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Re: Thomasine Metaphor

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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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