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Re: Cathars & Basque / ritual

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  • lady_caritas
    ... gnosis -- ... to ... my ... I ... the ... my ... a ... life. ... eschews ... from ... Yes, the intent and focus make a lot of difference. Paul s mention
    Message 1 of 69 , Oct 4, 2003
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      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Gerry" <gerryhsp@y...> wrote:
      > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Paul Kieniewicz <paulmmk@y...>
      > wrote:
      > > Cari/ Gerry
      > > Thanks for your thoughts on the role of ritual.
      > > I think we basically agree on this issue. I also hold that
      gnosis --
      > - the real kind, results from an individual effort and cannot be
      > dependent on any creed or ritual --- though those have a place for
      > those who have the relevant temperament. Interestingly, the
      > consolamentum was performed once, and as Gerry reminds us, on
      > occasion more than once. But not every day like the catholic mass.
      > >
      > > I'm not a ritualist, and find that the daily repetition of
      > anything, even the same breakfast cereal, to be deadening to the
      > mind. Our minds quickly latch onto repetition of any kind and tend
      > make that commonplace and lifeless.
      > >
      > I certainly relate to that. I recall one day in particular during
      > sophomore year of college. I got up that morning, got cleaned up,
      > dressed, ate breakfast, threw some books in a bag and over my
      > shoulder, and headed off to class. By the time I reached the curb
      > across from the Student Union, I realized that I had NO IDEA where
      > was going. It wasn't just because I also had no idea what day of
      > week it was, I had simply lost track of which "step" came next in
      > dreary routine. There I was expecting my mind to be challenged on
      > daily basis, and as you say, it had become "deadened" to the
      > experience. Well, I eventually got my bearings and proceeded on my
      > way, but the whole thing remained a real eye-opening event in my
      > > Isn't the nature of gnosis something that, like creativity,
      > repetition?
      > >
      > > Paul
      > >
      > I think we'd have to go back to your original assertion . . . that
      > with regards to OUR temperaments, our mental processes tend to be
      > stifled by repetition, but I know from other members here that the
      > same circumstances, for them, work entirely differently. Again, I
      > think it's the thought that goes into it. For those who benefit
      > such rituals, it's obviously not "mindless" repetition that's going
      > on. The intent and focus behind it make a huge difference.

      Yes, the intent and focus make a lot of difference. Paul's mention
      of "creed" reminded me of an incident. Apologies if I have already
      relayed this story. Many years ago I heard a minister recount a
      conversation with one of his parishioners who was refraining from
      joining in the congregational reading of various creeds (Apostles',
      Nicene, etc.) during the worship service because he didn't believe in
      everything contained in them. The pastor recommended he just recite
      them anyway and that they would become a part of him. Oh, brother.
      So, this would be a suggestion of conscious focusing of someone
      *else's* intentions. Do we see borderline brainwashing?

      I don't feel that gnosis can be taught or forced, although certainly
      ritual can be an aid for some, part of the experiential process.
      Likely a recognition beginning the process of gnosis could occur
      regardless of any formal practice if the individual is ready.

    • Gerry
      ... The Romantic side of me might be inclined to hold out that we are simply not privy to the actual perspective of the Cathar Parfaits, but without anything
      Message 69 of 69 , Jul 4, 2005
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        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "George Harvey"
        <georgeatnsn@y...> wrote:
        > Thank you. Very well put. Maybe some classify them as Gnostic
        > because the Church called them heretics. It seems some people
        > confuse the two terms.
        > Everybody,
        > Does anybody here think that they were Gnostic?
        > George

        The Romantic side of me might be inclined to hold out that we are
        simply not privy to the actual perspective of the Cathar Parfaits,
        but without anything to substantiate it, this would simply be
        speculation (or wishful thinking).

        Even looking at the historical process as analogous with Gnostic
        myth, consider how those concepts might have degraded as they
        filtered through the Manichaeans, and the Bogomils, to the Cathars.
        This far from the source, they might have been little left but a
        shell of esoteric understanding, which by then, could have even been
        regarded through a more exoteric perspective . . . emanating from the
        Source to the point of no longer recognizing it.

        Indeed, George, that confusion you mentioned of equating "heretics"
        with "Gnostics" is something that I still observe. This is becoming
        quite the popular phenomenon of late. I've been waiting since
        February to see the release of Prada's new fragrance, inspired
        by "Thunder Perfect Mind" (have I missed it?). Well, inspiration may
        be one thing, but the fact that director Jordan Scott views the
        campaign as "a testament to women in all forms" does little to
        indicate that she appreciates the Gnostic value of the paradoxical
        text used in the project. Basically, it has become a marketing
        gimmick, and nothing more.

        You can also look to the lyrics of Tori Amos:

        There was a garden
        In the beginning
        Before the fall
        Before Genesis

        There was a tree there
        A tree of knowledge
        Sophia would insist
        You must eat of this

        Original sin?
        No, I don't think so
        Original sinsuality
        Original sin?
        No, it should be
        Original sinsuality
        Original sin?
        No, I don't think so
        Original sinsuality

        I'm calling you
        You are not alone
        I say
        You are not alone
        In your darkness
        You are not alone
        You are not alone

        In "Original Sinsuality," she succinctly lays out the bare bones of a
        Gnostic creation story, but her own interviews on the subject reveal
        that she was inspired by references in the works of Elaine Pagels,
        and that she basically liked the shock value of such texts. Well,
        there's shock value for the sake of bringing a person to a pneumatic
        awareness, and there's shock value for the sake of appealing to one's
        audience and selling more music.

        I suppose I'm cynical enough at this point to think that not only are
        people confusing "heresy" with "Gnosticism," but that many are also
        confusing "heresy" with "anti-church" and "anti-establishment"
        resentment. Maybe it's just me, but is seems like all
        these "freethinkers" are missing the boat rather than rocking it
        whenever they jump on the nearest bandwagon to point out what it is
        that they're AGAINST. Perhaps it takes too much effort to actually
        articulate what it is that they stand FOR.

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