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Showing posts from January, 2010

So Many Gods, So LittleTime

Jesus said, "Where there are three gods, they are divine. Where there are one or two, I am with that one." Gospel of Thomas 30

Most of us have heard of the doctrine of the Trinity, whether from growing up in church or from friends who do. In Sethian Gnosticism, there is a type of Trinity which forms from the One- The Ineffable Father/Monad, Barbelo the Mother, and the Autogenes (the self generated). Both Barbelo and the Autogenes emanated from the Monad which is the Godhead beyond all form or description. This emmanation of God proceeded outward into new Aeons until finally they reached that outer edge where Sophia led to the breaking off of some of the sparks of God...i.e. us. We forgot who we are, trapped in the prison of impermanence and imperfection. Jesus comes as the messenger who is there to help these sparks remember who they are and reunite with the pleroma...the kingdom of God. We are here to remember who we are and where we come from. Do you remember?

True Gnosis

You ask me, "Who are you and with such a shaky existence how can you fall in love?" How do I know who am I, or where I am? How could a simple wave locate itself in an ocean? You ask me what am I seeking above and beyond the pure light that I once was, and why am I imprisoned in this cage named body and yet I claim to be a free bird. How do I know how I lost my way? I know for sure I was all straight before I was seduced by love.RUMI, Fountain of Fire, ghazal number 1517, translated April 1991 by Nader Khalili, Burning Gate Press, Los Angeles, 1994.

Thomas Gospel Dervishes, sung by Catherine Braslavsky

Catherine Braslavsky group in concert at the Satellit' Café, broadcast on French TV 3/08. Music by Joseph Rowe, words of Yeshua from the Gospel of Thomas:
"Split the wood, I am there; turn over a stone, and you will find me."
Jesus said, "If the flesh was made through the spirit, that is a wonder, but if spirit was made though the body, that is a wonder of wonders. Yet I am amazed at how this great treasure has come to dwell in this poverty." Gospel of Thomas 29

When I was younger I went through a wild phase. Chasing after the next sexual conquest, seeking to be noticed, wanting money and all that life had to give. Then I was in an accident. I had a nde/obe that helped me wake up. It made me realize that this material life is not all there is. In this saying Jesus, points out that the flesh is not all there is. There is a life within life. There is spirit in matter. One of the Buddhist four noble truths is that life is suffering. That all things that live will die. That life is impermanent and is not eternal. We meet the love of our life only to either have one of them leave or one of us eventually pass away. This clinging to life, or people, or things only increases our suffering thr…

They are all drunk at my party!

Jesus said, "I stood up in the world, and in flesh I showed myself to them. I found everyone drunk, and none of them were thirsty. My soul ached for the children of men an women, because their hearts are blind and don't see, for even though they entered the world empty, they also want to leave the world empty. Yet all the while they are drunk. When their drunkenness passes, then they will change their ways." Gospel of Thomas 28

Imagine you are practicing for a speech. You fretted and worried. Day after day you practice, putting a joke in just the right spot, challenging them after you would hook them in. The big day arrives, only no one listens. They are all talking to each other all through your speech. What a let down! Here Jesus speaks as a teacher from God. He offers peace and freedom in this world. He offers to share the path of oneness with those who are beaten down by the world, with the religious fanatics who are laden with guilt and self-hatred, with the lonely..…

The World Asleep

Last night, my mind was so filled with thoughts on the Gnostic cosmology I even dreamed them. While I am not sure and even doubtful of a literal Demiurge and archons, I do believe that the powers of the world do keep us from knowing who we are and where we come from. Our desperation to have more, to work so hard on the treadmill that we have little time for introspection, our own monkey mind, and powers that keep us on everything but the spiritual life are out there...maybe not as literal personified beings but as thoughts and impulses of a culture and individuals.
So the Gnostic message really is: Wake Up! Know that God is within you.

A Good World?

In light of the recent happening in Haiti, my mind has thought back to the teachings of certain Cathar and Gnostic teachings. Some Gnostics teach that the world is a type of trap created by a demented being called the Demiurge. (Think about the movie, The Matrix for better understanding) For a long time, I have rejected a world negative viewpoint simply because I could see so much beauty in the world. But today thinking about Haiti, I found a way to consider the other side. I am not saying I hold to this view, but I can understand it a little better.

1. If you were the Demiurge and wanted to keep people asleep, then you would not make this world all bad...but would have beauty and such to keep people lulled to sleep. Suffering would serve as a wake up call for something else. How many people are changed for the better through their sufferings?

2. The cosmos is build on the outer edge of the Pleroma. The cosmos is under the Demiurge's control, but the Pleroma (kingdom of h…

Fasting World Without End

"If you don't fast from the world, you won't find the kingdom. If you don't observe the sabbath as a sabbath you won't see the Father." Gospel of Thomas 27

I love to eat. I remember the first time I tried to fast. It was a challenge to our youth group to fast for a day. What I did not know is that it was bad advice for me. I did not know I was hypoglycemic, and I did not understand that my blood sugar was dropping. I was okay, but it was a terrible experience that I will not repeat. But this is not the type of fasting Jesus is speaking of here. He tells of a fasting from the world. I personally believe he is not speaking of a hatred or deprivation from nature. I think this saying is speaking of fasting from the ways of the world. From the ways of exploitation, from injustice, selfishness, greed and "might equals right." Jesus is calling for us to be transformed, to be humane. He then speaks to what is often the most inhumane-religion. Wh…

Being a Logger

Jesus said, "You see the splinter caught in your friend's eye, but you don't see the log in your own eye. When you take the log out of your own eye, then you will see well enough to take out the splinter from the eye of your friend." Gospel of Thomas 26

Ouch! What a verse. I am very good at seeing others problems. I can readily diagnose what is wrong with you. After all it costs me nothing to point out your faults and to tell you how to change. But how good am I at going within and seeing with the clear light of the spirit within, the things that I cling to that are illusions and selfishness. How good am I at not making excuses nor looking at myself with overly harsh judgement? Not very. It is only through sitting in silence that I can see myself and see what I still cling to. It is only through the light of God shining in all of us that we can face these faults without excuses or judgement. Then having seen our own weaknesses and faults can we truly feel…

What Is That Growth On Your Eye?

Jesus said, "Love your friends like your own spirit, guard them like the pupil of your eye." Gospel of Thomas 25

This is one of the beautiful sayings of Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas. A friend is to be loved like our own soul...to be guarded like the pupil of your eye. We are challenged to release the attachment to the self to hold to the greater Self which contains all things.

It is also a mirror that is held up for me to see myself. Am I a friend? Do I love the ones that I call friends as much as my own soul? Do I guard and protect them? It is in introspection like this that I find that my love affair is more often with my own ego which I protect at every turn.

Home Is Where The Heart Is

His disciples said, "Reveal to us that place where call home, for we want to find it and be there." Jesus said to them, "If you have two ears and are able to hear, then listen up! A person of light has that light within them, and its beam shines on the whole world. If that light does not shine, it is dark." Gospel of Thomas 24

In reading this passage I am immediately brought back to the time of my fundamentalist past, where people are encouraged to seek Jesus. "Jesus is your only hope, your only salvation, your only friend who will never leave you.." is the words they use to reach out to the lonely, guilt-ridden, and such. The disciples in this passage want to be where Jesus is. They want to follow him, and it is here that the teacher rebukes his students gently. The light that they see in Jesus is also within them. He ignores their question about where he is staying and reveals our true home. There is a place in each of us, a holy place...a place of…

I pick you, and you, and you!

Jesus said, "I shall choose you, one from a thousand and two from ten thousand, and they will stand as a single one." Gospel of Thomas 23

This saying is one of the more unusual ones in the Gospel of Thomas. The Thomasine Community was small. Elaine Pagels points out a possible type of struggle of the Johannite Community against the proto-gnostic Thomasines. This saying seems to have a double meaning, that only a select few will have eyes to see and that only a few will experience oneness. From my modern eyes and my own viewpoint I go with the latter. Sadly there are so many distractions from seeing our connection to the earth and each other. There are ten thousand messages blaring on the television, internet and radio. So what makes some people seek out spiritual awareness? I have no idea. Perhaps it is genetics, perhaps something in us has just been able to hear the voice of oneness apart from these other voices. It does not make us in any way better, just perhaps a…