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[gthomas] Re: Thomas #7

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  • Robert Tessman
    ... Well, here we go again! I am assuming, Stevan, that you are addressing previous posts here--I seem to vaguely remember this one. This Lion saying has
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 15, 1999
      >Andrew:
      >
      >> Logion 7 states, "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."
      >
      >Well. Let's see. Assuming that this is the way it is supposed to be,
      >and not a scribal error (which I suggested 16 years ago), it fits the
      >GTh motif that if you eat dead things you make them alive. Thus
      >the dead lion is digested and assimilated into a man and therefore (?)
      >better off. The eating here is literal eating.
      >Cursed is the man which the lion eats cannot mean
      >literal eating for that should end "and the man will become lion
      >and it doesn't. So it must be metaphorical in the second part more
      >than in the first part.

      Well, here we go again! I am assuming, Stevan, that you are addressing
      previous posts here--I seem to vaguely remember this one. This Lion saying
      has consumed much of our attention about a month or so ago, perhaps you are
      just getting to that. But I would like to rephrase here what I have
      already said before.
      I will try not to go too far in depth with an analysis of a
      possible helenistic ascetic world view here but I will suggest a few things
      in regard to a surface interpretation. I just cannot refuse an invitation
      with regard to this saying (sorry Mike). Potentially, there may be a flaw
      with regard to what I am about to say.
      Let's assume it is not a scribal error. If this is an allegory,
      then all the symbols must be consistent throughout. I do not buy the idea
      that eating is of one type in the first sentance and of a second type in
      the second (or for that matter a different lion or man in the second
      sentance either).
      There is a logic to what is being said here. But even more, there
      is a logic that is not being said.
      We know that the Lion is blessed if the Man eats it. We know that
      the Man is cursed if the Lion eats him.
      But we do not know if the Man is blessed when the Lion is blessed
      and neither do we know if the Lion is cursed when the Man is cursed. (My
      oppinion is that the Man is blessed when the Lion is blessed and the Lion
      cursed when the Man is cursed).
      The text does not say that the Man will become Lion if the Lion
      eats that man. So there is no 'movement' within any hierarchy with regard
      to the Man. Furthermore, there is always a movement upwards with the Lion
      (if we can infer that becoming Man is a step up on the Divine ladder of
      success--I don't think so). The Man may be cursed in the second case but
      it does not say that he moves downward to the state of being a Lion.
      In a fruitful discussion with Michael (though I am sure he thinks
      differently) I came to the conclusion that the Lion equated with the Body.
      Michael seemed to agree with this one although he also posed a possible
      'beast within' idea that I just don't buy.
      This equation only makes sense in relation to other equations. The
      Man or Human, must in this way have an independant charictor with regard to
      the body if the Lion is already the Body. It would therefore make sense
      that the Man, in this saying, refers to the 'Soul' which is Man or Human
      irregardless of the Physical Body. Since the Psyche, has often been
      translated as the seat of life, these equations would therefor make sense.
      A Lion (Body) would be a corpse if there were no Man (Soul) about that Lion.
      So, what is 'eating'? It is a process of the transference of life.
      I am reminded of primitive cases of canibalism in the context of battle: A
      warior after defeating a worthy opponent in battle procedes to eat a part
      of that enemy's flesh. He does this to gain the courage, strength, valour,
      etc., of the worthy opponent by consuming that opponent and thus acquiring
      (posessing) those qualities that were admired. Communion in such a way, is
      a process of possessing those qualities that are admired in Jesus (Jim
      Bauer helped with this one). The Eucharest is a ritualistic albeit
      symbolic canibalism. Similarly, a process of 'possession' seems to be
      occuring with regard to the eating process in THIS saying. But here it is
      with regard to the Soul and Body. If the Soul eats the Body (Man eating
      the Lion) then that Soul takes ownership of the Body. But if the Body eats
      the Soul (Lion eating the Man) then the Body takes possession of the Soul.
      Yet, whether it possesses or is possessed, the soul still brings
      life to the corpse. The soul expresses its existence wherever it resides
      irregardless of whether it is Master of the Body or Slave to the Body
      (i.e., the Lion becomes Human--in either case).

      >Either #7 is
      >scribal error, or it's some sort of clever wordgame and when somebody
      >notices how it works it will suddenly seem obvious.
      >It's far from obvious to me now.

      Yes, it suddenly seemed obvious to me but I am always skeptical of such
      seeming obviousness. Perhaps you could help me render this saying no
      longer obvious?

      Blessed is the Body that is possessed by the Man (soul), and that Body will
      become Man.
      But Cursed is the Man (soul) that is possessed by the Body, and that Body
      will still become Man.

      It seems like a simple dualistic antagonism between Body and Soul to me.
      Expressing the necessity of the Soul being Master or Possessing the Body
      (ie. keeping the Body under the reigns of the Soul).
      I am currious as to what you might think of this one.

      Robert Tessman.
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