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Hinduism Philosophy
Introduction to the Gospel of Thomas
Peter Marchand
Aum Gang Ganapataye Namah Aum
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The teacher must be choosy


 
 
 

ACCORDING TO THE THOMAS GOSPEL

8. And he said, "The person is like a wise fisherman who cast his net into the sea and drew it up from the sea full of little fish. Among them the wise fisherman discovered a fine large fish. He threw all the little fish back into the sea, and easily chose the large fish. Anyone here with two good ears had better listen!"

Interpretation :

Some people have ears (two good ones), but are not yet ready to hear the truth. Those (the little fish) the wise teacher (a wise fisherman) drops back into the sea of illusion, so that they can grow spiritually some more through their life experiences. Thus the wise teacher can direct all his attention to the one who is ready to understand (the fine large fish).

9. Jesus said, "Look, the sower went out, took a handful (of seeds), and scattered (them). Some fell on the road, and the birds came and gathered them. Others fell on rock, and they didn't take root in the soil and didn't produce heads of grain. Others fell on thorns, and they choked the seeds and worms ate them. And others fell on good soil, and it produced a good crop: it yielded sixty per measure and one hundred twenty per measure."

Interpretation :

Same message in another story as nr. 8, the seeds being the knowledge of truth. Yet, it adds that the sower of wisdom cannot avoid some of his message to fall where it cannot be understood (didn't take root), or where it easily gets lost again (fell on thorns, choked, worms ate them). However, it is worth the effort as in the few students where the message does strike home (fell on good soil), the wisdom is multiplied (produced a good crop). There may be a difference between students as to how strong they become (yielded sixty per measure or one hundred twenty per measure), yet in any case the sowing of truth continues in an ever more abundant fashion.

23. Jesus said, "I shall choose you, one from a thousand and two from ten thousand, and they will stand as a single one."

Interpretation :

Same as 8 and 9. How many are chosen is not just depending on the numbers of those with ears that hear that are available. It also depends on the teacher, on what he intends, what he receives and what he can handle. Hence 2 and not 10 out of 10.000 as compared to 1 out of 1000. Quality is more important than quantity. Anyhow, there is just the One and those chosen will act like the One, be the One (stand as a single one) and thus the numbers don't really matter.

73. Jesus said, "The crop is huge but the workers are few, so beg the harvest boss to dispatch workers to the fields."

Interpretation :

Enlightenment (the crop) is great (huge), but few disciples work to find it (workers are few). Please Lord (the harvest boss), send me more disciples (dispatch workers) to harvest the truth I have sown (to the fields).

107. Jesus said, "The (Father's) kingdom is like a shepherd who had a hundred sheep. One of them, the largest, went astray. He left the ninety-nine and looked for the one until he found it. After he had toiled, he said to the sheep, 'I love you more than the ninety-nine.'"

Interpretation :

The majority (the ninety-nine) easily follow the shepherds' rule and live a rather spiritual life lead by tradition and society leadership. Those with more potential however (the largest) see that they have a choice between good or bad and thus know that essentially we are all free and behave as such (went astray). Those promising students are especially taken care for (until he found it) and loved by the teacher (I love you more). The one who chooses the good consciously, is so much more valuable compared to the one who does good only in as far as tradition and society require it.

 
 
 
 
Peter Marchand
 
 
 
 
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Aum Gang Ganapataye Namah Aum