Re: [Gnosticism2] Relevance
- Hi Cari.My interest in Gnosticism started back in the 90's. Here's my story. From 1968 I was raised in a Pentecostal church because my parents got a little freaked out by the hippy and antiestablishment movements of the generation of peace and love.I remember thinking how odd it was to run from people who thoughtdifferently (hippies) to people who are differently (Pentecostals). I had several issues with the holy rollers, a few of whichwere .... if there are 9 gifts of the spirit, why are you making such a big deal out of the last one on the list (speaking in tongues),why not raise the dead, or feed 5000 people with a few pieces of bread and fish, or turn a swimming pool ofwater into wine and then walk back and forth across it speaking in tongues. But the biggest question was ... why areyou people using the "power of the holy ghost" to turn yourselves into a group of organized mean spirited assholes.That to me equated the absence of the professed creator, regardless of the fiery eternity they claimed I was headed for.My logic was (and still is) if you've got one part of it wrong, then who says you got any of it right.Then one day in 1996 my wife and I started going to church. The leadership always put me in some type of teachingposition, and after hearing me say things like " I know how you can stand on one foot and quote the whole bible .....hold one foot up and say ... be as cool as you can to the people around you!" Another was "Jesus delivered you fromthe mind boggling neurotic performance of 714 Jewish laws by telling you to look inside your heart for the answers".----- we went through 23 churches before we realized that maybe we just weren't Christian ... but what were we... I mean, where do you go with that kind of belief? Then I heard someone on TV explain (briefly) what it meant to be Gnostic.They said that it wasn't so much about Jesus dying for you sins as it was about what he said while he was alive.I started yelling for my wife ... Renee, come here and listen to this guy!!!!He went on to say that there were a lot of people who said the same things as Jesus and some of them even did the same miracles as he did, but they just never had a religion named after them. I was floored!!! I started reading everything I could get my hands on and after about 10 years or so I learned that when Jesus said "I and the father are one ... he ended that thought with ... have you not read that we are all gods? I put that together with ..... these are my brothers and sisters, the ones who listen and do as I say .... in other words, we all have the same inner divinity that Jesus had.Enter the Gnosis. The revelation that spiritual knowledge is something I feel inside myhead, not the fact that I can quote the bible backward and forward, but that I honestly know why Jesus used the parablesto describe the kingdom of heaven. He was trying to explain gnosis!! The problem started when people started thanking him for it, and singing songs about it, and building great big cathedrals where people could gather together in the name of it, but never took the time to look inside themselves for it. Except for the Gnostics. And that's why I am here.Sincerely,Dan S.----- Original Message -----From: lady_caritasSent: Wednesday, May 19, 2004 8:24 AMSubject: [Gnosticism2] RelevanceGood morning, all. Each of you came to this list with an interest or
at least curiosity regarding historical Gnosticism.
We discuss many aspects directly related to or surrounding this focal
point. Do you feel that those ancient Gnostics have impacted your
life in any way? And, if so, how? General insights as well as
specific anecdotes are welcome.
I would be interested in hearing from lots of you, including those
who might not have contributed before.
- You are so patient, Cari, but my post was so explicetly about
the "afterlife" in Gnosticism and the lack of continuation of the
self identity with the rejoining into the Source, that I don't think
Fred really missed my point so badly as to think I was talking about
some form of Buddhist monastic ego death. I think instead he is
purposfully taking my words out of context to be trite (something he
has already been reprimanded for). *sigh* He will be able to post
again when he is ready for serious conversation.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, lady_caritas <no_reply@y...>
> --- In email@example.com, fred60471 <no_reply@y...> wrote:wrote:
> > --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...>
> > ... I know that this concept is very scary to a lot of
> > people who can't deal with the notion of loss of the self ...
> > --- In email@example.com, pmcvflag also wrote:
> > ... I do know ...
> > ... I think if ...
> > ... I have known ...
> > ... I know that ...
> > PMCV
> Fred, I don't understand your point. I don't see PMCV as saying
> we "presently" lose our sense of self. The sentence before yourthe
> first quote reads, "You see, the "spirit", according to Gnostic
> thought, is not part of what we call "us". It is not part of one's
> personal identity, but instead it is a little reflective shard of
> source of all spirit. That is to say, it is a little piece thatwill
> rejoin with a larger whole EVENTUALLY." [emphasis added]in
> Personally, I view ego "death" as an oxymoron in this present
> existence. We all have egos. We need a sense of self to function
> this world. That is not the same as saying that we all are
> egotistical though.