Saturday, July 08, 2006

Premature Enlightenment

Halfway Up the Mountain: The Error of Premature Claims to Enlightenment

by Mariana Caplan

This is not a hard science or scholarly book. But it is the only one that covers some main and important areas. It is also a fast enjoyable read with lots of quotes and white-space. Food for thought.


Padre G said...

Brilliant ;)

Joe Daher said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rev. Troy said...

I don't really understand what argument you are constructing for me, a pretty sure sign that I'm not doing it.

To have a simplistic notion of these things is to fall prey to any number of traps and take up residence in any number of prisons. If you have Gnosis then it is not something you can legitimately doubt, that is seriously doubt and still be able to function in the world. Now, your understanding of it you should always question, as well as, your view of yourself, especially, when you don't have a “mirror” in the form of a community and guide.

We are complex beings, it isn't simply a matter of all things and conclusions I can make from within myself are Gnosis and lead to liberation. Nor is Gnosis a binary switch that gets thrown, which you either have or you don't. So, there is discernment that is always required. If someone says, the treasure is right down the stairs, while neglecting to mention the trapdoor and the dragon, are they doing you a favor by not raising concerns about such things? If whatever people want to believe is Gnosis, we'd all have been liberated long ago. The same would be true if it were any number of other very simplistic notions. The path of Gnosis isn't simple, because we are not simple.

If you can't look at where you are with skepticism, you are headed for one of a very few standard outcomes, none of which is liberation. Either this is real or it is just an idea. If it is real, we actually approach it, not some idealized abstract person who wont mistake an insight for enlightenment, or a wish for Gnosis.

Perhaps it is a difference between learning about and practicing. Theory is fine, in theory. ;)

Joe Daher said...

There's no argument, Rev. Troy. Merely a call for clarity.

What at first felt like an exterior call for examining gnosis in others now feels like a call for inner reflection when one believes they have realized gnosis.

I gotcha now. Apologies.

Rev. Troy said...

That's the kind of sanity I used to take for granted in the online Gnostic community. Thanks for demonstrating that it is still out there.

There is no "one true" framework to view these things from. I think your use of "labels" is the corollary of that. It would mean staying within one framework, and declaring it to the the one true framework.

Any reflection in which to see ourselves is difficult to obtain, we are stuck with a glass darkly. Yet if we stop looking, we stop seeing. We use the tools we have, and examine the ones we aren't familiar with. The wordly resources are never adequate, they are just something to work with.

The dangers are many and real. Theory ignores this, but we must live it.

Spiritual Emergency said...

The dangers are many and real.

Yes, I suppose that's where I choose to focus my attention at the present moment. At least some (perhaps many) of the individuals out there who are having bonafide "religious" experiences are being diagnosed as mentally ill. I'd like to help at least some of them avoid the psyche ward.

Feel free to share my blogs around as you see fit, Rev. Troy.