Author Topic: April D. DeConick  (Read 29 times)


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April D. DeConick
« on: February 04, 2022, 04:49:37 pm »
The Gnostic New Age
by April E. DeConick

To clarify, 2nd century Gnostic rites fall into four categories

1.  ceremonies to awaken or quicken the spirit from unconsciousness\
2.  ceremonies to purge the soul of its demons
3.  ceremonies to mature the fledgling spirt into an adult divinity
4.  ceremonies to integrate the mature spirit, the reals self, with its transcendent root.  This process brings healing because it repairs the separation that was the root cause of the person's anxiety and fear, without completely wiping out the individual's identity.

She deals with Darren Aronofsky, director of Requiem for a Dream, which has been talked about on this board.  But she deals with another of his films

Darren Aronofsky

Pi (1998)

She deals with John's Gospel, a Gnostic reading.  And she looks at Chapter 4, the Samaritan Woman at the well.  Gnosticism did focus on recruiting Samaritans, and Simon Magus was a big part of this.  As Tobias Churton writes, "He was the original Jesus."

Now lets look at more of DeConick's references:

Clinard, Marshall B., and Robert F. Meier, 2008, Sociology of Deviant Behavior, 13th ed

Couliano, Ioan P. 1992  The Tree of Gnosis: Gnostic Mythology from Early Christianity to Modern Nihilism

Bloom 1992
The American Religion

Omens of Millennium: The Gnosis of Angels, Dreams, and Resurrection

Smoley 2006
Forbidden Faith: The Secret History of Gnosticism

Burfeind, Peter M. 2014
Gnostic America

Wilson Eric G. 2006
Secret Cinema: Gnostic Vision in Film

Fuller, Robert C. 2001
Spiritual, but Not Religious: Understanding Unchurched America

Sheldrake, Philip 2007
A Brief History of Spirituality

Kaufman, Gordon D. 1993
In Face of Mystery: Constructive Theology

Mastrocinque, Attilio, From Jewish Magic to Gnosticism (2005)

Markschies, Christopher, Gnosis: An Introduction (2003)

A lot of talk about Plato, and about The Truman Show.

She is saying that Gnosticism started in Egypt.

Broek, Roelof van den, Gnostic Religion in Antiquity, (2013)

Atum was the hermaphrodite who created himself.

The first Ogdoad was

Shu and Tefnut (manifestation of Maat)
Get and Nut
Osiris, Isis, Nephthys, and Seth

And this is going by both the Coffin Texts and the Pyramid Texts.

Framkfurter, David. 1994
The Magic of Writing and the Writing of Magic: The Power of the Word in Egyptian and Greek Traditions

Religion in Roman Egypt: Assimilation and Resistance

She really emphasizes The Truman Show.

And what Gnosticism is really about is the realization that the God Almighty that people profess allegiance to and that keeps the pews and collection plates full is an idol. And so people come to see themselves as higher than this God.

pg 54

The Gnostics believed that they had gnosis because they had found and met the hidden God directly, by undertaking an ecstatic quest. What was chocking was that the God they found was not numbered among the gods of the Babylonian, Egyptian, Jewish, or Greek myths that were being worshipped in the temples down the street.

Two interesting books, both written about the same time, and both starting with Ezekiel's Vision of the Chariot. These books span the gap between religious and occult kabbalah, and the later does not use the Tree of Life diagram.

Kabbalah (1998)
Three Thousand Years of Mystic Tradition
Hanson, Kenneth, 1953-

The Essential Kabbalah (1994)
the Heart of Jewish Mysticism
Daniel C. Matt

more of DeConick's references:

Garth Fowden (1986) The Egyptian Hermes: A Historical Approach tot he Late Pagan Mind

This Simon Magus was really quite a character.

There had been Dositheus, a successor to John the Baptist, and he had this woman Luna. He was challenged by Simon of Gitta (later known as Simon Magus) and he took over the operation and over Luna, who's real name was Helena.

DeConick sees the good in Paul and she shows why a lot of Gnostics like him. But she also shows how he doubled back on himself and on his Damascus Vision.

She works a lot with these movies with religious themes which promote gnosticism.

She shows how John's Gospel was liked by both Catholics and Gnostics, and it does seem to be in part drawn from Gnostic sources.

From other sources, it is believed that John's Gospel was promulgated to replace the Thomas Gospel.

The Gnostic New Age (2016)
April D. DeConick

She is dealing with religiously themed SciFi, like:

The Truman Show

And then talking about Paul though this, and showing why gnostics like much of what he wrote:

Dogma (1999)

Seems to be a very dark themed film, and she uses this to show the gnostic interpretation of John's Gospel, and the original author's intent remains unclear. But John is very moving, and this is why:

Dark City (1998)

And then she gets into initiatic experiences with:

Altered States (1980) dir Ken Russell

She talks about one Cerinthus, a gnostic interpreter of John.

Michael Allen Williams (1996) Rethinking "Gnosticism": An Argument for Dismantling a Dubious Category.

Each of these gnostic groups has its own story of cosmology, creation, fall, and reintegration. They just don't always call them by these names. They always have some explanation for why life might seem off balance. Or to use the Sanskrit term, samsara, the wagon wheel squeaks on its axle.


Second-century Gnostic rites fall into four categories: ceremonies to awaken or quicken the spirit from unconsciousness; ceremonies to mature the fledgling spirit into an adult divinity; and ceremonies to integrate the mature spirit, the real self, with its transcendent root. The process brings healing because it repairs the separation that was the root cause of the person's anxiety and fear, without completely wiping out the individual's identity.

So the Gnostics were not Buddhists. The spirit does not experience emptiness, nor is it reabsorbed into its root so that it no longer exists individually. The Gnostic rites ensure that the personal spirit has grown its own identity, which then unites with its source.

Henry More in 17th Century first coined term Gnosticism

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