>>571632 OP has a pic of Valentinus...why wouldnt I assume he's speaking Gnostic Christianity?
If, however, he's speaking of pre-Christian Gnosticism...then I would say it has the same problem as any other religion of it type, especially Buddhism:
>rejecting the physical world for admiration of the spiritual
But this assumes there is a spiritual world. And what is the spiritual world anyway? Where is it? When is it? Can you point to it? If not..it isn't there. The physical world is the world you have, so why shun it for something you can't even define?
"Gnosticism" is a fallacious modern category created by historians. It never existed. It's just a term that evades precise definition because historians are trying to group sects that are as different from one another as either one is from the Orthodox/Catholics into a single division of Christian thought, which is why every definition given of gnosticism is totally subjective or based on limited knowledge of the sources or is made to try to mystify these dead Christian sects. From the Orthodox point of view, the true "gnostics" (those who know) are themselves.
pic related. Required reading before anyone thinks to open their mouth on gnosticism. Don't fall for memes OP
>>571652 Buddhism advocates retreating from the pleasures of the world to focus on the "internal world." The internal world is the same as the "spiritual world" in most Western religion. Christians are just too stupid to realize "spirit" is an outdated term for consciousness.
It's no good quoting the pieces of theology and legend that you made canonical as evidence, that is entirely circular.
What your predecessors made canonical and what they didn't was based on the early politics and theological disputes within Christianity. You killed the Arians and the Gnostics and burned their teachings.
That's not an actual quote from Jesus, there are no confirmed actual quotes from Jesus. He probably couldn't even read and write.
Nah, gnosticism utterly fails to incorporate humanity's material nature in its conception of union with God. Hence, it does not describe the happiness of human beings, and is a vain hope for creatures of our kind.
This. Having read the Dead Sea Scrolls it's pretty clear the orthodoxy needed gnostic Christian texts and any other 'books' that didn't jive gone - and those that supported them gone. Despite your beliefs these books would add valuable perspectives to the Bible that are otherwise lacking - or missing altogether.
Gnostics were indeed a religious sect pre-dating Christianity. Their earliest beliefs speak of the Archons and the Creation of man, many mirroring pagan genesis stories in some respects. Part of their persecution was due to their continued respect to alternate beliefs and open-ended interpretation to the One God. Later, their insistence on inclusion of the 52 exiled books would become reason enough to exclaim heresy. Gnostic Jews experienced similar ostracism and persecution.
>>571831 >The Canon was formed by the influence of the Holy Spirit Who said so? Is it the people who formed the Canon? This blind obedience to authority and text was why Gnostics were dangerous to Christians
>>571621 gnosticism gets hate on /his/ for two main reasons" 1. the sizable and vocal christfag posters, 'nuff said 2. it's become a sort of posterboy for "esoteric" religions due to modern popular interest, thanks to stuff like dan brown etc, and it's easy to jump on the bandwagon against popular stuff
anyway i think it's pretty neat, no matter the flavor.
>>571826 >Nah, gnosticism utterly fails to incorporate humanity's material nature in its conception of union with God Why would material nature need to be incorporated into union with the divine? Buddhism and most Hindu sects don't do that either.
>>573031 Read a book about what? I read an introduction to hermeticism as well as some of the gnostic "gospels" and it just has to be the most cringeworthy shit I ever witnessed. Literally Lavey - tier abomination for edgelords.
>>573034 Maybe this 4chan thing really isn't for you if you tend to get mad about memes.
Hey guys, let's take Star Wars and rewrite the canon asking ourselves what if empire were actually the good guys and you need to snort PCP and dance naked under the moonlight covered in ovine feces to know the real truth?
>>573087 It seems it literally is 2deep4u you are acting like a retard my man stuff like this tend to be a relevatory experience that requires thought and investment but you clearly dont want to do that
>>573102 You know the saying that satanism is like saying "Fuck Star Trek" in Klingon? Gnosticism is exactly the same. Like "Lucifer" is literally a mistranslation from the Vulgate, yet leave it to Gnostics to come up with shit like this:
>>573121 How can they be Satanic when they think physical reality is something to overcome. I thought Satanism was supposed to be all about hedonism and ignoring the spiritual realm. If you just use SATANIST as a buzzword for everything you disagree with then it loses all meaning, you know.
>>573122 I dont really understand what system/religion you mean gnosticism is acting within do you mean christianity in general? and im not really trying to defend any crazy cults it's the world view that appeals to me seems to be found in lots of philosophical traditions
and that last part just leave it up to man to come up with shit like that it's not something unique to gnostics
I don't understand why Gnostics insist on this connection with Christianity, it just makes them less credible. Historically, this "evil christians erased gnostic history!!!" meme has no real foundations.
Why not base Gnosticism on its actual philosophical ancestors, such as Plato?
>>573177 I think the problem is that most of the surviving documents considered part of Gnosticism proper are Christian-oriented, at least if you discount the major religions like Manichaeism that emerged from it. So any modern groups trying to revive its ideas have to work with what they have the most of, which ends up being a Judeo-Christian backdrop.
>>573019 Right, and that's a failing in those too, because in that case the "union" conceived of is indistinguishable from annihilation for the human being (as humans are essentially material), and hence, is no true "union" at all.
>>572951 >You are an idiot of you fall for the "gnosticism is not real " meme yourself.
No, you're somebody who has actually studied the phenomenon and realized that practically none of these sects considered themselves anything but "Christians" or followers of their individual teachers.
Very few of these people called themselves "gnostics" with any other meaning besides "I know and you don't," and one finds that the Orthodox rebuttal such as that of Clement of Alexandria and Irenaeus of Lyons was that the Orthodox were the true gnosticism.
>But it's a philosophy which permeated centuries upon centuries, being the esoteric core of most major religious movements.
In this case, you're just using "gnosticism" as another synonymous for mysticism or the perennial philosophy, and making the term more and more vague so as to encompass a larger variety of movements that often have nothing historically to do with another or were even opposed to one another.
>As a complex of beliefs /philosophical convictions, gnosticism is heavily supported by a large body of Literature - including some cannonical ones which reek of gnostic thought.
Again, you're using "gnostic" here as a synonymous for mystical religious and philosophical thought in its generalities and equating it with "gnosticism" The terms "gnostic" and "gnosticism" have very different meanings. In the ancient and medieval world, terms like "gnostic" and "gnosis" simply functioned as an adjective and a noun. gnosis simply referred to intuitive knowledge as such, and gnostic was simply one who "knew", but they didn't really care any other meaning than that. "Gnosticism" has been used to describe what historians perceive as a unified religious movement within Christianity or which existed before Christianity and took on Christian garb later, but the problem is that every definition given of "gnosticism" is loaded with stereotypes and romanticism and even ignores fundamental pieces of evidence.
When it comes to "Gnostic Christianity" and "Gnosticism", historians and new age nuts make some basic errors
1. The term "gnostic" is not very much used in the Nag Hammadi texts. If all these different groups identified as gnostic, why do their religious texts not seem to make any use of the most important identifying label for themselves? The few instances we find of people calling themselves "gnostics" at this time, it's more in the area of a simple adjective, not as a religious identity, since most of these groups probably just considered themselves to be nothing but true and devout Christians.
2. In the arguments between the Church Fathers and the "gnostics", one in fact finds that not all the Orthodox are totally opposed to the idea of "secret teachings of the apostles" or in intuitive mystical knowledge. Irenaeus was opposed to the "gnosis falsely so called" and Clement of Alexandria's main argument against these groups was that they were peddling false teachings under the guise of secret knowledge from the apostles. Clement was also well known for his argument in his Stromata that the Orthodox are the true "gnostics". The Orthodox mystical tradition of hesychasm is very well known and the goal of hesychasm is gnosis.
3. If we are willing to use gnosticism as just another term for mysticism which could include both the orthodox & heretical, the christian & non-christian, this is much better, even if it is very much generalized, we still run into issues of identification of these heretical Christian movements. In the case of the Marcionites for instance, we know that they shared many of the same basic beliefs as the so-called gnostics, such as the belief in two gods, but their religion was based on a logical reading of the Biblical text, not "gnosis" or mysticism
Likewise, the Manichaeans identified primarily as the followers of Mani, not so much as "gnostics" who were part of a unified "gnosticism"
In the case of the Mandaeans, the application of the term "gnostics" to them is fairly modern. Mandaeans of course have no problem taking up this term for themselves to some degree, but it was a term applied to them by outsiders who identified them as somehow related to the Christian groups that are typically called "gnostic" because of some similarities in their belief system.
But one can also find that Muslim Sufis and Shi'a mystics, in their English works have often identified themselves as "gnostics" (those who know or who have received knowledge/gnosis) and their beliefs are very different from Mandaeism, Kabbalistic Judaism, Manichaeism and especially the Christian dualists and Orthodox mystics.
>>571659 >"No two ideals could be more opposite than a Christian saint in a Gothic cathedral and a Buddhist saint in a Chinese temple. The opposition exists at every point; but perhaps the shortest statement of it is that the Buddhist saint always has his eyes shut, while the Christian saint always has them very wide open. The Buddhist saint has a sleek and harmonious body, but his eyes are heavy and sealed with sleep. The medieval saint’s body is wasted to its crazy bones, but his eyes are frightfully alive. There cannot be any real continuity between forces that produce symbols so different as that. Granted that both images are extravagances, are perversions of the pure creed, it must be a real divergence which could produce such opposite extravagances. The Buddhist is looking with a peculiar intentness inwards. The Christian is staring with a frantic intentness outwards."- G.K.Chesterton
>>571626 >There is no legitimate evidence supporting this belief. Finally someone gets it. We cannot trust sources so remote in time from the actual person. That's why I don't believe in Caesar either.
>>571816 >He probably couldn't even read and write. According to scriptures, he should be at least able to read Torah and such, unless you are implying that he had everything memorized and he had a good guess at what he was supposed to read.
>>574921 >The term "gnostic" is not very much used in the Nag Hammadi texts. γνῶσις is. Σοφία also. Much like "Christian" not being used in the New Testament, when χριστός is.
>the goal of hesychasm is gnosis. No, it's theosis and salvation. In Orthodoxy you are saved by grace, faith, works.
Those things are what make you a saint, not knowledge, intellect, insight, speculative philosophy, claiming to be an enlightened being, and definitely not by calling the God in the Old Testament evil or preaching polytheist bullshit.
It's when you STFU and let God do the talking.
Internet gnostics are simply too "enlightened by their own intelligence" to do any religious behavior beyond wearing their fedora upside down.
The point I was getting at is that there are huge problems in categorizing any of these groups as "gnostic" for various reasons.
The stereotype that these groups were profoundly "mystical" or were such anymore than their Orthodox opponents could be mystical doesn't hold up under the microscope. The idea that they were necessarily anti-Judaism doesn't hold up because they clearly aren't all anti-Jewish nor are all the anti-Jewish groups necessarily mystical in any special sense The idea that they were all dualistic doesn't hold up because of the monistic trends we find in certain texts and heresiologies. They were definitely not all rationalists or intellectuals since they were sometimes known for defending their beliefs on the basis of blind faith in their writings (sort of like some of the Orthodox who based their entire faith on scripture rather than reason). They were not all libertines nor were they all hardcore ascetics as some of the Orthodox criticized certain groups for seeking more inclusion in wider society than should be expected of a good Christian. Certainly the idea that some believed in "secret teachings" of the apostles can't be used as a measuring stick, because Orthodox Church Fathers like Clement of Alexandria affirm "secret teachings", but only claim that such secret teachings could/would not contradict the Bible. If the last dividing line is the identification as gnostics as opposed to identifying as not-gnostic, this also doesn't work because the common retort of some of the Orthodox to those who called themselves "gnostic" was something like "no, we are the gnostics," or "we are the one who have the right knowledge" and it doesn't seem like "gnosis" here was necessarily understood to be something mystical. Think about it, when somebody calls themselves an agnostic, the use of the term "gnostic" in this label is pretty literal and doesn't have any real mystical connotation to it.
>>578797 The evidence we have suggests that the terms gnosis and gnostic as they were being used during this time period in question (1st century to 6th century AD/CE) were mainly just in terms of gnosis or knowledge as such, not necessarily as a term for a distinctly mystical form of knowledge, unless an individual understood this to mean that true knowledge or gnosis could be obtained only through the means of mystical intuition, but we know that many of these so-called gnostic groups didn't have a deeply mystical religion, at least not more than their Orthodox counterparts.
Some of these groups display an attitude of secrecy, but many others display an openness and flagrance regarding their beliefs. Likewise, one finds that the ideas along the lines of "don't speak words of wisdom to fools," or "hide your actual beliefs from those who might be motivated by envy to harm you" permeates through many elements of Christianity at this time where being Christian might result in persecution from Roman authorities. Christians whose beliefs were considered heterodox by others too might find other Christians to be their rivals and put them in greater danger were their heteordoxy to become known.
So a culture of secrecy does not necessarily mean they were of a more "mystical" disposition, it could easily just be practical forms of dissimulation to save one's life or property. Also, again, the idea of secret teachings known by the elites of the church doesn't seem to be a problem for ALL the orthodox as much as heterodox beliefs that claim to be secret teachings yet contradict the accepted meaning of the Bible among the Orthodox.
>>578804 In some cases the term "gnostic" might have referred to a specific type of individual within these sects, but it was used mainly as another word to describe an elite member of the sect, usually one of its leading mystics, just as there are distinctions between the laity and clerical and spiritual elite in the Orthodox and Catholic churches, but not as a term to describe the sect in and of itself.
The term "gnostic Christians" or "gnosticism" in reference to these groups is almost always plagued by stereotypes, over-generalizations, ignoring of evidence and many of the people who are still insistent on using this term are fedoratippers, feminists, new age spiritualists and just historians with strong anti-Orthodox or anti-Catholic biases who want to portray all these different groups who are probably more accurately represented by more distinct individual labels like Valentinians, Cerinthians, Elchasites, Manichaeans, Marcionites, Sethians, etc. as somehow falling under a general term like "gnosticism" which these historians often seem to use as though it's a synonym for a more mystical or intellectual and thus, at least in some of their minds, a "better" form of Christianity than what the Orthodox or Catholic churches offer, who in these historians portrayals are almost always big bad, anti-mystical/intellectual meanies (when the fact is the orthodox and catholics have a profound intellectual and mystical tradition which probably puts these sects being romanticized to shame).
The fact is that these groups should be studied individually as distinct groups from the Orthodox but also distinct groups from one another whose beliefs may or may not overlap with other heterodox or orthodox christian groups, but historians are reluctant to do that because they still want to cling to the myth of "gnostic christianity" and I think it does a disservice both to these dead sects' followers and to living forms of Christianity to perpetrate these myths
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