Gospel of Thomas, saying 3a

Sunday, May 12, 2019

5 a.m. I don’t know why this saying should be considered one saying divided into a and b, rather than two sayings. It may say, on the facing page [of commentary], but I am not re-reading the commentary before consulting the guys, lest I cloud the conversation. One might think I could lean on the commentary (cheat, so to speak), but it would be just that much interference with the process. We can get my interpretation at any time, but that isn’t what we want here. So, to work. Saying 3a:

Jesus said: If your leaders say to you, “Look! The kingdom is in the sky!” then the birds will be there before you are. If they say that the kingdom is in the sea, then the fish will be there before you are. Rather, the kingdom is within you and it is outside of you.

Gentlemen, your take on this?

It is only in transcribing this and noticing the last line that you see the significance in terms of the 3D/non-3D relationship that we are saying is central.

I don’t feel that we got it quite right, saying “3D/non-3D relationship.” Try again?

Well, you know what we’re driving at. We have said that Jesus was showing human life’s relationship to the 3D (as both central and not central to human purpose). This saying cut one way for his contemporaries and a different way for his far descendants – your generation, but of course not only your generation.

I took it to mean, the kingdom of Heaven is not a geographical place but a state of being, and took that to be its entire meaning, until I noticed just now “within you and outside of you.”

Yes. Only, let us sketch our meaning a little more fully, then look at the implications. Proceed and we will comment.

I get that people hearing him were probably thinking of the Kingdom of Heaven as a place. Not a physical place, of course, but nonetheless a place “elsewhere,” as though the non-3D and 3D were separate and not contiguous, or rather, separated somehow, rather than “right here.” Rita and I did a whole book around the theme that it’s all right here, that there isn’t any two worlds, but one world. So – until that last line struck me – I thought that is what Jesus was saying here.

And so he was. But that wasn’t all he was saying.

No. I guess he was saying the external isn’t separate from the internal, and it isn’t somehow of lesser value.

Yes. That’s our point here. It is easy for people “on a spiritual path” to devalue the 3D world they are living in. You should know. But it is a mistake, because as you consider things, you should realize that if inner and outer worlds are the same thing experienced differently, how could either side be of more intrinsic value than the other? So you could say that Jesus was saying, your kingdom (you, “your,” not “his,” because he was intending to bring them to fuller realization of who you are, not glorifying himself as something special and apart)

Sentence got too long. Jesus was saying –

Saying, your kingdom is not the 3D world you see around you, but the 3D is not to be disregarded as irrelevant or inferior, either. You will see, upon reflection, how difficult it would be – and still remains – to enable people to see this.

The little I know of the history of various heresies that sprang up through the ages shows how hard it was (and yes, I suppose “is”) for people to absorb the message without distorting it by logical deductions made from their understanding of things they never questioned. That is, their unconscious assumptions about reality.

Exactly. If one assumes that 3D is perverted or degenerated or is the fruit of the work of evil (devil), the conclusions one will be logically forced to will be radically different from the conclusions that will follow assumptions that God created the heavens and the earth and looked at his work and found it good. So you can see that the former interpretation and the conclusions that stem from it would be easily seen to be a misunderstanding. What would not be so evident is that concluding that 3D is good without realizing that 3D is part of oneself, rather than “merely external” is a different but still not trivial misunderstanding.

Yes, I get that. It is a mindset that sees things as “objectively out there,” rather than external yet internal.

To clarify the situation, Jesus would have had to entirely redefine the human existence and the logical consequences that followed. How was he to do that? So he went about it by revolutionizing the human heart.

I felt the gears slip, on that final sentence. Again?

Jesus attacked the problem not by logic or commandments but by emotional logic. He said “love one another,” which is a way of speaking to people’s attitudes and behaviors even while being unable to more clearly show them that they were all one thing. He wasn’t out to teach biology or cosmology or any –ology. He was out to be a spark that would bring people to a new level of being. Obviously (perhaps not obviously, obvious to us, at any rate), not everybody would be ready to hear the message. That is, not everyone would catch the spark, and it could not be done [could not be caught] by an act of will.

By what was called the grace of God, instead.

Yes, only as you see, that language is misleading, as it seems to imply an arbitrary decision: Yes, I’ll let this one in on the secret, no, this one, no. In truth, though, it was that only those who were ready could be set afire. Only those with ears for the message could hear it.

Emotional logic, you said.

Another way to say, catching the spark. Some illiterate fisherman – or, more commonly, some woman – would get it. They wouldn’t “get it” by a process of reasoning, or of associating what they had studied and then concluding that he was right. They would suddenly be struck by the meaning of what he was saying, and would open up. And of course he would know that, just as he would sometimes know of someone’s ripeness for the message before the person would know it.

I slightly erred in transcription, didn’t I, in writing “the meaning of what he was saying”?

Yes. That was a natural phrasing, but really they weren’t so much struck by the meaning of what he was saying, but by what he was saying, and, often enough, how he was saying it, or rather, by the feeling that came over them as they were in his presence. This is something that after he was gone could not be sparked by a physical 3D presence, but still may be, and is, by awareness of his non-3D presence.

I thought we’d get through both a and b, but here our hour is nearly up. It is always very interesting, to think I understand something and then see how much I had been missing. More today, or enough on this one?

You might think in terms of the other gospels – that is, you might keep in mind what you glean from this one as you consider the others, because this will illumine not only what they say, but also the state of mind of the evangelists themselves, who will have experienced this, and will be speaking to those associates who will have experienced it. Only with the passage of time did it become initiate (so to speak) teaching the uninitiated, and then, imperceptibly as the original spark was lost but the externals were retained, it became the uninitiated teaching the uninitiated, and persecuting anyone not sharing their own misunderstanding of what it was all about.

Beyond that, enough for the moment.

Again, our thanks for this, and for all of it. Till next time.

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