Thomas Saying 16

Saturday, May 25, 2019

2:05 a.m. Thomas, Saying 16:

16a Jesus said: People think, perhaps, that I have come to throw peace upon the world. They don’t know that I have come to throw disagreement upon the world, and fire, and sward, and struggle.

16b [For] there will be five in one house. Three will oppose two. Two will oppose three. The father will oppose his son and the son oppose his father. And they will stand up and they will be alone [monochos].

Each time we do this, I am struck by how superficially I have read the material until I have to write it out longhand. You can’t skim while writing. So, what do we make of this one, beyond the obvious?

Perhaps state the obvious, as a beginning.

All right. At first it doesn’t seem much different from what we get in other gospels, that Jesus came to bring strife to the world. “I bring not peace but a sword,” if I remember correctly. I always took that to mean that somehow he – who he was, what that meant – would become a point of contention and that would be a good thing, a productive thing. Of course ever since World War I, anything that promises peace is welcomed, at least in the West, and anything that promotes contention is seen as a bad thing.

And beyond the obvious?

I can’t help wondering if three against two and two against three means more than numbers arbitrarily chosen.

Anything else?

I don’t know what is special about the world monochos, that the translator should include it in brackets to clarify the meaning of alone, but “they will stand up and they will be alone” is not particularly clear to me.

Very well. The previous saying?

We decided it referred to our non-3D and 3D nature. And, interesting that you say that. Did you mean to spark the idea that comes to me?

Whether we did or didn’t, tell the idea, or rather, follow the thought.

Suddenly I wondered if this saying could refer to the effect of Jesus on us internally, each of us individual/communities? Presumably we would (or anyway might) have strands that reacted antagonistically to each other. It would force us to choose what we value, who we want to be. Until now I had been thinking the saying referred to people in society, not also to the society within each of us.

Say this is so. Why would it be Jesus, particularly, having this effect?

I don’t know that he ever says it would only be him.

Regardless, why him?

I suppose if we regard him as an example of perfect synchrony between 3D and non-3D, maybe something within us naturally relates. An example of charisma, in effect, the attractiveness of wholeness.

Not only the attractiveness: To some it is a threat.

Yes, we’ve seen it in our day with Kennedy, and Franklin Roosevelt before him, to name only two. People were taken by them or violently rejected them, with a smaller middle ground than usual

And they were nowhere near as unified as Jesus. He filled a certain type of man with overwhelming fear and therefore hatred. This in addition to – or perhaps it would be closer to say by the same process as – filling others with love and devotion to the point that they would and did walk away from their old lives without looking back.

Now, consider. Jesus came into the world to exemplify perfect congruence between 3D and non-3D, or, as it would have been phrased then, between himself as a man, and God. The natural effect of wholeness is attractiveness or repulsion, depending upon the nature of the person responding, and this reaction is outside the control of the conscious 3D mind. That is, it is not a matter of making a decision; one’s nature decides instantly. You might say, decides in advance. But given that you as individuals consist of other 3D individuals in other times, that are nonetheless alive within you – what do you do if this one, this bundle itself of traits and values – is instantly attracted and another is instantly repulsed? There is no reason to expect things to balance out; rather, three against two, two against three.

“And they will stand up and they will be alone”?

Take a second and ponder that – and your readers should too – before continuing.

[Pause]

Sounds to me like, “they will become alert, and will decide, regardless of what other aspects may do” – or, perhaps, let’s say in ignorance of what other aspects will do.

So this is the individual process – that is, the process within the individual – that his presence precipitates. The equivalent process between individuals, the common understanding of the saying, is actually less observable.

Less observable? Don’t we mean less intense?

Yes, that will do. Within an individual, the process of division has no modulation. It is not a matter of “externals” – that is, of slowed-down, apparently unconnected, reactions – but of internals, which means not only immediate but, often enough, out of range of observation. Knowing what you think and feel is often quite difficult, as life will have demonstrated to you. One external individual in relation to another is, in effect, one set of compromises or adjustments in relation to another set of compromises or adjustments. There is apt to be less extremism between individuals as experienced in 3D than within them.

And this situation helps us, how?

It is better to know than to not know, to be awake and alert than asleep and oblivious, to use your time in 3D than to let it slip by. You understand, we are not speaking of externals.

This is connected with “I have come that you may have life more abundantly,” isn’t it?

What your day finds hard to understand is how profoundly the human situation changed when Jesus lived among the world of his day. Things fundamentally changed, and continued to change as the altered consciousness spread from person to person, and found communities, and raised children into it. The story of Christianity when told as external conversion of opinions misses the reality entirely, and of course when it was coopted and coerced into being an arm of the state, or even as a pillar of society without coercive powers, this was not only beside the point but contrary to the point. However, all this lay in the future, which as always would have to take care of itself. What Jesus did was change what it meant to be human. It took a while to spread, but from his ministry dates a new kind of 3D relation to the non-3D. Such increased access cannot be revoked; you can’t go home again, and why would you want to? Only, no step is ever final. Now it is time for another (and not the first since then, either), and it is spreading through the world, as it always does, not externally but internally.

Enough for the moment. Our thanks for your attention and for the work involved in pondering new material, new ways of perceiving.

And as always our thanks for the information.

Thomas, Saying 15

Thursday, May 23, 2019

10:25 p.m. Saying 15:

Jesus said: When you see someone not born from a woman, prostrate yourselves and worship him; he is your father.

Certainly cryptic enough. And it seems to me maybe that quotation I cited the other day was not from Jung, though that’s what the guys said. But I wouldn’t know where to find it.

Friday, May 24, 2019

5:20 a.m. I guess I’m ready if you are. I can’t make much of this one, offhand. (Though, I keep saying that, and you do keep making sense of them.) So –?

The preceding sayings?

Getting hard to summarize them. Why don’t you do it?

Remember the aim: to clarify the human condition in light of 3D/non-3D interactions. Who are you, really? What are your origins, limitations, and possibilities? This one says, here is another clue, one you would be unlikely to come to without assistance.

How can someone be not born from a woman?

Either it is a metaphor, or it describes something unknown to us. I suppose I have read somewhere one of those irritatingly cryptic sayings of one of my contemporaries or near-contemporaries saying there are two ways to enter this life, and one is through the female body – and that is all it said, leaving the impression that he could say more if he chose (only he didn’t choose) – or that he was a fraud. But to have Jesus recorded as saying it, well, his message was to live with integrity, so if in anything he was to lie or even to pretend, his authority would collapse.

Meaning, you are forced to assume this saying means something, whether or not you can figure it out.

That’s about it. As you say, how can anyone be not born from a woman?

Look, though, at the whole statement at once, not one element at a time. How can he be your father? Why should you worship him?

It’s all Greek to me. Again, I get the feeling that you don’t know either.

At any rate, you are clear that you do not.

Oh yes.

And if we do not know, our authority falls to the ground, as we are postulated to know everything.

Well that’s still my assumption, on a practical level, yes.

Go rest a while, and return to this.

While you look something up?

If you wish to think of it that way.

It isn’t like you haven’t known for hours what this saying is.

Go rest.

7:30 a.m. So I rested, I slept, dreamed. I’m willing to go at it again, but without a lot of expectation. How can someone be not born from woman? I say “someone,” but it can only be a man, if we are to recognize him as our “father.” So, what is it about, really?

You know from other scriptures that Jesus talked of being born again, of water and the spirit.

Yes, that one always puzzled his contemporaries, his listeners.

Later it became widely understood to mean, attaining a new conscious life, a new beginning, one might say.

Can’t say as I remember hearing it described that way.

Well, look at it.

All right. Funny, the movie “Limitless” comes into mind.

It is a very good metaphor. Eddie Morra lives in a different world once he totally absorbs the increase in perception and cognitive ability. Now he has superhuman abilities, as it were. It is only an analogy, but it does have its instructive aspects. What Jesus was offering, you will recall, was life more abundantly.

So if we meet someone who has become so fundamentally transformed, so awakened and realized, we are to bow low and consider him our father?

Look behind the human face to the non-3D reality being addressed.

Hmm. Meaning, bow low to the greater being from which we sprang, and not to the person expressing it?

Doesn’t that make greater sense?

I don’t see the advantage of confusing that higher being with the 3D person through whom it expresses.

The point is that then there isn’t a difference between them; that the 3D person and the greater being it expresses are one.

“I and my father re one.”

Exactly.

Well, that is an interesting take on it. I can’t very well argue with it, given that I couldn’t come up with anything at all. Now tell me, why couldn’t we get this at 5:30 in the morning? It isn’t like that was a long time ago. It isn’t like coffee was involved, since I’ve given it up at least temporarily. It isn’t for the sake of the little dreams I had, forgotten now but no big deal even at the time. What is the difference?

We have told you that different moments have different connective possibilities. What is available at one moment may not be available at another moment.

In this case, I can’t see why. The connections you just provided are long familiar to me in other contexts, and you didn’t have to lead me to them by a process of reasoning or of association. So how did time enter into it?

That is going to have to remain one of life’s mysteries.

Seriously?

We never set up to explain everything. Let’s stick to the point.

Well, all I can say is, I’ll be damned.

You won’t, however. Now listen, there is no need for you to begin with another saying merely because this is short. Send it out, and then do other things.

Yes, I think I will. Thanks. Maybe someday you’ll enter into how lapse of time entered into this. Till next time.

 

Thomas, Saying 14

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

9:50 p.m. It proved helpful to write out the long saying in advance. I’ll do it again. Saying 14:

14a Jesus said to them: If you fast you will bring sin to yourselves, and if you pray you will be condemned, and if you give to charity you will damage your spirits.

14b When you go into a region and walk around in the rural areas, whenever people receive you, eat whatever they provide for you, and heal their sick.

14c For what goes into your mouth will not defile you, but what comes out of your mouth can defile you.

 

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

3:55 a.m. All right, friends. Shall we tackle Saying 14? Parts b and c are familiar from other gospels. Perhaps they were cryptic or secret for a while. But their relation to part a escapes me, or rather, the definitiveness rather than the potential of part a escapes me. I could easily see it if the saying said, “you might” rather than “you will,” but the translator seems to have been careful even if he didn’t always understand the meaning of what he was translating, so I work from the assumption that the saying does mean “will” and not “may.” So, clarification, please? Why would performing righteous actions lead to sin, condemnation, and damage to one’s spirit?

And the context provided by the preceding sayings?

I don’t see the connection. And I may have to go back to bed for a bit.

Go, then. But don’t put your mind on it, let it go until you return to it.

5:10 a.m. Okay, let’s try again.

Your assumption is that the intended meaning is, “External actions do not guarantee righteousness,” more or less. So, you are bothered that the saying seems to say that righteousness will lead one astray.

I suppose so, yes.

What if one is required by life to do one’s share of good and evil, and that to attempt to be wholly good, to do nothing but good, would be one-sided rather than admirable, fanatical rather than whole?

I’d have a difficult time believing that Jesus, say, knowingly did evil, chose to do evil.

And there you are, you see.

I do not see.

Here is a saying you would revolt against. It would not be impossible to conceive of others. In another corner of your mind you remember the saying of Carl Jung that it is better to be whole than to be good.

I hadn’t thought of it for a while, but yes, I do. Something like when a man realizes that it is better to be whole than to be good, then his path really becomes difficult, something like that.

Why should it be different for the most complete, whole man who ever existed?

Meaning, I take it, that we still don’t understand good and evil very well.

Meaning that you have forgotten or put into a closet what you have been told and did at one time understand about the difference between reality and the 3D assumption of duality, the “perception of things as good and evil” that was the fall from grace in the Garden of Eden.

It’s true, I wasn’t thinking in those terms. It’s hard sometimes to associate sets of ideas when they seem to cut against each other.

And that is when it is most useful to do so.

So, then, a possible meaning is, what? Don’t think you can be entirely good? That we can’t be good merely by following rules, I understand. But that we can’t be good not due to human frailty but due to the nature of things, that’s harsh. Is it also true?

Look at it another way, and much will come clear. Why should you – any of you – expect to be a thing apart from everyone else? To strive for perfection (whatever one’s definition of perfection) is one thing. To attain it is not possible, nor even desirable.

Not even desirable.

It would reinforce too limited an ideal. We keep reminding you, an ideal that can be lived is not an ideal but a goal. An ideal is sufficiently high that it can only be lived toward.

So maybe Jesus told Thomas a couple of advanced truths about the way the world really is, and Thomas rightly told the others they were in no way ready to hear it.

Surely that is obvious.

Well then, what are we to do? How is this to help us, beyond opening our eyes to the way things are rather than the way we would like them to be, or the way we think they are?

That in itself is the help. It is always better to see through the illusions one has been taking for real, only one must be ready for the newer truth.

Okay, so now we are reminded that it is better to be whole than to be good, however that plays out, how are we to live the saying?

Continue on the examination of the book. That wasn’t the culmination, by a long shot. It wasn’t even the end of the beginning.

And I remember – belatedly – that these sayings were not secret from the early community, only from the world. So they would have been familiar with this one too, and at least some of them would have been led through its implications.

Yes, and the implications are not – as will be thought immediately by the superficial – that it doesn’t matter what you do and, in fact, doesn’t matter what you value, good or evil. It is a more subtle point, easily lost (and therefore such sayings are hidden, lest just that kind of misunderstanding seem to get endorsement) which is that good and evil themselves are not what they seem. There would have been talks about that, no less.

So, don’t expect actions to overcome essence; don’t observe taboos as if they were in and of themselves valid; remember that it is not what you are but what you do that changes you.

I sort of see where you get that last, but I don’t think many people will say that’s what 14c means.

No, they may stop at the obvious, that one should be careful of one’s actions and need not avoid certain taboos. But it is also deeper than that. You are good and evil; you express good and evil (in that you act as conduits for vast impersonal forces that are beyond good and evil, and you are also conduits – generators, almost – of vast personal forces arising from your particular makeup.

And – I seem to see you saying – there’s nothing wrong with it.

You may not like it, you may wish it were otherwise, but that is the truth, and nothing beats the truth.

Difficult to see how to live this. Should we choose to do evil? Surely not.

Now you are into difficult territory. We return to situational ethics, as we discussed a while ago. Do not do what is wrong to you. That [i.e., not doing what is wrong to you] will satisfy your nature. You are not created to represent the [whole] world; you are created to represent one thin sliver of the world. Whatever you do that is true to that sliver will be accepted. Trying to be something else may itself be of the nature of your sliver, or how could the urge arise? But, you see, there is no one pattern that could be right for one and all. Live your nature and that is the best you can do. If your nature calls you to become more than you are, so much the better, but it has to be in your nature or you will never feel so called.

A lot to chew on, here.

That’s the idea. Discussion among you will lead you farther, as it did in the time of the first disciples, and as it does her and there to this day.

Enough for the moment. And, do take a day off.

If you say so. Okay, thanks as always.

 

[In typing this up, I thought perhaps I could find that Jung quotation in my quotation files. Didn’t find it, but found a wealth of others (many from his Memories, Dreams, Reflections), very appropriate to this topic. Here is one. A. I. Allenby visited Carl Jung soon after World War II. This excerpt from his description of his visit is from the book C. G. Jung Speaking, page 158.

[Another time Jung reverted to the problem of self-doubt, using a further example by way of illustration. “Our needs and desires are always active,” he said. “Trouble occurs only if they are active in the unconscious, if we do not take them consciously in hand so as to give them a definite form and direction. If we refuse to do this we are dragged along by them to become their victim. Then they are like a sledge rushing downhill snow, with no one at the steering-ropes. You must place yourself firmly at the steering-ropes, not hang on at the back or, worse, be unwilling to take the ride at all – that only lands you in panic. Our unconscious energies give momentum to our journey through life and, if we direct our course, our actions will have strength; we may even sense that God is behind us.”]

 

Thomas, Saying 13

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

6:50 a.m. Taking a day off from Thomas probably. But I entered the saying, and I can transcribe it into the computer, and I will be that far ahead. Nothing wrong with a day off, once in a while.

Saying 13:

Jesus asked his disciples: Make a comparison, what am I like? Simon Peter replied: You are like a righteous messenger. Matthew replied: You are like an intelligent lover of wisdom. Thomas replied: Teacher, I cannot possibly say what you are like. Jesus said to Thomas: I am not your teacher; you have drunk from and become intoxicated from the bubbling water that I poured out. Jesus took Thomas and they withdrew. Jesus said three things to him. When Thomas returned to the other disciples, they asked him: What did Jesus tell you? Thomas replied: If I tell you even one of the sayings that he told me, you would pick up stones and throw them at me, and fire would come out of those stones and burn you up.

11 a.m. All right, a couple of errands taken care of, might as well at least try to address this puzzling saying. Rather than my taking a crack at it, how about if you fine friends lead the way?

We can do that. Though, it would have been all right to take the day off. As you have been told before, ultimately it helps.

I understand. But, let’s do it anyway.

Your first question, in reading this one, was whether it was particularly important that the Saying specifically mention Simon Peter’s and Matthew’s responses before getting to Thomas. Surely you don’t think that a gospel of Sayings, the fruit of a long oral tradition and the material to be used to guide future discussions, could have any extraneous elements in it. Surely they would have been worn off in the many retellings before it was written, don’t you think?

I don’t know. Wouldn’t it depend upon the identity of the author of the written account? But no, come to think of it, I guess not. So why was it important to list those two responses? To show the relative incomprehension of the others? To recall two ways Jesus was seen?

You will remember, James the Just was to be their leader, yet Simon Peter was “the rock upon whom I will found my church.”

If that isn’t a later interpolation.

Interpolation or not, Peter’s influence on the early church can scarcely be disregarded.

And Matthew was the evangelist whose gospel is always placed first, though apparently not the first to have been written.

You are searching for plausible reasons for Peter and Matthew to be specifically cited here. What if they were the only ones to respond before Thomas, and of course no one would venture an opinion after Jesus took Thomas to the side and told him things.

So the significance of this is –?

Examine every part of a saying, or a scripture in general, as oral traditions, too. There are no irrelevancies in oral tradition, because although many seeming irrelevancies are included, it will be found that each illumines some aspect of what is to be told or it would not have been endlessly repeated.

Well, a “righteous messenger” indicates seeing Jesus as perhaps more the conduit of a message than as a phenomenon in himself.

Yes, very good. It misses the extraordinary nature of Jesus. Perhaps takes it for granted, but certainly puts the center of gravity elsewhere.

And “an intelligent lover of wisdom” seems more like a philosopher. Again, not wrong, but sort of missing the most important thing.

Yes.

But we then see Thomas saying he couldn’t possibly say. I assume that Jesus responds not so much to the statement as to something he sees of Thomas’ state of being.

Both, rather. To say he couldn’t say was a good answer, because of what lay behind it. Had he said the same words, but meaning “Beats me,” neither the meaning nor the result would have been the same.

And Jesus told him three things, which we never learn. Will we ever learn them?

Without answering that question directly, consider this. Why assume you have not already heard those things, perhaps many times. Perhaps as dogma or ritual responses?

That puts a different slant on Jesus saying that there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed.

You could look at it that way. Time tends to uncover secrets, even as it renders the well-known obscure or even forgotten.

And then we come to the completely opaque: Thomas says to his inquiring fellow disciples that if he were to tell them even one of the things Jesus had said, (a) they’d try to stone Thomas, and (b) the stones would emit fire that would burn them up. What sense is to be made of this?

What does it seem to say to you?

Thomas thinks they would either be jealous, or, more likely, would think he was blaspheming. That’s (a).

Does this argue a lack of faith by Thomas in his fellow disciples? Remember, this is not a private letter, nor a journal entry. This was preserved to be part of an on-going oral commentary tradition, presumably for some constructive aim. So why include it?

When you put it that way, all I can think is that the future communities would be on record that Jesus had told Thomas secret things – secret even from the others, that might have been considered scandalous by them and might have tempted them to violence, either thinking themselves justified or losing control.

And what purpose would that serve?

It would increase Thomas’ stature, I suppose.

And you think that would be an appropriate sentiment in a scripture?

No, I don’t. But it would.

It would, but it was not inserted for that purpose. There’s a difference.

Maybe to reassure them that not even the disciples knew everything at the time, and that enlightenment (if we should call it that) is a process rather than one fast leap.

What about (b)?

I don’t have any idea. For this one, we really need you.

Isn’t it to say, in effect, that nature – or supernature, say – would defend Thomas if that were to happen? That the very weapons they intended to use against him would turn against them and destroy them?

Maybe. I can’t say I see the point or the helpfulness of this saying.

The sayings have been building one upon the other, each new one upon all the others together. The overall theme is still: What is the proper place of 3D in your lives. In that context, what does this saying add?

What I missed till now, re-reading it, is something I’d seen earlier and had forgotten. Thomas absorbed something from Jesus’ very presence that changed him and made him eligible to hear these very dangerous truths. Or, let’s say, truths that may be dangerous (and completely futile) to express to the uninitiated.

Exactly so. Jesus said I am not the one who taught you that: You picked it up on your own, as a side-effect of being in my presence. Not mere physical presence, for all of them had had that, and indeed still were having it. Call it, the non-3D-connected energetic presence of Jesus. Thomas, perceiving it, had graduated, one might say.

The point of this Saying, as all of them ultimately, is that humans are far more in potential than they are in actuality – but that situation can be changed, and Jesus had come to show them how.

And enough for now.

I’ll have to re-read this and think about it. thanks as always.

 

Thomas, Saying 12

5:15 a.m. Saying 12

His disciples said to Jesus: We know you will leave us. Who will be our leader then? Jesus responded, Wherever you are, turn to Jacob (James) the Just, for whose sake the sky and the earth came into being.

You can see why people would be tempted sometimes to dismiss this gospel as inscrutable. What can it mean? It is surely not as simple as it appears. Guys?

No, not as simple as appears. List the aspects that puzzle you.

Beyond the question of why what seems a simple question asked at the time should be carefully preserved in this bit of esoterica, “wherever you are,” and “for whose sake the sky and the earth came into being,” not to mention who was James the Just. But mostly, why this at all?

What was the burden of the previous saying?

Oh yes, forgot. Let’s see. If I can summarize Saying 11, it is that we move in and out of 3D in successive stages, that we can attain a certain awareness that is permanent and changes the nature of our life from that point. That’s a pretty horseback summary, though.

Enough to serve. So, 12 in the context of 11, and, again, in context of Jesus’ ongoing mission to clarify?

All I get is that James must be one who has awakened and can be counted on, and –perhaps – as such, as an enlightened aware person, is a product of the 3D compressed-learning experience. But that feels like stretching it.

That’s what you said before. Perhaps it is stretching you.

Meaning, that’s as much as we can glean from that saying?

Meaning, anyway, that in reaching for the explanation, the possible but not certain explanation, you came to a conclusion you never would have come to, previously.

There remains the question of why “wherever you are,” but I suppose it might mean they could establish an interior connection.

Your reasoning?

“Wherever you are” would surely be unnecessary if it referred to the group being together. If that were the simple meaning, it could as well be phrased, “whenever you need guidance,” or the equivalent. That is, “wherever you are” would be taken for granted if it meant “in whatever place or even in whatever circumstance you find yourselves.” I can’t see it being placed there unless it referred to their being separated in the future and yet still following the guidance of a group leader. Is this too far-fetched? It implies telepathy.

It implies telepathy if you take telepathy to mean connection regardless of 3D distance, not if you mean sending and receiving thought or feeling across distance.

Again, this is preserved out of an orally transmitted teaching. Again, it is meant as a spark, a reminder, a topic chapter-head, not as a self-evident bit of exposition for one and all.

Yes. Important to remember that context. It has changed how I am approaching this one. I suppose it is less so for the narrative gospels.

You must remember, there are gradations in everything. Every circle has a more innermost circle, which itself has a more innermost circle, till you come to the one, in this case Jesus, or, after he leaves, James the Just. This is the esoteric reality from which came the idea of primacy, but the difference between Jesus naming James the Just, and medieval Cardinals choosing a Pope, is the difference between a tribal proceeding in which the qualities of one another are universally known, and the election of one from among a multitude who live separately and at a distance, and so may not know one another’s qualities or quality at all well. Once you have passed beyond tribal numbers, you truly need divine inspiration to choose right, and once you have passed beyond tribal numbers, other political factors are likely to enter in, unless you take great care to eliminate them.

But presumably the Gospel of Thomas wasn’t recorded with an eye on commentary on the guidance of a church that would not even come into existence for decades, if not centuries.

It wasn’t recorded with an eye on guidance of an organization at all. The gospels record the sayings of Jesus as he attempted to orient people to their true value and potential. This one specifically remembers and records for the purpose of being used, not merely as reminiscence, for the purpose of orienting the individuals who would have it read to them (or, in later times after the invention of the printing press, would be able to read for themselves) for the purpose of guiding their own transformation by opening their eyes. Any other use is supplementary, almost incidental, and even sometimes misleading.

So, the burden of the saying is what, that a leader is always among us, that we can have direct connection to that leader? Is that what was implied?

Don’t, in reading and thinking about these things, allow your thoughts to get lost in the clouds. Remember to consider them in light of your own lives. Is that your experience?

My experience is that I rarely think to listen to guidance in moments of action, and often wish I had, only the passions of the moment get in the way.

Yes, you lose sight of yourself, in a way.

Yet we don’t want to be asking guidance, “Should I have eggs or pancakes for breakfast?” Though, come to think of it, I know at least one person who in effect does.

The nearer your connection between conscious 3D presence and your non-3D components, the easier your life, regardless of “external” difficulties. That is, your life may be difficult or dangerous or disrupted or any of a number of things you might wish it were not, but this is no indicator of the strength or constancy or absence of your connection to your non-3D. With greater ability come greater challenges, as we have reminded you more than once. An easy life is not a sign of inner grace, any more than is a fat bank account or perfect health or shiny white teeth. The Calvinists were quite mistaken in thinking external prosperity a sign of anything but external prosperity.

Have we wandered from the saying we were to address?

That question could be read two ways. No, we haven’t wandered, but it is quite possible that you, or any of your fellow adventurers, may have. That is, the gist is here, but it requires recognition, else it might as well not be here. Who has ears, let him hear. That’s why Jesus was always saying that.

“Stop, look, and listen,” as the railroad crossing signs used to say.

Precisely.

It occurs to me, does this saying not imply an inner touchstone for us?

It does. Find your pole star and you are not lost. The hard part is finding the pole star.

I’d have said the hard part is following the pole star (that is, using it to stay to a given course without getting confused) rather than it being finding it in the first place. Our lives have so many inner cross-currents.

Yes they do, and they are subject to the effects of the vast impersonal forces that blow through your lives, and the vast personal forces, too. Nobody is claiming that 3D life is simple, any more than that it is easy. But it is worthwhile, for the individual and for the greater individual of which any given individual is a part.

And that is enough for the moment.

Our thanks as always. Strange session, this.

Your participation changes in nature as you go along. nothing to be concerned over; part of the process.

If you say so. Okay, till next time.

 

Thomas, Saying 11 a through d

Sunday, May 19, 2019

3:45 a.m. The Gospel of Thomas, Saying 11a:

Jesus said: This sky will cease to be, and the sky above it will cease to be.

Looking at this in light of Saying 10, about Jesus throwing fire upon the world, doesn’t seem much clearer, nor in context of his overall mission to show us the proper evaluation of 3D life. So what can it mean? This is one of four sayings coupled in the mind of the compiler as a, b, c, d. My friends, what can you tell us?

You might list the other three as well, and consider them together, even if it requires more than one session.

All right.

11b. The dead do not live, and the living will not die.

11c. When you ate dead things, you made them alive. When you arrive into light, what will you do?

11d when you were one, you became two. When you become two, what will you do?

We have arrived at some difficult ones. I still can’t see that it is any clearer.

Three of the four deal with the future.

All four, actually.

11b arguably is more a statement of what is, but we can see it could be looked at as what will be; it is a matter of which end to emphasize.

So then, what can we make of all this? The first leaves me entirely puzzled. The sky above the sky. What can that mean? Here I’d give a lot to be able to have a discussion such as must have taken place among the disciples and Jesus, or the disciples and their disciples, explaining what is contained in these reminders.

And what do you think this is, if not just such a discussion?

Do you, then, include among you ex-people (so to speak) with that experience, so that access to you is access to the former inner circle?

The message and the resultant understanding will have to be its own bona fides.

I see that. Is it worth calling in Bertram? Or, no, let’s continue on the basis that we are dealing with people who were able so far to explain, so why should they be less so now?

Remember, the importance of 3D life, and its place in the greater life beyond it. That is the aim of the teaching, always.

Well, and how to grow toward what we truly are.

That is more a specific aspect than a difference.

In any case –

“The sky will cease to be” you would readily interpret as “the world will come to an end,” but that would be a mistake. To prevent that mistake, “the sky above it will cease to be” is added. And of course this was explained at length – and sparks were conveyed – that is invisible when any of the gospels are considered as literary, isolated, products.

Okay, as you wrote that – I wrote that – I got, relative to ourselves. That is, when we die to 3D, the 3D sky dies to us (or us to it; it works either way). So when we die to the non-3D, it too dies to us, in the same way. This seems to talk of us cycling back and forth between 3D and non-3D. But – is that a stretch?

Continue considering the other statements grouped as part of one statement, and see if it clarifies.

Well, 11b seems to make a firm and unalterable distinction (such as you are always telling us do not exist as absolutes) between living and dead things. It seems to say, there are living things and there are dead things, and never the twain shall meet.

Once again, remembering the intent of Jesus’ entire teaching mission.

Unless this uses “dead” and “living” in a way different from the accustomed meaning of the word, I don’t know.

Remember more widely. Let the dead bury their dead, etc.

Even so, it implies a stark division and an unending one.

Not quite. Yes, “the living will not die” is a description and a promise, but “the dead do not live” is not quite parallel. It does not quite say they will not live. It is closer to saying, once you attain “livingness,” there’s no going back, not that you would want to. In this context, 11c could be read as a rhetorical question, “Where do we go from here?” That is, having attained life, what happens to you next? And 11d similarly.

I don’t know about that last. What does “when you become two” have to do with “when you were one, you became two”?

Put it all into context. Together, you see, they show connections and an overall meaning that they could not show separately.

I can put it together, but I’m not sure it is any more than putting logic into place to make it seem other than a puzzle. I mean, logic has its place, I just don’t want to overdo it.

Try.

Very well. A) We alternate between leaving 3D and leaving non-3D. B) There is a real difference, some threshold, which once surmounted is a permanent gain. C) In living in 3D, absorbing the “external” and using it to grow, you had powerful assistance. When you leave 3D and no longer have an “external” world to push against, so to speak, your condition will be different. And D), in entering 3D, you in effect divided into the continued non-3D awareness and a new 3D-based awareness. But I can’t make anything of the future tense in the latter part of the statement.

Is this me cramming things into a box, or is it closer to the inner meaning of the four-part statement?

What do you think? Does it resonate?

It seems to make sense, only I get that this is a provisional understanding, a scaffolding not exactly right in itself, but one that will let us continue forward. More so even than usual, I mean.

Nothing wrong, and a good deal right, with proceeding that way. You never get to the ultimate bedrock meaning of anything; there is always more light to dawn, only you must remain open to more, if this is to happen. Which, by the way, is the ongoing meaning, call it, of 11d. You will become two again. If though you have previously come alive, you will not die, so in again becoming two, you will not be repeating the sorry scheme of things; you will be entering a new world of possibilities.

That’s interesting. Having attained life – does that equate with having become crystallized? – we are not through with earth after we die, but we experience future 3D lives very differently.

If you chose to continue to undertake them, yes.

Huh. Well, I feel like I had to work for this one, but we did get to at least a plausible, defensible, understanding.

Your goal is severely practical, is it not? This is a result of a determination to arrive at a practical result.

At some point, I can see, too theoretical an explanation might lose utility for us here.

What is too theoretical (though we think you really mean, too sophisticated, taking into consideration factors hard to understand and assimilate) will become appropriate after you pass another stage of growth. What you do not understand one day, you may the next. It is a process, not an end-product.

And there is your hour.

Thanks very much, and we will see you next time.

 

America’s Long Journey: The Whiskey Rebellion

America’s Long Journey: The Whiskey Rebellion

I know that “The Whiskey Rebellion” seems to promise an account of a drunken brawl, but it involved a serious conflict of principles and it had lasting consequences.

The rebellion stemmed from a tax conceived by Alexander Hamilton. As Washington pointed out in his farewell address, expenditures require taxes, and taxes are never popular. But some are more unpopular than others, and this was one of those.

Hamilton was largely responsible for the decision by the First Congress to assume not only the outgoing government’s debt of $54 million, but also the state debts of $25 million. This cleaned up the nation’s credit and (as Hamilton calculated) gave the moneyed classes a vested interest in the continuance of the new government, because they bought the interest-bearing bonds that funded the debt. But then there came a need for new sources of income, to pay the interest on the bonds.

The government’s primary source of revenue in those days was the tariff – duties on imports. But they were already as high as Hamilton thought feasible, so he proposed an excise tax on domestically produced distilled spirits. The bill passed in March, 1791. It was the first direct tax by the new government on a domestic product.

Hamilton seems to have thought he was imposing a sort of luxury tax. But for farmers living west of the mountains, distilling corn into whiskey was the only practical way to turn a bulky perishable item into a compact, easily transported, non-perishable item. Besides, on the frontier whiskey was often used as a substitute for cash, which meant that an tax on whiskey was, in effect, an income tax. And, for reasons we won’t go into, the law favored larger-scale distillers at the expense of smaller ones. (Big surprise, right?) and besides all that, the farmers maintained that the whiskey tax was taxation without representation. So from the first moment that federal marshals began coming around to collect the new tax, they met resistance.

Opponents of the tax met in Pittsburgh and sent a petition for redress of grievances to the state and federal governments, and the following year the tax was reduced. But the law remained, although violence inflicted on tax collectors and other officials rendered it largely uncollectable. In August, 1792, a second Pittsburgh convention, consciously harking back to Revolutionary War precedents, raised liberty poles, formed committees of correspondence, and to some degree paralyzed the court system. Those cooperating with federal tax officials often had their stills destroyed or their barns burned. In late November 1793, a wealthy tax collector was forced at gunpoint to surrender his commission. President Washington offered a reward for the arrest of the assailants, but got no takers.

In 1794, matters came to a boil. In May, the federal district attorney issued subpoenas to more than 60 distillers who had not paid the tax, and sent a U.S. marshal to serve them. In the resulting confrontation, a “rebel” was fatally shot, a miniature siege of the tax collector’s fortified house ensued, and yet another “rebel” was shot, this time while under a white flag. The spirit of rebellion grew. People talked of declaring independence from the United States.

President Washington asked his cabinet’s opinion on how to deal with the crisis. Secretary of State Randolph urged reconciliation. The rest of the cabinet recommended using force. Washington sent peace commissioners to negotiate with the rebels, and asked the governors of four states for militia. In October, he himself rode out from Philadelphia at the head of a sizeable force of 13,000 men, and the insurrection collapsed. By the time the army arrived, the farmers had gone home. No one was hurt, only 20 were arrested, and all of these were acquitted or pardoned.

So how much of this came about because of the general collision of forces (coincidence) and how much because Hamilton pushed it that way (conspiracy)? Those arguing coincidence say that any other interpretation overstates Hamilton’s control over events. Those arguing conspiracy say that Hamilton intentionally provoked the uprising to give the new federal government an excuse to use military force, to show the people that the government was in charge. Despite the wisdom of the saying that “one should never attribute to malice what is adequately explained by stupidity,” the circumstantial evidence points more to intent than to mere coincidence. But if Hamilton got what he wanted in the short run, it backfired badly in the slightly longer run.

The public apparently approved the suppression of the Whiskey Rebellion. A major reason why the Constitution had been approved had been that people were tired of government too weak to enforce its laws. But the resentment behind the Whiskey Rebellion was not confined to Pennsylvania. The tax was resisted in western counties of every state along the mountains, from Maryland to Georgia, and in Kentucky, the only state wholly west of the mountains, the tax couldn’t be collected anywhere. Once Westerners gave up the idea of military resistance, they turned to political resistance. The emerging Republican Party spread among them like wildfire. They couldn’t quite turn out the Federalists in 1796, but they succeeded four years later, and forever. (When the Republicans came to power, they repealed the tax. As we have seen, Gallatin funded the government by strict economy, instead.)

So, if the rebellion showed that the new government was strong enough to enforce its edicts, it also strengthened distrust between east and west, and between rich and poor, and helped contribute to the formation of the First Party System. Consequences, mostly unintended. And isn’t that a repeated theme throughout this long glance backward? Where we stand today is the result of many consequences built on circumstances that were themselves consequences.