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Re: [Gnosticism2] Re: Digest Number 563 (seminar lowlights)

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  • 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 1 of 14 , Mar 7, 2004
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      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 2 of 14 , Mar 7, 2004
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        --- 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 3 of 14 , Mar 7, 2004
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          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 4 of 14 , Mar 7, 2004
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            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 5 of 14 , Mar 7, 2004
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              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 6 of 14 , Mar 9, 2004
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                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 7 of 14 , Mar 9, 2004
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                  > 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 8 of 14 , Mar 9, 2004
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                    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 9 of 14 , Mar 9, 2004
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                      --- 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 10 of 14 , Mar 9, 2004
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                        --- 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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