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Re: Venturing into gnosticism

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  • Steve
    ... couple of ... mood. I m ... this ... combined ... subjects are ... know my ... problems with my ... the people ... what ... the reader ... explained ...
    Message 1 of 8 , Jun 5, 2003
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      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, m.bockermann@t... wrote:
      > Hello everybody!
      >
      >
      > I joined a couple of days ago and wanted to observe the list for a
      couple of
      > days to get a feel for it. But now it is time to leave the lurking
      mood. I'm
      > not sure wether a newbie is expected to introduce him/herself in
      this
      > newsgroup, so I thought I just give you a short intro of myself
      combined
      > with my first post.
      >
      > I'm Barbara and I'm a teacher-in-training from Germany. My
      subjects are
      > biology and chemistry.
      >
      > I was raised in Christian faith of Lutheran confession (so you
      know my
      > background). But in recent years, I have developed a lot of
      problems with my
      > faith and questions that remain unaswered.
      >
      > For example:
      >
      > Can we simply ignore "apocryphical" texts and simply trust that
      the people
      > who chose the books of the New Testimony were inspired by God? And
      what
      > about the texts *in* the Bible - how realiable are they. What is
      the reader
      > to make of beings like "angels" and "giants" that are not really
      explained
      > in the scripture but seem to draw on a longstanding, not-written
      tradition.
      >
      > Are people that have not grown up with a Christian tradition
      really destined
      > for damnation? If not (and personally I believe so), then it
      follows that
      > the Christian faith is not the only one that leads to wisdom and
      knowledge.
      > Is it possible that there is some kind of "higher" truth of which
      the
      > "traditional" religions give only a glimpse and that can be
      reached by
      > following different kinds of paths to "enlightment"?
      >
      > I have always been interested in different kind of religions,
      including
      > different point of views on Christianity. I guess if you'd demand
      an answer
      > from me right now, I'd say that I believe that there was a wise
      man called
      > Jesus who had a big influence on the world. Wether he did miracles
      or was
      > the "Son of God"... right now I'm too confused to give an answer
      to that
      > question.
      >
      > For some reason, maybe because my life has changed so much in the
      recent
      > years, questions like these have risen up more and more inside of
      me, so
      > that I've begun to look around and search for different answers.
      >
      > And I found a lot of ideas, reaching from different religions and
      traditions
      > to New age ways. The first time I read about gnosticism (not to
      long ago) I
      > felt for the first time in a long time that something was
      beginning to make
      > sense to me. I do not claim that I've understood everything that
      gnostics
      > wrote or said, but what I've read so far makes a lot of sense and
      resembles
      > several ideas that I have thought of in the past. Currently I am
      studying
      > what I can find on the net or in books about gnosticism, and texts
      like the
      > Nag Hammadi or the Thomas evangelium. There is still a lot to
      learn, but I'm
      > interested and eager.
      >
      > What I haven't really found out yet is what gnostics "do". It says
      that they
      > strife to reach "gnosis" - but how does a gnostic do that?
      Thinking?
      > Meditating? Doing good deeds? I'd love to hear your ideas on that.
      >
      > Well, I don't want to make this post too long. I hope that I can
      learn
      > things here and offer to others what I have learned.
      >
      > Take care,
      > Barbara

      Hi, Barbara! It's the people who win who get to write the history
      books. In my opinion, our New Testament is a perfect example of
      this. I tend to believe that St.Paul was a Gnostic and the up-and-
      coming Institutional Church had to monkey with his letters and do
      some serious "damage control" in order to tame him for Catholicism.
      By the way, coming from a Lutheran background, you may be interested
      in the writings of the German Gnostic Jacob Boehme, who also started
      as a Lutheran. Yours, Steve
    • pessy@chez.com
      ... No, J. Boehme was no such thing as a Gnostic. Boehme failed to distinguish Demiurgos and Chrestos Theos. He just wrote some cool stuff like Satanael being
      Message 2 of 8 , Jun 6, 2003
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        Steve writes:
        > Gnostic Jacob Boehme

        No, J. Boehme was no such thing as a Gnostic.
        Boehme failed to distinguish Demiurgos and Chrestos Theos.
        He just wrote some cool stuff like Satanael being the chef of nature.

        Klaus Schilling
      • lady_caritas
        Greetings, Barbara, and welcome to the group. We look forward to your future thoughts and comments. Feel free to browse our message board and links section
        Message 3 of 8 , Jun 6, 2003
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          Greetings, Barbara, and welcome to the group. We look forward to
          your future thoughts and comments.

          Feel free to browse our message board and links section (Mike has
          already mentioned a good one ~ www.gnosis.org ). Regarding what
          material made it into the Bible and what didn't, Gerry left a link in
          his Post #7825 on how the canon was formed. I'll repost the link
          here:
          http://www.westarinstitute.org/Periodicals/4R_Articles/Canon/canon.htm
          l

          You wrote, "What I haven't really found out yet is what
          gnostics "do". It says that they strife to reach "gnosis" - but how
          does a gnostic do that? Thinking? Meditating? Doing good deeds? I'd
          love to hear your ideas on that."

          No doubt Gnostics think and some meditate and some do good deeds, but
          not because of any prescribed dogma. Good deeds won't get you
          to "heaven," but good deeds might be a result of Gnostic awareness.
          This awareness comes through life experience and self-examination and
          gaining acquaintance by means of both one's rational and nonrational
          natures. Many Gnostics place importance on critical thinking as well
          as spiritual experience during the process of Gnosis.

          From _The Gospel of Philip_:

          "Should not all people who possess all things know themselves
          utterly? Now, if some do not know themselves, they will not have the
          use of what they possess; but those who have learned about themselves
          will do so."


          From _The Gospel of Thomas_:

          Jesus said, "If those who lead you (plur.) say to you, `See, the
          kingdom is in heaven,' then the birds of heaven will precede you. If
          they say to you, `It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you.
          But the kingdom is inside of you. And it is outside of you.

          "When you become acquainted with yourselves, then you will be
          recognized. And you will understand that it is you who are children
          of the living father. But if you do not become acquainted with
          yourselves, then you are in poverty, and it is you who are the
          poverty."


          Cari
        • heywood38
          Hi Barbera! If you are interested in a very readable book on thie topic of the early Church and how the writings were affected etc. try reading The Jesus
          Message 4 of 8 , Jun 7, 2003
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            Hi Barbera!

            If you are interested in a very readable book on thie topic of the
            early Church and how the writings were affected etc. try
            reading 'The Jesus Mysteries' by Timothy Freke. this subject is
            dealt with from a gnostic perspective, in a very readable format and
            the book is widely available (Amazon.com etc).

            I am also a newish Gnostic from a Lutheran background (I was a Deaon
            of the Church) and struggled with there being 'something more' to my
            faith - and that is that that one also needs to 'experience
            Divinity' - that Faith alone is not enough for me anymore.

            Hope this book choice helps!

            Fiat Lux!

            Daath40
          • pessy@chez.com
            ... don t neglect co-author Gandy. Klaus Schilling
            Message 5 of 8 , Jun 7, 2003
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              heywood38 writes:
              > Hi Barbera!
              >
              > If you are interested in a very readable book on thie topic of the
              > early Church and how the writings were affected etc. try
              > reading 'The Jesus Mysteries' by Timothy Freke.

              don't neglect co-author Gandy.

              Klaus Schilling
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