Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Re: Thomasine Metaphor

Expand Messages
  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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

                           

                        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.