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[gthomas] Re: Stevan's Thoughts On Early Christianity 1

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  • Stevan Davies
    ... Good observation. Intoxication means ignorance, intoxication means knowledge. One more reason to think that GTh is more of a hodgepodge than a carefully
    Message 1 of 27 , Oct 18, 1999
      Tord:
      ----------
      > The use of the word "intoxicated" in the GOT seems a bit confusing to me
      > --- Jesus can intoxicate with his words but the world appears able to
      > intoxicate people as well.

      Good observation. Intoxication means ignorance, intoxication means
      knowledge. One more reason to think that GTh is more of a hodgepodge
      than a carefully assembled document.

      > Many Buddhist sects use mantras ( a hypnotic series of words) to attain
      > what I suppose can be called "Unity Consciousness" --- these mantras can be
      > a bubbling spring leading to Unity.

      Or they can be a bubbling spring leading to bullshit.

      > --------------
      > 108) Jesus said, "He who will drink from my mouth will become like Me. I
      > myself shall become he, and the things that are hidden will become revealed
      > to him."
      > --------------------
      > Music --combined with hypnotic lyrics -- can easily put someone into a
      > trance state. I think a lot of the people walking around with CD players
      > and headphones are way gone into the trance state. I will try giving them
      > little fortune cookies with saying 108 inside. :-)

      Well... as I keep sayin', the trances and ecstacies and ASC's and
      prophetic inspirations and whatever of the first century Church are
      to be found right down the street in your local Tabernacle of the Burning
      Bush Foursquare Holy Ghost Revival Church. Looking all
      over creation for Unity Buddhists and CD Players for your analogies
      isn't IMHO the right Path.

      Steve
    • Michael Grondin
      ... Nice try, Steve. Actually, Tord s good observation ignores the difference between wine and water, and so do you. And what kind of a hodgepodge would
      Message 2 of 27 , Oct 18, 1999
        Tord:
        > The use of the word "intoxicated" in the GOT seems a bit confusing to me
        > --- Jesus can intoxicate with his words but the world appears able to
        > intoxicate people as well.
        Steve:
        >Good observation. Intoxication means ignorance, intoxication means
        >knowledge. One more reason to think that GTh is more of a hodgepodge
        >than a carefully assembled document.

        Nice try, Steve. Actually, Tord's "good observation" ignores the difference
        between wine and water, and so do you. And what kind of a "hodgepodge"
        would somehow accidentally result in two "ear" sayings positioned just
        right to surround the pair 64-65, and to "hear" the nicely complementary
        words at the end of 63 and 65? More random chance? How much will you bear? <g>

        Regards,
        Mike
      • Tord Svenson
        ... ... People are intoxicated by water as well as wine. if the Pope throws Holy Water on an individual who is ready for the experience, he or she can
        Message 3 of 27 , Oct 19, 1999
          At 08:27 PM 10/18/99 -0400, Michael Grondin wrote:
          ---------- Reply ------------
          >Nice try, Steve. Actually, Tord's "good observation" ignores the difference
          >between wine and water, and so do you. And what kind of a "hodgepodge"
          >would somehow accidentally result in two "ear" sayings positioned just
          >right to surround the pair 64-65, and to "hear" the nicely complementary
          >words at the end of 63 and 65? More random chance? How much will you bear?
          <g>
          >
          >Regards,
          >Mike
          ------------- Reply ---------------
          People are intoxicated by water as well as wine. if the Pope throws Holy
          Water on an individual who is ready for the experience, he or she can
          easily swoon and become intoxicated.
          -----------------
          Thomas said to Him, "Master, my mouth is wholly incapable of saying whom
          You are like."
          Jesus said, "I am not your master. Because you have drunk, you have become
          intoxicated by the bubbling spring which I have measured out."
          -------------------
          In this I take the sense that Jesus is rebuking Thomas for using the word
          "Master" --thus separating himself from Jesus as the all. Jesus excuses
          Thomas for being hypnotized by Jesus' verbal teachings -- rather much like
          all the girls who swoon for Ricky Martin yet who don't understand the
          lyrics of his songs.

          But --witnessing previous thoughts on the continuity of sentences within
          sayings, sentence A -- "I am not your master." may have nothing to do with
          sentence B, "Because you have drunk, you have become intoxicated by the
          bubbling spring which I have measured out." They just may happen to be
          sitting next to one another for no particular reason.

          63 has ears The ear is in 65.

          66 appears to go with 65 in the synoptic gospels --the vineyard story
          continues right into the cornerstone.
          65: Mt21:33-39, Mk12:1-8, Lk20:9-15
          66: Mt21:42, Mk12:10, Lk20:17; Psalm118:22

          This appears to be a case where the two sayings go together as evidenced by
          the synoptic gospels and the GOT. Interesting.
          Tord
        • Tord Svenson
          ... Vineyard church information can be found at http://www.ezlink.com/~trbranch/vineyard.htm also at: http://www.vineyardusa.org I have been to Pentecostal
          Message 4 of 27 , Oct 19, 1999
            At 10:43 AM 10/17/99 -0500, Stevan Davies wrote:
            -----snip -----------
            >> The popular version of the history of this has the
            >> Christian hierarchy as sealing off "revelation" ( as an altered state) and
            >> claiming that the Holy Ghost spoke through Jesus alone --spoke also through
            >> the other prophets --and never more ( ie the Bible is the Word of God).
            >
            >Yeah. That's good old "routinization of charisma" and is common, if
            >not inevitable, a generation or two after the rise of a spirit
            >oriented cult. That's why the Methodists of today sit around glumly
            >listening to their ministers and hymning when at the outset they used
            >to get sanctified and pass out. You want to see early Christianity at
            >work, go to a Vinyard church, or a black pentecostal church.

            ------------ Reply ---------------
            Vineyard church information can be found at
            http://www.ezlink.com/~trbranch/vineyard.htm
            also at:
            http://www.vineyardusa.org

            I have been to Pentecostal services but it has been a while. I will check
            out the Vineyard Church in Cambridge and the Pentacostals next door to my
            church -- (a cult specifically identified as Liberian). The Charismatic
            Catholics are another easy to find group. I attended a service of Christian
            oriented peyote cult Native Americans --took the peyote with them -- and
            was persecuted by our society for being a co-founder of a non-Native
            American church devoted to this aspect of religious experience --we called
            ourselves The Neo-American Church. Peyote possession is the equivalent of
            heroin in some states.

            That approach to religious experience can be found at:
            http://www.csp.org/practices/entheogens/docs/young-good_friday.html
            As related to the GOT one of the participants in the Marsh Chapel
            Experiment says:
            -------- quote ------------
            "Today, Mike Young is the Rev. Mike Young, pastor of the Unitarian
            Universalist Church in Tampa. He was one of the 10 who took psilocybin that
            Good Friday three decades ago. "Of course I remember it. All of it," he
            says. "Experiencing death is something you don't forget."

            Those wild and colorful seven hours showed him a new mode of perception
            that was nothing short of ecstatic. The drug trip helped solidify his
            career path in the ministry. And it conquered his fear of death.

            Young, now 55, graying and bearded, is not a cheerleader for drug abuse. He
            has counseled drug abusers. He has seen how drugs can rip lives apart. He
            warned his own children about the dangers of recreational use.
            But he also learned enough through his own experience to know that some
            drugs, used judiciously, can open a door. He's convinced psychedelics can
            be powerful tools for personal growth, as long as they're used in carefully
            controlled situations, administered by professionals trained to handle
            problems.
            ---------------------
            The aspect of death is important in the GOT
            ---------------------
            1) And He said, "Whoever finds the interpretation of these sayings will
            not experience death."
            ---------------------
            18) The disciples said to Jesus, "Tell us how our end will be."
            Jesus said, "Have you discovered, then, the beginning, that you look for
            the end? For where the beginning is, there will the end be. Blessed is he
            who will take his place in the beginning; he will know the end and will not
            experience death."
            -------------------
            19) Jesus said, "Blessed is he who came into being before he came into
            being. If you become My disciples and listen to My words, these stones will
            minister to you. For there are five trees for you in Paradise which remain
            undisturbed summer and winter and whose leaves do not fall. Whoever becomes
            acquainted with them will not experience death."
            ------------------
            111) Jesus said, "The heavens and the earth will be rolled up in your
            presence. And one who lives from the Living One will not see death." Does
            not Jesus say, "Whoever finds himself is superior to the world?"
            -------------------
            The subject of the Marsh Chapel Experiment also says --
            -------- Quote -----------
            "Religious ideas that were interesting intellectually before, took on a
            whole different dimension. Now they were connected to something much deeper
            than belief and theory."
            ----------------------
            There are several URLs on this page which relate top religious experience.

            Steve -- Do you think that it is possible to get at a personal experience
            of some aspects of the sayings of the GOT by means of the Pentecostal
            Church, the Charismatics and/or the Vineyard? To many scholars, the sayings
            are "interesting intellectually" but that is the total extent of their
            involvement.
            -----------------------
            91) They said to Him, "Tell us who You are so that we may believe in You."
            He said to them, "You read the face of the sky and of the earth, but you
            have not recognized the one who is before you, and you do not know how to
            read this moment."
            -------------------

            Scary idea?
            Tord
            ------ Tord said -----------
            >> I am certainly interested in any clues you may have found in the GOT as to
            >> HOW Jesus wanted to reach an altered state of consciousness in his
            >> followers. Personal contact with him seems to be important.
            >
            -------- Steve said --------------
            >You are going to have to read my book "Jesus the Healer: Possession,
            >Trance and the Origins of Christianity." There the question of "how
            >might the spirit experience have been caused" is addressed (for the
            >first time in the history of scholarship, far as I know) extensively.
            >Try here:
            >
            >http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0826407943/thegospelofthoma
            >
            >> Is there any
            >> evidence that he sent disciples on "vision quests" to attain an altered
            >> state which you speak of?
            >
            >No.
            >
            >> Thanks and have a good Sunday. I very much look forward to your expositions
            >> on altered states in relation to early Christianity.
            >
            >It's all there in Acts and Corinthians and even John. Because the
            >study of the NT is dominated by liberal Xians they refuse to notice
            >that the NT is the story of the rise of a spirit possession cult (aka
            >pentecostal cult). The people who do notice, the Pentecostals,
            >are all a bunch of hidebound inerrantists. But it is refreshing once
            >in awhile to read Pentecostal versions of first century Christian
            >history because even if they are completely non-critical, at least they
            >don't ignore what's mainly going on.
            >
            >Steve
            -------------
            What you say here I take implies that the vast majority of Christians
            completely ignore what the basis of their religion is about? They practice
            the "routinization of charisma" rather than the real thing? It sounds a
            bit like what often happens to sexual experience in marriage :-)
            Tord


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