Re: new Hoeller book / miscellany
- BTW, I am kidding about the "language" thing.
--- In gnosticism2@y..., pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
> Language, Incognito... this is a family room ;) Anyways, you have
> gone over entirely into the subjective and personal perspective.
> There is little we can talk about in any constructive way once you
> that, since there is little we can to to demonstrate our points. It
> simply becomes the silly banter of one individual perspective vs
> another. All the same, I'll bite for the moment. Only as long as it
> doesn't degenerate beyond this into door knocker proslytizing
> though... or I'll end the conversation.
> >Good is the source. Evil is a byproduct<
> Well, no one is going to accuse you of making things overly complex
> *g*. However, what makes you so sure that the words you choose are
> the only correct ones (or even the best ones) for the concept you
> trying to confer? Also, this is not so much about what we think is
> true, but what we think these long dead historical groups were
> to say. You said that you "defer to your (my) hermeneutic", but
> is all about hermenuetics... eisegesis vs exegesis. How much of
> we read is colored by personal understanding, vs what they really
> meant to say.
> >You mean utterly literally as in true incorruptible good?<
> No, utterly litterally as in thinking that concepts which are
> dependant on the field of time survive beyond time.
> >The danger is if we use the standards of good we know here in our
> dualistic existence, which is corrupt, as absolute standards for
> Any notion of good you can have is within this corruption you so
> accurately point out. As a "notion" or "concept" it is dependand on
> our existance in this dualistic field. That is why the language is
> imperfect, and should not be taken at face falue. There is nothing
> you can think, see, feel, grasp, talk about, or write, that does
> fall into that trap. You however seem to be using the term "good"
> a very concrete way, as if a word could truely hold the power of
> Bythos, and so should be taken at face falue. I agree with Ernst on
> this one.... "language is just language".
> >The Corpus Hermeticum explains it better than I<
> The Coprus Hermeticum isn't technically "Gnostic" (the Jury is in
> that one). While it does have some itnerest to this club (as a sort
> of cousin form of Platonism), we have to be careful about assuming
> its value in interpreting other texts.
> >Good and evil here are a mixture, neither is pure.<
> And the same is true of the concepts therof.
> >We can also conceive of perfect things that do not exist in nature
> so this is not a difficult idea to grasp. Language may be linear
> whoever said the human perception was?<
> Well... I say that. Perception is a happening, an experience,
> therefore it is dependant on the field of time. Without opposites,
> there is nothing to percieve and and no perception. If you grasp a
> moment of the infinite... it still happens in a moment. We can in
> fact have an experience of that infinite, the problem is that we
> to then ascribe descriptions to it that have baggage.... such
> as "good" (this is not a bad thing, as long as it is only
> for it's descritpive power). At that moment, what we describe
> linear in it's being passed on. The true grasp of this eternal
> Source is not conceptual, it is not perceptual, but it's lingo is,
> and it's memory is. As you are typing on your computer, you are
> speaking and thinking... those are linear actvities. When you
> say "good", the "o" comes after the "g" and that is a linear
> >The GoPh quote on good and evil refers to *this realm*.<
> As all conceptual understandings are in *this realm*, even those
> point imperfectly to something beyond.
> >If you say you can't describe something, and then go on to do just
> that, as the texts I gave quotes from do, it is a contradiction.<
> No, it's a metephor
> >Off the web (I am not a member of the bahai faith if anyone
> Then, may I ask what faith you do belong to?
> >I suppose literal is the new dirty word in religious philosophical
> circles, like liberal is in politics.<
> TriTra "nor can any speach convey him".... "Literal" has always
> a dirty word for Platonists (and Gnosticism is in fact a Platonic
> syncratism). Plato outlines this very directly in his doctrin of
> arete vs techne. Literal representation, he says, is not true
> which is instead found in underlying meanings. I believe Valintinus
> was completely familiar with this principle.
- Ah, the confusion here is arising over word usage. "Gnosticism", is
not the same as "Gnostics" nor "Gnosis". This may sound like
splitting hairs, but the destinction is important. While the latter
two are historical, the word "Gnosticism" is the modern one and it's
purpose is to classify a number of groups via beliefs that we equate
as historically related... even though the groups in question did not
appear to do so (BTW, I mean 18th century.. not 1800s). In other
words, Carpocratians, Valintinians, and Sethians didn't seem to
go "look, we three groups hail under the rubric 'Gnosticism', so lets
just come together".
As a side note, notice even in these examples of people calling
themselves "Gnostics" that the description doesn't necessarily apply
to the group. For example....
>Epiphanius says that the Valentinians called themselves by thename "Gnostics": "... the Valentinians, who also call themselves
Gnostics..." (Panarion 31.1.1). "They say that they are the
spiritual class, as well as 'Gnostics'...' (Pan. 31.7.8). He also
claims -- Pan. 31.1.3 -- Basilides and others used "Gnostic" as a
A careful reading shows that the term "self-appellation" is probably
to be taken VERY litterally. In other words, Valintinians more likely
called themselves, individually, "Gnostics" (like "Pneumatic"), not
thier movement. It is also noteworthy that the examples we have are
not generally demonstrated in actual "Gnostic" sources.
For a more complete treatment of this subject, there is a whole book
on the matter that you can read. Take a look at "Rethinking
Gnosticism" by Michael Williams, it will clear up the confusion
better than I can.
--- In gnosticism2@y..., incognito_lightbringer <no_reply@y...> wrote:
> I am getting confused as to where the term gnostic first appeared
> (and whether this is one of those things that scholars just can't
> agree on??). I've read in several places that gnosticism is a more
> less modern designation. PMCV thinks so (quote below). But what
> groups that labeled themselves gnostic, and what would that
> I pulled the following from a poster off another message board:
> <<Porphyry gave the
> title "Against the Gnostics" to Plotinus' _Enneads_ 2.9 --
> originally called "Against Those That Affirm the Creator of the
> Cosmos and the Cosmos Itself To Be Evil."
> A number of groups who are now known as "gnostic" used the
> term gnostikos to label themselves. Hippolytus names the
> Naasenes (RH 5.1.1.; 5.6) and the Justinians (RH 5.18).
> Clement of Alexandria says that Prodicus and his followers
> "falsely claim the name of Gnostics for themselves."
> (Stromata 3.30.)
> Irenaeus names the Marcellians (which is to
> say the group of Carpocratians following Marcellina), who
> "style themselves Gnostics" (AH 1.25.6)
> Origen writes, "There are some who give themselves out as Gnostics"
> (see Contra Celsus 5.61), Christians "who deny that our God is the
> same as that of the Jews."
> Epiphanius says that the Valentinians called themselves by
> the name "Gnostics": "... the Valentinians, who also call
> themselves Gnostics..." (Panarion 31.1.1). "They say that they
> are the spiritual class, as well as 'Gnostics'...' (Pan.
> 31.7.8). He also claims -- Pan. 31.1.3 -- Basilides and others
> used "Gnostic" as a self-appellation.
> Then there are the Mandaeans. "Mandayi," which means "the
> knowing ones, the gnostics" Rudolph says it's "of more recent date"
> (Gnosis 343 -- that's his translation), but it can't be too late,
> since it turns up in the Book of John.
> Also note how Irenaeus uses the term. He refers again and
> again to people "who are falsely called gnostics."
> PMCV previously wrote #6248:
> <<That is of course a whole conversation in and of itself, but lets
> boil it down to the most basic elements. There are a very few
> historic groups who appear to have called themselves "Gnostic", but
> most of the groups we categorize as such did not. The groups that
> so seemed to be referring to a function rather than thier movement
> (with one possible exception). Of the groups that did appear to
> themselves "Gnostic" (or rather the individuals in the group
> themselves such), they did not seem to relate themselves to the
> groups that did so, and there is no historical reference to a
> categorization of "Gnosticism".
> The term "Gnosticism" first appears in the 1800s, when scholors
> reseraching the syncratism of the late antiquities needed a term to
> refer to common elements in a certain set of movments. Since that
> time the words usage has been refined a few times in the academic
> community (including the most well known "Messina" deffinition).
> club loosens that definition considerably, and is not so strict as
> purely academic club would be, but still uses the basic outline. A
> quick guideline you can use to know what I'm talking about is to
> at a movement via it's cosmogeny, world view, and most importantly
> its soteriology.