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Re: Question #3 Mystic vs. Gnostic

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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.
                            >





                            __________________________________
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                            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 13 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 14 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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