Are you a Gnostic?

Discussion in 'The big picture' started by Nickolas, Feb 23, 2012.

  1. Nickolas

    Nickolas Junior Member

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    This Thread is about my religious Beliefs.

    Take this test to see if you are a Gnostic then read the rest of this thread!: https://www.beliefnet.com/section/quiz/index.asp?sectionID=&surveyID=46[/URL] I scored 6 out of 80 in this test!

    The below artical segment is from: https://www.gnosis.org/gnintro.htm[/URL]

    All religious traditions acknowledge that the world is imperfect. Where they differ is in the explanations which they offer to account for this imperfection and in what they suggest might be done about it. Gnostics have their own -- perhaps quite startling -- view of these matters: they hold that the world is flawed because it was created in a flawed manner.

    Like Buddhism, Gnosticism begins with the fundamental recognition that earthly life is filled with suffering. In order to nourish themselves, all forms of life consume each other, thereby visiting pain, fear, and death upon one another (even herbivorous animals live by destroying the life of plants). In addition, so-called natural catastrophes -- earthquakes, floods, fires, drought, volcanic eruptions -- bring further suffering and death in their wake. Human beings, with their complex physiology and psychology, are aware not only of these painful features of earthly existence. They also suffer from the frequent recognition that they are strangers living in a world that is flawed and absurd.
    Many religions advocate that humans are to be blamed for the imperfections of the world. Supporting this view, they interpret the Genesis myth as declaring that transgressions committed by the first human pair brought about a “fall” of creation resulting in the present corrupt state of the world. Gnostics respond that this interpretation of the myth is false. The blame for the world’s failings lies not with humans, but with the creator. Since -- especially in the monotheistic religions -- the creator is God, this Gnostic position appears blasphemous, and is often viewed with dismay even by non-believers.

    Ways of evading the recognition of the flawed creation and its flawed creator have been devised over and over, but none of these arguments have impressed Gnostics. The ancient Greeks, especially the Platonists, advised people to look to the harmony of the universe, so that by venerating its grandeur they might forget their immediate afflictions. But since this harmony still contains the cruel flaws, forlornness and alienation of existence, this advice is considered of little value by Gnostics. Nor is the Eastern idea of Karma regarded by Gnostics as an adequate explanation of creation’s imperfection and suffering. Karma at best can only explain how the chain of suffering and imperfection works. It does not inform us in the first place why such a sorrowful and malign system should exist.

    Once the initial shock of the “unusual” or “blasphemous” nature of the Gnostic explanation for suffering and imperfection of the world wears off, one may begin to recognize that it is in fact the most sensible of all explanations. To appreciate it fully, however, a familiarity with the Gnostic conception of the Godhead is required, both in its original essence as the True God and in its debased manifestation as the false or creator God....................
     
  2. pippimac

    pippimac Junior Member

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    My computer says 'server not found'.
    Is that Gnostic speak for "go away you horrible unbeliever you"?;)
     
  3. Nickolas

    Nickolas Junior Member

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  4. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    Nickolas,

    My question to you is how are your personal religious beliefs appropriate fodder for a Permaculture forum?

    Bill
     
  5. Nickolas

    Nickolas Junior Member

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    And my answer is that for me my personal religious beliefs are part of the big picture!


    The big picture
    Debate on politics, energy, conservation, oil, natural resources, GM crops, dodgy science, and social, psychological, spiritual bits & pieces. Discuss, trade links, rant and rave!

    I am just ranting and raveing about my personal spiritual bits & pieces!
     
  6. TheDirtSurgeon

    TheDirtSurgeon Junior Member

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    I think I can answer that. I'll try.

    I did the little quiz thingy. It says I'm a hardcore Gnostic. That's funny, because I consider myself agnostic. That is to say, I approach the universe with a rational, skeptical mind; capable of understanding that there is much I do not understand.

    Agnosticism is not a religion. Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Atheism... those are religions. Those are things which require belief, even when that belief is contrary to observed fact. (Lest anyone try to counter that, atheism requires one to believe that, despite the fact we can only see a fraction of the universe we live in, that there must be no higher power in it than the human mind. That is faith, and thus, a religion.)

    Agnosticism is reliance on observation. "I didn't see it, so I don't know." I haven't met your god or gods, but I'll not deny -- or believe in -- them without proof.

    That's what permaculture tells us to do. Observe. Learn. We don't have to get it right.

    A "skeptic" is not, as modern people seem to think the word means, an atheist, or someone who automatically disavows knowledge. A true skeptic -- the definition -- is someone who approaches all things as being worthy of investigation.
     
  7. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    Interesting. I don't consider Buddhism a "religion" as there is no deity per se. To me it is more an exploration of self-enlightenment, an approach to "knowing one's self" and one's place within the universe.
     
  8. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    G'day Gnickolas

    Gno, I'm gnot a gnostic...

    Seriously, the 'test/quiz' you linked to is methodologically flawed. I say this because in attempting to answer the question, "Am I Gnostic?", it first assumes the participant is at least on some sort of Gnostic spectrum, and as such it is biased. For example, question one posits: "I can find the divine mainly by: 1) studying and looking within, or 2) having faith in certain beliefs". Beginning with the lead in, the bias is apparent in the assumption that one is feasibly able to 'find the divine'. The bias then continues by only giving a choice of two affirming options, both of which support the initial biased assumption. Now, if this were truly a statistically correct form of surveying, there would be one option each to either affirm or negate the initial assumption. For example, one of the two options might read: "The divine does not exist".

    On the subject of gnosticism/agnosticism/atheism, you might find the FAQ (and answers) page on the Atheist Foundation of Australia website of interest.

    Cheerio (and keep looking for answers to those big questions!), Markos
     
  9. Finchj

    Finchj Junior Member

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    I couldn't finish the quiz. Question 5 hung me up. There are only two choices for "why humans do evil things" and neither of them are a good choice IMO.

    Hm. Anyway, I'm not Gnostic but if thats your thing then alright. I just don't see the universe as flawed- or perfect. Neither do I feel alienated from the world- because I am of the world. We are all a part of creation, just because we have the ability to "think" and "reason" abstractly doesn't detract from the experience whatsoever. IMO.

    Humans have free will constrained or released by environmental/social/economic/etc. conditions. Humanity has great power, but too many of us choose to ignore it and allow those who freely abuse their power to run the show.
     
  10. Try Reason

    Try Reason Junior Member

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    I've created a few flawed gardens and the blame lies fairly and squarely with me. This is as relevent as I can make this thread to permaculture.
     

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