Re: The Gnostic Flavor of the 2nd Masada Speech
"What do you think; is Gnosticism to be seen as primarily Jewish
or pagan in origin?"
Such a good question!
Naturally, I'm still in an initial stage of research on
this matter. But here are my observations:
1) Reading Egyptian texts 1000 years before Christ
sometimes sounds *very* gnostic!
2) The Egyptians, I believe, first developed the
concept of a god for each day (365 aeons). But
correct me if I'm wrong about that.
3) And yet I find that the necessary element to jump
start Egyptian thought into Gnosticism is the idea of
re-enacting the "enslavement" of the spiritual into
the corruption of material life and the corrupt world.
4) So where do we find such a starkly negative view
of life emerging, some 100 or 200 years prior to the
time of Jesus?
Egyptian thought, traditionally interested in the afterlife,
did not usually see life as such a negative experience.
But where do we turn for something like this?
And I have to wonder if it wasn't actually the brutal
conflict between "Therapeutae-like" elements and the
Syrians that created this psychological development
into full blown gnostics.
I believe what distinguishes the Essenes of Palestine
from the Therapeautae of Egypt was the Maccabee conflict.
Do you or others see roots of gnosticism **prior** to
the 200's BC?
- Hello lady_caritas
On 06-Apr-03, you wrote:
>> My Bishop makes good points here, but it just makes the historian's
>> task more difficult, not less desirable, and it makes his goals
>> more circumscribed, perhaps.
>> Mike Leavitt ac998@l...
> I would agree, Mike. Historians offer us contextual information for
> our discussions.
> You also mention in Post #7467, "If we don't know where we came
> from, we don't know where we are going. Gnosis may be now, but it is
> not in a vacuum."
> Again, agreed, of course gnosis is not in a vacuum. We live in a
> temporal world and gnosis is comprehended within that environment.
> I suppose my point was to say that your comment, "If we don't know
> where we came from, we don't know where we are going," could be
> viewed with more than one meaning.
Always, it is a limitation of the language, any language. And one can
get so hung up in the history, one forgets about practice. My BA was
in Classical and Medieval History, my MA is in Psychology, so I guess
that puts me squarely in both the historical and the practice camps,
actually not a contradiction as I see it.
Mike Leavitt ac998@...