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

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 of 27 , Jun 6, 2002
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                --- 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 7 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 8 of 27 , Jun 7, 2002
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                    --- 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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 15 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 16 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 17 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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