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Re: Question #3 Mystic vs. Gnostic

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  • elmoreb
    Mysticism deals with the idea that the mysteries of God are unknowable, yet it can be experienced. Its a form of worship, that deals almost totally with
    Message 1 of 16 , Apr 15, 2004
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      Mysticism deals with the idea that the mysteries of God are
      unknowable, yet it can be experienced. Its a form of worship, that
      deals almost totally with feeling.

      One of the most important ideas of Gnosticism is that the mysteries
      are knowable. Its considerred the peak of human existance if one
      aquired the gnosis ( or knowlege of the mysteries).

      Imagine two men sitting by a fire. Niether have seen fire before.
      The mystic would sit next to the fire and feel its warmth, and know
      its good. The gnostic would you try and figure out how it worked and
      why it was warm.



      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "mheinich" <mheinich@y...> wrote:
      > Here is an easy one compared to my last question.
      >
      > I have heard the phrase similar to "Gnosticism is a form of
      Christian
      > mysticism". I, of course, know now that there are non-christian
      > Gnostics but the subject was about Christian Gnostics.
      >
      > What is the definition of a Mystic? What is the difference
      between a
      > Mystic and a Gnostic?
    • mheinich
      What I should have done in the first place was play a little at dictionary.com, this site includes definitions or facts from several sources. Going by the
      Message 2 of 16 , Apr 16, 2004
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        What I should have done in the first place was play a little at
        dictionary.com, this site includes definitions or facts from several
        sources. Going by the dictionary definitions, the definitions
        provided support for the quote from earlier that Gnosticism could be
        considered a form of mysticism. The defintion of Mysticism does
        include knowing the mysteries of reality or God as well as feeling.
        Mysticism seems to cover a broad catagory while Gnosticism is more
        specific and narrowly defined. The American Heritage Dictionary
        included a nice little summary for Gnosticism.

        "The doctrines of certain pre-Christian pagan, Jewish, and early
        Christian sects that valued the revealed knowledge of God and of the
        origin and end of the human race as a means to attain redemption for
        the spiritual element in humans and that distinguished the Demiurge
        from the unknowable Divine Being."

        http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=mysticism
        http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=Gnosticism

        I also checked out Mystic, Gnosis and Gnostic

        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "elmoreb" <elmoreb@y...> wrote:
        > Mysticism deals with the idea that the mysteries of God are
        > unknowable, yet it can be experienced. Its a form of worship, that
        > deals almost totally with feeling.
        >
        > One of the most important ideas of Gnosticism is that the mysteries
        > are knowable. Its considerred the peak of human existance if one
        > aquired the gnosis ( or knowlege of the mysteries).
        >
        > Imagine two men sitting by a fire. Niether have seen fire before.
        > The mystic would sit next to the fire and feel its warmth, and know
        > its good. The gnostic would you try and figure out how it worked
        and
        > why it was warm.
        >
        >
        >
        > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "mheinich" <mheinich@y...>
        wrote:
        > > Here is an easy one compared to my last question.
        > >
        > > I have heard the phrase similar to "Gnosticism is a form of
        > Christian
        > > mysticism". I, of course, know now that there are non-christian
        > > Gnostics but the subject was about Christian Gnostics.
        > >
        > > What is the definition of a Mystic? What is the difference
        > between a
        > > Mystic and a Gnostic?
      • David Gallardo
        You may also want to check out these Wikipedia entries: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mysticism http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnosticism Wikis--for those not
        Message 3 of 16 , Apr 16, 2004
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          You may also want to check out these Wikipedia entries:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mysticism
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnosticism

          Wikis--for those not familiar with the term--are collaborative web
          sites, usually with lots of hyperlinks. Anyone can contribute or modify
          the pages. At the bottom of every page is a button "Edit this page."

          The Wikipedia is, of course, a Wiki encyclopedia and it has gotten
          surprisingly good and complete in just a few years.

          I haven't read the article on mysticism (yet) but I found the one on
          Gnosticism interesting, informative and (to the best of my knowledge)
          accurate--but perhaps some people on this list can expand or correct it
          if necessary.

          @D

          mheinich wrote:
          > What I should have done in the first place was play a little at
          > dictionary.com, this site includes definitions or facts from several
          > sources. Going by the dictionary definitions, the definitions
          > provided support for the quote from earlier that Gnosticism could be
          > considered a form of mysticism. The defintion of Mysticism does
          > include knowing the mysteries of reality or God as well as feeling.
          > Mysticism seems to cover a broad catagory while Gnosticism is more
          > specific and narrowly defined. The American Heritage Dictionary
          > included a nice little summary for Gnosticism.
          >
          > "The doctrines of certain pre-Christian pagan, Jewish, and early
          > Christian sects that valued the revealed knowledge of God and of the
          > origin and end of the human race as a means to attain redemption for
          > the spiritual element in humans and that distinguished the Demiurge
          > from the unknowable Divine Being."
          >
          > http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=mysticism
          > http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=Gnosticism
          >
          > I also checked out Mystic, Gnosis and Gnostic
          >
          > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "elmoreb" <elmoreb@y...> wrote:
          >
          >>Mysticism deals with the idea that the mysteries of God are
          >>unknowable, yet it can be experienced. Its a form of worship, that
          >>deals almost totally with feeling.
          >>
          >>One of the most important ideas of Gnosticism is that the mysteries
          >>are knowable. Its considerred the peak of human existance if one
          >>aquired the gnosis ( or knowlege of the mysteries).
          >>
          >>Imagine two men sitting by a fire. Niether have seen fire before.
          >>The mystic would sit next to the fire and feel its warmth, and know
          >>its good. The gnostic would you try and figure out how it worked
          >
          > and
          >
          >>why it was warm.
          >>
          >>
          >>
          >>--- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "mheinich" <mheinich@y...>
          >
          > wrote:
          >
          >>>Here is an easy one compared to my last question.
          >>>
          >>>I have heard the phrase similar to "Gnosticism is a form of
          >>
          >>Christian
          >>
          >>>mysticism". I, of course, know now that there are non-christian
          >>>Gnostics but the subject was about Christian Gnostics.
          >>>
          >>>What is the definition of a Mystic? What is the difference
          >>
          >>between a
          >>
          >>>Mystic and a Gnostic?
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >

          --
          David Gallardo | Software consultant | Author
          Java, C/C++, database development |Internationalization
          Author: Java Oracle Database Development
          Lead author: Eclipse in Action: A guide for the Java developer
        • lady_caritas
          ... several ... be ... feeling. ... the ... for ... Hello, Michael. I tried to unsuccessfully submit this message earlier, so my apologies if it should show
          Message 4 of 16 , Apr 16, 2004
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            --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "mheinich" <mheinich@y...> wrote:
            > What I should have done in the first place was play a little at
            > dictionary.com, this site includes definitions or facts from
            several
            > sources. Going by the dictionary definitions, the definitions
            > provided support for the quote from earlier that Gnosticism could
            be
            > considered a form of mysticism. The defintion of Mysticism does
            > include knowing the mysteries of reality or God as well as
            feeling.
            > Mysticism seems to cover a broad catagory while Gnosticism is more
            > specific and narrowly defined. The American Heritage Dictionary
            > included a nice little summary for Gnosticism.
            >
            > "The doctrines of certain pre-Christian pagan, Jewish, and early
            > Christian sects that valued the revealed knowledge of God and of
            the
            > origin and end of the human race as a means to attain redemption
            for
            > the spiritual element in humans and that distinguished the Demiurge
            > from the unknowable Divine Being."


            Hello, Michael. I tried to unsuccessfully submit this message
            earlier, so my apologies if it should show up twice.

            You might want to take note of some items in this definition though I
            would be wary of such a simplistic definition (the meaning of the
            broad category of "Gnosticism" continues to be debated by scholars
            and laypeople alike).

            First, there is no mention of mysticism in this definition, nor do
            the definitions offered for "Gnosis" and "Gnostic" mention
            mysticism. Mystical experience of some kind certainly might be part
            of the process for some, but I wouldn't equate that with Gnosis,...
            so to make Gnosticism a subcategory of mysticism might be making a
            false assumption. More later.

            Second, the Unknown is not a "being" in an existent manner,... at
            least historically (the focus of our group). Gnostics were aware
            that their knowledge came in the form of images, but they did not
            mistake the image for the ultimate reality. Examples of descriptions
            from Gnostic writings have been offered in recent posts.
            Nonetheless, the dictionary definition is correct that the ultimate
            unknown is not the same as the mythological demiurge. This
            distinction is not made in some forms of mysticism. God would still
            be considered the creator of this earth in some forms of monotheistic
            Christian mysticism. So, the ultimate realization of the mystical
            experience *might* not always be the same as that through Gnosis.

            So, back to the mysticism definitions:


            > http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=mysticism


            In the first entry: 1. "Immediate consciousness" does not seem to be
            a requirement for Gnosis; many people describe Gnosis as an
            experiential process, but not a sudden one-time event or experience.
            2. Also, Gnosis involves *knowledge/acquaintance* with a reality
            beyond or superior to our existence,... not a "*belief* in the
            *existence* of realities"..... 3. "Vague, groundless speculation?"
            Ah, a definition for a modern, hardcore rational materialist. LOL!

            The next two entries, emphasized obscurity and feeling and faith and
            irrationality. Certainly Gnosis cannot be fully explained; it needs
            to be experienced, but this type of acquaintance goes beyond "faith"
            in a god or someone else's faith. It involves Logos as well as
            Sophia. Our rational nature is important as is our nonrational one
            to try to separate the wheat from the chaff. What is an "aha!"
            delusion or projecting a psychological god, etc. vs. a genuine
            intuitive sense of this unknown reality?

            My opinion is that one cannot submit a specific formula for
            inspection, but one can use all the tools we have available at our
            disposal to achieve Gnosis. Favoring feeling over intellect and
            critical thought might not make one aware of the pitfalls of not
            distinguishing between irrational human animal hylic/psychic
            instincts and the nonrational part of pneumatic awareness.


            Cari
          • Mike Leavitt
            Hello David ... I just scanned the gnostic URL, and it is pretty good, but considers Manacheans and Cathars as gnostics -- related yes, but not the same. Also,
            Message 5 of 16 , Apr 16, 2004
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              Hello David

              On 04/16/04, you wrote:

              > You may also want to check out these Wikipedia entries:
              >
              > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mysticism
              > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnosticism
              >
              > Wikis--for those not familiar with the term--are collaborative web
              > sites, usually with lots of hyperlinks. Anyone can contribute or
              > modify the pages. At the bottom of every page is a button "Edit this
              > page."
              >
              > The Wikipedia is, of course, a Wiki encyclopedia and it has gotten
              > surprisingly good and complete in just a few years.
              >
              > I haven't read the article on mysticism (yet) but I found the one on
              > Gnosticism interesting, informative and (to the best of my
              > knowledge) accurate--but perhaps some people on this list can expand
              > or correct it if necessary.

              I just scanned the gnostic URL, and it is pretty good, but considers
              Manacheans and Cathars as gnostics -- related yes, but not the same.
              Also, the bio of Valentinus really needs some work. I thought the
              Pope Valentinus would be about his near election as Pope when he was
              in Rome, but it was on someone else entirely. Distinguishing him
              from St. Valentine was a good idea, and that was the reason, I
              suppose for the minor Pope of the same name being covered. I need to
              take some more time with this site. I hope the Crowleyites don't
              find it and edit it, or... Well need I even say.

              Regards
              --
              Mike Leavitt ac998@...
            • Mike Leavitt
              Hello lady_caritas ... One name in history prooves that this has in fact happened, and in Eastern Orthodox (Russian) Christian Mysticism -- Rasputen. Enough
              Message 6 of 16 , Apr 16, 2004
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                Hello lady_caritas

                On 04/16/04, you wrote:

                > My opinion is that one cannot submit a specific formula for
                > inspection, but one can use all the tools we have available at our
                > disposal to achieve Gnosis. Favoring feeling over intellect and
                > critical thought might not make one aware of the pitfalls of not
                > distinguishing between irrational human animal hylic/psychic
                > instincts and the nonrational part of pneumatic awareness.

                One name in history prooves that this has in fact happened, and in
                Eastern Orthodox (Russian) Christian Mysticism -- Rasputen. Enough
                said, you are so right.

                Regards
                --
                Mike Leavitt ac998@...
              • Michael Heinich
                I only received it once, thank you. Your messages are always informative. It would seem that there is great deal of ground covered by Gnosis. I have seen it
                Message 7 of 16 , Apr 16, 2004
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                  I only received it once, thank you. Your messages are
                  always informative.

                  It would seem that there is great deal of ground
                  covered by Gnosis.

                  I have seen it used in several books that also discuss
                  mysticism. One book i was looking at today was called
                  the Mystical Book of Chapters. It was a collection of
                  sayings and quotes from a group of early christian
                  monks that lived in the desert. The third section was
                  what they gave a different spelling to Gnosis but had
                  said in the introduction that it was what we call
                  Gnosis today. The translator felt they were influnced
                  by early gnostic scriptures that would have been kept
                  hidden since the documents were considered heresy by
                  the mainstream church and were supposed to be
                  destroyed. These were symbolic loaded quotes meant
                  for more spritually advanced monks.

                  Another example comes to mind from browsing the web
                  today. On the MysticOnline website (or some similer
                  title) there was a man who had written an article on
                  Gnosis. His idea and experience of Gnosis was like
                  nothing I had ever seen. He had been trying all the
                  mystical, occult and New Age beliefs trying to find
                  something and then some conference in Austraila
                  explained everything to him and he vaguely refers to
                  Sexual Magick. This was his Gnosis.

                  Last but not least, Gnostic Christianity's website
                  presented the interesting idea that no one will enter
                  the All until all humans on earth had reached "Stage
                  IV" and were ready to enter the All. I have not run
                  across that idea yet before.

                  What am I trying to get at? I am not sure there is a
                  defined Gnosticism. Not to mention that I am starting
                  to get that idea that while you say it is to know the
                  truths, I am not seeing alot agreement on what the
                  "truth" is or how to get there. Holler's version is
                  different then what I am hearing here, Hermetica has
                  their tradition which is non-christian and now this
                  group that says they know all about Gnostic
                  Christianty but don't agree with any of the others.

                  If it sounds like I am becoming more confused then you
                  wouldn't be far off.

                  > Hello, Michael. I tried to unsuccessfully submit
                  > this message
                  > earlier, so my apologies if it should show up twice.
                  >
                  >
                  > You might want to take note of some items in this
                  > definition though I
                  > would be wary of such a simplistic definition (the
                  > meaning of the
                  > broad category of "Gnosticism" continues to be
                  > debated by scholars
                  > and laypeople alike).
                  >
                  > First, there is no mention of mysticism in this
                  > definition, nor do
                  > the definitions offered for "Gnosis" and "Gnostic"
                  > mention
                  > mysticism. Mystical experience of some kind
                  > certainly might be part
                  > of the process for some, but I wouldn't equate that
                  > with Gnosis,...
                  > so to make Gnosticism a subcategory of mysticism
                  > might be making a
                  > false assumption. More later.
                  >
                  > Second, the Unknown is not a "being" in an existent
                  > manner,... at
                  > least historically (the focus of our group).
                  > Gnostics were aware
                  > that their knowledge came in the form of images, but
                  > they did not
                  > mistake the image for the ultimate reality.
                  > Examples of descriptions
                  > from Gnostic writings have been offered in recent
                  > posts.
                  > Nonetheless, the dictionary definition is correct
                  > that the ultimate
                  > unknown is not the same as the mythological
                  > demiurge. This
                  > distinction is not made in some forms of mysticism.
                  > God would still
                  > be considered the creator of this earth in some
                  > forms of monotheistic
                  > Christian mysticism. So, the ultimate realization
                  > of the mystical
                  > experience *might* not always be the same as that
                  > through Gnosis.
                  >
                  > So, back to the mysticism definitions:
                  >
                  >
                  > > http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=mysticism
                  >
                  >
                  > In the first entry: 1. "Immediate consciousness"
                  > does not seem to be
                  > a requirement for Gnosis; many people describe
                  > Gnosis as an
                  > experiential process, but not a sudden one-time
                  > event or experience.
                  > 2. Also, Gnosis involves *knowledge/acquaintance*
                  > with a reality
                  > beyond or superior to our existence,... not a
                  > "*belief* in the
                  > *existence* of realities"..... 3. "Vague, groundless
                  > speculation?"
                  > Ah, a definition for a modern, hardcore rational
                  > materialist. LOL!
                  >
                  > The next two entries, emphasized obscurity and
                  > feeling and faith and
                  > irrationality. Certainly Gnosis cannot be fully
                  > explained; it needs
                  > to be experienced, but this type of acquaintance
                  > goes beyond "faith"
                  > in a god or someone else's faith. It involves Logos
                  > as well as
                  > Sophia. Our rational nature is important as is our
                  > nonrational one
                  > to try to separate the wheat from the chaff. What
                  > is an "aha!"
                  > delusion or projecting a psychological god, etc. vs.
                  > a genuine
                  > intuitive sense of this unknown reality?
                  >
                  > My opinion is that one cannot submit a specific
                  > formula for
                  > inspection, but one can use all the tools we have
                  > available at our
                  > disposal to achieve Gnosis. Favoring feeling over
                  > intellect and
                  > critical thought might not make one aware of the
                  > pitfalls of not
                  > distinguishing between irrational human animal
                  > hylic/psychic
                  > instincts and the nonrational part of pneumatic
                  > awareness.
                  >
                  >
                  > Cari
                  >
                  >
                  >





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                • lady_caritas
                  ... wrote: Christianty but don t agree with any of the others. ... Michael, surfing the web for explanations of Gnosis and Gnosticism can be like entering a
                  Message 8 of 16 , Apr 17, 2004
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                    --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Michael Heinich <mheinich@y...>
                    wrote:
                    Christianty but don't agree with any of the others.
                    >
                    > If it sounds like I am becoming more confused then you
                    > wouldn't be far off.


                    Michael, surfing the web for explanations of Gnosis and Gnosticism
                    can be like entering a parking lot filled with international visitors
                    all of whom have a different idea about how to get to a foreign
                    destination of debatable location, which you and many of them haven't
                    visited before,... and then asking directions.

                    It's probably best to get a grasp of a bit of background before
                    embarking on the journey. For instance, the umbrella
                    term "Gnosticism" was coined around the 17th century to help
                    delineate religious groups or sects in the Late Antiquities who held
                    Gnosis to be salvific. This is the focus of our group here. You
                    will frequently see others expressing their different views or
                    interpretations based on their own inner paths, which is great, but
                    we like to relate them to a historical focus. That is *not* to say
                    there is by any means a Gnostic orthodoxy or that one can necessarily
                    *get* Gnosis from reading ancient scripture or discussion at an
                    internet group, but we do like to explore questions and ideas,
                    comparing and contrasting to the ancients,... for context. (Members
                    frequent our group for different reasons,... some are here to learn
                    about Gnostics for various reasons; others, possibly involved in the
                    experiential process of Gnosis, including self-acquaintance, have
                    discovered a simpatico relationship to these ancients.)

                    Some people don't like the term "Gnosticism" and have proposed
                    alternatives, such as Williams' "Biblical Demiurgical Tradition."
                    ( http://www.reviewcentre.com/review77272.html )
                    I, personally, don't mind the term "Gnosticism." It reflects the
                    root word, "Gnosis," which I believe is the catalyst for all the
                    varied expressions we see within this general categorization.

                    The word "gnosticism" has obviously come to mean many different
                    things in more modern times. Many moderns have taken elements or
                    motifs from these groups and applied them in eclectic fashion to
                    their own paths, using the same or similar terminology. I am not
                    sitting in judgment as to whether sex majick or someone's ideas of
                    specific stages or Sylvia Browne or New Age groups, etc. have any
                    validity. But, they are not representative of the focus in our group.

                    There are, in contrast, those modern groups and scholars who *do* use
                    a historical focus, among those Stephan Hoeller. And, we have
                    members in our group who are active in Dr. Hoeller's church.

                    So, IOW, we may not all agree. But, we do strive to keep a
                    particular focal point, one that reflects the recognized need by many
                    neo-Gnostics and historians alike for a general category to identify
                    this unique esoteric phenomenon called "Gnosticism."


                    Cari
                  • Mike Leavitt
                    Hello lady_caritas ... And I would like to add, as someone from Hoeller s church, that keeping this historical focus, is one way of staying out of a lot of
                    Message 9 of 16 , Apr 17, 2004
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                      Hello lady_caritas

                      On 04/17/04, you wrote:

                      > There are, in contrast, those modern groups and scholars who *do*
                      > use a historical focus, among those Stephan Hoeller. And, we have
                      > members in our group who are active in Dr. Hoeller's church.
                      >
                      > So, IOW, we may not all agree. But, we do strive to keep a
                      > particular focal point, one that reflects the recognized need by
                      > many neo-Gnostics and historians alike for a general category to
                      > identify this unique esoteric phenomenon called "Gnosticism."

                      And I would like to add, as someone from Hoeller's church, that
                      keeping this historical focus, is one way of staying out of a lot of
                      problems you will find on other lists, and in other groups. I have
                      found it invaluable. I have seen other lists torn to shreds by
                      members of some of these fringe groups, when they were left unchecked.
                      Hence, this is a moderated group. Trolls don't last long here.
                      Read our archives, there is a lot of information there that will help
                      relieve your confusion.

                      Regards
                      --
                      Mike Leavitt ac998@...
                    • pmcvflag
                      Hey Michael, just want to give a ditto to what Cari says. It is important to understand that just because so many modern groups have taken the term
                      Message 10 of 16 , Apr 17, 2004
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                        Hey Michael, just want to give a "ditto" to what Cari says.

                        It is important to understand that just because so many modern
                        groups have taken the term "Gnosticism" and re-applied it to thier
                        own definition does not mean that the word doesn't have an original
                        meaning. Our meaning of that word here in this club is a bit more
                        technical than you seem to have been finding in online dictionaries,
                        and it deals with the word as it was originally coined... do talk
                        about historical groups and modern people who feel they agree with
                        the beliefs of those historical groups.

                        Let me point out a few attributes that may help you see what we are
                        talking about here....

                        Gnosticism is defined by; the era (late antiquities), the cosmology
                        (a Neoplatonic emenationist system), the soteriology (Gnosis =
                        salvation), and the cultural backdrop (a syncratic movement with
                        Greek and Jewish idealogical origins as well as other influences
                        dependant on what specific sect we may be talking about).

                        If I took the term "scientist" and reapplied it to something that
                        has nothing to do with the intended technical meaning, then put up a
                        number of websites that used that new meaning, people may get
                        confused about exactly what a scientist is, technically speaking.
                        This does not mean the new definition is wrong, but we should not
                        loose sight of the original definition either since doing so only
                        obscures what it is that those who are more technically defined
                        as "scientists" may be doing.

                        Does that make the focus and intent of this club and it's definition
                        of "Gnosticism" a little more clear?

                        PMCV

                        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, lady_caritas <no_reply@y...>
                        wrote:
                        > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Michael Heinich
                        <mheinich@y...>
                        > wrote:
                        > Christianty but don't agree with any of the others.
                        > >
                        > > If it sounds like I am becoming more confused then you
                        > > wouldn't be far off.
                        >
                        >
                        > Michael, surfing the web for explanations of Gnosis and Gnosticism
                        > can be like entering a parking lot filled with international
                        visitors
                        > all of whom have a different idea about how to get to a foreign
                        > destination of debatable location, which you and many of them
                        haven't
                        > visited before,... and then asking directions.
                        >
                        > It's probably best to get a grasp of a bit of background before
                        > embarking on the journey. For instance, the umbrella
                        > term "Gnosticism" was coined around the 17th century to help
                        > delineate religious groups or sects in the Late Antiquities who
                        held
                        > Gnosis to be salvific. This is the focus of our group here. You
                        > will frequently see others expressing their different views or
                        > interpretations based on their own inner paths, which is great,
                        but
                        > we like to relate them to a historical focus. That is *not* to
                        say
                        > there is by any means a Gnostic orthodoxy or that one can
                        necessarily
                        > *get* Gnosis from reading ancient scripture or discussion at an
                        > internet group, but we do like to explore questions and ideas,
                        > comparing and contrasting to the ancients,... for context.
                        (Members
                        > frequent our group for different reasons,... some are here to
                        learn
                        > about Gnostics for various reasons; others, possibly involved in
                        the
                        > experiential process of Gnosis, including self-acquaintance, have
                        > discovered a simpatico relationship to these ancients.)
                        >
                        > Some people don't like the term "Gnosticism" and have proposed
                        > alternatives, such as Williams' "Biblical Demiurgical Tradition."
                        > ( http://www.reviewcentre.com/review77272.html )
                        > I, personally, don't mind the term "Gnosticism." It reflects the
                        > root word, "Gnosis," which I believe is the catalyst for all the
                        > varied expressions we see within this general categorization.
                        >
                        > The word "gnosticism" has obviously come to mean many different
                        > things in more modern times. Many moderns have taken elements or
                        > motifs from these groups and applied them in eclectic fashion to
                        > their own paths, using the same or similar terminology. I am not
                        > sitting in judgment as to whether sex majick or someone's ideas of
                        > specific stages or Sylvia Browne or New Age groups, etc. have any
                        > validity. But, they are not representative of the focus in our
                        group.
                        >
                        > There are, in contrast, those modern groups and scholars who *do*
                        use
                        > a historical focus, among those Stephan Hoeller. And, we have
                        > members in our group who are active in Dr. Hoeller's church.
                        >
                        > So, IOW, we may not all agree. But, we do strive to keep a
                        > particular focal point, one that reflects the recognized need by
                        many
                        > neo-Gnostics and historians alike for a general category to
                        identify
                        > this unique esoteric phenomenon called "Gnosticism."
                        >
                        >
                        > Cari
                      • lady_caritas
                        ... definition ... Say, PMCV, thanks for elucidating further the focus and intent of our group. And, Mike, thank you also for your very supportive comments.
                        Message 11 of 16 , Apr 17, 2004
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                          --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Does that make the focus and intent of this club and it's
                          definition
                          > of "Gnosticism" a little more clear?
                          >
                          > PMCV
                          >


                          Say, PMCV, thanks for elucidating further the focus and intent of our
                          group.

                          And, Mike, thank you also for your very supportive comments.


                          Cari
                        • Michael Heinich
                          I want to say thank you to you, Lady Cari and the rest for being patient with me. I am not sure if it clears things up but I do understand that this group s
                          Message 12 of 16 , Apr 17, 2004
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                            I want to say thank you to you, Lady Cari and the rest
                            for being patient with me. I am not sure if it clears
                            things up but I do understand that this group's focus
                            is a little more technical.

                            I wish I was living somewhere near one of the Dr
                            Hoeller's churchs but Texas is pretty far. The
                            information on the Gnosis Society's site and Dr
                            Hoeller's Web Lectures are the best source of
                            information for me since it is the only time things
                            feel clear. (If that makes any sense)

                            So the web, this discussion group and books are my
                            only sources to learn about Gnosticism.

                            --- pmcvflag <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                            > Hey Michael, just want to give a "ditto" to what
                            > Cari says.
                            >
                            > It is important to understand that just because so
                            > many modern
                            > groups have taken the term "Gnosticism" and
                            > re-applied it to thier
                            > own definition does not mean that the word doesn't
                            > have an original
                            > meaning. Our meaning of that word here in this club
                            > is a bit more
                            > technical than you seem to have been finding in
                            > online dictionaries,
                            > and it deals with the word as it was originally
                            > coined... do talk
                            > about historical groups and modern people who feel
                            > they agree with
                            > the beliefs of those historical groups.
                            >
                            > Let me point out a few attributes that may help you
                            > see what we are
                            > talking about here....
                            >
                            > Gnosticism is defined by; the era (late
                            > antiquities), the cosmology
                            > (a Neoplatonic emenationist system), the soteriology
                            > (Gnosis =
                            > salvation), and the cultural backdrop (a syncratic
                            > movement with
                            > Greek and Jewish idealogical origins as well as
                            > other influences
                            > dependant on what specific sect we may be talking
                            > about).
                            >
                            > If I took the term "scientist" and reapplied it to
                            > something that
                            > has nothing to do with the intended technical
                            > meaning, then put up a
                            > number of websites that used that new meaning,
                            > people may get
                            > confused about exactly what a scientist is,
                            > technically speaking.
                            > This does not mean the new definition is wrong, but
                            > we should not
                            > loose sight of the original definition either since
                            > doing so only
                            > obscures what it is that those who are more
                            > technically defined
                            > as "scientists" may be doing.
                            >
                            > Does that make the focus and intent of this club and
                            > it's definition
                            > of "Gnosticism" a little more clear?
                            >
                            > PMCV
                            >
                            > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, lady_caritas
                            > <no_reply@y...>
                            > wrote:
                            > > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Michael
                            > Heinich
                            > <mheinich@y...>
                            > > wrote:
                            > > Christianty but don't agree with any of the
                            > others.
                            > > >
                            > > > If it sounds like I am becoming more confused
                            > then you
                            > > > wouldn't be far off.
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > Michael, surfing the web for explanations of
                            > Gnosis and Gnosticism
                            > > can be like entering a parking lot filled with
                            > international
                            > visitors
                            > > all of whom have a different idea about how to get
                            > to a foreign
                            > > destination of debatable location, which you and
                            > many of them
                            > haven't
                            > > visited before,... and then asking directions.
                            > >
                            > > It's probably best to get a grasp of a bit of
                            > background before
                            > > embarking on the journey. For instance, the
                            > umbrella
                            > > term "Gnosticism" was coined around the 17th
                            > century to help
                            > > delineate religious groups or sects in the Late
                            > Antiquities who
                            > held
                            > > Gnosis to be salvific. This is the focus of our
                            > group here. You
                            > > will frequently see others expressing their
                            > different views or
                            > > interpretations based on their own inner paths,
                            > which is great,
                            > but
                            > > we like to relate them to a historical focus.
                            > That is *not* to
                            > say
                            > > there is by any means a Gnostic orthodoxy or that
                            > one can
                            > necessarily
                            > > *get* Gnosis from reading ancient scripture or
                            > discussion at an
                            > > internet group, but we do like to explore
                            > questions and ideas,
                            > > comparing and contrasting to the ancients,... for
                            > context.
                            > (Members
                            > > frequent our group for different reasons,... some
                            > are here to
                            > learn
                            > > about Gnostics for various reasons; others,
                            > possibly involved in
                            > the
                            > > experiential process of Gnosis, including
                            > self-acquaintance, have
                            > > discovered a simpatico relationship to these
                            > ancients.)
                            > >
                            > > Some people don't like the term "Gnosticism" and
                            > have proposed
                            > > alternatives, such as Williams' "Biblical
                            > Demiurgical Tradition."
                            > > ( http://www.reviewcentre.com/review77272.html )
                            > > I, personally, don't mind the term "Gnosticism."
                            > It reflects the
                            > > root word, "Gnosis," which I believe is the
                            > catalyst for all the
                            > > varied expressions we see within this general
                            > categorization.
                            > >
                            > > The word "gnosticism" has obviously come to mean
                            > many different
                            > > things in more modern times. Many moderns have
                            > taken elements or
                            > > motifs from these groups and applied them in
                            > eclectic fashion to
                            > > their own paths, using the same or similar
                            > terminology. I am not
                            > > sitting in judgment as to whether sex majick or
                            > someone's ideas of
                            > > specific stages or Sylvia Browne or New Age
                            > groups, etc. have any
                            > > validity. But, they are not representative of the
                            > focus in our
                            > group.
                            > >
                            > > There are, in contrast, those modern groups and
                            > scholars who *do*
                            > use
                            > > a historical focus, among those Stephan Hoeller.
                            > And, we have
                            > > members in our group who are active in Dr.
                            > Hoeller's church.
                            > >
                            > > So, IOW, we may not all agree. But, we do strive
                            > to keep a
                            > > particular focal point, one that reflects the
                            > recognized need by
                            > many
                            > > neo-Gnostics and historians alike for a general
                            > category to
                            > identify
                            > > this unique esoteric phenomenon called
                            > "Gnosticism."
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > Cari
                            >
                            >





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                          • Michael Heinich
                            Ahh, but if you are lost and the international parking lot is the only place to find someone to ask directions.... But you are correct, anyone can post
                            Message 13 of 16 , Apr 17, 2004
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                              Ahh, but if you are lost and the international parking
                              lot is the only place to find someone to ask
                              directions....

                              But you are correct, anyone can post anything to the
                              web no matter how far out it may seem. It is up to us
                              to filter through it.

                              sincerly,
                              a lost soul trying to find his way.

                              --- lady_caritas <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                              >
                              > Michael, surfing the web for explanations of Gnosis
                              > and Gnosticism
                              > can be like entering a parking lot filled with
                              > international visitors
                              > all of whom have a different idea about how to get
                              > to a foreign
                              > destination of debatable location, which you and
                              > many of them haven't
                              > visited before,... and then asking directions.
                              >





                              __________________________________
                              Do you Yahoo!?
                              Yahoo! Photos: High-quality 4x6 digital prints for 25�
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                            • lady_caritas
                              ... Hmmm, Michael, you remind of a koan that I believe Mike(?) posted over a year ago: The way out is in. But, sometimes the way in is from the outside.
                              Message 14 of 16 , Apr 18, 2004
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                                --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Michael Heinich <mheinich@y...>
                                wrote:
                                > Ahh, but if you are lost and the international parking
                                > lot is the only place to find someone to ask
                                > directions....
                                >
                                > But you are correct, anyone can post anything to the
                                > web no matter how far out it may seem. It is up to us
                                > to filter through it.
                                >
                                > sincerly,
                                > a lost soul trying to find his way.



                                Hmmm, Michael, you remind of a koan that I believe Mike(?) posted
                                over a year ago:

                                "The way out is in. But, sometimes the way in is from the outside."


                                Cari
                              • Mike Leavitt
                                Hello lady_caritas ... Yeah, I think that was one of mine. :-) Regards -- Mike Leavitt ac998@lafn.org
                                Message 15 of 16 , Apr 18, 2004
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                                  Hello lady_caritas

                                  On 04/19/04, you wrote:

                                  > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Michael Heinich <mheinich@y...>
                                  > wrote:
                                  >> Ahh, but if you are lost and the international parking
                                  >> lot is the only place to find someone to ask
                                  >> directions....
                                  >>
                                  >> But you are correct, anyone can post anything to the
                                  >> web no matter how far out it may seem. It is up to us
                                  >> to filter through it.
                                  >>
                                  >> sincerly,
                                  >> a lost soul trying to find his way.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Hmmm, Michael, you remind of a koan that I believe Mike(?) posted
                                  > over a year ago:
                                  >
                                  > "The way out is in. But, sometimes the way in is from the outside."
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Cari

                                  Yeah, I think that was one of mine. :-)

                                  Regards
                                  --
                                  Mike Leavitt ac998@...
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