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[gthomas] AGAINST THE WORLD

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  • Strephon Williams
    ... Possibly so, but the entire thrust of GTh is a rejection of the world. Crossan calls it ascetic eschatology . Valantasis wrote an entire book about Xian
    Message 1 of 8 , Dec 29, 1999
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      AGAINST THE WORLD
      >At 09:28 AM 12/29/99 +0100, Strephon Williams wrote:
      >There is nothing in the quoted passages about standing against the world.

      Possibly so, but the entire thrust of GTh is a rejection of the world.
      Crossan calls it "ascetic eschatology". Valantasis wrote an entire book
      about Xian ascetism in GTh. There can be little doubt that GTh recommends
      that one "stand against the world".
      Mike>

      If I can explain myself the basic concept is, Do you reject the world or do you disidentify from it? Can you live in the world without be identified with it and therefore caught up in it? The Jesus I see in GTh is not ascetic. He eats with Salome, (61) maybe has sex with her, certainly is available to her on such a core level she is somehow convinced to become his student. In GTh 114 Peter wants Jesus to reject Mary as not being "worthy of life." Jesus' response is to include Mary. GTh 66: " Show me the stone the builders rejected. That is the cornerstone." Without doing a complete comparitive analysis here, if we define ascetisim as rejection of the world in order to practice spiritual values then this does not fit Thomas because there are too many passages where the method is not rejection but disidentification in order to consciously move in and through the world. To "become passersby, surely has to mean that you have to have something worth going by and onward. The teaching to be authentic would have had to say instead, "Reject the world!" Thus I have to question fundamental assumptions that anyone can make based on their outside symbol systems, whether scholar or layperson. I always ask, WHERE IS THAT IN THE TEXT?
      --
      Strephon Kaplan-Williams
      strephon@...
      http://www.dreamwork2000.com


    • C. Mooney
      I would submit that to be solitary does not necessarily mean to stand against the world. What it does mean (for me, at least) is that the Christian is called
      Message 2 of 8 , Dec 29, 1999
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        I would submit that to be "solitary" does not necessarily mean to stand
        against the world. What it does mean (for me, at least) is that the
        Christian is called to think outside the box, and to be prepared to stand
        for one's convictions in the face of opposition. To provide
        leadership in bringing about the Kingdom of God often calls for decisions
        and actions that go against the tide of popular opinion. This can be to
        work toward making the world a better place, and not abdicating
        responsibility for caring for that which God has entrusted to us.

        Jack
      • Michael Grondin
        ... You ve explained yourself very well, and I see that a distinction can be made, though the distinction I have in mind is probably not the one you re making.
        Message 3 of 8 , Dec 29, 1999
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          At 10:37 PM 12/29/99 +0100, Strephon Williams wrote:
          >If I can explain myself the basic concept is, Do you reject the world
          >or do you disidentify from it? Can you live in the world without be[ing]
          >identified with it and therefore caught up in it? The Jesus I see in GTh
          >is not ascetic.

          You've explained yourself very well, and I see that a distinction can be
          made, though the distinction I have in mind is probably not the one you're
          making. I want to say that GTh suggests _disengagement_ from the world,
          rather than _withdrawal_ from it, so that insofar as we think of ascetics
          as withdrawing entirely from the world, the word "ascetic" is probably
          misleading. But "disengagement" doesn't seem to be the same thing as
          "disidentification". Your evidence for the latter depends heavily on an
          interpretation of #61 which is arguable at best, but even assuming it's
          true, that would seem to make "disidentification" as something like "Do it,
          but don't enjoy it". What would be the point of recommending such a thing?
          Why not just say "Don't do it"? Or even (as in Matthew) "Don't even think
          about doing it!"?

          Mike
        • joseph baxter
          ... To follow up on what Stephron is saying, to be a passerby means staying on path. So it is not that the world is rejected. Rather, it is not where its at.
          Message 4 of 8 , Dec 31, 1999
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            > >At 09:28 AM 12/29/99 +0100, Strephon Williams wrote:
            > >There is nothing in the quoted passages about standing against the world.
            >
            >Possibly so, but the entire thrust of GTh is a rejection of the world.
            >Crossan calls it "ascetic eschatology". Valantasis wrote an entire book
            >about Xian ascetism in GTh. There can be little doubt that GTh recommends
            >that one "stand against the world".
            >Mike>
            >
            >if we define ascetisim as rejection of the world in order to practice
            >spiritual values then this does not fit Thomas because there are too many
            >passages where the method is not rejection but disidentification in order
            >to consciously move in and through the world. To "become passersby, surely
            >has to mean that you have to have something worth going by and onward.





            To follow up on what Stephron is saying, to be a "passerby" means staying
            on path. So it is not that the world is rejected. Rather, it is not where
            its at.

            Still, GT teaches fasting from the world. So there is a level of
            asceticism. But asceticism need not mean rejection of the world, so much as
            it means creating spiritual heat from one's practices.

            With kind regards,

            Joe

            joe
          • Tord Svenson
            ... The word world is commonly used in the GOT. What is the GOT Jesus conception of this word world ? ... 56) Jesus said, Whoever has come to understand
            Message 5 of 8 , Jan 2, 2000
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              At 11:47 PM 12/31/99 -0800, joseph baxter wrote:
              ----snip --------
              >
              >Still, GT teaches fasting from the world. So there is a level of
              >asceticism. But asceticism need not mean rejection of the world, so much as
              >it means creating spiritual heat from one's practices
              >
              ---------- Reply ------------
              The word "world" is commonly used in the GOT. What is the GOT Jesus'
              conception of this word "world"?
              ---------------------
              56) Jesus said, "Whoever has come to understand the world has found (only)
              a corpse, and whoever has found a corpse is superior to the world."
              ------------------------
              80) Jesus said, "He who has recognized the world has found the body, but
              he who has found the body is superior to the world."
              ----------------------
              -----------------------
              29) Jesus said, "If the flesh came into being because of spirit, it is a
              wonder. But if spirit came into being because of the body, it is a wonder
              of wonders. Indeed, I am amazed at how this great wealth has made its home
              in this poverty."
              ---------------------
              Apart from the "body/world" there is "spirit". That spirit is the reason
              why the "world" came into being. What created the spirit?
              -----------------------
              50) Jesus said, "If they say to you, 'Where did you come from?', say to
              them, 'We came from the light, the place where the light came into being on
              its own accord and established [itself] and became manifest through their
              image.'
              -----------------------------
              This world/body and spirit/light dualism sets up a paradox that this GOT
              Jesus identifies with ----
              ------------
              77) Jesus said, "It is I who am the light which is above them all. It is I
              who am the All. From Me did the All come forth, and unto Me did the All
              extend. Split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift up the stone, and you
              will find Me there."
              -----------------------
              In the wood and stone of the world/body there is spirit/light --the
              world/body is One/Many.only we do not "see" this
              ----------------------
              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."
              ---------------------
              As a seven day old infant we are in the One but we live in the world/body
              and become dual
              ----------------------
              When you come to dwell in the light, what will you do? On the day when you
              were one you became two. But when you become two, what will you do?"
              ----------------------
              Much of the GOT is an answer to "what will you do?" Lose the dualism and
              live without the One/Many. :-) Live.

              Joe --when you say -- "creating spiritual heat from one's practices" --do
              you relate that concept to the stage of "become troubled" as in
              -------------------
              2) Jesus said, "Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds. When
              he finds, he will become troubled. When he becomes troubled, he will be
              astonished, and he will rule over the All."
              -----------------------
              ???
              Does the GOT "create spiritual heat" for you? Why ?
              Tord






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