Some Gnostic bloggers (+related) added

I have neglected updating the blogroll somewhat… the rediscovery of Lesa’s great research at The Magdalene Review were a great thrill.

Another old blogging acquiantance of mine, Dan, has performed a successful resurrection (reformulation) of

his Taognostic weblog.

Rev.B has a blog out there, where he recently mused about the “recent explosion of Gnosis in the world”…I am also grateful there is such a profound increase of testimonies, discussions and sharing among Gnosis oriented people here on the Internet, I saw it coming already in 1994 when I logged on and discovered a great many people I never expected to find there, and a great deal of really lucid information on the subject. Welcome aboard, Voodoobilly.. 🙂

The Gnostic Agnostic.. is a rather quiant concept, from my vantage point its a surface paradox, like the injunction to “keep two thoughts in our mind at the same time”… the blog, however, is really well written and thoughtprovoking.

Another really good read I feel I should mention in the same breath is The Funeral of the Real

Pauline Kilear’s blog Dodging Invisible Rays is also worth a read.

Not alone as a Gnostic Blogger in Europe, in Scotland there’s a blogger who goes by the nickname of A Glasgow Gnostic..

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John Dart on the Gospel of Judas discovery

Many of us are familiar with the work of Professor John Dart with regards to Gnosticism and Early Christianity (for instance the books Jesus of Heresy, and The Laughing Saviour), but some of us were not aware that he is the editor of the conservative journal Christian Century. In a recent issue of the online version of Christian Century he muses over the news about the awaited publication of the much myth-spun Gospel of Judas (Iscariot) early this year.

In the article, John Dart reports that:

“in 2004, Rodolphe Kasser of the University of Geneva announced in Paris that by the end of 2005 he would be publishing translations of the Coptic-language version of the Gospel of Judas. As it turned out, the owner was a Swiss foundation, and the torn and tattered papyrus text had been hawked to potential buyers in North America and Europe for decades after it was found at Muhazafat Al Minya in Middle Egypt.

The “Judas” saga was confirmed in detail last month at the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in Philadelphia. Retired Claremont Graduate University professor James Robinson, general editor of the English edition of the Nag Hammadi Library, said he was first contacted in 1983 about negotiations to buy certain texts, including the Gospel of Judas. Many years later, he saw blurry photographs of part of the text.

Robinson said that early in November he learned that Kasser and several European, Canadian and U.S. scholars had signed agreements with the National Geographic Society to assist with a documentary film and a National Geographic article for an Easter 2006 release and a succession of three books.”

That does sound promising.

However, with every right, Professor James Robinson, who has had a prominent role in the publication of the Nag Hammadi Library (and with him John Dart) object to the continued secrecy surrounding the nature of the find. National Geographic has evidently bought the publishing rights, and plans to make a documentary, article and several books out of it. No doubt made even more timely (and profitable) with the release of the Hollywood production of the Sony Pictures Movie based on Dan Brown‘s bestseller pulp fiction novel The Da Vinci Code in the new year. It might just be me, but I have a feeling that this time around, aside from political (the Palestinian and Egyptian crises in the Post-WWII era) – crass commercialism and marketability has caused serious problems for the Academic community (I recently read a rather well-written thriller which unfortunately was released anew with the blurb “The Norwegian DaVinci Code”, Sirkelens Ende, by Norwegian genre writer Tom Egeland – which intuitively brushed the possibility with regards to future finds of “Early Christianity” interest).. but there is other things to consider also. According to our friend the Dutch antiquities dealer, Michael Van Rijns, the Gospel of Judas and the Coptic papyri Codex it was contained in, where held “hostage” by the “International” organization The Macaeanas Foundation, wherein also rather dodgy Middle Eastern black market tricksters and profiteers were involved, wherein the publishing rights were asked consisted of millions of dollars and maximum discretion clauses, unacceptable (until now?) for the Academic community to even consider. How long the Codex in question has been in circulation,what condition it is in and what it contains remains a guarded secret, while its existence is broadcasted all over the place, even by yours truly. It merits some consideration that Old Media has a tendency of making an Amazonan rainforest out of a single leaf, while the new Media, Internet has the potentional of making the story even bigger. In view of that, John Dart’s lucid commentary has merit, no matter which side of orthodox definitions of Christianity we belong to.

He pitches in:

“Hardly anything is known about the document’s contents “other than a few personages” it names, said Robinson, identifying them as the mythological figure Allogenes (literally, “the stranger”) known from some Nag Hammadi texts, and Satan, Jesus and Judas.”

That is true, for sure. I have seen the handwritten notes and temporal attempts at translation, wherein Samael and Allogenes is mentioned and which clearly broadcasts a possible affinity with the Sethian Gnostic sects of upper Egypt which is the major contributor to the Gnostic texts we know from the Nag Hammadi find, rather than the Churchfather Ireneaus of Lyons identification of the Cainities as the possessors and possible fabricators of a Gospel of Judas Iscariot. It is sobering to consider that quite a few theologians argued that Ireneaus must have meant the Gospel of Judas (Thomas), and quite a few rather stubborn and religiohistorically completely ignorant conservative theologians still hold to that theory…but I have mentioned that business before, and the translated fraqments is available for our reading pleasure and stilling our curiosity for now, on www.tertullian.org

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Blogroll update

Finally Gnostics blogging is a deserved category for my blogroll. I am very happy to see Reverend Father Troy Pierce, of Ecclesia Gnostica in Salt Lake City onboard. with his blog The Path of Gnosis From what I have read so far,it looks very promising. I just love to get a handle on more perspectives and approaches, especially within my “own” Church tradition, and there are quite a variety of those. I was fortunate to meet Reverend Father Lance Owens of Ecclesia Gnostica SLC when Bishop Stephan Hoeller visited us and ordained me a Deacon, I felt it was quite a privilege. I heard many good things about Troy, who at that time was a Deacon like me. I am also very excited about the Gnostic Calendar that he has worked on and finally published, me and Reverend Father Jan Valentin Saether has been discussing the possibility of making something like it for years, but as with a lot of other things it never went past planning stage. There are some sobering posts about the issue of freedom and liberation, from a Gnostic perspective, in lieu of Epiphany, on his weblog right now, so if I was you I would go and take a look.

Added to the Blogroll is also Marsha‘s blog Emerald City Gnosis.She is a member of the Seattle, Washington parish of Ecclesia Gnostica, ministered to by Reverend Father Sam Osborne . I just discovered she has a secondary blog, Rain City Gnosis, so im going to check it out later.

Also, check out Coe”s Gnostic related blog Enormous Fictions, added a bit late to my Blogroll.

Lastly, I think I should mention Jeremy‘s brainchild The Palm Tree Garden online Gnostic community. In some sense I have been member of different “online” communities with a Gnostic theme since I began using the Internet in 1994. One of the most interesting ones where an experiment that Lee Irwin organized, the “bark” Hermetica, where every participant attempted to get personal and creative about spiritual and philosophical matters that mattered to them. I see some semblance to that in the forum for the Palm Tree Garden now, and I hope I will find time to participate in the discussions and other activities myself.

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Discovery of Coptic manuscripts at Al-Gurna,Egypt

Al-Ahram Online featured in February a brief report on the newly discovered Coptic codexes by a Polish archeological expedition from the Polish Centre for Mediterranean Archaeology.

Leader of the expedition,professor Tomaz Gorecki, said they had found a trove of three ancient codexes in Coptic buried under the remains of a sixth-century monastery located in front of a Middle Kingdom tomb. The Egyptian journalist concluding the article enthusiastically reported that it might parallel or even excel the importance of the Nag Hammadi find, additionally everyone appears to expect that the find will unravel some more information about the practices of the early Christians in Egypt, and that the documents originate from the Gnostics. As both contemporary and later patristic treatment of the Alexandrian school of Christians indicate, there were quite a variation among them. With the Bruce Codex, Berlin Codex , Oxyrhynchus fragments and Nag Hammadi library, certainly, a presedence for “underground”, hidden, secret Christians being Gnostic in orientation seems to be laid. If, however, the Coptic writings recently discovered, do indeed originate from the Seventh century we have an additional advantage; we might get to learn about the type of Christian practices which existed at the time of Mohammed‘s arrival in Egypt, the practices of Christians during the Fatimid dynasty – from their own hand.

However, the description of some page fragments having centered geometrical designs, and the use of the Cross as a matrix for text – reminds me of the Coptic Gnostic scripture The Books of Ieou.I will try to dig up more about this find, and perhaps, the other one which has been dubbed “Dead Sea Scrolls 2”.

It’s also interesting to see such news of major archeological finds of this period of time (70BC-400CE) come so close to eachother. This was the case with the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Coptic Gnostic library at Nag Hammadi.

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Christ as Anti-Zeitgeist; Transfiguration and Baptism

The Christ which receives the baptized is necessarely different than the Christ exterior to the mystery of baptism.
He entered the tomb with them, entered death on their behalf and resurrected with them – to a new life he delivered them, to which is added the Hope of Glory, rid of the transgressions of this age. Continue reading

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Excerpt from A Vesper to Barbelo

I begun working on a Vesper some years ago, devoted to Barbelo, this is an excerpt from it on occasion of the pause between the Assumptio Sophiae (on August 15th) and the Descent of Sophia.

I wrote it with the Feast of the Annunciation (March 25) in mind, which also happens to be the birthday of my mother (sic!). In a dream my mother told me that I had to be patient and look towards the transformation of “God” through Sophia (Wisdom), which would be simultaneously my own redemption (in terms of the Agon going on in my heart concerning outward and interior religion) and the redemption also, of “him”. She told me this, in the dream, with an ambience of a rather rash bid on my own part (in the dream) to win her symphathy for my rejection of the God of the Old Testament, as she belongs to a denomination which belongs to a type of “Protestant Orthodoxy”. It is fair to say that whatever we may argue, the Imago Dei is constantly changing. Also, that such change is more dependent on a constant searching of the human heart; a patient observance of how that particular instrument responds to those sublime mysteries we know as
Divine,Suprasensual,True and Godly – than the mechanisms of outward society. Metanoia – as much as regeneration, resurrection and rebirth – occurs first in the interior of individual seekers and only then, through a most mysterious and incalculable process – find a way to affect also the outside world.

Unconsciously, my attempt to wed the traditional Feast of Annunciation, wherein God the Father, through the mediation of the Arhcangel Gabriel forewarns his servant, Mary, that she will be instrumental in the incarnation of God the Son – with the mystery of the Barbelo; approaches this in every turn and byway, where my words unifies with that of liturgy, whether heterodox, such as the one found in the Gospel of the Egyptians, a Sethian Gnostic text unearthed at Nag Hammadi, Egypt in August 1945, a brief week after the horror of Nagasaki, approximately _on_ August the 15th – I found it addressed this mystery; which is not untimely nor impious, for the traditions of the fathers say that God becomes Man so that Man may be glorified and godly; so that they may see Him, rather than hear about him in rumours and rusty reminisciences of the generations.

Celebrant voice:

Holy, Holy, Holy art Thou – before the becoming of the Aeons.
Holy art Thou, Mother of all the Aeons and the Four Lights – Barbelo!
Holy art Thou, the Virgin of Eternity, who shine in beauty and resounds
in Song, in this your Mystery which is interior to all beings!

Holy art Thou, Barbelo
Holy art Thou, Doxomedon, in eternities eternity
Holy art Thou, Protennoia, in eternities eternity
Holy art Thou, Kalyptos, in eternities eternity
Holy art Thou, Sophia, Our Mother, in all eternity, throughout all Aeons!

All:

Blessed be the Virgin who hovers above the Tabernacle of our souls!

Celebrant voice:
May we know Thee truely and safely through Thine Mysteries, so as to receive
superessential sustenance and grow in strenght and beauty; we are born conceived
in the Gnosis of thy most interior chamber; and we have ascended , by Thy Grace,
high above the foundation of the All.

Therefore, as we are Thine – receive the prayer of our heart: We praise Thee, in our great need and in the confoundment of the world.

We have assembled here in commemoration of the Logos, our Word and our Hope of Glory, who deigned to descend below the Limit, on our behalf.

We have attended to the selfsame Call in our inner Man; the Announciation of the Incarnation of the Most Holy Logos into our sleep of the flesh, of ignorance and spiritual atrophy. Our Adam – Forefather to the three people who wander the earth
without respite, and who has as only succour and rest the Heavenly Regions – Let
Him have ressurrection in and through Us.

Hearers voice:
Hear Us in our great need and our plight; Have compassion on Us and assist our
purification and completion; May the Seed that Thou hast sown into our earth
be glorified in Perfect Fruit, in which we have our glory and honour, in which
Thou has Thine glory in Us!

All: Amen

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My model of Church: Mystical Communion

I thought that they would throw something nastier at me:

You scored as Mystical Communion Model. Your model of the church is Mystical Communion, which includes both People of God and Body of Christ. The church is essentially people in union with Christ and the Father through the Holy Spirit. Both lay people and clergy are drawn together in a family of faith. This model can exalt the church beyond what is appropriate, but can be supplemented with other models.

Herald Model

61%

Mystical Communion Model

61%

Sacrament model

56%

Servant Model

28%

Institutional Model

22%

What is your model of the church? [Dulles]
created with QuizFarm.com

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Father Justin’s other Journal

I just stumbled upon Father Justin Courtier’s LiveJournal Heimskringla:The Saga of a Erstwhile Hierophant, It’s a recommended read I think I should say,and updated frequently as well.

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