The Gospel of Thomas. 2 of 2.

spirituality
spirituality (Photo credit: Loulair Harton)

June 15, 2013 by Jerry Alatalo

Trying to interpret spiritual writings is kind of like walking through a field of landmines. Certain writings are so deep and profound that the meaning contained in the words is difficult to find.

As one who feels the need for care when entering the arena of spiritual truth, know that you may have different interpretations than I. If this is the case please share your thoughts here as there is much which can be gained from discussions about these topics. Perhaps I will see that your view is clearer than mine. This will increase awareness in readers, myself and perhaps you will gain more spiritual awareness as well. This is positive. It is a very good thing.

The Gospel of Thomas. Part 2 of 2.

Passages are italicized.

“Blessed are the poor, for yours is the kingdom of Heaven.”

One thinks of the verse that “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into Heaven.” Given the increase of wealth inequality on Earth in recent years this passage is certainly timely. Could the poor mentioned here represent those who have given up all possessions and followed Christ; attained that consciousness? None of us are exempt from transitioning into spirit. All living things eventually cease living. None will take any possessions with them. Perhaps those with the least toys win entry into the kingdom of Heaven.

“He who has known the world has found a corpse, and he who has found a corpse, the world is not worthy of him.”

We think of the story in the bible where Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. Does the corpse represent a world that yet practices war, hate, greed and disrespect? And which does not understand and embrace unconditional love, compassion for all sentient beings and forgiveness?

“The kingdom of the father is like a man who had righteous seed. His enemy came by night, he sowed a weed among the righteous seed. The man did not allow them to pull up the weed. He said to them: lest perhaps you go to pull up the weed, and pull up the wheat with it. For on the day of harvest the weeds will be manifest; they will be pulled up and burned.”

Perhaps the day of harvest is the day that we die; the day we transition to spirit. The weed could represent the ego which is the force behind actions which are centered only on our self. We may have 100 million dollars in the bank but fail to give one thousand dollars to someone who desperately needs it for survival. The ego is the weed which becomes manifest when we die and witness our life review. In the kingdom of the father all of those weeds we have accumulated shall be revealed, pulled up and burned.

“Blessed is the man who has suffered; he has found the life.”

What form of suffering is suggested here? Could it be the mental suffering one experiences when one goes on the search for ultimate truth? Does the life entail seeking and finding oneness, unconditional love and the peace that passeth all understanding?

“Look upon the living one so long as you live, that you may not die and seek to see him, and be unable to see.”

Perhaps we would keep in our minds the highest spiritual vision; through the eyes of the Creator. When we die the Creator will be before us in plain sight, welcoming us home.

“Two shall rest upon a bed; one shall die, the other live.”

This passage may be suggesting the spirit and the flesh. At death our mortal bodies die but our eternal spirit lives on into forever.

“I tell my mysteries to those who are worthy of my mysteries. What thy right hand shall do, let not thy left hand know what it does.”

This passage may have been more relevant when it was written. This was a time where those who associated with these spiritual writings suffered persecution and sometimes killed. The circumstances today, many centuries later, allow much more open-minded acceptance of these writings.

“There was a rich man who had many possessions. He said: I will use my possessions that I may sow, reap and fill my barns with fruit, I may have need of nothing. These were his thoughts in his heart. And in that night he died. He that hath ears, let him hear.”

A warning against placing too much emphasis in this life on the accumulating of  possessions. The thoughts in his heart did not include his fellow-men and women who would be helped if he shared his surplus.

“A righteous man had a vineyard. He gave it to husbandmen that they might work it, and he receive its fruit of their hand. He sent his servant that the husbandmen might give him the fruit of the vineyard. They seized his servant, they beat him, and all but killed him. The servant came and told his master. His master said: perhaps they did not know him. He sent another servant; the husbandmen beat the other also. Then the master sent his son. He said: perhaps they will reverence my son. Those husbandmen, since they knew that he was the heir of the vineyard, they seized him and killed him. He that hath ears, let him hear.”

The righteous man could represent the Creator. His servants represent the spiritual masters who have come and gone through human history. Jesus was the son of God who came to collect the fruit for his father, the Creator, in the form of souls that the husbandmen were to enlighten on Earth.

“Teach me concerning this stone which the builders rejected; it is the corner-stone.”

The corner-stone represents the spiritual truth, the spark of the Creator that resides in the heart of all things. As  individual human beings we are the builders of our inner temples and we many times reject the God within.

“Blessed are you when they hate you, and persecute you, and do not find a place in the spot where they persecuted you.”

One of the greatest paradoxes of life. Those who suggest unconditional love, forgiveness and brotherhood suffer hatred, persecution and are sometimes killed. The passage “Greater love hath no man than this, that one lays down his life for his friends” is very, very profound. One hears these words and feels something that is perhaps not possible to put into words.

“When you bring forth that in yourselves, that which you have will save you. If you do not have that in yourselves, that which you do not have in you will kill you.”

When we find in our hearts and bring forth unconditional love, and share it with all people we meet we have come to understand the highest spiritual truth. Without an awareness of unconditional love we are spiritually dead even while we are alive.

“The harvest indeed is great, but the laborers are few; but pray to the father, that he send forth laborers into the harvest.”

Harvest represents the billions of souls on this Earth. Not many are working to increase unconditional love. After many centuries since these words were first written, many prayers in the meantime have been answered. Many more laborers are entering the fields of harvest on Earth and the harvest shall be great.

“There are many about the well, but nothing in the well.”

Once again this passage originated many centuries ago. Now the well is becoming fuller and fuller with the water of truth available for all.

“The kingdom is like a merchant who had a load of goods and found a pearl. That merchant was wise. He sold the load, and bought for himself the pearl alone. You also, seek after his treasure which does not perish but endures, where moth does not enter to devour, nor does worm destroy.”

The pearl represents the soul in eternity experiencing endless peace and the total, unconditional love of God.

“I am the light that is over them all. I am the all; the all has come forth from me, and the all has attained unto me. Cleave a piece of wood, I am there. Raise up the stone, and ye will find me there.”

This passage represents the omnipresent nature of the Creator. Perhaps every man, woman and child and every animal, every plant and every thing is essentially spirit; the spirit of God, thought creations of God.

“He who has known the world has found the body, and he who has found the body, the world is not worthy of him.”

“Why do you wash the outside of the cup? Do you not understand that he who made the inside is also he who made the outside?”

This passage points to the need to focus on the fact that God is not only our body but our soul, which is inside of us; in our hearts.

“Come unto me, for easy is my yoke and my servitude is gentle, and you will find rest for your souls.”

The understanding we gain of our oneness with all people and all things leads to a state of mind where we can no longer harm anything. Doing no harm removes all feelings of guilt, remorse and regret. Our consciences are clear so our souls contain no trace of anything which could trouble us.

“Give not that which sets apart to the dogs, lest they cast them on the dung heap; cast not the pearls to the swine lest they grind it to bits.”

Things have changed since these words came into the world. More and more people every day are sharing love on this Earth.

“He who seeks shall find, and he who knocks to him it shall be opened.”

Sometimes we think that attaining spiritual enlightenment is tremendously difficult. It is not.

“If you have money, do not lend at interest, but give to him from whom you will not receive it back.”

The present time sees humanity gaining more awareness of the spirit of this passage every day.

“He who has found the world and become rich, let him deny the world.”

Greed and gratification of the ego has been around for a very long time. This is changing in these times as more good communication between people has occurred.

“The Heavens shall be rolled up, and the Earth before your face, and he who lives in the living one shall neither see death nor fear; because I say: He who shall find himself, of him the world is not worthy.”

Fully grasping the eternal nature of our souls results in no fear of death, only lives spent embracing love without fear.

The disciples asked: “On what day will the kingdom come?” Jesus said: “It cometh not with observation. They will not say: Lo, here! or; Lo, there! But the kingdom of the father is spread out upon the Earth, and men do not see it.”

Heaven on Earth is here and now. All that we need do to see it is look at the world through eyes of spirit.

We hope that the passages from The Gospel of Thomas may have helped you in some way.

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Please share your interpretations freely. Thank you.

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Peaceful Music.

Photograph of Brian Eno at a 2006 Long Now Fou...
Photograph of Brian Eno at a 2006 Long Now Foundation discussion with Will Wright (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
June 15, 2013 Posted by Jerry Alatalo

After reading the eight part segment on money and watching the late Joan Veon’s presentation you may appreciate hearing some peaceful music.

John Cale and Brian Eno “Spinning Away”