Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Persons vs. Concepts

Gnosticism has several different ways to approach our mythological figures. The Son of God can be approached as a preacher in Galilee, or a cosmic principle of The Word (Logos). Mary can be the mother of Jesus or the Mother of God, Queen of Heaven, Sophia, or even an embodiment of the Divine Feminine Principle.

What's interesting to me is that neither of these approaches is wrong, or even mutually exclusive. The personhood of Jesus makes him approachable, understandable, and valuable in a moment of crises. The transcendence of the Logos provides a way to work with timeless concepts, timeless forces, and to move beyond the crises into the realm of the eternal.

Where many people fall down with teaching gnosticism, is they try to jump right to the concept. We place more emphasis on the concepts rather than the people. This works for a subset of people, people we gnostics can talk to on this conceptual level: Occultists, Freemasons, other Johannites, etc.  To the vast majority of humanity, these concepts are opaque, foreign, or an obstacle to understanding.

That's where the personification of these concepts comes in. The Logos as the person of Jesus is easier for people to conceptualize. Jesus was there at the beginning, creating the universe, with God, and God. Mary gave birth to Jesus, as the Divine Feminine brings divinity into matter. Analogy works where simple explanation or exegesis cannot.

There is a danger here, as we can abandon the concepts thus embodied, and create cults of personality. If the personalities point towards concepts which we also can embody, I think the technique works well. If the personalities become end goals in and of themselves, I think there needs to be more examination of the teaching being done.

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