The Gospel of Thomas Group Project

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

Post by Ginnie » Tue May 14, 2013 6:06 pm


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."

It seems to me that this is what happens routinely. Priests and preachers with no experiential knowledge, without gnosis who lead people blindly from their thoughts of what the religion says. Rule bound, rite bound but nothing vivifying, that life giving promise is always far off and thru trecherous terrain.

it's like looking at thousands of fingers pointing each in a different direction and not knowing where to look.

As we enter Gnosis, to know oneself, there is the awakening to knowing our inner poverty, that we know nothing, that we discover it new each time. The Beatitudes Matthew chapter 5 1-12 have always struck me as levels or stages one goes thru in the attainment of wisdom. The very first of the Beatitudes "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven" Matt 5:3, is the first requirment of sorts. That the awareness of an impoverished state is necessary to begin this odyssey.

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Re: The Gospel of Thomas Group Project

Post by Lúthien » Wed May 15, 2013 6:34 am

ginnie wrote:
Lúthien wrote: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.
Yes, I understand you. But still, stubborn as you may find me, I maintain my disagreement :)
I'm serious: it doesn't feel dead. Maybe "out of reach from where I'm standing" but most definitely not "dead", which implies something completely different. I won't describe the past as how I experience it as "dead" because to me it isn't dead. I feel that it still exists; the fact that I cannot reach it (as I exist here and now) does not alter that a bit.

ginnie wrote: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. :)
It does!
But I didn't understand it .. niftivity doesn't equal graspability :)
ginnie wrote:Imaginal time, can only be part of 'there is no time" Or "time does not exist" or All time exists at the same time.
I find that hard to describe. It's not that the Imaginal comes across as a frozen 'now': things happen in there. which seems to imply some form of 'sense of time'. But it is very different from regular run-of-the-mill time. It feels fluid, accessible, almost randomly so. Maybe it's just a matter of where you lay your focus.
ginnie wrote:So, What time is it? :dontknow:
Me :dontknow: neither.
ginnie wrote:I am suggesting a likeness. They are, essentially the same thing as I experience it.
ok, thanks.
To me they are not the same thing, but I'm not sure we are talking about the same thing?
The common denominator of the 'imaginal state' (in which you are focused on the Imaginal realm, either by meditation or another method) and the 'regular state' (in which you, say, go to work, do the laundry, solve a math problem) is that they are ways of interacting with two distinct sides, or aspects, of one larger reality - but they are nonetheless very different sides, speaking to very different faculties within myself.
Methods and habits that are useful in the 'regular state' are in fact useless in the 'imaginal state'; and vice versa.

Of course these states are not completely separated. I'm always somewhat aware of the Imaginal realm, even while doing the most factual tasks; and reversely my regular (rational) state is not completely gone when I'm focused on the Imaginal realm. It feels as if they are then slumbering, on stand-by.

That's where I imagine some sort of likeness: even in factual everyday reality, there is, to a degree, the same sense of timelessness as that which is much more profound in the Imaginal realm. It's as if it "shines through" a little bit.

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Re: The Gospel of Thomas Group Project

Post by Ginnie » Fri May 17, 2013 1:46 am

Lúthien wrote:Yes, I understand you. But still, stubborn as you may find me, I maintain my disagreement :)
I'm serious: it doesn't feel dead. Maybe "out of reach from where I'm standing" but most definitely not "dead", which implies something completely different. I won't describe the past as how I experience it as "dead" because to me it isn't dead. I feel that it still exists; the fact that I cannot reach it (as I exist here and now) does not alter that a bit.
I guess I think we're both right here. I was speaking of linear time as we experience it, and I think you are speaking from a place of timelessness. I find you just the right amount of stubborn :)

Lúthien wrote:
ginnie wrote: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. :)
It does!
But I didn't understand it .. niftivity doesn't equal graspability :)
haha true!
Lúthien wrote:
ginnie wrote:I am suggesting a likeness. They are, essentially the same thing as I experience it.
ok, thanks.
To me they are not the same thing, but I'm not sure we are talking about the same thing?
The common denominator of the 'imaginal state' (in which you are focused on the Imaginal realm, either by meditation or another method) and the 'regular state' (in which you, say, go to work, do the laundry, solve a math problem) is that they are ways of interacting with two distinct sides, or aspects, of one larger reality - but they are nonetheless very different sides, speaking to very different faculties within myself.
Methods and habits that are useful in the 'regular state' are in fact useless in the 'imaginal state'; and vice versa.
Ahh OK, no we are not speaking of the same thing. The imaginal is a state of consciousness, the waking state is another state of consciousness. Two very different states with the same goal in mind. West and East meet at some point.

The regular state of consciousness is not what I call the 'waking state'. They are wholly different to me. The waking state can be likened to the awakening of the 'third eye'. I agree, many methods and habits in the regular state are useless in the waking state as well. Sometimes it's so absurd all you can do is laugh. This is the 'laughing buddha' I'm certain.


Regular state is a form of automatism.
Last edited by Lúthien on Fri May 17, 2013 6:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: untangled the nested quotes

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Re: The Gospel of Thomas Group Project

Post by Lúthien » Fri May 17, 2013 8:27 am

ginnie wrote:I guess I think we're both right here. I was speaking of linear time as we experience it, and I think you are speaking from a place of timelessness. I find you just the right amount of stubborn :)
Certainly it's not a matter of being right? I'd say that it is about experiences and also - what words we use to designate those. It can be confusing.

Maybe I was mixing them up somewhat in what I was writing, but that's because there does occur some "spilling over" as I experience it: I mean that while, in normal waking state, I'm minding my everyday business, there is always some awareness of the Imaginal realm. And vice versa, too.

But apart from that, I have also always experienced time in the regular waking state as not completely "gone". Maybe this is very difficult to describe.
When my father died - which was much too early, alas - I realised this consciously for the first time: there was a sense of his life existing somewhere, unchanged. It was merely not possible to interact with it from the position where I was - meaning as the point in time where I was then. Yet, this awareness offered more solace than any other consideration. I described it back then with the analogy of a piece of music: even if it has stopped playing (whether it's a record or a live performance) the music itself does not simply cease to be. It continues to exist as a whole, even if it can't be listened to at a given moment.
I find this supposedly less of a difference than most others I've talked to about it: it is as if the awareness of the music itself existing (somewhere) is not all that different from when I'm actually listening to it.
Of course this analogy breaks down at a certain point, but it is the best that I can think of right now.

I was even thinking that this difference in how I experience the past may underlie a very fundamental difference in how I value anything that's "new". It has even struck me as a seven-year old how oddly people seem to favour anything that's new - such as music. For some this takes the shape of simply liking anything only because it's new, and dumping it as soon as it's not new anymore. Think about pop culture especially: it may be trivial, but I have often been amazed with the automatic categorising anything that's older then - a year, five years? - as inherently uninteresting and irrelevant.
This has always puzzled me, for to me this attitude means an immense impoverishment. To take the example of music again: I consider history (including the now) as one great repository in which I can find things, interesting and beautiful things. But the further into the past I reach, the lesser the chance that I can share whatever I find with others.

I can only explain this attitude towards "new vs. old" as a result of a being focused on the "now" as the only thing that really exists. This focus drives whole industries: everything that's subject to fashion. Maybe that's why I find fashion so utterly incomprehensible.
There's a wonderful dialog that Tolkien wrote that touches on this subject. It's called Athrabeth Andreth ah Finrod (dialogue between Andreth, a mortal woman, and Finrod of the Noldor (elves)) It's about a lot more actually, such as the nature of death and mortality, but these lines from the first part are most applicable:

(Finrod)'For strange as we deem it, we see clearly that the fëar (souls) of Men (humans) are not, as are ours, confined to Arda (the world), nor is Arda their home.
'Can you deny it? Now we Eldar (elves) do not deny that ye love Arda and all that is therein (in so far as ye are free from the Shadow) maybe even as greatly as do we. Yet otherwise. Each of our kindreds perceives Arda differently, and appraises its beauties in different mode and degree.
How shall I say it? To me the difference seems like that between one who visits a strange country, and abides there a while (but need not), and one who has lived in that land always (and must).
To the former all things that he sees are new and strange, and in that degree lovable. To the other all things are familiar, the only things that are, his own, and in that degree precious.'


'If you mean that Men are the guests,' said Andreth.

'You have said the word,' said Finrod: 'that name we have given to you.'

'Lordly as ever,' said Andreth. 'But even if we be but guests in a land where all is your own, my lords, as you say, tell me what other land or things do we know?'

'Nay, tell me!' said Finrod. 'For if you do not know, how can we? But do you know that the Eldar say of Men that they look at no thing for itself; that if they study it, it is to discover something else; that if they love it, it is only (so it seems) because it reminds them of some other dearer thing? Yet with what is this comparison? Where are these other things?
'We are both, Elves and Men, in Arda and of Arda; and such knowledge as Men have is derived from Arda (or so it would appear). Whence then comes this memory that ye have with you, even before ye begin to learn?
'It is not of other regions in Arda from which ye have journeyed. We also have journeyed from afar. But were you and I to go together to your ancient homes east away I should recognize the things there as part of my home, but I should see in your eyes the same wonder and comparison as I see in the eyes of Men in Beleriand who were born here.'


'You speak strange words, Finrod,' said Andreth, 'which I have not heard before. Yet my heart is stirred as if by some truth that it recognizes even if it does not understand it. But fleeting is that memory, and goes ere it can be grasped; and then we grow blind. And those among us who have known the Eldar, and maybe have loved them, say on our side: "There is no weariness in the eyes of the Elves". And we find that they do not understand the saying that goes among Men: too often seen is seen no longer. And they wonder much that in the tongues of Men the same word may mean both "long-known" and "stale".
'We have thought that this was so only because the Elves have lasting life and undiminished vigour. "Grown-up children" we, the guests, sometimes call you, my lord. And yet - and yet, if nothing in Arda for us holds its savour long, and all fair things grow dim, what then? Does it not come from [the] Shadow upon our hearts? Or do you say that it is not so, but this was ever our nature, even before the wound?'


When I first read this dialogue it struck me immediately how this timed perspective, this attachment to the now - or new is described as characteristic for Men (humans). And more interestingly, what is mentioned by Finrod as the reason for that: the Eldar say of Men that they look at no thing for itself; that if they study it, it is to discover something else; that if they love it, it is only (so it seems) because it reminds them of some other dearer thing?.
I think that this is a particularly haunting observation. Indeed: Yet with what is this comparison? Where are these other things?
And indeed, as Andreth acknowledges: how come that anything that's "long-known" practically becomes automatically stamped as "stale" - except, maybe, some artifacts that are so universally deemed valuable (like great works of art) that they enjoy a status apart - but they remain exceptions to the rule?

Or in my own words: what then is that particular attraction of something that's new? And doesn't it bother people that this quality is by its nature transient and temporary?
I must admit that I'm just as flabbergasted as Finrod is here.

"Grown-up children" we, the guests, sometimes call you (..) - even that makes a lot of sense in this context.

Sorry for the digression! Maybe I should split this thing off ...

ginnie wrote:Ahh OK, no we are not speaking of the same thing. The imaginal is a state of consciousness, the waking state is another state of consciousness. Two very different states with the same goal in mind. West and East meet at some point.

The regular state of consciousness is not what I call the 'waking state'. They are wholly different to me. The waking state can be likened to the awakening of the 'third eye'. I agree, many methods and habits in the regular state are useless in the waking state as well. Sometimes it's so absurd all you can do is laugh. This is the 'laughing buddha' I'm certain.

Regular state is a form of automatism.
I suppose that what you call "waking state" is comparable to the state in which one enters the Imaginal. The absurdity of the everyday business of the mind-emotion tandem is certainly apparent, though it also has a strong element of compassion and pity (in the positive sense).

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Re: The Gospel of Thomas Group Project

Post by Ginnie » Tue May 28, 2013 2:06 pm

Lúthien wrote:
ginnie wrote:I guess I think we're both right here. I was speaking of linear time as we experience it, and I think you are speaking from a place of timelessness. I find you just the right amount of stubborn :)
Certainly it's not a matter of being right? I'd say that it is about experiences and also - what words we use to designate those. It can be confusing.

Not as in right and wrong, agreed, but right as true or envsioned as within the line of 'true' a 'true line' I agree, tho looking at it that it was a poor word choice.


Maybe I was mixing them up somewhat in what I was writing, but that's because there does occur some "spilling over" as I experience it: I mean that while, in normal waking state, I'm minding my everyday business, there is always some awareness of the Imaginal realm. And vice versa, too.

I think the term influence can be used here, experiences from the imaginal realm can 'spill' into your 'normal waking state' and impact the way you see things which in turn influences your actions. However we receive these influences whether it be from without or within there are consequences. If we are highly influenced by 'conditioning of life' we desire wealth, the better car, the better house, the better spouse, etc... These we can call A influences they originate in conceptions of condtioning, then we have what we will call B influences. Relgion, literature, philosophy which have a different origin, Imaginal, Inspirational, etc.. have a property that 'vivifies' or can 'bring to life' an inner richness, and a seeking for things outside the common goals of A influences.

B influences because of their vivifying nature have a transformative effect on a persons life.


Here is something on influences
But apart from that, I have also always experienced time in the regular waking state as not completely "gone". Maybe this is very difficult to describe.

This is what I mean by the results of transformative effect.
When my father died - which was much too early, alas - I realised this consciously for the first time: there was a sense of his life existing somewhere, unchanged. It was merely not possible to interact with it from the position where I was - meaning as the point in time where I was then. Yet, this awareness offered more solace than any other consideration.
This is a universal realization and I suspect is due to the influences of other states of consciousness, that they are always present, even if dormant for the most part. Influences from without this work-a-day consciousness favour us with insight, not verifiable, and yet give us solace or at times prick our conscience under different circumstances.


I was even thinking that this difference in how I experience the past may underlie a very fundamental difference in how I value anything that's "new". It has even struck me as a seven-year old how oddly people seem to favour anything that's new - such as music. For some this takes the shape of simply liking anything only because it's new, and dumping it as soon as it's not new anymore. Think about pop culture especially: it may be trivial, but I have often been amazed with the automatic categorising anything that's older then - a year, five years? - as inherently uninteresting and irrelevant.
This has always puzzled me, for to me this attitude means an immense impoverishment. To take the example of music again: I consider history (including the now) as one great repository in which I can find things, interesting and beautiful things. But the further into the past I reach, the lesser the chance that I can share whatever I find with others.
I see this as a substitution. Joy is an experience that cannot be manufactured, so as a poor (impoverished) substitute people chase the fleeting amusement as it approximates or may even be the slightest touching upon Joy but not meeting it fully. A new song that sounds like all the other new songs alleviates tedium, a new insight from philosophy, or religion can act similar to chasing that fleeting joy or it can be NEW, fresh and alive and brings life transforming energy to us. ]

It can be likened to food, manufactured food that in the long term makes you ill versus food that is healthful.




When I first read this dialogue it struck me immediately how this timed perspective, this attachment to the now - or new is described as characteristic for Men (humans). And more interestingly, what is mentioned by Finrod as the reason for that: the Eldar say of Men that they look at no thing for itself; that if they study it, it is to discover something else; that if they love it, it is only (so it seems) because it reminds them of some other dearer thing?.
I think that this is a particularly haunting observation. Indeed: Yet with what is this comparison? Where are these other things?
And indeed, as Andreth acknowledges: how come that anything that's "long-known" practically becomes automatically stamped as "stale" - except, maybe, some artifacts that are so universally deemed valuable (like great works of art) that they enjoy a status apart - but they remain exceptions to the rule?

Or in my own words: what then is that particular attraction of something that's new? And doesn't it bother people that this quality is by its nature transient and temporary?
I must admit that I'm just as flabbergasted as Finrod is here.

"Grown-up children" we, the guests, sometimes call you (..) - even that makes a lot of sense in this context.

Sorry for the digression! Maybe I should split this thing off ...

When Finrod says, they look at no thing for itself; we can see this is true, there is any number of spiritual documents that speak of 'blindness'. We don't see the tree, we see a tree, swiftly labeled and disposed of. This quick act of dismissing what we think we already know already. In order to do this there is a deadening of the senses, seeing they see not.




There is SO much I could say and add, you always write such provocative posts, that contain such a wealth it's hard to just pick a few things to respond to, I often feel I could respond to hundreds of things.

:)

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Re: The Gospel of Thomas Group Project

Post by Lúthien » Tue May 28, 2013 5:06 pm

ginnie wrote:There is SO much I could say and add, you always write such provocative posts, that contain such a wealth it's hard to just pick a few things to respond to, I often feel I could respond to hundreds of things.
:)
:blush2:

why do you just pick a few things then? I certainly wouldn't mind of you would respond to all those things :) (quite the contrary)

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Re: The Gospel of Thomas Group Project

Post by Ginnie » Wed May 29, 2013 1:23 am

LOL Because it's hard work and I have adhd hahahah.. :)

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Re: The Gospel of Thomas Group Project

Post by Ginnie » Wed May 29, 2013 1:26 am

The next trio of verses.

4) Jesus said, "The man old in days will not hesitate to ask a
small child seven days old about the place of life, and he will
live. For many who are first will become last, and they will
become one and the same."

5) Jesus said, "Recognize what is in your sight, and that which
is hidden from you will become plain to you. For there is nothing
hidden which will not become manifest."

6) His disciples questioned Him and said to Him, "Do you want
us to fast? How shall we pray? Shall we give alms? What diet
shall we observe?"
Jesus said, "Do not tell lies, and do not do what you hate,
for all things are plain in the sight of Heaven. For nothing
hidden will not become manifest, and nothing covered will remain
without being uncovered."

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Re: The Gospel of Thomas Group Project

Post by Lúthien » Wed May 29, 2013 2:21 am

ginnie wrote:LOL Because it's hard work and I have adhd hahahah.. :)
So do I! I can hyperfocus quite easily though; my problem lies (among other things) in applying it consistently ...

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Re: The Gospel of Thomas Group Project

Post by Ginnie » Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:54 pm

4) Jesus said, "The man old in days will not hesitate to ask a
small child seven days old about the place of life, and he will
live. For many who are first will become last, and they will
become one and the same."

This passage is a book! It gives me a headache just looking at it. There are three huge teachings in here.


1. The man old in days will not hesitate to ask a child seven days old about the place of life and he will live.


2. For many who are first will become last.

2b. and they will become one and the same.


I think the only way to deal with this is taking this one at a time.

I want to spend some time doing some reading before I take on the first portion.

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Re: The Gospel of Thomas Group Project

Post by Ginnie » Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:32 am

OK, I'm still working on that post, it's been mighty quiet around here and just wanted to let people know I haven't forgotten. Just procrastinating. Hopefully all this prep time will result in a worthwhile post.

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Re: The Gospel of Thomas Group Project

Post by Lúthien » Wed Jun 26, 2013 5:20 pm

You know - Dave also mentioned this: it seems the automatic notification is broken. I'll look into that.

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Re: The Gospel of Thomas Group Project

Post by Ginnie » Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:06 pm

|Oh, ok, well that's good to know. I just thought people had stopped posting for a bit. We've been having some disastrous weather phenomena here which means I've been working incredibly.

But, I am so close to finding what I need for my next post.

:)

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Re: The Gospel of Thomas Group Project

Post by Lúthien » Thu Jun 27, 2013 3:37 pm

What sort of weather phenomena?

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Re: The Gospel of Thomas Group Project

Post by Meneldur Olvarion » Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:06 pm

Lúthien wrote:What sort of weather phenomena?
I looked up ginnie's IP via the Admin panel, and it seems her access point is somewhere near Calgary, Canada (of course, mine says Knoxville,TN when I'm in Etowah and Dahlonega, Georgia here in Blairsville, which are only regionally correct). It may be something like this:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/s ... ims-w.html

///Dave

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