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Gnosticism

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Gnosticism

Postby Kassandra » Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:41 pm

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The Ten Major Principles of the Gnostic Revelation
from The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick



The Gnostic Christians of the second century believed that only a special revelation of knowledge rather than faith could save a person. The contents of this revelation could not be received empirically or derived a priori. They considered this special gnosis so valuable that it must be kept secret. Here are the ten major principles of the gnostic revelation:

1. The creator of this world is demented.

2. The world is not as it appears, in order to hide the evil in it, a delusive veil obscuring it and the deranged deity.

3. There is another, better realm of God, and all our efforts are to be directed toward
1. returning there
2. bringing it here

4. Our actual lives stretch thousands of years back, and we can be made to remember our origin in the stars.

5. Each of us has a divine counterpart unfallen who can reach a hand down to us to awaken us. This other personality is the authentic waking self; the one we have now is asleep and minor. We are in fact asleep, and in the hands of a dangerous magician disguised as a good god, the deranged creator deity. The bleakness, the evil and pain in this world, the fact that it is a deterministic prison controlled by the demented creator causes us willingly to split with the reality principle early in life, and so to speak willingly fall asleep in delusion.

6. You can pass from the delusional prison world into the peaceful kingdom if the True Good God places you under His grace and allows you to see reality through His eyes.

7. Christ gave, rather than received, revelation; he taught his followers how to enter the kingdom while still alive, where other mystery religions only bring about amnesis: knowledge of it at the "other time" in "the other realm," not here. He causes it to come here, and is the living agency to the Sole Good God (i.e. the Logos).

8. Probably the real, secret Christian church still exists, long underground, with the living Corpus Christi as its head or ruler, the members absorbed into it. Through participation in it they probably have vast, seemingly magical powers.

9. The division into "two times" (good and evil) and "two realms" (good and evil) will abruptly end with victory for the good time here, as the presently invisible kingdom separates and becomes visible. We cannot know the date.

10. During this time period we are on the sifting bridge being judged according to which power we give allegiance to, the deranged creator demiurge of this world or the One Good God and his kingdom, whom we know through Christ.

To know these ten principles of Gnostic Christianity is to court disaster.


Source: http://montalk.net/PKD_principles.html




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Christian or Not? Re: Gnosticism

Postby Soul » Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:11 am

Kassandra,

Thanks for posting this. A few minutes before I found it, I posted a new topic in the "Christian Witchcraft" forum (one level above this subforum). However, my inquiry was directed toward Christian Witches and Christo-Pagans in particular. And while it seems that most members of this site consider themselves to be pagan in some way, perhaps there are some who don't use that term to describe their path.

I'd like to discuss Gnosticism further. Do you consider the Gnostic principles you list below to be a type of Christianity? Perhaps the true Christianity? Or maybe not Christianity at all. How does Gnosticsm view the Christian religion (RCC, Protestantism, Orthodox, etc.)? Is the Jesus Christ character of the New Testament the same person recognized by Gnosticism? And do Gnostics regard the "Heavenly Father" revealed by the Jesus of the NT to be this "True God"? And is the Father called "Abbas"? (Someone on another site told me that name.) And it might seem obvious, but I want to be certain: the evil demiurge is the OT god Yahweh, correct?

Are there Gnostics who are also (Christian) Witches and (Christo-)Pagans?

Here is the link to the thread I posted on the "Christian Witchcraft" forum:
jesus-yahweh-and-heavenly-father-gnostic-christan-t28914.html

Thanks, Peace, and Blessed Be
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Re: Gnosticism

Postby RosieMoonflower » Fri Dec 26, 2014 5:42 pm

I'm very curious about the last line of your post Kassandra.

"To know these ten principles of Gnostic Christianity is to court disaster."

Can you elaborate?
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Re: Gnosticism

Postby Kassandra » Sun Aug 30, 2015 4:19 pm

RosieMoonflower wrote:I'm very curious about the last line of your post Kassandra.

"To know these ten principles of Gnostic Christianity is to court disaster."

Can you elaborate?



Hi Rosie, I hadn't noticed your question in this thread (in fact, I don't even remember making this post --I think it was one of my stumble-upons, which I tend to want to share with the members here so I'll post it very quickly, then forget about it later, lol).

I posted the article verbatim from the original at the link. The last line is the author's words, not mine, and I don't know what his intent was. To be honest, I don't know if the ten principles mentioned are a distillation based on the author's own take on Gnostic beliefs and writings, or if the principles are actual principles.

The topic merits further study, I'd say.

Thanks.





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Re: Gnosticism

Postby firebirdflys » Sun Aug 30, 2015 4:25 pm

Sounds like chaos magick.
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Re: Gnosticism

Postby Seraphin_npocampo » Tue Sep 01, 2015 6:52 am

Uh huh! There are many similarities between Chaos Sorcery and Gnosticism.
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Re: Christian or Not? Re: Gnosticism

Postby Kassandra » Wed Sep 02, 2015 6:54 am

Soul wrote:I'd like to discuss Gnosticism further. Do you consider the Gnostic principles you list below to be a type of Christianity? Perhaps the true Christianity? Or maybe not Christianity at all. How does Gnosticsm view the Christian religion (RCC, Protestantism, Orthodox, etc.)? Is the Jesus Christ character of the New Testament the same person recognized by Gnosticism? And do Gnostics regard the "Heavenly Father" revealed by the Jesus of the NT to be this "True God"? And is the Father called "Abbas"? (Someone on another site told me that name.) And it might seem obvious, but I want to be certain: the evil demiurge is the OT god Yahweh, correct?

Are there Gnostics who are also (Christian) Witches and (Christo-)Pagans?


Hi Soul. These are fantastic questions for a scholar of Christianity! I'm not well-versed in Gnosticism, nor its relation to Christianity, but these are intriguing questions.

Hey, Seraphin. It seems you're familiar with this topic. Please feel free to elaborate my friend, if you have time and inclination. There's definitely an interest.

Thanks, all.




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Re: Christian or Not? Re: Gnosticism

Postby Seraphin_npocampo » Sun Sep 06, 2015 8:57 pm

Hi Soul. These are fantastic questions for a scholar of Christianity! I'm not well-versed in Gnosticism, nor its relation to Christianity, but these are intriguing questions.

Hey, Seraphin. It seems you're familiar with this topic. Please feel free to elaborate my friend, if you have time and inclination. There's definitely an interest.

Thanks, all.




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I'm not a scholar of Christianity either but yep, I'm pretty much familiar with Gnosticism and Early Christianity as I always love studying comparative religion.

Soul wrote:I'd like to discuss Gnosticism further. Do you consider the Gnostic principles you've listed to be a type of Christianity? Perhaps the true Christianity? Or maybe not Christianity at all.


For the Orthodox Christians, the Gnostics principles mentioned above are anathema to their core teachings.

It's undeniable however, that Gnosticism was once an influential sect of Christianity. This sect actually did not agree with the establishment of a hierarchical structure of priesthood who proclaimed themselves to be the only source of divine revelation. Gnostics taught that salvation is the escaping of the body by esoteric knowledge or "gnosis". To know your Higher Self truly allowed Gnostics to know the Divine directly without any need for the mediation of the priests. Gnosticism doesn't represent a single or universal set of beliefs, unlike the other sects of Christianity. A wide range of concepts were embraced by Gnostics over the years that it sometimes appear contradictory, obscure, ridiculously complicated and even incomprehensible. Gnostics seek knowledge and wisdom from different sources and paths and they accept insights wherever it could be found, they embrace a personified wisdom, Sophia, understood and taken as the feminine aspect of Divinity itself and a manifestation of the divine insight. In Kabbalah, it is equated with "Shekinah", 'daughter of the Voice'.

Dogmatic church authorities were of course not pleased with such independence. They ruled against joining this sect, classifying that those that did so as heretics and threats to the well-being and good order of organized religion. Heresy hunters, led by Ireneus, the bishop of Lyons, France, attacked the Gnostics vehemently and irrationally, excoriating them on every front. This forced them to be an underground sect.

The principles above are actually Platonic and ascetic in nature. Although Christianity had also been influenced by Platonism, it is interesting to note that the Early Christianity (time of Jesus Christ) didn't hold any Platonic beliefs .

Platonism holds that there are two worlds: the tangible, material world and the intangible, spiritual world. The visible or phenomenal world is in tension with the invisible or conceptual world. Platonists view that the material world is inferior to that of spiritual as it is the source of evil. In this belief, the human soul originates in heavenly realm, for which it feel to the realm of matter. Though human beings find themselves related to both these worlds, they long for release from their physical bodies so that their Higher Selfs which is their true selves might take flight back to the perfect world of the celestial and the divine.

Related to Plato's dualistic view of the cosmos, then is a dualistic view of man. Plato likens the body to a prison, for the soul. Salvation comes at death, when the soul escapes the body and sours heavenward to the invisible realm of pure spirit.

Now unlike the Greeks and Platonics, the Jews and the Hebrews view the world as good, though fallen and unredeemed, it was created by YHVH who designed it with humanity's best interest at heart. So instead of fleeing from the world, they choose to experience divine fellowship, love and salvation. Jews and Hebrews don't belive in cosmological dualism (evil, material world vs. good, spiritual world) and anthropological dualism (body vs. Soul). Though physical pleasure isn't the highest good or the solitary goal of life, Hebrews believe that one should received and affirmed it with an attitude of grateful acceptance. Many material things may be abused though but the Hebraic solution is not ascetic denial of such pleasures; rather it is for one humbly dedicate these to the Divine, as a responsible steward of the Creator's good gifts.

This is the reason why I wouldn't say Gnosticism is the true Christianity because true Christianity in my opinion is Jewish or Hebraic. In Hebrew-thought, a person is a body and soul. They viewed him as a unity instead of duality. The rise of Platonic dualism made Christianity left its original Jewish nest and considerably distanced itself from the Semitic culture that gave it birth.

So to answer your question if this is Christian, it could be a type of Christianity (perhaps Platonic and Hellenistic) but not the original Jewish and Hebraic Christianity. Of course, it is to be expected that the Gnostics would disagree with this and it’s alright, I’m not really interested in convincing them. This is not my job or my intention.

How does Gnosticsm view the Christian religion (RCC, Protestantism, Orthodox, etc.)?


Since I am not initiated in Gnosticism, I cannot really answer this. But I would suspect that since they too are religion with opposing theologies and doctrines with those sects, perhaps they consider them too as 'heretics', 'imbeciles' and 'blasphemers' erroneously believing in faith and obedience as the way to the salvation.

Is the Jesus Christ character of the New Testament the same person recognized by Gnosticism?


The same but slightly different. As I said , Gnostic seek and accept knowledge and insights from different sources and these include books and gospels which are considered pesudographic, heretical and inauthentic by the emerging Roman Catholic Church . Some of them are the lost or hidden Christian gospels in Nag Hammadi, Upper Egypt, others sources are the Pseudo-Abdias and Clementine literature. These gospels are intentionally hidden, as the knowledge they impart are very controversial.

What emerged from these different gospels (which have come to be known collectively as Gnostic Gospels) is a picture of Jesus Christ quite different from that handed down to us by the canonized books of Matthew, John, Luke and Mark. Instead of an authoritarian dispenser of righteousness and truth and a Messiah, Jesus in those books appears more like a sympathetic rabbi liberating humanity from naiveness and ignorance of spiritual truths.

Whereas the approved and canonized gospels "emphasized the eschatological expectation of the future coming of the New Jerusalem", the Gnostic Gospels stressed the finding of wisdom, or of the 'New Jerusalem' in the knowledge of oneself guided by the sayings of Jesus Christ."

And do Gnostics regard the "Heavenly Father" revealed by the Jesus of the NT to be this "True God"?


Yes and they believe He is different from YHVH of the Old Testament.

And is the Father called "Abbas"? (Someone on another site told me that name.)


"Abba" is Aramaic term for 'Father'. There is actually relatively small number of references in the OT that God is spoken of as a Father, especially in the sense of Creator and source of justice and mercy of Israel. But when Jesus prayed in the presence of His disciples, he would often use 'my Father'. For Hebrews, the term was so intimate and familair that they would consider themselves irreverent if they used it of God. The fatherhood of God wasn't a commonplace on the lips of Jesus, but something personal. To call God Abba was a revelation God granted to Him; it is thus important to understand His consciousness of divine Sonship.

The same childlike closeness is central to the sonship that is at the heart of the Gnostic Gospel; for those who, by knowledge, have been accepted into the Father’s family as children may also address him as Abba.

And it might seem obvious, but I want to be certain: the evil demiurge is the OT god Yahweh, correct?


For the Gnostics , the evil demiurge ( a term Gnostics borrowed from Platonism) is indeed the OT God YHVH. They view Him as the cruel God of battles and bloody sacrifices. They believe that this evil God created the imprefect world. The God revealed in the NT however is the true God. Unlike the demiurge, this God is a God of love and compassion who freed humans from legalism of Torah.

It is important to say here that this is one of the philosophical difference between Platonism and Gnosticism, as Platonics believe that the demiurge is the nous (as an emanation of the One), which is the ordering principle or the reason and not the evil genius potter who shaped the physical world to make it a prisoners of the souls.

Personally though, I disagree with the Gnostic belief as I dont believe in good and evil Gods and in negative theology or apophasis.

Are there Gnostics who are also (Christian) Witches and (Christo-)Pagans?


I dont think so, perhaps some who consider themselves Christian witches and Christo pagans hold some Gnostic beliefs but I dont think ALL Gnostics do practice witchcraft or paganism. I know they accept and practice 'magick' though.
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Re: Gnosticism

Postby Kassandra » Mon Sep 07, 2015 12:33 pm

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Thanks Seraphin for elaborating on this topic. :wink:




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Re: Gnosticism

Postby mrsdavid1975 » Tue Sep 08, 2015 6:38 am

Seraphin... I've read briefly about gnostic views but I'm TOTALLY. Confused as to which God they feel is the good, true God. And which is the evil one. ..?
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Re: Gnosticism

Postby Seraphin_npocampo » Tue Sep 08, 2015 6:51 am

The good God is the New Testament God while the evil God is the Old Testament God. They believe the NT God and the OT God are different entities.
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Re: Gnosticism

Postby mrsdavid1975 » Tue Sep 08, 2015 6:57 am

Aaaah!! Ok. Thank you. You're ALWAYS helpful
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Re: Gnosticism

Postby Seraphin_npocampo » Tue Sep 08, 2015 7:01 am

You're welcome! :)
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Bad God, Good Jesus [Re: Gnosticism

Postby Soul » Mon Nov 02, 2015 10:18 pm

Seraphin Murmur wrote:The good God is the New Testament God while the evil God is the Old Testament God. They believe the NT God and the OT God are different entities.


Seraphin Murmur,

Thanks for your several posts in this thread. (I have been preoccupied with matters offline and have only today gotten back here after a couple months to catch up on some posts.) I appreciate your elaboration on Gnosticism's history and beliefs. In the process of my leaving Christianity, as an organized religion -- an exodus which took me a good decade to achieve, finally 4 years ago at age 51 -- my own views have become rather Jungian, in that I don't believe in the supernatural gods and devils of Judeo-Christianity but regard them as archetypes in the human psyche (individually and collectively, in society). Your statement above, which I quoted, is one reason why it seems valid for some people to regard themselves as ChristoPagans (a term I've applied to myself at times) or Christian witches. And that is especially if the "Christ" part of their description refers primarily to the Jesus character in the gospels, and does not necessarily derive from other portions of the bible. Thanks for sharing your insights. I can tell by other people's posts that you've helped them gain a clearer understanding.

Peace,
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