Re: [GTh] The evil mustard seed
- Hi Mike,
Thank you for your response. I agree completely that the parable of the 'sword and the wall' is aimed at what you refer to as ordinary people, and not trained fighters. However the act of practicing with a sword to use it qualifies as an interest in the practice of martial arts, we'll call it technique.
When you use the visualization of the wall as a target, you are doing a form of meditation that lets you use the 'vision' to evaluate both offensive and defensive moves. Using this visualization in actual combat or the act of assassination gives you a higher level of understanding how the sword can be used. It also lets you experience the commitment to the meditation, and turning that into a reality. Very mystical.
Saying 98, is a key to using the tool of a 'vision' and I think the other parables can be reasoned the same. Think about the 'passage of the soul' against the seven demons of wrath in Mary. To paraphrase the GMary..... "Put the vision between the soul and the spirit in the mind, then fight 'your' demons, by becoming a person of light."
Also, "Thank you Mike Mazina.......
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Tom Saunders wrote:
> When you use the visualization of the wall as a target, you are doingThat may be so, but I doubt whether the prospective audience would have
> a form of meditation that lets you use the 'vision' to evaluate both
> offensive and defensive moves. Using this visualization in actual
> combat or the act of assassination gives you a higher level of
> understanding how the sword can be used. It also lets you
> experience the commitment to the meditation, and turning that into
> a reality. Very mystical.
understood the surface details of the parable in this way, thus I doubt that
this was the intended interpretation.
A parable is a way of expressing some theological or mystical concept 'A' in
terms of a story 'B'. By deep similitude I meant that there should be some
mapping of A onto B so that the important features of the story B correspond
to important features in the explanation A.
To apply this to 98 - the most striking (no pun intended!) feature of the
story is the image of the man putting the sword into the wall of his own
house. If we were to interpret the story as just a trail of strength before
slaying the devil then there is no explanation of why this trail of strength
takes this form. So I would reject this simple 'trial of strength'
explanation as being inadequate. If however the explanation was that the
trial of strength was some mortification of the flesh before going on to
slay the devil then this would give an explanation of the sword being struck
into the persons own house. You could say that the interpretation has
passed this test - although it may still not be the correct one!
The second problem with the 'trial of strength interpretation is indeed that
the assassin is evil and I believe is more likely to represent an evil force
rather than a person seeking the kingdom.
Personally I still favour the explanation that the house is a person's body,
the powerful man is a person's spirit. I take the state of being possessed
with the spirit as being the same as the kingdom of heaven, the imperial
rule of god. A demon attempting to destroy the spirit will first strike at
the body, his own house. I do not think the Gnostics would have had many
problems with seeing the physical body as belonging to the devil. If the
demon wins this trial of strength at the bodily level he will go on to slay
----- Original Message -----
From: Michael Grondin <mwgrondin@...>
Sent: Thursday, October 16, 2003 1:17 PM
Subject: Re: [GTh] The evil mustard seed
> I'm confused about "deep similitude". It sounds good, but the your use of
> is rather perplexing. You say at first that a parable should "give deep
> similitude" to the concept it's trying to express, and then later that you
> don't think that a certain interpretation "exhibits a deep similitude" to
> the parable in 98. These are two different things, I would think. Bearing
> mind that 'similitude' simply means 'similarity', these two statements
> to be substantially equivalent to:
> 1. A parable should be very similar to the concept it's expressing, and
> 2. An interpretation should be very similar to the parable it's
> I suppose what you're trying to say is that the parable-maker in this case
> could hardly have chosen such an image as an amateur assassin to
> what the Kingdom is like. So here and also with the mustard-seed, you
> that the image might have been intended to invoke evil. (BTW, the
> thrusts his sword _into_ the wall, not _through_ it.) But perhaps the
> intended lesson of some of these parables is that the initiation of the
> Kingdom - like childbirth - isn't pretty.
> BTW, 98 ties in rather nicely with the saying about the kingdom being both
> internal and external.
> Mike Grondin
> Mt. Clemens, MI