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Thursday, February 3

Is neo-Gnosticism part of the Matrix?

Mr. Condon, I am impressed with your words. You sound like Morpheus. Morpheus will not steer you wrong Padowan.

To change topics, let's jump in with both feet. What is the role of neo-Gnosticism in the Matrix? It seems to me that the secular obsession with 'spirituality' is kind of a Gnosticism reborn. Let me explain. 2nd Century Gnositicm was a spurious version of Christianity that said the One was not truly human, but some sort of phantom. They said this because they thought the material world was inferior to the spiritual ('luminous beings are we, not this crude matter').

The rebirth of Gnosticism takes many forms. The most popular is the form that says the early church made up the doctrines of the One to make itself more powerful (see the Davinci Code and and of Elaine Pagels works), and that the 'real' One taught peace, justice and spiritual wisdom (which He did)over and against any claims to be the Son of God (Sorry neo-Gnostics, he did that too).

My question, seekers of truth, is why are the heterodox views of the One prevalant today?

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5 Comments:

  1. Blogger jholder said...

    The heterodox view requires a mere extrinsic change - a change in our actions towards others (tolerance), but not a change in ourselves, or others. This is likely because the neo-gnostic has already decided that the ‘crude matter’ of our bodies can’t be made any better. Perhaps ironically, when accusing the orthodox of phariseeism by criticizing our saying ‘we must work out our salvation with fear and trembling’, they are merely substituting one observed extrinsic action with another that fits their devotion to things like social justice.

    What the heterodox fail to understand is that our ‘crude matter’ can be redeemed, and by living participation in the uncreated energies of the One experience theosis (becoming (small-d) divine). They do not realize that the recommended askesis of the Christian life is necessary, not for the entry of ourselves into salvation, but to be sanctified and to fully live inside of the relationship of salvation with Christ – without it there is no relationship, and salvation withers. The idea that salvation is a relationship is foreign to the western mind which wants to think in terms of a legal transaction. But the idea of substitutionary atonement, where one stands behind the Christ to hide one’s flaws has a problem. If we are a pile of crap, though He cover us with snow to make us white, the middle of the pile is still a bunch of stinky crap. We need to be sanctified.

    The relationship with the One evokes love in us for Him. The result is our desire to grow in that relationship of love by participating in all he asks – which we will do willingly because of our love from Him, for Him – this is no gospel of straw. The difference in our thinking (μετανοέα) must be intrinsic for it to have a salvific consequence.

    So, to get around to your question, ‘why are the heterodox views more popular?’ Because those views require little of us, we can be lazy and do not have to ‘work out’ anything, let alone salvation. Unlike gnosticism, which says that the evil matter of our bodies is beyond sanctification, neo-gnosticism goes one further and says, ‘Hey, I’m okay, you’re okay, if it feels good, it must be divine,’ feeding the human natural desire to be lazy and not requiring any change of mind or direction, and in so doing attempts to make holy those thing which are inherently unholy and separate us from the One.

    Short answer: Humans are lazy.

    4:10 PM, February 03, 2005  
  2. Blogger jholder said...

    When I said: “The difference in our thinking (μετανοέα) must be intrinsic for it to have a salvific consequence,” I realize that using the word ‘thinking’ is a red herring, so I must try for more clarity. Thinking is not enough, it is a change of heart – the knowledge we have must descend to our hearts from our heads where we can live in the relationship of salvation fully. I hope that is enough to clarify that point.

    4:14 PM, February 03, 2005  
  3. Blogger fatherneo said...

    jholder,

    How did you get the greek characters o repentant one?
    neo+

    9:54 AM, February 04, 2005  
  4. Blogger jholder said...

    Adage: "To get Greek character, it helps to be Geek character..."

    Seriously, though, I'll show you sometime soon.

    11:48 AM, February 04, 2005  
  5. Blogger Kevin Condon said...

    You guys ought to try writing in English. It clears the mind and elevates one from pure Geekdom.

    4:36 PM, February 04, 2005  

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