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soc.religion.gnosis-Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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Archive-name: gnosis/newsgroup-faq
Last-modified: 22 Dec 1995
Version: 1.1.3

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soc.religion.gnosis-Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

This FAQ is a monthly posting in support of the newsgroup
soc.religion.gnosis. It is maintained by
(Dean Edwards). Send comments to


I.  Who are the moderators of soc.religion.gnosis?
II. Submissions address and mailing list
III.The Charter  of soc.religion.gnosis
IV. Why is this news group in the soc.religion hierarchy?
V.  Where does the word "gnosis" come from and  what does
    it mean?
VI. Submissions Details
VII. Comments on Etiquette
VIII. Comments on Flames


I. Who are the MODERATORS?  (Dean Edwards) (Iraj Mughal) (resigned) (Al Billings) (resigned) (Skip Watson) (resigned)

Technical Moderator: Asim Mughal(


Submissions/postings for soc.religion.gnosis should be sent to:

Administrative material and queries should be sent to:

Mailing List:
No, soc.religion.gnosis does not have e-mail support for those that 
do *not* have any access to the actual newsgroup at this time. 


A. The purpose of 'soc.religion.gnosis' is to provide a place for
the serious discussion and exchange of questions, ideas, experience,
views, and information about of the historical and contemporary
trends, techniques. practice and development of gnosis and
gnosticism, its related literature, and corresponding concepts
such as satvika-jnana (Sanskrit), Ma'rifat (Arabic), and certain
associated aspects of mystical ecstasy. Gnosis is the direct
experience or 'knowledge' of the fullness of the Divine Being.  It
focuses on the illumination of the spirit by the realms beyond the
physical and psychic levels. Everyone is invited to take part in
this discussion.

B. For more information see the gnosis-overview, which has been posted
to this newsgroup and to news.answers. In addition another FAQ,
soc.religion.gnosis FAQ, will be regularly posted to this newsgroup.

A. Anyone with an interest in gnosis is welcomed and encouraged to
submit articles to soc.religion.gnosis. (See additional details
below.) Moderators will only return submissions that violate
this charter. Any returned article will have an explanation
attached to it about which charter provision was violated.

B. There shall be one to five moderators for soc.religion.gnosis.
In addition, there shall also be a technical moderator whose
function shall be to manage the software script and hardware
support necessary to maintain the newsgroup.

C. The newsgroup will be subject to conventions of network etiquette.
In practice, the moderators will reject personal attacks (flames)
directed at individuals, and also similarly inflammatory attacks
directed at religious institutions, and articles which use offensive
language. These guidelines are intended to regulate only the tone of
the discussions, and not their contents. This instruction is not
intended to limit discussion and debate. Vigorous discussion and
criticism are encouraged, flames are not.

D. Submission which discusses established gnostic concepts or the
concept of the Demiurge (the creator god) shall be posted, so long
as they do not otherwise violate the conditions of the charter for

E. Repetitive postings (such as multiple responses to one request for
a book reference) may also be rejected.  Any rejected article will
be returned to the sender with an explanation.

F. Administrative communications, comments and inquiries should
be mailed to the moderator(s) rather than being posted to the
group. The administrative address shall be posted to the newsgroup
from time to time and made available in soc.religion.gnosis-Frequently
Asked Questions (FAQ).

G. From time to time a moderator may choose to give up his or her
duties as a moderator. In such an event the moderators should select
a suitable replacement. The retiring moderator may take part in
this selection if he or she has not yet given up their responsibilities
as moderator. This charter shall reflect the current list of moderators
and submissions and administrative email addresses.

A. Guidelines for submissions will be regularly posted to news.answers
in an soc.religion.gnosis FAQ.

B. Readers of soc.religion.gnosis submit articles to the moderators by
email. Articles should be sent to srg@aldhfn.  Administrative
comments and requests should be sent to
The initial moderators will be  (Dean Edwards) (Iraj Mughal) (Craig Schenk) (resigned 3-95)

The initial technical moderator (responsible for hardware and software
support was:  ciaran@aldhfn.ORG (Skip Watson)
He has been replaced by Asim Mughal (

C. A current list of moderators  and addresses will be included in a
soc.religion.gnosis Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) to be posted to
soc.religion.gnosis, selected 'answers' and other relevent newsgroups.
Future editions of this charter will include the current list of
moderators and addresses.

A. See the gnosis-overview article, which is regularly
posted to news.answers and other selected newgroups.

B. It is also recommended that the articles on network etiquette posted
to news.newusers.questions be read.

For information concerning excessive flames and personal attacks
see above comments. Also useful are:
Emily Postnews Answers Your Questions on Netiquette
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Usenet
A Primer on How to Work With the Usenet Community
Rules for posting to Usenet

(End of charter.)

IV. Why is this news group in the soc.religion hierarchy?

The topic of soc.religion.gnosis is 'gnosis.'
It is in the 'soc.religion' hierarchy. While gnosis itself is not
a religion, it is a religious experience par excellence. This was
the appropriate hierarchy for discussion of gnosis.

V. Where does the word "gnosis" come from and what does it mean?

Gnosis involves direct "knowledge" and experience of the sacred
beyond the limitations of the physical and psychic states. It does
not rely exclusively on faith, belief or study od sacred texts. Soul,
in its essence, is a divine spark and the Call to gnosis (sometimes
referred to as the Call of Soul) is the awakening to that spiritual
potential. In many systems this is facilitated by a great revealer
whose origin is in the highest heavens.

Gnosis comes from a Greek word meaning 'to know' in the sense of 'to
be acquainted'.  Gnosis in a more specific religious sense refers to
the knowledge of God and the fullness of the true spiritual realms
through direct personal experience. Similar terms are jnana (Sanskrit)
and ma'rifat (Arabic). A gnostic is someone who has had such an
experience or who has been initiated into a tradition which provides
access to such personal revelations.

A gnostic religious-philosophical movement flourished during the first
centuries of the current era. Although much of the academic interest
in gnosis has focused on the early Chrisian versions, gnosis itself
is an experience found at the heart of every religious tradition and
cannot be singled out as applying to only one such tradition. An
active debate among scholars about the origins of gnosisticism and
gnosis is a major focus of academic research and discussion.
( Dean Edwards


A. At USENET sites that provide automatic mailing in support of moderated
newsgroups, posting to soc.religion.gnosis will transparently email
the article to the moderators.  At other sites articles will need to be
mailed explicitly to the moderators.

B. The moderators attempt to handle each incoming article in a timely
manner, either posting it publicly or responding to its author
privately within four days of receipt.  If a post has resulted in
neither of these actions after four days, it should be assumed that
one's site is not configured to support submissions to moderated
groups, and the article should be resubmitted by mail to the above

C. Please provide a signature with your name and correct e-mail address
(preferably in Internet format) at the end of your article; do not
rely on the article header's From: field to identify you, as this will
not necessarily contain your correct e-mail address.
(This language is taken from the soc.religion.bahai faq.)


The following suggestions are offered for your consideration before

A. An option in requests for specific information (how do I reach
someone, where is this quotation to be found, etc.) is to ask
explicitly that all replies be mailed directly to the poster, who may
then post a summary if it is of general interest.  This would result
in only 2 messages (or perhaps just one) being seen by all
subscribers, which could be desirable in some contexts.  Likewise,
responses to such requests may, in some cases, be most appropriately
addressed just to the original poster.

B. Please use line lengths of no more than 70.  This keeps your text
within the 80 character per line limit of most terminals, in both your
initial article and in any follow-up articles, where it is customary to
prefix each line of quotation from another article with a few
additional characters to indicate the material is quoted.

Please be merciful to email mail systems by limiting articles to 50
KiloBytes in length.  Posts that exceed this limit should either be
pared down or subdivided; or one could submit an announcement of the
item instead, asking that readers respond via private mail in order to
obtain the actual item.
(Note: some email gateways have only an 8K gateway!)

C. If you quote a previously posted article, please limit the amount of
quoted text that you include.  One may generally assume that readers
have already seen an article to which one is responding.  Therefore,
you need only quote as much as required for establishing a context.

D. Please choose your Subject: heading carefully!

E. If responding to an earlier article, it is not best to respond
to each paragraph therein. Rather, if there one statement that
succinctly summarizes the earlier viewpoint, use that or a
paraphrase instead.

F. It is useful if articles are written in such a manner that it is
relatively easy to discern fact from opinion.


The newsgroup will be subject to conventions of network etiquette.
In practice, the moderators will reject personal attacks (flames)
directed at individuals, similarly inflammatory attacks
directed at religious institutions. For point of reference, this
charter will define a flame as the following: offensive insults
on ones intellect, mentality, physical appearance, race, and other
human characteristics. Flammatory attacks on institutions would
be comprised of the following: offensive and degrading slurs aimed
at the institution which includes the parameters defined under
flame above.  Offensive and degrading language aimed at a person,
people, and institution will not be acceptable.  Mild profanity will
pass the moderators if it is not offensive or inflammatory. This
will allow for open and free discussion although without extreme
flames. Moderation will be relaxed. These guidelines are intended to regulate
only the tone of the discussions, and not their contents.
This instruction is not intended to limit discussion and debate.
Vigorous discussion and criticism are encouraged, flames are not.

Note: Send comments to


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