It is very likely that many, maybe most, of you have never heard of The Gospel Of Thomas. In truth, neither had I until about thirty years ago. In my research, I accidently discovered a reference to it, and being inquisitive, I purchase a book, edited by Ron Cameron, titled, The Other Gospels. What I discovered was a rather ‘eye-opening’ history of which I was unaware. It represents part of a cache of Coptic Christian writings found in a cave in 1945 at Nag Hammadi, Egypt. Furthermore, it seems, clearly to predate the Canonical Gospels for two reasons. It appears to be Jesus talking directly to his disciples, with Thomas as the transcriptionist, and more importantly, it contains no mention of Jesus’ Pasion, Crucifixion, Resurrection, etc., as do the four Canonical Gospels. That, of course, implies it was written while Jesus was alive
While first reading it, I was taken aback by some of Jesus’ statements and proclamations. His apparent description of God as being in all things, and being the ‘soul’ of everything, seemed to me to be in stark contrast to the ‘dualistic’ nature of the God which I had been taught in my Roman Catholic upbringing and education. I had always been taught that God was separate from his creation. He resided in Heaven, a ‘place’ somewhere in the sky where he was able to observe everything that went on in his universe. In fact, in the Old Testament, God is described as being very ‘vengeful’ and ‘hostile’ at times. However, he could show ‘mercy’, but one had to beg incessantly, and even ‘bargain’ with God to get it.
Well, also, there was a time when rich people could actually buy God’s mercy’. You know, that seems like a paradox to me because, in one of the Canonical Gospels, Jesus is quoted as saying, “it would be easier for a camel to go through the needle’s eye than for a rich man to get to heaven”. Think about that for a second—the very thing that separates man from God, money, could be used by that same man to buy a ticket into God’s Heaven—hmm. Well, we know, of course, what he really was buying was a clear conscience, while, at the same time, enriching the Vatican coffers which had been depleted by squandering Popes. By the way, for the uninitiated in Roman Catholicism, that ticket was known as an ‘indulgence’. Later on, those tickets (indulgences) were attached to prayers—every prayer in my thick daily missal granted so many days indulgence (reduced time in purgatory) by its reciting.
Certainly, there was never any notion taught to me that God lived in me, or a rat, or a grain of sand, or a flower etc.. It is possible, however, that God, once upon a time, might have lived in snakes, because snakes could actually talk to humans way back when—of course, they can’t now—well, maybe they do, and we just cant understand them. Anyhow, years later, after Jesus’ death, the Apostle, Paul asserted that we are ‘temples of the Holy Spirit’—don’t you just wonder what his understanding of that statement was?—I do. It seems clear to me that likely no one, including Paul, understood what he was saying. I am allowed to say that because roughly three hundred years later, the squabbling Bishops who met in Nicaea, at Emperor Constantine’s request, to form an ‘official Christian (catholic ) Church, certainly didn’t know, and still don’t—they have yet to define the essence of God or the Trinity—I have done both.
It was several years later, while studying particle physics (Quantum Mechanics), that the Gospel of Thomas (Jesus’ direct words), began to ring true. Jesus was instructing them, unequivocally, that everything resided in God, and that God resided in everything. The Gospel of Thomas gave me the ‘Philosophical basis’, and Quantum Mechanics gave me the ‘Scientific basis’ for defining unequivocally, and irrefutably, the essence of God—God Is A Perfect Rational Being. That definition not only allows for, but demands Trinity, and, furthermore, makes a visual understanding of Trinity God possible.
The Gospel Of Thomas clearly shows Jesus’ genius mind at work, disparaging organized religion as being, not only, of no practical value, but rather a major detergent to peace. Instead of being a uniting force, religion sets people against each other—witness the constant turmoil existing among Christians, Muslims and Atheistic Communism. Rather than worshiping and attempting to appease a mythical god, sitting in some ‘ethereal palace’, Jesus commands us to see God in everything in order to find inner peace and communion with God and his creation.
We have to understand that every creature is ‘our friend’ in God. You might object by observing that snakes, ticks, spiders, mosquitos, chiggers etc. bite us—so would bears, wolves, alligators, lions, tigers, etc. kill and eat us. However, we, in turn, do the same to them. The reality is that they, as well as we, have to eat in order to survive. Just as we, they are doing what God designed them to do. When we come to recognize God’s presence in everything, we see clearly that, in reality, all of God’s creatures are feeding off him—we exist in a massive, self-contained and self-sustaining system of perfect rationality, which is God . Simply stated, homo sapiens just happened to be the latest creature to appear in Gods evolutionary plan—wouldn’t you love to know what comes next—I certainly would. However, I might not like being here— very likely, I would be the hunted rather than the hunter. Since the earth is predicted to exist another five billion years or so, that creature , and, maybe, many more are in God’s evolutionary plan.
Jesus ‘exhortations, found in the Gospel of Thomas, continue to be ignored, as they have been since his death—they actually killed him because of them. He was a traitor—his philosophy would have destroyed their power base and eliminated their ‘money-grubbing’ control over their subjects.
Two years ago, I issued a plea for the recognition and acceptance of The World-Wide Communion of Spirituality. That plea is for the recognition and acceptance that the Spirit (Will) of God is imprinted onto every particle of energy of which everything in existence is made. Therefore we, and everything in existence represent a ‘mirror image’ of God—should God be fighting himself? I think not—what do you think?
I have outlined my philosophy, as found in The Gospel Of Thomas, in my two books, Wilderness Cry, and Peace In Spirituality. You could enrich your New Year by their reading with an ‘open mind’.