RE: [gthomas] Moments of Truth
- 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.
- joseph baxter wrote:
> At 09:31 AM 10/1/2000 , you wrote:Joe/Jim
> >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.
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
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
"It yields such wholesale returns of conjecture out of a trifling investment
From *Life on the Mississippi*
Best wishes, Odell
Prof. Geology Em., W&L
- 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:
From: Andrew Smith <asmith@...>
To: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.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
>> 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
now. Just in case you're unsure what I mean, they do things like read
fifth word & then pretend some meaningful insight to what's really
The jigsaw puzzle is probably equally eroneous unless you can show how
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
dreams in the psychoanalysis game. Dennet used it in _Consciousness
Explained_ (the title of which historian of science Bob Richards said
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
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
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