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7832Re: [Gnosticism2] Re: "Pure Gnosticism"

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  • James Lambert
    May 23, 2003
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Gerry" <gerryhsp@...>
      To: <gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Friday, May 23, 2003 2:01 PM
      Subject: [Gnosticism2] Re: "Pure Gnosticism"

      > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "James Lambert" <jehlickova@m...>
      > wrote:
      > >
      > > 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.
      > James . . . if we ASSUME that there was some greater design in the
      > original ordering of the logia which was necessary for their proper
      > comprehension, then there should be NO discrepancy from Greek to
      > Coptic. The fact that there IS suggests either that the ordering was
      > NOT THAT important to the scribe, or that the perceived design is an
      > eisegetic conclusion.

      Not that important to which scribe? The scribe who wrote in Coptic or in
      Greek? Take for example the Greek text of The Hymn of the Pearl, which shows
      alterations made in order to bring it in line with classic Gnostic beliefs.
      Such alterations do not occur in the Syriac version of the text. So do we
      suppose that the Syriac version is incorrect, when it is from precisely this
      region that the school of Thomas existed, or do we accept the Greek reading
      because it is in line with classic Gnostic thought?

      Suppose I write a text with a hidden meaning which can only be extracted
      through a specific method. Now suppose someone else gets hold of that text,
      someone who is intent on suppressing the original message. He could simply
      destroy the text, but a better method would be to take the text and alter it
      to such a degree that the original message could never be retrieved. Then he
      could destroy the original. His version would then be accepted as the
      original. Suppose that eventually another copy of the original surfaces.
      Should this new text be judged solely on the merits of the spurious text, or
      should it be examined on its own terms to see how internally consistent its
      readings are?

      > > Matter is base, it is clay, it is shit and decayed bodies and rife
      > with
      > > worms.
      > Yes, James, that's what the body is made of . . . and THIS is what
      > you'd have the Spirit dependent upon?

      Should the mind focus solely on the abstract? The mind that focuses on the
      material is better able to understand what rules operate in the world. The
      mind is superior to the world but only when the mind has recognized the
      world for what it is, and that can only come about after the mind has first
      examined the world.

      > > One's breath is Pneuma. The quantity of Carbon Dioxide depends on
      > whether
      > > you are talking about inspiration, or expiration.
      > Actually, you were portraying a progression of Thought to Words to
      > Breath. Well, normal human speech is the result of breath EXHALED
      > past the vocal cords. You say that "breath is Pneuma," and then say
      > that it depends. Well, whether it's IN or OUT, we are respiring
      > matter . . . Nitrogen, Oxygen, Carbon Dioxide, water, germs, etc. To
      > equate THIS with the Spirit is what I do not see reflected in the
      > traditional sources.

      First of all Thomas is a traditional source. I have already demonstrated the
      connection made between the spirit and the words Jesus speaks:

      29) Jesus said, "If the flesh came into being because of spirit, it is a
      wonder. But if spirit came into being because of the body, it is a wonder of
      wonders. Indeed, I am amazed at how this great wealth has made its home in
      this poverty."

      Good, so ignore all that was discussed before. What does this saying tell us
      about Spirit without question? That Spirit has made its home in the body, it
      fills you so that you aren't empty. Good. Previous saying.

      (28) Jesus said, "I took my place in the midst of the world, and I appeared
      to them in flesh. I found all of them intoxicated; I found none of them
      thirsty. And my soul became afflicted for the sons of men, because they are
      blind in their hearts and do not have sight; for empty they came into the
      world, and empty too they seek to leave the world. But for the moment they
      are intoxicated. When they shake off their wine, then they will repent."

      This saying is an excellent one. The people are empty and they do not want
      to be filled. They are not thirsty. They are intoxicated.

      Notice that the word intoxicated occurs only twice in Thomas.

      (13) Jesus said to his disciples, "Compare me to someone and tell me whom I
      am like."
      Simon Peter said to him, "You are like a righteous angel."
      Matthew said to him, "You are like a wise philosopher."
      Thomas said to him, "Master, my mouth is wholly incapable of saying whom you
      are like."
      Jesus said, "I am not your master. Because you have drunk, you have become
      intoxicated from the bubbling spring which I have measured out." ...

      Thomas drank and became intoxicated, but not from wine.

      (108) Jesus said, "He who will drink from my mouth will become like me. I
      myself shall become he, and the things that are hidden will be revealed to

      To drink from the mouth of Jesus is to drink his words. Spirit is breath and
      words are vocalized breath.

      > If you wish to start citing instances from
      > Gnostic groups that support your theory, I'll consider entertaining
      > your grandstanding a bit longer, but to continue saying that the
      > scriptures themselves tell you so seems rather fantastic to me. From
      > my POV, Gnostic writers went to great lengths to differentiate
      > between Matter and Spirit. If you've seen something in the thoughts
      > of those early Gnostics that corroborates your notion, do share.

      Names given to worldly things are very deceptive for they divert our
      thoughts from what is correct to what is incorrect. Thus one who hears the
      word God does not perceive what is correct, but perceives what is incorrect.
      So also with the Father and the Son and Holy Spirit and life and light and
      resurrection and the Church(Ekklesia) and all the rest - people do not
      perceive what is correct. The names which are heard in the world to deceive.
      If they were in the Aeon, they would at no time be used as names in the
      world. Nor would they be assigned to worldly things. They would have their
      reference in the Aeon.
      GoPh 53:23-54:4

      Consider the above block of text as applied to spirit and soul. The terms do
      not apply to pure forms within the Aeon, but to worldly things. Breath is
      material but to the ancients it clearly was of a different quality than
      flesh and clay.

      > > > >>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.<<
      > > . . .
      > > 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.
      > James, we're not just discussing the Mind; you've gone to great
      > lengths to point out that you feel where two of these aspects are
      > mentioned, the other is conspicuously absent. Couldn't that be
      > because Pneuma was held to be of greatest importance?

      The word spirit occurs six times in Thomas. The word soul five times. Flesh
      four, body five, corpse four, and world sixteen. If we were to go solely on
      word usage I would have to say no.

      > Just because
      > one or two terms are used in a particular scenario doesn't mean we
      > might force the third into the same context. But you don't see it
      > that way. You'd rather twist words around and put proclamations into
      > the mouth of the Christ figure, to the point that you have him utter
      > that the Spirit "depends on the body." Given that the material body
      > is temporal, and the Spirit is not, that statement seems contrived.

      Fair enough.

      > > But anyway, let's move on.
      > My sentiments exactly!

      James Lambert
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