Monday, June 26, 2006

Gnostics and gnostics

I have read an amusing anecdote that Plato said that, if a person were deliberately "evil," he would come back in his next life as a woman!:)

Orphism is naturally appealing to mystics. It seems to have some genuine pre-gnostic elements within it. Re early Christianity, the mystics always side with the gnostics over the orthodox. While they can be "Christian," they are never only Christians. They are never "orthodox" Christians, although they do agree with some of their teachings. They are what Elaine Pagels calls "gnostic Christians."

Btw, re early (first century) gnosticism: We must be very careful always to distinguish between generic "gnostics," spelled with a lower-case "g," (synonymous with "mystic," "kabbbalist," and "sufi") and the cultlike and sometimes weird Gnostics, spelled with a cap G. The latter had some very odd and even antimystical doctrines as, for example, among the Carpocratians. (Not always a pretty sight!)

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