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Re: Material and Spiritual Worlds

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  • Danielle George
    The way I understood Crowley s writting was: who is anyone to deside who is worthy to recieve the Gnosis and who is not. (Historically I personally believe
    Message 1 of 67 , Apr 1, 2004
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      The way I understood Crowley's writting was: who is anyone to deside
      who is "worthy" to recieve the Gnosis and who is not. (Historically
      I personally believe the writings were circulated, layered in
      symobilism for saftey if nothing else to all persons) Any one person
      can read something and form an opinion, the opinion would be based
      on the persons understanding, if the person was advanced spritually
      or on the path to understanding, that person would be able to
      discern between the literal and symbolic text in one writing- and
      find the hidden Truths- regardless of that persons faith/religon-
      he warns in the writing to keep your mind open and to not discount
      one form of interpretation and use only the other-

      Danielle'

      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      > Well, Danielle, Crowley is of course not really relevent
      > to "Gnosticism" (In spite of the "Gnostic Mass", the OTO is not a
      > form of Gnosticism) but it seems the point he makes is on topic
      none
      > the less. It seems that Crowley is in complete disagreement with
      me
      > here, and that should come as no shock. I am not sure that Pneuman
      > really means to imply that we should interperate these texts
      however
      > we feel like either, so the point your post makes may be extreme
      > compared to any of our points, I guess he will answer that point
      if
      > he wishes.
      >
      > The Gnostics offer nothing in thier texts to agree with Crowley
      here
      > either. Nowhere do they say "Take this however you feel like". On
      the
      > contrary, in some instances they take great pains to try to make
      very
      > specific points that they obviously wanted the reader to
      understand
      > as it was meant. So, in the face of Crowley's understanding of the
      > purpose of allegory, I shall have to maintain my original point
      and
      > conclude that he was mistaken.
      >
      > Tell us then, Danielle, however you personally feel it is ok to
      > interperate traditional Gnostic writings.... do you feel that the
      > Gnostics themselves intended such open usage of thier points? If
      so,
      > how do you come to that conclusion?
      >
      > PMCV
      >
      > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Danielle George"
      > <treasurer@h...> wrote:
      > > I found something in regard to allegory/religon that I'd like to
      > > share- taken from The works of Aleister Crowley Vol. II, part 1
      of
      > 3
      > > ASCII VERSION- Titled :INTRODUCTION TO "ASCENSION DAY AND
      > PENTECOST"
      > >
      > > "If we choose to understand the Christian (or any other)
      religion
      > > literally, we are at once overwhelmed by its inherent
      > impossibility.
      > > Our credulity is outraged, our moral sense shocked, the holiest
      > > foundations of our inmost selves assailed by no ardent warrior
      in
      > > triple steel, but by a loathly and disgusting worm. That this
      is
      > so,
      > > the aploogists for the religion in question, whichever it may
      be,
      > > sufficiently indicate (as a rule) by the very method of their
      > > apology. The alternative is to take the religion symbolically,
      > > esoterically; but to move one step in this direction is to start
      on
      > a
      > > journey whose end cannot be determined. The religion, ceasing
      to
      > be
      > > a tangible thing, an object uniform for all sane eyes, becomes
      > rather
      > > that mist whereon the sun of the soul casts up, like Brocken
      > spectre,
      > > certain vast and vague images of the beholder himself, with or
      > > without a glory encompassing them. The function of the facts is
      > then
      > > quite passive: it matters little or nothing whether the cloud be
      > the
      > > red mist of Christianity, or the glimmering silver-white of
      Celtic
      > > Paganism; the hard grey dim-gilded of Buddhism, the fleecy
      opacity
      > of
      > > Islam, or the mysterious medium of those ancient faiths which
      come
      > up
      > > in as many colours as their investigator has moods. "In order to
      > get
      > > over the ethical difficulties presented by the naive naturalism
      of
      > > many parts of those Scriptures, in the divine authority of which
      he
      > > firmly believed, Philo borrowed from the Stoics (who had been in
      > like
      > > straits in respect of Greek mythology) that great Excalibur
      which
      > > they had forged with infinite pains and skill-- the method of
      > > allegorical interpretation. The mighty 'two-handed engine at
      the
      > > door' of the theologian is warranted to make a speedy end of any
      > and
      > > every moral or intellectual difficulty, by showing that, taken
      > > allegorically, or, as it is otherwise said, 'poetically' or 'in
      a
      > > spiritual sense' the plainest words mean whatever a pious
      > interpreter
      > > desires they should mean (Huxley, "Evelution of Theology") If
      the
      > > student has advances spiritually so that he can internally,
      > > infallibly perceive what is Truth, he will find it equally well
      > > sybolised in the most external faiths.:"
      > >
      > >
      > > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Mike Leavitt <ac998@l...>
      wrote:
      > > > Hello pmcvflag
      > > >
      > > > On 03/31/04, you wrote:
      > > >
      > > > > Back to the original point... do I believe that the Sethians
      > used
      > > > > the Biblical notion of "God" turned on it's head as a sort of
      > > > > literary device to make a point? Yes. Do I believe that
      > Valentinus
      > > > > meant there is an actual spirit that is not simply a
      > psychological
      > > > > reflection of the human mind? Yes, and he really believed
      that
      > > there
      > > > > was a series of emanations from which the material and
      > > psychological
      > > > > existence has fallen as well. Spirit is not material, but
      that
      > > does
      > > > > not mean the Gnostics did not believe it is literally "real".
      > > > >
      > > > > PMCV
      > > >
      > > > As a Jungian, I ironically have to say, that we always have to
      be
      > > > careful not to psychologize things too much. Of course the
      > gnostics
      > > > believed in a literal spirit, and perhaps in literal
      emanations
      > too,
      > > > and while that does not mean we cannot see psychological
      meaning
      > in
      > > > these, we must realize that is not all there is to it. Good
      > > > treatment PMCV, and I'm glad Yahoo let me back on after I
      reset my
      > > > groups. I'm also glad I read all the posts I missed on Yahoo,
      so
      > I
      > > > had some idea what this discussion was all about. :-)
      > > >
      > > > Regards
      > > > --
      > > > Mike Leavitt ac998@l...
    • lady_caritas
      Hi, all. I just want to pop in to welcome all our recent new members (and older members posting for the first time) -- elmoreb, Jo Ann Hinkle, Steve, Michael
      Message 67 of 67 , Apr 5, 2004
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        Hi, all. I just want to pop in to welcome all our recent new members
        (and older members posting for the first time) -- elmoreb, Jo Ann
        Hinkle, Steve, Michael Heinich, Scott Fraser, Leslie Bryon. There
        are many others who are at least reading and we invite you to join us
        in discussion, if you so desire.

        Just a note while I'm here, Leslie. I read the recent posts to which
        you responded and I couldn't find where anyone used the
        phrase "psychoanalyzing a Text." I did see mention of opinions
        regarding "psychologizing" texts, which might refer to interpretation
        of ancient text via modern psychology avenues.

        I suppose I would encourage an understanding of the intent of the
        author(s) first. Gnostic parlance wouldn't equate "pneumatic"
        with "psychic," but I also can't imagine how a spiritual awareness
        would not affect the psyche in some way and how we function in this
        world.


        Cari

        P. S. Dear members, no need to be "sorry," for joining conversations
        and offering respectful insights and opinions. After all, that's
        what we're here for, right? ;-)



        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, LESLIE BRYON <BryonL@p...> wrote:
        > Sorry, i am new to the group and i am having a problem
        understanding two concepts:
        > 1) what do you mean by "psychoanalizing a Text" i am a Mental
        helath Counsleor and we analyze people and their writings not Texts...
        >
        > 2) what does a person requires to be label as an "alchemist"? It is
        a philosophical position? a religious one? or a proto-chemist?
        > Sorry for my humble disagreement...
        > Leslie
        >
        > Scott Fraser <scorpius@i...> wrote:
        > Sorry to interrupt on this interesting discussion. But I don't
        believe that Gnostic texts can be psychologised. Look at the trouble
        Jung got into when he tackled alchemy. Totally clueless. You cannot
        understand someone else's meaning unless you have *experience* of the
        same underlying reality. Your experience is the limit of your
        knowledge and heuristic capacity. Jung was not an alchemist, so he
        misunderstood alchemy. How could he know what terms like "Lion"
        and "eagle" meant, when all he knew about was the psychological
        dimension? Paul says that the carnal man cannot understand the things
        of the spirit. Same principle at work: he has no *experience* of
        spiritual reality so he is *bound* to interpret on some other level
        of meaning that was not intended.
        >
        > Jesus says that Pharisees *cannot* understand parables. Same thing
        here. We would not visit a psycholgist and expect him to tell us
        about dentistry, so why would we trouble him about *spiritual*
        matters when these too are outside the province of his experience and
        competence. The only reason we would make this mistake is if WE TOO
        had no experience of spiritual matters and therefore falsely believed
        that they were reduceable to psychological terms or that the
        psychological dimension was the only reality. Frankly, this error is
        appallingly evident in our modern world. We are simply unaware of
        anything beyond the conceptual/rational level of the mind, even
        though people who have visisted this other dimension...Jesus, Mani,
        Buddha, and a million others -- frequently bring back reports of it.
        We, not having the same experience as Gnostics, would logically think
        that no such experience existed, and therefore that it could be
        explained (away) psychologically. But this is not the level on
        > which the ancient Gnosticis address us. They are not talking to
        the carnal man or the psychic/rational/emotional man (or only insofar
        as he is the medium, or channel through which the spiritual man is
        reached)... They are talking to the spiritual man -- and only he will
        understand. If a mechanic talks to another mechanic about cars, both
        will understand. If a mechanic talks to someone who does not know
        what a car is, who in his narrow experience of life, has never seen
        on or touched one, then this person, having never experienced cars,
        may indeed think that cars are "all in the mechanics head"
        (reductionist/psychological). He may not even so much as suspect
        their existence, but if he does he will try to imagine what a car is
        in terms of his own existing experience and knowledge. This is
        exactly what a Psychologist does when he approaches Gnostcism. Again,
        experience is the limit of your knowledge. No one is fit to
        interpret gnostic *experience* unless he is himself a gnostic who
        > has had *actual gnosis* of the same reality. Otherwise he is
        trying to describe the scenery of a distant country he has never
        visited. All other comentators, who have not had gnosis, are only
        competent in the sphere of their own expertise and experience and
        should handle only peripheral matters of psychology, history,
        biography and so on. If they DO commentate on gnostic *experience* we
        will only find out what a psychogist or historian *thinks about*
        gnostic ie (non-psychogical) experience, not what a gnostic *knows*
        about his own experience. It may be interesting -- but it will not in
        the least way bring us closer to knowing what that experience is, or
        its true significance. For that, we would have to have the same
        experience ourselves. It is an absurd conceit to think we can know
        or say anything meaningful about something we haven't experienced,
        but ths is precisely the conceit of a psychologist who tries to
        understand occult states that he has no experience of. "Oh, of
        course,"
        > he says, "that journey through the heavens is *really just* a form
        of the oedipus complex"....Why should we not expect an enlightened
        Gnostic to say the opposite.."Oh, of course, his Oedipus complex is
        *really just* a form of journey through the heavens". The
        reductionist equation works both ways. Spritual matters can be
        psycholgised or psychological matters can be spiritualised. But this
        is viciously circular and very stupid. An experience is what it is.
        An oedipus complex is an oedipus complex. A journey through the
        heavens is a journey through the heavens. As it is experienced, so it
        is. . This does not mean experience is subjective, either. Because
        there is no objective reality with which it could be compared and
        said to be *subjective* in the first place. Gnostics do not talk to
        non-gnostics/non-initiates about their experience. They are speaking
        a different language to people who have not experienced what the
        words of their language signify.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: pmcvflag <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
        > To: gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com <gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com>
        > Date: Monday, 5 April 2004 05:43
        > Subject: [Gnosticism2] Re: Material and Spiritual Worlds
        >
        >
        > Hey Danielle, you state....
        >
        > "The way I understood Crowley's writting was: who is anyone to
        deside
        > who is "worthy" to recieve the Gnosis and who is not."
        >
        > The question I would raise is not about who is worthy of Gnosis,
        but
        > whether Crowely used the word "Gnosis" to mean the same thing that
        > the traditional Gnostics did.
        >
        > An example; if we both use the term "love", but one of us defines
        the
        > term to simply mean sex, where as the other uses the term to mean a
        > spiritual recognition of seperation from the prime source.... we
        > could have some communication problems when trying to communicate a
        > mythological outline of "love".
        >
        > The historical Gnostics that this club deals with had some very
        > specific definitions. Just because another group uses the same
        word,
        > does not mean they are talking about the same thing. Modern groups
        > have had a tendency to borrow terms from Gnosticism without really
        > understanding the usages in thier original context.
        >
        > To bring this to your point... how would you demonstrate that the
        > Historical Gnostics that this club deals with defined "spiritual
        > maturity" according to the same criteria as Crowley? AND.. how sure
        > are you that you and I mean the same thing when we use the
        > term "Gnosis"? For the sake of this club, the only definitions that
        > matter are the tradtional ones, all else must be compared against
        > them to be relevent here.
        >
        > Consider another possibility also... What if the symbolic usages
        > being used here are a language of sorts? Think, for instance, of
        the
        > rennaisance classicists like Botticelli, in a painting like the
        Prima
        > Vera. You can interperate that painting however you wish, but it
        was
        > dictated by Ficino to have a very specific meaning. If you don't
        know
        > the language of the picture, you can't interperate the intended
        > meaning any more than you can understand me if I am speaking in a
        > language you don't know. For the most part, ancient people did not
        > agree with that modern notion of free form art creation and
        > interperatation. Instead, thier works had much more precisely
        > intended functions.
        >
        > When we look at an ancient work like these Nag Hammadi texts we
        much
        > make a choice.... do we care what the original authors meant or are
        > we going to foist them into a modern mold? The problem with
        > psychologicizing these works is the same as the problem with
        applying
        > some kind of free form art interperatation (and it is usually the
        > latter that people mean when they say "spiritual interperetation",
        > even though we could question whether that is actually spiritual or
        > not) which is that these methods fail to utilize the same language
        as
        > the work being read.
        >
        > In spite of his advocacy of Jungian method, Dr Campbell points out
        > this problem with interperating myth also when he compares myth to
        > his computer his computer... it has a function and is meant to do
        > specific things for you, but it does not work if you go mixing
        > incompatible softwares, softwares that use different languages. I
        > think this observation is important, and that if we want to know a
        > myth we must know it in it's own language rather than making it fit
        > into our own personal psychological perspective.
        >
        > PMCV
        >
        > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Danielle George"
        > <treasurer@h...> wrote:
        > >
        > > The way I understood Crowley's writting was: who is anyone to
        > deside
        > > who is "worthy" to recieve the Gnosis and who is not.
        > (Historically
        > > I personally believe the writings were circulated, layered in
        > > symobilism for saftey if nothing else to all persons) Any one
        > person
        > > can read something and form an opinion, the opinion would be
        based
        > > on the persons understanding, if the person was advanced
        spritually
        > > or on the path to understanding, that person would be able to
        > > discern between the literal and symbolic text in one writing- and
        > > find the hidden Truths- regardless of that persons faith/religon-
        > > he warns in the writing to keep your mind open and to not
        discount
        > > one form of interpretation and use only the other-
        > >
        > > Danielle'
        >
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