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  • 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 1 of 9 , May 3, 2003
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      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 2 of 9 , May 4, 2003
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        > 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 3 of 9 , May 4, 2003
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          --- 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 4 of 9 , May 9, 2003
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            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
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