thomas


After extinction I came out, and I

Eternal now am, though not as I.

And who am I, O I, but I

–Ali Shushtari

 

As we travel upon this road of self-knowledge with the help of the means

provided by tradition—means without which such a journey is in fact impossible—we

gain a new perspective concerning every kind of reality with which we had

identified at the beginning of our journey. We come to realize that although we

are male or female, that attribute does not really define us. There is a deeper

reality, one might say an androgynic reality, transcending the male-female

dichotomy so that our identity is not determined simply by our gender. Nor are

we simply our body and the senses although we often identify ourselves with

them. As we travel upon the Sufi path, it also becomes more and more evident

that what we call ” I ” has its existence independent of sense perceptions and

the body as a whole although the soul continues to

have a consciousness of the body while being also aware through spiritual

practice of t h e possibility of leaving it for higher realms.

Likewise, although we have emotions and psychological states with which

we often identify, the spiritual path teaches us that they do not

define and determine our identity in the deepest sense. In fact, often we

say, “I must control my temper,” which demonstrates clearly that

there is more than one psychological agent within human beings. As St. Thomas

said, confirming Sufi teachings, “Duo

sunt in homine” (“There

are two in man”). The part of u s that seeks to control our temper

must be distinct and not determined by the part of o u r soul that is angry and

needs to be controlled. Yes, we do experience emotions, but we need not be

defined by them. In the same manner, we have an imaginative faculty able to

create images, and most of t he time ordinary people live in the lower reaches

of that world of imaginal forms. Again, we are not determined by those forms,

and j o u r n e y i n g upon the spiritual path is especially effective in

transforming our inner imaginal landscape. As for the power of memory, it is

for the most part the repository of images and forms related to earlier

experiences of life. Metaphysically speaking, however, it is also related to

our atemporal relation to our Source of Being and the intelligible world to

which we belonged before our descent here to earth. That is why true knowledge

according to Plato is recollection, and in Sufism the steps of t h e path are

identified with stages of the remembrance of t h e Friend. Most people,

however, consider these everyday remembered experiences as a major part of

their identity. Yet again, the center of our consciousness, our I,  cannot be

identified with our ordinary memory.

We can forget many things and remain the same human being. The spiritual life

may in fact be defined as the practice of techniques that enable us to forget

all that we remember about the world of separation and dispersion and to

remember the most important thing, which this world has caused us to forget,

namely, the one “saving Truth,” which is also our inner reality.

The Garden of Truth: The Vision and Promise of Sufism, Islam’s Mystical Tradition

 

Advertisements

Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.

–Deut 30: 11-14

……..

To be pure and still means to be open to purity and stillness

As a result you can intuit the truth. This means that the light can shine

Revealing the workings of cause and effect

And leading to the place of Peace and Happiness.

Simon, know this. I carry myself in strangeness

In words that can reach out north, south, east, and west.

And if I am everywhere in the world, then 1 don’t know how

I am

If I am truly in my words, then I don’t know what I signify.

If a person has a made-up name, no one really knows who

he is.

Trying to know and to see are irrelevant. Why is this?

People struggle trying to figure it all out.

This struggle creates the desire to do something.

Doing creates movement which results in anxiety:

Then it is impossible to find Rest and Contentment.

This is why I teach no wanting and doing without doing

It stops you thinking about things which disturb you

Then you can enter into the source of pure empty being.

Detach yourself from what disturbs and distracts you,

And be as pure as one who breathes in purity and emptiness.

This state is the gateway to enlightenment

It is the Way to Peace and Happiness.

–The Sutra of Returning to your original nature (Extract from The Jesus Sutras by Martin Palmer)

……..

In Hebrew, a prophet is called a navi. Practioner Ayeh Kaplan pointed out that this word has three etymologies. One is navach (to cry out), another is nava (to gush, to flow forth) and the last is navuv (to be hollow). All three etymologies help us understand biblical meditation and its relationship to prophecy and enlightenment. For the prophet was as one hollow, his or her ego stripped away. The prophet was the flute through which flowed the Infinite One’s wind and melody.

–Avram Davis (The Way of Flame: A Guide to the Forgotten Mystical Tradition of Jewish Mysticism)

What is Gnosticism? Transcendence a

Gnostic Perspective

 

 

“I gained nothing at all from supreme enlightenment

It is for that very reason it is called supreme enlightenment”

 

–The Buddha

 

Once again, exploring what I consider to be a “universal” aspect of Gnosticism. The following is my opinion and my opinion alone. I am not an expert and please do not think I am.

 

As we begin our spiritual life we often describe it, or find it is a journey. When we participate in a journey we “walk” upon a path. Hence one reason why various spiritual practices are called paths. Sufism, Wicca, Zen, Hinduism, Gnosticism…these are paths.

 

Religion is a club hence the beatings
Spirituality is a journey hence the path

–Sister Artemis

When beginning our journey we find that we are reaching new things. Indeed many “paths” (for example of paths: Zen, Hinduism, Wicca, Islam etc.) When we first begin experiencing heightened awareness or new forms of consciousness we gain certain perspectives. Often these new events are seen as something new. I communicated with a host of Angels, I was in the presence of an inner master, I have moved out of my body and astrally projected etc.

 

To many this IS transcendence. To a Gnostic however there is more. Let us examine the classic Thomas 22 logion:

 

Jesus saw infants being suckled.
He said to his disciples,
“These infants being suckled

are like those who enter the kingdom.”
They said to him,

“Shall we then, as children, enter the kingdom?”
Jesus said to them,
“When you make the two one,

and when you make the inside like the outside
and the outside like the inside,

and the above like the below, and when you

make the male and the female one and the same,

so that the male not be male

nor the female female;

and when you fashion eyes in the place of an eye,
and a hand in place of a hand,

and a foot in place of a foot,

and a likeness in place of a likeness;

then will you enter the kingdom.”

 

Jesus saw some infants being suckled by their mother. We are hit initially with the image of childhood. Perhaps this signifies being in a childlike state, being fed by Sophia herself. For we are told it is these that will enter heaven. Jesus goes on to tell us further instructions for entering heaven. We are told we must make the above like the below, the left like the right, the male like the female etc. What does this mean? Well quite obviously it is a combination of opposites. We see this restated of course quite clearly in Philip:

 

“Light and Darkness, life and death, right and left, are brothers of one another. They are inseparable. Because of this neither are the good good, nor evil evil, nor is life life, nor death death. For this reason each one will dissolve into its earliest origin. But those who are exalted above the world are indissoluble, eternal.”

 

Again we see the dichotomy of opposites and how they are false. Life and death, right and left. Good is not Good and evil is not evil. Mary tells us:

“Peter said to him, Since you have explained everything to us, tell us this also: What is the sin of the world?

26) The Savior said There is no sin, but it is you who make sin when you do the things that are like the nature of adultery, which is called sin.

27) That is why the Good came into your midst, to the essence of every nature in order to restore it to its root.

28) Then He continued and said, That is why you become sick and die, for you are deprived of the one who can heal you.”

 

There is no SIN but it is you who MAKE sin. Of course this does not mean we should stick pencils in our nose and proclaim we are the queen of Sweden, as we have discernment. But what Yeshu is telling us in Mary, Philip and Thomas is that opposites and sin only exist if we allow them to. To gain Gnosis, to enter heaven we must transcend. We must leave our mundain conciousness and move elsewhere. To see in a new way. This is transcendence.

 

“When my Beloved appears,With what eye do I see Him?

With His eye, not with mine,

For none sees Him except Himself.”

–Ibn Arabi

 

The trap that most fall into at this stage is thinking something is new. From a Gnostic perspective, escape or leaving the illusion or incorrect reality of opposites and sin (the realm of the demi urge and the archons)is seen as literal escape. A classic example found in many paths is climbing up a mountain. Our “journey” is seen as walking up a mountain and when we have reached the summit we will be in a different place.

”There was a big pond, and in it there were three fishes. The fist fish was One-Thought, the second fish was Hundred-Thoughts, and the third fish was Thousand-Thoughts. At some time a fisherman came and cast his net. He caught those two fishes of many thoughts; but he did not catch the fish One-Thought.”

–Manichaean Parable (Turtan fragment M127)

Mani tells us here that only the fish with One thought was saved. The fishes with many thoughts were not saved. Similarly we are told in the Seven Sermons to the dead that everything is the Pleroma. Everything IS the Pleroma… EVERYTHINGS IS THE PLEROMA….

So by climbing the mountain we are not reaching the top, we are reaching the bottom. Wherever we go, there we are. So from a Gnostic perspective, we are already IN heaven. We are ALREADY God….we are already the way (Tao)…

“There is no path that leads to Zen.

How can you follow a path to where you are right now?”

–Robert Allen

There is no path to Gnosis, to knowing. As you already KNOW. Philip tells us to know something we must BECOME it. We already ARE “it”, we but simply have to learn this.

Thus to truly transcend

We must not transcend.

To be we must not be

To see we must be blind

To speak we must be silent

This “aspect” of Gnosticism is of course found in a great many other “paths” (as I have hinted). Thus we should not pretend that Gnosticism or whatever our path is the “only way”, as this is just plain silly.

 

“The essence of divinity is found in every single thing – nothing but it exists. Since it causes every thing to be, no thing can live by anything else. It enlivens them, its existence exists in each existent.

Do not attribute duality to God. Let God be solely God. If you suppose that Ain Sof emanates until a certain point, and that from that point on is outside of it, you have dualized. God forbid! Do not say, ‘This is a stone and not God.’ God forbid! Rather, all existence is God, and the stone is a thing pervaded by divinity.”

– Moses Cordovero (Shiur Komah)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“True will is participation in Divine Will. True awareness is participation in Divine Mind. True life is actually participation in Divine Life. We don’t own them, we only participate.

If I am not the owner of will and consciousness, only a participant, then who am I?

The truth is that the self is the most elusive, most difficult to cognize. Why is this so? Because the self is that which is seeing. The eyes cannot see themselves.”

– David Aaron (Seeing God: Ten Life-Changing Lessons of the Kabbalah)

………………………………………..

The right approach to life is like water.

Water is everywhere and exists in all places.

It flows even in places that men reject.

That is why the sage approximates Tao.

He dwells in the right place. His heart is as deep as an abyss. His love is perfect. He abides in the truth and he does the truth. Destined to govern, he maintains order. He performs his actions well, and acts at the right time.

Since he does not quarrel or contend with others, there is no guilt in him.

–Tao Te Ching (chapter 8, Rijckenborgh and Petri,)

One can see why chapter eight of the Tao Te Ching compares the way of life to be followed by the liberation seeking personality with water. Water is a sublime, universal symbol of the power-radiations of the new life. Just as the ordinary human being lives and moves in the electro- magnetic radiation-field of dialectics, so the pupil who, through the sacrifice of the self, has established a liberating link with the spirit of the valley, the God in him, will enter and live in the new electromagnetic radiation-field.

This is the true, living water, which is poured out over him , and fills every corner of his existence. In this stream of new power he becomes a new creation, a new creature. He under-

goes a new Genesis, a new beginning. This process can be compared with the first Genesis, when the spirit of God moved over the face of the waters and created a firmament in their midst, for when the living water is poured out over the he, too, gains a new firmament. It is the new lipika, a new magnetic system which imparts to him a quite new and different personality-consciousness. He is again ensouled by his only God, who works for his salvation.

If we shift our attention from the individual, microcosmic level to the level of the cosmos and macrocosm, we can see that the same concepts must apply there, too. For obviously, the God in us, the true, divine human being, the source of true life in the heart sanctuary, does not live in isolation from other human Gods. Just as the earthly human being experiences and is conscious in the nature of death, so, by the law of analogy, the divine human being must exist in a nature of life, a quite different, divine universe. The life-substance, the radiation substance of that divine universe is living water, the pure, primordial substance.

This divine universe, this divine primordial substance, is not separated from us by time or distance; it is here and now, interpenetrating everything, nearer than hands and feet. The water is everywhere, and there is no place where it is not. It is even in places scorned by man. The sage knows this, and that is what makes him say, in the words of Psalm 139:

If I ascend to heaven, thou art there!

If I descend into the realm of the dead, thou art there!

If I take the wings of the morning and go and dwell in the thirst. That thirst is yearn uttermost parts of the sea, even there thy hand shall lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

If I say: ‘Let darkness cover me’, the night shall be a light about me even the darkness is not dark to thee. The night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with thee.

The Chinese Gnosis (Rijckenborgh and Petri, a Gnostic Rosicrucian commentary on the Tao Te Ching)

……………………………………………….

The highest good is like water;

Water is good at benefiting the ten thousand things

and yet It does not

 

compete with them.

It dwells in places the masses of people detest,

Therefore it is close to the Way.

In dwelling, the good thing is the land;

In the mind, the good thing is depth;

In giving, the good thing is being like Heaven;

In speaking, the good thing is sincerity;

 

In governing, the good thing is order;

 

In affairs, the good thing is ability;

 

In activity, the good thing is timeliness.

It is only because it does not compete, that therefore it

is without fault.

Tao Te Ching (chap 8, trans. By Robert G Henricks)

(35) Jesus said, “It is not possible for anyone to enter the house of a strong man and take it by force unless he binds his hands; then he will be able to ransack his house.

 

Isaiah 49:24-25 “Can spoil be snatched from the strong man…? Yes, says the Lord,”

 

Mark 3:27  “On the other hand, no one can break into a strong man’s house and make off with his goods unless he has first tied up the strong man; then he can ransack the house.”

 

Matthew 11:12 “Since the time of John the Baptist the kingdom of Heaven has been subjected to violence and violent men are taking it by force.”

 

Luke 11:21 “When a strong man fully armed is on guard over his palace, his possessions are safe. But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he carries off the arms and armour on which the man had relied and distributes the spoil.”

 

Thomas (21) … Therefore I say, if the owner of a house knows that the thief is coming, he will begin his vigil before he comes and will not let him dig through into his house of his domain to carry away his goods. You then, be on your guard against the world. Arm yourselves with great strength lest the robbers find a way to come to you,  …”

 

The phrase “unless he binds his hands” always seemed ambiguous to me. Although I always assumed it meant to bind the hands of the “strong man”, it might also mean,  “bind your own hands”, even though you are

the same one entering the house by force!

   Matthew 11:12 claims violent men are taking the kingdom by force; I believe we are to identify with these violent men. I read (35) as being related to (98), “Slayer of the powerful man”, in that it promotes violence, ransacking and killing when necessary. I also believe the “house” to be ransacked and the “person” to be killed reside within us.

 

Built from lies and fear,

we fabricate a false illusion of ourselves,

piling them up like a house of cards.

This false self must die

and the house (soul) it resides in must be ransacked in order to free our true Spirit.

 

Note that Luke has softened this Saying.  We are

not to identify with the attacker, but should be defending ourselves with armor against attack. 

This makes it less violent and brings it in line with Saying (21)’s  “thief” who is trying to rob us. 

Luke’s idea of armor may have been influenced by

Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:8

“but we, who belong to the daylight, must keep sober, armed with the breastplate of faith and love, and the hope of salvation for a helmet.”

 

(32)

Jesus said,

“ A city being built on a high mountain

and fortified cannot fall,

nor can it be hidden.”

 

 

Matthew 5:14

“You are a light for all the world.

A town that stands on a hill cannot be hidden.”

 

Camelot is under construction

inside of you and in this world.

While under construction,

it must be protected

from those who would tear it down.

Once completed, however,

the Kingdom‘s radiance

does not allow it to be hidden

from those who seek it.

It is to be a beacon

for anyone who becomes lost,

a safe haven

where people can live

without fear.

 

 

read it all

 

(11)

Jesus said,
"This heaven will pass away,
and the one above it will pass away.
The dead are not alive,
and the living will not die.
In the days when you consumed what is dead,
you made it what is alive.
When you come to dwell in the light,
what will you do?
On the day when you were one
you became two.
But when you become two,
what will you do?"

"when all are One and one is All"
Stairway to Heaven

Led Zeppelin

Heaven is not in this sky,
n
or in the realm of the archons.
Those who die without Knowledge

were dead even when alive,

but those who have found Life will not die,
their Spirits are eternal.
B
y reinterpreting the dusty works of the prophets,
you breathe new Life into their words,

but where you once saw only dimly,

now you will have a clear Vision.

When you were born,
already age one*,
you entered the world of matter,
made of two dueling opposites,
but when you "make the two into One",
and Live on purpose,

you will Light up the whole world.

* Jewish tradition holds that a

newborn infant is one year old at birth.

Next Page »