Wednesday, July 16, 2008

In the Beginning was the Point

The Gospel of John starts out:

εν αρχη ην ο λογος

The word λογος Logos, is usually translated as "Word", but I just found out that Logos can also be translated as "The point of a legal case". If two persons are having a dispute, the point of that dispute is indicated by the word Logos.

I think it is interesting that, in the Gospel of John, the first statement tells us that Existence has a point. It is the meaning of a dispute. What dispute could it be? The eternal and temporal? The good and the evil? Is it that we live in a world with a purpose, and not a meaningless collection of random events?

The full phrase could be translated "In the beginning was the point, and the point was with God, and the point was God." It kind of makes it rather doubtful that we'll ever fully understand the point, doesn't it.

Yet that's what the gnostic does. We 'get the point.' We experience the Divine, reach for the Logos, trusting it's there even if we can't quite see it, grasp it, understand it.

It's also why we may enjoy obscure terminology and arcane ritual. Perhaps we have more in common with lawyers than we'd like to admit.


Brother Red said...

Except we don't lie about how much time we spent doing the Work to the client. And we don't get paid as much.

Jeremy Puma said...

Interesting! Also interesting (imho) is that the word Logos can also be translated into "discourse" or "teaching." In the beginning was the teaching?