Thursday April 18, 2013 4:00 p.m.

Gospel of Thomas – Logion 52

His students said,

‘Each of Israel’s
twenty-four prophets
spoke about you.”

Yeshua said,

“You ignore the one living in your
presence and talk only about the dead.” (Lynn Bauman trans.)

The implicaton in the first part is that the students are flattering Yeshua. Rather than sitting there and allowing himself to adulated, he immediately raps them on the knuckles for the mistake of taking their bearings from the past rather than the present.

If you have read the Bible, this kind of teaching is not limited to the GoT. In his constant arguments with the Pharisees you have any number of examples of Jesus in scrapes of this nature.

The single biggest impediment to insight in the church today is that we identify ourselves as keepers and people of the story. We make the wholly unwarranted assumption that we would recognize Jesus if he were in our midst today. So we accrue to ourselves all sorts of pride, safety, and self-congratulation. But would we recognize him if he were in our midst? Are we able to trust the naked now to reveals what’s there?

Some years ago a group hired the virtuoso violinist Joshua Bell to play in the Washington subway. Most people would pay a fortune to hear Bell perform in a great concert hall. In the Washington subway as he played, one person actually stopped to really listen. A few children paused and their mothers dragged them away. The whole time he played, not a single person made the connection that this was an extraordinary musician playing extraordinary music. The context was wrong. People only hear within contexts.

When we are about our busy things the capacity for independent recognition in the now is disastrously atrophied. A master would not hang out on the site saying here it is. There would be no such thing as the top 100 gurus in the world. In the ancient tradition teachers deliberately played hard to find.

Everything is done to allow the teacher to remain slightly hidden. You have to work to enter into the teaching. It requires the power of your independent recognition and trust.

The teacher has certainly a powerful energetic field. But the student needs to recognize that field and trust their own power of recognition to say yes. That is what was going on with Jesus and his followers around the Sea of Galilee. It was a cliff hanger. The disciples had to step up to the person you could almost bet the establishment was going to be uneasy about.

What’s happening in our media driven culture is an extraordinary caricature of recognition. Everyone is running after the guru du jour and by the time you recognize them, it is almost guaranteed they have passed their edge which creates a guru adolescence.

In this logion the disciples betray themselves relying on the twenty-four who had spoken earlier about Yeshua.

Yeshua is calling his students to wake up and trust themselves.

When the disciples gathered around the shores of Galilee and stood before Jesus, that was not the basis of their trust in him. At this point, they knew nothing about crucifixion and resurrection. What they had to use was not some life insurance policy held by the church, but an innate sense of recognition. The problem with 20/20 hindsight is that it dulls that very instrument that you need in  yourself to really make progress in the spiritual journey.

The causality of all living masters is along the vertical axis. The real justification of these people lies in the eternal now downloading into the present. It is kind of useless to try to use the fact that something on the linear axis to validate something that is coming from above.

How do you hold the tension between receiving the wisdom of the past and validating your own deep present inner knowing?

You don’t just master and read the mystics; you fall in love with them.

Even the gifts from the past will resonate in your heart. When we hold them too rigidly they become restrictions instead of a source of liberation.

Truth at a certain level will confirm itself across all time, religion, and culture gaps. The more they reach that deep level of unity, the less the different traditions will perceive disagreement.

Every time I see the word evolutionary in someone’s title I want to run in the opposite direction; you know you are going to get a certain amount of re-inventing the wheel. People who teach from within a tradition have a rootedness that will not be found when you are inventing it all from scratch.

How do you keep it a living tradition? There is living water in the well, but we need to engage that living water in a different way, not through some of the past based causalities that grant priority to things simply because they happened earlier.

An Archbishop of Canterbury once said, “The Holy Spirit does not encourage us to believe that things never happened for the first time.” New life arises in old forms and is perceived by a living heart. If you can’t see beyond the form, even if it was once alive, it becomes dead.

We are living in an era where in a pandemic way the old institutions are breaking down. And the new institutions have not yet made themselves manifest. The old ways the religious institutions used to do business are not working any more. There is so much struggle and heartbreak around dying forms. But no one yet knows what the new form looks like because we are looking at it with the eyes of the past thinking about doing the old thing in new ways.

Lots of people are getting their spirituality from TED talks, media, secular, non-churchy expressions of fundamental values. It is not just “Lets just find some new gimmicky way of improving the church’s website.” To the extent you are able to be present to the new  in a deeper place you see it.

We really have such difficulty moving into the future because we are always scaling it back to the expectations of the past.

There is a synergy as  we pull together a new mystical body that can help move through things on a collective level that cannot be done by yourself.

The psychological and personal dimension of this has a life of its own. We are sitting on the cusp of a separated selfhood that won’t trust and an unseparated selfhood that can trust. Sit there mercifully. People are held where they are until they are ready to move beyond. The work is not to be mad at yourself but to slowly build the strength that will allow us for longer and longer intervals to abide beyond separation. There is something we trust that  moves us beyond.  We will flow into that more and more. It is a matter of tasting it and flowing back.

As we move together as a group in this there is more and more of a container for this.

We are moving into a higher collectivity – Gurdjieff always said that without a group people can do nothing. I always resisted that teaching. But I have had a couple tastes of a group working at a level where each piece adds a new piece and each individual is able to draw from that level. The group was holding a higher vibration which allowed each individual member to get across the gap. I’m beginning to suspect we really are in the midst of an era where human beings are being organized into a different sort of higher collectivity.

The great mystical traditions have always said there is only one human being – the one human and we are all just cells in that body. Cells in the body as St. Paul realized don’t mean undifferentiated cogs in the wheel. Every cell is different, priceless, and given a function.

An organism gives up a certain autonomy at one level in order to function at a higher level in a collective.

The Buddhist monk Ajahn Sona says, “What is the plural of egoic? Wegoic.” Not every group doth a higher collective make. The mystical body of Christ is touched when a higher collectivity is realized in a non-localised way.

It is the prejudice of the aged to assume no communication is taking place because they are only texting.

We are shifting towards higher synergy and non-localised communities which do not require bodies in the same proximity. There is a capacity when you can create a group that is on an ascending wave length to create a container for a healing and a liberation that nobody can seem to get to on their own.

You don’t have to like each other to form that community but you do have to love each other. Sometimes you can’t abide each others’ manifestations. But over the long haul a staying power begins to happen.

Suffer your stuckness graciously.

Be with what is. If it is there, rather than being frustrated with being stuck, don’t judge just be with it. Keep yourself right there. Only as you are able to be with what is, are you able to be with the next what is.

Western civilization as a whole is in the dark night of the spirit. We can’t use memory to support us, the old ways of holding it together are falling apart.

In Breakfast at the Victory James P. Carse tells about wife getting cancer and dying. Just before she dies asks, “Do you know what all this has meant?” He asks “What?” She says, “Nothing”. And she was ok with that. There is no need for meaning. Things get transformed into a whole new materiality.

When we can no longer draw our energy of being from the things we have been doing all our life – now what? Am I ready to live in the now? To live in the infinite?

In his book Reluctant Saint: The Life of St. Francis, Donald Spoto tells the story of Francis  whose life was turned upside down in his twenties. He wound up throwing off all the trappings of his old life. He heard the words, “Rebuild my church.” He began living as consistent a life as he could in Christ. That drew around him a group of people who were drawn to him by the quality of his energy. There was a life, a vitality, a radiance that became contagious.

What I see here is that as you live your own life with integrity and are not afraid of the downward spiral, your own life becomes consecrated bread for others. They can eat it, grow and find hope.

Always keep a strong oar in the water of actual hands on service with those around you who are slipping. And allow the quality of your own life to be a vessel of hope.

The words usually attributed to St. Francis are helpful: “Preach the gospel at all times, when necessary use words.”

Don’t be afraid of the downward. The spiritual life embraces descent, the downward motion in voluntary freedom creates waves of spiritual energy. Integrity, sincerity, compassion have such a powerful energy.

Logion 101

Yeshua says,
Whoever does not reject (hate)
father and mother
in the way I do
cannot be my student.
Whoever does not welcome
father and mother as I do
cannot be my disciple,
for my mother brought me forth,
but Truth gave me life.

We have parenting on both axises. We have a linear parenting of course.But we also have a vertical parenting.There is another mother who gives us life.

The word “hate” doesn’t mean the emotional word for anger. It means beware, don’t get caught by, don’t get hooked by. It is a warning not to fall into a pit.

Those who are completely trapped in the web of horizontal relationships, will not move forward. Whoever takes as primary our engendering on the literal level, making gods of our nuclear family, needing this web of relationships on the horizontal axis. If you are going to prioritize that unbreakable web of duties and conditioning you will never be a disciple because you are still trapped on that level.

Embryologists tell me that how we understand the way conception actually takes place is different from what we have thought. In fact it seems, the egg opens to a single sperm and then closes and for 24 hours there is silence, then the whole thing starts to vibrate. They call it ignition. That is the moment that spirit enters the child. It is clear in lab tests that gestation is literally bi-axial.

Your parents give you your literal DNA. This other moment of conception is what gives you the full of the moon behind the crescent, your divine map of your own unfolding.

We get it backwards when we think we start as separated beings and have to go find God. In fact we start with God. We start with that force Dylan Thomas wrote about when he wrote,

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer.
And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose
My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.

The force that drives the water through the rocks
Drives my red blood; that dries the mouthing streams
Turns mine to wax.
And I am dumb to mouth unto my veins
How at the mountain spring the same mouth sucks.

We forge out from God bearing this template and our own manifestation in time. There is a gestation from above. Truth gave me life.

There is an angel of your being to which you turn and from which you draw to create the right balance. We are born with a larger life capacity. Every soul has the memory of something beyond space time causality.

Who does not hate their parents – the ones who are so completely linear, nose to the ground; these ones cannot possibly be my disicple. There is not enough freedom. We take our relationships on this planet seriously  and reverently without getting lost in them. That is freedom.

“For my mother gave me birth. But my other mother gave me life.” One mother gave bios (material existence), the other gave zoe (life from above). Where we go to find the energy, the presence that allows us to forgive, to heal from trauma, that allows us to move beyond stuck places is to our true mother.

Attachment, alias identification, is the great destroyer of the spiritual life.

That which is can’t be taken away. The energy that bonds you to your children is sacred and doesn’t need to be held on to. It is there. It doesn’t need shoring up. Give it its space to live.