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Re: [Gnosticism] Re: Thomasine Metaphor or universal microcosm?

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  • Al Pinto
    ... I think you are correct. Sorry for the confusion Will. ... I see and understand your point of view. However, if knowledge gained can lead one to accept the
    Message 1 of 19 , May 17, 2002
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      My comments in blue below:

      > Play, I think you have drawn the wrong conclusion about my view of
      > this from
      what Lady C has said.
       
      I think you are correct. Sorry for the confusion Will.
       
      > I see no kingdom that is always
      >
      already here. I think that notion derives from the ending of the
      >
      temporal view of the self, and can only derive from it as a metaphor.
       
      I see and understand your point of view. However, if knowledge gained can lead one to accept the "kingdom" for what it is fully, they quickly realize that what surrounds them is a part of it. If they can accept this connection then they will start to see that they are also a part of it. This is what I mean by remembering. Remembering who we really are not who we think we might be. The physical aspect of the kingdom is no less valid than the spiritual part of it just as our physical aspect of being is no less valid than our spiritual one. These 2 things; physicality and spirituality, are not separate but connected. "As it is above, so it is below". I forget where that quote comes from, LOL, but it fits quite nicely here.
       
      > What is then known is not the kingdom, but the end of the temporal
      > sense of self, the Error. That is all that is
      known; the rest is the
      > unknown. The unknown can not be known by the
      decision to know it, for
      > when it is known, that decision maker no
      longer is.
       
      I'm not so sure about that Will. If learning leads to knowing, I have found that making a decision to know about it is crucial to learning about it. There are exceptions to this "rule" but basically, this is very true for me. I do agree that our current sense of self, how that gets expressed in OUR flawed world, is in error. But our true sense of self has been forgotten through time hence it is something that can be remembered. I posit that this forgetting goes back to the separation from the garden in the kingdom that was given to us where stands the tree of life or knowledge of existence without death or time. We humans separated ourselves from what was full and connected. The irony is that the entities that became separated from the garden were us. Separated only by our own illusion which caused error. The Garden is still the setting where our life takes place. We see error because of how we think and because of how we come to know it. Not for how it is. True knowledge says it doesn't have to be that way.
       
      > The notion of remembering it again implies a past forgetting and a future
      > remembering, and when it is
      known, there is no past nor any future.
      > The self that is looking for it
      is what stops it from being. Anyway,
      > all I have been doing here is
      translating before terms into after
      > terms to continue the point I was
      making in my response to Lady C. My
      > question remains: Are we looking at
      the same thing?
       
      I think we are Will. All of us are looking at the same thing and seeing it differently through our flawed method of knowing and learning. Through our current filters. Like seeing the light through a veil, we have to guess what the shapes are because we don't see them clear enough with the veil down. Can the veil be lifted? If so, by whom?
       
      peace,
      play 
    • Al Pinto
      ... It is funny you mentioned that. I was just reading about this the other day. Who God is and who our creator is. Many religions throughout the world see
      Message 2 of 19 , May 17, 2002
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        Great post my lady. I believe I may have addressed some of what you said in my last post to Will but I have more comments below:

        > A Gnostic
        interpretation of "the Holy One" who is the creator of the
        > world would
        be the Demiurge of Gnostic mythology, not the True God or
        > Bythos (the
        Ineffable Infinite).  The material universe is limited by
        > its
        physicality as we are also in our human state.
         
        It is funny you mentioned that. I was just reading about this the other day. Who God is and who our creator is. Many religions throughout the world see these as 2 different beings. I'll place a few quotes here to illustrate:
         
        He has created the heavens and the earth with truth.

        Islam. Qur'an 16.3
         
        From the bosom of the sacred Word he brought forth the world. On high, below, he abides in his own laws.

        Hinduism. Atharva Veda 4.1.3
         
        This, [in the beginning] was the only Lord of the Universe. His Word was with him. This Word was his second. He contemplated. He said, "I will deliver this Word so that she will produce and bring into being all this world."

        Hinduism. Tandya Maha Brahmana 20.14.2
         
        In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men.

        Christianity. Bible, John 1.1-4
         
        By Divine Law are all forms manifested;
        Inexpressible is the Law.
        By Divine Law are beings created;
        By Law are some exalted.
        By Divine Law are beings marked with nobility or ignominy;
        By the Law are they visited with bliss or bale.
        On some by His Law falls grace;
        Others by His Law are whirled around in cycles of births and deaths.
        All by the Law are governed,
        None is exempt.
        Says Nanak, Should man realize the power of the Law,
        He would certainly disclaim his ego.

        Sikhism. Adi Granth, Japuji 2, M.1, p. 1


        > An important observation you made was that humans are capable
        > of "transcending all things."  That's the point here.  Humans
        who
        > become aware of the spiritual kingdom of the living father (not the
        > demiurge) are able to transcend the "fog" of the material world. 
        Oh,
        > and this fog is very deceiving.  That is why many feel that we
        are
        > not always capable of awakening from our blindness ("sleep") to
        > become aware of Gnosis without the assistance of a "savior" in
        >
        addition to our own efforts.  "Jesus said, `[.] I found them all
        >
        intoxicated.'" (GTh, #28) 
         
        Yes. Exactly. You call it a fog. I was calling it a veil. Both are placed in front of our eyes and makes it hard for us to discern the images placed before us clearly.

        > Our "first duty" would not be to "love
        nature" or "love the
        > creation."  "Jesus said, `Whoever has become
        acquainted with the
        > world has found a corpse .'" (GTh, #56) 
         
        I don't think the world Jesus was referring to had anything to do with the natural world. That just simply makes no sense. The world that was a corpse to Jesus is our human "world" or society. "Worldliness" is a corpse next to "Holiness". Communing with nature was something that Jesus thought was extremely important and was our first duty. Have you ever read the Gospel of Peace? His teachings were based upon communions with nature to help us reconnect with our true nature and with ourselves.
         
         
        > IOW, the material world is not the kingdom.  Matter is equated
        with error.  A flower might be
        > beautiful and serve as a trigger
        for a spiritual epiphany, but the
        > physical flower will eventually decay
        in this flawed world.  We
        > cannot know the Ineffable Infinite
        completely while in this physical
        > state, or, as Will points out, we
        would cease to "be."  However, we
        > _can_ become acquainted with the
        True God by means of images
        > reflected through our human conceptual
        filters.  And this will serve
        > as a segue to my reply to Will . . .
         
        OK. But I still have some problems with the gnostic way of thinking. If it comes from only a  human perspective, I agree with all of it. However if that perspective can be transcended, if we can somehow raise that veil, split the fog or no longer use the filter that sees error in things, I think we would see the perfection in it all. I imagine that the Ineffable Infinite sees it that way. But, from a true gnostic perspective, I'm probably in error. **grin**
        peace,
        play
      • wilbro99
        Reply to #5881: Some thoughts. WB: My question remains: Are we looking at the same thing? play: I think we are Will. All of us are looking at the same thing
        Message 3 of 19 , May 17, 2002
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          Reply to #5881: Some thoughts.

          WB: My question remains: Are we looking at the same thing?

          play: I think we are Will. All of us are looking at the same thing and
          seeing it differently through our flawed method of knowing and
          learning. Through our current filters. Like seeing the light through a
          veil, we have to guess what the shapes are because we don't see them
          clear enough with the veil down. Can the veil be lifted? If so, by
          whom?

          I don't think you and I are looking at the same thing, else you would
          not say what you are saying. I am speaking to what is seen when the
          veil is lifted. Of, course, it may be that what I see, or experience,
          as the lifting of the veil, the ending of the temporal sense of self,
          leaving the presential sense of self as the ground of self, where
          presential is in the presence of what-is, is not the lifting of the
          veil you are speaking to.

          play: I see and understand your point of view. However, if knowledge
          gained can lead one to accept the "kingdom" for what it is fully, they
          quickly realize that what surrounds them is a part of it. If they can
          accept this connection then they will start to see that they are also
          a part of it.

          I do not think you see and understand my point of view, and I mean
          that as only what I see as the fact of it. I am saying that the
          knowledge gained by the lifting of the veil is not something that
          needs to be realized or accepted; it is given, it comes with the
          territory, the connection is made. Again, maybe we mean separate
          things by the lifting of the veil.

          play: This is what I mean by remembering. Remembering who we really
          are not who we think we might be. The physical aspect of the kingdom
          is no less valid than the spiritual part of it just as our physical
          aspect of being is no less valid than our spiritual one. These 2
          things; physicality and spirituality, are not separate but connected.
          "As it is above, so it is below". I forget where that quote comes
          from, LOL, but it fits quite nicely here.

          You see the spiritual and the physical aspect of the kingdom to be the
          two aspects of an extant kingdom. I see the notion of a kingdom as you
          have comprised it as a notion only. I see the notion of a spiritual as
          deriving from the recognition of presence that is revealed when the
          temporal sense of self comes to an end. I will call that the
          spiritual, but only as a way to differentiate it from the sense of
          being in the world that adheres to the temporal sense of self, and, as
          a way of referring to the difference ensuing from that shift in one's
          sense of self.

          If that notion of a dualistic kingdom arose from an experience, then
          it is simply a description of an experience, and if it did not derive
          from experience, it is purely speculative. If there is an singular
          experience that can be taken as positing such a kingdom, or not,
          depending upon how one takes it, that is one thing. If there is an
          experience that demands being taken as positing such a kingdom and
          there is another experience that does not make such a demand, yet the
          general structure of the experience is the same, that is another
          thing. What thing do we have here? It is one or the other. Or so it
          seems to me.
        • lady_caritas
          Who God is and who our creator is. Many religions throughout the world see these as 2 different beings. (Play) Hmmm, two different beings? Play, I d be
          Message 4 of 19 , May 17, 2002
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            "Who God is and who our creator is. Many religions throughout the
            world see these as 2 different beings." (Play)

            Hmmm, two different beings? Play, I'd be careful how these quotes
            are interpreted. For instance, the book of John can be seen through
            Gnostic as well as Christian (orthodox) exegesis. As far as a
            Christian interpretation, "God" might have different aspects, but
            according to Christians, there is but one God, who is also the
            creator of our world. The idea of a mythological creator deity, such
            as a Gnostic demiurge, separate from the "one God" is a heretical
            concept according to Christian orthodoxy.

            " `Jesus said, `Whoever has become acquainted with the world has
            found a corpse.'" (GTh, #56) I don't think the world Jesus was
            referring to had anything to do with the natural world." (Play)

            But we humans do not live in a vacuum. Our humanness has context
            within a physical world and within physical bodies. Yes, it's true
            that one can read different levels of meaning into the metaphors, but
            spiritually transcending our physical existence is certainly one
            prevailing Gnostic theme. This does not mean that we should hate our
            bodies. Our experiential paths do involve earthly experiences after
            all.

            "Do not fear the flesh or love it. If you fear it, it will dominate
            you; if you love it, it will swallow you up and strangle you."
            (Gospel of Philip)

            The Gnostic ascension is an inner, spiritual one.

            _Treatise on Resurrection_ discusses the nature of resurrection. ~

            "It is what stands at rest:
            And the revealing of what truly exists.
            And it is what one receives in exchange for the circumstances of this
            world:
            And a migration into newness.
            For incorruptibility [is streaming] down upon darkness, swallowing it.
            And fullness is filling up its lack

            - these are the symbols and the likenesses of resurrection:
            This is what brings about goodness."

            This brings me to your mention of the Essenes, Play. The Essenes
            were a sect that followed rigorous asceticism and had faith in the
            God of Israel. They maintained strong apocalyptic views (which would
            be at variance with a Gnostic worldview). Whether or not an
            historical Jesus had any dealings with the Essenes is a matter of
            debate.

            In fact, whether or not an historical Jesus even existed is generally
            not so important to many Gnostics as is the salvific meaning of the
            Christ consciousness.

            "However if that perspective can be transcended, if we can somehow
            raise that veil, split the fog or no longer use the filter that sees
            error in things, I think we would see the perfection in it all. I
            imagine that the Ineffable Infinite sees it that way." (Play)

            Actually, Play, I imagine the Ineffable Infinite is perfection, and
            that once the veil is rent, we humans transcend the error, the lack,
            of the material world of imperfection. The veil or fog was what
            blinded us to what truly exists. Our shift of sense of self while
            still in our physical state, not waiting for violent "end times,"
            then allows spiritual "fullness" to fill up the "lack," of our world.

            Cari
          • tsgnosis
            ... Yes! This is seeing the kingdom of heaven on earth! His disciples said to him, When will the kingdom come? Jesus said, It will not come by looking
            Message 5 of 19 , May 18, 2002
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              --- In gnosticism2@y..., "Al Pinto" <searay@b...> wrote:

              > ...However if that perspective can be transcended, if we can
              > somehow raise that veil, split the fog or no longer use the filter
              > that sees error in things, I think we would see the perfection in
              > it all...

              > peace,
              > play


              Yes! This is seeing the kingdom of heaven on earth!

              His disciples said to him, "When will the kingdom come?" Jesus
              said, "It will not come by looking outward. It will not say 'Behold,
              this side' or 'Behold, that one.' Rather, the kingdom of the Father
              is spread out upon the earth, and men do not see it."

              Laura
            • Al Pinto
              ... Probably not. But what I m saying is it doesn t matter who s veil gets lifted, what is, just is regardless. Always was and always will be. This has more to
              Message 6 of 19 , May 18, 2002
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                > WB: I don't think you and I are looking at the same thing, else you would
                > not say what you are saying. I am speaking
                to what is seen when the
                > veil is lifted. Of, course, it may be that
                what I see, or experience,
                > as the lifting of the veil, the ending of
                the temporal sense of self,
                > leaving the presential sense of self as the
                ground of self, where
                > presential is in the presence of what-is, is not
                the lifting of the
                > veil you are speaking to.
                 
                Probably not. But what I'm saying is it doesn't matter who's veil gets lifted, what is, just is regardless. Always was and always will be. This has more to do with "IT" more than it has to do with us even though we are just a part of it. LOL! If that didn't confuse you, I don't know what will.
                 
                > play: I see and understand your point of view. However, if knowledge
                > gained can lead one to accept the "kingdom" for
                what it is fully, they
                > quickly realize that what surrounds them is a
                part of it. If they can
                > accept this connection then they will start to
                see that they are also
                > a part of it.
                >
                > I do not think
                you see and understand my point of view, and I mean
                > that as only what I
                see as the fact of it. I am saying that the
                > knowledge gained by the
                lifting of the veil is not something that
                > needs to be realized or
                accepted; it is given, it comes with the
                > territory, the connection is
                made. Again, maybe we mean separate
                > things by the lifting of the
                veil.
                 
                No actually, I agree with you here 100%. But I guess I'm thinking of it more like before it is lifted entirely. How quick is the veil lifted for a person? All at once or bit-by-bit? But yes, once lifted, the FULL connection being made, knowing all this and more would be just known and not surprising to who knows it at all. "Why do you marvel so at the things that I do? Don't you know that you are able to do this and more?" [I'm paraphrasing here somewhat but I'm sure you all are familiar with this quote]
                 
                I subscribe to the bit-by-bit method whereby what can be called gnosis is gained through experience which leads to rememberence of what there is to know. I say that because I believe we are born with everything that needs knowing and somehow can't recollect it all at once. Realizing and accepting this bit-by-bit is what we do as we piece back the puzzle of what we once knew and were connected to.
                 
                Physically, at least, our DNA may even support this idea. One of the great mysteries of life sciences is the question of why two-thirds of our genetic code is turned off. Up until discoveries in 1953, science has always believed the genetic code was fixed. Now, within the last few years, Western researchers have found that it appears the human genetic code is a variable code rather than a fixed code, and that it is our responses of feeling and emotions as we go through the challenges of life that determine which one of those codes are switched on and switched off. Much of what Jesus and the Essenes, Jewish Mystics, Hindus and others were trying to teach us had to do with learning how this can be done. Jesus performed great "miracles" and said we should be able to do the same and more. What was that all about? What did that say to us? It's over 2000 years since he was here and we are still coming to grips with and talking about this great person and what he had to teach us.

                > play: This is what I mean by remembering. Remembering who we
                really
                > are not who we think we might be. The physical aspect of the
                kingdom
                > is no less valid than the spiritual part of it just as our
                physical
                > aspect of being is no less valid than our spiritual one. These
                2
                > things; physicality and spirituality, are not separate but connected.
                > "As it is above, so it is below". I forget where that quote comes
                > from, LOL, but it fits quite nicely here.
                >
                > You see the
                spiritual and the physical aspect of the kingdom to be the
                > two aspects
                of an extant kingdom. I see the notion of a kingdom as you
                > have
                comprised it as a notion only. I see the notion of a spiritual as
                >
                deriving from the recognition of presence that is revealed when the 
                > temporal sense of self comes to an end. I will call that the
                >
                spiritual, but only as a way to differentiate it from the sense of
                >
                being in the world that adheres to the temporal sense of self, and, as
                >
                a way of referring to the difference ensuing from that shift in one's
                >
                sense of self.
                 
                Can't disagree with you there Will. I appreciate your perspective and thanks for sharing what you are seeing. I still see the value of seeing the kingdom as comprising what is physical and what is spiritual because the mere fact is that it is constructed that way. A simple truth is that all things are connected regardless of how loosely it appears to us sometimes.

                > If that notion of a dualistic kingdom
                arose from an experience, then
                > it is simply a description of an
                experience, and if it did not derive
                > from experience, it is purely
                speculative. If there is an singular
                > experience that can be taken as
                positing such a kingdom, or not,
                > depending upon how one takes it, that
                is one thing. If there is an
                > experience that demands being taken as
                positing such a kingdom and
                > there is another experience that does not
                make such a demand, yet the
                > general structure of the experience is the
                same, that is another
                > thing. What thing do we have here? It is one or
                the other. Or so it
                > seems to me.
                 
                Maybe it is both or even other ideas that we haven't posited? To me, it is all just different perspectives to the same light which is infinite in all ways of expression. It is also possible that we, each of us, are just many different expressions of that light. We are the light! Each having their own validity and purpose. No two alike. Everyone valid because they came from and are returning to what is infinite. Everyone alive. Everyone valued and worth something. Everyone expressing all that can be acted upon, felt, thought or known.
              • Al Pinto
                ... I said different not separate. We are all different but not separate. We are connected. Jesus was different than God but not separate. The prophets were
                Message 7 of 19 , May 18, 2002
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                  > Hmmm, two different beings?  Play, I'd be careful how these quotes
                  > are interpreted.  For instance, the book
                  of John can be seen through
                  > Gnostic as well as Christian (orthodox)
                  exegesis.  As far as a
                  > Christian interpretation, "God" might have
                  different aspects, but
                  > according to Christians, there is but one God,
                  who is also the
                  > creator of our world.  The idea of a mythological
                  creator deity, such
                  > as a Gnostic demiurge, separate from the "one God"
                  is a heretical
                  > concept according to Christian
                  orthodoxy.
                   
                  I said different not separate. We are all different but not separate. We are connected. Jesus was different than God but not separate. The prophets were different but not separate. Etc..etc... Our hands are different than our eyes but not separate from our physical being. Do you see the metaphor?

                  > " `Jesus said, `Whoever has become acquainted with the world has
                  > found a corpse.'" (GTh, #56)   I don't think the world Jesus
                  was
                  > referring to had anything to do with the natural world."
                  (Play)
                  >
                  > But we humans do not live in a vacuum.  Our
                  humanness has context
                  > within a physical world and within physical
                  bodies.
                   
                  Agreed. But to whom is our humanness given to if not to ourselves.
                   
                  > Yes, it's true
                  > that one can read different levels of meaning
                  into the metaphors, but
                  > spiritually transcending our physical existence
                  is certainly one
                  > prevailing Gnostic theme.  This does not mean
                  that we should hate our
                  > bodies.  Our experiential paths do involve
                  earthly experiences after
                  > all. 
                   
                  Agreed but what does this have to do with loving nature? It is ok to hug trees and want to see that our Mother Earth isn't abused, isn't it?
                   
                  >
                  > "Do not fear the flesh or love it.  If you
                  fear it, it will dominate
                  > you; if you love it, it will swallow you up
                  and strangle you."
                  > (Gospel of Philip)
                   
                  Agreed. But I wasn't talking about the flesh although the body houses the soul however temporarily. That is why it was also written that it should be treated as a temple. But I was talking about nature and what is natural about the laws that govern it. How it seeks balance and harmony. These are also important to learn and to love for they are representatives of God's Word which is what made them. When we can't find God in ourselves, a good place to look is towards what is natural, other than ourselves. Because it is there too.
                   
                  > The Gnostic ascension is an inner, spiritual one. 
                   
                  Agreed. But not without the help of outer experience and knowledge as input for processing. At least in these bodies. It has some value in this context too. No?
                   

                  > _Treatise on Resurrection_ discusses the nature of resurrection.
                  ~
                  >
                  > "It is what stands at rest:
                  > And the revealing of what
                  truly exists.
                  > And it is what one receives in exchange for the
                  circumstances of this
                  > world:
                  > And a migration into
                  newness.
                  > For incorruptibility [is streaming] down upon darkness,
                  swallowing it.
                  > And fullness is filling up its lack
                  >
                  > -
                  these are the symbols and the likenesses of resurrection:
                  > This is what
                  brings about goodness."
                   
                  Interesting.

                  > This brings me to your mention of the Essenes, Play.  The
                  Essenes
                  > were a sect that followed rigorous asceticism and had faith in
                  the
                  > God of Israel.  They maintained strong apocalyptic views
                  (which would
                  > be at variance with a Gnostic worldview).  Whether or
                  not an
                  > historical Jesus had any dealings with the Essenes is a matter
                  of
                  > debate.
                  >
                  > In fact, whether or not an historical
                  Jesus even existed is generally
                  > not so important to many Gnostics as is
                  the salvific meaning of the
                  > Christ consciousness.
                   
                  Agreed but Christ consciousness is not separate from the Christ who could be you or anyone once that kind of consciousness becomes fully manifest in your being. I think that if there is a Jesus and he heard you say what you just said above, he would be very pleased. To him, to believe in the message is no different than believing in him. His message was who he was and who we can be.

                  > "However if that perspective can be
                  transcended, if we can somehow
                  > raise that veil, split the fog or no
                  longer use the filter that sees
                  > error in things, I think we would see
                  the perfection in it all. I
                  > imagine that the Ineffable Infinite sees it
                  that way." (Play)
                  >
                  > Actually, Play, I imagine the Ineffable
                  Infinite is perfection, and
                  > that once the veil is rent, we humans
                  transcend the error, the lack,
                  > of the material world of
                  imperfection.  The veil or fog was what
                  > blinded us to what truly
                  exists.  Our shift of sense of self while
                  > still in our physical
                  state, not waiting for violent "end times,"
                  > then allows spiritual
                  "fullness" to fill up the "lack," of our world.
                   
                  I noticed that Jesus, after he was risen from the dead, didn't stick around too much longer before he "ascended" to heaven.  **Grin** . But I also imagine that we, even in this present flawed form, are pieces and parts of this "Ineffable Infinite" which is perfect for nothing that is or isn't doesn't belong to it. What does that make us then in the eyes of what is infinite? Who thinks we are flawed and with error? Us or God?
                   
                • Al Pinto
                  Thank you for that Laura. Yes, seeing the kingdom even here on Earth. Earth is a part of God s kingdom or it wouldn t be here. We are part of it too. That is
                  Message 8 of 19 , May 18, 2002
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                    Thank you for that Laura.

                    Yes, seeing the kingdom even here on Earth. Earth is a part of God's kingdom
                    or it wouldn't be here. We are part of it too. That is what I'm talking
                    about. The kingdom of the Father being spread out upon the earth, and many
                    do not see it. But it is here! Always was and always has been.

                    Ironic isn't it?

                    peace,
                    play


                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: "tsgnosis" <tsgnosis@...>

                    > Yes! This is seeing the kingdom of heaven on earth!
                    >
                    > His disciples said to him, "When will the kingdom come?" Jesus
                    > said, "It will not come by looking outward. It will not say 'Behold,
                    > this side' or 'Behold, that one.' Rather, the kingdom of the Father
                    > is spread out upon the earth, and men do not see it."
                    >
                    > Laura
                  • lady_caritas
                    What does that make us then in the eyes of what is infinite? Who thinks we are flawed and with error? Us or God? (Play) Hey, Play. Are you speaking
                    Message 9 of 19 , May 18, 2002
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                      "What does that make us then in the eyes of what is infinite? Who
                      thinks we are flawed and with error? Us or God?" (Play)

                      Hey, Play. Are you speaking rhetorically here? In any case, I
                      really don't care to answer that question because I'm not into
                      anthropomorphizing the Prime Source. I don't pretend to "speak"
                      or "see" for the infinite.

                      My experience (and that of others) has been that our world is
                      flawed. This does not necessarily always mean "evil" or "bad." If
                      you would like to hug a tree, go right ahead, and you have every
                      right to identify the world the way you'd like. Just be careful you
                      don't become Petrified Play by hugging a tree in the path of some
                      volcanic emission when Mother Earth is PMSing. ;-)

                      Regarding a flawed world, please review Messages #5554 and #5555,
                      which discuss the principle of allegory in the world (Logion #113 ~ "
                      …the kingdom of the father is spread out over the earth, and people
                      do not see it.").

                      Play, I notice that you have a very strong Christian orientation
                      exemplified by some comments and biblical references. So, I'm
                      satisfied to agree to disagree on some points.

                      Cari
                    • wilbro99
                      play: I subscribe to the bit-by-bit method whereby what can be called gnosis is gained through experience which leads to rememberence of what there is to know.
                      Message 10 of 19 , May 19, 2002
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                        play: I subscribe to the bit-by-bit method whereby what can be called
                        gnosis is gained through experience which leads to rememberence of
                        what there is to know. I say that because I believe we are born with
                        everything that needs knowing and somehow can't recollect it all at
                        once. Realizing and accepting this bit-by-bit is what we do as we
                        piece back the puzzle of what we once knew and were connected to.

                        And my experience tells me it is nothing like that. I do think it is
                        safe to say that not only are we not on the same page, as it were, but
                        also that we are not even in the same book. It seems to me that most
                        in this group are in the same book as you; the notion of a connection
                        that was broken and needs reconnecting, or a variation thereof. I turn
                        that notion on its head and say that we begin disconnected, i.e.,
                        without an awareness of being, acquire a connection, albeit a false
                        connection of a temporal sense of self, which must be disconnected so
                        that the correct connection, the sense of presence, can come into
                        being. To return to the beginning in these terms would be to lose
                        one's sense of self completely and not make practical sense. Anyway,
                        for what it is worth, that is what my experience of it tells me.

                        So, you are right, we see things differently. So be it.


                        --- In gnosticism2@y..., "Al Pinto" <searay@b...> wrote:
                        > > WB: I don't think you and I are looking at the same thing, else
                        you would
                        > > not say what you are saying. I am speaking to what is seen when
                        the
                        > > veil is lifted. Of, course, it may be that what I see, or
                        experience,
                        > > as the lifting of the veil, the ending of the temporal sense of
                        self,
                        > > leaving the presential sense of self as the ground of self, where
                        > > presential is in the presence of what-is, is not the lifting of
                        the
                        > > veil you are speaking to.
                        >
                        > Probably not. But what I'm saying is it doesn't matter who's veil
                        gets lifted, what is, just is regardless. Always was and always will
                        be. This has more to do with "IT" more than it has to do with us even
                        though we are just a part of it. LOL! If that didn't confuse you, I
                        don't know what will.
                        >
                        > > play: I see and understand your point of view. However, if
                        knowledge
                        > > gained can lead one to accept the "kingdom" for what it is fully,
                        they
                        > > quickly realize that what surrounds them is a part of it. If they
                        can
                        > > accept this connection then they will start to see that they are
                        also
                        > > a part of it.
                        > >
                        > > I do not think you see and understand my point of view, and I mean
                        > > that as only what I see as the fact of it. I am saying that the
                        > > knowledge gained by the lifting of the veil is not something that
                        > > needs to be realized or accepted; it is given, it comes with the
                        > > territory, the connection is made. Again, maybe we mean separate
                        > > things by the lifting of the veil.
                        >
                        > No actually, I agree with you here 100%. But I guess I'm thinking of
                        it more like before it is lifted entirely. How quick is the veil
                        lifted for a person? All at once or bit-by-bit? But yes, once lifted,
                        the FULL connection being made, knowing all this and more would be
                        just known and not surprising to who knows it at all. "Why do you
                        marvel so at the things that I do? Don't you know that you are able to
                        do this and more?" [I'm paraphrasing here somewhat but I'm sure you
                        all are familiar with this quote]
                        >
                        > I subscribe to the bit-by-bit method whereby what can be called
                        gnosis is gained through experience which leads to rememberence of
                        what there is to know. I say that because I believe we are born with
                        everything that needs knowing and somehow can't recollect it all at
                        once. Realizing and accepting this bit-by-bit is what we do as we
                        piece back the puzzle of what we once knew and were connected to.
                        >
                        > Physically, at least, our DNA may even support this idea. One of the
                        great mysteries of life sciences is the question of why two-thirds of
                        our genetic code is turned off. Up until discoveries in 1953, science
                        has always believed the genetic code was fixed. Now, within the last
                        few years, Western researchers have found that it appears the human
                        genetic code is a variable code rather than a fixed code, and that it
                        is our responses of feeling and emotions as we go through the
                        challenges of life that determine which one of those codes are
                        switched on and switched off. Much of what Jesus and the Essenes,
                        Jewish Mystics, Hindus and others were trying to teach us had to do
                        with learning how this can be done. Jesus performed great "miracles"
                        and said we should be able to do the same and more. What was that all
                        about? What did that say to us? It's over 2000 years since he was here
                        and we are still coming to grips with and talking about this great
                        person and what he had to teach us.
                        >
                        > > play: This is what I mean by remembering. Remembering who we
                        really
                        > > are not who we think we might be. The physical aspect of the
                        kingdom
                        > > is no less valid than the spiritual part of it just as our
                        physical
                        > > aspect of being is no less valid than our spiritual one. These 2
                        > > things; physicality and spirituality, are not separate but
                        connected.
                        > > "As it is above, so it is below". I forget where that quote comes
                        > > from, LOL, but it fits quite nicely here.
                        > >
                        > > You see the spiritual and the physical aspect of the kingdom to be
                        the
                        > > two aspects of an extant kingdom. I see the notion of a kingdom as
                        you
                        > > have comprised it as a notion only. I see the notion of a
                        spiritual as
                        > > deriving from the recognition of presence that is revealed when
                        the
                        > > temporal sense of self comes to an end. I will call that the
                        > > spiritual, but only as a way to differentiate it from the sense of
                        > > being in the world that adheres to the temporal sense of self,
                        and, as
                        > > a way of referring to the difference ensuing from that shift in
                        one's
                        > > sense of self.
                        >
                        > Can't disagree with you there Will. I appreciate your perspective
                        and thanks for sharing what you are seeing. I still see the value of
                        seeing the kingdom as comprising what is physical and what is
                        spiritual because the mere fact is that it is constructed that way. A
                        simple truth is that all things are connected regardless of how
                        loosely it appears to us sometimes.
                        >
                        > > If that notion of a dualistic kingdom arose from an experience,
                        then
                        > > it is simply a description of an experience, and if it did not
                        derive
                        > > from experience, it is purely speculative. If there is an singular
                        > > experience that can be taken as positing such a kingdom, or not,
                        > > depending upon how one takes it, that is one thing. If there is an
                        > > experience that demands being taken as positing such a kingdom and
                        > > there is another experience that does not make such a demand, yet
                        the
                        > > general structure of the experience is the same, that is another
                        > > thing. What thing do we have here? It is one or the other. Or so
                        it
                        > > seems to me.
                        >
                        > Maybe it is both or even other ideas that we haven't posited? To me,
                        it is all just different perspectives to the same light which is
                        infinite in all ways of expression. It is also possible that we, each
                        of us, are just many different expressions of that light. We are the
                        light! Each having their own validity and purpose. No two alike.
                        Everyone valid because they came from and are returning to what is
                        infinite. Everyone alive. Everyone valued and worth something.
                        Everyone expressing all that can be acted upon, felt, thought or
                        known.
                      • play_nice_now
                        Ok then Will. I may not be on the same page or in the same book as you but, I acknowledge and accept your views which are as important and valuable as my own.
                        Message 11 of 19 , May 20, 2002
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                          Ok then Will. I may not be on the same page or in the same book
                          as you but, I acknowledge and accept your views which are as
                          important and valuable as my own. :-) I am honored that you
                          have shared it with us here.

                          peace,
                          play
                        • play_nice_now
                          ... Who ... Let me be a bit more clear then. God s ways are not the ways of humans. Try to think not like a human being and how a person would react but as a
                          Message 12 of 19 , May 20, 2002
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                            --- In gnosticism2@y..., lady_caritas <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                            > "What does that make us then in the eyes of what is infinite?
                            Who
                            > thinks we are flawed and with error? Us or God?" (Play)
                            >
                            > Hey, Play. Are you speaking rhetorically here? In any case, I
                            > really don't care to answer that question because I'm not into
                            > anthropomorphizing the Prime Source. I don't pretend to
                            > "speak" or "see" for the infinite.

                            Let me be a bit more clear then. God's ways are not the ways of
                            humans. Try to think not like a human being and how a person
                            would react but as a spiritual one and how a spiritual being
                            sees. One who understands fully that they are a child of God.
                            I'm not speaking rhetorically. The will of the Prime Source is not
                            such a mystery as you may think. Clue: " . . . the kingdom is
                            inside of you. And it is outside of you. When you become
                            acquainted with yourselves, then you will be recognized. And you
                            will understand that it is you who are children of the living father.
                            .
                            ." (GTh, Logion 3)

                            > My experience (and that of others) has been that our world is
                            > flawed. This does not necessarily always mean "evil" or "bad."
                            > If you would like to hug a tree, go right ahead, and you have
                            every
                            > right to identify the world the way you'd like. Just be careful
                            you
                            > don't become Petrified Play by hugging a tree in the path of
                            some
                            > volcanic emission when Mother Earth is PMSing. ;-)

                            Somehow, I think, you are missing the point. Trees are alive.
                            Nature is full of life. Even death gives way to new life for what is
                            living feeds off of what is dead. There are countless reminders of
                            who we really are and who God is if one becomes a student of
                            Nature. In this light, there is no such thing as true death. Your
                            body may expire or die off but the essence of who you really are
                            lives on. Just because something dies, does that make it an
                            error? If that isn't anthropomorphizing, I don't know what is.
                            Without having to agree, can you see my point?

                            >
                            > Regarding a flawed world, please review Messages #5554
                            and #5555, which discuss the principle of allegory in the world
                            (Logion #113 ~ "
                            > …the kingdom of the father is spread out over the earth, and
                            people do not see it.").

                            Exactly. So who is the error with? The kingdom, which is in and
                            outside of us and spread out over the Earth, or is it with us and
                            how WE view it? Where does the idea of error originate? How is
                            it that the kingdom of God is in and all around people, which is to
                            say it is everywhere, and no one sees it? Do you see the irony?

                            > Play, I notice that you have a very strong Christian orientation
                            > exemplified by some comments and biblical references. So,
                            I'm
                            > satisfied to agree to disagree on some points.

                            Yes but I'm not a fundamentalist Christian. Far from it. I do
                            think
                            that there is only one way to get to God. That is through a love for
                            the truth which leads us to salvation. I also know that there are
                            many truths and many ways to look at what is true. There is a
                            fine line here that I'll attempt to clear up in a minute. ;-)

                            You said to me once: "In fact, whether or not an historical Jesus
                            even existed is generally not so important to many Gnostics as
                            is the salvific meaning of the Christ consciousness."

                            What is the difference really? The historical Jesus, whether he
                            existed or not, had Christ Consciousness which is salvific, no?
                            If you value Christ Consciousness and live your life accordingly, I
                            would consider you a christian and so would many others. Is
                            the message of Christ any different from the Christ himself? Is
                            the message of Christ consciousness a different message than
                            what the Prime Source would tell us? Who sent the Christ
                            message in the first place?

                            I'm not satisfied. I would like to gain more clarity on what it is we
                            are agreeing to disagree on just to make sure we aren't actually
                            saying the same things in a different way. ;-) Yes, I'm Christian
                            but I'm also Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, Islamic, Jewish, Gnostic,
                            and any other religion that attempts to connect to what is true
                            which can only come from the Prime Source. No matter what the
                            perspective.

                            And now to clear up what I said earlier. It has become known to
                            me, once I found who I really am again, that all truth leads to the
                            Prime Source because all truth came from IT. The "good" and
                            the "bad" of it. I say that with a loving heart and an acceptance
                            that we are loved. Truth is not as static as it is dynamic. It is the
                            key that opens the door to the Kingdom of God, which is
                            everywhere. It is not something you can get as much as it is
                            something that is given. Spiritual Truth comes to no one unless
                            given by God. God is alive and is inside and outside all of us.

                            "Keep what you know to be true until a higher truth is given."

                            "Those who have ears to hear, let them hear."

                            peace,
                            play
                          • lady_caritas
                            Play, thank you for your message. I must say you have completely misunderstood what I meant by not wanting to speak for the infinite, and I ll take full
                            Message 13 of 19 , May 20, 2002
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                              Play, thank you for your message. I must say you have completely
                              misunderstood what I meant by not wanting to "speak" for the
                              infinite, and I'll take full responsibility for not being more
                              understandable. That does not mean that I have minimal experience in
                              reacting as a "spiritual one," although you apparently perceive that
                              I have difficulty doing so when you suggest that I "try." I only
                              meant that as meaning *specifically* that the "Infinite" is beyond
                              human description. The Gnostic Bythos is not the same as an
                              anthropomorphized deity viewed by many orthodox Christians. I relate
                              to the Ineffable Infinite by means of images emanated from this Prime
                              Source. Mythology offers a way to symbolically become acquainted in
                              human terms.

                              Glimpses of Truth can be "seen" with spiritual eyes through emanated
                              aeons, images, and experience. By becoming acquainted with
                              ourselves, getting in touch with our inner divine spark, we become
                              acquainted with the True God. This of course is aided by our
                              earthly experiences, including finding allegory in the world, as I
                              mentioned before. I do consider the Kingdom to be the spiritual
                              Kingdom, which is in and outside of us.

                              I think all your insistence that I must be missing the point and your
                              quotes from Essene writings is because I don't agree with your view
                              that the world is not flawed. Yes, that is my perception, my
                              spiritual perception. When I said, "My experience (and that of
                              others) has been that our world is flawed," I didn't mean from just a
                              hylic viewpoint. (Gerry's discussion of a flawed world in Message
                              #5818 is quite good.)

                              Play, I have no problem with your chosen path or paths, although I
                              find it difficult to imagine that one person could follow the paths
                              of a Christian, "Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, Islamic, Jewish, Gnostic,
                              and any other religion that attempts to connect to what is true which
                              can only come from the Prime Source" – except in an eclectic way. I
                              have found my path to be Gnostic (or Christian Gnostic). I don't
                              prefer to be called a "Christian," even though I find Christ to be a
                              soter, because that usually denotes an "orthodox Christian," which I
                              am not.

                              Play, I agree that there are many ways of looking at truth, but I
                              don't believe there are many truths. My view is that there is an
                              objective Truth. I accept love and compassion as extremely
                              important, but that *ultimately* Gnosis is salvation.

                              You have a sincere heart, Play. Follow the path that is right for
                              you.

                              Cari
                            • Play Nice Now
                              ... No my lady. I want to apologize to you for making you feel like you need to be defensive. I understood what you meant and hear that kind of thinking often
                              Message 14 of 19 , May 21, 2002
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                                Re: [Gnosticism] Re: Thomasine Metaphor or universal microcosm? on 5/21/02 2:09 AM, lady_caritas at no_reply@yahoogroups.com wrote:

                                > Play, thank you for your message.  I must say you have completely
                                > misunderstood what I meant by not wanting to "speak" for the
                                > infinite, and I'll take full responsibility for not being more
                                > understandable.  

                                No my lady. I want to apologize to you for making you feel like you need to be defensive. I understood what you meant and hear that kind of thinking often from so many. So I'm reading into what you wrote based upon my experience. When someone says that they don't want to  speak for "the infinite" or, in other words, "who am I that I should speak for God" I think that it comes from a belief that we, as humans, aren't worth anything in comparison to the holiness of the Lord or the man Jesus. No matter how good we are, we will never live up to them.  To think so is blasphemy. This idea snowballs even further into a sense of unworthiness and guilt about a whole host of things. It opens up the door to the possibility that we aren't worth much period, which opens up the door to suffering because we allow others to take the responsibility for us to see that we get the salvation or freedom that is given to us freely as a gift. A feeling of no worth makes one refuse to accept this gift. It helps to create fear and uncertainty that I'm not so sure would be there if we accepted the responsibility for ourselves that we are worth it. This is just my opinion and I could be wrong.

                                Also, this medium, this yahoo technology "thingy" gets in the way of the spirit behind what any of us are saying no matter how well we think we are communicating. One can't help but to read between the lines, and there are exceptions to every rule, which doesn't always serve us here. I wonder how different our discourse would be if we were to sit down face to face? Maybe  you'd punch me! Or maybe you'd hug me?

                                > That does not mean that I have minimal experience in
                                > reacting as a "spiritual one," although you apparently perceive that
                                > I have difficulty doing so when you suggest that I "try."  

                                Now you are reading between the lines. ;-) This is not at all the case. I have no doubt that you are capable of this as I have no doubt that your being is partly spirit.  It is just that many folks are afraid or stop short of exercising their ability to use their spirit in this manner because they think that they aren't worthy.  [see above].  They think they need spiritual advisors, priests, rabbi's, gurus etc etc....to give them the "authoritative" truth. Which is sad because the truth just is and is inside them. "But the shut their eyes  so they won't see and they close their ears so they won't hear.".....

                                > I only meant that as meaning *specifically* that the "Infinite" is beyond
                                > human description.  The Gnostic Bythos is not the same as an
                                > anthropomorphized deity viewed by many orthodox Christians.  I relate
                                > to the Ineffable Infinite by means of images emanated from this Prime
                                > Source.  Mythology offers a way to symbolically become acquainted in
                                > human terms.

                                I see this a bit differently and only wish to share what I see with all present. I must stress that what I see doesn't invalidate what anyone is seeing or what anyone has come to know is true. I only wish to share  my perspective to the light, as a child of the light, as freely and beautifully as you have been sharing yours. No one is right or wrong here my lady and that is what makes talking about it so difficult. Who is the authority on what is meaningful to you in a spiritual  way if it isn't you? That is exactly the way it should be in my opinion. Tolerance of others and what they believe is more important than agreement in this arena. ;-)

                                > Glimpses of Truth can be "seen" with spiritual eyes through emanated
                                > aeons, images, and experience.  By becoming acquainted with
                                > ourselves, getting in touch with our inner divine spark, we become
                                > acquainted with the True God.  This of course is aided by our
                                > earthly experiences, including finding allegory in the world, as I
                                > mentioned before.  I do consider the Kingdom to be the spiritual
                                > Kingdom, which is in and outside of us.

                                And I do too. I'm with you here except I also include the physical kingdom. I'm trying to share with you why.


                                > I think all your insistence that I must be missing the point and your
                                > quotes from Essene writings is because I don't agree with your view
                                > that the world is not flawed.  Yes, that is my perception, my
                                > spiritual perception.  When I said, "My experience (and that of
                                > others) has been that our world is flawed," I didn't mean from just a
                                > hylic viewpoint.  (Gerry's discussion of a flawed world in Message
                                > #5818 is quite good.)

                                I want to understand why you think the world is flawed. I don't agree with that notion. That is true. I have read Gerry's discussion and PMCV's and your take on it. I still don't understand and maybe it is because my question still remains unanswered. Who views "the world" as flawed? Us [humans] or the Prime Source? What exactly is meant when you use the words "the world"? Do you mean human society, religion and culture? Or do you mean all of it?

                                > Play, I have no problem with your chosen path or paths, although I
                                > find it difficult to imagine that one person could follow the paths
                                > of a Christian, "Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, Islamic, Jewish, Gnostic,
                                > and any other religion that attempts to connect to what is true which
                                > can only come from the Prime Source" – except in an eclectic way.

                                Fair enough. That is completely true. Bits and pieces. Like fitting together one big puzzle. You see I started out with this theory: If there really is one God, One Source, then remnants of who this source is should exist in every religion on this planet. [see. I am eclectic in my approach even ;-) ] There has got to be at least some common threads. [you would never know that by observing the way humans behave towards each other especially when it comes to religion] Indeed, if God is inside and outside of everything, I should find this reflected everywhere and in all things, which is why I stress the importance of becoming a student of nature. Because, more than in any scripture, you see God there as a living entity and witness the universality of life there. If there is such a thing as universal truth, and I believed that there was, this had to be the case. It should kind of fit together like a puzzle. That was the logic behind the theory. To my satisfaction at least, after detailed research and experience, it no longer is just a theory. It has become common knowledge to me now and I wish to share it with others like you who are close to raising "the veil" in your life. I can provide all sorts of references, ideas and quotes on all sorts of topics to clearly present my case if anyone here is interested.

                                > I have found my path to be Gnostic (or Christian Gnostic).  I don't
                                > prefer to be called a "Christian," even though I find Christ to be a
                                > soter, because that usually denotes an "orthodox Christian," which I
                                > am not.

                                Did you mean to say savior? Anyway, I heard a story once about a devout Christian who used to pray fervently for the messiah to return before he died. Well, after many years, he died before his prayers were answered and went before the lord in spirit. "Lord,  I was often blessed by you while living in the body. I appreciate all that you are and have done for me but have one question yet that  I wish to have answered. Why didn't you send the messiah while I was living on Earth as you promised?" the man asked. "You promised to send him but now I know that your promise will go unfulfilled." The lord answered. "But my son, I did keep my promise. I sent you."

                                There are  6 billion more of us here now.  That fact alone has the potential to be pretty darn  powerful, wouldn't you say?

                                If we truly accept who we really are, we are each a savior. To ourselves and to others. "Do you not know that you can do this and more?" This is also what it means to be a christian or to live in christ consciousness. It is a big world now.  One person can't save it alone. That is why Jesus came. To show us how it's done.

                                > Play, I agree that there are many ways of looking at truth, but I
                                > don't believe there are many truths.  My view is that there is an
                                > objective Truth.  I accept love and compassion as extremely
                                > important, but that *ultimately* Gnosis is salvation.

                                And because of these thoughts, you are filled with love and compassion and will someday gain gnosis. However, what do you think your chances of gaining gnosis in this life are? This works kind of funny because whatever it is you think is exactly the way it is or will be for you and for  anyone who thinks the same. Our thoughts have more power than we can even imagine. Again, see above about a feeling of unworthiness for clues as to why many people may have a problem with that statement.  Many think that if salvation is to come, it is up to someone else to give it to them. But my dear lady, who is more worthy to give you this freedom than you?

                                > You have a sincere heart, Play.  Follow the path that is right for
                                > you.

                                Thank you my lady. A sincere heart embraces the truth no matter where  it comes from. I'm glad that my path has crossed with yours.  I'm happy we have shared our truth here in this club. You are a wise and wonderful person. Can we walk a while together a bit more since we seem to be  headed in the same direction?

                                peace,
                                play
                              • pmcvflag
                                Been on a bit of a sabbatical, just catching up. Actually, I don t really have much to say concerning the overall conversations since for the most part what
                                Message 15 of 19 , May 24, 2002
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                                  Been on a bit of a sabbatical, just catching up. Actually, I don't
                                  really have much to say concerning the overall conversations since
                                  for the most part what everyone has said here seems to flow pretty
                                  rationally. There is only one thing that stands out to me as
                                  something that really needs clerification, and that is from Play.

                                  Play, I'm not sure that you are completely clear on exactly what the
                                  Gnostic "Prime Source" refers to. I could be wrong, and simply have
                                  misread you, but I get this impression from things you have said
                                  like the following cut and paste....

                                  >Who views "the world" as flawed? Us [humans] or the Prime Source?<

                                  You see, the Prime Source doesn't "view". You seem to have the
                                  impression that the Prime Source (Bythos) is a being, like some kind
                                  of God.... it isn't. You mention this as a "question that hasn't
                                  been answered", but it is difficult to answer since the question
                                  itself doesn't exactly make sense from the traditional Gnostic
                                  perspective. I did in fact attempt at one point to answer, I guess
                                  it just didn't come across right so I'll try again. The Prime Source
                                  is infinity, absolute infinity. Bythos does not hear, see, think,
                                  feel, provide, love, punnish, dictate, create, or even interact, it
                                  is not a "who". I guess that that removes one half of your question,
                                  and thus answers it.

                                  Your next question on the other hand is more readily dealt with...

                                  >What exactly is meant when you use the words "the world"? Do you
                                  mean human society, religion and culture? Or do you mean all of it?<

                                  (in reference to what is flawed) The "world" is the field of
                                  opposites, which is removed from infinity by it's dependance on
                                  linear movement. In other words, "opposites" or "contrast" is a
                                  split and another term for "split" can be "flaw" if we assume there
                                  is something that is not "split". Therefore (from our perspective),
                                  material existance is less than the implication of what is beyond
                                  it, and thus "flawed". This of course means everything, anything you
                                  can concieve, feel, think, experience, is experiencable because of
                                  the "flaw" or "split" from non-time (at least this is the Gnostic
                                  perspective, which answers the first question again).

                                  You also state...

                                  >If there really is one God, One Source, then remnants of who this
                                  source is should exist in every religion on this planet.<

                                  That is a strong "if". What if, on the other hand, "God" is
                                  something we made up to create rules... sometimes for good, other
                                  times for bad. You are making an assumption of a God that I don't
                                  make, and you will find that many Gnostic texts are trying to
                                  overcome that very notion of "God". One God? Balderdash.

                                  You then go on to state that God is in all things. There is a word
                                  for that, it is "Pantheism". Gnostics are not pantheists though, and
                                  I make no such assumption that "God is in all things", or that God
                                  is good, etc. You continue from that with this ...

                                  >To my satisfaction at least, after detailed research and
                                  experience, it no longer is just a theory. It has become common
                                  knowledge to me now and I wish to share it with others like you who
                                  are close to raising "the veil" in your life.<

                                  Without the other assumptions though, this means nothing. My
                                  research is also detailed, and in some ways it is very scientific
                                  and logical as well. How do you know that it is not I who have
                                  raised the veil, and you who are only close (I'm not saying this is
                                  the case, only that it is presumptuous to assume)? I have a
                                  completely different experience (as do the other Gnostics here), and
                                  most of us have already at one time believed as you do and left that
                                  belief behind (right or wrong).

                                  >I can provide all sorts of references, ideas and quotes on all
                                  sorts of topics to clearly present my case if anyone here is
                                  interested.<

                                  Well, that is fine... for what it's worth. Actually, you gave us a
                                  little story about a Christin who goes to heaven after praying for
                                  the Massiah. I thought I would point out to you that this is
                                  originally an old Jewish parable, whomever you got it from simply
                                  revamped it into a Christian instead of a Rabbi (see "Treasury of
                                  Jewish Folklore", ed Ausubel) just thought I would point that out
                                  for technical accuracy sake.

                                  >And because of these thoughts, you are filled with love and
                                  compassion and will someday gain gnosis.<

                                  ?, I'm not sure you mean the same thing as Gnostics do when you use
                                  the word "gnosis". That being the case, how do you know that Lady
                                  Cari has not passed us all up in that persuit... including you? Take
                                  your terms "love" and "compassion" and then look back to the
                                  explination of the Prime Source. Since Gnosis is a cognisence of the
                                  Prime Source you will see that "love" and "compassion" are not
                                  relevent to what Gnostics mean by the word "Gnosis" as anything more
                                  than steps that can become traps in and of themselves. Granted, you
                                  may mean something else by the word, but since this is a traditional
                                  Gnostic forum, we go by the original usage here. Perhaps then you
                                  can clerify what you meant by the word and we may have another word
                                  to describe it.

                                  I do not mean to invalidate what you are saying, I simply mean to
                                  point out that it is nothing new to most of us. It is however
                                  something I disagree with... at least as I understand you to mean
                                  (and like I said, I could have misunderstood your intent).

                                  (Peering throught the wake of a shark and whale, the minnow rears
                                  it's terrible head and utters a mighty gurgle that nats and smaller
                                  insects tremble at... at least if they fall in the water
                                  unexpectantly without something to crawl out of the water onto [in
                                  which case the only mock all the harder]. All the while trying to
                                  avoid the shark an the whale's mouths, "Oh yeah big creatures?" it
                                  exclaims, "Ha! I pick my morsels from the teeth of the Leviathan and
                                  the toes of the Behemoth, and they care not. Frolic not in my home
                                  without some caution master Moby!". :P [that is THE raspberry for
                                  those of you unfamiliar with internet emoticons])

                                  PMCV
                                • play_nice_now
                                  ... the ... Thanks for noticing PMCV. And thanks for not beating me up about it. ... kind ... Source ... question, ... Then why use words like He and
                                  Message 16 of 19 , May 29, 2002
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                                    --- In gnosticism2@y..., pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                    > There is only one thing that stands out to me as
                                    > something that really needs clerification, and that is from Play.
                                    >
                                    > Play, I'm not sure that you are completely clear on exactly what
                                    the
                                    > Gnostic "Prime Source" refers to.

                                    Thanks for noticing PMCV. And thanks for not beating me up about it.

                                    > I could be wrong, and simply have
                                    > misread you, but I get this impression from things you have said
                                    > like the following cut and paste....
                                    >
                                    > >Who views "the world" as flawed? Us [humans] or the Prime Source?<
                                    >
                                    > You see, the Prime Source doesn't "view". You seem to have the
                                    > impression that the Prime Source (Bythos) is a being, like some
                                    kind
                                    > of God.... it isn't. You mention this as a "question that hasn't
                                    > been answered", but it is difficult to answer since the question
                                    > itself doesn't exactly make sense from the traditional Gnostic
                                    > perspective. I did in fact attempt at one point to answer, I guess
                                    > it just didn't come across right so I'll try again. The Prime
                                    Source
                                    > is infinity, absolute infinity. Bythos does not hear, see, think,
                                    > feel, provide, love, punnish, dictate, create, or even interact, it
                                    > is not a "who". I guess that that removes one half of your
                                    question,
                                    > and thus answers it.


                                    Then why use words like "He" and "Father" when referencing it? From
                                    out of infinity came everything, including the Father of all things,
                                    no? Creation happened by osmosis? No thought? Totally random events?


                                    > Your next question on the other hand is more readily dealt with...
                                    >
                                    > >What exactly is meant when you use the words "the world"? Do you
                                    > mean human society, religion and culture? Or do you mean all of it?<
                                    >
                                    > (in reference to what is flawed) The "world" is the field of
                                    > opposites, which is removed from infinity by it's dependance on
                                    > linear movement. In other words, "opposites" or "contrast" is a
                                    > split and another term for "split" can be "flaw"

                                    This is just perspective I guess. Sure it can be "flaw" but it could
                                    also be quite perfect, just the way it was meant to be.

                                    > if we assume there
                                    > is something that is not "split". Therefore (from our perspective),
                                    > material existance is less than the implication of what is beyond
                                    > it, and thus "flawed". This of course means everything, anything
                                    you
                                    > can concieve, feel, think, experience, is experiencable because of
                                    > the "flaw" or "split" from non-time (at least this is the Gnostic
                                    > perspective, which answers the first question again).

                                    so then, time itself is a flaw? Or is it illusion? Or is it just a
                                    mechanism that allows us to experience this part of our being in a
                                    very limited way sort of like we are all actors in a play? Do
                                    Gnostics believe in the spirit, or better, that humans are partly
                                    spirit? Is spirit infinite or a part of what is infinite? If so,
                                    wouldn't it be possible that part of infinity encompasses all of that
                                    which is finite? Is it possible that infinite can also "express
                                    itself" as finite? Your answers to my questions are only bringing up
                                    more questions it seems.

                                    >
                                    > You also state...
                                    >
                                    > >If there really is one God, One Source, then remnants of who this
                                    > source is should exist in every religion on this planet.<
                                    >
                                    > That is a strong "if".

                                    Why is that? Wouldn't this logically follow if it were the case? I
                                    posted some things on this board already that clearly shows many
                                    similarities between otherwise disparate religions.

                                    > What if, on the other hand, "God" is
                                    > something we made up to create rules... sometimes for good, other
                                    > times for bad. You are making an assumption of a God that I don't
                                    > make, and you will find that many Gnostic texts are trying to
                                    > overcome that very notion of "God". One God? Balderdash.

                                    Why is "one god" balderdash? The very essence of the meaning of
                                    your "Prime Source" means exactly that. You can also easily
                                    substitute the word God with Source. Everything coming from one
                                    source. Why use the words "prime source" then?

                                    >
                                    > You then go on to state that God is in all things. There is a word
                                    > for that, it is "Pantheism". Gnostics are not pantheists though,
                                    and
                                    > I make no such assumption that "God is in all things", or that God
                                    > is good, etc. You continue from that with this ...

                                    Whether you make the assumption or not, this is true even in gnostic
                                    teachings. Especially in gnostic teachings. "Therefore, all the
                                    emanations of the Father are pleromas, and the root of all his
                                    emanations is in the one who made them all grow up in himself. He
                                    assigned them their destinies. Each one, then, is manifest, in order
                                    that through their own thought <...>. For the place to which they
                                    send their thought, that place, their root, is what takes them up in
                                    all the heights, to the Father."
                                    >
                                    > >To my satisfaction at least, after detailed research and
                                    > experience, it no longer is just a theory. It has become common
                                    > knowledge to me now and I wish to share it with others like you who
                                    > are close to raising "the veil" in your life.<
                                    >
                                    > Without the other assumptions though, this means nothing. My
                                    > research is also detailed, and in some ways it is very scientific
                                    > and logical as well. How do you know that it is not I who have
                                    > raised the veil, and you who are only close (I'm not saying this is
                                    > the case, only that it is presumptuous to assume)? I have a
                                    > completely different experience (as do the other Gnostics here),
                                    and
                                    > most of us have already at one time believed as you do and left
                                    that
                                    > belief behind (right or wrong).

                                    I don't believe that any of you here believed the way that I do. And
                                    I don't believe that I can believe exactly the way that you do. So
                                    let me re-iterate a gnostic thought..."For the place to which they
                                    send their thought, that place, their root, is what takes them up in
                                    all the heights, to the Father." This isn't about who is right or
                                    wrong PCMV.

                                    >
                                    > >I can provide all sorts of references, ideas and quotes on all
                                    > sorts of topics to clearly present my case if anyone here is
                                    > interested.<
                                    >
                                    > Well, that is fine... for what it's worth. Actually, you gave us a
                                    > little story about a Christin who goes to heaven after praying for
                                    > the Massiah. I thought I would point out to you that this is
                                    > originally an old Jewish parable, whomever you got it from simply
                                    > revamped it into a Christian instead of a Rabbi (see "Treasury of
                                    > Jewish Folklore", ed Ausubel) just thought I would point that out
                                    > for technical accuracy sake.

                                    Yes,. I was the one who revamped it. Does it matter if it were a
                                    rabbi or a christian? But did you get the point of the story which is
                                    infinitely more important to note?

                                    >
                                    > >And because of these thoughts, you are filled with love and
                                    > compassion and will someday gain gnosis.<
                                    >
                                    > ?, I'm not sure you mean the same thing as Gnostics do when you use
                                    > the word "gnosis". That being the case, how do you know that Lady
                                    > Cari has not passed us all up in that persuit... including you?

                                    It isn't a matter of degree PCMV. She, you, me and others here are
                                    all in the same boat.

                                    > Take
                                    > your terms "love" and "compassion" and then look back to the
                                    > explination of the Prime Source. Since Gnosis is a cognisence of
                                    the
                                    > Prime Source you will see that "love" and "compassion" are not
                                    > relevent to what Gnostics mean by the word "Gnosis" as anything
                                    more
                                    > than steps that can become traps in and of themselves. Granted, you
                                    > may mean something else by the word, but since this is a
                                    traditional
                                    > Gnostic forum, we go by the original usage here. Perhaps then you
                                    > can clerify what you meant by the word and we may have another word
                                    > to describe it.

                                    Whatever words you use to define them, love and compassion are
                                    important if one is to understand, embrace and accept the truth. The
                                    good and bad of it. That is what we are concerned with here. Gnostic
                                    or not. Gnosis, the way I see it, is the knowledge of the truth which
                                    will never be completely known by any of us in this life. I don't see
                                    this as a flaw. I just see it as the way it is and I'm certain our
                                    spirit knows the reasons.

                                    > I do not mean to invalidate what you are saying, I simply mean to
                                    > point out that it is nothing new to most of us.

                                    Agree. It is nothing new. It is ancient and timeless this knowledge
                                    of which we speak. It is a knowledge worth remembering, no?

                                    > It is however
                                    > something I disagree with... at least as I understand you to mean
                                    > (and like I said, I could have misunderstood your intent).

                                    Forget the intent. What are you disagreeing with?
                                  • pmcvflag
                                    Hey Play.... ... out of infinity came everything, including the Father of all things, no?
                                    Message 17 of 19 , May 29, 2002
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                                      Hey Play....

                                      >Then why use words like "He" and "Father" when referencing it? From
                                      out of infinity came everything, including the Father of all things,
                                      no?<

                                      That is an excellent question, since it is a practice that has thrown
                                      many modern readers off. We find out in the "Tripartite Tractate"
                                      that the word "He" is in fact an error, and that the words we use to
                                      describe it are for our own inabilities rather than for any accurate
                                      meaning concerning it. There are a couple of reasons that "He" tend
                                      to be a more common word than "She", or "It". The "It" gets taken out
                                      of the picture in part because there is in fact no neutral gender in
                                      the Hebrew or Aramaic languages that some of the originators of these
                                      documents would have been familiar with. Even though most of the
                                      ideas are Greek, our "Gnostic" version comes from Greek speaking
                                      Hebrews who would have had, that thought pattern in mind. In turn,
                                      the translation into Coptic simply keeps the habbit.

                                      So, why He insted of She? The Patriarchal quality of this is
                                      something that has been commented on as a negative thing by some, but
                                      in fact there is an illustrative quality to this usage that is
                                      something beyond the idea "Male = power". We call our electrical wall
                                      socket "female" and th plug "male", why? Because of the shapes. Now,
                                      if you look at the Gnostic mythology what do you see? If we track our
                                      movement through time as a sort of geometric pattern, it can be seen
                                      as a sort of birth canal shooting us into the unknown (death). We
                                      then also see that unknown as somethin external that, as best as we
                                      can explain, breaks into the field of time from an external position.
                                      Thus, our existance is seen as a sort of sexual union (one of the Nag
                                      Hammadi books... can't remember which off the top of my head, even
                                      describes us as "sperm"). So there you have it, why it is calle "he".

                                      >Creation happened by osmosis? No thought? Totally random events?<

                                      Well, no, not according to Gnostic mythology anyways. In our Gnostic
                                      texts creation happens because of a flaw in the reflection of
                                      Infinity. Creation itself is seen as being done by a week minded fool
                                      (saklas) that we call "God".

                                      >Is it possible that infinite can also "express
                                      itself" as finite?<

                                      Infinite doen't "express", that is a happeneing. This is the part of
                                      Gnostic thought that is the most difficult to grasp... this notion
                                      of "Infinite". You see, all these describing terms that you and I use
                                      are based on our "existance" and our inability to fully grasp just
                                      what it means to be without it. You appear to be concieving
                                      the "Infinite" as something outside that we exist within. That is
                                      indeed infinite, in that we cannot measure it, but it is not the pure
                                      absolute Infinity that is the subject of Gnosticism.

                                      Try this thought experiment. Whenever you start to think about the
                                      highest "God" remember that it isn't a "God" at all. When you start
                                      to describe it, remind yourself that you cannot do so, and that any
                                      term you use is dependant on some linear comprehension. So, when you
                                      start to say "he", remember that it isn't true. When you start to
                                      say "Huge" or "Eternal" remember that these are literalist and
                                      untrue. As you state words that you recognize as untrue, good, big,
                                      light, loving, also think of thier opposites which prove they cannot
                                      be true of the Infinite. SInce all terms are linear, you cannot use
                                      them to describe something that isn't linear.... you can only talk
                                      about what it is not. As you do this you may start to get a really
                                      odd feeling, one of just how alien this concept is to your mind, and
                                      even a nagging fear that comes from the implications your mind starts
                                      to pick up on.

                                      >Do Gnostics believe in the spirit, or better, that humans are partly
                                      spirit? Is spirit infinite or a part of what is infinite?<

                                      Yes, but Gnostics do not believe that "Spirit" and "Soul" are the
                                      same thing. "Spirit" is something that we gain, we put it on with a
                                      certain conceptualization called "Gnosis".

                                      >If so, wouldn't it be possible that part of infinity encompasses all
                                      of that which is finite?<

                                      "Encompasses" is a linear thing, remember the exorcise.

                                      >Why is "one god" balderdash?<

                                      "One" is a linear thing, remember? Pretty difficult isn't it ;)

                                      Why use the words "prime source" then?

                                      Cause I can't think of any term that is accurate, so I'm forced to
                                      make a concious error in making a point. The mistake is in thinking
                                      the term is an accurate literal description.

                                      >Whether you make the assumption or not, this is true even in gnostic
                                      teachings. Especially in gnostic teachings. "Therefore, all the
                                      emanations of the Father are pleromas, and the root of all his
                                      emanations is in the one who made them all grow up in himself. He
                                      assigned them their destinies. Each one, then, is manifest, in order
                                      that through their own thought <...>. For the place to which they
                                      send their thought, that place, their root, is what takes them up in
                                      all the heights, to the Father."<

                                      Ah, but this does not mean what it appears to on the surface.
                                      Remember, this "root", this "Father" is only a reflection itself. It
                                      is a conceptualization there only for our comfort. It would be a
                                      carryover from literalist religion to assume that a Gnostic author
                                      means this in a direct and literal fashion. These are illustrative
                                      points that are only reletive to thier context of _that moment_. TO
                                      quote the Tripartite Tractate concerning beliefs...

                                      "Thereforethey have introduced other types of explination, some
                                      saying that is is according to providence that the things which exist
                                      have thier being. These are the people who observe the stability and
                                      the conformity of the movement of creation. Others say that it is
                                      soemthing alien. These are the people who observe the diversity and
                                      the lawlessness and the evil of the powers. Others say that the
                                      things which exist are what is destined to happen. These are the
                                      people who were occupied with this matter. Others that it is
                                      something in accordance with nature. Others say that it is self
                                      existent. The majority, however, all who have reached as far as the
                                      visible elements, do not know anything more than them."

                                      We can (and must) use these descriptions... all of them for thier
                                      good effect, as long as we realize they are not littaraly accurate.

                                      PMCV
                                    • play_nice_now
                                      PMCV, Thanks for the attempt to answer my questions. I completely understand that mere mortal vocabularies only hinder understanding what is infinite. You
                                      Message 18 of 19 , May 30, 2002
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                                        PMCV,

                                        Thanks for the attempt to answer my questions. I completely
                                        understand that mere mortal vocabularies only hinder understanding
                                        what is infinite. You asked me what were my intentions. If it was
                                        anything it was to prove that our words completely fall short of
                                        understanding IT sometimes. Yet, it is all we have so we are sort of
                                        forced to use it if we want to share our ideas with others. It may
                                        not have always been that way though. There may have been a time when
                                        we all shared a common language, one of the mind and spirit. But
                                        that's another story for another time and in another place.

                                        More new comments below:

                                        Play: Then why use words like "He" and "Father" when referencing it?
                                        From
                                        out of infinity came everything, including the Father of all things,
                                        no?

                                        PMCV: So, why He insted of She? The Patriarchal quality of this is
                                        something that has been commented on as a negative thing by some, but
                                        in fact there is an illustrative quality to this usage that is
                                        something beyond the idea "Male = power". We call our electrical wall
                                        socket "female" and th plug "male", why? Because of the shapes. Now,
                                        if you look at the Gnostic mythology what do you see? If we track our
                                        movement through time as a sort of geometric pattern, it can be seen
                                        as a sort of birth canal shooting us into the unknown (death). We
                                        then also see that unknown as somethin external that, as best as we
                                        can explain, breaks into the field of time from an external position.
                                        Thus, our existance is seen as a sort of sexual union (one of the Nag
                                        Hammadi books... can't remember which off the top of my head, even
                                        describes us as "sperm"). So there you have it, why it is calle "he".

                                        Play: That isn't what I was asking but I certainly appreciate the
                                        thought. I was talking more about a presence of something that was
                                        alive regardless of gender. Does gnostics accept that the "Prime
                                        Source" or "God" or whatever you want to call "IT" is alive? I
                                        completely understand that if we are talking about the prime source
                                        of all things as being infinite, it would include all genders; all
                                        shapes; all forms. I have no choice but to communicate what isn't
                                        linear in linear terms because that is what our language is limited
                                        to. [and I don't use it as well as some of you here ;-)] But I do
                                        understand that what is infinite has already answered the question of
                                        who she, he, it is. He, She, It called itself "I Am". Those two words
                                        spell it out quite nicely I should think. Place any words or phrases
                                        after those two words and it becomes clearer, at least for me, what,
                                        or who we are talking about here.

                                        Play: Creation happened by osmosis? No thought? Totally random events?

                                        PMCV: Well, no, not according to Gnostic mythology anyways. In our
                                        Gnostic
                                        texts creation happens because of a flaw in the reflection of
                                        Infinity. Creation itself is seen as being done by a week minded fool
                                        (saklas) that we call "God".

                                        Play: I assume that what you mean by "creation" is the beginning of
                                        things that are made up of matter, flesh and bone? In other words the
                                        physical creation? For a weak minded fool, it sure was a beautiful
                                        flaw. And what is flawed to you holds the key to understanding for
                                        me. That is another intent of mine. To get you to see that if you
                                        view the creation as flawed only opens up the idea that it isn't good
                                        enough and has little or no value for understanding. I think that is
                                        a grave error in and of itself. For we come to know this "entity" by
                                        their works.

                                        By the way, this is one reason why humanity has left the Garden of
                                        Eden to begin with. The age old question of mankind has been "Is this
                                        all there is?". The irony being we may have left the sanctity and
                                        knowledge of the Garden [infinity?] , but the Garden didn't go
                                        anywhere. It is all around us and in us. Why many of us don't see it
                                        is simply because we don't want to. We do love our images. Each of us
                                        are our own "gods". I believe that is written in Isaiah somewhere.
                                        and Jesus referenced it as well that is is written, "Ye are gods". Of
                                        course, that is with a little "g".

                                        Play: Is it possible that infinite can also "express itself" as
                                        finite?

                                        PMCV: Infinite doen't "express", that is a happeneing. This is the
                                        part of
                                        Gnostic thought that is the most difficult to grasp... this notion
                                        of "Infinite". You see, all these describing terms that you and I use
                                        are based on our "existance" and our inability to fully grasp just
                                        what it means to be without it. You appear to be concieving
                                        the "Infinite" as something outside that we exist within. That is
                                        indeed infinite, in that we cannot measure it, but it is not the pure
                                        absolute Infinity that is the subject of Gnosticism.

                                        Play: No I'm not conceiving the infinite that way my friend :-). I
                                        see the infinite as INSIDE and OUTSIDE of us. It is in the heavens
                                        and on Earth, in the depth and the heighth. In everything that is and
                                        isn't. There isn't anywhere you can go that it doesn't exist. And for
                                        the sake of discussion, we are pidgeon-holed into using language to
                                        discuss this with each other. Unless you can read my thoughts?

                                        PMCV: Try this thought experiment. Whenever you start to think about
                                        the
                                        highest "God" remember that it isn't a "God" at all. When you start
                                        to describe it, remind yourself that you cannot do so, and that any
                                        term you use is dependant on some linear comprehension. So, when you
                                        start to say "he", remember that it isn't true. When you start to
                                        say "Huge" or "Eternal" remember that these are literalist and
                                        untrue. As you state words that you recognize as untrue, good, big,
                                        light, loving, also think of thier opposites which prove they cannot
                                        be true of the Infinite. SInce all terms are linear, you cannot use
                                        them to describe something that isn't linear.... you can only talk
                                        about what it is not. As you do this you may start to get a really
                                        odd feeling, one of just how alien this concept is to your mind, and
                                        even a nagging fear that comes from the implications your mind starts
                                        to pick up on.

                                        Play: So then we can't talk about them meaningfully? Sounds like a
                                        cop-out. Actually, what works better for me is just the
                                        opposite. "God" is a he. God is also a "she", a "It", a "them",
                                        a "tree", a "dog", a "cat", a "me", a "you" etc., etc., ad infinte.
                                        See above regarding "I Am". God IS infinite.

                                        Play: Do Gnostics believe in the spirit, or better, that humans are
                                        partly
                                        spirit? Is spirit infinite or a part of what is infinite?

                                        PMCV: Yes, but Gnostics do not believe that "Spirit" and "Soul" are
                                        the
                                        same thing. "Spirit" is something that we gain, we put it on with a
                                        certain conceptualization called "Gnosis".

                                        Play: Something we gain? It isn't something we are already and just
                                        need to remember? Can you provide some references from some Gnostic
                                        texts to support this idea?

                                        Play: If so, wouldn't it be possible that part of infinity
                                        encompasses all
                                        of that which is finite?<

                                        PMCV: "Encompasses" is a linear thing, remember the exorcise.

                                        Play: Hmm...remember linear language is all we have to communicate
                                        this to one another. Let's try to use it. Which means we have to
                                        first understand each other and where each of us is coming from
                                        first. No small task for sure. I think we can do this linearly. At
                                        least enough to get us started down the infinite path of
                                        understanding.

                                        Play: Why is "one god" balderdash?

                                        PMCV: "One" is a linear thing, remember? Pretty difficult isn't it ;)

                                        Play: Not really difficult. Only difficult using words to define. OK.
                                        Let me ask another way. How many "infinities" are there? Is the idea
                                        of one infinty balderdash?

                                        Play: Why use the words "prime source" then?

                                        PMCV: Cause I can't think of any term that is accurate, so I'm forced
                                        to
                                        make a concious error in making a point. The mistake is in thinking
                                        the term is an accurate literal description.

                                        Play: Hmm... If you utilize the name that "the infinite" used for
                                        itself, there is no confusion or error. again, see "I AM" above. No?

                                        Play: Whether you make the assumption or not, this is true even in
                                        gnostic
                                        teachings. Especially in gnostic teachings. "Therefore, all the
                                        emanations of the Father are pleromas, and the root of all his
                                        emanations is in the one who made them all grow up in himself. He
                                        assigned them their destinies. Each one, then, is manifest, in order
                                        that through their own thought <...>. For the place to which they
                                        send their thought, that place, their root, is what takes them up in
                                        all the heights, to the Father."<

                                        PMCV: Ah, but this does not mean what it appears to on the surface.
                                        Remember, this "root", this "Father" is only a reflection itself. It
                                        is a conceptualization there only for our comfort. It would be a
                                        carryover from literalist religion to assume that a Gnostic author
                                        means this in a direct and literal fashion. These are illustrative
                                        points that are only reletive to thier context of _that moment_. TO
                                        quote the Tripartite Tractate concerning beliefs...

                                        "Thereforethey have introduced other types of explination, some
                                        saying that is is according to providence that the things which exist
                                        have thier being. These are the people who observe the stability and
                                        the conformity of the movement of creation. Others say that it is
                                        soemthing alien. These are the people who observe the diversity and
                                        the lawlessness and the evil of the powers. Others say that the
                                        things which exist are what is destined to happen. These are the
                                        people who were occupied with this matter. Others that it is
                                        something in accordance with nature. Others say that it is self
                                        existent. The majority, however, all who have reached as far as the
                                        visible elements, do not know anything more than them."

                                        We can (and must) use these descriptions... all of them for thier
                                        good effect, as long as we realize they are not littaraly accurate.

                                        Play: I agree. I also think much of the confusion about understanding
                                        what is infinite comes when we think it can be this but not that.
                                        When we try to place one or a few characteristics on who or what the
                                        infinite is or isn't. I think those thoughts are what creates error
                                        [not to mention disagreement and turmoil] and creates a barrier to
                                        understanding and acceptance of what is true. The infinite IS ALL as
                                        well as it ISN'T ALL. Infinite is infinite and there isn't anything
                                        that it is or isn't. I guess that can be pretty confusing too.
                                        ***smiles***

                                        Peace,
                                        play
                                      • pmcvflag
                                        Play says.... That isn t what I was asking but I certainly appreciate the thought. Oops, sorry. I think I may have a better grasp of what you mean now since
                                        Message 19 of 19 , May 31, 2002
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          Play says.... "That isn't what I was asking but I certainly
                                          appreciate the thought."

                                          Oops, sorry. I think I may have a better grasp of what you mean now
                                          since your explination, so I'll try again. First though, just a
                                          reiteration of what I think you already understand, but I just want
                                          to keep negating the lingo....

                                          >I completely understand that if we are talking about the prime
                                          source of all things as being infinite, it would include all genders;
                                          all shapes; all forms.<

                                          No, instead of containng all forms, there is no "contains", nor
                                          any "forms". That is to say, instead of "include all genders" in
                                          includes none.

                                          >I have no choice but to communicate what isn't linear in linear
                                          terms because that is what our language is limited to.<

                                          Exactly. This is why it is spoken of in the language of negation.
                                          Anyways, these are only reiterations, as I know they are not really
                                          your question. Let me then get to what I believe your point is....

                                          >Does gnostics accept that the "Prime Source" or "God" or whatever
                                          you want to call "IT" is alive?.... But I do understand that what is
                                          infinite has already answered the question of who she, he, it is. He,
                                          She, It called itself "I Am".<

                                          No, Gnostics do not except that it is "alive", there is no "alive"
                                          where there is no "dead". You see, in Gnostic mythology it is not
                                          Bythos that says "I Am", but Yaldebaoth, a lessor thing, a construct
                                          of deity, who says it. This seems to be the crux of our
                                          misunderstanding each other, the fact that you may have beleived that
                                          Bythos was beleived by Gnostics to equate with the Biblical "I Am".
                                          However, fr from being intended to equate with "I Am", the Gnostic
                                          ideal of the infinite was meant to destroy that notion of deity.

                                          PMCV
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