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[gthomas] List promotion so far

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  • Paul Miller
    Heres an update on what I ve done so far to promote the list GThomas. I have listed it with PAML, Liszt, and Yahoo, these three should take about a week or two
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 27, 1998
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      Heres an update on what I've done so far to promote the list GThomas. I have
      listed it with PAML, Liszt, and Yahoo, these three should take about a week
      or two to process and be listed on their sites. Information on the list has
      been posted to Crosstalk and Diftx-l, both e mail based discussion groups. I
      have also posted info to a Quaker and a Gnostic newsgroup. Last time I
      checked we had 11 list members in 24 hours of existence so it looks like
      there is plenty of interest in the Gospel of Thomas.
      Please post any ideas you have for promoting this list.

      To post to GThomas: GThomas@egroups.com

      Cheers
      Paul Miller


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    • Cliff Hammond
      There is some HTML in your text that make it....interesting... to reply in a line by line format. So I will just jump up here. We might send copy to the
      Message 2 of 3 , Dec 27, 1998
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        There is some HTML in your text that make it....interesting... to reply in a line by line format. So I will just jump up here.

        We might send copy to the seminaries where the scholars are, give them a personal invitation, etc.  Another idea is to promote the list among Buddhists who were formerly raised Christian.  I suggest this because in finding the Gospel of Thomas I as NOT surprised at how Zen Buddhist/Mahayanan Buddhist the sayings of Jesus sound (Q source also, I would bet).  I was so impressed at the "Gnostic" reality that the Kingdom of God is within and without in this very moment - Where lived the Great I AM, the "Living God" that I have copied several of the quotations and filed them alongside my Buddhist signature files to be used when posting to Dzogchen, Karma Kagyu e-mail lists as well as to alt.zen and alt.buddha.short.fat.guy.

        Probably not a surprise to many, the Mahayana movement of Buddhism was begun in India shortly before the time of Jesus of Nazareth.  The Mahayanan influence has been lasting and perhaps the greatest development in Buddhism since the time of Sakyamuni.  It encourages the dharma practitioner(seeker of truth), once s/he has awakened to the glorious present and to the Buddha-nature within, to "carry the message," if you will, to others. Recognizing that we have been socialized into a zeitgeist - that our "selves" are wholly a culturally bound social construction - it makes sense at the most profound level of spiritual functionality that we should dedicate ourselves to the salvation of others if we are to become as "children of God" ourselves and are to be successful at transcending the world while at the same time living in the world.  Isn't this exactly the mission of Jesus? That we should all be the children of God.  ["The kingdom of God is among you!"  Stay awake!" - how utterly Buddhist!].

        With that, I have a question for the Historical Jesus scholars among us.  We know that Buddhist monasteries were springing up in the Middle East, Asia Minor, Turkey, Syria, etc., and North Africa, during the time of Jesus.  And we can assume, looking at the quotations attributed to him that Jesus was also a product of the zeitgeist of his time, very Hebrew and somewhat withdrawn from the Hellinizing culture of Rome, a Rome which eventually moved into Jerusalem with the full force of oppression to squech her independent spirit.  But Jesus transcended his Hebrew culture in the way of genius that even Paul, who had been Hellinized - born in Greece - could not appreciate (in my opinion). He transcended the world, the zeitgeist.  Perhaps the writer of John understood him in a way akin to a Mahayanan influence without actually being formally so himself.  I understand that I, like many others, risk the folly of my own projections, but is there a possibility that the Therapeuts (a healing-focused subset of the Esseans), the Esseans, and the Mahayanan Buddhists were interacting in a way that brought an Eastern influence into the Gnostics and to Jesus himself, an influence that was neither understood by his disciples nor appreciated by Paul of Tarsus and the Hellinic Christian Orthodoxy of the second and third centuries over which Paul triumphed through evangilization?

        Here is one of the "scriptures" from Thomas that I have included in my signature files because of its effect on my understanding when I used it in the style of Rinsai Zen meditation yesterday (eg., "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" Or "Show me your true face - the face you had before your parents were born.).  This GThomasian quotation led for me to a holy and profound emptiness (sunyata) and oneness.  It has introduced  to me the efficacy of the parable when used like a "koan" (like the examples I quoted above) - only parables are probably used in a more classically contemplative manner, guessing from this one's effects.  I would also guess that the parables of Jesus - the ones from the Synoptic Gospels with which we are the most familiar - are, in fact, so familiar that what I *experience* to be possibly an original meditative function of the parable device is no longer in wide usage in modern Christianity because they have all been converted by the culture into cognitive operations rather than the ontological seeds or sparks of light they seem to have once been.  The kingdom of God is among you! [I'll bet the Trapists discovered their function centuries ago].

        The function of the parable as we know this device today has been described as providing only one point - a point which renders cognitive understanding and an operation which came into the zeitgeist post-Descartes.  But the one point of this particular parable when used in meditation opens to the "one pointedness" of the Dharma! The Tao! The Kingdom of God! The loins of I AM THAT I AM! Under the Shadow of His Wing! Sunyata!  MU! etc..  So, I will not make the mistake of stealing away from you this great experience, giving you instead an empty and loquacious commentary.  Instead, as Jesus must have done, I will leave you sitting in meditation, following the experiencing of your breath in this moment and holding in your hearts this jar, this woman, the meal left along the road, the emptiness of the jar and its broken handle.  How divine is its teaching!

        gassho,

        -cliff hammond

        97 Jesus said, the [Father's] kingdom is like a woman who was carrying a [jar] full of meal. While she was walking along [a] distant road, the handle of the jar broke and the meal spilled behind her [along] the road. She didn't know it; she hadn't noticed a problem. When she reached her house, she put the jar down and discovered that it was empty.

        --Gospel of Thomas <http://home.epix.net/~miser17/Thomas.html>
        _______________________________________________________________________________

        http://www.angelfire.com/tx/cliffhammond/IntroPage.html
        mailto:wycliffe@...
         
         

        Paul Miller wrote:

         
        Heres an update on what I've done so far to promote the list GThomas. I have
        listed it with PAML, Liszt, and Yahoo, these three should take about a week
        or two to process and be listed on their sites. Information on the list has
        been posted to Crosstalk and Diftx-l, both e mail based discussion groups. I
        have also posted info to a Quaker and a Gnostic newsgroup. Last time I
        checked we had 11 list members in 24 hours of existence so it looks like
        there is plenty of interest in the Gospel of Thomas.
         Please post any ideas you have for promoting this list.
        
        To post to GThomas:  GThomas@egroups.com
        
        Cheers
        Paul Miller


        eGroup home: http://www.eGroups.com/list/gthomas
        Free Web-based e-mail groups by www.eGroups.com

      • Paul Miller
        Cliff wrote: We might send copy to the seminaries where the scholars are, give them a personal invitation, -------------------------- Yeah I would love to get
        Message 3 of 3 , Dec 27, 1998
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          Cliff wrote:
          We might send copy to the seminaries where the scholars are, give them a personal invitation, --------------------------
           
          Yeah I would love to get Stephen Patterson's e mail address. I would also value our own ,(crosstalk), Steve Davies participation on this egroup. All the GThomas experts are very welcome!
           
          Paul Miller

          eGroup home: http://www.eGroups.com/list/gthomas
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