Gospel of Thomas Class
Notes and Going Deeper for Monday, October 20, 2014
Finding: Logia 20-37
You can find complete commentaries for each Logia on this blogsite!
(The one-liners listed below are numbered according to the Logion to which each sentence refers.)
Last Group Meeting:
We wrestled with a couple of difficult concepts this class-time, the biggest being the idea of relative and ultimate reality, the “bifocals” Yeshua is trying to have us try on. This view is not easily apparent, but perhaps this poem from Jan Phillips will help you out--Thanks, Doreen for sending this along!
Like the all in the oneness
Like the branch in the vine
Like the call and the answer
Like the drink and the wine
Like the Earth and the heavens
Like the forest and the trees
Like the gate and the pathway
Like the hawk and the breeze
Like the iris and the petals
Like the jewel and the mine
Like the know and the knowing
Like the laugh and the line
Like the moonlight and the darkness
Like nowhere and near
Like the oak and the acorn
Like pain and the tear
Like the quest and the seeker
Like rain and the flower
Like the sea and the islands
Like time and the hour
Like union and yearning
Like the vision and the view
Like the waves and the water
So I am to you
So I am to you, Love, and
You are to me
We dwell in each other
Like salt and the sea...
So in a way, we are learning to get what some folks call “altitude” others might name “perspective” or “right view”. This is when, when we so wish, we can see the manyness of all the parts of our life, as well as the singleness of the experience. We can grasp time as here and now, but also be deeply aware of past, present and future, a flow. Yet another way to image this is as wave and particle...sometimes we are aware first of the horse, then the rider, then the arena flashing by in light and shadow. With just a small shift of our minds, we can see the energy, the wave-form of all those elements as one complete and moving picture. Reality is both wave and particle for our small and delicate brains.
This section of the work also brings out another important concept, which is called “standing”. This is a kind of shorthand for touching our inner capacity to not be directed from without, but rather, from within. To be singular, even as we also realize we are part and parcel of the universe itself. Standing is pointed at through the entire Gospel as the energy or state of complete sovereignty over ourselves and our actions.
Finally, Finding is not just for ourselves—finding actually knits us back into ever deeper relationship with others and our world.
Here are the one-liners I gleaned from Logia 20-37 that are all about what Yeshua means by “finding”:
To Find means...
20. to allow ourselves to be gifted with the smallest seeds of the great Tree of Life.
21. to be willing to see the ripening happening within ourselves that cannot be hurried or pressed into a human sense of completion.
22. to use the gifts of attention, creativity and will with a child’s sense of belonging and place.
23. to fully recognize our unique sovereignty and utter interdependency with all of life.
24. to accept with full awareness that we are not called to merely worship, but rather, to Stand and shine forth who we were all created to be.
25. to preserve and cherish the larger community that helps us discern light.
26. to open to all of ourselves, including our shadows, so that we might be of discerning service to others.
27. to begin to suspect the division between the sacred and the profane, between the acts and concepts of religion and the life of the spirit.
28. to be willing to throw off our inebriation and stand up into both relative and ultimate reality.
29. to be willing to acknowledge with each breath we do not just exist for spirit—spirit also exists for us.
30. to be willing to claim the unifying divinity that under-girds the many and varied individuals.
31. to truly see the divinity in all those around you, transcending your own tendency to mask and objectify them.
32. to move beyond only observing life and into the pulsing energy of participation.
33. to be willing to share our discoveries, helping to create the bonds of relationship.
34. to decline being pushed or led by others or tradition into the necessary darkness of your spiritual path
35. to be willing to be ousted from the “house” of our small egoic self so that we have room to “find” the spaciousness that is our truer Self.
36. to turn the energy of worrying about externals into the fire of internal creativity.
37. to be brave enough to see our spiritual teachers without bias or artifice, freely seeing them as they see us.
Transition (Logion 38): The work of Finding ripens still more when we encounter Trouble; finding fulfills the deep mission of the spiritual guide, which is to create students who no longer need him or her as simply someone to follow, but who begin to come to their own feet and stand—but this can be deeply troubling to us.
1. Try to create for yourself a list of bifocal ways of seeing the world as Jan Phillips did in her Alphabet Mantra poem. Does this help you try on such a way of seeing?
2. If you are a wildly practical person, what gifts do you think “Finding” will bring to your life? What issues arise for you? Remember the struggle to put on a new paradigm will be looked at carefully next time as we turn to “Trouble” on the spiritual path Yeshua has laid out for us.
3. How do you think such a way of seeing could be taught to children? What might be the advantage to children who can see the way Yeshua is teaching? Disadvantages?
4. Finding is the beginning of creating a spiritual perspective on all the facets of our life. Do you find seeing an issue with both temporal/NOW/particle lenses and long-term/infinity/wave consciousness helps you emotionally? Why or why not?
5. What does the term “ego” mean to you? What do you think it means to Yeshua, based on a careful reading of these Logia?
Next time, we turn to the section on Trouble...about what might arise as we begin to see the world in this bifocal arrangement of relative and ultimate reality, to stand and to maintain our relationships in the world. See you next Monday at 7 PM.