What are we?

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by Cino, Nov 11, 2021.

  1. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    IIRC, in early Zoroastrian scripture, Ahura Mazda and Ahriman are described as equal twins, locked in eternal struggle. In later Zoroastrianism, Ohrmazd is the more powerful of the two, who will eventually win.

    Gnostics seem to view God as not only more powerful than the Demiurge, but also on a different level of being entirely?

    So there seem to be many flavors of theological dualism?

    Would this translate into saying that there is no trace of light at all in darkness - but there are pinpoints of darkness in light? Or gradations of light? The dark spot where the flame attaches to the wick, sort of thing?
     
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  2. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    Crowley also noticed this (Liber AL, II:3-4):

    I think musings such as yours and Crowley's really point to the matter of any perceived, special center point overestimating its own importance. Perception is not a thing, after all.
     
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  3. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

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    ..so it is as I suggested .. you think that "God made a mistake" .. or the demiurge is more powerful than God.
    Is that correct?
     
  4. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Search, be your own guru.

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    Is it a requirement or is it not? Is Unity Church Christian?
    And God can't do much about Demiurge? Did Jesus remove all suffering?
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2021
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  5. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Is that Yahweh in your belief?
     
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  6. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Yes Unity is a Christian Denomination.

    Yes, Unity follows the teachings of Jesus.

    No we are not big on requirements (they accept me)

    I myself don't worship Jesus. I try to follow his teachings, his way, as an elder brother and wayshower (whether he existed or not is of relatively little concern to me)
     
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  7. Ella S.

    Ella S. Gnostic Christian

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    This really depends on the sect. Persian Gnosticism, such as Manichaeism and Mandaeism, is a lot more clear that God and the Demiurge are equal beings.

    In much of Syrian-Egyptian Gnosticism, it's not always clear. Some sects likely viewed God as more powerful, and destined to win an apocalypse, but most Gnostic sects lacked any belief in any sort of apocalypse.

    I do not believe that God is more powerful than the Demiurge. They are two forces, light and darkness, that are out of balance. Balancing them requires returning the sparks of divine light from the world of darkness (the Kenoma or material world) to the world of light (the Pleroma or spiritual realm.)

    No, it's the opposite. Sparks of divine light have been alienated in the world of darkness, but darkness can't exist in the world of light.
     
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  8. Ella S.

    Ella S. Gnostic Christian

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    No, the Demiurge is not more powerful than God, nor did God make a mistake. God is simply not omnipotent.

    We can turn to Christ in life to alleviate some of our suffering in this world, and live by his words to alleviate the suffering of others. Through the gnosis given to us by Christ, we may find salvation after our bodies release us. Otherwise, without that gnosis, we reincarnate.

    Yes and no.

    Yhwh is the name given by the God of Abraham. Many of the myths about Yhwh ended up in Gnosticism through religious syncretism. Sometimes he's identified with the Demiurge, and sometimes he's a different Archon or even God. It depends on the specific myth and which sect you look at.

    Personally, I don't believe that Yhwh exists at all, but I do believe that Jewish Kabbalah, Orthodox hesychasm, and Sufi Islam are probably valid paths to God. In those contexts, Yhwh would be God, not the Demiurge.

    The problem is that Yhwh became a monotheistic deity, and ended up with a lot of traits that would ordinarily go to the Demiurge (such as being the Creator) and a lot of traits that would go to the Monad (such as being the eternal substance.) It's not something that you can make a one-to-one comparison with.
     
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  9. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

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    I don't understand.
    The demiurge is clearly very powerful indeed. He creates the universe, and traps our souls in the physical bodies he creates.
    ..and God can do nothing about it?

    What does that say about God?
    I don't see how we should put our faith in "a god" who is powerless against "another god".

    Furthermore, it contradicts the shema, which Jesus is reported to have acknowledged.
    i.e. Your God, is One Lord

    ..and we see from the scriptures that God created the universe.
    Jesus was a Jew, and if "a demiurge" created the universe, and not YHWH,
    we would surely have heard about it from him?
     
  10. Ella S.

    Ella S. Gnostic Christian

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    God has already freed all of our souls. I don't see how that's doing nothing. I feel like your vision of God is a lot closer to doing nothing, since he is content with sitting by and watching countless preventable tragedies unfold.

    Better an impotent God than a cruel one, in my opinion.

    We did hear about it from him. Have you not heard of the Gnostic Gospels?
     
  11. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

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    How many "gods" are there then?

    I have indeed..
    However, people vary in their interpretation of what is gnostic.
    Furthermore, I don't know of any gospel which categorically states that "Jesus said" what you are saying.
    These gnostc beliefs [ such as Marcion ], are the opinions of authors representing their community/sectarian beliefs.

    ..much like the Gospel of John in the canon, which starts with 'In the beginning was the logos'.
    ..and rambles on philosophically to establish a "correct" creed.

    I think that "God" is a much better word. Logos is unnecessarily confusing.
    i.e. In the beginning was God.
     
  12. Ella S.

    Ella S. Gnostic Christian

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    None.

    The Apocryphon of John, the Gospel of Judas, and the Gospel of the Secret Supper all have Jesus talking directly about the Demiurge.
     
  13. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

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    OK. There are so many gospels, it is hard to keep up with them ;)

    I have to say that "logos" and "demiurge" do not have their roots in Judaism.
    I doubt VERY MUCH whether Jesus used these philosophical terms.

    The philosophical usage and the proper noun derive from Plato's Timaeus, written c. 360 BC, where the demiurge is presented as the creator of the universe.

    Greek philosophy? Dear oh dear ! :(
     
  14. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    There were plenty of Hellenizing Jews in Jesus' days, even in Judea.

    Also, Greek philosophy played an importantet. role in Islam, right? Al-Kindi, Al-Razi, et. al?
     
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  15. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    Of course.

    I got carried away with symbolism that is already used in Gnosticism in a different way.

    Sorry for the confusion.
     
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  16. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

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    There certainly was..

    ..but Jesus was not one of them :)

    I would say not.
    Naturally, as time passes, different nations have embraced Islam, and haven't completely abandoned
    their original culture. Nothing wrong with that, unless it contradicts the original teachings i.e. the Qur'an [ Arabic ]
     
  17. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Search, be your own guru.

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    An impotent God!
    We incarnate?
    How many power centers - God, Demiurge, or more? (Repeating Muhammad_Isa)
    Very nice of this God.
    True.
    Heard? Yes; Know about: No, unfortunately.
    So, Gnostic Christians are atheists.
    If there is no God, then whence the 'divine light'?
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2021
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  18. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    But he was addressing their points. He knew about their views. To later generations, who came from classical pagan backgrounds, this may have felt as if he was addressing them. I can totally see the logic of continuity behind the Gnostic texts, in this way.
     
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  19. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    Here's a thought, and I hope it appeals to adherents of most if not any views about God's existence, powers, and ethical purity:

    We human beings can live good lives and work to build a world where goodness (by any pragmatic definition) may have the upper hand. This is something we can do, whether or not we have gods or God, and whether or not the divine may be able to contribute to the project.
     
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  20. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    The darkness at the bottom of a mine is total darkness. Even a small candle brings light. There is no greater darkness beyond the total lack of light. But there can be 100 candles -- 10 000 suns -- there is never a totality of light?
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2021
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