Wisdom Teacher, Guru, Dharma Teacher
A strange shift in my consciousness has occurred in my meditation on the Gospel of Thomas. I am now better able to appreciate Jesus. I am able to see him as wisdom teacher, a guru, or dharma master. Like the Buddha, he attained realization of who he was, where he came from and what the nature of reality is. We don't know when exactly when it happened, however stories grew around it...was it at his birth? Was he born awakened? Perhaps at age 12 or 13? His immersion in the sacred river Jordan? His time in the wilderness? We really do not know, and yet we know he awakened. His dharma or teaching is similar to that of the gurus of India or the Buddha and his students. Yet it is distinctly his. He takes students/disciples and seeks to teach them the way to awaken to this knowledge (gnosis). Many of them are slow at realizing. Like the Buddha he rejects some of the ways of his birth religion. He is no longer bound by it. He has transcended it...he will use what is helpful and reject what is not. He ignores the purity laws of his people...which served as its own caste system. He went to the rejected, the immoral, the sick and unclean. He loved them. Those who held to the traditions were not happy. He taught against corrupt systems that denigrated people, whether those systems were religious or political. It was this that led to his crucifixion. It was this act, where his final teaching was displayed. He loved and served the truth to the point of death. He was utterly free and not limited by the body but lived beyond it. His students some while he was alive and some not until his death achieved that realization and set out to live it and teach it. Each of his disciples had experienced this differently and lived and taught it differently. The stream that I live is the Thomas stream. I realize that the Gospel of Thomas while containing words of the living teacher, may also contain words of later students in this stream of teaching. I honor and live by this teaching, seeking this same awakening and becoming a twin to this teacher we call Jesus.