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Re: [Gnosticism2] Re: Ecclesia Gnostica:

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  • Terje Dahl Bergersen
    ... No, the majority of the posts where directed at how dissatisfactory and even fake the EG appears to be to a significant number of debatants... There were
    Message 1 of 48 , Oct 13, 2002
      Re: [Gnosticism2] Re: Ecclesia Gnostica:
      Cari wrote, some time ago:

      Some members here do not relate to a church environment that includes
      sacraments, etc.  My observation is that dissatisfaction with a
      church setting for some is mainly about form, not necessarily always
      function, but I might be wrong.  I think the main argument was not
      about the Gnostic Ecclesia,

      No, the majority of the posts where directed at how dissatisfactory and even "fake" the EG appears to be to a significant number of debatants...
      There were a significant number of posts which were crossposted throughout two forums, not only "Gnosticism" - as such, the attacks on the character of Hoeller (which I can only think of as uninformed) and everyone involved with EG or any other kind of ecclestiacial work under the Gnosis, which were more explicit
      in, for instance, Gnosticmillenium, is unclear and confusing to those who have not participated in more than one forum.
      I can understand a significant number of people are dissatisfied with the context of a Church (in America (or rather, Hollywood) it is more than that,remembering that the Gnostic Society is an associated activity of Hoeller´s
      - the continuation of a legacy which stretch back 75 years, to 1927, when the rather controversial and illuminist brothers James Morgan Pryse and John Vincent Pryse started an informal and independent society for the study and dissemination of the ancient gnostic traditions..a kind of Philosophical Research Society, only exclusively Gnostic in orientation and temperament..)
      - first impressions depends on what platform, what number of references you possess when you meet a phenomenon, a context, for the first time - EG does not preach, it practices, and when your only means of impression is what has been written down and published on the Internet, or in Gnosis magazine, you might very well receive a very obscure and dimmed impression of what´s going on.
      The temperament of the EG people I know, or rather, they are individuals who for very different reasons are associated with, and work within, the Ecclesia Gnostica - is that of heterodoxy, that of not only being tolerant of the presence of divergent and at times contradictory views and interpretations as they are found in a diversity of individuals joining to form one group, fellowship &c but also within their own orientation and developement -
      in the Kenoma the most distinguishing feature of any light, any conscious presence - is movement - either from or towards the place of origins, the Pleroma itself. As such, the most distinguishing feature of a Man of Light, a Gnostic, is this same quality - a Gnostic does not build monuments,cathedrals or any such thing  on behalf of personal gnosis, or gnoses.The purpouse of the particular activity of the Gnostic Ekklesia is that which is delineated from the teachings of the Valentinians, to wit, that no walls be raised between the pneumatics and the psychics, between Spirit and Soul, that they should have communion, and increase in this exchange - here the pneumatics are given the opportunity to serve the purpouse, personal and metaphysical, which is theirs on account of the reception of the Light and Gnosis - and here, also, psychics can receive comfort and succour, and sustenance - the powers associated with Grace in the ancient days. That´s all there is, and that is why it is called communion and ekklesia, although the transcendent counterparts of these reside in the heart of the Pleroma and should never be confused with its mirrored image. The image, however, is important, since the Gnostic perceives, rightly, that without it, there are no presence of the Pleroma in the world of forms, rather it resides in the formless.. which will not make contact with the interior, except in revelation and condensation- that is to say, sacrificed to the senses, or sacrificed to form and matter.
      Now then, I do not think it is advisable that any more should join or even visit the Ecclesia Gnostica or other Gnostic Churches if they interiorly feel that this context and endeavour fails its objectives, or do not "appeal" to their temperaments.. far from it, the fewer who walk in and walk out dissatisfied, disgruntled and desillusioned, the better.
      There are no nominal division set or made apparent,concerning the psychic and pneumatic, neither doctrinally nor practically, this is not the point I raise, the point I raise is that even within a Gnostic context, there are an understanding that those who have been awakened or whose light has been increased, nevermind the circumstances wherein they have come to such a situation, should not rest until the entire movement, the entire response to the descending savior - he be called Nous,Christ,Logos,Seth or anything else -
      moreover, in the Pistis Sophia, this is the very iniquity of the Rulers for whose sake the human race must ascend into the heights, so as to purify the whole place, from below and up on high..that they were arrogant and kept for themselves the light which they had custody of, for the sake of Sophia and the greater assembly of souls. Psychics cannot do this, and become greatly harmed by attempting to do so, out of their current predicament - but the means by which they realize this, for instance, that after all, after dreams and visions, even miracles, they are not "spiritualized" at default, or pure enough of distractions and addictions to encounter the Holy of Holies ..and live.. is as manifold as there are psychics. Here, the Gnostic Myth, the Gospel of Thomas, the logia in the New Testament, similes and allegories found in serious exegesis of the older traditions - and practices, such as meditation (however, the pseudo-asian blindfold/gag/earplug variety is not helpful, since we are steeped and drowned at all sides with the counterfeit spirit, incarnate or interior...how inflated does a man become when he discovers that all these things can be observed to be activities within himself, and he has apparently "stopped" them all, except for the betrayal of himself which he allows with his premature decision that either he is "God" in that moment, or that there is no God, and a void replaces everything and he has "accomplished" all there is to existence? How harmful can these things be? Rather than liberation, it is the beginning of a greater captivity, one which destroys souls, and seals off  spirit into dainty little cells of smoke and mirrors..),prayer (indeed- Plotin reminds us that Contemplation and Prayer is "the communication of a man with his God, his interior spirit or guardian angel"),observances and so forth - are helpful. Not as distractions, addictions, or "crutches", but as counter-activities and means by which the psychic may become aware of the boundaries and limitations of his conscious presence in life.

      The Gnosis sans Context - be it Myth,Practise or Ritual - remains a sealed off activity whose only diet, only means and form of nutrition, is intellectual argument. We have read the texts and posts of eachother throughout an extended period, and on that basis - we might make a critical inquiry into the nature of our exchanges, do they not appear to be more monologue and rhetoric than a real and awakened Communion of Spirit? You don´t discuss in a ritual context. However, this silence is a space opened in ourselves, as individuals. This Silence does not depend on any submission to a dogmatic superstructure, it depends on the ability to hold a memory, hold an experience, set apart, from the world - as a matter of discipline, so that the internal dialogue might ensue, in it´s own language Š as such, it is a "Holy Silence", sacred, set apart, independent.
      It is also puzzling for the Cosmist, those who worship everything as sacred based on the need and craving for an affirmation that "everything is allright", "nothing needs to be done", "everything is true, everything permissible" -
      they fall off and sometimes become violently sick whenever they try to come close to any mystery at all - the miraculous and magical is only means of affirming the preconceived intellectual notion of these so-called "truths", and whenver an experience of the former confronts this agenda as so much "smoke"... it all becomes disturbing and oppressive. The Gnosis sans context is "information as deity", it is and constitutes just precisely of that which the ancient gnoses is misconceived as being by rhetorics and polemics, ancient and modern. The trouble for the critics is that they possess no reference and no context in which anything of what the ancient gnostics thaught and oriented themselves towards, metaphysical or symbolical, or anything between - so it all drowns in the noise of conflicting realities clashing.

       but rather about other settings in
      general that did not encourage individual experience leading to self-
      acquaintance (in the favorable way your community does), but rather
      *required* a guru or rather controlling master to dictate the path. 

      My experience is that the most authoritarian,radical and totalitarian
      of subcultures today, are those that appears to defend one or another
      "universal" - claiming to be undogmatic it nevertheless bases itself
      on a reasoning whose centre of approach/reproach is always that someone
      is directly responsible for telling everyone else how things are, period.
      They like the Archons in Gosp.Philip takes the names of that which is
      "good" and puts them on that which is "base", juggling around with semantics
      for the sake of securing a position while confusion rules..
      You´d be amazed at the amount of abject agnosticism and cynicism which prevails among these people, and shudder if you found out what they perceive as the real goal and objective of their different endeavours.

      We are all influenced by other people on our journey, but there is a
      difference between a guide or mentor and an authoritarian figure. 
      Whether or not one chooses to benefit from ritual, etc. seems to be a
      personal choice.

      My experience is that _even witnessing a ritual_ for many becomes too much, it demands too much of them, and seeing no results in the _phenomenal sense_ completely disregards what it _might_ be. This has to do with one´s predisposition, and preferences at their default.
      To participate in a ritual becomes even more difficult, because someone who are disposed towards watching over their shoulder to make notes about their peers reaction to his every action and word - becomes confused over the question "what am I doing and what does that which I do represent" - what is it worth, and will I get an applause or something..... You don´t get a pat on your back and nobody expects anything you do to do anything else than what it does - Internally - and it all depends on the participants.. and that is all...
      Coraxo has _underlined_ the feature of Gnostic practises which have been neglected too often when translated into a contemporary setting (and so also very profoundly by Jung) namely that the progress towards Redemption is not one initiated/begun on behalf of one solitary self, but for the sake of the Entirety, which is enlived and potentionally illuminated by such a single one..
      it arrogates somehow to the role of redeemer, whilst recognizing a higher nevertheless, I think Jesus said something to the nature of "whatever you loosen in this world, will be loosened/redeemed in the next, whatever you bind in this world, will be bound in the next" and here the Pistis Sophia most definitly makes a contribution in presenting the vast and somehow unpalateable list of the souls journey through the "Stations" or Watchhouses. In PS Jesus also appears to wish to instruct his disciples _beforehand_ of what they will encounter on that potentionally final journey, and in this respect, he acts as a Psychopomp, a guide of souls - his method is Image and Its Interpretation, the most vivid and clarified images are associated with the journey of Sophia; the process of her redemption - at one stage she encounters the Savior, is unable to see him, but sees his shining clothes - and in its light - she sees her own reflection, glorified; to wit, she sees her glory elevated in the figure of the Christ.
      EG exists for the Psychics , those of the Psychic disposition, who nevertheless have been awakened or called - it is not for the "chosen", or elect, and is not a gateway into the final mystery at default. Its ministry is related to the ministry of compassion and grace, and therefore several of its gifts are those which are given to _souls_  rather than those gifts which _belongs to the spirit_. This makes it a "low target", one which is easily encountered, marked and shot at - since it is the very same which is the project of other exoteric churches. The difference is here that the existence of a Hidden Spiritual Ekklesia, the Ecclesia of the Hagios Pneumon, the souls Communion in Christ-Sophia, the New Jerusalem &c is recognized and a portion of the interior order is opened up to faciliate the solitary progression which is neccessary for those Gnostics who will eventually pass on to other manifestations of the selfsame work - and some men and women who belongs to this kind, are present.. and not walled up somewhere..
      It is neccessary it should not become anything more than the aforementioned.
      It should facilitate the journey,but not pretend that the journey takes place in its own context, since it does not do this .
      So Ecclesia Gnostica is a formal,open and sacramental context, a place of heterodox communion which recognizes and allows Gnosis, but which nevertheless, does not directly bestow such Gnosis.
      I have never seen a claim of this kind (that it bestows Gnosis, or even instruction which directly results in Gnostic awakening) coming from either Hoeller or anyone else associated directly with the order.
      Some caretakers, some guardians, some custodians of the Old Catholic tradition (a most ancient tradition, taking in view the many consciential dissents and schisms from the Roman See throughout the last 20 centuries...although specifically of more recent age) recognize that it is neccessity for the Exoteric Church to allow the esoterics to participate, and actually to do what they  are there to do - this is the beginning of the restoration Valentinus wanted to happen in his own day, and perhaps the reason he tolerated his elevation to candidacy as Pope while staying in Rome. This also allowed the foundation of a thousand different church-in-churches , communions-in-communions which I have informed some of you existed throughout the centuries...
      this is the beef with the entire Apostolic Succession thing... actually, the whole steak..The French Gnostic Church existed outside of the Catholic communion and apostolic succession for quite some time - but benefited from the fact that it expanded itself to be a new commmunion for the outcasts, this related to all the people who were excommunicated from the R.C.C., all who were denied the gifts of grace, all who were denied the confidence of their fellows, all who were cast out of the "good company", Masons, martinists, rosicrucians, mediums, opera singers, enfants terribles, visionaries, holy fools and so forth... It became a true underground church , but in the sense of the cultural phenomenon of the underground - the place where hidden streams converge to produce true rivers which threaten to flood the surface.. That is what you are seeing in popular culture, in many respects.. Constellations such as the one above have had their small heydays, fragmented like shrapnel...but left an impact upon our civilization, however small it might be deemed by others.

      As for the revenants, the outcasts.. for them to facilitate such gifts directly, if they would not believe the sincerity and power behind them - it benefited them that their priests should be vouchsafed a connection to the greater Church which they had recognized, while not being recognized themselves by claimants of authority to exclude them, this connection is the Personal Induction by way of Initiation and long and steadfast discipline under the Aegis of one of the custodians, done in a fashion recognized by _tradition_ (not a particular authority claiming the tradition, but rather in so a fashion as having claim on tradition itself).. which is to say, they wilfully reverted the bureacracy of the Church exterior to the directions used by the Primitive Church - instead of seminaries and colleges, Initiatory schools and orders..

      So the Gnostic Apostolic is both apostolic and Apostolic (sic!).

      The Church-in-the-Churches is one of the greatest obstacles against the securing of an authentic Historical Imperative which would have benefited and authorized the present-day greats, especially the Roman Catholic Church - that its rituals, forms and so forth should be so transubstantiated and transfigured as to become a testimony against the absolutes taught by doctrine - is a great obstacle.. and is harped on again and again by such institutions as The Opus Dei and The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (under the auspices of Cardinal Ratzinger, No less...), or The Warriors of Our Lady - all having the roles the Dominican and Fransiscan orders held during the inquisition.. in civilized versions, of course...
      However, many mystical traditions, and especially those with such power as to emanate out of the original mystic in an approximation of his or her own theosis and revelation - does, by consequence, the same.

      Pax Pleromae

      Terje D.Bergersen
      my weblog http://terje.bergersen.net/mt/

    • hesperos19
      ... crossposted ... attacks ... uninformed) ... work ... those ... The posts which mention Hoeller on Gnosticmillenium@yahoogroups.com og which I am list-owner
      Message 48 of 48 , Oct 13, 2002
        --- In gnosticism2@y..., Terje Dahl Bergersen <terje@b...> wrote:

        > There were a significant number of posts which were
        > throughout two forums, not only "Gnosticism" - as such, the
        > on the character of Hoeller (which I can only think of as
        > and everyone involved with EG or any other kind of ecclestiacial
        > under the Gnosis, which were more explicit
        > in, for instance, Gnosticmillenium, is unclear and confusing to
        > who have not participated in more than one forum.

        The posts which mention Hoeller on
        Gnosticmillenium@yahoogroups.com og which I am list-owner
        are posts # 464, 534, 537, 538, 544, 547, 548, 618, 621.

        In none of these posts was Hoeller's character attacked; the
        question arose regarding sacramentalism - which a discussant
        and I engaged the view of Testimonium Veritas regarding water
        baptism vis a vis the Valentinian - orientated position of the
        Ecclesia Gnostica.

        I raised doubts regarding Hoeller's apostolic succession -
        however, if these doubts were "illinformed" you COULD have
        clarified the matter - verdad?

        In fact the questions were based on a lack of understanding of
        what the EG and EGN and their doctrines, and based upon a
        lack of knowledge on my part regarding the tradions of the
        Ecclesia Gnostica - and of course these questions and doubts
        have been answered elsewhere - at least to my satisfaction.

        Not everyone is going to see the church positions of EG and
        EGN as self-evident, due either to lack of information, contact, or
        context - and the more informed approach would be to respond
        with information, contact, context by way of explanation.

        Of course since Hoeller did publish these materials in his new
        book - questions regarding the necessity and legitimacy of
        Church and sacramentalism are going to be raised, and I think
        most people are willing at least to listen to well thought and
        reasonable replies.

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