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Mandaeans (was: Re: Gnosticism and Christianity??)

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  • pmcvflag
    ... 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
    Message 1 of 42 , Sep 6, 2003
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      >>>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.<<<

      Hey Mike, I think you and I are of one mind on this one. There is
      only one point in your whole post that I disagree with. I hate to
      pick out the one thing we differ in oppinion on, since it seems
      adversarial, but then again.... there seems little point in
      discussing the things we are ABSOLUTELY in agreement with *lol*.

      Anyways...

      "their cosmology is pretty much Gnostic, and
      that is what defines them, and us as a list, for that matter"

      While it is certainly true that the cosmology in Gnosticism is highly
      relevent to it's definition, I do not agree that it is definitive in
      and of itself. Marcion is not Gnostic (and unlike my admittedly
      ambiguous stance on the Mandaeans, willing to say maybe they are
      Gnostic and maybe they are not.... I am confident in my exclusion of
      the Marcionites) and yet thier cosmology is closely related.
      Manichaeans also have a related cosmology, and just about any
      neoplatonist movement does as well. Some neopythagorians are almost
      identical. My point is, no matter how similar a cosmology looks on
      the surface, if the function of Gnosis is removed then the very
      quality from which "Gnosticism" gets it's name is missing. Without
      that soteriological function of Gnosis, all we have is another
      psychic or hylic belief system no matter how similar the cosmology is.

      On the other hand, you really do effectively undermine part of my
      arguement before I even started by pointing out the individual nature
      of Gnosis. However, let me point out that there is a difference
      between an individual pneumatic, and a religion that is conciously
      set up to foment it within the individual. A Catholic can also find
      Gnosis.... it does not make Catholicism "Gnostic".

      I guess what I am trying to say is, even in my disagreement I am not
      completely in disagreement. However, I do think it would be a mistake
      to put too much emphasis on thier cosmology, to the poing of
      discounting thier view of the definitive quality of the very
      word "Gnosticism".

      PMCV
    • rjpep@usfamily.net
      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
      Message 42 of 42 , Sep 18, 2003
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        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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