There was a rich man
who had expendable wealth.
He said to himself,
“I will take my money
and use it to plant, sow and harvest,
filling my barns with the produce,
then I’ll have everything”
--these were the thoughts
occupying his mind.
That night he died.
Listen, if you are paying attention.
Translation: Lynn Bauman in
The Gospel of Thomas: Wisdom of the Twin
The First Response:
If I spill out your life in a small
handful of seeds,
and bid you
drop one a day into the earth,
how would you live differently
from all the days prior?
When that uncountable mound dwindles
and four or five dark specks touch and fold
in the wrinkles of your fist,
No, I don’t mean you should
do anything different at all
but I wonder,
will you look more carefully
for some small flower you might have started,
uncurling itself like a yoga student
from a forward fold
to stand, arms raised
in the gentle victory
Journey through Logos:
Where we place our mind and attention day to day is the same place we dwell. If the Kingdom of Heaven is here and now, if we trust in that basic ground of our being, then we will live an abundant life. If everything is placed in the context that everything is always in flux, changing, unpredictable, then the tremendous amount of energy we put into our “future” lives is like casting seeds upon all kinds of unprepared ground. The present moment IS the ground for the future. That does not mean we don’t use common sense—storing emergency water and two weeks of canned food in case of an earthquake is perfectly rational here in the Pacific Northwest. Thinking about your pantry and any possible and frankly probable earthquake all the time is not. There is a balance to be struck here, the narrow path of being aware of how we use the energy of life given to us.
This logion also points to the inherent selfishness of many of our thoughts. Who do we plan for? Who do we worry about? Often the subtext is all about ourselves. But Yeshua was trying to raise our eyes a little, to tune into the interrelationship with all life. That small movement of mind broadens into a panorama that cannot help but hold our attention with ease and grace.
Hokmah’s Symphonic Note:
“Day after day countless people die. Yet they imagine they’ll live forever. O Lord, what can be a greater wonder?”
Yudisthira’s Answer, The Mahabharata
When the Gods deal defeat to a person, they first take his mind away, so that he sees things wrongly. .............. Time does not raise a stick and clobber a man's head; the power of Time is just this upended view of things.
-- Dhrtarastra (The Book of the Assembly Hall)
As you go about your day, gently notice where your mind drifts to most often—planning? worry? The past? There is nothing you need to do except raise an inner eyebrow and grin. Noticing is the antidote.
We are filled with Wonder when we realize how we are able to so easily ignore the inevitability of our death.
You can find Kim's entire commentary on the Gospel of Thomas in Kindle, paperback and audio formats by clicking on this link: