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Re: [gthomas] Androgenous ideal

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  • Kanefer@aol.com
    Joe wrote:
    Message 1 of 4 , Apr 4, 2000
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      Joe wrote:
      << I ask now about GOT 101 where it is stated that it is necessary to hate
      one's father and mother. Also GOT 15 and 105 have a related theme. Are we
      being told to hate the sexual aspect of our nature?>>

      Maybe, it refers to a not being bound by earthly relationships. You know,
      how relationship with mother and father tends to keep one in a certain role,
      or certain behavior/habits/personality are expected. This would keep one
      bound to earthly way and inhibit efforts toward journey which might conflict
      with parental expectation.
      i.e.: "Why you wearing that same old robe, here, let me make you another
      one. Here, you're so pale! You have to eat something! Baby! What is this
      you're saying? Aren't you my son? Who are you to say such things? What
      would your father think? Those men you hang around with are no good, they're
      transients who do no work to earn their keep. Now, go take a nap and then
      forge the iron like your father taught you" etc. etc..

      Sincerely, Patti
    • joe lieb
      ... Patti replied: Maybe, it refers to a not being bound by earthly relationships. You know, how relationship with mother and father tends to keep one in a
      Message 2 of 4 , Apr 7, 2000
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        >At 05:22 PM 04/04/00 -0700, I wrote:
        >> I ask now about GOT 101 where it is stated that it is
        >> necessary to hate one's father and mother. Also GOT 15
        >> and 105 have a related theme. Are we being told to hate
        >> the sexual aspect of our nature?

        Patti replied:
        " Maybe, it refers to a not being bound by earthly relationships. You know, how relationship with mother and father tends to keep one in a certain role, or certain behavior/habits/personality are expected.
        "

        Michael Grondin replied - in a similar vein:
        " Of course we're all familiar with the love-hate relationship that one has with one's parents, and there may be echoes of that here, but in light of other sayings in Thomas, what I think is being said is that one ought to hate (or cast off) one's *natural* parents, and love one's "real" (i.e., heavenly) parents.
        "

        But Michael went further looking into the social context of this saying:
        " One interpretation of them is that they derive from an early stage of Xianity, when to be a Xian often involved cutting oneself off from one's (non-Xian) family. But even if so, they would have been reusable in a later and different historical situation - one in which, say, one's parents were Xians, but one wanted to leave them anyway and go off and be an ascetic monk. Or join a group of wandering "teachers".
        "

        This sounds quite possible to me. But isn't this interpretation inconsistent with the view that GOT was a Jewish document? Monasticism is unknown in Judaism. Also - correct me if I am wrong - monasticism only started in Christianity in the fourth century. And so how could GOT be an early document of the same era as the canonical gospels?

        Michael also examined saying 105:
        " ("He who will know the Father and the Mother will be called 'The Son
        of the Harlot'.") I guess what's most controversial about this saying is
        whether it refers to Jesus or not. I believe that it does echo historical
        charges of illegitimacy, ...
        "

        Are you saying that Jesus was a bastard?
        105 is an extraordinary saying. I think that GOT is trying to inflame the reader by stating the opposite of what one would expect. One would expect: "He who does not know who his father and mother are is a bastard". Instead one reads: "He who DOES know who his father and mother are is a bastard." Indeed sex in marriage is nothing more than what a harlot does.

        I conclude that GOT is really attempting to turn people off sex. Instead we must be the products of some spiritual procreation. Michael wrote of 101:
        " the phrase "my true mother" in this saying refers to "the Holy Spirit".
        "

        It sounds possible to me. I have found the concept of the Holy Spirit in Christianity to be vague.

        Sincerely,
        - Joe.




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      • Nanna Liv Elkj√¶r Olsen
        ... know, how relationship with mother and father tends to keep one in a certain role, or certain behavior/habits/personality are expected. ... has with one s
        Message 3 of 4 , Apr 8, 2000
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          At 14:29 07-04-00 -0700, Joe Lieb wrote:
          >>At 05:22 PM 04/04/00 -0700, I wrote:
          >>> I ask now about GOT 101 where it is stated that it is
          >>> necessary to hate one's father and mother. Also GOT 15
          >>> and 105 have a related theme. Are we being told to hate
          >>> the sexual aspect of our nature?
          >
          >Patti replied:
          >" Maybe, it refers to a not being bound by earthly relationships. You
          know, how relationship with mother and father tends to keep one in a
          certain role, or certain behavior/habits/personality are expected.
          >"
          >
          >Michael Grondin replied - in a similar vein:
          >" Of course we're all familiar with the love-hate relationship that one
          has with one's parents, and there may be echoes of that here, but in light
          of other sayings in Thomas, what I think is being said is that one ought to
          hate (or cast off) one's *natural* parents, and love one's "real" (i.e.,
          heavenly) parents.
          >"
          >
          >But Michael went further looking into the social context of this saying:
          >" One interpretation of them is that they derive from an early stage of
          Xianity, when to be a Xian often involved cutting oneself off from one's
          (non-Xian) family. But even if so, they would have been reusable in a later
          and different historical situation - one in which, say, one's parents were
          Xians, but one wanted to leave them anyway and go off and be an ascetic
          monk. Or join a group of wandering "teachers".
          >"
          >
          As I see it, it is a matter of breaking down structure in order to stand in
          an unmediated relation horizontally as well as vertically - or to put it in
          another way, to create a communitas (with reference to Victor Turner) - the
          most basic structures being familyrelations and giftexchange/trade. The
          latter is being rejected in logion 95: "If you have money, do not lend it
          at interest. Rather, give it to someone from whom you will not get it back"
          ; this is breaking with what Mauss (Essay sur le don - The Gift) called
          giftexchange. When one gives a gift, one also expects a returngift sooner
          or later, but here it is said to give money exactly to someone from whom
          one cannot expect to get a returngift.
          Without any structures sort of mediating they can become one lonely.
          ... or perhaps it's far out!

          Nanna Liv Olsen
        • Michael Grondin
          ... stage of Xianity, when to be a Xian often involved cutting oneself off from one s (non-Xian) family. But even if so, they would have been reusable in a
          Message 4 of 4 , Apr 9, 2000
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            I wrote:
            >One interpretation of them [55 & 101] is that they derive from an early
            stage of Xianity, when to be a Xian often involved cutting oneself off from
            one's (non-Xian) family. But even if so, they would have been reusable in a
            later and different historical situation - one in which, say, one's parents
            were Xians, but one wanted to leave them anyway and go off and be an
            ascetic monk. Or join a group of wandering "teachers".

            To which Joe responded:
            >This sounds quite possible to me. But isn't this interpretation
            inconsistent with the view that GOT was a Jewish document? Monasticism is
            unknown in Judaism. Also - correct me if I am wrong - monasticism only
            started in Christianity in the fourth century. And so how could GOT be an
            early document of the same era as the canonical gospels?

            Um, err, because maybe 'monk' was the wrong word? I note that the standard
            definition of the word involves living in a monastery, but it derives from
            the Greek 'monachos', which is used three times in Thomas, and which means
            simply 'single' or 'alone' - no implication that one is living in a
            monastery with other folks. I'm not too knowledgeable about the way things
            developed, but the idea of asceticism was certainly very early indeed,
            preceding the development of monasteries by hundred of years. Some (but not
            all) of those early ascetics went off by themselves, into the deserts or
            mountains, etc. In some cases, there would be small groups of hermetic
            ascetics living in some proximity to each other, but in separate dwellings
            of their own. Eventually, the idea developed (in Egypt originally, and
            probably out of necessity as much as anything else) of housing such small
            communities in fortress-like buildings, with their "aloneness" being
            preserved symbolically by each monk's "cell". This physical consolidation
            went hand-in-hand with community "rules", and soon there were whole
            "systems" of such monasteries, such as the Pachomian "system" in Egypt.
            Although there would always be hermits who lived the original ideal in its
            full purity, most ascetics came to accept the idea that that ideal could be
            at least symbolically preserved in a monasterial setting.

            To get back to your original question, I guess we need to define what is
            meant by 'monasticism'. Does it necessarily involve monasteries, or can it
            mean, as it did originally, simply separation and aloneness? In any case,
            wasn't the Qumran community an example of Jewish ascetic separation? Be
            that as it may, I'm not at all disturbed by the possibility that maybe GOT
            wasn't a "Jewish document". That it was so is Yuri's hypothesis, not mine.
            I still don't even know exactly what it means to say that something was/is
            a "Jewish document". I do know that Yuri wants to have GOT be
            Torah-consistent, but that view forces him to deny some rather obvious
            internal evidence.

            >I believe that it [105] does echo historical charges of illegitimacy, ...
            >
            >Are you saying that Jesus was a bastard?

            Nope. I'm saying that this was a charge made against him in Jewish circles.
            Implicit in this charge was that J was not of the Davidic line, hence could
            not be the Messiah. The person said to be his father was one Panthera,
            sometimes called a "Sidonese archer", but actually a mercenary military
            leader of some repute who evidently was stationed in Galilee at the
            appropriate time. There are implicit reactions to the charge of
            illegitimacy and/or of not being of the Davidic line in the canonical
            gospels, but it isn't clear whether those charges were levelled during the
            lifetime of Jesus, after his death, or both.

            >105 is an extraordinary saying. I think that GOT is trying to inflame the
            reader by stating the opposite of what one would expect. One would expect:
            "He who does not know who his father and mother are is a bastard". Instead
            one reads: "He who DOES know who his father and mother are is a bastard."
            Indeed sex in marriage is nothing more than what a harlot does.

            Very well put, and I can agree up to a point. But 105 does specify "the
            Father", not "his father". Either one could be expressed in Coptic, and
            Thomas chose the former.

            >I conclude that GOT is really attempting to turn people off sex.
            >Instead we must be the products of some spiritual procreation.

            Yep.

            Michael wrote of 101:
            >... the phrase "my true mother" in this saying refers to "the Holy Spirit".
            >
            >It sounds possible to me. I have found the concept of the Holy Spirit
            >in Christianity to be vague.

            Sure is. Steve Davies has a lot to say about this, and about literal
            "spirit possession" in his book "Jesus the Healer".

            Regards,
            Mike

            The Coptic Gospel of Thomas, saying-by-saying
            http://www.geocities.com/athens/9068/sayings.htm
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