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[gthomas] Re: Saying 97 (Steve)

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  • Penny Villegas
    I wish people would address the meaning of KOG. I can see that the woman is like so many humans who get a good thing going and proceed to do that good thing
    Message 1 of 16 , Jan 1, 1999
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      I wish people would address the meaning of KOG. I can see that the woman is
      like so many humans who get a good thing going and proceed to do that good thing
      over and over until--surprise! We have to make another trip, get another jar,
      walk another path. But the real mystery to me is if KOG is our lives here on
      earth, our striving, or our seeking for afterlife. I'm enjoying this list.
      Thanks, Paul.
      Penny Villegas

      Stevan Davies wrote:

      > Paul wrote:
      > > The loss of the woman with the jar of meal didn't occur all at once. The
      > > imagery suggests that the meal spilled out over a long journey homeward.
      > > What meaning would the author of this saying have us take from that? The
      > > long journey of life comes quickly to mind, but is that intended here? Was
      > > the loss of the meal intended to be a good or bad thing by the author?
      > > Logion 97 seems to take quite a bit of unpacking.
      >
      > Yes, you're right. The "finding" is sudden, but the "losing"
      > is gradual. It's all accidental though, isn't it? The fish,
      > treasure, pearl are found accidentally. The grain is lost
      > accidentally. "I gradually lost what I'd been carrying with
      > me and suddenly found what I'd not even been looking for"
      > would cover both cases.
      >
      > Steve
      >
      > --




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    • Mike Grondin
      ... thing ... jar, ... I ll try to satisfy your request, Penny, but I must say at the outset that we have to keep separate what WE think of the KOG from what
      Message 2 of 16 , Jan 1, 1999
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        Penny Villegas writes:
        >I wish people would address the meaning of KOG. I can see that the woman is
        >like so many humans who get a good thing going and proceed to do that good
        thing
        >over and over until--surprise! We have to make another trip, get another
        jar,
        >walk another path. But the real mystery to me is if KOG is our lives here on
        >earth, our striving, or our seeking for afterlife.

        I'll try to satisfy your request, Penny, but I must say at the outset that
        we have to keep separate what WE think of the KOG from what THEY (the
        writers of GThom) thought. Otherwise, we start projecting our own thinking
        back onto a people whose preconceptions were probably very different from
        our own. In other words, we need to set aside our own thoughts and
        concentrate on the kinds of things that are said about the KOG by these
        early writers.

        I would propose as a working hypothesis that most of the early Xian
        writings (including GThom), give evidence that the KOG was thought to be
        composed of the collective spirit within the minds and hearts (same word in
        Coptic, BTW) of those who were the "subjects" of the KOG, i.e., the
        "believers". Thus, it would make sense to say both that (1) the kingdom is
        like a wo/man who ..., and that (2) the kingdom is like a mustard seed,
        etc. And it would make sense for a believer to say to those who welcomed
        him into their homes, "The KOG has come near to you."

        With respect to #97, I'm hard put to find any interpretation other than the
        rather obvious one that some members of the kingdom lose their faith
        little-by-little over time, only to one day (when they've come "home" to
        Heaven?) suddenly realize that they've lost it all.

        (As an aside, it might be noted that the literal Coptic has it that the
        "ear" of the jar broke. Evidently, we should picture a jar whose "handles"
        are shaped like ears, or maybe "ear" was the standard word for
        [jar-]handle. If, on the other hand, there was some subtle word-play
        intended, I don't know what it might have been.)

        Mike

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      • Penny Villegas
        Thanks for your answer. I think it is also saying that we must make things new, but as you say, I am looking for my o wn meanings. BTW, the word in Spanish
        Message 3 of 16 , Jan 1, 1999
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          Thanks for your answer. I think it is also saying that we must make things new,
          but as you say, I am looking for my o wn meanings. BTW, the word in Spanish for
          that kind of handle is oreja, or ear.
          Penny

          Mike Grondin wrote:

          > Penny Villegas writes:
          > >I wish people would address the meaning of KOG. I can see that the woman is
          > >like so many humans who get a good thing going and proceed to do that good
          > thing
          > >over and over until--surprise! We have to make another trip, get another
          > jar,
          > >walk another path. But the real mystery to me is if KOG is our lives here on
          > >earth, our striving, or our seeking for afterlife.
          >
          > I'll try to satisfy your request, Penny, but I must say at the outset that
          > we have to keep separate what WE think of the KOG from what THEY (the
          > writers of GThom) thought. Otherwise, we start projecting our own thinking
          > back onto a people whose preconceptions were probably very different from
          > our own. In other words, we need to set aside our own thoughts and
          > concentrate on the kinds of things that are said about the KOG by these
          > early writers.
          >
          > I would propose as a working hypothesis that most of the early Xian
          > writings (including GThom), give evidence that the KOG was thought to be
          > composed of the collective spirit within the minds and hearts (same word in
          > Coptic, BTW) of those who were the "subjects" of the KOG, i.e., the
          > "believers". Thus, it would make sense to say both that (1) the kingdom is
          > like a wo/man who ..., and that (2) the kingdom is like a mustard seed,
          > etc. And it would make sense for a believer to say to those who welcomed
          > him into their homes, "The KOG has come near to you."
          >
          > With respect to #97, I'm hard put to find any interpretation other than the
          > rather obvious one that some members of the kingdom lose their faith
          > little-by-little over time, only to one day (when they've come "home" to
          > Heaven?) suddenly realize that they've lost it all.
          >
          > (As an aside, it might be noted that the literal Coptic has it that the
          > "ear" of the jar broke. Evidently, we should picture a jar whose "handles"
          > are shaped like ears, or maybe "ear" was the standard word for
          > [jar-]handle. If, on the other hand, there was some subtle word-play
          > intended, I don't know what it might have been.)
          >
          > Mike
          >
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        • Mike Grondin
          ... Thanks, Penny. This may seem just a minor tid-bit of knowledge to you, but to me it helps decide an issue I had long pondered. This is exactly why it s
          Message 4 of 16 , Jan 1, 1999
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            Penny Villejas writes:
            > BTW, the word in Spanish for that kind of handle is 'oreja', or 'ear'.

            Thanks, Penny. This may seem just a minor tid-bit of knowledge to you, but
            to me it helps decide an issue I had long pondered. This is exactly why
            it's valuable to have people on this and other lists who are familiar with
            a variety of cultures and languages. (I studied Spanish in high school, but
            that was long ago now, and I haven't kept up.)

            Best wishes,
            Mike
            (Oh, BTW, it's usually best not to quote the entire message you're
            responding to.)
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          • Mats Winther
            I have some ideas on saying 97. We can look upon it within the context of the sayings where he speaks about the light: (Logion 24) ...There is light within a
            Message 5 of 16 , Jan 2, 1999
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              I have some ideas on saying 97. 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 white 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. As somebody remarked it is the carrying home of the receptacle. One can understand this as the Son returning to the Father after his mission on earth. But the receptacle of light may be understood not only as the Son of Man (according to logion 77). It is true also about any person of light (according to logion 24).

              What seems to occur is that a person of light "breakes" 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. But it is very significant that it is Thomas that has noted down this parable. Thomas was the only one that understood the truth about the unconscious. He was the only apostel that had any psychological understanding.

              Mats Winther


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            • Mike Grondin
              ... There s no reason to assume that the meal was white. In fact, it probably was not. In any case, if the color of the meal was of any significance to the
              Message 6 of 16 , Jan 2, 1999
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                > So the white meal may be understood as ...

                There's no reason to assume that the meal was white. In fact, it probably
                was not. In any case, if the color of the meal was of any significance to
                the saying, the author would have specified it.

                > ... it is very significant that it is Thomas that has noted down this
                > parable. Thomas was the only one that understood the truth about the
                > unconscious. He was the only apostle that had any psychological
                > understanding.

                You're taking this thing way too literally, Mats. We know so little about
                this person named 'Thomas' that we're not even sure that he existed. What
                you're doing is projecting back what you think is the nature of GThom onto
                an author who may be only a symbolic creation. Then you go one step further
                and say that he "was the only one that understood" these things. How could
                you possibly know that? You're making all kinds of unwarranted assumptions
                here.

                Mike
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              • Mats Winther
                ... Från: Mike Grondin Till: gthomas@egroups.com Datum: den 2 januari 1999 14:57 Ämne: [gthomas] Re: Saying 97
                Message 7 of 16 , Jan 2, 1999
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                  -----Ursprungligt meddelande-----
                  Från: Mike Grondin <mgrondin@...>
                  Till: gthomas@egroups.com <gthomas@egroups.com>
                  Datum: den 2 januari 1999 14:57
                  Ämne: [gthomas] Re: Saying 97 (Mats)


                  >> So the white meal may be understood as ...
                  >
                  >There's no reason to assume that the meal was white. In fact, it probably
                  >was not. In any case, if the color of the meal was of any significance to
                  >the saying, the author would have specified it.
                  >

                  Well, the colour is not significant when proving that it is spirit that is spilled out. But Jesus in the Gospels always talk about wheat, so we can assume that the meal is white. But avoid fixation to the colour.

                  >> ... it is very significant that it is Thomas that has noted down this
                  >> parable. Thomas was the only one that understood the truth about the
                  >> unconscious. He was the only apostle that had any psychological
                  >> understanding.
                  >
                  >You're taking this thing way too literally, Mats. We know so little about
                  >this person named 'Thomas' that we're not even sure that he existed. What
                  >you're doing is projecting back what you think is the nature of GThom onto
                  >an author who may be only a symbolic creation. Then you go one step further
                  >and say that he "was the only one that understood" these things. How could
                  >you possibly know that? You're making all kinds of unwarranted assumptions
                  >here.


                  The unconscious was discovered by Freud. In ancient text we always find indirect references to this phenomenon, but noone has understood the phenomenon. In Thomas we can discern a lot by reading the text. He is referring to the sayings where the Kingdom is within, and that one must know oneself.
                  He has a very fine understanding of this fact, which cannot to the same extent be found in the other Gospels.

                  Concerning "unwarranted assumptions" I must point out the following: I have all the right in the world to make any assumtions I want. I live in a free world. When I make these rather "strong" statement, it is because I want to make a point. Do you see? It is like when Jesus tells you to cut off your hand if it it misleads you. I am trying to make a point of the fact that The Gospel of Thomas has certain characteristics. When I talk about the "psychological understanding of Thomas" this can be perceived as an anthropomorphism of the actual text. It doesn't matter whether there has ever existed any Thomas or not. It is very fruitful to learn to think symbolically. I really advice you to train this faculty.


                  Mats Winther


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                • Mats Winther
                  ... Från: Mike Grondin Till: gthomas@egroups.com Datum: den 2 januari 1999 22:45 Ämne: [gthomas] Re: Saying 97
                  Message 8 of 16 , Jan 3, 1999
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                    -----Ursprungligt meddelande-----
                    Från: Mike Grondin <mgrondin@...>
                    Till: gthomas@egroups.com <gthomas@egroups.com>
                    Datum: den 2 januari 1999 22:45
                    Ämne: [gthomas] Re: Saying 97 (Mats)


                    >
                    >(1) the colour is not significant
                    >(2) the assumption that the meal is white is warranted
                    >(3) don't "fixate" on the colour
                    >


                    As I've already explained the spirit is symbolized by several different items e.g. blood, vine or bread. So the spirit is not always symbolized by something white. But when meal is spilled out in the air it resembles a vapour i.e. spirit. And it is always more or less white. But even if there existed such a thing as dark-brown or blue meal, it would still be an eminent symbol of the spirit. So in this case we don't have to fixate on the colour. Blood is not white either - still it is a symbol of the spirit. I repeat that I don't think that the colour of the meal is particularly important in this case.

                    >
                    >(Let me interrupt this discussion of methodology to point out that the
                    >lightly-colored meals with which Mats is familiar are evidently made from
                    >bleached flour, a product presumably unavailable at the time in question.
                    >If the flour is not bleached, the meal made from it will have a natural
                    >[non-white] colour. And again I say: if the colour was important to the
                    >meaning of #97, the writer would have specified it.)

                    But I have non-bleached meal in my kitchen. I have corn, wheat, rye and maize. The meal which I use is specially green-labeled to show that it has been cultured and treated in the natural way (without unnatural fertilizer and without any strange bleaching-methods). These different strands of meal, which I have checked right now, do have a clearly light colour (with a light-brown streak). And it has not been treated to become more white than it's natural whiteness. I am certain that the meal which they used during the time of Jesus was more or less white. It is close to white even if it has not been exposed to these bleaching methods of yours.

                    >
                    >Since I've given you quite a bit to chew on already, I won't go into your
                    >current interpretation of #97 at any length.
                    >......
                    >But if your assumptions are unwarranted
                    >and/or implausible, why should anyone listen to you?)
                    >

                    You haven't even touched on my interpretation. A discussion group is for discussing each others contributions. But let's look at your point of view. The following is from an earlier message of yours:

                    >With respect to #97, I'm hard put to find any interpretation other than the
                    >rather obvious one that some members of the kingdom lose their faith
                    >little-by-little over time, only to one day (when they've come "home" to
                    >Heaven?) suddenly realize that they've lost it all.

                    You repeatedly try to tell me that I have no right to speak in this matter i.e. that what I say is implausible and unwarranted. You show no respect at all. But I suppose that your statement on #97 is "plausible" and "warranted"? Here you try to give the impression that you have pondered every possible solution and come up with an answer. You cannot find any other interpretation than this. But this is not very respectful towards the other contributors. You see, these symbols are evasive and very, very deep. So we can always learn from each other and pick up hints from everyone. I did that when I constructed my interpretation. When Jesus used symbols like this it was because the things he wanted to convey could not be expressed intellectually. If he wanted to say that the disciples would "loose their faith little-by-little", then he would have said so. Then there would be no need for symbols. Symbols are used when we want to express things that evades the conscious intellect. So your "obvious" interpretation has no bearing at all. If the truth behind #97 was so trivial, then Jesus would have said so directly.

                    The symbolic parables can be looked upon from several different angles. No matter how far we probe we will not reach the bottom of their depth. This is because when investigating them we must use the well-known method of amplification. We must use other symbols to understand symbols. We will then understand how the symbols interconnect, and the symbolic spectrum will become more and more differentiated.

                    So this pompous attitude of yours that "I'm hard put to find any interpretation other than the
                    rather obvious..." is very ineffective. On the contrary, one can always learn from the intuitions of other people. One should never state that other people's views in matters like this are unwarranted and implausible, as long as they don't trivialize. There may exist a grain of truth in what people say. And the sayings in GOT are neither obvious nor trivial.

                    In fact, your idea that "some members loose their faith little-by-little" is not very plausible. What kind of message is that? Why would Jesus liken the Kingdom to a person that little-by-little loses his faith? The Kingdom is something positive, not a failure among the disciples. According to you #97 means that some disciples will lose their faith completely in the end. Should that encourage people to go this path?

                    On the contrary, Jesus says that the faith is like a mustard-seed that is very tiny in the beginning but becomes a big tree in the end. He likened the Kingdom to a person that lights up the world from his interior; or likened it to rivers of living water that starts to flow from the belly. The Kingdom is like a tiny amount of bread that is broken and distributed. But in the end it suffices for 5000 people, and there are still heaps of bread left. So Jesus in his parables speaks a completely different language than yours. You actually go against him completely. Beware of what you're saying.

                    And please stop discouraging people from reflecting upon the sayings of Jesus. You repeatedly say that we merely project our own thinking on these old statements. You want people to concentrate on the exact wording and set aside our own ways of thought. But this sounds like a fundamentalist "to the letter"-approach. This is very far away from the teaching of Jesus. He wanted the spirit to fly.
                    If you want us to set aside our traditional ways of thought, why are you then attacking my ways of thought which obviously are not traditional? You have not heard anything like it before and consequently calls it unwarranted and implausible. I am attacked just because my thinking is not traditional. But isn't this really good; to evade traditional ways of thought? I do really try to adapt to the ancient symbolical way of thinking. I really do try to think like Jesus and the evangelists. So why do you discourage this?

                    Please stop discouraging people to reflect freely. Please stop making interpretations of Jesus´sayings that goes completely against their inner sense, by trivializing them and turning their inner meaning into their opposite. Please don't state that there are no other interpretations than your own trivial one. Remember the saying in logion 44: "...whoever blasphemes against the holy spirit will not be forgiven.."



                    Mats Winther





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                  • Jon Peter
                    Mats, I admired your thoughtful interpretation of logion 97 -- the broken jar and leaking meal. I had never thought of the meal as light or of its
                    Message 9 of 16 , Jan 11, 1999
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                      Mats, I admired your thoughtful interpretation of logion 97 -- the broken
                      jar and leaking meal. I had never thought of the meal as "light" or of its
                      dissemination as a positive message. But I think I still disagree and wonder
                      if you might reconsider your view.

                      I still recall my very first reading of 97 in 1984 and my impression that
                      it was intended ruefully as a warning of some kind.

                      Anyway, what strikes me as the moral is the woman's being lulled into
                      ignorance in a situation where she needs to wake up. Carrying a full jar
                      homeward symbolizes any person's life. One begins it with a "full tank" and
                      youthful optimism. One doesnt' reckon with the day when life is ending or
                      the tank empty.

                      But the handle is broken. What we expected in our naivte is not what we
                      eventually find. The meal falling through the crack is like sand running in
                      an hour-glass. Time is fleeting in small increments. This parable says, take
                      stock of what is happening to you.

                      Gnosis is the major issue throughout GOT, and gnosis is the point here too.
                      The woman illustrates gnostic failure and how she remained ignorant. One of
                      the other logia probably says it more or less outright: "If in life you do
                      not gain Knowledge, you have lost everything."

                      Jon


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                    • Peter Novak, author of The Division of C
                      ... I agree. I believe it refers to the gnostics belief in reincarnation. The Christian gnostics realized, I believe, that reincarnation was not a source of
                      Message 10 of 16 , Jan 11, 1999
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                        Jon Peter wrote:
                        >
                        > Mats, I admired your thoughtful interpretation of logion 97 -- the broken
                        > jar and leaking meal....
                        > I still recall my very first reading of 97 in 1984 and my impression that
                        > it was intended ruefully as a warning of some kind.


                        I agree. I believe it refers to the gnostics' belief in reincarnation.

                        The Christian gnostics realized, I believe, that reincarnation
                        was not a source of spiritual progress, as New Agers mistakenly
                        assume it to be today. They realized that it is a tragedy to lose all
                        that one gains in each lifetime. The Gnostics believed that most people
                        travel vainly through lifetime after lifetime, making no progress,
                        continually losing all their previous selves and souls:

                        Jesus said, "The Kingdom of the Father is like
                        a certain woman who was carrying a jar full of meal.
                        While she was walking on a road, still some
                        distance from home, the handle of the jar broke
                        and the meal emptied out behind her on the road.
                        She did not real ize it; she had noticed no accident.
                        When she reached her house,
                        she set down the jar and found it empty."
                        - The Gospel of Thomas 97


                        This same subject is also addressed in the Gospel of Philip:

                        An ass which turns a millstone did a hundred miles walking.
                        When it was loosed it found that it was still in the same place.
                        There are men who make many journeys [lifetimes],
                        but make no progress towards a destination.
                        When evening [death] came upon them,
                        they saw neither city nor village,
                        neither creation nor nature,
                        power nor angel [they were in the isolation of the soul's afterlife].
                        In vain have the poor wretches labored.
                        - The Gospel of Philip

                        - Peter Novak

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                      • Mike Grondin
                        I m curious, Peter, as to where you find any direct reference to reincarnation in the Nag Hammadi writings. I haven t been to your site yet, but since you ve
                        Message 11 of 16 , Jan 11, 1999
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                          I'm curious, Peter, as to where you find any direct reference to
                          reincarnation in the Nag Hammadi writings. I haven't been to your site yet,
                          but since you've written quite a bit about it, perhaps you can give a few
                          quotations from NH texts off the top of your head.

                          Thanks,
                          Mike


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                        • LSzipzap@aol.com
                          In a message dated 1/12/99 3:34:18 AM GMT Standard Time, division@csinet.net writes:
                          Message 12 of 16 , Jan 11, 1999
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                            In a message dated 1/12/99 3:34:18 AM GMT Standard Time, division@...
                            writes:

                            << I agree. I believe it refers to the gnostics' belief in reincarnation.

                            The Christian gnostics realized, I believe, that reincarnation
                            was not a source of spiritual progress, as New Agers mistakenly
                            assume it to be today. They realized that it is a tragedy to lose all
                            that one gains in each lifetime. The Gnostics believed that most people
                            travel vainly through lifetime after lifetime, making no progress,
                            continually losing all their previous selves and souls:
                            >>


                            Whether or not they believed it as such, I believe it is a more accurate
                            account of what is. Am not sure they "lose all their previous selves and
                            souls" as much as lose awareness of same.

                            Am curious about the subject matter of the book you authored that is
                            referenced. Either in group e mail or private e mail, would love to hear more
                            about it.

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                          • Peter Novak, author of The Division of C
                            ... I will send you a private email about this, so as not to disturb the group. But for now, if you can, explore the website for the book -
                            Message 13 of 16 , Jan 12, 1999
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                              LSzipzap@... wrote:
                              >
                              > In a message dated 1/12/99 3:34:18 AM GMT Standard Time, division@...
                              > writes:
                              >
                              > << I agree. I believe it refers to the gnostics' belief in reincarnation.
                              >
                              > The Christian gnostics realized, I believe, that reincarnation
                              > was not a source of spiritual progress, as New Agers mistakenly
                              > assume it to be today. They realized that it is a tragedy to lose all
                              > that one gains in each lifetime. The Gnostics believed that most people
                              > travel vainly through lifetime after lifetime, making no progress,
                              > continually losing all their previous selves and souls:
                              > >>
                              >
                              > Whether or not they believed it as such, I believe it is a more accurate
                              > account of what is. Am not sure they "lose all their previous selves and
                              > souls" as much as lose awareness of same.
                              >
                              > Am curious about the subject matter of the book you authored that is
                              > referenced. Either in group e mail or private e mail, would love to hear more
                              > about it.

                              I will send you a private email about this, so as not to disturb the
                              group.
                              But for now, if you can, explore the website for the book -

                              http://www.geocities.com/~divisiontheory

                              And thanks for asking.

                              - Peter Novak

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                            • Peter Novak, author of The Division of C
                              ... Fair enough. Ok, well, let s see... Thanks to the extant works of numerous early historical commentators, it has been well-known all along that the
                              Message 14 of 16 , Jan 12, 1999
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                                .Mike Grondin wrote:
                                >
                                > I'm curious, Peter, as to where you find any direct reference to
                                > reincarnation in the Nag Hammadi writings. I haven't been to your site yet,
                                > but since you've written quite a bit about it, perhaps you can give a few
                                > quotations from NH texts off the top of your head.

                                Fair enough. Ok, well, let's see...

                                Thanks to the extant works of numerous early historical commentators,
                                it has been well-known all along that the gnostics believed in
                                reincarnation (although just how they reconciled this doctrine
                                with Judeo-Christianity's more conventional beliefs on heaven
                                and hell and the Universal Resurrection of Judgment Day has
                                remained a mystery, or at least did until the introduction
                                of DivisionTheory). Anyway, their pro-reincarnational views
                                were already well-established long before the discoveries of
                                the lost texts in Nag Hammadi in 1945. Given this extant knowledge,
                                it has remained something or a mystery to me that few have
                                recognized the reincarnational references in the Nag Hammadi
                                finds. In the Nag Hammadi Gnostic scriptures, these references
                                fall into two categories - references to past incarnations,
                                and references to future ones:

                                REFERENCES TO PAST INCARNATIONS
                                References to these past-life incarnations invariably
                                revolve around the issue of attempting to uncover and
                                recover and reawaken and reintegrate those past-life
                                selves and souls and memories, collecting up all the
                                lost pieces of one's SELF, so that one could be "complete"
                                and "whole" and "perfect", and "full" and "undivided".
                                Such references include, but are not limited to:

                                Secret Book of James 6:1-20, 13:10-18
                                The Treatise on Resurrection 47: 10-20
                                Gospel of Thomas 88
                                Gospel of Philip 67: 15-20, 72: 18-25, 76: 20-30,

                                ... and especially:

                                "Then, if one has knowledge [gnosis], he receives what
                                are his own and draws them to himself ...
                                It is within Unity that each one will attain himself;
                                within knowledge he will purify himself from
                                multiplicity into Unity, consuming ...
                                death by life.... Raise up those who wish to rise,
                                and awaken those who sleep."
                                - The Gospel of Truth 21:10-14, 25: 9-18, 33: 5-10

                                "Light the light within you. Do not extinguish it.
                                ...RAISE YOUR DEAD WHO HAVE DIED,
                                FOR THEY HAVE LIVED AND DIED FOR YOU.
                                Give them life. They shall live again.
                                ...Knock upon yourself as upon a door,
                                and walk upon yourself as upon a straight road."
                                - The Teachings of Silvanius 106: 14-35

                                "[Jesus said] You who have joined the perfect,
                                the light [consciousness] with the Holy Spirit
                                unite the angels with us also, the images
                                [one's previous souls]. Do not despise the lamb
                                [the soul which was slaughtered at death],
                                for without it, it is not possible to go in
                                to see the King [God]. No one will be able to
                                go in to the King if he is naked [if he is not
                                `clothed' with all his own past souls]."
                                - The Gospel of Philip 58:10-30

                                "That which you have will save you if you bring
                                it forth from yourselves. That which you do not
                                have within you [that which you remain unconscious
                                of] will kill you if you do not have it within
                                you ... Every female [unconscious soul] who
                                will make herself male [conscious] will enter
                                the Kingdom of Heaven."
                                - The Gospel of Thomas 70, 114


                                The following passages seem especially significant.
                                It has long been, as mentioned earlier, well
                                established that the Christian gnostics believed
                                in reincarnation, but these passages clearly state
                                that the SOUL is not reborn in a new body,
                                entering into a new mother (this agrees with
                                DivisionTheory's premise that only the spirit,
                                but not the soul, reincarnates). Rather, the
                                "resurrection" of the past-life soul can only
                                occur by having the past-life soul re-awaken
                                within a currently living soul; once a soul has
                                died, the only way for it to be resurrected
                                is by arising up in the memories of the NEXT
                                soul, during the next life. The past-life soul,
                                that is, the ego, the inner psychological
                                self-image, must rise up within the present soul:

                                "What is the resurrection?
                                The image must rise again through the image."
                                - Gospel of Philip 67:15

                                "And I said, "Lord, where will the souls of these
                                go when they have come out of their flesh?"
                                And he smiled and said to me, "The soul...
                                is taken up to the rest of the aeons."
                                ... And I said, "Lord, how can the soul become
                                smaller and return into the nature of its mother
                                or into man?" Then he rejoiced when I asked him
                                this, and he said to me, "Truly, you are blessed,
                                for you have understood! THAT SOUL IS MADE TO
                                FOLLOW ANOTHER ONE (fem.), since the Spirit of
                                life is in her. She is saved through him.
                                She is not again cast into another flesh."
                                - The Secret Book of John 26:24 - 27:21

                                The resurrection of the past life soul must occur
                                through the present life soul; for the present life
                                soul is still united with the living spirit,
                                and only the living spirit can quicken souls:

                                "It is the spirit that quickens the soul."
                                - Secret Book of James 12:6

                                "When Eve (Soul) was still in Adam (Spirit),
                                death did not exist. When she was separated
                                from him death came into being. If he again
                                becomes complete and attains his former self,
                                death will be no more."
                                - Gospel of Philip 68:21-27

                                The gnostics believed that the present soul
                                must seek out his own inner past life souls,
                                his own inner dead souls, in order to reawaken them:

                                "Once more I reprove you, you who are:
                                become like those who are not,
                                that you may be with those who are not.
                                ... Become seekers for death,
                                like the dead who seek for life,
                                for that which they seek is revealed to them.
                                ...none of those who fear death will be saved;
                                for the kingdom of death belongs to those
                                who put themselves to death."
                                - Secret Book of James 13: 12-17, 6:8-20

                                The gnostics believed that all one's past-life souls
                                would rise again sooner or later. It was inevitable;
                                the only question was whether this would occur gently
                                and peacefully or abruptly and horribly.
                                Either one could do it willingly, or if one waited
                                until Judgment Day and the Universal Resurrection,
                                it would be forced upon one, at which time all of
                                one's past-life souls would be confronted at once:

                                "If he is undivided, he will be filled with light,
                                but if he is divided, he will be filled with darkness
                                ... When you see your likeness [your own soul],
                                you rejoice. But when you see your images
                                [your previous souls] which came into being before you,
                                and which neither die nor become manifest,
                                how much you will have to bear!"
                                - The Gospel of Thomas 84



                                REFERENCES TO FUTURE INCARNATIONS
                                References to future incarnations are fewer in nature,
                                but also present. Such references include,
                                but are not limited to:

                                Secret Book of James 15:35- 16:1-6
                                Gospel of Philip 58:18-30, 78: 20-25


                                "He [Jesus] has ascended, and he has given us a pledge
                                and promised life to us all and revealed to us children
                                [other incarnations] who are to come after us,
                                after bidding us love them, as we would be
                                saved for their sakes. And when they heard this,
                                they ... were displeased about those to be born."
                                - The Secret Book of of James 15:35 - 16:7

                                "The heavenly man has many more sons than the earthly man.
                                If the sons of Adam are many, although they die,
                                how much more the sons of the perfect man,
                                they who do not die but are always begotten.
                                The father makes a son, and the son does not
                                have the power to make a son. For he who
                                has been begotten has not the power to beget,
                                but the son gets brothers for himself,
                                not sons [when one reincarnates and remembers,
                                the new incarnation is recognized as a fellow self
                                (brother-brother relationship),
                                not as an earlier generation (father- son relationship)]."
                                - The Gospel of Philip 58:17-30

                                - Peter Novak

                                Discover DivisionTheory
                                http://www.geocities.com/~divisiontheory

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