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Re: [Gnosticism] Valentinian Breakfast

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  • Coraxo
    Ptolemy writes; Finally, there is the part translated and changed from the literal to the spiritual, this symbolic legislation which is an image of
    Message 1 of 7 , Jun 24, 2002
      Ptolemy writes;

      "Finally, there is the part translated and changed from the literal to the
      spiritual, this symbolic legislation which is an image of transcendent
      things. For the images and symbols which represent other things were good as
      long as the Truth has not come; but since the Truth has come, we must
      perform the actions of the Truth, not those of the image. "

      Thus we find the translation from exoteric to esoteric, similar applications
      are found among the Ismaili regard towards the fast and obligatory prayers
      in modern Ismailism.

      Ptolemy writes;

      "Thus the Savior commaned us to make offerings not of irrational animals or
      of the incense of this worldly sort, but of spiritual praise and
      glorification and thanksgiving and of sharing and well-doing with our
      neighbors. He wanted us to be circumcised, not in regard to our physical
      foreskin but in regard to our spiritual heart; to keep the Sabbath, for he
      wishes us to be idle in regard to evil works; to fast, not in physical
      fasting but in spiritual, in which there is abstinence from everything evil.

      By modern analogy, the ismailis likewise fast not only in Ramezan, but are
      enjoined to abstain from all unrighteous speech and actions, the true
      meaning of the fast.

      So it would seem that Ptolemy is making esoteric interpretation of the Law,
      enjoining Flora to ethics rather than obedience to exoteric code.

      and again Ptolemy writes;

      "And if the perfect God is good by nature, in fact he is, for our Savior
      declared that there is only a single good God, his Father whom he
      manifested; and if the one who is the opposite nature is evil and wicked,
      characterized by injustice; then the one situatedbetween the two is neither
      good nor evil or unjust, but can properly be called just, since he is the
      arbitrator of the justice which is his.

      On the one hand, this god will be inferior to the perfect God and the lower
      than his justice, since he is generated and not ungenerated -- there is only
      one ungenerated Father, from whom are all things [1 Cor 8:6], since all
      things depend on him in their own ways. "

      Ptolemy thus establishes the Law is only indirectly from the Father but is
      the Law of the Craftsman.

      The curious thing about Valentinian gnosticism is that it also obtains a
      salvation for the Demiurge as well, Irenaeus recorded;

      "But they relate that when the Saviour came, the Demiurge learned all things
      from Him, and gladly with all, his power joined himself to Him. They
      maintain that he is the centurion mentioned in the Gospel, who addressed the
      Saviour in these words: "For I also am one having soldiers and servants
      under my authority; and whatsoever I command they do." They further hold
      that he will continue administering the affairs of the world as long as that
      is fitting and needful, and specially that he may exercise a care over the
      Church; while at the same time he is influenced by the knowledge of the
      reward prepared for him, namely, that he may attain to the habitation of his
      mother. "

      At least that is what I can see to resolve the Ptolemaic apologies in the
      Florine Epistle.

      Again I bear in mind for my understanding is that the Florine Epistle is
      basic catechism about the Law, a letter of psychic initiation perhaps, used
      to assuage doubts regarding the Law and its relation to the Valentinian
      school, sort of a "spin-doctoring" of Mosaic Law for new converts.

      What say?


      From: "s_e_k_h_m_e_t" <sekhmet@...>
      Reply-To: gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Tue, 25 Jun 2002 03:02:52 -0000
      To: gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [Gnosticism] Valentinian Breakfast

      There is a quote:

      "Since by Man came Death
      By Man came also the resurrection of the Dead"

      Unfortunately I only remember it from Handel's Messiah and am not
      sure whether he lifted it from Psalms, Proverbs or somewhere in the

      But the inference is that the Saviour is undoing something set in
      motion by the first Adam.

      On the other hand the sarcophagus brings up ideas of Essene (and
      masonic and pyramidial) rites of rebirth (adolescent angst cliches
      from Samuel beckett too).

      Of course we have the cave like borrowed tomb (though apparently
      without a sarcophagus in it - perhaps that had to wait for Houdini)
      swallowing up the body - if there was one - taken down from the cross.

      Again, in the Valentinian theology, the Son is seen to emit the Logos.

      Now he is swallowing death. Let us hope that in his continence he
      managed to burp quietly - all that festering and fermentation could
      not be good for the digestion.

      --- In gnosticism2@y..., "morphodyte" <morphodyte@y...> wrote:
      > --- In gnosticism2@y..., "s_e_k_h_m_e_t" <sekhmet@z...> wrote:
      > > I am still wondering about the saviour swallowing up death. Of
      > > course it is a dramatic piece of rhetoric, in that death is
      > > conventionally perceived as swallowing the individual and the
      > saviour
      > > is seen to subvert this process.
      > If we consider the greek term sarcophagus; body swallower,
      > then I think you may be on to something.
      > Would you care to expand on this further?
      > Morph

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