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Re: Tangential musing

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  • lady_caritas
    ... wrote: *I believe God has put us here on earth in order to ... Hi, Mary. Upon reading your posts, I m struck by your concept of a god that
    Message 1 of 77 , Jul 6 10:50 AM
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      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Mary VanEsselstyn"
      <maryjvan@m...> wrote:

      *I believe God has put us here on earth in order to
      > prepare us for something greater than thiis vieil of tears.


      Hi, Mary. Upon reading your posts, I'm struck by your concept of a
      god that is a creator god and involved in human affairs, if I
      understand your words correctly. How would that differ for you from
      the demiurge of Gnostic mythology?

      Interesting, too, was Gerry's comment in his response to you:
      "In another sense, even atheists will
      lay claim to being realists, but then, it may be a fine line indeed
      that separates them from the Gnostics (let's see if that statement
      can stir up some controversy). ;-)"

      Well, yes, I guess I'm surprised some members didn't fly with that
      one. :-) I guess, for me, the term "atheism" depends on how one
      perceives the term "theism," considering that one who calls
      him/herself an atheist is "a-" (not or without) theism.

      Not all atheists are materialists or naturalists. But then again,
      even atheistic materialists vary. Discussions concerning definition
      often center around "hard" ("There is no god.") to "soft" ("I don't
      believe in god.") types of atheism. I've seen the term "nontheistic"
      used, too. There are spiritual atheists, atheistic Buddhists. Well,
      even Gilles Quispel and others have discussed the atheistic
      inclination of Gnostics.
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gnosticism2/message/7941

      Belief in the *existence* of a god or gods certainly doesn't ring
      true with the Gnostic "unknown" (rather than the image) beyond
      existence.

      Any thoughts from members about this?

      Cari
    • 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 9:12 PM
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        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
        hand.

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

        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.

        PMCV

        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "janahooks" <janahooks@y...>
        wrote:
        >
        > > > 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
        on
        > 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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