The Basics on Gnosticism

including those referred to as 'spiritual' by those concerned
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Neophyte
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The Basics on Gnosticism

Post by Neophyte » Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:04 am

Hello, friends of the forum.
Peace for all.
Sorry for my english, I'm brazilian and I'm using google translate. If some portions of the text are confusing, please let me know and I will look for a correct translation.

I started to study Gnosticism, but I still have some doubts ...
Because from what I have read, the Gnostics claim that the Hebrew God is a bad demiurge.
However, many Gnostic sources have a Hebrew Kabbalah content and, from what I read, Kabbalah is based on the Torah that Jehovah revealed to Moses.

In addition, I think that this conception, although some find solving the "problem of evil," is in fact a logically faulty reasoning ... For if there is a good god, why should he create or allow himself to be created Did one give evil and inflict evil on his creation?

Can you help me with these questions?

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Re: The Basics on Gnosticism

Post by Lúthien » Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:26 am

Hi Neophyte,

I am not an expert in 'regular gnosticism' either, but to summarise my understanding:

The gnostic view is that Jehovah is indeed not the true God but a demiurge.
Here's a description of (one of the) the Gnostic creation myths, The Divine Sophia

A short summary of that would be:

In the beginning there was the Pleroma: the fullness of the spiritual world, uninfluenced by matter, energy or light. From the Pleroma came the Aeons (sacred powers), the last of which was Sophia (wisdom).
Sophia desperately wanted to comprehend the nature of all off creation, and she tried searching for an answer despite even though it cannot be comprehended in full. This caused a disharmony within her and with the other Aeons. At some point she realised that her striving for fully understanding creation was in vain, but by then that striving had acquired a life of its own, taking on a more substantive appearance of patterns of light, dimness and darkening matter - mixed with grief, fear, uncertainty and sorrow because of the separation with the fullness of the Pleroma.

Sophia was caught in this separation herself, with the assistance Christos and the Holy Spirit (two other Aeons) she could eventually reunite with her higher self and the other Aeons, but only by giving birth to the "Father of the Material Realm" (the Maker and creator of the Lower Visible Realms).

He then created the material universe and everything in it. But the Father God was vain and jealous, angry and forbidding, not knowing the power of the higher Aeons, nor of the Pleroma, nor even of his own Mother, the Divine Sophia, and refused to listen to her.
Yet, Sophia has given all people the gift of the Holy Spirit as a divine spark in their hearts, and it is possible for everyone to return to her.

So. in the Gnostic view, Jehova (and that goes for both the Hebrew as the Christian interpretation) is not the true god but a 'maker of the material world' only, and by his nature separated from the Holy Spirit. That's why there is evil and sorrow in this world.

It seems as if it is maybe an undesired by-product of gaining understanding and of the creation of the material world.

Hope this helps
Lúthien
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Re: The Basics on Gnosticism

Post by Meneldur Olvarion » Thu Apr 26, 2018 7:08 am

Neophyte wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:04 am
[...] In addition, I think that this conception, although some find solving the "problem of evil," is in fact a logically faulty reasoning ... For if there is a good god, why should he create or allow himself to be created Did one give evil and inflict evil on his creation?

Can you help me with these questions?
I am not an expert on Gnosticism either, so I shall answer your question from the perspective of a shaman -- something I do have considerable experience at. In my view, this is faulty reasoning. You see, humans in general tend to require explanations for their most important questions, and if their is no answer available, they tend to just make stuff up to fill the vacancy. It even happens in Science, where it is usually referred to as "data cooking". See, for example the fallacies of "cold fusion" [link] or that "vaccines cause autism" [link].

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Re: The Basics on Gnosticism

Post by Neophyte » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:46 am

Thanks for the answers and interest.

When I say that there is no logical sense to the apparent resolution to the problem of evil, which affirms the creator of the world as a bad demiurge and so the world is corrupt ...
That's because if before the evil demiurge, there was the good god, who gave birth to that demiurge who slaves us, so the good god who allows it is not good ...

This only makes sense to me if the interpretation of these myths is similar to the conceptions of Eastern schools like Advaita Vedanta.
In this school there is the Maya goddess, who is responsible for creating the illusion of the material world as we know it ... to trance the illusion of Maya would be the apex of our spiritual evolution.
Maya, I think, would be the equivalent of the Gnostic demiurge, but in the Vedantic conception, such a goddess is not really a separate entity from the good God ... but only one of its manifestations. The illusion of Maya according to the Vedantics is part of God's play.

I found this text (http://gnosis.org/library/valentinus/Va ... Monism.htm), which states that Valentinus's Gnostic school professed not the dualism commonly understood in relation to the Gnostics, but a monism similar to the Advaita Vedanta school.
According to the text, our material reality is a play of light and shadow, caused mainly by our ignorance of the ineffable God.
This process of creating this faulty reality from ignorance could be represented by the figure of the demiurge ...

In this way I think that the Gnostics did not refer to the demiurge as an entity proper, but an allegorical representation of this process ...
I think schools like that of the Sethians who apparently subverted the Genesis narrative, putting the Hebrew god as a villain ... were actually trying to express that most people have a poor view of God and the scriptures. In the case of the Jewish scriptures, Kabbalah would provide the real understanding of these scriptures and of Jehovah God.

Psychologist Carl Jung, I think he had a similar view. In expressing great esteem by the Gnostics, he attributes the archetype of the demiurge to our ego.
However I still have doubts about whether Jung was resignifying the Gnostic myths or whether he concluded that the ancient Gnostics really thought that way.

I would like to know more opinions of you about it.
Thank you.

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Re: The Basics on Gnosticism

Post by Meneldur Olvarion » Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:13 am

Thank you very much for mentioning and giving a short explanation of the Advaita Vedanta school/practice, of which I had not heard before. I have been meaning to study the Four Vedas for some time (which is how I usually learn new material, by going to the primary sources). It has interested me ever since I saw the movie "The Life of Pi" back in 2012, and from which my indwelling Tiger-spirit, who was always with me, got his name (Richard Parker).

With regard to Valentinian Gnosticism and it's relation to the Legendarium, we used to have a site subsection of a treatise on that someone had made - I think on geocities - that I managed to preserve before that entire domain went belly up. I don't think I have it any more, but I will check for it in the next week or so when this test bed I'm finishing up on now gets transferred to the wife and daughter's laptops.

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Re: The Basics on Gnosticism

Post by Lúthien » Fri Apr 27, 2018 3:08 pm

Moderation note: I split off Mildir's posts about Mars to a separate topic in 'The Edge' [link] for being offtopic.
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Re: The Basics on Gnosticism

Post by Lucius » Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:56 am

It's funny that I'm the first gnostic who writes here. "Problem of evil" is very important thing, so I think I need to say about it from my point of view.

First of all gnosticism is not a religion, it is a way of knowing the world. People today love to choose religion as a commodity in a store: this is not very to my taste, this is also, and this one, perhaps, I will take. Gnosticism is not a set of texts to be believed. It gives you the tools to explore the world by yourself.

First important thing: people separate "we" and "God". They ask: "Why does HE allow evil to torment US"? But there is no such separation. We are one with him. Imagine a fire in the night. In the center of this fire is pure light, without impurities, but the farther from the center, the weaker the light, at some point it becomes so weak that it turns into darkness. We are particles of flame at the end of the fire.

This whole fire is God. This is our pleroma. But we usually call God the center of the flame, where there is not a patch of darkness. This is true and not - the way it usually happens in such things. But I will not go into this topic now.

So, it would be better to ask the question like this: why do WE allow evil to exist? We are also light. Light cannot forbid light to do anything. The truth is that we ourselves want evil (darkness). It makes life more interesting for us.

The archon of this eon (Jehovah) is considered often as a kind of movie's pure EVIL, who wants only the bad to people. But he tried to create a good world, in which he mixed light and darkness so that we could exist side by side. He failed from the point of view of God (the center of the flame) and succeeded from the point of view of many souls who like to live here.

For example, where did you get the idea that there should be no evil? Nothing in our world suggests this thought. Answer: because you came from where there is only light around. The problem is not that you are being held here. The problem is that you like (or liked) to be here. The archon has managed to achieve a good balance between good and evil (light and darkness) - so that it is not too difficult to live, but also not carefree.

God just wants us to leave this vicious circle of rebirth, get rid of addict and return to them. But they can't force us, we can do it only by ourselves. As long as you like this world or similar worlds, you will be reborn in them time after time. And you will see evil around you again and again. God does not want us to suffer, we want it. Gnostics are those who move against the spread of fire to its center (some of us can also try to change the world).

As I said at the beginning, all this information is not needed to believe in it. It helps to act in order to leave this world once and for all and ascend upwards. This is not about suicide. Suiciders will easily be reborn in a new body if they are still addicted to the world. So this is about how to increase mindfulness.

Here two quotes from Gospel of Thomas:
He who has known the world has found a corpse; and he who has found a corpse, the world is not worthy of him.
Jesus said, "Let one who seeks not stop seeking until that person finds; and upon finding, the person will be disturbed; and being disturbed, will be astounded; and will reign over the entirety."

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Re: The Basics on Gnosticism

Post by Gnostic Bishop » Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:51 pm

Lucius wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:56 am
It's funny that I'm the first gnostic who writes here. "Problem of evil" is very important thing, so I think I need to say about it from my point of view.

First of all gnosticism is not a religion, it is a way of knowing the world. People today love to choose religion as a commodity in a store: this is not very to my taste, this is also, and this one, perhaps, I will take. Gnosticism is not a set of texts to be believed. It gives you the tools to explore the world by yourself.

First important thing: people separate "we" and "God". They ask: "Why does HE allow evil to torment US"? But there is no such separation. We are one with him. Imagine a fire in the night. In the center of this fire is pure light, without impurities, but the farther from the center, the weaker the light, at some point it becomes so weak that it turns into darkness. We are particles of flame at the end of the fire.

This whole fire is God. This is our pleroma. But we usually call God the center of the flame, where there is not a patch of darkness. This is true and not - the way it usually happens in such things. But I will not go into this topic now.

So, it would be better to ask the question like this: why do WE allow evil to exist? We are also light. Light cannot forbid light to do anything. The truth is that we ourselves want evil (darkness). It makes life more interesting for us.

The archon of this eon (Jehovah) is considered often as a kind of movie's pure EVIL, who wants only the bad to people. But he tried to create a good world, in which he mixed light and darkness so that we could exist side by side. He failed from the point of view of God (the center of the flame) and succeeded from the point of view of many souls who like to live here.

For example, where did you get the idea that there should be no evil? Nothing in our world suggests this thought. Answer: because you came from where there is only light around. The problem is not that you are being held here. The problem is that you like (or liked) to be here. The archon has managed to achieve a good balance between good and evil (light and darkness) - so that it is not too difficult to live, but also not carefree.

God just wants us to leave this vicious circle of rebirth, get rid of addict and return to them. But they can't force us, we can do it only by ourselves. As long as you like this world or similar worlds, you will be reborn in them time after time. And you will see evil around you again and again. God does not want us to suffer, we want it. Gnostics are those who move against the spread of fire to its center (some of us can also try to change the world).

As I said at the beginning, all this information is not needed to believe in it. It helps to act in order to leave this world once and for all and ascend upwards. This is not about suicide. Suiciders will easily be reborn in a new body if they are still addicted to the world. So this is about how to increase mindfulness.

Here two quotes from Gospel of Thomas:
He who has known the world has found a corpse; and he who has found a corpse, the world is not worthy of him.
Jesus said, "Let one who seeks not stop seeking until that person finds; and upon finding, the person will be disturbed; and being disturbed, will be astounded; and will reign over the entirety."
We indeed are the source of all human to human evil. As evolving creatures we must compete and competing creates victims who will think evil has befallen them.

We must embrace that evil as a part of the greater good.

As to your quote above, it continues by indicating that the world is evolving perfection should we look at it correctly. I see it. Do you?

Gnostic Christian Jesus said, "Those who seek should not stop seeking until they find. When they find, they will be disturbed. When they are disturbed, they will marvel, and will reign over all. [And after they have reigned they will rest.]"
"If those who attract you say, 'See, the Kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you.
If they say to you, 'It is under the earth,' then the fish of the sea will precede you.
Rather, the Kingdom of God is inside of you, and it is outside of you.
[Those who] become acquainted with [themselves] will find it; [and when you] become acquainted with yourselves, [you will understand that] it is you who are the sons of the living Father.
But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty."

I am rich and see what is demonstrably the best of all possible worlds, given entropy.

Are you?

Regards
DL

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Re: The Basics on Gnosticism

Post by Gnostic Bishop » Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:52 pm

Lucius wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:56 am
It's funny that I'm the first gnostic who writes here.
Not so my friend.

Regards
DL

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Re: The Basics on Gnosticism

Post by Lucius » Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:38 am

Gnostic Bishop wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:52 pm
Lucius wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:56 am
It's funny that I'm the first gnostic who writes here.
Not so my friend.
By "here" I meant this topic. Or do you see what is hidden, "my friend"?

While reading your post, I have a feeling that the Archon himself is telling me - all this disgusting ideas about wealth and evolving.

I do not even know what to say... Perhaps there is nothing to say at all. Just - you are not my brother of light.

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Re: The Basics on Gnosticism

Post by Gnostic Bishop » Mon Dec 10, 2018 2:46 pm

Lucius wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:38 am
Gnostic Bishop wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:52 pm
Lucius wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:56 am
It's funny that I'm the first gnostic who writes here.
Not so my friend.
By "here" I meant this topic. Or do you see what is hidden, "my friend"?

While reading your post, I have a feeling that the Archon himself is telling me - all this disgusting ideas about wealth and evolving.

I do not even know what to say... Perhaps there is nothing to say at all. Just - you are not my brother of light.
You believe in real archons?

If you have some kind of silly supernatural belief, then for sure --- you are not my brother of light.

Regards
DL

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