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Saying 45

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  • Michael Grondin
    ... This saying is hard to explain for those who believe that GThom s position is that the kingdom is everywhere, or that there is no such thing as an evil
    Message 1 of 16 , Sep 29, 2000
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      > (1) "Grapes are not harvested from thorns, nor are figs picked
      > from thistles, for they do not produce fruit.
      > (2) A good person brings forth good from his treasure.
      > (3) A bad person brings (forth) evil from the bad treasure
      > that is in his heart, and (in fact) he speaks evil.
      > (4) For out of the abundance of the heart he brings forth evil."
      > ...............................................
      > http://www.geocities.com/mwgrondin/5thGospl.htm
      > ...............................................

      This saying is hard to explain for those who believe that GThom's
      position is that the kingdom is everywhere, or that there is no such
      thing as an evil person. Here, an evil person is likened to a thing
      which not only doesn't produce fruit, but *never can* produce fruit!
      That's pretty strong, probably even stronger than the writer
      intended, since it doesn't allow any room for repentence. Even
      allowing for repentence, however, it's clear that such people, as
      long as they maintain this evil treasure within their minds/hearts,
      are not part of the kingdom.

      Altho 45.2 talks about the good person, the entire remainder of the
      saying is about evil. There's no "good" analogue for 45.1 or 45.4,
      and even 45.3 says more about the evil person than 45.2 does about
      the good person. Curiously, 45.4 is itself an over-abundance, since
      it says much the same thing as 45.3.

      The mention of thorns should remind us of Th9, the only other saying
      in which that Coptic word is used. In Th9 (the parable of the sower),
      it's stated that the "seeds" that fell on thorns were choked by them,
      and eaten by worms. Could the "good" part of 45 (i.e., 45.2) be the
      "seeds" that were "choked" by the surrounding statements about evil
      (45.1,3,4)? If so - and if the puzzle hypothesis is true - then we
      should expect to find some other saying about worms. Sure enough, we
      find mention of worms in saying 76, where it's recommended that one
      "seek his(?) ... treasure where ... no worms destroy." If any further
      connection is needed, we find it in the word 'treasure'. What this
      all amounts to, it seems to me, is that 45.2 is intended to be "eaten
      by" (i.e., joined with) 76.3, and that the remainder of 45 (all the
      stuff about evil) is one of the three locations mentioned in Th9
      where the "seed" doesn't produce "fruit". In other words, 45.2 is the
      good seed that inadvertently fell among "thorns". It cannot survive
      there - it has to be moved. I take this as another piece of internal
      evidence for the jigsaw puzzle theory, according to which the reader
      is intended to rearrange parts of GoT - even to remove parts of it -
      to form a different, more perfect, structure than appears at first.

      Mike

      The Coptic Gospel of Thomas, saying-by-saying
      http://www.geocities.com/athens/9068/sayings.htm
    • RSBrenchley@aol.com
      ... Perhaps the people referred to just aren t going to repent? This could reflect a belief in predestination. Regards, Robert Brenchley RSBrenchley@aol.com
      Message 2 of 16 , Sep 29, 2000
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        >> (1) "Grapes are not harvested from thorns, nor are figs picked
        >> from thistles, for they do not produce fruit.
        >> (2) A good person brings forth good from his treasure.
        >> (3) A bad person brings (forth) evil from the bad treasure
        >> that is in his heart, and (in fact) he speaks evil.
        >> (4) For out of the abundance of the heart he brings forth evil."
        >

        >This saying is hard to explain for those who believe that GThom's
        >position is that the kingdom is everywhere, or that there is no such
        >thing as an evil person. Here, an evil person is likened to a thing
        >which not only doesn't produce fruit, but *never can* produce fruit!
        >That's pretty strong, probably even stronger than the writer
        >intended, since it doesn't allow any room for repentence. Even
        >allowing for repentence, however, it's clear that such people, as
        >long as they maintain this evil treasure within their minds/hearts,
        >are not part of the kingdom.>>

        Perhaps the people referred to just aren't going to repent? This could
        reflect a belief in predestination.

        Regards,

        Robert Brenchley

        RSBrenchley@...
      • Andrew Smith
        ... reader ... - ... I couldn t quite understand the first part of your post. But with your jigsaw puzzle theory aren t you just showing that a sayings list
        Message 3 of 16 , Sep 29, 2000
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          > I take this as another piece of internal
          > evidence for the jigsaw puzzle theory, according to which the
          reader
          > is intended to rearrange parts of GoT - even to remove parts of it
          -
          > to form a different, more perfect, structure than appears at first.
          >
          > Mike
          I couldn't quite understand the first part of your post. But with
          your
          jigsaw puzzle theory aren't you just showing that a sayings list that
          is organised loosely by catchwords can be reorganised by choosing
          other catchwords?

          Best Wishes

          And
        • Jim Bauer
          ... From: Andrew Smith To: gthomas@egroups.com Date: Friday, September 29, 2000 6:18 PM Subject: [gthomas] Re: Saying
          Message 4 of 16 , Sep 29, 2000
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            -----Original Message-----
            From: Andrew Smith <asmith@...>
            To: gthomas@egroups.com <gthomas@egroups.com>
            Date: Friday, September 29, 2000 6:18 PM
            Subject: [gthomas] Re: Saying 45


            >> I take this as another piece of internal
            >> evidence for the jigsaw puzzle theory, according to which the
            >reader
            >> is intended to rearrange parts of GoT - even to remove parts of it
            >-
            >> to form a different, more perfect, structure than appears at first.

            This sounds like the "Bible codes" which are so popular with Fundamentalists
            now. Just in case you're unsure what I mean, they do things like read every
            fifth word & then pretend some meaningful insight to what's really nonsense.
            The jigsaw puzzle is probably equally eroneous unless you can show how using
            Thomas this way actually produces any more coherent view of the whole. I
            think finding such "meaning" is probably of the same order as the meaning of
            dreams in the psychoanalysis game. Dennet used it in _Consciousness
            Explained_ (the title of which historian of science Bob Richards said should
            be followed by a question mark).

            Dennet uses it as an explanation of hallucination. The game consists of
            sending one of the party members as a dupe to leave the room while the
            remaider of the party concoct a dream for him to analyze. It is to be
            related to him by his asking the remainder yes-no questions When the dupe
            is gone the remainder agree that they will answer yes if the last letter of
            the last word is in the first half of the alphabet & no if otherwise. In
            short, the dupe concocts a dream out of the questions provided him. I'm
            afraid any attempt to break Thomas down into a code or jigsaw puzzle
            probably has you asking the same kind of questions & getting the same kind
            of answers.

            Jim Bauer
            >>
            >>
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          • Michael Grondin
            ... I hope to hell not. I certainly wouldn t be satisfied with any such thing. I think that the connections I m pointing to in this example and others are
            Message 5 of 16 , Sep 29, 2000
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              Andrew Smith wrote:
              >... aren't you just showing that a sayings list that is organised
              > loosely by catchwords can be reorganised by choosing other catchwords?

              I hope to hell not. I certainly wouldn't be satisfied with any such thing.
              I think that the connections I'm pointing to in this example and others are
              connections of whole thoughts, not just catchwords. Mind you, it wouldn't
              be hard to find a better arrangement by catchword, since more contiguous
              pairs of sayings are *unconnected* by catchwords than are *connected*
              (according to Patterson's list). Furthermore, there are so many
              non-contiguous sayings connected by catchwords that I suspect (tho have
              never taken the trouble to try to prove) that the purported organization by
              catchword is nothing more than random distribution. In any case, I hope to
              show in the end that there is only one plausible reorganization, and that
              this must therefore have been intended by the Coptic authors. This would
              become clear, I think, if there were certain patterns of transformation (as
              opposed to each rearrangement being different from every other). As yet, I
              haven't discovered any such patterns, but as long as there is no
              satisfactory explanation for the separation of 6A from 14, I have to
              believe that it was intentional, and that this text may thus have been
              intended as some sort of initiatory exercise.

              Mike
            • Michael Grondin
              ... As a logician and a firm believer in the scientific method, I hope to show much more than that. I hope to show (1) that there are patterns of
              Message 6 of 16 , Sep 29, 2000
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                Jim Bauer wrote:
                >This sounds like the "Bible codes" which are so popular with Fundamentalists
                >now. ...
                >The jigsaw puzzle is probably equally eroneous unless you can show how using
                >Thomas this way actually produces any more coherent view of the whole.

                As a logician and a firm believer in the scientific method, I hope to show
                much more than that. I hope to show (1) that there are patterns of
                transformation, (2) that the "solution" proceeds according to an orderly
                series of steps, and (3) that the end result is not only "more coherent",
                but virtually perfect in form and content. In other words, I hope to
                absolutely prove that it was the intention of the Coptic authors to devise
                a puzzle. A tall order, and not much progress has been made so far, but I
                wouldn't personally be satisfied with anything less. These occasional
                examples that I throw onto the list are not intended as any kind of proof,
                but merely to illustrate the kinds of things that support the intuition
                behind the hypothesis. (In actual fact, Th45 was currently being discussed
                on the GospelofThomas list, and my thinking about that saying evolved as I
                was writing my remarks to such an extent that it led to some results that
                surprised me, and I thought it might be worthwhile posting here also.)

                Mike
              • joseph baxter
                I don t see pre-destination in 45. In light of the abundance of the heart, we may have bad ideas in our heart, as well as good. We do not need to bring it
                Message 7 of 16 , Sep 29, 2000
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                  I don't see pre-destination in 45. In light of the abundance of the heart,
                  we may have bad ideas in our heart, as well as good. We do not need to
                  bring it forth. We can leave it unborn. The will still plays a role.

                  This reminds me a little of James 3, how the tongue is like the rudder of
                  a great ship. The tongue can bring forth good (fruit) or bad (thorns and
                  thistles). If we could just be mindful of the tremendous power of our
                  mastery of this little object.

                  45, I suspect, has its roots well before Jesus.

                  Joe Baxter


                  At 04:15 PM 9/29/2000 , you wrote:
                  > >> (1) "Grapes are not harvested from thorns, nor are figs picked
                  > >> from thistles, for they do not produce fruit.
                  > >> (2) A good person brings forth good from his treasure.
                  > >> (3) A bad person brings (forth) evil from the bad treasure
                  > >> that is in his heart, and (in fact) he speaks evil.
                  > >> (4) For out of the abundance of the heart he brings forth evil."
                  > >
                  >
                  >
                  > Perhaps the people referred to just aren't going to repent? This could
                  >reflect a belief in predestination.
                  >
                  >Regards,
                  >
                  >Robert Brenchley
                  >
                  >RSBrenchley@...
                  >
                  >-------------------------------------------------
                  >To post to gthomas, send email to gthomas@egroups.com
                  >To unsubscribe, send a blank email to gthomas-unsubscribe@egroups.com


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Jim Bauer
                  Mike, Well I still find your discovering hidden meanings as the same sort of endeavor the Kabalist attempted. When I was still in college the acid heads in
                  Message 8 of 16 , Sep 30, 2000
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                    Mike,

                    Well I still find your discovering "hidden meanings" as the same sort of
                    endeavor the Kabalist attempted. When I was still in college the acid heads
                    in the dorm were passing around a slim volume by Jung called
                    _Synchronicity_. The thesis entertained here is that besides ordinary cause
                    & effect there is an "acausal connecting principle:" which he dubbed
                    "synchronicity". For example, he relates a crucial moment in a client's
                    therapy where she was relating a dream about a scarab beetle. At that point
                    one flew in the window & Jung asked if this was the insect of her dreams &
                    she said yes. I feel, though I don't know the Coptic or Greek to defend it,
                    that any attempt to treat GThom as a "jigsaw puzzle" is probably foredoomed
                    to failure as meaningful coincidence. As for "scientific method", religious
                    studies are as a field non-paradigmatic & therefore not science.
                    Attributing it to "science" is just another example of what Jerome Ravetz in
                    _Scientific Knowledge & its Social Problems_ called the "folk science" of
                    modern culture. Anthropologists believe every culture has a folk science;
                    modern folk science is science itself as observable in the proliferation of
                    things called "science". For example, I met a young college student who was
                    majoring in "secretarial science". Political science also comes rapidly to
                    mind as an example of what Ravetz discussed in his book. If you're not
                    familiar with Kuhn's _The Structure of Scientific Revolutions_ you should
                    check it out.

                    Jim Bauer
                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: Michael Grondin <mgrondin@...>
                    To: gthomas@egroups.com <gthomas@egroups.com>
                    Date: Friday, September 29, 2000 11:12 PM
                    Subject: Re: [gthomas] Re: Saying 45 (Jim)


                    >Jim Bauer wrote:
                    >>This sounds like the "Bible codes" which are so popular with
                    Fundamentalists
                    >>now. ...
                    >>The jigsaw puzzle is probably equally eroneous unless you can show how
                    using
                    >>Thomas this way actually produces any more coherent view of the whole.
                    >
                    >As a logician and a firm believer in the scientific method, I hope to show
                    >much more than that. I hope to show (1) that there are patterns of
                    >transformation, (2) that the "solution" proceeds according to an orderly
                    >series of steps, and (3) that the end result is not only "more coherent",
                    >but virtually perfect in form and content. In other words, I hope to
                    >absolutely prove that it was the intention of the Coptic authors to devise
                    >a puzzle. A tall order, and not much progress has been made so far, but I
                    >wouldn't personally be satisfied with anything less. These occasional
                    >examples that I throw onto the list are not intended as any kind of proof,
                    >but merely to illustrate the kinds of things that support the intuition
                    >behind the hypothesis. (In actual fact, Th45 was currently being discussed
                    >on the GospelofThomas list, and my thinking about that saying evolved as I
                    >was writing my remarks to such an extent that it led to some results that
                    >surprised me, and I thought it might be worthwhile posting here also.)
                    >
                    >Mike
                    >
                    >-------------------------------------------------
                    >To post to gthomas, send email to gthomas@egroups.com
                    >To unsubscribe, send a blank email to gthomas-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                  • Andrew Smith
                    ... saying ... sower), ... them, ... we ... further ... eaten ... the ... internal ... reader ... - ... Bad treasure in the heart brings forth evil. Good
                    Message 9 of 16 , Sep 30, 2000
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                      --- In gthomas@egroups.com, Michael Grondin <mgrondin@t...> wrote:
                      >
                      > > (1) "Grapes are not harvested from thorns, nor are figs picked
                      > > from thistles, for they do not produce fruit.
                      > > (2) A good person brings forth good from his treasure.
                      > > (3) A bad person brings (forth) evil from the bad treasure
                      > > that is in his heart, and (in fact) he speaks evil.
                      > > (4) For out of the abundance of the heart he brings forth evil."
                      > > ...............................................
                      > > http://www.geocities.com/mwgrondin/5thGospl.htm
                      > > ...............................................
                      > <snipped>
                      > The mention of thorns should remind us of Th9, the only other
                      saying
                      > in which that Coptic word is used. In Th9 (the parable of the
                      sower),
                      > it's stated that the "seeds" that fell on thorns were choked by
                      them,
                      > and eaten by worms. Could the "good" part of 45 (i.e., 45.2) be the
                      > "seeds" that were "choked" by the surrounding statements about evil
                      > (45.1,3,4)? If so - and if the puzzle hypothesis is true - then we
                      > should expect to find some other saying about worms. Sure enough,
                      we
                      > find mention of worms in saying 76, where it's recommended that one
                      > "seek his(?) ... treasure where ... no worms destroy." If any
                      further
                      > connection is needed, we find it in the word 'treasure'. What this
                      > all amounts to, it seems to me, is that 45.2 is intended to be
                      "eaten
                      > by" (i.e., joined with) 76.3, and that the remainder of 45 (all the
                      > stuff about evil) is one of the three locations mentioned in Th9
                      > where the "seed" doesn't produce "fruit". In other words, 45.2 is
                      the
                      > good seed that inadvertently fell among "thorns". It cannot survive
                      > there - it has to be moved. I take this as another piece of
                      internal
                      > evidence for the jigsaw puzzle theory, according to which the
                      reader
                      > is intended to rearrange parts of GoT - even to remove parts of it
                      -
                      > to form a different, more perfect, structure than appears at first.
                      >
                      > Mike
                      >

                      Bad treasure in the heart brings forth evil. Good treasure in the
                      heart brings forth good.

                      Thorns do not produce grapes

                      Seeds that fall on thorns are eaten by worms

                      seek your treasure where no worms destroy.

                      ****
                      So seek your treasure where there are not thorns, but where you can
                      get figs or grapes.

                      So, thorns=bad grapes/figs=good.

                      (as we all thought.)

                      Mike, if you can find an order to GoT that makes more sense, then I'm
                      interested. Are you saying that the collection of sayings existed in
                      Greek, then it was reordered in the Coptic version, with sayings
                      being
                      changed to indicate how to put it back into its original order?

                      All of the sayings you quoted above make perfect sense to me
                      and have their own internal logic.

                      Andrew 'Puzz
                    • Michael Grondin
                      ... No. Altho that s possible, it s only one of a number of possibilities as far as I can see. The main thing that counts against it, IMO, is that POxy 654
                      Message 10 of 16 , Sep 30, 2000
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                        Andrew Smith wrote:
                        >Are you saying that the collection of sayings existed in Greek,
                        >then it was reordered in the Coptic version, with sayings being
                        >changed to indicate how to put it back into its original order?

                        No. Altho that's possible, it's only one of a number of possibilities as
                        far as I can see. The main thing that counts against it, IMO, is that POxy
                        654 contains the same non-responsive "answer" to the questions in 6A as
                        does the Coptic GTh. But if the set of answers in Coptic #14 (not extant in
                        the Greek) is joined to the corresponding questions in 6A - as seems likely
                        - the result will not be identical to POxy 654. So the hypothesis you
                        mention strikes me as being unlikely. But aside from that, it's best for a
                        number of reasons to confine my hypothesis to the Coptic text. If and when
                        it can be established with respect to that text, then it may be possible to
                        reach some conclusions about the text represented by the Greek fragments.

                        Mike
                      • joseph baxter
                        At 03:12 PM 9/30/2000 , you wrote: The thesis entertained here is that besides ordinary cause & effect there is an acausal connecting principle: which he
                        Message 11 of 16 , Oct 1, 2000
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                          At 03:12 PM 9/30/2000 , you wrote:
                          The thesis entertained here is that besides ordinary cause
                          & effect there is an "acausal connecting principle:" which he dubbed
                          "synchronicity". For example, he relates a crucial moment in a client's
                          therapy where she was relating a dream about a scarab beetle. At that point
                          one flew in the window & Jung asked if this was the insect of her dreams &
                          she said yes.

                          Some years ago, on a Monday morning, the United States Supreme Court
                          announced a decision upholding a conviction where an involuntary confession
                          had been used against the accused at trial. It rocked the legal world with
                          a stark moment of truth. One of the oldest and tallest pillars of law had
                          been felled.

                          3000 miles away in a northern California forest, on that same Monday
                          morning, one of the tallest trees in the world fell (in a
                          storm). According to newspaper reports the awesome tree seemed even larger
                          on the ground. Stories high at its base, it stretched for more than the
                          size of a football field.

                          Jung's story seems to suggest that synchronicity can occur at a moment of
                          truth.

                          Joe

                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Jim Bauer
                          ... From: joseph baxter To: gthomas@egroups.com Date: Sunday, October 01, 2000 3:13 AM Subject: [gthomas] Moments of
                          Message 12 of 16 , Oct 1, 2000
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                            -----Original Message-----
                            From: joseph baxter <joseph@...>
                            To: gthomas@egroups.com <gthomas@egroups.com>
                            Date: Sunday, October 01, 2000 3:13 AM
                            Subject: [gthomas] Moments of Truth


                            >At 03:12 PM 9/30/2000 , you wrote:
                            >The thesis entertained here is that besides ordinary cause
                            >& effect there is an "acausal connecting principle:" which he dubbed
                            >"synchronicity". For example, he relates a crucial moment in a client's
                            >therapy where she was relating a dream about a scarab beetle. At that point
                            >one flew in the window & Jung asked if this was the insect of her dreams &
                            >she said yes.
                            >
                            >Some years ago, on a Monday morning, the United States Supreme Court
                            >announced a decision upholding a conviction where an involuntary confession
                            >had been used against the accused at trial. It rocked the legal world with
                            >a stark moment of truth. One of the oldest and tallest pillars of law had
                            >been felled.
                            >
                            >3000 miles away in a northern California forest, on that same Monday
                            >morning, one of the tallest trees in the world fell (in a
                            >storm). According to newspaper reports the awesome tree seemed even larger
                            >on the ground. Stories high at its base, it stretched for more than the
                            >size of a football field.
                            >
                            >Jung's story seems to suggest that synchronicity can occur at a moment of
                            >truth.

                            If you are willing to actually accept synchronicity as real I suppose it
                            could exist. The problem with synchronicity is that it is purportedly
                            "acausal". It is very difficult to reject the laws of cause & effect which
                            are required by science & the scientific method. As I said, the acid heads
                            in my dorm were passing the book around. It may be true that you can
                            perceive synchronicity. Another friend of mine used to get thoroughly
                            descoobied on imported beer & put the Psychedelic Furs on his stereo & The
                            Dukes of Hazzard on TV to look for synchronicity. With the brain in a
                            severely perturbed state.it seems one could experience it but that doesn't
                            prove it actually exists. It seems me to be a recapitulation of an
                            ancestral state where cause & effect weren't clearly undestood by the
                            perceiving system. This is also one of the biological determinants of the
                            existence of religion.

                            Jim Bauer
                            >
                            >Joe
                            >
                            >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            >
                            >
                            >-------------------------------------------------
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                          • joseph baxter
                            ... Jung called it acausal, but I don t see that as part of the necessary explanation. As you put it, it is difficult to reject cause and effect. So it could
                            Message 13 of 16 , Oct 1, 2000
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                              At 09:31 AM 10/1/2000 , you wrote:

                              >--
                              >If you are willing to actually accept synchronicity as real I suppose it
                              >could exist. The problem with synchronicity is that it is purportedly
                              >"acausal". It is very difficult to reject the laws of cause & effect which
                              >are required by science & the scientific method.

                              Jung called it acausal, but I don't see that as part of the necessary
                              explanation. As you put it, it is difficult to reject cause and effect. So
                              it could be that two things happening at the same time are the effects of
                              causes. By way of example only, one could argue that both efffects are
                              sympathetic responses to something larger, as opposed to one being the
                              cause of the other. I believe that Jung himself meant something like this.

                              Joe


                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Jeffrey Glen Jackson
                              Regarding synchronicity, I work on compilers, which are computer programs that translate programming languages, such as FORTRAN or C or C++ into machine
                              Message 14 of 16 , Oct 1, 2000
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                                Regarding synchronicity, I work on compilers, which are computer
                                programs that translate programming languages, such as FORTRAN or
                                C or C++ into machine language. These programs are themselves
                                written in a programming language and so are used to compile themselves.
                                (Sorry for the long technical explanation -- I'm getting to the point
                                soon). Now, the C compiler is written in C. A new version is compiled
                                with an old version of the compiler. Then we recompile it with the
                                new version we just compiled. Then, we do it again, and make sure
                                this third generation of compilations is identical to the second
                                generation. The new compiler compiled with the old compiler should
                                generate the same results as the new compiler compiled with
                                itself. However, if the new compiler has a bug, it might generate
                                incorrect code for some portion of itself, causing the new compiler
                                compiled with itself to behave differently than the new compiler compiled
                                with the old compiler. More often than is reasonable, the module it
                                generates incorrect code for is the module that has the bug that
                                caused the incorrect code to be generated in the first place. This
                                happens so often its downright spooky.

                                Jeff
                                http://www.jeff-jackson.com
                              • odell mcguire
                                ... Joe/Jim Excuse me for butting in, but it seems to me this synchroneity business poses something of a dilemma for the historian. No one trying to do
                                Message 15 of 16 , Oct 2, 2000
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                                  joseph baxter wrote:

                                  > At 09:31 AM 10/1/2000 , you wrote:
                                  >
                                  > >--
                                  > >If you are willing to actually accept synchronicity as real I suppose it
                                  > >could exist. The problem with synchronicity is that it is purportedly
                                  > >"acausal". It is very difficult to reject the laws of cause & effect which
                                  > >are required by science & the scientific method.
                                  >
                                  > Jung called it acausal, but I don't see that as part of the necessary
                                  > explanation. As you put it, it is difficult to reject cause and effect. So
                                  > it could be that two things happening at the same time are the effects of
                                  > causes. By way of example only, one could argue that both efffects are
                                  > sympathetic responses to something larger, as opposed to one being the
                                  > cause of the other. I believe that Jung himself meant something like this.
                                  >
                                  > Joe

                                  Joe/Jim

                                  Excuse me for butting in, but it seems to me this 'synchroneity' business poses
                                  something of a dilemma for the historian. No one trying to do history from
                                  primary sources can accept the kind of seemingly meaningful coincidences being
                                  discussed without exhaustively eliminating all possibility of causal
                                  connection. If he does not hesitate to entertain the idea of simple coincidence
                                  he will never learn anything about his subject from his documents except what
                                  their writers want him to think.

                                  Coincidences happen. But some cannot be swallowed. I keep thinking of
                                  Jesus bar Ananias. According to Josephus (Jewish War.VI.300ff) this character
                                  was a peasant, a posessesed lunatic who, some four years before the war began,
                                  created an incident in the temple by repeating the words of his 'voices' at the
                                  Feast of Booths: "... a voice against Jerusalem and the temple (NAOS), a voice
                                  against bridegroom and bride, a voice against all the people" and carried these
                                  cries into the streets. "Woe to Jerusalem" he kept repeating. He was chastised
                                  first by 'leading citizens' and finally brought before the Roman governor and,
                                  when he refused to identify or defend himself, he was scourged 'to the bone.'
                                  Woe to Jerusalem.' he said. But he recovered and continued repeating his dire
                                  prophecies until he was finally killed by a ballista bolt during the last weeks
                                  of the siege in 70 AD.

                                  A total coincidence that a peasant named Jesus, thought to be crazy, speaking
                                  with the voice of a spirit, was involved in a temple incident, predicted the
                                  fall of city and temple before the war, was finally hauled before the Roman
                                  governor, refused to say who he was or defend himself, and was severely scourged
                                  -all a few months before Mark composed his tale--??? Some say so. But I smell
                                  fish, a barrelful. Else I am no historian.

                                  But I am nowhere near accepting as explanation the theory, currently being
                                  mentioned favorably by some on the Xtalk list, that Jesus, as Mark portrays him,
                                  was a Markan midrashic creation. (Partly based on an oral memory of Jesus
                                  Ananias.)

                                  What, then? The best I am able to come up with is that there *was* a lunatic
                                  Jesus Ananias who prophesied the destruction of the city, but probably after the
                                  siege began, and that he thereby got himself in somekind of trouble with the
                                  authorities and thus left a trace in the documents that Josephus worked with.
                                  (So far, an acceptable mass of coincidence; one can easily imagine kooks such
                                  as this in Jerusalem under siege and Jesus was a very common name; Josephus
                                  alone deals with some 20 Jesuses)

                                  But it was not enough by itself for a good Josephan story. (And they *were* all
                                  *very* good stories) By most accounts, I think, Josephus wrote 'War' in the
                                  80s. About 10 years after Mark wrote 2G. I suspect that Josephus had a copy of
                                  Mark's gospel in his library (or its predecessor PN), recognized the real
                                  parallels, and copied the rest to
                                  flesh out his story. If this is true, the real historical value of the Jesus
                                  Ananias 'coincidence mass' lies in the fact that Josephus had access to Mark
                                  before he wrote 'Antiquities' and the passages lying behind the Testimonium
                                  Flavianum. Etc. Etc.

                                  I love a mass coincidence in primary texts. As another Mark wrote about
                                  Historical Geology:

                                  "It yields such wholesale returns of conjecture out of a trifling investment
                                  of fact"
                                  From *Life on the Mississippi*
                                  --
                                  Best wishes, Odell

                                  Odell McGuire
                                  omcguire@...
                                  Prof. Geology Em., W&L
                                  Lexington, VA
                                • Tom Ragland
                                  All that is being attempted is to abstract concepts and put them into a relational framework and intuitively deduce insights by the construction. This is the
                                  Message 16 of 16 , Oct 2, 2000
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    All that is being attempted is to abstract concepts and put them into a
                                    relational framework and intuitively deduce insights by the construction.
                                    This is the basis for Kaballah (Quabalah, and other spellings), which is
                                    supposed to be the mystical tradition of Judaism going back to before the
                                    time of Jesus. Judaism sees three divisions in their tradition. The Bible
                                    (Old Testament, Torah and Prophets) is the physical set of rules and
                                    instructions for the physical molding to the covenant. The Talmud (which we
                                    in Christian tradition may think of the Church Fathers instead) is the
                                    mental reflection on the covenant, the logical arguments and conclusions.
                                    The Kaballah is the mystical gnosis, the direct intuitive link as reflected
                                    to the chosen by the archangel Metatron. There are countless books that
                                    show evidence of Kaballistic understanding in the writers of the books of
                                    Ezekiel and Isaiah, thus pushing the tradition back quite a distance. "For
                                    thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever" ending to
                                    the Lord's Prayer is an obvious reference to Kaballah to anyone who has
                                    experienced the Tree of Life. All of this to say that Kaballah is a system
                                    of rearranging ideas according to themes and studying the relationships of
                                    these ideas at a level higher than that of rational logic. It is intuitive
                                    and inspirational and the Jews say that it is angels who guide the awakened
                                    insights that are received as if by intuition and an experience that cannot
                                    be put back into words. This is why the Kaballah is not a text but rather a
                                    drawing. The discussions about the deity in the ancient Gnostic texts prove
                                    that early Gnostic Christianity was Kaballistic. The "Self Begotten", the
                                    "Silent One", Christos, Logos, the Virgin Mother, the emanations and
                                    overflowings, the Sophia who wanted to know the Father and thus gave birth
                                    to the universe, the Zoe who is the etheric aura that sustains life--all
                                    relate back to the greatest treasure that Judaism has given to the world.
                                    It is all confusing contradictory words until placed in the organizational
                                    structure of the Kaballah. And then it all comes together, but in a way
                                    that you can't explain in just logical terms. But you can introduce someone
                                    to the Kaballah and have them come to the same realizations. Sort of a
                                    holistic reptilian primative understanding that dissipates in the light of
                                    the almighty logical ego trip. Heart over head once again. Seems to be a
                                    reoccuring theme of gnosis in general.


                                    On Fri, 29 Sep 2000 22:39:37 -0600, jbauer@... wrote:


                                    -----Original Message-----
                                    From: Andrew Smith <asmith@...>
                                    To: gthomas@egroups.com <gthomas@egroups.com>
                                    Date: Friday, September 29, 2000 6:18 PM
                                    Subject: [gthomas] Re: Saying 45


                                    >> I take this as another piece of internal
                                    >> evidence for the jigsaw puzzle theory, according to which the
                                    >reader
                                    >> is intended to rearrange parts of GoT - even to remove parts of it
                                    >-
                                    >> to form a different, more perfect, structure than appears at first.

                                    This sounds like the "Bible codes" which are so popular with
                                    Fundamentalists
                                    now. Just in case you're unsure what I mean, they do things like read
                                    every
                                    fifth word & then pretend some meaningful insight to what's really
                                    nonsense.
                                    The jigsaw puzzle is probably equally eroneous unless you can show how
                                    using
                                    Thomas this way actually produces any more coherent view of the whole. I
                                    think finding such "meaning" is probably of the same order as the meaning
                                    of
                                    dreams in the psychoanalysis game. Dennet used it in _Consciousness
                                    Explained_ (the title of which historian of science Bob Richards said
                                    should
                                    be followed by a question mark).

                                    Dennet uses it as an explanation of hallucination. The game consists of
                                    sending one of the party members as a dupe to leave the room while the
                                    remaider of the party concoct a dream for him to analyze. It is to be
                                    related to him by his asking the remainder yes-no questions When the dupe
                                    is gone the remainder agree that they will answer yes if the last letter
                                    of
                                    the last word is in the first half of the alphabet & no if otherwise. In
                                    short, the dupe concocts a dream out of the questions provided him. I'm
                                    afraid any attempt to break Thomas down into a code or jigsaw puzzle
                                    probably has you asking the same kind of questions & getting the same kind
                                    of answers.

                                    Jim Bauer
                                    >>
                                    >>
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                                    Tom Ragland --> tomragland@...
                                    http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Parthenon/8219/centuries/





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