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The 'Sermon on the Light'

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  • James Bean
    What I call: THE SERMON ON THE LIGHT -- various sayings attributed to Jesus on seeing and Light from several gospels, canonical and extra-canonical.
    Message 1 of 6 , Dec 17, 2000
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      What I call: "THE SERMON ON THE LIGHT" -- various sayings attributed
      to Jesus on 'seeing' and 'Light' from several gospels, canonical and
      extra-canonical.
      ______________________________________________________________________

      Therefore, trust in me, O my brothers. Understand what the Great Light
      is.

      Do not let heaven's Kingdom become a desert within you. Do not be proud
      of the Light that enlightens. Rather, act toward yourselves as I myself
      have toward you.

      Look to the Living One while your are alive, lest you die and seek to
      see Him and be unable to see.

      Walk while you have the Light, so darkness won't overpower you. Those
      who walk in the dark don't know where they are going. Since you have
      the Light, believe in the Light, so you will become Children of the Light.

      If they say to you, 'Where have you come from?' say to them, 'We have
      come from the Light, from the place where the Light came into being by
      itself, established [itself], and appeared in their image.' If they say
      to you, 'Is it you?' say, 'We are its children, and we are the chosen
      of the Living Father.'

      I am the Light that is over all things. I am all: from Me all came forth,
      and to Me all attained. Split a piece of wood; I am there. Lift up the
      stone, and you will find Me there.

      I am the Light of the world; anyone who follows Me will not be walking
      in the dark, but will have the Light of Life.

      I will give you what no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, what no
      hand has touched, and what has never occurred to the human mind.

      There is a Light within a person of Light, and it shines on the whole
      world. If it does not shine, it is dark.

      The lamp of the body is the eye. It follows that if your eye is clear,
      your whole body will be filled with Light. But if your eye is diseased,
      your whole body will be darkness. If then the Light inside you is darkened,
      what darkness that will be!

      For this reason I say, if one is <whole>, one will be filled with Light,
      but if one is divided, one will be filled with darkness.

      Whoever does not know the work of perfection does not know anything.
      If one does not stand in the darkness, one will not be able to see the
      Light.

      When you remove ill will from yourselves, then you will clothe yourselves
      with Light and enter the wedding chamber.

      When you strip without being ashamed, and you take your clothes and put
      them under your feet like children and trample them, then you will see
      the Son of the Living One and you will not be afraid.

      In all truth I tell you, no one can see the Kingdom of God without being
      born from Above.

      When you see One who was not born of woman, fall on your faces and worship.
      That One is your Father.

      When I have gone to the Light, preach to all the world and say to them:
      'Do not cease seeking day or night and do not let yourselves relax until
      you find the Mysteries of the Kingdom of Light, which will purify you
      and make you into pure Light and lead you into the Kingdom of Light.'

      The 'Sermon on the Light'
      ______________________________________________________________________

      James
      santmat@...
      http://www.egroups.com/group/spiritualawakening




      ___________________________________________________________________
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    • Jim Bauer
      The problem with this is that it is a-historical & a-cultural; ie it s a mish-mosh. Not that light is not a component of mysticism. It is my belief that
      Message 2 of 6 , Dec 18, 2000
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        The problem with this is that it is a-historical & a-cultural; ie it's a
        mish-mosh. Not that "light" is not a component of mysticism. It is my
        belief that the twin archetypes of light & darkness were derived from early
        adaptive structures by which organisms became self-aware & eventually
        developed language & cause-&-effect. Once language came into being there
        was an explosion of memes, albeit genetically modulated memes. ("Memes" is
        a term taken from Dawkins' _The Selfish Gene_ which are non-biological
        replicating systems like ideas & the limitations on cultural evolution.)

        It is my hypothesis that sleep & the entire light-darkness symbolism in
        mysticism derived from adaptation to the day-night nocturnal cycle. This
        occurred in combination with another adaptive function, the dissolution &
        resurrection of the ego on a nightly basis. The basic selection process
        here is that belief in one's own immortality due to ego-death & resurrection
        can heighten altruism, especially kin-altruism where inclusive fitness is
        one of the major components. "Inclusive fitness" refers to the shared
        genetic structure in a group of kin which heightens altruism because to act
        altruistically to rescue one's kin--even at the expense of one's own
        life--is to indirectly pass along one's own genes.

        A heightened belief in one's own immortality creates a higher degree of kin
        altruism because an animal that believes it is immortal is more likely to
        risk its own life saving kin than one which lacks the (biologically driven)
        near-death experience. The entire "long dark tunnel with the light at its
        end" symbol is possibly derived from a long pre-linguistic biological
        selection process which exploded into culture once language began modulating
        memes. This is probably also how dreams emerged as a way not only to sort &
        store short-term memories but as reassurance that there is an afterlife as
        dreaming allows the creature to glimpse "heaven" & "hell".

        In short, I believe there is a reason for the culturally-derived symbolism
        of "light". For that reason this is archetypal at the genetic level but
        simply lacking much validity at the memetic one where cultural selection
        begins. To deal with this level one must show evolution in the form of
        historical sequences & not simply by cut-&-paste of divers scriptures.

        I realize parts of this might be obscure to someone lacking a background in
        evolutionary philosophy. I am herein attempting to render into a concrete
        form a lot of ideas I'd like to publish some day but must summarize them
        here due to lack of space.

        Jim Bauer
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "James Bean" <santmat@...>
        Sent: Sunday, December 17, 2000 9:57 PM
        Subject: [gthomas] The 'Sermon on the Light'


        >
        > What I call: "THE SERMON ON THE LIGHT" -- various sayings attributed
        > to Jesus on 'seeing' and 'Light' from several gospels, canonical and
        > extra-canonical.
        > ______________________________________________________________________
        >
        > Therefore, trust in me, O my brothers. Understand what the Great Light
        > is.
        >
        > Do not let heaven's Kingdom become a desert within you. Do not be proud
        > of the Light that enlightens. Rather, act toward yourselves as I myself
        > have toward you.
        >
        > Look to the Living One while your are alive, lest you die and seek to
        > see Him and be unable to see.
        >
        > Walk while you have the Light, so darkness won't overpower you. Those
        > who walk in the dark don't know where they are going. Since you have
        > the Light, believe in the Light, so you will become Children of the Light.
        >
        > If they say to you, 'Where have you come from?' say to them, 'We have
        > come from the Light, from the place where the Light came into being by
        > itself, established [itself], and appeared in their image.' If they say
        > to you, 'Is it you?' say, 'We are its children, and we are the chosen
        > of the Living Father.'
        >
        > I am the Light that is over all things. I am all: from Me all came forth,
        > and to Me all attained. Split a piece of wood; I am there. Lift up the
        > stone, and you will find Me there.
        >
        > I am the Light of the world; anyone who follows Me will not be walking
        > in the dark, but will have the Light of Life.
        >
        > I will give you what no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, what no
        > hand has touched, and what has never occurred to the human mind.
        >
        > There is a Light within a person of Light, and it shines on the whole
        > world. If it does not shine, it is dark.
        >
        > The lamp of the body is the eye. It follows that if your eye is clear,
        > your whole body will be filled with Light. But if your eye is diseased,
        > your whole body will be darkness. If then the Light inside you is
        darkened,
        > what darkness that will be!
        >
        > For this reason I say, if one is <whole>, one will be filled with Light,
        > but if one is divided, one will be filled with darkness.
        >
        > Whoever does not know the work of perfection does not know anything.
        > If one does not stand in the darkness, one will not be able to see the
        > Light.
        >
        > When you remove ill will from yourselves, then you will clothe yourselves
        > with Light and enter the wedding chamber.
        >
        > When you strip without being ashamed, and you take your clothes and put
        > them under your feet like children and trample them, then you will see
        > the Son of the Living One and you will not be afraid.
        >
        > In all truth I tell you, no one can see the Kingdom of God without being
        > born from Above.
        >
        > When you see One who was not born of woman, fall on your faces and
        worship.
        > That One is your Father.
        >
        > When I have gone to the Light, preach to all the world and say to them:
        > 'Do not cease seeking day or night and do not let yourselves relax until
        > you find the Mysteries of the Kingdom of Light, which will purify you
        > and make you into pure Light and lead you into the Kingdom of Light.'
        >
        > The 'Sermon on the Light'
        > ______________________________________________________________________
        >
        > James
        > santmat@...
        > http://www.egroups.com/group/spiritualawakening
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > ___________________________________________________________________
        > To get your own FREE ZDNet Onebox - FREE voicemail, email, and fax,
        > all in one place - sign up today at http://www.zdnetonebox.com
        >
        >
        > -------------------------------------------------
        > To post to gthomas, send email to gthomas@egroups.com
        > To unsubscribe, send a blank email to gthomas-unsubscribe@egroups.com
      • Steve Allison
        ... . ... There s a lot to talk about here. For instance, the above quote is to me one of the most fascinating. My belief is that light is the first thing
        Message 3 of 6 , Dec 22, 2000
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          At 08:57 PM 12/17/2000 -0800, James Bean wrote:

          >What I call: "THE SERMON ON THE LIGHT" -- various sayings attributed
          >to Jesus on 'seeing' and 'Light' from several gospels, canonical and
          >extra-canonical.
          .


          >If they say to you, 'Where have you come from?' say to them, 'We have
          >come from the Light, from the place where the Light came into being by
          >itself, established [itself], and appeared in their image.' If they say
          >to you, 'Is it you?' say, 'We are its children, and we are the chosen
          >of the Living Father.'

          There's a lot to talk about here. For instance, the above quote is to me
          one of the most fascinating. My belief is that light is the first thing
          that an in-utero human perceives. All that the little thing knows is light
          and being. There is no differentiation between I and Thou or I and
          it. Just incredible bliss. Basking in the glow and feeling utter
          dependence and reliance. It is probably this state that certain mystics
          are able to attain/recall. It is quite natural, when later one acquires
          language, to describe the experience as union with God, union with the light.

          We are products of evolution and the symbolism of light and dark is
          culturally and genetically derived as Jim Bauer says in his 12/18
          post. For me, it is meaningful to explore both avenues of approach to
          these symbols, James Bean's study of quotes from an ancient source and Jim
          Bauer's study of evolution.

          Steve Allison
          Knoxville, TN
        • Steve Allison
          At 04:36 PM 12/18/2000 -0700, Jim Bauer wrote: . . ... Lot of good material. I don t quite understand the phrase but simply lacking much validity at the
          Message 4 of 6 , Dec 22, 2000
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            At 04:36 PM 12/18/2000 -0700, Jim Bauer wrote:
            .
            .

            >In short, I believe there is a reason for the culturally-derived symbolism
            >of "light". For that reason this is archetypal at the genetic level but
            >simply lacking much validity at the memetic one where cultural selection
            >begins.

            Lot of good material. I don't quite understand the phrase " but
            simply lacking much validity at the memetic one where cultural selection
            begins." Could you help me out?

            Steve Allison
            Knoxville, TN
          • Jim Bauer
            ... From: Steve Allison To: Sent: Friday, December 22, 2000 5:02 AM Subject: Re: [gthomas] The Sermon on the
            Message 5 of 6 , Dec 22, 2000
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              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "Steve Allison" <dermarc@...>
              To: <gthomas@egroups.com>
              Sent: Friday, December 22, 2000 5:02 AM
              Subject: Re: [gthomas] The 'Sermon on the Light'


              > At 08:57 PM 12/17/2000 -0800, James Bean wrote:
              >
              > >What I call: "THE SERMON ON THE LIGHT" -- various sayings attributed
              > >to Jesus on 'seeing' and 'Light' from several gospels, canonical and
              > >extra-canonical.
              > .
              >
              >
              My belief is that light is the first thing
              > that an in-utero human perceives. All that the little thing knows is
              light
              > and being. There is no differentiation between I and Thou or I and
              > it. Just incredible bliss. Basking in the glow and feeling utter
              > dependence and reliance. It is probably this state that certain mystics
              > are able to attain/recall. It is quite natural, when later one acquires
              > language, to describe the experience as union with God, union with the
              light.

              This is also likely an instance of ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny as
              "light" & "dark" is among the first which the ancestors which primitive
              species encountered.>

              > We are products of evolution and the symbolism of light and dark is
              > culturally and genetically derived as Jim Bauer says in his 12/18
              > post. For me, it is meaningful to explore both avenues of approach to
              > these symbols, James Bean's study of quotes from an ancient source and Jim
              > Bauer's study of evolution.

              Thank you for the kind words. Everything I know about evolution &
              materialism as a philosophy of science was taught me by Bill Wimsatt at the
              University of Chicago.

              Jim Bauer
              >
              >
              >
              > -------------------------------------------------
              > To post to gthomas, send email to gthomas@egroups.com
              > To unsubscribe, send a blank email to gthomas-unsubscribe@egroups.com
            • Jim Bauer
              ... From: Steve Allison To: Sent: Friday, December 22, 2000 5:08 AM Subject: Re: [gthomas] The Sermon on the
              Message 6 of 6 , Dec 22, 2000
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                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "Steve Allison" <dermarc@...>
                To: <gthomas@egroups.com>
                Sent: Friday, December 22, 2000 5:08 AM
                Subject: Re: [gthomas] The 'Sermon on the Light'


                > At 04:36 PM 12/18/2000 -0700, Jim Bauer wrote:
                > .
                > .
                >
                > >In short, I believe there is a reason for the culturally-derived
                symbolism
                > >of "light". For that reason this is archetypal at the genetic level but
                > >simply lacking much validity at the memetic one where cultural selection
                > >begins.
                >
                > Lot of good material. I don't quite understand the phrase " but
                > simply lacking much validity at the memetic one where cultural selection
                > begins." Could you help me out?

                Read the chapter in Dawkins' _The Selfish Gene_ where he first developed the
                idea. (There iss probably also a lot of good material on the web.) A
                "meme" is a replicating system like the genetic code but applies to
                non-biological evolutionary systems such as mind & culture.

                This fits solidly into Lewontin's definition of evolution as "heritability,
                variability (such as mutation & cross-over on the genetic level) &
                selection." Among the fallacies fundamentalists use to rationalize special
                creation is "the fixity of species". However, there is nothing to keep new
                species from evolving. I like to think metaphorically about the paradigm
                shift between Newtonian & relativistic physics. For Newton space was
                "fixed" whereas modern physics has shown that everything depends on "frame
                of reference". Certainly evolution has occurred in languages. Latin is
                dead but French, Spanish & Italian preserve its ancestry.

                I hope this helps.

                Jim Bauer
                >
                > Steve Allison
                > Knoxville, TN
                >
                >
                > -------------------------------------------------
                > To post to gthomas, send email to gthomas@egroups.com
                > To unsubscribe, send a blank email to gthomas-unsubscribe@egroups.com
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