Re: Venturing into gnosticism
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, m.bockermann@t... wrote:
> Hello everybody!couple of
> I joined a couple of days ago and wanted to observe the list for a
> days to get a feel for it. But now it is time to leave the lurkingmood. I'm
> not sure wether a newbie is expected to introduce him/herself inthis
> newsgroup, so I thought I just give you a short intro of myselfcombined
> with my first post.subjects are
> I'm Barbara and I'm a teacher-in-training from Germany. My
> biology and chemistry.know my
> I was raised in Christian faith of Lutheran confession (so you
> background). But in recent years, I have developed a lot ofproblems with my
> faith and questions that remain unaswered.the people
> For example:
> Can we simply ignore "apocryphical" texts and simply trust that
> who chose the books of the New Testimony were inspired by God? Andwhat
> about the texts *in* the Bible - how realiable are they. What isthe reader
> to make of beings like "angels" and "giants" that are not reallyexplained
> in the scripture but seem to draw on a longstanding, not-writtentradition.
> Are people that have not grown up with a Christian tradition
> for damnation? If not (and personally I believe so), then itfollows that
> the Christian faith is not the only one that leads to wisdom andknowledge.
> Is it possible that there is some kind of "higher" truth of whichthe
> "traditional" religions give only a glimpse and that can bereached by
> following different kinds of paths to "enlightment"?including
> I have always been interested in different kind of religions,
> different point of views on Christianity. I guess if you'd demandan answer
> from me right now, I'd say that I believe that there was a wiseman called
> Jesus who had a big influence on the world. Wether he did miraclesor was
> the "Son of God"... right now I'm too confused to give an answerto that
> For some reason, maybe because my life has changed so much in the
> years, questions like these have risen up more and more inside ofme, so
> that I've begun to look around and search for different answers.traditions
> And I found a lot of ideas, reaching from different religions and
> to New age ways. The first time I read about gnosticism (not tolong ago) I
> felt for the first time in a long time that something wasbeginning to make
> sense to me. I do not claim that I've understood everything thatgnostics
> wrote or said, but what I've read so far makes a lot of sense andresembles
> several ideas that I have thought of in the past. Currently I amstudying
> what I can find on the net or in books about gnosticism, and textslike the
> Nag Hammadi or the Thomas evangelium. There is still a lot tolearn, but I'm
> interested and eager.that they
> What I haven't really found out yet is what gnostics "do". It says
> 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.learn
> Well, I don't want to make this post too long. I hope that I can
> things here and offer to others what I have learned.Hi, Barbara! It's the people who win who get to write the history
> Take care,
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
- Steve writes:
> Gnostic Jacob BoehmeNo, 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.
- 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
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
- 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!
- heywood38 writes:
> Hi Barbera!don't neglect co-author Gandy.
> 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.