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Re: The Gnostic Flavor of the 2nd Masada Speech

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  • George
    Steve, You write: 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
    Message 1 of 48 , Apr 1, 2003
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      Steve,

      You write:

      "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?

      George
    • Mike Leavitt
      Hello lady_caritas ... 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
      Message 48 of 48 , Apr 6, 2003
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        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.
        >>
        >> Regards
        >> --
        >> 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.
        >
        >
        > Cari

        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.

        Regards
        --
        Mike Leavitt ac998@...
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