reply to post by WiseThinker
Oh come on.
Gnosticism means 'knower' - that's what we mean by the appellate "gnostic" - as someone who knows..Knows what?? That indeterminate essence of things,
which sheds meaning or strips meaning - whichever you prefer - of the world.
And yes, there are plenty of them here. Many of the followers of Hindu cults, new age spiritual (which abound aplenty here) cults, and all types of
people in between, knowingly or not, ascribe to some level of the gnostic idea
Of course, when speaking of gnosticism, it's important to clarify what you mean - and do not mean. I do not mean ancient Gnosticism. Nevertheless, the
ideas of Gnosticism appear in essence in Dante, Goethe, Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Poe, Melville, Dostoyevsky, Alcott, Emerson, Walt
Whitman, Emily Dickenson and on and on.
Contemporary culture is also moving in that direction: Gnosticism is a worship of the void - of the nothingness and wholly other; hence, a popular
contemporary symbol of this 'other' is the grey alien - alien meaning "other" from beyond the sphere of the world - which serves as a symbol of
creation. Gnosticism works from negating the world, and so is what Hegel would call the negative will or thought. When you negate the world, you can
move in either two possible directions: nihilism - a very popular fad, or moral relativism, in which everything takes on some basic justification, and
so is 'spiritualized'...
We live in a gnostic world, increasingly so. And as we go deeper into the post-modernist epoch - watch our 'leaders' force upon us more and more a
relativized perception of things. Soon, our moral ideas will depart, and that will be the beginning of the end of the Jewish ethic implanted in the
western condition over the last 2 millenia; ideas like a benevolent God who interacts with man, may still be cherished, and held onto: but this God is
indifferent to works - i.e. to statements in the world of action (karma), and thus one is never punished for bad nor rewarded for good: happiness and
peace, the grace of God - are given for nothing! You need do nothing but have faith. This is the essential gnostic position of Christianity. Knowledge
of the essence - the father of Christianity - catapults you above the world of causative action into the indeterminate sphere of essence, where Gods
ever abiding love emanates unfettered.
It is an extremely easy way to live. Dostoyevsky, a hater of the Jews i.e. of their God, which means their theology, would have argued that it is
better to be shamefaced and know yourself to be too low to ever meet the perfection of God, than to strive to be the best person you can be, to
wrestle with lifes conditions and be proud of the transformation made; in other words, in his mind, one is somehow more of an egotist by trying
because it instills in you a sense of accomplishment, thereby settling in you a feeling of superiority vis a vis your fellow man, whereas Christianity
- or Gnosticism - allows one to admit his weakness, to accept the fact of our equal distance from God, that neither sinner nor saint is brought closer
or farther from God because of his actions in this world; that the billionaire party guy who indulges in sex, drugs, and crime, is in essence, as holy
as the family man who raises 3 moral children who contribute to making the outer world - our society - a better place for the less fortunate.
The Jewish God is merciful God - a God who truly sides with the downtrodden and condemns their abusers: he is not impartial to actions - but inclines
to one who does good and distances himself from one who does evil.
Different moral conceptions, based on different attitudes towards life. Nevertheless, you got to admit the emotional conflict of the person in a
position of power - whether personal as egoistic self confidence, or external as high social status, wealthy, popular - to really adjudicate on which
path is truer. The Gnostic path benefits the wealthy and screws the poor. The poor are told 'hold to the essence!' - which, come on, only slightly
attenuates the fact that the rich guy indulges in carnal and physical satisfactions, leaving his belly full and his heart satisfied. The fact is -
such a person would almost never trade his life for a lesser life. Only in rare cases does that occur - and even if it does occur, it does not justify
the truth of this way of living.
edit on 1-9-2012 by dontreally because: (no reason given)