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Re: Tangential musing

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  • elmoreb
    This is the way I look at it: One of the major differences in Gnosticism and Orthodox Christianity, is the concept of continued revelation. To me, continued
    Message 1 of 77 , Jul 2, 2004
      This is the way I look at it:

      One of the major differences in Gnosticism and Orthodox
      Christianity, is the concept of continued revelation. To me,
      continued revelation simply means thinking for yourself.

      Gnostic scriptures teach us that this world is flawed, and basically
      one big screw up, that is being corrected. There isnt much we can do
      about that part. But eventually we will return to the pleroma.

      Nihilists( in general) believe that nothing matters, because no
      matter what the means, the end is the same. No matter what we die.
      Some believe that there is no afterlife and that we cease to exist.
      There is room for hope there at all. Some believe that there is an
      afterlife, and believe we end up in "heaven" no matter what since
      all sins are forgiven. in this view there is no point in hope. No
      reason to make this world a better place for everyone. Live life for

      No matter what happens after we die, we are here now. We are still
      souls. We still have that divine spark, wether you choose to accept
      it or not. In this world, our souls still develop here, and who we
      are here plays a major role in who we are after we pass on. The bad
      ( corruptibility) will be cleansed, and the good parts continue on.
      If you see the world as all bad, there wont be many good parts.

      Im sure we have all met many people that get very cranky when it
      rains, or something silly doesnt go thier way. If you dont mind
      getting a little wet ( its just water) and see the good in rain (
      life giving, cooling, soothing sounds), rain can be pleasurable.
      Even if you are caught in it. Its all dependant on your attitude.

      Because this world is destined to end ( and was a mistake to begin
      with) nothing material here matters. What matters here, in the
      hylic, is Happiness and Unhappiness. I have found that happiness is
      TOTALLY dependant on your outlook. Here is where I consider myself
      an optimist. I enjoy almost every minute of my life very much, even
      though I dont have much money. I dont always expect the best to
      happen. I like to plan for the worst and hope for the best. Makes
      everyone happier in the end. If something bad happens I dont take it
      to heart. Nothing in this world is worth getting down in the dumps
      about. Nothing.

      If something is wrong, and is making people unhappy, either:

      a) It can be fixed. Get off your rear and fix it ( i.e. you dont
      have a job).
      b) It cant be fixed. There is nothing you can do about it, except be
      strong and allow yourself to be happy anyway. ( i.e. death, natural
      disaters, sickness, pain).

      I define an optimist as someone who can see happiness through the
      fog, not someone who believes the fog wont be there.

      I define a pessimist as someone who cant see anything through the
      fog and only believe it will get thinker.

      I hope that made sense ^.^ Im not very good at explaining myself.

      Best wishes,
    • pmcvflag
      Jana, Mike is in fact clergy in the EG, and we value his presence. As Cari states, the EG is a bit of a modern reworking of the Valentinians... with a slight
      Message 77 of 77 , Jul 19, 2004
        Jana, Mike is in fact clergy in the EG, and we value his presence. As
        Cari states, the EG is a bit of a modern reworking of the
        Valentinians... with a slight Jungian slant. So maybe I could make
        something a bit more clear about the historic Valentinians (and this
        is outside Mike's answers concerning his own church).

        The Valentinians were part of early Catholic/Orthodox church (before
        the schism between the two). Valentinians existed within that
        Catholic church but offered a continued "initiation" beyond
        that "orthodox" teaching. In other words, there were a
        true "esoteric" order that existed within an exoteric foundation.
        This should answer the question you had concerning bishops and
        priests, etc..

        You have to understand, even though it has been popular for modern
        sensationalist authors to build some kind of a fight between
        Gnosticism and religious orders, the fact is historically this is not
        something that happened until later.

        There were also other Gnostic groups that were NOT part of the
        Catholic (or even "Christian") outlines. For instance, Sethians were
        probably not originally Christian. Some scholors believe that John
        the Baptist was actually Sethian, but we can't know for sure
        (however, this could imply something about the teachings of Jesus if
        it is true... and if Jesus even ever historically existed. Gnosticism
        is not dependant on an actual historical Jesus though).

        However, let me point out to you that Gnostics were historically
        quite structured. In spite of the need by some New Age authors to
        make Gnostics some kind of spiritual anarchists, in fact these orders
        were initatory, and that means there was also a destinction made
        between levels of initation. One of the attacks that we see in the
        anti-Gnostic authors of the time was that Gnostics are a bit too
        elitist. I don't think that is completely true either, but that is
        not to say it is completely false.

        As we read historical Gnostic texts, such as those found in the Nag
        Hammadi library, we will see mention of those levels of initiation.
        If there are levels, there is structure... they simply go hand in

        Ok, finally, your question in this last post... do Gnostics pray for

        This is an arguement that I don't think can be completely resolved.
        Part of that may be in that it depends on the sect. Truth is, if you
        really look through the Gnostic texts, you would be hard pressed to
        find an example. On the other hand, the people who wrote against
        Gnostics accuse them of making love potions, stomach ointments, and
        spells (spells are simply prayers) etc.. If you think about it, it
        does not seem logical that a Gnostic would do such things, since some
        of the things mentioned would really be against Gnostic beliefs.

        So, you already conceded that Gnostics probably would not pray to the
        first father (since it does not think or hear or consider anything
        from the field of time... including prayers), so then who would a
        Gnostic pray too? The Second father? The Sophia? The Logos? It
        depends on whether you take these to be literal beings... otherwise
        you are praying to aspects of yourself that connect you to the second
        father. I am trying to pooint out that the question you ask is not
        cut and dry, balck vs white, but that it also may entirely depend on
        the practice of the sect invloved. Many Gnostics probably don't
        believe in prayer, but some may.


        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "janahooks" <janahooks@y...>
        > > > I guess you could call us neo-Valenitnians. I am the senior
        > Priest
        > > of
        > > > the Ecclesia Gnostica, which along with the Gnostic Society, is
        > the
        > > > parent body of http://www.gnosis.org/. My Bishop is Stephan
        > > Höeller,
        > > > who has written a number of books on Gnosticism.
        > Mike, I had even told my husband that I thought you were a priest.
        > You have that patient air about you! I read about the sacraments
        > the site, but I need to look at them again. Are they necessary to
        > achieve gnosis or salvation?
        > Cari, Mike, pmcv, anyone,
        > Do gnostics believe that any being (I understand the First Father
        > does not) intervenes on our behalf? For instance, if one wanted to
        > pray for another's protection or health?
        > jana
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