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Re: Thomasine Metaphor or universal microcosm?

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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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