Comment: Gnosticism has lost its original meaning...

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Asclepius's picture

Gnosticism has lost its original meaning...

The problem with the word "gnostic", like the word "pagan" is that these words have lost their original meaning by the revisionists of History.

Originally, Gnosticism referred to the teaching that the realization of "Gnosis" (esoteric or intuitive knowledge) is the way to salvation of the soul from the material world. This idea was clearly evident in the Corpus Hermetica, fragments of which have been dated as early as 300BC.

What few people realize today is that this common viewpoint was broadly accepted and clearly evident by the vast collection of writings, 100's of thousands of books of knowledge spanning 1000's of years collected in various libraries throughout Egypt, such as the one in Alexandria. In contrast, we know the concept of original sin originated in the 2nd century AD as first alluded to by Irenaeus.

The Nag Hammadi library discovered in the 1940's is a mere tiny fraction of the vast knowledge that was destroyed. Much if it was written in Coptic, which is a sort of short hand and makes its interpretation difficult. Thus, the library as a whole probably should not be viewed as a single cohesive belief system, but rather various points of view that challenged the prevailing power structure at the time it was hidden in the cave.

Giving Eve equal status was another thing that I liked about the article that I posted on the Hypostasis of the Archons:

"Adam is referred to as the soul-endowed man while Eve is referred to as the spirit-endowed woman. Thus, we are given an image of complementarity between the sexes, of completion, which is entirely lacking in conventional Christian texts. The high regard that the writer of the book has for women is made clear in the passage where Adam is awakened from his sleep. “It is you who have given me life;” he says, on seeing her, “you will be called 'mother of the living.' – For it is she who is my mother. It is she who is the physician, and the woman, and she who has given birth.”

more about the original meaning of Gnosticism can be found here:

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery; none but ourselves can free our minds. - Bob Marley