Gnosticism & the Demiurge.

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LoopGodel
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Gnosticism & the Demiurge.

Postby LoopGodel » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:08 pm

I have long held a fascination with Gnosticism and a more Gnostic reading of the Bible. I resonate with much of what they held to be true, in particular the notion that the God of Jesus is not the same as the God of the Old Testament/Torah. There seem to be many strange occurrences that raise question marks about the identity and character of this God - the forbidding of knowledge in the Garden of Eden, the Flood, the Tower of Babel, the many acts of supposedly God-ordained violent and genocide, the unrelenting need for worship from human beings etc. The list goes on.

I am currently thinking about the extent to which such a Gnostic world view is compatible with the perspective put forward in Fosforos. Their teaching of the place of ultimate Oneness - the Pleroma - seems to offer a level of compatibility. The idea of the Old Testament God being some kind of deranged entity that seeks to be the One True God and visits all kinds of punishment on humanity, has in my opinion quite a lot of explanatory power.

Such a being would want to cast down Lucifer, chain Prometheus to a rock, kill messengers from the One True God that sought to free Humanity from it's mental & spiritual chains and blame all the suffering in the world on an evil "Satan" type figure. Where I currently differ is around the often held view that the fundamental nature of matter and physical existence is evil.

Anyway, I am giving this a lot of thought and would welcome your comments on how you perceive Gnosticism and in particular the idea of the Demiurge, in relation to Fosforos & other SoA teachings.

Thanks in advance,

LoopGodel.
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Re: Gnosticism & the Demiurge.

Postby Nefastos » Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:26 pm

LoopGodel wrote:I am currently thinking about the extent to which such a Gnostic world view is compatible with the perspective put forward in Fosforos. Their teaching of the place of ultimate Oneness - the Pleroma - seems to offer a level of compatibility. The idea of the Old Testament God being some kind of deranged entity that seeks to be the One True God and visits all kinds of punishment on humanity, has in my opinion quite a lot of explanatory power.


It has, to some extent. Have your reading of Fosforos yet advanced to Cista Mystica's chapter 4, which deals with Gnostic beliefs?

Fosforos wrote:Life, and life alone, can define good and evil. God living outside time cannot be good or evil, for all evil is a time-bound illusion. The deeper into the folds of slow matter the soul falls, the more coarse and evil it becomes. In other words, the more selfish it becomes. This is only because of the influence and manifestation of the created law. Is not the evil-one then that which has created those unbreakable laws? But as an answer, the Ialdabaoth – the demiurge of the Gnostics – solves nothing. It could have been born mistaken and therefore the possibilities of error already existed. Ergo, the fault is again in the fullness of the Plerôma itself, although it placed (emanated) for itself a locum tenens to create the worlds of suffering. (Footnote: In all secretly dualistic forms of pseudo-monotheism where Satan or some substitute of his appears, this particular problem can easily be seen. The only rational interpretations that escape impossibilities are that either “God” is both good and evil – and deserves curses as much as praises – or there exists no universal evil but only tragedy, and the evil deeds which are brought about do not satisfy or anger God, but torment only the created beings and in the final analysis the wrongdoer himself. The former is enlightened exotericism, and the latter is the point of view of occultism. As long as we speak of evil as something existing in reality – and not only as expression – our thinking is formal.)


In other words, Gnostic pantheon should be taken as a partly symbolic representation of the Platonic model of emanation. Nowadays (and perhaps also back in its own time) Gnosticism's problem is that it takes an occult, esoteric viewpoint at the same time while it keeps to the exoteric, allegorical theology of gods or powers with personalities not unlike human beings. What usually remains unnoticed is that that kind of theology repeats the mistake of the Christian theodicy about the relationship between "God" and "Satan" (/demiurge).

Namely: In case there is some lesser god under the greater one, the wrongdoings of the lesser are on the responsibility of the higher. Even a human father understands that in case his baby boy attacks or oppresses other kids in the sandbox, responsibility is his, even if – and particularly because – the child is unable to realize responsible use of power and act accordingly. Much more so regarding the actual powers in cosmos. Power brings responsibility, and absolute power brings absolute responsibility: this goes equally with exoteric God and esoteric Plerôma.
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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Re: Gnosticism & the Demiurge.

Postby LoopGodel » Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:28 pm

Nefastos, thanks for your comments & the quote from Fosforos. Yes, I have read that section - as you rightly point out, it doesn't absolve the Pleroma of ultimate responsibility. The parent with the bullying child is a good example.

In many ways one can see the majority of religions & spiritual traditions as ways of explaining & extracting meaning from suffering. I intend to read Fosforos a couple of times more and from there I hope to have a much clearer understanding of how SoA perceives the suffering of conscious beings in relation to the underlying Oneness it articulates.

If I had to pick two spiritual texts that have inspired me the most over the last few years, they would be the Bhagavad Gita & Fosforos. I look forward to exploring on the forum and in my private thoughts, how to work with them simultaneously. Lucifer-Christ looks a lot like Krishna from my current vantage point.

Thank you.

LoopGodel.
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Re: Gnosticism & the Demiurge.

Postby Nefastos » Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:19 pm

Thank you for your kind words, LoopGodel, I am humbled.
LoopGodel wrote:I intend to read Fosforos a couple of times more and from there I hope to have a much clearer understanding of how SoA perceives the suffering of conscious beings in relation to the underlying Oneness it articulates.


Even though many of the members of the Star of Azazel share some of my views on those things, such is not demanded. I am glad that so many brethren share a view that is more optimistic & positive towards these mysteries (of suffering) than mine. Lately in the Finnish forum brother Wyrmfang said that Satanism can be about finding meaning in suffering. For me, I'd say it the other way around: my Satanism was born from losing that meaning in suffering. I just feel that suffering of the world is overwhelming, and there is nothing that justifies such depth of cosmic, existential agony. (But I still think that the answer might be found, after the necessary ultimate spiritual sight has been acquired.)

LoopGodel wrote:Lucifer-Christ looks a lot like Krishna from my current vantage point.


Yes. It also seems that the first chapters' more vaishnavite Krishna is replaced by a more shaivite (and thus "occultly Satanic") Krishna in the latter chapters of 'Gita. The more the book advances into spiritual depths, the more Krishna's teachings start to work in paradoxes & even cancel his former teachings. It is an upward spiral, a whole path of initiations.
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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Re: Gnosticism & the Demiurge.

Postby LoopGodel » Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:55 pm

Nefastos, yes I hear what you express about there being nothing to justify the sheer immensity of cosmic suffering. My more optimistic side can find solace in the 'Gita; however another side of me wonders whether the cosmos is some kind of giant mistake that accidentally came into existence. Sometimes I find a level of peace in the moment, drinking coffee while watching the morning mist glide across the mountain face or some other aspect of nature. But even nature can be unbearably harsh at times, albeit not in a malicious way.

If you don't mind me asking, in what way was your understanding & experience of Satanism born of the loss of meaning in suffering? What you said really stood out and got me wondering.

I greatly appreciate this forum and community - it's everything that once upon a time I would never have expected, which I find surprising, challenging and ultimately, reassuring.

Thanks,

LoopGodel.
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Re: Gnosticism & the Demiurge.

Postby Nefastos » Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:42 pm

LoopGodel wrote:If you don't mind me asking, in what way was your understanding & experience of Satanism born of the loss of meaning in suffering?


Like it happens to many people who later find themselves in esoteric studies, my search after answers went through the roof when I was a teenager. I instinctively knew there was a spiritual set of answers I had somehow forgotten, even though the realization felt to be so close. I devoured all kind of spiritual and mystic literature, and found Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine to be precisely about that what I had sought for. The next years I read and re-read the theosophical texts (including the sacred texts now much better understood in their light) and lived the Right Hand Path occultism as punctually as I was able. That is the path where one believes in greater powers that are ultimately benevolent and/or meaningful. But the deeper I went and the more I experienced the spiritual life, the more the problem of suffering gnawed at my nerves and my heart. Finally I just couldn't believe anymore that all that nightmare hell I experienced both day and night – feeling (astrally, i.e. imagining) the pain of the people tortured and killed by the other who didn't even know what they were doing, &c. &c. – was "for something better", or that it could be necessary by any means. Karma was not the answer, for usually the payback of pain only makes people more & more selfish, broken and less altruistic. God, even the esoteric God – Logos, or by whatever name we would call him/it – was therefore impotent, completely inhuman and void of compassion, evil, or all of these. I saw no hope, only the endless insane spiral of torture, where no death would bring end.

It remains as the choice of the interpreter whether my cosmology became a Satanic one because of social, pathological, psychopathological, psycho-cultural reasons, or whether it was an onward step in my spiritual path & regarding my dharma here. Personally, of course, I would say the latter, even though the former reasons necessarily overlap with it. Regardlessly, that was the point I inverted my rose-cross, because I no longer believed that the suffering down here is meaningful to the extent we (all beings, not just humans) experience it.

LoopGodel wrote:I greatly appreciate this forum and community - it's everything that once upon a time I would never have expected, which I find surprising, challenging and ultimately, reassuring.


We are glad to hear that. I hope that your feelings of both challenging & reassuring sharing of ideas will remain. Ours is not always very easy a company, especially to people outside Finland, for there is often very little outer stimulus to help our neophytes with the ultimately inner processes of the Work.
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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Re: Gnosticism & the Demiurge.

Postby LoopGodel » Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:07 am

Nefastos, one can't get more honest than the words you posted. My spiritual path has been similar in certain respects, although I spent the best part of 3 decades searching within the monotheistic, Abrahamic traditions - firstly exoteric/evangelical christianity and then the christian mystics, Islamic Sufi's, Gnostics & Kabbalists. It was through my studies of Judaism & the Torah that I came to the conclusion that the God of the Old Testament was not the same as the God that Jesus seemed to portray - "If you have seen me, you have seen the Father".

I am here on this forum as part of my search to unify the opposites within & make some "sense" of the existential & cosmological circumstances I find myself a part of. Robert Anton Wilson advised people to pick the most intelligent, positive, creative & constructive model of reality and run with it - he didn't hold any particular one as definitive, describing himself as "model agnostic", but rather that some "reality tunnels" were more intelligent, evolved & constructive than others. I find this to be both honest and pragmatic.

I sense a deep integrity in your words and a commitment to "the Good". That's a dangerous word with so many unfortunate attachments but I think you will know what I mean. Seeking the Good in the Dark, in that which is spiritually despised, feared & hated by the masses, takes a lot of moral courage. I certainly have vestiges of that fear - not of Lucifer, but of Satan - and I see that as something important I need to work with. This forum is a wonderful space to do such inner work.

Thank you again for your honest words - they give others courage.

LoopGodel.
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Re: Gnosticism & the Demiurge.

Postby Insanus » Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:16 am

I think of the demiurge as a closed system interpretation of oneness. Like the word "world", if we think of it as a huge container in which all stuff is. We can assume that from it's own viewpoint "everything is good", in the sense that there's no error that threatens it's own existence and that our own suffering is an error only to us so we have to evolve in order to make it go away. The downward way of understanding this demiurgic unity is to take it's position in everyday life and view one's own, and other people's misery as justifiable for higher evolutionary end (or for any other reason), therefore having "the sight of a god". This, in my opinion, is also the danger in "finding meaning in suffering" especially if we associate meaning with this unity.
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Re: Gnosticism & the Demiurge.

Postby Wyrmfang » Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:39 pm

Insanus wrote:I think of the demiurge as a closed system interpretation of oneness. Like the word "world", if we think of it as a huge container in which all stuff is. We can assume that from it's own viewpoint "everything is good", in the sense that there's no error that threatens it's own existence and that our own suffering is an error only to us so we have to evolve in order to make it go away. The downward way of understanding this demiurgic unity is to take it's position in everyday life and view one's own, and other people's misery as justifiable for higher evolutionary end (or for any other reason), therefore having "the sight of a god". This, in my opinion, is also the danger in "finding meaning in suffering" especially if we associate meaning with this unity.
I very much agree on this. I guess it's good specify that what I meant on the Finnish forum by finding meaning in suffering. The idea was not that "there is a greater purpose behind every seeming evil" but that suffering may sometimes lead to an atheistic position in which any cosmic sense of meaning is denied. There is not necessarily anything wrong in such a world view (this is ultimately a matter of faith), but if I embrace religious faith I must be able somehow to integrate suffering to oneness instead of conceiving it as something that shows the supposedly illusory nature of all religious faith. In this sense I conceive suffering as the ultimate challenge to faith and Satanism as the most holistic spiritual enterprise because it emphasizes this difficult issue.
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Re: Gnosticism & the Demiurge.

Postby Alfalfa » Tue Oct 23, 2018 3:26 pm

Nefastos wrote: That is the path where one believes in greater powers that are ultimately benevolent and/or meaningful. But the deeper I went and the more I experienced the spiritual life, the more the problem of suffering gnawed at my nerves and my heart. Finally I just couldn't believe anymore that all that nightmare hell I experienced both day and night – feeling (astrally, i.e. imagining) the pain of the people tortured and killed by the other who didn't even know what they were doing, &c. &c. – was "for something better", or that it could be necessary by any means. Karma was not the answer, for usually the payback of pain only makes people more & more selfish, broken and less altruistic. God, even the esoteric God – Logos, or by whatever name we would call him/it – was therefore impotent, completely inhuman and void of compassion, evil, or all of these. I saw no hope, only the endless insane spiral of torture, where no death would bring end.
[...] Regardlessly, that was the point I inverted my rose-cross, because I no longer believed that the suffering down here is meaningful to the extent we (all beings, not just humans) experience it.
If we'd like to discuss this like poor scholastics, even if there ever was some all-powerful creator of nature and power always needs according to it's essence something that doesn't have power in the same degree, since otherwise it would be impossible to work this power on anything. Gives the here assumed most high power of God, it had to have something right from the beginning, which was weaker in comparison and could be worked on by God's force. Accordingly this something needed to be something which is not the all-powerful God, but something weaker. Now, according to the assumption, God had only a limited set of choises to be himself in his all-powerfulness. Being able to choose even absolutely freely supposes something which can be chosen, when something other is rejected. This way there was some options for God, i.e. to destroy the weaker permanently and lose His all-powerfullness, since power could then not be worked and would be an imaginary power without actual possibility, or destroy the weaker perdiodically. If it was destroyed and created again periodically, we'll only face the same problem. Even if it was destroyed supposed to be destroyed only temporarily, God wouldn't anymore have anything with less power than Him to create it again from. This could be prevented, if that something weaker destroyed was already nothing, but if it already was nothing, destroying it wouldn't change anything and would only show God's powerlessness over it, since His power would alter it at all in any way by trying to destroy it, and since nothing wouldn't be destroyed by God's power it also wouldn't be weaker than God. In another way God could use his power only passively, i.e. as an eternal chance of doing something, but that way He's power would be unused and if it's unusable, when there's the possibility for using it, God's power would be worse than using it, i.e. it would be better not to use this power. If God's all-powerfulness was so bad that it shouldn't ever be used, it even be absolutely bad, since only that power is absolutely bad, which should never be used on any occasion, even if it was possible. If God is the all-good, how could his power be absolutely bad? The only solution for God to be absolutely powerful and good, is the use of His power and not the repressing of it. So, this something had to be worked with, even though it was weaker than God. It doesn't matter here if it's supposed to be a part of God or something besides Him, e.g. like the body of a thinking man, whose mind has control over the body, since if God was like mind and body, it would be said that He's all-powerfulness was his mind and the weaker was body, which would lead only to divide God to God's head and God's body, and the all-powerful creator would be God's head. Since God in his all-powerfulness was also all-good, he used his power on the weaker one, which was also from the beginning and which an all-mighty God would not destroy, since it would have deptrived him of his all-powerfulness as if it was better it was not, even though only those things are better not being, which are bad. Because of this, God's all-powerfulness in it's all-goodness had to be used on the weaker and not to destroy it, but as the goodness of God's power. Since this weaker should by all-powerful and all-good be altered and not destroyed, it had to be made something it still wasn't. I've sofar mentiod the weaker other, but it's also an important point, that it should also be worse than God, if God was ever to use His power to alter it for good, which is befitting for an all-good God.
                     There would now hypotethically speaking be some options to consider the particular way of creating. Either (a.) God would instantly make the weaker as powerful as He is, but then He'd lose his all-powerfulness, since the other would be as powerful and neither would be all-powerful. If (a.1.) the other of these two most-powerful was also created all-good, both's power would be useless, since it couldn't ever be used and what can't ever be used is totally useless and good for nothing wouldn't befit these all-good Gods. If (b.) the other was instantly created all-powerful but less good, God would again lose He's all-powerfulness and besides Him would now be something worse He can never alter, i.e. an eternal most-powerful God more evil than all-good most-powerful God. There would eternally be more evil as powerful as God. This is hardly the best way to create, since God's all-power would then be for no good and created eternal evil. The third option (c.) is, that God instantly creates something all-good, but not as powerful as Him. Then (c.1.) He's possibility of using His power would again end and further use would be for no good, but how could this be with an all-good God? If (c.2.) God instantly created it less-good and not as powerful as him, but then His power would not have done anything good, but only more evil for all eternity. There's only a few options left. If God (d.1.) made the weaker become ever weaker gradually it would eventually change into nothing and since nothing isn't anything, but good is something, God's power would be used for nothing good. If (d.2.) God made the weaker gradually become ever more powerful, it would eventually be as powerful as God and neither would be all-powerful. It wouldn't here change anything, if the weaker was at the same time made gradually better or worse, since both would be most-powerful, the bettering rendering all-powerfulness in the end useless not befitting either's all-goodness, and the worsening would again end with eternal eving being created, rendering God's all-good incompatible with His all-powerful. Same kind of reasoning could be made for other cases, i.e. a gradual change which has a limit would in all cases lead to an all-good God's power being finally good for nothing.
                     There's only one option, which consistentlty befits an all-good and all-powerful creator and that is the eternal bettering of the weaker, of which some will also stay worse than others. The weaker as a whole must never reach static eternity, regardless of it's creation being worsening or bettering, since either options would eventually render God's all-powerfulness not good. This means, that eternal creation is the only option befitting God's all-good all-powerfulness. Of course, it also has to be eventually eternal betterment , since eternal gradual worsening would create eternally more bad than good, which would render God's creation eternally worse than it could have been, even though He had the choise to make it eternal gradual betterment. If God is also all-wise, He doesn't choose blindly a creation which contradicts He's all-powerful all-goodness, i.e. as all-powerful, all-good and all-wise, the only option for God to create, is the eternal bettering of the creation, which is eternally weaker and in parts worse than Him. In this way God's all-good all-powerfulness is used in it's only consistent way, i.e. bettering gradually and eternally the weaker and worse. It would be worse to change even temporarily back the bettering alteration, since it temporarily contradicts God's all-goodness in creating, even though we here assume God to be eternally Himself, i.e. all-good, all-powerful and all-wise. From this follows, that God can't use His all-powerfulness to worsen creations gradually getting better, even though this will eventually deprive God from some of His all-power, but consistent with all-goodness, since He couldn't anymore consistently use his power on creatures if they all are alreadygradually bettering, or even instantly all-good. The only option left is, that God is all-good, all-powerful and all-wise in keeping His creation weaker than Him, although He might still gradually or instantly make some them all-good, but not all of them, since then His power would in the end be good for nothing. The only solution then is, that an all-powerful, all-good and all-wise God must choose a larger or lesser portion of the original weaker other, and better this portion either simultaneously or gradually to be all-good in the end, i.e. eternally. Besides this, there must also be a third portion, which consists of the ones eternally made better, but never all-good, either gradually or instantly. This group also divides to two portions: those bettered instantly as worse than all-good and those bettered gradually to be worse than all-good. More could still be said, but at least it seems proven, that even scholastically thinking an eternally all-powerful, all-good and all-wise God must create something worse than all-good and eternally have something weaker than Him. An all-powerful, all-good, all-wise eternal God would never contradict Himself by creating something exactly like Himself, but He must by His divine atrributes only to create weaker things and some of them even eternally worse than others. Such a God can't even in the give up His all-powerfulness, since that would imply that He wasn't all-good to begin with. Worse creatures or accidents worsening them, or both must always be created, since without them God's all-power would again be good for nothing although it's one of the all-good God's eternal attributes and consistently is eternal even from the beginning.

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