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Questions about organisation and relation to buddhism

Discussion in 'Gnosticism DIR' started by Kristoffer, Apr 3, 2015.

  1. Kristoffer

    Kristoffer Member

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    Does gnosticism have any international organisation?
    Do there exists "formal" beliefs?

    I think that the Gospel of Thomas reminds me of the buddhistic belief. What kind of relations do gnostics today have to buddhism?
     
  2. BrightWhites

    BrightWhites New Member

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    Gnosticism, both contemporary and classical, is stupidly diverse, and though there are modern organizations and clubs with a gnostic flair, and im sure one is "the largest", I dont think that any of them have any real say as to what gnostics should believe seeing as how theyre still not large enough to constitute a fraction of some of the worlds "major" religions. Gnosticism tends to be a flair combined to something else, or an influence on an organization that considers themselves christian or satanist, and thats not always the case, but that still contributes a lot to the original point. As for buddhism, its hard to say, and many gnostics ive talked to may as well be buddhist, especially when you consider the more nihlistic anti materisl sects of buddhism, but id say that the major differences on an academic level are that gnostic sects tend to identify as dualists who seek to emulate a literal or abstract god opposed to the demiurge, whereas buddhists are often non theistic entirely or dont seek to be with the gods they identify with following death.
     
  3. Kristoffer

    Kristoffer Member

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    Ahh, super explaining! Thx - it cleared up a lot! ^^
     
  4. Vishvavajra

    Vishvavajra Active Member

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    Could be that what we call the Gnostic understanding of Christianity arrived at the same observations as Buddhadharma, only couched in a Hellenistic Judaic framework. Some of the statements are eerily similar if you decode them, but I doubt there was direct influence. After all, if it's true, it stands to reason different groups will arrive at it sooner or later, no?

    I can say this much: if you come at Christianity from a Buddhist perspective, what you find in it is something that would surely be called Gnostic.
     
  5. Tomas Kindahl

    Tomas Kindahl ... out on my Odyssé — again!

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    Gnosticisms (there are many) comes in Churches, i.e. formal groups. There are also self-Gnostics, such as me, that are Gnostics by their own conviction.

    I think not. Last time I heard a Buddhist explain the religion I was shocked: they are actually preaching some kind of ego-dissolution by using mindfulness as a sleeping pill. That's perfectly contrary to the awakening that Gnosticism stands for: an awakening which is about self-knowledge and our divine heritage. It is better to understand Gnosticism as a kind of teaching with a psychoterapeutic vision.
     
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  6. Jumi

    Jumi Well-Known Member

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    I agree that many Buddhists don't present a promising picture.
     
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  7. Rakovsky

    Rakovsky Active Member

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    One of the main uniting beliefs in Gnosticism is the concept of Gnosis, meaning Knowledge. The idea is that there is some kind of sacred, core knowledge that the person who joins or accepts Gnosticism acquires that saves the person, brings the person to a higher level, unites the person to God, etc. depending on how the particular sacred knowledge functions.

    For instance, in the Apocryphon James, which apparently belonged to the Gnostic leader Cerinthus, Jesussays to the disciples:
     
  8. interim

    interim New Member

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    Modern Buddhists are similar to Christians - know absolutely nothing about their own holy books and teachings... Both are governed by countless sects that interpret the books for them. In my view Buddhism is not that different from Hinduism, just more philosophical and structured. However people successfully turn it into a mess like the rest. I find parallels between Buddhism and Gnosticism, although finding real sources what these teachings are really about is very difficult. I think both believe in a Transcendental Source, and returning to it. Also both believe in the fall into this physical reality, and the need to distance yourself from the corrupted physical nature. Both are about living as a monk. Buddhism talks about awakening, which is not that different from the the Gnostic idea of experiencing the spiritual nature on your own and gaining wisdom. And of course, like Buddhism, Gnosticism has different sects and countless wrong interpretations.
     
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