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Re: [GTh] Acrostics

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  • malin.nilsson@webaid.se
    I have just entered this list and haven’t figured out yet whether you just discuss the scriptures and texts like exegetics, or if you also dicuss around the
    Message 1 of 4 , Dec 6, 2002
      I have just entered this list and haven’t figured out yet whether you just
      discuss the scriptures and texts like exegetics, or if you also dicuss
      around the matter and include the gnostics themselves, their teachings,
      etc. But since I read some interesting notes I would like to add some of
      my thoughts regarding the subject of the gnostic marriage.

      As all mystic cults have their initiations in order to recieve higher
      spiritual ”secrets” there should be no wonder if also the gnositc
      association followed this. Maybe that’s why the heavenly (read spiritual)
      marriage beteween man and woman aren’t written down in early christian
      (gnostic) scriptures. (One additional reason should be the patrialkal
      system.) The initiations are regarded as very important when it comes to
      proceeding in the spiritual path. Some Buddhists have (or had, I don’t
      know for sure) a learning time of nine years before next spiritual
      initiation. One did’t want the sublime teachnings to end up in the wrong
      hands or be misunderstud. These misunderstanings occured anyway, why
      threre are so many different gnostic movements with similar, yet
      different, ideas.
      The gnostic marriage is the process of alchemy, (not only accoring to
      Jung), where the substences made into gold are the substances in the man
      and the woman. The gnostic language are, as you might know, to be
      interpreted symbolical. To create the cubic stone, the philosophers stone,
      as the alchemists speak of, is a nother saying for the incarnation of
      Christ in yourself. The gnostics of today say that in order not to
      misunderstand the gnostic teachnings one should start with grounds, work
      with oneself for a time, before the initiation to the alchemy can begin.
      So today the Bible can be read as a start to understand the gospel of
      Thomas.
      Do I make any sence?!

      Malin, Nilsson
      Student at University of Karlstad, Sweden
      -------------------------------------------

      Ed note: Yes, you make sense. I should point out, however, that any discussion of gnosticism should be confined to ancient gnosticism prior to, say, 4th century. Furthermore, it should be supportable on the basis of texts found at Nag Hammadi. Is there any text in that collection which speaks of alchemy as you do? (MWG)
    • DaGoi@aol.com
      In a message dated 12/04/2 6:19:04 PM, Tom wrote:
      Message 2 of 4 , Dec 7, 2002
        In a message dated 12/04/2 6:19:04 PM, Tom wrote:

        <<the terms 'tao' and 'logos' mean the same thing
        [snip]
        This would allow for the use and suggest knowledge a very broad range of
        acrostic tools including those related to koans, and Taoist edicts.>>

        One would never say of a man that he is the tao, and I think the koans proper
        start back only to the 9th century or so when zen was taking shape. The idea
        is cool though; Clement mentions the Brahmins but not the Chinese; first I
        know of any interaction is with the Huns in the 4th and 5th centuries, and
        the Battle of Sogogard or whatever its name was in Persia when some Romans
        ended up slaves to the Chinese.

        Bill Foley
        Woburn
      • Tom Saunders
        Bill Foley writes: One would never say of a man that he is the tao, and I think the koans proper start back only to the 9th century or so when zen was taking
        Message 3 of 4 , Dec 9, 2002
          Bill Foley writes:

          One would never say of a man that he is the tao, and I think the koans proper
          start back only to the 9th century or so when zen was taking shape. The idea
          is cool though;

          Information about the relationship of Chinese philosophy and the Western Med. Christian movement keeps changing. Budhism was well established in India by the time of J. and there is new archeological evidence to suggest that the Brahmans and Chinese were more closely related than previously thought. Chinese Confuscianism, Taoism and Budhism were all embraced in most parts of China before Budhism was adopted by Emperor Ashoka in India 273 B.C.

          Clement mentions the Brahmins but not the Chinese; first I
          know of any interaction is with the Huns in the 4th and 5th centuries, and
          the Battle of Sogogard or whatever its name was in Persia when some Romans
          ended up slaves to the Chinese.

          Martin Palmer's "The Jesus Sutras" reveals a series of Chinese bits of information as to Christianity developing in China all the way up to North Eastern China, Xian 341 A.D. Palmer's work suggests that Christians as far back a Tatian established a Christian network all accross China. By the time of Eusebius they had been wiped out. No doubt the Eastern sects related to expansion to China had long fallen out of favor with the Western Orthodox croud from Rome. Rome probably did not know they existed past Tatian.

          A common relic of these Eastern sects is an equalateral cross found in India and China all along the Silk Routes. Tatian seems to be connected with them but more than one Syrian sect was thought to have established missions in India, not to mention the Thomas church in Madras.

          By the time Thomas was written one caravan a month was arriving at points west, like Damascas, some established by Alexander. It is logical that the author of Thomas knew what was needed to make Jesus marketable to Easterners and with their Oriental philosophy. The sayings of Thomas are very much like the precepts of Lau Zi and his followers from the fourth century B.C. However, it must also be understood that Hellenized cultures had shared this type of knowledge and put it in their own terms.

          The acrostic tricks of both East and West would have been appreciated as shared forms of amusement between cultures. Thomas as an instrument is meant to be a Gospel, or tool of evangelism to Gentiles, an idea known to have been implemented in the First Century. And of course, Thomas became heretical as it definately failed to meet up to many expectations of 'church fathers' who wanted to take control of salvation through the church.

          Tom Saunders
          Platter Flats, OK

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