The seven veils.

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Ben C. Smith
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The seven veils.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:06 pm

I have about as much interest in debating the (in)authenticity of Secret Mark as I do of having my eyeballs removed with a pen knife. But I am curious as to what the nonforgery position is on Peter Jeffrey's argument that the "seven veils" mentioned in the Mar Saba letter are an anachronistic callback to Oscar Wilde's treatment of Salome (which is also the name of one of the women rejected by Jesus in Secret Mark). A cursory internet search yielded no very good results on this score, so I thought I might ask here instead in hope of receiving a fuller and more direct answer. (My intention is to respond only to ask for clarification or further information as needed, not to debate; we shall see how well that intention holds up; usually I am pretty good about sticking to it in such cases.)

Thanks in advance.

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Re: The seven veils.

Post by rakovsky » Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:40 pm

Nice thread.

When I look up "Seven Veils", I get:
Dance of the Seven Veils

The Dance of the Seven Veils is Salome's dance performed before Herod II ...

The idea that Salome's dance involves "seven veils" originates with Wilde's 1891 play Salomé. Wilde was influenced by earlier French writers who had transformed the image of Salome into an incarnation of female lust.
...
[Toni Bentley, in his book Sisters of Salome, writes: "]Oscar Wilde assigned this symbolic descent to the underworld of the unconscious, a ceremony that equates stripping naked to being in a state of truth, the ultimate unveiling, to Salome."[3] Wilde's concept of "seven veils" is believed to be derived from the popularity of what were known as veil dances at the time. These were westernised versions of imagined Middle Eastern styles of dance.
...
In one of Aubrey Beardsley's illustrations to the play, he depicts what he calls a "stomach dance" (i.e. a belly dance), in which Salome is depicted with exposed breasts and undulating belly, wearing transparent pantaloons. Wilde wrote a note in appreciation of Beardsley's design, saying: "For Aubrey: for the only artist who, besides myself, knows what the dance of the seven veils is, and can see that invisible dance."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dance_of_the_Seven_Veils

Like Oscar Wilde's dedication to Beardsley, Morton Smith dedicated his book on Secret Mark, with its key reference to the "Seven Veils": "For the One Who Knows".

So....... What did Oscar Wilde mean in his letter to Beardsley by what the dance of the seven veils is?
Although Beardsley was associated with the homosexual clique that included Oscar Wilde and other English aesthetes, the details of his sexuality remain in question.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aubrey_Beardsley
Here is Morton Smith's translation of the Mar Saba Letter:
Nevertheless, he yet did not divulge the things not to be uttered, nor did he write down the hierophantic teaching of the Lord, but to the stories already written he added yet others and, moreover, brought in certain sayings of which he knew the interpretation would, as a mystagogue, lead the hearers into the innermost sanctuary of that truth hidden by seven veils.
Sam Gibson also translates this as "the innermost sanctuary of truth hidden by seven veils."
Andrew Bernhard's archived translation on gospels.net though (probably mistakenly) says seven times, not seven veils, so you should check the translation: https://web.archive.org/web/20071009101 ... ation.html
I don't know Greek like you do. Here is the Greek: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/t ... greek.html

As with Oscar Wilde's concept of seven veils hiding the truth or the unconscious underworld into which the dancer passes, it looks like the Mar Saba letter proposes that the hearers of the secret sayings would enter into a sanctuary of truth hidden by the seven veils.

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Re: The seven veils.

Post by Roger Viklund » Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:32 am

rakovsky wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:40 pm
Here is Morton Smith's translation of the Mar Saba Letter:
Nevertheless, he yet did not divulge the things not to be uttered, nor did he write down the hierophantic teaching of the Lord, but to the stories already written he added yet others and, moreover, brought in certain sayings of which he knew the interpretation would, as a mystagogue, lead the hearers into the innermost sanctuary of that truth hidden by seven veils.
Sam Gibson also translates this as "the innermost sanctuary of truth hidden by seven veils."
Andrew Bernhard's archived translation on gospels.net though (probably mistakenly) says seven times, not seven veils, so you should check the translation: https://web.archive.org/web/20071009101 ... ation.html
I don't know Greek like you do. Here is the Greek: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/t ... greek.html
This would be directed toward Peter, primarily. If I remember correctly, there are some (minor) errors in the transcribed Greek text on your site. I’ve noticed it before but haven’t recorded where, and I am unable to copy your text into Word (so I can compare it) as I don’t get the Greek types. It’s an elaborate task to check it manually (which I probably have done once).

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Re: The seven veils.

Post by Peter Kirby » Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:23 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:06 pm
But I am curious as to what the nonforgery position is on Peter Jeffrey's argument that the "seven veils" mentioned in the Mar Saba letter are an anachronistic callback to Oscar Wilde's treatment of Salome (which is also the name of one of the women rejected by Jesus in Secret Mark). A cursory internet search yielded no very good results on this score, so I thought I might ask here instead in hope of receiving a fuller and more direct answer.
I can't say that I know what "the nonforgery position is" or what the "direct answer" would be.

A starting point for exploration could be to look at the earlier references to "seven veils" in the French and English languages (before 1891). Here is Google Books and what's available there for "seven veils" in 1890 or earlier.
The Asian Mystery Illustrated in the History, Religion, and Present ...
https://books.google.com/books?id=FBZdAAAAcAAJ

Samuel LYDE - 1860 - ‎Read - ‎More editions
... caliphs of Bagdad had, as their special prerogative, seven Veils before their audience chamber, to raise and lower which was the duty of the Hadjib, or chamberlain, whose denomination was taken from his office? The term is often applied to ...
Gray's Letters & Poems: With a Life of the Author - Page 117
https://books.google.com/books?id=M3o-AAAAYAAJ

Thomas Gray - 1821 - ‎Read - ‎More editions
Ever since she has been covered with seven veils; nevertheless, those who approach her tabernacle cast their eyes down, for fear they should spy her through all her veils. Such is the history, as I had from the lady of the house where I stood to ...
The British Poets: Gray's Letters & poems - Page 117
https://books.google.com/books?id=5NhCAQAAMAAJ

1821 - ‎Read
Ever since'she has been covered with seven veils ; nevertheless, those who approach“ her tabernacle 'cast their eyes down,» for fear they,“ should spy her through [all her veils; Such is the history,.as [had from the lady of the house where I ...
The Works of Thomas Gray: Containing His Poems and Correspondence, ...
https://books.google.com/books?id=3BRKAAAAcAAJ

Thomas Gray - 1825 - ‎Read - ‎More editions
Ever since she has been covered with seven veils ; nevertheless, those who approach her tabernacle cast their eyes down, for fear they should spy her through all her veils. Such is the history, as I had it from the lady of the house where I stood ...
The Works of Thomas Gray: Poems. Memoirs [including letters] Two ...
https://books.google.com/books?id=w1tuWMoLQO8C

Thomas Gray, ‎Thomas James Mathias - 1814 - ‎Read - ‎More editions
... by good luck, a saint; the other was struck blind for his presumption. Ever since she has been covered with seven veils; nevertheless, those who approach her tabernacle cast their eyes down, for fear they should spy her through all her veils.
The Poems of Mr. Gray: To which are Prefixed Memoirs of His Life and ...
https://books.google.com/books?id=_BswAAAAYAAJ

Thomas Gray, ‎William Mason - 1775 - ‎Read - ‎More editions
Ever since she has been covered with seven veils ; nevertheless, those who approach her tabernacle cast their eyes, down, for fear they should spy her through all her veils. Such is the history, as I had it from the Lady ot the house where I ...
Letters - Page 100
https://books.google.com/books?id=1O0UAAAAQAAJ

Thomas Gray, ‎Edmund Gosse - 1884 - ‎Read - ‎More editions
... the time it was found (for it was found in the earth in ploughing) only two people have seen it ; the one was, by good luck, a saint; the other was struck blind for his presumption. Ever since she has been covered with seven veils; nevertheless, ...
Works - Volume 2 - Page 100
https://books.google.com/books?id=u0PuAAAAMAAJ

Thomas Gray - 1884 - ‎Read - ‎More editions
... the time it was found (for it was found in the earth in ploughing) only two people have seen it ; the one was, by good luck, a saint; the other was struck blind for his presumption. Ever since she has been covered with seven veils; nevertheless, ...
The Works of Thomas Gray: Letters - Page 100
https://books.google.com/books?id=9iU6AQAAMAAJ

Thomas Gray, ‎Edmund Gosse - 1884 - ‎Read - ‎More editions
... seven veils; nevertheless, those who approach her tabernacle cast their eyes down, for fear ' they should spy her through all her veils. Such is the history, as I had it from the Lady of the house where I stood to see her pass ; with many other ...
Poems and Letters - Page 367
https://books.google.com/books?id=-doNAAAAQAAJ

Thomas Gray - 1863 - ‎Read - ‎More editions
Ever since she has been covered with seven veils ; nevertheless, those who approach her tabernacle cast their eyes down, for fear they should spy her through all her veils. Such is the history, as I had it from the Lady of the house where I ...
Essay on Gray's Poetry ; Letters - Volume 2 - Page 140
https://books.google.com/books?id=HKBIE1IHaPwC

1858 - ‎Read
Ever since she has been covered with seven veils; nevertheless, those who approach her tabernacle cast their eyes down, for fear they should spy her through all her veils. Such is the history, as I had it from the Lady of the house where I stood ...
Arabian Poetry for English Readers
https://books.google.com/books?id=EDpbAAAAQAAJ

William Alexander Clouston - 1881 - ‎Read - ‎More editions
... off the seven veils in which he was enveloped during the recitations of the rival-chiefs, and caused Harith to sit beside him. For this decision there is reason to believe the King soon afterwards lost his life at the * According to Sir W. Jones' ...
Indian fairy tales, collected and tr. by M. Stokes - Page 263
https://books.google.com/books?id=vAcCAAAAQAAJ

Indian fairy tales, ‎Maive S H. Stokes - 1879 - ‎Read - ‎More editions
At last she begs her mistress's fate, to whom she daily carries a propitiatory offering, to intercede for her with her own fate. She is told in answer that her own fate is wrapped in seven veils and so cannot hear her prayer. Finally her mistress' fate ...
Indian Fairy Tales - Page 263
https://books.google.com/books?id=uR_aAAAAMAAJ

Maive S. H. Stokes - 1879 - ‎Read - ‎More editions
She is told in answer that her own fate is wrapped in seven veils and so cannot hear her prayer. Finally her mistress' fate leads her to her own. In the same collection, in " Feledico und Epomata" (vol. I, p. 350), Feledico's fate plays a personal ...
The New Arabian Nights: Select Tales, Not Included by Galland Or Lane
https://books.google.com/books?id=xzm8AAAAIAAJ

William Forsell Kirby - 1883 - ‎Read - ‎More editions
He then took leave of me and returned, but I went on to the palace, where I found a dervish with seven veils over his face, sitting on a throne. When I approached he did not salute me, but stood up, Joodar of Cairo, and Mahmood of Tunis. 1 75.
The Poetical Works of Milton, Young, Gray, Beattie, and Collins
https://books.google.com/books?id=nuxdCdpyq8wC

John Milton, ‎Edward Young, ‎Thomas Gray - 1860 - ‎Read - ‎More editions
Ever since she has been covered with seven veils ; nevertheless, those who approach her tabernacle cast their eyes down, for fear they should spy her through all her veils. Such is the history, as I had from the lady of the house where I stood ...
Indian Antiquary - Volume 8 - Page 230
https://books.google.com/books?id=AdswAQAAMAAJ

1879 - ‎Read - ‎More editions
But before leaving the castle, where he obtained this precious liquid, he is imprudent enough to strip off Fata Mor'ga-na's seven veils and give her a kiss. “Fata Morgana was awaked by the kiss, and when she saw that her veils had been taken ...
The Folk-lore Record - Volume 1 - Page 195
https://books.google.com/books?id=zUAKAAAAIAAJ

1878 - ‎Snippet view - ‎More editions
Queen Angelica is lying on a bed sleeping, covered with seven veils. He lifts the veils, and sees that she is so beautiful that he cannot refrain from kissing her. He afterwards finds the bottle containing the water which he was in search of.
The pictorial Bible, with notes by J. Kitto - Page 73
https://books.google.com/books?id=p7kTAAAAQAAJ

John Kitto - 1855 - ‎Read
The Arabic name, Bir es-Sebu, signifies ' Well of the Seven,' also ' Well of the Lion.' Some writers have regarded the name as implying seven veils ; but without the slightest historical or other ground for such a conclusion. Beersheba was the ...
The Academy - Volume 10 - Page 284
https://books.google.com/books?id=b108AQAAIAAJ

1876 - ‎Read - ‎More editions
Eventually, however, the ill-conditioned Sorte relents, and Sfurtuna becomes fortunate. In the similar story, Gonzenbaeh No. 21, Caterina's Schick- sal is a tall and beautiful lady with a wheel, whose seven veils prevent her from hearing what ...
The Academy and Literature - Volume 10 - Page 284
https://books.google.com/books?id=9G9RAAAAYAAJ

1876 - ‎Read - ‎More editions
Eventually, however, the ill-conditioned Sorte relents, and Sfur- tuua becomes fortunate. In the similar story, Gonzenbach No. 21, Caterina's Schick- sal is a tall and beautiful lady with a wheel, whose seven veils prevent her from hearing what ...
Here are some French results (skipping many things referring to "sails").
Triomphe de l'amour sur le fanatisme et le matérialisme - Page 177
https://books.google.com/books?id=fCuaARrmaHgC - Translate this page

1828 - ‎Read - ‎More editions
sont les sept voiles qui nous cachent les sept cieux ; l'être du temps n'a certainement point compris comment ; à présent , que comprendra-t-il de plus , lorsque nous lui dirons que le noir est le voile qui nous cache la porte ouverte de l'abyme, ...

1859 - ‎Snippet view
_ i) La trompette d'Isrâfîl. — Isrâfil est l'ange le plus proche du trône de Dieu, dont il est cependant séparé par sept voiles (Wolfl', Mahammedanische f'schatologz'e, p. 90). Sur les quatre grands anges voir Wolif, p. 9 et suivantes du texte arabe ...
Idées dogmatiques et morales du Siracide: thèse - Page 36
https://books.google.com/books?id=KhQaAAAAYAAJ - Translate this page

1870 - ‎Read
En effet, ils nous présentent Isis vêtue de noir et recouverte de sept voiles qui sont les sept cieux planétaires à la recherche de la puissance humide et fécondante symbolisée par Osiris. Or, une tablette assyrienne1, dont M. F. Lenormant* a ...
Etude des documents nouveaux fournis sur les Ophites par les ...
https://books.google.com/books?id=vnByXFaTbrMC - Translate this page

1863 - ‎Read - ‎More editions
On avait exposé sur le maître-autel, aux regards du peuple, l'image de Marie, appelée la Vieille- Image, ou des Sept-Voiles.1 Un soir qu'Alphonse, semblable à un ange plutôt qu'à un homme, célébrait l'excellence de cette divine Mère, ...
Vie et institut de Saint Alphonse-Marie de Liguori... - Page 253
https://books.google.com/books?id=9WlHAAAAYAAJ - Translate this page

Noël Desvergers - 1847 - ‎Snippet view - ‎More editions
Il récita donc le commencement de son poëme, étant séparé par sept tentures du lieu où se tenait le roi. Aux premiers vers, la reine s'é- eria : « Jamais homme aussi éloquent n'a parlé derrière sept voiles. » Le roi, touché de cette parole, en fit ...
Here is a Google translation of the French.
Triomphe de l'amour sur le fanatisme et le matérialisme - Page 177
https://books.google.com/books?id=fCuaARrmaHgC - Translate this page

1828 - Read - More editions
are the seven veils that hide the seven heavens from us; the being of time certainly did not understand how; Now, what more will he understand when we tell him that black is the veil that hides the open door of the abyss ...

1859 - Snippet view
_ i) The trumpet of Isrâfîl. Israfil is the closest angel to the throne of God, from which, however, he is separated by seven veils (Wolfl ', Mahammedanische f'schatologz'e, 90). Of the four great angels see Wolif, p. 9 and following of the Arabic text ...
Dogmatic and moral ideas of the Siracid: thesis - Page 36
https://books.google.com/books?id=KhQaAAAAYAAJ - Translate this page

1870 - Read
Indeed, they present us Isis dressed in black and covered with seven veils which are the seven planetary skies in search of the wet and fertilizing power symbolized by Osiris. Now, an Assyrian tablet1, of which Mr. F. Lenormant * has ...
Study of the new documents provided on the Ophites by the ...
https://books.google.com/books?id=vnByXFaTbrMC - Translate this page

1863 - Read - More editions
On the high altar, in the eyes of the people, the image of Mary, called the Old Image, or the Seven Sails, was exposed.1 One evening, Alphonso, like an angel rather than a man, celebrated the excellence of this divine Mother, ...
Life and Institute of Saint Alphonsus Liguori ... - Page 253
https://books.google.com/books?id=9WlHAAAAYAAJ - Translate this page

Christmas Desvergers - 1847 - Snippet view - More editions
He recited, therefore, the beginning of his poem, being separated by seven draperies from the place where the king was standing. To the first verses, the Queen exclaimed: "Never so eloquent man has spoken behind seven veils. The king, touched by this word, made it ...
Another logical step to take would be to check the Greek and Latin fathers, to get a better feeling for the phrase.

If I can say what looked to be relatively illuminating, it was this one:
the seven veils that hide the seven heavens from us
And this one:
the closest angel to the throne of God, from which, however, he is separated by seven veils
One of these describes seven veils between the heavens and outside the heavens (i.e., corresponding to the seven heavens), the other describes seven veils as closest to God (i.e., within the inner sanctuary).
"... almost every critical biblical position was earlier advanced by skeptics." - Raymond Brown

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Re: The seven veils.

Post by Secret Alias » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:00 am

Among the cuntiest of the forgery arguments

https://books.google.com/books?id=aS3Z4 ... nt&f=false

FWIW it's modern slang cunt·y
/ˈkən(t)ē/Submit
adjectiveVULGAR SLANG
superlative adjective: cuntiest
1.
very unpleasant, disagreeable, or annoying.
2.
relating to or resembling the female genitals.
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Re: The seven veils.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:18 am

Secret Alias wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:00 am
Among the cuntiest of the forgery arguments

https://books.google.com/books?id=aS3Z4 ... nt&f=false
Thank you. From the footnote:

Talmud, Kethuboth 106a: There [it may be replied] the reference is [to the curtains] of the gates; for R. Zera related in the name of Rab: There were thirteen curtains in the second Temple, seven corresponding to the seven gates, one for the entrance to the Hekal, one for the entrance to the ‘Ulam, two [at the entrance] to the Debir and two [above them and] corresponding to them in the upper storey.

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Re: The seven veils.

Post by Secret Alias » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:31 am

Andrew Criddle has an interesting explanation for the seven veils as referring to the tabernacle - obviously denying that the tabernacle had 7 veils. http://hypotyposeis.org/weblog/2017/10/ ... sited.html He seems to think that the seven circuits ran outside of the holy of holies:

I would therefore list the seven purities of the temple in Josephus as 1/ Jerusalem the holy city, 2/ The Temple Mount, 3/ The Court of Women and the Rampart leading to it, 4/ The Court of Israel, 5/ The Court of Priests, 6/ The Ministering Priests at the altar and in the holy place, 7 The Holy of Holies.

He doesn't see this as a confirmation of the Mar Saba letter. But it is kind of, isn't it? Not proof of authenticity but it's related, no? Am I too much of an optimist? Too much of a pollyanna?
Last edited by Secret Alias on Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The seven veils.

Post by rakovsky » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:32 am

Peter Kirby wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:23 am
Thomas Gray, ‎William Mason - 1775 - ‎Read - ‎More editions
Ever since she has been covered with seven veils ; nevertheless, those who approach her tabernacle cast their eyes, down, for fear they should spy her through all her veils. Such is the history, as I had it from the Lady ot the house where I ...
Letters - Page 100
https://books.google.com/books?id=1O0UAAAAQAAJ
...

Another logical step to take would be to check the Greek and Latin fathers, to get a better feeling for the phrase.

If I can say what looked to be relatively illuminating, it was this one:
the seven veils that hide the seven heavens from us
And this one:
the closest angel to the throne of God, from which, however, he is separated by seven veils
One of these describes seven veils between the heavens and outside the heavens (i.e., corresponding to the seven heavens), the other describes seven veils as closest to God (i.e., within the inner sanctuary).
Do any of the books that you found cite ancient records or writers?
A search of the Christian Classics Ethereal Library for "seven veils" gave nothing.

Out of what you cited, the earliest looks like a 1741 letter from the poet Thomas Gray, whereby he associates "seven veils" with archeology in Florence. He says that there is a tile with a bas relief of a lady on it and the Florentines cover it with seven veils. Certainly this is referring to a practice used in 18th c. Italy, not something done in the ancient Mediterranean. Oscar Wilde, another later writer could have seen literary references to covering a woman with seven veils and used it as a motif, from which it became famous.

Argument #4 for me against the authenticity of the Mar Saba letter is that tracking down evidence supporting it is like a wild goose chase. Those who want to present the Letter as an authentic document have the burden of proving it is. The case basically begins with M.Smith being a respected scholar (argument of authority) and therefore trustworthy in his telling of how he found it. Next the case goes that the handwriting matches the 18th c. and that the vocabulary matches Clement's. Next people make some added arguments like chiasms. But for me, these aren't sufficient - M.Smith wasn't such an amazingly reliable personality according to his critic like Jacob Neusner who knew him well. The chiasm argument fell apart for me.

When I go track down different leads, they fall apart too, like the 7 veils reference. It turns out it comes from 18th c. and 19th English literature, and a search of the church fathers didn't bring anything up for me. So the more I track down the leads (chiasms, 7 veils, Mystery of Mar Saba) and they look equivocal or point to forgery, the more skeptical I become.

Have you heard of the "Messianic Seal of Jerusalem" discovery?
The story goes that in the 20th c., a Christian met a Greek monk named Octeochos who found a stash of ancient vases with symbols on them combining the star of David with a cross. The sign is now one of the main ones adopted by Messianic Jewish Christians and is considered by them to be ancient, commonly understood by the symbol's users (eg. in jewelry) as a symbol of Judaism combining with Christianity. At first, to me it sounded plausible as a discovery. But the more I carefully read about it, the more it looks like a modern hoax that got widely accepted. Octeochos is not a Greek monk name. The Greek church even in the story rejected his "discovery". The star of David is actually found on a small number of ancient vases, but it didn't become a symbol for Judaism until the 19th or 20th century. The hexagram plus cross motif didn't become either known at all or popular until the alleged discovery in the 20th c. I don't have an admission by someone that he forged it. But after reading enough about it, based on skepticism of a modern "discovery" and weaknesses in the story of the discovery, I concluded that the "Messianic seal" is a modern forgery.

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Re: The seven veils.

Post by Secret Alias » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:35 am

Those who want to present the Letter as an authentic document have the burden of proving it is.
No we don't. Who the fuck are you? Who made you judge, jury and decider? A document was found in a monastery. The document was left in the monastery and was seen why a leading opponent of the discovery. It was there - at least until 1984. It's a real text. Why the fuck do I have to justify that the document was there or ancient? That's on you people.

It's like the moon landing. There was a landing ... on the moon. NASA doesn't have to prove that it wasn't a fake because some asshole on a blog doubts its authenticity. People were starting this up again when the Chinese landed on the moon the other day. There's a fine line of separation between Peter Jeffery and Steve Avery.
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Re: The seven veils.

Post by rakovsky » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:07 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:18 am
Secret Alias wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:00 am
Among the cuntiest of the forgery arguments

https://books.google.com/books?id=aS3Z4 ... nt&f=false
Thank you. From the footnote:

Talmud, Kethuboth 106a: There [it may be replied] the reference is [to the curtains] of the gates; for R. Zera related in the name of Rab: There were thirteen curtains in the second Temple, seven corresponding to the seven gates, one for the entrance to the Hekal, one for the entrance to the ‘Ulam, two [at the entrance] to the Debir and two [above them and] corresponding to them in the upper storey.

To me, it looks like Oscar Wilde's concept is a closer match that the Talmud quote about the 13 curtains, 7 of which matched 7 gates. And were the Talmud's seven curtains the ones for the innermost sanctuary? Or were there, as I suspect, some curtains more inward than the ones for the 7 gates in the Talmud?
From Wikipedia on the "Seven Veils"
Oscar Wilde assigned this symbolic descent to the underworld of the unconscious, a ceremony that equates stripping naked to being in a state of truth, the ultimate unveiling, to Salome.
The Mar Saba Letter says the sayings "lead the hearers into the innermost sanctuary of that truth hidden by seven veils."
In both Wilde and the Mar Saba Letter, we are dealing with a ceremony involving stripping to nakedness ("naked man with naked man") and entering truth hidden by seven veils.
The Talmud reference doesn't involve stripping to nakedness or reaching "truth" hidden by the veils.
Last edited by rakovsky on Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

My research on the prophecies of the Messiah's resurrection: http://rakovskii.livejournal.com

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