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Re: (im-)Perfection

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  • play_nice_now
    ... Gerry: Well, Play, I m glad that makes it clearer for you, but truthfully, that s not what we are talking about here. Play: I m sorry. Maybe I should
    Message 1 of 27 , May 31, 2002
      --- In gnosticism2@y..., "Gerry" <gerryhsp@y...> wrote:
      > Reply to Play's message #5947:

      Gerry: Well, Play, I'm glad that makes it clearer for you, but
      truthfully, that's not what "we" are talking about here.

      Play: I'm sorry. Maybe I should limit my questions and conversation
      to include only those things gnostics want to talk about. But I don't
      see how that serves either of us????

      Gerry: You can end that phrase with anything you like, but when you
      start with suggesting that "It called itself…," you have
      anthropomorphized the Infinite, i.e., placed limitations projected
      from our own temporal existence upon it.

      Play: Again, it is hard to talk about this in non-linear terms Gerry.
      I see no problem anthropomorphizing this in the interests of gaining
      some understanding. But regardless, this is something that the Lord
      said to Moses on the top of Mount Sinai. The Lord was not in the form
      of a human. I believe it was a bush. A burning bush that "spoke".
      Maybe not to the ears but to the soul. The spirit of Moses? Who's to
      say? We would have to ask Moses. This isn't gnostic but is Judaic.
      Are you invalidating the story? Should I just forget all of what I
      learned from other religions and teachings? Drop all of it for the
      gnostic renditions? Is there a gnostic story of Moses? What does it
      tell?

      Gerry: Even if you relate it to the non-human, such as "I am a rock…
      I am an island," unless those rocks and islands are capable of speech
      (or song) and can articulate their own self-perceived identity, then
      you have still ascribed it human qualities.

      Play: Not at all. Rocks and islands aren't capable of human speech
      but who is to say that they don't "speak" their own kind of language.
      I don't know about you but nature "speaks" to me. The burning
      bush "spoke" to Moses. The infinite is infinite but it
      doesn't "speak"? Doesn't sound too infinite to me. Sounds pretty
      random and meaningless to me.

      Gerry: I've asked you some very pointed questions in my last posts to
      you. I hope you didn't take that as "beating you up."

      Play: I just didn't care for your tone. You seemed irritated. Didn't
      think it would get us anywhere by responding. Still not sure that it
      will. You still seem irritated. I may be reading too much into this.
      If so, I apologize for not answering you.

      Gerry: I can assure you I haven't come close to doing that.

      Play: Hmm...?

      Gerry: Since you previously claimed that you "wanted" to understand
      our points of view and have ended up at a club whose focus is
      traditional Gnosticism, I thought it would be helpful to ask
      questions and raise issues which would help you to see these concepts
      from our perspective.

      Play: OK. But I'm still trying to make sense out of
      those "perspectives". I do want to understand but I still have
      questions.

      Gerry: Perhaps I was merely too longwinded to merit a reply. Rather
      than spending another two days of my own free time trying to
      summarize your entire philosophy, and getting no response, let me
      just ask one question involving a comment from your last post and
      another made previously:

      Play: 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.

      Gerry: I could swear I've seen PMCV comment, even recently, that he
      does NOT claim that one cannot find value in the world.

      Play: I understand that. I wasn't questioning PMCV about whether he
      found value in the world. I was questioning the gnostic perspective
      that it was flawed. I don't see how seeing the world, or the
      creation, or us, or anything as flawed or in error serves us.

      Gerry: That would be somewhat difficult for an "experiential"
      Gnostic. Maybe I didn't read that here, but at another group.
      Regardless, aside from the fact that you misconstrued him as a world-
      hater, I'm curious why you would find his view to be in "error"—
      "grave," no less?

      Play: Huh? I misconstrued him as a world-hater? Sorry. I think you
      read too much into this. I never called him or thought that PMCV was
      a world hater. I was only questioning the gnostic perspective.

      Gerry: I thought you stated earlier that we were all perfect—just as
      we are (posts 5776, 5792). If that's the case, I hardly see how he
      could have missed the mark—whatever his alleged belief or view.

      Play: Now that is quite true. He isn't missing the mark. Neither are
      you or anyone here. This isn't about right or wrong or missing the
      mark or any of that. I'm just sharing my perspective on the truth for
      what it is worth. From what I can tell from the way you are
      responding to my posts, it isn't worth much. ;-(

      Gerry: Evidently, even in a perfect world, some folks can still have
      a less-than-perfect understanding compared to the apparently firm
      grasp of timeless knowledge held by others. I guess that's not too
      hard to swallow if we insist on believing that the Infinite longs to
      be finite.

      Play: I see it this way. The infinite doesn't long to be anything.
      And we are all in the same boat. If we are here in this world, we
      have much to remember.

      The infinite is what it is and also what it isn't. This is an
      extremely non-linear thing we are discussing in a very linear way and
      it can get quite confusing. But please understand that my questions
      aren't meant to invalidate the importance of traditional gnostic
      ideas. I hope that my ideas will compliment them even if I seem to be
      turning them inside out sometimes. I'm not bucking to be a
      traditional gnostic. I only want to know and talk about what is true.
      I also want to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bath
      water. I don't pidgeon-hole my search for truth with any one train of
      thought. Maybe there is something worth learning about me with that.
      Maybe not. Whatever path works for you is fine by me.

      peace,
      play
    • pmcvflag
      Hey Play, I would like to jump in one one thing here (and I hope you and Gerry will forgive me). You ask... ... tell?
      Message 2 of 27 , Jun 1, 2002
        Hey Play, I would like to jump in one one thing here (and I hope you
        and Gerry will forgive me). You ask...

        >Is there a gnostic story of Moses? What does it
        tell?<

        There is in fact a Gnostic treatment, and according to it Moses got
        his law from a wicked tyranical Demiurge (in other words the Law is a
        cunstruct for humans to exact political control on other humans). No
        one expects you to give up your beliefs or what you have learned from
        other religions for Gnosticism, just to set them asside momentarily
        so as to avoid preconceptions as to just what we are talking about.
        If you wish to know what Gnosticism is, then it is important that you
        understand that we do in fact not care about that "Lord" in the
        burning bush, he is not our lord. If you take that God of Moses, and
        switch him with the Serpent in the garden, then you will have a
        better idea of where we come from. Gnosticism is indeed a form of
        Judaism, but it is one that turns the normal understanding of Judaism
        upside down. We use Jewish mythology for an opposite effect.
        Therefore the answer to "Are you invalidating the story?" would be
        yes (for me and most of the forms of Gnosticism at least).

        There is also something else that stood out to me that perhaps you
        could clerify. You make these two statements....

        >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.<

        and...

        >Now that is quite true. He isn't missing the mark. Neither are
        you or anyone here. This isn't about right or wrong or missing the
        mark or any of that.<

        I'm not sure how you can make both of these statements. I'm assuming
        I'm misunderstanding you here. It seems to me that if anyone can be
        in "error" then it _is_ about right and wrong.

        I jump in and say these things because your view seems rather
        enigmatic to me. Truth is, I think you may have some preconceptions
        about Gnosticism that maybe came from spurious sources. No problem,
        we just have to figure out the terms right? ;) .

        >But please understand that my questions aren't meant to invalidate
        the importance of traditional gnostic ideas. I hope that my ideas
        will compliment them even if I seem to be turning them inside out
        sometimes. I'm not bucking to be a traditional gnostic. I only want
        to know and talk about what is true. I also want to be careful not to
        throw the baby out with the bath water.<

        And that seems to bring about the point very nicely. No one really
        cares if you become a Gnostic or not, Gnosticism doesn't look for
        converts so that isn't the point. However, one must know what is baby
        and what is bathwater before they know what to throw out. What's more
        is one must even know if they are bathing a baby or cooking stew.

        So, if sometimes we look over at you and go "why are you looking for
        a baby in our stew pot?" don't be angry, just try not to assume the
        order of our household. Try also not to head over to the toilet, we
        don't want you to touch our baby after digging in there ;)

        >I'm just sharing my perspective on the truth for what it is worth.
        From what I can tell from the way you are responding to my posts, it
        isn't worth much.<

        None of our perspectives on truth is worth much, not yours, not mine.
        Truth is beyond perspective. This makes it impossible to really get
        very far in trying to discuss truth itself. For that reason we are
        not so much here to talk about what truth is, but how Gnostics get
        there. This is not meant to invalidate your beliefs Play, but I am
        getting the impression that you may expect an inverse from us that we
        cannot give either... validation for your beliefs.

        Don't get me wrong, you are welcome to disagree with Gnosticism, and
        to express it fully. Just say "Hmmmm, I disagree with Gnosticism on
        that point because...... ". You can also disagree with me (or anyone
        here individually) by the same token. All I ask is that you remember
        that this is not an ecclectic spirituality club, it is a Gnosticism
        club.

        Pretend for a second that you are a Christian who is in a LaVayan
        Satanism club, not to convert anyone, but because you are genuinely
        curious about what Satanists believe after you found out that they
        don't really worship Satan the way you were told, but that most of
        them do not even really believe in Satan (this scenario is not in
        fact far from the truth here, and is a more apt analogy of yours and
        our interaction than you may realize). Then pretend that the
        Satanists know who you are, and are ok with your being there as long
        as you don't start telling them that they need to have faith in Jesus
        in order to know truth (since you know that saying this to the
        Satanists only annoys them). So you are better off disagreeing with
        the Satanists on the social implications of thier practice, which is
        more to the point anyways. Since the social implications are
        indicative of the validity of thier overall belief in some ways, you
        are still discussing truth with them, you are simply doing it
        tactfully. :)

        PMCV
      • Gerry
        ... You know what, Play? I think you would be better served right now by making an attempt to question your own perspective rather than trying to fathom the
        Message 3 of 27 , Jun 1, 2002

           

          Reply to Play’s message #5954:

           

           

          >>OK. But I'm still trying to make sense out of those "perspectives". I do want to understand but I still have questions.<<

           

          You know what, Play?  I think you would be better served right now by making an attempt to question your own perspective rather than trying to fathom the depths of classical Gnosticism.  That’s exactly why I asked you what I did in post #5818.  You keep claiming that you want to understand, yet find the concept of a flawed world to be something alien to you.  Well, that’s why I raised those issues within the context of concepts which you had brought to the table.

           

          I questioned your thoughts on the Light & Dark, human judgement being the cause of the separation, numerous definitions—what’s odd to me is that while you can’t see the flawed world within the context of our perspective, I can still manage to see it within yours.  I guess I was hoping that a few strategically targeted questions might help you to spot those same contradictions which had jumped out at me.

           

          I’m not sure which struck you as more unpleasant:  the fact that you found my tone indicative of “irritation” or the mere thought of considering the scenario of the hypothetical murdering rapist?  Frankly, Play, it was INTENDED to rock your world—why bother sugar-coating it?  The more you persist in claiming that you want to understand the Gnostic perspective, the more I’m going to expect that you’ll actually put forth some effort into understanding what members are saying—that doesn’t involve you projecting some notion of a glorified, seemingly omnibenevolent Demiurge.

           

          For instance, I took a different tack in my last post and asked you ONE question, hoping to be more precise in what I was asking of you.  By breaking that paragraph into several parts in your reply and inserting all sorts of disclaimers and tangential references, you managed to completely dance around it.  PMCV’s already addressed it, but I’d like to reiterate:

           

          Question:

           

          >>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.<<

           

          I could swear I’ve seen PMCV comment, even recently, that he does NOT claim that one cannot find value in the world.  That would be somewhat difficult for an “experiential” Gnostic.  Maybe I didn’t read that here, but at another group.  Regardless, aside from the fact that you misconstrued him as a world-hater, I’m curious why you would find his view to be in “error”—“grave,” no less?  I thought you stated earlier that we were all perfect—just as we are (posts 5776, 5792).  If that’s the case, I hardly see how he could have missed the mark—whatever his alleged belief or view.

           

          Response:

           

          I understand that. I wasn't questioning PMCV about whether he found value in the world. I was questioning the gnostic perspective that it was flawed. I don't see how seeing the world, or the creation, or us, or anything as flawed or in error serves us....  He isn't missing the mark. Neither are you or anyone here. This isn't about right or wrong or missing the mark or any of that.

           

          Yes, Play, when you suggest that you find a certain view to be in error (sin… missing the mark) and choose to express said belief at a club whose members are known to hold said view, then you have indeed claimed that they have fallen short.  I would find that presumptuous under normal circumstances, but when the statement comes from someone who claims we are all perfect, “just the way we are,” and who cannot see a flawed world around him, then such recognition of obvious “error” strikes me as utterly conflicted. 

           

          >>The infinite is infinite but it doesn't "speak"? Doesn't sound too infinite to me. Sounds pretty random and meaningless to me.<<

           

          That’s because you’re still conceptualizing it in temporal terms.  Granted, you’ve discarded those qualities which you deemed less desirable, but even when left with an all-loving, super-compassionate father figure who wants the very best for us, you’re still talking about something for which most of us have no use.  I said it before—this sounds more like Neale Donald Walsch.

           

          >>I see it this way. The infinite doesn't long to be anything.<<

           

          I stand corrected.  My assumption, however, was based on your earlier comments:

           

          >>.... this experience of light and dark is something we want to experience. That the Prime Source loves us so much that He/She/It facilitates this desire for us with His unlimited compassion.<<  [#5796]

           

          If we come from the Prime Source, and It wanted to experience Light & Dark in this temporal reality, I reckon you can see where your description resembles “longing.” 

           

          >>Maybe I should limit my questions and conversation to include only those things gnostics want to talk about. But I don't see how that serves either of us????<<

           

          Well, at a very specifically defined Gnostic forum, I think that serves us just fine.  Even for someone who, as PMCV pointed out, may come from another perspective and wish to learn more about Gnosticism, that same guideline still serves us well.  If they come, however, not interested in gaining understanding, but with notions of converting the heretical masses, then there are other clubs, lists, and communities where their participation would be more appropriate.

           

          Seriously, Play, if you think my feelings will be hurt by your not responding to any of this, in truth, I’d much rather you said nothing and actually pondered what has already been discussed.  “Sharing” is one thing, but when you make comments as you did to Cari, it makes a person wonder:

           

          >>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.<<  [Play #5905]

           

          Perhaps we’re “all in the same boat,” as you’ve said, but evidently, some of us have better seats—at least, in your mind.  And that’s fine, Play, really, if that’s the way you feel, but you should realize how such comments come across as little different from mainstream proselytizing.

           

          Gerry

           

        • Rob Thompson
          I don t know of a Gnostic story of Moses, but I do remember a story of Moses from Egypt. I can t remember the source but I read it in College. Very different
          Message 4 of 27 , Jun 1, 2002

            I don't know of a Gnostic story of Moses, but I do remember a story of Moses from Egypt. I can't remember the source but I read it in College. Very different from the Hebrew point of view.

            Rob

              pmcvflag <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

            Hey Play, I would like to jump in one one thing here (and I hope you
            and Gerry will forgive me). You ask...

            >Is there a gnostic story of Moses? What does it
            tell?<

            There is in fact a Gnostic treatment, and according to it Moses got
            his law from a wicked tyranical Demiurge (in other words the Law is a
            cunstruct for humans to exact political control on other humans). No
            one expects you to give up your beliefs or what you have learned from
            other religions for Gnosticism, just to set them asside momentarily
            so as to avoid preconceptions as to just what we are talking about.
            If you wish to know what Gnosticism is, then it is important that you
            understand that we do in fact not care about that "Lord" in the
            burning bush, he is not our lord. If you take that God of Moses, and
            switch him with the Serpent in the garden, then you will have a
            better idea of where we come from. Gnosticism is indeed a form of
            Judaism, but it is one that turns the normal understanding of Judaism
            upside down. We use Jewish mythology for an opposite effect.
            Therefore the answer to "Are you invalidating the story?" would be
            yes (for me and most of the forms of Gnosticism at least).

            There is also something else that stood out to me that perhaps you
            could clerify. You make these two statements....

            >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.<

            and...

            >Now that is quite true. He isn't missing the mark. Neither are
            you or anyone here. This isn't about right or wrong or missing the
            mark or any of that.<

            I'm not sure how you can make both of these statements. I'm assuming
            I'm misunderstanding you here. It seems to me that if anyone can be
            in "error" then it _is_ about right and wrong.

            I jump in and say these things because your view seems rather
            enigmatic to me. Truth is, I think you may have some preconceptions
            about Gnosticism that maybe came from spurious sources. No problem,
            we just have to figure out the terms right? ;) .

            >But please understand that my questions aren't meant to invalidate
            the importance of traditional gnostic ideas. I hope that my ideas
            will compliment them even if I seem to be turning them inside out
            sometimes. I'm not bucking to be a traditional gnostic. I only want
            to know and talk about what is true. I also want to be careful not to
            throw the baby out with the bath water.<

            And that seems to bring about the point very nicely. No one really
            cares if you become a Gnostic or not, Gnosticism doesn't look for
            converts so that isn't the point. However, one must know what is baby
            and what is bathwater before they know what to throw out. What's more
            is one must even know if they are bathing a baby or cooking stew.

            So, if sometimes we look over at you and go "why are you looking for
            a baby in our stew pot?" don't be angry, just try not to assume the
            order of our household. Try also not to head over to the toilet, we
            don't want you to touch our baby after digging in there ;)

            >I'm just sharing my perspective on the truth for what it is worth.
            From what I can tell from the way you are responding to my posts, it
            isn't worth much.<

            None of our perspectives on truth is worth much, not yours, not mine.
            Truth is beyond perspective. This makes it impossible to really get
            very far in trying to discuss truth itself. For that reason we are
            not so much here to talk about what truth is, but how Gnostics get
            there. This is not meant to invalidate your beliefs Play, but I am
            getting the impression that you may expect an inverse from us that we
            cannot give either... validation for your beliefs.

            Don't get me wrong, you are welcome to disagree with Gnosticism, and
            to express it fully. Just say "Hmmmm, I disagree with Gnosticism on
            that point because...... ". You can also disagree with me (or anyone
            here individually) by the same token. All I ask is that you remember
            that this is not an ecclectic spirituality club, it is a Gnosticism
            club.

            Pretend for a second that you are a Christian who is in a LaVayan
            Satanism club, not to convert anyone, but because you are genuinely
            curious about what Satanists believe after you found out that they
            don't really worship Satan the way you were told, but that most of
            them do not even really believe in Satan (this scenario is not in
            fact far from the truth here, and is a more apt analogy of yours and
            our interaction than you may realize). Then pretend that the
            Satanists know who you are, and are ok with your being there as long
            as you don't start telling them that they need to have faith in Jesus
            in order to know truth (since you know that saying this to the
            Satanists only annoys them). So you are better off disagreeing with
            the Satanists on the social implications of thier practice, which is
            more to the point anyways. Since the social implications are
            indicative of the validity of thier overall belief in some ways, you
            are still discussing truth with them, you are simply doing it
            tactfully. :)

            PMCV


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          • Frater Scorpius
            93 ... Possibly you are referring to the Semitic tribes related to the Hyksos Dynasties, whom the Egyptians made a big point of having defeated and expelled.
            Message 5 of 27 , Jun 2, 2002
              93

              --- Rob Thompson <abelard42@...> wrote:

              > I do
              > remember a story of Moses from Egypt. I can't
              > remember the source but I read it in College. Very
              > different from the Hebrew point of view.

              Possibly you are referring to the Semitic tribes
              related to the Hyksos Dynasties, whom the Egyptians
              made a big point of having defeated and expelled. Some
              scholars believe that this is their version of the
              "Exodus". Josephus even went so far as to say that the
              Patriarch Joseph in his descendents (spoken of in
              Genesis) were the Hyksos "Shepherd Kings" themselves,
              a theory which still has some adherents today.

              93 93/93

              Scorpius

              =====
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/templeofhorus

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            • lady_caritas
              I don t know of a Gnostic story of Moses, … (Rob, #5959) Hi, Rob. One that comes to mind is _Ptolemy s Epistle to Flora_ ~
              Message 6 of 27 , Jun 2, 2002
                "I don't know of a Gnostic story of Moses, …" (Rob, #5959)

                Hi, Rob. One that comes to mind is _Ptolemy's Epistle to Flora_ ~

                http://www.webcom.com/gnosis/library/flora.htm

                I agree with the "Archive Notes" in the link above that Bentley
                Layton's translation is preferable. Nonetheless, this letter written
                by the Valentinian teacher, Ptolemy, although an example of a more
                relaxed view of the demiurge, does show the "craftsman" as the god
                who is but one of multiple authors of the law.

                "For if the Law was not ordained by the perfect God himself, as we
                have already taught you, nor by the devil, a statement one cannot
                possibly make, the legislator must be some one other than these two.
                In fact, he is the demiurge and maker of this universe and everything
                in it; and because he is essentially different from these two and is
                between them, he is rightly given the name, intermediate."

                "First, you must learn that the entire Law contained in the
                Pentateuch of Moses was not ordained by one legislator - I mean, not
                by God alone, some commandments are Moses', and some were given by
                other men. The words of the Savior teach us this triple division."

                In this piece Ptolemy is instructing a woman apparently of
                conventional Christianity.

                "His manner of presentation is elementary, using terms that are moral
                and nonmetaphysical, and almost entirely within the realm of
                conventional Christian language … […] ..Ptolemy's conclusions take
                him to the very edge of metaphysics and myth, which he promises will
                form the next lesson his course ( […] his next lesson to Flora does
                not seem to have survived).
                […]
                In the opening of the _Epistle_, Ptolemy sets out to refute two other
                opinions on the source of the old Testament law. One opinion
                identified the legislator with the highest God; this was the view of
                ordinary Christianity and a great part of Judaism. The other
                identified the legislator with the devil; scholars have been
                uncertain about the source of this opinion, but it may refer to
                gnostics who followed a myth like the _The Secret Book According to
                John_ or _The Revelation of Adam_, where the craftsman of the world
                (Ialdabaoth) appears to be identical with the god of Israel."
                (Bentley Layton, _The Gnostic Scriptures_, pages 306-307)
              • play_nice_now
                You know what Gerry? I will only respond to one comment and leave the others alone for now. Like I said before, I doubt anything constructive will come out of
                Message 7 of 27 , Jun 2, 2002
                  You know what Gerry? I will only respond to one comment and leave the
                  others alone for now. Like I said before, I doubt anything
                  constructive will come out of a discourse between you and I. I have
                  some important insights into how even a murdering rapist is accepted
                  and loved by God but it is way out of the scope of this club and is
                  why I didn't go there. Anyone who still sees the law and error in
                  this creation can never understand.

                  --- In gnosticism2@y..., "Gerry" <gerryhsp@y...> wrote:

                  > I stand corrected. My assumption, however, was based on your
                  earlier comments:

                  Your assumptions are just that. Assumptions. Do you really care about
                  how I view gnosticism? Do you really care about my questions being
                  answered or is it more important to you that you think you answered
                  them already? You want to discuss it the way you want to discuss it.
                  Answer it the way you wish it to be answered. Basically, what you are
                  really telling me is to just shut up and listen. So, OK. I'll take
                  your advice. As PMCV asked, I'll do this tactfully and just say that
                  at the present time, I simply don't agree with many of the concepts
                  presented to me so far. However, that doesn't mean that I disagree
                  with all of them or that I wish to change the way you see it. I do
                  wish for you to attempt to understand what I see and take it for
                  whatever it is worth to you. If you are ever interested in why I
                  disagree, just ask. But I'll have to ask you to be as patient with me
                  as you want me to be with you and others here.

                  I call for a truce and I apologize if I came across that I know
                  better than any of you here. I don't. Actually I don't "know" shit.
                  But I do have some insights of where we may be able to find truth and
                  how you can come to know it. And it has nothing to do with flaw and
                  error.

                  peace,
                  play
                • lady_caritas
                  I have some important insights into how even a murdering rapist is accepted and loved by God but it is way out of the scope of this club and is why I didn t
                  Message 8 of 27 , Jun 2, 2002
                    "I have some important insights into how even a murdering rapist is
                    accepted and loved by God but it is way out of the scope of this club
                    and is why I didn't go there. Anyone who still sees the law and error
                    in this creation can never understand." (Play, #5962)

                    Oh, pooh. "NEVER understand," Play? Excuse me for butting in, … but
                    you wonder why Gerry mentioned your patronizing tone? And after a
                    comment like that you continue to say, "I call for a truce and I
                    apologize if I came across that I know better than any of you here. I
                    don't. Actually I don't "know" shit. But I do have some insights of
                    where we may be able to find truth and how you can come to know it.
                    And it has nothing to do with flaw and error."

                    So, you "don't `know' shit'?" But you DO "have some insights of
                    where we may be able to find truth and how you can come to know it"?
                    So, which is it Play? Sounds like you're all over the map here.

                    A Gnostic viewpoint might very well recognize "flaw and error" in
                    this world, so it looks like some Gnostics might not be able to "come
                    to know it" without changing their worldview. Do I hear a hint of
                    proselytizing? Many believers of a loving, accepting God of
                    which you speak figure there is something wrong with our world.
                    Actually, Play, religions and philosophies quite often develop as a
                    way of trying to make sense of a world that is perceived as flawed.
                    Some religions blame humans and others don't. I accept that you
                    don't consider our world to be flawed. I disagree. I sense that we
                    are at a point where any more words about the subject may not help
                    you comprehend our viewpoint. So, perhaps understanding us will only
                    come in an experiential way, and you might still disagree (which is
                    okay).

                    You say to Gerry, "Your assumptions are just that. Assumptions."

                    I would say that Gerry comments were more than assumptions. I'd say
                    they were reasonable deductions based on comments of yours, such as
                    the one he referenced for you in #5957. IOW, Play, you have a habit
                    of offering conflicting statements, which only confuses members here
                    as to what your point really is.

                    I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, Play, and assume (if I'm
                    allowed to use that term) that you have sincere intentions. However,
                    as Gerry and others have said, the focus of our attention in this
                    group is to learn about Gnosticism and our relationship thereto. We
                    are not here to determine for others "where" truth lies. IOW, you
                    may discuss your ideas in RELATION to Gnosticism. For instance, you
                    say, "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." (Play, #5905) Well, fine, but you may not do
                    that in this group *unless* there is a clear connection to a Gnostic
                    topic being discussed. You may certainly "present" your "case" in
                    another forum if you should so choose.

                    Now, Play, you say you are here to learn about Gnosticism. Opinions
                    are fine, even passionate ones, as long as they are related to the
                    focus of this forum. Lay them out on the table. We certainly all do
                    that. Others can try new ideas on for size if they choose. We
                    possibly can grow on our respective paths from sharing and discussing
                    and debating, but we do NOT have the intention of converting anyone
                    or expecting others, sometimes even after considerable explanation,
                    to understand or agree. Nor should you during discussion in this
                    group.

                    Peace,
                    Cari

                    P. S. I realize that in your view there is the likelihood that I
                    have entirely misinterpreted your position. This postscript acts as
                    an admission (*not* stemming from an unworthy, guilt-ridden self
                    image) to the possibility that I could very well be in "error."
                  • Rob Thompson
                    Thankyou for the primary source. I enjoy getting new things to look at and try to add to my sources!! When it comes to law from the Hebrew Bible, the sources
                    Message 9 of 27 , Jun 3, 2002

                       Thankyou for the primary source. I enjoy getting new things to look at and try to add to my sources!! When it comes to law from the Hebrew Bible, the sources are sometimes unclear. Ancient world of the Jews had to Capitals, and two oral traditions, the Hebrew Bible today is the combination of these two sources, those it leads itself to others chimming in their own belief of what was Gods Law.

                      Rob

                        lady_caritas <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                      "I don't know of a Gnostic story of Moses, �" (Rob, #5959)

                      Hi, Rob.  One that comes to mind is _Ptolemy's Epistle to Flora_ ~

                      http://www.webcom.com/gnosis/library/flora.htm

                      I agree with the "Archive Notes" in the link above that Bentley
                      Layton's translation is preferable.  Nonetheless, this letter written
                      by the Valentinian teacher, Ptolemy, although an example of a more
                      relaxed view of the demiurge, does show the "craftsman" as the god
                      who is but one of multiple authors of the law. 

                      "For if the Law was not ordained by the perfect God himself, as we
                      have already taught you, nor by the devil, a statement one cannot
                      possibly make, the legislator must be some one other than these two.
                      In fact, he is the demiurge and maker of this universe and everything
                      in it; and because he is essentially different from these two and is
                      between them, he is rightly given the name, intermediate."

                      "First, you must learn that the entire Law contained in the
                      Pentateuch of Moses was not ordained by one legislator - I mean, not
                      by God alone, some commandments are Moses', and some were given by
                      other men. The words of the Savior teach us this triple division."

                      In this piece Ptolemy is instructing a woman apparently of
                      conventional Christianity. 

                      "His manner of presentation is elementary, using terms that are moral
                      and nonmetaphysical, and almost entirely within the realm of
                      conventional Christian language � [�] ..Ptolemy's conclusions take
                      him to the very edge of metaphysics and myth, which he promises will
                      form the next lesson his course (  [�] his next lesson to Flora does
                      not seem to have survived). 
                      [�]
                      In the opening of the _Epistle_, Ptolemy sets out to refute two other
                      opinions on the source of the old Testament law.  One opinion
                      identified the legislator with the highest God; this was the view of
                      ordinary Christianity and a great part of Judaism. The other
                      identified the legislator with the devil; scholars have been
                      uncertain about the source of this opinion, but it may refer to
                      gnostics who followed a myth like the _The Secret Book According to
                      John_ or _The Revelation of Adam_, where the craftsman of the world
                      (Ialdabaoth) appears to be identical with the god of Israel." 
                      (Bentley Layton, _The Gnostic Scriptures_, pages 306-307)



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                    • lady_caritas
                      You re welcome, Rob. Actually, your mention of primary sources reminded me that it might be a good idea to mention a few sources for Gnostic scripture for
                      Message 10 of 27 , Jun 4, 2002
                        You're welcome, Rob.

                        Actually, your mention of "primary" sources reminded me that it might
                        be a good idea to mention a few sources for Gnostic scripture for any
                        newcomers to Gnosticism who might be interested. I already
                        referenced the book, _The Gnostic Scriptures_ by Bentley Layton.
                        This book contains selected, important Gnostic scriptures in addition
                        to informative introductions and annotations. James Robinson's _The
                        Nag Hammadi Library_ offers a complete edition of the ancient codices
                        discovered in Egypt in 1945.

                        Also, an extensive collection of primary documents related to
                        Gnosticism, including the Nag Hammadi Library, can be found online ~
                        http://gnosis.org/library.html . We are especially grateful to one
                        of our members, Terje, for collecting material for this library. :-)

                        (The link for the homepage of the Gnostic Archive is ~
                        http://gnosis.org/ ~ where one can find much resource material in the
                        way of articles, book suggestions, audio lectures, and an index of
                        links.)

                        Cari
                      • pmcvflag
                        Hate to say it Play Nice , but I m forced to question your grasp on the notion of internal consistancy. Some of your statements simply don t pan out. I say
                        Message 11 of 27 , Jun 5, 2002
                          Hate to say it "Play Nice", but I'm forced to question your grasp on
                          the notion of internal consistancy. Some of your statements simply
                          don't pan out. I say this not to upset you, but to give you the
                          opportunity to examine your statements a little more closely before
                          you post them. Gerry and Cari are completely justified in questioning
                          the way you come accross. However, let me base my points on the
                          idealogical, for instance....

                          If there is such a thing as the "Infinite" source, then you are right
                          to some extent to point out that the notion of a "flaw" is in error
                          (since no opposites exist there). On the other hand it also means
                          that the "everything is good" ideal is equally in error. Someone once
                          said that nothing is good or evil but that our thinking makes it so
                          (yes, it was a Gnostic ;)).

                          Let me post this again since I don't think it hit home....

                          "Therefore they have introduced other types of explination, some
                          saying that it 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
                          something 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."

                          The difference between the Gnostic "flaw" and the New Age rose
                          colored glasses? Well the difference is that we make our mistake
                          conciously rather than out of ignorace or the pathological need to
                          feel warm and fuzzy in spite of the dual nature necessary for time
                          to exist. We do it for the sake of description. However, that isn't
                          the problem. The fact is, until you know what Gnostics mean by the
                          things they say, you don't really know if you agree or disagree, nor
                          how to state what is right or wrong about it. The thing is, you are
                          still doing so. The word for this behavior is "presumption", and many
                          people find it annoying. I will be patient, as you have asked of us,
                          but don't think that "patience" is the same as letting you off the
                          hook where critical thinking is concerned.

                          >Actually I don't "know" shit. But I do have some insights of where
                          we may be able to find truth and how you can come to know it. And it
                          has nothing to do with flaw and error.<

                          If you "don't know shit", then that is about what the "insights" you
                          offer are worth. That doesn't mean that they may not be true, they
                          just haven't flowered into true cogniscence yet. Hold on to them,
                          test them, and after you _really_ know what we are talking about see
                          if they stand up to what you may learn here. We also believe we have
                          some insights as to where to find truth, and how to come to know
                          it.... and it has much to do with flaw and error (at least in an
                          allegorical sense). To add to that, there are some here who know
                          thier "shit" pretty well.

                          I hope you are able to take this in the light it is meant. I am
                          giving you a hard time, but it is not meant in an angry manner at
                          all. I think the fact is that there are a few basic principles to
                          Gnosticism that may still be a little foggy to you, let alone the
                          deep stuff for now. Yes, there is a great deal of study that is going
                          to be involved if you wish to have some understanding of Gnosticism
                          (whether or not you decide you agre with it), and you stated that you
                          are in fact curious. Any true esoteic path is going to be blood sweat
                          and tears, expect some work and some concepts that had not previously
                          hit you. This is a continual process, and any worth while esoteric
                          path is a tremendous amount of work.

                          PMCV
                        • play_nice_now
                          ... on ... That is partly because I m not explaining them clear enough and also partly because this is a very difficult subject to present in an absolute sense
                          Message 12 of 27 , Jun 6, 2002
                            --- In gnosticism2@y..., pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                            > Hate to say it "Play Nice", but I'm forced to question your grasp
                            on
                            > the notion of internal consistancy. Some of your statements simply
                            > don't pan out.

                            That is partly because I'm not explaining them clear enough and also
                            partly because this is a very difficult subject to present in an
                            absolute sense of the word as you well know.

                            > I say this not to upset you, but to give you the
                            > opportunity to examine your statements a little more closely before
                            > you post them.

                            I understand and examine my statements more closely than you think.

                            > Gerry and Cari are completely justified in questioning
                            > the way you come accross.

                            Of course they are. So are you and so am I.

                            > However, let me base my points on the
                            > idealogical, for instance....
                            >
                            > If there is such a thing as the "Infinite" source, then you are
                            right
                            > to some extent to point out that the notion of a "flaw" is in error
                            > (since no opposites exist there). On the other hand it also means
                            > that the "everything is good" ideal is equally in error. Someone
                            once
                            > said that nothing is good or evil but that our thinking makes it so
                            > (yes, it was a Gnostic ;)).

                            I would more agree with the latter. Everything isn't good as much as
                            everything isn't bad. I think that was the point I was trying to
                            make. When I come off sounding like everything is good, it is more to
                            illustrate the idea that everything is exactly as it should be and
                            not flawed is as valid as the idea that flaw and error exists. I'm
                            saying the same thing as you but adding this insight to it. The
                            former way of thinking allows one to see God's perfection much more
                            readily than the latter. Acceptance, love and compassion are things
                            of tremendous importance and value especially in this day and age,
                            are more easily assimilated into being than seeing things as flawed
                            or in error in my opinion. Humanity seeks to "fix" things that are
                            considered "flawed" or in "error". Our track record in judging what
                            is messed up or not isn't exactly the best if you catch my drift. I
                            don't trust that judgement as much as I trust love, tolerance and
                            compassion which by their very nature don't concern themselves with
                            the flaws and errors that seemingly exist from a perspective that
                            roots out love, compassion and tolerance in their thinking. I can see
                            that these are not valued from the perspective here when I get
                            comments from you and others that ideas based upon love, acceptance
                            and tolerance are "rose colored", "warm and fuzzy" and the like. Like
                            these are "bad" things. I'll tell you truly that warm and fuzzy ideas
                            are much more preferable to suicide bombers dieing and killing for
                            their belief in what they consider "right". Fixing what they consider
                            as flawed and in error. Rose colored glasses are better than blood
                            stained ones anyday.

                            This subject of truth and God and spirituality is very much a matter
                            of perspective. It isn't as objective as many people think it is. You
                            don't agree? That is why I question every path when it seems to me
                            that people are so married to one idea over all others. From what I
                            see here, Gnosticism isn't much different in this regard. Like I have
                            said a bunch of times already, truth isn't a matter of right and
                            wrong, good or bad, up or down, left or right. All things are part of
                            what is true. It is more about acceptance and tolerance than anything
                            else in my opinion.

                            >
                            > Let me post this again since I don't think it hit home....
                            >
                            > "Therefore they have introduced other types of explination, some
                            > saying that it 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
                            > something 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."

                            No. It hit home. I would agree with that and it is why I say that "I
                            don't know shit". Compared to what there is to know, I don't. Neither
                            does anyone here. I give that the respect that it deserves. Doesn't
                            mean that I know nothing as much as it means that I have much to
                            learn. Much to remember. So do we all.


                            > The difference between the Gnostic "flaw" and the New Age rose
                            > colored glasses? Well the difference is that we make our mistake
                            > conciously rather than out of ignorace or the pathological need to
                            > feel warm and fuzzy in spite of the dual nature necessary for time
                            > to exist. We do it for the sake of description. However, that isn't
                            > the problem. The fact is, until you know what Gnostics mean by the
                            > things they say, you don't really know if you agree or disagree,
                            nor
                            > how to state what is right or wrong about it. The thing is, you are
                            > still doing so. The word for this behavior is "presumption", and
                            many
                            > people find it annoying. I will be patient, as you have asked of
                            us,
                            > but don't think that "patience" is the same as letting you off the
                            > hook where critical thinking is concerned.

                            My thinking about what is being said in here is critical. I'll try to
                            be more clear if and when I decide to post anything in here again.
                            I'm sorry if I annoyed anyone.

                            > If you "don't know shit", then that is about what the "insights"
                            you offer are worth.

                            I explained what I meant by that statement above so it should be
                            clearer to understand now.

                            > That doesn't mean that they may not be true, they
                            > just haven't flowered into true cogniscence yet. Hold on to them,
                            > test them, and after you _really_ know what we are talking about
                            see
                            > if they stand up to what you may learn here. We also believe we
                            have
                            > some insights as to where to find truth, and how to come to know
                            > it.... and it has much to do with flaw and error (at least in an
                            > allegorical sense). To add to that, there are some here who know
                            > thier "shit" pretty well.

                            I have said many times that you all "know" as much as anyone when it
                            comes to what is true. And all paths eventually lead to truth. You
                            know well what you know but compared to what there is to know,
                            well.....each of us doesn't know much. That isn't presumption. It is
                            truth.


                            > I hope you are able to take this in the light it is meant. I am
                            > giving you a hard time, but it is not meant in an angry manner at
                            > all. I think the fact is that there are a few basic principles to
                            > Gnosticism that may still be a little foggy to you, let alone the
                            > deep stuff for now. Yes, there is a great deal of study that is
                            going
                            > to be involved if you wish to have some understanding of Gnosticism
                            > (whether or not you decide you agre with it), and you stated that
                            you
                            > are in fact curious.

                            I am not at all irritated and have read a bunch of Gnostic "stuff"
                            already. I am still curious. The one item that impresses me the most
                            is the Gospel of Truth. The Gospel of Thomas is interesting but open
                            to too much interpretation by the reader. Words taken out of context
                            lends itself to much confusion in my opinion. Reminds me of what
                            fundamentalist Christianity does to support ideas that the original
                            teachings weren't meant to portray.

                            > Any true esoteic path is going to be blood sweat
                            > and tears, expect some work and some concepts that had not
                            previously
                            > hit you. This is a continual process, and any worth while esoteric
                            > path is a tremendous amount of work.

                            So true. I've been on the inner path for a while now and it is
                            exactly as you say. I have shared much with you in this post and
                            hopefully now you understand me and my "contradictory" nature a bit
                            more. Hey, come to think of it, a gnostic shouldn't have much of a
                            problem with contradictions. You have read the Gospel of Thomas
                            haven't you?

                            peace be with you,
                            play
                          • pmcvflag
                            Ok Play, you do in fact make some areas of where you are comming from more clear, and that is quite helpful. To deal with some specific points you raise....
                            Message 13 of 27 , Jun 6, 2002
                              Ok Play, you do in fact make some areas of where you are comming from
                              more clear, and that is quite helpful.

                              To deal with some specific points you raise....

                              >When I come off sounding like everything is good, it is more to
                              illustrate the idea that everything is exactly as it should be and
                              not flawed is as valid as the idea that flaw and error exists. I'm
                              saying the same thing as you but adding this insight to it. The
                              former way of thinking allows one to see God's perfection much more
                              readily than the latter.<

                              I see two problems that present themselves to the Gnostic perspective
                              here. One is a logical flaw called "non sequitor" (which means "it
                              doesn't follow"). Whether or not things are "as it shood be" is not
                              necessarily relevent to whether or not there is a flaw. A flaw can be
                              intentional. On the other hand, intent can be a flaw which would make
                              the notion of "as it should be" flawed in and of itself
                              since "should" could be error from the getgo. The next one is
                              concerning "God". You are assuming we believe in one to make this
                              statement.

                              >Acceptance, love and compassion are things of tremendous importance
                              and value especially in this day and age, are more easily assimilated
                              into being than seeing things as flawed or in error in my opinion.<

                              Once again, non sequitor. The notion of flaw in no way implies a lack
                              of love or compassion. However, love, like all other things you can
                              name, applies to the field of time rather than to infinity.

                              >I don't trust that judgement as much as I trust love<

                              I don't "trust" period (as far as philosophical points are
                              concerned). "Trust" is another way of saying "believe" or "have faith
                              in". The point is, that is "pistic" not "gnostic". We don't seek
                              to "believe", we seek to "know". I know that love and compassion are
                              very valuable, and can even be footsteps in the path to Gnosis, they
                              are also limited.

                              >I can see that these are not valued from the perspective here when I
                              get comments from you and others that ideas based upon love,
                              acceptance and tolerance are "rose colored", "warm and fuzzy" and the
                              like.<

                              No, you misunderstand. In fact, I run a club solely on the subject of
                              love and compassion in esoteric practice. What is "rose colored" is
                              the need to imply that that love is a matter of providence, and that
                              we should float along being guided by it to the point of excluding
                              critical thought, that we should simply "trust" our hearts and not
                              stop to think about it. If you have been following my discussion with
                              Wilbro you may have noticed that I outlined the function of "Logos"
                              and "Sophia" in a sort of Jungian manner.... well that applies here
                              as well.

                              >I'll tell you truly that warm and fuzzy ideas
                              are much more preferable to suicide bombers dieing and killing for
                              their belief in what they consider "right". Rose colored glasses are
                              better than blood stained ones anyday.<

                              Not if everything is "the way it should be". If that is the case then
                              thier hate is every bit as important as your love, and even
                              preferable in some circumstances. Beyond love and hate is the true
                              repose of the spirit. You see, those rose colored glasses are one and
                              the same as the blood stained ones. The eyes of the spirit need no
                              glasses at all.

                              >All things are part of what is true.<

                              Only when talking about worldly perception. Remember the post from
                              the Tripartite tractate? "The majority, however, all who have reached
                              as far as the visible elements, do not know anything more than them."
                              The "truth" you keep mentioning is one that is dependant on the
                              visible elements, as is "love", and "acceptance". All these things
                              that exist as "part of what is true", no longer exist in what is
                              really True.

                              >This subject of truth and God and spirituality is very much a matter
                              of perspective.<

                              Only when looked at from somewhere that has "perspective", i.e. the
                              world of the "visible elements".

                              >And all paths eventually lead to truth.<

                              Demonstrate this. I doubt it seriously.

                              >The one item that impresses me the most
                              is the Gospel of Truth. The Gospel of Thomas is interesting but open
                              to too much interpretation by the reader.<

                              It is also debatable as to whether Thomas is in fact "Gnostic".

                              >I've been on the inner path for a while now and it is
                              exactly as you say.<

                              Hmmm, except I didn't say the "inner path", I said the "esoteric
                              path", there is a difference.

                              >Hey, come to think of it, a gnostic shouldn't have much of a
                              problem with contradictions. You have read the Gospel of Thomas
                              haven't you?<

                              There is a difference between intentional contradiction for the sake
                              of illustration (such as we see at the biginning of the tripartite
                              tractate), and idealogical inconsistancy. Once again, The "Gnostic"
                              validity of Thomas is open to debate.

                              I do think though, that we may be closer to understanding each other.

                              PMCV
                            • play_nice_now
                              ... from ... perspective ... be ... make ... I know what non-sequior is. Spiritual concepts are filled with them. Even Gnostic ones my friend. OK I can accept
                              Message 14 of 27 , Jun 6, 2002
                                --- In gnosticism2@y..., pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                > Ok Play, you do in fact make some areas of where you are comming
                                from
                                > more clear, and that is quite helpful.
                                >
                                > To deal with some specific points you raise....
                                >
                                > >When I come off sounding like everything is good, it is more to
                                > illustrate the idea that everything is exactly as it should be and
                                > not flawed is as valid as the idea that flaw and error exists. I'm
                                > saying the same thing as you but adding this insight to it. The
                                > former way of thinking allows one to see God's perfection much more
                                > readily than the latter.<
                                >
                                > I see two problems that present themselves to the Gnostic
                                perspective
                                > here. One is a logical flaw called "non sequitor" (which means "it
                                > doesn't follow"). Whether or not things are "as it shood be" is not
                                > necessarily relevent to whether or not there is a flaw. A flaw can
                                be
                                > intentional. On the other hand, intent can be a flaw which would
                                make
                                > the notion of "as it should be" flawed in and of itself
                                > since "should" could be error from the getgo.

                                I know what non-sequior is. Spiritual concepts are filled with them.
                                Even Gnostic ones my friend. OK I can accept that as strictly a
                                gnostic perspective. But I can't accept that as absolute truth, I'm
                                sorry.

                                > The next one is
                                > concerning "God". You are assuming we believe in one to make this
                                > statement.

                                Well, maybe the word "believe" isn't the correct one to use.
                                Gnostics "know" there is one. Why do I say that? Read the Gospel of
                                Truth. Who is the Father? What is meant by "This is the manifestation
                                of the Father and his revelation to his Aeons. He revealed his hidden
                                self and explained it. For who is it who exists if it is not the
                                Father himself? All the spaces are his emanations."

                                Maybe this might be a good time for a clarification of terms? Who is
                                the Father? What exactly about himself did he explain to his Aeons?
                                Where are his spaces?

                                >
                                > >Acceptance, love and compassion are things of tremendous
                                importance
                                > and value especially in this day and age, are more easily
                                assimilated
                                > into being than seeing things as flawed or in error in my opinion.<
                                >
                                > Once again, non sequitor. The notion of flaw in no way implies a
                                lack
                                > of love or compassion.

                                You need examples?

                                > However, love, like all other things you can
                                > name, applies to the field of time rather than to infinity.

                                Love is also quite timeless and infinite in many ways. Do you
                                understand what I mean by that?

                                >
                                > >I don't trust that judgement as much as I trust love<
                                >
                                > I don't "trust" period (as far as philosophical points are
                                > concerned). "Trust" is another way of saying "believe" or "have
                                faith
                                > in".

                                Not really. You trust what you know even if it is philosophical,
                                don't you?

                                > The point is, that is "pistic" not "gnostic". We don't seek
                                > to "believe", we seek to "know". I know that love and compassion
                                are
                                > very valuable, and can even be footsteps in the path to Gnosis,
                                they
                                > are also limited.

                                What isn't limited? Pistic or Gnostic. Even knowledge has its limits.
                                However, we are seeking to know and that is more valuable, even for
                                me than to trust or believe in something blindly.


                                > >I can see that these are not valued from the perspective here when
                                I
                                > get comments from you and others that ideas based upon love,
                                > acceptance and tolerance are "rose colored", "warm and fuzzy" and
                                the
                                > like.<
                                >
                                > No, you misunderstand. In fact, I run a club solely on the subject
                                of
                                > love and compassion in esoteric practice.

                                Can I join?

                                > What is "rose colored" is
                                > the need to imply that that love is a matter of providence, and
                                that
                                > we should float along being guided by it to the point of excluding
                                > critical thought, that we should simply "trust" our hearts and not
                                > stop to think about it. If you have been following my discussion
                                with
                                > Wilbro you may have noticed that I outlined the function of "Logos"
                                > and "Sophia" in a sort of Jungian manner.... well that applies here
                                > as well.

                                I'm with that and agree with you completely. *smiles*

                                > >I'll tell you truly that warm and fuzzy ideas
                                > are much more preferable to suicide bombers dieing and killing for
                                > their belief in what they consider "right". Rose colored glasses
                                are
                                > better than blood stained ones anyday.<
                                >
                                > Not if everything is "the way it should be". If that is the case
                                then
                                > thier hate is every bit as important as your love, and even
                                > preferable in some circumstances. Beyond love and hate is the true
                                > repose of the spirit. You see, those rose colored glasses are one
                                and
                                > the same as the blood stained ones. The eyes of the spirit need no
                                > glasses at all.


                                So true and great point.


                                >
                                > >All things are part of what is true.<
                                >
                                > Only when talking about worldly perception. Remember the post from
                                > the Tripartite tractate? "The majority, however, all who have
                                reached
                                > as far as the visible elements, do not know anything more than
                                them."
                                > The "truth" you keep mentioning is one that is dependant on the
                                > visible elements, as is "love", and "acceptance". All these things
                                > that exist as "part of what is true", no longer exist in what is
                                > really True.

                                Not really CV. I can't get into this right now because I'm running
                                out of time. But we should get back to it.


                                >
                                > >This subject of truth and God and spirituality is very much a
                                matter
                                > of perspective.<
                                >
                                > Only when looked at from somewhere that has "perspective", i.e. the
                                > world of the "visible elements".

                                True. Perspective is fragments of the All. or sort of anyway.

                                >
                                > >And all paths eventually lead to truth.<
                                >
                                > Demonstrate this. I doubt it seriously.

                                All paths are the truth. Just by reason that they are paths that are
                                being taken. They exist and are therefore valid from the perspective
                                of the All.


                                >
                                > >The one item that impresses me the most
                                > is the Gospel of Truth. The Gospel of Thomas is interesting but
                                open
                                > to too much interpretation by the reader.<
                                >
                                > It is also debatable as to whether Thomas is in fact "Gnostic".

                                I could see why.


                                >
                                > >I've been on the inner path for a while now and it is
                                > exactly as you say.<
                                >
                                > Hmmm, except I didn't say the "inner path", I said the "esoteric
                                > path", there is a difference.

                                Excuse me. Yes you are correct. There is a big difference.


                                >
                                > >Hey, come to think of it, a gnostic shouldn't have much of a
                                > problem with contradictions. You have read the Gospel of Thomas
                                > haven't you?<
                                >
                                > There is a difference between intentional contradiction for the
                                sake
                                > of illustration (such as we see at the biginning of the tripartite
                                > tractate), and idealogical inconsistancy. Once again, The "Gnostic"
                                > validity of Thomas is open to debate.
                                >
                                > I do think though, that we may be closer to understanding each
                                other.

                                so do I CV. So do I.

                                Thanks,
                                Al
                                >
                                > PMCV
                              • pmcvflag
                                Now we are getting to some meaty bits Play. ... Even Gnostic ones my friend. OK I can accept that as strictly a gnostic perspective. But I can t accept that as
                                Message 15 of 27 , Jun 6, 2002
                                  Now we are getting to some meaty bits Play.

                                  >I know what non-sequior is. Spiritual concepts are filled with them.
                                  Even Gnostic ones my friend. OK I can accept that as strictly a
                                  gnostic perspective. But I can't accept that as absolute truth, I'm
                                  sorry.<

                                  Now you're talking. This is the kind of response I can respect. You
                                  have stated that you get the point, and that you disagree with it.
                                  Good man. Anyways, I'm sure you are right that there are some
                                  examples here and there in Gnostic scripture of "non-sequitor", but
                                  generally speaking it is something that Gnosticism takes great pains
                                  to avoid (being a classical philosophy and all). In fact, it is this
                                  very point that to some extent the cosmology of Gnosticism grows
                                  from. Perhaps you can point out some past Gnostic mistakes of this
                                  sort?

                                  >Gnostics "know" there is one (a god). Why do I say that? Read the
                                  Gospel of Truth. Who is the Father? What is meant by "This is the
                                  manifestation of the Father and his revelation to his Aeons. He
                                  revealed his hidden self and explained it. For who is it who exists
                                  if it is not the Father himself? All the spaces are his emanations."<

                                  You've read this passage overly literally if you think it is talking
                                  about "God" in the normal meaning of the word. This is why I have
                                  stressed familiarization with certain Gnostic concepts before really
                                  stating which ones you are with and which ones you don't. However,
                                  your next question is a good segue for that discussion.

                                  >Maybe this might be a good time for a clarification of terms? Who is
                                  the Father? What exactly about himself did he explain to his Aeons?
                                  Where are his spaces?<

                                  That "Father" is the "Image", the reflection of the Infinite. It is
                                  from the image that the emanations proceed. The emanations are
                                  constructs of our capacity to understand the realms of existance that
                                  we percieve as the Platonic base existantial realms where the "Forms"
                                  are expressed (in other words, areas of lessor division from the
                                  unity of the image, which is a reflection of the lack of being that
                                  is the Prime Source). The "explination to the Aeons" is revelation of
                                  the reflection as WE proceed to greater understanding of the process
                                  (the Gnostic experience of the Pleroma)

                                  Thus, all these terms that look like the pistic Christian lingo are
                                  allegories, not literal realities, in the Gnostic meaning. When it
                                  says "God is Good" it means that true perfection is in the unity
                                  beyond the field of opposites, and it diminishes with the movement
                                  away from the unity.

                                  Lets deal with the Gospel of Truth for a second. It is largely a
                                  Valintinian work, so we can temper it's meaning to a Valintinian
                                  interperater with another Valintinian work (we must be careful not to
                                  say "this is what Gnostics believed" from the outline of a single
                                  sect, that would be false... and we should avoid drawing on another
                                  sect's works to fill in). Take a look at the second paragraph in "A
                                  Valintinian Exposition", this should make clear the "Image" aspect I
                                  was talking about. There is a First father that is ambiguous, and the
                                  second Father, who is the Son and the source of the All. Then, if you
                                  look over at the first part of the Tripartite Tractate (another
                                  Valintinian work), it will make clear how all of this is allegory, a
                                  means of conceptualization rather than a literal reality (also notice
                                  the repeating phrase "I for my part call it..." in a Valintinian
                                  Exposition)

                                  >Love is also quite timeless and infinite in many ways. Do you
                                  understand what I mean by that?<

                                  Yes, I understand your intent, but I'm not sure you understand what I
                                  mean by "infinite".

                                  >You trust what you know even if it is philosophical,
                                  don't you?<

                                  No, I proceed with assumption for practical reasons only. I don't
                                  trust my perception, I don't trust my philosophy, I don't
                                  trust "God". The one thing I "trust" is that my spiritual
                                  understanding is based on a methodology that is as sound as one can
                                  get in this world... which is not to say perfect or "trustable". My
                                  statements concerning my grasp of "truth", what I "know" (Gnosis),
                                  must be understood to refer to relative degree, not absolute
                                  attainment.

                                  >All paths are the truth. Just by reason that they are paths that are
                                  being taken. They exist and are therefore valid from the perspective
                                  of the All.<

                                  You still haven't demonstrated this though. Why should I believe all
                                  paths are equal in validity? Do all roads _really_ lead to Rome?
                                  nope! Why should I believe that ignorance is equal to knowledge, or
                                  that matter is equal to spirit? If there is such a thing as "truth"
                                  (which implicitly contains the notion of accuracy vs error) then
                                  there is also such a thing as being closer to or farther from it.
                                  Some paths promote ignorance, they discourage people from looking
                                  inward, they are materialistic, aspiritual, and even harmful. A
                                  society exhibits the collective neurosis of it's constituency. So, a
                                  path (being a social creation as it is) can be lazy, greedy, hateful,
                                  ignorant, silly, addictive, loving, intellegent, prideful, or any
                                  other failing or strength you can apply to an individual. No right or
                                  wrong? Maybe (though I would debate that), there still seems to
                                  be "better".

                                  Here is another thought. In spite of all our differences there are
                                  also areas that are generalities to all of humanity. This collective
                                  subconcious denies individual perspective as anything more than
                                  ornament, and deals with that universal humanity... the area we are
                                  all the same. For all paths to be equally valid, they would have to
                                  be demonstratable as not only comparatively similar on this front (as
                                  many paths, though not all, do indeed demonstrate), but also as
                                  having equally positive effect (since spirituality is initiated
                                  partly from the individual's ability to deal with this connection on
                                  a more concious level). I would challenge you to demonstrate this
                                  principle as it relates to a comparative study of silopsism vs the
                                  Pentecostal church vs science.... and the way they define "reality".
                                  If you pull that off I will be impressed, and you will have convinced
                                  me of your point.

                                  PMCV
                                • play_nice_now
                                  ... *smiles* Did you have any doubt that this was going to happen? ... them. ... pains ... this ... OK. In the Tripartite Tractate: Not one of the names which
                                  Message 16 of 27 , Jun 7, 2002
                                    --- In gnosticism2@y..., pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                    > Now we are getting to some meaty bits Play.

                                    *smiles* Did you have any doubt that this was going to happen?


                                    > >I know what non-sequior is. Spiritual concepts are filled with
                                    them.
                                    > Even Gnostic ones my friend. OK I can accept that as strictly a
                                    > gnostic perspective. But I can't accept that as absolute truth, I'm
                                    > sorry.<
                                    >
                                    > Now you're talking. This is the kind of response I can respect. You
                                    > have stated that you get the point, and that you disagree with it.
                                    > Good man. Anyways, I'm sure you are right that there are some
                                    > examples here and there in Gnostic scripture of "non-sequitor", but
                                    > generally speaking it is something that Gnosticism takes great
                                    pains
                                    > to avoid (being a classical philosophy and all). In fact, it is
                                    this
                                    > very point that to some extent the cosmology of Gnosticism grows
                                    > from. Perhaps you can point out some past Gnostic mistakes of this
                                    > sort?

                                    OK. In the Tripartite Tractate:

                                    "Not one of the names which are conceived or spoken, seen or grasped -
                                    not one of them applies to him, even though they are exceedingly
                                    glorious, magnifying and honored. However, it is possible to utter
                                    these names for his glory and honor, in accordance with the capacity
                                    of each of those who give him glory."

                                    It doesn't follow that if names can't be conceived or spoken that
                                    they can still be uttered.

                                    and:

                                    "the form of the formless,
                                    the body of the bodiless,
                                    the face of the invisible,
                                    the word of the unutterable, "

                                    C'mon. If I wrote this, you would get annoyed.

                                    There are more but this is all I have time for right now.

                                    > >Gnostics "know" there is one (a god). Why do I say that? Read the
                                    > Gospel of Truth. Who is the Father? What is meant by "This is the
                                    > manifestation of the Father and his revelation to his Aeons. He
                                    > revealed his hidden self and explained it. For who is it who exists
                                    > if it is not the Father himself? All the spaces are his
                                    emanations."<
                                    >
                                    > You've read this passage overly literally if you think it is
                                    talking
                                    > about "God" in the normal meaning of the word.

                                    That is where you misunderstand me. I don't view "God" in the normal
                                    meaning of the word. When I talk about "It" God is nothing akin to
                                    what fundamentalists say IT is. Unfortunatel, the word "God" was used
                                    too much by others that it now has a negative stigma attached to IT
                                    that just turns people off. But that is not the God of which I speak.

                                    > This is why I have
                                    > stressed familiarization with certain Gnostic concepts before
                                    really
                                    > stating which ones you are with and which ones you don't. However,
                                    > your next question is a good segue for that discussion.
                                    >
                                    > >Maybe this might be a good time for a clarification of terms? Who
                                    is
                                    > the Father? What exactly about himself did he explain to his Aeons?
                                    > Where are his spaces?<
                                    >
                                    > That "Father" is the "Image", the reflection of the Infinite. It is
                                    > from the image that the emanations proceed. The emanations are
                                    > constructs of our capacity to understand the realms of existance
                                    that
                                    > we percieve as the Platonic base existantial realms where
                                    the "Forms"
                                    > are expressed (in other words, areas of lessor division from the
                                    > unity of the image, which is a reflection of the lack of being that
                                    > is the Prime Source). The "explination to the Aeons" is revelation
                                    of
                                    > the reflection as WE proceed to greater understanding of the
                                    process
                                    > (the Gnostic experience of the Pleroma)

                                    I understand. But I also take it to mean much more than that. These
                                    emanations of image also take form into a physical "reality" of which
                                    we now find ourselves immersed. What you say above is true but there
                                    is also this physical component of matter and form that is a part of
                                    what is being eminated from the "Father" which is unity. I posit that
                                    this physical existence is a part of what the infinite has created,
                                    however finite, flawed or in error it may seem. It then follows that
                                    if that is the case, then it has some value and is valid. No matter
                                    what the form or station in life.

                                    >
                                    > Thus, all these terms that look like the pistic Christian lingo are
                                    > allegories, not literal realities, in the Gnostic meaning. When it
                                    > says "God is Good" it means that true perfection is in the unity
                                    > beyond the field of opposites, and it diminishes with the movement
                                    > away from the unity.

                                    That is so true.


                                    > Lets deal with the Gospel of Truth for a second. It is largely a
                                    > Valintinian work, so we can temper it's meaning to a Valintinian
                                    > interperater with another Valintinian work (we must be careful not
                                    to
                                    > say "this is what Gnostics believed" from the outline of a single
                                    > sect, that would be false... and we should avoid drawing on another
                                    > sect's works to fill in). Take a look at the second paragraph in "A
                                    > Valintinian Exposition", this should make clear the "Image" aspect
                                    I
                                    > was talking about. There is a First father that is ambiguous, and
                                    the
                                    > second Father, who is the Son and the source of the All. Then, if
                                    you
                                    > look over at the first part of the Tripartite Tractate (another
                                    > Valintinian work), it will make clear how all of this is allegory,
                                    a
                                    > means of conceptualization rather than a literal reality (also
                                    notice
                                    > the repeating phrase "I for my part call it..." in a Valintinian
                                    > Exposition)

                                    OK, I see what you are talking about.


                                    > >Love is also quite timeless and infinite in many ways. Do you
                                    > understand what I mean by that?<
                                    >
                                    > Yes, I understand your intent, but I'm not sure you understand what
                                    I
                                    > mean by "infinite".

                                    Maybe it is time for another clarification of terms, eh?


                                    > >You trust what you know even if it is philosophical,
                                    > don't you?<
                                    >
                                    > No, I proceed with assumption for practical reasons only. I don't
                                    > trust my perception, I don't trust my philosophy, I don't
                                    > trust "God". The one thing I "trust" is that my spiritual
                                    > understanding is based on a methodology that is as sound as one can
                                    > get in this world... which is not to say perfect or "trustable". My
                                    > statements concerning my grasp of "truth", what I "know" (Gnosis),
                                    > must be understood to refer to relative degree, not absolute
                                    > attainment.

                                    Trust, or anything else for that matter in this existence, is rarely
                                    absolute. I'm talking about to a relative degree. I'm afraid that
                                    will have to suffice for us in this life. But, from that perspective,
                                    I take it that you do trust what you have come to know. That is what
                                    I'm talking about.


                                    > >All paths are the truth. Just by reason that they are paths that
                                    are
                                    > being taken. They exist and are therefore valid from the
                                    perspective
                                    > of the All.<
                                    >
                                    > You still haven't demonstrated this though. Why should I believe
                                    all
                                    > paths are equal in validity?

                                    OK. Because I exist and have my truth, you exist and have your truth
                                    and everyone and everything else exists and has it's truth, it
                                    follows, whether we agree with these truths or not, that these truths
                                    do in fact exist and are therefore her, now and valid. We are
                                    products or emanations of the "Father's" word which is to say
                                    emanations of his total truth. Because we are "here", we are a part
                                    of "his" word. "His" truth which can't be denied.

                                    > Do all roads _really_ lead to Rome?
                                    > nope! Why should I believe that ignorance is equal to knowledge, or
                                    > that matter is equal to spirit?

                                    I'm not looking at it that way. Not a matter of equality. It is a
                                    matter of what is and isn't. Fact is ignorance, whether equal or not
                                    is still part of truth since it does, in fact, exist.


                                    > If there is such a thing as "truth"
                                    > (which implicitly contains the notion of accuracy vs error) then
                                    > there is also such a thing as being closer to or farther from it.

                                    Only from our limited perspective is that true. But truth, the truth
                                    itself has its own say and is its own entity. It doesn't
                                    concern "itself" with who is closer or further from it. It is what it
                                    is. So again. I'm sorry but I can't agree with that.

                                    > Some paths promote ignorance, they discourage people from looking
                                    > inward, they are materialistic, aspiritual, and even harmful. A
                                    > society exhibits the collective neurosis of it's constituency. So,
                                    a
                                    > path (being a social creation as it is) can be lazy, greedy,
                                    hateful,
                                    > ignorant, silly, addictive, loving, intellegent, prideful, or any
                                    > other failing or strength you can apply to an individual. No right
                                    or
                                    > wrong? Maybe (though I would debate that), there still seems to
                                    > be "better".

                                    These are judgements of truth. But the truth is that these paths do
                                    exist and are therefore a part of what is truth. If we can accept
                                    that all things emanate from one source, from the "Father" or from
                                    what the infinite, it follows that what we consider bad or good,
                                    wrong or right, error and perfection or whatever came from this one
                                    source and therefore can't help but to lead back to it.


                                    > Here is another thought. In spite of all our differences there are
                                    > also areas that are generalities to all of humanity. This
                                    collective
                                    > subconcious denies individual perspective as anything more than
                                    > ornament, and deals with that universal humanity... the area we are
                                    > all the same. For all paths to be equally valid, they would have to
                                    > be demonstratable as not only comparatively similar on this front
                                    (as
                                    > many paths, though not all, do indeed demonstrate), but also as
                                    > having equally positive effect (since spirituality is initiated
                                    > partly from the individual's ability to deal with this connection
                                    on
                                    > a more concious level). I would challenge you to demonstrate this
                                    > principle as it relates to a comparative study of silopsism vs the
                                    > Pentecostal church vs science.... and the way they
                                    define "reality".
                                    > If you pull that off I will be impressed, and you will have
                                    convinced
                                    > me of your point.

                                    I think we are getting bogged down in terms of what is valid. The way
                                    I'm looking at this, if it "is" then it is valid regardless of what
                                    we think about it. I'm not placing judgement or comparing anyone or
                                    anything here. If it "is" it must have come from the prime source
                                    directly or indirectly since all things that "are" come from that one
                                    thought. In that sense they are valid. I'm careful to say it this way
                                    to avoid judgeing what is right or wrong. Another way of saying this
                                    is that the one truth is broken up into all sorts of truths which
                                    makes the one truth all encompassing. In its own "image". No matter
                                    which way you look at this, from the top down or from the bottom up
                                    it leads to and from the prime source. This is who I refer to
                                    as "God". The one God. Not Demiurge. The All are with the "Father"
                                    and do not exist for themselves. The All exist for and with him, even
                                    in the physical sense, for physicality can also be allegory to what
                                    is infinite. Nothing is far from the "Father" if it is all in Him.


                                    peace,
                                    play
                                  • pmcvflag
                                    ... they can still be uttered.
                                    Message 17 of 27 , Jun 7, 2002
                                      >It doesn't follow that if names can't be conceived or spoken that
                                      they can still be uttered.<

                                      Well, technically neither of these examples are non sequitor Play.
                                      They are a contention of our need to give a name to something in
                                      spite of the innacuracy that this causes.

                                      >C'mon. If I wrote this, you would get annoyed.<

                                      No Play, if you had said this then it would be clear that you were
                                      cogniscent of the allagory, rather than being literal. In other
                                      words, the issue here has been that you _appear_ to be speaking from
                                      the opposite direction as the examples you give. Now, if it is part
                                      of your point here with these examples to show that you are indeed
                                      aware if this, and that your belief in the connection of "love" to
                                      the infinite (for example) is only a metaphore rather than literal,
                                      then I would say "well why didn't you say so in the first place!"...
                                      I mean, the whole point of what I have said to you is that you seem
                                      to be very literal minded in interpreting some things that are not
                                      intended that way. For instance, it has seemed that you believed the
                                      Aeons are a literal accurate cosmological structure. If this is not
                                      the case, then we are in agreement.

                                      >I don't view "God" in the normal meaning of the word.<

                                      The question is whether or not you view "God" as a literal
                                      providential force, or as a construct of ours for the sake of dealing
                                      with higher philosophical subjects.

                                      >I understand. But I also take it to mean much more than that. These
                                      emanations of image also take form into a physical "reality" of which
                                      we now find ourselves immersed.<

                                      I understand that you believe that, however it isn't what the author
                                      of this book believed. Instead the Aeons (to the Gnostic writer) are
                                      seperated from physicality by a limit placed in the eighth (or ninth
                                      depending on the source) realm of the Archons (sometimes this is
                                      Saboath, others it is Low Sophia). It is beneath that limit that
                                      Yaldabaoth works.

                                      >I posit that this physical existence is a part of what the infinite
                                      has created<

                                      The question however is whether or not the Infinite "created"
                                      anything. If it did then it isn't really infinite since it has
                                      motive.... and motive is a finite action.

                                      >Maybe it is time for another clarification of terms, eh?<

                                      Ok, think of it this way.... there can be two meanings of the
                                      term "infinite". One is the general principle of physical un-
                                      measurability. The universe for instance may be "infinite" in this
                                      way, since it has no end (at least that we are able to positively
                                      discern) right?. This lack of ends gives it sort of an eternal
                                      quality. The same is true of numbers, as far as we know they don't
                                      end, they are "infinite" in that sense. However, this is only
                                      physical "infinity" not pure philosophical "Infinity". This second
                                      form of Infinity not only has no measurable ends, but no points of
                                      measurability anywhere. Numbers may go off into infinity, but
                                      wherever you are on that journey is still a finite point. No such
                                      thing exists in true, pure, infinity, since the existance of a finite
                                      point counters the absolute quality of the philsophical "form". Since
                                      all terms are finite concepts, we can only talk about pure infinity
                                      according to what it is not. Infinity isn't "big", because "big" is a
                                      thing right? This is what the biginning of the tripartite tractate is
                                      trying to say when it goes through that long list of negations, then
                                      saying that in reality God is not good, but we call it that because
                                      it gives honor to the concept.

                                      There is an implication here that I want to make clear. If we are
                                      talking about "part" of an infinity, we can only mean that physical
                                      infinity since the pure concept has no "parts"... no points of the
                                      finite to disrupt the pure form of the concept. This is the crux of
                                      our conversation in that the point you seemed to make, and the one
                                      that I was countering, is the notion of a "God" that has literal
                                      (rather than allegorical) attributes like "love". To Gnostics, such a
                                      conceptualization of "God" prevents one from being able to begin to
                                      gain that realization of pure philosophical infinity (which is partly
                                      what "Gnosis" is)

                                      Now, let me backtrack. This conversation started between you and
                                      Gerry primarily on the subject of anthropomorphization. The true
                                      question though is not whether you commit this fallacy (which we all
                                      must do), but whether you do it conciously, or if you believe it
                                      literally.

                                      >OK. Because I exist and have my truth, you exist and have your truth
                                      and everyone and everything else exists and has it's truth, it
                                      follows, whether we agree with these truths or not, that these truths
                                      do in fact exist and are therefore her, now and valid.<

                                      AH, so by "truth" you mean "realities" it seems. In that way yes, we
                                      all have our material existance. However, to the Gnostic those are
                                      not truth, on the contrary they are quite false.

                                      >We are products or emanations of the "Father's" word which is to say
                                      emanations of his total truth. Because we are "here", we are a part
                                      of "his" word. "His" truth which can't be denied.<

                                      Are we? The Gnostic cosmology certainly raises question about just
                                      what we are a part of.

                                      >I'm not looking at it that way. Not a matter of equality. It is a
                                      matter of what is and isn't. Fact is ignorance, whether equal or not
                                      is still part of truth since it does, in fact, exist.<

                                      That is assuming that "existance" is "truth". Unless the real truth
                                      is not found in existance, but in the pure philosophical infinity. So
                                      what "is" and "isn't" is not the truth.

                                      PMCV
                                    • ZELITCHENK
                                      2 simple questions. First. I see the difference between to believe and to know is fundumental for you. Can you articulate this in more details. What does
                                      Message 18 of 27 , Jun 8, 2002
                                        2 simple questions. First. I see the difference between "to believe"
                                        and "to know" is fundumental for you. Can you articulate this in more
                                        details. What does it mean - "to know"? What does it mean - "to
                                        believe"? Where is difference?

                                        Second. What is the difference between "esoteric path" and "inner
                                        path"? What is it - "esoteric path"?

                                        --- In gnosticism2@y..., pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                        > Ok Play, you do in fact make some areas of where you are comming
                                        from
                                        > more clear, and that is quite helpful.
                                        >
                                        > To deal with some specific points you raise....
                                        >
                                        > >When I come off sounding like everything is good, it is more to
                                        > illustrate the idea that everything is exactly as it should be and
                                        > not flawed is as valid as the idea that flaw and error exists. I'm
                                        > saying the same thing as you but adding this insight to it. The
                                        > former way of thinking allows one to see God's perfection much more
                                        > readily than the latter.<
                                        >
                                        > I see two problems that present themselves to the Gnostic
                                        perspective
                                        > here. One is a logical flaw called "non sequitor" (which means "it
                                        > doesn't follow"). Whether or not things are "as it shood be" is not
                                        > necessarily relevent to whether or not there is a flaw. A flaw can
                                        be
                                        > intentional. On the other hand, intent can be a flaw which would
                                        make
                                        > the notion of "as it should be" flawed in and of itself
                                        > since "should" could be error from the getgo. The next one is
                                        > concerning "God". You are assuming we believe in one to make this
                                        > statement.
                                        >
                                        > >Acceptance, love and compassion are things of tremendous
                                        importance
                                        > and value especially in this day and age, are more easily
                                        assimilated
                                        > into being than seeing things as flawed or in error in my opinion.<
                                        >
                                        > Once again, non sequitor. The notion of flaw in no way implies a
                                        lack
                                        > of love or compassion. However, love, like all other things you can
                                        > name, applies to the field of time rather than to infinity.
                                        >
                                        > >I don't trust that judgement as much as I trust love<
                                        >
                                        > I don't "trust" period (as far as philosophical points are
                                        > concerned). "Trust" is another way of saying "believe" or "have
                                        faith
                                        > in". The point is, that is "pistic" not "gnostic". We don't seek
                                        > to "believe", we seek to "know". I know that love and compassion
                                        are
                                        > very valuable, and can even be footsteps in the path to Gnosis,
                                        they
                                        > are also limited.
                                        >
                                        > >I can see that these are not valued from the perspective here when
                                        I
                                        > get comments from you and others that ideas based upon love,
                                        > acceptance and tolerance are "rose colored", "warm and fuzzy" and
                                        the
                                        > like.<
                                        >
                                        > No, you misunderstand. In fact, I run a club solely on the subject
                                        of
                                        > love and compassion in esoteric practice. What is "rose colored" is
                                        > the need to imply that that love is a matter of providence, and
                                        that
                                        > we should float along being guided by it to the point of excluding
                                        > critical thought, that we should simply "trust" our hearts and not
                                        > stop to think about it. If you have been following my discussion
                                        with
                                        > Wilbro you may have noticed that I outlined the function of "Logos"
                                        > and "Sophia" in a sort of Jungian manner.... well that applies here
                                        > as well.
                                        >
                                        > >I'll tell you truly that warm and fuzzy ideas
                                        > are much more preferable to suicide bombers dieing and killing for
                                        > their belief in what they consider "right". Rose colored glasses
                                        are
                                        > better than blood stained ones anyday.<
                                        >
                                        > Not if everything is "the way it should be". If that is the case
                                        then
                                        > thier hate is every bit as important as your love, and even
                                        > preferable in some circumstances. Beyond love and hate is the true
                                        > repose of the spirit. You see, those rose colored glasses are one
                                        and
                                        > the same as the blood stained ones. The eyes of the spirit need no
                                        > glasses at all.
                                        >
                                        > >All things are part of what is true.<
                                        >
                                        > Only when talking about worldly perception. Remember the post from
                                        > the Tripartite tractate? "The majority, however, all who have
                                        reached
                                        > as far as the visible elements, do not know anything more than
                                        them."
                                        > The "truth" you keep mentioning is one that is dependant on the
                                        > visible elements, as is "love", and "acceptance". All these things
                                        > that exist as "part of what is true", no longer exist in what is
                                        > really True.
                                        >
                                        > >This subject of truth and God and spirituality is very much a
                                        matter
                                        > of perspective.<
                                        >
                                        > Only when looked at from somewhere that has "perspective", i.e. the
                                        > world of the "visible elements".
                                        >
                                        > >And all paths eventually lead to truth.<
                                        >
                                        > Demonstrate this. I doubt it seriously.
                                        >
                                        > >The one item that impresses me the most
                                        > is the Gospel of Truth. The Gospel of Thomas is interesting but
                                        open
                                        > to too much interpretation by the reader.<
                                        >
                                        > It is also debatable as to whether Thomas is in fact "Gnostic".
                                        >
                                        > >I've been on the inner path for a while now and it is
                                        > exactly as you say.<
                                        >
                                        > Hmmm, except I didn't say the "inner path", I said the "esoteric
                                        > path", there is a difference.
                                        >
                                        > >Hey, come to think of it, a gnostic shouldn't have much of a
                                        > problem with contradictions. You have read the Gospel of Thomas
                                        > haven't you?<
                                        >
                                        > There is a difference between intentional contradiction for the
                                        sake
                                        > of illustration (such as we see at the biginning of the tripartite
                                        > tractate), and idealogical inconsistancy. Once again, The "Gnostic"
                                        > validity of Thomas is open to debate.
                                        >
                                        > I do think though, that we may be closer to understanding each
                                        other.
                                        >
                                        > PMCV
                                      • hey_market
                                        I m stepping into this conversation late, and haven t read all the threads, so I may be repeating thing or speaking out of turn here. For what it s worth Play,
                                        Message 19 of 27 , Jun 8, 2002
                                          I'm stepping into this conversation late, and haven't read all the
                                          threads, so I may be repeating thing or speaking out of turn here.

                                          For what it's worth Play, I will note that it's a bit simplistic to
                                          even suppose that love and suicide bombers don't mix, since the
                                          latter certainly have rose-tinted glasses (godly and saintly even, at
                                          least in their estimation), even rosier than most I'd warrant, since
                                          they so adamantly believe they can take action to realize a world of
                                          perfection--a world they love--one that would exsist if they could
                                          only blow up or otherwise eradicate all of the enemies of their
                                          perfect world.

                                          And those enemies are located in the mind as much as anywhere else,
                                          particularly in minds that refuse to see that their world is as
                                          flawed as the next person's.

                                          It was Shakespeare who wrote that "nothing is, but thinking makes it
                                          so." And given your appreciation for this line, then you might see
                                          how it applies not only to any conception of love, including a suiced
                                          bombers, but to any thoughts period.

                                          As such, how this little bit of wisdom plays out in this instance is
                                          that "nothing is love, but my thinking makes it so," or "nothing is
                                          good, but my thinking makes it so," and then invetably, "nothing is
                                          evil, but THEIR thinking makes it so." And yet, this thinking is not
                                          exclusively THEIR thinking, is it?

                                          How it Plays out for you is that, "nothing is bad, but THEIR thinking
                                          makes it so." So why don't they think about better things--the power
                                          of positive thinking?

                                          And yet look at the evidence of our thinking--even your own mind must
                                          contend with an unavoidable evil within its walls, even if only to
                                          contend with the thoughts of other. Even if only to say, "ah, that's
                                          evil over there and there and there, and here's goodness over here."

                                          You are compelled to be discerning and make distinctions, and these
                                          distinctions define your own definition of love.

                                          So why not discern love in a fully conscious fashion? Wouldn't this
                                          be a better love? A fuller love?

                                          So why pretend to remove such challenges to your notions of love,
                                          especially within a field of thought from which they cannot be
                                          removed, and in fact, must exist as the very material with which you
                                          scrape away to sculpt your cognitive statue of love?

                                          This isn't to say that you should welcome evil, but it can hardly be
                                          avoided, or rather, the archontic forces of evil can only be avoided
                                          via the highly difficult process of developing fuller awareness.
                                          Otherwise, without acknowledging this reality we'll bump into a lot
                                          of ostensibly evil things that will not only disappoint us, but worse
                                          still, keep us ignorant.

                                          Internal inconsistency is a hallmark of such a frame of mind,
                                          precisely because it is unwilling to confront and reconcile those
                                          things that exist BEYOND the thinking that makes them so--that is,
                                          the objective psychoid facts of reality vs. a personal psychological
                                          facts of mind.

                                          Those who do confront these realities enevitably come to realize that
                                          the good is never altogether good and the evil never altogether evil,
                                          at least in this world.

                                          Better to realize that sooner than later, so as to move beyond it
                                          sooner than later--to move to the fullness of which Gnostics speak.
                                          But the only way to do so is through uncompromising consciousness,
                                          regardless of the discomfort.


                                          --- In gnosticism2@y..., "play_nice_now" <stokedup@y...> wrote:
                                          > --- In gnosticism2@y..., pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                          > > Hate to say it "Play Nice", but I'm forced to question your grasp
                                          > on
                                          > > the notion of internal consistancy. Some of your statements
                                          simply
                                          > > don't pan out.
                                          >
                                          > That is partly because I'm not explaining them clear enough and
                                          also
                                          > partly because this is a very difficult subject to present in an
                                          > absolute sense of the word as you well know.
                                          >
                                          > > I say this not to upset you, but to give you the
                                          > > opportunity to examine your statements a little more closely
                                          before
                                          > > you post them.
                                          >
                                          > I understand and examine my statements more closely than you think.
                                          >
                                          > > Gerry and Cari are completely justified in questioning
                                          > > the way you come accross.
                                          >
                                          > Of course they are. So are you and so am I.
                                          >
                                          > > However, let me base my points on the
                                          > > idealogical, for instance....
                                          > >
                                          > > If there is such a thing as the "Infinite" source, then you are
                                          > right
                                          > > to some extent to point out that the notion of a "flaw" is in
                                          error
                                          > > (since no opposites exist there). On the other hand it also means
                                          > > that the "everything is good" ideal is equally in error. Someone
                                          > once
                                          > > said that nothing is good or evil but that our thinking makes it
                                          so
                                          > > (yes, it was a Gnostic ;)).
                                          >
                                          > I would more agree with the latter. Everything isn't good as much
                                          as
                                          > everything isn't bad. I think that was the point I was trying to
                                          > make. When I come off sounding like everything is good, it is more
                                          to
                                          > illustrate the idea that everything is exactly as it should be and
                                          > not flawed is as valid as the idea that flaw and error exists. I'm
                                          > saying the same thing as you but adding this insight to it. The
                                          > former way of thinking allows one to see God's perfection much more
                                          > readily than the latter. Acceptance, love and compassion are things
                                          > of tremendous importance and value especially in this day and age,
                                          > are more easily assimilated into being than seeing things as flawed
                                          > or in error in my opinion. Humanity seeks to "fix" things that are
                                          > considered "flawed" or in "error". Our track record in judging what
                                          > is messed up or not isn't exactly the best if you catch my drift. I
                                          > don't trust that judgement as much as I trust love, tolerance and
                                          > compassion which by their very nature don't concern themselves with
                                          > the flaws and errors that seemingly exist from a perspective that
                                          > roots out love, compassion and tolerance in their thinking. I can
                                          see
                                          > that these are not valued from the perspective here when I get
                                          > comments from you and others that ideas based upon love, acceptance
                                          > and tolerance are "rose colored", "warm and fuzzy" and the like.
                                          Like
                                          > these are "bad" things. I'll tell you truly that warm and fuzzy
                                          ideas
                                          > are much more preferable to suicide bombers dieing and killing for
                                          > their belief in what they consider "right". Fixing what they
                                          consider
                                          > as flawed and in error. Rose colored glasses are better than blood
                                          > stained ones anyday.
                                          >
                                          > This subject of truth and God and spirituality is very much a
                                          matter
                                          > of perspective. It isn't as objective as many people think it is.
                                          You
                                          > don't agree? That is why I question every path when it seems to me
                                          > that people are so married to one idea over all others. From what I
                                          > see here, Gnosticism isn't much different in this regard. Like I
                                          have
                                          > said a bunch of times already, truth isn't a matter of right and
                                          > wrong, good or bad, up or down, left or right. All things are part
                                          of
                                          > what is true. It is more about acceptance and tolerance than
                                          anything
                                          > else in my opinion.
                                          >
                                          > >
                                          > > Let me post this again since I don't think it hit home....
                                          > >
                                          > > "Therefore they have introduced other types of explination, some
                                          > > saying that it 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
                                          > > something 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."
                                          >
                                          > No. It hit home. I would agree with that and it is why I say
                                          that "I
                                          > don't know shit". Compared to what there is to know, I don't.
                                          Neither
                                          > does anyone here. I give that the respect that it deserves. Doesn't
                                          > mean that I know nothing as much as it means that I have much to
                                          > learn. Much to remember. So do we all.
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > > The difference between the Gnostic "flaw" and the New Age rose
                                          > > colored glasses? Well the difference is that we make our mistake
                                          > > conciously rather than out of ignorace or the pathological need
                                          to
                                          > > feel warm and fuzzy in spite of the dual nature necessary for
                                          time
                                          > > to exist. We do it for the sake of description. However, that
                                          isn't
                                          > > the problem. The fact is, until you know what Gnostics mean by
                                          the
                                          > > things they say, you don't really know if you agree or disagree,
                                          > nor
                                          > > how to state what is right or wrong about it. The thing is, you
                                          are
                                          > > still doing so. The word for this behavior is "presumption", and
                                          > many
                                          > > people find it annoying. I will be patient, as you have asked of
                                          > us,
                                          > > but don't think that "patience" is the same as letting you off
                                          the
                                          > > hook where critical thinking is concerned.
                                          >
                                          > My thinking about what is being said in here is critical. I'll try
                                          to
                                          > be more clear if and when I decide to post anything in here again.
                                          > I'm sorry if I annoyed anyone.
                                          >
                                          > > If you "don't know shit", then that is about what the "insights"
                                          > you offer are worth.
                                          >
                                          > I explained what I meant by that statement above so it should be
                                          > clearer to understand now.
                                          >
                                          > > That doesn't mean that they may not be true, they
                                          > > just haven't flowered into true cogniscence yet. Hold on to them,
                                          > > test them, and after you _really_ know what we are talking about
                                          > see
                                          > > if they stand up to what you may learn here. We also believe we
                                          > have
                                          > > some insights as to where to find truth, and how to come to know
                                          > > it.... and it has much to do with flaw and error (at least in an
                                          > > allegorical sense). To add to that, there are some here who know
                                          > > thier "shit" pretty well.
                                          >
                                          > I have said many times that you all "know" as much as anyone when
                                          it
                                          > comes to what is true. And all paths eventually lead to truth. You
                                          > know well what you know but compared to what there is to know,
                                          > well.....each of us doesn't know much. That isn't presumption. It
                                          is
                                          > truth.
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > > I hope you are able to take this in the light it is meant. I am
                                          > > giving you a hard time, but it is not meant in an angry manner at
                                          > > all. I think the fact is that there are a few basic principles to
                                          > > Gnosticism that may still be a little foggy to you, let alone the
                                          > > deep stuff for now. Yes, there is a great deal of study that is
                                          > going
                                          > > to be involved if you wish to have some understanding of
                                          Gnosticism
                                          > > (whether or not you decide you agre with it), and you stated that
                                          > you
                                          > > are in fact curious.
                                          >
                                          > I am not at all irritated and have read a bunch of Gnostic "stuff"
                                          > already. I am still curious. The one item that impresses me the
                                          most
                                          > is the Gospel of Truth. The Gospel of Thomas is interesting but
                                          open
                                          > to too much interpretation by the reader. Words taken out of
                                          context
                                          > lends itself to much confusion in my opinion. Reminds me of what
                                          > fundamentalist Christianity does to support ideas that the original
                                          > teachings weren't meant to portray.
                                          >
                                          > > Any true esoteic path is going to be blood sweat
                                          > > and tears, expect some work and some concepts that had not
                                          > previously
                                          > > hit you. This is a continual process, and any worth while
                                          esoteric
                                          > > path is a tremendous amount of work.
                                          >
                                          > So true. I've been on the inner path for a while now and it is
                                          > exactly as you say. I have shared much with you in this post and
                                          > hopefully now you understand me and my "contradictory" nature a bit
                                          > more. Hey, come to think of it, a gnostic shouldn't have much of a
                                          > problem with contradictions. You have read the Gospel of Thomas
                                          > haven't you?
                                          >
                                          > peace be with you,
                                          > play
                                        • Rob Thompson
                                          I hate to butt in but is the difference to believe is something based on fact but still has a leap of faith involved, where to know is a idea based solely on
                                          Message 20 of 27 , Jun 8, 2002

                                            I hate to butt in but is the difference to believe is something based on fact but still has a leap of faith involved, where to know is a idea based solely on fact or something that we can prove. From example... Fred believes the Gospel of Thomas to be the true word based on the idea that it is one of the oldest Christian documents, or I know the Gospel of Thomas is one of the oldest Christian documents.

                                            Rob

                                              ZELITCHENK <zelitchenk@...> wrote:

                                            2 simple questions. First. I see the difference between "to believe"
                                            and "to know" is fundumental for you. Can you articulate this in more
                                            details. What does it mean - "to know"? What does it mean - "to
                                            believe"? Where is difference?

                                            Second. What is the difference between "esoteric path" and "inner
                                            path"? What is it - "esoteric path"?

                                            --- In gnosticism2@y..., pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                            > Ok Play, you do in fact make some areas of where you are comming
                                            from
                                            > more clear, and that is quite helpful.
                                            >
                                            > To deal with some specific points you raise....
                                            >
                                            > >When I come off sounding like everything is good, it is more to
                                            > illustrate the idea that everything is exactly as it should be and
                                            > not flawed is as valid as the idea that flaw and error exists. I'm
                                            > saying the same thing as you but adding this insight to it. The
                                            > former way of thinking allows one to see God's perfection much more
                                            > readily than the latter.<
                                            >
                                            > I see two problems that present themselves to the Gnostic
                                            perspective
                                            > here. One is a logical flaw called "non sequitor" (which means "it
                                            > doesn't follow"). Whether or not things are "as it shood be" is not
                                            > necessarily relevent to whether or not there is a flaw. A flaw can
                                            be
                                            > intentional. On the other hand, intent can be a flaw which would
                                            make
                                            > the notion of "as it should be" flawed in and of itself
                                            > since "should" could be error from the getgo. The next one is
                                            > concerning "God". You are assuming we believe in one to make this
                                            > statement.
                                            >
                                            > >Acceptance, love and compassion are things of tremendous
                                            importance
                                            > and value especially in this day and age, are more easily
                                            assimilated
                                            > into being than seeing things as flawed or in error in my opinion.<
                                            >
                                            > Once again, non sequitor. The notion of flaw in no way implies a
                                            lack
                                            > of love or compassion. However, love, like all other things you can
                                            > name, applies to the field of time rather than to infinity.
                                            >
                                            > >I don't trust that judgement as much as I trust love<
                                            >
                                            > I don't "trust" period (as far as philosophical points are
                                            > concerned). "Trust" is another way of saying "believe" or "have
                                            faith
                                            > in". The point is, that is "pistic" not "gnostic". We don't seek
                                            > to "believe", we seek to "know". I know that love and compassion
                                            are
                                            > very valuable, and can even be footsteps in the path to Gnosis,
                                            they
                                            > are also limited.
                                            >
                                            > >I can see that these are not valued from the perspective here when
                                            I
                                            > get comments from you and others that ideas based upon love,
                                            > acceptance and tolerance are "rose colored", "warm and fuzzy" and
                                            the
                                            > like.<
                                            >
                                            > No, you misunderstand. In fact, I run a club solely on the subject
                                            of
                                            > love and compassion in esoteric practice. What is "rose colored" is
                                            > the need to imply that that love is a matter of providence, and
                                            that
                                            > we should float along being guided by it to the point of excluding
                                            > critical thought, that we should simply "trust" our hearts and not
                                            > stop to think about it. If you have been following my discussion
                                            with
                                            > Wilbro you may have noticed that I outlined the function of "Logos"
                                            > and "Sophia" in a sort of Jungian manner.... well that applies here
                                            > as well.
                                            >
                                            > >I'll tell you truly that warm and fuzzy ideas
                                            > are much more preferable to suicide bombers dieing and killing for
                                            > their belief in what they consider "right". Rose colored glasses
                                            are
                                            > better than blood stained ones anyday.<
                                            >
                                            > Not if everything is "the way it should be". If that is the case
                                            then
                                            > thier hate is every bit as important as your love, and even
                                            > preferable in some circumstances. Beyond love and hate is the true
                                            > repose of the spirit. You see, those rose colored glasses are one
                                            and
                                            > the same as the blood stained ones. The eyes of the spirit need no
                                            > glasses at all.
                                            >
                                            > >All things are part of what is true.<
                                            >
                                            > Only when talking about worldly perception. Remember the post from
                                            > the Tripartite tractate? "The majority, however, all who have
                                            reached
                                            > as far as the visible elements, do not know anything more than
                                            them."
                                            > The "truth" you keep mentioning is one that is dependant on the
                                            > visible elements, as is "love", and "acceptance". All these things
                                            > that exist as "part of what is true", no longer exist in what is
                                            > really True.
                                            >
                                            > >This subject of truth and God and spirituality is very much a
                                            matter
                                            > of perspective.<
                                            >
                                            > Only when looked at from somewhere that has "perspective", i.e. the
                                            > world of the "visible elements".
                                            >
                                            > >And all paths eventually lead to truth.<
                                            >
                                            > Demonstrate this. I doubt it seriously.
                                            >
                                            > >The one item that impresses me the most
                                            > is the Gospel of Truth. The Gospel of Thomas is interesting but
                                            open
                                            > to too much interpretation by the reader.<
                                            >
                                            > It is also debatable as to whether Thomas is in fact "Gnostic".
                                            >
                                            > >I've been on the inner path for a while now and it is
                                            > exactly as you say.<
                                            >
                                            > Hmmm, except I didn't say the "inner path", I said the "esoteric
                                            > path", there is a difference.
                                            >
                                            > >Hey, come to think of it, a gnostic shouldn't have much of a
                                            > problem with contradictions. You have read the Gospel of Thomas
                                            > haven't you?<
                                            >
                                            > There is a difference between intentional contradiction for the
                                            sake
                                            > of illustration (such as we see at the biginning of the tripartite
                                            > tractate), and idealogical inconsistancy. Once again, The "Gnostic"
                                            > validity of Thomas is open to debate.
                                            >
                                            > I do think though, that we may be closer to understanding each
                                            other.
                                            >
                                            > PMCV


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                                          • pmcvflag
                                            Hey AZ, you ask... ... and to know is fundumental for you. Can you articulate this in more details. What does it mean - to know ? What does it mean - to
                                            Message 21 of 27 , Jun 9, 2002
                                              Hey AZ, you ask...

                                              >2 simple questions. First. I see the difference between "to believe"
                                              and "to know" is fundumental for you. Can you articulate this in more
                                              details. What does it mean - "to know"? What does it mean - "to
                                              believe"? Where is difference?<

                                              In the Gnostic system, the difference between believing (pistis
                                              [faith]) and knowing "gnosis" is fundemental (after all, it
                                              is "Gnosticism" not "Pisticism")

                                              One "knows" through a system of experience and critical perspective.
                                              How for instance do you "know" that you are reading my message on a
                                              computer message board? Belief on the other hand is only necessary
                                              when we chose to maintain an idea despite the lack of enough evidence
                                              or logic to give us reason to hold the idea in question. It doesn't
                                              mean the belief is wrong, just that we draw a destinction on how the
                                              conclusion should be reached.

                                              >Second. What is the difference between "esoteric path" and "inner
                                              path"? What is it - "esoteric path"? <

                                              Esotericism literally referes to an initiatory process, though that
                                              may be expressed in many forms and is certainly an "inner" process as
                                              well. However, "inner path" is a very general destinction for any
                                              kind of self examination, whereas "esoteric" referes to a more
                                              specific and methodological approach, generally via a initiatory
                                              system (alchemy for instance, or Freemasonry, Hermeticism, Kabbalah,
                                              or of course Gnosticism.)

                                              PMCV
                                            • lady_caritas
                                              ZELITCHENK (#5997) ... believe and to know is fundumental for you. Can you articulate this in more details. What does it mean - to know ? What does it mean
                                              Message 22 of 27 , Jun 9, 2002
                                                ZELITCHENK (#5997)
                                                >>2 simple questions. First. I see the difference between "to
                                                believe" and "to know" is fundumental for you. Can you articulate
                                                this in more details. What does it mean - "to know"? What does it
                                                mean - "to believe"? Where is difference?<<

                                                Hello, AZ. I've only had time to scan your book briefly so far.
                                                Thank you for sharing your efforts. In addition to previous comments
                                                from PMCV and Rob, I'd like to offer a link to an article that
                                                discusses "faith" vs. "gnosis" from a Valentinian perspective. I
                                                noticed in "Conversation 1" of your book, the "Teacher" says, "Man
                                                has three bodies: a spiritual one, a mental one and a physical one."
                                                Gnostics also recognized tripartite nature of humans, the hyle,
                                                psyche, and pneuma.

                                                http://www.cyberus.ca/~brons/gnosis.htm

                                                >>Second. What is the difference between "esoteric path" and "inner
                                                path"? What is it - "esoteric path"?<<

                                                Esoteric traditions as described by PMCV are often distinguished
                                                from "exoteric" paths. Richard Smoley and Jay Kinney in their book
                                                about Western esoteric traditions, _Hidden Wisdom_, write, "Esoteric
                                                spirituality is often contrasted with _exoteric_ spirituality or
                                                _religion_, which constitutes the more outward forms of belief and
                                                practice. […] Esoteric traditions are concerned with
                                                _transcendence_, chiefly of oneself." (p. xiv)

                                                AZ, I don't know if you're familiar with the now defunct _Gnosis_
                                                magazine. Smoley and Kinney were editors of this excellent "Journal
                                                of the Western Inner Traditions." An entire issue was devoted
                                                to "Esoteric Spirituality," (Spring, 1988).
                                                http://www.lumen.org/issue_contents/contents07.html

                                                Cari
                                              • ZELITCHENK
                                                Thanks. I do not want to go in details (I did this in book - www.geocities.com/zelitchenk - Conversations 2-3), but I want to fix 2 important moments you wrote
                                                Message 23 of 27 , Jun 11, 2002
                                                  Thanks.

                                                  I do not want to go in details (I did this in book -
                                                  www.geocities.com/zelitchenk - Conversations 2-3), but I want to fix
                                                  2 important moments you wrote about. First. The "to know" means to
                                                  get experience - not only words (idea). To know something is to
                                                  experience this "something". I think (I know) - this is most
                                                  important in gnosticism.

                                                  Second. If you do not mean historico-cultural investigation of the
                                                  procedures of initiation in different "schools" (it would be very
                                                  difficult if resolved at all problem, which in my taste is rather
                                                  meaningless also), then the esoteric path is inner path of somebody
                                                  who become Initiates. On the other hand, the phases of any inner
                                                  path, when the person breaks through to something new (for himself,
                                                  of course) are esoteric (for this person).

                                                  Agree?
                                                  AZ

                                                  --- In gnosticism2@y..., pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                                  > Hey AZ, you ask...
                                                  >
                                                  > >2 simple questions. First. I see the difference between "to
                                                  believe"
                                                  > and "to know" is fundumental for you. Can you articulate this in
                                                  more
                                                  > details. What does it mean - "to know"? What does it mean - "to
                                                  > believe"? Where is difference?<
                                                  >
                                                  > In the Gnostic system, the difference between believing (pistis
                                                  > [faith]) and knowing "gnosis" is fundemental (after all, it
                                                  > is "Gnosticism" not "Pisticism")
                                                  >
                                                  > One "knows" through a system of experience and critical
                                                  perspective.
                                                  > How for instance do you "know" that you are reading my message on a
                                                  > computer message board? Belief on the other hand is only necessary
                                                  > when we chose to maintain an idea despite the lack of enough
                                                  evidence
                                                  > or logic to give us reason to hold the idea in question. It doesn't
                                                  > mean the belief is wrong, just that we draw a destinction on how
                                                  the
                                                  > conclusion should be reached.
                                                  >
                                                  > >Second. What is the difference between "esoteric path" and "inner
                                                  > path"? What is it - "esoteric path"? <
                                                  >
                                                  > Esotericism literally referes to an initiatory process, though that
                                                  > may be expressed in many forms and is certainly an "inner" process
                                                  as
                                                  > well. However, "inner path" is a very general destinction for any
                                                  > kind of self examination, whereas "esoteric" referes to a more
                                                  > specific and methodological approach, generally via a initiatory
                                                  > system (alchemy for instance, or Freemasonry, Hermeticism,
                                                  Kabbalah,
                                                  > or of course Gnosticism.)
                                                  >
                                                  > PMCV
                                                • arose607@aol.com
                                                  ... Oh, could I have an invite? Annalee :0) arose607@aol.com
                                                  Message 24 of 27 , Jun 13, 2002


                                                    No, you misunderstand. In fact, I run a club solely on the subject of
                                                    love and compassion in esoteric practice


                                                    Oh, could I have an invite?

                                                    Annalee :0)
                                                    arose607@...
                                                  • pmcvflag
                                                    Why sure Ms Annalee, let me post it here for the club so that anyone who wishes can join. This club is specifically about the love forms in 11th - 13th century
                                                    Message 25 of 27 , Jun 13, 2002
                                                      Why sure Ms Annalee, let me post it here for the club so that anyone
                                                      who wishes can join.

                                                      This club is specifically about the love forms in 11th - 13th century
                                                      esoteric practice connected to the courts of love. In other words,
                                                      the scope is very specific in some ways. However, we do talk about
                                                      Gnosticism (we draw the connection due to the Platonist origin of
                                                      both, and it seems valid to gain insight as to how such movements
                                                      come about by examining Gnosticism and the surprizing correlations
                                                      that can be seen in some of the more experientialist versions we
                                                      see... such as Monoimos, Carpocrates, etc.)

                                                      Anyways, The club is meant primarily to deal with romantic (erotic)
                                                      tones in the fin amore via the scala amoris of certain troubadours.

                                                      Here is the url http://groups.yahoo.com/group/philosophia2/

                                                      PMCV

                                                      --- In gnosticism2@y..., arose607@a... wrote:
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > > No, you misunderstand. In fact, I run a club solely on the
                                                      subject of
                                                      > > love and compassion in esoteric practice
                                                      >
                                                      > Oh, could I have an invite?
                                                      >
                                                      > Annalee :0)
                                                      > arose607@a...
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