Gnosticism, Facts & Fantasies

    Most of the written history of Gnostics and the various groups that practices Gnosticism come from those who opposed them.  As a result, that written history tends to be largely negative and misleading.  Let’s clear up a few of these misunderstandings.

It is often expressed that gnostic groups were just a bunch of rebels and crazies, and remain so to this day. 

“While consistently represented by its enemies as a historical oddity of purely antiquarian interest, Gnosticism has attracted friends and even followers of the stature of Voltaire, William Blake, W. B. Yeats, Hermann Hesse, and C. G. Jung, to mention but a few.” ~Stephen Hoeller in the preface to his book “Gnosticism”.

It is said that Gnostic groups were an offshoot from the original Christian church and original teachings of Christianity.

The Essenes were clearly Gnostic and they existed for centuries before the birth of Jesus and, while some historians still disagree, it it becoming more widely accepted that Jesus himself was an Essene.  The Dead Sea Scrolls show that many of Gnostic teachings existed before the start of Christianity.

It has been stated that Gnosticism is not a consistent teaching, with each of the many groups teaching something slightly different.

That could be said also for the many Christian churches that exist today.  The important thing is that the core teachings of all the real gnostic groups is the same and that teaching is that there is a sacred “knowledge” that cannot be learned from books or from conventional studies.  It must be learned by the soul, not the brain, and the purpose of the gnostic groups is to teach the members of the group how to access this hidden knowledge to transform themselves from the typical average person into a superior spiritual person.


Don’t Feed the Bums?

    I couldn’t believe the story I heard on HLN about the businesses in an area near San Diago that have put signs in their windows telling people “Don’t feed the bums”.  They say these signs are not aimed at the homeless or real unemployed people, but at a specific group of young adults who come from well off families who have simply decided they don’t want to work anymore, so they have quit their jobs and just hang around the beach and panhandle for meals.  
    First, visitors to the area are not going to know that.  They will interpret those signs as applying to all of the homeless and unemployed people.
    Second, who are these shop keepers to judge this group of young people because they choose not to work?  The shop keepers might not like it, but it is not up to them to tell others “don’t feed the bums”.  How would they feel if people started judging their business ethics? If people started saying: “Don’t buy from XXX store” because he sells cigarettes and booze that kill people,
“Don’t Shop at ZZZZ” because he sells cheaply made imports”, etc.  
    The business owners may not like the anti-materialism of this group, but they have no business putting up such signs and, if I lived in that area, I would avoid those stores.  


Spiritual Symbols: Mask

    A mask is often a symbol of concealment or protection, but it can also be symbolic of transformation.  A very plain mask can symbolizes one who is lost in the masses of mediocrity.  An elaborate mask, on the other hand, can symbolize one who is going to change or transform dramatically.   Mask making is one of the oldest art forms.
    In religious and spiritual plays and native dances, a mast often represents a deity or some aspect of a deity.  An animal mask represents the power of that animal or the ability to communicate with the animal.  Masks are sometimes worn by native healers to frighten illness (evil spirits) out of the patient.
    A mask can also represent the rigidity of death.  The ancient Egyptians were well known for burying Pharaohs and other high-ranking royals with elaborate death masks, often made of gold and jewels.  
    In some cultures, a warrior might wear a mask to appear more frightening to enemies or to represent someone he has killed in battle.
    Wearing a mask in a dream, particularly a mask of some alien being or a fictitious character, often means that you are trying to be something, or someone, that you are not.  It can also mean that you are trying to hide your emotions or your ideas about a situation.  If it is someone else wearing the mask in the dream, it probably means that person is hiding something from you.


Happy Father’s Day 2010

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Some Quotes on Fathers

“A father is a fellow who has replaced the currency in his wallet with the snapshots of his kids.”

“My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, ‘You’re tearing up the grass’; ‘We’re not raising grass,’ Dad would reply. ‘We’re raising boys'” ~Harmon Killebrew

“Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope.” ~Bill Cosby

“I talk and talk and talk, and I haven’t taught people in 50 years what my father taught by example in one week.” ~ Mario Cuomo

“Any man can be a Father but it takes someone special to be a dad.” ~Anne Geddes

Happy Dad’s Day!