Review - The Origin of Satan by Elain Pagels

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Postby redd fezz » Thu May 11, 2006 6:10 pm

xpost to Jim:

I find the 10 Elohim creation statements interesting, obviously in relation to the sephiroth (er, right?), but I don't understand how the double and single letters correspond to the statements you have attributed to them.

An additional thought: a skeptic would likely say that the Qabalah was based around these scriptures after the fact, so "of course it fits!" but, I have a feeling what you are saying is that when you really examine it, you can see it would be basically impossible to make all such correspondences fit so perfectly in a "retrofit" fashion, right? Even with my limited knowledge of Qabalah, I have been blown away by how "coincidental" it is, so I presume this is what you're saying.
"I have never grown out of the infantile belief that the universe was made for me to suck." – Aleister Crowley
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Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu May 11, 2006 7:24 pm

Chris Hanlon wrote:No more Black Pearl?

I put Black Pearl on indefinite hiatus after Vol. II, No. 1 when lack of necessary time available to produce it would have compromised the quality severely. I wasn't willing to do it slipshod, so I stopped doing it.

Anything worth doing is worth doing well - or shutting down if you can't! :)
Love is the law, love under will.
Yours in L.V.X.,
Jim Eshelman
www.jeshelman.com
"Success is thy proof: argue not; convert not; talk not overmuch!" - CCXX 3:42
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Postby redd fezz » Sat May 13, 2006 6:51 am

Just a quick note to say I finished the second half of this book last night. Based on what everyone has said on this thread and the way Pagels finishes up the book, including her conclusion, Jim was 100% right (no surprise) that this book will help unravel any confusion about Satan one might have.

I previously confused the "concluding statements" I read in Pagels' other book "Adam, Eve & The Serpent" with the concluding remarks of this book, "The Origin of Satan," since I read them both over pretty well in the store before I purchased this book. I was incorrect, therefore, in my previous statement that Pagels claims to be inconclusive-- on the contrary, her conclusion is definite and brilliant. This entire book was so well put together, leading the reader from idea to idea along the evolutionary timeline of Satan and religion, anyone with Christian worries or Satanic fears can not help but be completely changed after having read it.

Perhaps, rather than being worried about where the idea of "savior Satan" comes from, I should have been more concerned about where the idea of "bad dude Satan" comes from. The first half of Pagels' book created a strong desire in me to read the books of the canonical Bible she discusses in order that I might see the shifting sands, contradiction and manipulation first hand. But, that desire was quickly replaced by an even greater desire: to whip out my Nag Hammadi library and read up on the "heretical" gnostic Christian scriptures she discusses in the second half of her book. The final chapter seems to point to a very Thelemic attitude and the ideas of Christ and Satan are not so opposed as I thought, afterall.

Also convenient and interesting: this morning, as I continued to read "The Law Is For All," I notice things discussed that I only now understand thanks to having been recently educated by Pagels' "The Origin of Satan." For instance, when Crowley mentioned Origen, I actually knew what he was referring to. And this understanding greatly clarified the entire passage.
"I have never grown out of the infantile belief that the universe was made for me to suck." – Aleister Crowley
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Postby Jim Eshelman » Sat May 13, 2006 8:30 am

Trés cool! 8)
Love is the law, love under will.
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Jim Eshelman
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