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Showing posts from April, 2010

The Amazing Bobo-Riding Two Horses, Shooting Two Bows!

Jesus said, "A person doesn't ride two horses or bend two bows at the same time. And a slave cannot serve two different masters That slave will wind up pleasing the one and offending the other. Nobody drinks finely aged wine and then wants to drink new wine. New wine is not poured into old wineskins, or the wineskin might break, and finely aged wine is not poured into a brand new wineskin, or it could spoil. You don't sew old dirty patch onto a new garment, since it would wear out and create a tear."
Gospel of Thomas 47

A person must be single minded.  As it says in the Book of James, "A double minded man is unstable in all his ways."  To be single minded one must live in the present moment.  The eternal now.  Living in the past, and doing things how they have always been done simply because that is the way you have always done them is not always the best answer.  One must look to see if that way is still useful.  One also does not immediately chuck it out be…

The Whole Song and Dance

I love to sing.  I always have.  A big part of my spiritual practice is chanting the names of God in song.  Traditional meditation is torture to me.  I have tried many different methods hoping one would resonate with me.  I spent three years as a student and monk under a Hindu Guru whose primary recommendation to me was meditate.  I put forth my best effort and while there were and are benefits that I still reap today.  However my spiritual personality is geared toward the devotee path.  The bhakti path is the path to devotion, worship and chanting the names of God...which leads into seeing and worshipping God in all things and people.  I sing to and of God not because I think God desires it.  I sing not because God is out there.  Rather I sing to maintain a consciousness of God that carries over into the rest of he day.  This hit home to me one day when I saw God (in one of the images I use mentally) within those I work with...not with just one, but all of them.  I could then worship…

What Do You Do?

When asked what I do as a Thomasine Gnostic, I can only say one thing...I sing.  I find for me, singing and chanting to God opens my heart in ways no other practice has been able to.  In Hindu jargon, I am a bhakti...I love God and yet love and serve God within myself, animals, trees and plants, and others....

Nanny Nanny Boo Boo! I Am Better Than You!

Jesus said, "All the way from Adam to John the Baptist, among those who have been born of women, no one is greater than John the Baptist that he should not look away. But I will say that if any of you becomes a child, you will recognize the kingdom and become greater than John." Gospel of Thomas 46

In the Gospel of Thomas two themes pop up time and again...becoming a child and becoming one.  Both of these speak of the same thing using two different metaphors.  To become one...making the two into one, is to reverse the creation story where Adam and Eve were split apart.  Jesus calls people to return to the beginning to realize their oneness with God and the spirit within all things.  To be a child is to return to innocence free from taint.  Our truest self is that child.  Whether you call it the Atman, Buddha nature, or the Self within...it is that of God within us.  When one lets go of preconceived ideas and experiences oneness one sees the kingdom that is there all the time.…

The Messengers of God

The Nag Hammadi Gnostic writings contain again and again messengers of God who come to help humanity break free from the traps and illusions of the Demiurge/Satan. In the Hebrew Scriptures, messengers and prophets come to guide and direct. In the Gospel, Jesus comes as a messenger of God. In the Quran Muhammed comes as messenger. As Thomasine Gnostics we do not divinize any of these people. They come as a awkened spiritual teachers, but are not uniquely Divine. They may have awakened or realized Gnosis but they are not the fullness of the Divine Whole but rather a realized spark. We do not worship any but God. We are pure monotheists. God has no partners and yet the presence of God can be found in every messenger, in us, and even in nature. The more pure the filter, the more clear the message. Jesus for us is not worshipped but rather headed as a messenger of God and a spiritual teacher and guide. Within this tradition we look to Jesus as a teacher, seeking to become his “twin”. Just …
The Practices of the Community


The practices of the Thomasine Community are not overly difficult and yet can prove powerful when practiced daily regardless of feelings, desires, or spiritual dryness. These practices are Prayer, Passage Meditation, Mindful Diet, Charity, and Japa. While anyone may practice any of these practices, it is expected that all initiates practice most if not all of these things to lead a God conscious life. Non-initiates are free to practice or not practice these.

Prayer is the ritual prayer and foundational practice performed by all initiates in this satsang. Prayer is performed three times a day – in the morning upon rising, in the afternoon or evening and at night before bed. Prayer is preceeded by a ritual cleansing which represents a shedding of the lower mind and darker tendancies and a turning from all sins and mistakes. At least one unit of the prayers are performed during the three prayer times. The prayer is the ritual of our community, a practice that…

The Practices of the Community

The practices of the Thomasine Community are not overly difficult and yet can prove powerful when practiced daily regardless of feelings, desires, or spiritual dryness. These practices are Prayer, Passage Meditation, Mindful Diet, Charity, and Japa. While anyone may practice any of these practices, it is expected that all initiates practice most if not all of these things to lead a God conscious life. Non-initiates are free to practice or not practice these.

Prayer is the ritual prayer and foundational practice performed by all initiates in this satsang. Prayer is performed three times a day – in the morning upon rising, in the afternoon or evening and at night before bed. Prayer is preceeded by a ritual cleansing which represents a shedding of the lower mind and darker tendancies and a turning from all sins and mistakes. At least one unit of the prayers are performed during the three prayer times. The prayer is the ritual of our community, a practice that brings us back to the center …

Roles in the Thomasine Community

The Thomasine School of Thought is approved under the headship of Bishop Mansell Gilmore. He serves as head and presiding bishop of the Universal Church of Autogenes, a multi-tradition Gnostic Community of which the Thomasine School of Thought is a part. His spiritual lineage (apostolic succession) goes back to Jesus though multiple lines including through Thomas. Under Bishop Mansell's leadership, there are those who are authorized to teach, train and initiate in local communities as a priest called an Abba (male) or Amma (female). One begins on the path of Thomasine Gnosticism when a student is initiated into the community with an authorized teacher by pledging themselves as a student. After this initiation, the student is called a devotee and student in the community. The devotee commits to the practices of our community. The role of the Abba is to guide and instruct the disciple on the Thomasine path, by teachings and individual guidance. In the The Thomasine School upon initi…

Let Them Eat Grapes!

Jesus said, "You cannot harvest grapes from thorn bushes, nor can you gather figs from thistles, because they do not yield any fruit. Those who are good bear what is good from what they've stored up; Those who who are evil produce evil from the wickedness they've kept in their hearts, and speak evil things. Their heart overflows producing evil."   Gospel of Thomas 45

What does your heart and mind meditate on.  What gets you fixated?  Your mistakes? Others?  I have had numerous teachers point out to me that if they praise a child's goodness, the other children often try to emulate that.  As you go about your business this week, see God in every person and visualize God within their chest, and honor that.  Honor them as divinity.  Allow your meditation to be on the divine within all and see if you don't start bearing better fruit. :)

This Far and No Farther

Jesus said, "Whoever reviles and uses hateful words against the Father will be forgiven, and whoever reviles and uses hateful words against the son will be forgiven, but whoever reviles and uses hateful words against the holy spirit will not be forgiven, in heaven or earth."
Gospel of Thomas 44

This is one of those versus that I am nervous to blog about.  A lot of people have a lot of baggage from the fundamentalist church.  They have hurt, pain, and anger.  I have been there.  And yet, perhaps this verse is for us.  Let me throw out a scenario of what I think this verse could mean.  Imagine if you will a devout Christian.  He believed all the right things with all his heart.  He went to church every Sunday and Wednesday night.  He tithed.  He prayed and loved God.  He meditated on scripture.  Then one Sunday he finds out his pastor has had an affair.  But not just with anyone...but with this guy's wife...at his house...repeatedly.  The man is in turmoil and pain.  The pas…

The Fourth Pillar

This bodily life is given to us on loan from the Divine. It is where God comes to know God's self-the wheel within the wheel (Ezekiel 1:16). However the experience of Gnosis seldom happens without proper preparation. The sages and saints of ages past underwent much spiritual discipline to awaken to gnosis. The Thomasine Satsang is a community with a structure, a set of practices, and a way with the goal of Holy Gnosis. It is not an community of dabblers, for those content with with their lower selfs blown about by every wind of doctrine. (Ephesians 4:14) We are a training grounds for athletes of the spirit. Like the musician or olympic gymnast must practice and practice again day after day to achieve mastery, so to must the Thomasine Gnostic be committed to spiritual practice in satsang to shed the layers of the lower self that hide the truth that only gnosis reveals.

The Third Pillar

It is not enough to believe the right things. Even the scriptures say that the demons believe and tremble (James 2:19), and yet this is not enough. Many religious wars have been instigated by those who were devout believers. This is the mistake of many, many religions. For them belief is enough. Salvation for the gnostic is found only in gnosis. This is an inner knowing that is living and experiential. It is earth-shattering and life changing. (Gospel of Thomas 2) As Thomasine Gnostics we observe four stages that lead to gnosis. While one may progress to all four stages, the previous stages are not abandoned.


These four stages are:

Foundation – This stage is the stage of laying a religious foundation. Here rules of right and wrong, proper and improper conduct are learned. This is a foundation stage for a person new to the religious path. A person needs to know how to practice and live a path before being able to move on further in that path.

The Walk– Tariqah is the stage of practice of …

Jesus, CEO, PhD?

"His disciples asked him, 'Who are you to say this stuff to us?'  Jesus replied, 'You obviously don't comprehend who I am from or what it is that I say to you. Actually, you have become like those Judeans, for they love a tree but hate its fruit, or they love a fruit but hate the tree.'"   Gospel of Thomas 43

We trust authority.  A lot of us do anyway.  I want my doctor to have training and qualifications to practice.  I would expect my lawyer to be trained in the law as well as using argumentation well.  These things are for our own well being.  But often when spiritual reformers come, they have to step out of the norm.  Many of them have to move beyond any training (if any) that they might have had.  Gandhi, MLKjr, Bede Griffiths, Jesus, Muhammad, and so many others had to go against the norms to live their message.  We trust our religious leaders because they went to seminary.  And yet with church scandals hitting every denomination and religion...we kn…

The Second Pillar

The second pillar is similar to the first pillar. As all things emanated from God so all things have the spark of the Divine within them. But in our descent into this world, we have forgotten who we are. Even in nature the spark of the fullness of God is hidden. Tornados, earthquakes, and animal killing animal hides the face of God in nature. In our own nature, we are often controlled by our emotions or physical desires (nafs) to the detriment to the values of the spirit. There are numerous religious paths that seek to gratify the ego through strange fads, fundamentalist elitism, or an “anything goes” mentality that leads to nowhere. While all things emanated from God, they are covered and hidden. The various faiths explain this through the work of Satan, Iblis, or the Demiurge. For us they are all the same. In Judaism, Satan is the servant of God to try God's people. In Christianity, he is the enemy of God and mankind seeking to kill, steal, and destroy. In Islam, Iblis is the Ji…

The First Pillar

We hold that all things emanated from the Divine One. What does that truly mean for the lover of God? It means that all things once existed only in the heart of God. The Thomasine Gnostics are monotheists. We believe in oneness of God...the Divine Monad. We agree with the multitude of religiouns that there is one God. God is ultimately beyond all gender and beyond all human attributes. However in God's own self expression the aeons emanated from God as aspects of God. These are sacred facets on the jewel of God. These emanations are faces of God. Some of these are the Self-Generated, Wisdom, Life, Forethought etc. God emanated these facets/aeons like spreading sparks from a fire allowing them to flow from Him, but never truly separated from Him. One of the tiniest of these sparks is the spirit within the human, yet when joined with the fire of God we can shine as bright with the light of the Beloved. The Secret Gospel of John in the Nag Hammadi provides a beautiful mythical unders…

Did You See Which Way He Went?

Jesus said, "Be passersby." Gospel of Thomas 42

This is one of my favorite sayings in the Gospel of Thomas.  In the orthodox gospels, you have Peter wanting to build tabernacles when Jesus speaks to Moses and Elijah on the mountaintop.  But here Jesus says to be a passerby.  Don't dig your heels in.  Don't cling to tightly to your beliefs, your possessions, your life.  It is all about the journey, not a destination.

Thomas and the Gospel of Thomas

One can find Thomas mentioned in the Gospels of the New Testament. There is also a tradition that Thomas traveled to Syria and India after the death of Jesus teaching what he himself had experienced. Parts of Greek versions of the Gospel of Thomas were found in Oxyrhynchus Egypt around one hundred years ago. These can be dated to about 130 CE or somewhat before. A complete version in Coptic was found in Nag Hammadi Egypt in 1945. That version can be dated to about 340 CE The Coptic version is a translation of the Greek version. Scholars are divided when to date the Gospel of Thomas. Some date it earlier than any of the other Gospels written, while some say it contains early parts mixed with later parts – the completed version dating at the latest around 130 CE.

The Thomasines were a sect of followers of Jesus. Not much is known of the original group, though there are a variety of writings that derive from various Thomasine schools. The theology of the Gospel of Thomas has been classifi…

Introduction to the Thomasine School of Thought

The Thomasine School of Thought within the Universal Church of Autogenes (TS for short) is a Gnostic community of lovers of God. It is not enough to believe in God, but rather one must know God as lover and beloved. This Satsang is both similar and distinct from Sufi Orders, and Hindu Satsangs. In this section, I will compare and contrast the TS with other communities.


This community like all Sufis and satsangs are lovers of God first and foremost. Love of God and others is the hub for all the other spokes of this path. Without these, the other parts of the Thomasine path are empty. Their practices, prayers, and lifestyles should be built upon love.

Resurrection Before Crucifixion Please!

"Some say the lord died first and then ascended.
They are wrong. He rose first and then he died.
Unless you are first resurrected, you will not die.
As god lives, you would already be dead."

Gospel of Phillip