October 14, 2002
3:04 PM   Subscribe

Philosophy or religion? Some people like it, some hate it, some have even annotated it. But however you choose to define it, The Book of Heresies is an interesting approach to the idea of disorganized religion in the modern world.
posted by nick.a (19 comments total)

It's already farked!
posted by dash_slot- at 3:28 PM on October 14, 2002

Actually, it's only the 4th link which is Farked: the first one is fine.
posted by dash_slot- at 3:36 PM on October 14, 2002

Anyone know the origin of the quote in the second paragraph of the first link?
posted by rushmc at 3:49 PM on October 14, 2002

Anyone know the origin of the quote in the second paragraph of the first link?

Like asking the name of the mouse shadow in the second moon....
posted by Elim at 3:53 PM on October 14, 2002

Jonathan Livingston Seagull for the 21st century. Nothing new or exciting here.
posted by filifera at 4:01 PM on October 14, 2002

well, from what i read of the first two sections it's either

1)very interesting and i agree w/ allot of stuff (first part)
2)way too ambiguous, so much so that it's pretty much impossible NOT to agree (the first part)...often i find zen or tao the same way.
3)a reinterpretation of the whole jesus dying for you (second part)

As for the third i'll have to wait to see if geocities can become more willing to spread the word (did anyone see this on another site, it's definitely not farked due to fark)

thanks for the interesting post.
posted by NGnerd at 5:04 PM on October 14, 2002

The first link (http://www.therecordings.net) has the whole thing too, albeit in a different format, as does the third link, in yet another format (http://heresies.faithweb.com).
posted by nick.a at 5:07 PM on October 14, 2002

the name of the mouse shadow in the second moon
Muad'Dib? Elim, are you referring to Dune or what??
posted by ac at 5:08 PM on October 14, 2002

The Book of Heresies makes no sense to me.
posted by moonbiter at 5:19 PM on October 14, 2002

So, a vaguely gnostic book of truisms mixed with the occasional zen koan. Interesting, but hardly life-changing.
posted by dhartung at 5:37 PM on October 14, 2002

I liked the Christians Against Heresy link. I think it was more enlightening than the book of heresies, albeit probably not enlightening in the way it was intended to be.
posted by Fabulon7 at 7:15 PM on October 14, 2002

At least some of this stuff is actual Agnostic texts - "Thunder, Perfect Mind" is right from the Nag Hammadi texts. I'd like this book a lot more if it acknowledged this kind of thing upfront, but maybe I missed that.

It is funny how conservative christians are more upset by 'heretical' christians than actual disbelievers. I guess it's a classic pattern - most extremist groups start as reactions againt their own religion, not others.
posted by freebird at 7:36 PM on October 14, 2002

Muad'Dib? Elim, are you referring to Dune or what??
AC You looking at the same second moon as I am? I'm talking about ..
Mare Stuart
posted by Elim at 10:41 PM on October 14, 2002


Perhaps it was just a typo, freebird? There are significant differences between gnosticism , which broadly refers to a personal 'knowing' of the nature of God, and agnosticism, which refers to not knowing, indicates neutrality on the question of God's existence, and in modern terms often suggests areligiosity. The 'a' prefix is Greek for 'without'.

Nag Hammadi is gnostic, not agnostic.
posted by dhartung at 10:50 PM on October 14, 2002

Wild speculation: Could the anonymous author of "The Book of Heresies" be poet Molly Peacock? The only reason this occurred to me was because I was distracted by the word "unfleshed", which seems a sort of poetic non-word, and googled it. Among the results I found the term used in Peacock's poem "Couple Sharing a Peach" (as well as a variation closer to the "Heresies" usage in the death-themed poem "The Lull", which ends with Look hard, life's soft. Life's cache is flesh, flesh, and flesh"). Then I saw that she is the originating(?) advocate of the "poetry circle", about which she suggests "Start small... Three or four people is fine, at first., reminding me of this: Where there is one, there are two. Where there are two, there are three. As others come to me, bring others to you. Make of yourselves a Circle and keep it..." from the Apocrypha section.

Also, of course, the name "Molly" is a variation of "Mary", and some sections of the "Heresies", such as ...the raging of the light against the darkness that engulfs us all (from the Immortality section of "The Principles"), reveal some poetic referencing, as well as a sort of playfulness in "turning" a phrase that I noticed in the few works by Peacock that I was able to find online. Finally, from of her autobiographical work "Paradise, Piece by Piece" one reviewer says, "What we might not expect in a memoir is the carryover of poetic conventions of factuality or lack thereof. Peacock tells us up front that this is 'a hybrid memoir, both true and truer' with some events and characters invented or changed" (second review), which brings to mind the assertion that "a story need not to have happened to be true" from The Heresies.

/completely wild, utterly baseless, idle speculation
posted by taz at 3:27 AM on October 15, 2002

My favorite line from the Christians Against Heretics page...

"Intolerance of Hitler was most definitely not a bad thing, so why has it come to be that intolerance of immorality is a bad thing?"

posted by kaibutsu at 6:36 AM on October 15, 2002

hey freebird- Thanks for the Nag Hammaddi link! This site is awesome!
posted by kaibutsu at 7:01 AM on October 15, 2002

*cough cough*

Bit late now, but it was when I posted last night too...yes indeedy, I am aware of the difference between "Agnostic" and "Gnostic", I just can't type as though I am.

Thanks for the benefit of the doubt, dhartung. Glad you liked the link kaibatsu, at least that made it through...
posted by freebird at 12:00 PM on October 15, 2002

Thanks for posting this. I'm going to have to read it a few times before I know what to think of it, but I like it.
posted by pyramid termite at 5:02 PM on October 15, 2002

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