Questions about Gnosticism.

Discussion in 'Alternative' started by Heart&Mind, Jun 29, 2014.

  1. Heart&Mind

    Heart&Mind Religious Humanist

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    As far as I know, "Gnosticism" can refer to either Gnostic Christianity or as an umbrella term for multiple knowledge seeking path with ties to early Christianity. I'm more concerned with the latter, but anyone with answers feel free to answer. :)

    1.) Does Gnosticism have to be inherently dualistic? Are there any non-dualistic streams of thought in Gnosticism? Are there any that might resemble Vishishtadvaita from Hinduism?

    2.) What exactly are the Demiurge and Sophia?

    3.) Can one be apart of an orthodox or "official" Christian denomination and still also identify as Gnostic? Or at least have theological influence from it?

    4.) How would you counteract criticisms that Gnosticism is a "depressing" or "material denying" path?

    5.) Branching from 4, does Gnosticism literally deny the material world? In that the physical world does not actually exist?

    6.) I've gotten a general impression that Gnostics tend to be anti-science. Is this inherently so?

    7.) Is God evil?

    8.) Are heaven and hell literally real or are they more symbolic?

    9.) What is the nature of Christ? Is he the divine savior and son of God? Or more of a Promethean/Luciferian archetype?

    10.) Can one be a non-theistic Gnostic? In that, they apply Gnostic metaphysics, philosophy, and spirituality to their life; but don't necessarily believe in God?
     
  2. Heart&Mind

    Heart&Mind Religious Humanist

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    One more question:

    Is it true that Gnosticism is a form of "metaphysical anti-semetism"?
     
  3. DavidMcCann

    DavidMcCann Hellenist

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    The main tenet of Gnosticism was that the world was created by a minor deity in error or arrogance; consequently it's not a good place and matter is evil. The creator, the demiurge Ialdabaoth, was generally said to be the son of Sophia, and identified with Yahwe. The Gnostics believed in a supreme being, rather like the One of Plato or the nirguna Brahman of some Hindus, who emanated the lesser divinities or Archons.

    These seems to have been a Jewish Gnosticism which revered Adam and Seth as Archons. There was also the better known Christian variety. Valentinian taught that the Christ (messiah) was an Archon who descended into Jesus at his baptism (a common view in early Christianity) and withdrew before the crucifixion. How they reconciled their view of good humans in a sinful world with Jesus's one of sinful humans in a good world, I don't know!
     
  4. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Interesting....because I am not a gnostic...in this regard much more a Sargent Shultz. "I know nothink!"

    What little I've heard hasn't been anti semetic....but obviously I need to investigate more...
     
  5. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Hi Heart&Mind —
    OK. Two things to start ...
    I would say that 'gnosis' as such is common to every religious tradition, and is defined accordingly, under the hermeneutic of its own tradition; thus there is Christian gnosis, Jewish, Moslem, Buddhist, Brahminic, etc ... thus we have Paul warning Timothy: "O Timothy, keep that (gnosis) which is committed to thy trust, avoiding the profane novelties of words, and oppositions of knowledge (gnosis) falsely so called" (1 Timothy 6:20)

    'Gnosticism' (with a Cap 'G') implies the various streams of thought in the 2nd century of the Christian era, which was basically a very poor synthesis of Platonism and Christianity. It's what happens when someone tries to merge two things together, without really understanding either of them.

    Gnosticism is overwhelmingly anthropocentric in its view of the gods (Plato's complaint against the pantheon on Olympus fits well). It was a populist movement, and the focus was on the Gnostic Master, on whom his disciples were utterly dependent ... in short, it's the worst type of religion.

    Dualism is regarded as one of the tenets that 'define' gnosticism. The Gospel of Thomas, for example, was claimed to be a 'gnostic gospel' (most famously by Elaine Pagels), but scholars have rejected that view, as GoT has its own unique outlook, and does not 'tick the boxes' of the common gnostic streams.

    I can't speak for Hinduism, but I'm not aware of any non-dual streams.

    Another 'staple' of gnosticism is that the material world is evil, and has no place in paradise. Most of humanity belongs to the material world (the hylics) and are bound for perdition, there is nothing that can be done to save them. A few, the psychics, can ascend to the higher realms if they are lucky enough to meet and become the disciple of a pneumatic (who are very rare), if not, then they, too, are doomed. Only the pneumatics are saved, they have the spark and are thus guaranteed, and no matter what they do, they will ascend. Law and morality, which belongs to the material world, does not apply to them.

    Well these ideas were lifted from Platonism:
    "From Plato come their (the Gnostics) punishments, their rivers of the underworld and the changing from body to body; as for the plurality they assert in the Intellectual Realm – the Authentic Existent, the Intellectual-Principle, the Second Creator and the Soul – all this is taken over from the Timaeus." Plotinus, Ennead 2.9.6.

    Plotinus goes on: "For, in sum, a part of their doctrine comes from Plato; all the novelties through which they seek to establish a philosophy of their own have been picked up outside of the truth."'

    In Plato, the Demiurge is good wishing good on his creation. Gnosticism contends that the Demiurge is not only the originator of evil, but is evil as well. Hence the title of Plotinus' refutation: "Against Those That Affirm the Creator of the Kosmos and the Kosmos Itself to be Evil" (generally referred to as "Against the Gnostics").

    Sophia means 'Wisdom' in Greek thought, and is feminine, one of the four Cardinal Virtues for Plato. Gnosticism tends to see Sophia in light of the Hebraic Eve, and in most systems Sophia is the source of evil, she brings about a 'fall' that leads to the creation of the material world.

    In some texts, Sophia tries to over-reach herself (echoes of Eve) which leads to her cataclysmic fall from the Pleroma. Fear and anguish of losing her life results in matter and soul accidentally come into existence. The creation of the (evil) Demiurge (Yaldabaoth: "Son of Chaos") is also a mistake spoken of as an 'abortion' and other such terms. The Demiurge proceeds to create the physical world in which we live, ignorant of Sophia, who nevertheless manages to infuse some spiritual sparks or pneuma into his creation.

    The whole story reads like the highest insights of Greek intellectual thought churned out by script-writers of a very low-brow soap.

    Well, as I said, gnosis is a component of every religion, but why anyone would want to introduce Gnostic ideas into Christianity escapes me ... Christianity (C) says all can be saved, Gnosticism (G) says most are already lost; C says God is among you and within you (immediately immanent), G says God is infinitely distant, indeed absent (absolutely transcendent) ... so where C says yes, G says no.

    You can't. It is.

    It doesn't deny its existence, far from it. It asserts its existence, but it also asserts that the material world is the product of evil, and is therefore inherently evil, and has no place in the Pleroma.

    Pleroma means 'fullness', from the Greek verb 'to fill', so in Christian thought creation is the fullness of God — as the Hymn in Colossians, which scholars agree is an early Christian hymn that the author of Colossians (most likely not Paul) includes and then explains.

    Paul in the Epistles believed penned by him uses the word many times (Ephesians, Romans, 1 Corinthians). The word is used in the Greek Orthodox Liturgy.

    Creation is no part of the Pleroma in Gnostic thought. It's inherently evil and beyond salvation.

    In Christian thought Creation is theophany, a manifestation of God that 'groans in its labour' as we journey into Christ. When man 'fell' he sundered the essential and inherent oneness of creation, and it's oneness in God, by choosing to separate himself from it, to know himself alone. Too late he realised he is not 'alone' but is part of the 'all'. He only rtealised that after he had lost it.

    When he recovers that sense of oneness, which is love, then we shall see, in that moment, Creation (as if) anew.

    Well that is so from our viewpoint that chooses to oppose science and religion, forgetting that theology, metaphysics, ontology, meontology and indeed pure philosophy are themselves sciences! It's just that Gnosticism lacks a rational basis and cannot argue its case through the sciences, because it lacks the rigour they require.

    For the Gnostics, for example, the gods like Sophia seem subject to the worst human vices!

    The Christian God, no. The Gnostic deities — Sophia and the Demiurge, are.

    Well they are real states, but spoken of in 'symbolic' terms. I think 'symbol' is the wrong term. They are signifiers of certain eschatalogical states. Even Buddhism, with is apparently non-theist, speaks of heaven and hell, saints and demons, etc. and deploys the same imagery (peace and bliss, fire and suffering).

    Heaven is the sign of being 'all in all'. Hell is its opposite.

    Fire is always associated with extinction, in that the fire consumes the substance of which it feeds, and reduces it to nothing, whereas grace, as a fire, purifies and returns the substance to its perfect state, which is what 'hell' does in the Christian tradition.

    Well Christ is one person in two natures – Divine and human (the unity of spiritual and physical, as declared at the Council of Chalcedon).

    It's not that He is an archetype, rather that He is the source of all archetypes. As the Hymn of Colossians explains.

    Not really. If you deny the Divine, all you're left with is the material, which they see as evil. so a 'non-theistic Gnostic' believes in only evil, but then is at a loss to explain what evil is, beyond social mores. Again, Gnosticism is marked by a lack of metaphysical, philosophical and spiritual rationality, precisely because it is crippled by its over-arching sense of evil. It founders on its own incoherent illogic.

    To understand a proper Christian gnosis, the master is Paul. If we equate western 'gnosis' with eastern 'jnani' – the Way or Yoga of Knowledge – then Paul's your man as he does so explicitly in his writings. John, of course, is the Gospel of Gnosis – the Logos is the source of Gnosis – but then his is the Gospel of the other yogas too, as in Him Christ is evidently God, and embodies the Knowledge of God (the way of the gnostic or jnani), the devotion to God (the faith or bhaktic) and every other Yoga ... as do all the Scriptures.

    John (and the Johannine author of the Epistles) is writing to keep the Christian gnostic 'on line' and preserves him or her from a dualist and thus erroneous reading of Paul's gnostic teachings, which was evidently happening at Ephesus.

    A précis of Christian gnosis in Colossians:
    Intro:
    "As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; Who also hath manifested to us your love in the spirit (pneuma). Therefore we also, from the day that we heard it, cease not to pray for you, and to beg that you may be filled with the knowledge (epignosis, 'precise and correct knowledge') of his will (thelema), in all wisdom (sophia), and spiritual understanding (pneumatikos synesis): That you may walk worthy of God, in all things pleasing; being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge (epignosis) of God:

    Hymn:
    Strengthened with all might, according to the power of his glory,
    in all patience and longsuffering with joy,
    Giving thanks to God the Father,
    who hath made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light:
    Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness,
    and hath translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love,
    In whom we have redemption through his blood,
    the remission of sins;
    Who is the image of the invisible God,
    the firstborn of every creature:
    For in him were all things created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible,
    whether thrones, or dominations, or principalities, or powers:
    all things were created by him and in him.
    And he is before all, and by him all things consist.
    And he is the head of the body, the church,
    who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead;
    that in all things he may hold the primacy:
    Because in him, it hath well pleased the Father,
    that all fullness (pleroma) should dwell;
    And through him to reconcile all things unto himself,
    making peace through the blood of his cross,
    both as to the things that are on earth,
    and the things that are in heaven."
    Colossians 1:8-20

    It is a Christian metaphysic in a nutshell.
     
  6. Thepasserby

    Thepasserby Thepasserby

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    That's avery limited view Gnostic Christianity. Here is a better general discription of it.

    Look it up on youtube. There's alot of great videos with different takes on Gnosticism there.
     
  7. Thepasserby

    Thepasserby Thepasserby

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    That's avery limited view Gnostic Christianity. Look it up on youtube. There's alot of great videos with different takes on Gnosticism there.
     
  8. Thepasserby

    Thepasserby Thepasserby

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    Correction.

    That's avery limited view Gnostic Christianity. Look it up on youtube. There's alot of great videos with different takes on Gnosticism there.

    Peace, Love, and Light to all!
     
  9. Thepasserby

    Thepasserby Thepasserby

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    Here's the relevant portion of an article on Christian Gnosticism.

    Part One: The Emanant Spark
    I.
    In order to discover why Gnosticism was considered a threat to incipient orthodoxy, it is necessary to understand whatthe earliest Christians believed. First, a little definition is in order. I usethe term Gnostic here to denote not only those groups in the second and third century who called themselves Gnostics, but also to include the oldest Christian sects from 30 to 120 C.E., such as the Simonians, Ophites, Naassenes, Cerinthians, and others. These very early Christians shared a rich, diverse set of doctrines that stand in stark opposition to the doctrines we now know as orthodox Christianity. The early sectarians tended to disagree on many things, but they generally did agree on such central matters as the existence of reincarnation and of a class of evil powers called "archons," the meaning of the resurrection, the process of salvation, the doctrine of "emanations," and the nature of humanity.
    For years, well-known religious historians like Elaine Pagels and Paul Johnson have written candidly about the diversity of early Christianity. Indeed, studyof the earliest Christian sects and communities, of the Nag Hammadi texts, and of records of later, nominally Gnostic groups quickly shatters any myth that there was a single "original" Christianity somewhat in the image of modern fundamentalism, where all held to the four Gospels, the concept of Jesus as God, His death for our sins, the resurrection of the body at the Last Day, and so on. Instead, we see a theology centered around two ideas: that a "divine spark" inheres in humanity, and that the process of salvation represents a universal principle that Jesus demonstrated for humanity so that people could follow his example. We learn that the basic dogmas that most modern orthodox Christians assume were there from the beginning—the resurrection, Jesus as God, original sin—were not always there, and in fact, were constructed by several early Church Fathers long after the death of Jesus.
    The notion of original sin, especially, departs from Gnosticism in its assumption that there could be something wrong or ungodly about any kind of knowledge. The Gnostics held just the opposite view. For example, in the Book of Thomas the Contender, one of the texts discovered at Nag Hammadi and thought to have been written in the second century, the Saviour tells his disciple Thomas, "He who has not known himself has known nothing, but he who has known himself has at the same time already achieved knowledge about the depth of all." In other words, when you become one with ("know") the God within, you will have become one with all that is. The following Gnostic story based on the Gnostic Hymn of the Pearl, also found at Nag Hammadi, expands on this principle and illustrates several other core beliefs:
    "Imagine you are a prince. One day your parents, the King and Queen, send you on a mission to Egypt. You must find a pearl guarded by a hungry dragon.
    You take off your royal robe and leave the kingdom of your parents.
    You journey into Egypt, putting on dirty clothing and disguising yourself as an Egyptian.
    Somehow the Egyptians discover that you are a foreigner. They give you food that makes you forget your royal birth and makes you believe that you are one of them. You sink into a deep sleep.
    Your parents see your plight and send you a letter that tells you to awaken. It reminds you of your quest to recover the pearl. You remember who you are, a child of kings. You quickly subdue the dragon, recover the pearl and depart, leaving the dirty clothing behind.
    When you return to your native land, you see your royal robe, which reminds you of the splendor you lived in before. The garment speaks to you, telling you that it belongs to the one who is stronger than all human beings. You put on your royal robe once more and return to your father's palace."[3]
    The King and Queen symbolize the Creator and a feminine being the Gnostics called the holy mother Sophia (Wisdom). Their kingdom is a realm of light, a place totally outside matter as we know it. It is spoken of as the "pleroma," or "fullness." Your royal robe represents your true Self, your divine image. The dirty clothing represents your earthly body, which you donned when you entered Egypt, the material world.
    When you descended into mortality, you left behind your divine image and became an incomplete person. You "fell asleep" when you forgot your true origin. The message sent by your parents represents the Saviour. He will awaken you and remind you what you must do: recover the pearl (the fallen aspects of your soul), find your way back to the realm of light, and clothe yourself once more in your royal robe; in other words, reintegrate with your divine image. By recovering your soul and reintegrating with the divine, you will have achieved gnosis (knowledge), which is salvation. For the Gnostics, achieving gnosis meant to know oneself as God. But "to know" meant not merely to understand one’s divine origin, but to achieve the classic goal of the mystic: union with God.
    Putting on the royal garment and recovering the pearl were just some of the images Gnostics used to describe achieving gnosis. They also believed God to be a transcendent and infinite, perfect, ultimate, unfathomable, invisible Spirit; and that each person is composed of three parts: a seed, or spark, of the Divine; a body; and a soul. The divine spark—the God within—acts something like a pilot light, sustaining the divine potential of the soul and body until the soul is ready to be ignited, or awakened to gnosis. The awakened soul pursues union with the God within, and this union is salvation.
    II.
    The first obvious and profound difference between the ancient Gnostic belief system reflected in the story of the Pearl, and the orthodox beliefs of most other Christians, is the proposition that our souls are of divine origin and existed in a divine state before they "fell" to earth. The idea that our souls are intrinsically divine stands in sharp contrast to orthodox dogmas constructed later, which stressed Jesus's exclusive divinity. As orthodoxy evolved in the first five centuries after Jesus died, St. Augustine’s severe, unmerciful doctrine of original sin was adopted by official Christendom. The doctrine of original sin held that, because Adam and Eve partook of forbidden knowledge in the Garden of Eden, we are all intrinsically sinners and therefore cannot look on Jesussimply as an exemplar, as the earliest Christian communities did, but must rely instead on his exclusive divinity—and that of the Church—for our access to salvation. Gradually, the notion of man’s original divine origin was all but stamped out, surviving only among a few sects and teachers throughout the succeeding centuries.[4]

    The Gnostic idea underpinning human divinity—one that most of the earliest Christian communities espoused but that was denounced near the end of the second century by the first Church Father, Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyon—was called the doctrine of emanations. Briefly, the doctrine of emanations says there exists a spiritual universe upon which the physical universe is patterned, a universe that is the realm of innumerable divine "emanations," all of which have free will. These emanations were not created by God, but rather, were parts of God, certain of which He chose to become human souls. Because souls once found their abode in the heavenly state, on earth they retain a portion of their divinity.
    Almost all of the earliest Christian sects and communities believed in the doctrine of emanations from one eternal Source—the idea that all individuals have their origin in the eternal, and all partake, in their inmost being, in the eternal. According to St. Paul, human beings are composed of a Spirit, soul, and body. Gnostics believe that the destiny of man is to return to the spiritual realms (eternal life) by a process termed "the resurrection," which was demonstrated by Jesus. Because they believe in the preexistence of souls in a spiritual statesouls that were a part of God and subsequently fell into matter and became clothed with bodiesGnostics hold that men retain a divine spark within. It is this spark itself, this infinite power within human beings, that is the means of salvation. It is the universal root, which exists as a potential in everyone.

    Part Two: The Logos and the Teacher of the Way
    I.
    Like the concept of Spirit, the Gnostic conception of Jesus contrasted sharply with the orthodox one. Jesus, according to Irenaeus, was the one and only God, the creator and redeemer, who actually sent His son from Heaven to earth to save men. Not a man who became God because he was of the same essence as God, as Gnosticism posits all men are. Not a vehicle of Divinity, which Gnosticism posits all men can be. And, therefore, not a man who showed men the way to reunion with God, but a God forever separate from men. The Gnostics saw Jesus as a guide. They believed their souls came from the same source as his. They even sought to become like him. In the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas, Jesus says, "Whoever drinks from my mouth will become like me; I myself shall become that person, and the hidden things will be revealed to that person."[9]
    The Church Fathers considered such teachings blasphemous, particularly the idea that our souls came from the same source as Jesus'. Writing in the late second century, Irenaeus said the Gnostics believe that "their souls derive from the same surroundings [as Jesus'], and therefore ... are counted worthy of the same power, and return again to the same place." "Some say they are like Jesus," he fumed. "Some actually affirm that they are even stronger."[10] Indeed, the Nag Hammadi scripture Teachings of Silvanus tells us that a "wise man" is one who "exists on earth" but "makes himself like God."[11] But the Gnostics found support for their beliefs not only in Apocryphal texts, but in such scriptures as Galatians 2:20, where Paul says, "It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me."
    The Gospel of Philip expresses elegantly the Gnostic goal of merging, or union, with the Ultimate. For the Gnostics, knowledge and wisdom lead to eternal life, while ignorance is equivalent to a state of bondage to death. Philip tells the seeker, "The word said, 'If you know the truth, the truth will make you free' (John 8:32). Ignorance is a slave. Knowledge is freedom. If we know the truth, we shall find the fruits of the truth within us. If we are joined to it, it will bring our fulfillment."[12]
    The Gnostics thought that the orthodox vision of Jesus as God was based in part on a misunderstanding of the Gospel of John. John tells us: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.... All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." And later, "the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us."[13] The orthodox concluded from these passages that Jesus Christ is God, the Word, made flesh.
    But the Gnostics believed that when John called Jesus "the Word," he was referring to something else. For when John said the "Word" created everything, he used the Greek term for "word": logos.
    In Greek thought, Logos described the part of God that acts in the world. Origen of Alexandria called it the soul that holds the universe together. Clement tells us that each man has the "image of the Word [Logos]" within him, and it is for this reason that Genesis says man is made "in the image and likeness of God."[14] Philo, one of the greatest Jewish philosophers and a contemporary of Christ, called the Logos "[G]od’s Likeness, by whom the whole [c]osmoswas fashioned." Philo believed great human beings like Moses could personify the Logos.[15]
    Thus, when John wrote that Jesus is the Logos, he did not mean that the man Jesus had always been God the Logos. The Gnostics understood John to mean that Jesus the man became the Logos. The Logos, then, is the spark of divinity that is within our hearts.
    The early conception in the Gnostic tradition was that Jesus became the Logos just as he became the Christ. But that didn’t mean he was the only one who could ever do it! Jesus explained this mystery when he broke the bread at the Last Supper. He took a single loaf, symbolizing the one Logos, the one Christ, and broke it and said, "This is my body, which is broken for you."[16] The Gnostics interpreted this teaching to mean that there is one absolute God and one Universal Christ, or Logos, but that the body of that Universal Christ can be broken and each piece will still retain all the qualities of the whole. Jesus was telling his disciples that the seed of Christ is not diminished qualitatively, no matter how many times his body is broken. The smallest fragment of God, Logos, or Christ contains the entire nature of Christ’s divinity.
    This is the meaning of the fragmentation of the host in the communion ritual, undoubtedly lost on Irenaeus even as he participated in it.
     
  10. Thepasserby

    Thepasserby Thepasserby

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    Sorry for the multiple posts.
     
  11. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    What article?
     
  12. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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  13. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Ah ... that explains it.
     
  14. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    on long posts from new sources, whether the reference their source or not, I like to google three or four lines from the center...and often up pops all these other discussion forums and the same thing posted and reposted... in this case it was that...but also a website that looked like from whence it came.

    but the 'that explains it' ... what does it explain?
     
  15. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    A text making grand and sweeping claims that don't stand up to investigation, next to no meaningful references, massive assumptions, poor grasp of history, full of ill-founded assertions, opinion and untruths posing as 'fact' ...
    (Elaine Pagels has lost credibility as a scholar after it was shown that she conflated texts and filled in gaps to arrive at what she wanted the texts to say)

    Reading the footnotes, I'm not sure the author actually understands gnosticism, other than his imagination of what gnosticism is.

    And his claims are laughable.
     
  16. Thepasserby

    Thepasserby Thepasserby

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  17. The Adept

    The Adept New Member

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    1.) Does Gnosticism have to be inherently dualistic?
    Yes.

    2.) What exactly are the Demiurge and Sophia?
    The Demi'urge is the false God Jehovah. He is lower than and in the place of the higher, truer hidden God. It is claimed he made the material universe which is 'evil' to some.
    Sophia is the goddess of wisdom, divine wisdom. She manifest in the Bible book of Proverbs, much like Athena. This is why evil cults of the demiurge ignore her.

    3.) Can one be apart of an orthodox or "official" Christian denomination and still also identify as Gnostic? Or at least have theological influence from it?
    No it is a forbidden heresy. You have to keep it secret (favoured).


    5.) Branching from 4, does Gnosticism literally deny the material world? In that the physical world does not actually exist?
    Not deny it's existence; that is Hinduism. It is and it is 'evil'.

    7.) Is God evil?
    Yes, the God of The Bible is the evil Demiurge.

    8.) Are heaven and hell literally real or are they more symbolic?
    non-after life anyway to some.

    9.) What is the nature of Christ? Is he the divine savior and son of God? Or more of a Promethean/Luciferian archetype?
    To some he is Lucifer the bright morning star and tried to save humanity from the evil demi'urge. He was murdered by the demi'urge ELi.

    10.) Can one be a non-theistic Gnostic? In that, they apply Gnostic metaphysics, philosophy, and spirituality to their life; but don't necessarily believe in God?[/QUOTE]
    Sure. But it is a bit religious.
     
  18. The Adept

    The Adept New Member

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    Yes. It is racism against Jehovah.
     
  19. Gordian Knot

    Gordian Knot Being Deviant IS My Art.

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    Cough. Cough. Ahem. Racism against Jehovah? Hardly. While Gnosticism is widely considered an offshoot of Christianity, there are those who suggest that the principal elements of gnosticism were derived from Jewish speculation.* Which would make it an offshoot of the Jewish faith.

    As is typical with these concepts from this time period, we really don't know for sure.

    *Taken from the Wiki article on Gnosticism.
     
  20. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    YouTube is hardly the best place to defend her scholarship.

    Sadly Pagels' 'The Gnostic Gospels' is the go-text textbook for many people, just about everything they believe about gnosticism comes from there.

    It's beyond dispute that Pagels conflates texts to fabricate quotations that appear to endorse her agenda, 'orthodoxy = bad / gnosticism = good'.

    As well as inventing quotes, she offers highly tendentious interpretations of texts, and ignores any evidence to the contrary to paint a very Pagelesque picture of what was going on in the Early Christian mileau.

    As one source has it:
    No doubt some will see that S.J. and shout 'ah-ha!', but then that's their prejudice, and they miss the point. Mankowski knows his stuff. He reads Greek and Latin, has examined the text citations she uses and finds them flawed, conflated or non-existant.

    Personally what I find more disturbing is US educational institutions who seem to offer positions to people who are very poor on scholarship, but are very good at selling books and garnering publicity.
     

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