of hypostases originating from an ineffable Truth.
            Similarly, the fallof Sohia, the descent of the Tenth Intellect and
            the kabbalistic "breaking of the vessels" all share a common
            theme in all three traditions and point to a common source.<

            PMCV
          • hey_market
            There s much to say about this, but perhaps on another list. Perhaps not. Do you have your own theory about the origins of Kabballah and Sufism? Do you see a
            Message 5 of 10 , Jun 8, 2002
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              There's much to say about this, but perhaps on another list. Perhaps
              not. Do you have your own theory about the origins of Kabballah and
              Sufism? Do you see a common Gnostic source? Hermetic? Neoplatonic?
              Mysteries?

              --- In gnosticism2@y..., "morphodyte" <morphodyte@y...> wrote:
              > --- In gnosticism2@y..., pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
              >
              > > Dr Sayyed Hossein Nasr wrote an interesting comparative
              > analysis of
              > > Sufism and Gnosticism. Specifically he demonstrates Platonic
              > ideals
              > > in medieval Andelusian Sufism. It is interesting that the
              > Kabbalah
              > > comes into existance in the era,
              >
              >
              > Greetings:
              >
              > while this may be an old thread, it does IMO merit some further
              > investigation.
              >
              > A prevailing idea is that Muslim Spain was an ecumenical
              > exchange of theology and philosophy in an atmosphere of
              > religious tolerance, which it really was not.
              >
              > Andalus was characterized by brief periods of tolerance
              > interspersed with longer periods of conflict of religious and
              > political nature.
              >
              > In particular, much of the diffusion of Aristotelian and Platonic
              > philosophy back into the West was due to the efforts of Raymond
              > Lully to evangelize the Saracens, a move which later got hime
              > stoned to death by his saracen audience.
              >
              > Part of this effort based itself on the requirement of missionaries
              > to study the peripatetic philosophers of Islam like Ibn Rushd
              > (Averroes) of refuting the aristotelian premises in favor of
              > Catholic sacramentalism.
              >
              > While the study of Aristotle and Plato in the works of the Islamic
              > peripatetic philosophers with the aim of refuting their
              > foundations had the reverse effect of introducing the methods of
              > hellenistic philosophy to feudal Europe, it cannot be said that
              > this was done in the spirit of ecumenism.
              >
              > I wonder if kabbalah was developed in Toledo with a similar aim
              > of defending jewish mysticism in the face of the onslaught of the
              > sophisticated mysticism of Ibn Sina and Ibn Arabi?
              >
              > Clearly Ibn Sina and later al Kirmani developed an Islamic
              > mysticism which was platonic and valentinian in nature with
              > ranks of hypostases originating from an ineffable Truth.
              > Similarly, the fallof Sohia, the descent of the Tenth Intellect and
              > the kabbalistic "breaking of the vessels" all share a common
              > theme in all three traditions and point to a common source.
              >
              > However, the undermining of Islamic idealism was not to come
              > from without but from within in the formalization of the ashari
              > aqeeda and shariah under Abu Hamid Al Ghazzali, a step which
              > fossilized Islamic thought and led to the wholesale rejection of
              > Platonic idealism and speculative philosophy.
              >
              > But perhaps this is a discussion best suited to another list.
              >
              > Morph
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