PODCAST: The Spiritual Message of the Gospel of Thomas (the Twin of Christ) and the Syriac Mystics — Spiritual Awakening Radio
PODCAST: The Spiritual Message of the Gospel of Thomas (the Twin of Christ) and the Syriac Mystics — Spiritual Awakening Radio with James Bean — Listen @ Youtube:
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A complete program all about the Gospel of Thomas, a collection of the sayings of Jesus (the Wisdom of Jesus about how to find the Inner Light and Kingdom of the Heavens), revealing where this scripture came from, what school of spirituality it represents, even sharing from other ancient texts related to the Syriac-Aramaic Thomas tradition, and exploring the spiritual goals of the Saint Thomas branch of Eastern Christian mysticism, especially the practice of contemplating the Inner Light of the Godhead.
The Gospel of Thomas was missing for almost two millennia until three copies of it were almost miraculously discovered several decades ago: two sections of it written in Greek found at Oxyrhynchus, Egypt, and a more complete edition in the Coptic language found near Nag Hammadi buried under the sands of time in a clay storage jar. This lost book has been found, and now has it’s own home page on the worldwide web. The “second coming” of Thomas has occurred — it’s a “resurrected” or “reincarnated” book, if you will. Practically predicting it’s own rediscovery the Book of Thomas says: “Know what is before your face, and what is hidden from you will be revealed to you. For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor anything buried which will not be raised.” (The Greek Gospel of Thomas, Saying Five)
Have always been a fan of this contemplative “wisdom gospel,” with its format of proverbs and parables. It contains absolutely no narrative whatsoever. It’s comprised solely of one hundred and fourteen unvarnished sayings of Jesus, one after the other, and that’s it. There is no commentary, no spin, and no story. No more Roman centurions, scribes, Pharisees, and locusts to block our view. Rather than being presented through the “lens” of others, the reader encounters a more direct, unfiltered historic Jesus. The picture goes from black and white to Hi-Def. The intention by those who compiled and circulated this collection is to encourage readers to deeply ponder each and every saying for themselves, leading them to their own personal insights and revelations, to internalize the words and be transformed by them — lectio divina.
“If your spiritual guides say to you,
‘Look, the divine Realm is
in the sky,’
well then the birds
will get there ahead of you.
If they say,
‘It is in the sea,’
then the fish will precede you.
“No, divine Reality exists
inside and all around you.
Only when you have come to know your
true Self will you be fully known —
realizing at last that you
are a child of the Living One.
If, however, you never come to know
who you truly are,
you are a poverty-stricken being,
and it is your ‘self’
which lies impoverished.”
“If you are searching,
you must not stop
until you find.
When you find, however,
you will become troubled.
Your confusion will give way to astonishment.
In wonder you will reign over all things,
and enter into heavenly Rest.”
“There is Light within a Person of Light, and it illuminates the entire cosmos.” (Saying Twenty-Four, Gospel of Thomas)
“When the Father, who alone is good, visits the heart, he makes it holy and fills it with Light. And so a person who has such a heart is called blessed, for that person will see God.” (Valentinus of Alexandria)
“Faith in Christ is living, noetic Light. The Light of Jesus is noetic [spiritual] Light, and blessed is the soul which is accounted worthy to see it!” (Saint Isaac the Syrian)
The Living Master said to his initiates: “What your own eyes cannot see, your human ears do not hear, your physical hands cannot touch, and what is inconceivable to the human mind — that I will give to you!” (Yeshua, Gospel of Thomas)
Summarizing the Spiritual Message of the Gospel of Thomas in the Context of Syriac Mysticism
“If your eye be Single, your whole body will be full of Light.” (Saying preserved in Matthew 6:22) “For this reason I say, if one is whole, one will be filled with Light, but if one is divided, one will be filled with darkness.” (YesHUa, from Saying Sixty-One, Gospel of Thomas) Becoming “a Single One,” a spiritually whole person united with God, was the goal of the Thomas tradition of Syrian mysticism. “When you make the two into one… then you will enter the Kingdom.” (Saying Twenty-Two) The spirit, mind and body of the mystic all become united in God; its new way of being is “Singleness.” The word for “Single One” or “Singleness” in the Syriac-Aramaic language is “Ihidaya,” and is used to describe souls that enter into mystical oneness. (“Ihidayutha, A Study of the Life of Singleness in the Syrian Orient,” ARAM Society for Syro-Mesopotamian Studies) According to this book by Sebastian Brock of Oxford, the hermits of the Syrian tradition eventually were called “the Ihidaya.” However, “Ihidaya” isn’t merely a title, office, or a robe that one puts on, but is a matter of spiritual realization, an interior state of being, an individual experience, a mystical level of awareness that is reached by a contemplative soul.
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