Help From The Gospel of Thomas

 
Our Axial Age is in a state of exhaustion. It is approaching its end. It also could be our end. Planet earth is now giving us this warning: It is telling us that if we continue on the present path, like any other organism that alienates itself from the Biosphere, we will be rejected. Can we escape from this conundrum? Can Jesus be of help?

Yes he can, but only if we are willing to change the way we think. It will require us to accept cosmic interiority as expressed in The Gospel of Thomas.

We humans as with all other planetary life forms evolved out of an implicate order underlying this cosmic interiority. It can be defined as the “MIND” of GOD.

Now to our problem: Our Axial Age thought separated us from the MIND of GOD, also from our fulfilling purpose. With this Age we moved from an internal horizontal veneration of the MIND of GOD to an external vertical veneration. It separated us from our planet and what we call “Nature.” We then began to destroy each other and all other life and nonlife on the planet. In recent years this has accelerated. As a result, the biosphere is now turning against us. We have to change the way we think and the way we live. If we refuse, like any other life form that defies the implicate order of the MIND of GOD, we are finished.

Several of the sayings of Jesus as they were recorded in the Gospel of Thomas can be of help. These sayings take on enormous importance as we try to understand our relationship to this planet and the cosmos. They speak to life and non-life, the material and the non-material.

As we think about them, we must remember that they were set in writing long before the formation of the Christian Church in Rome, possibly as long as three hundred years. Also, that the Gospel of Thomas’ sayings were originally in Aramaic, then translated into Coptic and then in the 20th century into English; so the meanings of the words were specific to an early first century period. Suffice it to say; expressions such as “Kingdom of God” cannot and should not be taken literally as “Kingdom.” Expressions such as “cosmic dimension”, “other dimension”, “divine intelligence”, “implicate order” and “creative power” better express their meaning. Therefore, we must see the words of Jesus as first century observations having a value that spoke to those around him at that time and in that era, and speak to us today as universal truths.

Here are five sayings from the Gospel of Thomas that deal with our relationship to the physical world that surrounds us. Jesus says to Thomas:

(3) The Kingdom is in inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize who you are.

(17) I shall give you what no eye has seen and what no ear has heard and what no hand has touched and what has never occurred to the human mind.

(51) What you look forward to has already come, but you do not recognize it.

(77) I am the light that is over all things. I am all: from me all came forth, and to me all attained. Split a piece of wood; I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there.

(113) His disciples said to him; When will the kingdom come? Jesus replied; it will not come by watching for it. It will not be said, look, here or Look, there! Rather, the Father’s kingdom is spread out upon the earth, and people don’t see it.
 
These words of Jesus showed heaven and earth not separate and distinct from each other. It is interesting to observe just how modern they are. Jesus viewed the material world around us – including ourselves, as nonmaterial. He also viewed our minds as nonmaterial. He said that our minds and our bodies, as well as the physical world surrounding them, are a part of an all-encompassing “Kingdom is inside of you, and outside of you.”

All of this speaks to our present dilemma. To repeat from the above:

“Our Axial Age is in a state of exhaustion. It is approaching its end. It also could be our end.”

And

Our Axial Age thought separated us from the MIND of GOD, also from our fulfilling purpose. With this Age we moved from an internal horizontal veneration of the MIND of GOD to an external vertical veneration. It separated us from our planet and what we call “Nature.”

And

“The MIND of GOD is telling us that we have to change the way we think and the way we live. If we refuse, like any other life form that defies the implicate order of the MIND of GOD, we are finished.”

Review & Commentary

  • Doug Thatcher

    I find this article’s title tantalizing, but the article of little substance. A little deeper please!