It feels good when you do it. It is something you do when you "feel the need." However, it produces no fruit, just merely self pleasuring. I have to admit...I love theological masturbation. In fact, a large chunk of this blog is simple self-pleasuring. My fascination with the Gospel of Thomas and even Christianity and the Bible have been a long theological wank for some time. It feels good and is fun to do, but has no real bearing on my life. In fact much of the Gospel of Thomas is filled with things to think on or know, but next to nothing on praxis. There is no lineage of Thomasine teachers. Those who utilize it either try a reconstructionist approach or simply try to incorporate it within their current religion. We know next to nothing about the ancient Thomasines, and let's face it- the GoT lends itself to many very different interpretations which each devotee often reads their assumptions and/or beliefs into the text. I have done this. I have tried to fit the Gospel of Thomas in a modern Christian, Buddhist, and Hindu context...but it still remains an ancient book penned by several authors from within an extinct community over a long period of time at the very least 1,700 years ago. So all we can really do is play some theological games with it that have very little impact on our daily life- theological masturbation. I find I do the same with the Bible. The vast majority of it I view as mythology. I see much that offends me, much that is beautiful but none that compels me, as I cannot really embrace the myriad Biblical voices and worldview.
So where does that leave me? Honestly, I am not totally sure I can verbalize it totally yet. I am moving toward focusing on a spiritual path that is based on my experience is much more tangible and less dependent on theological masturbation that really has no bearing on my life. So it is here that I decide to no cling too tightly to the labels of Thomasine or even Christian. Both remain a passion and an interest to me just as they always have
I find the Christian/Thomasine ways of relating to God great but inadequate...almost too limited.
I experience God by many names...as Father, Mother, Lover, Friend, Goddess, Krishna, Brigit, and as nature, beauty and even present in the storm. I am a panentheist, animist, and spiritualist. I know a God who has a million names, faces and ways to know the Divine.
I think it was Karen Armstrong who coined the term "Freelance Monotheist". My view of God falls somewhere between monotheism and polytheism - very similar to the Hindus relation to God and Gods. What type of theism is this? Anyone know?