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Cino

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I am a theological dualist, or a duotheist, similar to the Manichaeans, Mandaens, and Zoroastrians.

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?

Suffering is entirely the fault of the Demiurge, God would never allow such a thing if he could help it. That's what it means to be omnibenevolent.

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?
 

Cino

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Like the Pleroma, the viewpoint is the centre; everywhere, every point, every soul is the centre, there is no periphery

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

In the sphere I am everywhere the centre, as she, the circumference, is nowhere found.
Yet she shall be known & I never.

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.
 

Aupmanyav

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LOL, I thought you'd expressed doubts in the past! I assumed that it was not a Unity Church requirement.
Is it a requirement or is it not? Is Unity Church Christian?
Suffering is entirely the fault of the Demiurge, God would never allow such a thing if he could help it.
Indeed, I believe that God, through Christ, seeks to actively remedy our estrangement from him and the suffering it causes.
And God can't do much about Demiurge? Did Jesus remove all suffering?
 
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wil

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Is Unity Church Christian?
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)
 

Ella S.

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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?

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.)

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?

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.
 

Ella S.

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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?

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

And God can't do much about Demiurge? Did Jesus remove all suffering?

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.

Is that Yahweh in your belief?

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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muhammad_isa

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

Ella S.

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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?

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.

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".

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

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?

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

muhammad_isa

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

How many "gods" are there then?

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

Ella S.

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How many "gods" are there then?

None.

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.

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

muhammad_isa

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

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 ! :(
 

Cino

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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 ! :(
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?
 

Cino

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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.

Of course.

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

Sorry for the confusion.
 

muhammad_isa

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

..but Jesus was not one of them :)

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

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 ]
 

Aupmanyav

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God is simply not omnipotent.
.. we reincarnate.
The problem is that Yhwh became a monotheistic deity, ..
An impotent God!
We incarnate?
How many power centers - God, Demiurge, or more? (Repeating Muhammad_Isa)
.. since he is content with sitting by and watching countless preventable tragedies unfold.
Better an impotent God than a cruel one, in my opinion.
Have you not heard of the Gnostic Gospels?
Very nice of this God.
True.
Heard? Yes; Know about: No, unfortunately.
So, Gnostic Christians are atheists.
Sparks of divine light have been alienated in the world of darkness, ..
If there is no God, then whence the 'divine light'?
 
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Cino

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There certainly was..

..but Jesus was not one of them :)
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.
 

Cino

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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.
 

RJM

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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.
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?
 
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