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A Comparison of Liberal Quaker, Hindu, and Gnostic Views 
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Post A Comparison of Liberal Quaker, Hindu, and Gnostic Views
.

Liberal Quaker

.1>Liberal Quakers emphasize the Light Within.

.2>Liberal Quakers emphasize that humankind is made in the image of God

.3>Liberal Quakers see a principle of moral and spiritual purity within us

.4>Liberal Quakers take an optimistic view of human nature.

.5>Liberal Quakers believe that we can do something good and pure, free of sin
(though we also do bad things)


Hindu Vedanta is similar to the view of human nature of the liberal Quakers

1> We are guided by an Inner Light we call Atman.

2> Atman is our True Nature and It is of the same substance as Brahman (God)...
(we are essentially Divine)

3> Because we are essentially Divine, the principle of "moral and spiritual purity" abides within us

4> Hindu Vedanta has an optimistic view of human nature;

We have temporarily lost our awareness of our Divine Nature,
We can restore our Divine awareness through Faith and Effort.

Gnostic

1> Gnosticism (Like Buddhism ) begins with this fundamental recognition”
Earthly life is filled with suffering

2> Many religions advocate that humans are to be blamed for the imperfections of the world.
Gnostics have an optimistic view of human nature, responding that the blame for the world’s failings lies with the creator.(1)

3> Man mirrors the duality found in the world: in part we were made by the false creator God
and in part we consist of the light of the True God. (2)

4> We enter this world ignorant of the divine spark residing within us.(3)

5> We are spiritual beings trapped within a material world. Freedom (Salvation) from our
condition may be achieved by “knowledge” (gnosis) of what we are, where we came from, and where we are going. We are spiritual beings, sharing in the divine nature of the Pleroma (the All, the Fullness; "God") by virtue of the sparks of light that still reside within us. We came from the Pleroma, and we yearn to remember our true (divine) nature, and to be reunited with The All from whence we came.
The indwelling spark must be awakened from its terrestrial slumber by the saving knowledge that comes “from without” (4)





Notes:

(1) Many religions advocate that humans are to be blamed for the imperfections of the world.
They interpret the Genesis myth as declaring that transgressions committed by the first human pair brought about a “fall”.Gnostics respond that this interpretation of the myth is false. The blame for the world’s failings lies not with humans, but with the creator.

Since -- especially in the monotheistic religions -- the creator is God, this Gnostic position appears blasphemous, and is often viewed with dismay even by non-believers.

Once the initial shock of the “unusual” or “blasphemous” nature of the Gnostic explanation for suffering and imperfection of the world wears off, one may begin to recognize that it is in fact the most sensible of all explanations. To appreciate it fully, however, a familiarity with the Gnostic conception of the Godhead is required, both in its original essence as the True God and in its debased manifestation as the false or creator God.




Diety

The Gnostic God concept is more subtle than that of most religions. In its way, it unites and
reconciles the recognitions of Monotheism and Polytheism, as well as of Theism, Deism and
Pantheism.

In the Gnostic view, there is a true, ultimate and transcendent God, who is beyond all created universes and who never created anything in the sense in which the word “create” is ordinarily understood. While this True God did not fashion or create anything, He (or, It) “emanated” or brought forth from within Himself the substance of all there is in all the worlds, visible and invisible. In a certain sense, it may therefore be true to say that all is God, for all consists of the substance of God. By the same token, it must also be recognized that many portions of the original divine essence

(2) Human nature mirrors the duality found in the world: in part it was made by the false creator God and in part it consists of the light of the True God. Humankind contains a perishable physical and psychic component, as well as a spiritual component which is a fragment of the divine essence. This latter part is often symbolically referred to as the “divine spark”. The recognition of this dual nature of the world and of the human being has earned the Gnostic tradition the epithet of “dualist”.

(3)
Human nature mirrors the duality found in the world: in part it was made by the false creator God and in part it consists of the light of the True God. Humankind contains a perishable physical and psychic component, as well as a spiritual component which is a fragment of the divine essence. This latter part is often symbolically referred to as the “divine spark”. The recognition of this dual nature of the world and of the human being has earned the Gnostic tradition the epithet of “dualist”.
Humans are generally ignorant of the divine spark resident within them. This ignorance is fostered in human nature by the influence of the false creator and his Archons, who together are intent upon keeping men and women ignorant of their true nature and destiny. Anything that causes us to remain attached to earthly things serves to keep us in enslavement to these lower cosmic rulers. Death releases the divine spark from its lowly prison, but if there has not been a substantial work of Gnosis undertaken by the soul prior to death, it becomes likely that the divine spark will be hurled back into, and then re-embodied within, the pangs and slavery of the physical world.
Not all humans are spiritual (pneumatics) and thus ready for Gnosis and liberation. Some are earthbound and materialistic beings (hyletics), who recognize only the physical reality. Others live largely in their psyche (psychics). Such people usually mistake the Demiurge for the True God and have little or no awareness of the spiritual world beyond matter and mind.


Salvation
(4) Evolutionary forces alone are insufficient, however, to bring about spiritual freedom. Humans are caught in a predicament consisting of physical existence combined with ignorance of their true origins, their essential nature and their ultimate destiny. To be liberated from this predicament, human beings require help, although they must also contribute their own efforts.
From earliest times Messengers of the Light have come forth from the True God in order to assist humans in their quest for Gnosis. Only a few of these salvific figures are mentioned in Gnostic scripture; some of the most important are Seth (the third Son of Adam), Jesus, and the Prophet Mani. The majority of Gnostics always looked to Jesus as the principal savior figure (the Soter).
Gnostics do not look to salvation from sin (original or other), but rather from the ignorance of which sin is a consequence. Ignorance -- whereby is meant ignorance of spiritual realities -- is dispelled only by Gnosis, and the decisive revelation of Gnosis is brought by the Messengers of Light, especially by Christ, the Logos of the True God. It is not by His suffering and death but by His life of teaching and His establishing of mysteries that Christ has performed His work of salvation.
The Gnostic concept of salvation, like other Gnostic concepts, is a subtle one. On the one hand, Gnostic salvation may easily be mistaken for an unmediated individual experience, a sort of spiritual do-it-yourself project. Gnostics hold that the potential for Gnosis, and thus, of salvation is present in every man and woman, and that salvation is not vicarious but individual. At the same time, they also acknowledge that Gnosis and salvation can be, indeed must be, stimulated and facilitated in order to effectively arise within consciousness. This stimulation is supplied by Messengers of Light who, in addition to their teachings, establish salvific mysteries (sacraments) which can be administered by apostles of the Messengers and their successors.
One needs also remember that knowledge of our true nature -- as well as other associated realizations -- are withheld from us by our very condition of earthly existence. The True God of transcendence is unknown in this world, in fact He is often called the Unknown Father. It is thus obvious that revelation from on High is needed to bring about salvation. The indwelling spark must be awakened from its terrestrial slumber by the saving knowledge that comes “from without”.


Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:35 am
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Post Re: A Comparison of Liberal Quaker, Hindu, and Gnostic Views
Wow! Hex,
You have given me a lot to ponder over there. I will looking it some more before responding. Thanks. :clap:


Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:52 pm
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Post Re: A Comparison of Liberal Quaker, Hindu, and Gnostic Views
same here.


Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:27 pm
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