Your hip shots match what I was afraid to hear: that their exegesis
is isogesis. Of course, there is nothing at all wrong with this, but
I was hoping for a textual referent (I have a touch of the purist in
me!). I will let it remain an open question and perhaps one day I
will stumble upon the "link." I have been doing some work on the
understanding of spirit, spirituality and spiritual care in
healthcare literature, so I am keen on gaining a deeper understanding
of spirit, especially as it relates to the soul (psyche).
Thanks for your hip shots!
--- In email@example.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@...> wrote:
> Hey Mark
> You have a talent for asking the hard questions!
> >>>Up until Sophia's use of the Demiurge to sow secretly the
> seed, there were textual correspondences:
> "dust" = carnal or irrational soul (2:7a)
> "breath of life" = rational soul (2:7b)
> Question 1) What is the textual correspondence to which the
> Valentinians attach their interpretation of this secret sowing of
> spirit? What is in the Hebrew text to suggest this?<<<
> I didn't get a chance to look into the situation further the way I
> usually try to before answering, so I am shooting from the hip...
> it were. If I missed or forgot something then I am sure others here
> will chime in and correct me.
> My first inclination is that while there could be some Jewish
> textual suggestion that some Valentinians had in mind, there need
> not be. Since the Gnostic schools (including the Valentinians) were
> syncratic, we have to also consider what Greek philosophical
> they may have been inserting between the lines.
> Having said that, the first part of Sirach (after the prologue) is
> strong possibility as a bridge between the Greek ideas and the
> Genesis creation story. Just to throw something not obviously
> related to your question into the mix, in the Valentinian category
> see some debate as to whether the imperfection comes from the Logos
> or the Sophia.
> Anyway, back to the point... I would tend to look to latter Jewish
> and Greek sources for possible connections, not Genesis.
> >>>Question 2) Are there two souls--the carnal and the rational, or
> does this account for the soul's free will to choose good and evil?
> Again... shooting from the hip. I don't recall any Gnostic texts
> that talk about a carnal "soul". In fact, the term that is usually
> translated as "soul", nous, means mind and is generally connected
> the "psychic" part of the being. In most of the cases I can think
> this rational "soul" is explicitly distinct from the material part
> of the tripartite individual. In other words, Brons seems to be
> taking the usual body, soul, spirit division and restating it
> slightly as carnal soul, rational soul, and spirit. In doing so I
> believe he may be confusing the issue rather than making it more