Happiness Academy Online

A Blog about Psychology (Jungian), Spirituality and Happiness, By Roberto Lima Netto.

3. Gnosticism – A Brief, very brief, History of Christianity

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GnosticismA Brief, Very Brief, History of Christianity – The Christians, the Gnostics and the Jungians

This is the third article on a series dealing with the history of Christianity. It is a brief history covering the initial centuries and considering its impact in the XXI century. The subject, although very summarized, is vast, and will be divided into a few articles as follows:

    1. The birth of Christianity out of its origin in Judaism
    2. Christianity without Jesus – The initial years
    3. Crushing Gnosticism
    4. Why is Christianity dying? Who is Killing Christianity?
    5. The New Christians, the Gnostics and the Jungians

Crushing Gnosticism

The fighting among the followers of Christ started immediately after His death. The followers of Jesus, headed by Stephen, Jesus brother, created the Jerusalem Church, a branch of Judaism. Paul had other ideas. As a result, the disagreement among Paul and the original followers of Jesus started.

Paul, who didn’t know Christ alive, was opposed by many of the so called in-group. Paul was not an apostle, but was accepted because he was a source of financing for the Jerusalem Church. Many consider Paul the creator of Christianity, certainly he devised its mythology. Without Paul’s evangelical work, Christianity might have stayed as a branch of Judaism, accepted only by some Jews. Saint Paul took Christianity to the gentiles and transformed Christianity into a Pauline catholic religion. Catholic means universal.

Marcion, one preeminent Gnostic, considered Saint Paul the main prophet. The Marcionites rejected the Old Testament and accepted only Paul’s letters and the Gospel of Luke in their cannon. Luke was not an apostle, but a kind of secretary to Paul. The fact that Paul talked to Christ in a vision on the road of Damascus, but didn’t know Jesus alive, may explain his rejection by the apostles..

I’m not convinced that the majority of the Gnostics would fight to create a religion. Some considered religion an internal affair among each individual and God. Moreover, many knew that their ideas could not be understood by the masses, the majority composed of persons with a low level of intellectuality. The Gnostic religion was, in a certain sense, elitist.

Gnosticism did lose momentum, especially after the burning of their books ordered by Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, but it did not die. We can mention as survivors the Cathars, in Languedoc, south of France, crushed by the Church in the XIII century, the Alchemists, who mislead many hinting they were looking for gold, but whose aim was a golden soul, the Theosophy of Madame Blavatsky and many other movements with the basic tenet of the Gnostics – talking directly to God.

I am Roberto Lima Netto, author of The Jungian Bible, which presents Jung’s concepts to the layman exemplifying them with stories from the Bible. I also wrote The Little Prince for Grownups, The Amazon Shaman, In Search of Happiness  and others, offered in Amazon. You find me at: www.HappinessAcademyOnline.org


Esmagando o gnosticismo

Uma Breve História do Cristianismo

Este é o terceiro artigo de uma série trata da história do cristianismo. É uma breve história que abrange os séculos iniciais e considerando o seu impacto no século XXI. O assunto, embora muito resumido, é vasto, e será dividido em alguns artigos, como segue:

1. O nascimento do cristianismo fora de sua origem no judaísmo

2. Cristianismo sem Jesus – Os primeiros anos

3. Os ortodoxos esmagam o gnosticismo

4. Por que o cristianismo está morrendo? Quem está matando o cristianismo?

5. Jung e o Cristianismo

Os ortodoxos esmagamento o gnosticismo

A luta entre os seguidores de Cristo começou imediatamente após sua morte. Os seguidores de Jesus, dirigidos por Stephen, irmão de Jesus, criaram a Igreja de Jerusalém como um ramo do judaísmo. Paulo tinha outras idéias. Como resultado, a discordância entre Paulo e os seguidores originais de Jesus começou.

Paulo, que não conheceu Cristo vivo, foi contestado por muitos dos apóstolos Paulo não era um apóstolo, mas foi aceito porque era uma fonte de financiamento para a Igreja de Jerusalém.

Muitos consideram Paulo o criador do cristianismo. Certamente ele criou sua mitologia. Sem o trabalho evangélico de Paulo, o cristianismo poderia ter se tornado um ramo fraco do judaísmo, aceito apenas por alguns judeus. São Paulo levou o cristianismo para os gentios e transformou o cristianismo numa religião católica paulina. Católico quer dizer universal.

Marcion, um gnóstico proeminente, considerava São Paulo como o profeta principal. Os marcionitas rejeitavam o Antigo Testamento e aceitavam apenas as cartas de Paulo e o Evangelho de Lucas em seu Canon. Lucas não era um apóstolo, mas secretário Paulo. O fato de que Paulo falou com Cristo em uma visão na estrada de Damasco, mas não o conheceu vivo, pode explicar sua rejeição pelos apóstolos.

Não estou convencido de que a maioria dos gnósticos iria lutar para criar uma religião. Alguns consideravam a religião um assunto interno entre cada indivíduo e Deus. Além disso, muitos sabiam que suas idéias não poderiam ser entendido pelas massas, pessoas com um baixo nível de intelectualidade. A religião gnóstica era, em certo sentido, elitista.

O Gnosticismo perdeu impulso, especialmente após a queima de seus livros ordenada por Atanásio, bispo de Alexandria, mas não morreu, não foi totalmente esmagado. Podemos citar como sobreviventes os cátaros, em Languedoc, no sul da França, no século XIII, os Alquimistas, que enganaram a muitos insinuando que estavam procurando ouro, mas cujo objetivo era uma alma de ouro, os Rosacruzes, a Teosofia de Madame Blavatsky e muitos outros movimentos com o princípio básico dos gnósticos – falar diretamente com Deus.

I was involved in the business world, as an executive of large companies and university professor since recently. I was the president CSN, the largest steel-mill of Latin America and was responsible for its turn-around. My first encounter with the teachings of the Swiss psychologist C. G. Jung, one of the greatest geniuses of the 20th Century, was during my midlife crisis. Reading "Man and his Symbols" at that time, inspired me to go into Jungian analysis and to begin devouring the writings of Jung and his disciples. Since then, I've been studying psychology, especially Jungian psychology and, after reaching my seventies, I decided to become a full time writer, specializing on books on Jungian psychology and psychological thrillers. Every masterpiece of literature can be absorbed through multiple interpretations, and yield powerful insights for our daily lives. My first Jungian book, “The Little Prince for Grown-ups“, in its fourth edition in Brazil, was based on the famous book of Saint-Exupéry. The second, - “The Jungian Bible” - interprets some stories of the Old Testament and world myths. As I get older and, with a bit of luck, wiser, I want to pass on to the younger generations the lessons life has taught me. Jesus Christ taught that it was easier to sell ideas with stories. Following the Master, I published in English "The Amazon Shaman" and "In Search of Happiness", two psychological thrillers around the theme of happiness.


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