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Re: Thomasine Metaphor or universal microcosm?

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  • 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 1 of 29 , May 16, 2002
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      --- In gnosticism2@y..., "play_nice_now" <searay@b...> wrote:
      > Interesting conversation Will and my lady Caritas.
      >
      > So then, the kingdom is already "here" and now. Always has been.
      > Always will be. Why do you guys think that no one sees it or
      > experiences it in that way? From the gnostic point of view, is
      > knowing this just a matter of making the decision to know it or
      > remember it again? If so, what stops us from making that decision?
      > What are we afraid of?
      >

      Play, I think you have drawn the wrong conclusion about my view of
      this from what Lady C has said. I see no kingdom that is always
      already here. I think that notion derives from the ending of the
      temporal view of the self, and can only derive from it as a metaphor.
      What is then known is not the kingdom, but the end of the temporal
      sense of self, the Error. That is all that is known; the rest is the
      unknown. The unknown can not be known by the decision to know it, for
      when it is known, that decision maker no longer is. The notion of
      remembering it again implies a past forgetting and a future
      remembering, and when it is known, there is no past nor any future.
      The self that is looking for it is what stops it from being. Anyway,
      all I have been doing here is translating before terms into after
      terms to continue the point I was making in my response to Lady C. My
      question remains: Are we looking at the same thing?
    • lady_caritas
      Play, thank you for your research (Message #5876). Just some observations~ You say, These passages describe the human being as a microcosm of the universe,
      Message 2 of 29 , May 16, 2002
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        Play, thank you for your research (Message #5876). Just some
        observations~

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

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

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

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

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

        Cari
      • lady_caritas
        Ah, Will, I am in total agreement with you (Message #5877) until we get to your explanations of quotes from the article on error. In answer to your question,
        Message 3 of 29 , May 16, 2002
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          Ah, Will, I am in total agreement with you (Message #5877) until we
          get to your explanations of quotes from the article on "error."

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

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

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

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

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

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

          Let's attempt to examine why.

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

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

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

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

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

          Sharklady
        • Gerry
          Reply to Wilbro’s message #5878: ... And yet, as Cari pointed out, we still reside in a temporal world—how our perceptions alter our views within this
          Message 4 of 29 , May 17, 2002
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            Reply to Wilbro’s message #5878:

             

             

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

             

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

             

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

             

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

             

            >>"The error, as I see it, is a temporal taking of oneself as oneself, where one thinks self in terms of time, and in thinking of self in terms of time, creates that temporal identity."<<

             

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

             

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

             

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

             

            Gerry

             

             

             

             

             

             

             

             

             

             

          • wilbro99
            Reply to #5880: The Sharklady disposes: So, we come back to earth and relate in a practical way with the fullness of our new sails that keep us afloat as we
            Message 5 of 29 , May 17, 2002
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              Reply to #5880:

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

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

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

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

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

              Of course, the unknown I was referring to was the "unknown territory"
              of fullness you referred to later as the place where we part
              descriptive company. Ok, I must get to the other posts.
            • wilbro99
              I said: I see no kingdom that is always already here. I think that notion derives from the ending of the temporal view of the self, and can only derive from
              Message 6 of 29 , May 17, 2002
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                I said: "I see no kingdom that is always already here. I think that
                notion derives from the ending of the temporal view of the self, and
                can only derive from it as a metaphor. What is then known is not the
                kingdom, but the end of the temporal sense of self, the Error. That is
                all that is known; the rest is the unknown...."

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

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

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

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



                --- In gnosticism2@y..., "Gerry" <gerryhsp@y...> wrote:
                >
                >
                > Reply to Wilbro's message #5878:
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > I, too, think we're talking about the same thing here, albeit from
                different perspectives. If I may offer my 2¢, Will, here's where I
                think you lost me:
                >
                >
                >
                > >>I see no kingdom that is always already here. I think that notion
                derives from the ending of the temporal view of the self, and can only
                derive from it as a metaphor. What is then known is not the kingdom,
                but the end of the temporal sense of self, the Error. That is all that
                is known; the rest is the unknown.... The notion of remembering it
                again implies a past forgetting and a future remembering, and when it
                is known, there is no past nor any future.<<
                >
                >
                >
                > And yet, as Cari pointed out, we still reside in a temporal
                world—how our perceptions alter our views within this temporality need
                not affect the objective Truth.
                >
                >
                >
                > I guess what is puzzling me is that you seem to be referring to a
                2-step transition from un-knowing to knowing, while perhaps I've taken
                it as a given that the original state was already one of knowing,
                i.e., knowing, forgetting, and then remembering. True, that implies
                past and future, but only on the part of the knower—not that which is
                known.
                >
                >
                >
                > >>"The error, as I see it, is a temporal taking of oneself as
                oneself, where one thinks self in terms of time, and in thinking of
                self in terms of time, creates that temporal identity."<<
                >
                >
                >
                > Aren't these identities and manners of thinking in terms of time
                created for all of us when we come into this world? It seems to me
                that all babies want for their own needs to be met. While we may want
                to view infants with an innocence that we no longer retain, I don't
                equate that with being free from the bounds of our physical natures,
                or the apparent individuality we each have once expelled from the
                womb.
                >
                >
                >
                > Whether a conscious or unconscious act by each of us, or the mere
                result of being born, the fact that something "creates" the temporal
                identity seems to suggest that there exists a non-temporal identity.
                >
                >
                >
                > Anyway, I hope that wasn't so short as to muddy the waters even
                further, but that may be about as much of a reply as I'll be able to
                muster 'til I manage to get some projects out of the way.
                >
                >
                >
                > Gerry
              • Gerry
                Reply to Play’s message #5905: Frankly, I hardly know where to begin here, but let me try to piece together some comments that have caught my attention. ...
                Message 7 of 29 , May 21, 2002
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                  Reply to Play’s message #5905:

                   

                   

                   

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

                   

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

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

                   

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

                   

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

                   

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

                   

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

                   

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

                   

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

                   

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

                   

                   

                  Gerry

                   

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