Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Gnostic Families

Gnosticism triumphs over common sense in modern households, but hopefully the tide is turning. As one article says:

Two prevalent threads in Gnostic systems are (1) that matter is evil, and so the biological facts of male and female are inconsequential, and (2) that secret knowledge is required for salvation.

If I am right in thinking that the verb "parent" signifies a belief that the technology of child-rearing is paramount and the biological facts are almost inconsequential, then this is consonant with the Gnostic attitude toward matter. Technology, considered as secret wisdom forming the pathway to "salvation" (happiness), is also contained here. The idea that one can become happy (successful, effective, etc.) in the child-rearing process by gaining knowledge through classes, books, and magazine articles fits right in. Like the elusive techniques for successful weight loss, the techniques for successful "parenting" are constantly changing, always in dispute, and ultimately chimerical. Nonetheless, the belief in the secret knowledge, that it is out there somewhere, remains pervasive.

Using "parent" as a verb reflects a Gnostic confusion and another component of the ideologically motivated attempt to engineer society by means of an Orwellian distortion of language. The neologism kidnaps the title of dignity that belongs to a real person, a real mother and real father, and transfers it to an abstraction, a function, to the set of techniques used by anyone who happens to perform the external procedures of child-rearing.


Wendy WaterBirde said...

Wow, this article hits occultism/detachment on the head...the lack of realness and kindness, the denial of the sacredness and God-givenness of of "matter" (biology, circumstance, etc), the turning instead to either an inner or outer technology in its place.

Thank you so much for posting this!



Sophia Sadek said...

Thanks for the posting.

I disagree with Cliff's beef over the use of "parent" as a verb. There are many cases of dual use words in the English language that function as both verb and noun. In fact, "post" is one of them.

As for learning child-rearing skills, I've seen some bad techniques in operation and in their results. It's not such a bad idea for parents to want to do well as such.

elena maria vidal said...

Thanks, Wendy, I agree.

Yes, Sophia, I know exactly what you mean, and I confess to having at times resorted to books on parenting for guidance in certain situations.

alaughland said...

That is 'heavy' ! Too profound for me....the ways meaning is structured in language and the changes in meaning and form over time. Gnosticism is a perfect example of what happens when people spend too much time intellectualizing mystical knowledge which belongs to God alone.

As for raising children we need all the help we can get, and if someone has spent time learning about children's thoughts and attitudes and want to pass any knowledge on to me, I welcome it. One thing is true, we cannot do it alone. Once upon a time we had a village......