- Jan 20, 2005Michael Mozina writes.....
"It seems to me that in the Thomasine view of life, one's "divinity" was
achieved by CONSCIOUSLY experiencing this indwelling of the presence of God
in EVERY moment, 24/7."
I think this is what is meant with the symbology of the 'garment.' There is a relationship that I think can be explained concerning the bridal chamber and the treasure, storehouse, and garment. In time we'll get to them in this group.
Steve Davies book, "Christian Wisdom" explains in his introduction about the male and female aspects of "being like male," and how the term male is a station, or rank rather than a term meaning sexuality. This makes sense with what Mike Grondin is saying about it. (Note to Mike, what is 'IS' and I am not clear on some things yet, but I think you are definitely on to something.)
You are correct in thinking that some ideas are related to the Orthodox. "The Thomasine community seemed more inclined to attempt to achieving a "conscious union" with the divine via the indwelling
of the Holy Spirit. That's not necessarily unique to the Christian movement of that time however."
I am sure that Johnite Christians thought of themselves on some sort of path to the union with the Holy Spirit. I am also sure that Thomas is an instrument of that union, and differs in the epistemology of transcendence. Consider this.....
"The cup of prayer contains wine and water, since it is appointed as the type of the blood for which thanks is given. And it is full of the Holy Spirit, and it belongs to the wholly perfect man. When we drink this, we shall receive for ourselves the perfect man. The living water is a body. It is necessary that we put on the living man. Therefore, when he is about to go down into the water, he unclothes himself, in order that he may put on the living man." (Gospel of Phillip)
Consider that what Phillip is talking about is the Eucharist, and transubstantiation of the Holy Spirit in the wine. This is the ceremony of the Orthodox church as it is described by Phillip. The difference is that if the priest is not transcended the ceremony might not be seen to be valid in the actual transubstantiation of "spirit" because......
"The priest is completely holy, down to his very body. For if he has taken the bread, he will consecrate it. Or the cup or anything else that he gets, he will consecrate. Then how will he not consecrate the body also?" (Gospel of Phillip)
How can a priest be Holy without the proper transcendence of the "Wisdom" of Jesus, if like Tertullian, you don't have Thomas? Tertullian came up with the soul being the "Breath of God" but that is not the "Wisdom of Jesus," that you bond with. If we try and explain how the "Word" is allegorical to "Light" then we might see "breath" as an instrument of the voice, and producing words. Then we might try relating "Word" to 'Wisdom' and explain the Thomasine Gnosis in those terms.
I think as we examine Phillip, Mary, Contender and more we will come to realize more and more, bits and pieces of the Thomas puzzle. We have yet to explore the relationship with the human faults that are there in Thomas. Now that we have some idea that Thomas is linked with a process of transcendence, we have to see what perspective the flaws have on the transcended. I think we need a lot of clarification to the process and the elements and goals of this transcendence. We have to realize that this perfection of the self entails the psyche, and the kenoma, which in this case means the flawed environment, Unholy Priests and all.
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