March 7 - March 7 2008 Gnosticism Greek meaning knowledge...

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March 7, 2008 Gnosticism Greek: meaning knowledge Wisdom beyond average human beings understand actual nature of universe, including own actual natures they believe they were destined from birth to salvation or oneness with ultimate reality actual true self: composed of light eternal entity endures through numbers of lifetimes, with a body in each lifetime a true soul lives a number of times in a number of bodies the body is a physical trap the actual self has become ensnared hold that: if you feel out of place in this world, probably because you are out of place, and you may be a member of the spiritual elect who are destined for actuality all you have to do is hear, understand and believe the truth about yourself then you are in the moment saved, freed from the physical body until 1940 knew little about Gnosticism and Christianity together in the countryside, near a village near Naghamodi peasant found papyrus text that dates 1 st -3 rd century CE all docs written by Gnostic Christians believed indiv. who was savior who came into the world was Jesus Gnostic Gospels “souls are always good” entrapt in an endless cycle of rebirths theodicy pleasures of any kind are all evil picture would as battle ground good vs. evil constantly ** Dualism: good and evil in conflict process of rebellion other Gnostics believe everything evil is created by an evil god and everything good is created by a good god some Gnostics deny: Jesus had physical body that He was born of a virgin Docetism : something only seems to be actual Christ only seemed to have a physical body some suggest crucifixion was an illusion
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or that it was Simon of Serene (who carried the cross for Jesus) he couldn’t have been crucified b/c he had no physical body exoteric vs. esoteric exoteric: what is obvious to everybody, what you can hear in the songs, taste in the Eucharist
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