MANICHAEISM, AN ONTOLOGICAL , DUALISTIC VIEW ON THE NATURE OF EXISTENCE

 

Epicurus supposedly atribiuted phrase

“God,” he [Epicurus] says, “either wants to eliminate bad things and cannot,or can but does not want to,
or neither wishes to nor can,
or both wants to and can.
If he wants to and cannot, then he is weak and this does not apply to god.
If he can but does not want to, then he is spiteful which is equally foreign to god’’s nature.
If he neither wants to nor can, he is both weak and spiteful, and so not a god.
If he wants to and can, which is the only thing fitting for a god, where then do bad things come from? Or why does he not eliminate them?
Lactantius, On the Anger of God, 13.19

Eph. 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Paul to the Ephesians

Mani

Mani (210-276 C.E.), the founder of Manichaeism, was raised in a Judaeo-Christian desert sect known as the Elchasites. Similar to the Essenes, this sect was centered in the Mesopotamian desert, dressed in white robes, and were disenchanted by the religious establishment of their day. At age twelve Mani reported having his first revelation, but decided to keep it secret and wait until the right time for its proclamation. At age twenty-four Mani parted ways with the Elchasites and started writing, teaching, and preaching his own religious doctrines which he considered as final and authoritative. Mani saw himself as the final seal of the prophets; he closed the revelation which had started with Buddha and Zarathustra and had been passed on through Jesus and Paul. On the subject of Mani’s conception of his own religion, P. Oktor Skjaervo notes that “according to Mani his new religion was not simply to replace the previous religions, rather it represented the fulfillment of what the previous religions had promised but had not been able to live up to.”

Mani

An archon, in the Gnosticism of late antiquity, was any of several servants of the Demiurge, the “creator god” that stood between the human race and a transcendent God that could only be reached through Gnosis. In this context they have the role of the angels and demons of the Old Testament. They give their name to the sect called Archontics. They were thus called from the Greek word ἄρχοντες, “principalities”, or “rulers”, by reason that they held the world to have been created and ruled by malevolent Archons. The term was taken from the ancient Greek position of office “archon”.

A Life Tainted With Evil A Matter Of Outlook

We live in a world that seem to be on his head, as children we are generally taught on the Kindest, and Mercy of God all embracing and forgiving, but as we grew old we perceive a dichotomy between what we have been told and what is really going on in the World, selfishness, unbridled avarice, and materialism, double standards even from religious leaders, false promises, venial, and morally condemning behavior on the part of our political leaders, who are there not to serve us but to fulfill their private agendas, selfishness and harshness everywhere, everybody looking for themselves, and maybe if we perceive them at all, some few, and poor individuals trying to be dogooders, but just like a drop in a bucket to make any real difference. And to top it all the onslaught of the daily news, whose focus is on disasters, wars, murders, crimes, abuse, violence, and evil.

Charlotte-riots

Manichaeism

The conflict between good and evil is one of the precepts of the Zoroastrian faith, first enshrined by Zoroaster over 3000 years ago. It is also one of the most common conventional themes in literature, and is sometimes considered to be a universal part of the human condition

The central and sine qua non aspect to the Manichean outlook on evil is ontological dualism. In the Epistula Fundamenti Mani clearly lays out this doctrine: “For there were in the beginning these two substances divided from one another”, and Augustine, who is understood by most scholars to have an accurate grasp on Manichean doctrine, notes that Mani “put together two principles, different from an opposing each other, as well as eternal and co-eternal (that is, having always been), and also two natures or substances, namely, of good and bad.” Evil, then, is ultimately not an object of the will or of the mind, but a separately active pre-cosmic substance.

Good Vs Evil

Gnostic Belief

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 have been projected so far from their source that they underwent unwholesome changes in the process. To worship the cosmos, or nature, or embodied creatures is thus tantamount to worshiping alienated and corrupt portions of the emanated divine essence.

The basic Gnostic myth has many variations, but all of these refer to Aeons, intermediate deific beings who exist between the ultimate, True God and ourselves. They, together with the True God, comprise the realm of Fullness (Pleroma) wherein the potency of divinity operates fully. The Fullness stands in contrast to our existential state, which in comparison may be called emptiness.

One of the aeonial beings who bears the name Sophia (“Wisdom”) is of great importance to the Gnostic world view. In the course of her journeying, Sophia came to emanate from her own being a flawed consciousness, a being who became the creator of the material and psychic cosmos, all of which he created in the image of his own flaw. This being, unaware of his origins, imagined himself to be the ultimate and absolute God. Since he took the already existing divine essence and fashioned it into various forms, he is also called the Demiurgos or “half-maker” There is an authentic half, a true deific component within creation, but it is not recognized by the half-maker and by his cosmic minions, the Archons or “rulers”.

Gnostic cosmology

The Myth of the Archons and Sophia’s Rape (Wisdom)

In the beginning was the Pleroma. The Pleroma was Light, it was Full, it was Complete, it was Wonderful, it was Nouns and Verbs with Capital Letters. It was the place to be. Within the Pleroma waves of divinity flowed and created pairs of godlike beings. These were the Aions, (Aeons) male and female aspects, each of which gave birth to further couples of divine light. Eventually though, a single Aion was created – she was called Wisdom and had no other half. She longed to have children as the other Aions had children, and using the divine light she willed herself to conceive. Although a virgin she was able to bring forth a child, but this child was blind to the upper beauty of the Pleroma. He could not see the divine light and imagined himself to be the greatest of all. Thinking he was on his own, he started to create, but his creation was flawed and lifeless.

The Creator had managed to create a vast ocean, a place of chaos, and he called it the Deep. And he moved over the Deep and created the stars, and the earth, and the mountains and the rivers, but still there was something missing. And he created servants to help with his work, the Archons and Angels, the Princes and Powers, but still there was something missing. And he created the flying creatures, and the swimming creatures, and the walking creatures, but still there was something missing. The Creator rested and left his creation to the Archons, brooding on what was missing.

Now it happened that Wisdom found the world that her son had created. She looked into the Deep and saw her reflection. As the last of the Aoins she was far from the light of the Pleroma and had never seen her own radiance. She was entranced by her own beauty, and not living up to her name, she moved closer and closer to her reflection until she fell into the material world. The world scared her and she did not know what was happening. Then the Archons found her, and they lusted after her. She had never experienced such want from anyone and did not expect what the Archons planned. Too late she realized, she fell into their hands and they forced themselves upon her.

Sophia

Not willing to experience the horrors, Wisdom split apart, her divine nature sundered into hundreds of pieces. The most divine part of Wisdom become a mighty Oak, the Tree of Knowledge. Her body was left behind, a shell that had a human nature. The shell was called Eve and she gave birth to the children of the Archons. These human beings spread out and populated the Earth, and they worshiped the Archons, the Powers and Principalities, and they worshiped the blind Creator.

But among the humans were some who inherited the divine spark of Wisdom. These few souls went through life feeling like strangers in a strange land. They yearned for the Pleroma but they could not understand what this yearning was. Discontent with the world they suffered and when they died the divine spark would ascend and try to return to the Pleroma, but the Archons would force the divine sparks back into the world.

The spark that had lingered on in Eve was called Ennoia, and hers was a terrible fate. Doomed to suffer the most, the Archons made sure that she would never have true happiness. All looked lost for the sparks of Wisdom.

But there was hope. The Pleroma would come to know of the world and of the trapped Wisdom. And the Pleroma would send a Revealer, and a Redeemer. Through the Revealer (perhaps to be called John the Baptist) the humans with the divine spark would be told about the true nature of things, they would be blessed, baptized into the new reality. And the Revealer would bring forth the Redeemer (perhaps to be called Simon Magus), the one who the Pleroma had finally created to be the other half of Wisdom, and when he saved Ennoia, then the material world would fall apart and the truth would set them free.

Defining Evil

One of the problems of believing in Evil, it’s you have to define it first, without defining what evil is, the validity of the statements cannot be properly assessed. As for example what constitute evil, and from where come the decision to do an evil act? Another it’s the idea of free will, if God it’s there to take our decision away from us by preventing any negative act from us, then what freedom do we really have? Plus we know that’s not the case, since there is nobody to stop you before committing a stupid thing, if you wish to do so, but where moral responsibility begins, if you are not willing to confront yourself as the doer of evil? Are you so naive as to believe you are doing nothing wrong when you are murdering a human being?

And rather to avoid the ultimate question why not ask yourself first why death it’s a fact of life, regardless? it’s not the creator who bear that responsibility even if you die from old age anyway?

There it’s anything more inescapable than death?

Death, The  Grim Reaper

Religious Response

Buddhism attempted to answer the problem by disassociation, meditation, and avoidance, for evil was nothing but the outcome of desire and greed stemming from a misunderstanding of the self and of the world. The Buddha’s answer was “to avoid all evil, to do good, and to purify one’s mind.

Plato and Aristotle would equate evil with a lack of knowledge, making evil synonymous with intellectual ignorance, with it’s antidote being rational contemplation. Eventually Christianity would emerge with its own answer and explanation of evil, through a savior and Immanent God in the form of Jesus Christ, I will not dwell on the theological arguments of this doctrine too long to be exposed here and full of ambivalence in my opinion bordering on irresponsible arguments like the will of God it’s to allow evil  for an unknown future greater good, rather than simplify  it as Plato and Aristotle did; free will and ignorance, and the not existence of a moral absolute on the will of God that would curtail the freedom of the individual to choose by himself, and make evil a total Human responsibility, and not blaming God for it.

Inferno by Giovanni da Modena

Beyond Good and Evil, Ibn Arabi’s View

“God’s Wide Land Ibn ‘Arabi’s position is corroborated by the Shaykh’s own words: “What in fact takes place is that one divine name prescribes the Law for another divine name within the locus of a created human being.” In this scheme of things, the servant’s own will to act is absolutely irrelevant. In fact, it simply does not exist, since all actions spring from the internal interplay of God’s names and commands within a contingent locus called human being. Elsewhere, Ibn ‘Arabi drives this message home saying: “There is nothing here for us, except our readiness to accept the actions that are attributed [to us by God] in the empirical world.” “My kashf therefore says: ‘You have nothing to do with this.'” In short, the only true and real actor is none other than God Himself.

In the end, Ibn ‘Arabi the gnostic prevails over Ibn ‘Arabi the canon. For better or worse, he dares to raise the curtain protecting God’s ultimate mystery and to reveal to his readers that all human actions and natural phenomena take place by and in the all-encompassing divine Reality (al-haqq). God’s creatures are but the passive and contingent arenas of dialogues between God’s own names and attributes. Seen from this perspective, the creatures have no role at all in the acts that they ostensibly create and perform.”

My Views on the Matter

I understand these views can be a lot to take to the inexperienced on these subjects  reader of this post, however I want to clarify all these conclusions, and opinions, are  to be considered by the individual reading them, and not the final word on it, I agree with Ibn Arabi’s outlook, however you have to understand he is talking beyond our Human realm, on the terrestrial we are all subject to laws, given by Sacred book’s commands, and by our own moral codes of ethics, as individuals bounded, and liable, by them, and  not necessarily dictated by religious belief, but by logic, as in the case of nonbelievers, or Atheist who do not need a command in order to be ethic, but also bounded by the laws of Men, regardless of his own views on the matter.

He Alone

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About theburningheart

Blog: KoneKrusosKronos.wordpress.com
This entry was posted in Ancient Religions, Archons, Biblical Studies, Cosmology, Crisis of Values, Critical Thinking, Demiurge, Determinism, Dualism, Eschatology, Gnosis, History, Ibn Arabi, Inner Journey, Inspiration, Jesus, Manichaeism, Metaphysics, Mysticism, Myth, Ontology, Religion, Revelation, Sophia, Spirituality, Theology, Uncategorized, Wisdom, World View and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

50 Responses to MANICHAEISM, AN ONTOLOGICAL , DUALISTIC VIEW ON THE NATURE OF EXISTENCE

  1. kethuprofumo says:

    Great post, Mr. Brigido! And without a modest portion of Evil we will never learn Good, certainly…

    • theburningheart says:

      Well, there must be a reason why Adam, and Eve had to be sent away from Paradise. 🙂

      • We know why Adam and Eve were sent away theburningheart, like us they had free will, Eve was deceived and disobeyed God but than encouraged Adam to do the same, Adam chose to listen to Eve instead of God and so disobeyed Him. They reaped what they sowed, to stay in the Garden would have endangered them and us if they had ate from the Eternal Tree of Life because than there would have been no Hope for Mankind, they would have remained evil and under Satan’s Control. Today we have Freedom in Christ Jesus and are set free from the Slavery of Sin and Satan’s Control..

        Blessings – Anne.

  2. To understand God’s Truth and His good will for us we need His Wisdom not the Worlds and The empowering of The Holy Spirit we were not Born with them, Jesus is our only Teacher not a Man or a Woman but if what they share is confirmed in Scripture we can be encouraged and uplifted, if not we reject their input.

    Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing therefore get Wisdom and with all thy getting get understanding.

    James 1:5-6 If any of you lack Wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in Faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that Man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded Man is unstable in all his ways.

    Luke 11:13 …… how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him

    The Scriptures make it very clear that only The Holy Spirit can understand God’s Truth because it is inspired by Him, to those without the Holy Spirit including Satan and His Demons it is foolishness but like Cults and False teachers they add to it and take away as well as Twist Scripture.

    2 Timothy 3: 16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for Doctrine, for Reproof, for Correction, for Instruction in Righteousness. That the Man of God may be Perfect and thoroughly furnished unto all good works.K.J.V

    We must also be careful of New Translations of the Bible, this is one reason why there is confusion in some Churches, we ask God for His Wisdom and Empowering of The Holy Spirit to discern Man’s error. With the Holy Spirit’s confirmation in our hearts and God’s Wisdom which we ask for and receive, we know what is True, so we don’t have to fear deception as Jesus our only Teacher leads us into all Truth.

    1 Corinthians 2:9-16 But as it is written; Eye hath not seen nor ear heard neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that Love Him but God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit for the Spirit searcheth all things yea the deep things of God. For what Man knoweth the things of a Man save the spirit of Man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no Man but the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the World but the Spirit which is of God that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak not in the words which Man’s wisdom teacheth but which the Holy Ghost Teacheth, comparing spiritual things with Spiritual. But the natural Man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness unto him neither can he know them because they are Spiritually discerned. But he that is Spiritual judgeth all things yet he himself is judged of no Man. For who hath known the Mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him? but we have the Mind of Christ.

    1 John 2:26-28 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you and ye need not that any Man teach you but as the same anointing Teacheth you of all things and is Truth and is no lie and even as it hath taught you ye shall abide in Him.

    Matthew 10:26-28 Fear them not therefore for there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed and hid that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness that speak ye in Light and what ye hear in the ear that preach ye upon the housetops (KJV) (perhaps our Computers today ?)

    John 16:13 -15. Howbeit when He The Spirit of Truth is come He will guide you into all truth for He shall not speak of Himself but whatsoever He shall hear that shall He speak and He will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me for He shall receive of mine and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine therefore said I that He shall take of mine and shall shew it unto you.

    Colossians 2 :2 -3 That their hearts might be comforted being knit together in Love and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God and of the Father and of Christ In whom are hid all the Treasures of Wisdom and Knowledge.

    1John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come and hath given us an understanding that we may know Him that is True and we are in Him that is True even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the True God and Eternal life.

    Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and Teach you in the way you shall go, I will guide you with Mine eye.

    Christian Love and Blessings – Anne.

  3. theburningheart says:

    Thank you for your input! 🙂

  4. mytiturk says:

    The esoteric title of this post hooked me, a “Catholic” non-theist with a dabbling, but long, interest in philosophy and, since reading James A. Michener’s great book, Iberia, a further interest in the unique history of Andalusía, where, early on, the enlightened Arabs like Ibn Arabi and Averroës translated and/or expanded upon so many philosophical works, including those of the Greeks, and passed them on to fledgling intellectual places like Paris, France.

    Especially in difficult, prejudiced, intolerant, “neo-colonial” times like 2017, it is important to recognize that Spain’s widespread cultural Golden Age (primarily 7th – 10th C. AD) was centred in Córdoba, at a time when the ruling Muslims not only got along with Christians and Jews but trusted them, frequently promoting them to high office in the various Iberian city-states or Taifas.

    I enjoyed reading this post. Thanks for taking the time to put it together. Your choice of artwork is also fascinating.

    • theburningheart says:

      Coincidentally James A. Michner’s great book Iberia was owned by my father, and read it then, many years ago, and since I have read it at least three more times, one of my favorite travel books ever!

      Yes, Ibn Arabi’s works like the Al-Futūḥāt al-Makkiyya, and the Fuṣūṣ al-Ḥikam are texts now read by many scholars, and are unsurpassed in knowledge when it come to Theological, and Ontological issues, that inspired many medieval European writers and artist, like Dante, and Thomas Aquinas, just to mention two well known.

      Thank you for reading, and commenting, if you go through my blog you will find many references about Ibn Arabi’s works. 🙂

  5. E.D. says:

    i love your work. indeed you put heart and soul into each and every post. It is so sad my concentration is poor, I can only read a little at a time nowadays. You are brilliant.. Eve

    • theburningheart says:

      Thank you for your praise, that it’s no doubt an stimulus to keep my work going, you are very kind,
      As for being unable to concentrate to read, hope peace of heart, and peace of mind will be within you soon.

      Have my blessings. 🙂

  6. As the person here above said, I too, appreciate your posts very much. For me it has, somehow , for a long time been clear that, due to our freedom, we also have to take on the responsibility for whatever we do.Have a good week and thanks. Martina

    • theburningheart says:

      Your comment it’s very much appreciated, Martina, and I agree with it totally, freedom brings along the responsibility from our actions. 🙂

      • Maybe we should reflect more about our responsibility we have in connection with freedom than always trying to attribute it to God or others.
        I allow myself to add the link of my post about Freedom.You can, of course cancel it, if you don’t consider it appropriate.https://rivella49.wordpress.com/2016/06/22/freedomfreiheitliberta/
        Very best regards Martina

      • theburningheart says:

        Free Will, and freedom always will be fascinating topics, because we live in a World of choices, and we need to act constantly, should I get out of bed right now, or wait a couple of minutes? Should I take that job, or looking for something else?, Should I buy this stuff, even if I really don’t need it, but I like it regardless if the product was produced by people who didn’t have my freedom? Should I vote for these new political proposition, or not, how that is gone affect us? Do I really need another piece of cake? Is this stuff that I got environmentally friendly?
        And endless list of choices, and little acts who may be good, or not so good, someones really bad, for others and many times to ourselves.
        So we bear a lot of small responsibilities, who end being a great responsibility, and that it’s to act with consciousness, rather than with selfishness, or not conscious as to the result from one little action from us, who may contribute to the harm of others, and ourselves, in a World where everything it’s related.

        Thank you Martina, for your interest in the subject, and your link to your article it’s perfectly fine with me. 🙂

      • The following question you made:”Do I really need another piece of cake? ” is for me a very good example for any of our obsessons to consume whatever we have a whim for! We are, however, not aware that giving in to all our greed we in fact lose the real DESIRE to achieve or get something and this seem to me a profound tragedy of our times!! I thank you very much for having given this time of yours to me:)

  7. Don Ostertag says:

    Great post! One I read several times. Now I have to go back and read IBERIA. Thanks you.

    • theburningheart says:

      Thank you for taking the trouble of reading it several times.
      Yes James A. Michener’s “Iberia” it’s a great account from his many travels in Spain, at a time when Spain was left behind, isolated, and under Franco’s regime. 🙂

  8. natuurfreak says:

    Well done.Fine to read

  9. Your ability to work is great. You create a magnificent philosophical article that always leaves us thinking over the account. What we have to do with evil is to interpret it according to our conception of our religious beliefs or not.

    • theburningheart says:

      Thank You Manuel, for commenting, yes, in a way we all have to come to grasp with the concept of Good Vs evil through as what the Germans call our personal Weltanschauung, or how we see the World, be this Religious, or not. 🙂

  10. Christy B says:

    Your post, as always, is packed with such interesting discussions. As a Christian, I believe my existence is to have a relationship with God and fulfill His mission for me. I admit I did not know about Ibn Arabi before your post. Perhaps you could direct me as to places to read more about him and his writing? A book or webpage, perhaps? Thank you in advance 🙂

    • theburningheart says:

      Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad ibn ʿAlī ibn Muḥammad ibnʿArabī al-Ḥātimī aṭ-Ṭāʾī. Also known by Sufis as Shaykh Al-Akbar, “the Greatest Master” was born in Murcia Spain, on the sacred month of Ramadan, Cristian age July 26, or 28 on possibly the Night of Power in 1165 and died in Damascus on November 26, 1240.

      He of course was well known in the Arabic world, where he also had detractors, but almost unknown in the Western world until a Spanish Scholar, and a priest Miguel Asin Palacios brought him to light I wrote about them in my post of April 2013 Eros Sublimated, My post of May 2015 Malebranche, Suarez, Ibn Arabi, and many other posts in my blog.

      Henry Corbin the great scholar who acquired notoriety on the famous Eranos conferences in Ascona, wrote a book on Ibn Arabi titled: Alone with the Alone, many of his disciples have written on Ibn Arabi, another great book it’s William C. Chittick who wrote: The Sufi Path of Knowledge: Ibn al-‘Arabi’s Metaphysics of Imagination
      The great scholar Toshihiko Izutsu also wrote a book: Sufism and Taoism.

      And now day there is such a thing, as The Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi Society.Each year the Society organizes Symposiums in the UK and the USA on an aspect of Ibn ‘Arabi’s work.

      Which it’s very extensive his Al-Futūḥāt al-Makkiyya (Meccan Revelations) it’s around 16,000 pages long, and he wrote many other books, who scholars through the World are now studying. And many pages of commentaries are written on a few lines from his works.

      Myself since 1972, have try to read whatever have been published in English, and Spanish about Ibn Arabi.

      Hope this will be of help to you Christy 🙂

      .

      • Christy B says:

        My friend! Thank you for the wonderful directions you are sending me in terms of future reads and exploration. I’m excited! Writing down the titles now and will check if I can find them at the local library. HUGS!

      • theburningheart says:

        Well, little do we know!?
        On the many years I have studying Ibn Arabi you are the first one who claim to be excited about becoming a future customer for Fons Vitae.
        I am glad someone gets motivated to read the likes of Ibn Arabi, through the years I even had given books for free to some people in the hopes they may read him, all in vain.
        So please, let me know about it Christy. 🙂

      • Christy B says:

        Yes, I will update you with the reads and continue to share literary thoughts. May the conversations continue 🙂

      • theburningheart says:

        I certainly hope so, that would thrill me, and would be looking forward to share my thoughts, with your discoveries, and new insights. You are a very special person Christy, somehow I already feel I know you more intimately through your lovely poetry, and you seem to posses not only a sensitive, beautiful, and kind soul, but also intellectual curiosity, and great empathy towards people.
        And thank you for the hugs, and the time you patiently take with us, your far away friend. 🙂

      • Christy B says:

        Oh sweet friend. Your words do flatter me. I have been told that I am perhaps too empathetic but I would rather be that way then the opposite.. Having your understanding of my core means a lot to me. What I appreciate so much about you is your curiosity, love of learning, and want to share what you know with the world. Thank you for being so giving of your time and knowledge 🙂 Hugging back

      • theburningheart says:

        Thank you Christy, you are a sweetheart, I am not so wonderful, but we try!
        As for you giving too much love, there is nothing wrong with that, being stingy with love it’s the problem.
        As soon as you get your hands on those books let me know, so we can have a real feast talking about it, of course when you may have the time, and if you wish to do so, no pressure.
        Love., and best wishes to you! 🙂

      • Christy B says:

        Yes, I will reach out to you soon 🙂 So nice what you wrote back. Bring on the discussions! Hugs and love for you

  11. Aquileana says:

    I have always considered the Manichean position to be correct. There is both good and bad in people. Attributes can be combined. Opposites are one (and so Heraclitus thought too)… Love & best wishes 😀

    • theburningheart says:

      Well, certainly the World seems to confirm a Manichean position Aquileana, But between the emperor Diocletian, religious persecutions, and St Agustin rejection of his previous Manichean beliefs. sort of sealed the Faith of Mani to oblivion for centuries to come, There has being a modern revival of sorts, some from people like Jung, but members of the Gnostic different churches are minorities.

      Thank you for your comment Aquileana! :-).

  12. john zande says:

    Fascinating read. Curious, have you ever read Scott Adams’, God’s Debris?

  13. Inese Poga Art plus Life says:

    It’s incredibly interesting. I regret I have no time at the moment. However, I have a somewhat distinctive theory about these matters.

  14. J.D. Riso says:

    Humanity has expended So much thought and energy on finding the reason for evil. Such beautiful myths woven. I believe we all have a shadow self and the first step to subduing it is acknowledgment and acceptance. Thank you for this food for thought. Your posts are always so rich, yet your humility shines through.

    • theburningheart says:

      Thank you Julie, for your kindness, yes there is many explanations for the problem of Evil, we Humans are a complicated, and not easy to understand specie, specially when we do not want to acknowledge our weakness. 🙂

  15. mitchteemley says:

    Fascinating human musings.

  16. lwbut says:

    First a thank you for the like on my blog article – Appearances are deceptive.
    Doubly so, as it lead me to read this post that i found intriguing on a few levels. 🙂

    I am at the beginning of my journey into philosophy so forgive any ignorance i display here or at my blog. I’m happy to discover more as i walk the path.

    I’ve seen Epicurus’s quote from your first image above before and found it sadly lacking in understanding of the nature of reality or of what Humans seem to think of by the term God.

    Good and evil are relative terms. In the sense that they are Alpha/Omega, Positive/negative, Light, Blackness, Right/left. Each relates to (and reflects) the other. They distinguish themselves by comparison. Good is not evil and evil is not good.

    What is an Alpha without Omega? a beginning without an end? A right without left, or a positive without a negative? Eliminating evil means to eliminate good also and if God IS good then eliminating evil would eliminate Himself. God cannot eliminate evil without simultaneously eliminating all good – it would be like removing your left half from your right. Would you want your left half to be replaced by a second right half?? Just what would that look/feel like??

    The Bible says that God is beyond (more than/superior to) Good and Evil. Epicurus needs a better vision and argument.

    My journey is leading me back to basics – Very simplified basics. Starting with the Number Zero.
    Just considering zero, or nothing – emptiness, absence of any thing, provides little in the way of enlightenment regarding our life, as you’d expect. So i took the next step and introduced the next simplest thing i could think of – the number One. 1 and 0. with nothing in between. 2 things. (The Prime Duality!) Place them on a straight line (representing a ‘relation’) and you can move from 0 to 1 AND 1 to 0 – two different ways of moving – left,right; positive,negative. Knowing this it is then apparent that if you can move in two directions (in a single dimension) then there could be a point from 0 at 1 in the opposite direction to the original 1, hence we could have -1, 0 and 1 – a Trinity!
    Now we have a duality and a trinity and since we live our lives in at least 3 dimensions we could mathematically have 27 (3x3x3) individual locations or points of being ‘different’ from just a nothing and a single unit.

    Life quickly becomes very complex if we iterate this billions of times. It does however retain a simple duality and a trinity at it’s core – the positive, the negative and the balance point (0) between them where both exist but cancel one another out (as viewed from one perspective!)

    I took this further by considering both a unit sphere and a unit square and the possibly different ways each can be in direct touch with one other other of it’s kind in both 2 and three dimensions.

    Your 5th image (the qabbalistic Tree of Life – that i had seen before but today saw it in a whole new light thanks to my investigation as above) has a construction that matches in two dimensions the idea of a single entity (circle/sphere) reflected on itself with the first level of connections with other similar entities. One (unit circular) entity can only directly connect with a maximum of 6 others (in two dimensions like a picture). In the Tree the two centre (original and reflection) units have each other as one connection and five others totalling 6.

    It’s interesting that the ‘apples’ on each branch number 5 also with the centre units making a total of 6 connections to each of the outer circles in one straight line.

    I probably should spend more time considering that image. 😉

    I’m sure i will find many reasons to keep reading your blog and any thoughts you have (of a ‘simple’ nature to begin with please!) would be most welcome.

    love

  17. theburningheart says:

    There is the saying: Do not speak of politics or religion if you do not want an argument!
    However you can see how other people have commented on this post including you, their comment is a whole post on themselves!
    First I am not Epictetus, and I am afraid you cannot address your complaint to him, although I confess the Epictetus well known quote its a little bit out of place, since Epictetus it’s not a Gnostic but a Stoic, but my original intention was to provoke people in to read the article, you seem to concentrate in that part of the post, in the rest of the post, I expose the Gnostic Manichean side of the argument along with other Gnostic views, and more, like Ibn Arabi’s own ‘Gnostic’ view of the matter at the end of the article, and notice the quotations marks when I refer him as a ‘Gnostic’ since a lot of people would disagree with that.definition of Ibn Arabi.
    I will be fair to explain that according to the word Gnostic.The definition of the word Gnostic is about as easy to nail down as a flopping fish. It is derived from the Greek word Gnosis, meaning “to know.” In the case of Gnosticism, what is “known” has shifted over the thousands of years since Gnosticism first reared its head during the formation and solidification of the early church.
    And now of course the word Gnosis it’s a charged word signifying many things to many people.

    I commend your search for knowledge, but before trying to simplify there’s a lot of things we first need to Know, the Bible it’s a very commendable book, unfortunately now day, it’s a book who everybody play his own interpretation, according to their particular views, on the many matters related to it, beside there is many other ‘Sacred books’ there’s many people who only read the Bible, as there’s many people who only read the Quran, the Torah, the Zend -Avesta, The Heart Sutra, The Mahabharata,, The Tao Te Ching, The Analects of Confucius, etc.
    And that may be all they need to know.
    But there may be others who do not want to be a one horse circus show, even if you want to stick to the Bible, I recommend you to read about the Bible itself, specifically as how the Bible was put together, by who, and why many other books where excluded from it. like many Gnostic books, where excluded in later versions.
    If anything the exercise it’s fascinating to see how Religion and beliefs evolve, and change according to valid, and not so valid considerations.

    And please, I do not address other points of your comment for the sake of brevity, and lack of time.

    Thank you for your interest. 🙂

    • lwbut says:

      Thank you for your reply. Your sentiments are largely mine also and i too, for the sake of brevity, ‘restricted’ my comment on your post which I recognised raised many points besides the ones i referred to.
      I simply went first for some of the points i felt i was better able to make intelligent comment on – if you agree or not is up to you 😉
      Whilst i have not yet spent a lot of my time studying many of the other paths you describe, nor have i yet fully committed myself to Christianity i am trying to keep things both simple and ‘real’ by attempting as best i can to understand the concept of God through Jesus Christ and the works/books of the Bible – which i treat with a dose of scepticism by reason of how it came to be in it’s present form. This is my reason for using quotes from it to reinforce my ideas, which i suspect would be somewhat similar if i based them on other sacred Scripture. As for the Religion itself it speaks truly when it says you judge a tree by it’s fruits, many of which have had a bitter, even rancid aftertaste.

      I have looked a little also at Gnosticism and the cult of the Essenes but maybe more of that in later comments. Manichaeism was a new one to me that may require further investigation on my part. 🙂

      No criticism of your writing or thoughts were intended nor i hope taken as such.

      Hope to become a regular visitor here! 🙂

      love.

      • theburningheart says:

        Nah! Don’t worry, I just saw you got the bug, in my case I got the bug many years ago, since I was a child.
        Knowledge it’s consilient from the word Concilience:
        In science and history, consilience (also convergence of evidence or concordance of evidence) refers to the principle that evidence from independent, unrelated sources can “converge” to strong conclusions. That is, when multiple sources of evidence are in agreement, the conclusion can be very strong even when none of the individual sources of evidence is significantly so on its own. Most established scientific knowledge is supported by a convergence of evidence: if not, the evidence is comparatively weak, and there will not likely be a strong scientific consensus.

        In other words studying the many things you can come to a better understanding of the whole, And that applies to any study, even Biblical, but there’s also a subjective part that it’s given by your own Spiritual development, which it’s unique to no one, but to you.

        Thank you for your comment! 🙂

      • lwbut says:

        I fully agree! And with regards Concilience i see it as a direct relationship between any area of study with a Unifying Whole – there is a common theme underlying all aspects of Nature – one which i am hoping (working) to discover so as to better be able to understand all things in relation to all others, as well as to my place in all things. 🙂

        love.

      • theburningheart says:

        I am glad of your views, keep the good work, I want to thank you for your interest, now a rare thing in a World saturated with information, of all kinds, its always nice to stumble into somebody who cares enough to leave a comment, thank you! 🙂

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