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Re: Jewish mysticism

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  • 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 1 of 29 , May 13, 2002
      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 2 of 29 , May 13, 2002
        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 3 of 29 , May 14, 2002
          --- 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 4 of 29 , May 15, 2002
            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 5 of 29 , May 15, 2002
              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 6 of 29 , May 16, 2002
                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 7 of 29 , May 16, 2002
                  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 8 of 29 , May 16, 2002
                    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 9 of 29 , May 16, 2002
                      --- 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 10 of 29 , May 16, 2002
                        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 11 of 29 , May 16, 2002
                          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 12 of 29 , May 17, 2002

                             

                            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 13 of 29 , May 17, 2002
                              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 14 of 29 , May 17, 2002
                                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 15 of 29 , May 21, 2002

                                   

                                  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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