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Re: Who (or what) is "THE DEVIL"?/Great Fall of the Spirits

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  • fred60471
    ... perhaps ... Platonic ... texts. ... anti- ... had ... the ... Hi Mike, Yeah, I may have got carried away with enumerating that list of adjectives, for the
    Message 1 of 74 , Jun 1, 2004
      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Mike Leavitt <ac998@l...> wrote:
      > Hello fred60471
      > On 05/30/04, you wrote:
      > > There has been some discussion recently about what the historical
      > > Gnostics actually thought. So, in that context, do you think
      > > that you are drawing a finer distinction, from your "modern"
      > > perspective, between the texts in the NHL than the historical
      > > Gnostics actually drew? To group the Gnostic, Hermetic, and
      > > texts together, they must have seen a common theme to all the
      > > I don't believe they even referred to themselves as Gnostics, let
      > > alone to label certain texts as being either Hermetic or Gnostic.
      > > What was important to them was the dynamics of the antinomian,
      > > clerical, dualistic, and Platonic themes in the text, not that any
      > > one text was essentially Gnostic in nature. There is no such thing
      > > as an essence of historical Gnosticism. To give another historical
      > > example, from a work by Couliano:
      > Interesting point, but by your definition neither Platonic nor
      > Hermetic nor Neo-Pythagorean texts are gnostic, because they are not
      > dualistic, but Manachean and perhaps Mandean ones are, because they
      > are dualistic. And where does this leave the Basilideans, who were
      > not strictly dualistic, or the Valantineans and Bardisianians who
      > ordained Clergy in their midst? It looks like you have committed
      > sin you accuse PMVC of. Just a thought.
      > Regards
      > --
      > Mike Leavitt ac998@l...

      Hi Mike,

      Yeah, I may have got carried away with enumerating that list of
      adjectives, for the sake of brevity I dropped docetic, encratic, and
      vegetarian from that list. It's a good thing I did or otherwise my
      argument would have been further compromised by my being informed
      that there were some Gnostics who had kids and ate meat. But, I think
      it is a fairly accurate list for the popular gnosis of the third and
      fourth centuries, of which the texts in the Nag Hammadi are an
      example. I would think that the one adjective that would be
      unassailable for all the texts in the library, whether Gnostic,
      Hermetic, or Platonic would be "dualistic." I think you would be
      going against the consensus of scholarly opinion if you didn't admit
      that dualism is an essential characteristic of Gnosticism, at least
      my Britannica says so. There are all kinds of dualisms aren't there?
      We have dialectical dualism, eschatological dualism, and absolute or
      relative dualism. The Platonic texts are dualistic in that they
      juxtapose the intelligential realm and the sensory realm. The same
      goes for the Hermetic texts, although, I can't remember if it was
      Fowden or Copenhaver who said that the Hermetic texts have
      hierarchical levels of initiation, where the lower texts are of a
      dualistic nature, and only when the initiate reached the higher
      levels was a revelation made that was almost a type of Monism.

      Popular Hellenistic astrology, allegedly fathered by the Egyptian,
      Hermes Trismegistus, had influenced the vulgar gnosis of the second
      century A.D. to such a point that the astrological dogma of klçroi
      or "fortunes according to the planets," had been incorporated into
      it and transformed into a real passage of the soul through the
      planets, the soul assimilating increasingly material concretions that
      link it to the body and to the world here below. The Corpus
      Hermeticum also relates the descent of primordial man into the cosmos
      and the passage of the soul through the planets in its reentry to the
      heavenly homeland.

      I often wonder if the dualism of Gnosticism, that is often cited as
      being of Iranian dualistic influence, may in fact have an Egyptian
      origin. It would make sense if we acknowledge that the translation
      into Coptic was an evangelical effort to put an Egyptian face on
      Gnosticism. The ancient Egyptians, while not technically dualistic,
      did practice a dialectical dualism of the opposition of Osiris and
      Seth, and also between the order presided over by Maat in Egypt as
      opposed to the forces of chaos and the abyss outside of Egypt. And
      also, while Hermes' reputation was murdered by philology for us
      moderns, in that era of the Greco-Roman world in Egypt, he was the
      Egyptian par excellence of great antiquity, a contemporary of Moses.

    • George Harvey
      ... a ... Gnostic ... Hi Mike, Thank you. I suspected she was wrong but didn t know for sure. George
      Message 74 of 74 , Jun 16, 2004
        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Mike Leavitt <ac998@l...> wrote:
        > Hello George
        > On 06/16/04, you wrote:
        > > Hi Mike,
        > > Someone on my list said modern Gnostic churches do not allow women
        > > to be priests. Is that true of your church?
        > >
        > > George
        > Stephan ordained Rosa Miller to the priesthood, and consecrated her
        > bishop. We currently have two active women priests, and an active
        > woman deacon or three, I can't keep up with it. The short answer is
        > no it is not true of our church, nor is it true of the French
        > Church, our confederate. It may be true of some more traditionally
        > Catholic Gnostic churches, milage may vary. Years ago I asked an
        > old Liberal Catholic Priest (they have no women in orders to this
        > day), "how can you deny one of the sacraments to half the human
        > race." He was stunned by the question, and said that was the only
        > thing anyone had said to him that gave him doubts about the all male
        > clergy.
        > Regards
        > --
        > Mike Leavitt ac998@l...

        Hi Mike,
        Thank you. I suspected she was wrong but didn't know for sure.

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