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Re: Borborites

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  • lady_caritas
    Ernst, thank you for your additional comments in Post #7081. Upon review, I suppose, although having fun flexing our mental muscles trying to discern what the
    Message 1 of 29 , Feb 1, 2003
      Ernst, thank you for your additional comments in Post #7081.

      Upon review, I suppose, although having fun flexing our mental
      muscles trying to discern what the heresiologists were REALLY
      thinking, there is no doubt that these writings are polemics and as
      such, we should be wary as to the author's intent. Whether or not a
      separate sperma-cult of "Borborians" even existed in a manner
      described by heresiologists is questionable without sufficient
      original source material as backup. Certainly even many designations
      used by church fathers were hardly ever found in the Gnostic texts
      themselves that are available to us. Although at least broad
      categorization and recognition of distinctive attributes are
      important for discussion purposes, it seems that possibly the
      otherworldliness and secrecy of those ancient "gnostic" sects has
      made them (perhaps agreeably) somewhat impervious to later dogmatic
      attempts to squeeze them into the strictures of rigorous
      classification. In this regard, self-designations of these ancient
      communities generally lent "expression to their self-understanding"
      (as mentioned below) rather than association with particular founders
      of schools.

      Midnightq2's recent reference to Kurt Rudolph's _Gnosis_ reminded me
      of a passage in this book on pages 204-206 pertaining to this issue:

      >>>Gnosis is not simply a body of teaching but may also be understood
      as designating a special community of people with certain behaviour
      patterns. This aspect is more or less familiar to the heresiologists
      through the number of "sects" whose names they determined in
      accordance with characteristic features, or after founding members
      etc. (cf. the citation from Clement of Alexandria), or which even go
      back to the self-designation of the sects themselves (which, in some
      cases, is not always demonstrable). "All these", writes
      Hippolytus, "prefer to be called `the knowing (ones)' (gnostics) for
      they alone have stumbled onto the wondrous `knowledge' (_gnosis_) of
      the perfect and good." This pronouncement which is certainly to the
      point was naturally taken by the Church Fathers to highlight the
      absurd. Epiphanius more than anyone took pleasure in exaggerating
      the number and lack of unity of the gnostic groups and in inventing
      additional names. Thus he says in one passage of his "Medicine-
      chest" that the leaders "of Gnosis falsely so-called have begun their
      evil growth upon the world, namely the so-called gnostics and
      Phibionites and the followers of Epiphanes, and the Stratiotici and
      Levitici and Borborians and the rest. For each of these (leaders)
      has contrived his own sect to suit his own passions and has devised
      thousands (!) of ways of evil." He also maintains that the same
      sects bear different names, like the "Borborians", whom others
      call "Coddians", or the people who are called Stratioci and
      Phibionites in Egypt while others call them "Zacchaeans"
      or "Babelites". Little confidence can be vouchsafed to such
      statements of the Church Fathers; it is important to look to the
      gnostic texts themselves. Thanks to the Nag Hammadi material this is
      now a more fruitful exercise than was possible earlier.

      Strikingly, one scarcely ever comes across the designations used by
      the Church Fathers. In one of the new texts a (very damaged)
      catalogue of heresies is preserved which, from the standpoint of a
      Christian-gnostic "orthodoxy", criticizes the teachings of Valentinus
      and his disciples who are also called "Valentinians", Basilides and
      his "pupils" and the "Simonians". It is indeed a strongly polemical
      tractate. On the other hand, most of the Coptic gnostic sources have
      quite different names for their communities which are not attached to
      historical founders of schools but are acquired from the theological
      contents of their teachings and lend expression to their self-
      understanding. Such expressions are well-known self-designations,
      like "chosen", "children (or sons) of the Light", (who stand over
      against the "children of darkness" of this world), "spiritual ones"
      or "those who possess the spirit"
      (pneumatics), "watchful", "perfect", "truthful", "holy", "alien"
      and "free" (with regard to this world). In addition there are
      circumlocutions which enhance the character of the "constant
      generation" (or "seed" of the world of light) which has existed since
      time began....<<<


      Cari
    • ernststrohregenmantelrad
      ... I ve written before that in the Pistis Sophia, the sperm-cult is mentioned. Also in the second Book of Jeu it is also there. Along with Mandean writting.
      Message 2 of 29 , Feb 3, 2003
        >Whether or not a
        > separate sperma-cult of "Borborians" even existed in a manner
        > described by heresiologists is questionable without sufficient
        > original source material as backup.


        I 've written before that in the Pistis Sophia, the sperm-cult is
        mentioned. Also in the second Book of Jeu it is also there. Along
        with Mandean writting. Now are these writing by heresiologists?
        (ok, 'orthodox' heresiologists? I want to make sure that when you
        mean 'heresiologists' you mean 'orthodox' one like Irenaeus and
        Epiphanus.)

        So, it is at least not the imagination of heresiolgists. (Or to put it
        more clearly 'orthodox' heresiologists). Some group was indeed
        doing something with sperm. Now the right interpretation of that
        ritual was about we'll might never know without the original
        Borborite document but there is high possibility that a group like
        Borborites with sperm-cult did existed.
      • lady_caritas
        ... it ... Clarification: Yep, I do remember what you wrote, Ernst. I was referring to orthodox heresiologists. And, yes, I fully agree that very possibly
        Message 3 of 29 , Feb 3, 2003
          --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, ernststrohregenmantelrad
          <no_reply@y...> wrote:
          > >Whether or not a
          > > separate sperma-cult of "Borborians" even existed in a manner
          > > described by heresiologists is questionable without sufficient
          > > original source material as backup.
          >
          >
          > I 've written before that in the Pistis Sophia, the sperm-cult is
          > mentioned. Also in the second Book of Jeu it is also there. Along
          > with Mandean writting. Now are these writing by heresiologists?
          > (ok, 'orthodox' heresiologists? I want to make sure that when you
          > mean 'heresiologists' you mean 'orthodox' one like Irenaeus and
          > Epiphanus.)
          >
          > So, it is at least not the imagination of heresiolgists. (Or to put
          it
          > more clearly 'orthodox' heresiologists). Some group was indeed
          > doing something with sperm. Now the right interpretation of that
          > ritual was about we'll might never know without the original
          > Borborite document but there is high possibility that a group like
          > Borborites with sperm-cult did existed.



          Clarification: Yep, I do remember what you wrote, Ernst. I was
          referring to "orthodox" heresiologists. And, yes, I fully agree that
          very possibly sperma-cults *like* the so-called Borborians were not
          the imaginations of the (orthodox) heresiologists, as you say.
          However, if you reread carefully what I wrote, I was speaking
          directly to the subject of our thread, specifically, a "sperma-cult
          of Borborians" and whether they existed in the *manner* described by
          heresiologists.

          Now, as you say, the Pistis Sophia and the second book of Jeu also
          level some criticism against practices, such as dining on dishes of a
          supposed mixture of male semen and female menstrual blood. And, of
          course, let us not forget other polemics, such as Clement of
          Alexandria and his reproaches against alleged Carpocratian
          decadent "love-feasts." No doubt various communities might have been
          employing exaggeration in sometimes malicious polemics against other
          groups. In fact, to again, quote Kurt Rudolph (_Gnosis_), "A little
          later Origen had to defend himself against similar charges leveled
          against the `Christians' by Celsus and instead attributed them to the
          Ophites." p. 250 (*meeeeoooow !*)

          And, "We also find here an old example of the awful `myth of ritual
          murder,' which was part of the inventory of religious sectarian
          polemic (similar stories to those told by Epiphanius of the gnostics
          are told for example by Celsus and the Mandeans of the Christians,
          and as is well known, later by the Christians of the Jews.)," p. 249.

          As you noted, Ernst, regarding Borborites, we are missing original
          source documentation. This is not to say, however, that there wasn't
          possibly *some* kind of cultic practice from which these likely
          inflated, traditional accusations were drawn.

          Cari
        • ernststrohregenmantelrad
          ... Orthodox heresiologists? Because Epiphanius was the only one that discribed Borborites cultic practice as such. I don t think Irenaeus or Tertullian
          Message 4 of 29 , Feb 6, 2003
            >... specifically, a "sperma-cult
            > of Borborians" and whether they existed in the *manner*
            >described by heresiologists.


            "Orthodox" heresiologists? Because Epiphanius was the only
            one that discribed Borborites cultic practice as such. I don't think
            Irenaeus or Tertullian discribed the Borborotes as such. (If they
            did let me know)
            >
            > Now, as you say, the Pistis Sophia and the second book of Jeu
            also
            > level some criticism against practices, such as dining on
            dishes of a
            > supposed mixture of male semen and female menstrual
            blood. And, of
            > course, let us not forget other polemics, such as Clement of
            > Alexandria and his reproaches against alleged Carpocratian
            > decadent "love-feasts." No doubt various communities might
            have been
            > employing exaggeration in sometimes malicious polemics
            against other
            > groups.

            It might had been exaggeration but fact that sperm was used in
            some kind of cultic way was attested by 3 distinged groups. More
            sercise drinking it.

            In fact, to again, quote Kurt Rudolph (_Gnosis_), "A little
            > later Origen had to defend himself against similar charges
            leveled
            > against the `Christians' by Celsus and instead attributed them
            to the
            > Ophites." p. 250 (*meeeeoooow !*)
            >
            > And, "We also find here an old example of the awful `myth of
            ritual
            > murder,' which was part of the inventory of religious sectarian
            > polemic (similar stories to those told by Epiphanius of the
            gnostics
            > are told for example by Celsus and the Mandeans of the
            Christians,
            > and as is well known, later by the Christians of the Jews.)," p.
            249.
            >
            > As you noted, Ernst, regarding Borborites, we are missing
            original
            > source documentation. This is not to say, however, that there
            wasn't
            > possibly *some* kind of cultic practice from which these likely
            > inflated, traditional accusations were drawn.
            >
            > Cari

            I think we've came to the same conclusion yet there is still some
            discrepencies between us. Perhaps it is because you earlier
            gave an impression that Borborites and Barbelites are same.
            But again my original assertion is permise that IF this were true.

            If this cultic practice is true then we shouldn't call Borborites as
            Gnostics as same argument for Manichaeans
          • lady_caritas
            ... think ... Okay, sure, make heresiologist singular as far as actual descriptions. Epiphanius seemed to be an orthodox heresiologist who provided some
            Message 5 of 29 , Feb 7, 2003
              --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, ernststrohregenmantelrad
              <no_reply@y...> wrote:
              >
              > >... specifically, a "sperma-cult
              > > of Borborians" and whether they existed in the *manner*
              > >described by heresiologists.
              >
              >
              > "Orthodox" heresiologists? Because Epiphanius was the only
              > one that discribed Borborites cultic practice as such. I don't
              think
              > Irenaeus or Tertullian discribed the Borborotes as such. (If they
              > did let me know)

              Okay, sure, make "heresiologist" singular as far as actual
              descriptions. Epiphanius seemed to be an "orthodox" heresiologist
              who provided some malicious accounts. However, Irenaeus, for
              instance, did indeed use the name, "Borborians," ("filthies"), which
              might indicate a slur, as we previously discussed.

              > > Now, as you say, the Pistis Sophia and the second book of Jeu
              > also
              > > level some criticism against practices, such as dining on
              > dishes of a
              > > supposed mixture of male semen and female menstrual
              > blood. And, of
              > > course, let us not forget other polemics, such as Clement of
              > > Alexandria and his reproaches against alleged Carpocratian
              > > decadent "love-feasts." No doubt various communities might
              > have been
              > > employing exaggeration in sometimes malicious polemics
              > against other
              > > groups.
              >
              > It might had been exaggeration but fact that sperm was used in
              > some kind of cultic way was attested by 3 distinged groups. More
              > sercise drinking it.

              But these are still likely polemical comments, and again, we don't
              have adequate source material for Borborians.

              > In fact, to again, quote Kurt Rudolph (_Gnosis_), "A little
              > > later Origen had to defend himself against similar charges
              > leveled
              > > against the `Christians' by Celsus and instead attributed them
              > to the
              > > Ophites." p. 250 (*meeeeoooow !*)
              > >
              > > And, "We also find here an old example of the awful `myth of
              > ritual
              > > murder,' which was part of the inventory of religious sectarian
              > > polemic (similar stories to those told by Epiphanius of the
              > gnostics
              > > are told for example by Celsus and the Mandeans of the
              > Christians,
              > > and as is well known, later by the Christians of the Jews.)," p.
              > 249.
              > >
              > > As you noted, Ernst, regarding Borborites, we are missing
              > original
              > > source documentation. This is not to say, however, that there
              > wasn't
              > > possibly *some* kind of cultic practice from which these likely
              > > inflated, traditional accusations were drawn.
              > >
              > > Cari
              >
              > I think we've came to the same conclusion yet there is still some
              > discrepencies between us. Perhaps it is because you earlier
              > gave an impression that Borborites and Barbelites are same.

              Let's just say I'm not convinced that they are different based on
              points we have previously discussed, such as even Irenaeus equating
              Barbeliotes and Borborians (A. H).

              > But again my original assertion is permise that IF this were true.
              >
              > If this cultic practice is true then we shouldn't call Borborites
              as
              > Gnostics as same argument for Manichaeans


              This brings me to another point, Ernst. Epiphanius's accounts
              regarding cultic practice of Borborites in particular are worth
              mentioning, and we should look at some possibilities.

              Bentley Layton discusses this on page 200 of _The Gnostic Scriptures_:

              >>>Apart from the usual gnostic myth, he speaks also of an unusual
              gnostic claim to be obliged to "Collect" the dispersed units of
              wisdom's power ("emissions") in the form of "soul" dispersed in
              all "living things, whether beasts, fishes, reptiles, human beings,
              vegetables, trees, or fruit … No matter what we eat," they
              claim, "whether meat, vegetable, bread, or anything else, we are
              doing a favor to created things by collecting soul from all things
              and transporting it with us to the above." Likewise they claim that
              when a gnostic soul ascends through the seven heavens it can only get
              past the rulers if it has "not sown children for the ruler, but …
              eradicated its roots and collected the scattered members…" If it has
              produced a child, the soul is swallowed by Sabaoth, the celestial
              snake (the Milky Way?), and sent back to earth.

              The striking notion of a religious elect who deliberately gather
              entrapped particles of the divine from foodstuffs and transport them
              to the metaphysical universe is well known from the Manichaean
              religion – though the Manichaean diet was vegetarian and the
              Manichaean elect were extreme ascetics. Since Manichee missionaries
              were active in Egypt starting in the late third century A.D., St.
              Epiphanius may have encountered a gnostic church that had been
              influenced by the pattern of Manichaean theology. Alternatively, he
              may be using a polemical source that parodies Manichaeism.

              In the absence of further information, it is impossible to
              reconstruct any rationalization of the gnostic diet as described in
              this excerpt. The reputedly licentious behavior of the sect appears
              difficult to justify or explain on the basis of the theology just
              described. St. Epiphanius's description of the gnostic church
              therefore remains a mystery. The historian must weigh the saint's
              claim of first-hand observation and the grisly detail of his report
              against his avowed desire to discredit and destroy the sect. In any
              case, there is no reason to assume that this is a typical description
              of gnostic Christianity.<<<


              So, Ernst, as you say, even "if this cultic practice is true"
              specifically for Borborians,...which has been questioned,... whether
              we use an argument based on practice, like for Manichaeans, would
              involve a whole other discussion which I frankly don't care to
              initiate at this time.

              In the end we'd need to determine whether a group that outwardly
              appears to accentuate pratice does indeed hold a soteriology based on
              practices or whether that practice is based on gnosis as the salvific
              element. Such investigations can be edifying, and although there are
              definite opinions out there, we have already had heated discussions
              in this forum regarding Manichaeans with no real resolution.

              Cari
            • ernststrohregenmantelrad
              ... which ... where? could you cite the passage? ... equating ... and you trust Irenaeus account but not Epiphanus? Besides the term Borborites was only
              Message 6 of 29 , Feb 12, 2003
                --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, lady_caritas <
                no_reply@y...> wrote:

                > However, Irenaeus, for
                > instance, did indeed use the name, "Borborians," ("filthies"),
                which
                > might indicate a slur, as we previously discussed.
                >
                >

                where? could you cite the passage?


                >
                > Let's just say I'm not convinced that they are different based on
                > points we have previously discussed, such as even Irenaeus
                equating
                > Barbeliotes and Borborians (A. H).
                >

                and you trust Irenaeus' account but not Epiphanus? Besides the
                term Borborites was only attested in the title which leads me to
                believe as I stated it might have been from the later redactor. In
                actual document it discribes only the Barbelo myth NO mention
                of flithy sperm. Again if the definate characteristic of the group is
                this sperm cult thus the name filthy is conjured up then why
                didn't Irenaeus mention it. He does speak of unspeable
                perverse act of Carpocrates.


                >
                > So, Ernst, as you say, even "if this cultic practice is true"
                > specifically for Borborians,...which has been questioned,...

                whether
                > we use an argument based on practice, like for Manichaeans,
                would
                > involve a whole other discussion which I frankly don't care to
                > initiate at this time.
                >
                > In the end we'd need to determine whether a group that
                outwardly
                > appears to accentuate pratice does indeed hold a soteriology
                based on
                > practices or whether that practice is based on gnosis as the
                salvific
                > element. Such investigations can be edifying, and although
                there are
                > definite opinions out there, we have already had heated
                discussions
                > in this forum regarding Manichaeans with no real resolution.
                >
                > Cari

                we had no resolution because we are all biased on the matter. If
                one made up one's mind about thing then it is hard to see the
                new point of view.

                But I agree with PMCV, that Manichaeans were not "Gnostics"
                and I extend that to Mandeans and also to Cathars, and
                Carpocrates to some extent and to Borborites IF sperm cult is
                true.
              • lady_caritas
                ... It was mentioned in the title as you well know, Ernst, and whether or not we know whether Irenaeus was the originator of that title, SOMEone thought they
                Message 7 of 29 , Feb 12, 2003
                  --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, ernststrohregenmantelrad
                  <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                  > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, lady_caritas <
                  > no_reply@y...> wrote:
                  >
                  > > However, Irenaeus, for
                  > > instance, did indeed use the name, "Borborians," ("filthies"),
                  > which
                  > > might indicate a slur, as we previously discussed.
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                  > where? could you cite the passage?


                  It was mentioned in the title as you well know, Ernst, and whether or
                  not we know whether Irenaeus was the originator of that title,
                  SOMEone thought they were the same or that Irenaeus thought they were
                  the same. In any case, you and I can make imaginative conjectures,
                  but as I've said ad nauseum before, without original source
                  documentation, we cannot make any absolutely conclusive statements as
                  to the practices of this alleged sect(s), especially based on
                  possibly specious testimony (or redactions thereof) of heresiologists.

                  > > Let's just say I'm not convinced that they are different based on
                  > > points we have previously discussed, such as even Irenaeus
                  > equating
                  > > Barbeliotes and Borborians (A. H).
                  > >
                  >
                  > and you trust Irenaeus' account but not Epiphanus?

                  No, after reading my preceding posts, you should know that I don't
                  necessarily trust implicitly either Irenaeus's or Epiphanius's
                  accounts.


                  > Besides the
                  > term Borborites was only attested in the title which leads me to
                  > believe as I stated it might have been from the later redactor.


                  I already discussed the subject of titles in a post last summer.


                  In
                  > actual document it discribes only the Barbelo myth NO mention
                  > of flithy sperm. Again if the definate characteristic of the group
                  is
                  > this sperm cult thus the name filthy is conjured up then why
                  > didn't Irenaeus mention it. He does speak of unspeable
                  > perverse act of Carpocrates.


                  There could be various possibilities, but they would be speculative
                  at best. No mention of "filthy sperm" does not make a case one way
                  or another, and I believe I already discussed this in a past post.
                  Again, see comment above about lack of original source material.

                  In the end, Ernst, I'm pretty much at an impasse here because, as I
                  said before, evidence is too weak to totally convince me whether or
                  not there existed a separate sperm cult called Borborians.


                  > > So, Ernst, as you say, even "if this cultic practice is true"
                  > > specifically for Borborians,...which has been questioned,...
                  >
                  > whether
                  > > we use an argument based on practice, like for Manichaeans,
                  > would
                  > > involve a whole other discussion which I frankly don't care to
                  > > initiate at this time.
                  > >
                  > > In the end we'd need to determine whether a group that
                  > outwardly
                  > > appears to accentuate pratice does indeed hold a soteriology
                  > based on
                  > > practices or whether that practice is based on gnosis as the
                  > salvific
                  > > element. Such investigations can be edifying, and although
                  > there are
                  > > definite opinions out there, we have already had heated
                  > discussions
                  > > in this forum regarding Manichaeans with no real resolution.
                  > >
                  > > Cari
                  >
                  > we had no resolution because we are all biased on the matter. If
                  > one made up one's mind about thing then it is hard to see the
                  > new point of view.
                  >
                  > But I agree with PMCV, that Manichaeans were not "Gnostics"
                  > and I extend that to Mandeans and also to Cathars, and
                  > Carpocrates to some extent and to Borborites IF sperm cult is
                  > true.


                  And that still begs the question as to how much emphasis on ritual
                  and practice as part of a salvific course hinders or aids the process
                  of gnosis, which could vary among individuals even within the same
                  environment.

                  Cari
                • ernststrohregenmantelrad
                  ... whether or ... they were ... But then that is conjucture. So what makes those two sects same from that conjucture? If someone thought including Irenaeus
                  Message 8 of 29 , Feb 13, 2003
                    > > where? could you cite the passage?
                    >
                    >
                    > It was mentioned in the title as you well know, Ernst, and
                    whether or
                    > not we know whether Irenaeus was the originator of that title,
                    > SOMEone thought they were the same or that Irenaeus thought
                    they were
                    > the same.

                    But then that is conjucture. So what makes those two sects
                    same from that conjucture? If someone thought including
                    Irenaeus that the two are same then you are relying on Irenaeus
                    or heresiolist redactor. But as you state it is not the original
                    source.

                    In any case, you and I can make imaginative conjectures,
                    > but as I've said ad nauseum before, without original source
                    > documentation, we cannot make any absolutely conclusive
                    statements as
                    > to the practices of this alleged sect(s), especially based on
                    > possibly specious testimony (or redactions thereof) of
                    heresiologists.


                    Again to make myself clear. Some sect did do something with
                    sperm. What they do with it and reason behind is unknown. That
                    is all. But you are mixing up this with whether Borborites and
                    Barbelites are same. It is still conjuction that this sperm cult
                    known as Borborites is same as Barbelites because it is from
                    the heresiologist documents.

                    Besides as I pointed out. in Pistis Sophia (which is the original
                    document) it talks about sperm cult as bad. Yet is the same
                    document Barbelo myth is told. Now how can that happen when
                    those two are supposed to be same? Now, the problem is what
                    is Barbelo Gnostics? Is it Gnostics groups that adhere to
                    Barbelo myth? Again we are dealing here with termiology that
                    crated by the scholars recently. I doubt that there was such a
                    group as Barbelo Gnostics as much as Sethians But it is
                    attested in Irenaeus which is to suspect that the term is like
                    "Gnostics" a catch all phrase for heretics by hereiologists.

                    Again I am of the opinion that IF Irenaeus did see Borbrites as
                    Barbelites then he classified them based upon one discription of
                    Babelo myth. But I don't think it was Irenaeus but later reductor
                    that did that (having read Epiphaius and saw the Borbrites
                    name). Borborites did have Barbelo (or their version of ) myth.
                    That doesn't mean that Borbrites and Barbelo are same
                    because many other sects including those that are encratic also
                    have the Barbelo myth. The only conclusion that could be drawn
                    is that Barbelites (if such a group really existed) split into
                    several
                    groups or some group adopted Barbelo myth. In the formar case
                    it would be like the author of the "Testimony of Truth". It is very
                    likely that the the author in this case is one Julius Cassianus
                    who split off from Valentinians over the question of encratism.
                    Although he labes Valentinans as heretic in Test. Th. he also
                    espouses Valentinianism. Later case is more likely because if
                    we are to believe Epiphanius Borbrites, themselves, are a
                    splinter group of Nichocians.

                    So are you confused yet?



                    > In
                    > > actual document it discribes only the Barbelo myth NO
                    mention
                    > > of flithy sperm. Again if the definate characteristic of the
                    group
                    > is
                    > > this sperm cult thus the name filthy is conjured up then why
                    > > didn't Irenaeus mention it. He does speak of unspeable
                    > > perverse act of Carpocrates.
                    >
                    >
                    > There could be various possibilities, but they would be
                    speculative
                    > at best. No mention of "filthy sperm" does not make a case
                    one way
                    > or another, and I believe I already discussed this in a past
                    post.
                    > Again, see comment above about lack of original source
                    material.
                    >

                    Pistis Sophia Book of Jeu. If these are written by so called
                    Barbelo Gnostics then why would they critisize their own practice
                    IF as you mentain that they are Borborites

                    and they are original source

                    > In the end, Ernst, I'm pretty much at an impasse here because,
                    as I
                    > said before, evidence is too weak to totally convince me
                    whether or
                    > not there existed a separate sperm cult called Borborians.
                    >

                    and there is no convising arguement or put it bluntly NO
                    arguement period for them to be same.

                    >
                    > >
                    > > But I agree with PMCV, that Manichaeans were not "Gnostics"
                    > > and I extend that to Mandeans and also to Cathars, and
                    > > Carpocrates to some extent and to Borborites IF sperm cult
                    is
                    > > true.
                    >
                    >
                    > And that still begs the question as to how much emphasis on
                    ritual
                    > and practice as part of a salvific course hinders or aids the
                    process
                    > of gnosis, which could vary among individuals even within the
                    same
                    > environment.
                    >
                    > Cari

                    It depends on seeing sacraments as ends or means.
                  • lady_caritas
                    ... So, why? Is it your intention to try to confuse me, Ernst? ;-) It s very possible that I haven t made myself clear. So, I shall endeavor to do so one
                    Message 9 of 29 , Feb 14, 2003
                      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, ernststrohregenmantelrad
                      <no_reply@y...> wrote:

                      > So are you confused yet?


                      So, why? Is it your intention to try to confuse me, Ernst? ;-)

                      It's very possible that I haven't made myself clear. So, I shall
                      endeavor to do so one more time, hopefully not just making things
                      more confusing.

                      First, let's look at various names given to sects that allegedly
                      adhered to a Barbelo myth (although I do note that you question this
                      distinction). Examples of designations are Barbeloites,
                      Barbelognostics, Barberites, Barbelites. Now, we also see mentioned
                      Borborites ("filthies or muddies"), a name which certainly takes on a
                      derogatory tone and could be indicative of real, sinister behaviors
                      that Epiphanius would have us believe... or it could very well be an
                      unfounded polemical tag used to discredit an aforementioned group or
                      sub-group.

                      IOW, when I said I wasn't convinced Borborites were different from
                      the other sects, that did not mean that I was convinced there
                      actually even existed such a creepy cult that represented the nature
                      of all the others. I was referring to the fact that "Borborite"
                      might have only been a polemical epithet, as mentioned above. On the
                      contrary, in past messages I have stated reservations as to
                      whether "Borborites," if they even existed, conducted rituals in the
                      way Epiphanius portrays them.

                      Now the Pistis Sophia and the second book of Jeu admonish rites such
                      as using mixtures of semen and menstrual blood. Important to note
                      though, as I quoted from Kurt Rudolph in a previous message, there
                      were also "a goodly number of traditional reproaches leveled by
                      religious communities against one another," even if such consequences
                      from cultic practice were drawn from traditional ideology. So, yes,
                      there is still some possibility that a specific group (the title of
                      our thread), "Borborites," existed, but then again without adequate
                      first-hand source material, we cannot conclusively state this as
                      fact, in addition to whether they would be guilty of slanders brought
                      against them even if they did exist.

                      So, is this sometimes malicious opposition based on fact or legend?
                      We can only speculate. And you are certainly welcome to your
                      informed opinion, Ernst. You might just be right.



                      > > > But I agree with PMCV, that Manichaeans were not "Gnostics"
                      > > > and I extend that to Mandeans and also to Cathars, and
                      > > > Carpocrates to some extent and to Borborites IF sperm cult
                      > is
                      > > > true.
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > And that still begs the question as to how much emphasis on
                      > ritual
                      > > and practice as part of a salvific course hinders or aids the
                      > process
                      > > of gnosis, which could vary among individuals even within the
                      > same
                      > > environment.
                      > >
                      > > Cari
                      >
                      > It depends on seeing sacraments as ends or means.


                      This seems to somewhat tie in to PMCV's query in Post #7201. Ernst,
                      would you view a difference between "`shallow' vs. `deep'
                      spirituality" that PMCV mentions, and if so, could that depend
                      partially on whether one sees "sacraments as ends or means" ? Maybe
                      we could move this discussion over to the other post, huh? LOL


                      Cari
                    • Mike Leavitt
                      Hello ernststrohregenmantelrad ... It would help is someone could give full definition of encrantism. I know approximately what it means from context, but
                      Message 10 of 29 , Feb 15, 2003
                        Hello ernststrohregenmantelrad

                        On 13-Feb-03, you wrote:

                        > groups or some group adopted Barbelo myth. In the formar case
                        > it would be like the author of the "Testimony of Truth". It is very
                        > likely that the the author in this case is one Julius Cassianus
                        > who split off from Valentinians over the question of encratism.
                        > Although he labes Valentinans as heretic in Test. Th. he also
                        > espouses Valentinianism. Later case is more likely because if
                        > we are to believe Epiphanius Borbrites, themselves, are a
                        > splinter group of Nichocians.
                        >
                        > So are you confused yet?

                        It would help is someone could give full definition of encrantism. I
                        know approximately what it means from context, but that would help,
                        as all it says is one in a 1st century sect(s) who refrained from
                        marriage and animal food--then places encrantism at the end of the
                        definition of Encrantite, and I had to go to the huge old Webster's
                        International to get that much. Maybe that's all there is.

                        Regards
                        --
                        Mike Leavitt ac998@...
                      • lady_caritas
                        ... very ... I ... Hello, Mike. You re right on the money. Here is a passage from Chapter 1, Prehistory , _A HISTORY OF MONASTIC SPIRITUALITY_by Luc
                        Message 11 of 29 , Feb 16, 2003
                          --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Mike Leavitt <ac998@l...> wrote:
                          > Hello ernststrohregenmantelrad
                          >
                          > On 13-Feb-03, you wrote:
                          >
                          > > groups or some group adopted Barbelo myth. In the formar case
                          > > it would be like the author of the "Testimony of Truth". It is
                          very
                          > > likely that the the author in this case is one Julius Cassianus
                          > > who split off from Valentinians over the question of encratism.
                          > > Although he labes Valentinans as heretic in Test. Th. he also
                          > > espouses Valentinianism. Later case is more likely because if
                          > > we are to believe Epiphanius Borbrites, themselves, are a
                          > > splinter group of Nichocians.
                          > >
                          > > So are you confused yet?
                          >
                          > It would help is someone could give full definition of encrantism.
                          I
                          > know approximately what it means from context, but that would help,
                          > as all it says is one in a 1st century sect(s) who refrained from
                          > marriage and animal food--then places encrantism at the end of the
                          > definition of Encrantite, and I had to go to the huge old Webster's
                          > International to get that much. Maybe that's all there is.
                          >
                          > Regards
                          > --
                          > Mike Leavitt ac998@l...


                          Hello, Mike. You're right on the money.

                          Here is a passage from Chapter 1, "Prehistory", _A HISTORY OF
                          MONASTIC SPIRITUALITY_by Luc Brésard, of the abbey of Citeaux ~
                          http://www.scourmont.be/studium/bresard/

                          "The word 'monk' appears for the first time at the end of the second
                          century in the apocryphal gospel of Thomas which celebrates the
                          blessedness of the monachus.

                          In the same period, between 150 and 200, we know that there were
                          people in Syria and in Corinth who led a life of poverty and
                          asceticism, and practised chastity. Here too they were still
                          individuals, probably living in the family home or in the town, and
                          we cannot yet speak of monasticism. But very soon there appeared,
                          mixed with this good grain the darnel of self-complacency in the form
                          of contempt of the world. Self-control, in Greek egkrateia =
                          abstinence, continence, became a movement: "encratism" which enforced
                          abstinence and chastity; marriage was forbidden, the diet was fresh
                          vegetables and wine."


                          Cari
                        • ernststrohregenmantelrad
                          ... ernststrohregenmantelrad ... No not really but I m beginning get confused myself. ... things ... So basic what your are saying that there are POSSIBLITY
                          Message 12 of 29 , Feb 18, 2003
                            --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, lady_caritas <
                            no_reply@y...> wrote:
                            > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com,
                            ernststrohregenmantelrad
                            > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                            >
                            > > So are you confused yet?
                            >
                            >
                            > So, why? Is it your intention to try to confuse me, Ernst? ;-)


                            No not really but I'm beginning get confused myself.


                            >
                            > It's very possible that I haven't made myself clear. So, I shall
                            > endeavor to do so one more time, hopefully not just making
                            things
                            > more confusing.

                            So basic what your are saying that there are POSSIBLITY that
                            Epiphanius took the aforementioned group, Barbeloites, and
                            called then Borborites and slander these flithy practices? Am I
                            correct in this? please tell me.



                            >
                            > IOW, when I said I wasn't convinced Borborites were different
                            from
                            > the other sects, that did not mean that I was convinced there
                            > actually even existed such a creepy cult that represented the
                            nature
                            > of all the others. I was referring to the fact that "Borborite"
                            > might have only been a polemical epithet, as mentioned
                            above. On the
                            > contrary, in past messages I have stated reservations as to
                            > whether "Borborites," if they even existed, conducted rituals in
                            the
                            > way Epiphanius portrays them.


                            So the question is did Epiphanius made these things up?

                            >
                            > Now the Pistis Sophia and the second book of Jeu admonish
                            rites such
                            > as using mixtures of semen and menstrual blood. Important
                            to note
                            > though, as I quoted from Kurt Rudolph in a previous message,
                            there
                            > were also "a goodly number of traditional reproaches leveled
                            by
                            > religious communities against one another," even if such
                            consequences
                            > from cultic practice were drawn from traditional ideology. So,
                            yes,
                            > there is still some possibility that a specific group (the title of
                            > our thread), "Borborites," existed, but then again without
                            adequate
                            > first-hand source material, we cannot conclusively state this as
                            > fact, in addition to whether they would be guilty of slanders
                            brought
                            > against them even if they did exist.
                            >
                            > So, is this sometimes malicious opposition based on fact or
                            legend?
                            > We can only speculate. And you are certainly welcome to your
                            > informed opinion, Ernst. You might just be right.
                            >

                            So my point is Epiphnius may over blown the account but there
                            was a cult of sperm in existance at that time as seen from
                            Pistius Sophia and the Book of Jeu and the account of
                            Mandeanas.
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > This seems to somewhat tie in to PMCV's query in Post #7201.
                            Ernst,
                            > would you view a difference between "`shallow' vs. `deep'
                            > spirituality" that PMCV mentions, and if so, could that depend
                            > partially on whether one sees "sacraments as ends or means"
                            ? Maybe
                            > we could move this discussion over to the other post, huh?
                            LOL
                            >
                            >
                            > Cari


                            Before we do that could you define me what "spirituality" is? So
                            to avoid confusion.

                            And also the terms "deep"and "shallow"
                          • ernststrohregenmantelrad
                            I think there was a post that I posted about the difference between. Encrantism, acceticism and libertinism.
                            Message 13 of 29 , Feb 18, 2003
                              I think there was a post that I posted about the difference
                              between. Encrantism, acceticism and libertinism.
                            • lady_caritas
                              ... Well, yes, Ernst. I believe that is what I already did say was just ONE possibility. ... Unless you re aware of some original source material that would
                              Message 14 of 29 , Feb 19, 2003
                                --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, ernststrohregenmantelrad
                                <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, lady_caritas <
                                > no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                > > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com,
                                > ernststrohregenmantelrad
                                > > <no_reply@y...> wrote:

                                > So basic what your are saying that there are POSSIBLITY that
                                > Epiphanius took the aforementioned group, Barbeloites, and
                                > called then Borborites and slander these flithy practices? Am I
                                > correct in this? please tell me.


                                Well, yes, Ernst. I believe that is what I already did say was just
                                ONE possibility.


                                > > IOW, when I said I wasn't convinced Borborites were different
                                > from
                                > > the other sects, that did not mean that I was convinced there
                                > > actually even existed such a creepy cult that represented the
                                > nature
                                > > of all the others. I was referring to the fact that "Borborite"
                                > > might have only been a polemical epithet, as mentioned
                                > above. On the
                                > > contrary, in past messages I have stated reservations as to
                                > > whether "Borborites," if they even existed, conducted rituals in
                                > the
                                > > way Epiphanius portrays them.
                                >
                                >
                                > So the question is did Epiphanius made these things up?


                                Unless you're aware of some original source material that would clear
                                things up, the answer is that we don't know for sure. He might have
                                made these things up OR at least exaggerated the makeup of cult
                                practices for polemical purposes. He might have even been totally
                                honest. Heh.


                                > > Now the Pistis Sophia and the second book of Jeu admonish
                                > rites such
                                > > as using mixtures of semen and menstrual blood. Important
                                > to note
                                > > though, as I quoted from Kurt Rudolph in a previous message,
                                > there
                                > > were also "a goodly number of traditional reproaches leveled
                                > by
                                > > religious communities against one another," even if such
                                > consequences
                                > > from cultic practice were drawn from traditional ideology. So,
                                > yes,
                                > > there is still some possibility that a specific group (the title
                                of
                                > > our thread), "Borborites," existed, but then again without
                                > adequate
                                > > first-hand source material, we cannot conclusively state this as
                                > > fact, in addition to whether they would be guilty of slanders
                                > brought
                                > > against them even if they did exist.
                                > >
                                > > So, is this sometimes malicious opposition based on fact or
                                > legend?
                                > > We can only speculate. And you are certainly welcome to your
                                > > informed opinion, Ernst. You might just be right.
                                > >
                                >
                                > So my point is Epiphnius may over blown the account but there
                                > was a cult of sperm in existance at that time as seen from
                                > Pistius Sophia and the Book of Jeu and the account of
                                > Mandeanas.

                                And you might be correct. My point was that even though it was
                                *possible* some type of sperma-cult existed, we don't know for sure
                                or to what extent alleged practices took place. The sources you
                                mentioned above seem more reliable than Epiphanius, but then again,
                                as Rudolph says, these religious communities might have just been
                                using a traditional type of reproach commonly used against one
                                another. And the content of these criticisms might have been based
                                on tradition ideology. IOW, as I mentioned before ~ fact or
                                fiction?

                                At this point, Ernst, I feel like we're going around in circles, and
                                I don't have much more to offer on this subject.



                                > > This seems to somewhat tie in to PMCV's query in Post #7201.
                                > Ernst,
                                > > would you view a difference between "`shallow' vs. `deep'
                                > > spirituality" that PMCV mentions, and if so, could that depend
                                > > partially on whether one sees "sacraments as ends or means"
                                > ? Maybe
                                > > we could move this discussion over to the other post, huh?
                                > LOL
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > Cari
                                >
                                >
                                > Before we do that could you define me what "spirituality" is? So
                                > to avoid confusion.
                                >
                                > And also the terms "deep"and "shallow"


                                Ernst, it might be more appropriate for PMCV to expand on these
                                points since the words were his. OR you could comment, defining how
                                YOU would interpret such. You might want to read them within the
                                context of his Post #7201. PMCV's questions related to "practical
                                magic" vs. "philosophical speculation."


                                Cari
                              • lady_caritas
                                ... Yes, Ernst, you remember correctly. I did a search of the archives (I do like that group feature) and found a discussion about this starting with your
                                Message 15 of 29 , Feb 19, 2003
                                  --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, ernststrohregenmantelrad
                                  <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                  > I think there was a post that I posted about the difference
                                  > between. Encrantism, acceticism and libertinism.


                                  Yes, Ernst, you remember correctly. I did a search of the archives
                                  (I do like that group feature) and found a discussion about this
                                  starting with your Post #6390.

                                  Thanks.

                                  Cari
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