Thursday, March 14, 2013

Illuminatus! and blaming the Gnostics for 20th Century ills

Illuminatus! inspires a blog post from David Chapman, "Illuminatus!, Voegelin and the politics of SBNR monism." Chapman discusses the "prescient postmodernism" of the work and talks about how the ideas of Eric Voegelin influenced the work (it was from Voegelin's work that the "immanentize the eschaton" catchphrase was born.) I'm a little bit unclear (and so is at least one of Chapman's commentators) about the relationship between Gnosticism and 20th century ills such as Nazism and Communism; isn't Gnosticism about self discovery, rather than trying to impose an ideology on others?

Chapman, by the way, has an interesting range of interests. He has a blog on Tibetan Buddhism, a blog devoted to his unfinished novel Buddhism for Vampires, and his meaningness blog, which includes the piece on Illuminatus! Chapman apparently also is the model for a character in a recent novel. 

Hat tip, Nick Helweg-Larsen.


Andrew Crawshaw said...

Gnosticism has many different traditions but sprung up in greece as a reaction to "mainstream christianity". One of the traditions holds that yehova was third generation demiurge (A universe creator), actually called Ialdabaoth, who imprisoned souls in his universe. what is more interesting is that some gnostic interpretations see Jesus as trying to save humans from Ialdabaoth, rather than being his son, sent here to die for our sins. I think the idea is that jesus's teachings were also skewed by his disciples etc furthermore Ialdabaoth's mother was called mary.

It has been a while since I looked into this, but I think what I am saying is accurate

Heinlein in Job explores some of these themes and the book is a good read in and of itself anyway; It mixes theology and the many-worlds theory.

fuzzbuddy said...

And now this...