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

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  • pmcvflag
    Hey Fred Actually it is probably good you ask these questions. I do sometimes get used to talking to others here who are familiar with the historical sources,
    Message 1 of 74 , Jun 3, 2004
      Hey Fred

      Actually it is probably good you ask these questions. I do sometimes
      get used to talking to others here who are familiar with the
      historical sources, and forget that there will be a number here who
      may not know what I am talking about, but feel shy to ask. So, to
      start with your questions....

      >>>What extremists are you talking about?<<

      I am talking about those groups that maintain an absolute form of
      dualism in thier cosmology (like the Manichaeans) of a nature that
      forms the essence of the entire belief system and ritual practice. OF
      course, we may note that Augustine accuses the Manichaeans of
      dualism, and Faustus denies it... but that is partly based on
      theological grounds rather than the absoluteness of the Light and the

      >>>PMCV STATED... "Depending on just how literal we wish to be, about
      any philosophy that recognizes any contrast is "dualist" but when we
      point it out it holds that philosophy up as something a bit out of
      the ordinary."

      FRED RETURNED... I am not sure what this sentence means, it seems a
      little vague to me.<<<

      I am not sure how to cerify that one for you, Fred. I am not even
      sure how it seems vague since I thought I was quite explicit...
      perhaps you could make more clear to me exactly how it seems vague?
      The thing is, the average Christian (for example) is quite "dualist",
      though they would deny it if you said it to them.

      >>Used as rhetoric by whom?<<

      Besides the above mentioned debate between Augustine and Faustus, we
      could also look at Hyppolitus' accusations agains Marcion, as well as
      other polemics against "heretical" groups and thier "dualism". This
      continues in time to include many other groups, such as the Cathars.

      >>Well, what is it that you are afraid will jump into the heads of our
      readers. And again, who are these polemicists you keep talking about
      and what are they polemicizing?<<<

      Since I answered your second question already now (having just listed
      some of the polemicists and who they were polemicizing), let me just
      deal with the first.

      What I am afraid of, Fred, is that when you throw the term "dualist"
      out casually people may instantly get the picture in thier heads of
      Gnostic extremists that look something like Jains, living severe
      lives in the name of thier body hatred.

      I have already delt with enough people who were repulsed
      by "Gnosticism" because of thier supposed "dualist" world view,
      simply based on the implications that many people read into the
      word "dualist", and the baggage that word holds goes all the way back
      to these polemicists. By the same token, we have had "Gnostic"
      extremists in this very group who were so fixed on BEING dualist that
      thay had absolutely no ability to converse in a civil manner about
      Gnostic history, or even accept that anything less severe in it's
      asceticism (which they felt was a natural result of this absolute
      dualism) was even a valid subject. They had bought into the very
      same "dualist" accusations of the polemicists and self applied it
      rather than reacting against it.

      Niether of these extremes are accurate in the big picture of our
      study, or conducive to attempting an understanding of the traditional
      Gnostic beliefs as a whole. So, once again, I am quite insistant that
      when the term "dualist" is applied to moderate groups that some form
      of disclaimer be made so that no one gets the wrong picture. Frankly
      though, the term "dualist" is really kind of unnecessary in our study
      of Gnosticism, since nearly everyone is dualist to some extent.

    • 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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