In the Classroom with Wisdom and The Teacher – 9/13/09 – James 3:1-12, Ecclesiastes 1:1-18

On this first day of the Sunday school year, after much work has gone into recruiting teachers, planning for the year ahead, and teachers have begun their work, I guess it’s OK if we finally break out the fine print.  The New Testament reading for the day just so happens to be James chapter three, whose opening words are most likely not a part of any pitch that Christian Education committees around the world give for potential teachers.  “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.”  For those who have already signed the dotted line, we thank you sincerely.  But there’s no going back now.

A little further down in the fine print are the words from the Hebrew Wisdom tradition which open the book of Ecclesiastes.  In contrast to the exalted form of Woman Wisdom that we find in Proverbs, the Teacher, as he calls himself, of Ecclesiastes, is not taken by the mystical union with God that learning and the pursuit of Wisdom can bring about.  “I, the Teacher, applied my mind to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven; it is an unhappy business that God has given to human beings to be busy with.  I saw all the deeds that are done under the sun; and see, all is vanity and a chasing after wind.  What is crooked cannot be made straight, and what is lacking cannot be counted….  For in much wisdom is much vexation, and those who increase knowledge increase sorrow.”  Inspirational words from “The Teacher.” 

Who still wants to teach?  These readings are full of warnings and caution signs, putting doubt on the value of wisdom, and calling into question the work of teaching.  Reading further in James chapter three, about the destructive power of the tongue, one could get the sense that any kind of speech, whether it be from a teacher to a student or a friend to a friend, is risky business.  Reading further in Ecclesiastes one can get the impression that after all of his life studies, the one thing that this Teacher has learned to pass on to students would go something like this: Life is hard, and then you die.  Sounds like a short class.

When we decided to carry this Wisdom theme for the month I hadn’t been planning on going in this direction today, but I want to talk some about the connections and tensions between Wisdom and teaching.  Wisdom being this ever present, active and engaged teacher who, as Proverbs says, calls out from the streets and the gates of the city, and who is present in the little things of creation.  And teaching being our difficult work of trying to listen to Wisdom, and passing along what we hear to others.

Those of you who have done this for a living know better than the rest of us the challenges and rewards of attempting to teach.  I imagine you’ve experienced James’ words of being “judged with greater strictness” by parents or students who aren’t all that excited about how you are going about your work.  And that you also judge yourselves with a fair amount of strictness in trying to figure out how to do your work well.  And I imagine that there are time when you can sympathize with the words of The Teacher whose opening words are “Vanity of vanity, all is vanity.…A generation goes, and a generation comes.”        

There is a fairly simple diagram that I have found helpful that illustrates the elements of the life of the church.  It’s a Venn Diagram, and there are three circles.  One circle is worship – the ways that we express awe and wonder and lament and praise with God.  Another circle is Community – the ways that we share life together.  And the other circle is Mission – how we reach beyond ourselves with good news.  Worship, Community, Mission.  And the center point, where all these circles intersect, is Formation/Transformation.  All of these things working together for this central reality of the church.  Forming and Transforming people and communities is the central activity of the church.  And the act of teaching, education, that we do, is right at that center.  This is a key place where formation happens.  Teaching is a great gift, and one of the titles of Jesus was the Great Teacher.  We are formed by those who teach us. 

For those who have ever found themselves in a teaching role, whether formally or informally, I’m going to offer that in the act of teaching, we always have two companions with us who don’t exactly see eye to eye, but who help us mature as teachers.  One companion is Wisdom, this personified presence that speaks of that which is good and true and beautiful in the world.  The other is The Teacher, the voice behind the book of Ecclesiastes, who through a lifetime of observation and reflection on all the facets of life, often reverts to a single word that seems to characterize the whole blasted thing: Vanity, Meaningless.  Hevel, in Hebrew, which literally means a vapor, a mist, something without real substance.  The Hebrew Wisdom tradition itself contains both of these voices, and they both continue to speak to those of us who have the gumption to put ourselves in the position of teachers.      

Last week I tried to introduce the first of these companions.  Wisdom has a life of its own and is imagined to be like a woman who has built a house and invites all who wish to enter to come in and learn.  Proverbs 8:22 is the voice of Wisdom speaking and it says, “The Lord created me at the beginning of God’s work, the first of God’s acts of long ago.”  She was the first of all God’s creations, there before anything else existed, and everything that follows in creation, every creative act of God, we could say every cluster of energy that exploded out of the Big Bang, has in it some form of wisdom.             

 The Wisdom of Solomon is one of these books that make up the apocrypha – not a part of the Hebrew Old Testament or the Greek New Testament but still considered to represent the biblical tradition in many ways.  It’s one of the books of Wisdom Literature and has the beautiful poem to wisdom in chapter 7 – “For she is a reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of the working of God, and an image of God’s goodness.  Although she is but one, she can do all things, and while remaining in herself, she renews all things; in every generation she passes into holy souls, and makes them friends of God, and prophets, for God loves nothing so much as the person who lives with wisdom.” 

So Wisdom is this wonderful companion for the teacher.  Or a better way of putting it would probably be that we are Wisdom’s companion.  Wisdom is the great Teacher, already present in all things – already present in the creativity of our children, already present in the subject matter that we try and present, ready to bring us along in becoming friends of God and prophets.  And we as the teacher are the ones who get to help this process along and be a partner with Wisdom. 

That’s one companion, Wisdom, and then the other companion is this tricky booger that Ecclesiastes, also a part of the Wisdom tradition, calls The Teacher.  Because The Teacher has been looking for Wisdom his whole life, been trying to pay attention and be observant and be one of those holy souls that Wisdom passes through, and he’s just not feeling it.  It’s not coming together for him and he’s not going to pretend that he can understand any of this or that creation fits together in one beautiful cosmic work of art.  So The Teacher says things like “I applied my mind to know wisdom and to know madness and folly.  I perceived that this also is but a chasing after wind.  For in much wisdom is much vexation, and those who increase knowledge increase sorrow.”  And he says things like “When  I applied my mind to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done on earth, how one’s eyes see sleep neither day nor night, then I saw all the work of God, that no one can find out what is happening under the sun.  However much they may toil in seeking, they will not find it out; even though those who are wise claim to know, they cannot find it out.”   In an attempt to know deeply, and to pass on what he has learned to others, The Teacher confronts his own limitations, and often becomes bogged down in frustration, even, at times, despair.  Some of the most constructive teaching he can offer is named in chapter 9, verses 7-10, where he basically says, that we should enjoy life while we can — eat, drink, wear nice clothes, and work hard at what you enjoy, because that’s about the best we can do in life.

One of the teachers I’ve had who reminds me of The Teacher of Ecclesiastes was a history professor at Eastern University.  He was a brilliant guy, knew all sorts of things about history and had been teaching for quite a while, but it was pretty clear that at some point in his career he had become fairly disinterested in his subject.  Somewhere along the way he seemed to have concluded that the more you know about history, the more bleak the future looks.  One of the ways this showed up in the classroom was that he taught with a cynical, although rather humorous tone throughout all the lectures.  Another way this showed up was that he was easily diverted from talking about history to talking about his favorite subject: cheeseburgers.  He loved cheeseburgers and would describe in detail different cheeseburgers he had eaten at different places.  He also had a way of connecting the telling of history with cheeseburgers.  For example, in the 16th century Martin Luther and the Catholic Bishops could have gotten along a lot better together if they just could have sat down and talked things through while eating cheeseburgers.  They both would have been a lot happier.  Cheeseburgers, and the pleasure that they bring, were the bright light of hope in an otherwise tragic story.

There’s more nuance to Ecclesiastes, but it points toward something that Parker Palmer emphasizes.  He’s a teacher himself, and works to train other teachers, and one of his books is called “The Courage to Teach.”  And he says that every teacher must confront the tangles they run into with 1) their subject matter, and 2) their students.  Both of these containing more complexity and challenges than any teacher can every completely figure out.  He says, ““We must enter, not evade, the tangles of teaching so we can understand them better and negotiate them with more grace, not only to guard our own spirits but also to serve our students well” (p. 2)

And then he goes on to say, which is really his main point and then what the rest of the book is about, that the third tangle confronting teachers is really themselves.  The self of teacher.  That teachers, ultimately, are offering themselves to their students and their subject matter, and that the journey of the teacher is really an inward journey, to maintain one’s interest in teaching, and ultimately, to nurture love.  To let love triumph in us so that our love for our students and our love for our subjects, and, we could say, our love for God, becomes what we teach.  He doesn’t put it this way, but we could say that these two companions of Wisdom and The Teacher also are about our own soul work.  Our desire to become wise people, and the way that we deal with our limitations.

I want to come back to something that I think holds all these different pieces together and close with this – and that is this picture of Wisdom being present at the beginning of creation.  As God creates, Wisdom is there.  This place of creation is also the place where the one who teachers finds herself.  It’s this Genesis One picture of hovering over the unformed stuff of the world, and then being there when formation begins to happen.  Confronting the chaos of the deep waters, and partnering with God as the subject matter begins to take shape.  And using language, the creative instrument of God, Let there be light, as a tool in this creative process.  James three warns that language can be destructive, but we also know it can be constructive and a teacher looks for ways to communicate constructively, in a way that brings to life.  And teaching becomes a partnership with God, a partnership with Wisdom in the ongoing process of creation.

We are grateful for those with the courage to teach.  Here, and in the schools in our city, and a few that teach at home.  We believe this is a great gift you are giving to us and an important way that you are letting God move through you.  May you find companionship with Wisdom and The Teacher, and may you know God’s grace, extended to you, in your own formation.

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “In the Classroom with Wisdom and The Teacher – 9/13/09 – James 3:1-12, Ecclesiastes 1:1-18

  1. aka twice as nice 🙂

    but 2 things theme here

    teacher and wisdom…
    an angle on that that might apply
    has to do with with gender…
    from proverbs
    Pro 1:8 My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother

    wisdom comes from following the
    instructions of god the father…
    and if one is completely faithful in this
    what one manifests is the perfect timing
    that comes from the patience whereby one posssesses one’s soul…
    eccl 3:11
    (LITV) He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has set eternity in their heart, without which man cannot find out the work that God makes from the beginning even to the end.

    THE HEBREW WORD FOR BEAUTIFUL HAS TO WITH BRIGHTNESS … PERHAPS WHERE ALL IS LIGHT IN GOD…. ALL IS UNDERSTOOD … IN ITS TIME … WHERE TIME HAS TO DO WITH PERHAPS WITH THE PERPETUAL RENEWING OF ORDER FROM THE CHAOS OF SIN… and then what god has set in each heart …. could be about based on the hebrew a veil to conceal some things till their proper time such as in proverbs 25 ..THE GLORY OF GOD IS TO CONCEAL A THING… THE GLORY OF THE KING IS TO SEARCH SUCH OUT….
    well now then 🙂
    back to the connection between instruction
    and wisdom…
    if one’s teacher is of god the father is the holy spirit..aka to me god the mother…
    how does god the mother enable one to fully know god the father as jesus did…..
    the wisdom that his life obedient to the calling of god’s purpose for him… one that enables all things to work together for the good…..
    ah but why did it take so long for god to get around to the messiah …..
    why not earlier …..
    i think i kinda know 🙂
    but it has to do with reincarnation and such that many do not see how that could be part of the salvation plan of the bible…

    for now just a partial aspect that
    in checking the greek of the new testament
    helped the overall flow of thought
    that i partially followed
    but could not make the point
    as well as i would like to others…
    kind of a central point would be the issue of
    romans 5:19
    for as through the disobedience of the one man, the many were constituted sinners: so also through the obedience of the one, shall the many be constituted righteous.

    NOW I THINK IT IS NOT THAT THEY WERE NOT SINNERS BEFORE THE SIN OF ADAM RATHER THAT THRU THE SIN OF ADAM THEY COULD BE SHOWN THE NATURE OF THEIR SIN ..A STATE THAT THEY ALREADY WERE IN…TO HELP BRING THEM TO REPENTANCE AND THRU JESUS BE SHOWN BY FAITH BRINGING WORKS TO BE RIGHTEOUS….

    anyways back to
    instruction of the holy spirit
    ..how that tho bringing salvation
    does not necessarily mean the believer
    has fully overcome his carnal or soulish[natural man] and they might not achieve it
    even after death and the kingdom of heaven..
    but need another lifetime to move from
    being taught in part by the wisdom of jesus
    to where they come to be fully mature in the word
    as i think jesus speaks of in the last supper discourse…
    Joh 17:16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
    Joh 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
    Joh 17:18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
    Joh 17:19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
    Joh 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
    Joh 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
    Joh 17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
    Joh 17:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

    THIS FOLLOWING PASSAGE FROM JOHN
    I THINK SPEAKS ALSO TO THE ISSUE
    OF WHAT PERFECTION AND MATURITY
    IN THE WORD IS ABOUT
    Joh 16:25 These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father.
    Joh 16:26 At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you:
    Joh 16:27 For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.

    WHICH IS WHEN ONE IS INSTRUCTED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT AKA GOD THE MOTHER TO OVERCOME FULLY
    THE CARNAL NATURE AND SOULISH NATURE AND BE LIKE IN THAT ST FRANCIS PRAYER…

    Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
    Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
    where there is injury, pardon;
    where there is doubt, faith;
    where there is despair, hope;
    where there is darkness, light;
    where there is sadness, joy;
    O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
    to be understood as to understand;
    to be loved as to love.

    For it is in giving that we receive;
    it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
    and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life

    THE FULL DEATH IS NOT PERFECTED
    i think
    necessarily
    when a believer dies and enters the kingdom of heaven…
    full perfection is when one enters the kingdom of god i think
    and that does not mean that one
    will cease to incarnate on the earth…
    but can fully live when they do
    the prayer of st francis …

    hmmm then the wisdom of the holy spirit
    god the mother
    has enabled one to be fully one with the father
    and being instructed thus in the will of god
    one manifests holy spirit or wisdom…
    that comes from being instructed
    by the will of god the father
    as learned thru the perfect example
    or manifestation of god’s will
    by jesus…. as the holy spirit …

    hmmm like that old ragu spaghetti commercial…
    i sure hope enuf is in there
    that u all can follow sufficiently
    what i be a sayin…
    well that is not exaclty how
    the ragu commercial went …

  2. so in searching proverbs for hebrew words
    for instrucion and wisdom….
    methinks a key be
    a third element as given in verse 2
    of chapter 1 of proverbs
    ..understanding
    all 3 occur together in that verse…
    instruction methinks be as god the father
    wisdom as holy spirit or god the mother..
    understanding as god the son….
    now lets see

    doesnt seem right off to dovetail
    with teacher of sermon…
    scanning in mind elements of ecclesisastes..
    chapter 7
    as that is were the element of the sun
    is kind of clarified
    Ecc 7:11 WisdomH2451 is goodH2896 withH5973 an inheritance:H5159 and by it there is profitH3148 to them that seeH7200 the sun.H8121
    Ecc 7:12 ForH3588 wisdomH2451 is a defence,H6738 and moneyH3701 is a defence:H6738 but the excellencyH3504 of knowledgeH1847 is, that wisdomH2451 giveth lifeH2421 to them that haveH1167 it.
    Ecc 7:13 ConsiderH7200 (H853) the workH4639 of God:H430 forH3588 whoH4310 canH3201 make that straight,H8626 (H853) whichH834 he hath made crooked?H5791

    the vanity under the sun
    i think of in terms of romans chapter 1
    and chapter 5
    where god reconstitutes sin
    reactivates it so that there is death
    and all are imprisoned together in unbelief
    so as to bring repentance
    thru the messiah
    THINK ABOUT IT 🙂
    this way …..
    hmmm so u cant read minds
    sigh …..
    oh well…
    be transformed with the renewing of the mind…
    with repentance and forgiveness..
    but dont forgive some sins
    till the other repents
    as god cannot forgive some sins
    till there is repentance…

    why this waiting till the messiah comes…

    hmm maybe someone might respond…:)
    as fur as i know no one has yet
    but i coulda missed it
    in my emails..

    hmm how does ecclesiastes instructions
    connect with instructions in proverbs..

    turning on the brain scan again:)
    oh well concentration doesnt seem to be here
    at the moment…

    5 physical senses
    could they relate to the 3 against 2
    in luke 12
    seems as if they could
    the senses that operate at a distance..
    sight hearing and smell…
    versus
    taste and touch….
    now hmmm
    aligning sight hearing and smell
    with instruction
    wisdom
    understanding…

    kind of serious maybe

    but fun too…..

    AH NOW THEN
    AWAITING MODERATION….

  3. how can it be that the woman
    instructs in proverbs 8:10
    when in proverbs 1:8
    it is the father who instructs
    and the mother who is the law or torah?
    the hebrew word for instructon is musar…

    only once does proverbs say wisdom
    is musar
    [k and d commentary if u please:)
    downloaded from e-sword.net]
    otherwise wisdom always says
    my law or torah…
    perhaps it is said similarly to how
    the last line of the last sonnet
    attributed to shakespear
    but me and mark twain
    methinks was francis bacon..
    be that as it may:)
    it says
    love’s fire heats water, water cools not love..
    where methinks
    fire would be musar
    and water , torah..
    there that should serve to explain it.
    for those in the nose 🙂 gnosis
    if one scratches one’s noggin
    that could reveal me gnosis thoughts
    not the bad gnosis gone astray of old biblical times

    the instruction of the holy spirit
    is gentle musar
    allowing yet for elements
    of remnants of carnal mindedness in the believer
    and remnants of the soulishness nature
    that impede having mature discernment of the word
    tho by way of spirituals
    isolated cases of correct discernment
    of spiritual matters come by way of inspirtation perhaps…
    but isolated prophesy from a believer
    does not a prophet make of the believer
    as i understand
    does not qualify descension gift
    as an ascention gift
    that makes in the church those who are
    elders or prophets or evangelists or
    pastors or teachers….
    some say these offices in the church can only be filled by men…..
    tho women can serve as teachers?
    musar?
    perhaps as in proverbs 8:10…
    or could it be
    rather any mature in the word
    where the subconsscious
    the under the sun
    has been matured in the wisdom that comes
    from those who have seen the sun…?
    Ecc 7:11 WisdomH2451 is goodH2896 withH5973 an inheritance:H5159 and by it there is profitH3148 to them that seeH7200 the sun.H8121
    Ecc 7:12 ForH3588 wisdomH2451 is a defence,H6738 and moneyH3701 is a defence:H6738 but the excellencyH3504 of knowledgeH1847 is, that wisdomH2451 giveth lifeH2421 to them that haveH1167 it.
    Ecc 7:13 ConsiderH7200 (H853) the workH4639 of God:H430 forH3588 whoH4310 canH3201 make that straight,H8626 (H853) whichH834 he hath made crooked?H5791

    ah and yet another methinks 🙂
    that i done forgot to click
    on me last post
    oops i thought i saw a putty cat
    but not …
    didnt there used to be where one could click
    to allow responses per email to one’s comments..
    or was that another site…
    whichever
    i dont see it to click right under
    SUBMIT COMMENT
    as i imagined? used ta been thar….
    sigh

  4. okay i got my beginning point
    on who is on first and
    what is on second…

    in terms of from the sermon..
    I want to come back to something that I think holds all these different pieces together and close with this – and that is this picture of Wisdom being present at the beginning of creation. As God creates, Wisdom is there. This place of creation is also the place where the one who teachers finds herself

    AND THIS CONCEPT
    Jesus Christ is eternal God, and, as part of the trinity, He always existed; He is co-equal and co-eternal with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit

    WHAT I RECALL and am trying to reformulate
    in my mind is how it is the image that develops the likeness…
    with image being the christ
    and likeness being the formed by the image
    as a form or likeness
    as harmonious 3 fold energy of the trinity
    in generating the salvation plan

    that there was an agreement between
    image and likeness
    or chriat and the holy spirit
    as the laying and initiatin of the salvation plan of the bible…

    but the holy spirit is not about being and individual eternal soul
    but image or christ is ….

    okay i got it
    i think….
    i can build on it later maybe…

    what interests me
    is the issue of readjustments of the salvtion plan
    suggested in scripture….
    where god sighs or groans
    or repents

    oh okay i kinda maybe got that one covered too 🙂

    but back to being
    who was there at the creation spoken of in genesis….
    mind now not to forget
    about possible creations before …

    but besides wisdom as the holy spirit teacher
    but where wisdom i think is more
    the likeness aspect that is resultant
    from imaging that is of the mind of christ
    that develops the forms or likenesses
    from which the salvation plan will be generated….
    tho both in some aspect probably were simulatneous
    woman as the weaker vessel
    would still apply here i think
    in terms of that formed
    is thru imaging aspect of the mind
    or christ…

    oh my okay now that finally clicked
    as something that might work for others
    potentially 🙂

    sigh
    nacham

    in gesenius
    nacham
    1st meaning is about grieving
    2nd reflexive of piel?
    about comforting self
    3rd about to take vengence…

    sigh i forget what those hebrew
    forms? are piel niphal….
    probably would help a lot…
    i looked such up a way back i think

    just a taste
    short take
    on something i found on such matters..
    Regarding Piel etc.:

    It is simply not true that the binyanim dictate semantic sense. So to
    say that “Piel [is] a heightened action of some kind,” or that “Piel
    [is] the imposition of a state (adjectival)…” is to do everyone a
    disservice.

    In both modern and ancient Hebrew, each binyan tends to cluster around
    a set of meanings, but the clustering is not absolute. Some people
    therefore conclude that there are “rules and lots of exceptions,” but
    I don’t find that approach helpful or accurate, both because the rules
    tend to be complicated, and because the exceptions outnumber the
    non-exceptions.

    Furthermore, the belief in semantic rules that accompany the binyanim
    leads to (sometimes severe) misunderstandings of the Hebrew words,
    because people try to force their wrong notions of the semantic import
    of the binyanim onto the words.

    For example, in Modern Hebrew, the Piel GIDDEL means “to grow (plants)
    or to raise (children),” while the hiphil HIGDIL means “to enlarge.”
    Similarly, the hiphil HIRXIK means “to cause to be far away,” while
    its opposite, “to cause to be nearby,” is Piel (KEREV).

    sigh

    • just found this
      that i like from meiste eckhart

      As I said just now, it is in the purest part of the soul, in the noblest, in her ground, aye in the very essence of the soul. That is mid-silence for thereinto no creature did ever get, nor any image, nor has the soul there either activity or understanding, therefore she is not aware of any image either of herself or any creature. What-ever the soul effects she effects with her powers. When she understands she understands with her intellect. When she remembers she does so with her memory. When she loves she does so with her will. She works then with her powers and not with her essence. Now every exterior act is lined with some means. The power of seeing is brought into play only through the eyes; elsewhere she can neither do nor bestow such a thing as seeing. And so with all the other senses: their operations are always effected through some means or others. But there is no activity in the essence of the soul; the faculties she works with emanate from the ground of the essence but in her actual ground there is mid-stillness; here alone is rest and a habitation for this birth, this act, wherein God the Father speaks his Word, for it is intrinsically receptive of naught save the divine essence, without means. Here God enters the soul with his all, not merely with a part. God enters the ground of the soul. None can touch the ground of the soul but God only. No creature is admitted into her ground, it must stop outside in her powers. There it sees the image whereby it has been drawn in and found shelter. For when the soul-powers contact a creature they set to make of the creature an image and likeness which they absorb. By it they know the creature. Creatures cannot go into the soul, nor can the soul know anything about a creature which she has not willingly taken the image of into herself. She approaches creatures through their present images; an image being a thing that the soul creates with her powers.

      hmmmm

      wait
      it might seem odd that eckhart
      says the creator itself has no image or likeness
      but gives image stuff and likeness stuff
      to his highest creation…
      souls of humans and angels…
      seems to contradict elohim
      making man in our image and after our likeness…
      but i think that is more a language translation thing maybe
      and not as much as a problem
      as some might think
      but nevertheless image and likeness
      emanate thru he creator..
      and are co eternal
      hmmm but the co equal issue
      might be more a semantic difficulty
      but still the father is greater than the son
      but ah okay

      i suspect it might be resolved
      with this passage…
      Php 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
      Php 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
      Php 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
      Php 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
      Php 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth

      hmm i kinda think i got it maybe:)

      • to preceding reply…
        replying ot myself am i
        hmmm
        anyways…
        on the elohim god
        of chapter 1 of genesis
        as being not god the father per se
        but beings who still were one with god the father
        as those who in such a state
        laid out a salvation plan for other children of god who had lost their way…..

        the key aspect of this understanding transcendant of time space and matter
        as perhaps the pure emanations from god the father of the christ mind as image concept
        and the holy spirit as likeness concept….

        uh am i gettin warm :)?

      • ahhh okay eckhart…
        maybe this is the point about the deepest part of soul….
        as holy spirit
        where it is perfect expression of the soul of the will of god

        thus it becomes real peace..
        the whole peace ..so to speak:)

        this is the true likeness
        coming from the proper imaging of mind being submitted in all things to the creator
        god the father
        and as perfect basis of peace
        is the perfect
        grounding of the soul
        for further imaging
        of the mind….

        oh well i like it anyways:)

        seems as a kind of separation
        of likeness from image..
        mabye that two edged sword
        that divides between soul and spirit…..
        in a kind of clarity
        where the soul now is freed
        of being burdened with
        false images due to
        the kind of sins
        that paul speaks of in
        romans 1
        so when the soul knows true stillness….
        it is free from images
        or the deceptive images
        of a soul in rebellion and sin

        and if eckhart is right
        then it now is perfect likeness
        without any images
        or at least active images
        that contaminate the soul

        and i think eckhart
        perhaps meant
        this part of the soul
        is always preserves
        and present
        now whether or not
        it is the neschamah..
        breath soul
        that is the spirit
        as it is in man…

        or if it is ruach spirit…

        i suspect it might be neshamah
        in the sense of eccl 3:11
        that which the unrenewed mind
        of man that cannot be accessed
        except by observing
        the conditions of the salvation plan…
        now this can be done perhaps by a true kind of divine instinct without an awareness of the details … but i suspect in some manner details of the salvation plan and jesus might come to be known …

        as said of a tribe in malaysia i believe where they had dreams of jesus before the missionaries came…

        they practiced daily dream interpretaion as a key part of the social order

        when the missionaries came
        some told them to discontinue such dream interpretation
        but another christian said
        dont listen to those missionaries they dont know what they are talking about:)

        now where was i
        god knows 🙂

        oh neshamah
        and eccl 3:11
        and the salvation plan…

        to find the true beauty
        in all things
        one must appreciate
        the divine timing
        and plan
        and as said pure desire
        can perhaps enable one
        to start the path
        without being aware of
        the details
        but if one takes the clues
        given by god
        one will be entrusted
        with the proper details needed

        it can be dangerous tho
        in a way perhaps
        as the old self
        is till lurking often
        to falsely interpret
        as a sign from god
        but it has snuck in
        thru the door
        of residual elements
        seeking self glory
        as if giving all glory to god..
        thus methinks
        the need for a proper fear of god

        but if it is neschamah
        or ruach or something else
        that might be the olam
        or eternity in the heart of man
        that is the key….
        i still be a pondering…
        but leaning towards the
        neshamah ..breath soul
        versus the ruach spirit
        it is in a sense the neshamah
        is key in opening up ruach spirit…
        oh well
        others there be
        who know lot more details
        about such matters that i might come across that might help thar

  5. ah 2 computers here at house
    so probably why i dont get
    a double portion comin up when i come
    to this site…

    anyways i sorted more out about
    image and likeness
    teacher and wisdom
    christ and holy spirit
    as 2nd and 3rd part of holy trinity
    and for good measure
    throwing in
    adam and eve
    and
    jesus and mother mary
    as twin souls
    which is said for purposes of the earth
    to be as one soul
    in that they entered in together
    and must get it together together
    to exit the system

    so tho
    i have jumped ahead to thinkin
    on
    how mother mary
    as the catholics sometimes say
    is the tabernacle of the holy spirit
    which might work…
    kind of a parallel to how
    jesus represents god the father
    ..still cogitatin on how to better link
    maybe mother mary to the holy spirit
    even tho it was the life of jesus
    that empowered the holy spirit…
    overtime when put things in concern
    to get a better grip
    sometimes something comes up
    that seems to fit
    and overtime it maybe falls apart
    but often seems to clarify over time…

    anyways back to image and likeness
    and teacher and wisdom

    what i got more into
    as i used my computer program bible study tools…

    oops i am on the wrong computer
    to link those in here ..
    the commentaries i used…
    on phillipians chater 2 verse 6-8

    maybe blueletterbible.org
    commentaries will do for now…

    but first the passage ..young’s literal translation..
    Phl 2:6 who, being in the form of God, thought [it] not robbery to be equal to God,

    Phl 2:7 but did empty himself, the form of a servant having taken, in the likeness of men having been made,

    Phl 2:8 and in fashion having been found as a man, he humbled himself, having become obedient unto death — death even of a cross,

    verse 6 form i take as image expression of divine image
    and word in verse 8 ..FASHION.. i take as a likeness energy that tho flesh will be raised a spiritual body or likeness..
    i think….
    and is this likeness a parallel to
    the holy spirit….
    wisdom…
    that is the image held
    or mental concepts are as instructed
    by the creator god the father…..
    and the bringing into expression
    or manifesting of the will of the creator
    is the basis of the holy spirit…

    it is the feminine that takes the form
    or makes the record of the image making powers of mind images…
    when these expression are pure
    then they are not rigid
    and trap the spirit or soul in sin

    ah now for how the salvation plan
    worked thru human and world history…
    and how the messiah…….
    and how the bible is the best scripture
    about the salvation plan
    and how as in proverbs 25
    Pro 25:2 [It is] the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings [is] to search out a matter.

Comments are closed.