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7827Re: [Gnosticism2] re: "Pure Gnosticism"

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  • James Lambert
    May 23, 2003
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      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Gerry" <gerryhsp@y...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > James, you have misunderstood my point. I'm not really interested in
      "putting forward" any other system of contrived divisions regarding possible
      "chapters" in the book, or in the ordering of the logia themselves. As none
      of us wrote the gospel, none of us can vouch to what degree the ordering of
      the sayings has changed from the time of the original composition. All I
      was pointing out was that there is enough evidence to consider that SOME
      degree of rearrangement took place along the way. Stevan Davies even
      recognizes this in the same article to which you recently posted a link:
      >
      > "None of the four chapters has all of these elements in perfect sequence,
      and this may indicate that each has undergone alterations in sayings-order
      independent of alterations made in the others."
      >
      > Of course, it may also indicate that the criteria used for any original
      grouping of the logia remains unknown to us. While speculation as to how it
      MIGHT have been done could prove interesting, such ideas are by no means
      concrete. Regardless, my reservations about looking for such an order
      within the Gospel of Thomas were hardly "baseless."

      James writes:
      It is immaterial how many edits the one complete text we have has gone
      through. All that is required is that the editors understood the manner in
      which the text was constructed and held to those designs. Order exists
      within the text. Deny it if you will, but I have already demonstrated the
      manner in which reverse order is reflected with the terms within certain of
      the sayings. Reverse order has been worked into the text on at least one
      level.

      > >>Earth is the lowest of the three. Matter is base. It is of lesser
      complexity than either Spirit and Soul. However it is inarguable that Body,
      Spirit, and Soul were consistently grouped together as three aspects
      possessed by man. Where only one or two are mentioned the missing terms
      become conspicuous simply due to their absence.<<
      >
      > While I would agree that Matter, Soul and Spirit were seen as the three
      parts of Man's nature, I would strongly disagree that Matter was held by
      Gnostics in the high regard which you like to claim.

      James writes:
      Matter is base, it is clay, it is shit and decayed bodies and rife with
      worms.

      > >>Whoa! Two huge assumptions are being made here. The first is the
      assumption that an analogy can be made between colors and the terms body,
      spirit, and soul. The second assumption is really immaterial as it depends
      entirely on the acceptance of the first . . . What I have a hard time
      understanding is why, when we have three perfectly concise terms, we should
      choose to switch them for colors? <<

      > Whoa there, yourself, Cowboy. LOL The only reason I even made the
      analogy was because you continue to demonstrate a confusion of the Greek
      terminology. For instance, you write this:
      >
      >>The mind thinks in words, words are formed from breath, breath is
      Spirit.<<
      >
      > So . . . how much of one's breath is Pneuma, and how much is Carbon
      Dioxide?

      James writes:
      One's breath is Pneuma. The quantity of Carbon Dioxide depends on whether
      you are talking about inspiration, or expiration.

      > >>Joy to the flesh that depends on the spirit; joy to the spirit that
      depends on the body.
      >
      > Which is to say that the body that depends on the mind is in luck. And so
      is the mind which focuses upon the material.<<
      >
      > And that's another problem area. Mind is sometimes equated with the
      psychic middle ground-other times it seems connected with the Spirit.
      Either way, I'd be curious to see which other Gnostic sources proclaimed it
      a "joy" for a person to focus on the "Material."

      James writes:
      It is not joy for a person to focus on the material. We are discussing the
      mind. A mind that focuses on the material comes to understand how the world
      works. With this knowledge the mind enables the soul to be less hampered by
      the restrictions of the material world.

      > Seriously, James, such speculation is not within the realm of this group's
      focus. If I'm not mistaken, this has already been pointed out recently.

      James writes:
      Has it? Oh yes, when I dared to suggest that the tetractys originated with
      Pythagoras himself. I'm not the one who brought up Pythagoras. And besides
      now I am not discussing Pythagoras, but Thomas. Anyway, the text itself
      backs up everything I have put forth. It is the text which has terms within
      the sayings in reverse, it is within the text itself. It is the text which
      tells us that there are hidden meaning contained within the text and that we
      should apply ourselves to the task. So let us suppose that the text was
      designed to be read in reverse order. Are we to refuse to do so simply
      because we are uncertain that the text which we have has not undergone some
      alteration? We say, yes the text does give some indication to containing a
      reverse ordering but to examine it any further is a waste of time. How can
      we possibly suggest such a thing without first examining the matter for
      ourselves? Is that how discoveries are made, is that how knowledge is pushed
      forward?

      But anyway, let's move on.



      James Lambert
      http://web.telecom.cz/Gnostradamus/
      http://gnostradamus.blogspot.com/
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