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Manichaean Ruminations

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  • morphodyte
    While chewing over the recent discussion of the gnostic vs. un-gnostic lteralism of Manichaean liberation through gustation, I am somehow uncertain that
    Message 1 of 22 , Jun 9 8:53 AM
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      While chewing over the recent discussion of the gnostic vs.
      un-gnostic lteralism of Manichaean liberation through gustation,
      I am somehow uncertain that literal practices must necessarily
      invalidate a school from being considered gnostic.

      The cosmology and mythology of manichaeism certainly has its
      gnostic merit, even if there was a literal application of the myth of
      trapped Luminance in Matter which is released through eating,
      something which I think has merit since of course the human
      can be seen as refining insensate matter into conscious activity,
      something we do through the daily act of eating.

      The special merits of cucumbers and melons however is
      curious, but this dietary prescription is not unlike those
      proscribed in other esoteric schools; the prohibition of bean
      eating among Pythagoras' student comes to mind as example.

      Would the ritual baptism of Mandeans also disqualify them from
      being considered gnostic using the criterion of ritual and
      literalism as the standard?

      Just curious

      Morph
    • pmcvflag
      Morph states... ... No Morph, that is correct, the existance of literalization does not disqualify a group from being Gnostic. What does do so is where the
      Message 2 of 22 , Jun 9 1:33 PM
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        Morph states...

        --- In gnosticism2@y..., "morphodyte" <morphodyte@y...> wrote:
        > While chewing over the recent discussion of the gnostic vs.
        > un-gnostic lteralism of Manichaean liberation through gustation,
        > I am somehow uncertain that literal practices must necessarily
        > invalidate a school from being considered gnostic.

        No Morph, that is correct, the existance of literalization does not
        disqualify a group from being Gnostic. What does do so is where the
        soteriological function rests. Is it in Gnosis? Pistis? or Praxis?.
        IN the case of Manichaeans, it is my contention that this soteriology
        is based in Praxis rather than Gnosis.

        > The cosmology and mythology of manichaeism certainly has its
        > gnostic merit, even if there was a literal application of the myth
        of
        > trapped Luminance in Matter which is released through eating,
        > something which I think has merit since of course the human
        > can be seen as refining insensate matter into conscious activity,
        > something we do through the daily act of eating.

        Very true, the mythology is almost identical (wheter or not it was
        seen as "myth" by the practitioners). However, it is not the
        mythology alone that determines the categorization of "Gnostic". For
        instance, Marcion also used this very same cosmology and almost no
        scholors still refer to Marcion as a "Gnostic".... it is general
        consensus that he was not. Marcion placed the dependant factor of
        salvation entirely in pistis, not Gnosis. So this cosmology (What
        Williams calls "Biblical demiurgy") comes from Plato, and was used by
        many groups, some of which were Gnostic, some of which were not. We
        must be careful though not to read certain assumptions into the
        liturature that may not have been believed by the author simply
        because of other similarities we find, as this does a disservice to
        the people as they really were (believed).

        > Would the ritual baptism of Mandeans also disqualify them from
        > being considered gnostic using the criterion of ritual and
        > literalism as the standard?

        The categorization of Mandeans as "Gnostics" has recently been
        brought into despute as well, but not because of thier use of Baptism
        (a very well established ritual amongst many Gnostic groups, though
        some GNostics also argued against it). It has become clear that some
        of Dr Drowers conclusions were misconcieved (and in fact she herself
        recanted them and decided that Mandeans were not Gnostic. She states
        that here original conclusions were effected by the input of another
        Dr who was feeding off her own imperfect description, when she
        herself knew little about Gnosticism. In other words, communication
        breakdown caused the equation. She does not name this Doc, but it was
        most likely Quispel) I have not formulated an opinion on the Mandeans
        yet, so I will be slippery in that discussion if you will excuse it.

        PMCV
      • morphodyte
        ... gustation, ... necessarily ... where the ... soteriology ... I wrote another longer response to this which got lost in the aethers. By Gnosis, we
        Message 3 of 22 , Jun 9 2:58 PM
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          --- In gnosticism2@y..., pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
          > Morph states...
          >
          > --- In gnosticism2@y..., "morphodyte" <morphodyte@y...>
          wrote:
          > > While chewing over the recent discussion of the gnostic vs.
          > > un-gnostic lteralism of Manichaean liberation through
          gustation,
          > > I am somehow uncertain that literal practices must
          necessarily
          > > invalidate a school from being considered gnostic.
          >
          > No Morph, that is correct, the existance of literalization does not
          > disqualify a group from being Gnostic. What does do so is
          where the
          > soteriological function rests. Is it in Gnosis? Pistis? or Praxis?.
          > IN the case of Manichaeans, it is my contention that this
          soteriology


          > PMCV

          I wrote another longer response to this which got lost in the
          aethers.

          By Gnosis, we understand that knowledge of one's self as one
          with the ineffable. However, a second condition must be met for
          this to be truly gnostic, this view of self must also be considered
          entirely alien to the Cosmos and seeks escape.

          So monistic ideologies like Ibn Arabi;s Unity of Being (wahdat al
          wujud) cannot be considered gnostic since the concept of
          alienation is not included, whereas Ibn Sina's 'Tale of Occidental
          Exile" is gnostic since it posits the alienation of the inEffable in
          the foreign territories of the Maghrib (Occident) and seeks its
          return to the Orient (Iraq), or to be Re-Oriented from
          Dis-Orientation.

          The idea of alienation IMO is a necessary to be considered
          gnostic, otherwise it is mystic.

          Morph
        • pmcvflag
          Morph... ... I hate when that happens ;) ... Very true, that is why I said it must be the Soteriologic function . The term gnosis is common to Christianity,
          Message 4 of 22 , Jun 9 3:28 PM
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            Morph...

            > I wrote another longer response to this which got lost in the
            > aethers.

            I hate when that happens ;)

            > By Gnosis, we understand that knowledge of one's self as one
            > with the ineffable. However, a second condition must be met for
            > this to be truly gnostic, this view of self must also be considered
            > entirely alien to the Cosmos and seeks escape.

            Very true, that is why I said it must be the "Soteriologic function".
            The term "gnosis" is common to Christianity, early Greek philosophy,
            and even some forms of Judaism. It is only "Gnostic" though when that
            Gnosis is emphasized as the soteriological function.

            > So monistic ideologies like Ibn Arabi;s Unity of Being (wahdat al
            > wujud) cannot be considered gnostic since the concept of
            > alienation is not included, whereas Ibn Sina's 'Tale of Occidental
            > Exile" is gnostic since it posits the alienation of the inEffable
            in
            > the foreign territories of the Maghrib (Occident) and seeks its
            > return to the Orient (Iraq), or to be Re-Oriented from
            > Dis-Orientation.
            > The idea of alienation IMO is a necessary to be considered
            > gnostic, otherwise it is mystic.

            Agreed.

            However, this does not mean that historically related systems are
            irrelevent. Mamichaeans for instance may not be Gnostic in my
            oppinion, but thier historic and ideologic relationship, cousins as
            it were, make them relevent to the club. This is what I was saying
            about Sufism as well. The Platonic nature is very related. IMO
            Kabbalah is much more closely related, and philosophical hermeticism
            even more so.

            Scholem is a good example of a scholor who equates these movements
            directly. However, I believe that he left certain things out of the
            equation which would have differentiated them. This causes other
            scholors to throw the entire theory out, rather than simply stating
            that they are not quite the same, but still historically and
            ideologically related.

            PMCV
          • morphodyte
            ... movements ... other ... stating ... Scholem schmolem; I have a number of issues with Scholem s rigor and scholasticism which I will not go into here, so I
            Message 5 of 22 , Jun 9 3:57 PM
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              --- In gnosticism2@y..., pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:

              > Scholem is a good example of a scholor who equates these
              movements
              > directly. However, I believe that he left certain things out of the
              > equation which would have differentiated them. This causes
              other
              > scholors to throw the entire theory out, rather than simply
              stating
              > that they are not quite the same, but still historically and
              > ideologically related.
              >
              > PMCV

              Scholem schmolem;

              I have a number of issues with Scholem's rigor and
              scholasticism which I will not go into here, so I will make this
              comment more as a position statement than a talking point.

              However, the issue that I am bringing up is that in addition to the
              soterological function being gnosis, gnosis must have at least
              two necessary and sufficient qualities;

              1.) it must contain an intimate and personal knowledge of the
              Divine as one's own true nature (is the Savior)

              2.) It must consider this Divine self as alien to the Cosmos
              (needs to be saved)

              Thus, Kabbalah I would not consider gnostic , albeit it is of
              interest and mystical and has much to say that is important, but
              for the sake of Gnosticism as we understand it I would not
              consider it gnostic, nor would I consider Alchemy,
              Rosicrucianism, or any number of mystical and esoteric
              schools, including Golden Dawn and Thelema.

              Gnosticism, I consider, must contain not only the awareness of
              the true nature of the self but recognize that this self is in an alien
              and in most cases, hostile, environment.

              This much I think can be ascertained by anyone with the intent
              and discipline to investigate the nature of one's own personal
              situation, which is why gnostic dualism has at least for me a
              great deal of explanatory and predictive power about 'The World".

              So however profound esoteric systems may be, the beauty of
              their words, or whatever, and even if the teach the ultimate union
              of the self with the All, unless it teaches the principle of
              alienation, it is not Gnostic as I understand it.
            • morphodyte
              ... and even if the teach the ultimate union ... I provide by example the following from The First Apocalypse of James: I, James, said: Rabbi, if they arm
              Message 6 of 22 , Jun 9 4:08 PM
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                --- In gnosticism2@y..., "morphodyte" <morphodyte@y...> wrote:
                and even if the teach the ultimate union
                > of the self with the All, unless it teaches the principle of
                > alienation, it is not Gnostic as I understand it.

                I provide by example the following from The First Apocalypse of
                James:

                I, James, said: "Rabbi, if they arm themselves against you, then
                is there no blame?

                You have come with knowledge,
                that you might rebuke their forgetfulness.
                You have come with recollection,
                that you might rebuke their ignorance.
                But I was concerned because of you.
                For you descended into a great ignorance,
                but you have not been defiled by anything in it.
                For you descended into a great mindlessness,
                and your recollection remained.
                You walked in mud,
                and your garments were not soiled,
                and you have not been buried in their filth,
                and you have not been caught.
                And I was not like them, but I clothed myself with everything of
                theirs.
                There is in me forgetfulness,
                yet I remember things that are not theirs,
                There is in me [....],
                and I am in their [...] [...] knowledge [...] not in their sufferings [...].
                But I have
                become afraid before them, since they rule. For what will they
                do?
                What will I be able to say? Or what word will I be able to say that I
                may escape
                them?"
                The Lord said , "James, I praise your understanding and your
                fear. If you continue to
                be distressed, do not be concerned for anything else except your
                redemption. For
                behold, I shall complete this destiny upon this earth as I have
                said from the heavens.
                And I shall reveal to you your redemption"
              • pmcvflag
                Morph states... ... The two principles you state are not in addition to the soteriology, the are in fact facets of the soteriology... they are defining
                Message 7 of 22 , Jun 10 1:57 AM
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                  Morph states...


                  > However, the issue that I am bringing up is that in addition to the
                  > soterological function being gnosis, gnosis must have at least
                  > two necessary and sufficient qualities;
                  >
                  > 1.) it must contain an intimate and personal knowledge of the
                  > Divine as one's own true nature (is the Savior)
                  >
                  > 2.) It must consider this Divine self as alien to the Cosmos
                  > (needs to be saved)

                  The two principles you state are not in "addition" to the
                  soteriology, the are in fact facets of the soteriology... they are
                  defining qualities of the salvational understanding of the Gnostic
                  system. It seems unnecessary to state them seperately because they
                  are explicit in the system (though it may be good that you clerify
                  thier importance for those who are new to what Gnosticism is. And we
                  do in fact have many here who are). Gnosis is the emphasis of the
                  soteriology _in contrast_ to pistis or praxis, that was not intended
                  to imply though that gnosis is the entire and only explicit point of
                  definition in the identity of "Gnosticism". In addition to the two
                  qualities you name (which through the brackets you have related thier
                  effects within the soteriology) there are the cosmology, cosmogeny
                  anthropogeny, escatology, etc., to consider. The Messina definition
                  outlines very clearly a whole gambit of qualities that must be
                  present before a group can be considered "Gnostic", and while that
                  definition has been altered slightly for our purposes (to include
                  modern practitioners for example, since to be technical there are no
                  such things as "Gnostics" today), we still stick to the basic outline
                  in this club.

                  > Thus, Kabbalah I would not consider gnostic , albeit it is of
                  > interest and mystical and has much to say that is important, but
                  > for the sake of Gnosticism as we understand it I would not
                  > consider it gnostic, nor would I consider Alchemy,
                  > Rosicrucianism, or any number of mystical and esoteric
                  > schools, including Golden Dawn and Thelema.

                  No, none of these are, by definition, Gnostic (though I would point
                  out that if we defined Gnosticism only through the principles you
                  offered, then older forms of Kabbalah would still fit). I add to
                  yourlist of exclusion, Manicheans, Cathars, and a host of other
                  groups that many people include. The point I raised however was what
                  forms of esotericism (and even exotericism) are historically and
                  philosophically related to Gnosticism.

                  > Gnosticism, I consider, must contain not only the awareness of
                  > the true nature of the self but recognize that this self is in an
                  alien
                  > and in most cases, hostile, environment.

                  And, in addition it must use a specific mythological lingo to
                  describe that, as well as a specific intiatory outline to pass it on
                  (not to mention the fact that to be technical it must fit within a
                  specific historical framwork, the point that we conciously ignore for
                  our usage).

                  > This much I think can be ascertained by anyone with the intent
                  > and discipline to investigate the nature of one's own personal
                  > situation, which is why gnostic dualism has at least for me a
                  > great deal of explanatory and predictive power about 'The World".
                  >
                  > So however profound esoteric systems may be, the beauty of
                  > their words, or whatever, and even if the teach the ultimate union
                  > of the self with the All, unless it teaches the principle of
                  > alienation, it is not Gnostic as I understand it.

                  Agreed. There has been a movement in recent years amongst the laity,
                  to expand the definition of "Gnosticism" beyond any practical
                  meaning. I myself have recieved much flack for resisting semi-
                  definition, and word usages based on an ignorance of how the term was
                  coined. On the other hand we must give recourse to the etic vs the
                  emic usages of words.... you may remember that conversation in
                  another club.

                  PMCV
                • troberti
                  Hello Morph, PMCV, ... IMO it would certainly have to be a danger sign though. How could such a group remain genuinely Gnostic for more than a single
                  Message 8 of 22 , Jun 10 6:03 AM
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                    Hello Morph, PMCV,

                    > No Morph, that is correct, the existance of literalization does not
                    > disqualify a group from being Gnostic.

                    IMO it would certainly have to be a "danger sign" though. How could
                    such a group remain genuinely Gnostic for more than a single
                    generation without losing sight of the "Source"?


                    > What does do so is where the soteriological function rests. Is it
                    > in Gnosis? Pistis? or Praxis?. IN the case of Manichaeans, it is
                    > my contention that this soteriology is based in Praxis rather than
                    > Gnosis.

                    Interesting contention. But how can one achieve Gnosis without
                    Praxis? Granted, it does happen spontaneously, but this I think is
                    pretty darn rare. For the rest of us, there has to be *some*
                    movement along an axis somewhere, even if it is simply in the realm
                    of a thought experiment. Gnosis does not happen by remote control.
                    IME anyways.

                    Tony Roberti
                  • morphodyte
                    Thanks Flag; Yes soteriology by definition requires a savior and something to be saved from. I agree that my point of separating out the two facets may have
                    Message 9 of 22 , Jun 10 7:38 AM
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                      Thanks Flag;

                      Yes soteriology by definition requires a savior and something to
                      be saved from.

                      I agree that my point of separating out the two facets may have
                      been laborious and perhaps pedantic and tedious.

                      Nevertheless, for many of those who are introducing themselves
                      to Gnosticism as is understood in the classical sense, I thought
                      it necessary to do so.

                      And since you are so kind to humor me in that regard I really am
                      most appreciative.

                      --- In gnosticism2@y..., pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:

                      The Messina definition
                      > outlines very clearly a whole gambit of qualities that must be
                      > present before a group can be considered "Gnostic", and while
                      that
                      > definition has been altered slightly for our purposes (to include
                      > modern practitioners for example, since to be technical there
                      are no such things as "Gnostics" today), we still stick to the
                      basic outline in this club.>

                      Only if we are looking at a strictly academic definition of
                      gnosticism, as if studying Latin or cuneiform. However, latin can
                      still be spoken today, albeit the original inflections and tone may
                      be lost to history, I doubt anyone really wants to bake cuneiform
                      tablets, but I do think Gnosticism can be practised, at least in
                      principle as a personal world view and a personal salvation as it
                      were. I state this because if we consider the Gnosis to originate
                      outside of this world and to be independent of the world, then
                      how can we limit the human experience of Gnostic soteriology to
                      the late Roman Empire?

                      >
                      The point I raised however was what
                      > forms of esotericism (and even exotericism) are historically
                      and
                      > philosophically related to Gnosticism.

                      This point I understand, and the relationships of Kabbalah,
                      Merkavah mysticism, Alchemy, vedanta, etc. to Gnosticism are
                      understood and appreciated by me. However, the point I have
                      been making, is that in the ecumenical fervor of the day which
                      states that all Paths lead to the same Truth, we will inevitably
                      come up against some basic tenets of classical Gnosticism that
                      are incompatable with the same Truth of theistic religions, or
                      advaita (non-dualist) Hindu philosophy.

                      One is the idea of Demiurge or Archon and the fallen nature of
                      the Cosmos. Another is the Dualism. Clearly the idea of the
                      world being imperfectly created was hard for Augustine to
                      swallow :-) and it is still hard for other would-be gnostics in our
                      time to digest as well.

                      > And, in addition it must use a specific mythological lingo to
                      > describe that, as well as a specific intiatory outline to pass it on
                      > (not to mention the fact that to be technical it must fit within a
                      > specific historical framwork, the point that we conciously ignore
                      for
                      > our usage).

                      Agreed on the mythologizing part, as well as the initiatory aspect.
                      although this can be troubling since more modern attemps at an
                      initiatory framework often degenerate to dogma and works, pistis
                      and praxis; to wit The Golden Dawn . Based almost entirely on
                      ritual; the over emphasis on praxis (eg, magic) leads nowhere
                      but to more incantation and spell making for the sake of its own
                      self . So while an initiatory framework may be a necessary
                      criterion to be considered gnostic, it is not a sufficient criterion,
                      as we have agreed per the Manichaean system of praxis.

                      > Agreed. There has been a movement in recent years amongst
                      the laity,
                      > to expand the definition of "Gnosticism" beyond any practical
                      > meaning. I myself have recieved much flack for resisting semi-
                      > definition, and word usages based on an ignorance of how the
                      term was
                      > coined. On the other hand we must give recourse to the etic vs
                      the
                      > emic usages of words.... you may remember that conversation
                      in
                      > another club.
                      >
                      > PMCV

                      Yes, we are looking at Gnosticism from an etic perspective, and
                      can we ever know it from an emic one? Nevertheless, I
                      appreciate your making definitive statements regarding
                      Gnosticism, which in some contexts has become so all inclusive
                      as to have become meaningless. I too have been heavily
                      criticized for stating openly that certain esoteric paths are not
                      Gnosticism. Not that it is a bad thing but that they do not satisfy
                      the criteria to be considered Gnostic, much to the offense of
                      some who think that their chosen path is somehow diminished
                      by being considered outside the pale of Gnosticism.

                      Somehow I think 'Gnosticism' and 'Gnosis' are confused by a
                      broader lexical definition of the word, or even its etymological
                      origins and cognates (jnana) , as well as the reverse definition of
                      the word through translation; sanskrit (jnana) or arabic (irfan,
                      maarifat). As such Gnosticism suffers from the etic application of
                      the word to spiritual contexts which have emic sensibilities that
                      may not be apppropriate to call Gnosis.

                      For example the term maarifat in Arabic sufi texts speaks to an
                      intimate knowledge of Allah, this may or may not be suitably
                      translated as 'gnosis' albeit this is frequently done.

                      At any rate, so much for this for now.

                      Morph
                    • hey_market
                      And yet some would judge Mandaens to be the only authentic Gnostics. As for Marcion, I d disagree with the academics, though I d certainly say he was a rather
                      Message 10 of 22 , Jun 10 12:37 PM
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                        And yet some would judge Mandaens to be the only authentic
                        Gnostics. As for Marcion, I'd disagree with the academics,
                        though I'd certainly say he was a rather unpalatable Gnostic. Or
                        maybe he was a Gnostic trailblazer who never quite finished the
                        trail himself.

                        --- In gnosticism2@y..., pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                        > Morph states...
                        >
                        > --- In gnosticism2@y..., "morphodyte" <morphodyte@y...>
                        wrote:
                        > > While chewing over the recent discussion of the gnostic vs.
                        > > un-gnostic lteralism of Manichaean liberation through
                        gustation,
                        > > I am somehow uncertain that literal practices must
                        necessarily
                        > > invalidate a school from being considered gnostic.
                        >
                        > No Morph, that is correct, the existance of literalization does not
                        > disqualify a group from being Gnostic. What does do so is
                        where the
                        > soteriological function rests. Is it in Gnosis? Pistis? or Praxis?.
                        > IN the case of Manichaeans, it is my contention that this
                        soteriology
                        > is based in Praxis rather than Gnosis.
                        >
                        > > The cosmology and mythology of manichaeism certainly has
                        its
                        > > gnostic merit, even if there was a literal application of the
                        myth
                        > of
                        > > trapped Luminance in Matter which is released through
                        eating,
                        > > something which I think has merit since of course the human
                        > > can be seen as refining insensate matter into conscious
                        activity,
                        > > something we do through the daily act of eating.
                        >
                        > Very true, the mythology is almost identical (wheter or not it
                        was
                        > seen as "myth" by the practitioners). However, it is not the
                        > mythology alone that determines the categorization of
                        "Gnostic". For
                        > instance, Marcion also used this very same cosmology and
                        almost no
                        > scholors still refer to Marcion as a "Gnostic".... it is general
                        > consensus that he was not. Marcion placed the dependant
                        factor of
                        > salvation entirely in pistis, not Gnosis. So this cosmology
                        (What
                        > Williams calls "Biblical demiurgy") comes from Plato, and was
                        used by
                        > many groups, some of which were Gnostic, some of which
                        were not. We
                        > must be careful though not to read certain assumptions into
                        the
                        > liturature that may not have been believed by the author simply
                        > because of other similarities we find, as this does a disservice
                        to
                        > the people as they really were (believed).
                        >
                        > > Would the ritual baptism of Mandeans also disqualify them
                        from
                        > > being considered gnostic using the criterion of ritual and
                        > > literalism as the standard?
                        >
                        > The categorization of Mandeans as "Gnostics" has recently
                        been
                        > brought into despute as well, but not because of thier use of
                        Baptism
                        > (a very well established ritual amongst many Gnostic groups,
                        though
                        > some GNostics also argued against it). It has become clear
                        that some
                        > of Dr Drowers conclusions were misconcieved (and in fact she
                        herself
                        > recanted them and decided that Mandeans were not Gnostic.
                        She states
                        > that here original conclusions were effected by the input of
                        another
                        > Dr who was feeding off her own imperfect description, when
                        she
                        > herself knew little about Gnosticism. In other words,
                        communication
                        > breakdown caused the equation. She does not name this Doc,
                        but it was
                        > most likely Quispel) I have not formulated an opinion on the
                        Mandeans
                        > yet, so I will be slippery in that discussion if you will excuse it.
                        >
                        > PMCV
                      • hey_market
                        Agreed, and that s even if a Gnostic ultimately accepts a monistic position. That is, even if all emanataes and is resolved in oneness, we experience duality
                        Message 11 of 22 , Jun 10 12:51 PM
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                          Agreed, and that's even if a Gnostic ultimately accepts a monistic
                          position. That is, even if all emanataes and is resolved in
                          oneness, we experience duality which cannot and must not be
                          ignored. To do so is not to know what Gnostics know, which is
                          that there is a force of division that opposes our union. We much
                          ACT against this force, or rather ACT FOR and towards our
                          destiny.

                          Thus the importance of praxis for gnosis.

                          --- In gnosticism2@y..., "morphodyte" <morphodyte@y...> wrote:
                          > --- In gnosticism2@y..., pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                          >
                          > > Scholem is a good example of a scholor who equates these
                          > movements
                          > > directly. However, I believe that he left certain things out of the
                          > > equation which would have differentiated them. This causes
                          > other
                          > > scholors to throw the entire theory out, rather than simply
                          > stating
                          > > that they are not quite the same, but still historically and
                          > > ideologically related.
                          > >
                          > > PMCV
                          >
                          > Scholem schmolem;
                          >
                          > I have a number of issues with Scholem's rigor and
                          > scholasticism which I will not go into here, so I will make this
                          > comment more as a position statement than a talking point.
                          >
                          > However, the issue that I am bringing up is that in addition to
                          the
                          > soterological function being gnosis, gnosis must have at least
                          > two necessary and sufficient qualities;
                          >
                          > 1.) it must contain an intimate and personal knowledge of the
                          > Divine as one's own true nature (is the Savior)
                          >
                          > 2.) It must consider this Divine self as alien to the Cosmos
                          > (needs to be saved)
                          >
                          > Thus, Kabbalah I would not consider gnostic , albeit it is of
                          > interest and mystical and has much to say that is important,
                          but
                          > for the sake of Gnosticism as we understand it I would not
                          > consider it gnostic, nor would I consider Alchemy,
                          > Rosicrucianism, or any number of mystical and esoteric
                          > schools, including Golden Dawn and Thelema.
                          >
                          > Gnosticism, I consider, must contain not only the awareness of
                          > the true nature of the self but recognize that this self is in an
                          alien
                          > and in most cases, hostile, environment.
                          >
                          > This much I think can be ascertained by anyone with the intent
                          > and discipline to investigate the nature of one's own personal
                          > situation, which is why gnostic dualism has at least for me a
                          > great deal of explanatory and predictive power about 'The
                          World".
                          >
                          > So however profound esoteric systems may be, the beauty of
                          > their words, or whatever, and even if the teach the ultimate
                          union
                          > of the self with the All, unless it teaches the principle of
                          > alienation, it is not Gnostic as I understand it.
                        • morphodyte
                          ... the ... I do like Marcion s docetism however, and his uncompromising stance against the law and its appeasement of Deity. I have read in the archives that
                          Message 12 of 22 , Jun 10 12:58 PM
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                            --- In gnosticism2@y..., hey_market <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                            > And yet some would judge Mandaens to be the only authentic
                            > Gnostics. As for Marcion, I'd disagree with the academics,
                            > though I'd certainly say he was a rather unpalatable Gnostic. Or
                            > maybe he was a Gnostic trailblazer who never quite finished
                            the
                            > trail himself.
                            >
                            > --- In gnosticism2@y..., pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                            > > Morph states...


                            I do like Marcion's docetism however, and his uncompromising
                            stance against the law and its appeasement of Deity.

                            I have read in the archives that docetism does not seem to rank
                            for some as a criterion for Gnosticism, more's the loss because
                            I think docetism if looked at as an ontology has a great deal of
                            explanatory power. Whereas the grim austerities of Marcion do
                            not appeal to the falstaffian hedonism of third millenialists, I
                            think Marcion and by extension Paul of Tarsus merit some rank
                            as Gnostics (note the distinction between Gnostic and
                            Gnosticism), again, while the emphasis on Praxis is duely
                            noted, is it a Praxis that follows Gnostic awakening?

                            In other words, is the awakened Gnostic one who is then obliged
                            to live by a set of rules and practices which distinguish himher
                            from the the rest of the community?

                            If so then the Praxis of the Manichaean Elect could be the
                            imposition of community rule upon those who have gnosed the
                            meaning of the Manichaean cosmogony and redemptive
                            schemata? Is there an oral transmission we lack because there
                            are no more orators of this tradition?

                            Of course one may be hard pressed to find such to validate this
                            position in the literature.

                            The Messina definition as entered by Ernst in messages 5606 to
                            5608 seems to be more concerned with academic definition
                            rather than a practical (Gnostical?) working hypothesis, and the
                            limitation to second century antiquity leaves out a whole slew of
                            material and thought. But then otherwise we would have to
                            consider any number of shared or personal insights into reality
                            as being Gnostic, Gnsoticism or Gnosis.

                            Again, the distinction between gnosis and Gnosticism is
                            perhaps a necessary evil to maintain some degree of rigor in the
                            discussion.

                            Morph
                          • morphodyte
                            ... monistic ... much ... This brings up the very real, at least for me, concern about Archons. I have been taken to task over my statements that there are
                            Message 13 of 22 , Jun 10 1:30 PM
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                              --- In gnosticism2@y..., hey_market <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                              > Agreed, and that's even if a Gnostic ultimately accepts a
                              monistic
                              > position. That is, even if all emanataes and is resolved in
                              > oneness, we experience duality which cannot and must not be
                              > ignored. To do so is not to know what Gnostics know, which is
                              > that there is a force of division that opposes our union. We
                              much
                              > ACT against this force, or rather ACT FOR and towards our
                              > destiny.
                              >

                              This brings up the very real, at least for me, concern about
                              Archons. I have been taken to task over my statements that there
                              are forces in the 'world' which directly oppose the reintegration of
                              the individual with the Divine (oppose the conjugation of Psyche
                              and Eros). Frequently citing psychology and stating that these
                              are all parts of the psychological process, these Agonists
                              against Archons deny the possibility that there are forces in the
                              psyche which transcend and interact and oppose the
                              individuated psyche.

                              Does this make sense? I posit by way of analogy that just as
                              there are mack trucks on the freeway which oppose and present
                              a very real danger to the individual Soma should it get in the way,
                              there are Mack trucks on the freeway of psyche which also act
                              out as independent of one's 'will' or 'choice'.

                              Not to invoke or evoke Jungian archetypes, a concept which has
                              become so jargonized as to become useless, the Archon or
                              Watcher seems to me to be a very real force which opposes the
                              awakened gnostic.

                              What say you in response Hey_Market?

                              Morph
                            • morphodyte
                              ... without ... think is ... realm ... control. ... Hi Tony; Being something of a buttinski, although this question was addressed to Flag (any relation to
                              Message 14 of 22 , Jun 10 3:19 PM
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                                --- In gnosticism2@y..., "troberti" <AJRoberti@a...> wrote:

                                > Interesting contention. But how can one achieve Gnosis
                                without
                                > Praxis? Granted, it does happen spontaneously, but this I
                                think is
                                > pretty darn rare. For the rest of us, there has to be *some*
                                > movement along an axis somewhere, even if it is simply in the
                                realm
                                > of a thought experiment. Gnosis does not happen by remote
                                control.
                                > IME anyways.
                                >
                                > Tony Roberti

                                Hi Tony;

                                Being something of a buttinski, although this question was
                                addressed to Flag (any relation to Randall ?) I would add my
                                own twist here;

                                You mention :

                                <For the rest of us, there has to be *some*
                                > movement along an axis somewhere, even if it is simply in the
                                realm
                                > of a thought experiment. Gnosis does not happen by remote
                                control.
                                > IME anyways.>

                                and this brought to my mind the concept of Grace; something
                                which is neither Praxis, nor Pistis, nor Gnosis, nor Doxa.

                                Grace, the gift of the spirit, given without merit, the abrupt
                                insufflation of the Divine without warrant, invitation, work, belief,
                                invocation; an imposition or forcing.

                                Rather than a Bridal Chamber, a coniunctio misticordium, is
                                Grace the purchase and liberation from the Unholy Brothel of the
                                World?

                                Does the Gnosis necessarily require our reaching towards it or
                                does Eros take Psyche by force in some cases, a rape of
                                Sabines?

                                Morph
                              • s_e_k_h_m_e_t
                                Re: grace... Is it a case of grace or of the reasons being veiled from us, so that it appears to be grace? If we do not have (sufficient?) gnosis to remember
                                Message 15 of 22 , Jun 10 4:01 PM
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                                  Re: grace...

                                  Is it a case of grace or of the reasons being veiled from us, so that
                                  it appears to be grace?

                                  If we do not have (sufficient?) gnosis to remember our true nature,
                                  then we may be forgetful of how we set up the sitiuation in which the
                                  apparent grace could emerge, and dissociated from the divine self
                                  which is active in the 'appearance' of grace.


                                  Felis


                                  --- In gnosticism2@y..., "morphodyte" <morphodyte@y...> wrote:
                                  > --- In gnosticism2@y..., "troberti" <AJRoberti@a...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > > Interesting contention. But how can one achieve Gnosis
                                  > without
                                  > > Praxis? Granted, it does happen spontaneously, but this I
                                  > think is
                                  > > pretty darn rare. For the rest of us, there has to be *some*
                                  > > movement along an axis somewhere, even if it is simply in the
                                  > realm
                                  > > of a thought experiment. Gnosis does not happen by remote
                                  > control.
                                  > > IME anyways.
                                  > >
                                  > > Tony Roberti
                                  >
                                  > Hi Tony;
                                  >
                                  > Being something of a buttinski, although this question was
                                  > addressed to Flag (any relation to Randall ?) I would add my
                                  > own twist here;
                                  >
                                  > You mention :
                                  >
                                  > <For the rest of us, there has to be *some*
                                  > > movement along an axis somewhere, even if it is simply in the
                                  > realm
                                  > > of a thought experiment. Gnosis does not happen by remote
                                  > control.
                                  > > IME anyways.>
                                  >
                                  > and this brought to my mind the concept of Grace; something
                                  > which is neither Praxis, nor Pistis, nor Gnosis, nor Doxa.
                                  >
                                  > Grace, the gift of the spirit, given without merit, the abrupt
                                  > insufflation of the Divine without warrant, invitation, work,
                                  belief,
                                  > invocation; an imposition or forcing.
                                  >
                                  > Rather than a Bridal Chamber, a coniunctio misticordium, is
                                  > Grace the purchase and liberation from the Unholy Brothel of the
                                  > World?
                                  >
                                  > Does the Gnosis necessarily require our reaching towards it or
                                  > does Eros take Psyche by force in some cases, a rape of
                                  > Sabines?
                                  >
                                  > Morph
                                • morphodyte
                                  I think of the tales of Snow White/Sleeping Beauty and the kiss of the Prince, is that not Grace? Morph ... that ... nature, ... which the ... self ... the ...
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Jun 10 4:03 PM
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                                    I think of the tales of Snow White/Sleeping Beauty and the kiss of
                                    the Prince, is that not Grace?

                                    Morph

                                    --- In gnosticism2@y..., s_e_k_h_m_e_t <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                    > Re: grace...
                                    >
                                    > Is it a case of grace or of the reasons being veiled from us, so
                                    that
                                    > it appears to be grace?
                                    >
                                    > If we do not have (sufficient?) gnosis to remember our true
                                    nature,
                                    > then we may be forgetful of how we set up the sitiuation in
                                    which the
                                    > apparent grace could emerge, and dissociated from the divine
                                    self
                                    > which is active in the 'appearance' of grace.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Felis
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > --- In gnosticism2@y..., "morphodyte" <morphodyte@y...>
                                    wrote:
                                    > > --- In gnosticism2@y..., "troberti" <AJRoberti@a...> wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > > > Interesting contention. But how can one achieve Gnosis
                                    > > without
                                    > > > Praxis? Granted, it does happen spontaneously, but this I
                                    > > think is
                                    > > > pretty darn rare. For the rest of us, there has to be *some*
                                    > > > movement along an axis somewhere, even if it is simply in
                                    the
                                    > > realm
                                    > > > of a thought experiment. Gnosis does not happen by
                                    remote
                                    > > control.
                                    > > > IME anyways.
                                    > > >
                                    > > > Tony Roberti
                                    > >
                                    > > Hi Tony;
                                    > >
                                    > > Being something of a buttinski, although this question was
                                    > > addressed to Flag (any relation to Randall ?) I would add my
                                    > > own twist here;
                                    > >
                                    > > You mention :
                                    > >
                                    > > <For the rest of us, there has to be *some*
                                    > > > movement along an axis somewhere, even if it is simply in
                                    the
                                    > > realm
                                    > > > of a thought experiment. Gnosis does not happen by
                                    remote
                                    > > control.
                                    > > > IME anyways.>
                                    > >
                                    > > and this brought to my mind the concept of Grace; something
                                    > > which is neither Praxis, nor Pistis, nor Gnosis, nor Doxa.
                                    > >
                                    > > Grace, the gift of the spirit, given without merit, the abrupt
                                    > > insufflation of the Divine without warrant, invitation, work,
                                    > belief,
                                    > > invocation; an imposition or forcing.
                                    > >
                                    > > Rather than a Bridal Chamber, a coniunctio misticordium, is
                                    > > Grace the purchase and liberation from the Unholy Brothel of
                                    the
                                    > > World?
                                    > >
                                    > > Does the Gnosis necessarily require our reaching towards it
                                    or
                                    > > does Eros take Psyche by force in some cases, a rape of
                                    > > Sabines?
                                    > >
                                    > > Morph
                                  • hotep4444
                                    ... Hello morph, I just joined this club, exactly three minuites ago. I don t know much about gnosticism...I have read most of the Nag Hammadi...and a few
                                    Message 17 of 22 , Jun 10 7:10 PM
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                                      --- In gnosticism2@y..., "morphodyte" <morphodyte@y...> wrote:
                                      > I think of the tales of Snow White/Sleeping Beauty and the kiss of
                                      > the Prince, is that not Grace?
                                      >
                                      > Morph
                                      >
                                      -----------------------------------------

                                      Hello morph,

                                      I just joined this club, exactly three minuites ago. I don't know
                                      much about gnosticism...I have read most of the Nag Hammadi...and a
                                      few other gnostic texts, but I don't know much. I have an Indian
                                      Master who teaches Surat Shabd Yoga. I have been noticing...the
                                      more I learn about gnostics, that there beliefs are very similar to
                                      mine. For instance...the difference between belief, and KNOWING.

                                      I was wondering if you are aware of any schools of gnosticism, which
                                      are still around today, which place importance on having a living
                                      Teacher. When I say living teacher, I don't mean someone who has
                                      read ton's of books. I mean a teacher, who has realized his/her true
                                      self. Who has become ONE with the universe.

                                      In the gospel of thomas, Jesus said: "If you bring forth what is
                                      within you, what you bring forth, will save you. If you do not bring
                                      forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy
                                      you."

                                      That is my favorite saying from the gospel of thomas. It places much
                                      emphasize on practice. Jesus was a great living master...I am very
                                      curious If there are any living Master's(from the gnostic tradition)
                                      that you are aware of.? Or anyone else from this group!

                                      Best,
                                      Mark





                                      > --- In gnosticism2@y..., s_e_k_h_m_e_t <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                      > > Re: grace...
                                      > >
                                      > > Is it a case of grace or of the reasons being veiled from us, so
                                      > that
                                      > > it appears to be grace?
                                      > >
                                      > > If we do not have (sufficient?) gnosis to remember our true
                                      > nature,
                                      > > then we may be forgetful of how we set up the sitiuation in
                                      > which the
                                      > > apparent grace could emerge, and dissociated from the divine
                                      > self
                                      > > which is active in the 'appearance' of grace.
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > Felis
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > --- In gnosticism2@y..., "morphodyte" <morphodyte@y...>
                                      > wrote:
                                      > > > --- In gnosticism2@y..., "troberti" <AJRoberti@a...> wrote:
                                      > > >
                                      > > > > Interesting contention. But how can one achieve Gnosis
                                      > > > without
                                      > > > > Praxis? Granted, it does happen spontaneously, but this I
                                      > > > think is
                                      > > > > pretty darn rare. For the rest of us, there has to be *some*
                                      > > > > movement along an axis somewhere, even if it is simply in
                                      > the
                                      > > > realm
                                      > > > > of a thought experiment. Gnosis does not happen by
                                      > remote
                                      > > > control.
                                      > > > > IME anyways.
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > Tony Roberti
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Hi Tony;
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Being something of a buttinski, although this question was
                                      > > > addressed to Flag (any relation to Randall ?) I would add my
                                      > > > own twist here;
                                      > > >
                                      > > > You mention :
                                      > > >
                                      > > > <For the rest of us, there has to be *some*
                                      > > > > movement along an axis somewhere, even if it is simply in
                                      > the
                                      > > > realm
                                      > > > > of a thought experiment. Gnosis does not happen by
                                      > remote
                                      > > > control.
                                      > > > > IME anyways.>
                                      > > >
                                      > > > and this brought to my mind the concept of Grace; something
                                      > > > which is neither Praxis, nor Pistis, nor Gnosis, nor Doxa.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Grace, the gift of the spirit, given without merit, the abrupt
                                      > > > insufflation of the Divine without warrant, invitation, work,
                                      > > belief,
                                      > > > invocation; an imposition or forcing.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Rather than a Bridal Chamber, a coniunctio misticordium, is
                                      > > > Grace the purchase and liberation from the Unholy Brothel of
                                      > the
                                      > > > World?
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Does the Gnosis necessarily require our reaching towards it
                                      > or
                                      > > > does Eros take Psyche by force in some cases, a rape of
                                      > > > Sabines?
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Morph
                                    • pmcvflag
                                      Hey Tony I guess I kind of dealt with the general question in one of the posts I just finnished, but let me add one thing in direct response to your concern. I
                                      Message 18 of 22 , Jun 10 10:54 PM
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                                        Hey Tony

                                        I guess I kind of dealt with the general question in one of the posts
                                        I just finnished, but let me add one thing in direct response to your
                                        concern.

                                        I do think that the specific literalization of the mythological
                                        structure of esoteric systems has pretty consistantly been a
                                        downfall. When symbols are no longer symbols, the language is dead.

                                        It may then be better for me to say that "having a literal aspect
                                        does not disqualify a group from being GNostic", since the
                                        word "literalization" would tend to imply that the intended point was
                                        not originally meant to be literal.

                                        PMCV

                                        --- In gnosticism2@y..., "troberti" <AJRoberti@a...> wrote:
                                        > Hello Morph, PMCV,
                                        >
                                        > > No Morph, that is correct, the existance of literalization does
                                        not
                                        > > disqualify a group from being Gnostic.
                                        >
                                        > IMO it would certainly have to be a "danger sign" though. How
                                        could
                                        > such a group remain genuinely Gnostic for more than a single
                                        > generation without losing sight of the "Source"?
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > > What does do so is where the soteriological function rests. Is it
                                        > > in Gnosis? Pistis? or Praxis?. IN the case of Manichaeans, it is
                                        > > my contention that this soteriology is based in Praxis rather
                                        than
                                        > > Gnosis.
                                        >
                                        > Interesting contention. But how can one achieve Gnosis without
                                        > Praxis? Granted, it does happen spontaneously, but this I think is
                                        > pretty darn rare. For the rest of us, there has to be *some*
                                        > movement along an axis somewhere, even if it is simply in the realm
                                        > of a thought experiment. Gnosis does not happen by remote
                                        control.
                                        > IME anyways.
                                        >
                                        > Tony Roberti
                                      • ernststrohregenmantelrad
                                        ... can ... may ... cuneiform ... it ... originate ... to ... Because we had something called Enlightenment in between which basically secularized religion in
                                        Message 19 of 22 , Jun 11 2:39 PM
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                                          > Only if we are looking at a strictly academic definition of
                                          > gnosticism, as if studying Latin or cuneiform. However, latin
                                          can
                                          > still be spoken today, albeit the original inflections and tone
                                          may
                                          > be lost to history, I doubt anyone really wants to bake
                                          cuneiform
                                          > tablets, but I do think Gnosticism can be practised, at least in
                                          > principle as a personal world view and a personal salvation as
                                          it
                                          > were. I state this because if we consider the Gnosis to
                                          originate
                                          > outside of this world and to be independent of the world, then
                                          > how can we limit the human experience of Gnostic soteriology
                                          to
                                          > the late Roman Empire?
                                          >
                                          Because we had something called Enlightenment in between
                                          which basically secularized religion in the term of worldview and
                                          what not.

                                          You Latin analogy is very poor example. When one reads and
                                          speaks Latin today one is infering from reconstruction based
                                          upon the available evidence. Even with that it is corrupted due to
                                          other influences. For Gnosticism the thing is simply this : THERE
                                          IS NO DIRECT TRANSMITION OF THE TRADITION (WITH THE
                                          CAPITAL "T"), Hense how can your Gnosticism be same as
                                          some one in the late antiquity?

                                          > >
                                          > The point I raised however was what
                                          > > forms of esotericism (and even exotericism) are historically
                                          > and
                                          > > philosophically related to Gnosticism.
                                          >
                                          > This point I understand, and the relationships of Kabbalah,
                                          > Merkavah mysticism, Alchemy, vedanta, etc. to Gnosticism are
                                          > understood and appreciated by me. However, the point I have
                                          > been making, is that in the ecumenical fervor of the day which
                                          > states that all Paths lead to the same Truth, we will inevitably
                                          > come up against some basic tenets of classical Gnosticism
                                          that
                                          > are incompatable with the same Truth of theistic religions, or
                                          > advaita (non-dualist) Hindu philosophy.
                                          >
                                          > One is the idea of Demiurge or Archon and the fallen nature of
                                          > the Cosmos. Another is the Dualism. Clearly the idea of the
                                          > world being imperfectly created was hard for Augustine to
                                          > swallow :-) and it is still hard for other would-be gnostics in
                                          our
                                          > time to digest as well.
                                          >
                                          > > And, in addition it must use a specific mythological lingo to
                                          > > describe that, as well as a specific intiatory outline to pass it
                                          on
                                          > > (not to mention the fact that to be technical it must fit within a
                                          > > specific historical framwork, the point that we conciously
                                          ignore
                                          > for
                                          > > our usage).
                                          >
                                          > Agreed on the mythologizing part, as well as the initiatory
                                          aspect.
                                          > although this can be troubling since more modern attemps at
                                          an
                                          > initiatory framework often degenerate to dogma and works,
                                          pistis
                                          > and praxis; to wit The Golden Dawn . Based almost entirely on
                                          > ritual; the over emphasis on praxis (eg, magic) leads nowhere
                                          > but to more incantation and spell making for the sake of its
                                          own
                                          > self . So while an initiatory framework may be a necessary
                                          > criterion to be considered gnostic, it is not a sufficient criterion,
                                          > as we have agreed per the Manichaean system of praxis.
                                          >
                                          but it is......


                                          > Yes, we are looking at Gnosticism from an etic perspective,
                                          and
                                          > can we ever know it from an emic one? Nevertheless, I
                                          > appreciate your making definitive statements regarding
                                          > Gnosticism, which in some contexts has become so all
                                          inclusive
                                          > as to have become meaningless. I too have been heavily
                                          > criticized for stating openly that certain esoteric paths are not
                                          > Gnosticism. Not that it is a bad thing but that they do not satisfy
                                          > the criteria to be considered Gnostic, much to the offense of
                                          > some who think that their chosen path is somehow
                                          diminished
                                          > by being considered outside the pale of Gnosticism.
                                          >
                                          > Somehow I think 'Gnosticism' and 'Gnosis' are confused by a
                                          > broader lexical definition of the word, or even its etymological
                                          > origins and cognates (jnana) , as well as the reverse definition
                                          of
                                          > the word through translation; sanskrit (jnana) or arabic (irfan,
                                          > maarifat). As such Gnosticism suffers from the etic application
                                          of
                                          > the word to spiritual contexts which have emic sensibilities that
                                          > may not be apppropriate to call Gnosis.
                                          >
                                          > For example the term maarifat in Arabic sufi texts speaks to an
                                          > intimate knowledge of Allah, this may or may not be suitably
                                          > translated as 'gnosis' albeit this is frequently done.
                                          >
                                          > At any rate, so much for this for now.
                                          >
                                          > Morph

                                          cognates are not really same words though and you are right on
                                          that. There is no equivent between major paths and people who
                                          think they do are dead wrong. Buddhism is not same as
                                          Gnosticism. It might seem like it but they are different paths. So
                                          all this ecumenical crap is just BS.
                                        • ernststrohregenmantelrad
                                          This is the thing. And H_M s comment might ring some truth to it. It is not we have in the late antiquity, Gnostics here or Orthodox there and those are
                                          Message 20 of 22 , Jun 11 3:39 PM
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                                            This is the thing. And H_M's comment might ring some truth to it.
                                            It is not we have in the late antiquity, "Gnostics" here or
                                            "Orthodox" there and those are dimetry opposed to one another
                                            in the classification of of the scope of Christianity. It is not apt to
                                            classify Marcion as "Gnostics" or not for we don't know what
                                            consituted "Gnostics" IF we take Gnostics to mean anyone with
                                            Gnosis then Marcion was not but if you say dualistic cosmolgy
                                            then he was. But this will again lead back to definition of
                                            "Gnostics" I'll take this at different angle and suggest that like
                                            H_M's comment any Christian sects during the late antiquity
                                            were the part of process. this will undoubtly fit nice as well with
                                            my esoteric adaptionalists as the precuser to "Gnosticis". This
                                            means there were group such as esoteric docetists and exoteric
                                            docetists, (like Marcion), Exoteric adaptionalists. esoteric
                                            conglamationists (some aspects of Gnostics as well as called
                                            separationalists) and finallly exoteric conglamationaists
                                            (Orthodox). That is the whole fludity of things. It is one part taking
                                            over other that created problem.

                                            --- In gnosticism2@y..., "morphodyte" <morphodyte@y...> wrote:
                                            > --- In gnosticism2@y..., hey_market <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                            > > And yet some would judge Mandaens to be the only authentic
                                            > > Gnostics. As for Marcion, I'd disagree with the academics,
                                            > > though I'd certainly say he was a rather unpalatable Gnostic.
                                            Or
                                            > > maybe he was a Gnostic trailblazer who never quite finished
                                            > the
                                            > > trail himself.
                                            > >
                                            > > --- In gnosticism2@y..., pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                            > > > Morph states...
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > I do like Marcion's docetism however, and his
                                            uncompromising
                                            > stance against the law and its appeasement of Deity.
                                            >
                                            > I have read in the archives that docetism does not seem to
                                            rank
                                            > for some as a criterion for Gnosticism, more's the loss
                                            because
                                            > I think docetism if looked at as an ontology has a great deal of
                                            > explanatory power. Whereas the grim austerities of Marcion do
                                            > not appeal to the falstaffian hedonism of third millenialists, I
                                            > think Marcion and by extension Paul of Tarsus merit some rank
                                            > as Gnostics (note the distinction between Gnostic and
                                            > Gnosticism), again, while the emphasis on Praxis is duely
                                            > noted, is it a Praxis that follows Gnostic awakening?
                                            >
                                            It is not criteria as reason I give above. Marcion is exoteric
                                            docetists.


                                            > In other words, is the awakened Gnostic one who is then
                                            obliged
                                            > to live by a set of rules and practices which distinguish himher
                                            > from the the rest of the community?
                                            >
                                            No, within the community you stick by hylic rule or exoterism but
                                            one who has gnosis follows the rule not because he has to but
                                            he knows he could transcend it. Remember "give to the
                                            Ceaser...."

                                            > If so then the Praxis of the Manichaean Elect could be the
                                            > imposition of community rule upon those who have gnosed the
                                            > meaning of the Manichaean cosmogony and redemptive
                                            > schemata? Is there an oral transmission we lack because
                                            there
                                            > are no more orators of this tradition?
                                            >
                                            > Of course one may be hard pressed to find such to validate
                                            this
                                            > position in the literature.
                                            >
                                            Of course . That is why we can't not Truely practice "Gnosticism"
                                            like those of the late antiquity. The Tradition is important. And
                                            finding teacher is important. Reading G of Th and admiring it just
                                            won't cut it.

                                            > The Messina definition as entered by Ernst in messages 5606
                                            to
                                            > 5608 seems to be more concerned with academic definition
                                            > rather than a practical (Gnostical?) working hypothesis, and
                                            the
                                            > limitation to second century antiquity leaves out a whole slew
                                            of
                                            > material and thought.

                                            Which is necessary because as I mentioned Englightenment
                                            and secular esoteric thought it brought with it. Those things are
                                            not the part of original esoteric thought.

                                            But then otherwise we would have to
                                            > consider any number of shared or personal insights into
                                            reality
                                            > as being Gnostic, Gnsoticism or Gnosis.
                                            >
                                            > Again, the distinction between gnosis and Gnosticism is
                                            > perhaps a necessary evil to maintain some degree of rigor in
                                            the
                                            > discussion.
                                            > > Morph

                                            Practical thing is all too well but one needs foundation and that
                                            is missing in today world. You know why? because it is pretty
                                            secularized world.. You see you need ritual and cosmolgy not for
                                            dogma but as setting. If you heard talks by late Alan Watts he
                                            talks about "does people really believe what they believe?" I
                                            mean if you are Gnostic you must have a perticular cosmolgy for
                                            gnosis to work. think Jung did some disservice by setting
                                            everything down as "archtypes" thus trying to set everything into
                                            secular commom denominator. You see it is not archtypes it is
                                            actually secular jargon. Personal experience doesn't mean
                                            anything if it is not of personal setting. I mean do you really think
                                            Gnostics of the late antiquity had same setting as us? No of
                                            course not. Again there is Enlightenment and secularization.
                                            Messina definition is for the scholars of
                                            Religiongeschichteschle. Why should concerns you?
                                          • hey_market
                                            I say it s real. I suppose I could wax on about that with all manner of speculative rationalisations, but as Kant would say, it s meaningless to juextapose and
                                            Message 21 of 22 , Jun 11 9:29 PM
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                                              I say it's real.

                                              I suppose I could wax on about that with all manner of speculative
                                              rationalisations, but as Kant would say, it's meaningless to
                                              juextapose and impotant ought in the face of a recalcitrant is.

                                              That a fancy way of saying that at some point you've got to deal with
                                              reality, however that may be defined, bearing in mind that (due to
                                              this very same "force") definitions themselves are likely to become
                                              psychic boxes that undermine the very attempt to expose reality for
                                              what it is.

                                              Definitions seem to inevitably turn demiurgic at some point, and
                                              usually at the threshold of attaining meaning.

                                              And THIS force is exactly what Mani was all about revealing--the
                                              reality of it. He was something of a scientist of reality, or rather
                                              an artist of reality consciousness, or better still, a Goethian
                                              combination of the two, that rare and holy place where high art and
                                              science meet.

                                              At any rate, rather than get into discussions about how this force
                                              plays out in out psyche (a worthy topic indeed) your post prompts me
                                              to fire my first salvo at Mr. PMCV, a theory to be backed up later by
                                              many Manichean passages (my books have been all marked up, and it's
                                              been slow going in plucking out the prime passages, but rest assured
                                              my friend PMCV, they are there).

                                              So, without further ado, let me try to explain my thoughts on Mani,
                                              and forgive me if they're a bit rambling and vitriolic--Morpho has
                                              stirred my blood regarding the reality of this force and its vested
                                              interest.

                                              I might add that I personally and particularly prize Mani when it
                                              comes to confronting this reality, and I believe his blood was
                                              similarly stirred.



                                              --- In gnosticism2@y..., "morphodyte" <morphodyte@y...> wrote:
                                              > --- In gnosticism2@y..., hey_market <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                              > > Agreed, and that's even if a Gnostic ultimately accepts a
                                              > monistic
                                              > > position. That is, even if all emanataes and is resolved in
                                              > > oneness, we experience duality which cannot and must not be
                                              > > ignored. To do so is not to know what Gnostics know, which is
                                              > > that there is a force of division that opposes our union. We
                                              > much
                                              > > ACT against this force, or rather ACT FOR and towards our
                                              > > destiny.
                                              > >
                                              >
                                              > This brings up the very real, at least for me, concern about
                                              > Archons. I have been taken to task over my statements that there
                                              > are forces in the 'world' which directly oppose the reintegration
                                              of
                                              > the individual with the Divine (oppose the conjugation of Psyche
                                              > and Eros). Frequently citing psychology and stating that these
                                              > are all parts of the psychological process, these Agonists
                                              > against Archons deny the possibility that there are forces in the
                                              > psyche which transcend and interact and oppose the
                                              > individuated psyche.
                                              >
                                              > Does this make sense? I posit by way of analogy that just as
                                              > there are mack trucks on the freeway which oppose and present
                                              > a very real danger to the individual Soma should it get in the way,
                                              > there are Mack trucks on the freeway of psyche which also act
                                              > out as independent of one's 'will' or 'choice'.
                                              >
                                              > Not to invoke or evoke Jungian archetypes, a concept which has
                                              > become so jargonized as to become useless, the Archon or
                                              > Watcher seems to me to be a very real force which opposes the
                                              > awakened gnostic.
                                              >
                                              > What say you in response Hey_Market?
                                              >
                                              > Morph
                                            • hey_market
                                              And by the way, I d like to also say ditto on Marcion, docetism, and your general antinomianism. I sure like the way you think. It s readily apparent, at least
                                              Message 22 of 22 , Jun 11 9:36 PM
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                                                And by the way, I'd like to also say ditto on Marcion, docetism, and
                                                your general antinomianism. I sure like the way you think. It's
                                                readily apparent, at least to me, that actual gnosis means something
                                                to you.

                                                Gee, how novel. Unfortunatley, that's about as rare as a Manichean
                                                elect, yet hopefully it's becoming less rare.

                                                As if the experience actually means something, eh?

                                                --- In gnosticism2@y..., "morphodyte" <morphodyte@y...> wrote:
                                                > --- In gnosticism2@y..., hey_market <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                                > > Agreed, and that's even if a Gnostic ultimately accepts a
                                                > monistic
                                                > > position. That is, even if all emanataes and is resolved in
                                                > > oneness, we experience duality which cannot and must not be
                                                > > ignored. To do so is not to know what Gnostics know, which is
                                                > > that there is a force of division that opposes our union. We
                                                > much
                                                > > ACT against this force, or rather ACT FOR and towards our
                                                > > destiny.
                                                > >
                                                >
                                                > This brings up the very real, at least for me, concern about
                                                > Archons. I have been taken to task over my statements that there
                                                > are forces in the 'world' which directly oppose the reintegration
                                                of
                                                > the individual with the Divine (oppose the conjugation of Psyche
                                                > and Eros). Frequently citing psychology and stating that these
                                                > are all parts of the psychological process, these Agonists
                                                > against Archons deny the possibility that there are forces in the
                                                > psyche which transcend and interact and oppose the
                                                > individuated psyche.
                                                >
                                                > Does this make sense? I posit by way of analogy that just as
                                                > there are mack trucks on the freeway which oppose and present
                                                > a very real danger to the individual Soma should it get in the way,
                                                > there are Mack trucks on the freeway of psyche which also act
                                                > out as independent of one's 'will' or 'choice'.
                                                >
                                                > Not to invoke or evoke Jungian archetypes, a concept which has
                                                > become so jargonized as to become useless, the Archon or
                                                > Watcher seems to me to be a very real force which opposes the
                                                > awakened gnostic.
                                                >
                                                > What say you in response Hey_Market?
                                                >
                                                > Morph
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