RE: [Gnosticism2] Re: Tangential musing
>From: "elmoreb" <elmoreb@...>A very interesting passage from the Apocrypha of John. Isn't it ashame that
>Subject: [Gnosticism2] Re: Tangential musing
>Date: Wed, 07 Jul 2004 20:09:25 -0000
so much of the good stuff was left out of the Bible.Even Paul teaches there
is a counterfit spiirit that works through deception. It is up to us to
determine the truth from what is false but are often dstracted by so many
things, most of them trivial. The powers of deception are at work in the
world today that may be leading us into a new Dark Age of ignorance which I
know doesn;t sound optimistc but history does repeat itself if we understand
the history ofthe world.There is much evil in the world as well as
unnecessary pain and suffering but most of us prefer to live in denial so we
don't have to do anything. It is also difficult to determine since good
often appears as evil and evil as good. Remember that Satan often appears as
an angel of light. In order to deternine the difference we need to find
discernment or wisdom through the spirit. It is impossiible to rid the
world of evil since always create more evil in the process. Jesus explains
in his parable of the wheat and the tares. When the disciples saiid they
would pull up the tares Jesus taught them to leave it until harvest time.
When the time was ripe God would separate the wheat from the tares.
Otherwise theywould pull up the wheat along with the tares. There is no such
thng as the good guys and the bad guys as we have been taught. We are all a
combination of both. Paul taught in the book of Phlliipians that "We must
work out our own salvation with fear and tremblng." What did Paul mean by
- 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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, "janahooks" <janahooks@y...>
> > > I guess you could call us neo-Valenitnians. I am the senior
> > of
> > > the Ecclesia Gnostica, which along with the Gnostic Society, is
> > > 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?