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Re: Valentinian anthropology

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  • lady_caritas
    ... wrote: ... if ... Betty, I suppose the question for me becomes, *do* we all have a shard of the divine? I can t answer that. I personally would hope so,
    Message 1 of 78 , Feb 3, 2004
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      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "eyeambetty" <eyeambetty@y...>
      > >
      > Hi Cari,
      > upon thinking this more thoroughly, perhaps all these natures are
      > potentials within us, but one nature eventually predominates. for
      > indeed we all have a spark/shard of the divine, does that not imply
      > potential?

      Betty, I suppose the question for me becomes, *do* we all have a
      shard of the divine? I can't answer that. I personally would hope
      so, but is there possibly some kind of unequal distribution in this
      corruptible world? Or are some people so entrenched in material
      concerns that they are blinded to their potential?

      then i keep coming back to, how is it that some transcend
      > the lower levels? and why do some stay bound to those natures?
      > for myself, i can say that i have lingered in the lower levels in
      > life. fortunately, i never got comfortable, but not without misery
      > and suffering. in hindsight, experientially, that was very
      > in shaping the awareness i have now. maybe what is meant
      by "chosen"
      > is the grace to be in the midst of the lower natures, internally
      > externally but not to succumb, but to recognize and observe.

      My experience supports what you describe,... that feeling of not
      being comfortable. There is a sense that the fit isn't right, almost
      a feeling of wanting to jump out of one's skin sometimes. This
      spurred me to continue to vary my experiences in life and to look to
      myself and not just others for direction. And, truly, it
      wasn't/isn't all so clear-cut some of the time. The muddy waters of
      the material can be a help or a hindrance.

      IOW, we rely on our bodies as the tools of perception and
      reflection. Perhaps some don't fully realize this potential simply
      because of an overload of physical, everyday concerns in our world or
      in more serious cases, for instance, a personality disorder that
      skews perception, even precluding the ability for adequate, authentic
      self-awareness. Then again, maybe Gnosis occurs regardless, just in
      varied form, if a person does indeed have pneumatic potential.

      > would one know light without the contrast of darkness?

      Yes, this is very observant of you. And, then, what becomes so
      overwhelming yet freeing and comforting for me is the realization
      that the Unknown is beyond even light and darkness, but that we can
      at least become aware, develop some acquaintance with this Unknown,
      through these types of images.

      "Whoever receives that light will be invisible and cannot be
      restrained. And nothing can harass such a person even while living
      in the world. And, furthermore, when that person leaves this world,
      he or she has already received the truth in the form of images, and
      the world has already become the eternal realm." ~ Gospel of Philip

    • Gerry
      ... from ... amount ... out ... combat ... order ... pain ... revising ... unwittingly ... have ... And a perfectly topical testimonial it was, Betty. :-) I
      Message 78 of 78 , Feb 25, 2004
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        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "eyeambetty" <eyeambetty@y...>
        > Hello Gerry,
        > previous to any spiritual context, i thought my inclination towards
        > introspection, and preference for solitude were products of my
        > upbringing. i've always felt alienated from others, painfully so
        > my family, i turned inward and developed a relationship with myself
        > early on. i don't think anyone escapes internalizing a certain
        > of the "darkness", meaning those raging, critical voices that
        > manifest out of false concepts, that have been shaped by external
        > influences during the development of our consciousness. it seems
        > of necessity, that i began to question and reflect in order to
        > those insidious voices that prodded at me to do this or that in
        > to be good, worthy, lovable and on and on... all i found was
        > emptiness in those pursuits, but the experiences were valuable
        > lessons because of the awareness i had. in my twenties, i began a
        > process of going thru all the garbage, finding the sources of my
        > and suffering, alongside new experiences, really distinguishing
        > between my true self and my false self. studying fine art, and
        > becoming an artist is what gave me a model for expanding and
        > my concepts and a voice/tool with which to express/communicate my
        > perceptions.
        > so now in my thirties, having created a space inside, and
        > prepared myself to recieve a series of transformational experiences
        > that eventually lead me to find Gnosticism, i can't help but think
        > that i was always headed in this direction. however, if you would
        > have told me 2 or 3 years ago this is where i would be, i would
        > surely laughed.
        > sorry, i didn't mean to write a testimonial...
        > sincerely,betty.

        And a perfectly topical testimonial it was, Betty. :-)

        I very much relate to much of your experience, although for me, I
        don't think the introspection and preference for solitude were as
        much products of my upbringing as simply genetic. Two other members
        of my immediate family are the same way, and I see numerous examples
        in the extended family as well.

        Your concluding remarks, also, I find have an especially familiar
        ring. In many ways, I can look back over the course of my life and
        see how differently my views have changed, but at the same time, even
        though I would have had no idea what Gnosticism was all about way
        back then, I feel as though there was always something "different" in
        the way I saw things, and that I was always being drawn in this
        direction. Odd, since my somewhat conventional upbringing was never
        so steeped in the mainstream as to ever make me really comfortable
        with orthodox beliefs, and yet, those beliefs that I *did* have
        weren't exactly like what we're discussing here today, either——sort
        of like realizing that deep within there must have always existed a
        gemstone in the rough. Chipping away at the crust around it takes us
        back to Mike's comment about the "refined perception."

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