Re: new Hoeller book / miscellany
- Good that you don't mind the language because my next statement is
proselytizing my ass! Subjective and personal? More crap! By all
means end the conversation, if you have nothing worthwhile to say
than shuddup I say and let me talk, I have plenty more to say!!!!
This is a historical Gnostic board and I am discussing historical
Gnostic literature as it is written. Yes, I admit it, I am
proselytizing historical gnosticism!!! And not this new age amalgam
And I am a gnostic/pistic if you are interested. One can't abandon
one in favor of the other. Total nonsense to do otherwise. What faith
are you may I ask and if anyone thinks faith is a dirty word they
need to abandon gnosticism entirely because they missed the word
Pistis that pairs with Gnosis. Faith, literalness, what else, God?!?
Pretty soon the human being will be allegorical too! We'll all go
around pretending we don't really exist, we're all figments of our
own minds. That should be fun! Wait...that's been done already!
As Philip K Dick said reality is the thing that once you no longer
believe in it it refuses to go away.
Allegory does not preclude literalness but I am assuming for now from
your post that is how you define it. Apologies if not, but that is
how many define it. No one knows were the purely symbolic ends and
literal begins. So many are downright cowardly to accept even the
possibility that the literal is true *in addition* because it is non-
PC in academia to be literal. God forbid anything literal comes
along, it's explained away as some kind of allegory, no matter how
twisted or ridiculous the excuse is. The damn literalists don't know
what literal is anymore!! Yet we live in what we think is literal
reality that is filtered through the mind, and our experience of God
through the same mind can't be anything but symbolic allegory. More
bullshit! Even Corpus Hermeticum says as above so below. (It's on
your homepage welcome message and if it's not Gnostic I suggest as
monitor removing it. From the controversy over what's gnostic or not
eventually "what's Gnostic" will be wittled down to a big fat zen 0
ohmmm ohmmmm). Huge irony isn't it that so many modern day new agers
posing as gnostics scream allegory but have no problem at all with
magic or spiritualism or supernatural experiences, even though that's
not mainstream and very rare to experience, and just as big a mystery.
Buddha's flower sermon, nothing here can be accurately described
either but only experienced. Language is imprecise. The good doesn't
disappear, just duality and our inaccurate language to describe the
experience. So we don't call it good anymore because nothings evil,
big deal! Because the Gnostics texts tell us so damn it! And again,
who says *concept* is dependent on duality?
Language is but not mind and not perhaps not concept if concept is
image. And concept is not dependent on language as some linguists
erroneously think, I don't care how hard they try to argue, one can
think without using language. What the hell is inspiration anyway! If
anyone wants only allegory than the ancient gnostics agree with me
because word and knowledge are lower emanations.
What makes you think the concept of good is so? Or that there is
nothing transcendent non-dualistic Father-like in our everyday mind
we are unaware of being *exactly that* because it's so familiar we
take it for granted and don't recognize what it really is, and that
it's alien to the world of matter? Hello! we can handle paradox!
More nonsense, thinking the resolution of duality has to be something
*entirely different* from *everthing* that's here. You'd think Sophia
had never fallen! The texts say evil disappears, *true* good remains,
a type of good we are unfamiliar with because we live in mixture, but
in essence we know what it is because we are pneumatic, and *in
addition* the Father is other things we can't fathom or conceive.
Certainly not describe using paltry language. For crying out loud if
what's of the Father is in us, as historical Gnostic texts state,
you'd think we'd be familiar with at least a part of it! What the
hell is pneumatic anyway? Historical Gnostic texts consistently refer
to the Father as good. Fine, you don't like that, than let's just say
the emanations of the Father consistently reveal him as good and
never evil and state evil is an illusion and dead and is no part of
the Father and will end up in the cosmic dung heap eventually along
with matter and the cosmocrater who rules it.
- 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.