Search results for: the-essence-of-the-gnostics

The Essence of the Gnostics

Author : Bernard Simon
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For what is it that the All lacked, if not the knowledge of the Father?' - Gnostic text from the Gospel of Truth Long before there was a system of belief called Gnosticism there were those who reached for a special intimate knowledge of God and His mysterious ways. The possession of such knowledge, they believed, would bring salvation from s...

The Voudon Gnostic Workbook

Author : Michael Bertiaux
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A long-awaited new edition of the seminal text on the spiritual system that is a convergence of Gnosticism and Haitian voodoo, The Voudon Gnostic Workbook is a singular sacred work that is comprehensive in scope -- from "how to be a lucky Hoodoo" to how magick and voodoo intersect energetically, to esoteric time travel. Complete with charts and graphs and instructive interdimensional physics, The Voudon Gnostic Workbook is an "object of desire" among students of the occult. Weiser's long-anticipated republication of this rare text will be an event in the annals of esoteric publishing, as the book itself is somewhat of an "unholy grail." There are listservers devoted to it and much discussion of the mysteries held within its pages. While The Voudon Gnostic Workbook has remained a controversial book considered important for masters of metaphysics, it recently came into popular culture and renewed popularity when Grant Morrison revealed it had been the inspiration for his cult comics The Invisibles, using the cribbed time travel from Bertiaux' s masterwork. Voodoo is not an evil religion and is much misunderstood. It derives from the Dahomean Gods called the "Loa." Esoteric voodoo is actually a highly practical procedure for leading us into making contact with the deepest levels of our being and most ancient modes of consciousness. Michael Bertiaux's Voudon Gnostic Workbook is the most comprehensive and illuminating contemporary book on the subject. Launched out of a correspondence course and series of classes for students and followers of Voudon Gnosticism and the OTO, this seminal text is at once one of the most mysterious and magnificent of all esoteric books.

What is Gnosticism

Author : Karen L. King
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A study of gnosticism examines the various ways early Christians strove to define themselves in a pluralistic Roman society, while questioning the traditional ideas of heresy and orthodoxy that have previously influenced historians.

The Coherence of Gnosticism

Author : Einar Thomassen
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“Gnosticism” has become a problematic category in the study of early Christianity. It obscures diversity, invites essentialist generalisations, and is a legacy of ancient heresiology. However, simply to conclude with “diversity” is unsatisfying, and new efforts to discern coherence and to synthesise need to be made. The present work seeks to make a fresh start by concentrating on Irenaeus’ report on a specific group called the “Gnostics” and on his claim that Valentinus and his followers were inspired by their ideas. Following this lead, an attempt is made to trace the continuity of ideas from this group to Valentinianism. The study concludes that there is more continuity than has previously been recognised. Irenaeus’ “Gnostics” emerge as the predecessors not only of Valentinianism, but also of Sethianism. They represent an early, philosophically inspired form of Christ religion that arose independently of the New Testament canon. Christology is essential and provides the basis for the myth of Sophia. The book is relevant for all students of Christian origins and the early history of the Church.

They Went Out from Us

Author : Daniel R. Streett
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Most interpreters of 1, 2, 3 John believe that the author s opponents (called antichrists, deceivers, and false prophets ) advocated gnostic or progressive doctrines that denied or downplayed the humanity of Jesus Christ and the importance of ethical behaviour, and eventually split the Johannine community. Against this consensus, Streett argues that the opponents are former Jewish-Christians who have left the community to return to the synagogue after renouncing their belief that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah."

Rethinking Gnosticism

Author : Michael Allen Williams
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Most anyone interested in such topics as creation mythology, Jungian theory, or the idea of "secret teachings" in ancient Judaism and Christianity has found "gnosticism" compelling. Yet the term "gnosticism," which often connotes a single rebellious movement against the prevailing religions of late antiquity, gives the false impression of a monolithic religious phenomenon. Here Michael Williams challenges the validity of the widely invoked category of ancient "gnosticism" and the ways it has been described. Presenting such famous writings and movements as the Apocryphon of John and Valentinian Christianity, Williams uncovers the similarities and differences among some major traditions widely categorized as gnostic. He provides an eloquent, systematic argument for a more accurate way to discuss these interpretive approaches. The modern construct "gnosticism" is not justified by any ancient self-definition, and many of the most commonly cited religious features that supposedly define gnosticism phenomenologically turn out to be questionable. Exploring the sample sets of "gnostic" teachings, Williams refutes generalizations concerning asceticism and libertinism, attitudes toward the body and the created world, and alleged features of protest, parasitism, and elitism. He sketches a fresh model for understanding ancient innovations on more "mainstream" Judaism and Christianity, a model that is informed by modern research on dynamics in new religious movements and is freed from the false stereotypes from which the category "gnosticism" has been constructed.

The Gnostic Bible

Author : Willis Barnstone
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Gnosticism was a wide-ranging religious movement of the first millennium CE—with earlier antecedents and later flourishings—whose adherents sought salvation through knowledge and personal religious experience. Gnostic writings offer striking perspectives on both early Christian and non-Christian thought. For example, some gnostic texts suggest that god should be celebrated as both mother and father, and that self-knowledge is the supreme path to the divine. Only in the past fifty years has it become clear how far the gnostic influence spread in ancient and medieval religions—and what a marvelous body of scriptures it produced. The selections gathered here, in poetic, readable translation, represent Jewish, Christian, Hermetic, Mandaean, Manichaean, Islamic, and Cathar expressions of gnostic spirituality. Their regions of origin include Egypt, the Greco-Roman world, the Middle East, Syria, Iraq, China, and France. Also included are introductions, notes, an extensive glossary, and a wealth of suggestions for further reading.

Science Politics and Gnosticism

Author : Eric Voegelin
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Science, Politics and Gnosticism comprises two essays by Eric Voegelin (1901-85), arguably one of the most provocative and influential political philosophers of the last century. In these essays, Voegelin contends that certain modern movements, including positivism, Hegelianism, Marxism, and the "God is dead" school, are variants of the gnostic tradition he identified in his classic work The New Science of Politics. Voegelin attempts to resolve the intellectual confusion that has resulted from the dominance of gnostic thought by clarifying the distinction between political gnosticism and the philosophy of politics.

The Gnostics and Their Remains

Author : Charles William King
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Beyond Gnosticism

Author : Ismo O. Dunderberg
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Valentinus was a popular, influential, and controversial early Christian teacher. His school flourished in the second and third centuries C.E. Yet because his followers ascribed the creation of the visible world not to a supreme God but to an inferior and ignorant Creator-God, they were from early on accused of heresy, and rumors were spread of their immorality and sorcery. Beyond Gnosticism suggests that scholars approach Valentinians as an early Christian group rather than as a representative of ancient "Gnosticism"-a term notoriously difficult to define. The study shows that Valentinian myths of origin are filled with references to lifestyle (such as the control of emotions), the Christian community, and society, providing students with ethical instruction and new insights into their position in the world. While scholars have mapped the religio-historical and philosophical backgrounds of Valentinian myth, they have yet to address the significance of these mythmaking practices or emphasize the practical consequences of Valentinians' theological views. In this groundbreaking study, Ismo Dunderberg provides a comprehensive portrait of a group hounded by other Christians after Christianity gained a privileged position in the Roman Empire. Valentinians displayed a keen interest in mythmaking and the interpretation of myths, spinning complex tales about the origin of humans and the world. As this book argues, however, Valentinian Christians did not teach "myth for myth's sake." Rather, myth and practice were closely intertwined. After a brief introduction to the members of the school of Valentinus and the texts they left behind, Dunderberg focuses on Valentinus's interpretation of the biblical creation myth, in which the theologian affirmed humankind's original immortality as a present, not lost quality and placed a special emphasis on the "frank speech" afforded to Adam by the supreme God. Much like ancient philosophers, Valentinus believed that the divine Spirit sustained the entire cosmic chain and saw evil as originating from conspicuous "matter." Dunderberg then turns to other instances of Valentinian mythmaking dominated by ethical concerns. For example, the analysis and therapy of emotions occupy a prominent place in different versions of the myth of Wisdom's fall, proving that Valentinians, like other educated early Christians, saw Christ as the healer of emotions. Dunderberg also discusses the Tripartite Tractate, the most extensive account to date of Valentinian theology, and shows how Valentinians used cosmic myth to symbolize the persecution of the church in the Roman Empire and to create a separate Christian identity in opposition to the Greeks and the Jews.

Gnosticism Docetism and the Judaisms of the First Century

Author : Urban C. von Wahlde
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In this book von Wahlde provides an exploration of three distinct cultural and religious backgrounds against which scholars have frequently proposed that the Gospel and Letters of John are to be read and understood. von Wahlde examines each of these three possibilities in turn, and shows how they may be regarded as plausible or implausible depending upon the evidence available. von Wahlde shows that there are features within the Gospel and/or Letters of John that do in fact suggest that they were influenced either by Gnosticism, Docetism or one of the variant forms of Judaism. However, in each case, while some of the evidence suggests a particular background, von Wahlde shows that it is equally evident that not all of the evidence can be seen to suggest the same background. Through an examination of the origins and purpose of the gospel, and drawing on the conclusions of his well-regarded commentary on the Johannine literature, von Wahlde presents a new way of understanding the Gospel in its wider contexts.

Gnostic Religion in Antiquity

Author : Roelof van den Broek
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An examination of Gnostic religion in Late Antiquity within its historical and religious context, using Greek, Latin and Coptic sources.

The Magical Worlds of Philip Pullman

Author : David Colbert
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Philip Pullman’s epic fantasy series—His Dark Materials—chronicling the adventures of Lyra Silvertongue, her shapeshifting daemon Pantalaimon, and Will Parry on their multi-dimensional odyssey to save all of reality from the mysterious substance known as Dust, has captivated young and old readers alike. What makes Lyra a “Little Girl Lost”? What made Pullman think of Daemons? How was Pullman’s idea of Dust shaped by his life? Did Pullman write the books as a response to C.S. Lewis’s Narnia? The Magical Worlds of Philip Pullman takes his fans on a journey through the worlds of art, science, and religion that inspired Pullman to craft his saga. From the philosophy of William Blake and John Milton’s classic poem Paradise Lost to quantum physics and the Bible, discover the complex origins and controversial themes that have made Pullman’s trilogy a modern marvel in literature. This book was not authorized, prepared, approved, licensed, or endorsed by Philip Pullman, New Line Cinema, or any other individual or entity associated with His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass books or movie.

The Complete Idiot s Guide to the Gnostic Gospels

Author : J. Michael Matkin
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The birth of the Christian Church, and what it means for modern religion and philosophy. This engaging guide presents an accessible overview of the birth of the Christian church, using the historical works found at the famous Nag Hammadi site in Egypt. With chapters discussing each of the major and minor documents found at Nag Hammadi, this volume also includes an overview of Gnosticism and the major players, revealing not only what the texts say, but also what they mean. -Renewed interest in Gnosticism and the Gnostic gospels is driven by interest in the Nag Hammadi documents, The DaVinci Code, the Matrix movies, the Kabbalah, renewed interest in the divine feminine ideal, and the fact that many who've left the Church are looking for new answers in the early church -Author is a scholar and expert who's studied with some of the top people in the field

The Gnostics

Author : Alastair Logan
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Engaging in the current debates engendered by M.A. Williams' Rethinking Gnosticism (1996), Alastair Logan develops the work introduced in his own Gnostic Truth and Christian Heresy (1996), continuing his quest to identify the Gnostics as a cult movement originating in the late first century and arising out of Christianity.

Gnostic Truth and Christian Heresy

Author : A. H. B. Logan
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Sethian Gnosticism and the Platonic Tradition

Author : John Douglas Turner
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The Gnostic Gospels of Thomas Mary John

Author : Katherine John
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Collected here are three gnostic writings from Thomas, Mary, and John. These books that were left out of the New Testament shed light on the life and relationships of Jesus Christ and his friends and family, especially his mother Mary.

The Knowledge That Leads to Wholeness

Author : Robert Lloyd
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The Knowledge that Leads to Wholeness is the first book to specifically illustrate how the major Gnostic myths underlie Jungs theory of individuation. It is a compelling and in-depth examination of a life-changing journey that begins with the author discovering the forgotten secrets of the Gnostics. These secrets are gradually unveiled as the author and his loyal dog, Gold, are initiated, each in their own way, to put the ancient knowledge into practice. Dr. Lloyd explores the esoteric side of Carl Jung and reveals the connections between Jungs pivotal theory of individuation, i.e. the journey to wholeness, and the powerful, visionary myths told by the pioneers of the psyche, the Gnostics. He details what happens to a person who is on the road to wholeness, how the person will change, and how a new divine-human identity will be born into the world as a result of undertaking this transformational odyssey. -KIRKUS DISCOVERIES Review - Did Carl Jungs principles of psychology have Gnostic origins? A Marine Corps Ph.D. explores the complex mystical possibilities. Lloyd splits his expansive hypothesis of the souls journey into three vital steps (preparation, undertaking and re-birth) in discovering Jungs path to wholeness. He credits Jung with saving his life by way of unlocking his imagination (the souls voice) and spiritual mindset. The author familiarizes readers with the Gnostic religious movement, practitioners of an intensely spiritual inner exploration, who believed that humans are not bound to experiences solely of the body and mind. His literary gift to Jung is these comparative ruminations, all exuding a great amount of imagination and provocative thought. Running parallel to the authors spiritually progressive interests is his adventuresome interaction with and imaginal dog named Gold, who discovers two seeds of knowledge. The first rediscovers the spark of divine life, whereby humans are one and the same with God, and the second amplifies Jungs individuation theory that the human ego must relate to the unconscious mind to achieve psychological health. Unerringly throughout his narrative, Lloyd grafts Gnostic myths with Jungian wisdom. He focuses on the psychic creator and king of the material world Demiurge in association with second-century Gnostic visionary Valentinus, whose tragic myth of Sophia tells of a restless female deity who travels outside of herself searching for wholeness rather than looking inward, and her ultimate repentance. Comparatively, Jung also writes of humans who restrict themselves to their five senses rather than tapping into the core strength of their imaginative visions where uncanny experiences might spring forth. As Lloyd (and Gold) survey principles of higher consciousness, the self, the transformative life-cycle process, and the concluding Syrian lyrical myth Song of the Pearl as they are juxtaposed against Jungs theories, the author also cites Gnostic challenges to contemporary religious beliefs as in the re-imagined genesis of Jesus of Nazareth. Most interestingly, Lloyd inserts Jung into his narrative to quiz his arbiters as to whether they have the desire to discover the mystery of their existence. Unfiltered hokum for some, but those who are open to it will find much-needed nourishment and direction for their searching souls. --Nielsen Business Media, 770 Broadway, New York, NY 10003 646-654-7277 fax 646-654-4706 [email protected] Visit www.robertcharleslloyd.com

Gnostic Apocalypse

Author : Cyril O'Regan
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Argues that the discourse of Jacob Boehme represents the return of Gnostic thought in modernity after a thousand year hiatus.