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

Another volley--Mani myths...

Expand Messages
  • hey_market
    PMCV--Here s one example of Manichean mythology tied to soteriology which is not tied to a literal understanding of myth, and it comes from an opponent no
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 20, 2002
    • 0 Attachment
      PMCV--Here's one example of Manichean mythology tied to soteriology
      which is not tied to a literal understanding of myth, and it comes
      from an opponent no less--St. Augustine.

      I might add that in one short stroke this example alone virtually
      destroys the allegations of an exclusively digestive Manichean
      soteriology as proposed by some.

      Not that you REALLY meant what you said--clearly you must have been
      joking, with excessive hyperbole I might add.

      Scholar that you are, you are no doubt familiar with Augustine's
      reference to Manicheans as preaching the concept of Jeshua Patabilis,
      in the Manichean Elect held a myth that Jesus Christ hangs in every
      tree.

      Now then, do you for a moment believe that Manicheans literally
      believed that Jesus was actually physically hanging from every tree,
      dangling from the branches? Or that they even saw an apparition of
      him, in some sort of docetic twist?

      Of course you don't (at least I hope not).

      And yet, per this same Manichean teaching, we are to free this hanged
      Jesus from this tree, and in fact, we are called to free all divinity
      from its imrisonment in matter (a teaching which in turn derives from
      the Manichean pre-cosmic myths about light falling into darkness, yet
      using its light as its only and best defense to redeem darkness--
      kinda like a seductive poison).

      And so, how does the Manichean free Jesus from each tree, if not
      physically? Under your logic, why it must come through the stomach,
      mustn't it? (Rather, um, "embarrassing" notion, isn't it? A bit emic,
      or maybe anemic is a more fitting word.)

      Well, there's certainly no record of Manicheans munching on every
      last species of tree, so one must logically conclude that this
      freedom comes from something else.

      Dare I adaciously propose the obvious--that it comes from awareness,
      from spiritual cultivation and gnosis, which is a practical action in
      and of itself, though not to the exclusion of other practical
      actions, such as diet?

      Manicheans believed that light was imprisoned in everything, yet they
      didn't consume everything, so exactly how did they propose to save
      the world through their stomachs?

      One could maintain that the lighter foods acted as a spiritual vacuum
      for all other light, and to some extent, this was indeed part of the
      myth. However, it still doesn't put Jesus up on that tree, and plop
      him down on the table, yet it is only through consciousness of this
      imprisonment that such dietary actions are activated.

      In other words, dietary actions (and other actions) are derived from
      a mythically-informed consciousness of divine imprisonment and the
      related need for redemption rather than redemption and liberating
      consciousness thereof being derived from the stomach.

      This is a far more rational explanation and much nearer at hand. It
      straightforwardly holds that Manichean redemption is derived from
      gnosis, which in turn saw Manicheans engaging in a physical
      discipline informed by literal myths appertaining to this gnosis.

      Thus, again, it is this spiritual consciousness which is the true,
      real, and original source of liberation. To me, it's obvious.

      However, perversion of Manichean beliefs is a longstanding tradition,
      and it has lead to blinding illogic. Somehow, scholars miss what is
      right in front of their eyes. Why? Probably because they're listening
      to other scholars (and are bolwed over by the domino effect of
      historcal scholarly ignorance) rather than really keeping their eyes
      on the real subject.

      Unfortunately for them, Manicheanism is not so easily disgarded. It
      is exceptionally sophisticated and subtle, and spiritually so, yet
      clear enough to those who look in the right places.

      If not, before you know it, scholars start coming to bizarre
      reductionist conclusions, such as, I dunno, redemption comes to
      Manicheans through their stomachs, and if through other channels,
      then certainly not myth.

      Yes indeed it does come through their stomachs, and...?

      Again, I would catuion anyone to look at the Manicheans with a
      both/and approach, whereas historically and apparently still today,
      the scholarly perception has very much been either/or, black/white,
      good-bad sort of affair.

      No coubt you'll disagree, but I hope it at least proves to be food
      for thought from the belly of the beast.
    • ernststrohregenmantelrad
      Sorry to dwell on this but I promiss this would be the last thing relating to this topic I was meaning to answer the following post by HM but I didn t since it
      Message 2 of 2 , Jul 5, 2002
      • 0 Attachment
        Sorry to dwell on this but I promiss this would be the last thing relating to
        this topic
        I was meaning to answer the following post by HM but I didn't since it was
        address to PMCV and I would thought he would answer it but his answer
        really didn't bring up the point that I'm going to say now. So... I would like
        to add some very important factors (IMO) that I think it is being over
        looked.

        In this post HM asserts that:

        > Now then, do you for a moment believe that Manicheans literally
        > believed that Jesus was actually physically hanging from every tree,
        > dangling from the branches? Or that they even saw an apparition of
        > him, in some sort of docetic twist?

        I think this is fallacy in his part. That specific instance doesn't neccessary
        imply general. Well, what I mean is by this. Just because Manichaeans
        interpret one myth as an allegory that doesn't mean they interpret very
        thing as such. Or just because a group believes literally on one thing that
        doesn't mean that group believes everything literally.

        I was reminded of one paragraph from an essay on Fundamentalism

        " For fundamentalists, this [the Bible is 'inerrant'] means that the Bible
        not only is an infallible authority in matter of faith and practice, but also is
        accurate in all its historical and scientific assertions. Of course,
        fundamentalists do not hold that everything is the Bible is to be
        interpreted literally (the mountains do not literally clas their hands).
        Rather, "literal where possible" is their interpretive rule. Whetever in the
        Bible can resonaby be given a literal reference should be interpreted as
        litera and accurate." (Marsden, 1977, p. 25 in _The Varity of American
        Evangelicalism_ ed. by Dayton and Johnston)

        Now, I am not comparing fundamentalism and Manichaeism but rather
        every soteriological speculation is based upon a certain hermeneutics and
        that hermeneutics is not cut and dry as saying it is allelogical or literal.
        Granted there has always been two metholds of scriptual exegesis: one
        represented by allelogical, in Hebrew Tradition as Daresh (where the word
        Midrash comes from) in Christian Tradition as Alexandrian school and it is
        Platonic in nature. The other represented literal, in Hebrew Tradition as
        Peshet. In Christian Tradition as Antioch school and it is Aristolian in
        nature. However, one can't say one school uses one one method only.
        The key is where does a group use allegory and where does it uses literal.
        That comprise the hermeneutics.

        I am sure Manichaeans used allegory in some of thier writings. One
        example I can come up with right off my head is the title of the Cologne
        Mani Codex. "The Origin of His Body". Scholars disaree over the meaning
        of the word "body" Does it mean Mani's literal body? but taken as whole in
        the story, the "body" in this case seems to be the "church" as Mani's
        body is the allegory of Manichaean church. (maybe it is both as sort of
        pun). However, this does not mean Manichaeans take every thus
        allegorically. What is the key point here is that Manichaeans on concering
        praxis on soteriology take things literary. They might take other myths
        such as Jesus tree allelogically but that doesn't mean they are all
        allelogical based upo that. And that is thier method of hermeneutics
        takeing one are to be read certain way from another. And it is not just
        Manichaeism but all religious movement including fundamentalism and
        even "Gnosticism".

        --- In gnosticism2@y..., hey_market <no_reply@y...> wrote:
        > PMCV--Here's one example of Manichean mythology tied to soteriology
        > which is not tied to a literal understanding of myth, and it comes
        > from an opponent no less--St. Augustine.
        >
        > I might add that in one short stroke this example alone virtually
        > destroys the allegations of an exclusively digestive Manichean
        > soteriology as proposed by some.
        >
        > Not that you REALLY meant what you said--clearly you must have been
        > joking, with excessive hyperbole I might add.
        >
        > Scholar that you are, you are no doubt familiar with Augustine's
        > reference to Manicheans as preaching the concept of Jeshua Patabilis,
        > in the Manichean Elect held a myth that Jesus Christ hangs in every
        > tree.
        >
        > Now then, do you for a moment believe that Manicheans literally
        > believed that Jesus was actually physically hanging from every tree,
        > dangling from the branches? Or that they even saw an apparition of
        > him, in some sort of docetic twist?
        >
        > Of course you don't (at least I hope not).
        >
        > And yet, per this same Manichean teaching, we are to free this hanged
        > Jesus from this tree, and in fact, we are called to free all divinity
        > from its imrisonment in matter (a teaching which in turn derives from
        > the Manichean pre-cosmic myths about light falling into darkness, yet
        > using its light as its only and best defense to redeem darkness--
        > kinda like a seductive poison).
        >
        > And so, how does the Manichean free Jesus from each tree, if not
        > physically? Under your logic, why it must come through the stomach,
        > mustn't it? (Rather, um, "embarrassing" notion, isn't it? A bit emic,
        > or maybe anemic is a more fitting word.)
        >
        > Well, there's certainly no record of Manicheans munching on every
        > last species of tree, so one must logically conclude that this
        > freedom comes from something else.
        >
        > Dare I adaciously propose the obvious--that it comes from awareness,
        > from spiritual cultivation and gnosis, which is a practical action in
        > and of itself, though not to the exclusion of other practical
        > actions, such as diet?
        >
        > Manicheans believed that light was imprisoned in everything, yet they
        > didn't consume everything, so exactly how did they propose to save
        > the world through their stomachs?
        >
        > One could maintain that the lighter foods acted as a spiritual vacuum
        > for all other light, and to some extent, this was indeed part of the
        > myth. However, it still doesn't put Jesus up on that tree, and plop
        > him down on the table, yet it is only through consciousness of this
        > imprisonment that such dietary actions are activated.
        >
        > In other words, dietary actions (and other actions) are derived from
        > a mythically-informed consciousness of divine imprisonment and the
        > related need for redemption rather than redemption and liberating
        > consciousness thereof being derived from the stomach.
        >
        > This is a far more rational explanation and much nearer at hand. It
        > straightforwardly holds that Manichean redemption is derived from
        > gnosis, which in turn saw Manicheans engaging in a physical
        > discipline informed by literal myths appertaining to this gnosis.
        >
        > Thus, again, it is this spiritual consciousness which is the true,
        > real, and original source of liberation. To me, it's obvious.
        >
        > However, perversion of Manichean beliefs is a longstanding tradition,
        > and it has lead to blinding illogic. Somehow, scholars miss what is
        > right in front of their eyes. Why? Probably because they're listening
        > to other scholars (and are bolwed over by the domino effect of
        > historcal scholarly ignorance) rather than really keeping their eyes
        > on the real subject.
        >
        > Unfortunately for them, Manicheanism is not so easily disgarded. It
        > is exceptionally sophisticated and subtle, and spiritually so, yet
        > clear enough to those who look in the right places.
        >
        > If not, before you know it, scholars start coming to bizarre
        > reductionist conclusions, such as, I dunno, redemption comes to
        > Manicheans through their stomachs, and if through other channels,
        > then certainly not myth.
        >
        > Yes indeed it does come through their stomachs, and...?
        >
        > Again, I would catuion anyone to look at the Manicheans with a
        > both/and approach, whereas historically and apparently still today,
        > the scholarly perception has very much been either/or, black/white,
        > good-bad sort of affair.
        >
        > No coubt you'll disagree, but I hope it at least proves to be food
        > for thought from the belly of the beast.
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.