Saturday, April 12, 2014

Gospel of Thomas: Yeshua's Vedanta, Logion 49

 Logion 49

Yeshua says,

Blessed are those
chosen and unified.
The Realm of
the Kingdom is theirs.
For out of her you have come,
and back to her you are returning.

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

The First Response:
It is one thing to move mountains,
quite another to choose,
 to fall
into the open arms,
of black bamboo and cloud-scudded skies,
of spring ponds and the feathers of mallard ducks,
of the low murmur of the sheep punctuated
by the hawk’s bright cry.
That’s the deepest paradox of life--
knowing when to lift and when to put it down,
you can move mountains
choosing to gaze


Journey through Logos:

One of the delightful things about the Gospel of Thomas is the alternating of powerful, warrior kinds of energy with a gentler, allowing, gardener kind of being.  That sort of literary breathing, this action/non-action, forceful/allowing, speaking/listening is the very rhythm of our bodies and of relationship with our larger world.  Day and night, work and rest; it’s implicit in the very fabric of how we live.
The ashes to ashes and dust to dust trajectory of our lives is cast in a new light here, too—we go from light to light, not so much dust to dust.  The positive, continual life energy that we participate in, including the kingdom which language scholar Neil Douglas-Klotz has corrected to be “queendom” in Aramaic, is both our source and our end, our beginning and our destiny. 
And there is a warning here as well, coming fast on the heels of that ability to move mountains in logion #48.  We catch a couple strange usages if we are paying attention: the “realm” of the Kingdom of Heaven isn’t a realm at all in most of the Gospel of Thomas, it’s a state of being.  Why use it here?  Also, “chosen” is a word we might stick on, until we again see that the very word makes us pause and consider.  Who does the choosing?  Perhaps one way to see this is that “chosen” might be equated with “grace”—that we wake up in a way that makes us feel our blessedness and at the same time, to know it is available to each and very one of us.  In a sense, both words both ground us and give us hope, bind us back into a relationship slightly different from the individualistic “power that moves mountains,” to a reminder of the unified state that does not separate us, but rather, reminds us of our source.
To be unified is not to deny the beauty of this embodied self nor lose sight of the caravan of life of which we are a part. It is to hold the relative and the ultimate forms of reality easily, in communion, in a way that is blessed indeed.  

Hokmah’s Symphonic Note:

“You have the right to work, but never to the fruit of work. You should never engage in action for the sake of reward, nor should you long for inaction. Perform work in this world, Arjuna, as a man established within himself - without selfish attachments, and alike in success and defeat.” 
--Bhagavad Gita

“The man who sees me in everything
and everything within me
will not be lost to me, nor
will I ever be lost to him.

He who is rooted in oneness
realizes that I am
in every being; wherever
he goes, he remains in me.

When he sees all being as equal
in suffering or in joy
because they are like himself,
that man has grown perfect in yoga.” 

-Bhagavad Gita

Practicing Unity:
What does the word “chosen” mean to you?  Would you react differently to be “chosen” than to be the recipient of grace?  Why or why not?  What about the “realm of Heaven” rather than heaven as a state of being?  Which resonates more with you today?

Hokmah’s Gnosis:

Trouble arises within us when we begin to recognize that the Kingdom is not a realm at all, and that any sense of being “chosen” begs the question: “who is the chooser?”

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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