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Re: [Gnosticism2] Resonating scripture

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  • Terje Dahl Bergersen
    ... Happy new year, Lady Caritas. I take note that you allow more than one. I recently shared, on another list, meditations on the topic of the Advent season
    Message 1 of 45 , Dec 29, 2002
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      Re: [Gnosticism2] Resonating scripture
      With the New Year just around the corner, I'll be taking a few days
      retreat, but before I depart, I want to pose a question to members,
      new and old:

      Do you have favorite Gnostic scripture(s) and why?  Also, feel free
      to share any related verses, personal stories, revelations, etc.

      I like to think that ancient wisdom can still strike a chord
      nowadays.  What do you think?

      Happy New Year, everyone.

      Happy new year, Lady Caritas.

      I take note that you allow more than one.

      I recently shared, on another list, meditations on the topic
      of the Advent season towards the Nativity.

      To wit, it was from the Gospel of Truth ascribed to none other
      than Valentinus, the great Gnostic churchfather -

      The Gospel of Truth. Excerpts from Robinson p.43-44

      While his wisdom contemplates the Word, and his teaching utters it,
      his knowledge has revealed <it>. While forebearance is a crown upon
      it, and his gladness is in harmony with it, his glory has exalted it,
      his image has revealed it, his repose has received it into itself,
      his love made a body over it, his fidelity has embraced it. In this
      way the Word of the Father goes forth in the totality, as the fruit
      of his heart and an impression of his will. But it supports the
      totality; it chooses them and also receives the impression of the
      totality, purifying them, bringing them back into the Father, into
      the Mother, Jesus of the infinite sweetness.

      The Father reveals his bosom.(sic)
      Now his bosom is the Holy Spirit.(sic)
      He reveals what is hidden of him - what is hidden of him is his Son -
      so that through the mercies of the Father the aeons may know him and
      cease laboring in search of the Father, resting there in him, knowing
      that this is the rest.

      Having filled the deficiency, he abolished the form - the form of it
      is the world, that in which he served. For the place where there is
      envy and strife is deficient, but the place where there is Unity is
      perfect. Since the deficiency came into being because the Father was
      not known, therefore, when the Father is known, from that moment on
      the deficiency will no longer exist.

      As in the case of the ignorance of a person, when he comes to have
      knowledge, his ignorance vanishes of itself, as the darkness vanishes
      when light appears, so also the deficiency vanishes in the
      perfection. So from that moment on the form is not apparent, but it
      will vanish in the fusion of Unity, for now their works lie scattered.

      In time Unity will perfect the spaces.
      It is within Unity that each one will attain himself; within
      knowledge he will purify himself from multiplicity into Unity,
      consuming matter within himself like fire, and darkness by light,
      death by life.

      If indeed these things have happened to each one of us, then we must
      see to it above all that the house will be holy and silent for the
      Unity. It is as int he case of some people who moved out of dwellings
      having jars that in spots were not good. They would break them, and
      the master of the house would suffer no loss. Rather he is glad
      because in place of the bad jars there are full ones which are made
      perfect. For such is the judgement which has come from above. It
      passed judgment on everyone; it is a drawn sword, with two edges,
      cutting on either side.

      When the Word appeared, the one that is within the heart of those
      utter it - it is not a sound alone but it became a body - a great
      disturbance took place among the jars because some had been emptied,
      others filled, that is, some had been supplied , others poured out,
      some had been purified, still others broken up. All the spaces were
      shaken and disturbed because it knew nothing. When knowledge drew
      near it - this, is the downfall of error and all its emanations -
      error is empty, having nothing inside.

      Truth appeared; all its emanations knew it. They greeted the Father
      in truth with a great power that joins them to the Father.
      For, as everyone who loves the truth - because the truth is the mouth
      of the Father;his tongue is the Holy Spirit - he who is joined to the
      truth is joined to the FatherĀ“s mouth by his tongue, whenever he is
      to receive the Holy Spirit, since this is the manifestation of the
      Father and his revelation to the Aeons.

      The same scripture also contains these words:
      Understand the interior meaning, for it is you who are the children
      of interior understanding. What is, then, the Sabbath? That day on
      which salvation cannot be idle. Speak from the perspective of
      the superior day, in which there is no night; and from the light that
      does not set, since it is perfect. Speak, therefore, from the heart, for it is you who are the day that is perfect , and it is within you that there dwells the star that does not set. Speak of the truth with those who seek it, and of acquiantance with those who have sinned in the midst of their error.
      Make steady the feet of those who have stumbled, and stretch out your hands to those who are sick. Feed those who are hungry, and unto those who are weary give repose; and awaken those who wish to arise, and get up from your sleep.
      For it is you who are unsheated intelligence. If strenghtening is thus, it is truely strong.

      I believe that particular good news address how Gnosis manifest in men and women such as ourselves, not through idle speech or speculation, but in a steadfast service to the entirety of beings who exist, despite of the darkness which is manifest around us.

      A second strong influence upon me, also Valentinian - is the Gospel according to Phillip..

      It tells of an universal restoration, which will manifest in the form of revelation; of making that which is obscured in, and effectively _by_ the world
      visible and apparent unto the light of the abovementioned day; the individual glory of each Gnostic who enters into his rest, through the Bridal Chamber.

      Light and darkness, life and death, right and left, are siblings (mutually dependent some would say); it is impossible for them to separate. Accordingly, you will find, neither is the good truely good, nor evil truely evil, life is not life, death is not death. So each will be dispersed, according to their original source. But such things that are superior to the world itself are indissoluble, they are truely eternal.
      Which addresses a theme contained in the fragment preserved by Clement of Alexandria, belonging to Valentinus himself:

      From the beginning you (plur.) have been immortal, and you are children of eternal life. Yet you wanted death to be allocated to yourselves so that you might spend it and use it up, and that death might die in you and through you.
      For when you dissolve the whole world, and yet are not yourselves dissolved, you are lords of all creation and destruction.

      The Gnosis dissolves the worlds established by Agnosis, "that they do not know God", as opposed to "that they know God", for the former is death, the latter life eternal.

      Like with the Gospel of Truth and the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Phillip has many layers, many rooms..
      This had to be brief, of the common "gnostic" scriptures - the three most complete accounts of a Valentinian Gnose inspires me the most;
      The Gospel of Truth, the Gospel of Philip and The treatise of the Resurrection.

      Pax Pleromae

      Terje Dahl Bergersen

    • pmcvflag
      ... Others would argue that the movement INTO Latin as the scholar s lingua franca was the greatest mistake of western culture... this would include the
      Message 45 of 45 , Jan 9, 2003
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        > Because moving away from Latin as the scholars' lingua franca
        > was the greatest error throughout the history of European culture.
        > This has already been noted by A. Schopenhauer.

        Others would argue that the movement INTO Latin as the
        scholar's "lingua franca" was the greatest mistake of western
        culture... this would include the Greek-speaking composers of much of
        the Nag Hammadi library, as well as it's Coptic speaking translators.
        Often times both of these languages were very specifically used as
        outposts of resistance against Latin cultural oppression. In northern
        Egypt the Greek speaking community was second only to the Jews for
        their reputation for insurrection (in Alexandria the Greek community
        lived just to the south of the walled Jewish quarter, and the
        cultural exchange equalled the resentment of occupation. This is the
        venue in which Gnosticism was created).

        None of these books we are talking about were written in Latin, so
        gumming up the works with yet a fourth (unrelated) language in the
        mix seemed rather strange is all. Don't get me wrong, Latin is a
        wonderful language, and one that is very useful to the scientific
        community. It is also something like speaking Hebrew at a Palistinian
        knitting club. I have no problem if you want to use latin... knock
        yourself out our uptight friend. Now, if we were talking about
        Catholicism it would seem perfectly obvious that you should use Latin.

        By the way..... Schopenhauer wasn't Gnostic either.

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