The Thomasine Approach to Religion

I was meditating on the Saying 3 in the Gospel of Thomas which says:
Jesus said, "If your leaders say to you, 'Look, the kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the (Father's) kingdom is within you and it is outside you.  When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are children of the living Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you live in poverty, and you are the poverty."

The message of the Gospel of Thomas is one of personal validation.  Each person must realize it or know (gnosis) it for themselves.  We cannot only rely on the words of others including the words of Jesus.  Words and teachings of those who have awakened are a road we travel on.  They are a finger pointing us to the moon.  But knowing the words of the teaching, knowing their beauty, contemplating their meaning are practices on the path...but they are not the destination.  When working through all 114 sayings and blogging my thoughts and meditations on those sayings, I was blessed to receive many personal insights along the way.  When I was finished, something happened.  It was like my mind had been a Rubic's Cube that had suddenly been solved.  Everything fell into place and I received a personal gnosis on what it all meant.  I "got" it! I saw where the finger was pointing.  I thought this was it.  I had seen it.  But what I found is that I had to bring this this understanding back with me...and apply it to life.  To my interactions with that tough co-worker.  To the person who is hateful, deceitful, or even kind.  I had to bring it back to life.  I had to begin again.  The Buddhists talk of the "Beginner's Mind", and I am sure Jesus is teaching the same thing.  In fact, I am more convinced than ever that the Thomasine path is more in line with Buddhism, Taoism, and Hinduism than many modern approaches to Christianity.  What I found, I had to find within myself.  Finding it within myself, I now have to realize it all around me.


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