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Non-dualism in the Gospel of Thomas


The Gospel of Thomas, an apocryphal text from the Nag Hammadi library, is a text with 113 or 114 short sayings, supposedly of Jesus, written down by Thomas. The doctrine put forth here is very different in tone and emphasis than the normal Gospels - it seems to emphasize an understanding of the non-dual nature of the universe and self. The practice of getting to this non-dual state is Samadhi, that state of mind achieved through Yoga, or "union," through "eight limbs" (hence the name "Ashtanga" Yoga, also called Raja, or royal/kingly Yoga). Information collected about Samadhi is discussed in an earlier article

We start with the very first line:

(1) And he said, "Whoever finds the interpretation of these sayings will not experience death."

True understanding would bring one to that place beyond life and death - perhaps in Samadhi where one becomes identified with that which is beyond life and death, self and not-self, etc.


(3) Jesus said, "If those who lead you say to you, 'See, the kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky 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."

Worshipping something outside of oneself implies it precedes you, but "the kingdom is inside of you" and also "outside of you." When knower and known become one in Samadhi, one experiences that state of unity - between knower & known but also father (source) & son (spark). "It is you who are the sons" which refers to Tiphareth and Sol... "of the living father" which refers to Kether, the Crown and Unity behind diversity. This is very much like the Hindu aphorisms "Thou [the son] art That [the living father]" and "Atman [son] is Brahman [father]." Identifying with or being attached to something in the Khu, in the phenomenal universe including the body, mind, emotions & thoughts, then death, sorrow, etc is guaranteed - identify with poverty and "it is you who are that poverty."


(4) Jesus said, "The man old in days will not hesitate to ask a small child 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."

The 'child' is one of 'pure spirit', no attachments (like Matthew 18:2-3). Seven days old implies completion in the sense that Genesis talks about the 7 days of creation, there are 7 ancient planets, and there are 7 Hindu chakras - also 7 refers to Venus which is the only glyph which encompasses all the Sephiroth on the Tree of Life. When the first becomes the last is the coition of perceiver & perceived in Samadhi - true death of the sense of individuality.


(6) His disciples questioned him and said to him, "Do you want us to fast? How shall we pray? Shall we give alms? What diet shall we observe?"
Jesus said, "Do not tell lies, and do not do what you hate, for all things are plain in the sight of heaven. For nothing hidden will not become manifest, and nothing covered will remain without being uncovered."

"Do not tell lies" means be true to yourself, not just in speech. "Do not do what you hate" for that is an obvious perversion of the subconscious will at the expense of the superego & ego. "All things are plain in sight of heaven" which is that state of non-dual awareness - Nirvana, Moksha, Samadhi, etc.


(11) Jesus said, "This heaven will pass away, and the one above it will pass away. The dead are not alive, and the living will not die. In the days when you consumed what is dead, you made it what is alive. When you come to dwell in the light, what will you do? On the day when you were one you became two. But when you become two, what will you do?"

All heavens with the devas/gods will pass away, everything in the wheel of Samsara, the phenomenal universe, will pass away. "Dead" here may mean impermanent and "alive" permanen/unchanging etc - using this Buddhist analogy it is saying that that of Samsara will be of temporal nature and that of eternal nature will be of eternal nature.

AL II:21. ...Think not, o king, upon that lie: That Thou Must Die: verily thou shalt not die, but live. Now let it be understood: If the body of the King dissolve, he shall remain in pure ecstasy for ever.
AL II:58. Yea! deem not of change: ye shall be as ye are, & not other.
Therefore the kings of the earth shall be Kings for ever: the slaves shall serve. There is none that shall be cast down or lifted up: all is ever as it was. Yet there are masked ones my servants: it may be that yonder beggar is a King. A King may choose his garment as he will: there is no certain test: but a beggar cannot hide his poverty.

"On the day when you were one you became two" relates to:

AL I:29. For I am divided for love's sake, for the chance of union.

"But when you become two, what will you do?" relates to:

AL I:30. This is the creation of the world, that the pain of division is as nothing, and the joy of dissolution all.

"One" here represents non-dual consciousness of unity - "Two" represents dualistic perception of the universe. Thelema describes this as Nuit dividing "for love's sake" which means "the chance of union" because "the pain of division is as nothing, and the joy of dissolution all." This dissolution is dissolving of the duality of Knower & Known in the mental orgasm of Samadhi.


(18) The disciples said to Jesus, "Tell us how our end will be."
Jesus said, "Have you discovered, then, the beginning, that you look for the end? For where the beginning is, there will the end be. Blessed is he who will take his place in the beginning; he will know the end and will not experience death."

Non-dual awareness/experience of that power/identity/divinity beyond duality.


(22) Jesus saw infants being suckled. He said to his disciples, "These infants being suckled are like those who enter the kingdom."
They said to him, "Shall we then, as children, enter the kingdom?"
Jesus said to them, "When you make the two one, and when you make the inside like the outside and the outside like the inside, and the above like the below, and when you make the male and the female one and the same, so that the male not be male nor the female female; and when you fashion eyes in the place of an eye, and a hand in place of a hand, and a foot in place of a foot, and a likeness in place of a likeness; then will you enter the kingdom."

The child is that of Matthew 18:3. "When you make the two one" refers to making duality, the perceiver and perceived, into one, the unity, the dissolution of duality in Samadhi and also symbolized on the physical plane in Sex and the atomic level as synthesis into larger compounds. All these dualities of inside and outside, male and female, etc refer to this loss of distinction as Liber AL says: "make no difference." When he says "When you fashion eyes in the place of an eye, and a hand in place of a hand, and a foot in place of a foot, and a likeness in place of a likeness; then will you enter the kingdom" - This seems to be directly referring to the practice of imagining and entering the Body of Light in the Astral plane. Interestingly, on the Tree of Life, one needs to be in Yesod which is referred to the Astral Plane, to have access on the path of Samekh to Tiphareth, the Son/Sun.


(30) Jesus said, "Where there are three gods, they are gods. Where there are two or one, I am with him."

Two seems to imply a subject's concentration on a chosen 'object' so his consciousness consists of 'two': the perceiver and the perceived. "One" is the coition of these two in Samadhi as described by Patanjali/Vivekananda,etc.


(39) Jesus said, "The pharisees and the scribes have taken the keys of knowledge (gnosis) and hidden them. They themselves have not entered, nor have they allowed to enter those who wish to. You, however, be as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves."

This gnosis is Samadhi, non-dual awareness. The dove and serpent also appear on Atu XVI in reference to love (AL I:57).


(67) Jesus said, "If one who knows the all still feels a personal deficiency, he is completely deficient."

"One who knows the all" is one who has experienced Samadhi - dissolution of ideas of self & not-self, knower & known.


(72) A man said to him, "Tell my brothers to divide my father's possessions with me."
He said to him, "O man, who has made me a divider?"
He turned to his disciples and said to them, "I am not a divider, am I?"

Division is bad because that state of duality is 'bad.' Samadhi, that state of union & non-dual consciousness, is what is to be achieved.


(75) Jesus said, "Many are standing at the door, but it is the solitary who will enter the bridal chamber."

"The door" is that path of Venus in the Supernals connecting Chokmah to Binah; one is standing at it in the Abyss trying to cross. It is the solitary, the one's who are beyond the dualistic perception of the self/universe and discarded these attachments to self and universe. The bridal chamber is that place where the 2 become 1, in Samadhi - that non-dual state of Being.


(79) A woman from the crowd said to him, "Blessed are the womb which bore you and the breasts which nourished you."
He said to her, "Blessed are those who have heard the word of the father and have truly kept it. For there will be days when you will say, 'Blessed are the womb which has not conceived and the breasts which have not given milk.'"

"The word of the father" is the non-dual truth of reality, therefore the opposite of her statement is also true.


(108) Jesus said, "He who will drink from my mouth will become like me. I myself shall become he, and the things that are hidden will be revealed to him."

"I myself shall become he" refers to that state of non-duality and the duality/division of the hidden/revealed duality disappears.


(111) Jesus said, "The heavens and the earth will be rolled up in your presence. And the one who lives from the living one will not see death." Does not Jesus say, "Whoever finds himself is superior to the world?"

"The heavens and the earth will be rolled up in your presence" becasue you are one with them in that state of Samadhi or non dual consciousness. "Whoever finds himself" is one who has gotten to this state of consciousness, of the Father or Samadhi - then he is superior to the world in that he is immortal and the world is mortal/impermanent.


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