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[Gnosticism2] definition of pagan

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  • camarwick
    Hi Lynette, having just replied to pcmv and looked at your post I decided to look in my English dictionaries as well as Webster s. My Collins tells me that
    Message 1 of 5 , Jul 29, 2004
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      Hi Lynette,
      having just replied to pcmv and looked at your post I decided to look in my English dictionaries as well as Webster's.  My Collins tells me that Pagan means,
      1.A member of a polytheistic Religion, or any religion that is not Jewish, Christianity or Islam.
      2. A person without religion: heathen
      3. of or relating to Pagans or their faith or worship
      my Chambers dictionary pretty well says the same.  So it's not surprising that confusion arises.  What is really surprising is most peoples (including my own initially) reaction to the word Pagan, the unauthorised definition appears to be an evil person or practices.  I have just spent over a year running a alternative therapy clinic/shop.  I'm a Quaker Christian and worked mostly with Pagans and occasionally Wiccans and I found that our basic beliefs were the same, and we respected most belief systems, but never anything satanic.  Alot of the beliefs and practices outlined in the Nag Hammdi texts can be found within what I understand to be pagan beliefs, but you are right Gnostics are not pagan Christians within the perceived context on the word.
      Carol A Marwick
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Lynette
      Sent: Wednesday, July 28, 2004 2:04 PM
      Subject: [spam] [Gnosticism2] definition of pagan

      Technically this is the definition of Pagan.
      Main Entry: pa·gan
      Pronunciation: 'pA-g&n
      Function: noun
      Etymology: Middle English, from Late Latin paganus, from Latin, civilian, country dweller, from pagus country district; akin to Latin pangere to fix -- more at PACT
      1 : HEATHEN 1; especially : a follower of a polytheistic religion (as in ancient Rome)
      2 : one who has little or no religion and who delights in sensual pleasures and material goods : an irreligious or hedonistic person
      3 : NEO-PAGAN
      - pagan adjective
      - pa·gan·ish /-g&-nish/ adjective
      I think those that claim to be pagan would be offended by your definition of them. However, I would agree that Gnostics are NOT pagan Christians.
      "To find the solution is to discover there  is no problem."
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: pmcvflag
      Sent: Tuesday, July 27, 2004 1:33 AM
      Subject: [Gnosticism2] Re: Group emphasis

      Hey camarwick

      Let me disagree with your point on some technical grounds. First off,
      if you walked up to the average historical Gnostic and called them
      a "Pagan Christian" you could be asking for a punch on the nose. The
      word "Pagan" most accurately translates as "hillbilly" or "Ignorant
      hick" or "redneck". Gnosticism was most definately an urban system,
      not a pagan one.

      As for the point you make concerning Lynette's 4th definition... let
      me point out that Gnostics don't believe in the value of "Faith" in
      the same way as pistics.... that is part of the whole point actually.

      As for your arguments concerning Quakers and the so
      called "Spiritualist Church" let me point out that they only have
      value here if you can relate them to historical Gnosticism.


      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Micky Evans <mikster28@y...>
      > Hello Cari,
      >   Thank you for replying! I find so much is over my
      > head at times when I read the posts here.  I continue
      > to read because I find that as I attempt to answer my
      > own questions of posts, I am in fact learning.  It
      > does at times seem as I am reading an entirely
      > different language though, the posts being so far
      > advanced than my own learning.  I have found in other
      > groups, not this one yet of course, that those farther
      > along sometimes get frustrated at answering questions
      > that seem simple to them or get frustrated when
      > another needs time to understand.  So, it is partly
      > the want to not be a burden that holds me back and
      > also the fact that I am so far behind that I don't
      > know which questions to start with! LOL
      >  A site for a newbie in Gnosticism was a thought of
      > mine, so I could get a better understanding of the
      > basics while reading here so I could at least follow
      > along.  Previously, I was raised in Baptist beliefs,
      > which I knew, yet had not deeply studied.  Recently, I
      > started searching thru any and all ancient documents
      > to get a better understanding of them all in order to
      > choose my own path of beliefs.  This led me to the Nag
      > Hamadi which I found amazing, which led me to Gnostic
      > beliefs which I had never heard of.  I have been
      > reading for a month and a half or so.  I am barely
      > grasping the concept of the Nag Hamadi and now
      > learning of the other Gnostic documents so as to read
      > them. 
      > I would love to learn from and possibly even teach
      > another at some point here.  I don't mind asking my
      > questions here, no matter how silly they may seem as
      > long as no one minds me asking them.  I do have
      > trouble expressing my thoughts due not only to lack of
      > education, but also from a very isolated childhood
      > which limits my expression. 
      > As far as any help...I am not sure.  I guess just
      > patience when I ask a question that is very simple and
      > maybe a nudge in the direction of understanding.  That
      > of course is helpful once a question is asked.  How to
      > get to that point is my difficulty.  Like I said
      > above, some posts completely loose me and other than
      > asking someone to explain the entire thing plus all
      > the information used to form the opinion...there isn't
      > much I can ask.  I am sure more of it will make sense
      > as I learn and it just takes having patience with
      > myself.
      > As I learn and actually can ask questions, I certainly
      > will.  I sure apreciate the reach out and the
      > clarification that newbie's are welcome to join in.  I
      > guess when the posts were so detailed and advanced I
      > felt that I was a bit out of place.  I do enjoy the
      > posts and will continue to read and strain my brain.
      > (*Smile*) Who better to learn from than those more
      > advanced?  LOL
      > Ta Ta,
      > Micky
      > --- lady_caritas <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
      > >
      > > Hey, Micky, thanks for your comments.  I don't know
      > > if Floyd is still
      > > reading, but there are most likely more members like
      > > you who are new
      > > to Gnosticism. 
      > >
      > > I would like to remedy a misconception though.  We'd
      > > like to think
      > > that our group should be an accessible place for
      > > newbies as well as
      > > those more familiar with Gnosticism.  There is no
      > > reason why there
      > > can't be different discussion threads to suit a
      > > variety of
      > > interests.  Maybe this is too difficult?  I hope
      > > not.  Would a whole
      > > separate group be beneficial?  Perhaps, but then
      > > we'd miss the
      > > opportunity of the important interchange among
      > > different levels of
      > > subject familiarity,... well, unless we somehow keep
      > > both groups
      > > closely connected. 
      > >
      > > I've been serious when I encourage new members to
      > > question/comment. 
      > > Then again, if I'm hearing that there are those who
      > > do feel
      > > uncomfortable, what can we do to help?   Y'all need
      > > to tell us if
      > > there is something you don't understand.  I'm still
      > > learning like
      > > everybody else.  I learn from everyone.  Obviously,
      > > lack of subject
      > > knowledge does not *at all* necessarily indicate
      > > lack of spiritual
      > > experience.  Together we can learn lingo, research,
      > > and share our
      > > experiences, hopefully for everyone's benefit.
      > >
      > > Let us know your thoughts...
      > >
      > > Cari       
      > >
      > >
      > >
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