Paul's Necessary Sin: The Experience of Liberation - Pauline Christianity = PaleoChristianity

Approaching Infinity

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Laura recently recommended the following book by Timothy Ashworth (who happens to be a Quaker):


I just started reading it yesterday, and so far am only through the first chapter or two, but already I can say it is amazing and important. In just the first chapter he sums up some of the main points of Engberg-Pedersen's work connecting Paul to Stoicism (discussed on the forum here), but in language that must easier to understand. I think the fact that he managed to come to a near-identical understanding of this aspect of Paul's thought, seemingly without reference to EP's work, is a nice confirmation that they're on the right track. I'm speaking of his work on translating Paul's "dikaioo" language (righteousness/justification). I've only just started, but it looks like he has discovered the "keys" to unlocking much of Paul's meaning. And the correspondences to Gurdjieff's "esoteric Christianity", and the Cs material is amazing. So feel free to post your thoughts on the book here. I think the discussion will be quite fruitful!

To start things off, here is his summary on what can be concluded about Paul's "justification" language:

(a) how by dikaiosunē (righteousness) Paul means ‘a state/manner of existing which subsists in a way of doing what is right’;

(b) that this definition can apply to the different settings in which Paul uses this word: of both God and humankind and of human life based on both faith and the law;

(c) that by dikaioō (‘to be justified’ in the passive voice) Paul means ‘to be given the state/manner of existing which subsists in the way of doing what is right by faith’;

(d) that when he uses this word, Paul is indicating a real change in the individual which can be well expressed by the English word ‘absolution’ – a setting free from sin;

(e) that associated with this absolution is a new perception of what sin is.

The connection with EP's Stoic model should be immediately apparent: the 'ascension' to the 'X-state', akin to the Stoic sage, in which right action is a constant feature; also STO vs STS; and Gurdjieff's "Real 'I'" in contrast to our ordinary mechanical state, and the necessity of the "first initiation".
 
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Breo

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....
e) that associated with this absolution is a new perception of what sin is.

in which right action is a constant feature; also STO vs STS; and Gurdjieff's "Real 'I'" in contrast to our ordinary mechanical state, and the necessity of the "first initiation".


I started reading today. Highly inspiring. I am really looking forward to learn about Paul's true message unveiled.
 

Laura

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Ashworth has brought Paul to life for sure. There are passages in Paul's letters that speak directly to STS vs STO, to a process rather like De Salzmann's "The First Initiation", and one that suggests strongly that the early Pauline Christians were practicing something rather like The Mirror of Mouravieff. It also appears that Paul had the idea that humanity was in the grips of something rather like Castaneda's "Predator's Mind" or Gurdjieff's False Personality.

Then, of course, there are the suggestions that Paul was referring to graduating to 4D STO as the end result of the process. And a major point that Paul makes is that about the "Necessary Sin", that is, the Universe is a School and we "fell" into 3D STS for the purpose of learning.
It's just an all-around brilliant book.
 

Ant22

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Ashworth has brought Paul to life for sure. There are passages in Paul's letters that speak directly to STS vs STO, to a process rather like De Salzmann's "The First Initiation", and one that suggests strongly that the early Pauline Christians were practicing something rather like The Mirror of Mouravieff. It also appears that Paul had the idea that humanity was in the grips of something rather like Castaneda's "Predator's Mind" or Gurdjieff's False Personality.

Then, of course, there are the suggestions that Paul was referring to graduating to 4D STO as the end result of the process. And a major point that Paul makes is that about the "Necessary Sin", that is, the Universe is a School and we "fell" into 3D STS for the purpose of learning.
It's just an all-around brilliant book.


How fascinating, I'm really looking forward to learning how Paul explained those concepts! I have a pretty long reading list to go through but I think I'll make this book my priority. I already have a copy of it. Thank you for the recommendation :flowers:
 

Stoneboss

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I agree! It is a very fascinating topic. I downloaded the kindle version a couple of hours ago (very expensive though) and I've begun to read it. I can tell by reading the first chapter that I'm not going to be disappointed, the author really does give a clearer understanding of what Paul was really saying. Thank you for the recommendation Laura, (and AI).
 
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