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Re: Tennis and the Kingdom

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  • Douglas W Kincaid
    On Sat, 31 Oct 1998 19:15:12 -0800 (PST) joe baxter. ... Hi Joe & Mike, Sounds like you re a real player (anyone who plays tennis for a few hours .... ;-) I
    Message 1 of 6 , Nov 2, 1998
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      On Sat, 31 Oct 1998 19:15:12 -0800 (PST) joe baxter.

      > I note in your bio that you play tennis. I do also. Played a few
      >hours
      >this morning, and came home and watched the Eurocard tournament on
      >ESPN

      Hi Joe & Mike,

      Sounds like you're a real player (anyone who plays tennis for a "few
      hours".... ;-)

      I used to play alot. But a coupla' years ago it became difficult to
      confidently get to net behind serve with knee braces. And when at net to
      volley, the ball doesn't remain in focus well with bifocals.
      Furthermore, occasionally coming to net behind my 2nd serve these days
      would be a gift for my opponent. You've probably heard the adage, "a
      guy's game is only as good as his 2nd serve." Oh well, its still fun to
      rally some with my college-age kids.

      To everything there is a season...... Even for us in *Tennis-see*.

      Hey, perhaps eternal life could include tennis!

      Regards,

      Doug Kincaid
      Nashville

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    • joe baxter
      ... You replied off-line. Good. I thought for some length, as to what to say. And then, the curtain fell down around us. Crosstalk blacks out. I am reminded of
      Message 2 of 6 , Nov 6, 1998
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        Mike, you wrote:
        >Recent discussions of "the kingdom" have brought to mind a small but
        >important difference between my interlinear translation of GThom #113 and
        >and those of my betters. Tom Lambdin, for example, has it (divisions mine):
        >
        >>a His disciples said to him, "When will the kingdom come?"
        >>b "It will not come by waiting for it.
        >>c It will not be a matter of saying 'Here it is' or 'There it is.'
        >>d Rather, the kingdom of the Father is spread out upon the earth,
        >> and men do not see it."
        >
        >In my translation, 113d is rendered, "...the kingdom ... is SPREADING out
        >upon the earth". . . .

        >But I also wish to draw attention to the part about "men do not see it".
        >"How can they fail to see it?" someone as simple-minded as me might ask.
        >Obviously, men can see buildings and lands, so the kingdom must not consist
        >of those. Of what, then, does it consist? . . . .

        >In GThom #3, we have the well-known passage, "The kingdom is inside you,
        >and it's outside you." But assuming that the kingdom doesn't consist of
        >_everything_ outside of you, what part of the "outside" are we talking
        >about? I would suggest that the part of the kingdom which is said to be
        >"outside you" is that which is _inside others_. In a word, GThom's view of
        >the kingdom is that it's comprised of the "hearts and minds" of (some)
        >people. Those people who have the kingdom inside them thus constitute the
        >"subjects" who belong to the kingdom. And that's why "men can't see it".

        You replied off-line. Good. I thought for some length, as to what to say.
        And then, the curtain fell down around us. Crosstalk blacks out.

        I am reminded of what it must have been like when the curtain of the dark
        ages fell completely in the sixth century. When the libraries of antiquity
        closed forever. When world communication ceased.

        Still, individual communication was possible. So it must be for us.

        So let us look again at what you have said. You expressly assume something:
        that the kingdom of God "doesn't consist of _everything_ outside of you."

        What do you offer to prove this assumption? This is what you say:
        "Obviously, men can see buildings and lands, so the kingdom must not consist
        of those." Well, if you are excluding buildings, why stop there? Why not
        exclude landscape? Why not exclude everything? What, pray tell, are we going
        to use our eyes for?

        Since the kingdom is already there, and we do not see it, isn't more
        plausible to assume that the kingdom includes everything we are seeing but
        includes something that is there which we are not seeing? So we are looking
        for something that is here, already amongst us?

        With kindest regards,

        Joe
      • Mike Grondin
        Question at issue: Why does GThom say (113d) of the kingdom of the Father that men don t see it (literally, men look not upon her )? Preliminary remarks:
        Message 3 of 6 , Nov 7, 1998
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          Question at issue: Why does GThom say (113d) of "the kingdom of the Father"
          that "men don't see it" (literally, "men look not upon her")?

          Preliminary remarks:
          (1) I suggested one interpretation that seems to fit with other things that
          GThom says about "the kingdom". But there are other plausible
          interpretations, of course. Joe's is one of them (I'll get to that in a
          minute).

          (2) We need to keep the question in focus. The question has to do with the
          thinking of those who were responsible for GThom, not with _our own_
          thinking about "the kingdom". I apologize if my wording sometimes suggests
          the latter rather than the former. But I think it's clear in the end that
          I'm after the former. I'm sometimes not sure of whether Joe is.

          I had written:
          > In GThom #3, we have the well-known passage, "The kingdom is inside you,
          > and it's outside you." But assuming that the kingdom doesn't consist of
          > _everything_ outside of you, what part of the "outside" are we talking
          > about? I would suggest that the part of the kingdom which is said to be
          > "outside you" is that which is _inside others_. In a word, GThom's view of
          > the kingdom is that it's comprised of the "hearts and minds" of (some)
          > people. Those people who have the kingdom inside them thus constitute the
          > "subjects" who belong to the kingdom. And that's why "men can't see it".
          (note: last sentence should read "don't", not "can't". Sorry.)

          Joe responds:
          > ... You expressly assume ... that the kingdom of God "doesn't consist of
          > _everything_ outside of you."
          >
          > What do you offer to prove this assumption? This is what you say:
          > "Obviously, men can see buildings and lands, so the kingdom must not consist
          > of those." Well, if you are excluding buildings, why stop there? Why not
          > exclude landscape? Why not exclude everything? What, pray tell, are we going
          > to use our eyes for?

          Comment: The difference between "can't" and "don't" comes into play here. I
          admit to being somewhat misled by thinking in terms of "can't", i.e., by
          assuming that the kingdom must have been thought to consist of something
          which is in principle unseeable. In fact, one can make a good argument for
          the traditional view that what GThom means is simply that men don't
          _notice_ the kingdom - that is, they "see" it, in one sense of the word,
          but they don't really know what they're looking at - hence they don't
          "really" see it.

          Joe continues:
          > Since the kingdom is already there, and we do not see it, isn't [it] more
          > plausible to assume that the kingdom includes everything we are seeing but
          > includes [also] something that is there which we are not seeing? So we are
          > looking for something that is here, already amongst us?

          Comment: Ignoring the fact that Joe is sliding into the "here-and-now",
          instead of staying focused on the past, ISTM that his suggestion above
          amounts to a combination of the "traditional" view (sketched out above) and
          the "hearts-and-minds" view I had proposed earlier (and which still seems
          plausible to me, BTW). What I fear here is a sort of Buddhist-type idea
          that the kingdom of "the Father" is everywhere. Joe may think so, but the
          authors of GThom didn't - else why would they say that it's "spreading out
          upon the earth"? Specifically, for example, the kingdom is not within "the
          things of Caesar". (Early) Christian thinking was predominantly that the
          earth (and man!) was basically a battleground between good and evil. This
          seems to be very much different from the predominant Buddhist view of things.

          Kind regards to all,
          Mike G.
          ------------------------------------
          Resources for the Study of NH Codex2
          http://www.geocities.com/athens/9068
        • rene joseph salm
          ... ... Well, GJohn does, when he says My kingdom is not of this world (18:36); you are not of the world (15:19b); and It is the spirit
          Message 4 of 6 , Nov 9, 1998
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            On Sat, 7 Nov 1998, Mike Grondin wrote:

            > Question at issue: Why does GThom say (113d) of "the kingdom of the Father"
            > that "men don't see it" (literally, "men look not upon her")?


            <SNIP>

            > I had written:
            > > In GThom #3, we have the well-known passage, "The kingdom is inside you,
            > > and it's outside you." But assuming that the kingdom doesn't consist of
            > > _everything_ outside of you, what part of the "outside" are we talking
            > > about? I would suggest that the part of the kingdom which is said to be
            > > "outside you" is that which is _inside others_. In a word, GThom's view of
            > > the kingdom is that it's comprised of the "hearts and minds" of (some)
            > > people. Those people who have the kingdom inside them thus constitute the
            > > "subjects" who belong to the kingdom. And that's why "men can't see it".
            > (note: last sentence should read "don't", not "can't". Sorry.)
            >
            > Joe responds:
            > > ... You expressly assume ... that the kingdom of God "doesn't consist of
            > > _everything_ outside of you."
            > >
            > > What do you offer to prove this assumption? This is what you say:
            > > "Obviously, men can see buildings and lands, so the kingdom must not consist
            > > of those." Well, if you are excluding buildings, why stop there? Why not
            > > exclude landscape?

            <Rene:> Well, GJohn does, when he says "My kingdom is not of this world"
            (18:36); "you are not of the world" (15:19b); and "It is the spirit that
            gives life, the flesh is of no avail" (6:63), etc. So does GTh 113, per
            Valantasis, 'The Gospel of Thomas, p.193): "Jesus repudiates [the
            disciples'] temporal understanding, and indicates that the Kingdom will
            not appear before people as something to which they could direct their
            eyes or point their fingers."

            <Joe:> Why not exclude everything? What, pray tell, are we going
            > > to use our eyes for?

            Rene: Did Jesus not suggest we use our eyes the way the Good Samaritan
            did, to help our needy brothers and sisters?

            Mike:
            > Comment: The difference between "can't" and "don't" comes into play here. I
            > admit to being somewhat misled by thinking in terms of "can't", i.e., by
            > assuming that the kingdom must have been thought to consist of something
            > which is in principle unseeable. In fact, one can make a good argument for
            > the traditional view that what GThom means is simply that men don't
            > _notice_ the kingdom - that is, they "see" it, in one sense of the word,
            > but they don't really know what they're looking at - hence they don't
            > "really" see it.
            >
            > Joe continues:
            > > Since the kingdom is already there, and we do not see it, isn't [it] more
            > > plausible to assume that the kingdom includes everything we are seeing but
            > > includes [also] something that is there which we are not seeing? So we are
            > > looking for something that is here, already amongst us?
            >
            Rene:
            In the canonical gospels and various GTh logia the "Kingdom" is not only
            *within* a person, but also does not include all/everything/(infact,
            anything) outside a person: "The kingdom of God is not coming with things
            that can be observed; nor will they say, 'Look, here it is!' or 'There it
            is!' For, in fact, the kingdom of God is within you" (Lk.17:20b-21,
            Layton's // to GTh 113).

            Mike:
            > Comment: Ignoring the fact that Joe is sliding into the "here-and-now",
            > instead of staying focused on the past, ISTM that his suggestion above
            > amounts to a combination of the "traditional" view (sketched out above) and
            > the "hearts-and-minds" view I had proposed earlier (and which still seems
            > plausible to me, BTW). What I fear here is a sort of Buddhist-type idea
            > that the kingdom of "the Father" is everywhere.

            Mike, I don't know this notion in Buddhism, that Nirvana ("K. of H.")
            is everywhere, at least not in early Buddhism. The contrary is the case,
            and is quite similar to Christ's teachings on 'the inner kingdom' and
            'life unseen' (I'll include several quotes, as most crosstalkers are not
            as familiar with Buddhism as with Christianity):

            * "Truly, I say to you my friend, that within this very body, mortal as
            it is and only a fathom tall, yet conscious and endowed with mind, is the
            world, the waxing thereof, the waning thereof, and the way that leads to
            the passing away thereof." (Samyutta Nikaya II/3:6)

            * "He whose path is not known by men, nor by spirits or gods, who is pure
            from all imperfections, who is a saint, an Arahant-- him I call a
            Brahmin." (Dhammapada 420/Mascaro)

            * "Who can trace the path of those who know the right food of life and,
            rejecting overabundance, soar in the sky of liberation, the infinite void
            without beginning? Their course is as hard to follow as that of the birds
            of the air." (Dhp.92)

            * "Just as the fate of a blazing spark of fire struck from the anvil,
            gradually fading cannot be known-- so in the case of those who have
            rightly won release and crossed the flood of lusts that bind, and reached
            the bliss unshaken, the destiny the've won cannot be pointed to." (Udana
            13:10)

            Rene
          • joe baxter
            ... Yeshu. If not exactly, then at least the general language gives the intended sense. ... reference to a universal human experience. ... since the matter
            Message 5 of 6 , Nov 9, 1998
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              >Date: Sun, 08 Nov 1998 01:30:02
              >To: Mike Grondin <mgrondin@...>
              >From: joe baxter <joseph@...>
              >Subject: Re: Tennis and the Kingdom
              >
              >At 11:31 AM 11/7/98 -0500, you wrote:
              >>Question at issue: Why does GThom say (113d) of "the kingdom of the Father"
              >>that "men don't see it" (literally, "men look not upon her")?
              >>
              >>Preliminary remarks:
              >>(1) I suggested one interpretation that seems to fit with other things that
              >>GThom says about "the kingdom". But there are other plausible
              >>interpretations, of course. Joe's is one of them (I'll get to that in a
              >>minute).
              >>
              >>(2) We need to keep the question in focus. The question has to do with the
              >>thinking of those who were responsible for GThom, not with _our own_
              >>thinking about "the kingdom". I apologize if my wording sometimes suggests
              >>the latter rather than the former. But I think it's clear in the end that
              >>I'm after the former. I'm sometimes not sure of whether Joe is.
              >
              >
              >Please understand, Mike, I am working with several assumptions.
              >
              > First, I am working with the assumption that the words are of those of
              Yeshu. If not exactly, then at least the general language gives the intended
              sense.
              >
              >Second, since it is referred to as something that is there, I take it as a
              reference to a universal human experience.
              >
              >Thus, while it is correct that we are not concerned about our own thinking,
              since the matter concerns the human condition, we may be able to develop
              proof based upon our cognitive relationship to the world.
              >
              >
              >Mike, you say:
              >
              >What I fear here is a sort of Buddhist-type idea
              >>that the kingdom of "the Father" is everywhere. Joe may think so, but the
              >>authors of GThom didn't - else why would they say that it's "spreading out
              >>upon the earth"? Specifically, for example, the kingdom is not within "the
              >>things of Caesar". (Early) Christian thinking was predominantly that the
              >>earth (and man!) was basically a battleground between good and evil. This
              >>seems to be very much different from the predominant Buddhist view of things.
              >>
              >
              >Well, well. You told me to eschew Buddhist dialog here, and you, Mike, old
              buddy, can't help yourself. You had to bring up Buddhism, didn't you? What
              am I going to do with you?
              >
              >
              >As for your remark "What I fear here is a sort of Buddhist-type idea
              >>that the kingdom of "the Father" is everywhere", that is not a Buddhist
              idea. In Buddhism, there is no Father, no kingdom, and no concept of a
              heaven that is everywhere. Possibly you have something Hindu in mind.
              >
              >According to one Hindu devotional view, God is in everything. Perhaps that
              is what you have in mind. Now you say that may be my viewpoint, but you give
              me too much credit. Not having that vision, I focus upon the human condition.
              >
              >This is what you come to say on the question you present: " the authors of
              GThom didn't (believe that the kingdom is everywhere) - else why would they
              say that it's "spreading out upon the earth"? Perhaps I agree with you.
              Spreading implies that it is not everywhere.
              >
              > Mike:"Specifically, for example, the kingdom is not within "the
              >>things of Caesar". (Early) Christian thinking was predominantly that the
              >>earth (and man!) was basically a battleground between good and evil."
              >
              >I don't think you want to paint yourself into a corner here. As I see it,
              the place to be is the place from whence the spreading arises.
              >
              >With kindest regards,
              >
              >Joe
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