Showing posts from August, 2008

Gnostic Preoccupations

I'm not sure what it is, but I notice a lot of preoccupation by gnostic ecclesias with their lineage and origin. I was just reading a couple of foreign language gnostics ( Sucesion Gnostica Apolostica and Plerormon [caution- Loud Dead Can Dance song when you visit]), and I notice that there are long bits about the lineage and ordination of their bishops and how far back they go and etc. I'm not saying the AJC is immune to it, as we've just received a charter from another bishop and have lots of documentation for our own lineages. We do this in the face of Evangelicals who speak to angels , Ministry training from your own home , and other flashy or even stoic preachers who have no lineage or legitimacy other than their ability to preach the word, and MAYBE a degree from a bible college. In the process of our incorporation, we've learned that you don't even need to be part of a wider church to be tax exempt. You simply need to have the word Church in your name

Descriptions of Gnosticism

So, I'm listening to a lecture on Early Christianity (by Prof. Luke Timothy Johnson of Emory University), and he goes into four possible inadequate definitions of what a religion is. A descriptive definition of religion can be approached from four definitions: Membership in a group, ritual behavior, belief or doctrine, and/or morality. I thought it would be interesting to approach Modern Gnosticism from these angles. membership in a group: This sort of definition is unimportant to Gnosticism. You don't have to be an ethnic group, have been born into it, convert, or even say you are a gnostic. Gnostics tend to be self identifying, and they move into and out of the definition as they please. Gnostics do tend to have a negative identification: I'm not a Christian, I'm not a Jew, etc. It's not universal, but I have found it fairly common. Ritual Behavior Some Gnostics have highly ritualized behavior coming out of the traditional and esoteric sacraments and

The Truth

Now, recognize the technique? A slow tearing down, a removal of all hope, a dissolution of the ego. "I can do nothing, Lord, without you." The psalms of the medieval grimoires serve the same purpose. And then, A building up, a granting of power, a force for change in the world. The conjurations of the medieval grimoires show much the same effect. "I am above ye in the Most High." It's the technique the alchemists and magicians of old use. It's classic. The music, the words, everything, just works towards that point. I can feel the change in attitude just from watching it. It's very neat.

The Physics of Christianity

For those of you unfamiliar, there is a professor of mathematics at Tulane in New Orleans by the name of Frank J. Tipler . He has the interesting idea that all information will be reconstituted at the Omega point, when the universe collapses back on itself in "the Big Crunch", some 30 billion+ years from now. I was just reading Tomorrow and Tomorrow , by Charles Sheffield, who uses the theses of Tipler's Physics of Immortality as the basis for the resolution of his novel. It's an interesting theory: At the end of time, all information will be reconstituted, grating Omniscience, Omnipotence, and allowing the resurrection of the dead and the bestowal of paradise upon all created beings. He apparently backs up his theories with philosophical writings and high level math. I've read some reviews of POI and POC, which state that it's basically gobbledygook, mostly from the physics end of things. However, it's an interesting thought experiment, and a stra

Witch Doctor Joe I have to recommend this site. The author is slowly going through the tarot deck, using it as an ink blot to examine his own psyche. If you've ever wondered what the Tarot is useful for, now you know. I've also added others to the blogroll on the right. Welcome To Jason Miller, Rufus Opus, and WitchDoctorJoe. They're all doing the work(tm) , and they all have valuable insights.

Hallmark and Gay Marriage

All of a sudden, I have a bit of respect for the Hallmark corporation, who've decided to pursue a developing market rather than blindly pretend it doesn't exist . The people who've given us such holidays as "Sweetest Day" and totally taken over a favorite saint's holiday , are showing us that gay people can by pre-canned sentiments, just like everyone else. While I am ambivalent about the company, I support and applaud their decision.

These Stones

Jesus said, "Congratulations to the one who came into being before coming into being. If you become my disciples and pay attention to my sayings, these stones will serve you. For there are five trees in Paradise for you; they do not change, summer or winter, and their leaves do not fall. Whoever knows them will not taste death." Now what the heck does that mean? It's often a gnostic assumption that the material world is not important. But, if it isn't important, why does Jesus talk about it so much? He speaks of cleaving the piece of wood, and that he is there. He talks about wherever 2 or more are gathered. He speaks of meeting the material needs of others, and as you do unto the least of these, you do unto me. He speaks of rendering unto Caesar. If Jesus, the exemplar, the Logos, is concerned with the material world, and even gives advice so that the stones (a common symbol of the material in general) will serve you, what are we to make of that? We know

More Timeaus

Thereupon one of the priests [of Neith, in Sais, Egypt], who was of a very great age, said: O Solon, Solon, you Hellenes are never anything but children (1), and there is not an old man among you. Solon in return asked him what he meant. I mean to say, he replied, that in mind you are all young; there is no old opinion handed down among you by ancient tradition, nor any science which is hoary with age. And I will tell you why. There have been, and will be again, many destructions of mankind arising out of many causes; the greatest have been brought about by the agencies of fire and water, and other lesser ones by innumerable other causes. There is a story, which even you have preserved, that once upon a time Paethon, the son of Helios, having yoked the steeds in his father's chariot, because he was not able to drive them in the path of his father, burnt up all that was upon the earth, and was himself destroyed by a thunderbolt. Now this has the form of a myth, but real