Re: Resonating scripture
Reply to Cari’s message #6914:>>….Do you have favorite Gnostic scripture(s) and why?<<
When you originally asked this question, I found it difficult to give a simple answer. How does one choose a favorite, or even a handful of them? Perhaps it’s just my inability to commit so readily. Maybe it comes from my fascination with the Word, whether written or vocalized. Even those modifiers carry not only general meaning for me, but specific, as well: “Vocalized” as in not simply spoken, but sung; “Written” to denote not just random thoughts scribbled in ink on scraps of paper or pounded out on our keyboards, but as in the Old English original (wrîtan) where letters were once held to have power and were carved with care in wood or bone, or chiseled in stone.
While all our modern technologies have led us more in the direction of instant gratification and impersonal communication, I think we have lost a great deal of appreciation for the intricacies of word-craft, both in expressing ourselves and in understanding one another. Dinosaur that I am, I still like to surround myself with examples of other peoples’ brushes with Sophia, however diverse the historical origins of those cultural traditions. It is through that sharing that I experience a singular “connectedness” to other souls in the world, while normally the world, itself, remains something from which I feel quite dis-connected.
As Mike pointed out, it would be hard to translate poorly something like the value of Love, and yet, just how often do people come up with their own bizarre interpretations of it? On numerous occasions, I’ve witnessed a person chastising another for not “getting” the meaning of “unconditional” love, and in their explanation, proceeding to reveal their various qualifications for that allegedly un-qualified concept. People are funny like that—just not always amusing. ;-)
Having said all that, I might as easily say that all those sources cited thus far in previous posts are also my favorites as claim that I could choose none of them. I can at least say with certainty, however, what it was upon first discovering Gnostic thought that brought me to the realization that I had come home: The Gospel of Thomas—to be specific, #17 was among the sayings that impressed me the most:
Jesus said, “I shall give you what no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, what no hand has touched, what has not arisen in the human heart.”
Odd that such a verse should have moved me more than others, especially since it has parallels in the Old and New Testaments (Isaiah 64:4; I Corinthians 2:9), and surely elsewhere. It’s not as if I hadn’t encountered something like it before. Considering that passage in context, I might attribute its impact on me to the cumulative effect of having perused all the logia of the GTh. Elaine Pagels also points out in The Gnostic Paul that such a phrase would probably have been uttered to an initiate being welcomed into the Gnostic fold, so perhaps it was simply appropriate that its significance has remained with me since that first reading.
> Because moving away from Latin as the scholars' lingua francaOthers would argue that the movement INTO Latin as the
> was the greatest error throughout the history of European culture.
> This has already been noted by A. Schopenhauer.
scholar's "lingua franca" was the greatest mistake of western
culture... this would include the Greek-speaking composers of much of
the Nag Hammadi library, as well as it's Coptic speaking translators.
Often times both of these languages were very specifically used as
outposts of resistance against Latin cultural oppression. In northern
Egypt the Greek speaking community was second only to the Jews for
their reputation for insurrection (in Alexandria the Greek community
lived just to the south of the walled Jewish quarter, and the
cultural exchange equalled the resentment of occupation. This is the
venue in which Gnosticism was created).
None of these books we are talking about were written in Latin, so
gumming up the works with yet a fourth (unrelated) language in the
mix seemed rather strange is all. Don't get me wrong, Latin is a
wonderful language, and one that is very useful to the scientific
community. It is also something like speaking Hebrew at a Palistinian
knitting club. I have no problem if you want to use latin... knock
yourself out our uptight friend. Now, if we were talking about
Catholicism it would seem perfectly obvious that you should use Latin.
By the way..... Schopenhauer wasn't Gnostic either.