Re: Jewish-Christian interactions in Italy before 1500

#161
32 carnal desires

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pistis_Sophia
Pistis Sophia is an important Gnostic text discovered in 1773,[1] possibly written between the 3rd[2] and 4th centuries AD.[3] The remaining manuscript, which scholars place in the late 4th century,[4] relates the Gnostic teachings of the transfigured Jesus to the assembled disciples (including his mother Mary, Mary Magdalene, and Martha), when the risen Christ had accomplished eleven years speaking with his disciples. In it, the complex structures and hierarchies of heaven familiar in Gnostic teachings are revealed.

The text proclaims that Jesus remained on earth after the resurrection for 11 years, and was able in this time to teach his disciples up to the first (i. e. beginner) level of the mystery. It starts with an allegory paralleling the death and resurrection of Jesus, and describing the descent and ascent of the soul. It then proceeds to describe important figures within the Gnostic cosmology, and then finally lists 32 carnal desires to overcome before salvation is possible.
This is a complex system, not easy to understand. Sophia is in it, also Aeons. Said to be from the Ophiten (another Gnostic sect), which are not identical to the Valentinians.
The "32" seems to have here a negative connotation, possibly another gnostic sect (with positive 32) shall be attacked (?). Or it relates to 32 victories, which realize a "good aim" (?).
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Jewish-Christian interactions in Italy before 1500

#162
Re: belimah - as two words 'without what- i.e. without subatance 'no thing'. As one word - 'restraint' - as in root word blm (restrain, bridle). Both are played upon in the SY - Saaydia prefered 'resttraint; others 'no thing'. But what if it is a word-play on both? 10 sephitoth that bridle (restrain) no-thing -- sort of matches up with later (lurianic) concepts of Tzimtzum. As 'restrain' it also matches up with the concept of to 'seal'.

The use of the permutations of YHV to 'seal space' in the SY is reminiscent of the use of the name IAO in some Judeo-Christian gnostic texts, for example:

"Thomas, Andrew, James and Simon the Canaanite were in the West, with their faces turned towards the East, but Philip and Bartholomew were in the South with their faces turned towards the North, but the other disciples and the women disciples stood behind Jesus . . . And Jesus cried out, turning towards the four corners of the world with his disciples. . . and said: Iao, Iao, Iao. . ."

"while they stood 'all in white, each with the cipher of the name of the Father in his hand,' Jesus prayed in a strange language, beginning with the words Iao, aoi, oia..."

[Carl Schmidt: 'Gnostic Writings' quoted in G.Scholem's 'Origins of the Kabbalah]

Also several sections of the homiies of pseudo-clementine (6th century Syriac) are reminiscent of the SY first chapter:

“One, then, is the God who truly exists, who presides in a superior shape, being the heart of
that which is above and that which is below twice, which sends forth from Him as from a centre
the life-giving and incorporeal power; the whole universe with the stars and regions of the heaven,
the air, the fire, and if anything else exists, is proved to be a substance infinite in height, boundless
in depth, immeasurable in breadth, extending the life-giving and wise nature from Him over three
infinites. It must be, therefore, that this infinite which proceeds from Him on every side exists,
having as its heart Him who is above all, and who thus possesses figure; for wherever He be, He
is as it were in the centre of the infinite, being the limit of the universe. And the extensions taking
their rise with Him, possess the nature of six infinites; of whom the one taking its rise with Him
penetrates into the height above, another into the depth below, another to the right hand, another
to the left, another in front, and another behind; to whom He Himself, looking as to a number that
is equal on every side, completes the world in six temporal intervals, Himself being the rest,
and having the infinite age to come as His image, being the beginning and the end. For in Him the
six infinites end, and from Him they receive their extension to infinity."
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: 32 carnal desires

#163
Huck wrote:32 carnal desires

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pistis_Sophia
Pistis Sophia is an important Gnostic text discovered in 1773,[1] possibly written between the 3rd[2] and 4th centuries AD.[3] The remaining manuscript, which scholars place in the late 4th century,[4] relates the Gnostic teachings of the transfigured Jesus to the assembled disciples (including his mother Mary, Mary Magdalene, and Martha), when the risen Christ had accomplished eleven years speaking with his disciples. In it, the complex structures and hierarchies of heaven familiar in Gnostic teachings are revealed.

The text proclaims that Jesus remained on earth after the resurrection for 11 years, and was able in this time to teach his disciples up to the first (i. e. beginner) level of the mystery. It starts with an allegory paralleling the death and resurrection of Jesus, and describing the descent and ascent of the soul. It then proceeds to describe important figures within the Gnostic cosmology, and then finally lists 32 carnal desires to overcome before salvation is possible.
This is a complex system, not easy to understand. Sophia is in it, also Aeons. Said to be from the Ophiten (another Gnostic sect), which are not identical to the Valentinians.
The "32" seems to have here a negative connotation, possibly another gnostic sect (with positive 32) shall be attacked (?). Or it relates to 32 victories, which realize a "good aim" (?).
I've difficulties to confirm this information.
The text of Piscis Sophia is here.
http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/ps/

32 demons
http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/ps/ps145.htm
He continued and said: "The fourth order is called Parhedron Typhon, who is a mighty ruler, under whose authority are two-and-thirty demons. And it is they which enter into men and seduce them to lusting, fornicating, adultery and to the continual practice of intercourse. The souls then which this ruler will carry off in ravishment, pass one-hundred-and-twenty-and-eight years in his regions, while his demons torment them through his dark smoke and his wicked fire, so that they begin to be ruined and destroyed.
A few lines earlier is an order of 27 demons, the system is not clear to me in the moment.

That's not a list of "32 carnal desires".
Anything else with "32" isn't found by the search engine.

******************

I remember from earlier studies, that I've found once a short note of 32 "underground rivers" (or similar) in Germanic mythology. No further information is in my memory. That's naturally rather far away from Gnosticism and SY. And I've no idea, if I find this passage again.

But, luck ...
http://www.vollmer-mythologie.de/hwergelmer/

Hwergelmer

Der Quell Mittelpunkte von Helheim und Niflheim, in welchem sich die Tropfen sammeln, die vom Geweih des Hirsches Aeikthyrner (welcher in Walhalla steht und vom Baum Lerad frisst) abfliessen. Es sind deren so viele, dass der Quell siebenunddreissig Höllenflüssen das Leben gibt. Der Quell ist von vielen Schlangen bewohnt, welche an der einen Wurzel der Weltesche Ygdrasil, die sich bis dorthin erstreckt, nagen und sie zum Fall zu bringen suchen, nach dem Weltuntergange wird Hwergelmer der schrecklichste Marterort im ganzen Strafreiche Nastrond (Strand der Leichen) sein, indem die grimmigste aller Schlangen, Nidhöggur, an den Verdammten nahen wird.

Aus Vollmer's Mythologie aller Völker, Stuttgart 1874
At this place it are 37, not 32. I remember another note, where it had been 32 rivers of hell.

The English name for this spring "Hvergelmir" ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hvergelmir
Hvergelmir is mentioned several times in the Prose Edda. In Gylfaginning, Just-as-High explains that the spring Hvergelmir is located in the foggy realm of Niflheim: "It was many ages before the earth was created that Niflheim was made, and in its midst lies a spring called Hvergelmir, and from it flows the rivers called Svol, Gunnthra, Fiorm, Fimbulthul, Slidr and Hrid, Sylg and Ylg, Vid, Leiptr; Gioll is next to Hell-gates."[3]

Later in Gylfaginning, Just-as-High describes the central tree Yggdrasil. Just-as-High says that three roots of the tree support it and "extend very, very far" and that the third of these three roots extends over Niflheim. Beneath this root, says Just-as-High, is the spring Hvergelmir, and that the base of the root is gnawed on by the dragon Níðhöggr.[4] Additionally, High says that Hvergelmir contains not only Níðhöggr but also so many snakes that "no tongue can enumerate them".[5]

The spring is mentioned a third time in Gylfaginning where High recounts its source: the stag Eikþyrnir stands on top of the afterlife hall Valhalla feeding branches of Yggdrasil, and from the stag's antlers drips great amounts of liquid down into Hvergelmir. High tallies 26 rivers here.[6]

Hvergelmir is mentioned a final time in the Prose Edda where Third discusses the unpleasantries of Náströnd. Third notes that Hvergelmir yet worse than the venom-filled Náströnd because—by way of quoting a portion of a stanza from the Poetic Edda poem Völuspá—"There Nidhogg torments the bodies of the dead".
Once 11, and a 26 ... which would make together 37.

Maybe this "32" is just wrong counting.

The 11 rivers are described here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89liv%C3%A1gar

The stag is described here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eik%C3%BEyrnir
And he poem ...
Eikthyrnir the hart is called,
that stands o’er Odin’s hall,
and bits from Lærad’s branches;
from his horns fall
drops into Hvergelmir,
whence all waters rise:-

Sid and Vid,
Soekin and Eikin,
Svöl and Gunntro,
Fiörm and Fimbulthul,
Rin and Rennandi,
Gipul and Göpul,
Gömul and Geirvimul:
they round the gods’ dwellings wind.
Thyn and Vin,
Thöll and Höll,
Grad and Gunnthorin.

Vina one is called,
a second Vegsvin,
a third Thiodnuma;
Nyt and Nöt,
Nön and Hrön,
Slid and Hrid,
Sylg and Ylg,
Vid and Van,
Vönd and Strönd,
Giöll and Leipt;
these (two) fall near to men,
but fall hence to Hel.

— Thorpe's translation
I count 37 names here.

Another source (same page):
Even more worthy of note is the hart Eikthyrni, which stands in Valhall and bites from the limbs of the tree; and from his horns distils such abundant exudation that it comes down into Hvergelmir, and from thence fall those rivers called thus: Síd, Víd, Søkin, Eikin, Svöl, Gunnthrá, Fjörm, Fimbulthul, Gípul, Göpul, Gömul, Geirvimul. Those fall about the abodes of the Æsir; these also are recorded: Thyn, Vín, Thöll, Höll, Grád, Gunnthráin, Nyt, Nöt, Nönn, Hrönn, Vína, Vegsvinn, Thjódnuma.

— Brodeur's translation
I count 25 names, not 26.

Anyway, I don't see a "32".
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Jewish-Christian interactions in Italy before 1500

#166
No, I am going by numerous sites which state the 32 carnal desires come in the final chapters (most of which though appear to reflect a single source, which might be erroneous), and looked at Mead's version and see that the final chapters cover various sins and the chastisements for such (with numerous 'thereafter' which I was counting, I count 31 thereafter in in the final chapters (book 6) but maybe not all are preceded by 'thereafter').

Another gnostic poem, The Wedding Hymn of Acta Thomae, speaks of the bride whose mouth, tongue and 32 (teeth?) sings praises. A normal adult has 32 teeth, and as in context of mouth and tongue, I speculate teeth--which is interesting in as much as the SY is about vocalization, how and where letters are shaped in the mouth to form letters/words, and how letters/names are agents of creation.

6 Her mouth is open, and it becomes her:
(for she utters with it all songs of praise.)
7 Thirty- two are they who sing praises (in) her,
(e.g. , glorifying the Father of all. )
8 Her tongue is like a door-curtain {cf .Hebrews 6:19; 9:3; 10:20)
that is moved aside for those who enter in.
9 Her neck is shaped like the (lofty) steps
that the first Demiurge created.
10 Her both hands make signs,
proclaiming the place of the blessed aeons.
11 Her (ten) fingers
open the gates of the City.
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: Jewish-Christian interactions in Italy before 1500

#167
SteveM wrote:No, I am going by numerous sites which state the 32 carnal desires come in the final chapters (most of which though appear to reflect a single source, which might be erroneous), and looked at Mead's version and see that the final chapters cover various sins and the chastisements for such (with numerous 'thereafter' which I was counting, but maybe not all are preceded by 'thereafter').

Another gnostic poem, The Wedding Hymn of Acta Thomae, speaks of the bride whose mouth, tongue and 32 (teeth) sings praises. A normal adult has 32 teeth, which is interesting in as much as the SY is about vocalization, how and where letters are shaped in the mouth to form words, and how letters/names are agents of creation.
I presented this gnostic poem already here ...
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1049&start=150#p16139
... also here
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1056#p16140
Scholem noted it and I followed the link.

Yes, the text of the "32 carnal desires" is repeated over and over again and all quoted the same.

In reality not all have 32 teeth. 28-32 seem to be relative normal.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Jewish-Christian interactions in Italy before 1500

#168
In the life of Scholem ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gershom_Scholem
In the same way, Scholem produced the hypothesis that the source of the 13th century Kabbalah was a Jewish gnosticism that preceded Christian gnosticism.
I don't know, how valuable this comment is (it's only wiki), but it seems to say, that Christian gnosticism (2nd century AD and following) was preceded by Jewish gnosticism ( ... when ... ?).

My German edition of "Origin of Kabbala" is from 1962 and Scholem lived till 1982, so with 20 years left to modify his opinions.
As far I can give a commentary to the "Origin" book, then it's indicated, that there might have been some gnosticism, but it's not so strong, that I would call it a hypothesis. Perhaps his opinion became stronger with the time.

But looking or the "gnostic 32" I found more than I expected.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Jewish-Christian interactions in Italy before 1500

#169
What about the pseudo-clementine I quoted above, do you agree with the similarity?

re: teeth - there may be variations, but the normal is 32:

Well, supposedly a normal adult mouth has 32 teeth, which (except for wisdom teeth) have erupted by about age 13:

• Incisors (8 total): The middlemost four teeth on the upper and lower jaws.
• Canines (4 total): The pointed teeth just outside the incisors.
• Premolars (8 total): Teeth between the canines and molars.
• Molars (8 total): Flat teeth in the rear of the mouth, best at grinding food.
• Wisdom teeth or third molars (4 total): These teeth erupt at around age 18, but are often surgically removed to prevent displacement of other teeth.

Having said that, counting mine I only have 31 (16 lower, 15 upper). Thereagain mine are imperfect, whereas the thirty-two of the bride are perfect.
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: Jewish-Christian interactions in Italy before 1500

#170
Generally I assume, that China and Persian Zoroastrism had similarities in their religious structures.

China had 6 lines of Yang and 6 lines of Yin.

Zoroastrism had 6 good fighting again 6 bad.

Both produce the same mathematical structure, and both fall in the category "Dualism".

Gnosticism is also given to "dualism". And it is said, that it was influenced by Zoroastrism.

If the SY "somehow" contained the code, which was also used by I-Ching, then we would get a simple relationship:

I-Ching - China - dualism - Zoroastrism - Gnosticism - SY - Kabbala

The "32 ways of wisdom" have a natural close relationship to "Sophia (meaning "wisdom")". Sophia is Greek and Greeks ruled in Persia since Alexander. At least for some time (till 63 BC).
Huck
http://trionfi.com

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