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The Fallacy of Gnostic Monism ...
11-26-2010, 04:03 PM (This post was last modified: 11-26-2010 04:07 PM by theeternaliam.)
Post: #61
RE: The Fallacy of Gnostic Monism ...
(11-26-2010 12:04 PM)Fr:. Scott Wrote:  
Quote:The problem w/ a mythological viewpoint is you can only understand the story intellectually,not experientially.

Ever been to a thanksgiving day parade? How about a liturgical service? What about a masonic ritual? A veterans day speech? A Christmas pageant?

All of these take a mythological story (In each case: The pilgrims getting along with the Indians, the story of the last supper, the myth of Hiram Abiff, the stories of our grandparents and parents fighting for democracy, and the story of the Birth of the savior) and make those stories experiential. They put you in the moment. Some, more effectively than others.

All of these are diluted forms of reality, kinda like the demiurge's creation Wink A Christmas pageant is a mockery of the Mystery of the Incarnation. Diluted for people who aren't quite ready or perhaps an outright deception. The real mysteries aren't myths meant to give you some moral lesson or pseudo-realizations that you are god and all is really one. They're not Disney for spiritualists.


Quote:Again, these stories may both have TRUTH in them, but they are not FACTUAL. They did not happen in actuality. They're a model. A lens, as you put it. They point to something bigger than themselves. And viewing through this lens can also lead to experiential insights. But to confuse the mythological and the factual does no good, it muddies the waters. One cannot obtain clarity without being clear on definitions.

In conventional consensus "reality" Adam was never in Eden and Sophia never chased after that false light. It is impossible to understand the gnostic myths and any truth, really, when one limits Factuality/Actuality to conventional consensus reality. Because conventional reality is ACTUALLY nothing. He who has discovered the world has discovered a carcass.

The Treatise on the Resurrection is apt concerning this:
Quote:What, then, is the resurrection? It is always the disclosure of those who have risen. For if you remember reading in the Gospel that Elijah appeared and Moses with him, do not think the resurrection is an illusion. It is no illusion, but it is truth! Indeed, it is more fitting to say the world is an illusion, rather than the resurrection which has come into being through our Lord the Savior, Jesus Christ.

The Mysteries of Jesus Christ are not meaningful myths, they are meaningful because they are ACTUAL. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is ACTUAL.


The One who's throne is in heaven sits laughing
psalms 2:4
11-26-2010, 08:21 PM (This post was last modified: 11-26-2010 08:34 PM by Soulgazer.)
Post: #62
RE: The Fallacy of Gnostic Monism ...
I think I know what you are saying. (??) The problem as I see it, is that definition of Myth. Myth is not a fabricated story; it's a container to convey Truth. In that sense, it really does not matter if the story that is the vehicle is factual at all. The facts are that we have some writings about a jewish messianic figure who may or may not have lived 2000 years ago. Boom. The facts don't do anything for anybody at all. It's the Myth, the Story, and how the archetypes are incorporated into our lives. If a Gnostic laughs at being able to incorporate the archetype of the Living Jesus as portrayed in the various gospels and writings into their own lives, that person has just announced that they are not "gnostic".

Gnosticism is not now, nor was it ever an intellectual exercise. Anyone who believes otherwise has merely outsmarted themselves. It is a path to the living God, an illumination, both of the Divine Nature of God and of human and natural frailties and failings, that are a natural consequence of experiencing perfection first hand.

A genuine experience of God has you trying to track everybody down you have known since kindergarten to apologize; Anybody who says different has some severe personality disorders, or is just a wannabe goo-roo making sh*t up to catch attention. This is something that the old masters wrote about, and why the exploits of the Jewish conquerors were considered inconsistent with the nature of God that is experienced via gnosis.

Pastor, Alpha&Omega Christian Gnostic Church
email alphaomega.church37330@gmail.com for contact information
Estill Springs, TN Christian Gnostic meetings and studies - come visit us at http://soulgazer.iamlight.info/
11-26-2010, 10:18 PM
Post: #63
RE: The Fallacy of Gnostic Monism ...
Hm.
I agree with Fr.Scott's perspective, however I also feel that although we read all that into these texts, THEY did not necessarily do that.
It seems more likely that these stories and myths, right back to the OT, were written to explain what humans could not understand.
The OT God for example.. of course he was an asshole. (not all the time, after all, let's not forget about all the instances of his Grace, even back then) He was a crazy God, because these stories were fragments from different writers, and these stories came out of a period of time when polytheism was still abound.
The OT God had to be the biggest, meanest, scariest guy going, because he had to be the ONE. He had to be more fearsome yet more loving than the gods in Gilgamesh, and he had to be more powerful than the cave gods, and the river gods, etc etc....
The persona of the OT God was that of an evil creator in some stories, but that is because it was the context in which the people understood him 2-7000 years ago.
Of course, that travels into Gnostic myth... the maker.
I don't really know that people were trying to be that 'deep', back then.. peeling away layers and such. Not as far as the personality of God.
More or less, these stories of the creator god are given in order to explain how the state of man came about, and how the nations and tribes were formed.
I think we can internalize any of these myths into a system because these myths activate a part of us that responds to these stories. Kind of like the way tarot images seem to possibly trigger awareness that we do not realize is there.
Wow, okay I think I totally went off track and lost myself. I apologize.

InTheWind
11-27-2010, 01:27 AM (This post was last modified: 11-27-2010 01:31 AM by theeternaliam.)
Post: #64
RE: The Fallacy of Gnostic Monism ...
(11-26-2010 08:21 PM)Soulgazer Wrote:  The facts are that we have some writings about a jewish messianic figure who may or may not have lived 2000 years ago. Boom. The facts don't do anything for anybody at all. It's the Myth, the Story, and how the archetypes are incorporated into our lives. If a Gnostic laughs at being able to incorporate the archetype of the Living Jesus as portrayed in the various gospels and writings into their own lives, that person has just announced that they are not "gnostic".

I agree that the archetype of the Living Jesus is important and necessary even to incorporate into our own lives. But He is not just that. The ancient Christians REALLY believed Jesus is the resurrected Son of God and died for our sins. He wasn't just an archetype to them and for someone to interpret ancient texts that way are practicing the same sin of projection that they believe the Israelites did upon their conception of god.
You say "the facts don't do anything to anybody at all", but it did to the early Christians and my belief in the ACTUAL LIVING Jesus Christ has transformed my life, and for the better.
I don't mean to be argumentative and contradict you, SG, or anybody else here. I feel that we are mostly in agreement, in fact. I do agree that we must internalize these stories, that on one level they are the story of our Psyche/Soul. But salvation has to occur in/on all dimensions.


A bit off topic, seems like this discussion's more like an unprogrammed Friends' meeting(never been to one,but I imagine this would make a good parody of one) Smile


The One who's throne is in heaven sits laughing
psalms 2:4
11-27-2010, 03:02 AM (This post was last modified: 11-27-2010 07:32 AM by Soulgazer.)
Post: #65
RE: The Fallacy of Gnostic Monism ...
(11-27-2010 01:27 AM)theeternaliam Wrote:  I agree that the archetype of the Living Jesus is important and necessary even to incorporate into our own lives. But He is not just that. The ancient Christians REALLY believed Jesus is the resurrected Son of God and died for our sins. He wasn't just an archetype to them and for someone to interpret ancient texts that way are practicing the same sin of projection that they believe the Israelites did upon their conception of god.
You say "the facts don't do anything to anybody at all", but it did to the early Christians and my belief in the ACTUAL LIVING Jesus Christ has transformed my life, and for the better.
I don't mean to be argumentative and contradict you, SG, or anybody else here. I feel that we are mostly in agreement, in fact. I do agree that we must internalize these stories, that on one level they are the story of our Psyche/Soul. But salvation has to occur in/on all dimensions.
I don't think we are having a disagreement at all. Yes, the early christians believed in a Jesus that actually walked the earth. However, the early christians were not in agreement on what he said or what he did or the events surrounding His life.

To quote our website:
Quote:We use the early Christian mythology that is found in the NHL and parts of the Bible. We are not arguing that it is historically accurate or even probable----for our purposes believing it to be of absolute historical accuracy DOESN'T matter; In the movie PATTON, one of General Patton's aides consoled Patton over his opponents absence from the battlefield by saying "If you have defeated Rommel's plan, have you not defeated Rommel?" By the same token, if we have followed Jesus' plan for salvation, this makes us Christian despite Jesus' presence or absence on the "battlefield". It won't matter if Jesus was a real person if you cannot find Christ within yourself, and it will not matter if He wasn't really born in a manger if you DO find Him within yourself.

By the same token, we MUST believe that the stories attributed to Jesus are paramount and priceless in their spiritual value if they are to have any impact on our lives whatsoever. To be "lukewarm" in anything spiritual is the ultimate error, resulting in a hodgepodge belief system that will ultimately stall and fail when it is needed most. Because of this simple, but often hard to take truth, we keep with a set methodology, emphasizing that which has shown positive results, and de-emphasizing that which has not ultimately mattered.

The first century deffinition of "believe" is not the same as the twenty first century deffinition. When Jesus said "believe in me" He was speaking to people that could see hear and touch him. There was no question of His existence, because He was right there in front of them. What he was saying in modern terms, was "Trust me to tell you the truth, and trust me enough to become like me".

I trust that the Jesus in the Gospels was telling the truth, even though I don't necessarily believe nor disbelieve in His physical existence. If some dark god also demanded a blood sacrifice from Him, that is above and beyond anything that we have control over, and is part and parcel of Grace. The Jesus in the Gospels died a horrible and unfair death; most people do, to no greater purpose than dying. The Christ in some if the oldest Christian writings sacrificed Himself by leaving Heaven to enter this world of death, to die the same way that each of us will, just to bring us a message that we should already have known. These both are the examples for us when we are asked to die to ourselves while we are alive, so that we can see the things that need doing, and the people that need our love. "No greater love hath any man ...".


The gospels gives the terms for eternal life in John 17:3....the best that we can do as humans without a time machine is to heed the words "Trust me to tell you the truth, and trust me enough to become like me". We can do this without touching the wounds in His palms or thrusting our hand into His side. If He absolutely has to have flesh, then He has mine as He lives in me, and that will more than suffice for my salvation.


We are trying to do what the followers of the Nag Hammadi did. Yes, we have the benefit of modern scholarship, but the operative methodology is still grounded in belief. The only difference, is that we recognize belief for what it is. Trusting in something enough to follow it, despite contradictory evidence and letting the methodology generate the evidence that can then be either a confirmation or a refutation of the methodology itself.
So no, I don't think we are disagreeing at all.


(11-27-2010 01:46 AM)Blockhead Wrote:  
theeternaliam Wrote:I don't mean to be argumentative and contradict you, SG, or anybody else here. I feel that we are mostly in agreement, in fact. I do agree that we must internalize these stories, that on one level they are the story of our Psyche/Soul. But salvation has to occur in/on all dimensions.

Polite, informed, and articulate — all without being theologically obtrusive. You often take a lot of heat for your unconventionalism, but at least you're not ashamed of your convictions, which is why I always love to hear what you have to say. What a stand-up guy!
Passerby is a gem. I don't have to agree with people to like them; some people just shine through in speech or writings, and Passerby is one of those.

Pastor, Alpha&Omega Christian Gnostic Church
email alphaomega.church37330@gmail.com for contact information
Estill Springs, TN Christian Gnostic meetings and studies - come visit us at http://soulgazer.iamlight.info/
11-27-2010, 06:15 PM
Post: #66
RE: The Fallacy of Gnostic Monism ...
Hehe, SG, That was TheEternaliam, however, I feel that he and yes, Passerby too, are both pretty darn groovy. Smile (heck, you all are)

InTheWind
11-27-2010, 06:26 PM
Post: #67
Tongue RE: The Fallacy of Gnostic Monism ...
(11-27-2010 06:15 PM)Sr.ShiloMichelle Wrote:  Hehe, SG, That was TheEternaliam, however, I feel that he and yes, Passerby too, are both pretty darn groovy. Smile (heck, you all are)
I do too, which is why my befuddled brain sometimes mixes them up! Aphasia reaches not only my speech but my fingertips! Tongue

Pastor, Alpha&Omega Christian Gnostic Church
email alphaomega.church37330@gmail.com for contact information
Estill Springs, TN Christian Gnostic meetings and studies - come visit us at http://soulgazer.iamlight.info/
11-28-2010, 01:40 PM
Post: #68
RE: The Fallacy of Gnostic Monism ...
blockhead Wrote:As far as science is concerned, ancient narratives were primitive explanations for misunderstood phenomena of the natural world, and internal sensations of intense spiritual euphoria like enlightenment are nothing more than hallucinatory chemical processes in the brain.

And, of course, this is also a perfectly valid lens via which to view these stories. This is indeed science's best understanding of these phenomena.

However, throughout the history of science, one will find that the world is often much stranger than the scientists give it credit for. Sometimes, the popular explanation is wrong. Sometimes, the correct explanation is known, yet is disregarded because technology has moved onto another, 'advanced' but mistaken thought process.* Or, people are wedded to an old understanding that is workable but does not cover all variables or phenomena.

So, you'll forgive me if I take the latest scientific explanation with a grain of salt. I, subjectively, find it barren. It does not appeal to me. More power to you for taking the position, though.

This does not mean I have absolute trust in my explanation, by the way. It's simply that the explanation I favor, has the most utility for me. I think it will for others, as well. So, I proffer that explanation. In no way do I suggest it as an authoritative position.

*For just one example, look up the history of the treatment of scurvy, specifically Scott's expeditions to Antarctica.

"The Logos of Modern Western Thought consists of the radio-dialogue transmitted between the mustaches of Dali, Nietzsche & Gurdjieff. Stalin & Grover Cleveland, are simply passive receivers who mostly mangled the message; Hitler was fit only to receive the occasional telegram." - Ben Pierce
11-28-2010, 04:50 PM
Post: #69
RE: The Fallacy of Gnostic Monism ...
(11-28-2010 01:40 PM)Fr:. Scott Wrote:  
blockhead Wrote:As far as science is concerned, ancient narratives were primitive explanations for misunderstood phenomena of the natural world, and internal sensations of intense spiritual euphoria like enlightenment are nothing more than hallucinatory chemical processes in the brain.

And, of course, this is also a perfectly valid lens via which to view these stories.
This is indeed science's best understanding of these phenomena...

So, you'll forgive me if I take the latest scientific explanation with a grain of salt.
I, subjectively, find it barren. It does not appeal to me.
More power to you for taking the position, though...

This does not mean I have absolute trust in my explanation, ...
It's simply that the explanation I favor, has the most utility for me...
In no way do I suggest it as an authoritative position.

Nice post!
The only corrective that I would put forth is this:
The lens that Blockhead has just summarized, isn't necessarily "his" (or "her"?) view.
So Blockhead isn't (necessarily) "taking this position".

It is the "scientific position".
All that Blockhead has said is that
this is the POV as far as science is concerned.
11-28-2010, 06:08 PM
Post: #70
RE: The Fallacy of Gnostic Monism ...
I second Fr.Scott's reference to Science/Scurvy. Perfect example that Science often doesn't know squat. (and often it does)
I also would venture to say that chemical reactions in the brain do not necessarily make an experience any less valid. Is the experience changing the chemicals? Or are the chemicals creating the experience.?

InTheWind


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