Re: [Gnosticism] Via Negativa
- View SourceI 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).
--- In gnosticism2@y..., Terje Dahl Bergersen <terje@b...> wrote:
> Wilbro99 wrote:
> >What part does the Via Negativa play, if any, in the Gnostic
> 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
> anyone approach there, toward the exalted one, toward the pre-
> the proper sense? But all the names conceived or spoken about him
> presented in honor, as a trace of him, according to the ability of
> 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
> 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
> 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
> 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 man´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,
> it infeffable, but it is not ineffable, for the truly ineffable is
> not ineffable but "above every name which is named" (Ephesians
> 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
> 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
> 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
> Gnostic tradition with all its manifold and
> Pax Pleromae
> Terje Dahl Bergersen
> Homepage: http://terje.bergersen.net/
> enthusiast-editor for Entheos-A Journal for Gnosis and Tradition
> founder- The Gnostic Society in the Kingdom of Norway
> ICQ 67451359