Re: [Gnosticism2] Re: mind cessation
- -----Original Message-----Now Scott, you get to a meaty subject....
From: pmcvflag <email@example.com>
To: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>
Date: Saturday, 1 May 2004 17:37
Subject: [Gnosticism2] Re: mind cessation
<< Scott: Maybe we can compare this understanding to Jesus'
statement from the Gospel of Thomas: "Woe to the body that depends
on the soul and woe to the soul that depends on the body". By tying
itself to the body and physical senses, the mind/psyche becomes a
purely contingent phenomenon. The soul, in the unenlightened human,
is therefore, in a very real sense, *generated* entirely by the body
and the senses. Our sense of self is likewise inseparable from the
body. We are 'this" body, "this" person and not another. When we
depend on the soul/mind, it tells us we are this body and its
perception, that there is in fact NO DIFFFERENCE between body and
mind. This sort of perception is what separates us also from the
deeper mystical states and the possibility of spiritual re-birth,
since the mind is directed outward instead of separating itself from
the body/senses in the act of introspection or meditation which
leads it to its source.
> Plato equates spirit with true philosophy. That love of Sophia is
> the pure intellectual process of genuine logic and experience in
> objective context of that logic.... beyond agendas of personal
> desire. The scientist/philosopher then, is the Pneumatic who looks
> at the essence, the spirit of reality, an a true intellectual way
> rather than simply a rational way. This is because the spirit is
> led by physical agenda. Stopping the animal mind would not be the
> same as stopping THINKING in the case of Plato's definition.
<<Scott: This sounds something like a "pure philosphy", of intellect
or thought separating itself from the "content" of thought. Form
made separate from content. In Plato, philsosphy means something
like the contemplation of universal forms. The intellect divorces
itself from concrete, *particular* sense objects ie "this beautiful
object* and contemplates the universal form underlying this sensual
experience..ie Beauty itself. This is exactly what happens in
meditation, specifically Pratyahara, or sense withdrawal. If carried
far enough, this process leads to the cessation of our particular
psychological conciousness, since it is deprived of content or the
objective forms that feed its existence and activity. But this is
where philsosphy, even in its highest sense, is superceded by
meditation. There is something *beyond* Platonic forms, universal
archetypes, and only true mystics who have gone beyond thought have
known this ultimate reality. The intellect is necessary *up to a
point* though. Beyond this point, words and language automatically
fall away and deeper levels of being are experienced, eventually
culminating in union with the Divine within us >>
Sure there is something beyond the Forms, it is called the Prime
<<Scott: That is still something nameable. If you can name it, your mind can form an image of it. The thing that is doing the naming, rather than the thing that is named is what interests me. Jesus says in one text that he will teach his disciples, "what has not entered into mind at all"..ie what is beyond name and form.
<<Scott: Perhaps, we should stop thinking of these things as merely
ideas stated in different languages and cultures and try thinking of
them as timeless experiences. Surely the *similarities* strike you
as more than haphazard coincidence>>. Of course cultural
discrepancies will creep in, but we are obviously dealing with the
same underlying truths here.<<<
Here is the difference, Scott, the Gnostic scriptures don't anywhere
that I can remember describe Gnosis AS this mystical exprience that
you equate it with here. It is certainly an ASPECT of Gnosis, but
where does it state that it is Gnosis in and of itself?
<<Scott: I don't know. By Gnosis I mean knowledge, and a direct knowledge, knowledge by aquaintance with the thing known. Or knowledge that is so direct that it actually dissolves the knower and the known in a mystical union which is at the same time liberating. I think Jesus sums it up in (yes, again) John 17 -- "And this is salvation, that they *know* you, the only true God...". So, as has already been said by every scholar it is knowledge that has a soteriological value.
Some of the
descriptions of the baptismal experience certainly seems to equate
it with the mystical experience, but consider the place of Baptism
in some of the texts... obviously we see a discrepency here. What I
am trying to bring into question here is the specific context of the
prime goal of Gnosticism... I.E., Gnosis. If we can't equate Gnosis
with this kind of blank mind mystical experience, then
overemphasizing that experience would be against the Gnostic beleif
<<Scott: We should look at a few texts that are considered gnostic and actually deal with what gnosis is, and how salvation is acheived. So far, all I have talked about is a single quote by Cari. What of other texts? Thomas has Jesus say that no one will enter the kingdom of God at his bidding, "but only because you yourselves have become full". Full of what? Is this fullness related to the "Pleroma"? Since it leads to the kingdom of God/heaven, I'm assuming it as at least one description of salvation in gnosticism.
Do we have to empty ourselves of something else before we can full ourselves with whatever Jesus is talking about? C.f "You do not put *new wine* into old skins"...you first empty yourself of old wine, or renew the skin. This "becoming full" that Jesus mentions....what does it mean? It is obviously a process. But is it a technique? Jesus says he can't do it for us. Or at least, that we have to do our part. If you do not want to discuss this text, let's look at other texts that deal with what salvation is, and what gnosis is. I am taking a non-scholarly interest in this subject. I consider knowledge of this type vital to the survival and eventual regeneration of the entire human race.
Perhaps it is possible that Gnostics did not consider the experience
in and of itself to be "truth", but only a stepping stone on the
way? Just a possibility to ponder.
- I agree with you on your opion on how important
history is. Those who dont remember the past are
doomed. After 15 years of research on the nature of
people. I have found that we all judge every thing and
everyone. It is the way that one goes about it that
maters.This will have a negative or poitive influence
on the responce they will get. BE kind and choose
carfully the words you use to judge...
--- lady_caritas <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
--- In email@example.com, "synthesehalevi"
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, pmcvflag<no_reply@y...> wrote:
> > BTW, Scott, I realized there are a couple ofpoints I did not
> > (due to your formatting problems)initiation or
> > you state...
> > >>There is no evidence that these are *levels* of
> > initiations at all. We do not know if they were*seuqential* or
> > *progressive* (stepping stone) or any such thing.Ritual
> > perhaps, but that's about as much as we can saywith any
> >Gnostics meant
> > SO, by your reasoning we could equally state that
> > leave the pneumatic behind and find hylicism.Actually, Philip
> > states quite explicitly that the person reacheslevels in a
> > sequential order. Gentile, Jew, then Christian.AND, all the
> > agree that the bridal chamber does not happenbefore baptism.
> > for me a single scholor that does not agree thatthese are
> > initiatory levels, or a single source thatdisagrees with the
> > intances that ARE stated.Gnosis, as opposed
> > PMCV
> Hi -
> What about the actual EXPERIENCE of the living
to scholarly theses about It?
> From what I have gleaned during the past few days of
recent posts, only Scott Fraser is demonstrating some
experience of Gnosis. The rest of the contributing
members seem to be
quite content in theorizing, academiciszing about it.
> To me this seems to be the difference between a
pneumatic (true Gnostic). This is all okay, of course,
but as the
wisdom of Dirty Harry testifies: "A man has to know
> Would it not be wise to listen and seek through a
demonstrates some actual living experience?
> Even a dumb mule can carry lots of books!
I was tempted to delete this post, as I find it
inflammatory, but I
decided to respond to make a point. You are a new
member. You read
a few posts and disparagingly decide whom to label
pneumatic. I find that rather sophomoric and not at
respectful, constructive dialogue. Oh, surely, there
other members who have suggested these labels of other
during discussion. They have usually been less
direct. I still view
it as heckling and not acceptable in our group.
Whether or not
anyone even might be considered hylic, psychic, or
pneumatic is not a
reason for insensitive criticism.
Perhaps I need to yet again reiterate the focus of our
focus of our group is historical, classical
Gnosticism. This focus
does not mean that we are only a history club. We
invite those who
wish to discuss their personal paths, to discuss
actual EXPERIENCE of the living Gnosis." BUT, in our
discussion is compared/contrasted to those historical
discuss within a *context*. Now, y, how can we do
that if we don't
try to explore what those Gnostics said, thought,
they become "one with God," but still maintain a faith
theology? Not to my knowledge. Did they become "one
with God" and
believe that "all is one" in a pantheistic or
solipsistic sense? Not
to my knowledge. How do I know that? I find out
reading original sources in addition to academic
exegesis provided by
people who care to take the time to explore these
ancients. I also
learn much from discussion with others. And, in the
end, my own
experience comes into play when interpreting this
Members in this group are here for a variety of
reasons. Some are
following a path of Gnosis and wish to share with
others; some are
just curious and would like to find out more
information. There are
many internet lists that define Gnosis very broadly
and are in
existence for the sole purpose of discussing inner
We choose to do so within a specific context, one that
needs to be
discussed at times in order to describe and relate to
it. So, please
do not be misled into thinking that reading a few
posts will give you
insight into the spirit within this group. Not all
members even care
to openly discuss their personal paths. That is their
On the other hand, we are not looking for
proselytizers or gurus. We
all learn from each other here.
And, it is our prerogative to insist that you desist
group members categorically according to your
perception of their
grasp of Gnosis.
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