5887Re: Thomasine Metaphor or universal microcosm?
- May 17, 2002"Who God is and who our creator is. Many religions throughout the
world see these as 2 different beings." (Play)
Hmmm, two different beings? Play, I'd be careful how these quotes
are interpreted. For instance, the book of John can be seen through
Gnostic as well as Christian (orthodox) exegesis. As far as a
Christian interpretation, "God" might have different aspects, but
according to Christians, there is but one God, who is also the
creator of our world. The idea of a mythological creator deity, such
as a Gnostic demiurge, separate from the "one God" is a heretical
concept according to Christian orthodoxy.
" `Jesus said, `Whoever has become acquainted with the world has
found a corpse.'" (GTh, #56) I don't think the world Jesus was
referring to had anything to do with the natural world." (Play)
But we humans do not live in a vacuum. Our humanness has context
within a physical world and within physical bodies. Yes, it's true
that one can read different levels of meaning into the metaphors, but
spiritually transcending our physical existence is certainly one
prevailing Gnostic theme. This does not mean that we should hate our
bodies. Our experiential paths do involve earthly experiences after
"Do not fear the flesh or love it. If you fear it, it will dominate
you; if you love it, it will swallow you up and strangle you."
(Gospel of Philip)
The Gnostic ascension is an inner, spiritual one.
_Treatise on Resurrection_ discusses the nature of resurrection. ~
"It is what stands at rest:
And the revealing of what truly exists.
And it is what one receives in exchange for the circumstances of this
And a migration into newness.
For incorruptibility [is streaming] down upon darkness, swallowing it.
And fullness is filling up its lack
- these are the symbols and the likenesses of resurrection:
This is what brings about goodness."
This brings me to your mention of the Essenes, Play. The Essenes
were a sect that followed rigorous asceticism and had faith in the
God of Israel. They maintained strong apocalyptic views (which would
be at variance with a Gnostic worldview). Whether or not an
historical Jesus had any dealings with the Essenes is a matter of
In fact, whether or not an historical Jesus even existed is generally
not so important to many Gnostics as is the salvific meaning of the
"However if that perspective can be transcended, if we can somehow
raise that veil, split the fog or no longer use the filter that sees
error in things, I think we would see the perfection in it all. I
imagine that the Ineffable Infinite sees it that way." (Play)
Actually, Play, I imagine the Ineffable Infinite is perfection, and
that once the veil is rent, we humans transcend the error, the lack,
of the material world of imperfection. The veil or fog was what
blinded us to what truly exists. Our shift of sense of self while
still in our physical state, not waiting for violent "end times,"
then allows spiritual "fullness" to fill up the "lack," of our world.
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