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Re: [Gnosticism] Via Negativa

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  • pmcvflag
    I had meant to thank Terje for this post (mostly to give a ditto ), and forgot. Stop in more often Terje. For the newbies trying to get a handle on just what
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 20 11:13 PM
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      I had meant to thank Terje for this post (mostly to give a "ditto"),
      and forgot. Stop in more often Terje. For the newbies trying to get a
      handle on just what Gnosticism is, Terje is definately a member to
      pay attention to (even when he and I have not agreed, his
      conversation is most stimulating and welcome).

      PMCV

      --- In gnosticism2@y..., Terje Dahl Bergersen <terje@b...> wrote:
      >
      > Wilbro99 wrote:
      > >What part does the Via Negativa play, if any, in the Gnostic
      system?
      >
      > It is represented.
      >
      > In the Triparite Tractate (an Valentinian writing found among
      > the Nag Hammadi material) - we find the following:
      >
      > "It is impossible for anyone to conceive of him or think of him.Or
      can
      > anyone approach there, toward the exalted one, toward the pre-
      existent in
      > the proper sense? But all the names conceived or spoken about him
      are
      > presented in honor, as a trace of him, according to the ability of
      each one
      > of those who glorify him."
      >
      > This One, Pre-existent - does not belong to any category of being,
      > is distinct - and cannot be translated into anything else; either
      > this One is perceived through his image, which is moreover - not
      > him in the truest sense - or that which is perceived or conceived
      > in thought or sense are produced in accordance with the sense of
      > absence. Or rather, that one aught to recognize that man,
      > unconsciously (although claiming and thinking of himself as
      conscious
      > in his relation, he is still not conscious in the capacity of seeing
      > beyond that which enables him to see ) - perceives a god, or "God"
      > and fail to distinguish between this God (and in some occasions
      himself,
      > or someone, a being - which he associates with divinity) and that
      > which is beyond "God" and himself.
      > The Image, the Spokesman, the "trace" - is important in the Gnostic
      > system - as it is only one who can lay claim on the experience and
      > "existence" - below and above the limit - in movement through
      > life, in confrontation with death and the boundaries beyond it,
      > who can produce the Gnosis which is salvific - In a sense Man
      > does not know the Godhead as much as the Godhead does not know
      > Man - in experiential and personal sense; approaching such
      mediators,
      > be they incarnate, angelic or even in terms of the "types" -
      > is not considered idolaterous inasfar as they are approached
      > as what they are and not inherently as The Limit of Divinity,
      > the Ultimate itself.
      >
      > Concerning the speculative "Positive" way of proclaiming and
      > attaching qualifications and descriptions to the Godhead,
      > the Hermetic literature contributes the following -
      > "Gnosis is Holy Silence and a rest to every sense"; which
      > suggest that Salvific experience or Gnosis does not lay
      > in any dissertation, any contest nor any profe as such,
      > it lays in becoming full of - or becoming perfect - or
      > assimiliating, according to own ability - all that which
      > is the trace of God. In this sense - men may "become
      > gods", yet, men may indeed become more than gods, because
      > they themselves come to exist in the Union - rather than
      > in the Limit; in fullness and ever-renewed glory, rather
      > than the emptiness of this world.
      >
      > The God of the Gnostic Basilides, Hippolytus - his
      > admiring enemy reports - is unborn, not manifest...
      > indeed he cannot even be said to exist. Now, unborn,
      > unmanifest, unknown, unapproachable - is Gnostic (!)
      > attributes to Godhead, indeed the entire Pleroma
      > as perceived through fog of Kenoma (emptiness) which is the
      > Ontological "Kosmos" with which the human mind occupies
      > itself...is "not this and not that" - true identification,
      > not only of Divinity, but of any single thing - is
      > not possible without perceiving that the compulsion of
      > the mind to classify and "describe" - to hold - to
      > possess - to control - to achieve - categories of being which is
      > autonomous and outside of itself - disturbs and makes
      > impossible clear identification and perception of being -
      > and its origin in the Godhead. What is produced is a
      > counterfeit - so, in a modern revision, the old saw
      > of the Churchfathers that the Gnostics held the view
      > that - the universe came about as an mistake or even more
      > horrible - an abortion - could also suggest that the
      > "world" as seen interior to manĀ“s experience - is interpreted,
      > ordered and "staged" in a manner so as to manifest so many
      > defects in its nativity.. to produce an abortion within perception.
      >
      > "What is called by a name is not absolutely ineffable; we may,
      however, call
      > it infeffable, but it is not ineffable, for the truly ineffable is
      > not ineffable but "above every name which is named" (Ephesians
      1:21).
      > Names are not sufficient for designating all the objects in the
      > world, because they are innumerable; names are inadequate. I do not
      > undertake to find proper names for all. Instead, by understanding
      > without speech one must receive the properties of the things named.
      > Homonyms have produced trouble and error for those who hear."
      >
      > Those who hear - originally - perceived first. Now humanity grow
      more
      > and more preconceived, our entire universe in its organic raw form
      > of impressions are immediately assocatiated, mingled and mixed with
      > containers of empty references
      > - in the pursuit of economy,efficiency,control,predictability - we
      > are willing to forsake more and more impressions in their raw form,
      > we are ingesting a pre-fab "philosophy" of being which we are not
      > even aware that we are chewing and swallowing.
      > However, in an aesthetic sense, the Via Negativa in its extreme is
      > anemic and even anorectic - It can sober us up, but to a certain
      > degree, we may learn to discriminate - but this discrimination is
      not
      > redeeming our ignorance, much less does it help us understand and
      > become acquianted with reality.
      > So I would say, it is .part. of the greater colour weave which is
      the
      > Gnostic tradition with all its manifold and
      contradictory "systems"..
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > --
      > Pax Pleromae
      >
      > Terje Dahl Bergersen
      > email:
      >
      > terje@b...
      > Homepage: http://terje.bergersen.net/
      > enthusiast-editor for Entheos-A Journal for Gnosis and Tradition
      > http://terje.bergersen.net/entheos/
      > founder- The Gnostic Society in the Kingdom of Norway
      > http://terje.bergersen.net/gsn/index.html
      > ICQ 67451359
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