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Re: Digest Number 563 (seminar lowlights)

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  • Mike Leavitt
    Hello eyeambetty ... It should be made clear, this was no hidden adjenda for Mead, he was Madam Blavadsky s secretary, and was merely viewing the gnostics
    Message 1 of 14 , Mar 7, 2004
      Hello eyeambetty

      On 07-Mar-04, you wrote:

      > first, let me say, in regards to a post recently from Terje about
      > this author, whom he says "did not shy away from interposing the
      > concepts of Karma, Dharma, "Reincarnation" and other concepts out of
      > Hinduism/Buddhism without any consideration that not everyone knew
      > that originally the terms he "translates" is connected to an
      > entirely different worldview..."message 9232, to which i
      > wholeheartedly agree. he certainly is liberal in using the concepts
      > within Hinduism/Buddhism to assist in explaining Gnostic concepts.
      > however, here is a very adept scholar, who with very little to work
      > with besides fragments imbedded with Patristic writing, and i
      > believe the Askew and Bruce Codice's quite beautifully breathes such
      > life into Gnosticism. regardless of whether he is Gnostic himself,
      > it's not apparent, but he has the utmost reverance for the tradition
      > and the "Gnostic Doctors".
      > anyway, the passage is at the end of a chapter on Valentinus, it
      > says:

      It should be made clear, this was no hidden adjenda for Mead, he was
      Madam Blavadsky's secretary, and was merely viewing the gnostics
      unconsciously from a Theosophical world view.

      > "The Gnostics were ever changing their nomenclature; the god of one
      > system might even be the devil of another! He who makes a
      > concordance of names merely, in Gnosticism, may think himself lucky
      > to escape a lunatic asylum; he, on the contrary, who seeks the idea
      > behind the name will often find himself in a realm of great beauty
      > and harmony of thought. Men like the Gnostics have ever had
      > intuitions of a real state of being, of definite and precise realms
      > of consciousness; yet each has caught a glimpse of the reality, as
      > all men must so long as they are imprisioned in a body. If the
      > Gnostics exhausted the philosophy and religion of their time in
      > striving to find a decent vestment for the naked truth, as they
      > thought they saw it, who shall blame them? Though they contradict
      > one another, in the view of the word-hunter, they do not contradict
      > themselves for the follower of ideas. the idea is the key which
      > opens the mysteries of the Gnosis, and those who refuse to use this
      > living key must be content to have the treasury closed against
      > them."

      Despite this, he had real insight, and the book is valuable, this
      quote rests my case.

      Regards
      --
      Mike Leavitt ac998@...
    • floyd788@webtv.net
      Hi, Mike, I just finished reading your dissertation on knowledge of the many things you have gleaned. You really have done your homework. It was a long post,
      Message 2 of 14 , Mar 7, 2004
        Hi,
        Mike, I just finished reading your dissertation on knowledge of the many
        things you have gleaned. You really have done your homework. It was a
        long post, but I enjoyed every bit of it. I am rather new to the
        internet. I bought a webtv because I am frugal. My wife calls it right,
        but it's like everything else <> garbage collector-sanitation engineer,
        janitor- custodian, etc. I hate to rush, but I've several more E-mails
        to return. Keep up the good work and we will all know a little more.
        Take care, my friend.

        Love floyd
      • Gerry
        ... judgement ... without ... distastefully) ... LOL I m still amazed that even a few people were able to read through those posts of mine. While I did
        Message 3 of 14 , Mar 7, 2004
          --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "eyeambetty" <eyeambetty@y...>
          wrote:
          > Hi Gerry,
          > i've been following your blow by blow of the seminar you attended,
          > YIKES! very disheartening, but it seems your keen sense of
          judgement
          > and perception had already caught wind before you even arrived, eh?
          > it seems to be expected these days, i can barely turn on NPR
          without
          > hearing some interview, or story somehow(distantly or
          distastefully)
          > related to these manuscripts, usually to incorporate into some
          > already exhisting adgenda.



          LOL I'm still amazed that even a few people were able to read
          through those posts of mine. While I did strive to capture the mood
          of the experience along with the content, I hope the event wasn't as
          disheartening to you via my blow-by-blow reporting as I found it with
          my ringside seat.

          I'm not sure what to make of that NPR coverage; our reception down
          here is pretty spotty, so I usually only catch it when driving to
          Virginia. Ever since Cari mentioned those print articles and
          especially since the release of "The Passion," television has been
          saturated with supposed documentaries and specials. I'm curious (if
          you should recall any programs in particular) whether those on the
          radio impressed you as more of the liberal bias that Stephen
          mentioned. So far, that Fresh Air interview is the only thing I've
          heard, and other than his apocalyptic view supposedly supported by
          Thomas, Ehrman's background is of the mainstream persuasion. I
          suppose what I'm getting at is that it would be interesting to
          observe if both traditionally conservative and liberal media are
          witnessing a conventional Christian revival, even with regards to
          these non-canonical texts. Could be that orthodoxy makes strange
          bedfellows.



          > no kidding, you would think they would have the good sense, if
          indeed
          > they were considering a potential Gnostic interpretation, to
          compare
          > and contrast it with the more obvious Gnostic texts included in the
          > stated collections. but, it surely seems that the lectures were
          > designed to promote this Ehrman fellows book centered around those
          > particular manuscripts.



          Ya know, I had never read that _Time_ article until I got out there.
          Even though the lecture coordinators had sent out information packets
          beforehand, we each had some additional reading material waiting for
          us on arrival——the "Lost Gospels" article among them. Do you think
          it's some strange coincidence that it opens with a quote from the
          Gospel of Peter and ends with the Gospel of Thomas? A number of
          Ehrman's essays seem to focus on those two books, and that was also
          the same order in which he covered them in person. Bizarre. I think
          I smell a conspiracy brewin' somewhere. ;-)

          As for comparing and contrasting those texts, even that can get
          dicey. The woman who sat next to me was completely new to the
          subject, and it was evident that she was having some difficulty
          taking in any of this other than from her traditional point of
          reference. That just makes for a tough row to hoe. She had a book
          with her that she had checked out of the library, and was thinking
          about purchasing one of her own, but a lot of it just didn't make
          sense to her. Well, the book included only four texts, one of which
          was GTh. Nice enough for beginners, I figured, but the last of the
          four was the Apocryphon of John! I just couldn't believe that such a
          work had been included in something that looked like it was geared
          for novices. She was already struggling with the numerous angels
          mentioned therein which contributed in the creation of Man.
          Naturally——since *her* god didn't need any help in creating anything.

          She also pointed to the picture of Rosamonde Miller (donning robe and
          chalice) in that "Lost Gospels" article and questioned the fact that
          her group worships Sophia. Well, in truth, the article doesn't say
          anything about them "worshiping" anyone, but merely states that the
          Palo Alto group's "Sunday Eucharistic service honors Sophia." In my
          mind, there's a big difference, but as other people saw it, Miller
          might as well have had horns sprouting from her head.



          > Gerry, this reminded me of a passage i recently read, in the book
          i'm
          > still plodding thru by G.R.S. Mead,"Fragments of a Faith Forgotten".
          >
          > first, let me say, in regards to a post recently from Terje about
          > this author, whom he says "did not shy away from interposing the
          > concepts of Karma, Dharma, "Reincarnation" and other concepts out
          of
          > Hinduism/Buddhism without any consideration that not everyone knew
          > that originally the terms he "translates" is connected to an
          entirely
          > different worldview..."message 9232, to which i wholeheartedly
          agree.
          > he certainly is liberal in using the concepts within
          > Hinduism/Buddhism to assist in explaining Gnostic concepts.
          however,
          > here is a very adept scholar, who with very little to work with
          > besides fragments imbedded with Patristic writing, and i believe
          the
          > Askew and Bruce Codice's quite beautifully breathes such life into
          > Gnosticism. regardless of whether he is Gnostic himself, it's not
          > apparent, but he has the utmost reverance for the tradition and
          > the "Gnostic Doctors".
          > anyway, the passage is at the end of a chapter on Valentinus, it
          says:
          >
          > "The Gnostics were ever changing their nomenclature; the god of one
          > system might even be the devil of another! He who makes a
          > concordance of names merely, in Gnosticism, may think himself lucky
          > to escape a lunatic asylum; he, on the contrary, who seeks the idea
          > behind the name will often find himself in a realm of great beauty
          > and harmony of thought. Men like the Gnostics have ever had
          > intuitions of a real state of being, of definite and precise realms
          > of consciousness; yet each has caught a glimpse of the reality, as
          > all men must so long as they are imprisioned in a body. If the
          > Gnostics exhausted the philosophy and religion of their time in
          > striving to find a decent vestment for the naked truth, as they
          > thought they saw it, who shall blame them? Though they contradict
          one
          > another, in the view of the word-hunter, they do not contradict
          > themselves for the follower of ideas. the idea is the key which
          opens
          > the mysteries of the Gnosis, and those who refuse to use this
          living
          > key must be content to have the treasury closed against them."



          Thanks so much for sharing that, Betty. Not only had I not read it
          before, but I've been disappointed that I never did get a copy of
          Mead's take on the Pistis Sophia. As for the interpretation, I'm not
          at all opposed to exercising caution where warranted and appreciating
          value where we find it. I don't think I even need to second Mike's
          motion on closing that case——the above passage effectively pounds the
          gavel for us.



          > 28. Jesus said, "I took my stand in the midst of the world, and in
          > flesh I appeared to them. I found them all drunk, and I did not
          find
          > any of them thirsty. My soul ached for the children of humanity,
          > because they are blind in their hearts and do not see, for they
          came
          > into the world empty, and they also seek to depart from the world
          > empty.
          >
          > But meanwhile they are drunk. When they shake off their wine, they
          > will change their ways." Gospel of Thomas.
          >
          > one can only hope.



          Makes you want to brew up a world-sized pot of coffee with aspirin
          chasers, doesn't it?



          > yes, the freedom to renegotiate from moment to moment ones
          concepts,
          > without the safety net of set beliefs, allows for the seemingly
          death-
          > defying flexiblity you spoke of earlier.
          >
          > betty



          That's actually the part of the film _Dogma_ that I enjoyed the most——
          the Apostle's insistence that it's better to have ideas than
          beliefs. I'd hate to have someone be able to undermine the
          cornerstone of my philosophy——potentially bringing my whole world
          tumbling down around me.

          Gerry
        • Mike Leavitt
          Hello eyeambetty ... I mean he was not trying to theosophize the Gnostics, just that he was so embedded in Theosophy he looked at all Philosophy with
          Message 4 of 14 , Mar 7, 2004
            Hello eyeambetty

            On 07-Mar-04, you wrote:

            > Hello Mike,
            >
            >
            >> Mike wrote:
            >> It should be made clear, this was no hidden agenda for Mead, he
            >> was Madam Blavadsky's secretary, and was merely viewing the
            >> gnostics unconsciously from a Theosophical world view.
            >>
            >
            > M. Blavadky's secretary? wow, that is a fascinating bit of
            > information. Mike, may i ask, why you say "viewing the gnostics
            > *unconsciously*..."?

            I mean he was not trying to theosophize the Gnostics, just that he was
            so embedded in Theosophy he looked at all Philosophy with Theosophical
            specticles. It was unconscious, not some kind of not to well hidden
            agenda. His book on the world soul shows the same perspective, for
            instance. To him Theosophy was a universal philosophy, applicable to
            everything, and this pervaded his approach to Gnosticism, but did not
            blunt his insight into it.

            Regards
            --
            Mike Leavitt ac998@...
          • eyeambetty
            Hello Mike, ... M. Blavadky s secretary? wow, that is a fascinating bit of information. Mike, may i ask, why you say viewing the gnostics *unconsciously*... ?
            Message 5 of 14 , Mar 7, 2004
              Hello Mike,


              > Mike wrote:
              > It should be made clear, this was no hidden adjenda for Mead, he was
              > Madam Blavadsky's secretary, and was merely viewing the gnostics
              > unconsciously from a Theosophical world view.
              >

              M. Blavadky's secretary? wow, that is a fascinating bit of
              information. Mike, may i ask, why you say "viewing the gnostics
              *unconsciously*..."?



              > > "The Gnostics were ever changing their nomenclature; the god of
              one
              > > system might even be the devil of another! He who makes a
              > > concordance of names merely, in Gnosticism, may think himself
              lucky
              > > to escape a lunatic asylum; he, on the contrary, who seeks the
              idea
              > > behind the name will often find himself in a realm of great beauty
              > > and harmony of thought. Men like the Gnostics have ever had
              > > intuitions of a real state of being, of definite and precise
              realms
              > > of consciousness; yet each has caught a glimpse of the reality, as
              > > all men must so long as they are imprisioned in a body. If the
              > > Gnostics exhausted the philosophy and religion of their time in
              > > striving to find a decent vestment for the naked truth, as they
              > > thought they saw it, who shall blame them? Though they contradict
              > > one another, in the view of the word-hunter, they do not
              contradict
              > > themselves for the follower of ideas. the idea is the key which
              > > opens the mysteries of the Gnosis, and those who refuse to use
              this
              > > living key must be content to have the treasury closed against
              > > them."

              Mike wrote:
              > Despite this, he had real insight, and the book is valuable, this
              > quote rests my case.


              i completely agree, i am thoroughly enjoying, and devouring the book.
              it has been very helpful in visually outlining, historically, the
              stream of what Mead calls a "Living Tradition".

              betty
            • floyd788@webtv.net
              Hi Betty, I hope you won t feel that I am butting into your E-mail conversation with Gerry, but that s exactly what I m doing. I ve been in this group about a
              Message 6 of 14 , Mar 7, 2004
                Hi Betty,
                I hope you won't feel that I am butting into your E-mail conversation
                with Gerry, but that's exactly what I'm doing. I've been in this group
                about a week now and I want to learn all I can from y'all. I'm getting a
                good amount now as I read your post to Gerry. Y'all must have been doing
                this for along time. I hope you won't think me rude for the
                interruption. I was a Christian until recently, ( less than a year ).
                I'm looking for people like you, who has had more experience than I have
                Well. I've talked enough for now. Y'all take care and be safe.

                Love, floyd
              • eyeambetty
                Hiya Gerry, ... (if ... alright, you caught me exaggerating a wee bit, shame on me... actually besides the Fresh Air interview, there was a panel discussion, i
                Message 7 of 14 , Mar 9, 2004
                  Hiya Gerry,


                  >
                  > I'm not sure what to make of that NPR coverage; our reception down
                  > here is pretty spotty, so I usually only catch it when driving to
                  > Virginia. Ever since Cari mentioned those print articles and
                  > especially since the release of "The Passion," television has been
                  > saturated with supposed documentaries and specials. I'm curious
                  (if
                  > you should recall any programs in particular) whether those on the
                  > radio impressed you as more of the liberal bias that Stephen
                  > mentioned. So far, that Fresh Air interview is the only thing I've
                  > heard, and other than his apocalyptic view supposedly supported by
                  > Thomas, Ehrman's background is of the mainstream persuasion. I
                  > suppose what I'm getting at is that it would be interesting to
                  > observe if both traditionally conservative and liberal media are
                  > witnessing a conventional Christian revival, even with regards to
                  > these non-canonical texts. Could be that orthodoxy makes strange
                  > bedfellows.

                  alright, you caught me exaggerating a wee bit, shame on me...
                  actually besides the Fresh Air interview, there was a panel
                  discussion, i think on Talk of the Nation. i also recall another
                  Fresh Air interview with a fellow who had just written a book, he was
                  talking about Jewish mythology and the Kabbala, unfortunately, i
                  rarely get a chance to sit still long enough to hear things at
                  length, only little snippets. all this was surrounding "The Passion",
                  NPR seemed to be leaning towards voicing the outrage, and profiling
                  the types of people whom this film would resonate with, and the
                  reasons why. all this against a backdrop of Haitian revolt, Gay
                  Marriages, and the jaw-dropping number of catholic priest who have
                  molested their congregations children, you know, real people
                  suffering and stuggling in the face of adversity, right now.
                  i think perhaps the importance or any understanding of the non-
                  canonical texts gets lost and swallowed up in the context of these
                  media driven soundbites, they are just seen as points of interest to
                  add to the bigger story, in this case, as one Jewish theologian put
                  it, a catholic snuff film. oohh stop me...


                  Gerry wrote:
                  Do you think
                  > it's some strange coincidence that it opens with a quote from the
                  > Gospel of Peter and ends with the Gospel of Thomas? A number of
                  > Ehrman's essays seem to focus on those two books, and that was also
                  > the same order in which he covered them in person. Bizarre. I
                  think
                  > I smell a conspiracy brewin' somewhere. ;-)



                  or very effective PR.


                  betty
                • eyeambetty
                  ... was ... Theosophical ... to ... not ... thank you kindly, Mike. betty
                  Message 8 of 14 , Mar 9, 2004
                    > Mike, may i ask, why you say "viewing the gnostics
                    > > *unconsciously*..."?
                    >

                    > I mean he was not trying to theosophize the Gnostics, just that he
                    was
                    > so embedded in Theosophy he looked at all Philosophy with
                    Theosophical
                    > specticles. It was unconscious, not some kind of not to well hidden
                    > agenda. His book on the world soul shows the same perspective, for
                    > instance. To him Theosophy was a universal philosophy, applicable
                    to
                    > everything, and this pervaded his approach to Gnosticism, but did
                    not
                    > blunt his insight into it.

                    thank you kindly, Mike.

                    betty
                  • eyeambetty
                    Well, Hello to you Floyd! ... conversation ... group ... getting a ... doing ... year ). ... have ... i am a newcomer myself, i listened for quite awhile and
                    Message 9 of 14 , Mar 9, 2004
                      Well, Hello to you Floyd!


                      floyd wrote:
                      > Hi Betty,
                      > I hope you won't feel that I am butting into your E-mail
                      conversation
                      > with Gerry, but that's exactly what I'm doing. I've been in this
                      group
                      > about a week now and I want to learn all I can from y'all. I'm
                      getting a
                      > good amount now as I read your post to Gerry. Y'all must have been
                      doing
                      > this for along time. I hope you won't think me rude for the
                      > interruption. I was a Christian until recently, ( less than a
                      year ).
                      > I'm looking for people like you, who has had more experience than I
                      have
                      > Well. I've talked enough for now. Y'all take care and be safe.
                      >
                      > Love, floyd

                      i am a newcomer myself, i listened for quite awhile and only recently
                      have been participating in discussions. it's certainly not rude to
                      join in, gotta start somewhere, eh?
                      what has brought you here?

                      take care, as well.
                      betty
                    • Gerry
                      ... was ... Passion , ... to ... LMAO No, I m not about to stop you——I hadn t heard the snuff comment, either. Something like that really wakes me up
                      Message 10 of 14 , Mar 9, 2004
                        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "eyeambetty" <eyeambetty@y...>
                        wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        > alright, you caught me exaggerating a wee bit, shame on me...
                        > actually besides the Fresh Air interview, there was a panel
                        > discussion, i think on Talk of the Nation. i also recall another
                        > Fresh Air interview with a fellow who had just written a book, he
                        was
                        > talking about Jewish mythology and the Kabbala, unfortunately, i
                        > rarely get a chance to sit still long enough to hear things at
                        > length, only little snippets. all this was surrounding "The
                        Passion",
                        > NPR seemed to be leaning towards voicing the outrage, and profiling
                        > the types of people whom this film would resonate with, and the
                        > reasons why. all this against a backdrop of Haitian revolt, Gay
                        > Marriages, and the jaw-dropping number of catholic priest who have
                        > molested their congregations children, you know, real people
                        > suffering and stuggling in the face of adversity, right now.
                        > i think perhaps the importance or any understanding of the non-
                        > canonical texts gets lost and swallowed up in the context of these
                        > media driven soundbites, they are just seen as points of interest
                        to
                        > add to the bigger story, in this case, as one Jewish theologian put
                        > it, a catholic snuff film. oohh stop me...



                        LMAO No, I'm not about to stop you——I hadn't heard the "snuff"
                        comment, either. Something like that really wakes me up in the
                        morning. :-)

                        As for the exaggeration, no shame there. We'll just chalk it up to
                        hyperbole——an effective, rhetorical strategy! You're in good company
                        as far as wondering about how the profound continues to be lost amid
                        the profane of the current media hype. Rather than suggesting that
                        orthodoxy has made strange bedfellows then, maybe I'll contend that
                        the conservative and liberal obsession of late simply has to do with
                        extremism all around. Whether Mel Gibson is claiming to be a
                        mouthpiece for the Holy Spirit, or Tim Robbins acts as one for Susan
                        Sarandon, it amounts to little more than fundamentalist propaganda
                        being force-fed to the masses, who, evidently, can't make a decision
                        for ourselves.

                        Case in point, I just now had to tear myself away from the computer
                        when I heard Mary Magdalene mentioned on the TV in the other room.
                        Looks like the Today Show is running a special segment on Jesus this
                        week near the top of the second hour. Anyway, Ann Curry pointed out
                        two viewpoints currently in the popular spotlight: Gibson's
                        portrayal of Mary in "The Passion" (which basically minimizes the
                        connection between her and Jesus); and their overly speculated
                        relationship in _The Da Vinci Code_. Once again, Elaine Pagels was
                        brought in to represent the voice of reason, suggesting that the
                        truth might be found somewhere in the middle of those two extremes.
                        Unfortunately, that middle-of-the-road approach often lacks the
                        sensationalism of imagining either a harlot being stoned to death or
                        the Savior's offspring being spirited away to Europe.

                        People need to believe in something, though. Whether we believe in
                        the faith of our fathers, or believe it's time to have another beer,
                        or simply believe we've had enough of all this, this need to believe
                        may be our undoing if extremist distractions continue to saturate out
                        thoughts.



                        > Gerry wrote:
                        > Do you think
                        > > it's some strange coincidence that it opens with a quote from the
                        > > Gospel of Peter and ends with the Gospel of Thomas? A number of
                        > > Ehrman's essays seem to focus on those two books, and that was
                        also
                        > > the same order in which he covered them in person. Bizarre. I
                        > think
                        > > I smell a conspiracy brewin' somewhere. ;-)
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > or very effective PR.
                        >
                        >
                        > betty



                        "Very effective" indeed. It was pointed out that these professors
                        aren't paid for their participation in this program's lectures, but
                        it was certainly a grand opportunity to promote the sale of their
                        books.

                        Gerry
                      • lady_caritas
                        ... this ... out ... extremes. ... or ... beer, ... believe ... out ... Well, looks like someone else is tired of all the inaccuracies, too, Gerry: Jesus
                        Message 11 of 14 , Mar 9, 2004
                          --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Gerry" <gerryhsp@y...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Case in point, I just now had to tear myself away from the computer
                          > when I heard Mary Magdalene mentioned on the TV in the other room.
                          > Looks like the Today Show is running a special segment on Jesus
                          this
                          > week near the top of the second hour. Anyway, Ann Curry pointed
                          out
                          > two viewpoints currently in the popular spotlight: Gibson's
                          > portrayal of Mary in "The Passion" (which basically minimizes the
                          > connection between her and Jesus); and their overly speculated
                          > relationship in _The Da Vinci Code_. Once again, Elaine Pagels was
                          > brought in to represent the voice of reason, suggesting that the
                          > truth might be found somewhere in the middle of those two
                          extremes.
                          > Unfortunately, that middle-of-the-road approach often lacks the
                          > sensationalism of imagining either a harlot being stoned to death
                          or
                          > the Savior's offspring being spirited away to Europe.
                          >
                          > People need to believe in something, though. Whether we believe in
                          > the faith of our fathers, or believe it's time to have another
                          beer,
                          > or simply believe we've had enough of all this, this need to
                          believe
                          > may be our undoing if extremist distractions continue to saturate
                          out
                          > thoughts.


                          Well, looks like someone else is tired of all the inaccuracies, too,
                          Gerry:

                          "Jesus Demands Creative Control Over the Next Movie"
                          http://onion.com/news/


                          ;-)
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