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Re: Can everyone be saved by Gnosis?

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  • lady_caritas
    ... Some ... with. ... stuff ... Ah, a fellow southeastern Michiganian. :-) Brian, I am currently trying to play catch-up around here after spending part of
    Message 1 of 42 , Feb 13, 2004
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      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "bwood8500" <bwood8500@y...>

      > I don't like to believe that there is an 'elect' either. We all
      > carry the divine spark within us. I think it might be matter of
      > choice. Some of the people that I talk to just plain ol' don't
      > care. They don't care to know about religous beliefs that aren't
      > theirs. Some don't have the desire for gnosis. They are to caught
      > up in the hylic world to even begin to try to understand. And still
      > there are those who do care but can't except what it involves.
      > people have a hard time letting go of the dogmas they grew up
      > Still I think there are others who don't have access to other ideas
      > than whats around them.
      > I like to think that we all have a chance. It takes at times a lot
      > for someone to feel that divine spark inside of them burn for the
      > divine. That is why we must keep those who are not on the path or
      > who are starting to stray in our prays and in our hearts.
      > I am also glad to hear that someone else had this concern. I know
      > that I am not the most learned in most topics. I do not have the
      > ability to quote text at the drop of a hat, but I know what I feel
      > about things. (yes I can be even more vague than that) The biggest
      > struggle I am having with being a gnostic is all this material
      > around me, how does it benefit me to use it or hurt me not to? How
      > do I go to work and mass produce things that ultimately keep the
      > light veiled? But I know that those are things that I will come to
      > terms with eventually, on my own.
      > -Brian Wood C.S.M.

      Ah, a fellow southeastern Michiganian. :-)

      Brian, I am currently trying to play catch-up around here after
      spending part of my week downtown for county jury duty. And, I was
      part of an "elect," a carefully chosen group of people selected to
      listen to testimony, such as it was, since there was no physical
      evidence, nor were there any firsthand witnesses (other than the
      alleged perpetrator and alleged victim) to this alleged crime.

      But, unless one has a deterministic outlook, there were also elements
      of randomness and elements of choice involved. I chose to fill out
      the form the county originally sent me, which placed me in the pool
      of prospective jurors. I was selected to appear for jury duty. I
      chose to comply. Heh. I was then randomly chosen by computer, from
      a pool of over 300 other people who decided to comply, to take the
      elevator with others randomly chosen to appear in a particular court
      for possible further selection. I was then randomly picked literally
      out of a bowl of names on slips of paper to take a seat on the jury.
      I somehow managed to not offend in some way both the prosecuting and
      defending attorneys and wasn't dismissed from the jury during the
      lengthy selection process. Now, during this process, I could have
      lied, which I didn't. We were also asked whether lack of physical
      evidence, etc. would be a problem for any of us. No one raised
      his/her hands, but after this experience, I might reconsider in the

      So, another interesting element of "chance" or not, depending on
      one's view,... near the very end, after hearing all the testimony,
      the lawyers' heated closing arguments, the judge's extensive
      instructions to the jury, there were two more names to be pulled out
      of the bowl. These were to be the alternates. The jury of 14 had to
      be whittled down to 12. Yep, I was "randomly" selected to be an
      alternate, a juror to be called back, just in case another juror
      couldn't perform his/her final duties. The door to the opportunity
      to discuss the case with the other jurors, to be part of that
      collective memory, and come to some unanimous decision beyond
      a "reasonable doubt," ... was slammed shut. I was left in a state of
      reasonable doubt in my own mind. And, the jury, after hours of
      deliberation, did eventually come to a unanimous verdict on all three
      counts (first-degree felonies) of guilty.


      I only recount this experience still fresh in my mind to illustrate
      that even on a very miniscule, worldly level my "election" and
      subsequent non-election could be viewed in so many philosophical
      ways. These events could be explained as a combination... or not...
      of predestination or conversely free will,... chance, choice, power
      or manipulation beyond my control, whatever.

      Now, consider the Ineffable. Brian, I also do not have the ability
      to quote text at the drop of a hat. I do envy the ability to do so.
      It could come in handy as rejoinders to those who come knockin' at my
      door ready to vilify me with Bible quotes.

      However, I do sometimes generally remember where to look for passages
      to quote that provide illustration similar to my thoughts or
      experiences. This morning I was reviewing passages from _The Secret
      Book According to John_, _The Foreigner_, and other texts that
      attempt to describe the unexplainable. I suppose it's just human
      nature to try to get a grasp of things, even if incomplete. And, I
      do appreciate these ancients who wrote down their experiences. I
      find some comfort in being able to relate on some level to their

      This passage, attempting to understand a vision, from _The Foreigner_
      hit a nerve with me:

      "Thus it is utterly unrecognizable to all and by all, although it is
      in all – and not just in unrecognizable acquaintance that exists
      according as it (the ineffable) really is. And it is reconciled
      through the nonrecognition that looks toward it. How is it
      unrecognizable? Or does any behold it as it utterly exists? If on
      should say that it exists as something, such as acquaintance, one has
      acted impiously toward it, and has been sentenced to not being
      acquainted with god: not sentenced by that (ineffable), which
      neither cares about anything nor possesses any will, but rather self-
      sentenced because of not having discovered the really existent first
      principle. Such a person has gone blind, outside the still eye of
      activated manifestation, which derives from the triply powered
      belonging to the first thought of the invisible spirit, which thus
      exists [...]

      Here the next half page of the original manuscript was destroyed.
      Ach, dontcha just hate when that happens...

      Anyway, to try to make some sense of my rambling here,... it seems to
      me, from my experience so far, and from what I read of others'
      experiences (such as the above), the Ineffable is just that:
      ineffable. Yet, we are *aware* of this and through Gnosis we can
      genuinely tune in to the "still eye of activated manifestation"
      emanating from the invisible spirit. Abstractions are inevitable,
      our way of conceptualizing and applying our experience to our human

      But are conceptions of "will" and "election" and "divine judgment"
      real or human impiousness? Considering all the variables in our
      physical world, all those blinders such as you describe, in addition
      to the role that our physical bodies play with varying interpreting
      capabilities,... election and judging and will are not simple
      issues. They are not simple issues even considering the very mundane
      courtroom example I gave earlier.

      Can we simply escape to the "ineffability" defense? Sure. But then,
      on a practical level, right now we live in this physical world.
      Brian, you describe your personal struggle with the material world.
      _Zostrianos_ describes not just a mystical ascent, but also the
      descent back into the material world:

      "And I descended to the perceptible world, and I put on my ignorant
      material image. Although it was ignorant, I bestowed power upon it,
      and went about preaching truth unto all. Neither the hosts of angels
      of the world nor the rulers saw me. Indeed, I escaped many
      condemnations that brought me near to death."

      Preaching truth. I suppose I can understand that, but then what
      about all those self-styled gurus we see in our society? Are
      they "self-sentenced because of not having discovered the really
      existent first principle",... or not? Is "bestowing power"
      and "preaching truth" an automatic, immediate given in all cases, or
      is becoming invisible to worldly demiurgic powers more tricky.

      I think of Gnosis as a process, regardless of considerations
      about "election" or randomness that might appear to be "election."

      I'm reminded of PMCV's words (#9168) ~ "Though Gnosis may not be an
      intellectual achievement, conceptual realization is preceeded by the
      existance of intellect. I do not feel that my body is a spiritual
      vessel in and of itself, and I do not think that my spiritual
      developement could reach it's potential without self reflection and
      re- contextualizations...... how can one become pnematic without
      first developing at thier psychic level (and possibly even
      continueing to develope that psychic awareness even after certain
      pneumatic breakthroughs)?"

      Good question. And I've rambled on here with all my "self reflection
      and re-contextualization." lol

    • Gerry
      ... to the group, please note that I do need to do quite a bit of reading. I also agree that Kundalini & Gnosticism are not two of the same, but merely
      Message 42 of 42 , Mar 7, 2004
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        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Blissful Branches
        <blissful_branches@y...> wrote:
        > Thanks for clearing those things up for me. Aside from being new
        to the group, please note that I do need to do quite a bit of
        reading. I also agree that Kundalini & Gnosticism are not two of the
        same, but merely conveying that the Gospels Thomas and Philip had
        certain qualities that remind me of Kundalini.
        > Please be patient with me.
        > All the best,
        > Bliss

        Hey Bliss.

        Forgive me for not looking back in the earlier messages, but I'm
        hoping you were the one who had questions about how it was decided
        which books made it into the Bible. Here's a link that covers the
        canonization process:


        I hate that it looks like you may have to cut and paste one letter to
        make that work, but you may find it interesting enough to make it
        worth the bother.

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