Friday, March 30, 2007

Some notes on The Thomasine Church

I'll get into this some more once I have a chance, but I wanted to get this committed before I forget it.  Plus, I can then throw away the piece of paper I have these notes scribbled on and get my desk cleared up a bit.

Last night I was doing some research into the Apostle Thomas.  This was mainly prompted by some passage I read in the book Map of Bones that I am currently reading.  However, I have done research on the topic in the past while learning more about gnostic religions and the Gospel of Thomas that was discovered at Nag Hammadi.  So in the course of my reading last night, I came across a web site for The Thomasine Church.  It was very interesting, but it did prompt the following questions about the faith (I suppose directed more at gnosis than the Church itself):

  • Is there an opposite to the Light?

  • Is there a Dark?

  • How can the gnostic faiths help guide us in our daily lives?


I rather suspect the answer to the first couple questions is that there is no "Dark".  I seem to recall one of the sites I was reading mention that the different gnostic faiths don't include the concept of Satan or Hell like the Christian faiths do.  I suppose part of that is because they all seem to rely solely on the gnostic writings, especially those of Thomas, and ignore everything else.  One of the issues that I tend to have with some Christian denominations is their insistence that The Bible is all that there is.  However, it seems like the gnostic faiths I've read about so far ride the pendulum way too far in the other direction.

OK, I have to get on out of here.  Time for some soccer practice.  At least I've got those down and can continue this train of thought later.

2 comments:

  1. Hi there,

    I came across your blog in a random Google search. I'm a bishop of the Thomasine Church; I figured I would leave a brief remark. You're welcome to e-mail me or we can have a discourse via your blog if you have questions about gnosticism or the Thomasine Church.

    The opposite of light/illumination is darkness/ignorance. It's not external but within you. So, no, there's not really a Satan or a hell other than what you've created within the labyrinth of your own mind. We call it suffering your passions.

    To borrow a quote from Raymond E. Feist, "you are the architect of your own imprisonment."

    How does inner work (which leads to gnosis) help you in your daily life? You learn to deal with reality rather than your perception of reality (what you think reality is). When emotions become experiences you have, and can watch from a detached perspective, rather than states of being you perceive the world through, your view of the world is definitely different.

    Cheers,
    Chorbishop Shimun/Justin Courterier

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  2. [...] into what most would probably consider to be some pretty radical belief systems. For example, I dug pretty deeply into the Thomasine Church, although at this time I don’t think it is right for me. Trying to [...]

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