Valentinian view of creation
- Some more thoughts regarding Incognita's post #7789 (a lot of ideas
presented in one post :-) ) ~
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, incognito_lightbringer
> Gnostic myth has the fall of Sophia, who was a part of the Pleromaas
> and a member of the Father, who is spirit himself.
> If Valentinian theology has a midway point between the Pleroma and
> actual matter, it still has a demiurge who uses Sophia's power. She
> is dimmed. Something of the original source is incorporated here.
> How, is still confusing to me.
> In Ptolemy's version (Ireneus 1.4.1 to 1.53 ) the anointed Christ
> takes pity on Acamoth and stretches out is his cross and forms her
> a "concrete formation". She emits the demiurge, Iao, who is theWhat
> craftsman. He doesn't exactly form matter, rather organizes it.
> is meant by a "concrete formation" then? In 1.52 "and he becamelight
> craftsman of material and animate things, of left and right, of
> and heavy, or upward tending and downward tending".these
> We too are said to be made up of matter, soul, and spirit. How
> things coexist within us, what the mechanism is, is not clear. Howis
> the pneuma part of us? How is soul? Spirit is not compatible withGod
> matter, but here it is in us, and our bodies are matter. This is a
> major reason why I no longer pay attention to the
> docetic/adoptionist/trinitarian arguments. If I can't explain it
> within the human being, I see little point in speculating about the
> Christ. The gnostics themselves couldn't exactly agree on it either.
> Is our pneuma in the Pleroma, and the illusion is that it's here in
> our physical bodies? As in both GTr and TT, that the Father retains
> the perfection of the Pleroma within himself?
> <<I would agree, Incognita, that pantheism in gnosticism is
> questionable. Most of the definitions in this link tend to support
> that God=the Universe, and even the definition from the _Oxford
> Companion to Philosophy_ talks about every*thing* there is.
> Your quote above from GTr does not support pantheism in my mind. >>
> The quote I gave was meant to show what GTr views as illusion.
> The possibility of pantheism in gnosticism depends on "ifs". If
> matter is an illusion, if pantheism is defined as the presence of
> (rather than God equaling nature, which is the more commonmodeled
> definition.) Gnostics are not tree huggers.
> <<_The Gospel of Truth_ talks about fragrances. The original cold
> fragrances "result from division." "And it is a soul-endowed
> form, being like a cold liquid that has sunk into some loose earth;would
> and those who see it suppose that (only) earth is there." This
> illustrate a blind perception of only the material world.>>(it
> The confusing bit here is that the fragrance of the Father mixes
> itself in matter.
> The cold is the warm that's been separated, and when it's breathed
> back in it becomes warm again.
> The Attridge and Mcrae translation of GTr:
> "For the Father is sweet, and in his will is what is good. He has
> taken cognizance of the things that are yours, that you might find
> rest in them. For by the fruits does one take cognizance of the
> things that are yours, because the children of the Father are his
> fragrance, for they are from the grace of his countenance. For this
> reason, the Father loves his fragrance, and manifests it in every
> place. And if it mixes with matter, he gives his fragrance to the
> light, and in his repose, he causes it to surpass every form (and)
> every sound. For it is not the ears that smell the fragrance, but
> is) the breath that has the sense of smell and attracts thefragrance
> to itself, and is submerged in the fragrance of the Father, so thaton
> he thus shelters it, and takes it to the place where it came from,
> from the first fragrance, which is grown cold. It is something in a
> psychic form, being like cold water which has frozen (?), which is
> earth that is not solid, of which those who see it think it isearth;
> afterwards, it dissolves again. If a breath draws it, it gets hot."It mixes with matter,"... but it does not *become* matter.
> The fragrances, therefore, that are cold are from the division. For
> this reason, faith came; it dissolved the division, and it brought
> the warm pleroma of love, in order that the cold should not come
> again, but (that) there should be the unity of perfect thought. "
From your quote:
"For this reason, the Father loves his fragrance, and manifests it in
every place. And if it mixes with matter, he gives his fragrance to
the light, and in his repose, he causes it to surpass every form
(and) every sound. For it is not the ears that smell the fragrance,
but (it is) the breath that has the sense of smell and attracts the
fragrance to itself,..."
Notice the material "ears" don't smell the fragrance. The "breath"
or "spirit" is only capable of smelling the Father's fragrance. So,
wait a minute; ears don't smell, right? That's the point. Ears
hear. The spirit is beyond sound, including all our words we use to
discuss all this perplexity. (i.e. "In his repose [or silence
Layton], he causes it to surpass every form (and) every sound.")
So, why mix the fragrance with matter? Matter is viewed by Gnostics
as temporary, most likely bound for destruction. Permanency of
matter would be seen as illusion. As you say, "Gnostics are not tree
This confusion is addressed by Gnostics using their typical mode of
expression, mythology and metaphor, as a means of reaching
the "nooks" and "crannies" of our unconscious, yanking to our
consciousness some understanding beyond that of our rational brains.
In that regard, I am reminded of a draft of an article, you may or
may not already be familiar with, Incognita,... part of a collection
of writings by David Brons which were rescued when he deleted his
site on Valentinianism. This essay addresses some of the issues you
bring up about the Valentinian view of creation (and also in
comparison to other Gnostic views) and how matter/soul/spirit work
together. The key for Valentinians is that the world plays a part in
the process of redemption. Humans were created to serve as vessels
in which the pneumatic seed could mature. And, therefore, the world
*also* serves as a mechanism for the destruction of ignorance and
matter. From the article, "Valentinians agreed with Plato that the
form of the created world preserved the image of the ideal realm (the
pleroma). For this reason they rarely criticisize the form of the
world. Instead most of their criticism is focused on the world's
material substance. In their view, the matter of which the world is
formed is condensed or solidified deficiency and suffering. Thus
while the world preserves the image of the pleroma, it is inevitably
deficient on account of its substance."
Anyway, it's best to read the article in its entirety to fully
understand Brons' interpretation:
- The Middle region, when you separate the light from the darkness
you enter into the Twilight Zone, the World of the Imagination,
Freedom of Mind, Divine Will.
To Truly be Good you must be Free from the knowledge, from having
known, experienced wrong doing, you must be innocent.
Innocence exists only when there is no Evil, a long as Evil exist
Good is Evil and Evil is good, there is no innocence.
In between the Light and the Darkness, Parallel Universes, the Two
Worlds of Reality, One the World of Reality as seen in the light of
day, the Reality of the Moment, the Here and Now, Reality that exists
independent of our thoughts concerning it and the World of the
Imagination, the middle World, the World of Illusion, Sin; Reality as
seen in the Second light of the Sun, Moon Light, where thinly veiled
shadowy figures lurk in the Darkest corners of the Mind.
By the light of the Silvery Moon, Light that is separated out of the
Darkness, Twice light.
Illusion Trice Light, Reality hauled up out of the darkest depths of
the abyss, the imagination.
A Lie is the Truth, an Illusion is a Reality, Evil is Good, Good is
Evil, Good and Evil is Evil.
Yahoogroups.com, lady_caritas <no_reply@y...> wrote:
> --- In email@example.com, pessy@c... wrote:be
> > lady_caritas writes:
> > > contained in this line, "Within the present world, (reputedly)
> > > is good and there is evil, (but) the world's goods are not
> > > good, and its evils not (really) evil." IOW, "reputedly"
> > > or "allegedly" or "so they say" makes me wonder. Would this
> > > Valentinian recounting a more literal, traditional notion of
> > > opposites, "good" and "evil," in comparison to a conception ofbe
> > > world not being (really) black and white? Or OTOH might this
> > > heresiologist relating a view secondhand or rather a novice
> > > an initiation process or even a Valentinian not entirely
> convinced or
> > > in agreement about the concepts of good and evil? Regardless,
> > > think we can at least glean some Valentinian ideas from thisthis
> > > as it speaks to hylic, psychic, and pneumatic natures, and it
> > > certainly reiterates a common theme of resurrection now in
> > > lifetime, not waiting for some later time.last
> > no, it just merans that the world is evil, and good is out of the
> > whereas Zoroastrians see good and bad residing in the world.
> > Klaus Schilling
> Klaus, I suppose that is also a very likely interpretation. (My
> sentence of that paragraph was referring not only to the line justthought
> previously discussed about "good" and "evil," but to other comments
> in the GPh passage as a whole.) However, I guess my point was,
> perhaps we could only assume the line related to Zoroastrian
> when no direct mention is made of them and we don't even know theOr
> original source or context of this whole passage. And, where does
> the passage say that this world is only "evil," as you interpret?
> do you think it is implied somehow?fit
> Also, considering your interpretation of that line, how does that
> within the context of the remainder of the passage, with the author
> defining the "midpoint" -- "**after** this world" -- as "evil"?