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Re: [GTh] The Lion Passage

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  • Mowthpeece@aol.com
    In a message dated 6/27/02 9:20:14 AM Pacific Daylight Time, ... Blessed is the lion which becomes man when consumed by man; and cursed is the man whom the
    Message 1 of 28 , Jun 27, 2002
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      In a message dated 6/27/02 9:20:14 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
      michael@... writes:


      > Anyone want to tackle the meaning of the lion passage?
      >
      >

      "Blessed is the lion which becomes man when consumed by man;
      and cursed is the man whom the lion consumes, and the lion becomes man."

      I get the following out of it:

      Blessed is the lion consumed by man when man is in control and planned on
      consuming it, he is prepared to consume it and can 'digest' it properly. The
      man is as his higher self, thus the lion is blessed, since he is elevated
      from his animal self to the highest self of man.

      And cursed is the man whom the lion consumes, because the man was not ready,
      and the primitive animal had control over him..

      and the lion becomes man....and the lion although already animal, takes on
      the lowest of man, which is worse than the primitive lion alone.

      thanks for reading,

      anna abrante


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • DaGoi@aol.com
      In a message dated 6/27/2 5:19:42 PM, anna abrante wrote:
      Message 2 of 28 , Jun 27, 2002
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        In a message dated 6/27/2 5:19:42 PM, anna abrante wrote:

        <<In a message dated 6/27/02 9:20:14 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
        michael@... writes:


        > Anyone want to tackle the meaning of the lion passage?
        >
        >

        "Blessed is the lion which becomes man when consumed by man;
        and cursed is the man whom the lion consumes, and the lion becomes man."

        I get the following out of it:

        Blessed is the lion consumed by man when man is in control and planned on
        consuming it, he is prepared to consume it and can 'digest' it properly. The
        man is as his higher self, thus the lion is blessed, since he is elevated
        from his animal self to the highest self of man.

        And cursed is the man whom the lion consumes, because the man was not ready,
        and the primitive animal had control over him..

        and the lion becomes man....and the lion although already animal, takes on
        the lowest of man, which is worse than the primitive lion alone.

        thanks for reading,

        anna abrante

        >>

        I get roughly the same thing, except
        I see an intro on seeking - a self-concious hermeneutic on how to attack this
        document, from the prologue to 10 (P, 1, 2 obviously, 3 on where not to go, 4
        where to go instead, 5 a general proverb (not to say common; he may have put
        it into this form himself), 6 about the nothing hidden (which also in the
        beginning transends the intro into the next disciples part (12-24)), 8 that
        one should chose this one great work over the others, 9 that this book
        reaches many but will have its effect, 10 an exhortation to blaze - 11 I'm
        not really sure, but it is on the cusp of the disciples part, so it may be
        part of this same hermeneutic prologue on seeking.

        the lion is the power derived from this book; in a sense, the lion is gThom
        itself.


        Bill Foley of Woburn
        (alias Conrad Basilson aka Israel DaGoi)

        Purposes are established in the multitude of councellors.
        It is a snare for a man to say 'it is holy' and to reflect only after taking
        his vows.
        It's the Glory of God to hide a thing, and the honor of kings to draw it out.
      • Ron McCann
        I fully agree anna. You are what you eat. Your take is likely the most sensible. Carry on. Ron McCann Saskatoon Canada ... From: To:
        Message 3 of 28 , Jun 28, 2002
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          I fully agree anna.
          You are what you eat.
          Your "take" is likely the most sensible.
          Carry on.

          Ron McCann
          Saskatoon Canada

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: <Mowthpeece@...>
          To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Thursday, June 27, 2002 3:16 PM
          Subject: Re: [GTh] The Lion Passage


          > In a message dated 6/27/02 9:20:14 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
          > michael@... writes:
          >
          >
          > > Anyone want to tackle the meaning of the lion passage?
          > >
          > >
          >
          > "Blessed is the lion which becomes man when consumed by man;
          > and cursed is the man whom the lion consumes, and the lion becomes man."
          >
          > I get the following out of it:
          >
          > Blessed is the lion consumed by man when man is in control and planned on
          > consuming it, he is prepared to consume it and can 'digest' it properly.
          The
          > man is as his higher self, thus the lion is blessed, since he is elevated
          > from his animal self to the highest self of man.
          >
          > And cursed is the man whom the lion consumes, because the man was not
          ready,
          > and the primitive animal had control over him..
          >
          > and the lion becomes man....and the lion although already animal, takes on
          > the lowest of man, which is worse than the primitive lion alone.
          >
          > thanks for reading,
          >
          > anna abrante
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >
          > --------------------------------------------------------------------
          > Gospel of Thomas Homepage: http://home.epix.net/~miser17/Thomas.html
          > To unsubscribe from this group,
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          >
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          >
          >
        • Mowthpeece@aol.com
          In a message dated 6/28/02 7:10:21 PM Pacific Daylight Time, ... Why thank you, carrying on sir.... anna [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          Message 4 of 28 , Jun 28, 2002
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            In a message dated 6/28/02 7:10:21 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
            ronmccann1@... writes:


            > I fully agree anna.
            > You are what you eat.
            > Your "take" is likely the most sensible.
            > Carry on.
            >
            > Ron McCann
            > Saskatoon Canada
            >
            >

            Why thank you, carrying on sir....

            anna


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Anne Karin Alhaug
            ... Eating lion, or being eaten, can it mean a sacramental meal, or eating themes? AnneK
            Message 5 of 28 , Jun 29, 2002
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              ronmccann1@... writes:
              >
              > I fully agree anna.
              > You are what you eat.
              > Your "take" is likely the most sensible.
              > Carry on.
              >
              > Ron McCann
              > Saskatoon Canada

              Eating lion, or being eaten,
              can it mean a sacramental meal,
              or eating themes?
              AnneK

              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Ron McCann
              Possibly so, Anne. It has been advanced before by some on this list. The problem is, it could mean almost anything. Michael s pride assessment is as good as
              Message 6 of 28 , Jun 30, 2002
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                Possibly so, Anne.
                It has been advanced before by some on this list.

                The problem is, it could mean almost anything. Michael's "pride" assessment
                is as good as any "take"..

                What will drive you "nuts" is figuring out what the author actually
                intended.

                Even if you factor in all the "internal" Thomas clues, then you factor in
                the "Gospel" clues, then you factor in all the Old Testament clues, it
                still won't resolve.

                It is sort of like the "five trees".. Your can't crack it.

                Then you have assume either the originator was nuts or that he had no
                intentions that a reader would "twig".

                Bye,

                Ron McCann
                Saskastoon, Canada

                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "Anne Karin Alhaug" <annealh@...>
                To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Saturday, June 29, 2002 9:27 AM
                Subject: Re: [GTh] The Lion Passage


                > ronmccann1@... writes:
                > >
                > > I fully agree anna.
                > > You are what you eat.
                > > Your "take" is likely the most sensible.
                > > Carry on.
                > >
                > > Ron McCann
                > > Saskatoon Canada
                >
                > Eating lion, or being eaten,
                > can it mean a sacramental meal,
                > or eating themes?
                > AnneK
                >
                > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
                >
                > --------------------------------------------------------------------
                > Gospel of Thomas Homepage: http://home.epix.net/~miser17/Thomas.html
                > To unsubscribe from this group,
                > send a blank email to gthomas-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                >
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                >
                >
              • docgroove1017
                ... (7) Jesus said, Blessed is the lion which becomes man when consumed by man; and cursed is the man whom the lion consumes, and the lion becomes man. The
                Message 7 of 28 , Jun 30, 2002
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                  --- In gthomas@y..., "Ron McCann" <ronmccann1@s...> wrote:
                  > What will drive you "nuts" is figuring out what the author actually
                  > intended.
                  > Ron McCann
                  > Saskastoon, Canada
                  (7)
                  Jesus said,
                  "Blessed is the lion
                  which becomes man
                  when consumed by man;
                  and cursed is the man
                  whom the lion consumes,
                  and the lion becomes man."


                  The Apocryphon of John
                  "a lion-faced serpent … called … Yaltabaoth"

                  On the Origin of the World
                  "he called himself Yaldabaoth.
                  But Ariael is what the perfect call him,
                  for he was like a lion."

                  My interpretaion is based on the "Gnostic" assumption that the lion
                  is Yaldabaoth. I also propose that Yaldabaoth was reinterpreted
                  as "the devil" in 1Peter 5:8 "The devil, as a roaring lion walketh
                  about seeking whom he may devour."

                  Does anyone else on this list think the author of this saying
                  intended a connection between Yaldabaoth and the lion?
                  If so, who do you think the author was? A historical Jesus? or a
                  later "Gnostic" author?

                  Randall E. Wilson
                  Lebanon, IL
                  USA
                • David C. Hindley
                  ... the lion is Yaldabaoth. I also propose that Yaldabaoth was reinterpreted as the devil in 1Peter 5:8 The devil, as a roaring lion walketh about seeking
                  Message 8 of 28 , Jun 30, 2002
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                    Randall E. Wilson said:

                    >>My interpretaion is based on the "Gnostic" assumption that
                    the lion is Yaldabaoth. I also propose that Yaldabaoth was
                    reinterpreted as "the devil" in 1Peter 5:8 "The devil, as a
                    roaring lion walketh about seeking whom he may devour."

                    Does anyone else on this list think the author of this
                    saying intended a connection between Yaldabaoth and the
                    lion? If so, who do you think the author was? A historical
                    Jesus? or a later "Gnostic" author?<<

                    My opinion would be the association went the other way.
                    "Satan" (or the devil, if you will) in Jewish tradition was
                    likened to a lion, maybe because it consumes anything it
                    wants. When some Jews became gnostics in the late 1st
                    century, they adorned the redemption myth they adopted with
                    imagery from Judaism. While in their view the traditional
                    concept of the Jewish God was transformed into the arrogant
                    war-oriented Yaldabaoth, who destroys and punishes nations
                    at his whim and will. He is, essentially, now no different
                    than the old notion of Satan, and as a result takes on
                    Satan's associations - the lion.

                    Respectfully,

                    Dave Hindley
                    Cleveland, Ohio, USA
                  • Ron McCann
                    Randal, I also chased down the same references. It presupposes a Gnostic origin for the saying, however. Whereas I am not convinced there was not some
                    Message 9 of 28 , Jun 30, 2002
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                      Randal,

                      I also chased down the same references.

                      It presupposes a "Gnostic" origin for the saying, however.

                      Whereas I am not convinced there was not some Gnostic "doctoring" to
                      Thomas- indeed it seems to me there IS SOME, it seemed to me that this was
                      more and consistently in the nature of "word-tinkering" rather than
                      manufacturing sayings. This is a whole saying.

                      Also, how the devil is one suppose to "slay" and "consume" Yaltabaoth?

                      My approach is to be lead screaming and kicking into an admission that
                      Thomas is Gnostic. But just maybe this saying is a bogus Gnostic addition.

                      The only other stuff- the Lion of Judah- sheds no light here. Peter's
                      "Satan" passage requires us to accept that the Thomas crew bought into the
                      "Satan Myth"- and I see no evidence of that in Thomas, except possibly the
                      "thieves" and "strong man" material.

                      Has anyone, or can anyone make a case that the Thomasines bought into the
                      "Satan Myth" any more than they did the "Yaltaboth" myth?

                      Ron McCann
                      Saskatoon, Canada
                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: "docgroove1017" <docgroove1017@...>
                      To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Sunday, June 30, 2002 10:26 AM
                      Subject: Re: [GTh] The Lion Passage


                      --- In gthomas@y..., "Ron McCann" <ronmccann1@s...> wrote:
                      > What will drive you "nuts" is figuring out what the author actually
                      > intended.
                      > Ron McCann
                      > Saskastoon, Canada
                      (7)
                      Jesus said,
                      "Blessed is the lion
                      which becomes man
                      when consumed by man;
                      and cursed is the man
                      whom the lion consumes,
                      and the lion becomes man."


                      The Apocryphon of John
                      "a lion-faced serpent . called . Yaltabaoth"

                      On the Origin of the World
                      "he called himself Yaldabaoth.
                      But Ariael is what the perfect call him,
                      for he was like a lion."

                      My interpretaion is based on the "Gnostic" assumption that the lion
                      is Yaldabaoth. I also propose that Yaldabaoth was reinterpreted
                      as "the devil" in 1Peter 5:8 "The devil, as a roaring lion walketh
                      about seeking whom he may devour."

                      Does anyone else on this list think the author of this saying
                      intended a connection between Yaldabaoth and the lion?
                      If so, who do you think the author was? A historical Jesus? or a
                      later "Gnostic" author?

                      Randall E. Wilson
                      Lebanon, IL
                      USA



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                    • Mowthpeece@aol.com
                      In a message dated 6/30/02 10:12:56 AM Pacific Daylight Time, ... Interesting idea, but I personally can t get past the astrotheological associations of the
                      Message 10 of 28 , Jun 30, 2002
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                        In a message dated 6/30/02 10:12:56 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
                        dhindley@... writes:


                        >
                        > >>My interpretaion is based on the "Gnostic" assumption that
                        > the lion is Yaldabaoth. I also propose that Yaldabaoth was
                        > reinterpreted as "the devil" in 1Peter 5:8 "The devil, as a
                        > roaring lion walketh about seeking whom he may devour."
                        >
                        > Does anyone else on this list think the author of this
                        > saying intended a connection between Yaldabaoth and the
                        > lion? If so, who do you think the author was? A historical
                        > Jesus? or a later "Gnostic" author?<<
                        >
                        > My opinion would be the association went the other way.
                        > "Satan" (or the devil, if you will) in Jewish tradition was
                        > likened to a lion, maybe because it consumes anything it
                        > wants. When some Jews became gnostics in the late 1st
                        > century, they adorned the redemption myth they adopted with
                        > imagery from Judaism. While in their view the traditional
                        > concept of the Jewish God was transformed into the arrogant
                        > war-oriented Yaldabaoth, who destroys and punishes nations
                        > at his whim and will. He is, essentially, now no different
                        > than the old notion of Satan, and as a result takes on
                        > Satan's associations - the lion.
                        >
                        > Respectfully,
                        >
                        > Dave Hindley
                        > Cleveland, Ohio, USA
                        >
                        >
                        >

                        Interesting idea, but I personally can't get past the astrotheological
                        associations of the Lion with Christ....my mind just won't go to the Lion as
                        Satan too.....that's not to say that some symbols haven't crossed over..Venus
                        the Morning Star sure did....

                        anna


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Rick Hubbard
                        The enigmatic character of the lion saying can be tentatively reduced in yet another way. Textual critics have questioned the integrity of this portion of
                        Message 11 of 28 , Jul 1, 2002
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                          The enigmatic character of the "lion saying" can be tentatively reduced in
                          yet another way.

                          Textual critics have questioned the integrity of this portion of the
                          manuscript. "The phrase 'and the lion will become human' [Bethge
                          translation] could be a copyists error that may have even occurred already
                          in the underlying Greek Vorlage, and can possibly be deleted. Although
                          emendation to 'and the person will be the lion' produces a formal
                          parallelism, it is not unproblematic with regard to content" [_The Fifth
                          Gospel_, p 8].

                          If this suggestion is accepted, the saying becomes less opaque. It would
                          read as follows:

                          "Jesus says: 'Blessed is the lion that a person will eat [...] and anathema
                          is the person whom a lion will eat [...].'"

                          It then is not a whole lot different from a hunting guide's laconic
                          aphorism, "Some days you get a bear, other days a bear gets you."

                          But, admittedly, this reconstruction does not completely reduce the saying's
                          impenetrable character. There is very little question that it circulated in
                          the form in which it is now preserved in the Coptic mss. It must have had
                          some resonance for the transmitters. It's interesting to read some of the
                          suggestions that have been made in this regard.


                          Rick Hubbard
                          Humble Maine Woodsman
                        • Ron McCann
                          ... From: Rick Hubbard To: Sent: Monday, July 01, 2002 5:46 AM Subject: RE: [GTh] The Lion Passage Rick
                          Message 12 of 28 , Jul 2, 2002
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                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: "Rick Hubbard" <rhubbard@...>
                            To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
                            Sent: Monday, July 01, 2002 5:46 AM
                            Subject: RE: [GTh] The Lion Passage


                            Rick wrote:-> The enigmatic character of the "lion saying" can be
                            tentatively reduced in
                            > yet another way.
                            >
                            > Textual critics have questioned the integrity of this portion of the
                            > manuscript. "The phrase 'and the lion will become human' [Bethge
                            > translation] could be a copyists error ...., and can possibly be deleted.
                            >
                            > If this suggestion is accepted, the saying becomes less opaque. It would
                            > read as follows:
                            >
                            > "Jesus says: 'Blessed is the lion that a person will eat [...] and
                            anathema
                            > is the person whom a lion will eat [...].'"
                            >
                            > It then is not a whole lot different from a hunting guide's laconic
                            > aphorism, "Some days you get a bear, other days a bear gets you."

                            Or, from a non Main-Woodsman, or urban perspective, "Sometimes you are the
                            dog and sometimes you are the fire-hydrant?'

                            Seems a bit pointless, even if we abreviate it as suggested, unless Jesus
                            was trying to make a life-wisdom joke. Har Har- good one!

                            Seriously though, how is the lion either "blessed" or "lucky" in being
                            killed and eaten by a man? Somehow the animal flesh is "raised" in
                            significance and "sacramentalized" by being consumed by the superior human
                            and being made human flesh???? Lion flesh becomes human flesh and thus the
                            lion is sacramentaliszed and therefore lucky at being a human victim? Lucky
                            chickens, lucky fish, lucky cows, lucky turnips- they ultimately became
                            human, so they are Lucky or blessed retroactvely or postumously because they
                            served the needs of a "higher life-form"? Those whom man does not consume
                            are unlucy or accursed? What the hell is being said here? Human beings are
                            instruments of sacrilization by what they eat????????

                            As far as what is normative, UNLUCKY is the lion which a man consumes and
                            the lion becomes man. It's dead. Likewise, the turnip.

                            What, on earth is confirmed upon our dead lion or dead turnip for having
                            served as fodder for living humans? What is their reward? In what sense are
                            they "Lucky " or "Blessed". How to they "survive" to reap this "blessing"? A
                            dead Lion is a dead lion. So with the turnip. Where is the "luck"?

                            What is disturbing about Thomas is that sayings that can be found that
                            suggest that we ourselves should permit ourselves to be "eaten".

                            Well screw that.

                            Ron McCann
                            Saskatoon, Canada
                          • docgroove1017
                            ... superior human ... thus the ... victim? ... having ... sense are ... this blessing ? A ... that ... Ron, The way I read it, we are talking about two
                            Message 13 of 28 , Jul 2, 2002
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                              --- In gthomas@y..., "Ron McCann" <ronmccann1@s...> wrote:
                              > Somehow the animal flesh is "raised" in
                              > significance and "sacramentalized" by being consumed by the
                              superior human
                              > and being made human flesh???? Lion flesh becomes human flesh and
                              thus the
                              > lion is sacramentaliszed and therefore lucky at being a human
                              victim?
                              > ...
                              > What, on earth is confirmed upon our dead lion or dead turnip for
                              having
                              > served as fodder for living humans? What is their reward? In what
                              sense are
                              > they "Lucky " or "Blessed". How to they "survive" to reap
                              this "blessing"? A
                              > dead Lion is a dead lion. So with the turnip. Where is the "luck"?
                              >
                              > What is disturbing about Thomas is that sayings that can be found
                              that
                              > suggest that we ourselves should permit ourselves to be "eaten".
                              >
                              > Well screw that.
                              >
                              > Ron McCann
                              > Saskatoon, Canada

                              Ron,
                              The way I read it,
                              we are talking about two different lions.
                              One is a reference to any animal flesh consumed in "the circle of
                              life", especially by a higher order being (human) capable of
                              consciousness.(self-consciousness=God-consciousness)
                              The other lion is an evil archon/demon/Yaldabaoth who wants to live
                              within a human form.
                              There seems to have been a belief that some aspect of even animals
                              lived on and was transformed after being eaten by another species.
                              It would help to know more about 1st Century biological thinking.
                              Randall Wilson
                              Lebanon, Il
                              USA
                            • Ron McCann
                              Jesus, you ducked the question. Either answer it, Randy, or get off the pot.. Others are waiting. Ron McCann ... From: docgroove1017
                              Message 14 of 28 , Jul 3, 2002
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                                Jesus, you ducked the question.
                                Either answer it, Randy, or get off the pot..
                                Others are waiting.

                                Ron McCann

                                ----- Original Message -----
                                From: "docgroove1017" <docgroove1017@...>
                                To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
                                Sent: Tuesday, July 02, 2002 10:16 PM
                                Subject: Re: [GTh] The Lion Passage

                                > --- In gthomas@y..., "Ron McCann" <ronmccann1@s...> wrote:
                                > Somehow the animal flesh is "raised" in significance and "sacramentalized"
                                > by being consumed by the superior human and being made human flesh????
                                > Lion flesh becomes human flesh and thus the lion is sacramentaliszed and
                                > therefore lucky at being a human victim?
                                > ...
                                > What, on earth is confirmed upon our dead lion or dead turnip for having
                                > served as fodder for living humans? What is their reward? In what sense are
                                > they "Lucky " or "Blessed". How to they "survive" to reap this "blessing"?
                                > A dead Lion is a dead lion. So with the turnip. Where is the "luck"?
                                > What is disturbing about Thomas is that sayings that can be found that
                                > suggest that we ourselves should permit ourselves to be "eaten".
                                > Well screw that.
                                > Ron McCann
                                > Saskatoon, Canada

                                > Ron,
                                > The way I read it,
                                > we are talking about two different lions.
                                > One is a reference to any animal flesh consumed in "the circle of
                                > life", especially by a higher order being (human) capable of
                                > consciousness.(self-consciousness=God-consciousness)
                                > The other lion is an evil archon/demon/Yaldabaoth who wants to live
                                > within a human form.
                                > There seems to have been a belief that some aspect of even animals
                                > lived on and was transformed after being eaten by another species.
                                > It would help to know more about 1st Century biological thinking.
                                > Randall Wilson
                                > Lebanon, Il
                                > USA
                              • BrerFrase@aol.com
                                In a message dated 7/2/02 9:17:16 PM Eastern Daylight Time, ... Support for this view can be found from an equally cryptic line from another culture s milieu,
                                Message 15 of 28 , Jul 3, 2002
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                                  In a message dated 7/2/02 9:17:16 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
                                  ronmccann1@... writes:


                                  >
                                  > What, on earth is confirmed upon our dead lion or dead turnip for having
                                  > served as fodder for living humans? What is their reward? In what sense are
                                  > they "Lucky " or "Blessed". How to they "survive" to reap this "blessing"?
                                  > A
                                  > dead Lion is a dead lion. So with the turnip. Where is the "luck"?
                                  >
                                  > What is disturbing about Thomas is that sayings that can be found that
                                  > suggest that we ourselves should permit ourselves to be "eaten".
                                  >
                                  > Well screw that.
                                  >
                                  > Ron McCann
                                  > Saskatoon, Canada
                                  >
                                  >

                                  Support for this view can be found from an equally cryptic line from another
                                  culture's milieu, the authorship of which has been attributed to the
                                  marquee's nom de plume though rumor has it that this line was actually
                                  *spoken* by an actual person in an actual war, and thus the line's
                                  authenticity as a *line* and its authorship can never be satisfactorily
                                  verified from this far-removed vantage point, sigh. Yet perhaps it can shed
                                  some light on the current rather more substantive scholarly conundrum
                                  surrounding metaphoric proto-cannabilism. And it is, after all, one of my own
                                  dearest cryptic epigrams in its own wright, one I live by daily in matters
                                  domestic and foreign, btw, and borne out of the hollowed bowels I mean
                                  hallowed halls of mgm itself ...

                                  "Just remember, Sarge, they can kill us, but they can't eat us."

                                  ("From Here to Eternity")

                                  Happy 4th to all...

                                  Fraser Hubbard
                                  :)


                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • docgroove1017
                                  (7) Jesus said, Blessed is the lion which becomes man when consumed by man; and cursed is the man whom the lion consumes, and the lion becomes man. (60) You
                                  Message 16 of 28 , Jul 6, 2002
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                                    (7)
                                    Jesus said,
                                    "Blessed is the lion
                                    which becomes man
                                    when consumed by man;
                                    and cursed is the man
                                    whom the lion consumes,
                                    and the lion becomes man."

                                    (60)
                                    "You too, look for a place for yourselves within repose,
                                    lest you become a corpse and be eaten."

                                    "Authoritative Teaching
                                    "The adversary spies on us, lying in wait ...wishing to seize us,
                                    rejoicing that he might swallow us. ... She gave her body to those
                                    who had given it to her, and ... the dealers in bodies sat down and
                                    wept because they were not able to do any business with that body…
                                    They did not realize that she has an invisible spiritual body"

                                    Ron,
                                    There seems to have been an underlying concept that the "life-force"
                                    of the creature being eaten was somehow transferred to the carnivore
                                    that ate them. If the carnivore is "Adam" and we can assume here
                                    that he is on the side of "good", then the creature eaten has given
                                    his "life-force" to aid the side of "good". If, however, a person has
                                    not yet "found a place within repose", he is in danger of being
                                    "eaten" by the evil archons and thus aiding "the dark side". Still
                                    confused? Watch Star Wars and may the Force be with you!
                                    Once the "two are made into one", there is no longer a concern
                                    for "good" and "evil" and the state of "rest" is achieved. Once
                                    there, you no longer have to worry about being "eaten".

                                    Randy Wilson
                                    Lebanon, IL
                                    USA
                                    --- In gthomas@y..., "Ron McCann" <ronmccann1@s...> wrote:
                                    > Jesus, you ducked the question.
                                    > Either answer it, Randy, or get off the pot..
                                    > Others are waiting.
                                    >
                                    > Ron McCann
                                    > > --- In gthomas@y..., "Ron McCann" <ronmccann1@s...> wrote:
                                    > > Somehow the animal flesh is "raised" in significance
                                    and "sacramentalized"
                                    > > by being consumed by the superior human and being made human
                                    flesh????
                                    > > Lion flesh becomes human flesh and thus the lion is
                                    sacramentaliszed and
                                    > > therefore lucky at being a human victim?
                                    > > ...
                                    > > What, on earth is confirmed upon our dead lion or dead turnip for
                                    having
                                    > > served as fodder for living humans? What is their reward? In what
                                    sense are
                                    > > they "Lucky " or "Blessed". How to they "survive" to reap
                                    this "blessing"?
                                    > > A dead Lion is a dead lion. So with the turnip. Where is
                                    the "luck"?
                                    > > What is disturbing about Thomas is that sayings that can be found
                                    that
                                    > > suggest that we ourselves should permit ourselves to be "eaten".
                                    > > Well screw that.
                                    > > Ron McCann
                                    > > Saskatoon, Canada
                                    >
                                    > > Ron,
                                    > > The way I read it,
                                    > > we are talking about two different lions.
                                    > > One is a reference to any animal flesh consumed in "the circle of
                                    > > life", especially by a higher order being (human) capable of
                                    > > consciousness.(self-consciousness=God-consciousness)
                                    > > The other lion is an evil archon/demon/Yaldabaoth who wants to
                                    live
                                    > > within a human form.
                                    > > There seems to have been a belief that some aspect of even animals
                                    > > lived on and was transformed after being eaten by another species.
                                    > > It would help to know more about 1st Century biological thinking.
                                    > > Randall Wilson
                                    > > Lebanon, Il
                                    > > USA
                                  • docgroove1017
                                    ... Anyone here want to try to explain the five trees? (19)Jesus said,... For there are five trees for you in Paradise which remain undisturbed summer and
                                    Message 17 of 28 , Jul 10, 2002
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                                      --- In gthomas@y..., "Ron McCann" <ronmccann1@s...> wrote:
                                      > It is sort of like the "five trees".. Your can't crack it.
                                      > Ron McCann
                                      > Saskastoon, Canada

                                      Anyone here want to try to explain the five trees?
                                      (19)Jesus said,...
                                      For there are five trees for you in Paradise which remain undisturbed
                                      summer and winter and whose leaves do not fall.
                                      Whoever becomes acquainted with them
                                      will not experience death."

                                      Does anyone believe there is a lost part of the "Pistis Sophia" that
                                      might be found to gives some more info? It says "he had not told them
                                      in which places the five trees are spread", but then it never
                                      mentions them again!

                                      My hypothesis is that the five trees in Saying (19) are the
                                      five Gnostic rites of initiation and may have been associated with
                                      actual plants as were the Greek gods and goddesses.

                                      1.) BAPTISM = LILY (WATER LILY) = JUNO
                                      [goddess of childbirth- "born again"]

                                      2.) EUCHARIST = VINE (WINE) = BACCHUS
                                      [another dying and resurrecting god!]
                                      ??? and WHEAT (BREAD) = DEMETER

                                      3.) CHRISM = OLIVE (OIL) = MINERVA
                                      [goddess of Wisdom/Sophia, "Spirit"]
                                      ??? OR BALSAM

                                      4.) REDEMPTION = OAK = JUPITER
                                      (god of the sky)
                                      [meeting archons in ascent through heavens]

                                      5.) BRIDAL CHAMBER = LINDEN = PHILEMON & BAUCIS
                                      [the eternal couple representing mutual love]

                                      I found the corelations between trees and gods mentioned on the
                                      following site very informative.
                                      http://www.cybercomm.net/~grandpa/treemyth.html

                                      Randall Wilson
                                      Lebanon, IL
                                      USA
                                    • valjuk
                                      Randall, I m not 100% sure on this, and as this is my first time posting in this group, please be kind, if this sounds ridiculous! In the Greek version of the
                                      Message 18 of 28 , Jul 13, 2002
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                                        Randall, I'm not 100% sure on this, and as this is my first time
                                        posting in this group, please be kind, if this sounds ridiculous!

                                        In the Greek version of the Acts of Judas Thomas, the story of
                                        Gundaphorus and the celestial palace is related. When Gundaphorus
                                        realises his mistake in imprisoning Thomas and Habban, he frees them
                                        and asks to be made worthy of entering the service of God. Thomas
                                        praises Jesus for the miraculous conversion, and asks Gundaphorus to
                                        prepare for the ceremony of sealing. During the ceremony, Thomas
                                        poured oil on the heads of Gundaphorus and his brothers, invoking the
                                        names of the holy spirit. One of these names was "messenger of the
                                        five members" it goes on to list these five members as: mind,
                                        thought, reflection, consideration and reason. Certain Syriac
                                        translations include "intention" or "volition".

                                        The followers of Mani who had an intimate connection to Thomas Lore
                                        [note Hippolytus "Refutation of All Heresies": Let none read the
                                        gospel according to Thomas, for it is the work, not of one of the
                                        twelve Apostles, but of one of Mani's three wicked disciples]
                                        regarded the 'pentad of the mind' to be the dwelling place of the
                                        father of greatness, their supreme godhead. The 'pentad of the mind'
                                        as it is translated from Manichean texts is sense, reason, thought,
                                        imagination and will.

                                        I am not sure whether it is a logical extrapolation or not, but could
                                        the five trees, or the five members possibly be that which is
                                        required to achieve gnosis? That which Gnostics called
                                        the "spark", "spirit", "soul" or "seed"? It says in GTh that "whoever
                                        knows them will not taste death". Gnostics sought to evade death of
                                        the spirit by gnosis. If the five trees/members are indeed
                                        the "spark" which Gnostics sought, then that explains their apparent
                                        permanence, that "they do not change, summer or winter, and their
                                        leaves do not fall". It also explains how the stones will come to
                                        serve those who pay attention to the saying - as gnosis will have
                                        been achieved.


                                        Ok, I'm sorry if this explanation seems really convoluted, and is
                                        just a jumble of ideas, I did try to introduce some degree of logic
                                        into it. I hope it's of some use?

                                        James Valente
                                        London, UK
                                      • Ron McCann
                                        Randall, I think the Five Trees of 19 cannot reasonably be the five trees/plants you mention because the criteria that their leaves are unchangeable summer
                                        Message 19 of 28 , Jul 15, 2002
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                                          Randall,

                                          I think the "Five Trees" of 19 cannot reasonably be the five trees/plants
                                          you mention because the criteria that their leaves are unchangeable summer
                                          or winter, and do not fall, is not met. Something eternal and unchanging-
                                          ie- immortal and 'divine" is being referenced.

                                          As to the Pistis Sophia connection, I find it intriguing that it states:-"
                                          he (Jesus) had not told them in which place the five trees are spread'"
                                          Assuming, this is indeed a reference to the same Jesus-saying found in 19,
                                          the version of the saying the Pistis Sophia author had in mind, could not
                                          have contained the words "in Paradise" which we now find in 19. One supposes
                                          someone subsequently identified "which place" with "Paradise", and added the
                                          words.

                                          I cannot escape from the conclusion that 19 is about the Thomas initiate's
                                          re-entry to Eden (Paradise) and encountering it's 'trees", one of which, of
                                          course is the Tree of Life, which according to Genesis a man "may eat and
                                          never die"- that is- he will not, as Adam, who never got to eat of it,
                                          "taste death".

                                          There appear to be a number of Edenic references in Thomas which suggest to
                                          me that a this-lifetime "return to Eden" was part of the Thomasine belief
                                          system and a necessary step in their 'salvational" scheme- some sort of
                                          reversal of the "Fall of Man", individually.

                                          Ron McCann
                                          Saskatoon, Canada
                                          ----- Original Message -----
                                          From: "docgroove1017" <docgroove1017@...>
                                          To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
                                          Sent: Wednesday, July 10, 2002 7:26 PM
                                          Subject: Re: [GTh] The Five Trees(19)


                                          >
                                          > Does anyone believe there is a lost part of the "Pistis Sophia" that
                                          > might be found to gives some more info? It says "he had not told them
                                          > in which places the five trees are spread", but then it never
                                          > mentions them again!
                                          >
                                          > My hypothesis is that the five trees in Saying (19) are the
                                          > five Gnostic rites of initiation and may have been associated with
                                          > actual plants as were the Greek gods and goddesses.
                                          >
                                          > 1.) BAPTISM = LILY (WATER LILY) = JUNO
                                          > [goddess of childbirth- "born again"]
                                          >
                                          > 2.) EUCHARIST = VINE (WINE) = BACCHUS
                                          > [another dying and resurrecting god!]
                                          > ??? and WHEAT (BREAD) = DEMETER
                                          >
                                          > 3.) CHRISM = OLIVE (OIL) = MINERVA
                                          > [goddess of Wisdom/Sophia, "Spirit"]
                                          > ??? OR BALSAM
                                          >
                                          > 4.) REDEMPTION = OAK = JUPITER
                                          > (god of the sky)
                                          > [meeting archons in ascent through heavens]
                                          >
                                          > 5.) BRIDAL CHAMBER = LINDEN = PHILEMON & BAUCIS
                                          > [the eternal couple representing mutual love]
                                          >
                                          Randall Wilson
                                          > Lebanon, IL
                                          > USA
                                        • Ron McCann
                                          Hello James, Welcome. I liked your analysis. Just a comment or two on Hippolytus s statement:- [note Hippolytus Refutation of All Heresies : Let none read
                                          Message 20 of 28 , Jul 15, 2002
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                                            Hello James,

                                            Welcome.
                                            I liked your analysis.

                                            Just a comment or two on Hippolytus's statement:->" [note Hippolytus
                                            "Refutation of All Heresies": Let none read the gospel according to Thomas,
                                            for it is the work, not of one of the
                                            twelve Apostle, but of one of Mani's three wicked disciples]."

                                            I am sure most will agree that he is likely out-to-lunch on that. Mani was
                                            born in 215-216 AD and began proclaiming his gospel in 242 AD about age 27.
                                            (He was crucified in 276-277).

                                            Whereas it is possible that Manicheans could have influenced our Coptic copy
                                            of Thomas (dated to about 350 CE), and may have used it, they certainly
                                            didn't create it. If I am not mistaken, the Greek copy we have dates to
                                            about 225 CE, and clearly cannot have been created or influenced by Mani or
                                            Manicheans.

                                            This casts some doubt on the applicability of Manichean ideas and concepts
                                            to the "five trees" problem.

                                            Best,

                                            Ron McCann
                                            Saskatoon, Canada



                                            ----- Original Message -----
                                            From: "valjuk" <valjuk@...>
                                            To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
                                            Sent: Saturday, July 13, 2002 4:56 PM
                                            Subject: Re: [GTh] The Five Trees(19)


                                            > Randall, I'm not 100% sure on this, and as this is my first time
                                            > posting in this group, please be kind, if this sounds ridiculous!
                                            >
                                            > In the Greek version of the Acts of Judas Thomas, the story of
                                            > Gundaphorus and the celestial palace is related. When Gundaphorus
                                            > realises his mistake in imprisoning Thomas and Habban, he frees them
                                            > and asks to be made worthy of entering the service of God. Thomas
                                            > praises Jesus for the miraculous conversion, and asks Gundaphorus to
                                            > prepare for the ceremony of sealing. During the ceremony, Thomas
                                            > poured oil on the heads of Gundaphorus and his brothers, invoking the
                                            > names of the holy spirit. One of these names was "messenger of the
                                            > five members" it goes on to list these five members as: mind,
                                            > thought, reflection, consideration and reason. Certain Syriac
                                            > translations include "intention" or "volition".
                                            >
                                            > The followers of Mani who had an intimate connection to Thomas Lore
                                            > [note Hippolytus "Refutation of All Heresies": Let none read the
                                            > gospel according to Thomas, for it is the work, not of one of the
                                            > twelve Apostles, but of one of Mani's three wicked disciples]
                                            > regarded the 'pentad of the mind' to be the dwelling place of the
                                            > father of greatness, their supreme godhead. The 'pentad of the mind'
                                            > as it is translated from Manichean texts is sense, reason, thought,
                                            > imagination and will.
                                            >
                                            > I am not sure whether it is a logical extrapolation or not, but could
                                            > the five trees, or the five members possibly be that which is
                                            > required to achieve gnosis? That which Gnostics called
                                            > the "spark", "spirit", "soul" or "seed"? It says in GTh that "whoever
                                            > knows them will not taste death". Gnostics sought to evade death of
                                            > the spirit by gnosis. If the five trees/members are indeed
                                            > the "spark" which Gnostics sought, then that explains their apparent
                                            > permanence, that "they do not change, summer or winter, and their
                                            > leaves do not fall". It also explains how the stones will come to
                                            > serve those who pay attention to the saying - as gnosis will have
                                            > been achieved.
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > Ok, I'm sorry if this explanation seems really convoluted, and is
                                            > just a jumble of ideas, I did try to introduce some degree of logic
                                            > into it. I hope it's of some use?
                                            >
                                            > James Valente
                                            > London, UK
                                          • Didymus5@aol.com
                                            Mr Valjuk may be interested in the following excerpts from The Gnostic Apostle Thomas End of chapter 5 Messenger of the five members is one of the
                                            Message 21 of 28 , Jul 16, 2002
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                                              Mr Valjuk may be interested in the following excerpts from The Gnostic
                                              Apostle Thomas

                                              End of chapter 5
                                              "Messenger of the five members" is one of the manifestations of the Holy
                                              Spirit invoked by Thomas at the sealing of Gundaphorus and Gad. One
                                              translator of this passage from the Syriac version has given a certain list
                                              of English words referring to various mental functions that we regard as
                                              being of a distinctively human order: mind, idea, thoughtfulness,
                                              consideration, reasoning. Some translations would include "intention" or
                                              "volition." The pentad is an attempt to put into words the distinctive
                                              powers or faculties that humans are considered to share with the supremely
                                              divine. There is, as always with attempts to define "Mind," a question as to
                                              whether it is intended to include that elusive element Gnostics sometimes
                                              called "spark" or "spirit" or "soul" or "seed." Given the context, we can
                                              assume the most expansive definition was intended in identifying those
                                              features that set humandkind apart from all other creatures.
                                              Another grouping of five qualities of mind has a direct and intimate
                                              connection with Thomas lore. This one was to be found among the followers of
                                              Mani, the third-century Mesopotamian prophet of a gnostic religion that
                                              combined elements of Buddhism, Christianity, and Zoroastrianism. (We will
                                              take a longer look at Manicheism in a later chapter.) Manicheans regarded the
                                              five attributes of Mind as the dwelling places of the Father of Greatness,
                                              their supreme godhead. The five have been translated as sense, reason
                                              thought, imagination (or inventiveness), and intention (or will).
                                              Another writing bearing the name of Thomas seems to allude to the "five
                                              members." This is the important Gospel of Thomas , an early collection of
                                              sayings of Jesus, recorded (so the text claims) by the apostle. For the
                                              moment we want to note only one of the sayings which speaks of five trees in
                                              Paradise, changeless in summer and winter, "whose leaves do not fail. Whoever
                                              becomes acquainted with them will not experience death."
                                              Scholars have pointed out that the Psalter of the Manicheans equates the five
                                              trees with several other pentads, including the five members of the soul or
                                              Mind. A Chinese Buddhist treatise contrasts five kinds of trees of death,
                                              poisoned with evil, with "five kinds of matchless precious and luminous trees
                                              whose fruits give immortality." The five precious fruits, as we would
                                              expect, are consciousness, heart (in China, the seat of reasoning), memory,
                                              reflection, and intention.
                                              Another fivesome, central to Buddhist thought, may lie behind the five we
                                              find in later Chinese Buddhism, Manicheism, and some of the Thomas writings.
                                              Buddhists hold that nothing exists by itself. "Things" exist only in
                                              relation to other things, in mutual interdependence, all continually acting
                                              upon each other in a complex process of causal relationships.
                                              Accordingly, we should not think of a continuing, personal Self. What we in
                                              our ignorance call the Self is really an interplay of five mental elements
                                              and the physical body (known as skandhas ), in temporary conjunctions,
                                              constantly changing and interacting. "Skandha" is usually translated as
                                              "heap": or "aggregate" or "group," each skandha being itself a combination of
                                              faculties shading into each other. The Sanskrit for the five mental skandhas
                                              can be translated as consciousness, sensations, concepts, perceptions, and
                                              volition.
                                              The Buddhist pentad of mental skandhas may well lie behind the notion of
                                              "five members" found among Manicheans, and in Thomas writings that Manicheans
                                              read (and perhaps edited). Eventually, in central Asia, Buddhist and gnostic
                                              ideas and imagery would merge.

                                              Chapter 22
                                              Through the centuries the Gnostics' fivesomes of attributes of "Mind" are
                                              found among Nestorians, Manicheans, and Northern Buddhists in central Asia
                                              and China. "The five" (as we have seen) are ways of talking about "mind" in
                                              the basic Manichean myth of the contest between the realms of Good and Evil,
                                              in the thinking of Northern Buddhism, in the Acts and Gospel of Thomas, and
                                              in the Gnostic Dialogue of the Savior found at Nag Hammadi. In central Asia
                                              the Manicheans' Five Members or Messengers could become the five Buddhas of
                                              Northern Buddhism. According to seventh-century Nestorian texts in Chinese,
                                              a human being is constituted by the "five attributes" or "five skandhas,"
                                              with the addition of the soul. The Five Members invoked by Thomas when he was
                                              sealing King Gondaphorus had merged, at some point, with the five Buddhist
                                              mental skandhas. Or perhaps we should speak of the re-merging of ideas and
                                              imagery that had evolved from the same source.
                                            • Didymus5@aol.com
                                              I neglected to add my signature to the message re five trees. Chris Merillat
                                              Message 22 of 28 , Jul 16, 2002
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                                                I neglected to add my signature to the message re five trees. Chris Merillat
                                              • Grondin
                                                ... Merillat Yeah, I did too. BTW, could you give the publication details for The Gnostic Apostle Thomas ? You are the author, as I recall. Also, does the
                                                Message 23 of 28 , Jul 16, 2002
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                                                  > I neglected to add my signature to the message re five trees. Chris
                                                  Merillat

                                                  Yeah, I did too. BTW, could you give the publication details for "The
                                                  Gnostic Apostle Thomas"? You are the author, as I recall. Also, does the
                                                  title express your opinion that Christian "gnosticism" (with a small 'g')
                                                  had its origin in the actual thinking of an historical apostle - as opposed
                                                  to his name being simply used in a wide variety of later writings, as was
                                                  the case with a number of other apostles (e.g., "Acts of Peter", "Apocryphon
                                                  of John", etc)?

                                                  Mike Grondin
                                                • Didymus5@aol.com
                                                  Mike Grodin The Gnostic Apostle Thomas has been available on the Internet under that title since 1997, and can also be found through the Gospel of Thomas
                                                  Message 24 of 28 , Jul 16, 2002
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                                                    Mike Grodin

                                                    The Gnostic Apostle Thomas has been available on the Internet under that
                                                    title since 1997, and can also be found through the Gospel of Thomas
                                                    Homepage. It is now also available in a paperback, through Amazon and
                                                    Barnes and Noble. There are Chapter notes in which the sources of the
                                                    various statements made in the message on Five Trees can be found.
                                                    As to your question: my own impression, for what it may be worth, is
                                                    that groups or a community of early followers of Jesus ascribed various
                                                    statements or views to Thomas -- as some did to other intermediaries such
                                                    John or Peter or Paul -- probably beginning in the first century CE, and
                                                    that these views often had a gnostic character. It also appears that these
                                                    invocations of Thomas as an authority continued in some movements long
                                                    after a Christian orthodoxy of sorts emerged in the fourth century and
                                                    writings under the name of Thomas were condemned. I realize that the matters
                                                    of dating and source and gnostic influence are much debated in the GTh group.
                                                    I follow these discussions, under your leadership, with interest, but have
                                                    little to say beynd what is in my book

                                                    Best wishes, Chris Merillat
                                                  • Didymus5@aol.com
                                                    I neglected to add, for those possibly interested, that The Gnostic Apostle Thomas is also available on line through the Gnosis Archive. Chris Merillat
                                                    Message 25 of 28 , Jul 17, 2002
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                                                      I neglected to add, for those possibly interested, that The Gnostic Apostle
                                                      Thomas is also available on line through the Gnosis Archive. Chris Merillat
                                                    • Ron McCann
                                                      James, further to my last post contained below, and your quote from the writings of St. Hippolytus, I wonder if ascribing this to him is an error? Did you
                                                      Message 26 of 28 , Jul 17, 2002
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                                                        James, further to my last post contained below, and your quote from the
                                                        writings of St. Hippolytus, I wonder if ascribing this to him is an error?
                                                        Did you perhaps have in mind material from St.Epipanius of Salamis who
                                                        penned his "Against Heresies" in 374 CE? I can't find that quote.

                                                        My information is that Hippolytus was born in 170 CE and died in 235 CE and
                                                        had thus been dead for 5 or more years when Mani first proclaimed his Gospel
                                                        in Persia in 242 CE. Someone suggested that Iraneus had also addressed
                                                        Manicheaism in his "Against Heresies", but he also was long dead when Mani
                                                        started (Iraneus- born 130 CE, died 202 CE).

                                                        Although it seems clear to me that Mani or the the Manicheans did not
                                                        compose Thomas (The Jesus Seminar dates one fragment of the Greek version
                                                        "to "around 200 CE".) they did adopt it, and may well have 'dicked' with it
                                                        such that our Coptic version may have 'contaminants" from Manichaeism,
                                                        particularly given it's late date (350 CE).

                                                        Egypt became an early hotbed of Manicheaism. The Manicheans expanded rapidly
                                                        reaching Judea in 274 CE- 3 years before Mani was killed, and subsequently
                                                        arrived early in Egypt (Alexandria) where in 296, they "having recently come
                                                        from Persia" were creating problems and the Proconsul of Africa complained
                                                        about them resulting in an Edict from Diocletian ( March 31, 296) ordering
                                                        their suppression. Even in 330 CE, St. Anthony is said to have forbidden all
                                                        intercourse with them.

                                                        According to the Catholic Encyclopaedia, in the Eastern Roman empire
                                                        Manicheaism came to the zenith of it's power between AD 375-400 and then
                                                        rapidly declined. In Egypt the Edict of Theodosius I (AD 381) was directed
                                                        specifically to their suppression. During this time numerous authors
                                                        attacked the heresy. Thomas and the rest of the Nag Hammadi collection seem
                                                        to have been buried about 380 CE, possibly in response to this.

                                                        Given all this, especially since the Gospel of Thomas was a favorite of the
                                                        Manicheans, one indeed wonders whether the Coptic copy we have, didn't
                                                        earlier pass through the hands of Manichean editors such that our Coptic
                                                        copy may indeed show traces of Manichean concepts and thought. I resile from
                                                        my early comment. It may indeed be proper to consider them in relation to
                                                        those sayings in Thomas not found in the Greek.

                                                        Ron McCann
                                                        Saskatoon, Canada
                                                        ----- Original Message -----
                                                        From: "Ron McCann" <ronmccann1@...>
                                                        To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
                                                        Sent: Monday, July 15, 2002 2:28 PM
                                                        Subject: Re: [GTh] The Five Trees(19)


                                                        > Hello James,
                                                        >
                                                        > Welcome.
                                                        > I liked your analysis.
                                                        >
                                                        > Just a comment or two on Hippolytus's statement:->" [note Hippolytus
                                                        > "Refutation of All Heresies": Let none read the gospel according to
                                                        Thomas,
                                                        > for it is the work, not of one of the
                                                        > twelve Apostle, but of one of Mani's three wicked disciples]."
                                                        >
                                                        > I am sure most will agree that he is likely out-to-lunch on that. Mani was
                                                        > born in 215-216 AD and began proclaiming his gospel in 242 AD about age
                                                        27.
                                                        > (He was crucified in 276-277).
                                                        >
                                                        > Whereas it is possible that Manicheans could have influenced our Coptic
                                                        copy
                                                        > of Thomas (dated to about 350 CE), and may have used it, they certainly
                                                        > didn't create it. If I am not mistaken, the Greek copy we have dates to
                                                        > about 225 CE, and clearly cannot have been created or influenced by Mani
                                                        or
                                                        > Manicheans.
                                                        >
                                                        > This casts some doubt on the applicability of Manichean ideas and concepts
                                                        > to the "five trees" problem.
                                                        >
                                                        > Best,
                                                        >
                                                        > Ron McCann
                                                        > Saskatoon, Canada
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > ----- Original Message -----
                                                        > From: "valjuk" <valjuk@...>
                                                        > To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
                                                        > Sent: Saturday, July 13, 2002 4:56 PM
                                                        > Subject: Re: [GTh] The Five Trees(19)
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > > Randall, I'm not 100% sure on this, and as this is my first time
                                                        > > posting in this group, please be kind, if this sounds ridiculous!
                                                        > >
                                                        > > In the Greek version of the Acts of Judas Thomas, the story of
                                                        > > Gundaphorus and the celestial palace is related. When Gundaphorus
                                                        > > realises his mistake in imprisoning Thomas and Habban, he frees them
                                                        > > and asks to be made worthy of entering the service of God. Thomas
                                                        > > praises Jesus for the miraculous conversion, and asks Gundaphorus to
                                                        > > prepare for the ceremony of sealing. During the ceremony, Thomas
                                                        > > poured oil on the heads of Gundaphorus and his brothers, invoking the
                                                        > > names of the holy spirit. One of these names was "messenger of the
                                                        > > five members" it goes on to list these five members as: mind,
                                                        > > thought, reflection, consideration and reason. Certain Syriac
                                                        > > translations include "intention" or "volition".
                                                        > >
                                                        > > The followers of Mani who had an intimate connection to Thomas Lore
                                                        > > [note Hippolytus "Refutation of All Heresies": Let none read the
                                                        > > gospel according to Thomas, for it is the work, not of one of the
                                                        > > twelve Apostles, but of one of Mani's three wicked disciples]
                                                        > > regarded the 'pentad of the mind' to be the dwelling place of the
                                                        > > father of greatness, their supreme godhead. The 'pentad of the mind'
                                                        > > as it is translated from Manichean texts is sense, reason, thought,
                                                        > > imagination and will.
                                                        > >
                                                        > > I am not sure whether it is a logical extrapolation or not, but could
                                                        > > the five trees, or the five members possibly be that which is
                                                        > > required to achieve gnosis? That which Gnostics called
                                                        > > the "spark", "spirit", "soul" or "seed"? It says in GTh that "whoever
                                                        > > knows them will not taste death". Gnostics sought to evade death of
                                                        > > the spirit by gnosis. If the five trees/members are indeed
                                                        > > the "spark" which Gnostics sought, then that explains their apparent
                                                        > > permanence, that "they do not change, summer or winter, and their
                                                        > > leaves do not fall". It also explains how the stones will come to
                                                        > > serve those who pay attention to the saying - as gnosis will have
                                                        > > been achieved.
                                                        > >
                                                        > >
                                                        > > Ok, I'm sorry if this explanation seems really convoluted, and is
                                                        > > just a jumble of ideas, I did try to introduce some degree of logic
                                                        > > into it. I hope it's of some use?
                                                        > >
                                                        > > James Valente
                                                        > > London, UK
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
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                                                      • Grondin
                                                        ... It is indeed. According to the Layton Brill edition of Codex II, vol.1, p.105-6, the quote is from Cyril of Jerusalem, circa 348 C.E. As quoted therein:
                                                        Message 27 of 28 , Jul 17, 2002
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                                                          James Valente wrote:
                                                          > [note Hippolytus "Refutation of All Heresies": Let none read the
                                                          > gospel according to Thomas, for it is the work, not of one of the
                                                          > twelve Apostles, but of one of Mani's three wicked disciples]

                                                          Ron McCann responded:
                                                          > ... your quote from the writings of St. Hippolytus,
                                                          > I wonder if ascribing this to him is an error?

                                                          It is indeed. According to the Layton Brill edition of Codex II, vol.1,
                                                          p.105-6, the quote is from Cyril of Jerusalem, circa 348 C.E. As quoted
                                                          therein:

                                                          "This one (Mani) had three disciples: Thomas, Baddas, and Hermas. Let no one
                                                          read the _Gospel According to Thomas_, for he is not one of the twelve
                                                          apostles, but one of the three wicked disciples of Mani."

                                                          Regards,
                                                          Mike Grondin
                                                          The Coptic Gospel of Thomas, saying-by-saying
                                                          http://www.geocities.com/mwgrondin/sayings.htm
                                                        • docgroove1017
                                                          Ron, If a human disciple is capable of not tasting death by making the two into one , entering a Kingdom transcending all opposites, a new world without
                                                          Message 28 of 28 , Jul 20, 2002
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                                                            Ron,
                                                            If a human disciple is capable of "not tasting death" by "making the
                                                            two into one", entering a Kingdom transcending all opposites, a new
                                                            world without Summer or Winter Solstice, only Equinox, then one could
                                                            reasonably expect that within this Kingdom, even normally deciduous
                                                            plants/trees would no longer undergo their normal seasonal changes.

                                                            If, however, you believe seasonal plants/trees must be ruled out, I
                                                            would offer you an alternate hypothesis that the 5 trees represent
                                                            the 5 virtues as put forth by Philo. These 5 virtues may also be
                                                            correlated to the 5 Gnostic rites.

                                                            The following quotes are from _The Works of Philo - Complete and
                                                            Unabridged_, translated by C D Younge, 1993, Hendrickson publishers.
                                                            Allegorical Interpretation I, XVII and XVIII
                                                            "And God caused to rise out of the earth every tree which is pleasant
                                                            to the sight and good for food, and the tree of life he raised in the
                                                            middle of the Paradise, and also the tree of knowledge of good and
                                                            evil."
                                                            (Philo says)"He here gives a sketch of the trees of virtue which he
                                                            plants in the soul." ..."But the tree of life is that most general
                                                            virtue which some people call goodness, from which the particular
                                                            virtues are derived, and of which they are composed." ..."but as to
                                                            the other tree, that namely of the knowledge of good and evil, he has
                                                            not specified whether it is within or outside of the Paradise."

                                                            "And a river goes forth out of Eden to water Paradise...separated
                                                            into four heads...Pheison...Gihon...Tigris...Euphrates"
                                                            (Philo says)"In these words Moses intends to sketch out the
                                                            particular virtues. And they also are four in number."
                                                            "Prudence, Temperance, Courage, and Justice."
                                                            "Now the greatest river from which the four branches flow off, is
                                                            generic virtue, which we have already called goodness."
                                                            ......................................................................
                                                            The tree of Life would correspond to the ultimate culmination of
                                                            Gnosis or the "bridal chamber", while the elementary lessons of right
                                                            and wrong or "Justice" would correspond to repentance and "Baptism".
                                                            "Temperence" would refer to moderation in food and drinkk, thus
                                                            corresponding to the holy meal of the "Eucharist". "Prudence" would
                                                            be associated with Wisdom or Spiritual fire and annointing with the
                                                            oil of "Chrism", while "Courage" would be a necessity for confronting
                                                            the menacing archons in ascent through the heavens during the rite
                                                            of "Redemption".

                                                            Randall Wilson
                                                            Lebanon, IL
                                                            USA


                                                            --- In gthomas@y..., "Ron McCann" <ronmccann1@s...> wrote:
                                                            > Randall,
                                                            > I think the "Five Trees" of 19 cannot reasonably be the five
                                                            trees/plants
                                                            > you mention because the criteria that their leaves are unchangeable
                                                            summer
                                                            > or winter, and do not fall, is not met. Something eternal and
                                                            unchanging-
                                                            > ie- immortal and 'divine" is being referenced.
                                                            > ...
                                                            > I cannot escape from the conclusion that 19 is about the Thomas
                                                            initiate's
                                                            > re-entry to Eden (Paradise) and encountering it's 'trees", one of
                                                            which, of
                                                            > course is the Tree of Life, which according to Genesis a man "may
                                                            eat and
                                                            > never die"- that is- he will not, as Adam, who never got to eat of
                                                            it,
                                                            > "taste death".
                                                            > ...
                                                            > Ron McCann
                                                            > Saskatoon, Canada
                                                            > ----- Original Message -----
                                                            > From: "docgroove1017" <docgroove1017@a...>
                                                            > To: <gthomas@y...>
                                                            > Sent: Wednesday, July 10, 2002 7:26 PM
                                                            > Subject: Re: [GTh] The Five Trees(19)
                                                            > > My hypothesis is that the five trees in Saying (19) are the
                                                            > > five Gnostic rites of initiation and may have been associated with
                                                            > > actual plants as were the Greek gods and goddesses.
                                                            > >
                                                            > > 1.) BAPTISM = LILY (WATER LILY) = JUNO
                                                            > > [goddess of childbirth- "born again"]
                                                            > >
                                                            > > 2.) EUCHARIST = VINE (WINE) = BACCHUS
                                                            > > [another dying and resurrecting god!]
                                                            > > ??? and WHEAT (BREAD) = DEMETER
                                                            > >
                                                            > > 3.) CHRISM = OLIVE (OIL) = MINERVA
                                                            > > [goddess of Wisdom/Sophia, "Spirit"]
                                                            > > ??? OR BALSAM
                                                            > >
                                                            > > 4.) REDEMPTION = OAK = JUPITER
                                                            > > (god of the sky)
                                                            > > [meeting archons in ascent through heavens]
                                                            > >
                                                            > > 5.) BRIDAL CHAMBER = LINDEN = PHILEMON & BAUCIS
                                                            > > [the eternal couple representing mutual love]
                                                            > >
                                                            > Randall Wilson
                                                            > > Lebanon, IL
                                                            > > USA
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