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Sean Mac Dubh-sìthe

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About Sean Mac Dubh-sìthe

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    New Member
  • Birthday 04/07/1983

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  • Location
    Ohio, USA
  • Interests
    My primary interests, besides those listed above, are organic cigars and spirits, discussion, poetry, folk, bluegrass, jazz, homesteading and natural healing.
  1. Hi Jenell, I really like your modification of the baby with the bathwater metaphor in your statement: "Advances of science and steadily increasing discreditation of so much of the superstitious and magical false hype and emotionalism in modern religion and humanity's over all world view has resulted in something of having thrown the baby out, but keeping and deifying the bathwater (pseudo-spiritual language and practices) as well as the bathtub (the religiouus structures that serve to contain those elements)." Also, I definitely agree with the point you make with it. What are some ear
  2. Hi Mike, You're definitely right about the Platonic influence. The term "demiurge" has been acknowledged, in everything I've read, as deriving from Plato's "Timaeus". I have not read "Timaeus" completely, but it does seem that the Valentinian usage of the term is closest of any gnostic group to Plato's. In Einar Thomassen's "The Spiritual Seed", which in my experience is the most thorough English-language discussion of Valentinian systematic theology, he discusses the likely neoplatonic and neopythagorean influences on the main Valentinian myth. I also think you're right about the c
  3. The connection with global warming is an interesting connection. Religion in its many forms often involves an attempt to make sense of mystery. Since the flood story originated in Mesopotamia, I believe, it's original intent may have been to explain flooding as the result of human irritation of the gods, and, therefore, something within human control. The great offense of mystery, after all, is that we can't control it. Whereas the original depicted gods bent on destroying humanity because they were too noisy, the Israelite telling recasts the reason to convey the idea prevalent in the Tor
  4. Ptolemy's "Letter to Flora": http://www.gnosis.or...brary/flora.htm Here are the next two paragraphs: "For it is evident that the Law was not ordained by the perfect God the Father, for it is secondary, being imperfect and in need of completion by another, containing commandments alien to the nature and thought of such a God. On the other hand, one cannot impute the Law to the injustice of the opposite God, for it is opposed to injustice. Such persons do not comprehend what was said by the Savior. For a house or city divided against itself cannot stand [Matt 12:25], declared our Sa
  5. What happened to "being followers of Jesus is costly, and entails ... conscientious resistance to evil, and renunciation of privilege"? Is it just me, or does it seem like the new version is really watered down, and almost repetitious of some of the other points, particularly 4, 5 and 6? I like the new wording of the other points, but this one seems pointless now.
  6. Ptolemy's "Letter to Flora": http://www.gnosis.or...brary/flora.htm Here are the first two paragraphs: "The Law ... ordained through Moses, my dear sister Flora, has not been understood by many persons, who have accurate knowledge neither of him who ordained it nor of its commandments. I think that this will be perfectly clear to you when you have learned the contradictory opinions about it. Some say that it is legislation given by God the Father; others, taking the contrary course, maintain stubbornly that it was ordained by the opposite, the Devil who causes destruction, just as the
  7. Hi Jenell, I've listed some of the positive points in brief above, where I correlated them with the 8 points. I will try to elaborate some more later.
  8. Hi Neon, The problem with "Gnosticism" is not that it is a modern construct. It is that it's an inaccurate construct. It was constructed mostly from the very hostile heresiological accounts of various ancient groups, that had no more in common with each other that today's religions do. Certainly, we do not take at face value the definition of "religion" proposed by militant atheists, culled from all the most negative aspects of the world's religions. My argument is that neither should we use "Gnosticism" to dismiss a whole variety of religions that it aims to caricaturize. As to t
  9. Ptolemy's "Letter to Flora": http://www.gnosis.org/library/flora.htm I have a couple questions on the opening lines to get the discussion going. Why might Ptolemy have chosen this topic as a good introduction for Flora to possible initiation into the Valentinian mysteries? She may have written him first, specifically asking he discuss this, but let's assume this wasn't the case. How likely is it that he chose it because ethics and particularly God's ethics as disclosed by Jesus were considered a necessary prerequisite to Valentinian initiation, similar to the way Kabbalistic in
  10. Hi Rivanna, Thanks for joining the conversation. Have you read my long response to Jenell above? I think it will answer some of your concerns. If not, please let me know so I can clarify further. As mentioned above, "Gnosticism" is not an actual unified ancient movement that ever existed as defined. Rather, it is a recent scholarly construct that is often used in an uncritical and heavy-handed manner to dismiss any or all gnostic groups. It is a "definition" made by amassing, usually, the most negative beliefs of various groups that all valued gnosis, but had little else in common
  11. Hi Mike, Here is a link to Ptolemy's "Letter to Flora" per your suggestion that it might be helpful to go over a specific text: http://www.gnosis.org/library/flora.htm. This is from Hoeller's site, and he explains in the "Archive Notes" that Bentley Layton's translation in "The Gnostic Scriptures" is better, and I have to agree. This text covers what Ptolemy considered a good introduction to Valentinian Christian thought. It also addresses some of what you expressed interest in, and since I mentioned it several times above, it seemed like an appropriate place to start. Also, it is
  12. Hi Jenell, There are definitely modern reconstructions of gnostic traditions, such as Dr. Stephan A. Hoeller's Ecclesia Gnostica, for example, but that is not what I'm talking about, nor is it where my interest lies. Everything I've read has been about the ancient school, which scholars refer to as "Valentinian", since Valentinus was the founder of it and as "Christianity" because it was as Christian as the schools of Justin Martyr, Origen, Clement of Alexandria and the like. In fact, the Valentinian school was the gnostic tradition that most closely aligned with the proto-orthodox, whic
  13. Hi Jenell, My last post was written prior to me seeing your last two. Hopefully, it addresses some of what you mention specifically in the second to last post. However, let me at least add that the belief you describe is most prominant in Manicheism, which came later, and is definitely not present like that in Valentinian Christianity. This is a good example of the problem created by lumping these diverse gnostic traditions into a single category called "Gnosticism". Also, Manicheism is Kurt Rudolph's specialty, and is one of the gnostic traditions which was most familiar to scholars b
  14. Hi Jenell and Mike, Jenell, I have to say I was surprised by your statement that "Gnosticism was largely the source of anti-feminine, degradation and disregard for women as it entered the church after the first century". That is not an objection I have encountered before. I spent some time thinking about why you might think that, because my readings of gnostic texts like the Nag Hammadi scriptures and scholarly studies drawing both from these texts and the heresiological reports of the gnostics have consistently espoused the exact opposite. I do not mean to be disagreeable or condesc
  15. Hi Scott, Jerry Garcia played bluegrass with David Grisman, right? I just started building a collection of jazz standards. So far, the only pianists I have are Dave Brubeck and Thelonious Monk. I really like Thelonious Monk's "Monk's Dream" and Dave Brubeck's "Time Out" and "Jazz Impressions of Japan". I'll have to check out the ones you mentioned. I've definitely heard of Herbie Hancock. Duke Ellington was a pianist, too, wasn't he? What do you think about the Rudy Gelder series of jazz recordings? I've read that some people think he really distorts the sound of a piano i
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