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Re: First Line of Questions

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  • kdd6@netscape.net
    From: William Redman Subject: Re: Re: First Line of Questions imperfection, doubt,disbelief and understanding kdd6@netscape.net i do
    Message 1 of 27 , Aug 6, 2004
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      From: William Redman <phish4bass2000@...>
      Subject: Re: Re: First Line of Questions

      imperfection, doubt,disbelief and understanding

      kdd6@...

      i do not understand what you mean, could you expand your thought for me
      please?
      deain
    • kdd6@netscape.net
      You have to figure out for yourself if you find that valuable or not, but if you do then you would need to try to understand the word Gnosis as it was used
      Message 2 of 27 , Aug 6, 2004
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        You have to figure out for yourself if you find that valuable or not,
        but if you do then you would need to try to understand the
        word "Gnosis" as it was used in these ancient texts. If not, then you
        aren't helping the subject of conversation here.

        PMCV

        i am speaking in a historical context. that is my understanding of what
        jesus taught. and you are correct, gnosis is not open to debate. i
        defined my understanding of gnosis. i may be wrong in your
        understanding of the word gnosis, so please define your meaning of
        gnosis so i may understand what you mean.
        dwain
      • Mike Leavitt
        Hello kdd6@netscape.net ... He doesn t seem to realize that reducing gnosis to just knowledge is like reducing logos to word, when it means idea in the word as
        Message 3 of 27 , Aug 7, 2004
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          Hello kdd6@...

          On 08/07/04, you wrote:
          >
          > i am speaking in a historical context. that is my understanding of
          > what jesus taught. and you are correct, gnosis is not open to
          > debate. i defined my understanding of gnosis. i may be wrong in your
          > understanding of the word gnosis, so please define your meaning of
          > gnosis so i may understand what you mean. dwain
          ----------------------------------------------------------------------
          > You have to figure out for yourself if you find that valuable or
          > not, but if you do then you would need to try to understand the word
          > "Gnosis" as it was used in these ancient texts. If not, then you
          > aren't helping the subject of conversation here.
          >
          > PMCV

          He doesn't seem to realize that reducing gnosis to just knowledge is
          like reducing logos to word, when it means idea in the word as well,
          and a whole lot more.

          Regards
          --
          Mike Leavitt ac998@...
        • klausdieterdill
          ... hi mike, thanks for your reply. can idea in the word also mean knowledge in the word ? does not an idea reveal knowledge no matter how meaningful the
          Message 4 of 27 , Aug 7, 2004
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            --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Mike Leavitt <ac998@l...> wrote:
            > He doesn't seem to realize that reducing gnosis to just knowledge is
            > like reducing logos to word, when it means idea in the word as well,
            > and a whole lot more.
            >
            > Regards
            > --
            > Mike Leavitt ac998@l...

            hi mike,
            thanks for your reply. can "idea in the word" also mean "knowledge in
            the word"? does not an idea reveal knowledge no matter how meaningful
            the knowledge (idea) may seem? and if it does not, then why
            communicate the idea?

            all that i have read about gnosticism says that gnosis is from the
            greek meaning knowledge and that the early folks sought knowledge
            outside the orthodoxy of the established church.

            there seem to be many sects of gnosistics and many understandings of
            gnosis through out history. i understand that there are many
            definitions to a word , but there seems to be a concensus with the
            primary definition that gnosis means knowledge.

            i have read that the greek for word is logos. i'm not saying that it
            doesn't mean other things. defining my terms allows you to understand
            me. i choose logos to mean word and gnosis to mean knowledge. if you
            choose to define the words differently than i have stated then by
            choice you will not understand me.

            i think that if you read gnostic texts to find another meaning than
            knowledge that the texts are dissiminating, then you are not seeking
            gnosis. knowledge reveals the divine spark within and allows us to
            experience the union with the light now.

            are we discussing semantics or gnosticism? am i missing something?
            best,
            dwain
          • Mike Leavitt
            Hello klausdieterdill ... Obviously you stilll don t get it. There were two words for knowledge in greek, one meanind mere knowledge like you define gnosis,
            Message 5 of 27 , Aug 8, 2004
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              Hello klausdieterdill

              On 08/08/04, you wrote:

              > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Mike Leavitt <ac998@l...> wrote:
              >> He doesn't seem to realize that reducing gnosis to just knowledge
              >> is like reducing logos to word, when it means idea in the word as
              >> well, and a whole lot more.
              >>
              >> Regards
              >> --
              >> Mike Leavitt ac998@l...
              >
              > hi mike,
              > thanks for your reply. can "idea in the word" also mean "knowledge
              > in the word"? does not an idea reveal knowledge no matter how
              > meaningful the knowledge (idea) may seem? and if it does not, then
              > why communicate the idea?
              >
              > all that i have read about gnosticism says that gnosis is from the
              > greek meaning knowledge and that the early folks sought knowledge
              > outside the orthodoxy of the established church.
              >
              > there seem to be many sects of gnosistics and many understandings of
              > gnosis through out history. i understand that there are many
              > definitions to a word , but there seems to be a concensus with the
              > primary definition that gnosis means knowledge.
              >
              > i have read that the greek for word is logos. i'm not saying that it
              > doesn't mean other things. defining my terms allows you to
              > understand me. i choose logos to mean word and gnosis to mean
              > knowledge. if you choose to define the words differently than i have
              > stated then by choice you will not understand me.
              >
              > i think that if you read gnostic texts to find another meaning than
              > knowledge that the texts are dissiminating, then you are not seeking
              > gnosis. knowledge reveals the divine spark within and allows us to
              > experience the union with the light now.
              >
              > are we discussing semantics or gnosticism? am i missing something?
              > best,
              > dwain

              Obviously you stilll don't get it. There were two words for knowledge
              in greek, one meanind mere knowledge like you define gnosis, the
              other meaning something more like revealed or intuitive inner
              knowledge, gnosis. That is all I have to say. Define it how you
              wish, you will be misunderstood with your definition.

              Regards
              --
              Mike Leavitt ac998@...
            • pmcvflag
              Hey Dwain Actually, this topic has been a pretty common one. Let me point you to a link in which part of your question is answered.
              Message 6 of 27 , Aug 8, 2004
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                Hey Dwain

                Actually, this topic has been a pretty common one. Let me point you
                to a link in which part of your question is answered.
                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gnosticism2/message/9578

                You see, there is actually more than one word in Greek
                for "knowledge", and these different words, including pliroforo,
                xero, and gnosis, actually don't all simply mean "knowledge". I know
                that you have read sources that tell you "gnosis means knowledge",
                but that is really only a half truth.

                You say

                >>>"i choose logos to mean word and gnosis to mean knowledge. if you
                choose to define the words differently than i have stated then by
                choice you will not understand me."<<<

                BUT, you do need to understand that the same thing applied not only
                to our understanding of you, but to your understanding of our subject
                here... the traditional Gnostics. If you choose to define "Logos"
                as "word", and "Gnosis" as "knowledge" then you define them
                differently than the groups we are talking about.... which would mean
                that by your own example, just as we would not understand you for
                having a different definition.... you would not understand us and
                them (historical Gnostics).

                So, when you ask "are we discussing semantics or gnosticism?", well,
                since sementics is the field of linguistics dealing with meaning, we
                can't talk about Gnosticism if a person is not yet sure what "Gnosis"
                means. I don't mean that to sound pedantic, Dwain, I simply mean to
                point out that translating "Gnosis" to simply mean "knowledge" is not
                accurate for the meaning that Gnostics have traditionally used the
                term to represent.

                PMCV

                > hi mike,
                > thanks for your reply. can "idea in the word" also mean "knowledge
                in
                > the word"? does not an idea reveal knowledge no matter how
                meaningful
                > the knowledge (idea) may seem? and if it does not, then why
                > communicate the idea?
                >
                > all that i have read about gnosticism says that gnosis is from the
                > greek meaning knowledge and that the early folks sought knowledge
                > outside the orthodoxy of the established church.
                >
                > there seem to be many sects of gnosistics and many understandings of
                > gnosis through out history. i understand that there are many
                > definitions to a word , but there seems to be a concensus with the
                > primary definition that gnosis means knowledge.
                >
                > i have read that the greek for word is logos. i'm not saying that
                it
                > doesn't mean other things. defining my terms allows you to
                understand
                > me. i choose logos to mean word and gnosis to mean knowledge. if
                you
                > choose to define the words differently than i have stated then by
                > choice you will not understand me.
                >
                > i think that if you read gnostic texts to find another meaning than
                > knowledge that the texts are dissiminating, then you are not seeking
                > gnosis. knowledge reveals the divine spark within and allows us to
                > experience the union with the light now.
                >
                > are we discussing semantics or gnosticism? am i missing something?
                > best,
                > dwain
              • kdd6@netscape.net
                ... mike, if you do not define your meaning of gnosis (knowledge) then how can you be understood. since i defined my terms then it is you who choose to
                Message 7 of 27 , Aug 9, 2004
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                  gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com wrote:

                  > Obviously you stilll don't get it. There were two words for knowledge
                  > in greek, one meanind mere knowledge like you define gnosis, the
                  > other meaning something more like revealed or intuitive inner
                  > knowledge, gnosis. That is all I have to say. Define it how you
                  > wish, you will be misunderstood with your definition.
                  >

                  mike,
                  if you do not define your meaning of gnosis (knowledge) then how can you
                  be understood.

                  since i defined my terms then it is you who choose to misunderstand. i
                  do not care if you agree or disagree with my definition. understanding
                  my definition will allow you to understand me. even you say that my
                  definition is (partly) correct. if it is, then how can i be
                  misunderstood? if you don't define your meaning to me, then i
                  misunderstand you, but not by choice; but you my friend, by your own
                  words, choose to misunderstand my (partly) correct definition of gnosis.

                  i have been criticized for not knowing all of the meanings for the word
                  gnosis. that was a pretty big assumption on your part mike; and faulty
                  on my part for not defining my terms even finer for you. sorry for my
                  assumption. when i speak of gnosis, knowledge, i speak of both external
                  and internal knowledge. the internal knowledge, the still small voice,
                  the kingdom of heaven within, has the final say as to what is true
                  gnosis. the spirit that is connected to the father of all, the light,
                  knows what emanates from "above", accepts it and exists on it.

                  but what really disturbed me mike was your reply to my message that
                  addressed pvcm, pcmv or whoever. nothing like making a new comer feel
                  welcome, eh?

                  i do not want to argue with anyone on this list. i thought i had found
                  a place where i could learn more about gnosis and gnosticism, share my
                  understanding and knowledge and discuss until there is understanding. i
                  understand better now than before why there are many gnostic sects, just
                  as there are many christian denominations and christian churches.

                  true gnosis brings together the good. true gnosis divides the good from
                  the bad, the wheat from the chaff. true gnosis just is. true
                  knowledge, external or internal, just is. it is good to share
                  knowledge, that way we all prosper. i have been a gnostic for over 20
                  years, and i just found that out a couple of months ago.
                  best,
                  dwain
                • pmcvflag
                  Dwain, you state.... ... and gnosticism, share my understanding and knowledge and discuss until there is understanding.
                  Message 8 of 27 , Aug 9, 2004
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                    Dwain, you state....

                    >>>"thought i had found a place where i could learn more about gnosis
                    and gnosticism, share my understanding and knowledge and discuss
                    until there is understanding."<<<

                    And, I do hope you feel welcome to do so. Understand though, we are
                    here ONLY to talk about traditional form sof Gnosticism, not about
                    personal definitions of words. It is for this reason that some of the
                    things you are saying seem a bit confusing to us perhaps, for
                    instance......

                    >>>"since i defined my terms then it is you who choose to
                    misunderstand."<<<

                    Don't take me the wrong way here, you seem to be wanting us to
                    understand your usage of "gnosis" to mean "knowledge", and I do. What
                    I think you may not be understanding here is that in this group it is
                    not up to you or any of us (myself included) to make the definitions.
                    We don't care about your terms, or mine, unless creating an arbitrary
                    definition is the only way we can communicate in a specific instance.
                    We are here to study the terms as they are used in the traditional
                    setting. That means it is up to you and us to learn these terms as
                    they were used traditionaly as best we can, not up to us to learn
                    your terms, or up to you to learn my terms. There is no room for
                    debate on this, it is simply what this club is about... historical
                    Gnosticism.

                    So, then here is the challenge for you, Dwain. I understand that you
                    personally translate "gnosis" to mean "knowledge", so now let's
                    define what kind of Knowledge. After all, since we know that there is
                    more than one Greek word for "knowledge", and, we know that even on
                    top of that the Gnostics had thier own special usage of the word that
                    was not quite the same as the common Greek, lets take a look at what
                    the word meant to them.

                    Sound interesting?

                    PMCV

                    --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, kdd6@n... wrote:
                    > gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com wrote:
                    >
                    > > Obviously you stilll don't get it. There were two words for
                    knowledge
                    > > in greek, one meanind mere knowledge like you define gnosis, the
                    > > other meaning something more like revealed or intuitive inner
                    > > knowledge, gnosis. That is all I have to say. Define it how you
                    > > wish, you will be misunderstood with your definition.
                    > >
                    >
                    > mike,
                    > if you do not define your meaning of gnosis (knowledge) then how
                    can you
                    > be understood.
                    >
                    > since i defined my terms then it is you who choose to
                    misunderstand. i
                    > do not care if you agree or disagree with my definition.
                    understanding
                    > my definition will allow you to understand me. even you say that
                    my
                    > definition is (partly) correct. if it is, then how can i be
                    > misunderstood? if you don't define your meaning to me, then i
                    > misunderstand you, but not by choice; but you my friend, by your
                    own
                    > words, choose to misunderstand my (partly) correct definition of
                    gnosis.
                    >
                    > i have been criticized for not knowing all of the meanings for the
                    word
                    > gnosis. that was a pretty big assumption on your part mike; and
                    faulty
                    > on my part for not defining my terms even finer for you. sorry for
                    my
                    > assumption. when i speak of gnosis, knowledge, i speak of both
                    external
                    > and internal knowledge. the internal knowledge, the still small
                    voice,
                    > the kingdom of heaven within, has the final say as to what is true
                    > gnosis. the spirit that is connected to the father of all, the
                    light,
                    > knows what emanates from "above", accepts it and exists on it.
                    >
                    > but what really disturbed me mike was your reply to my message that
                    > addressed pvcm, pcmv or whoever. nothing like making a new comer
                    feel
                    > welcome, eh?
                    >
                    > i do not want to argue with anyone on this list. i thought i had
                    found
                    > a place where i could learn more about gnosis and gnosticism, share
                    my
                    > understanding and knowledge and discuss until there is
                    understanding. i
                    > understand better now than before why there are many gnostic sects,
                    just
                    > as there are many christian denominations and christian churches.
                    >
                    > true gnosis brings together the good. true gnosis divides the good
                    from
                    > the bad, the wheat from the chaff. true gnosis just is. true
                    > knowledge, external or internal, just is. it is good to share
                    > knowledge, that way we all prosper. i have been a gnostic for over
                    20
                    > years, and i just found that out a couple of months ago.
                    > best,
                    > dwain
                  • klausdieterdill
                    george, thanks for your reply. i read your link. it is vague. i understand that there are many definitions for the word. since there are many definitions
                    Message 9 of 27 , Aug 9, 2004
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                      george,
                      thanks for your reply. i read your link. it is vague. i understand
                      that there are many definitions for the word. since there are many
                      definitions it does make the challenge of communicating difficult at
                      best. that is why i define how i am using the word so i can be
                      understood. if another member of the group wants to communicate and
                      use gnosis in their meaning, then it helps to define the way the word
                      is being used, then all can understand what is meant and discuss from
                      that point.

                      this point of the issue is a no-brainer when discussing anything that
                      can be misunderstood. the greeks used this system of discussing
                      centurys ago. if you do not define how you are going to use a word
                      (idea) then if someone has a different definition of the word (idea)
                      then they can easily misunderstand what the other person means.

                      so, i ask again, how do you define gnosis and when and where do you
                      use these definitions? i am trying to integrate into the group, but
                      the basis of all communication, the understanding of your definitions
                      of gnosis and how you apply them are central to this integration. if
                      you cannot or will not make this clarification, then like lynette, i
                      must go elsewhere.
                      best,
                      dwain
                    • lady_caritas
                      ... understand ... word ... from ... that ... definitions ... if ... Hi, Dwain, and welcome to the group. I have been busy and not posting as much lately. I
                      Message 10 of 27 , Aug 9, 2004
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                        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "klausdieterdill" <kdd6@n...>
                        wrote:
                        > george,
                        > thanks for your reply. i read your link. it is vague. i
                        understand
                        > that there are many definitions for the word. since there are many
                        > definitions it does make the challenge of communicating difficult at
                        > best. that is why i define how i am using the word so i can be
                        > understood. if another member of the group wants to communicate and
                        > use gnosis in their meaning, then it helps to define the way the
                        word
                        > is being used, then all can understand what is meant and discuss
                        from
                        > that point.
                        >
                        > this point of the issue is a no-brainer when discussing anything
                        that
                        > can be misunderstood. the greeks used this system of discussing
                        > centurys ago. if you do not define how you are going to use a word
                        > (idea) then if someone has a different definition of the word (idea)
                        > then they can easily misunderstand what the other person means.
                        >
                        > so, i ask again, how do you define gnosis and when and where do you
                        > use these definitions? i am trying to integrate into the group, but
                        > the basis of all communication, the understanding of your
                        definitions
                        > of gnosis and how you apply them are central to this integration.
                        if
                        > you cannot or will not make this clarification, then like lynette, i
                        > must go elsewhere.
                        > best,
                        > dwain


                        Hi, Dwain, and welcome to the group. I have been busy and not
                        posting as much lately. I noticed that you seemed to be posting just
                        about the same time that PMCV was this afternoon. Have you had a
                        chance to read his message #9983?

                        For starters, I'll throw out some discussion of gnosis by Kurt
                        Rudolph in his book _Gnosis_, pages 55-60. I'm not offering this as
                        conclusive definition, but rather as a beginning point for group
                        elaboration, disagreement, discussion, etc. Does Rudolph bring up
                        some ideas that members might choose to dispute?

                        What say you, members? ;-)
                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                        >>>The essential basic features of Gnosis can easily be extracted
                        from the Gnostic traditions, even if they belong to the teachings of
                        different schools. There is first of all the idea of "gnosis"
                        itself, a word which derives from Greek and means "knowledge"
                        or "understanding" and in fact became a catchword of that religious
                        movement. The New Testament already voices warnings against the
                        teachings of the "gnosis falsely so called"; the Church Fathers,
                        above all Irenaeus, took up the expression as an appropriate
                        characterisation and set over against it the "true gnosis" of the
                        Church. The representatives of this "false gnosis" frequently called
                        themselves "gnostics", that is "knowers, people of understanding" and
                        there are also frequent references to "knowledge" in their writings,
                        although in a quite special manner. They were not aiming at any
                        ideal philosophical knowledge nor any knowledge of an intellectual or
                        theoretical kind, but a knowledge which had at the same time a
                        liberating and redeeming effect. The content of this knowledge or
                        understanding is primarily religious, in so far as it circles around
                        the background of man, the world and God, but also because it rests
                        not upon one's own investigation but on heavenly mediation. It is a
                        knowledge given by revelation, which has been made available only to
                        the elect who are capable of receiving it, and therefore has an
                        esoteric character. This knowledge freely bestowed can extend from
                        the basic insight into the divine nature of man, his origin and his
                        destiny, up to a complete system. All Gnostic teachings are in some
                        form a part of the redeeming knowledge which gathers together the
                        object of knowledge (the redeeming gnosis) and the knower himself.
                        The intellectual knowledge of the teaching which is offered as
                        revealed wisdom has here a direct religious significance since it is
                        at the same time understood as otherworldly and is the basis for the
                        process of redemption. A man who possesses "gnosis" is for that
                        reason a redeemed man: "If anyone has gnosis", it is said in the
                        Gospel of Truth, "he is a being who comes from above... He fulfils
                        the will of him who has called him. He wishes to please him, he
                        receives rest... He who in this manner shall have gnosis knows whence
                        he is come and whither he goes. He knows like someone who was drunk
                        and has become sober from his drunkenness and, restored again to
                        himself, has again set his own in order". The ignorant man in
                        contrast is one who is a prey to forgetfulness and annihilation; he
                        has no firm foundation. In the Gospel of Philip there is the
                        statement "He who has the knowledge (_gnosis_) of the truth is free.
                        Ignorance is a slave". But not only ignorance stands in contrast to
                        the knowledge of the gnostic, so also does faith, since it knows
                        nothing concerning itself and remains attached to what is immediately
                        in the foreground. It is just this opposition of "faith"
                        and "knowledge" which was one of the central themes in the debates of
                        the Church with the gnostic heresy. It was not only a question of
                        the rights and claim of faith as the only valid means of salvation,
                        but also of the problem of the two-fold truth which became matter for
                        discussion with the entry of the esoteric gnosis into the early
                        Church.<<<
                      • klausdieterdill
                        ... i m with you. is there a lexicon for this period of time to help discern the meaning they intended or is it still up to me to find it for myself, like i
                        Message 11 of 27 , Aug 9, 2004
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                          -- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                          > Dwain, you state....
                          >
                          > >>>"thought i had found a place where i could learn more about gnosis
                          > and gnosticism, share my understanding and knowledge and discuss
                          > until there is understanding."<<<
                          >
                          > And, I do hope you feel welcome to do so. Understand though, we are
                          > here ONLY to talk about traditional form sof Gnosticism, not about
                          > personal definitions of words. It is for this reason that some of the
                          > things you are saying seem a bit confusing to us perhaps, for
                          > instance......
                          >
                          > >>>"since i defined my terms then it is you who choose to
                          > misunderstand."<<<
                          >
                          > Don't take me the wrong way here, you seem to be wanting us to
                          > understand your usage of "gnosis" to mean "knowledge", and I do. What
                          > I think you may not be understanding here is that in this group it is
                          > not up to you or any of us (myself included) to make the definitions.
                          > We don't care about your terms, or mine, unless creating an arbitrary
                          > definition is the only way we can communicate in a specific instance.
                          > We are here to study the terms as they are used in the traditional
                          > setting. That means it is up to you and us to learn these terms as
                          > they were used traditionaly as best we can, not up to us to learn
                          > your terms, or up to you to learn my terms. There is no room for
                          > debate on this, it is simply what this club is about... historical
                          > Gnosticism.
                          >
                          > So, then here is the challenge for you, Dwain. I understand that you
                          > personally translate "gnosis" to mean "knowledge", so now let's
                          > define what kind of Knowledge. After all, since we know that there is
                          > more than one Greek word for "knowledge", and, we know that even on
                          > top of that the Gnostics had thier own special usage of the word that
                          > was not quite the same as the common Greek, lets take a look at what
                          > the word meant to them.
                          >
                          > Sound interesting?

                          i'm with you. is there a lexicon for this period of time to help
                          discern the meaning they intended or is it still up to me to find it
                          for myself, like i have been doing all my life?
                          best,
                          dwain
                          >
                          > PMCV
                        • klausdieterdill
                          ... yes, i just read and responded to it. i m not trying to confuse folks, i m just trying to get my feet on the ground and beginning a new thread will allow
                          Message 12 of 27 , Aug 9, 2004
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                            > Hi, Dwain, and welcome to the group. I have been busy and not
                            > posting as much lately. I noticed that you seemed to be posting just
                            > about the same time that PMCV was this afternoon. Have you had a
                            > chance to read his message #9983?

                            yes, i just read and responded to it. i'm not trying to confuse
                            folks, i'm just trying to get my feet on the ground and beginning a
                            new thread will allow me some time to adjust to how you discuss gnosis
                            on this list and how you use terminology.
                            best,
                            dwain
                          • pmcvflag
                            Hey Dwain, you ask... ... discern the meaning they intended or is it still up to me to find it for myself, like i have been doing all my life? best,
                            Message 13 of 27 , Aug 9, 2004
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                              Hey Dwain, you ask...

                              >>>"i'm with you. is there a lexicon for this period of time to help
                              discern the meaning they intended or is it still up to me to find it
                              for myself, like i have been doing all my life?
                              best,"<<<

                              Well, while it was myself who compiled this lexicon, I have done my
                              best to keep the definitions accurate for the subject at hand. You
                              can of course take it or leave it as you may, but it could help to at
                              least outline some of the currant thinking on the subject.

                              Here is the url....
                              http://www.geocities.com/pmcvflag/lexicon.html

                              hope it helps a little

                              PMCV
                            • Gerry
                              As PMCV pointed out, Dwain, it s really the usage of the word gnosis by Gnostics, not ancient Greeks or Greek speakers in general, that we would ultimately
                              Message 14 of 27 , Aug 9, 2004
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                                As PMCV pointed out, Dwain, it's really the usage of the
                                word "gnosis" by Gnostics, not ancient Greeks or Greek speakers in
                                general, that we would ultimately be concerned with here. While you
                                ponder that distinction, I thought I'd point out another example from
                                a previous post of yours that might serve to add further
                                clarification:

                                --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, kdd6@n... wrote:
                                >
                                > ...after much lurking and reading, i'm of the observation that
                                > rhetoric is rhetoric. knowledge just is. [. . .]
                                >
                                > knowledge (gnosis) is the creator. it always was, always is and
                                > always shall be (supreme).
                                >


                                For me, this brings two thoughts to mind. Perhaps you're simply
                                using your own interpretation again, so I won't ask you to point out
                                in Gnostic texts where you see gnosis equated with the Creator. I
                                will, however, point out that Gnostics tended *not* to look favorably
                                upon what they viewed as the Creator of this world. While I agree
                                that having common definitions is essential for communication, I also
                                believe that those commonly understood words should have relevance
                                within the context of a given conversation. Since we're obviously
                                here to explore the ideas of the traditional Gnostics, it really
                                wouldn't matter that I completely understood the language used by
                                someone who might wander in here submitting posts which seem to heap
                                praise upon the demiurge. Such comments would be antithetical to the
                                group's subject matter, and those people might just as well be trying
                                to talk about the Olympics or organizing a recipe swap. Luckily for
                                us, such forums already exist, so we're free to discuss something of
                                specific interest to many of us here.

                                The second thing that struck me was your expression of something I've
                                heard in various forms for years now by people on the Net: "always
                                was, always is, and always shall be." Well, beyond questioning the
                                Gnostic pertinence of the original comment, the thing that really
                                threw me was that you had just spoken about rhetoric——prior to using
                                one of the saddest means of supporting an argument as I have ever
                                witnessed. Admittedly, I think I have such an issue with that phrase
                                because of one person in particular who used to say it quite
                                frequently. Frankly, he was one of the most delusional people I've
                                ever encountered. When he used that sort of statement to back up the
                                nonsense that came out of his mouth, I was never sure if he was
                                simply trying to lend an air of authority to what was otherwise
                                nothing but irrational personal opinion, or if he was trying to
                                convince *himself* of his own "reality" as well. Who knows——maybe
                                it's come to be common usage in parts of certain English dialects
                                somewhere that I'm not familiar with and really doesn't mean
                                anything, and I'm certainly not lumping you in with that other guy
                                simply because of the words you chose. My point is, though, that
                                even though the word "gnosis" appears in that passage you wrote, it
                                reads more like a mainstream doxology.

                                This is what I've tried to express in a number of posts of late, that
                                there are very significant differences between Gnosticism and
                                orthodoxy. Sometimes it may be easier to understand those
                                distinctions conceptually rather than jumping into terminology
                                borrowed from another language. So, while a word like "creator"
                                might be more easily comprehended by English speakers regardless of
                                their spiritual persuasion, we would be remiss to assume that it
                                conveys the same thing to Gnostics as it would to conventional
                                Christians. Perhaps this is a route you'd care to explore rather
                                than tackling a new lexicon. I suggest that because of something
                                else I've repeated lately——understanding Gnosticism isn't just a
                                matter of adopting a new vocabulary for previously held ideas. I
                                make that warning because of how frequently I see people at different
                                discussion groups doing that very thing. It may impress some of
                                their acquaintances that they can toss around Greek terms, but if the
                                names are nothing more than new labels for old concepts or even for
                                misconceptions of new concepts, then what have they actually learned
                                about Gnosticism?

                                Gerry
                              • klausdieterdill
                                ... thanks, i ve copied it and will peruse it later. best, dwain
                                Message 15 of 27 , Aug 10, 2004
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                                  --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                  > Hey Dwain, you ask...
                                  > Here is the url....
                                  > http://www.geocities.com/pmcvflag/lexicon.html
                                  >
                                  > hope it helps a little
                                  >
                                  > PMCV

                                  thanks, i've copied it and will peruse it later.
                                  best,
                                  dwain
                                • klausdieterdill
                                  ... i have it now. it seems that the gnostics use gnosis as internal knowledge or the knowledge discovered in the kingdom of heaven within. i realize that not
                                  Message 16 of 27 , Aug 10, 2004
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                                    --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Gerry" <gerryhsp@y...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > As PMCV pointed out, Dwain, it's really the usage of the
                                    > word "gnosis" by Gnostics, not ancient Greeks or Greek speakers in
                                    > general, that we would ultimately be concerned with here.

                                    i have it now. it seems that the gnostics use gnosis as internal
                                    knowledge or the knowledge discovered in the kingdom of heaven within.
                                    i realize that not all gnostics see it that way, but it comes through
                                    that way for me as is related in the gospel of thomas. i received my
                                    copy yesterday and i have begun reading. at first read it is how i
                                    have been thinking since 1988.

                                    in fact the author, stevan davies, mentions that the gospel is not
                                    what you would call traditional gnosticism, because it does not
                                    address the myths and other traditional gnostic thinking.

                                    it seems to be more of the mind set of having the kingdom of heaven
                                    within and without here, now. that idea is pretty firey and it sits
                                    well in my thinking and my spirit.


                                    >While I agree that having common definitions is essential for
                                    >communication, I also believe that those commonly understood words
                                    >should have relevance within the context of a given conversation.

                                    this has been my point all along. how someone defines their terms
                                    brings the understanding. i realize that some of my terminology is
                                    not what you on the list use, but in my way i'm trying to communicate
                                    the idea that i agree with what you say on many topics. i tried to be
                                    relevant. maybe now i will be given an ear to do so.

                                    i have also come to realize that for historical sake i will listen to
                                    the discussions and ask questions from time to time, but my main
                                    interest is in the gnostic thought as it relates to me and mankind
                                    today. how can i have now what jesus said i can have now.

                                    >Since we're obviously here to explore the ideas of the traditional
                                    >Gnostics, it really wouldn't matter that I completely understood the
                                    >language used by someone who might wander in here submitting posts
                                    >which seem to heap praise upon the demiurge. Such comments would be
                                    >antithetical to the group's subject matter,...

                                    i agree. as i said earlier, understanding the use of terms in a given
                                    language is of great importance if one wants to communicate about a
                                    given subject. although you have ideas and opinions about the
                                    substance of the universe, you would probably be misunderstood if you
                                    tried to communicate with physicists and mathmaticians without knowing
                                    what words mean and how they are used.

                                    i also did not mean to imply that i was heaping praise upon the
                                    demiurge. as i was reading the gnostic bible, i was jumping for joy
                                    at the unmasking of the erroneous god, demiurge, devil. i found
                                    myself cheering for the snake in the garden and feeling sorry for what
                                    happened to eve. i am a lot more like members on the list than you
                                    all first realized.


                                    > The second thing that struck me was your expression of something
                                    >I've heard in various forms for years now by people on the Net:
                                    >"always was, always is, and always shall be." Well, beyond
                                    >questioning the Gnostic pertinence of the original comment, the thing
                                    >that really threw me was that you had just spoken about
                                    >rhetoric——prior to using one of the saddest means of supporting an
                                    >argument as I have ever witnessed. ...My point is, though, that
                                    > even though the word "gnosis" appears in that passage you wrote, it
                                    > reads more like a mainstream doxology.

                                    touche! i was not aware that i might have offended members on the
                                    list. i apologize for my ignorance. again, it goes back to knowing
                                    the language. the gnosis is there; how to properly express it in this
                                    forum is an issue that only time and experience will settle.


                                    >——understanding Gnosticism isn't just a matter of adopting a new
                                    >vocabulary for previously held ideas. I make that warning because of
                                    >how frequently I see people at different discussion groups doing that
                                    >very thing. It may impress some of their acquaintances that they can
                                    >toss around Greek terms, but if the names are nothing more than new
                                    >labels for old concepts or even for misconceptions of new concepts,
                                    >then what have they actually learned about Gnosticism?

                                    i agree.

                                    like i said in an earlier post, gnosis is immutable and only
                                    expandable. i have acquired much inner knowledge over the past 20 or
                                    so years of my life. that knowledge has not changed, but has expanded
                                    as i grew as a person. yes, there were numerous misconceptions that i
                                    had been taught, but i had set out to correct the disinformation.

                                    i have never agreed fully with orthodox religion. there were too many
                                    inconsistencies to be dealt with. certain terminologies stayed, but
                                    others replaced outdated terms.

                                    studying philosophy in college broadened my perspectives and invited
                                    more questions for orthodox religion that could not offer a logical
                                    explaination for the contradictions in their belief systems. i was
                                    always seeking the truth, knowledge, gnosis or whatever you want to
                                    call it.

                                    i was told i had joined a cult when i began studying christian science
                                    (which i found out on the gnosis.org web site is a gnostic religion).
                                    one day a member of the church told me after a sunday service that
                                    mary baker eddy did'nt have it all. wow, what a wake up call. i
                                    pondered the remark and began noticing things that disturbed me.

                                    i kept looking. all of the isms from philosophy kept flashing in my
                                    brain. i read sidhartha and was mesmerized. i began studying other
                                    religions.

                                    i was labled a kook; told that i was confused, that i was a radical.
                                    i began reading more spiritual texts, studying other spiritual
                                    leaders. always looking. i joined the quality paperback book club.
                                    i saw the gnostic bible and took a chance. well, here i am, offending
                                    the very people i have more in common with than i have ever had before.

                                    now, maybe you all can understand why i was so, and still, adamant
                                    about defining your terms. it's so i can learn those terms and be
                                    able to communicate my brotherhood and sisterhood with you.
                                    best,
                                    dwain
                                  • Gerry
                                    Forgive me, Dwain, for only replying to a couple portions of your post today, but I m more pressed for time than usual and can t locate some of the material I
                                    Message 17 of 27 , Aug 10, 2004
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                                      Forgive me, Dwain, for only replying to a couple portions of your
                                      post today, but I'm more pressed for time than usual and can't locate
                                      some of the material I was thinking about referring to. You raise a
                                      lot of points for consideration, but let me address these just for
                                      now:

                                      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "klausdieterdill" <kdd6@n...>
                                      wrote:
                                      > [. . .]
                                      >
                                      > i also did not mean to imply that i was heaping praise upon the
                                      > demiurge. as i was reading the gnostic bible, i was jumping for joy
                                      > at the unmasking of the erroneous god, demiurge, devil. i found
                                      > myself cheering for the snake in the garden and feeling sorry for
                                      what
                                      > happened to eve. i am a lot more like members on the list than you
                                      > all first realized.
                                      >


                                      Understandable, and I was hoping it was simply a case of enthusiasm
                                      for the subject matter. Gnosticism is very much the story of
                                      underdogs, and it can be hard *not* to get caught up in the
                                      revelations you were encountering in the texts. I only picked up a
                                      copy of The Gnostic Bible back in February and still haven't had time
                                      to look through much of it. One word of caution I should throw out
                                      there is that the scope of that book is quite broad. I absolutely
                                      agree with the editors' decision to produce such an all-encompassing
                                      anthology, but if I recall correctly, it also covers texts from what
                                      we would consider the "fringe" of Gnosticism——and well beyond.

                                      >
                                      > ...
                                      > touche! i was not aware that i might have offended members on the
                                      > list. i apologize for my ignorance. again, it goes back to knowing
                                      > the language. the gnosis is there; how to properly express it in
                                      this
                                      > forum is an issue that only time and experience will settle.
                                      >


                                      No worries, Dwain. I don't know that anyone was offended, but it
                                      seemed like a good example to point out how easily something could be
                                      grossly misconstrued. There are certain buzzwords among these
                                      circles, and saying something out of context like "creator" (either
                                      in English or Greek) could easily cause someone to think that
                                      whatever you're talking about, it's not Gnosticism. Since you
                                      obviously have an interest in the subject, I'm just trying to avoid
                                      those sorts of misunderstandings.


                                      >
                                      > ...i was told i had joined a cult when i began studying christian
                                      > science (which i found out on the gnosis.org web site is a gnostic
                                      > religion).


                                      Until I have a chance to catch up, maybe I could leave you with some
                                      thoughts on those last comments. I was curious enough to use the
                                      Google search feature at Gnosis.org to see where it mentioned
                                      Christian Science as being "Gnostic." Well, I had a feeling that it
                                      would turn up in the article I had in mind:

                                      http://www.webcom.com/gnosis/whatisgnostic.htm

                                      If indeed that is the same page that you were referring to, I'd ask
                                      you to go back and take another look at what Dr. Hoeller is writing
                                      about, along with his purpose for using the example you cite. Also
                                      give careful consideration to how he describes the writer he quotes,
                                      and give weight to why Panton might have written what he did.

                                      Gerry
                                    • Mike Leavitt
                                      Hello klausdieterdill ... Yes you have it now, you ve got it, at least most of it anyway. Excellant post BTW. Regards -- Mike Leavitt ac998@lafn.org
                                      Message 18 of 27 , Aug 10, 2004
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                                        Hello klausdieterdill

                                        On 08/10/04, you wrote:

                                        > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Gerry" <gerryhsp@y...> wrote:
                                        >>
                                        >>
                                        >> As PMCV pointed out, Dwain, it's really the usage of the
                                        >> word "gnosis" by Gnostics, not ancient Greeks or Greek speakers in
                                        >> general, that we would ultimately be concerned with here.
                                        >
                                        > i have it now. it seems that the gnostics use gnosis as internal
                                        > knowledge or the knowledge discovered in the kingdom of heaven
                                        > within.

                                        Yes you have it now, you've got it, at least most of it anyway.
                                        Excellant post BTW.

                                        Regards
                                        --
                                        Mike Leavitt ac998@...
                                      • Mike Leavitt
                                        Hello Gerry ... Christian Science, the mother of New Thought would be more accurate. ... Regards -- Mike Leavitt ac998@lafn.org
                                        Message 19 of 27 , Aug 10, 2004
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                                          Hello Gerry

                                          On 08/10/04, you wrote:

                                          > http://www.webcom.com/gnosis/whatisgnostic.htm
                                          >
                                          > If indeed that is the same page that you were referring to, I'd ask
                                          > you to go back and take another look at what Dr. Hoeller is writing
                                          > about, along with his purpose for using the example you cite. Also
                                          > give careful consideration to how he describes the writer he quotes,
                                          > and give weight to why Panton might have written what he did.
                                          >
                                          > Gerry

                                          Christian Science, the mother of New Thought would be more accurate.
                                          :-)

                                          Regards
                                          --
                                          Mike Leavitt ac998@...
                                        • klausdieterdill
                                          ... thank you. it has taken me a while to get to this point. i feel like i m on fire. best, dwain
                                          Message 20 of 27 , Aug 10, 2004
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                                            --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Mike Leavitt <ac998@l...> wrote:
                                            > Hello klausdieterdill
                                            >
                                            > On 08/10/04, you wrote:
                                            >
                                            > > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Gerry" <gerryhsp@y...> wrote:
                                            > >>
                                            > >>
                                            > >> As PMCV pointed out, Dwain, it's really the usage of the
                                            > >> word "gnosis" by Gnostics, not ancient Greeks or Greek speakers in
                                            > >> general, that we would ultimately be concerned with here.
                                            > >
                                            > > i have it now. it seems that the gnostics use gnosis as internal
                                            > > knowledge or the knowledge discovered in the kingdom of heaven
                                            > > within.
                                            >
                                            > Yes you have it now, you've got it, at least most of it anyway.
                                            > Excellant post BTW.
                                            >
                                            > Regards
                                            > --
                                            > Mike Leavitt ac998@l...

                                            thank you. it has taken me a while to get to this point. i feel like
                                            i'm on fire.
                                            best,
                                            dwain
                                          • klausdieterdill
                                            ... i have to admit, i was exaggerating my reaction to the material. i was smiling all while i read it, because i knew there was more to the story of creation
                                            Message 21 of 27 , Aug 10, 2004
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                                              --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Gerry" <gerryhsp@y...> wrote:

                                              > Understandable, and I was hoping it was simply a case of enthusiasm
                                              > for the subject matter. Gnosticism is very much the story of
                                              > underdogs, and it can be hard *not* to get caught up in the
                                              > revelations you were encountering in the texts.

                                              i have to admit, i was exaggerating my reaction to the material. i
                                              was smiling all while i read it, because i knew there was more to the
                                              story of creation in the first two chapters of genisis.

                                              >I only picked up a copy of The Gnostic Bible back in February and
                                              >still haven't had time to look through much of it. One word of
                                              >caution I should throw out there is that the scope of that book is
                                              >quite broad.

                                              you are quite correct about the scope of the book being broad. it was
                                              a great overview of gnosticism and not just from the christian point
                                              of view.

                                              they dealt with islamic gnosticism and other groups as well. i had a
                                              time following the islamic point, because i have not finished reading
                                              the koran; and it has been a while since i have read it at all, so i
                                              guess i will have to go back to the beginning and start over.

                                              i liked how they tied judaism, christianity and islam together. i
                                              assume that the authors mentioned the major gnostic groups during this
                                              period.

                                              i had a ball reading about the "fringe" groups as you called them. i
                                              think that to get a grasp of what was going on in the "world" during
                                              this period of time this book is a killer read. it was interesting to
                                              read about the group that rejected the old testament completely
                                              calling it a sham. i got a grin when i read about the group that
                                              rejected jesus calling him a sorcerer and accepting john the baptiser
                                              as the messiah; but who knows for certain?

                                              mani had it going. he seemed to be close to what jesus taught, but i
                                              think he got a bit zealous in his approach. but it worked for him and
                                              his followers; and it seems that the book mentioned that gnostics
                                              consider him a prophet just like jesus and mohammed.

                                              some of the texts from the nag hammadi library are included in the
                                              book. i really enjoyed reading the gospel of truth. it was almost
                                              like listening to a christian science lecture (except they heap praise
                                              on the demiurge and pretty much dismiss genisis 2 as error), but the
                                              language and terminology is pretty much like that used in the gospel.


                                              i think that if mary baker eddy had been alive during the discovery
                                              and translation of the dead sea scrolls and the nag hammadi library
                                              finds, christian science would be more gnostic today than it is.

                                              > If indeed that is the same page that you were referring to, I'd ask
                                              > you to go back and take another look at what Dr. Hoeller is writing
                                              > about, along with his purpose for using the example you cite. Also
                                              > give careful consideration to how he describes the writer he
                                              > quotes, and give weight to why Panton might have written what he >did.

                                              panton called christian science and others a new theology. he was an
                                              orthodox christian. christian science is not an orthodox christian
                                              religion. they practice healing as jesus did. they get their
                                              instruction for this activity from the scriptures (king james
                                              version). they do not drink, use tobacco or other drugs, legal or
                                              illegal. there are times however that they will use pain killers
                                              (i.e. setting a broken bone,dental work). some do not ingest caffine
                                              or other stimulants.

                                              christian scientists understand that man is made in the image and
                                              likeness of god and that he is spiritual and therefore cannot be
                                              anything unlike god (perfect, eternal, loving, etc.). i did not say
                                              that c.s was true gnostcism, but as i have said before, gnosis is
                                              gnosis. like mani, mary baker eddy had her quirks. christian science
                                              was instrumental in my progression from then to now. i have outgrown
                                              the movement. i do not care to put new wine in an old container, or
                                              however the quote goes, because i know that the container would surely
                                              break; and i'm not interested in hospitalization at this point. ;^)
                                              best,
                                              dwain
                                            • Gerry
                                              ... Personally, I would agree that gnosis is gnosis, but it seems to get confused with many other things. With that in mind, I don t think it would be helpful
                                              Message 22 of 27 , Aug 19, 2004
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                                                --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "klausdieterdill" <kdd6@n...>
                                                wrote:
                                                > i did not say
                                                > that c.s was true gnostcism, but as i have said before, gnosis is
                                                > gnosis.




                                                Personally, I would agree that gnosis is gnosis, but it seems to get
                                                confused with many other things. With that in mind, I don't think it
                                                would be helpful for anyone to confuse Christian Science with
                                                Gnosticism. If you'll take another look at what you originally said,
                                                you may see why I chose to address the issue at all:

                                                >>i was told i had joined a cult when i began studying christian
                                                science (which i found out on the gnosis.org web site is a gnostic
                                                religion).<<

                                                Again, what you were referring to is found on the following page, in
                                                the second paragraph:

                                                http://www.gnosis.org/whatisgnostic.htm

                                                Now, this will likely be plenty scandalous, but having thought about
                                                it for a while already, I feel a need to point something out despite
                                                how it will inevitably be misinterpreted. Here's a statement which I
                                                see as analogous to the one above:

                                                "I saw it mentioned on the gnosis.org web site that Nazis were
                                                Gnostic."

                                                In fact, by the way I worded that example, it's possibly even more
                                                factually accurate than the previous comment, but it certainly lacks
                                                correctness in a truthful sense.

                                                There's a reason that we keep stressing the importance of context.

                                                Anyway, I'm hoping there's someone out there who will carefully read
                                                at least the first five paragraphs of Dr. Hoeller's article and tell
                                                me first what is right about that brazen statement, and then, more
                                                importantly, what is dreadfully wrong with it.


                                                Gerry
                                              • queen annie
                                                ... get ... it ... said, ... in ... about ... despite ... I ... lacks ... read ... tell ... I hadn t had time until now to investigate what you meant when you
                                                Message 23 of 27 , Sep 16, 2004
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                                                  --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Gerry" <gerryhsp@y...> wrote:
                                                  > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "klausdieterdill" <kdd6@n...>
                                                  > wrote:
                                                  > > i did not say
                                                  > > that c.s was true gnostcism, but as i have said before, gnosis is
                                                  > > gnosis.
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > Personally, I would agree that gnosis is gnosis, but it seems to
                                                  get
                                                  > confused with many other things. With that in mind, I don't think
                                                  it
                                                  > would be helpful for anyone to confuse Christian Science with
                                                  > Gnosticism. If you'll take another look at what you originally
                                                  said,
                                                  > you may see why I chose to address the issue at all:
                                                  >
                                                  > >>i was told i had joined a cult when i began studying christian
                                                  > science (which i found out on the gnosis.org web site is a gnostic
                                                  > religion).<<
                                                  >
                                                  > Again, what you were referring to is found on the following page,
                                                  in
                                                  > the second paragraph:
                                                  >
                                                  > http://www.gnosis.org/whatisgnostic.htm
                                                  >
                                                  > Now, this will likely be plenty scandalous, but having thought
                                                  about
                                                  > it for a while already, I feel a need to point something out
                                                  despite
                                                  > how it will inevitably be misinterpreted. Here's a statement which
                                                  I
                                                  > see as analogous to the one above:
                                                  >
                                                  > "I saw it mentioned on the gnosis.org web site that Nazis were
                                                  > Gnostic."
                                                  >
                                                  > In fact, by the way I worded that example, it's possibly even more
                                                  > factually accurate than the previous comment, but it certainly
                                                  lacks
                                                  > correctness in a truthful sense.
                                                  >
                                                  > There's a reason that we keep stressing the importance of context.
                                                  >
                                                  > Anyway, I'm hoping there's someone out there who will carefully
                                                  read
                                                  > at least the first five paragraphs of Dr. Hoeller's article and
                                                  tell
                                                  > me first what is right about that brazen statement, and then, more
                                                  > importantly, what is dreadfully wrong with it.
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > Gerry


                                                  I hadn't had time until now to investigate what you meant when you
                                                  said your comment about the Nazis didn't get any responses, and I did
                                                  find Dr Hoeller's article very well written. It would be a good one
                                                  to put in the group files, along with a similar comment by you as
                                                  made here, for other new members who might be bewildered upon
                                                  initially joining, if you don't mind the suggestion.

                                                  Here is my offering toward your request above:

                                                  What is right about that statement: There is obviously a tidbit in
                                                  every packaged religion, regardless of deistic focus, that is of a
                                                  gnostic origin. This is perhaps an explanation for the well known
                                                  saying 'there is some truth in everything'. It must be seen as
                                                  having that origin if one considers the statement 'What originates in
                                                  the psyche bears the imprint of the psyche. ' found in the article in
                                                  reference to the affinity with depth psychology. One of the points
                                                  in the definition as credited to Professor Emery: 'Within each
                                                  natural man is an "inner man," a fallen spark of the divine
                                                  substance. Since this exists in each man, we have the possibility of
                                                  awakening from our stupefaction. '

                                                  On the other hand, what is wrong in that statement is this: To
                                                  reduce or define the uniqueness of gnosis by equating it with any
                                                  other belief system just by virtue of the small spark each contains
                                                  that is gnostic in nature is just as erroneous as saying anyone with
                                                  an understanding of one piece of the whole gnostic experience is,
                                                  because of that, a true gnostic. While we may all have a spark
                                                  within us somewhere, that doesn't mean a fire has been lit by that
                                                  spark.

                                                  love
                                                  annie
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