Questions about Gnosticism.

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

  1. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

    Sep 25, 2003
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    Thank you. That tends to be my opinion.

    Well you said it, not I.

    I have no issue with gnosis per se, only those who appropriate materials from one or more traditions and then declare themselves superior to that tradition – it's patent nonsense. If they were indeed superior, they would have no need nor dependence on the tradition.

    Christ's 'last commandment' was that we love each other. The Gnostic, who follows the philosopher's 'flight of the alone to the Alone' will find himself standing before God and being asked the question: "Where is your brother?", and will be unable to reply.

    The Great Traditions, and indeed the Great Revelations, treat of man as such, as a communal creature, not an individual, and the Great Teachers speak to all men, and don't just whisper secrets into the ears of the few.

    As for man as such, I've seen too often yesterday's hylic become tomorrow's pneumatic, and yesterday's pneumatic become tomorrow's hylic. It's an artificial and often prejudiced judgement.

    So my concern is for all, not just for me.

    There is a story from the Moslem Gospel of Jesus.
    "Jesus was walking along the road and came upon a holy man (a Gnostic) sitting in contemplation. "What are you doing?" Jesus asked. "I have dedicated my life and every living moment to the quest for God," the Gnostic told him. "And who cares for your daily needs?" Jesus asked. "My brother takes care of all that," the man said. "Then your brother loves God more than you do," Jesus said, and continued on his way."

    Abou Ben Adhem
    Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
    Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
    And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
    Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
    An angel writing in a book of gold:—
    Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
    And to the Presence in the room he said
    "What writest thou?"—The vision raised its head,
    And with a look made of all sweet accord,
    Answered "The names of those who love the Lord."
    "And is mine one?" said Abou. "Nay, not so,"
    Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
    But cheerly still, and said "I pray thee, then,
    Write me as one that loves his fellow men."

    The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
    It came again with a great wakening light,
    And showed the names whom love of God had blessed,
    And lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.

    James Henry Leigh Hunt (1784-1859)
  2. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

    Jul 1, 2011
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    I loved the poem
  3. Ammonius

    Ammonius New Member

    Oct 18, 2014
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    "The scriptures are ambiguous and the truth cannot be extracted from them by those who are ignorant of tradition." (Irenaeus Against Heresies 3:2:1).

    Only tradition has access to the truth not outsiders.

    And yet your brother is not sought out for the council of the people, nor does he attain eminence in the public assembly. He do not sit in the judge's seat, nor does he understand the sentence of judgment; he cannot expound discipline or judgment, and he is not found using proverbs. But he keeps stable the fabric of the world, and his prayer is in the practice of their trade.

    Jesus taught different level of mysteries to different people and so did Saint Paul. This division of people as those who are elected and those who are ignoramus existed from beginning of the time.
  4. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

    Sep 25, 2003
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    Well that's a self-evident truth – no scholar would dispute that. That's why, in my experience, the first step in understanding what a Tradition says is ask those we have to learn about something

    No, the judgment of the self-elect to dismiss the meek as 'unelected' and, in the general case of 'Gnosticism', unelectable.

    Our Lord demonstrated the error in that when he gave sight to "the man born blind" in John 9. Now the 'Gnostic' will read this to mean 'spiritual sight' – I know, because there was a time when I and my Gnostic companions thought just that. It was not a physical miracle, we would say, it was a metaphorical miracle. He's not physically blind, it's about spiritual blindness.

    But then I read the man's responses. It's full of not-knowing. These aren't the answers of the spiritually illumined. He doesn't know what happened, or how, or why, or who did it, until Our Lord tells him. He's patently not a gnostic, an esoterist, a symbolist, a mystic.

    "And he said: I believe, Lord. And falling down, he adored him" (John 9:38).

    Just the kind of faith the self-declared elect dismiss as ignorance, superstition and fear.
  5. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

    Oct 17, 2005
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    On the physical miracle front...we've got a number of miracle recoveries, from leprosy to sight to death that was overcome....but all were mentions of the healing... no mention of any 'five year cancer survivors' eh? How many mentions of folks do we hear from later, how many of the miracle recipients do we have where we know that the healing took, lasted, stuck?
  6. Gordian Knot

    Gordian Knot Being Deviant IS My Art.

    Aug 13, 2013
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    All the really good miracles happened thousands of years ago, where they are safely removed from any scrutiny.

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