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Plato a Gnostic?

Discussion in 'Gnosticism DIR' started by Buttons*, Jan 26, 2006.

  1. Buttons*

    Buttons* Glass half Panda'd

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    ...I'd give evidence for it, but i'm too lazy right now... any opinions while you wait for a text-book explination for this statement? Do you think Plato was Gnostic? Just look at the Republic, it covers the aspects of ignorance and achieving the light/silence and whatnot!
     
  2. Halcyon

    Halcyon Lord of the Badgers

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    Wasn't Plato a possible influence on the Gnostic movement? I forget, when did he live?
     
  3. ChrisP

    ChrisP Veteran Member

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    He lived from 427BCto 347BC Halcyon.

    I would say the Greek civilisation was a Gnostic one. Although their religion was Pagan, the concept of gnosis falls outside the scope of true theism.
     
  4. Halcyon

    Halcyon Lord of the Badgers

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    Lol, Baconian Nutritionist.

    Wasn't it just Plato and his followers that believed in such things? Was Plato atheist in respect to the Greek pantheon? I know very little about him for some odd reason.

    With that time frame for his life then, i'd suggest that there may have been a two way flow of knowledge between the Platonists (?) and the Gnostics. Or possibly that Plato may have planted the seeds of the Gnostic concept of God. I'm just speculating of course...
     
  5. gnostic

    gnostic The Lost One

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    It is in his dialogue, Timaeus, that make him really look like a Gnostic. Here, he plays with symbolism and religion, and it is here where you would write of the demiurge. I had not been able to fully understand Timaeus, because I have a slight problem in grasping the symbolism.
     
  6. ChrisP

    ChrisP Veteran Member

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    Socrates, was the man who taught Plato and all Plato's contemporaries. Although Socrates wrote nothing down two of his students (including Plato) recorded his teachings during and after his death.

    Socrates ideas are still the root of much of Western Culture. Perhaps the reason why Socrates was so unusually gifted is that he realised he knew nothing. Knowledge is nothing next to understanding.

    The Gnostic concept of God can probably be traced to Zoroastrianism. Dualist Monotheism, currently practised by a small number in Iran, though it's followers once numbered an entire empire.
     
  7. Buttons*

    Buttons* Glass half Panda'd

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    I love Socrates... when I read more on him, i'll start a thread on it....

    (lovely how i stick to my own topic *rolls eyes*)
     
  8. Halcyon

    Halcyon Lord of the Badgers

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    I disagree, the Gnostic concept of God is more like the Hindu God Brahman. An infinite source of all things.
    The demiurge in Gnostic mythology was a way of explaining the suffering of the world and the evil acts of God described in Genesis. Some didn't even see the demiurge as evil, they saw him more like an idiot.
     
  9. ChrisP

    ChrisP Veteran Member

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    Interesting point. The Zoroastrian Avesta and Vedic scriptures (from which comes the hindi religion) stem from a similar root. Had a long and interesting discussion with Suraj and Jyothi about this in the Hindi forum the other week. I think it's titled Confirmation for Non-Hindu's or some such.

    Gnosis is certainly as old as the hills I have no doubt, but bringing it within a structured environment such as gnostic churches happened later. History before the 15thC is far to higgledy piggledy to pin ANYTHING down, let alone an idea's origin's. It's fun to speculate though :p

    EDIT: Just read the last sentence of your post. LOL!!!
     
  10. Buttons*

    Buttons* Glass half Panda'd

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    "Celsus writes:
    You Christians have a saying that goes something like this: 'Don't resist a man who insults you; even if he strikes you, offer him the other cheek as well.' This is nothing new, and it's been better said by others, especailly by Plato."

    "Socrates concludes:
    It is never right to do wrong and never right to take revenge; nor is it right to give evil, or in the case of one who has suffered some injury, to attempt to get even."

    "Celsus comments caustically:
    This was Plato's opinion, and as he says, it was not new to him by was pronounced by inspired men long before him. What I have said about it may serve, part for whole, as an example of the sort of ideas the Christians mutilate."

    This consept of extreme forgiveness was covered by ancient Greeks 500 years before it appeared in Christian writings. Socrates was definatly in that "all loving" category, as well as Plato. So we've established that ancient Greek thought prolly influenced the Gnostic movement moreso than Christianity affected Plato... Mainly because Plato was already dead. *dur ashley*

    Gnostics is the mystical way to look at any religious writing? So Gnostics is just a bunch of mythology mixed up and added with mystical qualities? It's the best way people found to try and get people to know themselves, because knowing yourself is knowing god... ish?

    ...thoughts?
     
  11. ChrisP

    ChrisP Veteran Member

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    Gnostic is the ?adjective? for Gnosis. Gnosis is mystical so yeah I'd agree with that. As for Gnosticism, I'm not sure.

    Over thinking over analysing :p
     
  12. NuGnostic

    NuGnostic Member

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    Plato was a philospher searching for truth as all do,just like Gnostics search for the Gnosis or truth.
    Plato far outstriped his teacher,as it's been written all western thought is just a footnote his.
     
  13. ChrisP

    ChrisP Veteran Member

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    And Socrates thinking was at the root of Plato's (as written by Plato himself) hence my statement. It's called "snowballing" :D
     
  14. Godfather89

    Godfather89 I am Who I am

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    Im not sure if Plato is a Gnostic but what we know is that. Gnosticism has been founded through Plato's Philosophical works of Neo-plato-ism. This help develop Gnosticism into what it is today
     
  15. Somkid

    Somkid Well-Known Member

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    Well I can tell you for sure Plato was not a Gnostic. Plato did not talk a lot about religion and we know he was a dualist. The only thing he really had to say about religion was that any story, as told by Hesiod and Homer and the other poets, which gives a bad image of the nature of the gods, portraying them as petty, devious, or warring and plotting and fighting against each other.
    The Gods, in Plato's eyes, should only be represented as good, and pious, because it is the nature of divinity to be good (which is what we call universal truth). Plato tells us how he thinks the universe was created, but he warns us that his story is just a tale, because we being mortals could never understand, which is true till this day, we have theories but we don't know for sure. He says that the creator, created the universe from his likeness, out of the preexisting chaos, this is different from the Christian view that God created the universe out of void.
     
  16. Godfather89

    Godfather89 I am Who I am

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    Right well the Gnostic takes it a step further. Gnostic's don't necessarily have to believe the myth was real, if it makes it easier for you than go ahead but its optional to me I'm sure some maybe true others not so much... Obviously I believe in God and I believe in a Demiurge there both within me and separate from me. The whole tale of how this world is not as it seems that the powers that be are deceiving you is a powerful wake-up shock to ones own ignorance.
     
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  17. Buttons*

    Buttons* Glass half Panda'd

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    I don't really "need" the myths either, but it's a LOT easier to explain. People usually flock to "once upon a time" moreso than "The guy you worship is actually Satan, wake up and have a nice life" :p

    I think Plato was probably one of the first Gnostics. But then, I believe that you can find Gnostics of every branch. :)
     
  18. Buttons*

    Buttons* Glass half Panda'd

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    He didn't talk about religion huh? That's a new one... but it's wrong, I'm sorry. He was a dualist only in the sense that he recognized the material and the spiritual as separate. Good = higher being. Gnostics aren't dualists, and neither is Plato.

    Geez, this sounds a lot like another faith I know.... namely Gnosticism.

    You've fallen into the fallacy that all Gnostics are Christian Gnostics... This simply isn't true. Gnostics are always "Christian" in the sense that they're "annointed" but they not all Christians are Gnostic. In fact, no Christians are Gnostic, they can't be. Literalism is the root of that little dualistic thing you're talking about :)
     
  19. Godfather89

    Godfather89 I am Who I am

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    Literalism and fundamentalism is what the faith of Gnosticism is definitely against. The world can only accept the truth in forms and images any other way is impossible, what a fundamentalist and literalist will do is is look at the form and image and say thats truth when its only a representation of the truth. An example is: Imagine a painting of a valley, a literalist would say "that valley is real" but someone who understands that the painting is only representing the valley.
     
  20. Somkid

    Somkid Well-Known Member

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    Plato was not religious (perhaps in the sense that many people don't care about religion or go to a place of worship but they may declare them selfs this or that) you and all the other Gnostic's are reading into it. Some of his writings touch on what you might consider to be Gnostic in nature but it was not a "faith" for him. I'm not giving you my opinion I'm telling you what encyclopedia of philosophy has to say about the subject.

    And furthermore if you know the answer why bother to ask the question?
     
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