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[gthomas] Re: Saying 97 (Mats)

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  • Mats Winther
    ... Från: Mike Grondin Till: gthomas@egroups.com Datum: den 2 januari 1999 14:57 Ämne: [gthomas] Re: Saying 97
    Message 1 of 16 , Jan 2, 1999
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      -----Ursprungligt meddelande-----
      Från: Mike Grondin <mgrondin@...>
      Till: gthomas@egroups.com <gthomas@egroups.com>
      Datum: den 2 januari 1999 14:57
      Ämne: [gthomas] Re: Saying 97 (Mats)


      >> So the white meal may be understood as ...
      >
      >There's no reason to assume that the meal was white. In fact, it probably
      >was not. In any case, if the color of the meal was of any significance to
      >the saying, the author would have specified it.
      >

      Well, the colour is not significant when proving that it is spirit that is spilled out. But Jesus in the Gospels always talk about wheat, so we can assume that the meal is white. But avoid fixation to the colour.

      >> ... it is very significant that it is Thomas that has noted down this
      >> parable. Thomas was the only one that understood the truth about the
      >> unconscious. He was the only apostle that had any psychological
      >> understanding.
      >
      >You're taking this thing way too literally, Mats. We know so little about
      >this person named 'Thomas' that we're not even sure that he existed. What
      >you're doing is projecting back what you think is the nature of GThom onto
      >an author who may be only a symbolic creation. Then you go one step further
      >and say that he "was the only one that understood" these things. How could
      >you possibly know that? You're making all kinds of unwarranted assumptions
      >here.


      The unconscious was discovered by Freud. In ancient text we always find indirect references to this phenomenon, but noone has understood the phenomenon. In Thomas we can discern a lot by reading the text. He is referring to the sayings where the Kingdom is within, and that one must know oneself.
      He has a very fine understanding of this fact, which cannot to the same extent be found in the other Gospels.

      Concerning "unwarranted assumptions" I must point out the following: I have all the right in the world to make any assumtions I want. I live in a free world. When I make these rather "strong" statement, it is because I want to make a point. Do you see? It is like when Jesus tells you to cut off your hand if it it misleads you. I am trying to make a point of the fact that The Gospel of Thomas has certain characteristics. When I talk about the "psychological understanding of Thomas" this can be perceived as an anthropomorphism of the actual text. It doesn't matter whether there has ever existed any Thomas or not. It is very fruitful to learn to think symbolically. I really advice you to train this faculty.


      Mats Winther


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    • Mats Winther
      ... Från: Mike Grondin Till: gthomas@egroups.com Datum: den 2 januari 1999 22:45 Ämne: [gthomas] Re: Saying 97
      Message 2 of 16 , Jan 3, 1999
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        -----Ursprungligt meddelande-----
        Från: Mike Grondin <mgrondin@...>
        Till: gthomas@egroups.com <gthomas@egroups.com>
        Datum: den 2 januari 1999 22:45
        Ämne: [gthomas] Re: Saying 97 (Mats)


        >
        >(1) the colour is not significant
        >(2) the assumption that the meal is white is warranted
        >(3) don't "fixate" on the colour
        >


        As I've already explained the spirit is symbolized by several different items e.g. blood, vine or bread. So the spirit is not always symbolized by something white. But when meal is spilled out in the air it resembles a vapour i.e. spirit. And it is always more or less white. But even if there existed such a thing as dark-brown or blue meal, it would still be an eminent symbol of the spirit. So in this case we don't have to fixate on the colour. Blood is not white either - still it is a symbol of the spirit. I repeat that I don't think that the colour of the meal is particularly important in this case.

        >
        >(Let me interrupt this discussion of methodology to point out that the
        >lightly-colored meals with which Mats is familiar are evidently made from
        >bleached flour, a product presumably unavailable at the time in question.
        >If the flour is not bleached, the meal made from it will have a natural
        >[non-white] colour. And again I say: if the colour was important to the
        >meaning of #97, the writer would have specified it.)

        But I have non-bleached meal in my kitchen. I have corn, wheat, rye and maize. The meal which I use is specially green-labeled to show that it has been cultured and treated in the natural way (without unnatural fertilizer and without any strange bleaching-methods). These different strands of meal, which I have checked right now, do have a clearly light colour (with a light-brown streak). And it has not been treated to become more white than it's natural whiteness. I am certain that the meal which they used during the time of Jesus was more or less white. It is close to white even if it has not been exposed to these bleaching methods of yours.

        >
        >Since I've given you quite a bit to chew on already, I won't go into your
        >current interpretation of #97 at any length.
        >......
        >But if your assumptions are unwarranted
        >and/or implausible, why should anyone listen to you?)
        >

        You haven't even touched on my interpretation. A discussion group is for discussing each others contributions. But let's look at your point of view. The following is from an earlier message of yours:

        >With respect to #97, I'm hard put to find any interpretation other than the
        >rather obvious one that some members of the kingdom lose their faith
        >little-by-little over time, only to one day (when they've come "home" to
        >Heaven?) suddenly realize that they've lost it all.

        You repeatedly try to tell me that I have no right to speak in this matter i.e. that what I say is implausible and unwarranted. You show no respect at all. But I suppose that your statement on #97 is "plausible" and "warranted"? Here you try to give the impression that you have pondered every possible solution and come up with an answer. You cannot find any other interpretation than this. But this is not very respectful towards the other contributors. You see, these symbols are evasive and very, very deep. So we can always learn from each other and pick up hints from everyone. I did that when I constructed my interpretation. When Jesus used symbols like this it was because the things he wanted to convey could not be expressed intellectually. If he wanted to say that the disciples would "loose their faith little-by-little", then he would have said so. Then there would be no need for symbols. Symbols are used when we want to express things that evades the conscious intellect. So your "obvious" interpretation has no bearing at all. If the truth behind #97 was so trivial, then Jesus would have said so directly.

        The symbolic parables can be looked upon from several different angles. No matter how far we probe we will not reach the bottom of their depth. This is because when investigating them we must use the well-known method of amplification. We must use other symbols to understand symbols. We will then understand how the symbols interconnect, and the symbolic spectrum will become more and more differentiated.

        So this pompous attitude of yours that "I'm hard put to find any interpretation other than the
        rather obvious..." is very ineffective. On the contrary, one can always learn from the intuitions of other people. One should never state that other people's views in matters like this are unwarranted and implausible, as long as they don't trivialize. There may exist a grain of truth in what people say. And the sayings in GOT are neither obvious nor trivial.

        In fact, your idea that "some members loose their faith little-by-little" is not very plausible. What kind of message is that? Why would Jesus liken the Kingdom to a person that little-by-little loses his faith? The Kingdom is something positive, not a failure among the disciples. According to you #97 means that some disciples will lose their faith completely in the end. Should that encourage people to go this path?

        On the contrary, Jesus says that the faith is like a mustard-seed that is very tiny in the beginning but becomes a big tree in the end. He likened the Kingdom to a person that lights up the world from his interior; or likened it to rivers of living water that starts to flow from the belly. The Kingdom is like a tiny amount of bread that is broken and distributed. But in the end it suffices for 5000 people, and there are still heaps of bread left. So Jesus in his parables speaks a completely different language than yours. You actually go against him completely. Beware of what you're saying.

        And please stop discouraging people from reflecting upon the sayings of Jesus. You repeatedly say that we merely project our own thinking on these old statements. You want people to concentrate on the exact wording and set aside our own ways of thought. But this sounds like a fundamentalist "to the letter"-approach. This is very far away from the teaching of Jesus. He wanted the spirit to fly.
        If you want us to set aside our traditional ways of thought, why are you then attacking my ways of thought which obviously are not traditional? You have not heard anything like it before and consequently calls it unwarranted and implausible. I am attacked just because my thinking is not traditional. But isn't this really good; to evade traditional ways of thought? I do really try to adapt to the ancient symbolical way of thinking. I really do try to think like Jesus and the evangelists. So why do you discourage this?

        Please stop discouraging people to reflect freely. Please stop making interpretations of Jesus´sayings that goes completely against their inner sense, by trivializing them and turning their inner meaning into their opposite. Please don't state that there are no other interpretations than your own trivial one. Remember the saying in logion 44: "...whoever blasphemes against the holy spirit will not be forgiven.."



        Mats Winther





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      • Jon Peter
        Mats, I admired your thoughtful interpretation of logion 97 -- the broken jar and leaking meal. I had never thought of the meal as light or of its
        Message 3 of 16 , Jan 11, 1999
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          Mats, I admired your thoughtful interpretation of logion 97 -- the broken
          jar and leaking meal. I had never thought of the meal as "light" or of its
          dissemination as a positive message. But I think I still disagree and wonder
          if you might reconsider your view.

          I still recall my very first reading of 97 in 1984 and my impression that
          it was intended ruefully as a warning of some kind.

          Anyway, what strikes me as the moral is the woman's being lulled into
          ignorance in a situation where she needs to wake up. Carrying a full jar
          homeward symbolizes any person's life. One begins it with a "full tank" and
          youthful optimism. One doesnt' reckon with the day when life is ending or
          the tank empty.

          But the handle is broken. What we expected in our naivte is not what we
          eventually find. The meal falling through the crack is like sand running in
          an hour-glass. Time is fleeting in small increments. This parable says, take
          stock of what is happening to you.

          Gnosis is the major issue throughout GOT, and gnosis is the point here too.
          The woman illustrates gnostic failure and how she remained ignorant. One of
          the other logia probably says it more or less outright: "If in life you do
          not gain Knowledge, you have lost everything."

          Jon


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        • Peter Novak, author of The Division of C
          ... I agree. I believe it refers to the gnostics belief in reincarnation. The Christian gnostics realized, I believe, that reincarnation was not a source of
          Message 4 of 16 , Jan 11, 1999
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            Jon Peter wrote:
            >
            > Mats, I admired your thoughtful interpretation of logion 97 -- the broken
            > jar and leaking meal....
            > I still recall my very first reading of 97 in 1984 and my impression that
            > it was intended ruefully as a warning of some kind.


            I agree. I believe it refers to the gnostics' belief in reincarnation.

            The Christian gnostics realized, I believe, that reincarnation
            was not a source of spiritual progress, as New Agers mistakenly
            assume it to be today. They realized that it is a tragedy to lose all
            that one gains in each lifetime. The Gnostics believed that most people
            travel vainly through lifetime after lifetime, making no progress,
            continually losing all their previous selves and souls:

            Jesus said, "The Kingdom of the Father is like
            a certain woman who was carrying a jar full of meal.
            While she was walking on a road, still some
            distance from home, the handle of the jar broke
            and the meal emptied out behind her on the road.
            She did not real ize it; she had noticed no accident.
            When she reached her house,
            she set down the jar and found it empty."
            - The Gospel of Thomas 97


            This same subject is also addressed in the Gospel of Philip:

            An ass which turns a millstone did a hundred miles walking.
            When it was loosed it found that it was still in the same place.
            There are men who make many journeys [lifetimes],
            but make no progress towards a destination.
            When evening [death] came upon them,
            they saw neither city nor village,
            neither creation nor nature,
            power nor angel [they were in the isolation of the soul's afterlife].
            In vain have the poor wretches labored.
            - The Gospel of Philip

            - Peter Novak

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          • Mike Grondin
            I m curious, Peter, as to where you find any direct reference to reincarnation in the Nag Hammadi writings. I haven t been to your site yet, but since you ve
            Message 5 of 16 , Jan 11, 1999
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              I'm curious, Peter, as to where you find any direct reference to
              reincarnation in the Nag Hammadi writings. I haven't been to your site yet,
              but since you've written quite a bit about it, perhaps you can give a few
              quotations from NH texts off the top of your head.

              Thanks,
              Mike


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            • LSzipzap@aol.com
              In a message dated 1/12/99 3:34:18 AM GMT Standard Time, division@csinet.net writes:
              Message 6 of 16 , Jan 11, 1999
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                In a message dated 1/12/99 3:34:18 AM GMT Standard Time, division@...
                writes:

                << I agree. I believe it refers to the gnostics' belief in reincarnation.

                The Christian gnostics realized, I believe, that reincarnation
                was not a source of spiritual progress, as New Agers mistakenly
                assume it to be today. They realized that it is a tragedy to lose all
                that one gains in each lifetime. The Gnostics believed that most people
                travel vainly through lifetime after lifetime, making no progress,
                continually losing all their previous selves and souls:
                >>


                Whether or not they believed it as such, I believe it is a more accurate
                account of what is. Am not sure they "lose all their previous selves and
                souls" as much as lose awareness of same.

                Am curious about the subject matter of the book you authored that is
                referenced. Either in group e mail or private e mail, would love to hear more
                about it.

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              • Peter Novak, author of The Division of C
                ... I will send you a private email about this, so as not to disturb the group. But for now, if you can, explore the website for the book -
                Message 7 of 16 , Jan 12, 1999
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                  LSzipzap@... wrote:
                  >
                  > In a message dated 1/12/99 3:34:18 AM GMT Standard Time, division@...
                  > writes:
                  >
                  > << I agree. I believe it refers to the gnostics' belief in reincarnation.
                  >
                  > The Christian gnostics realized, I believe, that reincarnation
                  > was not a source of spiritual progress, as New Agers mistakenly
                  > assume it to be today. They realized that it is a tragedy to lose all
                  > that one gains in each lifetime. The Gnostics believed that most people
                  > travel vainly through lifetime after lifetime, making no progress,
                  > continually losing all their previous selves and souls:
                  > >>
                  >
                  > Whether or not they believed it as such, I believe it is a more accurate
                  > account of what is. Am not sure they "lose all their previous selves and
                  > souls" as much as lose awareness of same.
                  >
                  > Am curious about the subject matter of the book you authored that is
                  > referenced. Either in group e mail or private e mail, would love to hear more
                  > about it.

                  I will send you a private email about this, so as not to disturb the
                  group.
                  But for now, if you can, explore the website for the book -

                  http://www.geocities.com/~divisiontheory

                  And thanks for asking.

                  - Peter Novak

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                • Peter Novak, author of The Division of C
                  ... Fair enough. Ok, well, let s see... Thanks to the extant works of numerous early historical commentators, it has been well-known all along that the
                  Message 8 of 16 , Jan 12, 1999
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                    .Mike Grondin wrote:
                    >
                    > I'm curious, Peter, as to where you find any direct reference to
                    > reincarnation in the Nag Hammadi writings. I haven't been to your site yet,
                    > but since you've written quite a bit about it, perhaps you can give a few
                    > quotations from NH texts off the top of your head.

                    Fair enough. Ok, well, let's see...

                    Thanks to the extant works of numerous early historical commentators,
                    it has been well-known all along that the gnostics believed in
                    reincarnation (although just how they reconciled this doctrine
                    with Judeo-Christianity's more conventional beliefs on heaven
                    and hell and the Universal Resurrection of Judgment Day has
                    remained a mystery, or at least did until the introduction
                    of DivisionTheory). Anyway, their pro-reincarnational views
                    were already well-established long before the discoveries of
                    the lost texts in Nag Hammadi in 1945. Given this extant knowledge,
                    it has remained something or a mystery to me that few have
                    recognized the reincarnational references in the Nag Hammadi
                    finds. In the Nag Hammadi Gnostic scriptures, these references
                    fall into two categories - references to past incarnations,
                    and references to future ones:

                    REFERENCES TO PAST INCARNATIONS
                    References to these past-life incarnations invariably
                    revolve around the issue of attempting to uncover and
                    recover and reawaken and reintegrate those past-life
                    selves and souls and memories, collecting up all the
                    lost pieces of one's SELF, so that one could be "complete"
                    and "whole" and "perfect", and "full" and "undivided".
                    Such references include, but are not limited to:

                    Secret Book of James 6:1-20, 13:10-18
                    The Treatise on Resurrection 47: 10-20
                    Gospel of Thomas 88
                    Gospel of Philip 67: 15-20, 72: 18-25, 76: 20-30,

                    ... and especially:

                    "Then, if one has knowledge [gnosis], he receives what
                    are his own and draws them to himself ...
                    It is within Unity that each one will attain himself;
                    within knowledge he will purify himself from
                    multiplicity into Unity, consuming ...
                    death by life.... Raise up those who wish to rise,
                    and awaken those who sleep."
                    - The Gospel of Truth 21:10-14, 25: 9-18, 33: 5-10

                    "Light the light within you. Do not extinguish it.
                    ...RAISE YOUR DEAD WHO HAVE DIED,
                    FOR THEY HAVE LIVED AND DIED FOR YOU.
                    Give them life. They shall live again.
                    ...Knock upon yourself as upon a door,
                    and walk upon yourself as upon a straight road."
                    - The Teachings of Silvanius 106: 14-35

                    "[Jesus said] You who have joined the perfect,
                    the light [consciousness] with the Holy Spirit
                    unite the angels with us also, the images
                    [one's previous souls]. Do not despise the lamb
                    [the soul which was slaughtered at death],
                    for without it, it is not possible to go in
                    to see the King [God]. No one will be able to
                    go in to the King if he is naked [if he is not
                    `clothed' with all his own past souls]."
                    - The Gospel of Philip 58:10-30

                    "That which you have will save you if you bring
                    it forth from yourselves. That which you do not
                    have within you [that which you remain unconscious
                    of] will kill you if you do not have it within
                    you ... Every female [unconscious soul] who
                    will make herself male [conscious] will enter
                    the Kingdom of Heaven."
                    - The Gospel of Thomas 70, 114


                    The following passages seem especially significant.
                    It has long been, as mentioned earlier, well
                    established that the Christian gnostics believed
                    in reincarnation, but these passages clearly state
                    that the SOUL is not reborn in a new body,
                    entering into a new mother (this agrees with
                    DivisionTheory's premise that only the spirit,
                    but not the soul, reincarnates). Rather, the
                    "resurrection" of the past-life soul can only
                    occur by having the past-life soul re-awaken
                    within a currently living soul; once a soul has
                    died, the only way for it to be resurrected
                    is by arising up in the memories of the NEXT
                    soul, during the next life. The past-life soul,
                    that is, the ego, the inner psychological
                    self-image, must rise up within the present soul:

                    "What is the resurrection?
                    The image must rise again through the image."
                    - Gospel of Philip 67:15

                    "And I said, "Lord, where will the souls of these
                    go when they have come out of their flesh?"
                    And he smiled and said to me, "The soul...
                    is taken up to the rest of the aeons."
                    ... And I said, "Lord, how can the soul become
                    smaller and return into the nature of its mother
                    or into man?" Then he rejoiced when I asked him
                    this, and he said to me, "Truly, you are blessed,
                    for you have understood! THAT SOUL IS MADE TO
                    FOLLOW ANOTHER ONE (fem.), since the Spirit of
                    life is in her. She is saved through him.
                    She is not again cast into another flesh."
                    - The Secret Book of John 26:24 - 27:21

                    The resurrection of the past life soul must occur
                    through the present life soul; for the present life
                    soul is still united with the living spirit,
                    and only the living spirit can quicken souls:

                    "It is the spirit that quickens the soul."
                    - Secret Book of James 12:6

                    "When Eve (Soul) was still in Adam (Spirit),
                    death did not exist. When she was separated
                    from him death came into being. If he again
                    becomes complete and attains his former self,
                    death will be no more."
                    - Gospel of Philip 68:21-27

                    The gnostics believed that the present soul
                    must seek out his own inner past life souls,
                    his own inner dead souls, in order to reawaken them:

                    "Once more I reprove you, you who are:
                    become like those who are not,
                    that you may be with those who are not.
                    ... Become seekers for death,
                    like the dead who seek for life,
                    for that which they seek is revealed to them.
                    ...none of those who fear death will be saved;
                    for the kingdom of death belongs to those
                    who put themselves to death."
                    - Secret Book of James 13: 12-17, 6:8-20

                    The gnostics believed that all one's past-life souls
                    would rise again sooner or later. It was inevitable;
                    the only question was whether this would occur gently
                    and peacefully or abruptly and horribly.
                    Either one could do it willingly, or if one waited
                    until Judgment Day and the Universal Resurrection,
                    it would be forced upon one, at which time all of
                    one's past-life souls would be confronted at once:

                    "If he is undivided, he will be filled with light,
                    but if he is divided, he will be filled with darkness
                    ... When you see your likeness [your own soul],
                    you rejoice. But when you see your images
                    [your previous souls] which came into being before you,
                    and which neither die nor become manifest,
                    how much you will have to bear!"
                    - The Gospel of Thomas 84



                    REFERENCES TO FUTURE INCARNATIONS
                    References to future incarnations are fewer in nature,
                    but also present. Such references include,
                    but are not limited to:

                    Secret Book of James 15:35- 16:1-6
                    Gospel of Philip 58:18-30, 78: 20-25


                    "He [Jesus] has ascended, and he has given us a pledge
                    and promised life to us all and revealed to us children
                    [other incarnations] who are to come after us,
                    after bidding us love them, as we would be
                    saved for their sakes. And when they heard this,
                    they ... were displeased about those to be born."
                    - The Secret Book of of James 15:35 - 16:7

                    "The heavenly man has many more sons than the earthly man.
                    If the sons of Adam are many, although they die,
                    how much more the sons of the perfect man,
                    they who do not die but are always begotten.
                    The father makes a son, and the son does not
                    have the power to make a son. For he who
                    has been begotten has not the power to beget,
                    but the son gets brothers for himself,
                    not sons [when one reincarnates and remembers,
                    the new incarnation is recognized as a fellow self
                    (brother-brother relationship),
                    not as an earlier generation (father- son relationship)]."
                    - The Gospel of Philip 58:17-30

                    - Peter Novak

                    Discover DivisionTheory
                    http://www.geocities.com/~divisiontheory

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