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[gthomas] return of the lion which the man eats

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  • Jim Bauer
    A couple days ago, I started wondering about the symbolism of the lyon greene of alchemy, how it s an elaborate expanded metaphor which is a perfect example
    Message 1 of 4 , Sep 19, 1999
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      A couple days ago, I started wondering about the symbolism of the "lyon
      greene" of alchemy, how it's an elaborate expanded metaphor which is a
      perfect example of "magical" cause and effect, the various components of the
      metaphor are taken to be causally connected to, among other things, the star
      Regulus in the constellation Leo. It occurred to me, as much as the
      gnostics (assuming Gthom was gnostic) all detested the aeons and archons,
      maybe the lion of Logion 7 could have referred to the zodiacal sign.

      It has also occurred to me that the "man" might be the Anthropos, especially
      since the heresiologist Irenaues mentions the concept frequently in AGAINST
      HERESIES.

      Jim Bauer
    • Robert Tessman
      ... What would be the significance of such a possibility? Also I am unsure what you mean when you say that the gnostics detested the aeons and archons, can
      Message 2 of 4 , Sep 23, 1999
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        Jim Bauer wrote:
        >A couple days ago, I started wondering about the symbolism of the "lyon
        >greene" of alchemy, how it's an elaborate expanded metaphor which is a
        >perfect example of "magical" cause and effect, the various components of the
        >metaphor are taken to be causally connected to, among other things, the star
        >Regulus in the constellation Leo. It occurred to me, as much as the
        >gnostics (assuming Gthom was gnostic) all detested the aeons and archons,
        >maybe the lion of Logion 7 could have referred to the zodiacal sign.

        What would be the significance of such a possibility? Also I am unsure
        what you mean when you say that the gnostics detested the aeons and
        archons, can you elaborate on this?
        I am personally of the opinion that the writer/s of this text had
        very little concern for astrological phenomena. I do not see any reference
        to constellations or stars in the rest of the text (although I did not
        readily see the reference in Logion 7 until you pointed it out) so I do not
        see any reason to believe it is being made here.

        >It has also occurred to me that the "man" might be the Anthropos, especially
        >since the heresiologist Irenaues mentions the concept frequently in AGAINST
        >HERESIES.

        Neither do I understand what you are talking about here. "Anthropos" in
        greek MEANS "man" or "human." Yet I haven't read "Against Heresies" so I
        might just be missing something here. But either way, I am missing
        something here! What do you mean by "the Anthropos" (for example, is it a
        constellation? an idea? what?). In Greek its just an ordinary word.
        But there may definitely be a relationship between the 'Lion' and
        the 'Archon'. Of course, the Lion has often been associated with Medieval
        Royalty but the symbolic relationship originated far earlier. I would like
        to know this:
        The Emperors of Rome borrowed many ideas from the east. One of
        which was the 'Man-God' concept of the Pharaoh that became known to the
        West in Alexander's time, and the Persian "King of Kings" idea which is
        known to have existed also. The Persians, for example, often associated
        their rulers with the symbolic Lion. I am wondering if anyone knows
        whether the Emperors adopted this symbolism as a sign of their power and
        authority. It was definitely used in the East but I am wondering WHEN the
        Lion=Authority symbolism entered into the West (i.e., Greek or Roman
        culture).
        If the Emperor did use the symbol as a sign of his power, then
        Logion 7 might have a much more profound meaning--though I still stand by
        the Lion=Body hypothesis simply because the logion would still apply albeit
        there would be a new component to the equation: Lion=King=Body
        The "Ruling over All" statement in the GOT (forgot which logion)
        would thus apply to Logion 7 and would render all who found the Kingdom to
        be "Blessed Kings" (if the Human eats the Lion).

        Curious 'Cultivator', (does anyone get it?)
        Robert Tessman
      • Jim Bauer
        ... From: Robert Tessman To: The Scholarly debate Date: Thursday, September 23, 1999 2:18 AM Subject: [gthomas] The
        Message 3 of 4 , Sep 23, 1999
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          -----Original Message-----
          From: Robert Tessman <tess0006@...>
          To: The Scholarly debate <GThomas@egroups.com>
          Date: Thursday, September 23, 1999 2:18 AM
          Subject: [gthomas] The Lion of Royalty


          >Jim Bauer wrote:
          >>A couple days ago, I started wondering about the symbolism of the "lyon
          >>greene" of alchemy, how it's an elaborate expanded metaphor which is a
          >>perfect example of "magical" cause and effect, the various components of
          the
          >>metaphor are taken to be causally connected to, among other things, the
          star
          >>Regulus in the constellation Leo. It occurred to me, as much as the
          >>gnostics (assuming Gthom was gnostic) all detested the aeons and archons,
          >>maybe the lion of Logion 7 could have referred to the zodiacal sign.
          >
          >What would be the significance of such a possibility? Also I am unsure
          >what you mean when you say that the gnostics detested the aeons and
          >archons, can you elaborate on this?


          Check out some of the secondary sources, such as Kurt Rudolph, or, if you
          want a primary source, THE HYPOSTASIS OF THE ARCHONS in NHL. For the
          Gnostics, astrology was really capable of controlling events thru
          sympathetic magic, but also part of the detested material world. Thus, all
          the planetary spheres, including the ogdoad (eighth) and hebdomad (ninth)
          were considered domains of the archons. When a gnostic died, his soul was
          literally transferred "beyond" the cosmos, past the outermost planetary
          spheres. (Sounds sort of like the final episode of BABYLON-5.)

          >
          >>It has also occurred to me that the "man" might be the Anthropos,
          especially
          >>since the heresiologist Irenaues mentions the concept frequently in
          AGAINST
          >>HERESIES.
          >
          >Neither do I understand what you are talking about here. "Anthropos" in
          >greek MEANS "man" or "human." Yet I haven't read "Against Heresies" so I
          >might just be missing something here. But either way, I am missing
          >something here! What do you mean by "the Anthropos" (for example, is it a

          >constellation? an idea? what?). In Greek its just an ordinary word.


          The "Anthropos" is the term used for a mystical concept in a school of
          thought called "Anthroposophy," or, literally, "man-wisdom." It was taken
          to be that the body of a man contains in itself the entire universe, sort of
          like Leibnitz' monadology (the whole is contained in any of the parts, an
          idea he possibly derived from Eastern mysticism). For example, "veins" of
          ore exist within the earth, the same way there are veins in a man's body.
          For the alchemists, Christ was Saviour of the "microcosm," Man, and the
          Philosopher's Stone, for the macrocosm, the rest of nature. The idea has
          also recently been revived by some mystical off-shoot of Theosophy, so I
          received page after page from these guys and wasn't able to find much
          additional material on the web as to how the idea was used in antiquity You
          might want to also check out some of the secondary sources for "the God,
          Man," that for God, Man is God. Elaine Pagels, for one I believe, has
          written on this subject.

          Jim Bauer
          >
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        • Jim Bauer
          I first mentioned this idea back when the lion thread was still quite active, but nobody picked up on it. The issue at hand is Logion #7, Blessed is the
          Message 4 of 4 , Oct 11, 1999
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            I first mentioned this idea back when the "lion" thread was still quite active, but nobody picked up on it.  The issue at hand is Logion #7, "Blessed is the lion which the man eats, and the lion will become man; and cursed is the man which the lion eats, and the lion will become man."  To me, the symbol of "eating" the "lion" could refer to refer to some kind of communion sacrament.  Jonathon Z. Smith has tried to make the point that the Thomas group was a baptist sect, and, as an early Xian group, it is possible they were keeping the command of Jesus, "do this in memory of me"--or is this post-Easter Jesus intruding?  By the time Xianity became an institution, there were certainly distinctly sacerdotal rituals, Isn't it possible that this, too, could have been one of them?
             
            As for the duality of lions, eaten and eating, this could be typical "union of opposites" mysticism which appears in many religious bodies.  There is an extended passage in Logion #22, which begins with "when you make the two one" and goes on attempting to  unite such opposites as the left and right, male and female,  and inside and outside which has a parallel in the Gospel of Philip, which, because of this union, means "neither are the good good, nor the evil evil, nor life life, nor death death." 
             
            Generally speaking, when critics such as Kloppenburg talk about Thomas being a possible "parallel sayings source to Q" (he buried it in a footnote), the comparisons are usually to the canonical gospels, but could it be possible that this reiteration of Thomasine philosophy in Philip could be proof that Jesus actually said this, or at least something like it?
             
            BTW... is there a Gospel of Philip e-group?
             
            Jim Bauer
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