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What is Gnostic? Anyone Know?

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posted on Sep, 11 2005 @ 04:54 AM
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dnero6911: Thank you eversomuch for posting this...

The Gnostic faith is an intricately complex one of many varied layers. This first, the Creation story, actually puts MANY creation stories afterwards into perspective... particularly in the bible, and also explains to us why the God of the old testament appeared to be so harsh.

I myself identify primarily with the Gnostics, for Gnosis and the concept of Gnosticism reflects in many way "The Wisest of All Men", and the philosophy of Socrates.

Say what you will about the Greeks, but Socrates and his musings in much of the writing are a valuable lesson which most people could deal well with learning.

I would like to say that I have heard MANY misattributions to Gnostisicm, from "Aren't they the ones that felt women were at fault for everything"? To the mis-statements above, as well as the most basely ignorant folk mistaking Gnosticism for AGNOSTICISM (Of which there is a huge difference in common day usage).

As I stated in another topic, the Gnostics were one of the primary reasons that the Inquisition occurred, as they were a very questioning sort. They liked to examine various faiths and beliefs and have open and honest discussions rather than attempts at conversion... they were always in pursuit of truth, and Gnosticism prior to the official sanctioning of the Catholic Faith was quite popular. Why? They didn't discount the existence of other spiritual beings... they firmly believed there were tiers of spiritual beings of various influences, and attributed the gods of other cultures to yet another tier of creatures.

This is likely the reason why some in this discussion have attributed Gnosticism to "A variety of pagan and other religious beliefs". I can see why they might be confused.

The reality of the faith is actually far more intoxicating and vibrant... and complex.




posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 06:41 AM
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Originally posted by TheCrystalSword
As I stated in another topic, the Gnostics were one of the primary reasons that the Inquisition occurred...


I think there is some confusion here. Gnosticism is a movement originating in the late 1st century AD, heyday in the 2nd century, waning thereafter and coming to an end ca. 500AD Later movements may share some features of the belief system, but have no organic connection.

Gnostic beliefs varied but all derived from mixing various strands of pagan philosophy (as Tertullian remarks in De praescriptione haereticorum) with elements of Christian teaching. Characteristic was the idea that matter was evil, the creator was different from the father of Jesus, strange ideas about whether Jesus was really human, hierarchies of Aeons, and the like. There were still Valentinians in the Nile delta in the 4th century, and Marcionites in the 6th.

Manichaeans are sometimes treated as if they were gnostic, but are in reality a non-Christian religion of different origins.

The Inquisition is a body that operated primarily during the 16th century.

All the best,

Roger Pearse



posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 04:46 PM
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While I can't seem to find the book I was reading, you are correct that the original Gnostics were not responsible for the Inquisition, but a later sect which shared much of the point of view was partly responsible for why the inquisition happened.

When I find the book I was reading, I will cite the names of the particular sect of Christianity that is mentioned, and the reasoning why.

Gnostic influences pop up periodically throughout history, and often result in scorn from the mother church.



posted on Sep, 13 2005 @ 03:34 AM
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Originally posted by TheCrystalSword
While I can't seem to find the book I was reading, you are correct that the original Gnostics were not responsible for the Inquisition, but a later sect which shared much of the point of view was partly responsible for why the inquisition happened.

When I find the book I was reading, I will cite the names of the particular sect of Christianity that is mentioned, and the reasoning why.


The Albigensians?



Gnostic influences pop up periodically throughout history, and often result in scorn from the mother church.


I really don't think using the word gnostic in this way is useful, tho.

All the best,

Roger Pearse



posted on Sep, 13 2005 @ 04:56 PM
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It may have been the Albiginsians, as the name does sound familiar. There was a particular situation involving a Fortress on a hill which involved the people I mentioned...

In what manner, praytell, am I using the term Gnostic incorrectly?



posted on Sep, 14 2005 @ 02:50 AM
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Originally posted by TheCrystalSword
In what manner, praytell, am I using the term Gnostic incorrectly?


Gnosticism is a second century movement. To define any movement which shares certain ideological ideas which are extremely common, and easily arise spontaneously as 'gnostic' creates two problems. Firstly it gives the impression of a widespread movement, over time and space, when there is no such thing. Secondly it leaves us with a problem as to what we call the real gnostics, now we have applied their name to something else.

All the best,

Roger Pearse



posted on Sep, 14 2005 @ 05:36 AM
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First of all I must state that I don't believe all apocrypha, gnostic, or cannon readings are accurate and authentic. While also contributing to the misunderstanding might be the physical interpretation versus the spiritual interpretation of all relics, be it the cannon or other non-cannon material. When I first read the two page letter, of Valentinus writing to his family member Flora, I knew it was a brief summary of important gnostic ideas related to the law (law of Moses) and Jesus. It was something that I could print out for a friend that might otherwise be discouraged hearing about gnostism in a long verbiage of words elsewhere. (modern attention deficit masses of society) It works out great because it is a short read (2 pages) and compacted essential views relating to gnostic beliefs held by Valentinas, who is my favorite of the gnostics.

Valentinas Letter to Flora

I had already familiarized myself with alot of gnostic belief, but he sums it up nicely. Wouldn't you for a family member?



posted on Sep, 14 2005 @ 01:26 PM
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Alright, but what of Christianity as a whole? Or Protestantism? There are so many factions that share similar beliefs but have quibbling differences that I am not sure the relevance of referring specifically to the Albigensians since they are, in many ways, associated with Gnostic belief and practice.

True, not the original Gnostics... but nor is the RCC the original christian movement, merely the most popular and powerful since it was sanctioned by Rome.

In any case, I shall endeavor when speaking of the gnostics to specify which particular group I am referring to, for the sake of clarity rather than any other reason.



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