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Logoi Mystikoi; or, How to Think like a Gnostic

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posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 08:00 PM
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Hi ATS. Let's talk about how to think like a (post)modern gnostic. To get things rolling, allow me to present a short excerpt from an interesting book by professor Jeffrey J. Kripal of Rice university.

The Critical Study of Religion as a Modern Mystical Tradition

The origins of the discipline of religious studies in nineteenth-century Europe are not primary mystical or even religious. A highly developed secular sense is a sine qua non of the discipline and its social sustainability anywhere on the planet (hence its virtual absense outside the Western academy). I would like, though, to make a restricted and heterodox case that regarding the discipline as a modern mystical tradition could be useful in approaching the constructive tasks being explored in these reflections. In this, I am not suggesting that the discipline must or even should be read in this way.

Rather, I wish only to make the much more restricted, but no less unorthodox, case that some of the discipline's practices and practitioners (that is, those capable of forging a tensive mystical-critical practice out of the discipline's dual Romantic/Enlightenment heritage) can be read in such a way, and that, moreover, such a mystical-critical rereading of the discipline might be useful for the constructive tasks under discussion here, namely, the cross-cultural influence of religious systems toward a safer, more humane, and more religiously satisfying world.

Scholars of religion, it turns out, often have profound religious experiences reading and interpreting the texts they critically study, and these events have consequences for the methods and models they develop, the conclusions they come to, and even for the traditions they study.



I can attest to that. I have been studying comparative religion, comparative mythology, and comparative mysticism for several years now. I have had numerous and diverse mystical experiences during that time. I submit that the study of these rich academic fields is a mystical gnostic technique in itself. And the scholarship sheds light on religion in ways that merely growing up in a religion can't, and in ways that a science textbook can't. To think like a gnostic is to think in ways that you won't learn about in Sunday school or Science 101.


edit on 21-11-2012 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)




posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 08:22 PM
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reply to post by BlueMule
 


Truth is written in us already. Awakening this word activates areas of the mind that would otherwise remain dormant. Without anagnorisis, there can be no peripeteia. An average mind only realizes such concepts exist by seeking and knocking. This is still insufficient. A bridge must be crossed. Virtue reveals the kingdom hidden.

Kingdom of God



posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 09:21 PM
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'Poetically speaking, gnostic thought recognizes that religious expressions function as symbols and, as such, are simultaneously true and false, that they both reveal and conceal. Reductionism and revelation lie down together here in a (post)modern form of what the Sufi tradition understood as the paradox of the veil (hijab), that is, the psychological and linguistic necessity of cultural forms that reveal the divine light (which is in itself beyond all representation) precisely by concealing it behind veiled symbols and signs.' -Jeffrey Kripal

To think like a gnostic is to transcend religious and secular orthodoxies and boundaries. It's walking a tightrope.


edit on 21-11-2012 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 22 2012 @ 05:57 AM
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Well I guess ATS isn't too interested in learning to think like a gnostic. Or maybe it just isn't capable. Looking around I see many crappy threads by crappy thinkers and I wonder, what happened to this place? Hate, fear, dogma of every kind, petty politics and bickering everywhere, irrelevancies, rumors, gossip...

...pathetic.


edit on 22-11-2012 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 22 2012 @ 06:31 AM
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reply to post by BlueMule
 


I have rejected the term Gnosis, except in application to certain, specific sects. It's meaning has descended into a blanket, coverall, and has subsequently lost substance. But mysticism, yes. And I agree with the quoted text, it is difficult to avoid mystical experience when you apply yourself to learning. It comes without being sought or even wanted. There is seemingly a natural process, through which the expansive nature of 'mind' through learning, results in a parallel expansion of the 'spirit' aspect. This mirror process, by which comprehension of the material, leads to awareness of the immaterial, seems to form the basis of the mystic experience, via the rushing in of 'love' to fill the corresponding emptiness as the whole seeks to maintain symmetry.

As is known, nature hates a void and will always seek to fill it. The more rapid the expansion in one area, the greater the 'rushing in' to fill the other, and therefore, the more profound the resulting experience.

In love, nothing exists between heart and heart.
Speech is born out of longing,
True description from the real taste.
The one who tastes, knows;
the one who explains, lies.
How can you describe the true form of Something
In whose presence you are blotted out?
And in whose being you still exist?
And who lives as a sign for your journey?

Rabia al Basri



posted on Nov, 22 2012 @ 06:38 AM
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Blue Mule: Tell me what the cross-eyed man knows....



posted on Nov, 22 2012 @ 06:53 AM
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reply to post by KilgoreTrout
 


Terms come and go like clothing that the essence wears, and no matter what terms one favors there will always be people who have some sort of a problem with it. A postmodern gnosis, a rational mysticism, a cross-cultural exegesis...people will find a way to have problems with any and all phraseology. I would call myself a mystic before I call myself a gnostic and yet the word mystic has tremendous baggage attached to it.



posted on Nov, 22 2012 @ 06:58 AM
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Originally posted by BlueMule
I would call myself a mystic before I call myself a gnostic and yet the word mystic has tremendous baggage attached to it.


Possibly, I find that it has far greater universality though, gnosticism is perceived, somewhat correctly, in correlation to only Christian mysticism and can therefore be quite exclusionary of non-Western traditions.



posted on Nov, 22 2012 @ 07:11 AM
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Originally posted by KilgoreTrout

Originally posted by BlueMule
I would call myself a mystic before I call myself a gnostic and yet the word mystic has tremendous baggage attached to it.


Possibly, I find that it has far greater universality though, gnosticism is perceived, somewhat correctly, in correlation to only Christian mysticism and can therefore be quite exclusionary of non-Western traditions.


Old-school gnosticism and postmodern gnosticism are different things, and I think professor Kripal does an excellent job of spelling that out in his books. Here is a link, in case you are the reading type. You could find the middle road between your personal conception of gnosticism and the postmodern 'academic' gnosticism of a comparativist.

www.amazon.com...


edit on 22-11-2012 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 22 2012 @ 07:25 AM
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the very act of immersing oneself in deep study...religion/philosophy and somewhat in all the Arts & Sciences will always lead to the mystical or more commonly referred to as the epiphany moment...

the creation of new neural pathways in the brain is the cause of these (as we might call them: transcendental or mystical) experiences or growth in wisdom/gnosis


having a 'journey' into 'dreamtime', or projecting into the 'upper or lower' worlds did more for my psyche than reading philosophy.. i.e:. having been introduced to Hegel at age 15...the "problem-reaction-solution" paradigm, was to my mind an ingrained mindset of human thought... instead of a 'sinister ploy' used by elites/NWO shadow puppetmasters.

see: c2.com...



Oh Well- i guess that ship has sailed for me



edit on 22-11-2012 by St Udio because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 22 2012 @ 07:28 AM
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reply to post by St Udio
 


...and sometimes, the 'upper and lower' worlds...project back.



posted on Nov, 22 2012 @ 07:29 AM
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reply to post by BlueMule
 


Very kind of you, and I do appreciate the quotes you have put forth, but it is merely a matter of defining semantics and I have no need for that as I have tried to indicate. Experentially, 'gnosticism' lacks the objectivity that is related by the mystics of all traditions, and applying layered meaning to gnosticism does nothing to detract from the basis of those belief systems that are deemed gnostic. Which is the long and the short of it, gnosticism in basis is a belief system and process, or a series of belief systems and structures, mysticism, and the mystic experience, is universal and cannot be contained in any one system or framework.



posted on Nov, 22 2012 @ 07:38 AM
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reply to post by KilgoreTrout
 


Hmm. It seems we aren't communicating very well with each other? I'm trying to explain that this isn't your grandpa's gnosticism I'm talking about here. A postmodern gnostic approach is to belief systems as counter-culture is to culture, as mysticism is to orthodoxy, as a cross-cultural approach is to ethnocentrism.


edit on 22-11-2012 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 22 2012 @ 07:54 AM
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reply to post by BlueMule
 


No I understand completely what you are saying, or rather what those you are quoting are saying.



posted on Nov, 22 2012 @ 08:54 AM
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I might see myself as a mystic; but I always consider myself to be a theosophist as heart. I'm merely a scholar of the of all esoteric study. Kabbalah, Rosicrucianism, Freemasonry, Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Hinduism, Buddhism, and so on.
edit on 22-11-2012 by VeritasAequitas because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 22 2012 @ 06:12 PM
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reply to post by BlueMule
 


So technically what your saying is that you need to write a book and add a whole bunch of labels to something that can be said in a few sentences.

Sorry bro, I do believe that you are all just walking talking meat popsicles, never forget that.








edit on 22-11-2012 by galadofwarthethird because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 22 2012 @ 07:00 PM
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I looked into Gnosticism until I realized that it identified and isolated many a crime/criminal initiative as a cause or end in itself - which it is for many, no denying. I want to explain what I mean. It starts with the ideology, or mixing good ideologies and bad ideologies together under the same umbrella; and it doesn't work out well. Starting with the spread of the Rosecrucean heresies of the 15th century to our western culture, and losing people in pointless comparasions ever since, Gnosticisms' greatest criticisms still stands against it. There's a lot of reading on the Bavarian Illuminatis' linksite to make a well-rounded decision over, who promote the Gnostic viewpoints. (For reference these are the branch-off of the original Illuminati, as explained well from Wes Penre, more revolutionary than establishment if you believe their movement).

wespenre.com...
armageddonconspiracy.co.uk...

You can't look at a crime as an end to itself without swallowing the validity of acknowledging every crime as an end unto itself. You may disagree, but this is what I see the philosophy equating to in practice (
but mostly exasperation). It's at best, cherry-picking, at worst, justifying questionable practice ad nauseum, ad infinitum without reference to pre-existing classifications of where actions are presently stationed. It's similar to trying to wrestle a giant with a blindfold on, but hey, just trying to say something well estalished but hidden really is what cliches are for! To follow a train of thought here, can actions be charted back to the person in question following a predominant philosophy :

They (action/series of actions/initiative/movement) are no longer seen in a scalular system (or in reference to -), a scope stretching from calamity to perfection. This fits with the reality of results, since those actions - any action - is already being handled by other factors. Other mediums, which form the normally observed scope, already describe these actions. So in the search for the creative, and the new, along comes Gnosticism, "suggesting" that we suspend our realities to only include the (action/series of actions/initiative/movement) and treat them, essentially, as it's own entity of reason. An action/series of actions/initiative or movement becomes a frozen institution, free to laud or honour as the remover/Gnostic sees fit. You can give it communist priveledges, dress it in a sequined dress, and take it out for dinner! Figuratively. I'd be interested in hearing your reply.

It's like leaving a well-oiled machine to jump off a bridge, If you rewrite your entire mindscope according to Gnosticism, you discredit your past self, your own forged value decisions, and I like t think I made good decisions yesterday too.
edit on 22-11-2012 by Northwarden because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 24 2012 @ 04:45 PM
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reply to post by Northwarden
 


'Yet "Gnosticism" is an ambiguous term...there were, so far as we can ascertain, few, perhaps no Gnostic churces or temples in the ancient world...I think it best to call it a spirituality, one that was and is a deliberate, strong revision of Judaism and Christianity, and of Islam later. There is a quality of unprecedentedness about gnosticism, an atmosphere of originality that disconcerts the orthodox of any faith. Creativity and imagination, irrelevant and even dangerous to dogmatic religion, are essential to gnosticism. When I encounter this quality I recognize it instantly, and an answering, cognitive music responds in me.' -Harold Bloom

In the end gnosticism is a kind of forbidden knowledge, a higher knowledge gained through mystical experience and study. The critical study of the comparative religion fields can provide that supernatural 'gnosis' experience along with the scholarship. The combination of this unlocks forbidden knowledge and psychic ability. That might be the only way Humanity is going to survive the challenges of the future.


edit on 24-11-2012 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



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