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Re: Material and Spiritual Worlds

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  • 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 1 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'
      >
    • 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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