#87: body & soul
- I was just browsing thru the GT earlier today and discovered a rather paradoxical statement which, so far as I know, has never been discussed by the group:
#87: Jesus said, "Wretched is the body which depends on a body, and wretched is the soul which depends on these two."
What's paradoxical here--and certainly this is one of the more koan-like sayings in Thomas--is that the repetition of the term body usually should suggest one thing, not two. I think the hidden meaning here is that one "body" is male and the other female. This leads us straight into classical themes of androgyny found underlying so many religions, especially mystical ones. There are two forms of mysticism, contemplative and ecstatic. Contemplative resembles the "return to the womb" of post-Freudian psychologist Otto Rank. The other species resembles sexual ecstasy,. In this case, sex generates the "soul" but not literally--you get a child out of that, another body--but as the ecstasy felt by the mystic. However, in this saying that form of ecstasy is rejected, if the Thomas community was ascetic.
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