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Re: (im-)Perfection

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 of 27 , Jun 6, 2002
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            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 5 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 6 of 27 , Jun 7, 2002
              • 0 Attachment
                >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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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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