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[gthomas] FIVE TREES THOMAS OR JESUS THE SPIRITUAL REALIST?

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  • Strephon Williams
    ... I consider this added material, a later Gnostic layer, for the following reasons: € The last line, Whoever comes to know them will not taste death.
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 27, 1999
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      FIVE TREES THOMAS OR JESUS THE SPIRITUAL REALIST?
      >[19/2-4] If you become disciples of mine (and) listen to my words
      >these stones will serve you.  For you have five trees in Paradise
      >that do not change during summer, (and) winter, and  their leaves
      >do not fall. Whoever comes to know them will not taste death. <=

      I consider this added material, a later Gnostic layer, for the following reasons:

      € The last line, >Whoever comes to know them will not taste death. <= looks like it is from GT-1 on not tasting death. It is here added on to "authencate" the added Gnostic saying. Is this a metaphor Jesus used or a Gnostic metaphor added to the original collection of sayings? How can we know?
      € I use the principle of consistency for making decisions. Is a particular saying consistent with the body of teachings? Is a saying consistent with the picture of Jesus being revealed?
      € I don't believe Jesus said, <If you become disciples of mine (and) listen to my words
      >these stones will serve you.> This constrasts too much with another saying "I am not your teacher." and "You drink from the same springs I do." (GT-13) What have we to learn from stones when we can drink from living springs?
      € Just because you find the name, Jesus, attached to a saying don't take it as authentic. You have to discriminate by building up a consistent body of teachings with internal consistency and match that up also with a consistent body of Jesus actions which also have internal consistency. The Jesus seminar votes on authenticity of Jesus text but together all those scholars have so many divergent views of the historical Jesus and his body of teachings that their voting is nonsense. How can apples and oranges vote on the nature of pears? So the principle of consistency is very important, or else you get caught in every little word and phrase.
      € My research and practice shows me a picture of Jesus as a spiritual realist who does not get caught up in esoteric systems of cosmic thinking needed as a reference point for understanding a Gnostic saying. A spiritual realist is one who participates directly in experience without identifying with it so that one can derive consciousness and meaning from it. Jesus did not need esoteric and beyond experience concepts like paradise to explain where he was coming from in doing his teaching. Spiritual realists live in the concrete now.
      --

      > Love is the doorway to enlightenment.
      > Orin

      Enlightenment unlocks the doorway to love. Before that, when the doorway is closed a greater love is not possible. Love requires consciousness to ground it in the real world. Consciousness requires love to give it relatedness and warmth. Consciousness without love can kill. Love without consciousness falters and dies.

      --Strephon Kaplan-Williams

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