Suppose you are asked,
“Where have you come from?”
say, “We have come from the
Light at its source,
from the place where it came forth
and was manifest as Image and Icon.
If you are asked,
“Are you that Light?”
say, “We are its children,
and chosen by the Source,
the Living Father.”
If you are questioned,
“But what is the sign of
the Source within you?”
say, “It is movement and it is rest.”
Translation: Lynn Bauman in
The Gospel of Thomas: Wisdom of the Twin
The First Response:
If I lay long enough in the sun,
seeing the pink tissue of my eyelids backlit,
the grass curling through and around my fingers,
I would be like the moth that flew
headlong into the flame,
But maybe we are called to something different,
a narrower path than extinction in ecstasy,
my dog’s wet tongue just slathered my hot cheek,
and sitting up,
a crow watches me from the shadows,
her silvered eye blinks,
she wings her way
through the brilliance.
Journey through Logos:
This is a very dense saying, so we’ll unpack it a bit section by section. First, we are introduced to the idea of image and icon. These two terms are critical if we are to understand Yeshua’s teachings about masks, identity, isolation vs community and the dance of relative and ultimate reality. An image is simply a thought-form, a sign if you will, that stands in for us or for anyone we are objectifying. It’s not false, simply not the whole picture. It is what we project to the world and the projection we in turn force onto the cosmos. An icon, on the other hand, is a window into the divine that transcends the idea of an image; we see not only the outer meaning, but the inner aliveness as well. Notice that Light manifests as both—the material universe that we name, the signs we pay attention to like stop lights, the “ten thousands things” of relative reality. Yet, it also manifests as the icon, which catches the inner sacred light of the relative in a way that binds everything back to the source, the system, the Ultimate form of reality.
Now we find the word “chosen” again and we finally see what we are chosen for—to be both images and icons, to be that place where the sacred meets the material and we find they are not two at all.
And once again, we find the lovely wu-wei (action-in-non-action) tone of Yeshua’s teaching—rise and fall, light and dark, image and icon, life and death. The Source is always “both and” rather than “either or”. The Source in which we “live and move and have our being.”
This then is both the wonderful news and the trouble. Because the very language used to define who we are, what our Source is and its very action will always be the language of process and paradox—not realms, signs and concrete form and also nothing other than signs, realms, concrete forms. Icon, light and movement and rest, yes, but not just these things.
Hokmah’s Symphonic Note:
Body is nothing more than emptiness,
emptiness is nothing more than body.
The body is exactly empty,
and emptiness is exactly body.
feeling, thought, will, and consciousness --
are likewise nothing more than emptiness,
and emptiness nothing more than they.
All things are empty:
Nothing is born, nothing dies,
nothing is pure, nothing is stained,
nothing increases and nothing decreases.
Heart Sutra, translation by
Look up and read the entire Heart Sutra today—it’s not long, if that will be enough of a carrot to get you to peek. Do find any resonance there with the words in the logion above?
Trouble arises within us when we realize we will only be able to comprehend or verbally express to others what we have found in the language of process and paradox.
You can find Kim's entire commentary on the Gospel of Thomas in Kindle, paperback and audio formats by clicking on this link: