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Re: Thomasine Metaphor

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  • hermetic_star
    I find a metaphor in the word kingdom . Of coarse the kingdom is Malkuth, the lowest sephera on the Tree of Life, which represents the physical world. In
    Message 1 of 29 , May 3 1:07 PM
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      I find a metaphor in the word 'kingdom'. Of coarse the kingdom is
      Malkuth, the lowest sephera on the Tree of Life, which represents
      the physical world. In saying 3 Jesus says "the kingdom is inside
      you and it is outside you. In saying 56 Jesus says those who know
      the world have discovered a carcass, and of that person the world is
      not worthy. The world, of coarse, is Malkuth again. A corpse could
      also be attributed to Malkuth, because it is the outward, physical,
      worldly expression of a person. The world is not worthy of a person
      who has discovered a carcass, because this person is aware that the
      world is dead, and only an imitation of the spititual realm. In
      other words, he has gained spirit. 'Kingdom' also reminds me of a
      verse in Proverbs, "The meek shall inherit the earth". If you read
      this according to the rest of this post, the verse should probably
      read "The meek shall inherit dirt". It would be interesting to see
      all possable meanings of the actual Hebrew term that was used.
    • lady_caritas
      Interesting, Hermetic Star. Yes, the physical world is referred to as a corpse (Logion 56), but is the kingdom also really just the material world? The
      Message 2 of 29 , May 4 5:58 AM
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        Interesting, Hermetic Star. Yes, the physical world is referred to
        as a corpse (Logion 56), but is the "kingdom" also really just the
        material world?

        The Gospel of Thomas most likely was composed before 200 A.D.
        Although true that Kabbalah had ancient roots, the distinct movement
        within Judaism occurred in medieval Europe along with the fully
        developed idea of emanated sefirot. So, I'm not convinced that the
        kingdom is specifically Malkuth.

        How do you describe the "kingdom inside of you"? Do we not see a
        realm of the living father beyond the material?

        Logion 27 ~ "Jesus said, `If you (plur.) do not abstain from the
        world you will not find the kingdom."

        Cari :-)


        --- In gnosticism2@y..., hermetic_star <no_reply@y...> wrote:
        > I find a metaphor in the word 'kingdom'. Of coarse the kingdom is
        > Malkuth, the lowest sephera on the Tree of Life, which represents
        > the physical world. In saying 3 Jesus says "the kingdom is inside
        > you and it is outside you. In saying 56 Jesus says those who know
        > the world have discovered a carcass, and of that person the world
        is
        > not worthy. The world, of coarse, is Malkuth again. A corpse could
        > also be attributed to Malkuth, because it is the outward, physical,
        > worldly expression of a person. The world is not worthy of a person
        > who has discovered a carcass, because this person is aware that the
        > world is dead, and only an imitation of the spititual realm. In
        > other words, he has gained spirit. 'Kingdom' also reminds me of a
        > verse in Proverbs, "The meek shall inherit the earth". If you read
        > this according to the rest of this post, the verse should probably
        > read "The meek shall inherit dirt". It would be interesting to see
        > all possable meanings of the actual Hebrew term that was used.
      • hermetic_star
        The kingdom inside could be interpreted three ways, either that two kingdoms are implied, and Christ is saying they have already attained the second while in
        Message 3 of 29 , May 4 2:00 PM
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          The kingdom inside could be interpreted three ways, either that two
          kingdoms are implied, and Christ is saying they have already
          attained the second while in the first, The kingdom inside you
          refers to the potential for developing into a pneumatic, and/or
          inside you meaning they themselves while outside you means the rest
          of physical creation. Christ seems to have double and somtimes
          triple meanings, and this could be one of them, but I think the
          first meaning is most applicable in this saying. As for Kabbalah, I
          believe it was written later, but had exsisted at least as far back
          as the Egyptian and Babalonian captivities. This is not so odd as
          some scholars would have you believe, in ancient times when
          proffesions were inherited from your father, kings and other
          nobility would employ courtesans or specialised clergy to memorise
          huge genealogies going back centuries, on top of each ancestors
          exploits. I don't see why the Kabbalah could not have survived this
          way back into pre-history. There also seems to be an Egyptian
          Kabbalah, and the old testament does note that Moses learned his
          arts from the Egyptians. At any rate, Gnosis is not bound by time.
          Gnosis is Gnosis, we all get it from the same place. I don't think
          there are pools of Gnosis floating about labeled 'Sufi Gnosis'
          and 'Carpocratian Gnosis'. How you interpret Gnosis depends on the
          mythic archtypes burned most deeply into your mind. Even if the
          Kabbalah is a fairly new creation, don't you think it's just a
          little bit odd that this makes sense, even though these are two
          radicly different traditions, from different cultures and
          traditions? Another possability is that one of those 'roots' of
          Kabbalism was known to Christ, which doesn't seem so strange to me
          either. I've heard many theories that he was educated by the
          Essenes, various Egyptian mystery schools, etc. I'm not saying what
          I see is right, what I am saying is this is something that sticks
          out in my mind, and to me seems like a possability. It is up for
          debate. :)







          --- In gnosticism2@y..., lady_caritas <no_reply@y...> wrote:
          > Interesting, Hermetic Star. Yes, the physical world is referred
          to
          > as a corpse (Logion 56), but is the "kingdom" also really just the
          > material world?
          >
          > The Gospel of Thomas most likely was composed before 200 A.D.
          > Although true that Kabbalah had ancient roots, the distinct
          movement
          > within Judaism occurred in medieval Europe along with the fully
          > developed idea of emanated sefirot. So, I'm not convinced that
          the
          > kingdom is specifically Malkuth.
          >
          > How do you describe the "kingdom inside of you"? Do we not see a
          > realm of the living father beyond the material?
          >
          > Logion 27 ~ "Jesus said, `If you (plur.) do not abstain from the
          > world you will not find the kingdom."
          >
          > Cari :-)
          >
          >
          > --- In gnosticism2@y..., hermetic_star <no_reply@y...> wrote:
          > > I find a metaphor in the word 'kingdom'. Of coarse the kingdom
          is
          > > Malkuth, the lowest sephera on the Tree of Life, which
          represents
          > > the physical world. In saying 3 Jesus says "the kingdom is
          inside
          > > you and it is outside you. In saying 56 Jesus says those who
          know
          > > the world have discovered a carcass, and of that person the
          world
          > is
          > > not worthy. The world, of coarse, is Malkuth again. A corpse
          could
          > > also be attributed to Malkuth, because it is the outward,
          physical,
          > > worldly expression of a person. The world is not worthy of a
          person
          > > who has discovered a carcass, because this person is aware that
          the
          > > world is dead, and only an imitation of the spititual realm. In
          > > other words, he has gained spirit. 'Kingdom' also reminds me of
          a
          > > verse in Proverbs, "The meek shall inherit the earth". If you
          read
          > > this according to the rest of this post, the verse should
          probably
          > > read "The meek shall inherit dirt". It would be interesting to
          see
          > > all possable meanings of the actual Hebrew term that was used.
        • lady_caritas
          Hi, Hermetic Star. I wasn t taking issue with the fact that Kabbalah had ancient roots (which I believe I did mention in my last post). And to be sure there
          Message 4 of 29 , May 5 9:50 PM
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            Hi, Hermetic Star. I wasn't taking issue with the fact that Kabbalah
            had ancient roots (which I believe I did mention in my last post).
            And to be sure there are similarities between Kabbalah and
            Gnosticism. And, yes, "Gnosis is not bound by time" although our
            knowledge of the Ineffable Infinite is interpreted within a
            space/time continuum while we are humans.

            Actually, I was only questioning your statement specifically that "Of
            coarse the kingdom . . . represents the physical world," which didn't
            make contextual "sense" to me when reading the sayings. If the
            physical world is a "corpse" and the "kingdom" of the living father
            is likewise the physical world, would that then make the "kingdom"
            a "corpse"?

            In your most recent post you have clarified that you also see a
            pneumatic interpretation of the "kingdom inside you," which is
            likewise commonly construed by many. Logion 3 also continues, "When
            you become acquainted with yourselves, then you will be recognized.
            And you will understand that it is you who are children of the living
            father. But if you do not become acquainted with yourselves, then
            you are in poverty, and it is you who are the poverty."

            Is it possible that the kingdom that "is outside you" might also be
            interpreted to mean not just "the rest of physical creation" that you
            mention but also a spiritual kingdom that is already spread over the
            earth? Logion 133 reads, "His disciples said to him, `When is the
            kingdom going to come?' (Jesus said), `It is not by being waited for
            that it is going to come. They are not going to say, `Here it is `
            or `There it is.' Rather, the kingdom of the father is spread out
            over the earth, and people do not see it.'"

            As a side note, you mentioned a Biblical verse back in Message
            #5855. The version I'm familiar with from the Beatitudes in Matthew
            5:5 reads, "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth."
            Interestingly, just before that in Verse 3 we see, "Blessed are the
            poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Compare Logion
            54 from GTh, "Jesus said, `Blessed are the poor, for yours (plur.) is
            the kingdom of heavens.'" Besides a literal interpretation,
            the "poor" was also a term of self-designation used by an Aramaic-
            speaking branch of Christianity east of the Jordan River. It
            seems unlikely to me that the "poor" in this case would
            feel "blessed" by obtaining a "corpse," if that indeed was what a
            physical kingdom would imply.

            By all means though, I heartily agree that imagery becomes personally
            meaningful through a subjective viewpoint, even after we attempt to
            explore the original metaphorical intent of the author(s).

            Cari



            --- In gnosticism2@y..., hermetic_star <no_reply@y...> wrote:
            > The kingdom inside could be interpreted three ways, either that two
            > kingdoms are implied, and Christ is saying they have already
            > attained the second while in the first, The kingdom inside you
            > refers to the potential for developing into a pneumatic, and/or
            > inside you meaning they themselves while outside you means the rest
            > of physical creation. Christ seems to have double and somtimes
            > triple meanings, and this could be one of them, but I think the
            > first meaning is most applicable in this saying. As for Kabbalah, I
            > believe it was written later, but had exsisted at least as far
            back
            > as the Egyptian and Babalonian captivities. This is not so odd as
            > some scholars would have you believe, in ancient times when
            > proffesions were inherited from your father, kings and other
            > nobility would employ courtesans or specialised clergy to memorise
            > huge genealogies going back centuries, on top of each ancestors
            > exploits. I don't see why the Kabbalah could not have survived this
            > way back into pre-history. There also seems to be an Egyptian
            > Kabbalah, and the old testament does note that Moses learned his
            > arts from the Egyptians. At any rate, Gnosis is not bound by time.
            > Gnosis is Gnosis, we all get it from the same place. I don't think
            > there are pools of Gnosis floating about labeled 'Sufi Gnosis'
            > and 'Carpocratian Gnosis'. How you interpret Gnosis depends on the
            > mythic archtypes burned most deeply into your mind. Even if the
            > Kabbalah is a fairly new creation, don't you think it's just a
            > little bit odd that this makes sense, even though these are two
            > radicly different traditions, from different cultures and
            > traditions? Another possability is that one of those 'roots' of
            > Kabbalism was known to Christ, which doesn't seem so strange to me
            > either. I've heard many theories that he was educated by the
            > Essenes, various Egyptian mystery schools, etc. I'm not saying what
            > I see is right, what I am saying is this is something that sticks
            > out in my mind, and to me seems like a possability. It is up for
            > debate. :)
            >
          • pmcvflag
            ... into pre-history.
            Message 5 of 29 , May 6 9:51 PM
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              >I don't see why the Kabbalah could not have survived this way back
              into pre-history.<

              I have serious doubts about the antiquity of Kabbalah. The oldest
              known publication was in Provance (land of the Troubaodurs ;)) 1178,
              and the oldest destinctly "Kabbalistic" schools probably only came
              about a couple hundred years before that at most. There are of course
              older forms of Jewish mysticism from wence Kabbalah grew though, but
              I believe the mistake that many make is to call all of those Jewish
              mistical forms "Kabbalah". Jewish mysticism then can be dated back
              pretty far, but not all Jewish mystical forms are
              specifically "Kabbalah".

              Kabbalah grew out of Merkabah mysticism (which existed in the 1st
              century), but did not exist alongside it's source. When you hear
              people talking about Philo's connection to Kabbalah (for instance),
              what he actually practiced was Merkabah. There are changes that
              happened that make Kabbalah destinct from the Merkabah mysticism
              (just as there are changes that seperate Middle Platonism from
              Neoplatonism), and these happened later than Philo. Merkabah in turn
              grew from middle-Platonism etc., the list goes on.

              PMCV
            • lady_caritas
              Jewish mysticism then can be dated back pretty far, but not all Jewish mystical forms are specifically `Kabbalah . (PMCV, #5860) Yes, of course, agreed,
              Message 6 of 29 , May 7 7:40 AM
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                "Jewish mysticism then can be dated back pretty far, but not all
                Jewish mystical forms are specifically `Kabbalah'." (PMCV, #5860)

                Yes, of course, agreed, PMCV. I think perhaps Hermetic Star might be
                aware of this from his comment ~

                "Even if the Kabbalah is a fairly new creation . ." (Hermetic Star,
                #5857)

                ~ and that, as you suggest, PMCV, it's more a matter of nomenclature,
                mistakenly referring to the ancient roots as well as the medieval
                form of Kabbalah under the same term "Kabbalah." Then again, I might
                be entirely wrong here and should probably let Hermetic Star speak
                for himself. LOL

                Anyway, PMCV, you mention, "There are changes that happened that make
                Kabbalah destinct from the Merkabah mysticism."

                Are you (or others) familiar with this article?

                http://www.metatronics.net/lit/anxiety.html

                From the text ~

                "By the time of the writing of the Zohar, however, God was submerged,
                related to the visible world through an intricate web of sefirotic
                symbolism. The world, and the human soul, were seen as deep
                structures. Kabbalah took on the philosophical project of explaining
                the mitzvot, and the rest of creation, apparently without questioning
                why the world is necessarily "deep" to begin with. Again, while it
                took many of its answers for how the inner structure of the world was
                built and how it related to God from non-philosophical sources, it
                took its project from philosophy.

                Once again, it would be helpful if a Kabbalist had written somewhere
                that philosophy had helped him see that there were layers of meaning
                beyond the surface, and that was the reason why Provencal and
                Geronese Kabbalists in the 12th and 13th century suddenly began
                explaining the deeper significance of Jewish ritual life. But such a
                text does not exist. And, as before, I am persuaded by Scholem's and
                Dan's arguments that Kabbalah does not invent itself because of the
                rationalist threat. But, before the twelfth century, and in areas
                where philwas not historically widespread, Jewish rabbinic and
                mystical thought was not at all interested on the "inner meanings" of
                the commandments. After the twelfth century, Kabbalah was all about
                them.

                Indeed, as Kabbalah flowered, the distinction between "shell"
                and "kernel" became the foundation of the entire Kabbalistic
                ontology. Here again, the doctrines were likely of ancient origin:
                the phenomenological likeness between the Kabbalah's layer of worlds
                to gnosticism is quite compelling. But Jewish mysticism had for one
                thousand years made use of gnostic imagery and symbolism without
                constructing an elaborate system of "inner meanings" of prayer,
                ritual acts, and the entirety of human life.

                […]

                I have suggested that philosophy and Kabbalah are more alike than
                different, in that they share the same questions and concerns, even
                though they differ greatly on the answers to those questions and the
                way those concerns are played out. So successful has the "victory"
                been that it is hard even to imagine a religious worldview that is
                not particularly interested in how the world was created, and that
                doesn't try to uncover the deeper meaning of right human action.

                And yet, both the Talmudic-rabbinic and mystical veins within Judaism
                appear to be just that. A Yored Merkavah may meditate, utter divine
                names, and have a vision of the Chariot, but he is unlikely to
                connect that vision either with the nature of the universe or with
                the inwardness of his prayers.33 Likewise, the revealed nature of the
                commandments was enough for the Rabbinic Jew, who placed value in
                their proper performance, not in their intellectual or symbolic inner
                structure. To reassert such structures could have been the response
                of Judaism to the philosophical challenge -- it would have been an
                interesting debate, but it would not have been Kabbalah."
              • pmcvflag
                Say, I like that article. It does look like Hermetic Star is aware of the difference... just thought I would make it more obvious for the club at large :) ....
                Message 7 of 29 , May 10 2:42 AM
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                  Say, I like that article. It does look like Hermetic Star is aware of
                  the difference... just thought I would make it more obvious for the
                  club at large :) .... and weasle my way into the conversation at the
                  same time.

                  PMCV

                  --- In gnosticism2@y..., lady_caritas <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                  > "Jewish mysticism then can be dated back pretty far, but not all
                  > Jewish mystical forms are specifically `Kabbalah'." (PMCV, #5860)
                  >
                  > Yes, of course, agreed, PMCV. I think perhaps Hermetic Star might
                  be
                  > aware of this from his comment ~
                  >
                  > "Even if the Kabbalah is a fairly new creation . ." (Hermetic Star,
                  > #5857)
                  >
                  > ~ and that, as you suggest, PMCV, it's more a matter of
                  nomenclature,
                  > mistakenly referring to the ancient roots as well as the medieval
                  > form of Kabbalah under the same term "Kabbalah." Then again, I
                  might
                  > be entirely wrong here and should probably let Hermetic Star speak
                  > for himself. LOL
                  >
                  > Anyway, PMCV, you mention, "There are changes that happened that
                  make
                  > Kabbalah destinct from the Merkabah mysticism."
                  >
                  > Are you (or others) familiar with this article?
                  >
                  > http://www.metatronics.net/lit/anxiety.html
                  >
                  > From the text ~
                  >
                  > "By the time of the writing of the Zohar, however, God was
                  submerged,
                  > related to the visible world through an intricate web of sefirotic
                  > symbolism. The world, and the human soul, were seen as deep
                  > structures. Kabbalah took on the philosophical project of
                  explaining
                  > the mitzvot, and the rest of creation, apparently without
                  questioning
                  > why the world is necessarily "deep" to begin with. Again, while it
                  > took many of its answers for how the inner structure of the world
                  was
                  > built and how it related to God from non-philosophical sources, it
                  > took its project from philosophy.
                  >
                  > Once again, it would be helpful if a Kabbalist had written
                  somewhere
                  > that philosophy had helped him see that there were layers of
                  meaning
                  > beyond the surface, and that was the reason why Provencal and
                  > Geronese Kabbalists in the 12th and 13th century suddenly began
                  > explaining the deeper significance of Jewish ritual life. But such
                  a
                  > text does not exist. And, as before, I am persuaded by Scholem's
                  and
                  > Dan's arguments that Kabbalah does not invent itself because of the
                  > rationalist threat. But, before the twelfth century, and in areas
                  > where philwas not historically widespread, Jewish rabbinic and
                  > mystical thought was not at all interested on the "inner meanings"
                  of
                  > the commandments. After the twelfth century, Kabbalah was all about
                  > them.
                  >
                  > Indeed, as Kabbalah flowered, the distinction between "shell"
                  > and "kernel" became the foundation of the entire Kabbalistic
                  > ontology. Here again, the doctrines were likely of ancient origin:
                  > the phenomenological likeness between the Kabbalah's layer of
                  worlds
                  > to gnosticism is quite compelling. But Jewish mysticism had for one
                  > thousand years made use of gnostic imagery and symbolism without
                  > constructing an elaborate system of "inner meanings" of prayer,
                  > ritual acts, and the entirety of human life.
                  >
                  > […]
                  >
                  > I have suggested that philosophy and Kabbalah are more alike than
                  > different, in that they share the same questions and concerns, even
                  > though they differ greatly on the answers to those questions and
                  the
                  > way those concerns are played out. So successful has the "victory"
                  > been that it is hard even to imagine a religious worldview that is
                  > not particularly interested in how the world was created, and that
                  > doesn't try to uncover the deeper meaning of right human action.
                  >
                  > And yet, both the Talmudic-rabbinic and mystical veins within
                  Judaism
                  > appear to be just that. A Yored Merkavah may meditate, utter divine
                  > names, and have a vision of the Chariot, but he is unlikely to
                  > connect that vision either with the nature of the universe or with
                  > the inwardness of his prayers.33 Likewise, the revealed nature of
                  the
                  > commandments was enough for the Rabbinic Jew, who placed value in
                  > their proper performance, not in their intellectual or symbolic
                  inner
                  > structure. To reassert such structures could have been the response
                  > of Judaism to the philosophical challenge -- it would have been an
                  > interesting debate, but it would not have been Kabbalah."
                • lady_caritas
                  Weasel your way? Sheeesh, PMCV. No need to slither in. Grab the bubbly and jump right in. That goes for everyone else out there. The water s fine.
                  Message 8 of 29 , May 10 8:10 PM
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                    "Weasel" your way? Sheeesh, PMCV. No need to slither in. Grab the
                    bubbly and jump right in. That goes for everyone else out there.
                    The water's fine. Splashing is good. ;-)

                    Yeah, I liked the paper, too. The way the author, Jay Michaelson,
                    described the difference between the mystical experience of much
                    Jewish mysticism and later Kabbalah reminds me of previous discussion
                    with Will.

                    "A Yored Merkavah may meditate, utter divine names, and have a
                    vision of the Chariot, but he is unlikely to connect that vision
                    either with the nature of the universe or with the inwardness of his
                    prayers."

                    IOW, if the goal is the mystical experience alone, a change in sense
                    of self might not occur if the "vision" is not connected back to the
                    world, oriented to both " `inner' and `outer' elements,"
                    considering "the entirety of human life." It seems that both
                    Kabbalah and Gnosticism view mystical experience as part of the
                    process, not as the only objective.

                    Cari


                    --- In gnosticism2@y..., pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                    > Say, I like that article. It does look like Hermetic Star is aware
                    of
                    > the difference... just thought I would make it more obvious for the
                    > club at large :) .... and weasle my way into the conversation at
                    the
                    > same time.
                    >
                    > PMCV
                  • lady_caritas
                    So, back to Gospel of Thomas ~ Logion 16: Jesus said, People probably think that it is peace that I have come to impose upon the world. And they do not
                    Message 9 of 29 , May 10 8:15 PM
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                      So, back to Gospel of Thomas ~

                      Logion 16: Jesus said, "People probably think that it is peace that
                      I have come to impose upon the world. And they do not recognize that
                      it is divisions that I have come to impose upon the earth – fire,
                      sword, battle. . ."

                      Logion 90: Jesus said, "Come (plur.) to me, for my yoke is easy (to
                      use) and my lordship is mild, and you find repose for yourselves."


                      Hmmm, . . . thoughts anyone?

                      Cari
                    • hermetic_star
                      There are 10 sephera x 4 worlds, x 10 (Each sephera has its own tree). This adds up to 400 sephera. I believe the kingdom of heaven would refer to one of the
                      Message 10 of 29 , May 11 4:34 PM
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                        There are 10 sephera x 4 worlds, x 10 (Each sephera has its own
                        tree). This adds up to 400 sephera. I believe the kingdom of heaven
                        would refer to one of the higher sephera, probably the one that
                        forms the 'Crown' or 'Kether' of the tree of this world. This, of
                        coarse is looking at it from a 1400's or later perspective. I
                        believe Christ was talking about the kingdom of living spirits.
                        People were hearing Christ, he was bringing the (spiritualy) dead
                        back to life. If you inherit the physical world, and die tommorow,
                        what good does it do? Or if you inherit the physical world, it now
                        belongs to you, will you take it from the person who the law
                        recognises as the rightful owner? Or are you referring to a mastery
                        of and domination of the laws of the physical world?
                      • hermetic_star
                        The old pagan religion of the Hibernian celts was not written down until Patricks time, are you saying that the druidic and pagane celtic ways onlt date back
                        Message 11 of 29 , May 11 4:37 PM
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                          The old pagan religion of the Hibernian celts was not written down
                          until Patricks time, are you saying that the druidic and pagane
                          celtic ways onlt date back that far, Karl?
                        • hermetic_star
                          Of coarse I agree with you both that the kabbalah as we know it is fairly recent, but I think it s a good point to argue anyway. I can be the devils advocate
                          Message 12 of 29 , May 11 4:45 PM
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                            Of coarse I agree with you both that the kabbalah as we know it is
                            fairly recent, but I think it's a good point to argue anyway. I can
                            be the devils advocate sometimes, right? :p
                          • play_nice_now
                            I m not sure how this adds to the discussion on Jewish Mysticism but I thought this may help clear the air a bit. Mysticism and mystical experiences have
                            Message 13 of 29 , May 13 1:09 PM
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                              I'm not sure how this adds to the discussion on Jewish
                              Mysticism but I thought this may help clear the air a bit.

                              Mysticism and mystical experiences have been a part of
                              Judaism since the earliest days. The Torah contains many
                              stories of mystical experiences, from visitations by angels to
                              prophetic dreams and visions. The Talmud considers the
                              existence of the soul and when it becomes attached to the body.
                              Jewish tradition tells that the souls of all Jews were in existence
                              at the time of the Giving of the Torah and were present at the
                              time and agreed to the Covenant. There are many stories of
                              places similar to Christian heaven and purgatory, of wandering
                              souls and reincarnation. The Talmud contains vague hints of a
                              mystical school of thought that was taught only to the most
                              advanced students and was not committed to writing. There are
                              several references in ancient sources to ma'aseh bereishit (the
                              work of creation) and ma'aseh merkavah (the work of the chariot
                              [of Ezekiel's vision]), the two primary subjects of mystical thought
                              at the time.

                              In the middle ages, many of these mystical teachings were
                              committed to writing in books like the Zohar. Many of these
                              writings were asserted to be secret ancient writings or
                              compilations of secret ancient writings.

                              Like most subjects of Jewish belief, the area of mysticism is
                              wide open to personal interpretation. Some traditional Jews take
                              mysticism very seriously. Mysticism is an integral part of
                              Chasidic Judaism, for example, and passages from kabbalistic
                              sources are routinely included in traditional prayer books. Other
                              traditional Jews take mysticism with a grain of salt. One
                              prominent Orthodox Jew, when introducing a speaker on the
                              subject of Jewish mysticism, said basically, "it's nonsense, but
                              it's Jewish nonsense, and the study of anything Jewish, even
                              nonsense, is worthwhile."

                              The mystical school of thought came to be known as Kabbalah,
                              from the Hebrew root Qof-Bet-Lamed, meaning "to receive, to
                              accept." The word is usually translated as "tradition." In Hebrew,
                              the word does not have any of the dark, sinister, evil
                              connotations that it has developed in English. For example, the
                              English word "cabal" (a secret group of conspirators) is derived
                              from the Hebrew word Kabbalah, but neither the Hebrew word
                              nor the mystical doctrines have any evil implications to Jews.

                              For what it was worth,
                              play
                            • play_nice_now
                              Seemingly contradictory eh? But then again, so are many Logions in this Gospel. Probably because these Logions, or sayings, are quotes taken out of context.
                              Message 14 of 29 , May 13 1:31 PM
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                                Seemingly contradictory eh? But then again, so are many
                                Logions in this Gospel. Probably because these Logions, or
                                sayings, are quotes taken out of context.

                                How should a reader approach understanding the Gospel of
                                Thomas? What is it's purpose? What is it's message? What is it
                                trying to do exactly?

                                peace,
                                play



                                --- In gnosticism2@y..., lady_caritas <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                > So, back to Gospel of Thomas ~
                                >
                                > Logion 16: Jesus said, "People probably think that it is peace
                                that
                                > I have come to impose upon the world. And they do not
                                recognize that
                                > it is divisions that I have come to impose upon the earth – fire,
                                > sword, battle. . ."
                                >
                                > Logion 90: Jesus said, "Come (plur.) to me, for my yoke is
                                easy (to
                                > use) and my lordship is mild, and you find repose for
                                yourselves."
                                >
                                >
                                > Hmmm, . . . thoughts anyone?
                                >
                                > Cari
                              • wilbro99
                                ... As I read through the GoT, #3 caught my attention. The meshing of living in poverty and being the poverty tells me that knowing oneself is a change in
                                Message 15 of 29 , May 14 10:21 PM
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                                  --- In gnosticism2@y..., "play_nice_now" <searay@b...> wrote:
                                  > Seemingly contradictory eh? But then again, so are many
                                  > Logions in this Gospel. Probably because these Logions, or
                                  > sayings, are quotes taken out of context.
                                  >
                                  > How should a reader approach understanding the Gospel of
                                  > Thomas? What is it's purpose? What is it's message? What is it
                                  > trying to do exactly?
                                  >
                                  > peace,
                                  > play
                                  >

                                  As I read through the GoT, #3 caught my attention. The meshing of
                                  living in poverty and being the poverty tells me that knowing oneself
                                  is a change in being, or, as I would have it, a shift in one's sense
                                  of self. As to what poverty is, I was immediately reminded of a two
                                  quotes (see below) I had archived. The poverty is the hunger of desire
                                  that drives the discontented to seek contentment (shades of the Buddha
                                  and the four noble truths), in a word, the seeker. There is a movement
                                  out of "poverty." As to how one then describes that which remains and
                                  that which no longer is is still a matter of description. 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. The truth does not need to be defined,
                                  although it is well within the realm of poesy. 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.

                                  #3.. When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will
                                  understand that you are children of the living Father. But if you do
                                  not know yourselves, then you live in poverty, and you are the
                                  poverty."

                                  "For this is the nature of one that has desires, that he is ever
                                  discontented and dissatisfied, like one that suffers hunger; for what
                                  has the hunger which all the creatures suffer to do with the fullness
                                  which is caused by the Spirit of God? Wherefore this fullness that is
                                  uncreated cannot enter the soul, if there be not first cast out that
                                  other created hunger which belongs to the desire of the soul; for, as
                                  we have said two contraries cannot dwell in one person, the which
                                  contraries in this case are hunger and fullness." (St. John of the
                                  Cross, Ascent of Mount Carmel, Chapter VI 3)

                                  "What did I find? Not my 'I', for that is what I was in that way to
                                  find (I imagined, if I may put it so, my soul shut up in a box with a
                                  spring lock in front, which the outside surroundings would release by
                                  pressing the spring). - So the first thing to be resolved was this
                                  search for and discovery of the Kingdom of Heaven. A person would no
                                  more want to decide the externals first and the fundamentals
                                  afterwards than a heavenly body about to form itself would decide
                                  first of all about its surface, about which bodies it should turn its
                                  light side to and to which its dark side, without first letting the
                                  harmony of centrifugal and centripetal forces bring it into being and
                                  letting the rest develop by itself. One must first learn to know
                                  oneself before knowing anything else, (_gnothi seauton_). Only when
                                  the person has inwardly understood and then sees the course forward
                                  from the path he is to take, does his life acquire repose and meaning;
                                  only then is he free of that irksome, fateful traveling companion -
                                  that life's irony which appears in the sphere of knowledge and bids
                                  true knowing begin with a not-knowing (Socrates), just as God created
                                  the world from nothing." (Kierkegaard, Papers & Journals, Hannay, pp.
                                  34-35) (Papers, 1 August 35 I A 75)

                                  >
                                  > --- In gnosticism2@y..., lady_caritas <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                  > > So, back to Gospel of Thomas ~
                                  > >
                                  > > Logion 16: Jesus said, "People probably think that it is peace
                                  > that
                                  > > I have come to impose upon the world. And they do not
                                  > recognize that
                                  > > it is divisions that I have come to impose upon the earth – fire,
                                  > > sword, battle. . ."
                                  > >
                                  > > Logion 90: Jesus said, "Come (plur.) to me, for my yoke is
                                  > easy (to
                                  > > use) and my lordship is mild, and you find repose for
                                  > yourselves."
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > Hmmm, . . . thoughts anyone?
                                  > >
                                  > > Cari
                                • lady_caritas
                                  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
                                  Message 16 of 29 , May 15 6:40 AM
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                                    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 children
                                    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 terms
                                    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. Here
                                    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
                                  • wilbro99
                                    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
                                    Message 17 of 29 , May 15 7:30 PM
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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
                                      God.

                                      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
                                      children
                                      > 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
                                      terms
                                      > 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.
                                      Here
                                      > 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
                                    • lady_caritas
                                      Willy-Whale, no need to plead ignorance at all. I m certainly no Gnostic scholar either (lol), but I agree with much of what you have written. Besides, there
                                      Message 18 of 29 , May 16 8:24 AM
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                                        Willy-Whale, no need to plead ignorance at all. I'm certainly no
                                        Gnostic scholar either (lol), but I agree with much of what you have
                                        written. Besides, there is commonly much variance of opinion in the
                                        scholarly community.

                                        Some of your comments tie in nicely to the Gospel of Thomas:

                                        "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." (Will)
                                        and from GTh, Logion 50 ~ "… If they ask you, `What is the sign of
                                        your father within you?' say to them, 'It is movement and repose.'"

                                        "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." (Will)
                                        and from GTh, Logion 70 ~ "Jesus said, `If you (plur.) produce what
                                        is in you, what you have will save you. If you do not have what is
                                        in you, what you do not have [will] kill you.'"

                                        "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." (Will)

                                        One might view error to include thinking of oneself in terms of time,
                                        and also by extension observing oneself in only physical and/or
                                        psychological terms. Important is that spiritual awakening is not
                                        dependent on some "future" event or resurrection.

                                        Logion 113 ~ His disciples said to him, "When is the kingdom going to
                                        come?" (Jesus said), "It is not by being waited for that it is going
                                        to come. They are not going to say, `Here it is' or `There it is.'
                                        Rather, the kingdom of the father is spread out over the earth, and
                                        people do not see it."

                                        Logion 51 ~ . . . He said to them, "That (repose) which you (plur.)
                                        are waiting for has come, but for your part you do not recognize it."

                                        Seeking and finding, a re-cognition or "recollection," getting in
                                        touch with the divine spark within that you mention, Will, is indeed
                                        necessary to transcend our physical existence and all its
                                        concomitant "disturbance." The "revelation," which awakens us
                                        from "ignorance," allows us to continue our experiential paths in
                                        this earthly existence in a practical sense with a new sense of
                                        self.

                                        Now, regarding your comments on "God" ~

                                        "St. John and his Via Negative speaks to God as being the fullness
                                        and as having nothing to do with the error." (Will)

                                        I recall that Terje offered an excellent discussion of "Via Negativa"
                                        in his Message #5810. And for discussion of "error" within a
                                        Valentinian perspective, you might find the following piece
                                        interesting: http://www.cyberus.ca/~brons/error.htm This also
                                        addresses your following comment: "If I remember correctly, in the
                                        Gnostic system, that error was created by a God." Well, there is not
                                        just one "Gnostic system," and there are certainly various opinions
                                        on whether the mythological "demiurge" was directly responsible
                                        for "error," especially in connection with the meaning of "error" in
                                        the Gospel of Truth. For discussion of "demiurge" (NOT to be
                                        confused with the "True God") I recommend:
                                        http://www.cyberus.ca/~brons/demiurge.htm

                                        Nonetheless, your comment, "Again, the error is man's doing, and is
                                        the grasping of oneself as temporal" might just elicit some hand
                                        waving from Gnostics. To be sure, other religions might view error
                                        as man's fault (for instance, a concept of "original sin" such as
                                        seen in orthodox Christianity), but Gnostics as seen through their
                                        mythology generally view humans as a product of the error that
                                        already has occurred. *Sustaining* the error might be man's doing,
                                        however, and humans ARE individually responsible for seeking and
                                        finding the divine spark within themselves and awakening from
                                        the "sin" of ignorance. Even upon "awakening" humans still live in a
                                        physical existence that is flawed, but they approach life with a new
                                        sense of self and the True God vs. a "creator god."

                                        Logion 28 ~ Jesus said, "I stood at rest in the midst of the world.
                                        And unto them I was shown forth incarnate; I found them all
                                        intoxicated. And I found none of them thirsty. And my soul was
                                        pained for the children of humankind, for they are blind in their
                                        hearts and cannot see. For, empty did they enter the world, and
                                        again empty they seek to leave the world. But now they are
                                        intoxicated. When they shake off their wine then they will have a
                                        change of heart."

                                        Well, I certainly have gone on here long enough, MobyWilly. LOL I
                                        think I'll grab a cup of coffee to "shake off" my morning stupor.

                                        Cari
                                      • play_nice_now
                                        Interesting conversation Will and my lady Caritas. So then, the kingdom is already here and now. Always has been. Always will be. Why do you guys think that
                                        Message 19 of 29 , May 16 9:07 AM
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                                          Interesting conversation Will and my lady Caritas.

                                          So then, the kingdom is already "here" and now. Always has been.
                                          Always will be. Why do you guys think that no one sees it or
                                          experiences it in that way? From the gnostic point of view, is
                                          knowing this just a matter of making the decision to know it or
                                          remember it again? If so, what stops us from making that decision?
                                          What are we afraid of?

                                          By the way this idea of the kingdom of God being placed here and now,
                                          within us and outside us, is taught in many of the Earth's religions
                                          and philosophies. Please excuse the length of this post but you all
                                          may find this kind of interesting in the interest of gaining
                                          knowledge. Here are some quotes:

                                          These passages describe the human being as a microcosm of the
                                          universe, having the essences of all things in him- or herself. As
                                          the microcosm, human beings have the foundation to know, use, and
                                          enjoy all things. Of all creatures, humans have the widest scope of
                                          thought and action, encompassing all things, knowing and appreciating
                                          all things, guiding and prospering all things, and transcending all
                                          things.

                                          All that the Holy One created in the world He created in man.


                                          1. Judaism. Talmud, Abot de Rabbi Nathan 31

                                          We shall show them Our signs in the horizons and in themselves, till
                                          it is clear to them that it is the truth.


                                          2. Islam. Qur'an 41.53

                                          One who knows the inner self knows the external world as well. One
                                          who knows the external world knows the inner self as well.


                                          3. Jainism. Acarangasutra 1.147

                                          The whole of existence arises in me,
                                          In me arises the threefold world,
                                          By me pervaded is this all,
                                          Of naught else does this world consist.


                                          4. Buddhism. Hevajra Tantra 8.41

                                          The illimitable Void of the universe is capable of holding myriads of
                                          things of various shape and form, such as the sun, the moon, stars,
                                          mountains, rivers, worlds, springs, rivulets, bushes, woods, good
                                          men, bad men, dharmas pertaining to goodness or badness, deva planes,
                                          hells, great oceans, and all the mountains of the Mahameru. Space
                                          takes in all these, and so does the voidness of our nature. We say
                                          that the Essence of Mind is great because it embraces all things,
                                          since all things are within our nature.


                                          5. Buddhism. Sutra of Hui Neng 2




                                          ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                          ----------
                                          Abot de Rabbi Nathan 31: Cf. Berakot 10a, p. 211. Hevajra Tantra
                                          8.41: Cf. Samyutta Nikaya i.62, p. 679.

                                          ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                          ----------


                                          Man is the product of the attributes of Heaven and Earth, by the
                                          interaction of the dual forces of nature, the union of the animal and
                                          intelligent souls, and the finest subtle matter of the five elements.

                                          Heaven exercises the control of the strong and light force, and hangs
                                          out the sun and stars. Earth exercises the control of the dark and
                                          weaker force, and gives vent to it in the hills and streams. The five
                                          elements are distributed through the four seasons, and it is by their
                                          harmonious action that the moon is produced, which therefore keeps
                                          waxing for fifteen days and waning for fifteen. The five elements in
                                          their movements alternately displace and exhaust one another. Each
                                          one of them, in the revolving course of the twelve months of the four
                                          seasons, comes to be in its turn the fundamental one for the time.

                                          The five notes of harmony, with their six upper musical accords, and
                                          the twelve pitch-tubes, come each, in their revolutions among
                                          themselves, to be the first note of the scale.

                                          The five flavors, with the six condiments, and the twelve articles of
                                          diet, come each one, in their revolutions in the course of the year,
                                          to give its character to the food.

                                          The five colors, with the six elegant figures, which they form on the
                                          two robes, come each one, in their revolutions among themselves, to
                                          give the character of the dress that is worn.

                                          Therefore Man is the heart and mind of Heaven and Earth, and the
                                          visible embodiment of the five elements. He lives in the enjoyment of
                                          all flavors, the discriminating of all notes of harmony, and the
                                          enrobing of all colors.


                                          6. Confucianism. Book of Ritual 7.3.1-7

                                          In the beginning the Self alone was here--no other thing that blinks
                                          the eye at all. He thought, "What if I were to emanate worlds?"

                                          He emanated these worlds, water, rays of light, death, the waters.
                                          Water is up there beyond the sky; the sky supports it. The rays of
                                          light are the atmosphere; death the earth; what is underneath, the
                                          waters.

                                          He thought again, "Here now are these worlds. What if I were to
                                          emanate guardians?" He raised a Man (Purusha) up from the water and
                                          gave him a form.

                                          He brooded over him; when he had finished brooding over him, a mouth
                                          broke open on him the likeness of an egg. From the mouth came speech
                                          and from speech Fire.

                                          Nostrils broke open, from the nostrils came breath, from breath the
                                          Wind.

                                          Eyes broke open, from the eyes came sight, from sight the Sun.

                                          Ears broke open, from the ears came hearing, from hearing the Points
                                          of the Compass.

                                          Skin broke out, from skin grew hairs, from the hairs plants and trees.

                                          A heart broke out, from the heart came mind, from the mind the Moon.

                                          A navel broke open, from the navel came the out-breath, from the out-
                                          breath Death.

                                          A phallus broke forth, from the phallus came semen, from semen
                                          Water....

                                          Those deities [the macrocosmic beings], Fire and the rest, after they
                                          had been sent forth, fell into the great ocean. Then he [the Self]
                                          besieged him [the Purusha] with hunger and thirst. The deities then
                                          spoke to him, "Allow us a place in which we may rest and take food."

                                          He led a cow towards them. They said, "This is not enough." He led a
                                          horse towards them. They said, "This is not enough." He led man
                                          towards them. Then they said, "Well done, indeed." Therefore man is
                                          well done. He said to them, "Enter the man, each according to his
                                          place."

                                          Then fire, having become speech, entered the mouth; the wind, having
                                          become breath, entered the nostrils; the sun, having become sight,
                                          entered the eyes; the regions, having become hearing, entered the
                                          ears; the plants and trees, having become hairs, entered the skin;
                                          the moon, having become mind, entered the heart; death, having become
                                          out-breathing, entered the navel; water, having become semen, entered
                                          the phallus....

                                          The Self considered, "How could these guardians exist without me?"

                                          Again he thought, "By what way shall I enter them?

                                          "If, without me, speech is uttered, breath is drawn, eye sees, ear
                                          hears, skin feels, mind thinks, sex organs procreate, then what am
                                          I?"

                                          He thought, "Let me enter the guardians." Whereupon, opening the
                                          center of their skulls, he entered. The door by which he entered is
                                          called the door of bliss.


                                          7. Hinduism. Aitareya Upanishad 1.1-3.12




                                          ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                          ----------
                                          Book of Ritual 7.3.1-7: Cf. Gleanings from the Writings of
                                          Baha'u'llah 27, p. 311.

                                          ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                          ----------


                                          Each man is a microcosm of the universe. Your body is made of all the
                                          elements of the world. Nature supplied all the ingredients that make
                                          your body, which means that the universe made you by donating itself.
                                          If nature demanded that you refund everything that nature loaned you,
                                          would there be anything left of you? You can feel that the universe
                                          gave you birth and made you, so nature is your first parent. Do you
                                          feel good that you are a microcosm of the universe? All the universal
                                          formulas can be found in you. You could accurately say that you are a
                                          small walking universe that can move, whereas the cosmic universe is
                                          stationary. Because you can move and act, you can govern the
                                          universe. The universe would want you to exercise dominion over it,
                                          so your first duty would be to love nature. Then, wherever you are,
                                          you can love the creation and appreciate it.


                                          8. Unification Church. Sun Myung Moon, 9-30-79




                                          ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                          ----------
                                          Aitareya Upanishad 1.1-3.12: Vv. 1.1-4, 2.1-4, 3.11-12. The Purusha
                                          formed at the beginning of creation is the macrocosmic Person; his
                                          parts are then invested in man, the microcosm. Likewise, Hindu
                                          temples are built on the pattern of the human body: see Vacana 820,
                                          p. 211. For other accounts of creation out of the macrocosmic Person,
                                          cf. Rig Veda 10.90.6-16, pp. 868f. Mundaka Upanishad 1.1.7-9, p. 132;
                                          Okanagan Creation, p. 298. Sun Myung Moon, 9-30-79: Cf. Gleanings
                                          from the Writings of Baha'u'llah 27, p. 311.


                                          peace,
                                          play
                                        • wilbro99
                                          Lady C, we have much work to do here. Here is what I see happening. I see some of the Gnostic scheme of things speaking to what I know, but using metaphorical
                                          Message 20 of 29 , May 16 2:13 PM
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                                            Lady C, we have much work to do here. Here is what I see happening. I
                                            see some of the Gnostic scheme of things speaking to what I know, but
                                            using metaphorical terms. When I cast what I know in my own terms, you
                                            translate it back into those metaphorical terms. At that point, we may
                                            be speaking about the same thing. We had a long discussion to that
                                            point, both by Email and in that other group, that puts us fairly well
                                            in the same ballpark; there is a necessary transition that brings
                                            another way of knowing into being. A metaphorical system may be seen
                                            as pointing to such a transition, but that fact can only be known
                                            after the transition has come into being. That same metaphorical
                                            system can also be interpreted in a before-transition way. The
                                            difference between the before and after understanding gleaned from the
                                            system is incommensurable. This is key to my scheme of things; the
                                            before view and the after view of the same metaphorical system are
                                            separated by a necessary transition in the one who holds the view, and
                                            since those views are incommensurable one with the other, the
                                            transition represents a discontinuity in one's sense of self. Bear
                                            with me here and I will try to connect all of this into a whole.

                                            From: http://www.cyberus.ca/~brons/error.htm

                                            "The identity of lack and error is supported in many passages where
                                            the two seem to be used interchangeably. Error arises because the
                                            Aeons did not know the Father. They "accepted error" because of the
                                            Father's "depth" i.e. his unknowability (22:20f). Similarly , "lack
                                            came into being because the Father was not known" (24:28-32). Both
                                            "error" and "lack" are described as coming into being because the
                                            Aeons did not know the Father. Surely this is no coincidence…"

                                            I am equating the Error with the before-transition sense of self and
                                            the absence of the error to the after-transition sense of self. When
                                            they say the Error is equivalent to "not knowing the Father," they are
                                            saying that "not knowing the Father" is the same as being in Error. I
                                            take that as a metaphor. Not being in Error does have a sense of
                                            fullness about it that being in Error does not. I can see how the
                                            sensation of the transition could be seen as "being at one with." I
                                            say there is no Father to be known, no kingdom of God, other than as a
                                            way of describing the sensational aspect of it. Of course, I am taking
                                            your notion of "spiritual' out of it except as a metaphorical term for
                                            the utterly new sense of self. I will accept the term as separating
                                            the before and after, but only as signifying the separation. And here,
                                            in the next paragraph from the site, the before and after is separated
                                            by ascribing the before to the world of matter and the after to the
                                            other world, the spiritual.

                                            "According to the "creation tale," the material realm is in some
                                            manner is intimately associated with error. According to the text, it
                                            is "her (i.e. error's) matter" (17:16f). Elsewhere the text describes
                                            how "the realm of appearance which belongs to the lack is the world"
                                            (24:22-24). Thus the material realm is said to belong to both error
                                            and lack further supporting the hypothesis that the two are
                                            interchangeable. There is further confirmation of this from elsewhere
                                            in the text. According to one passage, "the lack belonging to the
                                            realm of matter did not result from the infinity of the
                                            Father...rather the Father's Depth is immense and it is not with him
                                            that the thought of error resides"(35:8-18). Note that the "lack
                                            belonging to the realm of matter" is described as the "thought of
                                            error." Again note the intimate association of matter, error and lack.
                                            In a notable parallel, the teacher Theodotus speaks of the realm of
                                            matter as "the thought of the deficiency" (Excepts of Theodotus 22:7).
                                            As is normal in Valentinian thought, the Gospel of Truth describes an
                                            intimate association between matter and lack. What is is noteworthy
                                            that the same intimate relationship is said to exist between matter
                                            and error."

                                            All of that to get to this point. I said, "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."

                                            You replied, "One might view error to include thinking of oneself in
                                            terms of time, and also by extension observing oneself in only
                                            physical and/or psychological terms. Important is that spiritual
                                            awakening is not dependent on some "future" event or resurrection."

                                            Your addition of physical and/or psychological terms to my view of
                                            Error, as a necessary addition, changes my view into a view other than
                                            mine, one corresponding to the quote above. However, in adding the
                                            fact that "spiritual awakening" is not something for the future, you
                                            have moved it somewhat back into my view. The reason I raise this as I
                                            do is twofold; firstly to make the point and secondly to segue to
                                            Play's response and questions of #5876, in response to which I will
                                            continue this point.


                                            --- In gnosticism2@y..., lady_caritas <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                            > Willy-Whale, no need to plead ignorance at all. I'm certainly no
                                            > Gnostic scholar either (lol), but I agree with much of what you have
                                            > written. Besides, there is commonly much variance of opinion in the
                                            > scholarly community.
                                            >
                                            > Some of your comments tie in nicely to the Gospel of Thomas:
                                            >
                                            > "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." (Will)
                                            > and from GTh, Logion 50 ~ "… If they ask you, `What is the sign of
                                            > your father within you?' say to them, 'It is movement and repose.'"
                                            >
                                            > "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."
                                            (Will)
                                            > and from GTh, Logion 70 ~ "Jesus said, `If you (plur.) produce what
                                            > is in you, what you have will save you. If you do not have what is
                                            > in you, what you do not have [will] kill you.'"
                                            >
                                            > "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." (Will)
                                            >
                                            > One might view error to include thinking of oneself in terms of
                                            time,
                                            > and also by extension observing oneself in only physical and/or
                                            > psychological terms. Important is that spiritual awakening is not
                                            > dependent on some "future" event or resurrection.
                                            >
                                            > Logion 113 ~ His disciples said to him, "When is the kingdom going
                                            to
                                            > come?" (Jesus said), "It is not by being waited for that it is
                                            going
                                            > to come. They are not going to say, `Here it is' or `There it is.'

                                            > Rather, the kingdom of the father is spread out over the earth, and
                                            > people do not see it."
                                            >
                                            > Logion 51 ~ . . . He said to them, "That (repose) which you (plur.)
                                            > are waiting for has come, but for your part you do not recognize
                                            it."
                                            >
                                            > Seeking and finding, a re-cognition or "recollection," getting in
                                            > touch with the divine spark within that you mention, Will, is indeed
                                            > necessary to transcend our physical existence and all its
                                            > concomitant "disturbance." The "revelation," which awakens us
                                            > from "ignorance," allows us to continue our experiential paths in
                                            > this earthly existence in a practical sense with a new sense of
                                            > self.
                                            >
                                            > Now, regarding your comments on "God" ~
                                            >
                                            > "St. John and his Via Negative speaks to God as being the fullness
                                            > and as having nothing to do with the error." (Will)
                                            >
                                            > I recall that Terje offered an excellent discussion of "Via
                                            Negativa"
                                            > in his Message #5810. And for discussion of "error" within a
                                            > Valentinian perspective, you might find the following piece
                                            > interesting: http://www.cyberus.ca/~brons/error.htm This also
                                            > addresses your following comment: "If I remember correctly, in the
                                            > Gnostic system, that error was created by a God." Well, there is
                                            not
                                            > just one "Gnostic system," and there are certainly various opinions
                                            > on whether the mythological "demiurge" was directly responsible
                                            > for "error," especially in connection with the meaning of "error" in
                                            > the Gospel of Truth. For discussion of "demiurge" (NOT to be
                                            > confused with the "True God") I recommend:
                                            > http://www.cyberus.ca/~brons/demiurge.htm
                                            >
                                            > Nonetheless, your comment, "Again, the error is man's doing, and is
                                            > the grasping of oneself as temporal" might just elicit some hand
                                            > waving from Gnostics. To be sure, other religions might view error
                                            > as man's fault (for instance, a concept of "original sin" such as
                                            > seen in orthodox Christianity), but Gnostics as seen through their
                                            > mythology generally view humans as a product of the error that
                                            > already has occurred. *Sustaining* the error might be man's doing,
                                            > however, and humans ARE individually responsible for seeking and
                                            > finding the divine spark within themselves and awakening from
                                            > the "sin" of ignorance. Even upon "awakening" humans still live in
                                            a
                                            > physical existence that is flawed, but they approach life with a new
                                            > sense of self and the True God vs. a "creator god."
                                            >
                                            > Logion 28 ~ Jesus said, "I stood at rest in the midst of the world.

                                            > And unto them I was shown forth incarnate; I found them all
                                            > intoxicated. And I found none of them thirsty. And my soul was
                                            > pained for the children of humankind, for they are blind in their
                                            > hearts and cannot see. For, empty did they enter the world, and
                                            > again empty they seek to leave the world. But now they are
                                            > intoxicated. When they shake off their wine then they will have a
                                            > change of heart."
                                            >
                                            > Well, I certainly have gone on here long enough, MobyWilly. LOL I
                                            > think I'll grab a cup of coffee to "shake off" my morning stupor.
                                            >
                                            > Cari
                                          • wilbro99
                                            ... Play, I think you have drawn the wrong conclusion about my view of this from what Lady C has said. I see no kingdom that is always already here. I think
                                            Message 21 of 29 , May 16 2:16 PM
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                                              --- In gnosticism2@y..., "play_nice_now" <searay@b...> wrote:
                                              > Interesting conversation Will and my lady Caritas.
                                              >
                                              > So then, the kingdom is already "here" and now. Always has been.
                                              > Always will be. Why do you guys think that no one sees it or
                                              > experiences it in that way? From the gnostic point of view, is
                                              > knowing this just a matter of making the decision to know it or
                                              > remember it again? If so, what stops us from making that decision?
                                              > What are we afraid of?
                                              >

                                              Play, I think you have drawn the wrong conclusion about my view of
                                              this from what Lady C has said. I see no kingdom that is always
                                              already here. I think that notion derives from the ending of the
                                              temporal view of the self, and can only derive from it as a metaphor.
                                              What is then known is not the kingdom, but the end of the temporal
                                              sense of self, the Error. That is all that is known; the rest is the
                                              unknown. The unknown can not be known by the decision to know it, for
                                              when it is known, that decision maker no longer is. The notion of
                                              remembering it again implies a past forgetting and a future
                                              remembering, and when it is known, there is no past nor any future.
                                              The self that is looking for it is what stops it from being. Anyway,
                                              all I have been doing here is translating before terms into after
                                              terms to continue the point I was making in my response to Lady C. My
                                              question remains: Are we looking at the same thing?
                                            • lady_caritas
                                              Play, thank you for your research (Message #5876). Just some observations~ You say, These passages describe the human being as a microcosm of the universe,
                                              Message 22 of 29 , May 16 10:36 PM
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                                                Play, thank you for your research (Message #5876). Just some
                                                observations~

                                                You say, "These passages describe the human being as a microcosm of
                                                the universe, having the essences of all things in him- or herself.
                                                As the microcosm, human beings have the foundation to know, use, and
                                                enjoy all things. Of all creatures, humans have the widest scope of
                                                thought and action, encompassing all things, knowing and appreciating
                                                all things, guiding and prospering all things, and transcending all
                                                things.

                                                All that the Holy One created in the world He created in man."

                                                A Gnostic interpretation of "the Holy One" who is the creator of the
                                                world would be the Demiurge of Gnostic mythology, not the True God or
                                                Bythos (the Ineffable Infinite). The material universe is limited by
                                                its physicality as we are also in our human state.

                                                An important observation you made was that humans are capable
                                                of "transcending all things." That's the point here. Humans who
                                                become aware of the spiritual kingdom of the living father (not the
                                                demiurge) are able to transcend the "fog" of the material world. Oh,
                                                and this fog is very deceiving. That is why many feel that we are
                                                not always capable of awakening from our blindness ("sleep") to
                                                become aware of Gnosis without the assistance of a "savior" in
                                                addition to our own efforts. "Jesus said, `[…] I found them all
                                                intoxicated…'" (GTh, #28)

                                                Our "first duty" would not be to "love nature" or "love the
                                                creation." "Jesus said, `Whoever has become acquainted with the
                                                world has found a corpse …'" (GTh, #56) IOW, the material world is
                                                not the kingdom. Matter is equated with error. A flower might be
                                                beautiful and serve as a trigger for a spiritual epiphany, but the
                                                physical flower will eventually decay in this flawed world. We
                                                cannot know the Ineffable Infinite completely while in this physical
                                                state, or, as Will points out, we would cease to "be." However, we
                                                _can_ become acquainted with the True God by means of images
                                                reflected through our human conceptual filters. And this will serve
                                                as a segue to my reply to Will . . .

                                                Cari
                                              • lady_caritas
                                                Ah, Will, I am in total agreement with you (Message #5877) until we get to your explanations of quotes from the article on error. In answer to your question,
                                                Message 23 of 29 , May 16 10:41 PM
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                                                  Ah, Will, I am in total agreement with you (Message #5877) until we
                                                  get to your explanations of quotes from the article on "error."

                                                  In answer to your question, "Are we looking at the same thing?"
                                                  (#5878), I would venture to posit that we possibly are, but that we
                                                  are interpreting it differently.

                                                  So, Will, you have confused me. Don't worry. I confuse easily.
                                                  LOL If you view thinking of oneself in terms of time as "error," and
                                                  if after a shift in the sense of one's self, you obviously remain a
                                                  human physically, do you still wear a watch? How does a human ever
                                                  completely escape our space/time continuum? "Time" may very well be
                                                  an illusion, but even in your description of this process, you can't
                                                  escape describing it in terms of "before" and "after." You see, even
                                                  using a term like "eternal" indicates infinite "duration"
                                                  (or "continuance in time").

                                                  You say, "What is then known is not the kingdom, but the end of the
                                                  temporal sense of self, the Error. That is all that is known; the
                                                  rest is the unknown." So, Willy, if you have experienced the end of
                                                  the temporal sense of yourself, where on earth _are_ you?

                                                  Okay, okay, I'm toying with you. But I do have a point, . . . I
                                                  think. :-)

                                                  I describe the old sense of self as certainly having temporal aspects
                                                  and because of that only viewing the world in physical and possibly
                                                  psychological terms. A "god" or even a definition of "spirituality"
                                                  would in essence still be a psychological extension of the self
                                                  because the shift in sense of self with a truly pneumatic
                                                  understanding has not occurred. You describe this shift in
                                                  understanding when you say, "A metaphorical system may be seen as
                                                  pointing to such a transition, but that fact can only be known after
                                                  the transition has come into being. That same metaphorical system can
                                                  also be interpreted in a before-transition way. The difference
                                                  between the before and after understanding gleaned from the system is
                                                  incommensurable. This is key to my scheme of things; the before view
                                                  and the after view of the same metaphorical system are separated by a
                                                  necessary transition in the one who holds the view, and since those
                                                  views are incommensurable one with the other, the transition
                                                  represents a discontinuity in one's sense of self."

                                                  So, you accept the term "spiritual" only in reference to the
                                                  transitional stage. "Ascribing the before to the world of matter and
                                                  the after to the other world, the spiritual" is not your
                                                  interpretation.

                                                  Let's attempt to examine why.

                                                  Perhaps your definition of "spiritual" differs from mine. You said
                                                  that you could "see how the sensation of the transition could be seen
                                                  as `being at one with.'" Yes, the mystical experience might be
                                                  interpreted as such. However, we can conjecture that if we are
                                                  _truly_ one with the Prime Source we might cease to "be." And, well,
                                                  that hasn't happened yet, has it? LOL We either come back to the
                                                  old self and repeatedly try to recreate the "at-one" sensation or we
                                                  move through the transition, taking our new understanding to a new
                                                  sense of self.

                                                  Now at this point, you, Willy, seem to be in "unknown" territory, but
                                                  you sense a "fullness" and repose you did not experience in the old
                                                  self. I describe this as the spiritual realm. And, I don't view God
                                                  as an anthropomorphic, psychological projection, but rather, as I
                                                  have described before, I experience an Ineffable Infinite through my
                                                  new sense of self. At the same time, I am still human. So, I cannot
                                                  completely know the Infinite in my present finite state. There is
                                                  movement and repose as I gain acquaintance of this divinity,
                                                  this "kingdom."

                                                  "…But the kingdom is inside of you. And it is outside of you."
                                                  (GTh, #3) Why? Can there be an objective Truth that exists "before"
                                                  as well as "after" my shift of awareness? Are we awakening from our
                                                  sleep to a kingdom that was already there? I would
                                                  speculate,. . .yes, .. simply because I am not the only one who has
                                                  experienced this, after the shift in sense of self. This "presence"
                                                  I interpret as the divine, a sort of pneumatic glue that connects the
                                                  divine sparks in us all. And, this is not the same as devising some
                                                  Object as a projection upon returning to a temporal sense of self.

                                                  So, we come back to earth and relate in a practical way with
                                                  the "fullness" of our new sails that keep us afloat as we journey
                                                  through the temporal waters.

                                                  Don't know if I've made any sense here. It's late. LOL

                                                  Sharklady
                                                • Gerry
                                                  Reply to Wilbro’s message #5878: ... And yet, as Cari pointed out, we still reside in a temporal world—how our perceptions alter our views within this
                                                  Message 24 of 29 , May 17 6:49 AM
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                                                    Reply to Wilbro’s message #5878:

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    I, too, think we’re talking about the same thing here, albeit from different perspectives.  If I may offer my 2¢, Will, here’s where I think you lost me:

                                                     

                                                    >>I see no kingdom that is always already here. I think that notion derives from the ending of the temporal view of the self, and can only derive from it as a metaphor. What is then known is not the kingdom, but the end of the temporal sense of self, the Error. That is all that is known; the rest is the unknown....  The notion of remembering it again implies a past forgetting and a future remembering, and when it is known, there is no past nor any future.<<

                                                     

                                                    And yet, as Cari pointed out, we still reside in a temporal world—how our perceptions alter our views within this temporality need not affect the objective Truth.

                                                     

                                                    I guess what is puzzling me is that you seem to be referring to a 2-step transition from un-knowing to knowing, while perhaps I’ve taken it as a given that the original state was already one of knowing, i.e., knowing, forgetting, and then remembering.  True, that implies past and future, but only on the part of the knower—not that which is known. 

                                                     

                                                    >>"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."<<

                                                     

                                                    Aren’t these identities and manners of thinking in terms of time created for all of us when we come into this world?  It seems to me that all babies want for their own needs to be met.  While we may want to view infants with an innocence that we no longer retain, I don’t equate that with being free from the bounds of our physical natures, or the apparent individuality we each have once expelled from the womb.

                                                     

                                                    Whether a conscious or unconscious act by each of us, or the mere result of being born, the fact that something “creates” the temporal identity seems to suggest that there exists a non-temporal identity.

                                                     

                                                    Anyway, I hope that wasn’t so short as to muddy the waters even further, but that may be about as much of a reply as I’ll be able to muster ’til I manage to get some projects out of the way.

                                                     

                                                    Gerry

                                                     

                                                     

                                                     

                                                     

                                                     

                                                     

                                                     

                                                     

                                                     

                                                     

                                                  • wilbro99
                                                    Reply to #5880: The Sharklady disposes: So, we come back to earth and relate in a practical way with the fullness of our new sails that keep us afloat as we
                                                    Message 25 of 29 , May 17 2:55 PM
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                                                      Reply to #5880:

                                                      The Sharklady disposes: So, we come back to earth and relate in a
                                                      practical way with the "fullness" of our new sails that keep us afloat
                                                      as we journey through the temporal waters.

                                                      That makes perfect sense. I don't think it matters what we make of
                                                      that Presence so long as it fills our sails. I have had dialogues with
                                                      others on this shift and we run the gamut on where we come out on it.
                                                      The two who came to it as Catholics, became eclectic about it. There
                                                      also seems to be a difference as to whether or not the shift was made
                                                      at once or began with the empty between. I was first evicted from the
                                                      temporal sense of self and it took me almost two years of living in
                                                      emptiness before I found presence. In that sojourn I learned a great
                                                      deal about that temporal sense of self. I didn't reach the experience
                                                      of no-self till about ten years down the line. Those who get tossed at
                                                      once into presence seem to be the ones who think of it in religious
                                                      terms. Since this reply is so short, let me add some filler.

                                                      LC: So, Will, you have confused me. Don't worry. I confuse easily.
                                                      LOL If you view thinking of oneself in terms of time as "error," and
                                                      if after a shift in the sense of one's self, you obviously remain a
                                                      human physically, do you still wear a watch? How does a human ever
                                                      completely escape our space/time continuum? "Time" may very well be an
                                                      illusion, but even in your description of this process, you can't
                                                      escape describing it in terms of "before" and "after." You see, even
                                                      using a term like "eternal" indicates infinite "duration"
                                                      (or "continuance in time").

                                                      Simply to say "thinking of oneself in terms of time" does not convey
                                                      the essence of the temporal identity that thinks in such a way. The
                                                      implication is that all one need do is think differently, when, in
                                                      fact, what is required is a shift in one's sense of self, i.e., the
                                                      identity who does the thinking. Since the one who does the thinking
                                                      reside in this world, I would suspect a watch is still needed,
                                                      although I have never worn one. And, of course, any description of a
                                                      shift must be cast in terms of a before and after, which includes the
                                                      image of the one who makes the move, and must be understood as being
                                                      only that, a description.

                                                      LC: You say, "What is then known is not the kingdom, but the end of
                                                      the temporal sense of self, the Error. That is all that is known; the
                                                      rest is the unknown." So, Willy, if you have experienced the end of
                                                      the temporal sense of yourself, where on earth _are_ you? Okay, okay,
                                                      I'm toying with you. But I do have a point, . . . I think. :-)

                                                      Of course, the unknown I was referring to was the "unknown territory"
                                                      of fullness you referred to later as the place where we part
                                                      descriptive company. Ok, I must get to the other posts.
                                                    • wilbro99
                                                      I said: I see no kingdom that is always already here. I think that notion derives from the ending of the temporal view of the self, and can only derive from
                                                      Message 26 of 29 , May 17 6:15 PM
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                                                        I said: "I see no kingdom that is always already here. I think that
                                                        notion derives from the ending of the temporal view of the self, and
                                                        can only derive from it as a metaphor. What is then known is not the
                                                        kingdom, but the end of the temporal sense of self, the Error. That is
                                                        all that is known; the rest is the unknown...."

                                                        My error here was that I knew what I was referring to and did not make
                                                        that reference clear. When I referred to the unknown, I was thinking
                                                        only of the presence that ensues from that ending of the temporal
                                                        sense of self. I was thinking that the notion of an ever present
                                                        kingdom was a metaphor for that sense of presence, and any attempt to
                                                        say that it is that is turning that unknown into the known. The next
                                                        sentence, which you omitted goes like this: "The unknown can not be
                                                        known by the decision to know it, for when it is known, that decision
                                                        maker no longer is." I thought that connected to what I meant by the
                                                        unknown, but since both of you are not mind readers, I guess I goofed.
                                                        I do not, nor do I see how I can, deny the world I find myself in.
                                                        Even if what I find myself in is only the "seems" of it, so long as I
                                                        can make these words come into being by pressing keys on this thing in
                                                        front of me, that seems to me as if the seems are for real.

                                                        G: I guess what is puzzling me is that you seem to be referring to a
                                                        2-step transition from un-knowing to knowing, while perhaps I've taken
                                                        it as a given that the original state was already one of knowing,
                                                        i.e., knowing, forgetting, and then remembering. True, that implies
                                                        past and future, but only on the part of the knower-not that which is
                                                        known.

                                                        The notion of having known, forgetting, and remembering is, if I have
                                                        it straight, the Greek theory of recollection. Under that scheme of
                                                        it, the loss of the error would be the remembering, the waking up to
                                                        what had already been known, the wiping away of the
                                                        fog of forgetfulness, and so on. I have a different scheme, one that
                                                        derives from my experience of the ending of a temporal sense of self.
                                                        Now, it may be that there are two different "original states," and
                                                        that the "original state" as defined by the forgetting of it and
                                                        remembering of it, which defines the term "original," is not the same
                                                        as the presence come upon when the temporal sense of self comes to an
                                                        end, leaving behind a presential sense of self. That is my question. I
                                                        know only the latter and I think the former is only a way of
                                                        describing it that ensues from the belief that that is the way it is.
                                                        I do not believe it so I see it differently.

                                                        I see it as follows: There is a coming into being of the temporal
                                                        sense of self because of the ability to remember and identify with a
                                                        me that things happen to. That identity is the Error. The loss of that
                                                        identity brings a sense of presence into being that is a new sense of
                                                        presence, there being no way to remember back through the presence of
                                                        the error to a before of the error.



                                                        --- In gnosticism2@y..., "Gerry" <gerryhsp@y...> wrote:
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > Reply to Wilbro's message #5878:
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > I, too, think we're talking about the same thing here, albeit from
                                                        different perspectives. If I may offer my 2¢, Will, here's where I
                                                        think you lost me:
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > >>I see no kingdom that is always already here. I think that notion
                                                        derives from the ending of the temporal view of the self, and can only
                                                        derive from it as a metaphor. What is then known is not the kingdom,
                                                        but the end of the temporal sense of self, the Error. That is all that
                                                        is known; the rest is the unknown.... The notion of remembering it
                                                        again implies a past forgetting and a future remembering, and when it
                                                        is known, there is no past nor any future.<<
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > And yet, as Cari pointed out, we still reside in a temporal
                                                        world—how our perceptions alter our views within this temporality need
                                                        not affect the objective Truth.
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > I guess what is puzzling me is that you seem to be referring to a
                                                        2-step transition from un-knowing to knowing, while perhaps I've taken
                                                        it as a given that the original state was already one of knowing,
                                                        i.e., knowing, forgetting, and then remembering. True, that implies
                                                        past and future, but only on the part of the knower—not that which is
                                                        known.
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > >>"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."<<
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > Aren't these identities and manners of thinking in terms of time
                                                        created for all of us when we come into this world? It seems to me
                                                        that all babies want for their own needs to be met. While we may want
                                                        to view infants with an innocence that we no longer retain, I don't
                                                        equate that with being free from the bounds of our physical natures,
                                                        or the apparent individuality we each have once expelled from the
                                                        womb.
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > Whether a conscious or unconscious act by each of us, or the mere
                                                        result of being born, the fact that something "creates" the temporal
                                                        identity seems to suggest that there exists a non-temporal identity.
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > Anyway, I hope that wasn't so short as to muddy the waters even
                                                        further, but that may be about as much of a reply as I'll be able to
                                                        muster 'til I manage to get some projects out of the way.
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > Gerry
                                                      • Gerry
                                                        Reply to Play’s message #5905: Frankly, I hardly know where to begin here, but let me try to piece together some comments that have caught my attention. ...
                                                        Message 27 of 29 , May 21 10:45 PM
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                                                          Reply to Play’s message #5905:

                                                           

                                                           

                                                           

                                                          Frankly, I hardly know where to begin here, but let me try to piece together some comments that have caught my attention.

                                                           

                                                          >>[Cari] I have found my path to be Gnostic (or Christian Gnostic).  I don't prefer to be called a "Christian," even though I find Christ to be a soter, because that usually denotes an "orthodox Christian," which I am not.

                                                          [Play]  Did you mean to say savior?<<

                                                           

                                                          Actually, Play, I think Cari fully intended to say “soter” in that statement.  This is, after all, a forum for the discussion of Gnosticism.  Greek terminology just happens to come along with the historical territory of the subject matter at hand.  By using that specific reference (along with noting the obvious context of her comments—there, and in previous posts), I see Cari choosing very carefully to demonstrate that her idea of salvation has nothing to do with such orthodox concepts as vicarious atonement.  This is why I’m baffled that you then proceed to “explain” to her how we all might find salvation within.  To say that you seem to be preaching to the choir would be a gross understatement.  In fact, it might even be more accurate to say that much of your commentary could be construed as a pistic sermon to a Gnostic congregation.

                                                           

                                                          >>I want to understand why you think the world is flawed. I don't agree with that notion. That is true. I have read Gerry's discussion and PMCV's and your take on it. I still don't understand and maybe it is because my question still remains unanswered.  Who views "the world" as flawed? Us [humans] or the Prime Source?<<

                                                           

                                                          Actually, Play, your question has already been answered.  The latest attempt to clarify that issue for you was by Cari, right before you started patronizing her.  And surely you recall when PMCV elaborated on the correct usage and origin of the “Prime Source.”  To suggest that the Prime Source “views” anything is, in fact, anthropomorphizing the ineffable.

                                                           

                                                          If you really read the examples (either hypothetical or anecdotal) in my post, to which Cari referred, and you still don’t understand why we see the world as flawed, then I seriously doubt there is anything else I could say or do to help you understand our point of view.

                                                           

                                                          >>The blend between mind, body and spirit has incredible powers over what becomes manifest in our lives… It becomes a matter of what governs the mind more; the needs of the body or of the spirit? The body does not need what  the spirit needs and  vice-versa but each part needs it's own kind of "food" to have health for if one dies or become inbalanced, so does the other.<<  [Play #5907]

                                                           

                                                          If this is so, then when the body dies, so does the spirit.  You have described a chain of paper dolls—cut the link between two and the chain falls apart.  For a more Gnostic viewpoint, if you’re interested, you may want to go back and re-read Hey Market’s analogy of the nested dolls.

                                                           

                                                          As for following every religion one can name, an important question would be whether one is actually identifying the Prime Source via a shallow exploration of each of those traditions—or simply slapping some universal Happy Face on cross-cultural representations of the demiurge?  While one may find them seemingly similar, the difference is like Day and Night.

                                                           

                                                           

                                                          Gerry

                                                           

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