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[gthomas] Re: The Lion of Royalty

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  • Jim Bauer
    ... From: Robert Tessman To: The Scholarly debate Date: Thursday, September 23, 1999 2:18 AM Subject: [gthomas] The
    Message 1 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 2 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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