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Re: [GTh] Parables

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  • fmmccoy
    ... From: Tom Saunders To: Sent: Wednesday, October 15, 2003 1:33 PM Subject: [GTh] Parables (snip) ...
    Message 1 of 10 , Oct 17, 2003
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Tom Saunders" <tom@...>
      To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Wednesday, October 15, 2003 1:33 PM
      Subject: [GTh] Parables

      (snip)

      > There are several questions about the nature of the parables to consider.
      > 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.
      >

      Hi Tom!

      That the number of demons in Mary was said to have been seven is perhaps
      significant--for this was widely regarded as the number of gate-keepers a
      soul must get past in its upward ascent.

      The old three tiered and very small Cosmos (heaven above (so close that one
      could build a tower tall enough to pierce it), the earth, and sheol/hades
      below) was found wanting by Hellenistic scientists. Their most dramatic
      discovery was that the earth was round (a discovery that got lost in the
      dark ages). This led to a new concept of a much larger Cosmos in which a
      spherical earth is surrounded by two spherical heavens: (1) an inner
      spherical heaven for the five known planets, the sun, and the moon--commonly
      divided, itself, into seven spheres, and (2) an outer spherical heaven for
      the fixed stars.

      In some Hellenist religions, it was believed that the outer spherical heaven
      for the fixed stars was the abode for human souls. Some descend and enter
      into bodies and others leave bodies and return back to their abode.

      Then, the idea developed that, for a soul to return to the outer sphere of
      the fixed stars, it must first pass through seven gates in the inner sphere.
      This was true, for example, in Mithraism. So, in The Origins of the
      Mithraic Mysteries (p. 87), David Ulansey states, "According to Celcus, in
      the Mithraic mysteries 'there is a symbol of the two orbits in heaven, the
      one being that of the fixed stars and the other that assigned to the
      planets, and of the soul's passage through these. The symbol is this.
      There is a ladder with seven gates and at its top an eighth gate.'"

      Once the idea arose that there are seven gates to go through in the inner
      sphere before a soul can return to its abode in the outer sphere, another
      arose as well, i.e., the idea that there are seven gate-keepers, one for
      each gate, and that the soul must know how to placate each one so that it
      can successfully return to its abode.

      The idea even entered into some Jewish circles. See, for example, Psalm
      23(24):7:

      Arate pylas oi archontes hymwn
      Kai eparthete pylai aiwnioi
      Kai eiseleusetai ho Basileus tes dozes.

      (Lift up your gates, ye archons,
      And be lifted up, ye eternal gates,
      And the King of glory will enter in.)

      The gates are the seven gates a soul must go through, the archons are the
      gate-keepers, and the King of glory is God. So, in this passage, the seven
      archons are ordered to lift the seven gates, so that God can travel,
      unimpeded, through the inner sphere of the planets.

      What this means, ISTM, is that the seven demons that possessed Mary
      Magdalene likely should be understood to be the seven archons which, some
      Jews believed, guarded the seven gates in the planetary sphere.

      A refinement on this Cosmology is found in Pauline thought. Besides the
      first heaven (i.e., the sphere of the planets) and the second heaven (i.e.,
      the sphere of the fixed stars), there is a third heaven beyond them and
      beyond our view and it is here, rather than in the sphere of the fixed
      stars, that we find Paradise, i.e., the true abode of saved souls. So, in
      II Cor. 12:2-3, he states, "I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago
      was caught up to the third heaven--whether in the body or our of the body I
      do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into
      Paradise--whether in the body of out of the body I do not know, God,
      knows--and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter."

      This refined Cosmology found in Pauline thought is, I suggest, also found in
      Thomas thought.

      See GTh 11a, "The heaven will pass away, and the one above it will pass
      away." That is to say, the spherical heaven of the planets will pass away,
      and the spherical heaven of the fixed stars above it will pass away.

      Also see GTh 19b, "For there are five trees for you in Paradise which
      remains undisturbed summer and winter and whose leaves do not fall. Whoever
      becomes acquainted with them will not experience death." This passage
      speaks of the imperishable third heaven of Paradise that will continue to
      exist even after the first two perish. So, those spirits who have entered
      into it, thereby knowing the five trees in it, will not experience
      death--not even after the destruction of the other two heavens.

      If one cares to update this Pauline-Thomas Cosmological concept in light of
      current knowledge, I suppose we could say that Paradise, the realm of saved
      souls, lies not in the solar system with its planets, nor in the visible
      space-time continuum where are all the stars, but beyond even the space-time
      continuum and, so, completely out of our sight (for, since space is curved,
      light cannot escape the space-time continuum and, given enough time, will
      circle and re-circle it)..

      In neither Pauline thought nor Thomas thought does one find the idea that a
      soul must placate the seven archonic gate-keepers in its journey upwards to
      Paradise. The reason for this is unclear. Perhaps the existence of the
      seven archons is denied. Perhaps God is envisoned to reign supreme, meaning
      that one need not worry about lesser beings, such as the archons. Perhaps
      the seven archons have been de-mythologized--a possibility that is supported
      by the Gospel of Mary (see below).

      Tom, you also state:
      > 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."

      (Frank)

      We have here, in mythopoetic language, the upward ascent of the soul from
      whence it came.

      The first step is the soul's "slaying" of that which bound it, i.e., the
      body of flesh. This is the outer man, making the soul a slayer of men.
      Compare GTh 98, which might refer to such a soul's (or spirit's) "slaying"
      of this outer man which is the "house" of the soul (or spirit). With this
      that bound it "slain", the soul (or spirit) is now free of bodily restraint.

      Next the soul has overcome what turns it about. These are the things of the
      world that entice and lure it away from what it needs to do, i.e., ascend
      back up to from whence it came. This is the first "power" that the soul
      must overcome if it is to return to from whence it came. It's no good for
      the soul to be free of bodily constraints if it still seeks the things of
      the world.

      Next, the soul has vanquished desire. This is the second "power" that the
      soul must overcome if it is to return to from whence it came. This is a
      much more difficult step. It is one thing to, through force of will, turn
      away from the things of the world. It is quite another thing to vanquish
      the desire for them.

      Next, ignorance dies for the soul. This is third "power" that the soul must
      overcome. The soul, now free of bodily constaints and desire, needs to
      gain knowledge on how to make its upward ascent, so that it can get back
      from whence it came.

      Next, now beginning its actual ascent, the soul comes to the seven
      gatekeepers of the planetary sphere--who have been de-mythologized into a
      number of things a soul must overcome if it is return to from whence it
      came. They are the fourth and final "power" that a soul must overcome.
      Recognizing that the soul is ascending up to its home beyond even the sphere
      of the stars, they call it the conquerer of space. The soul tells them that
      it has slain the body and overcome the other three powers and will "attain
      to the rest of the time, of the season, of the aeon, in silence."
      .
      Tom, you continue:
      > 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)
      >

      (Frank)
      Certainly, there's quite a difference between the demons in GLuke and the
      powers in GMary. I think, though, that the difference is not one of
      corporeal vs. inside yourself but rather, a difference of Luke's demons
      being actual divine beings, while the powers in GMary have been
      de-mythologized and, so, are not actual divine beings.

      I agree with you that GThom is based upon the 'divine spark' inside. In
      GThom it is called the spirit. In GMary it is called the soul. In Philo's
      works, it is called the mind. Whatever it is called, it has come from
      above and its goal should be to return to from whence it came.

      Regards,

      Frank McCoy
      1809 N. English Apt. 15
      Maplewood, MN USA 55109
    • Jim Bauer
      Hi, Frank, ... of ... saved ... space-time ... curved, ... I do not believe it s possible to update ancient theories in terms of modern ones. Ancient theories
      Message 2 of 10 , Oct 18, 2003
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        Hi, Frank,

        > If one cares to update this Pauline-Thomas Cosmological concept in light
        of
        > current knowledge, I suppose we could say that Paradise, the realm of
        saved
        > souls, lies not in the solar system with its planets, nor in the visible
        > space-time continuum where are all the stars, but beyond even the
        space-time
        > continuum and, so, completely out of our sight (for, since space is
        curved,
        > light cannot escape the space-time continuum and, given enough time, will
        > circle and re-circle it)..
        >
        I do not believe it's possible to update ancient theories in terms of modern
        ones. Ancient theories operate under a totally different set of rules,
        which I may elaborate on in another post if the moderators permit it. Your
        ancient "scientist" (technically, there are 4 words in Greek that can be
        translated as "science", cf. _Greek Science Before Aristotle_ & _Greek
        Science After Aristotle_, by G.E.R. Lloyd), given the modern cosmology you
        are comparing it to, would object to much of it. For example, relativity
        was predicated on the concept that there is no "fixed space"; one of the
        ancients would have told Einstein that of course there's fixed space because
        the Earth doesn't move & cannot because it's the center of everything.

        Also, as far as I'm aware, the jury is still out on whether space is curved
        or flat, & especially that "light cannot escape it, & circles & recircles
        it". What about black holes? Light also cannot escape them, & I'd hardly
        call being trapped by one of them "paradise". Also, the COBE satellite
        recently found space-time was flat. "Beyond even the space-time continuum"
        also is too much of a thrust of a square peg into a round hole. For one
        thing, cosmic string theory posits 6 more dimensions beyond the familiar 4
        of space-time. Do souls go there?

        What about the central problem of dualism &/or psychophysical parallelism
        themselves, that assuming a "soul" in the first place violates conservation
        of mass & energy? Most modern brain scientists work in the province of the
        psychoneural identity hypothesis, & to save the phenonem of the soul for
        these people remains a feat that requires a lot of verbal legerdemain, much
        of it in the same class as the "epicycle within epicycles" that eventually
        destroyed Ptolemaic astronomy. I'm reminded here of "Vedantic science",
        having read parts of an Indian history of science. Everything there also
        was shown to be based on the Vidas, which is of course most likely
        fallacious.

        In short, Frank. you submitted what was overall a well-written post, before
        you strayed into modern science.

        Jim Bauer
        Havre. MT
      • Tom Saunders
        Hi Frank, Thank you for your post. Let me start with your last comment first....... I agree with you that GThom is based upon the divine spark inside. In
        Message 3 of 10 , Oct 19, 2003
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          Hi Frank,

          Thank you for your post. Let me start with your last comment first.......

          "I agree with you that GThom is based upon the 'divine spark' inside. In
          GThom it is called the spirit. In GMary it is called the soul. In Philo's
          works, it is called the mind. Whatever it is called, it has come from
          above and its goal should be to return to from whence it came."

          We know that among later Gnostics that the 'divine spark' and how it was conceived, was very different. While looking at "The Five Gospels" I noticed a note in Thomas (pg. 500-501) that Gnosticism was prevalent in Jewish sects, which makes the problem of defining the 'spark' even harder. On the other hand we can imagine that the Gnostic Jew was indeed different than the Christian Gnostic.

          The Gnostic Jew will most likely accept that the divine spark is going to come to him (be activated within) in a similar manner as God visiting Moses. God has to emanate himself through the cosmos somehow through the pleroma, and ignite the "light." This is how Lukian demons work. They emanate from outside the human form, occupying themselves as evil tenants, so to speak.

          Both the GThom and the GMary present a different picture. Sayings 59 and the other "Woe to the Pharisees......." declare they, the Pharisees, got it wrong. I take this to mean any Gnostic Jew Pharisee, as well as orthodox.

          This is why I cannot agree with you on the concepts of spirit and soul in the GThom. I think the divine spark in the GThom is the light, and the soul, not the spirit. I think both the GThom and the GMary see spirit as much the Eastern world did circa. 1st Century, and that was as vital energy, prana, ki, etc. And, no more mystical than using mental concentration with the body to effect a certain stimulus reaction.

          The GThom references God, as the Holy Spirit. Tatian explains the soul as a special kind of spirit. (Letter to the Greeks) No.Th- 3 specifies that the "Father's Imperial Rule" is not in the sky, sea, etc. And, there is 77.
          I think that the light, in the GThom has to be the merging of the special spirit, the soul, with the Holy Spirit in the 'bridal chamber,' so to speak. The special kind of 'spirit' the soul, I think can be characterized as an intense mental concentration to effect a stimulus reaction the GMary calls a "vision."

          The Glossary in "The Five Gospels," the 'scholars edition' I bought for ten bucks, defines parable. "A parable is a brief narrative or picture. It is also a metaphor or simile drawn from nature or the common life, arresting the hearer by vividness or strangeness, and leaving the mind in sufficient doubt about the application to tease it into active thought."

          I agree with everyone on the list who has posted what they think parables ought to be composed.
          Anyone have thoughts on the above definition?

          Starting with....... "A parable is a brief narrative or picture," the term 'picture' sort of denotes and connotes 'vision.' However, maybe the GThom parables contain a methodology for "putting the vision between the spirit and the soul," as Mary prescribes, which would enable one to bring the 'vision' into real application.
          Can Thomas 'visions' be 'teased' into active thought? Or, are they there just to confound and irritate us like a koan?

          Tom Saunders
          Platter, OK






















          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • fmmccoy
          ... From: Tom Saunders To: Sent: Sunday, October 19, 2003 3:16 AM Subject: Re: [GTh] Parables ... conceived,
          Message 4 of 10 , Oct 20, 2003
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            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Tom Saunders" <tom@...>
            To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Sunday, October 19, 2003 3:16 AM
            Subject: Re: [GTh] Parables


            > We know that among later Gnostics that the 'divine spark' and how it was
            conceived, was very different. While looking at "The Five Gospels" I
            noticed a note in Thomas (pg. 500-501) that Gnosticism was prevalent in
            Jewish sects, which makes the problem of defining the 'spark' even harder.

            Hi Tom!

            The cameo essay you refer to is "Thomas and Gnosticism". It speaks of a
            Jewish Gnosticism, but it does not say that this Jewish Gnosticism was
            prevalent in Jewish sects.

            (Tom)
            >On the other hand we can imagine that the Gnostic Jew was indeed different
            than the Christian Gnostic.

            (Frank)

            I think the two categories over-lap.

            A Gnostic Jew is a Gnostic who belongs to an ethnic group, i.e., the Jews.

            A Gnostic Christian is a Gnostic who believes that Jesus was *the* Revealer.

            There were some ethnic Jews who were Gnostics and did believe that Jesus was
            *the* Revealer. Such ethnic Jews were not only Gnostic Jews, but Gnostic
            Christians as well.

            (snip)

            (Tom)
            > I think that the light, in the GThom has to be the merging of the special
            spirit, the soul, with the Holy Spirit in the 'bridal chamber,' so to speak.
            The special kind of 'spirit' the soul, I think can be characterized as an
            intense mental concentration to effect a stimulus reaction the GMary calls a
            "vision."

            (Frank)
            Tom, what is this "vision"? Is it a dream-like vision of Jesus and/or of
            some future event(s) and/or of divine mysteries that occurs when one's
            special spirit, the soul, is under divine possession by the Holy Spirit
            while the two are merged together in the "bridal chamber"? Might there be
            other manifestations of divine possession by the Spirit while the two are
            merged together--such as prophecying or speaking in tongues?

            Regards,

            Frank McCoy
            1809 N. English Apt. 15
            Maplewood, MN USA 55109
          • Tom Saunders
            Hi Frank, Thomas and Gnosticism also concludes that believers came to associate an evil Godhead with the ideas they had about the divine spark. This is way
            Message 5 of 10 , Oct 21, 2003
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              Hi Frank,

              "Thomas and Gnosticism" also concludes that believers came to associate an evil Godhead with the ideas they had about the divine spark. This is way after Thomas.

              I don't disagree that the idea of the divine spark both in the Jewish and early Christian communities overlapped at least in the sense that some believed there was the existence in man this divine quality. However, the mechanics of how that worked I think can be seen as different. Like how the Lukian demons are much different in the way they transact than how Mary describes them.

              The GMary describes Jesus as a vision Mary was having. He instructs her to put the vision between the soul and spirit in the mind. Is this not in effect like what modern ceremony in the Eucharist is trying to do with the idea that transubstantiation puts the body of Christ in the bread and wine? Except that we see in Thomas that bread and wine are in fact already part of the "Father's Imperial Rule" (kingdom) according to 3, and 77.

              Thomas relates in Sayings 6 and 14, that prayer can hurt you. Certainly if you do not understand the process of using the 'vision' between the soul and spirit as described in Mary you will not be able to avoid the condemnation saying 14 describes. I think the parables give us some clues on how to process a vision.

              Here are sayings from Thomas that relate to the act of visualizing. (This list can be changed) Th. 5, 17, 22, 26, 34, 59, 91, 100, 111, 113. Does anyone have an idea about this methodology from this list or an altered list? Mike G. points out that I might be overly prejudiced in this process by outside influences.

              Tom Saunders
              Platter, OK

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Michael Grondin
              ... pedagogical standpoint the first lessons in understanding the Gnostic perspective of being trimorphic? Assuming that being trimorphic was in fact THE
              Message 6 of 10 , Jan 15, 2004
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                Tom Saunders wrote:
                > Am I out of the box in suggesting that the parables [were] from a
                pedagogical standpoint the first lessons in understanding the Gnostic
                perspective of being "trimorphic?"

                Assuming that "being trimorphic" was in fact "THE Gnostic perspective", is
                there any evidence that the parables were used as you suggest? Clement
                doesn't count, because for him there were two types of gnosis - his own good
                orthodox-Christian kind, and the bad kind which he thought went too far. But
                the "bad gnosis" is generally the stuff that you take to be expressive of
                "the Gnostic perspective" - and I don't think there's much use of parables
                there at all (at least not in the NH texts). But if there's no textual
                evidence suggesting the use of parables in a supposed bad-gnostic pedagogy,
                then we're in the realm of sheer speculation (AKA 'the abyss' :-).

                Mike Grondin
              • Michael Grondin
                ... little besides his work that explains at least in part the Gnostic perspective. We have almost nothing but a hint about Apolutrosis; secret redemption
                Message 7 of 10 , Jan 16, 2004
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                  Tom Saunders writes:
                  > You say [Mike] 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 believe that several of the heresiologists wrote about various gnostic
                  sects. Ireneaus, for example, wrote about the Apocryphon of John. None of
                  our sources is unbiased, but it's much more than speculation. You may want
                  to take a look at some of this stuff.

                  The problem that I see with using Clement to define a "Gnostic perspective"
                  is that he presumably wasn't himself what you would call a 'gnostic', but he
                  attempted to pre-empt whatever he could of the gnosis. We're pretty safe if
                  we take just those passages where he was clearly describing gnostic views
                  too radical for himself, but when he's describing his own views, we can't
                  attribute those to gnosticism without further ado - unless one wants to
                  define a "Gnostic perspective" so wide that it includes virtually
                  everything.

                  > I agree with Andrew that Clement's work is highly unlikely in many parts,
                  ...

                  Where do you see Andrew saying that? In his latest note, he was talking
                  about one passage. One passage isn't "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.

                  Well, heck, everybody agreed that the parables were in some sense
                  "mysterious". That's the nature of parables. But "used in special context"?
                  I think you're talking about a conceptual framework or subtext (as below),
                  but if you're suggesting that the underlying meaning of the parables implies
                  a "special" conceptual framework unique to gnosticism, I think you'd have a
                  hard time showing that GMatt agreed with *that*. In fact, the parables don't
                  seem to require any "special context" at all.

                  > 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.

                  I wouldn't be surprised if all the parables involved some human flaw or
                  other. So what? That doesn't imply a gnostic subtext or conceptual apparatus
                  behind the scenes - any more than do Aesop's fables - which also highlight
                  human flaws.

                  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.

                  BTW, where are you getting this gnostic vocabulary from? Where, for example,
                  do you find 'harmatolos' or 'kenoma' in gnostic writings? And why do you use
                  'pleroma' and 'kenoma' for two of the three "states"? Wasn't it psychic,
                  hylic, and pneumatic?

                  Mike Grondin
                • sarban
                  ... From: Tom Saunders To: Sent: Saturday, January 17, 2004 10:28 PM Subject: [GTh] Parables ... generality,
                  Message 8 of 10 , Jan 17, 2004
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                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: "Tom Saunders" <tom@...>
                    To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Saturday, January 17, 2004 10:28 PM
                    Subject: [GTh] Parables


                    > 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.
                    >
                    Just to clarify my views on Clement. I regard his insights
                    into Gnostic ideas and concepts as impressive and
                    mostly sound. I am much more dubious about his history
                    of Gnosis, his views about how the ideas of his day
                    developed from the ideas of New Testament times. My
                    specific comment in an earlier thread was an example of
                    this.

                    Andrew Criddle
                  • Michael Grondin
                    ... generality, sorry. I think he would agree that there are more than a few flaws in Clement s work. So do you, and I. Thank you, but if you don t mind, I ll
                    Message 9 of 10 , Jan 18, 2004
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                      Tom Saunders writes:
                      > 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.

                      Thank you, but if you don't mind, I'll speak for myself. I'm more worried
                      about the carefulness of our members than Clement's.

                      > 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.

                      You got the terms from the glossary? Very nice answer, given that you put
                      the glossary together yourself. This is like my answering where I got my hat
                      from by saying that I got it from my clothes closet. The glossary is your
                      closet, and you've put stuff in there from various sources - nobody knows
                      from where, probably not even you anymore. But your immediate sources are
                      not so important as that the glossary needs to be *publicly verifiable* -
                      which means that for special/Greek terms, the gnostic text or texts which
                      use that term need to be specified. Only in that way can the accuracy of the
                      entries be verified. Case in point: I was able to identify significant
                      errors in the entry for 'Barbelo' in the first version of the glossary by
                      comparing that entry against what was written about Barbelo in ApocJn. But
                      if I had not known that Barbelo was mentioned in ApocJn, I would have had to
                      assume that the glossary was correct. In fact, it was not. This leads me to
                      suspect that there might be a significant degree of error in the rest of the
                      glossary. The only way to know for sure is to know what texts the
                      Greek/special terms occur in, so that the outside observer can check the
                      accuracy of the information.

                      Mike Grondin
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