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5874Re: Thomasine Metaphor

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  • wilbro99
    May 15, 2002
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      cari, shark-lady, second installment.

      I have read the Gospel of Truth and, although I am no scholar in these
      matters, it seems to me that the "error" being spoken to is much along
      the line of the Socratic notion of "Recollection," where the truth is
      covered by ignorance and what one finds is the "divine spark," as it
      were. If I am mixing things up, I plead ignorance. I can take what I
      mean by "error" and see how it could be described in those terms
      because it takes a revelation to reveal it. That revelation is given
      by its absence. There is repose where before was no repose and it is
      obvious that what no longer is was the factor of no-repose; i.e., the
      factor of disturbance.

      There is a movement from no-repose to repose and in that movement,
      something that was no longer is and is revealed as the cause of
      no-repose. Then, when repose comes to an end, where there is a
      recognition of no-repose, the cause may be seen and negated, returning
      one to repose. The error, as I see it, is a temporal taking of oneself
      as oneself, where one thinks self in terms of time, and in thinking of
      self in terms of time, creates that temporal identity.

      "Coming to know the Father" is the movement to repose through the
      negation of that which causes no-repose. Because that which comes to
      an end is the temporal, that which remains is the presential, and is
      full of presence. If the Father is the Eternal, that reading of the
      shift would naturally follow. The knowing that comes into being is of
      another order, and the term self-knowing easily applies. Yes, it has
      the sense of unity about it, especially coming from a self divided
      into a past, a present, and a future. As I move down through the GoT,
      it is easy for me to read what I know into it. I see it as only
      another metaphor for that movement from error. And that brings me to

      St. John and his Via Negative speaks to God as being the fullness and
      as having nothing to do with the error. If I remember correctly, in
      the Gnostic system, that error was created by a God. That creation is
      what I was referring to. In the system, even if the error is negated,
      that God still remains as the creator of it. Kierkegaard speaks
      directly about self-knowing coming before anything else. He speaks
      elsewhere about the necessity for one coming into presence with
      oneself before the presence of God can be. Again, the error is man's
      doing, and is the grasping of oneself as temporal.

      --- In gnosticism2@y..., lady_caritas <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      > Hello, Play and Will. :-)
      > Play, it's true that the Gospel of Thomas sayings are not presented
      > in a neat biographical setting such as found in the biblical
      > gospels.
      > From the introduction to the GTh in Bentley Layton's _The Gnostic
      > Scriptures_ (p. 376) ~
      > "Historical framework is irrelevant to the message of GTh, for the
      > salvation that it proclaims is not the future reign of god on earth,
      > to be ushered in by a messiah, but rather the recognition of one's
      > true nature and acquaintance with oneself, leading to immediate
      > repose and rendering `death' (i.e. the realm of human affairs)
      > trivial, `The kingdom is inside of you …. When you become acquainted
      > with yourselves … you will understand that it is you who are
      > of the living father.' Jesus' suffering, death, and resurrection are
      > not discussed in GTh; his role here is purely that of a teacher of
      > wisdom."
      > Will addresses this theme in his post #5872.
      > Reading through the passages you offered, Will, I was struck by
      > that are used quite frequently also in Gnostic scripture, such
      > as, "fullness" ("Pleroma") and "repose." You likewise
      > mention "error." ~ "I would have it that that which no longer is is
      > the error and to no longer be in error is to be in the truth."
      > If you haven't already, Will, I would recommend reading the
      > Valentinian "Gospel of Truth" which goes directly to this issue.
      > is an online version (although I personally prefer Bentley Layton's
      > translation in _The Gnostic Scriptures_):
      > http://gnosis.org/naghamm/got.html
      > Speaking of terminology, what do you mean by "God" when you say, "As
      > to defining what the error is, if that description reifies itself by
      > ascribing the error to the act of a God, thus bringing into being a
      > God, I would say that the error has reestablished itself in spades."
      > Do you see any difference between your usage of the term, "God," and
      > the understanding of "God" or "Father" used in the quotes you
      > furnished?
      > Cari
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