So there’s this “book meme” floating around…

Apparently, you’re supposed to

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 3 sentences on your blog along with these instructions.
5. Don’t you dare dig for that “cool” or “intellectual” book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.

What’s amusing about that is the only book within reach of my computer right now doesn’t even belong to me; it’s a copy of The Gnostic Gospels, by Elaine Pagels, a history of Gnosticism.

The fifth sentence on page 123 reads, “For gnostics, exploring the psyche became explicitly what it is for many people today implicitly–a religious quest.”

In the view of one particular sect of Gnostics, the “Valentinians,” human beings are on the top of the divine pecking order, because human beings create the language of theology, and religious expression, without which the will of God can’t be known. Which is kind of an interesting way to look at religion, when it comes right down to it, though I somehow suspect exactly the same moral lesson could probably be drawn had the book closest to hand been one of the Calvin & Hobbes anthologies we have kicking around the place.