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Both intuitive and interactive, the gnostic approach to faith is a sacred quest for greater knowledge, understanding, and wisdom-a deeper penetration of the Mystery. This path leads to a higher degree of the enlightenment experience or gnosis. The Gnostic Gospel of St. Thomas reveals how the reader can use each verse in this scripture as a source of daily contemplation and spiritual growth, while exploring the secrets of resurrection and ascension, the true role of St. Mary Magdalene in the early church, and other mystical and magical teachings.
The Living Yeshua is speaking in secret, within, behind your heart. Christ dwells there within you, and when you go within, Christ will speak the secret teachings to you and lead you in the path of awakening. To listen and hear,
you must be silent. You must empty yourself of yourself and let the Christ-Spirit fill you. Dying to yourself, you must be conceived and reborn of the Holy Spirit as the Living Yeshua.
Indeed, you must experience the same conception, gestation,
and birth as the Living Yeshua so that you also might be his twin, born of the same birth from the Holy Virgin, Mother
Wisdom. Only in this way can you receive the Light-transmission from the Master and become a Gnostic yourself.
Everyone is the Living Yeshua. The ordinary person is ignorant of this, but the apostle of God knows it and lives according to the Truth and Light revealed through experience.
Likewise, the kingdom of heaven is here and now, within you and all around you. It is present within everyone. The ordinary person does not have eyes to see it, but the Gnostic perceives it and so dwells in the kingdom of God here and now.
Logos (Word) and Sophia (Wisdom) are to be found within everyone and everything, and so also within you. There, within your secret center, at the core of your being, is the Holy One of Being.
The Christ-self is your true self, the self of every self and soul of every soul. All are united with him in the Sacred Unity that is God, the Father-
Mother. Through him, the Holy Spirit indwells the whole of
Creation. Knowing this, you will not experience death.
This is the truth that is contained in these sayings or verses, the essential reality of which they speak. The secret is openly spoken, but who can listen and hear and so receive it? Written or spoken, the secret remains a secret until it is part of your own experience. The teachings are received only when they are your own experience.
Then they become a living initiation-a Light-transmission. This is the aim of the mystic, that he or she should directly experience the
Living Yeshua and become as the risen Christ.
What will death mean to that one who experiences Messianic consciousness and dwells in the kingdom of God while in this life? Indeed,
death will not mean what it means to the ordinary person, for that one is not so self-identified with mortal name and form, but knows oneself as an immortal Spirit, a bornless and therefore deathless Spirit. Likewise,
this person knows that the kingdom of heaven is present within and all around, always-that upon death one's experience of Christ will continue in a more subtle and sublime form, having shed the physical body. With this knowledge, death is no longer death and the adversary has no power over the soul, whether in this world or in the world to come. Such a person is awakened and therefore free, having a continuity of awareness throughout all states of existence. Death will come, as it has for all prophets and saints, but it will just be an appearance of departure-a transition to another mode of existence, no more or less real than falling asleep, only to dream and awaken again. Death,
for the Gnostic, is not an end as much as a new beginning. Ultimately,
death has no substantial reality, but is merely a natural moment of transition.
Knowing this changes everything. Meditate upon it and you will see!
Grace accomplishes this awakening and the transformation that follows it. Nothing one does accomplishes this self-realization. Yet spiritual practice and spiritual living are the conditions that allow
Grace to act, without which it is unlikely that the Holy Spirit can work within and through oneself to accomplish the great work. More profoundly, spiritual practice and spiritual living are, themselves, the goal or attainment sought; so that in practicing and living according to the Truth and Light, one naturally awakens and receives the Light-transmission.
It is not so much a matter of receiving something that one does not already have as much as it is creating the conditions necessary for the Word (Logos) and Wisdom (Sophia) to pour forth from within oneself. Hence, it is letting the Christ-self that is already present deep within come forward and live this life. Spiritual practice and spiritual living do just that. Practice living as Christ and you will see!
Jesus said, "Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds.
When he finds he will become troubled. When he becomes troubled, he will be astonished, and he will rule over the all."
You must seek in order to discover the Spirit and Truth and must continue seeking until you realize the Spirit indwelling you and know the Truth in your own experience. It is not enough that another person has discovered the Truth.
Each individual must seek and strive to discover it and so engage in the Divine labor of salvation of one's soul, that is to say, the awakening and liberation of one's soul in conscious union with God.
This seeking is the sacred quest for the Holy Grail, which is not a physical relic or holy cup outside of oneself.
Rather, the Holy Grail is a purified and consecrated heart,
soul, mind, and life; it is oneself open and sensitive to the
Christ-Spirit so that one lives the life of Christ. The Grail is the heart in which the Lord dwells, the person who has discovered an innate Spirit-connection and who lives within. It is the Christ-self, the Logos and Sophia of God, the inner or higher self that is one's secret center and holy root.
Now these are just words, concepts in the mind. The nature of this sacred quest is such that you may have a word,
name, or concept of what it is you are looking for, some idea of what it is, how and where it may be found. Yet, in fact, you do not know what it is you are looking for, how, where, or when it may be found. Whatever idea you may have of it is more likely a hindrance or obstruction to finding what you seek, misleading rather than helpful.
When seeking is based upon preconception, precondition, and expectations,
upon who and what you think you are and who and what you believe reality or God to be, then seeking itself becomes an obstruction and what is sought cannot be discovered. If you go looking for something that does not exist or go seeking in a way or in a place it cannot be found, then, indeed, you will not find it.
At the outset, you must understand that the very nature of God is different than anything you might conceive and that you yourself are not who or what you might think you are. Whatever your preconceptions,
preconditions, or expectations, the reality-truth-continuum is yet more and cannot be contained or comprehended by the linear reasoning mind or dualistic consciousness. God will forever be a mystery,
the nameless and unknown. God is completely other than what we might think. Discovering this is a troubling thing, shaking one to the core!
To draw near to the Lord is a deeply troubling thing, for I must become no-thing, empty of myself, that the Lord might enter and the
Holy Spirit fill me. God is No-thing (Ain) and I must become nothing to enter into union with the Holy One of Being
If you think you are something, if you think you are a substantial and independent self-existence, a solid or fixed entity, it is greatly troubling to discover that your secret center is no-thing, that you are empty of any substantial or independent self-existence. Discovering this, however, you then realize that this is the very nature of everything in existence. You discover that everything is impermanent, that everything changes. Reality is empty of any substantial and independent self-existence. There is only the Holy One of Being, the One-
Without-End (Ain Sof). Yet in this gnosis, the prophet or apostle of
God attains dominion over the all, for everything is the magic-display of the Divine mind, the mind of Christ.
There is another sort of troubling that may come with the dawn of higher awareness and drawing near to the Lord. In the Sacred Unity that God is, you encounter absolute and ultimate perfection, the primordial emptiness that is at one and the same time Divine fullness.
Before the perfection of the Lord, your own imperfection is glaring and stark in contrast, a profoundly troubling thing to discover and,
indeed, painful. Drawing nearer to the Lord, you discover how very far away from God you are. This is the cause of the dark night of the soul of which the mystics speak in their journey.
Anyone who seeks must be willing to endure the trouble that comes with finding, willing to endure the dark nights of the soul and the ordeals of initiation. A mystical death precedes a resurrection; a descent into the depths precedes every ascension. The Living Yeshua has opened the way before us and revealed the path to us. We also must die and be reborn, descend into the depths and ascend; we must be willing to take up our cross daily and follow the Christ-self within us. Only in this way is salvation attained.
This is not something new. Life teaches this very lesson. Birth itself is a troubling and painful thing, yet the great joy of life comes from it.
So it is with everything in this life. The pain is part of the pleasure,
the sorrow part of the joy. Dying is part of living. You cannot have one without the other. Everything is interconnected and interdependent;
it is the nature of things ever-becoming. You must learn to accept and embrace the whole of life and the whole of yourself if you would discover the Spirit and Truth. The Light and the Darkness must be joined and you must realize the Sacred Unity.
Now I tell you this, when you seek, what you find will be disturbing,
for you will discover that all the ways of mortals and their pomp is vain and futile, mere vanity under the sun. Virtually everything unenlightened human society values so dearly is ultimately meaningless,
and what we ourselves value and believe so important is not important at all. It is all arbitrary. Everything is dust in the wind with the passage of time. In the hour of reckoning, the moment of death, what will it all mean? The world will be nothing and you will be nothing. If you do not know the Christ-self as your very own self in that hour,
where will you be? What will become of you?
I will tell you plainly, the outer person I am is nothing. This name and form is a transitional state that in and of itself means nothing.
Save that I know the inner person, the soul-being and Christ-self within, this outer person and life are but vanity under the sun. To love, to gain knowledge, to uplift humanity Godward, is the purpose and meaning of this life. This name and form have meaning to the extent that Messianic consciousness is embodied. That is why the soul enters into this life, so that the being of the becoming that is within you might incarnate and the world to come might manifest. If you accomplish something of this great work, then all that you do in this life will be filled with meaning. Yet if you accomplish many things and,
by the judgment of mortals, are considered great in this world, but you do not accomplish anything of this great work, all that you might do will be meaningless, pure vanity. It is a simple truth.
"Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock,
and the door will be opened for you. Everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened" (Matthew 7:7-8).
Asking is receiving, seeking is finding, knocking is the opening of the door that you might enter. It is not you who is asking or seeking or knocking but the Christ-Spirit in you, and it is Grace that answers,
Grace that finds, the Holy Spirit that knocks and enters and accomplishes everything. Therefore, this promise is certain-the one anointed in the Supernal Light attains dominion over the all. Of myself, I can accomplish nothing; Christ in me accomplishes everything. This is an astonishing discovery and it comes with holy awe and wonder!
"Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me. To anyone who conquers I will give a place with me on my throne, just as I have conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne" (Revelations 3:20-21).
Jesus said, "If those who lead you say to you, 'See, the kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the air will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living father. But if you will not know yourselves,
you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty."
Malkut, the kingdom of heaven, is within you and all around you-yet, if you do not know that the kingdom is within you, then you will not see the kingdom outside of you. Such is the nature of reality, this magical display of consciousness. The inside and the outside are not separate but are intimately connected. The reality of your experience is the magical display of your own consciousness. A change in consciousness brings about a corresponding change in the reality you encounter. A change in the reality you encounter is an expression of a change in consciousness.
In the world and waking consciousness there are many cocreators of the magical display. There is the individual and the collective creation of this magical display-and the individual,
the collective, and the universal consciousness are completely interconnected and interdependent. You alone are not the creator of the reality you experience. Every living being is a unique individual expression of the Life-power, the Holy One of Being, and a co-creator with God of the reality you experience.
Nevertheless, when there is a transformation in your own consciousness,
there is a proportional and corresponding transformation in the world, in the reality of your experience. In transforming yourself, you transform the world in which you exist. Do you want to change the world? You are the world and the world is you. If you want to change the world, make a change in your own consciousness.
Whether heaven or hell or a world of admixture, it is all a state of mind, a condition of consciousness-being. The kingdom of heaven is not a place, but a spaciousness in consciousness, just as hell is a severe confinement and limitation upon consciousness. There are worlds within worlds and worlds beyond, heavens and hells and spaces in between.
All are an expression of consciousness-being, which is the radiant nature of consciousness, and all exist within consciousness.
There are higher, holier worlds than this one. No one can know how many there are. Nor can anyone be certain that any given world or level of consciousness is the same for different persons. Heaven could well be a dread and terrible thing for the wicked person, and for a saint, "hell" could be the most intense joy. What is known is that,
most of the time, people are too busy here in this world to notice what is transpiring within it and beyond it, too lost in distraction to know themselves and so realize the wealth of higher and holier worlds that occupy the same space. Most ordinary individuals do not know the creative power that is in them and do not know that they are the world and the world is them. In ignorance, they remain bound to lesser gods and shadow lands, and do not know the world of Supernal
Light within and all around them.
So many souls are asleep and dreaming strange and fitful dreams.
They are asleep and do not know that they are dreaming and so cannot awaken in the dream to transform it. To the awakened ones, the holy ones, it is a sad and sorry sight. It is a vision of sorrow to behold the nightmares created by self-grasping, desire, and fear, and all of the suffering that naturally follows. The awakened ones know the world of Supernal Light here and now, yet they also know how very real the suffering is of those who remain ignorant and asleep. It is not an issue of personal salvation. No one is perfectly free until everyone is free.
"The first shall be last and the last shall be first" (Mark 10:31). Until the last "wicked" person repents and seeks righteousness, the great transformation of the Second Coming shall not be complete.
The force that binds is the force that will set everyone free. It is the same consciousness-force that manifests as the adversary or the Messiah,
as heaven or hell. Enlightenment or unenlightenment are expressions of the very same consciousness-force, the one Life-power.
There is one Divine mind, but two paths. This world stands on the threshold in between. It could go either way at any moment-toward heaven or toward hell-yet salvation is always at hand, the Second
Coming ever near, as near as your breath and the beat of your heart,
as close as the very nature of your consciousness-being!
Now listen and hear the Word of the Lord. You are free to choose!
It could be heaven or it could be hell, but everyone must choose.
Within you are the powers of salvation and damnation, the Light and the Darkness. When you are at last transparent, there will only be the
Light and Life. That is the certainty of salvation in our Lord. Yet the suffering of damnation is all too real until salvation is attained. You must choose each moment. You must know the creative power that is in you and live in remembrance of the Spirit and Truth.
What is to be attained? Knowing and experiencing yourself as part of the Sacred Unity that is God, here and now. You have always been part of that Sacred Unity, are and always will be part of that Sacred
Unity, the Holy One of Being. Never have you been separate from the
Holy One. Union with God is not really an attainment; it is a present reality and truth. You need only remember the Spirit and Truth. You need only awaken and live with this awareness. It is not something you lack, but who and what you most truly are, the son or daughter of the
Living God-the child of the Light, the Light of awareness itself.
Who are lost that they should be found? I tell you, none are lost that they should be found. The one who is lost has never existed, and the one to be found was never born. You are what you are seeking,
the bornless Spirit.
This is the good news! Malkut, the kingdom, is within you and all around you. Eternal life is the Truth of your inmost being. Death has never existed. You are free!
Jesus said, "The man old in days will not hesitate to ask a small child of seven days old about the place of life, and he will live. For many who are first will become last, and they will become one and the same."
An infant is not involved in, nor attached to the world. A
babe of seven days old is not in bondage to name, form,
and limited self-identity. Such a soul is undistracted and moves freely between worlds, neither bound to one nor forgetting the other, but naturally near to the source of life and light. If the small child of seven days old, as yet uncorrupted by the mind of the world, could speak, surely wisdom would pour forth, a wisdom people of the world would undoubtedly call folly or crazy. Yet such wisdom would come directly from the inmost part of the soul and God itself.
Now, indeed, the suggestion that an old man should inquire of an infant about the place of life is an impossible and crazy thing. Everyone knows an infant cannot speak and most would say an infant knows nothing. Yet the knowledge that the baby cannot speak and cannot hold in conscious awareness is a knowledge that is deep inside you. It is a gnosis in the inmost part of the soul that you can touch upon when, at last,
you abide open and sensitive, completely undistracted.
Listen and hear. The holy child, the baby Messiah, is within you. There, in your inmost part, is the Spiritual Sun, the holy child. If you follow the star of Grace, the sense of the mystery in you, and you listen and hear, the holy child will speak to you and teach you about Mother Wisdom.
What the old man would seek to hear from the small child of seven days old is within himself. He has forgotten the wisdom of his soul,
having become involved and attached to the world, his name and form, his self-identity, and his ambitions. He has forgotten why he has come into the world, the purpose and mission of his soul, and becoming distracted, he is lost to himself.
So it is with every ordinary person in the world intoxicated and distracted by self-grasping, desire, and fear, completely in bondage to a limited and mortal self-identity, and so remaining under the power of death. Yet, if one can let go and let be and go within, one will remember what has been forgotten and so set oneself free. This is true for anyone. It is true for you as well.
Now, there is also a secret meaning hidden in this saying. When it is said that the old man will ask a small child of "seven days old," the seven days are the days of Creation, the seventh day being the holy
Sabbath, the day of repose. Yes, indeed, the holy child, the Spirit of the Messiah that is within you, is Lord of the Sabbath. The seventh day of Creation is the eternal Sabbath, of which every Sabbath occurring in space-time-consciousness is a gate.
So, here, the Master is speaking of entering into repose and seeking the Wisdom of the Divine presence and power that enters the holy abode on the Sabbath. Yet one must understand that the meaning of the holy Sabbath is more than it appears to be. It is not merely one day in the week. Rather, it is living from within in such a way that you are no longer the doer in life. The Spirit of the Messiah is the doer and the holy Shekinah is your faithful companion and guide.
The eternal Sabbath has neither beginning nor end, nor does the Divine presence and power distinguish between days of the week. At any moment, whenever you remember the Lord, in that instant the
Holy Spirit moves within you and through you and uplifts you into
Malkut, the seventh holy Sephirah. Any time you enter into repose,
the holy Sabbath dawns for you and the holy Shekinah comes to rest upon you.
The commandment of the Sabbath exists to remind you. It is given as a gift, so that perhaps at least one day in the week you might let go of involvement in the world and the natural distractions of such involvement and go within, seeking repose and communion in God.
Then, perhaps, if you remember yourself as part of the Sacred Unity that God is, you might live according to that awareness. For the inmost part of the soul, the Holy Sabbath is every day; for the outer person, it is once a week. Such is the difference between timeless eternity and time eternity. In time, there are beginnings and endings, the first and the last, but in eternity, there is no such distinction. All is the same. When you realize yourself in Sacred Unity, when you awaken the Christ-Spirit in you, you will know yourself one with all and the same in essence. In that instant, you will experience eternal life.
Now I will share a further secret with you. Everything that has happened, is happening, or ever will happen, transpires on the seventh day of Creation, the eternal Sabbath. The knowledge is within you, the knowledge of your divine destiny and the destiny of all Creation.
It is the vision of Creation from one end to the other, the awareness of a beginningless and endless reality-truth-continuum. It is the gnosis of Adam Kadmon, the primordial human being. This forms the basis of a worthy meditation.
Acknowledgments - vi
Introduction - vii
Verses 1-114 - 1
Glossary - 355
Suggested Reading and References - 367
Posted November 20, 2010
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Posted September 28, 2010
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Posted September 19, 2010
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Posted January 23, 2011
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