The Gospel of Thomas Group Project

including those referred to as 'spiritual' by those concerned
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The Gospel of Thomas Group Project

Postby Ginnie » Sat May 04, 2013 8:33 pm

I spoke of this with Luthien some time ago and I'm doing it now. I hope there is some interest but if not, I'll persevere with adding a few verses each week for discussion and add in any thoughts i may have if any.

I think three verses for discussion a week would be ok. Do you think that's too many?

I'll start with three then.

Gospel of Thomas


Coptic Gospel of Thomas


P) These are the secret sayings which the living Jesus spoke
and which Didymos Judas Thomas wrote down.

1) And He said, "Whoever finds the interpretation of these
sayings will not experience death."



2) Jesus said, "Let him who seeks continue seeking until he
finds. When he finds, he will become troubled. When he becomes
troubled, he will be astonished, and he will rule over the All."




3) Jesus said, "If those who lead you say, 'See, the Kingdom is
in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they
say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you.
Rather, the Kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you.
When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and
you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living
Father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty
and it is you who are that poverty."
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Re: The Gospel of Thomas Group Project

Postby Lúthien » Sun May 05, 2013 1:38 am

Gee, thanks! I will certainly get onto this.
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Re: The Gospel of Thomas Group Project

Postby Ginnie » Sun May 05, 2013 1:50 am

1) And He said, "Whoever finds the interpretation of these sayings will not experience death."


What is clear in this passage is that a person needs to dig or the meaning and that it is not apparent. it also is suggestive that there is an existence beyond this phenomenal one that we can access in this life.

It's also an invitation. Very appropriate for a first verse.

Glad you're in Luthien :)
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Re: The Gospel of Thomas Group Project

Postby Lúthien » Thu May 09, 2013 5:41 pm

Of that first one: I think that it refers to the realisation that the everyday reality is only a fabrication; that it is embedded within a larger reality in which concepts as "time" have a different meaning; this also invalidates the concept of death (I forgot who it was: there's one ancient writer in particular who also explored this notion of timelessness - possibly in connection to the concept of "afterlife"?)
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Re: The Gospel of Thomas Group Project

Postby Meneldur Olvarion » Fri May 10, 2013 5:12 pm

Lúthien wrote:Of that first one: I think that it refers to the realisation that the everyday reality is only a fabrication; that it is embedded within a larger reality in which concepts as "time" have a different meaning; this also invalidates the concept of death (I forgot who it was: there's one ancient writer in particular who also explored this notion of timelessness - possibly in connection to the concept of "afterlife"?)

I can state that this (the bolded statement above) is true in my case by direct experience with both near-death hypoglycemic states and the ego-death that comes with Salvia use.
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Re: The Gospel of Thomas Group Project

Postby Ginnie » Sat May 11, 2013 8:22 am

I agree with your take on the first one as well Luthien and Dave. Timelessness is very much a part of it. Time seems to be an event horizon of a continuous now. The future hasn't happened yet, the past is dead. We have the illusion of time.

In meditation or in the waking state people seem to enter an equivalent speed of the event horizon where there is a timeless quality.
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Re: The Gospel of Thomas Group Project

Postby Ginnie » Sat May 11, 2013 8:36 am


2) Jesus said, "Let him who seeks continue seeking until he
finds. When he finds, he will become troubled. When he becomes
troubled, he will be astonished, and he will rule over the All."




In my experience everyone is seeking the waking state. How to activate it and how to live within it. When a person can voluntarily initiate awakening they begin to see how things are upside down. How people treat each other, even the things we routinely say, about ourselves, about others.

We see that we are stuck in the world of conceptualizations. We don't 'see' or 'hear' we are continuously refrencing an internal library of past ideas and experiences that in some sense imprison us in thought. You begin to see that everyone is doing this and you see the horror of the situation. As if everyone is imprisoned in their minds. Acting like automatons from an endlessly looping program, and then you see the ability to be free of this.

There is a sense of spaciousness, of nothingness yet not an empty nothingness. Not frightening, but that the self resides in the body and yet not. That the self is not the body, the mind or any of the things we think we are. You may hear in various writings that we are not who we think we are and this is true, in my experience.

The last line, "he will be astonished, and he will rule over the all."


I'm stumped here. All I can think is that there is some unification that happens with 'the all'/God, but I have no experience of this.
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Re: The Gospel of Thomas Group Project

Postby Meneldur Olvarion » Sat May 11, 2013 1:27 pm

ginnie wrote:
[...] The last line, "he will be astonished, and he will rule over the all."


I'm stumped here. All I can think is that there is some unification that happens with 'the all'/God, but I have no experience of this.

I might have a little insight on this -- but it may not be affine to what Jesus meant. As a careful observer, I feel I must state that caveat.

In my Salvia experiences, every one is 'astonishing', so that part is rather easy to explain. Therein, you directly perceive the greater Universe of which the waking state is only a sub-set. The "he will rule over the all" part is harder to explain. But it may be something like this: as I gained experiences with Salvia, I began to notice "halo effects" in ordinary waking consciousness -- things like flashes of precognition and other transmitted information that would just manifest at the right time.

Perhaps Jesus meant something like this for a neural network of the proper configuration?

In my case, I'm not as powerful as the Legendary shamans of Amazonia, who were reported to perform some of the things that Jesus also did, but, OTOH, I could probably kick any garden variety neo-Pagan "mage's" ass.

{If you've met any such, you'll see why that isn't really bragging :-) .}

And now I must leave on another trip to North Georgia to oversee the housing inspection. The hotel has WiFi, but I may not have time to respond until we return next Monday.

///Dave

P.S. The "partial union with larger forces" does happen during the duration of the entheogenic experience, so you are most likely correct about that.
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Re: The Gospel of Thomas Group Project

Postby Ginnie » Sun May 12, 2013 8:51 am

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/t ... omas2.html

OK!!! There are a number of alternative translations.


ATTRIDGE - Oxyrhynchus
(2) [Jesus said], "Let him who seeks continue [seeking until] he finds. When he finds, [he will be amazed. And] when he becomes [amazed], he will rule. And [once he has ruled], he will [attain rest].".
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Re: The Gospel of Thomas Group Project

Postby Ginnie » Sun May 12, 2013 10:32 am

Davy Willis Lee wrote:
ginnie wrote:
[...] The last line, "he will be astonished, and he will rule over the all."


I'm stumped here. All I can think is that there is some unification that happens with 'the all'/God, but I have no experience of this.

I might have a little insight on this -- but it may not be affine to what Jesus meant. As a careful observer, I feel I must state that caveat.

In my Salvia experiences, every one is 'astonishing', so that part is rather easy to explain. Therein, you directly perceive the greater Universe of which the waking state is only a sub-set. The "he will rule over the all" part is harder to explain. But it may be something like this: as I gained experiences with Salvia, I began to notice "halo effects" in ordinary waking consciousness -- things like flashes of precognition and other transmitted information that would just manifest at the right time.

Perhaps Jesus meant something like this for a neural network of the proper configuration?


Actually Dave, I really see your point here. I had never thought to call them halo effects (is this your term or is it found in a larger context?) but I see where you're going here. I have had these effects too, tho just from my practice. I really like the idea of a "neural network of the property configuration. I see that as very much a part of the labouring involved. Omnicience, Ominoptence, Omnicognate as well perhaps. These may be faculties that arrive with the "reign of the all"

I just can't help feeling there is something clumsy about this translation as it pertains to "over the all". It just seems overstated, I think it's the article "the" that seems misplaced, because it very significantly changes the meaning. Do you see what I mean?


In my case, I'm not as powerful as the Legendary shamans of Amazonia, who were reported to perform some of the things that Jesus also did, but, OTOH, I could probably kick any garden variety neo-Pagan "mage's" ass.

{If you've met any such, you'll see why that isn't really bragging :-) .}

And now I must leave on another trip to North Georgia to oversee the housing inspection. The hotel has WiFi, but I may not have time to respond until we return next Monday.

///Dave

P.S. The "partial union with larger forces" does happen during the duration of the entheogenic experience, so you are most likely correct about that.


I would be interested in hearing more of these Amazonian Shamans. I have met a number of neo-pagans and while many are sincere, I always get the feeling that they are so individualistic that they tend to just dig shallow wells that don't truly hit water, yet when it rains it's cause for great excitement followed by self congratulation.

I hope your housing inspection goes well. :)
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Re: The Gospel of Thomas Group Project

Postby Ginnie » Sun May 12, 2013 12:15 pm

ginnie wrote:http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/thomas/gospelthomas2.html

OK!!! There are a number of alternative translations.


ATTRIDGE - Oxyrhynchus
(2) [Jesus said], "Let him who seeks continue [seeking until] he finds. When he finds, [he will be amazed. And] when he becomes [amazed], he will rule. And [once he has ruled], he will [attain rest].".



From this website, which by the way is awesome, and a great resource as we go thru this, it's mentioned that the Greek fragments (Oxyrhyncus) have additional words "and once he reigns/rules he will attain rest/salvation". It is in keeping with the style of writing and would seem to follow. Now, there are a number of different interpretations for "over the all".


We're using the Blatz translation,

The others are:

2. Layton -- "and will reign over the entirety"

3. Doresse -- "and will reign over the universe"

Doresse also has a translation from the Greek where [Jesus says:] "Let him who see[ks] cease not [to seek until he] finds: when he finds, [he will wonder; and when he wond]ers, he will reign, and [reigning, he will have rest!" "


The Coptic text clearly says "over the All/entirety/universe". This is not included in the Greek translation.

The experts suggest that the Greek fragments are earlier and the addition and leaving out "he will have rest" is a result of scribal misunderstanding. I don't want to be quick to agree, because during these times there was no single "source document" but rather varying schools who would probably spend hours and days discussing additional words and ideas". Uniformity of documentation was not overly important as the wisdom being conveyed.


The word "entirety" has a slightly different context than the all or the universe. The "entirety" doesn't equate to "the all". All denotes everything where entirety suggests a "whole" but not necessarily the whole of everything.

I guess what squicks me is this idea of becoming a God, such that one reigns over that which proceeds him (but then if we bring in timelessness, this is unimportant). Perhaps I'm uncomfortable with the idea that we are "the" whole rather than "of the and participant within the all"

Anyway, thoughts are welcome.
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Re: The Gospel of Thomas Group Project

Postby Lúthien » Sun May 12, 2013 12:38 pm

Jesus wrote:2) Jesus said, "Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds. When he finds, he will become troubled. When he becomes troubled, he will be astonished, and he will rule over the All."

I'd translate this as:
Jesus, as I understood him, wrote:"Search for the reality that exists behind the everyday reality. Don't stop searching until you have found it (and you will know it if you encounter it).
Once you find this reality and have experienced it, you may find this to be a burden at times. That's because it won't be obvious what you should do next. The more profound your experience and the more deep your involvement with the hidden reality; the larger the gap that you might experience between yourself and others because you are acutely aware how difficult it is to share this with others. You might feel isolated and lost and even burdened because of this.
Yet, this experience is necessary in order to figure out how to deal with this; how to best use it: that's because it is different for everyone.
Otherwise - if the answer would be "given" - the whole thing would have no value.
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Re: The Gospel of Thomas Group Project

Postby Meneldur Olvarion » Sun May 12, 2013 8:39 pm

ginnie wrote:[...] Actually Dave, I really see your point here. I had never thought to call them halo effects (is this your term or is it found in a larger context?) but I see where you're going here.

It's from cognitive science/psychology, but is used in a different context [link], I just broadened its semantic base and reused it.

I have had these effects too, tho just from my practice. I really like the idea of a "neural network of the property configuration. I see that as very much a part of the labouring involved. Omnicience, Ominoptence, Omnicognate as well perhaps. These may be faculties that arrive with the "reign of the all".

I just can't help feeling there is something clumsy about this translation as it pertains to "over the all". It just seems overstated, I think it's the article "the" that seems misplaced, because it very significantly changes the meaning. Do you see what I mean?

Yes. It seems either like overreaching on the original author's part or else a transcription error that got passed along by a series of scribes until the modern era.

I would be interested in hearing more of these Amazonian Shamans. I have met a number of neo-pagans and while many are sincere, I always get the feeling that they are so individualistic that they tend to just dig shallow wells that don't truly hit water, yet when it rains it's cause for great excitement followed by self congratulation.

I love that characterization! :D

I'll get those for you after we get home tomorrow. There is one wonderful anthropological movie by a French field researcher and a number of websites with info, but they are on my PC at home and this is Dineen's laptop. (I always keep the PC powered down when we aren't there as the power grid in Etowah, Tennessee is very unstable and subject to both spikkes and brownouts. I swear, Costa Rica had a better grid back in the early 80's.)

I hope your housing inspection goes well. :)

Thanks! :)
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Re: The Gospel of Thomas Group Project

Postby Lúthien » Mon May 13, 2013 12:50 pm

ginnie wrote:Time seems to be an event horizon of a continuous now. The future hasn't happened yet, the past is dead. We have the illusion of time.

That's not how I experience it though. Although I can't say that it feels like "the future has already happened" the past certainly doesn't feel "dead". There is at least a limited sense of simultaneousness to the Imaginal realm - even to the factual realm (though much less pronounced).

ginnie wrote:In meditation or in the waking state people seem to enter an equivalent speed of the event horizon where there is a timeless quality.

I can't make sense of this.
- What is the "event horizon"? Do you mean the "now"?
- What is "speed of the event horizon?" Would that be the speed in which the "now" moves towards the future? (Lol, just think of the measure of that: seconds per second - or per *what*?)
- what then is "to enter an equivalent speed of the event horizon"?
- equivalent to *what*?
- why is that related to a timeless quality?
- I'm also confused by the phrase "In meditation or in the waking state": I'd think that there is a difference between those states where it comes to time perception; but you seem to suggest a likeness...?
A! Suilannon le - elin velui, dîn dolog, aduial lúthad!
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Re: The Gospel of Thomas Group Project

Postby Ginnie » Mon May 13, 2013 1:14 pm

Lúthien wrote:
ginnie wrote:Time seems to be an event horizon of a continuous now. The future hasn't happened yet, the past is dead. We have the illusion of time.

That's not how I experience it though. Although I can't say that it feels like "the future has already happened" the past certainly doesn't feel "dead". There is at least a limited sense of simultaneousness to the Imaginal realm - even to the factual realm (though much less pronounced).



OK, Gird thy loins! The past as we experience it phenomenally, it's dead. Like, you know--that thing? That thing you did, when that other thing happened? yeah Dead.


Then there is time as it happens, there is no 'now' it's more of a nownownownownownow.. That speed, of THAT event horizon. I thought it sounded nifty. :)

Imaginal time, can only be part of 'there is no time" Or "time does not exist" or All time exists at the same time.

So, What time is it? :dontknow:

ginnie wrote:In meditation or in the waking state people seem to enter an equivalent speed of the event horizon where there is a timeless quality.

I can't make sense of this.
- What is the "event horizon"? Do you mean the "now"?
- What is "speed of the event horizon?" Would that be the speed in which the "now" moves towards the future? (Lol, just think of the measure of that: seconds per second - or per *what*?)
- what then is "to enter an equivalent speed of the event horizon"?
- equivalent to *what*?
- why is that related to a timeless quality?
- I'm also confused by the phrase "In meditation or in the waking state": I'd think that there is a difference between those states where it comes to time perception; but you seem to suggest a likeness...?[/quote]


I am suggesting a likeness. They are, essentially the same thing as I experience it.

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