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[Gnosticism] Re: Thomasine Metaphor or universal microcosm?

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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 15 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 16 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 17 of 19 , May 31, 2002
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                                      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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