Thursday, April 10, 2014

Gospel of Thomas: Yeshua's Vedanta, Logion 45

 Logion 45

Yeshua says,
Grapes are not
harvested from thorns,
nor are figs gathered from
thistles—neither produce fruit.

Good people
bring goodness out of
a storehouse of inner treasure,
while evil ones bring wickedness
out of the repository of evil
collected in the heart.
It is from there that they speak.
For from the heart’s overflow
evil enters the world.

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

The First Response:

He tried to whisper it a thousand times
because he could not say it out-loud:
go out into the desert alone,
smile gently on the stranger,
sit at the wedding feast and turn
mere water into wine with your generosity,
feed people fish and bread,
allow yourself to be changed,
heal with no sense of reward,
tell the truth,
no, not the one someone wrote down
and people recite without hearing,
but rather
the truth of deep and abiding

If only we could grasp
we do not change our minds--
we change our hearts.


Journey through Logos:

Vietnamese Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hahn often teaches about seed consciousness-- the idea that the seeds we water in our hearts, be those our darker and more selfish impulses or our more noble and compassionate ones, will be the seeds that grow out and manifest in our very thoughts and actions.  And as the thought or action, so the fruit and seeds we may help to plant in others. 
As we speak and do good, we actually reinforce the good in ourselves and those we touch.  We are, in a sense, cultivating the organic nature of the heart and mind in a way to vouchsafe the positive energy of relationship. Our work is not to “believe” in our spiritual Master, but come to be like him at the level of our hearts. The first movement is easy, the second, incredibly troubling and hard because we must not just be able to say the right words, we must show our understanding through the way we relate with our world. 
Grapes and figs are the ties that bind us to community—food held in common, food that links us back to the tree from which it came and all of creation that supports it, food that is passed hand to hand in communion with one another.  The thorn and the thistle tear and rend and separate.  Yes, admittedly both trees are still “of God” but sharp edged ones are more lonely, certainly and less able to enter into the deeper transformation of ripeness, tree to flesh to consciousness.  As metaphor, they suffer in their aloneness, the crown of thorns cutting us of one from another.

Hokmah’s Symphonic Note:

“No one who does good work will ever come to a bad end, either here or in the world to come” 
Anonymous, The Bhagavad Gita

When someone touches the seed of anger by saying something or doing something that upsets us, that seed of anger will come up and manifest in mind consciousness as the mental formation (cittasamskara) of anger. The word “formation” is a Buddhist term for something that’s created by many conditions coming together. A marker pen is a formation; my hand, a flower, a table, a house, are all formations. A house is a physical formation. My hand is a physiological formation. My anger is a mental formation. In Buddhist psychology we speak about fifty-one varieties of seeds that can manifest as fifty-one mental formations. Anger is just one of them. In store consciousness, anger is called a seed. In mind consciousness, it’s called a mental formation.
Whenever a seed, say the seed of anger, comes up into our living room and manifests as a mental formation, the first thing we can do is to touch the seed of mindfulness and invite it to come up too. Now we have two mental formations in the living room. This is mindfulness of anger. Mindfulness is always mindfulness of something. When we breathe mindfully, that is mindfulness of breathing. When we walk mindfully, that is mindfulness of walking. When we eat mindfully, that’s mindfulness of eating. So in this case, mindfulness is mindfulness of anger. Mindfulness recognizes and embraces anger.

Our practice is based on the insight of nonduality—anger is not an enemy. Both mindfulness and anger are ourselves. Mindfulness is there not to suppress or fight against anger, but to recognize and take care of it—like a big brother helping a younger brother. So the energy of anger is recognized and embraced tenderly by the energy of mindfulness.

Thich Nhat Hanh
March 2011 Shambala Sun

Practicing Unity:

You might enjoy reading a rule of life, like the Rule of St. Benedict, which is really about cultivating the good seeds of community life. Give it a try and journal a bit about what you resonated with.

Hokmah’s Gnosis:

Trouble arises when we realize that every thought and action adds to the granary of relationship or isolation, each creating its own fruit in time.

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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