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View Diary: Gnosticism and My Personal Religion (33 comments)

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  •  nothing is more important than truth.. nothing.. (none)

    Jesus: "Destroy this Temple" - Gospel of John

    by The Gnostic on Sat Aug 27, 2005 at 11:26:46 AM PDT

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    •  You are a true Gnostic., (none)
      This is why I describe my beliefs as having a gnostic-like quality...My concept of God is one of Ultimate Truth...my concept of afterlife is one in which one is made a part of the Ultimate Truth...our purpose in life is to seek and move toward Ultimate Truth.
    •  what's truth? (none)
      does truth reside within history or within God?

      A story can be true without being factual/historical. That's the point.

      •  history is not truth until scholars say so.. (none)
        ..scholars don't say the truth until the populace can accept the truth.. population can't accept the truth until the scholarly dialogue makes its landing in a tolerant society...

        ...the story of Jesus hasn't made its landing yet.. the upcoming pubication of the oldest Bible on earth from the 4th century (link above), with outlawed Apocrypha included, combined with the Nag Hamadi and Dead Sea texts, will make the edited version of Jesus all but ancient history IMO..  the real story is even better.. just look to physics, to the atomic plane, for the comfort of eternal life and look to Christhood, or the centering of ones self...

        ..here in this ONE plane, we have been mulling the concept of God forever...

        catch 22.  Indeed truth rings though.  That is why Jesus' most famous act and most telling act was his most public one:  when he angrily lashed out at the church congregants, overturned their money-trays, and told them that idols are an abomination and telling them to "destroy this temple."  In the context of Gnostic writings, he meant to have it rebuilt in more than "his body."  He meant via Christhood.

        Jesus: "Destroy this Temple" - Gospel of John

        by The Gnostic on Sat Aug 27, 2005 at 12:14:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  but (none)
          I don't see religious truth or even the particular sorts of truths conveyed through legends as residing within objective history, academic historical opinion, etc. That is more about discerning what one can about facts and their relation to one another. As opposed to religion, which is about discerning God, or legends, which are more or less about "conventional wisdom."

          I just am asking what you see as the theology or core philosophy of your type of gnosticism, or if it has a theology as such. Because, as I said, gnosticism is kind of a vague concept to me and I would like to know what gnostics believed in practice then and now. I honestly don't know what you mean when you talk about different "planes" or what gnosticism has to do with physics, it kind of reminds me of the fuzzy way people like Deepak Chopra turn a misunderstanding of quantum mechanics into a religious concept. And like I said I'm not clear at all what your specific concept of christhood is. I don't want to argue about it, I just want to understand what you think.

          •  I guess you're asking what my religion is.. (none)
            ..in relation to gnosticism?  I have made Gnosticism into a personal religion of sorts.. I looked into the modern Gnostics and you find some stuff in California and something about magic... it might be the be-all end-all, but I kind of shied away when I saw the word magic on some of their gnostic-related websites.  (Just because there is organization doesn't mean that a religion is valid or not BTW.)

            How I got onto gnosticism...I have always felt that there is something out there that might serve as a silver bullet to bring down the ruling elite and their self-serving ideology, and along the way, I came across quantum physics, gnosticism, and other stuff, the most outlandish being the Nicolas Notovitch manuscript called "The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ."  And also, I found books by Fida Hassnain on Jesus' unknown life... it explores the possibility that his tomb is in India (where allegedly he and his best friend Judas Thomas met up after Jesus survived the crucifixion)... eventually, I realized that some muslims might be using the alternative history to lure people to them... (obviously didn't work with me)...

            For several years, I even saved money to fly to Kashmir (too dangerous, al qaeda's there) so that I could try to get the Buddhist monks to let me see the Notovitch manuscript (and maybe provide corroboration of Notovitch's allegations on the manuscript by getting a translation, taking photos, etc...they haven't shown it in over 50 years supposedly)..

            Then, Elaine Pagel's history of the gnostics just made me more irate that I was lied to at church and by academics when I discovered that the Jesus story was edited at the council of nicea.

            Oh yeah sorry...my religion:  I take a smattering of Buddhism here, some Gnosticism there, some Judaism, some mysticism maybe, and voila, there is my religion.  Nice call on the Deepak quantum thing: that's one of the first places that I heard the discussion about the quantum plane and how we fit into that.  

            Got me on that one.  

            I guess this is kinda one of those topics that needs to be discussed over dinner or coffee and the written form doesn't do it much justice..

            Jesus: "Destroy this Temple" - Gospel of John

            by The Gnostic on Sat Aug 27, 2005 at 02:21:31 PM PDT

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            •  yeah, basically (none)
              This makes more sense now, than my assumption that you were talking about your personal religion being based essentially in gnosticism. It sounds more like you've used the gnostic texts as sources of inspiration and wisdom, which is the way I find them valuable also, though I think I see them differently than you and wouldn't describe myself as a gnostic.

              I really don't regard any of the stories of Jesus' life as essentially historical. To me they are essentially religious documents written to communicate religious rather than historical truths. I don't see any reason to believe we really know, or can know, anything about "the historical Jesus." I don't see gnostic and other apocryphal texts as being especially more or less authentic than the Biblical texts (such as the epistles of Paul, the oldest part of the New Testament), only as reflective of the variety of religious thought during the early Christian era. There were a variety of ways of interpreting the meaning of Jesus Christ, for instance, and a variety of social attitudes toward women. There still are to this day within christianity, though it's been somewhat standardized through the use of "catholic"/orthodox theological formulas which have held up over time as meaningful and posessing a more or less cohesive logic. Not all apocryphal writings seem to share that same type of logic, which is not to say that they aren't separately valid--if that makes sense.

              So I wouldn't say at all that you were lied to, just that the gnostic texts don't particularly fall within the tradition of the church that continues to today. I would say that the biggest lie that gets told is when anybody claims they know for sure what happened a couple thousand years ago.

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