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[gthomas] Re: anecdotal reports

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  • Tord Svenson
    ... The sister list to this list -- the GOT list --- was formed to deal with these questions. They are of a personal nature and have little or nothing to do
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 14, 1999
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      At 03:17 PM 6/14/99 -0400, Roger Banks wrote:
      >Since things seem to be a little slow, I'll take this opportunity to ask a
      >lengthy question.
      >How has learning about the Gospel of Thomas and other non-traditional texts
      >affected you and your spiritual journeys.
      >I must honestly admit, I feel that my eyes have been opened about religion
      >for the first time. I am excited about my spirituality for the first time.
      > As I do more research into such texts, my excitement grows.
      >I was wondering if anyone else feels or has felt this way. Just curious.
      ------- Reply -----------
      The sister list to this list -- the GOT list --- was formed to deal with
      these questions. They are of a personal nature and have little or nothing
      to do with a scholar's approach. Since we don't know who said what
      --whether there even was a Jesus -- or if the GOT was written by several
      people and or redacted to suit the Gnostic audience it was apparently
      intended for --falling in love with it seems a bit like falling in love
      with a Hollywood creation like "Star Wars".

      I feel very strongly attracted emotionally to the GOT because it helps make
      me feel that this "Jesus" was not a pie-in-the -sky superman who performed
      miracles and was never really human at all. Many of the GOT sayings make
      sense to me in terms of Plato and Asian teachers who arguably said much the
      same thing.

      i use the GOT frequently on a UU discussion list I subscribe to. Here is an
      example from today
      >The thread -- "The Worst Idea" (of the past century) drew some interesting
      responses. It got me thinking about something I read back in the 1950s ---
      I was a Junior at UMass Amherst.
      >What RAND told us back then is my candidate for the worst idea of this
      century. RAND said that much of society's technical development the world
      over would serve to increase the ruling class' power over the >individual.
      ----snip -------
      >Medical science has provided the means to increase life expectancy and to
      cure disease beyond he imagination of the previous one hundred years --but
      it has also provided a system of chemical restraints that can be used to
      control -- and the research and development is always in the direction of
      suppression of unwanted behaviors and thoughts.
      >At the beginning of the first millennium Jesus had a simple analysis of
      the reason for our existence ---
      >2) Jesus said, "Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds. When
      he finds, he will become troubled. When he becomes troubled, he will be
      astonished, and he will rule over the All."
      >At the end of the second millennium anyone who is troubled is treated with
      tranquilizers or anti-depressants. If the trouble is deemed significant,
      the person is subject to chemical restraints or incarceration.
      >The research and development of technology to control human thought and
      behavior ranks as my candidate for the worst idea of the last century.
      So -- there is a "practical" use of the GOT :-)

      As far as the "meaning" of the sayings go -- that was meant to be personal
      and if the mind or minds that created the GOT succeed in getting anyone to
      think about the meaning(s) --then their time was not wasted. I asked the
      GOT-list a question that was not answered. Roger --perhaps you can answer
      it --- here it is in it's context
      >I take your question very seriously. It is a Zen koan --case XXXVI in the
      Mumonkan. "Goso said-- 'When you meet a man of the Way on the way, do not
      greet him with words, do not greet him with silence; tell me how will you
      greet him?' " -- that is why I put Jesus' GOT koan to the list -- "What
      will you do?"
      >"When you come to dwell in the light, what will you do? On the day when
      you were one you became two. But when you become two, what will you do?"
      >One of these Jesuses had a good answer for this GOT Jesus' question --does
      anyone know it ??? :-)


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