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Secular Gnosticism?

Ella S.

Dispassionate Goth
At the heart of many Gnostic sects is a form of "mitigated dualism" between spirit and matter that's compatible with a higher form of monism, where both spirit and matter are ultimately emanations of the One.

Could all of the Aeons be seen as merely aspects of Barbelo, and all of the Archons be seen as merely aspects of the Demiurge?

If so, could Barbelo and the Demiurge be reduced to pure representations of spirit and matter, both of which being nothing but emanations of the One?

Wouldn't this technically be compatible with metaphysical naturalism, where all of these figures are symbolic rather than literal figures? Metaphysical naturalism is also a form of monism, after all.

The issue I see here is that Gnosticism makes a distinction between matter and spirit, but technically, physicalism and naturalism also see matter as something constructed from something simpler.

In a more mystical sense, you could view your own experience of the external world as an outcropping of your own awareness, just as the material world is an emanation of the One. This would go very well with various internal, mystical approaches to Gnosticism as essentially dealing with the makeup of one's own soul.

Would you still consider this approach to be a form of Gnosticism? Do you think that it could be a valid interpretation of the surviving ancient Gnostic texts and practices? Do you think it's a wholly modern idea and, if so, is it one that should still be considered, regardless?
 
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