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Tony Grist

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Gnosticism For Beginners [Sep. 6th, 2015|01:44 pm]
Tony Grist
God, in himself, is perfect (say the gnostics) but somehow he's managed to let himself go- and spread out- like melting jelly- picking up impurites on the way- and the result is the universe as we see it now- wholly divine and yet also corrupted- and increasingly filthy the closer you get to the outside edge. To snatch at worldly parallels God is like a benign emperor who remains ensconced in his palace of delights, leaving his empire to be run by a many-tiered bureaucracy that gets ever less benign and increasingly feral with every step down- until in the furthest regions (meaning life on earth)- things are run by the basest of demonic sweaters and exploiters.

Human beings are just about as low as it gets in the hierarchy; they're the poor brainwashed, peasants of the imperial cosmos. And yet they too are made of God stuff and can aspire heavenwards.  How do they get out from under their oppressors?  They simply wise up, get the knowledge (the gnosis). And somehow- I think this is a weakness in the system- mere knowledge lifts them out and up and back to the palace of delights.

It's a persuasive vision and people of the highest calibre have entertained it- William Blake, Thomas Hardy, Carl Jung. Today- coarsened and infused with elements of pulp science fiction- you find it in Scientology and the teachings of David Icke. What I miss is any sense of agency or purpose.  God didn't intend to make a universe but just let it drift into existence; it's so... ineffectual. so... dozy, so... Ottoman.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: kinderheldin
2015-09-06 01:25 pm (UTC)
The Jungians argue as to whether or not the Self has intentionality; it does seem as if there is a design, the Self manifested, through coming to consciousness/individuation, and perhaps, synchronicity. That design isn't fully knowable, however, as a collective image nor a personal one. Through the ego-Self axis, the "way" to the Creator is forged.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2015-09-06 01:36 pm (UTC)
Yes, I wouldn't say Jung was actually a gnostic. I think he was too much of a scientist ever to commit fully to any metaphysical system. What he did was find material to work on in the gnostic tradition.
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[User Picture]From: happydog
2015-09-08 10:35 pm (UTC)
I think you nailed it...So Ottoman, in the sense of the empire...and the sofa footstool.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2015-09-09 09:31 am (UTC)
One thinks of the God of the cartoonists- dressed in a nightgown like a geriatric patient, lounging about on a bed of fluffy clouds.
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