Gnosticism

Leveller

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This post is directed to @Ella S. in particular, but comments from everyone are very welcome.

I have intended to read about Gnosticism since coming across an article discussing "similarities" with Buddhism. I think Richard Gombrich was the academic concerned. In addition, alchemy has cropped up in some of my readings on Taoism.

Ella, I have found your posts to be extremely interesting so I wonder if you would kindly name a book or two that would explain your beliefs.
 

Ella S.

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While I highly recommend reading through the scriptures yourself (general Gnostic scriptures can be found here and Visions of Zosimos can be found here) as far as books go I have two main recommendations:

"The Gnostic Religion" by Hans Jonas

"The Search For Roots: CG Jung and the Tradition of Gnosis" by Alfred Ribi

I actually just finished re-reading The Gnostic Religion today and, now that I have a deeper familiarity with the Sethian texts, I found it even more insightful than my first few readings. These are somewhat unorthodox recommendations on my part; more standardized reading lists are available on gnosis.org and in the sidebar of the /r/Gnostic subreddit. Still, I personally see these two books as the most timeless and important, next to the Nag Hammadi texts themselves.
 

Leveller

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Many thanks Ella, these will do nicely. I am especially pleased by Alfred Ribi's book as Jung is also somebody I need to explore.
 

Ella S.

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Many thanks Ella, these will do nicely. I am especially pleased by Alfred Ribi's book as Jung is also somebody I need to explore.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the books, maybe get a fresh perspective on them, but they can be a bit dense.
 

seattlegal

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This post is directed to @Ella S. in particular, but comments from everyone are very welcome.

I have intended to read about Gnosticism since coming across an article discussing "similarities" with Buddhism. I think Richard Gombrich was the academic concerned. In addition, alchemy has cropped up in some of my readings on Taoism.

Ella, I have found your posts to be extremely interesting so I wonder if you would kindly name a book or two that would explain your beliefs.
King Ashoka sent monks to Alexandria, so any parallels of Gnosticism with Buddhism are not surprising (to me at least.)
 

Ella S.

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King Ashoka sent monks to Alexandria, so any parallels of Gnosticism with Buddhism are not surprising (to me at least.)

Oh, that's right! Graeco-Buddhism was a form of Hellenistic Buddhism in Ancient Greece that has been variously hypothesized as contributing to early Gnostic thought.

Personally, I don't think that there's a connection. I think the real connection is that Hellenism and Hinduism both sprouted out of the Proto-Indo-European Religion, and so Buddhism and Gnosticism resemble one another due to retaining many of the traits of their shared lineages.

That's for early Gnosticism, at least. The Manichaens, who were a bit later, actually explicitly venerate(d) Buddha.
 

seattlegal

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Oh, that's right! Graeco-Buddhism was a form of Hellenistic Buddhism in Ancient Greece that has been variously hypothesized as contributing to early Gnostic thought.

Personally, I don't think that there's a connection. I think the real connection is that Hellenism and Hinduism both sprouted out of the Proto-Indo-European Religion, and so Buddhism and Gnosticism resemble one another due to retaining many of the traits of their shared lineages.

That's for early Gnosticism, at least. The Manichaens, who were a bit later, actually explicitly venerate(d) Buddha.
Well Ptolemy II Philadelphus sent an ambassador named Dionysius to the Court of Ashoka, and Ashoka himself sent dütas to Alexandria. Ashoka reigned from 268 to 232 BC. When did the great library of Alexandria burn down? It was said to be established during Ptolemy II Philadelphus reign, and he was quite aggressive in his pursuit of scrolls for the library.
 
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Cino

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Greco Buddhism also flourished in the ancient kingdom of Gandhara (present day southern Afghanistan and northern Pakistan), after Alexander's conquests. One Ancient Buddhist scripture even bears the name of a Greek king of that region: "Milindapañha", or in English, "The questions of King Menander".
 

Ella S.

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Oh, I forgot to mention, I am also getting my own book on Neo-Sethian alchemy published some time in the next month or two. It just isn't out yet.

When it is, I'll upload it in various digital formats on archive.org so that they can be accessed for free and ask the mods if I can post a link to it in the Esoteric category of the Alternative Religions sub-forum. If they let me, I'll accompany the link with a brief summary and point out some of the parts that I feel make my book unique so that there can be a whole discussion thread on its contents.

That would actually be pretty neat, because the first edition is going to be a little incomplete and probably have some errors strewn throughout it. The feedback would help me improve the book so that it's a higher quality when the second edition is released. I should be able to do without it if I need to, though.
 

Cino

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Congratulations on your book! The way you are planning to do it is, to my sensibilities, perfectly in line with our forum rules. I'm looking forward very much to reading and the discussions!
 
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