Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: a SPECIAL post....

Expand Messages
  • Gerry
    Reply to Incognito s message #7604: After reading your recent posts, I find myself equally perplexed. ... people. I don t interpret it as such.
    Message 1 of 9 , Apr 26 4:30 AM
    View Source
    • 0 Attachment

       

      Reply to Incognito’s message #7604:

       

      After reading your recent posts, I find myself equally perplexed.

       

      >>It is derogatory Gerry, if it's meant to be applied to groups of
      people. I don't interpret it as such.<<

       

      Why do you act like we’re disagreeing when you turn around and imply the same thing?  Once again, you’ve stated that the term “IS” derogatory, but then you add a condition by which said characteristic would apply, i.e., using it to belittle groups of people.  If it is dependent upon that condition, then it obviously does not have an inherently derogatory nature.

       

      Furthermore, I suggested that the prejudice of it’s usage was to be found in the intent of the writer and the interpretation of the reader.  Since you “don’t interpret” the word in bigoted fashion, then how do you insist that “it is derogatory” in itself?

       

      —I was ignorant of the fact that American Beauty had a deleted ending.

       

      —What in blazes is that ign’rant, dumbass neighbor of mine up to now?!

       

      Okay, in these examples, I’ve replaced another word which fits nicely with ONE aspect of what “hylic” conveys.  In both instances, they’re applied to an individual.  Have I disparaged myself in the first sentence, or do you see now that the word itself is innocuous?

       

      >>By applying it to a group of people, you're basically condemning them without hope for salvation. Because they're not the "pneumatic race", they don't have the potential.<<

       

      Well, I see your point a bit better after that elaboration.  You appear to be saying that it has less to do with applying to a group than it does that those divisions are “fixed” in the minds of the literalists—kinda like separating the have’s and the have-not’s.  Even in the case of the latter example, some people would realize that just because a person might be monetarily strapped at one point doesn’t mean the condition is permanent.  Others, of course, mistakenly see it as a natural indication of one’s class.

       

      Without even getting into what the Gnostic authors intended, this observation makes me wonder the following:

       

      IF we view the term as being misused by certain individuals, do we decide that we don’t like it anymore and discard it completely?  Is it more politically correct of us to say that we don’t want to offend anyone, so why don’t we embrace our hylic brothers and sisters?  [BTW, that doesn’t imply permanence of condition.  Even seen as “stages,” you would have to admit that at a given time, people at various stages of awareness would yield clear divisions among a particular sampling of humanity.]  And by embracing them, do we also choose to nurture that hylic nature within ourselves.

       

      Sounds very warm and cozy, but I fail to see the point of Gnostic awareness if we close our eyes to the awakening.

       

      Gerry

       

    • incognito_lightbringer
      Message 2 of 9 , Apr 28 1:36 AM
      View Source
      • 0 Attachment
        <<Why do you act like we're disagreeing when you turn around and
        imply the same thing? >>

        ??? When did I state I was disagreeing with you, and about what? You
        need to reread my post.

        <<Once again, you've stated that the term "IS"
        derogatory, but then
        you add a condition by which said characteristic would apply, i.e.,
        using it to belittle groups of people. If it is dependent upon that
        condition, then it obviously does not have an inherently derogatory
        nature.>>

        It IS derogatory IF it's applied a certain way, a way which I've
        explained. I never said you were interpreting thus, in fact I stated
        that my impression was that you weren't, so I don't understand what
        your problem is. Are you unaware that there are people online who
        insist that hylic/pneumatic/psychic was written to be used in
        the "derogatory" way? I don't know if they're trying to condemn
        gnosticism or if they're just literalists where the texts are
        concerned.

        <<Since you "don't interpret" the word in bigoted
        fashion, then how
        do you insist that "it is derogatory" in itself?>>

        Because I don't interpret the texts straightforwardly or literally. I
        look at pneumatic/hylic/psychic races to possibly be aspects within
        the individual, like parts of the body, personality, and the spirit.
        Or else developmental stages the individual goes through.
        That's nothing I can "prove" by taking out paragraphs from various
        historical gnostic texts and saying "look here" they SAY it's
        supposed to be applied MY way. It's my interpretation, although I
        still claim it's valid. If someone insists reading it exactly as
        written there is a problem. The question then is how did historical
        gnostics explain it? Did they think there were groups of people
        condemned to be hylic with no chance of any improvement?

        <<Okay, in these examples, I've replaced another word which fits
        nicely with ONE aspect of what "hylic" conveys. In both
        instances,
        they're applied to an individual. Have I disparaged myself in
        the
        first sentence, or do you see now that the word itself is innocuous?>>

        I haven't a clue as to what it is your trying to convey, but suspect
        you're attempting sarcasm. You need to try again.

        <<Well, I see your point a bit better after that elaboration. >>
        Then maybe you should have replied to the post after you finished
        reading the entire thing (that's my sarcasm BTW).

        <<IF we view the term as being misused by certain individuals, do we
        decide that we don't like it anymore and discard it completely?
        Is
        it more politically correct of us to say that we don't want to
        offend
        anyone, so why don't we embrace our hylic brothers and sisters?
        >>

        The key here is insisting on the validity of allegorical
        interpretation and stating outright that you're doing so and that
        historical gnostics did so likewise.
        And the historical gnostics were allegorical. Just look at the way
        they explained various stories in the NT (found many explanations in
        Ireneus).
        This is not about political correctness. (Although, IMHO, the usual
        description of the pneumatic does have him/her embracing everyone.)
        It is about what some claim gnosticism implies. Usually "critics" of
        it, or people who want to condemn it as some kind of racist/fascist
        system. Which GREATLY disturbs me because it's not now how I view
        gnosticism. Which is *why* I wrote my initial post, which I thought
        was straightforward enough

        <<Even seen as "stages," you would have to admit that at a
        given
        time, people at various stages of awareness would yield clear
        divisions among a particular sampling of humanity.>>
        Yes, usually people at very low stages of awareness try to divide
        humanity along the lines of any samplings. I prefer to divide the
        individual.

        <<Sounds very warm and cozy, but I fail to see the point of Gnostic
        awareness if we close our eyes to the awakening>>
        Whose awakening? Your own? Or someone elses? I wouldn't even begin to
        comment on the level of someone else's spiritual awareness. What you
        think you see isn't always what you get.


        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Gerry" <gerryhsp@y...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > Reply to Incognito's message #7604:
        >
        >
        >
        > After reading your recent posts, I find myself equally perplexed.
        >
        >
        >
        > >>It is derogatory Gerry, if it's meant to be applied to groups of
        > people. I don't interpret it as such.<<
        >
        >
        >
        > Why do you act like we're disagreeing when you turn around and
        imply the same thing? Once again, you've stated that the term "IS"
        derogatory, but then you add a condition by which said characteristic
        would apply, i.e., using it to belittle groups of people. If it is
        dependent upon that condition, then it obviously does not have an
        inherently derogatory nature.
        >
        >
        >
        > Furthermore, I suggested that the prejudice of it's usage was to be
        found in the intent of the writer and the interpretation of the
        reader. Since you "don't interpret" the word in bigoted fashion,
        then how do you insist that "it is derogatory" in itself?
        >
        >
        >
        > -I was ignorant of the fact that American Beauty had a deleted
        ending.
        >
        >
        >
        > -What in blazes is that ign'rant, dumbass neighbor of mine up to
        now?!
        >
        >
        >
        > Okay, in these examples, I've replaced another word which fits
        nicely with ONE aspect of what "hylic" conveys. In both instances,
        they're applied to an individual. Have I disparaged myself in the
        first sentence, or do you see now that the word itself is innocuous?
        >
        >
        >
        > >>By applying it to a group of people, you're basically condemning
        them without hope for salvation. Because they're not the "pneumatic
        race", they don't have the potential.<<
        >
        >
        >
        > Well, I see your point a bit better after that elaboration. You
        appear to be saying that it has less to do with applying to a group
        than it does that those divisions are "fixed" in the minds of the
        literalists-kinda like separating the have's and the have-not's.
        Even in the case of the latter example, some people would realize
        that just because a person might be monetarily strapped at one point
        doesn't mean the condition is permanent. Others, of course,
        mistakenly see it as a natural indication of one's class.
        >
        >
        >
        > Without even getting into what the Gnostic authors intended, this
        observation makes me wonder the following:
        >
        >
        >
        > IF we view the term as being misused by certain individuals, do we
        decide that we don't like it anymore and discard it completely? Is
        it more politically correct of us to say that we don't want to offend
        anyone, so why don't we embrace our hylic brothers and sisters?
        [BTW, that doesn't imply permanence of condition. Even seen
        as "stages," you would have to admit that at a given time, people at
        various stages of awareness would yield clear divisions among a
        particular sampling of humanity.] And by embracing them, do we also
        choose to nurture that hylic nature within ourselves.
        >
        >
        >
        > Sounds very warm and cozy, but I fail to see the point of Gnostic
        awareness if we close our eyes to the awakening.
        >
        >
        >
        > Gerry
      • Gerry
        ... Sorry, Micren, but it s not any clearer the second time around. Look at the very next passage you cited and observe that my assertion dealt with the term
        Message 3 of 9 , Apr 28 8:42 AM
        View Source
        • 0 Attachment

          Reply to message #7621:

           

           

          >>??? When did I state I was disagreeing with you, and about what? You need to reread my post.<<

          Sorry, Micren, but it’s not any clearer the second time around.  Look at the very next passage you cited and observe that my assertion dealt with the term “hylic” NOT being inherently derogatory:


          <<Once again, you've stated that the term "IS" derogatory, but then
          you add a condition by which said characteristic would apply, i.e.,
          using it to belittle groups of people. If it is dependent upon that
          condition, then it obviously does not have an inherently derogatory
          nature.>>

          That statement was made to counter your contention that the word WAS derogatory:

           

          >>It is derogatory Gerry [emphasis added], if it's meant to be applied to groups of people.<<  (7604) 

           

          You’ve mitigated that one somewhat, but look at your original comment:

           

          >>I'm certain what Al meant to say that hylic is a derogatory term in gnosticism (which it is) [emphasis added], and that putting people into the different categories CAN be interpreted as bigoted or racist.<<  (7599) 

           

          You’re actually agreeing and disagreeing with me all at once, no surprise, since you are mixing up a declarative statement with a conditional one.  On the one hand you imply an inherent state, but on the other, you suggest that it’s up to interpretation.  It’s rather like saying, “A door IS a table, whenever people take it off its hinges, attach legs to it and serve their tea on it.”  Well, truthfully, a door is NOT a table, but when people treat it as such, it could certainly serve in that capacity.

           

          >>It IS derogatory IF it's applied a certain way, a way which I've
          explained. I never said you were interpreting thus, in fact I stated
          that my impression was that you weren't, so I don't understand what
          your problem is. Are you unaware that there are people online who
          insist that hylic/pneumatic/psychic was written to be used in
          the "derogatory" way? I don't know if they're trying to condemn
          gnosticism or if they're just literalists where the texts are
          concerned.<<

           

          Yes, I see where we agree on the interpretive aspect, just as I saw it from the beginning, and yes, I agree that there are people on-line who hold literalist interpretations.  I believed you the first time.  I wasn’t defending my own views, or theirs, but the word itself.  THAT was where we disagreed:  You seemed to see it as derogatory—regardless—(which it is not), while I saw it as merely a descriptive term.  If you’re telling me that we are both in agreement on all points of this subject now, then we’ve both made our points, but realize that the only reason I questioned you in the first place was because of what you said (and HOW you said it) in those statements I quoted above.

           

          BTW, unless I completely misread him, I believe that George H. was also questioning the labeling of “hylic,” or to use his example, “preschoolers,” as derogatory . . . hence, his use of a question mark at the end.

           

          >>I haven't a clue as to what it is your trying to convey, but suspect you're attempting sarcasm. You need to try again.<<

          Of course I do.  It’s all about me.  There’s no reason to suspect that YOU might have to try again to understand it . . .

           

          There—THAT was my sarcasm, but in all honesty, the two examples I gave were not sarcastic, neither were they a setup for some trick question.  It was to emphasize that a term can be “derogatory” by its application at either end of the communication process (writer/reader):

           

          —I was ignorant of the fact that American Beauty had a deleted ending.

           

          —What in blazes is that ign’rant, dumbass neighbor of mine up to now?!

           

          In the first sentence, you can see that “ignorant” implies a lack of knowledge.  Perhaps I never even heard of the movie.  To say that I was ignorant of some aspect of the film is NOT a disparaging observation in this context.  In the second one, however, I’ve obviously emphasized my neighbor’s lack of knowledge (in general) in a pejorative way.

           

          The thing is, if “preschoolers” were derogatory because it seeks to separate humanity, then so would the term “graduate.”  Anything that might seek to define a particular characteristic could be used to generalize—and stereotype—countless groups of people.  If we eliminate “hylic,” then I guess “pneumatic” will be next, what with all its wretchedly elitist connotations.  Then, I reckon there’s little point in keeping “psychic” either (bunch of damned fence-sitters!).  Shall we just chuck out the dictionary altogether?

           

          >>This is not about political correctness. (Although, IMHO, the usual description of the pneumatic does have him/her embracing everyone.)<<
           

          You’re absolutely right;  this is NOT about being PC.  Here’s the point, though:  while the pneumatic is embracing everyone, is she ignorant of her own pneumatic state?  And if she is NOT, doesn’t that awareness also imply that she is cognizant of the states of those around her?  And if she IS aware, does that necessarily imply that she views or interacts with them in a derogatory manner?

           

          I just don’t see the automatic connection between perceiving something and acting derogatorily upon it.  I think it’s more of an emotive response.


          >>Yes, usually people at very low stages of awareness try to divide
          humanity along the lines of any samplings. I prefer to divide the
          individual.<<

          I thought that the lowest state couldn’t perceive the higher two.  It would seem to me that the lines they draw are based on their own limited, hylic perspectives.


          >>Whose awakening? Your own? Or someone elses? I wouldn't even begin to comment on the level of someone else's spiritual awareness. What you think you see isn't always what you get.<<

           

          No one’s asking you to be judge, jury and executioner.  Once again, the point here is that if you recognize that INDIVIDUALS may be at different levels of awareness at a particular moment, then a given sampling of humanity will reflect this.  That’s an objective observation—not a condemnation.  On the one hand, you seem willing to acknowledge that, but on the other, I get the impression that you’d prefer people remained closed-mouthed about it—as if it were alright to admit it, just not out loud.  Again, that sounds like you’re being PC.

           

          Gerry

        • incognito_lightbringer
          Gerry, how can I put this politely...what s your problem? From what I can see, both you and I interpret hylic/psychic/pneumatic alike. (explanation next
          Message 4 of 9 , May 2, 2003
          View Source
          • 0 Attachment
            Gerry, how can I put this politely...what's your problem?
            From what I can see, both you and I interpret hylic/psychic/pneumatic
            alike. (explanation next paragraph)
            I've stated I believe you do and why.
            Furthermore, despite your complaints of my lack of clarity, and an
            attempt to nitpick, I think you *did* understand my meaning. Because
            I repeated it several times, and because you normally do with many
            posters despite inconsistencies like "mixing declarative and
            conditional statements", or those who have less than perfect language
            skills, or for whom English is not a first language, or who are just
            plain poor spellers. Which you have regularly demonstrated.
            So this got me to wondering if there wasn't something deeper to all
            this that's needling you.
            It seems, to me, what's driving your argument lies in a reluctance to
            admit that there is any negative connotation to the word hylic *at
            all*. Had I used "uncomplimentary" rather than "derogatory", would
            that have made you happier? I doubt it. What on earth is a "merely
            descriptive" statement? I can think of a lot of descriptive
            statements, albeit true, that aren't pleasant and people wouldn't be
            happy with. Moreover, I'm certain you've read gnostic texts (Nag
            Hammadi, heresiological) that mention hylic (or material), and
            psychic and pneumatic (or spiritual). Tell me that a basic reading of
            them does not give the impression of the word hylic being "inherently
            derogatory". Quote text and passage and explain in a historical
            context. Also, you must equally be aware that there are people who
            insist that it was written and meant to be read in the way that I
            reject.
            So who's being PC here?
            (And *please* read the whole post if you're going to reply, because
            I've repeated myself several times during it.)


            If you didn't understand what I was trying to convey, or I didn't
            state it clearly enough, that's unfortunate. So I'll try again. I'm
            claiming that I define that the words hylic/psychic/pnuematic can be
            either parts of an individual's collective makeup (I lean towards
            this), or otherwise they can be different states of an individual's
            spiritual evolution.

            That this definition/interpretation is valid *from a historical
            context* IMHO. I have reasons for claiming this: 1) Allegorical
            interpretation is something we know the gnostics engaged in 2) the
            literal racist definitions are definitively stated in Ireneus, which
            is heresiological and suspect 3) Something I didn't get into, but the
            various characters in the OT Genesis are interpreted by modern
            Kabbalists as different aspects of the Godhead. They claim this is
            from an oral tradition going back thousands of years (although
            there's no objective concrete proof of this). The texts use
            characters in the Genesis myth in their explanation of
            hylic/psychic/pneumatic. The pneumatic race is the race of Seth and
            the hylic race the race of Cain. Along this line of reasoning, I
            could say that the different "races" are symbolic of different
            aspects within the individual person. This may be stretching things a
            bit, but I think it could be debated successfully.

            This is *not* the definition I'm arguing against because it allows
            the individual the possibility of change, which for me is the key
            thing. I realize that this is "my" interpretation, and that this is
            not how it's consistently interpreted by everyone in a gnostic
            context, specifically, a historical one. There are some people insist
            that hylic/psychic/pnuematic were written as inherited racial
            qualities, they even point to the word "race" in the texts, and that
            these are qualities you either have or don't; abilities you're born
            with or you're not. And if you're not, you never will be. Do you like
            that definition? I certainly don't and dislike the claim that
            gnosticism implied there were groups of people *fated* to damnation.
            And when I see it I argue there's an alternative interpretation to
            the historical texts, I claim so and give my explanation. (We could
            explore this in a tangent discussion in a new thread, the paradox of
            fate and free will and how it applies to gnosticism).

            <<Look at the very next passage you cited and observe that my
            assertion dealt with the term "hylic" NOT being inherently
            derogatory:>>

            Because you don't *interpret* it as inherently derogatory.That's why
            you state it's not. But you seem to object to the possibility that it
            can be interpreted otherwise. Surely you're aware it can be?! Some
            people do and claim it's historically accurate. They base it on
            Gnostic texts they read rigidly and literally.

            Let's look at this another way. If you think hylic is *not
            inherently* derogatory then what are you basing that on? Personal
            choice? Philosophical deduction? Historical texts? What is it you
            think the old gnostics meant by these terms?

            >>I'm certain what Al meant to say that hylic is a derogatory term in
            gnosticism (which it is) [emphasis added], and that putting people
            into the different categories CAN be interpreted as bigoted or
            racist.<< (7599)

            <<You're actually agreeing and disagreeing with me all at once,
            no
            surprise, since you are mixing up a declarative statement with a
            conditional one. On the one hand you imply an inherent state, but on
            the other, you suggest that it's up to interpretation>>

            <<You're actually agreeing and disagreeing with me all at once>>

            <<You seemed to see it as derogatory—regardless—(which it is
            not),
            while I saw it as merely a descriptive term>>

            Okay, I see where part of the problem is.

            Let me ask this, do you think the term "hylic" is a compliment,
            something you aspire to? When gnostic texts use the word hylic it's
            a "good thing"?

            Stating someone is hylic isn't meant as praise, although it may be
            truth. It's not the preferred state for someone hoping to attain
            gnosis. It's something we struggle against.
            In message #7599 I see where the confusion lies. But I hope you
            realize the main point I was originally trying to explore was the
            racist interpretation of the word. By "putting people into different
            categories" that's what I meant; the claim that this is some kind of
            permanent state that certain individuals are in for ever without hope
            of change, because they lack some original spark of the Godhead.
            That's the difference I've been trying to focus on. I think some
            posters did understand my meaning.

            You know how have to explain
            1) what you mean by "merely descriptive". Because there are
            descriptions that are that just aren't very nice or anything you'd be
            proud of.
            2) how is it not "inherently'" derogatory in your opinion? I'm basing
            my definition on my interpretation of historical texts.


            <<Here's the point, though: while the pneumatic is embracing
            everyone, is she ignorant of her own pneumatic state? >>

            Is being pneumatic simply something you are, or something you realize
            you are in relation to another state you had, or to the states of
            other people?
            For the individual, I'd say that yes, there must be an awareness of a
            change in consciousness **if** a change occurs. (This brings up a
            whole other kettle of worms found in the Gospel of Truth and
            Tripartite Tractate. They imply the error was allowed to occur by the
            Father for this reason; a means of return, the only means by which
            the aeons could realize perfection was from the Father and not
            inherent to them. Again, another thread to explore).

            <<And if she is NOT, doesn't that awareness also imply that she
            is
            cognizant of the states of those around her?>>

            Does being pneumatic mean your a mind reader and know everything
            there is to know about the personal history and inner workings of
            someone else's mind? You might be aware of your own state, another
            person is a whole other thing. Haven't you ever misunderstood or
            misjudged someone and later realized it, and that the reason this
            misunderstanding came about was due to something minor and wholly
            irrelevant?
            How do you prove, to yourself, or how do you know, that someone is
            hylic or psychic if you claim to be or think you're pneumatic?
            There's so many layers to an individual, so many differences in
            communication depending on their cultural background, as well as
            differences due to personality quirks. And this flawed communication
            is how we try to discern what another person is about. This may be
            why there's a prohibition against judging others in the NT.

            <<And if she IS aware, does that necessarily imply that she views or
            interacts with them in a derogatory manner?>>

            You've now gone from something being a derogatory term, to
            speculating on interaction with people on higher versus lower
            spiritual levels.
            Let me ask you this then. If the term hylic is applied along racial
            lines, as something you're born as without hope of change because you
            lack something, then how would that person be treated then by
            someone "pneumatic" who defines them as thus? There's a difference
            when you regard them as being in some point of a journey, or as
            possessing elements that everyone possesses but are in a state of
            change.
            The pneumatics in religious literature tend toward humility,
            patience, hope, and make an effort to help others.




            --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Gerry" <gerryhsp@y...> wrote:
            > Reply to message #7621:
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > >>??? When did I state I was disagreeing with you, and about what?
            You need to reread my post.<<
            >
            >
            >
            > Sorry, Micren, but it's not any clearer the second time around.
            Look at the very next passage you cited and observe that my assertion
            dealt with the term "hylic" NOT being inherently derogatory:
            >
            >
            > <<Once again, you've stated that the term "IS" derogatory, but then
            > you add a condition by which said characteristic would apply, i.e.,
            > using it to belittle groups of people. If it is dependent upon that
            > condition, then it obviously does not have an inherently derogatory
            > nature.>>
            >
            >
            >
            > That statement was made to counter your contention that the word
            WAS derogatory:
            >
            >
            >
            > >>It is derogatory Gerry [emphasis added], if it's meant to be
            applied to groups of people.<< (7604)
            >
            >
            >
            > You've mitigated that one somewhat, but look at your original
            comment:
            >
            >
            >
            > >>I'm certain what Al meant to say that hylic is a derogatory term
            in gnosticism (which it is) [emphasis added], and that putting people
            into the different categories CAN be interpreted as bigoted or
            racist.<< (7599)
            >
            >
            >
            > You're actually agreeing and disagreeing with me all at once, no
            surprise, since you are mixing up a declarative statement with a
            conditional one. On the one hand you imply an inherent state, but on
            the other, you suggest that it's up to interpretation. It's rather
            like saying, "A door IS a table, whenever people take it off its
            hinges, attach legs to it and serve their tea on it." Well,
            truthfully, a door is NOT a table, but when people treat it as such,
            it could certainly serve in that capacity.
            >
            >
            >
            > >>It IS derogatory IF it's applied a certain way, a way which I've
            > explained. I never said you were interpreting thus, in fact I
            stated
            > that my impression was that you weren't, so I don't understand what
            > your problem is. Are you unaware that there are people online who
            > insist that hylic/pneumatic/psychic was written to be used in
            > the "derogatory" way? I don't know if they're trying to condemn
            > gnosticism or if they're just literalists where the texts are
            > concerned.<<
            >
            >
            >
            > Yes, I see where we agree on the interpretive aspect, just as I saw
            it from the beginning, and yes, I agree that there are people on-line
            who hold literalist interpretations. I believed you the first time.
            I wasn't defending my own views, or theirs, but the word itself.
            THAT was where we disagreed: You seemed to see it as derogatory-
            regardless-(which it is not), while I saw it as merely a descriptive
            term. If you're telling me that we are both in agreement on all
            points of this subject now, then we've both made our points, but
            realize that the only reason I questioned you in the first place was
            because of what you said (and HOW you said it) in those statements I
            quoted above.
            >
            >
            >
            > BTW, unless I completely misread him, I believe that George H. was
            also questioning the labeling of "hylic," or to use his
            example, "preschoolers," as derogatory . . . hence, his use of a
            question mark at the end.
            >
            >
            >
            > >>I haven't a clue as to what it is your trying to convey, but
            suspect you're attempting sarcasm. You need to try again.<<
            >
            >
            >
            > Of course I do. It's all about me. There's no reason to suspect
            that YOU might have to try again to understand it . . .
            >
            >
            >
            > There-THAT was my sarcasm, but in all honesty, the two examples I
            gave were not sarcastic, neither were they a setup for some trick
            question. It was to emphasize that a term can be "derogatory" by its
            application at either end of the communication process
            (writer/reader):
            >
            >
            >
            > -I was ignorant of the fact that American Beauty had a deleted
            ending.
            >
            >
            >
            > -What in blazes is that ign'rant, dumbass neighbor of mine up to
            now?!
            >
            >
            >
            > In the first sentence, you can see that "ignorant" implies a lack
            of knowledge. Perhaps I never even heard of the movie. To say that
            I was ignorant of some aspect of the film is NOT a disparaging
            observation in this context. In the second one, however, I've
            obviously emphasized my neighbor's lack of knowledge (in general) in
            a pejorative way.
            >
            >
            >
            > The thing is, if "preschoolers" were derogatory because it seeks to
            separate humanity, then so would the term "graduate." Anything that
            might seek to define a particular characteristic could be used to
            generalize-and stereotype-countless groups of people. If we
            eliminate "hylic," then I guess "pneumatic" will be next, what with
            all its wretchedly elitist connotations. Then, I reckon there's
            little point in keeping "psychic" either (bunch of damned fence-
            sitters!). Shall we just chuck out the dictionary altogether?
            >
            >
            >
            > >>This is not about political correctness. (Although, IMHO, the
            usual description of the pneumatic does have him/her embracing
            everyone.)<<
            >
            >
            > You're absolutely right; this is NOT about being PC. Here's the
            point, though: while the pneumatic is embracing everyone, is she
            ignorant of her own pneumatic state? And if she is NOT, doesn't that
            awareness also imply that she is cognizant of the states of those
            around her? And if she IS aware, does that necessarily imply that
            she views or interacts with them in a derogatory manner?
            >
            >
            >
            > I just don't see the automatic connection between perceiving
            something and acting derogatorily upon it. I think it's more of an
            emotive response.
            >
            >
            > >>Yes, usually people at very low stages of awareness try to divide
            > humanity along the lines of any samplings. I prefer to divide the
            > individual.<<
            >
            >
            >
            > I thought that the lowest state couldn't perceive the higher two.
            It would seem to me that the lines they draw are based on their own
            limited, hylic perspectives.
            >
            >
            > >>Whose awakening? Your own? Or someone elses? I wouldn't even
            begin to comment on the level of someone else's spiritual awareness.
            What you think you see isn't always what you get.<<
            >
            >
            >
            > No one's asking you to be judge, jury and executioner. Once again,
            the point here is that if you recognize that INDIVIDUALS may be at
            different levels of awareness at a particular moment, then a given
            sampling of humanity will reflect this. That's an objective
            observation-not a condemnation. On the one hand, you seem willing to
            acknowledge that, but on the other, I get the impression that you'd
            prefer people remained closed-mouthed about it-as if it were alright
            to admit it, just not out loud. Again, that sounds like you're being
            PC.
            >
            >
            >
            > Gerry
          • Gerry
            ... Well, since you asked, I ll go ahead and tell you, but it s been said before by others, and you didn t like it then. BTW, I purposely avoided responding
            Message 5 of 9 , May 3, 2003
            View Source
            • 0 Attachment

               

              Reply to Incognito’s message #7676:

               

              >>Gerry, how can I put this politely...what's your problem?<<

               

              Well, since you asked, I’ll go ahead and tell you, but it’s been said before by others, and you didn’t like it then.  BTW, I purposely avoided responding to that question when you asked me previously because I didn’t want you perceiving the entire post as inflammatory—since you’ve asked again, though, I hope you can derive some constructive benefit from the response.  It has to do with your style of argumentation (which more often resembles equivocation).

               

              You didn’t even notice when PMCV (imposter version) recently engaged Blackfire in similar fashion—well, to be more accurate, you noticed, and were even “a bit horrified” by the exchange, but failed to see the similarity to your own posting tendencies.  Yes, I think it’s easy for others to sit back on the sidelines and claim that they at least find the content of such “discussions” valuable, but I contend that the feeling changes when THEY are the ones who have their words twisted around and thrown back at them.  Indeed, if the results here were any indication, most people have a low tolerance for it, seeing how one member conceded as much before his experiment even began, and the other threw in the towel after just a few rounds.

               

              BTW, I’m sorry for neglecting to attribute the above “horrified” comment of yours (it’s from the last line of your comments on post #7604).  Normally, I’m really good about citing such references, but my experience proves that it’s not always worth the bother.  In an earlier discussion about distinctions in the interpretation of certain Gnostic terminology, you asked the following:

               

              >>Where did I ask *what is a creator if not a creator*? Post # please<<  [#7404]

               

              Geez, I had spent about 30 minutes one day trying to find a quote which you attributed to me without any reference number whatsoever.  It’s not that I questioned its authenticity (it sounded like something I’d say), I just wanted to view it in its original context.  Anyway, I never mentioned it, but since you’d like to know where the above comment came from, I’ll show you.

               

              Your question came in response to my post #7390.  Indeed, that particular quote of yours  is located about midway down the page.  Since there was no additional post reference listed in the context of that comment, it would have been a fairly safe assumption for you to find it’s source in the very first line of my post:

               

              >>Reply to Incognito’s post

              #7373:<<  [again, from Gerry’s message #7390]

               

              Well, that’s a pretty good clue right there, but what’s even more illuminating is when you actually look at your own post #7373, and find the very words in question:

               

              >>If sin isn't sin and faith isn't faith and creator isn't creator, than what is it?<<  [#7373, paragraph 3, last line]

               

              Do you see my point?  If not, I was trying to point out differences by which certain terms are interpreted between various systems, while you were trying to throw me off the scent by implying that I hadn’t properly attributed your comment.  In truth, the answer you sought to that evasive question lay at the very top of the page—right under your nose, just like the difference between how a Gnostic might interpret “creator” as opposed to an orthodox interpretation.

               

              Yes, interpretation is very important, but when discussion is reduced to quibbling over words that have no bearing on Gnostic-specific terms, then it’s rather like Clinton claiming that his guilt or innocence was contingent upon what the definition of “is” is.  In another post, you said this:

               

              >>You wrote <<I sought to point out that as black is not white, neither might a mainstream definition be appropriately applied in a Gnostic context.>> What does that mean? That any definition "they" used automatically can't be what "we" use? I don't think you believe that, but that's what the statement implies.<<  [7465]

               

              Well, I don’t think you believe that’s what the statement really implies, or more to the point, I find it difficult to imagine that you actually believe that’s what the statement implies.  I state that something MIGHT NOT be appropriate in a certain context, and you decide that I’ve suggested that it CANNOT be used by a particular group, and then proceed to go off on that irrelevant tangent.  If conversations regarding Gnostic thought at this group have a prerequisite of remedial instruction in the use of auxiliary verbs, then there’s little hope for anything profound to ensue from such debates.  Again, what I actually said was right in front of you, but you saw something else altogether. 

               

              Besides asking me to attribute passages which I already had, you offered another bit of sage advice in that earlier post:

               

              >>PS It really is a good idea to reread the posts in this particular
              thread in one go.<<  [#7404]

               

              That IS a good idea, but if I were to follow it before replying to every post here (even just in this particular thread), I’d have to first quit my job and forego such indulgent interests as cooking and eating.  Still, while I can’t see starting from the beginning EVERY time I reply, I actually DO just that quite often enough, even with OTHER threads.  If constructive conversation actually resulted from that investment, I’d say it was worthwhile, but as time is getting incredibly scarce for me lately, and too many posts seem to go almost completely misunderstood, I begin to get the impression that it’s hardly worth the effort in some cases. 

               

              To be honest, I’m not sure exactly HOW you want people to respond to your posts, and after having been astounded by what you wrote back in #7367, I’m not certain YOU can answer that question either.

               

              >>I write my posts based on what I think, because I think it's
              important, and not on whether I think you'll think I "have correctly
              understood YOUR point"<<  [#7367]

               

              I rather imagine that we all must be writing about what we find to be important in some way or another, whether it’s because we agree or disagree with it, but at the same time, isn’t the purpose of dialogue to engage in a process of reasoning?  Without that concept, it seems more likely to be merely a series of monologues—not as conducive to mutual understanding.

               

              >>If there's a problem with ideas address the idea. If there's a
              problem with deduction, than address the rules of logic. If there's a problem with premise, explain what premise you think is right
              instead, or quote from historical text. If you think I've misread
              you, explain what it is you think it is I've misread....<<  [#7367]

               

              Okay, so you write your posts based on what you think, and if anyone differs with your observations, they’re free to point out errors in how you arrived at a particular conclusion.  That certainly sounds reasonable enough, but then you also add this in the very next paragraph:

               

              >>Oh, by the way again, don't tell me *how* to think. You can tell me what to think though, that's fine, that's presumably what this club
              is for.<<  [#7367]

               

              Now, you must surely see where I would be baffled by that comment.  Then again, maybe you wouldn’t.  On the one hand, what you “think” is more important than what someone else thinks when it comes to what you’re writing, but someone else is still welcome to cite errors in how you formulate those ideas.  On the other hand, you now claim that you will NOT permit someone to tell you HOW to reason, but that telling you WHAT to think is perfectly acceptable.  Well, Micren, I have to congratulate you on managing to twist your OWN words around!  How’s it feel?

               

              BTW, I’m also not sure about your presumption regarding the purpose of this group.  Had it truly been our goal to tell you “what to think,” and you were honest in saying that such a scenario would have been “fine” with you, then this conversation would have ended LONG ago.  If I were to address your logic there (and at this point, I’m probably damned if I do and damned if I don’t), I’d have to gather that you either misunderstood the purpose of the group, or were dishonest about your acceptance of that purpose as you claimed to understand it.

               

              Gerry

               

            • Gerry
              Another reply to Incognito s message #7676: So much for my problem. I ll address a couple points specifically from your last post to demonstrate how it
              Message 6 of 9 , May 3, 2003
              View Source
              • 0 Attachment

                 

                Another reply to Incognito’s message #7676:

                 

                So much for my “problem.”  I’ll address a couple points specifically from your last post to demonstrate how it relates to your behavior as I just laid it out.

                 

                >>Because you don't *interpret* it as inherently derogatory. That's why you state it's not. But you seem to object to the possibility that it can be interpreted otherwise. Surely you're aware it can be?!<<

                 

                Well, Micren, I previously had said the following regarding that sort of understanding of the term:

                 

                >>. . . and yes, I agree that there are people on-line who hold literalist interpretations.  I believed you the first time.<<  [Gerry, #7624]

                 

                Again, realizing how you’re prone to respond, I can see how you would find that sort of explicit agreement equivalent to an objection.  Realizing it’s going to happen, though, doesn’t make it any more amusing when it does. 

                 

                >>It seems, to me, what's driving your argument lies in a reluctance to admit that there is any negative connotation to the word hylic *at all*. Had I used "uncomplimentary" rather than "derogatory", would that have made you happier? I doubt it. What on earth is a "merely descriptive" statement? I can think of a lot of descriptive statements, albeit true, that aren't pleasant and people wouldn't be happy with.<<

                 

                Yes, I realize that you were focusing on the negative qualities, which was exactly why I pointed out another example, after George’s use of “preschoolers,” to show that even what might be seen as “positive” traits could also serve to separate humanity into groups:

                 

                >>The thing is, if “preschoolers” were derogatory because it seeks to separate humanity, then so would the term “graduate.”  Anything that might seek to define a particular characteristic could be used to generalize—and stereotype—countless groups of people.  If we eliminate “hylic,” then I guess “pneumatic” will be next, what with all its wretchedly elitist connotations.  Then, I reckon there’s little point in keeping “psychic” either (bunch of damned fence-sitters!).  Shall we just chuck out the dictionary altogether?<<  [Gerry, #7624]

                 

                Just because I used humor in that example doesn’t mean I wasn’t serious about the point.  I also addressed it in my use of the Door/Table analogy, something that should have removed the positive/negative criteria altogether.  The odd thing about that example is that I’ve heard it used as a poor attempt at rationalizing transubstantiation (but when you break the host, does it bleed?).  Here’s that one again:

                 

                >>It’s rather like saying, “A door IS a table, whenever people take it off its hinges, attach legs to it and serve their tea on it.”  Well, truthfully, a door is NOT a table, but when people treat it as such, it could certainly serve in that capacity.<<  [Gerry, #7624]

                 

                Why did I feel that you viewed some sort of connection between a word’s derogatory use and its divisive application to humanity through generalizations?  Because of comments you made:

                 

                >>It is derogatory Gerry, if it's meant to be applied to groups of people.<<  [#7604]

                 

                >>By "putting people into different categories" that's what I meant;<<

                 

                If this is the case now (after what you’ve said thus far), then “hylic” is not only INHERENTLY derogatory, but it CAN also be derogatory according to how it is used.  Well, if it IS inherently derogatory, then it would be hard NOT to use it that way, wouldn’t it? 

                 

                >>Stating someone is hylic isn't meant as praise, although it may be truth. It's not the preferred state for someone hoping to attain gnosis. It's something we struggle against.<<

                 

                Truth—exactly.  I guess I see a certain neutrality in such a truthful comment, just as the Infinite Truth is removed from our world of opposites.  That sort of objectivity eliminates the need to see something as praiseworthy or derogatory—it simply IS.  Still, no matter how much I agree with your assessment (which I DO!), I’m perplexed as to why you would say it.  IOW, you can claim all you want that you look at this as an “individual” issue, but even if you’re saying that you prefer to struggle against that hylic nature within your own being, it’s not as if you’re saying that you would seek to emulate that same nature in someone else (at least, I hope you’re not saying that!).  That’s not to suggest that you don’t have the compassion to embrace that person as a human being, but just because you don’t care to be the judge of who’s hylic and who’s not, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t people out there who are currently of a hylic nature.  If that “nature” per se is what we’re seeking to avoid, then have you not also defined a bias against a particular segment of humanity? 

                 

                Since you keep playing the race card, I’ll ask it this way:  If I were to say that I didn’t care for certain traits by which I stereotyped a group of people, would I be any less prejudiced by saying that I refused to point out exactly which people I was talking about?

                 

                “THEY know who they are!”

                 

                Nah, still sounds pretty bigoted to me.  Just because I claim publicly, “Who am I to judge who’s who,” doesn’t mean that I haven’t already made that prejudgment.  To recognize a state as something we each have to deal with, however, allows us to see it free of the loathsome or desirable characteristics we might otherwise attach to it through our emotion.  Again, while some might see “pneumatic” as indicating a state of elitism, from the perspective of a pneumatic, it is merely part of their personal process of becoming aware, a personal state which, BTW, benefits all of humanity.

                 

                >>You've now gone from something being a derogatory term, to speculating on interaction with people on higher versus lower spiritual levels.<<

                 

                Actually, I went from something NOT being a derogatory term.  After you elaborated on your thoughts regarding those various stages, it seemed like a natural association to wonder about how different people would interact with one another as they ponder similar awareness in themselves.  I’m not the first person on this board to “speculate” that hylic individuals don’t recognize the higher states.  If you’d rather not discuss it, though, that’s fine.  Once again, we’re in agreement.

                 

                Gerry

                 

              • blackfire_al
                ... Please do not use my lousy perfomance as an example. I am NOT a scholar and in debate, I do not have the burnished sword-of-a-mind that PMCV has (mine
                Message 7 of 9 , May 4, 2003
                View Source
                • 0 Attachment
                  > Gerry,
                  Please do not use my lousy perfomance as an example. I am NOT a
                  scholar and in debate, I do not have the burnished sword-of-a-mind
                  that PMCV has (mine sort of floats in and out like a cloud, I've
                  learned to live with it) I only went a "few rounds" because it would
                  have been a blood-bath to continue. Kind of like Mike Tyson taking
                  on Shirley Temple. :)

                  Blackfire

                  I also wish to say, I wish both you, Gerry, and incognito would bite
                  the bullet, and both take a step back and, PLEASE, get on to some
                  other topic. I feel this is my fault because of my off-hand comment.

                  and

                  Incognito.

                  I like the idea of fate and free will. I've always been fascinated
                  by the various Christian arguments of this idea but I haven't a clue
                  what Gnostics make of it, or if it is even pertinent within gnostic
                  thought.

                  Blackfire (or AL, I don't mind)LOL
                  >
                  > You didn't even notice when PMCV (imposter version) recently
                  engaged Blackfire in similar fashion-well, to be more accurate, you
                  noticed, and were even "a bit horrified" by the exchange, but failed
                  to see the similarity to your own posting tendencies. Yes, I think
                  it's easy for others to sit back on the sidelines and claim that they
                  at least find the content of such "discussions" valuable, but I
                  contend that the feeling changes when THEY are the ones who have
                  their words twisted around and thrown back at them. Indeed, if the
                  results here were any indication, most people have a low tolerance
                  for it, seeing how one member conceded as much before his experiment
                  even began, and the other threw in the towel after just a few rounds.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                • Gerry
                  ... would ... Actually, I think you set a lovely example here, Blackfire. That you don t even necessarily consider yourself on a Gnostic path makes the
                  Message 8 of 9 , May 4, 2003
                  View Source
                  • 0 Attachment
                    --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "blackfire_al"
                    <blackfire_al@y...> wrote:
                    > > Gerry,
                    > Please do not use my lousy perfomance as an example. I am NOT a
                    > scholar and in debate, I do not have the burnished sword-of-a-mind
                    > that PMCV has (mine sort of floats in and out like a cloud, I've
                    > learned to live with it) I only went a "few rounds" because it
                    would
                    > have been a blood-bath to continue. Kind of like Mike Tyson taking
                    > on Shirley Temple. :)
                    >
                    > Blackfire



                    Actually, I think you set a lovely example here, Blackfire. That you
                    don't even necessarily consider yourself on a Gnostic path makes the
                    caliber of your participation all the more remarkable. Anyway, while
                    I don't see this situation as having anything to do with this
                    particular thread (hence, is no fault of your own), I nonetheless
                    greatly appreciate your concern (and try my best to heed good advice
                    when and wherever I find it). Hey, at least I thought to remove your
                    name from the subject line a while back! ;-)

                    Gerry
                  • incognito_lightbringer
                    There s so much to tackle in your post, that it s best to take a few things at a time. Let s start with the following. It s easiest to examine because it s
                    Message 9 of 9 , May 9, 2003
                    View Source
                    • 0 Attachment
                      There's so much to tackle in your post, that it's best to take a few
                      things at a time.

                      Let's start with the following. It's easiest to examine because
                      it's merely deals with facts.


                      You wrote, in #7681, to which *this is post a reply*

                      <<<Geez, I had spent about 30 minutes one day trying to
                      find a quote which you attributed to me without any reference number
                      whatsoever. It's not that I questioned its authenticity (it
                      sounded
                      like something I'd say), I just wanted to view it in its original
                      context. Anyway, I never mentioned it, but since you'd like to
                      know
                      where the above comment came from, I'll show you.

                      Your question came in response to my post #7390. Indeed, that
                      particular quote of yours is located about midway down the page.
                      Since there was no additional post reference listed in the context of
                      that comment, it would have been a fairly safe assumption for you to
                      find it's source in the very first line of my post:>>>>


                      The quote "what is a creator if not a creator"
                      in my question
                      >>Where did I ask *what is a creator if not a creator*? Post #
                      please<<
                      which I asked in post #7404
                      is the one I attributed to you, that you spent 30 minutes finding.
                      Correct?

                      #7404 is a direct reply to #7390, which can be found hitting up
                      thread.
                      The entirety of #7390 is also pasted at the bottom of reply #7404 in
                      the online web page for that post.
                      #7390 contains direct reference to # 7373 and #7369, references
                      therefore also included in #7404 because #7390 is at the bottom.
                      #7373 contains a paste of an entire passage from #7369, although it's
                      a reply to #7370 which immediately follows #7369 (I tried to combine
                      a reply to two posts in one).
                      I'm not exactly certain why or what you spent 30 minutes trying to
                      locate.

                      #7390 is not my post. It's your post. The sentence where "what is
                      a creator if not a creator" occurs was written by you not me.
                      Therefore, I don't understand what you mean by "that particular quote
                      of yours is located about midway down the page" (#7390)

                      Or were you referring to the question in #7390 >>If sin isn't sin and
                      faith isn't faith and creator isn't creator, than what is it?<<
                      which is in fact mine?

                      I pasted the excerpt from #7390 at the top of #7404, before asking my
                      question that, so you'd know what it was I was referring to.

                      By "fairly safe assumption for you to find it's source in the
                      very
                      first line of my post", which post of yours is that?
                      There's no post of yours that has the quote in the first line, that I
                      can find.



                      Now, let's look at the progression of questions from post to post:

                      You wrote #7369 <<The Gnostic outlook IS heterodox, and varied within
                      itself, as you've
                      pointed out, but it is NOT Orthodox. One should expect to find
                      differences in definitions, otherwise, sin is sin, faith is faith,
                      creator is creator, and damnation is damnation.>>


                      I replied #7373 <<We can very well
                      say things are gray, and the gnostic outlook is heterodox, but the
                      exploration helps define those differences. If sin isn't sin and
                      faith isn't faith and creator isn't creator, than what is it?>>


                      You replied in #7390
                      <<I was trying to show that if the mainstream definitions were the
                      only ones available, then those groups sheltered under the umbrella
                      of Gnosticism would be no different from the conventional orthodoxy.
                      Are these differences not what we've been pointing out during
                      this discussion of "faith"?>>


                      Then, in the same post, #7390, you also wrote:

                      <To verbalize understanding
                      of the difference in one message, and elsewhere ask what is a creator
                      if not a creator, I think it gives people the impression that the
                      definitions you occasionally bring to the table are leftovers from
                      your non-Gnostic upbringing. To some extent, we all have such
                      baggage, but all of us aren't zealously defending faith (not,
                      BTW,
                      because we don't give a damn if it gets pissed on, but because we
                      genuinely don't see it as under attack in the first place).
                      >>

                      That's why, in #7404, I write the following:

                      <<<<To verbalize understanding of the difference in one message, and
                      elsewhere ask what is a creator if not a creator,>>

                      Where did I ask *what is a creator if not a creator*? Post # please
                      >>>


                      Now, I'm assuming several things.
                      1)You're peeved at what you see as a failure in including reference
                      numbers, which caused you difficulty.
                      2)You're including all this as one example of what you claim is my
                      tendency for equivocation.

                      You write, in #7681, to which *this is post a reply*, that the
                      question was evasive, and meant to throw you off the scent.
                      In #7390 your write that this gives the impression of "leftovers from
                      a "non-Gnostic upbringing" and I am "zealously defending faith".
                      One is a speculation on influence, the others are comments about
                      motives.

                      As a courtesy I'll give you the chance to examine all this and reply
                      before I point some things out. Along the lines that everyone can
                      make a mistake.
                      What's wrong with this picture?





                      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Gerry" <gerryhsp@y...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      > Reply to Incognito's message #7676:
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > >>Gerry, how can I put this politely...what's your problem?<<
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Well, since you asked, I'll go ahead and tell you, but it's been
                      said before by others, and you didn't like it then. BTW, I purposely
                      avoided responding to that question when you asked me previously
                      because I didn't want you perceiving the entire post as inflammatory-
                      since you've asked again, though, I hope you can derive some
                      constructive benefit from the response. It has to do with your style
                      of argumentation (which more often resembles equivocation).
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > You didn't even notice when PMCV (imposter version) recently
                      engaged Blackfire in similar fashion-well, to be more accurate, you
                      noticed, and were even "a bit horrified" by the exchange, but failed
                      to see the similarity to your own posting tendencies. Yes, I think
                      it's easy for others to sit back on the sidelines and claim that they
                      at least find the content of such "discussions" valuable, but I
                      contend that the feeling changes when THEY are the ones who have
                      their words twisted around and thrown back at them. Indeed, if the
                      results here were any indication, most people have a low tolerance
                      for it, seeing how one member conceded as much before his experiment
                      even began, and the other threw in the towel after just a few rounds.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > BTW, I'm sorry for neglecting to attribute the above "horrified"
                      comment of yours (it's from the last line of your comments on post
                      #7604). Normally, I'm really good about citing such references, but
                      my experience proves that it's not always worth the bother. In an
                      earlier discussion about distinctions in the interpretation of
                      certain Gnostic terminology, you asked the following:
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > >>Where did I ask *what is a creator if not a creator*? Post #
                      please<< [#7404]
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Geez, I had spent about 30 minutes one day trying to find a quote
                      which you attributed to me without any reference number whatsoever.
                      It's not that I questioned its authenticity (it sounded like
                      something I'd say), I just wanted to view it in its original
                      context. Anyway, I never mentioned it, but since you'd like to know
                      where the above comment came from, I'll show you.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Your question came in response to my post #7390. Indeed, that
                      particular quote of yours is located about midway down the page.
                      Since there was no additional post reference listed in the context of
                      that comment, it would have been a fairly safe assumption for you to
                      find it's source in the very first line of my post:
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > >>Reply to Incognito's post #7373:<< [again, from Gerry's message
                      #7390]
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Well, that's a pretty good clue right there, but what's even more
                      illuminating is when you actually look at your own post #7373, and
                      find the very words in question:
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > >>If sin isn't sin and faith isn't faith and creator isn't creator,
                      than what is it?<< [#7373, paragraph 3, last line]
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Do you see my point? If not, I was trying to point out differences
                      by which certain terms are interpreted between various systems, while
                      you were trying to throw me off the scent by implying that I hadn't
                      properly attributed your comment. In truth, the answer you sought to
                      that evasive question lay at the very top of the page-right under
                      your nose, just like the difference between how a Gnostic might
                      interpret "creator" as opposed to an orthodox interpretation.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Yes, interpretation is very important, but when discussion is
                      reduced to quibbling over words that have no bearing on Gnostic-
                      specific terms, then it's rather like Clinton claiming that his guilt
                      or innocence was contingent upon what the definition of "is" is. In
                      another post, you said this:
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > >>You wrote <<I sought to point out that as black is not white,
                      neither might a mainstream definition be appropriately applied in a
                      Gnostic context.>> What does that mean? That any definition "they"
                      used automatically can't be what "we" use? I don't think you believe
                      that, but that's what the statement implies.<< [7465]
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Well, I don't think you believe that's what the statement really
                      implies, or more to the point, I find it difficult to imagine that
                      you actually believe that's what the statement implies. I state that
                      something MIGHT NOT be appropriate in a certain context, and you
                      decide that I've suggested that it CANNOT be used by a particular
                      group, and then proceed to go off on that irrelevant tangent. If
                      conversations regarding Gnostic thought at this group have a
                      prerequisite of remedial instruction in the use of auxiliary verbs,
                      then there's little hope for anything profound to ensue from such
                      debates. Again, what I actually said was right in front of you, but
                      you saw something else altogether.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Besides asking me to attribute passages which I already had, you
                      offered another bit of sage advice in that earlier post:
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > >>PS It really is a good idea to reread the posts in this
                      particular
                      > thread in one go.<< [#7404]
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > That IS a good idea, but if I were to follow it before replying to
                      every post here (even just in this particular thread), I'd have to
                      first quit my job and forego such indulgent interests as cooking and
                      eating. Still, while I can't see starting from the beginning EVERY
                      time I reply, I actually DO just that quite often enough, even with
                      OTHER threads. If constructive conversation actually resulted from
                      that investment, I'd say it was worthwhile, but as time is getting
                      incredibly scarce for me lately, and too many posts seem to go almost
                      completely misunderstood, I begin to get the impression that it's
                      hardly worth the effort in some cases.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > To be honest, I'm not sure exactly HOW you want people to respond
                      to your posts, and after having been astounded by what you wrote back
                      in #7367, I'm not certain YOU can answer that question either.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > >>I write my posts based on what I think, because I think it's
                      > important, and not on whether I think you'll think I "have
                      correctly
                      > understood YOUR point"<< [#7367]
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > I rather imagine that we all must be writing about what we find to
                      be important in some way or another, whether it's because we agree or
                      disagree with it, but at the same time, isn't the purpose of dialogue
                      to engage in a process of reasoning? Without that concept, it seems
                      more likely to be merely a series of monologues-not as conducive to
                      mutual understanding.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > >>If there's a problem with ideas address the idea. If there's a
                      > problem with deduction, than address the rules of logic. If there's
                      a problem with premise, explain what premise you think is right
                      > instead, or quote from historical text. If you think I've misread
                      > you, explain what it is you think it is I've misread....<< [#7367]
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Okay, so you write your posts based on what you think, and if
                      anyone differs with your observations, they're free to point out
                      errors in how you arrived at a particular conclusion. That certainly
                      sounds reasonable enough, but then you also add this in the very next
                      paragraph:
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > >>Oh, by the way again, don't tell me *how* to think. You can tell
                      me what to think though, that's fine, that's presumably what this
                      club
                      > is for.<< [#7367]
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Now, you must surely see where I would be baffled by that comment.
                      Then again, maybe you wouldn't. On the one hand, what you "think" is
                      more important than what someone else thinks when it comes to what
                      you're writing, but someone else is still welcome to cite errors in
                      how you formulate those ideas. On the other hand, you now claim that
                      you will NOT permit someone to tell you HOW to reason, but that
                      telling you WHAT to think is perfectly acceptable. Well, Micren, I
                      have to congratulate you on managing to twist your OWN words around!
                      How's it feel?
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > BTW, I'm also not sure about your presumption regarding the purpose
                      of this group. Had it truly been our goal to tell you "what to
                      think," and you were honest in saying that such a scenario would have
                      been "fine" with you, then this conversation would have ended LONG
                      ago. If I were to address your logic there (and at this point, I'm
                      probably damned if I do and damned if I don't), I'd have to gather
                      that you either misunderstood the purpose of the group, or were
                      dishonest about your acceptance of that purpose as you claimed to
                      understand it.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Gerry
                    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.