Thomas, Saying 37

Thursday, June 13, 2019

8:40 p.m.

[Saying 37. The disciples asked him: When will you appear to us? When will we see you? Jesus replied: When you strip naked without shame and trample your clothing underfoot just as little children do, then you will look at the son of the living one without begin afraid.]

When I first read Saying 37 – in 2002, it seems from my inscription in the front – I made this note on the page: “When the inner is as the outer – when there is nothing being hidden.” That was as I understood it then, my mind being on the admonition of Jesus to have integrity, to be the same in essence as in appearance.

But perhaps that was too superficial a view? What say you, gentlemen?

We say, what was the preceding Saying?

Saying 36 said don’t worry what to wear.

And this one says, don’t wear anything!

Very funny.

Perhaps look at it this way. When you divest yourself – unclothe yourself – of everything, what is left but you, alone, as you are, what you are. In your time (though not so much as the previous generation or three) “naked” is usually seen in context of sexuality, but it needn’t be. It may be more akin to words like unvarnished, plain, unconcealed. It may signify essence, in other words, not personality. Now, personality is an essential in 3D life. You cannot be getting by without appearances, want to or not. This is the Mask that Yeats spoke of, the Persona that Jung described. It comes with living, because no one can see the real you, with the best of intentions on both sides. Only outside of 3D conditions do we see essence to essence – and at first the newly arrived ex-human personality is apt to receive something of a shock!

I learned years ago that tact is useless in dealing with the non-3D.

Empathy is not, but tact is useless, true. Tact may be described as the pretense that things are not as they are. Jesus said when you are through with pretense, you are ready to see.

Only, we can’t really be through with pretense – in that sense of the word – till we are finished with 3D life, can we?

He didn’t say otherwise, but he answered their question, and you may be sure that soon or late he was understood, and this teaching-point was passed along in discussions among the community.

Well, that brings up a point. If the secret teachings of Jesus were understood and were passed along not as cryptic sayings but as understood guideposts, how did it get lost? Why don’t we know them? Why didn’t the early communities pass it to the later ones, down to our time?

You know the answer to that, and you’ve known it for decades.

That simple, then?

Not every answer is complicated. But spell it out.

I will, and yet I don’t quite see – come to think of it – how it could have come about. What I have long believed is that people who had the knowledge and the level of being passed it on to those who did not have the level of being to truly understand and embody it but thought they did, and so it was a long slow process of decline. Things done without understanding – that is, first without the inner experience, then thus without understanding, soon become done by rote, and what is done by rote is soon superstition. Superstition results in belief without understanding, hence in faith only, and in calls to enforce faith, then progressive error, hypocrisy, and fanaticism (particularly in those who are unable to face their own unbelief, and project it outward).

A good summary.

But how does it happen that those who do know pass the torch to those who do not? Can’t they see the incapacity of those they are handing off to?

You are overlooking a couple of things: Time, heredity, and inertia.


All 3D things decay with time. A very slow, imperceptible decline still has significant impact over enough time.

True. we’ve seen it in education within a 50-year span.

Project that over 100, 200, 1,000 years.

Second is heredity, or we should say inheritance. People born into a family of believers are not necessarily of a level of being sufficient to understand and accept. Their own children in time will have a parent or parents only going through the motions: contradicting words and even beliefs by daily actions. This too is a cumulating process.

Finally, inertia. Not everybody is able to hold the flame. Communities helps, but even in a solid community of people who have experienced, not merely believed, time and living may erode one’s ability to live at a high level, and the descent may be as imperceptible as any other form of descent.

Yes, I see it. That’s very clear.

Enough for now, as this is a second bite at the apple. No more tonight.

All right; our thanks as always.


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