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Switch to Forum Live View Gnosticism and Christianity?
7 years ago  ::  Oct 14, 2007 - 12:04PM #1
BeliefnetCheryl
Posts: 341
Another interesting old thread--


anonymouse
   
I found this comparison of christianity and gnosticism in another area of the internet, and i was curious about what people here thought. (Note that it was a certain type of gnosticism which was being discussed at the time)


here is what i know of gnosticism compared to average modern christianity:

> the god who made the world is not the true god, but the demiurge...

christians say that satan and his angels rebelled against god, and satan is now the king of the world

> jesus was sent by the Perfect Being in a way i suppose to free mankind from the prison they live in,

jesus came to the christians to free them from the oppressive and impossible-to-keep law (which in reality, is not oppressive, easy to keep, and only applies to jews)

> a material world of illusions that has trapped them in this life and every other life they have lived, reincarnation essentially,

the world is full of traps set by satan to lure people away from jesus. but instead of reincarnation, people have one life and go to hell. (if unsaved)

> and that when they attain gnosis (knowledge)

and when they accept jesus (which is an intellectual feat, like knowledge)

> they will "ascend" out of the material lie, past the demiurge and his archons (angels in a way) and attain oneness with the perfect being

then they will ascend to heaven to be with jesus, escaping the world which gets all set on fire with all sorts of natural disasters and whatnot. then all the sinners are judged and go to hell.
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7 years ago  ::  Oct 17, 2007 - 10:10PM #2
Atrus89
Posts: 33
I can not understand why people are so fascinated by gnosticism; from all I can tell, it is just one more heresy peddled around like a revolutionary movement. Any insight, Cheryl?
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7 years ago  ::  Oct 18, 2007 - 5:35PM #3
ParanoidMystic
Posts: 26
For my money, the intrigue with gnosticism is two-fold.

First, it explains why the world is messed up.  And it isn't the fault of the creation.  So far as I'm concerned, the real "heresy peddled around like a revolutionary movement" is the idea that the original sin was perpetrated by humans on earth, for which they must expiate or be punished forever.  That guilt and fear has hovered over the spiritually curious for a long time, and I for one just can't swallow it.  All we did was be born in a world in which the strong survive.  Whoever built that world is to blame for what happens in it.

Second, the goal of the gnostics is a mysterious and felt experience. Unlike anonymouse's description of gnosis as knowledge (to be compared with the intellectual acceptance of Jesus as divine), the term definitely refers to a state of being.  It's an experience, something that feels patently different from the zombie-like stimulus/response of normal life.  I find it closely akin to the state of enlightenment, and it seems to me more truthful to the facts of experience than "believing" a certain thing.  I can say right now, without hesitation and in total truth, that I believe one hundred percent Jesus was divine and walked the earth.

For me, that doesn't move me further on the spiritual path.  A belief isn't a practive - it just doesn't cut it. I still have issues and irritations to overcome, relationships to untangle, etc.  Walking the path in the state of gnosis, aware of the inbuilt obstacles of the Demiurge and the archons (who I envision more like traffic signs or forms of landscape or laws of physics than beings of discrete physical appearance), I find I make the correct decisions more easily and often.

When you know you live in a fractured world, it's easier to map your actions.

Whatever the spiritual urge is, I think its obvious fruits are wise action.  IMHO, gnosticism approaches life on earth from an honest perspective and is a major magnet for those of us with mystical proclivities.
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7 years ago  ::  Oct 18, 2007 - 6:05PM #4
Atrus89
Posts: 33
Paranoid,

Pardon me, I am unaware that original sin is a heresy.
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7 years ago  ::  Oct 18, 2007 - 7:27PM #5
ParanoidMystic
Posts: 26
Oh, right.

I mean it's heretical to ME, the church with a congregation of one.  I don't personally allow corrupt institutions to dictate my truth.  I only used the word because you did.  Fact is, the Council of Nicea declared illegal a number of concepts near and dear to my heart.  So I'm still a little sore, ever after all these years.
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7 years ago  ::  Oct 18, 2007 - 11:26PM #6
SquirleyWurley
Posts: 1,970
For me the value of Gnosticism is its combination of introspection/primitive pschological insight, with a radical critique of all systems of worldly power and religion and god-talk.

People talk about how the world is run, people submit to the powers that be, people treat the perceived order of the universe as if it were good instead of neutral or hostile to life/humanity/conscience, people rationalize with theology in all religions.  Gnosticism challenges ALL of that.  And it does so by speaking of something about the spirit of humanity BEYOND creator gods or planetary gods or mere conditions of survival or life in our world.

The phenomenon of our consciousness includes perception and also imagination and creativity, reason that can speculate and wonder and go beyond the immediate facts to hypothesize and to evaluate, to have aesthetics, to think about justice: making our relationships potentially better than the 'given' that is programmed into us by culture/parents/reactions, to think about technology or art: to potentially improve quality of life.

Our wisdom guides us in these things, but sometimes our wisdom is confused and trapped and disempowered.  Finding the power of wisdom, oriented towards the BEST of our potential, is the key.

Gnostic texts deal with those issues, and to do so it challenges us to go BEYOND what it says in the Tanakh or the NT or whatever notions of Karma we might have heard about, BEYOND religious traditions about ruling spirits, and BEYOND taboos.
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7 years ago  ::  Oct 19, 2007 - 6:43PM #7
masmenosdios
Posts: 4,903
[QUOTE=SquirleyWurley;7533]For me the value of Gnosticism is its combination of introspection/primitive pschological insight, with a radical critique of all systems of worldly power and religion and god-talk.

People talk about how the world is run, people submit to the powers that be, people treat the perceived order of the universe as if it were good instead of neutral or hostile to life/humanity/conscience, people rationalize with theology in all religions.  Gnosticism challenges ALL of that.  And it does so by speaking of something about the spirit of humanity BEYOND creator gods or planetary gods or mere conditions of survival or life in our world.

The phenomenon of our consciousness includes perception and also imagination and creativity, reason that can speculate and wonder and go beyond the immediate facts to hypothesize and to evaluate, to have aesthetics, to think about justice: making our relationships potentially better than the 'given' that is programmed into us by culture/parents/reactions, to think about technology or art: to potentially improve quality of life.

Our wisdom guides us in these things, but sometimes our wisdom is confused and trapped and disempowered.  Finding the power of wisdom, oriented towards the BEST of our potential, is the key.

Gnostic texts deal with those issues, and to do so it challenges us to go BEYOND what it says in the Tanakh or the NT or whatever notions of Karma we might have heard about, BEYOND religious traditions about ruling spirits, and BEYOND taboos.[/QUOTE]



SquirleyWurley

any chance we could do a comparative in the gnostic board or the debate board here?

i have currently read a book called the law of one by ra; which is a channeled entity. i have also read some things from oapshe which pecularly sounds very much like gnosticism. if you had the time i'l like to get pick your brain as it were.

thanks

I AM that I AM
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7 years ago  ::  Oct 20, 2007 - 8:41PM #8
SquirleyWurley
Posts: 1,970
Sure.  I suppose it makes more sense to do it on one of the new boards.  Perhaps the debate board would be best?
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7 years ago  ::  Oct 20, 2007 - 9:29PM #9
masmenosdios
Posts: 4,903
[QUOTE=SquirleyWurley;11376]Sure.  I suppose it makes more sense to do it on one of the new boards.  Perhaps the debate board would be best?[/QUOTE]

this is the debate board isn't it?

by the way i'm leavin on a short trip on wednesday so would you prefer to wait until i return 10/28/07 or shall we get started and where?

i'm in no rush and i've read some of your posts; especially from the previous site pertaining to the gospel of thomas.

again no rush. i'm very interested in your understanding and explaining some of the hierarchies as relates and compares to ra, gurdjieff's teachings, and edgar cayce explanations.

by the way why did you choose the pseudo-name SquirleyWurley?
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7 years ago  ::  Oct 20, 2007 - 10:00PM #10
SquirleyWurley
Posts: 1,970
Waiting until you return is fine.  I chose SquirelyWurley because I was really digging the Tremolo Wurley preset on my synth, and because I figured my posts/ideas were kind of Squirrely (for better or for worse).  When I get on a 'kick', I tend to follow it where it leads and weave around testing the nuances of it, and then I'm on another 'kick', even going at things from different directions circling around.  I was poking a little fun at myself.  But I like Squirrels.

... And did you ever hear illwillpress's "Squirrel Songs"...?  Priceless, and quite fitting for Christianity Debate board.
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