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  • Coraxo
    Aaaah! That s better... now able to stretch my wings a bit. Naasene here is one of the posts on the GnosticHuntersandGatherers Club you posted that I really
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 16, 2002
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      AAAAAHHH Aaaah! That's better... now able to stretch my wings a bit.

      Naasene here is one of the posts on the GnosticHuntersandGatherers Club you posted that I really liked:

      Coraxamorph

      --- In GnosticGathering@y..., naasene <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      I had promised a post on the subject, then got destracted....
      sorry.

      Many people who have heard the term "Gnostic" used in modern
      non-
      Gnostic sources are very surprized to find out the things I'm
      about
      to outline. I have seen books by popular New Age authors that
      give
      the impression that Gnostics are some form of spiritual
      anarchists,
      individually roaming the countryside looking for inner peace.
      Whether
      one believes this is a good idea of how to live or a bad one, it
      isn't an accurate picture where Gnostics are concerned.
      Gnostics have
      always had a very specific method of learning and teaching, and
      it
      has some important formal elements.

      First important point that is common to all forms of Gnosticism is
      the tripartite nature of the human animal. Since the person is
      divided by three, the method by which a person is thought to
      learn
      also has three parts. Each one of those parts is geared towards
      that
      persons perspective.

      The first part of the person is the "hyle". The physical body
      (world), the instincts, our animal nature, are what we are born
      into.
      All animals are thought to exist at this level, as are many people.
      At this stage of living, a person reacts to perception and causel
      effects. They are lead by thier hearts alone, thier desires (which
      includes the desire for peace and love etc... a good example of
      this
      can be found in Maslow's hierarchy of needs). Since we are all
      born
      into this level, childhood is seen as the process of escaping it.
      Many however never seem to leave this level of comprehension.
      The
      manner for teaching some one at this level is literalization of the
      mythological structure for the sake of moral obligation. In other
      words, the fear of hell that modern protastantism is so well
      known
      for started in the Crhistian religion as the hylic (aka "choic")
      section of the lower mystery. Just like with Santa or the tooth fiery
      though, the literal beliefs are overthrown with spiritual maturity.
      Practical magic, "name it and claim it" forms of Christianity, and
      much of the more dogmatic religious beliefs that include praying
      to a
      deity (any deity, including Jesus, angels, or the Virgin Mary) for
      things like health, money, or the like would be at this level in the
      Gnostic view.

      That brings us to the next stage. When a person moves away
      from
      simple desires and into the mental realm, they were
      called "psychics". This onviously doesn't mean ESP or the like,
      but
      simply the intellect and the will. The understanding that comes
      with
      this level is of analogy and lesser allagory (primary surface
      meaning). That is to say "why" are there laws for cleanliness, for
      how to treat your neighbors, etc.. It is this level that one comes to
      explore thier purpose in the world, and the purpose of thier
      beliefs.
      This is what moste people today call "spirituality". The Catholic
      chruch officially allows for allegorical interpretation even if most
      of it's constituancy are literalists. That way it provides space for
      it's more mystical members, like Francis of Assisi. The mystical
      experience is the tail end of this level, and a movement into the
      next.

      The Gnostic seeks to become "Pneumatic", or spirit driven. BTW,
      spirit and soul are not the same thing in Gnostic parlence. The
      soul
      is dealt with at the phsycic level, something all people have. Not
      every one is thought to have a spirit since it is something you
      have
      to foster rather than simply being born with. Or to be more
      accurate,
      there has long been a debate as to whether people can be born
      (and
      thus be preordained to enlightnenment) a spirit or not, but most
      forms of Gnosticism outline this as a process, not a
      preordination.
      At the level of Pneumaticism, allegory takes on a new function, a
      deeper function. It becomes a special language for dealing with
      things that can be passed on in no other way. Awakening the
      spirit
      involves having already dealt with the heart and the mind, and
      then
      assimilating them into a specific context. The Gnostics (along
      with
      every other form of traditional western esotericism) believed this
      happened through initiation. In fact, that is the meaning
      of "initiation", to start something (which in this case was spiritual
      awareness).

      So, the process was a system of lower and higher mysteries,
      urged on
      through initiatory practice. Gnostics did not believe that this
      generally happened individually (though it could happen without
      initiation, such occurences have been thought to be rare and
      dangerous). The normal church that we now think of as
      "Christianity"
      was just the lower mysteries to the Gnostics. Gnostics exsisted
      within the church as a whole, and considered themselves to be
      the
      creators of the early church (something that has gained
      academic
      support in recent years). Gnostics of old seemed to have been
      pretty
      surprised when the church termed them "heretics" and purged
      all forms
      of esoteric thought.

      Anyways, that is a brief overview of how a Gnostic order would
      start
      by teaching morality, backed by a mythological structure. Upon a
      greater maturity it would teach critical thinking methods which
      would
      be practiced on the aformentioned mythology (eventually
      bringing it
      into question). It would give context to ritual, and place the
      person
      in a position of greater inner contemplation. Lastly it would take
      those myths and turn them on thier head, creating a situation of
      shock (even revulsion) and awe. It would break worldview in
      such a
      way as to  make a person ahve to re-evaluate even thier slightest
      notions of truth, and thus they would gain a larger picture of truth
      outside thier perception (trading subjective truth for objective you
      could say).

      Since these levels of initiation were partially dependend on the
      element of surprise. And also since the higher forms of
      mythology had
      been proven to have a negative effect on those who were not
      ready for
      them, this process was contained in a secretive structure.
      Anyone
      could hear the hylic portion. Anyone who dleved could find out
      about
      the psychic portion (which is why the initial forms of these have
      survived to this day), but one had to become an insider to get
      ahold
      of the deapest parts. The mysteries then worked on a similar
      structure as modern Freemasons (only much deeper IMO, not to
      insult
      any Freemasons).

      Of course, this is a very simplified version. In it's simplicity it
      isn't completely accurate, but surely gives you the basic idea.

      Na'asene
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