Thursday, September 07, 2006
what will you do?
I've read the gospel of thomas a couple times before, and up until this point everything seems somewhat coherent. Each time however, I get stuck on this one, because it strikes me as being very illogical.
If a man eats a lion, the lion will become a man. This makes sense. But then it goes on to say that if a man eats a lion, the lion will become a man. It seems like the logical conclusion to that verse would be "cursed is the man whom the lion eats, for that man will become a lion."
I think the reason I like thomas, in fact it's the only of the gnostic gospels (that I've read thus far) from which I can remember specific passages, is because of all the talk about knowing oneself and living honestly. These ideas reflect what I had to learn the hard way, since this wasn't a significant focal point in my christian upbringing. Oh sure, we were told to tell the truth, but it was an external type of truth. An "I was the one that colored on the wall" type of truth.
There are a number of parables here that bear a resemblence to parables in the new testament, and even though I know I shouldn't, I tend to skim them over in favor of less familiar territory. You know what they say, familiarity breeds contempt. I got stuck again, here:
"When you're in the Light what will you do? At birth you were One, then you made two. What will you do?"
It's left without an answer, and at first glance it seems like nonsense. It even rhymes, like a whimsical elvish poem from a tolkien footnote. I marked it with a question mark and continued reading, until I reached this:
"They answered, 'shall we, being as children, come into His kingdom?' Jesus replied, 'Make the two into One, and the inner as the outer, and the outer as the inner, the above as below, the male and female into a single one.'"
This make me think that maybe at birth we are only one person, and then as life goes on we become divided. The things we think and the things we say are two different stories, the heart becomes concealed and the exterior becomes a performance. Jesus says in these passages and in the new testament that you must be childlike to enter the kingdom of God, but here he expands on that. To be childlike you must be united, so that your outside and your inside are both the same person. It's a state of utter honesty, and no pretention. At least that's how I read this tonight.
This reminds me of a post I read today at a personal tao.
It's strange, the relationship I have with Alanis Morissette.... to be clear, I'm not particularly fond of her voice, and not overly impressed with her lyricism, and the music really isn't my type. I was thinking about that while driving, wondering why it is that despite these things, I love listening to my three alanis cd's.
I think it's the peculiar combination of angst and growth. The words may not be poetic, but they are painfully honest, and completely frank, and if you start with that jagged little pill and work your way to under rug swept, it's like you can watch a human morphing before your eyes, growing into a healthier, more settled person.
I've realized lately that I've been doing what I always do, that is, spreading my attention too thin. I think it would be helpful for me to immerse myself for a while in one frame of thought before moving on to the next, take the time to interact with it and see the world through that filter. I think this will help me to feel less scattered. It's true that I find so many different spiritualities fascinating, but I really have very little grasp of any of them, and gaining knowledge about them is different than understanding them.
I would like to focus on taoism for a while but alas, I don't have a copy of the tao te ching on me, so I will study for a while the gnostic gospels and possible some writings from the Nag Hammadi. Some of you will be getting emails from me, I suspect, as I try to understand how these writings are understood by the gnostic community.
As for Alanis, I'm hooked for the time being. Maybe I'll pick up a new album one of these days. Recommend one to me. Unless you're too cool for alanis. Then recommend something else.
Monday, September 04, 2006
I've been slacking off... haven't even posted a pic of my newest addition. Here she is!
They told me she was a border collie mix, but the older she gets the clearer it is that she is most certainly not. Some research has led me to the Karelian Bear Dog.... she's the spitting image, actually, and I've sent some pictures of her to a breeder to get their opinion.
Bear Dogs don't get particularly large, 40 -50 lbs, but they're used in Finland and Russia to hunt bears, cougars, basically anything that's big and vicious. They're supposedly very smart, agile, fast and fearless. Being a hunting dog, however, I'm not sure that agility will be sufficient work for her, and I may need to consult some humans who are more knowledgable on the subject. I would hate to have a bored or unfulfilled dog on my hands..... unfulfilled dogs tend to destroy things.