Re: [Gnosticism] Job, Jung Achamoth and the Craftsman
- Hello Corax,
<< You make some excellent points and perhaps open up a greater dialog about the Rule of Law as a generalized principle, versus personal and communal ethics. >>
<< My take on Paul is that we are not bound to ANY Law, but rather by virtue of the Pneuma are obliged to live ethically and morally; to be continent as is implied the Valentinian Fragment provided by Felis Mala. >>
While the pneumatic is freed from "obligatory" obeisance to religious codes (and I think this includes codes regarding worship, etc., though that is another discussion in itself) the pneumatic is also opened up to a state of "mindfulness" or "perception" that, IMO, makes obvious the obligations of righteousness. If anything, they are more stringent than the "go-along-to-get-along" requirements of most moral codes.
I differentiate between ethics and morals. Morals are those specific things which society tells us to do and not to do. Ethics however is the art and science of discerning ethical principles and determining in every situation which principle holds precedence.
Following ethical dictates is more difficult, because they preclude self-interest and therefore frequently bring us into conflict with moral codes or legal requirements -- and when this happens, when what is right is deemed "immoral" or "illegal" by the powers-that-be, even one who works "within the system" of laws or religion to oppose unethical laws or religious codes faces personal risk.
<< Law, as conceptualized has even been extended to the realm of natural phenomena as in the Law of Gravity, the Laws of Thermodynamics, as if these were legislated. In fact, there are even Laws of Probability, which is an oxymoronic concept because randomness (probability) cannot be legislated, otherwise it would not be random would it? >>
"Natural laws" so-called are human descriptions of the workings of nature that generally correspond to the way things actually are.
<< The failure of adhering to Law was the central thesis of Paul to the Galatians who seeking to convert to the circumcision were admonished regarding the burden and obligation they would take on. >>
I read a certain very human exasperation on Paul's part when he writes to the Galatians: "If you get circumcised, then Christ is of no use to you!" He could hardly be more blunt: Christianity (as conceived of originally) was incompatible with strict or blind adherence to religious code.
<< Rome, of course, was all about Law, and America carries the torch of Lex Romanum to which we find ourselves increasingly burdened by additional rules, constraints contracts and obligations. >>
The Gospel accounts show Jesus as being rather disinterested in Roman authority ("Give to Caesar what is Caesar's") but this may have been selective editing done by early Christians who hoped to fly under the governmental radar.
IMO Jesus was leaving the matter of how to act with regards to the authorities up to the individual. Some of us will thrive in the legal environment; some of us will not. I think Jesus would have even applauded if government were run by people of ethical fortitude. Our current political and economic system however discourages this. So what Jesus advocated instead that people cooperate with one another on a grass-roots level -- his "kingdom of heaven" sounds remarkably like economic "cooperatives" that often help to bring some sort of economic power to those who otherwise would have none.
<< This is the key of antinomy; that one is not constrained by NO!, rather, one is guided only to acts which bear the fruit of the Spirit. can one legislate happiness, or charity? If it is not given freely, then how can it be happiness or charity? >>
This is very well put, and it is an excellent point.
<< By example, the amount of regulation in medical practice has completely destroyed the healing professions and turned them into houses of mammon. >>
I agree. The pharmaceutical industry in particular has become a den of thieves. It is seen as one of the most profitable businesses around -- but their profits, of course, are at the expense of those who have no choice but to pay. One thing I'm furious about is the fact that many prescriptions now cost close to $100+ for a month's supply, when a large portion pays for television ads and unscrupulous "drug reps" who shower doctors with gifts.
<< You wrote elsewhere on GT, Tony, about corrupted food, of course all regulated now by the USDA and the FDA; there is no freedom in what we eat, drink, or in our ability to foster health and welfare. >>
Yeah, it's becoming very discouraging.
<< So when Paul writes that our battle is not against the Flesh, but against Principalities and Powers, I see the Gnostic as just that, locked in a deadly battle for spiritual autonomy against the laws that bind to the powers of this world; the coin of Caesar and sacrifice to the Demiurge- Rome and Temple. >>
This is what it boils down to -- the individual coming of awareness and seeing immediately the obstacles in the path of the Tikkun Olam.
Gulf Coast Gnostics: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GCGnostics/
One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. --C.G. Jung