A true human being can be
compared to a wise fisherman
who casts his net into the sea and draws it
up from below
full of small fish.
Hidden among them is one larger,
exceptional fish that
he seizes immediately,
throwing back all the rest
without a second thought.
Whoever has ears
let them understand this.
Translation: Lynn Bauman in The Gospel of Thomas:
Wisdom of the Twin
The First Response:
Laundry, dishes, dusting
dinner, paint the kitchen,
facebook, blog, email
walk, swim, bike...
the choices flash like sun on snow,
each valid, each
demanding and wriggling in the
corner of my eye.
Lord send me that one fat snowflake
let it perch on the tip of my glove,
that a single moment of seeing
re-arranges all in crystalline perspective.
Journey through Logos:
We have become a culture of little fishes. I remember the lines of an REM song—“Crazy what you could have had”—and cringe a little when I look around at my own house, filled with all that delights. Books in stacks. Songs in the thousands on the Cloud drive. Animals. Mis-matched but clung-to dishes. Closet filled with clothes. Statues. Plants. Tiny model fantasy armies on six bookcases.
All of it becomes astounding variety that binds.
This goes far beyond the material, though. We sag under the little fishes of entertainment, of social “to-dos”, the pressures of the “networks” we are expected to maintain, the “must-dos” of voices in our own heads, creating lists and agendas and timetables. Even Yeshua understood that in the midst of something like work—fishing for a living—the big fish may show up and in that instant, reorder everything in us from the act of eating to the source of our livelihoods, from how we prioritize our lives to how to be present and faithful to one, flashing and brilliant jewel of pure awareness.
He asks us here to practice discernment, to create a state of mind that allows us to recognize the big fish when it comes up out of the deep and then to take action, throwing the rest of the little fishes back into the sea. The action is not done with a sense of loss or asceticism or regret but with the overwhelming wonder of a searcher who has finally found.
Hokmah’s Symphonic Note:
“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life; dream of it; think of it; live on that idea. Let the brain, the body, muscles, nerves, every part of your body be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success, and this is the way great spiritual giants are produced.”
― Swami Vivekananda, Vedanta Philosophy: Lectures by the Swami Vivekananda on Raja Yoga Also Pantanjali's Yoga Aphorisms, with Commentaries
Take up your journal and draw or note the textures of your one big fish. How does your life reflect this focus, intent, calling, or idea? How might you craft a practice that makes it more likely you will throw the smaller fish back into the sea?
To Search requires a process of discernment,
ordering our lives around the big and possibly paradigm-changing intuition
that arises in the dance
between ourselves and our lives.
You can find Kim's entire commentary on the Gospel of Thomas in Kindle, paperback and audio formats by clicking on this link: