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Re: [Gnosticism2] Re: Material and Spiritual Worlds

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  • LESLIE BRYON
    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
    Message 1 of 67 , Apr 5, 2004
    • 0 Attachment
      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@...> 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'



    • 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
      • 0 Attachment
        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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