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Huh. Via utforsker. Equally offensive to mainstream Monotheists and Pagans. Yet possessed of a very discomfiting bit of truth. Thoughts, anyone?

Also, today is the 7-year anniversary of my first day working at this organization. Why does this make me queasy?

Some people get motion-sick; I get inertia-sick.


Feb. 23rd, 2005 12:16 am (UTC)
I think all religions started in a moment of individual gnosis, which was taken and systematized as the one single absolute truth.

Well, saying it don't make it so. The evidence shows very little emphasis on individual, as opposed to collective, religious experience until the 1st millennium BCE, and even then, it tended to quickly become a collective movement. Witness the emergence of Mahayana Buddhism. Arguably, the more individual aspects were simply not well-preserved in largely illiterate societies, but I'd say that the tendency for movement from individualism to collectivism argues that individual gnosis hasn't had a major part to play. Consider that Protestant Christianity, which ostensibly emphasizes personal experince of God and scripture, has become every bit as much a clergy-directed, church-focused affair as Catholicism.
Feb. 23rd, 2005 01:34 am (UTC)
Blackjack, your posts just made my brain do a little happy-flippy thing. Let me sleep a few hours and I definitely want to get back to this,
Feb. 23rd, 2005 02:24 am (UTC)
Wouldn't you consider the experiences of Abraham and Moses to fit the bill of individual gnosis, then formalized?

That's part of what I was thinking here.

Feb. 23rd, 2005 02:34 am (UTC)
Only if they happened as narrated, which obviously they didn't. The Torah was the compilation of centuries of shared tradition, not a singular revelation.
Feb. 23rd, 2005 02:48 am (UTC)
Not willing to credit any moment of individual gnosis at the root of these elements?

The burning bush seems to me to be pretty indicative, even if an entire religion sprouted up aroound it and co-opted or vetted accepted tribal custom.

Feb. 23rd, 2005 03:06 am (UTC)
Not willing to credit any moment of individual gnosis at the root of these elements?

Not when their development is pretty easily traceable as a natural progression fueled by political, historical and social forces. It's worth noting that the roles of Abraham, Jacob, and Moses (and Noah and Enoch) in Judaism changed over time, as various tribes and culture-heores waxed and waned in influence.
Feb. 23rd, 2005 02:53 pm (UTC)
there's a shrub that grows in Israel and surrounding areas in Asia called False Dittany that exudes a flammable gas and has been known to spontaneously combust if it's hot enough. :-)
Feb. 23rd, 2005 03:16 pm (UTC)
So, sort of like the frat boys of the botantical world?


Feb. 24th, 2005 01:07 am (UTC)
Or, it could just be a story somebody made up. I personally find attempts to concoct rational explanations for mythological events to be an underestimation of human creativity.



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