Thursday, October 23, 2008

Apocryphote of the Day: 10-23-08

The god of this aeon has blinded the minds of unbelievers in order to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God...For it is the God who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the gnosis of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

Commentary: Who said it? What does it mean?


Jim Deardorff said...

Well, Paul wrote it, at 2 Cor 4:4,6. I suppose it was his understanding of why there were unbelievers who could not be converted. But I can't say I follow his reasoning.

Jared said...

I always like these games. I do this with my students all the time.

I had a different question when I read this. Has anyone written an article on the terminology of "aion"?

pearl said...

Jim, how do you construe the “god of this aeon”? The same as the “God” named later in this quote, or as something different? God, Satan, or Demiurge, or something else?

R.Eagle said...

Sounds like he (?) might have been upset about Gnostic literature being excluded from the Canon???

Jim Deardorff said...

By "of this aeon" he might have meant in their present day, as opposed to a future eschatological era. I presume he was referring to God (not a god), with "of this aeon" or "of this age" being a phrase that could have been referring to "unbelievers" and not "god."

Frank McCoy said...

One key to understanding this passage is II Cor. 4:16, "But if indeed our outer man is being decayed, yet our inner (man) is being renewed day by day."
Another is Mk 8:33 "Go away behind me Satan, because you are not thinking the things of God, but the things of men (i.e., the vain and plausible, but false, thoughts of human beings, which, as a totality, are Falsehood)."
Another is II Cor. 3:18, which I thusly paraphrase, "But we all with an inner man from whom has been removed the Falsehood that had blinded him see the glory of the Logos who is also the Spirit, which sight of the Logos, since the inner man is made after this Logos, the Image of God, is like seeing one's image in a mirror, are reborn as this inner man, being transformed from the lesser glory of the outer man of flesh to the greater glory of the inner man made after the Image of God and, therefore, thereby being transformed into this same image."
A fourth is II Cor 10:3-6, which I would thusly paraphrase, "For though we walk as the outer man of the body of flesh, we do not war after the flesh:(for the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but powerful through God to the pulling down of strongholds (i.e., false creeds, which are personified as principalities and authorities)) overthrowing reasonings (i.e., the demonsterative arguments supporting these false creeds, which are personified as the world-rulers of the darkness)and every high thing lifting itself against the Gnosis of God (i.e., the discourses on the immoral doctrines that the false creeds contain, which are personified as the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenlies) and leading captive every thought (i.e., the vain and plausible, but false, thoughts of human beings, out of which are constructed the false creeds)into the obedience of Christ." (Compare Philo, Post, 51-53 and Eph. 6:12)
So, I would thusly paraphrase II Cor 4:4, 6-7, "In whose case, Satan has blinded their inner men through Falsehood, the totality of the vain and plausible, but false, thoughts of human beings, out of which are constructed the false creeds, so as not to shine forth the Gnosis of the glory of the Logos, who is also the Spirit, and who is the Image of God...For God has shone into our inner man, the logos and pneuma, made after the Man, the Logos and Pneuma who is the Image of God, the logoi as tenets of Truth: which logoi constitute the both the treasures and the light of the Gnosis of the powers in the very self of the Logos who also is the Spirit. Having them in our inner man, which is within our outer man, we have them within our corruptible and perishing outer man, the body of flesh, to remind us that, in an ultimate sense, they belong to God rather than to us."

Frank McCoy

lightseeker said...

I understand the "god of this aeon" as a spiritual metaphor for being too caught up in the material world, which blinds one from perceiving the true light from God that may potentially shine forth from within us all as best exemplified or manifest in the Christ.

"Be in the world but not of it." Those who are too deeply enmeshed in the day to day drama of life cannot see the big picture; they can't see the forest for the trees.

Maybe to the ancients the sense of feeling trapped in the world and kept "blind" in darkness was actually perceived by many as a (false or malevolent?) god or being outside themselves, wielding power over them. Even though some people today still believe in Satan or demons, most of us now might understand this is as the influence of the flawed human ego, which is often self-serving - interested only in preserving the individual sense of self and physical body (vs. the influence of Spirit/God/Light, which is giving, loving and seeks to serve other beings/souls unconditionally).

When we come to understand there is a greater, all-loving power that flows from beyond the daily self-serving drama of this world (outside of us and even from deep within each of us), then our minds can rise above the trees in order to see the proverbial forest in which we had been lost, groping around in darkness.

When the mind awakens to awareness of this greater power and is able to rise above the illusion of a false power keeping one trapped or blind, then the Light of God may enter and shine in one's heart. One receives the gift of gnosis through the very experience itself of the Light ("the glory") - which is Christ, the image of God - shining within our hearts, the center and source of our being.

In the mind and via the portal of the heart of the believer (one who has risen above, transcended the illusory grasp of the ego/self and this world), one may come to know and experience God through Christ, the image/glory/Light of God.

Peace, Love and Light to all.