Why are so many movies going Gnostic? |315|

#21
It is no surprise that these kinds of stories draw inspiration by various mythologies, no doubt including gnostic ones. Regardless of the truth of their content, there is a reason certain myths persist to this day: they make compelling tales.
Yes, but perhaps these types of stories make the most interesting compelling tales because they are reflections of an ultimate truth about the nature of our reality.
 
#22
Yes, but perhaps these types of stories make the most interesting compelling tales because they are reflections of an ultimate truth about the nature of our reality.
Could be. That said, there are more variations of compelling stories than there are of correct metaphysics so I'm not sure the way a story resonates with a person should be considered evidential. And many are incompatible.

I think we have to be very careful of placing too much trust in how a given theory makes us feel in terms of deciding if we think it is true.
 
#23
Could be. That said, there are more variations of compelling stories than there are of correct metaphysics
So if the "correct metaphysics" is considered to be the Platonic Archetypes/Forms/Ideas, then it would be reasonable to expect a large variation in their expression, some closer to the absolute Idea than others. Even "incompatible" expressions could be variations of polar opposites of the same thing, as described in Hermeticism.

Cheers,
Bill
 
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#24
So if the "correct metaphysics" is considered to be the Platonic Archetypes/Forms/Ideas, then it would be reasonable to expect a large variation in their expression, some closer to the absolute Idea than others. Even "incompatible" expressions could be variations of polar opposites of the same thing, as described in Hermeticism.

Cheers,
Bill
Like I said, could be, but I think my point stands that without something in addition to the feeling of resonance, we should be cautious is attributing much more the possibility.
 
#25
Like I said, could be, but I think my point stands that without something in addition to the feeling of resonance, we should be cautious is attributing much more the possibility.
Yes, one can experience a "feeling of resonance" at any point in the spectrum, but should the mystic find themselves levitating, that would be a good sign that they are tapping the power of the true Idea.

Cheers,
Bill
 
#26
Yes, one can experience a "feeling of resonance" at any point in the spectrum, but should the mystic find themselves levitating, that would be a good sign that they are tapping the power of the true Idea.

Cheers,
Bill
I dunno..accepting levitation accounts for the sake of the argument, .don't you have accounts of levitating from believers in competing metaphysics as well?

Again, I'm not saying it is necessarily untrue, but that even in that case I think the investigation must go deeper.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#27
Intuition is fallible, but I think there has been an attempt to devalue it in favor of mathematical abstraction and reductionism in a somewhat Archon-esque fashion.

There's something odd, one must admit, about the people who need you to believe you're a computer program, that you're "chemical scum", that since we're just wired meat we should be more willing to submit to rewiring.

As Raj Sisodia said, Gnosticism doesn't have to be literally true to contain truths about our time:

...Eleleth tells Norea that she isn’t just a fallen shadow-creature, but that she has the spirit of truth emanating within her, a fragment of the imperishable light, and is therefore a holy immortal being of the Pleroma. Norea has the mother of wisdom Sophia within her, in the form of Zoe, or Life itself.And this means the Authorities of Darkness despise her in their jealousy.This insight is crucial.I personally believe this insight cuts to be the very heart of Gnosticism in all its permutations.Which is the fact that Knowledge, Enlightenment, or Emancipation isn’t just a state, it’s a process; the process of becoming free, of literally seeing spiritual truth.Inherent within this notion is the implication that the illusory world of matter, the realm of chaotic shadow-form overseen by the blind demiurge, can still be reconnected or transformed or taken back into the Pleroma, into the infinite, imperishable Light.This is admittedly my own personal interpretation of some pretty hardcore variations of Gnostic cosmogony...
Perhaps it becomes a question of what intuitions one is willing to bet on? Perhaps start with the ones that we genuinely use while living in the world and see where those threads lead?

Maybe human beings are more than "chemical scum" - that perhaps instead they shine with unseen light?

Followed by a list of no less than 64 purported gnostic movies such as Prometheus, The Truman show, the Matrix trilogy, The wizard of Oz, The holy mountain, and so on.
I agree that after a point Gnosticism could encompass a broad set of movies that involve themes of conspiracy, being fooled about the nature of reality, discovering magic within one's self that separates a person from the mundane...etc.

With that caveat in mind of those listed never seen The Holy Mountain....Truman show I would say is definitely Gnostic. Matrix is obvious. Wizard of Oz...that seems more about moving between realities rather than being tricked about the true nature of the reality you're in.

Prometheus...Well Gordon White thought it was gnostic...

Some films fall into what Chris Knowles calls ‘telling tales out of school’. I strongly suspect that is the case for most of Kubrick’s films. Prometheus isn’t quite that. Seems to me that Scott is using art for what it is supposed to be used for: to make us think about our world, our metaphysics, and so on. This isn’t insider tattle-taleing to me. It’s a hugely competent director saying “let’s think about the implications of panspermia in a universe that also contains/is created by God.” (Perhaps because there are some shadow state types who already are thinking about this.)

Let’s think about astrognosticism. Let’s think about space shamanism. The story is Promethean in the best sense. Olympus may belong to the Engineers, but the fire belongs to God.
 
#28
I dunno..accepting levitation accounts for the sake of the argument, .don't you have accounts of levitating from believers in competing metaphysics as well?
Quite possibly, I'm not sure, but would be interested in hearing more about them. I think the most compelling cases (Padre Pio, St. Teresa, St. Joseph) seem to be tapped into something stronger than just "belief" and the best sources I've encountered that offered any clues indicate that it may have something to do with with the archetypes of "devotion" and "exaltation."

Again, I'm not saying it is necessarily untrue, but that even in that case I think the investigation must go deeper.
I agree, but feel that degree of depth may take many, many lifetimes!

Cheers,
Bill
 
#29
Interesting interview. However, I am quite irritated about one, rather collateral, issue.

Alex, you mentioned Brad Warner and his atheistic views. Lately I have the impression that you are fixated on reincarnation and NDE research, and as soon as someone on your show does not share your fascination and beliefs on these topics they are automatically lost for your cause. That's what happened to Brad: he said that he knows nothing - and not really interested - about NDE research - and after that you don't ask him the bunch of really important questions - does he believe in God, what is his idea about God, what is his take on Dharma and Karma, cause and effect, the essence of consciousness and the ego and so on. And without him answering any of this you label him an atheist. Great. His previous book - There Is No God And He Is Always With You - agrees with many things you believe in. You just din't bother to look and ask. Doesn't go well with your stated motto "follow the data".

Brad obviously doesn't need my protection and I am not overly concerned with doing it, but the fact that you seriously misinterpret someone who has been on your show puts in doubt the objectivity - and credibility - of you other interviews.
 
#31
Intuition is fallible, but I think there has been an attempt to devalue it in favor of mathematical abstraction and reductionism in a somewhat Archon-esque fashion.
Yes, what most people mean by intuition is fallible, but there is a type of Intuitive perception which is almost like a direct knowing of something that I think may be what is experienced in certain mystical states. Quite a while ago, I asked the author of the book that I linked the other day on psychic perception and he mentioned it:

"There are three levels of nonphysical perception: astral, mental, and spiritual. The first two are psychic forms of perception; the last is intuition. Astral perception tends to be somewhat inaccurate, as our perceptions are colored by assumptions and emotions. Mental perception is much more accurate, but less common. Intuitive perception is rare."

Cheers,
Bill
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#32
Yes, what most people mean by intuition is fallible, but there is a type of Intuitive perception which is almost like a direct knowing of something that I think may be what is experienced in certain mystical states. Quite a while ago, I asked the author of the book that I linked the other day on psychic perception and he mentioned it:

"There are three levels of nonphysical perception: astral, mental, and spiritual. The first two are psychic forms of perception; the last is intuition. Astral perception tends to be somewhat inaccurate, as our perceptions are colored by assumptions and emotions. Mental perception is much more accurate, but less common. Intuitive perception is rare."

Cheers,
Bill
I guess the challenge is how do we differentiate these levels of intuition?

Because a great deal of prejudice is born from gustatory reactions - "X is gross to me so X is wrong" type stuff.

I figure the base level consensus we actually use when living our lives is a good place to start. Never get why free will deniers & eliminativists aren't hit with that extraordinary evidence mantra more often...
 
#33
Harry Potter for what it is, a morality folk tale written by a self-professed Christian
not quite that simple:
When asked if she believes in God, she said:

I do struggle with it; I couldn’t pretend that I’m not doubt-ridden about a lot of things and that would be one of them but I would say yes. 3

Yet, she questions herself, saying:

I feel very drawn to religion, but at the same time I feel a lot of uncertainty. I live in a state of spiritual flux. I believe in the permanence of the soul.4
 
#35
Interesting interview. However, I am quite irritated about one, rather collateral, issue.

Alex, you mentioned Brad Warner and his atheistic views. Lately I have the impression that you are fixated on reincarnation and NDE research, and as soon as someone on your show does not share your fascination and beliefs on these topics they are automatically lost for your cause. That's what happened to Brad: he said that he knows nothing - and not really interested - about NDE research - and after that you don't ask him the bunch of really important questions - does he believe in God, what is his idea about God, what is his take on Dharma and Karma, cause and effect, the essence of consciousness and the ego and so on. And without him answering any of this you label him an atheist. Great. His previous book - There Is No God And He Is Always With You - agrees with many things you believe in. You just din't bother to look and ask. Doesn't go well with your stated motto "follow the data".

Brad obviously doesn't need my protection and I am not overly concerned with doing it, but the fact that you seriously misinterpret someone who has been on your show puts in doubt the objectivity - and credibility - of you other interviews.
first off I gotta ask if you listened to the interview or just read excerpts because if you listen to the full interview you'll find that I not only like Brad, and generally respect what he's bringing forward, but also think he's got some really important insights... like with reincarnation... where he says (paraphrasing) "whether you believe in it or not, well here you are, in your reincarnation."

at the same time I'm dumbfounded that he doesn't know about reincarnation research... I expressed that.

I do get your point (if this was your point) re how the show was presented on the website. it comes off as a more opposition than the interview.
 
#36
not quite that simple:
When asked if she believes in God, she said:

I do struggle with it; I couldn’t pretend that I’m not doubt-ridden about a lot of things and that would be one of them but I would say yes. 3

Yet, she questions herself, saying:

I feel very drawn to religion, but at the same time I feel a lot of uncertainty. I live in a state of spiritual flux. I believe in the permanence of the soul.4
In the last book Harry has an NDE. :D
I thought it was quite a nice touch at the time.
 
#37
Great show - I'm a kind of "natural born Gnostic" so I was in familiar territory :), but I have a question for Alex (and/or Miguel, if he's reading this).

I have been wondering throughout the show which of the two situations you were actually implying/referring to:

1) our souls are "trapped" in this dimension and a lot (most?) human beings are *unwittingly* helping the "Archons-that-be" :) to maintain the status quo - so they are acting like "kapos" in concentration camps, cooperating with the Demiurge, but simply out of ignorance (their "divine spark" would still be there, buried beneath the material needs & distractions keeping them in chains; so there's hope - for them and for mankind in general);

2) a substantial amount of people side with the "bad guys" out of convenience/selfishness/opportunism because for them there's nothing more to life than making the most of it (these would be the truly bad "kapos" in that they would be happy to cooperate with the Demiurge to their own advantage), and it's all about getting as much material pleasures as possible. In that case the divine spark would seem to be absent. Or extinguished. In any case, irretrievable.

In fact I believe not all Gnostic sources state that each and every human being has a divine spark, but I'm not a Gnostic scholar so I can't say this for sure. And anyway I know that Gnosticism is a pretty general concept and certainly not a structured doctrine. (Incidentally I'm not implying I do have that spark and I'm oh so special - I feel ALL of us are cogs in a big materialistic machine anyway, and extricating us completely from it is practically impossible....at best we can aim to be "conscious cogs" as long as we inhabit our material bodies....and after death, if there's a way out to a better place, great; if not, well, it was nice to have a dream while on death row :)....)

Anyway if you believe in option 2 there's not much that can be done, right? I look forward to your reply. Thanks again for another brilliant show!
You're right. Not all Gnostics were universalists. Some contended that not all humans housed a the divine spark. The Valentinians had a complicated system stating some people could gain immortality (Gurdjieff advocated this as well), while some Sethians just said you either had it or you didn't. And there was in between in their many speculations and fan fiction.

Mind you, as I always say, the Gnostics used myth to reveal existentialist truths on several levels. I see the divine spark as just our ability for creativity and empathy, which many people simply do not have. Philip K Dick, another Gnostic, would say that our ability to tell stories and assist our fellow man is what makes us immortal in the end.
 
#38
not quite that simple:
When asked if she believes in God, she said:

I do struggle with it; I couldn’t pretend that I’m not doubt-ridden about a lot of things and that would be one of them but I would say yes. 3

Yet, she questions herself, saying:

I feel very drawn to religion, but at the same time I feel a lot of uncertainty. I live in a state of spiritual flux. I believe in the permanence of the soul.4
In the interview that quote is drawn from she admits she was the only member of the family who had herself baptised, and she attends church (the Church of Scotland IIRC). Struggling with Christianity is what we're supposed to do, it's the ones in the certainty racket we have to worry about!
 
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