- Hey George....
>>Do you call the Protestants neo Christians? Do you think they wouldaccept it if you did?<<<
*LOL*... that is absolutely great!!!! That was not only a wonderful
observation, George, it gave me a good laugh as well. Truth be known,
I had not ever thought of it. Now that you mention it though, "Neo
Christian" is actually a far more accurate term for Protestants
than "Christian". I think I may use that term from now on ;) . As to
the question of whether they would like it, well, it doesn't matter
to me. I Will call them what they want when we are using thier emic
definition, and I will call them what term is the most accurate when
trying to convey something about them on an emic level. After all,
they have parted from the traditional beliefs and practice of
Christianity, and many of them have no direct lineage... so yes...
they are "New Christians".
>>>I don't draw a line. I already had made contact and already knewhow to continue to do so before I started studying the ancient
Gnostics, so I just don't need to try to recreate their system.<<<
Ah, understood. Of course, part of what started this conversation was
to ask whether what many people today call "Gnosis" has any relation
whatsoever to what they called "Gnosis". IF!!! we are assuming the
term "Gnosis" as it was used by them to be the "technically accurate"
meaning, and some of us use the term to mean something completely
different than they meant the term, then we would still could be Neo
Gnostics (or Psuedo Gnostics if we were very strict in our
categorizations) simply because our usage of the term "Gnosis" is
My point, George, is not so much to ask if you are Gnostic or
Neognostic, but to ask everyone how similar they believe they are
using the term to the way the ancients did.
This takes me to the question that Mike brought up.....
>>>Was gnosis the same to Carpocrates as to Valentinus as to Clement?Even that is hard to say, because gnosis can only be experienced, not
put into words, at least not by me. Maybe you could start with a
definition of the word itself, it had a specific meaning in Greek, it
was a specific type of knowing or knowledge.<<<
You are asking the same question I meant to ask the club, Mike. I
think you make a good point in wondering if we really know if all
these individuals used the term in the same way. I guess in some
cases we just cant know... we don't know enough about Carpocrates,
for instance, and some of the "Gnostic" texts really don't deal with
the meaning of the word at all, or can be very vague as if the
meanings of such words were assumed to be known to the audience at
Of course, in some cases the word was just the general Greek word,
and it had no special connotation, but I also think that there was an
agreement to some extent on that special spiritual usage that we who
are interested in Gnosticism have grown a bit more used to. I
actually think there is a way we can know, at least in part, what
they really meant by that word "Gnosis" and if what we are talking
about is the same thing.
However, I have brought this up in the past, and I am bringing it up
again partly because I never felt it was resolved, and also for our
many new people to get a chance to talk about it.
Part of my concern is this... I feel many modern people
mistake "Gnosis" with the Mystical Experience, and I don't feel that
this is actually what the ancient Gnostics used the word to mean. SO,
I ask to the club again; if you intend to use the word "Gnosis" to
mean the same thing that the Gnostics used the word to mean, how sure
are you that you are doing that? What do you know about those ancient
Gnostics that causes you to use the word "Gnosis" in your own life?
What would you do if you found out that your meaning of the
word "Gnosis" was completely different form thier usage? WOuld that
make a difference in how you use the word? OR in how you define
- 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.