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Switch to Forum Live View Does one need to be Christian to be a gnostic?
6 years ago  ::  Oct 30, 2007 - 10:39AM #1
Al_Jaeger
Posts: 593
Hello all,
I have had a spiritual struggle. I was born and raised Catholic. In light of the texts of Nag Hamani and the other Gospels that were banned as heretical, I have questioned my faith. I have studied the history of the Catholic church and am aware of the manipulations and power plays that happened in the 2nd and 3rd centuries.
For many years prior to learning this, I questioned the practices of many of the christian faiths. I was more comfortable with earth based religions. My spirit is close to nature. I see God in all things. I have sopken with Pagans and Wiccans and have been pushed out of their world as I believe in one God and not in the many Gods The God I believe in is the ultimate power and light. The one God we experience with Gnosis. The God spoken about by Jesus.

Can a person that believes in the earth based religion and believe in one god still be Gnostic.
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 01, 2007 - 8:52PM #2
costrel
Posts: 6,217
Al,

No, one does not need to be a Christian to be a Gnostic. In fact, there were many non-Christian Gnostic groups in late antiquity, but historically, they have not been as widely known as the Christian Gnostic groups that were the primary focus of the heresiologists. In fact, some of the texts in the Nag Hammadi Library are not Christian. One of the hallmarks of late antiquity Gnosticism seems to be a certain form of rejection of the world/earth as the creation not of the Great Invisible Spirit but as the creation of an inferior being known by various names (the Demiurge, Saklas, Samael, Yaltabaoth). When I left Christianity but was still a theist (I’m an atheist now), I was interested in Gnosticism, but was turned off by the world-denying rhetoric I found in certain Nag Hammadi tractates. Yet, other tractates, such as the “Gospel of Thomas” and “The Thunder: Perfect Mind” (which have been argued as non-Gnostic texts) attracted me. Yet, I’m sure one can probably be a “gnostic” without adhering to the world-denying baggage of the Gnostics of late antiquity. If you haven’t already, I recommend reading the wonderful text, “The Thunder: Perfect Mind." For the text, click on the url: http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/thunder.html.
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 03, 2007 - 9:26AM #3
Al_Jaeger
Posts: 593
Thank you for the reply. I always concidered myself a monotheistic Pagan. Tough to fit in in the traditional Pagan or Chritian world and dialouge.
The text you link to is wonderful. It is so early religion and smells of Pagan to me. The Mother, Daughter, Crone images is very Wiccan.
Thanks
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 03, 2007 - 9:32PM #4
Atrus89
Posts: 33
How are we defining "Christian" in this discussion?
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 04, 2007 - 11:34AM #5
Al_Jaeger
Posts: 593
Good question. I was refering to the belief that Jesus was God. The belief that he physicaly rose from the dead.

I view Jesus as a teacher and one, sent by God, to teach us the path to gnosis.
And, I do not believe in the Apostalic creed.
Sorry if I am providing a narrow definition.
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 04, 2007 - 9:36PM #6
SquirleyWurley
Posts: 1,970

Al_Jaeger wrote:

Good question. I was refering to the belief that Jesus was God. The belief that he physicaly rose from the dead.

I view Jesus as a teacher and one, sent by God, to teach us the path to gnosis.
And, I do not believe in the Apostalic creed.
Sorry if I am providing a narrow definition.



Many of the Gnostic texts describe the Christ as an emanation from the spiritual source, but not at the same level as that spiritual source.  Many also distinguished between the form of Jesus and the spirit that illuminated/guided him.  Also, many Gnostics did not believe in any physical resurrection.  There were a variety of views on these subjects among Gnostics.


I'll recommend another beautiful text: Trimorphic Protennoia

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6 years ago  ::  Nov 05, 2007 - 1:43PM #7
Al_Jaeger
Posts: 593
Thank you all. There are so many texts and interpretations to study. I have started with Thomas as a base to go from. I try to study the word of Christ. It is the different interpretation of the Coptic text that intriques me.
I am an earth based pagan but the words of Christ are too beautifull to ignore. As a teacher, Jesus  helps me down the path of enlightenment. The eastern philosophers do as well.
If there are any other texts that are more orienatl rather than occidental, I would love to study them.
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 05, 2007 - 1:43PM #8
Al_Jaeger
Posts: 593
Thank you all. There are so many texts and interpretations to study. I have started with Thomas as a base to go from. I try to study the word of Christ. It is the different interpretation of the Coptic text that intriques me.
I am an earth based pagan but the words of Christ are too beautifull to ignore. As a teacher, Jesus  helps me down the path of enlightenment. The eastern philosophers do as well.
If there are any other texts that are more orienatl rather than occidental, I would love to study them.
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 07, 2007 - 2:26PM #9
SquirleyWurley
Posts: 1,970

Al_Jaeger wrote:

If there are any other texts that are more orienatl rather than occidental, I would love to study them.



There are collections of Manichean scriptures/psalms available.  Some are in Barnestone/Meyer's Gnostic Bible.   Manicheanism spread far in the East, even into some parts of China.  Buddha, Zoroaster, and Christ, were all considered special spiritual teachers, by Mani, the founder of Manicheanism.

The First Apocalypse of James has zen koan-like sayings of Jesus, too.

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6 years ago  ::  Nov 07, 2007 - 2:26PM #10
SquirleyWurley
Posts: 1,970

Al_Jaeger wrote:

If there are any other texts that are more orienatl rather than occidental, I would love to study them.



There are collections of Manichean scriptures/psalms available.  Some are in Barnestone/Meyer's Gnostic Bible.   Manicheanism spread far in the East, even into some parts of China.  Buddha, Zoroaster, and Christ, were all considered special spiritual teachers, by Mani, the founder of Manicheanism.

The First Apocalypse of James has zen koan-like sayings of Jesus, too.

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