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Re: [Gnosticism] Re: (im-)Perfection

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  • 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 1 of 27 , Jun 1, 2002
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      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 2 of 27 , Jun 2, 2002
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        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 3 of 27 , Jun 2, 2002
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          "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 4 of 27 , Jun 2, 2002
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            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 5 of 27 , Jun 2, 2002
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              "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 6 of 27 , Jun 3, 2002
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                 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 7 of 27 , Jun 4, 2002
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                  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 8 of 27 , Jun 5, 2002
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                    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 9 of 27 , Jun 6, 2002
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                      --- 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 10 of 27 , Jun 6, 2002
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                        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 11 of 27 , Jun 6, 2002
                        • 0 Attachment
                          --- 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 12 of 27 , Jun 6, 2002
                          • 0 Attachment
                            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 13 of 27 , Jun 7, 2002
                            • 0 Attachment
                              --- 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 14 of 27 , Jun 7, 2002
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                                >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 15 of 27 , Jun 8, 2002
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                                  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 16 of 27 , Jun 8, 2002
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                                    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 17 of 27 , Jun 8, 2002
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                                      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 18 of 27 , Jun 9, 2002
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                                        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 19 of 27 , Jun 9, 2002
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                                          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 20 of 27 , Jun 11, 2002
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                                            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 21 of 27 , Jun 13, 2002
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                                              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 22 of 27 , Jun 13, 2002
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                                                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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