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Gnostic Rejection of the Material Realm

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  • K.M.Hunter
    A couple of messages have been posted regarding the nature of this material realm that we live in, and whether it was, as a whole rejected by the gnostics. I
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 27, 2003
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      A couple of messages have been posted regarding the nature of this
      material realm that we live in, and whether it was, as a whole
      rejected by the gnostics. I should say that the answer to the
      question: did the gnostics reject this world of matter as being
      wholely evil?...is yes, from what I have read, this is true of many
      gnostic groups from around the 2nd-4th century. In my own view, it is
      right that this realm be known as a false realm, i.e. a realm created
      in error. Although I consider myself a gnostic, I do not wish to
      state that my own mind is fixed only towards to 2-4th centuries AD. I
      do believe that the Rosicrusian tradition is also a part of true
      gnosticism, and also I could not dismiss the role of Egypt, or ignore
      such works as the Corpus Hermetica. Drawing from all of these sources
      there is a general thread of knowledge that explains why this realm
      is a prison of sorts, and that matter itself is a prison for the
      soul. It is a deep mystery indeed. Essentially, it is best understood
      in the language of economics. In the Pistis Sophia, Christ often
      speaks of the soul and of salvation in terms of 'monetary theory'. He
      uses such theory however to convey natural law, as it pertains to the
      human condition.

      My interpretation of these texts is that the material realm
      was 'Counterfeited Into Existence', exactly like a fraudulant
      monetary claim upon wealth. For this reason, this realm must, even
      according to natural law, possess only a temporary existence until
      the 'error' is corrected that leads to the destruction of this realm
      and all matter within. The point being that if we are too enamoured
      of this realm, then our soul is empty (counterfeit) and full of
      matter, which is no rightful claim upon a higher form of life for us
      in an aeon beyond the veil of error. If we are good and true, then we
      put 'light in our lamps', i.e. make ourselves substantial so that we
      are not a counterfeit claim. If we do this, then when this material
      realm is eventually destroyed, then, we are not destroyed with it. It
      is for this reason that the early gnostics rejected this realm of
      matter as a whole.

      Lightpotential
    • pmcvflag
      Well, Valintinians did not always describe the world as wholely evil, Lightpotential... just flawed. Also, if we count Manichaeans, then for them the world
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 28, 2003
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        Well, Valintinians did not always describe the world as wholely evil,
        Lightpotential... just flawed. Also, if we count Manichaeans, then
        for them the world actually served a good function, as sort of a
        machine for the seperation of light from dark back to it's natural
        state.

        I should also point out that according to the technical definition
        (the definition coined by historians that this club specifically
        deals with) Rosicrucians (none of the forms, not even the original
        movement led by Yohan Valenitnin Andrea) would not be "Gnostic".
        However, thier esoteric beliefs are certainly interesting all the
        same.

        PMCV

        >A couple of messages have been posted regarding the nature of this
        material realm that we live in, and whether it was, as a whole
        rejected by the gnostics. I should say that the answer to the
        question: did the gnostics reject this world of matter as being
        wholely evil?...is yes, from what I have read, this is true of many
        gnostic groups from around the 2nd-4th century. In my own view, it is
        right that this realm be known as a false realm, i.e. a realm created
        in error. Although I consider myself a gnostic, I do not wish to
        state that my own mind is fixed only towards to 2-4th centuries AD. I
        do believe that the Rosicrusian tradition is also a part of true
        gnosticism, and also I could not dismiss the role of Egypt, or ignore
        such works as the Corpus Hermetica. Drawing from all of these sources
        there is a general thread of knowledge that explains why this realm
        is a prison of sorts, and that matter itself is a prison for the
        soul. It is a deep mystery indeed. Essentially, it is best understood
        in the language of economics. In the Pistis Sophia, Christ often
        speaks of the soul and of salvation in terms of 'monetary theory'. He
        uses such theory however to convey natural law, as it pertains to the
        human condition.

        My interpretation of these texts is that the material realm
        was 'Counterfeited Into Existence', exactly like a fraudulant
        monetary claim upon wealth. For this reason, this realm must, even
        according to natural law, possess only a temporary existence until
        the 'error' is corrected that leads to the destruction of this realm
        and all matter within. The point being that if we are too enamoured
        of this realm, then our soul is empty (counterfeit) and full of
        matter, which is no rightful claim upon a higher form of life for us
        in an aeon beyond the veil of error. If we are good and true, then we
        put 'light in our lamps', i.e. make ourselves substantial so that we
        are not a counterfeit claim. If we do this, then when this material
        realm is eventually destroyed, then, we are not destroyed with it. It
        is for this reason that the early gnostics rejected this realm of
        matter as a whole.<
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