No one can mount two horses
or draw two bows at once,
and you cannot serve
two masters at the same time.
If you honor one
the other will be offended.
No one drinks a vintage wine
and immediately wants
wine freshly bottled.
New wine is not put into
old containers lest it be ruined,
nor is aged wine put into
new barrels lest it spoil.
Also, old cloth is not sewn
onto new garments because
it only makes the tear worse.
Translation: Lynn Bauman in
The Gospel of Thomas: Wisdom of the Twin
The First Response:
we mistake our own narrow path
for the only one
the best one.
And probably it is
I lived in a woods riddled with paths,
some wide and crafted two-tracks,
some the deer tramped
on their way to living water.
I’ve walked them all
any of them are easier
through the bracken and ankle-deep mud.
Sooner or later,
they all get to the river
or the asphalt.
But when you are really turned around and lost,
the light shadowing the trees
the cold pinching your nose shut,
the darkened forest rustle starling you,
I hope you have a compass or GPS,
magnetic north or satellites,
that can lead you home.
Journey through Logos:
Paradigm change of any kind is troublesome. For a while, we try to do a kind of parallel processing—use the old system as we try the new system out. It’s twice as much work and in the end, not only inefficient, but rather frustrating and confusing. Yeshua has captured such a moment here—how to honor a new way of seeing the world as you let the old way go.
He seems to understand that humans cannot parallel process very well—riding two horses, serving two masters, sewing new patch on old cloth all speak to this discomfort within us, the kind of split in our personality. And the fine old wine is simply better than the new wine, that is, until it too has a chance to age and come into its own special nuances and flavors, much like a person on a fresh spiritual path.
Some might see all of this as the process and trouble of choosing one particular religion, but all through the Gospel of Thomas, Yeshua has been making it clear that he isn’t talking about traditional religions here. He’s speaking of THAT which informs all religions, the Mystery beyond this container, that piece of clothing, that dogma or form of God. When we lift our eyes to the bigger picture, or if you prefer, to the ground of all our being, then we find ourselves on a wholly different path indeed.
Hokmah’s Symphonic Note:
On this path no effort is wasted,
no gain is ever reversed;
even a little of this practice
will shelter you from great sorrow.
Bhagavad Gita 2.40 (Stephen Mitchell translation)
The light breaking upon the mind should not be excluded by that false logic which puts forth unholy guesses of every kind up to the obliteration even of the facts of consciousness.
When have you experienced a paradigm change in your own life? Can you remember believing in Santa Claus and then learning he was more the “spirit” of Christmas than an actual being? How did that feel? What other times have you shifted from one way of “knowing” to another?
Trouble arises when we try to hold two competing spiritual paradigms at once—we must choose which path to follow.
You can find Kim's entire commentary on the Gospel of Thomas in Kindle, paperback and audio formats by clicking on this link: