Wednesday, June 23, 2010

GnosCast: the Gnostic Podcast - #15 & 16: Frameworks of Meaning

Episode 15

Continuing a users guide to Gnosis, an overview in the form of "you are here." A naive view of meaning sees it as "out there," a property of the object that we perceive rather than something we participate in. Far from being "out there" meaning is something that we make in an interaction of what is "out there" and the many meaning frameworks we exist in, and the interpretations we bring to bear on what is "out there." The many ways in which we construct meaning are important to how we understand the world, ourselves, and the Gnostic tradition.

Topics include: misunderstanding that meaning is objective, early studies of meaning, portrayal of remote scenes in local contemporary terms, paradigm in Kuhn's the Structure of Scientific Revolutions, paradigm shift as change in meaning structure, assimilation versus accommodation, overuse of paradigm, valid and invalid interpretations, interpretations of Gnostic texts, misuse of interpretation by Ireneaus, Heracleon's exegetical use of interpretation, importance of interpretation in making use of Gnostic texts, modern disadvantage of not having gnosis in our meaning framework, importance of gnosis in all of its dimensions, awareness of when we do or do not have gnosis, importance of metaphors in understanding, nature of the metaphor influences the meaning of the concept conveyed, Gnostic meaning framework a part of the path of gnosis, Lakoff's work on frames, frames used to elicit a positive or negative reaction, propaganda, meaning of metaphor, study of metaphors, meaning and perception without cultural context, equivalent to gnosis lacking in language and cultural understanding, encountering the absence of gnosis in artificial intelligence design, perception of objects, limitations from cultural context, ontology as another dimension to interpretation, the ability to change perspectives, emancipatory and transformational learning.

Presented at the Holy Gnosis of Thomas Chapel in Salt Lake City, 13 June 2010.

Episode 15: "You Are Here" (part 3) Making Meaning

Episode 16

Examining meaning frameworks that can blind us and keep us from liberation, and frameworks that can aid us in liberation.

Topics include: Different frameworks of meaning can be a source of blindness or aid in liberation, if we are unaware of our meaning structures we are locked within it, main source of difficulty in approaching Gnosticism is a pre-existent meaning structure, frameworks of religion, in-group out-group bias, orthodox religion framework is belief-centric, religion studied within an orthodox framework, Gnosticism is not belief-centric, Gnosticism in a belief-centric framework is inconsistent or nonexistent, over-determined view of Gnosticism when orthodox frameworks imposed upon it, evidence bias, frameworks that blind, over-determined frameworks, examples of over-determined frameworks in Elaine Pagels's account of drawing lots in the Gnostic Gospels, inappropriate frameworks, invalid conspiracy theory frameworks as predetermined conclusions in search of evidence viewed through a modern idiosyncratic framework, egocentric psychology as framework, using philosophical tools for spiritual liberation, shift from egocentric psychology as major developmental shift of meaning framework, frameworks that aid in liberation, elements of the Gnostic worldview, mythic poetic symbolic as inner-deeper meaning framework, limited imperfect framework, liberation is possible framework, dangers of ego taking over these views, individual self-transformational framework, the truth shall set us free.

Presented at the Holy Gnosis of Thomas Chapel in Salt Lake City, 13 June 2010, by Gnostic priest and scholar Troy Pierce.

Episode 16: "You are Here" (part 4) in Frameworks that Blind or Aid

Thursday, June 10, 2010

GnosCast: the Gnostic Podcast - #14: From the Image to the Real

Continuing to explore the distinctions between the image and the real as elaborated by Plato's Analogy of the Divided Line as they appear in ancient Gnostic texts. We look at four general motifs of the relation between image and real in the Nag Hammadi Scriptures, including how to move from the image to the real. (pdf with references)

Topics covered: Understanding a system of concepts versus having gnosis of real things, the surprising encounter with the real, the motif that “names/images can deceive/enslave” with texts, the motif of “truths in symbols, types, and names” with texts, the motif of “seeds of logos/truth” with texts, the image that is presented is only the beginning point, the motif of “the visible as image of invisible/hidden” with texts, the motif that “mysteries connect the image with the real” with texts, the bridal chamber, psychic versus pneumatic understandings, misunderstanding of Gnosticism as a system of concepts/beliefs, need to connect to the reality beyond the images, trust that the image points towards the real, temptation of system building, desire to fill in the blanks, cultural images, archetypal images, Christ as image of God, experiential symbolism.

Presented at the Holy Gnosis of Thomas Chapel in Salt Lake City, 06 June 2010.

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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

GnosCast: the Gnostic Podcast - Episode 13: Gnosis and Meaning

Exploring Meaning and Gnosis in the ancient Platonic context and in Gnostic texts; and the connection between Platonic and Gnostic understandings of meaning.

Finding a connection between Plato and Gnostic understandings of meaning, in the wee hours lead to a presentation exploring meaning in terms of gnosis in the ancient Platonic context familiar to the ancient Gnostics and terms from Gnostic texts. (Reference Handout available.)

Topics include: brief look at interpretive frameworks, projection of literalist interpretation on ancient Gnostics, Plato's framework for making distinctions between knowing with gnosis and knowing without gnosis in both the sensible and the noetic, knowing without gnosis in sensible and noetic both called images, Jewish Platonic tradition of allegorical exegesis, gnosis and meaning in three passages from the Gospel of Philip, comparison to the hymn of the pearl, uses of Plato's framework in understanding Gnostic texts, reason for emphasis on gnosis after the apostolic age.

Presented at the Holy Gnosis of Thomas Chapel in Salt Lake City, 30 May 2010.

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