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Re: Tangential musing

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  • elmoreb
    Heres a passage from The Apocryphon of John. _________________ I said to him, Lord, the souls of those who did not do these works (but) on whom the power and
    Message 1 of 77 , Jul 7, 2004
      Heres a passage from The Apocryphon of John.

      I said to him, "Lord, the souls of those who did not do these works
      (but) on whom the power and Spirit descended, (will they be
      rejected?" He answered and said to me, "If) the Spirit (descended
      upon them), they will in any case be saved, and they will change
      (for the better). For the power will descend on every man, for
      without it no one can stand. And after they are born, then, when the
      Spirit of life increases and the power comes and strengthens that
      soul, no one can lead it astray with works of evil. But those on
      whom the counterfeit spirit descends are drawn by him and they go

      And I said, "Lord, where will the souls of these go when they have
      come out of their flesh?" And he smiled and said to me, "The soul in
      which the power will become stronger than the counterfeit spirit, is
      strong and it flees from evil and, through the intervention of the
      incorruptible one, it is saved, and it is taken up to the rest of
      the aeons."

      And I said, "Lord, those, however, who have not known to whom they
      belong, where will their souls be?" And he said to me, "In those,
      the despicable spirit has gained strength when they went astray. And
      he burdens the soul and draws it to the works of evil, and he casts
      it down into forgetfulness. And after it comes out of (the body), it
      is handed over to the authorities, who came into being through the
      archon, and they bind it with chains and cast it into prison, and
      consort with it until it is liberated from the forgetfulness and
      acquires knowledge. And if thus it becomes perfect, it is saved."

      In gnosticism, there is still "divine intervention" its just not on
      behalf of the All-Father directly.

      One recurring theme I see in gnostic scripture is the idea that one
      must pay the consquences of thier actions. And consequences can be
      dire. From what I understand, while this world was a mistake, the
      divine spark in our souls is the correction of that mistake. Its the
      validation of us as a creation of god, and puts us higher than the

      Instead of God deciding who goes to heaven or not, I think it is
      ourselves that decides. However, that may be the kind of
      consquential decision our parent warn us about when we make a
      mistake and must be punished: "you did it to yourself." They chose
      to punish us, but we chose to do wrong. So it was our choice.
      Anyway, my point is, if we choose to acknowlege our origins ( the
      demiurges sin was to not acknowlege it) we go to "heaven".

      As far the world being evil, its not what I believe though im sure
      many do. I dont believe any non-living things can be evil. Instead
      I see it as flawed. And uncontrollable. The passage from the Gospel
      of Truth that has been quoted a few times, I take to mean that we
      shouldnt focus on this world. We shouldnt see this world as evil or
      good. Nothing in this world has any affect on the other world. The
      2004 election is nothing to get upset about ( even though it sucks
      imo). Thinking too much about this world only takes away from our
      focus on the world beyond. And this is what I believe to be the
      blindness that Christ speaks about in many gnostic and christian

      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Mary VanEsselstyn"
      <maryjvan@m...> wrote:
      > Lady caritas am not sure how to answer your question but will
      try. i do
      > beliieve that there are occasions when God does intervene in our
      lives due
      > to my own experience of a healing that could only have about
      through a
      > higher power. I do have some problems with the teaching of
      > Christ ian who interpret the scriptures lterally which I have come
      > understand recently as an allegory about the birth and possible
      death of
      > man kind, nor do iI see salvation as an easy way to get off the
      hook for our
      > sins. We all pay consequences in some way unless we happen to be
      > totally unconscious I also believe it is God who decides who
      goes to
      > heaven, not us because we beliieve in some doctrine or creed.by
      heaven I
      > don't mean some kind of paradise where we are sittiing on a cloud
      playing a
      > harp but as I have said I believe that our reason for exstance may
      be to
      > prepare us for somethng and that the visable world may not be all
      > is.Paul also teaches that we are to hope in the unseen whiich
      wemay not know
      > until we die. This is one reason was interested iin gnosis as also
      > with some of their interpretation of scripture and the possblily
      of a
      > demiuruge which may explain why the world is flawed and whythere
      are forces
      > of darkness that seek to prevent our spiiritual growth by keeping
      us in
      > ignorance not only of our divine nature but our iignorance of how
      the world
      > system really works.The scrpitures
      > also teach that the material world is the kingdom of satan who
      > through lies and decepton
      > >From: lady_caritas <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
      > >Reply-To: gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com
      > >To: gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com
      > >Subject: [Gnosticism2] Re: Tangential musing
      > >Date: Tue, 06 Jul 2004 17:50:18 -0000
      > >
      > This iis my own understandiing and since am a newcomer to
      gnosis so
      > don't cliam to be perfect. The scriptures are not easy to
      understand and
      > have been altered and misinterpreted for various reasons that
      > political and economic ones so may be a difficult undertakingto
      fnd the
      > truth and may be a few surprises in store for us
    • 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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