Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Gospel of Thomas: Yeshua's Vedanta, Logion 26

Logion 26

Yeshua says,

You detect a speck
in your brother’s eye,
but fail to perceive the beam
sticking out of your own.
Remove the timber from your eye,
and you will see clearly enough
to extract the speck lodged
 in the eye of your brother.

                                 Translation:  Lynn Bauman in
The Gospel of Thomas: Wisdom of the Twin

The First Response:

Hello, shadow.
I’ve set out a bright light,
here, where I can switch it on easily,
so you don’t have to fade into that weird grayness
of the florescent overheads.
Funny how businesses and hospitals
try not to cast any shadows.
I know you are resting behind me right now,
breathing as I breathe,
and if I just turn a bit
I can see you.
I’ve poured us a cup of stiff, black coffee and we can watch
how the trees lattice the lawn
and the hawk shadow
threads through lines of light.

KBN 2014
Journey through Logos:

Many of us will recognize Yeshua’s words from Matthew 7:4-5 and Luke 6:41-42, but there is a critical difference here, too.  Because the words of the Gospel of Thomas command us to remove the timber or plank—an injunction that is merely implicit in the Synoptic Gospels.    There is no gentleness here, either.  Yeshua says, “remove it.”  And why?  So then you can help your brother or sister with their own blocked vision. 
There is always a strong current of relationship running through the words of this wisdom teacher, and with that relationship, a cooperative sense of awakening not for our own sake, but for the sake of those around us as well.  Buddhist practitioners may well recognize a bodhisattva spirit that plays through these ancient words. 
Of course, this logion is also a continuation of protecting the pupil of your eye, a subject we explored in logion 25.  This link brings us back to the idea of discernment, an important part of the spiritual search.  Where we are blind, where the shadow is at play, we lose a whole chunk of reality and with it, the ability to make sound and useful choices on our spiritual journeys.
Finally, the eye is only one of the “evergreen trees”, the routes through which our limited understanding of tangible reality can flow.  Yeshua is asking us to seek that which informs the eye, the part that will allow us to “see” even if we were born physically blind.  So again, this is an invitation into his deeper reality as well.

Hokmah’s Symphonic Note:

That which is not seen by the eye, but by which the eye is able to see: know that alone to be the Brahman, not this which people worship here.

Kena Upanishad

“We are responsible for what we are, and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves. If what we are now has been the result of our own past actions, it certainly follows that whatever we wish to be in the future can be produced by our present actions; so we have to know how to act.”

Practicing Unity:

Thomas Merton pointed out on many occasions that the distractions of our culture are the ‘beams in our eye’.  What distractions keep you from your spiritual path?  Name them, bring them into the light, where you can discern their purpose and meaning for yourself.

Hokmah’s Gnosis:

To Find means to open to all of ourselves, including our shadows, so that we might be of discerning service to others.

You can find Kim's entire commentary on the Gospel of Thomas in Kindle, paperback and audio formats by clicking on this link:



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