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Re: Another volley--Mani myths...

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  • 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 1 of 2 , Jul 5, 2002
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      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

      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.
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