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Hinduism Philosophy
Introduction to the Gospel of Thomas
Peter Marchand
Aum Gang Ganapataye Namah Aum
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The need to detach from the material world


 
 
 

ACCORDING TO THE THOMAS GOSPEL

54. Jesus said, "Congratulations to the poor, for to you belongs Heaven's kingdom."

Interpretation :

The least stuff one has (the poor), the more one can remain detached and attach to that which is truly valuable (the Kingdom). Likewise, the less knowledge one carries around (the poor), the more one can remain aware of the one truth and reach enlightenment (the kingdom). Less is more. More is just more trouble.

63. Jesus said, "There was a rich person who had a great deal of money. He said, 'I shall invest my money so that I may sow, reap, plant, and fill my storehouses with produce, that I may lack nothing.' These were the things he was thinking in his heart, but that very night he died. Anyone here with two ears had better listen!"

Interpretation :

Jesus points out that to seek security in worldly things (fill my storehouses with produce) has no value, as they may be lost in an instant (that very night he died). Hear the truth (listen) and drop everything else.

64. Jesus said, "A person was receiving guests. When he had prepared the dinner, he sent his slave to invite the guests. The slave went to the first and said to that one, 'My master invites you.' That one said, 'Some merchants owe me money; they are coming to me tonight. I have to go and give them instructions. Please excuse me from dinner.' The slave went to another and said to that one, 'My master has invited you.' That one said to the slave, 'I have bought a house, and I have been called away for a day. I shall have no time.' The slave went to another and said to that one, 'My master invites you.' That one said to the slave, 'My friend is to be married, and I am to arrange the banquet. I shall not be able to come. Please excuse me from dinner.' The slave went to another and said to that one, 'My master invites you.' That one said to the slave, 'I have bought an estate, and I am going to collect the rent. I shall not be able to come. Please excuse me.' The slave returned and said to his master, 'Those whom you invited to dinner have asked to be excused.' The master said to his slave, 'Go out on the streets and bring back whomever you find to have dinner.' Buyers and merchants [will] not enter the places of my Father."

Interpretation :

Same meaning as in 63 - those that are too much involved in worldly matters will not find spiritual growth (enter the places of my Father).

81. Jesus said, "Let one who has become wealthy reign, and let one who has power renounce."

Interpretation :

The one that has true knowledge (has become wealthy) can lead others. The one that has gained worldly power (has power) should renounce it and seek true knowledge.

100. They showed Jesus a gold coin and said to him, "The Roman emperor's people demand taxes from us." He said to them, "Give the emperor what belongs to the emperor, give God what belongs to God, and give me what is mine."

Interpretation :

People are trying to involve Jesus in the politics going on between the Jews and the Romans, which are occupying Judea and imposing taxes. Jesus answers to let the problems of money and politics be dealt with by those who are attached to them (give the emperor what belongs to the emperor), and to give the divine their hearts (give God what belongs to God) and the teacher their minds (give me what is mine).

 
 
 
 
Peter Marchand
 
 
 
 
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Aum Gang Ganapataye Namah Aum