TEXT   48

thunder.txt

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  1.  
  2.                              Thunder, Perfect Mind
  3.  
  4.                                      or
  5.  
  6.                   _How did all these people get into my room?_
  7.  
  8.  
  9.  
  10.     The text called _Thunder, Perfect Mind_ is a composite document,
  11. composed of three distinct types of writing. These types of writing can
  12. be compared to the Isis aretalogies, Hebrew wisdom literature, and
  13. Platonic dialogue.{FN:1} The composite nature of the text is clearer
  14. when the three strands are separated and reconstructed, each by
  15. themselves. The three resultant texts can be found below.{FN:2}
  16.  
  17.     If the document is to be considered a gnostic document, a definition
  18. of gnostic must be tendered first. For now, the definition of Theodotus
  19. will be used, that "what liberates us is the knowledge of who we were,
  20. what we became; where we were, whereunto we have been thrown; whereunto
  21. we speed, wherefrom we are redeemed; what birth is, and what
  22. rebirth."{FN:3}  The Thunder, Perfect Mind_ answers some of these
  23. questions, but not others.
  24.  
  25.    The questions dealing with self-knowledge are dealt with very fully
  26. in the text. The tradition of Isis aretalogies is one of
  27. self-definition, aretalogies being strings of "I am" statements. The
  28. part of the text like an Isis aretalogy describes the speaker in
  29. paradoxical but full detail. The very first section of the aretalogy
  30. text answers the questions of where the speaker comes from, where she
  31. has come to, and where she might be found. There is a slight deviation,
  32. in that she has actively come to "those who reflect" upon her, rather
  33. than "being thrown" to them, but the idea of being removed from one's
  34. original habitation is there. In the sixth section of this part she says
  35. that she is an alien, as well as a citizen.
  36.  
  37.    This brings up the question of what the point of the dichotomies in
  38. the aretalogy section is. They range from philosophical, political and
  39. social opposites to sexual and familial polarities. In each opposition
  40. of polarity, the speaker maintains that she encompasses both poles, or
  41. roles. She is "the whore and the holy one."{FN:4}  She is "the barren
  42. one, and she whose sons are many."{FN:5}  She is "Knowledge and
  43. ignorance."{FN:6}  And she is "the one whom they call Law, and you have
  44. called Lawlessness."{FN:7}
  45.  
  46.     In the last dichotomy, the difference may be ascribed to the people
  47. who call her either Law or Lawlessness, either "they" or "you." Similar
  48. distinctions are made in other seemingly paradoxical statements in terms
  49. of temporal placement. The tenses change, for instance, in the fifth
  50. section in many statements, such as "I am the one who is hated
  51. everywhere, and who has been loved everywhere.", "I am the one whom you
  52. have despised, and you reflect upon me." and "I am the one whom you have
  53. hidden from, and you appear to me." These distinctions, either temporal
  54. or nominal, are subservient to the larger message that the speaker is a
  55. very diverse personality. They are also only possible to discern in a
  56. small percentage of the proffered paradoxes{FN:8}  The main attempt is
  57. to define herself, not to set up distinctions in time or peoples. There
  58. is almost no cosmology or anthropology in this text, and this is a clue
  59. to the nature of the message of the text. The emphasis is on the person,
  60. not the cosmos; on the self, and not the environment.
  61.  
  62.     In this aretalogy third of the text, there an attempt to transcend
  63. the intellect through intellectual paradox. By setting up identities
  64. between polar opposites the mind is set in circles, as it is by the Zen
  65. _koans_, until it is driven into the brick wall of impossibility. In the
  66. introduction to his translation of this text, MacRae states that "...the
  67. particular significance of the self-proclamations of _Thunder, Perfect
  68. Mind_ may be found in their antithetical character."{FN:9}  One might
  69. rather say that the significance _must_ be found in their antithetical
  70. character. There is no other common denominator.
  71.  
  72.     The second type of writing seen in this text is comparable to Hebrew
  73. wisdom literature. The excerpted and reconnected text is a series of
  74. hortatory instructions for those who would be _gnostikoi_, in the form
  75. of very short injunctions to "Look upon me"{FN:10} , "Hear me"{FN:11} ,
  76. "Do not be arrogant to me"{FN:12} , etc. The speaker exhorts the reader
  77. to be on his guard twice, and not to be ignorant of her twice. This
  78. emphasis on care and awareness augments the intellectual exercises of
  79. the aretalogy section. One could easily skim over the polarities and not
  80. stop to reflect on them or their import, in which case their efficacy of
  81. liberation would be severely diminished. All three parts of this text
  82. work together.
  83.  
  84.     The exhortations go on to impress upon the reader that he must be
  85. aware that the speaker encompasses all things, great and small, as well
  86. as left and right, male and female, royal and base, rich and poor. There
  87. is an element of the union of opposites here as well, the speaker saying
  88. she is compassionate and cruel, and obedient and self-controlled.{FN:13}
  89.  
  90.     In the third section of this part of the text, the instructions are
  91. to "come forward to me, you who know me ... and establish the great ones
  92. among the small first creatures." Here is some evidence of an organised
  93. attempt to proselytise, or establish a group of those who know the
  94. speaker. The fourth section also calls to "you, who know me." They are
  95. told to learn the speaker's words, while those "hearers" are told simply
  96. to hear. This suggests some form of hierarchy among the "hearers" and
  97. the "knowers". The first step would seem to be that one must hear the
  98. voice, and then come to know it.
  99.  
  100.     This could be a sign of the initiatory path, along which one must
  101. pass to come to _gnosis_ As noted above, the simple act of hearing the
  102. message intellectually would not be enough. One must pay special care to
  103. the paradoxes presented, and reflect upon them until illumination comes.
  104. The process can again be compared to the effect of _koans_, where one
  105. perceives them first as outright nonsense, "the sound of one hand
  106. clapping,"_ etc._, until one comes to the crux of where they attempt to
  107. fix the mind.{FN:14}
  108.  
  109.    Where the _Thunder, Perfect Mind_ would fix the mind is on a
  110. realisation of the transcendence of the speaker, and eventually on the
  111. identification of the speaker with the hearer when that hearer becomes a
  112. knower. As it says in the sixth section of the aretalogy part, "I am the
  113. knowledge of my inquiry, and the finding of those who seek after me, ...
  114. and of the spirits of every who exists with me, and of the women who
  115. dwell within me." The path to _gnosis_ and the traveler on that path are
  116. both played here by the character of the speaker.
  117.  
  118.     Another point made by this part of the text like wisdom literature
  119. is that manifestation implies duality, and that to perceive in the world
  120. implies discrimination. The nature of the speaker comprehends all
  121. things, but to appear in the world she must choose one of the two halves
  122. of all those things through which to appear. As a complete being she
  123. would be both invisible and insensible in any way, since to contain both
  124. poles of being, such as 1 and -1, would be to equal 0. This has a
  125. parallel in the way of the Tao, in which one of the aims is to do
  126. everything by doing nothing. One might hear the speaker saying "I am she
  127. who does everything, and nothing." The idea is to incorporate in oneself
  128. a balance between action and non-action, yin and yang, and by doing such
  129. one gets beyond having to struggle with the world. There will be no
  130. antagonism between the person and then environment, once that person
  131. becomes one with the environment. (Or a reflection of it, by
  132. incorporating or epitomising all its elements.)
  133.  
  134.    This shows the less ascetic nature of the text _Thunder, Perfect
  135.  Mind_. The world is not actively evil, but rather simply distracting
  136.  due to its incomplete nature. When one gets beyond this, then one has
  137.  improved, but there is no shame in being merely a "hearer," and not a
  138.  "knower." The only desiderata are to hear and then to know, to balance
  139.  oneself according to what one comes to know, and despise nothing along
  140.  the way, for every thing is part of the transcendent whole. Here one
  141.  could draw Deist parallels, intensifying the impression that the
  142.  writers of this text did not see the world as inherently evil.
  143.  
  144.     It is our perception of the world that causes the apparent evil of
  145.  the world. To perceive something is to discriminate between it and its
  146.  context. It is this separation or making of differences that allows us
  147.  to operate in the world, but also that enslaves us to it by
  148.  monopolising our attention. _Thunder, Perfect Mind_ insists that only
  149.  by seeing the larger picture of unions of all opposites can we escape
  150.  this servitude to the world. In other words, what liberates us is the
  151.  knowledge of into what we have been thrown, or have come.
  152.  
  153.     The last section, the fifth of this part of the text, is a final
  154.  exhortation to the reader to "look," "give heed" and be aware of who
  155.  speaks and what that means, that by encompassing all things she is "the
  156.  one who alone exists," comprising all, "and ... no one who will judge"
  157.  her exists outside her. This extreme recognition of the unity of
  158.  oneself with the cosmos, of subject with object, and of positive and
  159.  negative, leads to an extension of the self to the limits of
  160.  perception. Sometimes this continues to the point that manifestation
  161.  requires a relimitation by definition of person. As the speaker has
  162.  done this, the extension and then the relimitation in order to
  163.  communicate, she also implies that it is an achievement attainable by
  164.  all, if one will just "hear" and "know."
  165.  
  166.     The third part of the text represents Greece, as the first two
  167.  reflect the Egyptian and Judaic strands of the Hellenistic
  168.  world.{FN:15}  It consists of questions and answers, not always on
  169.  philosophical subjects, but always leading to philosophical points. It
  170.  is similar in many ways to the prototypical Platonic dialogue in which
  171.  the interlocutor is led to the truth of the matter by way of dialectic.
  172.  Another parallel would be the dialogue between Arjuna and Krishna in
  173.  that chariot.
  174.  
  175.     There are six sections to this part of the text, as it has been cut
  176.  up and fitted to the other two parts, and the first five display an
  177.  elegant ring composition. Section one is a question and amplification
  178.  of the question, while section five is the answer to it. Section two is
  179.  another question and amplification, answered by section four. Section
  180.  three is the center point, pointing out the union of the two questions
  181.  and their respective answers. Section six is a conclusion of sorts,
  182.  resuming that which the dialogue has attempted to draw.
  183.  
  184.     The first question is why the reader, and people in general, display
  185.  contradictory behavior. This is not a psychological type of inquiry,
  186.  into the roots of irrationality, but rather another attempt to unveil
  187.  the nature of the speaker. The contradictory behavior referred to deals
  188.  with the reader's reaction to the speaker, and the nature of complete
  189.  being in general.{FN:16} If complete being entails all things, then it
  190.  elicits all responses, each of which will have an opposite reaction
  191.  that will be elicited simultaneously (or thereabouts). Love and hate,
  192.  truth and lie, knowledge and ignorance are all part of man's reactions
  193.  to the world.
  194.  
  195.     The answer to this problem is contained in section five. The
  196.  incompleteness of things, inside and outside, judge and judged,
  197.  condemning and acquitting; these distinctions elicit opposite responses
  198.  to each of their halves, yet both halves are only that: halves of a
  199.  whole, which elicits both love and hate, fear and confidence, and
  200.  obedience and self-control. The way out of the world of appearances is
  201.  again to realise the unity of opposites. that what is seen inside is
  202.  what is outside also.
  203.  
  204.     The second question is directed toward the question of the ignorance
  205.  of these unions of opposites. "Why have you hated me," asks the unity,
  206.  "Because I am a barbarian among barbarians?"{FN:17}  Because I don't
  207.  speak the language of any specific nation, not even those who don't
  208.  speak you language? Because I speak of universals? The answer is that
  209.  "those who are without association with me are ignorant of me, and
  210.  those who are in my substance are the ones who know me."{FN:18}  Those
  211.  who know, know; those who don't don't. One cannot understand the nature
  212.  of the speaker or the world until one becomes a part of it, and all the
  213.  parts of it. The antithetical and polarised nature continues to be
  214.  shown, "On the day when I am close to you, you are far away from me,
  215.  and on the day when I am far away from you, I am close to you."{FN:19}
  216.  
  217.     The third section unites these two questions of the manifestation of
  218. opposites, and the difficulty of perception of perfection. (not to
  219. mention perfection of perception!) Both problems stem from human nature
  220. in the world of manifestation. The separation of opposites, needed for
  221. perception of manifested things, is necessary to operate in the world as
  222. humans with human limitations, as these limitations are usually counted.
  223. But the speaker here says the real need ideally is not to separate, and
  224. thus to come to a realisation of the unity. This is similar to the idea
  225. of _samadhi_, where the subject and object of contemplation are united
  226. in a flash of illumination.
  227.  
  228.  Section six concludes, saying that the worldly forms are pleasant, but
  229. numerous, disgraceful, and fleeting. When men "become sober and go up to
  230. their resting place.... they will find me there, and they will live, and
  231. they will not die again." This implies the possibility of a permanent
  232. state of comprehension of the unity of opposites.
  233.  
  234.     Now we can see where Theodotus' definition of gnosticism is and is
  235. not exemplified by _Thunder, Perfect Mind_. The writers of this text
  236. were concerned with most of Theodotus' questions, but not all. They
  237. provide answers for where we have come from, and whereunto we have been
  238. thrown. They address the question of who we were, what we have become,
  239. but not really what birth is, and what rebirth. Nor do they proffer
  240. answers to whereunto we speed, or wherefrom we are redeemed, beyond the
  241. answers to the first questions of where we were and where we are. The
  242. answers that are offered deal with personal rather than cosmological
  243. questions (if there is a difference). The issue is primarily one of
  244. self-liberation, rather than redemption, unless the reception of the
  245. "good news" of unity is to be considered redemption.
  246.  
  247.     This difference of degree of activity and passivity between
  248. Theodotus and the speaker of _Thunder, Perfect Mind_ is revealed in the
  249. answers to whereunto we have been thrown, and wherefrom we are
  250. redeemed.{FN:20}  In _Thunder, Perfect_ _Mind's_ view we came ourselves
  251. to this world, and liberate ourselves through Hearing and Knowing. What
  252. liberates us is still the knowledge, but the knowledge of slightly
  253. different things. The lack of cosmology or theology in the text,
  254. compared to other texts in the Nag Hammadi library, suggests the
  255. comparison rather to the more psychological sect of Buddhism in contrast
  256. to the majority of Mahayana that has absorbed local religious or
  257. theological superstructure.
  258.  
  259.     The path suggested by the text towards illumination is a strictly
  260. intellectual path to the transcendence of intellect. Through the
  261. mortification of the mind rather than of the flesh one may achieve
  262. _gnosis_. There is therefore no need for a theology on which to hang
  263. precepts of asceticism. The authors of the text say simply that when one
  264. understands the facts, one gives up the preoccupation of the world as
  265. incomplete.
  266.  
  267.     The gnosticism exemplified by this text then, is transcendental,
  268. syncretic, and hortatory. It is transcendent in that it looks at the
  269. world and insists that there is a larger reality beyond what we see as
  270. separate, discrete things. It is syncretic in that it uses three
  271. distinct literary styles to get across its point. These three texts may
  272. have been actual texts on their own before incorporation into this text,
  273. or they may not. They fit so smoothly into each other in terms of
  274. subject continuity that were they originally distinct texts, they must
  275. have been revised for the purpose. The authors are hortatory as opposed
  276. to imperative in that they say that if you come to their idea of unity,
  277. then you will be less confused by the complexity of the world. If you do
  278. not, then you will stick to all those pleasant forms of passions and
  279. fleeting pleasures, and simply not achieve peace. They do not threaten
  280. any punishment for ignorance, only a perpetuation of a potentially
  281. temporary confusion.
  282.  
  283.     The comparisons of the three styles of writings is profitable only
  284. in so far as it serves to conveniently categorise the material. Too
  285. strict an analogy to the three styles would be blinding as well. The
  286. content is radically different in message from the usual content of any
  287. of the borrowed forms. Again, what must be looked at to explain the
  288. meaning of the text is the antithetical nature of the "I am" statements,
  289. and their commentary in the other two styles of text. The medium (in
  290. this case) is not the message. The function of the text must be
  291. considered to be not philosophical speculation, theological or moral
  292. exhortation or religious definition, as the borrowed types were, but
  293. rather psychological revelation, buttressed by practical exhortation and
  294. logical proof.
  295.  
  296.    What really qualifies the author or authors of this text for
  297. consideration as excellent and true gnostics is their appropriation of
  298. existing forms, whether myths, ritual speeches, or philosophical
  299. methods, and turning them to their own ends.
  300.  
  301.                         _The text like an Isis Aretalogy_
  302.  
  303.  1) I was sent forth from the power, and I have come to those who
  304. reflect upon me, and I have been found among those who seek after me.
  305.  
  306.  2) For I am the first and the last. I am the honored one and the
  307. scorned one. I am the whore and the holy one. I am the wife and the
  308. virgin. I am the mother and the daughter. I am the members of my mother.
  309. I am the barren one and many are her sons. I am she whose wedding is
  310. great, and I have not taken a husband. I am the midwife and she who does
  311. not bear. I am the solace of my labour pains. I am the bride and the
  312. bridegroom, and it is my husband who begot me. I am the mother of my
  313. father and the sister of my husband, and he is my offspring. I am the
  314. slave of him who prepared me. I am the ruler of my offspring. But he is
  315. the one who begot me before a time on a birthday. And he is my offspring
  316. in due time and my power is from him. I am the staff of his power in his
  317. youth, and he is the rod of my old age. And whatever he wills happens to
  318. me. I am the voice whose sound is manifold and the word whose appearance
  319. is multiple. I am the utterance of my name.
  320.  
  321.  3) For I am knowledge and ignorance. I am shame and boldness. I am
  322.  shameless, I am ashamed. I am strength and I am fear. I am war and
  323.  peace. Give heed to me. I am the one who is disgraced and the great
  324.  one.
  325.  
  326.  4) But I am she who exists in all fears and strength in trembling. I am
  327.  she who is weak, and I am well in a pleasant place. I am senseless and
  328.  I am wise.
  329.  
  330.  5) For I am the wisdom of the Greeks and the knowledge of the
  331.  barbarians. I am the judgment of the Greeks and the barbarians. I am
  332.  the one whose image is great in Egypt and the one who as no image among
  333.  the barbarians. I am the one who is hated everywhere and who has been
  334.  loved everywhere. I am the one whom they call Law, and you have called
  335.  Lawlessness. I am the one whom they call Life, and you have called
  336.  Death. I am the one whom you have pursued, and I am the one whom you
  337.  have seized. I am the one you have scattered and you have gathered me
  338.  together. I am the one before whom you have been ashamed, and you have
  339.  been shameless to me. I am she who does not keep festival, and I am she
  340.  whose festivals are many. I, I am godless, and I am one whose God is
  341.  great. I am the one whom you have reflected upon, and you have scorned
  342.  me. I am unlearned, and they learn from me. I am the one whom you have
  343.  despised, and you reflect upon me. I am the one whom you have hidden
  344.  from, and you appear to me. But whenever you hide yourselves, I myself
  345.  will appear.
  346.  
  347.  6) But I am the mind of ... and the rest of .... I am the knowledge of
  348.  my inquiry, and the finding of those who seek after, and the command of
  349.  those who ask of me, and the power of the powers in my knowledge of the
  350.  angels, who have been sent at my word, and of the gods in their seasons
  351.  by my counsel, and of the spirits of every man who exists with me, and
  352.  of the women who dwell within me. I am the one who is honored, and who
  353.  is praised, and who is despised scornfully. I am peace, and war has
  354.  come because of me. I am an alien and a citizen. I am the substance and
  355.  the one who has no substance.
  356.  
  357.  7) I am ... within. I am ... of the natures. I am ... of the creation
  358.  of the spirits. ... request of souls. I am control and the
  359.  uncontrollable. I am the union and the dissolution. I am the abiding
  360.  and the dissolving. I am the one below, and they come up to me. I am
  361.  the judgment and the acquittal. I, I and sinless, and the root of sin
  362.  derives from me. I am lust in outward appearance, and interior
  363.  self-control exists within me. I am the hearing that is attainable to
  364.  everyone, and the speech that cannot be grasped. I am a mute who does
  365.  not speak, and great is the multitude of my words. Hear me in
  366.  gentleness, and learn of me in roughness. I am she who cries out, and I
  367.  am cast out on the face of the earth. I prepare the bread and my mind
  368.  within. I am the knowledge of my name. I am one who cries out, and I
  369.  listen. I appear and  ... walk in ... seal of my ... I am ... the
  370.  defense ... I am the one who is called Truth, and iniquity ....
  371.  
  372.  8) I am the hearing that is attainable to everything; I am the speech
  373.  that can not be grasped. I am the name of the sound, and the sound of
  374.  the name. I am the sign of the letter and the  designation of the
  375.  division. And I .... ... light .... ... hearers ... to you ... the
  376.  great power. And ... will not move the name. ... to the one who created
  377.  me. And I will speak his name.
  378.  
  379.                       _The text like a Hebrew Wisdom Text._
  380.  
  381.  1) Look upon me and reflect upon me, and you hearers. hear me. You who
  382.  are waiting for me, take to yourselves. And do not banish me from your
  383.  sight. And do not make your voices hate me, nor your hearing. Do not be
  384.  ignorant of me any where or any time. Be on your guard! Do not be
  385.  ignorant of me.
  386.  
  387.  2) Give heed to my poverty and my wealth.  Do not be arrogant to me
  388.  when I am cast out upon the earth, and you will find me in those who
  389.  are to come. And do not look upon me on the dung heap nor go and leave
  390.  me cast out, and you will find me in the kingdoms. And do not look upon
  391.  me when I am cast out among those who are disgraced and in the least
  392.  places, nor laugh at me. And do not cast me out among those who are
  393.  slain in violence. But I, I am compassionate and I am cruel. Be on your
  394.  guard! Do not hate my obedience, and do not love my self-control. In my
  395.  weakness do not forsake me, and do not be afraid of my power. For why
  396.  do you despise my fear and curse my pride?
  397.  
  398.  3) Those who have ... to it ... senselessly.... Take me ...
  399.  understanding from grief, and take me to yourselves from understanding
  400.  and grief. And take me to yourselves from places that are ugly and in
  401.  ruin, and rob from those which are good, even though in ugliness. Out
  402.  of shame, take me to yourselves shamelessly; and out of shamelessness
  403.  and shame, upbraid my members in yourselves. And come forward to me,
  404.  you who know me and who know my members, and establish the great ones
  405.  among the first small creatures. Come forward to childhood, and do not
  406.  despise it because it is small and it is little. And do not turn away
  407.  greatnesses in some parts from the smallnesses, for the smallnesses are
  408.  known from the greatnesses.
  409.  
  410.  4) Hear me you hearers. and learn of my words, you who know me.
  411.  
  412.  5) Look then at his words and all the writings which have been
  413.  completed. Give heed then you hearers and you also the angels and those
  414.  who have been sent, and you spirits who have arisen from the dead. For
  415.  I am the one who alone exists, and I have no one who will judge me.
  416.  
  417.                       _The text like a Platonic Dialogue._
  418.  
  419.  1) Why, you who hate me, do you love me, and you hate those who love
  420.  me? You who deny me, confess me, and you who confess me deny me. You
  421.  who tell the truth about me lie about me, and you who have lied about
  422.  me tell the truth about me. You who know me, be ignorant of me, and
  423.  those who have not known me, let them know me.
  424.  
  425.  2) Why have you hated me in your counsels? For I shall be silent among
  426.  those who are silent, and I shall appear and speak. Why then have you
  427.  hated me, you Greeks? Because I am a barbarian among the barbarians?
  428.  
  429.  3) Why do you curse me and honor me? You have wounded and you have had
  430.  mercy. Do not separate me from the first ones whom you have known. And
  431.  do not cast anyone out nor turn anyone away ... turn you away and ...
  432.  know him not ... him. What is mine.... I know the first one and those
  433.  after know me.
  434.  
  435.  4) Those who are without association with me are ignorant of me, and
  436.  those who are in my substance are the ones who know me. Those who are
  437.  close to me have been ignorant of me, and those who are far away from
  438.  me are the ones who have known me. On the day when I am close to you,
  439.  you are far away from me, and on the day when I am far away from you, I
  440.  am close to you.
  441.  
  442.  5) You honor me ... and you whisper against me. ... victorious over
  443.  them. Judge then before they give judgment against you, because the
  444.  judge and the partiality exist within you. If you are condemned by this
  445.  one, who will acquit you? Or if you are acquitted by him who will be
  446.  able to detain you. For what is in side of you is what is outside of
  447.  you, and the one who fashions you on the outside of you is the one who
  448.  shaped the inside of you. And what you see inside of you, you see
  449.  outside of you; it is visible and it is your garment.
  450.  
  451.  6) For many are the pleasant forms which exist in numerous sins, and
  452.  incontinencies, and disgraceful passions, and fleeting pleasures, which
  453.  men embrace until they become sober and go up to their resting place.
  454.  And they will find me there, and they will live, and they will not die
  455.  again.
  456.  
  457. 1) For examples of aretalogies see Grant, F.C.; _Hellenistic Religions:
  458.  The Age__of Syncretism._
  459.  
  460. 2) The text _Thunder, Perfect Mind_ is CG VI, 2.
  461.  
  462. The aretalogy-like material's sections are;
  463. 1.      13,1-13,6
  464. 2.      13,16-14,15
  465. 3.      14,25-15,1
  466. 4.      15,25-15,30
  467. 5.      16,5-17,1
  468. 6.      18,10-18,30
  469. 7.      19,5-20,10
  470. 8.      20,29-21,12
  471.  
  472. The wisdom literature styled section are;
  473. 1.      13,6-13,15
  474. 2.      15,1-15,25
  475. 3.      17,1-17,32
  476. 4.      20,26-20,28
  477. 5.      21,12-21,20
  478.  
  479. The dialogue material comes from;
  480. 1.      14,15-14,25
  481. 2.      15,30-16,5
  482. 3.      17,32-18,10
  483. 4.      18,30-19,5
  484. 5.      20,10-20,25
  485. 6.      21,20-21,32
  486.  
  487. 3) This definition of Theodotus is cited in Clemens Alexandrinus,_
  488.  Excerpta ex__Theodoto_ 78.2.
  489.  
  490. 4) IA 2 (Sections will be referred to by their section number prefixed
  491.    by IA for aretalogy sections, WT for wisdom sections, and PD for the
  492.    dialogue sections.)
  493.  
  494. 5) IA 2
  495.  
  496. 6) IA 2
  497.  
  498. 7) IA 5
  499.  
  500. 8) Only in 9 out of 68 complete paradox statements does there occur
  501.  temporal or nominal changes along with alteration of description.
  502.  (Interestingly, all occur in sections IA 2 & IA 5, two sections of 8)
  503.  
  504. 9) Robinson, James M., ed.; _The Nag Hamadi Library in English_, (Harper
  505.  & Row: San Fransisco) 1977/81, p. 271
  506.  
  507. 10) WT 1
  508.  
  509. 11) WT 1
  510.  
  511. 12) WT 2
  512.  
  513. 13) WT 2. In the sentence regarding obedience and self-control, the
  514.  point is also to have no reactive emotions to these things, as the
  515.  emotions form attachment to objects. This advice towards detachment,
  516.  reminiscent of Eastern philosophies more often than Western, shows up
  517.  in the dialogue sections more obviously.
  518.  
  519. 14) _i.e.,_ where the subject of the knowledge they are designed to
  520.  impart lies.
  521.  
  522. 15) The Macedonian, Seleucid, and Ptolomaic Kingdoms made up the
  523.  Hellenistic world, _per se_, though external contact with Europe, Asia,
  524.  and Africa was constant. Of course, all three nations were also
  525.  assimilating parts of each other's cultures, creating the international
  526.  and cosmopolitan atmosphere necessary for the creation of our text, and
  527.  the sources are named after the originating national culture for
  528.  convenience only.
  529.  
  530. 16) "Complete being" refers to the unified speaker and world.
  531.  (1)+(-1)=(0).
  532.  
  533. 17) PD 2
  534.  
  535. 18) PD 4
  536.  
  537. 19) PD 4
  538.  
  539. 20) These two questions presuppose a passive role on our part, which may
  540.  or may not refer to the Gnostic Redeemer as well as us regular joes,
  541.  the recipiants of the redeeming message. In this text, however, there
  542.  is no strong distinction between the speakers and the hearers on the
  543.  basis of origin; only on the level of knowledge. We may be assumed to
  544.  have the same genesis as she, and she states that she had an active
  545.  role in coming into the world. This only difference is that she knows
  546.  this, and presumably we do not.
  547.  
  548.  * Origin: Opera=Amorem =+= BaphoNet-by-the-Sea (718)499-9277

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