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13476Re: Sowing the spiritual seed

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  • pmcvflag
    May 6 4:53 PM
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      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 the
      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... as
      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 sources
      they may have been inserting between the lines.

      Having said that, the first part of Sirach (after the prologue) is a
      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 I
      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 to
      the "psychic" part of the being. In most of the cases I can think of
      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

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