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Re: The Corpus Hermeticum

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  • Janice Quinn
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 21, 2003
    • 0 Attachment

      <From: Technically speaking, the C.H. is not a "Gnostic" work. "Gnosticism" and Hermeticism (or as some like to say instead "Hermetism" to seperate it from the Rennaisance category) are not the same thing... though they are related.  Scholors generally agree with the 2nd century date and origin.  does that help?>

      Hello, PMCV.  It helped a great deal.  I am glad you are familiar with the work, as I will probably have questions.  As to authenticity, you answered my question completely.  I look forward to reading it and having you field my questions (LOL) hope you don't mind.



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      Message: 3
      Date: Thu, 20 Mar 2003 19:33:23 -0000
      From: "Wayne"
      Subject: Nag Hammadi codexes :pmcvflag


      The war has started.
      I stood lonely. Be passersby.

      Oh well, although i dont have the whole collection of Nag Hammadi
      codexes, however there are several translation of Gospel of Thomas.
      The Meyer Translation seems to minimize religious and fanatical
      interpretations ,although I have several translation of Gospel of
      Thomas by sseveral authors.

      I agreed that there are numberous historical 'definations' of
      gnosticism. All of them are quite confusing indeed.Most importantly,
      all the dictionaries relates gnostism with spiritual knowledge. You
      said, spiritual "knowledge" was intrinsic to the
      path of salvation.Salvation from WHAT? And what would I do NEXT?
      WHY?
      Can you explain to me....




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      Message: 4
      Date: Thu, 20 Mar 2003 21:02:45 +0100
      From: pessy@...
      Subject: Nag Hammadi codexes :pmcvflag

      Wayne writes:
      > path of salvation.Salvation from WHAT? And what would I do NEXT?
      > WHY?


      Salvation from the world which is the malevolent work of evil demons.

      Klaus Schilling


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      Message: 5
      Date: Thu, 20 Mar 2003 16:44:41 -0500
      From: "Gerry"
      Subject: Re:great book



      Reply to message #7298:



      >>Although, I agree that the name of the book is a bit strange.It is the very improtant finding. Do you know why so many spiritual people emphasis on Free-Will. Do they really understand free-will and why free-will is so important? I doubt very few people will understand.<<



      Actually, Wayne, I had already forgotten the title of that "book" when I wrote that post to you. Those "few comments by the author" which I referred to as prompting my impression of the book came near the end of the web page you cited-not from its title. As I alluded, there was very little at that site that would make me even remotely interested in reading the author's work.



      So there were a lot of referrals there-So what? Seriously. Even if there were scores of people telling me how much they loved or enjoyed it, it would convey absolutely nothing to me about what the book is about. If that were all it took, my shelves would be full of such "classics" as Dianetics and the complete works of Neale Donald Walsch!



      Instead of finding some sort of summary or other glimpse as to the book's content at that site, as I told you, I found only numerous questions raised. When I ask you directly for its relevance to Gnosticism, you raised more questions. That wasn't exactly helpful, Wayne-questions on top of questions-but seeing how you prefer to define Gnosticism in your reply to PMCV, I see how you might have perceived some sort of relationship.



      What I fail to see, Wayne, is why you felt a need to post a second message that included another link to that same site? Surely you could have referred to the book by its name. I figured it was a continuation of your previous response, but the entire message seemed oddly out of place. My question was answered when I eventually discovered that same message of yours posted at other sites between yesterday and this morning. Ya know, I could swear I recall discussion recently that spamming was frowned upon here. My tolerance is growing unbelievably low on this issue, and I'll expect you to respect that policy from now on. "Discussing" something here does not involve sending what might be regarded as junk mail or generic form letters. I truly appreciate that members occasionally run across something that greatly moves them, it happens to me as well, but when people are bombarded with the very same message, it strips it of the personal relevance it was meant to have in the first place-and that, on top of the already terribly impersonal medium of Internet communication.



      As for that particular post of yours (#7299), I see that PMCV has already noted some of his concerns; I'd like to point out one of my own:



      >>Look at these two statements.
      I believe God exists.
      I know God exists.
      They are different.<<



      Yes, they are indeed different. The problem is that the person who makes such claims is not always aware of that distinction. I've known faithful literalists, and even mainstream Christians who were not fundamentalists, who would be equally comfortable making either of those statements. Conversely, I've known atheists who would boldly assert the negative just as quickly. If you take a good look around the Internet, you'll encounter yet others who adamantly claim similar "knowledge" and "understanding" when, in fact, they are clearly schizophrenics suffering extreme paranoia and delusions of grandeur. Not to belittle the psychiatric profession, but sometimes it really doesn't take a DSM-IV and a Degree to make that assessment-just reading a few disturbing posts may be all that is necessary.



      IOW, using such simplistic criteria to demonstrate what IS or IS NOT Gnostic is hardly practical in a real-world application. People claim to "know" all sorts of things.



      Gerry






      [This message contained attachments]



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      Message: 6
      Date: Thu, 20 Mar 2003 21:47:17 -0000
      From: "Gerry"
      Subject: Re: Nag Hammadi codexes :pmcvflag

      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pessy@c... wrote:
      > Wayne writes:
      > > path of salvation.Salvation from WHAT? And what would I do NEXT?
      > > WHY?
      >
      >
      > Salvation from the world which is the malevolent work of evil
      demons.
      >
      > Klaus Schilling




      "Ignorance," Klaus.

      Gerry






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      Message: 7
      Date: Fri, 21 Mar 2003 06:26:57 -0000
      From: pmcvflag
      Subject: Re: Nag Hammadi codexes :pmcvflag

      Wayne....

      > Oh well, although i dont have the whole collection of Nag Hammadi
      codexes, however there are several translation of Gospel of Thomas.
      The Meyer Translation seems to minimize religious and fanatical
      interpretations ,although I have several translation of Gospel of
      Thomas by sseveral authors.<

      Well, there is another aspect to this that I did not mention Wayne.
      The fact is, it is debated as to whether Thomas is in fact
      a "Gnostic" piece. While I wrote a thesis on why I think the Coptic
      version is Gnostic, we are on shakey ground here compared to a work
      like, say, the Tripartite Tractate or the Hypostasis of the Archons.

      > I agreed that there are numberous historical 'definations' of
      gnosticism. All of them are quite confusing indeed. Most
      importantly, all the dictionaries relates gnostism with spiritual
      knowledge.<

      Actually, Wayne, all those suposedly different historical
      definitions are not very different at all. They are variations on a
      single theme. Sure, there is some scholastic dispute about
      particulars, but they are quite minor disputes concerning subtle
      details that most laypeople need not worry about. Since a major part
      of the focus of this club IS in fact the history, historical
      definitions are the important ones for you to know in order to be a
      part of conversation here. They may have been confusing to you, but
      they are not to me. If you wish, I can maybe clerify them for you. I
      really don't mind doing so if that would be helpful to you.

      As for the dictionaries, well, I don't know what dictionaries you
      are using, but I just looked in my Oxford Dictionary of World
      Religions, and it does not agree with you.... so it certainly
      isn't "all the dictionaries". Besides, it really doesn't matter what
      some common usage or New Age dictionary or other says... this club
      is about historical Gnostic movements and that is non-negotiable.
      There are already plenty of clubs that deal with non-historical
      definitions, we need not simply be another one. If you are here, it
      is because you have some interest in learning about traditional
      Gnostic forms... the end.

      >You said, spiritual "knowledge" was intrinsic to the path of
      salvation.Salvation from WHAT? And what would I do NEXT? WHY? Can
      you explain to me....<

      Yes I can Wayne, thanks for asking. Gnosticism, is by definition,
      dependant on the notion that it is Gnosis, rather than pistis, that
      forms the primary impatus of the soteriological function. What that
      means is, Gnostics believed that it was some kind of knowledge that
      saved a person from some kind of fallen state. Another aspect to
      that definition then is what the fallen state is.... it
      is "ignorance". Different Gnostic groups had different ideas on how
      that may have played out in detail, but there is a certain amount of
      agreement on the basics. That is, that the world is in some way not
      perfect in the same way as the infinite Prime Source is, and that
      the desirable state is to be re-united with that Prime Source (which
      is NOT the creator God). Therefore, "salvation" is a matter of
      leaving the imperfect for the infinite. "Gnosis" is the recognition
      of ones spiritual connection to the Prime Source. Gnosis then is not
      the mystical experience, it is not ones belief that thier faith has
      gone beyond faith into believeing so solidly that one now "knows"
      the truth, and it is not a name for anyone's "personal path" of
      psychological "spirituality". "Gnosis" as far as the historical
      study of "Gnosticism" is concerned, is a specific set of
      realizations culminating in a religio/logical realization that has
      both experiential and philosophical aspects. Instead of the
      word "Gnostic" we could say "Platonized Mysteries of the late
      antiquities within a Judeo/Christian framework", but that does not
      role off the tongue ;)

      Hope that helps Wayne
      PMCV



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      Message: 8
      Date: Fri, 21 Mar 2003 10:52:51 -0000
      From: incognito_lightbringer
      Subject: Re: Nag Hammadi codexes :pmcvflag

      < dependant on the notion that it is Gnosis, rather than pistis, that
      forms the primary impatus of the soteriological function>>

      Says who? The Gnostics? I keep seeing the word Pistis in their texts.
      Along with Sophia, or wisdom. Here silly me thought they all go hand
      in hand. (I hate it when pistis gets pissed on due to dislike of the
      abuses of orthodoxy. Sue me.).
      You could also tell Wayne that the definition of gnosis and
      gnosticism is heavily debated and argued amongst scholars of
      gnosticism, and that it's best to read up and come to his own
      conclusions, because he won't find a consensus.

      < means is, Gnostics believed that it was some kind of knowledge that
      saved a person from some kind of fallen state.>>

      Knowledge is dependent on the dualistic material universe and is
      flawed. It's an image of the material world. I'm not happy with the
      word knowledge and neither is Layton. It's too narrow and limiting.
      Wayne should read the preface in Bentley Layton's "The Gnostic
      Scriptures", especially pg 9 "The meaning of gnosis" and the focus
      on 'acquaintance'.
      Gnosis as recognition and/or understanding and/or union transcends
      knowledge.
      Gnosis through revelation is dependent on both faith and wisdom to
      work. Otherwise, you won't believe what you experience.
      Eleleth, one of the four great angels, says he's understanding.

      <<"Gnosis" is the recognition
      of ones spiritual connection to the Prime Source. >>
      Agreed

      < the mystical experience, it is not ones belief that thier faith has
      gone beyond faith into believeing so solidly that one now "knows"
      the truth, and it is not a name for anyone's "personal path" of
      psychological "spirituality".>>
      Don't agree. If, as you just stated, it's a recognition of the
      connection to the Prime Source, than it's a mystical experience by
      definition.


      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag wrote:

      === message truncated ===



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