Jan 25, 2010

John Lash on the Gnostic Mysteries

Some really good interviews with Gnostic scholar John Lamb Lash recently popped up on YouTube. Both allow him to explain pretty thoroughly his unique take on the Nag Hammadi Codices. I've posted a few things on Lash and his Metahistory site, previously, although I should caveat that whatever links I've posted are probably dead. The site seems to be constantly undergoing reorganization, and becomes more confusing with every innovation.

Lash's take on the Gnostics is unusual in its rejection of the idea that what is written in the Nag Hammadi texts is associated with Christianity. His book Not in His Image explores a Gnosticism that is entirely pagan, and a Judeo-Christian movement that is adversarial to these ancient teachings and cultures.

In these interviews he explains the Sophianic creation mythology presented in Gnostic texts and how it relates to everything from Lovelock and Margulis's Gaia hypothesis to the origin and nature of the Archons. (As I've previously stated, Archons are most easily analogized to the Smiths in The Matrix.) Some of the material is challenging and Lash can be prickly when confronted with ideas he ascribes to the salvationist world view he vehemently rejects. But, these interviews, like all of his work provide ample food for thought.

Addenda and Supplemental Reading:

I stumbled on a thought provoking review and feminist critique of Not in His Image by Medusa, which includes Lash's rebuttal.

In looking over the most recent changes on the Metahistory site, I noticed a series of articles on Carlos Castaneda. I have been somewhat baffled by Lash's reliance on some of Castaneda's books, which seems to ascribe to Castaneda a credibility I don't think is merited. His study here, though, is one of the most compelling analyses of the fictional nature of Castaneda's work and persona I've read.

Still more interviews with Lash can be found in the playlists on my YouTube channel.

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