Friday, October 2, 2009

Apocryphote of the Day: 10-2-09

"Labor while you are in this world so that you may live forever."

Liber Graduum 853.14

3 comments: said...

What does Man gain from all his labour at which he toils under the sun?

There is no remembrance of men of old, and even those who are yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow.


Steve Wiggins said...

Given current unemployment rates, this is a sobering quote! I have always maintained that apocalyptic has its home among the disadvantaged, so it may not be irrelevant in today's situation after all.

PAULYR said...

First, thanks to DeConick. Second, on the meaning of this sentence from 'Liber Graduum:' we're all definitely going to work in this world, for living in this world isn't easy and requires effort. To sustain life, one needs to work to acquire the basics, food, shelter, etc. Its quite a leap to move from laboring to eternal life. How did this transpire in the mind of the author(s) of 'Liber Graduum' (Eng. "The Steps to Freedom')?
I've read some about 'The Steps to Freedom' in "Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies" published by Catholic Univ. of America. This is a 4th-5th cent. monastic treatise in Syriac. Monks labor, whether it's cultivating vegetables or copying written works for the immediate goal of sustaining the community, but also for the greater goal of attaining everlasting life. Their hands may be stained with ink or dirt, but their minds are in heaven, so to speak. My first thought on reading this sentence, posted by Professor DeConick, was recollection of Jesus' saying in John 6: 27 - Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for that which endures.