61 a. Jesus said: Two will lie down on one bed; one will die and the other will live.
61 b. Salome asked him: Who are you, man? As though coming from someone, you have come onto my couch and eaten from my table. Jesus replied: I am he who comes into being from him who is the same. Some of the things of my Father have been given to me. Salome said: I am your disciple.
61 c. Therefore I say that if one is unified one will be filled with light, but if one is divided one will be filled with darkness.
As to saying 61 a, b, and c in the Gospel of Thomas — I get the basic idea of healing our divided consciousness – I published Peter Novak’s book The Division of Consciousness how many years ago, and the follow-up books [Original Christianity and The Lost Secret of Death] – but as I look at this closely, I can see that most of it is impenetrable to me. Can we begin with 61 a? Clearly this is not about how chancy life is, that “you never know,” etc.
And while I am tempted to think it means our two natures, I think that would be stretching it.
Remember to consider the previous saying, if only for general orientation.
If you don’t find a place for rest, you may become a corpse and may be eaten.
Well, a bed is a place for rest, and if a person dies there, he becomes a corpse. But that doesn’t mean that another, in the same bed, will suffer the same fate. It isn’t place that determines. There isn’t any way to tell from appearances or even from conduct necessarily what goes on within someone.
Then how does this relate to 61 b, which truly is a puzzle. Who is Salome, for one thing? What does it mean, “as though coming from someone”? Why does she say, “I am your disciple”? Saying 61 c I think I understand, but what does b mean?
Surely there can be no analogy more intimate than sharing one’s couch and meal.
No, I see that. Is the name Salome a symbol? The only Salome I know of is the one who asked for John the Baptist’s head on a platter, and I shouldn’t think that could be the one meant. Was there a disciple named Salome? Few of the disciples are mentioned in this Gospel – was she one?
Take the name as symbol: What does she symbolize to you in the Biblical context?
I think of her as a sort of exotic dancer, perhaps an example of sensual excess under conscious control (that is, arousing desire by intent), bending someone (Herod, specifically) to do something against his will because he made a promise to her while under that influence. I don’t know if this is what is meant, but that is what the Bible story is.
Does “as though coming from someone” not imply “as though coming with delegated authority”?
Yes. And then the reply of Jesus would describe who that authority is.
Then read carefully: “I am he who comes into being from him who is the same.” Not came into being; comes into being.” Not an event but a process. Not autobiography but concept. Can you see it?
Jesus tells Salome that he arises from an unchanging being. Not “the same person” but “the person who remains the same.”
That makes sense. I hadn’t thought of it that way. So Jesus is representing himself as a – well, I can’t quite get it. A sort of symbol of the human condition? A 3D individual emanating from the non-3D?
That is true as well, but perhaps not the primary meaning here. “Some of the things of my Father have been given to me.” That is, “I share and am aware that I share certain more-than-human characteristics” – which is enough to make her say she is following him. Note that he does not say he alone has been given those things. He does not say no one else will be given those things. He says he has been given some of those things, and that’s enough to explain to her who he is – that is, why he is different from all others she knows – and to obtain her free allegiance.
All right, that ties it together. We may be unified in recognizing our 3D and non-3D nature as one thing, and we are filled with light. Or we may see only our 3D nature, having no idea that we are also non-3D, and we are filled with darkness.
Yes, that’s the sense of it. In such case, you experience yourself as physical and spiritual, as two different and often contending natures, rather than as one unified nature existing in one unified 3D/non-3D world..
I can see that I will have to do the work you have been asking me to do, and that I promised to do if I received the needed help from you, and that is: go back through 20 years of conversations and recast them into digestible bits, within a comprehensible whole.
If you can and will do it, you will focus the work and people can go to the source material – our dialogues – for further instruction, leading them through what otherwise may be a thicken of inferences.
I still don’t see how to go about it so as to hold it all in my head, but perhaps this isn’t the place for this discussion.
No harm in giving people their own ideas on how to pursue it. The way to reduce a mass of material to manageable size is to progressively turn each aspect into symbols, so as to free mental RAM and allow more things to coexist in active memory. But that is all we want to say about it here. Well, we could add: That’s what hieroglyphs are, be they Egyptian or Mayan.
Enough for now. Although it has been only 45 minutes, this was hard slogging, and you could not come fresh enough to consider another saying.
62 a. Jesus said: I tell my mysteries to people worthy of my mysteries.
62 b. Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.
All right, saying 62 a and b. At first glance they don’t seem connected to each other. I have no doubt that they are, that the disciple who strung them together knew how and why. I do wonder who numbered the sayings.
Surely you don’t think we are the first team to elucidate the scriptures for others. That is a never-ending process, by definition. Scriptures speak only to the living present-tense intelligence, and need to be restated to each new generation, or anyway to members of each new civilization.
Sure. The words go dead on us, and have to be replaced by words we can understand.
It is less a matter of being able to understand than of not going blank upon hearing words recited too often, recited without understanding.
Words like “supernal,” and “on high” and plenty others.
Everyone will have his own list, but yes.
So, saying 62 a. Seems simple, and so does 62 b. How do they fit together? And yes, I am remembering to connect them to 61, which speaks of our needing unified awareness.
In 62 a Jesus may be said to be saying, “I can only talk to those who can hear.” In the other gospels he says as much; that’s why he was speaking in parables. But in this gospel, you see a more internal version of that truth. That is, he says, in a sense, that he cannot waste his time, so he cannot speak truth to those incapable of hearing it, and in 62 b he adds a bit of advice. Why? What’s the connection?
Suppose he is telling them, “You have to be alert. You have to adapt your message to your circumstances. You have to be and do what is required.”
I don’t see how you get that.
“Do not let” – in other words, arrange things by division – “one hand know what the other is doing.”
I still don’t get it. it seems to cut against the idea of every individual who can, becoming aware of his own actions and the reasons for them. How does it profit anybody to enforce ignorance?
Well, let’s move on to 63 which again seems unconnected to the others, and see if that sheds light.
Jesus said: Once there was a rich man who had lots of money, and he said, “I will invest my money so that I can sow, reap, plant, and fill my silos with crops so that I won’t lack anything.” So he thought, but that night he died. He who has ears, let him hear.
As you see, it says, life is uncertain, and making plans as if it were going to go on forever, or as if you had a guarantee of even another day, is foolish, or, at any rate, undependable. So what do you have? “I speak only to those who can hear. Don’t be transparent to the world. Don’t expect that 3D life is going to go on indefinitely.” And taken together, what do they say to you?
It’s part of a training manual.
Well, in one sense, yes. He was giving them good advice for dealing with the world after he was gone. But remember the goal of the sayings – or rather, the goal of his teachings and mission as a whole – which was, that people could come to a more abundant life. These sayings were not meant only for those who would go forth to convert others (or, closer, to explain things so as to open the eyes of those able to understand). They were meant for any, of whatever life-purpose, so that they could profit from them in their own lives without regard for any external orientation such as preaching.
It occurs to me, 62 b is similar to advice that they be wise as serpents, as gentle as doves.
Yes, good. It does not suffice nor it is always appropriate to be transparent in a wicked world. But concealment and misdirection, like everything else in 3D life, have different natures depending upon one’s intent. Intent determines the nature of an action, even an interior action unobserved by others. It is not true that the same act or even thought is the same regardless of context.
I suppose we could say 62 in general is a lesson in awareness.
In the need for awareness, and in how to express awareness, and in the reason for awareness, yes. Let us proceed.