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Parables

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  • Tom Saunders
    There are several questions about the nature of the parables to consider. Are the parables of the GThom thematically related, and if they are, how? If we can
    Message 1 of 6 , Oct 15, 2003
      There are several questions about the nature of the parables to consider. Are the parables of the GThom thematically related, and if they are, how? If we can give the Mustard Seed parable an evil glint, can we do it with the rest of them? Might be fun for October.........(My particular evil mustard seed grows roots in the plumbing and snatches children off toilets)

      I have a tendency to think the GThom is based upon the "divine spark theory" that gives rise to the belief that there is power within us to be a person of 'light,' as mentioned in the GThom. I also see this same analogy to how the GMary works. If we look at the parables we see this same possibility. We also see that they are directed at the concepts of social presentation, building your storehouse, evil and otherwise, plus whatever categories we might list. Any suggestions?

      I don't think we are going to see building the evil scenario into the parables as realistically meant for the GThom. Consider how Mark and Luke conger the story of Mary Magdalene and the seven demons.

      Mrk16- 9. Now when he was risen early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons."

      Luke 8-2. "and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary that was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out,
      3. and Joanna the wife of Chuzas Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, who ministered unto them of their substance.
      4. And when a great multitude came together, and they of every city resorted unto him, he spake by a parable:" ( J always spoke to the multitudes in parables)

      Mary confirms this fact that there were seven demons. There is one real important difference between what Mark and Luke are talking about and what the GMary describes. Mark and Luke, are talking about the demons of Abraham, Isahiah, and Moses, that really show up in the corporeal world. Ones like 'Legion' who drowned with the swine, we hope.

      What the GMary is talking about is more of what we could call a psycho-drama. The demons are far more realistic and they are intrinsic to the psyche rather than being separate entities.
      Chapter 8:...it.

      10) And desire said, I did not see you descending, but now I see you ascending. Why do you lie since you belong to me? 11) The soul answered and said, I saw you. You did not see me nor recognize me. I served you as a garment and you did not know me. 12) When it said this, it (the soul) went away rejoicing greatly. 13) Again it came to the third power, which is called ignorance. 14) The power questioned the soul, saying, Where are you going? In wickedness are you bound. But you are bound; do not judge!

      15) And the soul said, Why do you judge me, although I have not judged? 16) I was bound, though I have not bound. 17) I was not recognized. But I have recognized that the All is being dissolved, both the earthly things and the heavenly. 18) When the soul had overcome the third power, it went upwards and saw the fourth power, which took seven forms.

      19) The first form is darkness, the second desire, the third ignorance, the fourth is the excitement of death, the fifth is the kingdom of the flesh, the sixth is the foolish wisdom of flesh, the seventh is the wrathful wisdom. These are the seven powers of wrath.

      20) They asked the soul, Whence do you come slayer of men, or where are you going, conqueror of space?21) The soul answered and said, What binds me has been slain, and what turns me about has been overcome, 22) and my desire has been ended, and ignorance has died. 23) In a aeon I was released from a world, and in a Type from a type, and from the fetter of oblivion which is transient.

      24) From this time on will I attain to the rest of the time, of the season, of the aeon, in silence."

      Compare the above to what Jesus presents in the parables and it is easy to see that the parables are communicating to a different class of listeners. The readability level even shows the parables are written at a lower level than the rest of the body of the GThom. This shows special utility.

      We have to consider that the GThom is based upon the 'divine spark' inside. This is where the GMary is putting demons, inside yourself, which correlates lots more with the GThom than Luke's corporeal demons. I think it would be difficult to explain to a first century crowd that corporeal demons are not the root cause of things. (It can be hard in Oklahoma to explain this)

      The GThom parables don't have demons they have people, in life settings, with problems within their environment. In the GThom you are of the 'darkness' or the 'light.' Darkness is the only punishment, and I think if you go through the GMary demons above that will explain evil darkness how the GThom would. Hell must be like being stuck (your soul) in the following:

      "The first form is darkness, the second desire, the third ignorance, the fourth is the excitement of death, the fifth is the kingdom of the flesh, the sixth is the foolish wisdom of flesh, the seventh is the wrathful wisdom. These are the seven powers of wrath." (And that is only wrath, add Lukian Demons at your own risk)

      GThom logic would suggest that wearing your soul bonded into the 'pnuemataphori' with the Holy Spirit is a matter of finding that divine spark, or the inner light. The parables must have a connection to this idea. Any ideas?

      Tom Saunders

      Platter, OK

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    • Tom Saunders
      Hi All, In a prior post I postulated that the parables where of a nature that revealed Hylic nature in humanity. The hidden message in the parables,
      Message 2 of 6 , Jan 15, 2004
        Hi All,

        In a prior post I postulated that the parables where of a nature that revealed 'Hylic' nature in humanity. The 'hidden' message in the parables, especially saying 64, and 65, where about faulty human failings, "armatolos" in a social context. I both cases, regardless of social class, the phenomena was related to the concept of apanoia. Aponoia: "Unreason" like the misuse of thought. This is different than simply not having thought, as the inability to "put things together" can be worse than not even knowing they do in fact fit. (This state is exemplified by the parable in the Gospel of Thomas about the 'man who owned a vineyard,' saying 64.)

        Clement reinforces what the Apocryphon of James and Pistis Sophia say about the parables, see below.

        Parable: Stories with a point that Jesus is believed to have spoken to the multitudes around Galilee. (See the Gospel of Thomas, Sayings 8, 9, 20, 57, 63, 64, 65, 76, 96, 97, 98, 107,109. According the the "Apochryphon of James" and "Pistis Sophia" the parables are passages which relate or are intentional mysteries. In Greek (parabole), meaning comparison, or similitude, placing beside or together. Clement of Alexandria writes:

        "Wherefore the holy mysteries of the prophecies are veiled in the parables -- preserved for chosen men, selected to knowledge in consequence of their faith; for the style of the Scriptures is parabolic. Wherefore also the Lord, who was not of the world, came as one who was of the world to men. For He was clothed with all virtue; and it was His aim to lead man, the foster-child of the world, up to the objects of intellect, and to the most essential truths by knowledge, from one world to another.
        Wherefore also He employed metaphorical description; for such is the parable, -- a narration based on some subject which is not the principal subject, but similar to the principal subject, and leading him who understands to what is the true and principal thing; or, as some say, a mode of speech presenting with vigour, by means of other circumstances, what is the principal subject." (Stromata, Bk VI, et sec.)

        Earlier, Clement writes:

        "The apostles accordingly say of the Lord, that "He spake all things in parables, and without a parable spake He nothing unto them;" and if "all things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made," consequently also prophecy and the law were by Him, and were spoken by Him in parables."

        Clement seems to quote Matthew on the above point.

        MT. 13-34. "ll these things spake Jesus in parables unto the multitudes; and without a parable spake he nothing unto them:"

        It may be real interesting to see if an early or different Matthew has parables written from a source which make them like Thomas, but there is no question that the above description of 'mystery' fits the Thomas parables.

        As to the statement: "His aim to lead man, the foster-child of the world, up to the objects of intellect, and to the most essential truths by knowledge, from one world to another." This seems to correspond to the perspective that we look at things in the kenoma, and see the ills in accordance with agnosia, and how this fits in unison with the pleroma.

        Am I out of the box in suggesting that the parables are from a pedagogical standpoint the first lessons in understanding the Gnostic perspective of being "trimorphic?"

        Trimorphic: Meaning to be transformed in the state of "triple headedness," as described in the text "Trimorphic Protennoia" Refers to the state in Gnosis where one learns to perceive oneself in the sense of being in the psychic, kenomic, and pleromic state. (See also Pneumatic, and "Gospel of the Egyptians")

        Tom Saunders

        Platter, OK









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      • Tom Saunders
        Mike Says, Assuming that being trimorphic was in fact THE Gnostic perspective , is there any evidence that the parables were used as you suggest? You say
        Message 3 of 6 , Jan 16, 2004
          Mike Says,

          "Assuming that "being trimorphic" was in fact "THE Gnostic perspective", is there any evidence that the parables were used as you suggest?"

          You say that Clement doesn't count but I think we have precious little besides his work that explains at least in part 'the Gnostic perspective.' We have almost nothing but a hint about Apolutrosis; "secret 'redemption" and the process of epinoia. So, there is little but speculation concerning these matters.

          I agree with Andrew that Clement's work is highly unlikely in many parts, but in others he may provide valuable insight in some respects. "Pistis Sophia," "The Apocryphon of James," and the "Gospel of Matthew" all agree with Clement on the point of the parables being 'mysterious,' and where used in special context by Jesus.

          There seems to be one common thread to the parables and that is to reveal the 'harmatolos' or fatal flaw of humanity, pitfalls of the kenoma. That leaves the pleroma, and the psyche in respect to the trimorphic schema. Speculative as it may be, I bet everyone on this list could parallel the sayings 64, and/or 65, to the flaws of those they have come into contact with, in there life, today. And, benefit from the knowledge these parables impart to the understanding of kenomic pitfalls.

          Tom Saunders
          Platter, OK




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        • Tom Saunders
          Hi Mike, Andrew did only mention one passage and I did stretch what he said into a generality, sorry. I think he would agree that there are more than a few
          Message 4 of 6 , Jan 17, 2004
            Hi Mike,

            Andrew did only mention one passage and I did stretch what he said into a generality, sorry. I think he would agree that there are more than a few flaws in Clement's work. So do you, and I.

            To answer your question on where I am getting these 'fancy' terms..... Our unofficial secret glossary, that needs to become the 'Light in the Abyss' for the rest of this, and the other Thomas groups. Or, I'll have to keep the thing and do what Clement says with his Stromata, "The Stromata will contain the truth mixed up in the dogmas of philosophy, or rather covered over and hidden, as the edible part of the nut in the shell. For, in my opinion, it is fitting that the seeds of truth be kept for the husbandmen of faith, and no others."

            "For I do not mention that the Stromata, forming a body of varied erudition, wish artfully to conceal the seeds of knowledge. As, then, he who is fond of hunting captures the game after seeking, tracking, scenting, hunting it down with dogs; so truth, when sought and got with toil, appears a delicious thing. Why, then, you will ask, did you think it fit that such an arrangement should be adopted in your memoranda? Because there is great danger in divulging the secret of the true philosophy to those, whose delight it is unsparingly to speak against everything, not justly; and who shout forth all kinds of names and words indecorously, deceiving themselves and beguiling those who adhere to them. "For the Hebrews seek signs," as the apostle says, "and the Greeks seek after wisdom." (Bk 1)

            I'm trying to be amusing here, but if I am benefiting from the glossary, I am sure others will.

            Mike says:

            "....unless one wants to define a "Gnostic perspective" so wide that it includes virtually everything."

            "Heck," that is one of the very prime aims of Gnosis.

            Thank you for pointing out, "Look, you've got to establish first who you're going to include as having
            this "Gnostic perspective", then you've got to show that this three-state
            theory was unique to this group of folks. You haven't done either of those
            things."

            One of the best assets of this group is that I can learn from some of the best, on exactly how to do that. Compared to some of the academic credentials in this group I am a mere, 'hylic plop' who lives in a cow pasture. I'm learning but I need a little more guidance in doing what you suggest above.

            Mike asks,

            "And why do you use 'pleroma' and 'kenoma' for two of the three "states"? Wasn't it psychic, hylic, and pneumatic?"

            Generally speaking in both the Valentinean, and Sethian schools of thought, using a different vocabulary, it is the pleroma (heaven), kenoma (earthly), and the abyss (hades). On earth, all are in the hylic state except the pneumatic who has through Gnosis risen above the trapping levels of the kenomic state. In the body all are still in the hylic state, as is the pneumatic as long as he/she lives.

            The different schools, Sethian, and Valentinean see the kenoma or earthly state, as the imperfect realm of hylics. Hylics are classified as the saklas (fools and the agnosia), some are beasts, ("Contender"), and there are the choikas, sarkic, and the particularly distasteful apanoia.( Th 64,65) The station above this is the psychic. The pneumatic is one who has the ability to use his intellect (nous), i.e. psychic ability, to perform gnosis, and be one with the "Light," Sophia, the Logos, the Pleroma, WISDOM.

            The Gnostic state (perspective) is to transcend by elevating yourself by realizing that all these places and things are in the same place and time, see Thomas sayings 3, and 77. The importance for the psychic state is referred to in Thomas 70. ("Know thy self," to paraphrase Th.) Somewhere after that are the psychic processes of "metanoia," "epinoia," and "Apolutrosis" practiced in different Gnostic sects to achieve Gnosis.

            I am sure that Iranaeus is going to classify the above as Hylic Plop! Is it? Or, does it grasp the Gnostic perspective? Perhaps the above perspective is from my recently reading the "Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown, and I simply got too excited about what it is I think 'we' do.

            Perhaps as I study Clement I am learning his kind of scholarship, and miss the mark entirely. Or, I spill the beans on his Gnostic secret to be kept away from unsavory types, no doubt like myself. ( He knew about Theophrastus. So, he knew about types, and that is what I see as the important aspect of the parables. Being able to see the hopelessness of the kenoma in the lower hylic states.) Then, this trimorphic perspective of the kenoma is to be somehow understood in terms of the pleroma, and I mean pleroma in terms of the "All." The Pleroma in the perspective of GThom sayings.

            I would appreciate it if you could cite some of the material from the sources you mention on their version of the act and processes of Gnosis. I'm not done grasping Clement by the scruff of the neck and shaking the secrets out of his stuff.

            Tom Saunders
            Platter, OK



























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