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more on faith and knowledge

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  • annie
    This is also from the The Apocryphon of James: Become earnest about the word! For as to the word, its first part is faith; the second, love; the third, works;
    Message 1 of 6 , Sep 24, 2004
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      This is also from the The Apocryphon of James:

      "Become earnest about the word! For as to the word, its first part is faith; the second, love; the third, works; for from these comes life. For the word is like a grain of wheat; when someone had sown it, he had faith in it; and when it had sprouted, he loved it, because he had seen many grains in place of one. And when he had worked, he was saved, because he had prepared it for food, (and) again he left (some) to sow. So also can you yourselves receive the kingdom of heaven; unless you receive this through knowledge, you will not be able to find it."

      This is saying the seed is faith, and works surely is referring to the acquiring of knowledge, as is mentioned in the last sentence.  Faith is the Logos, knowledge is Sophia, and love joins them together in the marriage chamber which redeems the bastard result of Sophia's begetting of knowledge without her consort.  Faith without knowledge is superstition, and knowledge without faith is clinical.  The two together engender wisdom, which is a comprehension of things from within; gnosis.

      "Therefore, trust in me, my brethren; understand what the great light is. The Father has no need of me, - for a father does not need a son, but it is the son who needs the father - though I go to him. For the Father of the Son has no need of you."

      It is ourselves who desire the reunion, not 'God', the Father, 'The', whatever. 

      Or do you perhaps think that the Father is a lover of mankind, or that he is won over without prayers, or that he grants remission to one on another's behalf, or that he bears with one who asks?

      Prayer, IMO, is not what they do in church, for an audience.  It is more like mediatation, but not the kind where you empty your head.  What I mean is think about these things, where you are going, and everything that comes to mind, just think about your destination and salvation from the world. It's very hard to say this in gnostic term but I know it's a crucial part of getting there.  So I'll just say "Think about God", and hopefully you know how I mean that.

      'Hearken to the word, understand knowledge, love life, and no one will persecute you, nor will anyone oppress you, other than you yourselves."

      Here I take hearken to the word to mean a faithful paying of attention.  Faithful can also mean diligence, remember, and this is another crucial part of gnosis.

      "O you wretches; O you unfortunates; O you pretenders to the truth; O you falsifiers of knowledge; O you sinners against the Spirit: can you still bear to listen, when it behooved you to speak from the first? Can you still bear to sleep, when it behooved you to be awake from the first, so that the kingdom of heaven might receive you? Verily, I say unto you, had I been sent to those who listen to me, and had I spoken with them, I would never have come down to earth. So, then, be ashamed for these things."

      From what this brings me to understand it is saying, sinning against the spirit is preventing gnosis from entering one's mind by keeping one's heart closed up.  If gnosis is a divine thing we are given when we've shown we want it, then if we assume that we already have it and we don't, we're blocking ourselves from the transmission.  I have come to understand that sinning against the spirit is refusing it's entry into one's heart, turning gnosis and salvation away, as it were.  We do this by thinking we don't need such a thing, relying on ourselves solely, which is the same as having no faith.  Faith in one's self is not the same as faith in the spirit until after gnosis is found, which then as I said, eliminates the need for faith to sustain the searcher.
       
      love from annie
    • pmcvflag
      Annie, you do make some important point here. Besides ansering part of your post, I would like to add some sources to the point I was trying to make to Pneumen
      Message 2 of 6 , Sep 24, 2004
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        Annie, you do make some important point here. Besides ansering part
        of your post, I would like to add some sources to the point I was
        trying to make to Pneumen on this subject. Let me start though with
        your points.

        Let me first start with your quote from the Apoc. of James.

        "Become earnest about the word! For as to the word, its first part is
        faith; the second, love; the third, works; for from these comes life.
        For the word is like a grain of wheat; when someone had sown it, he
        had faith in it; and when it had sprouted, he loved it, because he
        had seen many grains in place of one. And when he had worked, he was
        saved, because he had prepared it for food, (and) again he left
        (some) to sow. So also can you yourselves receive the kingdom of
        heaven; unless you receive this through knowledge, you will not be
        able to find it."

        You add to this.....

        >>>"This is saying the seed is faith, and works surely is referring
        to the acquiring of knowledge, as is mentioned in the last sentence.
        Faith is the Logos, knowledge is Sophia, and love joins them together
        in the marriage chamber which redeems the bastard result of Sophia's
        begetting of knowledge without her consort. Faith without knowledge
        is superstition, and knowledge without faith is clinical. The two
        together engender wisdom, which is a comprehension of things from
        within; gnosis."<<<<

        Perhaps the equation you offer was from a typo, but let me point out
        that in much of the liturature faith is very explicitly equated with
        the fallen Sophia, not the Logos as you state. In fact, she is
        called "Pistis Sophia" (Pistis means "faith") or even "Pistis Sophia
        Prunikos" (which means "Faith, Wisdom, Whore") So, the FIRST part of
        gaining the word (Logos is the direct salvation of the fallen Sophia)
        is faith.... but that is NOT the same as saying that Pistis is the
        Logos.

        Let me put this in an analogy that uses pure logical categorization
        for it's equation. Handel wrote a piece called "Water Music". In
        order to understand his inspiration for this piece we would surely
        have to understand the visual nature of water.... however, we don't
        have to understand this water in order to understand music as a
        whole. In this case, the music is the larger category, and it does
        not inform the smaller.

        By the same token, your example from James does not imply that faith
        is the Logos, what it implies is that faith has a essential function
        in the comming of understanding of the Logos. The first need of a
        foundation is on faith... the second is on Love (most likely "agape"
        if there was a Greek source, but that is a more complex outline)...
        and lastly "works" since "Praxis" is something that comes FROM love.
        If you feel a genuine love, your actions will be guided by that love.
        However!!!! the piece you offered did not mention the last point.....
        Gnosis.

        Ok, forgive me now, Annie, that I trail off concerning your point
        (which I agree with) that it is US who desire reunion rather than
        the "Father". I wish to deal with these points you offer previously
        in more detail. Now is where I get to the question on a wider basis
        (including sources that Pneumen would ask for)

        From Theodotus

        XIX. Advancing from faith and fear to knowledge, man knows how to say
        Lord, Lord; but not as His slave, he has learned to say, Our Father.
        [4] Having set free the spirit of bondage, which produces fear, and
        advanced by love to adoption, he now reverences from love Him whom he
        feared before. For he no longer abstains from what he ought to
        abstain from out of fear, but out of love clings to the
        commandments. "The Spirit itself," it is said, "beareth witness when
        we cry, Abba, [4] Father."

        Once again... I do not mean to state that Pistis (faith) has no
        place, only that it is something that is advanced from IN SOME
        TRADITIONS, into something more. This particular example is
        Valentinian.

        If I went to a more Sethian example....

        Second Treatise of the Great Seth

        "Moses, a faithful servant, was a laughingstock, having been
        named 'the Friend,' since they perversely bore witness concerning him
        who never knew me. Neither he nor those before him, from Adam to
        Moses and John the Baptist, none of them knew me nor my brothers."

        There is no question here that faith alone is worthless to the
        tradition. Faith alone can be an outright failure... where Gnosis
        (knowing) adds a new context.

        This same point is restated in the "Dialoge of the Savior"

        "You have understood all the things I have said to you and
        you have accepted them on faith. If you have known them, then they
        are [yours]. If not, then they are not yours."

        Let me point out here that there is even a difference
        between "Understood" and "known".

        We have already talked about the initiatory function of Philip, so
        let me also point this one out....

        Philip states

        "Farming in the world requires the cooperation of four essential
        elements. A harvest is gathered into the barn only as a result of the
        natural action of water, earth, wind and light. God's farming
        likewise has four elements - faith, hope, love, and knowledge. Faith
        is our earth, that in which we take root. And hope is the water
        through which we are nourished. Love is the wind through which we
        grow. Knowledge, then, is the light through which we ripen. Grace
        exists in four ways: it is earthborn; it is heavenly; [...] the
        highest heaven; [...] in [...]."

        Grace, as you see in this specifically Valentinian text, is a
        category that I think others here may have misunderstood. Gnosis is a
        final result in a grouping... a last level of this initiatory process.

        As a final point concerning textual criticism, let me ask anyone here
        to read the Gospel of Thomas and to notice just how little the notion
        of "Faith" is dealt with. Even in the original Greek (which some
        question the fact of its "Gnostic" origin) you will find the notion
        practically ignored. While I have had some debate with ideas
        presented in the books of Dr Pagels, I would point out that her
        criticism of John in contrast to Thomas really outlines this point as
        well.

        Ok, let me point out that I never say that faith has no place in any
        Gnostic understandings, I only mean to point out just what that place
        is in different sects.

        PMCV
      • janahooks
        Thanks again, Cari and pmcv. Some random thoughts snapped together after reading your posts. I think I needed to see the progression from faith to gnosis in
        Message 3 of 6 , Sep 25, 2004
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          Thanks again, Cari and pmcv. Some random thoughts snapped together
          after reading your posts. I think I needed to see the progression
          from faith to gnosis in order to really understand what gnosis is.
          Also, I just had a conversation with my mother about faith--thanks
          for the script!

          > As a final point concerning textual criticism, let me ask anyone
          here
          > to read the Gospel of Thomas and to notice just how little the
          notion
          > of "Faith" is dealt with. Even in the original Greek (which some
          > question the fact of its "Gnostic" origin) you will find the notion
          > practically ignored.

          Will do.

          jana
        • Mike Leavitt
          Hello pmcvflag ... I shouldn t make a point of this, but I will. While Thomas was undoubtedly written in Greek, and a small fragment of it actually exists in
          Message 4 of 6 , Sep 25, 2004
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            Hello pmcvflag

            On 09/25/04, you wrote:

            > As a final point concerning textual criticism, let me ask anyone
            > here to read the Gospel of Thomas and to notice just how little the
            > notion of "Faith" is dealt with. Even in the original Greek (which
            > some question the fact of its "Gnostic" origin) you will find the
            > notion practically ignored. While I have had some debate with ideas
            > presented in the books of Dr Pagels, I would point out that her
            > criticism of John in contrast to Thomas really outlines this point
            > as well.

            I shouldn't make a point of this, but I will. While Thomas was
            undoubtedly written in Greek, and a small fragment of it actually
            exists in that language, what we have in Thomas is a Coptic
            translation of the Greek, and not the Greek source, so we really
            don't know what it said for sure in the original Greek. Just to
            clarify.

            Regards
            --
            Mike Leavitt ac998@...
          • pmcvflag
            Mike.... ... fragment of it actually exists in that language, what we have in Thomas is a Coptic translation of the Greek, and not the Greek source, so we
            Message 5 of 6 , Sep 27, 2004
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              Mike....

              >>>"While Thomas was undoubtedly written in Greek, and a small
              fragment of it actually exists in that language, what we have in
              Thomas is a Coptic translation of the Greek, and not the Greek
              source, so we really don't know what it said for sure in the original
              Greek. Just to clarify"<<<

              Right you are, Mike, I should have made my point a bit more clear.
              When I said "even in the Greek" I was making a destinction between
              the Coptic and the Oxyrhynchus fragments. My point being that while
              some people have argued that the original Greek version must somehow
              be closer to the beliefs presented in the generally
              accepted "Gospels" of the "Bible" (based on thier imagination of what
              an older Gospel has to look like), I do not see that notion supported
              in the 20 something surviving sayings.... on the contrary, I think
              they show that while the Coptic is not always a good word for word
              translation (some logions are better than others), it does a good job
              of preserving the meanings of the Greek. So, what we have in the
              Greek does not seem to imply that it would have placed a greater
              emphasis on faith than our Coptic version.

              That is the long version of my "even in the Greek" ;)

              PMCV

              --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Mike Leavitt <ac998@l...> wrote:
              > Hello pmcvflag
              >
              > On 09/25/04, you wrote:
              >
              > > As a final point concerning textual criticism, let me ask anyone
              > > here to read the Gospel of Thomas and to notice just how little
              the
              > > notion of "Faith" is dealt with. Even in the original Greek (which
              > > some question the fact of its "Gnostic" origin) you will find the
              > > notion practically ignored. While I have had some debate with
              ideas
              > > presented in the books of Dr Pagels, I would point out that her
              > > criticism of John in contrast to Thomas really outlines this point
              > > as well.
              >
              > I shouldn't make a point of this, but I will. While Thomas was
              > undoubtedly written in Greek, and a small fragment of it actually
              > exists in that language, what we have in Thomas is a Coptic
              > translation of the Greek, and not the Greek source, so we really
              > don't know what it said for sure in the original Greek. Just to
              > clarify.
              >
              > Regards
              > --
              > Mike Leavitt ac998@l...
            • Mike Leavitt
              Hello pmcvflag ... From what I know I would agree with you. Regards -- Mike Leavitt ac998@lafn.org
              Message 6 of 6 , Sep 27, 2004
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                Hello pmcvflag

                On 09/27/04, you wrote:

                > Mike....
                >
                >>>> "While Thomas was undoubtedly written in Greek, and a small
                > fragment of it actually exists in that language, what we have in
                > Thomas is a Coptic translation of the Greek, and not the Greek
                > source, so we really don't know what it said for sure in the
                > original Greek. Just to clarify"<<<
                >
                > Right you are, Mike, I should have made my point a bit more clear.
                > When I said "even in the Greek" I was making a destinction between
                > the Coptic and the Oxyrhynchus fragments. My point being that while
                > some people have argued that the original Greek version must somehow
                > be closer to the beliefs presented in the generally accepted
                > "Gospels" of the "Bible" (based on thier imagination of what an
                > older Gospel has to look like), I do not see that notion supported
                > in the 20 something surviving sayings.... on the contrary, I think
                > they show that while the Coptic is not always a good word for word
                > translation (some logions are better than others), it does a good
                > job of preserving the meanings of the Greek. So, what we have in the
                > Greek does not seem to imply that it would have placed a greater
                > emphasis on faith than our Coptic version.
                >
                > That is the long version of my "even in the Greek" ;)
                >
                > PMCV

                From what I know I would agree with you.

                Regards
                --
                Mike Leavitt ac998@...
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