Re: Mandaeans (was: Re: Gnosticism and Christianity??)
- Hello pmcvflag
On 06-Sep-03, you wrote:
> Hey Mike and Lady Cari, I've been trying to go through these pages a
> bit at a time and keep up with the conversation.
> One thing I can already tell I had been mistaken about is that I had
> somehow gotton the impression that it was Lady Drower who had
> actually named them the "Mandaeans" in the first place... this is
> obviously not the case considering the way she deals with the
> I think you raise two important points, Mike. The epidemic in 1831
> killed thier link to some of the unspoken tradition. It is not
> impossible that more "Gnostic" elements would have been found in
> this, and that the praxis and pistic emphasis was merely for the
> common practitioner. However, while I am open to the possibility, I
> am also leary to speculate.
> On the other hand, you said that the "Gnostic elements are still
> there". By that, are you referring to thier cosmology/cosmogeny? As
> we already agreed there certainly seems to be at least a close
> relation between Mandaeans and Gnosticism. But my question, the
> thing I am attempting to figure out, is whether Mandaeans are
> related to Gnostics, or if the Mandaeans ARE Gnostics. Perhaps the
> point you make concerning them becoming a "peoples religion" is
> particularly poignant considering the growing popularity of
> "Gnosticism" in general. Will it remain "Gnostic" in the hands of
> the people? Or, should we take to heart the admonition to "not throw
> pearls before swine"? (I don't mean that to be as cynical as it
> sounds, I am simply raising the question of how well the core
> beliefs of Gnosticism will be understood in the hands of the
> populous.. and when it would cease to truely fit the definition of
> I am struck then by the implications that the Mandaeans hold, not
> only for historical study, but also for the re-emergance of Gnostic
> thought in the modern western movements, as well as the popular
I, for one, would not even attempt to answer this, as who knows the
heart of another, and the Priests may be more Gnostic than the
average Mandean is. As to the effect of popularization of
Gnosticism, yes I see a danger, if it were to actually become a mass
movement, I am sure it would lose much of its purity. Look at what
the Thelemites do with it, if you want something under your nose.
With the best and most intellectual of them it is not so bad, but...
And frankly it is not fair to put a standard on them there is not on
us, no more is every Manden a gnostic, than every member of this list
is. Gnosis is of the individual, not of the group, and that includes
the Mandeans. To me, their cosmology is pretty much Gnostic, and
that is what defines them, and us as a list, for that matter.
Mike Leavitt ac998@...
- Thanks for the comeback, Cari. For myself, of the 3 quotes you sent, this
one I think speaks best.
"Let each of us, too, burrow for the root of evil that is within, and root
it up from his or her heart. It will be rooted up when it is recognized."
Once we have looked inside and recognized it we are equipped to recognize it
in others, and perhaps confront it. Whether or not that requires an
acquaintance w/ Godde, I remain unsure. It was for me but I can't speak for
all or in shoulds. roberta
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