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[gthomas] Re: Saying 97

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  • Stevan Davies
    ... I m glad you included the saying. It s always easier to discuss things when they re included in the email. Thoughts: As usual in Thomas the Kingdom is like
    Message 1 of 12 , Dec 30, 1998
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      > 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.

      I'm glad you included the saying. It's always easier to discuss
      things when they're included in the email.

      Thoughts:

      As usual in Thomas the Kingdom is like a person. The
      woman is not "at fault" here. Repeatedly (in a rather Markan
      reiterative fashion) we hear that she did not know what was
      happening.
      She didn't break the jar, it just broke.
      < 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.

      It's an event of discovery though, like the pearl and treasure
      and fish. Instead of "Oh, wow!" I suppose the reaction would
      be "Oh, damn!" Instead of "get rid of everything else and keep
      what you discover" the response has to be "go do it all over
      again." But the common element remains the shock of
      discovery. So the kingdom is like a person who has that
      sort of shock of discovery experience.

      Steve

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    • ekklesia@worldnet.att.net
      okay already! ... eGroup home: http://www.eGroups.com/list/gthomas Free Web-based e-mail groups by eGroups.com
      Message 2 of 12 , Dec 30, 1998
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        okay already!

        Mike Grondin wrote:

        > People - please do not copy the entire message you're responding to!
        > [snip]

        > So, please, just cut and paste the part of the
        > message you're responding to. Thanks.
        >
        > Mike
        >


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      • Mats Winther
        Concerning logion 97 I would like to point out the saying from the Hebrew (Ebionite) Gospel: The Saviour said: Now my mother, the holy spirit, took me by one
        Message 3 of 12 , Jan 10, 1999
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          Concerning logion 97 I would like to point out the saying from the
          Hebrew (Ebionite) Gospel: The Saviour said: "Now my mother, the holy
          spirit, took me by one of my hairs and carried me to the high mountain
          Tabor."
          This tallies with an interpretation of the jar as a person of light
          who is carried by the holy spirit (i.e. a woman who is the mother).
          This may also point at a possibility that Jesus understood the holy
          spirit as a person of feminine gender.
          I have pondered the question of why the woman is unconscious of the
          fact that the jar is leaking. The leaking can be understood as the
          suffering of a person of light. The leaking is when his blood (i.e.
          the meal) pours down on earth. Jesus may have experienced his life as
          continous suffering. Although he was securely carried by the mother,
          this female person must have been unconscious of the suffering,
          otherwise she would take measures to stop the bleeding and mend the
          wound. Why this unconsciousness must exist is yet another mystery in
          the divine drama. But this may at least enhance the understanding of
          the suffering of Christ on the cross and his lamentation "...My God,
          my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Mat 27:46).

          ---------------------
          I'm sorry that I repeat myself from here on but I want to repeat some
          of my views on logion 97 for new participants:
          We can look upon it within the context of the sayings where he speaks
          about the light: (Logion 24) "...There is light within a person of
          light, and it shines on the whole world. If it does not shine, it is
          dark." (Logion 77) "..I am the light that is over all things. I am
          all: from me all came forth, and to me all attained.

          So the meal may be understood as more or less the same as the light
          which a person of light shines on the world during his lifetime. One
          can understand this as the Son returning to the Father after his
          mission on earth. So a jar spilling meal over the world has a
          symbolical resemblance to a lamp that "spills" light over the world.
          The latter conception occurs in the Gospel as sayings of Jesus e.g.
          Luk 11:36: "If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no
          part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright
          shining of a candle doth give thee light."

          What seems to occur is that a person of light "breaks" and because of
          this leaks the white light upon the world. This, of course, is true
          about Christ. He suffered while on earth, and while crucified he was
          penetrated with a lance so that his blood poured out on earth. The
          notion of breaking is obvious in the case of the breaking of the bread
          (to Jesus a very important conception). In John 6:51 Jesus says: "I am
          the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this
          bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my
          flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."
          A loaf of bread can be seen as a receptacle of meal. The loaf must be
          broken and distributed to the people. This is similar to the breaking
          of the jar which causes the spiritual meal to leak out upon the world.
          But the breaking entails suffering. It seems to imply that a wound has
          to be inflicted in order for the light to leak out from a
          light-person.

          What is very curious in this parable is that the woman carries on
          unconscious of the fact that the jar is leaking. This may be how Jesus
          experienced his life as a person of light. He feels like a receptacle
          of spirit that continously pours forth like a fountain of light. But
          in some way he is passive. He is carried by the unconscious woman and
          has no other choice than to carry out his Father's will by suffering
          and spreading the grace of God upon earth. So the unconscious woman
          then, could be interpreted as the unconscious psyche. The immense
          power of the unconscious is carrying him through life and takes him
          back to his Father's house. This is true about any person of light.

          I think that saying 97 is an amplification of this conception of the
          person that shines light from within. This light is food for the soul
          i.e. meal. But in this parable Jesus expands on the subject and
          introduces the element of suffering (breaking) and also how he himself
          feels as a person of light, i.e. that he is carried by the unconscious
          woman. So in a way he feels like a child who is carried by his mother.
          Perhaps he wants to convey his own complete feeling of security i.e.
          how a light-person will feel when two becomes one. And when the river
          of living water finally ceases to flow from his interior he will
          arrive at his Fathers house. But the Father is the Great Spirit
          himself, i.e. the source of all rivers of living water.

          We also know from depth psychology of a process called
          'individuation'. When this is invoked the individual has the
          experience of being carried by a strong current towards a goal which
          have been denoted 'the self'. The carrying current is called 'the
          collective unconscious' and is with men personalized as the feminine
          figure of the anima. So, psychologically speaking, logion 97 is
          comprehensible and must have been expressed by a person that had
          experienced these things. He actually talks about this unconscious
          woman who is the carrier of the jar that spreads meal over the world.
          These symbols are very potent and to a certain extent comprehensible
          too. With normal persons, when their candles go out they simply die
          and vanish. However, Jesus in logion 97 probably tells us that persons
          who have become "persons of light" are carried away to their Father's
          house. So their candles do not rest on the ground. They are carried
          away and when their candles go out and they die they arrive at the
          eternal life at their Father's house.


          Mats Winther





















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