Gospel of Thomas

Get Email Updates Email this Topic Print this Page

LWSleeth
 
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 08:03 pm
@KaseiJin,
KaseiJin;72265 wrote:
While I yet reason that LWSleeth is attempting to put forward is an impossibility, one picture that he did paint of the situation is quite in line with reality, namely, that we will all come to the table with colored lensed glasses on. . . . However, it is a false assertion to claim that we can know by ourselves, through inward focused meditation, anything of the above paragraph's listed points. By meditation, one only experiences the inner workings of brain, and to that extent, all H.sapeins are pretty much in the same boat. Yeshua did have a brain, and it can be stated with great certainty that the chances are that it had been a normal brain, hardwired and working pretty much the way ours do today; but that's it.

The proposition put forward by LWSleeth is an impossibility.


[SIZE="3"]Since you are not accomplished inwardly, nor have studied it thoroughly, you can't possibly have an informed opinion on what can be achieved in meditation; yet you state with utter certainty "By meditation, one only experiences the inner workings of brain."

That attitude is why I don't care to debate you. The colored lenses you come to the table with is assuming you already know the "Truth," and that justifies you judging all other points of view in relation to your exalted sense of knowing. It doesn't matter if you are experienced in the area of discussion or not, you simply read books and become the omniscient genius. To someone like me, who believes the only source of knowing is through experience, your rattling off theory like it's truth is especially off putting.
[/SIZE]
 
KaseiJin
 
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 10:19 pm
@LWSleeth,
Regardless of how you may feel, emotionally, about the matter of experiencing things in relation to the brain both internally and/or externally, LWSleeth, and regardless of how much disdain you may harbor towards the hard-'n-fast, empirically learned-through-observations-over the-passage-of time scientific knowledge that has accumulated, you are attempting to propose an impossibility--unless, of course, you can fairly demonstrate through controlled tests providing replicateable evidence that what you are proposing is possible.

The colored lenses that I had come to the table with way back, where of the type that allowed me to take in all evidences and work with them to arrive at statements which will more greatly evidence fact-related truths. I have come to this particular table as it relates to early first century Christian documents, and (since your position presuppositionally demands it) neurological matters with lenses adjusted by fact-related truths of the type which may be yet to be encountered by some.

What I had stated, that which you have quoted, is a fact-related truth. Can you fairly demonstrate (though that would not be within the theme of this thread, but on another one) that what I have stated is not just that?

Can you provide evidence which is capable of convincing the neutral third party individual looking at all evidences produced by both sides here that you can actually know the brain state of a person who lived some 2000 years ago? Can you put your money where your mouth is, in other words; cold cash on the barrel head?

Look, LWSleeth. I am trying to awaken some logical, pragmatic reasoning in people. I am not bent on trying to put you, personally, down, or anything, simply trying to encourage you also to be reasonable about it all too. Now, how can you demonstrate the factuality of your proposition on this thread (and without ignoring known facts about the brain)? How can you demonstrate that Thomas, as a text, has more value than any of the other early Christian texts? I'm counting on your fairness. KJ
 
Whoever
 
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2009 04:30 am
@KaseiJin,
KaseiJin;72265 wrote:
...verse 19 (please not) reads:
[INDENT]Jesus said, "Blessed is he who came into being before he came into being. If you (plural second person here) become my disciples (notice a specific audience is given) and listen to my words, these stones will minister to you. For there are five trees for you in Paradise which remain undisturbed summer and winter and whose leaves do not fall. Whoever becomes acquainted with them will not experience death."
[/INDENT]We have to accept any and all statements, passages, and pericopes firstly within the contextual setting that they immediately fall in whenever we start to work on sense. Linguistical style, idiomatic tendencies will then be considered and matches organized. Then, we have to cross-examine and reference for cultural similarities in texts within the relatively close time span of the the one we will be looking at. After these steps, the average theological and/or mythological framework developed by the all possible relevant texts and documents should be taken into consideration. Then, we can have a better chance at arriving at an intended-to-have-been-communicated sense of the statement, passage, or pericope under investigation.

Good grief. If it involved all this I wouldn't bother reading it. It's not that difficult to interpret.

Quote:
It fair to point out that coming to the table with a presupposition as grand as the one which is being attempted to propogated here, is a fault from the very get go.

Why do you think this?

Quote:
To claim that some concept of consciousness which has been shown to be most incorrect, is a cosmic truth of all reality on any practical level, and must be fully accepted without any further explanation or testing of it to be able to understand what a person who had died some 2000 years ago had experienced, in order to properly understand written communicative forms credited to that person, is a presupposition without hope of reality at all, on the practical level.

How so? I'm sorry, but it's no good just stating your opinions.

Quote:
The quote you have provided, and I thank you for that, it is helpful in understanding, is very much true in one sense, in that everything that is, is everything that is, but is nonsense on the level of the mental activity of living organisms. That is the major problem with Mysticism.

Perhaps you should look into it before deciding.

Quote:
Shamanism of course needs no book, but that fact will deduct nothing from the truthfulness of the statement that if a person has no data whatsoever of, on, or about, a particular human who had lived and died any number of years before that former person had been born, will know nothing or, on, or about, and without data of some sorts, will never be able to learn or find out anything about that particular latter person's life history, learned traits, formed memories, brain build beyond what is normal for all people, and so on. This, Whoever, is what is true.

I'm sorry you think that. Why don't you just say that Mystcism is nonsense and it's' not worth learning anything about and leave it at that?

Quote:
By meditation, one only experiences the inner workings of brain, and to that extent, all H.sapeins are pretty much in the same boat. Yeshua did have a brain, and it can be stated with great certainty that the chances are that it had been a normal brain, hardwired and working pretty much the way ours do today; but that's it.

Look, it's no good just saying that some proposition isn't true. You have to provide an argument.

Quote:
The proposition put forward by LWSleeth is an impossibility.

You mean, you cannot figure out how it could be possible. I don't think this failure of imagination proves anything much.

How about providing some reasoning to support your views, then we'll have something to discuss. Find a single good objection to the view you don't like and go for it. I'm all for a debate, but there's nothing to get ones teeth into here.
 
xris
 
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2009 04:53 am
@KaseiJin,
KaseiJin;72339 wrote:
Regardless of how you may feel, emotionally, about the matter of experiencing things in relation to the brain both internally and/or externally, LWSleeth, and regardless of how much disdain you may harbor towards the hard-'n-fast, empirically learned-through-observations-over the-passage-of time scientific knowledge that has accumulated, you are attempting to propose an impossibility--unless, of course, you can fairly demonstrate through controlled tests providing replicateable evidence that what you are proposing is possible.

The colored lenses that I had come to the table with way back, where of the type that allowed me to take in all evidences and work with them to arrive at statements which will more greatly evidence fact-related truths. I have come to this particular table as it relates to early first century Christian documents, and (since your position presuppositionally demands it) neurological matters with lenses adjusted by fact-related truths of the type which may be yet to be encountered by some.

What I had stated, that which you have quoted, is a fact-related truth. Can you fairly demonstrate (though that would not be within the theme of this thread, but on another one) that what I have stated is not just that?

Can you provide evidence which is capable of convincing the neutral third party individual looking at all evidences produced by both sides here that you can actually know the brain state of a person who lived some 2000 years ago? Can you put your money where your mouth is, in other words; cold cash on the barrel head?

Look, LWSleeth. I am trying to awaken some logical, pragmatic reasoning in people. I am not bent on trying to put you, personally, down, or anything, simply trying to encourage you also to be reasonable about it all too. Now, how can you demonstrate the factuality of your proposition on this thread (and without ignoring known facts about the brain)? How can you demonstrate that Thomas, as a text, has more value than any of the other early Christian texts? I'm counting on your fairness. KJ
KJ what drives you to study the scriptures in so much detail? if you have discovered a momentous truth for you, what is it?We all approach subjects in our own way,our paths may differ but does that make ours irrelevant? Thomas by its exclusion has certain relevance and if reading it has some significance do we have to prove that to you? Your approach is the cold academic theologian with no feelings for the content in a mystical sense only the relationship to other scriptures and the historic value.Others become more involved in the message not the messenger or its worth as theological debate.
 
KaseiJin
 
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2009 08:23 am
@xris,
Gentlemen (and ladies, if any of you are), I will suggest that we be most reasonable, as honest as we can, and fair with knowledge. I ask that you all join me in thinking about some of the finer points very, and let me repeat, at the cost of sounding emotional, very carefully, please.

Whoever, you have just highlighted a major problem, namely, that all that I had mentioned early is what is necessary, and that it is true that most see it as trouble, and thus bother hardly lifting a finger towards a proper and diligent search effort. And, it is for this reason especially, as you have mentioned, that it seems to come in so many flavors--as has been said about the Bible...just an old fiddle upon which many songs can be played. (because most people don't bother to do it right)

There will always be various interpretations on some points, and the very reason is because we cannot know--just as I have been striving to get across here. That said, just as that great work, Moby Dick, produced a good example of the Bible Code from just a novel (as opposed to any considered-by-some sanctified documents of a religious belief-system), a person can, with imaginative free rein and lack of discipline and experience, get just about anything out of just about anything. (and of course, such fact does not make any such 'get' a truth!)

Whoever wrote:
Why do you think this?


I say this because it is true. I am not going to even take glance in the direction of simply making presumptions, out of lack of knowledge, (much less take a step in that direction) on how new you might be to the forum, or how much you have read around, because I don't have that data (you see?). Because of this thread's experience and this post's content, and because of what I have studied, learned, been involved with for some now, and am slowly developing on this thread, here. Which fact leads to the next fact.

If I were to tell you that a mutation in the pantothenate kinase 2 (PANK2) gene, on the short arm of chromosome 20 (20p13), leads to pantothenate knase-associated neurodegeneration and in many cases, death, would you tend to think that I'd merely be giving an opinion, as though it were based on nothing more than just some mid-summer's day dream? I most certainly would hope not !! (you have so far proven yourself more thoughtful)

The above will be in response to some other concerns you have raised, so I'll let those be your guide as to what more mature course of action may be taken next. For now, and as for your later concerns, Whoever, allow me a little margin to ask you to go back to post number 38, and look at paragraph three under your quote I had given, and tell me if what I am saying there is incorrect, or correct, please. Then, I will continue from there.


Xris, any effort to understand a matter which is founded on/from a faulty premise (upon which the directive to inquiry is based), the effort will automatically carry a degree of fault with it. This is just as true as it is true that any conclusion derived from a erroneous premise, will be in error to the degree and in the way that the premise is in error.

Yes, by all means, if you reason that the document which claims to have been written by Twin Judas Twin has any significance towards any matter, in any fashion, then by all means, you have to prove that to your audience. AND the proofs for your conclusion as to why that is so, must be equally grounded in sound deduction !! I cannot over stress that at all, my friend !! (and trust me, to simply assert, by insinuation, that one must firstly accept the mystical view, to find meaning, is absolutely no better an argument than those who assert that one must be a believing, practicing Christian to understand the Bible at all.) My approach, xris, is with reason and facts, and (quite contrary to your attempt to proclaim) emotion--what stands the test of time and acquired knowledge overall, stands best !!
 
Whoever
 
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2009 09:10 am
@KaseiJin,
KaseiJin;72445 wrote:
Whoever, you have just highlighted a major problem, namely, that all that I had mentioned early is what is necessary, and that it is true that most see it as trouble, and thus bother hardly lifting a finger towards a proper and diligent search effort. And, it is for this reason especially, as you have mentioned, that it seems to come in so many flavors--as has been said about the Bible...just an old fiddle upon which many songs can be played. (because most people don't bother to do it right)

Not sure what you're getting at here. I agree many people don't take much trouble looking for the correct interpretation of the scriptures.

Quote:
There will always be various interpretations on some points, and the very reason is because we cannot know--just as I have been striving to get across here.

The problem here is that you will not consider the possibility that it is possible to know what Thomas means. On your view, therefore, you are right.

Quote:
... a person can, with imaginative free rein and lack of discipline and experience, get just about anything out of just about anything. (and of course, such fact does not make any such 'get' a truth!)

Quite.

Quote:
I am not going to even take glance in the direction of simply making presumptions, out of lack of knowledge, (much less take a step in that direction) on how new you might be to the forum, or how much you have read around, because I don't have that data (you see?). Because of this thread's experienceand this post's content, and because of what I have studied, learned, been involved with for some now, and am slowly developing on this thread, here. Which fact leads to the next fact.

Sorry, but what fact?

Quote:
If I were to tell you that a mutation in the pantothenate kinase 2 (PANK2) gene, on the short arm of chromosome 20 (20p13), leads to pantothenate knase-associated neurodegeneration and in many cases, death, would you tend to think that I'd merely be giving an opinion, as though it were based on nothing more than just some mid-summer's day dream? I most certainly would hope not !! (you have so far proven yourself more thoughtful)

I wouldn't assume anything except that you may know more about this topic than I do.

Quote:
For now, and as for your later concerns, Whoever, allow me a little margin to ask you to go back to post number 38, and look at paragraph three under your quote I had given, and tell me if what I am saying there is incorrect, or correct, please. Then, I will continue from there.

I thought I'd already made my objections pretty clear. If not, how about picking out just one proposition and let's deal with that.

I'd suggest starting at the beginning, with the idea that it is possible to know what you believe it is impossible to know.
 
KaseiJin
 
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2009 09:33 am
@kochun,
I appreciate your response, but I'll have to get back on some explanations tomorrow, Whoever. I would like to check your comprehension here, though. Please go back to the area you have quoted (3rd from bottom in the above post) and see if you can make out from the context, what 'fact' is being identified in the word 'fact' as I have used it in that final sentence of the quote you have provided. I have a gut feeling you are not reading as carefully as one should (since this is simply a matter of proper English), and would like to put that aside--pending your response.

Also, since you have well shown that you are not really that familiar with the content of the text of Twin Judas Twin, I'll give you some examples tomorrow...it's late here in Japan, now. Catch you then. KJ


(and please do check out what I have asked you immediately above, conscientiously, please !)
 
Whoever
 
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2009 11:29 am
@kochun,
Thanks, but I think I'd rather just end the conversation. See you around.
 
xris
 
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2009 12:08 pm
@Whoever,
KJ you are theologian with great knowledge but i have no idea what you really believe.What purpose does your knowledge serve except to debate the fine details of scriptures, is it a mission? what is your mission?
It is not just you but this academic desire to scrutinise faith as if it was cold blooded subject of facts.You can dispute the details but never give a valid reason to accept or reject it all.
Cold blooded theology is a mystery to me,how can you spend so much effort in a subject you never really believe is valid.You dont believe in anything mystic but indulge a large proportion of your life to study its complexities.Can you show me the real KJ or are you an advanced Japanese robot?
 
Jay phil
 
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2009 01:00 pm
@xris,
Hi Xris,




I think he is pretty clear on this point from his thread on "Biblical Texts: explication & discussion"

http://www.philosophyforum.com/forum/philosophy-forums/branches-philosophy/philosophy-religion/4256-biblical-texts-explication-discussion.html

"My applications do arrive at the conclusion that these biblical texts by far, more so evidence nothing more than mere human activity, and in areas, imagination--a lack of supernatural superintendence--and as such are greatly overrated (regardless of being classic works, holding their own with the likes the Upahishads, the Illiad, or the writings of Lao-tse."

I agree, It seems like a lot of unnecessary effort to me, odd.
 
xris
 
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2009 01:17 pm
@Jay phil,
Jay;72498 wrote:
Hi Xris,




I think he is pretty clear on this point from his thread on "Biblical Texts: explication & discussion"

http://www.philosophyforum.com/forum/philosophy-forums/branches-philosophy/philosophy-religion/4256-biblical-texts-explication-discussion.html

"My applications do arrive at the conclusion that these biblical texts by far, more so evidence nothing more than mere human activity, and in areas, imagination--a lack of supernatural superintendence--and as such are greatly overrated (regardless of being classic works, holding their own with the likes the Upahishads, the Illiad, or the writings of Lao-tse."

I agree, It seems like a lot of unnecessary effort to me, odd.
That was my feelings,so much effort to disprove a matter of faith.By its nature it is not logical so why spend so much of your life on a mission to make a rational argument.Im no christian and it to me it is all mythical but i appreciate the message and if the man existed he deserves our thanks.The Thomas book reinforces the original message and for some reason KJ finds that unimpressive and looks for theology not the mysticism.He can argue about its context in terms of the other gospels but is unable to dispute its effects on the reader, you cant tell someone it is not valid when it has that power.
 
Jay phil
 
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2009 01:31 pm
@xris,
Maybe the confusion comes about when we try to read the gospels with the head only, and miss the point that essentially they are meant for the heart.
 
LWSleeth
 
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2009 02:37 pm
@KaseiJin,
KaseiJin;72339 wrote:
Regardless of how you may feel, emotionally, about the matter of experiencing things in relation to the brain both internally and/or externally, LWSleeth, and regardless of how much disdain you may harbor towards the hard-'n-fast, empirically learned-through-observations-over the-passage-of time scientific knowledge that has accumulated, you are attempting to propose an impossibility--unless, of course, you can fairly demonstrate through controlled tests providing replicateable evidence that what you are proposing is possible.


[SIZE="3"]Your implication that I harbor "disdain" for empirical investigation is strawman nonsense. I love science but that doesn't mean one has to believe science is applicable to every sort of understanding. You are like that guy whose only tool is a hammer and so goes around treating everything like a nail. You seem to imply that based on the limits of your understanding, we should all abandon our silly inner pursuits and join you in the lab.[/SIZE]
 
KaseiJin
 
Reply Sat 27 Jun, 2009 12:08 am
@LWSleeth,
The bulk of the essence of your post, LWSleeth, is better for other threads. You have abondoned one, perhaps, and I invite you to join in on another one, the Consciousness is a Biological Problem thread. I work from the bottom up, while you work from the top down, which is one difficulty in meeting, kind of digging a tunnel from both sides of the mountain and trying to meet in the middle horizontally and vertically. But please do join in, and offer counter proof for my presentations if you have any, and so forth and so on. Please.

Here, for this thread (and with a few points you have made in other places that seem to be presupposed with what you had come in with on this thread, you appear to have claimed the following. I will lay them out, and please check them and tell me where I'm off, ok? Please? !

In your #26 you asserted that 'it was impossible to understand Jesus without understanding the conscious experience he was having;' correct? And you deduced that it would be 'difficult to understand Thomas without understanding Jesus;' correct?


Then, in your #35, you suggested that by meditation, one could start to see Jesus in a new light, and would have a real sense of being with Jesus consciously instead of merely looking at him from the outside; right?

You have been proposing that the content of consciousness is not created by the brain, but is some something that is immaterial, and that by meditating one can plug into that and thus be the same consciousness as all humans that have ever lived on the face of the earth since creation. Does this seem to be in line with the core of your presentation background that you have approached this thread with?

I'd like to go little by little here, so everything can be as clear as possible. Is the above correct? and please do correct that much, and only that much (for now) please, if something is off. Then I will go on, thanks ! KJ
 
LWSleeth
 
Reply Sat 27 Jun, 2009 01:38 am
@KaseiJin,
KaseiJin;72641 wrote:
I work from the bottom up . . . you asserted that 'it was impossible to understand Jesus without understanding the conscious experience he was having;' correct?


Correct.


KaseiJin;72641 wrote:
And you deduced that it would be 'difficult to understand Thomas without understanding Jesus;' correct?


I suggest that if Thomas were practicing the experience Jesus was teaching, then yes it would difficult to understand Thomas without first understanding Jesus' conscious experience.


KaseiJin;72641 wrote:
Then . . . you suggested that by meditation, one could start to see Jesus in a new light, and would have a real sense of being with Jesus consciously instead of merely looking at him from the outside; right?


I suggested that Jesus was teaching a way to develop consciousness so it could experience something we are incapable of unless we develop new skills. Call it self-directed evolution if you wish. This experience is of conscious oneness. The problem with the term "meditation" is that it is applied to everything from staring at walls to contemplating scriptures. I am not talking about some generic meaning, but a very specific practice aimed at merging one's mind with an unwavering foundation that can be found behind the mind. How do I know? Because I've repeatedly experienced that sort of oneness myself.


KaseiJin;72641 wrote:
You have been proposing that the content of consciousness is not created by the brain, but is some something that is immaterial, and that by meditating one can plug into that and thus be the same consciousness as all humans that have ever lived on the face of the earth since creation. Does this seem to be in line with the core of your presentation background that you have approached this thread with?


I said it was immaterial, but I don't say that material and consciousness are different in essence. I have suggested both the material (and all physicalness) and consciousness are grounded in something even more basic than either of them. It is like if we said liquid H2O and solid H2O are both forms of something more basic: vapor H2O. Today, apologists argue solid H2O is the basis of all, while another faction argues liquid H2O is the basis. I resolve dualism by proposing there is something more basic than either of them, of which they are both forms (as in neutral substance monism). Again, how do I know? Because I experience that more basic essence in the experience of oneness.


KaseiJin;72641 wrote:
I'd like to go little by little here, so everything can be as clear as possible. Is the above correct? and please do correct that much, and only that much (for now) please, if something is off. Then I will go on, thanks ! KJ


I don't think there is any hope for going on. The problem is you lack the experience of the more basic stuff I am postulating is the basis of all, and therefore you can't possibly accept it as a fact. And you shouldn't! I myself only believe what I can experience myself.

Let me bring this exchange to a close by assuring you that I don't believe in anything supernatural, I have a solid understanding of physics and biology, and I accept the powerful role physicalness plays in the human experience. In other words, nothing you have said explaining the effects of the brain on consciousness would I dispute.

But I detect in your ideas a firm commitment to explaining reality in terms of physical phenomena only. While I fully accept the role of physicalness, I know of something else going on through an experience you are not going to pursue. So how can we possibly come to any sort of agreement?

I therefore suggest you go your way, and I will continue with my own. I have had this debate dozens of times, I am weary of it because I've heard all the arguments you make far too often, and because it never goes anywhere. You can't believe in what you haven't experienced and don't know, and I can't possibly ignore what I've experienced inwardly.
 
KaseiJin
 
Reply Sat 27 Jun, 2009 08:27 am
@LWSleeth,
Thanks for your reply. I'll have to get back tomorrow . . . for reasons I'd like to explain, but this is not the place . . . Please understand that I have read your post above, and do have a response. Thank you. For here, now, only this much (below)....


LWSleeth;72649 wrote:
I suggest that if Thomas were practicing the experience Jesus was teaching, then yes it would difficult to understand Thomas without first understanding Jesus' conscious experience.


One quicky here, then. In the event that your are talking about the author of that document, the Coptic Gospel of Thomas, then I should point out that the author of that document in unknown. Who do you intend to be pointing to here?

Thanks. KJ
 
salima
 
Reply Sat 27 Jun, 2009 10:19 am
@LWSleeth,
LWSleeth;72649 wrote:

I am not talking about some generic meaning, but a very specific practice aimed at merging one's mind with an unwavering foundation that can be found behind the mind. How do I know? Because I've repeatedly experienced that sort of oneness myself.

I don't think there is any hope for going on. The problem is you lack the experience of the more basic stuff I am postulating is the basis of all, and therefore you can't possibly accept it as a fact. And you shouldn't! I myself only believe what I can experience myself.

But I detect in your ideas a firm commitment to explaining reality in terms of physical phenomena only. While I fully accept the role of physicalness, I know of something else going on through an experience you are not going to pursue. So how can we possibly come to any sort of agreement?

I therefore suggest you go your way, and I will continue with my own. I have had this debate dozens of times, I am weary of it because I've heard all the arguments you make far too often, and because it never goes anywhere. You can't believe in what you haven't experienced and don't know, and I can't possibly ignore what I've experienced inwardly.


lw,
in view of what you have said above, why is it that you try to talk to anyone about it that has not had this experience?

i have also experienced what you are talking about, and for about 35 years trusted that it was the only indisputable thing i knew. but now i am beginning to think it may be possible that this too is an illusion-a very nice one, but if it can be provoked by probing a certain part of the brain-anyone's brain-doesnt that make you wonder?

i mean, if it were an event that had already happened and you could stimulate the brain to rerun the experience that wouldnt seem to be so remarkable-but if it had never happened and there was no record of it in the brain and you used some sort of stimulus in a spot where you knew it would be, just sitting there waiting in the brain of everyone and anyone regardless of any differences in them...what would that mean?

so i am now beginning to try and look at what neuroscience has been able to pinpoint as far as the experiences we have and where they come from so i can be sure exactly what it is that they claim to know. it's ok if i have to totally rewrite my worldmap again, been there-done that. and i will if i have to.

the way i look at it is that it wont really change my daily life, my ethics, my goals, my priorities. if i were to come to believe that there is no such thing as a soul or even a mind-that the mind is nothing more than the effect and experience of what the brain does, i will want to try and find out what other questions to ask. for instance, would it still be possible to communicate with the other brains wireless so to speak? and it wouldnt negate the possibility of there being some behind the scenes glue that holds everything together as a cohesive unit that science hasnt discovered yet...but i would want to look for ways to find it.

because for now, all we (and people like us) have, is an experience we share with some people which we cant explain to anyone else or even to each other. i dont really believe anything is 'unknowable' and i think if we look in the right places there is an explanation for everything.
 
LWSleeth
 
Reply Sat 27 Jun, 2009 05:52 pm
@KaseiJin,
KaseiJin;72708 wrote:
One quicky here, then. In the event that your are talking about the author of that document, the Coptic Gospel of Thomas, then I should point out that the author of that document in unknown. Who do you intend to be pointing to here?


[SIZE="3"]I think I know where you are headed with that question, but as I've been saying all along, it isn't a debate I want to have. As you will notice, just this abbreviated answer took a lot of work to produce. But I'll try to explain a bit with the hope you will respect why at this point in my life I look at something like the Gospel of Thomas as I do.

We both know the author is unknown, as are all the gospel writers. No first hand witnesses of the events of Jesus' life can be confirmed as authoring any portion of the NT. While the authenticity of most of Paul's writings is well accepted (especially Romans, 1&2 Corinthians and Galatians), neither was he a firsthand witness to the mission of Jesus.

What we are left with then, if we are going to be scholarly critics, are stories most likely kept alive through oral tradition by the faithful, and finally written down by later authors claiming (as was the Jewish tradition) to be well known persons (such as one of the 12 disciples). Of course Q, along with Mark, appears to have been a source for Matthew and Luke, and we also don't know the author of Q.

Further adding to interpretative problems for the modern reader are how the beliefs of the writers might have affected their writing, translation difficulties, and even the possibility of purposeful alterations by those copying ancient texts for the Church (as redaction critics found clear evidence of in the Pentateuch with J, E, D, and P).

I mention all the above to let you know I am not unfamiliar with the methods of content analysis, and accept that if we wish to have a clear conception of who wrote what, and why, we need all the information that historical and prehistorical investigation can reveal to us. Let me add to that my personal testament that scholarship is one of my highest ideals, that I trust science implicitly for the study of physical circumstances, and that I am 100% committed to reasoning using proper logic, the best facts we have at our disposal, and with honesty.

Now, your point seems to be that if I respect and practice scholarship, as well as accept the proofs of science, how then can I trust anything the Bible records as said by Jesus (or any writing of unknown authorship, including the Gospel of Thomas)? If we don't know who the Christian writers were, how can we know if they actually knew Jesus and therefore if the conscious experience I claim necessary to understand Jesus has anything to do with Jesus at all (i.e., since I am dependent on those writings for my portrait of Jesus)?

To understand how this apparent dilemma is resolved by some of us who are moved by those ancient writings, I think you have to shift out of your intellectual criticism mode. Maybe you suspect I am about to say now that you need to shift into the faith mode, which is what many Christians might say. But no, the mode I would suggest is a specific kind of feeling mode.

I don't mean emotions, let's be REALLY clear about that. I trust emotions even less than faith in religious doctrine. The feeling I am talking about is more akin to intuition. Before I explain what I mean, let me set up my explanation a little more.

I have observed that two fundamental types of human minds are, 1) those who trust their intuition over all else, and 2) those who trust reductionist analysis over all else. It is not uncommon at forums to see the two types at each other's throats.

The intuitive often sees a true direction, but hasn't bothered to compile enough facts to make his case. And sometimes the intuitive is just dead wrong because he doesn't study enough, and he trusts intuition too much. I remember a debate we were having at a physics site once, where based on his intuition a participant denied general relativity. No amount of reasoning with facts could change his mind, and he had physics experts galore trying to help him. His problem was that he didn't really understand time, or gravity, and so just couldn't imagine how the two could be related.

In the other extreme is the person so obsessed with breaking down every situation to detailed facts that he can never see past his nose. The intuitive might ask him to sense some potential of reality, and if the reductionist can't dissect it and mentally work his way there, fact by fact, he won't even look.

One final point to make is that there are aspects of reality that naturally lend themselves to one approach or another. Physicalness, with its regularity, complexity, and ability to be externally observed is a perfect match for reductive analysis. Inward exploration, as taught by humanity's great masters, is best grasped through the intuitive avenue. Those who apply reductive methods to the internal path, or who attempt to grasp physical reality only intuitively are going to have problems.

Okay, keeping those profiles in mind let's return to the idea that to understand Jesus one has to know the conscious experience he was within. Some people who trust and reach out feeling-wise are inspired when they read certain things that resonate with the intuitive-feeling part of them. Some of us actually delve into that intuitive realm to discover it is only the tiniest tip of a huge dominion that awaits behind appearances. For brevity, let's call that realm oneness.

If a person goes so far to practice methods for joining the vast oneness realm, and acquires skill at doing so, his sensitivity to all things that help one experience oneness more is heightened. So when he reads a scripture, for example, and it moves him toward oneness, he is immediately drawn to such scripture.

For me, much of what Jesus is recorded as saying resonates deeply with my experience of oneness. Not all stories about him do, such as all the supernatural stuff; it does absolutely nothing for me in a oneness sense. It is his words that most often do the trick.

Of all the collections of Jesus sayings I've ever read, those found in Thomas are most inspiring toward oneness. I therefore am highly inclined to accept Thomas as a true practitioner (or as someone who recorded what a true practitioner related), and it also doesn't seem improbable the author is possibly the only disciple the original 12 to write.

Yet it doesn't matter too much to me if I know for certain who Thomas was; I know what oneness is, and I know how impossible it is for someone to describe it in a variety of ways unless they are experiencing it. The Gospel of Thomas gets it right consistently throughout the entire work, so somebody knew oneness, and that is what I really care about.

I'll offer one further example of why I claim that to understand Jesus, a person has to also know the conscious experience he was recommending.

First, we know conscious experiences can be recommended because that principle is part of our everyday life. If someone takes you to a concert, or prepares a gourmet meal for you, or drives you to a beautiful spot to watch a sunset . . . all those are experiences one can be guided toward. If a million people are all guided in the same way, they may each have a unique experience, yet there is enough in common with, say, a concert that all will identify it as listening to music.

So when I say I believe I've experienced what Jesus was teaching when I experience oneness, it isn't an unknown occurrence to replicate a unique class of experience.

I say this to point out how easy it is to misunderstand, or miss meaning entirely, if one lacks experience. How would a person who has never heard music and knows nothing about musical instruments interpret hearing someone say a blues artist plucked his axe ("axe" as slang for guitar)? Did he steal a hatchet?

A real example is Jesus' phrase "the kingdom of heaven." Do you know what it means? If we follow the interpretations of theologians, it gets worked into some grand cosmology where heaven or hell await those who've earned the appropriate place.

But that phrase, in the context of all that Jesus said, far more suits something that happens in oneness experience. In oneness experience, there is a stage where one is lifted out of the normal confines of the mind to experience what seems like the whole universe at once. There is a sense the sky is part of one's consciousness, that one has joined a huge mind. Instead of being constricted in the brain, the experience is very much like entering a kingdom that celestial in nature (i.e., heavenly).

Until I personally knew that experience, I had no idea what Jesus was talking about, nor what this 14th century English monastic (Julian) was describing when she said, "And then the Lord opened my ghostly eye and shewed my soul in the midst of my heart. I saw the Soul as it were an endless world, and as it were a blissful kingdom." It sounds like gobbledygook or delusion without an experience to help one understand.


In conclusion, when participating in these discussions about inner practitioners you may run into some strong intuitive types. If you evaluate things relying only on reductionist fact-finding, and even attempt to dismiss the relevance of what is felt, you are going to upset those who see that as condescending and disrespectful to a way they perceive that is very precious to them. When in an earlier post Jay said this subject might be something for the heart . . . that was someone trying to tell you that a big part of the evidence is known by feeling it.

It's not just a one way street however; if we were discussing physics, and someone claimed he didn't "feel" like relativity is correct, then you'd be right to insist he stop trying to feel it and think logically with the facts. Or if we were talking about claims of authorship of the books of the Bible, again you'd be right on track to list what facts there are.[/SIZE]
 
KaseiJin
 
Reply Sat 27 Jun, 2009 08:16 pm
@LWSleeth,
That is a very pointed line of inquiry there, salima, and one that we must always keep in mind--as open brain surgery tests (among tests with other patients of degenerative defects seen in the likes of denial or Capgras Syndrome, and so on) are showing us.

And for any who tend to think that by lowering conscious level (in other words, thinning the state of consciousness) the brain is able to pick up information carrying particles that are not a part of any physical matter or energy that cannot be picked up at any other time (for whatever strange reason) and store them in the bio-molecular chemical synthesis which is required to form memories (for crying out loud...!!), please do keep an eye on that Consciousness is a Biological Problem thread.




LWSleeth;72649 wrote:
Let me bring this exchange to a close by assuring you that I don't believe in anything supernatural, I have a solid understanding of physics and biology, and I accept the powerful role physicalness plays in the human experience. In other words, nothing you have said explaining the effects of the brain on consciousness would I dispute.
(bold and underline mine)

LWSleeth, let me begin here. I fully trust your intention to bring the exchange to a close, because you have done that before. Be that as it may, I would yet entertain the wish that you would continue to reason on the details, especially in light of that last sentence you, yourself, have written, as quoted above !


I have moved the rest of what was written to this post on the thread about consciousness, due to 'on topicness' concern. Please do see there, for that continued thought. (I invite all to consider it.)


LWSleeth;72649 wrote:

I suggested that Jesus was teaching a way to develop consciousness . . .


Then let's look at the evidences. There will be a few odd hypothesis which seem to especially driving towards that direction, but as far as I have seen (and I will admit, that while I have scholar contact, I have not looked too much at them) the evidence against that is stronger. In the first century CE, up to some very thinkable 3 out of ten Jewish males would have the first name Yeshua. . . Yeshua Ben something or another. It would be that latter part which would have distinguished family lineage, and thus the individual. Most unfortunately, we do not have that information on the sect leader (founder?), Yeshua. Nevertheless, the historical Yeshua would have been a Jewish male, and most likely would have been very much into the religious-belief system scene of the time and place.

The history detail we have, almost without exception, focuses on the strong surge of that period with the messianic coming. We can see this in Josephus, and we can see it in Roman historians as well--for example:

[indent]"The majority [/color] [of Jews of the day] firmly believed that their ancient priestly writings contained the prophecy that this was the very time when the East should grow strong and that men starting from Judea should possess the world..." (Tacitus, Hist 5.13)

"There had spread all over the Orent an old and established belief, that it was fated at that time for men coming from Judea to rule the world. This prediction, referring to the emperor of Rome, as afterwards appeared from the event, the people of Judea took to themselves; accordingly they revolted." (Suetonius, Vesp 4.5) [/indent]

Also, in the studies of the Qumran scrolls we have seen a tendency for that gathering strength. We can find in the Manual of Discipline (4Qse) along with other reasonable evidences that the hope for a Davidic messiah had really become a kind of new thing from around the Herodian period. The mentioning of messiah-like figures, in one sense of the word, cannot be so full elucidated as it is used in the Rule of the Congregation scroll, and War scroll, however, but it is otherwise clear enough--messiahism was the talk of the town.

We must first take into careful consideration the mood of the Jewish nation at that point in time, and of the general religious movements at that time, and the total of data that we have towards the sect which eventually, regardless of just how (for now) became the Christian movement--the messianic movement. I'll now take this matter to the thread on Biblical texts, because it will be a comparative study, and thus will fit there better, as we look at the actual contents of this Coptic Thomas (and lo and behold, I found that I did have the greek text in one book on that shelf of books (many which I don't open much at all these days....)

Some have, in this thread, in misinformation, kind of imagined that I am doing this now... No, not really, I am presenting what I have learned, and learning is an important thing, and I am now offerring what I have learned...it's not just my opinion, per se. The conclusion (in a nutshell) is that:


[indent]1) the Coptic Thomas does not really give us much of anything to focus in on as to the intended communication behind an single saying recorded because of each and every saying having been pulled from the very historical context in which it would have been spoken, and from which ONLY, could any deduction be made as to why such were being said, to whom, and for what intended result.

And also, 2) that Yeshua would have been focusing on an esoteric element will have at least two levels, actually. On the first level, in that he would have been focusing on members of the Jewish nation alone (thus not those lacking the special knowledge that that religious belief-system would have required). On the second level, such esoteric teaching would have had to have been a gradual thing--depending on in-group bonding with disciples...which would mean a spread of time. And then, anything above these would have more thinkably been less so--that is no greater a focus than just teaching about the coming kingdom that the Jewish nation at that time had been riled up in (and this is no mystical thing, it was a real, government-like theocracy that they had by far mostly had in mind). [/indent]

The comparison and further presentation will be on the other thread about Biblical texts after a short period of time.
 
LWSleeth
 
Reply Sat 27 Jun, 2009 09:24 pm
@KaseiJin,
KaseiJin;72915 wrote:
LWSleeth, let me begin here. I fully trust your intention to bring the exchange to a close, because you have done that before. Be that as it may, I would yet entertain the wish that you would continue to reason on the details


Sorry, not interested.
 
 

 
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.02 seconds on 10/19/2019 at 03:01:02