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Re: [gthomas] Androgynous Adam

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  • Kanefer@aol.com
    In a message dated 3/31/00 3:38:13 PM, Mike Grondin wrote:
    Message 1 of 18 , Mar 31, 2000
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      In a message dated 3/31/00 3:38:13 PM, Mike Grondin wrote:
      <<In the beginning, all was spirit. In the end, all will be
      spirit again. In the meantime, all of us human critters who are
      combinations of flesh and spirit, should yield to the (holy) spirit
      which is in us, and follow *its* dictates rather than the dictates of
      the flesh (with which it is naturally and always at war!) In that way,
      we can become (virtual?) members of "the kingdom" while we're
      physically alive, so that our spirits (or souls) will become (actual?)
      members of the kingdom after our physical death, and forever.>>

      I think this is good analysis all the way through. There is that scripture
      in 1 Corinthians, 6:16-17, that maybe helps with thought of neither the male
      male & neither the female female. Because, after "joining with" God one is
      female or male in form, but not in spirit.
      Was thinking, on some level, Adam & Eve were already "married" in sense that
      they first existed as one flesh, then were riven. This theme of separation
      is echoed in forced departure from Garden.
      In a way, thinking of them as already "one flesh" - it is as if they were put
      assunder, and as if the creation of Eve itself represents sin - that the sin
      was already committed, and then represented by one flesh becoming "twain."
      Except, it is shown as God having separated the one into two.
      So, maybe, in consideration also of the expulsion from Garden, it is that the
      flesh was separated from the spirit? But it doesn't seem so.
      Adam: Flour & water baked in oven = bread.
      Eve: A part from the bread = bread

      So, it appears that the one flesh of the two was put assunder.
      Looking at theme of separation: (God separates light from dark, etc.) God
      separates Adam from Tree of Knowledge, God separates (creates) Eve from Adam,
      Eve separated from Adam by serpent/fruit, couple separated from God by
      awareness of nakedness, (nakedness as opposed to what?), God separates couple
      from Garden... Think there is a secret there.

      It should be kept in mind that Adam in Garden of Eden was not blissfully
      frolicking or walking about holy as "androgynous" spiritual being in
      paradisiacal environment, but tilling fields and tending orchards and taking
      care of animals, good hard work as mere laborer, he was a farmhand. (A
      farmhand sorely in need of a "help meet"). How can this possibly be
      construed as "Kingdom?" Thus, it truly is evident to me that return to
      Beginning cannot be return to Adam!

      Sincerely, Patti
    • Kanefer@aol.com
      In a message dated 3/31/00 3:38:13 PM, Mike Grondin wrote:
      Message 2 of 18 , Mar 31, 2000
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        In a message dated 3/31/00 3:38:13 PM, Mike Grondin wrote:
        <<In the beginning, all was spirit. In the end, all will be
        spirit again. In the meantime, all of us human critters who are
        combinations of flesh and spirit, should yield to the (holy) spirit
        which is in us, and follow *its* dictates rather than the dictates of
        the flesh (with which it is naturally and always at war!) In that way,
        we can become (virtual?) members of "the kingdom" while we're
        physically alive, so that our spirits (or souls) will become (actual?)
        members of the kingdom after our physical death, and forever.>>

        I think this is good analysis all the way through. There is that scripture
        in 1 Corinthians, 6:16-17, that maybe helps with thought of neither the male
        male & neither the female female. Because, after "joining with" God one is
        female or male in form, but not in spirit.
        Was thinking, on some level, Adam & Eve were already "married" in sense that
        they first existed as one flesh, then were riven. This theme of separation
        is echoed in forced departure from Garden.
        In a way, thinking of them as already "one flesh" - it is as if they were put
        assunder, and as if the creation of Eve itself represents sin - that the sin
        was already committed, and then represented by one flesh becoming "twain."
        Except, it is shown as God having separated the one into two.
        So, maybe, in consideration also of the expulsion from Garden, it is that the
        flesh was separated from the spirit? But it doesn't seem so.
        Adam: Flour & water baked in oven = bread.
        Eve: A part from the bread = bread

        So, it appears that the one flesh of the two was put assunder.
        Looking at theme of separation: (God separates light from dark, etc.) God
        separates Adam from Tree of Knowledge, God separates (creates) Eve from Adam,
        Eve separated from Adam by serpent/fruit, couple separated from God by
        awareness of nakedness, (nakedness as opposed to what?), God separates couple
        from Garden... Think there is a secret there.

        It should be kept in mind that Adam in Garden of Eden was not blissfully
        frolicking or walking about holy as "androgynous" spiritual being in
        paradisiacal environment, but tilling fields and tending orchards and taking
        care of animals, good hard work as mere laborer, he was a farmhand. (A
        farmhand sorely in need of a "help meet"). How can this possibly be
        construed as "Kingdom?" Thus, it truly is evident to me that return to
        Beginning cannot be return to Adam!

        Sincerely, Patti
      • Onnawa@aol.com
        In a message dated 3/31/00 5:38:05 PM Eastern Standard Time, mgrondin@tir.com writes:
        Message 3 of 18 , Apr 1 3:00 AM
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          In a message dated 3/31/00 5:38:05 PM Eastern Standard Time, mgrondin@...
          writes:

          << If I can wax poetic for a
          moment: In the beginning, all was spirit. In the end, all will be
          spirit again. In the meantime, all of us human critters who are
          combinations of flesh and spirit, should yield to the (holy) spirit
          which is in us, and follow *its* dictates rather than the dictates of
          the flesh (with which it is naturally and always at war!) In that way,
          we can become (virtual?) members of "the kingdom" while we're
          physically alive, so that our spirits (or souls) will become (actual?)
          members of the kingdom after our physical death, and forever. That's
          what *I* think is meant by Thomas's promise that one can bring it about
          that one will not "taste death".

          Regards,
          Mike

          >>
          .......Maybe Tom means that when we identify our true natures as
          spirit...actually experience ourselves as a spirit being,and recognise we are
          not our male or female bodies of protiens and such we will recognise that we
          never were our bodies and always were and always have been spirit beings.
          Maybe the fact that Einstein proclaimed that no energy is ever lost....it
          merely change form points this fact out also. If we are not male or female
          but spirit or energy beings who change form, then we have and always will be
          in the kingdom of heaven in that we see first hand directly that we are what
          we are and cannot die ever. So is this what Tom was saying ...with a
          Newtonion Einsteinian twist?
        • Jacob Knee
          In the ascetic writings that I know of, the androgyny theme is associated with an overcoming of procreation. That in some sense gender difference exists in
          Message 4 of 18 , Apr 1 8:25 AM
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            In the ascetic writings that I know of, the androgyny theme is associated
            with an overcoming of procreation. That in some sense gender difference
            exists in order to enable the birth of children. Sexual abstinence subverts
            the necessity for gender and returns the ascetic to a 'primal state'.

            However the 'primal state' is most often normatively 'male'. So that female
            ascetics who overcome their gender 'become male' (at least in the eyes of
            the male ascetics who wrote about them). You might tie this in with ancient
            biological theory in which the female is 'secondary' or to a particular
            interpretation of the Genesis story in which maleness (prior to its
            bifurcation into male _and_ female) comes first.

            Best wishes,
            Jacob Knee
            (Boston, England)
          • Ronald David McCann
            Recently. Mike wrote:- In that way, we can become (virtual) members of the Kingdom while we are physically alive, so that our spirits (or souls) will become
            Message 5 of 18 , Apr 1 11:09 PM
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              Recently. Mike wrote:-
              "In that way, we can become (virtual) members of "the Kingdom" while we
              are physically alive, so that our spirits (or souls) will become (actual?)
              members of the Kimgdom after our physical death and forever. That is what
              I think is meant by Thomas's promise- that (if) one can bring it about
              that one will not "taste death"."

              This is a stunning synopsis of the main thrust of the earliest layers of
              Thomas and what probably propelled it.

              Later layering bought the Platonic immortality of the soul and the ideas
              of pre-existence, I suggest.

              The probably widespread idea that one was "smoked" at death gave way in
              the Thomasine stream to the idea that one could avoid it- and not by
              waiting for ressurection day. The Thomas material that deals with
              pre-existence is late, proto Gnostic, I submit. The Edenic material,
              dealing with the undoing of the fall of man, is probably more original.

              Standing at the Beginning is a genesis reference- "In the Begining...".
              The Androgyness references are to Adam before Eve became "spare ribs".
              This is edenic speculation and probably not significant. Bluntly, some of
              Thomas is garbage.

              Anyway, I just want to thank those who post here, and I am extremely
              grateful for the "epipanys" that people like Mike or Yuri generate.
              Best Wishes,

              Ron
            • Jacob Knee
              I m trying to describe a context in which Thomas may have been used or produced. It is in this context that becoming male is a thread of thought and practice
              Message 6 of 18 , Apr 2 5:08 AM
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                I'm trying to describe a context in which Thomas may have been used or
                produced. It is in this context that becoming 'male' is a thread of thought
                and practice that is worth exploring.

                I have located this motif in ascetic advice, theology, and hagiography in
                the Eastern Roman Empire in the fourth century. Since when have Egypt, Syria
                and Turkey counted as 'Western'.


                (Ascetics in Latin speaking North Africa (e.g. Augustine of Hippo) and the
                Western provinces of the Empire were, often, very suspicious of both the
                theology and practice of this 'thorough going' (Eastern) asceticsm).

                Jacob Knee
                (Boston, England)

                > -----Original Message-----
                > From: Onnawa@... [mailto:Onnawa@...]
                > Sent: 02 April 2000 04:07
                > To: jknee@...; gthomas@egroups.com
                > Subject: Re: [gthomas] Re: Androgynous Adam
                >
                >
                > In a message dated 4/1/00 11:26:04 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                > jknee@... writes:
                >
                > << However the 'primal state' is most often normatively 'male'. >>
                > well thats from the western perspective...in Tibetan Buddhist esoteric
                > writings the polarity we experience is only on this
                > level....there are even
                > trilarities to evolve into
                >
              • Kanefer@aol.com
                Ron wrote: well, I don t know. I get feeling of purity about the writing, though it is so stripped bare of
                Message 7 of 18 , Apr 2 9:57 AM
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                  Ron wrote: <<Bluntly, some of Thomas is garbage.>>

                  well, I don't know. I get feeling of purity about the writing, though it is
                  so stripped bare of environment. almost like all the 'garbage' has been
                  tossed out... wish we could go back to File 13 and retrieve some of that,
                  what was considered 'garbage' back then. Probably, it's all mixed in with
                  the stuff in the other gospels.

                  sincerely, patti
                • Michael Grondin
                  ... are ... Th 3.4-5 provides some support for this view: When you come to know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will realize that you are the sons
                  Message 8 of 18 , Apr 2 10:23 AM
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                    At 06:00 AM 04/01/00 EST, Onnawa@... wrote:
                    >.......Maybe Tom means that when we identify our true natures as
                    >spirit...actually experience ourselves as a spirit being,and recognise we
                    are
                    >not our male or female bodies of protiens and such we will recognise that we
                    >never were our bodies and always were and always have been spirit beings.
                    >Maybe the fact that Einstein proclaimed that no energy is ever lost....it
                    >merely change form points this fact out also. If we are not male or female
                    >but spirit or energy beings who change form, then we have and always will be
                    >in the kingdom of heaven in that we see first hand directly that we are what
                    >we are and cannot die ever. So is this what Tom was saying ...with a
                    >Newtonion Einsteinian twist?

                    Th 3.4-5 provides some support for this view:

                    "When you come to know yourselves, then you will be known,
                    and you will realize that you are the sons of the living Father.
                    But if you do not come to know yourselves,
                    then you exist in poverty and you are poverty."

                    At the same time, we have the saying about the impossibility of serving two
                    masters. So while the flesh is not part of our "true" nature, still our
                    spirit finds itself in it (#29), so in philosophical terms, it could be
                    said that it's at least an _accidental_ (though not an _essential_) part of
                    ourselves. Clearly Thomas believes that the body/flesh is as metaphorically
                    "dead" as the world of which it is a part, the thought being that the only
                    "real" life is (eternal) spiritual life. To discover the "secret" of the
                    true nature of the world and of ourselves is to discover a great treasure,
                    and once having discovered it, we (now identified with our spirit) can then
                    "rule" over our flesh, become a "light" to others, and finally come to rest.

                    The question of whether Thomas was right or wrong on the issue of our
                    "real" nature gets into metaphysics or, worse, faith issues, so I would
                    avoid that question. I do see echoes of Platonism here, in that Plato held
                    that the only "true" reality is in things that are eternal and unchanging.
                    I happen to believe that Plato was wrong, but that's a separate issue.

                    Mike
                    (p.s.: Putting on my moderator hat for a second, I'd like to remind all
                    contributors that they must sign their names to these messages. Otherwise,
                    they won't be accepted.)
                  • Michael Grondin
                    ... Well, because you re wrong about that. Adam didn t have to work until the Fall. Also, it should be borne in mind that Androgynous Adam was not (usually?)
                    Message 9 of 18 , Apr 2 11:30 AM
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                      At 02:40 AM 04/01/00 EST, Kanefer@... wrote:
                      >It should be kept in mind that Adam in Garden of Eden was not blissfully
                      >frolicking or walking about holy as "androgynous" spiritual being in
                      >paradisiacal environment, but tilling fields and tending orchards and
                      >taking care of animals, good hard work as mere laborer, he was a farmhand.
                      >(A farmhand sorely in need of a "help meet"). How can this possibly be
                      >construed as "Kingdom?"

                      Well, because you're wrong about that. Adam didn't have to work until the
                      Fall. Also, it should be borne in mind that "Androgynous Adam" was not
                      (usually?) thought of as _physical_ Adam, but rather as that first
                      spiritual image of God which later became the physical Adam and Eve. This
                      involves a different reading of Genesis than we're used to.

                      Mike
                    • Ronald David McCann
                      Patti. It seems to me that homo sapiens novus. the new human is asexual because Spirit is asexual. The teaching about neither married or given in marriage
                      Message 10 of 18 , Apr 2 2:15 PM
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                        Patti.
                        It seems to me that homo sapiens novus. the new human is asexual because
                        Spirit is asexual. The teaching about "neither married or given in
                        marriage" alludes to this. The "Making Mary Male" logion in Thomas refers,
                        I submit, to the aquisition of spirithood by a female, something those
                        blockheads thought was only a male perogative. This saying is surely
                        corrective. Any soul can transform into spirit, and if one insists J can
                        make her male so she can do it.

                        I have a real problem taking this Androgeny debate seriously. Females
                        seem to be one step removed from salvation. This, in my view, is nonsense,
                        and I reieterate that some of Thomas is garbage.

                        It always stuns me that people fail to see that SOULS, whaterever their
                        gender physically, are asexual creatures. And so it is when they acquire
                        spirithood. The appendages just polarize the identities. What you see
                        hanging from your bodies you identify with. But this is your horse. That
                        is all it is.

                        Thomas, it seems to me, teaches that Souls can become Spirits, and
                        thereby become immortal.

                        Late Thomas material, I suggest, buys into the immortality of the
                        human
                        soul. This concept makes the importance of acquiring immortality
                        redundant. If you already have it, why quest for it? More garbage.

                        Late Thomas is either garbage because it urges us to quest for
                        immortality
                        when we have already have it or urges upon us a quest for what is already
                        attained.

                        I suggest that those parts of T that tell us we are smoked unless we
                        acquire spirithood are the original. "Seek a place in the Rest lest you
                        be eaten."

                        Best Wishes

                        Ron
                      • Michael Grondin
                        ... Apologies to Patti for the above, which was obviously written by my evil twin, who took quite a fall himself. Patti reminds me of Gen 2:15 - The Lord God
                        Message 11 of 18 , Apr 2 11:44 PM
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                          >Adam didn't have to work until the Fall.

                          Apologies to Patti for the above, which was obviously written by my evil
                          twin, who took quite a fall himself. Patti reminds me of Gen 2:15 -

                          "The Lord God took the Man and put him in the garden to till it and keep it."

                          So in Gen 2, Adam was the gardener, even before Eve. (Notoriously, of
                          course, Gen 1 tells a different story, or at least a shorter one.) I guess
                          then that what made the Eden of Gen 2 a "paradise" (in answer to Patti's
                          question) was that all of Adam's needs were provided for. Evidently,
                          tending the garden wasn't all that difficult, since the implication of 2:17
                          ("cursed is the ground because of you") is that the ground that Adam would
                          have to work after his explusion would be quite a bit less fertile ("thorns
                          and thistles it shall bring forth to you"). Also, of course, it's at this
                          point that death enters the picture ("to dust you shall return"). The fact
                          that Adam was made of dust in the first place indicates that the authors of
                          Gen 2 took Adam to be already a physical being, albeit an eternal one,
                          before the Fall. In any case, I draw attention to the exact description of
                          Adam's creation (Gen 2:7):

                          "Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground,
                          and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life,
                          and Man became a living being."

                          The Greek word 'pneuma', used in Thomas (and multiple other Greek and
                          Coptic texts) as part of the phrase 'holy spirit', is of feminine gender,
                          and has actually a variety of meanings, including 'wind', 'air', 'breath',
                          even 'life'. One can see, then, how natural it was to think of spirit as
                          the thing that gave life to the body. Thus, aside from Platonic reasoning,
                          spirit is the very essence of life. The wind (or a breeze) could be taken
                          as the spirit of God - which explains the symbolism of the Pentecost story.
                          There are all kinds of other connections involved with the word 'pneuma'
                          (including the likely identification of the Holy Spirit as "the Mother"
                          mentioned in Thomas), but I hope I've said enough to redeem myself from
                          what my evil twin wrote.

                          Note to evil twin: Next time, check your facts, buddy.

                          Regards,
                          Mike

                          The Coptic Gospel of Thomas, saying-by-saying
                          http://www.geocities.com/athens/9068/sayings.htm
                        • Kanefer@aol.com
                          Nope - see Genesis 2:15 - And the Lord God took the man and put him into
                          Message 12 of 18 , Apr 2 11:47 PM
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                            <<Well, because you're wrong about that. Adam didn't have to work until the
                            Fall. >>

                            Nope - see Genesis 2:15 - "And the Lord God took the man and put him into
                            the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it..."

                            Sincerely, Patti
                          • Robert Tessman
                            ... My question is this. Would those who wrote and read Thomas endeavor into theory enough to make the differntiation? Like the idea of the snake that eats
                            Message 13 of 18 , Apr 3 2:00 AM
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                              >The Greek word 'androgynos' means roughly 'man-woman'. It has to do
                              >with containing the essence of *both* sexes, not *neither*. There's a
                              >fine line between 'both' and 'neither' which is often crossed in
                              >practice, but in theory it's relatively easy to differentiate the two:

                              My question is this. Would those who wrote and read Thomas endeavor into
                              'theory' enough to make the differntiation? Like the idea of the snake that
                              eats its tail, does it anihilate itself or does it become full of itself?
                              Does an entity that is both or neither male and/nor female have sex with
                              itself or have sex with everybody or even not have sex? I wonder if you are
                              not venturing upon an unanswerable question here that was intended by the
                              Thomasines at least to remain unanswerable.


                              >(1) With respect to physical sexual organs, 'both' would be a
                              >hermaphrodite, 'neither' would be a cartoon character or doll with no
                              >genitals.

                              Or perhaps the idea was that the organs, existant or non existant no longer
                              had the effect upon such an ascetic that they do on non-ascetics.

                              >(2) With respect to sexual practice, 'both' would be a bisexual,
                              >'neither' would be an "asexual" (i.e., a celibate).

                              Here I think you leave out the possibility that such a being is united with
                              their desire. There is, after all, no need to seek a wife or accidentally
                              have children if, so to speak, your Adam is perpetually with your Eve. Now
                              if by 'asexual' you mean 'self-contained' I can see this as a possibility
                              even for the 'man-woman', yet I would use a term like 'autosexual'. The
                              idea being, with reference to the Man of Gen 1, that such a man had
                              everything he/she needed to be happy--before the seperation ever occured.
                              'Self reliance' and 'independance' are implied here not 'bisexuality'.

                              >With this background in mind, and ignoring Crossan's views for the
                              >moment, I ask myself whether GTh is talking about 'both' or 'neither',
                              >or some confused mishmash of the two. Specifically, when it's claimed
                              >that in order to enter the kingdom, one must make it such that "neither
                              >the male be male, nor the female female", does that mean:
                              >
                              >(a) Each sex should be *both* male and female.
                              >(b) Each sex should be *neither* male nor female.
                              >
                              >On a literal interpretation,

                              Literal interpretation doesn't seem reasonable. I doubt the author/s of
                              Thomas or even the writers of Gen 1 cared to think on this level. I think
                              it is by such literalizing that the entire analysis here becomes flawed.
                              Should we think that the man-woman or neuter of Gen 1 was such because of
                              some concern for literal genetalia? It seems more obvious that the concern
                              is for a deeper bond--to 'wax poetic for a moment'-that lovers feel when
                              they are seperated by distance and time: that they will not be truely happy
                              until *THEY* are together again, not their genitals.

                              the male/female stuff in Thomas seems to
                              >be of type (b), which would be consistent with celibacy, which in turn
                              >would be consistent with world-negation. But "androgynous Adam" is by
                              >definition type (a). Thus, there seems to be a logical inconsistency in
                              >Crossan's view.

                              ...based upon a literalizing of the symbol. In Gen 1 we are dealing with a
                              divine Man, He is androgenous not because he possesses both phalus and
                              uterus, but because he has everything that he will ever desire contained in
                              himself (i.e., a 'herself') Thus there is no reason for this Man to stray
                              from God--God had not yet put him to sleep; God had not yet seperated her
                              from him.

                              Of course I am basing all this upon Freudian-like psychology that assumes
                              that every ambition in the male gender, for money and gain, fame or renown,
                              that is not meant to satisfy ones survival is for the ultimate purposes of
                              winning a mate.

                              True Freud is modern-thought, but so too is this literalizing logic.

                              One cannot derive both celibacy and androgyny from
                              >Thomas, it seems, unless Thomas itself is inconsistent.

                              The inconsistency is in your assumption that the Thomasines had the concept
                              of literal genitalia in mind when referencing Gen 1. That they even cared
                              about what the anatomy of such a figure would be. The idea however is that
                              the andro-gynos had no need to desire external things/persons/gains.
                              Whether this implied 'celibacy' or 'autoeroticism' and perhaps both may be
                              a better question.

                              If Thomas
                              >recommends celibacy, then it recommends that one be *neither* male nor
                              >female, but if Thomas recommends that one return to the state of
                              >androgynous Adam, then it recommends that one be *both* male and
                              >female. Obviously, it ain't possible to be both 'both' and 'neither'.

                              The way you have set the logic up, yes I have to agree with you. The
                              literal premise however is where I disagree with you (i.e., if genitals
                              exist they must necessarily exist for the purpose of having sex with people
                              OTHER than the one who possesses these two genitals, and because this is a
                              literal picture we cannot of course imagine that they would exist on the
                              androgyne in perpetual union--because that is literally and anotomically
                              absurd).

                              >The conclusion that I would draw from this line of thinking is the same
                              >as was implied in my earlier note: Crossan is just simply wrong about
                              >the androgyny thingy. Thomas shows no awareness whatsoever of an
                              >androgynous ideal, so one can hardly be inferred from it. Logically
                              >speaking, its male/female ideal is not "type-both" (i.e., androgynous),
                              >but rather "type-neither". In point of fact, the "beginning" it
                              >mentions doesn't seem to be based on any well-thought-out exegesis of
                              >Genesis at all, but rather on a sort of simple (Platonic?) duality of
                              >spiritual world versus material world.

                              But by literalizing the androgyny thingy, you have automatically relegated
                              this type to the 'material' world.

                              If I can wax poetic for a
                              >moment: In the beginning, all was spirit. In the end, all will be
                              >spirit again. In the meantime, all of us human critters who are
                              >combinations of flesh and spirit, should yield to the (holy) spirit
                              >which is in us, and follow *its* dictates rather than the dictates of
                              >the flesh (with which it is naturally and always at war!) In that way,
                              >we can become (virtual?) members of "the kingdom" while we're
                              >physically alive, so that our spirits (or souls) will become (actual?)
                              >members of the kingdom after our physical death, and forever. That's
                              >what *I* think is meant by Thomas's promise that one can bring it about
                              >that one will not "taste death".

                              My conclusion is that while the Tomasine ascetics might have practiced
                              chastity there is no evidence for the kind of hatred of flesh and hatred of
                              genitals that you assume here with your idea of "type-neither". First why
                              does a union of male and female necesarily lead us to a literal picture?
                              Second, if we cannot conceive of that picture does it mean we should try?
                              Or is something else intended with the symbol that does not call into
                              question whether the figure likes to have sex with everybody or nobody?
                              Rather it seems obvious that a man who is also his female counterpart is
                              100% self-reliant, he does not need the world, he/she is a complete person,
                              married, and thus immune to the seductions of the world. Why should
                              genitals even come into the equation?

                              It seems that your logic is based more upon a freek show than any actual
                              meaning inherent in Thomas.

                              Let me just add another point to all this. Ascetics and Philosophers often
                              make their ideal out to be what is opposite their own sex. In Proverps for
                              instance you have Wisdom depicted as a female (i.e., this literature was
                              directed toward men). This type of teaching of course engages all 'parts'
                              of the students in their quest for the ideal. Now when you have ascetics
                              who are torn between seeking god and the pleasures of the opposite sex you
                              have many ascetics that become ex-ascetics. Unless of course you tell
                              them, "look here, what you are seeking, if you attain it, will be as if you
                              were perpetually with a woman, united in the act of love. If you stray you
                              will never have that. If you have sex with women temporarily it will
                              always be temporarily and you will be more unhappy than you are happy. But
                              if you seek the kingdom you will not ever disire the opposite sex because
                              you will fully possess all that you desire now."

                              Robert.
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