Jesus finally restores all things to God," bringing them back into the Father, and into The Mother.”


Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas
"But 'unlike' Arnold, the author of this gospel believes that we can awaken from horror to discover God's presence here and now; and when we wake up, the terror recedes, for the divine breath—the spirit—runs after us," and, having extended a hand, lift[s] [us] up to stand on [our] feet.”[20] Thus, the Gospel of Truth continues, echoing John's prologue, the"'word' of the Father,...Jesus of the infinite sweetness...goes forth into all things, supporting all things," and finally restores all things to God," bringing them back into the Father, and into The Mother.”The Gospel of Truth also says that what we see in Jesus—or God—depends on what we need to see, and what we are capable of seeing. For although the divine is"Ineffable, unimaginable," our understanding is bound by words and images, which can either limit or extend what we perceive. (P.121) So, although God is, of course, neither masculine or feminine, when invoking the image of God the Father, this author also speaks of God The Mother.”

“Valentinus, a poet himself, loved the power of biblical images, especially John's. Though orthodox Christians later sought to destroy his teachings, the surviving fragments show that he took the story of the cleansing of the Temple, for example, as a parable showing how, when God shines into our hearts, he shatters and transforms what he finds there to make us fit dwellings for the holy spirit. [15] Another fragment suggests that Valentinus's own spiritual awakening occurred when he received a revelatory dream in which a newborn child appeared and said to him," I am the 'logos'"[16]—in John's language, the divine 'word' revealed in human form.

Let us look at several examples of what Irenaeus calls"evil exegesis," and then consider what he finds objectionable. Irenaeus identifies Valentinus as the author of what he calls the Gospel of Truth, and if this is the same one discovered at Nag Hammadi, we now can see, for the first time, how Valentinus praised the"hidden mystery, Jesus the Christ.”[17] Whether written by Valentinus or, more likely, by one of his followers, the Gospel of Truth depicts a world devoid of God as a nightmare, a world like the one Matthew Arnold described nearly two thousand years later:

...the world, which seems
to lie before us like a land of dreams,
so various, so beautiful, so new,
hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light, nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
and we are here as on a darkling plain
swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight
where ignorant armies clash by night.
[18]

The Gospel of Truth, too, pictures human existence, apart from God, as a nightmare, in which people feel as if...they were fleeing, or, without strength they come from having chased after others; or they are...striking blows, or...receiving blows themselves; or they have fallen from high places, or they take off into the air, though they do not even have wings;...or as if people were murdering them, though there is no one pursuing them, or they themselves are killing their neighbors, for they have been stained with their blood. [19]

But 'unlike' Arnold, the author of this gospel believes that we can awaken from horror to discover God's presence here and now; and when we wake up, the terror recedes, for the divine breath—the spirit—runs after us," and, having extended a hand, lift[s] [us] up to stand on [our] feet.”[20] Thus, the Gospel of Truth continues, echoing John's prologue, the"'word' of the Father,...Jesus of the infinite sweetness...goes forth into all things, supporting all things," and finally restores all things to God," bringing them back into the Father, and into The Mother.”[21]

The Gospel of Truth also says that what we see in Jesus—or God—depends on what we need to see, and what we are capable of seeing. For although the divine is"Ineffable, unimaginable," our understanding is bound by words and images, which can either limit or extend what we perceive. (P.121) So, although God is, of course, neither masculine or feminine, when invoking the image of God the Father, this author also speaks of God The Mother. Moreover, while drawing upon images of Jesus familiar from the gospels of Matthew and Luke (the"good shepherd") [22] and from Paul, who speaks of wisdom's"hidden mystery," [23] as well as from John ("The word of the Father"), this author offers other visions of Jesus as well. Acknowledging that believers commonly see Jesus"nailed to the cross"As an image recalling sacrificial death, this author suggests seeing him instead as"fruit on a tree"—none other than the"tree of knowledge"In Paradise. [24] But instead of destroying those who eat the fruit, as Adam was destroyed, 'this' fruit," Jesus the Christ," conveys 'genuine' knowledge—not intellectual knowledge but the knowing of mutual recognition (a word related to the Greek term 'gnosis')—to those whom God"discovers...in himself, and they discover him in themselves.”[25]

This gospel takes its name from the opening line: "The gospel of truth is joy, to those who receive from the Father the grace of knowing him," [26] for it transforms our understanding of God and ourselves. Those who receive this gospel no longer"think of [God] as petty, nor harsh, nor wrathful"—not, that is, as some biblical stories portray him—"but as a being without evil," loving, full of tranquility, gracious, and all-knowing. [27] The Gospel of Truth pictures the holy spirit as God's breath, and envisions the Father first breathing forth the entire universe of living beings ("his children are his fragrant breath"), then drawing all beings back into the embrace of their divine source. [28] Meanwhile, he urges those who"discover God in themselves, and themselves in God"to transform 'gnosis' into action:

Speak the truth to those who seek it,
And speak of understanding to those who have committed sin through error;
Strengthen the feet of those who have stumbled;
Extend your hands to those who are sick;
Feed those who are hungry;
Give rest to those who are weary;
And raise up those who wish to rise.
[29]

Those who care for others and do good"do the will of the Father.”

Beyond Belief (The Secret Gospel of Thomas), Chapter 4, p.119-122
Elaine Pagels
Vintage Books, New York, U.S.A
ISBN: 0-375-70316-0


Notes:
For fuller and more technical discussions of the research summarized in this chapter, see Elaine Pagels," Irenaeus, the 'Canon of Truth' and the Gospel of John: 'Making a Difference' Through Hermeneutics and Ritual," in 'Vigiliae Christianae' 56.4 (2002), 339-371; also Pagels," Ritual in the Gospel of Phillip," in Turner and McGuire, 'Nag Hammadi Library After Fifty Years', 280-294;"The Mystery of Marriage in the Gospel of Phillip," in Pearson, 'Future of Early Christianity', 442-452; and 'Johannine Gospel in Gnostic Exegesis'.
[15] Valentinus 2, in Clement of Alexandria, 'Stromateis' 2.14.3-6 (for discussion, see Markschies, 'Valentinus Gnosticus?' 54ff).
[16] Valentinus 7, in Hippolytus, 'Refutation of All Heresies' 6.42.2.
[17] Gospel of Truth 29.9-25, in NHL 43.
[18] Opening lines of"Dover Beach.”
[19] Gospel of Truth 29.9-25, in NHL 43.
[20] Ibid., 30.16-21, in NHL 43.
[21] Ibid., 24:5-9, in NHL 41.
[22] Matthew 18:2-4; Luke 15:3-7.
[23] 1 Corinthians 2:7.
[24] Gospel of Truth 18:24-29, in NHL 38.
[25] Ibid., 18.29-34, in NHL 38.
[26] Ibid., 16.31-33, in NHL 37.
[27] Ibid., 42.1-10, in NHL 48.
[28] Ibid., 33.35-34.35, in NHL 44.
[29] Ibid., 32.35-33.30.




The fulfillment of eschatological instruction promised by Jesus
“The original meaning of the word ‘apocalypse’, derived from the Greek apokalypsis, is in fact not the cataclysmic end of the world, but an ‘unveiling’, or ‘revelation’, a means whereby one gains insight into the present.” (Kovacs, 2013, 2)
An apocalypse (Greek: apokalypsis meaning “an uncovering”) is in religious contexts knowledge or revelation, a disclosure of something hidden, “a vision of heavenly secrets that can make sense of earthly realities.” (Ehrman 2014, 59)
“An apocalypse (Ancient Greek: apokalypsis ... literally meaning "an uncovering") is a disclosure or revelation of great knowledge. In religious and occult concepts, an apocalypse usually discloses something very important that was hidden or provides what Bart Ehrman has termed, "A vision of heavenly secrets that can make sense of earthly realities". Historically, the term has a heavy religious connotation as commonly seen in the prophetic revelations of eschatology obtained through dreams or spiritual visions.” Wikipedia 2021-01-09

Shri Mataji
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi (1923-2011) was Christian by birth, Hindu by marriage, and Paraclete by duty.
Total number of recorded talks 3058: Public Programs 1178, Pujas 651, and other (private conversations) 1249

“The Paraclete will come (15:26; 16:7, 8, 13) as Jesus has come into the world (5:43; 16:28; 18:37)... The Paraclete will take the things of Christ (the things that are mine, ek tou emou) and declare them (16:14-15). Bishop Fison describes the humility of the Spirit, 'The true Holy Spirit of God does not advertise Herself: She effaces Herself and advertises Jesus.' ...
It is by the outgoing activity of the Spirit that the divine life communicates itself in and to the creation. The Spirit is God-in-relations. The Paraclete is the divine self-expression which will be and abide with you, and be in you (14:16-17). The Spirit's work is described in terms of utterance: teach you, didasko (14:26), remind you, hypomimnesko (14:26), testify, martyro (15:26), prove wrong, elencho (16:8), guide into truth, hodego (16:13), speak, laleo (16:13, twice), declare, anangello (16:13, 14, 15). The johannine terms describe verbal actions which intend a response in others who will receive (lambano), see (theoreo), or know (ginosko) the Spirit. Such speech-terms link the Spirit with the divine Word. The Spirit's initiatives imply God's personal engagement with humanity. The Spirit comes to be with others; the teaching Spirit implies a community of learners; forgetful persons need a prompter to remind them; one testifies expecting heed to be paid; one speaks and declares in order to be heard. The articulate Spirit is the correlative of the listening, Spirit-informed community.
The final Paraclete passage closes with a threefold repetition of the verb she will declare (anangello), 16:13-15. The Spirit will declare the things that are to come (v.13), and she will declare what is Christ's (vv. 14, 15). The things of Christ are a message that must be heralded...
The intention of the Spirit of truth is the restoration of an alienated, deceived humanity... The teaching role of the Paraclete tends to be remembered as a major emphasis of the Farewell Discourses, yet only 14:26 says She will teach you all things. (Teaching is, however, implied when 16:13-15 says that the Spirit will guide you into all truth, and will speak and declare.) Franz Mussner remarks that the word used in 14:26, didaskein, "means literally 'teach, instruct,' but in John it nearly always means to reveal.” (Stevick 2011, 292-7)
The Holy Spirit as feminine: Early Christian testimonies and their interpretation,
Johannes van Oort, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Department of Church History and Church Polity, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa


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